Monday, November 30, 2009

Unbelievable: Jackie VonTobel

I can't contain my excitement: Jackie VonTobel (of Jackie VonTobel Home ) just launched her new fabric line & online store today!!!!! You HAVE to check it out -oh my gosh her things are SO BEAUTIFUL!!

Her designs are too pretty for words... But I'll try of course! ;)

Everything is so fresh & energetic& happy!!!:
Lots of them are whimsical takes on the classics: enlarged florals & toile-like patterns (The design below is just perfection... It reminds me of a modern version of one of my Grandma's plates... Oh how I need it!)...

...chinoiserie in unexpected colors...

beautiful peacocks, huge paisleys with an enormous amount of white space ...

...Cheerful graphic patterns that are still curvy enough to be super-pretty. (Sometimes graphic patterns can be a bit too much for me & feel a bit trendy but not these!)

I could seriously find a spot for every one of her fabrics & pillows in my house. (I would love a closet full of her pillows to switch in & out seasonally. Just one of these would make a room!) You can choose to go with organic cotton or eco-friendly linen, depending upon the look & feel you're after.

She uses so many different color palettes & here are images of just a few:

.... had to share the greens & grays of course!!! But this blue too (below) - oh my goodness!!!
Anyway, you've got to check it out!! I am in love and cannot wait to use some of these for projects!!!
all images from

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN !!!! ..........

Well, we are now approaching December 1st, and, it's around this time that a deadly hush descends over our household .....
.......... Mr. Home starts to get a weird look on his face and his eyes glaze over and beads of sweat start to appear upon his forehead........ he opens his mouth and quietly utters those chilling words " It's that time again, isn't it ", he says in a very quiet voice.

I bury my head in my hands and quietly say, " Yes, I'm afraid it is ", and we peruse the calender for a time suitable for both of us to ...............................

It always has to be after work, therefore it is dark....VERY dark !! ..........

.......... and, it is invariably raining. It's either pouring with rain OR there has just been the worse storm of the year and everything is soaking wet and the wind is howling..........

.......... I am always wearing the wrong clothes, having been out for a Christmas lunch and then, running late, I don't have time to change ..........

.......... so, we arrive at the Garden Centre and, all of the trees are OUTSIDE, in the rain or freezing wind and we set about choosing THE ONE. We always have a seven footer so Mr. Home has to force his way to the back of the pile to pull out the one that I think could possibly be THE ONE, drag it out (remember, it's really wet) and hold it up, straight, for me to look it over. He has to turn it around, so that I can see it from all angles, until I tell him that it's not the one. This can go on for quite a while and we are getting soaked, me in my high heels and posh frock but, Mr. Home is sensibly dressed in waterproof coat.
Last year we had a bit of a disaster. I had spotted what I thought was a really good tree, but, just as we approached it, an elderly couple pushed in, grabbed it and proceeded to drag it to the netting machine. I was a little cross but, as luck would have it, I spied an even nicer one which was part of one of the displays. "Go and get that one " I told Mr. Home and, we both climbed onto the display, over some beautiful rusty railings and through some fake, decorated trees. Said tree was propped up in a zinc container. "Just pull it out" I said. Well, pulling it out was a bit of a problem. It seemed to be stuck. We pulled and we pulled and, the upshot was that the tree would not budge . It was caught on the railings. The railings all fell over like dominoes , knocking the artificial trees down. All of the decorations fell off of the trees and, three reindeer's of varying sizes made out of twigs, fell to the ground. Mr. and Mrs. Home were seen running as far away from the display as they could....AND...... I think that they have CCTV there !!!! We will try not to do anything like that this year. When we do find THE ONE, we have to go through the whole process again, on a slightly smaller scale, when we choose.......... .......... HOLLY and ...........

.......... MISTLETOE !!!!!!!!!!
I have to say that, after the tree has been chosen, we have a lovely time as, the Garden Centre that we go to is beautiful. There are always coach loads of people who come from all over the country and many foreign tourists who visit. They have the most wonderful Christmas display and, an outside ice-skating rink, where we sit, with a drink, and watch the skaters while we listen to Christmas carols.
I am hoping that, avoiding all disasters and divorce proceedings, that our tree will look something like the one above. I wish you a happy time, choosing your tree and hope you avoid any of the little mishaps that seem to happen to us, every year.

