Monday, November 30, 2009

Easy Sophisticated Style!

It is so easy to add a splash of glamour to your winter outfits this year~ all you need is some creativity and not worry about overdoing any holiday dressing this year.
More importantly, a ruffle blouse such as the one on the right, can be worn over and over! Look at retailers such as Banana Republic for options. Prices are getting slashed earlier than usual due to the state of the economy so look for bargains!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's been awhile!

I have been out of the loop for quite sometime and have not posted anything new and I am deeply apologetic. I have moved to another state and have been wrapped up in work, settling in a new house and most importantly, updating and organizing it!
I will have many new pictures and project ideas coming soon as our little farmhouse progresses and takes on our personality. Until then sit tight! I will be back with the goods....XO J.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Totally Cool Repourposed Light Fixtures

I found these items on the Apartment Therapy blog, and have to credit them for the photos. They are examples of what can be done with a little creativity and imagination. I love the bright yellow nightlight made out of tin can with a childlike car cutouts. And of COURSE already a fave Etsy shop of mine, Birdwing Productions crafted a old fluted horn lamp affixed with a geometrical shade covered in Amy Butler fabric....quirky, beautiful and cool!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Edie Beale, Grey Gardens and Bohemian Style

I was introduced to Grey Gardens a few years ago out of mild curiosity. Most recently, due to the promotion of the movie, inspired by the original 1975 documentary with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, did I start to do more research on Big and Little Edie, their codependent relationship, their obvious mental illness and eccentricities..but what I have noticed the most is their delicate beauty despite the aging process, the fall to poverty (even though they were decedents of a great wealthy American family) and little Edie's consistent creativity to come up with outfits "costumes" she would say, and somehow pull off a crazy fashion that became a cult classic and defines a fashion style that we loosely follow today.

For those of you who don't know, Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith(her namesake- Edie), were decedents from the great American aristocratic Bouvier family, cousins to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. There isn't too much of the back story of these two women in the original documentary, it primarily was a record of their life in their later years, the hard years, riddled with disorder and mental illness. The most obvious reaction that most people have when they learn about the Beales, is the shock of how women who come from such wealth and privilege could fall so far. They garnered the attention of the media in the early 1970's when the Suffolk county health department raided the 15 room mansion and threatened to evict the Beales for living in unsanitary conditions. There were reports of cat feces, urine and piles of garbage rotting in some of the rooms in the house. Because of the media attention, and the relation to Jackie O, pressure was undoubtedly put on Mrs. Onassis to help stave off the eviction and help her relatives, and to prevent further embarrassment to the family. Jackie and her husband donated the funds to have the mansion cleaned and restored, and her sons payed the back taxes amid the negative publicity. The Beales stayed in the house Big Edie's death in 1977.

I was intrigued with the beauty of these women. Little Edie was a debutante, and model in her younger years, she was stunningly beautiful and went off to New York to make her mark on the world. She returned to Grey Gardens unexpectedly several years later after a failed relationship to a married man and she never left her mother's side until Big Edie's death. It has been reported that little Edie would no longer leave the house after the raids by the department of health because of her fear of being denied legal access to the house by authorities. Big Edie was left a small trust by her father after defying him with her elaborate lifestyle, her refusal to conform and desire to hang around with artists and younger men. The trust was not enough to cover the expenses on the house and that is why it fell into disrepair. Big Edie refused to sell or leave the property, despite the urging of her sons and other family members. Their requests fell on deaf ears.
In her later years, Little Edie suffered from hair loss and was never seen without a head scarf. The most interesting thing is that she didn't always use a scarf. She would use a shirt, table cloth, sweater, whatever she could find and artfully wrap it around her head, attach a brooch or some sort of elaborate pin and would look somehow put together...I can't explain why this is, but she would look glamorous somehow in spite of all her craziness...The most famous picture of Edie Beale is one where she is standing outside the ramshackle mansion, with it's overgrown shrubs, wearing a tattered fur coat, beautiful headscarf and large brooch. She believed she was glamorous, and she was right. She was proud of who she was, and in spite of her resentment of what she believed was taking care of her mother..she was a tragic figure.

