Monday, March 31, 2008

{ More things to smile about... }

These are { still } a few of my favorite things...

Image courtesy of those oh-so-talented stylists at crewcuts
For more miniature style oohs and aahs, click here.

Psst...also available in slightly larger sizes { sans the tutu }.

{ monday making me smile: strange fascination photography }

Happy Monday. How was your weekend?


I hope it was a fun one...full of new adventures. I have a busy Monday, catching up on some projects, but I quickly wanted to share the intriguing and
fascinating photography of a fabulous new etsy shop, Strange Fascination, opened by artist and photographer, Robin Collins. 



Shot using a technique known as Ttv (Through the Viewfinder), these photos are actually taken using two cameras. The image is first framed using an old dual lens camera–in this case a Kodak Duaflex, a Brownie Starflex or an Argoflex Seventy-Five. Robin then shoots her digital camera into the lens of the older camera–which blurs the edges of the photo and gives the photos their vintage, distorted effect. I love that she leaves the black edge around the photo, giving her photos a retro darkroom feel.


Robin has several photo collections available in her shop including a vintage series (some of which are pictured above), a landscape series, and this charming series of her vintage cameras, available as a 4 photo set. 

{ Wouldn't these look fabulous in an office or media room }?


Intrigued by this photo process? The ever-so-handy {and always entertaining }, Photojojo, has a wonderful DIY Ttv tutorial posted here. In the meantime, show some love to this inspiring photographer by visiting her new etsy shop. You can see more of Robin's work on her blog and via her flickr stream.

I hope to be back later today with another post. If not, I'll meet you here tomorrow morning. 
Have a lovely day!

Friday, March 28, 2008

{ friday finds... }

Daydreaming of an escape to this lovely London, England cottage on this fine Friday morning...








All images courtesy of Light Locations 
{ my latest obsession found via Desire to Inspire }

Thursday, March 27, 2008

{ thursday: things I'm + wit }

Fun & functional. Sustainable & stylish...What's not to love about Tara Hogan's charming Ink + Wit line of letter press paper goods, limited edition t-shirts, and original art pieces?

Bird and Cupcakes Thank You Notecards

Tara notes being inspired by a loving appreciation of nature's intricate beauty and the modern urban influences she experienced growing up near New York city. The unexpected juxtaposition of these two elements is captured beautifully in her distinctive designs.

click on image to enlarge

Pictured here are some of Tara's charming designs featured on her eco-friendly line of notecards and invitations. Don't miss Tara's equally amazing original works of art, which can be seen here. Also, keep an eye out at the Ink + Wit etsy shop and on the Ink + Wit web site for new, soon to be released offerings. 

Thanks Tara for graciously sharing a few of your many fabulous designs with us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

{ succulents: personality plus for your home & garden }


I've never really had any interest in succulent plants. As someone who favors cottage style gardens and colorful, scented blooms, I always considered succulents to be a little too contemporary for my taste. However, the eco friendliness of succulents and the new colors and textures I've seen popping up, inspired me to take a second look.

 images from fiore designs

I've discovered there are many, many varieties of these water friendly wonders and many of them–dare I say–are quite charming. Here you can see succulents working quite nicely alongside african violets and vintage finds.

Terrarium and arrangements by Ink & Peat 
as seen on the always inspiring blog, HouseMartin

Some tiny potted beauties add personality plus to this charming entryway




Pale pinks, silvery blues and faded aquas...who knew succulents came in so many different colors. Feeling inspired? I've found some great resources to help us all get started. 

These little lovelies come from
Greenware Design, a two woman design team that combines the talents of two longtime friends–Irene, {the potter } and Leslie { the planter }. Irene creates the original pottery pieces that are then planted with unique arrangements by Leslie. They are then shipped out directly from their Savannah, Georgia etsy shop–fabulous!

Succulent wreath from viva terra

Five groups of green gray, burgandy and silver succulents make up this distinctive wreath that can last up to a year with light watering every 3-8 weeks.

There are some incredible resources if you're interested in doing a little research on the many varieties of succulents:

Arid Lands Greenhouses in Tucson; 520/883-9404
Squaw Mountain Gardens, Estacada, OR; 503/637-3585

annual window box design by you grow girl

And for you DIYers, Martha has some 'how tos' for creating your own succulents wreath and terrarium

{ all you need is love }

Have you spied the fabulous prints recently designed by the lovely Jennifer Ramos of 
MadebyGirl? I just love her latest Love Candy prints, available in Pretty Lavender, Cotton Candy, Sky Blue, and Lemon.

{ lemon }

{ cotton candy }

Find Jennifer's new Love Candy prints in her etsy shop. To check out all of MadyByGirl's fabulous offerings–including stylish, eco friendly paper goods–visit the MadebyGirl web site. Jennifer also has a fun blog where you can stay current with this busy girl's happenings.

I am catching up on a few projects this morning, and will be back later this afternoon.

{ all images courtesy of MadebyGirl }

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

{ tempting me tuesday: gorgeous paintings by Paris Gerrard }

Currently taking delight in the beautiful and captivating paintings of this talented, young artist,
Paris Gerrard

A self-described art nerd, Paris grew up in a family of artists and recalls expressing herself through art since early childhood. Fresh, passionate and well spoken, Paris currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where she shares studio space with her mother, Jill Barton–also an amazingly gifted artist.

