"I draw rocks"

I almost forgot about this interesting woman I met on the first flight of my trip to Mozambique {Boston to Amsterdam}. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Miss Lilian Cooper who, when asked what she does for a living, responded with "I draw rocks". She went on to explain that she was on her way home after a month-long residency spent on the coast of Maine, drawing the rock formations. She is doing a 20-year project (I think 20 years is correct ...) tracing the edges of the North Atlantic coast! So she is getting sponsored to travel the world drawing the coastline. In looking at the very linear and detailed way in which she executes these drawings it's easy to make the connection between this work and the work of her past life as an architect.
Of all the people I could have been seated next to! Clearly, I had a million questions. I mean, how does one sit on the rocky coast and draw on HUGE pieces of paper? (many of her drawings are large-scale) And in pencil?! She said she just rolls it along. I assumed the paper must get really crinkled and dirty, but apparently that's not the case. A squished bug here and there, but for the most part, it stays clean. I was also really interested in how her drawings will be preserved, because after spending days on the coast, the paper has obviously been exposed to a lot of salty water. Too many questions, not enough time!

{ Also, she successfully carried a bag full of rocks onto the plane with her by explaining to the security that she is an artist and finds them beautiful?! }


Today I googled "peacemaker" because I am working on our company's annual Christmas card and one of my ideas is to send out an item that would be a "peacemaker". For instance, it might be an everyday object such as cottonballs for the ears (except that's cliché and boring). Anyway, I googled this word, just to see what popped up and what is the 3rd image in the Google image search results?

I don't know, the box would have to be really big. I think we'd go over-budget.



on the radiowe heard november rainthat solo's really longbut it's a pretty songwe listened to it twice'cause the DJ was asleep
Regina Spektor On the Radio

Recently, I've heard more than usual about vintage radios. In chatting with one of my coworkers today, I discovered that the CEO of the company I work for has a room full of them at his house (photo is not of his actual collection). And Holly at Decor8 just blogged about one she purchased which is, of course, über cute. She has not yet revealed the maker, which I took as a challenge: I had to find one on eBay. And lo and behold, my search was a success. While I love hers in all white, I have to admit that I think that the Coca-Cola tag gives it even greater pop appeal and I can just picture it on a shelf full of a mix of vintage toys, found treasures and more modern toys such as a few KidRobot (Dunny, Munny, Labbit) and Uglydoll vinyl figures!


tabletop decorating

I've been thinking about how I'd like to decorate the table for my dinner party in December ... The theme is "Fall Fresh" >> Fresh Foods, Faces & Flirtinis (but only because that's the only drink that starts with an "F"). I want it to be a semi-formal party—I say "semi" because I don't want to scare my friends away by pulling a "Brie" from Desperate Housewives (not that I even could pull that off if I wanted to) and because I don't have the proper table settings for a real formal event. Mainly, I just want to put what I have of my grandmother's china to use, so semi-formal it is!
Anyway, I've found some really interesting (and most importantly, reasonably priced) things on Jamali Garden such as these moss covered rocks and balls.
And on Save On Crafts the beautiful bright green artificial allium balls (spikey ones), pinecones and twine garland. You could also hit up Target for the twine balls and some other "fillers". Their Jasmine Decorative Balls would be ideal, priced at $15.69 for over 15 pieces, except for the fact that they are potpourri. You don't want smelly things at the dinner table!

I also want to put to use things I already have, as well as DIY some stuff ... so I'm trying to figure how it will all work together. Right now, I'm picturing a candlelit, mossy, natural landscape sprawling the length of the table. But in order to keep it from looking like I dumped a pile of pond slime on the table, I think I will mix in some crisp clean white ceramic pieces and silver.

However, my grandmother's china is white and it has a gold rim. I don't particularly like gold and I don't have gold silverware or table accessories. So, in order for it all to make sense, I'm going to mix the two shiny shades throughout—in the decor by gathering up some dried leaves and spray painting them both gold and silver and by mixing in some silver pieces such as my engraved "S" candlesticks (which are crying for a polish).

Metro Boston feature

This is a little delayed, but my photo of a Bloco AfroBrazil Drummer taken September 29th at the 7th Annual Beantown Jazz Festival was featured in the Boston Metro Paper! Yayy. I submitted it for the Metro Global Photo Challenge and it appeared in the October 3rd issue. Additionally, I won a $25 gift certificate to a camera shop. It was also chosen as the photo of the week and I received another gift certificate for $75!

ceiling medallion wall art

I just came across this idea posted on Another Shade of Grey (which they found on Better Homes & Gardens) and what a great idea it is! They purchased some architectural ceiling medallions (which appear at the base of the ceiling light fixture) and simply painted them various shades of yellow. Another thing to put in my growing "home inspiration" folder. I think this would look great on the empty wall of my entranceway ...

Ceiling medallions can be found here: Architectural Depot, on Ebay, locally in Boston at the Boston Building Materials Co-op and Restore.

I recommend finding places such as the last two listed here where you can get these architectural details used ... rather than buying new. You also might happen upon some other great things that will provide inspiration!


I have a soft spot for orange

Craigslist alert! If I didn't already have a great couch and I had the $$$, I would snatch this up. I don't think it's quite as traffic cone orange as it looks here ... the photos were really dark, so I brightened this up. But what a couple of nice pieces!


