March 31, 2011

Black Swan

The name couldn't fit this crafty idea any better if I do say so myself! (Well, it was that or Angry Birds; which as a sidenote Dear Hubs has been playing like a junkie!) Today's lovely is a great way to give a second life to any little handbag or clutch in your closet that's a little past her prime.

Carrie and her feather bag from Sex and the City

Feather clutch, available online
If you are like me, little clutch purses have multiplied in your closet over the years and you just have too many that have lost their luster and are not the dynamo they once were. While Kate Spade might have a heart attack to see what I did to one of her bags, this little idea saved this bag from Goodwill and will be the perfectly cute accessory for my next big night out! Perfect for dressing up jeans and a black top or even appropriate for a cute basic cocktail dress; my little Black Swan will just the sassy accessory I needed!
From start to finish, including feather clean up (which takes more time than you would think!), I was fashion forward in under an hour!

The Dish (what you need):
  • A clutch or small handbag
  • Glue - prefer glue gun
  • Fabric glue (optional)
  • Feather trim (available at craft stores in the floral section or fabric section)
  • Coordinating ribbon

 How To:

 1. Shake out feathers to remove any fly aways (no pun intended)

2. Begin attaching feathers on the side of bag. Pay close attention to have the feathers hang longer than the bottom of the bag (but not too long). For my bag, I measured one ruler width up and drew my glue line. The ruler or drawing a straight line helps you to keep your feathers straight across the bag.

3. Continue wrapping the feathers around the bag on fresh glue. Press to secure as you go.

4. Once you complete a full rotation of the bag, move up another measured width and continue with a new rotation. Don't worry, you can cover the section where you moved up a "row". Important to note, if you keep your rows close together, your purse will be very full and fluffy. If you prefer for the bag to lay flatter and not be as full, spread out your rows (you won't use as many feathers).

5. Wrap final rotation close, but not exactly on the top of the bag. You need to leave a tiny gap.

6. Trim any feathers that refuse to lay flat in place.

7. Wrap a coordinating ribbon around the very top of the bag to hide the ugly glue seam and give a nice finished edge to the bag.

From very drab...

To fun and fab!


~charmed b

March 30, 2011

Presto .... Chango

I love seasonal expressions inside my home and brightening up my front porch.  What I'm not a fan of is gathering up all sorts of cute, seasonal items that have to find a home elsewhere the other 48+ weeks of the year!  When possible, I buy good basics that can supplement the seasonal decor (and cut down on the items that need to be stored).  One great example of reuse is my early spring front porch decor.  These wreathes have been multi-purposed for St. Patrick's Day, Easter and other spring time events for a few years now.  Each year in late February, I dust off the wreathes, change out the festive ribbon to something fresh and new and start my spring off right!

I made these wreathes using a styrophome form.  To replicate, simply wrap ribbon around (and around, and around) the wreath; pinning with floral pins as you go every so often.  This simple, clean lime green circle is a nice contrast to the normal big, full floral that most people use for front door wreathes.

Green shamrock bows and a cute wooden clover make these perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Same wreath ... this time with a big fluffy pink bow and a wicker bunny for Easter!

For St. Pat's, A big green clover bow and a cute wooden charm were added.  Then, come mid-March, the green bow is simply removed and replaced with a cute wicker bunny and big pink bow.  Perfect for Easter!  Of course, my guard dogs require an appropriate festive bow as well!

Even the guard dogs get in the spirit :)

Taking this multi-use approach to your seasonal decor will save you time, money and the headache of storage.  Enjoy!

~charmed b

March 29, 2011

Royally Yours

I can't explain my obsession with British Royalty, but will confess it does indeed exist.  Perhaps it was the Princess Di paperdolls I had as a young girl of the fact Zsa Zsa and I both have a love of tiaras that would make you think we are pagent princesses (is it weird to wear one when you vacume from time to time?), but I've loved all things royal for as long as I can remember.  And, on more than one occassion, I've probably lingered a little too long at Buckingham Palace or gotten a little too close to the guards!

With the event of the year, Kate and William's Royal Wedding, just a few weeks away: I thought that I'd share a few adorable finds that will put you in the spirit!  Yes, I'm sure to be one of those ridiculous gawking fans that will buy all of the magazines with the new royal couple on the cover!  You never know, this event may also inspire a craft or two that will grace the blog pages in weeks to come.

Every season (and in between), Ballard Designs is one of my essential, go to spots for new home decor wares.  I fell in love with these pillows when I saw them and think the crown needlepoint pillows are divine.  The flag pillow is so regal and just screaming for a spot in my formal living room!

So, embrace your inner royal!  Grab a tiara and one of these pillows and you surely will be fit for a queen!

