Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cleveland Style Feature: Georgie & Elaine

As you may remember, I attended a preview trunk show of Georgie & Elaine at Banyan Tree back in April. We drooled over the clothes on the rack, got to meet the designer – Devin VanderMaas, and wondered how to get each and every one of these pieces into our closets, stat!

So it was my lucky day when I got to team up with Maria of the style letters and Jessica Holdsworth for a city-chic Georgie & Elaine shoot. The line is designed by Devin in Cleveland, so it was only appropriate to shoot her beautiful line in some of the city's most picturesque spots. Our fabulous photographers, Justyna Walker and Kassey Sikora, nailed the aesthetic of city romance.

Devin describes the inspiration behind Georgie & Elaine as "that of a real-life fairytale and the desire to share other magical, historic, and wondrous stories of found love." It's a collection for the true romantic, and the clothes reflect that so perfectly when worn by each G&E girl.  

So much, in fact, that I just had to jump around in this gorgeous dress

Lots of giggling going on ;)

On Maria: Amy Tank and Arielle Lace Mini

Left to Right: Elaine Mini Dress; Arielle Lace Mini, M. E. Mattson Dress

Amy Tank - I could honestly live in this beautiful silk tank. 

Strong winds and fountain spray couldn't stop us!

The M. E. Mattson Dress and the Elaine Mini Dress

The second you slip into any of these pieces, you can not only feel the romance, but the quality and care that went into making them. All G&E pieces are made with love in New York City, with mostly 100% silks and natural fibers. The silks, jerseys, and chiffons are soft, wearable, and don't wrinkle — so there's much to love! Not to mention its strong Cleveland roots. You can shop pieces of the collection here and read more about Georgie & Elaine on Facebook

A huge thank you goes out to Maria for the opportunity to be a part of the shoot, to our photographers Justyna and Kassey, and to Devin for giving us the chance to feel the love of G&E! You can check out more favorite shots over on the style letters, and some outtakes are also up here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DIY: Gold Leaf Tortoise Shell

This week's DIY is up there as a favorite of mine — I've never attempted gold leafing before, but it was incredibly easy and only took an hour or so!

I've had my eye on the Nate Berkus for Target tortoise shell sculpture ever since it came out, but I hesitated to buy it. The colors weren't quite what I wanted, and the $40 price point seemed a bit steep for the quality. I kept my eye on it, and when it was still in stock months later, and on sale for $25, I bought this ochre colored one and knew I'd find a way to make it work.

Initially I thought about spray painting it, but happened to find instructions on how to use gold leaf, and knew it would give a more dimensional look and make the shell pop against our navy bedroom walls.

Metal leaf is available in many different types and colors, and you can find it sold in kits at any local art/craft store, like Michael's or Pat Catan's. It works on most porous or non-porous surfaces, so you can apply it to almost anything, and really bling-out your house!

Now for the how-to!

You'll need:

Object of your choice / tortoise shell
Gold leaf kit (with leaf sheets, adhesive, and sealer)
A soft cloth


1) Before shot - not bad, but not great either.

2) Using your paintbrush, spread the adhesive evenly over the surface. According to the package instructions, the adhesive needed to air dry for 30-40 minutes to become tacky enough for the leaf to stick.

3) Begin applying the gold leaf, one sheet at a time. The sheets come in small squares, and are very delicate. They might even break apart a bit before you place them on the shell — it's okay, keep the little pieces nearby for when you need to fill in small gaps. 

Press the leaf gently onto the surface with your fingers, then smooth the leaf out carefully with a soft cloth. Work in sections, filling in the gaps with your scrap pieces as you go. The tricky part about the surface of the shell are all of the grooved lines — the full sheets won't reach down into the cracks, so you can fill those areas with leftover pieces after you finish the main body. 

4) Using the cloth, smooth out the leaf, pressing carefully and moving in circles. The leaf won't look totally seamless, which is okay, it's what gives the finish more dimension! Once you've inspected the shell to make sure the gaps and sides are covered, you'll spread the sealer over the entire thing. The sealant keeps the gold leaf from coming into contact with the air, which prevents the gold from tarnishing.

Let the shell dry overnight before hanging or placing back among your decor.

And that's it! The whole project cost only about $35, and easily looks twice the price. I haven't been able to find anything with this impact anywhere else, and in such an accessible price range. Well worth the effort! Would you guys ever try gold leafing? 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Back for Summer: Lake Erie Love Tanks

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome to summer — I'm so glad we're here!

I'm even happier that my Lake Erie Love tanks are back just in time. This year I brought them back in two new colors, and mixed it up with a marbled fabric and some metallic ink. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. 

Each tank is capped off with a little anchor on the back for extra cute factor.

The gray tank is a charcoal heather with metallic gold ink — I've been wanting to try this combo for a long time, and it's as cool as I expected. 

I love both colors and seriously can't wait to wear mine for some 4th of July boating! And patio drinking. And biking. Basically all the time.

If you didn't get a chance to grab one last year, now's the time! You can find them over here in the shop, or enter for a chance to win one over on the style letters. The giveaway starts today and ends Thursday 6/27 at 11:59pm. Good luck, and hope to see you all spreading some Lake Erie Love this summer! If you're sporting your tank around town, share a photo and use the tag #lakeerielove on Twitter. I'd love to see how you guys rock your tanks!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spotlight On: The Minimalist

I recently came across this nursery project, designed by Morgan Satterfield and The Animal Print Shop, and fell in love with the modern wares available at The Minimalist. Their carefully curated online shop offers housewares, decor, and a fabulous print selection for those who value less as more. How gorgeous is that throw blanket? Perfect for a modern Monday...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gold Rush

I have always been hooked on gold — I think it's the Leo in me. My prom dress was gold (ha!), my jewelry has (almost) always been gold, and there are accents of it all over my house. Accessorizing your closet with gold is easy — decorating with it poses a bit more of a challenge. 

Gold in decor can be intimidating, as brass accents in the wrong places can say '80s mod, but in the right touches it can add a bit of unapologetic glam. A tip to pulling off the look is to keep silhouettes simple and modern — too much embellishment and detail can make gold come across as fussy and antiquated. 

Pairing with white and neutrals keeps the look polished, and conversely, pairing with bright colors can create a global feel. Gold can also add a geological touch to rustic decor — this faceted table lamp would look great on a natural wood dresser. It can also glam up an everyday item — placing these gold playing cards out on your coffee table would entice anyone into a game of poker.

Have you embraced gold as a trend, and do you think it's here to stay?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Weekend

Is this weather making anyone else a little bummed out? What happened to summer? Aside from just being a little sad, the rain has delayed our house painting by quite a few days, but hopefully it should all be done early next week. Can't wait to kiss this plain white house goodbye!

I'll be back next week with some home projects, another recipe, and more decor. See you then, and have a lovely weekend!