Friday, December 18, 2009

snip snip

Hmmmm Its Friday afternoon and I've finished all of my work for the week. Now I'm thinking about hair cuts. I think I want to go super short again. Oh how I'd love to look like this

Isn't she just the perfect. I adore Miss Tautou.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

and Ron Marvin the Martian

Let me just say I would wait in line in the cold in the dark by myself to get his book if he had one. RON MARVIN. He is probably one of the more amazing designers you've never heard of before. I love how he mixes masculine and feminine design, glam and utility. Most of all, I love the timeless appeal of his designs. If you look at spaces he created ten years ago, well you'd be amazed they don't look dated. Its easy to get caught up in trends and think "oh this lovely plaster deer head will be a keepsake and I'll have it forever", but no. Anyway, lets check out some of his spaces shall we?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

homemade books

Not the best pictures in the world but some photos of one of the books I made. This was one I made for my neice we call boo.

Oh yeah

So turns out a 20-page paper nearly killed me. What was that yesterday? Re-evaluating everything in my entire life? Yeah, crazy stress case. Ha. Sorry about that. I was talking to my sweet husband about it and he kindly reminded me that I'm a perfectionist and I love LOVE beautiful things. Why an awesome photo of my cat from a friend? Because its fabulous and I enjoy looking at it (and part of me indentifies with being the crazy old cat lady). Why have my graphic design friend make the invitations? Because I love seeing the girls faces light up when they see the invite. Some of them keep the invites because they are so lovely! Why spend hours making ridiculous kids books? Because I LOVE my neices and nephews and love to see them happy and feel special. Granted there are a few things that I probably am a bit overboard on (the inside of cabinets looking photographable? really?) but generally I do things because they bring me joy.

I took photos of one of the books I made and will post them tonight or tomorrow but for now, lets be content looking at the random photo above that I quite enjoy.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I am in a weird mood today. I feel a bit like I'm drowning but like its an out-of-body drowning experience, where I'm watching my body slowly drift down from the surface. Maybe its the weight of the 20 page paper I need to finish today. Maybe its my job or my church service or Christmas or my giant neverending to-do list. Why do I do all these things? Sometimes I look around at all the things in my life and think, how in the world did I get here? The amount of self-imposed craziness... shouldn't I know better? I make up all these things in my head like,

I should only weigh 105lbs (I'm only 5'0 afterall) - so I worry about what I eat and feel bad about not having time to run anymore.

I should be the best aunt ever and I need to give meaningful gifts for Christmas - so I'm making individual books for each of my neices and nephews with stories and illustrations all by me about them.

I should get my masters so I can think I'm accomplished - so I'm busting my butt in a degree I find interesting. Interesting. yup.

I should work full time and have a good respectable title - so I work hard to get a promotion to a job that I'm not even sure I really want. Project Manager. Thats me. Call me PM. Not 'just' a specialist anymore.

I should serve God with all my heart and do good for others - so I cook Sunday dinner every week and have others over who 'need' a place to go. I am in charge of the teenage girls in our church 12-18 and try to do everything in my power to make them happy and entertained and get something spiritual as well and know that I love them (which I do, truly) twice or 3x a week.

I should have an amazing house - so I spend hours cleaning, decorating, picking up, remodeling, whatever so that each place in my house could be photographable. Every place. Inside cabinets and closets and in every room and our cellar. Take a photo. Go ahead. Its perfect.

I should make everything look amazing - I don't just wrap presents I spend time combining the right paper with the right ribbon and tag and coordinating it with the other presents that will go to that family. They look amazing. Not just gifts though, anything. Picture of my cat - not done by me but my an actual photographer friend because my handiwork won't do. An invitation for a girls outing, not by me but by my friend the graphic designer. They're beautiful and I would expect nothing less if its going to be coming from my hand to yours.

I should look good for Doug or my girlfriends or coworkers - so I worry about my thin hair and imperfect skin and I fuss over stretch marks and static and cat hair. I read about how to be pretty so I can be 'beautiful'.

Who made up all these rules? Me. I've got to be the best I can be, right? ...drowning...

my cat Patches (photo courtesy of Scott Myler)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Woah Swell Season

We went to The Swell Season concert on Saturday night and it was AMAZING! If you've ever seen the movie Once and fell in love with Glen and Marketa, then seeing them live will solidfy your love in the eternities. Check them out here:

The whole band was incredible. Their drummer was playing drums with both feet and one hand while shaking maracas with the other hand and singing! He also plays the piano, as does Glen, and Marketa now plays the guitar. It was fun watching them switch up instruments. And Glen was so funny and charming and Irish and sigh...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Designer Numero Dos

I'm sure you're just dying to know who my second most favorite designer is... so let me give you some clues. He is the youngest of my three favorite. He has pretty blue eyes. He is friends with Queen Winfrey, sometimes called Oprah. Yes indeed, its Nate Berkus.

He is everywhere these days. He has an incredible line of products with HSN. He has his own line with Linens N Things. He is just beautiful...rrr I mean his interior designs are beautiful. Ha.

Check out some of his work:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Many Thanks

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! I hope everyone else had as fabulous a weekend as I did. This year the only thing I really wanted was to be warm going to and fro campus and work. So my awesome husband got me a warm puffer from JCrew (woot!) and a big warm scarf/shawl from Gap. And just in time as it started snowing on my birthday!

