From the yearly archives:


Happy New Year

December 31, 2007

I wish you each a new year brimming full of love, health, prosperity and of course, joy!

See you all in 2008 and thanks for a wonderful 2007.

Fireworks via Simply Photo


A sweet gem

December 27, 2007


We’re stuck in the airport, with chaos reigning at air traffic control in New York, but here in the Raleigh Durham airport, folks are friendly, the husband bought me peanut m&ms AND a decaf coffee. So I’m feeling pretty thankful for a lovely holiday, lots of memories (who knew my mother was a bocce master???) and amazing meals.

My lovely mother in law sent me the photo above (from Better Homes and Gardens website) thinking that I would like it and she was right! I love the light, the tray table coffee table and the color of the wall above the mantel.

I’m finally catching up on almost a month of blog reading (I’ve missed everyone!) and thought I’d share a few photos from Christmas.

This is a snap of our stockings (made from a vintage quilt by my mom (the original Martha)). This is in the kitchen (explaining the pans in the top of the shot). The licencse plates are our old Vermont plates, the cow has been in Nova kitchens since I can remember and the two faux orange plants are from Pottery Barn and are left over from our wedding decorations.

A shot of the tree!

And, finally, the DONUT MAKER (we found it in the SkyMall Magazine) we gave my father. Every year in Vermont we used to go to the Dummerston Apple Pie Festival and sneak into the basement to get hot, freshly made donuts. We hoped this contraption would give us a memory or two of our old hijinks. It certanily wasn’t like the pie festival or like going to Donut Planet or the drive in at Dunkin’ Donuts, but it sure was fun.


Fabulous Fonts!

December 23, 2007



Vintage Brass Stencils from the 1890s found on ebay — I love how graphic they are (I would hang the last in my kitchen). Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!


I went to my favorite vintage shop yesterday and found German wooden “mosaic” blocks, colored on each side with different triangles of color. Making different patterns with them has proven addictive! They seem to be some sort of vintage educational toy, but, I think they are a nice way to jump start creativity.

A bit of research found beautiful modern versions (2nd image) and other vintage variations (3rd image).


Wooden Goethe Circle Puzzle, $60


Flapper Fortunes (currently $6 on ebay)

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More Mantles

December 18, 2007

I love this mantle from Caroline over at My Pocket — so elegant. This is also her Christmas tree with some lovely ornaments– great idea! Check out her blog for gorgeous photography and inspiration.


New York Holiday Windows

December 12, 2007

Christmas in New York City is so magical and part of that magic is in the amazing window displays from the stores that line Fifth Avenue. 1stdibs, online aggegator of some pretty spectactular decorative objects and furniture from dealers, took a stroll down Fifth and documented the highlights of this year’s windows in a photo tour. I particularly love the ocean-themed windows at Bergdorf Goodman (below).

Bergdorf Christmas Window


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Peonies in December

December 12, 2007

A tiny bit of beauty for your Wednesday morning. My corner grocery also sells flowers, and last Friday they had peonies! In December! I fell a little bit more in love with this city on the spot. I love peonies — we had bushes of them in front of our house in Vermont and I used to pick off the petals and throw them in the air like confetti when I was a kid. I carried peonies in my wedding bouquet, too.


Decorating for the holidays

December 11, 2007

Last weekend we decorated the house — we didn’t get a tree because we’re leaving in a week (!!) to visit with family but still wanted to do something festive. It was Tim’s idea to use the garland, which is decorative without being overwhelming. Note that he even hung some over the window! He took this photo of me, and what’s funny is that I think I’m blogging in it. Note also the sorry state of our fireplace — stacked with magazines, not wood (sigh!).

My favorite part of our apartment is our double mantel. We have high ceilings and lots of white walls and decided to really make the fireplace and mantels the focus of the room. On the upper level is a frame from Shanghai Tang, the fish print is from ebay long ago, the tiny brown is a snap of me and my mom, the still life with the pitcher of flowers I painted when I was 11 and have hung in every place I’ve ever lived. On the lower level is a porcelain pineapple bought up the street, some tiny horses from a Paris flea market, a wedding photo, a barometer (my wedding gift to Tim), mini Christmas trees and a family of silver pheasants (also from a Paris flea market).


I was inspired by this Pottery Barn magnolia faux garland early in the season (Tim refused to buy it citing our complete lack of storage space) and think we ended up very close to this effect.


