Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunny Morning

There are only a few things I enjoy about waking up early in the morning.  Quiet streets and the warm golden light of a sunrise, as captured here by Grouillote on DeviantArt, are two of my favs. Having some extra time to prepare the most important meal of the day can't hurt either. 

Usually reserved for weekends, some of these big breakfast dishes look so scrumptious that I'm tempted to adjust my alarm clock to allow for a mid-week treat. Rise and shine!

Clockwise from top left:
Turkey breakfast sausage from Cooking with Michele
Pepper avocado omelette by Debbie Shore featured in The Seattle Times
Pumpkin-ginger waffles from Country Living magazine
Oven-baked crispy bacon (the ONLY way to cook bacon) by SafeToEat
Banana, honey and pecan stuffed French toast by Jamie Oliver
Mulled cider with cinnamon and cloves by The Dish on Delish
Lemon crumb muffin recipe from Taste of Home
Brioche cinnamon rolls by What Geeks Eat

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Very Brady Potluck

This print titled "Red Plastic Plates" by Ann Toebbe is an ode to her parent's midwestern dining room, recreated from memory. The original artwork was made from small pieces of paper, hand-painted, cut and glued together in a collage-like fashion. Aside from the quirky décor and mismatched furniture, the different perspectives make this quite an interesting image.

I came across this print on 20x200, one of my favorite sites for affordable art prints. Best summed up by their own equation: "(limited editions x low prices) + the internet = art for everyone," 20 x 200 introduces two new pieces to their collection each week starting at just $20.

Anyhow, the 70's retro/country (read: Brady Bunch) feel of this room struck my fancy.  I can totally imagine throwing a dinner party with this theme. The long table with the yellow cloth and red place settings are easy to replicate. Pear placemats tie in the green and complement arrangements of wildflowers punctuated by candles under various-sized hurricane vases.  A buffet table with a macrame lace runner and neatly arranged ceramic pears serves as the perfect staging area for a friendly potluck. Printed chocolates with retro patterns are an easy takeaway gift for your guests.

Clockwise from top-left:
Ceramic pears by ElementClayStudio on Etsy
Black-eyed Susans in a handmade pottery vase, photo by Penny Sanford
White lisianthus, photo from Better Homes and Gardens
Glass hurricane vases in assorted sizes at CandleSquare.com 
Red dinnerware from the Pier 1 Holiday collection
Pear print placemats by Orla Kiely for Target
Vintage star quilting patches from bonblu's Etsy shop
Macrame lace table runner in "Catherine," from Authentic-Macrame.com 
Swatch of Canary Kona cotton fabric from Hart's Fabric
Chocolates by Choxie in Target stores everywhere
FK 150 Sideboard, designed in 1973, still produced and sold by Lange Production

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm A Fool For Gold

I'm like a raccoon, I like shiny things. No, wait, I covet shiny things.

Case in point: I found this old Wonder Woman photo and I could NOT stop looking at her accessories (I might also have Halloween costumes on the mind!). Look at that eagle on her chest! Very glamorous and badass at the same time.

They say when you wear metallics, you ought to offset them with neutral colors so you don't look like you're headed to Studio 54, when you're actually headed to your office. Since my gold itch is hampered by such stringent regulations, I went ALL OUT with this inspiration board!

Clockwise from top left.

Suki candle holder from Crate and Barrel
Large Gold Paper Bowl from Upintheairsomewhere's Etsy
DIY safety pin embellishments from Style Copycat
24K gold necklace from Laura Lombardi's Etsy
Gold Pyramid Stud jacket from Knightcat
Gold Dress photographed by Magnus Magnusson
Kitchen Zakka bottle opener from Billet
Lavazza Grandi Auguri Packaging from ARC
Piet Indoor Stove from MocoLoco
Dolce and Gabbana's GOLD restaurant
Rough Herkimer Solitare Ring from Onestonenewyork's Etsy
Backseam Sheer Hose from Free People
House of Harlow Sunburst Ring from Outblush
Antique gold clock brooch from Amazon
Chanel Gold Fiction nail polish from Outblush

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Button Bonanza

Well, I'll have to admit, this is an  extremely literal interpretation of the above photo from Chris Glass, but I couldn't help myself! Buttons are cool.

I hardly ever bother incorporating buttons into my crafts, but it's clear that I should! All of the ideas below would be simple to recreate with your own personal touch. I especially love the button hair pins: bobby pin + button + hot glue = super cute! You really can't argue with such a cheap and quick way to jazz up your everyday accessories. 

Check out the links for tutorials and more button-centric inspiration!

