Monday, September 29, 2008

Minty Fresh

Another great idea from the current issue of 100 decorating ideas under $100 magazine: a leftover mint container business card holder (page 93). After spray-painting the tin box, of course I had to make some business cards (which lead to making magnets, note cards and labels).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gasp: Painted Cottage Online!

Painted Cottage co-owner Valerie Boothroyd emailed me today (!) to let me know that her new website is up and running and new posts will be added daily. Painted Cottage consists of 3 endeavors: Studio (where the magic happens); Home; and Cafè (amazing chocolate chip cookies). A visit to Painted Cottage has become a must-do whenever I visit my family in New Jersey. Each time I walk around the studio I am just inspired to create (and of course, shop!). I am thrilled that now I can visit the website anytime. Be sure to check out the Photo Gallery. Beautiful!

Ooh La La: Popsicle Stick Boxes!

The first time I ever saw a popsicle stick box was at the home of my grandparents. There was one on a shelf made by my oldest sister. It was decorated with shells and I thought it was so cool but for some reason I don't think I made one of my own until I was in my twenties, teaching arts and crafts at a children's enrichment camp. Today my boys know that I am never too busy for this activity. Although now my boxes are getting tinkered with: painted, decoupaged and glittered, and as I make preparations to be a vendor at my first-ever craft fair venture I wonder (as I do with all of the things I enjoy tinkering with): Would anyone ever buy one of these? Comments appreciated!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall

It is the first day of Autumn and it feels like it, too. Just yesterday was it was hot; hot enough to wear shorts and turn on the AC. Today it is in the mid-60s and the smallest leaves have changed color. I love everything about Fall from the crisp air to the apple crisp. Here in Rhode Island, a great place to pick apples and pumpkins is at Jaswell's Farm. Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Salt and Chalk

One of my favorite crafts to do with my boys is making salt jars. It is fun, easy and cheap! I submitted a how-to to my favorite online parents' guide, and it is posted today. If any of my mom-pals are viewing this, they might be chuckling because I have toted along this activity to picnic tables around the Ocean State!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Decorating Secret

Whenever I search in stores or online for pretty, cotton tablecloths nothing ever turns up in my price range (which isn't much). One day while wandering through Target in my usual shopping trance, I found myself drawn to the floral patterns of the Simply Shabby Chic line of curtains. Maybe a bit too girlie for windows at my house (with a husband and 2 boys) but possibly on a table -- a smaller dose of girlie. I bought a window panel for our dining room table. It fits perfectly and is washable. On a more recent visit, I noticed that many items in this line are on clearance. I grabbed a patchwork valance not even having plans for it. Maybe someday a pillow? Today I found its perfect place: a table runner over my sideboard and it coordinates with the curtain tablecloth!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Working on an HGTV Show in '95: Who Knew?

I was searching through my box labeled "Old Photos" and found a stack of pictures that made me chuckle. Mostly underexposed, these "set photos" were taken with a disposable camera at the Connecticut home of Alexandra Stoddard. I was part of the crew that filmed her intro and closing segments for HGTV's Homes Across America. This was back before I had cable TV and my Mom was describing my style as Early American Salvation Army. I operated the teleprompter and got to work closely with Alexandra. Her home was packed with beautiful pieces and she did things I'd never seen before, like hang mirrors outside and display paintings of all sizes in rows. Brilliant fresh flowers were everywhere! She was always warm and inspiring and at the end of each shooting week (there were two) she would sign one of her books and include a ribbon bookmark as a thank you gift to me. The photos included are not from my blurry stack. Origins linked to the images. (How poetic!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


No school today for the boys which means a leisurely summer-vacation-kind-of-morning (so far, anyway ...) of sipping coffee and looking through my new Romantic Homes. On page 29 there is a photo which features very pretty fabric and thankfully its online resource: I had to get online and visit this site immediately. Even though I am a sewing-phobe, well, maybe more of a pattern-phobe (a fear I hope to conquer during school hours), these fabrics may just be the push I need to plan a simple project. The website also had lots of cute and cool dècor. A few fabric faves:

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Daytrip Piece at

Today the article I submitted to (direct link: Daytrip: Riverside, Rhode Island) was posted online. If you're quick and check on it today, it is the top story on the homepage; each day it will move down a spot as new stories take top billing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hooray for New Magazines

Today I decided to treat myself to some new magazines. I went to Target, Barnes & Noble and Home Depot in search of favorites. I bought October's Romantic Homes; Romantic Homes Presents Bedrooms & Baths; and 100 decorating ideas under $100. So far I have only had the time for a quick scan through Bedrooms & Baths. It is AWESOME!