Friday, July 30, 2010

friday's fabulous finds

I am a frequent, shopper...of thatjewelrygirl...and this is just one of her latest creations that is one my latest obsessions. I love it. I want it. 'Nough said.

Gorgeous, right?

I love the abstract flowers of etsy artist sometimesiswirl. This is an ORIGINAL pen and ink drawing, for...$25. That's right. How often can you get anything original for $25 these days? And it's charming and whimsical and black and white, which means it will go with just about any type of decor. (Although I'm getting a lot less matchy-matchy these days with artwork, and feel that if you like it, you should display it, whether it matches your throw pillows or not.)

You may have noticed me talking a lot about bunting recently. In fact, you may have previously not even known what "bunting" was (certainly true in the case of my husband who is now a reader) and have quickly transitioned to eye-rolling at the mere mention of bunting. But, I'm NOT DONE with my love affair or frequent mentions of bunting. I thought I was, but then I read Design*sponge today and saw this post about the gorgeous work of Kikilarue. She makes adorable tiny bunting out of fabric scraps to adorn cakes. Yes, cakes. Who woulda thunk it? They are tiny and charming and would work for just about any occasion where cuteness is required. Below are several more pics for your viewing pleasure. As soon as you're finished, head to Kikilarue's etsy shop. Right away.

Happy Weekend!! xoxo ~ Courtney

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

alphabet bunting...a free download!

Hi friends! Just a quick note to check in and let you know that I haven't forgotten about Nesting Instincts. Have been super busy with vacation and family stuff. My friend Charlotte sent me the link to this great FREE printable alphabet bunting. I love it! Downloading these letters and having them on hand means you could spell out just about anything...whether it's a big occasion or small. I'm thinking they'd be perfect for a baby shower, or a wedding shower...or a birthday...or an anniversary...or I could go on and on.

(source: Ruffled via How About Orange?)

Friday, July 16, 2010

you are my sunshine...

I love this canvas print from Etsy shop LetteredThreads. The artist, Melanie, also writes a beautiful blog called Pretties and Posies that I follow and really enjoy. Her images on her blog are gorgeous, and she's a painter too. So much talent in one lady...I love it.

I chose to feature this canvas because I'm looking forward to a week of sunshine...our family is headed out of town on vacation! We are going back to the place I featured in this post and this post two years ago. I'm planning to soak up a little sun and have some relaxation time with the fam. Of course, when you have three little ones, it can only be SO relaxing...but this will be the first year in the last six that I haven't been either pregnant or nursing (or sick) can I get a WOOHOO?!!!

Have a great week! xo Courtney

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

paper love, real life, blog love, and party shout-outs

What I really WANT to do is blog. And do decorating makeovers. And host parties. That's the fun stuff. What I find myself doing is a whole lotta other stuff. Like doctor appointments for my kids. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Packing for next week's vacation. Writing blog posts for other people's blogs. (What? Something's wrong with this picture.) Fulfilling card orders. (Okay, that can be considered fun...but it's still not actually blogging.) Watering my garden (sort of). Working in the yard (occasionally). Cleaning my house (half-heartedly). 

"happy" custom rhinestone notecard set from NestInk

All of that to say, I am missing my little blog. I wish I could write every day, but I seem to be in a season where real life is even more of a balancing act than normal lately. And what's cool about balancing Nesting Instincts (interior redesign business) with NestInk (custom stationery business) is that it seems whenever one is lagging, the other picks up the pace. It must be a God thing, because I certainly couldn't plan it that way.

I've had several large card orders other words, multiple sets of custom cards for the same customer. I even did some custom event invitations last week that were a lot of fun. I haven't gotten up the guts (or is it just the time?) to list things like that in my Etsy shop yet, but I'll get to it eventually. I do so love creating invitations that set the mood for an event. My client wanted something summery (but not too obviously summer, like flip-flops or something) so we chose the "Happy" pattern as the inspiration for the invitation. I thought they turned out cute and it just occurred to me that of course I forgot to photograph them for my blog. If I'm not careful, my blog will begin to feel horribly neglected and get her (she's a "her", of course)  feelings hurt and then start giving me errors when I try to post. Or stop uploading photos. Or something like that.

