Saturday, November 28, 2009

shop(s!) o' the week:

Well, I promised I'd be back with not one, but two fabulous shops to share, and here I am! So let's get to it....

Shop #1: Trafalgar's Square

(Left: Bunny Kiss, Right: One Story More)

I featured a print from this darling little shop in my last post, and I just could not resist sharing more of their work with you! This shop is made up of a California-based husband and wife team: Katheryne (Kit) creates the whimsical paintings and her husband Adam weaves the stories surrounding these adorable critters. (Isn't that cool? I would *love* to work with my hubby like that!) The end result is a collection of prints, buttons 'n things that are cavity-inducing saccharine sweet.

(Left: Wish Upon a Star, Right: Trafalgar's Rabbit)

(Left: A Little Bird Told Me, Right: Wishing Mouse)

Couldn't you picture a child's room designed around these adorable prints and stuffies? They look like they should be gracing the pages of a classic children's book. So cute. Go have a looksee at their shop - they're extending their holiday sale through this week! - and blog, One Little Hollow.

Shop #2: Nature's Cabinet

(Left: vintage chalkboard bottles, Right: shell flower ornament)

I have also featured this shop before, back in my woodland round-up, but I've found that they have so much great nature-inspired and repurposed items for your home that I felt obligated to share more. The shop owner (couldn't find a name!), who also works with her husband and hails from California, strives to run a green shop -- not only offering decor that is created with vintage or upcycled materials but, she also ships her wares using repurposed boxes and packing materials. What's not to love?

(Left: Walnut wood block candle holder, Right: Sisal orb ornament)

(Left: vintage glass crystal, Right: Barely There skull plate)

I am loving that vintage and natural elements come together here, and are transformed into beautifully chic home accents. They also have a wonderful assortment of ornaments for this upcoming holiday season -- perfect for a woodland-themed Christmas tree *wink wink*. Visit their shop to see all of their wonderful goodies!

All this amazing work is making me want to move to California and start up an Etsy shop with the hubby -- it must be something in the water. Maybe some day.

Until next time lovelies.


Mrs. M

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

giving thanks

Hello there!

I totally meant to post my second Shop O' the Week last Friday... and then completely dropped the ball when life got a wee bit crazy. What a lazy blogger I've become! I will make it up to you with not one, but two featured shops this weekend. They'll be good, I promise.

Anywho, I'm back today with my favorite ideas for thank you gifts. I could be cheesy and cliche and list all of the things that I'm thankful for but, I'm choosing to share ways to say 'thank you'. Instead of just yakin', show the people you're thankful for how you feel with heartfelt notes and thoughtful gifts. Actions speak louder than words, my friends.

Sometimes, a sweet little note will do the trick. I think these homemade messenger bird thank yous are perfect for just that. Fairly simple to make and just adorable, don't you think?

Other times, the special people in your life need special tokens of appreciation. Fresh flowers are always nice but, they are even more meaningful when you assemble and wrap a bouquet yourself. Presented in a lovely button cone (top left), grocery store flower bunches are taken to a whole new level with minimal effort.

Not everyone likes flowers though, and you have plenty of other crowd-pleasing options. This adorable Rabbit Girl art print by Trafalgar's Square (top right) would make a sweet gift for a dear friend or relative. Or how about something for around the house? We could all use some extra bowls for cooking or catching clutter and these heart nesting bowls (bottom left) by J.D. Wolfe Pottery are as functional as they are beautiful. And for those people who are leaving you scratching your head -- edible gifts are a great solution. Baked goods or candy - like these spiced vanilla caramels (bottom right) by Have it Sweet - make great gifts (that will actually be used!).

So make sure to thank all those special people in your life, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs. M

Thursday, November 19, 2009

setting it straight: Thanksgiving table ideas

I've got turkey on my mind today friends.

Oh, how I long for the day when I can actually invite people to our home for Thanksgiving. Call me crazy but, I love cooking and entertaining for crowds, and I would thoroughly enjoy creating a wonderful meal and serving it to my loved ones on a beautifully presented table... except not in my current, cramped kitchen. *sigh* Some day.

I'm all for festive holiday decor but, I'm not terribly fond of overly-elaborate table settings. The practical, no-nonsense girl in me doesn't want to have table conversation stifled by a fence of tapered candles or have so much stuff there that there's no room for the food. And let's face it, your guests don't come for the centerpieces or napkin rings. They want to eat, drink and be merry, regardless of the pretty trimmings.

I've scoured the web for simple and rustic table looks that are easy to create, will not clutter your table and won't cost more than your Butterball. It was a challenge but, I've got some great ideas to share with you. Onward!

We'll start with Martha, of course. While Martha tends to go for more involved table settings, you could take any element that you fancy from one of her stylings and adapt it to suit your taste, table size and budget. A monochromatic display of autumn produce - such as the squashes, peppers and kumquats pictured here - makes a lovely centerpiece and cuts the waste factor out, as you could easily use them in the following week's meals. If you want to kick up the DIY quotient, try these votives and vases wrapped in dry corn husks (how-to here). Filled with flickering tea lights and soft-hued blooms, they bring a romantic elegance to the table without crowding the essentials.

Take a page from Country Living's book and let nature be your guide for your Turkey Day spread. Be it a solitary sprig of foliage or a fresh piece of seasonal fruit, your guests will be sure to appreciate their simply adorned plates. Bring the outside in to jazz up a plain glass hurricane as your centerpiece -- fallen leaves are used here but, I think pine cones, acorns or even river rocks would be equally charming.

I was a little disappointed in Real Simple's Thanksgiving table ideas this year because, well, they weren't all that simple. This earthy display, however, has a lot of great elements that one could employ for a less complicated setting. Using vessels that you already own (glass bottles, votives or even things from the recycling bin), you could easily replicate this look by wrapping them in twine or linen as shown. I do like that the stylist used natural offerings to fill the vessels - cattails, fern fronds, grasses, seed pods, berries and dried flowers - that are available for *free* right in your own backyard.

I discovered Sweet Paul's blog in my quest for table settings and when I saw his Thanksgiving ideas from last year, I knew I'd be back. This has got to be my favorite table look: gorgeous in its simplicity, this spread could effortlessly be recreated with things you have on hand. Perhaps you have an heirloom platter that needs some love or some fabulous vintage bottles that have just been hanging around. Add some berries from the backyard, a mini white pumpkin from the grocery store and a lovingly-worn runner, and you've got a chic, modern spread with minimal effort. Fab!

So, if its your turn to host Thanksgiving this year, don't sweat it. When in doubt, apply the K.I.S.S. rule - keep it simple, sweetie. Those delicious things you've been slaving over in the kitchen should take center stage -- after all, its about family and food, not the frouf :-)


Mrs. M

Monday, November 16, 2009

monday, monday...

Hi friends. Yes, its Monday already. *sigh*

Lovely leaves. Left: Recurrent 3, Right: Moderate.

Just popping in to fuel my watercolor obsession and share these beautiful nature-inspired prints by Seattle-area artist, Janelle Lile. I *love* the combination of her diagram style of drawing with those vivid splashes of color. Check her out on Etsy, flickr, her website and her blog (busy lady!).

Mrs. M

Friday, November 13, 2009

shop o' the week: substance

Hello again and Happy Weekend to all!
Due to the overwhelming abundance of Etsy shops in my favorites list, I've decided to share one of them a week with ya'll -- because I think there are just too many talented Etsians to not share and promote their amazing work.

Bold and versatile. Left: 49 Square Miles wallet, Right: Thai silk on tee top.

For my very fist shop o' the week, I am beyond excited to share Substance with you. This Columbus-based boutique hocks their unique line of clothing and accessories in their Etsy shop and on their website, so you don't have to live in Ohio to catch a glimpse of this fabulousness.

They believe that "where there is style, there should also be substance" and they sure have plenty of both. Best of all, every season they donate a portion of their sales to a worthy non-profit organization... which makes a perfect excuse to splurge on one of their pieces ;-)

Bring it on, snow. Left: handwoven cotton scarf, Right: Moment boots.

Substance's handcrafted details and fantastic textures make winter staples like scarves and boots extra special. Can't you just see yourself bundled up in that beautiful scarf, trudging through the leaves and snow in those amazing boots? {As a side note: I have a love-hate relationship with boots which I think these Moment beauties have helped me overcome. GORGEOUS.}

Gorgeous & green. Left: Juniper heels, Right: Cairo top.

