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2010…a Reflection

31 Dec

2010 has been the best year since I can remember. So many great things have happened to my family and I (and my new family). This has been a year full of blessings and for that we are grateful.

This time last year John and I were mentally preparing ourselves for the wedding planning and crunching in the months to follow (we got married on May 28).

John and I at our 90's New Year's Eve Party last year!

It is funny to look back at how stressful it was at times but that stress is what makes it exciting.

ah stress!

It is a type of stress that you can only experience once (well hopefully) and the entire process teaches you alot about yourself and the people close to you. Weddings will bring out the very worst and the very best in people. True colors reign and at the same time it is reassuring and disappointing. Luckily, we are blessed with such an amazing group of friends and family who supported and helped us the entire way through. The good stress is to be embraced and remembered for always…after all it is part of the experience.

Every year I make a list of resolutions because I like to believe in the novelty of it. Most people think they are made to be broken but I take it as an opportunity to set goals for myself (which I do periodically throughout the year anyway).

There were several resolutions I had personally that I accomplished and some I did not:

  • get married!
  • do something about my urge to learn graphic design
  • exercise more
  • eat healthy and get hubby to jump on bandwagon
  • blog
  • new job that lowers stress
  • 5K
  • go to dermatologist (get scary mole removed)
  • go to eye doctor
  • regular volunteer work
  • get a dog with john
  • reconnect with someone very dear to me

As you can see, I still have some left that will transfer to this year. I especially would like the volunteer one to be at the top of my list because there are so many people in need right now. Whether they are sick, sad, or unemployed…it is our responsibility to help one another and I aim to do that this year. John and I have been blessed with good health and good jobs. It is the least we can do to stop and help others (you should think about it too!).

Take a minute today to look at what you have accomplished in 2010 (not just the DIY projects or house remodelings). Look at the big picture and what you did to meet your goals or dreams. Did something not work out quite how you wanted? Did you keep putting something off that you now regret? Did you sell yourself short and not put your best interest first? If so, then guess what? You have a whole new clean slate to start over. Take that piece of paper out and write down what you would like to accomplish this coming year. Of course you are not going to get them all…no one does…keep that in mind and keep going for your dreams. Sometimes we fall but it is the effort it takes to get back up and try again that makes the world go round…..

Happy New Year!

Bridesmaid's Being Awesome and Helping During the Wedding Week!

Wedding Week

My mom helping cut burlap table runners.

This was the result of our ENTIRE wedding party helping! Thank you everyone!

Hope and I holding our dresses up..right after we bought them in January.

My sister and her boyfriend at the beach.

Success! Tired and happy married couple...


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

30 Dec

I was looking at Anthropologies website the other day for inspiration and stumbled across something that 1.) made me cry because it was so $$ and 2.) made me really happy because I found something similar in a “junk” shop by the side of the road for $7.00!

This is what I found at Anthro….

Anthropologie Vine Gardner Mirror $498.00

Anthropologie Organic Rococo Mirror $398.00

They are beautiful and I wish I could afford a million of them but I am very excited about my side of the road treasure!


This was my steal at $7.00….

Ornate Mirror (not sure of material..not wood)



I think I am going to paint the frame  a glossy white or glossy turquoise to go in our guest room…any suggestions?




DIY Tissue Paper Monogram

29 Dec

So the original purpose of this blog was to showcase and TEACH you about the things I made for my wedding…kinda got off track, huh Ashley?

We thought it would be nice to have something hanging on our beach house rental door to give a glimpse of the overall wedding decor. It is also a nice  personalized touch to the entrance of your wedding venue and above all else it let’s  people know they have arrived to the right place!

We decided that an “R” to represent our last name (my new last name) would be appropriate. I knew I did not want a moss covered “R” or a fabric covered “R” (even though they are very nice for some weddings). I liked the simplicity of this Martha Stewart Weddings idea but wanted more.

