Tuesday, September 29, 2009

high as a kite

y'all. seriously. i took excedrin migraine for this first time this afternoon, and let me tell you what 130 grams of caffeine does to a gal who has consumed approximately four coca-colas and zero cups of coffee in the past 365 days. yikes. this evening's sleep forecast is not looking good.

but that's not all that's got me bouncing off the walls this evening. behold:

a) my mirror arrived yesterday, and it is exponentially more awesome than anticipated. bigger too. but that's probably because i have no concept of distance or spatial relation. 33 inches? that's probably about the length of my arm, right? no? whatev.

here she is in all her glory above our work-in-progress bed in our work-in-progress bedroom:

captain fantastic's all "but i look funny in it because it's convex" and i'm all "why are you looking at yourself in a 12 inch circular convex mirror that's hanging above the headboard when there is a four foot* rectangular mirror on the adjacent wall?" (*estimate is likely highly inaccurate. see above reference to spatial relation deficit disorder)

b) i fell instantly in love with the lamp lauren of pure style home has on the side table in her living room:

notice that it resembles a topiary frame. if you were around in my wedding blogging days, you know that topiaries are my jam. in her post, lauren said the lamp came from pottery barn a while back. boo, i initially thought. but you know what? there's no such thing as boo in the interwebs, because there is such a thing as ebay. i found one singular identical lamp on ebay...and immediately bought it...and it arrived today. and it's a good thing i have such a loving, trusting husband who knows that i am actually fiscally responsible, elsewise i probably wouldn't have a credit card right now. excellent. because now i need to go buy a lamp shade.

c) i was lucky enough this evening to get to meet with the most talented, amazing, generous, adorable woman: stephanie jones of me & mrs. jones painted finishes.

i came across her website yesterday, fell head over heels for her insane talent, spent a good deal of time coveting her life, realized that her daughter attends the school that i attended for 15 years, emailed her for advice, and crossed my fingers that she wouldn't think i was a total lunatic. all that finger-crossing was well worth it, as she proceeded to invite me to the arts & antiques show she participated in this evening and then lavish me with advice and praise and books to borrow. her encouragement and enthusiasm really inspired me, and now i'm all amped up to get the ball rolling on my own creative endeavor. step one = distill the thousands of ideas and inspirations in my head into a single, manageable business plan. hmmm....

thanks so much, stephanie!

aaaaaaaaand i'm off to stare at the ceiling and wait for my caffeine buzz to wear off so i can go to sleep. bon soir, party people.

Monday, September 28, 2009

falltastic pillows

boy howdy did i have a weekend! between antique malls, target, the pottery barn outlet and my parents' attic, i scored in a major way. there is a lot to share this week. first up for your consideration: these pb napkins, which were on sale for $1.97 a pop:

to clarify, they are orange and white. photographer i am not. i loved the geometric pattern, and i had bigger designs for them than wiping mouths. something more like this, which i can't remember where i found:

so. i hit up joann's for an assortment of ribbons and trims (which reminds me, i need to update my address so all my mail comes to my new home in the fabric section):

i could have just slapped the ribbon on the front and called it a day...but you KNOW i gotta make this as complicated as possible. i had to have mitered corners on my ribbon. first, i cut four pieces of ribbon to the length i wanted:

then i pinned the ends of the ribbon together and marked a 45 degree angle:

i sewed along the diagonal line, leaving a quarter inch extra length to make sure the ends didn't fray. all sewed up, it looked like this, with the stitched lines pointing up in opposite directions:

aaaaaaand this is where the in-process pictures stop. i pinned the ribbon square onto one napkin, folding the ends under and trimming any excess, then sewed down both sides of the ribbon. i wanted pom-pom trim around the edge, so i first sewed the trim to the right side of the napkin-with-ribbon-square, then i pinned a second napkin to it, right sides together to make a pom-pom sammie. i sewed around the edge using a zipper foot (those pom-poms are big, y'all). and ta-da, meet my new festive-yet-tasteful fall pillows:

here's a close-up of the mitered corners and pom-poms:

pretty good-looking for a pair of napkins and a handful of ribbon, eh?

i'm sharing this on diy day at a soft place to land, so head over to check out a slew of other great projects!

