I've always loved the whimsy and nostalgia of cuckoo clocks so when I spotted this guy high up on a shelf when we were antique shopping the other weekend it was love at first sight. It wasn't in working condition which was fine by me, because it kept the price way down and I didn't feel like a was ruining a priceless antique by painting it. I didn't love the dark wood and felt like all of the pretty detailing and the blue Cuckoo got lost in it. Also, a lighter color would fit much better in our home.

I broke out a trusty can of white spray paint. In my experience there are times when you can use cheap materials, but using spray paint is never, ever that time. When spray paint is involved, cheap means sticky and offers no coverage, spend the few dollars extra and get the good stuff.

Before painting, I wiped down the entire clock with water and white vinegar to get off the years of grime and dust. I popped open the back and wiggled the bird from its wire. As he stood upon purchase, he barely peeped his head out of the door, which was not enough for me, since he is my favorite feature of the clock! So after several layers of spray paint I hot glued him back in, but made sure to prop him out further so he really becomes the focus.

We recently took our flat screen down from above the mantle so we're still playing around with what should go up here. We've added a few things and the clock is a worthy addition, but we're not completely satisfied with all of the pieces and placements, so more on our mantle update later!  We are also in search of the perfect pinecones or charms to add to the end of the clock chains, we will post a final photo when we find them!

 *Note on spray painting, actually read and follow the instructions on the can. Temperature control and dry time are crucial, impatience is only rewarded with sticky paint and drips. Take the time to do it right!!!!


Two weeks ago we had the pleasure of hosting our great friends Dan and Elena from Wilmington, NC.  Elena is my college roommate and also the talented photographer behind Pressed Magnolia Studio, who also photographed my engagement and wedding.  Basically, she is the only person who can make the awkward and embarrassing task of having a photo taken even remotely tolerable. Trust me, that is to be considered the absolute highest praise.  Elena was in town for a mutual friends bridal shower, so as always we shamelessly took advantage of her camera skills and she generously obliged.

Emily and I wanted photos for our blogs about us page, so we decided to venture to our favorite DC shopping places.  We started the photoshoot at Eastern Market, thankfully it was the first day above 50 degrees so we didn’t have to burrow ourselves under layers of coats, but that also meant that the outdoor market was crazy busy, so there were a lot of people to witness the ridiculousness of us carefully shopping with Elena clicking away on her camera.  Eastern Market offers delicious produce from local farms, unique finds like vintage photographs and letterpress stamps, we thought this would be the perfect location, as it is our natural habitat.  Here are a few outtakes from Eastern Market…

Our next stop was TROHV, an AMAZING retail store in the Takoma Park neighborhood of DC.  If you are a local to DC or Baltimore (both cities of locations) and you haven’t been, you are SERIOUSLY doing yourself a disservice.  It has some of the most unique and beautiful home decor, very Anthropologie meets Restoration Hardware...just put your things down and GO NOW!

Year in Review

It’s funny how there are certain kinds of passings of time that feel like eons ago, but can also feel like they happened just yesterday, thinking back on 2013 certainly was one of those times.

It’s crazy to think that it’s been a year this month since we were sitting in my living room in Alexandria, Virginia talking about how we would be great business partners.  Aside from enjoying eachothers company, we both compliment each other creatively so well, our process and artistic capabilities blend perfectly. She is the artistic Thelma to my Louise (minus the driving off the cliff part).

Here is our business year in review and what we are looking forward to this year:

  • Decided to become business partners

  • Determined what our business should be, a very important step in starting a business

  • Research, Research, Research:

    • Researched similar companies

    • Gathered tons of inspiration

    • Reading book after book on everything from starting your own business, blog writing and design, to inspiring books for women such as “Lean In”

  • Our first wedding! (Lauren & Patrick)

    • We learned a ton on this one and Emily earned the most horrific hot glue burns!

  • Editing our Ideas:

    • We initially wanted to pump out product as fast as we could make it, but for many reasons it was stalled, which looking back we are very thankful for.  The extra time allowed us to really process our ideas and refine them.

  • New Jobs!

    • Both of us have moved on from Anthropologie and into positions that allow us more time.  This was a very important step, helping us save up our creative energy so we could devote it to our business.

  • New House!

    • We moved in together, allowing us to find a larger house that has a dedicated working space for our business, i.e. chick flicks and Beyonce in the basement, sorry Aaron, we love you!  Emily, Aaron, Brit, Brigley, and Chiquita, one big, weird, but happy family!

  • Redesign of blog!

    • Emily, along with the help of our great friend Dan, have been refining and refining our blog, Dan we owe you man!

  • Fleurir Chocolates

    • We are so lucky to have the pleasure of creating seasonal window decor for our most favorite chocolate shop, Fleurir.  Not only do we love working for Robert and Ashley, but they are such an inspiration for us, showing that with hard work (and a lot of other things) your goals can really come true!

What to look forward to:

  • March 18th surprise!  We have been keeping under wraps a big fall project we collaborated on over Thanksgiving and we have very exciting news!  So look out for March 18th!

  • Growing our blog over the next few months with more DIY posts for wedding, home, and life.

  • A lot of weddings on our plate this spring, summer, and fall, but don’t worry, we can still do something for you! ;)

  • Two wedding expos this month, look out Richmond, we are coming to you this weekend!

  • A very special collaboration in North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend--so stay tuned for that as well

  • Our Etsy shop launch in June

We are so excited about this upcoming year, this past year was really about us testing the waters and finding our footing.  We are now ready to dive in head first, watch out ladies and gentleman, The Backdrop Shop is ready to roll!