Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Star, A Star - Danish Paper Stars

  What to do when you have grandkids whose little fingers won't leave the glass ornaments alone on your tree?
Well, I don't have kids OR grandkids but my oldest sister does and great auntie PK is coming to her rescue with some hand made paper stars, to fill in her empty Christmas tree this year!

So easy to make - just check out my Pinterest boards under either Creative Pursuits or Scandinavian Christmas for instructions, or google it.  I used someone else's photo tutorial and can't figure out who's it is so I won't post it due to copyright!
I am on Pinterest under LilyOake.
(you'll love my blue and white boards - in every category!!) lol

So here are a few paper stars I made using my own Nordic inspired fabric designs, printed on card stock paper at home.
They are easy to fold and glue.  I added a bit of shimmer with fine white glitter on the top creases.
I love red and white kitchen twine - makes for a fun hanger.

I made them in a few short hours while I watched Rick Steve's European Christmas show on youTube.

I displayed these on two fabrics in my cottage collections.  Jane's Rose Bouquet on blueberry blue and Imma Toile in sorbet pink, both on linen cotton canvases printed by Spoonflower and!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cottage Dreaming

As I wind down my 32 years in Seattle, I really look forward to a new beginning and new adventures back on the east coast.
Seattle has been good to me but after all these years, I find myself a little bored, not sure what to do with myself and ready for new challenges and experiences to jumpstart my heart and imagination again.

So I'm turning my attention to the east coast, but faced with a limited budget, I decided perhaps the Commonwealth of Virginia is going to be my new home.
I grew up in rural Wisconsin and always preferred rolling green fields and meadows with old oaks and maples, to deep, dark, cold pine forests and mountains.
I want to be around historical places, to explore and absorb their energies.
I want to meet new people and try my luck at building my cottage decor business in a new territory where the prevailing trend isn't mid-century modern in grey and teals.

And where I can afford to live!
I have no back up income, no husband or partner who helps pay the bills.  Its just me, my instincts,talent and my get-up-and-go!

I realize all the challenges ahead of me but I feel I face the same ones in Seattle where I am bored of being.
I view this as a midlife opportunity and I am embracing it!
The one thing I will miss here are my many wonderful friends.  But they all travel a lot and I am hoping they will swing by to stay with me a few days on their goings and comings from Europe!

Anyhoo - what I really look forward to, once I find a new cottage to purchase, is decorating it!!
hahaha - what artist/designer wouldn't??
Its what's keeping me sane and focused through the emotional highs and lows of selling my current home and arranging for a cross-country move with 4 cats and a young friend I've taken under my wing.
I have a lot on my shoulders but what perks me up on days when my knees feel like they are buckling, is the prospect of hanging pretty wallpapers, filling rooms with white slipcovered sofas, hanging antique chandeliers and laying the prettiest rugs I've ever seen, on the old hardwood floors.

So here is a sampling of what has been inspiring me, which I intend to use once I've landed somewhere in a simple cottage, in my new life.
As usual, its all blue & white!!  
(Although in my new place, I am contemplating wallpapering my art studio in a soft, buttercup yellow damask...)

What really gets me excited right now are the new French Blue rugs by Dash and Albert, in herringbones.  Both cotton or indoor/outdoor rugs, they are beautiful, quality rugs in a simple, fresh. clean Scandinavian style. The two herringbone rugs are must-haves for me. As soon as I buy a house, I will know which sizes to order.  They will be my anchor from which I do all the other decorating around!
Here's a link to the site where you can explore all the gorgeous rugs available:  Annie Selke
And for this who want to see my latest cottage-fresh designs for fabrics and wallpapers, here's a link to my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake.
An indoor/outdoor herringbone rug in French Blue, by Dash and Albert.  This will go on my living room floor.

Another Dash and Albert rug in a French Blue herringbone.  This cotton rug will go on my bedroom floor.

MY own design, Albertine is a strong contender for wallpaper in my future living room!

Jane's Rose Bouquet wallpaper is on my current home's dining room walls.  Its a favorite of mine.

Jane's Rose Bouquet wallpaper in blueberry blue.  This paper will grace the walls in my new bedroom.

Jane's Rose Bouquet wallpaper in blueberry blue.

Cottage Check simplified is a strong contender as wallpaper in my future kitchen.

Jane's Rose Bouquet wallpaper is feminine and soft, but holds it own with gilded frames and furniture!

Additional inspiration - my old garden lilacs and a myriad of blueberry blue and white cotton or linen fabrics in my Swedish cottage collections on Spoonflower

Jane's Rose Bouquet Stripe in blueberry blue - you can make curtains to match the wallpaper!

Blue Rose Wreath in blueberry.  My current chair slipcovers are coming with me so my cottage will coordinate.  Any piece of furniture can go into any other room and fit right in.

I love European gingerbreading on houses and whatever home I buy, I will try to add personality in this style.

More inspiration:  white farmhouse sinks.  Double bowl...?

My current home has beautiful glass and crystal chandeliers so I hope to add this detail to my new home too.

If I stay under my budget, I have promised myself the Albertine gas range by La Cornue.  White?

