Inspiration

 

I’ve been having such a hard time posting for the past few weeks. I’m sorry I’ve been slacking off. Sometimes it’s an odd thing, this blogging. I really do love it, I love that I have a reason to write, and that I get to share things that inspire me. Then again, there are times that I simply need a break from being online. Like so many people I spend my workdays in front of a computer. Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I get home is get out my computer and start in again, even if it’s something I enjoy. So for the past few weeks my home computer has been off and in the corner, and I’ve spent my evenings and weekends mostly offline. And just to prepare you, I have a lot going on between now and December, so posting will continue to be a little less daily.  The good news is everything I have going on is inspiring and I’m already excited to share! I hope you enjoy today’s little sneak peek, starting with the colors and textures above that have me inspired to redecorate (maybe…).  

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Top Chef Just Desserts and Lucent Dossier – flaming desserts and smokey sensual sideshow awesomeness – what more can you ask for? 

State Parks – cool crisp air just begs to be enjoyed, don’t you think? This past weekend I went we headed out to see this waterfall and I’m hoping the future will hold trips to see colorful maples, and this Indian lodge

Holiday crafting! My sister and I just bought a Cricut machine  and  we’re going to start by using the machine to cut out designs from Contact paper for a glass-etching project similar to the one above from Martha Stewart (I’ll share a tutorial with you next week!) 

Etsy emails make my day. I especially love the collections in Etsy Finds – they give me a fix on those days when I don’t get a chance to explore on my own, and introduce me to things I may never have even thought of. I found this fine silver leaf ring and this modern macrame last week.
 
I think Cooking Light will be my new magazine addiction. We’ve been trying to eat healthier lately, and it’s so nice to have the calories, fat, and all that other stuff figured out for you without having to eat prepared processed meals. 
 
Always inspiring is Marie Claire Idees. I stalked the bookstore last week waiting for the latest issue to appear on the shelves. I dog-eared so many pages I may as well have marked the whole magazine! If you can’t find it where you are the blog has lots of beautiful inspiration, and lots of French practice!
 
I can’t remember how I found the blog even*cleveland, but once I got lost for almost an hour! I love the smooth flow of posts, a beautiful stream of consciousness that carries the reader along with it. For me it’s becoming my mid-day resting place, when I need an escape from the day’s drama. 

Chai tea recipes – it’s so easy to make from scratch, and I’ll share my new favorite with you later this week.
 
And finally, my recent personal soundtrack…

Matt Pond Pa
Courtyard Hounds
Band of Horses  
Sam Phillips  
Nina Simone 

Hope you find something to inspire you among these links!

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Etsy Blossoms

Hey everyone – happy Thursday!  I hope you’ve all had a good week so far. I have some amazing Etsy deals for you today, and a few tips for making the most of your spending while still supporting indpenedent creators. I have five amazing shops to share today, and I found every one of them by searching for “Clearance.”

First up is the fantastical jewelry of ChYMieRa.  I have a soft spot in my heart for fantasy nightmarish fun, and I love these delicate and dark creations! Her other shop, MayberryGeneralStore, is a cool old-timey shop that seems a perfect, softer twin to the creepy cool of ChYMieRa.Tip: PIF = Pay It Forward, this is a clue that this seller is passing along some great deal in the past to you, in spirit, through her fabulous deals. The idea is that you do the same in the future. There are some great deals out there if you search PIF, and it’s a sweet concept.  Just don’t forget to pass along your good fortune to someone else! AmysPinPals has some great destashing going on right now. I have some of this owl fabric, but in color. So cute! Amy also does custom sewing projects and has some beautiful examples up in her shop.  Tip – search for destash and take advantage of other folks clearing out their unused supplies!

Wicked Soaps has some wicked deals right now on summery soaps and scents.  The descriptions are simply mouth-watering. I think any time of year is the right time of year for lavender martini soap and milk and honey lotion. Click over to her blog for more soapy goodness and some occasional Robert Pattinson. Tip: off season = big savings!  

Mama feels Bueno stocks beautiful trims and applique that could easily transform a simple garment into something drop-dead gorgeous. I love all of the beautiful butterflies too! Tip: Combine shipping! The shipping on these bits of trim is low to begin with, but when you look at how low it is with another item you’ll buy the shop out!

 Remember When Vintage by butterflyemoon is a nice assortment of vintage goodies, and every single thing in her shop right now is buy-one-get-one half price. I just love the Julie London albums – aren’t they cool! The drum-style ice bucket would be great on a retro bar, even if it’s not Christmas. When you have a moment check out her blog to learn more about her great eco-village learning center plans, and her other Etsy shop, Circle in the Wood for some pretty wire-wrapped jewelry.  Tip: look for storewide sales, and take advantage of them!

