favorite combination

This little eclectic corner came together unexpectedly and I love it!  Of course, I was only staging it for this photo to share the pieces that are for sale.  But it is always fun to move things around and see what works together. The fancy marble-top, french table next to the casual bentwood sofa lends a bit of a bohemian vibe, doesn’t it?

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Sometimes I’m into french pieces and sometimes I’m not.  Honestly, had this one not been a great buy, I would’ve probably walked by it.  I am so glad I didn’t though because I love how it looks reworked in a moody gray – MMS milk paint Trophy with white wax.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a ‘before’ picture.

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This is one of my favorite combinations.  The introduction of white wax makes the grays and blues so moody.  A dusting of it is all you need to work it into the recesses, corners and raised areas.  Rather than white waxing the entire piece, I finished the other areas in regular furniture wax to help blend the white and, of course, provide a topcoat.   Prior to wax, the entire piece received two coats of Trophy.

MMSMP trophy end table -210

One of the show stopping elements pictured here is the retro lamp.  It is almost hard to believe that it is solid wood and weighs a ton.  No veneer here.  It is super tall too and hard to find a shade that works with its stature proportionally.  I waxed the lamp with furniture wax to revive the wood and highlight the grain.

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The sweet garden bouquets keep blooming!  The colors in this one seem to say “harvest season”.  The flowers are arranged in a very favorite vintage copper trophy from 1905.  I am pretty sure that I’ll never sell this little vessel.  However, the table is available at The West End Garage and the lamp will be in soon too.

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

new inventory

As much as we’re loving winter and the quiet simplicity that it brings, we’re already considering spring and perhaps a flock of chickens too.  Paper mache or the real thing. We’re undecided.  What do you think?  The paper versions are pretty darn adorable and require very little work.

paper chicken

We’re obviously about 2+ months away from digging in the garden soil but it’s not too soon to start preparing,right?  How handsome are these forged iron tools?

forged iron tools

If we can’t have garden flowers, we might as well have galvanized flowers!  galvanized flowers

There are galvanized roses for your sweetheart too.  Valentine’s Day is just about 2 weeks away.  Check out these pretty vintage-style cards…

valentine's day cards

We’ve put together a new window display featuring an antique oak bed, vintage chenille popcorn blanket, garden chandelier…  valentine's day window

and a hand painted B&B sign.

valentine's day window

Valentine’s Day falls over a long weekend this year.  Come visit us in Cape May!  Everything pictured in this post (and more!) is being added to our inventory at The West End Garage.valentine's day window

welcoming autumn

autumn

 

 

 

We’ve been soaking up the changing seasons here with walks on the beach, bike rides, flower picking and wood stacking amongst our usual work. I am a bit smitten with a field of beautifully decaying sunflowers.  Their great big heads full of seeds ready for sowing next year (or snacking this year).

All of the marsh grasses are in bloom showcasing a soft pink hue as the sun catches them waving in the breeze.  Honeysuckle has faded on the beach dunes making way for cheerful goldenrod which has always been a favorite roadside weed.  And the sunsets… phenomenal.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

 

goldenrod autumn sunflowers

autumn equinox

petal pushers

Have you ever thought about taking a floral design course before? Have you cut flowers from your garden and wished that you could do more than just haphazardly plop them in a vase? Do you have any idea how you can make the cellophane wrapped supermarket bouquet look like a million bucks?

Now is your chance to learn how from an award-winning, professional floral designer!  And for the mere cost of a floral arrangement which, in turn, will be donated to our Bike MS: City to Shore team.  The funds, not the arrangement.  You get to take your floral arrangement home!  Fresh flowers and a good cause.  Does it get any better than that?

If you’re local to North Wales, PA, I hope you will consider Petal Pushers and join us for this awesome fundraiser on August 14th.  Please register in advance as space is limited.  As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Petal Pushers Bike MS Fundraiser

 

P.S. Pennsylvania friends, I will be conducting a milk paint demo on Sunday, July 20th at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

accessorizing the bridal party

Hello!  Hello!  How was everyone’s weekend?  We are enjoying some unseasonably cool weather here.  It is like a fall preview.  I LOVE it.  But enough of the small talk.  I’m sharing more pics and deets from our wedding along with another DIY.

