Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sidetracked: Easter.

Easter was at my house again this year. In my family this is a completely secular, food-oriented holiday. This was the house we traditionally always had Easter at when we were little kids, so this is the first time everyone has been here since we moved in. All my sisters came with their children, and Matt's brother came with his kids too. This was hilarious because their mom put them in adorable matching lavender Easter dresses with little white dress shoes and cardigans and all my sisters' kids were running around in jeans and thrift store dresses. It makes for a good contrast in pictures, half a dozen little towheaded terrors and two misleadingly perfect-looking little black-haired angels. Anyways, here's the rundown:

smoked salmon,
banana nut muffins (everyone thought these were from the bakery, but I made them),
fruit ring (this was from the bakery, it got inhaled in about 30 seconds, some people didn't even know it existed),
fruit salad,
green salad (sisterly contribution),
quinoa salad (my aunt brings this to all potlucks because everyone requests it, I am waiting for the recipe),
three loaves of bread (one wine-wheat-walnut, two challah, from the awesome bakery),
spinach-mushroom-and-potato frittata (in a big Pyrex, this is great for a big crowd but I think I overdid the potato component a bit), 

and no chocolate. WTF was I thinking?

Incidental Easter-related/ non-Cure house purchases included a bunch of ranunculus that has lasted really well for $3.99 (I will SO be buying those again), as well as a gorgeous Marimekko-esque tablecloth and some cute new dishtowels from my soon-to-be-defunct favorite kitchen store. The auto spell checker does not like me today.

And incidental benefits included being the recipient of a ton of flowers so now my house may be messy but it smells like heaven. And my sisters finally dragged away about half the contents of the garage. Thank goodness. I anticipate actually being able to park in there in the relatively near future. Crazy? Possibly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Decisions, Decisions (edited for Alana)

I am trying to decide if I should just paint my poor office a neutral color and let it be, at least for now. But everything in it is wood or green except the big loveseat (which is a boring neutral taupe) so I worry it might be too boring. Which got me surfing Etsy for un-boring pillow covers for the loveseat.

This is the front-runner, obnoxious and bright but still modern enough to not bother me:

This is a little pricier than I like, I just love the color and the big peacock feather. It also comes in a gorgeous eggplant color that doesn't go with anything, sigh.

And this is totally the wrong colors for everything in my house but I adore the pattern. Somebody go buy this!
I am not changing the curtains anytime soon, so I feel like the pillow cover is a good spot for a little pop of obnoxious color. The rug will play well with most patterns as long as they have a little bit of green... 

Somebody opinionated, help me!

Also, Easter roundup will be forthcoming, once I fully recover.

Edited to add: this is the room as it stands. Loosely, but the wood tones are right and the art is all correct. My curtains are lined thermal "linen" from Country Curtains or somewhere like that, they are respectable (a.k.a. not going to change) but have a very yellow tone to them (I think it's from the lining). This is what I am thinking about that nice flowery pillow to jazz things up a little bit. And leaning away from painting the walls green (I don't want it to be dark in there with all that dark wood).  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Musical Interlude.

It's review time! I was going to put in a bunch of books and the current albums I have on repeat, but I decided that this one should get its own post because it is so rad.

Anais Mitchell - Hadestown
This is apparently a Folk Opera. Point is, it's a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, with Greg Brown as Hades and Ani DiFranco as Persephone. Eurydice is the adorably-voiced Anais Mitchell (a girlish, 1940's type of voice I normally despise, but she absolutely pulls it off) and Justin Vernon from Bon Iver as Orpheus (his voice is made to stand out with an interesting chorus effect). It is brilliantly produced by Ani DiFranco's bass player, Todd Sickafoose and the Fates are the awesome Haden Sisters, a trio of triplets with some serious vocal chops.

The orchestration is very enjoyable and surprisingly complex (see clip #1). I am usually more neutral on the folk/Americana/bluegrass but this has enough good ingredients that I like that it makes for a delicious musical stew. Ok, so that was not my best metaphor ever. Let us just say, somebody sent us this album via the internet and I had to go out and buy it at an actual record store because this is the music I want to support with my cash monies.

Orpheus (the broke musician) and Eurydice

The devil's offer... 

