For the Home

Handmade Nursery, Part One.

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We love our nursery. What I especially love about it are all the handmade details in it that are unique and special.  I have posted about the nursery before, but I wanted to share some of our darling details.  You should know, my mom did ALL of the sewing, and most of the manual labor of putting the room together (with help from my aunt) since I was lazy 36 week pregnant at the time.  I art-directed; she implemented.

By far my favorite item in the room is the quilt of 1940’s vintage reproduction fabric, lovingly hand-pieced especially for Baby B by my mom.  We covered the plywood headboard with batting and green polka dot fabric.

She also sewed the curtains, which are patterned with a whimsical cityscape that feels like you’re looking at the pages of a storybook.

The prints were a serendipitous discovery.  My mom had spotted a trio of framed vintage prints of illustrated nursery rhymes, and picked them up for a song at an estate sale.  When we took them out to paint the frames yellow, we discovered these limited edition vintage bird lithographs by J. Gould and W. Hart, hidden behind the nursery rhymes.  Turns out they’re worth more than a song.  We had some lengthy discussion about whether to hang the nursery rhymes or the bird prints, and in the end, the richly-colored birds won out.

I made the crochet heart bunting.

The bookshelf holds our collection of handmade baby quilts, children’s books, and toys. I made the bird painting in 2006.  The crochet octopus is by Dorklandia.  Er, pretend you can’t see the thermostat.

Some of the quilts were my baby quilts made by my great aunt, others were made more recently and given to us by friends and family.

This hand-embroidered bunny is one I originally saw on Bleubird, and it turns out she got hers at a little boutique not far from where we live.  I had to have one.

We love our wooden blocks from House Industries.  They’re made of sustainable wood and non-toxic inks.

And what children’s book collection is complete without a Wizard of Oz pop-up book?

August 10, 2011 10:04 AM | Comments | Categories: Baby, For the Home | Tags: , ,

More than lovely kitchen gadgets

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Recently I purchased this juicer and this salt and pepper shaker set from Anthropologie for my sister’s birthday presents. 

They made me think “Ooh Pretty. This looks EXACTLY like something she would have in her kitchen.” And I decided she really OUGHT to have them. 

And the juicer and the salt and pepper shakers are why Fran and I started youfrillme – not because we want to have too much stuff – but because we want to LOVE and feel inspired by the stuff we do have. And sometimes pretty juicers make you want to make more juice, and pretty salt and pepper shakers make seasoning your dinner a little more happy and meaningful. And it’s that simple joy that makes all the difference.

There can definitely be a fine line in finding the balance between what FRILLS you and what’s just taking up space. Here’s to hoping our lil’ blog can inspire in all the right ways. 

- Aurelia

July 28, 2011 10:15 AM | Comments | Categories: For the Home | Tags: ,

Stuff We Love: Cleaning: Fran’s Picks

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Back when I used to work as a purchaser in the natural products industry, one of the categories I bought was cleaning products.  I learned a lot about natural cleaning products, and got to try out many different brands because vendors would send me samples.  I got on the natural cleaning bandwagon a long time ago, so I have some years of housecleaning experience with natural products.  And, because I hate having a bunch of extraneous stuff lying around, I’ve tried to streamline my cleaning products to the minimum. Here are some of my favorites:

Bon Ami Powder Cleanser.


A formula of plant-based cleaning agents and soft abrasive minerals, this is what I use for scrubbing sinks, toilets, tubs, and tile.  The ingredients are all natural and contain no perfumes, dyes, or anything toxic.  The Bon Ami company started in 1886, and has been making exceptional cleaning products ever since. 

Method Antibac Wipes


These do whatever the Bon Ami powder won’t, and utilize plant-based essential oils to do it.  I’m no germophobe; as far as I’m concerned, if it looks, feels, and smells clean then it’s clean enough for me (plus I’m a bit wary excessive disinfecting.  I think we live in a world filled with micro-organisms, both helpful and harmful.  But that’s a whole other topic.) But in certain places, I want to keep the bad germs to a minimum — like the bathroom and around the kitchen sink. And wherever else I occasionally need a quick swipe. For me, the con about the Method products is that they are owned

Citradish

This is a natural dish soap that works.  There are other natural brands that work, but I’m particularly fond of this one.  Most especially in the lavender bergamot scent.  Lavender is my favorite-favorite-favorite fragrance, and to have natural lavender-scented dish soap makes doing dishes that much more pleasant for me. Plus, I used to work with the vendor, and they are very nice folks.

Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Powder

This is what I used to use in my dishwasher, and I liked it alot.  I don’t use it anymore because the Trader Joe’s brand works just as well, with, from what I can tell, the same ingredients.  I have a hunch that Ecover does their private labeling for them, but I can’t prove it.

