some artwork…

Abstract Art

ECB’s room has been in need of some art above her crib. Ages ago, I had torn out a page from an Anthropologie catalog featuring some beautiful abstract art:

Priced at $800 and up, it was such a steal, right?! I filed it away under “Interiors and Decorating”, and resolved myself to be ambitious and attempt my own interpretation someday. I didn’t know where in the house I wanted to display my future creation, I just knew I wanted to make it happen eventually.

After racking our brains trying to think of what to put above her crib (a vintage alphabet poster? Something with her name?) a light bulb came on and I decided to do an abstract canvas painting. I thought it would be perfect way to tie in all the greens and blues we’d used to decorate Emmeline’s nursery. I purchased a large canvas at Michaels for about $15 (yay, 40% off coupons), and armed with all the paints (an assortment of latex wall paint and acrylics) and brushes I had, got started. A couple hours later, this is what I had:

I really surprised myself! It was quite intimidating at first, seeing as how I had ZERO experience in this type of art, and really no idea what I was doing! But I just kind of went with it, and it was so. much. fun. And so great re-using all the paints we used in her room!

What a dream to do this as a money-making venture! And I promise to charge a fraction of $800 😉

Other little nursery touches:

My dad gave this to me right after Emmeline was born. He found it at an antique mall before he even knew she was going to be a girl–I guess we were all hopeful! It’s the cover from some sheet music from the 1920’s. It’s just perfect. It came in a not-so-perfect faded blue frame…I had the intention of re-framing it, but instead just painted the wood white to save a few bucks in the meantime.

Sweet little bird hooks…my mom found them on clearance at Jo-Ann’s…they are the perfect complement to the other birdie touches throughout the nursery.

Maryland Print

Because I had so much fun making the bridal shower state prints, I made my brother-in-law a version for his beloved state of Maryland. I printed out a Maryland flag using our new photo printer (it does a pretty great job!) and used that as the paper to cut around the state outline. Instead of a rhinestone heart this time (not very manly), I used a little Natty Boh logo…we both love National Bohemian, and of course, it’s a Baltimore tradition! I was so happy he liked it; it made a great b-day present for his new place in Federal Hill.

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bridal shower

Kate’s bridesmaids and I hosted a lovely shower for her on June 9th at my house.  Thank goodness the weather cooperated, because we’d planned to mingle and dine outside!  The theme of the shower was all the places that Kate (and my family) have lived in growing up…you’ll see touches of this throughout the party. I am just now getting the pictures up…our sister Hannah was kind enough to capture the day with her great camera! It was such a beautiful, special day.  Kate was showered with wonderful gifts and surrounded by dear friends. Here are some of the highlights 🙂

The tablescape:

We rented three 8′ tables and lined them up together.  We used pale pink linens and my mom made the AMAZING chevron runner for the center.  My friend Sarah taught me to make the tissue paper flowers shown here, and we made a zillion in shades of pink, and put them in vases of varying height down the center of the runner.  I found old pictures of Kate from each state we lived in, and printed them for the table.

The bride-to-be’s seat was marked with a gigantic orange flower…we also tied orange in with our napkin bows.  You can find a great tutorial on Martha Stewart Weddings’ website.  Aren’t the polka-dotted napkins so cute?!

Cocktails were served outside…I was dying to try this serving idea I’d seen on Pinterest…pre-mixing drinks and serving them in lidded Mason jars on ice!  My friend Katie supplied the jars, and they were simply T.D.F.  I made “Blushing Brides” (strawberry lemonade + vodka + maraschino cherries…delish and STRONG! ;))

Adorable pink striped straws Hannah found online…

…made for the perfect drink presentation!

We had the food set up inside…the bridesmaids contributed dishes that represented each of the seven states/countries we’ve lived in. 

On the menu:

-tomato, shrimp, and avocado skewers for California

-shrimp and orzo salad for Florida

-country ham and potato salad for Virginia

-sushi for Okinawa

-pulled pork sliders for North Carolina

-Philly cheesesteak rolls for Pennsylvania

-mini crabcakes for Maryland

We designated each dish with a framed state cut out print….Hannah’s idea which I executed.  This project was so much fun!  I transferred the outline of each state onto grey scrapbook paper, cut it out, framed it, and placed a heart rhinestone on the city we lived in.  Here are some close-ups of that project:

Beautiful hydrangeas from my mom’s garden for the dining room centerpiece

The parting gift for guests was a bag of cinnamon-dusted sugar cookies in the shape of Virginia

Me, my mom, Hannah, and Kate 🙂

Can’t wait for July 21st!

dining room chairs

I’ve been rather busy over the past few weeks planning for my sister’s bridal shower, etc…I’ve worked on a handful of projects and will try to post them over the next several days!

One project completed: re-staining our dining room chairs.  We had purchased a new dining room table after moving in, but the chairs are hand-me-downs from my parents.  They were a light pine color, which clashed with the dark walnut-ish stain of the table.  My mom had also helped me cover the chairs when I first moved to Baltimore, which is now almost 5 years ago!  We used a brown geometric pattern with circles–great for then, but they needed a fresh update that would also work with the colors in our dining room.  I opted for a Jonathan Adler-esque orange Greek key fabric, which you’ll see below.  This was only $15/yd at a really cool fabric store in Richmond!

The before pictures:

(close up of old chair with old fabric)

(our dining room–rug was recently purchased from Crate & Barrel for what I think was a great deal considering how pricey rugs can be!)

And after:

(one of the finished chairs with new stain to match table, and new cushion cover!)

I’ll admit, the sanding and applying three coats of stain was not the fun part, but the results were totally worth it!

And I must say, the pics sadly don’t do it justice…I love my camera, but I think I need an SLR for taking better ‘still lifes’!