~charmed b

March 28, 2011

Show Home

Each March, my longtime bestie M and I make the trek to the Roswell Women's Club Show Home. I love this event and come home so inspired to decorate, decorate, DECORATE! In a change from the norm, this year's event was a series of 3 brownstone townhomes in downtown Roswell. The location can't be beat and each home was inspired with different personality. While I must confess, I am a bigger fan of traditional decor and classic looks than most of the modern designs shown, I did find a few photo worthy rooms that I couldn't resist snapping a picture of for my collection!

The Roswell Women's Club uses this event as a huge fundraiser for good doings in the community. Information about the organization, their charities and the fabulous designers whose looks were included in the houses can be found on their website.

Here are a few pics to get your decorating mojo working.  And now ... on with the show!

Lovely sitting area - it was shown off of a bedroom, but perfect for a den or living room too!
Divine guest bedroom - beautiful!

Shown as an older boy's room but equally nice as a guest room.  Love the light fixture!

Framed art is just simply a book of black and white photography they cut up.  Frames are from Room and Board - perfect!

Sleek lounge or den

The drapes add an elegant twist (literally)

Must have antique mirrored trunk as a dresser - fantastic!

Be inspired this rainy Monday!
~charmed b

March 27, 2011

The Almost Famous Salad

Ok, ok … I’m not one to hold back on trade secrets, or even filter them for that matter. I’ve made this salad for two different events in recent months and both times it is met with RAVE reviews. The secret … it’s soooooo simple! Ssshhh, keep that part between the two of us! This salad made an appearance at the Georgia On My Mind brunch last weekend, and also at a wine country luncheon last fall.

Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad


3/4 pound orzo, cooked al dente
1 large cucumber, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing shrimp
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
16 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Combine orzo, cucumber, green onions, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Place dill, vinegar, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the orzo mixture and stir well to combine. Gently fold in the feta cheese.

Heat grill to high. Brush shrimp with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Divide orzo salad among 4 take-out containers or plates and top with 4 shrimp. Garnish with additional dill.

Instead of making your own dressing for this salad, Brianna’s French Vinaigrette works in a pinch. (Note: this dressing is my all time fave and absolutely perfect for so many dishes!). For the shrimp, frozen pre-cooked shrimp work lovely in the dish and really speed up the prep. I use these and mix them in with the salad instead of topping with the grilled shrimp. Last tip, grilled chicken works great in place of the shrimp!

~charmed b

March 26, 2011

Oh Baby...

In a few short months, I will be adding the prestigious title of "mommy" to my resume. Any awards, titles or wins before just don’t even hold a candle to my excitement about this additional title! Dear Hubs and I are expecting a little boy this summer and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

Since this is our first (even though I promised myself I would do these kinds of fun little celebrations for future babes too), we wanted a special way to share the good news with friends and family,

First things first, how do we share the exciting “it’s a boy” message with two sets of doting, adoring grands to be? Since one set of future grandparents live out of town, we settled on sending a super cute flower arrangement and balloons to announce his boyhood, along with a note telling them to call us when they arrived.

Next, how do you tell a group of fab besties (that all have wonderful older babes of their own) that yours will be a boy? Got that covered too! We found out it’s a boy on a Friday, so we asked the friends to report over for cocktail hour that evening. When they arrived, they couldn’t help but find out if Baby M was going to be a he or a she (even though Dear Hubs tried to throw them off by wearing a pink shirt).

The surprise was shared with everyone over champagne and blue frosted cupcakes. Of course, I just couldn’t help myself and decked out a vase of daisies with “It’s A Boy” ribbon and filling the apothecary jars that reside on my kitchen island with blue tissue paper!

Besties P and D with our first baby supplies!


~charmed b

March 25, 2011

Thinking Pink

Honeysuckle pink to be exact. I’ve loved this color for years, and affectionately call it “Barbie Pink”. This color has made it’s way into everything from my Christmas décor to wardrobe and if Dear Hubs would permit, I’d be using this color all over the house. He’s agreed to cranberry pinky red as an alternative and I’m pleased as (pink hawaiian) punch about that!

Thanks to the good folks at Patone’s Fashion Color Report, we can all rejoice because lovely “Barbie Pink” aka honeysuckle pink is the 2011 color of the year. Patone is the world’s color authority and decided that this was the hottest shade of the year. I couldn’t agree more and am so happy to hear my pinkness is in style this season, and that my D&G handbag from 3 years will be back in rotation this spring!

Here’s a few must have pink finds to be “with it” and thinking pink!

Perfect way to add a pink punch without much commitment – how cute is this frame?

Ready for game night? Now you are!
And what a way to kick off warm weather, a stylish outdoor seating option!

Keep cool with this cute fan – great find for a kid’s bedroom, girly master bath, porch or even add a punch of color to your kitchen!

Super affordable and adorable fashion finds for spring! Etsy shops: LinenLuluCottonZuzu and solarwood .  Both of these were just ordered by moi!

