Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY: Wood & String Vase

Before I jump into todays blog, take a look to the right, NEW BUTTONS! Now you can follow me on the crazy amount of social media outlets you apparently have to keep up with! I just learned about hashtagging last week, I am a super savvy hashtagger now. You may get some extra tidbits on Instagram and Twitter that seem to small to put on the blog. Pinterest is my secret love, I'm a little crazy about it, so follow me on Pinterest to keep up with all that is inspiring me at the moment! I also updated the main website as well, just a couple little things, but head over to take a look! 

I always see these wood vases / utensil holders whenever I'm in Home Goods and Target, I like them, but I thought I might be able to do something to make it a bit more interesting. I bought mine at Target on sale for about $10. I had embroidery thread left over from some past projects so I decided to use it to make a geometric pattern on the vase. The whole project takes about an hour or so. I love the almost spirograph look I ended up with!


  1. Wood Vase
  2. Embroidery Thread


  1. Drill
  2. Sandpaper
  3. Large Needle


  1. I made a stencil of a scalloped pattern, and punched out the holes so I could draw it on the vase.
  2. Drill holes
  3. Lightly sand to smooth edges around the holes
  4. Start threading the embroidery thread through the holes in whatever pattern suits you! I did alternating starburst like patterns from the highest point of the scallops. I did the whole thing first in one color and then went over it in a second colored thread. To better emphasize the scallop shape, I threaded along the holes as well.
  5. Use however you desire! As a utensil holder in the kitchen, put a glass in it and use it as a vase, or even use it as a pencil holder. Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Including Your Dog on Your Wedding Day

1. Cake Topper   2. Save the Date Dog   3. Our Wedding by K-C Photography   4. Here Comes the Bride Boxer   5. Tandem Bike with Dog

It seems that everywhere you look, people are including their furry friends in their big day in a variety of different ways. Having done it myself, I have decided to impart my wisdom with others! Here are some tips and ideas:

Including your dog on the day of your wedding:

  1. HIRE SOMEONE to pick up your dog, bring him to and from the wedding or reception so he's not stuck there the whole time. That way someone else will be responsible for the dog so you don't have to worry and can enjoy your day. They will make sure they have water, can take a walk if they need a break, etc etc. Usually dog walkers will do this if you give them specifics of what you need, and whats $100 for you and your dogs piece of mind? 
  2. Only include your dog in the actual ceremony if they are super well behaved, and have the person you hired take them for a walk after they have done their job so they are not a distraction.
  3. Most dogs won't be able to make it through a ceremony without whining, barking, needing to pee, etc, the better plan is to have them brought to the site where you are taking your "formal" pictures, so you can play, take some great shots with your pup, and then go on your separate ways! That's what we did and it worked out wonderfully. 

If you can't have your dog at your wedding, here are some other ways to include them:

  1. Take pictures for your Save the Dates and include your pup.
  2. If you are having your Wedding Invitations custom designed by a stationary designer (like me, at Wouldn't it be Lovely!) tell them you want to include your pet and they will find a way to do it that suits your style. 
  3. We had a custom cake topper made (pictured above) and they made the dog look just like Lincoln! 
  4. Include your dog in the decor, such as table numbers, escort cards, worked in to the design of the program etc. I've done things like this for various weddings I've designed, and it can be done in a subtle way or incorporated as a big part of your wedding. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Human Animals

Happy Friday! It's been a long week and I'm happy to have two days of projects ahead!

So, I'm still practicing my calligraphy, enjoying using a traditional calligraphy pen. I thought I would manipulate it a bit, so I scanned it into my computer and paired it with one of my favorite pictures of our dog, Lincoln. The photo was taken by our wedding photographer. One of my bridesmaids made him an amazing little suit to match my husbands so he was dressed to the nines on our wedding day. There really is nothing funnier than an animal who doesn't act like an animal. Lincoln is the weirdest creature alive, he really can't be categorized as a dog because he has so many crazy quirks, but that's why we love him so. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthday Bundt Cake

This week we had a little party at work for two of my friends who had birthdays. Of course, because I always need an excuse to bake something, I offered to make the cake! I had these little wood popsicle sticks left over from another party and I decided to use them to make a little "Happy B-Day" sign. I printed out the letters and then ran them through my trusty xyron machine to turn them into stickers. Easy peasy and super cute. I also tried a new recipe, pink lemonade! It was amazingly delicious and super simple.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Backyard Dreams

As the weather gets warmer, I look out our backyard and have big dreams for what I want it to be, I'm building it little bits at a time, but here are some images that get me excited for warm summer nights!

