Monthly Archives: March 2012

anatomy of a coffee table


over the last few days my beloved sister has been visiting from nantucket and we have been doing lots of shopping and crafting (and my favorite new hobby- shopping for crafting). i’ve had on my wish list a few things for our apartment, including a decorative tray and a coffee table book. since the sis and i are such expert (read: fanatic) shoppers, i found both over the past few days and have restyled my coffee table. 

“who in the heck “styles” their coffee table?” you may be wondering… well, i’ve noticed a trend as i’ve been blog-stalking (blalking?) recently– all of the amazing women behind the stylish and pretty blogs that i read regularly have very lovely and put-together coffee tables sitting front and center in their lovely and put-together living rooms (in their lovely and put-together homes, where they live their lovely and put-together lives– this could go on and on!) they have stacks of big photo books focused on fashion and home decor, pretty candles, fresh-cut flowers, and no matter how hard i look, i can never spot a speck of dust. how do they do it? my coffee table is usually a mess of pens, notebooks, a computer (or two), some remotes, nail polish, and inevitably crumbs. lots and lots of crumbs.

not anymore, my friends! here is my newly-blossomed coffee table. 

 it’s just what i envisioned in my head! i really wanted to incorporate a little bit of all my favorite pieces from coffee tables i’d admired on other blogs and pinterest- a plant or flowers, a candle, a tray, etc.

my nose was so exhausted yesterday afternoon because i was determined to get a candle while i was shopping. i picked out this little beauty from Trohv (my favorite home decor store in DC, located in takoma in upper northwest) and love that it’s bright pink and was only $13.

i’ve had these coasters for awhile now, but i still get compliments on them all the time. they’re from anthropologie and i bought them in a set of four. brilliantly enough you can buy them separately, which was very handy when someone accidentally dropped one (i won’t name any names…) they also come in a bunch of different colors and aren’t too heinously priced. 

i bought this marimekko tray at another favorite dc decor spot- tabletop located in dupont circle. i obviously LOVE that it has birch trees on it, but it’s also a nice sturdy plastic (without looking cheap) and is the perfect place to corral pens, sunglasses, remotes, and of course those inescapable crumbs. you can even buy the tray online from tabletop.

i aways envy the beautiful flowers on other blogs, and have even tried my hand at growing my own. unfortunately the only plants i can’t seem to kill are my trio of succulents (including one cactus!) and even with that said, my aloe plant is looking a bit worse for wear. i bought the plants from ikea and the metal trough from a thrift store in bethesda.

finally, the pièce de resistance. i couldn’t tear my eyes from this book when i saw it at trohv, but was a little dismayed at the price. i walked away and kept perusing the store, but kept coming back to it. finally i just couldn’t help myself, the huge glossy images spoke to me. the life & love of trees. could it be any more perfect? here are two of my favorite pages.

of course, you can purchase the book on amazon – you’ll even get it cheaper than i did! isn’t it gorgeous?
so there you have it, the coffee table is now complete!
do you have any other suggestions for great coffee table books? 

“Oh, do you use a heat embosser?”


devil words i tell you, that ended up goading me into spending $200 at papersource tuesday afternoon. 

last time i allowed myself to get lost in those magical, colorful, creative aisles i was asked the same question, but was able to fend her off with the “i’m new at this” feeble, innocent lamb look. not this time. armed with the sense of being a more confident crafter (after completing one project mind you) and an excitement of projects to come, i excitedly replied “um, what’s that?!”

cha-ching! the sales assistant’s eyes lit up. “ooh, come with me.” i willingly followed her back to the exclusive craft table. you know- the huge table in the back of the store that’s always covered in stamps, glitter, half-finished projects, and (in my mind anyway) a gaggle of talented, creative minds sharing die-cut secrets over iced lattes… no? that doesn’t happen?

onward. so this lovely associate starts telling me about this heat embossing tool for stamps, and hot damn- it is kind of cool! by sprinkling this magical craft fairy dust powder over your stamp, and then blow drying it with a doll’s hairdryer- i mean the hot pink heat embosser- it transforms your boring old stamp into a shiny, lacquer-y, raised beauty.

but wait! there’s more! endless options are being explained to me at a mile a minute- clear powder over the pigment dyes you already own, so it’s not  a huge investment (uh, lady, i own two stamp pads, i was bluffing), gold, copper, silver powders for your fancy projects, white powder (not cocaine) to really pop out the stamp you are going to use on that navy cardstock i eyed in your basket- oh you don’t have a basket? let me grab you one- ahh! i had opened the pandora’s box of stamping. shit.

“so,” i casually asked, “how much is this heat embosser thingy?”

“oh!” just $23.00!”

my god, why didn’t you say that before, woman?

and i’m back in the game. grab me that basket, i have some shopping to do!

why birch and lace?


welcome to my messy little corner of the blogosphere! 

i decided [yesterday] to start a blog because i was getting knee deep in a craft explosion and thought– wouldn’t that be kind of cool and interesting to start a blog to document my trials and tribulations, successes and woes, glitter messes and glue mishaps as a beginner crafter? plus, i love to write and have kept a journal off and on over the years, so it just seems natural to air my dirty laundry over the internet… i mean share my stories!

of course, i won’t be sticking to just crafts. i’m hoping that this blog will evolve to encompass all sorts of fun little things that delight and inspire me- hence the tagline “curator of lovely.”

in talking with one of my dearest friends a few months ago about my career path (which is less a “path” and more of a starting line that i have yet to cross) i remember saying “i just want to do something that involves pretty things.” well folks, here you have it- a foray into blogging. i hope to write about all manner of things– from things i’m coveting at anthropologie, fun outfits i’m daring to pull off, why i just can’t seem to keep a plant alive, home decor projects at apartment #802, and the craft projects i’m trying out.

but wait a second– the name of this post is “why birch and lace?” ahh yes my dear fans (aka my mom and boyfriend)- the title of this blog. one afternoon as i was daydreaming about my dream job, i came up with the little phrase “birch and lace.” i know it’s not a phrase but actually just a pairing of words, but in my mind it took shape as a symbol of everything i love- elegance, natural beauty, dewy morning light, wispy sheer dresses- you get the idea. birch trees are my (and my boyfriend’s) favorite trees, and lace is by far my favorite fabric- i literally cannot get enough. the phrase has stayed with me over the past few months and when i decided that i wanted to start keeping a blog, it seemed to be the natural fit. 

so with that said, please pardon me as i take over our dining room table in a fit of crafty goodness.

i hope you’ll keep me company along the way!