Friday, October 14, 2016


As I write this, I have 5 giant swallowtail caterpillars (or "orange dogs") munching away in a mesh enclosure and two in chrysalises.  As, my spouse remarked, "don't you have enough to do?"  Yes Always, but I noticed because of my efforts in attracting birds,  many caterpillars were being eaten and though it probably won't matter much to the world to release 7 giant swallowtails, it will mean everything to them.

But this post really isn't about butterflies, it is however, about the reminder in this last month they've given me, that transitions are necessary, sometimes they require patience, hard work and in some cases with raising caterpillars...plain luck.  So, in my shop life about the same time many of these "cats" were hatching, one of our vendors of three years announced she was leaving our store.

I was frustrated as this had been a major vendor in our baby department and this is the 3rd one we've lost in our almost 9 years, as most are older ladies sewing from their home, etc. and naturally we lose them when they need to slow down.  It felt like once again I needed to tend to this area of the shop and bring it back as I've done time and again.
This time, as a mom of 20 month old twins, I felt like I had a new point of view and a voice in what mom's like myself want to see for their children.  I quickly gathered up patterns and materials of things I've made for my own children and in two weeks, I've re-imagined our baby department with fresh and fun goods.  Not to mention, I'm so pleased as punch to talk to anyone about my new goods and what's to come that we've had such a positive response in such a short time.

And as always, I still carry innovative baby accessories like the Munch Mitt:
Also coming in a couple weeks:
These hysterical vintage style prize ribbons in greeting cards; this one "I made a tiny human" also available in blue.

Featured in this post:

  • Handmade Flutter Shrug 12-18mo. - available on Etsy and pattern can be found here.
  • Bandana Bib with vintage trim - only one, grab it fast!
  • Louisiana Home Sweet Home Baby Bodysuits - in popular team colors; find them at Nest Interiors
  • Feeding Bib for baby or toddler - available on Etsy; see full store for multiple options
  • Munch Mitt - the perfect teether - available in 4 colors at Nest Interiors
  • Baby Award Ribbons - they're on the way; we'll update this with an order link as soon as they arrive!

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pollination Celebration

We took Nest on the road this weekend to the 1st Annual Pollination Celebration at the LSU AG Research Station in Hammond, LA.
We love all things with wings and as you can imagine, I was in my element!  I brought our line of Parasol Hummingbird Feeders - they were a hit!  And garden flags and our popular Husdon Valley Seed Co organic and heirloom seeds.
And this favorite Cavallini decorative paper.  My family helped man our booth so I was able to take part in some of the activities - like the amazing hummingbird banding demonstration.
The gardens were a sight to behold too, with a buzz not only of many hummingbirds but butterflies and bees too.
It was an amazing adventure, we saw several regular customers and made new friends and of course we learned more about pollinators.  I was delighted to share a lot of my experience attracting and feeding hummingbird and was surprised to hear how some people had not seen one hummingbird all season - we easily see four at one time in our yard as it's prime time for ruby throated hummingbirds.  If you've had a lack-luster season, please review my tips to prepare for next year.

Featured in this post:
  • Cavallini Decorative Wrap - Bees and Honey ... available on Etsy
  • Parasol Hummingbird Feeders & Replacement Parts - available at Nest Interiors
  • Husdson Valley Seed Co. Seeds - see our current stock available online
  • Seasonal flags are starting to arrive in garden and house sizes - take a look in our Garden Dept on our website and see the full line at our shop in Ponchatoula, LA
connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Friday, September 9, 2016

A little boo...
It's still hot as ever here in South Louisiana, but we can't help but get excited for all that is Fall...cooler weather, pumpkin spice, and Halloween!  A number of things have arrived mixed in with things I've made and's a sampling!

