Sayonara

Well, after trying to fit the blog into our new lives, schedules, and priorities, we’ve finally decided to put House of Colour aside indefinitely. It’s been great fun blogging, creating, and styling events together, and we hope to continue to be creative in our new seasons of life.

You never know, a few months or years from now, House of Colour could spring back into action in a whole new way, but for now, it’s time to end this chapter.

Thanks for being such great readers!

xo, R & S.

life : the secret to happiness

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Life just keeps changing here at House of Colour.

You may have noticed that we post less… a lot less. Both Rachel and I are in new seasons of life, and while we still love the blog and are going to keep it alive, it’s just not feasible to post as much as we used to. With Rachel’s new baby and my new job (woohoo!), we’ve put the business side of House of Colour aside indefinitely.

We still love styling for fun (hello, Easter soiree!), but it’s now more of a hobby and a yes-I’ll-help-my-friend-out basis. I just wanted to officially write that fact down and explain our absence.

All that said, I love having the blog as a creative outlet, even though I have a lot less time. And it motivates me to be more creative in my day-today life as I think up projects or recipes I want to try. So the blog lives on; our posts will just continue to be occasional.

Without further ado…

One reason I wrote the above preamble is to set the scene for a different kind of post. One that’s more personal.

When I think of my favorite blogs — DesignLoveFest, A Cup of Jo, Style by Emily Henderson — I realize that I love them for their mixture of great design/ideas + personal/real life shit.

So we’re introducing a new category to our blog: life. This is a place for us to think about our lives as they continue to change and connect with our readers on a more personal level.

Happy

A few weeks ago, Rachel and I were talking about happiness. How it seems so simple to us, yet so many people are so unhappy! Don’t get me wrong: we’ve both had it easy compared to people all over the world. But so have many of our friends.

We got to talking about being happy with what you have. It sounds so simple that you probably just skipped right over that sentence. But do you practice it? I mean, really practice it??

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When I first moved into my apartment, I thought it was so small & ugly. I’ve worked hard at it, trying to make the best of the place I have, and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else (even though it’s still small & ugly).

I’m not claiming to be great at it, but my definition of happiness has changed radically throughout the years. Through a lot of reflection, I’ve discovered many simple things that bring me great enjoyment in my life. My job is to 1) realize what these things are & 2) make an effort to be aware of/surround myself with these things.

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I’ve always loved the idea of being a florist. I’m not particularly great at arranging flowers, but I absolutely love them! Because of this, I’ve been trying to make flowers a regular fixture in my home.

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 poppies from my balcony garden, peonies & roses from my Gramma’s garden, mums from TJ’s

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 And even though I’m not great at arranging flowers, I’ve been trying to do more things that I’m NOT good at but that I enjoy! For Mother’s Day, I put together small bouquets made of mums & stock from TJ’s and tied with a silky pink ribbon.

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I had such a great time putting them together, and it reminded me how important it is to do things I don’t feel confident/competent in. Have I mentioned that I’ve been watercoloring lately?

So I challenge you to think about something simple that makes you happy, and just do it!

xo, S.

party : a colourful easter brunch & hunt

First of all, it’s been so long. I know, I know. And I know that both Rachel & I have been missing the blog – and hope to find more time to blog in the coming months! Between a new baby and a lot of work stress, House of Colour had to be set to the side… but just for a season!

I’m happy to break the silence today with a post about the Easter brunch & egg hunt that our mom hosted. Our cousin, Ali, stepped in to help with crafting, decor, florals, etc. She did such a wonderful job!

So without further ado…

This weekend, House of Colour + the incredible talents of our cousin Ali styled a colourful Easter brunch & egg hunt.

We used Paperless Post for our invitations – they have great & inexpensive designs for online invitations.

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The invitation inspired the colour scheme for the florals & all the party decor.We created a colourful pennant garland & archway to greet guests as they entered.

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The real show-stoppers were the floral arrangements. We used our family favorite, Lyal Nickals, to get cut flowers in our colour palate & arranged them in ribbon-wrapped glass vessels. We also scattered a few dyed eggs – what’s Easter without dyed eggs?

