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April 2010

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Happy Weekend!

April 1, 2010

Errands? Check. Fridge stocked? Check. Work finished? Um next question, please. House cleaned? Sorta check… It’s a holiday weekend and time to sign off until Tuesday since it’s Easter weekend! Tomorrow is Karfreitag and then Monday is Ostermontag so I’m taking both holidays for myself. We have family coming in tomorrow and a Spring festival (Frühlingsfest) to attend so the weekend will be busy but fun and certainly a time for play – no work allowed!

Happy Weekend!

Before I sign off, I’m leaving you with an interview to read that the very sweet and talented Jessica Constable had with me this morning called Design Your Life where we talked about intentions and how we can all learn ways in which to turn them into something real. You can read that here. Also do not miss the new collection of jewelry that Jess just rolled out under her brand Jess LC — it’s stunning. I want these and this (with a blue ribbon).

I’m also leaving you with this 50 minute podcast in case you missed it earlier this week — I was interviewed by Darren who authors Problogger in Australia and in his interview with me we discuss everything from ads on blogs to how to handle critical comments and beyond. You may find some helpful points in our discussion so please listen to it if you have a moment. Well, 50 moments to be exact. :) And a special thanks to Swedish magazine Välkommen Hem for the feature! If you live in Sweden look for this magazine on your newsstands, it features some beautiful home and decorating ideas and also a feature on four bloggers — one being me.

I wish you a very nice long weekend…enjoy your family, friends and some time away from the internet to get your hands busy doing the things that inspire confidence and joy.

And please…. please…. don’t bring your child to see an Easter bunny like the one here. Yes, that’s little me. I think this Easter bunny needed anger management counseling. Doesn’t he look kinda creepy? I laugh whenever I see that photo. I think he’s saying, “I’ve got you, my pretty”.  At least I got away safe, ha!

What are your plans this weekend? Oh do tell!

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Round-ups, Shopping + Products

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

April 1, 2010

Whenever I’m in need of a little retail therapy, I turn to Cox & Cox. Well, to look anyway… I’ve not actually purchased a single thing from them ever and am not sure as to whether they’d ship outside of the UK or not but it’s their product photos that inspire me so much. Though after rounding up my 12 favorite things for this post, I found a few that I’m definitely inquiring about. Cox & Cox has many new and lovely offerings for spring and I’d like to share a few of my favorites, the first being this super fab three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle tree. I really, really adore this!

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

1::: 3D Jigsaw Tree

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

2::: Bird Hooks

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

3::: Lotus Tea Lights

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

4::: Music for a Spring Morning CD

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

5::: Number Candle Vases

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

6::: Velvet Drawstring Bag

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

7::: Round Platter

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

8::: Velvet Ribbon

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

9::: Birdsong CD

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

10::: Kiss Tapestry Kit

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

11::: Cookie Cutter Sets

Cox & Cox: 12 Favorites

12::: Velvet Pencil Case

If you do not plan to order from them then do what lots of us do — take inspiration from their arrangements, color combos and consider whether you have anything similar at home that you could arrange Cox & Cox style. That is how you can turn your inspirations into something real and original for your own home.

(images: cox & cox)






Rooms

Brigitte Home Wallpaper

April 1, 2010

I spent most of my day today in a most unexpected way because I did not intend to visit a massive Home Depot-like store called Toom but as it turns out — it was quite fun! Though I found something odd there that I’ll detail below because perhaps a few locals can clue me in on my strange finding… Anyway! I’ve been to these super mega home stores in Germany before but was quite surprised by how similar things felt as I roamed aisles of plants in the garden center and gorgeous pots of all sizes — I felt like I was back home in America. It was surreal really.

Brigitte Home Wallpaper

I like this pattern above because it looks almost like mosaic tile.

And good news for me is that I found some lovely gray pots for my mini olive topiary trees that sit in the windows. I will work on planting them later tonight since it’s Easter weekend and I’m taking the next four days off since company is coming! Yay! In addition to gorgeous (and cheap!) pots, I came across wallpaper books and a few struck me as quite nice though the one that stood out the most was called Brigitte Home under the A.S. Creation Tapeten brand. The wallpaper book was pretty and fresh and so I wrote down the website hoping they’d have a few images online and they did. But only a few…

Brigitte Home Wallpaper

So now you can get a taste of how German wallpaper is often presented where I live. Everything here has been such a learning experience — it’s hard to describe unless you’ve lived outside of your country but it’s odd to go from knowing so much about items for the home to suddenly knowing so little! It feels odd but also exciting to walk through mega stores and recognize very few (if any) brands. Many of the products are unknown to me — there is so much to learn and until I’m fluent in German, translating words like Spackle, Putty and Glue Guns can be challenging and always comical. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by it all but I’m on new turf now so I view it as a great learning experience.

