30.4.08

Yellow + Grey

My new favorite color combination.

I found this bed at Hovel in Portland over the weekend. Cozy and glamorous at the same time. I love that grey and white pillow in the center.

Vintage wallpaper boxes by When In Doubt Draw Flowers. This little Italian company has some really great stuff including pendant lamps, notebooks, and wallets, not to mention a cute name.


Peony clutch by UK-based Red Ruby Rose. I actually own this one, and a lovely addition to my collection it is.

"Song of the sparrow" necklace with yellow quartz by Citizen Fox

Bosla satchel by Juliana Jabour

Tunic by Bread and Butter

29.4.08

Secret project



Here is a little snippet of my secret project. I like to keep an air of mystery about me. [chuckle] I think the final unveiling will be much more dramatic this way. It may be a trait leftover from my childhood when I could hide even the most mundane piece of information, real or imaginary, from my sister and it would drive her absolutely crazy. So, naturally, I began to do it all the time for the sheer pleasure of it. Sorry, Cal. Thankfully, curiousity kills cats not people.

Any guesses?

28.4.08

Moxie Rummage Sale Tonight


Some friends and I are hosting an old fashioned rummage sale tonight, April 28th from 5-10 PM at Moxie Restaurant on lower Queen Anne. We'll have some snacks for muching and lots of crap: furniture, craft supplies, fabric, clothes, CDs, housewares, vintage items, and lots more. It's sort of like a high-end, indoor garage sale and I would advise you to come early for the best selection.

Moxie is located at 530 1st Ave N.

www.moxieseattle.com

27.4.08

Portland

I went to Portland on Saturday for a much-needed boutique shopping adventure. First stop was the Historic Mississippi District, which I had never been to before, and just might be the closest I will ever get to experiencing the real South. I can't help but wonder which came first: the laid-back, slow-paced Southern vibe, or the name of the district itself? There is a good four- or five-block stretch of really fantastic, eclectic shops and Southern-style restaurants. Even our waitress at lunch had a Southern accent. The humid, 70-degree weather might have also played a role (amazing!).

My favorite shop was Flutter, which was every bit as good as all the things I have recently read about it. I want to live in Flutter. This shop is darn near the top of my list of all-time favorite shops... ever. It's sort of like a smaller, weirder version of Anthropologie with more vintage finds and a whole lot of taxidermy. I especially loved their use of color, their quirky chandeliers (check out that moss one above), and the Chinoiserie undertone of it all; it was right up my alley. I went into this store three separate times in 1.5 hours because I just had to buy something, but not everything, as a momento of this glorious Oregonian moment. It was rough.


A few blocks away we stumbled upon this tiny neighborhood on Alberta Street. Dora and Mabel (pictured above) being my favorite shop with super cute clothes and a super nice sales chick. I love that ostrich Coffee House sign.

We ended our day at Pambiche, a colorful restaurant serving authentic Cuban cuisine like back in the pre-Castro days when they had access to ingredients to flavor food with, like spices. Health inspectors must look the other way here as the tables are packed in like sardines, which is awesome if you like to listen in on other people's conversations. I really recommend this place if you are heading to the Portland area.

I left feeling totally wiped out physically, yet refreshed in spirit. I gained enough inspiration to last me another couple weeks or so. I've even got a secret project underway. More on that later. ;)

25.4.08

Nice package!

I am not a "beauty" girl by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a sucker for smart packaging. It is my belief that bath and beauty packaging should be as sweet and clean as the product itself. I don't even really care if they smell that good so long as it does not contain patchouli and will look good on my bathroom shelf. Here are some of my favorites:


Brickhouse Soap and Dewey Howard Paper merged to form The Soap and Paper Company based out of New York. They have a complete stationery line as well, hence the name. Gorgeous.



The problem with fresh. soaps is that to unwrap them is like setting the Mona Lisa on fire. I've owned one for 3+ years, I know. How much do you want to bite off that little stone?



Mor Cosmetics is an Australian company with Italian-inspired packaging. Their emporium soaps (bottom right) look a lot like my coasters. No wonder I like 'em. I swear I thought of it first!



Miller Harris, always a crowd pleaser. The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle stocks Miller Harris bath amenities and I managed to snag a small box of soap while utilizing a guest suite at my sister's wedding about a month ago. It looks great sitting next to my three-year-old tuberose-scented fresh. soap.



Last, but certainly not least, Sweet Petula. If I ever start a B&B on Orcas Island, Sweet Petula products will grace every clawfoot tub in every guestroom. The soaps are so soapy, and the creams are so creamy, and the sea salts come right out of the frigid waters of Puget Sound. Just kidding, I don't know where they come from. However, all Sweet Petula products are made right here in Seatte, and the Sweet Petula retail store in the Madison Valley is having a trunk show on May 10th featuring several local artists, including myself. See right column for more details. You can buy Sweet Petula products on Etsy now, too.

22.4.08

New tote bags



Hooray for new tote bags made from laminated fabric. No, I didn't laminate the fabric myself; I bought it that way. So far we've got two patterns to choose from, and each bag features one interior open pocket and leather handles attached with silver clips. These bags are fully machine washable as long as you remove the handles first. Available now in the shop.

If I owned one of these bags and there was a nice beach around here AND it was warm enough to be outside for more than zero seconds in less than jeans, boots, a hat, and down coat, I would so take it to the beach! How's that for wishful thinking?

17.4.08

Rabbit pillow



And then there's this mini zebra-striped rabbit pillow that I made yesterday. A Zebbit? A Rabbra? My sofa was getting stale. I wish rabbits were bigger so that I could make larger pillows. Rabbits can be very selfish like that.

15.4.08

Paco + Lupe



Paco + Lupe
's cotton pillows remind me of the pillows that I used to make from vintage scarves, which is how Sidney Ann all began. [sigh] Celia Cruz, the creative mind behind Paco + Lupe, hails from Montreal and is just as concerned with style as she is with functionality. All items in her shop are 100% original, handmade, and created mostly from biodegradable materials. You can buy the entire pillow or just the cover to save on shipping.

An artsy abode

I am presently housesitting for my friends Robert and Lucy who own a beautiful Craftsman-style home at the top of Queen Anne. Art and sheer craftyness are tucked into every nook, around every corner, and even above your head. Lucy is the very definition of "thinking outside the box" and I'd like to take a moment to highlight some of my favorites. A tour, if you will.


This is so simple and so pretty. Who would have thought to turn old spools of thread into a display?


Buttons and pins in shades of red and white adorn this quirky light fixture. It makes me smile.


I need to know the story behind this ceramic piece. It reminds me of the song Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb.


A button-clad chair.


A découpage cat in mid-flight.


A cedar-planked tub of 105-degree chlor... waaaaaaaait... that's not handmade?! I spent my evenings here along with a glass of red wine. It's a rough life but someone's gotta do it.

They told me before they left that I was to create some amazing art during my stay given the great artistic vibe. Sadly, I failed. Too busy! Darn coffee totes.

14.4.08

A very productive weekend

Indeed. Saturday was a scorching 80 degrees and people all over the city came out of the woodwork in order to expose their pasty white legs. I can't exclaim enough about how amazing it felt to stand outside and absorb all the vitamin D. Why, hello, freckles! Long time, no see.

I had an adventurous yet productive day running errands/basking in the sunglight through my car windows. Allow me to take you on a little tour:


First stop was the Salvage Studio. This crafty little salvage/thrift/creativity station is chock-full of ideas; I usually try to go once per month for inspiration. Then I made a "quick" stop at Target to pick up some organizational items, namely magazine holders in order to more effectively store all my reference materials: Elle Decor, Domino, House & Garden*, etc... One hour later I walk out with a cart full of stuff and no magazine holders.


That takes me to Office Max where I found these cute little numbers. I was not expecting to find anything this awesome. If it ain't baroque, don't fix it. ;)


Then there was a necessary stop at The Taco Bus, or more affectionately known as The Roach Coach. This is one of my favorite lunch destinations. I always get a steak torta with avocado. (I'm like a human garbage disposal.) Then I began to tackle the painting project that is my bathroom. Before and after pictures will be here shortly. Sit tight.

*I can't believe they discontinued that magazine without my permission.

12.4.08

Just another day at the office


I spent the day yesterday tearing up the slopes at Steven's Pass. The benefits of being self-employed vs. the benefits of being employed by someone else... this is the issue that is circling around in my head lately. I truly enjoy the flexibility that my current schedule affords but it might be time for a change. I am not convinced that this lifestyle looks good on me anymore.




On our way back to civilization we stopped at one of my all-time favorite coffee joints, the Espresso Chalet, which is perched on the very property that Harry and the Hendersons was filmed circa 1986. Not only is their coffee delicious and topped with a chocolate-covered espresso bean, but they offer over 170 syrup flavors and ten varieties of milk, including egg nog year-round. It's a marvel that they are able to contain all that yummy goodness in that itty bitty trailer.

10.4.08

Ode to Old Navy

Today I made my bi-annual pilgrimage to the amazingness that is Old Navy. I rarely go there and therefore was so amazed at the both the selection and prices available at this bargain shopping mecca. I always take a huge armful of clothes into the dressing room and walk out with maybe one thing. I think everyone does this, which explains why the tables at the entrance to the dressing room are piled to the ceiling with discarded clothes. Their items never fit quite right. For example, I tried on this super cute nighty/slip dress/static electricity storm, and then there was this button-down hoodie whose buttons were not aptly positioned so as to provide the necessary boobie coverage for public display. The official term for such annoyingness is "gaposis" (thank you, Grandma). But then again practically everything is less than $20 so what can you expect? It is important to enter this store with that mentality or you will surely be disappointed.

