Posted by Cobi on Monday May 31, 2010 at 07:00 AM
What is it about rick rack that’s so appealing?
Does it bring back memories of one of Grandma’s aprons? Or a favourite blouse from your childhood?
Is the wavy design the perfect blend of old and new?
Whatever it is, it seems to represent a simpler time when summers were long and houses smelled like apple pie.
You can tell how much I like rick rack just by looking at my picture to the top of this blog. I had that linen tunic made last year and chose large scale, white cotton rick rack to trim it. I love the gutsy, graphic quality of it.
Last week I found some amazing fabric called “Rick Rack Attack” - wouldn’t it make great napkins?
There are all kinds of things you can do with rick rack - from wrapping presents….
To wrapping lampshades…
Look at some of the things I found people doing on Etsy…
Even selling vintage rick rack…
Part of what I love about rick rack is the colour choice…
And did you know it comes in velvet?…
So make some waves and have your own rick rack attack…
Even if all you do is something small…
Posted by Cobi on Monday May 24, 2010 at 07:00 AM
Have you heard about the blogger who is photographing and showing one of her collections per day for a year?
Kind of like a ‘crazed collector’s’ version of cooking Julia Child’s recipes for a year.
Here are a few of my favourites….
You can check her out at collectionaday2010.blogspot.com.
Maybe if I photographed some of my collections I could actually purge them afterward…something to think about!
Posted by Cobi on Monday May 17, 2010 at 07:00 AM
Often people comment on the ceiling fixture over my kitchen table.
It’s a handmade (and signed) ceramic fixture from France. I purchased it a few years ago when we renovated our kitchen, along with two cream coloured wall sconces of a similar style.
I bought them from a wonderful french country retail and mail-order store in Niagara-on-the-lake, southern Ontario, however they’re no longer in business. Recently someone asked me to help her track down a similar fixture and I was able to find some online however, not in Canada.
What I love about the fixture is it’s unusual character. It has a lovely homey feel to it with the coloured, earthy ceramic but it’s also got a contemporary feel with the exposed weighted pulley system. It’s also quite practical in that it can be lowered at mealtime and raised up afterward. Enhanced even more when you put it on a dimmer, like all ceiling fixtures.
The only downside is cost. They are fairly expensive and of course shipping is a factor, but to be honest, if you are looking for one special fixture to really do something different in your home, I don’t find them outrageous. There are many lighting fixtures on the market today that cost more, even with shipping and duty added to one of these.
All three companies I found are based in the UK but sell fixtures made in France. They’re all set up to ship to North America however you will need a trained electrician to be sure the electrical fittings are correct for our homes. Here’s what I found….
Holloways of Ludlow sells both contemporary and period lighting fixtures along with many other types of hardware and fittings for homes. Their price is £185.00 (about $288.00 CAN).
They have a number of colours to choose from and offer a very cute smaller size as well for £144.40 (about $225.00 CAN).
The French House is an amazing site just to wander whether you’re shopping or not.
All kinds of gorgeous items from France - I wish they were in North America! Their lamp is £187.00 and comes in this lovely green or cream.
Marston & Langinger is a British supplier of home and garden items. Their fixture sells for £215.00 (about $335.00 CAN) and I contacted them to ask about shipping one ‘Rise & Fall light’ and they estimated it at $60.00 to Ontario (their service was amazing by the way, very personal). Of course there would be GST and duty too.
If anyone finds a source for these beautiful lamps in Canada please write a comment and tell us all. You never know when the next renovation might strike!
Posted by Cobi on Monday May 10, 2010 at 07:00 AM
This blog is for any mom or grandma out there, who received a piece of art or special handwritten card yesterday.
Before you crumple up, tuck away or secretly stash your precious gift, consider treating it as a valued piece of art.
Here’s a piece my son did many years ago. Framed with IKEA, it takes pride of place over our bed (much to my daughter’s disgust).
I like to think my legs are a bit better than he imagined, but he did get my hair colour right!
Here are some more shots to get you thinking about your own little Picasso’s….
These ever changing pieces are put into individual clear acrylic boxes…
I’ve shown this image before. I love the way the kids art is mixed with family photos…
A great way to have an ever changing display is to use clips…
You can do a whole wall of it for more impact…
I love this little strip of tack board - no need to line the whole wall….
