May
21
2012
32

Some New, Personal Art Pieces

Hi, I am back after a spontaneous break from blog land. Too many things going on and too few hours in the day. I needed a week to just catch up with life and to get the smile back on my face! (We also hopped over to beautiful Vancouver Island, Canada, for some family quality time).

A few new personal art pieces moved in with us last week. One has to do with my own life attitude.

I think I am a pretty happy person at heart. I don’t dwell on a lot of stuff but just like everyone else I have my ups and downs. For a few years now I have been coming up with my very own mechanism for dealing with stress and frustrations and negative energy in general.

Down by the lake where we live is a wonderful walking path. I often go for walks or runs there. I have come up with this idea that I can spew and mutter and grind my teeth or whatever I need to do for half the distance.

Exactly mid-way through the walk/run I am greeted by this row of red reflectors on wood poles. There is also a white pole in the middle of the trail. Already from a distance I start preparing myself for a mind switch (if and when needed).

My ritual is to touch the white pole and to let go of anything negative in my head. This is my very own personal garbage disposal for negative thinking. Imagine that!

This is also where I turn around and head back home and nothing bad gets to come with me! That is a commitment I make every single time. And it works! I always return home happy, content and upbeat. (Ask my hubby!).

I am not an artist by any means but I had a strong desire to capture this life attitude, if you will, so I painted this little piece as a reminder to myself and my kids to put a time limit on how long you harbor negativity in your mind and body.

Nothing fancy but you can see red reflectors and the wooden poles (the frame itself). Simple/dumb perhaps but important to me.

And isn’t that what art should be? Meaningful.

Also meaningful and lovely is this art piece (below the old miniature portrait) that came to me as a mother’s gift from a lovely Mama and close friend – the beautiful Michele. She knows I love black and white artwork and this one fits right into my home. It almost looks like I had it special ordered! No taking this one down. It is a forever piece.

Last week my 10 year old daughter sat by the kitchen table and I asked me what she should paint. “Why don’t you do something in black and white”, I said. While I was cooking she whipped up these two paintings which I absolutely ADORE! (Especially the dog).  Also forever pieces. Will be placed in white frames.

So there. Some new, simple but personal and meaningful art pieces. Anything new on your walls?

Now I am off to see what I have missed in blog land.

Happy new week to you all!

Images: No. 1 via A Vintage Poster. All other images via Splendid Willow

Written by Splendid Willow in: My Home |

Mar
02
2012
20

Attempting To Try This

On my recent tip trip to Stockholm, I came across this lovely Swedish home in a design magazine.

What really caught my attention was this art piece on the wall.

An abstract piece in ink made by the home owner herself.

You have heard me say MANY times that I can’t draw to save my life, but once in a while and I have that intense craving to make something artistic with my own hands and so far the few pieces I have made have turned out quite ok (if I may say so!).

Like this life statement piece in our bedroom. Down went the pricey & fancy gallery artwork and up went my simple and amateurish canvas. I don’t even care what people say about it. I like it because it is meaningful (to us).

I have some leftover ink from another project and I am going to make my own interpretation of the ink trees (?). I am actually quite looking forward to it!

Now tell me, how many of you let your secret inner artist out once in a while? And what do you enjoy making?

Happy rest of the week, friends!

Images: No. 1-4 via Skona Hem. No. 5 via Splendid Willow.

Written by Splendid Willow in: DIY,My Home |

Dec
19
2011
38

My Candy Store Is Now Open!

Every winter holiday season we turn our old, Swedish secretaire into a treat cabinet, which my children officially have dubbed “The Candy Store”. We fill the cabinet with all kinds of sweets and let me tell you that there is a constant flow of family members and guests heading in that direction of the house! Plates and bowls are frequently being filled up!

I personally love this tradition. The kids (and hubby!) get so excited every year. As of Dec. 18th (my oldest daughter’s birthday – the big 10!) – “The Candy Store Is Officially Open! Even our spoiled cat Charlie, wants to be part of the fun!

An absolute must have in our store, are chocolates from Brugge Chocolates. It does not get much better than that, folks. Absolutely top notch European style chocolates made locally here in Seattle. I can’t rave enough about this brand – and once you learn about it, you almost want to keep it a secret! Remember that you learned about Brugge Chocolates here first!

Brugge Chocolates was opened in February 2010 by owner and head chocolatier, Susan Walukiewicz. I really like her. After retiring from a career at Microsoft (kind of envious of here career switch…), Susan attended the Barry Callebaut Chicago Chocolate Academy, where she trained with Belgian, French and Canadian chocolatiers, always with an emphasis on artisan chocolates and confections.

Here are a few pieces I just picked up. More will be added next week – I want it all super fresh. ( I gave myself a medal for not taking even the tiniest of nibbles).

…with real gold flakes…

Some other Holiday touches at our house. You all know that I like to keep things simple. But for being a fairly modern gal, it sometimes even surprise myself  that I am so attached to a more old feel, rustic Christmas. I feel it has such a good, friendly vibe.

The Christmas tree (with its forest theme) is up. Here seen from my office.

