Something Surprising

In one of the opening scenes of "The Wedding Planner," Kathy Najimy, speaking to her apparently non-native florist, says, "Pierre, I love you but if you use another carnation in my bouquet I will deport you, ok?" That's precisely how I feel. Not about deportation, of course, but about carnations. I feel that I have a hard-earned and perfectly justifiable right to be a flower snob, having worked my way from a customer service position (or "box girl," as we were more familiarly and affectionately called) to one of the senior designers at the most respected flower shop in town when I was going through college. We had a few hard and fast rules: red roses are inferior to every other color, and certainly to the better-bred English and garden roses; a spider mum would never, for any reason, set foot in the shop, and even the small pom-pom mums we carried in the fall were dubbed "rovers" instead, to try and disguise their real identities; and carnations were strictly forbidden unless specifically requested by an adamant customer for funeral work only.

And so, imagine my utter surprise when I visited Saipua two days ago, saw this gorgeous arrangment, and realized that there are at least a dozen carnations tucked in among allium, scented geranium, coxcomb, and clematis, and given a place of honor in a silver mint julep cup! Followed by the realization that I like actually it, love it, in fact, despite that! Maybe this is one of those Elizabeth moments, when I discover, to my chagrin, that I have been too quick to judge my fellow creatures (or flowers, as the case may be), and that I have to change my mind completely about a strongly held long-time opinion. I'm willing to do that, and even to admit to it publicly, but I'm not sure I can go any further. To ask me to put carnations in any of my own arrangments may be going a little far. Just yet. I need a little more time. {Sigh of resignation.}

(Arrangement by the incredible designer nicollete camille, found via saipua, the lady behind which is Sarah, another brilliant florist whose designs I adore.)


DIY Thursday: Paper Scrap Projects

I found today's lovely little DIY project on design*sponge, which has a whole section of fantastic DIY ideas. This week, they provided a step-by-step tutorial on how to use leftover paper scraps (of which I have an abundance) to cover old jar lids and new pencils. The first thing that occurred to me was that the covered jars would be a cheap, renewable, and pretty way to organize my craft area (which currently looks like it's been through Hurricane Ike), and that a bundle of the pretty covered pencils would be an absolutely charming gift for an elementary teacher or someone who likes to journal or draw. So I'll show you the photos provided on the design*sponge post, and have copied in the instructions below. Have fun with this one!

paper scraps
Mod Podge in matte finish
medium craft brush
jars with screw lids
plain wood pencils unsharpened
Instructions for jars
1. Wash jars thoroughly. Remove any labels with Goo Gone or similar product. To remove smells, soak in a bleach solution. Let dry.
2. Lay jar lid face down on the back of decorative paper and trace lightly with a pencil. Sketch a circle that is bigger (the height of the lid plus 1/4″) around the circle. You can use a round object to trace if you can find a similar one in size. Cut slits about 1/4″ apart that go right up the first pencil tracing. Coat inside circle with Mod Podge and adhere to lid. Press down thoroughly with clean fingers. Lay face down on surface and begin gluing strips in a clockwise direction. Coat 2 or 3 strips at a time and fold each one up and over the edge of the lid. Continue until all the strips are glued.
3. Turn lid over so pattern is facing up. Coat with Mod Podge to seal. Let dry and then screw onto jars.

Instructions for pencils
1. Cut a strip of paper that is 1″ by the length of your pencil before it’s sharpened. My pencils were 7″ long. Brush Mod Podge on the strip of paper. Lay pencil on one edge of paper, and then with clean fingers smooth down by rotating the pencil. You can roll on a flat surface to make sure paper is adhered. Brush a little Mod Podge under edge of paper if needed. Let dry 1/2 hour before sharpening pencils. Try all different patterns for these, they look great when displayed together.


