Monday, October 20, 2014

home: sunny fall mantel

In the mid-1990s when I started growing out of girlish things, I took to sunflowers - wallpaper, bedding, bags, towels, shirts. Over time, I grew up (a little) and moved on to college where this love of sunflower definitely did not follow.

And that was the end of my infatuation with sunflowers.

Then I started brainstorming for our fall mantel and the only thing really calling to me at the flower mart was the sunflower - the clean, bright flower that once took over my little teenage life. It didn't take much this year as I walked around the house pulling together different pieces, but the addition of the sunflower can't stop me from smiling every time I walk by ...

The jersey girls are on temporary assignment on the mantel for their warm, fall colors, and only during this time of year can I really enjoy my yard-sale-find candlesticks.

This vase is a simple can with twine wrapped around for a truly rustic look. I would love to take credit for this DIY project but this was a Bloom That container from a special flower delivery.

The result is a simple Fall mantel that will live through the season that has little pieces of our home and really no dollars to recreate.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

celebrate: totally rad 40th birthday party

My brother's long-term girlfriend was knocking on the door of her 40th birthday and she picked the best theme for any party - a totally awesome 80s party complete with only 80s music and a dress up requirement! The Joan Jett birthday girl danced late into the night with her friends and family, while I was able to finally put together a party that involved bright streamers, Rubik's cubes and shutter shade glasses!

Tables were easily decorated with overlapping bright plastic tablecloths, double sided Ikea frames that held movie posters from the most popular of 80s movies, and shutter shade glasses for guests.

I made the Rubik's cube stands from standard square boxes that I painted black and glued paper squares. The cupcakes and cake were homemade, while the straws in the cupcake were from striped straws cut into three pieces per straw.

And finally the most space went to the much used dance floor. The facility we used had a projector and Top Gun played against a wall the entire time while the DJ kept the crowd moving, and this colorful ceiling topped off the festive party!

In the planning process, I created a Pinterest board appropriately for this theme that you should visit while planning your 1980s party! The board is complete with products I ordered on Amazon and free downloads!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

craft: diy fall watercolor art

Welcome Fall. We welcome you with open arms and an abundance of pumpkins! The season starts with this DIY that has been on the to do list for some time. I started water coloring recently in my continued commitment to make all of my gifts to family and friends, and it's such a fun and beautiful craft. The four sisters in the living room needed a seasonal makeover and this craft project was perfect for the space.

If you have the Silhouette or similar machine, create your shapes/design with vinyl. Place it on watercolor paper (I use Artist's Loft Watercolor Pad 140 lb) and watercolor inside or outside of the vinyl shapes (I use Reeves water colour paints). In my project, I used both vinyl pieces.

Let it dry (at least 1 hour) and then pull back the vinyl.

The final outcome is perfectly painted shapes with beautiful watercolor! This is such an easy project to create with kids or for wedding table numbers (I'm just waiting for someone to ask!).

Monday, September 22, 2014

wedding: Whitney & Luke

I'm back catching up on wedding posts from earlier this year and I have a special story today. Whitney and Luke became friends by ways of a mutual friend after they decided they needed a little support to manage their wedding day. As the date approached, we managed a few personal changes that ultimately resulted in a private ceremony that led to the larger reception. I loved working with this couple - the energy and love that came from planning and ultimately, the wedding day, will be one that I will remember forever.

See more of these beautiful shots here.

Ceremony Location: Tilden Park | Reception Venue: Brazilian Room at Tilden Park | Photography by Bergreen Photography | Floral by Hawthorn Flower Studio | Pies by Susie Cakes | Music by Fog City EntertainmentCatering by Culinary Excellence Day of Coordinator: Debbie Cotton Celebrates

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

home: kitchen renovation phase 4

We've come a long way with the kitchen renovation and we finished a lot since our last post over a month ago. The beauty of doing it yourself - the projects need to fit in with your normally hectic life! Here's what we've accomplished on the homefront:

- all cabinets and hardware installed; we do need to order different doors for a 12 inch cabinet.
- crown molding and baseboards have been installed but not finished.
- counters are in ... jumping for joy!
- all appliances are connected and working.
- plumbing is connected - that means full running water!

There is one clear component in the above picture that does not match the inspiration board I shared last month. After looking at counter options at Granite Expo, I fell in love with this dark slate quartz. It looks so much like concrete counters but without the hassle and with some shine. We also decided on a stainless steel sink that went under the counter.

The hardware was installed and looks exactly the way I had imagined it would look in this space!

When we first pushed the dishwasher into this space, it was a bit smaller than the width of the opening. My brother used cabinet panels that you can purchase separately and created a 'frame' for the dishwasher. You can barely tell that it's not a custom cabinet.

And here is where we sit - a perfectly functioning kitchen with everything in its place. We still have to sand down the crown molding and baseboards, install floating shelves around the window and a wooden window ledge, and install the backsplash. But at this point, we can stop using the bathroom to wash dishes and have meals again!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

celebrate: sprinkled with love

My girlfriends are my biggest fans and there is nothing more exciting when one calls and asks you to just go ahead and make something. AC is one of my best customers and always trusts me to sprinkle her creative events with a little customization.

For this baby shower, I created one of my favorite banners - a gender neutral paper banner that had rain drops hanging from the tips and read 'Sprinkled with Love'. 

But don't give me all of the credit - look at how cute these sprinkle-rimmed glasses are that she put together! They go great with the sprinkled donuts!! You continue to inspire all of us with your hosting, Miss AC!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

home: kitchen renovation phase 3

Longest two months ever! But we're getting there with a lot of sweat and patience. Mostly my brother's sweat and patience, and my tears. While we slowly get through the steps, I'm psyching myself up by creating an inspiration board, something I should have created before phase 1. This should help all of us look forward to the finished product.

Ok. Let's get back to the update.

After getting the walls up, I ordered the cabinets from Home Depot (Hampton Bay Shaker design) and waited a long three weeks for the arrival. Once the joint compound and paper tape were added, there was a lot of sanding (and dust) for a smooth finish.

Then the cabinets went in one at a time and very carefully. After the first day, four upper cabinets were completed, and then a second day finished the installation.

Until one measurement didn't cut it.

As you can see from my drawing, when the dishwasher goes in, the cabinet door and drawer will be useless because the dishwasher will be covering them. And that just sucks.

So the best solution is to replace the three drawer cabinet (and my dream of three beautiful deep drawers) with a 12" cabinet and pull the blind cabinet over 6 inches. Home Depot was awesome and let me take home one of the stock cabinets and will order the custom fronts, that way we're not delayed.

In the meantime, I have a few wedding posts up my sleeve to keep you occupied before bringing you phase 4 ... stay tuned!