Save the Date! Custom Calendar Display

Continuing on my organizing kick, I found this great system at the craft store last week. I have been looking for some sort of calendar/magnet board system to hang inside our pantry door so my husband and I can readily see what events we have coming up...well, mainly my husband since I am the official calendar for the two of us and he just checks in with me to see if we have anything going on.

At any rate, I had been looking at the Pottery Barn organizing systems they have and I didn't feel like spending that much money nor have the space available for their size. It could have worked, but I was dragging my heals in purchasing one. Thank goodness I did because I was at Ben Franklin (a local Washington craft store) last week and ran across this whole do-it-yourself customizable system they had displayed. Everything was cut to size and any option conceivable such as cork board, metal sheets for magnets, white boards and an erasable preprinted calendar. Accompanying these, were square black 24" frames to fit. And they were not too big so they would fit perfectly on the small wall in our pantry (a place I know my husband will frequent!). So for $37 I got the two frames, one for the magnetic board to hold all invites and such, and the other for the erasable calendar to keep our monthly appointments in view. I couldn't be happier! My one gripe though is that I am left handed and have a hard time writing on the calendar without clearing everything I had just wrote...a life long battle of the lefties.


Keeping it in the Family

I have always treasured items passed down by my grandparents. They offer a piece of their past and history. And they also have a flair of craftsmanship and style that can't be found today. I have a vintage chest and mirror from one grandmother, china and jewelry from another and one of the most unique treasures I have are some old sketches of my grandmothers.

Dorothy Goldthorp (maiden name Oliver) was a talented painter and artist and most well known for her oil and water color painted landscapes. However, when we were cleaning out my grandparents house a few years ago I came across rolls of her figure sketches that I believe would have eventually turned in to paintings. The paper had aged and tattered and some weren't quite finished - all the better in my mind. They were the first things I wanted to keep and the rest of my family had already put them in the "get rid of" pile. They are treasure chest. Her sketched speak so clearly of the times in the early 1900's with the clothing and poses. I knew imediatly that I wanted to display them in my home some day.

I have since framed three of them, the earliest sketch dating back to 1926! I wanted to keep the integrity of the aged sketch paper and the holes where she tacked them to her easel. So instead of placing a matte around the edges, I placed the matte behind the sketch and allowed the tattered edges to become part of the pieces history. I also used pewter brads to tack them to the matte complimented by a simple black frame for a modern touch.

I have many more I would like to frame, but for now these will satisfy me. These will be something I am sure to pass down to my children. And to think they were going in to the trash!!


Nettleton Hollow: Nature at Your Finger Tips

Well, it's been a while since I have blogged. Life has been a bit hectic this summer, especially last week. We had the passing of a beloved pet of 21 years, my brother got married and we found out we are having a baby girl. Thankfully we have the blessing of a little one on the way to help get past the loss of Miss Lulu. We are thrilled to have a new little one join our family (of two) and of course I am thrilled to get started on the nursery! Hopefully I will be able to keep up with some more blogging now that I am feeling more energized and the thick of all the weddings are through.

Now that we know it's a girl my mind has been a busy bee figuring out how to design the room. I have settled on something a bit girly with a little bit of nature thrown in to the mix to keep it humble...just like her mama ;) I was doing a little searching today for a birch branch to use as a curtain rod on the window and came across this amazing site, Nettleton Hollow. Gone are the days of going to the local craft store to hunt for some nature inspired branches or foliage to have in your home that you saw in an amazing display at a high-end store. When I go to the craft store, I am always disappointed by the wimpy willow branches or sad looking dried flowers with not much else to chose from. Nettleton and Horton carries all those amazing branches and grasses you see in store displays that can create a dramatic yet simple statement. My one issue is that I just need one birch branch and they come in bunches of 5...hmmmm. Still love the site though!

I am excited to share my ideas for the nursery as I go along - stay tuned!


Big Change with Little Effort

One thing that I think gets overlooked in the whole design scheme when we are putting together a room is our lamp shades. And I am just as guilty at forgetting this. I have always just accepted the shade that the lamp comes with and never looked back.

Well, we got these lamps as a wedding gift that I love and the cream shades are perfectly fine, but as our bedroom has been coming together, the shades just seemed to be non desrcript. I tried to gussy them up with a little grosgrain ribbon around the top and bottom, but after adding in some additional textures, I was noticing that there was too much light and dark contrasting elements going on. So then I decided to add some warmth with a caramel colored shade that is neither too dark or too light and will set off nicely with the wall behind. So for $36 a piece at Pottery Barn, I have a whole vibe to the room. Ahhh! Just what the room needed!

From now on, I don't think I will just accept what my lamp comes with and consider additional options - it could be just what the room was looking for.