11.30.2015

Holiday Greetings in my etsy shop!

With the turn of the calendar page...its now officially the holiday season!
I've just listed these 6 designs available in my etsy shop...
use them as a quick holiday greeting, a friendly postcard wish, a festive tag for a package 
or punch a hole in the top and hang as an impromptu ornament...
'tis the season!



11.24.2015

Rustic Luxe - a nature inspired table

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, preparations are underway for many of us...

The internet is awash with images of gloriously set tables...costing more time and effort than most of us have at this late date...I have a few suggestions here that will lend that feel of Rustic Luxe without too much sweat or strain...

The play of contrasts is the idea behind Rustic Luxe...the rough with the smooth, the shiny with the subdued,
the practical with the whimsical...







































To start, I gathered up a well loved linen tablecloth and a vintage wool blanket...there's a sheen to worn linen that contrasts nicely with the woolen texture of the blanket...using the linen alone seems commonplace at the traditional T-day dinner...using the blanket alone would seem a little too picnic-like...layering one over the other is unexpected and gives a great rustic luxe vibe.


Given the time of year and the sense of the season, nature is a wonder of inspiration. I gathered up a slew of fallen leaves as well as dried stems from my garden...the large leaves were pressed and comprise the bottom layer of the centerpiece (if you don't have time to press leaves ahead of time, did you know that lightly ironing will also work to flatten and dry them) An eclectic trio of pitchers with similar tones displays a collection of bird feathers, an assortment of dried stems  and a large handful of poppy heads.







I also collected some smaller dried leaves from my photinia bush - I love how they look like leather. With a border of gold dots, the leaves are stuck into a small bottle for a little flourish at each place setting.






Candlelight always adds to the festive mood...the two candles on the table are made from a pair of worn out wool socks, two recycled glass jars, some linen string and two pearl buttons...the complete tutorial can be found in an earlier blog post - here...


The final touch to the centerpiece...one of the chestnut garlands which kicked off the Rustic Luxe series...the little gold beads mimic the gold dots on the leaves...repetition always helps in pulling a vignette together...










Though we use ironstone and silverplate everyday in our household, I do concur that this is one of the times that I bring out my grandmother's silver...that glint of shine plays off nicely with the simple ironstone...plain striped napkins (which you'll notice have not been ironed...just more texture!) echo the tones of the leaves and those willow branch napkin rings show up again...








In place of name cards, I've pulled together 4 words of inspiration, quickly stamped onto a piece of used manila folder...its a little wonky, I like that...calligraphy would be nice but time-consuming...
one word set at each place...a thought to contemplate for the day...perhaps to spark dinnertime conversation...
I used some sort of galvanized hose connectors that I recently picked up at a farm sale...I don't know what they were, but for now, they are card holders. 

















I know what you are thinking...I don't have anything like old hose connectors around here...well, there are options...a tarnished fork, a flower frog, even an old hair clip...be creative...its not about what something is, its all about what it can become...


















































Well, now that the table's set, time to see if that turkey is thawing...and to take a minute to thank each and every one of you...I appreciate that you follow my adventures - whether here on the blog, my facebook page or on Instagram...I appreciate your support, your comments, your enthusiasm...at this time of thanksgiving, I'm grateful for this community...

11.16.2015

Holiday Gifts for you

its that time of year again...the holiday art shows and festivals abound!
I hope that you will consider giving a gift of art this season...whether its for a treasured friend, a loving sibling, a helpful neighbor or even a little something for yourself, a hand crafted gift can mean so much more than one bought at the shopping mall.  

I have two upcoming shows  - 

First up - Holiday Studio Sale this coming Saturday, November 21, 10 am - 4pm, at my home in Everett.  Jody Cain of Latitude Studios and Christine Stoll of Christine Stoll Jewelry will be joining me...a little bit of something for everyone!























then its the annual Phinney show...a perennial Seattle favorite...
always lots of great artists and plenty of gift giving ideas!







































I hope to see you at one or the other - maybe both!

and if neither are convenient, remember I have an Etsy shop with notecards and petite prints - if you mention that you are buying a gift, I will ship direct to the recipient and will gift wrap your purchase for free.

11.10.2015

Rustic Luxe - chestnuts & willow

A couple of weeks ago I had a neighbor complaining about all the horse chestnuts she had to clean up...I mentioned that I'd be happy to have some chestnuts...and before I knew it, a large bucketful arrived on my doorstep...











You've got to admit that next to turning leaves, 
chestnuts are the epitome of autumn...













With such a bountiful supply, I thought that I'd string them together...so I gathered up supplies...
pulling out some beads to include with the chestnuts...


















I drilled a hole through the chestnuts with my Dremel drill, using my drill press attachment which made quick work of the drilling...though I was surprised at the mess of yellow goo since the chestnuts were not yet dried out.

I decided to use rusty wire for stringing the chestnuts...I knew that they would be heavy and I wanted the ability to shape the garland of nuts into a form rather than just having it hang in a drooping loop which would have been the case if I had used string.

























Including a silver (or gold) bead along with the clay and wood beads I had, added that bit of luxe.  I finished off each garland with a curlicue of wire that would be decorative as well as practical for hanging.

I'm thinking that such a garland will look grand spread across the Thanksgiving table...








































the rustic tones are a nice counterpoint to the linens...





and those gold beads give a touch of luxe....along with the worn silver patina of vintage flatware, its just the right amount of bling...

All of the flatware at our house is old vintage silverware...I like the mix of patterns and designs...I don't bother with shining it up...it goes into the dishwasher so its plenty clean...and once a piece becomes too worn out, it gets tossed in the art supply bucket and I pick up a few more pieces at the next estate sale...










You might notice the willow napkin rings...made by simply wrapping a slender twig of willow into a circle and twisting the ends to secure the circle.  The texture of the twigs adds another layer to the tabletop...




















































And what I like best about these chestnut garlands...after they have graced the Thanksgiving table, they could easily hang on your Christmas tree...







Joining the Vintage Inspiration Party over at Knick of Time 
and the Weekly Upcycled Link Party over at Funky Junk Interiors...

11.03.2015

Rustic Luxe

No sooner than turning the calendar page to November and putting away the goblins and the jack-o-lanterns, do thoughts turn to the holidays ahead...

There is a decidedly cooler chill in the air and the leaves swirling along the sidewalks belie the naked branches above...

I'm all for one to enjoy each day, not wanting to rush ahead...

but I also believe in a little preparation and planning so that whatever holidays you celebrate.... Thanksgiving...Winter Solstice...Hanukkah...or Christmas...can be enjoyed at their time.

I'm starting this series called Rustic Luxe that will highlight simple ideas for the holidays ahead...small touches that can add to whatever you might be enjoying...whether its a big festive gathering or a solitary evening...

Believing in the strengths of opposites, there will be natural elements foraged from your yard combined with glints of gold...


well worn flannel with silken ribbon and rhinestones...



tattered linen and rusty wire with silver beads...









































Look for the first post next week...and then randomly throughout the next six weeks...meanwhile, make yourself a cup of tea...relax in your favorite chair...knowing the holidays will arrive in their own time...but this moment is yours to enjoy now.

worth a look...

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