DIY Gift for the Hostess With The Mostest

Have you soaked completely into summer yet? I hope so! I hope you are kicking your feet up and enjoying a refreshing cocktail on a patio somewhere as you read this!

Summer means a lot of things and one of those things is lots of parties. If you are a good little guest, you will never show up empty handed! Keeping it simple with a bottle of wine or a side dish is perfect manners. But, if you have a hostess that you think deserves a little more, I have just the perfect gift to share with you! It’s part DIY and part curated goods. Follow along, I’ll teach you how!

First you will need a gift basket. Just about any woven style of basket should do, so long as you can thread yarn through the weaves. I used an old basket that I picked up at the flea market several years ago and painted it white to brighten it up. 

Next, you will need yarn in a variety of color and thickness. Choose a palette that you know your hostess will love! 

Lastly, you can choose to copy the design I created here (I’d be flattered!) or, if not, you will want to think about how you will layout your design and what colors will be used where. Then, cut your yarn into short pieces (mine ranged from 5 to 6 inches) - it is better to cut a little longer because you can trim shorter as needed once it is threaded onto the basket. The numbered instructions below coordinate with the numbered images below. Follow along to learn how to thread your yarn.

create the base layer -

  1. Fold yarn piece in half and weave the looped end through the basket
  2. Then pull the ends through the loop (I like the call this the necktie loop)
  3. Repeat until you have reached the desired length of that portion of your design

add volume -

  1. Gather 4-6 pieces of yarn and one additional piece as the tying strand
  2. Thread through basket on top of base layer
  3. Tie and repeat as needed to create desired volume

Once you complete one color, move onto the next. Once you are happy with your design, trim your yarn ends to desired lengths. And voila! You have a happy little basket!

Now, to fill your happy basket… I chose three fool-proof hostess gifts:

  1. Candles - I went with a variety of fun colored tapers to go with the colorful basket!
  2. Flowers - A thoughtful assortment of pretty blooms is always a hit!
  3. Something Sweet - For the candy jar, of course! I filled my cute little glass ice cream cone with a rainbow of Jelly Bellys!

Alright, no excuses now! Time to step up your hostess appreciation game ;) Just kidding… But really, don’t forget about your party hosts and hostesses - they put a lot of thought and work into planning and executing their fête, so make sure to let them know that they are appreciated!

XO Brynn 

Color Pop Photo Backdrop DIY

Hi friends! I am beyond excited to teach you how to make this super fun, extra colorful, easy breezy photo backdrop DIY. I'm telling you, it's often times the simplest creations that I end up loving most and this is definitely one for the books! You'll be able to use it for any festive occasion, from a bridal shower to a birthday party! I even think it would be super adorable in a kids room.

So, you know what one of the best parts of this backdrop is? It's made entirely of 3 elements: 

  • A large, blank wall (preferably with a smooth surface)
  • Small paper plates (I share my favorite source a little further down!)
  • Tac removable adhesive putty

And to create the wall installation is just as easy!

  • Adhere a small dot of tac to the backside of each plate, in the middle
  • Determine the color pattern you want 
  • Start adding your rows of plates from the bottom of the wall and work your way up (I did nine plates across and 10 plates high)
  • Space evenly along the way, adjusting as you go (the brilliant thing about tac is that you can adjust as much as you need to since it just keeps on sticking!)

Oh, and there's my kitty! I had to sneak a shot because she was just looking way too cute while snoozing in front of the festive wall!

paper-plate-backdrop-horz2.jpg

These colors are so my jam! Ask any of my close friends and they'll tell you that these are "Brynn colors". My wedding was done in this palette four years ago and I still can't ever seem to get enough of them in my life! So, obviously you can use this same palette, or choose a palette of your personal favorites. Oh Happy Day Party Shop has every color under the sun for your choosing delight! 

I used all small plates in the following colors: sunshine yellow, light yellow, orange, magenta, bright pink & new pink. Each color of plates came in packs of 20 for $4.50 and I ended up using 15 of each color. That makes this awesome photo backdrop a very budget friendly grand total of $40! (once you add tax, shipping and the tac) Plus, you have plates to spare to set the table for your party! (See more on that next week!) 

