Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Favorites

This understated girly dining area
Victoria's kitchen has me thinking of (finally) tackling our cabinets
This headboard

and these links:

This design team
A lot of you have asked about R's lamp in her nursery, this is a close look alike
Made me cry (warning- I'm a softy)
This before and after
Academy Awards party ideas
Love this DIY
Nudes and Soft Pinks
Love this bathroom transformation
Woven Accents, I can't get enough

Thursday, February 27, 2014

House Tour: Kate Arends

As a long time fan of Kate Arends of Wit & Delight, I'm so excited about sharing her house tour here.  Every glimpse I've had into her home whether it was via her blog or instagram left me craving more, and these photos do not disappoint.  Kate has an uncanny talent for blending old and new.  Not only do we share similar design styles, but I see some familiar looking things in her house such as a Caroline Wright painting.  I especially appreciate what she had to say about her design aesthetic, "I like pairing old things with new things.  I like furniture with a story.  I like to break one or two rules, to keep it a little imperfect.  Fresh cut flowers are always a good idea." Go here to see more of Kate's home.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One shelf, 22 Ways

Have you guys seen this?  Twenty-two of Lotta Agaton's ( a set designer for Scandinavian furniture store String) students each styled the String shelf in a unique way. I stumbled upon it while catching up on a favorite blog (Emmas Design Blog), and had to repost.  I loved how this project shows not only the importance of styling, but the endless creative possibilities there are in styling something so simple as a shelf.  These were my favorites, check out the rest here .

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

This boy bedroom (by Amber Interiors)
This dining area….the entire house really.
Holly Becker's nursery for her son Aidan

and these links:

Equally adorable and funny
Love this DIY
Paper Cutting?  I'm in awe of this artist
Allied Maker's lighting, all of it
Love this DIY desk organizer via
This house tour
Such a pretty baby shower
DIY concrete countertops
Gold Leafe pencils
This book has been on my wish list
Along with everyone else, I loved Kirsten of Simply Grove's house tour 
Cutest thing ever
Pretty board games while we are still stuck indoors

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DIY Abstract Painting

Remember Eleni's beautiful art from last week? Well, this is not like that (ha). While I had a ton of fun doing this, I'm the first to admit I'm no artist. I've always wanted to try my hand at abstract art and when I saw this canvas at half the normal price I couldn't pass it up. That was about a year ago. It has since moved with us from NY to IN, blank and untouched. Then it moved to our mantle and sat there for about six months before I had the guts to try my hand at it. Eleni told me years ago that she liked abstract art because you couldn't ruin it… could change it as many times as you wanted until you were happy with it….an evolution of sorts. That gave me some courage. So, now I give you my finished piece (Or not? I could see myself adding to it…). 
Ps. Remember me talking about our fireplace here? We've decided to wait on that until we put in hardwood floors.  Right now, I need some contrast against our beige carpet and white walls. The mantle also still needs to be styled…… such a work in progress, eh?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

This picture is from our Valentine's breakfast this morning.  As I've admitted before, I'm not a huge Valentine's person, but I'm all about celebrating the people I love in my life.  We had a nice breakfast, complete with homemade marshmallows and homemade hot chocolate (a favorite tradition for the day)…..and you better believe I've already had my fill of French macarons.  Talk about sugar overload!  Now the Valentines Day decor is down and the birthday sign up and I'm off to make a cake for my favorite guy.  A few Friday favorites for you, enjoy the long weekend!  

A favorite view near my house...

A touching article
Love the Joie 2014 cookbook
10 seconds to de-thorn a rose
Pink popcorn
This would make for a gorgeous vacation in Greece
One desk, two ways
This house tour
I need a reason to bake this cake
Loving these sweatshirts, (and for $7 you can't beat it!)
Maybe the coolest crib I've ever seen
Another gorgeous house tour
This olympic mountain cake (never too late to throw a party:)
An incredibly beautiful video

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Artist Feature: Eleni Hannula (PartII)

As mentioned yesterday, Eleni sent me some prints to style in my home.  It was an easy assignment, and one I would gladly take again.  I have had my eye on the rabbit and deer prints for R's room, so I knew exactly where to put them.  We made some hooks over the weekend so I could hang the rabbit with a vintage hanger.  I love the way it looks in her room.

I really enjoyed hearing from Eleni about the inspiration behind this series, especially the deer print.  The idea of rising above the chaos and turmoil that life brings and finding joy beyond your situations resonates with me and is something I want to pass on to my little girl.  It's a beautiful concept and illustration….definitely my favorite if I had to choose.

 The fox!  You're getting a bigger glimpse into our office here.  This room has been neglected as far as art is concerned, so this was my first thought for the fox. I also think that being surrounded by art inspires creativity, so it's an important piece for any work area.