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You may have noticed those sweet little egg bouquets… we saw Fleuritica’s egg cup tutorial on Pinterest & loved the idea!

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Other decorative touches included LOTS of hanging honeycomb eggs,  paper-mache eggs, bunnies & carrots on stakes and more!

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Hope you enjoyed all the details!

xo, S.

party : low-key new year’s eve

I can hardly believe that 3 weeks into 2014, I am FINALLY posting about New Year’s Eve! Unfortunately, I got a nasty virus right after Christmas and am finally over it (okay, minus the annoying dry cough).

That said, I thought having a New Year’s Eve get-together at our place would be crazy – we’re talking a few hundred square feet to celebrate in! But I was determined to have a party.

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To keep it low-key, I did minimal decorating, invited a small group, provided a spiked punch and a few snacks and had people bring other bites & beverages if they wished. I’m so glad I planned it that way since I was pretty sick the day of the party!

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I did manage to sprinkle some gold star confetti around (which we’re still finding), make a “2014” out of tinsel garland, string up some white Christmas lights & buy horns, poppers and sparklers for everyone.

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We had a great time snacking, drinking Roland’s amazing Regents Punch, playing Jenga, shooting a Nerf gun, lighting sparklers and getting down to the likes of Junior Senior & Daft Punk (click the links to watch some hilarious, short videos on Instagram!).

If you have any hesitation about hosting a late-night fete in your small space, well – don’t! Ps, check out some of my other tips for entertaining in a small space.

Here’s to a happy (& healthy) 2014!

xo, S.

make : homemade felt stockings

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Since this is my first Christmas as a married lady, I had to make stockings for Roland & myself. Rachel and I got some lessons from our mom, and here are the results!

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Felt stocking are pretty simple and so fun to personalize. Here are the basic steps.

1. Cut out two pieces of red felt in the stocking shape, and two pieces of white felt for the rim. Make sure the white felt completely covers the edges of the red felt.

2. Embroider the name. We used a twisted chain stitch for this part. First we used a chalky pink pencil to lightly make guide lines, and then stitched away! This part took the longest.

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3. Next, we cut out felt shapes for the stocking and sewed them onto one of the red pieces of felt (under where the white rim would be) using a simple in-n-out stitch.

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4. Finally, we pinned the stockings together and sewed them up with a machine!

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I’m so excited to fill them with goodies!

Merry Christmas!

xo, S.

home & garden : bar cart styling (under construction)

I recently acquired this super-awesome vintage industrial bar cart from Rachel (who is making way for high chairs!). I’m pretty stoked about this buddy & have been collecting inspiration for how to style it.

Some of my favorite bloggers with their gorgeous bar setups:

Love the feminine details on this sweet bar cart from Camille Styles

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Designlovefest’s bar cart is bright & fun!

While not a bar cart, Coco + Kelley’s vibrant table hack is genius & so cute, too!

I’m just getting started playing around with mine — hence (under construction) in this post’s title! — but I’m already having lots of fun! I busted out my silver tea server (collected from various thrift stores) to get in the holiday entertaining mood.

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I’m excited about filling up the cart with our cocktail gear, recipe books, stripey straws maybe some fruit or flowers.

xo, S.

make: homemade twig wreath

First of all, HELLO!

We’ve been so absent in this season of life, but we have not forgotten you. I’m so happy to be posting again amidst all the Christmas craziness & my brand-new baby niece (that’s right – Rachel had her baby girl!).

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I’ve been wanting to make my own wreath for a while, and putting together this blog post for work just added more fuel to my fire. I had a lot of fun making my twig wreath, even if it’s *ahem* a beginner’s wreath.

No, seriously.

I started by buying 14 gauge wire at my local hardware store & gathering twigs up at Joaquin Miller Park. I wanted my wreath to be literally made in & from Oakland. Because I wanted a spare look, I made my own single-wire wreath form so I could easily conceal the form.

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For the base, I used floral wire to attach the first round of twigs. After that, I use wire for the next layer or so, then I switched over to hot glue. I also attached the pine cones from Michael’s with floral wire.

