Friday, April 20, 2012

40th Birthday Party!

Well, after a couple months of sickness around our house, I've finally gathered together photos of my husband's SURPRISE 40th Birthday Party!

decorating the hall . . . 
{clockwise from top left} I made this fabric banner from photos of my husband's growing-up years; with some help from friends, we hung 28 chinese paper lanterns {it gave the place such a cozy feel}; I printed up a "what happened in 1972" trivia sheet for every place setting; centerpieces were decoupaged mason jars with battery-operated flicker candles, and a family photo of years-gone-by, and scalloped "40" confetti

I think he was CERTAINLY surprised!

With old-fashioned games like a penny drop, ball toss, and paper airplane-making, and food: a variety of soups, breads, and cookies, brownies and cupcakes, I think everyone had a great time!

The hall filled right up! We even had to set up a couple more tables! What GREAT friends and family!

I LOVED organizing this Hot Cocoa Bar! Steamy hot cocoa with flavorings, whipped cream, shaved chocolate and homemade marshmallows. The kids swarmed around it all evening!

{our 9-year-old snitching goodies while we started cleaning up}

We handed out tags to everyone asking them to share a few words of wisdom or well-wishes. The tree was FULL by the end of the evening!

While I specified no gifts were to be given, my husband received this homemade cheesecake from a dear friend who wins several blue ribbons every year at the fair for her baked pies and goodies! Needless to say, my husband was DELIGHTED!

Our youngest son, niece, and friends help take down the paper lanterns

John and I after a long and wonderful evening!

A special thanks to my WONDERFUL mother-in-law who came down to help set everything up, and brought the table linens! To three wonderful friends who helped string up the chinese lanterns! And to all our family and friends who came to celebrate my husband's birthday and make it a memorable day!

Sweetly, Kate

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I LOVE surprises! 

And there are lots of surprises going on here at our cottage!

I am currently planning my husband's SURPRISE 40th Birthday Party for this Saturday!
{I'll be sure to take lots of photos to share!}

On the menu:
white bean soup with rosemary and olive oil
vegetarian taco chili
chicken noodle soup
assorted breads, biscuits and muffins
spring water with limes/ spring water with rosewater
yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting {my husband's favorite}
brownies with cookie dough topping
a hot chocolate bar with all the fixings

My wonderful mother-in-law emailed me a bunch of old photos of my husband which will play a part in the table centerpieces. 

Here's one of my favorites:

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm also currently renovating my Larkspur & Linen shop . . . because planning a party just isn't enough to do! {giggle}

Actually, when I first opened the shop, I wanted it to have a French feel, but after creating some items that have been swimming around in my mind, I've been pulled in more of a 'cottage chic' direction.

Here are a few tiny snippets of photos for my new shop items:

I needed a re-usable cake for photographing a new line of wedding cake toppers, so ended up making this one from round papier mache boxes, paint, and plaster. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but was actually surprised by how beautiful it looks! . . . good enough to eat! 

Planning to reopen this shop as a strictly-wedding-shop in mid-February.

Hooray for surprises! They make life so interesting!

Have a LOVELY, LOVELY week!

Sweetly, Kate

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decorating for Christmas!

Just a few photos of our house all spruced up for Christmas . . .

you can never have TOO MUCH mistletoe!

an armoire full of Christmas cheer ready to greet guests!
I haven't decided yet what to fill the vintage cart with . . . picked that up for $4 at our local thrift store!

our mail-sorter filled with sweets for good girls and boys

I found these "X-mas" printer's blocks at one of my favorite antiques shops . . .
found the little choir boy at our local thrift shop {fitting that we have four sons} . . . he has my husband's birthyear engraved on the bottom . . . an added bonus!

my display case filled with white Christmas-themed lovelies

little porcelain dancing figures with large bottlebrush trees in an abandoned flower pot

my collection of vintage santas and snowmen atop our piano

this is one of my favorites, given to me by my mother . . . he looks like he's ready to hug anyone who comes close! SO CUTE!

our diningroom table this year decked out with a mossy sleigh I purchased at a rummage sale for $1.00 and trees I made from heavy cardstock, fabrics, buttons and trims, our stockings hang on the fence in back

my handmade little 'forest'

my grandmother gave me this santa face. I remember it hanging in her house when I was little . . . it has always been my favorite decoration to set out!

moravian stars, once a gaudy gold, painted white and glittered with mica

Remember this tree made from vintage wire fencing I saw at the Holiday Home Tour this year? It inspired me to make my own . . .

. . . here's my version {it sits on the credenza at the front entrance and looks beautiful all lit up at night!}:

 I filled a large jar with white twinkle lights to put in the middle of the tree, and decorated the tree with the letters j-o-y,  vintage mercury glass ornaments, and a 'welcome december' banner

our tree decorated with vintage C9 lights and assorted homemade ornaments

. . . now that the house is all decorated, I'm looking forward to snuggling up with my boys and a cup of hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, inviting friends and family over for games and good food, and enjoying the holiday season in all its splendor!

Wishing you all a season full of wonder and joy!

Sweetly, Kate

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas-y Girl's Day Out!

I always look forward to the first weekend in December!

Every year, my mom, sisters and I enjoy the Grand Ledge Holiday Home Tour.

We always make a day of it!

First, we meet up at Sweet Linda's Cafe for a light breakfast.

this year, I started my day with their fruit & yogurt parfait with homemade cherry-almond granola . . . 

 . . . and a frostbite {a wondrously decadent hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle}

Then we head next door to The Lamb's Gate Antiques Shop where I invariably leave with a few finds! This year I bought a handful of letterpress letters to spell 'Xmas', a pair of antique white bloomers, and a bag of old monopoly pieces.

. . . but the MOST fun we have at The Lamb's Gate, is in the upper room, trying on old hats!

mother-in-law, mom and me modeling some real lovelies!

my sister, modeling the 'match head' hat

next, we crossed the street to the Grand Ledge Opera House
to see their santa display . . . 

 . . . trees all decorated for the holidays by local businesses and private citizens . . .

 {absolutely LOVE this one made from vintage wire fencing!!! In fact, I made one of my own this year!} . . . 

. . . and festive tables decorated for the holidays . . .  

We visited five beautifully decorated historic houses this year, but this one was our absolute FAVORITE!!!
We saw this house last year too, and it was WELL worth coming back to see! Peg had her home all decked out with vintage finds and salvaged pieces! She has an amazing eye for style, and we were surprised and delighted to see what she could do with a handful of cast-offs!
 . . . mom, Jenny & me in Peg's DELIGHTFUL upstairs bedroom!

. . . then, it was back to Sweet Linda's for lunch . . . 

mom's veggie croissant with a frostbite to go!

and my heavenly tuscan chicken panini with a raspberry-strawberry french soda

the lovely {and, yes, very sweet!} staff at Sweet Linda's who serve up wondrously delicious food! . . . Linda, Mike, their son, and this lovely gal with wonderfully amazing pink hair! Just like cotton candy! :)

Such a delightful girl's day out! And a wonderful opportunity to start feeling the holiday spirit! Even my sister Jenny, aka 'the glam queen' who despises all things old and vintage, couldn't wait to come this year after having a wonderful time last year!

Wishing you all wondrously delightful family moments this season!

Sweetly, Kate

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Sale! :)

I am one of those crazy people who wake up at 4:30 am on the day after Thanksgiving, bundle up and brave the crowds to shop for Christmas items for my family and friends.

So, to spread the Christmas cheer {and help avoid those big, long lines}, I'm hosting a SALE this weekend in my shop!

I'll be offering FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING on most items! :) {and $2.00 usd flat rate on international orders}

Plus, spend $24 or more and receive this lovely red silk butterfly {brand new to my shop}

Plus, I'm also trying something new this year. WIN one of these 'instant winter scenes' in a GIVEAWAY! :) 

It's easy to enter! Just click HERE

Two ways to win:

1. FAVORITE THIS ITEM between Thursday, November 24th and Monday, November 28th. All "favoriters" will automatically be entered. :) On Tuesday, November 29th, I will draw names and THREE WINNERS will each receive one of these lovely "instant winter scenes" just like in this listing. I will contact the winners via Etsy convo.

2. CREATE A TREASURY WITH THIS ITEM between Thursday, November 24th and Monday, November 28th. All treasury curators will automatically be entered. :) Curators of my TWO FAVORITE TREASURIES that include this item will receive one of these lovely "instant winter scenes" just like in this listing. I will contact the winners via Etsy convo.


And I couldn't help but add this cheerful little Santa sprite to my shop! He's SO cute! Currently available for Pre-Order {as he's still in production phase}, he'll be shipping out starting December 2nd, 2011!

. . . you can see him in all his glory in my shop HERE!

Many holiday blessings to you all, much joy, cheer and merriment. :)

Sweetly, Kate