X Games meets Apple

So for the other half of the weekend, I guess I played the role of Susie Homemaker's more edgy/modern sister? Basically, that entailed sitting in front of my computer for 6 hours designing graphics for the Discovery (children's) line of First Act guitars. The designs will be made into stickers to be included with the guitar, so kids can create their own custom look!

little Susie Homemaker

That's basically what I played this weekend and it was so much fun! Even though it was a gorgeous weekend outside, I had a great time reupholstering, sewing and hanging art with the windows wide open and the music blasting. And I also had a perfect view from the dining room/work room windows of the cute guy landscaping next door! ;)

So after I finished the chairs, I used the leftover fabric to sew some curtains for the open pantry shelves. That area had been bothering me for awhile, with all of our food stuff in plain view. It just looked so messy. It was a really simple project ... I just created two panels and used the leftover hardware from the curtains I hung in my room to extend them across the shelving. The only "problem" is that the pattern doesn't match up from one panel to the next. The amount of fabric I had left *just* fit the space ... I didn't have enough to make them match perfectly. Oh well! They still look nice.

The artwork: a couple of prints I made in high school that just happened to fit in some extra Ikea Ribba frames I had lying around. The woman and the man are gazing at one another :)


Pee & Poo in my Loo

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? In that case, I might just have to imitate this bathroom art in Kim's house by bloggers Kim & Jo of Desire to Inspire. SO simple, witty and cute.

Photos from kimhas5cats on Flickr.


my grandmother's chairs get new life!

As this is my first attempt at reupholstering ... I have to brag a little. The chairs look amazing! I mean, there's not much to compare it to considering the old upholstery was disgusting, but I think they turned out pretty well. Of course that's due in part to the lovely fabric by Amy Butler. I was also really careful to cut/place the fabric in the same way on each chair so that the pattern matches from chair to chair. I think it's more professional looking that way.


home makeover

The "new" couch and furniture was part of it, but there's a bigger picture. I want to repaint most of my apartment to brighten things up and add some new accessories—new living room rug, new pillows, new curtains—you get the idea.

I've collected inspiration from a variety of places ... many of the images were found on sfgirlbybay and decor8.

From there, I created a moodboard. I started by using a shot of my existing living room and other pieces of furniture and art that I own. Then, in Photoshop, I manipulated my living room to reflect a new paint color for the wall, the coffee table refinished in white and a new rug and curtains. I proceeded to add in new elements to complement what I was establishing for a color palette—fabrics, entranceway rug, etc. I also added in a few things that I've been coveting for awhile: IKEA Docksta table and art by Matte Stephens. Actually, what I really want is an original Saarinen table (as I've mentioned in a few posts already), but they are too expensive for my budget.

Click to view larger


Adler inspiration

I'm not a huuuge fan of Jonathan Adler's designs ... but what I do like is finding examples of pieces on eBay, which when placed side-by-side, clearly show what he is inspired by!

The horse on the left is a piece of mid-century pottery I found on eBay. The horse on the right is a piece designed by Jonathan Adler.

I'm undecided as to which I like more. I love the variations in green and the "roughness" of the design of the original piece. But on the other hand, I really like the cleaned up lines and simple white of JA's design.

Down to two

So I have new fabric choices, but I think I've narrowed it down to these two. Yayy!


fabric headache

I finally moved my dining set—lighted hutch, sideboard, dining table & chairs (inherited from my grandmother)—from CT to my apartment here. It all looks marvelous, but the seats of the chairs definitely need reupholstering (photo shown is of the same chairs found on eBay—fabric on mine is in worse condition). I've been looking at some fabrics, but there are too many to choose from! I don't know if I'll ever make a decision.

I am sure of two things: I want something bright and fun with a bold pattern and it has to be cheap (unfortunately that means no Marimekko). Help me make a decision! They are all so beautiful. Currently, the main colors in my house are turquoise blue, orange and brown. I think the fabric should have hints of at least one of those colors. Right now I think my favorites are the turquoise/pink choice in the upper left hand corner of the first photo and the orange wood grain print in the second set of images. But I keep changing my mind. The choice also has to look nice with the color of the wood. I'm thinking that a fabric with some blue in it might be best because the wood is already so orange-y (warm).


Gimme Your Stuff

Wow this is great! It looks like so much fun! I'm going to do this as soon as I have $20 to spare. Basically, you put together a care package containing items that are culturally significant (or just plain fun) to the place where you live and swap it with someone from a far away land! What would my package contain? Clearly some Red Sox paraphernalia, a can of Clam Chowder, a copy of the Improper Bostonian and the Weekly Dig? And the typical items ... candy, magazines, postcards. I can't wait!


I'm inspired ... by this couple Monie.ka and James, soulmates who together have formed the company Working Class Heroes. You can read about their journey on the "featured sellers" page of Etsy. Both used to work at various international advertising agencies. They got sick of it and took off for a long expedition through Australia. When they got back, they started up their own company. They also have a blog you can read here. Not only are they inspiring, their work is super cool too! Beautiful, simple felt and leather designs with custom imprinting. Gorgeous work and it looks really well-made too!

A2Z Modern

Oooo I just discovered a vintage mid-century "garage" in Worcester, MA! I might have to make a trip next time I get paid ...

Quote from the site: "we scour the globe looking for the treasures you need to make that lovely little 3 bedroom rancher into a true "Hipsters" paradise." gotta love it.

Pictured here are some of my favorites found on the site (note: same table seen at Catie's grandmother's house ...).


the couch

Ok, the photo in the last post wasn't so hot ... so i took new ones to show just how amazing this couch is. What's more amazing is that I was recently contemplating purchasing the first couch pictured, from Macy's (it was on sale) when lo and behold, I found this one for free!

Now I'm having trouble deciding what color to paint the walls. Actually, I'm not sure what color to even begin looking at. I need to have a direction in mind before I go to the store. I'm thinking a nice light blue-gray might be good, but then, what about the turquoise coffee table? I'm not sure that will work. Then I might have to paint that. Hmm.