December 2, 2014

Decorating for a Team Fundraiser


 Before I get started, all of these photos were taken by Lily Peterson unless otherwise noted.
You can follow her Instagram account at CapriciousEquestrian.
She is a wonderful, young lady, with an amazing eye for photography.

 

This is year two of "A Night Under the Stars", a fundraiser for my daughter's Interscholastic Equestrian Association Team. Because this is a fundraiser everything is done with little to no budget at all so everything you see in the photos belongs to a team members family, a lot of it is my own personal stash, and in addition a lot of borrowed white lights and other items.


I use this chalkboard in my dining room. The wooden crates, mason jars and hydrangeas come from my kitchen. I made the burlap table covering years ago for a farmers market I participated in.


The easel chalkboard in this shot belongs to a friend of mine. I brought the large metal buckets filled with dried hydrangeas. I use them in my dining room. It shouldn't have been leaning like that but it was a bit windy during the day. I also brought the cornstalks and mums from my front porch. The beauty of hosting a fundraiser at a farm is that we had access to lots and lots of hay bales and fence posts.


It was really important to me that we create conversation areas so people could sit and visit. That was done by building hay bale sofas with coffee tables to ground each setting and then we hung a chandelier over each coffee table. We used old antique doors that the farm owners had in storage as the tops for our coffee tables. Months in advance I put out a plea to all my local FB friends asking for builder grade chandy's that were just sitting in garages and basements. I received four for free. Thank you neighbor friends!!! I spray painted all four with hammered gold spray paint which was donated by friends of ours. Thank you! Bill our barn manager wired all of them so we could plug them in and they really provided all the light we needed in our little cove.


A builder grade chandelier spray painted and suspended from a large tree by rope can be really beautiful and add special ambiance that white lights, on there own, just can't provide.


We had white icicle lights strung from fence post to fence post to guide our guests way from the welcome table to the gathering area.


...and they worked wonderfully.


My daughters trainer put together this amazing display of fruit, cheese and veggies using borrowed items from team members families. We also had a taco bar and baked potato bar.


Desserts were brought by the riders families as well.


I borrowed this s'more bar setup from a friend of mine. She also let us use all of her pumpkins that she had displayed at her home. Grab some s'more fixins' and meet us at the bonfire. The fire was provided by a father of one of the riders and it was in the riding ring.


Here is yet another borrowed chalkboard to highlight a few of the silent auction items. We wrapped this one in rope lights.


We had so many wonderful items donated for the auction.


A friend of mine was willing to buy a bike basket to donate to the auction if I would make a liner for it. I did and it's featured in this photo. It's a different style and the pennants are longer then the typical pennants. I had to add homemade bias tape trim and little fabric covered buttons in order to work around the basket handle to keep the liner laying nicely against the basket.


Another shot of our silent auction tables.


Each year we do this fundraiser I learn something. We had all the trees wrapped in white lights and then the chandy's plugged into them. It caused a lot of the white light strands to blow a fuse. This is still a beautiful picture but I can see the strands that aren't lit up.

I'll share a few more photos from the evening.


A picnic basket brought by one of the parents fit the setting perfectly.


The best part of this fundraiser is there were no out of pocket decorating expenses. We hired a local folk band for a small fee and that was so worth every penny. I'm sorry I don't have any photos of them.


Another shot of the fruit & veggie display.


Last but not least, a cell phone photo of my daughter and myself before the event got started.

A lot of team work went into hosting this event. I want to thank everyone that helped out, that donated and that bought tickets and supported the IEA Team!

Thanks for stopping by.

June 16, 2014

Gifts for The Gardener

I recently made these sweet little gifts for my parents. The pillow is an original by me and the other two ideas were inspired by images I found on pinterest.

Designed and hand-cut, hand-sewn, letters, handmade, wool-felt, tassels and an embroidery mark make up this home decor gift. The last time I did anything with embroidery was in Middle School Home Economics class. Remember when the boys took shop and the girls took home-ec? I spent so much time on that little embroidery project and was so proud of it only to get a "B" on the assignment.

I'm sure many of you have seen this idea for kitchen herb, garden markers. You can find a few artists that sell these on Etsy and you can also find shops that sell these tic-tac-toe boards with hand-painted stones. I was on a fairly strict budget so I made my own.

All three of these gifts were so much fun to make. I hope that my parents put them to good use.

Thanks for reading.

