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Archive for the ‘What Do You Want to Change?’ Category

Weekend Plans

So, what are you up to this weekend?

Among the many things on my list — including a project that’s hopefully worthy enough to end up here and going out for a very belated holiday celebration with a gaggle of girlfriends I haven’t seen in months — I’m heading to the book launch of friend, mom and artist Abigail Patner Glassenberg.  I met Abby just after she landed her book deal, so it’s pretty exciting to celebrate her success now that she’s published!

If you missed my previous piece on Abby, you can read all about her here.  A teacher-turned-artist, Abby found her bliss at the sewing machine creating soft sculpture animals.  Her new book, The Artful Bird, celebrates her amazing flying creatures and helps us non-artists learn how to make our very own.  If you’re in the Boston area and want to see her amazing sculptures up close, visit Essentia in Wellesley from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday.  Hope to see you there!

Image credits: Abigail Patner Glassenberg

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In case you hadn’t heard, Phil predicted an early spring.

Yeah, right. {she says, staring at three feet of snow outside her bedroom window}   

Anyway, Phil isn’t the only good thing coming out of the great state of Pennsylvania these days.  On a recent trip to the land of Etsy, one of my pals showed me a piece she picked up for her living room.  She had been staring at a giant empty space above her fireplace for a couple of years and finally knew she had to do something about it when her six-year old son took note .

“We need some color in here, Mom.  It’s totally boring.”

So she searched Etsythe place to find fantastic, one-of-a-kind art pieces (among other handmade delights).  She wanted something whimsical and colorful and LARGE…all for a good price.

And she found it.

Whimsical, colorful, large and an amazing value…Bucks County Frames totally delivers. 

I love this one…makes me want to get on my Gary Fisher, pronto.

And this one? It conjures Vermont in July, watching the parade go down Bristol’s Main Street. 

I’m so ready for the beach.

 

I’ve never been a huge fan of fine art photography for my home, although I think it’s a perfect fit for plenty of others. 

It’s nice to know that my mind can always be changed.  {Thanks for introducing me  to Bucks County Frames, Michelle!}

Image credit: all images the work of Carl Christensen, Bucks County Frames and can be found here.  Also, click each image above to find it in the shop.  Support independent artists!

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And while we’re on the subject of new lighting

This image, from the Style At Home booth at the Interior Design Show in Toronto, has been floating around the web for the past couple of days.  The painted floor is amazing, as is the fabulous bright springy styling — a sign of things to come for those of us being socked by winter weather right now.  But what’s really terrific is the use of paint cans as lighting fixtures.

It reminded me that I had recently snapped an equally cool use of paint cans as light fixtures…except this one was a little less sleek. 

Just as inventive though, don’t you think?

These fixtures — using brand new paint cans or well-worn ones or any other vessel entirely — are super-easy to make on your own.  All you need is the object of your choice and one of these:

And if you want to hardwire it rather than plugging it in and hanging it from a hook, pick up one of these:

Have you ever created your own lighting?  Pendant?  Chandelier?  Lamp?  Please share!

Image credits: Re-nest (originally from Poppytalk, similar image can also be seen on Aubrey+Lindsay’s Blog); Paige Lewin; West Elm Pendant Cord Set; West Elm Industrial Pendant Conversion Kit

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It’s been about six months since we moved in and I think it’s about time we begin to address the lighting situation. Don’t you?

Let’s deal with the kitchen today.

Um, just the eat-in area.

So here we are (and yes, I know we have to do something about the windows and the walls too, but *focus*, people), the pub-tastic pendant that lights our breakfast and dinner everyday.

I’ve been gathering suitable replacement options from my favorite lighting sources across the web-o-sphere.  I happen to love vintage lighting fixtures as well, but let’s stick with these for now. 

 

What’s particularly interesting about light fixtures is the huge range of pricing.  In previous homes, we’ve bought the cheapest-of-the-cheap fixtures, and laid down some decent cash for others.  There’s definitely a difference when it comes to ease of installation, quality of materials, and quality of lighting brightness, tone, etc., but in my experience, not as much as the price might cue.  So, can you name the most expensive and least expensive fixture in this lineup?

No cheating.

Photo credits, from top to bottom: Paige Lewin (just in case you’re looking for some stock shots of seriously bad lighting); Shades of Light; West Elm; IKEA; Ballard Designs; Circa Lighting; Room & Board; Z Gallerie

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When Weston was a little older than a year, Monkey arrived.  It was love at first sight, really.  Maybe more for me than Wes at first, but the second I saw that little monkey-shaped bundle of love staring at me from the basket in the toy store I knew we needed to bring him home. 

Weston and Monkey soon became inseparable, and I started to get concerned about what would happen if Monkey got lost (crazy first-time mother stuff, clearly).  So one monkey soon grew to be a family of monkeys (two full-size replacements and two little ones for travel — I told you, crazy), complete with Daddy Monkey, Mommy Monkey, Teacher/Babysitter Monkey and the babies. 