© Love Shack Photo

Today we are chatting about accessorizing your peeps with flowers.  When to go fresh and when to go fabric.

DIY Fabric Boutonniere

In the name of organization, we knocked out a few boutonnieres months prior to the big day.  If you are a Circa Dee diehard, you may even recognize some of the fabric used.  I didn’t get crazy about sourcing the perfect fabric for these flowers.  Instead, just pulled scraps from previous upholstery projects in blues and neutrals that would complement the color scheme.  Bridezilla?  I think not.

© Love Shack Photo

Hunter, our ring bearer, and Wilson’s escort has a more playful color palette with a splash of pink and aqua – kind of like the centerpieces.  His seersucker vest is from crewcuts.

© Love Shack Photo

Wilson opted for a more traditional look with a matching seersucker bow tie and leash from etsy.

© Love Shack Photo

He decided he’d like to take a seat during the ceremony rather than stand up front.  Seriously, I know.

© Love Shack Photo

I’m obsessed with this dog.  Judge me if you want.  But first, just look at that face…

Dana & Ryan Cape May Wedding

Oh, hey!  Look at these dapper guys.  They went fresh in the flower department.

© Love Shack Photo

Shawn, the best man, sported a throwback baby’s breath boutonniere that matched Leigh’s bouquet.

© Love Shack Photo

That was a bit of a vintage spin on the personal flowers.  The baby’s breath bouquet and boutonnierre were easy to DIY.  I gathered a bunch and constructed them with floral tape covered with ribbon just a few days prior to the ceremony.

© Love Shack Photo

What’s a wedding without a little air guitar?  Huh?  I can only imagine some Journey was being belted out of my gaping open mouth.  Don’t stop believing, friends.

© Love Shack Photo

So Ryan and I went with fresh flowers.  (I’m really tempted to say “fresh to death” here because we were at the Jersey shore after all but I am refraining.  Or am I?)  Anyway, a fresh flower bouquet of with a pale color palette of thistle, roses, lisianthus, sweet pea, ranunculus and seeded eucalyptus…

© Love Shack Photo

to match Ryan’s ranunculus boutonniere.

© Love Shack Photo

These I cannot take credit for.  Our flowers were created on our wedding day by my very talented friend, Renee.

© Love Shack Photo

She also helped construct the fabric boutonnieres months prior (among many other things!).

DIY Fabric Boutonniere

Now for the DIY… we simply cut long fabric scraps – say about 2 feet x 2 inches.  Twirled the fabric tightly round and round, hot gluing with each pass and strategically folding the fabric over to create the look of a blooming rose.  We garnished each a little differently with either lace ribbon (left from the invitations), mossy green wire or green raffia wire to create “leaves”.  Once complete, it was glued to felt backing and then to safety pins.  Easy.  And not just for weddings.  This DIY can totally be used to deck out kids backpacks, hats, etc.

I leave you with this image.  Aqua chucks.  The must have reception accessory for my dad.  For those who know him, you know Chucks are absolutely his style.  The aqua part is all mine.

© Love Shack Photo

Photos by Love Shack Photo

wedding tablescape

I am a hoarder.

I think we all know that by now.  That is pretty much how I ended up in this biz.  I love old stuff.  I love making stuff pretty.  I love collecting.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about my wedding centerpieces.

For months leading up to the big day, I collected silver water pitchers and teapots preferably tarnished.  A couple of antique champagne buckets as well.  In fact, I collected more than I needed.  Because I am a hoarder.

The shapes and sizes of the centerpieces alternated on each table with the floral palette being the commonality.

© Love Shack Photo

I already had a growing collection of vintage aqua blue mixing bowls.  This is my mantel from last summer proudly displaying the collection which was growing rapidly at the time.

