my design projects, inspirations, & a few personal tidbits

Here you will find what inspires me, and a peek into how I pull spaces together – the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly mishaps along the way. I sprinkle in a little family life, travel, food, fashion, and party events, too.

One of the best additions to our Garden Makeover were these string lights from Ballard Designs.  The lights cast a beautiful ambiance at night and make the space useable after dark - a BIG plus for a weary Mommy & Daddy that want to sit and talk after the kids are down.  We purchased this type of lighting from a different company at a previous home of ours, and we were not impressed with the quality at all.  I ordered these from Ballard (after several friends recommended them), and when I received them, I was very happy with the product.  They seem much more heavy duty than our old ones, and apt to withstand the cold and rain. In all honesty, I was a little intimidated about hanging the lights, so I thought I would offer some tips we learned along the way to help those of you who may share the same sentiment. how to hang string lights

Without a doubt, one of my most popular projects has been my DIY Acrylic Curtain Rods.  (some people say lucite, some say acrylic - potatuh, potatah)  So imagine my feelings one night when I am searching for hardware for our Master Bath renovation, and I come upon an image of this.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] brass pipe clip[/caption] Do you see what I see?  I instantly thought "I CAN MAKE SOMETHING WITH THIS!"  Originally, I was thinking I could put brass rods through these to make some killer hardware, but then I pondered acrylic.  It would definitely be cheaper, and since the pipe clips are a little more bulky and industrial looking, perhaps that would be the perfect combination of mechanical and sophisticated. This is a rather convoluted story, but follow me on the struggle for an idea to come to fruition... So the next day, I called up my local plumbing supply searching for brass pipe clips.  They did not have them, never heard of them.  I called several others...nothing.  No one seemed to have ever heard of pipe clips; rather, pipe clips that were brass (aka pretty).  Finally, I got my answer after calling yet another plumbing supply store (and after he laughed at me when I told him I was looking for brass pipe clips).  After sending him the picture, he said, "Oh, these are probably European.  In the UK and countries over there, they care about stuff like this.  You will never find these here." (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU AMERICA?!  : )  ) Therefore, I did what I always do when I cannot find something in the States, I go to Ebay UK.  My first set of clips I ordered from this seller.  They were very nice and easy to work with.  Sadly, in the midst of all of our home renovations, the pipe clips got lost.  By the time I went back to order, my Ebay UK seller was out of the ones I needed.  I had to find another source.  Then I found Supreme Plumb.  On their site, they tell you they will not ship internationally, but they will.  Just email them.
Note:  When I am shipping items internationally, I always request Expedited Shipping.  It is worth the extra few dollars, and trust me, Standard Shipping from other countries these past couple of years has been a nightmare.  I bought some art for a client last year, and it was stuck in customs for MONTHS.
Just FYI, if you prefer a silver look rather than a gold, pipe clips come in chrome, too. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="397"] chrome pipe clip[/caption] The new pipe clips arrived, and I was ready to get started. Here is what you need...

tea party favor

Today I wanted to show you how I made the adorable tags featured on the Vintage Tea Party Baby Shower post.   Party favors (for adults) can be kind of want to give something nice/useful for not a lot of money.

Because we had the tea party theme in place, we wanted to keep that in mind when doing the favors.  A parting gift with a tea bag was an obvious choice, but I wanted to be a bit more creative.   When I saw these bath tea bags, I thought "we're getting somewhere!"  Basically, inside of each package, there is a teabag filled with herbs that you simply place into your bath.  Very nice!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Melanie's Apothecary Bath Tea[/caption] One packet of bath tea went into these pink teapot muslin bags along with some loose, fragrant lavender.  (you can typically find this at health food stores and farmers markets) [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Pink Teapot Muslin Bags From OnTheWingsPaperie[/caption] Since our Guest of Honor, Kelly Kay, is a creator of beautiful paper herself, I wanted to make something really special for her party favor tags.

When my dear friend Kelly Kay had her second baby (a little girl!), our friends gathered together to give her a high tea to celebrate her sweet bundle.  Since the party was going to occur after KK's daughter was born, we called it a "Sip & See".

Note:  I do not know if this is a regional thing (Texan?  Southern in general?), but if you give a party for a mother and baby after the baby is born, we call it a "Sip & See" versus a "baby shower".  Sip & Sees are generally given for a baby that is not the first because the mom usually has the "stuff" she needs already.  Gifts given at a Sip & See are usually smaller, more cutesy items versus the changing pads and more practical items you get at a baby shower.

These beautiful invitations were mailed, and we were in full planning mode.

tea party baby shower invitation

Invitation Tip:  I love Minted and have found that exploring different invitation categories can help me pinpoint the look I am envisioning.  For example, this invitation is in the wedding category {the baby shower category had lots of cute stuff, but I was not wanting anything decidedly baby}.  I have actually used wedding invites for a few celebrations that were not weddings - it's a great spot to find pretty designs that are not particularly themed.

Using a photo we had of Kelly and her sister's high tea in London, we formulated the menu and how we wanted the event to look and feel. High tea

Between several friends, we compiled multiple settings of china, pretty flatware, teapots, vintage linens, and cake stands.  

high tea baby shower

We rented tables, collected tablecloths from various people, borrowed some gold chairs from a friend, and gathered our items in the home of one of the hostesses to create one of the sweetest home party venues I have ever seen.