April, 2012

seventy with style

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ok, we need to talk about milestone birthdays.  do you fall into the camp of celebrating them with a soiree attended by your nearest and dearest, or do you prefer to do something big for yourself, like take an overseas trip…or i suppose there are those people who choose to not observe them at all.  boo.  me?  i say PARTY all the way.  it kills me that rbb just turned 35 and we didn’t do anything big.  i’m going to make up for it at 40, mark my words!

anyway.  this is all beside the point, which is i guess to say that i love people who want to see a big year come in style.  my neighbor and friend margaret’s father recently turned 70 and her mother threw him a fabulous fete at their home.  what fun!

we did a #10 size for the invitation, featuring gold and navy ink mounted on a navy cardstock backer. the envelopes had the round twist ties which i think was perfect.  i love the stately invitation paired with the rustic, kraft paper ties on the envelope.

the party was nothing short of fantastic.  margaret is known for her good taste, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree you know!
margaret’s beautiful mother lighting votives.

looks like a good time for sure – and that’s a way to mark a milestone birthday!!


bookshelves: sources

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yesterday you saw the progression of our shelves from downright awful to whatever means much, much better.  the lion’s share of the work was done by the interior design whiz named jen dipasquale, but she used things i already had around the house in addition to a few new items.  here is all of the info!


i’ll tackle the easy 1/3rd first – the middle one.  the painting is an oil done by my aunt locke, who was so very talented and a local artist here in atlanta.  she had such an eye for color.  this painting has always been special to me, but especially now since she is not with us anymore.  it makes me so happy to see it take such a strong presence in our living room.

jen hung it with wire and what looked like a picture hook…maybe she can explain what she did further in the comment section!

the stacked national geographics came from my mom’s garage.  they are from all kinds of different years.  i am so glad she kept them!!  however, jen said you can always find them at goodwill.


just a quick note about the books – i needed a LOT more books than we had to fill the shelves.  i made several trips to goodwill and would look for books that a) i might want to read one day and b) had the right spinal tone.  goodwill charges $2.50 for hardback books and they are like new – a steal!!  what’s great about the hardbacks is that they can serve as two colors – the book jacket has one, and the naked spine is usually a totally different hue.  and a bonus, now when i need a new book to read i just visit my own personal barnes & noble in the living room.

top shelf: family portrait from rinne’s newborn session, framed by laura negri photography.  sea fans from scott’s antique market; i have had them since i first moved into the condo five years ago.  i think they were around $10 each…maybe not even that much.

aqua shelf:  urn/planter was $5 from a garage sale in my neighborhood a few months ago.  i loved the color of it.  cross with turquoise and silver was a gift from my friend shannon.

red shelf: framed wedding invitation was a gift from my friend sara.  little dish that holds shells…the shells were from a trip to fripp island a few summers ago, and the dish was like a dollar at an estate sale i think, many years ago.  it has had many uses over the years, ranging from candy dish to spare key holder.  the little picture is of me and my mom.   small wooden crosses i think came from a christmas dinner with rbb’s family a few years ago.

black and blue shelf (insert corny joke about how it beat itself up): sphere was $15 from scott’s in march when jen was here, although my mom saw it and said that she had a whole box of whatever those things are in all different sizes…my dad brought back a bunch from vietnam in the 70s.  anybody need one??

brown shelf: box with mother of pearl lid is from homegoods, maybe $24.99?  sea urchin (perhaps?) was around $9 from a shop right outside fripp island; he’s lost a few arms but keeps on kicking!  silk picture frame on the right (not shown in this frame) is from heery’s too in downtown athens during a home sale back when i was in college…OMG, so long ago (circa 2001).

p.s. i got the diary of a cat book as summer reading for paquito.


top shelf: more sea fans!  cow painting is an oil given to us as a wedding present from merrell and wilson. i recently got it framed at artifacts (they are the best!).