Mixing bowl collection  and a ladybug

The color scheme was just right for our wedding so I was determined to incorporate my personal collections into our centerpieces.

We had 20 guest tables, 4 food tables and like 10 cocktail tables, I think.  In my mind, they all needed to be adorned with fresh flowers.  Arranged by me.  Large and small.

© Love Shack Photo

Was I nuts?  Maybe.  I like to think I came to my senses though when I came up with the brilliant idea of only arranging fresh flowers in half of the containers – mostly the silver pieces plus some blue ball jars which coordinated with our wedding invitation.

spring mason jar wedding invitation DIY blue green (5 of 10)

My solution to remaining sane was to arrange the other half of the centerpieces the weekend prior to the wedding.  I used flowering plants instead of fresh flowers since they would keep easily and that way I could divide and conquer on the centerpiece front.

© Love Shack Photo

Each mixing bowl was filled with pink flowering vinca, trailing vines and succulents.  Topped with moss and Cape May wine corks.

© Love Shack Photo

Bonus, most of these plants have been flowering in my garden all summer.  The wedding centerpieces were merely a layover for them!

Another collection of yellow McCoy planters in 3 sizes were displayed on the food stations.

© Love Shack Photo

So that left the larger vessels which were arranged just a few days before the wedding, packed up and then driven across state lines.  I think I successfully pulled of the task.

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Here’s a glimpse at what my kitchen turned floral shop looked like all in the name of DIY…

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That makes me happy.

So I am going to tell you the secret to pulling off arranging your own wedding centerpieces without going insane.

© Love Shack Photo

#1 Be Flexible

I was not committed to specific flowers, only a color scheme.  I arrived at the wholesale florist that particular day, 3 days before the grand event, and did what I do best.

Shopped.

Lilacs were in season so I started there and then built a springy palette around it.

© Love Shack Photo

Having worked in flower shops for years, I know the old requests of “no mums or carns.  No babies breath.”  I grew to dislike all of those common flowers during my florist tenure.  But guess what, I got over it.  I actually like these and as Carrie Bradshaw once noted, pink carnations are making a comeback.  Yes, still.  I’m fond of the hot pink minis so into the arrangements they went.

© Love Shack Photo

And the spin on mums?  Sunflower-esque pom pom mums.  Both these and the mini carnations are great filler flowers.

© Love Shack Photo

Moss covered pods were a nod to Ryan’s woodsy style.  Pink waxflower, lisianthus, sunflowers, pink tulips, variegated pittosporum, green status and more…

I took my selections home to my kitchen turned floral studio and got to work filling antique champagne buckets, ice buckets, ball jars, silver water pitchers, tea pots and a few smaller mason jars to don the cocktail tables.

© Love Shack Photo

#2 Be Organized

My to-do list was mostly completed at this point in the wedding planning process.  Had it not been, I don’t know that I could have pulled it off.

This tip is also two-fold.  You have to be organized from the beginning as it relates to collecting your vessels.  See: hoarding.

© Love Shack Photo

Honestly, DIYing these centerpieces was probably the most zen part of wedding planning for me.  Other than the spa, of course.

If you are a DIYing bride with some floral design abilities, I have faith that you can tackle your own centerpieces too!  If not, you can always ask your florist to use your own collected vessels and vases to personalize your centerpieces.

© Love Shack Photo

Next up…Ryan’s secret to getting the mini chalkboard table numbers to stand on their own.  And if you missed it, check out details on incorporating atlases into your tablescape here.

Centerpiece photos by Love Shack Photo

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.

a brilliant recap

Guys, I’ve been knee deep in wedding stuff over here.  We are getting down to the final stretch!  Lots of projects and details are on the horizon…woohoo!  But I can’t share them until after the wedding so I’d like to give you a little garden inspiration today.

Sunflowers always make me happy.

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As you may recall from last week, the Philadelphia Flower Show was in full bloom.  I have rarely missed the annual event since I was in high school.  I really love plants, floral design, gardening and landscapes.  Fun fact, my first job ever was in a flower shop!  Which led me to pursue a technical program in horticulture in high school and then a Bachelors degree in Ornamental Horticulture in college. While I am not quite doing anything professional with the Horticulture degree, the education has certainly been a backbone for me in my career.

