Archive | March, 2011

Name That Plant!

30 Mar

It’s like a game show!  Here’s how you play:

Step 1: Go into my ‘yard’

Step 2: Look for something green amongst the dead leaves and winter-ravaged bushes.

Step 3: Name That Plant!

I did this the other day with very little success on Step 3.  I found flowers growing, hooray!  But my lack of experience with plants kept me from winning the game.  After calling my mom and resident garden expert (and sending her pictures because my descriptions were so pitiful), I have identified the flora.

So………..

NAME THAT PLANT!

1:

My description: "same colors as crocus, but the flower looks more like a bunch of berries." Its a wonder my mom couldn't figure out what I was talking about, right?!

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ANSWER: Hyacinth

2:

My description: "spirally cluster of leaves peaking out from under leaves and a dead(?) plant."

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ANSWER: (I had to ask the expert again because I forgot) Sedum

Also popping up with these formerly mystery plants are what seem to be daffodils, tulips and crocus’.

The garden is quite an adventure!  What’s going to pop up?  What’s actually alive?  I guess only time will tell!

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Since I neglected to take this picture for my last post, check out the fabulous frame I scored for just $4!!

Not sure yet what its future will be...

Until next time!

 

 

Purpose

28 Mar

I had a busy weekend spending quality time with my taxes, house, and good friends.

I went to a rummage sale at a local church and found a fantastic oversized frame for just $4!  I forgot to take a picture of it before I scrambled out the door for the 9to5 this morning (oops), but be assured that once cleaned up and painted, it’s going to be phenomenal!   I currently have it on the floor, leaning against the wall.  It has no back, just frame and glass- a little odd.  I think the cats are confused by it.  I’ve come into the room multiple times since its purchase Saturday AM to find miss Daisy sitting in front of it, looking into it.  Curious.  Maybe she sees something in it I don’t ;).

Yesterday was spent enjoying musical theater.  After having all the songs memorized for over a year, I finally saw a travelling production of Avenue Q.  Such a good time!!!  If you aren’t familiar with the show- think Sesame Street for adults.  Just check out the list of songs and you’ll see what I mean.  Hilarious!  I have a feeling the Bad Idea Bears will be a running joke with our friends from now on.

Since the reason I started this blog was to find my ‘purpose,’  I thought I would honor that in the form of song.  Please enjoy Avenue Q‘s “Purpose.”

 

I can honestly say, my explorations from this blog have opened my eyes to new things and I’ve been able to re-bond with design.  Twitter and exploring other design blogs have kept me excited about the world of design and DIY projects, and my new house has given me a blank canvas to explore all these new-found ideas.  I can’t wait to see where it leads me next!

Objectified

25 Mar

Not in the usual sense of the term, of course.  Here I’m using the work objectified to represent the tchotchke-fication of a space.  Think- sexified with objects.

Now that I’ve created a whole new vocabulary for my post and probably lost you within the first paragraph, I’ll continue.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately(among every other house-related thing) about how to best utilize objects in a space to personalize it to add a WOW factor.  If you knew me back in middle school, you’re probably thinking- “This girl has zero issues adding accessories (read: crap).”  My room was a tchotchke and color explosion.  Every surface was covered- horizontal & vertical.  Around the time I went to college, I woke up one day and realized how completely psychotic the space around me had become and proceeded to totally de-tchotchke-fy my surroundings.  Those 2 sides of my personality have been entrenched in a power struggle ever since.

In previous apartments, I’ve kept the accessories to a minimum (for me), but I’m realizing now that some of the spaces lacked a certain depth.  Just like Stacy & Clinton always preach on What Not to Wear, layering is the key to adding visual interest in an outfit space.  Layering requires a certain finesse that is admittedly my design kryptonite .  I get so distracted by the ‘big idea’ or little shiny objects that its hard to focus on the in-between.  I need practice in layering the big and little.  I am soooo tempted to run out and buy a bunch of brand new decorative items and start layering them, but I’m putting my own breaks on.  98.67% of the items* in our house are new(ish).  We have random items that have a history (a watercolor by Hubby’s Nana, my Grandma’s piano…) but most of the stuff we have just FEELs new.  Since we are striving for an eclectically sophisticated balance in the house, I need to even out the new pieces with vintage and vintage inspired.

