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Monday, March 28, 2011

Gingham......This check will never bounce

There is something about Gingham that is so sweet and nostalgic that you just fall in love with it.  And trust me, once you buy a piece of this fabric, you'll want it in every color.

 Now, I know that this look is not easy to pull of but if done right, gingham can be very chic and even trendy.  Its all a matter of how you accessorize and style it.

Here's some beautiful gingham fashion and decor pieces that I really like, enjoy!

Gingham is a great way to introduce pattern to your wardrobe or decor.  It is a true classic and because of its neutral two color palette, it is easy to integrate into both your closet and decor.  Gingham is very reasonable and versatile.  It has been around since the 17th century and I would venture to say, its "here for the long haul."

One of my favorite things about this fabric is that it is so light and airy, which makes it perfect for Spring and Summer.  

The first lady in a beautiful gingham skirt.

I love this whole look, the shorts are uber stylish!

How ingenious is this.  Use gingham fabric to cover your head board and sew some tiebacks at the side (could be ribbon if you choose) and viola!, you have a new look! What's really great about this is, you can swap out the fabric whenever you like.  (please note: works best on rectangular and square head boards)

Just imagine this blouse with skinny jeans and heels.......

I absolutely adore this jacket.

This dress is all kinds of fabulous!

This blouse is on my list of things to purchase.

Even if you are not a gingham fan, its hard to resist this head board.  Its simply divine.

Lol, I think Dorothy was on to something.........dont you think?

To see more gorgeous gingham products check out these links:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Finders Keepers.....A Garage Sale Tale

If there is someone responsible for the yard sale diva skills I have acquired over the last year, it would be my sister Shanda.  Last year I had the good fortune of spending a considerable amount of time with her in North Carolina and in Spring she introduced me to the fine art of the yard sale.  Before then, I was a novice at this at best. Of course I didn't know that at the time, but I was.

Shan, as I affectionately call her, woke me up at 6:30 on Saturday mornings and we would hit the road.  The object there was to get "first dibs" on the merchandise before they were picked over.  It worked.  Most weekends we hit the jackpot.  We found brand new designer clothes, bags, house wares, decor items, vintage jewelry and the list goes on.  Shan even found a beautiful Louis Vuitton bag in mint condition for less than $30.00.  Every Saturday was totally different from the one prior, but, that was part of the intrigue of it all. The experience was very "Forest Gump like" in the sense that we really never knew what we were gonna get.

Would you believe I got this painting for $5.00.
Its an original 4 ft by 3 ft .oil painting on canvas signed and dated by the artist.  Am still pinching myself.

I got these on my second yard sale expedition.  
I really like the frames and though these are prints the 
subject matter is one of my favorites.

Repurposed flowers and an interesting little ceramic box I found. 
 I immediately knew where I would display it in my home. 

Before long, my sister and I were hooked. Just amount every saturday we were off, and if we missed a day we looked forward to the next weekend.... Our husbands didn't mind so much since we were spending significantly less than shopping at the mall.  And, it was soooooooo much fun.  We laughed, bargained shopped and of course as most sisters do, argued about who saw what first.  At the end of the day though, when were totally exhausted, and hungry, we returned home with our great finds, jubilant and really satisfied.

These are some of the precious memories I have of last year.  And you know what?  I have beautiful momentos to help me keep those memories alive.  Now how awesome is that!
Shan and I literally found this mirror, a neighbor was throwing it away.
 It was brown and scruffy looking so I painted it black. The rest is
decor history!

I absolutely love collecting vintage art, photography and prints, especially if they are in sets.
I don't remember the price of these but they were very reasonable.

Now these were pieces my sister bought but actually gave to me because I 
liked them so much. The combination of  the frosted glass and the black and white photography with the simple frame is very modern and makes a very striking addition to a space.

TIP:  If you go to a yard sale and find great picture frames you like, but decide to pass on it because you hate the Art work inside, buy it anyway! Quality frames could be pricey so buy the frames and give the Artwork away to someone who likes it or donate it to a thrift store. 

Finally my little angels.  I really enjoy painting and collecting angel memorabilia so I was really happy to find these.  They are perfect for display and they make me smile every time I look at them. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bring In Spring With Throw Pillows!

Spring is here and what better way to welcome the season than with gorgeous pillows alive with Spring motifs. Pillows are such a wonderful way to warm up a space.  Think of them as you would costume jewelry.  Although they seem like small details, they can have a big impact on a room... 

One of the things I like most about throw pillows is the fact that you can customize them to fit your personal style. And, if you make them yourself, you can save a bundle!   The sky is the limit here, you really can do anything you want. It never cease to amaze me how people are willing to spend $50.00 - $300.00 on a pillow when you can make your own in less than ten minutes for a fraction of the cost. 

The throw pillow is quite possibly one of the easiest DIY home accessories you will ever make.  All you have do is cut two pieces of fabric of equal size, sew 3 of the edges, stuff it, and close it up!  And contrary to popular belief and opinion, if you dont have a machine you can sew it by hand.  Hand stitching adds a very rustic and "made with love" quality thats hard to find.........and if you do, it may have a $300.00 price tag.  If you think about it, your great grandmother and all the ladies prior to the invention of the sewing machine managed to sew the most amazing things quite well without one.  Now if they could do that, then surely we can manage two little squares of fabric.  Yes we can.

Here are a few creative and fresh ideas for DIY throw pillows.   Be inspired! 