Clockwise from top left:
Vintage button earrings from edithandlulu's Etsy shop ($12)
Handmade crochet headband with button accents from brokenhallelujah's Etsy shop ($10.50)
Button Hairclips photo from Flickr, DIY tutorial on Martha Stewart's site
Candy buttons tutorial with cute printable labels for gift-giving, Bake It Pretty blog
How-to: Colorful button bouquet from American Crafts Studio
1940's Vintage necklace with French China button from Bumbershoot Design's Etsy shop ($23.50)
Herringbone stripe button purse from Nonsuch's Etsy Shop 
DIY tutorial for personalized shrinky dink graphic buttons at Oh! I like That!
Letterpress stationery with scissor and button pattern from Letterpress's Etsy shop ($4.00)
Making a button clock article from Martha Stewart

Plus, check out this book of neat button crafts by Susan Beal (Amazon)! Oh the possibilities..

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And Black Blacks

Before Ann posted yesterday's gorgeous all-white post, I had started working on this all-black collage. I figured it was fitting to follow up with this one today. A bit late, yes, but better late than never!

I saw this photo by Colin Simmons and just loved the simplicity. The flash reflecting on these balloons makes them look super glossy and, for some reason, extremely desirable. Don't you just want to reach out and grab 'em?

I love the idea of collecting black pieces to get an eclectic mix of items that are all vastly different but still complementary! Whether matte or high gloss, patterned or plain, textured or smooth, modern or vintage- you can't go wrong when you leverage a classic neutral.

Clockwise from top left: 
7" Do-it-yourself black Munny from Kid Robot ($25)
5" Black mosaic votive holder from H@ME (£8.85)
Pure black votive candle from 100 Candles ($1.39)
Viva black gloss wallpaper by Barbara Hulanicki from Burke Décor ($60/double roll)
Custom-built all-black bicycle from Urban Outfitters Bike Shop ($399)
Fiora black storage jars with glass lids from Heal's (£25-28)
Maura Daniel Chloe double sconce in black from Lollipop Decor ($159)
Eames House Bird, solid steel from Hive ($210)
Licorice bites candy available at various retailers (try American Spice, $3.89/lb)
19th century French antique Baroque sofa at Jayson Home & Garden
Butterfly contemporary wall clock in black lacquer from amode

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

White whites

That last snap of cold weather we had a week ago got me thinking about winter whites! ( I've totally skipped fall in my mind) And I stumbled on this photo of giant paper flowers from Carol Gearing's blog. Giant paper flowers is project I've attempted many times but have yet to execute a solid result.

I love the white on white! All you see is texture!

Clockwise from top left:

Origami inspired stools from Jakub Poitr Kalinowski
White birds from Middlespace's Etsy store
Light fixture/oversize accessory from Rosalie de Kruyf
Intirior photo by Emma Mitchell
On/Off magnets by Mollaspace
Cupcakes by Eloise's cupcakes on Flickr
Alpaca knit guitar by Oeuf NY
Nissan Dream Front Pavilion by Torafu Architects via Dezeen
Chanel Fashion from Knightcat

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Fruits

This wooden block set from notNeutral may be listed as a kids toy, but I could definitely imagine it having a place on my desk. Each side of the 12 blocks is printed with something to love: letters and numbers in classic and contemporary fonts, two-tone flora and fauna graphics (think leaves, bird, flowers, butterfly, etc.), a tree puzzle and the apple puzzle featured above.

When I saw this photo in If it's Hip it's Here's feature on designer blocks, my mind drifted to apples and Fall. One of my favorite parts of Fall is being able to (comfortably) bake again in my small kitchen. Another would definitely have to be the delicious fruits that come into season as the Summer comes to an end. What better way to combine these two things than to bake some wonderfully fruity desserts? I'm drawing a blank. If you are too, why not try some of the recipes below?

Clockwise from top left:
Baked apples with walnut raisin filling by Meghan Telpner
Fried apple pies on The Prepared Pantry
Vanilla pomegranate pot-de-creme from Sass & Veracity
Anise-scented fig and date swirls from Gourmet.com's favorite cookies list
Clementine cake adapted from Nigella Lawson by Smitten Kitchen
Upside-down pear tartlets on Country Living
Honey rosemary ice cream recipe from Pastry Studio
Pumpkin cranberry oatmeal cookies on Sugarcrafter
Ginger and pink grapefruit cheesecake from Bon Appetit on Epicurious
Oven-baked apple cider donuts by Diana's Desserts

Friday, September 18, 2009

BYOC : Build Your Own Clouds

Coolest. Room divider. Ever. 

