Category Archives: News

Home again

Hi dear readers! Yes, I am home from beautiful Sydney and I’m still trying to take it all in. It is always a bit surreal when one day you are in another country and the next you are in your own bed. Always trips me out a bit. We actually got home a week ago but my family stayed on to celebrate Grace’s 7th birthday…so…this is my first chance to sit down and post.

I have dozens of photos and I promise not to unload them all at once but I thought today I would just share some of my favorite Instagram shots from the first day of our adventure.

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We landed at 6:07 am. Bright and early!  After enduring all the fuss of customs and luggage wrangling, we jumped into a cab and headed to the Four Seasons Hotel. Even though I was exhausted, my heart was beating fast with excitement! I was actually here. The view from our room brought me to tears. Of joy.

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Like good little travelers, we resisted the urge to stay in our room and sleep and instead went for a brisk walk in The Rocks district, discovered a sweet cafe, downed a few coffees and a tasty breakfast.

sydney polaroid 1

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The feeling of being back in Sydney was rather indescribable. Surreal, bizarre, overwhelming, exhilarating. I was overcome with gratitude that somehow, in a matter of a few days, my dream of returning to my birth city had been actualized. I was in Sydney, with my beloved husband, staying at a beautiful hotel and only hours away from seeing my childhood friends. To quote my dear Aussie friend Jo – “I was completely spun out!

After a very short nap, we got up showered and felt somewhat human again. We had to seriously rally because we were off to the Opera Bar for sunset drinks with my mates!

sydney polaroid 4

The Opera bar was swarming with people, all taking in the gorgeous view, the warm sun and of course the lovely drinks. I scanned the hundreds of people looking for familiar faces. The butterflies in my stomach raged and my trembling hands were doing their best to steady a glass of white wine. I was nervous and excited at the same time. What would it be like to see these girls after 19 years!?

Just when I thought that perhaps we arrived before them, two hands fell on my shoulders and spun me around. In front of me was two of my girls. Claire and Natalie. We screeched, laughed and embraced in one hysterical mess. I’m sure we looked crazy but we didn’t care. Before I knew it, another two friends arrived with bottles of bubbles, warm hugs and endless giggles. While the champagne flowed, we caught up with one another like no time had passed at all.

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The night unfolded beautifully! We ended up at a sushi place where we were joined by another friend. Chris celebrated his birthday there – the actual day had been lost in time when we crossed the date line!

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After that we meandered the Rocks, linking arms, sharing stories old and new and laughing about high school memories. My heart was flooded with happiness.  It felt good to be home.

Sydney polaroid 7

Okay more to come – I will break it up a bit so I don’t bore you to tears – I promise.

What have you been up to while I was away? Anyone else travel or start a new Spring project? Do tell.

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under News, photography, Stories, Travel

Hello, Sydney.

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Hi there my lovely readers!

Well, I have some exciting news to share with you today – we are leaving for Sydney, Australia on Thursday – yes, as in two days from now!! A last minute opportunity landed in our laps yesterday, when one of my hubby’s clients invited him to an executive retreat in Sydney. Well…as many of you know, that is my birthplace and there was NO way in hell that I wasn’t going with him. So we scrambled and made arrangements for my parents to fly in and take care of the girls! I’m in total shock!

I’ve gotten in touch with several of my childhood friends, so I hope to meet up with them and catch up! I haven’t been back since we left in 1994!! I was in the 11th grade. It was so hard to leave all my friends but at the time we kinda idolized America and I had fanciful notions of becoming a cheerleader, dating a quarterback and going to Prom! ha! Things didn’t quite pan out like that…

Anyway, I have always wanted to go back and visit so I feel incredibly grateful for this chance! I will be taking tons of photos and hope to post a bit while I’m there!

See you when I return from the land Down-Under…

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Etsy, News, Travel

Blog Design Mood board

Hi friends. How is your day going? So far so good over here. I’ve already done my homework for my Blog boss e-course, which I’m excited to share with you. We were assigned to make a dream blog design mood board. I started it yesterday and could not stop till it was done. I’m so excited to be actively  re-designing the blog and finally making the transition over to a WordPress.org. Don’t worry, I will let you know when it happens so we don’t lose track of each other. It’s time for Gracy & Ivy to graduate to a new level. So here’s my mood board…

Dream blog mood board

Let me know your thoughts. Nothing is set in stone at the moment and I may even make another board to play around with some more ideas and different colors.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

xo,

Ivy

17 Comments

Filed under Blog Boss, mood boards, News, photography, Thoughts

Some exciting news…

Hello there. How was your weekend? Ours had everything typical of a weekend including, pizza, thai take-out, a kids birthday party, sleeping in (not) and pancakes. Not exactly exciting, but fun anyway.

I have some exciting news to share with you today. On March 1st, Somerset Apprentice will hit store shelves and little ole’ me will be featured within its inspiring, art filled pages! I feel so lucky and humbled to be included among such wonderful artists!

somerset apprentice 2013

One of the projects I did for Jeanne Oliver‘s class – Creatively Made – will be outlined in detail with a helpful DIY guide that will walk you thru the steps to create a vintage journal. I can’t take credit for the idea, since Jeanne masterfully taught the lesson within her e-course but I was very pleased with the process and the outcome. It was a joy to build this romantic book. You can check out the full post here.

vintage journal collage

So, I hope you will check out the latest Somerset Apprentice. If you have never read the magazine, it is bursting with creative ideas and projects – many by very successful and well known artists – all laid out with guides to their processes! Brilliant! It’s a must read if you need to fire up your artistic side!

Thank you again, dear readers, for all the support and encouragement you have given me. I will always be grateful.

xo,

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Filed under Art, Crafting, magazine features, News, photography, Stories

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…

PicMonkey Collage taryn 2

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…

kitchen 4 touch up

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.

kitchen2 touch up

kitchen 3

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.***

10 Comments

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

Perfect Patina

Hi everyone. How has your week been so far? We have had a pretty average week but one rather important development has occurred – Claire bear started babbling. Little, silly, nonsense words delivered with great emotion and intent! The cutest thing ever! It so amazing how one day, she wasn’t “talking” and the next she is.

Anyway, a little shop news – I was thrilled to have our antique, Edwardian tea caddy featured on Brightnest.com in a post all about – How to Decorate your home like Downton Abbey.

tea caddy

Love that! I just finished the 3rd Season and well…lets just say I’m slightly devastated! If you have been watching, you know why. If you haven’t been watching, drop everything and go do so. It is simply divine!

Since, I’m in a Downton mood, I thought I would share some more photos of the antique and vintage silver we have in the shop now…

silver gravyboat

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This gorgeous gravy boat has beautiful art nouveau embellishments and the perfectly aged patina.

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How sweet is this swan creamer? I fell in love with this one. It was made in Japan probably in the 1940’s. In Japan, the swan is a symbol of everlasting love. So romantic.

coffeeset

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Nothing says Downton like this set! Beautiful lines and elegant details. Okay that’s all for now…but I’m always on the hunt for fabulous silver.

What kinds of items do you just love to hunt for?

Have a wonderful Thursday.

xo,

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Filed under News, photography, Shopping, vintage