Sunday, October 27, 2013

ghouls & a new jewels adventure

It's almost Halloween! Who doesn't love this ghoulish holiday? You can dress up as anything you want:

Exhibit A:

Yeah, I'm not sure what I am either. I think I'm a forest fairy? It sounded great while I was super gluing 1000 fake leaves to that dress and making my own leaf wings (which can't be seen here). The Fox dressed up as a Dr. He didn't spend near the amount of time I spent on mine... #slacker #kidding

In addition to sprucing up my $8.00 goodwill dress, I did a super fun Halloween craft. It took no time at all and turned out to be pretty darn cute. The materials -

1. A cheap black frame
2. Burlap Ribbon (?)
3. Batting
4. Spider (Fake)

I took the burlap ribbon (?) and cut it in half. I wanted a mat for the spider, but didn't want to buy one, so I thought the burlap would look super cute and give it a rustic feel. 

Once I cut it in half, I just laid it out in my frame, added some batting and a spider in the middle, then closed it up! 

It was so simple and the end result was too cute! The whole project took me only about 5 minutes. I love a project like that. 

The real reason I did this craft? I was having a PAR-TAY. 

I found this trunk at the Salvation Army. It was a little pricey, but I asked the guy if he could do any better and he knocked $6.00 off! Score! I immediately thought about using it as my entrance decor. I threw on it a blooming mum, a fresh (un-demolished by squirrels) pumpkin and a lantern full of pears on top. It made for the perfect fall decoration.

What kind of party was I having? I was having my very first Stella & Dot Trunk Show! Well, it wasn't my very first, but it was my first as a stylist! That's right! I'm officially a Stella & Dot stylist.

What can I say? I was interested in doing something new! Now I can sell the jewelry that I love so much! I'm looking forward to seeing where this will take me.

If you're interested in booking a trunk show to earn free jewelry, contact me. And check out my site: There you will find all kinds of wonderful goodies for you (or your friends - you know the holidays are just around the corner...).

That's all for now. Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween. Night!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

fallin' behind

Regular blogging for a full-time worker just isn't a possible thing. When I get home from work, the last place I want to be is in front of a computer. Not to mention The Fox and I are on the go most every weekend. But, I figure, a few posts here and there is better than nuttin'! So, here it goes.

Since my last post, The Fox and I have made two trips to the mountains. It's so beautiful up there and it was my vacation spot of choice for my birthday weekend celebration.

The weekend's events went like this. We drove up Friday and enjoyed dinner at Cyprus in Highlands. Such an awesome place. Each week of the month, they feature a different ingredient. This week, they just happened to be featuring heirloom tomatoes (which just happens to be up The Fox's alley). They had a gorgeous spread of tomatoes right as you walked in and it made us excited to see what they were featuring.

We requested a table at the bar, and boy was it cool. We were able to carry on conversations with the chef and watch them cook our meal (along with everyone else's).

Dinner selfie!

The atmosphere was modern and the food was fantastic. If you've not ever had chocolate tomatoes before, you're missing out. The chef paired them with a pablano pepper and a dash salt and pepper as a topping for oysters on the half shell. Delish!

I had the mussels (seen above) and Ben had a lamb dish. Both were incredible. But the real deal was in the dessert. Basil/mint ice cream and a cayenne pepper chocolate lava cake...WHAT!!!

They were delicious and beautiful. You can't beat a combo like that!

The rest of the weekend was a bunch of R&R and hiking. We found beautiful views off of Glen Falls and even had ourselves a little picnic.

The whole weekend was a great time. So much in fact, we went back 3 weeks later with my parents!!

The following pictures were taken... I cannot confirm or deny that fun was had by all...

The mountains might be my all time favorite place. It brings out the best in my whole family...and that's something you just can't buy.

Happy Fall, everyone! Until my next (super far away) post!

Monday, September 9, 2013

change. and not the kind in your pocket.

I may be one of the few who really enjoy change. I get bored easily, so change is often welcome. Of course, it all depends on the kind/type of change, but typically, I believe change is for the better.

Changing a diaper? Probably not so much fun. But, changing things around in your home? SUPER FUN! That's why I'm featuring two change-a-roos tonight.

Numero uno: The Fox's Drab Laundry Closet

This little peach of a project (dripping sarcasm) turned out pretty good considering our 4ish trips to home improvement stores. It doesn't look like much, but boy let me tell you. This was no small feat. And we didn't even do any major construction! Just goes to show how a small project can turn into a much bigger one by no choice of your own.

It seemed simple enough. The pre-project conversation sounded a little like this:
FGF (Fox's GF - Me); HF (Hot Fox - The Fox, obvs)

HF: I'd like to add a couple more shelves to my laundry room.
FGF: Oh! We should paint it too! We have those two free quarts of paint from Ace we could use.
HF: Ok. I'm not sure I want to do blue, though.
FGF: Ok! Let's go to Ace and find another color. It shouldn't take more than a quart. Yippee, a project!!

