Elsie's Empty House Tour (the BEFORE)Hey, guys! I am SO EXCITED to share today's video. A few weeks ago we closed on our future home in Nashville, Tennessee. The first thing we did (well, after we went to switch the utilities over—haha!) was go into the house and film a video for you of all the empty rooms. 

The next day we began the process of painting, pulling up carpet and turning it into a disaster zone. The next time you see these rooms they will look VERY different. I've never made a before tour before, but I'm already SO happy we did. I feel like we immortalized a very special thing because, already, it looks so different! I have a feeling this video will be even more fun to watch back in a year or two as our home gets decorated and lived in. 

A little history about the home—it was built in the 1970s and had only had one owner before us. A doctor and his wife built it, raised their family, and have now moved to another state to be closer to their children. The decor was pretty preserved from the seventies and eighties, and while a lot of it was not our style, we loved the way they had it decorated. The house is full of custom details with the prettiest sun porch I have ever seen, beautiful moulding on all the doors and (HOORAY) hardwood under ALL the carpet.

We almost didn't look at this house because I had my heart set on another one. But we decided that since we were driving eight hours for one day of house shopping, we might as well see as many as possible. When we stepped inside, I instantly knew it was a special house, not to mention an incredible makeover waiting to be made. The next day we viewed it a second time with Todd and Laura and they assured us that it was the right space to start the next chapter of our life together and run our two businesses. We made an offer the next day! 

Anyway—I'm rambling, aren't I? Here's the empty house tour!

Thanks so much for watching! Did you guys get enough of that carpet? Isn't the living room pretty? Do you think we're crazy to take on that studio renovation? I hope you feel included on our new adventure. I'm so happy to share it with you and can't wait to share more in the coming months! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. 

Needle felting basics (via abeautifulmess.com)   Needle felting basics (via abeautifulmess.com)We actually haven't shared a project using this technique in a couple years. Crazy how the time flies! If you've never tried needle felting before, you'll probably be happy to know that the basics are SUPER simple. You don't have to have any sewing skills whatsoever—you just need the ability to poke holes and choose colors. That's seriously all you need! Well, that and supplies, of course. You can get really intricate if you have been needle felting for a while (just type "needle felting" into Pinterest and see all the pretty stuff!).

Needle felting basics (via abeautifulmess.com)  Needle felting basics (via abeautifulmess.com) For this project I'm going to show you the basics of needle felting onto a vintage portrait. This was a perfect project for me to partner with our friends at Canon USA. I love how vibrant I was able to make these old photos of my grandparents by taking a picture of the photo and then printing it with my PIXMA MG7520.

I'll show you how I used a couple of old photographs of my grandparents to create these whimsical needle felted portraits. These are a little quirky, but I just LOVE how they turned out and I can't wait to find the perfect spot to display them in my home. I'm thinking about trying to do a similar technique with portraits of my other grandparents too so I have the whole set. :)

Canon Pixma printerSupplies:
-fabric transfer sheets + photos you want to use
-plain cotton fabric (I used off white)
-iron
-needle felting needle
-foam block or an old cushion
-wool roving in colors that work with your photo
-scissors
-frames or embroidery hoops to display your project
-Canon PIXMA MG7520 Photo Printer

The most expensive thing about this project is the wool roving. It can add up quick, but you need VERY little for needle felting (see video to understand how much I used). This project cost me about $18 (not including tools).

In the video you can see all the steps I took to complete this project. Simple, right? The only step the video doesn't show is when I photographed my pictures and then increased the color saturation in Photoshop before printing. Why did I do that? I didn't want to damage my original photos in any way (and now I have a digital version I can print anytime), and the original photos are quite faded. I wanted the colors to be a little more vibrant to go with my wool roving. 

Another note: keep most of your needle felted areas around the outside edges of the image. The felted areas will be raised and textured, so this naturally draws your eye to those areas. But, the subject of the pictures, my grandparents, should be the focal point. So I chose to keep my needle felting around the perimeter so that the design sort of points to the subject instead of distracting the viewer from it. I also let my felt hang off the edges of the image (like the horse's tail and clouds, etc.) to give it a whimsical feel. :)

How to needle felt onto a pictureThere are tons of different ways to use this technique, so feel free to get creative! But if you're a beginner and want to create something fun that you can display, try this out because this is a great project to start with. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits// Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

Whole 30 comfort food. It exists!Hey, friends! Today I want to share a recipe that feels, to me, like the closest you can get to "comfort food" during Whole 30. Now that I am done with my Whole 30, I am still making variations of this meal several times a week. It's a favorite in our house because you can make it with a huge variety of ingredients (whatever's left in the fridge), and you can eat it for any meal of the day. I'll share my favorite variations below. 

