Four Lovely Books

April 3rd, 2014

One of my most favorite things to do on a rainy day is curl up with a hot beverage and a great book. I love so many genres but many favorites are books on all things home: interior design, home improvement, or simple recipes and crafts. I’ve added four lovely books to my growing collection of inspirational texts, ones you may consider adding to your library too.

four lovely books

 

I’ve always admired Paul Lowe and look forward to his seasonal Sweet Paul magazine publications – I interviewed him in 2011 and he was kind enough to answer my questions. His tips on styling stay with me to this day (keep it simple and remember what’s important in the shot!) 

eat and makeI learned last year from his publicist that he was writing a book and I’ve eagerly awaited the arrival of Sweet Paul: Eat & Make, a book all about delicious yet simply prepared food and easy to do kitchen crafts that personalize the home.

The ideas are broken down by times of day, how clever! Find inspirational crafts from a Punch Bowl Pendant to Felted Vases to colorful Coffee Filter Flowers and hidden inside is a story about Paul’s famous Food Styling Kit on page 94, a charming read for sure!  

 

coffee filter flowers

Savor and prepare recipes for morning, noon, and night from Baked Donuts to Norwegian Meatballs, and the styling in the book is quintessentially Sweet Paul!

norwegian meatballs

 

dashed line

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Etsy Art I Heart: Watercolors

April 1st, 2014

I’m on an original art kick lately and I got into some trouble on Etsy this morning shopping for watercolors for a future art display. “Trouble” meaning several purchases, I can’t help it, there are so many talented artists out there! Watercolors are so popular right now with the Waterlogue app everyone’s been using lately turning photographs into watercolor prints. I thought I’d feature a few favorite painters I stumbled across today who specialize in the medium.

Kerri Shipp paints everything from botanicals to abstracts to chinoiserie at Driftwood Interiors (I bought a series of the 11 x 14” indigo tropical leaves, gorgeous!)

driftwood interiors watercolors

 

I adore the zoo of sweetly painted animals you can find at Mary’s Flower Garden. I had to have that blue crab! 

marys flower garden watercolors

 

Color Zen has a great kitchen food collection, also feathers and some beautiful sea life too.

color zen watercolors

    

Amber Alexander shares charming Beatrix Potter inspired stories on the back of her animal prints like Tilly in the Teacup, “From the second she started out that fateful day, Tilly had a feeling that she had bitten off more than she could chew…”  The details are delightful, and that squirrel has serious style. 

amberalexander watercolors

            

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Spring in the Living Room

March 31st, 2014

It rained all day Saturday and the kids’ games were canceled so we stayed in our pajamas for much of the day. Rainy days inspire indoor creativity so I decided to paint some new artwork for the living room. My 10 year old daughter loves to paint too so we spread out newspaper on the dining room table and opened up our sketchbooks and collections of acrylic paint. 

Late last year in my quest for more masculine touches, we painted the living room above our DIY wainscoting Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray and I also painted the French doors black. The two together are a perfect moody neutral combo but with spring arriving I was craving more color.  

Coral is all the rage this year and I’m also lover of the hue – it’s so chic especially with gray and gold, so I added pillows to the tufted sofa in that colorway.  

gray and coral in living room centsational girl

The gray zebra pillows used to live in our master bedroom (originally from Z Gallerie but no longer available). I found the geometric coral Lulu pillow covers at Ballard Designs on sale, the embroidered floral is Tar-jay.

The walls held only two prints (one of them is one of my most favorite souvenirs from a trip to Paris) but there was a bare spot between them and I needed a third piece of art to fill it. Black and white made sense, not a charcoal, not a print, something whimsical and botanical.

practicing swirls

branch painting

I was inspired by none other than Matisse – I saw his Le Buisson framed print for sale at Joss & Main and thought it was perfect but even more perfect if I painted my own version of a black and white botanical for pennies.   

matisse

I just loved the simplicity of the Mattise painting so I tried the tree with twigs and leaves but after a few attempts opted for a simpler set of branches instead.

attempt at tree

 

simple branches

 

gray and coral pillows centsational girl

   

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