Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let the Magic Begin

I'm sorry I've so lax about blogging lately. This past week has been crazy with my children's end-of-the-year festivities AND preparing for our Disney trip. It's true. Today's the day. We're leaving for Disney World! 
The kids are so excited they can hardly stand it, and so am I. My excitement is just tempered with the usual anxiety that accompanies traveling with children. This will be the first flight for my son, and the first my daughter remembers (we flew when she was 18-months-old).

We'll be gone for six days, so hopefully I will return with some posts the following week. Until then, wish me luck. And if you have any tips about Disney, please feel free to share them as this is our first trip there with the kids.

Watch out, Mickey, here we come!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

All That Glitters

Gold is back in a big way. Whether it's brass light fixtures or gilt-covered furniture or accessories, designers seem to be going for the gold lately.

And a little bit of glitz can go a long way. Just a hint of gold here and there can add life to a room.

Mid-century modern or traditional. Gold knows no bounds.

I think a lot of the gold fervor can be attributed to this lady:
Love her or hate her, Kelly Wearstler has certainly upped the shiny quotient of interiors. While some are confounded by her groovy 70's aesthetic, you could certainly never accuse her of being boring.

I've been getting into the gold rush too as evidenced by some of my more recent flea market and antique mall finds.
As well as some pieces I've had for a while:

And my latest acquisition . . .
this $10 light fixture from eBay. I bought it to replace the builder's special in the hallway behind it. I was going for something similar to the first photo above.

So, do you believe in the golden rule?

Friday, May 14, 2010

The (Not So) Big Reveal

Sorry it's taken me a while to post any photos of my new and improved downstairs paint job. It's been done for at least a couple of weeks now, but with the flood and the school year drawing to a close, I've been a little preoccupied. And although I think it looks great, the before and after photos are honestly just not that dramatic.

But, without further ado . . . 

Here's the BEFORE:

And, wait for it . . . the AFTER:

 Sorry I didn't get around to hanging up the emperor before snapping this shot.

SO much better, right? Okay, I won't feel hurt if you can't tell much of a difference from these photos. However, it is much lighter and brighter. I swear. And not so much the color of peanut butter anymore, but instead maybe a frothy latte.

You might be able to see more of a difference in the next set of photos:



Since this is a before and after post, I'll also share a semi-finished project. Remember this sunburst clock I found at the Flea Market?

Well, I've really been wanting a sunburst mirror lately. When I read that A Perfect Gray and Caitlin Creer had transformed sunburst clocks into mirrors, I was sold. The only problem? I can't figure out how to get the clock out. But, never fear, in APG's post she mentioned another blogger who simply silver-leafed the glass clock front. So, I thought it was worth a try.

Confession: I've never "leafed" anything in my entire life. But off I went to Michael's to search out the proper materials. First, I applied the adhesive and let it sit until it got tacky.

Then, I applied the silver leaf with a dry brush. Really very easy.
I think it looks decent. Although, I'd really like to get it fitted with a real mirror. At least this gives me an idea of what it could look like.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pillow Talk

It all started with the living room of interior designer Melissa Warner's LA apartment featured on the May cover of House Beautiful . . . 
The room appeals to me on several levels. The colors, textures and patterns are all very pleasing. I'm not alone in my admiration. This room and apartment have been all over the blogosphere. However, some warn that you might be trendy if you like this room. I've been called worse. 
But you know what really caught my eye? It's something very simple and unassuming. 

I'll give you a hint - there are two of them in the photo. Shocking, I know, that I should like something in pairs.

Have you figured it out? Yes, it's the cream-colored wool felt applique "Layla" pillow from Crate & Barrel. I love the subtle color and texture. It would make a statement in any room.

I've been noticing a lot of wool felt lately. While perusing my PB Teen catalog yesterday, I ran across these examples:
Which reminded me of where I first fell in love with wool felt pillows in the first place: Hable Construction.

I rushed over to their website to grab some photos of the pillows I have long admired only to find a mere TWO examples. That's it. They used to have dozens of wool felt designs. What's going on? Had I missed something?

A little concerned, I sent an email to Hable's sales department inquiring about the lack of wool felt pillows on their site. Was this a temporary shortage? Are there sheep on strike somewhere in New Zealand?

I received a very quick and friendly response which read:
"We are no longer producing the wool felt products. The pricing has gotten higher over the years and the durability is not as strong as our prints. We just felt it was better to do the better priced collection with Garnet Hill and it has been successful. Thanks for your interest. What we have left is all she wrote!  - Kate"

Bummer. Am I the last to know this? However, the good news is Hable Construction still carries its line of cotton canvas and cotton linen pillows in their signature bead, checker and poppy designs:

As well as some very cool new designs:

And, since we're on the subject of pillows, my latest obsession is this crewel pillow from High Street Market's Etsy store:
I think my sofa needs another pillow. Gotta break up the symmetry of the pair I currently have.