Is it silly that I assume anyone reading my blog is familiar with the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice? Because I totally do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


So the projects continue apace. Right now I have some interim shots so you can see what I am up to... painting the bedroom. Just so we remember, here is a Before:
Enthralling, I know. Here's a During:
And the closest I have to an After:
Like my office chair? It's for clothes stacking. I know these are not the best pictures, but it is mostly to show that I have been DOING something here. And tragically, this color that I love in here, looks like poo in my office, which is the room I really need to paint now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning, You Gave Me No Warning

I'm back! Had to go to Reno this weekend for a memorial service (sad, but nice) and to turn on the sprinklers - we have a renter! And this morning I had a job interview... cross your fingers for me!

Week 3: Research Furniture and Services
--What are you going to buy, how much and where can you find it?
--Start a list of Interior changes you want to make (use the Interior design worksheet)
--Identify cool room and warm rooms.
--Decide on window treatments
--Apply the 80/20 colour rule
--Research and call in help

1. Found the magazine holders on sale at the Container Store, I can see that is going to be a place I have to avoid. Picture frame was via Rug pad will be from West Elm, most likely, because I have a coupon and they have the size I need.
2. Interior changes mainly involve organizing, repainting and moving some stuff around. I have a small side table that might get put next to the loveseat, and art is continually being rearranged. More storage ideas may still be pending.

3. This is a warm room. The rug has a lot of colors in it but the floor is a distinctly orangey oak and the curtains are a "linen" that looks pretty yellow to me (this is not from age, they are relatively new and pleasantly clean). All the other furniture is warm wood tones except for the loveseat which is a neutral taupe (also warm).

4. These are staying. 

5. I have totally forgotten the 80/20 rule. Which is bad because it probably says something about the paint color I am thinking about. It is a light yellowy sort of lemongrass which I think won't fight with all the wood or overwhelm with all the green accents. I am on the fence. My mom is rooting for me to use the shade I just picked out for the bedroom, which is a darker sort of khaki green, but this is not as bright of a room and more of the accents are green so I am thinking it might be green overkill.

6. This is my room and I am doing it on my own. Research is ongoing.

Also, I am thinking about putting this on the wall. What do we think, too dark? I kind of love it so I may be biased.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whoops! Meant To Post This...

Life is full of distractions. Yesterday's post is now today's, due to some quality time with insurance people (yuck) and exterminators (double yuck). My cute little car got sideswiped and it took a week to get the guy's insurance to admit it was all his fault and send an appraiser. Thankfully the appraiser realized HOW NICE MY CAR IS and gave me a good deal (it is a 1995 but he was so impressed he said it could pass for a 2005). And now it will be another week until I can get it fixed. Ugh.

And of course the roof rats are all excited now that somebody is living here and keeping food in the house and it is horrible. And as soon as the exterminators arrive it starts raining on them, poor guys. I really like them though, they are totally poison-free and are climbing around the roof "excluding" the rats from the house - they trap the ones in the attic and then no more can get in because they are closing off all the holes from the outside (knock on wood). So it will be nice to get that over with. Yuck.

Anyways, onward and Cure-ward.

Week 2: Develop floor plan and Shopping List
--What activities will this room house? (given the overall space)
--Make a floor plan
--Name your vision
--Build a shopping list

Um, this room is too small to have much of a floor plan or a "vision". It houses my desk, where I work, and a loveseat, where I plan on sitting and reading. There is ideally room on the floor for an air mattress for guests. That's it. It's small and square and full of bookshelves so there is not a lot of rearranging leeway. The wall with the entry door also has the closet door, so there is a bookshelf between the doors and that is it. The facing wall has a big window and the loveseat pretty much has to go there due to bookshelf/door configuration. My vision is cozy and somewhere I can hang out and have room to read or work on my computer or practice my tuba. And hell if I can find any cozy green office pictures to go with it.

Shopping list:
paint- I have actually found a pleasing sort of a lemongrass shade that I think will go great with the existing furniture and my awesome new rug.
picture frames
rug pad
closed storage for magazines and desk stuff

Enthralling, I know. But stuff needs doing. This version of the Cure seems to leave out a lot of cleaning and decluttering but you can assume I will be doing that anyways. The closet is my secret stash area of things I have no way to deal with right now, but eventually it will hold stored desk and crafting stuff as well as sheet music. So it can't be overflow linen closet and garage storage, oh no it can't. 
 Here's a shot of my only new purchase for this room - it is the green rug on the bottom. And it is much more pleasingly vibrant and variegated in situ, so I am happy with it. It just desperately needs a rug pad as it slides around on the wood floor and this makes rolling a chair around on it really annoying.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Working On It.

