Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Do Less, Accomplish More in 2014

Guys, it's that time of year again when I get all reflective and in touch with my inner-self and I think about what the last year has been like and what I want for the new year. It almost feels silly writing a post about this because I feel like I've been in this state of mind all freaking year and you have had to listen to me drone on about my life decisions and milestones and what not. But part of the reason I write this if for accountability, to hold my feet to the fire, and because at the end of 2014 I will enjoy looking back on this post to see where I was and how I've grown.

Speaking of looking back, I did just that a few moments ago and I am so very thankful that I took the time to write out my thoughts on 2012 and the coming 2013. So much has changed since then, things I never would have predicted, and that makes me so very excited (and perhaps a little terrified) for the coming year. When I think about what I am most thankful for in 2013, so much of it involves opportunities, and I kind of hope that every year, or at least those in the near future follow suit. I liked last year's exercise, so I think I'm going to do it again, but with one addition: a motto for 2014.

As has become obvious through a few of my more recent posts, I took on quite a bit of responsibility in 2013. I found myself occupied nearly every moment of every day, to the point where I felt guilty to sit down and watch TV and I perpetually felt I was failing at something even when I was getting other things done. I realized that all my activities were actually affecting my health, so I decided to let some things go. Letting go was difficult since I like to think that I can do absolutely everything and be an overachiever and everything will be perfect. That mindset works for some people but is terrible for me because 1) I am not even remotely type-A, 2) I need more sleep than the average person, and 3) I'm a total introvert and if left to my own devices I would probably see my friends like once a month. I knew I didn't want to let go of my ambition and desire to build something for myself, but I also knew that current operating conditions were not sustainable, nor were the making me happy. So my moto for 2014 is this: "Do less, accomplish more." I want to be more selective and deliberate with what I do with my time instead of filling it with activities to get done just for the sake of doing something.

So let's review 2013, shall we?

Things I'm Proud of in 2013
1) Making the difficult decision to transfer to Marymount's Interior Design Program and continuing to pursue my graduate education in interior design
2) Landing a paid interior design assistantship at a local residential design firm and taking the risk of leaving my better paying government consulting position
3) Selling my furniture out of a space in the Sweet Clover Vintage Market
4) My sister getting a full time job
5) My brother doing a great job working at the Christmas Attic (following in the footsteps of his older sisters)
6) The boy getting a promotion in his current office
7) Completing some pretty cool studio projects (at least I think so)
8) Learning a few new computer programs including Revit and Quickbooks

Things I'm Thankful for in 2013
1) The opportunity to learn how to run a small interior design business
2) The opportunity to work for a furniture picking and painting guru and learn more about that process
3) Two new roommates who have been very easy to live with
4) Having a great time at a number of weddings this year, especially my cousin's wedding with the rest of our family
5) My family recovering from a few major health issues and scares with flying colors
6) Being welcomed to spend a few holidays with the boy's family, including the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve (my family joined in the Christmas Eve festivities too)

Things I'm Looking forward to in 2014
1) NOT feeling the pressure of selling furniture in any venue
2) Starting my own interior design consulting business
3) Beginning work on my thesis!!! (I am super excited about this one for some reason)
4) Learning about commercial office design in my upcoming studio
5) Continuing to work on great residential design projects for Arlington Home Interiors
6) Carving out more time to spend with friends and family
7) Visiting my sister in Brooklyn (I haven't been to NYC in two years and that's ridiculous).
9) Nearly finishing my Master's degree

Last night I was making a calendar of classes for my upcoming semester and realized that because I won't be taking as many studio classes as I was last semester (studios meet twice a week and lecture-based classes meet once a week), I will actually be spending 5 fewer hours in class each week than I did last semester. Subtracting my work for Sweet Clover from this weekly time equation, I will have many more hours to dedicate to school work and "other"--friends, family, design work, etc. There is a lot of change on the horizon in the coming year, but I am pumped to live my life more deliberately in 2014. Bring on the growth.

All pictures were taken by me and featured on my Facebook page. Want more updates from Savvy Young Something? Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

*Note that I did not coin, nor do I own the phrase "Do Less, Accomplish More". It appears to be widely used in other articles. This is my own interpretation of the phrase and does not represent the views of anyone else who has used it in their own articles. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gift Guide 2013: Gifts for Him

With Christmas a week away, we're really down to the wire for Christmas shopping. Struggling to find a present for that special boyfriend, husband, brother, or dad? Here's a quick list I've compiled. As far as I can tell, they're all still available, and ship from places that can overnight stuff before Christmas.

