I've moved! New blog address.

My new website + blog is emilyneuburger.com.  Please visit me there!

If you have this site bookmarked in a blog reader, you'll want to switch to emilyneuburger.com.

Thanks, and see you in my new space!

xo emily

hook board :: sprouts

So, yeah, this is when I start pining away for spring. With the lack of deep snow in our area, I think I should probably still be dreaming about snow drifts, but just knowing that we are so close to March, and that the end of March marks the beginning of spring, makes me itchy for sprouts and warm days and green stuff.

Hence, this little sprout hook board with tender little greenery perfect for hanging keys, candles, dried flowers, and whatever else needs hanging. I've taken to going to the dump on Saturdays where I search high and low for old barn board and such. This hook board is made out of one of the pieces of scrap board found on one of my dump adventures.

I listed it in the shop a few days ago. Oh, and my mom told me that at her house on Long Island two of her purple crocuses popped up through the snow. I'm just saying ......

xo e

fairy flower wand

Chick decided she wanted to have just a few little friends to our house on Saturday for a fairy tea party. We served tiny cheese and jam sandwiches, berry tea, and gave each of her friends a fairy flower wand to cast spells with.

The wands were designed by me, but actually assembled by Tom. He did a great job binding them, and added a bit of glue to make sure all of the flowers stayed where they should.

wooden dowel
faux silk flowers
florist tape

How to:
Cut dowel to size. We decided that 14" is a suitable size for a wand. Use wire clippers to snip two flower stems approximately 4" below the flowers. Be sure to leave some leaves and greenery for a natural, organic fairy wand effect. Place one flower stem on either side of the top of the dowel, and use florist tape to bind the two stems to the dowel. You can also use ribbon to tie the stems on tightly. To ensure that the flowers stay nice and tight, Tom started at the top, and bound the ribbon down the entire length of the stem (not the entire length of the dowel). Next, use a bit of craft glue on the ribbon and tape to set it for good. Once the ribbon and stems are dry, tie some long pieces of decorative ribbon onto the top of the dowel. I used bunches of leaves as an anchor for the ribbon so it didn't slip down the dowel.

Give to your aspiring flower fairy and watch as they cast powerful magical spells.



Wowzers. I've been away from this little blog space for a bit. It was an unexpected, but much needed, blog break. I have this strange throat problem that is taking forever to heal. It all began when I choked on a tuna sandwich on our way to Philly about a month ago. The doctor thinks I damaged some sort of membrane-y thing on my pharynx (wherever that is), and it has made eating and just generally existing a bit more challenging than normal. How weird is that? My new friend, the pharynx, feels so much better than it did a month ago, though, which is super encouraging, and indicative of its slow, but steady, healing process. There will be no injured pharynx allowed at Cape Cod when we go camping this summer.

Oh, and we had a big family birthday party for Chick who will turn FIVE on Wednesday. Don't even get me started on how big that feels and how she has lost almost all of her babyish features (except her hands, which are still chubby and stocky). Chick made a few fairy cup cake birthday invitations out of card stock, painted brown paper bags, and a glue stick. I stamped the back with an invitation stamp I bought years ago.

Here are her chubby little hands making the invitations. But, wait! Are they thinning out a bit? They still look kind of like a toddler's hands, right?

And, we made my besty besty friend's (mother of two lovely nieces and sweet cheeked nephew) bean salad. It is one of my favorite things to eat because of its sweet and tangy flavor and because of the texture. It has lots of different plump, tender beans and crunchy little bits of celery and pepper. It is one of those magical recipes that most people at the party eat and love and then ask for the recipe. And, look how pretty it looks!

You can use dried beans, but it will take a little more work because you'll have to leave time to soak and then cook them. I used canned this time around.

