If I Was A Duchess...

If I was a newly crowned Duchess,
who had just been through an enormous, blissful and very public wedding,
I think I should like to find a moment to soak here...

before meeting my Prince here....


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Yea or Nay: Collections

When it comes to accessories there are collectors and non-collectors.

Non- collectors are fairly obvious.
Their accessories are limited and reflect the current design scheme,
 because they are changed out to reflect the decor..
They do not easily feel sentimental attachment to inanimate objects which means
they live blissfully unencumbered by third grade essays and heirloom silver tea services.
Friends will help move them!

Collectors may be more difficult to spot...
but just because there isn't racks of silver spoons hanging around
doesn't mean that they don't have a stash somewhere!
(not that I would know anything about that :)
A large amount of these bits and bobs usually results in
them becoming being the focal point of the room.

Being the daughter of a serial collector
(Mum blames it on being a child of the depression but I know better,
she is a nurturer of lost souls! 
She "adopts" these things, brings them home and loves them.)
I have an aversion to clutter.

However, it seems that an alarming number of milk glass pieces have snuck into the house,
our art collection is cherished, and I'm hard pressed to let go of a book..
After recently watching three back to back episodes of hoarders
(have you seen this show? I was ASTOUNDED)
I was overcome by a compulsion to run down to the crawlspace and clean it all out!

There is a fine line between display and clutter.
homes without accessories are sometimes lacking in personality, no?
And if accessories are grouped and displayed artfully, they are enchanting.

So where is the balance?
What do you do in your home?

Live with what you love?

Invest in one or two exquisite pieces rather than several?

Display proudly?

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Since I am the chief duster around here,
 I am going to try and limit my own collecting to art :)

(and maybe a few books!)

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Projects and Parties

How was your weekend?

Ours was a blissful blur of family and friends..
Managed to take a few pics in between brunch and dinner on Sunday
to show you some of the bits I made this week.
So inspired by this palette right now...

I added glitter to some eggs we had decoupaged last Easter, a la Eddie Ross.
Love how they turned out, but let me just say,
If you plan to break out the spray adhesive spray adhesive and glitter at the same time
 be prepared to have a sparkly home :)

The ric rak trimmed linen napkins turned out really well, 
they were a lot of effort but now we have a huge set
 that will work whenever we have everyone over together, which we do quite a lot!

Fell in love with some napkins rings at Pier One inspired by vintage brooches, 
but at five dollars each, buying 34 wasn't going to happen!
Instead, I bought some silk flowers, separated the leaves, 
added a pearl to the centre of each petal (on fishing line) and strung them on some gold ribbon.

We got a similar feel for $3.00, 
and all the girls collected them later and wove them into their hair :)

D. brought home a few dozen roses
(he is such a sweetie)
and so they were all throughout the house - 
it smelled amazing!

Natasha enlisted her cousin to help her decorate cupcakes with sprinkles and peeps -
and since we had all gathered here, we celebrated her upcoming twelfth birthday as well.

Did I just say twelfth? One more year til there is a teenager living here :)
This has been a big year of change for Tash,
I am beginning to see the woman she will become and couldn't be more proud of her.

Had planned to take some pictures of the buffet we set up because there was massive amounts
 of delectable goodies (for dinner and dessert) but it was a bit mad!

Can show you pics of the new dining room curtains I sewed up..

Isn't that fabric to die for?
A major splurge, 
but this window is the first thing you see entering the room and it needed some love!
This room is next on the list to be finished.

The chairs got new cushions - I was going to custom make some but went to Wal-Mart 
(yes, you read that correctly - WALMART!!!)
to buy the pillow forms and found these - 
perfect size, durable cotton linen-look fabric, tufted, piped box cushions for $10 dollars each!! Score!
 Scouting out art for a gallery wall in the next couple of weeks 
but since we had cleared out the previous display, and needed something up here for Easter,
 I framed a really beautiful bit of silk that I fell in love with recently.
(couldn't leave the store without a metre, although I had no idea where it was going to end up!)
The frame came from the thrift store - 
bought it for the original figural pastel inside, which is going to be re-framed and hung somewhere...
 The frame was in good shape, so a lick of black paint and it works for now.