1. Cardboard Safari Buck Cardboard Animal Trophy - I especially like the Micro Buck. At $13, he would look great on a gallery wall accompanied by another micro animal trophy friend like Micro Fred the Moose or Micro Tex the Longhorn. Just make sure the gift receiver doesn't mind a puzzle because these guys can be a little challenging to put together. Although if you're like me and you love puzzles, you can absolutely put it together for him. I got one for the boy a while ago, and he had his friends convinced for a bit that I made it myself out of a pizza box.

2. Patagonia Men's Bivy Down Vest - I absolutely love my down vest, and the boy wears the one I bought him last year all the time. This one is a little retro in the best of ways. It's a bit pricey at $179, so if you're looking to get the man in your life some winterwear on a discount, check out websites like 6pm.com or Nordstrom Rack for quality brands at a discount. 

3. Stag Bookend Set - This set of stag bookends from Target are both manly and stylish, and at $14.99, they're reasonably priced enough to give to just about anyone on your list. Not so into the bookends? Check out the rest of Target Threshold Decorative Stag collection and see if there's something he might like.

4. Abingdon Weekender - The boy has been eyeing this canvas and leather duffle for a while as an upgrade to his usual weekend travel solution which is the backpack he carried in college. It's a classic travel piece that will last for a while, and it easily suits anyone from your college-aged son to your dad.  It's a bit out of my range at $198, but J.Crew is currently running a 30% sale with free shipping, so it's definitely the right time to snag it if you can afford it!

5. Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names Poster - I bought Pop Chart Lab's Many Varieties of Beer poster a couple years ago when my dad was into brewing, but I really love the merge of dork and cool that this one exhibits. Quite honestly, any one of Pop Chart Lab's posters would make an excellent gift. They've got one for guitar lovers, baseball fans, throwback TV show fans, and many, many others. Their tag line is "Data + Design = Delight" and I basically want to be their best friends. This specific print is $28. Order by December 19 if you want it framed, and December 20 if you are just ordering a print. If you're in NYC, these guys are at the Union Square Holiday market booth C18 through Christmas Eve.

6. Embroidered Belt - If you've stepped foot into a gift shop at the beach, you have very likely seen these belts. Leather Man Ltd., the same company that manufactures Eliza B., offers these leather and canvas embroidered belts for an affordable $35., and the entire site is 20% off until December 19. You can custom design an option from the many different embroidered motifs they offer, and you also get to pick the canvas color.

7. Crockpot - Three of the four guys that live in the boy's house have their own crockpot, and the boy loves "crocking", especially in the winter. It's definitely one of the easiest ways for a guy to make sure he has meals for a week, and it might even prompt them to cook for you!

8. Minimalist Ballparks Art Prints - This minimalist art print by S. Preston that gives a nod to the Washington Nationals is also on the boy's list this year. S. Preston's series of prints that feature baseball stadiums around the country were featured on Deadspin and in Sports Illustrated (where the boy first saw them), and are pretty reasonably priced. $25 will buy you an 8.5" x 11", but if you feel like splurging, you can buy a 24" x 30" for $175. If you want one, order it today to get it by Christmas!

9. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls - David Sedaris always delivers hilarious books, and his latest collection of essays is sure to be great. It seems that our family always lays around naps/rests after opening Christmas gifts, so it's nice to have a book to read or thumb through during that time.

10. USB Phone Charger - When I first saw these on-the-go phone chargers, I thought they were a little silly. And then I found myself tailgating at a concert or working the Lucketts Spring Market and wishing I had one to give my phone some extra juice. This would be especially practical for someone who loves hiking and camping (even without cell service, some of those apps come in handy), or your frequent tailgater. They're not exactly something he probably wants to carry around in his pocket, so don't be surprised if it ends up in your purse (am I the only person that happens to?).

11. Mason Jar Shaker - Good ol' boys and hipster dudes alike will appreciate the vintage twist on this classic bar tool offered up by West Elm for $29.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Georgetown Jingle 2013

Since 2006, local designers have worked together to produce the Georgetown Jingle, an event which auctions off Christmas trees created by local designers to raise money for the Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Georgetown University Hospital. The 2013 Georgetown Jingle trees have been on display at the Four Seasons in Georgetown since November 27, and last night they were sold at an auction during the 2013 Georgetown Jingle Gala event.