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can white corn
1 green pepper diced
1/2 cup red pepper diced
1 cup diced celery
1 jar pimentos diced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Drain and rinse the beans and corn well. Mix with diced pepper, celery, and pimento. Bring the sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to a boil until sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the warm sauce over the bean mixture, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Drain the marinade before serving. I doubled the recipe because I needed to have some leftovers for vacation week.

xo e

heart clips

Chick has spent the past year pawing through the brown paper bag filled with the valentines her classmates bestowed upon her last year. She loves the glitter, the hearts, the tissue paper, and the occasional super hero, and she finds satisfaction in attributing each valentine to its creator. So, when I brought up making valentines for her classmates this year, she was determined to get it just right, which meant: hearts and gold glitter. Not silver glitter. It needed to have fancy gold glitter because yellow is her new favorite color. I decided that it might be fun to make something that her friends could use or wear, which led to a big Sunday morning, snuggled in bed, brainstorm session. After lots of heart drawings and ideas, we decided that we'd make gold glittered heart clothespins. We figured that kids can use it to hang stuff in their room or even wear it clipped to a jacket. Chick plans to write each child's name on a paper heart, which will be clipped by the clothespin.

I know this sounds like so much thought and hoopla for one tiny project, but this is the sort of thinking and planning that Chick and I love to do together. She takes it so seriously and is so proud of the final product. We did this project in lots of small steps. In fact, we aren't quite finished making all of them yet. I've found that it has been a nice activity to revisit in quiet moments during the day, like after dinner or while Miss. Mouse naps.

kraft paper
cereal box panel
Mod Podge
tacky glue (or hot glue gun)

1. The first step was painting a big sheet of kraft paper with lots of Valentine's Day colors. Chick did this all by herself, and after becoming one with her art, she ended up looking like one big Valentine. The beautiful streaks and mottled colors ended up giving the hearts a nifty tie dye sort of look.

2. After the paint dried, Chick drew lots of hearts on the back of the painted kraft paper. I love how lopsided and wonky her hearts are. Don't they totally scream "I love you?" Then, I cut up the big piece of paper into smaller squares, and let her cut out each of her hearts. I made a few of my own, too, since I couldn't resist.

3. We used Mod Podge to glue the hearts onto the back of some cereal box panels. I coated the panel with the Mod Podge, put the heart down, and then coated it again. Chick quickly sprinkled/poured gold glitter onto the wet, gluey hearts. You could just use gold sparkle Mod Podge (which would give them a nice even sparkle), but I already had regular Mod Podge and gold glitter in the house. As you can see we have less of a nice, even, thin layer of sparkle situation and more of a thick, crust of sparkle. But, you know, it is authentic to the artist's vision.

4. Once the glitter extravaganza dried, I carefully cut out the hearts being sure to honor the shape of Chick's sweet, imperfect, earnest hearts.

5. Finally, I used some tacky glue (or you can use your best friend - the hot glue gun) to glue the hearts onto the clothespins.

As I type, Chick is frantically writing little notes for pinning with the clothespins. Busy, busy.

Happy weekend to all!

xo e

fabric heart necklaces :: remake

This project began as a garland, but ended up as a necklace. I just couldn't resist slinging the sweet little heart over my neck. So, in the end, it is a little fabric heart necklace perfect for giving to little ones (and big ones) for Valentine's Day. I made these for the girls to wear, but after I threw one around my neck, I was kind of feeling the vibe. I think I might try it with other shapes like birds and stars and apples. Another option is to have your child draw and cut out her or his own heart and use that for the necklace shape.

cereal box panels
sewing machine OR embroidery needle and floss
hole punch

How To:

1. You or your child draws a heart shape on the back of your favorite fabric. Cut out the shape, and place it right side up onto a piece of cereal box panel. I didn't affix the fabric to the panel with anything, but you could use a bit of Wonder Under or something to keep it in place.

2. Use your sewing machine, with a thick needle, to sew around the heart. You could also use a big embroidery needle and floss. Once the sewing is completed, trim away the excess cereal box panel.

3. Use the hole punch to make holes in the two tips of the heart. The punch will go through the fabric and cardboard, but you'll probably need to trim a bit of the fabric out of the hole to clean it up.

4. There are two ways to string the yarn, which are both pictured below. You can simply thread it through the back and then use a bit of glue to affix the yarn to the back of the heart (so it doesn't show when you turn it over). Or, you can thread pieces of yarn through the holes and then tie big, big, big knots so they don't slip off.

Our friends Rory and little smiley Jack were visiting this morning, and she happened to be wearing the most dreamy, soft, cashmere, sweater. I was dying to see what the necklace would look like against such beauty, and she was kind enough to model it for me. Side note: Rory is a felt loving, lovely who made me the most beautiful felt ball garland. It is hanging in Mouse's room and I will post pictures of it soon.

xo e