Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chicago Antiques

Of course I could not go on a trip without finding a little antique store... or 5! In Andersonville there a few shops and a yummy brunch place called M Henry.
This is actually a thrift store in the area that occupies and old building. It reminded me of our diversity thrift here, when it used to be in the old building on main street. I loved it there.

Roost- Had a great assortment of really eclectic things and really well organized and interesting to look through. I want to order some letters from them. They had a great assortment.

This store had a Scotish/English feel to it, lots of plaid! Really great blankets to upholster things with. I would love the cabinet with the little drawers!!

Chicago Gardening

There is a gorgeous Nursery in the Andersonville area in Chicago, that has all sorts of plants. This time I stumbled upon miniature gardens. I have been following these on blogs and online but have not found them here in Richmond. I ended up coming home with some furniture to make my own. Here are a few of my favorite. They look like a fairy could pop out at any moment.

Inspired Chicago

The weather here is gloomy and we may not have power for long. Irene is here! What a strange week with earthquakes and hurricanes, oh yeah and the bat that we found in our house this morning, the joy of home-ownership... there is no one to call and take care of these things because your name is on the house! Anyhow considering everything, we are well. While I still have power I want to share a recent trip to Chicago, last time I was there it was still winter. This time it was the height of summer and gorgeous! So clean and Green with blooms everywhere. If it were not so cold most of the year I would love to live there.

We went to the Shedd aquarium, I love aquariums, find constant inspiration and calmness there. This one is located right on the
Michigan river. The boats were all on the water the city behind them, a great view. The building is surrounded by gardens and the inside is done in an arts and crafts movement style. All of the chandeliers and walls have inspired sea life on them. I want a giant octopus lamp so badly after seeing this one, however my little cottage would not be large enough for it.

The Shedd had a Jelly-fish exhibit going on that was just gorgeous. It was beautiful they move so gently and softly. The tails remind me of embroidery floss and thread. The little black jellies moved like silly little mushrooms, faster than the others, less gracefully.




Thursday, June 23, 2011

a few tid bits.

The black petunia's deserve a spotlight, so pretty in the darkness. And of course this little moldy, but pretty finding.

outside now

If you look down to a few months ago at what the outside of this house looked like when we bought it and how now look here.... It has been a major change. Still have to paint that front door but it will have to wait until the fall. Thanks to my mom and tom we have really made this garden a nice retreat from the rest of the world. I have been watering, weeding, and trying to get rid of a clover patch that is taking over some flowers.

I can't wait for the tomatoes to ripen, to make bruchetta and salad and sandwiches mmm....

These were the freshly picked veggies today. They are growing at a pace that makes me smile... It is so nice to go out there and pick my own fresh veggies! My mom mixed some chicken poop into the dirt when the seeds went in and I thought it was strange at first.. I now understand why she used that these veggies are amazing and lush and yummy. I made Zuchini bread for the first time yesterday and it was delicious next time I am going to try making it with some squash mixed in too!
So this is the reason I have been playing outside instead of inside, I have been spending time in the studio, but this has been a nice way to unwind from the rest of the world when I get home in the evenings. Happy summer!


I have fallen in love with the show million dollar decorators on Bravo! It is one of the few things on T.V. that is visually interesting and has a mix of smart aesthetics and how to deal with people when you provide a service for them... I have had a passion for designing interiors and it is fun to watch them spend money like there is no end to it... The clients are wealthy and the taste the decorators bring is really interesting and eclectic. Definitely inspiring and has me wondering if my obsession with interior decor is where I should focus my energy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Time seems to be ticking away at a speed that I can't seem to grasp. It seems like only yesterday I was walking around with a coat and scarf on through the woods behind this house, which I have now made into a home... During this time I have been working in my studio, very productively I must say! I am happy to report that some of the stress of my job/life has calmed down and I have started thinking in the terms of an "artist" again. Not just making, but making with a purpose. I have started a project for the house, a quilt for my bed, which I have never done before. (Everyone else has a quilt at this point except me). I have been learning to garden and deal with some animals that like to live around the garden. And enjoying every day, really trying to take them in.
I recently discovered a site that I fell in love with, almost like a visual dictionary or encyclopedia.... But better because it is social online, called pintrest. I created my own board and have fallen in love with it! It is if you want to see what I am into at the moment. I promise to post some photos this week of everything going on. -Happy summer everyone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

master bedroom

Closet area- before the closet was set in....

and.... AFTER look its my new walk-in closet. I am in love with the way it made the shape of the room look, and the extra space. I am going to be using a curtain in white linen from Restoration Hardware, instead of a formal door. I could not find any that I loved and there is a lot of room around it so I figured a nice soft fabric would sofen the room.

This is the view of the master bedroom walking into it. I never grasped how large this room is until I had all my old furniture in there and it still looked empty. I love having the extra room, and I will be adding a reading chair, rugs, perhaps different lamps, and of course wall hangings.

This is the reading nook which is where I want to add a couple more furniture items. The color of the room is Martha Stewart "heavy goose" from Home Depot. It is a true grey with a blue undertone. It changes depending on the color of the light sometimes it looks grey, green or blue. I love the grey colors through-out the house. It is neutral but clean, and a great background for everything else in a room.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

cardboard free!

It has been a busy couple of weeks here. We pulled up carpet, painted, put down floor, packed, moved, un-packed, and even spent a day in the garden... So here it is a little bit more finished.