Moving on... Summer is in full swing [in the store] and they have tons of great beachy stuff like tube sundresses and flip-flops, as well as animal prints (yes!). I got stuck at the clearance section in the back for like an hour - I was worried I might miss the most amazing find of my life hidden amongst an entire rack of XXL turtlenecks.

Allow me to take you on a little tour of today's purchases:


Clockwise from top left: leather and wood-closure belt, $5.99; mosaic-print flip-flops, $3.99; gold-tone dangly leaf earrings, $7.50; satin flats, $11.70

I could hear this fantastic, oversized clutch whispering my name every time I walked by, I mean it practically leaped into my arms. I eventualy caved and not only do I feel no guilt (on sale for $8.99), I am thinking it just might have been the day's best purchase... but I don't like to play favorites. I can't wait to tote this around the Fremont Sunday Market this summer. (I'm a clutch girl in case you haven't figured that out yet.)

Things I could have taken home:


Clockwise from top left: gold bikini that I could never pull off due to my Nordic complexion; snake pendant; exotic canvas tote; mustard racer-back tank (I live in these in the summer, minus the ruffle, but I like the ruffle); rockin' sunglasses; fun tunic (will look good on no one)

Friendly flats:


They even had some bath products and candles that were expertly packaged and actually smelled good. Shipping is only $5 no matter how much you buy at oldnavy.com!

7.4.08

Mincing Mockingbird

Birds are so darn trendy. Owls are all over the place now, too, and crocodiles, butterflies, and acorns are cropping up here and there. Soon it will be carrots - ha ha, inside joke. I just find it interesting how certain animals/objects/vegetables make into the limelight. I remember back around the turn of the century it was insects: lady bugs, dragonflies, beatles. Years before the insect movement my mom made me a leotard with ladybugs all over it. It was pretty rad. Therefore one might even argue that I started the trend. Kidding!



Today's Etsy feature is Mincing Mockingbird, a male artist who paints these beautiful, simple bird portaits. They have a nice, subtle punch when grouped together. I think they would look fantastic placed against a putty-colored wall. The prints are 5.75" square with a white border for framing. And the best part, $13 each.

Once upon a mid-day slumber...


I always wanted an "outdoor sleeping sanctuary" since I found this picture in a magazine while waiting at the dentist's office several years ago. It has been tucked away in my "inspiration binder" for some time now and I was reminded of it once again thanks to the picture below, which I found on the cover of the latest issue of Architectural Digest.


I think the term "outdoor sleeping sanctuary" just embodies everything outdoor summertime napping should be about. I would probably even put a sign above the entrance saying just that in order to announce that this space was an obvious do-not-disturb zone. I used to sketch my ideal OSL which would include such amenities as a sumptuous feather-top bed with white, freshly laundered 800 thread-count linens; piles of pillows; a bedside carafe of ice water with lemon slices; a stack of magazines; and the sounds of a babbling brook. Ooh, and maybe a little snack for good measure. (I like to dream big.)

I am experiencing Spring vicariously through magazines because there are very few signs of it here in the great Pacific Northwest. :(

6.4.08

Buttons

Can someone please explain these to me? It's one of those things I just don't get, sort of like warm-weather vests. I mean, what about your arms? I can understand buttons made for political campaigning because they serve a purpose, even though I would never wear one as it's a guaranteed outfit ruiner. That one episode of Sex and the City where Carrie was dating the politician and wouldn't expose her button illustrates my point perfectly. The type of buttons I do not understand are the ones with pictures of things like nigiri sushi or cassette tapes. I tend to celebrate quirkiness but the concept of buttons still escapes me. Refrigerator magnets for the body?

Seriously, any feedback here would be greatly appreciated.



Image courtesy of Barrel Of Monkeys - go here if you get it.

4.4.08

I Heart Rummage


Join me at I Heart Rummage this Sunday, April 6th at Chop Suey from 12-4 pm. IHR is Seattle's longest-running urban craft venue featuring 40 of Seattle's most talented designers. We're talkin' yummy grub, a live dj, and lots of shopping mojo, yo!

Chop Suey is located at 1325 E Madison on Capitol Hill. Stop by and say hello; I'll be somewhere in the middle of the middle room.

3.4.08

Office space

Lately I've been on this major organizing/cleaning/re-decorating kick. I've decided to post this picture of my "office" because I am tickled by its new-found simplicity. I found the painting, which I orginally scored at a thrift store, hiding behind my couch. I didn't hang it up before because it never looked good on my formerly off-white walls but now that I've painted this room a cool blue (Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware - LOVE it) I think the painting looks fabulous hanging there, where the wall color brings out the blues in the vase and the scissors on my desk match the poppies (ha!). It sure beats the messy bulletin boards I had up before.


I found my desk on the porch of a house I was living at in college and cleaned it up with a fresh coat of white paint; my grandparents bought the chair for $2 from the Redmond Golf Course when it closed about 25 years ago; and the "F" mug is from Anthropologie.

I think the only thing this space needs is an animal-print rug - probably zebra. :)