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Life lately…

Hello there! Oh my goodness, it’s been a tough couple of weeks! My little Claire bear is just now getting over pneumonia. Poor baby…and well…poor Mama. We were both sick of being cooped up so it was fantastic to take her to daycare yesterday and see how happy she was to run into the classroom and play with her wee friends.

I started the day (childfree) with a trip to the nail salon for a quick, Spring manicure! My hands were trashed from constantly washing them! It’s amazing what a coat of pretty nail polish can do to lift your spirit! ;)

Anyway, as you can imagine, I haven’t had much time to paint or do anything really BUT thank goodness for my iPad because it’s so easy to reach for it and create something minus the setup/cleanup. Here are a couple of digital collages I made this past week…

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Absolutely love creating on the app – Procreate! Such fun! Oh, and I just splurged on a new pressure sensitive stylus. I highly recommend it!

A couple of other things to share with you…I just received the most gorgeous necklace from my jewelry designer friend.

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It’s a beautiful piece of lapis lazuli and it resembles a dreamy piece of the starlit sky! I adore it! Thank you Amy!

I also finally got a bracelet from Becky at Farm Girl Paints on Etsy! It reminds me to keep my head up and live courageously – not easy for this girl – who tends to back away from scary or intimidating situations…

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Oh and I did a little Spring cleaning in my studio! I’m hoping to start creating more frequently now that both kids are healthy!

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 12.34.01 PM(I spy a sleepy kitty.) ;)

And….lastly…a little glimpse of Spring blossoms popping in my neighborhood. Such a beautiful time of year!

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I hope you are all healthy and happy! Enjoy your weekend!

Much love,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, creativity, Digital Art, Etsy, favorite things, flowers, Home, Shopping

Art Night

Hello! How’s it going? Hope all is well in your world. My family enjoyed Halloween and now we are on the fast track to Christmas. This time of year always seems to zip by doesn’t it?

Many months ago, I imagined myself hosting an art night. A small gathering. Maybe 6-8 women, around my dining table, all creating. The idea both thrilled and terrified me. I talked about it with several friends and received gentle encouragement to do it. So finally, it happened. A couple of weeks ago, I sent out invites and began the planning of what this night would look like. I wanted to provide lots of fun art supplies, an inspiring atmosphere, delicious snacks and wine, of course!

My formal dining room is rarely used so it was a delight to move right in and create a playful, creative space! Stringing up bits of colorful ribbon in my crystal chandelier gave the room a whimsical feel!

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I covered up the table in brown craft paper and draped the dining chairs in vintage bed sheets that I found at Goodwill.

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To provide a little more structure for those that wanted it, I set up a still life in the center of the table.

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and spread out inspiring art books

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still life

Each lovely lady got a journal with their initial on it and a pencil as a little gift from me. I love having lots of pretty journals around to jot down thoughts and ideas.

journal

A colorful, vintage tray and a bouquet of vibrant flowers in the corner created a sweet little wine bar. The guests each brought a bottle of something to share.

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Once the table was set, it was time for me to pull out all my art supplies and display them for my guests! The ART BAR was born!

art bar sign

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Then came the food! My dear friend Katie is an amazing cook and she volunteered to do all the food for the evening! LOVE HER! She did an incredible job…creating a 98% gluten-free spread of delectable dishes! (I apologize for the dark quality of the pictures…my low-light photography skills need work!)

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This creamy brie, drizzled with a warm brown sugar, butter and walnut sauce was a huge hit!

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These gluten-free cookies and pumpkin cake were completely addictive too!

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As the night began and my guests mingled and delighted in all the gorgeous food, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach begin to settle.

Once everyone had a plate of food and a glass of wine, the ladies took their seats and I spoke (rambled) about the intention of the night and why I had wanted to do this. My heart-felt desire was to bring women together, to connect, share, grow, create and maybe even try something new. Art can really freak grown-ups out and I want to start breaking that down. I believe art is for everyone and that it is NOT about the product but the process. I believe Art can be healing, transformative and teach us a lot about ourselves. I believe that creating is something we are hard-wired to do.

After I briefly explained the different art supplies, the ladies bravely got straight to it. I was so worried that someone would become overwhelmed and shut down but nope, these girls boldly experimented and began creating! I was honored to look up from my place and be surrounded by these women who were all willing to be vulnerable with me and get outside their box.