orangey/red shelf (see above full length image): picture frame is from sam flax and little silver dish…another estate sale.  needs to be polished but it goes better with the shelf color with a little tarnish :)

green and yellow shelf: little vase is from webb marsteller a few weeks ago.  small oil painting was a birthday gift from jen that i hung with a small nail on the back of the shelf.  iron planter is from an estate sale…i have a set of two of those guys and LOVE them.  i think it was $15 for the pair.  now if i could only keep what i put in them alive (that succulent is way dead).

pink and purple shelf: mercury vase was picked out by jen at scott’s in march.  silver michael aram picture frame was a wedding gift and holds a picture of my dad.

bizarre trivia note: in this photo, my dad is sitting in a rocking chair on my grandmother’s front porch in the exact same spot (coincidentally) that rbb proposed to me in august 2008 (he passed away in october 2007).  i just realized that little factoid!

white and black shelf: silver dish is another michael aram piece; it was a wedding gift.  white owl pitcher was a birthday gift from betsey (she knows how i feel about the wise creatures!).

bottom row of shelves:  well, we had to hide the kid c-r-a-p somewhere, right?!  these shelves are really long and shallow, so i could not find one bin/basket/etc. the exact right size to save my life.  i luckily happen to stumble on these grey burlap baskets at the container store though – two fit perfectly on my shelf, hurrah!  they hide children’s books, cars, plastic pianos and the like.


– you don’t need to spend a lot of money on accessories for shelves.  most of these items were $15 and under!  and i want to also give a big shoutout to all of my friends who, as exhibited here, have excellent taste and give me such beautiful gifts.  thanks y’all!!

– frequent estate sales, garage sales, goodwill and antique markets to find inexpensive treasures.

– you can never have too many books!

– grouping things by color is an easy, fast way to visually organize your shelves.

– use what you have.  the things you think you are lacking, you probably have in a closet!  for instance, that small silver michael aram bowl.  i had been using it for dips while entertaining and keeping it in its little velvet bag, but there is just no need for it to live in a dark closet its whole life.

– give yourself some kind of storage element, especially if you have children.  that low shelf is just asking for grimy hands to upturn whatever is on it…so that had to be a total kid-friendly zone.  i love that i can pretty much throw the kid stuff in the baskets and it’s hidden.

of course, an enormous gracias to jen…girl, i owe you at least twenty letterpress stationery orders by now.  thanks for sharing your dead-on style with me!!!


bookshelves reveal

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the bookshelves in my living room have been a long time coming.  when we first moved in a little bit over a year ago, they served as holders of junk we didn’t know where else to put.  at least it could be out in the open there so we could see what we got, right?  rbb kept his many paint cans and brushes out of reach and i stashed my specialty – stacks of papers and mail that need to be sorted, filed or thrown away.  i always seem to have a few different ones going strong.

you can see them here at rush’s 2nd birthday celebration; this was june 2011.  and can someone please hand me some bronzer?!  gah.

then last summer before rinne arrived, i tried to get them looking somewhat presentable, which was an idea that fell flat on its face.  i knew the shelves had spaces that were way too big, but didn’t know what to do about it exactly, so i left them as-is.  it looked terrible.

i just couldn’t get them looking good, whatever i tried.  i threw in the towel months before these images were captured, and you can see that rush had his way with the bottom shelves.  well, the row above that too it looks like.

thank GOD jen came to town in march.  i had sent her the pathetic above pictures, to which she replied, you need more shelves and i’m coming to help.  to which i said, bless you…and i’ll get right on more shelves (which translates to: ask rbb what the heck i need to do).  he told me i needed to go to home depot with an existing shelf, get them to cut wood the same size (wait…you mean they don’t have ready to go shelves…?), then find a paint match.  so off i went, not exactly sure of how to do these things but certain i could find someone to tell me.

i had no idea that this was involved.

but that sweet fellow cutting the wood – i think he guessed i had never stepped foot in the lumber department before, or really done much of anything home-wise.  he took me under his wing and steered my cart all over the place finding just the right brackets to hold the shelves, the correct paint color and even a pit stop in the garden store to grab some plants i needed.  man, i can do house projects all day long if i have my own personal concierge!

