I just returned from a week-long trip to Philadelphia where I spent the most amazing time with my family and friends over Christmas. In between consuming lots of delicious food, having fun conversations and giving and receiving gifts, I made a few stops to places that I could not miss.
First I visited LaColombe on 19th Street to get the most perfect cup of latte ever made. I also stocked up on my personal favorite, Afrique Roast coffee beans. Then, while browsing through Anthropologie on Rittenhouse Square, I dug out this beautiful kitchen towel in the pile of sale items! Similar dish towels can be found here. The last stop I made on the way home made one of my dreams come true: I finally paid a visit to Terrain, where I was smitten by these Honey Tobacco Beeswax Votives, along with too many other fantastic items to list here. (That story is saved for another time.)
This was a total experiment. I got this yellow raw silk awhile ago from a friend of mine. Not thrilled about the color, I decided I dip dye it using Indigo Blue color. It ended up transforming into this beautiful sea-foam green, almost turquoise color. Happy with the result, I decided to tear it into strips and use the ribbons to give my gifts a home-made touch.
I love when simple everyday objects become inspiration for beautiful jewelry. Jennifer Jones of Australian company Have You Met Miss Jones nails it down: both design & scale of each piece are just right to make bold statement. Miss Jones ships to the US, so hurry, there is still time left before Christmas to purchase that perfect gift!
You know you have great taste and you want to select the best gift for your family and friends, but you want to stick to your budget. I assure you, you do not need to spend a lot of money to give a sophisticated and memorable gift. Whether you choose the bright yellow Postalco Notebook ($12) for taking notes and doodling, or the Antler Hook ($14) to replace that ugly old one your relatives have at their entryway, it will be used and loved for a long time. The Mini Chandelier Ornament ($12) will be up on that Christmas tree every year reminding them of you. Giving a good book is always a smart choice: Design*Sponge At Home book by Grace Bonney ($35) will be a go to book for design ideas for your best friend who will refer to it every time she needs to get inspired. It will also serve as a perfect coffee-table-book. And while the Monogrammed Hammam Stripe Hand Towel ($17) will dress up any powder room, the Bamboo Doily Clock ($34) will remind everyone it's time to get together for a reunion.
I have always wanted to figure out how to dry Hydrangeas properly, so the petals keep their shape and color. Turns out the trick is in the timing. It has to be toward the end of the season, October - November, when blooms start drying slightly out and changing colors, but still are in good shape. Apparently, this cannot be achieved with store-bought Hydrangeas, as they are just too fresh and full of moisture. Once your plant is ready, cut off the flowers, remove leaves off the stems, and display them in a vase filled with water. The water will evaporate with time and this will allow for the flowers to stay fresh and dry out naturally, preserving the color. In the end, you will have beautiful dried arrangement that will last you for years.
The pillow I made in the summer turned out to be beautiful, but the wide stripe of the linen fabric front needed some interesting detail. I decided to make a stencil and used professional dye to add a silhouette of a crown.