Horse Brass and “Found Objects” made into hand-beaded necklaces are Cara Brown’s signature style- and we have a special sale on both for friends of The Party Wagon!
Cara’s necklaces are hand-crafted after she selects the perfect brass pieces from England. Cara is very choosy when it comes to the brass that she considers for her jewelry. Her selections are based on age, condition, and the story behind each piece.
To complement the brass, Cara sources beads and stones that show-off the beautiful horse brass pieces and hand-knots the pieces together. Each one is owning and wearing a mini work of art with historical significance. If you love mixing antique with a modern twist like I do, you will love the look of these necklaces…
I have a horse brass necklace that has a sun-shape in the middle- I love all of the different designs that Cara Brown finds. I am literally stopped everywhere I go and asked about my necklace. They are unique and fascinating- in addition to elevating every outfit you wear. My horse brass necklace is the best and easiest necklace I have owned.
If you prefer a different size and look other than the horse brass necklace, Cara Brown also has a line that she creates from antique objects that she finds. Cara’s creative eye is always drawn to the most interesting pieces. From the clean lines of the “R” necklace above to the intricate details of owls, mini aquariums, barrettes, and charms…
One of the most charming pieces in this collection that Cara created for us, is the miniature aquarium seen below on the far right…
Here is a close-up view of that aquarium. What a cool piece of jewelry!
The necklaces below have such gorgeous bead details to go along with the antique baubles.
More found objects hand-beaded by Cara…all of these are included in the special sale for friends of The Party Wagon. They are available on a first come, first served basis. Each necklace is a one-of-a-kind.
For my friends who see me quite often, they know I wear my horse brass necklace most everywhere I go. I have enjoyed it so much, and I especially love how it pulls an outfit together. When I don’t have it on, I put it in a bowl to use it as a display accessory in our home. It doesn’t deserve to be in a drawer. 🙂 I travel with it all of the time and enjoy telling people the story of Cara Brown and her creative talents.
To be very transparent, I love being able to share the sale with you all because I have tried out and loved Cara’s necklaces. Cara gifted me the necklace (above) in July, and I have enjoyed wearing it constantly over the past 7 months. When I find something I love, I love sharing it with you all. I suggested to Cara this idea of offering the half-price sale to you because of my genuine love of her craftsmanship and art. This is a collaboration between Cara and me to share her work, and I am not being paid any part of the purchase price when you purchase through me. It is simply my way of thanking Cara for such a wonderful gift and of sharing an opportunity for you.
Cara’s necklaces retail for around $800. She is offering a special sale price to us for $397.50 on the necklaces shown in the photos above. Please leave me a comment or send me an email at lydiamenzies at hotmail dot com if you would like to purchase. I am happy to answer any questions you have. You can also read more about Cara Brown on my site. You can find her online shop at Cara Brown Designs.
Are you guys ever wowed by all of the creativity that is out there for us to enjoy? I am in awe every single day at the talent and creativity that is apparent when I scroll through social media, flip through a magazine, or visit a website. My friend, Lance, is one of those talents that has an eye for creating beauty that will make you want to stop and stare.
He and his partner David Ecton are the talented men behind Parker Kennedy Living- together they create and install incredible interior designs. And, as often happens when you ooze creativity, Lance stumbled upon a way to pour his talents into a custom product that resonates with his fans. A fondness for the design, shape, color, and overall beauty of vintage jewelry led Lance to create custom wreaths that are chock-full of his vintage jewelry finds.
This phenomenal wreath is inspired by Tiffany. I am amazed by the loads of baubles, jewelry, and other objects that are meticulously placed throughout.
As you can imagine, Lance stays extremely busy around the holidays as he customizes each wreath for each order. When asked how he does it during such a busy time, Lance says, …”I love making them because they are all so different- and I love to add tons of details. It is almost therapeutic for me to make them.”
As word spreads about these magnificent wreaths, demand for the wreaths keeps growing. Parker Kennedy Living is currently setting up a permanent workshop/studio at their office to accommodate the needs. Soon, they will be able to offer them year-round.
You never know how each one will look when Lance starts- which is what makes them so unique and special. Some of the wreaths are youthful and sweet and some are sophisticated and sassy. They have personality, style and beauty that draws you in for a closer look each time.
Since I first saw the wreaths, I have told Lance that I would love to do an “art installation” of them in my house- ha! That’s how much I love them. I find them so interesting, and I have seen how much thought and time is spent on each. Recently, Hoffman Media reached out to Lance to ask about doing a feature on his exquisite wreaths. I was excited when Lance asked me to photograph them for the magazine- that mini installation vision was actually going to happen. The image below is the look that Anna Hartzog, at Hoffman Media, wanted to achieve. The wreath over the bar cart is a “Gucci” themed wreath that Lance made and gifted me several years ago…
And this was another option that we played around with while styling the wreaths. I really love all of the colors that combine in this photo…
Hoffman Media requested traditional Christmas colors, and so Lance went to work to create the most beautiful collection of wreaths in red, green, gold, and silver.
We had fun adding the wreaths around our house although we placed the wreath over the stove only for the photo shoot. We definitely don’t suggest putting the wreaths where there is heat or a flame. 🙂
The monochromatic colors are gorgeous in these wreaths and show-off Lance’s ability to create a variety of looks.
There is a touch of new to keep the wreaths current ~and lots of vintage placed with care to tell a story within each one. The wreaths make your mind wander to the history that each holds while enjoying the present-day beauty of it in your own home.
I typically lean toward more gold than silver at Christmas, but this silver wreath has a magic to it. I couldn’t stop photographing it because it was so layered with details. My favorite piece on this wreath is the oversized vintage hair barrette.
I also find the mix of gold and silver on this one to be really striking. It feels so icy and wintry…and gorgeous!
Lance created a green wreath that is traditionally festive, but he took it a step further with the PKL signature twist. The wreath overflows with baubles and personality. The personality that each wreath takes on is a reflection of Lance’s own personality and his enjoyment of nostalgia, whimsy, and sophistication.
Can you believe all of the objects that are put into the wreaths? These photos of the green wreath show a small portion of the wreath, but you can see how much time and effort goes into each one. The combination of textures and colors is amazing (and I especially love that Lance put a spool of green thread on this one- it balances all of the shimmer and is completely unexpected!).
Below is a wreath that has a little bit of a different feel in that it has lots of vintage toys placed throughout the ornaments and jewelry. One of my favorite places to hang this wreath in our home is over the bed in our guest room. The bed is a four-post canopy, and so I used a wreath hanger on the top bar- you could also use a sturdy ribbon.
Lance also has a penchant for creating very playful wreaths out of the most unexpected item- Barbie dolls! His Barbie-themed wreaths have become such a huge hit. The novelty and beauty of them is too hard to resist, and they sell out quickly. You will see why below…they are a stunning conversation-starter!
Notice, below, how Lance found a brunette Barbie and incorporated it into a Barbie wreath made especially for Patricia Altschul. I think the Barbie theme might be Lance’s favorite wreath that he makes. I seem to think everyone he makes becomes my new favorite. Lance says that no matter the theme, his favorite part of making them is the hunt for all of the vintage and antique pieces that he uses. Farther in this post, you will see some of his newest themes- and you will see why it becomes so hard to choose!
If you follow Parker Kennedy Living on Instagram, you will notice that people often remark that they would keep the wreath up year-round. It is understandable how you would want to enjoy them all year- each one is an instant mood-booster like a dose of sunshine!
How funny is that Lance found and incorporated Barbie and Ken together in the wreath below? Do you also notice that he often includes monogrammed jewelry or ornaments? I love how he adds those in when he knows the recipient’s initial.
And, if you prefer traditional red for Christmas, Lance can even make a Barbie wreath in red! Look at those fancy sleeves!
Another hugely popular wreath that Lance has created is his Chanel-inspired wreath. This art piece would be beautiful in a home year round. I can imagine this in a dressing room, vanity, bedroom, or office. High couture that never goes out of fashion, for sure!
Another one of Lance’s newer designs is this “Under the Sea” theme- I can imagine how beautiful and unique this would be in a seaside home. From Palm Beach to Newport to LA, this beauty adds Christmas magic like no other decoration. It is one of my many favorites!
Whimsy, whit, sophistication, glam, glitter, and a whole lot of thought and design talent go into each one of Lance’s creations. Lance says that he loves searching and hunting for all of the vintage and antique pieces that he uses in each. “I am literally on the hunt year-round- always looking for the perfect pieces that I know will work”, says Lance.
