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June 15, 2018

Cottage Inspiration | My Love for Stripes

What is it about Cottages that make us so easily swoon.  While the world is constantly telling us that more is more, bigger is better, we all go gaga over cottages.  Is it that we crave simplicity and the slowing down that surely happens inside this picket fence?  I imagine the grass is very green inside this cottage's garden gate.

So simple and lovely.  I wonder how they live without a basement full of junk they don't need? ; )  When I look at homes like these, I automatically think about the lifestyle that would go with a home like this.  I'm sure their kids don't want an iPad or LOL dolls (if you know what that is, then you are the mother of a 5-8 year old girl like me!).

These charming cottages and all of the feels I get from them have inspired my Summer Collection.  When I'm creating a new collection, I compile inspiration photos like the ones above and below, and visualize the rest of the picture.  What do I think hope the rest of home looks like?  

I also created this Pinterest Board of the collection and inspiration where you can find resources for these photos.  I've been getting back to Pinterest lately.  I find it so much more productive to look at than Instagram!  It is so inspiring on every level.   In this post, I've combined photos of exteriors and interiors that I would like to see inside of these homes and how I've designed my new products to feel the same way - all featuring simple ticking stripes.  

About ten years ago when Mike and I were decorating our first home, I remember a designer at a local home store bringing me fabric samples of toile and busy florals to "add some interest and excitement" (in her words) to my oatmeal linen and cream color palette.  I told her - "I'm not really going for "interesting" or "exciting" this is our home.  I'm going for classic, cozy and comfy."  

I still feel that way about interiors.  I really have little interest in "interesting" or designer trends.  But stripes?  I have always loved the sensibility and the charm of stripes.  They are so classically clean and smart.  

Here are some of my favorite interior stripes inspiration + cottage photos:

This photo was taken on a trip to East Hampton a couple of years ago.  The proportions are lovely.

Ok, so this one isn't so much a cottage, but still : )

This is our "cottage" aka house.  It is not on Nantucket, but it is in a darling little neighborhood that we love.  While we expanded our house three years ago (so I'm not sure it fits in the category anymore!), and we tried to make it feel as cozy and quaint as possible.  There is no sea salt misty air to silver our shakes, but the midwest humidity and relentless sun is doing the job : )

Now I'll show you how I've taken my inspiration photos and brought them into our home through my new Summer Collection.

This photo was taken just before dusk at our house.  The hydrangea are starting to fill in and the window boxes are taking off.  I love how the houses looks when lit up from inside.  It feels so warm and cozy.

Cottage Stripe Cushion Cover Collection :

22" Large Square, $46
20" Medium Square, $42
25x15" Rectangle, $38

Our Bedroom : 22" Large Square Covers, $46 on our all white bedding.  Whale Prints ($3-8) framed by the bedside.

Large-scale Cottage Stripe Table Runner mixed with Green Fleur Block Print Napkins.

The Cottage Stripe fabric is made of a medium blue center stripe surrounded by smaller grayish blue stripes.

Cottage Stripe Tea Towel (or a single napkin could be used) combined with my Blue Bicycle Stationery... oozing charm! ; )

Cottage Stripe Pillows Outdoor on our new patio furniture.

June 14, 2018

Nautical Watercolor Sugar Cookies | Sailboats, Lobsters & Whales

The Nautical Copper Cookie Cutters have been staples of my store for the last four years.  This year when I pulled them out I was in the mood to do a little something different.  I've been following ElisabethandButter and love her watercolor technique.  I thought it would be the perfect artistic take on these favorite shapes.

Nautical Copper Cookie Cutters come packaged in a Cello Gift Bag with my Sugar Cookie Recipe Card  and are tied with a ribbon.  They make a wonderful gift.

It was much easier than expected - though I'm not sure mine are quite as perfect as hers, of course!  I used butter icing - because I can't not use butter icing, though I'm sure royal would create a better surface for painting.  

For the sailboat, I added a bit of blue and black gel food coloring on the plate, then wet my paintbrush and mixed them together, little by little.  I brushed on some light strokes to create dimension (maybe some wind!) on the sail.  For the lobster, I mixed red and orange gel colors, then added black details with a small brush.  It took no time at all - in fact it was much easier than mixing multiple icing colors.  I can't wait to try this method on other shapes and style.  

