Friday, August 31, 2012

shine

wishing you a restful, creative and colorful weekend....

shine! 


xoxo 
karen

PS "shine" collage print purchased from this artist

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

sunflowers & lavender wreath

I love the way the intense days of summer start to mellow out at the end of August. The slightly cooler days (and nights!) give me more energy and some of the vibrant colors are fading gently in the softer light. School has started, the light evenings are noticeably shorter. There is a sense of coolness and melancholy in the air - but at the same time - that sense of a clean new slate and fresh start in fall. The sun still shines strong and hot, the flowers are still blooming and beautiful and the promise of gorgeous fall days is something I always look forward to. 
My two favorite garden flowers have traded off the spotlight. The lavender is all dried out - I should have trimmed our many bushes by now - only a few last bees and butterflies linger on the dry blooms. If you read this then you know I adore sunflowers! Look at them taking over our vegetable patch -so cheerful! 
Last week I made a fragrant wreath for our front door using both of these flowers.  Projects like these always remind me how much I love my glue-gun :) 
 
I used silk flowers and real lavender. I covered a few wooden birds with pretty scrapbook paper from October Afternoon's "Farmhouse" line with decoupage medium. After they dried I lightly sanded the edges and added a bit of white paint to make them slightly shabby.
Using simple cord from the dollar store (actually, the Euro store :)) I tied a bundle of lavender and two birds to dangle from the wreath. I like seeing the pretty back sides of the birds when I walk past the door inside the house.
I don't have that much experience with wreath making, but I really like how it turned out. The patterned paper is so pretty and I love the juxtaposition of the rustic and feminine elements.

xoxo
Karen

Monday, August 27, 2012

a delicious surprise!


Recently my daughter was very busy in the kitchen and the next day presented this amazing creation from the freezer!

She took her recipe from here (she takes her recipes from youtube!!) and as usual, she made a few changes, leaving out the caramel sauce and substituting honey-peanuts/cashews for the nuts. Absolutely delicious!

Thank you, my sweet girl! 
xoxo 
Karen

Friday, August 24, 2012

gift from the sea / collecting shells

the air was chilly and rain drizzled from the sky
the wind stung with salt and sand

but at the seashore the sky often opened up for the sun
and so our children enjoyed building sandcastles
and my husband and I took many barefoot walks along the ocean
all five of us ventured into the ice-cold North Sea several times
to splash and laugh in the waves

so refreshing, so invigorating!
the tides were dramatic
I find it easy to believe that the moon
has much power and influence
even far from the beach in the plants in our garden, in our lives

“perhaps this the most important thing for me to
take back from beach-living:
simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid;
each cycle of the wave is valid: each cycle of a
relationship is valid.”
on the first day, I simply enjoyed seeing the pretty shells from a distance
but after a while, I started to see a shell here or there
that was very special
still, I resisted the instinct - the urge -  to collect

(we already have many shells - and so many objects - in our house)
 (love....warmth....happiness)

and yet, at the end of every day
I emptied out my beach bag at our vacation dwelling
to discover that a small selection of the prettiest shells had materialized

it seems that during the day
ten hands had each (secretly) slipped a sea treasure
or two in among the beach towels
and so we did return home with some 
gifts from the sea from this vacation 

“finding shells together
polishing chestnuts
sharing one's treasures:-
all these moments
of together-aloneness
are valid, but not permanent.”
 
 “The waves echo behind me,
Patience – Faith – Openness,
is what the sea has to teach,
Simplicity – Solitude – Intermittency...
but there are other beaches to explore.
There are more shells to find.
This is only a beginning.”

Quotes from “Gift from the Sea” by
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

sweet wishes for your Friday
xoxo
Karen
PS thank you for your comments on my last post about Brügge - i am so touched by the many connections!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bruges

This summer we had the chance to spend an afternoon in the delightful city of Bruges in the West Flanders region of Belgium. You feel like you have just stepped into a different century as you cross countless bridges over picturesque canals, view medieval churches and stroll quaint cobblestone streets lined with pleasant brick houses. 
We found a parking spot and the first little shop we happened to pass by was good fortune (for me) indeed! The creative window display of this shop caught my eye and without wasting any time my daughter and I popped for a quick look while our men stayed outdoors. Very open and airy – and oodles of pretty things to make any creative person's heart beat faster – the tables were filled with a selection of lovely beads and jewelry-making ornaments of all types.The sweet salesgirl (perhaps the owner?) was nice enough to let me take a photo or two.
We didn't linger too long – as I could spy my bored little boys fidgeting outside the large windows - but long enough to purchase a small envelope of a few pretty flower cabochons. I don't know exactly how or what I will make with them but they do look so sweet with some other treasures we gathered from the nearby North Sea beach. 
 
We then arrived at the bustling market square just in time to hear the chimes and bells of a pretty carillon. 
As we continued our casual walk through the city, I couldn't help but be filled with the feeling that this city has a very creative vibe and I could easily imagine coming here for a week or two for some sort of artistic retreat.....
My city snapshots are the result of balancing one Amy Butler tote bag (packed with raincoats) on one shoulder (more about that bag in another post!), an unruly umbrella in the left hand and the camera in the right  - and  - out of the corner of my eye hoping I wouldn't lose sight of my family. (My littlest one nibbling on a white chocolate mouse praline underneath his raincoat - how sweet is that! And look at those glossy cobblestone streets- sigh...I am a hopeless romantic...)
Every half-hour or so the brilliant blue skies and sunshine would succumb to a menacing black cloud bearing rain and thunder. Still, who can complain in a lovely city with a chocolate shop on every corner, beautiful handmade lace, the click-clopping of horses pulling carriages and the fragrance of fresh waffles filling the air. Not I!
Always time for something sweet! 
This is certainly a city you don't want to miss! I can't wait to go back. Preferably with a sketchbook and a little bit more time.

xoxo
Karen


Monday, August 20, 2012

Paris trio

So happy to announce a few new items in my etsy shop! These are just perfect for any girl dreaming of Paris....
With a tiny remnant of this gorgeous Paris vintage-style street scene print, I managed to squeeze out 2 bags and one pillow cover! A cafe, the Eiffel Tower and various characters such as a street musician, pretty ladies in 50's frocks, poodles and kitties feels like a sketch by a Montmartre artist.

These bags are lined but not reinforced with any interfacing so they are very floppy and cute -  perfect little tote bags for a little girl to transport her favorite toys, books and accessories.
When her bag is not in use, it will just look so sweet hanging from a chair or knob in her bedroom.
The patchwork pillow cover has the matching polka dot and ornamental fabric from both bags.

Thanks for looking and have a lovely day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

prettiness everywhere...

i tend to see pretty things everywhere i look....
such as these geraniums in the garden, with their delicate blush and gorgeous filled blossoms.
  and if i don't see pretty things, then i just make them!
hearts on strings
(in my German shop here)
 
the delicious mess on my table
(packaging up an order
that went all the way to the other side of the globe -
how amazing is that!)
perhaps you spy Selina Lake's latest lovely book in background?
i love it!
yummy details.....bubblegum pink, soft mint, butterflies, buttons, beads and yarn.....find these in my etsy shop here

 
sometimes the mess on my table is so terribly scrumptious i just want to grab the closest person (or cat!) and hug them with joy!
am i crazy? better happy and crazy than "normal" but sad, don't you think?

let's just celebrate the things that make us happy! 
 
wishing you a fabulous day!
xoxo
karen