Archive for June, 2011

Red, White and Blue Series – Michaela from Michaela Noelle Designs

Readers, please welcome Michaela from Michaela Noelle Designs.  She is studying interior design and has an awesome blog where she talks about design, cooking, gift ideas and fashion.  I asked her to share her family traditions and personal ways she celebrates the 4th of July.  Take it away, Michaela.

Hello to all of Kristy’s readers! Isn’t she awesome?! She had me at her pretty painted chair.

I’m Michaela and blog over at Michaela Noelle Designs. I’m an interior design major and I’m enamored with all things design, beautiful, chic, and thoughtful. Little details of parties and interiors always take the cake, in my opinion.

Today I’m here sharing a few easy little party ideas for your 4th of July weekend!  My family and I always indulge in a cake that looks like the American Flag. It’s easy and a fun way to carry out the red white and blue theme. Oh- and it’s delicious, too!

Here are some inspiration cakes.


Here’s our cake from last year.

Looking back, I think it could have used a few more strawberries! Ha (: They’re the best part, anyways!

Another thing I think is fun is making your own flower centerpiece. Here’s one version:


I tried it the other day and it was super easy. To be honest, I totally felt like a florist. It was fun (:

Here’s what you do:

Buy a few bouquets of flowers and a few blocks of floral foam. Cut your floral foam into any shape you want.


Soak it in water for about 30 seconds, or for however long it takes to fully emerge in water.


Start by clipping your flowers very short stems.


Then start filling in the sides.


I decided to do a little of each: red, white & blue. I thought it’d turn out more in the shape of a star, but it didn’t. I happen to love the shape it came out in, though…almost a better rounded shape than the floral foam I cut in a circle. Go figure! Here’s my finished centerpiece.


A fun little craft for your 4th of July table!

Here’s to wishing everyone a wonderful 4th of July, celebrating our country with family, friends & fireworks!

Thanks for having me, Kristy! Xoxo Michaela

Thank you for sharing with us, Michaela!  Great project ideas.  I hope this is getting everyone in the mood and prepared.


Red, White and Blue Series–Stephanie from Cre8tive Designs Inc

Readers, please welcome Stephanie from Creative Designs Inc.  She has a degree in Interior Design, but started on her own home as many do.  In fact, she has an incredible story of how her first home that she worked hard designing burned to the ground. She had to start completely over.  I discovered her blog fairly recently, but loved it from the start.  It was so obvious that she he has beautiful attention to detail and a fantastic talent for photos.  Let’s find out what she thinks are staples for entertaining this time of year.  Take it away, Stephanie.

Thank you Kristy for including me in your Red, White and Blue series.  I love this idea and am so thrilled to be a guest here on your blog.

I love to decorate for parties, almost as much as I love to do interior design.  To me it is like decorating a room, but for just one day.  So when Kristy asked me if I would like to share my decorating tips I jumped on it!

What I love about the 4th of July, besides being all about USA and our independence, are the colors red and white {sorry blue}.   These two colors are a staple for me when I  decorate for holidays.  I invested in red dishes, simple white dishes, table cloths, platters, bowls, and accessories all in these two colors.   Just to clarify the “invested” part, we are talking Target, PierOne and World Market, nothing fancy.  I use them for Christmas, Valentines Day, Memorial day, and the 4th of July.  The white comes in handy for Easter as well.  When these holidays come around,  it so easy and quick for me to pull a party together having my stash at hand.

Using some of my staple items, here is how I set up my table for the 4th of July.  To get the red white and blue place setting, I used my red plates I got from Target 3 years ago, and added small salad white plates that I have also had for years.

The other staple I like to use are wicker chargers.  These are great for any holiday or even every day settings.  White, red or clear glassware is another love of mine that I keep in my stash.  I got these old fashion goblets at World Market, I love the pattern on them.

I fan folded the blue napkins and tied a piece of twine in the middle to give it a “bunting” look.

The blue tablecloth is a 60″ round polyester table cloth I got from HomeGoods for $9.99   I cut a hole in the middle for the umbrella.  I used fabric fray for the edges, no sewing required, yahoo!  Just throw it in the washer when the party is over and it is ready for reuse next year.

