Valentine’s Day Soirée!

Someone like myself, who prefers Halloween to all holidays, watching documentaries about diseases, sharks and/or massacres, as well as the generally macabre aspects of life, may not truly appreciate the saccharine, heart-shaped miasma that is Valentine’s Day. I do, however, love a good theme. One I can really run with, like the goddess Diana, through a beautiful forest of decorating possibilities!

Given this fact, and Valentine’s Day being on a Thursday last year, I decided to host a fabulous Valentine’s soirée! I thought it might be much more enjoyable than a “fancy” date night at some restaurant, surrounded by a bunch of desperate strangers, with outrageously high expectations, eating overpriced steak and mediocre desserts.

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So yummy!

Again, because I have doting parents who are willing to help me, and provide excessive amounts of table settings, decor and silver pieces, this party was an over-the-top success! Not to mention, the house lends itself extremely nicely to this color scheme, given the vintage pink linoleum covering the kitchen, pink curtains in the dining room, pink sectional sofa and dramatic peacock feathers in the foyer. I invited so many people that we had all three tables set up (one in the Library/Study, Dining Room and Breakfast Room). Each was set with a different combination of colors, all of which featured pink heavily.

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Fancy folks in the Dining/Cherub room!

The Breakfast Room! (My favorite table cloth, the vintage net and sequined felt!)

The Breakfast Room! (My favorite table cloth, the vintage net and sequined felt!)

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Sophisticated romance in the Study!

I served Mexican food, mostly because you can cook a lot of it at once without too much effort, and it has less staining properties than Italian fare. (Red sauce and white table cloths DO NOT mix.) So, I opted to make 40+ enchiladas, with chicken and veggie options! Never before attempted, but they were delicious! I bought rice and beans from Chuy’s (they were SUPER gracious about it), and a couple of my friends provided the (totally necessary) crock pot queso.

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My mother, and guests, were very helpful!

Not sure how I got away with not wearing an apron. (ALWAYS wear an apron!)

Not sure how I got away with not wearing an apron. (ALWAYS wear an apron!)

We also had a pink champagne punch (OBVS), with a frozen juice/blueberry-filled heart to keep it cool, and make my great grandmother’s punch bowl look even more fabulous!

Gorgeous in all the ways!

Gorgeous in all the ways!

For dessert (along with the many amazing guest contributions), I made what my family now calls “Strawberry Collapse Cake.” So named because of an incident in my childhood involving my mother, covered up to her elbows in pink, strawberry/coconut icing, weeping and babbling incoherently while what was once a layered cake slowly oozed sideways and simultaneously imploded. Being a relentless problem-solver, she decided to put the “cake” in an antique trifle bowl. Alternating cake, icing, sliced strawberries and cool whip, she created a beautiful dessert, and effectively masked it’s inherent instability.

*Somehow the desserts went unphotographed, however, if you have any pictures, please let me know!*

The decor for this party was absolutely incredible. Seriously. We’re talking gold lame swags, punctuated with my mother’s (seemingly endless) supply of heart-shaped candy boxes, in the living room. A silver epergne (pronounced: ay-pern), adorned with piles of hearts and cherubs, not to mention the ever-present pink cow hide rug, and pink and green sofa.

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So many golden swags! (It’s all one long piece, btw.)

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Silver epergne and pink cow hide rug. So classy!

Pink sofa! And the gorgeous flowers Boyfriend bought just for me!

Pink sofa! Plus, gorgeous flowers!

We added some hearts to my mother’s antique wall-o-drawers piece in the Breakfast Room, plus some hanging on her stick arrangements, for good measure.

My friend's camera had a color filter! We USED it!

My friend’s camera had a color filter! We USED it!

The cutest!

The cutest!

My father’s Study/Library was made more festive with two enormous Styrofoam hearts, on loan from my maternal grandmother. I used one of the three hearts as a background for the “photo booth” we set up in the entry way! This was also a big hit, especially for those who donned some of the “costumes” provided: feather boas, oversize pearls, ladylike fans, and the token mustache guy we inherited from my grandparents’ furniture store.

So demure!

So demure!

Perfect friends!

Perfect friends!

Also meant to be!

Also meant to be!

Or does Matt love this guy??

Or does Matt love this guy??

Nope. It's this pretty lady!

Nope. It’s this pretty lady!