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There were several moments that night when the room fell silent. At a dinner party…that could be a disaster but at an art night…it was magical. Everyone was in their zone; concentrating, relaxing and centered in their creation. Loved that!

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art table

All in all, it was a wonderful night! I can’t wait to do it again! Next time, I would like to guide everyone through a specific collage/mixed media project! I truly learned a lot about myself by doing this. I was scared but sharing my passion with others was so worth all the nerves. Thank you to my incredibly gracious guests for being so open and supportive of me. And of course a HUGE thank you to Katie for all the outstanding treats!

I highly recommend trying this out with your friends, family and neighbors. Gather up all those art supplies, share and explore your creativity!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, Art lessons, creativity, entertaining, Food, Home, Learning, News, photography, Stories

I’m dreaming of…

Hi there. How’s life treating you? We are back into the swing of school around here and I’m trying to get organized and make the most of each day. Not easy. I often find myself being pulled in so many directions that I get overwhelmed. So, I retreat into my own little daydreams. Highly productive. Not.

We have been renting a beautiful home in a fabulous neighborhood but it’s been three years and I’m getting itchy feet! Growing up, I lived in 10 different houses and two countries (the U.S. & Australia). When Chris and I got together, we moved 5 times in 4 years. Finally, we settled in Portland and have lived here for almost 11 years. No wonder I’m getting wanderlust!

Moving is in my blood and I’m totally dreaming of us buying a large piece of land and building a sweet farmhouse. I want a big porch, an old barn for my art studio, chickens (why not?) and a large, white kitchen, where I would bake bread and make delicious meals. Realistic? Probably not, I don’t even bake – but wow, does it sound good to me right now. I’m being drawn to wide open spaces, quiet, solitude, a slower pace. A place to focus and create. Sometimes life just feels so noisy. Know what I mean?

So in my procrastination, I pulled my favorite farmhouse images from my Pinterest board to share my vision with you…

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Okay…I think I got that out of my system. Now back to the laundry…ugh.

Have a beautiful afternoon.

xo,

Ivy

* For sources and more dreamy Farmhouse images see my Pinterest board.*

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Filed under decorate, Home, Inspired Spaces, interior design, Pretty Rooms, Thoughts

Up for the challenge…

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. I come to you today excited about possibility, learning and expanding! Even though I am exhausted from a night up with my poor teething, Claire – I am thrilled at some of the new things I’ve been trying lately!

First of all, I am super excited to let you know that I just signed up for Blog Boss – a new e-course with Holly Becker from decor8! I took her first course – Blogging your way – a couple of years ago and it taught me so much! This next one looks to be amazing and I can’t wait for class to begin. There is still time to enroll – check it out here.

8488219001_66bd99db2d_oLately, I am trying to expand my photography knowledge so I’ve been dabbling in portrait photography. I know you have all seen my attempts with my children but recently I’ve been taking pics for friends and it has been quite the learning experience. I have such respect for those professional photographers out there that do portrait work. It is a true art! My latest subject was my neighbor, Taryn Emerson. She is such a fantastic friend and an incredible interior designer too! She asked me to take her portrait for her website (in production) and online social profiles. I agreed. So, last Sunday, I handed over Clarie to my hubby and off I went down the street with my trusty camera, in the hopes of capturing my friend and doing her beauty justice! The overcast sky provided the perfect, softly filtered light. We jumped around from her place to mine, outside, inside, front yard, back yard…but ended up with this as our winning shot!

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Some of our other attempts…

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Taryn was a great sport and put up with all my amateur-ish mistakes. In between giggles, she was poised and patient.

It is so wonderful to have another creative buddy right in the neighborhood and she is always encouraging. She likes to challenge me too…which is a rare gift in a friend. Since I have been avidly taking pictures, she suggested I shoot her gorgeous designer kitchen for her portfolio too. I balked at the request, insisting I knew nothing about interior photography and how we would probably have to rent lights and wide angle lens. She rolled her eyes and said, “Oh come on, let’s just try it!” So over a bottle of wine that night, we styled the entire kitchen and shot it the next morning…

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It was so much fun dusting off my interior design skills to style this lovely space and collaborating with another designer is something I have missed! When we started the shoot it was dark and gray outside and I was doubtful that the light was sufficient but like a sweet gift, the sunshine broke through the clouds, spilling light into the room. We scrambled to move Taryn’s heavy kitchen table so we could let the shadow of the window unfurl onto the warm wood floor.

