Pretty and Witty and Fey

Just my pursuit of all the pretty things.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Miniature Halloween Pumpkin Scene

I saw this at That Artist Womans blog and I really want to try this - it is awesome! In fact she has heaps of wonderful ideas for cool art projects to do with your kids.

Full project details here


Below - Martha Stewart

Below - Amy Atlas

I guess it is flattery and I know I copy from Martha all the time, but I was struck by all the similarities.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Paper Source

I was browsing through the Paper source catalog today and was more than pleased to see a few items I have coveted for some time.

The Explorer Kit above would be just perfect for Owen

And this pigtail kit needs to be purchased for Alexandra immediately

For me, a chance to indulge my slight obsession with old school libraries - these just make me swoon. I just love them

All products available from Paper Source


slice of tree update!

In the post below (Dean & Deluca cupcakes) I mentioned that I liked the slice of tree being used as a plate! Upon further review, I realized that the plate is actually for sale. In fact, it is a maple cutting board! Dean & Deluca describes it thus
"Spaulted Maple Cutting Board
This rustic yet spectacular cutting board is carefully created from Maple with an all-natural, food-safe finish. Perfect for cutting breads and even better as a serving piece on your harvest table. Sizes vary slightly, due to natural craftsmanship."

I describe it a slice of tree. I am not sure I can warrant $80 for something so abundantly available in my part of the world. Still I do like the idea and I will be stealing it!

By the way, I did have to look up the word Spaulted and I could not find it in my dictionary or any of the online dictionaries. So I have no idea what it means, but it sure looks pretty!

available here

I can do this!

I saw this image at the Dean & Deluca website and I thought it very pretty. I also thought that unlike a lot of the cakes showcased in the catalog, these were something I could pull off. So I think that is going to be my next project. They are very fall/thanksgiving and therefore must be make their appearance soon! I like the slice of tree used as a plate! Slice of tree? I know there is a technical word for it but it has escaped me for now!!

According to the website, they are Pumpkin with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing, Cinnamon with Mayan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting. The top looks like a leaf cut from colored fondant - at least that is what I think I will use. So stay tuned - they are on the way!

Photo via Dean & DeLuca

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Matthew Mead

I mentioned how much I love Matthew Meads book Halloween Tricks and Treats - it is fabulous. Well now he has a new book which was released last week and it too looks stunning to me. It is called Entertaining Simple and I think I need a copy of it asap!

Below are a few images from the book as well as the author himself.

The book is available in the US and Canada at bookstores or through Matthews website here

all images via Matthew Mead and Wiley Publishing.

Dried Apple Shrunken Heads

I saw this project on Fabulous Living and knew I had to try it. Basically, you take apples, peel them, coat them in a mixture of lemon juice and salt then carve features into them. After about 2 weeks sitting and drying, they look sinister and nasty - perfect timing for Halloween! I will post pictures in about 2 weeks when they are complete but for full directions and photos, go here to

Photos via

Decisions, decisions!

Which boots do I love the most?!!

These from Boden

available here
these from J Crew

available here

I think I am leaning towards the J Crew boots but I just cannot decide for sure! I guess if this is my biggest worry today, it is not a bad day at all!


Boden skirts

I have maintained a long love affair with Boden which has transcended the Atlantic ocean and many separations. I received the latest catalog this week and it was the skirts that grabbed me. I have not been too much of a fan of skirts of late but these are just mummy enough to grab my attention. Love both but if I had to push, the grey corduroy would be my choice. I love the entire outfit actually (hint, hint)!

It is a little louder than I would normally wear but I need to get out of the comfort zone and stretch a little. The denim skirt and sweater is way more in my wheelhouse - I may as well be Amish huh?!

Both outfits avaialable from Boden USA

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

I purchased these beautiful treat bags from this etsy shop and they were just begging to be used this weekend. I knew I wanted to try making pumpkin bread and I knew I had enough people to warrant baking 6 little mini loaves so away I went! The house smells like fall right now which is a good thing as fall has surely found its way to the Pacific Northwest. It is rainy and windy and generally yucky outside, but I could not be happier. I like fall! I love coming inside and making pies, breads, cakes and casseroles. It is a respite after having spent the past few months not wanting to switch the oven on.

I used the recipe from Martha Stewarts baking book and it was a very easy recipe to pull together. It probably took 10 minutes of actual hands on time and the end result was excellent. I gave away two loaves to neighbors and two have been wrapped and placed in the freezer for consumption at a later date. I had never had pumpkin bread before so I wasn't sure how it was supposed to look or taste but the lovely husband was ready to give an enthusiastic thumbs up!

I finally succumbed to temptation and had a slice toasted with a slather of cream cheese on the top. I am a convert - it was excellent. It reminds me of gingerbread and I am good with that!

So now I have to fulfill an order for banana bread and the bananas are sufficiently ripe so away I go!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Pottery Barn Kids things I love

This magnetic tree needs to be purchased for Alexandra - it would look wonderful in her room. It may just be strong enough to withstand her occasional destructive tendencies!

These are just too beautiful and I may have to keep them for myself! A friend of mine actually made me a felt cupcake a few weeks ago and it was adorable. I was feeling sick and she made it to cheer me up!

