Image Map


Wall Stenciling a Feature Wall

We recently moved and I have been busy making our new house our own. I wanted to do something different in our guest room without having to buy all new furnishings, so I decided to continue our square theme of brown and sea green on the walls. I didn't use wallpaper though, instead I had my girlfriend Tracie Fossum with Inspired Finish stencil the feature wall in the room.
 I found the interlocking square pattern that I liked online at Royale Designs. This site is amazing and has many different modern and current patterns to chose from that I am sure will work in your design plan.
This wall was a large wall and took Tracie three days to complete it. It is quite a math problem and takes a little time in the beginning to layout your plan and make sure everything is level. Tracie was checking level twice before every stencil application.

The finish product exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. I couldn't possibly be happier with how it turned out, it's just perfect and absolutely worth it!!

P.S. The wall color is Sea Green by Restoration Hardware and the stencil pattern color is 50 % darker.


Modern Glass Kitchen Island Pendants

The latest project I am working on is a modern whole house remodel in Olivenhain. We are at the lighting stage in the design plan and I have been obsessed with finding the perfect kitchen island pendants. My all time favorite is made by Modern Niche and is called the Bell-Jar Modern Pendant. It carries a hefty price tag but in this case these beautiful lighting fixtures are fabulous and worth it!!

(Bella Jar Pendant by Modern Niche)

Modern Niche also has a longer and narrower jar version named the Bella jar pendant shown above. I like this one when you are displaying four pendants verses the original modern bell-jar I prefer it when three are displayed above the island. I found some additional island pendants that I liked as well and they were a little more gentle on the pocketbook.

(Industrial pendant by West Elm)

(Amber Craft Show Glass Pendant by Shades of Light)
(Mercury-Glass Pendant found at

(Glass Jug Lantern found on
(1LT Metal and Glass Pendant by Dainolite)


A Guest Post "Refinishing an Adirondack Bench & Chair with Chalk Paint" by Tracie Fossum

My friend Tracie Fossum with Inspired Finish recently refinished my Adirondack bench & chair. She started her company about a year ago, and has been refinishing amazing furniture pieces with chalk paint ever since.

(Before picture of my red bench.)

I was extremely impressed with the results and can hardly believe what she was able to do with my very weathered pieces. If you are up for the challenge, Tracie has given detailed steps on how you can do it too!

1) I cleaned and lightly sanded all of the old paint, removing paint chips, peeling and dirt.  I then filled in some of the more damaged areas with wood putty. 2)Next I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Duck Egg for the base coat of the entire bench.  3) Annie Sloan Provence was the top coat.  4) I lightly distressed the edges and slats of the bench and chair to reveal both the Duck Egg paint color underneath, and in some places, the original red of the bench which further created the beach vintage feel. 5) I put a thin coat of Annie Sloan lacquer as the top coat.

Since the bench began to yellow in the sun and didn't seem to be holding up to the rain/weather, I repainted the entire bench.  1)I lightly sanded again, sanding the entire piece(s).  I spent extra time on the areas that receive the most exposure to sun/rain, sanding off any areas that had yellowed.  2)  I color matched Annie Sloan's colors, both Duck Egg and Provence, but this time used a Behr Ultra exterior paint that is both primer and top coat, choosing the Satin Finish which is the lowest sheen available for this type of exterior paint.  3)I painted one coat of Duck Egg on the entire bench and chair.  4)Next, I painted a coat of Provence over both the top and bottom of the bench and chair.  5)  I lightly distressed to reveal the Duck Egg underneath.  6) I did not want to leave raw wood exposed which happens when you sand/distress, so in many areas I used a small brush to dry brush a very small amount of Duck Egg over the Provence to achieve the look of a distressed piece without leaving any areas of the bench/chair exposed to the elements.  Since this is an outdoor piece I wanted to achieve a distressed two color look without compromising the protection of the paint.

I loved my newly refinished pieces so much that I decided to have our children photographed in them! If you are interested in having Tracie bring back to life some of your weathered pieces, please contact Tracie Fossum at or (949) 547-0738. Her website is

Look for her next guest post on wall stenciling...coming soon!


Beautiful Succulent & Seashell Christmas Tree

My husband and I walked over this morning to check out the new Andaz Hotel in Wailea, Maui. The hotel is chic and contemporary and very cool! While we were checking things out, I noticed the beautiful succulent & seashell Christmas tree in the lobby. I love the juxtaposition of the succulents to the metal ornaments & ribbon. I haven't seen a tree like this before, so I thought I would share it with you. Mele Kalikimaka!!


Vintage Glam Peacock Christmas Tree

I had fun again this year participating as a tree designer for the San Diego's Boys & Girls Club's Annual Christmas Tree Lane Auction & Gala. Our event theme was Vintage Glam, so I decided my tree theme would be Vintage Peacock Glam, A Grand Christmas. My color scheme included peacock blue, chartreus, gold and bronze.


