Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The beauty in doing what you love...




“I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something greater than you, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”
~ Judy Collins

Since we're musing on love this month, it seemed appropriate to touch on the beauty in doing what you love. I'm sure many of us at one time or another have found ourselves in jobs or roles that aren't exactly fulfilling, longing to do something different, perhaps something more creative. That happened to me several years ago, which is how I started blogging. And blogging led to more creative endeavors like photography so I could share pretty photographs (I love photographing flowers), and so on. Somewhere along the line I started designing my own fabrics and wallpaper and created The Pink Home. Even though The Pink Home is just a little hobby/sideline for me, I absolutely love it and love working on it. And who knows ~ maybe one day it will turn into something more.
I started this post a few days ago. And then, as if to offer proof of how true the quote above is, the universe this morning bestowed a neat little gift on me. I discovered that an online newsletter/magazine (from Switzerland!) called Custom Fabrics included a photo of some of my new fabric designs (shown above and below) in their latest edition. And they included a blurb about my Spoonflower shop (where my Pink Home fabrics and wallpapers can be purchased). Isn't that cool? I didn't do anything other than share my designs on social media, and they somehow came across my work and decided to include me in their newsletter, which is updated pretty frequently. (Click here to see more.)
It's funny how even the smallest things you do to get the work you love out into the world can go much further than you think. So I'm going to keep doing what I love and see how far out into the world my creativity will take me.



I am linking to:
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherines Corner

Photos by The Pink Home

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The beauty of blue in the bedroom...


It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right? The master bedroom in my home has seen a couple of changes this past year. When I first moved back to the Carolinas last summer, it was just me, so I used my old antique full-sized bed, some pretty peachy-pink bed linens and drapes I had, and left the room the same soft sage green it had been for years. (Click here to see how it looked). When my significant other joined me after he retired last fall, we had to get a new bed and dresser. He was also keen to paint the room, so we settled on a soft gray, which I love. At first we decided to keep things neutral, with beiges and browns and grays. The room was comfortable and looked nice, and didn't offend his masculine sensibilities.
Here's what it looked like with all the neutrals:




But after several months of grays and browns, I really wanted to add some color. Lately I've found myself incredibly drawn to the color blue ~ or more specifically, those teal and seafoam shades of blue. With spring just around the corner, I decided I was going to hunt for something in those colors to brighten things up for the warmer months. I lucked into some beautiful curtains on clearance and found bed linens to match, some of which were also on clearance, and before I knew it, I had a much brighter look.
Here's what the bedroom looks like now:




You can see I've chosen a mix of my favorite blues, with punches of white in a throw pillow, the sheers and the rug. I also bought a new lamp for the vanity after the mercury glass one was accidentally knocked off ~ it shattered into a hundred pieces. I still need a piece of art for over the bed; I've been looking for months for that but haven't found anything.




So that's my blue bedroom. It feels more modern and bright, but I still find it a soothing space. What do you think?

I am linking to:
Blue Monday at Smiling Sally
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Emily's new favorite chair...


Emily seems to have a new favorite spot ~ an arm chair in the living room. She treats it like it's her throne, lounging around for hours, keeping an eye on everyone. Of course, she couldn't get up there without our help, so I suppose really it's our fault. Well, mine. But she's so cute it's ridiculous.
I hope everyone is having as relaxing a weekend as Emily...

Photo by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The beauty of pink and white daisies...



Flowers are one of my great loves, as you probably know, and daisies in particular are a favorite. I purchased these for myself and created a happy little bouquet to keep me company while I work on the computer. I love the pink and white together ~ such a pretty combination.
I hope all of you are having a wonderful week. And if you're not, show yourself a little love and pick up a bouquet or two of your favorite flowers.


I am linking to:
Home at Rose Chintz Cottage
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherines Corner
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound
A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, February 18, 2013

A little bird told me...





Love sometimes strikes us in odd ways. It's the only explanation I can give you for my rather sudden, ongoing love affair with birds, at least when it comes to decorating my dining room.
I never quite got the affection other people had for birds when it came to decorating until a couple of years ago when I realized I was starting to find the motif quite striking ~ I suddenly found myself pulled toward bird patterns and prints. It was then I decided I wanted to incorporate some bird patterns when I redid my house last year.
I really wanted to use a bird-themed wallpaper in my dining room, but failing to find one that tickled my fancy, I went with a large bird-themed wall stencil instead. The stencil turned out beautifully and since then I've been wanting to add some artwork featuring birds to the room. Just recently, I stumbled across a couple of simple, inexpensive bird canvases that I absolutely loved, so I brought them home.
My first idea was to put both of them on the same wall since the wall is so big, but that didn't really work. I had been thinking the top of the secretary needed something, so I put one of the canvases there, added a couple of my blue vases and that worked perfectly.
I hung the other bird canvas on the wall and am still debating about whether to have a frame put around it to make it a tad more substantial. One day I think yes, the next no. What do you think? Frame it or no?
After I found the bird canvases, I came across a lovely light blue bird house that I thought would look great in the room, so it came home with me, too. I put away the tea cup tower display on the sideboard and replaced it with the birdhouse and a pretty candle. I added a couple of other items in the same color palette to finish the look.
All in all, I'm loving my little bird theme in the dining room. I'm trying to keep it somewhat subtle, rather than overwhelming. What do you think?



