Thursday, May 31, 2012

Maison de Stencils Typography Giveaway!

Super special Thursday post!

Have you checked out the store lately?  We've been hard at work on some super cool French Typography stencils and we'd love for you to try them out!  To that end we are giving one away!  One lucky commenter will win Guilde Menuisiers or Laine et Coton Tisse (both 12x18), your choice!

If you'd like to be entered into the drawing to win either of these, just comment on this post with your email address so we can contact you.  We'll pick a winner next week, Thursday June 7th! 

Check back tomorrow for Feature Friday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Etspiration Wednesday: The Beach

Rainy season is ending here out on the Oregon Coast.  That calls for a few changes:  1) yard work, 2) walkies with the baby, and 3) beach going!  I'm partial to 2 and 3 myself!  As a California transplant in Oregon, beaches are different here.  You can drive your car onto them for starters.  You can build bonfires.  Every beach is a dog beach.  Heck, last time we were at the beach we saw a couple with their goat!  Best of all, they are not crowded.  They're sort of sparse, driftwood collecting, clam digging beaches and I love them.  So here's a little slice of beach going for our Etspiration this week.

1A:  Sea Horse Tea Towel Image Courtesy Willywaw
1B:  Lighthouse Wood Wall Art Image Courtesy Seasawsign
1C:  Nautical Summer Art Block Set Image Courtesy Redtilestudio
1D:  Beach Bungalow Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils

Seasawsign (1B) cuts all of their wall art with a scrollsaw.  When I first toured around this shop, I thought they were doing it by CNC.  That is a lot of work to do by hand!  But the end result is terrific, I love the beachy, surf washed look everything has.

2A:  Happy Fish Tea Towel Image Courtesy Mycherrytree
2B:  Maryland is For Crabs Sign Image Courtesy Damamima
2C:  French Sea Salt Pig Image Courtesy MyMothersGarden

I love the Crab sign in 2B! Damamima has a nice blog you can check out as well at   

3A:  Seaside Cottage Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
3B:  Sea Wooden Sign Image Courtesy FindingSilverPennies
3C:  Beach Shell Soap Image Courtesy SoapRhapsody
3D:  Martha's Vineyard Sign Image Courtesy Justbeachyshop

An aside:  My husband is one of those has to have one of the latest and greatest TV types.  Well a year or so ago we were at Best Buy and they were playing Avatar and the blue people looked real.  Like they were going to pop out of your TV.  Anyway, we found out later it's some sort of film setting deal with new TVs and it's kind of like the way soap operas are filmed.  (Have you ever noticed soap operas just look...different?).  So long story short, we bought that TV and everything on it does look amazingly real and we always say to each other:  "That cooking show looks so real!"  or... "That Tom Brady looks so real!"  or... "Those Muppets look so real!"  In any case, he walked by my computer while I was researching this Etspiration and he saw the soaps in 3C and said, "THOSE SOAPS LOOK SO REAL!" 
4A:  Vintage Blue Stripe Bell Shade Image Courtesy LampshadeLady
4B:  Lobster Pillow Red Stripe Image Courtesy HomeLiving
4C:  Beach Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils

I know the lampshade in 4A isn't specifically beachy, but I just loved the look and thought it would go great in a beach cottage.  Lampshadelady has tons of amazing lampshades. 

Thanks to our beautiful, fabulous Etsy sellers and we will see you all on Friday! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Feature Friday: The Feedsack Stripe Table

I have got the coolest feature for you guys today.  One of our readers, (and giveaway winners!)  Stephanie at Southern Charm Cottage, transformed an oval coffee table into a ridiculously cool feedsack inspired chalk paint work of art.  Here's a nice view of the top of the table so you can see the finished product.

She started out by using Annie Sloan Old Ochre for the base coat.  Then she added Annie Sloan Graphite for the stencil itself, and Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue for the stripes.  She freehanded those stripes!  I know I would have been anal retentive about that with my blue painter's tape,  so props for that!