Amazing Wall Decorating Stickers Ideas

Modern Bedroom Design Ideas

Whether you have just shifted to your new home or want to give a makeover to your old bedroom,you need some exclusive ideas to make your bedroom design stand out. So do you want a modern bedroom but do not know where to begin with all of the options available? That is a common stumbling block that most individuals face when planning this design. When working with the modern design it is important that form follows function. This design will encourage the use of some accessories; however clutter needs to be avoided. Clean lines and neutral background tones that are offset with bright colors and abstract designs that are brought in through accessories and lighting are what sets this style apart from other popular designs. Even though bright colors are encouraged the overall feel of the room needs to be comfortable and inviting. Have fun with color when using this style; this one of the few designs where unusual choices enhance the overall feel of the room, so let your imagination run wild.

Forcing Paperwhites/ Narcissus Bulbs

Paperwhites or narcissus are named after the mythological character Narcissus. There a few different versions of the myth of Narcissus (some including the nymph Echo & a curse) but most end with the haughty handsome boy falling in love with his own reflection in a pond and staying there loving himself until the day he dies. (hence the term "narcissist.")

A narcissus flower is said to have bloomed in the spot after his death.

Every Winter I think about forcing paperwhite bulbs. I just love the idea of having fresh flowers all winter & of course the small is insanely good. (I tried it one year but they don't do very well when you don't water them.) But THIS year, I'm doing it. I want that smell and I want those beautiful little white fowers all over my house. A neighbor of mine forces amaryllis & other bulbs as Christmas gifts & I think it's just a perfect idea. She times them so they're in bloom when she gives them.
I'm going to give them to all of the people in my life who love themselves too much as a hint for them to change their narcissistic attitudes- it's about time! (hahahah no, totally kidding... I'll give them to the people I love too much ;)
If you're anything like me & often a little short on time (and you're giving it to someone who you think might enjoy a mini-project & the waiting & watching for blooming bulbs) then you could also make them a pretty bulb-forcing kit with all of the ingredients needed: beautiful container, stones/gravel/etc., a bulb, and directions. How perfect are these paperwhites in julep cups (real simple mag) below?!
I'm loving them on this Christmas mantle (below, Martha Stewart):
And look at this huge trough on a kitchen island from here :
And pretty much anything in an urn is gorgeous to me (image below from
I'm loving the wild-vintage look in the photo below (from the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information center). Clear glass vases are easy to come by (in fact, pilsner glasses from a place like Ikea would be really beautiful & affordable) and I love seeing the root systems. A very raw/ natural look:
There are so many different options for planting. One of my favorites (and I cannot find the photo I'm looking for- arg!!) is to use vintage tea cups. Oney teacups are so inexpensive at flea markets & thrift stores and would make a beautiful gift. Check out this gorgeous metal (can't tell if it's copper or something else from the pic, pot below:
And they look perfectly simple in even just a plain white pot (
Here's a quick How-To for forcing paperwhites:
( I got the information from an article on with photos by Kerry Michaels)

1. Pick your container: If it's tall, you won't need to stake the paperwhites when they eventually bloom, but if it isn't, be prepared to have stakes, chopsticks, etc.

2. Add 2-4 inches of stones, pebbles, gravel, anything non-porous to your container. (This keeps the bulbs in place & out of the water.. you just want the roots in the water.)

3. Add the bulbs. If you're doing multiple bulbs , make sure they're all at the same level & nestled into place so you can keep the roots (not bulbs under water- bulbs will rot)
4. Water & Alcohol:
***UPDATE*** I've gotten lots of great emails & comments from readers who've grown narcissus themselves and they mention adding alcohol to the water to keep the plants from becoming too leggy. They say to just use water until the first sign of a green shoot arrives and then use approx 1 part alcohol to 10 parts water or 4-6% from that point on. (There are lots of different ratios floating around out there for how much alcohol to use & the article I read said no more than 10%.)

4. They do best in a cool spot out of direct sunlight for a couple of weeks. After they root, put them in a bright warm spot to speed up flowering. (The author of the article says she just keeps them on her kitchen countr the whole time.) Once they bloom (4-6 weeks after planting) you might need to stake them with something to keep them from falling over.

Here are a few inexpensive sources I found & thought I'd share with you:

For a vase similar to the one in the image above, try here (2 for $8.98)

Buy (already started/ forced?- It was hard to tell) bulbs here: $16.95 for $25

And here there's a deal with 30 for $19.95 and 15 for $10.95

I'd also heard that Walmart has them but don't have one near me...

SO, I'm going to give it a go this year & of course I'll take pics & show you how it goes when they bloom. I'm very impatient with these sorts of things but I'm going to try my best to water the bulbs this time!! (Image below from Country Living) I want these flowers!!!



image #1-, image 3-