{Enter first home improvement store visit to find our paint - one quart should do it, right!} 

Like many projects in my mind, the word "just" sneaks in and later turns out to be a jinx. "We'll just go grab a few more boards." "Just take the old ones down." "It's just a coat of paint." That word has proven to be the worst word invented when it comes to home improvement projects. Anyone who has taken on a home project of any kind, can sympathize.

Sure, taking everything out of the laundry closet was a breeze! And sure we had to do a little light cleaning everything came out. So, what could have been so difficult about this simple little "just" project? Turns out, several things.

1. One quart of paint WAS NOT enough to paint that thirsty brick wall. I should have known better, having had experience painting brick before. But clearly my excitement got the best of me. {Enter second trip to the hardware store for more paint.} 

I also always tend to get more on me than the painting surface...never fails.

2. I knew we needed a special bit for the infamous brick wall, but I didn't expect to have to buy multiple...we also didn't think of cranking up the torque on the drill, which led to a very, very slow drilling process. But once we figured out the issue, drilling went super fast!

3. Painting just the back and side walls wasn't enough. We had to paint the white ceiling, too. Why? Because I'm a crazy perfectionist when it comes to painting and wasn't going to let a few stray paint marks stand out because of my lack of being able to paint a straight line.

4. Who knew their was a difference between a hammer DRILL and a impact DRIVER? Obviously, the  people at Lowes...they also are well aware that we certainly do not know. Ugh, again, should have known better. {Enter 2 more trips to the hardware store trying to figure out what bits to buy and ultimately buying a whole new kit that was "impact ready" --- whatever that means...}

5. Rain + wet paint don't mix. Had to move from the outdoors to the indoors to finish painting the shelves

6. Also, after buying more paint and putting on an extra thick coat, a good 24+ hours of drying time was needed, which TOTALLY ruined my "instant gratification" high I was expecting.

Thankfully our issues were minor. However, what should have been a simple "add a few more shelves to my laundry room" project, turned into a weekend event. Nonetheless, the end result was a winner and of course encouraged us to organize the rest of that room. Once you start one project, it always leads to another. The joys of an old home!

It's very bright and cheery now. And who doesn't need a picture of any owl in their laundry closet? Seriously?

Numero Dos: My Unruly Office Area

It is no surprise that I'm not a super organized chic. I try. Really hard. But it's impossible for me. However, once I reach a point where I can't stand the clutter, I tear into it like a like a fat kid eats cake. For realz. It drives me crazy! 

After my very eventfully yard saling morning this past Saturday (43 miler. that's right folks, 43 miles of junkin' heaven), I came back with a mission in mind: ORGANIZE EVERYTHING. I was far to over ambitious with the "everything" statement, but I did attack one of my closets then later my office area. The process was pretty boring, but let's just say it involved close to 6 hours and lots of purging. Once I get going, there is not stopping me. I have many conversations with myself that go a lot like: "Why in the world am I keeping this?" "Do I really need 10 pairs/kinds of _____?" "Ok, seriously Ebonn, we have an issue here..."

Thankfully, there were no hardware store trips involved, but I did put a lot of mileage on my hardwoods walking to/from, back/forth to different parts of my apartment. Sadly, many of my organizing projects involve redecorating little sections of my house during the process. I mean if I move one thing from one area, it has to find a new home somewhere else. Then I have to fill the empty space. It's a maddening and exhausting cycle, but I do enjoy it....really, I do!

The details:

  • My inspiration board is actually a metal shelf from a store that's been repurposed into a magnet board. Found this beauty at an antique store in Asheville. Under all the "inspiration" it has a stencil of a bird and the word "nest" in white. It's such a neat piece!
  • I stole some vintage photos of my grandparents from my parents house then copied them at Walgreens. I used them to cover up the ugly cord of my Ikea lamp and they give my space a personal touch.
  • Finally, I found this 3-tiered metal rack at a yard sale this weekend for a buck! Can't beat that deal!

See! Change isn't bad at all! I love my new desk area and The Fox's new laundry closet. They are both so clean and organized. Now if we can keep them this way...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

lets rock and rolls!

This weekend was an eventful one at The Fox's house. It all started with this fella..

I found him on the side of the road during lunch the week before. I had originally passed it by thinking, "What am I going to do with that thing? How am I going to get it in my car? I already have 1000 things in this car, I can't possibly fit it. Could The Fox come get it? No, he's at work. Maybe I could drag it home, I'm only a couple blocks away..."

Many, many things run through my mind when I find a goodie on the side of the road, but there is no worse feeling than finding that great roadside treasure and not being able to get it! So, I drove away to my house and the nagging feeling began. I just couldn't leave such a cool piece sitting there for someone else! I had to have it.

In a dress. During my lunch hour. I turned around. In the heat. To get that red beauty. One way or another it was going to be mine. I move those 1000 things around in my car, hoisted it up into my deal mobile and made that sucker fit. FINALLY! It was mine! It only took a good 10 minutes, but in the end, it was mine, all mine.