Adorbs!

Adorbs!

So happy!

So happy!

My anti-Valentine's friends came too!

My anti-Valentine’s friends came too!

Since we are a pretty crafty group, I also set up my mother’s craft room as a place for people to make their own Valentine’s Day cards and/or paper bags to collect goodies! (Like the Spanish conversation hearts my mother managed to accidentally purchase!)

Te amo!

Te amo!

I collected some pre-made Valentine’s cards, along with paper, glue, scissors, stickers, GLITTER, doilies and so much more! Giving people something to do before and/or after dinner encourages creativity and conversation. Plus, if you haven’t put together gift bags, they have something to take home that will remind them of how much fun they had!

Brian was super excited about his Valentine's bag!

Brian was super excited about his Valentine’s bag!

Craftin!

Craftin!

And lookin' good!

And lookin’ good!

Also, for this event, I decided I needed to create an ensemble that would be memorable and gorgeous. Thankfully, my mother has a pattern collection that would rival that of Vogue or McCall’s, so I quickly found a pattern that NEEDED to be real.

Isn't everything about this incredible??

Isn’t everything about this incredible??

So, Mom also had this fab silky red fabric that happened to be a shade darker on the “wrong” side, which was PERFECT for this dress, and I didn’t have to line the peplum! It was one of my first attempts at dealing with boning (re: buy boning that hasn’t been wrapped in a circle for 20+ years), and sewing this particular pattern. It went pretty well, though, and the final product turned out to be quite the conversation piece!

Dramatic in red! (Look at my pink cheeks!)

Dramatic in red! (Look at my pink cheeks!)

Worn with my PEACOCK FEATHER BOA!

Worn with my PEACOCK FEATHER BOA!

This party was a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day! Everyone had a wonderful time, contributed so much, and were able to wallow in the evening’s romantic theme.

Have you been to a Valentine’s Day party? Do you and your other celebrate Val-D? Do you have an anti-Val-D tradition?

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Host the BEST Christmas Gathering!

We are down to the wire, people! If you are hosting a holiday party this year, now is the time to get going with the party planning! Unless you’re a lonely butler, chances are you know some people, and those people are likely to invade your house at some point during the month of December. The closer you get to Christmas, the more true this becomes. So, with the inevitable onslaught of guests, it’s advisable that you decorate your abode, and perhaps have some last minute party-making tricks up your sleeve.

This guy knows about deadlines.

This guy knows about deadlines.

In the event that you’re spending Christmas away from family traditions, creating some of your own, or hosting a party for friends, this article/video by Julia Ziegler-Haynes is full of SUPER helpful hints, tips, and recipes! She basically tells the ultimate hosting-on-the-cheap secret, which is DO IT YOURSELF. If you opt for ingredients instead of pre-made stuff, you’ll almost always save money. With just a few items, and for about $100 total, she puts together a lovely party in not much time!

She tried the punch, and it was gooood.

She tried the whiskey punch, and it was gooood.

Even if you have never hosted a holiday party, or any party for that matter, the above links and video should be a fantastic guide toward making you a successful host! That being said, here is a collection of amazing Christmas “celebrations” and personal holiday stylings from the Internet. Feel free to attempt any of these you prefer, and impress all of your guests! The following are my favorites:

Christmas HAIR! She and Gaga should hang out.

Christmas HAIR! She and Gaga should hang out.

I love the super resentful, angrypants look on this guy's face!

I love the super resentful, angrypants look on this guy’s face!

Bahahahaha!

Bahahahaha! Wrecking Balls! This could definitely be a “pornament” on a naughty Christmas tree!

I'm not all about babies, but his dude is giving some fierce crazy eyes.

I’m not all about babies, but his dude is giving some fierce crazy eyes.

Star Wars nativity is THE BEST!

Star Wars nativity is THE BEST!

I did a “Star Wars” themed Christmas a few years ago, and although I’ll clearly have to do a (way better) repeat performance, it was a blast! If you’re a Christmas traditionalist, that’s great, but I since it comes around every year, I like to use it as an opportunity to try lots of different themes (Elvis/Blue Christmas, Turquoise & Purple Peacocks, Star Wars, Nightmare Before Christmas), and they have all been delightful! It’s much easier to feel motivated and festive for a party if you have chosen a great/simple/clever theme to bring everything together.

