Saturday, October 29, 2011

weekend edition: snow, my new AARP card

I hate snow.  We are starting this party a little early this year, yes?  Its only October, we usually don't get snow till well into December.  Today we are forecasted to get 6 inches.

I have lived in New Jersey since I was seven years old, and I consider myself a (south) Jersey girl. As much as I love New Jersey, though, I can't say that I am all that fond of the weather.  In fact, as I get older, I find that I like the weather less and less.  We have a few months of hot, muggy summer bookended by about two weeks of pleasant fall/spring weather, and then months of raw, windy, cold, snowy, unpleasant winter.  But I never wish to move to a more pleasant clime.  I always wish that New Jersey had better weather.

Exciting fact: we own four adult snow shovels and three children's snow shovels. It appears that we left every last one of them in my mother in law's garage when we moved.

My AARP card just showed up in the mail. I certainly would like to enjoy all the benefits that the AARP card will get me in my golden years, so I'll just tuck that away in a safe spot, shall I, since I don't turn fifty for ANOTHER THIRTEEN YEARS.

I remember when my mother got her AARP card.  She was thrilled.  She whips that bad boy out on every possible occasion, demanding her senior discount.  My father, on the other hand, stood at the kitchen counter and ripped his up into tiny pieces, aggrieved pride winning out over 10% off the early bird dinner special.

I think I side with my father on this one.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ugly Sofa 3 : Hunter plaid

In the third installment of the Ugly Sofa Series, we have a fabulous hunter-ish green and navy plaid sofa.  There might be some lilac in there too, but I chose to ignore it.

Right, so, as usual, $1000 total budget, less than $500 of which must be spent on a 5x7 rug, one set of curtains and two pillows.

Hunter plaid calls for horses, doesn't it?

Rug, curtains and pillows: $489

Blue curtains: $40
Rug: $399
Dwell studio trellis pillow: $35
horse pillow: $15

Other accessories: $518
This horse picture is named "Bad Girls", which makes me giggle. $30
Convex federal mirror: $20 bid at the time I was making this moodboard
CL green leather chair: $50
Wall mount duck hook: $30 I should just buy this duck for myself, I've wanted it for months.
Floor lamp: $119
Coffee table: $269

Total: $1007 (I ran a wee bit over.  Good thing its my blog.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gluing fabric to inside of a glass china cabinet

This is probably the easiest project ever.  I wanted to cover up the glass panes in my china cabinet so no one could see the giant mess inside.  Two yards of fabric later I was done.

You will need a pretty fabric, spray adhesive, and a pair of scissors.  That's about it.  I've also heard that you can use starch, but I apparently did something wrong, because I tried starch and it didn't stick all that well.  I just moved on to spray glue, which worked just fine, and will come off the glass with a little windex and elbow grease.

1. Iron your fabric to get all the wrinkles out.

2. I made a paper template by putting a piece of paper inside the pane and tracing the edges.

3. I used the template to cut out each piece of fabric.  If using a geometric pattern, you have to make sure that the pattern on each piece is going the same direction.  If you use a floral pattern, like Elizabeth did, this would not be an issue. If I had used a floral I probably could have gotten away with using only a yard, but in order to keep the pattern going the same direction I needed two yards.

4. Take one fabric piece outside, spray the front (patterned) side with adhesive, bring it back inside.  Note that you are spraying the front side of the fabric because that's the side that is going up against the inside of the glass in the china cabinet.

You'll want to spray the glue outside, as it stinks.  Do one piece at a time, because the glue will start to dry if you do a bunch of pieces and then bring them in.  Its also really sticky (duh) and its hard enough to carry one piece so that it doesn't curl over on itself.  For me this meant a lot of running in and out of the back door.

5. Line up the front gluey edge of the fabric with the pane of glass and adhere to the glass. Its sort of like putting down contact paper; once you line up the edges, smooth the edges outward from the center until it lays flat.

6. Repeat until all the glass is covered.

7. Enjoy the fact that no one can see the mess in you china cabinet now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I began writing this enormous epistle on organizing and the lack thereof at my house, but it has gotten unwieldy and tangential (irony: my blog post about organizing is unorganized). Instead I will boil it down to the most important concept at the moment:  the attic playroom here goes unused.