Ecos Laundry Detergent


My criteria for laundry soap are: must be all-natural, plant-based, toxin-free; must be liquid; bonus if it’s concentrated so there’s less weight to lug up the stairs. I’m not loyal to any one brand of laundry detergent because I’ve found that, for the most part, all the natural brands work about the same.  But Ecos Magnolia and Lily has essential oils that smell so lovely that I’m partial to it, and always hope it goes on sale.

Other than these, I use rubbing alcohol to clean glass, vinegar on the floors, and microfiber towels for the rare occasion when I’m actually dusting.

What are your favorite cleaning products?

-f

June 15, 2011 10:00 AM | Comments | Categories: For the Home | Tags:

Stuff We Love: Kitchenware: The Heated

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I am loving frilling dishtowels in my kitchen. Why have boring dishtowels when they can be so unique/chic/pretty/funny, or even awesome? I mean, you’re going to buy dishtowels anyway, right? Recently I have been doing the Great Dishtowel Clean-out, wherein I get rid of all the ratty, sad dishtowels and re-purpose them as cleaning rags, making way for pepped-up fresh ones. Last week, Aurelia and I showed your our embellished dishtowel project; and there is no end to the imaginative possibilities for making FRILLING kitchen towels. But if you’re not part of the DIY set, there’s always Etsy!

Check out this towel I picked up at Urban Bazaar here in SF, made by a local screen printer, The Heated.

If you don’t live in SF, you can find this awesome item at their Etsy shop.

I’m also digging The Heated’s Design Advice towel: “Get rid of crap. Buy things you’ll love forever. Make Stuff.”  It’s my perfect house mantra.

Do you need to do a Great Dishtowel Clean-out?  Do you DIY or do you BUY?  Where do you love to find FRILLING kitchen accessories?

-f

DIY Applique Dishtowels + BONUS Scrap project

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Here’s a FRILLING project for you.  Check out these lovely dishtowels Aurelia and I made (Unfortunately I went off and forgot to photograph the ones A made, so here’s only mine – sorry, Rae).

Want the full How-To?  Really the sky’s the limit with embellished dishtowels – you could use fabric paint, rick-rack or other trimmings, buttons, all sorts of things.  But here’s what we did:

Start with whatever dishtowel you want to use-we got these at Hobby Lobby- and an applique fabric.  We used this Alexander Henry bird fabric, and cut out the bird and flower shapes to applique onto our dishtowels.  For a different look you could use any patterned fabric and cut out whatever shapes you’d like. 

Apply iron-on adhesive paper to your fabric…

…then cut out the shape you want to use as your applique decoration. Follow the instructions on the adhesive paper package.  Be careful not to adhere the paper to your ironing board (ahem, Aurelia).

Next, remove the backing paper from your newly-cut applique.  Iron it onto your dishtowel. (oops, forgot to photograph this step.)

Then use your sewing machine to satin stitch around the edges of the applique.  We recommend working on a scrap piece for a bit before trying it on your dishtowel because it takes a few minutes to get the hang of satin-stitching around an image. 

Next, you can embellish more.  Yes, I know, MORE FRILLS.  I chose to embroider, as it is my current go-to embellishment:

I free-handed the script, then used a simple back-stitch to stitch it up.  Then I added some quick little flowers using the detached chain stitch.  I think these would be cute with a bit of rick-rack added to the edge as well. 

When A and I weren’t looking my mom used some of the scraps to embellish a onesie for Baby, who was happily playing on the floor while we crafted.  She pieced together various petals, stems and leaves from the original fabric to make this design, then stitched around it in bright pink thread:

You could do something similar with virtually any fabric scraps you have lying around. Cute, huh?  Here’s Baby rocking her FRILLINGly embellished onesie.

Ooooh, Pretty: Organization

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I think I’m getting a spring organizing bug, because lately images of lovely, organized spaces have been inspiring me.  And seeing craft supplies gorgeously arranged and organized just begs me to be creative:

via Scissor Variations

I wish I wish I wish this were mine:

via apartment therapy

also via scissor variations

via flickr

from SouleMama

via sfgirlbybay

I’m dreaming of someday having an office/studio/craft space.  I would paint the walls my favorite shade of white: Casablanca, by Sherwin Williams.

What inspires you to be creative?

-Fran

March 7, 2011 10:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY, For the Home | Tags: , , , ,

Ooooh, Pretty: Maritime and Sea Motifs

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Bay living must be getting to me because I’m finding myself being drawn to these maritime/sea life motifs.  I came across this Thomas Paul melamine platter in a store called The Nest on Fillmore Street in San Francisco, and had to come straight home to look at more of the collection. I am in love with the maritime-inspired Scrimshaw design.  Love this lovable Moby Dick.

