Pretty, Shiny Things


Peonies are my absolute, most favorit-est flower in the world–I love how they start out as tight little pom-poms and open up into these huge, gorgeous feathery blooms from white to the deepest magenta. They remind me of cotton candy. And the fact that they reach the peak of their season in early June–right around my birthday–makes them all the more special to me.

Today is my actual birthday, and I’m a very lucky gal. My dreamboat of a boyfriend showed up at my door with a bouquet of my favorite blooms. He was worried the flowers he got me were of the “injured baby” variety (his words), but I assured him that they will bloom over the next couple of days…much to my delight.

And as another birthday treat, I stumbled upon some gorgeous peony photos over on SFGirlByBay (a delightful blog I highly suggest perusing) taken by Mrs. French, another crafty blogger whose site I plan on scouring for more awesomeness.

Have a lovely weekend and if peonies are available where you are, I recommend you do yourself a favor and pick up a bunch.

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

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I’ve always been a fan of Kate Spade’s fun, cheerful color combinations and her sort of “hip debutante” style.  Apparently, Ms. Spade also shares my love for graphically interesting and/or vintage book and magazine covers. She’s offering some cool, free downloads on her website (click on “downloads”) that can be used as desktop wallpaper AND, I love this, a tutorial for how to turn the print-outs into book covers. Now you can cover your trashiest checkout-line paperbacks or young adult novels with images of much hipper works and get away with reading them in public without being snickered at by strangers…

image via Kate Spade

image via Kate Spade

I’m a huge fan of any photography done with Holgas, Duaflexes, or any other kind of cool, clunky camera that produces photos with that slightly dusty, warped, vintage look. James Spicer has a shop on Etsy where he’s showcasing his “TTV (through the viewfinder) series” of photographs. What makes these pictures so great? Look closer…all of the landscapes and objects in the photographs are miniature models! I love his concept–genius and slightly kitchy. Head on over to Etsy and give Mr. Spicer’s shop a gander.

Houses and Trees TTV photograph by James Spicer

Houses and Trees TTV photograph by James Spicer

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Etsy is both the best thing I ever found out about and the giant black hole (well, one of them, anyway) that keeps me glued to the computer for hours at a time when I should be doing other things like writing my first book or showering. The fact that there are so many crafty, talented folks out there never ceases to fill me with gleeful amazement (and an acute sense of envy).

I come across tons of great stuff during my web-wandering, but I found these little soaps especially delightful. They’re hand-made (HA! Get it?! Eh…), and just the perfect combination of ingenious-creepy-charming that I happen to find terribly winning. Check ’em out, along with an array of other fabulous items from Foliage at Etsy.

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I feel kind of like an a-hole when taking part in any form of self promotion, but…umm…that’s kind of what a blog is, right? Like, I expect (or flat out hope) that people are out there reading what I’m writing, so why not just run with it, eh?

Around Christmas 2008, I started making these greeting cards to stack up and give as gifts to my most beloved, slightly askew friends. (Call me cheap if you will.) When someone mentioned that I might actually try and *sell* the things, I laughed it off. I mean, they look like they were created by a demented four-year-old with sub-par drawing skills. But apparently, such a thing has its draw.

There’s nothing I enjoy quite as much as amusing myself in the privacy of my own home while my fat chihuahua looks on with an expression of mild concern. “Greetings, Cards!” helps me scratch such an itch.