Photo Friday + Freebie

Tim and I are lake-side in Massachusetts visiting family and the water was just begging to be a subject of Photo Friday. Once I had the photo on my computer screen I thought it looked a lot like the glitter and shine I associate with January and the New Year. So... I made a little calendar out of it.

Not too shabby for my first desktop calendar and you can have one too! Download your own via flickr here.

Happy New Year!


I Have Bedroom Eyes

Dear Mr. Sandman, I'm pretty sure you were involved in the making of this amazingly comfortable new bed Tim and I got each other for Christmas. Thank you for all of your hard work. xox Jen

Tim and I have been itching for a new bed for a looong time now. As you can see, we decided to pull the trigger. All it took was a serious decorating itch that started when I bought this great vintage wool blanket and parking in front of a Sleep Train when the lot near the Jamba Juice was full. Go figure.

Aww yeah. Combined with our curb-find dresser and deer art, I feel like the room is starting to get a "look" and I like it very much.

Anyway back to the bed.

A mix of southwest, vintage floral, and brass, we're right on track with the inspiration post I shared a few weeks ago.

So here's a breakdown of the current setup:
CA King Brass Bed - craigslist for $125 (she's from the 70's and shows her age beautifully)
Floral Sheets - Anna's Linens for $30
Wool Blanket - Thrifting in Montana for $25

We're still looking for the perfect duvet cover, but motivation is high and post-Christmas sales are a-coming (right?). So, whatchu think? Anyone down for a sleepover?


Photo Friday

Yesterday Tim and I headed off to Florida to visit family for the holidays. First day here... it was craft time!! We have a tradition (two years makes a tradition right?) of making our own Christmas ornaments. We're up to four, so I'm sure we'll be able to fill a tree eventually ;)

Here are last year's ornaments >> riiiight here

Enjoy your holiday!!

Easy and Affordable DIY Wedding Seating Chart

Because I've been sitting here for 30min trying to find a way to start this post, let's pretend for a moment someone just asked me, "Jen, how in the world would you go about seating 60 people at different tables for a party?!?" Well imaginary internet person, I am so glad you asked! It just so happens I got married a little while back and had to deal with this very question.

So this is what I made (yes, we're going to use the word "made" very loosely): a cute little stack of index cards to nostalgically direct my loved ones to their seats. They went on the table pictured below with our cake (and topper) and family photos.

(Photo above and below by Kaitlin Jane Photography)

But, why little bitty index cards? Well, while I love all of those gorgeous pinterest seating charts made with old windows, chalkboards, botanicals, or vintage keys, at the point I was making our seating chart (coughtwodaysbeforetheweddingcough) I needed something cute and simple.

So I looked at all of the finished elements of our wedding for inspiration. What do we have that I could write names on and display in some interesting but functional way...? Index cards! I'd already used them for our wedding invitations, our wedding website, and they would be making an appearance for our guest book. Done.

Bonus - We already had most of the necessary supplies and everything else was was available at Staples:
Markers (we used black and red Sharpies)
Sticky Tabs
Index Cards
A Business Card Holder

For the "doing" of this DIY, I made three types of cards:
A "Find Your Seat" card - to sit in front and tell people what this thing is
Letter Cards - for organizing the seating chart alphabetically
Name Cards - just a name and table number... done!

Double Bonus - it worked! Everyone found their seat and we had a lovely dinner. Yay for working, being cute, fitting in with other design elements, costing less than $10, and taking less than an hour to finish!


Photo Friday

Because it's early, I feel like musing... how in the world does a plant that's meant to frighten off predators end up looking so beautiful? Cactus, you don't scare me.

Also, a few links for your reading pleasure:
Must Do: Cross Stitch a Cane Chair by My Poppet
Must Blog: Password Protect a Blog Page by SillyGrrl
Must Buy: The Fixer's Manifesto by Sugru

Enjoy your weekend!


Handmade Bird Wedding Cake Topper

The Wedding Cake Topper... a strangely fun and high-pressure wedding decoration. I mean, you're kind of putting a version of you on the cake right? It's a weird feeling, but also very cool.

After some day dreaming and shopping around I found the. PERFECT. one - an adorable bird couple. Unfortunately it was way out of my price range. Ain't that always the way?

So, I made my own.

For whatever reason this wedding DIY scared me more than any other wedding projects. And how do I deal with scary things? I avoid them. Lame and true! So I put this project off until I was getting really nervous I wouldn't be able to pull it off in time. What if I started and it was a disaster?? Not only would I have wasted time, but money I didn't have to spend. See? I worked myself up a little ;)

But, as with many scary things in life, it wasn't bad at all. In fact, it only took me two days to finish these suckers. And... it was fun.

Some Make-This-Tips for the curious at heart: I couldn't find ANY bird patterns that matched my vision for this project. If you want to make your own birds, I would start with this pattern by lavender's blue and alter it to fit your wishes. Before I started my actual topper, I made a test bird to figure out the basic shape. It seems like making an extra bird would take forever, but it saved me a lot of time in the end.

Also, making the tail separate from the body gave me a lot of flexibility. For the boy bird I used felted wool that didn't need seams, so the tail is literally glued inside the body (with wire supports on the inside to make it stand up). The girl bird uses the same technique, but the raw seams are hidden by a lace aplique.

The legs are long pieces of floral wire poked through the fabric, deep into the bodies, and secured with a little glue. I spoke with my caterer about the legs before finalizing their design, and she told me that the deeper they could go into the cake the better, so I left the legs extra long!

The most fun part of it all was the details. Using leftover materials from the hairpiece and boutonni√®res I made, I was able to add details that matched our other wedding decorations at no extra cost! The eyes and beaks are made with little bits of leftover felt that I tore apart and rolled into new shapes.

Even though Tim didn't wear one, I just had to give Tim's bird a little felt hat. It didn't even have a top, but no one noticed ;)

So that's it! Facing crafting fears - check. Cake topper ready for crazy-faced Jen during the cake cutting...?

Double check!

(wedding photos by Kaitlin Jane Photography | other photos by insideways)


Photo Friday

I'm setting a few new goals for myself and one of them is to get my camera out more often. As part of that project, I'm starting a little series called Photo Friday where I post a random snapshot of my life. They'll probably all be cat pictures, but I'll try to be creative! :)


Pretty Small Things: a blanket and antlers

Last week I got to spend some serious quality time in Montana with my Diagenesis Duo partner, Heather Barnes, while we performed in The Helena Pierrot Project. Um hello Montana? I'm gonna go thrifting! And that's what we did on our day off :)

Antlers are a great form of animal-based decoration because they're beautifully sculptural and no animals are harmed from using them - they just fall off the deer seasonally. There are tons of deer in Montana, so these were very affordable at $6 each from the local thrift store.

Right now I'm using them as decoration in my bedroom which is (finally!) starting to take shape. As you can see, the antler partners very well with the deer paintings I bought and this dresser I found on the curb in Boston. I'm not 100% sure of the colors I'll use, but that dresser is getting a makeover in the near future...

Also in the bedroom is this great vintage wool blanket I bought for $25. Tim and I are upgrading our bed this January so I'm working out the bedding details. This blanket has definitely helped :)

Maybe something along these lines:
    :: sheets from JC Penny ::
    :: duvet cover from Bodie and Fou ::
    :: blanket (mine) from Montana ::
*also imagine an antique brass headboard (that I already bought from craigslist)

But there's a really big debate about it all...

I think these are birds, but Tim thinks they're rockets? What do you think????