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Finally, I topped it with a navy ribbon for Thanksgiving time…

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and a white, red and green ribbon for Christmas!

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Please note: if you notice less sticks in the Christmas version, you’re not crazy. We had a huge windstorm, and the wreath underwent some serious damage!

Making a wreath was much easier than I expected, and I’m excited about getting better & making an even more ornate one.

xo, S.

eat & drink : homemade applesauce

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A few weekends ago, Roland & I went apple-picking in Sebastapol! It was a lot of fun, but after making an apple crisp, I still had a ton of fruit leftover, so I decided to make some applesauce.

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I did NOT expect the applesauce to be THIS amazing. Seriously, you have to try this! It’s so easy, and it tastes like apple pie!!!

I used this Ina Garten recipe, but I have no idea what kind of apples I used… I just threw a bunch in!

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What makes this recipe so divine (besides the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon) is the citrus zest – don’t skimp!

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Peeling the apples is the hardest part – once you have all the ingredients ready to go, you just bake it!

Ingredients
2 large navel oranges, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 to 8 apples)
3 pounds sweet red apples, such as Macoun, McIntosh, or Winesap (about 6 to 8 apples)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples (reserving the peel of 2 of the red apples) and toss them in the juice. Pour the apples, reserved apple peel, and juice into a nonreactive Dutch oven or enameled iron pot. Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and allspice and cover the pot. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until all the apples are soft. Remove and discard the red apple peel. Mix with a whisk until smooth, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Yum!

xo, S.

make : baby name board

Hi! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  James & I have been crazily running around doing things for baby, house, and life in general for the last few months!  Last weekend we had so much fun making a little something for Della’s room and I wanted to share how we did it here!

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Her nursery is loosely nautical themed (more photos to come later, don’t worry!) and I wanted to incorporate her name somehow, so I came up with the idea using rope and it was so simple to put together!  Here’s how we did it :

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We purchased a very smooth piece of plywood from Lowe’s and I mapped out generally how large the board would be.

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After making sure our lines were straight, we cut it to size using a scroll saw.  I learned a neat trick from James to use tape over your cut lines to make a clean cut.  Otherwise the plywood edges would be jagged and not look so nice!

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After the board was cut, we sanded the edges down so they were finished and smooth.  I forgot to take photos of the rope process because I was busy applying it!  We purchased the rope from Lowe’s and I used a hot glue gun to apply it.  It worked like a charm!

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James made a simple knot around the frame to tie up the loose ends.  I think it turned out nicely!

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Applying the rope was such a fun, easy DIY project that you could do to a myriad of things.  Stay tuned for more from Della’s room!

xo, R.

party : rachel’s pretty garden shower

Hello, dear readers! It’s been so long, I know, and I’m really excited to be posting again! Life has been busy, and one of the things we’ve been busy with is Rachel’s baby-to-be. This weekend, my family put on a gorgeous shower for Rachel and Baby Dell who we’re all so excited to meet!

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Rachel bought this awesome Rifle Paper Co. garland, and we used the floral color palette as our inspiration for the rest of the party!

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We made tissue paper flowers that we hung around the yard. Dahlias in glass vases complemented the flowers with bright pops of pink and white. We also used organza to dress up the food and gift tables – it was so easy and gorgeous!

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The food was awesome, thanks to my mom and aunt! We had tea sandwiches, mini quiches, caprese kabobs, cheese and olives and fruit. And for dessert, we had fruit tarts from La Farine! We didn’t get pictures since it was SO HOT (thank you, California), and we brought everything out at the last minute.

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Guests each had a champagne flute with their name on it for punch, bubbles or a mix of both!

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My mom set up a crafting table for guests to create a crepe paper bouquet to welcome Baby Dell! We also set up a photo display so people could guess which baby photo went with which guest.

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After an amazing afternoon of eating & drinking, laughing, crafting and opening gifts, we sent people home with favor bags of kettle corn.

It was such a sweet day celebrating Della Jane!

xo, S.