Another amazing tree by Corcoran Students Whitney Osterhout + Ramzah Khan
I learned of the Georgetown Jingle through the student ASID chapter at the Corcoran last year. Corcoran students participate in the Jingle by building a tree, and in the past the student tree has been extremely popular. I follow the Jingle on facebook and saw last week that they needed volunteers to help out with some last minute stuff over the weekend. Now that classes are over and I actually have time to do things at my leisure on the weekends, I sent an email volunteering to help out. Selfishly, I also wanted to head over to Georgetown and check out the trees.

Saturday I spent a couple hours stuffing gift bags for the event, along with a bunch of other volunteers from Junior League of Washington and a sorority at GW...kind of awkward that I was the only person to show up unaffiliated, but whatever, I had a good time. After I was done volunteering, I headed over to the lobby of the Four Seasons and checked out the trees.

Some designers did traditional trees, basically decorating regular green artificial trees with unusual ornaments. Others like to think outside of the box a little and reinterpret the traditional Christmas tree. My favorites trees were those that weren't constructed like a traditional artificial tree, which is also the type of thing the Corcoran students do each year.

I snapped some pictures of my favorites with my iPhone and tried to get the detail since I hadn't seen a ton of pictures of them online. Hopefully one day I'll get to participate in the event!

Darlene Molnar's tree was built from cones of paper and lit from the inside. It's inspired by the chocolate truffles that her partner vendor makes and sells in their restaurant. We can call this little area the Corcoran floor since Darlene is a Corcoran alum and professor.

I really appreciated the simplicity of Michael Roberson's design, but the coolest part about it is that it's constructed of your generic, builder-grade, brass chandelier.

Camille Saum, who has done the Jingle previously and had a room in the 2013 DC Design House, did a traditional tree packed with color and texture. It was beautifully done, but I scoffed at it a little because was a traditional tree. And then I got closer to it. I've seen a lot of...interesting..DIY can-related Christmas decorations (Mom - Tuna can angel? Diehl family - crushed can santa care of Pack 'O Fun magazine?), but these ornaments made from soda cans were amazing. Seriously, I want her to sell them, unattached from the tree.

Bill Enright, a floral event designer, created this silvery "Gatsby" tree, and I found myself completely drawn to it. I love the way the light plays on the silver and peeks out through the white feathers. This is also a great demonstration that all artificial trees are not created equal. Check out the number of lights on this tree. Most artificial trees have about half as many lights, and this tree would look very different if that were the case. 

I wish I had been able to snap a full picture of Elizabeth Krial's tree, but there was a group of people sitting by it so I didn't want to be obtrusive. Instead I tried to get a close up of the tree-topper made of book pages. We've seen a lot of things made out of rolled book pages lately, but I definitely haven't seen that trend in this form. 

If you want to see larger pictures and full descriptions of each tree, check out the Georgetown Jingle feature on DC by Design

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Being Sick on Vacation and Streamlining My Obligations

You guys. I mentioned yesterday that I was quite sick during the beginning of my trip to Florida last week, but that doesn't even begin to describe how awful it was. I seriously don't ever remember being that miserably sick for such an extended period in my life.

When my mom saw this picture on Facebook her reaction was "Oh honey, I can tell you don't feel well in this picture." Ouch!
I started feeling bad at the beginning of the week but figured I had caught whatever cold was going around the boy's house. Wednesday I woke up with such a bad headache that I took my first sick day since I started at Arlington Home Interiors in April. I dragged myself to school and left early because I felt so awful, went home and promptly fell asleep at 6:30 pm. The next morning I woke up feeling worse, and to make things more painful, it seemed that none of my over-the-counter drugs were helping. My usual go-to for headaches, Ibuprofen, was useless. Finally I found that Exedrin worked a little bit. Since I was leaving in the morning for Florida, I went to the doctor to see if they could figure out my ailment and give me something, anything, to make me feel better.

