Monday, May 31, 2010


The more photos of my daughter's room I see, the more I question my window treatment decision. I'm still mourning the absence of a funky, graphic print for her curtains.

Her curtains are just so... I don't know.

They are tailored and do not appear as shiny in person as they in the photos, although they are a faux silk. They just aren't as fun as I imagined.  My imagination ran somewhere more to this:

I found this fabric bundle during a Google image search; the fabric is by Josephine Kimberling.

Also love this bundle:

I believe the designer there is Kaffe Fassett.

Fun, fun prints. If I want, I can repurpose the curtains in her room to our lower level family room, which also has yellow walls and blue accents (of course, I am eyeing prints for that room, too).

So we shall see. Maybe as the room comes together I'll fall in love with them a little more.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Experiments and Frustration

I feel like I need to place a paragraph of apologies in this post, but suffice it to say: I haven't become a world class photographer since the last time I posted.


I finally hung two of the prints I had for my daughter's room.

The Experiment part:

They are really close together.

This is on purpose. I didn't want to hang them too high, but I also didn't want the lowest one to be too low, because frankly, I'm not sure my just barely 2.5 year old daughter and son can handle the responsibility of art in a room they spend unsupervised time in (as in, sleeping at night, waking up in the morning).

I hung the sturdiest one (I'll explain that during the frustration part) on the bottom, hoping that if they touch it and realize it doesn't come off, they will lose interest. Meanwhile, I'm leaving the opposite side of the window bare until I learn more about the combination of this low hanging art and my toddlers. I find it better to introduce new things a bit at a time.

I am very pleased with how the frames work with the shutters and the curtain rod, even if it is very easy to work with and sometimes boring white:

And now, for the Frustration part:

I have such a hard time hanging things, particularly framed art. It really frustrates me. And when I read about people who very easily accomplish it by laying out the art on the floor first and deciding placement, I just get even more frustrated, because that never. ever. works for me.


I have yet to buy two frames that are exactly evenly weighted and hang exactly the same way on a wall. It has literally never happened to me. All the frames used for this project are from Michael's, and they are the exact same frame, yet the center of gravity for each frame is totally different.

Even though I decided placement before hanging them, I still had to move the screw (for the hanging apparatus on these frames, I prefer the grip of a screw. I'll take a photo of it when I hang the next two). I started by using a ruler and level to place the screws directly in line, but the perfectly lined up screws made one of the frames tilt to the left. So I moved the screw, and it titled to the right. I kept moving it until both frames were straight and aligned. And even with all that work, the top one still swings if touched.

The math? Two frames hung, two holes being used, four holes lurking behind the art, which I'll have to putty and paint if I ever redecorate the room or we decide to move.

I have learned that I get a lot less frustrated if I just accept that this happens to me, and go into the project knowing I'll be creating a lot of holes. It helps that I'm going to put off the other side for a few more days.

Meanwhile, elsewhere at the ranch, I have relocated a photo gallery wall to a large staircase wall and ledge I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with.

It is a large wall, and I have a lot of pictures to go. I didn't bother laying out these beforehand, mainly because this wall will fill in as our family goes along. Everyone (mainly me) will just have to deal with part of the wall being blank until the pictures are taken and framed.

I estimate the wall being... I dunno. Twelve feet by ten? With a ledge. So... big. I might hang empty frames as I find them, and then fill in when a picture becomes available. My husband thinks my habit of doing that is hilarious. From time to time we live with the pictures of strangers that come with the frames.

I also plan to use art and such in what is essentially a collage. That drawing in the lower left corner is by me, that wooden man was recently snapped into two by my son so was pushed further down the ledge than he will ultimately rest when my son is old enough to not toss him down the stairs.

While I was taking these photos, two little people came up the stairs saying, "Cheese!" Of course I couldn't resist.

Nothing I put in the house compares to them and their brother.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Projects and Lions and Bears, Oh My!

I believe I am skipping too many days between posts here, which is happening because I haven't had a chance to take photographs so I can illustrate what I'm talking about.

I have a lot of projects simmering - lots to talk about. My major project is my daughter's room, but I am also collecting items for my son's room, on the lookout for a console table and low bookshelf for the living room, I'm scouting a dining room table, my office needs attention, and I need a new mirror for our entry way.

