Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Invite Ideas: Baby Gender Reveal and Beer and Diaper Party

After a long six month break, the Blond Next Door is back! A first time pregnancy and the start of a new job were my focus this past six months, thank you for sticking around!

My husband and I were lucky to have welcomed our Daughter to the world, right before the Christmas holiday this month. So today, I'm sharing images and designs from the Beer + Diaper Party and Baby Gender Reveal Party invitations I created.

All designs shared on this blog are original creations designed by me Heather Palazzo | bigHdesigns, visit bigHdesigns.com to see more!

Beer + Diaper Party, You bring the diapers, we've got the beer

Facebook Event Banner
Hand illustrated type

Gender Reveal Party Invite
4x6" Double-sided postcard

These were two great events, we celebrated pregnancy and our friends helped us get a head start on diapers!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Make Your Own Brooch or Hair Clip

Do you love the pattern or color of that old tee but you just cannot fit into it anymore? Run across a piece of clothing at your local thrift shop that has the coolest pattern but you don't have a clue on how to rock it? Get some scissors and the glue gun, here is a look at an incredibly easy idea inspired by a post from meg + andy!
meg + andy blog
Excited about how easy this tutorial was, I made several brooches and experimented with different materials and styles. I searched the racks at my local thrift shop and found cheap kids size clothing in neat patterns for mine, see below.

Visit the links below for previous Blond Next Door posts like this one!

D.I.Y. How to Make a Brooch
DIY How-to Brooch, 5 steps!
What to Do With Old T-Shirts: 5 Ideas


Saturday, May 18, 2013

DIY Vintage Artwork

This art was inspired by something I found on my most recent Pinterest peruse. I set out on an internet image search, sifted through my "cool image" stack at home and made a trip to Lowes Home Improvement for wood.

Inspiration Image>>

My Results:
Vintage Inspired Art #1

Vintage Inspired Art #2

Let me show you how to make your own!

I assumed that the inspiration art was created on canvas and I did not want to spend that much time so I opted for 6x6" squares of untreated wood.

Print out an image of choice from a computer printer, cut the artwork to match the wood block size. If there is a photo that you'd like to use, I suggest you scan it and then print from a computer printer. The weight of the computer paper works best for the process I am sharing here.

(For the example below, I used a clipping from a vintage art calendar that I like so much, I have been holding on to this thing since 2011 knowing it would eventually be good for something else.)

Mod Podge is my go-to glue, we'll be doing a bit of Decoupage 101 now. Coat the piece of wood generously with glue and place your image on that. Once in place, add another layer of glue until the paper is covered. Let this dry completely.

Choose similar paint colors as in the image to paint the back and edges of the wood, some paint overlapping the image can give a nice effect. Use your judgement.

Using an electric sander, sand all edges and corners of block. I have sanded off some of the image as well, in my opinion the more rough it looks the better! You'll want to apply one last coat of glue to seal and protect the image once sanding is done. A metal picture hanger is attached for display.

Happy crafting, enjoy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Garden Ideas

Happy Spring everyone. It has been a busy couple of weeks and feels like forever between posts here at The Blond Next Door, thanks for sticking around!

The warm North Carolina Spring weather gets me outside and inspires creativity. Scroll down to see garden ideas from my very own backyard and from my Garden Board via Pinterest. You'll see yet another way to re-use wood pallets, learn a simple painting technique and a great solution for keeping track of your seed plantings, plus three up-style solutions for your patio or deck.  
Several slats were removed from wooden pallets, each slat was cut down to varying heights and attached with screws to a horizontal piece making one small section of fence. The concept here was to use wood on hand (free!) and create a way to keep the dogs from digging in the newly planted garden. The bottom right photo shows how a single coat of whitewash paint (see below) adds a bit of personality and an antique style to the fence. 

How to create a "wash"
A paint wash can be made simply by adding water, this is a really neat technique that can be used with any color of paint. On my garden fence, I used leftover white house paint. The ratio of water to paint is typically 1:1 (50% paint + 50% water). The water allows the paint to go on quickly and permits you to be a little lazy with your technique.

 Using a key ring and a hole punch, hold on to ALL of your plants' info in one place!

Add a little style to your patio, check out some Pinterest finds I'm sharing from my Garden Board.
Herb Markers

Hanging Bucket

Umbrella Stand

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Blond Next Door introduces, bigHdesigns.com!

If you’re a loyal fan or frequent visitor, you’ve probably noticed the recent logo and cosmetic changes here at The Blond Next Door. These changes are a result of a focused effort on my part to simplify my creative life and unify alter egos!  
The Blond Next Door would like to introduce, bigHdesigns.com "clean, classy and cool" graphic design and illustration created by Heather Palazzo, that's me! Stop by the site sometime to check out my work.

As often as there are recipe experiments and craft projects happening at my house, there is also tons of design fun that gets sprinkled in. Soon, I will begin sharing some of the graphic design and illustration projects that I've got going on.
Despite the cosmetic and content shifts here at The Blond Next Door, my philosophy is the same, I share to inspire you, so go create something awesome. 

Thanks so much for the continued support, please tell your friends. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Recipe: Pita Bread

A staple in Mediterranean cuisine, Pita Bread is a great alternative to bread and very versatile too. Cut open the pockets and use for sandwiches or tear it apart and use it for dipping. Save this recipe for a Saturday morning, you can do some chores while you're waiting for the dough to rise. This recipe will yield about a dozen pitas and you can freeze what you don't use right away.

1 pkg. of Fast Rise Yeast
1/2 cup warm Water
3 cups All Purpose Flour (substitute one or two cups for Whole Wheat Flour, optional)
1 1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Granulated Sugar
1 cup warm Water

1. In a bowl, mix the Fast Rise Yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water until dissolved. Then, stir in Sugar until dissolved. Wait until the Water is frothy to combine with Flour/Salt, about 10-15 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, combine Flour and Salt.
3. Once Yeast is frothy, combine with Flour and Salt.
4. Slowly add in the remaining 1 cup of warm as you are stirring. Mix well until dough is elastic.
5. Generously flour a flat surface and knead dough until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky (8-12 minutes).
6. Put the smooth dough ball into a bowl and coat completely with vegetable oil. Cover the bowl and leave to rise until it the dough has doubled in size (about 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the temperature).
7. Once the dough has doubled, generously flour a flat surface and, using your hands, roll it out into a rope. Cut this rope into 12 small pieces. Roll out each piece flat to achieve a 5" round.
8. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Position the oven rack close to the bottom of the oven.
9. Place 5" rounds directly on to baking sheet, bake each for 4 minutes and then flip over to bake an additional 2 minutes. Between baking, use your spatula to flatten any puffing.
10. Once removed from the oven, let cool and store in air tight container or bag.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Dyed Paper: Food Coloring

Nerd alert! I was inspired to break out the food coloring tonight after seeing several early, Easter egg decorating tutorials. My mind wanders and considers how I can make something a bit more practical rather than just colorful boiled eggs...So, with some nice watercolor paper, hot water, food coloring and about a half hour, I have some neat little scraps of paper for jotting down the grocery list, love notes or whatever...seems more fun than reaching for a bland post-it pad.

Happy food coloring!

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