Yikes! Comments Not Working – Giveaway Suspended

Wow what a Big Fat Blog FAIL! A really nice gift certificate giveaway is posted here, and … proverbial crickets. Silent treatment! I felt so bad. I was ready to go get off the “internets”! There are other things to do in life, offline, and surely I’d adjust. Eventually. Sniff.

Turns out, the comments weren’t working! I don’t know why. Maybe it’s related to the recent move to a new blog name and URL. I didn’t get email notice of comments, and they didn’t show in the dashboard either. Tests showed you could submit a comment, and it didn’t go anywhere.

So the giveaway is suspended until this is fixed.*

I’m sorry if you spent time reading the contest entry and commenting. You’ll see the giveaway relaunched soon and I hope you try again then.

I really loathe posting pics of myself here so to make up for this, here’s a selfie of my very best “oh shit” sheepish look!


So yeah … first and hopefully only selfie.

If you’d like to visit something of substance here instead, over my shoulder are the results of a few cool DIYs:

*Okay … we’ve upgraded to Comment Luv here and it’s working! I’ll re-run the contest soon …

You’ve Made an Impression

Things I’ve really liked lately have raised patterns or impressions.

Like these plates via Kuş Kafesiwhich if I’m interpreting right, is a store in Turkey:

Cluster of Plates via Kus Kafesi

And that’s a cluster of round things on a wall, a concept which has been strangely stalking me all year and obviously I haven’t shaken free of it yet. Here’s a cluster of round things on a wall I spotted just last week at a hotel. Just minding my business, walking past elevators, and there’s the round things stalking again.

So back to impressions and raised patterns. These are beads by Macropulloss:

Beads by Macropulloss

A Hamsa collection, which I think is in El Fenn riad in Marrakech because I recognize that wall. Wierd thing to recognize, huh? That happens when you’ve spent too much time on Pinterest looking at global design pictures!

Hamsa Collection

This hamsa collection is inspiring me to find a shape that’s meaningful to me and make it in concrete in various sizes with raised or impressed patterns on it. To make my own little wall collection. Concrete is pretty easy to work with once you have a form to make the shape you want. Maybe you’ll see that here in a future post!

How about this raised pattern sconce? It was featured in Domino and originally from Wisteria:

Raised Pattern Sconce from Wisteria

And, gorgeous hamam soap. Via Vachtvilten aan de Vecht (where it appears you can learn to make the soaps?):

Hamam Soaps

I’m even experimenting lately with raised stenciling. See this DIY stencil project I recently did for Paint and Pattern online design magazine. The theme this month was Italy, so I made wall art panels inspired by Italian terra cotta pots:

Wall Art Like Aged Terra Cotta Pots

They were painted with acrylic paints and Chalk Paint from Annie Sloan in various colors, and I used a product called Wood Icing to create the raised pattern. If you are liking the idea of raised patterns, you can use stencils and Wood Icing to easily create them.

I’ll definitely be doing more raised stencil pattern projects – already have a few ideas!

Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market Now Sells Online

It used to be, to meet folk artists from 60 countries and buy their wares at the biggest folk art market in the world, you had to go to Santa Fe for a few days in July. No complaints about that! I almost went this year. Through Airbnb, I had found a little casita with its own traditional blue entry door on Canyon Road, much more affordable than a hotel. But life got busy and I did not go. I wanted to go because the folk art market looks like the most joyous and creative collection of things made by people to share their cultures. I had wanted to meet the people.

International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe

Selling at the market is a way to bring economic benefits back to entire communities. The sales help villages build schools for children and shelters for women, and they sustain families. People can earn more in a weekend in Santa Fe than they can earn all year in their countries. To come to Santa Fe, some artists take their first trip ever on an airplane, or their first trip outside their country. I am definitely penciling in July 2015′s folk art market on my calendar!

