Archive | June, 2011

Another Little Master Update

28 Jun

One of the wedding gifts we received was an amazing round teak mirror, which we finally got around to hanging (after having to do a little TV switch so the mirror could fit behind it) this past weekend. Here’s what this particular wall of the master bedroom has looked like before at various stages:


And here it is now:

I really love how it looks. Something with rounded edges was definitely needed among all those right angles. It’s also nice to finally have something on that wall to make it feel finished.

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Backyard Marinara

27 Jun

This week we had our first large crop of tomatoes from the garden (plus lots of bell peppers and giant marconi peppers), and I spent part of both days this weekend making marinara to freeze for later. Here’s the process in pictures.










Artistic Inspiration

24 Jun

In light of my upcoming painting project, I’ve been trolling the internet and magazines for some inspiration. I’m hoping for an Oprah-esce “a-ha!” moment when the lightbulb flips on. I’m not there yet, but here are a few images that have me thinking over some ideas. I really like the pixelated look and blocks of colors in the images below.



I’ll be figuring out the exact size I want the painting(s) to be over the weekend and maybe doing a few more sketches to help me decide. Time will tell what I come up with!

Living Room

23 Jun

Of all the rooms in this house, the living room has had the slowest evolution. It started out with the same beige walls as many of the other rooms (seen here and here) in the house. On a casual first glance, the new color (Valspar’s Oatlands Subtle Taupe in flat, which we also used in the bathroom) might not appear that different from the old one, but the end result is a vast improvement. The old was a neutral with more brown/pink undertones, and this is decidedly more gray, which I’m all about. Here’s the room in it’s current state:


You’ll notice that the wish-list chairs were purchased and have arrived. I love their modern shape, tapered brown legs, and happy apple green color. The two touching arms are a perfect perching/napping/neighborhood-viewing spot for Smoky.

The covers on all the sofa throw pillows are going to be replaced. (The green one in the green chair is staying.) I used them in my first solo apartment and my first home, and things are due for an update. The two orange ones will be recovered in the graphic turquoise fabric I mentioned here. I’m still searching for the perfect fabric for the other two. We shall see.

Here’s another angle:

That’s a whole lot of blank wall space, which is why I ordered these:

I’m kind of freaking out in a good way about all the colors—so many options! I’m not a painter (in the artistic sense), but I’ve been itching to create something big and colorful and graphic on a scale much larger than my colored pencils can handle. I know I want two relatively large canvases to hang side-by-side to create one large statement piece to fill that vast expanse of grayish-beige, and I plan to use lots of color. I have a few ideas in my head of what I want to paint. My plan is to just go with one and see what happens and if I’m feeling it. Results to come!

The Inevitable

22 Jun

Last week’s fabric browsing inevitably led to some fabric purchases. I spent a solid hour perusing Hawthorne Threads and choosing my favorites, and then came the toughest part: editing. It actually took me a couple days to decide. I had to give myself some time to think on it, add a couple fabrics back to the contenders’ list, narrow the list down again, etc. (Oh, the drama!) But I finally found two that I loved and that would actually work in our home in some capacity. These are the ones I chose:


And going in for the closeup:

I was in love with the graphic turquoise pattern from the get-go, so that one was pretty much in my shopping cart from the start, but the decision-making process for the other was a bit more time-consuming. I ultimately went with the crosshatch pattern for nostalgic reasons. When I was younger and my sister was in college studying architecture, she showed me some of her drawings where she’d use crosshatching. I’d never seen that technique, and I thought it (and my sister) were so cool. (I still do.) I decided on yellow because we don’t have that much of that particular color in our home so I thought a little variety might be nice.

My plan is to make two pillows for our living room sofa out of the turquoise fabric (room tour coming soon!). The fate of the yellow is yet to be decided. I’ll be sure to share the results.

Portrait of a Lady

21 Jun

Long before I mentioned it, my wish list has included having a pet portrait of our cat, Smoky, done by Yellow Brick Home. I pretty much fell in love with this talented duo’s work from the moment I saw it. So about a week and a half ago, I finally ordered my own custom piece, and it arrived today!


If I had to describe Smoky in one word, I would say that she’s amazingly sweet (OK, that’s two, but she’s seriously the sweetest cat ever), and I wanted that sweetness captured in the 4 x 4–inch portrait. That’s undoubtedly a pretty tall order, but Kim and Scott (the Yellow Brick Home team) nailed it and captured her sweet face perfectly.

And y’all, they’re so prompt. An hour or so (maybe not even that long) after I placed my order, I had an email from them giving me the details of what they needed to get started. I inundated them with pictures and information about Smoky like any proud pet parent would do, and they got back to me quickly with further information and questions. In addition to being speedy, they’re superfriendly (just like they seem from their blog) with a genuine enthusiasm for pets and capturing the personality of each of their animal subjects.

The portraits are $39 each (plus the cost of shipping), which is pretty amazing for a one-of-a-kind custom piece of art. I am so thrilled with what they created for me and whole-heartedly recommend them! Go here for more information and to peruse their portfolio of adorable portraits.

I was in no way compensated for this review. I just wanted to share the fantastic experience I had with these übertalented people.

Fabric Finds

17 Jun

I love fabric. I probably have 40 or so bookmarked on my computer at any given time, and I regularly edit them down to keep that folder from getting obscene. So, when I spotted this amazing stack of fabric on the left on Pinterest, it sent me on an hour-long internet tangent that led to some other fantastic finds.

What I found was Hawthorne Threads, an online fabric store run by a husband-and-wife team that carries a ton of beautiful fabrics. Here is a small sampling of my favorites from the site.





I’m going to have to edit down my selections so my order total isn’t obscene too.