Sometimes all we need is a cozy place to escape to – for just a little while. A quiet corner with some squishy pillows and a good book or magazine to read can be just what the mind and spirit needs. A sweet escape. As a kid I remember ducking into my blanket fort with a few stuffed animals, a stack of books, paper and crayons. When everything was arranged just so, my sister and I would happily spend hours reading and playing. (My lucky mom!) These days little ones still love this. And, by the way, so do us grown-ups – although our forts are a little dressier.
Small hide-aways offer so much room for decorating creativity. Simply styled or richly layered with fabric and objects, each claimed corner can become your very own. Even if it’s just a corner of the sofa. A beautiful pillow, a great little end table with just enough room for a reading lamp and your cup of tea, maybe a footstool. It’s all yours.
For today, however, we’re doing a long, luxurious window seat vignette with my newest print draped on either side. I adore my mornings and the chance to sip coffee, journal and sketch. This would be the perfect spot. Just as nice would be to curl up in the evening, Lower the shades, draw the drape, turn on the light and continue reading The Starless Sea (one of my 5 faves for this month – link below).
THE PRINT INSPIRATION
The inspiration for this print came from a pre-Covid trip I took to Tucson to visit my mom and sisters. My sis and I went down to the San Xavier del Bac Mission and as we listened to the wonderful docent talk about the mission’s history and architecture I was captivated by her description of the different meanings behind the scallop shell and how it is linked to Saint James. I really should have written them down.
Alas, to the web I went to research this much used symbol in Spanish design. I landed on a site about the Camino de Santiago where this special shell plays a big role. The Camino is on my list of things to do when I go back to Spain and I will certainly bring home a scallop shell necklace, but for now, I will interpret this classic symbol in a brand new way.
I start with a water color (this is one of many) that will be worked into the lovely pattern.
These first paintings or sketches get reworked a little or sometimes a lot or sometimes just get tossed. But I liked where this one was going so it got to stay pretty much as is. The rest of the process is just playing and experimenting with scale, pattern and color. Color being the toughest part. Then based on the feature print, I’ll create one or more complementary designs to go with it. (coming soon ) I like having options for layering fabric patterns in the vignettes that come with each design. It can take a few tries to get the textures, colors and scale all down but it’s well worth it when the finished fabric arrives!
As always, I’m filling in the vignette with other special things that I love. My small original oils (now available on the site) rest beneath gorgeous reading lights by Ralph Lauren.
On the floor within reaching distance and filled with books and mags is a basket from the amazing Baba Tree. So organic and unusual.
Some other design favorites that I painted in are woven wood shades which I love to layer with drapes. Kilim rugs are also one of my go-tos for instant texture and color. For the bench cushion I’m using a stain repellent linen solid by Libeco – the same company I use for my printed fabrics. They make a great pairing with pretty much all of my designs.
A few special treatments to a well loved space can help you create your own blanket fort. Take a visit to my Pinterest page Nooks (only visible for this month) for more cozy ideas!
Keep happy at home and all my best,
My 5 faves for the month.
1. Book: Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. The Night Circus is amazing too!
2. Drink: Better Than Bulletproof Coffee – This is pretty labor intensive but oh so worth it!!!
3. Eats: Easy, easy, easy backyard company chicken! And so yummy! Thanks Ina!
4. Scent: Kai candles. Just lovely.
5. Music: I’ve just been introduced to the YouTube videos by Teddy Swims. Such an amazing voice!