Oct 28, 2010

Fab Organizing Solution: Pegboard

I've always been a huge fan of pegboard. We've used it quite possibly in every room of the house as part of our organizing features at the magazine. But personally, I'm the type of organizer who likes to see everything (which, I guess, doesn't sound like organizing at all, I admit!) in front of me, so pegboard fits the bill. You can hang pretty much anything on it, and once given a coat of paint it doesn't look so office-y.

So anyway, I found a new twist on the standard pegboard set-up on CraftStylish. Instead of inserting hooks into the holes, they thread ribbon through using a thick needle. Then, you simply clip up anything you want using clothespins. Though this particular project is used to organize wedding plans, you could use this easily for inspiration boards, bits of ribbon, invitations/pretty cards/not-so-pretty bills, etc.

Image via CraftStylish.

Oct 27, 2010

DIY Sweet (ha-ha) Candy Dishes

These generously-sized candy dishes featured on CraftStylish make perfect little favors. (Not to mention another good way to use up scrap fabric.) I'd do these in a rustic linen with a velvety orange ribbon tie for Halloween/autumn parties. It's very easy--just snip fabric, apply fabric stiffener and wait for it to dry. The name tag picks are made from paper, glue and skewers. Directions are here.

P.s. The creator of this craft is none other than Diane Gilleland of the fab CraftyPod podcast, a must-listen for crafty business owners.

Image via CraftStylish.

What's in your workspace?

For me, it'll soon be one of these, hung on my cubicle wall. Via Penelope Waits' shop on etsy. Otherwise, my work zone is relatively cluttered with work-type things and books, with the odd vintage Asbury Park postcard to add color and cheer.

Image via Penelope Waits' shop.

Oct 26, 2010

New in my store...

Two new prints are up in my etsy shop. Each print, depicting an old-timey scene of (left) a row of brownstone-era buildings or (right) New York's Washington Square Arch, is pre-framed in a 5 x 7 black frame for your convenience. I originally rendered each in Prismacolor markers in a style vaguely related to M. Sasek. At $10 each, there is no absolutely excuse for that bare spot on your desk.


Wedding flowers for an autumn bride

Here are a few arrangements that I did with my (business-y) partner in crime, the lovely stylist Shana Ecker, in conjunction with the fabulous Twigs & Buds floral design. Above, bridesmaids bouquets in a plum and pink color palette accented with peacock feathers, then below, a tall table arrangement featuring lilies and orchids.

The surprising part: The bridesmaid bouquets were super-easy. I know they look fancy, but really they just used a hydrangea as a flower frog for the other blooms. Its naturally full, round, bloom-packed head eliminates the need for lots of filler, and it also serves to guide your arrangement (keeping things in a pleasing round shape). Keep that in mind the next time you work with hydrangea!

Photos via Heather Johnson photography. (She's also handy with the flowers!)

More fabric flowers!

I think that the impending winter/bare tree season is causing me to gravitate more and more towards flower crafts. Such as: These light and airy fabric flowers, as seen on the 100 Layer Cake blog. I'd love to make them, though the step-by-step looks a bit involved, so to speak. You basically cut lots and lots of petals, then stitch them together, which is do-able--however, the reason the filmy fabrics can stand up so well is with careful structural stitching. So really, "involved" wasn't the right word. You'd just need some time and patience. (If only they sold that at etsy!) Directions are here.

I'd use these to decorate sofa pillows, perhaps string some together like a garland, add them to a chandelier, or treat them like regular flowers and create a centerpiece arrangement.

Image via 100 Layer Cake

Oct 25, 2010

Cute Halloween Craft: Hanging Ghosts

Spotted in Country Living magazine. These sweet-not-spooky ghosts strike just the right note for a grown-up Halloween party...like the one I'm having this weekend. Directions, which are easier than you think (it's just like grade school papier-mache crafts), are here.

Image via Country Living.

P.s. Regarding my Halloween party: This weekend I picked up a bottle of a garishly-colored Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, because I got sucked into a sale. Unfortunately, the bright orange color should have been my tip-off: It's really boozy corn syrup with the tiniest hint of spice flavor. I have no idea how to rescue it, except by throwing it down the garbage chute (but if I figure out another way, I'll let you know). Lesson: Don't cheap out on liqueurs. The end.

Fancy Ribbon Coasters

I absolutely adore these DIY coasters, made by coiling curling ribbon. (That skinny stuff that always shreds on me whenever I try to curl it.) It might take tons of patience, but the results are very special-looking. They'd look fabulous in black and white, don't you think? Directions are here.

Image via Chica and Jo

Oct 22, 2010

Easy Halloween Ribbon Wreath

This fab ribbon wreath, found on The Long Thread blog, is so so easy--just tie lengths of black grosgrain ribbon around a wreath form. Of course it's great for Halloween, but how nice would it look against a pale gray wall anytime of the year?

Instructions are here.

Image via The Long Thread

My next project...Customized Porcelain Plates

Idea found via Going Home to Roost.

I collect porcelain plates (especially vintage) like it's my last day on earth. How bad is my hoarding? Let's just say that if I ever needed to host a dinner party for 80, I would be covered.

But I found a good way to put some to use as art pieces, by using porcelain paint pens (which you can find here.) You really just write or draw onto the porcelain using the marker, then bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Ta-da! Customized porcelain plates.

Image from Going Home to Roost.

Crafty Collar Necklaces

Cotton Collar
by Aussie brand Hand Hook Yarn...found, of course, while searching for something completely different. A cool idea for all you crochetistas out there.

