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Back to the Flowers


Flower Farm

It’s flower time on the farm! The hubby and I are preparing for a big move to the big land of Texas, of course that’s not about to stop me from enjoying a few last summer days on the farm. I spent the morning with my dear friend Kristin getting ready for a wedding this weekend. Linda was able to sneak away on a little vacation, so while she’s away, we get to play! Stay tuned this weekend for snapshots of our arranging.

I must have flowers, always, and always. ― Claude Monet


Happy Valentine’s Day!


“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
-Mother Teresa

flowers

I hope you are all spending time with those you love and who love you most. Happy Valentine’s Day!


5 Beautiful Blogs


Happy Friday! Today I’d like to take a moment to share with you five beautiful blogs & websites that I just can’t get enough of. These are my daily go to blogs for inspiration and an overall feeling of goodness. Check them out and be sure to spread a little love their way.

KinfolkMag: A photographic/journal-style blog that provides casual entertainment ideas. They put out a beautiful magazine that is available for purchase on the site and also have a Journal site as well as galleries of their various events.

Kinfolkjournal

My Ideal Home: A beautifully crafted tumblr page filled with awe-inspiring architecture, design, and decorating elements.

myidealhome

Sunday Suppers: Beautifully staged photographs and details of class-cooking-dining experiences, pairing friends and food. Classes are held in a waterfront loft in Brooklyn, NY and are taught by local Chefs. The food is market fresh, local and organic and the approach is to create seasonal and fresh meals together.

Sunday-Suppers

Treasures and Travels: Hosted by the two girls behind the online shop, Kalos which sells handmade jewelry and vintage clothing. They post about anything and everything they see, love, wear, etc.

TreasureandTravels

Tiny White Daisies: Beautiful photography is king at this tumblr page. The photographs range from nature, to architecture, to everyday sightings. A must see sight for beautiful finds.

tinywhitedaisies

Happy browsing!


Out & About: Antiques


antiques

Today was my fourth day off from work in a row and I can’t even begin to explain how relaxed I feel. I am determined to make the most of every free day before classes begin again next week. The last few days have been spent enduring the daunting tasks of cleaning out the office. Since the hubster and I will be moving in the next 6 months, any opportunity to throw out junk and downsize is another step toward making the move a smooth transition.

antiques

After all that cleaning I decided it was time for a bit of town exploration so I grabbed the camera and headed to one of my favorite antique stores. After an hour of taking photos and wishing I could buy out the store, I came home and made a yummy lunch for me and the hubby, Grilled Lemon Basil Tuna Wraps. Next, we headed down to the river for an afternoon walk and yes, a few more photos which I will share later.

antiques

All in all, it was a glorious day. Antiques, sunshine, outdoors, lunch with my hubby, what more could a gal want? Hope you all are having a splendid afternoon as well!


Wood Panel Wall Art


wood panel wall artThe last few months I have noticed a plethora of wooden-variety signs and art making their debut on the pages of Pinterest. I have struggled to come up with an idea that could turn the hundreds of extremely creative ideas into one project that I can truly call my own–my idea, my style, my brain child. Although I am one of the biggest supporters of Pinterest, I find it becomes more & more difficult to be original after seeing the incredible ideas submitted by users. Really, I just want to make exact replicas of most of the projects I see, but no, I push on and try to make each project my own. I think I did just that with this plywood art.

I received this beautiful Monet print from my friend Kristin after her recent excursion to D.C. with her junior high students (isn’t she sweet). I struggled with the many ways to really make the print stand out on the vast expanse of white wall currently found in our apartment. Originally I started this project thinking I would just paint a cute saying of some sort on the boards but luckily the print came to mind and the finished result makes me happy.

Wood Panel Art

Materials:

2-8ft 1x4in boards
1-4ft 1×1-1/2in board
1 bag of 2in screws
1 small jar of wood stain
3 colors of paint (mine were gray and blue and yellow)
1 canvas frame
1 print
60-grit sandpaper

Instructions:

Cut the two 1x4in boards into three-2 1/2ft long pieces and sand.

After sanding, stain two of the boards with wood stain. Set aside.

Next, get your other two paint colors ready. Dip your brush into the paint and then swirl around in a cup of water so the paint is extremely watery. You want to use your paint sort of like a watercolor and let the watery tint soak into the board. So, to reiterate, you aren’t really “painting” the board but more “tinting” the board. Got it?

painted wood panels

Allow the boards to dry. Meanwhile, take your 1×1-1/2in board and cut two pieces long enough to fit horizontally across the back of your boards (20in each). This is what you will screw your 2-1/2ft pieces into.

