Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dollhouse dreams.

Well ... here is my first purchase for the new dollhouse. I guess they're for scrapbooking (which I really don't do), but they'll look faboo-luss on the dollhouse walls. And they're the same candy colored pastels as the rest of the decor (will be).

Haven't started painting it yet. Gotta get the sandpaper, primer ... it'll happen in the New Year, with updated photos as it progresses.

Polka dog.

I've been making a few plaques for my new apartment lately, and the thing I like about this is that I can make it ANYTHING I want ... which means the exercise of a little creativity ... and that is always, always fun.

And less expensive, too.

This one is an unfinished wood plaque ($1.00), a square of scrapbook paper (less than .50), a homemade dog silhouette (free!) ... et voila. I think it's going to look great on my kitchen wall, got a purple and green thing planned for that area.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chipmunk's ABC

Aren't these MARVELOUS? From the 1963 Richard Scarry book "Chipmunk's ABC". Can I find space on my bookshelf for this or am I going to have to bite the bullet and just get another one?

Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Now that's MY kind of Christmas shopping!

The after-Christmas sales on all holiday merchandise are SO good this year. Seventy percent off of these beauties, bought for a total of about $5.00. I admired the flowered ones enough to buy them, but it's the red ones with horse drawn carriages that made me grin from ear to ear.

I don't have a Christmas tree of "my own", but my roommate has let me share hers for the past few years. By this time next year I expect to have my own place and will be needing ornaments (I've got a few, just not enough). I think a tree with lots of rich red is taking shape in my mind. I like folky/Alpine type motifs, too. I've got some Jennifer Murphy licensed ornaments which have pride of place for me on any tree.


A few of my favorite things.

I absolutely adore BBC's series The Vicar of Dibley, positively one of the most hilarious things ever to grace the wasteland that is TV.

Nosing around on the Cath Kidston website this morning, I saw some very familiar flannel pajamas. Couldn't place them, at first ...

... then I remembered The Vicar's glorious and highly unusual wedding ceremony, in which she walks the aisle wearing sleepwear splashed in huge red roses. A little church wedding, the always brilliant Dawn French, Dalek bridesmaids, Cath pajamas, and the very handsome Richard Armitage.

Most EXCELLENT array!

Tea and Happiness.

There's a place in San Francisco called Crown and Crumpet. It's a tea parlor and shop. Judging from these pictures, it is a little bit of heaven on Earth.

Look at those crustless sandwiches, the petit fours, the Cath Kidston-y goodness! If there is an English tea room in heaven, it must have rooms that look like this. There's nowhere here for happiness to hide. It's just ... everywhere.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Thinking pink at Christmas.

Like many people, I grew up thinking that the only colors that counted at Christmas were red and green, with the occasional gold and silver thrown in for good measure. Now that I'm a grown-up, I get a do-over. I can make Christmas look just like what I want it to, in my home and imagination. My latent fascination with pink (which didn't rear its head 'til I was 40) has made its way into my favored holiday palette, and I'm not the only one!

Over at The White Bench (a pretty blog with the CUTEST doggy Santa), I spied these lovelies:

Delightful, aren't they? Thanks to Monica for photo permission.

Leave it to Mary Engelbreit and the Home Companion people to rosy up Christmas in a memorable way, which they've done in the December issue. This is some no-holds barred, fun and fancy Christmas finery -- a kind of birthday party for Christmas itself.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Free wallpapers.

Australian magazine Frankie features downloadable wallpapers like this one on their site. Helllooooo, kitty cat!

Patterns from the past.

Ebay is a fantastic source for things you can't find anywhere else. I'm amazed at the ingenious folks who make their living through it, and the vast variety of merchandise. One of those people is vintage4me2, whose store is full of the most amazing selection of vintage patterns.

Here are a few of them from the 1920's, featured by permission from current listings. (Kindly refrain from copying the photos).

Be inspired! This stuff is cute as cupcakes.

Candy colored Christmas.

Truth be told, I am feeling fairly Scrooge-ian about the holidays this year. Mainly I just want them to be over. I am, however, enticed by the photos in the magazines. Like the Country Living spread, with plenty of red.

