Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HOME: Pompom & Tassel Trims

1. Pompom Curtains   2. Tassel Bedding   3. Giant Pompom Throw   4. Tassel Pillow   5. Pompom Narwal   6. Tassel Tent

I love pompom and tassel embellishments, they just give everything an element of happiness and you really can't help but smile when you see colorful pompom or tassel trim! I used pompom trim on the pillows I made for our bedroom, and I think now I need to do a project with tassels. Tassels are simple to make.... now what to use them on?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Home DIY: Ikea Mirror Hack

I think this is the last DIY project from our guest room that I had yet to post. It's a quick and easy project, just a coat of spray paint really. I've seen fun and  inexpensive ornate mirrors everywhere lately, in Target, Ikea, Walmart, etc, (mine is from Ikea) but they are almost always black or white and have a plasticy look about them. An easy way to make them look more expensive and unique is to spray paint them. As unique and really trend relevant colors can be hard to find in your local hardware store, whenever I need unusual colors, I buy them from Utrecht, They have a huge selection. To make sure it looks as rich as possible, always use a primer spray paint first, then multiple light coats of your colored spraypaint, and finally finish it off with a clear enamel coat.

Monday, July 29, 2013

EVENTS: Ombré Wedding Details

Ombré, or having colors or tones that shade into each other, is a trend that has made its way into weddings in full force. Its a lovely way to work primarily with one color without it feeling stiff and boring. The gradation of color from white to a saturated tone creates movement and interest in every place it is used. 

  1. Ombré Dress
  2. Ombré Feather Backdrop
  3. Ombré Wedding Cake
  4. Ombré Ribbon Wedding Escort Cards
  5. Ombré Wedding Escort Cards
  6. Ombré Table Cloth
  7. Ombré Hydrangeas

Friday, July 26, 2013

Week One: Vietnam

My first week in Asia is coming to a close. It's been all work, all the time. The first week is always the toughest with jet lag, fortunately for me, I sleep pretty well, unfortunately for those I work with, it makes me crazier than usual. As all we've really been doing thus far is work, I don't have many great photos, just pictures taken from the car on our way to and from the factories. I'll have tomorrow to bum around the city a bit before I'm off to Fuzhou, so I'll be able to share those photos next week! I'm already counting down the days to the vacation part of this trip in Thailand!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Event DIY: Faux Stained Glass Place Cards

Earlier in the week, I did a post about melting pony beads to make coasters which I saw on Style Me Pretty Home. Though I love the coasters, I thought this technique would be even better served as little light catcher, stained glass look, event escort cards! I mixed transparent beads with opaque beads for this project which created a really lovely stained glass look. The square ones I made in a little brownie/ pastry tin I had and the round ones were done in a standard cup cake pan. I wrote on them with a gold calligraphy pen to fancy them up a bit. These would be lovely for an outdoor wedding, especially if you had a fence or a tree to hang them all on where the light could shine through. I did MANY MANY trials and color mixtures with the help of my friend Dana as we sat by the pool one weekend. These two colorways were my favorite though, the colors on the top ones feel so summery and fun, while the blues in the circle ones feel they'd fit right in at a beach wedding.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

HOME: Subtle Nautical Details

1. rope stairs   2. berth style bunk beds   3. jellyfish art   4. octopus chandelier   5. ship wood wall
6.  beachy living room   7. rope decorative accents   8. nautical kitchen island

My grandmother was a beach babe through and through. She could spend every day sitting on the beach, with her toes in the sand, making drip sand castles and collecting sea shells. Those are my favorite memories of her, on the beach "tanning her wrinkled curtain skin" as she would always say. Typically, I'm not really a fan of nautical decor, but because of my Mommom, it will always have a special place in my heart. I love it when it's done in a subtle and subdued way, worked into other non-nautical decor. These are some images that embody elements that I love about nautical decor.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Home DIY: Colorful Coasters

I saw this little DIY  on Style Me Pretty Home, and decided I had to do it with my own color pallet. It's simple and satisfying, though the smell of melting pony beads in your kitchen isn't exactly appetizing. All you need is a bag of pony beads and a giant muffin tin,  I stuck with the opaque beads for this project. You fill up the pan, set the oven to 400 degrees, and "cook" them for 20 minutes. You take them out and they are all liquid but after cooling for a half hour or so, they pop right out of the pan! I love how the color of the coasters translated through the classes too. I'll be posting another project I did using this method later this week!

