Tis’ the Season

…the season for weddings, for sure! This Spring David and I are honored to be in two weddings for family members near and dear…my brother’s wedding today (yippee!) and David’s cousin’s in two weeks. We couldn’t be happier for the whole bunch! So, in the spirit of this season’s nuptials, I wanted to post this behind-the-scenes video I found on Oscar PR Girl‘s website and taken from the making and presentation of Oscar de la Renta‘s 2012 Bridal Collection. I think it is fascinating to see the exquisite craftsmanship that is put into each dress and the discerning role of the designer in the presentation of the collection…every detail is noticed and considered.

Although I have a passion for well crafted design, and especially when it comes to apparel, I don’t have many pieces of designer clothing. In fact, most of my clothing is from obscure sources since I rely so heavily on second-hand finds. However, it makes me very happy to say that I do own three pieces of Oscar de la Renta clothing…and every time I wear them, I feel proud and blessed to have the privilege to don such beautiful pieces!

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Thinking Outside the Table

Another household item that can often be found floating around my house without a place to rest in are my books. David and I have an ever growing collection (which I love!) but I think we’re running out of places to put them! For those with the same predicament, here is a wonderful solution.

Photo Credit: Justin Officer, via Design Sponge Online

In fact, I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t mention that the image above inspired a similar arrangement in my own living room. (By the way, this photo is from an equally cool home featured on Design Sponge…bright, playful, and perfect for Spring!) I’m curious to know if you would you try this set-up in your home? Tell me what you think!

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Where Now?

You know how easy it is to procrastinate….we all do it! I would like to think that I don’t, but the sad truth is that occasionally, every once in a while, when I am feeling a bit lazy…I put things off. 😉 Up until recently, my artwork has continued to remain sitting on our floors. Well, the quickest way to get things done around the house is to have family over and that is exactly what will be happening in about a week. A small group of my family will be visiting from Tennessee for my brother Andrew’s wedding. This caused me to finally begin hanging my artwork. So, I gathered the pieces and laid it all out on my living room floor. Now, the question is…where?

Updates to come as I finalize their arrangement.

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Mixed Metals

Now that I have come clean about my avid affection for second hand treasures, I think it would be a mistake not to share an example of my hodgepodge collection in action. My theory of “matching” is pretty loose…proportion, texture, and color guide most of my decisions. And in regards to jewelry, I love to layer!

My advice to the hesitant mixer? Just give it a try! As I’ve done today with my wrist accessories, play around with chunky bands and skinny bangles, slinky bracelets and shapely cuffs…jeweled, painted, engraved, or embossed…you never know if it will work until you try. (And don’t worry about the gold and silver taboo…they are actually a lovely contrasting complement to one another).

Now, are you ready to give it a try? Don’t forget to come back here and let me know how it goes!!

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Confessions of a Thrifter

By now, most of you know that I have a keen appreciation for hidden treasures and diamonds in the rough. My favorite pastime is vintage, antique, and thrift shopping. After my “This to That” series, which I am taking a short break from, and other second-hand inspired posts (HERE, HERE and HERE), I thought a brief summary of my tips and suggestions for a happy thrifting day would be well timed. Besides, with Lent coming to a close and Pascha (Easter) right around the corner, its time to come clean about my dangerous habit!

So, thanks to the suggestion of my endlessly wonderful husband, I am posting a new feature today that I am especially excited about…partly because I think you’ll like it and partly because I love it too!

Photo Credits: David Walker and Hilary Inspired

(and a few tips to scavenge by)

  • Begin with an open eye and creative outlook (treasures can be found in the oddest   shapes and forms.
  • Come prepared…comfy clothes, easy layers, and a few bags to take your                   goodies home in!

 (by the way, all items from today’s ensemble were found from a thrift shop)

  • Skim through everything (quickly)!  You don’t want to miss a rack and your fantastic find just might be around that corner.

  • Look for cool patterns, natural textures, and pretty colors.

  • Pay attention to interesting shapes. 

  • Search for collections. Duos, trios, and entire groups are rare and precious finds!

  • Always check out the art! (This is the best way to find original pieces at an affordable price. I have an entire gallery wall planned from thrift store finds…and if you don’t like the art, you can usually find some pretty awesome frames!) 

(on this particular visit I picked up a beautiful pastel painting framed locally in Fort Worth!)

  • Consider a theme while shopping. Much like the “shop for an outfit idea”, a loose theme can make for an interesting and less overwhelming venture. (it seems to always happen to me by accident!)

  • Last but not least, leave happy! Thrifting requires patience and diligence…if it wasn’t your day, the next may be! The wonderful thing about treasure hunts is that tomorrow holds a whole new batch of surprises!

Just as important as the first part of today’s post, I want to know what your secrets and successes have been. (Best finds, insider tips, local hot spots?) Let’s open this topic up and have a chat!

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Finishing Touches

I’m happy to say that my plan to begin sketching and drawing again has not fallen to the wayside like the fate of so many other projects. (…ahem, trying to shirk that reputation). So, here is a recent glimpse behind the scenes of my easel.

I chose to work with water color pencils, a favorite method of mine (you can find these at most craft stores). The work is simple but requires a few finishing touches. It involves sketching and coloring the objects first then completing them with a layer of water carefully brushed over the colored pencil markings.
When you have a moment of peace and quiet (even if it is fleeting), I recommend grabbing a pencil and jotting down a few sketches…it doesn’t have to be great or even good! But you see things so differently when you focus your eye on drawing it. Details that you never noticed suddenly make themselves apparent and you wonder how you missed them all this time! Have you had this experience before? And if so, what did you discover?

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