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Vintage Embroidered Handkerchiefs

30 Sep


As a rule, I try not to “collect” things unless they serve some useful purpose. Ok… and I like them to be pretty. For sentimental reasons, I like to pick up art, postcards, and Christmas ornaments when we travel, but one of my favorite and more useful collections is my embroidered handkerchiefs. I probably should have been born in the Victorian era because I really admire traditional women’s craftwork, like needlework, but I also hate waste and love any opportunity to make green choices, and well, a handkerchief is a beautifully practical alternative to Kleenex!

When I read that Lauren Conrad scoured thrift shops looking for vintage monogrammed handkerchiefs to gift her bridesmaids, I was so impressed (and a little jealous that I hadn’t thought to do the same for my own bridal party). My something borrowed for my wedding was actually a gorgeous handkerchief with butterfly crochet work done along the corner. It killed me to return it back to mother-in-law, it was so beautiful and special.

Handkerchiefs might be considered old-fashioned today, but were once an indispensable part of any stylish woman’s wardrobe. Material was symbolic of the social and economic class of the user. It was an important favor to gift to another, commonly carried by all, and often used by young women to signal a young man across the room. I’ve found most of my handkerchiefs at thrift shops all over New England, but I especially appreciate the art and sentiment behind them. I love to imagine my great-great grandmother embroidering on hers, turning something basic and functional into something beautiful.  Most cost less than a dollar and the embroidered detail on each is just exquisite. That’s probably why my favorite aspect of this “collection” is just looking for them whenever I can.

Some exciting news…

29 Sep

Pregnancy Announcement Photo1We’re having a BABY!!!

Hard to believe I’m already a third of the way through the pregnancy, but I felt so nauseous for the first 12 weeks (and spent so much of it napping) that it feels like it went by in a blink. Now that I’m feeling better and finally have more energy, I can’t imagine how quickly the rest will fly by. I’m so happy the secret is out so I can finally share everything I’ve been thinking about and all the adorable nursery ideas I have already. I’ve been secretly blogging about it all from the start, so I’ll start to those posts over the next few weeks. But first, details on our public announcement.

We didn’t spend too much time agonizing over how to share the news publicly but were a bit stumped about who could actually snap the picture for us. We tend to be the ones behind the lens for family and friends, so it’s always a challenge to get any good shots of us, you know, together! We’d talked about a few funny pictures to take involving wine glasses and a sippy cup or just using the silly iPhone pic I snapped of us with the ultrasound monitor that I’ve been referring to as “baby’s first selfie,” but decided to keep it simple and  just hold the sonogram (top picture). Luckily, our friend Sterling agreed to snap these for us after pumpkin picking this past weekend. We’re so happy with how they turned out! Just holding a few props in a beautiful outdoor setting really make a difference.


This sweet card from my friend Grace was among the first sent to us, which worked out perfectly as a prop for this other announcement photo we debated using.


Project Inspiration: Inspired by Oh Joy for Land of Nod

23 Sep

oh joy dotted glow lamp
You know I love a good DIY but I also recently started a new love affair with lighting. More specifically, with lamps. I never realized how crucial they are to warming up a space and considering how hideous (and lacking) our overhead lighting is at home, I wish I’d realized this sooner. Nevertheless, it all began when I thrifted a yellow lamp from a little thrift shop up in Maine. I just swapped out the shade for a bright white barrel shade I picked up at Target and ta-dah! A gorgeous new source of light in our living room that very conveniently ties into a planter we bought we we first moved in together, (adorned with Brian’s favorite symbol ever…the fleur de lis)!

Anyways, one of my favorite design bloggers, Joy Cho, recently collaborated with the Land of Nod on a sweet, quirky collection of home-wares for the stylish child and it’s all gorgeous. Naturally! Check out the collection here. I don’t have any need for children’s bedding or nursery art right now, but I’m filing this little paint-dipped metallic lamp away for a future DIY project. Possibly for my bedroom, even. It’s be easy enough to re-create using either a metallic-based lamp or any lamp spray-painted with some metallic gold paint, then taped off with some frog tape for that “dipped” look. I’d use some milky chalk paint in a lilac or soft teal or sea foam blue, I think. Then the fun begins with hunting for a shade! Easy peasy.

la-piñaThis pineapple print, however, this needs to come home with me. I love the pineapple motif because it’s a symbol of hospitality and we do love to entertain! Also, it reminds me of our honeymoon in Hawaii where a LOT of pineapple consumption occurred.  I think it would tie in really nicely with that lamp and planter I was just telling you about actually…


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