Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween...

Can't wait to see the costumes this year... Have a wonderful Halloween weekend!


Had to share this adorable 1st birthday party invite I ran across the other day on the Happiness Is blog. Not sure how well this would work in reality, as the packages would have to be hand delivered in a matter of hours, but a cute idea none the less...

What is the most creative invite you've sent?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preppy Weekend Bag- Take 2

I was obsessed with the preppy weekend bag I posted the other day. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my credit card out fast enough before it had sold, so I scoured Etsy last night for some other cool weekend bags. Here are a few of my favs...

The Weekender- Leather Tote, Scout & Catalouge

60s Plaid Doctor Bag, Marie's Vintage

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm a big fan of Halloween. When else can you dress up like someone else for the night? I tend to fall in the old school camp, more "Psycho" and "The Birds" vs. "Scary Movie". For parties, I skip the crepe paper and plastic plates and instead choose vintage items that have an inherently creepy feel to them.

Here's some of my favorite Halloween inspiration...
Specimen jars are easy to make. Grab some canisters and fill with your favorite treats. A lot of sites, like Martha Stewart Living have fantastic labels you can download.
I love adding bugs, mice,  rats and spiders to Halloween buffets. It adds to the creepiness factor. Just make sure not to add too many. I once baked a cake and covered the whole thing in flies. Needless to say no one touched it!
I tried this for a party a few years ago, it was a huge hit and didn't take a lot of time. Look for a cabbage that looks like a brain and cut down a fennel bulb to look like a heart. Grab some cool containers and some blue and red food dye and you're set.
(All previous images courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)

Here are a few ideas if you're short on time...
Crepe Paper Wreath
(Image courtesy of Country Living)
Glue Gun Spider Webs
(Image courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)
Carve or paint a pumpkin
 (Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping)
Other ideas...
1. Grab some white sheets at your local thrift store and cover all your furniture. Buy a ton of pillar candles and set them around the room for an eerie glow. Best of all no worries about spills or wax on your furniture.
2. Get some cheese cloth, shred and hang from the ceiling. Dip in tea first for an aged look.
3. Scour eBay for some black china and containers to add to your buffet. 
4. Pick a dark color scheme. Set out a plate of plums, grapes, blackberries, pears, etc. 

Here's my 15 minute vintage Halloween display using plants and items from previous years...
What's your favorite part of Halloween?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


With Halloween just around the corner, I'm dreaming of ORANGE... 

(Images (left to right): 1984 Cover Print- Monster Gallery on Etsy; Balloons-; Manchester Bus Print- Tea & Ceremony on Etsy; Field Notes-; Keep Calm Print- Keep Calm Shop on Etsy; Orange Bike Shirt- One Gear Co on Etsy; Orange Bouquet- pinned by Ivy Chen on Pinterest; Simple pinned by Katie Schmidt on Pinterest; Orange Dress-; Orange Mood- Pensiero, Flickr; Schultz Pretzels- French By Design on Etsy; Blood Orange Tart- thedabble, Flickr; Orange Slices-; Twiggy- Pinned by Adrienne Bellet on Pinterest; Helvetica Poster- pinned by Keith Ehurlich on Pinterest; Orange Rotary Phone- pinned by Adrienne Bellet on Pinterest)

What's your favorite orange item?

Monday, October 25, 2010


(Image courtesy of Ethanollie)
I'm officially obsessed with this awesome preppy weekend bag from Trampoline. It combines two things I love bold stripes and sturdy canvas.


(Image pinned by Dana from YellowTrace Blog on Pinterest)
And the winner of the first Octavia & Brown giveaway is Paola. Congratulations!

Thank you everyone for your comments. I plan on doing another giveaway soon, so be sure to check back!

(Paola- Send me an email with your shipping address and I'll send these off to you:

Friday, October 22, 2010


I think the Color Theory class I'm taking has inspired me to tackle some changes to my blog that I've been contemplating for awhile. While this is only an small, interim step (still working on some bigger changes), I'm happy with the way it turned out. Let me know what you think!

For you storage junkies out there, I found an amazing blog yesterday on Pinterest that made my organized heart go all aflutter. (Side note: Pinterest is an social community where people can "pin up" their favorite inspirational images. Be sure to check it out.) Storage and Glee is a treasure trove of creative storage solutions from around the world.

(All images courtesy of Storage and Glee; pinned by Andrea Grafmiller on Pinterest)

Now to grab a much needed second cup of tea... Any fun plans for the weekend?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

John Robshaw...

