Saturday, January 30, 2010

valentine's petite inspiration box swap

It seems safe enough to post photos of what I sent my partners for Heather's Petite Inspiration Box Swap since I mailed my packages a week ago. So funny because it wasn't until viewing photos close-up that I discovered forgetting the "s" in "inspired." I did fix the boxes but didn't have time for a second photo shoot.

Another behind-the-scenes story is that I was feeling very intimidated about the swap after reading a post over at Tales from an OC Cottage. Sweet Holly picked up on this from a comment I'd left and emailed me right away to boost my confidence. I felt much better and got busy creating the boxes. Thank you, Holly!

I tried to fill matchboxes both petit and grand with lots of pretty treasures.

If all this sounds like fun to you, I believe Heather is planning another swap in the near future.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

tried and true

Meanwhile, back at working on the boys' room . . .

Decorating the room is happening slowly, but that's okay. I found this excellent fabric at Ikea along with an equally cool curtain wire and clips system and thought: how difficult could it be to sew a valance, even for me? Kind of an arrogant move given my patternphobia, etc.

Well, despite my efforts to be precise and careful, things like this started to happen. Looks more like a doctor's signature than a seam. I began to grow frustrated (and as you'll soon see, a bit loopy).

Oh look, it's my dear old friend fusible tape aka Stitch Witchery! We've had some good times over the years. Pillows, curtains. Good times.

Sigh. Much better and no unsightly threaded cursive.

I have also been wanting to put together a valance for beneath the kitchen sink.

Safety pins! Long time, no see.

I have a small collection of pretty hankies from blogger friends. The pins will help keep them easy to remove for laundering.

Don't worry though, I will use an actual screw driver to replace the hardware on the cabinet door. Is that Elmer's I hear calling? (Just kidding)

Well, I have created quite the mess so I had better begin cleaning it all up. Looks like snow is beginning to pile up outside, too!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

gasp: the painted cottage on etsy

I just discovered that my favorite store in the whole world, The Painted Cottage, has an Etsy shop. Click here to swoon.

I have written a few blog posts about wandering through The Painted Cottage's brick-and-mortar location in New Jersey in a wide-eyed trance during visits to my sisters'. On one trip I purchased a small iron gate section and then had to walk through the airport with it tucked uncomfortably beneath my arm and then stow it above my seat!

Now, with the Etsy shop I can just click, although if you are ever anywhere near the South Jersey/Philly area, I highly recommend a visit to this amazing shop. There is even a Painted Cottage Cafe across the street so you can build up some sustenance before fainting over artist Valerie Boothroyd's hand-painted roses, mosaics, shabbified furniture and more.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

pantry pilfers and peeks

If you watched Gilmore Girls you probably remember how cooking avoidance lead Lorelai and Rory to use the oven to store their shoes. I thought of this today as I filled shakers from Michaels (dollar spot!) with beads and cabochons.

Or how I use canning jars to preserve things other than jam . . .

or how maybe I took a few extra condiment cups from the Ikea cafe to keep items sorted during projects . . .

You may already know how I feel about Bonne Maman jars.


Sorry about the dark photo: it's very cloudy today. Still not quite ready for the big reveal but aside from small touch-ups, painting the boys' room is done. To-dos include hanging shelves and lamps, some wall art, and bedding decisions. More to come. Thanks again for your motivating cheers!

What I am working on

Sorry to be behind in commenting. Hope to visit soon!


I'm today's Featured Seller at LolliShops! Thanks, Sadie Lou!

Friday, January 15, 2010

coffee break

What better way to wind-down from a sometimes frustrating week of painting the boys' room than with a stack of inspiring books.

Thanks to the magic of my state's online library database, I am able to search for books available at connected libraries and have them delivered to my local branch. A great way to test-drive beautiful (but sometimes pricey) books.

I swoon over almost every page. I revel in the wonderful imperfection: the cracked, chipped and worn

I have a hunch that neither Rachel Ashwell nor Cath Kidston use blue painter's tape.

Hope to wrap-up the boys' room this weekend. Thank you so much for cheering me on! I'll be sure to keep you posted.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

what i've been up to

This is what what you do when your two adorable sons share a room and one loves blue and the other green, and you want both brothers to adore their room. Well, it's what I am doing anyway.

I still have another day of painting ahead for a 2nd coat and touch-ups, followed by yet another day of white paint touch-ups. (Ugh) As you can see, I am also painting their furniture. Bye bye white bureaus with bright yellow knobs (sniff, sniff) from the nursery days of yellow gingham-and-ducks decor.

Primed and ready for coats of blue and green

I am a very messy painter -- one of the reasons I like shabby/romantic/cottage style so much, where to me -- there is no "perfect." Attempting straight lines and edges is blowing some of my circuits!

Stay tuned for the big reveal and please wish me luck because I need it! Please also forgive my lack of comments lately. I hope to visit soon!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

les petits fortunes

We always have a Chinese food take-out menu in the kitchen.

Of course, now it has been cut up. Not to worry -- we generally order the same dishes. Graphically, I think this menu is very cool and I have always been intrigued with menus from Chinese restaurants. {Strange but true} I always wonder how there can be so many dishes made from such similar ingredients? (I won't bore you with that whole thing but I could go on)

I also thought it would be fun to type and print little fortunes, or should I call them les petits fortunes?

While feeling snippy, I made a lantern, too.
A fun kid's craft idea for Chinese New Year next month

I have a feeling I will be picking up more take-out menus very soon. Maybe some wonton soup, too. It's freezing outside today!


New les petits tiroirs are being added to my Etsy shop

Sunday, January 3, 2010

swaps and fun facts

Happy New Year!

Blogging friends know that I enjoy swaps. I think it is fun to have a crafty "assignment" with a deadline, assemble treats, and meet new creative bloggers. There are currently two for which I am signed up.

Cathy of Treasured Heirlooms has put together the Amour Valentine Swap. This is Cathy's first time hosting a swap but she is no stranger to beautiful things. Visit Cathy's pretty blog or shop(s) and you will recognize her from all of the awesome and well-deserved press she receives for her whimsical creations and beautiful home and garden in magazines like Romantic Homes. I have actually looked through saved magazines and found pictorials: That's Cathy!

Fun fact about Cathy:
Look for Cathy in the March issue of Romantic Country.

I am also participating in Heather of Speckled Egg's Petite Inspiration Box Swap (PIB). I was part of this swap last year and not only was I introduced to creative bloggers but to using materials I had never used before, like ledger paper (it's true). Heather is a Silver Bella gal which attributes to my being enamored of her and her talents.

Fun fact about Heather: (Re)introduced me to the wonders of embellishing matchboxes. My first experience was the make-your-own dresser idea pamphlet from the Sunshine Family doll set at about age 10. Does anyone remember these?

This was a box I received from one of my three PIB swap partners last year, Jennifer. If interested, here is my post about it.

Before even knowing about these swaps, I was asked by my friend Bethany to instruct a craft night at our local library in February. This box is what I made to be the example. I think it will be fun.

Fun fact about Bethany:
First person to tell me she had a blog. Yep, thanks to Bethany I have discovered this whole wonderful world!

Not sure if the swaps listed above are still accepting participants but if this sounds fun to you, keep your eyes open to posts about swaps and consider signing up. They really are fun and worthwhile.

Oh, I am supposed to be taking ornaments off of the tree. Gotta go!