Yard to Table // Making your own flower + greenery arrangements from the yard

I've probably mentioned this a thousand times by now, but my mom is the queen of making what she has work. Her latest bent has revolved around pulling greenery from her yard and using it around the house. Sounds simple. And potentially unimpressive, right?

Soooo not the case. She was just in town for Rosie's 1st birthday and had fresh little arrangements from the yard sprinkled around my house by the time she left. So I asked her how she did it?! Lets be honest - I don't see ANY potential when I look at my front yard and yet, she threw together simple, fresh and cheerful little arrangements in, like, a minute! So what does she look for? How does she concoct her petite bouquets? She came back to me with her top tips for crafting arrangements from the yard:

  A sampling of the arrangements she has pulled together from our yards!

A sampling of the arrangements she has pulled together from our yards!

Mom's tips for creating arrangements from the yard:

  • Look for firm leaves, interesting structure and varied color. Buds, blooms and berries are always wonderful! 
  • I'm drawn to using a bunch of one thing in an arrangement - like a large bundle of branches, or a hearty handful of leaves in a jar.
  • Don't be afraid to put the smallest stem or single leaf in a tiny little bottle or bud vase. It's the perfect way to spruce up your sink or nightstand, especially when you're expecting overnight guests.
  • Teeny tiny arrangements made up of a few buds and greenery make for a great "pick me up" for a friend. The tinier the better. Everyone needs a little happy sometimes. 
  • Speaking of friends - if you are at a friends house and see something interesting, don't shy away from asking for a small cutting.  Chances are your friend won't miss a small branch or a handful of leaves. 
  • Scavenge your cabinets for pitchers, jars and tiny votives. I hardly ever use a classic vase.
  • Before having guests over, have a trial run with your pickings from the yard. Some wilt more quickly the others - you'd rather they wilt for you the day before then when your guests are arriving!

I'll will be capitalizing on these tips the next time we host a dinner part or get together at the house. Fresh arrangements always brighten up a home - and they don't have to cost you a thing! Head out to the yard (or the sidewalk, you New York folk) and start trimming!

Thanks Mom! 

One Fabric - 5 WAYS!

I'm always more inclined to do a project around the house when I have the proper supplies already in place. Having scrap fabric is one of my staple supplies. But not just any fabric. IKEA fabric :) This to be exact -

I have a longtime love of IKEA and many of there products. It started 20 years ago on family road trips from Dallas to Houston. I remember begging my parents for one of those loft beds staged in one of the 750 square foot mock apartments. Who would have thought this would have been foreshadowing of my 7 years in New York. Never needed the IKEA loft bed, but the Brooklyn store sure became a staple for me while I lived there! I also had the unique opportunity to produce a handful of IKEA photo shoots, as they were one of the clients I worked on while I was at Ogilvy. Needless to say - I love IKEA, but REALLY love this fabric they carry!

It's heavy and hearty and looks way more expensive then $7.99 a yard. I originally bought it to use as a table cloth for a baby shower. The stripes where sharp and striking. I wrote about that shower here. But since then I have used it in countless other ways. This fabric can do wonders! 

From the top left moving clockwise: Simple Sink Skirt (materials: hot glue gun and pinking shears) // Table runner // DIY Bunting // Table Cloth // Beer Box Liner

And just for kicks, I'll throw in a 6th way to use this great fabric - as a photo booth backdrop!

 This was taken about a week before I had Rosie! 

This was taken about a week before I had Rosie! 

Go getchyourself some of that fabric! 

Q Women + DIY Part 3

If you're new to this series, you can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2!

Now, lets get to the DIY! Just to recap, I was tasked with coming up with a project that would act as the Q Women centerpieces for 50 tables as well as an actual DIY that over 300 women could complete. It had to be something simple but substantial and CHEAP. 

Brooklyn Boy helped me brainstorm and we landed on Puff Paint Vases. Sounds a little tacky/crafty doesn't it? Turns out, if you pick a simple modern design, your final product will look FAR from tacky! Lets jump in to our 3 step / 3 supply DIY:

You'll need 3 craft supplies: 

  • puff paint (can be found in the T-Shirt design section of any craft store. Any color will work because you'll ultimately spray paint over it.)
  • clear glass vase (could be a bowl, vase, votive, etc. whatever you have on hand)
  • spray paint (we used my favorite - Krylon's Gold Metallic. It is AMAZING.)

Lets get to it! 

Step 1: Choose your vase. We used round bubble ball vases for the centerpieces.

Step 2: Choose a simple pattern to carefully (but quickly, because you don't want to over think it or be too precious) cover the vase with in puff paint. Keep in mind, the puff paint can be any color, you will ultimately cover it with spray paint. Here are two examples! 

 The key with these vases is to pick one pattern and evenly cover. Repetition creates the look of intentionality! 

The key with these vases is to pick one pattern and evenly cover. Repetition creates the look of intentionality! 

 The puff paint can take up to 4 hours to dry.

The puff paint can take up to 4 hours to dry.

Step 3: Once the puff paint is completely dry, evenly spray the vase with thin layers of spray paint. Make sure you're in a well ventilated area and have a good surface to spray on (i.e. a cardboard box or drop cloth). I used gold for our centerpieces, but you could use any color of your liking. Here's what the spray paint process looked like: 

This project is super easy and fairly fool proof. I loved the final result, especially once I started experimenting with different puff paint patterns. One of the great things about this DIY is it's versatility. You could easily apply the same puff paint + spray paint combination to a Christmas ornament, decanter, pitcher, etc. So many possibilities!

