Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I make things

I'm not, like, a craftsman or an artisan or anything.  But is there anyone on the planet who doesn't get an extra thrill when they look at something beautiful in their home and they know they made it?

No, there isn't.

I've been taking a pottery class all spring, and loving it.  I'm moving onto the wheel class this summer.  I start in one week and I'm inordinately excited.

Here are the results so far.

This pot was intended to hold and pour honey.  I left the coil shapes and the rough shape on purpose.  My favorite thing about it is the color (a yellow glaze with a brown wash in some spots)

Next we have a couple of paperweights in ebony with a different wash on each one.  I love the variation of color.

This little dish sits on my bedside table to hold jewelry.

Hello Mr. Owl
This was some extra length of a footing I was putting on another piece.  It's perfect for rings or small bracelets.

This fish no longer lives with us.  It was a gift for my mama.  The scales and other details were all made by hand with wooden tools.  I made a template to cut the fish shape and then shaped the plate by hand.

This tray collects mail, keys, whatever at the front door.  I love the way the colors turned out.

And last of all, here's my box.  This is a little stash box on my bedside table.  I love it more than I can say.

The design on the outside is done in black slip and then a clear glaze is done over the top.  I used an ebony glaze on the inside for contrast.

I'm pretty proud of myself considering my beginner status.  I'm really looking forward to next week's class.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Get in bed

My husband has been complaining about our bedding FOREVER.

He doesn't particularly care about how it looks.  Although I think he has vague positive feelings about that.  It's a very layered, gray look.

(Heads up, I'm a West Elm bedding fanatic so expect lots of links to WE in this post)

It starts off with these sheets.  The Organic Ikat Sheet Set, with a white background and a charcoal gray pattern.

Next we layer on this herringbone woven blanket.  It's no longer available, sadly.

Then, the layer that's the big issue for my husband.  The duvet.  We have the Stripe Duvet Cover in gray.  It matches our cat.

It has ties inside but Brett is always annoyed that it's not perfectly lined up and there's always extra space around the edges.  It bothers him so much that we were looking for a way to get rid of it.

OH, let me also note that we have the stripe Euro shams, and a couple of standard shams in the Chevron Pattern.  I'm a fan.

So, what were we to do about this.  We decided we needed to get a quilt.  We would keep the herringbone blanket and layer a quilt over it (I'm not a fan of comforters, I'm grossed out by them for some reason).

I got a little reward gift certificate from work this week and as soon as I got that west elm card in my hot little hands, I was ready to purchase.  Between the reward and some West Elm Design Dollars we had, I was able to pay for the entire quilt.  I also got some shams in different patterns (we'll be keeping the chevron but dropping the stripe entirely I think).

I'm super excited about it.

But I'm also excited about the fact that my bed won't just be white and gray anymore.

Nope, white, gray, and coral baby.

This is the quilt we chose.  I love both sides, and love the red orange (they call it coral) color.

They even show it layered with our sheets on the website!

I can't wait for it to get here so we can enjoy it.  Of course, the art over our bed will seriously not go, but we've been out of love with that forever now.

I also got a great kitchen rug on super sale for $14.  It's also coral.  I'm so excited!

OOTD: Throw together

I didn't plan to dress cute or make an effort today.  But I just woke up before my alarm went off (and boy am I paying for it now.  yaaaaaaaaawn) and felt like putting in a little effort.

I still wanted to be comfy so I reached for a knit skirt in basic black.  Pairing it with a black and white stripe tee shirt still left it pretty plain, so I added some color in the form of a cardigan and bright yellow shoes.  I topped it off with red orange lipstick and called it a look.

Comfortable, cute.  Perfect for summer.

Skirt - Old Navy, cardigan, t-shirt - Gap, Shoes - J.Crew

Watch and yellow bangle - J. Crew, red bracelet - Madewell.  I'm also wearing a thin gold bracelet on my other wrist and a compass necklace from AE

Check that lipstick!  I feel fun and fancy today!  It's NARS Heat Wave, no liner.  I'll try it with liner, but I love that it doesn't seem to need it.