1. Backyard Movies   2. Backyard Bowling   3. Yellow Ping Pong   4. Outdoor Shower   5. String Lights   6. Fence Torches   7. Wood Pathway   8. Fairy Homes

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DIY: Chevron Patio Table

This is the first spring in our new house, so I have grand plans for the backyard! Since we have a pool, I really want the patio space to be awesome, and as we are starting with NOTHING, our budget is pretty small, which means I'm building things and redoing thrift store finds. The first project I decided to take on was the patio table. I wanted something super sturdy and substantial, I designed this table with the knowledge that I had limited tools and money at my disposal. it's 3 ft by 6 ft and standard dining table height (28inches high). Below is the tech drawing I made to  start with, and stayed true to as I was building. Other than one bashed up finger, it all went pretty easily! Total cost, about $100, time, one weekend. Full instructions are detailed below.

  1. 10 Pressure treated 2in x4in x12ft I bought I had about 6 ft left over
  2. 1 Pressure treated 4in x4in x12 for the legs- only need one
  3. 4 Leg brackets (they are with the deck construction materials at home depot)
  4. 4 L-Brackets
  5. Stainable Wood Filler
  6. Outdoor Wood Stain and Protector
  7. 1 box of 2.5 inch long nails
  8. 1 box of 2.5 inch long screws

  1. Chop Saw (you could use a hand saw if you wanted to get a REAL good workout and spend about a month cutting wood, I highly recommend power tools for this one)
  2. Palm Sander (again, you could sand by hand, but you'll be happier if you get an electric sander)
  3. Screw Driver
  4. Hammer
  5. Spackle spreader
  6. Paintbrush
  1. Cut lots and lots of 13 inch long pieces of wood with 45 degree end cuts (the top and bottom side of the parallelogram is 13 inches long) you need about 60 of them, and then little pieces to fill in the rest of the frame.
  2. Cut outer frame, and screw together using L-brackets, then screw in cross structure pieces about 1.5in down from the top side of the frame so that when you set in the top pieces they are flush with the edge of the frame. 
  3. Line up first full chevron and nail into each cross piece of the frame, continue up until they are all in (you may need to trim some pieces as you go for a better fit) 
  4. Cut remaining pieces to fill in the frame
  5. Fill all the cracks with stainable wood filler (this is where I stopped day one so the wood filler could dry over night)
  6. Sand the whole top smooth!
  7. Cut corner brackets for the bottom and screw them into as many parts of the frame as you can. Attach legs with leg brackets
  8. Stain the sucker and you're done!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mossy Wedding Decor

I'm loving mossy wedding decor right now. It's very versatile and depending what you pair it with, it can help create very different feelings, from rustic, to modern, to whimsical. I think I'll order some moss online and play with some different executions soon. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Too Much...

I'm still working on my hand lettering and calligraphy, I bought a calligraphy pen, a variety of nibs, dipping ink and all.There is definitely a learning curve, my flourishes aren't quite there yet, but I'll get better the more I play with it. This week I chose the quote "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful" said by Mae West. Sometimes I feel crazy and overwhelmed with everything on my plate, but here's the thing, I'm happiest when I'm busy designing, building things, and coming up with ideas for future projects. I figure, too much is always better than not enough, especially when we're talking about chocolate and baked goods. Have a great weekend and make sure you have too much of something!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Keeping the Man Cave Classy

Man caves tend to be decorated with poorly hung sport plaques, bad movie posters, and fat heads stuck on the walls. Guys, THERE IS A BETTER WAY!

