Book Report

Spring Into These Books

The Flower Workshop

The Flower Workshop

Have you heard?  Spring showed up two weeks early here in New England – guess that Pennsylvanian groundhog had it right this year!  Today’s temps are supposed to break some records so spring flowers will soon be blooming in just time for Easter.  And just time for Easter, some of our favorite floral designers are out with new books filled with sumptuous bouquets.

Free and Fabulous

Free and Fabulous

We’re inspired by Ariella Chezar’s step-by-step instructions in The Flower Workshop and think she might even be able to teach us a thing or two.  Lewis Miller’s exquisite new book, Styling Nature, is filled with gorgeous photographs shot by Don Freeman making this tome worthy of a collector’s bookshelf.

Styling Nature

Styling Nature

Marvelous Masterpiece

Marvelous Masterpiece

And former Wall Street broker and compliance officer, DeJuan Stroud, took a big leaf of faith when he quit finance to turn his hobby of floral design into a business (we know what that’s like!)  Now he’s one of the most sought-after event planners in New York and his new book, Designing Life’s Celebrations, is sure to please.  This fresh guide to entertaining will show you how to conquer “stem fear” and create beautiful bouquets to go along with your tablesettings.  Every meal should be a celebration, shouldn’t it?

Designing Life's Celebrations

Designing Life’s Celebrations

Pink Perfection

Pink Perfection

Hurrah…Spring has nearly sprung!

ariella / fabulous / lewis / marvelous / dejuan / perfection

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday: Meet Marissa Webb

Spring 2016 - White Floral

Spring 2016 – White Floral

A quick glance at our weather forecast next week tells us that spring is on its way (even as it threatens to snow today)…  Temps will be climbing into the high 50’s so we’re hoping to break out some pretty florals to celebrate the sunny days.  One designer we’ll definitely be investing in this season is Marissa Webb.  With an FIT education and over a decade at J. Crew in various design roles including Head of Womenswear and Accessories Design, this Korean born and American raised designer knows how to blend elements of nature and architecture by mixing highly structured pieces with soft and feminine accents.

Spring 2016 - Blue Floral

Spring 2016 – Blue Floral

Spring 2016 - Yellow Silk

Spring 2016 – Yellow Silk

The new Spring 2016 collection marries leather, lace, cotton and silk for a modern mash-up that looks both effortless and elegant.  We love the floral prints (of course!) as well as the bright colors and sophisticated textures.

Spring 2016 - Orange Lace

Spring 2016 – Orange Lace

Juxtaposing high fashion with everyday wearability is not new but we think Marissa takes the concept to a new level by pairing grungy plaids with feminine silhouettes and black leather jackets with long lace skirts.

Spring 2016 - Leather and Lace

Spring 2016 – Leather and Lace

We’re counting the days ’til spring and wishing you a fashionable Friday!

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Fabulous Finds

Bamboo-zled

Gucci - Spring 2016

Gucci – Spring 2016

While some say that bamboo is back, we’re wondering if it ever went out of style.  Even Gucci has revived it’s iconic curved bamboo handles in the company’s Spring 2016 collection of handbags and totes.

Arme de L'Amour - Ring

Arme de L’Amour – Ring

Juliska - Classic Bamboo Dinnerware

Juliska – Classic Bamboo Dinnerware

This signature handle design first appeared just after World War II in 1947 when the world was still rationing resources.  Bamboo cane could still be imported from Japan so the artisans at Gucci developed a patented method to heat and bend the material and ta-da, the Gucci Bamboo Handbag was born.

Seda France - Malaysian Bamboo Candle

Seda France – Malaysian Bamboo Candle

Wisteria - Bamboo Pagoda Mirror

Wisteria – Bamboo Pagoda Mirror

The bamboo handle was so interesting and innovative that it became an instant hit and was carried through the 1960′ and 70’s as an integral part of the brand.  And now it’s back gracing a range of bags printed with pretty petals.  Bamboo is not only showing up in fashion accessories but also in home decor and here are some of our favorites!

Jonathan Adler - Bamboo Wallpaper

Jonathan Adler – Bamboo Wallpaper

Not that we’re trying to bamboozle you…

bag / ring / plates / candle / mirror / wallpaper

Friday Favorite

Friday Favorite: Pure Joy Paperie

Pure Joy Paperie

Pure Joy Paperie

Our Friday Favorite comes just in time for all your spring party planning!  We’ve known Liz Joy for quite some time and have followed her transformation from newlywed blogger (she was Shorely Chic when we first met) to mother of two and designer of pretty paper goods.  She’s also a neighbor of ours and it seems that the only time we have to catch up with her these days is in the aisles of Trader Joe’s.

