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Archive for March, 2009

I love hotels.  There’s the whole get-out-of-town feel, and the fresh sheets and the room service and all of the other lovely things that go with staying in a hotel.  Those are all great, but I also love hotels for their design.  It’s a wonderful chance to experience a setting that you wouldn’t necessarily want to live in, but find appealing all of the same.  It’s an opportunity to take big risks and create real atmosphere.  Ace Hotels have this skill in spades.  They have locations in Portland, Seattle and New York but their hotel in Palm Springs really appeals to me, and I’ll show you why!

I love the hazy, ethereal quality of this room.  The elements are natural and modern, and strike a good balance between the masculine and feminine.  That dresser is to die for as well.

If I could design my dream outdoor space, it might look something like this.  I love the covered fireplace, and the rug is a nice cosy touch to an otherwise austere setting.

I like the indoor camping feel of this room.  It’s like fort building for grown-ups.  Or maybe a really, really posh summer camp.

I feel like this style is along the lines of what stores like Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister want to be when they grow up.  Sophisticated, yet laid back, with nice lines, neutral colors and wonderful little surprise elements.  Thankfully, I’m sure this hotel doesn’t smell like too much cheap cologne.

The best part about this hotel is that it’s somewhat affordable (at least at the low end).  $90 a night for a room isn’t bad, especially when I’ve seen motel 8’s that go for that much.  Their other properties are worth having a look at as well, and their website looks about as good as their rooms.

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I inherited a bunch of my great-grandmother’s buttons last year.  My mother and her sisters used to spend rainy afternoons digging through the big bin of buttons.  There’s been some great finds, including a heap of hand-carved (what looks like) ivory buttons that must be at least 100 years old, if not older.  I’ve been trying to organize them in my type cabinet drawers which is very soothing for my OCD tendencies.

I love how bright and cheery all of the colors are.  I especially love the yellow and blue buttons in the top part of the photo- the yellow ones have little deer on them, and the blue are race horses.

I’m excited to see that my orange tree looks like it’s going to survive.  I thought it was going to die over the winter, but it has come back in full force.  And these aren’t any oranges, mind, but blood oranges.  I’m excited to get some actual fruit off of this some day.

I moved here in September so it’s been a surprise to see what’s come out of the ground in the spring.  We have a wonderful rose bush in the back that has blooms so fragrant, you can smell them down the street.  The lilac bush (surprise!) has been a great attraction for butterflies.  And I couldn’t live without my beautiful yellow ranunculus.

This is a beautiful pet I got to photograph.  Those blue eyes are so stunning.  And she was super-friendly, so that was a real treat.

The owner of the cat also had a pet Nile Monitor.  I loved this shot – a little abstract, but it lets you focus on the scales and beautiful textures.

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I’m not really having a lazy Sunday –  I’m going to Colorado for 6 weeks and I have tons of packing/cleaning/arranging to do.  However, if you’re having a lazy Sunday, and would like some awesome content to be brought to you, here’s some links you should be checking out.

First, if you have any appreciation for farmer’s markets, farmers, locally grown food, etc.  you really need to check out this legislation that’s heading through the tubes.  It’s possible that they will be taking all of that away, and your only choices will be to a) buy things approved by Monsanto or b) grow all your produce yourself.  Yikes.  Check out the article here.

If you like comedy, and all things ec0-friendly, check out Dave Burdick.  He’s the Business and Green editor at the Huffington Post.

(The real trouble, incidentally, came when I later had a few Guinnesses at a show later; never mix carbon-neutral wine with imported beer. The hypocrisy hangover is not pleasant.)

His articles are witty and interesting, and usually get around to making a good point.  This article is about how not eating meat one day a week can save the earth.  Really!  You should try it.  It’s magic.

I think I might be a late bloomer with this New Math blog, but I think it’s fantastic.  Plus, I love pirates, so it’s a win-win.  A great place to check out for some wry, geeky, math-related humor.

Here’s a great tutorial on how to make something more interesting with Easter Eggs.  Instead of using food coloring, why not use an old silk tie?  I love the patterns that it produces and the great watercolor-like effect.

I love this blog.  Colorful and cheerful, and it’s really well designed.  I know that’s sort of a weird thing to geek out about, but all of her blog posts have custom images identifying them, and they all work together.  You can tell that she’s put a lot of thought and effort into it.   I’m also a big fan of her Etsy shop for all of the same reasons.

I just found out about Zilok, and I couldn’t believe how brilliant it was.  Its potential to make life much easier is amazing.  Say you need a power sander to refinish that dresser, or an extra bike because you have a friend coming to town.  Instead of buying one, or begging around in the hopes that someone you know might have one, you can rent whatever you’re looking for from members of your community.  You can rent motorcycles, a loft in New York, or a mechanical wave machine.  How cool is that?  I think it’s a great idea for those of us who put things off forever because we can’t justify buying whatever we need to finish a project.


I am totally enamored with the incredibly fresh and modern paper products from SusyJack*.  Bright colors, big fun.  Check it out for yourself, and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

That’s all for right now.  Hope you enjoy checking out some new things.  Please feel free to share what you’ve found – I’m always on the lookout for some new great stuff!

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In the current economic climate, I’ve found myself shying away from purely aesthetic items to things that are a little more…practical.  Still beautiful, but at least I can justify the expense because it’s something that I can actually “use”.  So here are some of my favorites that I can see justifying right about now!

fridayfaves-mar271These vegetable bags from Wonder Thunder solve an ecological debate that I’ve had going on forever.  I hate the plastic bags that you get at the grocery store (talk about eco-guilt) but aside from lugging in your own containers, there’s really no practical way of buying bulk foods or veggies.  These solve the problem!  Plus they’ve got great style and are sure to make everyone smile.  Their shop has some other excellent, funny prints – I highly encourage stopping by!

