Happy Happy Valentine's Month! I have been bustling at the art table with hearts on my mind (when are they not!?). It's always animals that draw me in and, as I look out over a view of fields, ponds, water-fowl, happy-tailed dogs and the occasional deer, it's hard to not feel inspired by these beings. This Valentine's series features (surprise!) a couple of delighted Cardigan Corgis, a wee Wood Wren (Troglodytes Troglodytes), and some lovely antlers flying through the air with their banner of love! The natural world, at this time of year, seems so calm and sleepy and hibernating, but there really is a surge of activity out there! 'More love, more love, more love', say the animals! And even though I say "less Barry White" to those raccoons that woke me up two nights ago with their 'gettin' it on' - I would never trade in these surroundings and these friends! They are here to teach us and I think we should listen! Snuggle up to your loved ones and lets be thankful all over again, as each day brings us another opportunity to love and be loved! Aiden says 'Hi and Happy Valentines to all my Cardi friends all over the world" - There. I told him I would pass that on! XO
It's always a thrill to find something hidden away in the mailbox that doesn't reek of a bill or junky fliers! I'm a huge fan of snail mail and I truly hope it never dies! No one does better at surprising and showering her clients with snail-mail-love than Erika of Element Photography. Simply for booking Element's exceptional wedding photography packages, lucky brides and grooms receive a complimentary box of fine teas. Post-shoot, Element sends out a DVD of enthusiastic and memorable images! When the excitement of finding this in one's mailbox would seem ample, Erika took extra care in seeking out unique approached to creative packaging options that would be personal and meaningful. What a message of thanks to send out to your beloved clients, fans and supporters! The packaging assistance that Erika happened to seek out, was a little Highberry Dew twist! I had SUCH fun creating these fun boxes to hold Element's DVDs - each one personalized for a specific couple, with hand painted paper charms in the colours, flowers or icons of their special day! I love the textures of the collage-topped box, the warm grey baker's twine and all the frilly little papery tid-bits! Here are two of the five custom boxes, made with love, to honour the dedication and partnership of those who received them! Long live snail mail!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from the Home of Highberry Dew! We are all cozied in with snow on the ground! It's rare that we truly get a 'white Christmas' here on the Island - so we are feeling lucky! Have a little peak through our home to see what's happening on this eve of Christmas! Santa came early with the delivery of ice-blue boughs, books and bundles - Uhm...the Dwell birdy Chinoiserie duvet set I have wanted FOREVER (I just want to sing it to the world!)! We have special souls in our lives to share this adventure with and we are so thankful! Bless all of you out there - may close family and friends share with you the merriment and wonder that is a rich life! XO
Well my friends, it's been utter chaos around here (CHRISTMAS CHAOS!!!!), and I have to force myself to not stand too far back to look in at the studio. What a fright! Small Corgis are having trouble wading through the "artistic debris" at this point, and it's time to sweep it all under the rug and put up a tree! I wanted to share with you one of my projects from the week. I was graced with a bursting case FULL with Stella and Dot jewels to style and arrange to my heart's content. Now, there are a few wee things that I love as much as I love paper; jewellery and clothes are among them. Anyone who knows me in person, can attest to my M.O; "Why wear one necklace when you can wear 9?!" - literally, sometimes! Layering is so much fun, with long beaded strands and gold bits and bobbles! Enjoy this eye candy with me - I'm sure some of you are picking out Christmas party gowns, mini black numbers; an array of garments begging to be adorned with jewels! Tis the season! Have a safe and fun weekend of PARTAY! Cheers!