The LPN I saw diagnosed me with a sinus infection and gave me meds. I went to bed hoping I'd start to feel better, but instead I was up almost hourly throwing up (should have warned you that this is a gross story). Friday around 5:00 am I called Kyle and told him I wasn't sure I was going to make our flight to Florida, but by some miracle I mustered the strength to shower and get myself out the door. I felt so miserable by the time we got to the airport that the first thing I did when we arrived was puke in a trashcan. Like a small child. I seriously don't think I've done that since I was about eight. Once we made it through airport security and to our gate, I basically just sat at a table and cried while the boy tried his best to get me to eat something so that I could take some more Exedrin to feel better. Half of a smoothie seemed to do the trick, and I was feeling well enough to eat a whole bagel (whoa craziness) by the time we touched down to catch our connecting flight in Atlanta.

At some point on our drive from the airport to our hotel in Rosemary Beach, the Exedrin started to wear off and I went back to the dark place. I got sick again right before we got to the hotel (so close!), and after not-so-discretely disposing of that in the fancy hotel lobby trashcan, I took another Exedrin, and laid down for a quick nap so that I could hopefully have a little time to feel better before the Friday night pre-wedding festivities. When I think about how terrible I felt at points on Friday, I'm amazed that I was lucky enough to rally for anything that evening, let alone a nice cocktail party (sans-alcohol for me) involving a LBD and heals. As I was getting ready for the cocktail party the boy noticed a small rash running along the right side of my back around to my ribs. I didn't think much of it--probably connected to my mystery sickness, but nothing major.

Friday night into Saturday morning I was again in excruciating pain. I woke up and puked throughout the night and the headache I had was unrelenting. By the time the sun came up Saturday morning I knew I needed help. The sinus meds weren't helping at all, and if anything I felt worse than I did when I walked into the doctor's office on Thursday. Instead of walking around Rosemary Beach and enjoying the town on Saturday morning, the boy and I headed to an urgent care clinic in Panama City Beach.

By the time the doctor saw me I was starting to feel better thanks to my good ol' Exedrin. I told her how I had had a miserable headache for five days, that I felt achey, nauseous, and that nothing seemed to be helping. And oh yeah, this weird rash popped up on my back yesterday. That little rash that I thought nothing of was the key to my misery. The second she saw it, I had my diagnosis. "Those are definitely shingles," she said.

Shingles?! What am I, 65?! A little blood work and one trip to Publix later, I had my prescription painkiller, nausea meds, and the precious anti-viral meds that were going to make me feel so much better by the next day. I ended up missing the wedding ceremony of our friends, but I managed to make it to the reception.

Shingles is a re-activation of the chickenpox virus that causes deep nerve pain and a myriad of other symptoms, including the notable shingles rash that tends to run in a line around one side of your mid-section, and the migraine and nausea that I was experiencing. Shingles are pretty uncommon amongst young people, and they only emerge when your immune system is weakened for some reason. The lab looked at my blood work to make sure I didn't have something else lurking like Lyme disease that was weakening my immune system, but everything came back clean. So this is where the scary reality comes in: I probably got shingles because of the insanely high stress levels I've experienced lately.

When I think about it objectively, my life is no more chaotic than a lot of other people's lives, and I only have myself to worry about as opposed to a whole family. So this was partly my body's way of saying I best get my anxiety level in check. But natural anxiety levels aside, this is my own fault. I have been operating under a "Say yes and figure it out later" mentality for the past six months, and it finally caught up with me. With working my day job, completing my homework, picking, painting, and setting up my space at the barn, and trying to find time to spend with friends and loved ones, I have been a mess. I thought I could handle it, but having my decisions actually affect my health in such an obvious, painful way was a real wake up call for me. I can't believe I made myself that miserably sick and nearly ruined part of what was supposed to be a nice vacation for the boy and me. I can't keep this up. Something has to go.

Friends, I'm sad to announce that this weekend's December sale at Sweet Clover is going to be my last. My job is a must and school is a must, but the barn is the one thing on my list that isn't a necessity. As much as I love picking and working on furniture, knowing that I need to get a great dresser within the next week so that I can put something in the barn Saturday, even though I have class every night but Friday-Sunday and a project due Monday, stresses me out so much. Leaving the barn after a bad month where I hardly even made rent while living off my severely cut salary that I took to get a job in interior design stresses me out so much. Not ever having an entire weekend to dedicate to chores and schoolwork stresses me out so much. The reality is that I don't make much money at the barn, and that I can put lots of work into something with no guarantee that I'll see any profit from it--in fact, the only guarantee is that I'll spend money doing it. This is not a shock to me, I knew it going in, but I guess I didn't realize how much of a weight it would be on my shoulders.