Martha Stewart Weddings

I was running out of time AND moolah so decided to look at what I already had lying around. There was quite a bit of blue tissue paper left after making the pom’s (see how to post here). I printed off my current coupon for Joann fabric and made the trek in search of a styrofoam sheet. Sure enough, they had plenty of shapes and sizes! The styrofoam sheet cost about $4.00 with the coupon (you know you are getting older AND wiser when you get excited about coupons!). Here is what I did when I got home:

1. I used a marker to trace an “R” on the foam. Try using a light marker (I used silver so my lines would hide easily).

2. Cut the “R” out with an exacto knife. Going into the garage is a must because it gets a little messy. You may have to score the styro. several times before it will pop out. Take your time and stick to it. I actually ended up cutting a part of my “R” off by mistake…nothing some tape can’t fix!

3. A day earlier I made some miniature tissue paper flower poms. I used the same directions as the large pom’s but used smaller sheets of tissue paper. This is where the wire we  used for the tissue paper pom’s will come in handy. See my pom here. Wiggle the wire through the foam and twist to secure the tissue pom’s on.

4. Using the wire from the wrapped flower pom’s, stick them one by one into the “R” and fill it up. I thought about adding some to the side because the foam was about 1″ thick but opted not to. This would make it fuller and more polished in my opinion.

5. I then tied a ribbon to the top and hung it from a clear wreath hook I got from the after Christmas sell at K-Mart for $.99! SCORE!

There you have it! An easy, light and airy monogram to hang from your door!

Goodwill Frames = Awesome Christmas Decor!

23 Dec

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I hope everyone is ready and jolly by golly!  Like everyone else this holiday season my wallet was not looking forward to the costs involved with baking, gift giving and more outings! It is all I can do to get all my ducks in a row every month! I really wanted to do some fun things for our house since it is our first “married” Christmas together in our home. Holiday decorations help get my husband and I in the spirit. Only problem is holiday decor at full price is way too expensive and I am not one to hit the shops up the day after for those marked down holiday goodies. Sooooo I did what I always do and made my way down to Goodwill. Many of you know that Goodwill is my jam! I love going there and looking around, seeing hidden potential in things, finding a good book and meeting the nice people that work there. Just the other day I found Emily Giffins “Something Borrowed” for a dollar! I read it in 2 sittings! Success! Back to my point I had a few ideas in mind for my Goodwill expedition. I wanted to find some framed art (with or without the art) with the frame and glass intact. My Goodwill off Strickland Rd. has a great corner of frames and art etc. I walked away with some old framed art and a canvas that someone had framed in.

Once I put my thinking cap on I took both frames to the garage and laid them on some painters plastic.

I took the glass out of the frame and removed the oh so lovely art and RECYCLED it. Washed it, dried it and prepped it. I took some Rustoleum chalkboard paint and used a high density foam roller to paint the glass. It only took (2) coats with a 4 hour dry time in between.

While the glass was drying I spray painted the frame with a nice semi-gloss white I had laying around. Two coats seemed to do the job.

we like corona

After the chalkboard glass was dry I put it back in the frame and BAM that’s my JAM! A cute chalkboard to scribble Christmas cheer on!

My second project needed to somehow showcase our Christmas cards. I adore Christmas cards and can hardly wait to open them when they come in. I noticed that John leaves them for me on the counter because he knows how much I love ripping into them! I have the best husband EVA! As much as I love them, they can sometimes clutter and flutter. My soluition was to create a card bullitin board  to display by our tree.

I started by painting the frame and canvas with white paint. The person’s art was lovely but not my style *sorry little van gogh*.

While the paint was drying I dug through our Christmas wrapping paper stash and found something semi-neutral with a little color and shine.

I removed the screws and wrapped the canvas in the paper (taping it on much like a Christmas gift).

I carefully put the canvas back into the frame and tucked when necessary.

This is the finished product and this is what it looks like now…great right? All cards in one tidy place by our beautiful tree.

These are just some easy, inexpensive ways to brighten up your home this holiday season. Home is where it all begins and ends so why not have fun in making it festive? Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

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DIY Burlap Wreath

27 Nov

Fall Wreath on Door

So this might be coming a little late…what am I saying…might? It IS coming a little late. But I like to think better late than never!

I wanted to make my first wreath for a door that separates our hallway and living area. I knew I wanted a more rustic look to go with Fall and I also knew I wanted to re-use some burlap from our wedding table runners. SO I took a little trip down to JoAnn Fabrics (after printing off a coupon of course) and mosied around. Luckily all their fall decor was on sale (this was after Halloween people..plenty of time to get more decor for the Thanksgiving holiday). I found two cute little “fall inspired” sprigs for $.60 a pop!

