Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 12: Liz Makes

Today I am featuring the fresh new blogging talent, Liz of Liz Makes. This invigorating blog focuses on frequent DIY projects that are fun and funky, giving us all hope that we may someday harness a small piece of this dynamic blogger's energy and transform it into a successful project of our own.

Here are a few of my favorite Liz creations:

You'll be inspired by the quantity and quality of fun, simple, realistic projects 
that Liz shares with her followers!

I invite you to check out the Liz Makes blog, and while you're at it please follow her on Facebook and Pinterest. Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 11: FOLK Magazine

I am going to go ahead and assume that, by now, you have heard of FOLK Magazine. While I am well aware of the old adage of "those who assume...", the data shows that this once tiny startup magazine has now reached international status and ranks amongst glossy heavy hitters such as Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens. 

From the FOLK blog:
 "FOLK magazine is devoted to presenting a fresh and youthful interpretation of simple country lifestyles, while focusing on the stories that make America our collective home sweet home. This down to Earth magazine fills a unique niche in the shelter publication landscape: content is part lifestyle, part editorial, all heart."

FOLK Editor in Chief and founder Ben Ashby is the main source of the magic at FOLK. I was impressed (to say the very least) when I read the story about how FOLK came to be (I'm not gonna spoil it; you have to read their mag to find out!).

Right beside Ben in the FOLK lineup of chiefs is Hillary Lewis and Heath Stiltner, 
two of the hardest working folks in the business.
While I will shout from the rooftops praise and love for FOLK Magazine, I am writing today to share the love with their amazing blog. What you will find here is a collection of life stories, beauty, fashion, DIY projects, recipes, anecdotes, and personal challenges that will keep your mind, body, and spirit feeling energized and refreshed.

With an all-star cast of contributing bloggers, you will quickly become addicted to finding out what is going to be posted next. Will it be a fantastic DIY project from Eclectically Vintage? An inspiring story from At the Picket Fence? Maybe a delicious recipe from MommaHen's Frugal Life

Friends, I HIGHLY recommend you take a moment to visit the FOLK blog, grab yourself a subscription (it's a STEAL), and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 10: Tinsel

Finding the Sparkle in Everyday Life
  Today I am thrilled to be able to introduce an awesome blogger and my new friend, Melissa of Tinsel-Celebrating the Shiny Things in Life! 

an excerpt from the Tinsel Pinterest archives...

What caught my attention intially was the name and overall feel of this blog: we all know that I LOOOVE sparkle, glitter, and everything beautiful. Tinsel is a fun, humorous, warm, and inviting look at all of the little things that make life wonderful. 

Melissa shares with us stories about her family, her pets, and her adventures in DIY-ing her lovely home. Take a moment to read her blog and you'll find yourself nodding in agreement (I personally laughed out loud at her most recent post about her little dog Lucy!).

From the Tinsel Facebook page: "Tinsel is defined in the dictionary, as pretty, but basically valueless. Well one of my fave things is to find value in things others find valueless. The broken, the worn, the aged and chipped, cracked and basically "loved to pieces".
It's funny how a gut decision like naming a brand can be second (and third and fourth) guessed but deep down it just made sense to me and hopefully people "get it"."

Please take a moment to peruse the Tinsel blog and check them out on Facebook & Pinterest
Happy reading!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 9: Pure Hokum

pure hokum

I had the joy and good fortune to meet Kathleen Stevans at the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition-(NOCC) Pittsburgh Chapter's Annual Walk in September 2011. 
She was there walking in support of a friend.

Though our meeting was brief (that walk is CRAZY busy!), Kathleen followed up by ordering some more items from me, and we became fast friends. Imagine how thrilled I was when I saw that, aside from being an incredibly wonderful and kind person, Kathleen is also an amazingly talented artist.

Pure Hokum is set apart from the rest in that the large majority of pieces are custom order. Check out the Pure Hokum blog, and you'll see a photo gallery of some of the most beautiful hand-painted pieces you've ever seen. 

I have found that, when looking for a unique special gift, Pure Hokum is the place to go. 
Over the years, she has made some gorgeous gifts for me including:

A custom Lady Gaga inspired plate for my sister,
lady gaga, handpainted

A set of decorative plates in honor of my grandmother,
 (I feel I must include a disclosure here: my grandmother was not a whiskey drinker, or any other kind of drinker. Towards the end of her battle with ovarian cancer, I was visiting with her one day and she told me that she was feeling good because she had drank 4 glasses of whiskey the night before. After some panicked investigation, turns out she had had about 4 sips of red wine.)
hand painted gift, whiskey, red wine, plate

 Adorable little plates for a NOCC giveaway basket,
NOCC, hand painted, ovarian cancer, gift basket

and a gorgeous baby jar for my dear friends.
baby jar, baby gift, handmade baby gift, custom baby gift

Kathleen has talent unparalleled in her field of work. This past fall, Kathleen took Pure Hokum to New York for the Jane Austen Society convention, where she showed off a breathtaking collection of hand-painted items.

jane austen, hand painted

jane austen, paris, hand painted

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have someone like Kathleen in my life. She is one of those people who make you grateful to have friends. 

Please take a moment to visit the Pure Hokum blog, follow her on Facebook and Pinterest, check out her shop on Etsy, and make a note to contact Kathleen the next time you need a fantastic gift! 

Happy reading!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 8: Pinstrosity

pinstrosity, pinterest fail

I am fairly confident in saying that everyone has at least heard of Pinterest by this point. Many of us will readily admit to spending FAR too much time "pinning"; happily perusing amazing pictures of projects, decor, fashion, beauty, and everything in between.

 Pinstrosity is a blog where readers can submit their Pinterest project "wins" and "fails". I look forward to their Monday through Friday posts and tips. 

If you do choose to submit a project, remember to rate it with the Pinstrosity GCT Fail Scale, which gives a surprisingly accurate level of success/fail.

There are two girls behind this hilarious and educational site (they have dubbed themselves "Pinstrositeers"). The introduction from their website says, " Emilee and Marquette have been inseparable partners-in-crime since the summer of 2006,but this is not where the adventures  began. Before this time their families had been connected for years ensuring that these two girls would grow up in the same town, go to the same church, and enjoy the same family activities, including, but not limited to, their mothers crafting lifestyle (it runs in the family, these ladies are cousins along with being best friends). After a stint of being roommates, the two have continued to embark on escapades of epic proportions. Together they have been to the beaches of San Diego, the Enchanting Land of New Mexico, and the Deserts of Arizona, ranging from mountainous camping trips, American history tours and any and all sort of girlish silliness. A day out with Marquette and Em can include anything from Jane Austen-esque movies and nail polish, to perusing the hidden depths of the Antique Mall, to oohing over anything orange, or even inner-tubing down a river of mud." 

Sounds like my kind of girls.

Here are just a few of my favorite posts:

There are some wins, some fails, and a lot of fun! 

Make sure you follow the Pinstrosity Blog, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and of course Pinterest. Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 7: The Cottage Market

The Cottage Market
Have you been to The Cottage Market?

If not, heed this advice:

Go there. Now. RIGHT NOW. Bookmark it. Read every word of it.

DIY, burlap, the cottage market

What you will find is an amazing array of DIY ideas, free (!!!!) graphics and downloads, decorating tips, and overall gorgeous-ness for the heart and home.

DIY decorating, The Cottage Market

Andrea, the blog's author, shares this simple statement:

"Hi there!  My name is Andrea and I welcome you to The Cottage Market.
In life I am wear many hats...Mom, Wife, Friend, Daughter, Friend, Fur Baby Mom, Doxie Rescuer :)  and oh so many others.  The Cottage Market is a little extension of me where I share fabulous craft projects...vegetarian and baked recipes...vintage treasures...simple decorating and organizing tips and so much more.  I hope you drop by...just know that the door is always open for you and if you want to chat or have a question for me you can always find me at I love hearing from you."
The Cottage Market, Ephemera, Vintage, Irish girl
 The Cottage Market shares adorable graphics gratis on a daily basis, making this blog a must-follow for anyone with even the tiniest interest in ephemera.

Recipes, The Cottage Market
Hungry? Visit The Cottage Market's impressive gallery of recipes for inspiration and ideas to last you the rest of your meal-making days.

I invite you to follow The Cottage Market blog, and while you're in the visiting mood make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 6: Miss Mustard Seed

milk paint

Oh, how overjoyed I was when I came across this amazingly beautiful site. Miss Mustard Seed's blog is an impressive collection of vintage, new, DIY, home, and life experiences.  