Featured in this post:
  • Cavallini Decorative Wrap - Trick or Treat ... available on Etsy
  • Mini Pumpkin Pods - always a shop favorite! our Etsy has them in stock 
  • Heidi Kenney Halloween Banner - the LAST one I plan on making; so cute - get it here!
  • Boo Y'all Halloween Towels - my seasonal silk-screened towel here for a limited time
  • Spooky Wall Art; adorable with felt & handmade elements - available at Nest Interiors

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Thursday, September 8, 2016

From the Studio: A September Peek...

Here's a personal project, now complete, that I put my heart in soul in for my daughter's room.  My spouse found FREE, on the side of the road, this darling dollhouse bookcase.  It had some water damage at the base, something had been left to rust on a shelf, dirty, and with decoupaged ballerinas that were nearly worn off.  I cleaned it, cleaned it some more, and then sanded it down removing the paper stickers.  If I was a better woodworker, I would of completely replaced the backing plywood, but I'm not so I wood glued and clamped what I could.  We made our own custom pink chalk paint for the base of the house and a light blue for "ceilings" under each shelf.  I used our Cavallini line of decorative wrap to line the back, which also covered the less than great plywood back.  I found a cute little wooded ornament to add to the top at the home improvement store.  To finish, I used a paste wax tinted with a little white chalk paint.  I know it was free minus my labor but its just priceless now, especially when I saw my daughter's face!  I know she'll have years of enjoyment out of it!
We introduced two new colors over the last couple of weeks; a funky and fun green, mirliton and a bright yellow, meyer lemon (I'm obviously on a fruit and veggie naming kick!).  Stay tuned as we have some new neutrals on the way as well.

Featured in this post:

  • Cavallini decorative wrap sheets - check our full offering on Etsy; we ship Priority Mail in a double tube to ensure your delicate papers arrive safely.
  • Cottage Nest Paint: Chalky Finish with Southern Charm - currently available in store at Nest Interiors; pints are $16 and 4oz samples are $5 - call to order.
connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Vintage Vibe: August Finds

Gosh, I nearly missed posting this month!  August has been terribly busy and terribly bad for my community - if you've not been around a news channel in the last couple weeks, you may have missed the story of how most of Southeast Louisiana was underwater!  Nearby towns saw 20+ inches of rain, places that never flooded did flood and up to the roof tops of homes.  We were high and dry at our home and business thankfully but many of our patrons were not so lucky, including one of our employees, and not to mentioned we were closed for days due to the weather.

The weekend before the storm, we did take a road trip to Hattiesburg, MS for a treasure hunt at the Lucky Rabbit.  I found some amazing and adorable finds...take a look:

Featured in this post:

  • Vintage Embroidered and Appliqued Swan Flour Sack Towel - available on Etsy
  • Vintage Ceramic Baby Chick Planter or Vase - available on Etsy
  •  Vintage Quilt - Grandmother's Flower Garden - available on Etsy
And this is the weekend to save - it's my Labor Day Sale in my Etsy shop!  Use coupon code LABORDAY15 for 15% off your purchase through Tuesday, Sept. 6th.

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Friday, July 29, 2016

Destination: Getaway

Totally enchanting, right?  We spent last weekend (the first overnight without the twins since their NICU stay) at Jefferson Island in the Rip Van Winkle Gardens.  It's been a good 20+ years since I toured the gardens.  And when I started planning to re-visit (it's only a 2 hours drive from my home), I was surprised to find that they rent cottages overnight - only 3 to be exact.  I'd figured none would be available and when I saw that they were free I jumped on it!  (Who doesn't want to come to South Louisiana in July - crazy, right?!).  Well, despite the heat, the location and amenities made up for it.  Our cottage was literally in the backyard of the historic mansion on the property.  They included a house tour for us and allowed us free access of the 20 acre gardens after hours.  Inside the gardens were beautiful tropical plants, free roaming peacocks, hummingbirds and many other wild birds; also, a bunch of mischievous raccoons - cute but we kept our distance.  It was just the pause I needed!

