Thursday, October 31, 2013

Custom Wedding Programs

These were the custom programs designed for Elaine and Steve's wedding. (Other designs for their wedding can be found at the following links: invitationsdesign processsave the datesguest guidebooks, place cards & holderconfetti bags, and favors,) As we had the "Guest Guidebook" which included a huge wealth of information, we wanted to keep the programs concise and simple. We made sure to include information for the guests to share their photos via Instagram and WedPics so the bride and groom had great wedding pics from the get go! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wonderful Wallpaper

 1. Triangles   2. Lobsters   3. Graphic   4. Polka Dots   5. Dogs   6. Stripes

Wallpaper. When we were house hunting a year ago, every house that we looked at that had wallpaper meant HOURS of work taking it down. There was not one time that I saw wallpaper and thought "Cute!" instead it was more like "Holy floral funhouse!" We lucked out because the only place that has wallpaper in our house is the basement hallway/laundry area, and second bathroom, and yeah, it's pretty bad. Here's the thing though, in the last couple years, wallpaper has made a come back! There are so many AMAZING options out there! Even removable wallpaper for those of you in the renting world! The flocked dog wallpaper pattern above is to die for. Though the downstairs bathroom/ hall/ laundry area is not on my immediate to do list, I'm hoping to tackle it sometime this year, and I am definitely considering wallpaper!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Wood Marquee Sign

I hung some art in our dining room / my office when we moved in, and every time I looked at it, I felt like it needed a little something more. I decided to make a wooden marquee sign because really, who doesn't love marquee signs? I wanted to make it out of wood, to change it up a bit from the norm. Then came the question of what the sign should say. I decided on "Whistle" because it's one of my favorite sounds, when people whistle it reminds me of my Poppop and always makes me smile. Plus it's a saying for an office, reminding me to "whistle while I work"! See all the photos and the full "how to" below.

Above is a better pic of me working away in our dining room/ office before I met with a new client last weekend. Now, onto the "how-to"! All I have yet to do is buy a pretty cloth covered extension cord so it looks nice and I can plug it in! Just a heads up, this is the kind of project where some wood working skills are probably necessary! I usually try to keep it easy so that anyone can do it, but that just wasn't going to happen this time around!


  1. Wood, I used oak, but I would actually suggest pine, because finishing all the edges on the oak was a pain in the patoot because it's such a hard wood.
  2. Round string lights, I got mine from Target, it's a string of 25 lights, so I had to make sure that 25 lights would make sense on the word I chose, so keep that in mind!
  3. Hanging hardware


  1. Jig saw
  2. Router
  3. Drill
  4. File
  5. Sandpaper
  6. Staple Gun


  1. Print out your word to scale and lay it out on the wood, trace with pencil.
  2. Rough cut with a jig saw or band saw. I rough cut it first, then went back in to get closer
  3. Use a rough file to clean up the edges
  4. Using a router, round top edges
  5. Go back in with a finer file and sand paper to finish out all the edges, the router usually can't get in the tight corners. 
  6. Drill holes for the lights. On the lights that I bought, there was a little clip on each one, I broke that off so that they would be round and fit into the holes I drilled perfectly.
  7. Take out bulbs, insert all the light sockets into the holes.
  8. Attach hanging hardware, measure up from the bottom so that it hangs level, I put mine on the H and L
  9. Staple down all the wires so that they are hidden when you hang the sign
  10. Screw in all the light bulbs
  11. Hang it up and enjoy! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Unique Engagement Rings

1. Oval Antique Ring   2.    3. Bario Neal Asymmetrical Ring   4. Round Antique Ring 
5. Rose Gold Custom Ring   6. Cushion Cut Small Diamonds

I'm all about gold engagement rings at the moment. When I got engaged 4 years ago, the gold trend was just in the beginning phases. Now, it has started to take off. I love gold in the vintage, classic and modern styles. They just feel lovely and classic. So maybe thing twice before you get the ever popular platinum ring, give gold a chance!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hand Lettering: Sink or Swim