Sophisticated without being stuffy, Paris' paintings have a fun, lighthearted essence–capturing the splendor of simple pleasures and everyday objects.  I'm hoping she will continue with her bicycle series of paintings–alas, the two pictured above have already sold. { I've started saving my pennies just in case }.

You can learn more about Paris and the inspiration behind her paintings by taking a stroll over to the ever so lovely blog, Black Eiffel, where Paris is this week's guest blogger. For purchase inquiries and to view more of her paintings, visit her website

{ all images borrowed from the Paris Gerrard site }

Monday, March 24, 2008

{ creating curb appeal: pillows by Olive }

Adorn your abode with these charming , one-of-a-kind house pillows designed by etsy seller, Olive. Each one is uniquely embellished, making no two pillows alike.

Mix and match with Olive's just as quaint "Come on Over to My Neighborhood" and "Summer Day Collage " pillows for a pleasantly perfect punch of color. Fallon, Olive's talented designer, will work with you to create a custom mix of pillows and sizes at very reasonable prices.

Visit the Olive etsy shop

{ monday making me smile: chet & dot }


I think I added one of each item to my 'favorites' upon visiting the shop of Etsy's featured seller, Chet & Dot. These talented designers of 'handmade lovelies for you and yours' take cuteness to a whole new level with their distinctly delightful line of totes, softies, & notions.

A mere few–of my
many favorites–are pictured above (clockwise from upper left corner):

  who wouldn't go ga-ga over this little feathered friend?
  love their idea of using this as an oh-so-stylish lunch bag
  perfectly packaged in a lined kraft gift box and baker's twine
  slip in a special memento from your child for a distinctive teacher's gift

A stroll through this fanciful little shop is sure to make you smile too on this lovely Monday morning. 

Friday, March 21, 2008

{ friday fun: Easter memories }

Who do you suppose is pictured here in 
her finest ~1970s~ Easter frockery?

Gathering goodies for my daughter's Easter basket yesterday had me reminiscing about my own childhood Easters–always a favorite holiday of mine. I just loved waking up to that basket of surprises beside my bed in the morning. 

Another Easter..sporting a stylin' new 'do'
{ gosh, I loved that straw purse! }

What struck me, as I recalled my beloved Easter basket treats, was that none of them required batteries, electricity, logins, or passwords–goodness gracious, how did we ever survive? At the risk of dating myself, those were the days when we were {ahem} encouraged to take our new loot and play outside with our neighborhood buddies–and we had a blast!

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite Easter treats from the past with you all. Do you recognize any?

Easter memories

Click here to enlarge photo

Clockwise from upper left corner:
5. See's Chocolate bunny 6. Bunny Pez (of course!)  
10. Peeps  11. Silly Putty   12. Jump rope
Memories of these simple pleasures have inspired the surprises my daughter will find in her own Easter basket this year--I can't wait to share in some retro playtime together.

May you all find joy in your own simple pleasures this weekend 
as you celebrate the blessings of Spring!

A special note to welcome all of the new visitors who stopped by this week and to thank everyone for the many sweet and thoughtful comments-they really, truly, sincerely make my day and it thrills me that you continue to stop by my little corner of the world.

{ friday finds...chez larsson on etsy }


Some of you long time S.HOPtalk readers might recall one of my original posts which featured the inspiring { and extremely organized } work space of Benita Larsson. 

I've continued to stay connected with Benita when she pops over here and via flickr, where she frequently treats her fans to peeks inside her constantly evolving home and her fabulous sense of style. Benita  is continually editing and updating her spaces to keep things fresh...swapping out colors, fabrics and accents with a change of the seasons–so inspiring! 

Home office pink

Home office green

The exciting news is that Benita has taken her keen eye for great design details to create some original designs, which are now available in her recently launched etsy shop, The Chez Larsson Shop

Her kitty gocco printed cards are so charming–available by color or in mixed sets. 

Don't you love Benita's production line--indie artistry at its finest!

Pillow covers, designed by Benita, are also available in the shop. 

Kitty lovers will recognize the intriguing expression on this little guy. You know the one...when your whiskered friend is up to something and you catch them, but they don't want to admit it.


Hmmm...I wonder who inspires some of Benita's designs???

Visit Benita's etsy shop here. You can also follow Benita's adventures in home decorating and any new designs she's offering through her flickr album.

I so admire artists and designers who put themselves out there and pursue their dreams. Way to go for it Benita...I wish you much success with this new endeavor and look forward to seeing what else you have in store for us.

Post note: Since featuring Benita's home office on S.HOPtalk back in January, Benita has been featured in numerous articles and posts, including a Collections feature on Poppytalk–I thought I'd mention it in case you missed it--definitely worth a gander when you have a moment.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

{ crafting springtime cheer }

My creation
click on image to enlarge

Matthew Mead is one of my favorite stylists. I just love his knack for re-inventing spaces with vintage collections and fresh pops of color. I hopped over to his oh-so-inspiring style site today and was absolutely thrilled to discover Matthew's craft section that includes an archive of these wonderful little Easter crafts. Included are full instructions and free downloads with everything you need to recreate these charming projects at home. 

Whether you're celebrating Easter this weekend or just the official start of Spring, you'll find plenty of style, entertaining and decorating ideas on Matthew' site

: : :

Full DIY instructions and free templates for the projects featured above 
are available here

Find all of his craft projects and free templates here

Wishing you all wonderful start to my favorite season

{ top left flower image from }  
{ all other images from }

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