Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hillstead May Market Event in Connecticut!

Today, I'd like to invite my local Central Connecticut friends to a fun event scheduled for May 9th and 10th.   

I am fortunate to live right in Farmington, Connecticut, the home of many historical landmarks, including the Hill-Stead Museum.  (For more on Farmington, read Farmington Dawn Lombardi Style

Courtesy of Design Megillah

Each year, the Hill-Stead Museum welcomes the arrival of spring with a two-day gardening and crafts event.  More than 75 exhibitors set up booths all throughout the beautiful grounds of the Hillstead.  They offer amazing antiques and hand-made arts and crafts for the home as well as exquisite flowers, plants and trees for the garden.

Courtesy of Design Megillah

Courtesy of Design Megillah

While this in itself is enough to attend this event,  I am pleased to share that this year's keynote speaker is the wonderfully fabulous interior designer, Holly Holden!  Recall my previous post about Holly here

Courtesy of Holly Holden

Holly is a local Farmington, Connecticut resident (in fact she lives in my FAVORITE historical mansion on Main Street, Fox Hall).  I connected with Holly through my fab friend, Krystian Von Speidel (The Fanciest Tag Sale In Connecticut). 

At 11am on Friday and Saturday (May 9th and 10th), Holly will be sharing secrets from her newly published book The Pretty and Proper Living Room, A Guide to Timeless and Elegant Design in a talk titled "Six Secrets for Inviting Interiors," followed by a book signing and a la carte lunch in the Makeshift Theater. 

I would love for any and all of my local friends to join me for Holly's talk (and to enjoy a wonderful spring day on the Hillstead Grounds perusing the wares).  Admission to hear Holly Holden speak is $50 and includes admission to the May Market (all of the exhibitors) as well as lunch!

I will be attending with a few friends on Friday May 9th.  I'd love to have your company, too!
You can purchase tickets here.  I promise you won't be disappointed.   

Additional Information about the event directly from the Hillstead Website:

ADMISSION: $12 general admission; $10 museum members; free to children 12 and under, prior to May 4. $15 day of event. General admission includes entrance to all arts & crafts, home & garden exhibitors, daily demonstrations, live music, children's activities, self-guided tours of Hill-Stead Museum with its renowned Impressionist art collection, enjoyment of the museum's historic grounds and Sunken Garden. Fee for the May Market keynote speaker, Holly Holden, is $50 (includes general admission). SEE BELOW for details on all of the above.

Throughout the two days, visitors will experience gardening experts presenting seasonal demonstrations, knowledgeable Master Gardeners providing advice, musicians and dancers entertaining in the food court, and Monet’s Café and Bakery offering delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, and sweet treats. Additionally, treasure hunters will want to arrive early to be the first to Theodate’s Attic, where they will find a large selection of collectibles, linens, artwork, glassware, gardening books, jewelry, and more for sale.  Organized and presented by the museum’s dedicated Hill-Steaders volunteers, May Market includes self-guided museum tours of Theodate Pope’s 1901 Colonial Revival mansion.  Presenting Sponsor: Simsbury Bank.

All names will be kept on a reservation list for check-in at the event. THANK YOU!
To buy tickets by phone, contact Becky Trutter at 860.677.4787 ext 132 or

This major benefit event is organized by The Hill-Steaders, the museum's core volunteer group.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to Dye Faux Easter Eggs

I've gotten so many inquiries about the faux Easter eggs that I posted about on Instagram  and yesterday's Easter post that I decided to share more deets.  

I found these plaster decorating eggs in the Easter section at Walmart.  They are $1.97 and advertise that they can be dyed and decorated exactly like regular eggs.  Of course, I loved the idea of being able to dye these eggs and display them for weeks before Easter without worrying about them spoiling.  Plus, I can reuse these faux Easter eggs for year after year.  Win, win! 

Photo Courtesy of For the Love of White

While I love the finished result of these eggs, there are a few lessons I learned about these fake chicks that I'm going to share with you. 

Lessons Learned When Dying Faux Eggs: 

1. Use a Spoon to Hold to Bottom of Cup

First, the plaster eggs are so light in weight that they float on top of the dye when you add them to the cup.  To prevent this, I had to add a spoon to each cup to hold the eggs under the coloring. 

2. Use White Vinegar Only- No Water

The plaster eggs do not absorb color as much as a real egg.  The first time I tried this, I held each egg under the water for hours (yes, this is not exactly a kid friendly task as the kids want immediate results).  Even at the end of this session, the hues were very pastel.  Only the pink shades came out vibrantly.  I used the classic Paas Coloring kit from Target.  The next time, I filled the cups with vinegar only and the results were slightly better.  Still, most of the results ended in very pastel colors.  The below picture was taken after these eggs stayed in the "vinegar-only" dye overnight.  I love them these shades, but I'd have thought they'd be majorly dark! 

3. Pink Shades Yield the Darkest Hues

In my experience, the pink color tablets yielded the darkest results the fastest.  Here's my bowl of "pinkies."  You can see the various shades based on the duration they were in the dye. 

4. Experiment with Different Dye Kits

I tried a gel kit where I dropped the eggs into baggies to coat the eggs with color.  Epic fail.  The gel never dried on the eggs and always appeared streaked.  I tossed them before I could get a photo.  But trust me.  Disaster. 

5.  Have Fun Decorating!

I used a copper-gold leaf paint on a handful of the eggs to add details.  I want to experiment with acrylic paints and nail polish to see the results. 


 Overall, I love the results of the faux eggs.  I have seen other brands on the market, too (try Michaels) and they may yield better results.  I'll keep you posted on my findings. 

Have you found a particular dye that works great on the faux eggs?  Please share!
Visit here for DIY Easter Garland. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Easter Tree Decor

We're celebrating spring in Connecticut regardless of the temperatures outside!  We put our Easter tree up this week to add a dash of spring and celebration to the house. 

I discovered these faux plaster eggs while on a trip to Walmart for pedialyte.  (Stomach bug is making the rounds in our house this week, too).  I thought they would be the best thing since Trina Turk pillows but they were a bit difficult to work with (literally kept them each in the dye for 4+ hours to get this hue to stick).  But, I love the outcome and plan to add a dash of gold paint for a finishing touch.

Here are our ornaments this year.  A tar-jay special and each ornament is a painted wood miniature of a lamb, a fox, a bee, a chicken.  Adorbs. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

If you follow my instagram, then you've already seen these photos.  If you don't, please follow here

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