Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves, Inspiration

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!

June 21, 2007

I just blogged about Christine Mason Miller on Tuesday, but since she just added original paintings to her Etsy store that I really, really like, I’m highlighting her work again. Sure, I love the colors and composition, but it’s their upbuilding messages of hope that impress me the most because life isn’t always smooth sailing. But you want to know a not so secret secret? Hope and inspiration are actually easy to find, we don’t have to go that far anymore thanks to the internet.

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“My work now is to sink deep into all of the joy, the blessings and the good fortune. It is so easy for me to be wary of it, and put myself on high alert for something to go wrong. I am all too aware of how quickly everything can change, but I cannot let this get in the way of all that is good right now. That is my challenge.” -CMM

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“We all need cheerleaders. We all need supporters who look at us and exclaim, “Yeah, YOU!”, going crazy when we score a victory, whatever that victory may be. Supporters who feel deep in their hearts that when you win, they win, and if you lose, they’ll keep on cheering, because the most fundamental truth is that you’re worth your own cheering squad simply by being yourself.” -CMM

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“When you are standing at the bottom of a mountain that you have no choice but to climb, taking one day at a time is the only thing that matters. It is the only way you will reach the top of that mountain, the only way you will find your way through the darkness. It is solid. It is reliable. It is like the rising of the sun everyday – it is something you might not take much time to notice, but it is always there, a reminder that each new day holds endless possibility.” -CMM

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“There are strange connections everywhere and messages waiting for us if only we take the time to pay attention and listen quietly. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take the peaceful road and approach whatever task is before us – pleasant, unpleasant or otherwise – with gentle steps. To be vulnerable like a fawn, trusting there is someone watching over us, trusting it is OK to lie still.” -CMM

Think about this: Most of us ultimately have a choice when it comes to our own actions and feelings. (If you are diagnosed with depression or something related to that, your choices are often very limited though.) But for most, we have a choice. We know our own buttons, both good and bad. Do we press the right ones? If we’re feeling bad, thinking about something that only triggers further negativity is a definite no-no. Sometimes we have to step out of our own heads for a moment and identify the feeling and take action to feel better. Sometimes simple things lift the mood. Toast with jam. Going for a run. Calling our best friend. Popping in our favorite CD. I like to create lists. Others paint or pick up a pencil and sketch. What about you? Isn’t it empowering to know that we can each choose to feel better? And isn’t it great that gifted artists are out there sending us heartfelt messages of hope and healing through their works? I’m grateful that technology has brought us all a little closer together.

If any of the paintings shown above interest you, please visit Christine’s etsy store to enjoy more, or browse through her wildly creative website. :)

(images from christine mason miller)






Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Art by Arkaybea

June 21, 2007

Did you spot the Brooklyn-based etsy artist, Arkaybea, featured on page 30 of the latest issue of Blueprint? The top left and bottom right paintings are part of the feature, so if you’d like them, grab ’em while you can right here for $200 each. I especially love the oval still life of the juicy peach against that lovely green. Yum.

Art by Arkaybea

(images from arkaybea)






uncategorized

Paper Table (+ Nicole’s Amazing Front Porch)

June 20, 2007

Robin from Paper Table sent me an email about all their new tablemats, coasters, and napkins and since I’d not heard of Paper Table before, I thought it would fun to blog today. I really like the reusable papers they carry because they’re waterproof, have a matte finish, and are 100% recyclable. And okay, the patterns are perky, fresh, and bold and we all know that paper has to be perky on the tabletop because it makes the meal taste better. At least I’m hoping…

Paper Table (+ Nicole's Amazing Front Porch)
Linens are nice, but I’m also keen on paper products, at least during the summer months when meals tend to be on the fly or enjoyed outdoors. They are great for bridal and baby showers, too. But I have to confess, some magazine I was reading this month was “blessing” the idea that we can now use paper plates in place of china for dinner parties. Pahleese. I paused and started rollin’ my eyes and getting all uptight. I’m a southern girl, at least I was raised down there, and using paper plates for anything other than good old Carolina pig pickin’s is considered country. At least in my family. We looked for reasons to break out the good stuff and decorate the house. I’d never invest hours in meal preparation only to serve it up on plastic with bright yellow dixie cups. But as far as quick eats, outdoor meals, and okay, eat-in kitchen style lunches, it’s perfectly fine by me. Paper Table products get this girls approval. :)

Paper Table (+ Nicole's Amazing Front Porch)
It would be fun to use different Paper Table patterns on a picnic table, string paper lanterns overhead, and get the grill crackin’. I can also see them on Nicole’s amazing front porch (above), too. Just look at that red table sitting there all cute. Nicole is such an inspiration. She’s blogging her entire new home overhaul on Making It Lovely, some of us die hards have been following her saga for months. If you don’t already know about Nicole and her abode, consider yourself informed, it’s a great read. And aren’t her tissue paper pom-poms from Martha Stewart adorable? My mother has been making these for years, I mean, she’s the pom-pom queen. Now I can hit her up for some and they’ll actually be in vogue if I put them around my house. “Oh, mom!”

Oh and thanks Robin for the tip on Paper Table!

(images from paper table and queen decorating diva, nicole)






Inspiration

Blueprint – They’ve done it again!

June 20, 2007

Blueprint just keeps getting better and better. Although the model on the cover looks 14, making me feel like I’m a bit elderly, I love the ideas in this issue (no.5), especially the wallpaper feature. I was just thinking about wallpaper in the shower this morning (I have the best ideas in there, don’t laugh!) and since it’s no longer circulating around the blogs as much as say, a few months back, I wondered if wallpaper was becoming a bit passe. Then Blueprint arrived and made me feel so much better because I love wallpaper and was beginning to fear the worst. Blueprint tells us to think outside of the traditional floor-to-ceiling wallpaper box and go with some more involved, and creative, uses for wallpaper. (Here’s a related post along these lines back from March in case you missed it.)