It is pretty amazing how quickly things can be transformed with a vision, constant work, lots of sweat, and a deadline! Luckily, with this guest bathroom remodel, I knew how I wanted it to transform from the start. My husband re-designed the layout of the bathroom in CAD and removed everything that was in the original room. Before we began the remodel of this entire home, we made an agreement with the sellers to keep the outside facade the same structurally. We were also bound by many historical preservation association rules. Inside the home, we were able to put our ideas into play for how to redesign the layout to make it work for our family. It was a challenge, but I feel like we were able to restore and remodel to create a fresh look. The guest bathroom was at the top of the list to re-do as it needed new structural support from the ground up. You can see how this bathroom looked when we first started by going herefor Week 1. To follow the progress…you can see Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5. And, now, here are the photos of our One Room Challenge “Final Reveal” of our guest bathroom …
For this bathroom remodel, I wanted to have a crisp, white, clean feel to the room to bring it up to date. Because the house was built in 1918, we had to give up on perfect lines and everything being “plumb”. We put in a new foundation under the house and stabilized everything, but we still have the quirks of a home being 100+ years old. I like the idiosyncrasies of a home that is historical- it adds to the charm and also makes us realize not to sweat the small stuff.
One of my favorite pieces in this make-over is the antique mirror that I bought about 11 years ago. It was originally in my home office at our previous house. I have loved it since I laid eyes on it and wanted it to be used and enjoyed in our new home.
I also love the Ashley Longshore painting that I chose for the room. I bought it and kept it in storage until we were ready to move into our home. The houndstooth pattern is one that I have always been drawn to, and I loved seeing it in this painting. What’s funny to me is that the background in the painting is very similar to the drapery fabric I am planning to use in the guest bedroom that adjoins this bathroom. Those two patterns and the pink won me over!
The lighting is also another of my favorites- the sconces and the chandelier complement each other in material and color. As you can see, I like to mix metals, materials, and colors.
My friends at Parker Kennedy Living always have unique finds and beautiful accessories, and so I made a late night run to pick up items that were from their shop. These helped me put the final touches on the room. I added the new accessories to the guest bath and felt like I needed to scale back on the countertop decor. I snapped a photo and sent it to them, and Lance suggested a few items to edit. It was just what I needed to hear and helped finalize the look I was trying to achieve- clean lines with lots of personality tossed in the mix.
I love how this room has turned out. It is bright and airy and happy. We were able to preserve the feel of an old home while updating everything in it. I love the combination of old and new…from the antique mirror to the pop art on the walls, it was fun to watch the transformation~ and it’s even more fun to live in it completed. There is also something special about doing this project with my husband and knowing we survived it! Lol! My parents always jokingly said not to hang wallpaper with your spouse because it will cause a big argument- and so I am extra proud that we accomplished this home restoration, and I have enjoyed sharing with you the first room that we fully finished!
There are so many really wonderful homes to see at the One Room Challenge- everyone is sharing the finished room that they decorated. I have started looking at each one, and I am loving what I am seeing. I’m excited to see the rest over the weekend when I can take a virtual tour through more of the rooms. I hope you will stop by and see all of the hard work that has paid off in beautiful room after beautiful room! Also, thank you to Linda, creator of ORC, and Better Homes and Gardens, sponsor of the ORC. What a great community!
Wall Paint ~ White Custom Mix ~ I really wanted a glossy, lacquered paint but was convinced to go with less shine- I don’t know exactly what our painter put together to give it a little shine.
Time is winding down until the One Room Challenge for Fall 2019 is complete! I wish I could say the room is complete for the guest bathroom remodel that we are doing! Lol! The biggest challenges are finished and now the final touches are trying to come together right down to the wire. We had one big glitch, but we have made peace with it. 🙂 Mainly, the decorative touches that I sometimes spend too much time deciding on are the ones that are slowing me. But here is what we have so far…
Because of the age of the house (built in 1918), I liked the idea of simple white subway tile for the backsplash and surround. I wanted a crisp, white, and clean feel. The cabinets went in and then the tile was installed.
Then the floor tile was laid…which is where our big glitch happened. Let’s just say we left the tile guy by himself too long. Ugh- a little wonky- and he ran out of tile that was carefully measured and ordered.
My husband came to the rescue and was able to fix the problem. In one of the previous week’s posts, I mentioned that I wanted to have 1918 in the the middle of the decorative tile. I let that idea go, but maybe one day I will find a way to incorporate it somewhere in the house. I am just happy we have a new floor!
Next on the list was the glass for the shower. That went a lot smoother than the flooring. 🙂
We bought and installed a bamboo shade for the window in the bathroom. I am trying to like it, and it is growing on me. But I just don’t love it. I would like to have a fabric shade or something that is prettier than the bamboo. I have ordered the fabric and now we will have to see if it arrives in time for me to have the shade made. My problem was choosing the right fabric to coordinate with another fabric that I want to eventually use in the adjoining bedroom.
