Sunday, December 18, 2011

A little Christmas tour of my home...

the entryway...still in need of some more greenery, and a little more snow.

my dad bought this vintage looking Santa head for me a few years ago, and i always hang him in the entry to greet guests.  this year, i placed him atop a vintage bookpage wreath that i made last weekend while watching some SNL (that's how easy it is to make one of those!).

my wee first tree for my first christmas as a single lady.  i love still needs its vintage sheet music chain garland, but that's this weekend's project.

you know my tree would have at least one mushroom on it, and here we have a little glass fly agaric.  my favorite!

the mantle, still waiting on the vintage sheet music candles a la Pottery Barn.  i hope whereever i end up after i leave this home, it has at least one mantle, because there is nothing more quintessentially christmas than a decked out mantle and a fire roaring beneath...

i've had this grapevine star for so many years now, and i literally use it all year long, just changing out its trimmings.  here, i placed a Pottery Barn tin bird ornament, and i think i'll add a little paper banner to it yet...*hmm.

a silver tray filled with greenery, and all of my favorite and prettiest mercury glass ornaments.  it sparkles when the candles i've tucked into it are lit...

more greenery and mercury glass...i don't think you can ever really have enough of either, especially at this time of year!

a small Belsnickle Santa and a Nicol Sayre angel.

the sideboard in the dining room...that vintage typewriter is possibly my best antique treasure hunting find yet!  twenty bucks at this huge antique co-op in Ohio!  its one of my favorite things.  and each time i walk past that picture of my grandmother and grandfather, i am reminded of how much i think she would have loved sitting in my dining room with me for coffee and crackers...
see??  i mean, how awesome is that typewriter?  *grinz*
a snow couple in a pile of snow on the window ledge.  i made those vintage snowballs out of styrofoam balls, some teastained cheescloth, and mica.  super easy, super messy, but super cute in the end. 

looking into the living room...can't wait til christmas eve night, when i'm finally done with all the visiting and merrymaking, when i come home to the quiet of my cozy little home, light a fire in the fireplace, and crack open a bottle of wine.  its my christmas gift to myself...

the kitchen sideboard is an antique passed down to my by my grandmother.  i like having it in the kitchen, because it makes me feel like she is keeping me company while i cook.  the burlap runner was whipped up in five minutes flat.  no kidding.  beginning to end, raw edges, scissors, and two long stitches down the center.  FIVE. MINUTES. LOL.

snowmen and santas...its a little bare now, but for christmas morning brunch, it will be all decked out in goodies and fresh flowers...

finally, the upstairs gets a more 'woodsy', yet still glitzy look.  i collect mercury glass finials and tree toppers, and i love how they look when they're paired with greenery and candles. 

i also added some little glass bird ornaments, and some covered in glitter (of course), along with some glass pinecone and acorn ornies. the den upstairs is full of large windows and looks out into the trees, and i have always felt that it is like sitting in a giant treehouse up here. so naturally, its a birdie christmas, i

jack is excited to see what presents around that tree will bear his name...i think he is going to be quite pleased.  for me, all i want for christmas this year is the happiness and health of that little guy, cuz he is what keeps me smiling.

i wish you the merriest of christmasses, and the happiest of new years!  may you be healthy, wealthy, and wise!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what i'm all about...

is depicted perfectly in this old snapshot i came across while pinteresting or tumblring one day...

i could stare into this old photograph for hours, and i think i must have sat gazing at it already at least a hundred times since i found it.  at first glance, it is a picture of a rather festive family from long, long ago, celebrating All Hallow's Eve.  it had to be taken at least a hundred years ago...

but there is so much to take in!  first, i scan the faces of the merry partygoers...all of them jovial and almost giddy in their happiness of the occasion.  some of them hold up halloween dolls, or paper mache jack o lanterns, even a paper mache cat sits atop the patriarch's head!  their dress, along with the furnishings in the room, give away the likely time period of the picture -- we see Arts & Crafts style architectural features and decor details (like those drapes! *swoon).  these findings suggest that the photo was likely snapped in the early 1900s, most definitely before the 1920s. 

what i really focus in on, however, are the decorations...they must be inspired by the Dennison Bogie Book for that year (and if you don't know what a Dennsion Bogie Book is, i implore you to do a quick google search on the subject...prepare to be charmed!).  there is crepe paper fringe, in black and orange, no doubt, strung across the room from the gaslit chandelier..from amongst the fringe hang rice paper lanterns along with paper mache jack o lanterns and skulls...the dining table is decked out in a halloween themed paper cloth and skirt, and if you look really closely at the table settings, you can see some handmade skull centerpieces.  the setting looks absolutely magical, and what i wouldn't give to be able to slip into an old victorian frock and right into one of those chairs at the dining table amongst such light-hearted, happy folk to celebrate my most favorite time of year...

