Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hooray Domino!

If you follow me at all (there are about 18 of you out there), then you know how much I love Domino Magazine. Well, today it came in the mailbox. I get excited right away. I resist the temptation to rip into it right there. My husband and oldest son are away on a camping trip, so I know if I wear the heck out of the little one on a long walk, he'll go to sleep early and it will be Domino, a big glass of Coke (my indulgence) and me.

How happy I was to turn to page 44 and find a blog shout out there for Jennifer over at the Peak of Chic. She's had a spot on Domino's web site for design bloggers but this is the first time I've noticed her in print in the mag.

I know I've suggested you check her out before, but click on over there now. She has done so much research into the design greats and has tons of pics. She's also great at responding to feedback. Post a question or interesting comment and she will usually reply down the string.

Most importantly, I also have to say that she has my lowly blog posted as a link to hers and I probably owe half of my traffic to her. She deserves credit for that alone.

The two pics above are from a recent post of hers. Beauty!

Friday, October 24, 2008

call me! - unique letterpress calling cards

I use calling cards. Not for their original intention, but as gift enclosures. And I now have some that simply have my name, phone number and e- mail (sidebar: if I see another pair of people standing, peering into their iPhones exchanging digits, I think I'll just go over the edge... put your info on a card and hand it over. It looks a lot more pulled together). I kind of think of them as the stay-at-home mom's business card.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

huge funky horse a la Nathan from Top Design

Am I the only one who watches Top Design? I love it! I'm so sorry to see Andrea go, but I totally understand where she's coming from. As a wife and mother, I don't know if I could leave my husband and children for that long. I hope she was inspired by her experience and can integrate her love of design into her life a home.

I was totally in love with Nathan's room this past week! His concept was a bratty girl's bedroom. The big horse reminded me of her once little-girly rocking horse on steroids. And when I ran across this big horse on eBay, I thought someone looking for one might want to have him for their own bratty girl's room! This one is canvas and is not as abstract as Nathan's, unfortunately, but it could fit the bill. I think I would either leave the canvas unpainted or else I would paint it hot pink or some other crazy color. A realistic paint job would seem weird (as if a 7 foot tall horse of plain canvas isn't!).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

dramatic wallpaper for small spaces

I think I've previously expressed my love of wallpaper. I especially fancy it in a closet, dressing room or powder room.

And how about the beautiful closet above featured in Domino Magazine? I clipped this image when it appeared in the magazine and I have it in my design book.

There are several different ways to interpret this look if the gorgeous Farrow and Ball wallpaper isn't for you. The first is a lovely Llewelyn-Bowen wallpaper called Chantilly. I'm also partial to Chrysanthemum by Monsoon.

Either way, I find that the patterns I'm most attracted to for a closet or powder room are the furthest from my "day-to-day" design style. I think it's a chance to throw a little whimsy into your decor without breaking the bank (my powder room and closet are both small!) and without doing anything too kooky in a common space.

eBay today - Victorian wasp or fly catcher

I heard about these nifty gadgets on a BBC program about antiques and decided to do a little eBay research.

Check it out. A circa 1860 wasp or fly catcher. You would have put a cork in the top and a sugar water mixture in the well and the pests would have flown under and been caught for later disposal. Wouldn't this be great outdoors at a summer croquet soiree? I picture fresh squeezed lemonade and straw boaters.

I'm a born and bred Southerner and I've never heard of these. I love that it's a beautiful mouth blown piece, that it's old and (most importantly) that it has a use still today. I think that's what I love the most about my favorite antiques and vintage pieces... that the best ones can still be used today.

Monday, October 20, 2008

recipe: leek gratin

I have to give a huge shout out to Laura Neulat over at Laura's Paris Cooking Notebook. Earlier this week, she posted the most wonderful recipe for leek gratin and I decided to give it a try tonight. Hers is photographed above, but mine turned out just like it. And what a success it was! My nine-year-old even asked to take the left-overs in his lunch box tomorrow.

Follow the link and give it a try. It's a snap and is a definite keeper in my recipe box.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

knowing when to invest

Every once in a while I splurge. I mean really splurge. For my last birthday, I was at Saks and bought the Marc Jacobs bag above in navy blue calf leather. Navy is my new black and I just couldn't resist. I've bought nice bags in the past, but none that pricey. For the first day or two, I felt so guilty and even considered returning it (My husband calls that "shopping bulimia". It's not in the DSM, but it should be.) But then something interesting happened. I started getting compliments. Lots of them. From my dry cleaner. From strangers. Everyone commented on that bag. People even asked to touch it.

The sconce above is in the same stratosphere, but well worth it. Quality really does always stand out. You might be hesitant at first and certainly don't do it if you put it on a credit card. Save up. And as you save up, just resist the urge to blow your money on a cheaper fixture/bag/whatever. Cheaper always looks.... well, cheap. You'll be glad in the end.

Friday, October 17, 2008

French match keeping and customized match boxes

I played with matches a lot as a child. Maybe that's why the match box (or "allumettes" in French) and match strike on eBay appeal to me.

I also love that both are French. I guess they were obsessed with fire also... in order to fire up their clove ciggies. But with as many candles as I have around the house, either one of these would be pressed into service regularly. I hate to light candles with random matches from restaurants.

That's why I've been toying with ordering some customized matches like either of the ones above. They come in endless colors and fonts.

What do you think? Antique and French or new and monogrammed?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

kitchen updates

Well, as I might have mentioned, I'm remodeling my kitchen. (I'll post a few pics when I complete the project.) And purchasing all those fancy KitchenAid appliances and other stuff compelled me to want to polish up some of my other kitchen goods.

I know, I know. The Dualit toaster is a splurge, but I couldn't help it. I've longed for one for so long and it looks so beautiful aside my new appliances.

The French press and the stovetop cappuccino maker were gifts to my sweet husband for his birthday today.

Finally, a swing through Anthropologie led me to my final two purchases. I found big white cups for my morning coffee and juice glasses which are no longer available online.

It looks like I was going for a breakfast-y theme, now that I look at it all. Perhaps that's because I have a breakfast bar in my new kitchen. A little sprucing up has been long overdue for me, though, so I bought things I'll really love for years to come.

Monday, October 13, 2008

eBay today - vintage paper mache Christmas angels

I love these Italian angel ornaments. I think they are handpainted paper mache. My mother-in-law has given me about four of these beauties and they show up on eBay every now and again. Their wings are made of the most fragile clay-like material. Check out the lot of 8 above. The bid is currently up to $36.99. Unfortunately for me, they will go a lot higher.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

eBay today - vintage industrial gifts

I love the idea of giving a gift with meaning, age and character - and not just some random piece of junk from Target.

The typewriter above would be great for a writer or book lover. I would love the coffee grinder since I'm a coffee nut.

So search around eBay for key words for a loved one's hobbies or professions. Trust me... there is something out there for them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

mixing it up

My previous post about fabrics inspired me to consider mixing things up a bit. I love the idea of a floral with an animal print. It's a great design idea that I've seen in rooms by Parish-Hadley and others.

Domino has a great pic of such a room. I like that the space isn't stuffy, though. (And how great is the blue welting on the chocolate brown chair?)

And the zebra Kravet fabric on eBay would be perfect for some pillows.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

pretty, pretty

I am such a visual person. I am really really inspired by modern, retro, groovy... many looks.

But, as a Southern woman, the more modern classics are still the end-all and be-all for me. These Manual Canovas fabrics just make me crazy in love. I adore that these fabrics are classic, sweet and preppy (but not too preppy) but still modern and not over-worked.

What do you think?