Friday, April 29, 2011

Subject: Fashion Icons + Wedding Dresses

I am DYING to hear what you thought??  I am sure we could do recaps for ions, but I just wanted to pop in and say as soon as I saw her, I immediately thought "Grace Kelly."  Seems I wasn't the only one...

I can completely understand using a fashion icon to model your wedding day after.  When I was on the hunt for my wedding dress, I wanted it to be something that I could picture Audrey Hepburn wearing.  Classic, couture.  Something fun, but that I wouldn't dare look at in 10 years and think what the heck?!?


What about you?  Did a fashion icon inspire your wedding day attire?

Have so much fun at your dinner party dah-ling and a fab weekend!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Subject: Checking In


So we are, like, less than 24 hours away from someone else's big day. Actually, we're less than 12 if you're on British time, which I have been (mentally) all week. (Do you think I'll be jet-lagged on Saturday when it's all over?) I am dy-ing. I love all the pomp and pageantry and especially love how all those Brits, with the traditional stiff-upper-lip, turn out to line the streets for someone else's wedding! I just really appreciate that. Mostly, though I'm so excited for my dinner party!

As a little game, this is what I have made:

I used pictures of Royal brides and grooms and my guests will have to match which princess goes with which prince (or toad, as the case is sometimes). I've decided on a table scheme (my new alternative to 'table scape') and the menu is going to be scrumptious. So, yeah - I'm just ready to get it all under way. I've decided that it's so much fun to turn ordinary things into events, because it makes them seem fun and exciting, even if you're not the person involved. Plus, it's just a great excuse to throw a party! I just Suz were a little older and then I would totally take advantage of these.

Okay, so next week I promise to write a ton more. I have to show you pictures from Suz's party (sorry for stringing you along for so many weeks!) and I've completed a few projects as well that I need to show you.

Just to get you excited, here are the 'before' shots:

Yikes, right? The 'after' photos will show you the transformation.

Also this week, I decided to spruce up my entry lamp. (You remember my new lamp, right?) Here it is before:

Not bad, but kind of ho-hum. After a quick trip to the craft store and some grosgrain ribbon and double-sided tape, here is the after:

Not a huge transformation. But still, I think it looks more polished and 'done.'

See you back here next week...hope you have a smashing weekend, dah-ling!



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Re: A Royal Dinner Party

Hi Kara - Like always, I am SWAMPED with work!!  (Insert British Accent Here)  Just wanted to pop in and tell you how absolutely delightful your Royal Dinner Party sounds.  The menu sounds wonderful and I'm hoping the dessert that your guest brings goes well with a spot of tea, so you and the other royal watchers can drink with pinkies in the air.  (End British Accent...didn't want you to keep talking to yourself with a ridiculous accent)

And why of course other people are equally as obsessed with the very-soon-to-be Princess Catherine and the entire royal family.  I wonder if we will see the Queen crack a smile for the joyous occassion?  She's like the Devil Wears Prada except way older and way less fashionable.  I am anxiously Catherine's choice of a wedding dress and whether she will wear her hair up or down.  Wondering if we should make a royal wager on that??

Did you watch the Lifetime move William & Kate?  Pretty riduclously good - on the Lifetime movie level of course.  I don't expect an Emmy Awards will be won.

Alright, back to the grind.  I'll leave you with my garbage find....more on that soon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Subject: A Royal Dinner Party

Peach -

Confession Time: I am a major Royal Watcher. Like, borderline obsessive. I just find the whole family incredibly fascinating and we have nothing stateside to compare the whole monarchy to, which just adds to the fascination. Needless to say, I am pumped about the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

In order to celebrate, I have decided to throw a dinner party for several friends who are also excited and/or love any excuse to get together just us girls. I'm so glad the bride and groom decided to get married on a Friday, because it really works out well for me and my dinner party! Here is the invitation. You'll notice it looks similar to Suz's birthday invitation. Yes, I called on Kinko's again:

It's going to be all girls - six of us total - so I am excited to cook food that Mr. Lass would ask, "Where's the meat?" but I know these ladies will fully appreciate. I'm hoping I can finish my table in time because I think it will really great with the table scape I have in mind. (Is 'table scape' even a real word? And is it one word, or two? I feel like the only person I've ever heard use it is Sandra Lee, so I'm not sure if it's even a word I like repeating...)

