Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Trends: Choosing Artwork to Brighten Your Home!

Spring is here and that always brings out the desire to liven up our living spaces! Adding artwork to your home is a great way to bring in color and pattern. Art sets a tone in a room and can be a focal point in your room's design. Choosing the right artwork and the best place to display it can really bump up the appeal of your living space!There are a few trends in art this spring that are worth noting. Bold colors and patterns create a striking visual and draw the eye.

This painting, Tree Rings, by Focuslineart on Etsy has a great balance of color and pattern.

The trend toward green living conserving our resources has increased the popularity of art with a focus on nature. Here is a Filigree Tree print by Meartdesign on Etsy. I love the delicate branches and tiny birds on the peaceful green background!

Here is a beautiful original that combines the nature theme with a bold color palette and geometric designs by Edenfolwell on Etsy. It is painted on wood and I think it has a wonderful earthy feel with a contemporary twist!

Choosing artwork is a very personal endeavor. You will want to select pieces that you will enjoy looking at for a long time. Take some time to browse these and other Etsy artists to bring some color and pattern into your d├ęcor.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CottonColors Featured on Maggies World Blog!

Maggie is a wonderful Etsy friend with a lovely blog where whe writes about her life and interests. She has included my shop, CottonColors, in her "Inspirations" feature series!
Visit her blog at www.maggiemagsart.blogspot.com

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today is Etsy Day!

April 24th is Etsy Day!

Have you ever visited Etsy? If not, you should check it out. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade items of all kinds! It is a great place to shop and connect with artisans and crafters who love to create! If you love vintage, Etsy is the place to find lots of great retro and vintage treasures! Today is a great day to discover something beautiful and unique!

Buy Handmade!

Click Below to Visit Etsy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A New/Old Table for My Living Room?

I need a new coffee table and I recently came across some with "aged" copper on the tops. They are kind of rustic, but beautiful! I have become pretty much obsessed with owning one, but they are quite pricey.

As it happens, my sister-in-law is a copper artist whose beautiful work can be seen here: Copperworx
I am thinking of pulling some family strings to get a top made for an existing table that I have. The style of the table is similar to the top photo, but a little smaller and rectangular. If it works out, I will post photos soon!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tuesday Trends: Staging Your Home for Sale!

With all the competition in the real estate market, home owners and real estate agents are looking for any edge they can get that will help make a home more sellable! Enter the professional home stager.

The concept of home staging, on its surface, is a fairly simple one. Show every room to its best advantage. Easier said than done, right? So, hire a pro or DIY? Whichever option you choose, becoming familiar with home staging techniques can definitely help throughout the process of getting a home ready to be put on the market.
  • Reduce clutter. Pare down furnishings and belongings to make the space feel larger.

  • Keep walls and decor fairly neutral.

  • Minimize personal items and family photos. Potential buyers will find it easier to imagine themselves living in the home if the current owners' personalities are not obvious.

  • Let in as much natural light as possible.

  • Use fragrant candles in main rooms and add fresh flowers when possible, especially for an open house.

  • Don't forget curb appeal! Trim shrubs, plant flowers or plants with colorful foliage. Keep grass neat. Garages should be organized and porches and walks should be edged and swept.
There are so many things to think about when showing your house and details are important! Ask a friend or relative to look over the house with the same critical eye that a buyer would use and make suggestions. A first impression may be the only one you get to make, so set the stage for buyers to feel right at home, in your home!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Party and Spicy Leftovers!

It's that time of year! And a friend's 50th birthday was the perfect excuse for a Spring Crawfish Boil! We went to his lakehouse and enjoyed crawfish with the traditional accompaniments, corn, red potatoes, andouille sausage, onions and garlic, all cooked up with plenty of Cajun spice!
It can be difficult to estimate the amount of whole crawfish needed for a crowd, and since Southerners NEVER want to run out of food, there is usually a good bit left over to be sent home with friends.
Here's a great recipe for using up those leftover crawfish tails.

Crawfish Etouffee

1/4 cup butter
3 Tblsp all-purpose flour
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper

Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add flour and cook, stirring until it starts to brown. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables are almost tender. Add crawfish tails, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You can add a little water or chicken broth if mixture thickens too much. Add chopped scallions and cook about 5 more minutes.
Serve over hot cooked rice.

photo by Brian Oberkirch

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ready For Take-Off!

