Flower Power

Mara and I spent quite a bit of time debating what to do with the empty wall above our television.

We knew it needed something, too much white freaks us out, but we didn’t want it to be obtrusive.  One large picture would look awkward centered above the television, and an assortment of frames would be too similar to the opposite wall above our couch.  While browsing the local Target we stumbled upon the wall decals, and found these three dimensional flowers in various sizes.

We immediately liked them, and of course, new exactly where we would use them.  The original color was a matted silver, but to give it a personal touch that blended with our living room color story we decided to spray paint them.

We chose Rust-oleum Ultra Cover in three shades of green that played nice together.  We didn’t have a fabric swatch with us but there are so many shades of green in our living room, we knew that these would fit in nicely.  We were adamant on using darker tones in the display to keep the look toned down.

I spent a nice evening outside on our porch spray painting.  Flowers were sprayed one color depending on their size.  It took a few thin coats to evenly cover them, but the process was painless.

Once the flowers were dry we brought them back inside to begin the real task, getting them on the wall.  You might think we’re crazy, which is true, but we decided to freehand the entire project rather than mapping out where each flower would go.  We had a general idea of what we wanted the flowers to look like on the wall, so we just went with it.  Mara and I also agreed that we didn’t want it to look overly planned, and that certainly is the case.

We started by hanging the end flowers, to give us an idea of scale.  Applying the flowers was very easy.  The kit came with small flat head nails that we tapped into the wall with a hammer.  The back of each flower has a small circle that fits over the nail, and they click in place.

I wish the lighting was better in these photos, but sadly its not.  We like the overall affect, it has a young fresh vibe which we can handle since we think we’re young and fresh.

This look works well for the younger sect, it would be adorable in a little girl’s bedroom.  I’ll be honest and say that in future homes I will be going for a more sophisticated look and this wouldn’t fit in the scheme but for where Mara and I are right now, its exactly what we like.

Live lovely,

Rachael

 

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It’s a Lovely Life: Cincy on Screen

Like good Cincinnatians, Mara and I rushed to see “Ides of March” on Friday, its opening day in theaters.  Not only were we excited to see Cincinnati on the big screen but also the hallowed halls of Miami University, our alma mater.
I can’t say the film was one of my favorites, I don’t normally choose to attend heavy political dramas, but luckily I had Ryan Gosling to ogle over.  It was exciting and surreal to see The Farmer School of Business and a few Cincinnati landmarks projected in all their glory.  Maybe the rest of the world will see what their missing.

Before the movie we stopped at the Hofbrauhaus, a place we had been meaning to visit for years.  The weather was great, so we sat outside and had fun people watching and enjoying delicious pretzels.  We will definitely being going back.

Mara ordered a sandwich as big as her head, and it tasted a lot better than my “salad”, which turned out to be a giant pile of chopped bologna on some lettuce leaves.  I made the most of it by eating off of my friends plates though, because that’s what living lovely is all about.

Happy Lovely Living,

Rachael

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The Key to Shadow Box Beauty

Hello Lovely Readers,

Today, I am going to share with you a project I did a few months ago but have just now found the time to post on the blog. Procrastination is my forte, as you can tell. When we moved, I wanted to try to do a lot of my own art work/projects for the walls in my room. One project I had in mind was using shadow boxes and skeleton keys. I love the history and charm behind antique skeleton keys. It is always fun to think about the story behind the key. So, I went on a little scavenger hunt to several antique stores nearby to find keys. Luckily, I found a great collection at The Venice Pavilion in Ross, Ohio. If you love antiques, this is a sweet weekend spot to check out. I also decided to use a black and cream fabric and a collection of white buttons in my shadow boxes. I bought three shadow boxes when Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale. I always try to use an odd number of frames when doing wall decor because it allows you to have a balanced, feng shui, display if you will. 🙂

I first fitted the fabric to match the size of the Shadow Box frames. I then used a glue gun to adhere the arranged the keys onto the fabric base. I first tried to sew them on but that proved to be a little difficult for this girl. Glue guns have definitely saved my DIY life. I then added buttons to add some character to the pieces. I hung them above my dresser in my room. Here are a few pictures of how it turned out.

 

 

Shadow boxes are a great way to display your own creativity. Other ideas to use for shadow boxes are photo arrangements, antique forks or spoons, or anything else your heart desires. Be creative and share your own ideas with us. We’d love to hear from you!

Lovely living,

Mara

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It’s a Lovely Life: The Hyde Park Art Show

This weekend our lovely living event was just minutes from our doorstep in Hyde Park Square.  The event is held annually, and we were more than pleased to take a stroll through the rows and rows of paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and crafts.  The sights and sounds of fall are fast upon us and that made the afternoon even sweeter.

There were some beautiful paintings that I would have loved to own, sadly my art budget isn’t running around the $500 mark right now.  I overheard quite a few of the artists discussing their inspiration and painting techniques with potential buyers, a unique experience that might not occur in a gallery. 

To top off the day, we ran into a wagon full of these adorable puppies. We couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures.  If our landlord would let us have dogs, you can guarantee we wouldn’t have been able to put these sweet faces back.

