Tuesday, July 27, 2010

a lot to learn

so i'm definitely a noob when it comes to photography. my sister-in-law, on the other hand, has been honing her skills for quite a while now.  i was treated this weekend with a few shots she snapped with her fancy schmance slr camera. and for the special occasion, we produced the biggest crocodile tear that we could....

 thank you jen!

Monday, July 26, 2010

the master plan

so you may have noticed a complete + utter lack of posting regarding our master bedroom....save for a mention on this checklist from HALF A YEAR AGO [oy vey! talk about an accountability plan gone awry].

reason being, its a total white box challenge.  the space is sparsely adorned with our canopy bed, a garage sale side table, and a dapper pair of damask curtains from pier one....the product of a coupon we received when we purchased our living room couches.

ok, and one more pier one item, that dark horse in the corner there....a carved wood wall hanging that we've had since our last house, that has yet to earn a permanent spot in the new house.

the good news is that after sleeping on it for over a year....[mmhmm. sleeping on it. you'll get it in a minute]....i've finally hatched a plan that excites me. the bad news is i'm not quite ready to spill the whole scheme yet.  but the post is already in the works!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


we're having lots of fun over here at +the new house+.  my mom is here to visit which is a huge treat for me.  together, we just conquered another michigan beach day....filled with sprinkling skies, armfuls of baby gear, squawking flocks of seagulls + hot humid air.

and now one of us thinks he can leap tall buildings.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


with michigan having a summer dripping with heat + sunshine, i'm dreaming of this in my backyard....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

twisted sister

this bunch of twisty branches on our dining room console table is adding just the sweetest bit of wild to an otherwise crisply defined room....

its just a few remnant curly willow sticks left from our wedding reception.  i know, i know.  me + my free decorative accents.

gotta love stickin' it to a space using sculptural branches though.  i've actually got a few more on tap that i've got to find a place for still....i need to decide whether i want to paint them or dress them up somehow.  more on that later!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

how clean is too clean?

sometimes i'll catch myself looking at a room + thinking....it looks a little TOO clean.  and when i say clean, i mean neat.  because i'm admittedly a neat-freak, as opposed to a clean-freak.  [one look at my dark walnut floors will confirm this.  dust unabashedly resides there.]  but when it comes to mess....well i don't mess around.

anyway sometimes i'll catch myself living a little too near the neat side of things + too far from the freshly lived in look.

one example was our bathroom, as shown in this pic i recently posted.  i really like a picked-up bath where the statements themselves can shine....pretty fixtures, lovely lighting, the texture of the tile....etc.  but sometimes things look prettier when you dabble in disarray.

a little more interesting, no?

while it might seem funny to some, to force things by purposefully creating clutter, i'm rather enjoying it myself.

how about you?  is everything categorically organized behind closed doors? ....or do you like to leave evidence of 'life' living on the surfaces in your home?

Friday, July 16, 2010

as we walk in fields of gold

so after jjjjust finishing this post about our living room, i happen to discover a little treasure in our basement.  nothing like going subterranean to add some spice to your decor.

in this case its a little old painting....that to most people might not have any value.  i promptly subbed in this piece + the 3 metallic votives in place of the ikea patterned tin + tory burch candle that had been occupying the space for a while.

i can remember growing up with this in my parents' house though, and i'd forgotten that i inherited it when they downsized their home.  to my eye, it has a simple charm.  somehow the spattering of simple brushstrokes captures my gaze + transports me....and i rather enjoy the rough wooden 'frame', if you can even call the simple edge pieces that.

sometimes decor really is at its best when its simple, and meaningful.

now if only i could get that sting song out of my head.

see the west wind move like a lover so
upon the fields of barley....

Thursday, July 15, 2010


someone has discovered the jumperoo.  and loves it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

all dressed up + nowhere to go

i picked up this six foot long dresser off craigs list today.  i have a special spot in mind for it, actually [more on that later].

as for the finish....looks like i have my work cut out for me!

Monday, July 12, 2010

keep clean + carry on

so you already knew i crushed on the crisp, punchy look of a certain war poster....as evidenced in this post of the past.

well i'd actually envisioned it in our laundry room, to start with.  i liked the idea of being able to run in there on a harried day, slam the door shut, take a deep breath [and perhaps a slug, or five, of wine] and let the poster do the talking.  in fact i'd sourced it out in a laundry list of different colors on etsy.  i was leaning toward something in the cool tones....perhaps navy, or lime, or a splash of watery aqua.  something to compliment the cool clean color palette of white + grey.

well.  kinda forgot about hunting it down after moving into the house.  that is, until i stumbled upon this version at tj maxx a few months ago.  ahoy matey!  i don't think i could have come much closer to having the proverbial pop of red.

the price was the same as most etsy poster versions buuut the fun factor here is that its already mounted on a wooden backboard so no frame needed.  between the savings there + not paying for shipping [not to mention that hot red hue] it was a pretty swell deal!

and did i talk bout the high gloss finish yet?  because there's a high gloss finish.  which just so happens to reflect the same shiny sheen as the laundry floor.

definitely meant to be together....and i really enjoy how its yet another element in the room of sparkly clean goodness.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

speedy gonzalez

the little man is racing along through his wardrobe.  when he was just about a month + a half old, i took this shot as i folded up a load of laundry to be stored away for a future baby [whether it be ours or someone else's. don't get any ideas now!].

