Design

My Fave Photo Calendars for 2015

 

So many calendars, so little time. Love these 2015 custom photo calendar designs - especially the wooden clipboard one.Every year around this time, I print a photo calendar for the upcoming year, using pictures from the previous year. I usually choose a standard monthly wall calendar, but this time, the design options seem to have exploded. Another great feature this time around:  mobile apps that let you create a calendar directly from your phone. So many great calendar designs, so little time left to choose.

Above are a few of my favorite calendars for 2015, below are the calendar sources:

01 Artifact Uprising / 02 Pinhole Press / 03 Minted / 04 Printic / 05 Printstagram / 06 Pinhole Press

Flower Workshop

Flower Workshop in Dallas, TX with Bows and Arrows

Last night I joined a flower workshop with the amazing team at Bows and Arrows. I’ve admired their work via Instagram for awhile, so it was great to learn a few tricks from these talented folks. If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend taking a workshop – they have a photography and flower class coming up this weekend and a two-day workshop in Marfa this summer.

I’ve never been great at arranging flowers, but I was pretty impressed with the look I was able to create last night (photo above). A few things I learned:

  • It takes some time to style an arrangement. In the past, I’ve always spent 15 mins or so on an arrangement. During the workshop, I spent over an hour creating my masterpiece. While this won’t always be possible, starting early and allowing lots of time is definitely key.
  • Always use floral foam to hold the stems in place and make sure the foam is tightly placed within the container. After soaking the foam, you can press it gently against the top of your container to make an impression and then cut along those lines to create a perfect fit.
  • Start by defining ‘the bones’ of the arrangement: a tall piece and a low extending piece, for example.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix heights. In the past, I’ve always tried to cut each stem the exact same length. In looking at the Bows and Arrows arrangements, I realized that they have a mix of shorter and taller stems, giving the overall piece some movement as well as the quirkiness I love.

Here are a few more scenes of the floral awesomeness from last night:

flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

For the Birds: Modern Houses and Feeders

Modern Birds: A list top 10 bird houses and feeders in high/low budget ranges

It’s not quite spring but already we’re beginning to spot some new guests in our backyard. Watching birds is becoming a bit of a hobby around here, and over the past weekend, we even spotted a red-tailed hawk. In addition to being on the look-out for birds, I’ve also been scouting options for modern bird houses and feeders for our yard. I just purchased this wooden bird feeder and, even though the birds haven’t discovered it yet, I love the new view just outside my office window.

Here are a few others on my wish list:

Modern Birds: A list top 10 bird houses and feeders in high/low budget ranges

High: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Low:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Open Kitchen Shelving

tips for styling open kitchen shelving

Last week I updated the shelves above our kitchen sink after finally taking down the last of our Christmas decorations. It wasn’t an easy task for me. Since moving into our home, I’ve been collecting images of open shelving and studying them for inspiration. I can’t recreate any one specific image, so my approach has been to figure out what I like about each display and try to model it with my own belongings, in the context of my own home.

Here are a few tips I’ve found to work for me:

tips for styling open kitchen shelving

Image sources: 1 Neutral Palette / 2 Height + Texture / 3 Simple / 4 Repetition

Large-Scale Photo Prints

creating large scale engineering printsI’ve always wanted to try printing a photo in a large-scale format. Staples, Office Depot and other print/supply stores will create large, black-and-white engineering prints for under $10. After our big ice storm a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had the perfect photo to try it out.

I started with this photo that I took while we were sledding in our neighborhood:

largephoto2

I converted it to black and white, bumped up the contrast and cropped it to the print dimensions – 36 x 48 inches.

largephoto3

And after printing it at Staples, I attached it to my office wall using 3M poster strips.

largephoto4

Paper Ornament Garland

Create an easy paper ornament garland for the holidays

This weekend I made a really simple paper garland to serve as a backdrop for a cookie party.

Create an easy paper ornament garland for the holidays

I started by creating a large batch of paper circles using a 3-inch paper punch.

Create an easy paper ornament garland for the holidays

To make each paper ornament, I folded the circles in half and glued the halves together, using 5 circles for each ornament (4 to 6 circles work the best).

Create an easy paper ornament garland for the holidays

I left one side of the ornament unglued until all of the paper ornaments were created. Then, I attached the ornaments to twine by gluing the twine inside of the remaining two sides.

Create an easy paper ornament garland for the holidays

And once the garland was complete, I placed in along our kitchen windows, behind the table where I’ll set up the cookie display.

Create an easy paper ornament garland for the holidays

Home Tour: The Entryway

entry way / foyer

We’ve been making lots of progress on the house, so I thought I’d share a quick update today. The entryway is one area that I consider somewhat ‘complete.’ Here is how it looked just after we painted:

the entryway - before

And here is how it looks today:

the entry / foyer

Since we have entire rooms that we didn’t have before (and need to purchase new furniture for those rooms), we’re almost entirely re-using pieces we already owned to decorate the entryway. The console table (identical to the one in our family room) and bench were purchased about 10 years ago from West Elm. The mirror is something I’ve had since high school (not sure if I can say that about any of the other furnishings in the house), and the yellow resin painting is by Sacramento artist, Kim Squaglia. Our only new purchases for this space is the striped rug from Crate and Barrel and a large glass jug, which I filled with all of the wine corks my husband has saved since we got married.

entry / foyer detail

decorating with wine corks

Dinnerware Displays

I’ve always loved open china cabinets and dish displays but I’ve never had the opportunity to incorporate one in my home. In the new house, we have a couple of open shelves in our kitchen and I’m converting an armoire into a dinnerware cabinet in the dining room. Now that I have the opportunity, I’m not entirely convinced I have the skills to pull it off.

Here are a few inspiring displays to help guide me:

displaying dinnerware

displaying dinnerware

displaying dinnerware

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

A Blank Canvas

the new kitchen

We’ve lived in our new home for 3 weeks now, and I think we finally reached the point where the boxes are (mostly) unpacked, the walls are freshly painted, and we can start thinking about furniture and decorating. It’s an exciting and also overwhelming place to be. We have more space to work with than in our previous home, so a few rooms are entirely empty and I’m ok with that.

painting the living room

I read a post on Modern Parents, Messy Kids recently about moving into your “Forever Home,” a place where you can see yourself settling in and raising a family for years and years. This is exactly how I feel about our new home – and I have to admit, it puts a bit of added pressure on every decision I make. Will I like that in 10 years, in 20 years? Maybe I’m over-thinking it a bit, but I’m definitely taking my time.

our new home - a blank canvas

On a related note, I will be guest posting on Modern Parents, Messy Kids starting next week. What will I be writing about? Our Forever Home, of course.

Photo Inspiration: Dream Shed

dream shed

One of the best things about moving is dreaming of all of the updates you’ll make to your new home. When we first visited the house we’re buying later this month, I barely even noticed the storage shed in the backyard. In fact, I didn’t even look inside until we returned on inspection day. But once I came across the picture above on Pinterest, and I immediately realized the potential of our little shed. Someday little shed, someday.

Sources: Inspiration Shed / 01 Light / 02 Bistro Lights / 03 Planter / 04 Paint