Are you hosting a holiday gathering this year? Have you already? What theme did you go with this year? Do you have a Christmas celebration tradition?

Gift Guides & DIY Inspiration!

Christmas is officially ONE WEEK AWAY! *Cue hysterical jingle bells* That means that if you haven’t put together a holiday ambiance at your home/desk/car, you should GET ON IT! Also, if you haven’t purchased (or made) gifts for everyone you know (and a few more, just in case), you can refer to any number of holiday gift guides for completely generic suggestions that are sure to wow your “loved ones.”

Buy them some super cool shoes! This does require you to have a working knowledge of their shoe size, so maybe you know them well enough to get them a slightly more thoughtful gift?

Buy them some super cool shoes! This does require you to have a working knowledge of their shoe size, so maybe you know them well enough to find a slightly more thoughtful gift? NOPE! Faux-Keds for you!

I know sometimes gift giving can be stressful, especially if a deadline is fast approaching and you’re second guessing yourself, or are unsure of what said recipient will be happy having. Some people seem particularly difficult to buy for, as they have eccentric taste, or a hedonistic tendency to purchase whatever they want (AMERICA!), or they’re like my grandparents, who seem to have anything and everything anyone could possibly own.

Clearly no one at this gift exchange was at a loss!

Clearly no one at this gift exchange was at a loss! It was a sexy Christmas present mountain!

Since I was involved with a wedding this year I have not made as many gifts as I usually do, but there’s still time! Some folks are not “crafty,” and some people aren’t fans of receiving handmade gifts ( I have few kind words for you people, unless the gift is: unfinished, hideous, or smelly, in which case, I get it), however, I always appreciate the effort involved with DIY/handmade gifts, and the creative ideas behind them tend to be amazing! Now, occasionally, especially after years of making presents for people, your enthusiasm wanes, or you feel like a change, but need inspiration. I found this article on HuffPo, and it has some great DIY ideas!

Creating these cute, themed bookends seems pretty easy! Choose the person-propriate animal, spray paint, and affix to a piece of wood!

Creating these cute, themed bookends seems pretty easy! Choose the person-propriate animal, spray paint, and affix to a piece of wood!

This could be less ornate, or even more so! It's a fab idea for a hostess gift, or for coworkers, anyone who loves tea, really!

This could be less ornate, or even more so! It’s a fab idea for a hostess gift, or for coworkers, anyone who loves tea, really!

Appreciate old buttons? Have vintage earrings without hope of finding their partner? Make them into fun cocktail rings!

Appreciate old buttons? Have vintage earrings without hope of finding their partner? Make them into fun cocktail rings!

This is such a great way to make a unique gift for that kid your friend had! You could amend the materials/themes and make it fun for girls and/or boys!

This is such a great way to make a unique gift for that kid your friend had! Amend the materials/themes and make it fun for girls and/or boys!

These are adorable! They would make a great small gift, or even as part of a fancy gift wrap presentation! They can be personalized, monogrammed, and even hand sewn if you don't have a sewing machine!

These are adorable! They would make a great small gift, or even work as part of a fancy gift wrap presentation! They can be personalized, monogrammed, and even hand sewn if you don’t have a sewing machine!

If you've got some extra/old keyboards lying around (if not, try a resale store, they have LOTS), you can create some trendy wall art!

If you’ve got some extra/old keyboards lying around (if not, try a resale store, they have LOTS), you can create some trendy wall art!

Upcycling! There is absolutely no reason to keep those floppy disks, unless you're going to make them into adorable little planters (or fat vases/candle holders/makeup brush holders, etc.), and give them to people as gifts!

Upcycling! There is absolutely no reason to keep floppy disks, unless you’re going to make them into adorable little planters (or fat vases/candle holders/makeup brush holders, etc.), and give them to people as gifts!

Beautiful! Turn a bottle into a piece of art by adding these geode stoppers! Give one for a small gift, or create sets!

Beautiful! Turn a bottle into a piece of art by adding these geode stoppers! Give one for a small gift, or create sets!

GGPhoneTreat

This is one of my favorites!!! They are so super cute, and if you can sew at all, you can make these happen! Give your friends a gift that is functional AND totally adorbs!

