Thursday, February 25, 2010

bits of sunshine

i am taking care of my grama this week,
and it has been a very grey week here on cape cod.
yesterday, the fog was so thick, i couldn't even bring the dogs for their daily beach walk because i couldn't see a foot in front of me and didn't want to lose them!

but, it has warmed up a bit, giving me hope that spring really is right around the corner.
my favorite color combo as of late is grey and yellow, which speaks perfectly to the season on the cusp.

felted necklace * making lemonade sheets

classic redefined: hudson bay blanket

can you even imagine a more perfectly cozy spot to curl up with a good book?!
total perfection... the teepee inside, the built-ins LOADED with books, even a surf board to remind that winter will end.
the cherry on top?
cozy. preppy. a little bit vintage.

and check out this fun use of the classic...
i adore ottomans upholstered in kilim rugs, but THIS is cozy too!

but when rachel bilson (whose style i can totally relate to) stepped out during the olympics in this coat?!?!

the classic. reinterpreted by smythe.

love. love. love.
oh, how good would this look with frye harness boots and skinny jeans.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

for the love of liberty

i have a huge place in my heart for target.
ok, maybe it's an obsession.
honestly, i find a reason to go weekly, and if i don't need anything, i call my sister or mother (who live in places target does not) asking them if they need anything, just so i can have an excuse to go.
i love nearly everything about their "making design accessible" mission. there partnership with "it" designers?
i loved proenza schouler. missed john derian. sadly under-whelmed by orla kiely. anxiously awaiting gaultier...
and now, it's official...

(the video preview? AHHHH-MAZING!)

NOT to be missed.
march 14th.
be there.

the office, part 1

one of the first things i fell in love with in our house was this room- the very sunny, narrow, "bonus" space just off the living room.
it was the perfect space and place for my husband's office/music room. reid is a teacher and musician, so a home office is a necessity, but in all the houses we looked at, that would have required giving up a bedroom... until now!

let the transformation begin...
day 3 of homeownership found my mum and i quickly tackling painting the two 3rd floor rooms while my daddio got busy scraping away the dowdy wallpaper in reid's soon-to-be office.
he made quick work of it, groovin' to the tunes on his ipod (yeah, he's cool like that now). though, 45 minutes in, he came upstairs for technical support, as he had just realized he had listened to the SAME song for all 45 minutes (it had been on repeat). HA! oh well....
my uncle joe arrived the next day for a week worth of work (of which the priority list was ever-changing...). due to my obsession with built-ins and reid's obsession with reading, bookcases in the office where a necessity. i designed the set-up, complete with a wider shelf under the windows and over the radiator for bernie and lloyd (our cats) to snooze.

so, after a quick lesson from joe, i got busy skim-coating the freshly scraped walls (this brings them back to a smooth-as-glass finish, nearly as good as fresh sheetrock) and did a darn good job, if i do say so myself!

the next day my arms were ridiculously sore, but i had to get right to priming, as joe was ready to get building the bookcases on the far wall.
(doesn't the room look better already!?!)

the stained, worn, turquoise wall to wall carpeting needed to go as well, and we were very pleasantly surprised but what we found beneath!

i landed on benjamin moore's new york state of mind on my first flip through the paint fan deck and decided it was the perfect color for reid's den. i love the saturated blue that is nearly navy at night but has a wonderful bold glow in the sun-drenched space.
reid is still not 100% convinced, but with the addition of books and his great collection of jazz art, i think this color will be the perfect backdrop.
at least, I love it!
my daddio, removing the rest of the carpet...

dad and me, smiling, after a very loooong few days, but very pleased with our progress!
stay tuned for more details as we go...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

swim party #2

the only thing i loved more than the interior design in something's gotta give was the painting above diane keaton's fireplace.

the swimmer.


i had hunted and hunted, found the artist, stalked his website...
be still my heart.
of course, the limited addition run of 65 signed copies are far out of my decorating budget... but, oh, what i would do to look at this woman every day.
ahhh, a girl can dream.
love, love, love....

surfin' safari

winter in new england was getting to be a bit much. the cold, the grey....
my board was not happy. neither was i.

we are down in puerto rico hoping for a bit of this:

and this:

be back in a bit... relaxed, rested, freckled and stoked.

Sunday, February 14, 2010



happy valentine's day!

made with love mitts * xoxo pencils
sew sweet * champagne truffles
l.o.v.e mugs

Thursday, February 11, 2010


this dress made me want to become a designer.

the fashion world will forever mourn the loss of alexander mcqueen.

vogue, self-scanned.

sweets for your sweet

i didn't make my gingerbread cookies this year during the holidays and i have been craving them ever since.
i adore how white icing looks on this cookie, so i thought it would be a wonderful twist to turn the traditional christmas cookie into a valentine's tradition.
inspired by paper doilies and made with love...


the smiley heart is for you, mum.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



my sister, whom, until recently, i would have never thought of as "crafty" surprised me with these gorgeous fingerless mittens as a belated birthday gift.
i was... blown. away.
who/what/where/when/ how!?!??!
i knew she'd been sewing lately, and i had seen her knitting before... but this? i would have never guessed. amazing.
do you see the owl hiding in there? with his perfectly subtle eyes?
love. love. love.
(even better when enjoyed with hot cocoa and a croissant)

thanks meggs!
cannot wait for all the handmade exchanging to come!