There are many many other organizational problems at this house, which I hope to address eventually in turn, but my biggest problem for now is that my kids don't want to play in the attic.  They want to play in the living room, where I am. (Also where the tv is.)  This means that eight frajillion toys are also in my living room on a daily basis.  I like my kids in my living room.  I do not like eight frajillion toys in my living room.

In previous houses, this was never really a problem.  In our South Jersey house, we had a small room off the kitchen that housed all our toys.  In our last apartment, all our rooms were on one floor, and we used the third bedroom as a playroom.  In each case, the playroom was on the main floor, closely connected to the living spaces.

Here, the playroom is in the attic, up lots and lots of stairs.  Its a spacious attic, with plenty of room to spread out and build forts and train tracks and battle your favorite 80s Japanese anime character.  But its not where Mommy is.   Peter will go upstairs with a basket or a bookbag, load up, and bring whatever he wants to play with downstairs.  I'm sure in a few years my children will much prefer to be the attic where Mommy is NOT, but at the moment, they are my little shadows.  Truth be told, I like having them around. I just hate impaling my feet with their toys.

I've noticed that in whatever house we live in, it takes a few months, or years even, to figure out what the best use of our space is.  Here, if I were moving in tomorrow, now I know I'd put the master bedroom in the attic, green carpet be damned, and put the playroom in the second floor master.  But we are pretty sure we are not staying that long in this house, and there is a lot of furniture and a lot of narrow bending stairwells involved in switching the two rooms, so that's not going to happen.

I am thinking of taking out the 400 lb campaign dresser under the tv (the Mister will be thrilled!),

and replacing it with an Expedit from the attic. That gets me 8 bins of toys corralled.  Don't tell the children, but I am also planning a HUGE toy purge. Its heresy for a design blogger to get rid of a campaign dresser, but I'm starting a trend. I'll take mass-produced Ikea over vintage pieces with character any day!

Le sigh.  

There are seasons to life, and this season is filled with cheap plastic toys that need to be dealt with. (The Legos, omg, the any of you have Lego-obsessed children, and what storage methods have you adopted to deal with the shards of plastic I keep stepping on?)  Now I know that our next house needs a playroom/family room on the first floor and will plan accordingly.  

Caitlin Wilson fabrics

Ok, I know, everyone is talking about these Caitlin Wilson fabrics today, but seriously, they are gorgeous, and at a reasonable price point for fancy fabrics.  I am currently pricing out my chiang mai dragon pillows, which are, ahem, NOT reasonably priced anywhere. So I am appreciate of a beautiful pillow at a reasonable price. I think that these pillows will find their way onto an Ugly Sofa moodboard soon.

Fleur Chinoise I

Fleur Chinoise II

Fleur Chinoise III

Fleur Chinoise IV

The pink and navy makes me want to design a little girl's room, and the coral ones belong in my bedroom.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ugly Sofa 2: Pink, Peach and Purple Cabbage Roses

In the second installment of the Ugly Sofa Series, I picked a super-awesome pink, peach and purple cabbage rose sofa off Craigslist.  The budget is $1000, with the restriction that 1 pair of curtains, a 5x7 rug and 2 pillows be purchased for under $500, and the remainder used for anything else I feel like putting in the room.

This dated floral was tough.  I started and discarded a bunch of options before settling on this one.  I also made some expensive choices, so I had to turn to Craigslist to get reasonably priced furnishings for the rest of the room.  But--I chose items that are frequently on my local Craigslist all the time, so you would probably be able to find similar items for similar prices in your area too.

One of the difficult things about working with sofas off Craigslist is that they are rarely photographed head-on in a crisp, clear fashion by professional photographers.  Here's a close-up of the floral material, since the main photo is a little blurry. I am not ashamed to admit that in 1992 I had a romantic puffy pirate-type shirt in that exact pattern.
And here is the board:

Curtains, rug and pillows ($291)
1) Merete 1 pair purple curtains $30
2) Argonne trellis rug: $199 This rug worries me slightly in that it is in the "red" section of Home Decorator rugs, but I think it looks like a nice deep pink rose.  Lets all believe its pink.
3) pair pink fretwork lattic pillows: $30
4) pair meadow green fretwork pillows: $32

Other accessories: ($688.50)
5) Craigslist Green velvet bergere chair: $225
6) Songe mirror: $99 Spray paint this gold and you have a credible Louis Phillipe knockoff.
7) Bamboo coffee table, side table and etagere: $65.  Spray paint the coffee table and side table gold or emerald green, and the etagere a nice deep plum.  (I blew a large chunk of the budget on that lovely bergere chair, so Craigslist to the rescue for 3 pieces of furniture under $75.)
8) Gold LOVE print $35
9) Ikea Ribba frame: $15
10) gold sunburst mirror: $59
11) green glass horses: $40.50
12) pair Italian tole lamps with crystal prisms: $120, buy two cheap shades and harps at Target, $30

total: $979.50  I have $20 left over, but I don't think I could fit another item on that board.

