Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Musings

Today in São Paulo is raining and cold. A perfect day to browse through my inspiration decor files.

Calico Corners catalog:

Some traditional bags in one of the many markets in Maputo, Mozambique 

A sunny window shade

One of my "I-wish-I-had-the-mastery" to do list is to learn how to do roman shades. Fast forward six lessons of 3 hours each, a few yards of fabric.. et voila: three roman shades.
Sorry for the picture low quality, as I took it with my cell, but proper pictures will come soon.
The most difficult part was to choose which fabric to use, and with the measures in hand, the fabric was perfect for the three windows: one at the entry hall, one at the second floor landing, and last the one at the third floor landing.
I can't find the before picture for the entry hall, but was a majestic paper curtain.  The remaining windows were naked!

The one at the entry hall:

The one at the second floor landing:

I am currently preparing the roman shade for my son's room, and I promise to do a photo step by step tutorial.
Have a great inspiring and surrounded by nice things week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hand embroideries: a dying tradition?

I was born and grew up in a tiny Island, Madeira Island, where hand embroidery was one most beautiful traditions and in some families a source of income.
Every young woman had to accumulate a trousseau made up of amazing pieces. I was able to get some of my pieces made by my late Mom, and every time I go to Madeira I try to get some more. It's considered a luxury item, even for tourists. I don't see as many stores as there were while growing up, so every opportunity I have to purchase a piece, I don't even think twice, more when you can find amazing pieces like this I got: a table cloth with six napkins for a steal!

You just need to know how to differentiate a real hand made from a machine one done in China, and that is turning the piece and check the back. In a hand made piece the finishings are always well hidden, the thread used is double, making it feel as it was embossed in the cloth.
This amazing piece I got at one of my favorite stores in my neighborhood: The Turnover Shop.

PS: the "white" spots are actually reflections from the chandelier I have on the dinning room.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Before & After: Art addi(c)tion!

What a simple addition of art, two prints, and a mirror brings so much warmth to a room!
My twin bed guest room is always in change, but is getting closer to my vision.
Both Carol Gigg's prints and mirror were bought at my local Goodwill store for less than $50.
I had the headboards upholstered, and were $300 both (only work), and I got the linen fabric at Calico Corners for $80.
The duvets and covers are from Ikea: $60. Lamps ($19.99 each) were from Home Goods, and the amazing vintage vanity table , $55, was from a local furniture consignment store that has closed for business, and the rug was bought at an auction ($150).

Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the all whole process when I started, but here it is how it looks now:



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mid afternoon cravings

In less than 2 weeks, I need to be in Baltimore. Here in Sao Paulo, Spring is coming, but Fall has already been welcomed in Baltimore.
What better than some nice cobalt blue boots to mix with some Fall colors, such orange, mustard yellow and greens?

Maison Martin Margiela ankle boots: here

Before & After: A charming little Varanda in the concrete jungle

On my stays in Sao Paulo, I try to fit some time to go to Bello Quilt and get some sewing classes. So far, I have done pillows (12 and counting) a duvet cover for my son's crib.
Currently, I'm working on more pillows and some roman shades. I will try my best to do some photo tutorials.
Cida, the owner and teacher,  is an amazing teacher and friend, and very perfectionist! Her bags, children clothes, quilt covers are just works of art!

My last project was to replace my Ikea outdoor chair covers for something more colorful and interesting!

Here is the result:                        



The fabrics are outdoors fabrics that I bought here in Sao Paulo in the garment/fabric district. I still have plenty left, if anyone is interested it costs $25.00/yard.