Saturday, February 21, 2015

Shishito peppers...yum

I had these peppers for the first time at a Japanese ramen noodle restaurant in NYC.  Haven't stopped thinking of them since! Just spotted them at Whole Foods.  So excited!

Sautéed in a little olive oil until lightly blistered.
Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

those market lights!

I have been eyeing those market lights for a while now.  They appear in many of the outdoor space pins I have on my backyard board.  See them HERE.

Just love the ambiance they create. My husband spotted them at the best price I have seen at $60/set from Costco.  Weatherproof, sturdy, and they come with replacement bulbs. Can't wait to string them over the patio this summer.  I have seen them elsewhere for a higher cost or comparable ones that can't stay outside in the rain. I'd rather leave them up!

Find them HERE.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Warning! this post may give you spring fever...

Being in retail, we are forced to think way ahead when it comes to designing products for the upcoming seasons/holidays. I am horrible at working on Christmas designs in the summer months, even the early fall months. However, I have no problem at all working on spring/summer items in the winter!

I agree the short days, snow, cold and ice we are buried under make it difficult to be motivated to do much.  But you do have to go to the market at least! So while you are there, pick up a small bouquet of flowers for yourself.  A perfect fix for anyone suffering from the winter blues.  You will think of spring every time you look at them!

After shoveling some heavy slush, snow and ice yesterday and losing feeling in my fingers, I couldn't wait to head into the studio and work on some new floral designs. You can find these arrangements in my Etsy Shoppe. 

Preserved roses, boxwood greens, hydrangeas and berries.

 a few of my favorite things...

So even if you can't get to the market, I hope this post brought you thoughts of spring.
It will be here before you know it!

Friday, January 09, 2015

The impact of customer reviews...

We LOVE our customers - they take the time to write positive messages about our products and service which inspire us to do our best. They appreciate the time and effort we put into the products we create and they recognize our love for creating. It also helps us to be our best in customer service from timely shipping, careful packaging and our attention to details such as a handwritten thank you. I love that Etsy provides this feature for us and our customers. So remember to tell your Etsy seller what a good job they've done - or what they could do better. There is always room for improvement!

See what they are saying about our products and service HERE.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

The best Christmas gift...

It started with the top of a hutch. My girlfriend (thank you Elizabeth!) no longer needed the top and of course she thought of us before getting rid of it. It had beautiful lines, of course my honey could build a base for it:) That was about 3 years ago...I think. And there it sat in the dining room, empty, collecting dust.  We always have a project or 2 or 4 going on in the house but my husband was determined to finish this piece for me as a Christmas gift.  Right up until the day before we were adding the finishing touches and I'm in love!  I could finally unwrap the china and I can finish decorating this room now. I just can't stop staring at it when I walk by this room.

Here is what the before looked like:

We wanted to have it resemble the top enough so it wouldn't look like they didn't belong together.
So my husband rounded the base and added corner round to the front corners. He also routed the center support to match the top.

We thought about purchasing unfinished doors but decided to make them. I realized that I might want to add fabric to the doors so we really just needed to make a frame.

I loved the finish on the top before paint but I knew I would not be able to match the base to the top so I had no choice but to paint it. However I gave the top accent moulding and the doors just a wash of french linen to tone down the stain but still appreciate it. I love the way it came out and the way it contrasts the Graphite chalk paint (Annie Sloan). I also applied a french linen wash (after a coat of clear wax) to highlight the detailed areas of the piece.  Just a little distressing on some of the edges and a couple of coats of wax finished the piece. Just in time for Christmas!

Now the chairs need to be painted. I'm thinking french linen for them.

I chose a neutral french toile fabric for the doors. My husband did a great job pleating and stapling! 

Some of the details. The hardware on the bottom doors were in my stash from an another piece of furniture. They were a perfect match in their antique brass finish.

I think this is definitely one of my favorite pieces we've done. I was a little nervous about the dark paint but I really LOVE this look!  I think it has a french country farmhouse feel to it.  Exactly the look I'm going for in this room.

I hope this inspires you to find new life in a furniture piece of your own. Let me know if you have any questions regarding technique.

Now I just need a little sideboard piece for the opposite side of the room....the projects never end!
If he didn't do such a beautiful job, I wouldn't ask!