Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Treehouse" lantern - gold leafing DIY

I've had my eye on this lantern for years.  I don't even remember where I first spotted her, but it was absolutely love at first site.  

I think I very briefly mentioned that we added a tiny addition (literally only 140 sq to come, promise) and I really dreamed of hanging her in the new office / upstairs sitting room (affectionately called the "treehouse" now), however, I couldn't swing the pricetag.  So, I had to settle for recreating the look myself for less.

I found this Chelsea House light at South and snagged it during their sale.  I loved the lines of it and the option to have glass or not (right now we are going with no glass...who wants to clean that?!).

To make it look as similar as possible to my light crush I decided to gold leaf all the parts that were white and use a blue gloss paint (left over from highchair project) to the areas that were green.

I got all my gold leafing supplies locally at Jerry's Artarama.

First step - using the Mona Lisa Red Base Coat

Next, paint the sizing adhesive (Mona Lisa Gold Leaf Sizing is what I used) and very carefully sticking pieces of the tissue thin gold leaf to it once it becomes tacky (~15 minutes).  

This is a tedious process and a mess!!  I do think the result is worth it though!

After ~30 minutes I took a wad of paper towels and gently rubbed all over to smooth it out.  Flakes will come off and if it's more than you want, you simply repeat the process of adding adhesive and more gold leaf and then buffing again.  I wanted some of the red undercoat to show through to give it a slightly aged look.

It went from day to night, many times because this was a very time consuming project I did over several weekends and weekday nights...  The small lines of the light and curves made it more tedious than some projects.

I finally finished it just in time for the electrician to hang it for me (the exterior painters were outside working away while I painted, hence the covered windows!).

It's no Urban Electric Co. Hamilton, but overall I'm happy with the end result - it's a great size for the room and achieves a similar look for less.  I'll still pine away for the Hamilton for somewhere downstairs!

Hanging in the new treehouse!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

View out back

When we bought our house in 2012 the backyard was a mess.  I honestly forgot how bad it really was until I went and dug up these pictures tonight.  How did I ever convince Josh to buy this house?!  The previous owner's landscaping plan was pretty much an acorn fell, a tree grew.  He also had dog kennels with concrete under them and lots of buried treasures - every time Josh plants something it turns into an excavation.  Always an adventure and surprise!

Let's take a walk down memory lane to remind you where we started in 2012.  It was U-G-L-Y.  No wonder our neighbors kids' referred to it as the "haunted house."

The garage (previously hobby shop) structure isn't even the same color as the house.

Josh (with some help from me) has really been the mastermind in transforming our yard into a place we love to hang out as a family and entertain friends.  It's literally taken us years to come this far and it's a never ending project.

These are from this summer.  We have another small reno project going on right now that has our yard a big mess!

The grass is much greener and healthier now & we've added some additional shrubs, but you can still see the huge improvement!

Thankfully Josh has a very good helper in the yard these days. Someone loves mowing alongside his daddy.  So sweet

More to come on the current (TINY!) renovation going on...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's a....

Just as suspected.  Charles is still stunned, but we are thrilled with the news.

I haven't forgotten about my sweet first girl, Olivia - she was horrified by the balloons and hiding under my bed and was even less cooperative than Charles with the picture :)


Monday, September 21, 2015

Nursery Round 2

That's right, we are officially expecting Baby Otto #2.  I'm still a bit shocked, but he/she should be arriving sometime late February - early March.  We will find out the gender officially at the doctor next week, but right now I'm thinking it's another boy.  Either way, I'm moving some of Charles' decorative stuff (the giraffe painting my dad did and other jungle animal accessories) so I'm thinking a subtle dog theme for #2 regardless of gender.

What do you think?  




Friday, August 28, 2015

Family heirloom rocker facelift

When Josh spotted this chair in our garage he informed me it "looked homeless."  It was actually my great-grandfather's and something my parents smartly saved.  After a lot of TLC it will live in Bailey's nursery in Richmond.