1.  Recycle your old sweaters into gorgeous pillows. If you don't have any old sweaters buy one at a thrift store, now that winter is over you will find them for next to nothing.  Have fun! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Enter The

If I had to choose a creature that I feel most connected to, it would be the dragonfly. I don't exactly recall how it all started but for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with them.  As time passed, I started noticing very peculiar behavior and occurrences involving my little friends.  I'll explain.  Generally I am a pretty happy person but occasionally I have bad days just like everyone else. On those days, I kid you not, the dragonflies would show up in abundance.  The strange thing is, they would appear on my door step, fly into my home or quite a few of them would just hang out in my yard.  Never the neighbor's, just me.

There are two incredible incidences involving dragonflies that I will  never forget.  Three years ago I had had a very beloved family member pass away and naturally, I was heart broken and really sad.  The day after the funeral, I went outside to walk my dog and I was in shock at what I saw.  There were huge colorful dragonflies everywhere, my dog was so confused, he couldn't figure out which one to chase.  There were hundreds of them and they were flying all around me.  I am sure this will probably be the first and only time I experience something like this.  The other incidence was eight years ago when I was going through a very hard time financially.  It was so stressful that I had headaches almost daily. I am a praying person so I clung to my faith and belief that God would help me get through it all.  One day I began to hear a insistent buzzing sound coming from my bedroom.  I went to check it out but on further inspection discovered that the noise was coming from inside my jewelry box.  Since the box has a lock on it I was a little perplexed as to what could be in the box making a sound like that.  I figured it had to be a phone or something mechanical?  Well, eventually curiousity overcame fear and I opened the box slowly............ and I literally almost passed out.  Inside the box was a huge blue -green iridescent dragonfly.  Time froze, I  stood there in total shock for quite a while.  Finally when I had collected myself a little, I asked my son to release him back into nature.  To this day I think about that.

Dragonfly Symbolism

On my covet list.

I often joke about my heritage because its so varied and rich.  I am Bahamian (from the Bahamas), Jamaican, African and Native American.  Above all though I am a child of God.  I honestly believe that if God knows how many hairs are on my head surely he knows am crazy about dragonflies.  Perhaps its just his way of doing something that he knows will speak to who I am as a person. Something just for me.  So, every time I see a dragonfly its like a little message from God.  The message is always the same, "You are special and loved!"

I love this pillow!
How gorgeous is this bracelet!! Lol, Its on my husband's "honey do" list.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Swoon Worthy Mosaic Tables & Mirrors

I cannot tell you how much I adore mosaics.  Now, I know some of them can look a little busy or dated but when you find a good piece, its truly a "shut the front door!" moment.  Mosaics can look modern, vintage, romantic and so much more. Its kinda like cooking.........You choose the ingredients and make it work!  It is your personal style that gives the mosaic or anything you create its very own flavor.   

What is Mosaic?

A Mosaic is an image or design, where small pieces of media such as glass, tiles, shells, and much more are placed together with space showing between them. The goal here is to make an image or design from lots of broken pieces.  Sometimes the space left is filled with grout, however, grouting is optional. In ancient Greece, nearly 4000 years ago  exquisite mosaic tiled floors, walls and ceilings were very popular.  Some of these exceptional designs still exist today. And, as expected they are much revered for their beauty and skilled craftsmanship. 

Over the years the art of using mosaic decor has evolved from floors and walls to mirrors, plates, wall hangings and even signs.  In this post I included some of the pieces that I covet love. 

Well, I certainly hope you enjoyed the eye candy.  Hopefully this post gave you a new perspective on mosaics too. 

I'll catch you later, I have a date with an old table, white paint and a box of glass tiles!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A lesson while Painting

Have you ever been psyched to do something, I mean really do it this time.  You get your game face on and jump head first into the project/challenge only to discover seconds later half way through that what you're trying to do is just too hard!!!!!   You think to yourself "I don't want to do this anymore.......what the heck was I thinking!!!" Well, such was my experience two days ago.

I had always wanted to do a series of watercolor prints with inspirational quotes.  These were going to be very spontaneous and heartfelt freestyle paintings. Just me, some paper and my watercolor paint.  So, there I was staring at a blank piece of paper thirty minutes in and not a thing comes to mind to paint.  That is, no ideas worthy of painting.  After almost forty five minutes had passed I decided to just doodle....maybe this would free my artist block.  

Some of my doodles and random drawings

I just started making random patterns and drawings without thinking about it.  Two hours later I had five pages of squiggles and curly Q's and I was feeling very frustrated and unproductive.  Disappointment was pointing its long bony finger at me and I was buying in. 

I was about to throw in the towel, tear it to pieces, and stamp on it when I found inspiration in the oddest of places.  My son's PS3. .....on the couch......where I nearly sat on it.  It suddenly occurred to me in that moment that I had endured fifteen hours of torturous labor without an epidural and presently raising a teenager who is helpful, well mannered and loves God.  Heck, if I could do that, I could do anything. Besides, I am not a quitter.  

You know what I did next?  I went back to those  watercolors with fire in my eyes and a "Lets do this!" attitude.  I painted without any expectation or self judgement what-so-ever.  I did my best, and this time that was enough.  And you know what else? It was soooooo relaxing and so much fun!  You have to try this.

Look at how my doodles look framed!  Try it!  If you are not confident drawing shapes or figures, just try doing washes of watercolor on paper.  You'll be amazed at what you can do. Just picture it:

Walmart..........watercolors $4.00..........watercolor paper $4.00
Reward?  Priceless.