Once we puff painted + spray painted all 50 vases, we loaded them with flowers and placed them throughout the venue. All flowers and bubble vases were sourced from Roy Houff Wholesale flowers in Nashville - affordable supplies, really kind staff for all you Nashville people! Smaller glass votives were purchased from the Pete Garcia company.

I had a ball putting the DIY together and loved the opportunity to talk to the Q ladies about why we love DIY. Remember, DIY Challenges us to use what we have, guarantees a perfectly imperfect result and gives us the opportunity to try something new!

 

Confession.

I love to paint.

My painting major from college has since morphed into re-doing furniture which has in turn, become a steady stream of diy's & decorating.  I'm currently at home with the babe and occasionally find myself with an hour that isn't filled with life admin or baby tasks. So, rather then showering (overrated) I've found myself painting. Nothing fancy, just using bright acrylics and some tear off canvas sheets. Here's what my process has looked like lately -

 Make do with what you have! Tupperware will work just find for a palette.

Make do with what you have! Tupperware will work just find for a palette.

 I usually have a pad of perforated canvas on hand. It's reasonably priced from the craft store and comes in handy when you have a frame to fill.

I usually have a pad of perforated canvas on hand. It's reasonably priced from the craft store and comes in handy when you have a frame to fill.

  The lady in the frame is sure enjoying her walk on the beach.   I should have loaded up on these before I left Brooklyn. The dollar store (where everything is over $2) down the street had cheap gold frames. They had sharp angled ones that looked modern and awesome. The one above is a little beveled for my taste, but will do just fine. 

The lady in the frame is sure enjoying her walk on the beach.

I should have loaded up on these before I left Brooklyn. The dollar store (where everything is over $2) down the street had cheap gold frames. They had sharp angled ones that looked modern and awesome. The one above is a little beveled for my taste, but will do just fine. 

 I trimmed some branches from the backyard, shoved them in a mason jar and did a quick / rough still life. 

I trimmed some branches from the backyard, shoved them in a mason jar and did a quick / rough still life. 

 And then framed it. 

And then framed it. 

I can't get enough of these quick paintings! They are so therapeutic.  I just finished a massive floral using a street merch canvas I found in Brooklyn and even did a matching mini for Rosie's room. I'll share more in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you a peek! 

HGTV Celebrity Holiday Home Recap

Disclaimer: My pictures of the space are somewhat average and not retouched. But they do give you a better idea of the space! Here's to real life! 

This post is soooo overdue. We produced the project in September and it aired on HGTV in December and it's . . . . March 6th. Whoops! Anyways, a long long time ago, I was chosen to be a designer on HGTV's Celebrity Holiday Home show. DREAM JOB. I love working with HGTV, they know production and the project was taking place in New York. Magic! I was paired with Celebrity Kathy Najimy, from Sister Act & Hocus Pocus (my two favorites!) among many others

 The assignment was to refresh Kathy's living room, dining room and terrace for the holidays! It's a pretty funny commission in the middle of September when it's 75 degrees out, but hey, you make it work :) For the installation of the space, I brought in my mom, Brooklyn Boy and good friend Billy to help as my team. I could NOT have done the project without them. Having the right team is so crucial - my team spoke my language and knew when to take initiative and when to involve me.  Really, could not have done it without them.

As I'm typing this out, I'm trying to think of the interesting details to share - the fly on the wall details. How about bullet points for this -

  • I had a $3,000 budget to cover ALL decor
  • We filmed 2 days total, from 9 -5 both days.
  • Day 1 was spent: Lugging all of our Holiday goodness into Kathy's apartment. Organizing it. Filming some of the interview segments. Changing back and forth between my 'work' outfit and my 'interview' outfit about a gazillion times. Getting into a grove. Working on the Room.
  • Day 1 evening was spent: Leaving my BAG of wardrobe (most of it borrowed) in the back of a cab. I didn't realize this until we were safely inside my apartment. Which is really the perfect time to realize such a thing. Panic ensued for about an hour because it's stinkin' hard to track down a taxi driver! Thank GOODNESS for moms and Brooklyn Boys. They tracked it down first thing the next morning and everything was fine. 
  • Day 2 was spent: Finishing styling of room. Doing crafts with Kathy (which really should be it's own show). The REVEAL. Watching Kathy have a holiday party in September with her awesome friends. Sitting for the first time in 2 days. Wrap! 
  • TMI Fun Fact: I was 5 weeks pregnant during this production. 
  • The mantle I brought in from Olde Good Things, the Christmas Trees + Wreaths and BOWS were all trade-in's (free use in exchange for a mention on the show) and didn't come out of my budget
  • Kathy Najimy is a show stealer. She is so warm and hospitable and HILARIOUS. She loves her family fiercely and was such a joy to be around.
  • I had countless meetings with the executive production team for the show to discuss my vision for the space, what I was buying, logistics for delivery, etc. We had to manage all sorts of tv production do's and don'ts like NO solid white (washes out on camera), NO small stripes (moire), and MORE shimmer MORE glam!! Very intense stuff, you know :)
  • This project required a lot of schlepping: I did a ton of online shopping, but also went to every HomeGoods and Target within 3 hours of the city. Every winter wonderland element I purchased for the space lived in by basement until the taping. JUST THIS WEEKEND, I got rid of the extra bows I had left over from the show. 

Those are the main details worth sharing, let me know if you have questions on anything! And can I just say thanks to Squarespace for awesome gallery image features so I can post all my pictures in one drop rather then individually? Love that.  I will post the episode on here soon!  Hope you liked the recap!