EVERYTHING about this wedding screams to my inner soul. A bit melodramatic perhaps, but I just adore the style going on here. This is what julia lake parties! is all about. Its bohemian chic at its core & the bride of course is Margherita Missoni. Go figure…but what a gem!
4 years ago, Mr.Lake & I bought a great white canvas upholstered chair. Over time, the white canvas became problematic… It’d been looking pretty grungy for quite some time with water stains where a friend spilled red wine & then some other random stains here & there so we knew something had to be done. We didn’t wanted to spend the money to reupholster it so after tons of research & a leap of faith, we finally decided to paint it. Yes, paint it. It was pretty scary but we did it & it looks great!
My mother used to paint our furniture with potato stamps & fabric paint but she’s a professional artist & has real guts. I’m a control freak & perfectionist so I didn’t really feel like winging it. I read different tutorials, went to 4 different paint stores & finally came up with a game plan. In the end, I more or less followed the steps on this blog post.
What you need:
1 piece of upholstered furniture (try craigslist or a flea market find)
1 part acrylic paint (We chose a butterscotch color called Raw Sienna)
1 part Fabric Medium (to make the paint take to the fabric better & softer)
Mix 1:1:1 equal parts of paint to fabric medium to water. I kept adding water because on the canvas, it felt like runny paint was easier to work with & spread easier. You don’t want to lay the paint on too thick or it will feel like you just painted your chair…
I put the chair on a drop cloth and started with the back. I sprayed 1 patch of the back with the spray bottle & started applying the paint with even brush strokes. Sometimes I would then spray the patch I painted to blend the paint in more evenly or to get in the cracks.
Once I felt comfortable, I moved to the front. Make sure to spray the fabric heavily before applying paint. It helps the paint spread & take to the fabric more evenly.
On Sunday I did 2 coats & waited 1 hour in between the first 2 coats. In retrospect, I think waiting longer in between coats is probably a better idea- but I was impatient.
After the first 2 coats, I waited overnight before doing the 3rd & final coat. As you can see from the pictures above, there were streaks & spots where the white was showing through.
For the 3rd coat, I decided to use a sponge soaked in a super watered down version of the paint mix and rubbed down the entire chair in circular motions to even out the paint and cover the paint brush streaks. I think it worked really well! Then I let it dry for 36 hours before putting the cushion back on. It was totally dry & looks great!
Its important to make sure the paint is applied evenly & that your brush strokes are all going in the same direction. I would suggest doing 1 side of the chair & completing the 1st coat before moving on to another section e.g. don’t try to quickly cover the entire chair sloppily & then go back & fix it. Do it well the first time & you won’t have mistakes to cover up. You can see how the paint dries so don’t stop mid stroke to take a phone call…And again, don’t be afraid to really wet the fabric with the spray bottle before you apply paint (not to the point where its dripping though). You can also spray water on top of the paint after you’ve applied it to the fabric to smooth out the paint.
Below is the final chair. Since we chose a butternut/butterscotch color, our chair almost looks like a leather club chair which is pretty cool in my book & there’s no doubt it looks better than it did before. I was tempted to try a cream color to preserve the original color but wasn’t sure if it would cover up the stains & water marks.
All in all, it was easier than I thought.
*Apparently, you can also do this with regular latex paint mixed with fabric medium but I didn’t try that. There’s also something called Spray Fabric paint that looked intriguing & got good reviews but the color selection is limited.
No, not me… My sister, Sophie! She’s having her 2nd bebe, & this time its a GIRL! Praise the Lord- I’m so excited!!! (Honestly, I just don’t know what to do with boys or how to shop for them.) So this exciting news has got me dreaming about cutesy bebe gear & I’ve put together a fun pinterest for a nursery & bebe things. Aside from the amazing julia lake parties! onesie we made at a bebe shower, below are some of my favorite finds for the little wee ones. Sources can be found on my pinterest board here.
My father has always adored and obsessed over the changing of the leaves in the North East. The rush of color just blows his mind- as it does mine as well. Lucky was I to stumble across a great way to preserve that color well into the year. After all the leaves have turned and fallen, here’s a way to hold on to that color a la Martha.
STEP 1 Slowly melt bleached beeswax over a double boiler; never allow wax to boil. Dip leaves in wax one at a time, holding by stem. gently shake off excess wax.
STEP 2 Hang leaves on clothespins to dry. Some may be dipped again, depending on desired look; let dry between coatings. Hang finished leaves from lengths of monofilament.
It has been one year of bliss since i got to marry mr.lake. we had a small, intimate gathering of 50 guests at my family’s home in the napa valley on top of spring mountain & it was a dream of a day.
