Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cleanup, cleanup, everybody, everywhere...

Our Christmas was lovely and special, especially because of the kids' delight in the gifts and wonder of the holiday. However, I couldn't wait to take down our skinny, tinder-dry tree that was quickly becoming a giant match.

As of 5 pm today, all Christmas items are boxed up in their green and red Rubbermaid containers, waiting by the backdoor for my hubby to haul them downstairs to the storage area under the house. Feels like spring cleaning has begun!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Feeling grateful to celebrate Christ's birth with joy and freedom, unlike some of many parts of the world. I sure love this photo (below) of the Christmas tree on South Korea's border with North Korea. Though antagonizing some up north, I bet it also gives hope to many more. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Royal Wedding

I'm so excited! When the date was set last month for Prince William & Catherine Middleton's wedding, the first thing I did was to figure out how to get to London to join in the festivities. Of course, reality set in (hoards of celebrants, price gouging, two kids under 5 at home, etc), I figured that with the advent of the DVR, I could participate here Stateside on a much smaller budget.

Let's start with the proper dinnerware -- the lovely King's Road pattern from Rosanna.  I scored 8 dessert plates and a teapot at the annual winter warehouse sale a few weeks back.  What a perfect foundation for delicious tea sandwiches and sweets. 

Rosanna Bowles, the lovely and gracious designer at her annual warehouse sale. 

One must be propped up from behind while watching the wedding on TV with the appropriate cushions. These wonderful two pillows are a few of many found on Etsy:

Rule Britannia by Betsy Jarvis

Union Jack Tapestry Cushion by Designer Cushions

Somewhere in this tea party, I'd easily find a use for these cute cupcake toppers, another Etsy find by the Blissful Baker. Pop them into mini fruit tarts, finger sandwiches, or heaven forbid, cupcakes.

Since I'm always a fan of bunting for whichever holiday or celebration, the following would be perfect! 

Union Jack Bunting by CraftsQueen
The royal wedding commemorative china has been released and available for sale now.  Thank goodness my birthday is between now and the wedding so that I might possibly receive a plate for a present (hint, hint).

And, finally, to finish things off, I'll stop by a local British restaurant/store/caterer for a few items like meat pies and clotted cream.  Thank you British Pantry for making it so easy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Spy Some Awesome Looking Cookbooks

This weekend was one marked by sickness - the small fry and I are all nursing colds and fevers which led to being mostly housebound.  Last night I had to pretend to be normal and so popped by our local chain bookstore by myself and spied the following two books in the cooking section:

I'll confess to being a Trader Joes junkie - I do the bulk of my shopping there every week and love the many meals that are mostly prepped or cooked for my life with two busy toddlers.  I'm looking forward to sneaking more peeks at the recipes offered in these books.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ten on Ten - December 2010

A busy but good day around here - preschool drop-off, pottery warehouse sale, kids museum, preschool pick-up, etc, etc.  Glad to be a part of Ten on Ten this month!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's about that time again... Ten on Ten

Mark your calendars for this Friday.  And send me a reminder.  It's one of those weeks when I just might forget until  late in the game about Ten on Ten

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thomas Paul - Please decorate our beach house!

This past spring I spied these lovely items featured on a blog (I apologize, I can't find which one sparked the interest) by Thomas Paul.  Immediately I thought of my parents' still under construction beach house.  My father has a love for the sea and appreciates the artistry of scrimshaw, collecting some special items of his own.  Perhaps I'll forgo the items I already purchased for him for Christmas and snag a couple of these below at Velocity Art and Design.  Thank goodness he doesn't check this blog!

Moby Dick Tray

Knot Coasters

Dessert Plates

Coordinating Dinner Plates

Octopus Alpaca Throw

Jute Anchor Pillow

Whale Jute Pillow
Seahorse Pillow

* All photos from Velocity Art and Design website

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Interlude

I recently located a few random photos from my son's fourth birthday party this summer that I'd wanted to post, so here goes.  After mulling through some various concepts, I settled on one that was quite timely to his then current passion -- building implosions/demolition. 
Implosion of Seattle's Kingdome, 2000
It was fun to brainstorm about how I could integrate this theme into a party.  A visit to just two stores took care of my decor needs which consisted primarily of:

1. yards and yards of yellow and black construction hazard tape
2. numerous bunches of yellow, black and white balloons
3. miniature construction figurines in various poses on the dining and buffet tables
4. floral arrangements with bursts of red seasonal flowers like dahlias and gerber daisies
5. two styles of construction helmets (grayish-silver and yellow) that guests could personalize with construction themed stickers

We were blessed with another year of nasty weather for my boy's big day, so we had to keep the messy and destructive activities (mentos and diet coke anyone?) planned for outside on the backburner.  Inside my technology gifted husband figured out how to loop Building Implosions from YouTube on our flatscreen and channeled toddler energy into destroying a pinata.   Good times had by all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Flowers

This year we hosted two sets of parents and one brother at our house - our first Thanksgiving gig.  I had the fortunate task of preparing a few side dishes and the venue -- only.  No major cooking here!  

I always have grand plans to photograph my tablescapes (my favorite part of entertaining), and yet when the big moment arrives, I'm typically so busy with multi-tasking, that I don't even think of it. In fact, I'm barely dressed with combed hair by the time the guests arrive.

Since I prepared the flowers the day before to escape housecleaning for a few minutes, I did snap a shot or two of this simple arrangement(s), courtesy of the inexpensive floral section at Trader Joes.

Lots of extra stems laying around to insert in random vases and then place in the powder room, serving table, etc.
ps - please note the cool Christmas holiday tray above, a cheap and chic find during a recent trip to IKEA

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day Diversion

A rare snow day took over Seattle (and surrounding areas) today.  Not only was it gorgeous and glistening in the bright sunlight, but SUB-ZERO freezing, too.  I tried to keep the kids inside as long as I could before we went sledding. 

This project provided a great distraction to the whoops of the snow-boarding tweens outside our kitchen window.  The munchkins were very patient as I "glued" the pre-fab gingerbread forms together with frosting, and then jumped into the decorating with much joy.  What a special morning!  And it came in a $8 kit from the local grocery store.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is that a load-bearing wall?

I frequently check out the For Sale section of Craigslist to see what treasures I might acquire at a steal.  This morning I happened upon the following - someone in the general Puget Sound area is making interior barn doors (custom designed) due to popular demand for his/her friends and family.

I've been going crazy over these for at least four years - initially from a Pottery Barn catalog page that I tore out and saved in my "favorite things" notebook.  Such a great combination of industrial meets country cottage.

I'd be on this in a second if my great room had a different layout.  Some expensive tweaking would be required.  :(

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm dying (not really)!

Just today Design*Sponge posted this amazing entry about another use for those vintage globes... ImagineNations turns each one into a gorgeous work of art through decoupage and lots of creative imagination.

Butterfly Globe -- 
Bon Voyage Globe -- 

Wild Things Globe --

(photos above from ImagineNations)

What an inspired use for these globes!  Thank goodness I haven't started on my pendant light project yet.  More options to consider now.  I love options.