...or Provence Blue?  I guess I will have to flip a coin, should the good fortune befall me where I get to fit one into my budget!

My own LilyOake designs, all will be present in my new cottage home.

I keep coming back to white cotton canvas slip covered furniture because it really fits my lifestyle.  And with 4 kitties, I can wash them any time!

A new white cotton canvas slip covered sofa is in my near future.  I can fill it with a mix of LilyOake cottage pillows.

A pretty detail - having packed most my house up already, I kept out a few things to keep close to me during the move

farmhouse sinks....single bowl...?

If I get a porch or sunroom, I would love to build a replica Swedish daybed to grace the space

A dream:  A Swedish tiled stove in blue and white.  IfI cant have the real thing, I can add tile to the kitchen backsplash or to a fireplace surround!

I've loved this image for years - an old Swedish desk in a soft white with a surprise bright blue interior!  I will paint all my furniture in this manner.

Christmas Candle

Every year I look forward to the YULEFEST at the Nordic Museum in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.
Its a seasonal tradition around here, in the neighborhood founded by all the Nordic immigrants who settled in the PNW because it reminded them of back home, with the snowcapped mountains, cold blue waters and pines.
Yulefest is a holiday bazaar and craft fair where you can find anything Nordic related, including rosemaling, nordic sweaters, foods, painted Dale horses, straw or painted wood ornaments,woolen yarns and knitted masterpieces, Danish porcelain and even my own Scandinavian tea towels (I was vendor last year!)

I look for one dealer in particular who sells her beeswax tree shaped candles.  I look for them each time, but this year she surprised me with a small inventory of pristine white ones, besides her yellow beeswax trees too.
I think both colors are gorgeous but this year I got a white one.  

I love how beautiful they are on a dark, rainy Seattle night when candlelight really brings a warmth to a room.

Shown in white on my mantle with a backdrop of my Kane's Rose Bouquet wallpaper in blueberry blue!
And in yellow beeswax on a linen cotton canvas tablecloth in my Edwina pattern in blueberry blue.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Simple Slipcover

I had found a really nice footstool at a local Goodwill store - nice size and height to sit on for big tushes like mine, plus the casters worked perfectly and even the fabric was in perfect condition.
But unfortunately it was a burnt orange velvet from the 70's palette!  ECH

Luckily, footstools are a snap to recover or sew a quick slip cover for.
Since I have kitty cats who sleep on everything, I always slip cover my furniture for ease of laundering.
A slip cover for this was a no brainer.

I wanted something simple but with some feminine gathering, even though I was using one of my more masculine stripe designs, SIGNE STRIPE in pale blueberry and white.
I had it printed on the linen cotton canvas, which sews well and launders well too!

It turned a nicely made, but very ugly footstool into something I can proudly place in any room in my home for use.
Did I mention my entire house is this shade of blue so anything I slip cover will fit in, in any room, as needed!
Saves money and also allows you to have functional, pretty furniture without cluttering up a small cottage with too many pieces.

Laundered and ready to cut!  Signe Stripe in blueberry, on linen cotton canvas from my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake.

Adding readymade piping.  I know color is a bit off but they also somehow worked well together and it saved me time, which is precious to me nowadays.

Piping in place, all I had to do is hem the gathered skirt.

Simple readymade piping and a gently gathered skirt did the trick.

The complete footstool slip cover, awaiting its first use.

Blue and White Watercolors

It had been a few months since I had sat down to paint blue and white china so I decided to pick out some of my Meissen Blue Onion porcelain and some other pottery from the china hutch and recreate it on paper with watercolor!

I have always been fascinated by monochromatic paints not only because I can overdose on a particular color I am obsessed with, but also its really easy to work with!
Instead of concentrating on color and shade, you just work with shades, to bring about depth and emotion.

I chose a cobalt, straight from the tube (because its....duh.... monochromatic!).  Cobalt also suits my subject - blue and white china!
I also love the crisp contrast and clean, fresh look monochromatic cobalt blue and white gives to a piece of spot art.

While i was at it, I also created a few European-inspured folksy art florals to use in a new collection of fabric I am working on.

Painting my Blue Onion pieces

Sometimes I use Google images to find pieces to reference while I paint.

This grouping was painted on ready-to-mail greeting cards with envelopes. So the art becomes the car and gift.

Watercolor Flowers

This past spring as the flowers were blooming all around the yard and at flower markets, I decided it was time to break out my watercolors and try my hand at creating a few whimsical watercolor flowers I could use in various fabric designs.

I was in the mood for color, having been influenced by a visit to a Portuguese friend's home where everything is bright, colorful and fresh!

I also love how pinks, tangerine oranges and bright garden greens all mix together.
You cannot help but smile at the combination.

So I set myself up in my favorite spot, at my dining room table in front of a large picture window overlooking some gorgeous lilacs, turned on some romantic music and just began painting.

As you can see I also play dangerously...using old teacups as my water dish has caused me confusion on occasions where I am not sure if I dipped my brush into the right cup, as I also enjoy a cup of tea when I paint!  LOL