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September 26, 2005

Photo Montage

UmbraframeNow that fall is officially here, I've succumbed to my annual tradition for welcoming in the new season: developing my summer photos.  What better way is there to offset the cold weather than reminiscing about those picnics in the park, neighborhood barbecues, trips to the beach... minus the unpleasant memories of mosquito bites and sunburns.  It's always reasurring to have a little reminder that, though it may be the dead of winter, warmer climates are just around the corner.

So put your summer memories on display -- wall and table frames (like this one by Umbra) with spaces to hold three or four photos are perfect for creating a collage of your favorite shots. Choosing a sleek, urban design keeps the focus on the most important part of a frame: the photo inside.  Add a taste of summer to your home that you can keep all year round!

September 26, 2005 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 09, 2005

You've Been Framed!

Candy_4It seems you can never get enough picture frames.  Sure, they're the perfect little gift for any occasion and there's sure to be a style to match any personality; we've all had our moments, encountering that HAD-to-have-it frame that you know would go so well in the living room.  Needless to say, over the years we're all acquired our fair share of frames... now what?  Put them on display!  If you've run out of the usual random snapshots, here are some alternate ideas on how to fill those frames to reflect your own personal style.  Because believe me, you can only have so many pictures of your cat strewn across the house before you start looking creepy.

  • Go Grayscale: the sophisticated look of black and white photography always adds a touch of class.  Pick up a roll of black and white film (be sure to pick film that can be processesed at your regular one-hour-photo developers) and start snapping!  Choose your favorite spot around town to shoot some landscapes, or get your friends and family to pose for portraits.
  • Turn Back Time: add some retro style to your room -- visit your local thrift or vintage store, or just hit up mom and dad's to find pictures from old magazines, postcards, or even some ancient family photos.  Some old centerfolds from Life or National Geographic (or Playboy, if that's your thing) might look great on your walls, while a kitschy Missing you in Maui postcard might deserve a place on your dresser.
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: sometimes the frame is an artwork in itself.   Show it off by turning it into a mirror!  Visit the craft store or mirror retail store (yes, they do exist) and find one that fits the dimensions.  This way, whenever you look at it, you'll see the person you love most... yourself, obviously!
  • Gallery Space: So maybe you're not the next Picasso -- that shouldn't stop you from using your frames to showcase your latest artwork!  This could be anything from your 4-year-old nephew's rendering of a dinosaur, your favorite silk-screen t-shirt (retired due to over-use and giant holes), a collage of name-tags from your various fast-food employments... anything that you think deserves a space of honor in your home.  The possibilities are endless!

What do you think?  What do you keep inside your favorite frame?

August 9, 2005 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 23, 2004

What to BE for the holidays

OrnamentsIt can be hard to pull yourself away from cooking, wrapping and shopping long enough to delight in the holidays.  This one's for Mom, this one's for Sis...isn't the joy supposed to come from giving the gifts?  Or maybe it's really after the gifts, when it's all said and done; torn paper is scattered about the room, the only sound is the crackle of the fire and everyone can just be.  Now, that's what the holiday's are about. You've hung decorations, you've baked cakes and cookies, you've fed family, you've bought gifts and the real solace comes on the night of 25th.  Aaaahh--you can finally en-joy the holiday.  Remember, ornaments and stockings can only take you so far, the rest is up to you.  But a little advice: if you find yourself flagging in zeal mix up some hot chocolate, grab a good book and snuggle up by a fire...and, you guessed it, just be!!

December 23, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 29, 2004

Ghoulish Garnish

MonstercandleGrowing up, my mother adored decorations; for every holiday, for every occasion. And Halloween runs a very close second after Christmas in the decorating race. Cob webs in the corners (some of which may have already been there), ghosts swinging from the bare tree branches and, for the best effect, dry ice anyone?--you've got to love a holiday in which terrifying others ranks number one on the to do list. And if the home decor isn't terrorizing your visitors then it's, at the very least, summoning a few grins. Speaking of summoning, conversing with the spirits is always a popular activity on the 31st. In fact, the holiday dates back 2,000 years to the Celts who believed that the day between Harvest and Winter the world of spirits merged with that of the living. Later, of course, the Roman Catholic church renamed the date--All Hallows Eve...the night before All Saints day. So, make sure you've got all your spirits in order (the scary ones and the consumable ones..wink) and turn your house into the creepiest place on the block. Because with all the ghoulish garnish and frightening stories, the most obvious activity of all is to PARTY!!

Read about Halloween for yourself...and get over to EMERALDS to stock up on decorations!!

October 29, 2004 in Fun Stuff, Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 08, 2004

Food for thought...

