Friday, January 6, 2012

In Praise of Ribbons

While scouting for a photo shoot for next week, I visited three ribbon shops in the garment district this week, each with its own distinct personality. My favorite by far, was the old world, family owned and run Tinsel Trading on West 37th Street.

Metal threads on wooden spools are artfully arranged as necklaces.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Centerpiece idea: Tabletop Christmas tree in the kitchen with all food-related decorations

Looking for something different to use as a kitchen table centerpiece?
I bought this fake tabletop Christmas tree a couple of years ago. While decorating our big (real) tree, Max and I decided that it would be fun to separate out put all the food related ornaments and hang them on the small tree, for a cheap holiday centerpiece. As we unwrapped and hung all the ornaments we separated out all the edibles, that ranged from carrots and chocolates to cupcakes and a cookie sheet of gingerbread men. Most of these (including the tree) I bought at a holiday ornament sample sale in the gift building on west 34th street a couple of years ago, and everything cost $2 or $3.
We included kitchen related decorations, such as a mini KitchenAid stand mixer and an apron.
Now, I'm on the hunt for a mini chef's hat to use as a tree topper! Or a Santa dressed as a chef. Or maybe we'll make one ourselves!
Next year, we'll up the ante and make some cookie decorations ourselves, although that plastic decorated heart- shaped one looks pretty delicious doesn't it?
--Monica Forrestall

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seashell picture frame hostess gift

                                                  Max and his little crab.
Every day at the beach involves collecting shells, even if it is just one or two slipped beauties into a pocket.
And everyone who travels to visit anyone this summer who lives on the beach will undoubtably do the same thing. Then what to do with the shells? Fill a jar? Fine, but with extras why not create a gift for your hostess?  Last summer I picked shells and crab legs and stones off of our beach with my son Max, and by the end of the summer we had quite a collection.
I had several very plain wooden picture frames on hand and used one of them to made this charming ode-to-summer picture frame.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fast and Fun Thanksgiving Hostess Gift

Invited to a holiday meal? Offer to make a table decoration, to help out your host/hostess and add to the table's festive vibe.

I was invited to a big Thanksgiving meal this year and wanted to up the offering to more than the usual side dish (sure I'm happily bringing roasted potatoes), so I offered to make the place cards. The hostess helpfully sent me a list of names (all correctly spelt) and advised me of the color of her dishes and linens.  I got busy,  and here are the cards, easily put together with some stickers from a craft store (I got mine at Pearl Paint in New York City) and colored paper from Staples. The big turkeys designated our big-hearted hosts Christine and Carter.
Can't wait for the turkey!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chair re-do in Max's room at Beach Rose Cottage

Max and his grandpa (Tom Forrestall) sit up in Max's room reading together. 

Closet Door re-do

Hi all,
Here's another little inexpensive re-do I did recently on the closet doors in my son Max's bedroom at Beach Rose Cottage. The closet doors in Max's room had never been finished and the unpainted wood doors and knobs stuck out and drew your eye to them, in his all white and aqua color-schemed room. I found some "on sale" seafoam blue/green glass door knobs/pulls at the Anthropologie store a few blocks from our NYC apartment ( that were a perfect darker hued color match for the seafoam blue/green painted floors. When you're thinking about these home projects in a more remote rural area it's often best to source decorative accents "from away" and bring them back, as often the local choices are very limited and you see the same accents in every home. It's nice to be different! To begin, I unscrewed the doors and took them outside to our "folk art" garage to work on. I started with a light sanding to both sides of the doors, then applied two coats of white semi-gloss  paint. Then I screwed in the door knobs and carried the doors back upstairs and with honey Kerry's help,  screwed them back in place. Total cost $18 for the paint and the knobs were marked down to $7 each, for a total of approximately $32 in materials and less than 3 hours of labor. Voila! A small job that made a big visual improvement impact in a cozy little room. We love the fresh look this very inexpensive project gave to Max's room. And he loved it too!

Close up of the pretty antique detailing to the 
glass door pulls from Anthropologie that I put on Max's closet doors at Beach Rose Cottage
recently. Changing door knobs (or drawer pulls)
 is one of the quickest and least expensive 
ways to update or improve the look of a door
 or cupboard drawer. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Before shot of Chair Re-do

The before shot of the "free for the taking" chair.