What did you guys do this weekend, any fun fall activities coming up that we should put on our calendars?

Live Lovely,

Rachael

PS:  We are slowing sprucing up our blog, so don’t mind us if you see changes.  Apparently our decorating style is translating into the blogosphere meaning we are taking a long time and overanalyzing everything.

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Made in the Shade

For those of you who are frugal with flair, making your curtains is most likely already in your DIY repertoire.  For the rest of the world, be advised that this is definitely not something Mara and I came up with ourselves.  Blogs and design magazines have been featuring Curtain How To’s for a long time, but I wanted to add our supportive high five to the idea and show you what I’ve done in our own home.

Because we can’t paint, curtains were a must to add some much needed color to our apartment.  So far I have only tackled curtains for our living room and my bedroom, but the empty curtain rods in the dining room are beckoning for a little love.  The greatest thing about these curtains is that there is no sewing involved.  Thanks to hemming tape, all you need is an iron.

My favorite part about making curtains is choosing the fabric, there are so many more options as opposed to just picking up a pack of curtains from the store.  I have even seen some people use sheets because they liked the print.  We grabbed our fabric from the local Joann’s.  I scored the fabric above for about $2 a yard, which is pretty amazing.  The fabric for the living room was a little pricier but still cheaper than purchasing curtains.

The first step is to measure and cut your fabric.  Make sure to leave extra fabric to hem all of the edges.  I always measure so that the curtains settle nicely on the floor.

To hem the curtains, just place the hemming tape where you need it and iron it on.  Once it cools, you peel back the thin plastic sheet, nicely fold your fabric up, and iron it again so it stays in place.

To hang the curtains up, I used ring clips.  You can see them in the picture above.

Here is a before picture of our living room before curtains.

And here’s the after.  I am pretty much obsessed with this fabric.

I love how it brings the green out in the chair.  Here you can see how I like the curtains to drag a little, nobody wants their curtains to be high-waters.

Are you guys making your own curtains, is hemming tape the way to go or are you a power sewer?  Is anyone else as ready for the weekend as me!?

Happy lovely living,

Rachael

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We can’t get enough of…Farmer’s Markets!

Farmer’s Markets seem to be cropping up everywhere (pun intended). Although Cincinnati wouldn’t appear to be home to lovers of agriculture, looks can be deceiving. One of Rachael and I’s favorite Sunday afternoon activities is visiting the Hyde Park Farmer’s Market. It is open every Sunday from June to October from 9:30 am-1:30 pm. Here is a link to check out their website Hyde Park Farmer’s Market.

Vendors come in from all over the “countryside” to bring us the freshest organic fruits and vegetables, beautiful flowers, freshly baked bread, dairy products,  and amazzzing crepes and waffles. Some of our favorite vendors include: Blue Oven Bakery, Hazelfield Farm , and Taste from Belgium. Check out their websites for more information about freshly baked breads, beautiful flowers, and waffles and crepes that are to die for. Obviously I am more attracted to carbs and flowers than vegetables…oops. They even host live bands that play while people browse all the amazing vendors

Here are some pictures of our “Lovely Living” adventure of the week.

Do you have any Farmer’s Market recommendations that Lovely Living should check out? What are your favorite products to buy from Farmer’s Markets? Skeptical of the Farmer Market “revolution”? ..tell us why. We want to hear from you!

Enjoy your own local farmer’s market and support small businesses and American agriculture.

Peace and Lovely Living,

Mara 

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Door Decor

I was recently in search of a thoughtful gift for one of my dearest friends who was celebrating both her birthday and engagement.  I went to Michael’s with the intention of whipping up some kind of homemade picture frame, but left with all the materials to create a welcome sign.  I’m really happy with how the finished product turned out, so I thought I would share with you how it all went down.

I started by choosing my color story, I found a pretty piece of scrapbook paper, that seemed reasonably guy friendly (which was a must seeing as it was a door sign that would hopefully end up on the front door of her and her fiances door), and pulled the colors, blue, green, orange, and white, from it.  The phrase, “Love Lives Here,” popped into my mind so I picked up a few wooden letters to spell it out.  I also grabbed a wooden plaque to use as my base.

I got lucky and had paint in our stash that matched the scrapbook paper perfectly.  I painted around the edge of the plaque in lime green.  It took a few coats to get the right coverage.

I cut out the scrapbook paper to fit across the top of the plaque and used Mod Podge to glue it to the wood.

While that dried, I painted the letters.  Above is “Love” which I found already spelled out.  I wanted it to be orange though, so I painted it.  I also painted the “Here” part eggshell blue and cut out “lives” from a piece of white card stock.

It took a few coats of paint but once they were dry I used super glue to adhere the words to the plaque.  I used more Mod Podge to glue down “lives”.  To give the whole piece a glossy finish, I swiped on two coats of Minwax Polyurethane.

I screwed in two nails to the back and tied on a blue ribbon to allow it to hang.  And voila, a homemade door sign.  Of course they won’t get to use it for awhile but hopefully it will be something they can hold on to and look forward to using in their future home.

Live lovely,

Rachael

 

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