The guest room if you remembered looked like this when we purchased the house. Brown carpet and brown wood panel walls, it was like a 70's time warp, or Alice in wonderland when the walls look like they are coming in on you.
We pulled up the carpet, and primed and painted the walls. The wall color is Martha Stewart "bakery box white" at Home depot. This color looks blue or green depending on the light and the time of day. It is bright, fresh and a decent size now that the walls and floor and fresh.


I decided to keep it vintage in this room, the wood paneled walls had that vibe so I went with it. I added a combination of bedding some blues and browns, some embroidered pillows, for a handmade feeling. I also added extra blankets and pillows for guests, and left some space on the table tops and bench for people to put their things. This is currently the only room with rugs and I choose to use these that I already had because they worked best in this room. I tried them in other places, but they kept with a handmade touch in this room. Notice the yo-yo quilt I made a couple years back hangs in here too.... Finally out of a chest and out in the open.

I would still like to add a reading chair in this room and hang some things on the wall, a collection of tea towels perhaps. I have already had my mom and Tom stay in here and they seemed to like it enough. I am hoping it hosts many guests! More of the house to come soon, room by room I will share a tour. Also the progression of what I decide to do, make and of course change.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The insides.

This is a nook in the master bedroom next to the dormer window, I have plans to make this a reading corner. We are also putting another closet in the master, there is already a walk in but I believe most marriages have a better chance with separate closets so we are adding another. Mainly because I am very particular. Bedrooms look a little boring empty in photos but there are 4 in this house, a studio, an office, a master, and a guest room.

This is the upstairs bath, which needs a good sanding. The walls are partly textured and partly smooth. The 70's really did a number on homes. The idea is to smooth everything out and then paint the walls. Eventually we want to tear out the bathtub and replace it all with a double headed walk in shower.

This is the guest room, I had to show this lovely wood paneling. I love it, sense the sarcasm. However after being primed we noticed this room is much larger than it seemed.

This is after the primer, it looks better already. The carpet is all gone upstairs and new flooring will be put down next week. The downstairs was all hardwood, upstairs had carpet but will soon match the rest.
More to come soon with some improvements.

the plan.

Let's start with one of the most necessary rooms. The downstairs bathroom. For the time being this bathroom is going to get a clean fresh coat of paint, and a good deep cleaning. That shower curtain, not mine so it too will be going. Eventually we would like to put in a claw foot tub and get rid of the existing shower, put down new floor tile and a new vanity mirror as well. I love the sink in this bathroom though, the original pedestal sink.

Here is the living room, not the best shot, more to come later. There is a working fireplace, and in addition a door to the laundry room and the main door. Arranging furniture in there will be interesting, but cozy. This room has already been painted, and those photos will come soon, it is a pale grey that is fresh but calm. It is the Home Depot Martha Stewart lamb. I happen to love the colors of her paint.

This is the kitchen. There is not much that needs to be done in there for now. In the future I would love to put tiles or something interesting on the backwash under the cabinets. As well as upgrade the appliances to stainless steel. I will also change some of the knobs on the doors and drawers. For a small kitchen it has a fair amount of cabinet space, which is always nice.

Here is the staircase going to the second floor. The carpeting is on its way out, currently it is the last piece of carpeting in the house. There is hardwood underneath, so it will be sanded and varnished to look like new again. This is the last flooring to be taken care of right after the official move, to allow for the movers, so that no new scratches or nicks appear.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New beginnings..

Yes it's late March here in Richmond, which means that all of the trees are blooming and the birds are chirping... So my grey winter scape in my header doesn't make that much sense.... As I mentioned before the colors from a walk in the lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, on a rainy day, were the inspiration for the color pallet of the paint in my NEW HOUSE!
The stack of papers are signed, the title was handed over and the house is ours! So here it is...

I have always wanted an older house, specifically a cottage, and I have one with my name one it! I HATE that red door, but it will get painted along with a list of other things that need updating, repairing, fixing, making more aesthetically pleasing, customizing... etc... etc... If you have ever purchased an older house you know how it goes. (I want the door black to match the shutters and the numbers for the house to be painted white, to stand out against the black.)

There is a nice plot of land to work on as well. Half an acre to be exact, so I will have to pick up some gardening tips and think about some vegetables that I would like to plant. There is already a compost on the land, which I was happy to learn, because I think it is an easy way to be more environmentally conscious.
I have plans to keep the house true to time period, with some updates. I want it light and aerie with some punches of color from collections I have and fabrics. As much as I love color, at home I like to keep it softer and neutral, I find that my belongings add enough color and interest on their own.
This is my biggest project right now and I have fallen in love with the details of choosing everything for a home. There is a very personal quality to this process, and it makes me think about what a home says about us as individuals. Being that I love many different styles and eras, but prefer certain things for my day to day... What does that mean? What does it say about me? These are some of the things that I am thinking about during this process. I am also trying to let myself just like something because I simply do. Not over thinking it, as is so easy for an artist.
I will be showing photos and talking about the process as it goes, as well as keeping a sketchbook of everything. Perhaps I will find answers to some of my questions, and maybe I will just enjoy the process because I simply love making a home my own. A place where my partner and I love to spend our day to day, where we always have a place for a friend to stop by for wine, and where family can enjoy the holidays with us. After all maybe those are the reasons why we take care into what comes into a home. It is the tangible object, full of tangible things, that represent the love and relationships we have in our lives.