I'm generous, so here's the details on the best kept secret outside of Lafayette, LA

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hummingbird 101

It's getting busy in our garden and it must in yours too, because I've sold a hummingbird feeder almost everyday for about a week. 
With every feeder I sell (whether someone welcomes it or not) I'm going to encourage how to use and care for it properly and in turn care for our exquisite hummingbirds!  Last week, a friend of mine popped in and flirted with the idea of adding a feeder to her yard.  "I've heard its kind of hard; that you need to clean them often."  This is true, the hotter it gets the faster the nectar temps are in the mid 90's, I am changing feeders almost everyday.  And with that, she did not buy one...but I'd honestly prefer someone to leave it for another person that will maintain their feeder properly. 

So here's some tips to make feeding hummingbirds more enjoyable and less of a chore:
  • 1st things 1st; plant nectar friendly plants...hummingbirds can not exist on feeders alone; they need the sugar that comes from flowers naturally and also, they will eat tiny spiders and gnats (be on the lookout for that behavior one summer evening; its a hoot!)
  • Place feeders in a shady spot in a location that is visible for you to enjoy from your home or seated location in your garden.  As I alluded to in the 1st tip; feeders aren't completely necessary as a food source - it's for our enjoyment.
  • make your own nectar; don't buy the red stuff.  This is super easy and important.  All you need is regular granulated sugar and water.  One part sugar to four parts water (1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups water is what I use); apply heat in a saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved.  I place it in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.  And why not red?  The food coloring additive has only been tested for human consumption, not a creature weighing less than a dime.  Trust me they will come even if it isn't red.
  • Ok, here comes the hardest part...change feeders frequently and in high heat, everyday.  
    Here's how I do it; with a full time business and 18 month old twins (i.e. you can do it, nudge, nudge).  I buy a lot of hummingbird feeders; in the fall many go on sale and they are perfect for the picking.  Each day, I put a dirty one in a washbin and once a week I wash them all.  It takes me maybe 5 minutes out of my whole week; 10 minutes if its the week I'm making nectar too.
  • So, you've decided this is still more than you can commit; that's ok.  Here's some further tips on enjoying hummingbirds without making them sick:  Only provide a small amount of nectar in the feeder (if you've forgotten to change it, it's likely to have run out in a day or two.  Plant hummingbird friendly plants and either forgo feeders or place them out only when you are home to watch.  The plants will keep them nearby and the feeder will be a treat for you both!
  • And some people tell me they have trouble with bees; I've never really noticed a problem unless the nectar spoils and ferments.  So keeping them fresh should eliminate that problem.  Ants can be a concern and ant moats are especially designed to block their path; we have some arriving at the shop today!
I hope these tips keep your hummies happy through the rest of a busy and hot summer.  I will be a vendor at the Pollinator Celebration this fall and will be there to answer any hummingbird questions (and help people in our area set up for winter hummingbird feeding...yes, it's possible to have hummingbirds year round in the Southeast!!)

We sell and recommend Parasol Hummingbird Feeders:
  • mini blossom garden stakes - great to enhance a planter and on sale right now! 
  • droplets - our favorite feeder; its tiny - you can't really over fill it and let the nectar spoil
  • pixie - similar to a droplet but whimsical with glass wings!
  • ant moats - as mentioned above, this helpful tool keeps your feeder ant free; I also use this with suspended bird houses as ants can irritate babies and cause an early fledge
  • brushes - tiny parts need tiny brushes and this one was designed to get in small holes 
  • replacement tube - for parasol feeders; accidents happen and we can send you a replacement tube to keep your feeder in tip top shape!
connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vintage Vibe: July Finds

For a slow summer month, we've had some amazing vintage items pop up in the shop from our travels.
Check out this letterpress tray; it's been fitted with a wire hanger to make it into a wall mounted work of art or shadow box.  I delivered this to our pop up at Rustic Treasures this morning.
This vintage screen-printed fabric is exclusive to our Etsy shop; I think it's a perfect choice for a man cave or boy's room.  A very retro print with an owl, books and nautical instruments.  It's also a heavy weight cotton too.
And here's a rare find...Vintage bridge napkins with wine slippers or cozies.  A perfect set of six; they are gorgeous in a robin's egg blue with white embroidered trim.