But meanwhile, now you can shop online with the International Folk Art Market. As I wear a lot of black, I noticed this Warli scarf made in India. The design is inspired by centuries-old Warli murals in Gujarat:


Patterns on Warli Scarf

Drums like this Djembe drum from Nigeria are working drums, but also decorative and can be useful functional little side tables next to chairs or sofas. Years ago, back in 2011, I posted about a South Indian drum we use in our living room as a little table between two chairs. You can do the same with this:

Djembe Drum from Nigeria

Are these not the most unique earrings! They’re made of silver and carved gourd. Now I’ve seen a lot of gourd crafts over the years, but nothing like this. They’re made in Peru and they combine Inca, Colonial, Modern and Baroque styles and jewelry techniques:

Earrings Made in Peru with Carved Gourd

These cuff bracelets are made from recycled PVC. They are handmade by the Ovahimba people from the Kunene region of Namibia. They cut the PCV piping into the shape of the bracelet, etch the design into the plastic, and add a patina or natural dye to color the bracelets.


This is just a sampling of what’s available at the International Folk Art Market’s online shop, and I’m sure it will grow over time as the Santa Fe market has.


Stenciled Moleskine Travel Journal

I almost didn’t post this because it’s so fast and easy. Does it really count as a blog-worthy DIY? Then I thought, maybe fast and easy is exactly what should be shared. Because a lot of my DIYs take some time. Time is hard to get sometimes. It’s not like we can buy more of it at a store. Sometimes you want the “fast food” equivalent of a DIY. An easy, fast and fulfilling project. So here it is … a stenciled Moleskine travel journal:

DIY Stenciled Moleskine Travel Journal

Now a travel journal doesn’t have to be a Moleskine. You can do this is to any kind of a journal book. If the journal has a smooth cover, it’s easier to paint. I happened to be at a Barnes & Noble buying this “Marrakech Select” book and saw the blue Moleskine, and the blue made me think of Moroccan tiles, and it looked good with the Marrakech book. And there you go. Money flying out my pocket.

I’m filling this journal with notes for a trip to Morocco in November. So the Starry Moroccan Night stencil from Royal Design Studio was perfect for its cover.

Stenciling a Moleskin Journal

TIP: If you have big wall stencils, you don’t have to paint them only on big things! 

Maybe you have a wall stencil sitting around after painting a wall, and you’re not sure what to do with it now? You can use a small part of the stencil, creatively positioned, on anything, really. I’ve used big wall stencils to paint patterns on small Christmas ornaments. As you can see here for this journal cover, I used only a small part of the Starry Night stencil. That’s okay!

Stencil Creme in Peacock Fancy Blue

The paint is Peacock Fancy Stencil Creme, a paint made for stenciling by Royal Design Studio. I’m a contributor to their online design magazine, Paint and Pattern, so I use a lot of their products and love how every project turns out, even when I’m trying something for the first time.

The paint has a shimmery sheen and it really dresses up the Moleskine. I love the sophisticated blue on blue.

Stenciling a Moleskine Journal

Once I gathered the supplies from around the house, this took 2 minutes to set up and paint! So super fast and easy.

Then I decided to paint the edges of the paper gold. It took longer to find the gold paint than to actually paint the paper.

Gilding Paper Edges Gold

I just ran a brush along the edges of the paper, while holding the covers away so I didn’t slop gold paint on the covers. Some paint did get on the inside front and back pages. That looked like a mistake. So I ran lines of paint real casually and feathery along all the edges so it all looks intentional.

Gold Gilded Paper Edges

Feathery Gold Paint

Gold Page Edges in Journal

The Moroccan trip is a “Paint & Play” retreat with Melanie of Royal Design Studio and about 10 other people interested in travel and painting, so a painted journal seemed perfect to prep for the trip!

Stenciled Moleskine Travel Journal

Shared at:

PinkWhen DIY Sunday Showcase | SNAP!

Same Blog, New Name

After 4 years of blogging, the focus here has inevitably shifted. Instead of talking only of an apartment in India, this blog has become about design inspiration around the entire world. I’ve traveled to many places and I love mixing design styles from different cultures together! (Scandinavian + Indian for instance.)

This new name is just catching up with content here, so not much else will change. So then, why even bother with a new name? Well, a few reasons:

1. I think my blog name made some people feel uncomfortable.

People don’t know what a “pied-à-terre” is! It’s human nature to avoid what we don’t know or don’t understand. Plus, we’re all busy. Who wants to waste time? So just seeing a blog name, we make assumptions about what’s there before we click. Will it interest us? Is it relevant for us? What happens if people don’t know what a blog’s name means?

On the other hand, I know some people felt an affinity with the name and it drew them to this blog. Obviously I chose the name, so I felt a connection to it. But for the reasons shared today, I’ve had many second thoughts.

2. People don’t know how to say “pied-à-terre.” Even I mispronounced by own blog name!

I went to the Haven conference last year saying the name of my own blog wrong! Because everyone asked, how do you say that? Continue reading

Decorating with DIY Pedestal Tables

In the last post, I shared that you can take a pile of wood discs and a tall candlestick, and turn them into cute little pedestal side tables.

DIY Pedestal Table

But where might you use such a little pedestal table? Once I did that project, I started to see similar tiny pedestal tables all over online. Funny how that happens. Somehow, seeing something opens your eyes and you see it all over the place! I’ve learned there may be no more truly original ideas left on this planet. Here’s a few similar side tables …

These were featured in Traditional Home. Not DIY, but they show how they can be used as a design element. Because I’m not sure how else you would use these other than for a cup of tea:

Little Side Tables by Banquette via Traditional Home

Here’s a hot red little number at The Lily Pad Cottage. She painted it an OPI color, yes, like the color of OPI nail polish:

Red Side Table at The Lily Pad Cottage

In addition to candlesticks, you can also make these little tables with tall lamp bases. Here are some tables made with vintage brass lamp bases, from a company called Ladies & Gentlemen.  It looks like wood discs were used to make the top, as I did with my table:

Side Tables made from vintage brass lamp bases via Ladies and Gentlemen

Here’s another lamp base turned into a pedestal table, but with a picture frame on top. This was made by the Richmond Thrifter for $5.50!

Lamp base and picture frame DIY'd into a pedestal table by the Richmond Thrifter blog

I’m not sure what she put in the tabletop – it looks like either fabric or scrapbook paper and you could do either to get a touch of pattern and color. Cute idea.

Top of DIY Pedestal Table made by Richmond Thrifter blog

The Richmond Thrifter also shared the Anthropologie table below which looks similar to her DIY’d table, but for $298 retail! Now I think you can easily make this table for under $29.80, including a tall candlestick or lamp frame (thrift it or get it on sale), pieces of wood and a picture frame.

Buy or DIY

Here’s a pedestal table from Safavieh for about $225. Seriously. DIY it or BUY it? If you DIY it, you can afford to buy a lamp to put on the table.

Savafieh Pedestal Table

I should start a new series here called “DIY it or BUY it!” It’s true that some DIY projects are so much time and trouble or they require pricey specialty tools, that you might as well BUY it. But I can tell you a pedestal table like this is so easy to make. All you need to build it is wood glue or E6000 glue, really. If you’re not standing on the table, you don’t even need screws. But you certainly can add screws or nails for extra strength and security. Then, paint the table. It’s an afternoon project, if even that long! I stenciled and gold foiled my table so it took more time. But if you’re giving it a single color of paint – so super easy. This is the kind of project where the final result looks like more than the sum of its parts.

You can even add a larger top on to a DIY table to make it more practical to use. Like you can actually fit more than a coffee mug on it. Infarrantly Creative shared this cute DIY candlestick table with a larger top:

From Candlestick to Pedestal Table via Infarrantly Creative

This next example from Pearle’s Rosebuds shows the “before” and how you should keep your eyes open while thrifting for shapes. Look beyond the color and the pattern. Look for the potential of what things could be, not what they are at the moment. Because with some paint, they could become totally different looking, like this DIY pedestal table she made:

DIY Pedestal Table Made by Pearl's Rosebuds blog

So? Have I convinced you to try this? Making my table was so fun, I might have to make another one!


A Pile of Wood Discs & A Candlestick, Transformed

It started with this:

Pile of Discs and a Tall Candlestick

Then they became this:

How to Build a Small Side Table

And before too long, with the magic of paint and stencils and some gold metal leaf foil, they became this:

Painted Stenciled Side Table

It’s my latest DIY project for Paint and Pattern blogzine – hop on over there to see all the “how to do it” details and photos of the process!

I’m often blogging in our family room where there isn’t anywhere convenient to set a drink while sitting on the sofa. So I made this little table as the perfect place for the job.

Little Side Table Made from a Tall Candlestick

If you, too, need a little spot to set drinks or a snack, check out how to build this little side table with some wood discs you can find in a craft or home improvement store and a tall candlestick. It’s super easy to do!