Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Esthetician

Since we have been married, whenever I complain about a blemish or uneven skin tone or crow's feet, Carter tells me that I put too much on my skin and gestures to his own smooth porcelain-like face to illustrate the benefits of dropping the potions. Now--let me be real--I have a very basic skin care routine: in the morning St. Ives scrub in the shower followed by some Walgreen's-acquired lotion and then at night, Cetaphil and the same lotion. Not too crazy, right? I don't care what time it is, what state I'm in, where I am, I ALWAYS wash my face. I cannot remember skipping a single night since I was probably in middle school. But I have problems sometimes. And I am in my thirties. And this should not be. For five years now, he's been repeating his advice to stop putting lotion on my face, and very recently, I listened.

He was right.

I still wash the same, but without lotion at night. (I still feel like I need it in the morning before I put on my makeup.) Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal, but I CAN TELL A DIFFERENCE. My face is not red in places; it isn't breaking out; it isn't dry and flaky around my nose; the tone is better; the pores are smaller. I have been pleased.

I just thought you should know.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wings and Revised Plans

Craigslist says the pair of these wingbacks are $80. Do you think I can talk the seller down to $50? Is that just stealing? Do you think they smell like cat urine or something? Do you think I can talk Carter into letting me get them if I can talk the seller down to $50?

I want to cover them in a khaki and ivory stripe or geometric, like this...

Those are Schumacher's Kerry Linen Stripe, Imperial Trellis, and Bleecker (she types while genuflecting), none of which I can afford, but I'm pretty certain I could easily find something similar.

Do you remember this project? The end result, in case you were wondering, did not, shall we say, meet my standards. There was some shocking puckering at the corner seams.

When your spouse says, "You can hardly see it," it translates as everyone can clearly see that this was homemade... by Lu. (Now I'm picturing Lu in a sweatshop, pushing the pedal of a sewing machine with a kerchief tied around her head.)

What a surprising outcome for this project. First-time upholstery seemed like it would be so simple.

It's been residing in the garage ever since... and I've been thinking it would be nice and sharp reincarnated in black and white ticking. I like crisp stripes, but I feel like the ticking would put that very straight-edged chair in it's place. It would give it some informality and ease, even.

Partly this sort of mood found in Shawn Henderson's New York farmhouse, featured in House Beautiful. See the chair and sofa? However, it will be on the very clean-lined and well-traveled orange chair so we're juxtaposing modern with country, straight with soft, formal with informal.

I'm still mulling over these chairs and fabrics. What do you think?

Doggie Portraits

I have invented titles for these portraits by Christine Edwards. This one is called Mr. Cormier.

Bernard Paulson-Smith

Preston McAllister

Orangette told me it was okay.

Orangette loves lists, too.

"Yes, as I was saying, I am good at many, many things, but I am a true champion at lists.

I love lists. They’re so liberating. I can purge my entire brain onto a piece of paper, and Look! There it is! I don’t have to think about things anymore, because the paper does it for me. I can see exactly what needs to be done, and then I can decide what to do—or, even better—what not to do. [Oh, sweet liberty!] Most days come with a list, and some weekends do too. Under my roof, even the grocery list has a little space of its own, albeit a small, fat-splattered one on the shelf next to the stove, beside a looming pile of cookbooks. But my favorite variation on the theme, my pet list, is a messy Post-It that sticks in my agenda. It is the nerve center, the motherboard, the county seat. It is my list of what to cook. Because some days, you know, you forget. And if there’s one thing better than a delicious meal, it’s got to be a delicious meal that lets you check something off the list."

Photo taken from an interview with the great Molly Wizenberg on Stephanie Levy: A Studio with a View

Monday, March 29, 2010

Combatting Soccer Mom Style

We went to dinner the other night, and in an effort to conceal my un-showered self, I threw on a sweatshirt and a cap... I felt painfully plain and scruffy. I was wearing my jeans that feel quite mom jean-ish.

I've collected these antidotal Anthro images to make myself feel a little better, a little less dowdy, a little less rumpled and ungroomed.

Bright and White and Mirrored

I think most of these are from Design Dump, except the third image which is from Little Green's recent master bedroom makeover for her parents.

For the Wall

Hi print

It's What's Inside print

I Spy print

Oyster print

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Squeals of Excitement

I'll just go ahead and go crazy with everyone else today over emersonmade.

Design Sponge mentioned her corsages awhile back, which I in turn mentioned in a Valentine's excitement post earlier this year... because look at them. They are the height of feminine quirk and panache.

However, everyone's going berserk over the photographs of her home and style in general. I mean, can you blame them?

How cute is she?

Hello, dream pantry full of non-processed, organic perfection.

Bucolic, right? It is a really pretty image, but I have two complaints about this one. 1) Where are the goats for cheese-making purposes? If you have chickies, why not goats? 2) I lived next to actual roosters at one point, and they are not sweet, pastoral neighbors. I sort of hated their early-rising guts.

That's her hubbie. With a duck.

Martini at sunset? Stroll on the golf course with husband? Looking damn good with a chignon? I'll take that life.