On the menu I am doing all Ina Garten dishes (shocker) that I have long-admired in her cookbooks, but have been reluctant to prepare because of the aforementioned Husband. I'm going to start things off with a Roasted Pear with Blue Cheese & Walnuts salad that looks divine. And I feel like the blue cheese (maybe I'll even spring for real Stilton) and the walnuts are a nod to England. The main course is going to be Ina's Spring Green Risotto, which I'll serve alongside bread. I'm actually going to serve everything all at once, since it will be ready all at the same time and you pretty much need to serve risotto right away, right?

I know risotto isn't the most ideal item to serve when you're having people over to eat, but since it's all women we'll all be in the kitchen anyway and I am putting someone else in charge of bring an hors devours for everyone to munch, and I may ask another person to bring a cocktail for us to sip while we take turns stirring. Then I have asked someone else to bring dessert and the only direction I gave was for it be spring-ish and light, so maybe something with berries. If it were me making something, I might use Ina's recipe for Eton Mess, since we all know that the groom graduated from Eton College before going on to St. Andrews University. (That is common knowledge, right?)

I'm still working on what I will do for the table - tablecloth vs. place mats, and what kind of cloth napkins (I do not feel the impulse to make any this time) to use. I am definitely breaking out the China, though, because when else do you get to use it? And I'll do some pretty centerpiece, maybe pink roses, since that is spring-ish and girly and wedding-y. I'm not sure what we will do at this dinner party, other than eat. Obviously we will talk about the wedding, and maybe even watch some highlights of it once we're done with dinner.

I just think it will be fun to get together with five of my good friends, and this wedding was the perfect excuse for us to all share a meal. Incidentally, having a girls-only dinner party was one of my goals for 2011. (I've decided that I am only going to reveal to you my goals as I am in the process of completing them.)



P.S. The rest of your Pesach dinner sounded delicious. So many home-cooked favorites using family recipes makes for a perfect evening. I would be honored to join you and your family one year! I love your blue and white dishes by the way. Where are they from?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Subject: Dining Room Decor

Your priming update inspired me to provide you with an update of one of my latest projects.  (By the way, love that the table is coming along!)

So, before purchasing a dining room table, I was pretty much set on what I wanted to hang on the walls of the dining room...plates!!  I always knew I wanted plates somewhere in my house, and since the kitchen has very minimal empty wall space the dining room seemed like the next best alternative.

I fell in love with the Petite Fille Plate from Anthropologie and was happy to learn there were a whole slew of plates that coordinated with it.

Anthropologie - Petite Fille Plate
I didn't just want to hang them though.  I needed something fun and dramatic.  Thanks to inspiration right from Anthro - here's an idea of where I'm at:

I bought frames from Target, took out the glass and left the backs off.  Please note, the plan is to add two more frames to the top so it's three and three, but after going to four Targets I'm waiting for them to stock up again.  (I found what would have been the last two needed in fourth and final last Target I stopped at, but they were all scratched.  So annoying!)

Here's an upclose shot.  I love how the frame molding mimics the wainscoting.

Then I purchased these really cool plate hangers from Amazon.  They take a little time to put on, between washing the plates, sticking the hangers on the back by wetting the magic glue they have on them and letting them try, but I love how you can't see them from the front.

And here's where I am so far...

I'll be sure to send you pictures once it's 100% complete.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Subject: Priming!

Melissa -

Your dinner looked gorgeous. Well, the table-scape anyway! I can't wait to hear all about it. The weather here has been amazing - it looks incredible there, based on your picture.

Here is what I have been up to:

And I apologize for the terrible picture quality! I snapped this picture on my phone and didn't notice how bad the quality was until loading it up to show you. Anyway, I have been priming! My kitchen table arrived to me this past weekend (after its very long journey across three states!), you can see my little side table towards the back on the right and then my Craigslist mirror on the left. (And yes, that is Ina the Cat perched on the mirror!)

I have the table and leaf mounted on paint cans. I think that makes it easier to paint when it's not sitting on the ground or resting on another table. I'm able to get the undersides of the edges painted at the same time I am painting the top, without having to flip it over. I used a craft sponge for the small spaces and the mirror's frame, and then a mini roller pad thing that is the same material as those big, poofy rollers, but smaller. I am officially obsessed with them.

Anyway, just wanted to share with you my in-between stage. Can't wait to show you all the 'after' shots!


