Dreaming of Tents

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tent featured in The Bride's Guide

The time has come to rent our tent for the fair, however these tents are not available in the Midwest {sadly}. We're smitten "by boutique tents"! It is going to be hard to rent a plain white one after seeing these. We do line our interiors with fabric so that does help...........somewhat!

Raj Tents

We have also discovered these lovely wooden pole tents on the East Coast, Sperry Tents.
Pictures did not transfer over well, but make sure you check this family owned company.

Have a lovel-y day,


Pure Inspiration

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This magazine, Uppercase Journal or should we call it a "magazine book", is the inspiration of Janine Vangool. This magazine is on our radar and we need to subscribe today. More in detail here about the magazine and what it entails. It is based out of Canada and Janice of Papier Valise writes more about it here. {she shows you what treats are inside, we love the shears card} Papier Valise is another one of our daily reads, amazing talent, unusual projects, one of the best blogs out there.

We spy shears suspended in anthropologie's catalog. We love the fabric bolts and the visual goodies in this photo. Of course the dress forms are just smashing. Does anyone out there collect these catalogs? We do! They are like magazines to us, we can't bear to part with them.

What magazine or catalogs inspire you?

Cosmetic Surgery

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ok, you thought we took the plunge! Well, after stepping foot into Sephora on Monday we realized none of those anti- this & that products would help Kara's 34- year -old issues. Cosmetic surgery is on the expensive side, so she went and picked up a slice of cheesecake and that solved her problems.

This dresser above does need some cosmetic surgery. Badly. New knobs, paint job, exfoliation, a tuck here and there with wood putty, you get the picture. Now for the famous question......What color?
A delicious cream
A Swedish grey
A yummy_________ {you fill in the blank.}

*this is going in our master bedroom..........walls are farrow and ball's pink ground, i cut the paint with glaze and joint compound. so it's a lot lighter.

*jill elaine offered to help me, really, help me? remember i think i have serious issues of indecisiveness {kara}, we might get it painted and will need to repaint as i like so many paint colors. i have a serious addiction to paint colors, i collect paint chips. i'm the lady that stands in front of the paint chip selection with my mouth hanging open. you would think i was picking out ice cream. paint colors are yumm-y!

Swan & Shears

Monday, July 27, 2009

For quite a while we have been wanting to change our blog name. We still need to do more work on the blog, but baby steps! Swan & Shears is a name that sums us up, we like a little fuss plus in our lives there is a lot of flurry behind the scenes.

Kara headed into K mart to get a medley of baby supplies and trucked it while cuz Sara was in the car watching her kidlets. Kara can fly around stores -must be from all the gift show experience, keep moving and you'll find it! Kara checked online for those "tacky garden swans" and lo and behold 50 years later they are still manufactured in US of A--. Kara flew to the garden area and there they were perched on the top shelf {good thing she's 5'10"} grabbed the two left! {highly doubt they were top sellers} No, she didn't get plastic flowers to tuck in them!

Actually we wouldn't put these in our garden, but for display purposes "Amen"! Oh, the possibilities running around in our little heads. More on projects for those at a later date we want you to digest the thought that we just purchased these plastic swans!

Kara didn't have a cart and when the checkout girl saw her coming with those swans perched in her arms, she blinked a couple of times and we knew the thought running through her head, "you've got to be kidding me"!

Actually, you never know Anthropologie wouldn't bat an eye at using these for a visual display in their stores. You also know our affection for flamingos and a year or so ago Ralph Lauren did a flamingo display in one of their NYC stores. See we are not that wierd!

Have a little fuss and a lot of flurry this week.........

Kara + Darcy

a summer-y weekend to you

Saturday, July 25, 2009

pictures from summer 2007............peeking back.............

Nie Nie won the Madsen Cycle

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nie Nie & her family
{Pic from her blog}
Nie Nie of the lovely blog The Nie Nie Dialogues
survived a plane crash {along with her husband}
She tells her story on her blog about raising children, her home, her accident, cupcakes & more.
& she WON one of the 3 Madsen cycles given away!
We love her blog......
Congrats Nie Nie!

