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Christina’s Handmade Book Covers

Prepare for total book cover cuteness! The second I unwrapped these babies yesterday, a recent handmade purchase from Etsy, I knew I’d have to take a couple of snapshots to share with you. These were made with love by Christina’s and I swear, they are even better in person. One is for me (the owl, of course) and the others are for a special friend.

I love the idea of using this notebook cover as a book cover (it’s the perfect size for paperback novels) for the times when I’m traveling. When I’m in transit I’m not always that keen on sharing with the world what I’m reading. I don’t read books with questionable content, it’s not about that, but it has to do with how much of a conversation magnet I am — no matter where I go strangers are somehow guided my way like mice to cheese to either tell me their life story or ask me a slew of questions sparked by whatever I am doing at that moment (reading, typing on my laptop, looking for gum in my bag, etc.). While I’m outgoing and love people, I’ll admit to getting a little worn out sometimes. Do you attract strangers? For me, books are the easiest way to call attention to myself. When I was reading the Twilight series people approached me asking for my opinion or worse, asking what I thought about this or that part and surprise! I hadn’t even read that bit yet so those were total spoiler moments for me. My new book cover will be put to good use for my upcoming travels — maybe I can read in peace although now I’m wondering if curiosity will cause some to ask, “Excuse me um… whatcha readin’?”.

Hmmm.

Well if the book cover doesn’t do the trick then at least it still looks cute. :)

(images from Holly Becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy on March 26, 2009

Wreath Round Up {your opinion?}

Whenever I think of Spring, in additional to marshmallow peeps, daffodils, rabbits, and trees in bloom, I think of wreaths because it seems everyone in my neighborhood hangs one on the front door the moment the snow has melted and the flowers start to bloom (a common custom in New England where I live). Given their history and religious associations dating back before the Persian Empire, then referred to as a diadem, wreaths were typically then worn as a headband. In ancient Rome decorative wreaths were used as a sign of victory and celebration and according to a variety of sources it seems that the custom of hanging a wreath on the front door may stem from this practice. In modern times, wreaths in the home are used in celebration of holidays but many, like myself, enjoy displaying them for non-religious reasons simply as decorative objects year round. Clearly a wreath is no ‘trend’ item — with a history dating back that far I’m sure they will hang around for a long time to come. :)

“Balance” by Royal Buffet.

It’s interesting to note that not all modern day wreaths for the home are created equal — they come in a myriad of shapes and sizes from circular to square and made from or adorned with everything you can imagine. At first you may think of evergreen or holly, but I’m certain the common silk and dried flower variety springs to mind as well. In addition to those commonly found in stores and florists, there are lots of uncommon designs that I’d like to highlight because they deserve a notice. From living greens to feathers, twigs, fresh flowers (my preference when it comes to floral wreaths — I had wreaths on our seats at my wedding), felt, bells, shells, yarn, vintage horse show ribbons, cards (love!), cork, metal, men’s ties, ornaments, eggs, buttons, paper and fabric, pretty much anything is fair game!

Mod white powder coated steel circle by Kenneth Wingard, wild twigs and feathers by Holly Ferencze, spring from SodabyAmy and a living succulents (not plastic!) via Viva Terra.

Paper wreath from The Spotted Sparrow in Germany and a gorgeous ruffled vintage French ivory wreath by Simple Joys Paperie.

The Constant Gatherer in South Carolina is a constant source of inspiration…

Inspiration from craft queen Martha Stewart online. Search her website for wreaths and prepare for projects galore!

Ribbons by Bitter Sweet Design and a simple Spring wreath made by a favorite indie designer of mine, Lobster and Swan.

Love and Happiness by Haru (I own a similar one from this Etsy seller) and a personalized baby fabric wreath (for a boy) from Holland Fabric House.

