I’ve got this lookbook idea that I’ve been cooking up with a few of my favorite boston bloggers and I’ve been having some fun planning this cocktail party-like get together. one of the things I don’t have, but love the idea of, is a fancy bar setup and fancy stemware is obviously a must have. I wanted something a little different, something with a little sparkle and I definitely didn’t want to spend a ton of money on glasses that I don’t need in real life. based on my inspiration board I realized I could whip something up for very few dollars.
I picked up a few of these IKEA stemless glasses ($3 each), my favorite martha stewart liquid gilding paint ($7), a fine line gold paint pen ($4) and a few ‘disposable’ craft paint brushes (this paint isn’t water soluble) and got busy. I soaked the bottoms of each glass to get those pesky stickers off and then thoroughly washed and dried them before I got started on one of the glasses as a tester, trying out my different pattern ideas to see what worked best and with which medium.
so it turns out painting with a very fluid paint on a non-flat surface is VERY hard to do and this liquid gold isn’t very forgiving. I was very happy with the way the sloping ‘dip’ effect worked out (shown at top) plus I don’t think it’ll take away from the fun cocktail that’s going in it (more on that drink special another time…) I really wanted to make a confetti-like dot pattern, too but the pen was too fine a dot and it took a few tries before I could get the liquid paint to work. it was definitely more time consuming but I love the way it came out – giraffe-like spots instead of perfectly round polka dots.
since I was already planning to make a mess, I thought it might be fun to come up with some other special pieces to style the event so I picked up some super cheap glass vases ($15 for three) while I was at IKEA and after I’d learned the ins and outs of painting on a circular surface I went for the easier/faster route and used this brushed metallic spray paint ($8) and some painters’ tape for a classic striped look.
I’m choosing to ignore the irregular edges of my stripes but you can easily scrape off drips or blips with a razor or an x acto knife. it’s slightly different in color and tone from the gold of the stemware but it still ties in nicely. (while I was spraying, I went ahead and doctored up some pinecones, curly branches and even some feathers to add into my holiday decorating)
I’m getting really excited (and nervous) for this get together but I’ve got WAY too many ideas swirling and not enough time. if I do end up with a little extra then I’m totally going to doctor up these leftover glass plates (here and here) as appetizer plates to match my stemware.
PS – it should be noted that this liquid gold paint is a non-food safe paint but I kept it away from the rim of the stemware. you should decide if this something you’re comfortable with doing but as far as I’m concerned YOLO. also, each of these painted pieces are definitely hand wash only.
PPS - here’s another great take on gilded DIY glassware
after spending an unheard of 30 minutes on my hair, I headed out to the 2013 holiday meet + greet at the warehouse in boston last night. I went overboard on the holidazzle last year so this year I thought I’d take it down a notch and showcase my newest necklace design (as yet unnamed). I only took a few photos but trust me when I say it was a great time. kate and alison have worked so hard to put on these events, finding new venues each time and creating a great sense of community. recently a few friends (alex and kelly to name two) have blogged their answer to the question ‘why do you blog?’ and last night a couple of guys at the bar stopped me and asked me the very same question. actually it was more along the lines of ‘how is a blog any different than facebook?’ I imagine it was interesting to watch our group from a distance and they were genuinely curious. I did my best to explain why I blog and really why most do – it’s a creative outlet. whether you blog about food, crafts, writing, photography, art, jewelry, fitness or whatever, it all comes from the same place. we are all creative people who document and share our experiences, to inspire or be inspired and icing is finding and meeting like minded people.
boston bloggers is a community. I think about where I was a little over two years ago** when I started this blog to where I am today and I am forever grateful for this group of (mostly) women, for their words and for their friendship.
**PS this very first post of mine has to be the absolute worst blog post in the history of blog posts. not even a photo! admittedly the first few months of this blog were a total experiment and are an embarrassing reminder of where I came from and how much I’ve grown. I’ve been tempted to take them down but I’m more interested in keeping it real so they’ll stay. #nomomleftbehind
**PSS this is what happens when I spend 30 minutes on my hair. all I can hear in my head is ‘ladies of the 80′s’ from pitch perfect’s riff off. oh well.
earlier this year I worked on some branding exercises which included getting real about who my ideal customer might be. (you should know that the same women on this list are also on my ‘if they knew me in real life we’d be best friends’ list.) but missing from that round up is emma thompson.
I clicked through for that photo alone. emma thompson is wearing leather pants and looks kickass. once I finished reading the article I scrolled through the gallery and found the top photo which I’m thinking I’ll have framed. also, you can fully expect me to put this exact outfit in heavy rotation. emma’s nine years older than I am so if there was ever a question of being too old for leather pants it was just squashed.
PS – whenever Bob is traveling and there’s nothing on TV I watch sense and sensibility (or pride and prejudice – the keira knightley edition). I’ve watched it so much I’m on my second DVD. you should know that emma is married to ‘willoughby’ in real life. and now that it’s the holiday season, I’ll be watching love, actually all winter long. (that gem came out ten years ago – can you believe it?)
my friend jaime has a month-long roundup of guest posts all about stockings and what to stuff them with and I get to go first! my post is up today so go check it out and then keep going back for more great gift giving ideas all month long.
if you’ve been reading for a few months now you’ll have noticed that all my children have gone away to school. but what you haven’t noticed is that Bob has been on the road for work every week for the last 6 weeks with two more coming in december. don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having the remote all to myself now and again but this is bordering on ridiculous. there’s only so much sitting home alone I can handle so when I saw Alison and Kate’s teaser about an intimate boston blogger event at urban grape in the south end, I literally set an alarm to make sure i didn’t miss out on getting a ticket. honestly it could’ve been a ‘let’s meet at the dry cleaners’ event and I still would’ve signed up to get together with these ladies but the icing was that we got to meet at a wine tasting!
with Bob in the liquor business I’ve had my fair share of wine, at varying price points and from different countries but I have a hard time understanding the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of the wine. I either liked it or I didn’t and if I did then I tried really hard to remember what the label looked like which never works. never. urban grape is the answer to my ‘problem’ – TJ and Hadley Douglas have figured out how to speak my language. their enthusiasm and passion are contagious and they’ve designed the urban grape to be more of an experience than just a wine shop. honestly, sipping and shopping at urban grape is almost exactly like buying makeup at neiman marcus. hear me out on this -
when you shop for makeup you’re looking for products that are specifically suited for you. say you have a black tie event and you’d like to try something new that night. the cosmetologist (is that what they’re called?) works with you to find the best products based on your style, needs and price point (although sometimes they sell you that miracle eye cream without telling you it’s $100+) and when you’re all set to checkout, they add each product to your store profile. they do this for you so you don’t forget which number you wear instead of carrying your disintegrating bronzer around for weeks while the compact leaves particles coating the ENTIRE inside of your bag.
that’s EXACTLY what urban grape does for you with their concierge-style approach to wine, beer and liquor. TJ and Hadley ensure their entire staff is knowledgeable and not intimidating – they’re geeks about wine but without the snobbery. their selection of white and red wines is setup using Progressive Shelving ™ – “a unique system of organizing wines by their body, rather than varietal or region.” a system which helps in finding just the right wine based on all your criteria – food pairing, price point, region, sweet, dry etc. AND they keep a profile of all your purchases stored in their system. get this – they even store the wine info that you gift! (you give the name of the recipient so when your boss loves that bottle you brought to the company shindig he can march to urban grape and voila!) they even have testers like a makeup counter except it’s called the ‘enoline elite tasting machine’. genius.
thank you to TJ and Hadley Douglas, the staff at urban grape and thank you to Kate & Alison for another fantastic boston blogger event. please go experience urban grape (in chestnut hill or the south end) for yourself and sign up for their newsletter to learn about free tastings and other events. oh, and you need to check out their video: