sunshine yellow…

Ever since Nyla Free sent me a teaser of the design she’s cooking up for my living room, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the color yellow.

It could also have something to do with the fact that it just can’t stop raining in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m craving a little sunshine…correction…a truck-load of sunshine. So consider this my sundance…’cause I’m just not willing to go out and dance on my front lawn in the rain!!!

courtesy Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25 via Houzz

courtesy Jennifer Brouwer via Houzz

courtesy Sarah Richardson

courtesy Donna Griffith for Style At Home magazine

courtesy of Virginia MacDonald for Style At Home magazine

courtesy Kim Christie for Canadian House & Home magazine

Don’t you just love that painting by Bobbi Burgers? She’s one of my FAVE artists.

beautiful batik…

I just came acrosss Canadian House & Home TV’s segment on making a framed batik picture. It’s lovely and they provide a step-by-step demonstration on how to batik (not sure if it’s a verb, but what the heck). The TV segment has the full instructions, but here’s my abridged version:

1. Start by melting a pot of paraffin wax. Use a clean piece of fabric large enough to fit in the picture frame. (make sure to lay down some paper first, to protect the surface you’re working on). Paint the pattern that you would like to remain the color of the canvas. When you’re finished, turn it over and paint wax on the design from the other side.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home TV

2. Use diluted fabric dye and dip the entire canvas in it. Make sure the canvas is completely saturated with the dye.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home

3.  Allow the batik to dry and fray the edges by pulling threads off.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home TV

4.  Mount the fabric in your favorite frame.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home TV

Scandinavian fresh…

Canadian House & Home online TV features a tour of designer, Git Gustavsson’s Scandinavian-styled home. I loved her home office with chocolate brown walls and white trim and accents. She has a way of combining things that I would never dream of.

The inspiration for her office was a Mexican hotel room with turquoise walls, but she decided to paint the walls brown and paint the chandelier turquoise. She uses iconic Merimekko fabric for the window coverings.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

She uses an IKEA industrial-style dining room table as her desk with a white Barcelona chair.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

I love the way she displays pictures and other decorative items on the window sill.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

Her master bedroom combines grey, white and amethyst. Lovely. It’s hard to make out in this image, but she painted wide horizontal stripes of matte and shine on the wall behind the headboard.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

product sighting…

I love it when I spot one of the products I carry on the pages of shelter magazines. My latest sighting was in Canadian House & Home’s blog post on modern cottages. It’s the Ibiza white cutout metal lanterns on the table in this lovely cottage. House & Home is one of my favorite magazines!

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home

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!

tongue in chic

If you read my posts regularly, you know that I think I’m pretty funny (Jen, Jen, Jen…head shake…sigh). I love to laugh until my mascara runs down my beet-red cheeks (I’ve got some great people in my life who elicit this kind of laughter). I go through each day looking for the humor in everything, even when I’m cheesed off (like the other day when I found two hole punchers not 24 hours after desperately searching for one so my daughter could hand in her homework–stupid universe).

I love to see humor in design too. If a room takes itself too serious, I’m outta here! Whether it’s subtle, or in-your-face, I like to be able to guage a person’s sense of humor when I walk into their home (I take pride in the knowledge that people are probably laughing their asses off when they walk in to my “disheveled” home, and not for the right reasons!).

When I buy products for Nicole Jane Home, I try to find things that are unusual–something that’s going to make people smile. Hopefully that cheerful little silver bird will bring a smile to their face every time they see it sparkling on top of a stack of books. The pin-up girl matchbox will elicit titters (giggle) every time someone lights a candle. The silver stag head is a playful twist on a rather stuffy design icon. It makes readers do a double-take in a Canadian House & Home article (and you thought it was the cutie-patootie designer, Yanic Simard).

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home via Toronto Interior Design Group

I love a good design twist. Those are the things that I look for when I pour over my catalogues and meet with my sales reps. This British crown candleholder caught my eye because it’s unusual and it’s a nod at funky British style (Hey ‘Liz…bet ya never thought about using yours to hold a candle. Snap!)

SIDE BAR: Mark snuck up and accused me of being too “talky” in my posts…hmph…imagine that! It’s the evil eye for him for the REST OF HIS LIFE!!!!

You get an “A” if you guess which piece  tones down the ladder and the chairs. Betcha I could reach the top shelf!

photo courtesy Susanne Dimma's House & Home blog

Can you spot the chuckle in this room? How come I can never find a “J”? Isn’t anyone else called Jennifer? I can never find “Jane” on souvenir mugs and keychain racks either!

photo courtesy House & Home

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