Friday, March 28, 2014

Little Itty Bitty Cards

Well I've given in to professionalism.  Oh curse me.  Kristen's painting will not be finished for tomorrow, but I will be working on it live at the Ivy Restaurant, so now's your time to see it in the raw, in progress stage in person.  Please come visit me during the Wheaton Wedding Walk tomorrow!!!

I will also be making a special delivery to Andrew's Garden with these little cuties…

I'm totally in love with this batch of mini notecards.  They all came out so good!  I never know how my work will translate in a different size, and this one worked out perfectly!  Pick up an arrangement at Andrew's Garden and receive a complimentary card!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Progress for the Sake of Progress

I hate when you start to second guess yourself.  I'm doing that with this painting and the progress of it.  I've really been putting in some quality time, but with these paintings, sometimes that doesn't mean a thing when it comes to nearing the finish line.  I'm not declaring defeat just yet, but I am saying that giving a client a wet painting might not be the best choice….

What would you do….pull all nighters like a college kid or stick to a level of professionalism that delivers a truly finished product?  Hmm….

P.S. Wonder why I've skipped around so much….white paint takes longer to dry.  Get that done first so it has a longer drying period. Fun fact of the day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Wedding Walk

Happy Spring!  Thank goodness the sun is shining today.  We need some hope that warmer days are ahead.  Jumping ahead to next weekend, mark your calendars for the Wheaton Wedding Walk.

I will be painting at the Ivy Restaurant and showing off Kristen's finished painting (fingers crossed).  I have a lot of work to do, but my plan is to give Kristen the painting after the walk, so come take a look before it's gone.

Tickets can be purchased at  Let's hope the weather is beautiful for the walk!
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

D.I.M.- Tray End Tables

After posting about my DIM (Did It Myself) mirrored coffee table project that you can view here, I really thought I had shared my proudest homemade project.  I'm torn now.  This one is right up there in my level of pride.  I guess it's like choosing a favorite child….how can you choose (easy, the first born is the fave, wink wink).

In the midst of my home makeover, I was also searching far and wide for a couple of end tables.  The end tables I was sporting were actually tv trays…..high-end wooden ones, but tv trays non the less.

Classy, right?

Once again, I searched and searched for some inexpensive, size appropriate, storage capable end tables without any luck.  I really didn't want to spend $200 on a couple of tables, but then I came across this pretty piece from West Elm…..

I loved that I would be able to move it around and mosey it right up to my couch if I wanted to.  The problem was that they are $179 a piece.  I just couldn't swing that.  Upon closer examination, I noticed that the construction was simple.  I got that crazy twinkle in my eye, and my mom thought, "Oh crap.  Get the glue gun ready."

Better than a glue gun, I was buying pvc at Home Depot and elbow joints I would have never paid a second glance to before.  Plan A consisted of making a pvc version.  It would be lightweight and manageable.  I also wanted to change up the look by adding a bit of color and even more versatility.

I found these trays at Home Goods for $20 each and decided to paint them with a complimentary fushia.

I sanded them a bit so the paint would adhere better.

I wanted a high gloss look and bought this paint at Michaels for about $2.50 a bottle.

I mixed the 2 colors above to get a deeper color.  I didn't want shocking pink of course!
For the base, I purchased 3/4 pvc pipe and the elbow joints to match.  One tricky caveat….the 3-armed joint without scoring is not available in the hardware stores.  I had to purchase an attachment to make it compatible with the rest of the pieces.  Just be mindful that you are using 3/4 for all of the pieces.

I was able to cut the pipe with a hack saw to all of my desired lengths.

Then it is pretty much like a puzzle.
I used a couple of tools to make the process easier too…including a rubber mallet to make sure everything was fitted securely.

I wanted the pipe to have that metal look, so lucky for me, that comes in a can!

Now wait a second.  You might be saying, "Hey, that has 4 legs!"  Well, yes, it does.  Upon constructing the framework to replicate the original design inspiration, we discovered that the pvc just wasn't sturdy enough to for the "C" design.  I gave in and put 2 extra legs on.

This only meant one thing….time to try some other materials.

I ordered some 3-armed, galvanized steel joints online (4 for $36), bought some additional metal elbow joints and had Home Depot cut and score some 3/4 black pipe for me (first 10 cuts are free!).  Once again, another puzzle….

I spray painted this piece too to give it that overall uniform metal look…and to match the pvc piece.  Honestly, looking at the 2 of them, you'd never know that one is made of a different material.

I added a basket underneath my 4 legged table since this one would be stationary.  All it is is a file basket from Staples attached with some wire.

Originally, I was going to adhere the trays to the top of the framework.  I opted against this when I realized how having them removable made them so easy to clean.  The trays settle onto the framework perfectly making them fairly stable.

Here you can see how nicely the "C" table fits under and over my chair.

Overall, success!  I have 2 fully functioning tables that are customized to my space.  The pricing breakdown is different for each, but still under budget!