The antique look comes from the sanding and waxing, which was the next step.  I think this is where chalk paint gets really amazing.  Because the middle picture here looks good, right?  The stencil really pops against that blue stripe, the colors contrast well.  But then...

Instant antiquing!  The legs look just fab with all that wear on them.  I love chalk paint.  We seriously need to do an Etsy round up of great chalk paint works because they are everywhere.

Thanks much to Stephanie for letting us use her photos.  You can check out the blog posts about the table in her sneak peak and finished product posts.   You can also access her blog, Southern Charm Cottage here.  You can take a look at the Chateau de Cheverny stencil here in our Feedsack category

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend everyone.  Are you grilling?  Going to the beach?  Here in Astoria, we get flooded with campers out on the coast for the long weekend and we hide indoors.  A 5 minute trip across town will take over an hour.  Laura told me we should drive to Portland since all the city-dwellers will be gone.  :) 

See you next week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Etspiration Wednesday: La Poste

I love stamps.  I'm not a proper collector or anything like that, but do go out of my way to buy the 'neat' looking stamps at the post office.  I think my husband is sick of hearing about the Pixar Forever stamps that are coming out in June!  (Seriously though, they are awesome!)  Even more than new issue stamps, I love vintage and foreign postage.  It adds a really cool dimension to any scrapbooking or papercraft project.  Of course, the postal look has been adapted to everything from pottery to fabric.  We've got a swell collection of postal themed items today for our Etspiration. 

1A:  Australia New Zealand Postage Stamp Pillow Image Courtesy Anettascraft
1B:  Postage Stamp Soup Mugs Image Courtesy JustMare
1C:  Paris Postage Stamp Shadow Box Image Courtesy MyAlterEco
1D:  Euro Postmark B Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils

So the Shadow Box in image 1C is super amazing.  I actually had planned to feature a different listing in MyAlterEco's store, but I think Etsy ate it because I can't find the listing anymore.  All her stuff is so, so cool.

2A:  Hot Air Balloon Print Image Courtesy KathyPanton
2B:  Blue Postage Stamp Frame Image Courtesy Suzstamps
2C:  French Postcard Bird Pillow Image Courtesy Sherrisboutique
2D:  La Poste France Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils

 Kathy Panton's collages (2A) are double, extra amazing.  She does great art for nurseries and such. 

3A:  Mounted Postage Stamp Letter Image Courtesy Stamposaurus
3B:  French Postcard Black Ticking Pillow Image Courtesy JulieannasCreations
3C:  Euro Postmark Bermuda Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
3D:  Vintage Postcard Market Tote Bag Image Courtesy PlumfieldShop 

PlumshieldShop has an amazing selection of postal themed totes.  It was hard to pick just one.  I love how timeless this one (3D) looks though.  The fabric reminds me of Victoria's chair on Revenge.  (Are you watching Revenge?  It's my guilty pleasure.  I'm like 5 episodes behind though, so no spoilers!)  

4A:  French Postage Stamp With Crown Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
4B:  Decorative Accent Postcard Pillow Image Courtesy judibdesigns
4C:  Postage Motif Ceramic Bowl Image Courtesy WhimsyDeluxe
4D:  London Stamp Jubilee Tote Image Courtesy CraftStall

Love this ceramic bowl!  (4C)  I try to feature ceramics quite a bit in our Etspirations even though strictly speaking, they are stenciled on far less than other media.  My hat goes off to potters who can make this kind of stuff.  Everything I ever threw in pottery class was more lopsided than the leaning tower of Pisa.

A big First Class maybe even Priority rate thank you to all our featured Etsy sellers.  We'll see you signed, sealed, delivered on Friday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feature Friday: The Parfumerie Rug

Thank goodness it's Friday.  For many reasons!  I've got a teething baby and can't wait for my husband to take over.  The weather is (still!!) nice here and we've got big beach plans.  But most of all, I've got a spiffy new feature courtesy of yours truly and Laura!  We designed this one together and gave it to our Mom for Mother's Day.  We present:  The Parfumerie Rug.