Monday, July 22, 2013

EVENTS: Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

Guest books are something that tradition dictates every wedding must have, guests can get very upset when they don't have a place to write you a message! That being said, most guest books get lost in bookshelves, never to be seen again! So lets shake up tradition a bit with these wedding guest book alternatives that are sure to stand out in the crowd! 
  1. Paper Hearts: This is an easy DIY Wedding Project, have your guests sign their names on a heart and leave them for you to compile later. This makes for a great piece of artwork to hang in your house after the wedding.
  2. Heart Poster: This is a great and graphic piece to hang up later. Guests can sign the hears and leave little messages, having something you can hang on the wall and see every day is so much better than leaving it all in a book where you'll never really see all the meaningful messages people had for you on your wedding day. 
  3. Plates: If you collect plates and plan to hang them in your kitchen or dining room, what a great idea to work in some plates that your guests have decorated for you. Keeping the pen gold and mixing your wedding plates with finer china keeps them from looking like a kiddy project. 
  4. Locks: Something about this is so cute, can you imagine hanging them all on a fence in your backyard or on a balcony railing?
  5. Wire Fence and Paper: I've seen this in large scale and it's breathtaking, what a lovely idea to scale it down and have all these little scrolled up messages make a piece of art with an element of discovery when you want to relive the night and reread all your guests messages to you. 
  6. Messages for Memories: I love the layout of this, It could make a great backdrop for photos and who doesn't love a mini envelope? I do! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Off to Asia!

1. My photo from Vietnam   2. Fuzhou   3. Krabi

On Sunday, I leave for three weeks in Asia! I've prepared lots of posts for while I'm gone, so no fear, there will still be a new post for each week day! My first stop is Ho Chi Mihn City in Vietnam, I had to count the visas in my passport to figure out how many times I've been, this will be my 8th trip to Vietnam since I started working at Reebok about 5 years ago. The top picture above is from one of my very first trips. I'll be there for a week, and while in Vietnam I'll be mostly in the factories with some good food stops after hours. Next stop is Fuzhou, China, where I'll be in more factories for a couple of days. THEN it's off to Thailand for a 10 day vacation! Chris will be flying over to meet me in Bangkok, where we will stay to explore for a couple of days, then it's on to Chiang Mai, where we'll be going to an elephant reserve!! Last stop is the island of Krabi, which will be beautiful and looks amazing! I'm hoping to post little updates each Friday while I'm gone to share some of the fun and crazy things I've been doing! So keep checking in for new content each day and a travel check in at the end of each week!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

EVENTS: Custom Wedding Invitation: Sneak Peek, See the Design Process

 I thought I would give a sneak peek of the wedding invitation I am currently working on and some of the design process that goes into creating it. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do for Elaine and Steve from the beginning, as I know them both well and also had the save the date I had designed for them as a jumping off point. I'm not going to talk much about the actual design, as I'll reveal it in full in a couple weeks. Instead, I thought I would talk about the design process.
  I almost always start the design process with sketches. In this case, as the layout is something I have never done before, I did a physical mockup and did a quick sketch of the general lay out. By doing that, I determined what the measurements would need to be so I could take it into the computer. As this is a very graphic and font based design, most of the work is done in Illustrator. Once I have a general design, I printed out options and checked in with Elaine, Steve, and Elaine's parents. We then talk about changes and edits and work through those. I then print out options. LOTS of them. Sometimes I'll be sure something is perfect in the digital version but once I print it out I'll see little tweaks, and sometimes even bigger overall edits that need to be made. Once everything is finalized with the design, it's on to perfecting the print layout, color matching, and paper choices. Having my own high quality printer makes all the difference here, the whole printing process is in my control instead of handing it off to a printing company. A large printer may not care about a 2mm printing shift, or the colors matching a certain swatch just so, but I DO! I'm printing out the invitations currently, then it's on to assembly! I can't wait to finish this wedding invitation, it might be my favorite to date.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HOME: Comfy Side Chairs

1. Blue Glider $800   2. Mod Seer Sucker $750   3. Classic Yellow $279   4. My Dream Chair $1,150   5. Chester Arm Chair $700   6. Mod Printed Slim Chair $650

I have no current need or place for a side chair. If I did, I would probably buy vintage and reupholster it. That being said, there are some awesome side chairs out there for those of you who may need one! These are some of my current favorites. When I thought I might need one, I really could not find many that met my needs for under $650. All of the options (like the yellow one from target), that are in the under $300 range, are much slimmer, not exactly the "curl up to read a book" chair I was looking for. So, if you want a big, comfortable, and still stylish chair, you may end up spending a bit more. I really think the price goes up when you are trying to combine comfort AND style. Lots of comfy barka-loungers out there, I just can't bring myself to accept that comfort must come with cup holders imbedded in enormous padded arms.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What I Bought at Brimfield

 As I said last Friday, I love the Brimfield Antique Fair. I figured it would be fun to show you what I bought and where they ended up in our house! First, a giant lightbulb and a giant ampersand ("&"). The light bulb was an impulse, only $10, and I knew it would be a fun decorative accessory somewhere in the house. The giant solid aluminum ampersand weighs about 30lbs and was not fun to carry around the market for two hours after I bought it. It was $30 and I knew it would be another fun decorative accessory. They both ended up on our pipe shelf in the living room. It was time to rearrange it a bit anyway! My next purchase was a big metal arrow. Previously, in our upstairs hallway, I had a super wide piece of art there that didn't really fit the space. I knew I wanted something more sculptural and narrow there. When I saw this big metal arrow I knew it would be perfect, at only $60 how could I say no? Last but not least, to add to my owl collection, a little owl trivet art piece that was only $15 found it's new home on our kitchen wall!  Love Brimfield, now the only question is, do I go again in September?

