Tuesday, June 29, 2010

pretty little boxes

Whenever I go to HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx I usually march (dash?) directly to the paper aisle. I especially like the boxed cards by GRAPHIQUE not only for their pretty images with gold leaf embossing but for their decorated boxes.

{It tickles me that this line of cards is called La Petite Presse because Press is my maiden name and blogging seems to be turning me into a bit of a Francophile (as in Le Petit Tiroirs).}

What started as an organizing project of craft supplies turned into color-sorting paper flowers ...

and using the emptied boxes for la petite storage.

Anyone thinking what I'm thinking?

I'm thinking I need to find a companion box in blue.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

fickle pickle

Ever get confused about your decorating style?

I'm feeling a little confused about what makes me GASP! and that feeling is what always propels my decor style. Please buckle-up and scroll with me as I ramble and ask: Are all of the styles I'm combining working together? {Did I mention that I just drank a cup of coffee? Bear with me.}

First, I wanted my dining room to look like this Pottery Barn photo. With some new-house-gift money from my parents, I purchased much of what you see in this pic (except we went with a different table). Much was on sale, too!

Then I saw this photo in Romantic Country and decided to paint the walls a pale green and bring in florals and eyelet and hang pretty plates on the walls. {Read more}

Then last night while enjoying some blogging time, I saw this image over at fabric designer Tanya Whelan's blog and my heart skipped a beat! Aqua + cherry red + white!

And today I am crushing over this photo at Maria's Dreamy Whites blog and find myself quite smitten by the elegant simplicity of it all.

Look at Maria's living room. She's got me thinking: where can I fit a mantle in my little cottage?

Here's my own dining room.

I hope I am finding a happy medium or common ground between all of these styles that make me GASP. The shabby whites, the pale aquas, the beach-cottage feel, the faded prints of Cabbages & Roses, the cheery florals of Cath Kidston and Tanya Whelan, farmhouse chic, groovy Anthropologie, Swedish, Atlanta Bartlett. I could probably go on!

Look at this photo from Tracey at French Larkspur! My neighbor has a ladder behind her shed. I keep thinking: if she doesn't need it, wouldn't it be so cool to use in my living room? Or would my boys end up turning it into a fort or a weapon of destruction? I wonder if it's covered in spiders? {Remember: coffee-fueled post}

Thoughts, tips, advice welcome!


Please be sure to enter my giveaway over at Where Women Create.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has visited my guest post at WWC so far and left the dearest comments for/about me. I can't even explain how much your warm and supportive thoughts and cheers are appreciated. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.


Friday, June 25, 2010

my giveaway and feature at wwc!

I am thrilled and honored to be featured at today's Fabulous Friday at the Where Women Create blog.

In celebration I will be giving away a sampling of my tinkered treasures.

Please visit this post at the WWC blog to enter!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

tinkered muffins

One of my favorite things about summertime is the abundance of my favorite fruits: blueberries, nectarines, and watermelon! I have a super-easy muffin recipe to share. Not many ingredients needed and not long in the oven.

Tinkered Berry Muffins
2 eggs
2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup quick oats
2/3 cup sugar
2 mashed bananas*
1/4 cup milk
1 cup berries

Prep muffin tin with cooking spray or cupcake liners
Mix all ingredients except berries
Fold berries in last
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes

*If you want to skip the bananas, double the milk to 1/2 cup

I like to sprinkle the tops with cinnamon before baking

Light and consistently yummy.

Makes a nice self-serve breakfast, too, for boys who seem to wake up earlier in the summer than they do all school year. {Explain?}

My blogging time will be very catch-as-catch-can over the summer but I hope to catch as many moments to visit as possible. I did manage to get my Paris-themed swap boxes ready. The photo above is a sneak-peek for my swap-peeps.

Thanks so much to visitors at my the Where Bloggers Create II party post. This is such an enjoyable and inspiring happening. I look forward to more party hopping!


Friday, June 18, 2010

where bloggers create II

I'm excited to be participating in Karen's brilliant party for the second time.

Last year I showed the many places in and out of my home where I like to get crafty. This year, I'd like to focus-in on the room we affectionately call the Girlie Office, or G.O. for short.

Yikes. This was the sloppily painted, former teenage boys' room (previous owner) turned cardboard igloo that I envisioned transforming into a space where I could work, play, relax, daydream, create. As a life-long renter in my first-ever house I was more than ready to take on some wall color, too.

Believe it or not, this little Sanrio bee on a notepad, made me think: YELLOW!
I began to gather ideas and materials and take on many DIY projects in preparation. Almost everything shown in this room has been tinkered with, which makes it all the more fun for me.

