Friday, February 26, 2010

Art time capsule

I found this extraordinary creation on Decor8 that feature interior designer Jan Eleni's work.  She essentially constructed a grid of hand-cut miniature images of her child's best illustrations and paintings and framed it in a large white frame.  Wow!  She doesn't give specific instructions on how to do it, but I think it is amazing and just goes to show that there are endless "out of the box" ideas out there of how to use your child's artwork.  Check out her website at   You can actually order one of her collages, but I am sure it will cost a pretty penny.   I love that she is a self-taught designer whose strength comes from being able to find unique pieces that create a home with unique character and style.  She is known especially for her creative design of children's spaces. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Out of Hand

This is a great little shop located in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, SC.  I don't know where else I've seen such unique things in a long time.  I love the colorful paper (could be used for many things--shelf covering, draw liners) and ribbons, the lovely white shower curtain, the fabulous turquoise chandelier, the colorful peacock who would look great on a desk or table top, the stick-on chalkboard frames, and much more.  This is a great place to buy flowers--the arrangements are always unique.  They also can provide flowers and decor for special events and weddings.  If you need to buy a special bouquet for someone living in the Charleston area, or you need to drop your husband a hint visit their website at


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 10 Habits of Highly Organized People

The March issue of (O)prah Magazine features the headline "Declutter Your Life."  Inside there is an article that discusses the 10 habits of highly organized people.  A link to it is here:  My single most favorite habit that contributes to being organized and clutter-free is being able to separate emotion from possessions.  This is something so hard for almost everybody.  My second favorite habit is to ask for help when "decluttering" your space.  It is always beneficial to have an outside, unbiased person who can help you make decisions about what stays and what goes.  I can't wait to check out how Oprah simplifies her closet!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boys' rooms

Having two boys of my own, I am particularly interested in ideas for decorating a boy's room.  I found these pictures on the Young House Love blog.  They are taken from a home in Sydney, Australia owned by the founders of  Murchison-Hume, an  eco line of cleaning products that are carried here in the states by shops like Anthropologie.  I love the paint color in the first room and have never thought about using that shade of blue in a boy's room.  I think it looks fantastic with red accents!  Also, the extremely organized shelves are great.  I love how the toys are accessible and stored in the straw baskets.  Unfortunately we don't have IKEA where we live, but this is where the shelving unit was bought.  The nautical accents are a nice touch and look great with the paint color.  And, of course I am a big fan of the maps and globe.  The second boy's room is neat too.  I love the khaki/taupe color of the walls mixed with golden yellow accents, the interesting variety of art, maps, and photos, on the wall.  The sophisticated monogrammed pillow is a nice touch. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday meal: Crescent Chicken

This is an easy recipe I found on one of my favorite blogs, Whatever.  The mom who writes this blog has five kids, so she is always looking for simple meals.  It is so easy and delicious!  You will need: two or three chicken breasts cooked and chopped finely, about a cup of grated cheddar, one can of cream of chicken soup, one can of milk, and two cans of crescent rolls.  It is a no brainer: boil chicken, chop, add cheddar, roll little bits into the crescent rolls.  Whisk together can of soup and milk and pour over top.  Cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until browned.  My kids didn't like the sauce, but I did--so if they are picky you can leave the sauce off.  Serve with a green veggie, some fruit, and voila--an easy crowd pleaser.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Miniature dressing table!

Just a simple picture of the day that I found on Apartment Therapy.  Oh my goodness, how cute--and I love the red hair.  What a cute idea for a little girl's room!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Take time to enjoy the outdoors!

Instead of concentrating on house and home today, I have a different subject in mind: the outdoors.  Whether it is sunny or snowy where you are, be sure to enjoy time en plein air.  The sun is finally shining here and camelias are in bloom.  We are hoping to take a family field trip today.  I think it is always a great idea to play tourist in your own town.  We have a list of places we want to visit and now that the weather has appeared to take a turn for the better, we can get going!  Some of our ideas are to visit the Sewee Preserve, Edisto State Park, Magnolia Gardens, Capers Island, and Fort Sumter.  Luckily living here in the Lowcountry, the possibilities are endless.


Friday, February 19, 2010


One of my friends told me about an article she read in February's Martha Stewart magazine about scrapboxing.  I've always loved looking at scrapbooks that people have created but never have gotten into the art myself as I see it as a daunting and time-consuming task.  I've taken to creating digital scrapbooks by using the great on-line programs designed for this and have decided that I will make a book for each year and give it to my family at Christmas.  However, I think it is nice to keep just a few mementos from your family's history and scrapboxing is a great way, in my opinion, to display them as well as an inexpensive means to have interesting wall art.  Darcy Miller, who is the editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, has her scrapbox gallery on exhibit at Partners and Spade in NYC.  She basically has taken family mementos and creatively displayed them in shadowboxes.  I love the idea of displaying a grouping of them in a child's room, office, or playroom.  My friend is currently working on a few of her own and I hope she will send me a picture of them!! Pictures are from February's Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Simple Art Gallery

I am stealing this post from oohdeedoh.  Ideas about how to display kids' art really interest me.  I have done a couple of posts on this.  This mom created this salon-style art wall during her child's nap time.  She had found the frames at a thrift store, spray painted them a gold to unify them, and the framed her child's watercolor paintings in them.  How's that for modern art?!  Image from

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good finds!

I had a few extra minutes to pop into Marshalls and TJ Maxx today while I was running errands.  I've discovered that they always have new things every week and you never know when you're going to find just the right piece at just the right price.  I have two design projects I am trying to finish, so am on the lookout for things.  While I may not have found anything I was looking for in particular, I found some really cute stuff.  My favorite is the $39 black mirror.  I saw this on the Young House Love blog and they had painted it a pretty green for their nursery (see nursery picture).  I also loved the collection of lamps I saw and think they would look great in a little girl's room!!  Also, the jewelry boxes were a good find--so nice, similar to ones I had seen at Pottery Barn with a much higher price tag.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Young House Love: Homemade Curtain Panels

The couple who writes one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, is getting ready to have their first baby.  You can follow step by step how they are designing the nursery for their little girl.  They are trying to do everything on a budget, and being DIYers, they are getting very crafty.  I love how they found their inspiration fabric at a discount store and decided on the colors of the room from it.  The walls are a pretty green, and the ceilings a great turquoise blue.  Go to their blog, to find directions on how to make no sew curtain panels.  I also LOVE the capiz chandelier they are using in the room.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday meal: California Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe is super easy and delicious.  What you'll need:
1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 pork or chicken, one egg, about 2 boxes of chicken broth, Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, one lemon, orzo pasta, bag of spinich.
Make the meatballs out of approx 1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb ground pork or chicken mixed with one egg, some Italian breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese (sorry I never measure this).  After mixing the above together form little meatballs about 1/2 inch in diameter.  Spray a baking dish with Pam and cook meatballs in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a soup pot cook some chopped carrots and onion (maybe about a cup of each) in about 6 cups of chicken broth.  When they are a little softened, add some orzo pasta (not too much--a little goes a long way (maybe about 1/2 cup dry) and cook at a boil for about 10 minutes or whatever it says on the box.  Then add the meatballs to the soup mixture and don't forget the most important thing--the zest of one lemon!!  Just before serving, wilt some fresh baby spinach in the soup.  Serve in bowls and grate parmesan cheese on the top!  Don't let it sit for long at all before serving because the pasta soaks up the broth.   You may want to have some extra chicken broth on hand.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chair makeover ideas

The other day I was in a discount fabric shop here in town and saw that they were selling vintage chairs that they had gathered from garage or estate sales.  The one in the photo was for sale and cost $95--and they would discount it even more if you bought your fabric from them.  I think recycling old chairs is such a great idea--not only is it earth-friendly, but in my opinion old things have a lot of character.  This vintage wing backed chair would look awesome recovered in a modern fabric.  The two fabric ideas I have posted are from my fellow blogger, Shannon Darby's, The Designer's Attic.  She is a designer that sells fabric remnants she has found for super discounted prices.  Check out what she has to offer at  The last two pictures of a club chair makeover I found on Design Sponge.   Never underestimate the power of fabric!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meal share recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying my meal exchange lately.  It is really such a treat to have a meal brought to you once a week and so easy just to double your recipe on another night.  Here is my recipe for the week: Chicken Tortilla Soup.
2 t olive oil, 1 medium chopped onion, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 jalapeno pepper chopped and seeds removed if you don't want too much spice, 1/2 medium green pepper chopped, 3-4 small chicken breasts, 1 can of corn, 1/2 cup white wine, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 4 14 oz cans of chicken broth, 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes, 2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained.
Saute onion, garlic, jalapeno, and green pepper in large pot until soft.  Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil.  After 15 minutes, remove chicken breasts and shred.  Return shredded chicken to pot and simmer and additional 45 minutes.  Serve topped w/ cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, and juice of lime.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New design project

I am so excited about a new bedroom makeover project I am working on.  The client gave me this colorful piece of fabric to work from.  She wanted to make some pillows for her bed out of it.   I am thinking of a pretty off-white color for the walls, a light green on the ceiling, throw in some chocolate brown for the pillow trim and to reupholster a chair, and maybe these pretty green curtains from Pottery Barn.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Organized play area

I love this photo of an organized play area that blogger Jordan Ferney has incorporated into the main living area of her home.  The key to this organized area is that everything has a place and everything is accessible to the little ones.  The clear bins make it easy to locate things.  I think an kid's art/work area is an essential part to any home.  Of course I love the collected vintage globes on the top shelf!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I need a cupcake carrier!!

Today my oldest turned 6.  Wow, does time fly!  I am taking cupcakes for his class and am mad at myself that I haven't yet bought a cupcake carrier.  It is raining today and the pretty tray I had planned to use will be of no help, so I've had to pack four separate tupperware containers.  I think every mom of school aged kids should have one of these!   The one in the picture above is from Crate and Barrel, but by googling "cupcake carrier," you find that you can purchase one almost anywhere.