Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Weekend!

It's April 23rd, and it's Friday, hooraay! That means in exactly 6 months, I'm going to turn 30 (eeeeek!).  I can't say I'm exactly where I thought I'd be at this stage in my life, but I also can't say that I don't love where I am right now. And that's a really good thing.

I struggled with actually posting this post, because I was unsure how personal I wanted to get on this blog. But then, I decided, what the hell-- it’s my blog, it might as well be personal. That being said, I’ve come up with a list of 30 things I want to do before I’m 30. These goals aren’t blowin’ the doors off the barn, people--I only have 6 months--but they are things I’d really like to accomplish. I think sometimes we get so bogged down in the big picture stuff--I want a fabulous house right now, I want a fabulous career right now-- it can be easy to forget that a big, big journey always starts with the first step.

So without further ado:

30 Things I Want to Do Before I'm 30
1.   Take one good photo per week
2.   Complete at least one furniture redesign project (ideally more than one!)
3.   Commit to doing Yoga twice a week
4.   Teach L. Belle 3 new tricks
5.   Just keep blogging
6.   Find a volunteer position
7.   Spend time thinking about how I want to spend my time, and make a plan
8.   Try to sell one of my photos
9.   Try to sell one of my furniture redesigns
10. Start to learn to use Photoshop
11. Take a calligraphy class
12. Take a floral arranging class
13. Eat more fruits and veggies
14. Stain our Morrocan side table and 3-drawer dresser
15. Bake bread, from scratch
16. Make curry…like the paste
17. Bake a cheesecake
18. Teach L. Belle to walk like a well-behaved wonder dog on the leash
19. Plant an indoor herb garden
20. Plan meals out before I head to the store
21. Floss more (this one's for Jana!)
22. Make sure Mr. J knows that I love him, everyday
23. Be better about keeping in touch with my friends and family
24. Set up my new house, and make it lovely
25. Clear all my photos off the computer, save to CDs and file
26. Declutter my life of stuff I don't need or want
27. Sell my crappy furniture on Craigslist to make room for more good stuff
28. Give the heave ho to old and unflattering clothing
29. Put my wedding photos in an album
30. Put photos from our Peru trip in an album

Are you still with me?  It's not the most exciting list, but you gotta start somewhere, right?  What about you all?  Any big milestones coming up?  It doesn't have to be in advance of a nice, round number like 3-0 (dear god!), but what are you all looking to accomplish in the next 6 months, 1 year, or more?  It's not much, I know, but just thinking about goals and saying them out loud can be really powerful.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dream Dining Room

Luckily, I have a bit of a start on this one. Mr. J and I received 6 beautiful chairs and a buffet as a wedding gift. Unfortunately, this means we have been using a cast off table from his parents for the past 2+ years. While I secretly squirrel away money for the dining table of my dreams, I pulled together some photos for inspiration until that day!

Loving this image from the latest issue of Lonny.  The chairs and buffet we already have are all dark wood. I’d love to get the matching table, someday, someday, someday! I love the way these light slip-covered chairs break up all the dark in the space. Ditto for the curtains and the rug. Pretty much perfect. I think the dining room is one of those places where you can go really bold with color and get away with it. Most of us don’t eat in our dining rooms every evening (um, usually the coffee table is our dining table…guilty!), so when you do actually eat in there, bold colors really make the space dramatic…and perfect for holidays, parties and special occasions where you actually sit down, set the table and DINE!  Personally, I’d go for a deep blue like this or a rich red (the color we currently have in our space).

Now for the table. I’m all about chunky, solid, sturdy wood pieces like these:

And no, the chairs totally don’t have to match. It sure is a lot more fun, and more visually interesting if they don’t! You gotta get a bit of fabric and color in there to break up all that wood!  Once I get my table, I plan to add colorful cushions to the chairs, and add two slip-covered chairs. 

Now, when it really comes down to it, the pieces I currently have can transition easily and become my kitchen table and chairs down the road. You know, when I have such a large and fabulous house that I have both a formal dining room, and a casual, eat in kitchen. Yes?

Man, I am loving the improvised banquette seating in the first shot. Don’t you want to curl up with the paper (or, um, your laptop?) a cup of coffee and eat all your breakfast?? I do. The second banquette shot is no slouch, either. Elegant and the same time.  And finally, loving the casual vibe in the last shot. Can totally picture a bunch of kiddos coloring at the table and a couple of dogs running around underneath.  Just perfect.

Images via Lonny, Desire to Inspire, House Beautiful, Domino

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Bricklayer's Table

Taaa daaaaa!

Sort of. "Inspired by"...maybe.  Regardless, I love it and its rustic wood planks and sturdy metal legs.  It arrived late last week, and Mr. J and I put it all together last weekend.  With a minimal amount of drama.  I mean, there was a minor situation when I couldn't exactly get the screws in, and L. Belle was being a little bit too helpful by snatching and chewing up all the packaging, but other than that,  it came together without incident, and I'm excited to accesorize!

First things first, I'll need a new lamp.  (Yes honey, the one we have is lovely, but the scale of it is all wrong for the room.  Trust me.)

I'm kind of liking this one, from Pottery Barn, but am not sure how the mercury glass would go with the rustic wood:

Kind of digging this one from West Elm:

I think, though, that I really have my heart set on a red ceramic lamp, a la this one, from Crate and Barrel:

However, much to my dismay, I went to "visit" the lamp this weekend at my local C&B, and was pretty disappointed in the lamp to shade ratio. Man, it just looked so OFF!  Just switch out the shade, you say.  And I could, but for $200 lamp better be perfect.  So the search continues.  At least until this baby goes on sale. Until then, anyone have any good lighting sources they'd like to share?