*note: colors of paper plates in images vary from actual color due to photo/lighting edits

XOXO Brynn

A TABLE SETTING INSPIRED BY ROAD TRAVELS

Like a good majority of you, I'm doing a pretty fair share of travel this summer. My husband and I kicked it off a few weeks ago with an adventure across California where we flew into San Diego, drove east to Big Bear, then back west to Oceanside, then hopped on a train up to Paso Robles, stayed on the Central Coast in Cambria, then road tripped north up Hwy 1 to San Francisco. After retiring home to Seattle, we set out on the road just five days later to drive east through Washington and the tip of Idaho to our destination in Bozeman, MT and then south to Yellowstone for a weekend of camping. To say the least, we have already covered a lot of varying terrain throughout the the west end of the US. Along these travels, I have most certainly gathered a lot of inspiration. This table setting is most definitely a result of some of those things I was inspired by.

Nature has always been a key element in what I am inspired by, and in this case I have been heavily influenced by the open lands I've passed through and their unique terrains. The United States is truly a beautiful land and it is incredible how the soil, rock formations, open fields and horizons vary from state to state. 

In this table setting, I pulled together bits and pieces of things that represent moments of my travel...

There are hints of elements that represent California's cool coastal blues and dry desert lands , a variety of rocks that remind me of the varying lands, and the big sky and rugged wide open lands of Montana which gives the overarching feel to this setting. Oh, and the horseshoe because my goodness I don't think I've ever seen so many horses in such a short period of time!

I love creating settings that have a real story behind them. It is always such a fun, creative challenge. This is how I approach settings for my clients' weddings in order to create something that is unique and personal to them. I recommend playing with this concept! Think about what story you want to tell at your next gathering around the dinner table, then pull together the pieces that illustrate it. I guarantee it will inspire many great stories throughout the evening! What will your story be?!

XO Brynn

WEDDING INSPIRATION: LOVE IN THE LEMON GROVE

This is a story of love. LOVE IN THE LEMON GROVE.

Created and curated for you by Cavin Elizabeth Photography, Dandy & Fine Parties, Blue Ladder Botany, Weeds & Whimsy, Hey there, Cupcake!, Witty Rentals, Casa de Perrin, Alyssa Kristin Bridal, and Unveiled Beauty. Location: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, CA. Featured on Green Wedding Shoes.

When dreaming up my version of a spring wedding that incorporates this year’s Pantone colors, rose quartz & serenity, I knew I wanted to layer the overall design with the soft femininity of this cotton candy palette, but still be true to my colorful style. So, naturally, I to added in hints of cheer with fun and fresh yellow, which truly elevated the palette to a new level.

And what is more cheerful and yellow than lemons? So, our love story begins in and near the lemon groves of sunny San Diego, CA. 

This is the story of a wedding that encompasses all of the eclectic beauty that is offered within San Diego County - the succulents and cacti of the desert inland, juicy California citrus, the treasures of the sea and the lush floral beauty that flourishes throughout. It’s all about that laid back, eclectic bohemian vibe that pairs so well with stylish elegance.

Katherine of Weeds & Whimsy designed the most lovely wedding invitation suite to set just the tone. Rose quartz and serenity blue paper adorned with whimsical gilded calligraphy and cheerful lemon illustrations have us gushing!

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe sets the scene, with it’s gorgeous landscaped gardens (including citrus trees!), bougainvillea archways, and Spanish-tiled rooftop cottages. The stunning bride with gorgeous hair and makeup by Erin of Unveiled Beauty, shines brilliantly in her - not one - but two Alyssa Kristin gowns. The serenity blue tulle skirt is for certain a show stopper, especially as she twirls the day away. And her lush bouquet, designed by Diamant of Blue Ladder Botany, is quite a stunner itself!

A note from Diamant of Blue Ladder Botany:

“I love how the soft pinks and pops of lemon yellow give the perfect nod to spring in this bouquet. I love experimenting with colors and textures, but the best part about this bouquet is how good it smells! It had that perfect hint of lemons from the geranium and long leaf wax, mixed with the sweet perfume of garden roses…yum!”

I wanted to do something super fun for an escort card display. So, I took what was an old shabby ladder and gave it new life by painting it in the colors of the day then adorning with hanging fresh lemon slices. Katherine added the final touch with her lovely hand-painted escort cards, hanging upon the happiest ladder we ever did see. 

The table is topped with crisp white vintage linen and are adorned with lush florals, loose lemons and collected sea treasures of the bride and groom - all the bits and pieces of San Diego they have collected over the years, to add a personal touch. Casa de Perrin fine tableware adds the perfect amount of elegance with lace blue ceramic chargers, mixed white china, adorable salt cellars, rose gold flatware and rose colored glasses. We are especially over the moon for Katherine’s hand-cut stained glass polygon name plates, with the borders wrapped in copper tape. Hello, wow! We also just love Witty Rental’s mid-century oval shaped tulip table and mixture of chairs and fun pillows, all atop the ornate rug. This eclectic mix with the ornate, feminine table setting and modern name plates is simply the bees knees.

