Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rustic Retreat | Kids Workspace featuring Mary Highstreet Studios!

Rustic Retreat | Kids Workspace featuring Mary Highstreet Studios! on California Peach

A rustic retreat for your future scholar!  Today's style board features original art by myself, Mary Highstreet.  At top right (and below), the two hawk drawings were executed somewhere in the years 2005 to 2009; they are original pencil concept drawings done in preparation for a mixed media sculpture -- both currently available in my re-opened shop!!!  I also want to point out the photographs by Lijah Hanley.  My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife first hand last year.  Early on in his career Lijah worked with National Geographic, quite the accomplishment, and his photographs are phenomenal!

Hawk Head Detail Art by Mary Highstreet
As apart of this post I just want to share what's been going on over here since I've been a little MIA:

I LOVE designing, and have been working and posting on California Peach since 2011!  Designing and blogging (on top of being a relatively new mom) over the years been so labor intensive that I actually injured my hands.  I have since been in the process of recovering (more about that here).  I have so many more ideas for Style Board designs in my head that I would love to get out, but I just can't keep going at the level I was before.  We are still doing fun design projects and DIY's around the house (did you see our DIY Toy Chest?!), but with two kids under two, documenting it all and editing photos have become next to impossible.  I hope to share sometime soon about two projects in particular (converting our nursery into a shared space, and making a separate play room area) that we been working on behind the scenes.

I have also had some new developments which I am very excited to announce, namely that I have been able to resume creation of my art, which is really my first love!  I am extremely passionate about drawing and painting and thankfully it seems to be easier on my hands so I have been able to continue with that while I recover.  I am currently in the midst of a 365 Days of Sketching Challenge and couldn't be more excited to have new artwork completed daily!  I have been sharing my artwork on Instagram, and will be posting some new work in my shop more regularly!
Hawk Study Art by Mary Highstreet
My plan for California Peach blog is to leave all the content up so you can continue to gather inspiration from the boards already posted.  I also plan to continue posting, albeit infrequently, throughout the year on our latest DIY projects and occasionally, a Style Board design or two.

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In the mean time, you can see all of the past California Peach Style Board designs organized by year in the Archive!  And don't forget to stop by the list of artists/artwork we've featured on the blog too (including my own art!).  You can also find me on Pinterest {CP} {MHS} for more design and art inspiration!

Hope you can gather some fun design inspiration here on California Peach and if you want be added to my inner circle, and to keep the most up-to-date knowing what I am up to, sign-up for my email list!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Heart Wands

Valentine's Day Heart Wands

I made these Valentines Day Heart Wands for my son and his cousin!  They were a big hit!  A super easy DIY older kids can do or one mom can put together that toddlers will love.  Although toddler's can't make these, they can help pick the ribbon, straws and paper colors.  The red one is pretty gender neutral, we gave that one to my son.  It was quite easy for me to put together, and actually really fun!  As far as the DIY goes, I think the steps and materials are pretty self explanatory.  We had most of these supplies lying around the house and also from a small stash of kids craft materials I have started collecting too.

In addition to teaching about hearts and love, you could pair these wands with a Bible verse about love, like the greatest commandment:

Love the Lord your God
with all your
with all your soul,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind.
- Luke 10:27 -

I bet it would look especially pretty if anyone is into hand lettering!

Keepsake Valentine's Cards

We also had fun making personalized valentines themed mail boxes out of paper plates and a few keepsake Valentine's cards for the whole family.  (From left to right: celery heart stamping, pink and purple paint on black paper cut into heart shapes, red hand print.)   These days, my son (1.5) loves getting the mail and watching the mail man drive around, so we played "deliver the mail."  We hung the mail boxes all around the house on door knobs and he had a blast pretending to be the mail man.  It is a great activity you can do over and over to keep busy all week long (and throughout the year).  Other activities we are hoping to try out on actual Valentines Day are baking heart shaped cookies and heart shaped pizza!!  Hope this gives you some fun ideas to try out with your kiddos this week.

Keepsake Valentine's Cards

Happy Valentines Day!

xo. m

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Monday, January 18, 2016

DIY Shaker Style Toy Chest

DIY Shaker Style Toy Chest

I just wanted to post a few pictures of the DIY Shaker Style Toy Chest my husband built a few weekends ago!  We collaborated on the design, modifying the one in this tutorial to accommodate a smaller space and to make it just the right size for kiddos.  There just wasn't anything on the market I was happy with, either it was made with particle board or was way too expensive.  Plus none of the pre made designs in existence fit the idea in my head or the style in my son's room.  I just love the hand crafted look, so that's how we went.  And now it can be a family heirloom!

DIY Shaker Style Toy Chest

Here is a link to the original nursery tour, where you can see the closet space before we put the toy chest there.  At the time we were just using two Ikea boxes as a stand in for quick storage.  They became less practical once my son was walking and getting into things, which prompted the change.   I am not sure if we want to leave it unfinished, stain it, or paint it white yet...but for now I am loving the raw unfinished quality, which matches everything else we have in the room.

On another note, lately I have been feeling pressure to get the house fixed up, but sometimes lack of time and/or funds make things less than doable.  Can you relate?  I was delighted to read posts from three different bloggers this week which reminded me that fixing, decorating, and designing don't have to be done all at once.  One designer has four kids looking like they range anywhere from two to ten years old and they only just recently put in hardwood, another having two kids (ages two and five) confessed to only to finally getting things just right after nine years of homeownership, and the last one just re-did her son's room for the first time since he was an infant and he is now three and a half.  See those posts here:  {1}, {2}, {3}.  They showed me that behind these picture perfect blogs lies real people with a life and everything that comes with it.  Complete with challenges, hardships and imperfections, and even a chaotic mess that exists in between the perfect snapshots.  Each one reminded me I don't have to have it all now, I don't need to be in a rush, there is plenty of time!  Especially for us newer parents who don't have the time or the means, remembering to be patient, perhaps save up, and simply enjoy the process is a welcomed fresh perspective.

Speaking of patience, building a toy box has been on our to-do list for a while, but having a baby often leaves some of the less important things unchecked, am I right?  Anyways, there will always be more things that need checking off the design list, but as for this particular project I am so glad to finally have it done.  I can't wait to use it for quick clean-up toy storage, and my son (1.5) is already enjoying it too.  Sorry about the low quality pictures, but like I said already, sometimes us parents have to be okay with things taking more time than hoped for and in some cases make a few sacrifices now and then.

Hope you enjoyed this DIY Toy Chest reveal, and that it gives you inspiration for your own DIY nursery upgrades!

xo. m

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Inspiration!

Eclectic Girl Nursery Inspiration Board

*<( :)

First Inspiration Board of the New Year.

Eclectic decor, unique storage ideas, cake (because who doesn't love cake!), gorgeous warm-cool color palette, and other random things tossed together to give you a fun unique starting point for all your gorgeous nursery designs yet to be made this year.

Hope it kicks off a year of inspiration,

cheers to making it fantastic!

xo. m