Tag Archives: new york

Merry Christmas and a happy New York!

Merry Christmas and a happy New York card

This has been our Christmas slogan since we found these Christmas cards a few years ago at a Barnes and Noble.  I’ve never sent out this card but I use its wording almost every year and by now I’m sure our friends and family know that I didn’t misuse “York” instead of “Year”.  I don’t quite think that any other state could be inserted – “happy New Jersey” um no, “happy New Mexico” no way!  Theres just something magical and memorable about New York at Christmas time, whether you have visited for the tree lighting, ball dropping, ice skating or just like to watch your favorite Christmas movie every year (Home Alone 2, Serendipity, Miracle on 34th St – pick one!), you know what I mean when I say “Merry Christmas and a happy New York”!

Macy seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall 2006

 
 

Rockefeller Center Tree 2006

 
 

Zuccotti Park 2007 (isnt it pretty with out the protesters?)

 

Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center 2007

 
 
 

Wall Street Stock Exchange 2008

 
 
 

Macy's Toyland 2008

 
 
Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Holiday

NYC Apartment Tour part 1

My posts have been a little SugarCoated heavy lately.  I cant let you all forget that Im an interior designer too!  While I dont plan on posting work from my professional portfolio on my blog , I do have my personal and freelance design projects that I am happy share.

Tonight I am attending a product launch party for Dwell Studio at the NYDC.  Being an interior designer in NYC has amazing benefits such as the social events the vendors sponsor.  Its market time here and many designers have to spend major bucks to be in town this week but its only a $5 train ride for me!  Dwell Studio has been part my personal design for many years, each year I watch as the company grows and reinvents themselves; always being a front-runner and trend setter instead of a follower.

Im so excited to attend the launch party and possible meet the founder Christiane Lemieux tonight that I thought it would be a good time to show some pictures of my own home.  You can see that I am often inspired by Dwell Studios modern and eclectic style. In this post you will see my Manhattan apartment in which we had a true “living room”, it is set up as a studio while our daughter enjoyed the one bedroom.  We lived in two different apartments at 71 Broadway and the location and building will always have a special place in our hearts.  It was when NYC was truly new and exciting for us.  We were semi-permenant tourists and we enjoyed both worlds as residents at play.  In my future NYC Apartment Tour posts I will show more of the amazing building we lived in, built in 1899 siting next to Trinity Church at Wall street.

71 Broadway Ny,Ny

Studio Living in the Finacial District

NYC Apartment with views of Trinity Church

Divided Eating Area in Studio Living

Trinity Church Dusted in Snow

Comments Off on NYC Apartment Tour part 1

Filed under NBID

The Initial Frame

 My sister has reprimanded me, she says that I have to do my postings more tutorial like.  Well I promise when I get to a new project that I will photograph it step by step.  But right now im still playing catch up with about 9 years worth of fabulous projects that Ive done!  I have always photographed the final results but never the process, this one is easy enough that I can recreate the process in a tutorial way without the step by step pictures. S0 Jes, this ones for YOU!

Macy and Hudson's Initial Frames

Initial frames! This is a very old project of mine, but it still proudly hangs in my childrens’ room and in the rooms of the loved ones Ive created one for.   It is a very simple and inexpensive project, I once made about 10 at one time as Christmas gifts for all the children in our family and in Macy’s playgroup.

Initial Frames for Macy's Playgroup

Supplies for this project:

  • a wooden 8×10 frame – cheap,  from anywhere like a craft store or ikea
  • acrylic paints – super cheap again, a $1 bottle is enough
  • a wooden letter – there’s a trend here… cheap from a craft store
  • fabric scrap at least 10×12 – free! if you are a crafter that has it lying around
  • a 1/2 yard of ribbon or twine – again you know you have some somewhere
  • a slightly smaller than 8×10 cut of mat board – in the framers aisle at craft store
  • hot glue gun – the classic
  • staple gun – you can do it without this, but if you dont want the letter to fall off and hit the baby in the head then  barrow one.

