Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A DIY Blogger Challenge

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a friend of mine you all know pretty well. Kelley from the Polished Pebble emailed me and two other fabulous bloggers to engage us in a little friendly DIY challenge. The note:

Hey Artie,  I have a project that I thought might be fun to do and I would love it if you would join in.  I recently bought some fabulous old herbarium books (2) full of pressed flowers dating back to 1897.  There are a total of about 30 pressed samples in each book and every one has a complete page of wonderful botanical descriptions.  What I was thinking of doing is sending yourself and maybe two other bloggers 4 of the pressings plus the descriptions, which can be framed together or separately, to see what you would do with them.  How would you frame them?  Simply or more ornate? Primitive or flowery?  I was also thinking of putting the budget at 20 dollars for the project!  Would you like to participate? 

So I immediately wrote her back and said YES! I mean, who wouldn't want to take part in something that Kelley orchestrated? So, I waited for the botanicals to arrive, and when they did I got to work thinking, scheming, and digging through inspiration files that had anything to do with botanicals.

I had my own wall of hanging botanicals in the dining room, so I didn't want to frame them and hang them ... it had to be unique, and totally me - afterall it is sort of a challenge to see how creatively you could frame them. Plus, with a $20 limit on a total of 8 pages, I wondered where I'd ever find frames that would fit the bill.

Off to Buffalo Re-Use. Buffalo Re-Use is a wonderful not-for-profit center in Buffalo, New York (just 30 miles or so away) where teams of volunteers wonderfully organize a wealth of antique architecture stripped from homes slated for demolition. With houses in Buffalo dating back to the early 1800's, there's always something fantastic at Buffalo Re-Use, and if you're ever in the area, or within driving distance, I suggest making it a MUST STOP on your list of things to do in Buffalo.

When I was in there, I gazed at these gorgeous old windows: $4 to $8 each! Can you believe that? With the old wavy glass, heavy, solid wood and a paint patina that only time can give - you just CAN NOT beat that price!

Look at this great 8-pane beauty. Probably 40 to 70 years old with a beautiful green/grey/taupe paint that's just about to crust up and pull about. You could frame each of these  botanical pages in the panes of that window and it'd be a great display! But I think we can do better.

Then there is this one, with 4 panes. I could use one of these, and then frame the other 4 sheets with something else. What a vignette that would be?!

Ooo, I think we have a solution! The spindle room! As you can see on the sign, $3-$8 each, they're a great value - and so much better than what you can find at many of the big box stores!

I found these great unfinished stair spindles and old used post caps, used to give fence posts a little decoration. 5 spindles and 4 post caps: $5.44 (how appropriate!) Now ... what do you think I'm gonna do with these? Hmmmm?
Check back with me in 2-days when I unveil what I did to frame up these gorgeous botanicals, and to read up on the other bloggers taking part in this fun and creative DIY adventure, go to:

Andrea : Faded Plains

I simply can't wait to see what this clever crew come up with! I know it'll be amazing!

TUESDAY: Inspiring Spaces at the International Philadelphia Flower Show

So, I have to say, I was impressed that some of you knew where I was going with the teaser post from yesterday! For those of you who missed it, Scott and I took a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Sunday. A trip that came on the wings of a late night insomnia television watching binge. Allow me to clarify: I sometimes have a hard time controlling all the projects I have going on in my head, and thus find myself watching mindless television at 3am. Thursday, QVC was selling Cottage Farm plants, and they (being in Philadelphia) mentioned the flower show ... showing pictures. I immediately said to myself, "Self ..." (cause that's what I call myself when I talk to myself) "Self, look that up and see if it's still going on!" So, Friday, I asked Scott if he was up for the trip, and one 7-hour drive later, we were enjoying what proved to be some of the most inspirational spaces I've ever seen!

The theme: Springtime in Paris, and it was truly magical. Enjoy!

When you walked into the Philadelphia Conference Center, you were immediately captivated by a 30 foot tall Eiffel Tower base, beautifully lit, and completely landscaped with salvia, tulips, daffodils, cherry trees in full blossom, delphiniums and a ton of other plants that I won't pretend to know the name of. It was like spring time in Paris ... with a bit of what I'm calling couture quirk! Did you see the bird made from dried flowers? Scroll up 2, and say it with me ... AWWWW!

This Parisian Salon was the hit of the show, and I'm pretty sure it won just about every award that you can win as an exhibitor at the PFS! Named: Le Salon Des Fleurs this was the proud display of Jamie Rothstein Distinctive Floral Designs, Inc. For more gorgeous photos of their work, check out their website: http://www.jamierothstein.com/

Can you image the amount of work that goes into creating this? This was our first trip to the PFS, but I guarantee you it will be a yearly trip!

What a beautiful take on the Tour d'France? I was in love with this ... you know me and all my layering, right? All I need to know is ... where can I get a bicycle with a zinc basket filled with lavender? Divine!

I mean, if you're going to go woodsy, go all the way right? Now, I am working with the Lewiston Historical Society again this summer for a Tour of Kitchens and I hoped to find some inspiration for tablescapes. Voila:

Stunning right? Inspiration really was in grand supply. I added close to a 100 things to my summer to do list, one of which adding a built in bench to the back wall of our pergola/patio after seeing this amazing set:

Oh, and count numbers 2 and 3 on the list: the dining utensil wind chime and the succulent roofed birdhouse. So creative!

And though I have 100 more pictures to share, this daylight savings time paired with a 15 hour road trip we made in ONE DAY, has me finally seeking sleep. So, I'll leave you with the beautiful art photography I took at the orchid displays (let me know what you think!)

Look forward to more pictures a little later, and a fun post coming up on the 16th that I think you're all going to really LOVE! Have a great Tuesday!