Laura called me and she said, "One of my customers is going on about how great vintage labels are.  Let's recreate a label and put it on a rug for Mom's kitchen."

So we did!  I created the initial design.  It's interesting, because I am so accustomed to designing for digital use, I never worry about the stuff that's important to stencil design.  Things like the weight of the type used, where the breaks will be to ensure the letters don't just fall out of the mylar.  Here's my initial work in Illustrator I sent to Laura.

If you notice, the fonts used for "Double Ambree" and "Parfumerie, et al" have a distressed, aged look.   Well she called me right back and said, "That's not going to work.  When I weight the type (you want stencil fonts to be on the heavy side so they aren't so delicate when cut) all those imperfections are going to be magnified."  So we switched those out and as lovely as that script for "Paris" is, there were going to be way too many breaks for it to cut successfully.  So that got swapped for a more Gothic looking font. 

She also commented on the negative space underneath the "Marque Deposee" bit.  "There needs to be something there!"  So I hunted around and found a little Victorian doodad that would fit in.

I think the changes made were good ones, both for style and utility.  Let's face it, no matter how terrific something looks, if you can't use it correctly as a stencil, what's the point?  So this was a great learning experience and Mom loved the finished product.

We've done a few more of these typography stencils and so far the response has been superb.  You can check them out here in our French category in the Maisondestencils store.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Etspiration Wednesday: Damask

We love damask here at Maisondestencils.  I don't think that's any big secret.  This elegant pattern so well known as a fabric is a perennial favorite.  But damask is not exclusive to fabric.  It can transform a space when stenciled onto walls.  It looks great in formal and casual rooms.  It lends itself well to pretty much any color scheme.  It looks French if you're doing French.  Arabesque if you want to give a hint of Eastern culture.  Gothic Revival if you're all about a little Medieval flare.  Damask really is universal and we've got a little Etsy tour of some nifty items that feature damask patterns.

1A:  Damask Pink Magnetic Board Image Courtesy ShugabeeLane
1B:  Damask N Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
1C:  Neapolitan Damask and Stripe Trio Frames Image Courtesy Dragonflydivas321
1D:  Pink Damask Sachet Image Courtesy Fansydesigns

2A:  Vintage Damask Drum Shade Image Courtesy Fondue
2B:  Green Damask Pillow Cover Image Courtesy CottonColors
2C:  Damask A Trio Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
2D:  Tiny Damask Ring Bowl Image Courtesy Dgordon

3A:  Rustic Damask Wood Placeholders Image Courtesy DazzlingExpressions
3B:  Damask Ornate Wallpaper Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
3C:  Orange and White Damask Jewelry Box Image Courtesy Bloomingtons04
3D:  Orange Fabric Damask Placemat Set Image Courtesy Kirtamdesigns

As always, thanks to our super terrific Etsy sellers for use of their images.  See you Friday!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Feature Friday: The Patisserie Cushion

Happy Friday!

We've got a swell feature today from our friend Nik at Linenandwood.

She's made this beautiful cushion cover using antique grainsack and our very popular Patisserie stencil to give it a French feel.

The red stripe embroidery is original to the grainsack.  I just love the striped grainsacks.  Laura made me a pillow with one for my living room.  It adds a whole new dimension instead of flat burlap feel. 

Can't you see a few of these pillows in a breakfast nook?   One for a bakery, one for a vegetable market, one for a creamery?  Too cute!

Here's a link to the cushion cover on Etsy.
You can also check out Nik's Etsy shop, Linenandwood.
Here's a link to the Patisserie stencil at the Maisondestencils store.

Have a wonderful weekend, see you Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Etspiration Wednesday: The Garden

Hey Readers,

I have a confession to make.  One I probably should not be making, but I am shameless and the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one.  This is my backyard.

You've fled in terror?  Okay, when you come back, I'll tell you my plan for taming this huge thwack of nature. 

It wasn't always like this.  That huge tangle of blackberry and horsetails and wild roses has actually crept closer and closer to our house as the years have passed.  If we don't do something soon, I'm quite convinced we will become engulfed by Oregon wilderness.