Or how about wainscotting that incorporates cork board…
If space is an issue for you, take pictures of the art and keep it on display that way…
Or decorate your kids own room with it, they’ll love it…
Whatever you do, enjoy it. No other artist will paint for you with such love.
Posted by Cobi on Monday May 03, 2010 at 07:00 AM
If you’re working hard on something creatively, sometimes you just need a little shake, to get your head out of your surroundings, and find some new inspiration.
Whenever I feel like that there’s only one thing to do - take a bite out of the Big Apple.
There’s just something about that crazy little island that’s intoxicating.
My associate and I went down for a whirlwind trip to all my favourite haunts and then some. We were on the lookout for anything new and inspiring and found lots to write home about.
Speaking of ‘home’, if that’s your thing, here are a few tips for next time you’re in nyc:
Stores don’t open until 10:00am with very few exceptions, so use the morning time to hit a local deli - no need for anything fancy for breakfast and New York bagels are Almost as good as Montreal’s. We did find one place open at 9:00am however, it’s an amazing ribbon store in mid-town called M&J Ribbon. Floor to ceiling (and I’m talking 20 ft. ceilings) of gorgeous ribbons.
From here, walk four blocks south to Macy’s and you’ll be there for it’s open at 10:00am. Head directly to the home floors and you’ll be the only one there - it’s way up on 6, 8 and 9. The bedding patterns are plentiful and beautifully displayed as are the towels. Martha Stewart’s bedding line is here.
From there it’s a short cab ride or a 20 minute walk straight down Broadway to ABC Carpet & Home. This is a huge home store - there’s rugs in one building on the west side of the street and everything else in a massive building on the east side. We were amazed at how bohemian everything looks right now but that will change again - it’s a great place to catch the latest trend. The look is very raw and eastern in influence this season, it reminded us of the 60’s - we even found Jesus sandals for sale on the main floor! It was convenient to find that the Conran Shop from London has just moved into the basement level of ABC. You can check out all of the new finds from Sir Terence at the same time!
There’s nothing else really around this area and so it’s now time to jump in another cab and head south to Soho. I love Pearl River and always make it my first stop. It’s a store that sells Chinatown wares like no one else - all the great things you can imagine but with more selection than you’ve ever seen. If you pop out the backdoor you can walk across the street and into a whole other world of North American perfection - the little Kate Spade store. Gorgeous.
There are still many shops to see in Soho, but in general I found it was lacking this trip. Many businesses have moved east of Broadway to Nolita or north to Bleeker street - both are hot spots of independent design shops. No doubt the high rent and influx of chain stores to Soho has driven them farther afield.
From Soho, it’s time to head Uptown to check out what the ladies who lunch have on their menu. I’m talking rhetorically but that’s usually exactly what I do - head straight to Barneys 7th floor restaurant (Fred’s) and take a load off with a wonderful omelet or pizza and people watch (btw, you need a reservation). It’s also perfect because the rest of this floor is devoted to home. Barneys Chelsea Passage always has a little edgier, contemporary take to fashion and home. Prices are steep of course, but you’ll see great contemporary designs and pops of colour.
From there, it’s a short walk to Bergdorf Goodman’s famous top floor dedicated to home. It’s been there forever and always has the finest in table linens, dishes, trinkets, books, throws, stationary, all displayed beautifully in little rooms and vignettes. This is a place to drool and dream… and if you can pull yourself away, go to a floor just below and have a peak out the window - you’ll find one of the best views of Central Park in the city.
Here’s a snapshot we took through the glass…
Of course you still have to go to Bloomingdale’s to get a more realistic look at where the world is going (and of course a little treat in the accessory dept. on the main floor!). And a million other places like the Ralph Lauren Mansion for pure drama and fantasy, and the list goes on and on…
It’s like a trip down the rabbit hole for inspiration seekers - it’s everywhere you look. You can even find it on the street corners - look at the fruit wood ballroom chairs we saw stacked outside the Pierre hotel waiting for a wedding…
I always say I wouldn’t want to live in New York (I’d be bankrupt for one thing!) but boy, I love to visit that city. It’s a whirlwind of excitement, ideas and no doubt conspicuous consumption, but it’s like a wonderful day at the fair. You come home exhausted, smiling and filled with great memories of a time of crazy high energy and ready to settle back into normal life again.