First step is to remove the glass from the frame but save the backboard as you still want that so that it looks nice and finished when its done.

Next paint the letter and wooden frame.  Just like any project with wood you might decide that it needs a little sanding prep before the paint.  Use your discretion.  Acrylic paint dries in a matte or chalky finish.  If you dont like that you can use a spray gloss sealant to give it a sheen.  But be cautious:  some of the glosses will turn the paint a yellowish color.  I had a pink letter turn an unusable color.  So I play it safe and just leave it like it is.  Or you can buy higher quality paint that has a gloss finish already.

Hudson's Initial Frame

While your paint is drying you can begin the fabric covered mat board.  Make sure the board is slightly less that 8×10 because the fabric will need space to live tucked in the frame too.  Wrap the fabric onto the mat board and hot glue the long and short sides.  Leave the corners for last and either fold down one side then the other or make a pinched triangle like miter cut and glue down with lots of hot glue.  The fabric covered board should fit snuggly into the frame the same way the glass did before you removed it.

Cowboy Initial Frame

Next position the letter in the center of the board with hot glue.  ***And here’s where Im making the safety disclosure** Hot glue is temperamental.  Its not really a glue right, its plastic and when its cold it lets go of what it should be holding onto.  In my practice with these initial frames I found a super easy way to make sure the letter doesnt pop off no matter what type of fabric you have tried to adhere it to.  After you have the letter glued into place, turn the board over and fire a few staple gun staples through the back of the mat board, into the back of the wooden letter!  Yes, its that easy.  Now the letter isnt going anywhere.  Put the board back in the frame, put the backboard of the frame back on and fasten it closed.

Macy's Initial Frame

You may have a frame that came with an easel back or no easel and a saw tooth hanger.  You can still hang this initial frame on the wall regardless of its backboard type.  Staple your ribbon or twine to the back to use as a hanger.  If you borrowed a staple gun, you might realize by now that its a really good tool to have and they are not expensive so grab one on your next trip to Lowe’s. Just remember to keep in out of reach and locked away from little hands, I even keep ours unloaded.

3 Comments

Filed under Baby + Child, Paper + Fabric

Under the Sea Birthday Party Invites + Mermaid Barbie Cakes

For my daughters 5th birthday the theme was Under the Sea.  I am only sharing the invitation and cakes from the party, but this was a fantastic pool party and a success with my daughter who is my biggest fan and littlest critic!

Under the Sea Invite Shaker

This party’s invtation is a very unique “shaker” card that we really sent through the mail.  As you can see from the profile shot above it is a thick card that required extra postage but arrived to our guests fine.  I believe I did write “hand cancel” on the envelopes to help them receive some TLC at the post office but who knows if that really helped!  These cards where on the complex side to create but they were worth it and were an impressive surprise for our guests to receive.  Heres how they came together:

Supplies:

  • 1/4 thin foam core board
  • colored scrapbook paper
  • transparency film
  • confetti
  • glue stick
  • xacto and cutting mat

To assemble:

The informational side of the card was designed and printed as a 5×5 square.  5″ squares were also cut out of the foam core, transparency film and unprinted scrapbook paper.  A center circle (a square would work too) was cut from the foam core and scrabookpaper.  And then it was like a sandwich, stacked up with the info face down glued to the foamcore, confetti sprinkled inside, transparency film to seal it and the scrapbook paper to cover and complete it.  Being our theme was Under the Sea, this was meant to look like a fish bowl but it could be reinterpreted for any theme.