P.S. This week I am planning to share with you about my exciting dinner party coming up!

Subject: Pesach Part 2

As promised, here are some more shots from Monday's seder. 

The menu included the following:
-Chopped liver:  I know this kind of sounds gross, but it's amazing.  Prepared by Mom using Grandma's recipe
-Gefilte fish:  Hubby's fav
-Charoset:  I think you might love this one.  Here's the recipe I used.
-Brisket (Known as pot roast to some) and Potatoes:  Prepared by yours truly using Grandma's recipe  (Pictured above)
-Greenbeans with garlic and lemon:  This recipe by the Neely's is YUM and easy to make.
-Chocolate Passover Cookies:  Thank you Martha Stewart!
-Passover Jelly Fruit Slices:  Storebought from the MIL.  I don't actually think anyone ever attempts to make them

Maybe one year you can come up for a seder??  We'd love to have you any Passover!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Subject: Happy Pesach

Good morning Kara -

Last night was the first night of Passover.  Hubby and I hosted the dinner at our house and because we have yet to buy a dining room table, we dined in our backyard.  The set up is below with a promise to post more pictures from the night tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Subject: The hutch that never was

Melissa, Happy Monday! So lately I have really been scoring on Craigslist. Not only did I find my mirror two weekends ago, last week I spotted a cute little side table with a magazine rack on the bottom (which I have always wanted BTW) listed for only $20. After some email negotiating (the only kind I am capable of, apparently) I scored it for $15! I can't wait to show you the transformation (I picked up paint today!). In addition to the side table, I found the most amazing hutch. Let me warn you: it is not much to look But for only $75 (he refused to go lower), I think it is a total steal and has so much potential:
My mother-in-law is slowly re-doing her house with furniture that she actually wants/likes, instead of inherited furniture following a divorce. So, yeah - I am constantly on the hunt for her. She has a small-ish dining area with a table that seats six and then this little metal & glass console table that holds a few picture frames and magazines and is kind of a catch-all for mail and books and other random things. She had mentioned that she was looking for a hutch-type piece, something sort of along the vein of something like this from Pottery Barn:
Obviously, this piece is gorgeous...and $999. However, my MIL decided that the Craigslist piece was not for so then I briefly entertained the thought of buying it for myself, painting it in some fabulous scheme and then selling it for an awesome profit that I could then use to buy fabric or paint or something for a future project.

I ended up not doing this for several reasons: 1. Mr. Lass reminded me I have a few other projects to do and this one would take a ton of work. 2. I don't really have a venue to sell this thing, other than Craigslist, which isn't really the best option. I mean, people go on to Craigslist to get cheap stuff, so I probably couldn't get top dollar for my refinished hutch. 3. I couldn't get the owner to go any cheaper than $75 (I offered $50) and I calculated that matierials would cost about $30, so I didn't want to invest over $100 and not know how much I would end up selling it for.

So even though I ended up not buying it (which I'm kind of relieved because it really would have been a lot of work), here is some of my inspiration that got me excited about this kind of project...

First up, I loved the textured wallpaper on this lovely re-do:
via Censational Girl

Next, I wanted to incorporate this idea from Jenny at Little Green Notebook:
via Little Green Notebook
I love how she used white paint to really make the details pop against the turquoise paint.  Finally, this hutch from Censational Girl is also a great example of how to paint trim to make a piece pop.  

via Censational Girl
So, after thinking about this a lot (do you think about furniture projects as you fall asleep at night too?!), I decided that I would paint the entire thing a soft gray and then use white paint to trim out the edges around the drawers and cabinets. I also wanted to paint the inside of the cabinets and drawers with a fun pop of color, and was totally inspired by Little Green Notebook's latest project. I love the corral!!! And this would have been the knobs, courtesy of Anthropologie, of course:

Ahh. It feels so nice to get all that off my chest - it's almost like I re-finished it! But Hubby was right: I do have a lot of projects right now. My table arrived today, so I will be working on that over the next few weeks, as well as my new side table and bathroom mirror. Ugh - I feel exhausted just thinking about it!

Here's to all the 'after' photos,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Re: Antiquing Parts 1 - 4

HELLLOOOOO!!!  Well, you knew that I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth since I just saw you, but between traveling for work and the sinus infection I picked up when I was in Florida, finding time to write you back has been nearly impossible!!

Time to play catch up...Starting with your antiquing expedition.

Things I LOVE
Part 1
-The Side Table:  I, too, am a sucker for sidetables.  I even love the distressing and the chocolatey brown color you spied while on your trip.
Part 2
-The Whisk Fixture:  Genious!  I think it could be cool in a few different spots...anywhere but the kitchen bar!! 
-The Apple Green Fixtures:  I know that you had painted your heinous brass one, and I am on the same wavelength.  (Pictures to come one of these days.)
-Screen Door Accent Piece:  While I love the turquoise screen door, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the white chair in front of it!!  It has a name.  (Mom, help me out!!)
Part 3
-White Dresser:  LOVE...Which is evident from the dresser in my house.
-Other Dresser:  LOVE LOVE LOVE and want it in my house!!
Part 4
-Chair/Ottoman:  So was the fabric ugly/pretty in person??  It's like I really like, but at the same time am not sure.  But I do love the piece.  It's only of my favorites for sure!
-Bell Jars:  Awesome!!  I don't know where I would display them either, though.  I am so not a display person.  You should see what I did with my étagère in the dining room.  I set it up, like I assume most people do.  A picture frame here, some candlesticks there, a little statue there.  Ugh.  It was awful.  I woke up at 4 a.m. one day thinking how much I hated tchotchkes and that I NEEDED to fix the étagère!!  So, basically, I have no idea where I would put these beautiful bell jars!

Quite random, but I leave you today with strawberry twin. 

Have you ever seen such a thing??  That bad boy was part of a very interesting, per my stepdad AMAZING, strawberry shortcake.  Not sure if I would make it again...

'Till tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Subject: Found It!

Melissa! So do you remember back when I told you had decided on the type of mirror I wanted for my master bathroom? But it was kind of a vintage shape, so I had no idea where I was going to find it. Remember? Remember??? Well, I found it! And seriously I am so, so excited. I get such a feeling of satisfaction when I find something that I have really been wanting (and sometimes I don't know I want it until I see it) that I don't find in a conventional store, when it is authentically aged and not mass-produced. Of course, I am not entirely opposed to mass-produced sometimes too, but I love taking something that is sort of "blah" and making it my own, which I am less likely to do with a piece I buy from Target or Pottery Barn or anywhere in between. So, without further ado: I know, not much to look at. (Excuse the view of the back of my couch!) I need to paint it, of course, but it has the same lines as the original mirror I showed you:

I was looking on Craigslist on Saturday night and found it. And what's more: the girl had two she was selling. So I bought them both! My mother-in-law has been looking for a mirror to hang above her dresser (yes, this one - the one I have yet to show you the 'after' for), so I gave her the one that was a little bit smaller.

It has really come in handy keeping the dimensions for the current mirror in my cell phone, because I never don't have my phone. The dimensions of the new mirror are very close to the new mirror. It's almost the same width, but the new one isn't as tall, which I think will be okay because I'll just center the mirror between the sink and light fixture, whereas the current, stock mirror touches the backsplash on the sink and almost touches the bottom of the light fixture.

So now i just need to paint it - probably a glossy white - and then get the wall it's going to hang on ready. Like, I'll need to patch the holes that were used to hold the brackets for the existing mirror in case. I'm hoping I won't have to paint that wall...again.

I'll keep you posted.