Monday, July 15, 2013

EVENTS: Unique Wedding Seating Chart Displays

I have a secret love of complex and HUGE seating charts. Untraditional seating charts are not exactly practical because they cause crazy long lines when people search for their names and read all the details, and then, because they have waited so long they want to REALLY look at it, and THEN, if there is no piece that they take with them, they could forget their table number and need to get in line all over again! Eek! That being said, they are FUN and PRETTY and UNIQUE which means I like them despite their impracticality. It's like a treasure hunt and memory game combo! Great for people who like games, not so good for those who have poor memory and eyesight! So, before you decide to go this route, think about your guest list, would they love this, or curse you on your wedding day?

  1. Graph
  2. World Map
  3. Follow the String!
  4. Graphic text with buttons
  5. Who's Who- describes who the guests are to the Bride and Groom
  6. Map with Flags

Friday, July 12, 2013

Brimfield Antique Fair July 2013

Yesterday, my Mom, my friend Marissa, her Dad and I all went to Brimfield Antique Fair. I've been going every year for probably the last 5 or 6 years. It's something I look forward too like a crazy antiquing addict, counting down the days until my next antique hit. It's the Olympics of antiquing, we pack water bottles to make sure we're well hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, lots of sunscreen, reenergize with giant bags of fresh kettle corn, and carry abnormally large wads of cash (I typically never have more than a dollar in change in my wallet if I'm lucky, so $150 seems like a lot. Once I went with $500 and found nothing, so now I don't carry more than $150 in fear that I will jinx myself, there are ATMs everywhere in case I need more). I didn't buy any huge pieces of furniture this year, though I was drooling over some, but I really have no place for them to live. I bought mostly items to hang on my walls, I'll show them to you in their new homes next week!

In these pictures are some of the cool, fun or CRAZY things I saw. Giant type cases (one of which I bought for my friend in NYC for only $15, which she couldn't believe), old cameras, bright metal chairs from vietnam factories (funny as I'll be in such factories in a couple weeks), giant sign letters, last stands used as wine racks, beautiful fire extinguishers, wood baskets, railroad signs, type, creepy mutant baby dolls, a lovely appointment facade, and a sled with one of the coffee table carts I bought a couple years ago! You can always find SOMETHING you need when you go to Brimfield!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

EVENTS: Mini Bunt Cakes

My Mom's birthday was this past week, it was a big one, so my Dad and I threw a little party for her. My Mom's favorite cake is angel food cake, and I wanted to do something more than the standard, so I bought myself a mini bunt cake pan and went to town! I made mini angle food cakes and the pink lemonaid cake recipe I had made before that was AMAZING. For a little extra something I used my piping bags to make the frosting pretty and cut up some strawberries for the final touch on the angel food cake.  Sometimes little things, like special pans and spending a bit more time on the icing impresses the pants off people! Happy Birthday to the best Mom in the world! 

On another note, I'm off to the Brimfield antique fair today! I've talked about Brimfield before, and  posted some of my AWSOME finds, you can see those posts here, here, and here. I don't need anything big this time around, which means I'll probably find something expensive that I MUST HAVE. I'll let you know how I net out!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

HOME: Colorful Front Door Inspiration

I've been thinking quite a bit recently about our front door and front entryway area. The picture below is of our entry way which I have given NO love to as of yet besides the new house numbers (a quick little project with some modern numbers that I spray painted gold) and the American Flag. Our front door (pictured below), has some super ornate molding going on, which has been growing on me. I think I could make it stand out even more if I painted it mint or a light peachy color. Luckily for us, our house is gray with navy shutters, so I could really do ANYTHING, the possibilities are endless! I love these doors pictured above, the "hello" on the yellow door's window and the screen door are just too flipping cute too 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fashion DIY: Leather Studded Wallet

