Friday, March 29, 2013

Bonus Friday Post: A Day in the Life of Charley

I just couldn't help but pop in this afternoon to share some beautiful photographs of my little family.  Our close friend (and photographer), Ben, was in town visiting family and friends in the midst of Charley's first birthday.  He took her infant photographs when she was just a week old (which you can check out here), so it was fun having him here a year later to capture moments of our daily lives with Charley. 

This wasn't a photo shoot in any way.  Ben was basically a fly on the wall (albeit a fly with some serious photography skills), capturing all the little moments that pass by without thinking twice about them. Like Charley playing with her toys, enjoying lunch, waking up from a nap, hugging Libby, or welcoming Daddy home from work.  We do those things every day but rarely remember to pull out our camera and document the regular events, and that's exactly what Ben did for us.  I'm over the moon excited that he's adding Documentary Photography to his repertoire.   You can check out lots more A Day in the Life of Charley pics over on Ben's blog.  You'll probably want to grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable, you're gonna want to snoop around a bit.

***If you're in the Chicago area, lucky you because so is Ben Elsass Photography!  Or, if you're in the Cincy/Dayton area, lucky for you, too, because Ben has some (ah hem) great friends and family in the area, so he does photography work here, as well! Pin It

Thrift Shop Basket+Spray Paint+Ribbon=DIY Easter Basket

I went on a quick thrift shop run in search of tea cups for Charley's birthday party.  I didn't find what I was looking for, but I didn't walk out of there empty handed either.  I left spending a whopping $7 and came home with a foot stool, a wooden tray and three baskets.  One of those lucky baskets got an ambush makeover just in time for the Easter Bunny's visit.

I've been loving the paint-dipped look that a lot of baskets have been sporting recently, so that was my plan with this guy.  I taped off a few inches around the bottom of the basket and started painting.  Yes, I was the girl spray painting a basket at 10:00 at night in freezing cold weather .  I'm sure I looked like a crazy person.

Once I did a few coats and left it to dry in the garage, I brought it in and added a sweet floral ribbon using my hot glue gun.

I chose to personalize it with a C for Charley.  I spray painted a wooden C from Michael's using the same pink paint.  Then I traced it onto a green polka dotted gift tag, cut it out, and glued it on to give it a whole new look.  I love the mix of the modern polka dots with shabby chic floral ribbon.

Not bad for a two dollar thrift shop basket, eh?!  Happy Easter! Pin It

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Fabric Banner

Earlier this week I shared some snippets of Charley's tea party themed birthday, and one of those snippets was this fabric banner.  I'm here to give you the low-down on how this (super simple) banner came to be.  If you can cut and tie, this banner is for you!

I used a different fabric as a back drop for Charley's monthly photos, so after a year, I was left with a lot of fabric.  (I totally swiped this idea from Young House Love.)  I knew I wanted to create something special for Charley using all of her fabric and after tossing around the idea of a blanket or a tutu, I settled on a shabby chic looking banner.

First, I gathered all of the fabric and cut eight strips that measured about 2.5 in. x 24 in.  The measurements are really up to you and the look you want to have.

Next, I tied a long ribbon onto two chairs and double knotted each strip onto the ribbon.

Then, you're done.  Easy as that!

I'm hoping to find a special place to reuse Charley's banner.  Possibly in her bedroom or as decoration at her next party.  It's definitely not the last time you'll see it, let's put it that way. Pin It

Monday, March 25, 2013

Charley's 1st Birthday Tea Party

What an amazing day we had with our sweet Charley this past Saturday.  She was the happiest birthday girl all day long.  I was trying to prepare myself for something going array, like no naps or getting sick or just plain old fussy, but no.  She was her usuall happy and silly self from start to finish.  It couldn't have been a more perfect day.

I just wanted to stop by to share a few details as far as party decor goes.  I was so caught up in the celebration that I missed getting certain pieces, like the food display and the party girl in her tea cup jumper.  Minor details, right?!  My five-year-old niece said to me during the party, "Aunt Lizzy, I thought this was going to be a tea party."  She was imagining exactly what a little girl should.  She thought that we'd sit around a fancy table and have tea and cookies, but that didn't happen with a one-year-old and 35 guests.  Hopefully the little snippets below will show you how I created a tea party-ish feel to what wasn't a real tea party, at least not according to Ava and probably Fancy Nancy.

Framed party invitation on the entryway table

Punch and cookies

DIY table runner made from Charley's monthly photo fabric

Doilies, fabric wrapped vase, shabby chic napkins

Cake table with DIY photo banner

Tea party cake

More vases with fresh flowers and Instagram photos

Charley's monthly photos in a shadow box, party favors, and a tea party book for birthday wishes from her guests

Party favors-white chocolate tea pot suckers with a mini Instagram photo of Charley

DIY fabric banner made from Charley's monthly photo fabric (more details to come)
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Friday, March 22, 2013

White Trim, White Doors, Gray Walls, Oh My!