Happy Pink Shopping!
~charmed b

March 24, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

My dear bestie M is moving to Scotland. While I’m thrilled at the thought of having a friend across the pond to go visit, I’m certainly going to miss her! In celebration of dear bestie M, I hosted a brunch for a few friends to celebrate this exciting time for her and her family.

This low key fete felt like it could use a theme to make the day more special, and a “Georgia On My Mind” theme was a perfect fit. To coordinate with the theme, the brunch menu consisted of Breakfast Casserole, Top Your Own Grits, Sweet Peach Yogurt Shooters and Homemade Pimento Cheese Sandwiches.

For dessert, Coca-Cola cupcakes were the perfect touch (topped with the cute toppers from a previous posting); and the signature bevs were Peach Bellinis and Coca-Cola.

A few special touches rounded out the event, M’s friends brought a Georgia coffee table book for all of the guests to sign a sweet note for M to take to Scotland with her.

And favors, oh yes of course … favors! To be budget conscious, I cooked up this adorable little favor and think it was the perfect touch. After prepping the little cuties, I realized just how versatile these are! Think about the possibilities … kid’s circus themes, sports themes, cowboy / western themes – the little favors will go perfectly with them all!

Overall, the simple brunch with the perfect theme was a hit and the ladies all enjoyed themselves greatly. What a wonderful way to spend time with friends!

~charmed b

March 23, 2011

Wednesday's Hit List

Three cheers for Wednesday, glorious Wednesday! Sometimes by this point in the week, I need a little extra pick me up to last until Friday! Today’s daily bliss is my latest ipod playlist. These fun, timeless tunes will have you toe tapping and over hump day in no time!

This hit list makes the perfect soundtrack for an informal cocktail party or evening on the porch!  And, if you are ever in need of a hit song to perfect for your karaoke debute ... these are perfect!
  • “In the Air Tonight” – Phil Collins
  • “Rhiannon” – Fleetwood Mac
  • “Hold On Loosely” – 38 Special
  • “P.Y.T.” – Michael Jackson
  • “Suicide Blonde” - INXS
  • “Kiss on my List” – Hall & Oates
  • “On the Radio” – Donna Summer
  • “Bennie and the Jets” – Elton John
  • “Time For Me To Fly” – REO Speedwagon
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  • “King of Pain” – The Police
  • “Take Me Home Tonight” – Eddie Money
  • “Roll with the Changes” – REO Speedwagon
  • “Little Lion Man” – Mumford & Sons
  • “Rocket Man” – Elton John
  • “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
  • “Addicted To Love” – Florence + the Machine
  • “Human Touch” – Rick Springfield
  • “Take the Money and Run” – Steve Miller Band
  • “Here I Go Again” – Whitesnake
  • “Message in a Bottle” – The Police
  • “Edge of Seventeen” – Stevie Nicks
  • “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Elton John
  • “Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + The Machine
  • “She’s Got Her Ticket” – Tracy Chapman
  • “Songs for the Lonely” – Cher
  • “Jack and Diane” – John Mellencamp
  • “Strong Enough” – Cher

 If all else fails, toss these tunes on your ipod and kick your feet up to recharge!
~charmed b

The Cherry on Top

My obsession with parties and cupcakes probably deserves a 12 step program.  I must thank my lovely southern mama, Zsa Zsa, for passing along her wonderful creativity and entertainment DNA to me.  And yes, with a name like Zsa Zsa, I guess I come by the diva part naturally too! 

Today's little tip is an adorable way to take even a normal, average every day dessert and make it a little more fabulous.  True, dessert doesn't really need a lot of help - but these adorable little dessert toppers are a fab addition to any everyday fete!  I whipped up a few this past weekend for a brunch event.

The Dish (what you need):
  • Card stock
  • Paper punches (craft stores have TONS of these in the scrapbook section)
  • Toothpicks or flat skewers (craft stores have these in the cake section)
  • Glue stick
With just a few simple supplies and a dash of creativity, you can make adorable toppers that add a splash of fun!

Here's how:
1.  Simply print on the card stock a pattern or saying that you want as your focal point.  No fancy printer?  No worries, supplement with fabulous printed pattern cardstock or use no saying at all!
2.  Punch out the preferred design.  I find that the 1 inch circle is my go to staple, but the larger punches compliment it nicely.
3.  Run the glue stick over one of the punched designs (back of course) and attach the stick to the glue.  Cover the back with another punch.  Make sure your backsides are facing each other (and the cute part is facing out).

I took this same concept a step further and made a larger display in a planter for a friend's birthday party.  How's that for an easy (and non perishable) centerpiece???

Need some additional inspiration or just don't feel like you have what it takes to come up with your own?  Visit the fabulous gals over at Paper Glitter for some free downloads!