Nearly six years later, The Monkeys still hang out with us, lined up and tucked in at the foot of Weston’s bed.  But Daddy Monkey, Weston’s favorite, is starting to look like the babies have kept him up at night and his job is stressing him out.  I know the day will come when we pack up The Monkeys and send them to the attic, but it sure would be cool to memorialize them while they’re still in decent shape. 

Enter Hippopota.

A super-cool company that memorializes your kiddo’s lovey (or any loved object, really) in a totally modern way, Hippopota owner Christian Jaillite photographs the subject, capturing the essence of it and nothing else.  Just contact him to make arrangements, send him your object (to be returned, of course), and in 2-3 weeks you can have a masterpiece of your child’s favorite pal that’s hip enough to hang in your dining room.

Photo credits: Monkey in his better days, Paige Lewin; “Hippo,” Christian Jaillite, Hippopota; prices start at $500 with 10% of all profits donated to the World Food Program

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Logic quiz:

Poor self-image is to fashion magazines as WHAT is to home decor catalogs?

I don’t know either, but sometimes I feel like I have it, whatever IT is.  Occasionally I get sort of taken over by staging my house…rolling up the throw blankets and storing them just-so in a gorgeous basket (you’re cold? grab one of these!), propping the white ceramic fish platter in a plate holder on my kitchen counter (look, it’s art!), stacking up a pretty set of books by my bedside (who has time to read?).  Maybe it’s some form of OCD, or maybe it comes from buying and selling multiple houses in the past five years (never know when you’re gonna have to put it on the market!), but I suspect that some of the obsession comes from looking through too many home design catalogs and shelter pubs.

Luckily, my little brother pointed me to a hilarious site that reminds me how idiotic some of those scenes from Pottery Barn (and others) are.  Catalog Living follows the fictional life of Gary and Elaine, the passive-aggressive, accessory-obsessed couple who live in your catalogs.  Created by actor and Tufts graduate Molly Erdman, Catalog Living now serves as my daily reminder that I shouldn’t worry if my throws aren’t just-so.

{But really, a little staging never hurt anyone.}

Image credit: Catalog Living, January 20, 2011

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Pretty Cloth Napkins

I like dressing up my table, even for a not-so-quiet weeknight dinner of red sauce pasta and sausage.  And there’s something about a cloth napkin that adds a little pretty to your place setting, even if you choose to eat from a TV tray.  Here are some of my favorites…what are yours?

West Elm Yarn Dyed Organic Napkins (we use these constantly)

Hammocks & High Tea Saree Napkins

DwellStudio Gate Sun Napkins

Jonathan Adler Neptune Napkins

Skinny laMinx Pincushion Napkins

Want more?

A fun alternative to placemats.

My very favorite dinnerware.

Setting a pretty table.

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It only took six years, eight months and a bunch of days, but my little big guy finally lost his first tooth.  We (he) had been waiting so long, you would think we – ahem – the Tooth Fairy would have been ready with a super-special $2 bill and a new toothbrush.  But instead, our little big guy got two fairly crumply singles folded up and stuffed into his tooth fairy pillow.  While I would’ve loved the task of hunting down (or even making) a sweet pillow for my son’s special day, my mother-in-law — Keeper of All Things — had saved my husband’s childhood tooth pillow and given it to him for the holidays.  Good thing too, or else he would’ve had to stick his tooth in a ziploc.

Have a kid on his or her way to losing a first tooth?  Check out some of my favorite tooth pillow options from Etsy:

Also, if you’re curious what the Tooth Fairy’s going rate is, just check out this awesome post.

Photo credits: My Everyday Graces, Laugh Rabbit Jr., Inklore, Naomi Joy Designs

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It seems like the school year *just* started.  And then it was Halloween.  And now, in exactly one week, we’re going to be roasting turkeys, mashing potatoes and generally stuffing ourselves like proverbial pigs seated at gorgeously decorated tables in holiday-decked houses. 

Oh, what’s that?  Haven’t taken down the paper spiders from your window or jack-o-lantern from your porch? 

No worries.  Join me on Life.Style with Christine Koh on The Pulse Network tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST (or anytime after that)  for some super simple, wallet-friendly, use-what-you-own ideas to make your house and table gorgeous for the big day.  It’s going to be awesome.  Like Oprah and Nate, except with less hair and makeup.

{If you’re on Twitter, feel free to tweet us during the show at @mudroomboston, @bostonmamas and @thepulse}

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The weekend is almost here, and for many of us it’s going to be a nice long one.  What are your plans?

In between a big family dinner, writing and some good old-fashioned quality time with the kids and hubs, I’m going to be working on our home office.  Want a peek at the fabrics?

Looks like I’m finally going to get some of that girly I’ve been wanting for so long.

Have a great weekend, friends!

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