Under the Sea Mermaid Kelly Doll cake

Under the Sea Cupcakes

I have mentioned before that my spoiled little mice get more than one cake for their birthdays because there are usually separate days of celebrating.  Macy had two parties her 5th year with this theme, one at school and one with family and friends. On her actual birthday she enjoyed Under the Sea character cupcakes at school and a Mermaid Kelly Doll cake at home with us.  This was my first Barbie type cake.  Little Kelly was easy to turn into a mermaid by simply covering her legs with individual scales made out of fondant, all her Sea friends were fondant also.  These characters were on the simple side of creation, by todays standards it takes much more complex cupcake toppers to impress.  (You can see some of my current cupcake work in my Yo Gabba Gabba cupcake masterpieces here)

Under the Sea Mermaid Barbie cake

There is an interesting story behind the real Under the Sea party that year.  It was one of a few times that we decided to return back home to Tennessee to celebrate with family and friends.  Flight delays and ultimately a flight cancellation nearly kept us from getting to TN.  When we did get there it was just a few hours before the party and without our luggage full of party supplies.  To save this party I picked up two pre-made cakes from a big box store, I think they were the Carebear cloud designs but they worked as ocean too.  I grabbed a new Barbie and some fondant and within an hour the cake was complete!   I hope that my emergency cake experience for this party can one day help someone else out if they are in a pinch to produce a custom cake.  Dont panic, just add to a ready made and no one will be able to  tell that it is a impromptu design!

8 Comments

Filed under Baby + Child, Celebrations, Paper + Fabric, SugarCoated

Hawaiian Birthday Party

Aloha Macy!

Its HOT!  Its summer here in the city and as we begin planning Macy’s 9th birthday party I thought it would be a great time to post her 8th birthday party, Aloha! A Luau Pool Party.  I bet there is alot of people planing a luau party this time of year, its the perfect summer theme and I hope you find ours inspiring!  We had her party at our community pool and it was a such beautiful venue that it didnt take much to decorate.

Macy's 8th Birthday Celebration

Hawaiian Party Table

There are a few consistent elements in Macy’s birthday parties, I always make the cake and the invitations are handmade.  This year was no exception,  hand cut hibiscus flowers were the front of the invites and the party info was on a medallion on the back. In her earlier years, our parties included a lot of  friends and family & I had to make about 5o invites.  But now that she’s older and we dont live near friends and family anymore her party guests are school friends and total less than 20 guests.  This years cake was a Hula Girl Barbie and she was so easy to make!  (I’ll talk more on her in a future SugarCoated post)

Luau Party Invataion

Hula Girl Barbie Cake

When it comes to buying party supplies, there are a lot of Luau and Hawaiian themes to choose from.  I tried to keep ours simple and I was very careful to not go overboard or cheesy. Lots of color is a given when you are do a luau, but since this was a girl’s party it was easy to add in more pink and orange to give it a focus. A few plain white tablecloths were a great investment I made a few years back and this was another party that I was glad we were able to use them.  The grass table skirt was safety pined to it and because it was cloth I didnt have to worry about the weight of it tearing a plastic tablecloth.  The party and favors included a lei and hibiscus hair clip and a flower printed tote to stuff with candy & treats from the pull string (the only kind I do) pink flamingo pinata. Cool treats like fresh fruit served in a half pineapple and Hawaiian Punch in a coconut shell cup was all that was needed to entertain these girls.  I could hardly keep them at the table long enough to even sing happy birthday, because they were very anxious to get in the pool and just have fun.

7 Comments

Filed under Baby + Child, Celebrations

Hudson’s Elmo Cake

Elmo First Birthday Cake

I have such spoiled little mice!  They often get two fabulous birthday cakes each year.  Its because their birthday parties and their actually birthday don’t always fall on the same day.  If this happens, we still celebrate on their birthday even if it’s just for us.

Elmo First Birthday Cake

 

The day Hudson turned one we celebrated his birthday at home, just us, his big birthday party  with friends and family happened a few weeks later ( and 900 miles away ) and it was an entirely different theme, “Arctic ONEderland”.    Hudson loves Elmo and I wanted to make him happy for his first cake.  Elmo’s fur was easy to create by piping out a thinned squiggly line of icing in a furry pattern.  But before I got going with that I had to make a few pieces of his face in fondant.  It was super important to me to get the shape of his eyes and nose perfect or he would look like a knock-off.  I often shy away from doing well known characters if I don’t think I can make them exact.  What made this Elmo more special was the 3D feeling of his eyes and nose coming forward and his mouth beneath the fur piping.  As I’ve said before when I do cakes that are just for us at home I usually do some experimenting. Sometimes I like to color my cakes as a surprise when they are cut & served. (you can see my white snow flake cake in red velvet in a future post)  I used a white cake mix and mixed a few of my blue gels to see if I could get an exact shade of blue that I use in his room.  It worked perfectly, but Hudson wasnt worried about it either way.  He was very excited to dig his hands in that yummy Elmo, no matter the color inside.

