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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Latest Kitchen FlooringTrends

It’s been a bit of a challenge for Mr. Decor and me to make a decision on what type of flooring we should select for the Storybook Cottage kitchen, laundry, family and powder room. There are SO many great options!

Rugs, however durable, aren't practical for a heavy-use kitchen. Enter statement floor tile. It's a more subtle way to add impact than, say, a bold eye-level backsplash (go to granadatile.com for similar quilt-like patterns).
Bonus idea: Tired of the same old subway tile? This on-trend square shape has a charming shingle-like effect. 

At the bottom of last week’s The Why’s of New Flooring post I included a photo that featured a fairly new trend in flooring. The trend comprises the use of tiles in various shapes, materials and color within the same space.

Modern Industrial Giant Hexagon floor tile from Alhambra Home & Garden

This trend can also encompass tile being paired with wood or laminate flooring. 

While wood laminate is a good choice for many people, others worry that perhaps it is not the best choice for “wet” rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. Because of this the popularity of “wood look” porcelain tile in kitchens is becoming a fast favorite for many homeowners.

This is porcelain tile made to look like wood flooring. South Cypress  - American Heritage 9" x 36" - Saddle:

I love it when such tile is laid in a herringbone pattern.

A Bright White Family Friendly Kitchen

For a traditional look ceramic tile has long been a popular choice. The trend today is to use larger squares such as those that measure 24” x 24” square or larger sized rectangles.

Spring European Interior Trends 2016.

The natural and rustic trend in design is definitely in and terra-cotta tile is a good selection if you want to achieve such a look. 

Modern landelijke keuken van RestyleXL

Terra cotta literally translates from Italian to English as “baked earth”. It truly adds warmth and character to a room.

Townhouse Elegance And Country Style

Another fast rising trend is encaustic cement tiles.

micasarevista.com

This tile trend seems to be the shining star all across blogland, home decor sites and magazines.

 interior design decor trends 2017 tiles floor in dining room

The use of brick as a flooring surface in a kitchen continues to be popular.

Change the feel of a room with high ceilings by hanging large pendant lamps. The space will feel instantly cozier. #personalstyle:

I do love the look but it is so unforgiving on a cook’s back or a dropped dish.

We definitely have our work cut out for us in trying to decide.

Next week, flooring looks I really love.

Laura

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Easy Craft ~ Valentine, You Are A Prize

Is anyone else a total homebody right now?

I seem to not want to leave the comforts of Storybook Cottage for anything less than the truly necessary.

But I so love getting a good craft on. I adore it even more when I can use up little scraps and pieces for something like these happy “Valentine, You Are A Prize” bits of bliss.

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While cleaning out my office closet I came across some vintage doilies decorated with cupids and hearts along with several small pieces of scrapbooking paper. #lightbulbmoment

I used a paper punch to create a center floral shaped base that I put on top in the center of the doily. (You can attach it with glue or double~sided mounting square tape.) 

The doily/floral base was then topped with two hearts (I used double sided tape). One heart was created with decorated scrapbook paper. The other heart was easily made by typing the words “Valentine, You are a prize!” in Microsoft word using red type. A full page of two columns was printed out with this saying. The words were then positioned, punched out and elevated on top of the other heart with pop dots.

Two scraps of paper with one end cut in a “swallows tail” created the bottom portion of the ribbon.

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To create a sturdy ribbon on the back I used another decorative floral shape as this lends support and also hides the top of the attached swallow tail ribbons. It was then topped with a small Belgian chocolate bar. The chocolate was wrapped in scrapbook paper and closed with a bit of washi tape. I simply attached the chocolate bar to the back of the doily using double sided tape.

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But you could forgo the chocolate and attach the ribbon to other things such as a bottle of soda, bubble bath…the sky is the limit. Use your imagination!

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Just like snowflakes and special friends, no two ribbons are alike, but all are lovely.

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Do you know someone special who deserves a prize ribbon?

Laura

Linking to:

Monday Social, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,Make It Pretty Monday ,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style,Share Your StyleCreative Ways, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace,The Charm of Home, Foodie Friday, Link Party Palooza, The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, SIOMT, Sundays At Home

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Modern Take on a Victorian Valentine

Lately I’ve been immersing myself in learning about all things Victorian.

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Did you know that most of our Valentine traditions come from the Victorian Era?

Namely, the Valentine card itself.

People have exchanged handwritten love letters for centuries. But after the industrial revolution printing techniques became truly advanced in the area of cardmaking.

The stationary firm of Joseph Addenbourke of London is often cited as a main contributor in the transformation of penned love tokens to the commercially produced Valentine beginning in the 1830’s.

It was Addenbourke who found that a lacy look could be created by filing off the raised relief of embossed paper borders. This technique of creating lace paper, now known as doilies, became a huge fashion in the Victorian age.

