Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Industrial Chic...

I recently spent some time in Milwaukee's Third Ward District and have been inspired by all things "industrial" ever since!   Like many large cities, the marina and old factories have been re-vamped into cool, boxy lofts along the river. 

Trendy eateries and home & fashion boutiques have also sprung up along these well-worn streets forming a fun, vibrant neighborhood just South of downtown Milwaukee.  

One of my favorite shops is The Home Market on East Erie Street. 
(see shop link on side bar) 

I love the interesting metal and glass objects and furniture, rugs and pillows.  

Such a warm and welcoming shop!

I also checked out the lofts at the Pointe, which had gorgeous river and lake views; sweeping city panoramas.  The walkways along the river were full of people enjoying a sunny day.

After a visit to the Third Ward I can definitely see why Industrial Chic style is gaining in popularity. 

This design inspiration comes from old factories, naval yards, farm sheds...very utilitarian in nature.  

Real Industrial Edge (

Industrial Elements:
Metal, re-purposed wood, flour sacks, burlap, feed sacks, galvanized steel, enameled locker numbers, old typewriter keys and fonts, metal industrial signs and large metal caster wheels.

IKEA Kitchen Cart



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pillow Ambush 2011...Batik Bliss

Do you have a favorite walking or running path?  I have 3 routes that I take depending on my mood and time available for a workout.  I love walking through neighborhoods and getting inspired...whether its from an interesting flower bed, a front porch bench or a colorful wreath on a painted door.

For the 2011 Abundant Haven Summer Pillow Ambush, I set out to prove that batik prints can be used for all types of homes.  The new batiks coming out of Indonesia are not purely tropical and can be used to grace any home, from traditional estates to artsy cottages or urban condos.  Here are a few of the homes along my walking route to receive an "ambush"...

So what exactly qualifies as a batik print and how are they made?  Batik art has been around for centuries, predating written records.  Although it is generally thought to have it's origins in Indonesia, ceremonial batik linens have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Batik is a method of dying fabric using wax on the face side of the cloth, allowing the dye to settle only on the unwaxed portions.  Batiks are known for the veins of color that appear as the wax dries and cracks.  After the dye has dried, the wax is pulled up from the fabric by ironing it between 2 sheets of paper.

Are you up for a creative batik adventure?  If so, try making an Autumn Batik using leaves dipped in wax and pressing them onto fabric.  Use dyes in warm fall color tones.  Here's a great link from Martha Stewart on creating your own batiks:

Happy experimenting!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And the winner is...

 Nancy Dahlke of Abundant Sunshine Life Coaching 
Winner of the Vintage French Rabbit Pillow giveaway.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Vintage Style...

Vintage French Rabbit Pillow
Enter to win this sweet french-inspired "Le Lapin" pillow. 
Just drop me a comment to enter. 
Drawing will be on August 5th using  Good Luck!!  :)

Have you noticed that "Vintage" seems to be everywhere these days?  There is a lot of focus on vintage clothing, vintage posters, records, vintage cars, vintage home decor and vintage jewelry.  While writing product descriptions, I often use the phrase "vintage-inspired" (some of the design elements are inspired by another era yet the fabrics and trims are new).  As time passes, though, I've somehow dropped the "inspired" qualifier and gone straight to vintage.  Oooopps.

So...I've been thinking about our love of all things VINTAGE.  It appears that over the past few decades this term has become know as a STYLE type (like Cottage Style, Art Deco Style, Contemporary Style).  Remember when it wasn't so popular?  In the 80's movie, "Pretty In Pink", Molly Ringwald and Annie Potts worked in a used record store and wore "interesting and creative" second hand ensembles while those around them were predictably preppy.   And who could forget Ducky and his crazy worn white shoes and hat?!?  Vintage Rogue Style, maybe?

My best guess as to our current love and fascination with all things vintage is that we are looking for comfort from a less complicated, simpler time.  My wire fruit basket with chipped aqua paint and a metal bird on top always brings a smile to my face.  What's your favorite vintage possession?