I really love the artificial Deluxe Barcana Alaskan Fir(it's the same tree I used last year) so, I bought it again this year.  My inspiration was taken from  handmade Peacock blue tinsel glitter ball ornaments.  I found some impressive oval glass bubble ornaments encasing a large peacock feather online at Zgallerie. To add vintage flair I found some diamond eye ornaments that glitter and sparkle brightly and resemble the Christmas Star of ancient lore. The Christmas tree also features Avignon Ornaments that make a grand gesture with undulating edges, and crafted of clear glass and finished in an antiqued metallic replicating the look of mercury glass.

Tucked away in the tree you will find bird nests with bronze glass ball ornaments nestled inside. This Peacock inspired tree is wrapped in many beautiful complimentary colored ribbons and adorned with real peacock feathers and glittering sprigs. Our tree wouldn’t be complete without regal Peacock tailed Bird Christmas ornaments and hobnail clear glass finials and a vintage gold Venetian Star tree topper.

Merry Christmas!!



Monkey Themed Birthday Party~Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Favors

My adorable nephew is turning one and his first Birthday party is this weekend. My sister decided on a monkey theme for his birthday and I told her I would like to make the party favors. The first thing that came to mine is chocolate covered pretzel rods. I have never made them before but a friend of mine said they are pretty easy, so I thought I would give it a try.

I took a trip to the craft store and picked up some chocolate melting chips and clear pretzel wrapping bags. Melting the chocolate chips is very easy. Use a class bowl and start with 20 seconds at a time in the microwave. After each 20 seconds, remove the bowl and stir the chips until they are melted. It usually will take about 5 times in the microwave until the chips are fully melted, I start with about 2-3 cups of chips for each batch. Take your time with this because you don't want to burn the cholcolate.

I found the long pretzel sticks or rods at the CVS pharmacy. They didn't have them at my local grocery store, but you could also probably find them at Target too.

Once you dip the rods, make sure all the excess chocolate drips off before you sprinkle them with your choice of sprinkles. I used Wilton's Turtle Crunch sprinkles because they taste like carmel.

Lastly, after letting the dipped rods dry(about 30 minutes) I then placed them in long clear bags and tied them with a bow and stuck the felt monkey to the front of each bow.

This favor is so easy, cute, and tastes good... you must give them a try!!


The Friendship Puppet Theater Presents: "Dress-up Party"

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would always play with our puppets and would often create a puppet show for our parents to watch. And now that I have children, I am finding they love it too!

My daughter came home from school last week and told me she and her BFF would like to do a puppet show for their school talent show. I thought that was a great idea and started to think of how I could make a puppet theater from scratch. After a trip to Home Depot and Michael's Craft Store, I had all I needed to make the theater.

I purchased three 2' X 4' black chalk boards, three packages of two narrow utility hinges (2 in size) and three packages of # 10-24 X 1/2" machine screw round head combo by Crown Bolt. I had Home Depot cut the middle board down to 24"X 29". Home Depot cut the board for free.

{My husband measured and pre-drilled the holes with a 3/16  size drill bit}

Below is a picture of one side of the puppet theater completed. For one side we used three hinges and 12 screw bolts. I was surprised at how sturdy the chalkboard wood was once the hinges where in place.

{Above is a picture of the craft supplies we used for decorating the puppet theater.}

I wanted to make something different for the curtain, and a ribbon curtain is what came to mind. I found a really fun and bright colored floral ribbon at the craft store and thought it would make the perfect curtain. First, I cut 16 pieces of ribbon 19 inches long. I folded and hot glued each ribbon(1/2 inch fold) onto the green drape string.

{Completed Ribbon Curtain}
After I completed the ribbon I then began to decorate the rest of the puppet theater. I used rhinestone mesh ribbon and my glue gun stick to outline the entire theater (this was a perfect way to cover the bolts.)

I hand cut and shaped stems and leaves out of lime green Duck Tape paper sheets for the flowers. The Duck Tape adhered well to the slightly slick chalk board wood. I also hot glued the flowers to the tops of the stems.
{Use your drill to put a hole at the top of each side panel and string your cord for the ribbon curtain through it.}

Once you have your ribbon curtain up, you can add your bows. I used a pretty pink fishnet type of ribbon and wired the center with green floral wire. I then stuck the floral wire through the hole I used for the curtain cord and taped down both on the back side of the side panels.

{The girls colored the flowers and the butterflies.}

{I added a sign on front that reads" The Friendship Puppet Theater Presents, "Dress-up Party"}
Below is a video of their puppet show(2 minutes long). Click play and enjoy!!

The Friendship Theater Presents "Dress-up Party" from Seahorse & Stripes on Vimeo.