(she is roadtoast on the knitting community ravelry if you're a member)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

tamra's multi-use, kid-friendly play space

after i posted my sister's playroom makeover, she asked if i might also be willing to lend an online hand to her dear friend tamra, who had a similar dilemma...

tamra and her husband, manny, live with their two young kids in a historic home in burlington, vt. their way-cool place was lovingly restored after-hours by manny- wow (check out that original trim)!!!
while they have a "formal" living room, as a stay-at-home mom, tamra normally entertains in the playroom/tv room while the kids play. as it stands, the place is a mix of furniture brought into the marriage by both tamra and manny and it isn't fun, functional or inviting for the family at this point.

this space sits on the ground floor, in the middle of things, so we want to keep the paint colors in keeping with the historic nature of the house (and the fact that it can be seen from the the rooms) put tamra and her daughter, anika love purple, so we've got to bring that in a bit too!
they are on a tight budget, therefore, we are going to work with the major pieces of furniture.

before we get to the good stuff, let's talk a little about layout, etc...
* i think you should caddy-corner the tv cabinet in that corner. this will make the area seem a little less "square." minimize the clutter as much as you can on top. while we all have a soft spot for kid-creations, the cardboard piece doesn't read well up there anyway, so let's get rid of it.
* manny is SO good a building, let's put him to work! we can make that closet REALLY work for you; have him build in shelves in the whole thing. make sure the bottom shelf is up high enough that all push toys, strollers, etc. can be wheeled in and stored easily there. one shelf for board games and puzzles, one for art supplies, etc. save the top, most hard-to-reach places for seasonal toys.
* with the closet put to good use, some space will be freed up in the big bookcase. lets make this look as streamlined as possible, while still being useful. i would also center this piece on that wall. it would be wonderful to add a fun pop of color at the top... maybe an accent like a few of these (in white and magenta).
* with the added storage in the closet, we can get rid of the smaller bookcase under the window. it is too tall for the space and makes that wall look cluttered.

now, at long, looooong last...
tamra, here is your play-space makeover!


* i think "new age" from benjamin moore for a paint color in this room (shown as the background) is perfect. it is a nice soft gray, with a bit of purple behind it, so it will be a perfect match of what you (and anika!) love, but still completely appropriate for an open, main-floor living space.
* manny is super handy, and you are crafty- i'd love to see you two collaborate on a fun teepee for the kids. it would be such a nice focal point and the kids would have a blast with the new fort! a smaller, subtle floral print would be perfect... also a nice way to bring in some brighter purple tones! the teepee can go to the right of the couch in front of (but not against!) the radiator/window area.
* i honestly, don't mind the couch. you have young kids; it would be a huge waste of money to replace it at this point... teenage pizza parties are right around the corner, and it will only take more and more wear and tear. let's work with what you've got! give the cushions a good washing and make up some fun throw pillows. i would love to see a larger print here- you can even use something unexpected... i am OBSESSED with these great ikat napkins from the affordable home line pomegranate. you could take the table cloth or napkins and make them work here- very modern and fun!
* add a pop of color over the back of the couch will also liven it up. but, don't compete with the pillows, a solid throw is perfect here.
* it would be great to add a piece of art that appeals to you and the kids. this wonderful print would work perfectly with your color palate and you'll find yourself coming back time and time agin finding new fun "friends." put this on the wall to the left of the window.
* as i said before, i think we can work with much of your larger furniture. the one thing i think should be replaced is the rug. let's get something a little more fun in there! i love this option from FLOR. totally kid friendly, customizable for whatever size you think would work best and the purple tones are wonderful in this space. if you buy a few extra tiles, you can always switch them out if there is a major spill or permanent stain.
* you need some more seating in here... especially for when you have other moms over on play dates... but, we don't want to limit the kid's play space. a set of cube ottomans are a perfect solution. these often offer extra storage, so as an added bonus, they can hold dress up clothes! put these side-by-side under the window, or even in front of the tv cabinet and pull them out when you need another perch.
* a good coffee table is critical in here. a place to put down your tea, let the kids color, or put up your feet on movie night. because we are working in a square-shaped space, with a bunch of boxy furniture, i think you should go with a round shape.
* let's lose the two small floor lamps. they don't do anything for the space and don't work together. you have an overhead light in here, so we do have some lighting. i think this great fun arc floor lamp will wonderful interest and a pop of modern. the base of the lame can be placed on the left side of the couch and give you reading light, or be turned to go over the coffee table.
* i want to see pictures of your kids! i am all about displaying family favorites. get them blown up! totally worth the money... go BIG (11x14+!!!) pick your favorite three or so, buy some wood frames at ikea and put together your own little gallery above the couch.

i hope you this inspires you, tamra! i hope to lend a hand next time i get up to visit my sister!
good luck and enjoy!

here is a little teepee inspiration...
source unknown

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

day one.

new homeowners!

nellie watches over the moving...

we had a week between when we closed on our home and when we had to be out of our apartment and there were a new projects we wanted to tackle before we moved over with all our furniture...

here are the "before" shots of our new place (taken from the mls listing):

Monday, February 1, 2010

last supper

our last meal at our apartment was a completely random selection of what was left in the fridge, but it was just. so. yum. i had to share...

tomato, goat cheese, arugula raviolis (fresh from our wonderful farmer's market)
over baby arugula with roast cherry tomatoes
crumbled sun dried tomato chicken sausage
fresh shaved parmigiano-reggiano