So…next week will be what the One Room Challenge calls “The Big Reveal”! I am really excited to put the final touches in place and share it. You can also see many other fantastic rooms coming together when you visit the ORC website. There are so many talented, creative designers and bloggers working hard on getting their rooms completed! Go check it all out! Thank you to Linda (the creator of the ORC) and to Better Homes and Gardens (the sponsor of the ORC). See you all next week!! Thanks for stopping by!
Welcome to our home! We recently purchased a 100-year-old house to restore and rehab. I am excited to participate in the One Room Challenge as I also begin sharing our home renovation. If you are not familiar with the One Room Challenge, it is a wonderful idea put together by Linda Weinstein (of the blog, Calling it Home) that encourages participants to transform one room at a time in their home and share the process along the way. The ORC celebrates creativity, inspiration, and originality. In addition, Better Homes and Gardens partners with the One Room Challenge as the official media partner of the ORC. For my very first time as a guest participant, I am going to show you the transformation of our guest bathroom over the next 5 weeks. Take a look at these photos of the bathroom that I took when we first bought the house (we were living in another house while we began this DIY project)…
This bathroom served as the only bathroom in the house when we purchased the house. The home was built in 1918 and was a 2 bedroom and one bath residence. This bathroom was between the master bedroom and the child’s bedroom and was originally shared by the occupants. I love reminding my children that having a bathroom inside of a home was a luxury back then! You can see the bathtub in the photo below. ..
The bathtub is one of the items that I immediately wanted to update. It’s a beast of a bathtub because it is cast iron! It weighs a ton and we knew it would be a bit of a challenge! And, you can see that the color scheme was ivory, beige, and dusty pink…
You can see in the photos above and below, the bathroom opens to each adjacent room. Below, you can also see the linen closet that is in the bathroom on the left wall as you look into the connecting bedroom- it is surprisingly large for the era that it was built. We would like to keep it intact and in keeping with the home’s history.
Needless to say, we committed to quite an extensive renovation and redesign while also wanting to maintain the history of the home. My husband headed the huge project of bringing this little gem of a home back to life. It has great bones, wonderful ceiling height, genteel history, beautiful natural light, and an excellent location. Really all it needed was a little (okay, a lot) of love and attention. We are happy we could restore this little lady and we love how she continues to come together. These are our intentions for her one original bathroom and bringing it up to date…
Redesign the layout of the bathroom
Replace the flooring
Replace the tub with a shower only
Remove wallpaper and repaint room
Add more cabinet space
Everywhere I go, I take photos of flooring that I love. I really like the timeless look of black and white tile and knew right when I first saw this bathroom that I wanted to replace the original all white with black and white. My camera roll looks a lot like this (see below) because whenever I see flooring that piques my interest, I snap it and try to visualize what will be best. Here are a few photos that I took for floor inspiration while out and about in Atlanta…
For paint color, tile, and cabinetry, I really want to give the room a clean, white canvas and a fresh start. I love an old feel with some glamorous touches. I would love for the personality of the room to shine through with the accessories and art while the foundation of the room stands firm through trends that come and go. I also would like to keep a touch of pink as a slight nod to the original colors (not to mention that I just really like pink).
I am excited to get this entire room completed and shared with you! Please check back each week to see the progress of this restoration, remodel, redesign! I will also add more of our home restoration, in the coming months if you would like to read more about it! Here is what the exterior of the house looked like when we started!
Thank you for stopping by to see the first week of photos in the room transformation. I will add more of the project each week, and I hope you will follow along! Remember to check out all of the rooms that are being designed in the One Room Challenge- it’s like a virtual home tour reaching all across the country (and maybe globe?)!
Have you met New Orleans artist Ashley Longshore yet? Let me tell you, Ashley is a force in the world that draws me in like no other. She is equal parts loving and caring mixed with unabashed raw humor and bluntness. Subtle, she is not. But let me tell you what I feel like she IS.
