When I married the love of my life Brian, I wore the most lovely dress, I still think it’s beautiful, but there is a strange practice of women keeping their wedding dresses in sad giant boxes for preservation and I had done just that.
Instead of continuing to keep my dress perfectly pristine in a box I decided I wanted to have a quilt made from my dress for my son Henry. My wedding dress was a symbol of my husband and my love so I took that symbol of love and made it into an heirloom quilt for Henry.
The main satin was used for most of the quilt and the bottom accent was used to create the alternating decorative squares. My friend Jess’ cousin Kim made it for me and I couldn’t be more happy with the design! She’s amazingly talented! I had Henry’s name and birthday embroidered on the center square using the same fonts as his painted canvas in his room and his birth announcement. Gotta love beautiful typography!
As my husband and I have been working for several years lovingly remodeling our 1900 farm house. We had to remove one of the cutest elements of the house. When we purchased it, in the upstairs, you would open a full size linen closet door and at the back of the linen closet was a delightful little door about 4 feet tall with a glass pane. This intriguing little door led into the crawl space that was used for storage and now that room is our addition of a master bedroom, bath and closet.
Though the door could no longer be used in a practical use, we wanted to embrace its charm and use it as a decorative architectural element in the house. We hung it from four cast iron decorative brackets, holding it a few inches from the wall. I then replaced the knob with a gorgeous purple antique glass door knob, that I got for my birthday to tie in with the purple walls and the purple accents in the adjacent spare bathroom, including an antique purple Ball jar. (Though some antique dealers consider it a flaw, I think it’s beautiful). It’s called Sun Purple. When exposed to sunlight, some pieces of clear glass will gradually turn purple over extended periods of time, due to the presence of an element called manganese. I think it has a charming appeal.
If you listen to what they taught you in grade school, reduce, reuse and recycle, that gives you one reason to love this decorating tip, but if you’re like me, you love it because you have an admiration for antique architecture and a respect for the past. Love.
My grandfather gave me several pieces of a tree he had sliced up into beautiful pieces and for several years I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them all. A few I use in centerpieces around my house, but one day it hit me…I could build a beautiful dessert stand! And the idea formed into a plan.
I selected two different sized slices, so one would be smaller then the other. Then I took a trip to Anthropologie to pick out a pretty drawer pull to use as the decorative top. And lastly I needed a pillar of some sort, so a trip to Home Depot was the last stop. With my husband’s expert table-saw skills he helped me rip down the pillar and drill together a two-tier dessert stand for our annual porch party, and future events.
It worked perfectly to display these single serve homemade Butterscotch Budino desserts for our fabulous guests! Yum!
If I had to say what my addiction is I would say “to create”. I love to create. It doesn’t matter what it is, I have a passion to create new things, and I find so much joy in it. And I think it shows in my work. Whether it’s sewing, painting, design, writing or production, I create! My husband and I throw a porch party at our house for our nearest and dearest every year, it has become a beautiful, annual celebration. What better time then a delightful little porch party, to do letterpressed and die-cut invitations!
You might find yourself thinking, well it’s just a little party of friends, they would come whether you did an evite or you did an elaborate handmade invitation. But I am driven by the passion. My dear friends and family would be there no matter what the invitation looked like, but I see it as an opportunity to create something beautiful and I try to grab ahold of every opportunity I can to enjoy life and create something wonderful.
As my husband and I continue the renovations on our beautiful 1900 farm house, we invite our friends into our chaos to enjoy the charm of what we have finished and what is in process. With that farm feel, I continually embrace the rooster as our mascot. With his morning cry to get up and enjoy the sunshine! When I started designing these my passion and inner designer took over. By that I mean I dreamed and I dreamed big, I didn’t limit myself by time, cost or effort, I just set out to create something beautiful that spoke true of our house and spoke true of our love for each other and our friends and family.
