DIY Hand Painted Sign



How was your Memorial Day weekend?

I got this plaque thing like 5 years ago at Home Goods. At the time I thought it was cool, but then after I got home and hung it up I realized the error of my ways. Being too lazy to return it, I kept it in the basement, figuring at some future point it might come in handy.

{the before}

Fast forward to earlier this month when I had an idea for what I could get/make for my mom for Mother's Day and her birthday (which always happen to fall around the same few days...poor Mom). She has always admired this sign that I have hanging above one of my kitchen doors.

It's of the town where I grew up, but having recently moved away for good (sniff, sniff), my mom won't really have a chance to buy her own from one of the shops there. So I thought I'd make her something similar...and immediately remembered that weird tea thing I had in the basement.
It was the perfect size to serve as a base for my new Doylestown sign!

{the after}

I'll post more later on how I got to this point (click here for the tutorial), but for now, here's the finished product. (I snapped these pics really quick before I wrapped it up to give to Mom - she loved it!) This was a really fun project, I think I'll be doing more of these in the future. I actually bought 2 ugly tea plaques at Home Goods that day (what was I thinking?), so we'll see if mom gets another sign or I make one for myself:)

Linking up to Roeshel's DIY Project Parade over at the DIY Show Off:)

The DIY Show Off

red + pink



Recently I worked on a really special project. Just over a year ago I designed the invitations for Courtney's baby shower. Guess what? Time flies and that very same little peanut just turned one year old! I was so excited when Courtney asked me to do the invites for her daughter Avery's first birthday party.

Besides the color palette for the party (red, pink and white), Courtney also knew she wanted to incorporate some kind of pattern, use vintage fonts and create a monogram for the birthday girl. Here's what we came up with (invites mailed in red button closure envelopes, not shown):

Lucky for us, Avery's mom, Courtney, writes the blog reckless glamour. If you don't already read it, you should...Courtney's a photographer, furniture painter and all around awesome DIYer (check out the tutorial for her painted curtains here and the feature wall in Avery's room that she covered in pages from a Shell Silverstein book here). Anyways, she was nice enough to share with us some photos from Avery's actual birthday party!!

{gasp! a real piece of furniture outside for the party?! genius. this is a big trend now in wedding and engagement photography, but I love how Courtney brought her buffet (that she recently painted white) out into the yard for food, drinks and the photo tree she made of Avery}

{tutorial for this adorable DIY tulle garland that Courtney made here}

{seriously?! how cute is the birthday girl? I love that she actually has less hair than Maura, which I thought was impossible;) here's Avery holding the sign to her photo booth - love that frame! - where guests could hang out on the hay bales and have their picture taken}

Love it! I already checked with Courtney to make sure she wouldn't be mad if I stole some of her ideas come September when we have Maura's party:)

So honored to be a tiny part of this sweet little girl's celebration!!

Brimfield 2011 Finds



Hi! I meant to post this for you guys last week, but then I had some computer a nasty virus, it was scary. Everything's all good now though.

So, want to see what I got at the
Brimfield Antique Show last weekend? It's been raining and cloudy here every day this week, not ideal for taking photos, but oh well...I did it anyways.


I was on the hunt for some prints like I bought last year at the show for Maura's nursery to hang on either side of our front door in the foyer. Instead of botanicals though, I wanted something sea-life, shells, coral, something. I couldn't find the same vendor that I purchased them from last year (I'm sure she was out there somewhere), but I did find a booth that had a pretty good selection of fish. I bought four prints and they were each 75% off...score! They are hand colored engravings from 1827-1834, done by Baron Georges Cuvier (who was apparently a French naturalist and zoologist).

I was hoping to find 4 vertical or 4 horizontal prints for a completely symmetrical look, but hopefully these will work. I also have to re-mat them (one of the prints has a light pink mat while the others have white)...but I'm definitely happy with the find - even though I had to go with the semi-creepy catfish to round out the group:)


Continuing on a slight nautical theme, I also bought this child's paddle for $7. I've been looking for an old oar or paddle for awhile and this was the same price as the sandwich I ate that day at the I had to get it!

The edge is missing from the left side of the paddle blade, but I figured that only added to the "this oar's been around the block/lake" feel.


Going into the show I knew I wanted to keep my eyes open for some old apothecary glass bottles. I picked these four off a table where everything was a dollar.

{"Baker's Indian Rootbeer Extract", the back of the bottle says "Baker Extract Company, Springfield, Mass." - rootbeer is my favorite soda}

This tall bottle was really dirty, but I liked it because of all the text. I washed it as well as I could, but still a lot of grime on the inside. Anyone have any tips for cleaning the inside? The guy I bought it from said I "should get some bee bees from Kmart", drop them in and shake them around to try and knock out some of the dirt. Hmmmm.....

{California Fig Syrup Co., CALIFIG, Sterling Products (Inc.) Successor}


Check out these cool...well, I'm not really sure what to call them actually...decorative door lock plates? or something? I was totally a copy cat on these, one of the women I was with found them first and bought some. And then I jumped on the bandwagon (thanks, Leslie!)...they had tons and tons of different shapes and sizes and finishes to sift through. I ended up with these three.

Not exactly sure what I'll do with them yet, but considering framing each of them (no glass) and hanging them one above the other in my dining room. I'm kinda regretting not buying any antique keys to put with them:(

Last but not least, I was successful in finding another #13 blue Ball mason jar to add to my collection. I now have three!

The new one is the one in the middle. The woman I bought it from had a few to choose from, she suggested this one was the oldest because of the way the Ball logo is underlined. My other two don't have that line. Interesting.


How do you think I did? Anyone go antiquing or yard saling this weekend and get some great finds?