Ashley is praised for her dynamic use of color while she depicts pop culture icons, makes light of society’s fascinations with luxury items (all the while also making them more enticing and desirable), and sharing her amusements with everyday life. She literally finds the beauty and humor in life itself, embraces it, and paints it in the most spectacular ways. Bottom line, she just draws you in. Sometimes you will hear people say that her wildness is offensive, but I find that her wildness is what MAKES her- she sees life in a vibrant, more exciting way and wants to share it. Ashley’s mouth could be described as more colorful than any painting she has ever created- whatever she is thinking is spoken and whatever she feels… she shares. But, thank goodness that she expresses herself, because that is also the reason we have her art. Expressing herself is a gift she has and she makes it her career ~ a career that she created FOR herself. A career that has her currently as Bergdorf Goodman’s Artist in Residence. At Bergdorf’s in NYC, Ashley had 5 windows showcasing her art and the entire 7th floor- holy cow. She is the first female artist to have a solo show at Bergdorf Goodman’s in the history of the store (which is over 100 years old). She also just teamed up with Gucci on a project- and Diane von Furstenberg asked Ashley to create a collection of portraits of women for International Women’s Month for her NYC flagship store.
And the reason that I love Ashley and her message so much is that Ashley’s story reminds me to be the type of mom that embraces her children’s personalities, qualities, interests and differences – and to remember that they are here to leave their own mark on the world and not necessarily the mark we may have envisioned they should leave. I love the reminder that our kids aren’t simply replicas of their parents to forge the exact same path or the path we have created in our minds for them. I really love that. Ashley is an example of what is possible when you let a child grow into their own rather than trying to force them into a certain mold.
I was originally drawn to Ashley’s story of her childhood that she freely shares. As a child, Ashley’s mom wanted Ashley to fit into her ideal vision and Ashley’s Dad was very happy to see her soar on her own (you can read more in Ashley’s words in the questions below). Fast forward several years, and you can clearly see the results of being allowed to pursue her own vision for herself.
Ashley is the type of business lady that inspires all business ladies (and men) to step up and strengthen your game. She encourages us all to stretch ourselves to be better than yesterday and to be unapologetically ourselves- while also reminding us to be our best selves on our way to realizing who we are and what we are capable of achieving. But her way of sending that message is unlike what you might imagine it is…it varies from a gorgeous post of her work on Instagram to the craziest meme or video you’ll see all day- and both are typically sprinkled with expletives and captions that will make you blush or make you laugh out very loud. She’s a hoot, as we say in the south.
Ashley is from the south which I also love. She was raised in Montgomery, Alabama (near where I went to college) and went to boarding school in Gainesville, GA (near where I live now). She is now in New Orleans which seems like a perfect match to her unbridled energy. In New Orleans, Ashley has assembled a team of ladies to help her run her gallery, and they seem like one, big, happy family who really get things done- and have a great time doing so! When I was interested in one of Ashley’s pieces of art several years ago, Ashley sent me a video of herself showing me the art but she first showed me around the gallery. I thought it was a brilliant move on her part. What a personable way to share your products and to see the personality behind the art! It stuck with me because it was helpful but also such a treat to receive such personalized attention.
I had a chance to ask Ashley a few questions recently and I wanted to share those with you…I feel like Ashley’s overall message in life is very uplifting just like her art. She is inspiring and unique- and I am so happy to have her work in my home as a daily reminder of all of the good that she shares!
Here is what I am talking about – directly from Ashley’s mouth…
1. You have worked so hard to accomplish goals and you encourage others to do the same…what are some of the goals that you set for yourself for the future? I want to have a career like Andy Warhol and I want to leave a legacy like Peggy Guggenheim. I want to give lots and lots of scholarships and buy HUGE buildings and fill them with artists for the public to enjoy. I am a big art collector and hope to display my personal collection so that people can enjoy for years to come… I want to help artists understand that giving up 50% to a gallery is NOT the only way to have an art career. I want artists to have MONEY so they can make their biggest ideas come to life!!!!!!!!
2. Tell us about your Dad. He seems like a really cool guy to have in your corner. I adore my own dad, and learn so much about life from him. What can other parents learn from your father about raising a child? He is the BEST. He always let me be me.. and he let me follow my passions… the best gift he ever gave me, was to cut me off and let me figure out how to financially take care of myself….. he is self made…. he taught me work ethic …. he is my favorite human.
3. My teenage daughter wants to ask…what is your favorite thing to paint? I love to paint everything.., the act of painting brings me soo much joy…. it is the foundation of my journey to self love… art saves me everyday, it brings me soooo much JOY!
And, with that, I think my feelings about Ashley’s art have come full circle…her bright, colorful, happy, larger-than-life artwork brings me so much joy probably because it was created out of her joy. There you go! I think it all makes perfect sense! What are your favorite paintings by Ashley Longshore? I am drawn to the “Audreys”. You can see her gallery of work here.