Saturday, September 29, 2012

Love you, Colorado - Autumn Edition

Over the weekend, we took a drive to Vail and hiked Bighorn Trail. I couldn't have asked for a more peaceful, beautiful afternoon. 

 Fall hasn't traditionally been my favorite season of the year, because it signals the end of summer and the coming cold. But this year, I'm starting to understand why everyone loves it so much. The views and colors were so stunning that every ten minutes one of us stopped the conversation to admire it.

Colorado, you really know how to impress us. Cheers to Fall!



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Etsy Round Up - Jewel Toned Wonder

This week's Etsy Round Up is inspired by this Autumn's jewel tone trend. I'm in love with the saturated colors and textures in all of these finds. 

Clockwise from top left:

Layered Gold Geometric Earrings by DeuceFashion on Etsy
Emerald Green Necklace by Aqsa on Etsy
Dark, Floaty Feathered Earrings by StillTreeJewelry on Etsy
Vintage Royal Blue Caged T-Strap Heels by AdrianCompanyVintage on Etsy (Clinging to Summer with these beauties!)
Double Layer Art Deco Necklace by seaworthysend on Etsy
Soft Cobalt Blue Vintage High Waisted Skirt by SunshineintheCellar on Etsy

Just like last week, these treasures are part of a larger group, seen here - Treasury: Jewel Toned Wonder.

How are you planning to incorporate jewel tones into your life this fall?



Monday, September 24, 2012

Under the Stars - A Surprise Dinner Party

Recently my wonderful friend turned 30. Her sister and I schemed to throw her a surprise party, and with the help of one of my favorites, our dear friend Lizelle, a beautiful evening came together. 

We dragged our dining room table out onto the deck, used the existing outdoor dining table, and borrowed yet another folding table to create enough space. Our tablecloths were mostly old sheets. None of our glasses or vases or candleholders matched. Because its September and we weren't sure of the weather, we draped mismatched blankets on the back of each table, but serendipitously didn't use them - it was such a beautiful night. The menu was as easy as can be, and most everyone pitched in somewhere or another with food and drinks. I put together the flowers using basic skills Glenys taught me, making the most of only a few inexpensive grocery store bouquets. But when the candles and string lights were lit, you'd never know any of that. It just felt so soft and elegant and carefree. The mood was set - and the conversation {and sangria} flowed well into the night.

{yes, those are balloon animals you see. Our friend Dacia has some skills!}


This night stayed with me for days. 
It was far from perfect. But we laughed so much and so loudly my soul was full from the echo of it. I'm not very good at living in the moment - but on this evening, the moment was all there was. This night was for stories - retelling our best memories and sharing our favorite things about the guest of honor. And the entire evening was saturated with love for her. 

Just as it should be. 



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Styled - Alison Yip Inspired Dining Room

This week's styled Dining Room is inspired by a beautiful painting by artist Alison Yip. Her work is so gorgeous! I think her painting (part of the You, Me, and the Sea series) would be amazing in this rustic, eco-chic dining space. 

1. Natural Hanging Chandelier from Weylandts
2. You, Me, and the Sea, part of a Series of paintings and collages by Alison Yip
3. Hand-Painted Dotted Dinnerware from West Elm
4. Recycled Glass Tumbler from Eco Bay Home
5. 45 Piece Twin Opus Silverware Set from One King's Lane
6. Victoria Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell from Design within Reach
7. Big Sur Dining Table  from Crate and Barrel
8. Sublime Wired Green Chalk Turquoise Napkin Ring by thedivineyou on Etsy
9. Set of 6 Beige Napkins from One King's Lane



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Etsy Round Up - Fresh Geometrics for Fall

Say hello to a new series on Bright July - Etsy Round-Up! Etsy is packed with amazing things from all over the globe. Since I'm always on Etsy anyway (!), I thought I'd share some favorites with you. This week's round up is full of geometric beauties for this fall. 

Clockwise from Top Left:
Air Plant Terrarium Pod by JechoryGlassDesigns on Etsy
Glam Tribal Tourmaline Friendship Bracelet by LemonStreetJewelry on Etsy
Geometric Wood Candlesticks by UrbanAnalog on Etsy
Geometric Leather Triple Chevron Necklace by ShopRareBird on Etsy
Geometric Illusion Printed Leather Pouch by Coriumi on Etsy
Silver Stud Earrings by HookandMatter on Etsy

These amazing items share an Etsy treasury with even more great things. Check it out here- Treasury: Fresh Geometrics for Fall.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Loving This Week - Salon Style Displays

I'm a huge fan of the salon-style wall arrangement. Its the perfect way to add a shot of eclectic interest, and doesn't have to feel like your grandmother's untouchable sitting room! Here are some beautiful examples. 




The best part about a salon style arrangement is the freedom you have to mix photographs, paintings, drawings, handwritten notes, and objects - and it can change anytime. For this style, the wilder the better! I love that. 

Do you have any salon style walls? What is the focus point? 



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Banana Bread {with Flax}

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes! Its my Mom's classic recipe, only slightly modified with a little extra ground flax seed for Omega 3's. This Banana Bread is moist, light, not-too-sweet, and absolutely delicious. Perfect right out of the oven with a cup of tea. 

Banana Bread with Flax

1 1/4 Cups All Purpose, Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed (optional)
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Beat the eggs. Once beaten, add the oil and sugar. Beat to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ground flax, and baking soda.
3. Working in batches, add the flour and baking soda mix to the liquid ingredients until completely combined.
4. Stir in the mashed bananas and nuts.
5. Pour batter into a greased, medium sized loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

{don't fret if your banana bread sinks in the middle. It will still taste amazing!}

Yum! Might need to eat some for breakfast. And lunch. And afternoon snack. 