so i brought home my new shelves, feeling so proud of myself, and rbb got to work on priming and painting them.  meanwhile, jen came and got my shelves started…they looked better immediately.  she had that sh&$ turned around in a matter of minutes.  i wish i had a picture of her 5 month prego belly on a stepstool arranging things just so.  she is a total rock star!!  she left me with some explicit instructions, to which i carried out to the letter.

i must say, i am in love with the end result.  IN LOVE.

now, instead of thinking “hell.  those shelves look awful.  what am i going to do about that.” when i look eastward in our living room, i now think “yay! color! organization! and best of all they’re DONE!”   it’s a good feeling.

sources and more coming tomorrow…

pinch me

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remember ginny’s AMAZING wedding?

it is featured on style me pretty’s national website today. OMG!

ginny deserves major accolades.  it was all her vision, which was obviously spot on!!  you go girl.  so glad i could be a part of it all!


a second chance

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we all deserve second chances, am i right?  after i had a less than gratifying visit to my favorite place, i found myself driving by there with no kids in tow, no appointments i had to be on time for and a relatively empty car in case i needed to haul something back home.  plus, their outdoor sidewalk junk collection looked rather enticing.  so in i went.

you ought to know, this place is really like a large hoarder’s den.  there is stuff packed to. the. gills.  i know that’s where you find the best (and least expensive) stuff, but holy moly.  it stresses me out to look at!  see?  i mean, i don’t even know what is in this picture.

when i first walked in, i saw this marble top table.  it’s so cute – very petite and would be so perfect alongside a nice chair, maybe with a painted base.  i would have taken it home but have nowhere to put it.

and you just plain won’t believe the price.  i have never.

i pressed on, and had the same feeling that i did last time…junk, junk and oh wow – some REAL junk over there.

but then i found it, peeking out from behind a dresser.

the perfect little rustic painting for rush’s room.  a real oil (i have art issues…real stuff only, prints or screened paintings need not apply), colors are perfect for his room and just the right amount of masculinity in the frame and subject.  he is only 2, but hey – everybody needs good art.

the tag read $18.50.  i could not believe my good fortune!  i took it to the counter and a nice older gentleman rang me up.  he told me my total was $17.66 with tax, and i felt bad, maybe he has poor eyesight and thought the “8” was a “6” – so i told him the correct price.  he said oh no, everything is always 10% off.  um….ok?!

hit or miss, like those places usually are…but i’ll be back, my favorite place.  would it kill you to tidy up a bit before my next visit though??

pink and green mums

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i think pink and green is having its heyday right now…spring has sprung, gardens are flush with pink hydrangeas and azaleas, and people have broken out the lilly pulitzer frocks.  the two colors are everywhere you look!  heck, even bubba watson wore pink and used his pink driver against the greens of augusta national…the combo has transcended even golf.  whodathunk?  by the way – did you all know that bubba watson attended the u. of georgia, my alma mater?  oh, you figured, from his name?  


backwoods name aside, i loved watching him win the green jacket last weekend.

moving right along – check out this set of notecards featuring a smattering of pink and green mums.  

i do adore a square card.  they cost a tad bit more to mail, but they’re just so cool!
available in the etsy shop, yo.
go get your spring on!

pretty swell parties

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i have to say, i just really love working with other small businesses.  it feels good to help someone who’s living out their dream…inspiring, you know?  that was definitely the case when working with melissa, who recently founded pretty swell parties.  now y’all, i have hosted a baby shower with this gal and let me tell you, she is good.  aside from being a magnificent baker that i can personally attest to (she makes her own quiche crust. ’nuff said.), she can really put together a fab soiree.  see for yourself!

baby showers…

birthday parties for little and big people…

to just plain fantastic table settings.

beautiful, no?

to capture her company’s fresh and modern spirit, we designed a brand spanking new logo.

and of course had to adorn business cards featuring the brand spanking new logo.