The issues are these: 

  • We're lazy.  Let's not mince words here.  We let it get that bad. 
  • Every plant has thorns.  When I do work back there, I wear gauntlets I could tame a falcon with. 
  • The hill is totally a hill.  This is not some graceful, rolling slope.  It's a rather shear drop and we're worried about erosion if we tore it all out.  (They don't call Astoria "Little San Francisco" for no reason.)  
  • Final and cutest reason:  we have friendlies in those bushes.  Deer pass through there all the time.  Our favorite is a little chipmunk who Graham and I watch every day.  He runs from our cherry blossom tree to the nature tangle.  I named him Ambrose.  

So here's my dream:

I would love to have a terraced garden with flowers and veggies.  It would have stone steps for you to walk up.  And a proper place for a table and chairs since our back porch is the size of a potholder.  I'm thinking that it could happen this summer.  Maybe not the actual vegetables, but definitely all the design.  I've been daydreaming on Etsy for accoutrements for this dream garden.  Want to check them out with me?

1C:  French Jardiniere Image Courtesy Mypetitemaison
1D:  Mason Bee House Image Courtesy Utopiawoodcrafters

It's bee season here in Astoria.  Carpenter bees, scary unidentified wasp things, honey bees, you name it.   I'd love to have a place for good bees to hang out and pollinate my garden instead of my front porch, where they delight in dive bombing me as I come and go.  I also like the design of the Mason Bee House in 1D.  It blends in with the environment really well. 

2A:  Garden Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
2B:  Organic Round Zucchini Squash Seeds Image Courtesy Nimblenitecap
2C:  Numbered Galvanized Pots Image Courtesy LaMorteStyle
2D:  Le Jardin Sign Image Courtesy CountryBlissDesigns

I learned through this garden adventure that you can buy seeds on Etsy.  Who knew?  I cannot find these fantastic round zucchini anywhere out on the coast so I'd love to plant them in my garden.  I'm told they're more of an international grocery store type item.   They're perfect for making individual veggie pizzas.

3A:  Vintage Wooden Fruit Crate Image Courtesy AnUnexpectedJourney
3B:  French Architectural Salvage Image Courtesy MyFrenchAntiqueShop
3C:  Organic Carrot Seeds Image Courtesy WinsomeGreen
3D:  Jardin De Fleurs Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils

How great is that architectural element in 3B?  I love salvage, love it.  There's a killer architectural hardware shop here in Astoria called Vintage Hardware.  It's my no-no store.  I can spends lots of money there.  But of course, a salvage shop is only as old as as its junk, so an Etsy store with European salvage?  More's the better!

4A:  Vegetable and Herb Planter Stakes Image Courtesy GoldhawkPotteryEtc
4B:  Jardin De Fleurs 12x12 Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
4C:  French Garden Urn Image Courtesy DreaminParis

I love the garden markers in 4A!  There were oodles of them on Etsy, but these were my favorite.  Very simple, easy to read (and isn't that the whole point), and you get a few of them for one price.  Awesome!

Thanks as always to the Etsy shop owners for use of their images.  See you Friday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Feature Friday: Chateau de Cheverny Tablecloth

Happy Friday Readers!

We've got a great feature today from a new business!  Our customer Cindy has started an endeavor she calls Green Mountain BoHo.  She's making all sorts of linens with Laura's stencils.  Check out this super cool tablecloth she made using the Chateau de Cheverny stencil.

Each instance of the stencil represents a place setting.  How neat is that?

Chateau de Cheverny is a great stencil if you are looking to achieve that vintage grainsack look.  The originals are getting rather difficult to find nowadays.  You can find it here at the Maisondestencils store.

Cindy has an Etsy store you can check out here.  She also has a facebook page you can check out.

Our thanks to Cindy at Green Mountain Boho for use of her images.  If you'd like to have an item you created with Maisondestencils' stencil featured on our website, drop me a line here.  I'd love to feature you!

