About Me

My photo
I was motivated to start a blog by reading all the wonderful talented individual's who have blogs out there. So, I want to make this blog about everyone who reads it. My family and God always comes first in my life. I want to share my experiences and in turn, hope to get feedback and ideas from you. I love unique things, I adore anything that sparkles (not over the top though) I love decorating, cooking, gardening, photography and shopping. My number one passion is photography! To me it becomes more than a picture, it can become a piece of art, or a beautiful memory. Decorating, though I am not a professional, and don't claim to be, has been a part of my life since I was very young, and just love searching and shopping for new ideas and incorporate the old, such as Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency with contemporary. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, and being of Hispanic heritage, I love cooking Mexican food, and love to share my authentic recipes. Though I live in Florida, my heart is in the desert southwest, and hope that my family and I will return there very soon…keep your fingers crossed that my prayers are answered SOON!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Colors of our lives...

Pantone announced a short time ago their colors for fall 2010, as we know; Pantone is the color authority for anything in the design world, from our fashion designers, colors we use in our homes and all the way to the new nail polishes for the season. They hit right on with stating that turquoise would be the color of the year for 2010. We've seen turquoise everywhere, in our home decor stores, clothing, luggage, handbags, and again in the beautiful tropical turquoise nail colors from Chanel to OPI and beyond. No matter what your decor in your own home is, a little splash of turquoise whether in an accent lamp, throw pillow, or a vase adds that special warmth of the tropics or the southwest dessert. For me, I have always had a "thing" for the desert southwest. Though for years, my home's decor was authentic southwest . A couple of years ago, I changed to what some of my friends call a "little eclectic", because it is mostly Hollywood Regency/Mid Century Modern with vintage Hawaiian. My Lanai however remains totally southwest, from those pieces we've collected through our years of living there and our travels to the desert. It seems with the new fall colors from Pantone, I already have a few of their colors incorporated into my home. From the Woodbine, Chocolate Truffle and Endive, with a hint of the Lagoon (for me, is a calming tropical color). If you look around your home, you might have these colors also. Now that fall has officially arrived, and the holidays are just around the corner, some of us like to punch things up a little, for me, this is the perfect opportunity to add even more of the beautiful colors in my home, just to make small changes so when family and friends come to holiday parties or just for a nice visit, it's a little different from last year. I have mentioned it before, but I am totally addicted to Home Goods, and try to go there several times a week, there you can find some of the most beautiful and often unique pieces for your home at an unbelievable low price. I thought it would be fun to also include with the new fall 2010 color chart, some of the colors from the last several decades...brings back those memories, doesn't it.

Pantone's colors for fall 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Color Splash...

I'm an amateur photographer with a professionals heart. I don't leave home without my camera. My wonderful husband bought me my Nikon D60 SLR Digital Camera the Christmas before last. Since then, I've bought a variety of lenses, programs, filters, etc. I haven't put it down since. My family and friends call me the "local paparazzi". Living here in Florida, I try to get to the beach at least once a week for beach shots, each sunset is uniquely different. Or to areas such as Ybor City to take pictures of all beautiful old buildings, tile, and landscaping. I've been doing a lot of macro photography throughout the summer, it is a whole different world. Though SLR digital cameras take some awesome pictures, it's always fun to use different programs to enhance or change the photo. Two of my favorite that I use are Photoshop and Corel. But, there are so many online free photo editing packages. There are several that I use frequently, and one of my favorite is http://www.picnik.com/. This program has hundreds of great features you can use to do just about anything to your photos. It's quick easy and fun to create. The photos here are called "color splash". I chose several that are very basic, just to give an idea of what this feature does. It's taking one of your photographs, changing it to either sepia or black and white and coloring in the original color of the photo of your choice. It's just like being a kid and coloring within the lines. You can color splash as much as you like, or keep it to just one area.

Step 1 Hit the "get started" button

Step 2 On the left side of page hit "upload photo"

Step 3 Click on the photo you want to color splash

Step 4 Pick the "create" tab at the top of the page

Step 5 On the left side under the "home" button hit "effects"

Step 6 Select either the "black and white" or "sepia" tab, this will change your photo to either the black and white or sepia.

Step 7 A box will appear that says "effect painting", here is where you determine the size of the paint brush you wish to use and the strength of the color splash. Just run the circle brush with your mouse over the desired area. You will need to experiment until you get the desired effect. I would suggest you use small strokes so if a mistake is made you can just hit the undo button and it won't erase all your previous work. Once you have finished your photo, just hit the "save and share" and "apply" tab and save it to wherever you wish on your computer.

Let your imagination go wild, and enjoy!!!

Sepia with the color splash effect

Sepia - life guard shack on Lido Beach, Sarasota, FL

Black and White - Indian Rocks Beach

Black and White - Dragon Fly backyard

Black and White - Butterfly backyard

Sepia - Clearwater Beach, FL

Sepia - Fountain at the Don Cesar, St. Petersburg Beach

Sepia - My sweet daughter, Lido Beach, Sarasota, FL

Black and White - Life guard shake, Lido Beach, Sarasota, Florida

Black and White - St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, FL

Black and White - Bamboo in my back yard

Sepia - Flowers back yard

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hawaiian Heirloom & Tropical Jewelry...

Most of the pictures here are from a wonderful Hawaiian Jewelry Store called Na Hoku. They are located on much of the Hawaiian Islands and here on the Mainland, such as the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, here in Florida (which is me and my daughter's favorite mall)...

