Styling for B-Metro {hiphip hooray}

Sorry for my absence, I have been working! I am so not sure how working and single moms do it, but that's for another post. Yet when people ask what I do I can't quite pin it down since its all over the place so I tend to say I am a stay at home mom. I suppose that is where my heart is anyhow. Again for another blog post. One of my new found loves is styling! I have always wanted to give it a go, but was never sure how to get started. Thankfully Graham Yelton contacted me wondering if I knew of any homes that would fit into her newish gig, one of many by the way, as B-Metros home feature editor and photographer. I am sure you remember years ago when I featured her home. She has since remolded/added on/etc. Anyhoo I knew the perfect house to recommend. One of my besties Rachel who built this custom home a few years ago and has been decorating little by little over the years. She seriously has talent even though she is so modest about it. After discussing with Graham a bit we thought it would make for a fab Christmas feature and she asked me to come in as stylist. She gave me her vision and I went to town. Here it is in all her glory...

I am pretty sure Rachel is going to kill me for putting up the above photo, but she does look gorgeous. As for behind the scenes, Rachel decorates for Christmas in a whole other way. It's over the top fun, whimsical, bright, and I love it. For the feature though they wanted her house to stand out and not be swallowed by the Christmas set up hence the muted/rustic look. I am going to share Rachel's true decor soon though. It is AMAZING!!!!

So this project could not of happened without Rachel and Layne who kindly allowed me to take over their home for a few days, Kelli of Retore Interiors who literally let us use her whole shop and personal home items, along with her time and mad bow making skills to allow my vision to come to life, and of course Graham who gave me the chance to come in on this project. I seriously had so much fun!!! Styling is not for the faint of heart though, wow, it's hard work.

You can read the full article here on B-Metro.


An Arrangment How-To {part 2}

Today is part 2 of my new little series! In case you missed part one this is my most talented friend Brooke of BKWed. She was sweet enough to share with us simple yet gorgeous how-to's for arranging flowers. This one may be even simpler than yesterdays!

I thought that you all would enjoy not only a fun and colorful arrangement, but also a neutral one for all us neutral nellie's. We used a urn that I had outside, of course this arrangment could be done in any tall vase that had a wider mouth.

As for our main flowers we used hydrangeas. They are an all time favorite of mine. She stripped the leaves off the areas that would be in the water. She then messed with them till she found the look she was seeking. Basically Brooke laid them out so the arrangement would look good from all sides.

She then started adding "fillers" to add some height and make the arrangment have more of an impact.

In the end she also added the eucalyptus and dianthus green balls left over from the first arrangement to achieve a more fun, full, and elegant arrangment. 

What You Will Need:

-Above are the flowers we choose, but as I said yesterday you could easily create the same look with other variates depending on what you can find and prefer.

-We happended to use an old urn that I had on hand, but any tall vass with a wide mouth would work.

-Sharp shears for cutting and removing leaves

-A trash can near by with ample space to work. In our case we used the dining table.

-The ability to create as you go. As in Brooke's case her initial thought of flower choices evolved a bit as she went along.  In the end she ended up adding a few leftovers to acheive the look she wanted. We even contemplated going into my garden and cut rosemary and tree branches. In the end we decided against it.

Does she just not look stunning in my neutral living room? Brooke really out did herself.

Thank you Brooke for sharing your talent with not only me, but also Two Ellie readers. Hope we get to do this again in the near future! Flowers are needed for every occasion right?

To see more of Brooke's work go to BKWed for a gander!


A Colorful Arrangment How-To {part 1}

Today is the start of a series that I am so so excited about! Over the course of the next few weeks I am going to highlight some of my amazingly talented friends and their various crafts all to get us ready for the holidays. Of course on the top of my list are flowers. They are always a must in my book. For this very feature I enlisted my brilliant friend Brooke of BKWed. She is a wedding planner and happens to have a great talent with flowers also. We decided to go in two different direction depending on what you all prefer. Today's feature leans towards a rustic and more fun arrangement while tomorrow features something more serene and just plain ole pretty. They both began in the same place though, the flower market. I assume every city has one, but if not I am sure a simple grocery store selection would have a decent assortment too.

Brooke found this tree bark planter at the flower shop, but this one on etsy is quite similar. We went with a bold peony as the main flower for the strong color I wanted for the space. Brooke mentioned a carnation would have the same effect at a fraction of the cost and are more readily available at a local grocer. The picking of the flowers is more about finding what works for you and your desired effect for your space.