Being the first weekend The Fox and I have been home, I was determined to do a project. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do (because I have so many to choose from), but I was doing one no matter what.

The red beast was still sardined in my car, so I asked The Fox to help me unload it and I started brainstorming. After some Pinteresting/Googling, I came up with the idea to create a record cabinet! The Fox and I love finding old vinyls and we have a group of them just laying around. We needed to organize it and make it easier to find our jams.

I had purchased some old porch spindles at the 40 mile long yard sale back in the spring and thought, "How cute would those be as legs for this thing?" It turns out, not so perfect. After measuring (and getting caught reorganizing The Fox's ENTIRE storage shed), they turned out to be too tall. About 8 inches too tall. Bummer. But, then I remembered buying another set of legs (clearly I have a problem) and not surprisingly, I ran back to my house (boy, it will be nice when we have all our stuff in the same place), grabbed the legs then hurried back to get started!

This is what the piece looked like before. Well by "before" I mean sans legs.

I'm pretty certain it was a trunk, because if you look at the bottom, there are hinge spots. Unfortunately, the door wasn't there (ugh), but it all worked out in the end. 

Sooo, with some FREE paint - yep, we got totally lucky this weekend because ACE Hardware was giving away free quarts of paint - and the super cheap legs (that weren't so cute), we put some height on that sucker.

This is what the legs looked like before:

Not so cute. But I figured we would have a use for them one day. And "one day" came sooner than later! I lightly sanded them down and started painting them. Thanks to The Fox for engineering me a fancy painting board...

It took a whole 10 minutes to paint just one coat. We were going for the rustic/shabby look to match the rustic look of the cabinet, so 1 coat is all we needed. After the paint dried, I scuffed it up with my handy mouse sander...

which was super easy and quick. I started hand sanding them, but it was faster and gave a deeper scuff with the mouse. 

Thankfully, the legs had screws already in them, so all we had to do to attach them to the cabinet was drill holes and screw them in with some wood glue! It took no time to put them on and we felt we could go ahead and put it in the house to dry.

For those who know me, I'm super impatient. So it was no surprise that within 15 mins I was decorating that bad boy. There was no stopping me. The end product turned out just as I'd hoped.

I organized The Fox's albums in an old suitcase and arranged his cookbooks atop of a vintage tackle box (not a fisher, but still cute). The albums fit perfectly in the suitcase and it makes it SOOO much easier to flip through.

The legs turned out pretty great, too, and they match the cabinet finish perfectly. Often times I hate the way things look when they are made to look old, but thankfully these turned out just fine.

It's the perfect height and I look forward to adding to our collection. You just never know what you'll find...

Night all!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

props for pics

I'm a prop person. I don't have nearly as many as I should, but I enjoy taking pictures with the unconventional - chairs, vintage suitcases, quilts, etc. If I had a warehouse and a van, I could make any outdoor space look like a room. Unfortunately, my one bedroom apartment and small SUV don't allow for that kind of pack ratting, so I must use what I have.

In this weekend's impromptu photo shoot with The Fox's cousin, I had to use my surroundings. Thankfully, we were able to scout out a couple of cool backdrops that made for great pictures. This picture taken outside of a replica of Elijah Clark's cabin.

If you don't know who good ole Elijah is, he's this guy:

Learn about him, here. Otherwise, if you have no interest, please continue reading.

The park we were visiting was on Lake Thurmond and they just so happened to have canoes! Which also made for a fun backdrop with great coloring.

It was exciting to use my imagination to find props that were not premeditated. I usually have things pretty planned out - like in this session - where we used a vintage suitcase and quilt that I had. Both added character to the pictures.

But sometimes it's a lot of work to haul around those heavy quilts. So while surf the webs tonight, I noticed that you can make your own printed fabrics out of drop cloths/white dish towels and paint! I love the idea. Here is one from a blog called Beautifully Contained.

Actually, that was her inspiration, but this is what she created from just plain, white dish towels and a potato stamp.

Pretty darn cute, huh? Another blogger, over at A Blissful Nest, create a cute picnic blanket with a drop cloth.

I was blown away! I knew drop cloths were great for super cheap curtains, but I never thought about blankets and such! These would be great for photo shoots. They are colorful, light weight and easy to stuff in a backpack.

While, I don't have any immediate plans to make one of these fancy props, I thought they were a great idea for sharing! Hope you agree!

Happy hump day, by the way. Until the next post!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

family ties

Last Saturday I was privileged to photograph the Norton family. Jessica and her sister Melissa joined me at the Horseshoe to take some family pictures. Both families were absolutely adorable and I had such a great time working on the photos. Each one made me smile. Here are just a few of my favorites.

The kids were so well behaved and thankfully the weather held off until the next day. The heat didn't, however, but it worked out none-the-less.

Thank you to the Norton's for a beautiful session!