Things are looking a whole lot brighter in our entryway thanks to a little lot of paint.  I was dreading this area because there are three doors, one being the front door to our house so it's bigger with lots of detail.  There's also crown molding, a door way into the dining room, and a small powder room.  But the good news is, a lot of woodwork=a big change after it's painted.  So here goes.  I think I was too anxious to get started so I didn't get a real before shot.  These "in the process" pics will have to do.  Three words pretty much sum up the space.  lots. of. brown.

Once the trim and doors were painted, I immediately started on the walls.  I used the same gray paint that I used in the family room to give it a nice flow. 

It doesn't look like a dark hole that's closing in on you anymore.  I'm sure our guests will appreciate that.  Please ignore the big brown eye sore that is the stair rail.  I'll take care of that one of these days.

I told myself as soon as the hallway was painted I would take a long break from trim painting.  Well, that feeling lasted about a second.  As soon as the entryway was looking brighter and fresher, I looked into the dining room.  Wah wah wah. 

I have plans for that room though.  It involves moody charcoal walls and a whole lotta books. 

Side note:  Charley turns one tomorrow!!!  I'm excited for her first birthday tea party and I'm sure I'll have lots to share with you after I recover from the celebration.  Next week is also my spring break from work and I'm pretty sure I promised B.J. I wouldn't fill up our days with projects and blogging.  But maybe I can squeeze a post in here or there when he's not looking... Pin It

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

I'll give you a hint.  It's not a newspaper.  Or a zebra with a sun burn.  I bet your elementary school self is stumped right now. 

The answer is...the ribbon chandelier in the playroom!!! 

I had to make some slight changes to the light fixture so it would make sense in the newly decorated room.  I added lots of red, black and white into the space, but the chandelier was still dressed in lime green, light blue, orange and yellow.  Something had to change.  Nothing a little red ribbon and leftover fabric couldn't handle.  I simply hot glued strips of black and white polka-dotted fabric and red ribbon as evenly as possible around the hoop.  Easy peasy.  I had it down and back up in half an episode of House Hunters International. 

I think that wraps up the changes I've made to the playroom.  I think this room will lay low for a while.  Pin It

Monday, March 18, 2013

T-Shirt Art

There's a sparkly new piece hanging out on the playroom gallery wall.  Yep, that's Charley's Valentine's Day shirt.  I thought it was too cute to box up and save, so instead, I cut it, framed it, and hung it on the wall.  It's simple and sweet and adds a little bit of love to the wall. 

Now that I think about it, Charley has a lot of special shirts I'd love to use as framed art.  Some outfits are too cute to only wear once (I'm talking to you, embroidered bird onsie from Asha).  You could totally frame old sports shirts or concert tees as well.  I've even seen people use embroidery hoops to frame a collection of old tees.  Bam.  Free, meaningful, unique wall art.  I love it.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Ikea Prints

I'm not one to buy mass produced wall decor at places like Ikea.  Not because I don't like it, but mostly because I long to find unique pieces that you wouldn't find just anywhere.  However, I spotted a pack of three small prints on display and finally talked myself into buying them.  They seemed more like something you'd find on Etsy rather than Ikea.  And, they were $12 for a set of three.  I mean, come on.
TRILLING poster, set of 3, cities Width: 15 ¾ " Height: 19 ¾ " Width: 40 cm Height: 50 cm
When I created the family room gallery wall, I used a frame that used to hang in the dining room.  As soon as I took it down, I knew I would replace it with one of these prints.  

The other two needed a home, as well.  I framed one in a larger frame and used wrapping paper as a printed mat.  (Thank you, Elizabeth for the amazing Target dollar spot wrapping paper find!)

And finally, the last print is framed and hanging in the kitchen.

I guess I couldn't resist the simplicity and playfulness of these pictures.  I mean, get a load of the mustache on this guy.

Note to self:  Paint the dining room.  It's WAY TOO BROWN!!!
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I can see the end in sight as far as mission-playroom-redecoration goes.  I'm just adding some final touches before the whirlwind of a first birthday blows through this house in less than two weeks.  There's bound to be toys on top of toys on top of toys headed Charley's way. With that comes some arranging and rearranging to fit the old with the new.  But for now, I'll bask in the glory of almost being able to call this room done. 

I wanted to hang something in between the windows but the curtains are pretty busy and the wall is small.  I knew it would have to be something that didn't compete with that. 

Remember the cardboard letters that used to hang in the playroom?

I decided they needed a couple coats of white paint to bring them back to life.  I hung them vertically between the windows the second they were dry.  I thought they would add interest to the wall without causing too much visual clutter. 

I adore the white on white action.  Actually, my first thought with these letters was to buy the rest of the alphabet, paint them all white, and hang them above the chairs.  Instead I hung the drop cloth art, but you never know, I might change my mind.  Duh.

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