Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mini Manzanita Trees

I am so excited to share a quick, easy and inexpensive project with guys.  I've been meaning to post this tutorial for a while now and finally found some time now that the holidays are over.  I was inspired to do this a few months ago when I first discovered the exciting world of terrariums.  The process is very simple as are finding the materials.  This is how you do it (anyone remember that song?  Haa!):

Step 1:  Gather together small glass vases (I found mine at Michael's for $1.50), rocks, moss and Manzanita branches.  I ordered the rocks, moss and branches from Save On Crafts.  If you haven't been on this site yet, I highly recommend it.  They have everything a DIY-er could dream of and its all pretty cheap.   


Step 2:  Place branch into the vase and assemble rocks around it until it is relatively sturdy.  Tip:  Manzanita branches come in lots of colors and sizes.  I ordered mini branches, about 12" high.  But I've seen sizes as big as 48", so make sure your vase and branches are proportional so they stand on there own.

Vase with rocks & branch

Step 3:  Place moss around the top of the vase to secure the rocks and branches.  This will help support the branch and keep it from wobbling around in the vase.

Adding moss to the vase

Final product

Manzanita Vases

Step 4:  Put them somewhere in your house that needs a little love and enjoy!  I put mine in our guest bedroom.  I hope all our future guests will enjoy them :)

Manzanita Trees in our
guest bedroom


Have you ever worked with Manzanita branches?  How did  your project turn out?


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New Year, New Goals

I can't believe its going to be twenty-twelve in 2 days.  Yikes, when did that happen?  Time just flies by so fast these days.  I think that's because there is never enough time to actually do all the things I set out to do everyday.  But, I did manage to accomplish quite a few things this year that I'm proud of.  So proud in fact, I made a list of my top 5:

  • I started a blog!  Which has made me more motivated than ever.
  • I celebrated my 4 year wedding anniversary with my super awesome husband.  (Who cleaned the house today while i was out running errands - bonus points!)  
  • Traveled to Costa Rica.  Love, love, love everything about this country.
That's me, repelling down a waterfall  in Costa Rica   
  • Threw the awesom-est baby shower for my bestie (check it out here & here) and have watched her little guy grow over the last 6 months.  
  • Started working with some residential clients.  I like where this is headed :)    
And here's a list of what I hope to accomplish in the new year.  I'm not one to make resolutions, I always break them and then i feel like a failure.  But making a list of goals seems to work better for me.
  • Travel to Italy for our 5 year anniversary.  We went for our honeymoon, and we've been dying to go back ever since.
Our hotel in Capri in 2007
  • Travel to Morocco (with Brit & Bry - come on lets make this happen!)
Marrakesh...where i hope to be this February
  • Refine my blog, update the graphics and focus on projects.
  • Work with more residential clients.
  • Only do things that truly make me happy!  Should be easy, right?!
What are your goals this year?  Did you make any resolutions?  2012 is gonna be a good year, I can feel it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Well Christmas has come and gone and as you can see, I took a blogging vacation.  I spent my break visiting with family (where the internet connection is slow and 3G is spotty at best).  So, I took these cues as a sign to just enjoy the holidays and resume posting when I returned to the comforts of my wireless internet and easy to navigate Mac.  

And so, here I am.  I've got lots of ideas whirling around in my head for future posts - new year's resolutions, some new furniture we picked up, a few DIY projects I've been meaning to tackle as well as some projects I've been working on with clients.  But before I get to any of that fun stuff, I just wanted to wish all of you:

Happy Holidays!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!

Are you glad the holidays are over?  Or are you having the holiday withdrawal blues?  How are you spending the week between Christmas and New Years?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ghost Chair

My neighbor asked me today if I knew of any good sites that sell knock offs of the Ghost Chair.  The first free chance I got, I started googling sites for this fabulous chair.  Turns out, my neighbor has amazing taste.  This chair was designed by Philippe Starck and is currently sold through Kartell, one of the best Italian furniture companies.  The original chair sells for about $400 a chair.  But we found some good knock offs for closer to $100 a chair:  hereherehere and here  Below are some install photos of this chair.