Fall Sprigs...I don't think I have ever used the word "sprig" more!

I then found a foam wreath shape for $5.00.

Cheapy Cheap Foam Wreath Form

I was elated and went on home. The components to my fall wreath sat in the spare bedroom (like everything does) for a good two weeks. Finally I made myself sit down and figure something out. I did not have a plan at all and hoped the wreath would find itself in my hands, haha. I grabbed my long burlap table runner and pinned one edgeof it into the foam.

Dark Burlap

I then started to loosely wrap the burlap in and out of the wreath.

Wrap that baby 'round...

I kept it loose because personally, I like it. You could go tighter if you would like. After I got to the end of the burlap and the last exposed part of green foam, I used two sewing pins to secure the burlap in place (be sure to pin into the back so it will be out of eyesight).

Pin the Back to Secure

I think used more pins to secure the fall sprigs onto the wreath. I only bought two but you could use several more.

Sprig it Up!


Hang on Wreath Hook

I like the simplicity of this AND the re-useability! Now that Christmas is approaching I have taken the wreath down, unpinned the sprigs and unwrapped the burlap. This gives my foam wreath a new life! Hmmmm…what to do now?! Stay tuned…..

Wedding Tidbit: this could be a great addition to wedding decor. Instead of fall sprigs use some white or silver seashells if your having a beach wedding. OR try pinning black and white photos of the couple all around it. With some pins, the options of endless!

watch out wedding etsy…

26 Oct

Angel Face Designs Button

I stumbled across the great wedding oriented, etsy like marketplace online…

Very cool idea but then I started reading into the FAQ. In order to sell on this site, one must be approved. I understand that you may not get approved if you are selling antique trains but it almost seemed a little pretentious. Perhaps they could word it differently. My impression is that not ALL wedding geared items will be accepted. They say it is nothing personal but in my opinion they are shooting themselves in the foot…I will stick with the tried and true Etsy for now 🙂

“Lay Your Weary Head to Rest….” at the Furniture Market!

23 Oct

This past Monday my interior design office took a little field trip to High Point for the Fall High Point Furniture Market! If you do not know what market is just imagine an entire downtown area of a furniture infused city dedicated to showcasing the latest and greatest in residential and commercial furnishing and decor. There are several LARGE buildings dedicated to this event (some year round and some just for market). My office went to check out the latest in furnishings and accessories for our hotels. We also have a few vendors we are loyal to and wanted to see any updates. I have never been to market before so did not know what to expect. It was like window shopping to the extreme! I wanted everything for my own house! From the hand crafted side tables to the driftwood wall hangings to the over-sized Buddha porcelain statues.

People from all over the world were here: architects, designers, bloggers, buyers etc.

Check out this list of vendors and events that were occurring….too bad we missed Kansas LIVE! Carry on my wayward son…..

Robert Allen Fabric Books

Clayton Oxford Showroom (Local Durham Business) ( check them out-very nice people!)

Burlap Flower Applique

Driftwood Wall Hanging

Felt Flower Pillow

Moe's Showroom

Nickelodeon Showroom (Kids Room Vignette-totally awesome dude)

Hammery Showroom : Dresser

Some trends I noticed:

BURLAP (thank goodness…so cute!)

asian/morrocan influences

appliques! pillows, lampshades etc.

rustic chic…distressed wood, white washed things


bright colors like mustard yellow, lime green deep purple mixed with white, grey and other neutrals.

But Ashley, what on earth does this have to do with wedding DIY?!! Glad you asked. If I were planning a wedding and needed some inspiration, this would be great place to start. Granted you have to be connected to the design community somehow. BUT, one could always scout the online blogs showing these latest and greatest designs. Places like this serve as inspiration for the latest color schemes, materials and finishes. All which can be translated in your wedding design (colors, hair accessories, decor or paper goods).

For example: I saw a BEAUTIMOUS lampshade that was covered in burlap with a flower applique (see photo above). This could be translated into a killer hair accessory for the rustic chic wedding. Create a little burlap or jute flower, glue it on a barrette, hot glue a rhinestone in the middle to jazz it up and BAM! Instant glam on a budget…..

See ladies…inspiration is EVERYWHERE. You just have to open your eyes….

Global Views Showroom