Gold Leaf Easter Egg

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I thought it would be fun to share a short, simple tutorial on gold leaf now that my class has come and gone. The end result of using gold leaf on something creates a pretty gilded look – but leaf paper is one of the trickiest craft supplies to work with!! If you are interested in gold leafing, I would suggest taking a class and practicing a lot. Leaf paper is so delicate that it tares easily. It can hard to have it “do” exactly what you want it to do. The upside is that it’s easy to layer the leaf paper to get great coverage and as long as you’re not looking for a perfect, smooth look – you will be thrilled with your results.

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For a gold leaf project, you will need: Metal leaf spray sealer, gold leaf adhesive, a few paint brushes, metal leaf sheets (I used gold), and of course, the item you are going to add the leaf to – in this case it’s a wooden Easter Egg that has been painted a pretty spring green. Through the links above, you can see I ordered everything through Amazon (we are addicted to Prime) but Martha Stewart makes a fabulous line of leafing products sold at Michaels.

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When working with gold leaf, the first step is to prep your surface. If you’re using wood, it’s good to paint it first so it become less porous to absorb all of the adhesive. Next, paint on a thin layer of adhesive with one of the brushes. Let sit until it’s dried a little and slightly sticky. When working with wood as I am here, that’s pretty soon after it’s applied.

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Then stick on the leaf paper. Here’s where it can get frustrating. On something like this egg, you will never get a smooth surface of leaf with all the curves of the egg, so I applied it in pieces. Your fingers will get a little sticky, so you can use another clean brush to help smooth the surface, but I much prefer to use my hands and just wash them off a few times throughout the process. Keep gluing, waiting, applying leaf until you have reached your desired coverage.

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For this project, I hung the egg (as I did last year and the year before) so I threaded my egg after I was done leafing. The final process in leafing is spraying your piece with the metal leaf spray adhesive to really seal the gold leaf so it won’t rip any further. Do this outside! You don’t want to be breathing this stuff!

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And voila! You have successfully used gold leaf to crafted a beautifully gilded item. More Easter crafts next week!

Couple Things…

What a week! First, I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and support on my post on change earlier this week – thank you!

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I had a much needed and appreciated girls overnight away Saturday night with some college friends – what a treat! We started the evening with a round of drinks…since half the group is pregnant we had the bartender whip us up non-alcoholic mojitos…yum…

We spent the rest of the night swapping stories and catching up! We woke up starving and headed to the Granary Tavern for brunch – the perfect end to our night away!

My husband always calls me on his way home from work to chat about our days…but lately someone else has been taking the phone so she can talk to Daddy too.

Scenes from my first craft class at Arlington Community Education – it was so much fun!

Z and I celebrated our respective last days: her by bringing oatmeal raisin cookies to daycare…

…Me by having a nice afternoon with co-workers over cupcakes and fruit and receiving super sweet and thoughtful gifts.

In other exciting news, I have finally created a Facebook page for Styled by Jess – please LIKE the page today to watch for new blog posts and other fun tidbits. Have a great weekend!

Hand-Painted Bead Necklace Craft Class

I held my first Arlington Community Education craft class of the season last night and it was a blast! We had an intimate group of ladies and we crafted, chatted, and made beautiful hand-made gold leaf frames. Everyone walked away with an adorable frame of their own.

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The next class is scheduled for Wednesday, April 9 – register today! In this class we will be hand-painting wooden beads to create these adorable necklaces. Statement necklaces just make the outfit – how much fun would it be to create your own? Come find out!

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For more information on this and the other Once and Done classes, check out my original post.

Rain Boots

It’s almost April and I don’t know about you, but I am SICK of any sort of boot… But with a wet morning like today was (here in New England) and with more April showers in the near future, it’s just about time to start wearing your rain boots again. We all love Hunter boots, of course, but there are so many other cute ones out there! Here are a few of my favorite rain boots out there right now:

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1. These Tretorn rain boots are awesome because they are disguised as cute booties. These are particularly great in climates (like New England) where it’s pouring rain one minute and sunny the next – you can wear these all day no matter what!