Philippe Starck Ghost Chair

Ghost Chair in a formal setting

Ghost chair at contemporary home

Ghost chair in a modern apartment

This chair is such a great statement piece.  Its combines the traditional lines of a early 20th century chair with modern materials and fabrication techniques.  I really hope she purchases these knock offs!  I'd love to see how they compare to the original and more importantly how they can transform her dining room!  With any luck, I'll have a before and after to show you sometime soon.  Happy furniture shopping bloggies!


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Sparkles Party!

Last weekend I hosted a super fun girly jewelry party at my house.  I invited a local Stella & Dot stylist to come to my house and set up a little jewelry show.  I thought it would a fun idea for holiday party.  Something a little different than your standard Christmas affair.  And besides, what could be more fun than a bunch of girls drinking wine and shopping? 

Well, I had way too much fun at the party and completely forgot to take photos of the jewelry, but I did manage to snap a few shots of some of my party decor before my guests arrived. 

Greenery & Homemade Sweets!

Homemade Peppermint Bark

Holiday Spread
I also downloaded this cute holiday printable from Todays Creative Blog. I love graphics and this one made me smile. I printed this out on regular white paper, cut it, framed it and party decor! I recommend this to even the most untalented hostesses. Its an easy way to turn your party decor up a notch. And anyone can do this - google, print, frame. 

Fun Holiday Printables
We also decided to do a canned food collection.  Lauren, the Stella and Dot hostess came up with this idea.  She collected canned goods for all her December parties and donated them to a charity in Virginia.  I think it all made us feel less guilty about indulging in our jewelry purchases!

Canned Goods for Charity

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Decor in the District

I took a quick stroll on my lunch break the other day to go check out the National Christmas Tree.  I adore Christmas trees and was so excited to go see this year's tree.  It wasn't until I got there that I remembered the tree had been damaged during a wind storm earlier in the year.  So the 30 foot tree i was expecting to see was only about 8 feet tall this year.  It definitely didn't have the same effect as the previous tree, but it was still decorated beautifully and the train sets were set up like every year so I still left with a bit of that Christmas spirit I was seeking.  I snapped a few photos of some of the other beautiful landmark buildings in DC that I passed along the way too.  Hope you enjoy my photo montage!

The Old Ebbit Grill

The Willard Hotel

The Willard Hotel

Trees at the Willard

The Willard Hotel

The National Christmas Tree

Train sets under the tree

Train sets under the tree

Ornaments on the State Trees

Star on the State Trees

The White House

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making Glitter Ornaments

Last week I participated in a local charity event here in DC called We Care.  Me and a few co-workers organized a craft for a group of 100+ kids that they could make and take home to there families for Christmas.  It's a really fun event and this year marked the 15th anniversary.  Companies from over 27 cities participated in the event. 

Our craft was pretty basic, but it turned out to be alot of fun!  We made glitter ornaments, because what kid doesn't love glitter??  The process was simple.  

First we made a sparkly glitter concoction of sequins, glitter and plastic beads in three colors - gold, red and silver.  

Glitter-Sequin mixes
Next, we purchased styrofoam balls and attached a hanger to the top.  We made the hangers out of ribbon and pinned them into the styrofoam with a straight pin.  

styrofoam balls with hangers
After that, we used a foam paint brush and applied glue to the styrofoam ball.  We decided to do this part for the kids so that they weren't covered in glue.

Applying glue to the styrofoam balls
Next, was the fun part - the hand off to the kids.  We gave them the ornaments and let them go to town with the glitter.  The kids did such an amazing job!  We were so impressed with the way there ornaments turned out.  

Making a mess :)
Mixing colors
Admiring his ornament
And here is the finished product:

Working with these kids was so much fun!  I can't wait to do it again next year.  Have you ever made ornaments?  How did they turn out?

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