If you are still looking for gifts, or gift ideas, I hope these are helpful and/or inspirational. So many of them are so cute and look fairly easy to create! They could definitely be made in a group setting, too! Have a Christmas crafting party, and just let people take home their goodies, or swap while you’re all together! Got all your shopping and/or gift-making done? Stay tuned for creative gift wrapping ideas later this week!

Are you done with your Christmas list? Did you DIY gifts this year? How did you decide what to make??

Random Fun Wednesday! Beauty, Decor & Inspiration!

Today’s collection of things is pretty amazing! I’ve got a couple of Houzz articles to share about holiday decorating, some INCREDIBLE up-close shots of snowflakes, and a super inspiring project that involves mannequins! Yay, mannequins!

Ok, so for those of you who haven’t thrown up the Christmas decorations just yet, Houzz has some simple ways to jazz up your entry! They’re really great, mostly because almost all of them could be applied to any space, whether large or small. The first few are definitely for home owners (those lucky/totally trapped individuals), but could be utilized by those of you who have kind and flexible landlords.

We'll talk more about these shortly.

Just add a wreath! (We’ll talk more about these shortly.) They also suggest you purchase a lion (or other awesome) door knocker! GREAT idea!

The next set of suggestions are for anyone and everyone who has the time and/or energy to put said tips to use: add a pop of color, put together enormous floral arrangements, set up a festive corner seating space, and the really dedicated folks can totally paint the walls!

I know most of you won’t go that far, but you can easily add a festive feel to your home with a theme wreath! This tutorial gives detailed instructions for creating a lovely one out of real plants!

This is a great tutorial, and you can incorporate any elements you prefer using the same methods! (Rikki Snyder © 2012 Houzz)

This is a great tutorial, and you can incorporate any elements you prefer using the same methods! (Rikki Snyder © 2012 Houzz)

Now that we’ve fed the DIY beast, it’s on to complete and utter awe at how incredible nature is! The Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov has utilized macrophotography to take unbelievably detailed pictures of snowflakes! I’m a Texan, and it snows in Houston about every 3-5 years, and even then it doesn’t really stick, it just sludges up and mixes with whatever muck is on the ground.

Snow/Grass People!

Snow/Grass People!

That being said, I’m ALWAYS impressed by snow in any capacity. My brief stint in North Texas granted me a few glorious snow days, and one terrifying, white-knuckled experience of driving on snow/ice for the three blocks I had to go in order to pay my rent. (I’m pretty sure the stress aged me by at least ten years.) I even introduced my cat/life partner Molly to snow (her snowfaked fur looked beautiful!), but she was over it almost immediately after discovering it is both cold and wet. Anyway, here are some of the gorgeous photos!

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They don’t even look real, but they ARE!

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It looks like ice! Which I guess it kind of is.

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All the angles!

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Future snowflake!

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This one is my favorite because of the traditional shape, but also the insane intricacy.

Moving on from one inspiring thing to another, Pro Infirmis (a German organization for the disabled) has created a video detailing their amazing project, creating personalized mannequins using the measurements of disabled/differently-abled people!

This is such an incredible project!!! These people/the models are so brave! I admire their poise, graciousness, and amazing sense of self! They are willing to be measured, prodded, and evaluated against “regular” mannequins in order to make this a reality. It is abundantly clear from the looks on their faces after the reveals, and especially seeing their mannequin-twins in the store display windows, how meaningful it is for someone, anyone, to be reassured of their beauty, and to feel accepted by others.

What do you think of this mannequin project? Would you own a mannequin, if so, why? Do you already?? (I did!) How are you decorating for the holidays? Think you’ll make a wreath this season? What colors/style/materials will you use?

Let’s All Appreciate Quilting!

Several weeks ago (right before the madness of Halloween), I attended Houston’s International Quilt Festival. It is an event I have been familiar with my whole life, partially because of my mother (she owns a “quilt cabinet”), and partially because we are just a nice, Southern family and so we have about a million quilts, give or take. When I moved to Denton (briefly, for my MLS), I discovered that I already owned at least half a dozen quilts, and even more if you count knitted afghans! Although we were never in short supply at my house, or my grandmothers’ houses, I always thought quilts were meant to be gradually acquired over a lifetime, but since I am starting out with half a dozen, I figured by the time I was old EVERYTHING would be covered in quilts. (I imagined a sort of quilt-camouflage home, filled with cats and creepy pillows.)