2. Bogs are great, come in a million colors and styles, and have handles for easy in getting them on.

3. These Ted Baker rain boots are equally outrageous and adorable!

4. I like these basic Chooka Top Solid Rain Boots, they’re a traditional rain boot that will go with everything!

5. Sorel makes an awesome boot – and these are totally fashionable with the pop of yellow, right?

6. How cute are these rain skimmers from Target? I love them in green for a pop of color.

Change

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Life is full of change – some are easy to get through, some changes are tough. Some are happy changes, some are not. I have a change coming that at this moment feels like one of my biggest yet…

When I became a mother 2 years and 5 months ago I was working full-time in a relatively stressful job. I took a traditional 3-month maternity leave, found a daycare for my Z, and went back to work. As soon as I was back I knew something wasn’t right. My Z was having a tough time sleeping at daycare and for her, not enough sleep means bad behavior, fussiness, and just not herself (she is like this to this day and I’m sure most kids are the same). We switched centers and it was the same if not worse. Her personality is to be a social butterfly who hates to miss any fun (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and it was hard for her to sleep no matter how much she needed it when she heard and knew others were up having fun.

During this time I also wasn’t the mother I wanted to be. I carry my work home with me, I find it hard to mentally separate, and always have. I was doing both daycare drop-off in the morning and pick-up in the afternoon and always felt late, rushed, and full of anxiety. At work I was told “once you’re a mother you can’t give your job 100% effort…you’re lucky to give it 80%.” Hmph, I didn’t like the sounds of that because that person said the same thing about motherhood, too and I definitely saw it happening in myself. That summer, we made the decision that I would switch jobs to work part-time in a less stressful/demanding role. I was lucky to find a great job that allowed me to work from home, too – even better! And then…well, you know I am pregnant with our second and knowing what I know now and after much discussion, thought on long-term career goals, and financial planning – a huge change in our lives is coming this week…I will stop working for a time to stay at home with our kiddos.

I am excited. I am nervous. I am thrilled. I am hesitant. Working hard at my career to excel and move forward has always been a focus of mine. When I switched careers from marketing events to non-profit event fundraising I fought hard for jobs and worked my tail off to be successful. I know this is a pause in that for me, that I will go back to work some day, but it feels HUGE.

I also know I am lucky that this is an option for me, that there are tons of moms and dads out there in similar situations who can’t not work for financial reasons. Of course this will change some things in our lives as well, but I know I am lucky that this change was even something to be considered. At the end of the day and why this decision was made is because your children are only little once and for such a short period of time. For us, for the personality of our Z, and for our baby soon to be born – the best decision has been made. And I know this will be a change I will look back on and never regret!

Ps. I don’t usually get very personal here, but this topic has been on my mind for so long I thought I would share. I’m thankful to have this spot on the internet as a creative outlet, which will certainly continue, if not grow after I stop working a traditional job. So…thank you for reading and I hope you continue to do so!

Time for Mom

Sweet Potato Noodles – Poodles?

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For our next adventure in vegetable noodle-making (remember Zoodles from a couple weeks ago?) we decided to try out a sweet potato because sweet potatoes are so healthy, packed full of vitamins and very tasty. They worked great with our Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Should we call the end result Poodles?!

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We used our veggie slicer “machine” the same way we did to make zoodles. For 2 adults and a toddler – 2 regular-sized sweet potatoes was the perfect amount for dinner.

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We used this recipe for  for our sauce where you start by roasting artichoke hearts and boneless chicken breasts.

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Add the sweet potato noodles to your seasoned diced tomato mixture so they can be cooked.

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Add your roasted artichoke hearts and chicken. This meal was so delicious and just like zoodles very satisfying with that quality of pasta without the calories and carbs. Enjoy!

Couple Things…

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I like my avocado toast simple…toast, sliced avocado, sea salt.

Z found a thin-tip black marker so obviously pulled up her sleeves and tattoo-ed herself.

I did a #selfie to show off my maternity style outfit for the first day of spring…

…and someone else had to get in on the mirror-posing!

Just call her Mix Master Z!

We had a weekend treat from our favorite Cake. in Lexington, MA.

 

Have a great weekend – thank you for reading!!