i call it ode to 0-3....as it signals my saying goodbye to the teeny tiny tot phase.

he grew out of a lot of the onesies quickly since he was born a hefty 9 lbs 8 oz.  now at 3 months old and about 14.5 lbs, he's already sitting pretty in some 6-9 month onesies. it breaks my heart in a way, but i guess you can't keep them tiny forever!

the good news is now we're enjoying fun things like....

bubbles. lots + lots of bubbles.

and the eating of everything in sight.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

a slice of key lime pie

once i got our drippety-drop painting hung to the right of our fireplace, i felt as though the skinny slice of wall to the left of our fireplace was craving some attention as well.  and since we'd already delved into black + white territory i really wanted to add visual pizzazz across the way.

so....i picked up a couple of canvases at le lob de hob, a.k.a. hobby lobby, and went to town.  well i went to town first, literally speaking, then i....ok never mind.

i wanted a shade of chartreuse to play off the nearby sunroom flor carpet + ikea pillows. however since i hoped to work with the medium of spray paint, my options were more limited than if i were to use a custom-mixed can of paint.  [but if anyone knows of a way you can get custom colors in spray paint, let me know!] so i scanned through what was available at my local menarrrrds, knowing that bright was the order of the day, and preferably in a yellow or green tone.  and straight out of florida was a can called 'key lime', beckoning me with its neon green brilliance.

trust me when i say that the picture doesn't show quite how brrrright green this baby glows.

so spray i did and after a couple days of tomfoolery in my basement i came up with this pair:

on the top canvas i like how it looks like sound waves.  in fact, i'm hearing the geico music just looking at it.

and the bottom canvas i love for its bold overall impact.  and the way, hung like this, the paint looks like its spreading out from itself from the negative space between the two canvases.

and as for the mysterious 8th + Q reference?  i wanted to include text on this particular piece [let the records note that i feel quite pretentious referring to said project as a 'piece'] but wasn't sure yet what words i'd use. 8th + Q is a local intersection and my hubs actually suggested the idea.  i was smitten from the start and set out to stencil that sucker on there.

i actually really like how the outlines are not crisp in all areas but instead give the blurred effect of an old photograph.  especially the H, which looks like it came straight from an old picture of a city street sign [in my head, anyway]. kevin also gets the credit with inventing our own 'and' sign from a 3.....as the ampersand stencil was too curvaceous for the desired look.

i'm still not positive that i'm finished with the top canvas.  right now, its got that smoky line trailing up the right side, which adds an element of imperfection but also hints at being incomplete.  so, we'll see.  it might still go all california style and get a little work done.

for now, here's our living room as it stands.


editor's note: many toys were relocated in the making of this post.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


we received so many lovely gifts in celebration of baby h's arrival....and i'm embarrassed to see how far behind i've become in thanking everyone appropriately.  this morning i'm enjoying the vibrant colors as i write the last few cards + basking again in the blessings bestowed on us these past few months.  thank you all!

its fun to think of this rainbow heading out across two countries over the next week or so....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

nursery works: part three, iii

 the last addition to the nursery, besides the wee boy himself, was a frame project i thought up for the reading nook corner after deciding it was a little sparse looking. my challenge to myself was to make a colorful corner collection that was as close to zero dollars as possible. zeeeerrooohhh [OH..oh..oh..oh.. sound echoes through nearby mountaintops]

so here goes....

+ spray paint = $3.68/can, to turn frames i already had into fresh white [which in turn emphasizes the various shapes rather than having a busy looking ensemble of multiple colored frames]. technically we already had the paint for these, from other projects including the shadow boxes that used to be dark wood.

+ diddo on the paint for the solo orange frame. i wanted just one in a different shade for a little dash of unexpected.

+ kia car ad sheeps = FREE. i spied the ad a while back in kevin's espn magazine and tore it out knowing i loved the print for some use or other.

+ vintagey wood plaque = GIFT. my lovely sis thought it would add a little antique flava to the room. and she was right!  love how the owl quietly repeats in the owl bank, the owl silhouette and then the....

+ owl paper = GIFT. my mom picked this up for me from hobby lobby, since she knew i liked a little orange spice.

+ 'celebrate' card = GIFT. my friend's daughter did the drawing and she had cards made out of it, one of which i received with a baby gift.

+ footprints = FREE! [duh] we brought this frame and the orange paper to the hospital with us, so that when baby h was born, we could have the footprints done then + there for a keepsake.

+ large H = approximately $1 on sale.

+ ribbon for the union jack = FREE. this was from the diaper cake at one of my baby showers.

+ woodgrain paper = FREE. this was the inside of a business reply envelope. i just loved that wood looking faux texture.

+ contents of bottom square frame = FREE. i used another business reply envelope interior to edge out a white square of paper with hart's full name typed out on it.  i had typed up both our girl name + boy name a couple weekends before our due date, on a friend's antique typewriter for an authentic old-school look.

+ various sheets of orange paper = approx. $1

+ frames = FREE.  as mentioned, i already owned all of them, for a few years now.

+ embroidery hoops = $1.50 total [you see, i didn't want all square edges but didn't want to spend a ton on fancier frames so my solution....hoop hoop it up!]

so overall, a success! wouldn't you say?