Monday, May 31, 2010


My annual 'feeling sorry for myself 'cause I'm working today' post.

Images: Elle Decor, Living, Etc., Canadian House and Home

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Make a floral choker necklace

It's a choker or a bib, depending on how you wear it.

You'll need some felt, ribbon, a little piece of plastic from some product packaging (I used the lid of a strawberry container), glue gun and about 13 flowers from last week.

A template for the felt and plastic pieces is here.

The plastic adds a little flexible stiffness. Glue it between two layers of felt. Glue the ribbon on at an angle you like. (Hint: I ended up cutting my ribbons off and doing them again at a sharper angle. So you may want to pin the ribbon and try the necklace on before you glue.)

Starting with three flowers in the middle, mush the flowers close together and glue with a glue gun.

Total cost: Less than $1.

Monday, May 24, 2010

From the stash: Martial

This wall of convex safety mirrors stuck with me, as conjured by Chicago-based designer Martial. Now, four years later, CB2 sells a version.

Image: Metropolitan Home

Friday, May 21, 2010


The peonies are in bloom.

Do you say pee-oh-nees or peeah-nees?

All the photos came out underexposed but I kind of liked it that way. Did I tell you all we got an elderly DSLR? I love it, even when I don't use it properly.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Closet Therapy: Update, don't duplicate

It's spring and welcome back to my closet wisdom.

Last year's tips were buy cheap, audition your clothes, and be an artist.

My first new tip is to hang a picture of Jackie O in your closet (as Melissa Warner did) and you will automatically make better style choices.

My second is to update what you've got rather than continually duplicating it.

To wit, I own three pairs of white pumps, two of which look remarkably similar. And I almost never wear white pumps. Two pairs went.

I own four white jackets and four grey jackets. One of each needs to go.

Shockingly I found I own seven white skirts (I later found an eighth in the laundry basket.) Out of these, two were wearable as is (the rest were too tight, too long or too short) and of the two wearable ones, one was linen and rayon (a dumb mix of fabric if there ever was one.) Out it went.

I had six black skirts. (I got rid of one and need to get rid of two more.)

I had two pairs of strappy brown sandals. (One went.) I have a half dozen silver ballet flats in various enumerations. (Kept them all. It's an obsession.)

The point is, if you've got lots of things that are almost the same, get rid of a few. This hoarding of multiples is a symptom of memory loss or the search for the ultimate perfect version of the item. You may have five animal print pants, but it may be that none really quite suits. When you find the perfect pant, get rid of all of the pretenders. (Which is why it is sometimes worth it to drop a substantial chunk of change on a perfect item when you find it.)

Image: House Beautiful

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Make fabric flowers with petals

Here is one of many ways of making fabric flowers. This is a "medium" when it comes to time consumption. Eventually, I'll be showing you some that are harder and some that are easier. Flowers in general are slow going. But they do help pass the time when you have a migraine or the Mets on television.

These flowers come in three parts. For the larger piece, trace something round that's about three inches in diameter. For the medium and small piece, I freehanded a flower shape, but if you prefer a template, the second page of this one has two that are the right size.

I cut the shapes from scraps of fabric from this project.

If your fabric frays (as mine did badly. Hint: Don't use fraying fabric) you can fuse the edges by holding them next to (but not in) a candle flame.

Stack your three pieces and stitch together. (If you want to sew a button in the center, now is a good time.)

Then pinch the backside together and stitch through all the layers.

As you can see, I stupidly sewed mine together before taking care of the fraying problem.

You can use one for the Talbot's style necklace or the Marlaina Stone style necklace. Now make 13 more. You will need them for next week's project.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Moroccan pouf goes viral

Slight exaggeration there. But! Somebody did make the pouf!

Elizabeth at Absinthe and Orange followed my tutorial and made her own pouf. And, being the true artist and crafty lady that she is, she did one better. She potato printed the fabric. I am in awe.

Check out her pouf here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It was a wicked and a wild wind

. . . that blew ginko leaves into the neighborhood fountain last weekend.

No doubt bad for the fountain. But so pretty.

From the stash - Connie Lindor

From the erstwhile Metropolitan Home

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Easy biker chick necklace

Heavy chain continues to reign. Easy easy DIY. Thrift store belt (why are chain link belts so cheap and chain link necklaces so expensive?) doubled up, thrift store pin, twisty tie. Done.
Images: Givenchy, Lanvin, Naeem Khan

Ruffled rose pillow giveaway winner

Our ruffled rose pillow givewaway winner is Elizabeth from I Heart Sunny Days, the second commentor at this post.

Elizabeth, if you E-mail me your snail mail address to bromeliadliving at, I'll send the pillow off to you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

From the stash - Gustavo Martinez


Spring cleaning is going . . . slowly.

Friday I tackled "the stash" - shelter magazines dating back to when the World Trade Towers were still standing.

So many beautiful places. So many stunning images.

So I wrote them all down.

I will find them online and share them with you.

Go in peace, my pretties.

(This is only half the stash.)

p.s. The ruffle rose pillow giveaway is about to end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Blueprint design storage boxes

Today I'm going to take a little break from our series on how to make new jewelry from your old jewelry for the sake of you home decor folks who would be happy lounging around in a feed sack as long as it were on an artfully styled sofa.

To help you with your spring cleaning, I present these cool storage boxes, made from discarded blueprints, cardboard boxes, tape, a magnet and a washer.

You'll need one large blueprint (technically they are black and white these days) for each box bottom and half a blueprint for a lid. You can use doublesided tape or spray adhesive to stick the paper to the box and regular Scotch tape to tape down the "tabs."

Use your box to create a pattern. Trace the bottom of your box, then flip it on its short side and trace. Flip back to center then on the other short side. Then do the two long sides.

Slide each side about one inch out from the center and trace a second line. This creates a tab to fold over the top. For the two short sides, slide one inch to the left and right to create side "tabs."

To make a removeable label holder, you'll need a piece of card stock (or find a nicely colored piece of cardboard from the trash) a magnet clip and a washer. Cut the cardboard to a size you like and clip it.

Put the washer inside the box and line up the magnet on the outside.

Now try your boxes out.