Cheers! Kara

Monday, April 11, 2011

Subject: New Week, New Recipes

Melissa - Hi friend. Remember back when I told you one of my goals for 2011 was to add a new recipe every week? Well, that hasn't exactly happened, but I have been trying hard to add one at least every few weeks, which I feel like is just as commendable. March and April have been challenging because Mr. Lass has been working super-late during the week (hello, dinner at 10:00 pm), so it just seems like there's no time to try anything out, because my main goal that late is just to get something hot and edible on the table! But I have found that inviting people over is always incentive to make something new and exciting (although I guess you also run the risk of it not working out...). So this weekend we had another couple over and I decided to whip up something new. Then a few weeks ago my parents came into town, so they seemed like the perfect guinea pigs for a new recipe. In my experience, since it is just Mr. Lass and me for most meals, it can be challenging to find recipes that make just two portions*. So I like to try out a recipe first and make it in the quantities specified, and then once I get a feel for the flavors and see how the recipe comes together, I feel a lot more freedom in tweaking it in the future. And, in true Lass style, three of the four new recipes are from Barefoot Contessa recipes. Are you surprised? First up: Lemon Chicken Breasts. These were really good and I called the butcher at Publix and ordered four boneless, skin-on chicken breasts. My only criticism of this recipe is that the meat was kind of on the dry side. So really, keeping the bone in might not be a bad idea because it would keep the meat more moist. This recipe would also be great with leg quarters, which is one of my favorite parts of the chicken to cook with. This recipe came from the Barefoot Contessa episode "Cook Like a Pro" that also had an amazing-looking recipe for Baked Fontina that looked amazing and I cannot wait to make! So that was the new recipe I tried on my parents. I served it with some couscous (my latest obsession...the boxed stuff is ready in five minutes!) and some sauteed spinach. It was nice because all I had to do was prep the chicken and put it in the pan and then put it in the oven an hour before dinnertime. Then once it came out of the oven, I made the couscous and spinach, since both of those take no time at all and Ina always recommends allowing your meat to "rest" before serving. Whatever starch you serve with this, you want it to be something that will absorb the yummy sauce - so couscous, rice, etc. are all great options. Okay, so then this weekend I made Ina's Indonesian Ginger Chicken. I have been wanting to make this for a really long time - I think I first saw the episode with this recipe several years ago - but I just never got around to it. Then last week I saw this episode on my DVR and after watching it, I became re-inspired to try it. This one is more time-intensive in terms of peeling the ginger and then grating it. And, actually, grating it didn't work as well as it did on the show, so I ended up chopping it like I would garlic. I cooked it in my big roasting pan that I originally bought with the grand plan of cooking turkeys at Thanksgiving. That hasn't come to pass yet, but having such a big pan is handy for large batches of meat like this. Our friends really enjoyed the chicken and when it's cooking it makes the whole house smell wonderful with the scent of ginger and garlic. We had plenty of food with enough leftovers for dinner on Sunday night and then I even had a small piece of chicken today for lunch. Yum! Along with the chicken I again served couscous (I told you I was obsessed!) and Sauteed Squash Ribbons I had sampled at Publix the day before. These were so easy and really, really good! I am typically not a huge fan of squash or zucchini (or Publix's Apron's Meals, for that matter), but prepared this way, they were so tasty! This is also a really fast side to whip up - peeling the vegetables takes longer than actually cooking them! For dessert I tried my hand at Ina's Croissant Bread Pudding. I love bread pudding, so this seemed like a new and exciting thing to try. Her recipe calls for raisins, which I knew Mr. Lass would balk at, so instead I used chocolate chips. Not exactly an even trade, I realize, but who doesn't love chocolate? Plus Ghirardelli chocolate chips were on sale this week. I also decided to include the zest of an orange because I thought it would give it a little more flavor and brighten it up some. Plus, the combination of orange and chocolate is always a winner in my book! Okay, so this recipe did not exactly work out for me how I'd hoped. Here is what happened: Ina's recipe calls for using six croissants and using a 10"x15"x2.5" oval pan. Well, when it came time to assemble everything, I realized the largest Corningware pan I had was not that big (I don't know what the actual dimensions of my pan were, but I was off by a number of inches for the length and width). So I used only three croissants instead of six, because that's all that would fit. Now, I don't know why it didn't occur to me that I should also cut the amount of liquid in half, but it didn't. So what I ended up with was really soupy, runny bread pudding. We all ate some of it, though, and the flavors were great. The orange really added a lot and the chocolate was really nice because it melted in between the two layers of croissant and was just perfect. And next time I will know to either find a bigger pan or cut the liquid amount in half. So, 75% of my new recipes worked out, which is not a bad record in my book! Sorry for the lack of pictures...I never think to photograph what I am making before we eat it! Cooking love, Kara *I know there are cookbooks on "cooking for two" (in fact, I think I own one), but I have never been all that impressed with them. PS I just returned to this post to add in the asterick because I forgot when I originally wrote it...what is going on with the spacing??? I promise you when I first wrote it I did not envision a huge, giant blob of words. Yikes!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Subject: Antiquing Part 4

