inspiration

Design inspiration from the Dalmatian Coast

Hvar, Croatia, Dalmatian Coast

It's been nearly a year since I first laid eyes on the crystal blue waters of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast.  Last August, Joe and I set out on a life-changing tour of Croatia, visiting Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Split and Plitvice Lakes in one whirlwind trip. 

Long worn-torn and under the thumb of a socialist government, the country formerly called Yugoslavia, is now opening its doors to tourists.  It boasts a rocky coast, walled cities and fortresses, glistening blue waters, more islands than you can count, and natural wonders if you choose to venture farther North.

The people are friendly, the food and wine are superb and the homes are beautifully simple.  Many residents still live in hundreds-of-years old walled cities.  And everything is built with breathtakingly beautiful limestone.

It's a way of life I can only dream of.  And maybe visit on very, very special vacations.

DIY Hydrangea Wreath

DIY Silk Hydrangea Wreath  

I decided to do something a little different for my grandmother for Christmas.  She had commented on a photo of a beautiful hydrangea wreath on my blog and I thought it would be fun to make one for her.  While she was in town for the holidays, we picked out the flowers and ribbon at Hobby Lobby and then I got to work!  I couldn't be easier to put this wreath together.  You'll need 7-8 large silk hydrangeas, wired ribbon, a wreath base, hot glue, scissors, wire cutters and wire.

  1. Lay out your basic design on the wreath to determine placement.
  2. Cut the stems off of your flowers using scissors or wire cutters.  Make sure you save the leaves and don't cut so close to the bloom that it falls apart.
  3. Hot glue your leaves onto your wreath base in a sporadic, but balanced pattern
  4. Hot glue your hydrangea blooms over the leaves in whatever color pattern you'd like.  Make sure they've evenly spaced and you leave room for the bow.
  5. Create a bow with wire or purchase one that's pre-made.   Leave "tails" that are roughly 2 feet long
  6. Hot glue your bow to the empty space on your wreath.
  7. Wrap the ribbon around the hydrangea blooms and secure with dots of hot glue.
  8. Trim the ends of your ribbon.
  9. C'est fini!

 

Garden District stunners shine bright this holiday season

PRC New Orleans Holiday Home Tour, Photo Courtesy Sarah Essex Bradley It's baaaaaack!  Each year, one of my favorite New Orleans events is the Preservation Resource Center's Holiday Home Tour.

This weekend, tourists and locals alike will grab their lattes and get their exercise, walking through the historic Garden District neighborhood, where 8 homes open their doors to the public.

If you're looking for a taste of the good life, the mansions decked out in holiday decor, will have you daydreaming in no time!

Money raised from ticket sales benefits the PRC's wide range of community programs.

Ditch the Vase and Get Creative

Teapot filled with fresh daisies Earlier this week, I brought home a bouquet of inexpensive daisies to brighten up our guest bedroom while my mom's in town.  Instead of using a boring vase, I pulled out our teapot and used that to arrange the blooms instead.

It was such a fun alternative, I thought I'd share some other ideas.  The next time you pick up a bouquet, don't be afraid to ditch the vase and get creative!

Framed Maps Add Vintage Touch

Vintage maps The way I rave about Fine Art America, you'd think I owned stock in the company.  It's an online database of THOUSANDS of prints... of you guessed it... fine art!  What's cool is that you can find anything from John James Audubon's famous sketches to up and coming modern oil paintings and have them printed any way you'd like.  They offer canvas prints, art prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, greeting cards, even matting and framing.

I purchased the safari-inspired prints for Beau's nursery from their website and recently ordered two prints of antique New Orleans maps to add to our guest bedroom.

To cut down on costs, I bought a pre-made frame, then got the glass and mat cut at the frame shop and had them assemble everything.  The overall size is 24"X30" and with the cost of the framing and prints, each piece came out to only $100 ($200 for the pair).  I love the finished product more than I ever predicted and saved a ton of money doing them this way!  Our British Colonial-inspired guest room is now almost complete.  We just need to change out the light fixture and finish the burlap curtains.  I can't wait to show you the finished result!!