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All in all, we were both pretty pleased with ourselves and I learned a lot! There is nothing better than the feeling of meeting a challenge, especially a creative one. So don’t limit yourself, expand your creative gifts – sure it can be a little scary and you might even mess up but one thing is for sure – you will learn and you will grow – and that is worth it every time!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo,

***Check out more of Taryn’s beautiful interior design projects here and like her new Facebook page here.***

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Filed under decorate, Home, interior design, News, photography, Stories, Styling

Guest Post: Vintage Dressers & Chests

Hello, everyone! It’s Mari here from Arcadian Home blog, a wonderful place to find lots of decorating inspirations, including all kinds of lovely lighting fixtures from ornate torchiere lamps to massive crystal chandeliers. I am so happy to have the opportunity to visit Grace & Ivy with a guest post about appealing vignettes that show off the beauty of vintage dressers and chests.

Today, I’ve brought along eight images to inspire you to continue to explore the possibilities of giving new life to one or more of the many vintage chests and dressers just waiting to be discovered at a local garage sales, flea markets or in family attics and basements. Please enjoy!

Vintage Vignette

Our first vignette is the focal point of this all-white bath up under the rafters. This antique piece has been transformed with a glossy white paint finish and deep contemporary vessel sinks. It’s quite charming with a vintage floor mirror and cherub pendant light.

Vintage Vignette

An ornate bombe chest gets a new life with coats of chalky white paint from those cute little feet to the swirly metal drawer pulls. What a perfect baby shower vignette that includes a charming collection of DIY cake stands and gorgeous dessert offerings!

Vintage Vignette

Even a broken vintage dresser can get a second chance at life in a guest bedroom. The “shelf” left behind by a missing drawer becomes open storage for extra towels. Lots of table decor (read found objects) add to the dresser’s worn charm.

Vintage Vignette

A small vintage vignette atop a distressed gray chest fits in beautifully with a charming wall gallery and metal pendant lights at the top of the stairs in this country home.

Vintage Vignette

A beautiful focal point is created in this farmhouse kitchen by pairing a vintage chest turned marble-topped work island with a glorious crystal chandelier. It seems even Mr. Dog appreciates great design.

Vintage Vignette

A vintage chest stripped down to its bare wood, lovely little arm chair and interesting side table create a stunning corner vignette. I am a big fan of contemporary lamps, but have never seen one quite like this tabletop beauty I’m quite smitten by its unique design.

Vintage Vignette

Quirky little “decorative accessories” add a sense of fun to this vintage vignette. How cool is the look of an oversize swing arm floor lamp as it appears to inspect the sprouting bulbs atop the repurposed map chest?

Vintage Vignette

Even a distressed chest deserves one last chance to shine. This aging beauty with peeling paint is perfect in an appealing outdoor vignette. What a pleasure it is to see vintage pieces that have served well for many years still being enjoyed well past their prime!

What do you think of these vintage dressers and chests? Leave us your thoughts below and be sure to stop by our website for more home decor, lighting, and inspirations!

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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Filed under decorate, Guest Post, Home, interior design, photography, Pretty Rooms, Shopping, Styling, vintage

A few of my favorite things…French treasures

Hello all! Hope you enjoyed your weekend. I have been nursing my family back to health after an awful flu struck our home! I’m the only one who hasn’t gotten sick – somehow? Anyway, I don’t want to tempt fate so I’m just staying positive and gobbling down Vitamin C.

So, I know I don’t often write about my vintage shop on Etsy but with Valentine’s just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite French treasures that I have listed right now. Taking photographs of these gorgeous objects has become such a delight for me, almost as rewarding as the hunt! Just click on the images to visit my shop and learn more about these…

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vanity jar Collage with textfrench tin Collage with text

swallow compote Collage with text

I just loved finding these lovely French treasures! I hope you enjoy them too.

Have a beautiful Monday!

xo,

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Filed under Etsy, favorite things, Home, Paris, photography, Shopping, vintage