{Same curtains as in the "before" photo. Just snipped off the tabs and replaced them with ribbon ties. Same chair, too!}

One bright sunny morning I couldn't help but take photos of the newly finished room (this was long before blogging for me). I excitedly emailed the photos to Creative Home magazine (my then go-to guide) and was stunned when they replied immediately asking for more photos and details. When it was published that summer, the section was titled girly getaway -- so fun!

So that's how it all began for the little Girlie Office and me.

It's in this yellow with pale yellow-trimmed room that blog posts get written and I play around with fonts and images on the old iMac.

It's where treasures are tinkered with and online shop orders are packaged. It's also the room where my oldest likes to read quietly, my youngest plays games online, or my husband and I sneak away to chit-chat during a busy Saturday.

Since the G.O.'s big debut in print, my tastes for accents have become less raspberry-paisley and more pale-floral.

I try to keep supplies pretty organized . . .

in jars and cans (natch) ...

and boxes.

Pretty papers adhered to the backing, add cottage style (tee hee) to this standard office-supply bookcase.

In a house full of boys the Girlie Office is where frippery rules.
It's where this blogger creates!

Thank you so much for visiting!
Thank you Karen for being the hostess with the mostest!
Happy party-hopping!
Click here to get to Karen's blog.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

little pink ingredients

As part of celebrating the anniversary of her online shop Little Pink Studio owner Cerri, asked if I would like to create something using items from her shop and then post about it. I adore everything Cerri sells and couldn't decide, so I suggested that she send me a few little things and I could try to put something together, like a LolliShops design team challenge.

Cerri sent me the loveliest things. I'm sure they would look amazing taped to an emptied paper towel roll. Ideas are spinning in my mind and as soon as I've made something, I'll be sure to post about it. {Thanks again, Cerri!}

In the meantime, Cerri is having a giveaway at her Little Pink Studio blog. Check out her shop, too. It's so sweet (just like Cerri)!


If you're looking for last-minute teacher's gifts, please visit my shops at Etsy and LolliShops. My boys' teachers all have my pretty organized sets. They make useful, unique presents.

The school year ends on Friday for us. I'd better run and fit-in some crafty time!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

treasured book

For our fifteenth wedding anniversary, my husband bought me the book, Treasured Notions. Well, it was sort of obvious that I wanted it but I'm happy he "surprised" me anyway.

In Treasured Notions, Kaari Meng of French General has assembled page after page of do-able but unique crafts, mixing things as rare as dried beetles with things as easy to find as wooden craft store boxes.

Admittedly, it's the pulse of the sometime-desktop publisher in me that quickens at the brilliant layout, font and color combos, and sharp photography of each page. Look at this clever dedication page
. . .

and how page footers are made to appear stained and aged. It's all so organic to the premise of this book: Kaari creating with decades-old finds from the mysterious basement of Tinsel Trading upon the long-awaited invitation-to-dig from owner, Marcia Ceppos.

To me this is almost a coffee-table book, although one that makes me want to put the coffee down, dig through my craft supplies, and get busy!

I'm currently borrowing Kaari's The French-Inspired Home and Marcia's Beautiful Bedrooms with Ribbons & Trims from my library. Together, both books make interesting companion pieces especially since Marcia provides the foreword to Treasured Notions.

{Now WHY didn't I buy Treasured Notions at the Tinsel Trading booth when I met Marcia last month? I could have asked her to sign a copy for me. Wah! Oh well.}

I highly recommend this book. And if you're lucky enough to meet Kaari or Marcia, remember to ask for their autograph on your copy.


Friday, June 4, 2010

pretty easy: hankies + clips

I decided to spray-paint the curtain clips of my hankie-valance. While everything was taken apart, I thought this easy-peasy idea would make a nice how-to post.

These curtain clips are from Ikea (left over from the no-sew valance I made for the boys' room). They were silver and needed to fade into the background so they received a few light coats of white spray paint out at the ol' picnic table.

Next I lined up my favorite vintage hankies (every single one received from blogging friends through swaps or gifts), folded them in half . . .

and clipped their folded ends to the clips now hanging from a tension rod.

If I ever compile a Top 10 of Home Decor Useful Faves, tension rods will surely make the list. (These handy clips just might make the list, too.)

I placed the tension rod so that my hankies fall around cafe-curtain-length, roughly half-way down the window over my kitchen sink.

Easy to do and easy to change!

(Imagine this handkerchief trick with colorful bandanas or patterned napkins? Presto!)

Thank you so much to everyone for your happy cheers about my Fifi news! This is just the bestest place to share.


{I found the cup & saucer at HomeGoods. Interesting because the back of the saucer reads: Blue Vintage Rose, Peppertree Tabletops, Coastline Imports. I later bought a matching teapot that simply says Cath Kidston.}