Whole 30 comfort food. It exists! Sausage, Potato and Mushroom Skillet, serves two. 

2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 sausage links (you can use any flavor and it can be pork, turkey or veggie) 
1 sweet potato, cut into small sliced pieces (we love Japanese sweet potatoes—they are purple-ish on the outside and white on the inside)
1/4 small white onion, chopped
6 large mushrooms, chopped
garlic powder
1 sprig rosemary
Tamari (or soy sauce) to taste 

In a large skillet start with the oil and sweet potatoes and onions, since they take the longest to cook. When they are almost done (I like mine super crispy, but that's up to you!), add the mushrooms and sausage and a little Tamari (or soy sauce), a sprinkle of garlic powder and one sprig of rosemary chopped into tiny pieces. Let it cook some more. You won't need salt since the Tamari is salty. Let it cook until you can see that the sausages are completely done, and serve! 

*Whole 30 people can substitute Coconut Aminos for Tamari and just make sure your sausages don't contain sugar and you're good! 

Breakfast variations—For breakfast I like to eat just sweet potatoes with an egg or half a cut up avocado. Kinda similar to Josh's sweet potato hash

Other variations—If you're wanting a lighter meal, you can reduce the amount of potatoes and add way more mushrooms. I love that. You can also try red peppers, different kinds of potatoes, or green beans. I like to use a lot of rosemary, and Jeremy doesn't use any. So experiment until you find your favorite combinations! 

Whole 30 comfort food. It exists!  Enjoy! Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

Beet-Dyed Deviled Eggs (so good!)I've been wanting to try dying deviled eggs with beet juice for a long time. One of my favorite local lunch spots, Aviary, serves them and I order them pretty much 100% of the time—SO good. 

To hard boil eggs I use this simple method—place eggs in a large pot filled with water (so eggs are completely covered). Let the water with eggs come to a boil on medium-high heat. As soon as the water is boiling, turn off the burner and remove the pot from the heat. Let the water cool to the side (at least 15 minutes). When you remove the eggs, they will be hard boiled. Easy peasy! 

Beet Dyed Deviled Eggs To dye the eggs, immerse the whole egg (with shell peeled off) in beet juice for one hour. I got a 16 ounce glass of fresh beet (straight) juice at the health food store to use. You could also use juice from a can of cooked or pickled beets. Beware, this juice will dye anything and everything including your clothing, anything wood and anything that isn't stain-resistant (another day I loved my quartz counter tops because it wiped right off). 

Beet juice is BEAUTIFUL. The color is absolutely incredible. 

When you cut the egg in half, it will be all white with a thin rim of pink around the edge. If you like that look, cut them right before you serve. After even just one hour, the color bleeds through most of the egg so it looks more like my photos look. I cut these, made the yolk mixture, and refrigerated them overnight before assembling. 

Beet Dyed Deviled Eggs  I started with about 22 eggs (I wanted to have some extras in case I messed up, which I did, peeling the eggs perfectly is tricky!). To make the yolk mixture combine the following in a food processor—egg yolks, 3/4 cup mayo and four tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard (I always buy spicy mustard!). Blend all ingredients. Use a piping bag to fill the eggs or just a spoon if you don't have one. 

Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika, fresh thyme, fresh chives and fresh dill (the chives are the yummiest). Enjoy! 

Beet Dyed Deviled Eggs   I already can't wait to make these again for my next party. They do take a little more prep than typical deviled eggs, but I think it's well worth it for the beautiful presentation. By the way, if you're curious—you can't really taste the beet flavor once they are complete. It's mostly just for the look! 

Hope you enjoy trying these out! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Happy MailIt's that time again—time to see what's in this month's Happy Mail and Messy Box! This month has some fun new things, like dark blue foil (think ocean vibes). 

Happy_Mail__8-9568_%282%29_originalSubscribe to Happy Mail here.

Messy_Box__4-9248-2_originalSubscribe to Messy Box here.

One thing you'll see in the video is that this month we had a typo on a Happy Mail print. Gasp! Sobs! Oh the drama! Of course we had to get that fixed ASAP for all our lovely subscribers. But sadly this means that Happy Mail shipping will be slightly delayed this month. Expect your kits to head your way Monday, June 15th. If you subscribe to Messy Box, your subscription will also be shipped on the 15th of this month. If you have questions about this, feel free to contact our support team. Sorry for the delay, everyone! But check out the video to see what you can expect—we promise it's worth the wait. :)

 

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