Angela's Ranch Redo  (The Painted House blog)

ANYWAY, in my current state of Bad Blog Author, I have at least continued reading and occasionally commenting on other blogs. One of my most favorite blog posts EVAH was this one from Angela at The Painted House. It's part of her series on "What Makes a Home Beautiful?" and it is so worth the read. It initiated a flurry of emails between Angela and I because she touched on a few things I'm fairly passionate about. Also, her whole blog is beautiful and worth reading, but I especially loved her recent post about updating the exterior of her ranch home. It is GOR-geous now.

Another site I recently discovered was The Grocery Shrink. I'm still a teeny tiny bit intimidated (okay, a lot intimidated) by the money-saving genius I've found there, but I'm baby-stepping it. Have been receiving her free emails on how to make my own cleaning supplies, which I may just start doing. I am still waiting on the email on how to make my own housekeeper. I'd even pay for that e-book!!

And last, but not least, a great BIG thank you to a few sites that have featured my parties recently:

my Dr. Seuss Party: blog, The Stir
Guest post at The Birthday Girl
Kinser Event Comapny blog (site is still under construction, I'll let you know when the feature goes live)

Anyway, if this hasn't been the most random of all blog posts! For those of you still reading (thanks, Mom) I hope you have a lovely rest of the week. Me, I'm getting ready for vacation...can I get a WOOHOO?? Trying not to get overwhelmed at the amount of work involved in getting three kids (one of them still a baby) ready for a week-long trip. Oy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Finds...turquoise and red

Happy Friday! I have a few lovely, summery finds for you today. I am loving the combination of turquoise and red, and today's post brings you a little of both. Turquoise is so cool and tropical, reminding me of gorgeous waters in a faraway places. The red is so vibrant and brings the heat...and what is summer without heat? Hope you enjoy these fabulous finds...

This is a tiny little piece of art, measuring only 4" x 4", but it's so dreamy! In fact, everything by dahliahousestudios is downright dreamy. She takes original photographs, then alters them by adding watercolors or other mediums. Soooo lovely. (Above is Red Dogwood Spring Blossom.)

I stumbled upon this GORGEOUS shop, lulusplendor, just today. She sells mostly bridal jewelry and hair accessories. It's enough to make me want to renew my vows! The blue swallow earrings above are gorgeous and I like their vintage appeal. The rest of her shop is filled with absolutely stunning rhinestones, crystals, and a feather or two. DELISH. 

This is a sweet set of 3 original paintings by myhouseofgiggles. I've been reading the blog, My House of Giggles, for a while now, and was excited when the lovely Tracie announced she was opening her Etsy shop. She has great taste, great style, and I knew it would be good. Sure enough, she has some beautiful original paintings and some lovely cake plates too. I'm really digging the simplicity and colors of the three paintings above. 

I just love the bright, happy colors of these cupcake liners. And by the way, I just got lost for a ridiculous amount of time in the Etsy shop of sweetestelle. This shop offers baking supplies...all colors and patterns of cupcake liners, retro-themed toppers, sprinkles, and other fun accessories. I found some ballerina cupcake toppers that I'm purposely not going to show you because I want them for myself. The only ballerina daughter's birthday is still six months away. To buy now, or not to buy now? that is the question.

That wraps up this edition of my Fabulous Finds. I hope your weekend is just fabulous!! :-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I have no words...letters, but no words

What do you do when you have SO many ideas about projects and blog posts, and yet REAL LIFE seems determined to keep you from completing any of them? What about all the projects I have half-done...with photos even...but none of those "after" pics that we all seem to love?

