leaning to lanterns…

One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets warmer is to hang some lanterns. I have large metal lanterns on my front porch all year long, but when it’s warm, I love to hang smaller ones from the roof on my verandah and on my clematis-covered trellis which covers a seating area in my back yard. They are so cheerful and inviting and I love spending time outside when they’re lit. It’s no wonder that I love Kim Mitchel’s song Patio Lanterns–if you’re Canadian of a certain vintage like me, you’ll recognize that classic.

photo by Carla Coulson via French Essence

courtesy Martha Stewart

photo courtesy Martha Stewart

photo courtesy Martha Stewart

A couple of years ago, I watched an amazing lantern festival at Lightening Lake, which is a provincial campground in Southwest B.C. It was simply fascinating to see masses of handmade paper lanterns of all shapes and sizes lit and sent adrift on the lake. If you ever get a chance to see a lantern festival on water, go for it!

photo courtesy flikr

mother's day giveaway…

I’m giving away the cutest matching April Cornell mother & daughter aprons for Mother’s Day. This time, I’m asking participants to Direct Message (DM) me on Twitter. If you’ve never been on Twitter, there’s no better time–it’s incredible to share your thoughts, news, interests, business with Tweets all over the world–it’s fun and inspiring.

Follow me @nicolejanehome on Twitter and direct message me “Mothers Rock!”. I’ll be making a draw for the winner on Mother’s Day–Sunday May 9, 2010.

we have a winner…

Lucky Donna won the $150 gift card from Nicole Jane Home. I’d like to thank everyone who entered to win.

I will definitely be doing more gift card giveaways so stay tuned. In the meantime, don’t forget to comment on any one of my blog posts between April 20, 2010 and April 27, 2010 to win a lovely cast iron pigeon on finial. The more times you comment, the better your chances.

very vignette…

I love a good story and I guess that’s why I love decor vignettes. They’re a glimpse into the homeowner’s  joy–what makes their toes curl and their hearts swell (okay…perhaps a bit dramatic, but you get my drift). What books do they love? Where did they pick up that seashell? Where did they find that exquisite vase? Where was that photo taken?

photo courtesy This is Glamorous

It gives me a lot of pleasure to arrange and rearrange little vignettes all over my house. I’m constantly sprucing up my arrangements with fresh flowers, forgotten treasures I find in my storage closet, old paintings, favourite decorating books, beach rocks, my latest purchase from a favourite store, photos… They’re all precious and I love to see them every day.

photo courtesy House Beautiful via One Simple Addition

My styles constantly change (hey, I’m a Gemini…I’m allowed to flip flop) and vignettes are an inexpensive way for me to express myself, without having to make the major renovations!

I just love old phones, and this sweet little orange one is featured on Habitually Chic. There’s even a source for vintage phones listed, if you’re on the lookout for one: oldphone.com.

photo courtesy Habitually Chic

There’s a happy trend well on its course of using typeface decorating. It’s all about words in different typefaces, and I love it (notice the framed “LOVE” above and the gold “D” peaking out from the phone–at least I thinks it’s a “D”). It really tickles my fancy if it’s an vintage factory or store sign–they’re fabulous!

photo courtesy House Beautiful via Belle Maison

I predict a huge comeback for clogs. I saw a pair on a TV show last week, and now I’m seeing this pair. You mark my words–everybody is going to have a pair of colorful wooden clogs on a table somewhere in their house!

photo courtesy i l'aria's photostream via Decor8

This definitely qualifies as a beautiful vignette. One of my best friends did something very similar in her entrance and it’s absolutely stunning. If you get a chance, check out Jon Jensen‘s website of gorgeous photography. Uh huh! I see a typeface “3” and “x” on that shelf! I should really be posting a blog about typeface decor!!! Maybe tomorrow.

photo courtesy Jon Jensen Photography

don't forget…

In case I haven’t pestered you enough, just wanted to remind you about the BIG giveaway tomorrow. If you haven’t signed up for the $150 gift card giveaway, you only have today and tomorrow until 5 p.m. pacific standard time.

photo by Reinier deSmit for Nicole Jane Home

Just visit the Nicole Jane Home website and sign up for the newsletter. Don’t worry, we do not send out a lot of junkie emails. It’s only for special promotions, sales and new products.

The giveaway is open to U.S. & Canadian residents 18 years and older.

guests welcome…

My sister is the hostess-with-the-mostess. She always fixes up her guest bedroom as if the Queen herself was coming for the visit (hmmm…I just realized that she thinks I’m as fussy as a queen). I love to check out the basket of goodies she leaves on the cedar chest at the end of my bed. It’s usually filled with hand cream, chocolates, bottled water and the piece de resistance–new magazines!

photo courtesy Restoration Hardware

If you want to show your guests how much  you look forward to their visit, put some extra care into setting up the guest room. Or, if you really don’t want them to ever come back, or even stay at all, tell them there’s a super-sized spider living in the room that might hiss and rear up on its back legs if they go near it or even look at it sideways (actually happened to my best friend who was visiting relatives in Australia).

I just had to take a break from typing to have a giggle fit! Australia is now crossed off my bucket list! Who am I kidding? I took it off the list 20 years ago when my husband described a hiking trip when he stumbled upon a rather large snake going across his path–he couldn’t see its head or its tail…that’s how big it was!!! This blog post has gone crazy!

Ahem…I’ve  composed myself and we shall carry on. Here are some rather dignified ideas for hosting your guests. I’d just like to qualify myself by saying that this is a wish list, not necessarily what I will achieve every time someone comes to stay (just sayin’…don’t get your heart set on it).

I have a nasty little secret. I love using other people’s shampoo when I go for a visit. So my first choice for spoiling guests would be a nice little bottle of shampoo.  I’m madly in love with anything by Lollia.

photo courtesy Lollia

Where there’s shampoo, there has to be fresh towels. It’s handy that I have a warehouse full of them at Nicole Jane Home!

When your guests just can’t tolerate one more minute of your company, they can retreat to their retreat and forget their troubles by immersing themselves in some great magazines.

My other dark secret is that I generally sleep really well at someone else’s house. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I like to experience different bedding. If you can afford it, and you like your guests, I’d recommend really lovely sheets.

photo courtesy Restoration Hardware

I’m a fresh flower fanatic, so I would definitely, if nothing else, make sure my guest had a bouquet to enjoy!

photo courtesy Country Living Magazine

Make sure they have some wickedly good snacks to munch on, or I …er…they…won’t come back!

photo courtesy Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut

Once your guest has eaten all that chocolate, I’m pretty sure they’ll need some fluids. I just love bedside water carafes and glasses–they’re just so refined.

photo courtesy Apartment Therapy

When I have guests, they have usually traveled a long distance and made a very special effort to come here, so I like to go the extra mile and thank them. I love to send them home with a little something to remember the trip. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something that took a little thought.

photo via A Gift-Wrapped Life

If you ever want gift-wrapping inspiration, visit A Gift Wrapped Life. It’s full of gorgeous ideas!

victorian dove giveaway…

Yippeee! I love giveaways. This time it’s this dashing black iron dove statue. It’s one of my favorite accent pieces that looks great no matter where you put it.

So…down to the nitty gritty…how do you get your mitts on this sucker. All you need to do is leave comments on any of the blog posts I do over the next week. I’ll draw a random winner on April 27.

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on Nicole Jane Home.  I’m giving away a $150 gift card on April 29 to one of my newsletter subscribers—could be you!!!

photo by Janis Nicolay for Nicole Jane Home

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