Bathroom Breakthrough



Wow!! Thanks so much for all the great feedback on my first giveaway!! I'm so relieved that you like the prints. I've been having a fun time reading all your responses and checking out a lot of new blogs. Remember, its open until Friday night:)

Speaking of really cool wall art (ha!), my next project involves:

1. a wall in this bathroom

2. this calendar from Paper Source

Yay! Stay tuned:)

My First Giveaway!



Hello! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Guess what? I'm having my first giveaway! Yay! Hope I do it right, I really have no clue what I'm doing:) But, I did want to say thanks to all of you for being so swell.

I'd love to give away 2 of these 8 x 10 framed leaf prints that I made for our guest room. See them there on the left?

I DIYed these using clip art, printed them out on chartreuse paper and framed them in these dark walnut frames with white mats. I leave mine up all year round, but these would make great seasonal wall art for fall.

However, this prize is going to be totally customizable to suit your tastes and your space! You get to choose:

1. which of the 2 prints you like best

2. your frame color (black, brown or white)
3. your paper and ink colors

We'll work together to achieve exactly the look you want. Then I'll print and frame them for you and send them on their merry way to hang out at your place:)

To enter, just leave me a comment here. I'd like to get to know you guys better, so tell me something about yourself. I'll leave the giveaway open through this Friday. Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any questions. Feel free to spread the word:) Thanks again!

PS. The Nester (Nesting Place) is having her Give Away Day today!! Head on over there for a chance to win lots of amazing things (one item an hour for the next 24 hours)!!!

Mason Jar Madness



Happy Friday! I still haven't figured out what to do with or where to put my new/old blue Ball mason jar that I got a few weeks ago. Thought I'd post some inspiring photos and projects to get me in the mood. These lovely glass jars are so versatile, I think I'm going to have to start collecting more! I love how they are so simple and pretty with such a great history.

***as vases***

***in the kitchen***

{kitchen herbarium...via Weeping Cherries via BHG}

{as terrariums via fernseed}

***in the office***

{for craft storage...via Weeping Cherries}

***as lighting***

{cool mason jar lights from design*sponge reader whitney}

{awesome!...from apartment therapy}

{luminaries from Party of Six}

{mason jar luminaries from Weeping Cherries}

{with pennies from Evangeline's Vine}

***just plain pretty***

{holding sea glass...just beachy in the city}

{wall vase organizer from etsy shop postroadvintage}

{holding shells and wrapped with twine from a beach cottage}

Do you guys use mason jars in your decor? Tell me about them:) Hope everyone has a great weekend!

The Mantel Process



Thanks for all your wonderful comments on my fall mantel!! Thought it might help if I showed you how I arrived at this arrangement (after about an hour of trying different things). This same process can be used for decorating/accessorizing a bookcase, ledge shelf, entryway table, entertainment center, etc.

Here's my philosophy....achieving a pleasing vignette is about finding a good balance between 3 things. In order of importance (to me):
  • color
  • size
  • shape
I rank color first because I think it has the most overall impact. If you stand back and squint at a space/vignette/piece of art, its going to broken down into blurry blocks of color. In order for a vignette to feel balanced (or on a larger scale, an entire room), I think it has to have some repetition of color. Otherwise, your eye would be drawn to the one thing (pop of color) that is different than the rest. And we want to keep the eye moving, so that each and every little treasure eventually gets noticed.

While using the above 3 "principles" to accessorize, you've also got to keep your content in mind...what you are actually using as your objects. This will also probably be a balance - between things that you have that you need to store, things that you have that have significant meaning/importance to you, and things that just look pretty.

So, content is what I started with on Saturday for my mantel. I wanted to definitely display the wood vice I got at Brimfield and this cool botanical leaf print that I had purchased awhile ago and hadn't done anything with yet. (I'll number the pics in order...number goes with the photo below it.)

1. A decent start. (For anyone who hasn't met my mantel yet, the mirror is always here and I just switch out whatever is on either side whenever I feel like it.) I've got 2 things I like up there. But its kinda boring and there's not a lot of color. I think I need something more "fall-y" too.

2. ***Rooting around in my boxes from the attic labeled "Fall". *** This dried gourd from Michaels could work, nice touch of color and its got a rounded shape (what I have so far is very boxy). I think it will look better over here on the right in front of the botanical, which is slightly taller than the vice. Plus, it might get lost if I put in on the left in front of the vice, there sort of the same value. It'll pop better against the cream of the botanical. Hmmm, now I've got this big yellow thing on the right and your eye is drawn right to it. I need something yellowy for the left hand side. Ooh, what about this wheat bundle I made a couple of years ago?! Yeah, this is starting to look decent.