Please please please know that this is by no means a knock against Sweet Clover. It is has wonderful business owners who work their tails off for the business and it's full of amazing stuff created and curated by very talented vendors. It's just that the nature of the handmade marketplace is that there's a lot of investment of time and money up front and a lot of uncertainty in the sales and profit. That's a little different than selling a service like interior design, where you have more certainty that you'll be paid for your time and your profit doesn't hinge upon you investing $X up front to buy and resell something.

If I had more time and if the boy and I had weekends to spend out in places like West Virginia and Pennsylvania I would expand my picking efforts and put another 6 months into this effort, but my reality is that I just can't. When I look at my various business opportunities, I realize that given my busy schedule and my limited resources, I'm probably wiser to provide a service than to try to buy and resell stuff. I'm not the first person to face this kind of a decision.

When I first realized I needed to let go of my space at Sweet Clover and perhaps my furniture refinishing obsession altogether, I was really bummed. I don't like to admit that I can't handle everything because I know there are so many intelligent women far more organized than I am who handle ten times what I do. But this is what will work for me, and the more I think about it, the more relieved I am. I can get off this merry-go-round of trying to find great stuff and painting it and hauling it and hoping and praying someone will buy it. I am ready to stop hoarding craft supplies and fabric and materials just incase I need something for the barn. I am ready to organize the wayward "stack" of magazines cascading from the side of my bed and to have clean underwear before I'm forced to wear my least favorite pair and to get my life in order.

The thing I'll miss most about being part of the Sweet Clover market is the very reason I got into it to begin with--the community. I have met great people there and I will miss seeing them on a regular basis and collaborating with them to make the business great. I will definitely keep in touch with those people and continue to shop at Sweet Clover, and I hope you will too!

Speaking of shopping, the good news for you is that my stuff will be on sale this weekend in an effort to get rid of as much of it as possible, so come get something if you like it! All the stuff in my booth with a red bow on it is on sale, and I've marked down lots of accessories too. Many other items will be on sale this weekend throughout the barn in an effort to clear out things that have been sitting for a couple months and make way for fresh, new pieces for the January sale, so it's a great time to come snag a deal. Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Vacation, Florida Style

 Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

As you may have noticed if you follow me on Instagram, the boy and I spent last week in Florida. On the Friday before Thanksgiving we flew down to Ft. Walton Beach in the Florida panhandle and drove to Rosemary Beach to celebrate the wedding of a couple friends. We splurged a bit and stayed at The Pearl, the luxury boutique hotel where the bride and groom has reserved a room block. It was AWESOME. We don't get to travel much, and when we do it's always on a budget. So when we walked into a hotel where they immediately offered us champagne and gave us a tour of the facilities while the valet parked our car and the bellman took our belongings upstairs made us feel slightly like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone 2. Make it three, I'm not driving. I was looking so grungy after our six hour indirect flight and drive to the hotel that I seriously expected them to say, "I'm sorry, I think the budget motel you're looking for is down the street." Thankfully, they didn't.

Turn down service comes with fresh baked cookies, naturally.
The bathroom had a TV in the mirror and the boy was OBSESSED with it.
The Rosemary Beach town square was all lit up and gorgeous.

My hair looks like shiznit in this picture which is a total result of being so sick that I slept as long as possible and basically stuck my hair in a damp pony for the wedding. NOT a proud moment.
I was actually quite sick for the beginning of the trip, so unfortunately I could hardly enjoy our plush king bed and the wonderful little shops and restaurants at our doorstep (more on that sickness to come later). I also struggled through the wedding reception and had about one glass of champagne all weekend. Lucky for me, I started to feel much better in time for us to drive from Rosemary down to Clearwater on Sunday, where we spent the rest of the week with the boy's parents who live down there during part of the year.

It was the first Thanksgiving I've ever spent away from my family which made me sad, but I was happy that the boy and I could spend our first real holiday together. After spending countless Thanksgivings in Syracuse with family I'm used to seeing my first snow over Thanksgiving, so it felt kind of funny eating turkey with a palm tree right outside our door. Although considering the kind of weather the rest of the east coast was getting over the holiday, I'm happy I was able to stay warm(ish) and dry in Florida.