Rule #1: Frame that shit! Get a basic matte and matching black or white frames (a trip to ikea is cheap and easy). By framing everything the same, it ties all your different teams and interested together.

Rule #2: Take the extra time time to find well designed art that represents your sports teams, movies you love, and interests you have. It's often funnier, more interesting and way cooler looking than the standard stuff you'll find in a store. There are super cool designers and artists out there who are just as into all the stuff you are and have found awesome ways to show it off.

Rule #3: Please measure and lay it out before you hang it, do it on the floor, or check out this quick tutorial on how to lay out a gallery wall. At the very least, center it and make sure it's level! The women in your life will be way more impressed and likely to hang out with you in "your room" if it's moderately thought out.

Here are some great examples and places to find some awesome MAN ART. 

Stadium Prints, United Steaks of America, Tatooine, 40 Year Old Virgin, Beer Chart

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY: Easy Dog Bed

A while back I built a dog bed for our American Mastiff, Truman. It worked so well, that the one that we bought for our basement (a kuranda dog bed) was falling short in comparison, it just doesn't hold up against a 160lb monster. I decided it was time to build another bed for him. I made some changes in the design so that it would be quicker and easier. I did the whole thing in one day. The process is shown and described in detail below. As you can see, our puggle, Lincoln, refused to be left out of the process. 

Time: 1 day
Cost: About $80

Materials: all from Home Depot except for the nylon strapping

  1. 4 Corner brackets with screw holes
  2. 4 L corner brackets
  3. 4 wooden legs 
  4. 2x4s with 45 degree cut ends
  5. staples
  6. upholstery tacs
  7. nylon strapping (I found mine on amazon.com) I used 2in wide


  1. Saw
  2. scissors
  3. hammer
  4. screwdriver
  5. staple gun


  1. Cut 2x4s to length with 45 degree end cuts
  2. Line up wood in a frame and screw in corner brackets 
  3. Screw in L-brackets
  4. If you have any gapping in the corners, fill with wood filler and sand when dry.
  5. If you want to paint or stain them, do it now
  6. Cut strapping to length, I cut it about 10in longer that the width and length of the frame
  7. Staple strapping to frame, I alternated sides so that I could wrap it back on itself for extra durability, but since you can only do that on one end, I alternated the starting side with each one. I did all the horizontal straps first, attaching both sides.
  8. Weave in vertical straps, once they are woven all the way across, attach the ends to the frame
  9. I put at least two staples on each side
  10. Nail in upholstery tacs, these are really just decorative, but a little extra durability never hurt anyone.
  11. I wanted the legs to be a fun color, so I spray painted them blue.
  12. Screw in the legs to the corner brackets. I also got little rubber floor protectors and attached them to the feet so they wouldn't scratch the floor. 
  13. Flip it over, throw on a blanket or a dog bed, and you're all done!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon

When I was growing up, my dad took me to the marathon almost every year. We would go to Wellesley, the halfway point of the marathon, and cheer for the runners as they passed by. So every year, when the Boston Marathon comes around, it warms my heart a bit, it's a memory of happiness and city pride. The bombings yesterday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon broke my heart. It was supposed to be a day where people from all corners of the earth come together to demonstrate perseverance, and even more people come to cheer them on. Instead it was interrupted by an act of terrible and unnecessary cruelty. My heart is with the city of Boston, the marathon runners, law enforcement, firefighters, spectators,  those injured, and the families who lost their loved ones.

This quote brought me some comfort in the midst of this tragedy. "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping'" -Fred Rogers

"Boston, we love you more than ever"- I just wanted to design something to show some Boston love.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grand Opening! The Store Up & Running!

The store is finally open! Although Wouldn't it be Lovely specializes in custom designs, I thought it was time to open a store filled with products that are pre-designed and customizable. Great for someone on a shorter deadline or who may have seen one of my designs that is just perfect for them! Right now the store is stocked with Wedding Invitations, Save the Dates, Birth Announcements, Baby Shower Invites, Wedding Gifts, Wedding Contracts, and Wedding Favors. I'll be constantly updating and adding to the store so keep checking in, and feel free to email me if you have any questions or requests! Check it out and send it on to anyone you think may be interested!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hand Lettering: Comparison

I've decided to start working on my hand lettering and calligraphy. It's something that I've always wanted to be better at. The best way to get better? Practice.