The cover features a tree and presents in tropical fruit colors. A kind of Fruit Loops palette. It works. Maybe not in my home, but it wins props for daring.

Look at this beautiful bunch! Tulips are my favorite flower, and this rich red is a simple, surprising stunner. Who'd have guessed?

I don't generally go in big for fancy-dance table settings, but the combination of lollipop red, berry shades and chiffon pink here is very winning. I especially dig the pink glasses. Perfect for pink champagne (though my body considers champagne the enemy). I suppose I can substitute sparkling grape juice. Nearly as nice!

What is a festive occasion without a cupcake? The little deer on the top is fantastic. Some have reindeer on their lawns, others make them mini-kings on the tundra of frosting, up to their hooves in flaky coconut "snow". Works for me! And am I wrong, or was it a conscious set stylist's decision to use a backdrop of barn red planks? So appealing, without being overtly Christmas-y.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wallace Tripp's Christmas

I love Wallace Tripp's illustrations! They are the best. He did the Amelia Bedelia series, remember those?

There was a line of greeting cards ("Pawprints") out for a while with his drawings on them, but I don't know where to find then anymore. Seems a real pity.

This is good stuff.

The same in any language.

Inspiration, aisle 3!

This is Christmas wrapping paper I bought last year. I am holding on to what remains of the roll, because I can't bear to part with it. The charming storybook style illustrations and handwriting are just so winsome.

Santa with a puppy is the finishing touch.

I'm pretty sure this was in CVS, aisle 3, on sale last year ... a serendipitous find in a bin of generally predictable, mass-market wrap designs. I love turning up inspiration in unlikely places.

Flickr: crafty genius.

There are so many riches to be found on Flickr. Inspiration is EVERYWHERE! Yesterday I stumbled across creative breathing's photostream, and it's things like this -- one of her many handcrafted creations -- that make my heart go pitter-patter.

Couldn't be any cuter, that's for sure!

Christmas cherubs!

Buttons and boughs, it's a curlytop Christmas ...

Images courtesy of GraphicsFairy. Amazing site, that one.

Christmas 2008: Romantic Homes

One of my must-buy magazines at Christmas (and truth be told, on Valentine's Day too!), Romantic Homes features a very traditional, mostly subdued palette of colors in their pages this year.

A crackling fire says "home" no matter what the season. The garland of greenery on the mantel is the only hint of the holidays, but it does the trick.

I love the photography in this magazine, sometimes it is exquisite.

The contents page is twinkly and inviting. There are few things more cheering at Christmas than glimpses of other peoples' Christmas trees through windows.

This has got to be in the same room as the fireplace ... that inviting chair begs for reading and a hot cuppa by the fire. The wreath is very "Martha"!

The final page of the magazine, which looks to me like a little inspiration board. Romantic Homes has such a genteel way with Old World things, incorporating those motifs and images with new products that nod to the past.

C'est tres bon!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas 2008: Country Home

At Christmastime, I always look forward to seeing this magazine hit the newsstands. I'm not a fan of "straight up country", but they usually have some feature in December that makes the issue more than worth purchasing.

This year, they've done a marvelous spread on a vintage theme, incorporating my perennial favorite -- polka dots! The combination of the festive red with the light aqua green background is interesting, too.

Call me inspired.

And what would Christmas be without a pup in the stocking? Why, it wouldn't be Christmas at all. Not in my book.

Visions of sugarplums!

One of my very favorite blogs is Sweet Eye Candy Creations. If you haven't been there yet, be prepared for some unabashed sweet dreams come to life. Think cupcakes, Kewpies, cotton candy pinks, ephemera, and a truly undefinable signature style.

Recent posts showcase the author's home, which apparently looks even more inviting and happy at Christmas than it does the rest of the year. Equal parts sumptuous and sweet, this is Christmas meets Shabby Chic set in a candy store, sugared all over in a happy halo of pink and silver.

Featured here by permission (thank you, Jenn!), is a selection of these heavenly scenes.

For me, these things are an inspiration ... her eye, her imagination, her creativity, her vision ... it makes me want to stand up and shout YES! Yes I DO want to do stuff like this!

(I really do).

;) Laurie