dark and lovely from melissa loves

| handmade

Hello lovely roost readers!
So happy & honored to help out over here a little bit while Bonnie is away. I thought I would get some dark & lovely things together to share with all of you. Bonnie asked for things handmade & as that is one of my favorite things, it was an easy request. :) Some of my favorite things on etsy right now….aren’t they beautiful?

melissa loves

~ gorgeous earrings here via creature comforts

~ ring here

~ lovely necklace here

~ sweet patent oxfords here

~ gorgeous suzani ( can’t get enough of these right now) here

~ beautiful top here

you can find melissa sharing beautiful finds on melissa loves every day!

Oktoberfest by Miss Malaprop

| lifestyle

Last year around this time I had the chance to participate in my first Oktoberfest. Now, I’m not a big beer drinker (or much of a beer drinker at all actually – give me cider or wine any day), but many of my friends are, and who doesn’t love the chance to dance around to silly polka music, do the chicken dance and eat food on a stick?

1st row  1: Beer Keg Mug by violetsandgrace 2: Bavarian Yodeling Shorts by zwzzy 3: Seasoned Bread Sticks by YummyAffair

2nd row 4: Oktoberfest Pretzel Earrings by OliveandGold 5: Lederhosen Costume for Dogs by YoungUrbanPuppy 6: I Love You in Germany Travel Print by lisabarbero

Oktoberfest in Germany is one of the biggest festivals in the world, but our New Orleans version draws a pretty big crowd as well. (New Orleanians love any excuse for a party!) Deutsches-Haus, an organization formed in 1928 to serve the large German population here, has been hosting a popular Oktoberfest celebration for many years now. New Orleans was once famous as a hotbed of beer brewing, thanks to our German immigrant population, and beer brewing is actually on the rise again here, with local craft brewers popping up left and right.

1st row 1: Vintage Oktoberfest Beer Mug Boot by BlueRoseRetro 2: Fine Art Europe Photography by johnbragg 3: Mustache Pint Glasses by BreadandBadger
2nd row 4: NOLA Beer Soap Gift Set by SweetOliveSoapWorks 5: you need a beer stencil folk art sign by artbymags! 6: Vintage Mens Yodeler Hat by ZellesBOWtique

Last year, our friends Gwen and Brian invited us to join them at Oktoberfest. In retrospect, what turned out to be a fun night of drinking, dancing and eating, is sort of bittersweet. Gwen & Brian moved to Portland earlier this year, and this year’s Oktoberfest at Deutsches-Haus will be the last in their historic location. (Deutsches-Haus is being forced to relocate due to a large hospital complex that is being built in that area.) Nevertheless, this time of year will always bring to mind great memories. I’d love to travel to Germany someday to experience the ultimate Oktoberfest. What about you? Have you been to Oktoberfest, whether in Germany or a local celebration?
You can find Mallory discovering indie finds for your uncommon life at Miss Malaprop every day!

Soft cuddle finds by Imaginative Bloom

| handmade

Good morning GHTR readers! Bonnie has been so kind to invite me to guest post on her beautiful blog. So here I am, happy and honored to share with you a bit of what I love as I usually do on Imaginative Bloom to support the best handmade, indie artists and little brands.

Today I’ve some soft finds from three lovely creative women.
The first are called “abrazacortinas” and are by Mariadiamantes from Spain. I particularly loved the original idea to create little and cute characters that embrace curtains.
Mariadiamantes is also on flickr and facebook.

The second image is about a little selection of pillows by Jamtartbaby from Canada, found on etsy. I’m in love with the colors and the illustrations created by this artist!

My last image shows some works by Contemori, an Italian girl who loves to sew stuffed things. Each one of her creations are always funny (and I secretely love all the paper clouds and drops she often use as background on her photos!).
Find Contemori on facebook too.

Hope you enjoyed my little selection :)
Much love,

You can find Imaginative Bloom on facebook, flickr and twitter, too!

Concentration, Creativity, and a Different Kind of Disconnection

| lifestyle


We don’t know where our ideas come from – but we know they don’t come from our laptops.
John Cleese

When my husband quit his job at the end of August, I had a misguided belief that I would be able to concentrate full-time on creating the business I dared to dream about. I would write prolifically, connect with power brokers, advocate for a movement towards creative living & mindful spending, and generally do great things with my time & energy because I could concentrate.

But concentration isn’t very good for creativity.

If you‚ are racing around all day, ticking things off a list, looking at your watch, making phone calls and generally just keeping all the balls in the air, you are not going to have any creative ideas.
— John Cleese

Concentration – even focused, productive work – doesn’t push us, it doesn’t make us more confident, it doesn’t stretch our ideas and play with our minds. It kind of shuts us down.

Last week, I had a bit of a breakthrough: I will not be creative & influential & wealthy & prolific sitting in front of my laptop for 12 hours a day.

Creativity requires a kind of “oasis” as Mr. Cleese puts it.

My creative oasis is an evening walk. Immediately after Lola goes to bed, I download the latest Fresh Air podcast, don a pair of shoes fit for a 20 minute walk, and exit through the front door. My iPhone connects me to a greater world as my feet connect with the uneven sidewalks.

When I come home, I don’t reach for my laptop again. I reach for a stack of Moleskines that hold rough drafts and notes. I might draft 3 posts from ideas that struck me during my walk. I’ll finish them off in the morning when my mind is again fresh. Or they may just sit and wait for when they’re needed.

We spend so much time wishing & hoping for more time, more concentration, a more conscious approach to what we want to create. But I’m with John Cleese, part of my work – in fact, the part that creates the most meaningful results – requires shutting down, creating space, freeing yourself from the demands productivity. It requires sleep. It requires selfcare.

These are the things I absolutely must prioritize to be as creative as possible (read: successful & satisfied).

Bold creativity – the kind that great ideas come from – requires work that doesn’t feel so much like work: the acceptance that beautiful things come from a place that we can’t control.

If I want to truly increase my influence & output, it’s time to honor my creativity oasis. I hope you will too.


Tara Gentile empowers you to live more creatively and challenges you to change the world with your money on Scoutie Girl. Take her free 8-part mini course of creating more action in your life.

SeeSaw Seventies Style

| vintage finds

Hello gorgeous Roosters! It’s Nancy here from Wolf and Willow, stopping by with a little vintage goodness whilst Bonnie is moving house. Apart from the endless enjoyment I get from browsing through Etsy’s handmade goods, I just love that you can shop for craft supplies and vintage too. It’s heaven for lovers of all three, like me! Here’s a little collection of seventies-style homewares from one of my favourite vintage sellers, SeeSaw Vintage. I love the geometric patterns and the cute retro color schemes, like tangerine, olive and goldenrod, which are so quintessential of that era. It reminds me of laminex table tops, wood grain wallpaper, and summer parties with those brightly-colored cocktail onions and cheese squares. Pretty groovy, don’t you think?

Nancy x

Design Inspiration – Cottage Gardens

| organic gardening

Hello!  I came across this amazing cottage garden and just had to share the photos with you all.  I thought these would be wonderfully inspirational for those of us who love the cottage garden look…which is all about creating layers of bloom and foliage.

Cottage gardens can very easily become messy and overgrown.  Avoid this by choosing a unified color palette, using larger shrubs to create structure and by practicing good pruning, deadheading and dividing practices. I have to be honest – cottage gardens are hard to successfully design.  They can take years of playing with plant combinations, color and structure.  If you are a fan of this look I highly recommend spending a good amount of time critically looking at inspiration photos.  Take the gardens apart and see what makes them successful.

Hardscaping makes a huge difference in cottage garden design.  Incorporating trellises, benches, arbors, fences and pathways brings focus and structure to the garden, and can help contain the rambunctious nature of the plants!

This photograph shows some of the garden’s structural accents.  Statuary, a large arbor, the fence in the back of the garden, even the mature evergreens and trees – they all contribute to the garden structure.  Also notice the placement of the statue in front of the arbor, tying the two garden beds together.

Do you notice that large ball of light in the far left corner of the picture? See how it balances out the white of the statue while drawing the eye to that corner of the garden?  Here’s a close up of what’s going on over there…

This planting incorporates two of my favorite plants, the peony and the ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ variegated willow.  The ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ deserves a place in all gardens that have the room for it...great color, structure and texture.

This is just dreamy…give me a hammock, some lemonade and a good book and I’ll happily spend many an afternoon in this backyard!

All photos from http://www.edelbrandbrennerei.at/page8.php

Decorating with Vintage Maps

| home decor

As you know from Bonnie’s previous posts she’s been busy packing up to move to Colorado Springs! So I’m stopping by today with an easy decorating idea that I’ve noticed popping up here and there in the blogosphere over the last few years. In honor of Bonnie’s move, the idea centers around vintage maps. With a little research I found some examples that I’ve shown below.

{making it pretty and functional}

Having maps and globes around the home are particularly great if you have small kids – this can be the start of some early geography lessons and will likely get them interested in learning what life is like in the rest of the world. I know when I was little I always loved looking at maps and imagining the trips I might take and the people I might meet some day.

{New York Times with photos by Tom Cenicol}


If this decorating idea is right up your alley, Ebay is a great place to find vintage maps. And of course you’ll find some great ones on Etsy too, including this one below from Etsy shop Banana Strudel.

I’ve moved around a fair bit over the years, so I know it can be really exciting but also tough as you settle in from place to place. Bonnie, I hope your travels over the next while are enjoyable and that you meet many lovely new people!

Lovely Clusters

| home decor

Hello Lovely Readers! My name is Rachel and I blog over at Lovely Clusters. Its great to be here today to guest post on Bonnie’s gorgeous blog. :)

I am so happy for Bonnie and her husband taking the big move to Colorado! Since they will have to redecorate their new place I decided to post some lovely home decor. Most of us know how much of a pain it is to move but there are some fun parts too! For example hanging artwork and rearranging furniture is always exciting for me. Another great thing about unpacking is that I always end up going through old books and photo albums that I haven’t looked at in awhile. It’s nice to go down memory lane once in awhile.

Often times when I move into a new place I like to peruse the local thrift shop for some affordable finds or make/sew something to fill the empty spots. If I was moving into a new place I would probabbly be picking up some of these goodies.

Lovely Clusters

Row 1: carlossantiago, mooseandbird
Row 2: tftvintagehome, hulagypsyvintage
Row 3: FQMercantile, lottahelleberg
(all etsy shops)

All items + more can also be found on the Lovely Clusters Gallery HERE>>

What are some of your favorite parts about moving?