Yearly Archives


Designers + Stylists

Kristen Hutchins Design

December 25, 2009

I had a chat with interior designer Kristen Hutchins recently, she’s been on her own a little over two years but also spent two years working with Kelly Wearstler and another two years with Ruthie Sommers. Imagine working with Ruthie and Kelly! Kristen’s portfolio reflects that pulled-together California-chic aesthetic that we all know and like so much. Here are some of my favorites…

Kristen Hutchins Design

Kristen was born in Miami and grew up in Florida, then traveled to California when she was 18 to study Business and fell in love with the west coast lifestyle. While in college she had the honor of working in fashion at Barneys New York and the exposure to such inspiring designers and clothing helped surface her long time love of interior design.

Kristen Hutchins Design

Kristen Hutchins Design

After completing her Business degree, she decided to pursue a formal design education at UCLA and then went on to work with designer Ruthie Sommers and then, more recently, Kelly Wearstler where she worked as a senior designer. After a few years with Kelly she felt ready to go out on her own and launched Kristen Hutchins Design.

What a wonderful story of a strong, talented woman determined to pursue her passions with beautiful results!

(images: kristen hutchins design)


Pretty Spoons: Nic Webb

December 24, 2009

Spoons, spoons, spoons! Are spoons more than mere utensils? Yes. They are not only filled with food but also quite memory-filled as well. I’ve long had a love for vintage and antique spoons but also the old beat-up wooden ones used for cooking and I’ll tell you why in a moment, it has to do with memories that make them more than simple flatware and somewhat endearing. First observe some of the most beautiful ones I’ve laid eyes on in a long, long time…

Pretty Spoons: Nic Webb

Spoons feed the stomach and the soul. This is where memories come into play. I assume the spoon was the first utensil that you were introduced to as you began eating those yummy purees as an infant. The spoon may have been “flown” to your mouth accompanied by your father’s dramatic whooshing sound effects, and as his eyes widened, so did yours. Perhaps you’d kick your legs and giggle because feeding time was more than simply eating, it was a way for you and your parents to form an emotional bond. That spoon meant food but also attention and feeling cared for. As you matured, you started to feed yourself. I bet, like me, you can look back fondly on the big wooden spoon that your grandmother used to whip up your favorite cake, the same one that you licked clean (along with with the bowl) after the batter was poured into the buttered form. Or think about the spoon your mother lovingly fed you homemade chicken soup with as you laid in bed aching from a head cold. But there is another joy that a spoon can give…

Play! As a toddler the spoon was my drumstick for use on pots and pans as I sat wearing only a diaper on the kitchen floor, I’d strike them in pure red-cheeked joy (clearly, my mother was a saint). As you got older, spoons were part of your playtime, perhaps in your mini kitchen with all of your pretend foods, feeding your dolls and bears. You may have had a special baby doll that you’d spoon feed, did you? I remember my first doll and her little white plastic spoon. I’d insert it into her mouth and she’d make a cooing sound. Did you have a little spoon for making all those easy-bake-oven creations?

Spoons symbolize love and care amongst many other things, don’t you think? Perhaps that is why so many of us are drawn to images of them but also to admiring their shape and feel — always the perfect fit and weight — in our hand.

Have you ever thought about a spoon in this way?

I guess this is why Nic Webb’s handmade beauties made me drool just a little bit… His work is gorgeous, some look as though they were fashioned after those from the middle ages only with a much more modern, clean aesthetic. Please spend a moment on his website today. You’ll feel quite satisfied, I’m sure.

(images: nic webb)


Lovely Things: Rebecca Thuss

December 23, 2009

Stylist Rebecca Thuss makes me happy. I often turn to her online portfolio for inspiration. Does she make you happy too? How can she not, right? When you look at these photos do you imagine a big party or a room decor or perhaps an outfit you’d like to wear using certain elements from these arrangements?

Lovely Things: Rebecca Thuss

{Inspirational thought} Remember, the more you look at things that you love, how they are arranged, and question what it is that you love about them — the more your taste evolves, and the better you’ll be for it!

(images: rebecca thuss)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves, Fashion + Accessories

Alli Coate

December 22, 2009

Today is usually Etsy Take Five Tuesday day but since I’m in vacation, the column will be on hold until January 5th. Never fear! I’m here to share at least one lovely Etsy seller. Her name is Alli Coate and she is a talented illustrator in Providence, RI who recently told me about her new line of fabric jewelry with soft shapes and lovely coordinating ribbons and threads. And of course, there are the illustrations… oh, the illustrations!

