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2015 Summer Market

This week I took a trip to a market I discovered last year, The Summer Market, in Avon Lake, Ohio. The market is held every year in a beautiful setting right on Lake Erie at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. The market consists of vintage and handmade vendors, along with food trucks/vendors and a market raffle held inside the Lake House on property. It was a very hot summer day, but I enjoyed the market once again and found some new vendors I like a lot with maybe a new favorite!

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Kitchen Herb Container Garden

I don’t know about you, but once Mother’s Day rolls around, I start to get antsy to get a garden in but one can’t be too anxious or you’ll get frosted out. And if you wait past Memorial Day, you don’t have the opportunity for lush growth and lots of harvesting. This year I was able to get our garden in mid-May. And when I say garden, I mean a container garden.

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Decorating for July 4

Hi, friends. July 4 is almost here and we’ve had lots of rain in Ohio. I haven’t felt much like decorating outside, but I have this vintage flag I found last year and love. It’s pre-1960’s (before Alaska and Hawaii were added to the union) so it only has 48 stars. It is woven linen and hand-stitched – I love its character, patina and history. I feel like it needs to be displayed for the holidays for sure.

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3 Ways to Bring Spring Indoors

I am actually one of those people who like winter. I love to see snow softly falling against a backdrop of winter trees. I love to curl up by the fireplace with a good book or movie and watch the snow swirl around outside. But after a few months of it and when “the melt” starts to happen and turns that beautiful white snow into a pile of brown, muddy nastiness, I’m ready to see some leaves push through and turn my world green again. Ideally we would go from pristine snowy landscapes to lush green with floral blooms everywhere! But alas, that won’t happen in Ohio. And so we push through and wait for that first blade of grass or that first bloom of a hyacinth or forsythia to spring to life. And until then we just have to simulate it in our homes and will it into existence just a bit sooner! Today I wanted to share 3 ways to bring some spring into your home and get a jump on the season…

1. Style a sitting area

Have you ever shopped your own home? Walk around the house, pull pieces from other rooms, choose bright colors and cheerful accessories and spruce up a plain corner. I have a relatively new settee in the front bay window that I haven’t focused on much. I move it out of the way when we put the tree up and once that’s gone, I toss a few pillows I like onto it. But for spring, I pulled some brighter pillows from another room, added a rug from our bedroom, and pulled in a lamp from another room in the house. Et voila! …a cute as a button nook to listen to music and welcome spring.








2. Channel nature and Easter

Easter is the main holiday in spring (other than St. Patrick’s Day!) and elements of the holiday can take center stage when thinking spring in our decor. For example, a little Spanish moss draped onto simply stacked grapevine wreaths remind me of a bird’s nest so it’s fun to add some speckled eggs (these are plastic) and why not a green “moss-covered” bird! I wanted my little bird to rest on something higher up and found these candle holders at the craft store for 90% off but definitely not my style. Spray paint to the rescue in a little antique bronze covered them up beautifully and now they look like metal candlesticks! Balancing with a bronze metal church candle holder I bought years ago, Easter can subtly be represented.

Before and After

Before and After





I am not normally a fan of fake greenery but in March in Ohio, fresh is still hard to come by (at least from my yard!). I wanted to keep with the elements of nature, so I used an inexpensive grapevine wreath and attached a ranunculus garland that hints at the real thing. And a few picks in simple glass bottles found at Target can also pass as real until I can find spring in my yard. 🙂 I fashioned a bow out of some gray ribbon I had and wired it to the wreath.




3. Add some “springy” wall art!

I’ve been wanting to make this wall art project for awhile – a frame with chicken wire behind a letter. I found an inexpensive unfinished frame, spray painted it white, and attached chicken wire to the back with a staple gun. I used a cardboard letter “K” that I spray painted with my favorite antique bronze color and also stapled it to the chicken wire. And then I wanted flowers. At first I attached some Dollar Store flowers that I thought would give it the pop of color I wanted for spring, but they just looked too cheap (alas, my fake greenery dilemma).

Dollar Store flower fail

Dollar Store flower fail

So I decided to just simplify with a little leftover greenery from my wreath and my sister gave me an idea to add a little bird’s nest here (made from a tiny grapevine wreath and Spanish moss). But what to do for tiny eggs? Aha, Easter candy to the rescue – yes, these are chocolate Cadbury mini eggs! Because I may want to re-purpose this frame in the future, I just threaded the greenery sprig through the chicken wire and rested the nest on top. Hung in my front entry way, I love how it just hints that spring is on its way!




This wall art idea is so adaptable, I could hang it on my front door. I could prop it on the mantle. I could swap embellishments with something beachy for summer. I could add a ribbon/bow. Let your imagination go and vary it how you like!

And there you have it – three ideas on how to bring spring indoors in your home.

Happy decorating!

Zen and the Art of Calligraphy

I took a class the other day. It was a calligraphy class taught by a most talented person, Farin Blackburn of seaworthi, at a beautiful space – Lovely Paperie and Gifts in Rocky River (with lovely owner, Kate Fortney). I have never thought of myself as someone capable of calligraphy as I have terrible handwriting. The computer has become my haven as I learned that I type faster than I write. But my niece is getting married and invited me to join her at this class to get a taste for the technique.

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What is calligraphy anyways, you might ask? Calligraphy is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument or brush. The word is derived from the Greek words for ‘beauty’ and ‘writing’, and that’s exactly what it is. You can do calligraphy with fountain type pens with different tips or nibs and wet ink as we did in class or you can use markers especially made with a wider edge to simulate the fountain pen or even a paintbrush.

Calligraphy 101

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I have always loved calligraphy as an art, as a medium, as a form of communication. It serves all design principles equally it seems to me. In the age of computers, it is possible to simulate the look of hand-lettered calligraphy and while that presents a certain amount of ease, there is nothing like custom hand-lettering and the effort and skill it takes to do it well. If you remember, it was a calligraphy class at Stanford that influenced Steve Jobs and Apple computer to bridge the gap and make typography and font options a focus of Macintosh computers – most likely something we would not have today without his influence.

Calligraphy in its original form is popular as ever, with handwritten invitations sought after by soon to be brides and commercial entities alike. In this era of handmade crafts, a handwritten note is special – a handwritten note or invitation using calligraphy is divine and may be collected or even displayed. As accomplished French calligrapher, Nicolas Ouchenir” says “it’s so classic, it becomes ultra modern”.
Nicolas Ouchenir

But calligraphy as a skill takes patience and persistence and practice… all of which are a struggle for me. Yet, as I’ve been trying to perfect each stroke of pen to paper, I find myself getting into a space of zen and I can see that this may become a new form of therapy. I have a long way to go in my technique and ability, but I’m glad I tried the class and highly recommend it to others. It was $125 for 2 hours of instruction and materials (plus snacks/drinks) – follow Lovely on Facebook for upcoming schedule of classes.

For more examples of calligraphy styles and techniques that I love, take a look at my Pinterest board on Calligraphy and Typography:

Photo Feb 19, 8 31 37 PM