April 22, 2014

A Spring Walk

Recently my husband, two youngest and I went for a walk on the trail in our neighborhood and made a stop at the playground. I took my camera along and snapped a few photos.


Mostly of the simple, yet beautiful things I often take for granted. In an effort to decompress I tried my best to let some of what troubles me on a daily basis go and enjoy the beauty around me.


There are so many blooms at this time of year and the bees are relishing every flower.


I got right up close to the tree in the photo below and the bees were buzzing all around me. I decided I had best move quickly with my photo taking and leave them to their work.


I really love how these pink, blossoms light up the pathway.


The kids ran ahead and that's when I captured this photo of my hubby with our Corgi, Lady Winifred.


Of course a walk in the neighborhood wouldn't be complete without a stop at the playground.


Oh to be a child again.

 

They live in the moment and don't allow the stress of tomorrow to ruin their fun.


The only balancing act they're doing is the one that is right in front of them at the time.

I need a new camera. Mine does okay but the lens is scratched and if I am shooting directly into the sunlight all I see are little white dots all over my final photo. Because it's a point-and-shoot replacing the lens is not an option and would probably be just as expensive as replacing the camera.

Any suggestions on a reasonably priced, quality DSLR?

April 10, 2014

A Birthday and Star Wars Cupcakes


My little guy turned seven! He asked for Star Wars cupcakes. Storm Trooper marshmallow heads using food writer markers and light sabers made from pretzels and red and blue candy melts.

These are very doable for anyone but a little time consuming.

They started out very simple and elegant and I was very tempted to leave them as is. However, I knew if I went walking through the door of my sons classroom with pretty cupcakes he would not have been happy; in fact he may have been a tad embarrassed in front of his buddies.

The cupcake itself was made with dark cocoa powder and the frosting was a simple cream cheese frosting using only 3 cups of powdered sugar. I'm not one for an overly sweet piece of cake.


They passed the test. All the kids knew they were Star Wars cupcakes and gobbled them up. I thought I might get a few complaints because they were dark chocolate but that didn't happen.

Happy Birthday, Son!

March 28, 2014

Lucketts General Store

I have been traveling around parts of Virginia and Maryland in search of a horse for my oldest daughter. We decided to move on the prospect of owning a horse of our own towards the end of last year. My daughter really loves riding for pleasure and riding competitively. I love horses and grew up riding so what is bringing joy to her has been bringing joy to me as well. We have leased horses in the past and may still end up leasing but hope to find a horse that we feel will be a great match.

On my most recent travels we came across the Lucketts Store. I first found out about Lucketts through Miss Mustard Seeds blog. I've wanted to go for the longest time but have not had the chance. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when we drove right by the shop. We had to turn around and go back so I could browse.

So much to see and you'll never look at all of it in one visit.


I'm seeing items I didn't see when I was there.


I love that red suitcase and the moss covered bodice. I hadn't seen the red suitcase until I started going through my pictures.


This staircase has so much character. I accidentally hit something on my camera that changed the setting and it highlighted the red only. I chose to keep the setting because I think it looks really neat.


Lucketts had loads of great throw pillows.


Here are a few more.

There is also another little shop sandwiched right up next to Lucketts. I can't for the life of me remember the name but I snapped a photo of one of the rooms that I thought was pretty.

These great shops are loaded with inspiration and antique finds. Definitely worth a shopping trip. Especially if you're in search of unique one-of-a-kind home decor items.

Check out these fantastic lockers that they have outside just waiting for someone to buy them. Don't you think they'd be great as bedside tables for a boys room?

Wish us luck on our continued search for the right horse for my daughter.

January 31, 2014

The Electra Basket Custom Liners


At the turn of the year there have been several basket liner requests. Those requests have been for some really great bike/basket combinations. The above is in the works and look at how great this combination turned out.

All I can say is... KEEP THE ORDERS COMING! These combinations are a lot of fun and you'll be styling on your cruisers.

January 30, 2014

Custom Invitation

I recently designed invitations for my babies 5th birthday. Yes I said it! Her 5th birthday. She'll be heading to school in the fall. I'm not sure I'm ready for all of that.


We celebrated her birthday "The Frozen Way"! I created snowflakes using the number five and then used them in a pattern for the back of the invitation. I think that's my favorite detail! I didn't stop there though. I followed that up with hand-cut, glittered number fives.

I've been toying with the idea of offering small quantity, custom invitations for those special occasions when electronic invitations just aren't enough. Stay tuned.
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