According to the page's About section, "Mustard Seed Interiors LLC is a small business that was born out of a love for antiques, decorating on a budget, and giving old pieces of furniture new life. While the primary focus of the retail business is painted and refinished furniture, MSI also carries upholstered pieces, found objects, vintage-inspired painted signs and handmade accessories for the home." All I know is that I wish I lived closer to this little slice of heaven!

miss mustard seed

Meet Marian, the "real life" gal behind the Miss Mustard Seed brand. She is truly a wonder: wife, mother, blogger, decorator, and creator are just a few of the many hats she wears. Take a peek at her impressive list of tasks, and you'll quickly realize that this is one girl you want to keep your eye on.

Need to fancy up your bedroom? Check. 
miss mustard seed bedroom

Bored with the floor? Miss Mustard Seed has your back.
DIY hardwood floor

Do you just need some inspiration and a few good laughs? This is the answer!
country living, homegoods

As if all of that wasn't enough (you can pause here for a sip of coffee if you're exhausted...), 
Marian (Miss Mustard Seed herself) is also a freelance contributor for,, and Cottages and Bungalows Magazine.

Oh, and one more thing:

milk paint
Are you familiar with it? If not, you simply MUST take a look. 
Here's my two cents: this is a magic potion to make anything you own perfectly antiquey-finshed, expertly chippy, and overall loved. I want to cover every surface of my furniture with it. I would probably consider it for my car...but I don't think Subaru would recommend it.
(nor would Miss Mustard Seed).

In short, I am in love and I'm sure you will be too. 

Please make sure to follow Miss Mustard Seed's blog and check her out on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter. Happy reading!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 5: Common Ground

Take a peek over at Common Ground, and there you will find everything that you'll ever need to satisfy your craving for shabby, chic, handmade, vintage, feminine, get the picture.
debra oliver, common ground

Debra, the inspiration behind this beautiful blog, began her blogging journey in 2009. Since then, Common Ground has grown to have thousands of followers (and surely at least 10 times as many readers) with an impressive collection of inspirations and projects.

common ground, epic linen, giveaway

The Common Ground Monday Marketplace is a widely popular "linky party" where Debra invites Etsy shop owners and other online stores of the like to share their pages/websites.  On Mondays and Tuesdays, everyone has the chance to link up their page while they take a look at a finely curated collection of gorgeous boutiques and shops. If you have an Etsy shop or boutique website, I highly recommend it.
Monday Marketplace, linky party
On Fridays, make sure you stop by Common Ground to check out Be Inspired Friday, where you'll find links to projects and ideas that will send you SPRINTING for your toolbox and paint.

As if that wasn't enough, Debra manages to find time to fill her own Etsy store with stunning jewelry pieces.

key necklace, assemblage, religious

Your time spent at Common Ground is time you will cherish. I invite you to read (and follow!) Debra's Common Ground blog, and while you at it you can see her on Facebook, Hometalk, and Pinterest. Happy reading!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fantastic 14: Day 4: Knick of Time

Today I am featuring one of my favorite romantic/vintage/DIY blogs: Knick of Time.

Take a stroll (or some clicks...however you like to think of it) through this site and you'll quickly find that you are inspired, excited, and even a wee bit envious. 

Ok, you'll need peanut butter for your jelly sandwich.
(jelly = JEALOUS!)

Angie, the beautiful brains behind this amazing blog, pulls together gorgeous, simple projects and ideas that give a new meaning to the term "fabulous".

On Tuesdays, you can take some time to peruse the amazing bloggers and their pages during 
Knick of Time Tuesday, a highly popular (and very well curated!) linky party.
linky party, tuesday, blog

Through her Antique Graphics Wednesday, Angie shares THE best vintage graphics (gratis, I might add...) to help her many readers take some of these ideas and turn them into reality.
luggage tag, vintage graphic
How adorable is this vintage luggage tag graphic?!
As if that wasn't enough, Angie shares a plethora of valuable ideas and projects in her Project Gallery. One of my very favorites is her Furniture Makeovers, where she takes the most ordinary household accessories and turns them into something amazingly special and unique.

Friends, I cannot say enough about Angie and her gorgeous collection of posts at Knick of Time. I invite you to follow the Knick of Time blog, "like" on Facebook, and follow on Pinterest, Twitter, and Hometalk. Happy hunting!