For Mothers Day, I had my first experience in working with leather when I made some little clutches. After working on those, I decided it was time to make myself a wallet. My everyday purse is pretty small, and I haven't been able to find a wallet that A.) fits in it and B.) is actually cute and doesn't cost $200. With those thoughts in mind, I designed this little diddy. I added a little gold pocket on the back of the wallet for my ID, and made it a bit more three dimensional by adding side panels. I showed in a bit more detail how the studs are done. It's so super simple, sort of like little snaps and then you just hammer the heck out of them. I love how this one came out, lots of room for cards (because lets be honest, I really only carry cash if someone is paying me back for something or am going antique shopping) and it's just the right size for my purse and can even fit my phone if it's all I'm carrying. Wallet perfection for very little money!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wedding Pallet: Autumn Wedding, Rusty Accents

I saw the bouquet in the upper left of this collage I put together, and immediately fell in love with the color pallet. How fresh and amazing with the rust tones mixed with creamy whites, shades of pink and that little hit of bright blue. What a great color pallet to pull throughout the event in different ways. It's a fresh and compelling take on the more traditional autumnal wedding color pallets.

1. bouquet   2. suitcases   3. banquet table   4. leaves   5. seating tags   6. feathery accents

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day! Bake a Mini Apple Pie!

Happy Fourth of July! Nothing says summer to me like apple pie, and as I like everything better in miniature, I decided to make some little apple pies for the occasion! Follow your favorite apple pie recipe, but make (or buy) double the pie crust. I used a cupcake tin, no liners, and pam'ed and flowered each cup. I then used a large circle cookie cutter to cut a bunch of circles for the bottoms and tops of each pie. With mini pies you also have to cut the apples for your filling much smaller than you would for a traditional pie. I cut mine about the size of skittles.  Line the bottom of the cupcake pan with one of the circles, spoon in your filling, and put on the top. Put them in the oven, I cooked mine for around 25 min at 400 degrees. An important tip, make sure to take them out of the pan right when you take them out of the oven or all the apple goo will glue them into the pan and they will NEVER come out in one piece! Enjoy your mini pies and the 4th of July!! I'll be taking Friday off from blogging for the holiday! Enjoy the long weekend!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Youthful & Fun Home Decor

I've expressed before my love for decor with character, items that are playful and different. I've been listening lately to the new Michael Buble album, and there is one song, "Young at Heart" that is just so sweet and really resonates with me. I wanted to devote a post to decorating when you are young at heart. These items all have an air of youth and whimsy. From a sketch like stitched headboard, a swing side table, and a hedgehog q-tip holder, each seems to have it's own voice and personality. Let your decor express how you are young at heart!

  1. Stitched Upholstered Headboard: This feels so imperfect and sketch-like.
  2. Side Table Swing: I think everyone should have an indoor swing.
  3. Hedgehog: I love how it was specifically designed to hold q-tips to complete the design. Genius.
  4. Little Door: Yes, I want a little mouse house.
  5. Piano Doorbell: I'll only let you in if your song is pretty.
  6. Baby Camel: Photographer Sharon Montrose has this whole series of baby animals, adorable.
  7. Candy Necklace Light: I have no words for how much I love this.
  8. Owl: Johnathan Adler is awesome and JCP is carrying a lovely collection by him.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bedroom Gallery Wall

Finally! I have hung some art in our guest room! I had a variety of things that I was excited to hang on the wall, but I knew it would be a tricky orientation as some of the pieces were three dimentional. So as I described when I hung the gallery wall in our living room, cutting out pieces of paper in the same size as what you want to hang on the wall is a great way to insure that you are not putting too many holes in your walls! By working with the paper versions, I could move them around and end up with everything right where I wanted. Knowing where the lamp was going to be made me think about where I wanted the art to go. Sometimes people hang art without taking into consideration where their furniture and other accents are going to be. Something that may look unbalanced on the wall can be balanced by other items, like windows, doors, a high backed chair, or in this case, a lamp.  You really do have to take into account everything in the room when you are hanging art.

As for the art, the ice cream cone is by my super talented college room mate, Claire Moore. Then I have a little calligraphy I did on the fly to fill the little wood frame. It's nice to have a basic sized frame that you can switch out the artwork every once in a while, which is what I intend to do with this little frame. The metal C is from Urban Outfitters, and the woven basket from West Elm. The wood type box is a Brimfield find that I painted and talked about in a previous post. Mixing various types of art always makes for a lovely and dynamic wall. I am so very happy with how this came out.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wedding Thank You Photos

I think every couple should take photos on their wedding day with the specific intent of using them for their thank you cards. By doing this, you ensure every guest has a photo of you from your wedding day, and your thank you cards are ready to go without much thought. We did this for our wedding (ours is the one with the bunting I made and our puggle dressed to the nines), and it was such a relief to  know what we were going to do for our thank you cards when we got back from our honeymoon.
  1. Bridal Party Thank You
  2. Photo Booth Thank You
  3. Bunting Thanks
  4. Book Thanks
  5. Sign Thanks