To sum up – search for what’s on sale. The terms: “Destash,” “Clearance,” “Sale,” “Discount,” “BOGO,” “PIF” and “Pay it Forward,”  are all good places to start. Combine shipping and look for things that could be categorized as last season. And above all, have fun shopping!

Etsy Blossoms

It’s back to school time! I still love new notebooks and pens, even though I’m not headed back to school anymore. Today’s Etsy Blossoms are too cool for school, and you will be too if you stuff your backpack with these goodies!  First up is Crown Bindery. I oohed and aahed over their notebooks and binders at the Austin Renegade Craft Fair a few months ago.  I love the clean looks and fabulous papers of these notebooks and binders! Just as tempting are the paper pockets and paper chain kits at sister school Crown Paperie.  And who wouldn’t want an adorable clothesline kit with cute little papered clothespins? Perfect for hanging everything from crayon masterpieces and report cards to magazine tear sheets and beautiful business cards. Pick one out at the third jewel of a shop, The Papered Crown.  For even more office-y goodness visit Carla’s blog, handmade. home. office.

There’s nothing like a pretty pen to brighten up your day. These from Polymer Clay Shed are gorgeous! The designs are so detailed and colorful! I’d love to add some of these paper clips to my collection! And why not add a keychain with a secret compartment and a pretty little pill box to your stash of goodies?  If you need just a little more polymer clay pretty you should stop by Crafts by CAG for beads and jewelry and the Polymer Clay Shed blog.

Aren’t these the coolest crayons you’ve ever seen? They were made by 7 year old Max (with the help of mom) and are available at MadebyMAXX.  I think any kid (or grown up, really, let’s be honest!) would love a set of crayons that spell out their name. And I know quite a few folks who will be getting skull crayons sometime soon! 

Something new for back to school – is reusable fabric sandwich and snack bags by Cotton Top Quilts.   I love these – practical, green, and pretty! I love the travel trash bins too. My mom has been looking for a trash container for her car, and I think this one will be perfect!  And for your regular crayons, a coloring wallet, of course!  You can find more from Paula at her other Etsy shop, Elgies, and you can buy fabric from her to create your own pouches, bags, and whatever else you want at Cotton Top Fabrics.

Finally, here are some sweet pencil boxes, pill boxes, baskets and frames from Mmim. I love the old-school feel of the Dick & Jane pencil box, and the skip ahead a couple of decades to the yellow #2 box. I’m all about trees and houses right now, so you know I want the tiny tree pill box and the light switch plate covered in little houses all in a row. Mmim has some great sales going on right now too!

Hope you’ve found something cool for your backpack! Have a great day all!

Etsy Blossoms – Tomato Obsession

Thinking about the end of summer at the beginning of the week eventually led my mind down the path of tomatoes. Now I can’t stop thinking about them! Yummy, delicious, bright, bumpy tomatoes. So my Etsy blossoms are all tomato-themed tonight! I hope you enjoy!

OK, how can you NOT love the Mental Vegetables, Drinky Poos, and Gourds of Goth from AnthroPoMorphCo? Seriously, I definitely need a Saucy Tomato in my life. And I know it’s a little early to be thinking about Halloween, but how perfect would the Gourds of Goth be for, well, the entire month of October! Go, buy cute stuff!

These watercolors by Bob Fontenot, of bobbyjoefontenot, are portraits of tomatoes from the Fontenot garden, and I think they’re completely mouthwatering.  I think they’d be great in my kitchen…a nice reminder of summer year-round.

I just couldn’t help but smile when I ran across the napkins above by shesocreative. That smile just got bigger the longer I looked at her shop.  I love the clever plays on everyday concepts, and I’m completly blown away by the oh-so-clever packaging of her aprons! take a minute to look at them, and read the labels. So cute!

Finally, here are some fun vintage items from coconutannie. I think the frog with tomatoes salt and pepper shaker set is so much fun. Wouldn’t that be a great conversation-piece  for your kitchen table?  And the ode to tomatoes wouldn’t be the complete without a pincushion. I have one just like these vintage Chinese ones.

I hope you all have enjoyed my moment of tomato obsession. I’ve got a couple of recipes to share tomorrow, then it’s off to birthday celebration land for me! Happy Thursday (evening).