After seeing John Robshaw speak at an Apartment Therapy offline Meet-up, I've been obsessed with his bedding and textiles. All of his fabrics are hand block-printed by artisans in India. What comes out are beautiful patterns that range in colors from a chalky gray and deep midnight blue to the most amazing pinks and orangey reds. Irregularities in the pattern are not frowned upon, but instead are encouraged as a mark of hand printing.
(Images courtesy of John Robshaw)
Unfortunately, his decorative pillows are a little out of my price range, so I found another solution. I bought one of his bedroom pillow cases, wrapped it around an extra pillow and added it to my couch. I think it works pretty well and if I decide to change the pillows in my living room later, I can always use it back on my bed.
What do you think?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Equestrian Style

My third blog post is up on iVillage: Blue Ribbon Decor. Growing up I fell in love with the bright colors, worn-in leather and the uber polished look seen at steeple chase races and polo matches. With a crisp breeze in the air, I can't wait to make Hendrick's gin and tonic and snuggle under a cozy plaid throw.
Check out more inspiration and the rest of the post here.

Here are some of my fav equestrian finds on Octavia & Brown...
Copper Wire Tumblers
 Metal Horse Salt and Pepper Shakers

Bakelite 3-Tier Tray

*****Don't forget to check out the free Octavia & Brown giveaway this week! I'm giving away a pair of awesome black glass urns, just in time for the holidays! Just leave a comment here about how you would use them to entertain over the holidays. I will be selecting a random winner on October 25th. Good luck!**** 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Spy...

As a girl on the go, I always have my camera stashed in my purse. You never know when a not-to-be-missed photo op will arise. When, I first spied these cute (and lightweight) sunglass and camera pouches online I was in heaven.
Unfortunately, in my rush, I forgot to note the source. I searched high and low for them again and was resigned to the fact that this cute camera case wasn't meant to be mine. While shopping in LA, I stumbled across a just as cool version by Thomas Paul.
The sunglasses case was really cute too!
I also love this one by Jonathan Adler... Yay! 

*****Don't forget to check out the free Octavia & Brown giveaway this week! I'm giving away a pair of awesome black glass urns, just in time for the holidays! Just leave a comment here about how you would use them to entertain over the holidays. I will be selecting a random winner on October 25th. Good luck!****

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Giveaway Time...

With holiday parties just around the corner and to get your entertaining arsenal in order, I'm giving away a pair of black glass urns from Octavia & Brown.

To win these gorgeous urns, simply leave a comment telling me how you might use them for entertaining, or just around your home during the Holidays.

I will select a random winner on Sunday night (October 25th, 6pm EST) and mail these out to you on Monday morning.

Can't wait to hear your ideas. Good luck!

(Please only enter once. No purchase from Octavia & Brown is necessary to win. Thanks!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Friday

Wow, it's been a whirlwind week at Octavia & Brown. I've gotten back from a great trip to SF and LA having collected tons of inspiration along the way,  gotten all of the boxes in and started to photograph all of my new vintage finds from Alameda Antiques by the Bay and Rose Bowl Flea Market and my first blog posts have gone up on iVillage! (If you haven't seen them, check them out here and here).

I'd love to sit back and enjoy some couch time this weekend, but with a good friend in town, I'm off to enjoy some great NYC fall weather. 

Have a wonderful weekend...

*My "Happy Friday" was created using Click here to create your own note.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DIY Fall Market Bouquets...

Yesterday, I ventured over to the Union Square Greenmarket with a friend. I haven't been to this market in ages, but fall seemed like the very best time to go with the crisp apples, yummy pies and gorgeous end-of-season flowers, I was in heaven.
I picked up some bright zinnias and gomphrena at the market. Little clusters of messy, free form flowers are always my favorite for placing on my desk or coffee table.

Here are a few tricks I've picked up through the years about quickly assembling cute farmer's market clusters...
Picking a container is key. Look for something interesting, but also big enough to hold the flowers you choose. In this case, I used all glass vases but I tried to vary the shape and size to add more interest.  Ceramic vases, clay pots, a silver tumbler, even a squash can make an interesting container.
While mixing different types of flowers is always fun, if I have flowers (like zinnias) that already vary in color, I usually try to color block them instead. In this case, I pulled all the like colors together: oranges and reds in one group with pinks and purples in another.
Next, I create a bouquet in my hand, grouping the blooms together the way I want them. Then I hold them next to the vase to determine what height I should cut them. (Note: When you're ready to cut the stems, make sure to cut them on a diagonal, this allows the flowers to absorb the most water).

The key to interesting bouquets is varying the heights and textures. Once I plop all the flowers in a vase, I tend to remove individual stems moving and cutting them down until I achieve the look I want.
Finally sit back and enjoy your beautiful blooms!


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