Okay, so I have slight pillow obsession. Any favorites in the bunch?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anatomy of a Disaster

I know I've posted about the flood here in Nashville before, but there's nothing more telling than seeing the devastation from the vantage point of someone who's experienced it personally.
A few weeks ago, I "blog met" a sweet, talented girl named Stephanie Sabbe who is an interior designer in Boston. She commented on a post I wrote about treasures I had found while shopping in Nashville. After exchanging emails, I found out that she grew up here and we went to the same college (albeit 10 years apart. Man, do I feel old?). Fast forward a few weeks, and it turns out her mother's house is one of the hundreds that was destroyed by this flood. Her photos and account really drive home the reality of this tragedy. Please give it a read

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Look for Less

While scrolling through some blogs yesterday, I ran across this super cute tunic that Blueprint Bliss included on a post about Mother's Day gift ideas.

It's the Yellow Spade Tunic from PB & Jellie, and it's only $20!! In disbelief, I went to the website to check it out for myself, and there it was. After consulting my husband, I promptly ordered it for myself for Mother's Day. Nothing like buying your own gift (although to be fair he already bought me flowers and let me get the house painted).

PB & Jellie had several other reasonably priced adorable tunics to choose from including the Gigi Quatrefoil for a mere $35.
Seeing these reminded me of some other tunics I've coveted before. Don't you think they bear a striking resemblance to this?
The Classic Kurta in Jemina Verbena by Roberta Roller Rabbit for $70. True - they're not exactly the same, but for a $50 price difference, who cares? And I love me some Roberta Roller Rabbit fabric, but if you're going for the tunic look without breaking the bank, I'd go (in fact, I did go) with the PB & Jellie tunic.

Another popular style right now that I found for less is the boyfriend short.
This version is available for 50% right now (through Mother's Day) at New York & Co., making them just $14.97.

At J. Crew, their boyfriend shorts are also on sale but for $39.50 (albeit on a sexier looking better-styled model and with a few more color choices). But if you're looking for the same look especially in khaki or gray, the NY & Co. and J. Crew versions are very similar.

I'm off to get my hair cut and colored tomorrow after a slight flood-related delay earlier in the week. Can't wait. I hope everyone has a very happy and relaxing Mother's Day weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another Good Mail Day

Once again, I came home to some good mail. Not one of those junk mail days. Oh no. First, was this package:

Do you remember that giveaway I won about a week ago? It was a piece of jewelry designed by Julie at Monkey Grass Hill. So, what was in this super cute pink package?
This beautiful necklace! The stones are a dark gray, with just a hint of blue. After just a few emails back and forth, Julie suggested this unique design that I will treasure for years to come. Thanks so much, Julie, you really made my day!

So, what else showed up in the old mailbox? 
A package of travel documents and park hopper passes to . . . you, guessed it . . . Disney World. Yes, we're taking the kids on their first trip to the land where dreams come true in just a few weeks. I'm a little anxious because, well, because it's Disney World. It's a bit overwhelming, but the children are beyond excited. Luckily, the grandparents are accompanying us to provide money back-up.

Oh, and I got a Ballard's catalog . . . 

How about you? Good mail day?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Day

With the historic flood that hit Nashville over the weekend, I never thought today would be a happy day, but I was wrong. For a couple of hours this morning, I got the opportunity to help someone in need. Someone I didn't even know. I couldn't do much in the short time I had - just helped haul out some soaked carpet. But it truly puts things in perspective. People's entire lives were sitting out on the curb. Makes you count your blessings.

Then when I got home, some mail arrived that made me smile . . .
This sweet little birthday card - complete with a candle necklace - from Anthropologie offering me 15% off any purchase in May (my birthday's at the end of the month). Isn't it cute?

And this skirt that I ordered from Sevier Skirts arrived too . . . 
just in time for me to wear to my son's pre-school Mother's Day Tea tomorrow!

Then, out of the blue, my husband came home with these . . .
just because he knows I love peonies and that they're blooming now. They are beautiful and smell wonderful. Thanks, honey!

I am very lucky indeed. 

Sidenote: If you are interested in spiffing up your (or your child's) wardrobe this spring and helping out Nashville at the same time, check out Kayce Hughes blog/store. She's donating 50% of all sales made over the next week to the American Red Cross for flood relief efforts in Nashville.