March 29, 2010

Hostess Notes

You hosted a lovely party, you made delicious food and a guest has asked you for the recipe to that fabulous dip you served. Why not share your recipe by sending it in the mail? I created these darling (I must say so myself) recipe sharing cards.  They are personalized too, how cute are these!?! You can also use regular correspondence stationery to share your recipes. These notes make perfect hostess gifts or shower gifts and sharing recipes by mail is a stylish and unique way to continue being a "hostess with the mostess" even after your party has ended!


A Decorating Story

Once upon a time I attended a baby shower honoring my dear friend Alison. Alison has fabulous taste and I love visiting her home because I get to see her creative decorating ideas in action. I can't resist sharing one of her darling nursery decor ideas. Alison took one of her favorite books from her childhood, cut out some of the classic illustrations and turned a collection of them into wall art. She chose six illustrations from Where The Wild Things Are and framed them in simple white gallery frames. When assembled together on the wall, the framed illustrations tell a classic childhood story and the nursery is now decorated happily ever after!


March 21, 2010

I'm In Chandelier Heaven

I just love chandeliers! Chandeliers bring a lovely sense of sophistication to a space and also a sense of whimsy too. Even the smallest of spaces can seem grand and elegant with the touch of a chandelier. I used several chandeliers in my apartment. Below are some photographs of my chandeliers. I have one in my entryway. How inviting to welcome guests with the sparkle of a chandelier! I also have one in my bathroom...
This small cream painted iron chandelier holds candles. No electricity needed to make this bathroom pretty! Be careful if you actually light the candles (mine are just for show). How elegant does this little bathroom look!?!

Over my kitchen island I don't have an electrical hook up but I insisted on having over head lighting. I purchased this large iron candle chandelier and instead of using traditional pillar candles, I used battery operated candles so the piece can flicker away without the worry of a flame. The best part about these battery candle pillars is that they are remote control operated! I am always just a click away from beautiful soft candle light, how heavenly! 


Modern Twist on Victorian Decor

As promised, here is my Victorian silhouette wall collage. I opted for basic frames rather than ornate frames to modernize the antique look.  I love the idea of painting the center mat a bold color. It anchors the collage and makes the black silhouettes really pop. I purchased a Benjamin Moore bright pink paint sample (only $3.50) for the project.
I also used the pink paint in another unexpected place to further modernize my Victorian room. Across from my silhouette collage is an antique Victorian vanity that I purchased for almost nothing. The piece needed a complete overhaul (new paint, new upholstery, new hardware etc.) After I redid the vanity, I decided to add a pop of pink to the inside top of the vanity.
The splashes of pink are few in my mostly Victorian room, but they are fun, unexpected and add a modern twist. The paint samples are the way to go for small simple projects and remember that you can always repaint if your decor changes. I just love my little Victorian sanctuary and since I live in New York, the modern twist was a must!


March 7, 2010

Start A Club

Since we all have a little Martha in us, let's share the joy in our hobbies by joining a club. Chances are you'll have to start your own club so here are a few ideas I have to help you get started.

1) Knitting Club: Needle pointers will get invited to join too. Ladies mingle and swap project ideas and stitch lessons or just socialize while working on their time consuming projects.
2) Dinner Club: Choose a type of food or pick a theme so it's not just a regular night out to dinner. Try burger club, sushi club, pizza club, steak club etc. It's fun to rate the food and restaurant overall at the conclusion of the meal.
3) Book Club: This is a classic club that never gets old.
4) Running Club: Get a group of people together for weekly runs in the park. Also, I started a power walking club last year that fizzled out but I am going to introduce it again this spring. Ladies can mingle while working out!
5) Cooking Club: Invite your members over to cook, drink and mingle. Then you get to eat what you make! The host chooses the recipe and purchases the ingredients and hosting rotates each month.
6) Decorating Club: Maybe once every two months gather your friends who love to decorate together for various activities such as.... Mingle and swap decorating ideas.  Attend a house tour together. Swap decorating books and email favorite design blogs. Visit the Met together for special exhibits featuring decor and or furniture. There is so much to do with this one.
7) Museum Club: Choose a museum as your meeting spot and get together one Saturday a month to visit a special exhibit together. Plan to brunch afterwards and discuss the exhibit.
8) Movie Club: Members are assigned to see a movie in the theater on their own and then they gather to discuss it at the meeting. Club members can head to the theater together too if they wish!
9) Baking Club: Since cooking is not synonymous with baking, this club must be a separate entity. Baking only for this club but it's the same idea as the cooking club.
10) Arts and Crafts Club: The host rotates between the members and chooses a project to share with the club. The materials are purchased prior to the meeting by each member but the crafting if done all together!

The ideas are endless so think of a club you want to start and be sure to invite me if I know you! Members are more excited to get together if it's under the notion that it's a club. Also the creator of the club has to do a nice job of maintaining the sense of a "club feel". The first meeting should discuss exactly what the club is about, who is involved and how frequently it will meet so that members know what they are getting involved in. It's also fun to assign roles to members in the club so people feel important and share the sense that they are part of something unique. Have fun!!


March Is Craft Month

Yes it's true. I just confirmed that March is indeed national craft month! This means that all of our favorite craft stores are running sales and promotions. Stock up on your art supplies and get crafty this month. Many stores offer free how-to classes too, how nice! In the true spirit of this national holiday, let's get crafty!
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