Favorite Things: Peonies

Was enraptured by Sarah of saipua's post on Peonies here. Oh, to just bury my face in a huge bunch of them -- complete and unutterable happiness, I tell you.

(All images by sarah via design*sponge.)


DIY Thursday: Pillowcase Bag

I saw this project in a Martha Stewart magazine quite a while ago, tore out the page, and saved it. Of course the inevitable happened, I have absolutely no idea where it is now, and had forgotten all about it until I ran across it again in the craft section of the MS website (hooray!). I fully intend to complete this project very soon for a fun new summer bag. So cute, yes?

Instructions for the pillowcase bag here. Image from MarthaStewart.com, Crafts section.


Etsy Treasure Tuesday: Nice

Sorry about the lapse everyone, but I'm making up for lost time.
This week's Etsy Treasure is nice. Really. The shop is Nice. See for yourself.

(All images by nice.)


DIY Thursday: Paper Silhouettes

I found this project at Craftynest, via design*sponge, here.

Here are the full instructions by Monica Ewing of Craftynest, who made these beautiful paper silhouettes:

"This was a simple, inexpensive project. I thought it would be sweet to have silhouettes of my daughter hanging on her wall but found it impossible to keep her still long enough to trace her outline. I settled on this solution. I found these simple frames at a dollar store. The entire project cost less than $10, but it adds a personal touch to her room. Here’s how to do it:
Supplies and tools
scrapbook paper
glue stick
white card stock
double-sided tape
printer or photo copier
1. Search your photo collection to find images that are profile or silhouette shots. Copy or print them as large as possible on an 8-1/2- x 11-inches sheet of paper.
2. Tape the photo page and scrapbook paper back-to-back then cut out around shape of the child in the photo.
3. Glue the silhouettes onto white card stock and frame them.


Girls Like Me

For today, here's something I really like: Rachel D.'s blog, which I found via my friend Evan. Rachel's quite the celebrity in the world of handmade craftiness, and today, decor8 featured her flickr home photostream. She's also been featured by Apartment Therapy, sfgirlbybay, and others.

I think they're wonderful inspiration to a girl like me who prefers decorating her house with things she made or vintage finds.

A note here: I saw this photo on Apartment Therapy a while back, and decided to steal the idea, so I put sticky magnetized strips on two vintage trays I have, one red and one green, and stuck them up on my fridge as message/note boards; they look so cute!


Etsy Treasure Tuesday: Briones & Co.

The Etsy shop of briones & co, is a tiny but wonderful shop which does basically one thing very well: the organized kitchen. I've had my eye on this shop for quite a long time now, but every week when I wanted to feature it, it seemed that all of the items had sold out and there was nothing left. So this week, despite the fact that the offerings aren't many, they are wonderful, and I took my chance. The specialty of briones & co. is Mini Meal Planners.
Why didn't I think of that myself? These are wonderful little pocket or purse-sized lists (and you know how I love lists) which allow you to jot down what you're going to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on each day of the week, and then make a grocery list which will remind you of everything that you need for your meals.
Brilliant! Genius! Inspired! And SO cute, on top of that. (Definitely going on my birthday list.)
Plus, you can buy refills of the meal cards when you need more!

(All images by smbriones via her Etsy shop.)


I Try My Hand at a Movie Review

I'm not all that hard to please, really. Give me some lovely scenery, a pretty score, and a happy ending, and I've got nothing bad to say about your movie. I do appreciate a true story or a bittersweet moment every now and then, but who wants to spend two hours of her life watching a story that makes you sad to be alive? Not me.

So, although I can't get enough of all things having to do with the life or novels of Jane Austen, I was wary about watching "Lost in Austen" this weekend, because I knew beforehand that it centers around a girl from modern-day London (don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anything the trailer won't tell you) who finds herself literally sucked into the world of Pride and Prejudice, her favorite novel and mine. Naturally, being a real live modern person getting involved in a 200-year old world-famous fictional story leads to events in Miss Austen's original plotline getting thrown slightly out of whack. I wasn't sure how I might feel about this, given my attachment to the story and the characters themselves. (I might also mention that I had my doubts about the movie being 3 hours long, until I found out that it was originally shown in four installments as a TV series on British television.)

So, now that you know my initial reservations, I'll happily provide you with my first impressions of the movie. I got over the concern I felt about messing with a classic about ten minutes into the film when Amanda, the modern-day girl, finds herself in the Bennet household. The cinematography is fantastic, the acting, I thought, was really great, and the leads were cast brilliantly, for the most part -- especially Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, Lydia, Jane, Bingley, and Mr. Collins. One of the things that can completely win me over to a film is its aesthetic, and "Lost in Austen" is so beautiful. Also, I watched the special features interview with the cast and crew, and I was impressed even further when I found out what pains they took to keep the sets and locations authentic and period-perfect. And I found that I soon stopped worrying so much that things that happened in the original plotline were getting messed up, because I actually did connect with the main character, Amanda, who sort of takes the place of Elizabeth as the female protagonist. Even though, like Amanda, I really do believe in the essential goodness and truth of the world Austen created, it's interesting to see an interpretation of how things might have really been different than they seemed from Elizabeth's viewpoint, which is the only one you see in the book unless other characters share theirs with her.

All in all, the story of the movie isn't perfect like you know the story in the book will be at the end, but it's interesting, and well worth watching as an Austen fan just to catch all of the nuances and inside jokes that come with knowing the lines of the book and the characters like the back of your hand. It's worth watching even if you're not an Austen fan to see the beautiful sets and scenes and for the added humor Amanda brings to the original story.

If you watch it, let me know what you think!


I Get By With a Little Help from EB

Here's a Friday haiku for you.
Tea's a miracle.
I hereby declare my love.
Cream and sugar, please.
(Haiku by me. Image found here at design*sponge.)


I Hereby Declare

Today 'DIY Thursday', from now on. I've come across so many projects and crafted practical items recently in Etsy shops and other blogs that I've decided it's my solemn duty to post them here, in case you happen not to find them on your own.

I've pulled today's project from an Etsy shop called MoxieSisters. It's a really wonderful little shop filled with repurposed and repainted vintage items, including a few oval picture frames which have been backed with padded fabric and turned into beautiful ways to display a jewelry collection. I was instantly drawn to them not just by the bright colors and fun fabrics, but by their immeasurable practicality -- I, of course, have a rather large jewelry collection. It seems that once one found the right frame and the right fabric, actually making the board would be a snap, especially if the frame still had its original hardboard backing which you'd simply cover with the fabric and hot glue or staplegun after inserting a layer or two of batting. They very kindly offer a photo of the back of the frame as well, which provides some visual instruction on how to finish it off properly. I love their versions, but since the colors in my bedroom (for now) are a little more subdued, I think I might try my own version with different paints and fabrics. Let me know if you try it, and how it comes out!

(All images by moxiesisters.)


Wish List Wednesday: Lovely Things at Paper Source

I get regular emails from paper-source.com, and there's always something fun and pretty to catch my eye. Here are a few of my current favorites.

This is a REALLY cute rubber stamp of a couple of swallows which I've had my eye on for quite some time now.

A set of lovely notepads.

Some fun self-adhesive mailing labels.

A couple of beautiful flat papers.

You can probably tell that I'm a teensy bit infatuated with birds at the moment.

This patterned envelope is beautiful (and on sale!)

And this is one of the most terrific of them all: a chalkboard panel with a printed frame outline! And they have an oval frame pattern too -- I almost can't decide which I like better.

Check out Paper Source!

Etsy Treasure Tuesday: Blissiful

I took a metal-working class last spring in which I learned how to cut and fashion my own pieces out of sheets of silver, brass, and copper, but I haven't attempted anything since the two projects I finished in the class, one of which I sold a couple of months ago at Art Trail and may never see again {imagine frowny face here}. So the gorgeous fine metal jewelry in Blissiful's Etsy shop is such an inspiration to me. Maybe one day, when I've conquered my fear of the soldering torch, I may try some similar things. In the meantime, I'll content myself with gawking at hers, and ... (hint, hint) maybe wishing for them for my upcoming birthday.

This ring was the one that first caught my eye.

I absolutely love the nauture/flora theme all of her pieces share. It's my favorite one too.

(All images by blissiful.)


Case of the Mondays

It's grey, chilly, and rather dismal here. I should be thankful, I know, after complaining about the uncommonly hot summer weather we've already had, but it's just a little harder to be cheerful without the sun shining. But I found these lovely floral photos of Nicolette Camille's design work via saipua, and they made my dreary Monday ever so slightly brighter. Hope they do the same for you.

By the way, sorry for the lapse in posting last week. Cominbination of recovering from a busy weekend previously, and lack of interesting subject matter to post about. I hope to be back on track this week.


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