Each of those rooms has received a new little trinket or two over the past several months, and I need to get my shutter clicking. I suppose that will be my decorating goal next week: putting it all in pictures!

It's hard to believe that we renovated our old house and then immediately sold it. I hand picked every stone, tile, cabinet, etc., for our old kitchen (I do not think I handpicked that ground beef that's morphing into spaghetti sauce):

We made our master bathroom over, turning a small space into a small retreat:

Remember what I said about my habit of taking photos of just pieces of a room? Sorry about that. Anyway, we did the same with the hall bath:

It's funny how we took elements out of that home and into this one, and they just don't translate seamlessly. The art in our old master bathroom is in our new master bath, but it's not singing to me. Another project.

I once had a fully decorated living room, with little vignettes that made me happy:

Then we sold that house, and bought an empty box.

That was how we found the living room - a blank slate, waiting for us to make it home. We brought in all our things and painted.

We knew many of the things would be changing, but boy - we didn't realize how much! Toddler twins have taken that room nearly back to the blank slate. But as they get older, we are slowly bringing things back in.

A couple other early house pics:

This table, shown in my master bathroom, has had a lot of lives in this house. It's currently my nightstand!

The jewelry boxes below aren't arranged like this anymore:

And we've certainly taken down the Christmas garland from our first holiday season.

So here I am, knee deep in projects, hopefully a little better with the camera compared to back then, if only I get around to taking some current shots.

Stay tuned (please!).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Kid on the Block

At least to me.

I love it when I receive a catalog from a store I've never heard of before. That happened today, and I'm sitting next to a happy little book from Giggle, a new (?) baby products retailer.

Most of the items in the catalog are too young for my nearly two and a half year old toddlers (and are certainly inappropriate for my eighteen year old). My sister is pregnant and due in December, but I think the catalog companies all think it's me, since I'm getting baby product catalogs and free formula samples and whatnot lately. No, I am not pregnant. Yes, I am sure. No, I don't know what's up with the catalog folks who apparently have not accepted that my factory is permanently closed.

But I digress. Giggle has some adorable ideas, that I WOULD look into if I were having a baby. Perhaps they will bring out a line of puppy items. Hmmm. For now, enjoy a few pieces of baby eye candy with me, if you will.

All images from

First up, this crib. It's so modern and groovy (I don't get to use the word groovy that often). Looky see:

It's smaller than a regular crib, so could be of use in a vacation home or at Grandma's house, especially considering that it folds!

And it comes in cool colors:

How many times have you heard someone say, "I have a taupe crib?" Exactly. Very original. Unless it's gray, and not taupe, but I have a feeling the answer is the same.

I have always been staunchly anti-diaper pail. Well, at least staunchly against the ones that suggest you leave a poopy diaper marinating inside for up to a week and then empty it when it becomes full. Ew. I prefer to dispatch smelliness to an outdoor or garage garbage can immediately. Of course, my distaste is probably because I'd never encountered such a fun looking one:

For that, I might have gotten off my high, diaper clad horse.

Now here are a few things I could still use. Not sure if my husband will agree to get rid of our existing booster seats, which we rarely use, just so I can have fun with this one:

It doesn't hurt that it comes in orange, one of my favorite colors. And further doesn't hurt that it also comes in a crisp green, another of my favs.

That? That is a pretty booster seat. So modern and clean lined, too.

I know this is a lot of pictures, but I'm not sure I can stop. I'm also loving these training pants (should my toddlers ever decide they have even the slightest interest in being potty trained):

And that's it. Really. Well, except for this adorable table set:

And an against the norm bassinet.

I swear I've never heard of Giggle before, and I didn't receive anything to showcase these items (I only have a handful of readers, who would give me anything?). This is kind of pathetic, considering how many photos I posted, but perhaps Giggle will pay it forward one day.

Or come read my blog. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Craigslist Dance

I am obsessed with very fond of Craigslist.

I check the site every day, making sure to hit three pages: Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Occasionally I check Richmond, VA, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Philadelphia, telling myself that for the right deal on the right piece, I'd drive (history is proving this to be a lie, however).

I actually have a bad track record on Craigslist. I see plenty of deals, but what I tend to get in the car with is junk. Enough junk that my ultra frugal husband asked me to stop buying used items and to just spend money on something new that I would keep.