Fabulous fashion that is environmentally conscious? Yes, please! These lovely Juniper pumps are not only ergonomic (read: comfortable) and incredibly durable, but they are constructed with sustainable materials like veggie tanned leather and recycled foam. The romantic Cairo top is as feminine as it is earth-friendly, made with natural, sustainable fibers.

Simply stunning. Floral Fete gown, shown with Luxe wrap (left) and petal detailing (right).

File this one under: Why didn't I get this for my wedding?? This Floral Fete dress is so exquisite - without being too frou-frou girly - that I think it would make the perfect wedding dress for a woodland-loving, eco-friendly offbeat bride. I kind of wish I went to fancy parties and galas just so I could wear something as stunning as this. LOVE.

So go feast your eyes on all the conscious loveliness Substance has to offer. And have a great weekend!


Mrs. M

Monday, November 9, 2009

wild for woodland

Hey there friends!
As you can see, I am definitely diggin' all things woodland lately. Maybe its because of my upbringing here in scenic New England or maybe its because I love the woods and all the critters that live there, but I am loving the natural motifs that keep popping up everywhere.

(image: me)

I found this little guy during a walk in a local park on Sunday and felt inspired to put together some more wonderful woodland picks. I just can't help myself.

For your home...

Clockwise from top left:

*Vintage Audubon bird print (Tufted Titmouse) by Holcroft

For you...

*Forest mushroom cupcake toppers by Lilly BonBon

*Woodland flower & berry headband by Be Something New

*Silver birch bark cuff bracelet by Elizabeth Scott Designs

*Organic feather tee by Flytrap

For someone special...

*Bella Rustica Tiny Twig hair pins by The Sparrow's Nest

*Pearly Acorn necklace by Just Peachy

*Wooden USB stick by Woodtec

*Woodland mushrooms tee by Critter Jitters

...And now I think a post-work walk in the woods is in order. Enjoy!


Mrs. M

Friday, November 6, 2009

south shore represent

Hello again.
The weekend is just about here, and it couldn't have come soon enough! I will be catching up on house cleaning and laundry, getting a head start on some holiday projects and making a pilgrimage to Ikea (YAY!)-- what are your plans?

Just dropping in to share some fantastic images from my neck of the woods with you, courtesy of Route 3 Photography. I couldn't find a whole lot of info on this self-described hobby photographer but, I am totally digging the loveliness available in her Etsy shop.

From top to bottom: Autumn Love; Doors; Weathered Buoy; Mom's Kitchen.

Aren't they great? I really like the feel that the vintage view finder gives to these photos. "Mom's Kitchen" is making me look forward to Thanksgiving, when I get to enjoy some much-missed mom cooking.

Have a great weekend!


Mrs. M

Monday, November 2, 2009

oh deer

Hello darlings and happy November to all! I hope you enjoyed Halloween and ate way too much candy. Life is too short not to!

I know its barely November but, I can't help thinking about the upcoming holidays. I love the time from Thanksgiving until New Years-- lots of anniversaries and birthdays and family gatherings over slow-cooked food. There's nothing better in my book.

I thought I would touch on a seasonal motif that I'm really loving: deer! These guys have been popping up everywhere and I just love them. I think they're great for winter decor; they are festive without being too holiday-specific. Plus as symbols of peace and tranquility in many cultures, they are perfect for adorning your home, no matter what you celebrate.

Bring some woodland whimsy into your home for the holidays (clockwise from top left):

*Bucky cardboard deer trophy by Cardboard Safari (they make wreathes & trees too!)

*Deer delight vintage ceramic deer by 2 Vintage Sisters

*Rustic deer hanger by Monkey & Squirrel

*Woodland deer vinyl wall decals by Tweet Heart Wall Art

Graceful and irresistibly cute, they make wonderful subjects for artwork (to give OR keep):

*Winter Tale print by Naoko Stoop

*Ceramic deer figurine (in celadon) by Fruit Fly Pie

*Deer in a Snowfall original watercolor by Renee Nault

*Doe print by Berkley Illustration

Of course, they make adorable cards and gifts as well:

*Deer ring by Mark Poulin Enamel Jewelry

*Tan deer printable stationary set by Ali Design (includes gift tags, folded notecards, flat notecards & envelopes)

*Deer in the Headlights necklace by Molly & Bumble

*Recycled Christmas card by Your Crafty Friends

Holy cuteness overload, Batman! Now I'm feeling inspired to get some wee deers to inhabit our apartment this winter. Hope you like.


Mrs. M