8.26.2015

A slice of our Summer

Helllloooo! It's been awhile since I last wrote a blog post. I had a friend recently ask me if I still planned on blogging and thought, 'boy, I guess I took enough time off it's time to get going again'. Did you have a great summer? I hope you made time to play, relax and explore. There were not a lot of home projects except for the farm table the hubs is working on right now (more of that to come). Our children went back to school this week so it's back to routines, which is good for everyone. I thought you might like to see a slice of our summer:
Our family had a great time visiting Martha's Vineyard in July. We had a big family reunion with cousins and Aunts and Uncles. There was plenty of card playing, ice cream, boating and beach days. 
                                       There are some impressive old Captain's homes to walk past.
                                                                and pretty gardens.
                             Oh, and of course, the many darling ice cream shops were visited frequently.

                       Many bursting window boxes on white painted homes add New England charm.
                                                              Quaint little fishing villages                  
Pretty sailing days to the beach. 
Farmer's markets 
On Instagram I showed a couple of rooms in our beloved family home. The original part of the house used to be a carriage house in which my grandparents made into their home. We love coming here to be with lots of family and gather. I love the chart room and old nautical lantern my Uncle put up.
The main part of the barn is cozy and has a gallery wall with many of my grandmother's paintings. A few years ago my sisters and I did a makeover in the loft and you can see more pictures of the chart room.

Now, it's back to schedules and non-beach days, but I think it's important to take time and disconnect for a bit. I can't wait to show you some projects from our Art camp that I taught with my friend this summer. Are you still in summer mode or school mode? Either way, I hope you're doing well and look forward to showing more projects and adventures with you.

7.02.2015

Design Inspiration Friday: Patriotic & Coastal

One of my favorite looks for any space is a coastal look and what better way to pair it with red,
white and blue! I collected some classy ways of displaying your patriotic colors mixed with a coastal 
feel. I feel like 4rth of July weekend is full of great activities. I can't wait to watch fireworks, have a 
cookout and a kids' bike parade in our neighborhood. I hope you all have a great long weekend too. 
Happy 4rth of July! 

                                                                         A Beautiful Mess

                                                                            My Domaine





Patriotic & Coastal Inspirations

6.19.2015

Design Inspiration Friday: 4 Pretty Summer Tablescapes

Happy Friday! Today is my girl's first official day of Summer. Pool and popsicles here we come! Today, I have some inspiring images of Summer tablescapes that I'm taking note of for our next party. They are simple, and beautiful. 
Pineapples are quite the trend right now. I like how it's used as a vase here. 
Use a tin can to put some flowers from the farmer's market in. 
Making a garland of leaves and lemons would be simple and elegant. 
My favorite Summer flowers are hydrangeas. Mason jars with small flags make this table patriotic. Hope you have a great time spoiling your dad or the man in your life. Happy Father's day! 

6.17.2015

A Penny A Page

Summer break starts tomorrow for my girls and we are all excited. We started a tradition which has helped my girls read through the Summer. We call it "Penny A Page' program. Here's how it works:
For every book our children read this summer they can earn a penny for every page read. I also have them write down a summery, title and author and other details in their 'Penny A Page' notebook so we can all keep track. The librarians loved it when they showed their work for the Summer reading programs in the past (these notebooks came from Target).
Last Summer, both my older daughters loved doing this so much that they are talking it up to the younger ones about how they can earn some extra cash. One of my daughters earned $35! Reading and writing about what they read helps them so much over the Summer months. Both my older daughter's writing improved too, because I would correct their spelling and grammar and then they would need to correct it. Yes, I'm one of those moms! They also have liked keeping track of their money earned and it motivates them to read more.
What are some other ways you motivate your kids to read for the Summer? I love to hear your great ideas! 

6.09.2015

A Classic Styled Home

I recently ran across an old House & Home magazine (2004, prior to Pintrest days) and found such a
beautifully styled home. The home is in the Hamptons and shows an elegant style which I felt inspired
to show here. There are a few things you might notice are very classic or in style today too.
 Notice, no island. They didn't want one and instead put a walnut table with Wicker chairs around. I love
 that it's close to the fireplace for cozy meals.  
The owners James and Whitney Fairchild (both spent years working for Ralph Lauren) and every
square inch of the 18th century inspired home they built shows attention to detail. Whitney collects
blue and white Chinese porcelain and brought a huge collection into the home.
When design is done with classic elements I think we don't get 'tired' of it as fast. I like that they kept the
walls very light and neutral to give their items and fabrics the focus. Here are some things that helped
this home have a classic and airy feel. Many of these items can be found on Craigslist, estate sales
and thrift store shopping (this is usually the route I go first).