Take your canvas frame and paint it using your third color (mine was bright yellow to accent the yellow sunflowers). Let dry.

Come back to your stained and painted boards and begin to sand the edges and tops until you achieve the desired amount of weathering.

Now it is time to assemble. Turn your boards over so the front is facedown. Stagger the boards and place the 1×1-1/2in boards across the back horizontally, one toward the top and one toward the bottom (see picture). Screw the boards to the blocks.

wood panel wall art

Once all the boards are secure, turn the pallet over and glue your print to the center with craft glue.

Last of all, take the painted frame and using wood glue, attach the frame around your print.

This project took about 6 hours for me to make. The longest part is sanding and drying time, but overall it is fairly simple to throw together.


Jungle Paper Mobile


Recently I’ve been working on a few decorations for a friend’s baby shower in July. Their nursery is going to have jungle decor so we decided to extend the theme to the shower as well.

paper jungle mobile baby shower

I found a beautiful animal print fabric for a table runner ($5/yd) and decided to contrast the muted browns with bright jungle colors.

Here are a few simple steps to making your own mobile:

1.) Cut cardstock into 1X8-inch strips. I used seven shades of brown, green, yellow and gray.

2.) Next, line the colors up in gradient order and decide on your mobile length. I ended up using 28 strips of paper for each mobile.

3.) After deciding pattern and length, stack the strips in order and head to your sewing machine. Place a piece of tape on the machine as a guide to help you sew straight down the middle of each strip of paper.

4.) Sew. Simply push each piece of paper under the needle, continue stitching until you have achieved the desired distance between strips and then place the next strip under the needle. Be sure to leave excess string on each end of your mobile for hanging.

5.) If you are using a light-weight paper, such as vellum you may want to weigh down the end of your string after hanging to avoid curling at the bottom of the mobile. Project Wedding makes this mobile with vellum and attaches a fishing weight at the bottom to weigh it down. The card stock however, is heavy enough that this curling does not occur (hence my choosing cardstock). The cardstock is also a cheaper purchase than vellum.

Project wedding vellum mobile: $25
Sweet Peonies cardstock mobile: $10 (even less if you already have various pieces of cardstock on hand like me)

I love how the mobiles turned out. I have made 5 so far and will hang them above the food table at the baby shower. I am also tying in the jungle greens by placing tall ornamental grasses on the table and surrounding areas which should complement the green mobiles nicely. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little sneak peek at the jungle baby shower. I’ll be sure to post pictures of the finished event. You can see finished photos of the baby shower here.


Be So Happy


[![](jekyll_uploads/2012/03/Be-Happy.png "Be Happy")](http://www.sweetpeonies.com/2012/03/be-so-happy/be-happy/) Courtesy of Elisandra Sevenstar

All the beautiful sunshine this past week has made me a very happy camper. Nothing brings a smile to my face more quickly than waking up to rays of sunshine streaming through my bedroom window in the morning–nothing except maybe this sweet little poster from Elisandra Sevenstar’s Etsy Shop.

I have seen this popular design popping up all over Pinterest and was finally able to trace it back to the source. Elisandra’s ETSY store has some wonderful designs that are both colorful and cheerful.

The “be so happy” whale is definitely my favorite and, along with the sunshine, never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Be sure to stop by her ETSY site or website and show her some love.

Be happy!


Decorating: one step at a time


I realized recently that I hadn’t been posting anything remotely crafty, just food. Perhaps that gives you a glimpse into my study habits–attempt to study, get distracted by baking, then munch on the sugary goodness all night long.

I have been working on this painting for a few weeks now and finally decided to see what it looked like in our bedroom. I am still tweaking the background but can’t seem to find time to officially finish, so up on the wall it went and I’m so glad!

Decorating our bedroom has been a painstakingly slow process. I saw a picture when we first got married of a simple color scheme, white, tan, and navy blue–the room was exquisite. Since seeing this image I have been trying to capture that same feeling in our room and haven’t quite been able to get there with our limited time and funds. However, I thought I would share a few photos so you can see some examples of turning cheap, random items into coordinated decor. We still have a ways to go but these little touches are satisfying enough for now.


