Monday, January 28, 2008

Seattle & Coffee

Traveling and purchasing magazines seem to go hand in hand. I treated myself to Vogue Living Australia. Love the rooms below with the contrast of dark and light.

Designer Thomas Hamel, photography by Anson Smart.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I've been tagged

by Just Imagine, a great new blog. Now, for seven random things about me.
1. I was born in Greenbay, WI. When I was an infant I spit-up on coach Vince Lombardi
2. I have more bad hair days than good, especially in August
3. Dancing makes me happy
4. I still like to listen to Reo Speedwagon, I know...
5. I was once moved to tears watching Dorothy Hamill do a scratch spin. Absolutely perfect.
6. I didn't know about Etsy until last month and now I'm on the slippery slope of an Etsy addiction
7. My favorite meal is a lobster roll and a slice of key lime pie

Speaking of Etsy, the image below is from Annette Mangseth, an artist from Norway. You can find her work at Carambatack Design.

The next thing to do is to tag 7 others but I'll have to do that when I get back from Seattle & Denver. This weekend I learned that optimism + procrastination are a bad combo. Note to self - do not wait till Sunday morning to sew a pirate shirt with ruffles and a lined vest for your son's Monday dress rehearsal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Contemplating Concrete

It's time for the pepto-bismol pink & black 1950's master bath to go! There's an overdue bathroom renovation in our future (near or distant future, depending on if you're talking to me or my husband.) The idea of using concrete is very appealing to me and these images have caught my eye.

sink by Concrete Concepts & Design for Smith & Hawken in Mill Valley, CA. it's so sculptural.

love this finish. sink by BNS Fabrications in Desoto, MO

more industrial than I'm looking for but I love the extended ledge. by Stone Soup Concrete

side-by-side trough sink by Stone Soup Concrete

ingenious towel bar by Liquid Stone Designs

In terms of color, I'm interested in something reminiscent of sand, although concrete can be made in a range of beautiful colors. First three color examples from Concrete Concepts and Design. Second two from Buddy Rhodes:

hand trowel finish by Buddy Rhodes

integrated sink in wet bar by Stone Soup Concrete

impressive island by Stone Soup Concrete
integrated trivet and drainboard by Concrete Habitat
concrete can look classic. counters above and below by Concrete Canvas

you couldn't do that with granite or marble. this inventive counter by Pourfolio Custom Concrete

Concrete counters are custom crafted and can be created to reveal a uniform, highly polished look or a rustic, more industrial feel. Three terms related to finish pop-up: towel, ground or pressed. Like marble and granite, concrete can stain and needs to be treated to protect its finish. I love the warm look and feel of concrete and have noticed it appearing in retail stores. It's Concrete, based in Hayward, CA, has a great FAQ page, with an overview of the fabrication process too. O.K. - I think working on this blog has just about convinced me to go with concrete! I'd love to hear if you have any opinions on or experiences with concrete counters.
Additional sources:
Buddy Rhodes concrete trained artisans
Cheng Concrete Exchange
Concrete Network

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wearing the sea...from Turkey

Browsing on Etsy, I came upon Star of the East, and was so enamored with this mother & daughter team's original pieces. I was also taken by her profile -some selected excerpts from it are below:

"Jewelry making for me started in a rough way some fifteen years ago. I had an accident at the building site (I am a civil engineer) that left me incapacitated and unable to do that kind of work any longer. After a long convalescence I decided to move from the Netherlands with my then adolescent daughter, Estella, to Turkey, a favorite holiday spot for us. The climate was more favorable for my injuries...My physical mobility improved greatly, and the beauty of the country, the colors, the traditions, and even the smells are a daily source of inspiration.

Women (and men) always feel a need to embellish themselves. Jewelry helps women to feel good, to look good, and yes, to heal themselves..."

p.s. they ship anywhere in the world for free

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

fine lines and dreams of a vanity table ...and soft lighting, of course

1965 Knoll International table by Franco Albini, D Home, Sep/Oct 2004, designer Jan Martin

House Beautiful Feb 2007, designer T. Keller Donovan

1st dibs English art deco lady's traveling vanity

1st dibs French modernist vanity

Susan Dada Tara table

House Beautiful, designer Meg Braff, photography by Simon Upton

WS Home montmarte table

West Elm narrow leg vanity

Urban Grace Interiors brought this Mitchell & Gold desk to my attention. Love it - especially the slightly flared legs. Image via Michaelian & Kohlberg.

