Terrarium Lead

There is definitely a terrarium craze happening at the moment – and while some terrariums may look complex at first sight, the process of making one is actually quite simple.  With limitless design options for customization, each terrarium is completely unique to its maker, making the whole DIY process so much fun.

In celebration of Earth Day today, I’ve provided the DIY tutorial over at the Fossil Blog, so head on over to check it out!

terrarium materialsDIY terrarium

I’m not too sure why I held off on creating a Facebook page for so long, but last night, I finally caved in and accepted the additional social responsibility. I’ll be updating the Facebook page with each new blog post, so it’ll be a great way to stay up-to-date with all of my projects and DIY posts. If you’re on Facebook, please head on over and “Like” the Alana Jones-Mann Facebook Page. Thumbs up, y’all!

Facebook Photo

When it comes to Easter DIY ideas, there is a whole lotta cute out there this year! Here are a few of my favorites – find the links to each tutorial below.

EasterLinks

1. Adorable Bunny Ears Twist Wrap from The House That Lars Built // 2. Iron-On Bunny Bags by Alix Sorrell for OhHappyDay // 3. Bunny Candy Pouch from MerMag // 4. Sugar & Cloth‘s Chocolate Nest Eggs

With egg dyeing season in full swing, why not mix it up and turn your egg shells into a mini garden instead? You could even dye your egg shells AND then turn them into a little egg garden too. As I’m well aware, the internet still really likes succulents. So for my Easter craft this week, I’m going with eggs and succulents, which looks like a winning combination to me!

And while I’m definitely not the first to create a little garden using egg shells, there are a few tips I wanted to include that I haven’t seen mentioned on many other tutorials of this kind. So check out the DIY below and get to it! Egg Succulent 1egg succulent diy_materials

Materials Needed:

  • Egg(s)
  • Push Pin
  • Small Pebbles
  • Porous Soil (about 1 cup for 6 eggs)
  • Small Succulent(s)
  • Sand (1/4 cup for 6 eggs)

Directions:

Egg Succulents DIY copyStep #1: Just as you would if you were going to dye your eggs, poke a hole into the top and bottom of the egg using a push pin and blow out the yolk. This hole is super important as it’s going to allow for drainage.

Note: If you want to dye your shell, now is the time to do that.  I wanted to go for the natural cage-free look, so I kept mine brown.  I guarantee your garden will look rad either way, so totally up to you!  If you don’t want to dye them, you can swap steps 1 + 2.

Step #2: Gently crack off the top quarter or so of your shell. Make sure to not rush this step, as the shell can easily crack. Wash the inside of your egg with water, making sure to get the interior filmy layer out (not too sure what the technical term is here, but I’m sure you know what I’m referring to).

Step #3: Add a few small light-weight pebbles to the inside of your egg. This will allow your plants’ roots to stay dry, as succulents very much prefer. This is another crucial and often overlooked step!

Step #4: Add a small scoop of some porous fast-drying soil to your egg. Once you’ve added the soil, use your finger to make an indented hole for the succulent.

Step #5: Carefully remove your succulent from its plastic pot and gently shake off any excess soil.

Sidenote: How fun is this guy?!!?!succulent egg2

Step #6: Lastly, position your succulent into the egg, adding extra soil (if needed) to secure the succulent. If you like the look with the sand (like mine), sprinkle some of that atop your soil at this point. Add just a few drops of water and your succulent egg garden is ready to go!

Egg Succulents 3Succulent Egg 4What’s great about these is they can easily be transferred to a larger pot after Easter.  That is what I plan on doing, since this year’s frigid and miserable winter sadly took my 2-year-old (and Sandy survivor) succulents with it.

For more succulent gardening tips, check out my succulent toolbox DIY. And if you haven’t seen my succulent cupcake tutorial yet, check that out too! Just click on either photo below to be directed to the post.succulents2succulent toolbox diy

houseplantcupcakes1_web

Today I was beyond excited to find some of my stationery work in the 2014 Special Issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.  You may remember me sharing some work I did for Save The Dates HERE or the Newport-inspired bridal shower decor I put together for the same bride HERE.  Well, those were just two of the projects I had the pleasure of working on with Lauren and Dave, my favorite wedding clients of last year.  I am so happy that some of the stationery was included in the spread – and now that the magazine is out, I get to share it all with you!