Speaking of JCrew, have you seen their new winter catalogue? Oh to dream. Its lovely. All except for the random villain placed amidst the beauties. Seriously, this guy is sorta creepy looking. (Suits nor JCrew can hide his evil intentions)

I think he looks like he is planning to take over the world in this photo...reminiscent of Pinky and the Brain. ("Hmm I'll start with the JCrew models and then work my way up till I've taken the entire western hemisphere...yes that sounds good")
Later this week I'll be posting about my two other favorite designers and then hopefully by this weekend the before-and-afters of our house will be ready to debut. What a treat!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

TOB: One of Three

Its time I just came out with it. I LOVE THOMAS O'BRIEN. Its a weakness of mine. I've yet to see anything by him that I don't sigh and hold and pause to picture in my home. He is one of my top three favorite designers. I"ll post about the other two another time but today let me just list a few reasons why I enjoy his designs so much. I love his idea of vintage modern. Being secretly 75 years old makes me appreciate antiques and things with a history (for example, our house is 115 years old). But the convenience and utility of modern design has its place. I like his timeless appeal, using classic colors and mixed patterns to create a lived in but beautiful appeal to his designs. I also like the undertones of masculinity. I'm getting carried away but before you roll your eyes and flip the channel, check his video out at and gander at some of his interiors below.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Birthday Week: Turning 75

I'm listening to the song 'Hey Soul Sister" by Train. If you want to listen to something similar and equally good listen to Dave Barnes, Carry Me Through and then listen to Maybe Souls by Lincoln Crockett at or better yet, Feels So Good. Thats my favorite of his. Music was and will always be my first love. One of my favorite things is to get music from other people of artists I've never heard before. I seldom listen to the radio (except NPR) because they never play the good stuff. Do I sound like I'm 75 yet? Its only a matter of time before you discover that I'm a 75-year-old trapped in a 25-year-old's body (okay lets be honest, more like 12-year-olds body but Hey it ain't called "Little Jo Home" for no reason.) I drink out of jam jars. I reuse tin foil (uh, also I call it tin foil- meaning aluminum foil). I wash out the sealable gallon bags. I know all the lyrics to every popular song recorded before 1975. I listen to a lot of old jazz and probably my favorite story: Two years ago I asked for a Roger Whitaker CD for Christmas. No one had any idea who this man was (sings and whistles people) and when talking to my husband's grandparents (aged 70ish) they told me not only did they know who Roger was but they went to a concert of his for their FIRST DATE. Yeah, I'm cool. Anyway, I think this was all to say, I like music and Maybe Souls and Feels So Good ranks up there as some of my much enjoyed songs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Suzanne the Dame of Design

Do I HAVE A TREAT for YOU! My friend Suzanne York Hall has allowed me to share some photos of her homestead. She was the brains behind the oh-so-incredible look of Spark Lounge ( and is also an interior designer for Alice Lane Home ( She has a gift for making things beautiful. Seriously, everything this girl touches becomes just lovely. So heres for some Friday afternoon gorgeous gandering

Thursday, November 5, 2009

City of Trees

So I head to Boise tomorrow for a wedding. I'm staying at a fancy hotel that I remember playing piano at once when I was younger. They offered me a complimentary breakfast and it was quite the feast, complete with golden whipped cream (or so I thought) so I spread it all over my waffles and strawberries. Turns out it was whipped butter and it was disgusting, but my parents taught me to be grateful for what you get (especially free food) so I swallowed it down and then threw up on the piano bench about an hour later (a Steinway piano bench mind you). They didn't invite me back to play piano. I'll show them... :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Argyle Pumpkin

So turns out my ambiguous Martha Stewart design didn't turn out, uh, looking like I imagined. Picture wrinkled argyle sock (these are actually pretty cute but here is the visual)

(picture courtesy of Amazon)

And then placed on a pretty orange pumpkin

(picture courtesy of national journal)

Um but if you have something really cool in your mind then erase it and replace it with weird uneven almost diamond shapes and lots of random holes everywhere. The husband thought it would be fun to take a poll of the trick or treaters to see whose pumpkin was best (he created a pumpkin mansion of sorts, complete with chimney from some old pipe, etc) and needless to say, he won. BOO! I'm calling for a rematch next year.

On a happier note, my office mini-me costume was perfection. You know you're lookin good when people are laughing and pointing whilst crying. Yeah BABY!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Well its Halloween and its actually beautiful weather! Maybe we will get lots of trick-or-treaters. That would be grand. Today is pumpkin carving day. I know, I'm cutting it a little close. I'm hoping to go for an ambiguous design so I can keep it lit after today. Martha Stewart has some fabulous designs on her blog. I will post some pictures tomorrow of how the pumpkins turned out.

last pic courtesy of

Friday, October 30, 2009

Company Halloween

"Don't you just love New York in the fall... I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
I love this time of year. I especially love today because its the company Halloween party. Its so fun to see all of the clever costumes and everyones little kids who come by our offices to trick or treat. Working on an exclusively male team, I unfortunately work with a bunch of lame-o's who never dress up, but the rest of the company has some pretty great stuff. I do variations on the same theme every year. There is a gentleman here who is quite a bit larger than myself. He is about a foot and a half taller than me and around 200 pounds more than me. When not working for us he is a competitive weight-lifter. Last year I transformed a box the size of me into his business card and put 'Actual Size' on the back and walked around next to his back pocket. It was well received. This year I got a muscle suit, a bald cap, and a goatee and I will be his mini-me. I'm looking forward to his reaction.
Anyway, here are a few fall pictures for your enjoyment.

This is my lovely fall gourd arrangement

And aren't fall wreaths just fabulous?