Monday, December 31, 2012

Inspiration: Watercolors For Spring

If you are anything like me, as soon as Christmas is over you are looking forward to Spring (as if Winter was almost over instead of just beginning).  Today we even had a few snow flurries here in the high desert, but I am planning for the pretty months anyway.  The big trend for Spring 2013 is watercolors in mostly pastel tones.  I love it!  It is pretty and feminine so what's not to love?  See if you agree...
Glamorous Watercolor Wallpaper by Black Crow Studios Design
This wallpaper is fantastic.  It looks like someone dipped their paintbrush into a bowl of water.
I am coveting a pillow cover like this watercolor silk to freshen up my living room this Spring.

I'm also thinking that my daughter's room needs a gorgeous new lampshade.
I like the idea of swapping out my art for something lighter in the warmer months. 

All watercolor inspired decor need not be sweet;  this room proves it can be rendered in a sophisticated way.
Watercolor ikat at a bargain price.

How about a watercolor inspired palette for a party?  Gorgeous.
This is probably my favorite space with the lavender and emerald green.

So much pretty and still too much time until Spring.  I can plan and be inspired, though, and so can you!

I hope you all have fun and safe New Year's celebrations tonight.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet Spot Sunday: Lemon Pancakes with Lemon Syrup

image via 

My brother and sister in law came over the other morning, and my brother helped me whip up some pancakes for us to enjoy.  I had mentioned these lemon pancakes that I've made before, so when they came over, he helped me get breakfast on the table.  This recipe is super easy and pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.

What You Need:

Pancake Mix
Lemon Curd
Powdered Sugar

What You Do:
Make your pre-made pancake mix according to the package's directions (so easy, even I can do it- mix and water? Easy!).  Add a dollop of lemon curd (I get mine at Trader Joe's) to the batter and stir, stir, stir.  When I say a dollop, I really mean that you should add as much or as little as you want.  I like a little more, because I like these to be pretty lemony.  (I literally use a large cereal spoon and just load it up and drop it in.)  (Literally is in italics because I am literally saying it like Rob Lowe's character in Parks and Rec.)  (Lots of parentheses in this post, no?)
Cook the pancakes according to the directions.
When finished, you can add a little bit of powdered sugar, some lemon curd, some ginger syrup, or you can make some lemon syrup.  That is super easy and yummy too.  Just heat up some syrup in the microwave or on the stove, and add some lemon curd (start with about a teaspoon and add more syrup or lemon curd according to your taste buds).  Mix, pour over pancakes, and enjoy!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Minor Obsession: Brass Menagerie

I admit that I didn't see the brass animal trend coming, but I like it.  I like them because they are whimsical and sophisticated at the same time.  It is always helpful to have interesting accents for bookshelves and tabletops and these beauties always look at home.  There are so many to choose from, and just because they are in style right now, they can still be had cheaply if you know where to look.  

In my hallway I often use these brass animals I got for a song as display items.  They are fun and pretty.

I'm thinking that this trio of horses will become something special for Gwenna's 5th birthday (horse themed). For now, though, they are fun in the office with a few appropriately chosen books.
brass menagerie
A few brass animals for sale right now!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Freaky Find Friday: Creepy Collage

A good way to keep track of memories is to make a collage.  The Cat and I keep a memory jar in which we drop mementos from trips and other events.  Eventually I would like to maybe put some of those mementos in a frame or something like a shadow box.  What I don't want is for it to look like this beauty that I found at the local thrift shop recently.

 Sorry for the glare; I couldn't get a better picture.  So, what makes a good collage?  Well, according to this picture, you need a pair of gloves, some random bits of lace, an envelope, a strand of fake pearls, and a random picture of a creepy looking baby.