Hubby wanted more red in the tree (The only time he has an opinion about colors, is when the tree is to get some decor. What is that all about?!) – so I added red apples to the mix.

The kids decorated their village.

Today you will find me linking to these lovely and creative blogs: Cottage & Vine, Savvy Southern Style, Between Naps On The Porch, Dittle Dattle & DIY Home Sweet Home. Thank you for the fun parties, ladies!

And if you are looking for some last minute gifts, meet me over at my close & stylish friend Manvi’s blog Mochatini, where I have listed a few things I want for myself!

Happy New Week!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Holidays & Celebrations,My Home | Tags: ,

Dec
01
2011
33

My New Christmas Tree Decorations

I was purring like a cat when I saw this image just yesterday over at my good friend Tina’s blog. This is exactly the look I am going for on our Christmas tree!  A rustic theme celebrating family and mother nature!

I have never had any glitzy, shiny red and green ornaments in my tree (not even when I grew up). I guess I am more used to a simple, quiet, Swedish look. But not until  recently did I come up with a theme close to my heart. We are huge animal lovers at our house and we already have quite a few adorable animal ornaments but this year I am tying everything together with colors and adding some new, forest themed tree ornaments. Here is a sample of what I have been collecting and what is going on the tree.

Adorable mushrooms. A bought a whole bunch — love them!

Bird houses, acorns and more animals.

 Light green berry branches (just like in the top picture!).

Jute reindeer (simple and so cute).

Burlap ribbon.

And for the kids I created my own simple little ornaments that I hope they will appreciate for a long time to come. I simply wrote their initials (I used stencils) on some burlap fabric and put them in rustic frames. I also placed some b/w baby pictures in frames and wrote love testiments on the back.

Oh, and hubby always refers to our three kids as “squirrels”. Found some cute ones that are also going on the tree!

I really enjoy this look. It suits us and I know that it will be a very loving tree!

Hugs to you all.

Image no. 1 via Komma Hem.

 

Written by Splendid Willow in: Holidays & Celebrations,My Home | Tags:

Jul
29
2011
75

William’s Bedroom Makeover Unveiled – Finally!

Long overdue, I know. It is not a perfect magazine feature room, people — but William is happy and that is all that counts!

Remember, how it started? With a sad little boy pleading for a big boy room with a bed! (My 4 year old Prince had been totally neglected. His sisters got all the fancy stuff and he was still in an old crib… with a broken mobile hanging over his head. (There used to be six birds).

Help!!! Anybody out there?!

We finally got the message and went to work. This time I wanted a room with a more Scandinavian feel. Simple, light, easy to clean and soothing (soft colors, good lighting and and a good vibe). We also decided to be a little budget savvy. (I think Ikea is perfect for kids’ rooms! Scandinavian look & feel and so cost effective).

What really made this room take so long, was waiting for this wall sconce! (Boston Library light via Circa Lighting). Waiting for its arrival and to have it installed. I know, I know, hardly low budget.  We splurged on this one, I admit. But it is so handsome and I think it is the perfect accent over the chalkboard wall.

The red cabinet is pretty much one of the few thing we kept from his old room. Antique doors built into a new cabinet. We’ve gotten so much use out of that piece.

 

The chalkboard wall turned out to be quite the project. A lot of tries with different red chalk paints and it was hard to get the paint even. But I did not want William to stare at a black, gloomy chalkboard (he is only 4) — so it was worth it. Hubby got the frame up and I stained it gray/blue. Our first little DIY project as a couple — it was fun!

 

 

Note William’s interpretation of his Mommy!

 

This is the first room in our house with pure white walls. But I had the ceiling painted in a very soft blue for a little bit of contrast. Still staying very simple Swedish, though!

A view from the door. (I now wish I had ironed all the bed linen!) Slipcovered headboard from Ikea (so easy to wash) and also the bedlinen. Love the dots and stripes.

The big wall map also from Ikea gets a lot of use at bedtime when we talk about places we have been, places we are going and what makes the world go around. I highly recommend it.

Bed buddies (And the not so ironed bed linen. I am not perfect!).

 

I did not want curtain panels and was ready to order some fancy linen Roman shades (and I might still do that) but a designer friend reminded me, that we have perfectly new and functional white wooden blinds plus it is hard to clean fabric shades. So, no need to take them down — yet. So instead my husband got to build this wooden valance (first time ever!) which I padded and put some striped fabric on from — yes, Ikea!

 

 

I hope I haven’t lost too many reader now. Yikes!

Remember the vintage wooden crate I found at a garage sale for nothing? All clean and equipped with casters it now makes for a perfect toy bin.

And the same fox as in the first image is here. So I guess the circle is complete.

I warned you! Nothing fancy, no extravaganza. But hopefully personal and livable for a 4 year old with a simple Scandinavian touch!

I am taking a week+ off from blog land. We plan to have some fun in the sun as a family. I will check in with my friends a tiny bit but I hope you understand and don’t think I am ignoring you if you don’t hear from me for a few days.

When I get back I will have some store news!

Warm summer hugs to you all!

Images: All images via Splendid Willow.

Written by Splendid Willow in: My Home,White rooms | Tags: , , ,

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