Love your readers,
Kara + Darcy

Curious Shops & Two Gals

Thursday, July 16, 2009

{Bon store sign, pic from Patch NYC}

We spotted these two gals in a booth in NYC and really didn't talk to them just noticed their smashing-ly cute business card and we knew their shop is on our list of places to go. Tuscon, Arizona is calling our name. We really haven't seen a lot of press {puzzling as it looks like magazine material} on this shop, another write up in this newspaper is spotted here.

{Interior of Bon, pic by A Fanciful Twist}

Vanessa, an artist writes a delightful article on this shop in her blog. This is the only place besides Patch NYC, that we spotted pics and a lovely write up of this shop. It's a mother/daughter team, who are highly creative judging by their work in the few pics we have found. Bonnie {mom} & daughter {Crystal} formed a partnership, Crystal hails from the well known Anthropologie in SoHo, as she did a stint there in the visual display department. Enough said this store is on our list of places to visit.........it looks that good! It should with a name like Bon!

Another shop we have yet to see in the press is Fleur de lis {no website} in Modesto, California. Ruth or as some call her "Ruthie" is another high energy, very creative shop owner. She has owned this shop for over 20 years. She has moved the shop to her current location in the last 7 or 8 years. She has a devoted clientele, her events are always packed out and her visual displays will knock your socks off.

The store is detailed and tons of fresh plants are mixed in. {San Francisco flower market is 1.5 hrs away} Kara started shopping there after she got married and still to this day all her purchases made there are still with her, it's that great! We highly recommend if you are visiting the bay area to take a drive to the Central Valley and make a stop. Darcy & I always have her shop on our list when we visit........promise you won't be disappointed.

Lovely, fresh displays.
Check out the ribbon cupboard, tucked in the corner........she is known for her ribbon selection.

At a little over 1,000 square feet, she has never expanded. She is just amazingly good at making her shop crammed full like the ones in Europe. {She does go on buying trips to France, has been going there for a long time} Floor to ceiling, it's filled with treasures. Why is it that our favorite shops are small and have never swelled to thousands of square feet.....must be something to this, small is good!

Now on to shop girls at heart!

{Barbara at a farmer's market with her beautiful daughter, Arabella}

Barbara lives in Ohio & hails from California..........{she was a shop girl for Ruthie at Fleur de lis} Here is her lovely blog, Joyful Living.
She'll be helping us out at this year's Country Living Fair. She is a very talented gal, helping her mom, Doris behind the scenes with her Etsy shop, Dogwood Designs.
Here is a list of what inspires her:

What I love:
My Lord & Savior
My family & friends

What I enjoy:
Vintage linens, ribbons, paper
Mixing old, new, vintage & used together
Estate sales, flea markets, really any sales
Bringing nature indoors-flowers, branches, leaves....
Balancing the deor in our home to reflect a beautiful and cozy, but a real life home.

She also enjoys cooking, trying new recipes and using fresh ingredients.........

Barbara has two small children and is expecting another in December, she is a lovely mother and has a good eye for all things beautiful! We're blessed to know her as a customer & friend.

Amber lives in Indiana and is opening her own shop this fall........find more about her upcoming shop, Damask Designs here!

She is also helping us out at the fair this year! {should we tell these girls it's like boot camp, shhhh, we'll keep that under our hat}

Here is the oh-so-wonderful details on me & my little shop.....

I am a busy mama to two....
& I'm currently enchanted with vintage & French finds
Quaint little shops & little bits of everyday life
I love to daydream, design & created {with whatever I have}
Damask Designs is an accumulation of my interests
It is a little "occasional shop" {open certain times of the year} selling all things "vintage & vogue". Tucked in the shop will be antique letterpress stationary, vintage finds & little indulgences, to make you & your days more delightful.

Best wishes to you Amber as you start your journey as a shop owner.