The tattered antiques in the house are so hauntingly beautiful, traces of a bygone era that are cherished today and most defiantly used in the makings of Bohemian style. Big Edie refused to conform to rules of society that she was born into and that was ultimately her undoing, As I watched the documentary, the spirit of these women was enduring and I couldn't help but think the inside provided the inspiration for an Anthroplogie catalog...perfect in it's imperfection.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Etsy Shop!! Sasha and Dreamer

I am so excited to announce the opening of my Etsy shop, Sasha and Dreamer. I will be posting all of my extra cool items for sale on my Etsy site. or I have started by listing a few of my handmade bangle bracelets, which is start, but there will be a lot more to come, so keep your eyes Tracy Porter ALWAYS says, dream with your eyes open!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Beauty of Decoupage

I have praised the merits of decoupage in the past, but thought I would post some of the little things that I have added to my collection that make my world more organized and pretty. You can find clear glass pillar candle holders at any of the big variety stores such as Target or Wall Mart. They usually sell for two dollars or so. I buy these pillar holders and attach pretty paper to the bottom using Mod Podge. Mod Podge is a great product because it acts like a sealant, glue and varnish all the same time. It dries clear and leaves a beautiful sheen.
I have used postcards of great works of art as well. You can use any kind of paper you would want to see under glass. I use the glass discs for candles, to organize perfumes, and as coasters for the coffee table! The use of these little glass discs is only limited to your imagination...make good on your dreams!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Follow me on Twitter!

I am just getting the hang of Twitter...not 100% sure of how it works, but if you want to follow, I am @moonjenny- (I think I put that out there the right way) Please let me know if I didn't! :)

Brooks' Room...all designed with reclaimed materials!

I thought I would show you some the items in Brooks' room utilizing all reclaimed furnishings. They key to doing this successfully, I believe is to stick to a basic color palette. I used blues, reds, black and white for his room and we are very happy with the results.

Many of the options that made his room come together were not chosen by me so, I had to work around it. The room was already painted a dark blue, so luckily since most of his furniture had red accents in it, it works- as long as we keep the dark blue IKEA bedding to tie it all together.
The sweet little chair that serves as a platform for his Ugly doll collection was a garage sale find. It was originally painted a dark muddy depression era 1930's brown- and of course, that just won't do in my house! So I painted it three different tones of creamy white- this was four years ago and now the chair is showing some of it's age as it has a few well loved nicks on the top- all adds to the charm!

The dresser was a barter from a friend of mine who is also very much into flea market finds and I had something she wanted so we did a simple trade. (I don't remember now what I traded for it, because I love the dresser so much!) I changed the color slightly; added the red top, then added a layer of crackle on top of the red, and toned it down with the white wash. It looks like an antique, but it's not...just old! I added the Texas (eBay find) star knobs, two of which Brooks removed because he wanted them on his closet door. I have to order replacements for them, which I haven't done yet....

The bed side table we use for his room was once in the hallway of a different home, lived in a bathroom for awhile, and moved several other places over the years, but I did find it at an unfinished furniture store 13 years ago. It has had many paint jobs- but the black base and signature LongJohn red top suit it very well. Brooks likes to keep his Lego collection right next to his bed! The long crack that you see down the side is a casualty from many years of opening and closing the door, but again I am not one to discard it because of this flaw- remember those imperfections, much like life, make living unique and real! :)

Please feel free to contact me through your comments or if you have any design questions, just ask me and I will get back to you ASAP!

Thank you all for your support!


Force Spring In!

It has been one of those spring seasons that feels like it so slow to come after an especially hard winter. One day the sun is bright and the weather semi-warm, and then the next day- rain and cold! Fits and starts- that's how I feel about the start of spring- In order to force some cheer into your home with a taste of spring consider forcing some type of flowering branches indoors. I am lucky enough to have a forsythia bush in my backyard, so I always cut these branches and add them to a vase of water. It helps to add pebbles on the bottom of the vase so that the branches will not fall out of the container. They should start to bloom beautiful yellow flowers in the coming days! Look for flowering branches in your neighborhood to force. They make beautiful decorative touches for no money at all and will cheer your day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Do you ever.......

Consider painting your furniture the same color as the wall? I know it sounds radical at first if you have never done it, but it really helps with the overall continuity of the space. I have done this several times in my old house.

When I was painting the nursery for my then infant second boy- Will, I decided that the since the room was on the small side, that I wanted to make it seem bigger. My solution was to paint the bureau the same color as the wall that I was then painting exactly behind where I was going to put the bureau. The bureau was thrift store find so I felt I had nothing to lose. I don't have pictures of that room to show you here, but the above example is an extremely elegant display of some eclectic ingenuity and the picture below is a sophisticated nursery with the black dresser painted the same black as the wall!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Side Of The Road Find!!! ReDone!!!

I was so excited to find this cute little side desk and small chair set on my way to the grocery store the other day. It was put out with the trash! I felt silly pulling my car over and tossing it in the back of my wagon, but was thrilled all the same.

It was originally a banged-up hideous yellow color with metallic dots around the edges. (I should of taken a before picture, but was too excited to get the painting done). I ran to Lowe's to get some high gloss black lacquer spray paint and since it was such a beautiful day I brought the items out on the lawn and started spraying away...the result is stunning! When they were dry I brought them in to use on in my hallway as an accent table and hallway sitting chair (just made that up)! I would love to hear your comments so let me know what you think! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Accessories for your home office that can be unique

Accessories for your home office-A pencil cup or a mail holder can work for you in your home office. Why not make these everyday items beautiful? I was cleaning out a junk drawer the other day and came across an old mail holder that had a faded 80's flower print. I almost tossed it in the trash, but then thought about the beautiful Amy Butler paper I had in my stash and decided to take out the decoupage glue and give it a go. The results are stunning! But no, I did not stop there- I also had a very plain looking square shaped pencil holder. I decided to make a set! I decoupaged the same pattern on the pencil cup, and then added the corresponding circles to the front- and then added the "J" monogram cut from some flocking paper! Smashing dahlings!!!! I love my new set that sits on the shelf of the mirror in my tiny home office. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Creating a workspace that inspires you

I have learned that is very important to carve out an area of your home where you are happy to work. A home office, no matter how small should be a place where you can work that is a part of who you are. If you have no designated space in you home for your office, get creative and find any area that is somewhat quiet, where you can close a door or that is off the path from the main area of the house.

In my case, I was able to find a small area in my bedroom that I use as my office. Feng shui experts warn against keeping an office in your bedroom, but I think that if you use it as place of inspiration and keep it clutter free, that it will work to your benefit. I love my home office! I use colors that inspire me everyday and I have made it my own.

The purple lampshade (Target find) and red chair offset each other in a vibrant way. The desk is a find from a second hand shop- the mirror is a must, because it opens up the space and when you are facing a wall it's crucial to feel like you are not closed in. Get creative with the options that you have for an inspiring home office! It makes doing mundane chores, such as paying bills much more bearable!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Emerging new obsession..Amy Butler Fabrics! (and patterns and bags and designs...)

As I look around my house, the places I find most joyful these days is my emerging collection of Amy Butler pillows. I discovered this textile designer on Etsy, but as I learn more about her philosophy, style and design, I find there are very few things she does that it don't like.

Her patterns are fresh, yet slightly retro, bright and energetic. Some of her things almost have a south Florida Lily Pulitzer vibe, but not as stiff or overly "preppy". I love this designer! I am so inspired by her stuff, that I am somewhat tempted to start sewing again! (not really:) I will be searching Etsy for those talented enough to churn out beautiful pillows, tops and dresses made directly from her patterns. I will be posting more and more pictures on this blog with items made by her can bet on it!
(photo from Amy Butler website)

The importance of creating a home that has "soul"

I can't stress the importance of creating a living space for yourself that is uniquely you.
Living in an home that you create transforms the space from house to a "home". A home is any space that you have touched that expresses yours and your family's personality. It should feel like a safe haven, a place to relax and a place that brings you joy. Always be sure to surround yourself with items that comfort you. They need not be expensive, just an expression of who you truly are. :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Use pieces in unexpected ways...

Take a look around your space and see if there is anything you can remake. Is there something that could be repainted and used in a different way? The cabinet in this picture was purchased years ago at an unfinished furniture store. It has gone through several "stainings" and paint changes, but it is perfect for me now. It resides in my master bathroom where there was a huge gaping space underneath the window. I love the combination of red and black, but at first, the black base was too much "dark". I added the light pink checkerboard pattern over the black to soften it a little bit. I then added my signature "longjohn red" over the top and distressed the edges of the top. I took of the old knobs and added inexpensive Anthropologie knobs and to me this $90 buy is invaluable...It's a piece of who I am!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Okay...I did it again.

I decided that I didn't like the white on the chair that I repainted.. So I repainted again. We had a beautiful day today so I was able to take the chair outside and repaint the entire thing. I sprayed the legs and the bottom solid glossy black. I added a brown undercoat to the seat, a VERY thick layer of crackle..I was sure to let it dry 1 hour this time..and then Ralph Lauren Longjohn Red. I love it this time and won't change a thing...YES!