Need I point out the exciting fact that it's December!? What busyness ensues as soon as that calendar page does it's little dance to the front of the line! Highberry Dew Studio has been going a little wild and crazy lately and we have mixed up a flurry of a collection of cottages! Yes cottages! Introducing the 'Cardi-Town Christmas Village'! Last year, for Aiden's first Christmas, I pledged to create one cottage per year to add to his Cardi-Town ('Cardi', standing for the fact that he is a 'Cardigan' Welsh Corgi - of course!). Let's be honest, AA Bug doesn't give two toots about his Cardi-Town (in fact, he can't even see it he is so short!), but he knows we love him, and I get THE biggest thrill out of setting it up each year! Now you can WIN one of the Cardi-Town Cottages! My good friend Tam, busy lady and event planner extraordinaire, is doing her annual Advent Calendar via her blog. From today until December 25th, each new day will unfold with a give-away over at Blue Lily! This is just thrilling! That many chances to win a special gift item, a discount on a service, a free downloadable tid-bit of clip art, etc... Watch Blue Lily' Blog for the mini 'Cardi-Town Christmas Cottage' give-away from Highberry Dew (moi!) within the next week! I poured love in to this little home, and it's waiting to be claimed by it's owner (perhaps given a spot on the mantle!?). Accompanying your Cottage, the winner will also receive a 12-pack of my 'Winter Love' gift tags with jute twine attached. Tam will gracefully walk you through the process of entering each give-away - easy breezy! Enjoy this week of 'gifting' and best of luck to you all! XO
Living in a winter wonderland....well, INDOORS at least! Here on the west coast, we don't see much snow and are rarely graced with a true, 'White Christmas' - so sometimes it needs to be created indoors! I LOVE all shades of white and have painted our living area in three different whites, Farrow and Ball's 'Off White' on the wall that receives the most light, 'Clunch' on the shadowed wall, and 'Pointing' for the fireplace and trim. This collage of whites creates a harmony and a balance that you wouldn't necessarily be able to put a finger on at first glance, but, as with many paint colours, that feeling is just THERE to be a subtle yet important backdrop to life. This life is wild and full enough, that in our home we like a mild and soothing backdrop of white! This week is no exception as we celebrate hubby's Birthday, my Highberry Dew feature on Wedding Chicks (WOOOOOOT), an epic night with a live piping band in the confines of a cozy Irish Pub and now a house full of precious friends. It's amid the inspiring presence of 5 other creative souls that I write, photograph and catch up with all of you fine friends on line.....while around me there is a bustle of latte' making, novel writing, philosophizing, hair cutting (!), contest-entering, and food preparation - each person with their skill and the art of fine tuning it! Happy Weekend all!
Remember this odd, plastic garage sale find? Kinda ugly, right!? Below you will find that this young Buck has received a new lease on life. Isn't he dreamy?
Who doesn't love a pop of colour!?! I just love the sporty, vibrant new collection from my talented friend, Eliza Faulkner!
Let me share with you a little fun I got up to this summer! Here is a dwelling with a LOT of love in it - a home that was hand built by it's owners on a hillside overlooking one of this Island's prized bays! When this beautiful family came to me with questions about updating their interior, we got right down to the fun of it and began sourcing what was needed to turn this space upside down - in the best possible way! What was desired was a look that was a tad rustic Southwest, with touches of European poise and grandeur. We wanted to convey an organic, hand-made feeling to compliment the reclaimed materials and hands-on approach to the home's construction... and we REALLY wanted to make that giant orange thing fade away! With transformations that included the refinishing of the 'orange thing' (enter the Black Beauty of an entertainment unit that is now both a statement and a stunning focal point to the room), we overlooked no corner! A custom Highberry Dew console table was designed and built especially for the space using reclaimed timbers (ok, it was a chicken barn!), and a set of antlers from a friend of the family, became an on-trend ornament for a bright corner. The lamp, repurposed from an existing lamp in the room, had an HD re-fit, using an antique bed post for a chunky and proportional new lighting experience - with an over-sized 'finial' atop it! The most fun was had in selecting the collections of accessories; from mirrored bird trays, to vintage books, bone-handled magnifying glasses and the stunning chandelier from Pottery Barn. On one shopping excursion, my client and collaborator, came out of a 'used' store, having just bought two GIANT dressers... not for the room we were working on (and not in the 'plan') - but a GRAND choice in the end...for the BEDROOM!. I couldn't deny that they were in need of a serious refinish job, and I promised to tackle them with everything I had - sandpaper, stripper, a hoe and a rake, white paint, dark wax, and finally, a coat of clear wax. As my client knew, when you see sturdy older furniture pieces (especially with such great hardware) it's wise to not pass them up! With many items being re-incorporated in to the room by means of re-design, this was truly a 'green' project! What now overlooks that Bay, is a cozy and welcoming family area, where patinad wood, dark accents and gilded mirrors are the friendly reminders of days spent brainstorming and designing together! Pura Vida!