Last One to Know

I know it's ridiculous, and you probably won't believe me, but I'm new to Flickr. I mean, I've known about it for a long time, but haven't really been interested in checking it out until more recently; I keep seeing absolutely beautiful images on people's blogs from their photostreams or others', and so I finally registered, and plan to use it as an additional publicity tool for pink street when I can get some photos of my own stuff uploaded. But in the meantime, I'm loving just being a viewer of other people's gorgeous work. Please post a comment about some of your favorites!

Here are a few of mine.

by ohhellofriend, who's entire sense of design, color, and styling, almost exactly matches mine. Visit her flickr photostream, her incredible blog, and her etsy shop. I mentioned in yesterday's post that packaging my sold items when I ship them to my customers is something I really want to work much harder on. Ohhellofriend absolutely excels at this: she has a whole photo set devoted to photos of her packaging, and full of charming ideas.

by mrs. french; this photo is actually a print for sale in her etsy shop, blissful images, because I wasn't able to pull any of her gorgeous photography off of her flickr to show you.

other favorites, who have too many gorgeous photos/illustrations to include here:

katiedaisylombardo, who also has an etsy shop which sells her lovely prints and illustrations, at thewheatfield.etsy.com.

sfgirlbybay, of international blog renown.

Creature Comforts, who also has one of my favorite blogs ever.

caitlin is nice, who owns the etsy shop nice, which I featured here a couple of months ago.


Etsy Treasure Tuesday: Julie Collings

Julie Collings's beautiful Etsy shop is full of things that make me very happy: vintage ephemera, pretty laces, silhouettes, pastel shades of pink and aqua, and gorgeous showcasing and photography to set them all off. I highly recommend a visit to her shop, where you'll find:

Wonderful little art kits (I believe she offers a different one each month), in which she tucks all kinds of amazing little trims and embellishments. I think it would be the most glorious fun to open it up every month and get to come up with projects for them all. (This is the June kit, which is already sold out, sadly.)

Absolutely gorgeous vintage paper lace, bound up with a sprig of vintage tinsel and a faux pearl teardrop. How much sweeter could she possibly make it?

Gorgeous tafetta seam bindings; these are actually vintage, but I use the new ones from Martha Stewart all the time in lots of my jewelry pieces.

Beautiful little wool-covered buttons in blue and green tweeds. I love the way that she's stiched the card and added baker's twine to finish off the presentation.

You must have a look at these incredibly detailed and intricate old German die-cut silhouettes. I couldn't resist, and bought them from Julie's shop several weeks ago. I plan to use them not only on handmade cards, but in the new Etsy banner I'm formulating, coming soon.

And by the way, when I received my highly-anticipated order from Julie, I opened the envelope up to find the most beautiful packaging you can imagine. The silhouettes, sandwiched between stiff cardboard for safe shipping, were enclosed in a large sheet of creamy, green-lined ledger paper, with a little scalloped oval of cream, sage, and gold vintage wallpaper as a seal, and wrapped in brown and white baker's twine. She made a long-time customer out of me right at that moment, because she not only sent me something beautiful, but evidently spent so much time on the presentation and packaging as well. That's something I really want to work on for my sales; I've got to get rid of the sad little recycled plastic baggies. Anyone have any ideas for me? ... In the meantime, though, please do check out Julie Collings. And I highly recommend the beautiful little silhouettes.

(All images linked to their sources. All photos by Julie Collings via her Etsy shop.)


Little Letters

(This post idea from Naomi over at Taza and Husband, an adorable blog about an adorable couple.)

Dear English Breakfast Tea,
Thank you for getting me through another Monday morning.

Dear Movies 16,
My husband is taking me on a date night soon, and I really really REALLY want to see 500 Days of Summer, even though I know that many of those looking forward to it were slightly disappointed. But I promise not to be disappointed; please don't let me down.

Dear Husband,
Thank you for taking me on a date night soon. I'm so looking forward to it! (I love being with you on normal everyday occasions, of course, but I especially like eating tapas with you on a cozy sofa for two here, and sitting next to you in dark movie theatres.)