I am linking to:
Blue Monday at Smiling Sally
Homemaking at Hope in Every Season
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Snow scenes...



After living in southern California for more than six years, it's my first winter back on the East Coast. Snow isn't a regular occurrence where I live in the Carolinas, so this afternoon's snowstorm was a lovely treat for the eyes. Emily, being a California girl, kept barking at the falling snow ~ she didn't know quite what to make of it.




I am linking to:
Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love and flowers...



“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”
~ Gerard De Nerval

Wishing you love and happiness and sunshine on this Valentine’s Day. Thanks so much for reading.


I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound
Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper
Sunlit Sundays at My Little Home and Garden

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The joys and dangers of chair love...





Confession time: I can be prone to obsessions. Not the scary, stalking kind ~ more the “I can't believe I didn't buy that (fill in the blank) and now it's gone, but I can't get it out of my mind, so I have to find it” kind.
I fell in love with this suzani-patterned chair last summer. I wanted it for my living room but couldn't figure out if it would fit so I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it some more, and then when I finally decided to buy it, it was gone. I couldn't find it anywhere ~ not online, not in the stores, not anywhere. Not good. I asked a few different salespeople at Pier 1 Imports about it and they knew exactly which chair I was talking about, but they all told me they weren't sure it was coming back. And no, there weren't any in the area. Still not quite believing it had slipped through my fingers, I actually searched for the chair in other stores in the hopes the computer inventories were wrong, but my search turned up nothing.
I knew I had to let it go, but I still couldn't stop thinking about this beautiful chair. After having guests over and actually living in our re-done house for a couple of months, I thought another chair was needed in the living room. And for a myriad of reasons ~ color, size, style, my new front door color (which I'll explain in another post) ~ I just knew this chair would be perfect. I looked on eBay and other places in the hopes that I might stumble across it, but no. I realized I had crossed over into a chair obsession, but I couldn't help myself. I really wanted this chair.
Then, a few weeks ago, I was surfing online and there was the chair again. I couldn't believe it. As luck would have it, I got a coupon at the same time for 20 percent off any upholstered chair at Pier 1. I took it as a sign that I was truly meant to have this chair, so I went in and ordered it that day. It arrived about a week ago and it's perfect. I absolutely love it. And it looks fab in my pink living room.
I love a happy ending.


I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherines Corner
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cupcake love...


“When you share a cupcake, you share love.”
~ Unknown

Cupcakes are one of life's little pleasures. Even though they're just cake and icing, there's something about the individuality that a cupcake maintains that I think appeals. Not to mention they're more portable and easier to give out ~ no fork or plate required. Cupcakes are sweetness and delight and a little bit of love in a tiny package. Bake them in a pretty wrapper (they're everywhere these days) and you elevate them to something even more special. In this month of love, may I suggest baking a batch of cupcakes as a surprise for those you hold dear? 
Wishing all of you a lovely week, full of cupcakes and love...

Photo by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Red flowers and love...


There's something about February and it being the month of love that makes me enjoy the beauty of red flowers even more. Crimson red flowers seem to convey more love in February than other months for some reason, so when my sweetie brought these home the other day, I was thrilled. I love the mix of red roses and daisies, and the little pops of yellow are perfect, too, reminding me that spring is near.
Love is tied up in the little things, don't you think? Like lovely red flowers and a kind gesture.
Wishing all of you a week full of love and beauty...



I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sleeping beauty...


Since February is the month of love, and love comes in all shapes and sizes, it seems appropriate to start the month off with this wonderful little creature. Our Emily is nothing but love. She is incredibly sweet to all ~ human and animal ~ and loves nothing more than to make a new friend. She is adored by nearly everyone who comes into contact with her and I believe it's because people can feel the love emanating from her. Her cuteness draws people in, but it's her sweet little soul that makes them want to take her home. Her inner beauty really does shine through.
Emily has been battling a very nasty eye infection this week, so she's needed a few extra cuddles. We've been happy to oblige. After all, a love this sweet and pure should be cherished and looked after, no matter the source.
Wishing you a month full of love...


I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully