Collection Obsession : The Silhouette

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It’s no secret I’ve a weensy obsession with the cut silhouette- she in all her folkish form. Both Garden & Gun and Country Living recently featured my collection, which I’ve shared snaps of below. I’ve culled through many a dust-laden antique mall on the hunt for a tiny crusty original frame housing a vintage cut black-and-white of just about anyone interesting. From the mountain towns of Tennessee (my fave being those near Blackberry Farm) to the highway shanties of Virginia, there are many a treasure to be found if you keep just a few tips in mind:

1. Original frames are always best. If the silhouette itself is unframed and isn’t over-the-top exquisite, skip it.

2. Beware of George and Martha. Silhouettes as a simple form of family portraiture didn’t truly take off until the late 19th/early 20th century, although many in the 18th century had them made. For some reason, people LOVE to cut the profiles of our first president and his dear wife. Unless you have a penchant for collecting Colonial memorabilia- skip again.

3. A true silhouette is cut out of black paper and lightly affixed to white paper, revealing a delicately cut edge and shadowing of the layers. There are plenty of pen-and-ink silhouettes meant to look like cut ones- these are of little value and kinda defeat the whole purpose.

4. Some of the most fabulous ones have been overpainted with watercolors or oils. I hanker in particular for these, and don’t think they should be discounted in any way for their extra lily-gilding.

5. Expect to spend every bit of $25-75 per piece, with the more prominent ones (often signed) fetching $175-250 easily. A framed, signed silhouette of European provenance and distinct age (perhaps from 1900-1950) is well worth the higher price tag if you just love the subject matter.

6. As you’d guess, my favorite sources besides the old reliable antique mall are Etsy and eBay.

7. As with all curiosities, if you love it- just buy it. Unless you’re curating a collection for the Smithsonian, who cares?

Garden & Gun Belle Decor features Calder Clark Garden & Gun Belle Decor features Calder's silhouettes

Style Me Pretty – our Eseeola Wedding

I love being a Charlestonian- really, I do. It can’t be beat- but the truth of the matter is, I’m a mountain girl. I’m the fairest of the fair (okay, catfish belly pale) and was raised not to “do the sun”. There is nothing like a blissful summer in North Carolina, skipping out on 100º days for toe-dipping in cool creeks and listening to live bluegrass.

Getting to know these two families was an absolute treat; good Raleigh people with exquisite taste + a gorgeous home in Banner Elk = yes, please! Lauren and Clay are so fresh-faced and kind, and their love is Velveteen Rabbit real.

As always, it takes a village . . . and our dream team for this affair was certainly that: Flowers from Blossoms, photos by Clark Brewer, stationery from Cheree Berry Paper, videography from Life Stage Films, music from Rupert’s via Sam Hill, and personal dressing from Cacky’s Bride Aid.

Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding Style Me Pretty Eseeola wedding

Party Bar Styling Tips for Garden & Gun

It’s always a blast collaborating with Garden & Gun, especially when the topic is party bars, bourbon, Fall tailgating, + general tastemaker tips . . . who wouldn’t wanna chat about that?!

It’s easy to gab about entertaining with my friend Haskell Harris, who is the inimitable Style Editor over at Garden & Gun. There’s a Southern girl lexicon that comes in handy when talk turns to cheese straws, pewter juleps, and sipping whiskeys.

Read below for my thoughts on styling a party bar!

G+G cover Fall 2015 Southern Homes issue Garden & Gun Southern Homes issue 2015 Garden & Gun Southern Homes Fall 2015

Expert tips for Coastal Living

Coastal Living reached out and tapped us to share our expert tips on how to ensure guests have a good time at a beach wedding, which is no small feat. It’s one thing to gather your besties for a beach bonfire or a lay-out day, but quite another to execute a successful wedding amid all the elements.

Beyond the proverbial “bucket of flip-flops”, there are quite a few rabbits we pull out of our party hat to make outdoor parties über comfortable. Check out the article below for our top tips!

How to Guarantee Your Guests Have a Good Time