this is happening

I’m really enjoying pulling together photo shoots.  In this case, I had a finished coffee table to share as well as new seasonal merchandise so it just made sense to style it all together.  It is so much more interesting than simple before & after pictures, I think.  Plus it has given me the opportunity to work with my new lens and continue to refine my skills in prop styling & photography.

burlap autumn living room accents

At any rate, the coffee table base is painted in Layla’s mint over flow blue.  Both are August’s colors of the month.  Admittedly Layla’s mint looks very similar to Eulalie’s sky in this equation.  The flow blue underneath the green made it sway more bluish if that makes sense.  A bit of the blue is peaking through on the legs.  The top of the table is curio with a bit of white wax.  The table is available at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

burlap autumn living room accents

We’re big on burlap as we transition into fall.  Who am I kidding?  We’re big on burlap every season!  The bow front pillows are a new addition.  Check out the adorable burlap pumpkins and daisies.  You can find all of these at both Circa Dee shops.  (The table shown here is not for sale but it is painted trophy with white wax.)  autumn burlap daisies

We’ve also introduced ferns to the mix at West End Garage.  They are the perfect low maintenance interior plant for fall.

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Are you feeling the pull to nest for a new season?

directional guidance

It has been a crazy busy summer already.  We’ve barely come up for air.  Honestly, a small cry from how we planned to spend our summer.  But someone once told me life is what happens when you make plans.  So true.  Less planning, more living.

So when we do get a minute to breath, we relish in reviewing our wedding photos over and over again. We notice something new every time and relive that perfect day when just about all of our friends and family were in the same place, just a few months ago.  Which, by the way, doesn’t help us select photos to frame and to put in an album nor determine which should end up on the cutting room floor, as they say.

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Speaking of, there are so many hysterical dance floor photos that I am considering posting an outtake reel here…although I may be disowned by a few people.  (If you beg me, I will totally post it though.)  Signature dance moves, silly faces and all.

© Love Shack Photo

N-E-way, where did we leave off in the wedding DIY deets?  We talked about the cake and the must have cake table.

Dana & Ryan Cape May Wedding

We talked about the DIY trailhead highlighting where all of our friends and family traveled from.

© Love Shack Photo

I think that transitions nicely into the map thang we had going on…

© Love Shack Photo

I racked my brain over what to do with the table settings.  We knew right away that we would have food stations for dinner. This created a party atmosphere (which isn’t hard to do with our group) as opposed to a formal sit down dinner where people felt like they couldn’t get up and mingle as they please.  There is nothing wrong with that setting but it just wasn’t what we were going for.

© Love Shack Photo

With all of that said, I didn’t want the tables to be bare either since the food would be served at the stations.

© Love Shack Photo

Enter 160 atlas pages to the scene, my friends.  I found old and new ones.  The blue, green and yellow colors coordinated perfectly with our springy palette.  Each page served as a charger or place mat.  Also, a subtle nod to the “On the Way to Cape May” theme.  With a splash of burlap for good measure.  Oh and here’s a secret for you if this look is up your alley:  Take your atlases to FedEx/Kinko’s to have the pages cut in bulk.  It will save you hours upon hours of time tearing and cutting pages.

© Love Shack Photo

Bonus, everyone was encouraged to scribble notes to us on their map.  This ended up being totally entertaining for guests as they waited for dinner and an icebreaker at a few tables.

© Love Shack Photo

Plus, we jumped on the instagram trend and incorporated our own wedding hashtag (#recanize) and encouraged guests to share their candids.  It is a blast to relive them every time and we plan to make a little album of candids with maps as the scrapbook pages.  One of these days.

For brides-to-be out there, we placed note cards at each table communicating the hashtag info to guests…

instagram hashtag

Go ahead, take a look at the hashtag on instagram.  You know you want to.

And one more map for the road….ha, get it? Road? Ok.  Our guest book was a guest map which we framed.  People signed all over the country and of course Cape May had a little heart on it.  I found this on etsy.

© Love Shack Photo

I have to admit that I restrained myself from being an etsy bride.  I only ordered this map, which was made locally, and Wilson’s seersucker bowtie and leash which is just priceless as far as I’m concerned.

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Next up…the centerpieces.  And why I might have been temporarily insane for doing them all myself just days before my wedding.  What was I thinking?  Come back on Friday to find out!

© Love Shack Photo

All professional photos shot by the talented folks at Love Shack Photo.

noel, noel

Happy Friday everyone!  I am off to partake in some holiday festivities this weekend.  I just love this time of year.  I strive to decorate and shop early so I can relax and soak up the Christmas atmosphere in December sans stress.