What would we ever do without black and white paint?!!

Speaking of white paint,
I've been reading about a fellow bloggers struggle to find the right white paint this week.
Since it is such a common struggle,
thinking that perhaps a post about how to get white right might be helpful.
I'll try to get it up this week :) 

Looking forward to hearing (and reading) about how all of you spent your weekend...

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New **SWOON** from Anthro!

Honestly, how am I supposed to get anything done
 with emails like this popping up in my in box?!!

I am in love with this collection already.

Check out the Cherry Blossom Chandelier... I need this. Really. I do.

ps. don't know if you've found this yet, 
but those clever temptresses over at Anthro have given us another reason to pop in -
a fab little decorating guide built into their site...

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Happy Easter!

no matter where or how you spend it..

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hope you are surrounded by those you love.

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Cloth vs. Paper: Which Do You Use?

There's nothing quite like freshly washed linens, is there?
The smell, the softness...

Cloth napkins are fast becoming an everyday reality around here.
The kids are more aware of environmental issues and are pushing for reform :)
I resisted the idea at first - it seemed like they were going to be a lot of work. 

Do you use cloth napkins? Heaps of our friends think we're crazy!

But the with three darlings the reality is they barely count in the weekly laundry.
I like cotton for everyday, and linen for guests.

Linen napkins and tablecloths may be fairly pricey to purchase,
but they are really, really simple to sew up yourself.

I"ve found a plethora of DIY's out there over time, and thought I would share.

The easiest idea out there - perfect for everyday napkins.
Purchase fat quarters (pre-cut squares used in quilting) 
in bundles (usually grouped by color - yay!)
and just iron and sew...

Playful brights - just cut iron and sew.

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add some detail with rikrak or edging..

If you're fancy :) have your napkins monogrammed, or use fabric paint and do it yourself.
The minimalist font in the bottom right is perfect, isn't it?

A package of rit and an hour gets you ombre or batik effects.

Plain napkins work perfectly for folding.
A charming bunny fold is festive.
 Martha's rose bowl is stunning but sadly would require folding skills superior to my own :)
My old standby is the bow -
it only takes a minute and all you need is a piece of ribbon - 
how great is that?

For really large dinners we serve buffet style, 
and it's usually a ribbon around a roll-up,
cutlery tucked neatly inside.
Love that tailored look on the right, it reminds me of an obi somehow!

If you like napkins rings those beautiful versions left and top right
were made with dollar store items!!
Lushly colored linen highlights place settings -
a tiny version of a birds nest shines atop a mauve napkin.

We don't have a set of napkins large enough that they co-oridnate for large soirees, so
I'm halfway through making an enormous set of white linen napkins for this weekend!
I've kept it neutral so they can be used for Easter, Christmas, a birthday, etc.
but I'm planning to add a tiny rikrak trim for a bit of detail :)

Show you when they're done..

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Easter Pretty: Flowers

Some enchanting floral ideas for easter in delicate blush, peach and pink tones...

front and centre...

Martha tucked tulips into baskets.. love this palette!

birch wrapped vases are perfect for a outdoor celebration...
love those snapdragons!

english garden..

minimal and dramatic - I love the simplicity here..

If you are organized, you may have some forced branches...

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If you didn't get branches inside two or three weeks ago (aside from Martha, who does that?!!),
ordinary branches wrapped with yarn (made mine already :) are an easy option
or just leave them bare and adorn with lacy butterflies..

Want something more original?
This is a fantastic rustic look- carrots, radish, and lettuce on display with pansies..

How about a bit of glam?

(these are really taking off as an option for bridal arrangements -
I was outbid on ebay for several lots of these beauties!)

or simply add a touch of pretty with silk roses as napkin rings....

speaking of napkins, that will be tomorrows post -
I love a cloth napkin, 
I've found some wonderful DIY's to share :)

I'm making mine tonight - what are you up to?

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