firecracker straws

Firecracker Straws

We are always looking for ways to make Fourth of July firecrackers something even the littlest kids can enjoy. These firework straws are a great way to bring the sparkle and fun safely into the afternoon. They are bright, shiny, and a festive way to sip celebratory drinks.

Firecracker Straws

Firecracker Straws

Firecracker Straws

To make the firecracker straws, start by cutting out the festive paper flags. Download and print our template right here.  

Posted June 30, 2014 3 Comments
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cactus stencil outdoor rug

Cactus Stenciled Outdoor Rug

Gussying up the deck was a big focus of our first week of summer. I was really excited about getting a big rug outside and had such a hard time finding one I loved. Instead of buying one I didn’t love – I bought a huge piece of AstroTurf from Costco and stencil painted cactus on it.

Cactus Stenciled Outdoor Rug

Make an outdoor rug with a stencil and spray paint!

The project was really simple and I just love how it looks! I’m sharing the details of how we did it and the template to create your own cactus inspired rug – right here.

Here are a few other amazing ideas to fix up your porch/deck/slab of concrete for summer.

Painted garden stools.

Planted succulents – great for stairs.

Outdoor shower.

This is just gorgeous!

Giant outdoor surprise balls.

Love this DIY outdoor table – you could make it in under an hour!

Miniature fabric covered lights for stringing.

And in case you missed it, our 3D paper stars for hanging outdoors.

Whatever outdoors you are enjoying this weekend, I hope it is great. We are off to the lake today! Living near Lake Tahoe has its advantages. Happy weekend!

Posted June 27, 2014 3 Comments
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summer stargazing party details

Summer stargazing party

We held our first party of summer last week – a night of stargazing. The party started in the evening, before the sun set. We grilled veggies and enjoyed a really great chocolate cake. When it was time to watch the stars, we laid out on our large canvas picnic cloth and looked up toward the sky. I was surprised at how little finding the actual constellations seemed to matter to anyone – it was just a fun night to be together in the gorgeous summer weather. The summer night sky is so pretty up here in the mountain dessert.

For the party details, I looked to include bright elements like a garland of festive 3D paper stars, along with a more traditional touches, and a few really great pieces purchased with my party shopping trick! The handmade table we enjoyed was definitly the centerpiece of the entire party – heavy, wooden and filled with succulents. It is my new favorite place to enjoy anything out of doors. The play list was great as well. Here are some of my favorite details from the night.  

Posted June 26, 2014 3 Comments
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painter’s canvas picnic blanket

Painted Canvas Picnic Blanket

Finding pretty picnic blankets is always a challenge for me. For whatever reason, picnic season tends to bring out the bright cheesy fabrics in many of my favorite brands. Instead of buying one I don’t love, I prefer to invest 30 minutes and make one I do love!

Last year’s no-sew version was fun to make. This season we made a pretty pink painted stripe version to use for our first party of summer and it worked splendid.

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

To make the painted canvas picnic blanket, we started with a simple canvas drop cloth. If you purchase the type with non-drip coating on the back, it will provide a water resistant barrier which is great for laying the canvas down on grass. You’ll also need fabric paint and a small house paint roller.

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

Painter's Canvas Picnic Blanket

Before beginning to paint – bleach the canvas in the washer and dry thoroughly, for a surface that the paint will stick easily to.

Next measure out the stripe lines – I loved the look of three lines in differing hues, but you could stripe all the way down the canvas if desired. Big stripes! Little stripes! Use this tutorial to make a blanket that you will love getting out again and again this summer.

Gently measure out the paint lines with pencil.

Next begin painting. Squirt the fabric paint into a small paint tray and roll right on to the cloth. Paint multiple coats for a completed “perfect” line look, or allow the brush to run naturally to create interesting, abstract lines. Erase the pencil marks afterwards, or leave them for a sketched in paint look.

Painter's Painted Picnic Blanket

One thing I love about this picnic blanket is that it is big enough to fit an entire party! If you’re planning a summer party, the blankets are a fun way to seat guests – make them in a couple different shades and set them around the yard. Instant picnic party perfection.

Grab your friends and head out to enjoy a lazy afternoon under the trees, or roll this blanket up for a night of stargazing. More to come on our summer stargazing party tomorrow!

(Photography by Jocelyn Noel)

Posted June 25, 2014 7 Comments
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3D bright paper stars

3D bright paper stars

There is something about colorful stars that seem downright magical in the summer – and not just the red, white and blue variety. While prepping for our first party of the season, I knew I wanted to include a small galaxy of festively bright stars.

These 3D paper ones are my absolute favorite! They look amazing hanging as garland (the backdrop to our party). They make sweets shine when bunched together and stuck into a cake. The stars are a great way to give any outdoor space a festive punch of color this season.

3D bright paper stars

3D bright paper stars

3D bright paper stars

3D bright paper stars

3D bright paper stars

To make the 3D bright paper stars; you’ll need bright paper, scissors, a dish, ruler, and a pencil.

Start by making a circle – I found tracing a bowl to be the easiest way to get a perfect circle. We used three different size bowls to make these stars.

Next place a dot on the circle at the top. Measure the circle’s height and divide by two. Then begin measuring out that distance with a straight edge ruler around the circle and placing dots as you go.

For example, if you circle is 8 inches long – then the next dot will be placed 4 inches away from the first. Keep going around the circle, placing the dots as you go. Once all the dots are in place, draw a straight edge line between them, and cut along the line – you’ll now have a six point star.

3D bright paper stars

You only have to do this once! Now you have a star template you can use for tracing and cutting the other stars out. To make the stars 3D, you’ll need to fold in on the low points and fold out on the high points.

Use fishing line and hot glue to make a garland that looks like a bright and festive floating galaxy. Or attach a kitchen skewer to the top and bottom points to use the stars as cake toppers. String onto presents as wrapping details. You can even make a sweet mobile with these beauties.

3D bright paper stars

However the stars are used, they bring a festive punch to any space. From the Fourth of July, through early September I will be using my bright galaxy to make every evening pop with pretty summer color.

(Photography by Jocelyn Noel for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted June 24, 2014 7 Comments
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revelry lately

Tips for gardening with succulents

We made it through our first week of summer break! I am really enjoying life’s slower pace while the kids are home – I love the idea that we are on a summer countdown. I’ve got 14 summers left with my littles and hope to enjoy them well.

I wanted to share a few things I’ve been up to lately. Here are some projects and posts I’ve written elsewhere this month:

Tips for gardening with succulents (photo above).

How to sun bleach paper – this is such a fun summer project to keep the kids busy!

Tips for shooting great still light photography

How to shoot stellar still life photos (photo above).

Six favorite cupcakes from around the world.

Colorful roped vases.

Finish off your cards with paper lace.

8 tips for taking the best Instagram shot you can.

Fabric food toppers – so you can eat summer sweets bug free!

Wedding pop-up esscort cards

Lastly, I made this DIY escort card kit in collaboration with Darby Smart. See the details and purchase the supplies (including an awesome set of stamps) to make your own – right here.

Have a happy summer weekend.

Posted June 20, 2014 2 Comments
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