I made my first sale on 1000Markets today! It turned out to be a buyer from right here in my local area although not someone I know.
1000Markets is a beautiful, handmade site that is quite new, but I am really looking forward to watching it grow and develop. I think it is going to take off soon! As a seller there, you can apply for membership to various markets within the site that are geared toward your types of products and buyers. This makes for small “communities” of sellers within the larger overall community. I think it is a brilliant concept for creating a supportive network of handmade artisans and crafters!

One of the markets I belong to is called “The Village” It is based on the idea of an actual village with shops, homes, etc. There is even a map of this virtual village that shows a lake and a shopping promenade!

It's such a fun concept and the community on the site is very positive and supportive! The site owners are accessible and professional. I love being in on the ground floor of a brand new handmade shopping site! 1000Markets is affiliated with Amazon and transactions are processed through Amazon Payments.
Stay tuned for future developments at 1000Markets. I think we will see great things happening there!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Trends: Global Decorating!

I love a room that looks as if the owners have been lovingly collecting its contents over many years. The growing popularity of global decorating is bringing a beautiful "world traveler" appeal to many homes.

This Tibetan Chest from The New East India Company has great storage possibilities along with its exotic good looks.

Moroccan decor from Sweet Smiling Home is inviting with spice-colored tones and warm wood pieces.

An all-weather, Turkish patterned rug from Gaiam can be used indoors or out. It's 100% recycled from soda bottles!

This beanstalk design bed set is from West Elm. It has a clean, uncluttered look that would look great with global or ethnic home decor!
Even if you can't get to Morocco, Turkey or Tibet right now, you can bring home a few bold, colorful accents to make your home feel like part of the global community!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Cleaning: Get Organized!

Every Spring, I fall into the "getting organized" mindset. I realize if Icould keep it going all year, it wouldn't be such a chore to start up again each year when Spring arrives. May be if I just had the right organizational tools, I could keep it all together.

With that in mind, I have been looking around for some things to help me store my stuff!

I love these drawers from The Container Store. They look neat and airy, as if they are suspended in space. They are made for the laundry room, but, I think they would also work well if you have a little extra wall space in a closet!

These sweater bins are from Kangaroom Storage. I love how they are designed so that each item can be seen. They are attractive and compact for maximizing storage space.

I can see this unit of basket drawers in a bathroom, or bedroom where a little extra countertop space would be helpful, along with the storage provided by the baskets! They are from Target.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Angels All Around!

I am back from my beach trip and we had a fabulous time with beautiful, sunny days! We ate some great seafood, drank sangria in the afternoon and enjoyed the sun and the company of good friends!

But, we had a very frightening experience on the way home. We were within a couple of hours of our hometown when suddenly the car in the next lane, obviously completely unaware of us, suddenly changed lanes, coming right over on top of us! I was driving my SUV with two of my friends as passengers. I had my cruise set to about 75 mph. When I hit the brakes and swerved to avoid a collision with the other vehicle, we started fishtailing all over the highway and onto the shoulder! I struggled to regain control, just missing a steel highway sign, and also avoiding the steep dropoff on the right shoulder which, had we gone down it, would certainly have resulted in the vehicle flipping. We finally ended up in a complete tailspin and came to a stop facing oncoming traffic! Amazingly, no one hit us and after the moment it took me to regain my wits, I moved the car into a turnaround in the median!

I can't express how shook up the three of us were! We then discovered that the extensive skidding had caused a flat tire.

So, here we were, three middle-aged, slightly sunburned and badly shaken ladies, in the middle of a four-lane state highway with a flat tire! Then the most lovely sight appeared like a mirage in the desert. A camo truck carrying four Army National Guard men and women came down the highway and right to a stop where we were. They were apparently on their way back to Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, MS. They got out, and after inquiring as to why we appeared to be facing in the wrong direction on the side of the highway, they made quick work of changing the tire! We could barely express our gratitude and relief!

What a weekend! I had a great trip, of course, but more importantly, I was visited by angels, in the air and on the ground! I'm glad to be safe at home!

photo by The National Guard

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rest and Relaxation!

Well, the day has finally arrived! I am leaving at noon for my annual girlfriend trip to the beach. I am hoping for lots of sunshine. The weather report is promising mostly beautiful, sunny days in the 70's and slightly cool nights.

I will try to remember to take some photos and post a recap when I come back after the weekend. I won't tell all, of course. We do have our motto: "What happens at the beach stays at the beach!" Nothing ever really happens, but it's still fun to have a motto!

Other than mixing mimosas in the morning and margaritas in the afternoon, we will be perfectly well-behaved ladies, as always.

<-----------But, if we happen to run into this guy.... all bets are off!

Beach Photo by Kamoteus (Fading Away)

Jack Sparrow Photo by matchity