Saturday, June 27, 2009

why i have disappeared!

this doesn't mean that my house and i have fallen off a cliff. far from it!

i've been guest blogging over at keyse's space, crocodile tears, which is incredibly fun and where a lot of my design passions are going. i started a photo blog and subsequently began taking a photography class, both of which i'm having a lot of fun with. i was so precious about photography for so long (thinking i needed to be invited to join the membership of the exclusive Photographer's Club by proving my worth, and that without that validation i had no business taking pictures) that it's been really refreshing and healing to me to let those barriers fall.

it's also summer in boston, meaning i actually have a life again! i've found, among many other things:

- the credenza of my dreams (a broyhill brasilia behemoth)
- a great new desk chair, a hot kidney-shaped coffee table
- a crazy boudoir chair that i'm using in my kitchen
- a beautiful vintage typewriter, and
- not one but five inspiring new lamps.

but i think more important than documenting tiny projects and things (although that IS interesting, and i still believe it has merit) is the fact that i've just started to live my life in a twig by twig sort of way. i'm waiting, doing business pretty much only with buyers and sellers i have a good feeling about, not spending too far beyond my means (though this month is a bad example of that!) i've had a tendency for most of my life to live to extremes, and the growth of the past year has had everything to do with learning to be okay with moving slowly.

i'm a gardener now, both here and at the mit community garden: proud parent of many succulents, three sweet potato vines, two tomato plants, two kinds of basil, peppers and eggplant. (perversely, my eggplant is my favorite and most beloved plant, even though i hate eggplants themselves. but his leaves are so furry and cute!)

i'm paying off my credit card debt, by making small deposits every week, and then larger and larger ones as i gained confidence that i could do something on a regular basis and stay committed to it. i'm teaching my stretching class again and loving it, and being given even more freedom and responsibility at work. i'm getting into collaborative projects outside of work which i'm really excited about.

and so i think i need to say goodbye for now. this isn't a new or radical philosophy for me anymore - it's just the way i live my life. but i'm so grateful that i documented all of this when things were uncertain and i wasn't sure how i was going to grow into the type of person who could do this project successfully. i have so many ideas that are coming to fruition now, and i can't wait to post pictures of my apartment here when it's done!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

what we have ahead of us

so i have been away for a while, it is true. part of this is due to travel; i was in portugal for a couple of weeks, home for a couple of weeks, bounced back out to florida, where i am now. my friends ray and pete had a BEAUTIFUL hippie wedding this past saturday, and i have another wedding coming up saturday (my sister's, for which i am both maid of honor and wedding planner/designer).

HOWEVS, i am coming home monday night, whereupon shit is getting serious. i'm starting my first cleanse that day, and i'm also starting the eight week cure. i have been a bit sporadic with updates to this blog at least partially because i've been a bit sporadic with updates to my home. but: i am committed. i have the money (due to a serendipitous combination of a fat tax return and the fact that the month of may has FIVE pay periods in it instead of four. XO!), and i have the time - because after all of this jetsetting i am chained to my desk until about december.

brimfield is also in may, and moveout day and all the free furniture that that entails, along with the knowledge that it is finally spring again and i'm no longer deeply depressed. i finally have the energy to tackle this. i'm out of step with the official apartment therapy cure, because i think i was in ireland when that one started.

so this blog is going to have to be where i detail my struggle and labor, post in desperation and triumph, and hope to get the encouragement and inspiration to keep going. big mountain to climb in my future, huh? but eight weeks from monday i will have a finished home. the goal, among other things? coffee table at last.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

animal dreams

so sporadic (for shame)! here are some snippets from my house, since apparently coherent thought on same fails me when it comes time to blog. a tableau of the ways in which animals creep in even though i can't have pets, followed by an introduction to my new entryway table.

sometimes you need a peace dove to hold your stirring spoon. that is all i'm saying. one of my cherished finds from sarasota bargain barn.

first elephant: one of my favorite teapots, and one of the only ones i kept when i consolidated my collection. this teapot was purchased in portugal last spring, and was first used when luis and i had our long bilateral peace talks. but i THINK i may have mixed up the two pots in my luggage, meaning the actual pot used in the process is now living with anna in asheville. this is probably okay.

the "backsplash" to my hutch - also known as a pair of ikea trays that unite senhor elephant and senhora peace dove pretty nicely!

who keeps your feet warm? because mine are protected by fabulous elephant monkey slippers. (editor's note: oops! elephants on the brain.) note in rest of image: fabulous shag rug, bright yellow leg of the couch i still need to sell, csail duffel bag waiting to be packed for gym tomorrow, water glass on the ground because i still don't have a coffee table.

final elephant; this guy holds quarters for laundry and i got him when i was in sarasota this past thanksgiving. currently he is running on nearly empty - time to buy another roll. also, does anyone know what sort of metal this is? i think it is tarnished and should be a gold-ish color if it were properly shined, but i don't know what products to use to clean it.

my two vases: the whale and the chickadee. currently empty because working all afternoon today means that i never made it to the grocery store - alas!

my new man: a scruffed up grunow teledial potentially dating from about 1937. it needs new knobs and some serious love to the peeling veneer top:

to say nothing of a new faceplate. from looking at pictures of old ones, they were VERY grand; a glass plated front and the gold foil obviously all in one piece. i may chip off the rest of the veneer on top and cover it with some pretty wallpaper?

it's going to be a resting place for, among other things, my first piece of milk glass (purchased in the same shopping trip), and a vase and a place to hold keys and organize stuff. since that was the only big thing i needed for my entryway, i'm in the mood to paint it a dark turquoise next weekend, start scouting for hooks, hang the asker pods i've been saving for its organization and get things into gear!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

i've been away

for a while. but this doesn't mean my house is languishing! lots of exciting things in the pipeline; here is a quick teaser of a project i'm working on now - jewelry shadowboxes courtesy of design*sponge!

this is my jewelry. it has been living in a small magenta pencil case for far, far too long now, and while i am unlikely to wear earrings while my ears still have a chance to freeze outside, i really enjoy the style of everything i own, and it's much more cohesive than i thought it was. i left a lot of stuff i don't wear anymore in tampa when i moved, so that could be a part of it (although now that i have space to store it, it might be very nice to bring some back with me next time i visit). these will hang in rows of three over the dresser that i don't yet have. i want something simple and danish-esque, like


or this.

it needs to be relatively small (no more than 56 inches across or i won't be able to comfortably access my closet - even with the door removed), and i'm not mentally prepared to pay more than $50 or so for it. i'm keeping my eyes peeled; craigslist seems to be on the edge of a major upswing. for example:

this is being sold for $75. which is a monster deal. and it is a cool, petite 41 inches across. however, i don't have $75 right now, so i am not sure how i am going to avoid being the shady craigslist person who asks for price and dimensions and then doesn't respond to the email. perhaps i will email her back during the day wednesday (strategic, as wednesday might as well be friday as far as planning is concerned - is this how people plan dates?) and see if it is still available.

back to the jewelry for a second: a quick word to the wise when attempting this shadowbox project. you may rap on the clear front of the ikea bas shadowbox, and you may think "hmmm. it's pretty inconvenient that this plastic is built in as a part of the box and doesn't slide easily in and out. still, it should be pretty easy to give it a smart tap with a hammer and take the pieces out."

imagine your surprise, then, when the plastic turns out to be glass. (caution, is all i am saying.)

other house news is mainly all about getting more settled. i'm writing this on a break from intensively cleaning, and when i'm doing i'll go right back to the final stuff: cleaning mirrors and scrubbing sinks and bathtubs, wiping down desks and windowsills and countertops, sweeping and finally using this fancy wood mopper/polisher thing i got at target. (method, you warm the wee cockles of my heart.) i have been traveling a lot recently, it seems; thanksgiving in florida was followed by three weeks here, then a week in vermont; that was followed by three weeks here, then a week in dc for the inauguration.

i've been back for a little over a week, and it seems (not including a potential valentine's weekend in quebec city) that i'll be hanging around for a while this time. new news to be on the lookout for when my posting schedule stabilizes:

- complete rearrangement of bedroom (pieces sold, pieces bought, layout changed entirely)
- sectional soon to be no more! i have a new couch (and cozy kitchen chair) waiting in the wings at eliza's house across the hall. more on the why of that later
- desk chair on the auction block
- prowling for a new monster hutch

right now my home is like a boy in short pants. (nowhere is this illustrated more beautifully than the bathtub, which is an elegantly flat clawfoot tub with an internal liner, but no billowing, lovely, entirely decorative outer curtain.) i think the time of adolescence is drawing near, though; in the next few months, keep an eye out for its hems to start to reach towards the floor.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


i'm in dc for the inaugural! i have been seeing some very inspiring interiors and stores, walking around and absorbing the feel of a city that is in a lot of ways both older and younger, wilder and more staid than boston, and buying lots of small things for the home. updates in the next two weeks.

i'm doing exciting things to my bedroom this month, and hopefully i'll have exciting things to show by the end. i wanted a dresser that someone else bought out from under me (the story of my life on chop chop), but i have faith that i'll find one happier and better, and soon.