We're off on another adventure this weekend for our wedding anniversary and you can be sure I've planned some junking stops.  Until then here's an article I just loved this week...
Game of Thrones fan?  Embroidery fan?  I'm both!  And this article (with gorgeous pics) highlights the stunning collection of hand embroidered costumes created for the show.  Read it here.

Featured in this post:

  • vintage letterpress tray - available at Rustic Treasures
  • owl nautical screen-printed cotton fabric - exclusively on Etsy
  • embroidered bridge napkins and wine slippers set - find it at Nest Interiors or Etsy

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happynest Bird Sanctuary

I've hinted for weeks that we'd hatched a new direction under our Nest family and now I can reveal what is truly in the works.  We are creating a non-profit bird sanctuary called Happynest; still very early in it's infancy, we anticipate opening to the public in some capacity in five years.  It is a largely untouched 7 acres bordering a small river in Southeast Louisiana; the property has a long history of wildlife as Native American arrowheads have been found throughout the land leaving us to believe it was a popular hunting ground.  Currently its home to bobcats, coyotes, bunnies, turtles, and yes, many, many birds.
For now, we plan on creating a website that not only charts our progress but informs and educates people on creating a bird friendly environment, protecting and creating habitats for birds and supportive wildlife, and providing access to quality bird and garden products. 
None of our existing businesses will go away - the brick and mortar, Nest Interiors or online business and blog Cottage Nest; they will now begin to work in concert to grow Happynest as a portion of everything we sell will now go to this non-profit.
I'll keep you posted as once our website is live and when fundraising efforts kick off!  Until then may all your birds be happy!

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Christmas in July

It's that time of year when the heat indexes reach over a 100 degrees and we reminisce about the chill of winter and the arrival of festive holiday gatherings.  Also, it's time for our annual sale!
This year, we're in multiple locations, which gives us even more to celebrate, right?!  The following are our sales and events:
Cottage Nest, our Etsy shop, featuring our vintage collection, high end craft items and my exclusive line of handmade goods is offering 15% off your total purchase with coupon code HOHOHOT now through Sunday.  I should mention that Etsy direct checkout is malfunctioning - all credit card orders will be eventually processed, but if you need something right now, please select Paypal.
Our pop up at Rustic Treasures is ready for the festivities beginning tomorrow through Saturday.  All items in our space will be 10% off (including sale items).  Other vendors are decorating with a nod to Christmas and this Friday will be a Sip & Shop beginning at 6pm.  (I can't wait - I heard there will be brownies)
And at our flagship in Ponchatoula, LA please come to the one day annual sale - 15% OFF your entire purchase of regular priced merchandise.  We'll have new merchandise, summery refreshments, and a patriotic peek of seasonal items on the way!  Our event coincides with other merchant celebrations in town so you'll definitely want to stay and make a day of it!

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Destination: Independence Day

I really wanted to get away for the fourth - and I mean, get a-w-a-y from it all: the shop, the small town we're in (and the small minds).  We got the kids up early, fed, dressed them and tossed them in the car pointed north.  2 hours later we stopped at the friendly and small scale Jackson Zoo in Jackson, MS.
The zoo was built in 1919 and a few of the original buildings remain like the monkey castle and elephant house, now a cafe (with the best lemonade ever!).  It felt more fairy tale than zoo in certain spots.
And as expected, it was incredibly hot; lemonade can only help so much.  We were delighted to take advantage of their splash pad - a first for the twins, too!
Nothing cuter!  And one added surprise, they have a petite aviary.  I love walking through free flight cages and though only three species in the collection, they had a Blue Bellied Roller that I was not familiar with; a total treat to see this bird in flight!
We'll definitely have to visit again!  Now it's back to the shop and we have a busy weekend ahead with Christmas in July events planned at both the flagship and pop-up; also, beginning today our Etsy shop is running a special: 15% off total purchase with coupon code HOHOHOT.  More details to follow this week!

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | ravelry