Untitled #21


Mirror   /     Chinese Porcelain      /    Chair
Antique Piece   /      Urn lamps  /      Neutral rugs

6.04.2015

It's An Ice Cream Birthday Party

This past weekend our twin girls had such a fun ice cream parlour birthday party. We are a family who loves ice cream.so this was a perfect theme.  The party was held on a hot day, there were water games and BBQ and lots of ice cream! Pretty much, I was inspired by many darling parties on Pintrest. For instance, the cake I made was a Pintrest win! Usually, my cakes turn out to look like Pintrest fails, but not this cute ice cream cone melted cake (tip: I used cotton candy as the "ice cream")!

Underneath this cake is one of their presents. It's a good idea to stack things on the table to give your eye a place to rest.
                       When our guests arrived they were greeted with streamers and an ice cream cone door.
                                           The takeaway gift: cotton candy cones. Simple and fun.

A FEW TIPS:
-  Cover the whip cream with some paper to go with your theme.
 - Use labels
 - Paper bowls. These were so cute!
-  Use a large tub or container for all the ice cream. If you're really organized, you could pre-scoop the ice         cream and keep it cold.
-  Make a banner using paper party napkins
-  Display toppings not in original packaging but in containers. The metal container is usually used in our home office, but line it with some large cupcake parchment and it's great for all the toppings.
-Cut out ice cream cones out of paper. My girls helped me cut them and hang them too.
                           

Two esseential ingreadiants for an ice cream party are the caramel and fudge sauce. I love this recipe of caramel sauce and the fudge sauce is super easy too.
Fudge Sauce
2 Tablespoons butter
1 box of Baker's semi sweet chocolate (break the squares for easy melting)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Melt the butter and chocolate on low over the stove. When melted add the condensed milk. Stir and enjoy!
Outside, we had a BBQ. This picture isn't the cutest, but I had to show this cool watermelon sailboat the hubs made.
     This blow up slide contraption will get a lot of use this summer and the kids had a blast playing in it.

This was such a fun theme for a summer (or pre-summer) birthday. We absolutely love our darling girls and it's fun to see them growing up!

6.02.2015

DIY Shadow Box and Shell Art

Frames and art can be expensive! When the hubs and I did a makeover of our master bedroom we needed some art work on the walls, and we were working with a limited budget. Every summer we collect shells and rocks when we go to the beach and we liked the idea of displaying them in a gallery like fashion above our dresser. Here's how we made these deep, sturdy and large shadow boxes.

What you'll need for each one:
- Glass: 14.5" x 14.5"
- 1x4: 6' (these are actually 3.5" wide, the same width as the fame)
- 1/8" Plywood backing: 14" x 14"
- cork pads
- picture hanging hardware
- small trim screws (1")

Process:
We've never made anything with glass before and were a little intimidated at first. It turns out, most Lowes carry glass and will cut it to any dimensions you choose for a reasonable cost. We had four pieces of glass cut at 14.5" x x14.5".
Now to start cutting the wood: First, cut the dado and the rabbet in the full-length boards. The dados are for the glass and the rabbets will be for the backing. We used a table saw to cut the dados with the blade 1/4" high and offset from the side of the board by 1/4". The saw blade is slightly wider than the glass which was perfect. Once cut, the glass fit perfectly into the dado. We used a router for the rabbet using a 3/8" rabbet router but.
Next, cut the sides using a miter saw. We used a 45 degree mitered joints for these. Each side is 15" long.
Then, you'll cut the backing 14" x 14". That's it!
Now time to assemble!


Only glue and nail the bottom and two sides at this point (otherwise, you wouldn't be able to put the glass in.). After the glue dries, slide the glass in place to make sure it fits. 



Next, paint. It is easier to paint these babies before putting the glass in. We used primer and Benjamin Moore's China White. Tip: don't get paint in the dado (the groove for the glass). We learned this by experience. The glass fit snug before we painted and some of the paint got in. the groove making it too tight for the glass. To fix this issue, we just ran the boards though the table saw again to clean out the dado. 

Once the paint dried, we put the glass in. We then glued and nailed the top piece of the frame in place. The frame is now complete!
You can really put anything in these shadow boxes, but if you're going to go for a look similar to ours you will need:
-Linen type of fabric
-Shells and rocks
-hot glue gun

Arrange them anyway you like. I really like the star like design, and wish I made more of those. Once your art work or shells are glued down you can put the backing in place in the rabbets and screwed in place. We pre-drilled our countersunk holes in the backing for where the screws were going to go to avoid any splitting and so the screw heads would sit flush with the backing. There you have it. Affordable art work and a timeless look.