Archives for November 2008

Keep Calm and Carry On

I have been seeing these posters pop up on a lot of design blogs and I have found them to be really adorable. But I did not know the back story behind these inspiring messages. Apparently, during WWII when the UK was being bombed daily the government posted these all over the country in an effort to lift spirits. I love the sentiment! And I learned about this on Rachel Ashwell’s new blog! Yes, the creator of Shabby Chic is now blogging! Check her out here.

Coasting to the Holidays

I am absolutely loving the country charm of these coasters! They can be found here.

Old-fashioned graphic designs make these dairy-fresh coasters charming. Pair them with a bottle of milk and a plate of homemade cookies for a gift in true good taste. – Country Home Magazine.

Embroidered Pillows

As I wrote earlier, the countdown to Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc) has officially begun and I am all about giving gifts that will be the perfect addition to people’s homes. These are great throw pillows that can be tailor made to each specific recipient.

These pillows are delightful keepsakes for remembering your hometown, or perhaps to commemorate your honeymoon, or some wonderful vacation spot. Great for gift giving, and as you can imagine, these pillows are unusual conversational pieces, whether displayed in a home, office, or anyplace you can imagine. When you examine your pillow up close and see all the details that have been skillfully stitched, not to mention all the color changes of thread involved, you’ll realize what an exceptional value it is.

These ENTIRELY HAND STITCHED pillows have been on all the “must have lists”…featured on the Today Show as well as many magazines. They are found in the best shoppers and boutiques in the country and will not disappoint. I found them in Flat of the Hill on Beacon Hill in Boston.

Thanksgiving Roundup

Well, Thanksgiving is over and if you’re at all like me, you are feeling an overwhelming wave of, “Is that all?” On one hand, Thanksgiving is a great holiday if you love to eat, watch tv, lay around on the couch for what feels like days and then eat leftovers. However, if you are like me, your mind can not stop questioning your actions (or lack thereof). I have a difficult time not doing anything. I need to be doing something productive or else I feel like my time has been wasted. I need to be cleaning, organizing, working, talking, eating (so there are a few circumstances when I do not feel like the holiday is a complete bust because I certainly am able to fit in enough chatter and food). But overall, I am at a loss. I am the type of person who can’t even watch a movie on TV if it there is still day light hours to burn. I can commit myself to a half hour program (one hour if it’s a reality tv show) and that’s about it. So when everyone was curling up on the couch to watch a movie the day after Thanksgiving, I cleaned the kitchen, took a shower and did a load of laundry.

What I did not do, however, was the one thing I should have been doing; working on my novel. The novel that I promised myself I would have at least 50,000 words completed by Monday, December 1st. I have about 5,000 words. I know, I know. Weak. But at least I didn’t do what I was convinced I would do, and almost did. I didn’t abandon my project. I am still working on it and have declared that I will finish it. Even if another story idea pops into my head and it looks all pretty and fancy and has a new bright bow on it and is dying for me to start writing it (right now!), I won’t do it. I’m sticking to my original one because I’m sick of having hundreds of one page stories on my computer. I’m tired of starting a great new story idea only to abandon it the very next day. This is what I am going to be working on for the entire month of December. So even though November is National Novel Writing Month, for me, I am giving myself the entire month of December as well.

I think that’s fair.

So onward we go, full steam ahead to Christmas! Because Christmas is a holiday that I really can get excited about.

What’s Old is New

My parents have always been antique collectors, so I grew up knowing a lot about what is collectible and how to treat them, but I also had a bit of a fear of antiques. First of all, I feared breaking them. Then I disliked how different they were from the brand, sparkly new things I could buy at Macy’s or Pottery Barn. Antiques were dusty, smelly, used and abused. I found absolutely zero interest in antique stores and collecting in general. But as I have gotten older and seen my own possessions turn into antiques (I’m only 29, but still, times they are a changin’), I am beginning to have a stronger appreciation for the history of antiques. However, what I am learning through many design and collectors blogs, especially Eddie Ross, is that what’s old can be made new again. Here is a quote from Eddie’s site:

As a collector, one thing I’ve learned over the years is to be fearless. Just because something’??s antique doesn’??t mean it’s precious. Don’t be afraid to alter a piece to make it your own. Strip it. Sand it. Recover it in fabric you adore. Like I said, all wood is not created equal. If a chair’s lines are good but you’re not in love with the finish, paint it another color and you’??ll probably be much happier with the result. I know I am.

I love this message and I love the example he used. This secretary was bought at a flea market and refurbished to completely fit in with his decorating style.

Counting Down to a Great Tablescape

Thanksgiving is one of the best times to really put your decorating skills to task. The table design can’t be too cluttered because it has to accompany the enormous spread of traditional dishes, but it has to be pleasing to the eye and let your guests know that it is not your typical dinner setting.

I have just fallen in love with a fellow blogger and designer. His name is Eddie Ross and he is a senior style editor for the holy grail, Martha Stewart Living. He is a Top Design contestant, a designer, and a blogger. His blog is so addictive that I have lost hours scrolling through his gorgeous images of flea market finds paired with Target buys. This man is amazing!

Here is one of his ideas for a simple table setting.

This is a very rustic setting and gives a nod to the historical beginnings of our Thanksgiving traditions. What’s so wonderful about this particular setting is that Eddie has paired antique utensils, this is a monogrammed Cristophle spoon with…TARGET napkins!

This was actually a table setting for a simple, Fall dinner for Eddie and family. But I think it can certainly make for a perfect Rustic Thanksgiving setting.


I am so excited for Thanksgiving that I am already color-coordinating my Thanksgiving tablescape and bargain-hunting for Pottery Barn-style table decorations.

Design Mom Giveaway

Design Mom is offering a fantastic giveaway! I had to spread the word (even if it lessens my chance of being selected).


There is something so wonderful about looking at baby pictures of yourself. Why is that? Does it remind you of your innocence? The person you were meant to be all along?

Halloween Candy

I love DesignMom‘s idea for sorting Halloween candy. How pretty does this look?

One True Sentence

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write on true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say…I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.”

A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway