Friday, July 29, 2011

A penny for your thoughts

A sweet image to share with you on this lovely Friday from apparel company Matilda Jane

image via Matilda Jane

These little necklaces were hand made by Matilda's grandfather, who polished each and every penny. You can read more about it on her blog, right here.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lisa Congdon's collections

Earlier this week, I posted about pretty back to school supplies and I just came across this print on 20x200 that is very much in keeping with that theme.

Day 1: Vintage Erasers

After finding this vintage erasers print, I read about Lisa Congdon's challenge to herself to photograph, draw or paint a work of art every day for a full year.  By grouping similar items together, she has transformed her personal collections into total eye candy.

Day 256: Vintage Airline Tags

Day 260: Baby Doll Hands

Day 114: Dice

What a great way to highlight special mementos.  It's a way to elevate even the most commonplace items to a work of beauty.

This could be a DIY project, too.  Just gather similar items (concert tickets, stamps, buttons, etc) and neatly arrange them in a frame or shadow box.  Ikea's Ribba frames are the first that come to mind, but any art supply store or big box store would probably have them, too.

What a fun way to decorate...and to clean out a junk drawer at the same time!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mirror Gallery

Back in June, I wrote this post about layering mirrors in a cluster. If the clustered look is too busy for your taste, I think a gallery layout is really impactful--clean and simple. I think painting all of the frames in the same color is key here.

image via Martha Stewart

For an even cleaner look, Wisteria sells this single mirror which consists of multiple small mirrors that are all attached in a grid. So sparkly and elegant.

image via Wisteria

I still love the idea of layering mirrors but until I gather enough to create that look, here is my version of a mirror gallery on a skinny column in our apartment. I have been collecting mirrors with funky frames and painting them orange.

image by The Pink Chalkboard

It is a way for me to make a big impact in a very small area. Have you tried something like this in your home?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back to School shopping

It's getting to be that time of year again.  Not back to school time but rather back to school shopping time.  I've been out of school for a long time now but I still get excited by the idea of shopping for new folders, notebooks, and calendar books.  And the selection of colors and patterns have gotten so much better through the years.  I used to buy only solid colored notebooks and folders so I could color-code them to each of my subjects (for years, pink was always English, blue was Social Studies, yellow was Math, etc).  Wait, was that just me?  Obsessively color-coding all of my notebooks and folders by subject isn't done by everyone?  Regardless, if I was in school these days, I think I would break my yearly color-coding habit and go for these beauties.

all images via Greenroom

All available at Target, these pretty items might actually make you look forward to homework. Almost, at least.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspired by Silverware

I love all things silverware.

We use a set of my grandmother's silver as our everyday flatware. (We also use a mix of vintage china pieces that used to belong to several of our relatives. My great aunt Edna's china is pictured below).

The placemat peaking out in the above photo was made out of printed paper from Paper Source that I trimmed to size and laminated. 

We also have fork and spoon decals on our backsplash.

And this dainty tea towel hangs in front of our oven:

above images by The Pink Chalkboard

So imagine my delight with these chandeliers that I recently discovered at Interieurs:

Brocante Chandelier

Brocante Chandelier (single tier)

Brocante Rectangular Chandelier

I think this lighting is so beautiful and would be a really whimsical accent in a dining room. 

Another silverware-inspired product that I love is this cutlery designed in an antique silhouette, but made out of wood! Seletti's Not Plastic Cutlery is packaged with a cloth napkin in an adorable pouch that reminds me of my tea towel pictured above. 

image via Quirk Gallery

I have had my eye on these Dining Room Measuring Spoons from Anthropologie. These beauties should be displayed on a little hook in the kitchen...definitely too cute to be kept in a drawer!

image via Anthropologie

And finally, this rubber stamp from Paper Source is the perfect little embellishment for dinner party invitations, napkins, or tags.

image by The Pink Chalkboard (featuring my grandmother's china)

Friday, July 22, 2011


Mindy's post earlier this week about fun pencils reminded me of these colored pencils from Muji.

Have you ever heard of Muji?  It's a Japanese department store (with locations in various countries and now in New York as well) that sells a wide range of products from stationery and housewares to bags and furniture. What is striking about the products in this store, though, is the simplicity of them.  So clean -- very basic with no frills -- but everything is thoughtfully designed and good-looking at the same time.

mini stapler

recycled paper notebook

cardboard speakers

silicone ice tray

stainless cookie cutters

Clean, simple, functional, and all-around great.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Richie Designs

This past winter, I discovered Richele, the incredible talent behind Richie Letterpress & Design. I actually found her letterpessed stationery shop on Etsy and have been admiring her work since. Richele's unique designs and crisp letterpress quality are outstanding.

This is what first caught my eye:

I bought it and framed it for my mother who adores Scottish Terriers and collects all things Scottie.

Her greeting cards feature witty quips like these:

There are lots of people in my life who I would send this to:

You know those situations when you don't know exactly what to say? Well, here you go:

And perhaps the happiest greeting card ever. (I couldn't resist. I had to order a few of these for myself!)

all images from Richie Designs via etsy

Need I say more?

Oh yes, she has a pretty great blog too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Something to smile about

One of the most clever projects at the Philadelphia Design Awards (which we posted about here), is the Optimism Script chair designed by 160over90 for Design Within Reach

Black and white, beautiful typography, and happy words and phrases -- all on one good looking chair (chair originally designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha). Product design doesn't get much better than this! 

Optimism Script Chair
Darryl Cilli (Art Director), Adam Garcia (Designer)

(By the way, doesn't it look like this chair is smiling at you? Great photography.)

The print ad campaign for the Optimism Script chair is fantastic, too. We like the contrast of the modern chair placed in front of distressed, urban backgrounds. It's the headlines, though, that really captured our attention.





Our favorite? HAPPY GO LUCKY

DWR Print Ads
Darryl Cilli (Art Director), Adam Garcia (Designer)

So creative and yet it all seems so simple.  Aren't those the best kind of ads? You can read more about this project from 160over90 here on their blog. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I'm not a fragrance person.

Of course, I love fragrance packaging (I worked in that industry for many years) but I often find most fragrances to be too strong and off-putting.  Not sure what started this.  Maybe it was the time when I was 14 and a male friend who clearly had just started experimenting with cologne put on way too much and then got in the car with me and my mom for what seemed to be a very long car ride.  Or maybe it was from my days working on fragrance packaging at Clinique and a bottle of a competitor's strong perfume spilled in the office forcing me to leave the workplace for a good amount of time until the smell kind-of went away. Regardless, my mini-fear of fragrance has stayed with me for years.

Which is why I was so surprised to come across a scent that I adore and one that I cannot stop thinking of.

Thymes Mandarin Coriander is my new fragrance friend.  And it helps that the packaging is so pretty, too.

Mandarin Coriander

Some other pretty packaged beauties from Thymes are below.  I haven't smelled them yet but the packaging (and the excellent product photography) makes them purchase-worthy.


Red Cherie


Thymes Essentials

Agave Nectar

Pretty for the home, happy for the nose.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun Pencils

Who says pencils have to be boring? Even regular #2 pencils can be a lot of fun and quirky. Check out what I've found...

Me & You pencils from Knot & Bow. These pencils paired with some gorgeous stationery would make a sweet Valentine. 

image via Knot & Bow on etsy

For the book lover in your life, how about a set of pencils wrapped in pages from Alice in Wonderland?

image via Bouncing Ball Creations on etsy

Better than love notes, these pencils bear the sweet sentiment, "I love you in the evening and underneath the moon."

image via ecceprints

You can't go wrong with these little words of inspiration from Jonathan Adler. My favorite example--"Dress up like a back up dancer!"

image via Paper Source

From the irreverent housewares brand Fred, comes "The New Black" pencils.

image via Teenangster

My favorite phrase from this set? "D.I.Y. IS THE NEW B.L.A.C.K."

And when you are looking at all of these fun pencil sets, you have to consider something to put them in, right? How about this:

image via Hannah's Boutique

A Marimekko pencil case, of course!
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