Friday, March 6, 2009

How to find recycled home decor....make it useful again!

Don't you just love the idea of making something that's inherently good, a little broken, perhaps, just better again??? That's how I feel about upcycling home decor and even fashion items. A little creativity can go a long way. Keep a keen eye open for things that you see out on the side of the road on trash day. Seriously! It's amazing what some people will throw away. I will post some of my "redone" finds soon...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Upcycling...will keep you in the black and little green too!

Upcycling furniture, home decor and fashion items is not only good for the enviornment, it's great for your wallet!

There is an art to finding the perfect peice of furniture that has great "bones" but needs a little paint or fabric. How about that classic black dress that was your grandmother's that really just needs a visit to the tailor? What about old costume jewlery? I could go on and and on, but the thing to keep in mind is being fashionalbe with both your wardrobe and your home does not have to be expensive. Think outside of the box and visit your local consignment shop, salvation army, or goodwill. You will be surprised about what you can find on the cheap! Send me pictures of your finds and I will post them on my blog!


Upcycled Chair...I can't just leave things alone...

I needed a chair for my desk and I'm never happy with what I find in traditional furniture stores. Everything is always too expensive, not the right color on not "me". So I found this basic chair at a salvage shop for $30.00.

It was a dirty white, so I sprayed it black (looked good just black), but noooo, I couldn't leave it alone. I added a layer of crackle glaze, then longjohn red over the glaze. I thought it looked too dark, so added white over the red and crackled it again.

The result is this really cool weathered looking chair. I wanted it to look like it's been out in the elements and really old, and I think I achieved my goal. It's perfectly imperfect- just like nature. :)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darling Little Bench!!!

I am in love with this bench that I found posted online at an antique shop in Pembroke. It is a bench made out of an old Jenny Lind headboard! How cool is that???I learned of the store through another blog and keep going back to the site to see what new finds they have brought in. I think I am going to get this bench over the weekend...I just have to be sure it fits a desk in my room. I am trying to make a funky home office....I will be sure to post the pictures as soon as I get everything in place!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Design Tip of the Week

I have a feeling I'm going to regret calling this tip of the week, but I will try to keep it up on a weekly basis.....Anyway, friends of mine have been complaining all winter about having to replace their kid's hats and gloves on a regular basis and I started to wonder why ours haven't gotten lost so often. Then I realized it's because of the simple solution that I came up with to design our entryway, which in our case is usually the entrance between the kitchen and the garage. Everybody's home is set up slightly different, but there is usually some place to set up an organized entryway, weather you have a small hallway or large foyer.

The most essential piece of furniture you will need is a table or bench. I found the table in the picture at a yard sale. It cost under $70. I added two large white wicker baskets to collect hats, mittens and scarves. The boots get tucked underneath. We use the top of the table for mail, keys and other small odds and ends. A plate or basket is a good idea to use a catch all for small items that usually get scattered around the table and look messy or get lost otherwise.

We also added some hooks above the table for jackets...this is why I believe that we haven't lost any winter paraphernalia this year!

One Last Simple Idea....

I had some plain paper boxes that I felt I would use to put trinkets such as jewlery coins, etc, if it was prettier looking. I decided to use some toile paper to cover it and added the adorable Barbie head for some reto flair! I now use the box- I saved it from the trash collector.

Continuing On the Paper Craze.....

I reclaimed an old step stool. This was originally a purchase from Target years ago, but was so plain and awful looking that I painted it green and distressed it. After 4 years of that, I decided that it needed a face lift- with the new Amy Butler paper! The results are clear to see--totally eclectic- but the colors have a reoccurring theme. It is fun and whimsical while being on trend and chic at the same time!

Look around your house/apartment space for things that seem old and tired- don't be afraid to "remake" these objects into unique items that bring comfort and joy to your eyes- it will uplift your mood and leave a small mark of your individual style on the world.

New Designs....Using Amy Butler Paper!

I finally received my Amy Butler Designer Paper on Friday! Oh happy day, but I a had a small problem. I didn't know what to use it with first. I was inspired by a post by Tracy Porter where she had a old bohemian looking purse that she found at a flea market years ago and gave it a face lift by adding some fringe (using of all things- hot glue!) and some antique compacts for medallions. It came out very cute and unique looking.
So when I was at TJ Maxx the other day, I found some cool looking clutch/wallets that were on clearance. They had ugly ho-hum patterns on it, so I decide to use the clutches as my first "victim" of my decoupage experiment. SURPRISE! It came out adorable! I can't wait to use it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beautiful Glass Pendants!!

Following my paper design love, I have fashioned beautiful glass pendants from divine Japanese paper! Many different styles are available and only limited by you imagination. I will be listing these pendants in the online store that I am developing. Keep your eyes peeled for more coming soon!!!

My new obsession....Paper Design!

It's amazing to me when I find a different medium to work with. This one is so surprisingly easy, that I can't believe that it took me so long to discover it's many uses. Decopage is a craft that has been around for many many decades. It originated in France (I believe, they also pioneered the art of paper mache.

I have found many uses for decopage- the trick is to find paper that you find is unique and beautiful, and find uses for that paper to cover. I have recovered boring ugly old mirror frames as shown in the picture attached. These frames cost about $1 at Ikea and spruced up with beautiful paper, they look much more valuable and fun!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thinking outside of the box yeilds outstanding (and cost effective) design solutions!

This picture is evidence that when you refuse to accept the usual run of the mill pieces that all the chain stores sell, you can find something that is unique to your personality and style. The owners of this space searched high and low for a media cabinent they could live with, that would reflect their taste. They spotted this cabinent at a salvage store outside of the boston area. It was originally intednded for a kitchen and was much larger, but they decided to cut it in half and use the top as a console and the bottom as a media cabinent. The result is a very funky one of a kind piece that is hundreds of dollars less than anything you would find at a retail chain! Don't be afraid to look at salvaged pieces and think up upcycling them to a modern use- you are doing good things for the enviornment and your wallet all the while enhancing your unique style!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Movie Review..."The Women"

I normally don't review movies ever, but I had to comment on the movie that I purchased off of pay per view last night. I was looking for "Mama Mia", because everyone says you HAVE To see it, but it's not available yet for some reason. I always wanted to see "The Women" and with the star studded cast, I knew that it had to be a LEAST decent, so I wouldn't be wasting my money.
I love, Meg Ryan, Annette Benning, Bette Midler, Candace Bergen, Deb Mazar, Deborah Messing and Jada Pinkett I knew that it couldn't be bad. Eva Menendez is one great actress in this flick as well, and I'm not too familiar with her work, so this was the first movie that I have seen her in (I think).

Mary (Meg's character) is well played as the wealthy/coddled/daughter of a father whom she works for designing caftans for elderly women. Her husband is a successful hedge fund manager, who her best friend, Sylvie(Benning) discovers he is sleeping with the perfume sprizer girl at Sacks (Mendez)by way of the overbearing loose lipped manicurist(Mazar). The plot continues as Mary finds out about her husband's infidelity through the manicurist, is angry with her friends for NOT telling her, they struggle with this for days, gets dubious advice from her mother (Bergen) and on and on...the usual story.

There are several characters in this movie, all strong actresses and the movie could of gone on for hours...the result is that several of the characters are undeveloped and somewhat weak...(pinkett smith's lesbian character doesn't seem to fit too well)and Messing's character is there to show how many children one person can possible have (?), well no, Messings character does reveal during the chaos of giving birth to her 5Th child that she too, was unfaithful to her husband and that he forgave her.

All in all, a cute movie, what I expected and I love, love, Meg and am thrilled to see her back in the movies that she is loved for. I cried during this flick, especially due to the tenderness of the friendship between Benning and Ryan's characters (felt very real to me), and most importantly Mary's finding her talent through a series of setbacks, but then again, I cry at Disney movies!

Love Affair With Red

Don't be afraid to lose the color red in your overall design of ANY room in your house! Red is bold but, if used in small doses if you are just getting used to warming up to using bold colors, is VERY effective and will elevate your mood! Start with one wall in a small room or paint a closet or a bathroom first to see how it effects you. Many surprising colors go very well with red, including deep purples and even turquoise!
Discover what delights you. The picture above shows a red toile chair that we inherited from Nick's parents. At first it dominated any space that it was in, but I learned over the years to mix the color with many others and it worked! The chair is now an icon!

Sadly, Domino Magazine is going away...

I just learned that my favorite design magaizine, Domino, the hip modern three year old shelter mag will fold. So sad. The descison is based on the fact that many of the readers were becoming dissapointed that a lot of their ideas were far fetched and way too expensive for thier demographic. The economy is also being blamed. I liked the mag for it's fresh ideas and laid back attitude. It gave me great ideas, but not anything I could afford to buy either!