Monday, July 7, 2014

My Quilting Chronicles

I am one of those creative people who constantly feels inspired by different projects that I see around me, whether it be on Pinterest, or another blog, or my own family. My mom and my aunts have been quilting for a while now, but I just started to jump on the bandwagon. I love the craftsmanship that goes into making a quilt, and all the beautiful patterns from the fabrics. The task seems a bit overwhelming, but luckily I have experts to rely on. I can already tell that my favorite part of the quilt making process is selecting the fabric. Seriously, there are so many beautiful fabric lines out there. I am quite smitten with the new Jennifer Paganelli line at Joann Fabrics. It was released on June 30th, and I was lucky enough to be able to snag some over the holiday weekend. This line of fabric inspired me to get started on my quilt. So here are the fabrics that I am using, not all are from the Jenny Eliza line, some are from Joann's own line, and one is from another favorite fabric designer named Amy Butler





Here is the pattern that I am planning on following....
I love the hex pattern, and I also love when there is white in a quilt. I feel like the other fabrics pop against the white. I chose a pretty little swiss dot print for my white fabric.  
Here is the book I purchased from Joann's with the quilt pattern.

So there you have it, the fabrics that I have chosen, and the pattern that I am using. I hope it turns out as good in person, as I visualize it my head ;) I will be updated my progress as I go along. I'd love for you to leave me any helpful tips about quilting in the comments. You can also follow me on Instagram, I'll be posting updates on there too! Wish me luck, I am excited about this new project. I actually have cut out all the patterned pieces, all 78 of them. 
XO~Gretchen

Monday, June 2, 2014

Artwork for my Boys

So I have been working on creating some artwork for each of my three boys. I love the idea of each of them having something special that I made for them. I am sentimental like that, especially when it comes to my boys. This project was pretty easy to tackle. I was able to finish it in less than two hours. The supplies you will need are as follows:
Art paper
Paint
Paint brushes
Sponge brush to apply mod podge
Decoupage
Scrap book paper
Frame
Pencil
Scissors
The first thing that I did was to cut out triangles, to look like mountains, out of Martha Stewart map craft paper.

I then mod podged the map paper on my white art paper. I always apply the mod podge generously to the back of the paper. Then lay it down, and apply the mod podge over top, trying to work out all the bubbles. 
Next I traced a circle out of a vintage piece of book paper that I had. You could use whatever paper you want, I just felt this worked well, especially since my son is an avid reader. 
I used my Anthropologie candle topper as my guide to trace around. It was the perfect size. 

I also mod podged it on to the art paper. I ended up white washing over top of the book paper so that my words would be more pronounced, and show up better. White washing is simply a technique where you water down your paint, so that you get a washed out look. 
Once all the mod podge dried I hand scripted the saying "Let him sleep for when he wakes, he will move mountains" I really love this quote, and find it so meaningful. I truly believe that all three of my boys have the ability to move mountains, whether it be that they are working in research to help figure out why certain diseases affect certain people, being creative, or bringing a smile to someone's face. My oldest is currently working on research at a local university that looks at how MRI/CAT scans can help diagnose certain diseases which can affect our brain.  My middle son, is so smart and creative, I can only imagine what he will do with his talent one day. And my youngest has the capability to make us laugh and bring a smile to our face at any given moment. He has had a special twinkle in his eyes since the day he was born. :)
Sorry, back to the project, I could go on and on about my boys.
Here is what it looked like after I hand wrote the quote.

I painted the tops of the mountains with white, so they would appear snow capped.
Next I added in some clouds with a pale grayish aqua paint, just to add another layer.

Then I used a dark gray paint to go over my lettering. By writing it with the pencil first, it makes it so much easier to go back over, because once you paint it, it's permanent. ;)

Here is the finished artwork framed. I'm happy with the way it turned out. It's not about creating the perfect piece, it's about creating something meaningful.
With summer vacay just around the corner, I hope you feel inspired to create something with your kids. This is totally a kid friendly project. Make sure they are working both sides of their brain this summer. Have them work on reading, math, and incorporate some art!
Thanks for stopping by, until next time...
XO~Gretchen

Friday, May 23, 2014

Designing a Beach Bungalow Part 5: The Kitchen

So if you have been following along you have seen the other spaces that I have designed for the beach house I am dreaming up. Today's focus will be on the kitchen. It's the heart of the house, right? I envision that the kitchen be open to both the dining area and the family room. Because I think big open spaces are perfect for a vacation home. Here is an inspiration photo from the blog House of Turquoise that I found via Pinterest. It was designed by Kerry Hanson.
What I love about this kitchen, is the mix of white and gray cabinets, the stools, the light fixtures, the windows, and the backsplash. I really could envision something similar in a beach house. So I took inspiration from this photo, and I came up with this design.


I'll start with the wall color. I figured you would not see that much of it, by the time the cabinets and backsplash are in, but I like having a little hint of the aqua. 
I think the color Retiring Blue by Sherwin Williams would be nice.
The cabinets I would like to see painted white with no glaze, just clean and crisp. I would put these fun knobs from Anthropologie on all the doors. I may have to brush them with a little silver paint on the metal part. 
Then I would put cup pulls on all the drawers.
I would make sure to have some glass cabinet fronts. I think it's great to have a place to display pretty dishes and serving pieces.
I like the design of the kitchen island, I would probably put a really light quartzite on it. We have that on our island in our kitchen, and I love it. It looks like marble, but it does not stain, and holds up beautifully to all the day to day usage it gets. Here is an example of a slab I might choose.
I would opt for a farmhouse sink. I love my farmhouse sink. It is a classic addition to any kitchen.

