Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fire at the Masquerade Ball - Instagram Photos


French Manicure by moi

Yesterday, on Friday, 27th January, our school had a Masquerade Ball.
I was soooo excited! I had the perfect dress ready, the perfect shoes, and I even found the perfect clutch (which matched my dress... perfectly ;)) :

My (first) clutch

I did a French manicure and pedicure myself for the first time, which I'm quite proud of ;)

I found a mask, which was on sale (YES!), but I forgot to wear it.. of course -.-

I was reeeeeally looking forward to the ball! (as you can tell from reading my instagram photo below)

Note from Wednesday

I went to my friend's house before the ball. And the ball started at 9pm. 
But we didn't get there until 10:45pm, which kinda bummed me out. 
But there were lots of people there and I had quite a good time :)

UNTIL the fire alarm went off at around midnight. 
It was -1 degrees celcius outside, and there was lots of snow and ice on the pavement.
I was only wearing a dress, shoes and pantyhose. 
I WAS FREEZING! (but I felt really sorry for the people without shoes)

The fire brigade came. And all of us had to stand outside, in the freezing cold for 45 minutes.
I left my cell phone and jacket inside, so I couldn't call my Mum to pick me up either.

Finally, they let us back in, but we had to go home, because the ball was apparently supposed to end at 12:30am. It really sucked.

There goes my last high school dance/ ball.

French Pedicure by moi

I came home, freeeeezing and shivering and my throat really hurts today.

And if you were wondering, there was no fire, a stupid kid had pushed a button on a fire alarm. 
Thanks, buddy.


Random photo.. we made pizza on Thursday :) yum


How was your Friday?
Follow me on Instagram please :) My username is: thegentleflower

And I'm linking up here:
life rearranged

Wedding DIY: by Love is... {guest post}

One of The Gentle Flower's sponsors, Andrea from Love is... is guest posting today!
She's sharing some lovely DIY ideas for a beautiful wedding! <3

Meet the super-talented Andrea, and please visit her blog and show her some love!
Thanks for the lovely post, Andrea :)

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Hi there, The Gentle Flower readers!  I'm Andrea from Love is...  = )


Love is... is a place where I talk about my life & everything going on in it!  I like to post about a little bit of everything - DIY tutorials, clothes, makeup, books, fitness, family... You get the idea!

This past September, I married the love of my life, Michael.  Our wedding was everything I could have ever dreamed of.  We put a lot of work in to make it personal & our own & I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!  After planning our wedding, I realized I have a bit of a knack for that stuff!  I found it really enjoyable & would love to get into doing it for a career one day!

Like I said above, we made our wedding our own & we did that by making a lot of the things for the wedding, which is what I wanted to talk to you about today!  = )

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I was on the fence about having a hairpiece or veil for the wedding.  I then asked Michael if when he thought  of me walking down the aisle, did he see me wearing a veil?  He said no & that helped me make my decision!  Then I was on the hunt for something to wear.  I decided to go the DIY route & made my own hair flower.  I talked about it & show you how to make your own, in this post!

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Michael made this hanger for my wedding dress, along with the other name hangers for my bridesmaids, which I gave them as part of their gifts for the wedding.  They turned out great & Michael enjoyed making them.  He may have been a little to good at them though, because since the wedding, he's made 5 different ones, for other people that were interested in them!  

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My grandpa died a few years ago, so I knew I wanted some way to acknowledge him on my wedding day. I had heard of these memorial bouquet pendants, but wasn't willing to spend around $30 for one.  I knew there was a cheaper route.  So, my maid of honor/sister in-law Kay & I, made a trip to Michael's on the hunt for something we could use to make our own.  Kay found this little locket there, which was on sale for $3, I found a picture of my grandpa & ta-da... Memorial bouquet pendant!  It turned out perfect & it was a great way for me to keep him close to me all day long!

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I made this established sign, which we displayed at our reception out of 100 year old barn wood & acrylic paint I had laying around!  (Sorry for the blacked out bit... I just don't want my last name all over the place!)  I think it turned out super cute & have even had some requests to make some for other people!

