Sunday, March 11, 2007

Faux Bois

Loving these Faux Bois vases individually made by Ty Travis at
They vary in sizes from 6" up 24" in height. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Laura Gunn Studio

If you have not been introduced to Laura Gunn and her gorgeous botanical paintings here is your chance!
The originals, as well as signed limited addition prints are available on her Etsy store,

Friday, February 02, 2007

Scenes from Sycamore Moon

With the recent closing of my shop, Sycamore Moon, so many friends and customers have asked if I miss it. For the record, it was a wonderful learning experience, a tremendous creative outlet and a really great laboratory for all my creations. However, I am extremely excited to be moving forward. The store was a beautiful stepping stone and part of a path that I am happy I chose to take. I want all my wonderful customers to know that I do miss them and thank them for their tremendous support. I so loved the interactions and friendships I formed. The positive feedback I got daily was so affirming and I think it gave me the strength to do it all as long as I did...even on an absurdly minimal amount of sleep. I must also say I am happy to be sleeping again. I do miss driving by the store window at night and seeing the window all lit was always sort of magical. Here are a few scenes from Sycamore Moon!

The Hadley Heart

What an amazing response I have received from gals all over the country (and Canada) in reference to the MEHC cover and article. My top seller has been the "Hadley Heart". They are sweet little lavender filled hearts that hang and are embellished with vintage and vintage inspired trims and notions. Each one is handmade to order and no two are exactly alike. Thanks to all who have called and emailed with kind words and questions. I really do appreciate your feedback and interest!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Home Companion 10th Anniversary Issue

In December 2005 we photographed my daughter, Hadley Grace's room for the Feb.-March 2006 Issue of Mary Englebreit's Home Companion magazine. What a thrill! It was well worth the year wait to see it in print! We have since moved, so this article is a happy reminder of our former home. We are currently busy working on Hadley's new bedroom full of color and pattern. Her new room will include a stage for "rockin out". She plays the acoustic and electric guitar and loves to dress up! She has an affinity for "pirates" at the moment! As the article states, " Don't design for yourself. The whole point is, it is not about you, it's about them!"

Monday, January 01, 2007

Handmade Soap How-To

Pure Glycerin Soap
Water based soap dye
Water or oil based Fragrance
molds or cake pan
cookie cutter
large lollipop stick or dowel
Glass measuring cup or microwave safe container
Microwave or stovetop
Kitchen thermometer
Wooden spoon
Paper towels
Toothpick or skewer
Rubbing alcohol
Spray Bottle

Step 1:
Choose molds.
Molds are easy to find on line, at your local hobby store or in your kitchen! ( I like to use my grandmother’s vintage tart molds)
Lay out paper towels on work surface and assemble your favorite molds.

Step 2:
Fill microwave safe measuring cup or container with glycerin and then heat according to instructions. Generally heat for no more than 30 seconds on high. Stir and then continue to heat in short intervals until soap is thoroughly melted. If heating on stovetop, melt on low heat in a saucepan or double boiler. Heat soap to 140-150 degrees F. (Be sure to follow the instructions given on whatever brand you purchase, some instructions may vary.)

Step 3:
Next, I like to add color giving the glycerin a moment to cool slightly before adding fragrance. Add dye and fragrance sparingly. (You can always add more to your liking.) For pale pink color I like to take a toothpick or a skewer and dip in the dye versus dropping it in from the bottle. You seem to have a little more control and less likely to overdye it. Stir and continue until you have reached your desired color.

Step 4:
Pour into molds. If using a cake pan, pour until it is about 3/4” thick. Take your Spray Bottle filled with rubbing alcohol and spritz the top of the glycerin soap to remove bubbles that form while pouring. Surface will be smooth.

Step 5:
Allow to cool completely. This takes about an hour. Carefully remove from molds. If you are having trouble removing them, put them in the freezer for a few minutes. This usually helps them pop right out! (I don’t leave them in longer than 5 min. if they start to freeze it has an adverse affect on the glycerin.) If you use a cake pan as a mold you may now use your cookie cutter to cut out your soap. If making the soap on a stick, carefully push your lollipop stick or dowel into the glycerin, note that your soap must be at least a 1/2” wider than the stick.

Step 6:
If you are giving your soap as a gift, it is a good idea to let your soap sit for 24 hours before packaging it. I like to put mine in clear cellophane bags and tie with colorful ribbon! It looks and smells great displayed in a dish or small cake stand! Not only does is smell terrific is wonderfully moisturizing and has a rich long lasting lather.