Wednesday, February 29, 2012

[ my matryoshka ]

MY GUY took a business trip to Germany and the sweet guy that he is, brought me a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls. Similar to a set my grandfather gave me as a child, this set is much larger but still painted in the classic style.

a little history
The first nesting dolls actually originated in China and Japan in the 1700s but Matryoshka dolls are traditionally Russian, originating in the late 1800s. Their popularity extended beyond Russia when they were displayed at the Paris World Exposition in 1900. By 1920, exports of these dolls increased and around the same time, were being made by German toymakers near Munich. The name comes from a very popular female name whose Latin root 'mater' means mother. The name was associated with the image of a mother with a big family and it became symbolic of the brightly painted wooden dolls made to stack inside one another.

how they're made
Each set of dolls is made from lime, birch, alder or aspen. The smallest one is made first, with each subsequent doll turned on a lathe by highly skilled craftsmen.

Over the years, nesting dolls have had their aprons painted with historical themes, nobility, fairy tale themes, landscapes and architectural monuments, though traditionally they depict peasant girls in traditional dress.

Many eastern European countries like Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine have their own versions of nesting dolls in their own shapes and motifs, making them a popular souvenir item. 

Nowadays, nesting dolls have become a popular icon, especially in the crafting community. Look at all the fun matryoshka-themed items I found on Etsy...

Do you have any Matryoshka dolls?


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

[ neutral perfection ]

I CAN'T think of a thing I don't love about this room...

[campagne decoration]

Monday, February 27, 2012

[ rolling in the deep ]

AS I was flipping through the new green issue of House Beautiful, I came across this home entirely done in a deep inky green, full gloss ~ walls, ceilings, trim, cabinetry...

I couldn't help but wonder how if I could live in this home. Though the owners say the reflectivity of the glossy finish adds a wonderful glow, I find it has such a heaviness to it and I can't help but think it would feel like living in a cave. Not that caves can't be cozy! 

What do you think? Could you live in this home?

[house beautiful]

Friday, February 24, 2012

[ brekkie ]

SO WHAT'S for brekkie today? How about some Special K and bran flakes topped with strawberries and blueberries?

perhaps followed by one of these sweet tangerines {don't you just love the cute little leaves still attached?}

How are you starting off your day? Happy weekend!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

[ petal pink ]

JUST pretty. That's all.

[via lilla blanka]

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

[ collectors are not hoarders ]

I'M ALWAYS intrigued by what people choose to collect. Maybe it's something owned as a child, or a piece that was given as a gift or something picked up from a memorable trip somewhere that starts it all. And displaying these collections adds a lot of personality to a home.

Apart from my snowmen collection, my small old bottles, some of my grandma's teacups and my birdhouses, I do have...

my small grouping of antique rolling pins...

my jug collection...

and a small collection of antique shoe forms that I picked up in Paris and at the Christie Antique Fair {here are just a few}...

Sadly everything is packed away in Canada right now but I can't wait to get everything out someday and display them in our next home. My collections are small, but it's always fun to add to them as I come across things in my travels.

Do you have any fun collections? And if you do, how did your collection start?


[mintdesignblog; thebootstrapproject;; newenglandhome; limilee.tumblr; eleoquenceinc; kitschyliving.tumblr; limilee.tumblr; countryliving; casasugar;; myfinerconsigner.blogspot; mine]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[ all sewn up ]

SO I thought I'd let you in on what I've been up to over the past few days...

Along with my Amy Butler tunic pattern {which I still haven't tackled yet}, I had picked up this McCalls tunic pattern last spring and finally got around to making it.

I chose a simple black cotton...

The pattern indicated "easy" which it was for the most part, except for the neck facing which was a little more finicky but overall it wasn't too difficult.

I ended up sewing down the pleats a bit to keep them from puffing out and I added a ruffled ribbon trim around the bodice.

I ended up taking in the sleeves afterwards since they felt a bit like wings and I'm much happier with the narrower silhouette.

I'm glad I finally got it done! It's been quite a long time since I've actually sewn a piece of clothing. Have you sewn anything lately?


Monday, February 20, 2012

[ basket case ]

I'VE ALWAYS loved the look of using gigantic baskets for storage. Whether it's for firewood, towels, magazines or as a planter, it's a great way to add some warmth and texture to any space.

They're especially good for holding awkward items that need to be corralled in some way. I could have used one in our Muskoka place to hold the lifejackets in the screened-in porch between uses. 

I decided to hunt for one to hold our outdoor chair cushions to keep them sand-free when not in use. I measured how big it would have to be to hold them comfortably without struggling to get them in and out. Oddly enough, the 22"x12" minimum inside measurement was EXACTLY the inside measurement of one I found at Pottery Barn {wierd or what?}. So I guess it was meant to be!

They fit great and it's so much better than having them piled on the floor. Do you have any gigantic baskets in your home?


[via; houseandhome; thezhush; houseandhome; 
decor8blog;; houzz;]

Friday, February 17, 2012

[ happy weekend! ]

SO I woke up to what I thought was thick fog here today. Except it wasn't. Nope, it was sand. So the air is a bit chewy outside today. Let's hope your weekend is less chewy than mine! Have a good one!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

[ teal we meet again ]

EVERYTHING old is new again and that's true for teal which was so popular in the 80s. About 8 years ago we bought a 1950s bungalow from the original owner who had decorated the entire thing in teal. Deep teal walls, trim, even carpet! Needless to say, tearing out the carpet and repainting was the first thing we did. I wonder if we would have kept some it of if we bought the home today?

Have you ever used teal in your home? And if you have, are you happy to see it making a comeback?

[1,5 conspicuousstyleblog; 2,3 houseandhome; amerrymishapblog; 
colorspaceinteriors; elledecor; via terra winter on pinterest]


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