If you've come across an ugly sofa (or have one yourself), send it my way.

finished the painted china cabinet

I finally finished the china cabinet in the dining room.

Remember what it looked like before?

I actually kind of liked the electric green, but it didn't go with the curtains, and I bought it with the intention of painting it anyways.  Its painted Gossamer Blue, just like the back door in the kitchen and the backs of the bookshelves in the living room.

I wanted to replace the glass in the doors with mirrors, but I called EVERY single glass and mirror store in the phone book, and NO ONE would do it.  Bizarre. I know of a place to get it done where we used to live, but I haven't been able to get over there during business hours.  So for now I went with putting fabric on the back of the glass.

The fabric I used is a light brown with a pale blue trellis pattern.  The pale blue is close in color to the Gossamer Blue paint on the cabinet, and it works with the suzani-type curtains.  I can't find the fabric online, but I got it at JoAnn Fabrics.

I'm positive the hardware is brass, and I scrubbed it with Brasso, but it was impervious to being cleaned. For now I've decided to just leave it alone.

Best of all, you can't see the mess behind those doors.

Next project, organizing all the stuff that is going to live in this cabinet.  Have you been following along with Pancakes and French Fries 31 Days of William Morris series?  I have found it really enjoyable and inspiring and am thinking of doing something similar when class is over and I have some more free time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thanks to a couple of muscle relaxers, tons of advil, and a really painful deep tissue massage I am feeling a bit better.  I can turn my neck, at least.  I have high hopes to actually do a diy project today.  I'd like to finally finish the china cabinet.  We'll see how it goes.


I haven't picked up the camera much lately, thus the lack of pictures of the kids. I did manage to take a few of the kids coloring and carving pumpkins this weekend, and Nonno took some pics of Grandma reading scary stories to the kids on the porch in the dark with a flashlight.  Greg is not a fan of scary stories and steadfastly refused to go out on the porch.  He's gotten really annoyed at Peter and Tess for repeating parts of the story during the day. "No! Don't say that scary stuff! Stop it!"

Painting and carving pumpkins:

Princess on the stairs:

Everyone now has their choice of at least TWO Halloween costumes.  Princess will either be a ballerina or a ladybug; Peter will be a black Spiderman (Venom?), or Optimus Prime, OR Darth Vader, and Greg will be Spiderman.  Note that all the Spidermans and Optimus Primes have large muscles sewn into the costumes, which seems to be very important to Greg lately.  He is forever talking about eating protein so his muscles can grow big and strong, and he and Peter flex their muscles and make grunting noises at each other.  They are 6 and 4, where on earth are they hearing this stuff??

Off to work on the china cabinet before class tonight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5, no, EIGHT Things I Am Great At

Yesterday Lawyerish had a post on five things she is great at, and I think that is a fabulous idea. I have been feeling down lately and I could use the pick-me-up, so I too am going to write about five (or more!) things I am great at.  I could only come up with three to begin with, but I took an informal poll (my sister and the Mister) and I got all the way to eight. (Well, even more actually, but I don't think that suggestions like "holding a grudge" are quite what I was looking for.)

1. I am a jack of all trades.  This has actually been a source of much discontent for me over the years---I feel like a jack of all trades, master of none.  I can do a little bit of everything, and I quickly pick up enough to get by on just about any topic. On the other hand, I wouldn't say that I am an expert in anything.  This has led to alot of feeling mediocre in everything I do.

But screw that!  This is a talent!  Lets rephrase, shall we?  I have a vast breadth of knowledge on a variety of topics.  I may not have depth in any field, but I have breadth across a number of fields.  I can quickly assimilate enough knowledge on just about any topic to have a knowledgeable conversation on it.  I can't turn out pleated swags or a haute couture outfit, but I can sew simple pillows and curtains.  I can't replace my transmission, but I can change the oil in my car.  I know a little about a lot.

2. I am persistent.  Most of my life this has been called "stubborn" and "bullheaded" but guess what, persistence pays off.  If I really want something, I keep going where a lot of people would give up. This make me a good advocate for things I believe in.  I would prefer my epitaph to read "bullheaded" than "she did what she was told".

3. I have a talent for telling funny anecdotes.  I am not a writer in the sense that I come up with original stories, but I can take crap that has happened to me and turn it into something funny.

4. I am an awesome big sister/daughter/daughter-in-law/family member.  I credit my asshole ex-boyfriend for this, ironically enough.  His only best redeeming quality was that he placed incredibly high importance on his family.  That impressed me at a time when I was doing everything I could to get as far away from my family as possible. (Ah, the teen years.) (Also, note to early-twenties self: if your boyfriend of eight years says for the eighth year in a row that he cannot visit your family at any point during the month of December and January because you "should spend Christmas with family and loved ones", guess which list you are not on?)

These days I talk to my sisters nearly every day.  I make it a point to see both sets of parents on a frequent basis.  Not only that, I LIKE hanging out with our families.  Which is a good thing since they comprise 90% of our social life.

5. I am an excellent suitcase-packer.  I got this from my mother.  I am not quite as good at as she is (she packed an entire household into five suitcases when we moved to Jamaica in the 80s), but she taught me how to cram as much as possible into a suitcase.

6. I am a good reader. That sounds dumb, doesn't it.  I love to read.  I have lamented that since having children, I rarely have time to read books anymore.  Then I realized that's not true--I may not be reading books anymore, but I follow over 300 blogs.  I have simply shifted the medium in which I am reading.

Little known fact: I am a speed reader.  Not intentionally, really, its just how I have always read.  Diagonally down the page, picking out phrases. This does not work if you need to retain what you are reading.  Then I have to slow down and go through each word. This is probably why I shy away from "literature" and stick to vampire romance novels.

7. I am creative.  I never would have said this about myself a few years ago.  Since becoming interested in design, though, I've discovered new facets to myself.  I enjoy creating things, be it painting furniture or decorating rooms.  I wish that I had known this about myself earlier, I think I would have taken a different career track in my twenties.

8. I am not a great cook, nor do I enjoy cooking, but I make a few things really well.  I kick ass at making chocolate chip cookies, Italian lemon cake and pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes.

Quick, tell me one thing you are great at. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

oops, I did it again. For the eighth time.

I may have told this story already, but in 2004 I was working at a job that I hated.  I had two bosses, one of whom I loved, and the other one who made me dread going to work every day.  One morning I woke up with the usual feeling of dread and despair in my stomach, stared at the ceiling and thought, I wish I didn't have to go to work today.

I rolled over to get out of bed and felt a familiar crunching in my upper back.  I was immediately immobilized with paralyzing pain from the middle of my head to the middle of my back, having just sprained my neck for the second time.  Crap, I thought.  I should have been more specific about not going to work.

Lately I have been feeling crazed and stressed over a bunch of things going on.  Just last night I was wishing for a few minutes to just sit down and breathe.

You can see where this is going, right?

Yes, I sprained my neck again this morning brushing my teeth.  I am so talented. So I have plenty of time to sit on my sofa and just relax now.

Be careful what you wish for.  Because my "relaxing" involves pain, muscle relaxers, and children running amok in my living room since I can't drive them to preschool.

I am obsessed with this Beyonce song right now.  Princess and Peter are dancing around, shaking it.  Although Princess keeps asking for me to play some Alan Jackson on my computer.  :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Ugly Sofa Series

I've been thinking of starting an Ugly Sofa series.  Most of us have started off with an Ugly Sofa hand-me-down, or are living with the Purple Beast until the time is right to get a new one. But that doesn't mean you have to have an ugly room.  

I will make up a moodboard around an ugly sofa.  The main part will have a budget of $500 and will always include one pair of curtains, two pillows, and a 5 x 7 (or larger) rug.

I'll also include $500 of other stuff I'd like to put in, for a $1000 total. Beautifully furnishing an entire room completely from scratch is a wee bit more than $500 and won't be done in 24 hours unless you are a magician.  Also, keep in mind that the total would probably come to a wee bit over $1000, as my board is not taking into account shipping fees, taxes, paint, etc.

So! I present to you the first Ugly Sofa board.  This Ugly Sofa comes to you courtesy of my local craigslist.  Yes, somebody wants you to PAY THEM $75 for this sofa.

Rug, curtains, pillows: ($272)
1) 2 Hudson quatrefoil embroidered panels: $34
2) gold sequin pillow $38
3) 2 black pillows $20
4) cable pattern Flor tiles (5x7) $180

Other stuff: ($728)
5) Storsele chair: $119
6) arc lamp: $50 craigslist (this is a crazy steal on my local craigslist, these lamps go for alot more)
7) This Golden Nugget photo has a great 70s vibe, but I would take a picture of your local cityscape or downtown in black and white, blow it up large at PosterBrain and put it in an Ikea Ribba frame, all for less than $50.
8) 2 Ikea Rast dressers all Dorothy Drapered up: $70 (plus paint and hardware)
9) West Elm carved wooden coffee table $299
10) ZGallerie Brilliant Plaque $140

Seen a hideous sofa lately? Send it my way.  I am happy to take submissions for Ugly Sofas.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

anniversary presents (one good,

The third floor attic of our home is carpeted in an ugly green shag.  There is a little room off the main playroom, about 8 x 8, that we have turned into the Mister's closet and office.  There has not been much decorating in that room; in fact, its still not entirely unpacked.

Since the space is solely the Mister's, and the carpet is a hideous green, and I will never ever willingly get wall-to-wall shag green carpet in any other home we own, nor will I ever willingly decorate any space that I occupy with a sports theme, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to indulge the Mister's love of the New York Jets football team, whose colors are fortuitously green and white.  

I bought some Jets-themed fabric and made simple cafe curtains for the window.  

I also bought a Fathead Jets wall decal, which is basically the world's most expensive sticker.  HUGE MISTAKE.  Learn from my mistakes, people.  Putting up a giant decal, especially on a slanted gable, requires two people.  The wall decal is like extremely sticky saran wrap that will wrinkle in on itself at the every opportunity.  Think of contact paper, but 100 times more annoying.

This happened.

I was beside myself with rage by the time I put this stinking thing up by myself, FIVE TIMES.  Five times of trying to make it even.

 It is STILL crooked.  The lower half has wrinkles and rips in it from where it glommed onto itself.  Like contact paper, it bubbles in the middle.  

 At one point I thought that it was completely unusable because I could not get it unwrapped from itself.  Yay, Lisa, for wasting $90 plus shipping on a freaking STICKER that is a POS.  Luckily my children were napping while I was cursing incoherently.  

I can guarantee I will never ever buy another one of these pieces of sports-themed idiocy.  

The Mister, on the other hand, bought me a lovely present.  (As usual.  He is a much better gift-giver than I am. Remember the time I gave him a belt and he gave me a sofa?) Isn't the yellow a happy color for a rainy day?  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

greek key pillow shams

Thanks for all the nice comments about my over-sharing in this space; I appreciate your invisible internet friendship :-)


I returned the greek key duvet, it was too much pattern in the space.  I was hopeful that the greek key shams would work better--still a great pattern but much less square footage.

I think they look great, and will look even better with the navy blue duvet and chiang mai dragon pillows I will get around to buying eventually.  

Happy Anniversary

Eight years of connubial bliss today.

The Mister hates country music, but I always think of the Mister when I hear this song.

I love him so (the Mister, not Alan Jackson, although I do enjoy a man with a mullet and a mustache).  

Monday, October 10, 2011

weekend in Philly

This weekend, the Mister and I had a lovely trip to Philadelphia for our 8th wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Omni Hotel across from Independence Hall and the Occupy Wall Street protests.  Neither of us had been to Independence Hall since grade school, but unfortunately tickets were sold out for the day by the time we got there.  We tried to see the Liberty Bell, but the line was too long.  So we headed further up the mall to the Constitution Center, which was a lot of fun (we like historical stuff like that).

In keeping with eight years of tradition, we did not take pictures of anything we did, except for one self-portrait. Our life together is not exactly well-documented. Here is a picture of the Mister and I (me?) and my fourteen chins in front of the Constitution Center.