Monday, September 10, 2012

Styled: Zebras 12/08 Inspired Entryway

This week's styled is inspired by a painting of my own. I'm a big fan of salon style displays, particularly when they feature original art. I think each of these pieces would be fantastic as the first things you see when you come in the door each day. 

1. Zebras 12/08 by Caitlin Parker, via Bright July on Etsy
2. Bridge Form 5 by Jessica Bell via Little Paper Planes
3. Bridge Form 2 by Jessica Bell via Little Paper Planes
4. Biba Round Mirror from Weylandts
5. Las Vegas, Nevada, November 2000 by Mike Sinclair via 20x200
6. Anthropometrie (Ant 30), 1960 by Yves Klein, via
7. Mid Century Danish Teak Coat Rack by VintageDK on Etsy
8. Lacquer Umbrella Stand by Jonathan Adler
9. Ferrer Zoid Console via Dering Hall

Happy Monday!



Sunday, September 9, 2012

{DIY}: Outdoor String Lights

This past labor day, we made posts to hang string lights to hang around our deck. I'm so thrilled with how they turned out!

So I thought I'd pass on the instructions so you can make them, too. 
CafĂ© style string lights are something I've wanted for our deck since the day we built it. But I could never find the right structure for it. A pergola is too much, but flimsy poles wouldn't cut it either. This summer, I found the solution: Electrical conduit! By chance on pinterest, I found this post about making curtain rods from inexpensive, sturdy electrical conduit from the hardware store. I thought it would be the perfect raw material for this project. The best part? Each 10 foot piece cost a mere $4. Amazing! 

The poles are essentially three 10 foot pieces of electrical conduit with pipe straps attached as hooks and end caps attached at the top. To secure them into the ground, we buried pieces of plastic piping just large enough for the conduit to fit inside. We then inserted the poles into the buried pipes at varying depths (our deck is on a slant). The result is a secure set of supports for our lights that cost around $30! 

Here is the step by step breakdown: 

Step One: Using an awl, puncture the conduit about 3 inches from the top to make drilling easier. Of course, you could make the hooks higher or lower, but 3 inches looked about right.

Here's a close up of the label on the tube we bought. Make sure you totally remove any stickers and residual goo before painting so your finish looks good. 

Step 2: Spray paint! We used Rust-Oleum in Dark Bronze. We used all of one can and just a tiny bit of a second can. (For some reason I missed taking a picture of spray painting the conduit itself - but you get the idea). We painted the conduit, hooks, and caps separately. An old edging tie worked well to help me get all the sides of the hooks evenly painted. (As a bonus, you get a nice view of my favorite painting shirt!) Then after it was assembled, I gave it one final sweep to cover the head of the screw. 

Step 3: Cut lengths of plastic electrical conduit to a length of a minimum of 18 inches, and ideally 24 inches. Our deck is on a slant, so its higher on one side than the other. So each piece of piping was a different length between those two measurements. The piece of pipe we bought was 1 inch in diameter. The conduit was 3/4 of an inch, so it was a perfect fit. 

Step 4: Attach the pipe straps (hooks). You can use a screwdriver or a drill for this. Jeremy started the screws with a screwdriver and then drilled them in. 


Step 5: Attach the Caps. We bought 1/2 inch "Knock Out Seals" for this. They are essentially flat caps with metal ribbing on the inside that securely seals it at the end of the pipe. I'm sure they have a precise and specific purpose which probably has nothing to do with what we used it for, but it worked perfectly! We just needed to use pliers to adjust the angle of the metal ribbing inside so it fit well. 

Step 6: Bury the pipes. I wish I could say the process of burying the pipes in the ground was precise and exact, but that is so not our style (!). We completely lucked out with the depth of the pipe. We were quite shocked when the poles all measured the same height in the end (actually they are about 1/2 an inch off from each other, which is too small to detect with the eye - good enough for us!). Being that our deck is built on slanted ground, this was a major win. Also, I spray painted the part of the pipe that is visible above ground after the fact, but didn't take a photo of it. Only one needed to be painted, as the other two are completely concealed by plants. About 6 inches of pipe sticks up out of the ground. 

Step 7: Insert poles into their fittings and attach extra pipe straps to the exterior wall where the lights will hang. 

{If you luck out with the heights of your poles, cheer!}

Step 8: Drape lights from your poles, and you are done! 

This project was so rewarding. The lights cast a warm, flattering glow that will be perfect for entertaining. I also love that we can take them down easily by lifting the poles out of the ground and unhooking the lights. Easy! 

You should do it. 

Here's the cost breakdown: 

3 10 foot long pieces of electrical conduit, 3/4 inch in diameter: $3.98 each - $11.94
1 10 foot long piece of plastic piping (in the same aisle as the conduit, I'm assuming it also has an electrical function) - $2.92
2 Packages of single anchor pipe straps, 3/4 inch diameter - $.98 each, $1.96
1 Package of 1/2 inch Knock Out Seals - $1.30
2 Cans of Rust-Oleum Hammered Dark Bronze Spray Paint - $5.98 each - $11.96

Total: $30.08! 

The String Lights are from Target and cost $12.95 for each 20 foot strand. Our deck is 10 feet x 20 feet, so we needed 2 strands. 

This brings the final total for this project to $55.98! Not bad considering the many more expensive alternatives out there. I'm in love. Even though the weather is cooling down, I have a plan to make good use of the lights soon. Will keep you posted! 




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...