And this last picture doesn't really have anything to do with my outift.  It's just too good not to share.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pumped up kicks

And they're not ballet flats.

I got them a week or so ago, and I've worn them on a few long walks and to Zumba class yesterday (my first time - SO MUCH FUN).  I would say they aren't for everyone.  I have pretty flat feet and I prefer a really minimal amount of support.  That's why I wear ballet flats and flat as a board sandals all the time.

These shoes have a little bit of support in the arch and a bit more through the heel.  But they're not bulky, heavy, and they're pretty soft and flexible.  I love them for general exercise use.

Plus they're pretty swell looking.

Onitsuka Tigers are by Asics and most of the styles are unisex.  They come in lots of materials.  Mine are mostly leather with suede accents, but my husband has a pair that I think are suede all over.  I'm a huge fan of all the different color combinations available.  Check zappos for all the different configurations.  I think anyone could find one that works for them!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 41

For some reason I deleted my last hair appointment from my calendar, but I have a habit of taking a photo and texting it to my mom after each appointment (we're very close, okay?  we deal with living 7 hours away from each other in our own way), so I figured it out.

It's been almost 6 weeks since my last haircut.  I had an appointment for a cut scheduled for today, but I cancelled it.

These pictures are making me rethink the decision to grow it out a little.

The memories of doing battle with it this morning to get it to not look like a rat's nest are not.

And yes, I totally ripped this off of dooce.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

OOTD - The Webster

Yesterday, I wanted to wear the navy eyelet skirt I picked up as part of the Webster Collection at Target last week.

But I also took some inspiration from the other colors in the collection, particularly in this cardigan.

I liked the mix of the blush with the brighter pink.  And I LOVE those gold buttons.  I translated it into this.

The colors are off a bit since I took this in the early early morning, in fluorescent light, with an iphone.

The blush tee is from J. Crew.  The sweater is actually a bright pink, and is from the Gap.  The skirt is eyelet, from Target.  And  love those glitter shoes from Zara.

Watch and enamel bangles are J. Crew, gold bracelet is from etsy.

My favorite thing about this outfit is the mix of pinks.  Even Brett gave me a compliment as I walked out the door.  He said he liked it and that my shoes were very sparkly.

That they are sweetie.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ten years

Ten years ago, I was a sixteen year old girl who'd never had a serious boyfriend.

Ten years ago, I was a drama geek extrovert who loved to be the center of attention.

Ten years ago, I had no idea I was about to meet my husband.

Ten years ago, I was excited and scared to be moving away from my family.

Ten years ago, I had no idea that I would find out years later that I had a mental illness, that would seriously affect the rest of my life.

Ten years ago, I had the rest of my life planned out.  I was totally wrong about where I would end up.

Ten years ago, one kiss changed my life, and I'm so happy it did.

I love you Brett.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Goodbye pixie

It's been over a year since I've been in man hair territory.  And I love it.  And I'll always know that I can go back here if I want to.

But I'm growing my hair out.  Not super long.  I'm just tired of the way it sticks up in the back and having to battle my cowlick every morning.

Every week, I look at Jessica Pare's hair with major envy.  I won't go that long, and I don't have that much texture, but I love the messy bob she has going on.  Very career girl.  Hey!  That's me!

I'll know the right length when I get there.  But for now I'm thinking grazing my chin.  Short enough that it doesn't stick to my neck in the summer.  Long enough to braid away from my face.  Win win.

Something like this look that I've always loved from Katie Holmes.

Or a similar cut from someone with finer hair like mine, Jessica Stroup

Get ready for some mullety awkwardness!  Luckily my hair grows insanely fast., so hopefully the awkwardness won't last too long.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dressing Room Reviews: The Shops at Target - The Webster

When I heard about the Target Shops concept, I thought it was definitely a cute idea.  It wasn't executed exactly how I pictured.  I was thinking more like the Bodega event, with everything together.  Not just an endcap in the beauty department, an endcap in the grocery section, etc.

