4.21.2014

You Can Find Me Everywhere (but Here)!

Perhaps you've noticed that I haven't been posting much lately?

(Or maybe you haven't, but now you know.)

Well it's not for a lack of work, that's for sure.

And if you're jonesing for a little `a casarella on this fine Monday, allow me to direct your attention to my current whereabouts:

One place you can find me is on the oh-so-popular wedding website, The Knot.  Last Friday they did a little post on my Wedding Day Emergency Kits.  You can find that HERE.  (Did you see that part where they called my idea, "genius"?  That was pretty cool.)


Another place where you can find me is on Wayfair.com.  That's right, Wayfair, the website for "a zillion things home."  I can hardly think of a better company to collaborate with.  I am particularly excited about this one because it is going to be an ongoing relationship.  Wayfair has assembled a group of bloggers to be a part of their Wayfair.com Homemaker's Program and I am pleased as punch to be included among them.  My first post, featuring the adorable DIY bowls you see below, is currently up on their site.  Click HERE to read more!


See you around the internet, friends!

4.15.2014

DIY Flower Crowns & a Photo Shoot

It is probably no surprise to learn that I have a lot of creative friends.  Given my interests (which are well documented within the virtual pages of this blog) it is pretty clear that I am drawn to creativity.  

And the only thing better than having creative friends is collaborating with them.  

So when the talented Alyssa Gorence of Alyssa Brule Photography suggested we team up on a project I was delighted!

Alyssa is one of those people who always has an idea--some picture in her head that she manages to bring to life through her beautiful photography.  

On this occasion she suggested that we make flower crowns and then head to the Carlsbad Flower Fields to take pictures of my kids.   I was all in.

"Do you know how to make a flower crown?" she asked.  

Truth be told I didn't but hey, that's what the internet is for.  After a quick Google search I came across THIS POST.  It's a flower crown tutorial.  If you're interested in doing things properly, I suggest you click on the link and read the instructions.  I used them more as a loose guideline:

After purchasing some fake flowers at DAISO I dug up some floral wire, floral tape, and some clippers (to cut the fake flower stems which are made of wire).  

Beyond that, it was trial and error.  Using my daughter's head as a template, Alyssa and I made rings out of wire.  Then we attached the flowers to the wire using the floral tape.  It was an imperfect process to say the least, but the results were fabulous.  If you look closely, you'll notice some golden butterflies nestled in the flowers.  This was another fabulous Alyssa-idea.  She had some artificial butterflies (made out of feathers; find your own HERE) and suggested that we spray paint them gold.  (And you know I was on board with that!)



Two days later we were off to the flower fields for our informal shoot.  The results were incredible: a series of dreamy pictures which I just can't stop looking at.  (And those crowns turned out pretty great too!)

The first eleven pictures are Alyssa's.  Notice what she did with the butterflies in the image below.  (Did I mention that she's a digital media artist?  The photography is just a fraction of what this girl can do.)

Now I will let the photos speak for themselves.

photo credit: Alyssa Brule


photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

photo credit: Alyssa Brule

The rest of the pictures were taken by me on my iPhone.  Before you look at them, please take a moment to check out Alyssa's site or "like" her Facebook page.  (You can also follow her on Instagram.) She's based here in Southern California (San Diego & Los Angeles) but she is willing to travel.  












4.02.2014

Keep Track of Earrings While Traveling



Here's a little storage solution I came up with before a recent trip.

(It's not exactly earth shattering, but sometimes it's the little things that excite people.)

While packing, I couldn't find the small silk pouch in which I usually store my earrings.   I didn't have a ton of time to search so here's what I came up with as a temporary solution:

1.  Poke earrings through a piece of scrap fabric.
2.  Attach the earring backs.
3.  Roll up the fabric and tie with a piece of string.  






I was able to keep this little bundle with me in my purse and it helped me keep track of the earrings I wasn't wearing for the duration of my stay.  

Like I said, not exactly earth shattering, but definitely handy in a pinch.  

4.01.2014

`a casarella is now on Instagram

Yesterday I did something I've been meaning to do for quite some time:  

I opened an Instagram account for `a casarella.




And now I am going to beg, er, politely request that you follow me there.  

Just click HERE and press FOLLOW.  

(I will happily follow you back!)

Thanks!

3.31.2014

Personalized Bookends


Since taking my trip(s) to DAISO a few weeks back I've been busy playing with all the fun things I bought there.

One super easy project involved the colorful bookends that I bought for my daughters.


I knew that I wanted to personalize them with vinyl letters but I wasn't sure what they should say.  

And then it came to me:  Once Upon a Time on one end...


and They Lived Happily Ever on the other.


 Be sure to check back in the next week to see more fun projects using DAISO products.

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3.24.2014

San Diego Vintage Flea Market Haul

Back in July I told you about the San Diego Vintage Flea Market.   (Read all about it HERE.)  I ended that post by insisting that I would attend the next one.  (In fact I believe there was even a wager involved.)

Well it's a good thing no one took me up on that bet because I would have lost my shirt.  As is often the case, "things" got in the way--things like sports and theater practice and vacations--and I never made it back.

That is, I never made it back until yesterday, when the stars aligned and enabled me to attend.   I didn't buy much but what I did get was worth a quick post.  Enjoy!