This is the view from the boy's grandma's apartment in a retirement community. Not bad, eh?
Despite being sick and enjoying unseasonably cold weather in Florida, I had a great time. Now I'm home and kicking it into high gear so that I can get all my grad school projects finished in the next two weeks. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Barn Sale This Weekend

Hi friends! If you haven't seen already on my facebook page, the Sweet Clover Vintage Market is open today - Sunday, 10am - 5pm!

I really love all the pieces in my space right now, even though I know that they don't necessarily all quite fit together. That's OK...they're all representative of my personal style, which I'll tell you a bit more about next week.

I styled this really cool navy blue campaign chest as a sexy mid-century bar, complete with vintage whiskey bottles, champagne glasses with gold trim, brass swans and a shiny trophy-style champagne bucket. 

This Duck Egg blue dresser is actually quite old. You can tell because it has pin and crescent drawer joinery, a style that was used as an alternative to hand-cut dovetails before dovetailed joinery was mechanized. It likely dates to the late 1800s, and I bought it from someone who pulled it out of the original owner's estate in New Hampshire. I'm pretty sure the hardware isn't original, but I kind of like the way that it breaks the lines down the front of the drawers. 

I LOVE coming across dressers like this because they always look amazing painted. I try to be very careful not to put the paint on too thick in the details so that they stand out. I painted this one ASCP Paris Grey, which looks especially cool since this piece comes with a mirror and it amplifies the silver mirrored effect beautifully.

Cassie pulled a bunch of prints from my space to decorate the Cottage behind the barn, which is decorated in a "Bohemian Christmas" theme for this month's sale. It showcases an assortment of architectural prints, a couple paint-by-numbers landscapes, and a needlepoint peacock. I try to have an assortment of artwork at each sale since gallery walls are one of my favorite ways to make a space feel collected and lived-in.  

My little herringbone table has gone completely retro. I have refrigerator boxes, vintage Nestle promotional gift boxes, and a junior marksman handbook. I'm not really much into guns and none of my immediate family hunts, but I have an appreciation for this little book that teaches children how to use their guns safely, namely by not pointing and shooting your gun at other people. Let's just say that if Ralphie had this little book, his mom might not have been so worried that he'd shoot his eye out.

Vintage Shiny Brite in original boxes...**swoon**. This is the Christmas Attic employee in me coming out in full color. I get so excited when I find vintage Christmas goods at estate sales. A quick education in Shiny Brite: Prior to World War II, a significant portion of glass in the US was imported from Europe, especially hand-blown ornaments. During the War, a lot of those glass imports came to a halt so American manufacturers were quick to fill the void. Shiny Brite was one of those brands that emerged at that point in time. It continued to be the most popular blown glass ornament manufacturer in the US through the rest of the 1940s and 1950s. Christopher Radko bought the rights to the Shiny Brite name in more recent years, so you can still buy fun reproductions at places like The Christmas Attic, but you can't beat the old stuff. Vintage American-made ornament goodness! 

This little book stand has come in handy for displaying my architectural prints and other knick-knacks. I have no clue where it came from, but I imagine it in a Sunday school classroom for some reason.

I gave my rattan lamps a bit of an upgrade with a fresh coat of gloss black paint and new shades. I have a pair of them if you're interested!

I bought this chair a while ago with the intention of keeping it for myself, but I just don't have a place for it. When you lift the seat off you can see that it originally had a hand-caned, which leads me to believe that it's pretty old. It also makes me miss my dear Grandpa quite a bit (explanation here). I thought about reupholstering it, but I think I like the needlepoint seat for now. It would add a hand-made, aged look to an eclectic living room.

This pretty gold mirror would also make a great tray for greenery and mercury glass in the center of your Thanksgiving table!

Vintage Christmas bulbs, 3 large or 4 small for $2. I love all the colors. I also have a few strands of vintage lights that work and are so fun and colorful. Just be careful, those bulbs get hot!

Can you believe I found this cool, painted pallet on the side of the road near my house? It was perfect for an ornament Christmas tree.

 The bottom table is a vintage Lane table with two felt-lined drawers. I am such a sucker for brass hardware. And you can see my grey and gold love in both my paper pinwheels which can be used as ornaments or gift tags, and my French Linen table with gold accents.

I'll be at the barn on Sunday. Definitely come say hi if you're there!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Decorating for Christmas a Week before Halloween

This weekend, November 1 -3 is the Holiday Market at the Sweet Clover Barn. It coincides with the Holiday Market at Chartreuse & Co. (another awesome barn a few miles down the road), and I know a bunch of places are having holiday open houses this weekend too. It seems early, but for a place that will only be open a handful of times before Christmas, we want to give you as much time as possible to prepare for the holiday season!