i love this photograph for so many reasons...its not simply because it captures a Hallowe'en of yesteryear.  i love it for what it suggests, for the enchantment found within.  i think of the family preparing for the evening, readying the decorations and the table settings, of what they must have eaten that night, if they played any fortunetelling games or held a candlelit seance...i can almost hear the laughter, the raucous joy of the evening.

for those of you who haven't already noticed or heard, my personal life has undergone a great upheaval and transformation in the last months.  it has rocked my world, but in the most surprising ways.  it has been difficult, and painful at times, but i have always known in my heart that it has all been for the better, that it has happened because the universe has greater things in store for me.  i can't thank all of my patrons and friends enough for their understanding and support throughout this time, because The Crepe Confectionary has regrettably had to take a backseat at times to the craziness that has infiltrated my present life.  the lessons i have learned have already been many, and this photo illustrates one of the greatest lessons i've learned thus far: moments shared with the ones you love mean, or should mean, everything.  at the end of the day, its your family that will always have your back, who will love you despite all of your faults, and who will pick you up when you have fallen or been pushed down.  i could not be more grateful for, just wait til they find out what sort of tricks and treats i have up my sleeve for them this year! (*muhahaha!)

HaPpY HaLLoWe'En to ALL, and to ALL, a frightful night!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

EEK!! new pottery barn halloween for 2011!

okay, okay...never mind that it is only the middle of july...and never mind the fact that i've already seen the halloween stock change and preliminary roll out at Michael's a month ago...i always look forward to when Pottery Barn debuts their halloween merchandise for the new year.


these HAPPY HALLOWEEN! string lights are really festive, and i could see them hanging across the doorway on a spooky, dimly lit porch.  they are simply string lights with little burlap shades embellished with stenciled gothic letters.  can someone say 'DIY'??  lol...seriously...i bet this look can easily be replicated using one of your christmas light strands, some scrap burlap, a sharpie or black acrylic paint, and a couple of hours on a saturday afternoon.

this spooky burlap runner looks like it might be a little more complicated to reproduce, but equally as DIY as the string lights above...

these gothic inspired plates make me think i was right on track in thinking i would go for an old victorian theme to my halloween decor this year...i've had this vision that's been marinating in my brain for a few months already that is a cross between From Hell and Sleepy Hollow...lots of dark, rich jewel tones, tons of bunched branches inhabited by darkly feathered crows, a candlelit table set for a seance, a wicked witch's kitchen altar, stacks of macabre books...i could go on, but i think i'm digressing.

these embellished hats and masks are the perfect steampunk-y doodads, rather befitting of my theme, i think...i bet if i kept my eyes peeled at some of the vintage tag sales, i could find some old chapeaus and embellish them rather similarly with some feathers and vintage jewelry bits.

yet another simple DIY project suitable for the season are these text-adorned column candles.  its a look that Pottery Barn has featured before, especially around the christmas holiday.  i find it rather amusing when 'powerhouse' chains such as PB take their design cues from the 'smaller' arts community such as Etsy.  i mention this because i can recall a handful of talented Etsy artisans who crafted this aesthetic and sold it successfully over two years ago, long before the look ever showed up in the pages of a PB catalog...

further proof of PB imitating Etsy life, is the sinister wall decal above.  this one is particularly spooky and i love the fonts and flourishes...

so what about you?  have you started to daydream of crisp fall days, of apple cider and pumpkins yet?  take my advice:  beat the heat by heading on over to Pottery Barn and start planning out your fall decor...what ideas are you excited to try out this year?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a birthday beach bash for jackson...

often in doing custom work for clients, i get to hear all about the details of the upcoming celebration. and, when i'm lucky, my clients will share pictures of aforesaid event and the little guest of honor.  its one of the perks of my job that has quickly become one of my favorites.  as cheesy as it may sound, i relish every snapshot, every smile, every detail...i am always thrilled and inspired to see how each of my creations is used, as well as to see the smiles it all put on everyones' faces.  and besides, i have found that i prefer putting smiles on kids faces with fun stuff they'll hopefully remember, rather than coming at them with a stethoscope or

a festive family photo:  jessica with her husband and son

in the two years i have been operating The Crepe Confectionary out of my little home studio, i have been blessed with some truly inspiring clients, but i wanted to take a moment to introduce you all to one special lady i feel truly lucky to have as a patron.  she hails from the grand old state of texas, and her name is jessica...she's the stellar mom of one very lucky little boy named jackson.  jessica first contacted me two years ago to help with the decorative embellishments for jackson's first birthday, which was crafted to be 'A Whale of a Time', and i shared a peek of the decor here.  i knew, even back then, that jessica and i were on the same creative wavelength.  she would come to me with the seed of an idea, a vision of which only she had in her head, and she entrusted me to help bring it to life.  not only was i inspired by jessica's ideas and suggestions, but i was touched that she put her creative faith in me...

