Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last Minute Christmas and Hostess Gifts

No time to shop?  Try making your holiday gifts from what you have at home or from a quick trip to the craft or dollar store.  Simple gifts for the holidays that you can create in a pinch of time will make you a gift giving star.

Button snowflake ornament create a set of 3 in different colors

Cinnamon stick wrapped candle

Cookie mix in a jar

Bouquet of flowers wrapped in a kitchen towel tied off with a wooden spoon

Ice cream cone sundae kit
Creative cork coasters
Puppy treats in a jar

Twig wrapped class candle votive

Creating a set of three candle holders or a set of 4 cork coasters tied to the neck of a bottle of wine is a great hostess gift during the holidays.  Making time to create unique and individual gifts for the giving says something special about the gift giver.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Organic Wraps for Gift Giving.

What does organic mean to you? With society pushing the use of all natural, organic, raw and no preservatives in food, papers, coffee cups and even household cleaning products we use every day why not go one step further with giving and organic wrapped gift for the holidays or any time.

Remember he first day of school your assignment was to go home and cover your books.  Instead of buying pretty book covers, my mother always made us use  DeMoulas (now Market Basket) brown paper shopping bags.  Who would have thought that giving a gift of a nice book for the holidays would return back to an organic brown paper recycled bag used as glorified gift wrapping  What a great idea using wonderful natural embellishments to finish the look of the gift.

Giving a gift wrapped in brown paper, recycled and wrapped with hemp can be fun.  especially if finished off with all natural embellishments such as items from the woods.

Brown craft paper and bags can be found at Staples or even your local dollar store.  Or make is simple, use brown paper shopping bags and lunch bags for the smaller size gift.

Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to make your gift giving a special one.

homemade recipe book with handwritten recipes on organic papers

hemp wrapped brown paper gift boxes
simple pine cone and twine embellished gift

for the book club gathering a centerpiece of covered books and table runner of craft paper
the black and white photo says it all

Personalizing and creating a small or larger gift with brown organic or recycled papers can be fun and meaningful. Make the embellishment on the outside of your gift as special as the inside.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Remembering Your Grandmother's Afghan

Do you remember the Afghan?  It wasn't until I was searching for my winter comforter that I came across mine..  That special knitted blanket that my grandmother knitted for me in  1982.  How do I remember the date?  Because my Yiayia (Greek word for grandmother) had always hand-sewn  a special tag on the corner of her afghans with a little To and From note and the date of the special event she was creating for. What was funny was on the tag  she spelled my name with an " i " .  Yup that was Yiayia!

I also remember when I was a little girl that my parents also had one of Yiayia's afghans hanging on the back of the recliner in the den.  It was more autumn-like colors of oranges, olive greens and golds with long yarn fringe.  I never liked it so much until now that I can appreciate the hard and long work taken to create these beautiful blankets.

My grandmother always had a way with giving her hand-made afghans.  You always knew if there was a special occasion or life milestone such as a marriage or new baby on the way, you were going to get a new afghan and a little message sewn to the corner.

Mine is three shades of blue and white, the colors of the Greek flag.and was made for me for a wedding shower day of May 16, 1982.  After being tucked away for years, I am happy to pull it back out of storage and proudly use it as my bed blanket.

Yiayia has been gone now for 13 years but her special afghan blankets are proudly displayed in my home, my siblings and cousins home.

If you have an heirloom afghan share your story..  Remembering passed family members that have made an impact on your life is so very important. Recognizing them and the heirlooms and memories they've created is truly a blessing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Closet Designs for the Littleones

So many little children are dressed to the nines these days.  The cutest little outfits can be seen walking down the sidewalks of the city, in the playground and let's not forget about the formal affairs of their little bodies outfitted in little fancy dresses and suits.

Designing a closet for displaying these little outfits can be part of a child's room design.  Because the fabrics are so colorful clothing can be be used as part of the room's color pallet.