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This was another barn wood project of mine!  We knew we didn't want to have assigned seating at the reception & we were on the look out to find a way to tell our guests that.  I found this saying on Pinterest, from this pin.  I loved it & knew it was exactly what we were looking for.  I then decided to put it on barn wood, to stick with the rustic feel we had with our wedding & I think it turned out beautifully!  One of my favorite projects!  = )

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Michael & I both love birch trees & we decided they would make a great centerpiece.  We came up with this idea together & we couldn't have been more happy with the final product.  We found some lovely people, in a town up north, that let us cut down some trees on their property.  We then used a drill bit to place the candle holder & the birch was ready to go!  We found the chargers at Wal-Mart on sale & the fake leaves, berries, small pumpkins & pine cones we bought or gathered outside, in the months before the wedding.  I LOVED our centerpieces & still have them all, because we just can't let them go yet!

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We had a few reserved tables at the reception & some other signage we needed, such as signs for the pie table.  To make these signs we used our Cricut & I loved the way it all turned out!  To hold up the signs, Michael took the pine cones, & used a skill saw to flatten the bottom & put a slit in the top, that the sign could go in.  It turned out really great & helped us stick with our theme for the wedding.  

We also made the burlap table squares that were on each table.  My dad embroidered each square in two of the corners with either leaves, pine trees or pine cones.  (You can see the embroidery in a few of the pictures above).  I loved the burlap squares & felt it really pulled the table together.

For the pie table, we cut up a tree on our property up north, & used the slabs to place the pies on.  We also used more burlap for the table skirting & made skirting for the pie, gift & head tables.

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For my something blue, I decided to do a dress label, which again my dad made using our embroidery machine.  We stitched it in to the inside bottom of my dress, so when I lifted it up, you were able to read it.  I loved this & thought it was a great way to include my something blue!

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I made these decorative mason jars, for the head table & I have a detailed tutorial here!  The candlelight looks so amazing coming through the grapevine & burlap.  They are really beautiful & I can't wait until we have a house, so I can put them up!  = )

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This monogrammed N, was located above our pie table.  It's made out of natural coffee filters, foam board & LOTS of hot glue!  I found the idea for this on the Faith. Home. Love. blog & loved it!  My maid of honor/sister in-law Kay, helped me put it together & I loved the finished product!  Again, it's something we still have, that I plan to put up in our future home!  = )

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This is another one of my favorite wedding projects.  I saw this picture on Wedding Bee & knew that I HAD to have a tree stump card box.  Michael wasn't to keen on the idea, knowing it would be a lot of work.  I may have pulled out some puppy dog eyes & got him to agree to try & make it for me.  He & my father in-law, put it together & did an AMAZING job on it!  Michael then chiseled out the heart & used a wood burner to get our names in it.  I love it so much & we again, plan on using it in our future home somewhere!
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And that's the bulk of our DIY wedding projects!  I hope you enjoyed it all & reading about how we came up with our ideas.  And my advice to any of you brides out there... If you want your wedding to be about you & your husband & the things you love, put in the work to make it happen.  It takes a lot of time & energy, but in the end, when you see it all together on your wedding day & hear everything people have to say about it... It's totally worth it!

Thanks for having me Katrine!!  = )

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview with Mouse in The Dollhouse

Fairy with the Red Hair Giclee Art Print

I've had the honour of interviewing the lovely and talented woman behind Mouse in The Dollhouse. Read on to find out more about her, her business, business tips and her plans for the future!

1. Name: Maria Ernest Fragopoulou (Mouse In The Dollhouse)
Age: 36
Where are you from? 
I am from Greece


Banner with lace and art prints for a children's room

2. Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop/ business.
My background and my formal studies have been in the field of art history. I have a B.A. in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Crete in Greece and a M.A. in the History of the Decorative Arts, specializing in Italian Renaissance, from Bard Graduate Center in New York. I am a self taught – you may say – artist, painting and drawing mainly, although lately I am also fascinated with collage work. In my atelier-shop one can find, currently, original works on canvas, watercolors, drawings, prints, both open and limited editions, art photography, and cards. Part of my work is devoted to art for children and to kids’ room décor. 