 I can't believe it's almost the end of October. I'm trying to get in all the projects that I need to be able to do outdoors or have the windows open for before it gets too cold! I'm dreading the coming winter and the fact daylight savings is almost upon us! I HATE turning the clocks back, loosing those daylight hours makes me feel like I'm loosing valuable working time! Also, walking the dogs in ther evening is 100% not fun to do when it's dark! Plus, theres something about dark evenings that make it harder it be productive when all i want to do is curl up under a blanket and read a book! That being said, it's sink or swim and I guess I am just going to have to deal with it like we do EVERY year. Blech. So, I will be enjoying every hour of sunlight and warmth before the winter is truly upon us!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Custom Wedding Place Cards and Log Holders

These are the custom place cards and holders I made for Elaine and Steve's wedding last month. (Some of the other elements can be seen here: invitationsdesign processsave the dates, guidebooks, confetti bags, and favors). We incorporated birch design elements into many places in their wedding, and these custom place card holders were another great opportunity to use birch. I made sure to cut the perfect amount of slots for all of their place cards, and we placed them on a bed of moss for a little extra design detail. We used this lovely wood grain embossed paper, and used the same design language that we had developed in all their other paper goods. One of the extra details I like to include on the place cards are the dinner choices on the back of the cards to make life easier for the servers, as very few people actually remember which box they checked on their RSVPs!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lovely Curtain Tie Backs

1. Feather   2. Agate   3. Rope   4. Dog   5. Gem   6. Hook and Rope

I've been thinking about making new curtains for our bedroom, and with new curtains comes new tie backs. Though tie backs can some times feel dated, there are some great fresh and modern options out there. These are some of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DIY Drawer Knobs

 Oh Ikea Epedit shelves, how I love you. I have two Expedit bookshelves from Ikea in our dining room/ office and they are amazing. When we moved into our house, I knew that I would be using our dining room as my office. Since I'm pretty much almost always working,  I wanted my office to be in the center of things instead of being closed off in one of our extra bedrooms. So, when designing that room it needed to be easily converted from office to dining room and back again for the handful of times a year that we would actually need it to function as a dining room. Hence the Ikea Shelves, they are clean, and you can add in cabinets and drawers if you don't want open shelving. They are great for hiding all my Wouldn't it be Lovely supplies and also function as a banquet when we are using it as a dining room. So that's what I did, but I wanted something a little more unique for the drawer pulls. 

Which leads me to this weeks DIY project. Since I needed 20 knobs total, it basically ruled out buying special knobs from Anthro as they run about $8-15 each and there was no way in hell I was going to spend $160-$300 on knobs! So I bought some little round wood knobs on Amazon, got some olive colored spray paint from Michaels, pulled out some left over gold spray paint from the basement, and found the painters tape and I was good to go. Total cost, about $45.  

  1. Tape all the knobs at an angle with the painters tape
  2. Paint with the first color (olive)
  3. Let them dry and take off the tape
  4. Repeat the process, taping off a different area and spray paint the second color (gold)
  5. Once dry and tape is removed, use an exacto blade to scrape off any of the paint that leaked under the painters tape
  6. Coat with clear shellac spray paint, do at least two coats for a nice shiny finish. Let dry over night.
  7. Screw onto your dresser and you're good to go!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Wedding Details

1. Hay Bail Decor   2. Leaf Placecards   3. Apple Cup Drinks   4. Beautiful Bouquet
5.  Open Layer Apple Cake   6. Lakeside Wedding Invitation Suite

It's finally really and truly fall! It always seems like the majority of weddings take place in the spring and summer even thought f all weddings have so many great aspects! Cooler weather, the chance to use apples and pumpkins as decor, and the foliage, what a wonderful backdrop! I love the idea of a fall wedding with a deep aubergine and bright red color pallet, serving hot apple cider in cored out apple cups, to wash down a delicious apple cake! Sounds like a dream to me!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hand Lettering: "Don't Hate What You Don't Understand"

I saw an old pic of John Lennon and Yoko Ono holding up a sigh that said "Don't hate what you don't understand." There are always haters out there, and some people will always be afraid of change, or things that are different. So I guess I'm just saying, don't be that person.

On a less serious note, I've got some fun projects in the works for this weekend! All things that I'm getting SUPER excited about! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wedding Guidebook for the Guests

It's time to start showing off all the bits and pieces I designed for Elaine and Steve's Wedding! Their wedding was September 28th, and thought I revealed some of the elements before their wedding (invitations, design process, save the dates, confetti bags, and favors,) I wanted to save some of the elements until after the big reveal on their wedding day. I'll be sharing these other elements with you every Thursday over the next month!

One of my favorite projects was the "Guest Guidebook." We wanted the guests to all feel like family, because thats how the Bride and Groom felt about them. To do that, we wrote a couple sentences about each person attending the wedding, arranged them by table, and included them in this book placed at each seat. Also in the guidebook was the dinner menu, a map of the room, a personal message from the bride and groom, a not remembering family members who had passed away, and information about the wedding after party! It was a big undertaking, but was such a hit, it gave guests a little insight to their table mates as well as something to read while waiting for the bridal party to make their grand entrance. I would recommend a "Guest Guidebook" to any couple planning their wedding!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cute Nooks & Crannies

I've always had a thing for little nooks and crannies in homes. I have this dream of blowing out the ceilings in our kitchen/living/dining room areas and making it one big open concept with vaulted ceilings and then building in little extra lofted areas for reading, or gaming, or napping. Something about climbing a latter to a little area is ridiculously appealing. We'd have to rig some crazy basket pulley system to haul Lincoln up there for snuggle time, poor Truman would be out of luck though, I don't think I could convinceour 165lb mastiff that getting in a basket would be a good idea!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY Vintage Rolling Wood Crates

In our living room, under the book shelves I made, I had stacks of books. It didn't bother me much in the beginning, but it was starting to feel visually cluttered, so I started looking for nice storage to use there. I couldn't find anything affordable that was striking my fancy so decided to DIY it when I found these great vintage wood crates at a local antique store. One of them was in pretty good shape as you can see from the first picture, but I needed to make the other two match. I also wanted to add little casters so that the would be easier to use and wouldn't scratch the floors. It was a pretty simple project, the whole thing probably took about two hours. The full how two is below:


  1. Vintage Wood Crates
  2. Clear Satin Finish Polyurethane
  3. Paintbrush
  4. Brass Casters (I got mine from Amazon)
  5. Metal Brush (go with softer bristles so it doesn't gouge the wood_
  6. Sand Paper (heavy and finer grains)
  7. Hammer


  1. Use the metal brush to get as much rust off the metal as possible
  2. Hammer in any loose nails or bowing metal pieces
  3. Lightly sand the surface by hand, you don't want to take off any of the painted logo
  4. Use the heavier sand paper to take off any hard edges on the top
  5. Wipe down the entire box with a damp towel
  6. Once it's dry, paint a coat of clear polyurethane over the entire crate. After it dries, see how it looks and do another if you think it's needed
  7. Place the casters on the bottom where you'd like them to be, mark the holes with a pencil
  8. Screw pilot holes 
  9. Screw in casters
  10. You're done!  

 This is the before and after of the shelf with the crates, looks so much cleaner!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hand Lettering: "You & Me & the Dogs"

It's a long weekend! Woo hoo! The hubby is done with traveling for the next month, I took two nights to relax this week and we're headed to the cape for the next two days! I feel infinitely better than I did last week. So this weekend, we're going to take the dogs to the beach, I'm going to work on some fun projects and make sure to make time for down time! Have a great weekend and Monday off if you're lucky enough to have it! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Custom Watercolor Wedding Contract

This custom designed wedding contract just went out in the mail to a couple from Texas getting married on the 19th. The bride contacted me after deciding that they wanted to have something they could sign on their wedding day and keep as a piece of art. We talked about all the different elements of her upcoming wedding, the general feeling, and the most memorable parts of their reception site. After seeing some pictures, we decided to focus on the tree they would be married in front of, and the string lights that are a focal point of the reception area. I sketched and then painted the lights and the tree and played with a couple different lay outs, color, and font options. After some talk and edits, we finally decided on the one you see here. It all came together to be a lovely piece of art to commemorate their wedding day!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Floral Art

 1. Leaf Art   2. Painted Leaves   3. 3D Flower Art   4&5. Exploded flower art

Time for some more art ideas for your walls! With summer ending and the days getting cooler, I'm already dreading winter and feeling nostalgic for spring! That being said, I'm loving these floral based pieces. The exploded flowers are pure genius, and probably something that could be achieved in a DIY project!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Mini Bunt Cakes!

It's fall! which means it's time for pumpkin flavored goodies! I made these pumpkin bunt cakes this weekend and they were DELISH! A little plus, pumpkin cake always seems more like a muffin or bread to me, so it is totally allowed to have one for breakfast! The full recipe and directions are shown in the photo above. For the topping, I made a simple vanilla glaze which I made even better with a bit of cinnamon!

Wisk together 1C confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2tbs unsalted butter, 2tbs milk, and 1tsp vanilla extract. I added about 1/2tsp cinnamon to give it that extra warm fall flavor!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Using Salt & Pepper Shakers as Your Cake Topper

1. Hippos $40   2. Peas in a Pod $22   3. Owls $14   4. XO $50   5. Mr. & Mrs. Muse $48   6. Cats $8

After writing the post on creative cake toppers a couple weeks ago,  I started thinking about salt and pepper shakers as cake toppers. There are so many cute designs out there and they can be so much more affordable than buying something specifically labeled as a "cake topper". And really, none of your guests will be looking close enough to see the little holes on top! So save some money and get creative!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thank God it's Friday!

Yeah, it was just one of those weeks! I am just SO VERY GLAD it's Friday! "Thank God it's Friday" just wasn't a strong enough sentiment this week. The past month has been nuts, I hurt my back (which sadly is not healing at a pace I'm happy with) had TONS of work, basically every hour of ever day was full, and the hubby was traveling for work quite a bit, so by the time this week rolled around, I was loosing it! Now, for the time being, I actually have a few weeks of relative calm on the wedding and event front! Which means I can finally document all the work I've been doing the past month, catch up on my home DIY projects, send out some past projects for submission to magazines and other blogs, do some fun little wedding projects and maybe even have time to cook and eat a real meal! Hurrah! I am planning to SLEEP in tomorrow! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Custom Wedding Vow Art

Sometimes it's after your wedding that you think of little things you want to commemorate the day. I recently finished turning a lovely couples wedding vows into art. Jen and Dan wrote their own vows for their wedding day. They had such lovely and unique vows, that they wanted to put them on display. So that every day they could be reminded of the wonderful promises they made to one another.

When designing their vows, I drew inspiration from their wedding colors and general vintage feel. I painted these lavender and blue lace watercolor backgrounds. Then, I worked with the couple to pull out the most important words and phrases in their vows and illustrated them in hand done calligraphy. Then we filled in the rest of the vows with a clean and modern contrasting font. That way, when people walk by, the most important and meaningful parts of their vows literally pop off the page. It was so great working with them to create a meaningful piece art that will be in their home forever!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Industrial Style Lighting

 To follow up last weeks post on industrial styled products, I wanted to make a post for industrial styled lighting! These are some many amazing options, and who doesn't love Edison light bulbs!

1. Red Fabric Light Cord $49   2. Metal Spheres Chandelier $129   3. Bell Jar Lamp $155  
4. Multi Bulb Chandelier $290   5. Chicken Wire Pendant $189   6. Pipe Light $175

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ottoman Transformation

My friend Dana moved into her new house not long after Chris and I moved into ours. Like many new home owners, she wanted a new look but couldn't afford all new furniture. She had an ottoman style coffee table that she had purchased from Target for her first apartment a couple of years before. When designing her new room and color pallet, she realized that the brown leather ottoman while having good features such as comfort and storage, really didn't fit the new aesthetic. This is where I came in!

She gave me a call, I took a look, and determined it would be a pretty simple reupholstery project. Typically, the cleaner the lines, and the less complimented designs are easier to to transform. We went right to the fabric store and picked out a heavy printed canvas. To save money and time, we decided not to tear the existing ottoman apart. We disassembled the whole thing, taking off the feet and top pieces. Then I sewed a basic box shaped piece of fabric, measuring carefully to be sure the seams would lay in the corners. Then we slid it over the existing leather, and using a heavy duty staple gun, stapled it into place. Then we cut pieces for the top, leaving plenty of extra to wrap to the undersides, making sure to fold the corners nicely. Then, all that was left was to screw the top pieces and feet back on and we were all done! A little bit of elbow greece, about $30 of fabric, and we were able to transform her old ottoman into a perfect compliment to the rest of the room!