the palette project

i saw sofia coppola's marie antoinette a couple years ago and was really struck by it. i was especially interested when i heard coppola talk about the colors for the film. she worked closely with the art director and cinematographer on a color palette that they kept consistently through the film's design and filming. coppola collected pictures and small objects that stayed within the candy-colored palette she envisioned for the film, and greatly minimized the blacks and browns on screen. i had a greater appreciation as i watched the film a second time, and felt that their use of color was a powerful part of that film.
i am a list maker and collector, so to me, the thought of collecting objects or pictures based on color makes sense. it also sounds really fun and inspiring. i have been further inspired to start my own palette project after reading this article (which also provided the love images in today's post) from martha stewart living. the article talks about a few different ways to find color inspiration--and how to find your own color palette for anything, from your wardrobe to a room to a brunch menu or bouquet.

i have started to pay more attention to colors i love, and have started to collect them. i have a file folder and folder on my computer dedicated purely to color. i'm excited to see how paying more attention to the colors i love--and hopefully finding some trends--might affect the design of our home and my life as a whole. for instance, is it a coincidence that both of the images on today's post feature some variation of a primary color palette? right now i find i am very drawn to dark yellow, light blue, and red or dark pink (sometimes light pink, too). gray is still one of my favorites, too, especially paired with more lively colors like yellow or shades of pink.
how do you find colors you love? do you consciously try to create color palettes for projects, your wardrobe, or your home, or does color just happen? what is your favorite color or color combination this spring?


suitcase love.

i love this suitcase toy box. brilliant.

it led me to these:

and reminded me of these:

land of nod
my kids love suitcases, especially lulu. she loves to pack her bags and "go on a trip" to grandma's house.


bike love.

b showed me this site last night and we couldn't get enough of the bikes. we watched the slideshow for a while, mesmerized, trying to pick which bike we would like to call our own.

there are many beautiful bikes coming out lately, but the dutch beauty above (the biggest picture) is our favorite. a bike like that just adds romance to the daydream lately i've had where the freeways are filled with bikes and pedestrians instead of cars and trucks. i'm not against cars or anything, i just like the image of that wide expanse of concrete, so noisy and fast, filled with colorful bikes and people, out and about in the fresh spring air.


lemon cupcakes

i admit upfront that this photograph probably does not look delicious, but i can say the cupcakes were. the problem with the look of the frosting came from buying my cake decorating kit from IKEA. i did get my money's worth--i was able to frost more beautifully for a while--but on saturday i gave up on the decorative tips and just frosted from the bag, resulting in these pat-of-butter lumps on top of each cupcake. but next time i will invest more, for sure.

anyway, saturday afternoon rolled around and i was ready to bake something. about a week ago a friend gave me a lemon cupcake from trophy, and it was delicious. so lemony. so fluffy. i wanted to recreate the lemony joy for my family. and i happened to have half a dozen lemons in the fridge. how's that for destiny?
i found a recipe, tried a new gluten-free flour mix, and tried another recipe for the frosting. the results: tangy, lemony cupcake goodness.

lemon cupcakes.

* 3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising), or 3/4 cup GF flour of your choice

* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (i used more, to taste)

* 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

* 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (i used more, to taste)

* 2 large eggs

preheat oven to 350° F. and line four 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk in 2 teaspoons zest.in another bowl with a fork blend butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon juice until smooth. with a wooden spoon beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until smooth. stir butter mixture into flour mixture until batter is combined well.

spoon into cupcake pan. bake until cupcakes spring back, about 12 minutes for mini cupcakes and 18 minutes for regular cupcakes.

cool completely and frost.

lemon buttercream frosting.

* 1 cup butter, softened

* 3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

* 1 lemon, juice and zest of

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional--i didn't want the competing flavors)

* 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional--i didn't miss it)

Mix the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until smooth.

Add the lemon juice and mix until smooth. Add more lemon juice, if desired.

I didn't use the vanilla or salt--it was good.

makes enough for 12 cupcakes.


inspiration: frame a dish towel

i have a good friend who has beautiful taste and often comes up with great decorating ideas. Her latest: framing this dish towel from anthropologie. she found a frame at ikea that works perfectly, bringing her grand total to less than $25 and her effort to little more than shopping for the two pieces.

i love this idea, especially since it costs about the same as a print and has added charm and texture as an embroidered textile. i have to admit, she had me eying this sea scene with the same purpose in mind. i have nurseries on the brain lately, but this whimsical piece would be lovely in any other space, too.

what are you making this weekend? planting our new strawberry and grape tomato plants, making cupcakes, customizing shirts, the LOST finale and finishing a couple sewing projects are all on my mind.


la baguette.

la baguette. i love the sound of baguette. it makes me think of crusty, airy, tasty bread. i just want to eat some, fresh and warm, then more, with a little butter or nutella.


pretty things for may

sometimes i just like to look at pretty things. pretty things make me happy.

i love these reused spoons.

found at fine little day.

& this elephant plate.

it says, "am i still an elephant if i'm really small? yes! i am."

a lovely little clock.

found at anthropologie.

toadstool pushpins.

found in the cupcake girls shop on etsy.

favourite things lamp.

found on bloesem.

happy shoes.

found at anthropologie.

public d bike.

found on bikes by public.

what little lovelies are making you happy this spring?