Stevi of Hey There, Cupcake! designed one of the most lovely and inspiring cakes we have laid eyes upon. The modern, abstract design of the icing is perfectly off-set by the darling details of candied lemon slices, mini meringues and wafer paper flowers. Our new saying is “When life gives you lemons, candy them and make a cake!”

Cavin Elizabeth is the talent behind the lens. She captured all of these moments so beautifully... simply the dreamiest, wouldn't you agree?! So grateful to her and the entire crew that made this dream of a shoot come true. And incredibly honored to have it featured on Green Wedding Shoes.

xo brynn

DIY Easter Egg Centerpiece

Ah, spring is in the air! The birds are chirping, the air is still crisp but starting to warm, and the flowers are blooming! Don't you just love this time of year?! And Easter has come early this year! No complaints here...I love any excuse I can get to play with my food! 

This year, instead of dying your eggs, poke holes in the tops and turn them into vases! Or do both, if you wish! I am thinking about dying some hard-boiled eggs to put in the ceramic berry baskets (find similar here) and incorporate it into my Easter table centerpiece. 

HOW-TO

SUPPLIES (for egg vases)

  • White eggs - raw/uncooked (or brown if you wish!)
  • Small screw or nail - sterilize in alcohol (used to poke initial hole)
  • Large screw (used to create larger opening)
  • Eye Dropper (used to assist in draining the eggs)
  • Bowl (used to catch egg drainings)
  • Tweezers (used to assist in removing extra shell at opening)

PREPPING THE EGG VASES

  1. Using smaller screw, very gently hammer into top center of each egg
  2. Using larger screw, very gently hammer to increase diameter of opening
  3. To drain the contents of the eggs, hold with hole side down but at a slight tilt over a bowl - use an eye dropper to move in and out of the hole, which creates a free flow of air and allows the liquid to drain faster (use the suction of the eye dropper to collect and drain the last bits of liquid that don't drain on their own)
  4. Rinse each egg thoroughly, then use tweezers to collect any loose shell bits around the hole opening or to help reshape the hole, if desired

STYLING SUPPLIES

  • Ceramic egg crate (find similar here or here)
  • Spring blooms (in your choice of varietal & color - I used ranunculus!)
  • Moss or mossy-like ground cover (optional)

HOW TO STYLE YOUR CENTERPIECE

  1. Fill egg "vases" with water, place into ceramic egg crates, and snip blooms to place in each one
  2. Keep it simple by just leaving it as is, OR add moss or a mossy-like ground cover as a cute detail brings extra life to the design
  3. Additional ideas - paint, spray paint or dye eggs to add extra color and flair! | I wanted to keep it simple and place just one bloom per egg, but you can place as many as your heart desires!

And that's a wrap on all of the Easter-y fun I have for you! Do you have plans for Sunday? If you make this centerpiece, I'd love to see it!!

XO Brynn

ENTERTAINING : SETTING THE EASTER TABLE

I know, I know...it's St. Patty's Day & I'm here blogging about Easter. What can I say? Call me crazy, but I love thinking about mimosas and eggs benedict with braised lamb way more than green beer & corned beef and cabbage. Don't get me wrong, I have a wee bit of Irish in me, so I get it, but I think it was a holiday I enjoyed far more in my 20s. (if you catch my drift) Anyhow, I'm thinking ahead to next Sunday when I will be gathering with loved ones around my favorite place - the dining table. This is a little peek into one idea of what it might look like.

If you have been following along for sometime, you may already know about what I am going to say next, but if this is your first time around here (first of all, welcome & thanks for being here!) I'll share a little bit about my style & how you can make it your own. Ninety-eight percent of this table is made up of objects I've collected over the years. The other two percent is the flowers purchased from the market around the corner. It's so easy (and fun!) to go out and buy a bunch of new goods to create a table setting. But the challenge of using the items you already own - and love dearly - makes for a setting that is far more unique, interesting, and authentic. Authentic - you know, like that favorite pair of jeans that you actually wore in versus the pair you paid a lot of money for with factory-made holes ;)

So I started pulling together bits & pieces together, as I do, that had spring-y Easter-y vibes to get my initial inspiration flowing. It took many tries to get just the right mix of goods together - colors, details, etc. - but that is the way it usually goes. It's kind of like musical chairs, but with dishes & things. I encourage you to give it a try! You might even find it therapeutic...or maybe that's just me.

This Eat, Drink, Be Merry card is one of my very favorite Rifle Paper Co. prints ever and should be owned by every hostess everywhere. And it is truly beside me why it is not offered as a larger art print...but that's just me rambling. Anyhow, back to our Easter table!

Oh, and isn't this little llama just the cutest ever? A little something I picked up on Anthropologie's post-Christmas sale. Ornaments like this cutie aren't meant for just once a year, especially since an Easter table calls for at least one fuzzy little friend.

Spring is such a magical time of year, isn't it?! As the gray of winter starts to fade away, the once bare branches start to bloom with new life. The little birdies are chirping outside my window, once again. And the markets are filled with fresh bunches of flowers once again. In setting this table, it felt important for me to include bits of nature - the simple blooms, billy balls & star anise add just the perfect touch of spring, don't you think? In fact, this Easter table could also easily just be a table setting for any spring occasion!

DANDY TIP: My favorite source for table linens is the fabric store! The colors & patterns are endless. Don't know how to sew? No problem! Raw edges are totally in. Many fabrics tear easily to create that raw edge -  simply snip, then tear to the size you desire. Just make sure the fabric is not cut on the bias, and if you aren't sure what that means, just ask a sales person ;)

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY, friends.

XO Brynn

DIY TASSEL WALL HANGINGS

I'm loving all of the different wall hangings out there and was inspired to create some of my own. I was definitely feeling boho vibes. And oh goodness, how I love tassels! So here they are making an appearance. I just haven't tired of them because they are so darn adorable! Blue is the currently the favored color around here, but I think that any color palette would be just as fun! 

Oh how I love an easy DIY that looks like it took forever! These little wall hangings are a breeze and I am so excited to share just how-to with you! And - BONUS! - it's so inexpensive! These three hangings costed me a total of $20. The driftwood was gathered, the embroidery hoops were $6 total, paint was $4, and I spent $10 on 24 loops of embroidery floss. Gotta love that! 

HOW-TO

SUPPLIES

    •    Embroidery Floss in color palette of choice

    •    Scissors

    •    Driftwood

    •    Paint

    •    Sponge Applicator or Paintbrush

    •    Embroidery Hoops (I just used the inside hoop with no hardware, but either part works)

PAINTING THE DRIFTWOOD

This is a simple step that you will want to complete first - at least a day in advance - to ensure that the driftwood is dry and ready to go. All you need to do is tape off the driftwood wherever you desire your paint to start, then paint one end. Place them somewhere to dry where they can be propped up. 

TASSELS (photos of steps 1-4 above + 5-6 below)

    1    Use one embroidery floss and then cut 2 strands of either the same color or an accent color - one shorter strand and one longer strand

    2    Fold embroidery floss in half and insert longer cut floss strand through the middle

    3    Use shorter cut floss strand to tie of top of the tassel off - tie once, then wrap floss around 2-3 times, double knot, then cut excess ends off

    4    Tie a double knot at top of tassel head with the longer cut floss strand and then knot the ends of the long strands so that the tassel is ready to hang

    5    The bottom of the embroidery floss will be looped, so give it a quick snip for open ends

    6    Give the bottom of the tassel some final snips to even it out & voila! Your first tassel is complete!

Now take a seat on the couch with all of your supplies, turn Netflix on and repeat all steps until you have as many tassels as your heart desires!

BUILDING THE WALL HANGINGS

    1    To attach the driftwood to the embroidery hoop, place the driftwood across the hoop and tie on with embroidery floss. I doubled up (so used 4 pieces of floss total) because I liked the thickness, and tied in a criss-cross motion to secure the driftwood on both ends. I loved the random designs that the criss-cross tying made!

    2    To attach the tassels, simply wrap the long floss end (at top of tassel head) around the driftwood or embroidery hoop and loop the tassel through. I even double wrapped before looping the tassel through depending on the desired length of the tassel and the amount of floss I wanted to see wrapped around the driftwood or hoop. This is the fun part! Make it your design, or use the hangings I created as inspiration!

Have fun with this one! And the possibilities of uses are endless! I'm hanging my set in my bedroom, which I recently redecorated in blues. But I also love the idea of creating LOTS of these to make a photo backdrop installation, or hanging above a boho-inspired table setting. I would love to see what you create!