3. When did you open your shop?
I opened my Etsy shop in late May 2011 and added my first items in mid June


Eva's Twin Girls Giclee Art Print



4. Why did you decide to start your shop?
I decided to open my shop when I realized that the canvases I was painting and offering as gifts for my friends’ kids were very much appreciated and cherished. That gave me some sort of comfort that my artwork might have an audience out there. I have been a rather shy artist, not very open about my creations, basically painting for my pleasure and not showing my work. Deciding to open my atelier-shop was a big step for me. 

5. How do you promote/ market your business? What works best?
I am afraid I am not very good about promoting my work. I do not have a facebook, twitter, or a blog page, although I am thinking about starting an online journal, documenting my work process and thoughts about art and design. Word of mouth, business cards, and brochures have been my promoting package so far. My friends from the etsy teams, especially the Etsy Greek Street Team, and the Finest Ladies of Painting Team support me a lot, by including my work in numerous treasuries.


Girl with Blue Eyes Giclee Art Print


6. What’s your favourite item from your shop and why?
My favourite item is my Blue Lady print.
The original adorns a corner in my home, while an open edition print is for sale at my shop. This piece represents me in various ways. Blue has been an addiction for me. I love this color. 


Mother and Daughter Watching the Sea Watercolor and Pencil Drawing


I love seeing the blue, painting the blue, wearing the blue. The figure also has a melancholy that is characteristic of me and my work.



Fine Art Photograph - Lake Geneva

Although not a self-portrait many have mentioned that Blue Lady resembles me.

Melancholy Giclee Art Print


7. Do you also do business offline? If yes, what do you prefer and what works best?
I take commissions for children room décor, and have approached some local shops, and some boutiques and ateliers abroad. But it is all very new and do not know yet if I will be represented by any of them. I do take commissions for invitations’ cards for special events such as baptisms. One of the images I sell (Andrianna) was created for a baptism invitation card.


8. Where do you get inspiration?
I am always inspired by the work of other artists, painters, designers, illustrators, photographers. Since I gave birth to my children I am extremely influenced by illustrated books for children and always have my eyes open for unique editions.

9. Who is your target audience? Who would typically buy an item from you? 

One target group would be parents. My work, however, even the items that are clearly meant for children bear something appealing to adults. I think this is because I avoid over-simplification, the typical style of artwork created for children, with the frozen broad smile of happy girls and boys. I like minimalism, I use few colors on each painting, and I like painting faces. Several of my paintings commissioned for kids are fitting for big boys and girls. 


The Fairy with the Blue Hair Giclee Art Print


10. Do you ship internationally?
Yes, I do ship worldwide, and at the moment I offer free shipping for my originals.

11. What has been the most challenging part of starting and running your own business?
Building a network of people that would be happy to return to your atelier to view your newly created and listed works is the big challenge. It will always be the big challenge. Building a clientele that is happy with your custom service and will return to buy from you again, and will introduce you to others. 

12. What has been the best part of starting and running your own business?
The freedom.

13. Do you have any business tips you’d like to share with us?
The first would be to be polite and to respect your customer. Remember that he/she is a person, who honoured you by purchasing from your shop and who wants the best possible packaging and fast shipping. Second, be true to who you are. Put your soul in what you are creating and to everything that accompanies it, the business card, your brochure, your wrapping paper, the shipping box…
(images of my certificate of authenticity and packaging can be found here)


14. If there were anything you could change about your business, right now, what would it be?
Managing my time more effectively. I work from home, often with my kids all over me, and there are no strict boundaries, to either work time schedules or work area. 

15. What are your goals and dreams for your business for the future?
I would be happy to be able to live from selling my artwork

16. Where do you hope your shop will take you?
To the moon!


17. What’s next now? Could we get a sneak peak of what you’ll be doing and sharing next? 
I have started working on Christmas items such as cards, and Christmas décor. I will also introduce a new line of hand-painted invitations and hand painted favours’ boxes. Lately I am very fascinated with the idea of the ephemeral art: pieces created from fragile materials, such as paper, that are meant to last for just a while, to decorate for just one night. 