Overall, I was disappointed.  The candy from The Candy Store didn't look appetizing at all.  I don't know if it was packaging or what, because the huge suckers were cute, they just didn't look good.  The beauty stuff from Cos Bar was just not my style, but I expected that from the previews.  The Polka Dog Bakery stuff was cute, and I could definitely have seen myself picking some up if I had a dog.  I especially liked the bowls and the mat (which I might get to go under our water bowl.  I don't like how many grooves ours has).

Privet House was the most disappointing to me.  I didn't expect to buy anything because it's not really my style.  But honestly, some of it looked really cheap.  And I don't mind cheap, I just want it to look like how much it costs.  But for example, the woven poufs, they looked CHEAP.  And the notebooks SAID Privet House on the front.  I probably would have picked one up if not for that.

My favorite of the shops was The Webster.  Loved the colors, the loud prints great fabrics and really flattering cuts.  It was a great line and mostly well priced.

This first tank top I tried on was a lot more flattering in person.  Or at least I think it was.  I loved the print.  It was $24.99

  Here's a close shot of the print.  I adored this print but I decided not to get this shirt.  You'll see why.

Tank #2, adored it all around.  It's a trapeze cut, racerback, super comfortable jersey in a cute print.  Perfect for summer.  I bought this one at $19.99

Wah-wah.  Unflattering dress.  Would have been much cuter a couple of inches shorter.  This one was $29.99.  SUPER comfy though, if you're taller it would probably work.

This is why I didn't get the tank.  I loved, loved LOVED this dress, and it was in the same print.  So I picked this one up for $42.99.  So comfy, perfect for work.  Perfect summer dress.

I loved the pattern on this dress like crazy, and I wanted it to work.  It was so butt skimming though. I reall liked the length.  If you have a great ass, go for it. 

Last was this navy eyelet skirt.  It was the first piece I picked up and what made me decide to go for this collection at all.  A great staple for me, and the perfect length (it's probably too short for work if you're in a more conservative office, but it's fine for more casual offices).  It was $29.99, and Target can't spell eyelet.

I also got this top but I didn't try it on.  Just loved the print.  My other favorite piece was the sateen jacket, but they didn't have it in my size in the pink.  I'm really tempted to order online.  It was REALLY cute in person and looked expensive (as it should for $50).

One thing I really appreciate about this collection.  There are a lot of styles that are easy to wear with bigger hips.  That's not the case for a lot of the capsule collections.  Also, this is I think the first collection that has plus sizes (and petites) available online.  So check there if you're looking for your size!

OOTD - Summer Stripes

Summer has hit us here in Baton Rouge.  Hard.

I went walking yesterday around 3 o'clock and I thought I was going to barf after about 25 minutes.  Unfortunately, I had walked in a straight line away from my house so I had to walk another 25 minutes back before I could soak up that sweet, sweet air conditioning.

And this outfit is a great representation of a Southern summer weekend.  I wore this to go see The Avengers (LOVED it.  Very Joss Whedon-y.  Very fun).  So while it was baking hot in the car on the way and outside the theater (where we had to wait a few minutes because we saw the 9 am showing), I knew it would be cold inside.

So I went with shorts, double tank tops, and a light sweater.  It turned out to be perfect.

Damp hair and no makeup is another summer staple.  No need to worry about foundation or eye makeup.  You'll just sweat it off.  Just a clean face, some good sunscreen, and maybe a little lipstick and you're good to go.

striped trapeze tank and braided sandals are from Target.  I love them both.  Shorts are Old Navy, sweater and black undershirt are from The Gap.

These are my everyday staples.  Etsy, J. Crew, H&M, and I don't know where the hammered one is from.  Bright, fun, easy.

The rash on my neck went away, and then came back with a vengeance after I wore a necklace one day.  IF this means I can't wear necklaces ever I will cry.  And wonder how I'll ever work enough animals into my wardrobe without pendants.

So, Brett said this outfit didn't match.  I'm liked the bright colors with the more neutral green, but would you wear this together?  Are you excited about summer or looking forward to fall temperatures already?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Living small

I love small spaces.  I've always been drawn to them, and unless I've been reading too many ghost storied (in which case all doors in the entire house should be open), one of my favorite places to be is in the powder room with the door shut.