This week, I wrote a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, "Comparison is the thief of joy". We compare ourselves to others all the time, from looks, to jobs, to workouts, and choices we make, but it's never a fair comparison. We're all different, with different strengths and talents, with different starting points and finish lines, and with different goals and obstacles. So this weekend, no comparisons. Agreed? Sorry for cheese factor, but sometimes we need to be reminded to be happy and proud of ourselves, our work, our achievements, our loved ones and the lives we lead. Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Springy Lemon Favors

As it seems that spring has FINALLY arrived here in new england, I wanted to bake a favor that would  be perfect for a spring or summer wedding. So I made these tasty little lemon cups with a shortbread crust. I love the short wide jars and designed a simple and sweet little wedding logo to top them off. I searched quite a bit for a recipe, sometimes the tastiest recipes have the fewest ingredients, I found this one from Martha Stewart and it's delish! Also, a little trick for dusting the powdered sugar in little containers without making a mess, I used a tea strainer! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lovely Paper Flowers

I love paper flowers. I've loved them since my wedding almost three years ago. They are perfect little pieces of art. As much as I love fresh flowers, they can be expensive and don't last forever. Paper flowers make a great statement at a wedding used as wall decor, centerpieces, boutonnieres and bouquets. I covered the walls of our wedding reception with custom made white paper flowers as shown in the bottom picture here. Feel free to contact me if you want paper flowers as decor at your event!

flowers from left to right:
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Wedding Invitation Suite!

Ever wanted a do over? The past week I have been working on taking products I have designed for past couples and converting them invitations that are ready to order. Once the store is up and running (I've been hitting a couple snags in getting it going, writing code and setting up websites is not my specialty, the learning curve is a bit wider and longer than expected) I'll be able to fill the store with Invitation Suites, Save the Dates, Birth Announcements, Gifts, Favors and more that can be personalized and ready to go on a much shorter timeline than the custom designs I specialize in.

The wedding invitation in this post is actually the very first I ever designed, my own! It seemed fitting that this should be the first redesigned as it was the one that started it all! Here is the original, it's amazing when I look back to see how much I have learned about typography, printing and layout. I still love the inspiration of Rob Ryan and his paper cut art that I used as a jumping off point. I actually kept all of the paper cuts I had made for this and just re-oriented and recolored the whole thing adding in some shadows so it really feels like it's a paper cut set off the page. I changed the fonts, the color pallet, and just cleaned it up a bit. I also took off some of the personal touches on ours for the one that will be in the store, no more Lincoln profile!  I think it's a perfect redo almost three years later! What do you think?

 P.S. I'll get the store up and running soon, but in the mean time, check out the pricing at the bottom of the website if you'd like to order something, or just shoot me an email

Monday, April 8, 2013

Inspired by David Sedaris: Taxidermy Decor

Yesterday I went to see David Sedaris at Symphony Hall in Boston. I was introduced to his books in college and found myself laughing until I cried. Since then, I have read every book and listened to them all on tape. He is AWSOME, funny in a way that's impossible to explain. If you haven't read his books, go get one, you won't regret it. He has a new book coming out this month which is sure to be amazing. If you have read his books, you know he loves the grotesque and the strange. After going to his reading I found myself thinking of one of his stories where he talks about his house and all the oddities he has collected, sculls, baby skeletons, and various taxidermy animals. Then he reflects on how his house may look like the home of a psychopath to a stranger. I also have a love of taxidermy, I haven't made the leap to real taxidermy yet, to Chris's dismay, it's probably only a matter of time. If i were to take the leap, I would totally get that jackalope mounted head, I saw one once in New York and am still kicking myself for not getting it! I thought it would be fun to assemble a collection of taxidermy shown in stages of digestibility.