Alli Coate

Alli Coate

So hard to resist these charmers! And isn’t her product packaging so sweet?

(images: alli coate)

Color Inspiration

Holiday Tones of Blue

December 21, 2009

Hello it’s Leslie again with one last holiday series for you to share. This time around I wanted to work with white, varying shades of turquoise and a touch of silver. I find this simple holiday palette very calm, soothing and easy to do because I already use these colors in my home decor. It is nice to incorporate a holiday theme into the colors you already use, creating a much simpler approach to holiday decorating.

Holiday Tones of Blue

I couldn’t help but use a little Martha Stewart glitter this year on some of my gift tags! I made black and white copies of some post cards and then painted glue on with a brush and glittered away in small sections. I let each section dry before applying the next. It made it quite quick by working on a few tags at a time. I cut out the tags using a plain tag as a tracing outline.

Holiday Tones of Blue

Scanning in some of my turquoise fabrics to create patterned paper for wrapping was simple and fun. As well, instead of buying white wrapping paper I used the back (white) side of some colored wrapping paper for my gifts and I found some left over graph paper that worked well with the palette.

Holiday Tones of Blue

I want to thank you for being such warm and welcoming readers. I started out here very, very nervous six months ago and you really have helped keep me inspired. I am truly grateful, thank you. I will be taking a short break from this column in the new year to help Holly teach her Blogging Your Way e-class. I will be back in March though, to resume Color Me Pretty on a once a month schedule.

Holiday Tones of Blue

Until March, Happy Holidays and all my very best to you in 2010. – xo, Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)



Farewell For Now…

December 18, 2009

At last the December vacation period has arrived and all I feel is this hush over the land… and then, a whisper… and it is teasing me to go and visit the world of the living breathing humans that exist offline, beckoning me to enjoy the sensory pleasures of freshly fallen snow and visual wonders of the beautiful outdoor festivals and how magical the forest looks and feels this time of the year. Branches snapping underfoot, the crunch of snow beneath my boots, the tickle of snowflakes on my face… physical pleasures that are only experienced fully when one has time to be still and live in the moment knowing that emails, voice mails and text messages do not need to be answered, at least for two whole weeks.

Farewell For Now...

A free pass to absolute freedom, to be careless and carefree. These are the final two weeks of the year that I start to look forward to in mid October as everything begins to slowly feel so noisy and saturated… and by this time, fully saturated and all-in-caps loud. It’s time to turn down, tune out, dig in. To have two weeks off feels grand, like someone just handed me a winning lottery ticket.

I’m only taking off for two weeks, but in case you do not have the luxury, I’ve prepared a little something for you each day until I am back full-time. Here is how the schedule will look: On Monday the lovely Leslie returns with Color Me Pretty. Then Tuesday-Friday I’ll post a link to something or someone nice online that may inspire you. The following week, the last week of December, you can visit again for one post a day featuring something pretty and inspirational to enjoy. Mostly visuals with links, nothing fancy or time consuming for you because honestly, I want to set an example and encourage you to take a bit of a break from the web too. If you can. It’s so refreshing once you return to it all in January… you will be better for it.

And how about you, will you take off? What are your plans? I cannot wait for these few weeks to relax and refresh as I unplug and spend moments with those I love in my new country and culture. And as a result from this special time away, I can charge my creative batteries for the wonderful year ahead, which is suddenly a blank slate before me, soon to be filled with much hope and opportunity. You must be feeling the same.

And of course I cannot sign off until January 4th without saying thank you for a lovely 2009, all of you, for every kindness, comment, email, tweet, blog post, newspaper article, magazine mention, cards, gifts, and all the other reminders that I am not alone, that what I am doing matters to you as much as it does to me, and that you truly care from your heart about me as a person and aren’t here merely to eat and run (grab content and move on) but you take time to stay awhile, comment, interact with others who comment, this is all so touching. This kindness and encouragement matters to me deeply, on some days when I felt like writing nothing at all, a card would arrive or an email expressing heartfelt sentiments and I would feel inspired to sit before my computer and write. I even appreciate the not-so-lovely comments and emails, the ones where you remind me to remain humble, to keep it real, and to polish some of the not-so-shiny parts of my personality because well, a good friend should be there to remind us of these things too. So thank you for all of it. Thank you for a truly meaningful year.

See you on Monday, well… Leslie will see you anyway with another installment of Color Me Pretty and a special announcement from her to all of you.

xo, Holly

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