I wish I could have dreams that resulted in beautiful artwork like Eleni.  Remember, you can find all of her prints here.  Thanks Eleni for sharing with us!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Artist Eleni Hannula

Hey there!  I have been looking forward to these next couple posts for a few months now. I first became friends with Eleni and her family years ago when Red was stationed outside of Seattle. I remember being first struck by Eleni's sheer raw talent, and then by her nonchalance about it all, as if it were no big deal. That's a rare combination in a person I think. Over the years, I have been a huge admirer of her work (even enlisting her help for a painting), and was more than thrilled when she suggested doing a collaboration together. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I will showcase some of her work in my home. You can find all of Eleni's art work here. Thanks Eleni!     

1.  When did your love for art begin and when did you first know that you were interested in pursuing art/design as a career?
I was a creative kid growing up. I was always drawing, painting and making my own toys.
But it wasn’t till I was about 12 years old that I really became serious about art. I was fascinated with faces and would spend countless hours drawing portraits and studying drawing books from the library. In high school I attended a fine art school that taught the classical approach to observational realism and it was there that I knew for sure that I wanted to continue to study art. I then intended to study studio art in college but ended up pursuing Visual Communication Design at Seattle Pacific University.

2.     Where do you go for inspiration?
I am most inspired by nature and there is nothing I like more than a trip to the coast to see the ocean.  But my inspiration often comes from interactions with people and many times from dreams.

3. Tell us about this series and what your inspiration was for it.
This watercolor series began with the image of the deer, which I call High Places. I created this illustration in response to a dream that I had about two years ago and have since then build this family of illustrations that all revolve around the same theme of finding balance within imbalance and peace within disruption.

4.     What is your dream job?  What do you hope to do in the future?
I recently graduated with a degree in graphic design so I have been pursuing a career in that field but I am looking for ways to incorporate traditional illustration as well. No matter what I end up doing I have to be painting so my dream job would be to have my own studio where I am producing work in both illustration and design.

5.    Do you ever get stuck/writers block for artists (ha, is there a term for this?)?  If so, what do you do?
Definitetly! I think every artist does, or at least I like to think that they do. There are times when I feel completely uninspired to create. What I have learned is that you can’t always wait for the inspiration to come. I think it is important to have a space to create and if you are just consistent to show up to that space to make yourself available to create, the inspiration will come. Not to say that the work is always good but at least you are making something!

6.     What is your preferred medium? 
My favorite medium to work in right now is watercolor. But I am happiest when I can find ways to bring together both my experience in design and illustration.  I am constantly trying to find ways to bring integration into my work.

7.     Who are some of your favorite artists?  Who do you look up to?
The artists that I am most consistently going back to for inspiration are:
Makoto Fujimura
Amy Cutler
Ernesto Caivano
Gala Bent
Kareena Zerefos

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Favorite- the Valentine Edition

When it comes to Valentine's Day, we like to keep it simple over here.  Red and I tend to spend more time and thought than money on this holiday.  Not to take away from anyone who does it differently, we just really like it that way.  So, instead of giving you a gift guide, I thought I would share some of my favorite inspirations from across the web to make the day all the more special.  The special date art piece aside, this list also goes for anyone who just wants to throw a fun party with all the people they care about.  

1. Make your special dates into a piece of art
2. Heart-shaped Notecards
6. LOVE sign 
8. Felt Garland (and for a good cause too)
9. Valentine Backdrop via

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Simple DIY Valentines Napkins

As I've mentioned here before, Red's birthday is on Valentines Day.  All the way back to when we first started dating, we have celebrated Valentines Day over a special breakfast and then the rest of the day is treated primarily as Red's birthday.  Needless to say, it's a fun day over here.   However, since our Valentine celebration is limited to breakfast,  I like to put extra thought into it.  Homemade things always add a special touch, don't you think?  

Last year, I decorated these old mugs with a favorite poem.  There will be homemade hot chocolate and  homemade heart shaped marshmallows again this year.

This year, I turned my attention to making some cute napkins for our table out of some old fabric.  I preferred to keep mine simple, but you can add more to it.
All you need?  Fabric paint, a stencil or cookie cutter, fabric, and a paint brush.  Personally, I don't mind imperfections (you could just go out and buy some Valentines napkins if you want it perfect), but I used a cookie cutter to keep the shape consistent.  I also think using a paint brush vs. the paint bottle keeps it from looking like the t-shirts I used to make in middle school:). 
 *What are your Valentines Day traditions?  I'm definitely planning on getting up extra early with Red so we can enjoy a quiet breakfast before R wakes this year….