The faucet I like has a vintage feel. I would select a chrome finish. You can shop local retailers for different faucet options. There are so many out there. My only advice is to not get something really cheap. Invest in a good brand like Kohler or Mohen, because you want something that is going to last a long time. Sometimes you get what you pay for. ;)
Love these glass dome light fixtures from Grandinroad. I think two of these over the gray island would be great.
Seriously, I think, my favorite part of the kitchen would be these stools from Serena and Lily. I actually am trying to convince my best friend that she needs them for her new kitchen. If you haven't noticed, I am really in to kelly green lately, I almost love it as much as aqua. And the two of them together is pure perfection.
I would use a simple white subway tile. I love how these have a beveled edge. They are clean, classic, and timeless.
The rug is from Urban Outfitters. They have a great selection of rugs at reasonable prices. 
I love the idea of having baskets in the kitchen too. They are not only resourceful to use for storage, but they add a pretty layer of texture to the space. So I have this idea to purchase some plan tight woven baskets and then painting them to look like these.


There you have it! I could probably write another post about all these dishes and accessories I would use. Of course I would have some vintage hobnail dishes on display in the glass cabinets, since I love collecting them.
Here is my mood board for the family room space, so that you can see how nicely the rooms compliment one another.

Hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend! Now I really wish this beach house I designed was real so that I could go spend the holiday weekend there. :)
Until next time.....
XO~Gretchen







Monday, May 19, 2014

Designing a Beach Bungalow Part 4 The Master Oasis

Have you been following along? Yay, if so. Well here is Part 4 in my blogging series. I have been sharing my inspiration and design ideas for a beach house. Today I'll be blogging about how I would design our master bedroom in our "pretend" beach house. First I would have my handy hubby or a local contractor add panel molding to the walls in the room, like the mood board photo below. Then I would paint the wall color, including the trim, a really chalky, pale coral. I think one of these colors from Sherwin Williams would work really well.
I really want the master bedroom to have a sophisticated feel, with a little whimsy, and of course be comfy. I love the soft color pallet of corals, mixed with blues and grays. And I am a big fan of the brass accents. What's old is new again, and yes brass is back! 
So here are the details on the bed. You can find this one at Ballard Design. You are able to custom design this bed, with a variety of fabrics, but I just chose a simple off white linen.
I would keep the bed linens simple, and just use an off white, duvet and pillows. Then I would accent with a few fun pillows like these. The first pillow is from Williams Sonoma, and I love the coral detail on it. I actually have similar pillows on our current master bed.
I found the fabric for these pillows at Hawthorne Threads. I love the navy, with the corals and aqua. It's an Amy Butler fabric, she is one of my favorite fabric designers. 
I chose a simple throw, that has a pillow ticking feel to it. Something about pillow ticking always reminds me of the beach. 
So there is the bed, and the bedding, pretty simple, yet comfy and inviting. Just what I would invasion for my master bedroom beach house.
Here are the details about the furnishings I chose for the space. I love this tall armoire from Ballard Design. They have a great collection of painted wood furniture, with lots of color options. I just happen to adore this bluish, aqua finish. This would be a perfect place to tuck away a TV, and have additional storage.
Next I found this long dresser, that I think would be nice. I do not like when furniture all matches, I think it great to have different colored finishes, and embrace the eclectic look. 
This piece is also from Ballard Design
The side tables are from Layla Grace. I love the X pattern on the front. I would add two of these, one on each side of the bed. 
Oh how I love this velvet chair. I looks comfy, vintage, and modern. I think it's the perfect combination. I don't need a new chair for our current home, but I sure do love this one. :) You can find it here.

Now for all the little details the make a room. I found this rug online at Wayfair. This rug has my favorite color combination. I think it's what pulls the color story together in this room.

Another great find from Ballard Design is this tall wooden mirror. It would be great to lean on a wall in the room, or place above the dresser. Every girl needs a full length mirror ;)

This Paris map can be found at Target. I love how it looks like an old vintage map, but does not cost a lot of money. You could frame it yourself, and save some money. I always have luck with large frames at Michael's Crafts or Hobby Lobby. 
Another great artwork piece I would use in this room is this painted wooden sign. A local boutique in town Dress and Dwell carries this Sugarboo line. I think it's always great to have a meaningful piece of art in your master bedroom. You could also create a piece like the one I made here.
Here is the piece that I made :)
This is another great art piece I found online at Target. It works well in a serene beach inspired space. 
Loving this fun and whimsical lamp by Layla Grace. I would put them on a bedside table. I may try to emulate this lamp shade. I think it would be easy to make by gluing pom poms on to an existing lamp shade. 
I would use this fun little modern print fabric for an accent pillow. You can find the fabric here


Lastly, I saw a similar piece to this one, at Target recently. I think it is a perfect little accessory to any room. Brass accessories are really on trend. 
So there you have it, how I would design a master suite for our beach bungalow. This has been a fun series for me, because I love design, and I really adore anything beach inspired. I always say that the stork did not drop me far enough south. I think I was meant to grow up near the beach. Someday we hope to own our own little piece of paradise. I have a couple more spaces that I plan on designing and sharing with you for this home. Stay tuned, and check back. You can see the other spaces that I designed here(boy's room), here(guest room), and here(family room). :)
Until next time..
XO~Gretchen