I just recently stumbled across ekaminsk‘s shop, and I have to say, I am delighted.  Instead of trying to fruitlessly preserve your corsage or boutonniere, why not get something that will last forever, and will be far more unique than whatever you can get at the florist’s?  Lovely colors, beautiful details like pearls and jewels, and a big helping of feathers will set your big day apart.

Yeah, so, I’ll admit it.  I have a love for all things paper.  And these great notebooks from jedgell really scratch that itch.  My favorite time of year was always back-t0-school, but not because of school itself.  Buying school supplies was always so much fun!  New crayons, pencils, notebooks and the like.  Maybe I’m biased because my dad was in office supplies, but I can’t help what I love.  These pocket size notebooks are like a grown-up school shopping trip.  And best of all, you can justify it because, well, who doesn’t need to write things down?

These notebooks from Paper and Twine delight that part of me as well.  Although I love the grown-up touch of the Eames Rocker Chair (my notebooks always had Lisa Frank on them).  Plus the craft paper covers and lovely twine ties really give it that eco-feel.  And I’ll admit – I’m a bit of a sucker for the blackboard backdrop.

Thanks to this week’s lovely contributors!

Also, for those who are reading and interested, I set up a flickr group for the blog – if you’re a photographer, artist, crafter, collage artist, whatever, and would like the opportunity to be featured on this blog, please post your items to the group.  If I like what I see, you might just make it onto the blog!  Check out the group here, or click the get exposed button in the sidebar.

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I’m an avid book collector.  I’m not ashamed of it – if I had all of the money in the world, I would buy all sorts of books and have a house full of big beautiful bookshelves filled to the brim with volumes of all shapes, sizes, and subjects.  However, I don’t have all of the money in the world, and so, I love the library.  I mean, it’s a great place to check out books and CD’s and all, but libraries are also beautiful in an architectural and design-related way.  My sister sent me some awesome pictures of “library porn” so I thought I would share some of them here, for those who are similarly inclined.

BNF Paris

BNF Paris

REAL GABINETE PORTUGUES DE LEITURA RIO DE JANEIRO

REAL GABINETE PORTUGUES DE LEITURA RIO DE JANEIRO

TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY DUBLIN

TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY DUBLIN

HANDELINGENKAMER TWEEDE KAMER DER STATEN-GENERAAL DEN HAAG

HANDELINGENKAMER TWEEDE KAMER DER STATEN-GENERAAL DEN HAAG

RIJKMUSEUM AMSTERDAM

RIJKMUSEUM AMSTERDAM

There’s more images to be found here (which is where these come from).

I love the books, but I find the giant spiral staircases to be equally compelling.  It’s funny, I live in this crappy little town and the library is SO NICE compared to every other building in the county.  It makes me happy that they put importance on something like that.  Also, a wonderful thing for the broke among us – unlimited CD’s.  My library has a pretty funny and eclectic mix.  Yesterday, I checked these out (in case you wanted to know)

The Decemberists, John Lee Hooker, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Irish Folk Songs, Nickle Creek, Depeche Mode, Cafe Tacuba, Willie Nelson, and some bird song collections (I’m going to figure out what has been terrorizing my front yard).  Rock on!

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I’ve had the exact same bed frame since I was in the 3rd grade.  Sure, it may have been a little excessive for a 3rd-grader (albeit a big one) to be sleeping in a queen size bed, but I like to think that my parents had the foresight to realize that I was going to be a tall one and get only one bed that would last me for the rest of my life.  It was a typical light-wood-with-decoration deal (I think I most recently saw it on Everybody Loves Raymond – :sigh:) which suited me well as a child, as I had no taste.  In high school, I did a wicked-sweet faux finish on the thing and left it at that.  When I moved out of the house, the bed frame followed me, this time upholstered in white canvas.  After getting married I was hoping to move onto something a bit more…elegant, but alas, it’s followed me again.  Which leads me to my newest obsession – building a headboard.

bedI saw this awesome one in Ready Made a few years ago and it stuck in my head.  I’m still thinking about trying to do something like this, but I’m concerned that it may turn out to be a little too Urban Outfitters.  I like the concept though, especially sawing a side table in half for nightstands and using old lighting fixtures as lamps.  Problem is, we move a lot, and this baby doesn’t look easy to move.

I love everything West Elm has to offer.  They are affordable, stylish and modern, and I’m always into the really dark woods (light woods are too Ikea for me).  I love the simplicity of the top one, and the bottom one has a beautiful design.  However, I worry that the look would be too ethnic and wouldn’t age well.

Domino to the rescue!  They have some beautiful ideas for upholstered headboards that I think I could probably tackle if I took the initiative.  I’ve done far stranger things (car and motorcycle seats, for instance…) at least these are square.  Here’s a few more from their archives:

Now this one’s more my style.  Earthy meets modern.  And I love the yellow canisters.

These are the kinds of pretty things that I see in a magazine, and love, and then think about it for a little bit, still think it’s pretty, and decide that it’s a little too “done” for me – I like polish, but I’m not good at keeping it up.

What do you think?

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I took a ton of pictures yesterday, but these stood out in my mind.  It’s amazing – I don’t know if it is actually true, but if you ask me, dogs have a pretty distinctive smile.  Here are the 4 dogs I got to shoot yesterday, and my favorite smiles from each of them!

And while I was shooting, the neighbor’s dog  just popped by to say hi. 🙂

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