Everyday silverware purchased again, at World Market wrapped with some ribbon and set inside the little milk type jugs.

It is hard to decorate around an umbrella pole, I find it is best to use a grouping of 3 vases.   I inserted the fun festive tooth pick toppers from PierOne for more color and pizazz.

Last year for the 4th, I used fresh red roses from Costco, and added some flags I got from the dollar store.

I also have used clear Walmart mason jars that I added blue food coloring to the water and fresh carnations.

To dress up the outside of the umbrella, I cheated and used already made flag pennant banner from World Market.  They were only $6.99 each for a 5 foot length.  I knew I wouldn’t have time to make my own {which are so easy to make by the way}  so I caved and bought them.  To me it was worth it, and I can use them year after year.

I felt a little guilty that they weren’t handmade, so I added red dot and blue ribbon strips in between the flag pennants to dress it up.

I am fortune to have a spectacular view as a backdrop and large entertaining area in my backyard , so I keep my table settings low for the guest to enjoy the view.

I am having about 15 guests for the 4th of July, so I will be setting more place settings on other tables.  By having a good stock of the red and white dishes, and other decor items, I don’t have to worry about not having enough if more guests should arrive.  And the great thing is, they won’t sit in my cupboard until the next 4th of July, because I will be using them again before I know it, Christmas! Thanks for having me Kristy!

Thank you so much for sharing with us.  Your home is gorgeous.  I love that view!  This definitely helped with where to start and what to have on hand.  Well done!


Red, White and Blue Series – Brittany from Swirls of Happy

To start this series, which will run daily for a few days, I introduce to you Brittany from Swirls of Happy.  She has an adorable blog that you must check out.  She is beautiful, has amazing fashion sense and great design ability.  I noticed long ago that she had a knack for planning parties.  I asked her to share ideas for 4th of July parties.  Take it away, Brittany.

Hello Hyphen Interior readers!  Brittany from Swirls of Happy here today guest posting for Kristy.  I am so excited to be a guest blogger on Hyphen Interiors, because it is one of my favorite blogs.  Kristy has so much talent and is beyond sweet….basically, she totally rocks!

Anyhoo, lets get this party started (literally, I am posting about 4th of July party ideas) with some Red, White, Blue…and a Bang! There are few Holiday’s that get me amped up like the 4th of July does.  What is better than a Summer holiday filled with good eats, family and friends, a love of our country, and some killer fireworks to top it off?!  What makes this holiday even better…celebrating our Independence and great nation in superb style! Here is some inspiration to get your “hostess with the mostess” and “Mrs. Independence” mojo going… for a seriously chic, fabulous, and patriotic celebration.  Happy Independence Day everyone!

* I love this tie-dye Patriotic bunting project, fun for the whole family to make!


* Make these festive bike streamers with your kids or for yourself (I know I would love to ride around with these on my beach cruiser)!


* How delicious do these pretzels look?!  Yum!

Just dip pretzel sticks in melted chocolate, cover with desired sprinkles and then let them set.  Easy and adorable!

* Perfect for the little kiddos at the party!  Love this simple {and sweet} party favor. Simply buy Ring Pop candy, and attach little handmade tags with this patriotic message.  Adorn tags with tiny stars, glitter, etc.  Voila! P.S  These would also make cute name settings for a table.


* How about little bags of DIY smore kits for your guest…Yes please! Put a mini Hershey bar, two jumbo Marshmallows, and two graham crackers in a snack sized Ziploc bag.  Cover the seal of the bag with a handmade label off your computer or with scrapbook supplies.
* I love these fabulous paper straws!  I think these would look just lovely on a table next to some classic root beer bottles!  Find these here.
* So easy to make, and a sure hit at the party. These Cupcake ice cream comes are as cute as they are delicious!  Make cupcakes as you normally would, then put the baked cupcake in an ice cream cone.  Add frosting and adorn with star sprinkles (or whatever other sprinkles) you want.  The trick is making sure you make the frosting look like ice cream (i.e. the picture)!  Yum.

* Find tea light lanterns like these at Ikea for cheap!  Hang with pretty ribbon for an easy, chic display over your treat table!  A White table cloth and patriotic bunting finish the table off! Make your own bunting with scrapbook paper and coordinating ribbon, or find adorable ones already made here.

* I love these little stars adorned on the paper straws! A simple detail that makes a big statement. Use Die-cute Stars (found at Michaels Craft store), or cut your own, and then punch a circle in the middle and place over straw.

* Make pinwheels for the kids and place them in a large galvanized tub as decoration at the party (and to make it easy for the kids to grab one).  Or let the kids make their own at a craft table at the party (just be sure to supervise)!

* Ice Cream Sandwiches are a must at any 4th of July BBQ!  Take them up a notch by placing sprinkles on the ice cream part and putting them in cute muffin liners.  Presentation at it’s finest.
* What says All-American better than a Hot Dog Bar?!  Hello cute!
* Make personalized labels for your “All American BBQ” on your computer and secure to water bottles, glass soda bottles, Root beer, etc with hot glue. It’s little details like this that get you the “Mrs. Independence” party planner of the year award!
* For a fabulous party favor, make your own firework display by handing out sparklers wrapped in cute handmade packaging.  Make coordinating labels for mini box matches that say “Light it Up” (see right of photo).  LOVE THIS!
Thank you so much for all of the awesome ideas!  I know I am not the best at planning for things that only last a few hours and need a little extra motivation!  I appreciate you sharing one of your personal interests with all of us.


Introducing Red, White and Blue the Series

First, a little business – just wanted to let you all know that I added a “Tour” page at the top as a menu link.  It will hold the rooms in my home that I have revealed to my readers so far.  Others are “finished,” but have not been discussed while many others are still a blank canvas.   I’ll slowly add to this as I share more and do more.


July 4th!  What a fun holiday and a great opportunity to celebrate our country with family and friends.   It’s just around the corner.  Are you starting to think through hosting a party at your place?


{Just a random photo.  I thought she was super cute and loved the styling.}

I will be asking a series of bloggers to guest post on my blog this week.  The series will be called “Red, White and Blue” and will cover ideas and tips for Fourth of July parties!  I know I love going to parties, but I fall short when decorating for them.  I just have a hard time with the amount of thought and planning that goes into an event that lasts just a few hours.   This series should make it less painful and easier so you can just enjoy the party itself.  Get ready to glean ideas and inspiration from these bloggers this week!

By the way, you may remember that I mentioned being distracted with my husband’s job search a couple of weeks ago.  The update on that is that he accepted a long term contract just this week.  Yay!   The company is headquartered in TX.  He will be working remotely from Phoenix for at least a year.  We *could* have a move after that, but nothing is in stone yet.  The VP just said that would likely be on his agenda in the future – getting us to relocate so Chris is able to come into the office more often.

We are excited as it’s an excellent opportunity!  We’ll see what God has in mind as far as if we stay put or end up moving.  We’re trying to keep an open mind.


Studio/ Craft Room Reveal!


And in case it’s hard to remember what it looked like when I started, here it is before.

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More after photos are below.  The transformation included a few diy projects.  For instance, I made drop cloth curtains, divided a pillow in half, made art (on top of the book shelf), printable art, made coasters, made flowers for magnets, made magnet boards, painted a letter “K” to look metal, painted a peg board and painted upholstery on a second chair.




I painted the art on the bookshelf to mimic the chevron pattern in the rug.


Below are flowers that act as magnets for the two metal magnet boards that flank the subway art.  I made the two rolled ones and the two fluffy ones.


And, paint chips hung on the peg board serve as a backdrop for vintage keys. These were gifted to me from Emily at Ashbury Lane.  She is having a 25% off sale right now.  Be sure to visit her Etsy shop.

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Printable art that I made meets you at the entrance and sets the tone of the room.

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Hope you enjoyed the reveal!  I’ve enjoyed working in the room already.


