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Wood Planks, Toilets and Mantles, Oh My.

June 3, 2012

I mentioned in my Modern Americana post a couple of weeks ago that I had started shopping for supplies to create the artwork inspired by this mood board. My first stop was Building REsources kind of out between Bayview and Dogpatch. Their giant lot is filled with recycled, and reusable building materials – it appears most of the stuff has come from typical SF gut remodels. What you’ll find here is always a gamble since it’s completely reliant upon donations from builders and people renovating their homes.

You’ll find everything from bathroom sinks…

to avocado toilets…

ancient chests of drawers…

and old mantles.

Most importantly, this is perfect place to find some reclaimed wood floorboards.

I found exactly what I was looking for – a nice wide plank with a thin depth, in decent condition but still a bit weathered. There was just enough for what I needed and best of all it was a gorgeous California redwood. I’ll strip away most of the white and green paint and get my boards into a decent condition before building my “canvases” for the project. I was definitely worried about finding the right wood for the project, so I was thrilled to find these boards on our first stop.

I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but finding the perfect raw materials for the project felt like a huge step forward!

Love Project Nursery!

June 1, 2012

I love the website Project Nursery for a million reasons. They’re such an amazing resource for all things nursery and party design, plus they’ve built up an amazing community of people who support each other’s design and creative efforts! I’ve been reading the blog for years now – starting before I was pregnant with my son and have always been so impressed with their content. I’ve loved watching the site grow to be what it is today.

I finally upload my first project to the Project Gallery, and the editors chose it as one of the best of the week! I feel so honored to have been included with three other adorable nurseries and parties in their Favorites of the Week that I just wanted to share it here.

If you have a minute, click on my project page HERE and “like” it. Hopefully the Sassy Southern Baby Shower for sweet Ruby will be a fan favorite!

Sassy Southern Baby Shower.

May 28, 2012

Here’s what I’ll admit: I haven’t spent much time in the South. Sure, I spent a day in Charleston, experienced one amazing Fourth of July in Irvington, VA, and had a business meeting once in Atlanta – but beyond that, I haven’t done any real time in the real South. Nope, not even Austin. So when I got together with a few girlfriends to plan a baby shower for our friend and mama-to-be with Oklahoma roots, the suggestion of doing a Southern-themed shower came up and we thought it would be completely perfect for the guests of honor. The four co-hostesses brainstormed ideas for food, decorations and activities one evening over snacks and drinks. And while I’m certain the Southern theme could have taken a lot of directions, the one we went was absolutely delicious.

We relied heavily on the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook to create the most authentic and tasty Southern menu around. Pimento cheese dip, deviled eggs, cucumber tea sandwiches, pulled pork sliders, three different pies, red velvet cupcakes and a variety of other treats filled the tables and the guests’ bellies.

The mint juleps were a hit, and the teetotalers in the group imbibed in lemonade infused with strawberry, mint or ginger syrup.

We kept the decorations simple, choosing a cheerful color palette of bright yellow, fuchsia, baby pink and gray. A handmade fabric scrap bunting adorned the fireplace, tissue paper pom poms crowned the dessert table and balloons were scattered throughout the party space. The home was already filled with amazing mid-century furniture and exceptionally cool creative touches and art, so the decorations didn’t need to do much work to make the space feel festive.

It was a co-ed shower, so we didn’t play any of the usual baby shower games, but the hosts did want to leave our dear mama-to-be with some memories of the party and a few useful items as well. After coming across this blog post, we knew creating cute onesies for sweet baby Ruby would be the perfect activity.

I was in charge of the “onesie station,” so I cut out some standard shapes, drew out a few design ideas and had handful of larger scrap pieces available for folks to create their own unique designs. After finding some washable fabric glue and picking up some rick rack (that wavy, ribbon-y trim) and buttons to use while decorating the onesies, the ladies at the shower got creative.

The finished onesies turned out to be completely adorable and every one was unique! We even had a few different sizes so baby Ruby will be fashionably outfitted until she’s at least a year old.

Everyone seemed to have a great time at the shower – even the men who spent much of the time in the backyard playing cornhole – and each guest was sent home with an adorable baggie filled with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

We can’t wait to welcome baby Ruby into our San Francisco family!

UPDATE 6/1/12: The part was featured in Project Nursery’s Favorites for the week! Click here to check out the blog entry.

{Photos 1/2, 3/4, 5, 6/7, 9/10, 11, 18: Jennifer Paschal Gottlieb of Bruce Forrester Photography. Remaining photos: Senn & Sons.}

New Work: Fire Engine.

May 22, 2012

Who doesn’t know a little boy OBSESSED with fire trucks? Well, this set of paintings was done for a little man about the same age as my son who is completely enamored by them. He has an entire bedroom with a fire engine theme – cherry red walls, fire engine bedding, a fire house bookshelf and bright primary colors everywhere.

Let’s hope this sweet little Minnesotan enjoys his new artwork as much as I enjoyed painting it for him.

Modern Americana.

May 20, 2012

There are some projects that arrive in my inbox and as soon as I start to work on them, I feel a little intimidated. At that moment, I know I need to step back, take a break and reevaluate how I should approach it. The “Modern Americana” project is the perfect example of this, and I couldn’t be MORE excited to be working on it. I had to break my patterns and think about things in a completely new way, and in the end, I’m pretty sure it is going to be one of the most fun projects I’ve ever had the chance to do.

My client is a brilliant woman who is in the midst of government training before she embarks on an assignment for the U.S. State Department as a diplomat in Sri Lanka. Beyond her very impressive career, she’s also a dear friend of mine and I’m honored to have a chance to create art for her new home halfway across the world! Having familiar imagery, colors and materials will (hopefully) create a sense of “home” in an unfamiliar place.

I’ve already begun shopping for new materials for the project, and am finding the whole process completely energizing. The mood board I created will inspire the finished piece.

Senn & Sons is adding a SON!

May 15, 2012

I’ve been working on something pretty special over the last five months, as evidenced by my growing midsection in the photos above. My little family is going to welcome another little boy this coming fall! (October 5th is the due date for those of you keeping track.)

Some people have pointed out the “risk” I took naming my business Senn & Sons – you know, having just ONE son at the time. I guess I always just thought of it as a pretty fair gamble. Sure, I might have to explain to my daughter why my business was named after the multiple sons I never had. But I’m a sucker for alliteration. In that sense, it’s quite fortuitous for Senn & Sons that this sweet little baby is, in fact, another son.

With the business name solidified by the addition of another Son to the Senn family, I’m gearing up for a busy summer preparing it (and myself) for a very eventful autumn. A very, very eventful autumn.

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 13, 2012

Hey, moms, I know you’re out there… Happy Mother’s Day! You deserve a sweet treat and a pedicure today. Maybe a massage and a glass of wine too. However you choose to celebrate a special day like today, I hope you have a great one.

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MAKE YOUR OWN TREATS IN A JAR!

1. Fill mason jars with lemon heads, sour cherries or your choice of treats.

2. Print out this PDF onto cardstock and trim along gray dotted lines. Optional step: trim corners with a corner rounder (like this one). Punch a hole in each tag.

3. Out of a colorful fabric swatch, cut a circle slightly larger than the mouth of the jar with a pinking shears.

4. Place fabric over the inner lid and secure with the outer band. Pull fabric tight around the edges to smooth out the top if needed.

5. Tie the tags to the lid of the jars with a ribbon.

6. Give these sweet jars to your favorite mamas or keep some for yourself!