Blueprint - They've done it again!

The imagery alone in this feature is delicious, but I especially loved seeing wallpaper as a headboard and mounted on wood panels as insta-art. We’ve all read about this ideas before, but Blueprint incorporates that Martha Stewart perfection that we all love so much, which made these tips feel fresh and exciting. They highlighted a wallpaper I’d not seen before called “Grille Modern Grande” by Hinson & Company, a company that’s been around since the 70’s. They used that pattern as a headboard, just wait until you see it on page 102. It’s simply grand-e. I love the paint on the wall, too. But they don’t list the color used, so you’ll have to snip the page and take it to Lowe’s to match it. I’m guessing it’s a Benjamin Moore color (or Martha Stewart paints which, fyi, are now exclusive to Lowe’s). Blueprint seems to use a lot of Ben Moore and MS Paints in their rooms. Has anyone ever painted with MS Paints, and if so, how do they rank against other paints you’ve used? I’ve been wondering this, since I want to paint my bedroom in MS286 Surf.

Another great article is Modern Mex, a party with a Baja-inspired theme with lots of delicious summer cuisine. Having been to baja a few years ago, it was great to find the recipe for grilled fish tacos – a favorite of both my husband and I. I always drool when my southern California friends talk about going to the beach to enjoy some fish tacos with a Corona. I’m forever California dreamin’…. Modern Mex took me back there again to my days in Baja. Oh, and the Bungalow Great article is a good one to, I hadn’t seen anything like it already a billion times over, which made the feature stand out as interesting. It made me want to pack everything and move to Greenport, New York. I’m crazy about bungalows, cottages, anything with a history really.

Anyway, No. 5 is a great issue… A real boost for those in a creative rut, and lots of great photos to tear and post on your inspiration boards… Which reminds me, have you voted yet for your favorite mood board?






Objects

Pixie Dust Fabrics

June 20, 2007

Stacy McCallum from Pixie Dust contacted me last week and so nicely sent over some samples of their poplin textiles, available by the yard via their website. They’re so soft, and the colors are completely dreamy. The pagoda and topiary are my favorites, especially in the lime and blue colorways, I can see them both in the home (especially a baby’s nursery, so sweet) and in a multitude of craft projects, perhaps covering a bulletin board or as part of a quilt or blanket.

Pixie Dust FabricsPixie Dust FabricsThank you so much Stacy for sending over your lovely package, I rarely receive samples by mail, so it was really exciting to look everything over. Thanks again!

(images from holly becker for decor8 and pixie dust)






Inspiration

Eye Candy from House Beautiful

June 20, 2007

Made By Girl posted some gorgeous House Beautiful rooms on her blog and the moment I saw her favorites it hit me that I’ve not yet turned to the HB website as a resource. Time to change that! Look at these spaces, aren’t they fabulous? I want to sleep in this bedroom below, the one with the blue chandelier. I love seeing pink, blue, and yellow in a bedroom, don’t you? And this room in no way screams teenage. It’s very grown up. I think the window treatments really helped pull that room together, so pretty! And do you see what I see below? Kitchen perfection. Look at those tiles and the lemons in the bowl, everything sparkles. Makes me sick, sick, sick! But I still love to look.

Eye Candy from House Beautiful
Okay, so the HB site is loaded with great images, but aside from that, an abundance of links to terrific websites where you can find products for your home, from plates to sofas and beyond. And if you need color inspiration, HB has a tool that allows you to select a room according to style (cottage, modern, traditional, etc.), and then by color. And then, product round ups. We love us some of those.

Eye Candy from House Beautiful
I’m the queen of round ups, so I especially enjoy their quick snips, especially the spotlight on 101 great plates (with links!). I went bookmark nuts there.

Eye Candy from House Beautiful
My ultimate goal in life (besides world peace he he) is to own beautiful china, but not all of the same pattern. I want every single plate to be different, along with all the cups, teacups, and serving platters. As long as it is fine bone china and of the same color palette (pale blues, pinks, greens, yellows), then that would suit me fine. Anyone else have this desire? I know Rachel Ashwell does, because I got the idea from her in one of her books about 7 years ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since.

Did I tell you about the time I met her in L.A. at an event I attended there? (I feel chatty today, please forgive me and skip these bits if I’m boring you.)

This was back in ’05. I was so star struck that I froze. My husband had to talk to her for me. Then I completely unfroze and turned into a ball of babble. But she liked me and agreed to have her photo taken with me and then, she ran off, returning with one of her books, and handed it to me. I looked inside and she had written a quick blurb about how lovely it was to meet me and all. For the record, all those that are hating on Rachel Ashwell, I happen to like her and the whole white furniture beach cottage look. I find it all very serene and pretty. When I spotted her huge leather Moroccan poufs dotted around her Melrose Ave. store, I fell in love with the laid back bohemian English rose style she is known for. I digress… Back to House Beautiful.

Eye Candy from House Beautiful
If you aren’t already turning to House Beautiful online, hop to it! It’s fun to surf through all the rooms and if you aren’t already doing this, create a file on your desktop and call it “Inspired By” and start dumping images you find into the file. You can also give it sub folders “Rugs”, “Wallpaper”, “Lighting”, etc. It’s a really fun way to keep your inspiration near and dear to you. Of course, there are bookmarking websites and stuff for that as well, but I actually refer more to my Inspired By file because I like being able to collage the images I find onto a white canvas in Fireworks and move things around until they make sense to me, saving the digital inspiration board for future reference.

(images from house beautiful online)






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