Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Surprise Shower Easy to Pull Off

As some of you know, I am in a small group made up of special women who love decorating or collecting or crafting or all of the above, and we get together every other month for dinner and fun at each other's homes. There are 12 in our group, so each of us entertains just once every two years. 

It was my turn this month and one of our members is getting married soon and it was suggested that we do a surprise shower at the same time. I was already planning an "April Shower" theme (yes, some of us do some sort of seasonal or other theme). And I was able to invite Michelle to her own surprise shower without her having a clue that it was going on. Even when she saw the umbrella on the front door, she remained in the dark.

She walked right past this dining room, and still nothing seemed unusual. (That tells you a little bit about how we go all out for our get togethers.) Fortunately, Michelle was with me in the kitchen when others arrived bearing gifts, but I always managed to answer the door and then have them stash their gifts behind the sofa. We didn't want to announce the surprise until all had arrived. Who said women can't keep a secret?!?

This is how the table looked in anticipation of everyone's arriving. I found the little demitasse cups at one of my favorite haunts and was amazed there were 12. I didn't know if they would be nut cups or what, but finally decided they would be mini succulent planters. My co-conspirator helped me plate the dinner while everyone was enjoying appetizers and libations. So the plates were placed, and the candles lit, everyone summoned, and when we broke the news, Michelle was practically in tears she was so surprised.

I do feel bad I didn't get a photo of everyone in the candle lit dining room surprising Michelle, but I am sure you all have vivid imaginations and can readily picture the whole scene. I love being a part of this group, and to think it all started in 2005 when The Pink Cupboard closed and Sandy came up with the idea for our group, so we could continue to celebrate our friendships. Many of us still are present in various shops throughout the area. And speaking of shops, I hope you will come see us at Stella & Notte this weekend starting Thursday. Just A Second is proud to share a space in this beautiful north end store at 1416 N Main in Rockford.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Powder Room from Floral to Photos

Long overdue powder room redo... John never wanted me to paint over the flowers I had painted one chilly morning when I was avoiding attending a bible study. (I guess I do not do well with long term class commitments.)

The rice paper walls are looking more than a little tired and much in need of a refresh, and could you see me painting around and between those stems and leaves and flowers. Not if you know me very well. I do fine with details if I am rearranging, but certainly not while painting.

So out came the primer. No, first take these photos, so there will always be a memory. Then prime over the leaves and flowers so their shadows don't bleed through the new paint color.


I really wanted something akin to Sherwin Williams "rainwashed", but of course, when I want to do something, I want to do it now, not wait until I run to the store and have the paint mixed. (I believe that is called impulsive). So I dragged several paint cans from the basement and my garage/workshop/she-shed/studio...HELP!!! I don't know what to call it, so usually I still say "garage". 

I mixed a color in the same sort of color but a bit stronger than I had originally conceived. Fortunately I really like it, and it works for the look I was imagining.



The look was totally different, going from a light "rice paper" background to a deeper color of greenish aqua. I think it is the perfect backdrop for the framed print which started it all. I don't know what it was, but I had to buy this "classy lady", 
and then I reluctantly decided to sell her. When she didn't sell right away, I took it as a sign that I was supposed to have her.

So her new role is to be the inspiration piece for the bathroom redo. And I couldn't be happier with that decision. I was able to use most of the accessories I had used before. But in the new space, they took on a new life. And I am hoping the new photos including John's parents and mine do not feel that their new home is beneath them. I think they fit right in.

The powder room came out the way I was envisioning it, and the best part was that because I used what I already had, it cost me my time and labor, but no more than that. All the accessories were vintage finds, so the project was green with creative reuse, something we certainly encourage, and that's the type of decor items you are bound to find on the weekends we are open at Stella & Notte. Our next open weekend starts this Thursday, April 21 and goes thru Saturday, April 23. Our hours are 10-5. We are looking forward to your visit.