I forgot that the one-room cure is much less overwhelming than the full cure. So, yay! I get to collect inspiration and gather a style tray. But since my budget and room are both teeny, I will likely not be buying furniture for this room so much as organizing and rearranging it. That and I like all the furniture I have, huzzah! So the style tray, while not totally superfluous, is less crucial. But it is optimally inspirational, if I can find some decent office photos that I like. So far, pickings are slim.

So, inspiration. I posted more posters before, but I need to add this one as it is a great color inspiration and I may or may not have just ordered a new frame for it. Again, this is from a festival that I attended. In high school. I had no idea what I was getting into. I just liked Bruce Hornsby. And I still love this poster.
Some closed storage for magazines and miscellaneous crap that won't fight with everything else would be nice too. This stuff is tempting as West Elm has just thoughtfully sent me a coupon. But trust that the art will not be black and white.
Also there will be some hiding of electronics, at the very least the router and shredder do not need to be on display for all their aesthetic glory. There is a ton of organizing that will happen as well, and some stuff will disappear completely come yard sale day...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Faking It (Curing Without My Book)

Alana and SCB have already thrown down the gauntlet, so I will follow along as best I can. Like Alana, I hate being forced to pick actors and actresses as representations of my style. As much as I enjoy movies and TV, I find them completely irrelevant to my life in general. So let it suffice to say I'd like my home to be Modern, Multicultural and Tidy. I am sick of the word "ethnic" as a grab-bag of cultures so I feel like Multicultural encompasses our tapestries, statues, rugs and art like I wish Modern would encompass our furniture and overall style. And good lord do I want it to be TIDY in here. I have never done the one-room cure and without a book, I am going to wing it from Alana and SCB's answers. It's not quite cheating.

Art styles that I like are Art Nouveau and Deco, ornate but not in-your-face about it. Artists I enjoy are more of a mix, including Michelangelo and Henry Moore, I like sculpture with clean lines and a little heft to it. I like Asian-style wood block prints and music posters for their firm grasp of shape and space and what I now think of as retro styling. And I love a nice botanical or otherwise vaguely academic-looking print.
This is in my office. From Aesthetic Apparatus. I love CAKE.
I look to the past for my style cues more than I look to popular culture. My current love is old WPA posters and Bauer pottery and I want to get a job so I can invest in some new decor for my new casa! Also, I find it weird to advertise for things I am not a fan of - thus I have a CAKE poster that I love but I would never have, say, a Justin Bieber poster, no matter how attractive the typography. Same with the WPA posters - I desperately want the Lassen poster because I love driving through there, I would feel weird with a Mt. Rainier poster instead as I have never been there.

Delving into my personal history doesn't tell me much. My last place we lived at for about five years and I was happy there. Painted everything and fixed it and puttered around making it my little nest. Before that I was single and rented random rooms, I usually painted or shampooed the carpets but I wasn't at any of them long enough to really make any serious conclusions about those places. Furniture was from Tarjay and disposed of via Craigslist when no longer needed, the things that stayed were art and it is all always framed and matted. No pants hangers to hang art from here!


What are its problems?
1. It's not coherent. It needs to be a room that can function for multiple purposes, and storage is NOT one of the main ones.
2. It is cluttered. Still.
3. I don't love the layout or the lack of light sources. It's really a one-person room right now. Antisocial, maybe.

If the house could speak, what would it say?
Pick a paint color, all those random swatches look silly in here. And get a Swiffer or something, my corners get dusty where the rug doesn't cover me.

What do I want to do more of?
Relaxing. I want to be able to read comfortably in here and do projects, not just sit at my computer.

How would I want someone to describe my home room eight weeks from now?
1. Relaxing
2. Serene
3.Comfortable (is this redundant with relaxing? maybe.)

And so it begins...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Everybody Is Doing It

The Cure, that is! Officially an invention of Maxwell Gilllllingham-Ryan of AT fame, now less fun on the website and more fun among the blogs! There is a whole-house version and a one-room version and I am definitely going to pick a room to do. But post-move, there is so much to do! So I have to decide:

The office, which needs a wall color, a rug pad and general increased levels of organizing and coherence,
Or the bedroom, which likewise needs a paint color, but also a rug and a tv stand and a bunch of art (or a tapestry?) and even more organizing and whatnotitudes. I am thinking this might be a case of biting off more than I can chew right now.