Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crafty Flowers: Easter Eggs decorating- DIY

Wondering what to do with those those darling dyed eggs your family made in all colors of the rainbow? We tend to go overboard with egg dying in my house, so I came up with this crafty paper solution for displaying some of the favorites. Great project to create with your kids.

Photo by Michael Partenio
Designed by Karin Lidbeck for Good Housekeeping magazine Spring 2009

Cut out paper floral patterns to slip under the eggs and scatter them down the dining table,

Its so simple!

Choose fun patterned scrapbook papers from the craft and art store, use the patterns below or make your own floral shapes.

Center hole should be approximently 1 3/4" depending on egg size.

Sit the eggs in egg cups or small glass voltive holders,  and slip paper flowers under the eggs

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Love Jelly Beans!- Easy DIY Napkin Ring .

Easter Candy was my inspiration for creating this DIY project as part of an Easter feature I produced for Good Housekeeping magazine March 2009.

Your friends, your guests and you will love these homemade napkin rings. So easy and fun to make!

The candied coil!

Wash your hands well before, or use plastic gloves when making these.

Using bendable aluminum wire. ( Found at craft stores and florists)

Cut wire to desired length.

Push the wire through a Jelly Bean. Repeat until your wire has been filled leaving a small bit at each end to coil.

Wrap your Jelly Bean napkin ring around each napkin.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY Easter Basket Place Setting

A small Easter basket  awaits each guest at your holiday table. These baskets are made from a small decorative round or square  8"
 paper plate.

Follow the simple diorama below on how to make an Easter basket:

photo by Michale Partenio
Use a ruler and light pencil to draw even lines on the front of the plate as shown.  Cut out 4 corners out, fold plate. 

Use of a x-acto knife and scoring technique will give you the best folding results.
Paper punch hole in each corner and tie with ribbon.

Voilà! Fill with your own treats.

Design by Karin Lidbeck
Photography by Michael Partenio.
Created for Good Housekeeping magazine

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thumbnail Flower Arrangments for Spring

Last spring James Bagget, Editor of Meredith's Country Gardens magazine, called me to design a spring floral project, "Thumbnail Arrangements." I could not wait to get right on it!
Spring arrives with the smallest of delights popping out of the ground from March thru May.

With a few snips from the garden, I created these tiny joyful arrangements using equally tiny containers for the current 2012 Spring Country Gardens Magazine.

Find fun containers. I am always combing thru boxes of old hardware at the flea market.  I was drawn to the porcelain and glass doorknobs, but it took me awhile to figure out a creative way to use them.

When the door knob sits upright on its head, the doorknob fixture becomes an upright funnel which will hold a small amount of water.  Some doorknobs have a hole for the screw in this part so make sure the screw is intact, or the water will flow out. 

The thick stem of the flower cut from the branch just fits in the hole. Refill with water daily.

Spring brings waves of the smallest flowers pushing up thru the ground cover revealing  dainty flower heads with stems as thin as a thread.  Scilla which comes in so many shades of blue is given the royal treatment as the star attraction in this salt shaker. 

All photos by Andre Baronowski 
Projects designed by Karin Lidbeck

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Springtime Entertaining - DIY Tabletop with Daffodils and Pansies

The Season of Spring is in the air with daffodils and pansies.
Here are some simple and easy ways to create spring arrangements that will impress when gathering with friends around the table.

I styled this table with a trio of daffodils nestled in purchased birds nests. So easy to DIY! .

Daffodil season starts in much of the country during March. The small tête-à-tête daffodils are inexpensive and lovely, and available in both supermarkets and flower shops. Be sure to purchase them early when the flower have not fully budded out.

Gently remove the clumps of bulbs from the pot and dirt.  Remove most of the dirt  leaving just enough to support bulbs in nest. 

Place bulbs into bird's nests purchased from the craft store.  Surround with moss to support the bulb. Use a few colored eggs to adorn your arrangement.

Use as one single centerpiece or several for your dining room table.

PS. After the bloom is spent, you can place bulbs in your flower garden for next year's Spring garden.

Or maybe pansies are your cup of tea?
My inspiration here was create a simple garden centerpiece just by using tiny pots of pansies nestled in moss down the center of the table.  

Use a long galvanized tray mounded with moss and set the pots of flowers in.

Projects created for Good Housekeeping magazine
Photos by Michael Partenio

Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY Easter Wreath - Made with Eggs! Yes, Eggs!

This EGG stravagant wreath was a creation of my brainstorming ideas for the 2008 Good Housekeeping magazine Easter feature.

I designed this wreath using  1/3 white, 1/3  brown and 1/3 white eggs sprayed a soft pink with Krylon spray paint.

All hollow eggs. Instead of blowing the eggs which is tedious work, break a small hole in the back of each egg and shake out the insides. The back of the eggs don't show.

Using a glue gun, glue 1/8" and 1/4" ribbons on some of the eggs. Glue all of the eggs to a straw wreath

The project takes some time to make.

Store the wreath in a plastic storage box and it will last for years to come.

You can use artificial eggs: Purchase here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Special Treat - The Art of Kitchen Styling by Karin Lidbeck

My job as a stylist is to show off the fine lines of kitchens architecture. I like the kitchen to feel used, but not sterile. I refer to it as making organized chaos.

Removal of all the homeowners appliances and personal knick-knacks allows me to start with a clean slate. The fun part is creating the story, a sense that something is happening that draws you into the photo.

I love styling a country style kitchen that can take an abundance of propping. Styling is the same as creating a painting, you move the colors, shapes and objects around and around until you get a pleasing to the eye moment!

Creating a scene suggesting a meal in preparation can be tricky.  You want it to feel real without looking like the real mess that really occurs when cooking.

