Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Dinner Party

For almost 20 years now, my girlfriends from high school and I have gathered together during the holiday season. And for most of those years I have had the pleasure of hosting the dinner party. This year was extra special because it was our first year in our new home. I wanted to share with you some of the photos from the evening, and where I purchased some of the beautiful things I used to make a glittery tablescape.
We have a large farmhouse table, which works out well to accommodate a larger dinner party. I also have an eclectic grouping of chairs that I use. The table came Arhaus Furniture, some of the chairs also came from there, and some came from Overstock
These are my new plates that I got at a local boutique called Rabbit and the Moon. The plates are by the company Rosanna. The name of the plates are "A Walk in the Woods" I really adore these plates. They come in a set of four.
At the center of my table I placed a silver tinsel tree with a collation of vintage ornaments. I decided to use the pink ornaments since it was a gathering of my girlfriends.
On my buffet I put my collection of Cody Foster glittery Christmas houses. I adore these houses and all the little details on them. They truly make a magical scene. 
This was a banner I hung on the window using washi tape, just a remainder about the season.
I made each of my girlfriends a personalized ornament with their initial, and used these as place cards.

I placed a little birdie paper clip on each of the napkins for some added whimsy.

Friendships should be treasured, especially those that have lasted decades. Hope that you feel inspired to host a dinner party for your friends, and may you have a wonderful new year! Looking forward to blogging more in 2013!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Have you heard of Annie Sloan Chalk paint? Well, it's this really amazing paint that is super easy to work with, and you get a lovely result! No sanding required before using this paint :). This was my first time using it, and I was really pleased with the result. The piece of furniture that I used it on, was this lovely buffet I found antiquing nearly a year ago. I knew that I wanted to paint it, and put it in our new home, but I wasn't sure about what color I wanted to go with. So finally, after deciding on all the finishes throughout the house, I decided I would paint the piece a combination of Pure White and Paris Grey. So here is the buffet in all it's glory prior to painting. Great piece, with good bones!
I really wanted to highlight all the little details in this pieces, so I started with a base coat of the Pure White. I applied thin coats.

Then I decided to use the Paris Grey to accent where I thought was appropriate, after a couple coats of the Pure White.

Voila' the finished product after I put the Annie Sloan clear wax coating on it!
I staged it, for now, with some of the pretty hobnail milk glass that I have been collecting for some time, and a few other of my favorite pieces.

The pretty arrows came from a boutique called Dress and Dwell in New Albany, IN. The owl came from Kohl's and the rest of the items are vintage finds.
If you would like some more information about the Annie Sloan paint products you can contact Vintage Style and Design
Or you can also look on the Annie Sloan website for ideas and where to purchase it.
I think you will find this paint is really user friendly, and has lots of lovely color options! Best of luck on your next paint project! I can't wait to put this new piece in our new home. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Prom Night

How many of us look back at our Prom Night and wish we could push the "redo" button.  Well my hand is raised, that's for sure.  Maybe it's because my hair was teased so much, and I had pounds of aqua net hairspray on, or maybe it's because I had on a long sequined red dress with huge puffy sleeves?  I always thought that proms were overrated, however, with my son's prom I wanted to make it a special night to remember for him and his friends.  So in the weeks prior to his prom I was in total planning mode.  What could I do to make sure that their prom night was as special as they all are?  So here is what I came up with.....
I had a vision in my head and with the help of my family we brought it to life!  This was the photo booth back drop that I created.  I wanted the kids to have a fun place to sit and take silly photos before and after we served dinner.  This back drop was fairly easy to create.  I made the garlands with various types of tissue paper that I found at a local party store.  I used the Cricket to cut out the PROM letters, and I used some scrapbook paper to make the pinwheel circles.  I found the crown and the top hat also at a local party source store.  The chalkboards I found at Dress and Dwell Boutique in New Albany.  You can write whatever you want one them, they are such a versatile piece to have.  Simple linen drapes were used as the back drop.  I chose this color combination of yellow, green, and silver, because they are the colors of my son's school.
My son and his beautiful date, how funny is this?
I am so happy that the kids allowed me to take their photos, and they enjoyed the photo booth.  Now on to dinner plans....
Here is the end result, and I show you how I created this easy table scape.
We turned our family room into a dining space for the evening.  I have a large farmhouse table that worked out perfect for our dinner party of eight.  I used 2 sheer damask drapery panels for the table runner.  The napkins came from TJ Maxx, and the napkin rings were from Pier 1.  I used lots of fresh flowers down the center of the table.
I wanted to make my name cards for each of the kids, to make them feel special.  So I came up with the idea of painting simple garden pots with chalk board spray paint.  It was so easy, the boys helped me spray them.
I found both of these at the Home Depot.
And the end result was this...
I used some light green chalk, and personalized each one, then filled them with treats.  I put a pack of gum, some chapstick, the girls had a fun light up ring, and then a special message written from their dates.
I found the most beautiful papers at World Market, and the boys each wrote a special message for the girls.  Trying to teach these boys how to be gentlemen and thoughtful.
Here's the guys writing their special messages to the girls...

And the boys got gum, chapstick, and a mustache on a stick in their place card pot.  Hind sight, I should have made mustaches for the girls too, they loved them just as much!
And here are some of the flowers that were on the table...
Hope you find some inspiration in this post.  There are so many easy tricks that can make your event special!  And just for laughs, here is a photo of me at my prom...I'm in the red!
Until next time...
xo ~Gretchen

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blogging your way Road Trip Adventure to NYC

So last week I had an amazing opportunity to attend 2 full day classes taught by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring.  Holly is an accomplished blogger, who reaches a large audience world-wide, she is a best selling author of her beautiful design book called Decorate, she has an amazing eye for interior styling, and I am now proud to call her my friend.  And Leslie is equally as talented.  She has her own successful blog, as well as contributing to Holly's blog, she has amazing photography skills, and is also now a new  friend.  I learned a lot during the two days of classes.  Sometimes it's just as simple as surrounding yourself with people who have similar creative souls as you do.  There were some very inspiring and lovely women in this class, and I look forward to following their blogs and see where their paths take them.  I took the class with my best friend, and it was 2 days of jam packed information taught by both Holly and Leslie.  If you ever get the opportunity to take a class from Holly, I highly recommend it :).  One of the skills I am most excited about learning this past weekend was learning how to use my camera to take interior photos.  So I wanted to share some of these photos I took with you, and I hope that you feel inspired to tap into your creative side!

My Styling using LuluBelles jewelry and some trims, fabrics and ribbons.

My Styling using a LuluBelles necklace

Some of the beautiful garland that Holly created herself.

One of Holly Becker's Mood Boards that she designed.

Beautiful tulips in a milk jar on our table, that I styled with velvet ribbon and a vintage brooch.
Having fun playing around with depth of field.
Styling with a fun little chevron printed party bag, that was giving to us at the class.
LuluBelles necklace, with a French general book, and a classmate's flower.

Our amazing loft space, Divine Studios in NYC

Leslie, Natalie, Holly and myself.
Hope you feel inspired!