Monday, April 15, 2013

The Beautiful Art of Recycling: Tin Cans

I absolutely love the idea of reusing empty tin cans, turning them from useless junk pieces into useful, functional decor. Tins can be covered with lovely paper or cloth; embellished with ribbons; painted on; used as table centerpieces, flower vases,  planters, or a cool organizer for tools, utensils, pens, etc.  There really isn't a limit to what you can do with cans.  So, the next time you opened a can of milk or mushroom, think about recycling that piece of scrap before throwing it away in the trash.  Here are some of the coolest concepts I found online:


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Which of these recycled cans caught your eye?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Etsy Picks: Beach Essentials

Obviously, still couldn't get the beach vibe off my head.  My Etsy Picks this week?  Beach essentials, of course!

50s oversized brim straw hat : BTM Vintage
Turquesa Huichol ethnic necklace : Aida Coronado
vintage oversized sunglasses with UVprotection : mixbaby
70s tribal scarf tank : Vonlenska Vintage
50's floral bathing suit : aiseirigh
high-waist cut-off shorts : Vonlenska Vintage
yellow & white stripe tote : bayanhippo 
facial sunscreen with UVA/UBV SPF50  :  Moroccan Argan Oil
art printed flip flops : Rupy de Tequila

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feeling Crafty: Pretty Bow DIY

This is my second attempt on DIY. I must say, I think I am enjoying it.  This time, I tried my hands on sewing a bow out of the remaining dotted fabric scraps by following this tutorial.  Liz makes a lot of different things on her blog and I am amazed at how crafty she is. So, here's what I came out with.  A pretty bow in polka dots.

DIY fabric bow

The materials you will need are needle & thread, fabric scissors, and some old cloth.

needle thread scissors fabric

Of course, this was an easy project to begin with. All you need to do is cut one big square, depending on how big you want your bow to be.  I cut about 8 inches by 8 inches from my fabric because there wouldn't be much left so I might as well make use of the entire scrap.  Then, cut a rectangle, about 6 inches by 4 inches.

DIY bow tutorial

As you may already have guessed, I am no expert on sewing but I know how to do simple stitches, like backstitch.  Fold your square into half and stitch-up all the sides from the back, leaving a gap on the last corner, just a small opening wide enough for you to be able to pull the cloth from the inside out.  You can sew up this gap later.  Do the same thing for your rectangle.  

DIY fabric bow tutorial
With your square fabric, make a crease from the center to form the shape of a bow and stitch it up to hold it together.  

pretty bow diy

With my rectangle fabric, I twisted it once, placed it vertically in the center of my bow, and tied it up, so that it creates a smaller bow right on top of the bigger bow.

recycled fabric bow

I'm seeing this bow on a headband, as a necklace, or as brooch.

recycled fabric bow DIY

Linked up with:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summer Table Setting Ideas To Bring Smiles

When I came across this photo on Pinterest, my mouth quickly puckered into a smile.  I couldn't help but share this here.  Isn't this delightful? 

lemon sailboat place setting decor
lemon sailboat (found via)

It's summer and the perfect time for outdoor gatherings, whether it's a picnic at the park or al-fresco dining in the garden. And this charming summer-inspired place setting promises a sumptuous meal over laughter and chats, fresh air and the beauty of nature.  

If you wish to invite friends and relatives over for lunch or brunch, here are a few more summer-inspired table setting ideas which are simple, inexpensive, and are sure to bring smiles on everyone's face.  I love the use of place mats and table napkins in bright colors and bold prints; garden-fresh produce and real blooms as decor.

summer table setting ideas

summer table settings

fresh fruit juice in glass jars


I really can't choose which setting I love best.  I think it would be fun to try them all for each gathering:)  Do you have any favorites?  Which of these summer table setting ideas inspired you?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Interior Design: Gretchen Jones in Rue Daily

The home of Project Runway Season 8 winner, Gretchen Jones is featured on Ruemag today. I haven't watched a single episode of the show this season, but upon checking out her fashion collection, I can see a connection between her designs and her love for geometric prints, that tribal-inspired taste, reflected in her home.