Update 8/27/11:  For a tour of other rooms, see the Home Tour page.

Like Versus Love – Jessica from House Sweet Home

I meet the coolest readers and many time check out their blogs and end up checking back regularly.  Jess’ blog is one of those.  She is such a sweetheart.  This past week, when checking her blog, I read a fabulous post and asked her to share it with all of my readers.  It’s such a good lesson that I believe so much in.   I appreciated that she had actual photos and proof to illustrate her point, so it’s not just words.  Take it away Jess!


Hi everyone! My name is Jess(ica) and I write at House Sweet Home, a blog about turning my house into a home, and all of the details along the way. I am a fairly new blogger, only blogging for about three and a half months now. I am so amazed with this wonderful world. One of the first blogs I started following and reading daily was Kristy’s blog- which had me at hello (aka her gorgeous painted chair!). To say that I am so thrilled and honored to be guest posting at her blog is a HUGE understatement! Thank you Kristy! I hope you enjoy my post on something I have just re-learned, Selective Decorating.

“Selective Decorating
This post is a result of a wonderful epiphany I had recently about selection decorating. That’s a term I coined recently.  Allow me to define it for you:

Selective Decorating: a term used to describe home styling, in a choosy manner.

Meaning Decoded: Only style your home with items you truly love.


Yes, this seems like a fairly simple concept. But allow me to go into further detail. I personally need to remember this. I have a problem with purchasing or making things that I am only satisfied with, instead of only choosing to decorate with items I am truly in love with.

Keep in mind- this is not a reflection of being thrifty and only using what you have on hand. This is a reminder that we should not go out of our way to purchase new (or used) items simply to fill up a space.

Lesson 1:
I purchased 9 small pillows from Ikea, because they were only $1.99 each. Now, they were NOT in my color scheme, but I reasoned, with the price, they were GOOD ENOUGH.


They are small 12″ pillows- and really not right for my home. The reason I bought 9-6 for my dining room chairs and 3 for my living room. So- that is $17.91 plus tax- equaling approximately $19.39.


The purpose of me telling you this? Because now I have 9 pillows that I really don’t care for. The color isn’t right for my home, the size is all off, and I still want different pillows. Yes, I can probably repurpose them in many ways, but what I really should have done is not purchase them in the first place. And you may ask, why haven’t I returned them? Because they have been living satisfactorily in my home for some time now, and have puppy hair and everything else all over them.

Lesson 2:
Recently, I was at one of my favorite stores ever, Hobby Lobby. I only went there to purchase yarn and jute for my yarn ball garlands, but at Hobby Lobby, it’s hard to only go for one thing. I walked around the entire store, just looking, and fell. in. LOVE. with this pillow:



Now, this gorgeous teal satin tufted pillow was $19.99. Plus, it was half off, making it $9.99. MEANING, I could have spent $7.92 LESS than those silly Ikea pillows I didn’t even want.

Bottom line, I REALLY LOVE my new pillow. It is EXACTLY the style I love and want in my home. When I was younger, my parents would always tell me “Patience is a virtue.”

Now patience is not only a virtue in life, but in home design as well. It is much better to simply wait for something you really love, instead of simply purchasing or making something that will just do.

Case in point.

Simply Making Do:


Something I Love:


I hope these lessons help you as much as they have helped me!

Thank you so much for sharing today, Jess!   This is such a valuable lesson.  I am so often tempted to buy what is on sale simply because it’s on sale or to make something work when it’s not ideal.  Patience is not a strong suit of mine.  So, I remind myself of this concept often.  Well put.


Just A Hint

I am working on wrapping things in the studio (craft room) up.

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What I’ve Been Working On

I’ve been working on my Photoshop class reading and assignments.  For one of our assignments we were given an old photo to restore and in that process, we had to remove a cigarette from a guy’s mouth.  Here is how mine turned out.


And, here is the image we were given to restore.


Not too bad!   Please note that they are stretched out to about twice their original size.  So, they may be a tad distorted.

Wish I had actual old family photos to restore.   That’d be fun!  On to the next assignment.

Have you restored any photos?