Friday, May 1, 2009

Cumpleanos Feliz!

One year ago I began my blogging journey hoping to explore my creative side and share my love of all things fabulous and frugal. It has in fact turned out to be so much more!

I've connected with so many amazing friends both on-and-offline from all over the world. And your feedback has made me realize the universal need to create beauty no matter what your budget. I deeply appreciate all of your comments so keep 'em coming!

Although current commitments don't allow me to be prolific, I am committed as ever to delivering fresh content and the loveliest finds for you. So, thanks again dear friends and here's to many more Pretty*Practical posts - cheers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reduce, reuse...


While buying green is not always in the budget these days, repurposing is always a great bet! That's why I love the ideas offered at Repurposeful, an eco-friendly blog brimming with frugal green advice. With everything from 4 new uses for an old shower curtain to (more importantly) reducing day-to-day waste, Repurposeful's practical approach has inspired me to do a quick 5-minute toss into our forgotten 'outbox'. So I'm off!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wet Room Wisdom

Can we say I have some catching up to do? Won't bore you with the details, but let just say that toddlers and technology don't always mix. But big thank-yous to those of you who've checked in. So now that I have a new monitor :-) Let's chat!

Truth be told, the time away allowed me to indulge in another voyeuristic activity - attending Open Houses! Here in Brooklyn, this economy certainly makes a renter like myself want to have a 'looky-loo' to see what's out there. And I'm telling you it's not a pretty sight! So many homes under 900 sq. feet and with hefty price tags to match! Well, as you might imagine, teeny homes equal tiny rooms. One postage stamp-sized bathroom in particular I can't seem to get out of my head.

For a diminutive space such as that, I think a wet room is order. Popular in Europe, but yet to catch on stateside, wet rooms or shower rooms feature a sink, toilet and open shower area where the water converges to a drain in the floor.

Livingetc has lovely photo selection of these small yet airy spaces. For a twist, the final two pics demonstrate how a glass or wall partition can be added for practicality or modesty. Would you try something like this in your home?

Photo credit: Livingetc

Thursday, February 26, 2009

'Shopping' My Etsy

This week, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a kind comment regarding my last post on homemade art. A reader named Nadine mentioned she had recently discovered the crafty goodness that is Etsy and it made her think of Pretty*Practical! Awww, thanks Nadine!

And yes it's true. I do have a special place in my heart for Etsy. I've always found it to be a great go-to resource for special little items that won't be seen everywhere and Etsy is invaluable when you need gift-buying ideas for that 'hard-to-shop-for' friend/relative. You know who you are! :-)

Of course, there are tons of talented crafters to choose from and we all have our faves - so here are some of mine:

1. Simple printed ceramics and wooden blocks from Paloma's Nest above are both earthy and elegant.

2. Be still my heart with these large scale floral prints from Kaiku. So beautiful!

3. I'm loathe to share this one :-) Gorgeous and very affordable cushion covers from Ruth's Crafts.

4. Hammered copper earrings and glass cocktail rings from Saffron Creations. These are fierce!

See anything you like?

Friday, February 20, 2009

DIY Fridays: Homemade Art

Gosh, I haven't done a DIY Friday in a while! So it's about time, right? Okay guys, this time we're getting artsy and all you need are non-toxic paints (preferably); a couple of brushes; paper/canvas; and an open mind!

Example 1: The art in the window above is simply a pair of paintings made by my children. For us, these windows are a constantly evolving gallery. You too can scoop this abstract style by cutting a generous length of drawing paper (sold by the roll) and applying lots of freestyle brushstrokes in primary colors until you achieve the desired effect. We hung ours from the window with binder clips but any other type of clip or adhesive will do. Note: Our neutral living room and our informal attitude make these paintings look completely at-home. Also great for enlivening the view.

Example 2: If your style is more formal, a stylized art piece may be more apropos. In our kitchen above, the 'sunset' canvas was also created with the help of little hands. I was inspired by a similar-looking Marimekko fabric but didn't have 'Marimekko money'! ;-) My little daughter (4 at the time) helped apply wide swathes of yellow, orange and red paint. Then, I carefully blended the layers to create more depth. Note: You have to know when to stop. Blending can be addictive!

We always get great compliments on our home-made art. But maybe we just have kind friends! However, I think a few homespun pieces give a home a cozy, lived-in feel. If you have children this a great way to spend a lazy Saturday morning. No kids? Then it's time to channel your inner child. :-) So grab some art supplies and get busy! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Current Crush

Just some random prettiness I had to share. How cute are these hand-blown teardrop vases from Crate and Barrel? Delish I tell you and I *heart* them both! The weather recently has been a tease and I can't wait for spring. So, until then, a little color therapy goes a long way.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Requiem for Domino

As most of you know by now, the much-beloved Domino announced yesterday that it will be folding with March 2009 being its last issue. I don't know about you, but when I heard the news I was quite bereft and reflexively went to the Domino website (which will also be shuttered) hoping for something - a sign - a glimmer of hope - I don't know. I came away empty handed. Domino was the only magazine I looked forward to every month - like a little gift in the mail and it will be dearly missed.

In the meantime, permit me to send a virtual 'shout-out' to Nick Olsen, Domino's online Deal Hunter. An uber-talented decorator, Nick's column is a hilarious must-read that's totally on-point when it comes to decorating ideas and advice. Currently, Nick is on a White House decorating kick with my fave posts being his 'speed decorating' inspiration for Malia and Sasha 'Fierce' (as he dubbed her) Obama's rooms.

By the way, if there any early Domino subscribers out there - I'd love to receive scans of your fave 2005- 2006 issues to share with late 2006 subscribers like myself. I'm thinking a vigil might be in order. *sniff*