Wish List Wednesday

Here are some things I'm loving today (in no particular order):

(All photos are from Etsy sellers, and are linked to their source pages. Feel free to do some early birthday shopping, anyone.)


Etsy Treasure Tuesday: Haru

This lovely Etsy shop, Haru, does one thing, and does it very well. She designs the most wonderful wreaths made out of dozens of paper cones using colored paper, sheets from vintage books, and vintage ephemera. I think they're wonderful.

(All images from Haru's Etsy shop. Each photo is linked to its source page. Some images are from Haru's sold stock.)



(All images found here, on this lovely site.)


New Project

Yesterday I showed you some of my friend Evan's beautiful hand embroidery projects. Hers inspired me to try it myself, and incorporate a hand-stitched element into one of my jewelry pieces. Here's what I came up with:

More or less, here's what I did: I chose a raw brass 'frame' stamping, drilled holes in the top corners, attached my vintage raw brass chain and spring clasp. Then I foraged in my fabric bin for something suitable on which to stitch something suitable. I came across this wonderful tiny brown and white houndstooth on cotton calico which was long ago destined for a purse that never materialized, and rooted around in my thread box until I found the perfect lovely bright fushia. I decided I should definitely start with something simple, and I consequently chose a ♥ (not the anatomically-correct version, of course, which is much much harder to stitch). I just kind of winged the shape, making it up as I went, and thankfully, I got it mostly right on the first try; it's at least recognizable for what it's supposed to be. Then came the more difficult part -- how to finish off the edges and also hide the "mechanics," which is how we used to refer to the 'workings' or the 'underside' in the flower world {there's a subject for a gothic novel -- the dark underside of the flower world}. I snipped another little rectangle of fabric, laid it on the back, and just folded the edges over until it looked like it was going to be small enough to hide behind the edges of the frame. Then I did a really simple line stitch to tack the edges down. And because I was too uncreative to think of any other way to attach the fabric to the metal piece, I got out the trusty super glue and went to town; a method that worked remarkably well, in fact -- that fabric is not coming loose anytime within this century.

So! That concludes my first embroidery/jewelry collaboration project! I'll probably tag it for sale at next month's Art Trail, so if you'd like to see it in person, just travel down to Alderson Mercedes on March 6th, and I'll happily introduce the two of you.


Etsy Treasure ... Wednesday: Olive & Everette

My lovely friend Evan and her business partner, Allison, have an Etsy shop called Olive & Everette, where they sell Evan's beautifully hand-stiched burp cloths and other baby items, along with complete kits for DIY Diaper Cakes. You can just tell how much love and care and time goes into each of these hand-embroidered pieces, and I think that makes them so much more special than anything you can buy in a store: mass-produced and these days, most likely made by exploiting underaged foreign labor. I wanted to show off some of Olive & Everette's beautiful items, and also paste in some pictures (gleaned from Evan's blog) of some of her other work, which includes mixed media, feltwork, and painting, among many other things.
Here are a couple of burp cloths available in the Olive & Everette shop at present.

And here are more burp cloths that Evan's done previously.

And this is an incredibly beautiful Lingerie bag she made for one of our friends who was recently married.

But my personal favorite is this absolutely adorable tea towel.

But there's more. For Valentine's Day, Evan made some of the cutest cards. Here's just one example:

She also made these wonderful little felt dolls for her kids, and this really cute girly pirate wallet (already sold).

On top of all of that cuteness, she also paints beautifully. This one, a square unframed canvas of grapefruits, hangs in my kitchen.

I believe that she'll do custom work if you see something here that you've fallen in love with and which may not be available yet in the Olive & Everette Etsy shop. At any rate, leave a comment on her blog and tell her how lovely her work is!


Local Library

Today is normally Etsy Treasure Day, I know, and I have a lovely feature in store for tomorrow, but today I wanted to tell you a bit more about my wonderful weekend. I mentioned very briefly in the footnote of yesterday's post that my weekend involved heart-shaped (chocolate-glazed) Krispy Kreme donuts, as well as my friend Rick Steves in Europe and some fantastic pizza. It also included several other lovely little highlights, one of which was the yearly book sale at my local library, to which I try and make it every year. It dusty, it's crowded, it's in the basement of the old main branch downtown, and I love it. I didn't find any first edition copies of Persuasion, but I did bring home some very nice finds, all for the low, low price of $6.
I found these two.
And these (they still count as classics because they're at least 40 years old).
And I was very happy when I found a pretty copy of Henry Esmond.