I couldn't fit all my other things into an RV, but apparently my vision is too horrible to exist on the internet (or the old women who live in such environs don't have cameras).

I couldn’t fit all my other things into an RV, but apparently my vision is too horrible to exist on the Internet, or the old women who live in such environs don’t own cameras.

Horror-dreams of bad taste aside, quilts are actually incredible. Seriously, even the awful, tacky, weird ones are amazing pieces of art/effort/construction/time/dedication. I mean, not the mass-produced, machine-made ones, just specifically the quilts actually created by living people. A grand collection of such quilts are on display annually at QuiltFest, on the side of the GRB that isn’t overwhelmed with ALL THE THINGS to purchase (and electric wheelchairs).

"Septem Peccata Mortalia (Seven Deadly Sins)" by Christine Alexiou is winner of the $7,500 World of Beauty Award at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

“Septem Peccata Mortalia (Seven Deadly Sins)” by Christine Alexiou is winner of the $7,500 World of Beauty Award at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

"Photographer Darling" by Noriko Nozawa is winner of the $5,000 Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

“Photographer Darling” by Noriko Nozawa is winner of the $5,000 Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

"A Letter Bit of Baaltimore" by Janet Stone is winner of the $7,500 Founders Award at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

“A Letter Bit of Baaltimore” by Janet Stone is winner of the $7,500 Founders Award at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

The whole event can become incredibly overwhelming, given the sheer volume of possible purchases (I bought so many amazing things!), but if you’re looking to be overwhelmed by art, creativity and worksladyship, the actual quilts are definitely worth a gander. They come from all over the world, include so many different details, perspectives and techniques, and are basically glorious pieces of textile/fabric art.

"Chihuly's Gondola" by Melissa Sobotka is winner of the Handi Quilter Best of Show Award, the $10,000 top prize at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

“Chihuly’s Gondola” by Melissa Sobotka is winner of the Handi Quilter Best of Show Award, the $10,000 top prize at the 2013 International Quilt Festival Houston

Melissa Sobotka looks so proud!

Melissa Sobotka looks so proud!

According to this article, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is opening a quilt exhibit (December 20th-April 27th) in order to showcase 18th-20th century quilts from the Brooklyn Museum’s decorative arts collection. “Workt by Hand” will offer a glimpse of “classic” quilting patterns/styles, while simultaneously emphasizing the amazing women who have, for centuries, honed this skill into a true art form.

Mary A. Stinson (American), Crazy Quilt, circa 1880, Silk, 81 ¼ x 81 ⅝ in. (206.4 x 207.3 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 1995.87, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Mary A. Stinson (American), Crazy Quilt, circa 1880, Silk, 81 ¼ x 81 ⅝ in. (206.4 x 207.3 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 1995.87, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Mary A. Stinson (American), Crazy Quilt, circa 1880, Silk, 81 ¼ x 81 ⅝ in. (206.4 x 207.3 cm) Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 1995.87, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Mary A. Stinson (American), Crazy Quilt, circa 1880, Silk, 81 ¼ x 81 ⅝ in. (206.4 x 207.3 cm) Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 1995.87, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Elizabeth Welsh (American), Medallion Quilt, circa 1830, Cotton, 110 ½ x 109 in. (280.7 x 267.8 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, 78.36, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Elizabeth Welsh (American), Medallion Quilt, circa 1830, Cotton, 110 ½ x 109 in. (280.7 x 267.8 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, 78.36, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Pictorial Quilt circa 1840, Cotton, cotton thread, 67 ¾ x 85 ½ in. (172.1 x 217.2  cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Franklin Chace, 44.173.1, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Pictorial Quilt circa 1840, Cotton, cotton thread, 67 ¾ x 85 ½ in. (172.1 x 217.2
cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Franklin Chace, 44.173.1, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Star of Bethlehem Quilt, circa 1830, Cotton, 95 x 95 ½ in. (241.3 x 242.6 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alice Bauer Frankenberg, 59.151.7, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Star of Bethlehem Quilt, circa 1830, Cotton, 95 x 95 ½ in. (241.3 x 242.6 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alice Bauer Frankenberg, 59.151.7, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Victoria Royall Broadhead (American), Tumbling Blocks Quilt, circa 1865–70, Silk, velvet, wool, 64 x 68 in. (162.6 x 72.7 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Richard Draper, 53.59.1, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Victoria Royall Broadhead (American), Tumbling Blocks Quilt, circa 1865–70, Silk, velvet, wool, 64 x 68 in. (162.6 x 72.7 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Richard Draper, 53.59.1, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Whole-Cloth Quilt, circa 1830s, Cotton toile, 70 x 85 in. (177.8 x 215.9 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Margaret S. Bedell, 28.111, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