Cheerful paper flowers from Wool Paper Sugar and a doily twinkle light wreath as shown in the holiday issue of Martha Stewart Living 2008. You can make this doily wreath: DIY here

One of a kind treasure by Beach Cottage Studio and Spring Fling from Dana and Carol, first spotted today on Creature Comforts who I must credit because seeing this single wreath on her blog inspired this very round up! Inspiration is funny like that. Thank goodness for the lovely and talented bloggers out there highlighting so many gorgeous finds!

More Martha Stewart inspiration including a brilliant brown paper bag wreath (top right) via Abby Goes Design Scouting who found this in a back issue of Martha Stewart Living.


Cardboard wreaths from Cardboard Safari.


The modern “Family Ties” wreath DIY over at ReadyMade mag online and a vintage paper wire one from Great Findz.

And last but certainly not least, these intricate paper designs by Helen Musselwhite via LivingEtc.

I personally love paper crafts so seeing paper used in wreath making is one of my favorite crafting projects out there. I was a little hesitant to come forward to admit to liking wreaths because it seems most associate them with either funeral homes, kitschy crafting, nursing home decor or strictly for holidays only. Then I thought that this post may be beneficial because if you do associate wreaths with words like tacky or dated, perhaps after seeing the variety that exists you’ll give them a second glance. It all comes down to personal preference in the end so whether you like them or not, I’ll leave that part up to you. This is by no means an effort to convert you!

So tell me… do you like wreaths? When you think of one what immediately comes to mind? If you have a wreath where is it in your home? Do you display a wreath on your front door?

(images above all linked to their sources)

Posted in round-up, walls on March 26, 2009

Domino, Domino, Where Art Thou?

Around this time each month you can usually find me curled up with the latest issue of Domino magazine and a cup of strong black tea because this is when my crisp copy would have arrived. Yesterday when Martha Stewart Living and Coastal Living showed up, I couldn’t help but long for a little dose of editors’ cravings, scouting, and to see where that girl about town, Rita Konig, had visited since the last issue. I’m left looking for an alternate fix but having a hard time — I’m sure most fans of the mag can relate.

There’s no saving Domino as it’s an era over and done, so that’s why I feel lucky to have all 36 issues filed away in crisp white magazine holders to reference, along with the Domino book. Which leads me to ask you, did you keep all of your copies of the mag? Do you have a favorite Domino magazine cover?

Becky said that some past issues are going for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Can you believe it? I had to go to eBay to see it for myself and sure enough, I see lots of issues heading in that direction though most are still fairly affordable. Too funny though.

My 9 favorite Domino mag covers out of 36.

Wouldn’t you have loved to be on the cover of an issue? I think all of us had that dream at one time or another… here is a link to all 36 covers, feel free to join in on the fun by commenting below with your favorite (month, year) and you can feel free to explain why you liked it so much.

(image top: Holly Becker for decor8, bottom: domino mag)

Posted in Books + Magazines on March 26, 2009

Blog of the Week: Concrete and Honey

Ready to visit a dreamy blog this week? The blog of the week goes to Concrete and Honey… Newly launched this past January, Nicola Brooke is a blogger based in Sydney with inspiring finds and lots of her own photography that makes the blog stand out as unique. Here I’ve included a sneak peek at some of her photography, a glimpse of the goodness over on her bloggy blog.

Concrete and Honey

Concrete and Honey

Concrete and Honey

Concrete and Honey

I love the slip and sofa image, I had to incorporate it a second time into these collages. Nicola’s overall palette started off as soft and sweet, and still is, but like me she seems to enjoy the element of surprise so she’ll throw in some bright hues from time to time too. I was first introduced to this blog via Steph Bond who authors Bondville, she wrote in just yesterday to tell me all about Concrete and Honey so thank you Steph for the tip! It was because of Steph that I realized that Nicola is actually in the same online class that I’m taking right now called Unravelling. Small world!

{blog} {flickr}

P.S. As I’m writing this I’m listening to A Fine Frenzy… If Concrete and Honey had a theme CD, perhaps this would be it. :)

(images by nicola brooke)

Posted in blogs on March 25, 2009

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