Darcy & I have known Amber as a customer and just recently met her in person, what a delight. We can't wait to come to your shop.......

Thank you to both of these sweeties for putting up with us!!!

Kara + Darcy

Under the Weather......

kara woke up with a dreaded sinus headache, uugh.....why oh, why are there headaches?

post on curious shops and our petite interview with the gals that are helping us at Country Living Fair will be tomorrow. sorry, kara can't be creative right now and Darcy left this morning from Kansas. so, hope to be on schedule soon.

see you tomorrow with coffee in hand.........


Baby Package

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We found these lovely eco-friendly food boxes. They are not the typical tacky styrofoam, instead the box has a simple, cream-y texture. The texture resembles linen. These were purchased at a bulk food/paper store, we have Gordon Foods in our area. We purchased these for gifts and for some of our kits we sell. {these would also be a great idea for a picnic in a box party!}
We filled the box with our natural paper shred and then laid 3 pieces of tissue paper, that we pleated and left the ends stick out {on the sides} after we closed the box. We wrapped ribbon around the box in two places, the tissue ends then are kept in place with the ribbon.
Top it off with a petite bouquet of fleurs, a bag of hair ribbons and vintage style barrettes and a banner printed from your computer. Secure banner in place with a corsage pin.

Since it's summer take fresh fruits and sweet corn along with the gift for the parents to enjoy.

Special thoughts for others and time out of your busy day = lots of appreciation!

Enjoy your day!

A Grey Kitchen

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A grey kitchen, let's peek inside! Homeowner went from an out-dated kitchen with white metal cabinets to a kitchen of English design in which she was inspired by English Home magazine. She collaborated with a very talented kitchen cabinet maker that "understood" & got it when she told him she wasn't into a kitchen that looked too "new". The house is early 1900's and the kitchen needs to fit with the architecture. Many people shuddered at the idea of her grey cabinets, but after it was all said and done, the color is a winner. {homeowner wanted grey cabinets for a very long time}The kitchen was completely gutted and the cabinet maker was talented enough to be the contractor for the entire kitchen. From start to finish, he was there to the end!

The homeowner is always cooking & baking, as they eat out very little and cooking good food for her family part is of her life. Take notice, on one of the days we were there she was baking a batch of Pioneer Woman's cookies. She needed a hardworking kitchen.............
Antique marble slab, check salvage warehouses. A white Bella Cucina bowl. Marble slab is on a vintage mercantile cabinet, used as an island. Heavy duty fitted with 4 drawers on one side. The design was made with a unique locking system so drawer will not sag when pulling out. Believe it was from Knollenberg Department Store in Richmond, Indiana from the fabric area. A steal at $800.00, see also picture on down of cabinet.
Vent over stove top. Notice the detailing at top, this matches the windows on the outside of the house, which have this exact detailing over the windows.
Upper cabinets soar to the 9 ft ceiling......
There are 3 cabinets to give the look of "furniture" in the kitchen. This is one of a pair, they sit left and right across the kitchen facing each other. They are installed with glass front and the glass is "bubbl-y" and wavy to look old. They are fitted with stationary keys for the knobs.
The 3rd cabinet is underneath the sink. It is "bumped" out from the surrounding cabinets to appear like furniture. This cabinet again is fitted with false keys for knobs. {When we say false keys we mean keys that don't work, they are used for knobs only} All keys & keyholes by Gerber Hinge Company.
Reclaimed wood flooring, again keeping with the details of an older home. See that lovely pull on the dishwasher front? The pull was found antiquing and had layers of white paint on it. The homeowner removed the paint to reveal a beautiful brass patina.
The homeowner wanted top quality appliances and chose the induction Wolf cook top with 5 burners. No, she didn't choose the large industrial stove by Wolf, as she was more comfortable with the simple cook top. This cook top fitted her needs for the technology and the "look" she was going for. Cookware by Le Creuset.
Stove area....
Our favorite design idea for a functional kitchen is to have very little cupboards below. The homeowner was tired of digging for her things and requested many lower drawers. At first the contractor was a little concerned about this, but in the end he realized that this is a must for any kitchen. Even if you are tall or short lower drawers make it easy on you, saving time and keeping things organized. There are two cupboards below which were needed to fit the design as drawers were not able to be placed everywhere. One of the cupboards does have a light in it which lights up upon opening, this is for the deep corner cupboard.
Detailing of corbel, simple & timeless.
This unit house the oven and check out what's behind the doors above the stove..........
Her microwave! This is straight from a British kitchen. The "doors" are actually a panel that pulls out and slides in above the microwave. Right below the microwave slides out a flat drawer-like panel for hot dishes out of the microwave. The dishes can cool while she does other things......
Favorite things hanging from hooks that came from an old church. {In bake center}
What's behind the two sets of doors in the middle?
Those panels are waiting for these darling vintage "push" plagues. {Handy man needed here}
We held them up for you to have a "looky"! Ok, let's see what's behind those doors........
The most darling baking area!
The lovely pull again. {our favorite}
Petite pull chain light in the baking center..........
Now, this we love Rohl faucet.......beautiful, hardworking, heavy duty and oh, that finish!
View of island......
Another view..........
Notice the wood knobs, the homeowner told us that she would've never thought to pick those, even though many of the British kitchens featured have these. This was recommended by her cabinet maker, he told her that with so many drawers this would keep everything from not looking too "busy". The knobs are painted the same color as the cabinets. The homeowner said they are very easy to clean, no grooves and nothing to polish. Sometimes simple is good.
The cabinets are slightly sanded to show wood color beneath. The cabinets have an aged look with just the right amount of dents in them.

