Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gift & Decorating Ideas ~ Partridge In A Pear Tree

'Tis the season...

My next few blog posts will be a series of gift & decor ideas; each post loosely based on the blog's theme as suggested by the Christmas Carol "The 12 Days of Christmas"... & I DO MEAN loosely based!)

So we start off with " On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... A Partridge In A Pear Tree...

How about some pear tea from T on Broadway:
{ Pear Tree Green from T }

or, for that manner, any kind of tea from Murchies or Urban Tea Co. My faves are vanilla black from T or Murchies & Prince Charles blend from Murchies. Brewed up in a lovely teapot like this antique from Sur La Table:

{ antique Hotel du Louvre teapot }

or for a more casual feel, served in these darling bird nest mugs from Pottery Barn (even though I'm sure they are intended to be robins' nests):

But I digress a bit. I saw this lovely pear ornament at West Elm:

{ mercury glass ornament }

But they are no longer available.... so perhaps a few others like these from Pier 1:

{ Gilded Forest Collection }

or these chirpy bird ornaments for more home-spun appeal:

{ from The Nutmeg Tree on Etsy }

to create displays like these:

{ photo from West Elm's website }

{ photo from Country Living }

A partridge in a pear tree leads me to think of my Grandpa & Granny Clark, who were master bee keepers & gardeners. Grandpa's "plant pears, plant for your heirs" saying indicates that a pear tree given to your beloved would take a very long time to grow. Perhaps a lovely little topiary tree like the ones below would be a perfect alternative gift for your true love:
{ citrus kumquat }

{ pre-lit bay tree }

Or, what about following the 'prickly pear' theme & getting a minimalist arrangement as envisioned by Kermodi:

{ midnight water garden }

I love these sweet lockets from Freshy Fig:

{ centre locket is a sweet little partridge }

And a blog post about partridges wouldn't be complete without some vintage Partridge Family kitsch. iTunes carries their music & I saw dvds, books & music online Amazon & Chapters/Indigo:

{ vintage Partridge Family books }

Might suit that retro-boy or -girl in your life!

And to top off your present this partridge pocket card from Pikake Press adds the perfect festive touch:

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 26, 2010

ELLE Decor Night

Can't wait to crack my December 2010/January 2011 edition of ELLE Decor tonight:

{ get cozy is RIGHT!! }

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Decorative Branches

It's very chilly here in Vancouver. We have -10 degrees Celcius predicted for tonight!! I've been out & about these past few days and I have been noticing the stark beauty of bare branches, frost-laden & architectural against the backdrop of blue sky.

What do you think about these branches brought in for fall & winter decoration?

{ featured in: Apartment Therapy }

{ driftwood & cranberries from now-defunct Domino }

Initially I was a bit put off by these stick centrepieces from Rachael Ray, but their contemporary lines have grown on me & I have to add them:
{ alder branches }

Here is a traditional take on the branch centrepiece for Christmas from Country Living; however I find the table a little cluttered. What do you think? I'd have eliminated some of the excess decorations and focused on the jugs filled with branches & the lovely grey colour of the table:

{ stars & snowflakes in branches }

Here are branches put to use as pictured in Desire to Inspire:

{ minimalist clothes rod }

Or as envisioned by Christine Rudolph:

{ salt cellars & clothes rods made from branches }

What about this DIY woodtable from 101Woonideeen:

{ satisfying weekend project }

I never thought I'd say that a twig chandelier would be elegant but here it is, as featured in The Adventures of Tartanscot's blog:

{ delicate & aristocratic }

And to finish off: a few of my favourite minimalist wreaths from Emily Thompson featured recently on design*sponge:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New York State of Mind

I must admit this post is a bit daunting to write. What is there to say (that hasn't already been said) of NYC, the Big Apple, Zoo York, Gotham, The City That Doesn't Sleep??? I went for an extra-long weekend trip to New York to shop, eat, & best of all, spend a few days (kid-free) with my littlest sister, Leah. She is great at details & her posts on our trip can be read by clicking HERE.

{ Leah on her cell phone on Park Ave }

So, deep breath, here goes... my highlights of New York (in no particular order):

*Visiting the massive interior design showrooms (DD Building and AD Building) & discovering the eclectic mix that is Andrew Martin (friendly & warm, Linet Martin who runs the NYC show room is an added bonus. Thanks for the sushi recommendation, Linet!).

*Wandering the various neighbourhoods... Soho, Nolita, West Village, Upper East Side & our "own" stomping grounds of Brooklyn.

{ I'd love to live in this Upper East Side building }

{ me in the streets of Soho }

{ The Bloomies that is featured in The Godfather }

{ rows upon rows of buildings in Soho }

{ me & a knight outside jewellery shops }

*Taking the tube everywhere. Subway travel is awesome.

{ Leah at the Grand Central subway stop }

*Ballato's Restaurant for post-dinner Venetian spritzes (& a non-alcoholic version for me). This place looks unassuming from the front but is wonderful once inside. Plus, if it was good enough for Andy Warhol & his posse it's good enough for me:

{ check out the rusticated lathe & plaster walls }

{ warm & inviting }

We visited Ballato's after a great dinner at...

*Oficina Latina:

We had intended to go into Cafe Habana for dinner but there was a 45 minute wait. So we opted out & stumbled (HAPPILY!) upon newly opened Oficina. Their website is under construction but there are photos & a review here. I had fresh lime-y ceviche & a salad plus these amazing plantain chips & a dipping sauce similar to Argentinian chimichurri.

{ Leah outside Oficina }

{ US Flag at Brooklyn Flea }

We loved this place with it's ever changing list of vendors. We wandered for at least a few hours here on Leah's birthday finding a wonderful assortment of odds & sods...

{ the Gifted Putterer's booth }

{ Leah trying on gogs at the Flea }

Kings Country Salvage had a set of tub armchairs in warm leather that were so comfy we overheard one man threatening his wife that he would get rid of their current fashionable couch & replace it with the armchairs. The chairs were still there when we left but he sat in them for a long, LOOOONG time.

There was one booth with some amazing jewellery (earrings, cuff links & pendants) made from scrabble letters & old typewriter keys. Brilliant!

{ typewriter keys made into pendants }

{ Scrabble letters as cuff links }

* Oysters on the half shell & Manhattan clam chowder in the Grand Central Oyster Bar.

{ Happy Birthday, Tinz!! }

{ check out all the Canadian oysters listed! }

* Rue 29, Julie Anne Mann's installation at the Ise Cultural Foundation on Broadway. Leah & I stumbled upon "Another Roadside Attraction (The Exploration of the Neo-Grotesque)" while shopping. We were kindly invited to the opening reception but had to decline due to growling tummies. The project is an eerie peek into a dollhouse inhabited by delicate skeleton creatures. Slightly macabre but incredibly fascinating.

{ skeletons at home }

{ bones in bed }

{ curiouser & curiouser }

* ABC Carpet & Home was floor upon floor of fantastic. I was in heaven.

{ main floor of ABC Carpet }

And more great finds:

{ John Derian plates }

{ sweet little deer ornaments for Christmas }

{ darling organza tutus }

All in all a wonderful trip but I was very glad to return home to my two sweet children & my handsome husband. Our reunion was a happy one & I enjoyed returning to the green of Vancouver. The concrete jungle is wonderful to visit but I do love Vancouver. Until next time, New York...