So today is the last day of the antique showcase...promise! And today it's more furniture. Trust me, I've saved the best for last. To start things off, I kind of fell in love with this chair: I kind of even like the fabric, in the right room. It had a faded quality to it that made the orange and turquoise and red seem less loud and overwhelming. Plus I think it's an interesting choice to have the chair, ottoman and throw pillow all the same color. This would be a great corner chair in a bedroom, where the walls and bedding are all neutral, and this piece is the "wow" factor. Otherwise it might seem too busy. The chair and ottoman are obviously two separate pieces, but look how the ottoman is slanted just-so so you could treat the two pieces as one big lounge chair. A cream crocheted blanket thrown over one arm would soften the busy pattern some too. Here is another ottoman, this time with a couch:
These are both new pieces - not antiques. This shop just started carrying new furniture with fabrics you can customize. I didn't look at it much, but the samples they had seemed nice and well-made. Even though both these pieces were new, they still had some great details on them that I really loved. First, the casters on the couch:

The proportion between the leg and the caster seems a little off, but at the same time really works too. And I really enjoyed the legs on the ottoman: The actual detail seems modern, but having the detail at all makes the piece feel older and more approachable. To me, modern pieces are intimidating, but I could see something like this in my house. I guess it would depend on the fabric you chose too. Moving on... This couch is obviously not new. I really liked the lines of it and it was really long, which is kind of nice: I kind of liked the green velvet with the dark would, but I'm sure painting the wood would also look really crisp with a great damask. I am a sucker for damask! And I meant to show you this a few days ago, but I love these bell jars:

I'm not sure what I would display under the ones in my house, but I love them. I especially love it when they're different heights.

Phew. I feel like I've just been shopping, showing you all these pictures!

Hope you enjoyed.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Subject: Antiquing Part 3

Okay, so now on to Day 3 of photos from my antique excursion last week (you can see my previous two entries from this series here and here). I know last time I showed you some home accessories, but today I'm going to show you some great pieces of furniture I saw. First up, I loved this little desk. The color is perfect and the distressing just right. I love the stain on the wooden top and all the little cubby holes as well.
This dresser would be amazing in a girl's room:
I am a sucker for white furniture and I love the vintage-looking pulls. It just looks so crisp and timeless at the same time. I'm kind of obsessed. Here is another dresser that I lo-o-o-ved:
It would obviously be great to paint, but I kind of love the gray-ish color of it too. You seriously cannot buy anything like this new today, with so many great details. I mean, first you have two mirrors on it. And then do you see that wide drawer at the very bottom? And the tiny drawers underneath the smaller mirror? What do you think the original owner used those little drawers for? Maybe her monogrammed vintage handkerchiefs? For a more modern use, it would be great for craft storage. The wide bottom drawer would be perfect for rolls of wrapping paper and the smaller drawers I just mentioned could hold luggage tags and labels. You could store fabric scraps in the little cabinet behind the small mirror and lots of ribbon and paper in all the other drawers. I love the idea of this piece on a really big staircase landing or in a wide hallway. So this is a little kitsch-y, but seeing this got the wheels in my brain turning:

If I were ever to have a mountain house one day, wouldn't this be so cool in the family room? I mean, I can't see myself putting this in my house now, but if I had a mountain house I would probably be renting it out, so I think something sort of rustic would be perfect. (I'm talking about the canoe bookshelf thing, by the way.) So, I'm not sure of the probability of actually having a mountain house one day, but thinking about the prospect is fun and it doesn't hurt anything to plan ahead, right?

Okay, the photo tour continues tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Subject: Antiquing Part 2

Hiiii-eeee! So I'm back with more pictures from my latest trip to my favorite antique shop in Thomasville, Georgia. This place had some really interesting light fixtures. Really, too many to take pictures of (I didn't want to be completely obnoxious with the picture taking since half our group was under the age of 2 and not all that patient!). Here is one I wanted to share:
At first I didn't really understand, but then I read the tag and it said, "Whisk Light Fixture." Aha! So it's supposed to look like a whisk. Kind of weird, but at the same time kind of cool too. They could be really cute if you put them in the right place. It might be cool to have three of them hanging in a corner at different heights over a round table where kids color or do their homework. Or even a series of three of them along a wall over a stretch of countertop. Or what about a hanging light in a pantry? I think it's kind of cheek-y and fun, but you'd have to be careful so as it doesn't look cheese-y! I think there is an industrial element to them, which isn't necessarily my style, but the fact that they are baking-related makes me warm up to them some. Then something about these was really appealing:
Basically it looks like they took some old bright brass chandeliers and painted them apple green (have we talked about how easy and cheap it is to paint those things???). I never would have thought of it, but putting the three of them together in the right place is a really interesting idea. It reminded me of this picture I saved from an issue of Better Homes & Gardens:
As you can see from my sticky note, I liked the chandeliers over the island. I think it looks really classy and is a unique alternative to the standard pendant lights you see everywhere. These letters were all over the store, spelling out various words:
I really like the texture of them and the font they're in. I was partial to these since I have the same word spelled out in the eating section of my kitchen. I saw two similar versions of this mirror:
It looks like it was made using a head- or footboard from a brass bed. Such a creative idea!