PVC table:
$3.00- 3/4 x 10' PVC pipe (2 pieces at $1.50 each)
$19.00- 3/4 fittings and adapters
$13.50- 2 bottles of Flat Metallic Spray Paint
$20.00- Wooden tray from Home Goods
$3.00- High Gloss Paint
Total- $55.50 or so

Metal table:
$21.60- 3/4 x 10' black pipe (with cuts)
$9.50- 3/4 galvanized steel 90 degree elbows
$36.00- 3/4 galvanized steel 3-sided fittings
$6.75- Flat Metallic Spray Paint
$20.00- Wooden tray from Home Goods
$3.00- High Gloss Paint
Total- $96.85 or so

2 tables for about $155!  That's over $200 savings!!!  These pieces are custom too…no one else has them…unless you want a set then that's another story.

Pretty great.  You can see why it's a toss up between my tables.  I kind of think they are all awesome.  It definitely has you looking at furniture differently when you think, "I could make that."  Oh dear….what have I gotten myself into?!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bubbles and Brunch

Looks like this is my 300th post!  Woohoo for sticking with me for 300 bouts of random thoughts, activities and projects!  Let's strive for another 300…oh gosh, that seems like a lot.

Today I detour back over to my sister's wedding.  This August my only sister will be getting married, and I am bound and determined to make every aspect of the day and every day leading up to the wedding incredibly special.  For starters, we have the bridal shower.  With a champagne theme (the drink, not the color), I decided to take it upon myself to create the invite.  I wanted to keep it simple and clean with Lisa's wedding colors and love of circles in mind.

With some simple graphic design elements, some rounded edges and a nice printout, we have a quick and easy invite.  To doll it up a bit, I couldn't resist adding a smidge of glitter to the bubbles to give them a little reflection.

Mom and I went to IKEA yesterday for some decor inspiration.  Oooo, it is going to be a pretty great shower when we get our hands on this shindig!  Lots of projects ahead!

Enjoy this weekend and all of the St. Paddy's Day festivities!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Update: Kristen's Painting Progress

With the hint of spring on the way (until tomorrow's snowfall) and a good book coming out through my computer speakers, I'm in a painting groove.  I'm awfully fond of the greens I've been painting (maybe it's the approaching St. Paddy's Day anticipation), though I'm always adjusting their yellow v.s. blueness.  Overall though, I'd say that it is coming along quite nicely.

For some close up details visit my Instagram page (
Simple as that.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chalkboard Art for Every Occasion

I've started to add a bunch of other projects onto my plate to continue to build my portfolio.  One of the most popular uses of my talents lately has been with chalkboard artwork.  I'm really loving these projects due to my secret infatuation with different fonts.  I totally geek out on cool fonts and love hand lettering….so much so that I recently took a class with Jilly Ink too.  Her skills are what I aspire to have a fraction of some day.  For now, these results will have to do:

Photo courtesy of Amanda Hein Photography

Photo courtesy of Violet and Pearl Vintage Revival

This was from the wedding I did last November for a client of mine.  Frame is from Violet and Pearl.

Tray provided by Violet and Pearl.

I am loving this idea for a child's birthday party.  Each year do another board and compare!

Weddings, birthdays or special events, it's so easy to fit in a little something personal with a piece of chalkboard artwork.  Contact me anytime to start your special project!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Andrew's Garden for Kristen's Painting

It's happened….another painting is on my easel!  I love the story of this one….kind of because it ISN'T a wedding bouquet.  Here's the story:

I met Kristen and her family at the anniversary event while I was painting at The Dress by Nicole last month.  She was actually shopping for a dress for her daughter's confirmation when she stopped to admire my work.  She tried to recall her wedding bouquet from years ago, but couldn't pinpoint the look of it.  We talked a bit more about my work, she continued around the store and left…and then she came back.  Wedding album and family in tow, she declared that she did not like her wedding bouquet but loved my work and wanted me to paint something for her.  Nearing the end of the event and being in a prime location, I had her meet me over at Andrew's Garden to put together a bouquet for her.

Needless to say, Andrew and I were like two kids in a candy shop with this new project.  He played the florist while I art directed, and together we came up with an amazing arrangement.

Andrew's Garden is such a perfect place to put together an impromptu, fresh group of florals.  It felt like we were at some Parisian flower market picking something out to enjoy for the day.  Kristen was thrilled with the process too and was able to choose from a variety of blooms out on display.

With Andrew's wife Tonya at that camera, we worked a photo shoot like no other.

The result was the perfect arrangement created for Kristen's painting.  She loves the colors, textures and types of flowers included….and she is going to love this painting.

This will be my first non-wedding bouquet to paint in years.  I'm pretty excited about it since it means that Kristen really admired my talent before admiring the concept behind what I do.  This is much more than just a bouquet of flowers.
Let the painting begin!!!

*Be sure to follow along with the process and get some exclusive detail shots via my Instagram feed (loreen_rose).