In my defense, the items don't seem like junk when I hop in the car, but I seem to be unable to tell sellers that I don't want their wobbly table/wobbly chair/tattered younameit, and the next thing I know I'm driving back home with a piece of crap tied to my car with twine.

I can fix this. First, I need to get a Craigslist backbone. It is not a crime to disappoint people, who know very well that their items are junk and probably howl with laughter before my tires leave their driveways. Second, I need to increase the amount of money I'm willing to spend. For some reason, I have it in my head that I need to spend $100 or less when shopping CL. There are quite a few gorgeous items on there for quite a few dollars more than $100. I'm not even sure where I got that number.

I told my husband that I'd make a compromise. I cannot give up Craigslist, or brick and mortar thrifting, and sink wholly into the world of new retail purchases only. I think I'd break into hives. So I'll be more discriminating about what comes home from Craigslist, or The Salvation Army, or any of my varied consignment shop haunts.

I will follow new rules.

Rule: No buying items that do not coordinate with anything I own. In the least.

I think the lines of this table are gorgeous, but the table is too small, even with a leaf, for use as the dining room table I need. It also requires refinishing, which brings me to the next rule:

No buying what are essentially new projects until I finish a few of the projects I already have going.

I think this sofa is amazing, but I'd want to reupholster it. Big project, and I'm not ready.

Rule 3: Stick somewhat to a sense of style your husband can appreciate.

I know that this settee is gorgeous, but it would be beyond him. Too traditional, too floral, too too. I do believe in mixing and matching pieces for a transitional look, but I think this piece might be too large to pull that off. If it were a chair, that would be another story.

Last rule: Don't procrastinate.

This gorgeous midcentury chair (one in a set! Whoo hoo!) is unlikely to still be available after a week, which is when I'd generally get around to contacting the seller. If I wanted these chairs, I'd need to act today.

But I don't want them. I don't think. I think I'd want a different fabric on them, and, well, see the rules above.

Again, I'm a work in progress.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nightstands For A Little Girl

For some reason, I've become fixated on having unique side tables for my daughter's bedroom, and at some point that fixation narrowed down to a desire for tray tables.

No, I have not figured out how to keep a tray table from snapping closed on my toddler. First, I need to FIND the tables, and then will commence the worrying about the snapping closed thing.

These tray tables have proven to be elusive. Either they are too utilitarian:

Or too fancy for a little girl:

I'm hoping to find something simple, with clean lines, in white. Unfortunately, this one is sold by a store in the United Kingdom, a place we are not even thinking of visiting until the twins can walk unaided through an airport.

Also, the sides are slightly higher than I envisioned. There are others, but they are not quite right. Too modern:

Not white (although for the perfect one, I could paint).

The table doesn't necessarily have to fold... I like this:

That table seems very utilitarian, too, given that it's usually in a hospital or medical office, but again, I'm envisioning it painted white, sans wheels.  I like this one, too:

Again, painted white.

The main issue with all of these, however, is that I need to buy them from a brick and mortar store, to assess the aforementioned probability of snapping closed, pinching fingers, or otherwise causing issues.

I haven't run into it yet, but the hunt continues. I suspect that while I track down the tray tables, I will come across something else I like just as much or better, and will go with that. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Think Pink

Or not.

When I went on the hunt for photographs of girl's bedrooms using strong color, I noticed an unsurprising trend: people really like pink for little girls.

Not that I have anything against pink. In fact, I like the color, particularly when paired with orange:

That's quite a headboard, isn't it? But I digress.

Nothing against pink, actually like it, but I do feel sorry for the little girl who doesn't care for it. It is very difficult to avoid. Google "Little Girl's Room" and you'll see what I mean.

Sugar and spice and everything nice, right? Pink is definitely associated with girls. Ironically, my understanding is that pink was originally a color reserved for baby boys. Who'd have thunk it?

My little girl's room will have little pink, however. At least to start - I'm sure it will creep in there somewhere, both because there is no way to avoid it, seemingly, and also because again: I do like the color. The main colors, however, will be yellow, green, orange, and blue, and the blues are taking their place as the second main color. The term "awash in blues" is pleasing to me, so maybe I'm subconsciously adding it in.

Hopefully as well as some others have.

There's that pink again, huh?

So we shall see.