A 'before' and 'after' of the 'Bed Post' lamp! To meet my friend and fellow junker Mike, from whom I acquired this bed post (and many other treasures)....have a look here! When I finished viewing this episode, I felt pretty privilaged to have pried ANYTHING from his personal collection!
The Details: Products by Highberry Dew Home: Antler Tray, Console Table, Ground Cherry Garland, Oil Painting/Art, Mounted Antlers, Tag, Bed Post Lamp, Twig Bundle, 'The Little Men' Ottoman. PAINT: Entertainment Unit: "Off Black" by Farrow and Ball Dressers: "Acadian White" by Benjamin Moore Wax: Annie Sloan As you know by now, Erika, of Element Photography, and I work very closely together on an array of collaborations! Thanks to this multi-talented lady for her images of this home!
Recently, a friend posted to Facebook; "Finish this sentence: 'The best feeling in the worlds is...'" Of course I said, " Preparing for Christmas; decor, cards, baking, designing" and amid the other enthusiastic responses were; "nostalgia", "crisp, clean sheets", "knowing you're needed" and "hugging my mother"! I love this type of joint, thought-stirring activity....the gift of sharing our true and real lives! I think it says to one another, "hey, we're all real people, all figuring life out together!" I think I'm addicted to Christmas Spirit because of all these 'best feelings' - that's what Christmas is about; from nostalgia to clean sheets! Yesterday was certainly a day of 'best feelings' as I adventured through the kitschy and wonderful world of Antique and Retro Christmas Fair Vendors with my dear friend and side-kick, missed one ferry and managed to almost miss another (we were talking, ok!), and lunched by the seaside. Then, just to throw that perfect topper on an already trimmed tree, we managed to end it all with a scrounge in the ditch for some freshly fallen White Pine boughs (thank you to the kind man who let us load up the Station Wagon!). Now, with wee vintage trinkets in hand for gifts, boughs for dressing the house and a warmed heart, I bid you all goodnight... BUT...I'm dying to hear of your 'Best Feelings'! Do leave me a comment, for I love the feeling of finding feed-back. It's almost as addictive as alliteration!
What a fun season of trades and collaborations it's been! For me, a favourite thing is finding someone with a special handmade product or talent that resonates with me. Often, those of us who make items with love and care are bumped together by the Universe and end up becoming fast friends! Such is the case with my friend Jody in Victoria. Her company is Jody's Natural Bath & Body Products - a line of stunningly delicious smelling natural soaps, body butters and lip balms made with conscience-clear ingredients like shea butter, Sunflower oil, and natural fragrances. Though Jody and I only met at the Mikone sale this summer, we kept in contact and have now made a way to share with each other, our specially made products. Jody came to me looking for my Winter Love Christmas tags as she designed her Holiday gift baskets for seasonal fairs and markets. It just seemed natural to trade some swoon-worthy soaps for the little sets of tags she required! And let me tell you, people...it was like Christmas, waiting for that fragranced little box to arrive in the mail - So thrilling! Now that my soaps are here, the house smells of fresh citrus, cloves and vanilla bean ( I KNOW, right?!). After skipping home from the mailbox, I joked to hubby over breaky, that I wanted to crumble little bits of vanilla bean soap on to my oatmeal - it smells divinely edible!! Thank you Jody!
I will leave you with this glimpse in to the festive 'happenings' on my art table. Have I mentioned that Christmas makes my heart go pitter patter?!!?
It's Autumn in full swing! That, in our household, is official when we pull on our wellies and head for the mossy trails in search of Chanterelle mushrooms. And the season is good! This year, as I tromp the forest floor, I am noticing the lichens that are so lush in hue right now - and I'm lagging terribly behind as I stop to collect the fallen ones! They can't help but capture your eye as you wander - they are that perfect green/aqua....somewhere between sea-foam and creamy jadeite. The undersides can be a rich mottle of black and cream and look like PERFECTION! These little riches, when paired with certain other small plants, bring a teeny forest-scene to the table along with a nice dose of that to-swoon-for-green for a centrepiece that is mini and magical! Stay tuned for their appearance INside of doors! For now, the 'fallen ones' lie drying by the fire - all the while retaining that lush colour.....which is the very thing I love about them! For an artist who has been a self-proclaimed lover of all things man-made....this nature thing sure has me going!! Here is some 'lichen green inspiration' - enjoy my new obsession with me!
'Collage wall' photo cred: ohhellofriendblog.com