Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Embrace Your Winter Blues....

January is naturally an introspective time of the year for most people.  Bears have the right idea and sleep right thru it while birds just head South. 

So for those of us bearing with the cold and snow, here are my top SEVEN tips for January blues-busting pampering...

Listen to a little Chris Botti.  When teaming up with Yo-Yo Ma on a musical selection from the movie Cinema Paradiso, it is the trifecta of soulful melancholy :

Watch Cinema Paradiso (1988) on Netflix.  I still adore this movie after nearly 3 decades.  Lessons on life and love are set against an Italian backdrop with a soundtrack that will sink into your soul and stay there.

Snuggle under a cozy chenille throw while watching above-mentioned melancholy movie.  I found this one at Pier One in a gorgeous shade of  Iced Blue.

Apply the best-lip-balm-in-the-world while snuggling under cozy throw and watching above sad movie. 

Since I started using this lip balm I have not had ONE DAY of  chapped lips.  I squirreled  them away in at least 5 or 6  flavors in my car, purse, kitchen counter, bedside, bathroom.  They are so inexpensive you can splurge.  I love that they are organic and paraben-free and come in an adorable round shape. 

After applying lip stuff while warming up under chenille throw
and watching sad movie....tame those ratty-looking nails with a coat of  Deborah Lippmann nail polish.  It's a splurge that will set you back about 20.00 (Sephora) but you'll smile every time you look down at your nails because 1. they look so professional and 2. this stuff lasts a loooong time before you need to re-polish them.

I use a light color that goes with everything...Baby Love.

Finish off your pamper party movie nite with an amazingly fast-acting, non-greasy hand cream....EUCERIN Intensive Repair.

I love this stuff because it has Alpha Hydroxy and instantly takes 10 years off your hands and makes them super-soft, smooth and moisturized.

Check out this year's 2015 HGTV Dream Home and enter to win every day until February 17th.  Discover a few decorating tips you can add to your own space and have fun thinking about who you'll invite to Martha's Vineyard after you win.  A little coastal day-dreaming helps fight the winter blues, right?!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Porch Envy...

As autumn blows in and the leaves turn color, our first instinct is to fold up the porch furniture, sweep off the patio and hunker down indoors in preparation for the long winter ahead. 

This October I’m in favor of re-claiming the Adirondack chairs and bringing out warm wool blankets and mugs of cider to participate in the changing of seasons…extending our porch life a few precious weeks longer.  Are you with me?!

Here are a few decorative porch ideas for INSPIRATION …

A trail of bright orange  and small white pumpkins line the front steps to the front porch…what could be more welcoming?  

White pumpkins add simplicity and sophistication.  I love the look of a blue door, sage-colored cabbage leaves and pure white pumpkins.  Perfect for an ocean-front home in a warmer climate.

Framed in a large embroidery hoop, this “wreath substitute” uses a stencil, fabric paint and burlap.  Add your family name or initial…gorgeous when combined with bright orange pumpkins scattered about.

Old black and white family photos are attached with clothespins to add charm and nostalgia to a front entry wreath.

Remove summer's faded flowers from the pots and stack pumpkins and pine cones for a festive autumn look.

Paint your front door a BOLD color that is timeless for all seasons.  This shade of Currant looks great with autumn browns and oranges but will also work with winter pine garlands, a green hydrangea wreath in Spring or Fourth of July / Americana themes for summer.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring has Arrived....

Ahhh…April will soon be upon us so I’m blowing the cobwebs off my blog after a long winter nap!  I’ve got so many projects in the works with my Etsy adventure and future wholesaling partnerships….completely appreciating so many things in my life these days.  My recent favorite finds?

Chickenwire Farmhouse Baskets….a throwback to days gone by!  LOVED working on these and it does appear that many others are also combining their admiration of the Farmhouse Chic Style with a little French Country basketry and rustic hopsack cloth.  I have them around the house for storage, holding quest soaps, a catch-all for my Home D├ęcor magazines and in the kitchen filled with fruit.  I even made the liners in gingham for Easter Baskets.

OK Sweetheart…it started when I first heard their amazing song “Before You Go” on the TMC Remembers 2011 montage.  I really like this group and what they have to say.  My new fav is their song “All We Have”.  Check it out on You Tube…

The words and melody are hauntingly beautiful and remind us to be happy with all that we have and appreciate life.  The video set is very cool...dripping with fabulous vintage finds that will make you smile (or swoon!).  That’s all I’ll say at the risk of ruining the surprise ending for ya  J

All Things Lavender….I found a lavender farm in the middle of Missouri and have been making scented pillows and sachets ever since.  It’s fabulous to be able to run out and pick up a pound of fresh buds locally (tho I’m not opposed to doing lavender “research” in Provence)! 

The color is lovely and the aroma so calming….Lavender Citrus Tea got me through a few cold winter evenings, not to mention the lavender lip balm…a soother and aroma-therapy all in one.  LUV that stuff. 

You can find more lavender products, local store hours, the online store, farm location and harvesting schedules here:  

(Below) French Perfume Label Sachets in calming shades of lavender.  Check out these and more sachet designs at:

 Lavender Tips and Tricks:
 Revive the scent of your old lavender sachets by squeezing the buds to release the oils.  They should last for years this way. 

Add edible buds to cookies, fudge and lemonade.    

Use lavender fire starter stems when using your fireplace to add a lovely scent to your home. 

Check out for more ideas. 

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?