Only to get home, place it on my shelf, and realize that I already had a pretty copy of Henry Esmond. Oh well. I do like Thackeray.

I love old books, and I love the local library. I believe everyone should support theirs; I'm so afraid that sometime in the future, they will become so little utilized that they'll have to close down altogether, and I think that would be one of our nation's biggest tragedies. But I'll stop before I begin ranting and shaking my fist, and show you this other really cool item I found back in the Travel section: an old map of Florence, beautiful and pastel-tinted. I'm thinking of using it as a backdrop for my jewelry photos for Etsy; what do you think?

Happy Valentine's Day.

It's been feeling more and more like spring where I live. The sun is warming up the air in the early afternoon, the birds are chirping happily in trees about to literally burst open with latent energy, and the light has that spring softness which puts haloes on things that grow.

I love the spring. When I began to sense this change in the air recently, I put a very special CD in my car so that I get to listen to it on the way to and from work. It's the CD that began the serious work of bringing my now-husband, then-crush, and I together. It's the first CD he ever gave me. He gave it to me in the spring, and we began dating that spring, and I fell in love with him that spring. And when I listen to it now, and sing along, it's uncanny how well I can remember what I thought and felt when I listened to it the first time. And all of those memories are tied to the season and the music and the atmosphere. And they make me feel whole and joyful and younger, somehow (even though that was only three years ago). Three years later, I still love the band to which he introduced me, and to which many parts of our combined history are strangely connected, and I love Nathan more. So very much more.

(A small note of explanation: I planned this incredibly mushy mass of observations for V-day, and meant to post it on Saturday, but we were so busy eating heart-shaped Krispy Kremes for breakfast and watching Rick Steves in Vienna and ordering pizza that I completely forgot. It doesn't matter much: everyday should be all about love. It's all you need.)


Valentine's Day Ensemble

V-Day - by pinkstreet on Polyvore.com
So, yes, I got a little carried away. If I were going out for V-Day tomorrow night (which we aren't because it's much too crowded and so terribly prosaic), this is what I'd wear -- if I had $28,456 just laying around to spend on frivolities, that is.


A Perfect In-Between Spring Outfit!

Waiting for Spring
Waiting for Spring - by pinkstreet on Polyvore.com
I created this lovely imaginary ensemble on polyvore.com, where you can drag all kinds of cool things (including backgrounds and text), to create your own collage; so much fun! If you click on it, you'll be taken to the large image, where you can look at each item individually, and then make your own!

Before and After

Since I'm currently in the middle of my own little before and after project (tweaking the living room slightly), I thought I'd share a few others with you that I found on design*sponge. The big, dramatic ones are my favorites, of course, but I like the smaller projects that take a single piece of furniture or item and bring out its full potential in a little less time. Hope you enjoy!

This kitchen actually shares some features with mine: the wood countertop (bar) and white beadboard, but mine is less light-filled, and I don't have open shelving, which I absolutely love. My dream kitchen would be similar to this one, with a little more color. But I have to say that I envy that beautiful aqua blue Kitchenaid mixer (first after photo) quite a lot. {Sigh.} And now, for this magnificent dining room revamp by Rebekah of Orangepoppy, via design*sponge.

Isn't this incredible! I have to say, that I'm not usually a fan of doing one wall in a room different than the others, but the wallpaper on one wall is fantastic. It's like a movie backdrop -- so much color and punch, with just a couple rolls of lovely paper and a few hours of pasting! And those of you who know me don't even need to hear me say how much I love the color Rebekah painted that hutch. {A personal note: Mom, look how beautifully aqua and green harmonize here; and you were worried.} Now for just a few more small projects, which I think turned out really nicely.

I love this idea for turning an ugly grey metal filing cabinet into something beautiful as well as functional. The owner bought some rolls of wrapping paper from paper-source.com, (one of my favorite stationary/craft supply sites), and just decoupaged it on. If I ever have a serious craft room, I'm stealing this idea. To see more before and after photos on design*sponge, click here.


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