Because I throw parties as a profession, my wedding day was my tour de force. People always tell you not to get lost in the details but I ignored them and put all my focus into the details. I made my wedding invitations by screen printing on to antique handkerchiefs that I collected over the past year.
I made the wedding programs out of vintage postcards that had old wedding photographs on them.
We took fotos before hand & walked down the aisle hand in hand. I couldn’t bear the pressure of the long walk down the aisle to meet him. It just made me too nervous.
I wanted the day to feel sacred & intimate so I asked guests to wear all white, head to toe. Even I didn’t realize how ethereal it would look and it really set the tone so that the overall vibe was untouchable.
My dear sweet bridesmaids looked edwardian- even though we found all of their dresses in my mothers closet 2 nights before the wedding in an epic dress up session.
Right before the ceremony started, Mr. Lake & I shared a nip of whiskey together in my mother’s bedroom and jumped on the bed. It was by far my favorite moment of the day.
Flower crowns: The day before the wedding all of the ladies came to my house and sat on blankets on the lawn and weaved flowers crowns together to wear at the wedding- so on the wedding day each woman had a flower crown of her own.
The actual ceremony took place in a circle made up of guests sitting on straw bales with old linens thrown over them. It was incredibly intimate- as if we were all part of the ceremony.
Downton Abbey: Because I wanted to use all of my mother’s heirloom family silver, antique china & old european linens, it ended up looking like an outdoor garden party in a scene from downton abbey. In the end I only rented the glassware & tables. I kept the color palate clean and only used white aside from splashes of raspberry because my dress was made of Czech linen with hand embroidered raspberry flowers on it so every now and then you’d have a pop of color.
Dinner was served in a horse shoe shape table in the lavender garden. i made white tufted garlands to frame the table. My brother-in-law, who is a winemaker, developed killer signature cocktails that im still obsessed with & my friend megan created custom mr & mrs lake wine labels.
Along with serving a whole roasted pig, we spoiled ourselves on oysters, charcuterie, marcona almonds, a gorgeous cake that another friend made and served a traditional german digestif after dinner.
When our bellies were full we migrated to the great lawn for dancing under the moonlight. The lawn had been converted into lounge areas with white rugs, pillows, blankets and lounge seating. We strung bistro lights & chandeliers from the trees.
We laughed & danced to a wonderful 1920’s nyc band that played french music & billie holiday classics.
Some late night instagrams (#napanuptials). I changed into a vintage sequined top dress that I found in my mother’s closet the week before. She had had it since she was 18.
Planning this was a labor or love. I really poured my heart into it & it just felt so romantic to get lost in the details.
We had a few different DIY projects that we did which Included bundled love letters. I color photocopied some love letters that my husband and I had written to each other in the last 5 years, cut them out in their original shapes & sizes and tied them together with ribbon. Each person had the stack of love letters waiting for them on their pillow when they arrived to read through before bed the night before the wedding. it was incredibly intimate but i thought a nice way of sharing our love with our loved ones.
Since our real honeymoon would be a month in India, after our wedding, Mr.Lake & I drove up the coast to Sea Ranch for a mini moon to spend a few days on the beach with our dog, Otto von Pickles.
Our wedding was published on a few sites like Snippet & Ink, Camille Styles, etc… you can see more pics here & here. fotos by lauren ross. her work is b a n a n a s & she is a gem.
this just blows my mind & makes me so happy. mr.lake & i have a mutual obsession with large predatory cats (& any wild life pretty much) but this photo shoot featured in TIME magazine in the 70’s is just plain rad. tippi, (melanie griffith’s mother) was the instigator of having a pet lion at home & actually did a lot of preservation work for wildlife. the lion’s name is togar. yes, they all probably could have gotten killed at any moment, but they didnt. not only are the shots incredible but they also capture the time period perfectly. so on this monday, im grateful for these fotos & am sharing them with you.
sweet serendipity! this morning i found out the talent behind some of my favorite watercolors. ive long loved one of the crests by happy menocal but never knew who was behind it. hurrah- now i do! im over the moon for all of her lovely paintings & am dreaming about having her come paint directly on the walls of my home. (something my mother often does…)
below are some of my favorite works. i’ve needed a logo for a while but haven’t settled on anything. i think i’ve found it. jlp! crest in the making…
these two SF babes, alex & derek, are dear friends of mine. so when a weekend in SF was in order, i knew who to call for a great time. right after i shot their apartment (with a make shift camera), we went clubbing in the castro until 6am. non.stop.fun. see pics of their duboce triangle bachelor pad studio below.