I have a vision!

Well, I have many- generally multiple for each room of the house.  The specific vision I speak of is about candlesticks in the bedroom.  The other week at my successful IKEA trip, I also took home these beautiful silver glass pillar candlesticks.  So pretty (and shiny!) but on their own, they’re lacking visual depth.

BUT as I mentioned, I have a VISION!  Those mixed with vintage ones acquired through tag sales** will be divine!  I’ve wanted to have this collection of candlesticks for years.  A couple years ago when I was designing my wedding center pieces (holy crap, where did the time go), my first choice was a collection of mismatched candlesticks on each table.  My plot was foiled by time (to collect them all) and by the fact that the location wouldn’t let me put unenclosed candles (sadface).

Now I have a house and NO ONE (except maybe Hubby) can rain on my parade!

Did I mention I am excited for Spring and the start of Tag Sale** season??

How do YOU objectify your space?

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* Totally accurate percentage, I promise

** or Yard Sales, or Garage Sales, or whatever you call them

*** images from ikea.com, parisparfait.typepad.com, brides.com

Belated Weekend Update

22 Mar

I am pleased to say I finally have the house in a place where I won’t be embarrassed to have friends over for dinner!  So if you are one of my loyal yet patient friends, give me a call and we can plan a date.  If you aren’t, maybe we should be friends ;-).

Friday’s weather was a tease… it SNOWED here yesterday.  Just when I finally got rid of every last bit of white on my property…   Winter sends me to the doldrums and I’m ready for green, warm, and SUN!  I’m solar powered.  But I digress (for now).

Back to the point of this post.  Saturday my loving parents came to visit for the first time since moving day- and I didn’t put them to work!  Shocking, I know, but after painting 2 rooms and shoveling feet from my driveway before we even moved, I thought they deserved a reprieve.  We did take an adventure to the Cambridge Antique Market.  Fun place to check out, but I sadly walk out with nothing.  Mom was the only one who bought something- a bowl for $17.   Doesn’t it look so cute in her cabinet (refinished curb-side find) surrounded by the other antiques?

Sunday was productive and frustrating.  I’ve finally started to hang some curtains and pictures, and at least move items to their destination room.  The living room got 2 new pieces of art I found at… you guessed it… HomeGoodsI’ve hung the aforementioned brown curtains in there as well and it just looks wrong.  I’m on the hunt for something lighter, brighter, and textural for the windows, but after going to just about every store I could think of that would carry inexpensive curtains (this was the very frustrating part of my weekend), I’ve accepted that they’ll be an online purchase.

In moving art and misc decorative items to their respective rooms, I was able to clear them out of the dining room and actually see the space as it was intended for the first time.  The dining room is the only room that will fit the piano, so that forces the table off-center from the space.  We’ll have to get a new chandelier and swag it above the table at some point.  I have BIG plans for the old chandelier, but you’ll just have to wait and find out!  Seeing the space finally clutter-free, I’m even more convinced of my plan for the dining room table: a bench on one side, 2 matching(maybe) chairs with arms (possibly uphostered) on either end, and 2 other mismatched chairs.  All the seating elements will be tied together with a common color or fabric or something.  Tag sales (or garage sales, or yard sales, or whatever you call them) HERE I COME!

Last room that I’m getting excited about is the bedroom.  I can see a Hollywood regency theme coming together before my eyes (or at least in my mind, lol).  Hanging up this mirror between the windows made me very happy.  Ad that to the sexy gray walls and the oversized black furniture and I know exactly what the room needs.  Whether or not I can find the items I want will be the real battle.  I need to do some local investigating for awesome off-the-beaten-path design resources.