The colors of her kitchen are by Sherwin-Williams
Cabinets: Mindful, the perfect grey, not too dark really we think it is a warmer grey. The color is not shocking and in some ways is a neutral.
Walls: Sea Oats, a lovely cream
Countertop: {vintage marble on island} Caesar Stone

Next week: We'll show you a wide angle shot of kitchen. Homeowner wants to finish the curtains, and it's a cute idea!

What's your top pick that you would like to add to your kitchen? Do you have certain stove, brand of cabinets, or favorite color that is on your wish list for your kitchen?

Thanks for peeking!

Monday: A Stitch in Time.......

Monday, July 13, 2009

& just in time for Country Living Fair 2009!
Since our theme will have a haberdashery flair to it we have found products that will perch just fine in our tent. French sewing products and beautiful ribbon.....love the pins they are
like the old ones, with a ball at the end instead of the normal "loop" that way fabric doesn't get "caught"! These items will be available on our website after the show.

Another company we have found hails from one of our favorite places, Berkeley, California and has fun sewing bits. We have been on the look out for beautiful packaging and all of these products fit our aesthetic. We attended a show that opened a whole new world for us. We love thinking and finding things that are "out of our normal box", but fit the bill just the same!

Since sewing has come out of the woodwork and taken the country by a creative storm we give thanks to people like Amy Butler, French General and other fabric designers. We love this theme across our nation: the DIY projects & Etsy . It's giving this idea to people everywhere "I can do this"! Bravo! Yippee!
Here is a creative blog for today that we want to pass on.........A Field Journal

In Stitches,
Kara + Darcy

Daily Posts

Saturday, July 11, 2009

{Next week: come in & have a seat}

Monday: A Stitch in Time {preview of habadashery items available at our tent CL fair 2009}
Tuesday: A Gray {or is it Grey?} Kitchen
Wednesday: Package for Baby
Thursday: Curious Shops that we don't see in the press, but should be. Also, featuring two gals that will help us out for the CL fair. They are both shop girls at heart!
Friday: Our favorite outside plants.

Also, if any of you have a submission of something that you would like featured let us know!
Drop us a line www.mcmasterandstorm@embarqmail.com

Yes, Please!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I promise to stick darcy in the cargo holder with
my two kids.
{that way we share if I win!}