Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hanging and storing necklaces

I am big on necklaces--big, chunky, colorful, unique pieces of art that you can wear.  The reason I like them so much is because you can just have on an average, unexciting tee shirt and throw a necklace on and you look somewhat dressed up.  My favorite necklace designer is friend Nikki Fitzgerald of ItFitz jewelry.  Check out her page here:  On almost any given day you can see me wearing one of her pieces.   Here are some examples:

 I have gone through multiple ways of storing my necklaces, but I am thinking now about just simply hanging them on nails in my closet like this:

 Hmmm, the other idea is to make a corkboard with pins, but I am not into crafty (glue guns, etc.)  When I get it figured out, I'll let you know.  That is going to be on my immediate to do list, because I have been putting it off for quite some time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More ideas for displaying kids' artwork

A photo gallery wall is one of my favorite things to see in a house.  If done well, it speaks loads about the homeowners and their likes and interests.  Lately I've seen a few pictures of great gallery walls done in nurseries or kids' rooms and just love them.  I like the idea of buying the frames that you can switch the art in and out of easily.  Here are some more ideas about what to do with all of those little pieces of artwork that you don't know what to do with.

Family activities expert Dr. Bra Vada Garrett-Akinsanya looks at various ways to create, store and display children's artwork.
  • A great way to store children's artwork is to make a three-ring binder as a personal art book for the child. After you take the artwork off the refrigerator, put it in the binder. Be sure to label and date the artwork.
  • To show your child how much you appreciate their artwork, have some of the favorite pieces framed and hang them in the office or at home.
  • To clean up that cluttered refrigerator look, cut mats (the cardstock used for borders in frames) with openings slightly smaller than the standard sheet of paper. Attach magnetic strips to the back of each mat. Put on the refrigerator for an organized look, whereby the focus is on the artwork, not the clutter.
  • Place artwork and photos under glass on a chest of drawers in your child's room.
  • Mount a piece of flat trim molding on the wall at eye level. Every eight to 10 inches, attach one leg of a spring-loaded clothespin to the trim with small nails or screws. Then you can just clip the top edges of the artwork into the clothespin. It's easy, and the display can be changed often.
  • Making a collage is another way to hold onto your child's artwork. Glue the favorite parts of random artwork onto a piece of poster board. Laminating it will be sure to protect to work forever.
  • Make magnets to give to grandparents and family members. Cut out various items (flowers, dun, kites, clouds etc.), and have pieces laminated with hard plastic. Trim off excess plastic, then glue pieces to small magnets. Give the magnets away to family members as gifts that remind everyone that they are all connected.
  • Create an in-home art gallery by purchasing several inexpensive frames from discount stores. Find a wall or table that can be dedicated as the "gallery." Help older children come up with titles for their artwork, and label their drawings. Otherwise, younger children can simply identify what they’ve drawn with a word or two (a bird, a dog etc.). When guests visit, your child can treat them to an in-home exhibition of his/her artwork.
  • You can also make laminated place mats from your child's artwork for a wipe-able surface that family member can enjoy for years to come. Try to collect six to eight pictures, and glue the pictures onto an 8-1/2 x 14-inch sheet of heavy cardstock paper. You may also glue pieces of cloth to the back of the paper for a reversible effect. Have the mats laminated in medium or heavy plastic. 
    * Note: If cloth is added, be sure that the plastic is cut at least 1/4 inch beyond the matting to prevent the edges from fraying.
  • Have your children's artwork turned into a calendar.
  • Gifts for family members and friends can be made by your artistic children. Have your children paint on flowerpots or rocks (these make great paperweights) or have them make personal stationery.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First day of fall

It doesn't feel like it at all but today is the first day of fall, my favorite season for sure.  Although it still feels like the dead heat of the summer around here, I am anxious for the mercury to start descending.  I stopped by my favorite local garden store to see what they had in terms of fall flowers even if I dare not plant any until it hits at least 85 degrees!  I feel sorry for the people who are already buying their mums  because they will be dead here in about two weeks or less.  The colorful pepper plants and million bells are great for autumnal color.  I also like the houseplants that are good for this time of year--especially the tropical colored bromeliads.  Lush ferns are also among my favorites.  How cool are the air plants?  Instead of planting these in soil, you lay them upon shells or driftwood.  These would be a fabulous addition to coastal decor.

How awesome is this crocodile fern?  Look at the scale on its leaves.

These are the air plants--fantastic for coastal decor.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

q.a. design

Check out these cute prints I found on Etsy.  You can have the designer customize the colors and of course choose the state you want.  I love the bright graphics and think these would look great in a kid's room or office.  You can find them here:  What a great idea for inexpensive and colorful wall art!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Room in progress...

Living room before with yellow walls, old sofa that needs recovering...

