decor

DIY Valentine’s Day Staycation

"How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said." ~ Victor Hugo

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.” ~ Victor Hugo

I once gave my unwavering opinion that staycations were not my idea of a vacation. You can read why I felt I would need a vacation from a staycation here.

Can I change my mind about this?

Although I will not go as far as to say that I would give up a delightfully warm week at the beach to stay home and watch the grass grow or the snow fall, I’m making a staycation exception: Valentine’s Day. All the usual Valentine Day niceties say “stay home.”

Seriously, all you need is love.

Rock found while snowshoeing with my honey after last week's snow storm.

Rock found while snowshoeing with my honey after last week’s snow storm.

DIY Valentine’s Day Staycation

Cards

I am a sucker for handmade cards. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a machine-stitched Valentine card like this, or an easy hand-stitched card. Folding origami valentines has been a suitable alternative. Although, these DIY Alexander Girard-inspired cards are begging to be tucked into a handcrafted envelope.

Home Décor

Along with romantic headboards, like this dreamy lipstick red DIY headboard, I’ve been noticing the allure of bed canopies. Here’s a round-up of DIY bed canopies.

Candlelight

Whenever candles are mentioned, my first response is to ditch paraffin candles (nasty by-products that emit greenhouse gases and soot). Here’s a DIY beeswax alternative.

How about LED tea lights? There’s a bit of a debate about whether or not LED lights pass the snuff test as a viable design alternative to the natural glow of wax candles. I picked up a 12-pack of LED tea lights at Homegoods and enjoy the muted glow of these candles in a candle holder — especially nice in a dark bathroom. This DIY threaded candleholder was created for use with LED tea lights.

Chocolate

I don’t cook much (hubby does), but I like to bake. These healthy chocolate cherry Valentine scones are on this year’s to-make list. Yum. The recipe includes DIY directions for creating a gift box that uses a homemade glue recipe.

Flowers

Unless you give organic flowers, conventionally grown flowers generally get a thumbs-down for eco-friendliness. Most cut flowers are grown in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. They are heavily sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and even DDT, creating problems for workers and florists. Add in the transporting time, and traditional flowers are not so lovely. Instead, create a dozen origami roses. Use leftover holiday tissue paper or cards. Or, how about a button bouquet?

Wine

Did you think my next suggestion would be to make wine for Valentine’s Day? Not. Although, my husband did make wine once for me. Love that guy. We still celebrate with wine, and here’s some organic wine pairing suggestions. I’m a big fan of  a mellow, rosy red Pinot Noir.

Staying home or going out?

Photo of heart rock: Ted Fink

DIY Folding Chairs To Die For

My latest DIY obsession is repurposing old chairs. A while back, we found two Scandinavian chair frames abandoned by the side of the road. Making cushions is beyond my DIY realm – I’m crafty, but sewing a hem musters up a learning curve that I’ve yet to master. Why? Because I’ve always had a lovely sewing enabler in my life. I’m lucky because my mom is my go-to seamstress/upholsterer. And I’m thrilled she’s still willing to aim her magic thimble in my direction. Mom is currently chopping away on a maxi-skirt that I snagged at my local second-hand store, Rupo. It’s a beautiful long, narrow skirt, but torturous to climb steps in. When my daughter was here last week, she whisked the skirt off to mom and asked her to put a slit up the side (probably way higher than I would wear). Bye-bye skirt. But I digress…

I saw these Overdyed Terai Chairs at Anthropologie (above) and was immediately inspired by DIY possibilities. I’m thinking an oh-so stylish bluish, vintage-vibe would give new life to my old chairs.

Here are 3 of my favorite fabric pics:

1. Madeline Weinrib – This Ikat fabric is just stunning. Ikat means ‘to bind.’ I’m bound by love for this hand-dyed and handwoven silk/cotton fabric.