I love the goose neck arms - so unique.

I wanted to surprise Bailey and have it painted and upholstered so she could take back when she came to visit in August (she thought that SHE would be painting it herself this weekend, so she was pleasantly surprised!).  This chair was basically drinking up the paint as soon as I put it on and took a ton of coats.  Two days of working on it while C was taking afternoon naps and it was ready to be sent to my sweet upholsterer.

I didn't take the best "after" pictures, but you get the idea.  I got her the same fabric as my dining room chairs - the nubby gray should hold up nicely in a nursery.  Charles was happy to test out the rocking!

I personally think it turned out really well - it's different from a glider, a compact size and has special family meaning.  Looks great in her nursery.

Progress shot...


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mom's 60th bday....2 months late!

I didn't intentionally give up on this blog, but I really haven't had anything that exciting or meaningful to write about.  However, in keeping with the party theme, I have to share my mom's 60th birthday that we hosted for her at my house 2 long months ago (sorry, mom!!).  It really was a gorgeous and wonderful night spent with my family.

I promise to be back soon with some DIY furniture projects and more updates around my house.

I hung purple and gold lanterns with fishing line from the ceiling (ordered from Oriental trading company).  I printed more "through the decades pictures," but no birthday hats on this this time.  

If It's Paper in Raleigh was my go-to place for a lot of the supplies.  The "placemats" are actually thick wrapping paper that comes in two sheets that I cut in half.  It worked perfectly!  The ribbon bow "napkin rings", placecards, cocktail napkins, sparkler candles were from there as well.

The best parents in the world

Delicious summer cocktail - muddled lime, cucumber, mint with soda water, vodka and splash of simple syrup.  Refreshing!
Bailey miraculously made delicious almond macaroons she dyed purple and put a gold 60 to stay on theme.  The birthday dessert was a chocolate wafer / whip cream / peanut butter delicious dessert.  


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Charles is ONE!

Charles turned one on March 24 and we celebrated with some family and friends last Saturday at our house.  In some ways it feels like he's been around 5 years and in other ways it seems like I was just pregnant.  I decided to go with a "party animal" theme - lots of animals and party hats!  

Special thanks to my mom and Bailey for all of their help getting ready for the party.  I was in NYC for the 3 days leading up to his birthday and could not have pulled it off without them.

Picture overload time.

Invitations - I ordered the Caspari Party Animal directly from Caspari and then designed and printed out the text at home - easy and cost efficient.

My sweet mom made the cakes for me (funfetti!).  I made the little bunting banners quickly in powerpoint and printed out on cardstock and glued to grilling skewers :)  I ordered all the animals off Amazon & the little party hats for the animals off Etsy - see specific links & sources for everything at bottom.

Favors - I saved his baby food jars, stripped the labels (quite the pain!), spray painted the lids and spray painted mini animals to create a fun and festive treat for the guests to take home.

I found these cute and free hats online (signature party hats at Caravan Shop) that were perfect - different animals in black and white wearing colorful party hats.  I printed them out on cardstock and Bailey made the yarn pom pom that we hot glued onto the tops.

Olivia was so thrilled to be modeling one for us...

Someone was NOT a fan of everyone staring at him in his highchair.

We moved his highchair out into the backyard a bit away from everyone and he was a little more curious.

Someone wanted his cake...

The man of the hour with his adoring grandparents

Our dear friends, Liz & Jack, gave him the cutest Ray Ban juniors.  Josh was jealous of them!

Charles - we love you so much and are so proud of the little boy you are becoming!

One more of the animals in party hats bc I can't stand how cute they are.  I think I'll put them on the bookcase in his room with the hats for a little, but then strip the hats and let him play with them as he gets older and is more interested in them.  All except the tiger (which I just realized along with the giraffe is not pictured) are darling and very realistic -- the tiger is a crazy neon.