I just feel more at home, more cozy, in small rooms, in small houses.

It's something we've been thinking about a lot lately, since we're planning to sell our house and move in a year or so.  What do we really need.

I loved this article from Apartment Therapy today on living small, and what it takes to live in a small space.

AT defines anything "small cool" as under 1000 square feet for the purposed of their contest.  That would be about the size of our downstairs.  And I can honestly say (with certainty considering that we were happy in our previous, tiny apartment other than some noisy neighbors), that we could live happily with that number.

But we're next door to Texas y'all.  Even though it's completely reasonable for a house with three small bedrooms, two baths (or 1.5), a living room, a small kitchen, and a dining room to be that size, it's just not happening around here.

Plus, Brett and I can cohabitate in 1000 square feet.  Happily.  With three cats.  But add in another person, or two, and things get tricky.  Our next house, wherever it is, we're hoping is the one.  We want it to last us, our forever home.  So we need it to be big enough for us and kids.

I think the magic number for us is 1500 square feet.

Around 1500 square feet or less, in the city, with a small yard, preferably with an oak tree.

And off street parking.

If it comes with extras like original transoms and stained glass, and heart of pine floors, I'll be a very happy woman.

But what I need are small rooms, where I can sit with my husband and feel at home, watching Mad Men while our cats lay on our legs.  Maybe while a baby sleeps not too far away.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time may change me

So, on Saturday after stuffing ourselves full of queso and enchiladas at lunch, we moseyed on over to our favorite vintage store, the Honeymoon Bungalow.  I know nobody reading is from Baton Rouge, but on the off chance that anyone googles it, they're awesome.  Great service, sometimes downright amazing prices (but always reasonable, and there's always something beautiful in the store.

This time, we were looking for a replacement for our leftover-from-college Wal-mart media towers on either side of the fireplace.  At this point, I want to set those things on fire and just set our playstation and satellite box on the floor.  Honestly, we bought them when we first moved in together 7 years ago and they've held up better than I could possibly expect them to for the amount they cost us.  But they have silver plastic feet.  They have got to go.

We found two possibilities.  One, a low and long storage piece that was painted a flat black and had wire fronted shelves.  It had some Dorothy Draper-esque detailing, and Brett felt just okay about it.  The second, a gorgeous 30s (I'm guessing) china cabinet with inlaid wood and beautiful detailing, we were afraid was a bit too shallow to hold our components.  Plus, we did NOT feel good about drilling holes in it for cables.

We left with a card full of measurements but no furniture.

But the second piece, the china cabinet that was objectively gorgeous, sparked a conversation that was more valuable than the replacement of those shelves (I think.  I hate those things A LOT).  Brett said that didn't seem to be my style.  So I asked him what he thought my style was, and we started talking a lot about what we liked, didn't like, hated with a burning passion (hello, lamp/table in the office), and where to go from here.  I talked about how I felt that I had limited resources, and he really pushed back on that.  Whereas I tend to buy something cheaper because I want a chair, what we really should do is save up, look for a long time, and buy the chair that will last us years.  Even if that chair is from Schoolhouse Electric and costs $1000.

And I realized he was right.  We have far too much placeholder stuff in our lives.  Some of it is bad decision stuff (Ashley bedroom suit I'm looking at you), some of it was "I want a chair for my birthday and we're at Ikea" (I love my Poang but it has no place in my dream living room.  It will live like on the sunporch or something), some of it is hand-me-downs that just was never my style (dining table and chairs) and some of it is something one of us loves, and one of us hates.

Oh, the red Ikea storage cabinet.  I know it's not the greatest mix with what I see in my head as "my style."  But it's cute.  It was inexpensive.  It gives us some great storage.  It was a Christmas gift from my parents.

And Brett hates it with a PASSION.

Right now, on top of this red thing, there's our wedding album, our engagement pics album, a photobook of my trip through Arkansas with my dad - those things I really care about.  A yellow candle that's cute enough, a driftwod-y picture frame I bought at the PB outlet YEARS ago because it was a great deal, not because I liked it.  Those are the things that need to go.

