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.