Our Airbnb in Cormolain, France: An old Norman Farmhouse.

May 4, 2015

Colin's First Birthday-62Last weekend we took a train from Paris to Bayuex, France, a small town just south of the Normandy coastline. Bayeux has the oldest tapestry known to date, as well as a beautiful cathedral that was built in the same era as Notre Dame. I found an amazing old farmhouse to stay in on Airbnb, a.k.a. my favorite way to travel. The farmhouse we rented was in Cormolain, about a 25 minute drive south of Bayeux, and was recently converted into a loft on the top floor, with 3 beds, a small toddler sized bed and a beautiful bathroom overlooking a wood storage space and the prairies behind the house. There are a few things I look for in an Airbnb. One is obviously space. Since we were travelling with 5 people (one being tiny, but still), I wanted to make sure we had enough room to sprawl out and get comfy, and not feel on top of eachother. Also, travelling with a baby makes hotel rooms virtually impossible – we need a kitchen to clean bottles and make small meals for him, and we need room for him to crawl/toddle around in. This Airbnb had all of those things, and more!

Norman Farmhouse Colin's First Birthday-18 Colin's First Birthday-5Corinne, our wonderful host, did a really amazing job making this space feel huge, open, and contemporary, while still adding in a few details that made the space feel old world French. We definitely felt like we were on a farm – there were sheep outside and a beautiful little garden. Still, it was so clean and contemporary – we really had the best of both worlds here.

Colin's First Birthday-38 Colin's First Birthday-34The white paint, unfinished wood and sky lights created the most dreamy light I have ever seen. I seriously could not believe how gorgeous this room was at any time of day.

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Every single detail was perfect and in it’s place…

Colin's First Birthday-28 Colin's First Birthday-69Another interesting feature was the huge picture window in the bathroom that looked out into a small cave that housed fire wood (there was a small fournace in the living room downstairs. Corinne had a fire going for us when we got there to “warm the place for the baby”). The wood cave also had a huge picture window looking out onto the prairies of the farm. It was so beautiful.

Colin's First Birthday-79 Colin's First Birthday-82 Colin's First Birthday-66 Colin's First Birthday-86For so long, I have been striving for a minimalist aesthetic in my own home, and often things can look a little cold or too contemporary. Corinne mixed both modern and traditional design aesthetics perfectly. It was so inspiring! I need to head back to the flea markets here in Paris soon so that I can start adding some details like these to my home.

 

 

Canola Fields Forever.

May 3, 2015

Colin's First Birthday-48It’s been almost a month since I have posted anything here, and that’s because we have been busy having visitors, traveling and having a one year old baby (HOW?!?!). My in laws came to Paris and after a week of site seeing here, we traveled to the beaches of Normandy, France and then to Chinon to taste wines along the Loire Valley. I really hope to write a few more posts about the trip because it was truly amazing and the landscapes were breathtaking.

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Until I can get my act together, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from our trip. These bright, yellow canola fields were all over France as we drove around. These flowers are pressed to make Canola Oil, hence the name. They colors were so vivid and contrasting that I had to turn my settings on my camera waaaaay lower than i usually do. It was even more beautiful in person, if you can imagine that. Just fields and fields of yellow.

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Make: A Leather Scarf Organizer

April 10, 2015

untitled-35I don’t know about you, but my scarf collection is a little out of control. I’ve tried several frustrating ways to store them, and despite my best efforts, I’m always left with a mountain of scarves piled on my chair in the bedroom.

I came up with a solution to this problem by making this simple leather chain to hang by the door for guests or in our closet. It was easy to make and only requires a few materials:

untitled-3I used two straps of leather (the kind you can buy to make a belt), post & cap rivets, and a rivet setter. You will also need a hammer or rubber mallot, and a pair of scissors. Start by cutting the leather straps into equal** lengths.

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A leather hole punch would be a helpful tool for this project, but I don’t have one so I just used my trusty ol’ shears.

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Use your scissors to make a hole in each end of a strap. Place the post rivet into one end and make a cuff, putting the post through the other end as well. Place your cap rivet on top of the post.

