Hello friends, it is Leslie here with January’s edition of Color Me Pretty. How are you? I hope that you are doing good and I’m happy to be with you for another year on decor8 with my column. I hope you enjoy and look forward to my color stories and craft ideas each month. For January, I find myself thinking about bright fluorescent pink during these long rainy days in the Pacific Northwest. It’s definitely a trend, I see it everywhere at the moment – especially in fashion, on blogs and over at Pinterest!
Instead of mixing bright pink with the typical winter grey I thought it would be fun to use Kraft paper brown along with some softer shades of pink and a light blue. It’s fun to try something new.
Color cravings can be very fleeting in creative projects and I have a hard time playing in the typical colors of the season. Do you know what I mean? I am like many who tend to want what we can’t have! In the winter I long for summer colors to contrast the dark days and in the summer I daydream about snowy white, pale grey and chocolate browns. I guess it comes back to texture, as any color can look great applied to the right material. Warm cream cable knits in winter and then the same creamy color on linens and leather in summer. These days anything goes if you love it and it helps you feel creative.
I pulled out my watercolors one evening last week and had fun creating triangle and striped patterns in the shape of hearts. I thought they would make a nice card to top off some simply wrapped presents. You can do this with any bright paper. Just make yourself a little template to make things go faster.
Another home craft project I have been thinking about and finally got around to making is this little dreamcatcher. I liked the notion of something catching your good dreams. With a new year upon us it is nice to do something to remind us of what we are dreaming about for ourselves and for others. I wrapped a metal hoop from Michael’s with some cream washi tape. I then tied a crochet doily with some string to the hoop. Finally, instead of feathers I decided to use beads, which I threaded on string and then tied to the hoop. After making one, I now have ideas on how I want to make dozens more! So watch out I may have more featured in the column next month!
I hope you have had a wonderful start to 2012. I look forward to seeing you back here next month. Take good care! – xo, Leslie.
(styling/images: leslie shewring
Hello friends, it’s me Leslie and I’m here today to bring you a very merry holiday edition of Color Me Pretty. For me, it’s all about apple green, red and aqua at the moment because it feels fresh and joyous. What do you think of this palette?
Here’s how my inspiration began. First, I got really inspired by an old photo I found of my aunt at the Calgary Stampede circa 1970. The pale minty aqua was in my head for days and then I picked up a notebook set by Rifle Papers (for Chronicle Books) at Anthropologie and figured I had a pretty color combination to work with. Here is what inspired my color selections…
I later realized that my chosen palette is very Martha Stewart Living circa December 2009. Oh well! Great colors are meant to be used again and again. Check out that back issue if you can though as it is loaded with inspiration from Martha’s expert team.
During the holiday season I always enjoy some kind of crafting project. These days I am obsessed with painting driftwood. I promise, living on the dark and rainy Vancouver Island has not made me totally bonkers (yet). I am just really inspired by the work I saw in the summer of Toronto artist Ginette Lapalme. I saw this photo in her flickr and this post on her Tumblr and thought what a great idea! I decided to make a holiday tree out of driftwood I collected off the beach as shown above. I painted some patterns on each piece using acrylic paint from Martha Stewart Crafts. I am thinking of mounting it to a framed board or I could also hang them on a wall. These small pieces of driftwood are very light and thus easy to hang.
Holiday parties do not have to be elaborate. Little gestures of unexpected color can make regular items seem festive. I plan on using more of these stripey straws from my friend Jessie’s shop Sweet Lulu. She also supplies the petite milk bottles I have been using and some great treat bags that I have stocked up on.
Stripey straws can also make cute cards! I couldn’t help but cut up a few in apple green to make another tree motif. Simple buttons glued to white cardstock with a hand drawn stitch border can also be cute to pin on your mood board or to use as a pretty gift tag.
Gift-wrapping is a paper fanatics dream job. I could wrap gifts for days if I get to use interesting papers! I combined ordinary school supply graph papers with fabric tapes and various pieces of patterned prettiness I had around. I also tried drawing some patterns on some kraft boxes to use for some little treasures I will be giving during the holidays. I used a basic white acrylic paint to prime the boxes and then used some Marvy markers to add a few colors. These simple patterns should look nice even after the holidays are over.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of a single bloom! Pop them into clear bottles and wrap the bottles with your favorite washi tape, masking tap or fabric. If you use several down the center of your table you have a very affordable yet lovely tabletop with little effort.
Well, that’s it from me folks. I hope you all got an idea or two to take with you. I look forward to seeing you back here in the new year. Have a wonderful holiday season, all my very best to you. — Leslie Shewring, A Creative Mint.
(photos/styling: leslie shewring)
Hello friends, it is Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for October. I recently visited a beautiful apple orchard on Vancouver Island because it is that time of year here. The days are crisp, the leaves have changed color and the nights are getting very cold. Having lived the last fourteen years in Los Angeles, I have forgotten how cold nights can get back up here in Canada!
While I was wandering (and shivering!) around picking and photographing all the fruit, I got really inspired to bake. There is something about apples and cinnamon that just gives me a cozy home feeling. Especially when you come into the house smelling them cooking after freezing yourself outside. How about you? There is usually some combination baking in the oven that makes you feel like home, right?
Keeping with this simple pairing I thought it would be fun to use my apples in the kitchen as inspiration for this months column. A classic favorite of red and pale cinnamon brown from my home to yours.
One of the apple recipes I used was this rustic looking apple crostata, it got gobbled up by my family pretty quickly which is a good sign of a recipe success.
I also made some cranberry and apple conserve which, looks really pretty for gifts in some glass jars and tastes great with poultry or as a condiment for a cheese platter.
Since the days are getting shorter, I have been lighting candles later in the day. Old jam and mason jars look pretty filled with a little water and a tea light. The water helps keep the glass from cracking from the heat of the candle. You can line these inexpensive candle holders along a window or group them on your kitchen table. These recycled jars are always pretty.
You can even use twine, ribbon and/or washi tapes from Japan to dress up plain bottles and add them to a shelf or windowsill. Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive – just think outside of the box and customize what you have with what’s laying around your craft room.
Try translating what inspires you from nature, for instance a trip to an orchard, into something handmade. You can try making your own cards, a notebook, or simply pinning things according to a specific palette onto your mood board to inspire you and decorate your work room.
Lastly, I have been seeing coffee filters used for wrapping all over lately. I had first come across this funny use of filters in some Japanese craft books and was not entirely convinced. However, for a small gift I now think this ruffled thin paper looks quite sweet for wrapping. I am partial to the unbleached natural color of the basket filters paired with baker’s twine and a little red accent. Of course they are food safe so I can also imagine using them for wrapping holiday cookies in a couple months.
I hope you have enjoyed this apple inspired post and I look forward to seeing you here next month. Until then take good care and maybe take some time to bake something yummy. – Leslie Shewring.
(images/styling: leslie shewring)
Hello Friends! This is one of those, “Stop and smell the roses” posts. Even though the blooms have all faded and summer has come to a close, we can still draw inspiration from flowers because stores still stock plenty that you can bring indoors to add color long after your garden has faded.
It is during these busy autumn days that we need some time outs, wouldn’t you agree? Time to notice the subtle seasonal changes and time to enjoy what is left of summer’s bounty. I feel like I am writing this post primarily for myself as I only have a few moments to sit in between getting my son down for his nap, doing the fifth load of laundry, figuring out what is for dinner and then picking my daughter up from school. We all have our various forms of daily madness and hence the need for a moment or two of quiet solitude (if we are lucky).
Creativity needs these moments.
We need these spaces in our day to take a deep breath and notice some leaves or the color of some petals or whatever else nature is offering us. Since work is important and many of you cannot go outside right now and find some flowers to smell, I thought I would gather up some of my floral photographs from the past for you to enjoy. Hopefully this brief pause will help give you some creative ideas or at least a little break from your daily routine. It is pleasure to be back here on decor8 after taking a mini break this summer to travel, and I will see you here soon with my usual Color Me Pretty column later this month.
Until then, take good care. – Leslie Shewring.
(text, styling + photos: leslie shewring from a creative mint)
Hello friends, it is Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for July. I just got back from Tokyo so I thought it would be fun to share some of my color inspiration from the trip. Similar to last summer, I noticed a wide use of fluorescent colors in home décor items, fashion, stationary and even crafting supplies (read Neon Pink here). Small blasts of color can really liven things up. I have gathered a few ideas that I hope will get your creative wheels turning.
If you cannot imagine anything permanent in your home with such electric color, try introducing a tiny bit on a mood board. I made a little garland using tape and beads in fluorescent pink, yellow and orange.
I also found a beautiful card by Emma Cassi that has a perfect fluorescent pink and a calendar card by Catherine Campbell brings in a few more bright tones. Mixing these flashes of color with a sand and white backdrop really speaks to me about summer.
Every time I go to Japan I cart back a bunch of books. It is fascinating to examine how they approach collage, journaling and home décor. I also love seeing what is the current “kawaii” or cute obsession. Pandas are always big, however, this time I noticed a lot of lama (or alpaca) motifs. Yes, lama motifs adorned books, stickers, fabrics, calendars and t-shirts. Who knew? I wonder what will be next?
Little fluorescent touches to party décor (i.e. balloons, candles, streamers), make your own cards, photo album embellishing and gift wrapping are fun ways to experiment with these colors that you may not normally use.
As is brightening up an area around your desk with a little fluorescent tape on some of your favorite images. These rolls of Pro Tapes look like they could be good for these kinds of projects.
Lastly, you could always decorate your day-timer. Why not add some bright colors to make your schedule seem a little more playful? We are all busy these days but do we have to be so serious? Come on, try painting your toe nails fluorescent and add some teen spirit to your calendar. :)
How do you place to add a little neon to your life? Any ideas to share?
I will see you back here in August. -Leslie.
(photography: leslie shewring)