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.


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.


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.

new in the shop

Hi guys! I can feel it…spring.  It is so close!  It is so like me to always rush one season in and the other out.  With that said, we’ve been churning out a few projects here getting ready for the change of seasons.  As a result there are some new upcycled projects in the shop including this framed map.

Map of Europe

I love the mix of sophistication in the vintage gilded frame and playfulness in the color palette.  We took a tattered school map of Europe in the 90’s and fit it to size.  This would be so fun in a nursery or kid’s room.  I have also posted it on Etsy.

School Map of Europe

Speaking of etsy…our remaining cowboy boot inventory has been marked down and posted on Etsy.  Grab them at up to 20% off before it is flip-flop weather!


In the shop we are making room for the upcoming Easter Charity Photo Shoot with Mandy Keep Photography on March 9th.  Appointments are filling up!  If you are interested in having your little ones in for the shoot, email Mandy to schedule.  The cost is $40 and you will receive 10-15 electronic images.  100% of the proceeds will be donated to the National MS Society!

Charity Photoshoot Mar 9

Have I mentioned that we are now open every Thursday afternoon from 12-4 pm.  Yes, every single Thursday.  (oh except for April 4th because I’m on spring break. I know, sorry.)  So you don’t have to wait for our monthly events to stop in now.  We are always open by appointment as well.

And I’m excited to announce that we are planning a Spring Milk Paint Workshop Series!  It will be a 4-week hands on series taking place on Thursday mornings.  Email me if you would like to receive further information on the workshop series.

Milk Paint

And that concludes my updates for today.  Happy weekend everyone!


Sometimes we grow up.  Ok its inevitable.  It happens.  We age.  We change. Interests change.

And rooms should evolve as their owners do.

My 30-year-old friends have a super cool South Philly rowhome.  Maybe you saw their kitchen renovation on the DIY Network.  They were living with a secret though.  It was in the room they call their den.  The den was straight out of college.  It basically housed all of their leftover furniture, CDs (yes we had CDs in college), DVDs and other early twenties paraphernalia haphazardly.

Leigh & Aaron looked to me for advice on how to turn the space into a room that would reflect who they’ve become.  On a budget.

No problem.  We established up front that the sofa would stay.

The maps in the room were also inspiration and they were to stay.  However, they really needed to be pulled together for a little bit more of a cohesive look.  In their before state, the map theme wasn’t evident.

The other “keeper” was the cool industrial built-in shelf that Aaron constructed recently.  But it needed to be highlighted for sure.

We came up with a game plan.  We decided the room would feature maps, have an industrial vibe and a recurring accent color of orange.

Having established those 3 items, we went shopping.

First for reclaimed wood for framing the maps and building the media console.

Next we shopped for pipes for the media console and curtain rods.

And canvas which was outfitted as curtain panels on curtain rods made of piping to drive home the industrial vibe.  Look out West Elm!

Because these two are handy DIYers I left them to execute the vision.  First was fresh paint.  Rejuvenate by Behr.  Second was organizing and purging.  What really needed to stay in the room?

Then Aaron architected a media console to coordinate with the industrial shelves.  The proportion and open shelves of the console helped to expand the space.

The blue bookshelf found a new home on an adjacent wall housing organized books and photos.

All of the maps were framed with dark reclaimed wood that was once used as trim.

Then came the accessorizing.  My contribution was reviving a plain photo album with an atlas page of Queens, where the couple used to live.

They upstaged my use of maps by making custom throw pillows.  Each pillow featured a different area – the town each grew up in plus the New York neighborhood they lived in early in their relationship.  It doesn’t get much more customized than that!  Did I mentioned they created the fabric and stitched the pillows?  And the orange throw pillows were created from a set of orange linen napkins.

So now that you know the plan, here are the full after shots of the grown up den.

A newly created map of Philly was added to the collection.

Lots of uses for industrial piping.

Bonus!  The space got a new flat screen TV.

Not a CD in sight.

Doesn’t it just feel more pulled together now?

Linking to Get Outta My Head Please