I'm working on working the table into our room, and will post some photos once it's perfect!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

Sigh.  What a busy weekend...never enough time to get everything done!  But, on Sunday morning, Mr. J, L. Belle and I headed up to the Skagit Valley to check out the last good weekend of tulips.  Check out some of the photos.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Yay! It’s Friday! I have a busy weekend ahead of me. First and foremost, I will read the new House Beautiful cover to cover. Next up, an 8.5 mile run (Grumble grumble. Running a half marathon in two weeks—so behind on training!). Then, up to the Skagit Valley to check out the tulips! Then, lunch and shopping with a friend, and finally, a bridal shower for an old college buddy. Can’t wait! Even though I have a lot on my plate this weekend, I am really looking forward to some couch time with Mr. J and L. Belle and puttering around the house—here’s to hoping!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dream Rooms: Library

I love to read, and I love books. Nothing floats my boat like a whole afternoon (um…or entire day) spent reading a book. As a kid, I used to save up all my allowance and beg my mom to take me to the bookstore, where I’d spend hours determining how I’d spend my riches. Every time, I’d come out with a huge stack that would satisfy me until my next “pay day”.  And the LIBRARY, too! Don’t get me started. One of the biggest pickles I ever got into was in the 3rd grade, when I snuck out and rode my bike to the library, without telling anyone where I was going. I returned, hours later, to my frantic mother wondering where I had been. I looked at her like, “So what? I was just at the library. Duh.” That didn’t go over so well.

Anyway, the house we live in does have some sweet built ins where I can stash all my treasures, but in the house of my dreams, I’d have a whole room dedicated to books and reading. A library of my own. Heaven.

Until then, I’ve gathered these photos for some awesome inspiration:

Images via Domino, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart, isuwannee

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fabric Crush: Schumacher

Inspired by this image, I'm all about the idea of an end of bed bench. I actually thought this fabric was exactly what I wanted, so I hunted it down (Dzhambul Suzani from Brunschwig et Fils for the curious). I got samples of four different colorways, and decided that no, in fact, it wasn’t for me. I am not willing to let the idea of a brightly patterned end of bed bench go, though. So, I soldier on! The “master” bedroom in our house is less than…well…masterful, so I’m working on pulling together a plan to take it to the next level. Well, let’s be honest, I just need to take it to some level. Because my bed is on the floor, people. (I’ve blogged about my love affair with the Lewis Headboard, so don’t worry, I’m working on a remedy).

But now, back to the bench. I’ve become obsessed with…er…picked out four fabrics from F. Schumacher & Co. that I think would make a beautiful, spectacular and glorious addition to my end of bed bench. So without further ado, I give you the samples:

That is, from the top left: the venerable Chiang Mai Dragon in Aquamarine, Cambourne in Honey, Chinois Fret in Almond/Noir and Chinois Fret in Gold/Cinnabar. (The last two are meant to appease my well-meaning but non-floral-loving husband, Mr. J).

So what’s the word? Which of these do you think I should I choose? Or should I keep on looking??

P. to the S. Notice the rug?? Stripes!!! So. Hot. Right. Now.

Images via Domino and F. Schumacher & Co.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Striped Rug Love!

I think I'm in love:

With this zig zag rug from West Elm.  Yowza!  Yeah, yeah, it's a rip off of Madeline Weinrib, but I'm on a budget, people.

These babies are so hot right now.  Check out this image from the latest issue of Lonny:

Or this, from the Domino archives:

Ikea has this cheapie, that looks great, and won't break the bank:

With stripes like these, how can you go wrong??

Monday, April 12, 2010

Before and After: Paint a Frame

Way back in November, I partook in one of our great family traditions. Every year after the turkey has been carved and the food fest is complete, my mom and I head down one of St. George, Utah’s finest establishments, Urban Renewal, to peruse their latest offerings. The shop offers a quirky mix of new items (think textiles, Asian influenced casegoods, bath products, candles, gifts and home décor accessories) as well as vintage items on consignment (wonderful artwork, furniture, home décor accessories, jewelry and clothing). This trip I picked up an original (I think) drawing of peacocks. The best part? It was under $15. And check this out. I told you how I’m all full of Scottish pride, well, as a card carrying member of Clan MacFarlane, I was surprised to see this little tag on the back of the frame:

Fate, right? Anyway, the painting was lovely, but the frame was…not so. Seeing as this was a cheapie find, I decided that rather than reframing it, I should just paint the frame. The easy choice would have been to remove the painting from the frame, paint and then put it all back together. But since it had been framed professionally and had a sealed back, I decide to tape the front of the glass with painter’s tape and go for it with a small craft brush rather than ripping the whole thing apart. Last weekend I (finally) picked up some champagne colored acrylic craft paint and off I went. (Thank you, thank you dear Mr. J for accompanying me to Michael’s. In the suburbs. You are a good man.) I did two quick coats, pulled off the tape, used a razor blade to scrape the one tiny spot where paint got on the glass and VOILA! The whole thing probably took half an hour.  Check out the befores:

And the afters:

Paint. A great way to class up those cheap-o thrift store finds, no? Just call me Martha.
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