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Posts from — October 2010

Happy Hallow’s Eve

Wishing all of my blog friends a happy and safe Halloween!   See you next week for more sparks of inspiration.

P.S.  Remember what your mom said about eating too much candy!

Images:  House of Many Hues

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October 30, 2010   No Comments

Printed Cakes

I still have not taken the next level to my cake decorating class (do you sense my aggravation?).  I’m now signed up for the November session and remain optimistic that this time more students will sign up and that class won’t be canceled.  My little one will be turning 1 years old in about 2 months and I’m looking forward to making her birthday cake.  I’ve been thinking about making her a fondant cake, but it’s not until the third level class that we learn to use and decorate with it.  My hope is that somehow I’ll be able to complete both classes by the end of the year.  However, if all else fails, I might try making this block printed cake from Ready Made.

The instructions seem straightforward – use transfer paper, fondant dye, and rubber stamps to decorate the fondant (details can be found here).  How hard can this be?  I know, I know.  Don’t worry – if this doesn’t work, the backup plan will be a store bought cake.

Images:  Ready Made

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October 27, 2010   No Comments

Swalla Studio

I should have titled this post “Obsession with Swalla Studio”.  I can’t get enough of this beautiful artwork by Swalla Studio.  Her artwork is modern abstract and is chuck full of texture and rich in color.

The plum and lavender colors below work so well with the golden ochre.  I must admit that when I look at a piece of artwork I love, one of the first things that comes to mind is where in my house would I hang this?

I’ve been to many art shows (including quite a few starving artist) and these would easily fetch hundreds of dollars.  If your interested in her work, check out her Etsy shop – each of these gorgeous pieces is very reasonably priced.

Images:  Swalla Studio

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October 27, 2010   No Comments

Living Ikea

If your an Ikea fan, I just spotted a great website that some may have heard of called Ikea Family Live.  The site features actual homes from around the world that decorate with Ikea products.  While I love looking at stylist designed rooms, actual homes where people live out their daily lives interests me even more!

If you get a moment, venture over to their site.   You can also upload photos of your Ikea home.  Psst…if you’d like, share them with House of Many Hues also!

Images:  Ikea Family Live

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October 26, 2010   No Comments

Hair Talk: Oliva

Good morning blog Friends!  I’m sorry I missed you at the end of last week.  Every time I sat down to write, I was pulled away to search for various paperwork that my father’s lawyer needed.  I would have preferred to be here with you instead.  It’s just amazing how much legal stuff needs to be taken care of after someone passes away.  My husbands father passed away almost 2 years ago and he mentioned that it took about 1 year to take care of everything!

But back to blogland.  About a month ago while shopping, I came across hair and skin care products by Oliva.  I must admit that my initial attraction was the minimalist green packaging – but it was further backed when I read it was made of olive leaf extract.  Sounds interesting.  I tried the shampoo and conditioner and it is definitely not what I am use to.  My hair felt so squeaky clean!  I honestly can’t remember the last time my hair felt this clean.  The shampoo seemed to strip away any impurities and build up while the conditioner add light moisture but did not weigh my hair down.  One word of caution – it did take me a little extra time to comb out my wet hair.  I think it was due to the “squeakiness” of each hair.  Somehow I got the impression that this is what washing your hair was suppose to be like.

I purchased the Oliva body lotion as well which is also made with olive leaf extract.  It has a light fragrance and regardless of how much you put on, it seems to absorb and not feel greasy.  I was surprised that the only place online I could find these products was Amazon.  It didn’t appear that even the manufacturer had a website.

Images:  Amazon

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October 25, 2010   No Comments

Jeu de Paume Stockholm

My Jeu de Paume Children’s Rooms Stockholm book finally arrived from Japan!  I have always wanted to collect this series of interior design books, but had difficulty finding them in the States and even a bit online.  Now that I have one of the books, I’m hooked!  As far as I’m aware, the books are only available in Japanese and are written by French speaking Japanese who focus on Scandinavian design.  Did you follow that?   Either way, don’t let language differences stop you from picking one up yourself.  The photos are just about all you need.

Images:  Jeu de Paume, House of Many Hues

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October 20, 2010   No Comments

Project 365

For over 2 years, I have taken a special monthly picture of each baby – documenting their first 12 months.  Its different from all of the other pictures taken in that the picture only shows that child along with a sheet of paper consisting of their name and age.  This paper is then placed next to the baby and a picture is snapped.  At the end, I arrange the pictures in a little album so that everyone can see how baby grew over the year.  I read about this idea a few years ago and just loved it.  However, this project will be coming to a conclusion at the end of the year and so I’ve been thinking about new year long projects.  Here are a few that have crossed my mind…

1.  Melamine Plates – When I was in 2nd grade, we had a Christmas project in school where we made a drawing that ended up on a melamine plate.   This plate has be used over and over again and still looks excellent.  My oldest daughter loves to draw and does so nearly everyday.  The idea is to every now and then give her the special drawing paper that’s required to transfer a drawing to a plate.  Over the course of the year, I would select the best and have a few plates (that would be used) made with her drawings.  This project is a sure thing!  In fact, I’ve already ordered supplies.

2.  Snap a Day – Just as the name suggests, its simply taking a picture everyday.  I’m thinking that the “theme” would be pictures of us doing ordinary things.  Maybe it’s a picture of us just watching tv, eating dinner, or grocery shopping.  Some of my favorite childhood photos are of us just doing everyday things.  This project is a pretty big commitment but at the same time seems so simple.

3.  Room by Room – This would be a weekly project where I would select a room in the house and make one decor change.  It could be anything from moving an accessory, adding a rug, or even removing an item.   It would make me regularly evaluate every room in my house and keep in touch with what I have and how well it all works together.

I’m sure more ideas will come I just have to remember to limit myself to just a few.  Have any year long projects you’d like to share?

Images:  Modern Lola

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October 19, 2010   No Comments

Soups and Fiona Biggs

This weekend was filled with lots of activities and thinking about large projects.  On Saturday, I took the girls to a local craft show and was happy to see a few new vendors with great displays.   I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s just amazing to see how many crafters are still using the same props and displays from years ago.   While I know that displays can be expensive, slight changes can make a huge difference.

Sunday was spent shopping, visiting the local dairy farm, and then finishing the day off at the apple orchard where we bought cider and lots of various squashes.  I mentioned that I have been on a kick for tasty squash soup and have already made 3 different batches – 2 with butternut squash and one with acorn.  This has expanded to cauliflower and carrot soup (which I will be making tonight).  For me, warm soup has therapeutic and cozy properties – it just makes me feel good all over.  I’m so glad that the girls not only love it, but that it warms up nicely from the freezer.

With all the variations of squash soup I’ve tested, I’m finding it necessary to document what works best.  So when I came across this completely cute recipe organization book by Fiona Biggs, My Recipe Keeper, I knew I had to buy it (especially with the $5.99 price tag!).  Under each category (i.e. desserts, meats, and yes, soups), there is space for logging your recipes or a pocket to simply place already written ones.  The author also provides many recipes as well as a section on “What Went Wrong” – troubleshooting undesirable results.  It’s finds like this that come out of shopping at my leisure (this was not only the last copy at the store, but was on the bottom shelf buried by other books).

I haven’t tried any of the recipes provided, but as soon as my soup phase passes, I hope to test them out!

Images:  Fiona Biggs (My Recipe Keeper), House of Many Hues

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October 19, 2010   No Comments