Something about this turquoise screen door frame was really nice to me:
I like it layered with all the other things around it, but I wonder how functional it would be? It seems like it would just be one more thing to dust if it didn't have some kind of purpose. But maybe you could put some metal behind it and it could serve as a message center with some cool magnets. Or it could even work as a full-length mirror. I especially loved the trim details in the top corners.

This reminded me of an old clock:
Seeing this reminded me of this picture I saw ages ago. What a creative way to re-create a story for your children and to use such a beautiful, old piece! I love these vintage-looking food containers:

Something about this seems European...not sure why.

Okay, more to come tomorrow!



Monday, April 4, 2011

Subject: Antiquing Part 1

Melissa - So, we were both a little busy last week, which explains our absence. Of course, you have a busy week ahead of you with a visit down to my neck of the woods (can't wait to be re-united over a lovely dinner), so I thought I would use this week to give you some time off and show you a few pictures. Last week I went up to Thomasville, Georgia, for the morning with my friend Holly and our daughters. It was a perfect cool, sunshine-y morning to walk around. We had chicken salad sandwiches for lunch at one of my favorite cafes and then headed back to Tallahassee in time for afternoon naps. Anyway, we went to my favorite antique shop (turns out it was Holly's fav too) and I took a TON of pictures. Instead of sharing them in one long post, I thought I would stretch out my finds over the next few days. The shop is called Relics, which I think is the perfect name for an antique store, and really what makes the shop so great is the way the owners style everything. It is like an authentic, real-life version of Anthropologie. They have lots of interesting pieces, but then they also put them together in a really great way too that is super-appealing and inspiring. I think some antique shops just look cluttered and I can't wait to get out of there, but this one is organized really well and instead of displays looking cluttered and overwhelming, they look styled and, even if there is a ton of stuff in a particular vignette, it still works really well. So, I can't wait to share! First, here is a little section that I just loved: I love the big red mirror in the background. I don't know if you can tell, but it goes all the way to the floor. The frame resembled a fireplace mantle, but it was HUGE. It was the perfect backdrop to the wooden table and the lamps, plus the chandelier too. Here is a close-up of one of the lamps:
It was wrought iron and super heavy and substantial-looking. Maybe it was made from an old gate or something. Who knows but it was really old with this great, authentic patina on it. The shade obviously isn't an antique (I think the plastic wrapping gives it away), but I think the shape of it works really well with this base. You don't want anything that will detract from the lamp, but you still want something with interest. Here is a close-up of the chandelier:

This isn't the greatest picture, but it was a nice combination of sparkle and hardware. Then this was in front of the mirror/table:

It looks like a piece of old farm equipment, but with a piece of glass on top it works as a coffee table. See what I mean? If that was just leaning against a wall, I wouldn't give it a second glance, but I think as a coffee table it's pure genius. It would be so perfect in an old farmhouse. Of course, it's probably not all that kid-friendly, but maybe our farmhouse owners are grandparents with older grandkids? Just an idea. I like how it's quirky and different, but not so far out there that it's obnoxious, if that makes sense? Here is another set of lamps that I thought was really nice:

Maybe having both would be a little much, but I liked the glossy base and the lines and proportions of the base with the shade. I also loved the big brass mirror in the background. And here is a close-up of the table under one of the lamps:

I am a sucker for side tables...if I had a bigger house I would have waaay more! I like how this one has a drawer and a little display shelf (kind of like your night stands!) and then the little casters are just perfect.

Nothing like seeing these images to make you want to move and base your entire decorating scheme on these pieces!

I've only just begun and have a ton of pictures left to show you...get excited!

Until tomorrow,