1. two headed squirrel   
2. jackalope
3. unicorn scull
4. porcelain giraffe head
5. stuffed head
6. cardboard head

Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekend Wardrobe: Day at the Zoo

The last two weekends have been beautiful, and when the weather gets nice, the hubby and I love taking trips to the zoo. It's always a fun day date, we wander around, hold hands and look at all the animals, I talk about how I love the elephants and he ogles the big snakes. I'm hoping we can make it to the zoo soon, and this is what I would wear if I could get a whole new outfit for the occasion! The watch and the bag are a bit pricy but are just so cute! 

1. Shirt $49   2. Pants $39   3. Shoes $60   4. Sunglasses $16   5. Watch $175   6. Purse $250

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Escort Card Displays

One of the first impressions a guest has of your wedding reception is your escort card display. Its a great way to introduce the theme and look of your whole event. Below are some custom escort cards and displays I have made for various weddings. Escort frames are great because you can use them not only at your wedding, but after, in your home as well! 

Above, for Jen & Marks wedding, a large 3x4ft frame, painted and put together in the color theme of the wedding. Because there were so many guests, we made it easier for everyone to find their names by alphebtizing each row and calling out the names in that row with pictures of the couple throughout the years.  

This is a display made for a casual outdoor wedding in New Hampshire, Alex and Ben wanted something whimsical and carefree for their display, so I cut a series of metal perforated sheets to hang all the tags that guests could use later in the night to label their drinking glass. 

Above is a magnetic escort display. This was actually made for my own wedding. Each guest had a magnet with their names to guide them to their table. The metal magnetic frame was also a great item to keep and use in our home after the wedding! 

This was a simple escort card set up. Lauren and Dave are wine lovers and wanted to incorporate that into their escort cards. The cards were designed in the same theme as their wedding invitations. 

For Emily and Tal, I designed a basic escort card to be displayed in this dark wood frame. As guests took their cards, the lace detail popped through as a lovely detail. This Escort Frame made a great memo board after the wedding. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Home Trend: Bamboo & Rattan

One trend that I'm seeing and loving right now in home goods is bamboo and rattan furniture. It feels so fresh when mixed with more modern decor. It's also easy to find in antique stores and usually pretty affordable, I just bought a chair for our guest room for $30! The shapes are so fun and unique, I love pairing them with sleek modern furniture so a room doesn't feel too stiff and clinical. They are great painted too if you need to add some color to a room. 

1. Bed   2. Hanging Chair   3. Bookshelf   4. Nest Chair   5. Bar Cart   6. Wavy Chair

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DIY: Make a Statement Sign

Signs make great art, and making your own can really customize your space. It's a personal and inexpensive way to fill a large space on a wall. I made this sign in about three hours and it cost me around $20. Choosing what you want the sign to say is usually the hardest part,. I had mine say "CREATE" because I'm always making new things and it reminds me that even when I'm sitting on the couch I can be thinking of fun things to design.


  1.  Wood (I got a piece of pine from Home Depot that they cut to size for me for about $10
  2.  Embroidery Thread (from A.C. Moore, the stuff you make friendship bracelets from)
  3. Brass Nails
  4. Stain (if you want the wood darker, but you can just keep it natural)
  5.  Hammer
  6. Paint (I painted the edges gold for a bit of shine)


  1. Stain wood & paint edges
  2. Decide what you want to say and print it out to scale
  3. Tape paper to wood
  4. Hammer in nails about 1/3 of the way in, I spaced them about 1/2in apart around the edge of each letter
  5. Rip off paper
  6. Tie thread to one nail and connect all the nails in a random pattern, then go around the edges securing thread by wrapping around each nail twice.
  7. Hang that baby up!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wedding Inspiration: Wedding Cake Alternatives

Wedding cakes are often the centerpiece of a wedding, but more and more frequently, couples are bucking tradition for something a bit different. A couple of the problems with traditional wedding cakes: they're expensive, they need to be served to the guests (which means waiting and waste), and they limit the couple to one flavor. I love dessert displays, they usually cost around the same as a traditional wedding cake but make a great statement and offer more options to the guests. As the centerpiece of a dessert display it's still fun to have something that gives the same grand feel as a wedding cake. Above are some options that I think can be a great centerpiece to a dessert display.