I designed a 4 card invitation. That was 3 PMS colors with a common 1 PMS color back, each card being die-cut. Now this is where the realist should have tapped me on the shoulder, just to let me know what I was committing too. 4 Cards x 4 Colors (3+1) + 4 Die-cut (each card) x Number of Invitations = 1500 IMPRESSIONS! Yes, alas, I did not take in account the effort it would take to create these. But the design, paper, colors, texture, hemp rope tie, all equal delight! So was I realistic, NO. Was it worth it, YES! All I can say is embrace life to the fullest, enjoy every single minute and find your passion!
Here are some fabulous examples of newsprint nails I found all over Pinterest. My fabulous and talented niece Sylvia taught me how to transfer typography onto my fingernails. As a designer, I think I nearly exploded into glittery particles I was so excited. All you need is light nail polish, clear nail polish, rubbing alcohol and newspaper or map. Easy breezy. A bit time consuming, and it did take the perfect timing of pressing the paper to the nail before it has to be removed. (I may have had a few failed attempts with paper stuck to my fingers). But I had a lot of fun layer different fonts and playing with the cross word puzzles too!
So ladies, get your type on!
For some reason, I can not explain, I woke up one day and had to make shoes. I saw the pattern for a baby shoe here, darn you Pintrest for leading me astray! And I wanted to see if I could make them. And then I went overboard. After 3 FAILED attempts, I finished five little pairs. So cute! I have to say it was far harder than I thought it would be. Working with such tiny pieces was very complicated, but very gratifying when I was done.
My next stop will be to adapt the pattern into a boys shoe and make tiny shoes for my Henry. As though I needed another hobby? Perhaps no, but it is so fun to DIY!
Sometimes my dad is right, I am a bit “artsy-fartsy” and this is a good example of it. I wanted to paint Henry’s name in a beautiful type. I selected Fenway Park from Veer’s beautiful fonts. I chose five different canvas’ and screwed them together to create one larger abstract canvas. I coated the entire surface and sides of the canvas’ with the same Behr paint that is on the walls in the room to create a subtle dimensional piece of art. Then I painted swirly clouds as a background texture. Finally I hand drew the typography onto the canvas’ and painted them. I’m quite happy with the design and beautiful lettering. A fun DIY for a baby boy’s nursery.
This year for my mom’s birthday, I was inspired to do something personal for her, so she could carry a piece of us with her everywhere she went. I found this beautiful little locket and knew it was just what I was looking for. The hard part was selecting images. But you can’t be a Henry Smile. This was an easy DIY project that is filled with love and very personal.
I love all things old, reused, antique, vintage…no matter how you categorize them. And places like Pottery Barn and Home Decorators and Restoration Hardware all create replicas of these things. Though their work is gorgeous, it is sometimes outside budget so then I have to put on my DIY Hat. I saw this beautiful old, weathered wood window frame with chalkboard panels instead of glass and I was in love, but the price tag was to match. So I went to my collection of old window frames and sorted through them until I found one that was just the right overall size and panel size. If you don’t happen to be an old window hoarder, you can stop at your local antique stores until you find just the right one to fit your design vision. Then I had to have my husband help me with the project.
He sanded and scrapped the old window and removed the old broken glass with a labor of love. I wanted to keep the raw, weathered wood look for my project, but you could also consider painting it vibrant colors or to appear like weathered paint, depending on your vision. I ordered chalk boards off Amazon and he cut them down for me (if you do the wood chalk-paint covered boards, a simple table saw will do, if you invest in actual slate then you’ll need a tile saw). Either path will lead you to a beautiful finished product for a fraction of the price all while actually creating something unique and reusing vintage old windows. The environment thanks you.
I haven’t henna-ed my body in many years and it got me to missing it. So I dug out my old supplies, found some old henna powder and started mixing the paste in the hope that it would still be good and that I could adorn my body once again with its beautiful essence. Henna has been used to adorn young women’s bodies as part of social and holiday celebrations since the late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean.
And I am celebrating life, summer, creativity and growth.