So now to tell you about my odd finding… As I mentioned already, I was in Toom shopping for plant pots and was quite surprised to see that they sold fish, bunnies, mice, outdoor fish for ponds, birds of all sorts, and craft supplies and even a bakery for fresh bread. They also had pools of big living clams (I have no clue why, really) and that is my “odd finding”. It was fun to browse wallpaper, paint, grab a delicious piece of chocolate bread, check out some finches and see craft supplies and loads of how-to books that covered everything from how to make your own window decals to sewing table runners. They had lots of storage things and wall decals too. But clams? Big, live ones? With the fish and mice and birds? Can someone enlighten me? They don’t strike me as pet-like. :)

(images: brigitte home)






Etsy Faves

Draw Flowers

April 1, 2010

My pink vintage wallpaper tote arrived today and I just love it. Made by Draw Flowers, it’s perfect for storing things in the kitchen. I love all of her handmade items made from vintage retro wallpaper patterns – fun stuff!

Draw Flowers

Do you have any storage needs? If you do, don’t miss my handmade storage bin round up here where you are bound to find many great ones made mostly from fabric – I featured 16 total!

(image: draw flowers)






Bloggers

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

April 1, 2010

With thoughts of summer on my mind I found two blogs for the first time last night that I must share with you if you’re feeling summer-y lately too. I know that I may get some eye rolling here because they’re a bit on the country coastal style and many of you just aren’t into that look but I invite you to give it a chance if it’s not your thing — you may find a few ideas here that you can translate in your own, personal way. When I see this look I don’t think “Shabby Chic” as much as I think “Coastal Country” or “Coastal Flea Market”.  The first blogger is Sarah from A Beach Cottage who relocated from London to Australia to a lovely little fixer upper cottage in Australia that’s so welcoming — I can imagine spending summers in a sweet home like this.

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

It’s a casual, relaxed look complete with boat oars, glass balls, vintage blue glass canning jars as flower vases, and slipcovered sofas that so many associate with Rachel Ashwell though they’ve been around much longer than the Shabby Chic brand. When I saw this living room above I was surprised to see how much it reminded me of my own (photo here) and it made me feel right at home. It also made me miss the vintage white ladder that I sold when I moved over here — I once used it in my room to display/store my handbags (remember this photo that I shared back in ’08 of my ladder?).

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

The next blogger is featured below, Maria of Dreamy Whites in California, who loves blue tones and enjoys adding in some pink and yellow for an extra burst of personality. She has a pretty antique French chandelier and another from Italy that I envy and can imagine in a myriad of spaces from a cupcake cafe to a streamlined modern dining room or a child’s bedroom. My local Noa Noa shop has a chandelier that I want so badly… I have to ask the owner where she found it because it’s a must-have in my book. I’ve always wanted a chandelier in my home, but only in one room — and it has to look a bit French thanks to my southern upbringing and all of the old homes I’ve been to in Charleston during my young life that made quite an impact on what I define as beautiful. Let’s look at some of the pretty things in Maria’s home for a moment, shall we?

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

A Beach Cottage + Dreamy Whites Blog

I like the natural wash of sunlight against whites and blues and love the rose pink and yellow accents brought in with flowers along with driftwood, pickled wood and other natural wood accents, don’t you?

What appeals to me the most about this look is the unpretentious coziness. This look can be accomplished on all budgets so you can spend a ton to create it or you can build this look on a shoestring budget by recycling and upcycling things that you currently have or find at yard sales, flea markets — even items set out on the street on trash day. In fact, when I was pretty broke, I felt like I was far more creative than I am today and this concerns me. I also remember doing lots of drive-bys on trash day in the “upper class” neighborhoods in Boston. I’d go to Newton or out to Marblehead or Swampscott to see what trash could become my treasure. This relaxed cheap chic look can be accomplished when you are rich, poor or in the middle — and not all decorating styles can make that claim, which is why I like this aesthetic — it’s accessible.

I must note: Both woman are married and have children (Maria has 5!), they are not single without kids as may be assumed by how clean, white and feminine their style is! Imagine that!?

Could you live in a space like this? Vacation in one? Have a second home in this style? Do you currently live in a home decorated in this coastal cottage style?

(images: A Beach Cottage and Dreamy Whites.)






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