Friday, September 25, 2009

do these curtains make me look fat?

horizontal stripes: generally viewed as a fashion no-no, but a definite decor yes-yes in my book. this post on material girls dallas highlights a variety of decorating options involving stripes - those walls! that headboard! the settee! drool! - and i am 500 shades of "heck yes!" about it. half the pictures in that post were already in my inspiration files.

we all know about my striped rug, which i am totally digging. i am not so much digging the dark stripes' propensity for collecting white dog hair or the fact that my uber-clever ole wind-yarn-around-the-rolled-rug-edge-to-determine-length trick resulted in my purchasing a rug pad that's a foot too short...but that's neither here nor there. operation stripe is officially a "go" chez stone.

the next two rooms of my house that are due for a little stripe-age are the hallway and our bedroom. the hallway is currently swathed in a beige and white dapply, sponge-paint looking wallpaper. it is unawesome. the hallway is clearly visible from the front door (which is neat when forgetting that the door is open and walking nekkie from the bedroom to the bathroom post-shower...no wonder the neighbs are always on their front porch...) and we'd like it to pack more of a visual punch. here's inspiration for what i'd like to do:

the lettered cottage, design*sponge?, blogger i didn't write down - help!, domino

the questions are thus: horizontal or vertical? skinny or wide? subtle or bold? i think i know what i want to do, but your input is encouraged.

and for the master suite (were a suite barely large enough to hold one queen-sized bed and two king-sized dogs) i wanna get my stripe on like so:

cote de texas, little green notebook (2 & 4), urban grace interiors

the most literal example of my plan being the last picture, both in room application and in color palette. anybody seen any railroaded stripes in a subtle blue-gray/cream colorway with a reasonable price tag? mama needs to make some curtains.

in closing, can i get a resounding TGIfreakingF?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

friday eve

is it just me, or has this week taken a gajillion years? i can't believe it's just now almost friday. perhaps it's the RAIN. it needs to stop raining, like, yesterday. or the day before that. or last week. i'm so over it. also over any desire i may have once had to live in seattle.

so it's finally almost the weekend, and i can get excited about my weekend plans. they include this: freaking accomplish something. last weekend we accomplished precisely nothing, and it was lame. i think we accomplished nothing...but i can't even remember what we didn't accomplish. this week has taken so long that i've lost all memory of the last time it was weekend. SAD.

captain fantastic certainly has grand plans for the next few days. he works in real estate. i always feel like that's a sketchy job description, but it's the best way to tell someone what he does without launching into a complicated diatribe. the pertinent piece of his real estate puzzle for this post is that he owns rental properties. this is fun for me, because i never feel bad about shopping. i come home and am all "hey babe, i ordered a sweater from j.crew today...it was on sale..." but he's all "hey babe, i bought A HOUSE." whammy.

so the most recent property he (rather, WE) bought is in need of some repairs - repainting, refinishing cabinets, retiling bathrooms - and the captain has decided that it will be more cost effective and, dare he say, fun to tackle these projects ourselves. in addition to being a money-saver, this reno will be like a less-high-end practice run for what we need to do in the house in which we actually live. we'll get to see just how long it takes to refinish kitchen cabinets and just how big of a pain in the behind it is to tile a shower before we have to live it day-in and day-out. theoretically. so look forward to hearing about that fiasco in the future.

also, i'll be thrifting with my sister-in-law this weekend, and i hope to have fun finds to share. but right now...i'm spent. so that's all she wrote.

and i wish my front porch looked like this:

one kings lane

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ok phoebe, you win

because this

phoebe howard

keeps surfacing as a room i love

and this

went on sale yesterday at one kings lane


i had a $25 credit from referring a friend who recently made a purchase from the site (high five, kate!)

i think

i'll do something like this

haven and home

and while we're on the subject, imma take a cue from marianne at haven and home and call my style "edited eclectic" like she does. i mean, i AM an editor (slash webmistress slash photographer slash writer slash graphic designer slash pr person slash secretary slash etc) in real life. and my taste is nothing if not eclectic. so, shall we?

Monday, September 21, 2009


if you know me in real life, you will not be at all surprised to hear that i am currently in crisis. identity crisis. this is a frequent affliction. perhaps i should replace "currently" with "perpetually."

the current crisis is timely, as two of my favorite bloggers (well, you know, actual interior designers who also blog) have mentioned the same crisis in the past week. lauren at pure style home is torn between minimal and curiosity shop style and joni at cote de texas wrote an article in antique shops & designers debating whether to clutter or not to clutter. all i have to say is "i hear you, girlfriends." well, that's not all i have to say. i'm far too verbose. here is all i have to say:

i cannot decide. where do i want to live?

in a belgian-swedish-french-country-rustic-minimalist home full of light linen and louis furniture and distressed old wood?

via cote de texas (1,2,4), delight by design (3) and the newlywed diaries (5)

or in a place spashed with geometric prints, punches of color and more modern pieces?

via cote de texas, design*sponge, caitlin creer interiors, phoebe howard, decorpad, windsor smith

i'll take option c) both. possible? i sure hope so.

another crisis: i am so obsessed with finding old junk (or as i like to imagine, diamonds in the rough) and fixing the stuff up into fabulous, one-of-a-kind treasures that i can't get myself to buy anything from an actual store. which is why my living room redecoration project is currently at a stalemate. only so many hours in the weekend to refurb old furniture, and a lot of those hours are consumed with naps that need taking, beer than needs drinking and parties that need attending...

anybody share my sentiments on style-schizo or diy-addiction? know a good 12-step program? got any xanax?