Antique Valentines - Bunnies, Birds and Butterflies - The Graphics Fairy:

The golden era of Valentine’s occurred between the 1840’s and 60’s. The process of chromolithography (gorgeous decorative design) was developed.  It was faster and less expensive that its predecessors, woodcuts and metal engravings. A much larger consumer audience could afford to purchase Valentine cards and they were smartly marketed to go beyond the idea of cards reserved just for sweethearts and became tokens of friendship.

Antique Victorian 3D Pop-Up Valentines Day Card Diecut Ornate German Vintage:

From there elaborate honeycomb designs were added. It was often a secret element that was not revealed until the recipient opened the card revealing the surprise.

Clock Tower, Cupid ~ Large Antique Honeycomb Valentine:

All of the elements combined resulted in spectacular works of art.

Wow! Victorian valentine...:

While honeycomb tissue can still be readily purchased in all shapes, colors and sizes I was looking to create cards of a simpler style, such as this one.

Vintage Valentine Pop Up Card Germany Antique by willowpaige, $18.00:

Here are the tools you will need to create your own Victorian inspired pop up Valentines;

Cutting mat~you can find them in a variety of shapes and sizes HERE.

A good paper glue. I like Coccoina.

Paper scissors

A bone folder ~ to create sharp creases in paper.

An exacto knife for interior or delicate paper cuts.

To elevate paper on paper I use pop dots.

For quick paper application double~sided mounting squares work brilliantly.

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A paper cutter is also an amazing time saving tool.

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Then of course you will need scrapbook paper, die cuts and embellishments. You can purchase paper making kits or collect various elements in the scrapbooking section of most hobby stores. Some of the various elements shown here came from various Anna Griffin kits purchased over the years.

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A fantastic template for pop up cards, along with step by step instructions, can be seen at Extreme Papercrafting.

TIP: I printed the template onto the back side of the scrapbooking paper and then made my cuts with a straight edge and an exacto knife. You then can make folds with a sharp crease with a bone folder.

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Layer your background elements first. I applied the top strip of paper with glue. The bottom strip was applied to the left hand side pop out column with a double~sided mounting square.

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A second layer is then added at the top with a decorative flourish. To add a bit of definition and interest I used pop dots to lift the scroll.

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I chose to add the decorative front layer of my card to the back of the interior section of the card at this point using double~sided mounting squares. I made sure to carefully avoid the areas where the pop out columns were.

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Then comes adding all of the fun pretty bits. Some were joined together with pop dots.

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This was also applied to the left hand pop out column with a double~sided mounting square.

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Here is a bird’s eye view of the three pop out columns.

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Then a German scrap paper rose was added to the middle and right columns.

TIP: German foil Dresden paper trims also work beautifully to decorate cards.

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TIP: Make sure that all of the decorative elements you apply fit within the card when it is closed.

Decor To Adore New Year 074

Here is the finished card viewed from the right hand side.

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You can see why you do not want to attach the front of the card to the interior of the card in the areas where the pop outs are.

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This is what the card looks like straight on. It is a pretty surprise for the viewer.

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I created two cards of each design so you could see the front of the card and the interior at the same time.

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The cards were created in an assembly line fashion to make the process flow more quickly and smoothly.

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I hope you have enjoyed these Victorian inspired Valentines.

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Because it’s Monday, let’s also end with a photo blooper. This happened several times (it felt like a million) during the photo shoot. #goodtimes  #nopatiencefornonsense

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Will you be sending out cards this Valentine’s Day?

Laura

Linking to:

Monday Social, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,Make It Pretty Monday ,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style,Share Your StyleCreative Ways, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace,The Charm of Home, Foodie Friday, Link Party Palooza, The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, SIOMT, Sundays At Home

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Choosing To Be Less

A few years ago I began to see campaigns such as “Be More”, “Do More” and “Get More”.

It was all aimed at bettering oneself, your business, your life.

Image result for be more

Image result for do more

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I bought into it. Because, well… it sounded good.

Sure, there was good intent behind the messages. But in trying to do more and be more to get more I found myself burnt out.

Image result for have less do more be more

Over the Christmas holiday I let it all go.

Less Facebook

Less Instagram

No blogging

 

So last week working to have less resulted in me posting three times instead of four and….the world didn’t end… and I didn’t feel bad. It actually felt….great!

This week, I didn’t post everyday on Instragram. I was too busy with LESS. It was great!

In being honest with myself I know you probably didn’t notice or care and that is FABULOUS!!!

Changing one key word to do less resulted in MORE.

By doing less and having less I have found that MORE goodness has come into my life this past week.

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Why is that?

Because when I am less, this allows room for God to be more.

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Less truly is more,

Laura

“He must become greater; I must become less." ~ John 3:30