I decided to hang the painting above our bed because it provides a good central focus and ties in more of the warm neutrals in the room. As with most of my paintings, I found an image online that I liked and attempted my best replication.

The pillows on the bed are probably my favorite part (see pillow tutorial here). I have been slowly collecting fabrics in a variety of patterns and shades of blue to keep adding to the mix. I want the pillows to look eclectic and be the main pop of color in the room. I currently have 3 more fabrics waiting for me to turn into pillowcases.

We have also started collecting blue glass jars mainly because I love the way the light shines through them when streaming in the back window. The trick here is to have a small collection of jars that doesn’t look cluttered.

I have made great strides in the past four years of marriage in learning to just let go. I used to have so many little collections because of my attempts to be thrifty. You never know which items can be reused or refurbished? And the items I don’t think I’ll ever use, I can usually attribute some sentimental emotion to in order to justify its continued safekeeping in our home.

However, one day you just reach a point where you must throw out everything that even partially resembles clutter and voila! A clean and clutter free home. Now the trick is maintaining that environment. All that to say, this is my one collection at the moment–blue jars.

Well, that’s just a few of the decorating elements in our room. The wall adjacent to the bed also has a large hanging tapestry that matches the center pillow. We aren’t allowed to paint so hanging fabric on the walls has been our substitute for color additions.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this small glimpse into our developing home.


My Oregon Love Affair


We have officially reached December and I am SO extremely excited. Really, I can’t put into words how great it feels to finally be in December. Why does December mean so much to me this year? I get to go home! It feels so great to finally write those words. It has been 2 years since Jack and I have made it home to Oregon. It seems silly but I am so excited just to see my hometown and drive the same old streets.

In the past two years I have missed 5 weddings, 4 births, many graduations, and 3 funerals–so you can see why I am so anxious to be home and love on all our friends and family who have been through so much.

We love our life here in Tennessee & our wonderful friends, but it’s true what they say, “there’s no place like home”–and I’m going there for 2 weeks!

Because I can barely contain my excitement about Oregon, I decided to finally put my old Oregon map to use.

Tools:

2 canvases
1 map
4 antiquing chalks (burnt red, brown, gold, orange)
1 glue stick

Instructions:

Cut map in half, or appropriate size to fit your canvases. Apply a liberal amount of glue to each canvas and carefully apply the map. Gently fold the map around the canvas corners. Use dark brown and burnt red chalk to dust the canvas edges. Brush gold and orange chalks gently over the surface of the map in various areas until you have achieved the desired affect.

I also used red thread to stitch a little heart around our hometown. Such a fun way to celebrate your roots!

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Photography + Love


This post is extremely random but I just had to share it with you all. Kira, of Kira Noble Photography, is one fantastic photographer. I get extremely giddy every time I see that she has posted new photos because I just can’t wait to see what else she has come up with.

Yesterday she posted this quote which I love! (photo: the kitchen curtains)

“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― G.K. Chesterton

And on Monday she posted these self-portraits on her blog with lots and lots of glitter. She is beautiful all the time as you can see here, and these pictures are exquisite.

Head on over to her blog to check out more of her photos.


Still-Life Chalk Art


Have you ever wandered down the art aisle of your favorite home decorating store and thought the images were overpriced and somewhat amateur? You think, a 6-year-old can paint a red circle in the center of a white canvas, right? I have spent many hours in these stores thinking I can paint this myself, and finally one day, I did.

Painting does not have to be a difficult or expensive endeavor. I firmly believe that almost anyone has the ability to make beautiful art for their home. The most difficult part of painting is learning to work with the paints. However, if the task of painting still seems daunting to you, I have another suggestion. Pastel Chalks.

Pastels are some of the first art forms I attempted when I was younger and I have recently come back around to using them.

For Christmas last year, I decided to craft some made-to-order art pieces for the women in our family. The picture above was made using a canvas, pastel chalks, and my fingers for blending.

This “painting” was created for Momma Mary (Jack’s mom). She has a shabby-chic look in her home and I thought the simplicity of the piece and the colors would match well.

I am fully convinced that anyone can make this still-life piece. The fruit shape can be accomplished free-hand style or by printing out a clip art fruit of choice. Simply print, trace, and fill in the shapes with your favorite color. Be sure to have a wet rag on hand to clean your fingers from time to time.

The pictures were very well received and are a great idea if you need an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift idea. Trust me, you can do this!