Friday, September 18, 2009

gratuitous dog pictures + a psa

first of all, i'm so thrilled with all of the positive feedback on my chair makeover! thanks y'all! i really enjoyed doing it and am in love with the final product. this week's life plan is to quit my day job and refinish furniture for a living. yes?

second of all, rebecca recently left a comment inquiring as to whether the dyson vacuum lives up to the hype.

short answer: HAIL YES. long answer: see below. or, you know, skip it and go get one.

i love our two muttdogs, marley and sterling. a lot. i love them so much that i refer to myself as "mommy," frequently engage them in conversation and let them lounge on the furniture.

marley dog enjoys a day on the lake

sterl girl picnics by the mighty mississip

the problem is that marley is in the neighborhood of 90 lbs, sterling 60ish lbs, and both are veritable shed-machines. i could brush them all day with the fuuuurminatoooor and still be pulling out clumps of hair tomorrow. woe unto the guest who wears black pants to my house. here's an example of what my living room looks like after i've been too lazy to vacuum for three days (like, say, today):

thanks vanna sterling. that picture gives you an idea of the muddy paw prints, dirt and other detrius that finds its way inside our house. marley models for the close-up of the fur fiasco:

awesome, right? wrong. enter: dyson dc15 animal vacuum cleaner. it comes with a hefty price tag, i am well aware. but buying a new vacuum every few months because your old one is ruined is also expensive. and this baby gets so much use, it's practically already paid for itself. or something. i don't really understand that expression. kinda like when i get excited about getting something on sale and captain fantastic rolls his eyes and says, "wow, you practically made money on that."

anyway, the dyson takes care of our furry messes lickety split. it even cleans carpets that don't appear to be dirty (not that there are any of those around here...) i swear it sucks every last particle of dust out of our flooring. amazing. it's easy to maneuver too, thanks to the ball design. originally i thought that was just a clever marketing tool, but no, it really is extremely easy to navigate around furniture. and it comes with great attachments that work well for cleaning baseboards, upholstery, etc - even an awesome mini-turbine head that can be used on furniture and stairs. you can turn the spinning brushes off to vacuum hardwood floors, and it's so quiet that you can barely even hear the darn thing. again, amazing. if i only have time to vacuum my tiny house one time in a week, it fills the canister 2-3 times with dust and dog hair. gross? yes. overshare? maybe. but awesome? most certainly.


i'm not. i love vacuuming. i love my dyson. if i love it so much, why don't i marry it? already taken. sigh. unrequited love.

but seriously, 5 out of 5 stars kids. totally worth the investment.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

diy day paaartaaaay

now that i've actually completed something worth sharing, i've shared it. them. yesterday's chairs, that is. check out tons of other cool diy projects over at diy day on a soft place to land!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

have a seat

won't you? stay awhile. ignore the hyperactive dog; she'll calm down in a minute. sterling, sit. SIT. SIT. nevermind.

a few weeks ago, i bought a pair of chairs for 20 dolla at a flea market. check it:

they were a leeetle scuffied up in the leg region:

but i liked the character, and the carved details were fab:

fun fact: when my aunt saw them the other day, she told me that her mother had the exact same chairs in her dining room! crazy coinkydink, yah?

i wanted to make them into something reminiscent of these french and swedish (respectively) babies:

so. to transform these beasts into beauts, i first took out the slip seats. not gonna lie, i didn't hate the original fabric. but it was old and worn:

and i did, in fact, hate what i found when i removed the fabric:

eeeeeeww. dirty white vinyl. blech. i wrapped the seats back up all quick-like with the fabric i bought a joann's to take them from gross to gorg. eous. ok, enough.

the chairs had previously been painted dark brown. answer me this: who paints wood brown? it's already brown. just stain it darker. anyway, i had a lighter treatment in mind. so i took them out back and went to town with the sandpaper.

here's another shot of the roughed-up gams:

and the carved details:

sideways. please excuse.

each chair then got a lovely coat or three of white paint of the spray variety. (if you intend to do some spray painting of your own, i'd highly recommend purchasing one of those spray paint trigger attachments. you will not regret your investment. neither will your trigger finger. trust.)

two issues: 1) it was too bright-n-shiny-sparkly-crisp white for the look i had in mind. i was lead to believe that it would to turn out creamy off-white, but i had to go all joe wilson on the colored cap of the spray can 2) remember that brown paint? yeah...it bled through the white in some places, giving the paint a pinkish tint. lesson on the importance of primer: learned.

good thing i'd picked up a handy-dandy dark brown paint sampler at the home deep:

this thing was super chouette. it had a built-in brush in the lid like a can of rubber cement. i used the brush to apply the paint to the dinged and distressed areas in small sections, then wiped it off with a paper towel. it stuck to the white more than i'd anticipated, so i then used a wet wipe to remove the majority of the brown, leaving the chairs nicely weathered and antiqued. from this:

to this:

and here we have the final product:

success! next on tap: replace all living room furnishings to go with chairs. hmm....
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