Etsy Blossoms

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope your week has been going well. This week I was inspired by the idea of kits. I get these fabulous emails from Etsy with collections themed around everything you could imagine. One this week was DIY themed, and I thought that was a great idea to borrow for today’s post. Above are fragrance goodies from Sweet Anthem. I am intrigued by the idea of creating my own perfume, and there’s a kit for that! Even better is her Couture Bespoke Perfume Design.  I read about custom perfume design in a magazine as a teenager and it’s been on my list of things to do ever since. You’d better bet I’m bookmarking this for the day we have the funds!  Learn more about all of her fragrances and visit the blog on the Sweet Anthem website.

I am absolutely in love with the sweet letterpress houses that make up the Chandler Lane Kit by 1canoe2.  I don’t know if it’s the miniaturist in my or my slight obsession with the idea of home, but I am completely enamored.  And the recipe cards and dividers are lovely! I remember my grandmother always had a few recipes written on cards with little illustrations and sweet writing, and they seemed so important!  I think this set would make a perfect gift for someone just getting started in their own place. Maybe with a few favorite recipes filled in? Stop by and visit Beth’s blog

Erinzam has an amazing collection of kits and handmade books, all from recycled and reused papers. My sister made her first book a few weeks ago, and looking up bookbinding techniques sparked my interest in this art form.  If you’ve ever wanted to learn how, Erin’s Japanese Binding Kit and Tutorial is for you.  Or if you’re not feeling crafty, just pick up one of her adorable handmade books.  I love the ones made from old-school computer punch cards, and the baseball card books are fantastic!   And how handy would that business card book kit be for organizing your contacts?

Finally, if you’re looking for a challenge, or just some ridiculously adorable eye candy, go to TSminibears. for an assortment of patterns.  I’ve never seen anything quite like her bears. She’s got everything from traditional teddy-bear types, to super-realistic bears, to anime-style bears, to fantasy art bears. And all super-tiny! I am so blown away. I’d love to tackle something like this, just for me. But which one??

Etsy Blossoms

Good morning everyone! I hope you’re having a great Thursday.  For today’s Etsy Blossoms I thought I’d share some handbags I’ve been looking at. It seems as if I’m on a never-ending quest for a new purse. This one’s too small, this one too big, this one too heavy, this one doesn’t close well….I’m sure I’m not the only one who deals with this.   I’ll admit I usually buy a new purse on a whim when I’m wandering through Target. But this time I think I’m going to shop around on Etsy and pick out a little clutch and a larger bag and see how that goes.  I knew there would be some amazing purses on Etsy, but I was really pleasantly surprised at how affordable they are! These are quality handmade goods folks!   So, without further delay, here are some fabulous bags from around the world!  The bags above are from Singapore by littleoddforest (aka LOF). How fun are these? I think I might need the rainbow bag at the top. Or maybe the turqoise and red bag in the bottom left corner. Or the cute little owl bag…decisions, decisions! Don’t forget to stop by Lynda’s main website  and  Flickr page for even more fun, and become a fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter!

I love the simple clean lines of these bags from Istanbul by sineminugur .  I can see myself carrying that striped bag every single day! And she has some wonderful messenger bags. It’s always good to have at least one of those.  Definitely check out her other Etsy shop, SRdesign with a rainbow of beautiful shawls and other accessories, and become a fan on Facebook.

There is some amazing jewelry, accessories, fabric boxes, and more at picciolo‘s Etsy shop (she’s from London) but I’m focusing on bags today. I love her foldable totes. They would be perfect to take along garage-sale-ing or to the grocery store. And the craft fabric clutch at the top is so unusal – pretty and edgy at the same time!  You should also check out her  blog to see what she’s up to right now.

These bags are so Florida to me – brightly colored, fresh and breezy! These are all by Maddie Kay Handbags   – I love the fabrics and the simple, practical designs. I’m torn between the two hobo bags at the top  – I think they’re both my favorite!

Finally, from Toronto, bluecalla,  whose clutch I shared yesterday. I think her clutches are my top pick for my “little” bag right now. Hmmm, but which one?  And I really love both of the purses at the top. Orange flowers or plaid…both good choices! Don’t forget to stop by and become a fan on Facebook.

I think I have my work cut out for me. I can’t buy all the purses…can I?  Happy shopping folks!

Etsy Preview – Pocket Clutch

Hi all, I just have a few moments today, so I thought I’d quickly share a little sneak peak of tomorrow’s Etsy Blossoms. I love this little clutch by bluecalla. I’ve been carrying a clutch inside a larger purse for the past couple of weeks, and though I think I’ll be switching out soon, it’s just because the one I have doesn’t function very well. I’m thinking one like this might be better – what do you think? It’s definitely cuter! Be sure to stop by tomorrow for more purse options from Etsy!