I just couldn't pass up this sweet milk glass dish.  (And yes, I will be planting that succulent in said dish after I'm done writing this post.)


At the last market I bought a green flower frog to use as a picture holder.  This time I bought a brass one to hold markers.  


I think it's going to look great on my new desk!


Another gift for my desk is this letter sorter.  


I plan on giving it a fresh coat of gold paint because, as you may or may not know, I happen to have some lying around.



I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these metal letters but I'll let you know as soon as I decide. 


My final purchase was this guy (which shouldn't surprise anyone).  He is so heavy and smooth and shiny; I just had to make him mine!  (Plus he'll have lots of little friends here at the house. )


So I'm not making any promises (and certainly no bets) but it's definitely my goal to attend the next one in May.   Give the SD Vintage Flea a "like" on Facebook if you want to be notified about the exact date.   

See you there!

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3.14.2014

A visit to Daiso (The "Japanese Dollar Store")



I want you to imagine for a moment that IKEA and the Container Store had a baby.

Now imagine that somewhere in the gene pool there were also hints of Michael's, Sur La Table, and maybe even your favorite party store.  

That my friends, is the best way I can think to describe DAISO, also known as The Japanese Dollar Store.

My first trip to a DAISO was several years back while visiting my brother and sister-in-law in the Bay Area.  My sister-in-law is one of those people who knows all the fun spots. (If she ever invites you to go shopping, say yes.)

Needless to say I fell head over heels for DAISO (where most items actually cost $1.50) and was thrilled to hear that one was opening five minutes from my house.  

Below is a picture-tour of my most recent trip.  

(It opened five days ago.)

(And I may or may not have been three times already.)

Enjoy....

First up is the extensive selection of dishes. These pieces remind me of the bowls I've been seeing lately at Anthropologie and West Elm.





The decoration on this teapot (which is kind of pricey at $4) reminds me a little of the Cathrineholm Lotus Pattern.


Of course there are tons of basic white dishes.  


These are great to use as staple pieces.


They're also incredibly tempting for people like me who like to paint on ceramic and glass...




This next item is a beautiful drinking glass.  There were several sizes to choose from and pictured below is one of the smaller ones.  The wider version is virtually identical to the one that Emily Henderson discusses in this post.  Unfortunately DAISO was out of them when I stopped by with my camera.  (Apparently someone who made three visits in the last week bought them all.  They will make their blog debut in a future post.)  Admittedly, the CB2 version is only forty-five cents more expensive than these but for those of us with no CB2 nearby, this is an excellent (and less expensive!) alternative.  


Of course if thin glass isn't your thing there are plenty of other glasses to choose from:


Speaking of glass, I recently replaced all of my plastic tupperware with glass.  I was thrilled to see so many glass storage containers at DAISO (in case I ever need more), and they're cute to boot!




If glass storage isn't your thing, maybe you'd like metal.

(I might have to get that polka dotted beauty during visit number four...)


From metal we move to paper.  Just look at these cupcake wrappers.  I'm dying from the cuteness. 


And check out these great paper loaf and bundt pans.  I know where I'm headed when the holiday baking season rolls around.  


Oh my word was I obsessed with these brightly colored plastic cups!  Made in Italy, they will be perfect for serving the kids drinks by the pool this summer.  (I may or may not have bought every color...)


These polka dotted paper cups look an awful lot like this more expensive version from one of my favorite party shops.


And the utensils?   C'mon!  And not only are they gorgeous, they are also super-sturdy!



Now let's turn our attention to organizing.  

No matter what your storage needs are, DAISO has you covered.

There are sturdy (but colorful) baskets,


plastic bins in every size and shape imaginable,


cabinet shelves,

(I bought two.  They're a significant savings compared to the Container Store version and I like them better.)


buckets,



gorgeous cardboard boxes,


and office storage.




I am in love with these colorful book ends.  I bought a set for each daughter and look forward to embellishing them with my Silhouette. 


Another item that caught my eye was this beautiful pressed flower wrapping paper.  


There were also these colorful rolls.



These bows are actually teeny-tiny. 


For bigger gifts there was plenty of ribbon.


And how fun are these twist ties?  In addition to being colorful and cute, they are also thicker and sturdier that your average twist tie.  I picked some up to use on treat and favor bags.  


Although I don't do Origami, I absolutely loved the selection of Origami paper.  



And there were notebooks galore.  



Am I the only one who has a thing for sticky notes?  These colorful beauties had me at hello.  


Of course a girl who can't stop making pin boards can always use more thumbtacks!


Bunting washi tape?  I'll take two, please!



(There was a ton of Washi tape--it is, after all, a Japanese paper tape.)


I think we all know how expensive craft punches can be.  It was great to know that DAISO carries them.


Look at all of these paint supplies.  




A thirty marker set for $1.50.  Wouldn't this make a great party favor?  (Perhaps paired with a fun pad?  So much nicer than a bunch of trinkets...)


I got one of these knives to use for weeding vinyl on my Silhouette projects.  


I did not buy an under mat.  (But I should have.)


I did get some clothespins as I like to work with them.  


And I will leave you with these colorful rolls of felt.

(Because just looking at them made me happy.)


At the present I think DAISO is primarily located on the West coast here in the US.  THIS is a link to their Facebook fan page if you'd like more information.  

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