my creative 'soul sistah':  jessica goes ALL out for her celebrations, seeing opportunity for charm and design at almost every opportunity...

i was honored when jessica contacted me again to help her throw jackson's 2nd birthday bash, which was to be a huge july 4th party on  the beach.  i immediately had a million darling little ideas for the decorations, and couldn't be happier to get started on gathering my materials.  needless to say, when i am approached by a client with an idea for a large decor package, the creative half of my brain quickly gets carried away -- i invest in the event mentally, imagining all the little details i would focus on as if i were the one throwing the bash.  the reality is, however, i'm not the hostess, and so i have to rein myself in and focus all my creative energies on the requested pieces for the client.  i think it is why i feel such a creative kinship with jessica...when i peruse her photos of the big day, i always say, 'wow!  that's exactly what i would have done!' or 'yeah!  that's such an awesome idea!'

no matter what, jessica, and so many other great clients like her, never fail to amaze me with their ideas and creative endavors of their own...i am always wowed...and encouraged...and privileged.  its a feeling very akin to the one i used to get when i knew i had really helped someone back when i was doctoring.  it is all about connection, at least for me.  connecting with another like-minded person out there in the world is really what its all about...or else, why are we here?

to all of you -- clients, readers, commenters, inspirers, and even browsers -- thank you.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

i ain't hiding...

i'm just...immersed in enjoying digging my hands into the dirt of my garden...and soaking up sun with friends...and taking long strolls to no where with my puppy...and sipping yummy glasses of wine under the stars...

and it's just been really, really difficult to pull myself away from living life to blog here...i'm not done by any means, but i am practicing being present in the moments of my life.  and i sincerely hope you all are as well! 

please do stay tuned, though...i have been working too...there will be some brand spanking new patriotic items added to the shop, and i've been dreaming up all new treats for my halloween line for this fall.  sometimes coming up for air, when you're so engrossed in your work, and just living for a little while, can be the best source of inspiration.  your brain just...relaxes.  it's as if all you have to do is clear a little space in your brain, and suddenly, there's room for daydreaming and imagining.  it really is the best advice i can offer, not just to other artists trying to navigate their way through the waters of capitalism, but to anyone attempting to live a more meaningful, well-rounded life.

Enjoy your summer!


Monday, May 2, 2011

greetings from San Francisco...

i returned from san francisco just a couple of days ago, and i think i am finally recovering.  honestly, i think i'm more in mourning because it came and went so fast! lol...san francisco is such an inspiring city, in so many ways, and each time i am there, a part of me feels very much at home.

i won't bore you all with a detailed recap, but i did want to share some photos of my time...these are images that will be stuck in my head for a while to come...i actually can't wait to start playing and working with my hands again!

i literally spent days in golden gate  it was truly beautiful, with so many different 'rooms' and areas for varied uses by the citizens of the area.  the above photo was taken upon the entrance to the AIDS memorial grove that is hidden away inside the park.  this spot truly did take my breath away as i came down the stairs into the was a masterpiece of garden design and architecture.

the architecture throughout the city and outlying areas is pure heaven for a historic buff such as myself.  these were just some of the 'painted ladies' along haight street...coincidentally, this is also the same neck of the woods where many of the great artists and musicians of the 60's lived...janis joplin, the jefferson airplane, and the grateful dead.

the palace of fine arts at dusk was the perfect spring evening walk...the colors were unbelievably vivid.  i could have sat here and sketched columns and arches forever...

we also took a day trip to napa to visit some of the many wineries...the vistas and imagery were absolutely stunning, and every where i looked, i seemed to be gasping and snapping  i got so many ideas for projects and pieces...i had to remind myself sometimes to just stop and breath and take it all in.

the view of the pacific on the way down from mount was raining pretty hard that day, but we decided to trek up anyway.  i'm so glad we did, because everything was so astoundingly lush and green once we began climbing to the top...the trees and the moss seemed truly alive.

on my last day, we strolled through the japanese tea was so peaceful and felt so deceptively, genuinely 'japanese', it was hard not to believe you were actually in  i came home with a million ideas for small projects in my own, if only it would stop raining here in buffalo long enough so i can get out into the garden, that would be lovely!

i am so grateful that i was fortunate enough to travel, and do so safely, to a city that i love, to spend time with the friends i have grown to love...i have so many other images i want to share, so many inspiring snapshots, and i will do so, in time...til then, thanks for sharing in some of my travel memories!