A friend of mine and I have been collaborating together over the past months about transforming her living space.  She was sick of the yellow walls and wanted to go with all white.  After much deliberation, we called in some reinforcements.  My number one go-to person for color is a local designer named Elizabeth Goff.  She helped us choose the colors which are all by Benjamin Moore: Cloud White for the walls and trim,  Spring Thaw (a very light green) for the ceiling, and all the doors in her house are now a beautiful brown called Topeka Taupe.  My friend and I then worked to choose slipcover fabric and throw pillows.  She took the bold plunge to use white for the sofa slipcover and is very happy with it.  In my opinion what makes the room are the two throw pillows made in Schumacher Chaing Mai Dragon fabric in aquamarine.  These were a splurge but seriously, you could totally build a room around these pillows because they contain a myriad of such fantastic colors.  She ended up finding them on Etsy for a fraction of the price a local design store was going to charge her.  They are a fabulous linen material to boot!  We are taking the room in steps and next have to choose a few other accent pieces.  I am loving the Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis fabric in orange and think a lumbar pillow on the sofa made out of this would look great as well as one on the other slipcovered armchair.  Another idea would be the Betwixt fabric in Spark/Ivory, also by Schumacher.  She also wants to do some fun cushions and throw pillows for the kitchen table bench seat.  More pictures to come soon!

Room in progress with walls and ceiling painted, a new seagrass rug, and beautiful pillows.

Love the orange lamp--a bargain find at TJ Maxx.

I am obsessed with this fabric.  Look at those colors!

I love the Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis fabric as well!

Another idea for additional throw pillows.  I love orange!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Moon vine

I know I did a post on this last year, but I am always so amazed this time of year when the moon vine is at its best.  The flowers open up right around dusk and fall off in the morning.  We shared some of our seeds with our neighbor with whom we also share a fence, and hers is going crazy right now.  If you have a fence, I encourage you to plant some of these seeds.  It is so neat watching the flowers come out when the sun starts to go down.  It is a true sign of late summer early fall--one of my favorite times of the year.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I love this.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My home tour

For a while I've wanted to do a post of my own home but have shied away for fear of not having everything just perfect and styled like in the magazines.  There are tons of projects I want to do but just don't have the time or money for--some rooms I have left un-photographed until I complete at least a couple of these things (our bonus room/study needs a lot of work).  As you can see my style is very traditional, but I strive to make my home somewhat eclectic while very personal and comfortable.  It is filled with things that have sentimental meaning, from furniture and accessories that belonged to my grandparents to art made by my kids or by artists close to me (I am lucky that two of my best friends are very amazing and successful painters).  I love vintage pieces as well as modern, but don't have much of the latter.  I like creating texture and layers in a room and always try to do this.  I often like changing things around--I often rearrange my art, for example.  I would love to be able to paint my younger son's room but don't want to spend much money now and can't decide on the color.  So here's to a never-
ending work in progress.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Mealtime Monday

The posts that seem to elicit the most attention are those about food, so here goes an easy dinner idea: grilled mahi mahi, orzo pasta with parmesan, roasted asparagus and peppers.  There really isn't a recipe per se, but I just defrosted some frozen mahi filets that I had bought at Costco, marinated them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, chili powder, and lime juice, and grilled them for about 4 minutes per side.  The chili powder and lime juice are my favorite parts, so you can be generous with this.  I served with a little orzo that my kids love and threw some asparagus and cut up red peppers drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt in the oven for about 10-15 minutes on 450 degrees.  I could have thrown them on the grill, but had forgotten to do so.  Great and easy meal--I would have liked a little bit of sauce with the fish--maybe a mango salsa or something would be great with this dish.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Store in Mt. Pleasant

Yesterday I happened upon a great new store here in Mt. Pleasant called Patina Blu that is owned by a very nice couple Kelley and Wally Carey from Rye, NY.  It is filled with good finds, especially if you're in the market for lamps or mirrors.  The style is traditional and classic with a twist.  I have to say that this is the style that I truly love.  It is also a great place to find a unique gift.  The upstairs of the store resembles a studio with a big work table.  Co-owner Kelly who is a graduate of the NY School of Design and who holds a very impressive list of clients from the NY area, can provide knowledgable services to help you with your design needs.  I was really impressed with the price point of the items in the store and Kelly and Wally's good taste.  Visit their website at

I think these little trays would make a great gift, and would be a perfect collector of pocket change or keys-only $14.95.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch box ideas

I recently wrote a post about an alternative to ziploc bags that could be used in lunch boxes.  After discovering this blog:, I am inspired again to try my son's Laptop lunch box.  He also agreed that he was growing a bit tired of the grilled cheese sandwiches at school.  This website has all kinds of ideas for cool lunch ideas and how to prepare them, what tools of the trade you'll need, etc.  If you do a search on or Ebay you can find lots of options for different kinds of bento lunch boxes, fruit and vegetable cutters, etc.  The bento box originates from Japan and Wikipedia offers this description: "A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya?)train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box."  One of my good friends is living in Japan now and has talked a lot on her blog ( about how the Japanese don't waste anything--her kids even have to bring their own cups to school!  I wish some of that mentality can catch on here.  Realistically I know I won't pack something this cute every day, but I am determined to try it at least once in a while.  I think my kids would especially appreciate the puzzle shaped sandwiches and the Yoda cheese!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

More pillows

Here's another post about pillows, which I think are one of the best ways you can add new life and color to a room.  I've discovered a few more on Etsy that I just love.  Here is a list of some of the best sites on Etsy where you can find these beautiful items:
Turquoise Tumbleweed
Milk and Cookies
Modern Thread
Willaskye Home

and here are some of my favorite pillows:

                                              Chaing Mai Dragon by Schumacher (not cheap!)

Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis in brown

                                            Suzani fabric in pink, orange, and green

                   Modern red and white stripe (this would look great in my son's room)