Merry Vintage Christmas Card

18. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I am working on a children’s book. Both writing and illustrating. But you will have to interview me in the future for that…



Snow White Giclee Art Print


Isn't Maria talented!!? I'd love to have her skills!
Thanks so much to Maria for taking the time to do this interview!
It's been a pleasure getting to know you, and I can't wait to see your children's book! :D (Please let me know when it gets published, so that we can be the first to interview you ;))

I wish you the best of luck with your wonderful business - travel safely to the moon ;)


Please check out Maria's shop and show her some love by hearting her shop and your favorite items!

Be sure to leave Maria a lovely comment below with feedback, tips, your thoughts, questions, etc.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Never Fails: 4 Articles on Happiness and Change




                                                                          Source: penelopesoasis.com via Katrine on Pinterest



As I've mentioned, I looove self help books. (more on some of my current favorite self help books later.)
But who doesn't want to improve themselves, and want to become a better person?
Who doesn't want to know the secrets to happiness, and the secrets to life? - I sure do!

I think that happiness can be found in the smallest of places and by the smallest means and that happiness can be found anywhere - and can happen every day.
Miracles are happening as we speak.

Today I had a long conversation with my bff. I helped her with some issues, and she even thanked me later. I said, what are you thanking me for? She said, for being you. 
Helping her made my day, and it didn't take much effort on my part. I was glad to talk to her, and to listen. She needed a friend, and I was so glad that I was the friend she could, and wanted to, talk to.  

I love reading articles and lists on self help and happiness topics, and I recently discovered a website with some uhhmazing articles/ lists, that I can't get enough of!

Here are some of my favorites:




                                                                                 Source: favim.com via Katrine on Pinterest


Tell me whatcha thiiiink ;)

25 Ways to Tie a Scarf {video}




You may have noticed how I looove accessories and to accessorize!
Well, I love scarves too, but accessorize using them too seldom.

I thought I'd share this super video today, and hopefully I'll get better at accessorizing with a scarf ;)

How do you accessorize?



Remember to enter the giveaway!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Featured on Love Is


The Gentle Flower is one of the lovely Andrea @ Love Is' sponsors :D (she also sponsors The Gentle Flower)

Which means that you can go and read about me and The Gentle Flower over there.

Please leave a comment, and enjoy this song (one of my favourites) today! :)



If you'd like to be a sponsor, read this. There will be posts up on The Gentle Flower's sponsors soon.

And remember to enter the giveaway!

What's your favourite song? Or favourite songs?
Do you like Natasha Bedingfield's music?

Have a great day!
Katrine :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Get the Look: Cream White Rosette Ring




Today I thought I would share how to wear our newest product, the Cream White Rosette Ring!

I've been wearing one of these babies since I created them! I'm addicted.

Let's get you hooked too...


Get the look-


My hand wearing the Cream White Rosette Ring, cream
nail polish to matchwhilst holding a The Gentle Flower
business card ;) (this is the back)

This ring is perfect for any occasion, and compliments any outfit.

It's perfect for summer, as it has a fun freshness to it. But it's also perfect for winter, as it matches the snow outside, or can remind you of the winter snow in colder countries.

The ring is very versatile as the colour of the ring matches any blouse, dress, pants, etc. of a different colour.

It even matches any kind of nail polish, but I wore a shiny, cream white nail polish to match the ring ;)
I am that addicted to it.

Plus the ring looks perfect holding a The Gentle Flower business card, of course ;)



If you wear it just like me, you'll be looking like a true Gentle Flower! What could be better? ;)





Please go check it out and let me know what you think ;) 
How would you wear it?


And don't forget to enter the giveaway! (psst. I've added two additional ways to enter!!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Giveaway: Cookie Earrings





The Gentle Flower is giving away one pair Chocolate Chip Cookie Earrings to one lucky reader!! (Valued at $25)



Check out the Etsy listing here.



How to enter the giveaway:

(Please write one comment for each entry you do, including your name and e-mail)
The giveaway is international.


