Thursday, September 29, 2011

~ Nifty AND Nautical ~

I joining the party at Coastal Charm! (See my very charming button to your right ... sort of.) She wants us to show off our nifty, thrifty finds.

These charming nautical coasters came from the Dollar Bin from Michaels. I believe a stack of 5 of them cost $2.50. That discrepancy is irrelevant. They are still nifty ... and thrifty.

... and totally handy. Not only are they great coasters, but for some reasons the little ones seem to find a myriad of uses for them as playthings.

I am a big supporter (and major forager) of the Dollar Bin. Michael's ... JoAnn's ... and Target. Oooooh ... especially Target!

Thank you for letting me join this party, however late I may be.


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Monday, September 26, 2011

~ Red & Turquoise have a Party ~

I happen to have some very talented daughters. (And yes, one very talented son.) Daughter # 2 has a particular eye for detail. And color. And ... delicious food.

Last weekend she put together this party ... for a one year old ... creating a veritable feast for the eyes and for the tastebuds. All of the lucky guests got to have a cake pop -- and eat it too.

Everything was color-coordinated and yes ... everything was labeled. Even the condiments stood up and saluted.

The water was more like H2 ... ooooh! It was almost hard to break up their little team of cold and colorful unity.

In spite of all that beauty and color, the guest of honor still stood in the spotlight.

Perfectly dressed in the appropriate colors, of course.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

~ Just Dotty ~

My love of dots dates back to my childhood ... and that is a lot of dating, if you get my drift. I saw this picture in Better Homes & Gardens and immediately added it to the "file". I love the contrast of the different colors ... and different sizes ... amid the dottiness. The fact that some checks and toile are thrown in the mix, just makes my heart skip a beat.

I love these blue dot pillows that breathe happiness into my guest room. Again ... the contrast with the calico is actually what pulls the formula together: Dots + PrettyMuchAnything = Happy.

And then there is "the stash". Percentage-wise, I have so many dots that I am pretty much obligated to put some in (almost) every quilt that I sew.

I try to live up to my obligations as an upstanding citizen.

How about you? What pattern consistently makes you sigh?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

~ Oh Lighten Up ~

I have only lived in my home for about 7 and a half months, but the bedroom has been an evolving issue that I am happy to say I finally resolved. While still in AZ and planning for my new home, it was all about ... nautical. I figured that I was close to the beach and I wanted to show off my seafaring ways.

Except that try as I might, I could not warm up to the cool colors. And the masculinity. And the lack of femininity.

So a couple of months ago, I found some new sheets. No more nautical stripes ... I wanted rich florals to put some girly into my room.

Except ... that was right either. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later (having slept on the sheets and washed them and rendered them "unreturnable") that I realized the problem lay with the dark colors of the sheets and the dark blue pictures/plates over the bed. Not willing to run right out and purchase yet another set of sheets, I just pulled my mattelasse cover up (instead of folding it down), found a new accent pillow in the pile o' pillows in my closet and (ok, I admit it)  purchased the two rectangular plates, combining them with others I already owned.

I am in love with my new room. I swear to you I sleep better. I know that I breathe better.

The new plates were purchased at HomeGoods. The others are old enough that I haven't a clue.

It's enough to make a girl sigh.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

~ Designing Woman ~

This is what my design wall is sporting right now. My new project is just sailing right along.

And what about you? What are you working on?

linking to Inspiration Friday
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Friday, September 16, 2011

~ The Off Season ~

This little corner of my bathroom gets the most attention when I stand in my bathtub to adjust the shutters. Let's face it ... I'm a shower kind of gal. However I still thought it was the perfect place to display these beautiful ... unusually turquoise ... mercury glass candle holders.

I would like to say that I bought them in some cute, out-of-the-way antique shop or boutique. Oh no. I bought them at Target and I bought them just a few days before Christmas at a whopping discount. I'm sorry ... I did not hear "ho ho ho" when I saw them, it was more like "splish splash, I am takin' a bath."

So, let's vote: Bath or Shower? Which floats your boat?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

~ September Splendor ~

For the record -- I have not lived in a 4-season climate since 1980. And for 30 of the 31 years since then, I lived in Arizona which basically has two seasons, "really hot" and "not as hot". There were subtle variations that a long-timer became more intimately aware of as the years progressed. I have always loved fall (having grown up in a 4-season climate) and after several years in AZ, I did notice that the leaves did start to change colors and drop from the trees. The problem was that this was generally happening sometime between the second and third week in ... December. I am sorry to say that I was otherwise preoccupied with the decking of halls and could not stop to smell the autumn air. That always made me sad.

I still do not live in an official 4-season climate, but to my absolute delight I have begun to notice the hints of fall ... in September ... just as it should be. The top pictures were all taken from my front porch -- as were the other two pictures. After my front door was repainted the same burnt red, I bought her a present. When I saw this wreath at Target, I could hear it begging me to place it on my front door. What's a girl to do?

I hope you are enjoying the sights and smells of autumn.

