August 12, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I keep both a notebook and a very detailed spreadsheet for brainstorming, cataloging and organizing DIY ideas that I’d like to eventually turn into posts. I scribble down ideas as they strike me and also occasionally sit down for longer, more formal brainstorming sessions. And then there are the days you’re about to shoot a batch of posts and you wander into the grocery store to pick up a few last minute props only to be inspired by the bins piled high with watermelons. Such a day, friends, happened to me last week. And here we are! About to embark on a super easy DIY tutorial, one sure to make a killer statement at all of your parties and shindigs through the end of summer.
- (1) medium sized round watermelon
- Serrated bread knife or similar
- 5 – 6 bunches of carnations in dark pink
- Scissors or floral snips
- Large spoon and bowl
Begin by cutting off the top of your watermelon using a serrated knife. I found that using a large bread knife was easiest for this job. I simply chose a spot a few inches down from the top of the watermelon and cut off the top, working to keep my cut a fairly consistent line all the way around. Then I used the same knife to run a cut along the inside of the watermelon just to help loosen up the fruit. The next step is to use your spoon to scoop out most, if not all, of the watermelon fruit into your bowl. Once you insert the flowers into the watermelon it won’t be edible so scoop it out first so you can still enjoy it in all of its yumminess.
Next up, it’s time to work with flowers! I chose dark pink carnations because they’re inexpensive and quite underrated. When packed tightly together they look amazing! Also, the dark pink is kind of a cheeky play on the color of watermelon and I just couldn’t resist. Use your scissors or floral snips to cut each carnation to roughly 8 – 10″ in length. Place the first one so it rests along the rim of the watermelon, pushing the stem directly into the flesh of the watermelon to hold it in place. Place a second alongside it, placed tightly next to it, then repeat until you have a ring of flowers around the entire top of the watermelon.
Keep moving along in the same fashion, forming a second ring of carnations on top of the first, and then a third and so on until you form a dome of carnations. You may need to cut the subsequent flowers longer to accommodate for the extra height. Once your dome is complete, go back through and fill in any blank spots or areas that look a little light with smaller carnations. There’s no need for things to be perfectly symmetrical, just eyeball it as you work until you get a dome shape that makes you happy. Then fill the watermelon up with water and you’re all set! (After you marvel at how much your watermelon centerpiece looks like Frida Kahlo like I did, of course.)
Depending on heat and other environmental factors, your watermelon centerpiece should easily keep for at least a few days, possibly even longer. If you’re making them for an event (such as a pool party or bridal shower) where you might want a few, you can prep these the day before and stick them in the fridge to make sure they keep nice and fresh until the big event. As always, if you give this project or any others a try, I’d love to have you share with me! Use the hashtag #thesweetestDIY on Instagram so I can take a look! xoxo
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share a maximum of 1 – 2 images from this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo
August 7, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Happy Friday, friends! I thought I’d switch things up just a little bit today and wrap up the week with a little baby-related update. Said baby has much to do with posting being a bit light this week so it seemed appropriate to fill you in on how things are going now that we’re quickly cruising toward the third trimester. To kick things off with a more general baby update, I’ve been starting to think a lot about the nursery over the last couple of weeks so I thought I would share a few of the nurseries that are inspiring me as I start to formulate plans and ideas. I think it’s pretty obvious at a quick glance that I’m definitely gravitating toward very soft, neutral rooms with just little bits of color here and there. I find myself pinning nursery inspiration with a similar vibe to these rooms over and over again. I just think they are so so pretty! I’ll keep you posted as I really nail down the direction I want to go, but these sweet little havens are definitely steering the direction of my nursery daydreams at the moment.
[The Animal Print Shop | Delbarr Moradi for Sacramento Street | Claire Esparros from Style Me Pretty Living | Sarah Sherman Samuel for Smitten Studio | Joe Schmelzer for The Animal Print Shop.]
Today officially marks 24 weeks! A lot has happened in the last four weeks since I filled you in on our big baby news so I thought I’d get you up to speed and also solicit your advice at this stage in the game. In the last few weeks my pregnancy has steered off course a bit and is no longer plotting along like a typical pregnancy, so if any of you have any input or tips to share I would sincerely appreciate the feedback!
Boy or Girl?
Let’s get right to a big one, shall we? Are we having a boy or a girl? Truthfully, we weren’t planning to find out initially. We didn’t change our minds until we walked into our 20-week ultrasound. As of right now we’re pretty sure we know what we’re having, but the baby wasn’t moving around very much that day so we will be confirming gender at the next ultrasound, which is Monday. Stay tuned! Any guesses in the meantime?
By and large, I am still completely symptom-free. Sleeping is increasingly difficult at night as my hips just get so uncomfortable within a matter of an hour or two, and then I’m restless all night long beyond that point. I am finding that my sciatic is occasionally getting really uncomfortable if I stand or walk for too long on hard surfaces (such as our IKEA trip last week) and/or if I’m in the car for too long, but for the most part I really can’t complain. Aside from the summer heat getting to me a bit here and there (which is annoying, I admit) I still haven’t had any issues with morning sickness or nausea, I haven’t had any swelling so far, my boobs have never hurt and for the most part my energy level is pretty good. This would be enough to make me super annoying for those of you with tough pregnancies if it weren’t for that one other
little pretty huge thing going on….