Image via Hand Hook Yarn

Oct 20, 2010

Found while searching: A splash of entryway color

Found via LivingEtc magazine, while searching for something completely unrelated. (Isn't that how it always happens?) Love the alternating green colors on the balusters. Now, if only I had an entryway to call my own...


P.s. If you follow that link, what's with the MS Paint-looking intro on the video? ;-)

Image via LivingEtc

Easy Halloween Centerpiece: A Witch's Cauldron

Courtesy of the lovely Calli at Make It Do comes a fun little Halloween party idea...basically, you take a wreath base, pile orange string lights in the middle, top with orange/yellow tissue paper, and prop a drink basin on top of it. Dry ice in the middle is optional...I probably wouldn't go with it only because I'm a little bit afraid of dry ice. Here's the DIY instructions. I might use this to serve drinks out of for my upcoming Halloween party!


Image via Make It Do.

Book love: Allure by Diana Vreeland

Some pretty images to get you through the day, courtesy of the reissued version of Allure by Diana Vreeland. I remember when it was previously published, it was a super-huge tome that ate up coffee table space, but this version is a chic, smaller-format red book...and it has a well-written forward written by Marc Jacobs. What I really like about the book is the selection of photos coupled with Vreeland's memories of each subject--it takes icons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn and renders them human. They seem like real people, as cliche as that sounds. I always keep it close by for a little bit of escapism into a much more glamorous world.

Anyway, you can get your own copy of the book at Chronicle Books.


Oct 19, 2010

So impressed: Target's Merona Line

Target's Merona line (which was redesigned in a more fashion-forward, Kate Spade-ish direction about a year ago) consistently impresses me for knocking out really high-quality dresses for insane prices. I buy a ton of them, especially during the Fall/Winter months, and no one ever thinks they are from Target. Like, I have to physically show them the label before they believe me. See above, Merona's $40 Skylar Jacquard dress, which frustratingly sold out at my local Target in blink. How fabulous would it look styled with high black leather gloves, or a bunch of stacked cuffs?


Favorite Source: Nonpareil Magazine

I know that it's for brides and wedding folk, but one of my favorite sources for crafty/entertaining stories is Nonpareil magazine. It's completely online and features all sorts of easy-ish projects (and there's printable downloads on its site!) along with table-setting ideas. The above photo is the cover of their current issue (#6). I was thinking of using some scraps leftover from my aprons to make the little flowers...it's pretty easy, just taking a strip of fabric, sewing a running stitch, pulling and then pinning to a Styrofoam ball...to do a little autumn centerpiece. (It's especially convenient since I'm working on a few aprons in an autumn color palette of orange, tan and gold.)

Go read it now!


Photo from Nonpareil magazine: http://www.nonpareilmag.com/

Oct 14, 2010

Now on sale: The Wonder Woman Apron

Introducing the first piece in my glamorous apron collection, a Wonder Woman-inspired apron design that's perfect for Halloween or anytime you need to feel a bit more super. Made to order. It's $26 in my Etsy shop.

Oct 13, 2010

Preview: Kohl's 2011 Spring Collection Highlights

Today I went to the Kohl's Spring Collection Preview, where they put out all the lovely things that make you immediately want to transport yourself 6 months into the future. There were sundresses and lightweight tops galore, along with bright and cheerful home things, but here are some of the highlights....

This leopard trench from Dana Buchman was my favorite piece, because I'm drawn to leopard in the most tasteful way possible. And trenches, even though there are about 5 days each year where the weather is just right for wearing a trench coat.

A TON of editors took a photo of this jacket, from the Candie's collection, after I moved it from the sweaters it was hiding behind. So, I think it is pretty safe that the moto jacket trend will stay strong for the next few months.

And here's my favorite bit of the Spring home collection, featuring almost Vera Neumann-inspired florals. Love that tablecloth.


Oct 10, 2010

Back to school...

...decorating school, that is. Tomorrow evening is Jill Vegas's "School of Speed Decorating", where she'll reveal her secrets to making your living room only look as if it's been made over by a decorator. And yours truly gets to be a VIP guest. Above, is an example of an "after" that Jill did for a client.

She calls it the "bombshell bookcase" and she treats it like a focal point in a room. Overall, it'll take a weekend to do (depending on how big your bookcase is, for those who live in dollhouse-sized studios, ahem, it should be less time). Here are her tips, with some of my notes:

- Remove everything you don't need. I mean, I hold on to textbooks I had in college, which should probably go. Be ruthless and get a friend, so you can avoid justifying why you need that copy of "Chairs Throughout The Ages, 1600-1750".
- Put the books back, but vary the stacks. You should do some vertical stacks, some horizontal. I usually do the coffee-table and oversized books in vertical stacks.
- Add a FEW vases, seashells, decorative items, framed photos. Not too many, or you'll be back to square one with a mess. I usually put framed photos/decorative items on top of the vertically stacked books.
- Install spotlights or add string rope lighting, to lighten up the shelves. I like this tip, but I haven't put it in practice. That's because my shelves aren't roomy enough. But it looks very nice, as you can see above, when you are able to do it.
- Extra credit: If you can, after taking out all the books, either paint the back panel with high-gloss paint, or back it with nice wallpaper.

Anyway, class is tomorrow evening, October 11th, at Knoll Furniture, 79 Ninth Ave, 11th Floor. For more info, visit Jill's site here: http://www.jillvegas.com/events.htm

I'll take plenty of photos and let you know how it goes!