Saturday, February 26, 2011

"prairie" in spring time

Beautiful books are a treat and Fifi O'Neill's first book, Romantic Prairie Style is such a treat that it has already topped an best seller list! What's extra special about this achievement is that the book isn't out until April. Imagine a book topping charts before it's even available? Leave it to the gracious Fifi and her devoted legion of friends and admirers to make magic happen.

With luscious peeks of the pages that Fifi has shared of Mark Lohman's distinctive photography combined with her eloquent writing, it's no wonder why so many (including myself) have pre-ordered a copy.

April may bring showers but it will also bring "Style"

If you're interested in treating yourself to Romantic Prairie Style, you can pre-order a copy here.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

sweet idea

All of a sudden I was craving yellow and needed to make something using the color of daffodils.

I recalled feeling like this before, checked my blog archives and sure enough it was the same time last year that I wrote a post called craving yellow. I find it very cool how our blogs become diaries of our creativity.

Never one to discard a container, especially bottles as sweet as these from honey, it was time to take these little bears out of hibernation to play. First, I removed their stubborn labels which required soaking in warm soapy water followed by some Goo Gone. [I would actually prefer to use something less toxic. Any suggestions?]

I decided to stick to a palette of pale pinks and yellows when dressing up the little bears with ribbons, buttons, forget-me-nots and tags.

I filled them with a strand of pearls, yellow beads, lemon candies and ribbon in sunny shades.

Sweet for display, fun as a party favor, or inspired gift packaging for your honey bunch.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

fresh air

Dare I even type that it feels like spring today? That tall piles of snow are melting? That windows are open? Weeks ago many of us were cooing over combos of evergreen and berry, but not today ... not me! Let's have aqua and baby blue, strawberry, and a twist of lime.

This cute-as-a-button lavender-filled heart was a gift from the sweet and ever-so-busy Sonia. She's in the midst of wrapping up the spring issue of Creating Vintage Charm ...

I've had a peek at the contents since I'm helping with some editing and let me tell you, the new issue looks to be wonderful!

These happy bluebird cards are a giveaway win from Vintage Paper Parade (browse at etsy or visit at blog); adorable custom prints, tags and more. The ribbon is from the new Whimsy Cottage collection from Michaels.

{Covered paper clips from Michaels' clearance, spill gracefully from one of my tinkered canning jars.}

I recently heard some weather-folklore that if you have thunder during a snow storm it will be the last snow of the season. We had thunder-snow during the last storm; I'm fascinated to see if the tale will hold true. (My boys think I'm a little cuckoo for considering this theory with no evidence. We shall see!)

For now, I'm enjoying some fresh air!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

show + tell international

One of my favorite things about blogging (and there are many), is the game of international show and tell we play. Many of us decor-enthusiasts pack our cameras when we go shopping or document great finds by sharing photos, reviews (er, GASP!s) and links.

Thanks to blogging friends everywhere, my swooning can reach beyond my local Target and HomeGoods to places tucked away in my own country and shops across the sea. Unfortunately some of these places that are far away don't yet ship to the States but their images still inspire!

The Painted Cottage {New Jersey, U.S.A.}

PiP Studio {Amsterdam}

Tilda by Tone Finnanger {Norway}

GreenGate {Denmark}

Pale and Interesting by Atlanta Bartlett {England}

Cabbages & Roses {England}

Cath Kidston {England}

Feel like looking at more places that might be new to you? Visit my favorite links where I try to compile places I like to visit later for ideas.

Any favorites of yours to share? I'm all eyes!


Monday, February 7, 2011

seeing spots

Once I became a Cath Kidston enthusiast, I suppose it was only a matter of time before polka dots began to spread.

Even though the new Cath Kidston magazine is sprinkled with "dotty" designs (as shown directly above), my recent purchases have been from local spots ...

like this cake stand from HomeGoods, the oven mitts shown at the tippy-top from Target . . .

or this small, ceramic cake pedestal from TJ Maxx.

Polka dots and florals play nicely together, especially when touches of red are their mutual friend. What patterns are you drawn to these days?

{Still way behind on my blog visits; hope to pop over soon!}


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

valentine crush crackers

Happy Groundhog Day from snowy-icy-rainy Rhode Island! Sorry to have been absent from blogging -- the past few weeks have been busy and snowy and busy. I hope to make some time for blog visits very soon because I can see from a quick peek at thumbnail pics, that there are many beautiful posts to read and swoon over.

As a little catch-up post, here is something I wrote for Kidoinfo, an online resource for parents. I pitched the idea of coming up with a craft that would make use of leftover holiday wrap and trimming as well as common household items. I came up with Valentine Crush Crackers.

Wondering what to do with leftover scraps of wrap and ribbon? Crackers, which resemble over-sized wrapped candies are part of Christmas celebrations in many parts of the world. I thought, why not make some for Valentine's Day and give them a fun name? Voila! Valentine Crush Crackers. Traditionally, two people pull apart the cracker at once "wishbone style" to cause a spark; this version is low-tech but big on fun and low on cost. Perfect to give to friends (or a special crush).

Toilet paper rolls or cut tubes from paper towels or wrapping paper
Paper: wrap, construction paper, scrapbooking paper
Scissors, glue, tape
Tissue or wax paper
Ribbon, twine
Scraps of things that look Valentine-like: paper doilies, printed images, old greeting cards, bows, stickers, cupcake liners, buttons
Filler: candy, small toys or party favors, love notes, paper hearts, printed fortunes

How to
Measure and cut enough paper to wrap around and cover your tube
Fasten with glue, tape or a sticker
Fill your tube
Measure and cut enough wax or tissue paper to wrap around and cover your tube leaving about 1.5 inches on each side to pinch and tie closed with ribbon or twine
Decorate your wrapped cracker
Present to a friend or secret crush!