Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mermaid Magic

This is an advertisement I've had in a journal for ages - I don't remember what it's advertising but I love it.

Cute vintage ceramic mermaids.  There's a shop on Etsy that has some of these for sale and her pictures are so nice you have to check it out.  I didn't ask her so I won't show them here but go to to see.

This is a mermaid purse I have for sale in my Etsy shop.   It's a vintage purse I had for ages and always called 'the mermaid purse' so one day I decided to paint a mermaid on it (complete with bubbles).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Saving Bottles and Jars

Believe it or not, Houston has only been accepting glass for curb-side recycling for a few months.  Since glass lasts in the landfill for a million years (approximately), we have thought about uses for empty jars and bottles A LOT.  Other than putting everything in your kitchen in jars, here are a few ideas:

These decorated bottles are meant to be party favors.  Inside the sheet music could be a fortune or inspiring quote.  We're really big on inspiring quotes.

Baby food jars are wonderful for so many things!  Put a bit of sand and a tea light in the bottom and suspend with wire.  We put them in all the trees for outdoor parties.  Magical!

If you're a little more handy with tools you can buy hanging lamp kits and drill holes in jar lids to make a canning jar light fixture.  Find the old blue jars on Etsy to make it really special.

I don't know what I would actually use these for buy who cares?  They're just lovely and slightly mysterious.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We Love Maximalism

Babylon Sisters are Maximalists!  What with constantly searching for treasures for our Etsy shop, I guess we can't help but be.  We definitely have gypsy souls!  Here is a girl after our own hearts - the fabulous Magnolia Pearl.  Her book "A Bit of Velvet and a Dash of Lace" isn't just visually gorgeous, it's also very readable.  Unlike many decorating books, she really has something to say and ideas to share.

Now, I realize that she has people searching the world for the most incredible textiles but I still think her style is do-able with what you can find in your own thrift stores and flea markets close to home.  If your home happens to be Paris, well, you might have a slight advantage over some of us.

It's all about using what you have and what you can rescue, recycle, reuse - all of those R words we love...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things Used for Other Things

This is such a great idea!  These toothbrush holders are common at thrift stores - and usually too small to hold toothbrushes.  Rescue odd shakers (I have a whole little collection - I always feel sorry for them!).  Put little single flowers or greenery in them and group together.  Saved from the landfill and so creative!

Love this!  Really useful idea for a studio space - not just for inspirational pictures but what about fabric?  If you have it out in view you're more likely to use it.  Vintage wallpaper samples, bits of lace trim, collage papers...

I know this is kind of obvious but I was at the Goodwill the other day and saw so many odd pieces of clear vintage glassware.  One of those things I didn't buy because I couldn't think of what to do with it.  Well, here it is!

A really useful and decorative idea for a lovely old tray.  I notice that they have it leaning against the wall rather than hanging.  I have tried this a few times and couldn't find any glue that would hold a hanger on the back.  Maybe Gorilla glue?  I don't know but I like leaning - leaning is good.

O.K., I know it's summer in Texas and we don't have a lot of rubber boot issues, but isn't this so inventive?  Those little rock things are at the dollar store - probably the tray too.  Too cute!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Summer Rooms


This is such a light and airy room and totally vintage.  Never overlook old wicker chairs if they're still strong.  A good cleaning in the sun and some white paint work wonders.  Love the bits of vintage fabric on these - you don't need big expensive pieces - just mix and match your favorites.

Collect pretty pottery and old jars from thrift stores or Etsy and add lots of shells and beach finds (FREE - my absolute favorite price!).

Hippie chic at the cottage.  Again, the white paint is key!  Personalize each child's bed instead of matchy-matchy.  Add a few fun accents and that's it.  You can find darling banners on Etsy or make your own.  This peace sign version is perfect for the kids room and might even work.

A single bed on the sun porch is perfect for lazy summer days.  This corner is so inviting for reading and lounging during the day and who doesn't need an extra bed for guests in the summer? 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Loving Chalkboard Paint

I love chalkboard paint.  Writing on the walls - what could be better?  Buy a can and I guarantee you'll find great uses for it.  Here are just a few:

The kitchen is a good place to start with your chalkboard painting. Paint a door for grocery lists, etc.. I painted the end of my bottom kitchen cupboards - a perfect place for little people to do art while you're cooking.

The funky framed chalkboard is always cool.  Paint an old thrift store frame a great color.  Cut a piece of thin board to fit for the chalkboard or paint over the canvas that was already there but only if it was truly awful.  Don't paint over a lost masterpiece!

This studio was featured in the latest issue of "Cloth-Paper-Scissors Studios" and is just so inspiring!  I don't know if I have the nerve to Sharpie all my kitchen cupboards but isn't it great in a studio?  After seeing this, I just happened to find a bunch of stick-on chalkboard wall decals at Urban Outfitters for only $2.99 so that's going to be my version.  I'll show you when it's done...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Interior Alchemy Inspiration

I thought I would begin by inspiring you with a decorating book that continually inspires me. "Interior Alchemy" by Rebecca Purcell is gorgeous, brilliant and a bunch of junk. I mean that in the best possible way. All of her fabulous looks are achievable with things from thrift stores, flea markets, dumpsters,  etc. - seriously! This is saving THINGS from the landfill at it's most stylish.

BUT, and this is a big but - the book is really expensive from Amazon and really hard to find. That being said, I have seen it at a thrift store (once) and my copy is an old library copy so it is POSSIBLE to get it cheap. You know we love a challenge...


The future requires us to understand the life cycle of the things we buy and the impact of what we put in landfills. There is no such thing as throwing things away. There is no away.

This blog is about all of the things Babylon Sisters don't throw away.

We will feature fantastic decorating ideas, fabulous things to make and far-flung ideas and inspiration.

Welcome and please follow us on our quest for a beautiful and sustainable life!