California State Print

California State Print

Her Beauty Will Follow Print

Her Beauty Will Follow Print

So we were thrilled to learn through her new blog, Pure Joy Home, that she just launched a new website for her joy-filled paper products, Pure Joy Paperie.  Her collection includes stationery and invitations, art prints, and address stamps; each charming design is filled with color and life.  Liz has also added fabulous lucite trays to her line with custom inserts you can mix and match.  Our favorite is her flamingo print – perfect for summer entertaining.

Birthday Invitation

Birthday Invitation

Peace Love Joy Stamp

Peace Love Joy Stamp

We have a couple of graduation parties to plan, along with a grandparent’s milestone 80th birthday celebration so Liz, you’ll be hearing from us soon!

Lucite Tray

Lucite Tray

Happy joyful Friday to all and let us know what you think of Liz’s designs.  Oh, and her blog is worth a read, too.

state print / art print / invitation / stamp / tray

 

Floral Decor

Spring Blooms in The Pages of BHG

Fall in Love with BHG!

Fall in Love with BHG!

Leave it to Stephen Orr, flower fanatic and garden guru, to brighten our gray February days with a beautiful March issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  It’s easy to fall in love with color and we’re especially fond of springtime hues like pinks, yellows, purples and blues.  And nothing gets our spring fever going than flowering bulbs that we can grow inside while Old Man Winter overstays his welcome.

Hyacinths, Tulips and Pansies

Hyacinths, Tulips and Pansies

Blossoming Bulbs

Blossoming Bulbs

Stores like Terrain and Trader Joe’s are bursting with potted bulbs which you can transplant into pretty vases and vessels.  Line them up on a windowsill or down the middle of your dining room table and dream of spring days to come.

Tulips and Muscari

Tulips and Muscari

And while you’re getting your hands dirty, why not try a craft project?  We think these DIY marbleized terracotta pots are charming when paired with daffodils and would make great Easter presents for family and friends.

Eater Table

Eater Table

DYI Marbleized Pots

DYI Marbleized Pots

How are you counting down the days ’til spring?

Flowers

Before and After: Michael Smith and GMA

George and Michael

George and Michael

What do you do when Margaret Russell from Architectural Digest calls late on a Friday afternoon in December asking for designs for a photo shoot the following Monday?  You say, “Yes, of course!  What can we send you?”  And then, when you hear that the designs are actually for Michael Smith’s makeover of George Stephanopoulos’ office at Good Morning America, you jump up and down and clap!  At least, that’s what we did…

George's Office - Before

George’s Office – Before

George's Office - Before

George’s Office – Before

Last Friday, the office makeover was revealed on GMA (see the video here) and for once, we got to see the show live thanks to a snow day.  The “before” pictures reminded us a college dorm room gone very bad…

George's Office - After

George’s Office – After

George's Office - After

George’s Office – After

Mini Tea Leaf Topiary

Mini Tea Leaf Topiary

With a bit of Phillip Jeffries wallpaper, a patterned Stanton rug and rich mahogany Ralph Lauren furniture, Michael magically transformed the dank 10 by 16 foot hovel into a serene space befitting a news anchor and former White House Communications Director.  We think our lifelike designs add the perfect natural touch and George won’t even need to water them!

P.S.  We’re taking a little break from blogging this week as we spend some quality time with our boys – two of whom will be off to college in no time.

photos

 

Fabulous Finds

UncommonGoods… How Do We Love Thee?

Faux Bois Vase

Faux Bois Vase

Let us count the ways!  One – you provide a platform for artists and designers and half of what you sell is made by hand.  Two – you believe that it’s your responsibility to use your business to impact the world in a positive way.  Three – best of all, you offer unique and artisanal gifts that are created in harmony with the environment and without harm to living beings (people and animals alike!)  This Valentine’s Day, show your love by finding the perfect something for your perfect someone at UncommonGoods and better yet, make it personal with an initial or monogram.

We Have Chemistry Terrarium

We Have Chemistry Terrarium

Along with the faux bois vase and “we have chemistry” terrarium above, here are some of our favorites, guaranteed to make your loved ones smile…  A cutting board for the foodie who cooks up a storm…

Personalized Cutting Board

Personalized Cutting Board

and a molecular mixology kit for the life of every party…

Molecular Mixology Kit _ Mojito

Molecular Mixology Kit _ Mojito

Chakra bath salts for the pampered diva…

Chakra Bath Salts

Chakra Bath Salts

and a four season necklace for the stylish fashionista – these gifts will let your Valentine know they’re special!

Four Seasons Necklace

Four Seasons Necklace

Head on over to this wonderful site and let us know what you think!

P.S.  This post was written in partnership with UncommonGoods.

vase / terrarium / cutting board / mixology kit / bath salts / necklace