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Use your rivet setter and rubber mallot to hammer the rivet into place. Also, please don’t judge my “manicure”.

untitled-21You should have a cuff that is set together like so. Go ahead and repeat this step as many times as you like, but cuff each strap around the last one to make a chain.

untitled-22 untitled-23This is, like, kindergarten art class easy.

untitled-30I used leathet twine to hang it. I’m sure there’s a more sophisticated solution for hanging, but I was being resourceful, so this works.

untitled-35 untitled-36 untitled-40I was hoping that this method of hanging would cut down on bulk in my closet. It’s definitely a little bulky, but not wide like many scarf organizers, so I like that aspect. What do you think? Do you have any closet organizing secrets??

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**you and I both know I’m basically incapable of making anything “equal” in length.

Make: A No-Sew, Fabric Storage Bin.

March 9, 2015

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The quest for home organization continues. After moving twice with the same bin of thriftstore fabrics, I finally decided to put some to use. I will occasionally see something like this bin at a store I like or online, and I always resist the urge to buy them because they usually seem too expensive. Storage is one of those things I always need, but HATE spending money on. Kind of the same way I feel about socks. Inevitably, I always keep thinking about them and when I finally decide to pull the trigger and purchase them, they are no longer to be found. So if the mountain won’t come to you, you must go to it. The “mountain”, in this case, being a fabric storage bin.

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This project was so easy and quick, save for a little wait time for the glue to dry. And if you are like me, “No-sew” is always a plus when it comes to projects because I am LA-ZY. And i don’t have a sewing machine here in Paris, so there’s that.

For this project, you need:
- 1 thick fabric (like canvas) and one thin fabric (cotton). The amount you need varies on the size or amount of bins you want to make.
-Scissors
-Fabric glue
-Grommets and grommet fastening tool (optional)

Slouchy BinSidebar: If you want a more structured bin, use interfacing between the two fabric layers to make it more sturdy. I was going for a “slouchy” look, so I didn’t use interfacing. Cut 5 identical rectangles (or squares) out of each of your fabrics, making 10 rectangles total. Starting with one fabric, place a rectangle on the table. Place the remaining four rectangles around the center one, making a cross shape. Line up the edges so that they are even. With two fingers, pinch together the two edges of two pieces of fabric, like the photo above. Glue the edges together. Do this for all four edges, making the base of your bin. Next, fold the corners in on the inside and glue the remaining edges together. Make sure the “seams” are facing inward, so you have a nice clean seemless look on the outside of the bin. Repeat this same process for your second fabric. At the end, you should have two bag-like pieces that look like this:

untitled-9 untitled-10For your exterior fabric, turn it right side out so that the seems are on the inside. For the interior fabric, or the thinner fabric that you will use as your lining, keep it turned inside out. Put the inside out fabric inside your exterior piece.

untitled-16From here, form the bin by making sure the fabrics are lined up seem to seem.

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Next, you will glue your interior fabric to your exterior fabric. I made sure to glue around the perimeter of the top edges thoroughly.

untitled-20Then, fold the top edges like a cuff to hide the raw edges and to expose the interioir fabric a little:

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Last, I added a couple of grommets which are a super easy way to make any fabric item look finished.

untitled untitled-3I’m using this right now to hold all of our mail. Incoming mail is always such an issue for us – we let it pile up all over our dining room table. Hopefully this will help us keep things a little more tidy!

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Make: A Eucalyptus Wreath

March 4, 2015

untitled-30Ever find yourself with a bundle of month old, dried out eucalyptus branches? Ever pluck the dried leaves off and stare at the pile for a couple of days pondering how your life came to be that you are the type of person to save dead, dried leaves of a plant to repurpose? No? Well, just in case it ever happens, here is what you do: make a wreath.

Eucalyptus has been abundant at the corner flower shops here in Paris, and it’s one of my favorite plants, so I have been treating myself to a bundle here and there. It smells amazing, even when it’s old and dead, and it lasts fooooooorreeeeeevvvveeerrrr (#sandlotreference)

Also, our walls are pretty bare because we are still figuring out how exactly to curate the photographs we have and are wanting to add some actual art eventually. So for now, it’s nice to have small and temporary pops of color to brighten up our apartment during the winter.

All you need is:

untitled-16Some dried-out-ole eucalyptus, scissors, a cross-stitch frame, and a hot glue gun.

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Gently pluck the leaves off of the branch – they tend to snap pretty easily when they are dry.

untitled-15Glue the leaves to the cross stitch frame in descending order, big to small.

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Disclaimer: The hot glue left permanent spots on the leaves. I tried this project with super glue and fabric glue, and neither took.

untitled-32 untitled-31And there you go.

Happy wreathing, everybody =)