Friday, October 26, 2012

Light fixtures

When I showed my husband this light fixture, he said, "That looks like it belongs in an art gallery."  SOLD.  It is the first purchase for our kitchen, and I am so excited to have actually decided on something.  We are also going to use the wallpaper I found at Jonathan Adler.  What a great shopping day that was.  

I have moved on to appliances.  First, I went to Lowe's.  It was OK.  They were very nice and had a fairly good selection, but it was kind of confusing.  So, I wandered over to light fixtures, because I still need lights for the rest of my house.  They have some cute stuff (that is much less expensive than the one I just purchased) -   

Even though appliances aren't as pretty as light fixtures, I still need them.  So, I went to Sewell Appliance.  It is amazing.  The showroom is beautiful and the sales people are so helpful.  My biggest dilemma right now is whether to spend the extra money to get a 36 inch range.  My 4 burners are always crowded - probably because I don't have a microwave.  But honestly, I would rather continue to live without a microwave and spend the extra money on a bigger range.  (I don't know if my husband would go for that.)  So, what do you think - 30 or 36 inches?  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kitchen status - Part 2

I had so much fun at the Jonathan Adler store today.  It was refreshing to be inspired in the midst of all of the minute decisions I am trying to make about the kitchen.  I saw this light fixture online and loved it, so I went to the store to see it in person -

...and I still love it.  The only problem is that it is sooo expensive, and I'm sure CB2 will have a knock off next year.  However, it will be an art piece for the room, so I think it's worth it.  And it's on sale this week.

I also might have found some wallpaper for the dining room -

It's bold, but it's only going on one little wall at the end of the dining room.  Here is a close-up -

They have so many cool items that I could easily make my house look like a Jonathan Adler showroom.  I have seen these art pieces online, but didn't know they were sold here -

I really like these modular pieces that can be made into beautiful dressers or consoles -

And all of their dishes and books and knickknacks are really fun.  These are salt and pepper shakers -

Now, I just need to make sure my husband likes the light fixture.  Then, I can make our first actual purchase for our kitchen/dining room project!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The status of the splatter paint fabric

Inspired by Jay McCarroll's pants, I purchased some splatter paint fabric at Mood (the fabric store of choice on Project Runway) -

I have started on a wrap dress for myself (as if I need any more wrap dresses, but I just thought it would be so cute).  I promised my New York friend, Elizabeth, a t-shirt out of this fabric, so I whipped one up today while she was in town.  However, I was so un-confident in my ability to make a garment with no fittings that I didn't even take my camera when she tried it on.  It fit!  I was excited, but I have nothing to show you.  I promise I will take a picture of the wrap dress when it is done.

We did have a conversation about buying high quality items that will last longer.  That is one thing I have decided to do once I am buying clothes again.  This fabric buying experience showed me that I still tend to buy cheaper and more "fun" items (i.e. splatter paint fabric) versus more expensive and "mature" items (i.e. these beautiful silks that are $25 a yard) -

I thought maybe I could buy them online later.  Alas, they are not for sale online.  It is nearly impossible to find good silk fabric in Atlanta.  I can't believe I passed them up.

Anyway, while I was there, I had to buy t-shirts for my girls who now love to watch Project Runway with me.  Don't miss the finale tonight!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kitchen status

To lighten the mood from my last post, I will give you an update on my kitchen.  We are still in the design phase.  We have settled on a floor plan, which is pretty much the one we have now minus the wall between our kitchen and dining room and minus the window next to the breakfast table -

We are also going to move the oven to below the stove top to create more counter space, take the cabinets to the ceiling and insert a hood that actually vents to the outside.

After looking at these pictures, I don't know why I am stressing so much about the "look" of the kitchen.  Anything NEW would be awesome.  But I do know why I am stressing about it.  I have been dreaming of a new kitchen ever since we moved into this house 9 years ago.

So, after we nailed down the floor plan, I went cabinet shopping.  I decided on white upper cabinets paired with navy or gray lower cabinets and white counter tops.  (I use the word "decided" loosely since I still haven't found the exact shades I want to use.)  When I brought home the samples of cabinets, the navy looked almost black and the gray looked dark brown.  Here they are with some tile and counter top options -

I love marble, but I think it wouldn't last very long in our kitchen.  I am probably going to use white quartz for the counter tops.  I was a little inspired by Jenna Lyons' kitchen -

In an effort to add interest to the kitchen, I decided we should put wallpaper on one wall.  On my first trip to the wallpaper store, this is what I narrowed it down to -

The two on the bottom are my favorites, but they look a little futuristic.  So, I went back to the wallpaper store and came away with one sample in my hand and one on order.  Here is the one I brought home -

I was growing quite attached to it until my husband said, "Absolutely not!"  (Maybe I shouldn't show him the all black sample that's coming in the mail.)  But then he felt bad about shutting down my creative process and told me he would consider it.  My daughter, however, loved it so much that she was disappointed when I said it would only go on one wall.  "Let's cover the entire kitchen in it!"   I like her enthusiasm.  Even after my husband's strong objection to the wallpaper, I was bold enough to tell him about my idea for the other wall - chalkboard paint!  Of course, my daughter loved that idea even more than the wallpaper.  My husband thought I had gone insane.  But look how beautiful Jenna Lyons' bedroom is -

So, that's where we are on the kitchen.  By the way, if you want to browse through some amazing wallpaper, go to or  I'll let you know when I make a decision on... anything.