you can also check it out on pretty swell parties’ facebook page too.

pretty swell, indeed, if you ask me!


new invitation design

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does it seem like forever since i’ve done a post on … how you say … paper items … oh yeah, stationery??  supposedly what this whole blog is about.  and i tell you, i would change the masthead above…but i lost the design file in my computer crash and whenever i think about trying to figure out how many pixels long and high it’s supposed to be, i suddenly remember that i have bills that need to go out in the mail in five minutes.  or a load of laundry to fold.  so it stays.  but if i could alter it, i think i would change it to “musings on stationery, motherhood and making a house a home.”  wow, that looks a lot lamer on paper than it sounds in my head.  eh.  i’ll just leave it and apologize for all of the non-paper posts.

but – i actually have something paper-related to say!  there is a new design in the wheelhouse of calliespondence.

behold….CIRCLE.  i know.  the name is quite groundbreaking.

i love the turquoise and navy colorway, but can think of so many other combos that it would look ravishing in.

here’s another variation that i did recently for another baby shower.

it’s square!  and i also literally just snapped these pictures on my desk.  right now.  real time.

for sale via etsy shop here.  or of course you can always just email me to go the old fashioned route.

circle – welcome to the family.  we’re glad to have you!



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well, it’s already back and at ’em!  i feel like i was gone for a skinny minute.  we had fun though; savannah is just the most gorgeous town.  i forget that it’s so beautiful…and every time i’m there i wonder, why don’t i come here more often??  a mere four hour drive from atlanta, with so many shops and restaurants and nooks and crannies to explore.

we stayed at the bohemian, a very hip hotel downtown on the waterfront.

maybe even too hip for these parents of small children who don’t get out much.
the art all over the hotel was tres funky.
we had a great view of the water, as well as the shenanigans going down on river street (not shown to protect the innocent).  the hotel also boasts a wrap-around rooftop bar where we had a nightcap.  very cool!
after a delightful recommendation from a former bridal client and friend, we dined at circa 1875.  it was fantastic!!!
saturday after i dropped rbb off to play golf in hilton head, i met up with my college friend, jenny, and her adorable baby boy for lunch!!  i’ll have to show you his birth announcement soon :)
after lunch, i ducked into the paris market.  i had been before and remembered what a neat store it was – nothing’s changed.  still fab.
died over the sideboard.  parfait!  and almost walked away with the gold mirror on the table for my dining room, but it wasn’t beveled so i passed.
my favorite part of downtown savannah is really all the residences.  i walk by and wonder which one i would live in (after i inherited the millions of dollars it would take to purchase said residence, of course).
isn’t this gate cute?  i know it has to lead to the most darling courtyard.
i didn’t have as much time as i would’ve liked to shop and browse the real estate, because it was time to head on to the wedding in hilton head!
the house where the wedding was held was so pretty.  i am such a sucker for a grassy strip that goes between your wheels…does it have a real name??
the ceremony was behind the house, overlooking the marsh.  here’s the groom waiting on his beautiful bride.

i wish i had a good one of the bride – she looked so lovely. you never take enough pictures, you know??

i loved catching up with my friend lindsey, who recently moved away from atlanta.  come back!!  

it was a really fun weekend…but i sure am glad to be back with the kiddos.  missed those little suckers!  and i would have pictures from easter to show, but rinne tossed her most previous feeding all over herself, her sweet easter outfit, my arm and rbb’s sportcoat as we were walking into brunch.  sigh…  she spent all of easter in her bloomers and a bib, as an attempt at a little modesty.

next year i’ll plan two easter outfits for her :)



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see you guys next week – i’m off to savannah tonight (child free!!) for a getaway and then on to hilton head for a saturday wedding!

saturday during the day, rbb is playing golf…giving me the opportunity to have an important date with downtown, meandering around and looking at sights such as this…

and also have lunch with an old friend – yay!

wouldn’t this be the perfect outfit to wear whilst doing such a thing?

i’m going to go work on that.  
have great weekends and happy easter!!!!