Thanks, see you next week!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Etspiration Wednesday: Mother's Day

I know, I'm a little early with a post about Mother's Day.  But there's a reason!  My sister called me late last week and said, "You know, Mother's Day is this weekend."  To which I replied, "WHAT?"  I had plans of course (I'm a good daughter, if a wee bit of a procrastinator), but nothing done yet.  Nothing to get in the mail (and geez is our mail slow up here) in time for a Mother's Day as determined by Laura.

"That can't be right!"  I exclaimed.  She assured me it was.  I hung up the phone and started searching the internet like a headless chicken.  Well, a quick look at my calendar informed me that Mother's Day was not so soon and I still had time.  But clearly, I had to get my rear in gear with regard to a present for our Mom.

I realized around that time that it would be a good opportunity to do an Etspiration for Mother's Day.  I started tooling around Etsy for, you know, stuff about moms.  Mugs with the word "Mom" on them and the like.  Then it occurred to me; why not do an Etspiration about our mom?  She's certainly the mom I know best.

So here you have it, a tour of Etsy inspired by the maman de la maison!

1A:  Finnish Flag Pillow Image Courtesy Mazizmuse
1B:  Suomi Finnish Squirrel Pillow Image Courtesy TouchWoodDesign
1C:  Sisu Wood Sign Image Courtesy Banished
1D:  Finland Roots Print Image Courtesy MyRoots

The first thing you have to know about our mom is that she's Finnish.  Like most Americans, she's a lot of other things, but she would tell you that her Finnish bits are the best bits.  She's very proud of her Finnish heritage and every since we were little, she talked to us about Sisu.  Sisu is one of those cultural words like "umami" or "chutzpah."  Most reference books define it as sort of an iron determination, an unwillingness to give up.  I think I'd wager that having a little sisu makes you a strong person because of adversity, not in spite of it.  I know my mom's got it in spades.

So here are some fab Finn related items from Etsy.  I'm in love with the squirrel pillow in image 1B.  TouchWoodDesign makes pillows like that for dozens of different nations and they are all amazing.

2A:  Costa Rica Fair Trade Coffee Image Courtesy RedRoosterCoffee
2B:  Black Cow Coffee Tin Image Courtesy VintageHardware
2C:  Minnesota Coffee Mug Image Courtesy DailyGrinder
2D:  Queen Of Everything Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils

Our next stop on the mom tour is coffee.  Our mom is a coffee fanatic.  It has to be strong and there has to be a lot of it.  Our dad always complained that you could fill the cracks in our driveway with mom's coffee.  Isn't the Minnesota coffee mug in image 2C neat?  That's where our family emigrated to after leaving Finland.

3A:   Queen Bee Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
3B:  Cookies and Cream Fudge Image Courtesy Jewelofthelion 
3C:  Mum Pillow Set Image Courtesy Annakrycz

A word on cookies and cream.  When I was little, my mom used to always tell me she invented cookies and cream ice cream.  She would crumble up Oreos on vanilla ice cream and voila, cookies and cream.  Now, this was back in the early 50s, so who am I to say?  Maybe she did invent the flavor!  All I know for sure is that cookies and cream fudge sounds amazing!

4A:  Vintage Oscillating Fan Image Courtesy AffordableAdornment
4B:  Mother Definition Stencil Image Courtesy Maisondestencils
4C:  Vintage Bauer Bowl Image Courtesy WhereSourGrassGrows

As a child of the 40s and 50s, my mom grew up with the heavies.  Chrome fendered cars.  White porcelain Wedgewood stoves.  Rotary dialing Bakelite telephones.  Trends have come and gone and she has seen almost every item from her childhood swing back into style for home decor.  She loves collecting all these relics from the past and has shared some of them with me for my own home.  I have a great Bauer bowl like this that sits on my kitchen table.  Unless you go artisan (which you can on Etsy) you just can't find pottery like this anymore.

Thanks to our Etsy sellers for use of their images.  This collection was a blast to compile and I hope that you and your mom's have a wonderful Mother's Day.  On its rightful day.  May 13th.