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!!!!

oh the places we go

This past Saturday was one of those perfect days for a drive, 65 degrees and sunny, which meant windows down and music UP!  We were on our way to Richmond, Virginia for our very first bridal show at Celebrations at the Reservoir and were making a very out of the way stop to do some bargain J.Crew shopping in Lynchburg, Virginia. On our way, tucked in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains was a truly amazing antique store, just outside of Charlottesville. It had all of the tell-tale signs of a great shop, an aging house in the middle of nowhere, tables, trunks, gates, dressers and more clawfoot tubs that exist in the rest of the 20 mile radius all lying about the parking lot, and to top it off a huge Coca-Cola sign hung in the middle of the porch (with a "not for sale" tag of course). We pulled over  and scrambled up to this treasure trove like giddy pirates, excited to see what would catch our eyes!

We weren’t looking for personal purchases, just for the business, but neverless they found us. Emily found a woven wall hanging with a tribal feel that she couldn’t walk away from. Admittedly it needs some T.L.C to remove the layers of dirt from the years, but it had to be hers!

My find was a cuckoo clock for only $25, with a cuckoo still inside!. It doesn't work which is fine by me, because the price was low and I won’t feel bad revamping it a bit. Check back tomorrow for the cuckoo transformation!

Aside from those two exceptions, we were good and only purchased for the shop. We have been collecting found objects that can help us create warm, inviting curated spaces for wedding and events, often vintage pieces achieve this better than anything else. We can just sit there and imagine where they have been and the stories they hold, they invoke history and curiosity.  At least that is one of our favorite things about them, other than the fact they give everything a unique style-either way, here are our favorite finds!

Check back next week for Emily's DIY punched tin votives!

The Straight and Arrow

We've had the opportunity to do a few window displays for an absolutely wonderful local artisanal chocolate shop called Fleurir Chocolates. They have locations in two of the cutest spots in the D.C. metro area, Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown. If anyone knows anything about Georgetown they know it's full of lots of extremely charming brick roads and historic town houses. Charming can also mean small, as is the case for the shops windows, so we wanted to keep display here clean and simple.  We needed  to design a valentines day window that could transition into spring that was also cost effective, so we decided to paint directly onto the glass.

One idea we couldn't stay away from was arrows, they are everywhere right now. From fashion to tattoos to some super cute escort card displays, we have been witnessing our pinterest pages fill up fast with this medieval weapon. Perhaps we could blame the nations "Katniss" fever for this, but whatever the reason we were all on board! One thing that we love about them is they make for a great clean graphic statement. It was because of the graphic quality that we thought they would be great for the Georgetown shop since the windows are small and broken up into even smaller panes.

Installation for this one was easy breezy. We sketched several arrows we liked beforehand so we had something to go off of. Then we purchased small sample sizes of flat paint from Home Depot, two white and one sweet peachy pink. We began by drawing all of the stems of the arrows first to get our composition and then added all of the cute details, using only a little of the pink to add a valentines day pop! The beauty of painting directly onto the windows is clean up will be just as easy as the application. We just need our trusty straight edge blade and the paint will peel right off! We are thinking of several ideas for painted windows or mirrors for an upcoming wedding we have on our books, so stay tuned for more on this simple, but effective technique!