Whole-Cloth Quilt, circa 1830s, Cotton toile, 70 x 85 in. (177.8 x 215.9 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Margaret S. Bedell, 28.111, Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012

I was fortunate enough, on my second visit to Washington, D.C., to spend some time in the NMWA, and had an absolutely delightful experience! I love museums (most of them anyway), but had never really contemplated how much of that art has been created by/through the “male gaze,” and to view an entire museum collection consisting of artwork created by my female counterparts felt incredible, and comforting. The art spans time periods, artistic styles, mediums, and cultures, plus the architecture and presentation are fabulous! If you have the opportunity, you should absolutely pay them a visit!

More about quilts to come soon, so look forward to it!

Have you made a quilt? What pattern/style did you use? Have you been to the Quilt Festival? Any specific memories/quilts/purchases??

Random Fun Wednesday!

It’s the middle of the week, and that means it’s time for a random collection of vaguely-related things that are awesomely strung together for your reading pleasure!

First of all, via Queens of Vintage, how to create a 1920s/Art Deco-inspired bathroom! Creating a glam space in your bathroom is simple with chrome, glass and fancy mirrors! The Art-Deco look can easily be glam and feminine, but is also incredibly versatile/gender neutral. By adding more chrome and angular accent pieces, any Deco-style room can be an elegant space with straight, clean lines and unique accessories.

Their inspiration photo. Looks fabulous!

Their inspiration photo. Looks fabulous! The green is calming, but not boring, and contrasts with the black and white beautifully!

LOVE this! What a great re-do! The shower is the central focus!

LOVE this! What a great re-do! The shower is the central focus! Click to see more pictures of the transformation.

This is SUPER glam and fabulous!!!

This is SUPER glam and fabulous!!!

Even if you can’t go “all out,” by changing a few key pieces (adding certain mirrors, changing hardware, or lighting) you can brighten up your space and create a great, unique look to enjoy every day!

Second up, we’ll stick to interiors, but go a little spookier. Apparently, the world’s most well-known macabre family, The Addams’ did not reside in the dark and creepy spaces the tv audiences saw, but a pink, yellow, and green technicolor dreamspace.

Photographed by Richard Fish, the set of tv's Addams Family was bright and perky.

Photographed by Richard Fish, the set of tv’s Addams Family was fairly bright and pretty perky.

The colorized photograph reveals a completely different reality than the one created by the black and white vision of their “creepy” home. Although, to be fair, this room is still full of taxidermy, horned chairs, elephant feet, a hookah (very exotic in the 60s, I’m sure), a hangman’s noose, and a cauldron in the fireplace. (Not that I wouldn’t re-create this room and totally live in it, but the yellow draperies are particularly non-Addams-esque.) This version, arguably, offers the viewer a more detailed look at the room (which I appreciate), but stands as an excellent example of how perceptions can differ from reality, especially when it comes to television, and also “creepy” people.

Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. "We feast on those who would subdue us."

Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. “We feast on those who would subdue us.”

Speaking of creepy people (I kid), last, but certainly not least, is the hilarious, witty, and incredibly talented Carol Burnett! I was pleased to enjoy her interview on NPR‘s Fresh Air this morning, and will definitely be watching this Sunday when PBS airs the award ceremony from October, when she was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor!

A wonderfully animated lady! Love the hat, and will recreate this picture eventually!

A wonderfully animated lady! Love the hat, and will recreate this picture eventually!

Her performance in 1959 on Broadway in Once Upon a Mattress put her on the map, and was re-imagined three times for tv!

Her performance in 1959 on Broadway in Once Upon a Mattress put her on the map, and was re-imagined three times for tv!

The Carol Burnett Show ran from 1967-1978, and debuted hilarious sketches, characters, and costumes!

The Carol Burnett Show ran from 1967-1978, and debuted hilarious sketches, characters, and costumes!

Mama's Family became a spin-off show starring Vicki Lawrence as "Mama," and Carol as the ridiculous Eunice.