Before I’m off for the weekend, I have just a little holiday project to share…

Do you remember my dream sign

I pretty much followed the same technique which isn’t much of a technique at all actually.  Just use stencils for the letters.  Fill in with acrylic paint on the textile of your choice.  My choice was none other than burlap.  Shocker since it is a huge element of our Christmas decor this year.

I wanted a festive frame so I painted a dated wooden frame (you know the honey colored ones that look really 90’s) with one coat of ASCP Emperor’s Silk letting the wood grain came through. 

I clear waxed to make the contrast between the red paint and the dark grain of the wood pop.

Did you know the word “Noel” means birthday?  Me neither.  It derives from French.  It’s funny how we have these little holiday traditions, like the Christmas carol Noel, and we don’t even know what it means. 

Time for a story but I will keep it quick…my mom has these free-standing ceramic N-O-E-L letters that she puts out at Christmas.  When we were little, my brother always changed them around to spell Leon.  Um, and still does actually.  The words Noel and Leon are sort of interchangeable in my family as a result of this antic.  Turns out Leon is derived from the word lion.  When you break it down, it doesn’t seem like there is much correlation between the words birthday and lion now does it ?  (Jake, I’m talking to you!)  All research done via wikipedia.

Noel…Noel…Leon…Leon…

TGIF!  Does your family have any silly holiday traditions?

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all that glitters

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!  How I lo-ove thee! 
Our tree is trimmed and presents are starting to accumulate underneath.

We chose a tall, skinny Fraser fir that fits just right in the window space we carved out for it.  The tree is actually in our dining room.  Tonight we had dinner next to it and it was really quite nice!  Plus, it provides for a holiday focal in that room while the living room’s focal point is exclusively the oversized rustic mantel.  And  did I mention that the tree smells ah-mazing!

I tend to stick to a traditional color scheme when trimming the tree.  White sparkly lights and gold ornaments with a hint of holiday red.  This year the traditional decor was accented with our overall Christmas theme of galvanized, burlap and sheet music to coordinate with the mantel.

Burlap played a major part as the tree garland. 

The only new ornaments added to the collection this year are sheet music DIY balls.  I just inserted strips of vintage sheet music into clear glass balls.  And now we’ve got sheet music on the mantel annnd tree.

Did you spy where the galvanized comes in?  I skipped the tree skirt this year.  We put the tree and stand right in this big galvanized tub.  It keeps things tidy when watering the tree, looks awesome and seems to spare some space under the tree…for more gifts!

Yes, even the gift wrap follows the rustic theme.  Natural brown paper.  Burlap ribbons.  Sheet music wrapping and tags.  Plus hints of gold and red.

Consistency really pulls it all together.  It is easy to have a theme in your Christmas decor by simply repeating the core elements and colors.

What is your Christmas theme this year?

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rustic & reclaimed mantel

Falalalalala.  Ok, so I’m in full on Christmas mode.  The mantel is complete, the tree is up, the cards are, well, they’re in progress.   

It’s kind of hard to believe it was 70 degrees again yesterday.  We didn’t wear coats to buy our tree which seemed odd.  I have no problem decorating for Christmas in any weather.  I could do it all year!

 I love the scent of the Fraser fir tree we selected.  But the live princess pine roping on the mantel is just gorge!  It is so delicate.  It balances the rustic, woodsy decor.

I used an old Royal Crown Cola crate as an upright display shelf for some vintage Christmas balls.  I have acquired a ton of these old ornaments.  They’re on display in just about every corner of the house.

Remember my architectural salvage finds from just last week?  The chippy green board provides a background for the Victorian pink spindle turned candle holder.  In fact, all of the items that make up this mantel vignette are from recent picks.  Who needs family heirlooms this year when we’ve got perfectly good junk to display? 

I’ve fully embraced burlap, galvanized, reclaimed wood and sheet music in my overall Christmas decor this year.  I’m really happy with the rustic combination so far.  See the cute little burlap stocking?

You know that phrase “Go Big or Go Home”?  That is sort of what I adapted with me 3 foot plus Santa.  The huge poster was surfaced over the summer and the barnwood frame came from another pick.  I put them together and voila…

Because the poster is about an inch smaller than the frame around, I added yellowed book pages to create a matting.  I am also really happy with the birch pieces.  Side note: Ryan cut all of the birch for the fireplace not the mantel.  They’re just too pretty to burn though, aren’t they?

Oh!  Remember the old gas station belt hooks I got last week?  The mint green worked perfectly in this vignette.  I didn’t even plan that in advance.  The hooks also function well for the mini sheet music wreath to hang from.  Yes, I have gas station junk out for Christmas.  So what?

There are the galvanized buckets…the perfect flower-pot for my white poinsettia.

More burlap.  This old toy sack is excellent for holding firewood.