Monday, October 15, 2012

....and the experiment is over

Last week after watching the movie "The Lorax", my daughter asked me if I was worried that our world would become like it is in that movie in which they have no trees.  I told her that I wasn't really worried about that.  I am worried that our world will become like it is in "WALL-E" in which everyone is mesmerized by computer/televisions all day - because our world is already becoming like that.  We already carry little computers around in our pockets, and how many of us use them while we are in the car?  I don't even get email or Internet on my phone, but can I live without my computer?  Well, last week I got to find out.

A little virus took down my computer.  So, I had no computer (including Internet and email access) for one full week.  Here is what I learned:

1. I get all of my information from the computer.  Weather, phone numbers, directions, product information, store information, medical advice, school schedules, etc.  On the first day without my computer, I realized that almost every thought I have is somehow related to information from my computer.  I couldn't even figure out how to get my computer fixed without using the Internet.  First, I called the computer guy my husband uses at work.  He didn't call me back.  Then,  I called "411" to get a phone number for someone else and found out that you can no longer talk to a real person.  The recording kept giving me a fax number.  So, I tried the really old fashioned way and drove to where I thought was a computer repair place.  I couldn't find it.  I finally had to call my husband at his office to ask him to get the information off the Internet.

2.  My brain moves much more slowly when there is no computer around.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, because my brain usually moves at mach speed.  I am an information junkie and the the Internet feeds my addiction.  I need every piece of information before I can make a decision, and the Internet provides thousands of avenues to research every topic.  I was definitely less productive without my computer, but I also had lower expectations about what I could achieve.  I was satisfied with less.

3.  So, what did I do last week with all of my time away from my computer?  I read a lot of books.  The library has informed me that I can keep the Einstein biography for one more month, so I need I finish it.  On the very first day of my computer-less existence, I read these quotes by Einstein - science has "enslaved men to machines" and "has made our lives hurried and uncertain."  He believed strongly in the simple life.  The simple life sounds great until you realize that it is the antithesis of the American life.  I have been contemplating the "simple life" as I plan my kitchen renovation, which is not simple.  When you combine my indecisiveness with my innate need to be "different", planning a kitchen renovation can take up a lot of time.  I need it to be functional, but I also want it to be beautiful.  How do I balance enjoyment of beauty with the "simple life"?  (As I am writing this, my husband is having difficulty getting our oven open, so I could list all of the practical reasons to renovate our kitchen.)

I am still contemplating what I learned from this forced experiment.  I know that I want to limit my time investigating all of my available "options" when making my decisions.  I also know that I don't want email and Internet on my phone.  I need a little forced separation.  And if you see me one day walking around with an iPhone, feel free to say, "WALL-E", and I will know what you mean.  Another thing my husband said just now was that he kind of enjoyed these last few days without a computer.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Back Side

I take a lot of photos of people's backs.  It's not because they don't have beautiful faces or that the fronts of their outfits aren't nice.  Sometimes, the back is just more interesting. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The item I have been wearing most often lately is my denim shirt from Target.  It shrunk slightly in the wash and now feels a little small to wear as a shirt.  So, I wear it as a jacket over everything.  At one time, I had three of them in my home while I was trying to decide which size to keep.  Now, I wish I had kept all three.  I think Target sells denim shirts only in the Fall, so snatch them up while you can.  And Levi's has some really cute denim jackets right now.  Here is some denim inspiration for you -


Monday, October 1, 2012

Puffed sleeves and divine necklines

I wanted to start working with my splatter-paint fabric, but I had promised my daughter a dress out of a certain floral fabric.  It has been sitting in my basement for a while, and I had to finish the flower dress before the coolness of Fall blew in.

This would have been a fairly simple dress had I inserted a zipper in the back, but in an effort to challenge myself, I put the closure in the neckline.  I just tried to copy a dress that my younger daughter has instead of buying a pattern (which I really wish I had once I started).

And, oh my goodness, I felt the hand of God making this neckline, because I really didn't know what I was doing.  I didn't know if it was going to work until the very last stitch came together.  I was honestly shocked that it worked. 

I am fairly confident in my sleeve making, though, so I made her the puffiest sleeves I could.  (She inherited her love of puffed sleeves from Anne of Green Gables).

I need to step it up and purchase some drafting paper and pattern making tools, because I will have to reinvent the wheel if I ever make this dress again.  But now onto simpler designs and splatter-paint fabric...

"I'm so glad that puffed sleeves are still fashionable.  It did seem to me that I'd never get over it if they went out before I had a dress with them.  I'd never have felt quite satisfied..."  - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery