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Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: Freshlyblended

Hey folks, it’s Nicole from Freshlyblended~ I’m here to share with you a few of my favorite things while Holly is on the move. I hope you enjoy my sneak peek at some of the things that inspire me day by day, some that I’ve just randomly collected through the years and others that hold deep meaning in my life.

Freshlyblended

This is one of my most favorite things in my whole house and it’s not even mine! it’s a beautiful quilt handmade from my good friend Shanna Murray for my little peanut, Zoe. She threw me the best baby shower this year and on top of that made my daughter something original and handmade she can cherish her whole life.

Freshlyblended

My little matryoshka nesting cats, given to me from my grandmother one Christmas. They are each hand painted and in the very smallest cat you’ll find the mouse. They sit right in front of one of my two Dawbis pieces.

Freshlyblended

My vintage cameras, (I have one more not shown in the photo), all were either given to me or found somewhere.

Freshlyblended

A great vintage 1930′s serving tray that I found at the world’s largest yard sale. Isn’t it pretty?

Freshlyblended

Two very dear to my heart drawings that my mother did in 1971. These are a creative reminder for me every time I stop to take a gander. These pieces let me know where my roots are and represent how important art is to me in my life.

Freshlyblended

My Julia Rothman print which sits right off to the side of one of the great peaked archways in my house. (built in the 1940′s, it’s a common architectural style in that era).

There are many things that inspire me, each day it’s something different but my mainstay is nature… I’ve always been fond of the outdoors and all it’s organic beauty. Most of my hobbies are related to the outdoors, I’m an avid gardener even though where I live (upstate New York) we only get about 3 months of decent weather every year. Most of the time it’s snowing so I’ll then hit the slopes and go snowboarding with my husband or just cozy in with the family and watch a good flick. I’m very much a homebody even though I run such a creatively rich blog, family is the most coveted thing in my life and much of my creative inspiration stems from them. I have creative roots on both sides of my family, ranging from architecture to quilting! My goal is to pass along all the creative wisdom I’ve collected through the years to my daughter in hopes that she can appreciate the little things in life that inspire, as I do. - Nicole

(images: freshlyblended)

Posted in guest bloggers on August 20, 2009
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Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: Oh, Hello Friend

Hello, friends! My name is Danni, from the blog oh, hello friend. I’m super excited to be here on decor8 while Holly is settling in to an exciting new place! Today I’m focusing on images in my workroom because it is the room in my house that inspires me most and where I get stuff done. I’m big on thrift stores and flea markets, so that’s where a lot of these things come from and I’ll be sharing some of them with you. Here we go!

oh, hello friend

I love this photo because all the objects in it are inspiring to me. My gocco, my sewing machine: these objects help me create. The shelves also hold my collections of items I love: old keys, tape rolls, vintage milk glass finds. I love finding new things to add to my stash. :)

oh, hello friend

I like this part of the room because it is calming to me. A simple collection of wall hangings, drawers, and shelves. The typewriter was a gift from my mom — she found it at an old antique shop and knowing how much I love old typewriters, she bought it for me and fixed it up so it works.

oh, hello friend

I told you I love old typewriters. :) Do you ever get excited when you find a really great vintage piece at the thrift store? Of course you do, right!? This was one of those finds – I just found it in the back of the thrift store, sitting in the pile to be thrown away. It was in such great condition, I couldn’t believe they were going to toss it! But I simply love this piece — and for $7, it makes it even better.

oh, hello friend

I found these drawers on Craigslist for only $5 each. Sure you can get them at IKEA, but these were already assembled ;) The drawers are covered with old security envelopes and something about the simple patterns is really lovely to me. These are so perfect for storing all the odds and end craft items I have. Side point…I really like the light coming through the lace curtain in this photo.

oh, hello friend

Finding these jars at thrift stores is always fun because they are also great for storing things while making it look nice at the same time. These jars hold the collections of vintage keys, wood bobbins, mini globes, and manila tags. I really love that floral jar at the right – it’s so pretty and unique.

oh, hello friend

Thought I’d show you inside one of the many drawers – I have a huge collection of vintage plates + bowls and they are great for storing little things within drawers. This drawer has some of my favorite things to work with: stamps, wax seals, paper lace, and old vintage buttons.

What inspires me… I am inspired by my everything that surrounds me. Art, blogs, nature, a sunset, crafts, handmade, shops, window displays, books, artists, magazines, and friends. I gather inspiration from everywhere – it is sometimes so overwhelming at all the beauty and creativity in the world! Music definitely helps — Some recent tunes I’ve been working to are Regina Spektor and Joshua Radin. Do you know their music?

Advice…. Some good advice I’ve received is, “Pursue your dreams” and to, “Strive for excellence”. Pursuing your dreams sounds really cliche but I am really inspired by my friends who just go for it, literally. The ones who move away to an unfamiliar place to work and pursue that goal or dream of theirs. Or the ones who quit a perfectly good job for a job that pays less, but that they really truly love. I love this advice because it is so relevant to my current work situation. Finish those goals. Start a business that’s been on your mind. Go back to school to learn something you actually enjoy. And while you are doing these things, strive for excellence. Someone told me that once and just told me to think about what it meant to me. So I’m passing it on to you to think about what what it means to you :)

Thanks for letting me be apart of your lovely blog Holly and decor8 readers thanks for letting me share some of my favorite things with you! – Danni xo

p.s. If you want to see a few more photos of my workroom, visit my flickr account.

(images: oh, hello friend)

Posted in guest bloggers on August 19, 2009

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: A Field Journal

Hello, I’m Livy, visiting from A Field Journal as part of Holly’s August guest series and I’m here to share some favorite snapshots of home and what it means to me. Ready? Here goes…

A Field Journal

I love the way childhood backyards linger halfway between imagination and memory. How those gates opened on a boundless wilderness, home of tree forts and tire swings. Though that half acre seems yards smaller now, few places are more dear. On summer evenings you still hear the ageless sound of crickets in the tangle of vines and ferns.

A Field Journal

On my 14th Christmas my grandmother gave me her cake dish. The one I loved with the the ruffled edge and the milky glass and the embossed pedestal. I’ve started a small collection of them now on the highest shelf of the kitchen cupboard, and always pull them out when I bake.

A Field Journal

The apartment I live in at college was built in the late ’40s, and has so many curious details, checkered floors, decorative grates over the vents and a doorbell that makes it sound like Ethel Mertz is on the back porch. My most favorite elements are the wainscoting in the kitchen and the fold out ironing board behind a narrow little door (see last photo below).

A Field Journal

I can’t think of much to say about my girlhood room, except that when I’m home again it’s instantly ordinary and familiar. I love its white walls, airy curtains and the old dark wood of the furniture.

A Field Journal

What inspires me… I study history and art history and I suppose it shows in the things I find inspiring – 18th century fashion, 1940s musicals, art deco fonts, old photographs, neoclassical architecture, Victorian novels. It’s been lovely sharing with you – thanks for having me Holly! - Livy

(images: a field journal)


Posted in guest bloggers on August 19, 2009

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things: Pink Loves Brown

Hello there. I’m Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely and Pink Loves Brown. I’m so excited for Holly, and I hope she’s settling in and enjoying her new home and her new country! I’m honored to fill in today as part of Holly’s guest series, “A few of my favorite things”. If you’re familiar with my blog Making it Lovely, you know that I’ve chronicled the work I’ve done to my house since moving in two and a half years ago. Here are five areas of my home that I love and that make me happy. Hopefully they’ll make you happy too.

Pink Loves Brown

I adore my pink living room! It’s feminine but not girly, modern but not stark, graphic but not too intense. Of all the rooms in my home, the living room probably best exemplifies my style. Each piece of furniture reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time. The couch was the first big furniture purchase my husband and I made.  The coffee table was an impulse purchase that I didn’t even have room for at the time, but I knew we’d someday have a home and it’s proven to be perfect here. The rocker of course will always remind me of my baby Eleanor, because we bought it for her. And the zigzag rug (you can just see a smidge of it in that photo) reminds me of doing the National Stationery Show last year, because we bought in while we were in New York for the Pink Loves Brown booth.  I love being surrounded by beautiful things with such wonderful memories attached to them!

Pink Loves Brown

Ah, the wallpapered dining room. My husband and I did that while I was five months pregnant. Then again, that wasn’t so unusual… I tackled a lot of projects throughout my pregnancy! I can’t just sit still. Anyway, I always knew I wanted wallpaper in the dining room but it took me two years to settle on a pattern. In the end, I chose a pattern that I had considered right from the beginning. I tend to overthink things sometimes!

Pink Loves Brown

I spend a LOT of time in my daughter Eleanor’s room these days, so this photo makes me particularly happy. I read to her in that chair, I feed her there, we take naps together in it, and I soothe her by rocking in it. Some days are hard as I’m going through them, but looking back I know I’ll see that overall this has been a very, very happy time in my life. I couldn’t have imagined that fifteen pounds of cuteness could make me so happy.

Pink Loves Brown

What can I say?  This makes me smile. All my pretty shoes and my patterned dresses above, all organized neatly behind closet doors. I think I’ll have to add some wallpaper to the inside of my closet and then it will be just perfect. A happy little surprise just for me, that I can see every morning.

Pink Loves Brown

The room won’t stay like this for long, and soon my baby will be sleeping in her nursery instead of at my side. Right now though, I cherish her closeness. The cradle is a family heirloom on my husband’s side, spanning several generations. Eleanor’s father, cousins, aunts, grandmother, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather have all slept there, and now it’s her turn.

I’d like to talk a little now about inspiration. I’m often asked about what inspires me to design new stationery or pull a room together, but it’s a hard question to answer. I’m always filing ideas away, whether I’m out on a walk, watching TV, reading magazines, or just sitting on my porch. I think the easiest reference point would be blogs though. I love blogs! I read new posts over breakfast every morning, and I save particularly interesting photos to a folder on my computer called “some things I like”. I have everything sorted from there into sub-folders, and I like to just browse through everything from time to time. Sometimes I pick up on a color combination, other times I might pick up on a particular room arrangement. Either way, I’m often inspired after my morning read!

Oh, and I know it’s probably a huge cliché, but I’m also inspired by my daughter. Sometimes I look at her, and she strikes me as so beautiful and lovely, I want to make her world a fitting place for her.

In parting, I’m leaving you with some of my favorite advice. I try to remember and act on these three quotes (though I’m sorry I don’t know to whom they’re attributed):

“A good idea today is better than a perfect idea tomorrow.
“Don’t let best get in the way of better.
“Done is better than perfect.

They all embody the same idea.  An idea that is hard for the perfectionist in me to act on. It’s so easy to be paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection that you end up doing nothing! Remember how I said I tend to overthink things? Sometimes when I’m working, I just have to force myself to hit “publish”, “send”, or “print”. Then I do it, and I’m always so much happier afterwards. -Nicole.

(images: nicole balch)

Posted in guest bloggers on August 19, 2009

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