I love homes that look like someone's really living in there. I'm really not inclined to interiors where everything is so perfectly arranged and impeccable. Although they are amazing to look at, I couldn't imagine how a person actually goes through about daily life in there.

I also love the eclectic approach to styling - the mixes of varying patterns together. Personally, I like having a couple of empty walls and spaces in my home but patterns and colors are definitely welcome, so long as it doesn't make the room look chaotic.  I don't mind a bit of clutter, imperfections here and there, especially since I am prone to cluttering spaces I occupy.

I think what I find most attractive about this interior is that she has lent so much of her personality in every wall, every corner of her home. Of course, I love seeing that furry creature brooding on the sofa or on the floor.   I find interiors with dogs, so irresistible.  I couldn't help imagining an abode filled with so much affection. Here are some snapshots from Rue Daily

Gretchen Jones home at Rue Daily

Gretchen Jones featured at Rue Daily

paintings on the wall

Gretchen Jones work space

Gretchen Jones bedroom

tribal inspired jewelry collection

Beach Vibe at Urban Outfitters

Browsing over Urban Oufitter's Swim catalog makes me itch to go to the beach. Nope, I'm not a good swimmer, but how I love the waters and the sun.  These swimsuits are so adorable, I think :)

mixed print bikini ; striped swimsuit with bow
peplum one-piece swimsuit ; flower power bikini

Also found these light summer dresses that I think would be great for walks around the island while shopping souvenirs.  I'm imagining fresh breeze blowing on my hair while enjoying a tall glass of pinacolada under a cool shade.  Oh, how I wish we could pack our bags and fly to a beautiful island right this moment!  (this Weezer song, playing on mind as I'm typing this). So, are you dreaming of the beach too?    

Friday, April 5, 2013

Featured Handmade Shop: Dahlia Soleil

I would like to introduce you all to Paulette, the designer and owner of the Etsy shop, Dahlia Soleil.  She is an artist who is specializing on machine embroidery.  Paulette lives in New York with her lovely 10 year old daughter, Dahlia Soleil.  In her shop, you can find a mix of crochet and embroidery collection like beanie hats, head band ear warmers, and iron on patch appliques.  Please take a moment to read my interview and visit her Etsy shop or check her out on Facebook.
And if you happen to be in New York on the 27th of April, stop by at the opening day for the Hester Street Fair.  Paulette will be there to showcase some of her new work.  Come up, say hi, mention her Etsy shop and receive a special discount.

Let's get to know the Entrepreneur:

Why the shop name? 
My shop name is the name of my daughter.

How old is your shop?
My etsy shop was started in 2006 so almost 7 years old.

What inspired you to start your own home business? 
I wanted to earn an income and still take care of my daughter at the same time.

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far and how did you get over it?
The toughest challenge so far is juggling my business and being a mom.  I haven't quite figured it out yet really, just going with the flow at this point. 

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you? 
Have a back up plan financially.  Sometimes the sales are great and sometimes not so great.  You have to plan for the slow times.

Let's get to know the Artist:

What are your inspirations? 
Nature is my inspiration. I grew up on a small island called Barbados with really rich colors everywhere so I pull from those memories when I am crafting my pieces. 

Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft? 
I crochet and machine embroider so each one is different.  I start with embroidery software to create a design.  I like to call it the Photoshop for stitches.  Then I transfer the file from the computer to the embroidery machine.  Sew it on to felt and then iron on adhesive to the back to create an iron on patch applique.

What are your top 3 favorite picks from your shop? 

Let's get a bit personal :)

What do you do when you're not busy in your shop?
I really love exploring New York City.  In this pic I'm exploring Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in in Manhattan.

What's inside your bag? 
Dried cranberries, phone charger, bottle of water, a pen, a newspaper to do the crossword puzzles and a tampon. 

What are your favorite shops? 
My favorite Etsy shops are Meg Roberts and The Soap Seduction. My favorite real world shop is forever21. 

What makes you smile? 
When I cut into an avocado and it's good, a ripe mango, my BFF Stacia and the love and support of the people in my life. 

What is your message to your customers and the people who support you?
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a full time artist and the ability to be there for my daughter.  Every sale and compliment confirms to me that my "job" as an artist is the perfect "job" for me.

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