Sunday, April 28, 2013

Funky and Fun: The Texas Avenue Makers Fair

This weekend was the Texas Avenue Makers Fair in downtown Shreveport.
The city hosts the festival twice a year and it is always fun!
Between the buildings of a by-gone era, 
an eclectic group of artists from all over set up to show their wares.  
Booths are filled with a wide assortment of re-purposed or reconstructed items
                                        like these handmade crosses adorned with vintage jewelry 
                 and newer things with a Louisiana flair
like Blair Knicely Nefsky's (of Three Sisters Gallery) paintings
and this gorgeous fleur de lis pillow.
made by the same artist who created these.
 Homemade soaps are always a favorite from tangerine patchouli to citrus lavender, I love them all!!!  I picked up a bag full from Naturally Jazzy Creations.  She was offering the big bars for a great price...3/$12 and the little sample size for almost nothing.  The hardest part of my morning today was deciding which one to try first:)
 It wouldn't be a Louisiana shindig without food.
I passed by the gumbos, cakes, candies,
and went with (what I hope is a healthier option)
this homemade granola from Aiden's Place... delicious!
As I stay up too late blogging and reflecting on the weekend, I feel like I had a real adventure.
There is something about open-air markets, music, and food
that makes Springtime fun.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Create Your Own Tour with dio Places

Yesterday, I was introduced to dio by one my favorite bloggers, Heather, of Dollar Store Crafts.  I had never heard of the new social sharing site before, but I quickly became a fan.  I absolutely loved the interactivity afforded through the virtual experience as I shopped the dollar store and saw the items through the crafter's eyes.  I then explored San Francisco's Chinatown, toured Beth's house and found other places dedicated to design.  So cool!
I am a teacher by day and a DIY-er by night, so this type of tool appeals to both of my passions.  (It is perfect for creating a virtual Open House tour for my classroom or my home.)  Dio is like an interactive storyboard in which you can post pictures, add videos, include text, and link to specific blog posts or other resources.  I had to try it out!
I started my tour with my kitchen, my most recent project, and highlighted the before and after shots of the backsplash, the faucet, and various photos of the breakfast table (since here, pretty much everything revolves around food:).  From the kitchen, I added the other favorite space.
In this 'room', I included pictures from the pier and a few shots of my flowers. There is so much more I would like to do in the backyard, so I like the fact that I can keep adding to my dio tour. As I complete new projects, find design inspiration, or renovate a new space, I can include them in my visual story.  With dio house tours there doesn't have to be a 'The End'; like my story, it is okay to have a "To be Continued'.

Check dio out and design your own space.  I look forward to seeing what you create! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sew in Love with the Fleur de Lis

I took a break from my kitchen update this week and completed a small sewing project.  I spied this adorable burlap fabric with the fleur de lis print at Hobby Lobby and bought it on the spot.  I thought it would be perfect for the outdoor chairs on my porch.
I chose the black and tan cotton plaid to use as a complementary fabric for the pillow backs. 
I cut the burlap and plaid into 12" x 20" rectangles and thought it would be fun to add a fringe for trim (this was new to me and I kind of made it up as I went along:)  For the fringe, I used the burlap and cut 2 strips into 3" x 20" and 2 strips into 3" x 12".  It was easy to pull out the burlap weave to create a fringe effect.  I only pulled half of the strips so that I would have solid fabric to stitch into pillow.
 When I finished making my homemade fringe, I pinned the trim to the burlap (right side to right side) and then placed the pillow back (plaid fabric) on top sandwiching the fringe trim between the pillow front and back.  I stitched the pieces together leaving a 4" gap in stitching on the pillow bottom so that I could stuff it.  
After turning the pillow right side out, I used a straight pin to gently pull the remaining threads from the burlap trim though I stayed clear of the portion left open for stuffing.  This helped ease the corners and made the fiber fill easier to push into the edges of the pillow.  
After stuffing, I hand stitched the bottom closed and... voila
one of two of my new pillows.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Day @ Norton's

The weather is crazy here!  This morning, it was freezing; this afternoon, I drove home with the sunroof open and the windows rolled down.  I am not sure if Spring has officially sprung, but the azaleas don't seem to mind nature's uncertainty.  They are out in all of their glory.
Mike and I went by Norton's Art Gallery this past weekend and we were overwhelmed by the beauty.
As we walked through the acres of trails, the flowers seemed to multiply
and we found delightful surprises around every corner,
some man-made
and others not.
Form the clusters of greenery
to the splashes of color,
the gardens were beautiful!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

#HouseGawking: My Favorite Vacation Home in My Favorite Destination Spot

My favorite vacation home came back on the market.  After a year since I first saw it, my breath was suspended as I spied it again on as I was shopping for new rent houses.  It is located in one of my favorite destination spots...Fairhope, AL.  Mike and I found Fairhope some years ago as we were waiting for one of the baby's football games to start in Mobile.  We wandered down the coast and discovered a quiet little town on quite by mistake.  When we saw the restaurant accessible only after a long walk down a pier, I knew it was the town for me.  Now, every time we head to the coast, Mike indulges me with an afternoon of shopping in Fairhope.
I can never seem to search for real estate without also perusing the homes for sale in my favorite city by the bay. This raised beach home isn't so much about the house itself though I love it,
with its native landscaping
and screened in porch,
but it is the whole feeling of the place
from the color choices
to the selection of artwork,
I love it all!
When you throw in the guest cottage
which is connected to the main house and the bay access,
all I can think is, "yes, please!"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Simple Solution: Glass Jars

The baby was home this week from college.  Having him and Mr. 21 in the house at the same time was like old times when I focused less on decorating and more on just keeping up.  My Spring Break was the week prior to the baby arriving so, I was gone to work much of the day and missed out on cooking breakfast and making an afternoon snack.  (I had stayed home with the boys when they were little and breakfast and snacks were something we usually did together.)  While Mike works at home and is a pro at cooking breakfast, I still wanted to leave something for the boys to let them know I was thinking of them.  I found clear glass jars while I was our shopping for kitchen accessories and I purchased 4 of them.  At the time, I wasn't sure what I would do with them, but they were so cheap (around $5) that I couldn't pass them up.  When I was thinking about the boys who seem to be always starving, I thought of the jars I had just purchased.  I grabbed from the pantry and filled them with Clementine oranges, blueberry muffins, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies, granola bars and fresh flowers (not edible, but so pretty).  I set the jars in clusters and filled them with
 and muffins 
with a fleur de lis ice water pitcher for breakfast.  When the muffins ran out mid-week, I filled the jar with healthy granola bars.
There were cookies for an afternoon snack. (No recipe to share.  I used packages of The Great American Cookie Company Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin bake-at-home kind that I found at the grocery store.  It was the first time I tried them, but they were delicious.  They literally melted in my mouth!!!)
I loved the clear glass jars not only because they looked so inviting, but also because they let me keep an inventory of the available food still in the house.  *Critical when feeding growing boys!