Yes folks, believe it or not, this isn't a fancy shmancy art installation at MOMA. If you haven't heard about it already, Clouds by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec allows the average individual to assemble these innovative structures from a set of fabric tiles and rubber bands in their very own homes. Designed for Danish textile company Kvadrat, Clouds come in two different fabric choices and seven different colors. 

Easy to mix and match, create and rearrange, this set is high on my list of must-have-when-I-have-space-for-it items. Can you imagine the looks on your guests' faces when they see this in your living room? Priceless. To learn more about the designers and Clouds, check out Dezeen's feature from earlier this year, or visit Linge Roset, our main resource for purchasing Clouds in the US.  

The geometric patterns in the photo above reminded me of the sharp, structured angles that have been popping up in fashion trends this year.  Reminiscent of Lady Gaga? Sure. Just take a look at the black dress below by Commes des Garçons. You or I might not wear this borderline costume, but that doesn't mean we can't translate the honeycomb pattern and classic blue/brown palette into other feminine, artsy pieces.

Clockwise from top left:
Brown twill/grosgrain dress by Daniele Alessandrini at YOOX ($180)
Blue strapless bow dress AKA New York on ShopBop ($298)
Moon Dress, RM by Roland Mouret on Net-a-porter
Black honeycomb dress with leather by Commes des Garçons on Far Fetch ($683)
Leather metallic piped bag from Topshop ($50)
Jeffrey Campbell class bootie in brown from Urban Outfitters ($158)
Eye shadow in Molten by Ulta ($4)
Breathe Life nail polish by OPI, in support of the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (various retailers)
BDG Skinny Cord Pant in Port at Urban Outfitters ($49)
Silence and Noise lightweight bomber jacket at Urban Outfitters ($39)
"Sweets for the sweet" honeycomb pendant from luckyduct's Etsy Store ($65)
Metallic suede shoulder bag from Topshop ($125)
Pella Moda Youth peep-toe flats in light blue on Zappos ($92)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Potted Plants

Loving the palette on this pillow! This herb garden pattern from swedish textile company Almedahls, and is a reproduction of a classic 1955 design by Astrid Sampe. Chartreuse has a special place in my heart, and although it may sometimes be hard to place with other bold colors, the red and navy complement it very well.  I love the idea of having fresh herbs in a home, and planting them in these modern stoneware apothecary jars is a great way to tie them in with your décor. 

I got to thinking about how this theme could be carried out in other ways, and I came up with the items below. For small spaces or studios, this palette can easily flow from one area or room to the next. Highlighting one color in each room and incorporating plants or leaf-like patterns throughout your space is a great way to balance your need for a home that is simple and clean, yet interesting and cheerful.
Clockwise from top-left:
Chartreuse kitchen cabinets featured on KitchenBathIdeas
Navy blue retro-style refrigerator by Smeg featured on Alkemie
Kiwi dinnerware set by Waechtersbach from CSN (sale: $21.99 for 4-pc set or these and other items sold separately)
Sky Planter inverted hanging pots for indoor plants on Rockett St. George (from £19.99 up)
Fern wall graphic in cut vinyl in ellynelly's Etsy store (5 ferns for $32, available in other colors)
Vintage apothecary jar terrariums on ethanollie's Flickr (plus a how-to video from Design*Sponge)
Branches with hand-sewn fabric leaves in janejoss's Etsy store ($21.50 for 3, available in other colors/patterns)
Le Creuset stoneware kitchen jars in Cherry and Cobalt from CSN ($17.95 for 8 oz - $59.95 for 5 qt)
Red Eames molded plywood lounge chair from Design Within Reach ($679-1,229)
Black Rider table lamp from CB2's 2008 collection (originally $39.50)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dressing Fall

I love the idea of simplifying your wardrobe, especially now when the weather is tricky to dress for. One day it's 80 and sunny and the next it's 60 and hurricane winds are knocking you around the avenue.

The Uniform Project takes the simplification process to the extreme, in a good way. Sheena Matheiken wears one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion and to create awareness for the Akanksha Foundation. It's a fascinating exercise in accessorizing and layering and basically stretching what you have. She's really got a knack for it.

This particular photo reminds me of fall (is it the orange against the green?) in the city. The little "1" in the corner is especially endearing!