MARTHA COVERAGE

The Save the Dates: The first design I created for the couple was a custom logo that was inspired by their Newport wedding venue.  You can see the full Save the Date in a previous post HERE.Wedding Rope Logo

The Invites: Lauren had a clear idea of what she wanted the main invite to look like, so I followed her lead with that design and created a matching RSVP card, as well as a custom map illustration that highlighted the couple’s favorite Newport locations.  Lucky for me, there is a great letterpress studio down the street from my apartment – The Arm – where I letterpressed each of the three pieces by hand.  For the envelope I designed a custom liner and used a mix of vintage and modern Rhode Island stamps for the postage.  I worked with Anne Kennedy, a super talented local calligrapher, who provided the perfect calligraphy addressed envelopes for each invitee.  The three invite pieces and the return envelope were packaged together with blue and white baker’s twine and tied with a customized tag.

Auslander InviteInvite Newport MapAuslander Invite Suite 5_loAuslander Invite Suite 3_lo

The Welcome: Tote bags were printed with the map I initially illustrated for the invite.  The welcome bags included a selection of goodies and a note which highlighted the weekend’s activities.  After designing the notes, I printed them on a kraft paper and glued them to a sturdier piece of navy blue card stock to give them some additional personality.

Auslander Wedding_Tote and Program_loAuslander Invite Suite 6_lo

The Programs: Programs were designed and printed in a similar fashion to the welcome note.  They were placed in a straw basket and placed on the shore where the ceremony took place. 

Auslander Program 2_lo Auslander Wedding Programs_lo

“The Hugo” Drink: Lauren and Dave have a very adorable pup named Hugo, and like many dog loving bride and grooms they wanted a way to incorporate Hugo into the wedding, despite him not being able to physically be there.  The couple created a signature drink in honor of the four-legged guy, and I designed some fun drink signs for the bar and labels for the straws.

The Hugo Bar PhotoAuslander Wedding_Straws_loAuslander Wedding Drink Straws

Pashmina Scarves: I created tags for the pashmina scarves that were provided for guests at the ceremony.  The tags read “to have and to hold and to keep from the cold” and also included the couple’s logo.

Auslander Pashmina Tags 2_lo Auslander Pashmina Tags_lo

The Reception: Other stationery touches for the wedding reception included table numbers and the menu which both resonated with the invite design, as well as customized match boxes.

Auslander Wedding Menu and TableAuslander Wedding_Program and Matches_lo Auslander Wedding Stationery_lo

Thank you Lauren and Dave for bringing me in to be a part of your big day!  And a big thank you to wedding photographer Judy Pak for all of these incredibly beautiful photos.

Another episode of my Craft On video series on ulive is here! With Easter just around the corner, this episode will show you how you can turn a batch of mini cupcakes into adorable edible Easter bunnies using frosting and candy. Watch the video to see how it’s done – just click play below!

Craft On_Bunny Cupcakes Play

Materials Needed:

  • Pre-made mini cupcakes
  • Buttercream frosting (in piping bag with a starburst tip)
  • Good & Plenty® licorice candies
  • Sprinkles: Brown + White
  • Serrated Knife
  • Toothpicks
  • Pink Decorating Gel

Directions:

DIY Bunny Cupcakes Video
Step #1: Frost your mini cupcakes with your vanilla buttercream.

Step #2: Cut the ends of the pink licorice candies with a serrated knife.

Step #3: Pick out some brown and white sprinkles from a batch of sprinkles.

Step #4: Decorate your bunny!  Add two brown sprinkles for the eyes, the pink end of the licorice candy for the nose and two white sprinkles for the teeth.

Step #5: Use a toothpick to make any adjustments.

Step #6: Place two of the white licorice candies towards the top of the cupcake and add a little of pink decorating gel to finish off the ears.  And there you have it – a batch of adorable mini bunny cupcakes!

You can also check out my original DIY post of these mini bunny cupcakes HERE.

Last week I made a half birthday cake for a little lady who was turning six-and-a-half.  I fully support celebrating half birthdays and don’t mind baking half of a cake for the celebrations either!

