The Land I Love…

Celebrating being an American is easy, how can it not be? We live with so many freedoms and I for one want to celebrate those every chance I can. I heard something one time that resonated with me, and it’s something I think about almost every day. It is that we are standing on the shoulders of giants, those people that came before us and helped create the foundation for our liberties and basically our way of life that we live today. I think Pomp and Parade does just that! Let us remember those sacrifices, let us celebrate and enjoy those freedoms. I hope you enjoy this Red, White and Blue Declaration through decoration!

Ok, easy start, a white tablecloth, flag banner, and red, white and blue round pendants all purchased from Walmart. Use straight pins to attach from underneath the cloth…its a southern designer trick which leaves no trace and you won’t have to use those awful plastic attachments.

Red gladiolas are a prefect floral when you’re looking for height, longevity and most of all, the perfect RED!

*Note, pinch the very tops of your glads off. You’ll see more color come to the top and less brown when they start to wilt.

Layers! Use cake pedestals laced with ribbon, and large trays with footed glass containers so that you can see the fun going on! I personally have a ton of glass which I love to use for food, drinks, candles…It’s so pleasing to see a food table that has elevations to it!

One of my favorite projects to make for an outdoor event is the ribbon chandeliers. They are very inexpensive and make a BIG impact! I made three for this party because my tree is so massive that I knew just one wouldn’t do!

Ribbon Chandelier DIY here.

Happy July 4th! I hope I’ve inspired you to celebrate and create!

XOXO, Amanda “Mandy” Barkley

A paper peony for your thoughts?

Earlier this year during the ALT Summit, a conference for women influencers and bloggers, I took a crepe paper flower class taught by Rebecca Thuss and her gal pal Sarah. Rebecca is the author of Petal to Paper and has a resume that includes years of styling and designing for Martha Stewart. She is a delightful person and an excellent teacher. I was hooked and knew this would be my new crafting addiction.

It was probably ‘faux pas’ to use glitter stamens in the world of paper flowers but honestly, I couldn’t help myself. I wanted my crepe babies to have a sense of humor. Nor was I completely married to the idea that each flower must represent an existing flower. Maybe the flowers of my dreams all have glitter and are a little quirky? I found the best German glitter at Rose Mille along with fabulous vintage stamens and ribbons.

My other addiction is wrapping paper. Not your normal paper, but the kind that could stand as art by itself. The kind that has me reeling with ideas. However, with Mothers Day around the corner, I used it for its true purpose and wrapped a gift or two, or three!

**Always add extras like vintage black and white ribbon from Rose Mille, died burlap from Michaels and festooning purchased from Etsy.

TIP: I never use tape on packages, only dabs of hot glue. Be-leaf it or not!

Wrapping paper and Matches jar from Feliz Modern

Strawberry cake from HEB. BEST EVER!


Italian Crepe Paper can be found at Cartefini and Rose Mille. I personally love the doublette colors at Rose Mille and their vintage ribbon and stamens. I’m still learning about paper weight and which is best. So far I like 180 gram and 140 gram which can be found on Cartefini. Be sure and purchase green options for foliage!

Other supplies like the spun cotton and German glitter I’ve found at Smile Mercantile. They sell the spun cotton balls I use for centers.

Rebecca Thuss and book including templates!

At any age, I believe it is possible to learn a new craft. Something that inspires creativity and thought. Something that encourages your soul to dream and create. Crepe paper and making flowers does that for me and that is why I wanted to share this post. Happy Creating and Crafting!

Thank you!

Hippity Hoppity it’s Easter!

Easter, in my opinion, is the BEST holiday, second to Christmas. So much life, color, traditions, and happiness. New clothes for church, new spring florals to work with and ALL the candy imaginable. And it’s for all those reasons mentioned that I love decorating for Easter.

Here is my Easter tabletop! Enjoy!

Blue checked runner from Feliz Modern, placed on top of simple white cotton cloth. I didn’t have to get fancy with the plates, I just kept them white.

Can we talk about those bunnies? They are flocked and are the BEST colors for Easter. I purchased mine from Feliz Modern weeks before Easter knowing they’d sell out quickly and they did! So heads up next year bunnies, I’ll be watching to add to my collection.

I love balloons! So “Honey Bunny” had to make an appearance at our table. The crazy thing is, that darn balloon lasted a full week after Easter was over. So, he was well worth the price. I think they average 45-50 each, BUT what an impact they can make and great for a photo op!

It’s no secret I make candy jars for every holiday. So easy and inexpensive. I prefer the plastic jars from Michaels and spray paint the tops. Add a themed topper with ribbon and fill with holiday candy. Easy Peasy!

Ok, let’s talk runners. They are so many choices, colors and products out there that runners make our jobs easier. It gets dirty and we can trash it. There’s no real cost or commitment to it forever! So, why not cut the ends and add a extra large pompom? I’m not addicted to pompom making, yet, but it is an inexpensive addition or tool to have in my crafting closet. In one hour I had exactly what I needed to take this paper runner by Hester and Cook to the next level!

Cake stands for varying height. Added bows to bunnies for extra color.
Insert adorable Mallory holding “Honey Bunny” balloon. Thank you!

Ok, that’s a wrap with sharing. Hope I inspired your inner bunny skills for next Easter! Until then, thank you for dropping by!


Alpaca and Taco Bar Birthday

My Mallory was turning 12 and she finally was getting her long-awaited Alpaca themed birthday party along with her favorite food, Tacos! Alpacas and LLamas are trending right now so it wasn’t hard to find themed products, like Target llama plates and an Alpaca Pinata. Luckily they were in Mallory’s favorite colors, pink and green which set the mood for the rest of the decor.

Planning and Concept: Amanda Barkley / Photography and Contribution: Twinkle Twinkle Little Party


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Seashells by the Seashore

Say the word “seashells” and I’m in! 

This table was styled by myself and Margie Streater from Nita’s Flowers in Bryan, Texas. Nita’s sells these fabulous red lanterns and faux branches. The rest of the story called for seashells, sand and summer florals. 

We layered a Pottery Barn burlap runner and lace crochet runner from Hobby Lobby. Then added our red lanterns, with sand and seashells inside and tied the top off with a little burlap rope! The small cylinder candles you’ll see are from Mixture USA. Shop their candles because they are amazing with amazing glass colors. *Not an affiliate with them just LOVE their product!



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Freshly Picked

Texas is HOT and it’s almost impossible to find anything growing outside that doesn’t resemble a weed or that isn’t yellow! My challenge was to use only things I could pick or cut down for flowers and style a summer table using kraft paper, my large jars and cobalt blue glassware that I’ve collected for many years. Turns out you CAN dine outside in Texas, perhaps under a tree and with freshly picked Texas wildflowers. I hope this look inspires you to celebrate summer!


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