Inside the Elmo Cake

Comments Off on Hudson’s Elmo Cake

Filed under Baby + Child, SugarCoated

Gallery Walls

Doing gallery walls are like working a puzzle to me.  It’s very satisfying when the pieces fit together just right, with a balance of scale and an aesthetic relationship. I have a huge assortment of tear sheets and photographs of gallery walls.  Retail stores and hotels are great resources to find them.  I often look to them for ideas but mine never end up exactly like what I’ve seen.  Thats what makes them an inspiration, they just get my creative juices going!  With several moves in the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to do several gallery walls.  Sometimes when I do one, it begins as a starting point that I know I will be adding to or swapping out pieces later.  Other times I put it together with no intentions to make any changes.   

Macy's Manhattan bedroom gallery wall

 
 

NC children's bedroom gallery wall

 
Nikki Berry Nikkiikkin

Bklyn childrens room grouping

 
My first wall was Macy’s bedroom in Manhattan. We had 13 foot ceiling, so I had a huge space to work with.  Luckily I had enough floor space too because I laid all the frames out on the floor and moved them around until it was right before I attempted to put any on the wall.  This was the same technique I used for Macy and Hudson’s combined wall in NC and Brooklyn.  Our Brooklyn apartment also has 13 foot ceilings and the children’s room has two full walls of windows, so it was hard to find a good space for a gallery wall.  I ended up disbursing most of what we previously used to other areas and putting a small grouping over the closet doors.
 
Nikki Berry Nikkiikkin

Bklyn living room grouping

  In our Brooklyn living room I was unsure of what art or pictures I wanted to use on a huge 12 foot wide x 12 foot tall wall.  This ended up with me procrastinating for a few months until I broke down, photographed all the pieces and the wall, put them in Photoshop and worked and edited the space just as I would have (and have done) for an interior design client.  This was just the way to do it and it made complete sense to me. But it had my husband and friends rolling with laughter that I would go to this length and put so much effort into it.   My effort will pay off again because on this wall I already have two large portraits to add,  so it will be tweaked in few months and I plan on doing it using Photoshop again!  It is my intentions that this wall will always be changing and growing as we wish to start collecting local art.

Bklyn bedroom grouping

For the next gallery wall in our Brooklyn bedroom, I told my husband that I didn’t want anything to do with it, that he should take a stab at it  as punishment for laughing at me!  And he did, but the way a man would.  He just started nailing and hanging it all up without a plan.  Of course he showed me up because it worked perfectly and it looks just a good as mine with a lot less fretting.   
 
 

 

Comments Off on Gallery Walls

Filed under NBID

My Mice

Easter 2011

Bklyn GirlIn Dumbo

 
 

Although she looks like a City Girl, Macy is my Country Mouse.  She loves nature and animals.  Give her a stick and she’s happy.  She tells us that she will move back to the country when she grows up but right now she appreciates the culture and beat of the city.  While we were away, it was her asking, “where’s the dinosaur museum?’ and to do other activities that only exist in NYC that made us realize that if she missed it too then it’s where we belonged.

Hudson @ 12 months
Blue Eyes
Hudson & Jack Skellington

Hudson is my City Mousebut he doesn’t really know the difference yet.  Because he never lived in Tennessee he only has us to introduce him to country life on our visits back home. He was named for the river becasue we could see it from our rooftop when we were expecting him.  He also loves the beat of the city, he will grab his coat and climb up in his stroller to ask me to go for a walk or to our courtyard.  He constantly carries around his bouncy ball and is just as full of energy just as Macy.

1 Comment

Filed under City Mouse + Country Mouse