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Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 | 0 comments

Maria and John’s DIY Wedding

Maria and John’s DIY Wedding

As soon as Del Ray residents Maria and John closed on their 1798 Colonial home in New Hampshire, they knew it was the perfect place to host their wedding and reception last summer. A second marriage for both, the couple wanted a small, low-key DIY wedding in a place that was meaningful to them. They decided the nearly two-acre N.H. home served as the perfect location for the ceremony and cocktail hour, and the recently restored barn was ideal for dinner and dancing. Handmade signs directed guests to the wedding… …and the big tree out front was lit with votives in glass jars hung with colorful ribbon. Maria and John repurposed a farmhouse sink left by the previous owners as a place to cool drinks. They hung drink tags from a small metal ladder that was also left behind. In homage to the work they’re doing on the home, they fashioned the drink tags out of paint chips. For table names, they used places important to them, such as...

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Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 | 5 comments

Del Ray’s Christmas Card Lane

Del Ray’s Christmas Card Lane

There is no lack of creative holiday spirit in Del Ray, and one of my favorite displays has got to be the over-sized Christmas yard cards on Luray Ave. Whether you view them during the day or at night (each has its own spotlight), they are guaranteed to impress. The cards are the work of several neighbors, led by Becky VanZoeren, inspired by a 40+ year old tradition from Becky’s home town of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Becky’s dad would take her and her family to see the magnificent display of cards on the now famous Lauderdale Drive, appropriately nicknamed “Christmas Card Lane.” Since 1965, at least 40 houses on the street have decorated their yards with hand-painted plywood cards, lit up at night for people to enjoy. In 1969, the cards made the local news and today they have a Facebook page. Last year, while chatting with an old friend from Kalamazoo about the cards, Becky decided to bring the tradition to Del Ray. Becky and...

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Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 | 3 comments

Sara and Aaron’s Handmade Home Decor

Sara and Aaron’s Handmade Home Decor

While staying with my friends Sara and Aaron in Madison, WI, during the weekend I photographed their wedding, I marveled at all of the lovely handmade projects in their home. When I wrote about her DIY wedding decor, I mentioned this sweet cross-stitch that Sara’s sister made with a San Francisco setting that has meaning for the couple. Also upstairs, Sara and her mother hand-stitched an ocean scene on a white shower curtain for the kids’ bathroom. It really is fabulous and took a lot of time not only to design and cut out the fabric for the jellyfish, scuba divers, assorted tropical fish, and waves, but to blanket stitch each one into the scene. In Sara and Aaron’s kitchen, Sara’s mother also knit these darling laced curtains. This is not an easy pattern to follow, but Sara’s mother has the talent and patience it takes for challenging handiwork, which we know from the dozens of doilies she knitted for the reception tables for Sara and Aaron’s wedding (with her...

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 | 0 comments

Upcycling Holiday Cards into Luminaires

Upcycling Holiday Cards into Luminaires

On a recent visit to UpCycle Creative Reuse Center (UpCycle CRC), I noticed the boxes and boxes of used vintage and modern holiday cards and wondered how I could reuse them in my holiday decorating.  Then I remembered a project from the book Simply Green Giving, where you create luminaires with used cards. So I brought a big stack of cards home and started by sorting them into vertically formatted designs and into similar sizes. I had to trim mine a little. I also chose themes for each luminaire – birds for one, religious iconography for another, secular images for another… I then used a hole-punch to make holes along the sides of each card, about 1/4 inch apart. Next, I threaded some twine with an embroidery needle and started to sew the sides together. After the first try, I learned to thread loosely so that the sides could fold to form the standing square shape. I placed a battery-operated candle in each luminaire (for safety), which work perfectly to cast a glow...

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Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 | 3 comments

The Making of a Business: Acme Mid-Century + Modern

The Making of a Business: Acme Mid-Century + Modern

Not everyone has the opportunity to turn a hobby or passion into a career, but Pierre Paret has done just that. What started as a collection of mid-century modern furniture and accessories for his home is now a bricks and mortar shop in the heart of Old Town, Acme Mid-Century + Modern. The story of how Pierre got to this point dates back five years when he took a risk and decided to start selling pieces of his collection at a small dealer booth in the basement of Potomac West Antiques in Del Ray. He was making a decent amount of money at the beginning, but once he was given the chance to display his pieces in the front window, people really started to take notice and sales increased significantly. He was fortunate to secure a permanent spot in the window, plus space on the main floor and in the basement for his continually growing stock. When Potomac West moved down Route 1 and became Evolution Home, Pierre followed...

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