Pink painted walls coordinate with the background of this open closet.  Open closets make it easier to view selections for choosing and assist in the ease of dressing little ones in the morning.

This space doubles as closet and book storage shelving

Mint green walls as a soft background let the clothing become color accessories in this closet

This closet stores not only clothing but has a built-in desk for duel usage of the wall space

Red, white and blue makes this closet an all American favorite with coordinating storage bins

Pretty in pink open framed closet without doors and a tab top curtain to hide clothes if needed

Color coordinate painted size dividers makes it easy to sort clothing
A neutral wall color lets the clothing colors stand out in this closet design
A standard closet opening can be used more efficiently with shelving and fabric covered bins

No matter what the design theme is for your child's room an open closet can add to the decor and theme of the room. Use coordinating fabrics for covered bins. baskets for small socks and shoe storage as well as adding themed pictures to the back of a closet wall to bring the room all together.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vintage Table Lamps Reborn

One accessory item that is sometimes hard to find is the table lamp.  Whether old or new it is the one piece that I find finishes a room design.  Of course there are other embellishments that are needed in a room design, however adding that one unique item adds charm and warmth through the lamp base design and the lighting itself.
Redesigning a table lamp by using some paint and changing the lamp shade may be all it takes to give an old outdated lamp a new life.  Here are just a few finds that have been redesigned and given a new home to shine.

"I Dream of Jeannie" lamp base with a new burlap texture shade adds new life to a bedroom setting

A new white lamp shade brightens up the vintage base of this blue lamp find.

Antique crystal lamp with added new glass beaded shade
Delicate as this antique crystal lamp is, it provides much light to a small dark kitchen counter top corner or can be used as a desk lamp.

Vintage Murano Glass lamp base with new black lamp shade.
This Murano glass lamp is perfect for the vintage style living room or bedroom.  An added new black lamp shade freshens up the look.

Discarded lamps that some consider to be throwaways are treasures to others.  With a creative eye, these pieces can be touched up with some paint on the base if needed and if the right size, shape and color shade can be added to the lamp it is well worth the picking.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Glass Houses

Can you live in a glass house?
Creative living spaces are always interesting to read about.  Imagine how living spaces differ depending on personalities and occurrences which move us to create a space that we want to spend our time and live in.  Your space should be a reflection of you.  I've always had a passion for old windows and above, Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz  take their passion to building a glass house out of old windows for $500!
American architect Philip Johnson's famous Glass House constructed in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut was were Johnson made his home. A renowned architect who founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the MOMA was famous for designing The Seagram's Building in NYC as well as many other key glass towers in Dallas, Atlanta and throughout the nation.  Johnson lived in his Glass House until he died in 2005.  He was 98.

Could you sleep in a glass bedroom?  I'm not so sure but I love the fact that the sun can shine right into your room and that experiencing all  weather elements that Mother Nature creates.  Possibly the most beautiful place to watch fall's changing leaves and a beautiful snow storm.  Maybe like living in a slide show of beautiful photographs constantly changing.

From the most ultra modern glass structures created by famous architects to the do-it-yourself hands-on homeowner and creator of  unique glass houses,  confirms that beautiful living structures are definitely in the eye of the beholder.

Could you live in a glass house?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Party!

There are so many interesting and creative pumpkins out there this year.  Some so unique that I wanted to share some of my favorite sightings. I hope you enjoy the viewing.

cabbage urn and mums with pumpkins and gourds

candy corn pumpkin

white and gold leaf

gray and white dotted and chevron

mini pumpkin and mum  place setting

white and leafy 

pretty pink party pumpkins

shades of pink and white

pumpkin floral vase

Mother Nature's naturally colored pumpkin

initialized pumpkin

signature message pumpkins

pure and simple pumpkin in white

white and glittery pumpkin
scary black jack-o-lantern

Creative pumpkin decorating can be a fun activity for all ages young and old.  Enjoy your festive pumpkin carving no matter what age you are. Please feel free to post some of your own pumpkin decorating ideas here.  I would love to see more.