Shoes of Summer

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer is just around the corner which blows my mind.  What the heck guys, it was just Christmas.  This is the time of year when I start to wish I was a teacher until I realize how hard the job is the rest of the year.  Man it would be nice to have a summer again.  This weekend I was looking at my shoe situation for summer and it consists of an old dirty pair of rainbows, an older pair of Target sandals, and some other ugly sandals that I will likely never wear.  And all of my flats that are worn through and are so filthy that they make my feet black when I put them on.  At least I know I’ve gotten my money’s worth right?  Oh, and there are also about 20 pairs of heels that get little to no use.  I’m not sure when I’m going to figure out that I never actually wear them.

Well I’m not going to go out and buy a whole new shoe wardrobe, but a couple of small updates might do the trick.

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1) I have my eye out for the perfect tan/neutral mini wedge that I can wear day and night.  I obviously will never be wearing those multiple pairs of stilettos but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a sexy little mini wedge in my arsenal.  And it needs to be COMFORTABLE.  I am over shoes that hurt.  These are serious contendors.

2) I shot my first wedding with Allison this weekend (so fun guys!) and while getting dressed that morning I realized that I don’t have any comfy black flats.  Not one.  Ok that’s a lie, I have my Crocs that I bought before France, but I have found that they are only comfy until you hit a certain time limit and they become like little thorns poking into your feet.  These ballerina flats from Jessica Simpson (girl can make a shoe) are completely adorable.  I am purchasing them today.

3) I clearly need some new neutral sandals.  These seem like they would do but if you guys have any real winners then please let me know!

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Gold Leaf Mirror DIY

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

So the story is that the mirror above my fireplace has a very nice shape but its flat black color was not wowing me anymore.  I wanted something that felt a bit more special.  Cue the gold leaf.  Now I will not mince words.  Gold leafing something is big pain in the butt.  While not difficult to use, it can be pretty annoying.  Just when one thinks they have gold leaf under control, gold leaf lets you know it can never really be tamed.  As this was not my first rodeo with gold leaf, I was aware of that and chose to proceed despite this knowledge.  The thing is, if you want to make something a brilliant and shiny gold, there is no replacement.  I have not met a can of gold spray paint that even comes close to its beauty.  And I have met ever so many cans of spray paint.

gold leaf mirror final 2 | Two Delighted copy

What you’ll need:

gold leaf sheets

gold leaf spray adhesive

gold leaf spray sealer

– gold spray paint

– foam brush or paint brush

-newspaper and tape

What you’ll do:

gold leaf mirror before | Two Delighted

1.  I started by covering most of my mirror with kraft paper (newspaper would be fine too) and taping as close to the edges with tape as I could.  Sometimes when I am just spray painting mirrors, I don’t bother with this as paint is easily removed with windex and being scraped with a straight edge.  I was worried about the adhesive getting on the mirror though and even though it took longer than I wanted it to, I ended up being glad I did this.  You will most likely still have to clean the mirror off at the end.

gold leaf mirror spray Two Delighted

2.  Then, I spray painted it gold.  I did this so that if there were places that didn’t get completely gold leafed (and there were plenty of those), it wouldn’t show too much cause of the gold spray paint being underneath.  I left this dry over night since I would be adding over the top of it and I wanted it to set.  I doubt this was necessary but I was feeling extra cautious.

gold leaf mirror diy_edited-1

3.  Gold leaf time!  I cut my gold leaf sheets in half as half of a sheet was all I needed for each section and I didn’t want to be wasteful.  Because it is so thin, it is difficult to control and very difficult to move around so when working with gold leaf, you must be fast, controlled and deliberate.  Spray your adhesive to a small area.  Using the tissue on top of it, pick up the gold leaf sheet and place it gold down onto the adhesive where you want it to go.  Use your fingers to smooth it to the mirror while the tissue is still on.  Then remove the tissue and use a brush to smooth it the rest of the way down along both sides.  I used my foot to separate the bottom of the mirror from the drop cloth so I could push the leaf all the way around.  You may have missed sections in your application so use the bits that are most likely stuck to your fingers to push into empty areas and smooth.  You can add in sections at any time with a bit more adhesive.  No biggie.  The key to this operation is not to let your hands get sticky.  Once your fingers get sticky, you are done for.  That’s why you need your brush.  Once you do a few sections, you will develop your own strategies.

gold leaf mirror contrast | Two Delighted

Note the shininess difference between the spray paint and the leaf on the left.  That’s pretty significant.

4.  After letting dry for recommended amount of time, spray it down with sealer to make sure everything stays put.  No matter how much you seal it, small pieces of gold will still flake off.

5.  Remove your paper and clean up spot around the edge that got sprayed with windex and a straight edge razor.  Just spray and scrape and wipe.

There you have it.

gold leaf mirror full Two Delighted

gold leaf mirror final Two Delighted

gold leaf mirror final close Two Delighted

I think the mirror stands out now much more than it used to and doesn’t look so dull.  What do y’all think?  Have you ever attempted to tame the gold leaf?

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Randomly Placed Art

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We made it back from New Orleans in one piece, although I have felt like a zombie for most of the week and let’s face it probably tomorrow as well.  We ate all of their food, took haunted voodoo and non-haunted gator tours, ate more of their food, and walked approximately 5,000 miles.  Such a vibrant, wonderfully smelly, magical, musical, enchanting place.  I loved it.  I was even able to pull Chris and Meg away for a quick hour to shoot a mini-engagement session.  I only shot film the whole time so the full recap won’t be for a couple of weeks until I get the scans back.

The first day we were there, Meg and I walked around the French Quarter and promptly purchased art from a charming little art gallery from a Russian woman who was painting peonies.  After many years of traveling, I have determined that if you are even thinking about purchasing the art, you should purchase the art.  Because there will never be another time to come back and you will wonder about the art for the rest of your life.  We both bought sweet little flower paintings that were already framed.  Now that I am back home, I have been trying to figure out the perfect place to put mine.  I don’t want it to get swallowed up in a gallery wall (and have actually started to get sick of this one – I think I need to update and edit it), so I am trying to find a place in our bedroom where it will look like it was meant to be.  Here are some of my favorite examples of randomly placed art that make the rooms awesome.

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This image is from the Curbly House by Emily Henderson.  Emily can do no wrong in my eyes and this little vignette is so perfectly edited.  I love how the mini-painting looks like it has always been there.

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This is also by Emily.  I remember when I first saw the painting under the window I was like wait can you do that?  You can and you should, apparently.

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When in doubt, lean a painting on a nightstand so you can look effortless and cool.  Except it takes you (or me) an hour to figure out the exactly angle and location at which to lean said painting so you can look like you just threw it down on the way to Whole Foods (or somewhere that effortlessly cool people go).  I’m still working on this technique.  Also those curtains and that fixture are everything.

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Every time I see this image I think it’s stupid that I don’t have black and white striped wallpaper everywhere.  I want to stripe the whole house.  Also, another example of an expertly leaned painting.

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