In order to keep it simple Brooke used mason jars I had on hand for the arrangements. She began with our main flower the peony and then added our second choice the ranunculas. As she cut down each flower to height she was also careful to remove the leaves that would sit in the water.

She then began adding the "fillers". They are flowers that are less expensive, but help give interest to the arrangement. If you recall I told her I wanted rustic yet fun so she choose the flowers that would give that effect.

This is where you could potentially stop. The arrangement looks pretty enough.

Yet we choose to add a final layer, the eucalyptus would make this piece a show stopper. It's the whimsy that this particular room needed. I knew I wanted this arrangement for the dining room which is decorated with a more fun atmosphere for Christmas. I simply wanted to have this arrangement look as if it belonged in this space and I believe Brooke pulled it off beautifully.

What You Will Need:

-Above are the flowers we choose, but as I said you could easily create the same look with other variates depending on what you can find.

-A planter of your choice and mason jars. You could easily ditch the planter though and just use the mason jars.

-A good pair of sharp shears for cutting stems and removing leaves

-A trash can near by with ample space to work. In our case we used the dining table.

Ta-Da!!!! I am seriously in love. Now if it would only live forever. Ha.

 The colored ornaments were obviously the jumping off point. Could it seriously get any better?

Tomorrow I will have the arrangement Brooke did for my living room. It is the polar opposite of today, but ever so gorgeous and simple. 

To see more of Brooke's work go to BKWed for a gander!


The Advent Calendar

Friday night while the Mr and I were watching a movie at home I quickly realized that the following day was the 1st of December. Not sure how it snuck up on me! Every year I do some sort of advent calendar counting down the days till Christmas. This is a tradition I did not want to let pass. I went scrounging in the office to see what I could come up with. I had tons of these little bags and almost enough round labels that I thought could work. Inside are little notes that either call for a fun activity for the day, encouragement for the kiddos, or something we can do for others. For example...

-go ice skating

-Ellie we love you more than marshmallows. KJ we love you more than legos.

-make cards for our neighbors

I then put all the little bags up in the movie room in a shape of a tree. This may not be the most creative advent I have done, but the kiddos love it none the less.

** Today I am also sharing some of my favorite gifts over on LaLa Lovely today!!!!**


Tis the Season {around the house}

Last weekend we set up for Christmas and have been elated ever since. I just adore this season. I thought I would share a little tour through our humble abode. It also may be the first time I have shared the little redesign of our home that I began last year once we decided this will be a longer term home than we thought. I will give a proper tour later, but for now Christmas will have to do...

I made this wreath and I am rather proud of myself. I also made the mailbox swag for that matter. The urns are from fall. They are going strong so they will remain even if the yellow isn't really tis the season.

The entry I kept rather simple. The hydrangeas should last through Christmas and will then be planted outside. They do well in low light.

The nativity set we received at our wedding. I still get so excited pulling it out every year although Ellie and KJ have taken over the set up.

The pup. I thought he was looking rather cute on his pillow. He needs a bow though. I am so sure he will love that. Ha.

This year I did a "pretty tree". I had all the ornaments needed thanks to The Home Depot Holiday Challenge. I must say though I miss my big gaudy tree. No worries though, we have two more that filled in the tackiness that was needed. (I did take down The Home Depot Challenge Decor. October was a little soon. It also inspired me to mix it up a little. All pieces still used just in new ways}

The fur pillow is a favorite winter detail that I added to my current array of pillows.

The trees I have collected over the years and this year I had enough to clump all together.

Now this is my favorite tree! The actual tree is from Home Depot and we added all our krinkle and homemade ornaments. Every year since the children were born I buy them a Krinkle. My hopes is one day when they move off and have their own tree they will have a head start in ornaments. If they happen to hate them and want a "pretty" tree then I am sure my grand babies will love it. Ha.

The living room was obviously done in neutrals and the dining room we decided to go fun. The hanging middle ornament below was one of three really nice, maybe too nice ornaments we got from our wedding. This is the only one left. She is treasured.

The movie room we went red! Kj's favorite new color. He was ever so proud of the way he hung the ornaments on the tree. The tree itself was inspired by a dear friend who has the most fabulous trees ever. They are bundles of fun. Maybe she will let me share!

The nutcrackers are a small collection started by my grandmother when I was young. I think it is time to add add to the collection although I am pretty sure my mother must have more in her house somewhere. 

*Starting next week I will be doing a little holiday series featuring some great talent I know in order to get ready for Christmas. Today I am out and about with Brooke from BK Wed prepping for some rather spectacular florals for the dining table!