Valley Lighting Giveaway Winner!



Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the Valley Lighting Giveaway last week! We have a winner...according to, its lucky number 5!!

Congratulations, Libby! Shoot me an email at and I will have the generous people at Valley Lighting get in touch with you about your $25 gift code.

Be on the lookout, we've got another great giveaway coming up soon. .this one is fashion related:)

Back from Brimfield



Hi! So, I'm back from Brimfield! We had a great day...although I didn't do as good of a job taking photos for you guys as I meant to. Sorry! I was too busy shopping and eating fair food and chatting (this was my first year going with other people). But, here's a few pics just to give you a feel of the awesome stuff you can find at this show:

{this tent was crazy...are those pendant lights made out of the cone noses from rocketships?}

{they're always a ton of really cool old lights and lanterns, but I'm too scared to actually buy one}

{we saw a ton of those furniture factory carts, but instead of a coffee table, they turned this one into a bench/daybed, complete with burlap/grain sack cushions!}

Once I get my act together, I'll post pics of the stuff I bought. Hope you guys had a great weekend:)

Destination Brimfield!



Hi! I’m psyched! It’s time for the Brimfield Antique Show again!! (One of the country’s largest antique shows, held every year in May, July and September in Brimfield, Ma.) I’m headed there tomorrow with my brother’s girlfriend and her mom. I’ll be keeping my eye out for another #13 blue Mason Jar to add to my collection (ha! I have two), mercury glass, and old apothecary bottles. I definitely want to try and find some antique prints to hang in our foyer on either side of the front door.

{image courtesy of the haystack needle's trip to Brimfield}

This will be my third year in a row attending the show. To see some photos and my finds from the previous years, check out these links:

Brimfield 2010 Finds Part 1
Brimfield 2010 Finds Part 2
Brimfield 2010 Pics
Brimfield 2009 Finds
Brimfield 2009 Pics

Anyone else making the trip this year? Cross your fingers for decent weather. I'll report back next week. Have a great weekend:)

Ps. Remember, the Valley Lighting Giveaway is open through Monday night:)

8 Months!!



My little lovie turned 8 months old yesterday!! It is hard to believe that she's been with us for two-thirds of a year. So much happened this month - we have ourselves a crawler!!! Totally the beginning of an exciting/dangerous new stage. She's now even pulling herself up to a standing position while holding on to something at any chance she can get. She learned how to feed herself small finger foods, the girl wears shoes...I mean, its like she's a mini-kid and not a baby anymore!!

Maura girl, we love you so much!!! Every day you make us smile and laugh. And sometimes I even tear up because I can't believe you're mine. I watch you in awe, you are learning so fast. You love to play, you bounce up and down when we turn the music on, you are now constantly chatting (a lot of it is raspberries!), you kick your legs back and forth really fast when you are excited or want out of your car seat/high chair. Mother's Day took on a whole new meaning for me this year...thanks to you:)

Here's this month's bunny pics:

Breastfeeding/Bottles/Solids: I am down to just nursing Maura when she wakes up in the middle of the night and a bit first thing in the morning. I'm technically not sure how much milk I really have left, I think she's just doing it for the comfort factor. We still eat 2 meals of solids a day, but our pediatrician recommended we be up to 3 meals of solids a day by the time of her 9 month appointment, so I will have to start slowly adding lunch to the mix sometime soon.

New Foods: Lots of new flavors this month as we've moved on to Stage 2 foods, which are more fun combinations:) In the pureed category, she has added apricots, mango, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, chicken, turkey, mac and cheese, tomatoes..and we finally found a green food she likes - Plum Organics "Spinach, Peas and Pears"!! In the snacks category, she also now likes the Graduates Puffs in Banana and Sweet Potato and has moved up the ladder to the Graduates Lil' Crunchies in Mild Cheddar and Veggie Dip. Even more exciting, Maura learned how to eat finger foods on her own! It's such a big help to be able to give her some puffs or a Baby Mum-Mum banana cookie for a snack while we are out on errands, a walk, etc. and have her eat them keeps her entertained for awhile! So I started giving her some small bits of a few real foods - so far she loves real bananas and will tolerate cheese. Any suggestions for what kinds of real table/finger foods to try next?

Bedtime: We've moved bedtime up even earlier now to 7:45 pm:)

Sleep Habits: Humph. This is the thing we are having the most trouble with. Good news, Maura now naps in her crib twice a day...and they can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. We've moved the crib mattress down twice now as she recently started standing up in the there...makes things even worse when she wakes up in the middle of the night! We have not made any progress on getting her to fall asleep on her own (putting her in the crib while still awake) and she still gets up in the middle of the night for no reason about every other night (so I know she can sleep through fine, she does it 50% of the time). I have a friend who is going to loan me the Dr. Ferber book and we might just give that a try next week.

Developmental Milestones and Firsts: started crawling, started pulling herself up to a standing position, learned to eat finger foods on her own, first Easter, first time at the beach, first time sitting in the front of the shopping cart

{first time at the beach...this is the beach near my house}

{second time at the beach...same weekend except this is the beach at my parent's Cape Cod house...never know what the weather will be like in the spring in New England!}

Favorite Toys: books, Fisher Price Stack and Roll Cups, VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker, the plush Rocking Caterpillar Paul's parents got her for Christmas, still loving the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Cookie Shape Jar, Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Laughing Kitchen, and Haba Wonder Dice.

Favorite Pastimes: following mommy around (crawling), going to Gymboree Play and Learn class, practicing pulling herself up to standing on anything and everything, bath time, playing with the huge stack of this year's Christmas cards, watching mommy blow bubbles, play dates with Jack

PS. Don't forget to enter the Valley Lighting Giveaway!

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