I also hope that your front door can be as happy (and satisfied) as mine. Let me know if you have some pictures of fall, because I am going to want to see them.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

~ Sugar by the Sea Shore ~

These incredible coastal cookies were made by Glory over at Glorious Treats. I. Am. In. Awe. This is partly to do with the fact that I attempted to add this particular skill to my repertoire once, and found it to be much harder than I expected. I am not saying that I have completely given up on mastering this talent, but I am saying my time could possibly be better spent perusing Glory's blog.

I have always loved the look of artistically iced cookies. I have always loved sea shells. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon these two loves in one beautiful, delicious package.

Thank you Glory for the sugary, shell-y fix. I will be back for more.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

~ The Thrill of the Hunt ~

After all of these years making quilts, there is definitely a hierarchy in my mind as to the thrill of the process, and to me ... the absolute peak of the thrill is in this, the second step. The first step is putting my idea about the theme and layout on paper which is splendid fun, believe me, but the second step involves picking out the fabrics and that ... my dear, colorful friends ... is what it's all about.

Another important point to understand is that this step is accomplished in the privacy of my teeny-tiny sewing room, not amidst the shelves and shelves of bolts at a fabric store. Oh ... don't get me wrong ... I spend plenty of time in fabric stores, but when I purchase my fabric it is not neccessarily with any specific project in mind, I simply purchase fabric because it speaks to me and I am forced to buy it.

Then ... when the hallowed second step is at hand ... I peruse the (slightly smaller) stacks of fabric in my own, personal store. I pull them down, sometimes cutting off strips and snippets and make a huge, delightful mess. This step can be frowned upon at the fabric store, but it's welcomed and in fact, heartily encouraged here.

Now I will go on to say that this particular pile of wavy blue heaven was purchased over a year ago and I did have a particular project in mind when I purchased it. Odd.

Today I am forced to stay at home while my freshly painted front door dries. I'll be working on the third step in the process ... joining the fabric with the idea in wedded bliss.

Today is a good day.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

~ White After Labor Day ~

I have chosen to buck the system and defy tradition ... and it's really not the first time. Today, the 7th of September ... two full days after Labor Day ... I offer you the chance to bask in some white.

These first three pictures are all from Coastal Living and I have always loved them. I love the white all by itself, but even more I love how the other colors stand up and salute when placed against the purity of a white background.

I'm a girl who lived with blazing sun in my life almost every single day of the year for over 30 years. Now that I'm in a more tempered climate, I have to have my daily fix of light or I feel a little ... um ... loony.

So this last picture is of my living room complete with my "wedding veil" curtains. They let in the light and on a really sunny day, they sparkle a little. I got them ... you guessed it ... at IKEA. Once again, I have spoken too late and don't see these particular beauties on their website. They are simply made of fairly substantial white tulle. I would seriously consider using them to make a wedding veil, I'm not kidding.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put on some white pants.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

~ Sweet ~

My Labor Day involved a lovely half day perusing this island ... accompanied by a 4 year old, a one year old and their parents.

Thanks to the perserverance of the 4 year-old, we ended up at the candy store. I did not complain. I took in the eye-popping colors ...

I took in the nostalgia ...

... and I quite literally took in a bit of salt-water taffy.

I am so sorry to see this glorious summer officially come to a close. It's a good thing I am so fond of color, because I hear that I can't keep wearing my whites. I love wearing white.

Would someone please tell me that's just an old wives tale?

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Monday, September 5, 2011

~ There's a place called Kokomo ~

I call this little number "Tropical Sunrise". Like all of my Sea Quilts, it's a pattern of my own design, although I learned to paper-piece "New York Beauty" blocks by reading this book by Valorie Wells. When it came time to do the machine quilting (yep, me again) I was also inspired by her look.

She measures 24" wide x 36" long.

Sunglasses could possibly be required.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

~ It's a Sign ~

I like to collect a lot of things, not the least of which is ... words. I like words. I like them indivdually and I like them together. I like to look at them and I like to say them out loud. I am particularly fond of words that evoke beauty and define themselves, simply by the way the syllables fall together.

Here are a few of my favorites:

~ Effervescent ~
~ Wispy ~
~ Quirky ~
~ Twinkling ~
~ Exquisite ~
~ Ethereal ~

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that last one on a street sign not far from where I live. I keep my collection in a notebook, but if I could just keep it on street signs ... well ... that would be even better.

Tell me, what are your favorites?

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

~ Glassy-Eyed ~

Sometimes ... whether I am thirsty or not (for water, milk or Diet Dr. Pepper) ... I just like to open my cupboard where I keep my glasses. I marvel at the dots. I do love dots. I got them at IKEA. I've noticed that IKEA likes dots too.

I am also very fond of these taller glasses that are particularly narrow. I got these at Home Goods. Home Goods likes to sell you things in quantity, and that's just how I bought them. Two packages of ten. I have yet to need more that that at one sitting. I tried to locate the dots for you, but alas, they have gone their way of the wrapping paper. (Did you know that IKEA doesn't sell wrapping paper anymore? What is with that? )
I am very fond of these 'wave' glasses here which are begging to have some orange juice in them. Or some Diet Dr. Pepper.

Sorry about the dots.
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