AJM_half birthday cake

As I mentioned earlier this week, I curated the launch party for the Erin Fetherston and Cosabella collection, which included a DIY flower crown bar. Instead of creating a normal photo-based tutorial for the event, I decided to illustrate the directions to make things just a bit cuter. Below you’ll find the illustration and if you’re planning your own flower crown party (which you totally should!), there’s a link to download a higher-res printable version at the bottom of the post.

DIY Crown Layout_Illustrated

Materials Needed:

  • Paper wire (essentially just wire wrapped in a rafia-like paper)
  • Thin gauge floral wire
  • Assortment of silk flowers
  • Pliers or Scissors

Directions:

Step #1: Shape the paper wire around your head to form the crown. Twist the end to close.

Step #2: Wrap thin floral wire around the flowers to prep them for your crown.  For large flowers, string floral wire through the center or underneath the base (the plastic green part, usually connected to the leaves of the flower).

Step #3: Secure flowers to the crown by tightly wrapping the floral wire around the crown.

Step #4: Once happy with the placement of the flowers, position onto head and wear.

flower crown printable

Last night I curated a party for the Erin Fetherston and Cosabella collection launch that included a DIY flower crown bar, adorable vintage decor, delicious treats, a pop-up shop for the ERIN by Erin Fetherston collection, and a bunch of amazing ladies making flower crowns.  It was pretty much the best party ever.

[There will be more photos coming later this week, along with a look at the illustrated DIY I created for the event.]

For a couple weeks leading up to the event, I scavenged thrifts and second-hand stores to collect the flowers.  I found a bunch of unique vintage flowers, which I washed and arranged with an assortment of new craft-store purchased silk stems.  Together, the selection was absolutely gorgeous. Here’s a few photos of the flowers I took at home before the event.  silk flowers 2 Silk Flowers1Silk Flowers 5Silk Flowers 4

For the party, which was held at the Cosabella store in soho, I styled the crafting table with the flowers, some vintage glass and my 1920s hand mirror, along with a bunch of adorable vintage decor that was rented from Little Vintage Rentals.

Silk Flowers 9 Silk Flowers 8 Silk Flowers 10 Silk Flowers 6

I made a few other pieces for the event, including a ribbon and fabric photo booth backdrop, a chalkboard welcome sign, and a buttercream rose chocolate cake.  Along with the vintage rental pieces, the store was transformed into a whimsical secret garden-esque craft haven.  It was beyond dreamy!

ribbon backdropSign Cosabella Erin Fetherston EF Cosabella Event EF Cosabella 1

The cake I made was put on the dessert/drink table with an assortment of delicious macarons from Dana’s Bakery which were by far the best macarons I have ever had. Just thinking about them makes me hungry for more, which is frightening considering how many I ate last night!  Thanks to Kate Neal (of Kate Neal Photo) for capturing these photos of the drinks and dessert!

alana jones-mann cake danas bakery partystraws

For the making of the floral crowns I was there to assist, but this particular batch of ladies were all so creative and crafty that they didn’t need much help.  Everyone got super into the craft zone (which was amazing).  I mean, seriously…best party. EVER.Event 4Event 3

How pretty are these ladies with their crowns?!  They were all so unique!  Such a creative (and super beautiful) group of ladies!

Silk Flower Crown 3Dana (of Dana’s Bakery)

Silk Flower Crown 2

Mara Kadish

Silk Flower Crownmodel Marina Ingvarsson

party photo1

Dana, Erin Fetherston, and myself; Photo: Kate Neal

Stay tuned for more photos and the DIY. HUGE thank you to Cosabella and Erin Fetherston for bringing me in to curate the party.  It was SUCH an amazing night! Can’t wait for the next one!

Remember this paper flower crown tutorial?  For this week’s DIY on the Fossil blog, I updated the tutorial and made a couple major changes.  One of those changes includes the paper – I substituted hand painted paper for the typical plain colored paper I had previously used.  Pretty, eh?  I love the details that are shown when hand painting paper, so intricate and colorful…and easy to do. Head on over to the Fossil Blog to get the full tutorial.

paper crownpaper flower crown tutorial