Holiday Wrapping Guide

December 2, 2007

Half a good present is the way it is presented, right? Over Thanksgiving, I bought a lot of wrapping materials from some excellent etsy sellers (trying to do my part to buy handmade) and thought I’d share some of my favorite wrapping papers and ribbons with you. In years past, I’ve usually wrapped the most special presents in wonderful (usually more expensive) paper and ribbon and then use Martha Stewart’s Kmart line to wrap everything else. But, I think that Martha’s line at Kmart doesn’t carry wrapping paper anymore, so this year, these big (3 by 3 inch) labels from Re:Make and the faux bois ribbon have inspired me to wrap presents in white wrapping paper (freezer paper!) and let the ribbon and label stand for themselves.


Labels from Remake Etsy Shop ($5.00 for 9)

Gray Faux Bois Wrapping Paper from Martha Stewart Crafts Online ($5.99 a sheet)


Russian Nesting Doll Wrapping Paper from Enna Etsy’s Shop ($3.90 a sheet). I actually bought some for this a few weeks ago and it arrived yesterday and is even cuter in person than in picture, if that is possible. I can’t WAIT to wrap something for someone soon!

Ribbon: I think that this green ribbon from Kate’s Paperie would coordinate nicely with both the gray faux bois paper below and the Russian nesting doll paper. I was spoiled this past year as I had quite a bit of this ribbon left over from a project at work and used it for a few last minute birthday gifts and it looks so elegant with plain wrapping paper.


Kelly Green Satin Ribbon from Kate’s Paperie ($8.95 for 11 yards) I like the inch width best.
Faux Bois Silver/White Ribbon from Martha Stewart Crafts ($6.99 for 5 yards)

Last but not least are the tags!


Tags from Elfrida’s Etsy Shop ($3.50 for 18!)


Silhouette tags from Jordan’s Flood Street Curiosity Shop ($5 for 10)

PS, See Coco+Kelley for a great round up on eco-conscious wrapping!


Tommi Parzinger Lust

November 29, 2007


Yes, it’s green leather. I covet them. Via the crack that is First Dibs.

You’ve been warned.

More info here.


The Best Chocolate Pear Tart

November 27, 2007

While I don’t usually blog about food here although I’m a major food lover and cook, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes, and one I cooked over thanksgiving. It’s a chocolate pear tart (but crustless!) — easy to make, delicious and my new favorite food. I found it in EveryDay Food, Martha Stewart’s cooking “magazine” where I always find a couple of new recipes to try every month. My two tweaks: I use canned pears (gasp! I know! but there are good organic canned pears out there that taste delicious) and raw almonds (I think it makes the tart taste more “tart” like, whatever that means, but if you cook it, you’ll understand).


And, thank you for your comments in the last couple of weeks! I always appreciate them so much and will respond this week. In a preview of coming attractions, I’ll update you on the necklace stands I ordered (one worked and one didn’t!), the massive lot of matchbook which have just arrived today and I have a mini-gift guide in the works!



November 19, 2007

This tiny sink….

… and the charming flow of this room

… and wishing this print from Rose + Radish was under the Christmas tree. How sweet is that bear?


The reliably wonderful thing about inspiration is that it is unpredictable. On an uptown bus, while taking out the trash, while coming home from a long day — inspiration sneaks itself into my frame of vision, uninvited, but welcome none the less. The table below caught my eye in Housing Works flickr photo stream and inspires me: a coffee table with a fantastic custom shadow box and many treasures inside. Look at all the treasures someone collected! I’m fascinated by the urge to collect, which I think stems both from a desire to create order out of chaos and a desire to communicate or articulate identity through objects (?). I wonder why the table has wheels and if the owner was Russian (I see Russian characters on a box). I see shells which make me think of a trip to a beautiful place (or maybe they lived on the beach). There are thimbles and needles but also a number of knives? Birds and pocketwatches. Stamps and marbles. Who was this person! Oh the stories I wish I knew.

Have a happy Monday full of inspiration and a few treasures.



Blue Bell Bazaar

November 16, 2007


Oh, boy. What a week, right? The preholiday hustle got my game this week. But it’s Friday, I might get to see American Gangster and I have lots of blog reading to catch up on.

Gosia over at BlueBellBazaar sent me a nice note earlier in the week announcing new wares for sale in her Etsy shop. What she doesn’t know is that her shop is my *favorite* etsy shop, and a daily browse for me. Her new wares have been all over blog land, so I thought I’d feature a few of the items in her shop I’ve had my eye on from quite some time instead.