Dear Gap,
Thank you for running an awesome sale on this dress! I bought it yesterday and don't even feel bad about it because it was such a great deal! {note: the local sale was way better than the price online.}

Dear Market Street United,
Thank you for putting those handy little recipe carousels up in all of your sections. We are now experts at Caramelized Onion and Gruyère paninis, and Spicy Beef and Raisin Empanadas.

Dear Lubbock weather,
Can you please make up your mind?

Dear Target Grocery,
Why, oh why, must you torture me with your mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, which are not available at all of your locations?

Dear Bret and Jemaine,
You are two very funny dudes. I really like your show.

Dear Netflix,
Thank you for opening a Lubbock distribution center so that my favorite TV series and movies arrive in my mailbox a whole two days faster!

Dear Anthropologie,
I have a huge crush on you. Could you please come to Lubbock and open a discount store?

Dear John,
I actually don't know anyone named John. But it would be fun to write to him if I did.

Dear Ruby,
I'll see you tonight before Book Group!

Dear Monday,
Could you please hurry up and skip to Friday? No offense or anything.


Favorite Things Friday: Natural Historie

This is one of the loveliest posts ever. I love Livy's blog, A Field Journal. She's what I wish I was during college, and what I still want to be. And her photos are a dreamland.

All images by Livy, here, via A Field Journal.


Etsy Treasure Wednesday: Hadley Hutton

Since I promised to post a few photos of new work yesterday, I missed my traditional Tuesday posting on a favorite Etsy shop. I intend to make up for it today by posting something doubly beautiful. I first heard of artist Hadley Hutton via decor8; Hadley is a participant in decor8 blogger Holly Becker's collaborative effort, kindred. In fact, the print below entitled "kindred" is available for free download as a wallpaper here. Hadley has an Etsy shop where she sells primarily prints of her work, with an original occasionally available (lots of originals available here). I'd quite happily settle for a print, just to be able to put something that lovely in my home. When I was choosing photos for this post, I seriously had the hardest time narrowing my favorites down to just five or six. They're all so dreamlike and ethereal, as if you're seeing them through a haze of chiffon, but still so very lifelike and believable. I think at any given moment, my favorites might be completely different, but there's not a single one I wouldn't love to have in my house.

"In the Blossoms"

"Two Barn Owls"

"Watching Over"

"Rose Garden"

"Through the Wallpaper - Blue Bird Print"

All images by Hadley Hutton, each linked to its source in her Etsy shop.



I've already informed you that I'm on a wedding jewelry kick recently. Along those lines:
Vintage oval rhinestone crystals set in antique silver, with crystal quartz briolettes and handmade sterling earwires.

I didn't actually make these as a set, but discovered today how beautifully they go together. Vintage lucite ivory roses, beige-colored silk ribbon, vintage chains, ivory faux pearls, and handmade raw brass earwires on the earrings.

Graduated clear rhinestone dangles: post earrings with clear rhinestones, vintage oval stones, and larger pear crystals.

And other recent work, destined probably for Art Trail this month:

The lighting on this one simultaneously washes it out and makes the magenta pieces darker, but the carved clover piece is vintage lucite and gorgeous; accompanied by a vintage floral-etched locket, vintage brass leaf stem, and vintage brass flower with a faceted garnet center, on vintage brass bar chain. (I really, really like this one. It's prettier in person; come and see it next Friday between 6:00 and 9:00 at Alderson Mercedes!)

Something simpler: patinated aged brass swirl, with beautiful details; aged brass double flower with vintage red glass bead center, on delicate aged brass chain.

Thoughts and Reflections

I'm off work today! Hooray! Despite the fact that I'm now sitting here staring at my computer screen, I can assure you all that I actually have been spectacularly productive today. Random weekdays off on an infrequent basis usually do inspire my latent productivity. I've already crossed six things off of my 10-item to-do list, so I'm feeling pretty happy about that. Since I'm feeling like continuing to bask in my blush-colored shade of contentedness presently, I'll make you a list of 10 more things that make me very happy.

1. A good book and a little morning reading to accompany my breakfast cereal. (Check.)
2. Old postcards. (Check.)

3. Antiques shopping on a weekday morning. (Check.)

4. This color, by Martha Stewart (found at Lowe's).

5. My sweet husband.
6. Diet Dr. Pepper with Vanilla and Cream during Sonic Happy hour. (Check.)
7. Making jewelry. (Sneak peek now, more to come tomorrow!)

8. New shoes. (Thanks, Mom!)
9. Afternoon tea in a vintage jadeite mug.
10. Being alive in God's beautiful world, in every new day that He gives me.


DIY Thursday: Fun Dry Erase Board

I found this really cute DIY project for a wipe-off message board using old wallpaper at design*sponge, which has a wealth of great DIYs; at least one new one each week. But this is something small, and more importantly, immensely practical, that you could finish in half an hour. It's much cuter, I have to say, than the plain white dry erase board that hangs on our fridge, but which is indispensible for reminding Nathan and me of supper ideas and teasing each other about something silly one of us said (our "Quote of the Day"). I think I may replace that plain old Quote Board with something much cuter this summer.

The instructions below I pasted in verbatim from the design*sponge post, here. Let me know if you try it, and how it turns out!

"Here’s what you’ll need:

-- 9” x 12” piece of cardboard -- 9” x 12” piece of wallpaper or other decorative paper -- rubber cement -- x-acto blade or scissors -- clear contact paper -- large bulldog clip -- dry-erase pen(card used in the picture above is from something’s hiding in here)

1. apply rubber cement to the back of your wallpaper and to one side of your cardboard. adhere the paper to the cardboard, smoothing out air bubbles as you go.
2. if desired, round the corners or cut your cardboard into a decorative shape using an x-acto blade or scissors.
3. cut a piece of clear contact paper that is slightly larger than your cardboard, and apply over the wallpaper."


Until I Return

I expect to be extraordinarily busy over the course of the next several days, so I'll leave you with a few tidbits. Here are several new things I've done recently, which will, hopefully soon, be introduced to the wide world via my Etsy shop, when I shall finally have time amid house-painting, road-tripping, and salsa-making to devote a few minutes there. Let me know what you think!

Below: Red vintage glass jewels, grosgrain ribbon, and aged brass on leverback earwires.

I decided to make several monogram necklaces with a set of really beautifully-patinated brass letters I found: I have every letter of the alphabet with the exception of P and G which I recently used in a custom order. I thought it might be fun to start with L, O, V, and E, and photograph them together, but if you'd like a necklace with your own initial, accompanied by a bead or charm of your choice, I can oblige . . . unless your name is Pamela, Penelope, Gertrude or Gretchen, that is.

Below: Vintage sky blue glass jewels, pink Tiffany turquoise beads, chocolate plum silk ribbon, and leverback earwires with little lilac rhinestones inset. I'm not usually a huge purple fan, but I think I'm really liking the cool color tones this summer.

These beautiful little carved roses are pink coral, and though the photo's a little fuzzy and poorly-lit, you can see some of the gorgeous detail and color in them. Paired with hand-painted espresso leaves and textured brass chain on leverback earwires.

I Do . . . Wedding Work

I finished most of the pieces (with the exception of the bride's earrings and hairpiece) for the sweet yellow/ivory/gold wedding I'm doing, and here are the necklaces for the two remaining bridesmaids. (If you missed my first post with pics of the other bridesmaids' necklaces, it's here.)

And when I was finished working on those, I was still in a very wedding-jewelryish mood, so I made these two as bridal pieces for yet unidentified brides. Are you one of those brides? If so, leave me a comment!

Here, I've suspended a large and very sparkly rectangular chandelier crystal, like one gigantic emerald-cut diamond, from a hand-knotted vintage strand of faux Japanese pearls with a really gorgeous ivory lustre. If I were going to get married again, I might very well wear this one.

And this one is composed of extra-large faux pearls (glass, so they have a really nice weight) and a couple of layered vintage brass flowers and a little freshwater pearl for the center. Classic, but updated with a little well-placed asymmetry.

Closes with a vintage faux pearl clasp.


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