TCHO Chocolate bars from The Lovely Package
Bottle lighting from Zero
Hidden Hamlet Plates from Anthropologie
Honey Dipped Booties from Anthropologie
Tin Can Lids from Twig and Thistle
Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Fragrance from "Fashion's Night Out"
Soap packaging from Pan tu nie stal

Tea Time

So, is it a normal reaction to see this photo from SFGirlByBay and think FOOD? Maybe, maybe not, but all of the cute little english country teapots, cups, saucers and creamers on these shelves made my imagination immediately float off to tea party land.  I'll have to admit, I don't host or partake in tea parties often, but I probably should.  Fresh, light foods + tea + assorted desserts = inevitable good times with girlfriends (or boyfriends, for that matter).

Rather than share prices and resources for various items, this food post features links to tempting recipes that are now on my "to cook" list.  Some of them are easier (cucumber and watercress tea sandwiches) than others (homemade apricot preserves), and others may be a bit complicated for an everyday project (matcha green tea macarons), but I hope that you'll find something to try!
Clockwise from top-left:
Marinated Heirloom tomato salad on MyRecipes
Blue Brie with pears and honey from coffeeandvanilla.com
Lime-ginger lemonade by The Sassy Foodie
Flowering Jasmine Arch tea from JingTea.com (£6.90)
Cucumber and Watercress sandwiches (along with other tea sandwich recipes!) at The Loving Spoonful
Orange-glazed blueberry scones by Tyler Florence on Food Network
Matcha (green tea) macarons with chocolate ganache by Five Spice Duck
Glazed lemon cookies from Café Johnsonia
Curried chicken salad recipe from Gourmet Magazine on Epicurious
Spinach, red pepper and Feta quiche also from Gourmet Magazine on Epicurious
Homemade apricot preserves by Just Hungry

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Whale Flowers

A couple of months ago Design*Sponge had a post about artist Katie Vernon, a fantastic illustrator inspired by creative floral designs. This original piece, aptly titled "Whale Flowers" is just one of several prints on sale in her etsy shop ($25). Human-faced whale aside, the gorgeous color palette and interesting variety of blooms commands your attention. 

Lately, I've been a huge fan of subdued colors and floral patterns, so this really hit the spot.  Although this style may seem more suited for Spring, I'd venture to say that any of the below pieces would fit right in with your fall wardrobe if paired with knit tights, boots, a leather jacket or an oversized scarf. Play up the earth tones, mix and match the muted colors, and don't shy away from bold patterns--let the flower whale guide you.

Pistachio cream lace dress from Ruche ($72.99, awesome online boutique!)
Coral embellished ring by Isharya ($190)
Bronze leaf headband by IceCreamCandy on Etsy ($36, tons of other cool designs)
Chiffon Blooms ribbon necklace from Ruche ($29.99)
Vintage mandarin orange maxi dress from chickdowntown.com ($150)
Ruffled Suede flats in warm maize from J. Crew ($138)
Tissue stone necklace tee from J. Crew ($125)
Prized rose ring from Anthropologie ($178)
Silk blend floral top from Heritage 1981 ($24.90)
Yellow cherries lace bow tie skirt form Ruche ($36.99)
Floral field ruffle top from Forever 21 ($15.80)
Catalina bolero from Anthropologie ($118)
Gold eattoo-etched ID case from Urban Outfitters ($14)
Nail polish in Hushed Blush by Revlon ($4-5 at various stores)
Ombres 5 Lumiéres, "Garden of Eden" palette by Yves Saint Laurent, $56 at Sephora

Monday, September 14, 2009

Step right up

Who doesn't love 3D? Silly question, because the answer is NOBODY. Especially when it's a 3D illustration of some crazy flower that looks like it could simultaneously rip your head off and scream/sing about it.  

This poster from The Forge Shop ($10 w/ glasses) inspired me to pull together some items to create a theme that walks a fine line between whimsical and bizarre.  The font in the bottom left-hand corner of this design reminded me of a retro circus or carnival, so I'm going with garden party meets Coney Island sideshow-- "Step right up to see our LIVE 10-foot dahlia belt out a hauntingly beautiful melody..."

Clockwise from top left:  
Fabric swatch, "Bright" from Robert Kaufman's London Calling collection
Photos of a hot pink ranunculus, succulent plant and pink pom pom dahlia
Spiny Seaflower letterpress card ($9 for set of 4) from blackbirdletterpress on Etsy
Cool Breeze striped votives ($8 for set of 3) from Plum Party
Santolino cast iron bistro chair ($116) from Home Decorators
White Moroccan lantern ($6) from Glen Market
Candy stripe paper cups from the Paper Cup Company in baby blue and cotton candy
Giant blue and white swirl lollipop ($29) from Candy Warehouse
Photo of cotton candy
White clay pots ($12) from GRDN
Handmade Mexican ceramic vase from Aid to Artisans