Kitchens with a lot of open shelves and glass cabinets like the two above have many challenges and always require a car load of props for organizing and creating pretty!

Photos by Michael Partenio 
Beautiful Kitchen and Kitchen Makeovers magazine

Sometimes a quiet and simple scene is best.  De-clutter, and add a few simple objects that make a statement without overpowering the space. Collections of white always works in any kitchen.

Photo by Michael Partenio 
Kitchen and Baths Idea magazine winter 2011

The homeowners collection of blue mason jars set the stage for the props I brought in. Creating the harmonious balance of well placed accessories takes time. Open shelves should be  used for a proud display of your favorite objects.  Keeping colors in the same family creates tranquility and balance

 Michael Partenio, the photographer could not resist getting this shot of the homeowner's daughter. It's a winner!.

Sometime the location of the shoot calls the shots when it comes to the props. Who could resist the idea of Cape Cod oysters? Can you feel the summer breeze blowing thru the windows?

Photos by  Michael Partenio
Renovation Style magazine 

Gee, I love my JOB!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Personality Kitchens; Styling

I am always so excited when I find a project where the homeowners clearly have a style of their own. This is the kitchen of a 200 year old antique home, where every room is vibrantly slathered in color.  I  scouted this house, and sold this project to Country Living magazine, which I produced in 2009.

The homeowner, who is fearless  using color,  had been desperately looking for an expressive rug for the kitchen floor. I stepped in to suggest the rug above from Dash and Albert which I brought in for the shoot. The homeowner fell for it, and it became a permanent fixture to the home.

The before picture below demonstrates the before and after effect of styling. You can see the dramatic impact made by the rug, curtains, the additional props, and a beautifully set table that enhanced the setting for the photo shoot.

I could not resist the idea of making homemade biscuits with strawberries and cream for the table.

Styled by Karin Lidbeck-Brent for Country Living magazine May 2009
Photography:  by Johnny Valiant

It is tiny things and attention to detail that make the difference on a shoot. The homeowner had made some curtains with a crocheted edge in another room.  She was totally open to my suggestion that the kitchen window could use a curtain with the special treatment.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Better Homes and Gardens Terrarium Feature

"Small Words" as featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine! 
Styled by Karin Lidbeck-Brent 
Produced by Tovah Martin
Photography by Michael Partenio

Published: Better Homes and Garden Magazine - January 2012 issue

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to build a Terrarium with Expert Tovah Martin

Working as a stylist for magazines and catalogs, I get the most fantastic opportunities to work with many specialists in many fields.

Creating your very own terrarium
photo by Michael Partenio

In September 2011, I was hired to work with Garden writer, Tovah Martin, on a Better Homes and Gardens terrarium feature producing a How -to video and magazine feature. Tovah Martin is the author of The New Terrarium,  the focus of our project together.

 Creating the setting that is needed to produce a successful photo shoot contains many variables. My first task was to find the ideal location to produce the shoot and then gather all of the props that set the mood and backdrop.

I took an empty space and designed a small set to feel like a gardener's studio.  For the terrariums, Tovah and I worked closely gathering containers of all shapes and sizes. Together, and with Tovah's expert instruction, we planted miniature landscaped 'green worlds'. Two days of shooting resulted in a fun and instructional video on terrariums! 

Want to plant your own terrarium?. 

A Bit of Terrarium History 

The terrarium that we know and appreciate today was invented quite by accident in 1827 by Dr. Nathaniel Ward, a London physician. Dr. Ward had planted a fern rockery on his property, only to find his plantings weren't doing well. However, one fern that had been bottled was thriving. 

Dr. Ward concluded his Wardian case was protecting the delicate ferns from London's polluted air.
Indoor Wardian Case (from Ward's 1852)
By the 1860's, every Victorian home had a 'greenhouse' housing plants here in the United States. Today, the terrarium is still popular and in many homes today, including mine.

For more historical background, click here

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love Affair with Company C

For years I have had a love affair with Company C rugs, always dazzled by their fabulous designs for the floor. So I was thrilled last fall when I started working with Company C as the stylist for this spring 2012 catalog.
Working with photographer Joe Lamere and Chris Chapin and her CC team, my job was to style the new line and make it look stunning in an empty home location we found in Rye, N.H.
Chris and Walter Chapin started Company C in 1994 with rugs as the first product, later adding gorgeous bedding and pillow accessories, but this season a much bigger picture emerged as she added her new furniture line of sofas, chairs, custom fabrics, headboards and more fantastic home accessories.
With the new line of furniture and custom fabrics, you can now achieve the Company C style, designing the entire room from the floor up.
Fearless is the word that comes to mind when describing Chris’s ability to design with color and patterns. A large selection of custom fabrics is at your fingertips to mix and match with the upholstered pieces. I loved creating this cascade of fabrics that shows some of the great choices.

Photos by Joe Lamere Studios
Chris designed this group as a crisp blue and white summer story. The gray-blue textured linen sofa plays so nicely off the patterned Greek key rug. I love the clever addition here of the gray-patterned fabric on the side chairs to bring it all together.
Who wouldn’t love this Island chair! It can be designed with many of the custom fabrics and best of all, the wood can be painted any Benjamin Moore color of your choice. Have fun with that!

The blue and white bedding is dreamy.

I’m totally in a summer mood with this group. The Yellow Parker sofas are fun and a perfect style to use when you need two sofas to enhance your life. This grouping simply makes me happy.
This traditional roll bar sofa with a fantastic selection of fabric choices is the best-selling sofa so far.
Paired up on the pink and green leopard rug and Chris’s awesome pink and green chairs, this group gets the biggest “wow” factor.
The aqua leopard is quite a stunner too!

Published: February 27, 2012 in New England Home Design blog