Awww, just look at that little guy.  Bewildered look, bulging diaper that really looks like it needs changing...  Just the stuff memories should be made of.  What I wonder is where, exactly, would one hang this little treasure?!
Anyway, I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY: Operation Gold Leaf

It is now two days past Christmas and I have been busy taking all the decorations out and packing them neatly in the garage.  It is a little depressing isn't it?  The house just doesn't look as pretty without all the shimmer and lights. { I am quick to take everything down because my son's birthday is January 5th and I need to get a move on the birthday planning and decorating.}
The good news is that it gives me a little push to do a new project in order to make myself feel better about saying goodbye to Christmas.  Nothing too detailed because, as we all know, it takes a lot of time to clean and put away everything after the holidays.

As you can see I had black rimmed mirrored stars.  The black just wasn't quite right for the look I wanted, so I took the mirror off the back and brushed on some gold leaf.  I didn't want a perfect look so I just quickly brushed it on, not covering the whole surface so that it would look more vintage.  It couldn't have been simpler and I love how they turned out!
 Hmmm, what else in my house needs to be gold??

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Comforts of Home

True words for today:
image via vintage rose garden
This holds true for me today, as I am planning on spending most of today just lounging at home.  My brother and sister in law will be coming over to visit and maybe drink some coffee topped with a dollop of foam, thanks to one of my Christmas presents from yesterday (the Capresso frothPro).  It is lovely and I need to run to the store to get more milk so I can play with it some more.
I hope you all had a lovely holiday, and that the spirit of the season continues to warm your week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

White Christmas Party: Decorating

Here is the post I have been waiting to do!  I am excited to share with all of you the details that went into this special party for 14 of my friends and family.  I was inspired by many things that I had seen on pinterest and in magazines, but recreated them in my own way see post here.  I have already been asked to do it again next year!  It won't be hard to talk me into it.   

On the mantle I used mercury glass containers with greenery and white flowers.  The bronze deer adds a bit of warmth.  I used animals and natural elements throughout.  I really tried to balance the natural with a bit of sparkle.

I simple strung a piece of white velvet with a few snowflake ornaments and above that, a string of extra crystals.  

The idea to put all these tappers into the fireplace was totally last minute:  I didn't have a spot for them on the table because I needed the space for food but I wanted them somewhere...the fireplace!

My favorite thing about the decorations this year is the branch I (my husband) hung between the two rooms.  It is just large enough to add drama.  I would have liked to add snow to it so that it showed up better at night, but I added snowflake ornaments hanging from it to add a bit of sparkle and reinforce my "White Christmas" theme.
My tree has blue, green, brown, gold, silver and white ornaments this year.  It was more about matching the scheme of my house than anything.  I also added live white roses and more snowflake ornaments.

I hung this branchy and icy looking beaded wreath in front of my large mirror in the dining room.  I really like the affect.
Icicle ornaments and more snowflake ornaments add a lot to my dining room chandelier.  
I couldn't do without my apothecary jars:  A little snow, mini Christmas trees and houses are all I needed for winter wonderland scenes.  I did have white tulips for the party in the vase.  So classic.
This year I really wanted my tree in a basket.  After half a day of trying, my poor husband (who deserves an award) made it happen.  I really love it.  I used brown wrapping paper with gold metallic wood grain and lots of green satin ribbon this year.  I underscored the "White Christmas" theme with woodland elements.  

I have a little table top tree in my kitchen with blue and white mini ceramic ornaments.  I have always wanted a tree in my kitchen!
I got these candle holders from Jo Ann's for 70% off.  They were $3 each!  Wish I could have snagged a few more.

These candle sconces are supposed to hold plates in the center, but I didn't want to do that.  What to do?  I decided to snip a bunch of rosemary from my garden and make simple little wreaths to hang instead. 

I have a collection of Christmas houses that I placed down my hallway on the cupboard top.  I used books to prop them at different heights.  

I think all our guests had a nice time eating and talking between a drink or two.  
As it is Christmas Eve I hope all of you are relaxing or maybe wrapping a few last gifts while enjoying your own gatherings of family and friends.  

Thank you to my friend Kyungmoo Ryu for taking pictures for me!


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