I love to visit the educational exhibits at the flower show.  My Alma mater, DelVal, featured a spin on Sherlock Homes: The Mystery of Dr. Black’s Garden which allowed you to walk through the exhibit and identify invasive species.  Their interactive exhibit won best achievement in plant education.

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The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosts the show and typically displays sustainable ways to garden in small spaces.  Sticking with the English theme of “Brilliant”, PHS put together a vertical garden displaying the Union Jack flag.  I was delightfully distracted by the wall of lush green plants and didn’t even notice the flag until I took a step back.

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There are so many details like that throughout the show.  So much thought goes into these displays.  For example, this quaint potting shed seems to have it all including a wood burning stove!

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And the stacked wood outside of the shed is so satisfying.  Sigh.  I think I’ll work on making my potting shed this quaint and inviting.  Every year I say that right about now.

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There were also quite a few repurposed ideas popping up in the garden displays.  One of my favorite displays was from event floral designer, Petals Lane.  They never disappoint and this year their display included lots of vintage furniture and treasures in a mad tea party setting.

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I simply can not get past the use of vintage trunks…as planters.  Amazing!  You know how I feel about trunks, right?  The repetitiveness of the trunk planters made a huge impact.  However, before you go and plant a trunk this season realize that this would definitely not hold up to the elements outside.  This is a great idea for an event though.

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How did they do this?  Wheelbarrows stacked 7 or 8 deep in another display.

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And for a simple repurpose idea…I like how these barrel trash cans double as planters.  Great for a small area.

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Notching a fallen log as pictured below makes a great business card holder.  I am filing this idea away for future ways to display marketing collateral.

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And while we’re on the subject of trees, I found this life size sketch to be so striking.

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And this abstract display depicting rain in London was just massive!  I love how the designers used tropical flowers and props to represent the rain.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to suspend all of those umbrellas.

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And finally…these bright Gerbera daisies were just calling my name in their happy metallic pots.

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Did you go to the flower show?  What was your favorite exhibit?

brilliant: flower show tickets

Have you been to the Philadelphia Flower Show yet?  It is the largest in the country, actually the world, I think.  Every year it is more brilliant than the last.  But this year, it really is Brilliant.  That is the theme.

flowershow-brilliant

I will be instagramming my way around the convention center this evening taking in all of the English-themed delights.  I’ll also be paying special attention to the Designer’s Studio as well as the area around it.

Surrounding the Designer’s Studio seating area are themed pods.  The themes are Personality, Heirloom, Eco Chic, Neo-Tropic and Enchanted.  Floral designers have translated these themes into stunning arrangements and flower installations.

I am looking forward to checking out the Enchanted pod as it has been put together by my friend, Renee Tucci of Rhoads Garden and her partner, Darcie Garcia of Rich Mar.

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Renee and Darcie have also been known to compete in the Designer’s Studio along with colleague Heather Towne.  The audience does all of the voting in real-time on a flower show app.  This is totally entertaining to watch.  In fact, there should be a competitive reality show featuring floral designers…  No?

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Anyway, last year Renee won the competition.  And I hear Darcie won earlier this week in another competition.  I can’t wait to see who takes home the gold tonight.  There will be competitions going on all weekend at the Designer’s Studio.

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Let me cut to the chase.  I’ve got free tickets for you to hit the show before it ends on Sunday, March 10th!  Yes, a pair of complimentary tickets which is a $54 value.

This is a quick giveaway.  It will only be open until 5 pm this evening.  To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite flower.  Include your email.  I will draw a winner and alert you via email this evening so make sure you are checking in as I will need your last name too.  Your pair of tickets will be left at will call for you at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

P.S.  There is almost always some vintage goodies to be found at the show!

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Oh and also be sure to check out the new workshop tab above regarding details for our Milk Paint Workshop Series…