A little history of Hawaiian Heirloom jewelry...

In 1860, Lydia Paki, the future Queen Liliu'okalani adorns what is to be the first "Hawaiian Bracelet." Enameled on this bracelet are the Hawaiian Words, Hoomanao Mau, "Always Remember" together with each of the symbols enameled on either side of the name, the bracelet she wears the rest of her long life carries a prayer.

In 1893, Queen Liliu'okalani presented a gold enameled bracelet to Zoe Atkinson, headmistress at Pohukaina Girls School. The inscription on the bracelet read "Aloha Oe" (Farewell Thee") and Liliu'okalani Jan. 5, 1903". The inscription proved to be prophetical: Just days later the Queen was forced to abdicate her thrown and the Hawaiian Monarchy had come to a sudden end. Atkinson, who was an active socialite and the event coordinator for the Queen herself, became the envy of many young ladies, who then asked their mothers for engraved bracelets of their own. However, the young girls requested from their mother that their name be placed on the bracelets instead of the phrase "Aloha Oe" and it was here that "Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry" was born.

1894-1955, with growing popularity the hand engraved cottage jewelry industry grew strong in Hawaii. The local exotic flowers and leaves blended well with the traditional Old English scrolling and Hawaiian jewelry was reinvented to include these local elements.

Mother of Pearl Inlay and Diamond Bird-of-Paradise Earrings
Fresh Water Pearls Flexible Bracelet
Pink Mother-of-Pearl Inlay Palm Tree Ring
Rose Gold Pink Mother-of-Pearl Inlay with Diamonds
Pink Mother-of-Pearl and Diamond Rose Gold Bracelet
Plumeria and Diamond Necklace
Plumeria and Diamond

I have this necklace and I love it
From Na Hoku
Diamond Palm Earrings
Hawaiian Heirloom Bangle
Hawaiian Heirloom Ring
Hawaiian Heirloom Bangle

I brought back a bracelet almost exactly as this one from Maui a few years ago. All handmade detailed diamond cuts of Plumeria and Maile leafs. It is one of my favorite pieces...just beautiful and full of wonderful memories of our vacation.
Kahea Earrings with Queen Emma Scroll with Black Enamel
Hawaiian Heirloom Ring with Diamond Cut Hibiscus

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heat it up...

Beautiful, relaxing and cozy fire-pits

Glass fire-pit, hot and cool

Love this fire-pit and with Diamond Head in the background, perfect!
Just simple and elegant

Simple but yet so pretty
Perfect for a nice family gathering

Love the view


Over looking the Pacific Ocean

High in the Western Mountains

One style of a Molinillo and a yummy picture of the wonderful hot Mexican chocolate.

Ibarra Mexican Chocolate is made in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. In English it means "table chocolate". It is flavored from cacoa nibs (cocoa bean), almond and cinnamon. One way to prepare it and I found to be the best is to add:

1 quart of whole milk
10 ounces Ibarra chocolate (the chocolate is shaped in little wedges)

Bring milk to a boil, reduce the heat, add the chocolate, and use a Molinillo (Spanish for "little mill"), between the palms of your hands and and make a twisting type motion until the chocolate becomes frothy. If you are really brave, you can add a pinch of chili powder, or if it's really cold out a little vanilla rum or vodka. I prefer it simple and with maybe a little whipped cream on top. Sit back in front of a nice fireplace or fire-pit and enjoy!

OK...for you lucky people out there that actually has cool weather, and fall is in the air...this is for you and for us living in Florida or other areas of the country that it still feels like summer, hope to follow soon!
One of my family's favorite things to do in the last fall and winter is sit in our back yard in front of a warm fire-pit and roast marshmallows and sip on some hot Mexican chocolate, and yes, watch the swaying of the palm trees blowing in the cool breeze. So, I've attached a few of my favorite pictures of fire-pits, and a recipe of some of the greatest hot chocolate there is. Once you try it, you may not be able to go back to just plain hot cocoa or chocolate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A little Sparkle...

A small list of the colors of available crystals.

These square shaped vases are an easy shape to adhere crystals.

Swarovski Elements is a wonderful area in which you can let your imagination go wild. With the holidays fast approaching, and yes, they will be here before we know. I just wanted to show a few ideas on what someone can make as gifts and wrap for those unexpected guests or have in a basket at your front door for parting gifts after a cocktail party, etc., or just for yourself! All it takes is your wonderful imagination and these beautiful Swarovski Crystals, you can purchase in bulk, and a little two-part epoxy glue. The ones me and my daughter have are flat back foil crystals. They will adhere to almost anything with the proper epoxy. We both have Havaianas flip-flops with crystals, and they cost less than $35 to make, but are online and in stores for 3-times that amount, and they are so adorable, and never stop sparkling, even after walking along the sandy beaches here in Florida. Currently, we are taking one of the square glass vases that I've included a picture of and making a very simple design on it with marker and adhering the crystals to them, when the candle is placed inside and lit, it is beautiful, the crystals sparkle like diamonds. I have also included a sheet of some of their crystal colors, the website for Swarovski Elements, and a few ideas I have found online. When my daughter and I got to the mall, we always make sure we go into Swarovski and look at their beautiful line of jewelry, it may not be diamonds, but it sparkles like them. Have fun creating...