Mama’s Family became a spin-off show starring Vicki Lawrence as “Mama,” and Carol as the ridiculously high-strung Eunice.

In the 1982 film version of Annie, she embodied everyone's favorite little girl-hating, bathtub gin swigging, orphanage mistress, Miss Hannigan!

In the 1982 film version of Annie, she embodied everyone’s favorite little girl-hating, bathtub gin swigging, orphanage mistress, Miss Hannigan!

The incomparable Carol Burnett has been consistently hysterical for more than 50 years! She is a talented writer, actress and singer (among many other things), and has been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people over the years!

American actor and comedian Carol Burnett (left) and British actor Julie Andrews sing in formal gowns in a promotional still from the 1965 CBS television variety special 'Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall,' New York City. The special traced the history of musical comedy.  (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews sing in formal gowns in a promotional still from the 1965 CBS television variety special ‘Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall,’ New York City. The special traced the history of musical comedy. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Lucille Ball was/is one of Carol Burnett's mentors, and the two redheads supported each other professionally and personally for years.

Lucille Ball was/is one of Carol Burnett’s mentors, and these two redheads supported each other professionally and personally for years.

Our dearest Madeline Kahn!

Our dearest Madeline Kahn!

The Carol Burnett Show's most prominent cast members: Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway

The Carol Burnett Show‘s most prominent cast members: Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway

The Carol Burnett Show’s list of guests is endless, and includes so many incredible people it’s ridiculous. The point is, this woman has made an amazing impact on television, comedy, and American pop culture. She is a fabulous lady, and still going strong!

Let's not forget her famous Tarzan call! Also, the costumes she wore for the "Q&A" part of the show were FABULOUS!

Let’s not forget her famous Tarzan call! Also, the costumes she wore for the “Q&A” part of the show were FABULOUS!

Do you have a favorite Carol Burnett moment/sketch/gown/character?? What do you think about the Addams Family’s colorful living arrangements? (Betrayed? Excited? Super jealous?? Obvs, I’m on an emotional roller coaster about it.) Are you thinking of re-doing a bathroom to look Deco fabulous?? What pieces would you use?

Fall Centerpiece Follow Up!

As promised, I have pictures of the centerpiece I created last night for said United Way Craft Day auction!

What I think of as the "front"

What I think of as the “front”

And the "back"

And the “back,” but either way it’s gorgeous!

It turned out to be quite the masterpiece! I have never made a similar Fall centerpiece (or any centerpiece, for that matter), so I am quite proud of my first attempt! Especially considering all the elements that came together to make it.

All the things! Wooden Napa Valley wine box, faux-grapes, faux-flowers, various candle holders, ribbon, glitter pumpkins and HOT GLUE!

All the things! Wooden Napa Valley wine box, faux-grapes, faux-flowers, various candle holders, faux-woodgrain candles, ribbon, glitter pumpkins and HOT GLUE!

Some of these items we had at the house, including some flowers, and the gold spray paint used to make the box and candle holders both uniform, and much more glamorous. Several of the items were purchased at the Value Village down the street (the most expensive item was $6!), and some I bought at Arne’s on a quick lunch trip earlier yesterday. If you’re in the Houston area and haven’t ever been to Arne’s Party Warehouse, you should go to there. It’s both sketchy and incredible!

Before - plain wood, and mis matched candle holders

Before – plain old wood, and mis matched candle holders

After - Beautiful and GOLDEN!

After – Beautiful and GOLDEN! (Plus I got to play with spray paint!)

So, after the spray paint dried, I experimented with different “looks” for the centerpiece, including a “vase” effect on one side, which was tweaked so the entire piece eventually overflowed with flowers, grapes and the occasional golden pine cone! Needless to say, this is not the lightest of centerpieces, BUT, I was insanely fortunate to have some help from my friend/hero/former downtown co-worker, Ruben, who showed up out of nowhere this morning and saved my arms from their shaky fate!

AMAZING!

AMAZING! He carried this sucker a whole block, and up the elevator! (THANK YOU, Ruben!)

I have submitted it to the Craft Day committee, and determined that (based on the other entries there at the time) it is the best, most ornate and beautiful of the bunch! Here’s hoping it raises a lot of money for the United Way, and that I win that Michael’s gift card that goes to the person with the most votes!!!