3. I bet I could use my new letterpress block numbers up here too. They're all fun shades of brown and the texture of them would be nice with the wood from the vice. I like them in front of the botanical on the I've got an area of dark brown to balance the vice (and ribbon on the wheat) on the left. Plus, they're short and long which adds a nice size difference to this side. I'm really digging this right-hand side, I think its done. Simple and easy. Now to nail down the left...

4. There's something bothering me about the left hand side. Its good that I have yellow on either side, but I think the lightness of the cream background on the botanical is drawing your eye over there. I need something light on the left to balance it out. What about this matted photograph I bought this summer at PEI?

5. No, that sucks. Dumb idea. It's way too small. The scale is all wrong. Its getting lost back there. I need something bigger but still with white or cream in it. I know...I'll try my bird print...maybe the dark brown frame will even look good over here. ****run and grab the bird print off another wall***

6. Eeek! Maybe not. Too heavy. And you can't even see Mr. Birdie's face. Maybe I should start over on the left? What if I rotate the vice and lay down the wheat? Now I've got something really tall and something long and low.

7. Not bad...except that bottom part of the vice is really hidden behind the wheat now. I should try raising the vice up....on some books...that have matching colored covers to my palette. ***raiding of the entertainment center in the family room ensues*** (Ps. I love using books in decor. Especially when I need to make something taller.)

8. Well, I like the addition of the color in the spines but now there's another problem. See how the tippy-top of the screw on the vice is exactly the same height as the top of the mirror? Can't have that...remember, we want varying heights. Silly, Sarah. Ok, what if the wheat isn't working? What else do I have around here that has some yellow in it? Look! A fake sunflower in a cute little glass bud vase!

9. Hmmm...nope. Sunflower is cool, but I'm back to that problem of needing something light over there to balance out the botanical. Maybe Mr. Birdie will fit in now?

10. Maybe not. Ok, back to square one. The wheat standing up, the vice laying down. If I combined my photograph and bird print I could have enough brightness over there.

11. Sweet. This is feeling way better. I think I'm almost there. Still kinda don't like that dark brown frame, its too much dark on this side. Need something lighter....

12. Eureka!!! This Norman Rockwell coffee table book I had on my coffee table (go figure!) is just the right size and color. And bonus... now I have a pop of red (hello, fall!) and some text forms on this side to play off the numbers on the right side. Yay!!! I now have a balance of color, size, shape and content (some stuff with special meaning, some stuff that I needed a spot for anways, some just decorative stuff). Phew! Now I need a drink. But wait, I have to put back all the stuff I didn't use:(

This is what my living room floor looked like when I was done the mantel. All the stuff I messed around with was from somewhere else in the house. It's all about trial and error.

Hope this wasn't too long and that it maybe helped. Does anyone else go through a process like this while they're styling? Do you have any input on my "principles"? Would you add any additional things to take into consideration while accessorizing? Do you think at any point I made the wrong decision? Would love to hear your thoughts?

The Start of my Fall Decor



Updated 9/24/09: Hi! I'm going to link this post up to DIY Day over at Kimba's A Soft Place to Land. Tons of DIY project entries...go check them out! If you want to see the trial and error/ step-by-step process that I went through to arrive at this particular mantel arrangement, click here:)


Hi! I had a few minutes over the weekend to take down my "summer" mantel and put up a fall one. I can't say this is the only autumn mantel I'll have this year...I might redo it again when I go and get all my real pumpkins (sometime in October). But thought this could last for the next few weeks, and I suppose if I get lazy, through Thanksgiving:)

I also took some pics this time of the mantel in progress so that I could share my thought process with you. Stay tuned for a post with those soon!

Let's party....I'm joining in the Fall Festival over at the DIY Show Off (taking place every Monday for the months of September, October and November - lots of fall decor, projects and inspiration) and Metamorphosis Monday (tons of before and afters) with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

First, let's check out the before (the subtle summer mantel):

And now the new fall after:

Yay! I was able to incorporate my new/old wooden vice and my letterpress numbers that I got at the Brimfield Antique Show last weekend. This wheat bundle I made a few years ago (directions from Martha), a dried gourd from Michaels and a cool large scale botanical print of a leaf (from HomeGoods) add that fall feel.

{also was able to find a home for this gorgeous photograph I bought this summer while we were on Prince Edward Island - I love bringing something home from a local artist whenever we travel }

I still can't believe that summer is really over so its going to be a slow transition into fall for me. But this seemed like a good place to start:) How are you guys feeling about the new season?

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