More green…this time in a dented pail that I just love to use as a flower-pot.  Yes, there are white pumpkins still out for Christmas.  Why not?  The color goes perfectly with the poinsettia.

And there you have our rustic & reclaimed Christmas mantel!  Stay tuned for more burlap/galvanized/reclaimed wood/sheet music decor from Circa Dee this rustic holiday season.  Do you have a theme for you decor this year?

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southern hospitality

living the dream

During the hurricane lockdown I took to cleaning, organizing and DIYing.  It ended up being a fairly productive weekend for me since we were fortunate to keep our power throughout the entire storm.   

Before the hurricane I hit up my neighborhood hardware store.  Ace the friendly place.  I was jumping for joy when I found out that everything was 20% off.  Sheer luck to walk in that day!  I stocked up on some project supplies.  Sometimes I think I like the hardware store better than the craft store.  When does Michael’s ever offer a storewide sale like that? Seriously.

Rewind to like 3 months ago.  I found this frame in the garage headed for the trash.  Skuuuurt, stop the music!  Immediately an art project came to mind.  The frame moved to my endless pile of future projects.  I filed the idea away. 

And then the storm came.  Plus the aforementioned hardware store sale.  Equals art project finally underway.

The master bedroom was (still is) lacking in the art department.  There’s a lot of texture and warm earthtones in the space so I wanted to create something for the walls to complement the mood.  Because I am obsessed with all things burlap at the moment, that was the natural choice.  Pun intended.

In order t0 start with a clean canvas, I bought a roll of burlap that is used for balling and burlaping tree root balls.  Landscape burlap has a looser weave than potato and coffee sacks (that I love).  I found this element added some additional dimension to the project.

I cut the burlap to fit the frame leaving excess on all sides to staple to the back of the frame at the end.  Then I laid out my stencils.  You didn’t think I free-handed that, did you?  I got the letter stencils from Ace (yes 20% off).  They were in the mailbox section.  I thought about printing and cutting letters out of cardstock to make my own stencils but this just seemed easier.  The damask stencil is from Stampin’ Up.  It is called Kind Thoughts Brocade.

I filled in the stencils with acrylic paints…also 20% off. 

I completed the damasks/brocades (whatev) first.  I just eyeballed the spacing when moving the stencils.  I think it worked out ok fine but you could measure. 

Then came the DREAM – literally and figuratively.  I repeated all of the painting/stenciling steps as mentioned above.

Once it was dry I turned it over and repositioned the frame.  I stapled the excess burlap to the back of the frame.

And there you have it.

One more. I like the light in this one…

Last one. Promise.

Still have no clue where the frame came from originally. I think it was packaging of some sort.  But if I can find more I would definitely replicate this project.  It was fun, quick and rewarding.

I also *might* have started decorating for fall harvest.

Too soon?  Happy September!

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indecisive

Help! I had this vision of feedsack bags repurposed into valances for our living room windows.

I’ve executed the vision and now I can’t decide how I feel about the new window treatment. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I feel less than stellar about it.

Let me start at the beginning. When we first saw the house back in February, the living room looked exactly like this.

That’s the only “before” picture I have. When we saw the house, I was excited that it came with all of the window treatments. At the time, I thought I liked the fancy valances. Once we moved in, I immediately realized that they weren’t for me! Ryan agreed. The word “regal” came to mind every time I looked at them. This living room was never going to be regal but casual and comfortable.

I lived with the curtains and waited for the room around them to evolve.

At an estate sale a few weekends ago, I scored these old feed bags. For $1 each!

Another “no sew” project! I cut the sides but kept the bottoms attached. That gave me about 20 inches x 70 inches. About.

My next move was a little bit risky. The bags still hadn’t been washed and were a bit smelly so I threw them in the wash on the delicate cycle. I knew this would fray the edges. I hoped it would fray them just the right amount and not too much or they’d fall apart. I felt like my 14 year old self again trying to fray my cut off jean shorts just right. Do kids still do that? Anyway, when I opened the washer up, the burlap was still in tack with just a little fraying. I trimmed the edges where necessary and laid them flat on the ground.

I got out my trusty lip liner-turned-fabric-marker, measuring tape and scissors.

I marked slits approximately 2 inches down and 10 inches apart. Approximately. There was a lot of eyeballing in this project because it was midnight I was ok with some imperfections. I made the cuts and threaded the curtain rod through. This was a quick project!

Here’s how they look now.

I love the graphics!

As I’m writing this and peering over the computer at the “new curtains”, Ryan said, “Those curtains look horrible.” So I know how he feels…he’s a bit more traditional. Although for the record, he also said that he didn’t care if they stayed.

I think I will leave them up for summer.

Maybe not? Help!

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