The Thomas Paul Sea Life Dessert Plates, which come in a set of four — darling.  

Our house rule is: No Plaid Boxer Shorts.  Boring. I’m the only one who sees his boxer shorts, and I wanna love ‘em.  These will be FRILLING.

Anchor Necklace from Land’s End Canvas

 Deep Sea Curtains from Anthropologie

And, most wished-for of all, the Octopus Shawl by Thomas Paul. Mr. Octopus, I think I have a crush on you.

My head is swimming with sea motifs! Hmmm, now I’m thinking of embroidering some pillowcases with sea motifs…

Do you have any favorite maritime motif pieces in your home or wardrobe?  What motifs are you into now?

-Fran

Cozy Sitting Spot

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Hello Friends!  Happy Wednesday!

It’s a chilly, rainy day here in SF, and I’m drinking tea and Baby and I are staying cozy in our cozy sitting spot. I’m a firm believer that every home should have one.  Everybody should have one.  A favorite place to sit and ponder, read, de-stress, snuggle up into.  Everyone needs a cozy sitting spot, preferably one that is both comfortable and lovely to look at, or if not exactly lovely, then at least makes us happy to see.

Essential ingredients for a cozy sitting spot are: 1) a comfy chair, 2) nice light for reading, 3) some pretty artwork, textiles, or artifacts, and 4) a cuppa tea and 5) a soft blanket never hurt.

My current favorite cozy sitting spot in my home is in the nursery.  It’s where Baby and I sit and rock, nurse, cuddle, and read books.  Have a look.

Here I have one of a pair of super-comfy petite swivel-rocking-chairs that I own.  The nearby table usually has everything I might need at the ready: a book, a toy, a burp cloth, a q-tip (the only time I ever think to clean Baby’s ears is when she’s nursing), a kleenex, etc. The window and lantern provide nice light. And my grandmother’s needlepoint ottoman gives me a place to prop up my feet. The colorful and cheerful nursery has become our favorite room in the house. 

(photos by the lovely Haley Durak of Polka Dot Photography)

We’d love to see your cozy-pretty-frilling-sitting spot.  Email a photo to youfrillme (at)gmail(dot)com and we’ll post some of our favorites in an upcoming post.

March 2, 2011 12:00 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby, For the Home | Tags: , , ,

On the not-so-pretty days..

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Ya know, not every day feels pretty. Some days, it takes a conscious decision to find the pretty. Some days, it’s just HARD. On not-so-pretty days it’s very important to work extra hard at cheering yourself up. After all, there’s bound to be SOMETHING pretty about not-so-pretty days. Even if it’s a tiny thing. Even if it’s hard to find.

I had one of those days today so on I went to the supermarket. I needed to console myself, and I decided a specialty cheese would do the trick. What an occasion! I picked a Havarti with Jalapeños. What a treat!

Look at all the fun ways to use cheese in ONE meal:

Cubes of cheese and olives provided a very hungry Husband with a before dinner treat.

Havarti Cheese melts so perfectly and tastes delicious on Ciabatta bread.

Crumble your cheese on top of a lovely salad. Use Zea’s Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette dressing. It’s the best. EVER.

Top your tomato soup with a thin slice, too. Laugh when your husband begins dropping cubes from the olive assortment into his. 

I found the pretty in my not-so-pretty day. Now I just hope I can poop tomorrow! (I figure since it’s my blog, I can say “poop” if I want.)

- Aurelia

February 23, 2011 8:49 PM | Comments | Categories: Food, For the Home | Tags: , ,

I’m an Addict

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You see, my kitchen window has no view.  Well, actually the view is of the neighbor’s kitchen window, and is at a downward angle so when someone’s there, you don’t see their head, and they don’t necessarily see me. (I try not to look, really. I mostly hope her boyfriend doesn’t appear at the kitchen sink in his skivvies because those are frills I do not want to see.) In any case, mostly my view is into her sink.

So you see, I really must have something nice to look at while I’m standing at my own sink. Thus my addiction (and no, it isn’t peeping into my neighbor’s window):

I’m addicted to the natural Frills of fresh flowers. They are PRETTY.  They make me HAPPY. 

Fortunately, in California, fresh flowers are pretty cheap.  At first, I didn’t know if I could justify the cost of always having fresh flowers in the window (roughly $6-$7 a week).  But then I thought: wait, I’m probably the only twenty-something in this town who doesn’t spend that much every day at Blue Bottle Coffee. 

I’d much rather peep at fresh blooms than into someone’s kitchen sink. Plus, I’m of the opinion that it’s the little frills that go the farthest.

February 22, 2011 12:25 PM | Comments | Categories: For the Home | Tags:
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fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.

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