I tried the watercolor technique on the Boat and the Lobster.

The handmade copper cutters are so wonderful by themselves - even if you don't plan to use them.  I have them sitting on the window sill over my baking counter.  The are just beautiful.

The new Navy Blue Wellies Gift Boxes are a great way to package them as a favor or a gift.  I think the lobster would look great in there, too.

This size of cookie fits nicely in a Large Cello Bag, tied with a ribbon.  The Whale fits perfectly in a Medium Sized Cello Bag.

This is how I have decorated the cookies in the past - classic summer!  I still love them : )

June 13, 2018

Nantucket Summer Collection | Classic Ticking Stripe, Anchors, Bicycles, Nautical Copper Cookie Cutters

Last Summer we made our first summer journey to Nantucket.  Sconset, to be specific.  After years of encouragement from Tessa, we made a last minute plan to escape there at the end of July.  We had visited Nantucket in off-seasons, but had never been there in the thick of summer and had never been to the far end of the island, to the remote cottage village of Sconset.

"I tried to convey the feeling of being there through these photos, but really the scent of the roses and the blooming privet, the light, the salty breeze, and the overwhelming feeling of slowing down and being removed from the rest of the world was hard to capture.  It was breathtakingly beautiful in both a natural and manicured way.  Everything surface was either lushly green, blooming, or weathered wood, stone or shells.  The homes feel comfortable and well worn, removed from time and trends in the most lovely manner.  We loved it and will return soon."

It was a vacation completely consumed with natural beauty, old fashioned charm, magical sunsets and our own thoughts.  We were blissfully unaware of the rest of the world, completely surrounded with the perfume of garden roses, salty air and the company of our family.

This collection encapsulates the essence of what I believe to be that perfect, quintessential summer in that seaside village - classic stripes, navy anchors, nautical accents, and charming blue bicycles.

Our favorite part of our vacation last year was being without a car and riding bikes or setting out on foot everywhere we went.  It was so freeing to be on two wheels with the breeze in your hair - to town for coffee, or the market or to the beach with a basket full of snacks.  Mike and I even found ourselves taking turns to wake up early to ride our bike around a sleeping town to watch the sunrise.   Of course, I don't have many photos of us riding bikes, because it is really hard to take a photo while riding a bike : )

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, 
I no longer despair for the future of the human race." 
H. G. Wells

Light Blue Bicycle Paper Collection

10 Tags for, $4

Short Tablet, $6

Tall Tablet, $8

Stationery Set, 10, $14

Shop >

Of course, behind each charming exterior, I could envision an interior - relaxed, thoughtfully compiled and timeless.  I imagine the interiors to be like the exteriors, removed from time and oblivious to trends.  No one has time for trends or the newest thing when there are seashells to gather, sunset walks and bikes to ride.

Antiques, for sure.  Oatmeal linen that doesn't show wear and never goes out of style.  Oil Paintings of ships in gilt frames.  Blue and white textiles in small prints and classic ticking stripes.

Real stationery and envelops to write to friends and family that have visited in years past.  Collected frames and prints with layers of new and old photos.  Roses from the garden.

Rectangle, $38 | Medium 20" Square, $42 | Large 22" Square, $46

100% Wrinkle Free Cotton

Navy Anchor Paper Collection

10 Tags for, $4

Short Tablet, $6

Tall Tablet, $8

Stationery Set, 10, $14

Shop >

The kitchen is casual, ready for a help yourself brunch for the entire family or a casual pop-in for happy hour cocktails and snacks.

A generous Table Runner (108" x 20") to accommodate large gatherings and protect an antique table.

Big pitches of big, mop-head hydrangeas picked from the garden.

A basket of blueberry muffins ready to deliver to a friend with a birthday greeting.

This year I tried a new watercolor decorating technique.  It felt right for seaside sugar cookies with a relaxed and artistic feel.  I simply piped white icing on, then after it dried I painted on food color I had diluted with water.

More layers of summers past with photos, paintings, sketches and prints.

The Nantucket Whale Print with antique scrolling telling the tale.

Comfortable and breezy bedrooms with soft white linens, more antiques, baskets of bedside books and brass lanterns.

Large 22" Pillows, here.

The back garden is private, green and lush.

I still haven't found this but and white hydrangea at home, but I'm keeping my eye out so I can add one to my collection.

Shop the Summer Collection >

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