Could the advent of fine lines bring on this sudden desire for my own dressing table? Or maybe I need to sit down, versus standing at the mirror, after I contemplate the increasing amount of time required to achieve the desired results? Whatever the cause, I have a case of vanity table envy. Maybe the dresser can be replaced by one of these lovely odes to the ritual of preparing to greet the world and retire for the evening.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Wall in Need of Paper?

Umbra Tolla Storm Blue
Julien Macdonald Glamerous
Thomas Paul Robin wall canvas 20 X 20
Thomas Paul Lovebirds wall canvas 20 X 20
Linda Barker Tempting Turquoise
During the time when I should have been exercising, (reference document- My 2008 New Year's Resolutions) I was surfing the net and came across these wall coverings via Graham & Brown. They have a range of styles available and offer samples. Well, at least my fingers had a workout.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Surprised at Pottery Barn

In terms of Pottery Barn, I've tended to be a window shopper versus a buyer. Since my Italian class takes place across the street from Pottery Barn, I headed over to see what was new. I was really taken by the Arlington armchair covered in Espresso Chain Link Jacquard. This fabric seemed to really fit the design and scale of the chair. (this is the same chair shown in the current catolog covered in Clarissa Kiwi, a green floral print) I sat in the chair for five minutes and found it to be very comfortable.
espresso chain link jacquard

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beautiful cards

Cartolina Cards are designed and produced in British Columbia by graphic designer Fiona Richards. I first saw them on PoppyTalk and just had to find out where they could be purchased. The cards are sold via retailers but unfortunately there weren't any closeby. However, they are stocked by two stores in Seattle - where I'll soon be for a business trip. yeah! Fiona Richards notes that her "designs are influenced by the exotic curiosities that surrounded me growing up in Scotland with my grandparents in their 300 year old stone house filled to the brim with strange and curious mementos from their lives as textile dealers in old world India."

Mrs. L - the gift of a neighbor

Sometimes the gifts you receive from your home have nothing to do with its square footage or it's well planned layout. The gift comes from who occupies the house next to you. We were fortunate to have the honor of being next door neighbors to Mr. & Mrs. L.

Yesterday, Mrs. L was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetary with full military honors, having received the Legion of Merit for her service to her country in the Pacific during World War II. Mrs. L was an accomplished woman with a humble nature. She was a debutante and had been the president of her college class. The wife of a two star Army General, she chose to spend her Friday evenings comforting wounded soldiers coming home from Vietnam. She was quick witted, funny and a great conversationalist. She was chic and warm, frugal and generous. Old panty hose became ties for her peonies and daffodils and tulips became a surprise bouquet at your door. I gratefully accepted her gift of 25 year old rose plant food she didn't want to go to waste as much as the emerald green Jackie O coat with the fox collar hand-tailored in Italy. But the gift of Mrs. L was so much more than these things. She shared her tremendous knowledge of gardening, teaching me how to divide and transplant. She introduced me to the concept of the "volunteer" plant, praising me when a dogwood and oak sapling announced their appearance in my yard one spring. She gave sound and welcomed parenting advice, having raised 4 children while living all over the world. She shared stories and experiences from her life that enriched my understanding of service, sacrifice and gratitude. Known for her interest in lifelong learning, Mrs. L was a lifelong teacher of what really matters when it is all said and done. She was simply the best.

A few years ago, Mr. and Mrs. L moved to a retirement community. The last time I saw her was at the memorial service of another neighbor. Our post-World War II neighborhood has begun to change as those of us of a younger generation take over the temporary stewardship of these plots of land. This April and for every spring we remain in this home, I will be reminded of Mrs. L when the daffodils, liriope, hostas, and countless other plants she shared with me bloom into being. And I will pause to reflect on my dear neighbor and I will be grateful to have known her. Thank you Mrs. L. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bellissimo! J.K. Place Capri

Ciao! Mi chiamo Michele. This past Saturday I went to my first Italian language class. We'll be travelling to Italy this summer and I wanted to be able to converse a bit, you know, ask important questions like "Where is the nearest home design store?" As part of our travel preparations I came across this gorgeous hotel - l'albergo (- see professore Stoss I'm combining my vocabulary assignment and blogging), the J.K.Place Capri. After viewing these photos I was feeling molto bene! Hope you enjoy them too.


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