Spring Forward

15 Mar

With the teasing yo-yoing Spring temperatures and the overdue melting of the snow, I’ve rediscovered that I have a backyard and more gardens than grass (yippee!).  Most of the current plants and bushes were ravaged by miles of snow on top of them, so out they’ll go at some point.  Which means I have a (small) yard full of gardens to fill!  Before it’s actually warm enough to do the work, I get to do the fun part- think about what I want my gardens to look like!

Better Homes and Gardens never fails to impress.  I went to their website looking for pretty pictures and found detailed garden layouts.  For Hubby’s future veggie garden (hes the chef, I’m the handymanwoman), they had 12 different ‘schemes’ ranging from Asian themed to pasta sauce themed to a salad garden!  The schemes show a layout, size needed, what to plant, and a detailed how-to.  Its pretty much gardening for dummies, and I’ll take it!  I don’t have a black thumb by any means, but I don’t have enough experience with gardens  to know what to do myself.  My garden experience is limited to a small section of garden that my mom used to let me pick out flowers and plant in.  Even then, I didn’t go by what the plant needed (sun/shade, etc), I picked out plants because they were bright colors.  I have 2 indoor plans of the same species, and I only water them when they start looking sickly… maybe once a month :-/.

I still pick plants because I like(read: am obsessed with) them.  I guarantee that whatever the garden outcome, you will see:

Alluims

Dahlias

& Hydrangeas!

So much pretty to happen!  I can’t wait!

Give me an “L”!

14 Mar

Give me an “I”!

Give me an “A”!

What does that spell?

LIA!

…as in Lia Sophia (I figured I would spare you and not spell out the whole thing).  I know I’ve mentioned before, on top of my 9to5 and moving and generally going crazy, I have a part-time business selling jewelry at home parties.  Yesterday I had my first party in MONTHS.  oops.  With the whole move, I’ve gotten so unorganized mentally and need to get back on my game.  Yesterdays party helped me to realize 2 things- 1. I need to get my act together and start actually doing something with my business- I have a LARGE to do list that I’ve been ignoring/hiding in the closet.  If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right?  and 2. I have no excuse for being unsettled in the house!  My jewelry hostess yesterday had moved into her apartment the same day as I moved into the house.  She had pictures hanging and looked settled.  I haven’t hung a single thing (except curtains in the living room that are temporary).  That needs to change STAT!  Its not like hanging a picture takes much time or energy (although figuring out a Master Plan for the house does..).

Per my usual, I decided with my abundance of free time (can you see the sarcasm dripping off those words) Saturday that I would try and accomplish something toward the house in the form of shopping and looking for inspiration.  It all started with Pier 1.  I had fallen in love with a clock online.  And then fell promptly out of love with it in person.  More shabby than chic.  poo.  Then off to my first trip to an actual West Elm store a few blocks from Pier 1.  I had gone by the store many times in Boston and drooled over the catalog for years, so a store trip was overdue.  I was drawn in by a quilt, but it wasn’t as thick and cozy I was hoping, so strike 2.  No clock, no comforter.  I did leave West Elm having adopted this adorable owl so it wasn’t all for naught.

I took home the little one. I need to name him I think.

To boost my morale, I decided an IKEA trip was in order, so off I went, getting frustrated with Boston drivers I usually try to avoid and getting a bit sidetracked by not listening to Eva the GPS (name was inspired by WALL-E and his pronunciation of EVE).  IKEA didn’t boost my morale as much as hoped at first.  I couldn’t figure out a plan for the atypical length I need for the desired office desks and corresponding storage.  Finally I got the adrenaline rush I needed when I saw this 4×6+ rug for just $20!!

Add that to the Target pillow I purchased a week ago…

And we’ve got the beginning of a bedroom scheme!  Huzzah!

Let’s just hope I can figure out how to keep Charlie from scratching the rug, otherwise it may have to go back. *pout*

Living Room Envy

8 Mar

Mark it on the calendar….Hubby and I agree for once!
This living room from House Beautiful is, well, beautiful!  If we could achieve this aesthetic in our house (with minor changes of course- like lower ceiling, no library walls, and no fireplace… minor), we’d both be very happy homeowners.

via House Beautiful