Design Sponge

Caitlin Creer

Elements of Style

Layers of Meaning

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monique's Post and Kitty's Office

My sister-in-law just posted on her blog about our mother-in-law's office/study/studio. It's awesome. It's upstairs and looks out on their backyard. She has burlap curtains, a seagrass rug layered with an animal-print rug, a perfect gallery wall,

a rustic desk with pretty accessories,

and this bad boy who breathtakingly illustrates one of Kitty's most impressive traits. If you could walk up to this reincarnated card catalogue, you would see labels on each of the drawers, perfectly specific and detailed labels. You would see "small glue gun" and "neutral thread" and "buttons" and "scissors" and "needles" and so on and so on and SO ON. Look at all those drawers! I'm screaming at you. Look at all those drawers!!! I just counted them. There are 45 drawers there. I sort of want to snuggle with this piece of furniture and whisper sweet nothings to it and convince it to come home with me. Just kidding. Don't worry, Kitty.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Funky.

This is how we do March Madness: couch, blankets, and attitude.

Night in the Bishop Arts District

Who doesn't belong?

Please note that this whole pack is labeled "jumbo" yet one of them seems to be extra jumbo. The carton wouldn't even close all the way.

Friday, March 19, 2010

To clarify...

Just so you know, the pictures in the landscaping post from earlier today were stolen from random google images and absolutely weren't taken in my backyard. Hopefully, by the end of summer we'll be getting close to looking so robust, but right now, everything is still in newborn-phase and spaced out in anticipation of strong and steady growth.

I Took Wednesday Off.

My mom came into town and worked me like a field hand. We made a list, visited some nurseries, dug holes, and planted things all over our yard. I was exhausted, and my lips were chapped, but nevertheless, I am really satisfied with everything.

Here's a rendering of the back yard...

Our backyard is ridiculously shady thanks to an enormous pecan tree, and mom was invaluable in helping me select plants that shy from the sun. The owners before us laid out some beds with really nice stone work. Some of these shrubs were there already, but we did get Hostas...

to fill up the area along the left fence, leaving room for impatiens in front and tall ferns along the house to mask the air conditioner to go in later.

We planted a border of Liriope on the strip of sod between the driveway and the right fence.

We discovered that we had two Hydrangeas on either side of the porch steps, and we added two more to grow huge and bright...

in the back of the left bed just beyond the spindly, little dogwood tree, so that you can see them easily from the porch or the swing in the back.

We already had a few Pittosporum bushes that proved to be nearly indestructible through our stingy watering in the summer and the cold winter, so we decided to add a few more to fill things out. Plus, I like the light green, variegated leaves.

In the front, we added a smattering of all kinds of herbs: basil! rosemary! mint! in the beds, and we put together a pot of oregano, thyme, and dill with some snapdragons.

We spread some purple verbena around as ground cover in case the tall grasses don't come back...

added a border of Dusty Miller, and that was that.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Home design: function meets sentimental symbol... "Crate Expectations" by eat drink one woman

The significance of shirt style... "Johnny and Me" by I Cook Like a Girl

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Liberty of London

Everyone in design world blogland has been anticipating the Liberty of London inauguration at Target. I forgot to go check it out, so I'm pretty sure everything has been picked over by now, but if I were to get anything, I'd get these three canisters...

in small,


and large.

Online, they are already out of stock. :(

Something about Spring?

Everyone is posting about nurseries lately. I like to look.

Elements of Style

Caitlin Creer

Little Green Notebook


Friday, March 12, 2010

Two Essentials

Due to a combination of a recent Bon Appetit article and a No Reservations special "Obsessions Episode," I have an renewed intense interest in bread and cheese lately.

When I lived in Honduras, I made bread from scratch... as kinds of experimental starchy baked goods actually: tortillas, crepes, loaves of wheat bread. I was bored and lonely. Why not fill the void with something to fill the stomach? I was needing to do some kneading! I say this to suggest that the bread-baking goes way back, before my time in Honduras and naturally before me at all, and I want to say that there certainly is something very elemental, deeply symbolic, very traditional, and most comfortable about bread.

Now regarding cheese, I certainly don't need to explain the appeal. I saw a PBS special a few years ago that was hosted by Gourmet's (R.I.P.) old editor Ruth Riechl. I remember one topic in particular about the woman who makes cheese for The French Laundry, and it touched on the relationship she had with her goats and cows and how their diet and mood determined much of the resulting cheese. It was a beautiful documentary about the artistry and process and maturation of these cheeses. I became quite, uh, romantic about the idea of making cheese. And isn't there something even more elemental and universal about the milk that goes into the cheese? I think so. But we watched Tony talking to Terrance Brennan about his obsession with cheese, and it got me thinking about cheese again. Plus, The Dinner Files mentioned a book recommendation, and I started looking at other cheese books.

Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge

The Cheese Chronicles: A Journey Through the Making and Selling of Cheese in America, From Field to Farm to Table

Living with Goats: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Herd

Mastering Cheese: Lessons on Connoisseurship from a Maitre Fromager