The Christmas season starting early is no foreign concept for me. Even though I enjoyed Halloween candy as a kid, I was never super into a holiday that centered around scary stuff--to this day I'm not a fan of scary movies and you definitely won't catch me at a haunted house. I was known to play a Christmas song or two on a rainy day in September when I was "in the mood" and always kind of saw Halloween as a hurdle to clear so I could get into the warmth and coziness of the Thanksgiving - Christmas - New Years season. When I started working at the Christmas Attic when I was 14, I learned very quickly that in the (Christmas) retail world, you hit the ground running November 1st.

The boy was out of town this weekend when most of the Halloween celebrations were happenin' around town, so I took it as an opportunity to forego celebrations altogether, save some money by staying in, and focus on getting stuff together for my space at Sweet Clover.

Over the past few months I've hit tons of estate sales, which means I have a whole host of cool "smalls" in my space right now. I hit the jackpot on architectural prints, which are always a great addition to an eclectic gallery wall or leaning against a bookcase. As for my Christmas decorating, I picked up cool Christmas decor when I saw it, but I mostly focused on buying up lots of vintage ornaments and vintage C7 and C9 bulbs. I love decorating with bulbs and ornaments because you can scatter them all over your house in little bowls, on cake plates, and in cloches and feel Christmassy without the decor being too in your face.

I think my favorite part of the space is the tree I made out of ornaments on a palette that I picked up on the side of the road. The palette isn't for sale since I think it'll be useful in displaying art and such in other seasons, but all the ornaments are available for $1 each. You can check out more pictures of the space on my facebook page.

You can tell it was dark by the time I finished up and shot photos. I stayed wayyyy longer than I planned but I'm pretty happy with the way the space turned out. Hope to see you there this weekend! We'll be open 10am - 5pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Check out the Sweet Clover website for more information and directions.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sweet Clover Fall Sales and Special Blogger Event

Please forgive me if you're sick of the Sweet Clover posts...with school in full swing, I've hardly had time to do any projects except those that end up at the barn. But I am working on something for our house that I hope to finish and share with you sooner than later.

For now, here's another Sweet Clover update. First, we're having a couple events this fall, which means we'll be open more! Here are the sale dates through December:
  • October 5 - Special event, details below. 
  • October 18-20
  • November 1-3
  • November 15-17
  • December 6-8

On October 5, Sweet Clover is sponsoring the Hometalk Halloween Hunt, a special blogger barn tour presented in partnership with Hometalk. The event features the Sweet Clover Barn, as well as three other local vintage markets: Chartreuse & Co., On a Whim, and the Old Lucketts Store

You'll start your day at Sweet Clover, where we'll be serving a light breakfast, and Hometalk will be giving out tote bags. From there, you'll get your map, which will also feature many local shops and restaurants if you want to extend your trip. Karen, the Graphics Fairy will be around to meet and chat with you (location TBD).

Here's the special blogger challenge:

Buy something, anything, from one of the four Hunt locations, take it home, do something fun and creative with it, and blog about it. Then, on October 23, link your blog post to the The Hometalk Halloween Haunt Link Party on Cassie's blog, Primitive and Proper. The Sweet Clover team will choose the best project and that blogger will win a package of vintage and handmade goodies from the Sweet Clover vendors! Love me a good blogging contest. 

Sweet Clover will be open from 9am - 5pm that day, and you certainly don't have to be a blogger to come by and shop. The more, the merrier! If you plan to come, we encourage you to RSVP so that we have an idea of how much breakfast and how many totes we need to supply. 

Many of the vendors will be around on Saturday to meet and chat with you. I would LOVE to be there, but I will probably be working one of my multiple jobs that day. I have a little plan to make sure you know which space is mine. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September Sweet Clover Barn Sale Preview

Hi friends! I've been crazy busy with school and work lately, but I wanted to stop in and show you a few pictures of my space in the Sweet Clover Barn in Frederick, Maryland. The Barn will be open this weekend and will feature many new vendors in the newly renovated upstairs portion of the barn. I won't make it to the sale this month but I definitely encourage you go check it out!

The barn will be open Friday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm. Happy treasure hunting!!

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