Well, I'm going to blogland for inspiration. I know that the three people who read my blog (too many? maybe two?) are creative, inspirational, re-purposing, visionary sort of people. SO, here ya go:

I bought ALL of these wooden letters at a garage sale recently for $8 total. Woohoo! They were marked at $1 a piece, and there are about 32 or so of them. I offered $8 for the whole box, and she went for it! I'm almost never afraid to bargain with someone, because if they're like me, they're having a garage sale to get RID of stuff...the making money part is a secondary benefit. (Not ALL people think like this, mind you...but lots of 'em do.)

I bought these intending to do something fabulous with them, and then re-sell them individually for a small profit. Maybe in my Etsy shop, but I'm not really sure. The bigger letters are about 12" tall, the smaller are about 7" tall. And, there are very few actual words I can spell with these, since I'm short on vowels. That's why I thought I would do something artistic and sell them separately. The problem is, all my ideas have already been done before and are not really that unique. I thought of glittering them...I love glitter, but *yawn* it's everywhere (especially at the holidays). I thought of decoupage or even just a different paint color. The finish on them is a creamy white with slightly distressed edges. The letters are new and have never been used (as far as I can tell).

What to do, people? What to do? My creative juices need help to start flowing!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

some cute and tasty ways to celebrate our freedom

Happy Fourth of July, my fellow Americans! To celebrate the holiday, I thought I'd give you this link to a lovely gift from the Creature Comforts blog...FREE printable DIY bunting and cupcake toppers! There's still plenty of time to whip up something crafty for your Fourth decorations...and when it's this easy (and adorable), why not? Print them yourself and finish them in about half an hour.

The Fourth of July holiday always makes me think of these. Strawberries, blueberries, any berries. I think I'm going to make a blueberry pie for our barbecue. I tried this recipe last year and it was scrumptious! Usually I make something different for dessert each year, but this time I'm thinking...if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Finding myself so thankful for the freedoms in this country. Have yourself a splendid holiday weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

mini makeover

Here's a little project I completed recently. (So many projects, so few completions these days, it seems!) As my card business is growing, I've been scrambling to get organized and find a permanent home for all of my card-making supplies. I have an older home with some built-ins surrounding the fireplace. I LOVE them, but up until recently, they've mostly held dining/entertaining dishes and...stuff.

Here's my "before" can see how the practical supplies slowly took over to where my poor vintage punch set is relegated to one shelf. Everything else is mismatched and ugly. Various boxes from various stages of my decorating history are somewhat functional, but the overall look is UHgly.

After! A $16 investment at Ikea on white boxes, combined with the white and aqua ones I already had, made a huge difference. I organized and consolidated my supplies, and now there's a home for everything. The best blends in an looks like it's supposed to be there. My poor little punch set is now relegated to just two thirds of one shelf, but it's a necessary evil. It only gets used once or twice a year anyway, so it's okay if it's somewhat out of reach.

Here's the "before" again, with the built-in doors closed. Who came in and made this mess in my house? Not I, said the Little Red Hen.

And another "after". It feels like it's meant to be, because not only is it more attractive now, it's totally functional. It's easier to find the things I need.

...especially 'cause I labeled everything. These are some of my favorite labels...2" rounds from Paper Source. Love that place. I had to turn the larger boxes sideways, due to the shelf size, so that's why I chose to add my own labels on the side.

And the trusty little Ikea boxes. I think it cost $4 for two of these (or something equally cheap).

I've got a lot of little areas in my house where clutter builds up. Do you know the feeling? I'm trying to systematically sort/organize the clutter in each area, and then create a way to beautify the space that is attractive but still makes sense. It's slow going, because it seems that for every space I conquer, there are ten more waiting for the same fate. But, people, we Must. Not. Give. Up. (That's what I tell myself anyway!) Next to my front door is another spot...I've got my eyes peeled for the perfect little piece of furniture at garage sales or on Craigslist that can help me solve my problem there. You will, of course, be the first to know when I find it!

Where does clutter gather at your house? Do you have any creative solutions for it? Or has it gotten you down?