Mandatory entries:



Extra entries:
  • Blog about the giveaway and link to the giveaway in the post (leave a link to the post below)
  • Facebook about the giveaway and link to the giveaway in the post (leave a link to the post below) You can post daily for one extra entry each day you do.
  • Tweet about the giveaway and link to the giveaway in the post (tweet @thegentleflower so I can see your tweet) You can tweet daily for one extra entry each day you do.
  • Pin one picture/ post from the shop or blog. You get one extra entry for each pin you do, please leave a link for each one below.


NEW EXTRA ENTRIES!!!:
I'm adding two more ways to get entries:




The giveaway ends on January 31st, 2012 and the winner will be chosen by random.org on February 1st.


Good luck!

How to Look Like the Swedish Flag (while looking cute)



Yes, I am from Norway, but I do love the beautiful blue and yellow colour combo. contrast! 



The lovely Italy blue colour really makes the Sunshine Yellow Garden Pinks Necklace pop, doesn't it?

I'm also wearing one of my favourite rings - my silver lama ring from my Argentinian BFF Vir and my silver bracelet from Italy. - I loooove accessorizing!

I also tucked my shirt in my jeans, which I think looks real cool with the right t-shirt or shirt ;)



A glimpse of my hair.


The necklace really radiates sunshine and always makes me smile.
My skin looks yellow too, doesn't it.. haha!

I always get a ton of compliments whenever I wear the necklace, so I always feel super special ;)


I may look like the Swedish flag, but I do love it ;)


How do you accessorize?
Have you ever unintentionally dressed as a flag?

And I'm linking up here:

pleated poppy  Momma Go Round

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Confessional Friday



I thought I'd confess a few things today and link up with A Blonde Ambition for her linky party! YAY :D


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1. I just realized that it's actually Saturday today... but I guess I can still confess stuff. Whoops!



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2. I need 6-8 tea spoons of sugar in my tea. Always! (It does depend on the size of the cup, but I usually drink my tea from a 0.5 L cup...) I can't stand tea with too little sugar!!!




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3. I've been sick for the past week and a bit down in the dumps about it because I have don't really have time to be sick!


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(this cracked me up)
4. I've injured my knee, and I may need surgery... which is also getting me down. And my knee is aching!!!

5. One of my New Year's resolutions was to not get injured this year... well technically I got injured in December, but I'm feeling the pain. So I guess that's a resolution I will have to give up on already.






6. I was too late to participate in the Cold Hands, Warm Hearts swap at Much Love, Illy's blog, so I contacted another blogger, my new bloggy BFF, Erica @ Sweets and Hearts and asked her if she wanted to do a swap. And she said yes!! I'm so excited! I just finished up her package and will be sending it out on Monday :D Yay!


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(did that make you yawn too?)
7. I'm seriously tired of school.


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<3
8. I'm SERIOUSLY tired of being sick and/ or injured.

9. I'm dreading the possible surgery of my knee.

10. I chew on my tongue when I'm concentrating.. and I've recently discovered the best way to chew it... which makes me look like a monkey I guess. I really need to stop that!



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11. I LOVE self help books. I'm in the self-help section of the bookstore so often that one of the women that work there asked me if I needed help one time. She looked slightly worried. Haha! Is there a self help book for being addicted to self help books? I'll be sharing a bit on the recent books I've gotten and that I'm reading later.

12. I feel guilty when I blog because I should be doing other stuff.



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13. I don't want to turn 19 this year.



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14. I just chewed my tongue like a monkey.


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15. I feel guilty because I want to and should read more.


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16. I feel guilty because I feel too much guilt.


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(I tried watching this movie once... couldn't get through more than 10 minutes!)

17. I feel 17 years old.


18. I just got a Pinterest account.. but I can't figure out how it works. I'm usually not technically challenged! :/



Have you made any confessions?
Share your links or confessions below, I'd love to read yours :)


Psst.. have you noticed The Gentle Flower's super duper new sponsors?? Check 'em out (in the right side bar) - they have awesome blogs :D -->

Would YOU like to be a sponsor? Get the low down here.


Have a great weekend! :)
~Katrine
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