My Placenta Hates Me
It’s true. My placenta hates me. We found out last week that I have a condition known as placenta previa. I will spare you many of the details, but in a nutshell that means my placenta attached to my uterus in the wrong spot. Plus, it decided to take things one step further and attach in what is essentially the worst of all possible spots, classifying my particular placenta as not only a complete previa, but also an anterior previa, which has it’s own special set of complications. What does this mean? Well for now it means I’ve been handed down several physical restrictions by my doctor which I am strictly following. It also means that baby and I will be monitored way more than is average as we head into the third trimester. Thus having another ultrasound so soon next week. In fact, I will now be having them every few weeks. Also, in all likelihood this means the only safe way for me to deliver the baby will be via c-section at no later than 36 to 37 weeks. Unless something changes (which the doctor said yesterday he does not anticipate), we are now on course to have our little one join us at the beginning of November instead of the end of the month, putting us at right around 12 or 13 weeks out. Absolute utter craziness!
Ok, moms. Lay it on me! Any advice at this stage in the game? Any other previa moms or c-section moms with anecdotes to share? I don’t personally know anyone who has dealt with previa although I do have friends who have had c-sections. I will admit that the previa and all of it’s many potential complications (really nasty things like possibly ending up on bed rest to try and avoid hemorrhaging and pre-term labor, ugh) has had me very nerved up over the last many days. While a c-section is less than ideal, I’m dealing with that news pretty well, it’s just all the other risks that have me freaking. I’ll be sure to share updates as I go along, but I’d love your advice in the meantime! xoxo
August 4, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Here in our neck of the woods in the northeast, we are transitioning into prime farmer’s market season right now. The squashes, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes are everywhere. Over the next month or two those will start to give way to pumpkins, butternut squash and all of those winter vegetables we love so much in our house. In fact, we buy such things by the bushel as we head into fall so we always have squash, potatoes and onions on hand for making dinners and soups. All of this rambling to say, today we are making DIY dip dye market tote bags! They are perfect for Saturday morning strolls at the farmer’s market. They also roll up nicely and tuck into your handbag for weekday trips to the grocery store. Remember when we dyed DIY baby onesies? I warned you that dying fabric was quickly becoming my favorite way to craft and I wasn’t lying. Pretty market totes for the win!
- Canvas tote bags (mine are these ones)
- Rubber gloves
- Fabric dye (I used Rit brand in Fuchsia and Sunshine Orange)
- Bucket or pail
This post is going to serve as another friendly PSA to remind you that dyeing fabric is surprisingly easy! Please, please do not be daunted. I kind of was and it was totally for naught. If you take a few precautions when preparing (like making sure you have gloves, that your work surface is covered in paper or cardboard and that your bucket for your dye bath isn’t anything you’re worried about staining), you’ll be totally fine. So with all of that said, step one is to prepare your fabric and dye bath per the manufacturer’s instructions, which will vary depending on the brand.
To create the dip dye effect, place one end of your tote bag in the dye bath. The longer you leave it in the dye bath, the darker the color will be. I let my fabric sit for about 30 or 40 minutes, rinsed thoroughly and then repeated the entire process a second time in order to achieve the darker color saturation. To create a double dip dye effect like in the pink and orange version, simply rinse the one end, then place the opposite end in the second dye bath. Repeat the process until you have the desired color saturation, rinse completely then machine wash on a normal cycle.
These bags are so pretty and so fun to make, plus you can customize them in a million different ways. Choose whatever colors you love best, mix colors to create a custom hue or even give shibori dyeing techniques a try for a completely different look! As always, if you give this project or any others a try, I’d love to have you share with me! Use the hashtag #thesweetestDIY on Instagram so I can take a look! xoxo
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo
August 3, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Happy happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine started a little early with a trip to IKEA up in Ottawa on Friday. My mother had never been so she was kind of blown away. We had a lot of fun, tackled everything on our shopping list, got to pick up some things for the baby along the way and had a great late lunch before we headed home. I’ve been working really hard to get things around the new house super organized and settled well before the baby comes. I’ve always been a nester, even when I was in college, but I will admit I am definitely feeling even more inclined to make sure things are pretty and tidy with a baby coming in just a few months. All of that said, I’m still feeling super inspired by basically everything tropical right now. Maybe I’m not-so-secretly longing for a few days in paradise? That may absolutely be true. Thus this dragon fruit and tangerine color palette to start the day. Here’s wishing you all a fabulous Monday and an awesome week ahead! xoxo
[Photos, from top: Maddy Nye for Design Love Fest | Deliciously Sprinkled | WLKMNDYS.]
July 30, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I seriously can’t get enough of all the peaches popping up right now at the farmer’s market and the local grocery stores. I find myself wanting to bring more home just about on the daily. They’re so darn good just to snack on or grilled, roasted, worked into salads, whipped into cocktails, you name it. Today I’m sharing six super delicious summer peach recipes, all of which I want to try while peaches are still in season. Those peach tarts with goat cheese and honey? Incredible! Any other favorite ways to eat peaches that I should try?
[Peach Rosemary Summer Fizz]
[Homemade Peach Sorbet]
[Peach Tarts with Goat Cheese + Honey]
[Cinnamon Peach Monkey Bread]
[Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Whipped Cream]
[Morning Sunrise Peach Juice]