2. Marimekko – Who doesn’t love Marimekko? With its quintessential retro designs, these fabrics wink back to groovier times. This bold pattern from 1964 is almost identical to the ‘flower power’ wallpaper pattern of my childhood room (hence, the blue trend). In fact, I had to buy a few items with this pattern when I was at the NYC Marimekko store recently.

3. Amy Butler – I’ve written about Amy Butler’s designs before. Not only does Amy provide organic fabrics (below, organic velvet), her business philosophy inspires me as much as her gorgeous designs: “Being generous, fair, and honest in business and in life rewards you with grace and is it’s own success. Giving back to your community is sewing what you reap (sharing the love)…Care for YOUR community and it will take care of you.”

DIY Folding Chair Instructions HERE.

Photo: Anthropologie

Sleeping With The Enemy

I love books. I love to read in bed. I love to fall asleep reading.

It took me a while to get used to reading books on an iPad. Now I read books on my iPad…in bed.

Right before the launch of the iPad, I wrote a fun piece questioning the idea of cozying up with an iPad. I ask:

Will these new electronic readers be the demise of the demure book?…I am sure it will be love at first touch…The rise of the handy Kindle and the soon to be cuddled iPad (sigh), have already had an adverse impact on newspapers, textbook companies, publishing houses and magazines. While these companies are working hard to catch up with their own technologies, many will expire trying…Although a bit star-struck, I am ready to put my selfish love of new tech toys aside for the strong tactile love of books.”

Dah, I did no such thing. So how did I, and zillions of others, fall head over heels for the backlit screen?

In typical 3-step flip-flop fashion (good thing I’m not a politician), the course of events played out in my mind like this:

1. The nerve of those people who banish books in favor of electronic devices!
2. Embracing well-designed computer technology can not be a bad thing!
3. I loooove the convenience of downloading books and reading on my iPad…and what an oh-so sexy traveling companion!

And now, here’s the latest flop: I’ve been having trouble sleeping (A middle-age malaise?)…and then I read this:

“The new iPad may be a great way to store and retrieve the world’s great books, but sleep experts warn against settling in with this virtual page-turner before bed. That’s because the light emitted by the iPad (and by cell phones, TVs and other back-lit devices) inhibits the body’s ability to secrete melatonin, a brain chemical that signals the need for sleep…For this reason, many neurology and sleep experts suggest that we avoid interacting with most types of electronic gadgets directly before bedtime.”

Hello, dreamy dear old friend…my local bookstore.

Photo via Linen and Lavender

Customized, Cushionized Couch

The Cushionized Couch by Christiane Hoegner caught my attention for these 4 reasons:

1. It’s pliable and adjustable, pills making it uber-comfortable looking.

2. The color options are playful. Reminds me of something straight out of a fairytale. Princess and The Pea, vcialis 40mg anyone?

3. While my couch aesthetic is generally simple and leans towards the more neutral lines of natural linen, troche I’ve lusted after the wildly hip and colorful Mah-Jong Sofa from Roche-Bobois for years. The Cushionized Couch is reminiscent of this multi-cushioned iconic sofa.


4. So many DIY possibilities for creating mix and match handmade cushions from eco-friendly fabrics, beautiful sheets or vintage curtains, abound in this inspirational Cushionized Couch.

But…and there’s a big BUT…Could you live with this?

Photos: Cushionized Couch, Home Rejuvenation, Mah-Jong Sofa, Roche-Bobois

Here, There And Everywhere

Where have I been besides dreaming I had an outside bedroom to ward off the impending heat of summer?

  • Wishing this memory bank had been around years ago, sickness so I could remember who the first boy I kissed was?
  • Enjoying the return of my local outdoor farmer’s market even more after viewing this.
  • Buying a new dress here.
  • Planning a few adventures similar to last summer. Anyone going to the Vineyard or Blogher?
  • Trying to follow Kurt Vonnegut’s advice: There’s only one rule I know of: You’ve got to be kind.”

Well, sale that was fun. Do you like curation posts?

Photo via Remodelista