Memory is an interesting thing. In fact the human memory is pretty astounding. Unfortunately, I've never really been a 'picture person.' You know the type. They attach a camera to their hip and end up drowning their coffee table with photo albums. Although somewhere deep down I sort of envy that characterstic, I still don't carry a camera with me--not even on birthdays. It's really a shame because it turns out that memory is vitally connected to the being one of them. You may glance through a picture album of a stranger like you're running a race, but get a hold of a roll of your own film, you're own memories, and you could end up pouring over them for hours. And recalling good memories can actually help your body in a lot of ways. The picture of your first date might get your heart pounding a bit--increase circulation. The picture of the day at the beach with your family will, for the moment, wipe clear the stresses of the day. Memories, like nourishment, keep us all alive. Surrounding yourself with the love and joy of days past will just make the days that much brighter.

Memory facts, tests, and games--find out how much memory means to you!!
A quote for you: Memory is what is left when something happens but does not ever completely unhappen.
-Edward de Bono

October 8, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 25, 2004

Decorating 101

zodax-candlefinalAfter watching several episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, you may begin to think: 'Hey, I've got taste! I can decorate my own home!' I mean, who needs an expensive designer when you've got the Fab Five!! BUT--beware of over- zealous decorating! There is nothing wrong with an eccentric candle holder, a groovy mirror or a wild piece of art BUT--only to be used sparingly. Take this candle holder for example...cast iron, clear glass beads, not too big; it's a good purchase. However, it also happens to come with similarly designed vases and candle holders. If you were to buy the entire collection your house could start looking like a Tim Burton movie real quick. Of course you want to put your personality into your home; you want everyone to know that it's truly YOUR living space, but you certainly don't need to beat them over the head with it. Find idiosyncratic decorations that you love, but balance them with solid conventional pieces. Before you know it, you're on your way to living in the unique modern space that you deserve!

Decorating tips...straight from the guys! (no pun intended)

August 25, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (2)

August 24, 2004

The easiest flower garden!

flower-candlesFlowery, cheerful, colorful--not in everyone's personality BUT--surely some of you out there dot your "i's" with a smiley face and catch yourself doodling flowers all over your notebook. And those of you that do may find these flower candle holders especially tempting. And even if flowers aren't your favorite thing, these are still subtle enough to spark some interest. Standing about 5 inches tall, a simple silver stem and a translucent flower will hold a tea light or a votive candle. The warm glow through the petals of the flower created by the candle is the best part of the bloom. Several of them across a window sill and there grows a lovely low-maintenance tulip garden that glows in the dark!! Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!

August 24, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 23, 2004

The pictures of life!

dolcemiaThere is a saying in Italy: "La vita e' bella"...Life is beautiful. And it truly is. From moment to moment life tends to have a force behind it that, at the simplest times, shines through just as a little reminder. Whether it is in the smile of a dear friend, or your son's first steps; it is the diversity of life's sweet moments and the distinct emotions they elicit that find you thinking my life is beautiful. Unfortunately, those moments come and go staying just long enough to tickle our hearts. But there are those you capture and keep close. It's amazing how a picture suddenly picks you up and carrys you off to a time in the past that made you feel alive. Or how it brings someone you love, someone you miss right to your living room. The pictures that you surround you are snapshots of the moments you love. They make you laugh, they make you cry and they even bring you hope. You want to display them with the same endearment with which you reflect on that specific instant. With designs that enhance every elated feeling, these frames will give your favorite pics just the right emphasis--just enough to help whisk you off to that particular time when you knew la vita e' bella...

Here are some tips for keeping your camera up this summer so you don't miss anything!

August 23, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004

The Hindu Shiva

shivah_final Remember the WWJD bracelets...a trend of which I personally didn't take part. Lately though, it seems the religious trend has moved a bit more east; as in, Eastern religious icons and practices. Feng shui, Yoga, Buddah...I mean if Madonna can do it so can you, right?! Well here's a couple of fast facts about Shiva, the Hindu god:
Shiva is one of the gods in the Hindu trinity of gods.
He is associated with emotion, wisdom, and giving.
He is the god of the moon.
Now, not only will you enhance the Zen of your surroundings with these glowingly colored Shiva figures, but also, you can flaunt your hip Hindu knowledge and just seem that much more enlightened!

Intrigued by Hinduism?'s more info!

August 4, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 30, 2004

Secret scented sachets

martinbarnettYou invite friends over to your house for drinks, the only problem is--two cats and a litter box; which unfortunately permeates the air with an all too recognizable and very unpleasant smell. Candles are an option, yes, but they can add heat to an already stuffy house. Plug in air fresheners are an option, yes, but there's nothing attractive about plastic cartridges protruding from every outlet. And we won't even discuss how sneeze-inducing spray fresheners can be. What's left?...These satchets, that's what!! Graceful and refined, the softly petal-ed flowers are an elegant and secret weapon against odor. And the best part is, as your guests inhale the soothing aroma of lavender, they can admire the brightly colored flowers placed ever-so strategically around your home. Easy on the nose and easier on the clever!

July 30, 2004 in Home Accents | Permalink | Comments (0)