And these are just the perfect catchall for all the kids stuff - and there is lots of it to catch!!

All images via Pottery Barn Kids


Matthew Mead

How cool is this book?

I purchased it a few weeks ago and I am in love! So much eye candy and some really great ideas. My favorite is the trick or treat tree. I actually purchased one and it arrived today - beyond all expectations. I cannot wait to fill it with all kinds of halloween goodies.

So I recommend this book for anyone who likes Halloween and all the food and crafts that go along with it. Beautiful photography, great ideas and perfect styling!

I love it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Is it wrong...

that I am excited new episodes of Barefoot Contessa will be airing soon? I miss that broad! I miss oohing and ahhhing over her fabulous home. I miss casting envious glances at her fresher than fresh abundance of glorious food stuffs! I wish I could dislike her but she is just cool. I have not had one of her recipes fail me so for that alone she is just plain likable in my eyes! God bless the Ina Garten.

Oh and since I am talking about Food Network, what the hell happened to that network? It has become for the most part unwatchable. If I need instruction on how to open a can or how to make said can appear homemade, then perhaps the Food network is not the channel for me. Perhaps it is just me, but I am tired of the non cooking
cooks that seem to have taken over. It drives me nuts.

So in summary, no it is not wrong for me to be excited about Ina - she is one of the few bright spots left on that network.

The Genius of Jordan

One of my favorite blogs is Oh Happy Day. I like the style of one Jordan Ferney! Today she revealed her genius plan and it is way cool! It is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" ideas. A master stroke. It is called the Pretty Little Things club and the premise is you subscribe for 6 or 12 months for a small fee. Then each month you receive a pretty little thing (duh!). It is intriguing! I am not sure too many other bloggers would be able to pull it off but this blog has been going strong for quite a few years and she has a strong and devoted following. I cannot wait to see what each month will bring! It should be fun.

Image of some of her projects via Tangled and True

Batman/Superman - who is it going to be?!

Owen is finally getting excited about Halloween and that makes me excited. After many proposals, he seems to have settled on 2 choices - Batman or Superman! So I was very happy to see this project at the Puking Pastilles blog. I am not exactly gifted at the whole sewing thing, but thankfully Owen has a great Aunt that is very gifted in that department. So the project is underway and Owen can be either Batman, Superman or both when October 31 rolls around! I love it and I am sure that Owen is going to love it too!

All images and project details via Puking Pastilles

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I know it's early but....

I love this

from Pottery Barn Kids. Is there anything they cannot do? I always look forward to their holiday collections. They are always a source of inspiration that makes the bar just a little higher for me. I need that!


Candlestick Cupcake Holders!

I saw this image in the Chasing Fireflies catalog and immediately swooned. Not because the Marie Antoinette costume is beautiful but because of the those cakes set out on the table behind her. I love the tall candle holders that are being used to hold cupcakes. I am now on the lookout for some beauties or I may have to find a log and a woodworker and see if I cannot get some made!

image via Chasing Fireflies


I love fall magazines. I get a rush when I go to the mailbox and see a pile of magazines just waiting for me. Martha Stewart Living October is always eagerly anticipated for the halloween fun alone. I was asked about my magazine addiction recently and it did get me to thinking! Since I can remember, I have always had a love for magazines. I have always loved books too, but magazines make me pant! I think it is the condensed nature of magazines that appeals to me. I can pick them up and put them down without fear of losing the plot! I can see that perfect photograph and it inspires me to make a change or make a purchase. I get a little giddy when I see a magazine at Borders that I have not seen before. I drive 30 miles each way to a Borders because that is the nearest bookstore that stocks Canadian House & Home. Oh I tell people that I am taking my children to Point Defiance zoo (and I do) but the real reason is the Borders that we pass on the way home. I could spend hours in the magazine section alone!

My first memory of magazine reading was when I was 6 years old and I saw my mothers Womans Own magazine sitting by her armchair. I flicked through and it seemed to be a colorful world that was captivating to my young brain. Looking at that publication as I grew older, I thought it trite and dull but I may have come full circle. I am not sure it is still published as I no longer live in the UK but if it is, I may have to find a copy.

I followed the usual path along the magazine highway - Smash Hits, Jackie, Glamour, Cosmo, Vogue and then I got married and a new world opened up to me. The world of making the marital house a home. Home design magazines were my new drug. I love them. Martha always made me feel it was okay to love that domestic side that I did not know existed. She will always have the number one place on my list. Food magazines were quick to follow and now when I add up all that I subscribe to, it is far more than I would care to admit to! I also have several foreign language magazines that I cannot live without and a few subscriptions to British magazines that I simply cannot give up! Help me someone!!

So to all involved in the production of magazines, I say thank you, thank you, thank you. You make it all seem possible and pretty and I love it.


Recycle and Rejoice

I am a huge fan of fall and winter clothes. I love coats and boots and gloves and I especially love scarfs. I am loving this scarf - it makes me smile!

Available here at Uncommon Goods

It's good to be back!!

After a 2 month sojourn, I am back to the world of blog! Lots of Autumn things on my mind and the need to create is back!