As well as, sadly, the cabinet.  I got it for Christmas in 2010.  A year and a half ago, roughly.  Which was roughly half a year after I made this mood board for my living room.

 Now, this is a room that I would still walk into and think looked good.  I am a fan of the Henry sofa at West Elm.  I have a dark gray china cabinet (but I definitely didn't line it with yellow stripes).

There are only two pieces here that I would want in my room today.  The painting (love) and the big pen and ink drawing.  It's impossible to tell any detail here, but I still remember it.  It was a pen and ink drawing of a map of Paris.   I would love on of London, Amsterdam, or Memphis, myself.  Everything else in here, while it's nice enough (and I do love the flokati but I know Brett hates them), I wouldn't choose anymore.  It's too stark, too modern, and literally the opposite of what I'm drawn to now (darker walls and lighter furnishings).

I mean, there is zero wood in that picture.  Zero.  That's insane, considering that I would pretty much hump a walnut slab.

Moving on.

So, Brett and I looked at a lot of pictures.  We both like wood.  We both like old things.  We both like the 40s, 50s, 60s.  We both like things to look collected, we like a little bit of a middle eastern influence, and soft, washed colors.  We both like bronze and brass.

Now look back at that picture.  It's weird how things can change.  I remember how I felt about that couch.  It was the couch I felt I could afford.  It's not a bad thing to be cost conscious.  I love West Elm.  And I still think that couch is a good deal.  But my husband has convinced me that I'm in a place where I don't need to be basing long term decision on saving a few hundred bucks.

So what does our new mood board look like?

Look at all that wood.

It's so much warmer and more comfortable looking to me.

So we already have the whiskey prints and the Sharon Montrose prints (we have 5).  We also have some other art we love (preserved insects, a fawn collage, an embroidery piece I did) that holds a place of pride in here.  But I'd love to add a big statement painting like this one from Cocoa and Hearts.  She's always completely sold out, but I love her large scale painting in reds and pinks.

Brett suggester a dresser to replace the red cabinet.  We saw a sweet one at the vintage store this weekend and this is a good approximation.  The cabinet represents the bar we already have, and keep in mind we also have a low and wide mid-century stereo cabinet - likely my favorite piece of furniture in the entire house.

I would kill someone with my bare hands for that coffee table.  So there's that.

To replace the towers, I love the gold leafing in the back of this cabinet, and the aged finish.  I think Brett would prefer something a bit lighter (in color and weight) so who knows.  But we both love the leafing in the back.  This piece is $1600 from Anthro.

The rug is just a vintage kilim I found when I googled kilim.  I stole the pillows from The Brick House.  Which is what I would do if I was ever at her house.  Steal things.  Lots of things.

And that brings us to that couch.  Our couch right now sucks.  Remember what I said about the Henry couch, "It was the couch I felt I could afford."  Well, that's what our couch now is.  Except it was the couch we actually could afford right after we moved and when we were about to get married.  And it was awesome.  I thought it was pretty too with its square arms and its comfortable chaise section.  And it was on sale for like $500.

But it was too good to be true.  Thanks to some weird coincidence my brother bought the same couch around the same time.  And guess what, they both suck.  They're so uncomfortable (except to sleep on, they're okay for that).  The cushions like disintegrated within months.  We have a pillow stuffed under the cushion in the chaise section and it's still impossible to get up from there.  After I had my gall bladder taken out I was pretty sure I was going to die on that sofa, because I couldn't get up.

I've looked half-assedly at sofas for over a year now.  Waiting for the perfect one to fall into my lap.  And it did.

This is the Thackery Chesterfield from Anthro.  It's gray, it's linen (I know, I'm crazy, but I figure future kids will ruin anything so I might as well have what I want), and it's a chesterfield.  Which is exactly what we wanted.  The size is perfect.  We measured it out last night and it's the perfect length for one of us to lay with our head in the other's lap.  It seems to be the perfect color.  It's discounted $1000.

I just bought it today.  I can't wait to get it.  I'm stopping on the way home and getting a scratching post to hopefully keep the cats away from it!