We had the most fabulous dinner at Union Trust, a steakhouse close to our hotel.  I had filet mignon with black truffle butter AND foie gras (and octopus salad and bitter greens with egg and pork belly, and some fresh pretzels with mustard), because I am over the top like that.  The restaurant is in a converted old-fashioned bank and is so architecturally interesting, with gorgeous millwork on the ceilings, painted a deep purple and gold.  Its a beautiful space and a delicious menu; I highly recommend.

On Sunday morning we met some friends for a really disappointing meal at XIX, on the 19th floor of the Bellevue hotel.  We have been going to this restaurant for a few years; in the past it had an amazing brunch, and its in a gorgeous space on top of the hotel.

Unfortunately they have made changes to their awesome brunch and it is no longer so awesome.  The food was not good.  The desserts were still pretty good, but I don't think we'll be going back anymore, especially for the price.  However, even though the food was disappointing, we still had a good time hanging out with our friends, so it wasn't a total loss.

Going back where we used to live has made me so homesick. I am almost at the point where I don't want to visit south Jersey because it just highlights how much I don't want to be in northern NJ.  I would move back there in a heartbeat but there is very little work in the Mister's field there, so its unlikely anytime soon.

Debbie Downer alert!  You know, sometimes I struggle with writing on this blog--is it a decor blog, a personal journal, a mommy blog, all of the above?  Does anyone want to read about my homesickness, and should I even be sharing this?  In any event, as much as I miss living in south Jersey, I love my husband more blah blah blah and I am lucky to have such first world problems.

To end this on a more positive note, it was nice to actually spend time with the Mister.  He has been working crazy hours for the past few months, and we haven't seen each other much.  Just relaxing with each other reminded me why I married this awesome guy, and it was a treat to spend so much uninterrupted time with him.

Our anniversary is tomorrow and I have a fun present for the Mister that I hope to have finished by the end of the week (timely, yes!).  I'll share when its done.

Do anything fun this weekend?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

school and robots, I'm a Giant

I've been driving into NYC for my design class at Parsons.  I do not mind driving into NYC. I can't say I like it, but driving in lots of traffic doesn't bother me.  What does give me agita, however, is ALL THE PEOPLE.  There are SO MANY PEOPLE in NYC.  Like, eight gazillion of them.  And they are all crossing the street at the same time.  The most nerve-wracking part of the trip is turning onto 14th St, going one block, and turning onto 5th Ave, because 900 people all reading their phones will cross while I keep inching forward, hoping to make the turn before the light changes again and not hit anyone.  Gives me a heart attack every time.

On days I have class, I leave home around 4 pm, and get into the city and park around 5. I walk down the block to Chipotle and have a salad. I usually read some blogs on my phone.  Its lovely. When I'm done I walk back up the block to the bank to get cash for the parking deck.

On Monday, I came around the corner, and coming out of a shoe store, was a woman in a leather robot suit.  I did not get a picture, sadly.  It was quite an attractive, tight-fitting leather robot suit--navy blue and red, had some designs on it, one of which was the Union Jack.  It was sort of like a storm trooper type outfit, made from leather pieces, affixed to a tight shirt and pants underneath.  She was wearing high heels and had a brief case.  She was also wearing a face-obscuring leather helmet that covered the top of her head down to her nose, with a slit for the eyes, leaving her chin uncovered.

No one looked twice at this woman.  I assure you, in my hometown, people would have looked twice, pointed fingers, and made loud commentary.  But this is NYC and people seem to embrace weirdness.

Flash forward to Wednesday. Same block, about 100 feet further up.  I see this:

Upon seeing the second robot, my thought was "is there some class at Parsons with an assignment that makes the students dress up like robots and go about their day?"  Because I feel like seeing two robots in three days on the same block seems like more than coincidence.

You might have seen the I'm A Giant! challenge going around blogland.  The challenge is to decorate a dollhouse in a fabulous manner.  The only problem is that wooden dollhouse are a gazillion dollars. Uh, no.  Luckily, my mom hasn't thrown out anything since 1960 and still had my old dollhouse from when I was a kid.

I had to laugh when my father brought it out of the car.  This dollhouse is the epitome of the houses we have looked at buying in northern NJ--dilapidated, hasn't been updated or cleaned since 1980, complete with prison-type toilet, lacking stairs and a fourth wall....well, no, we will probably find a real house with a fourth wall, but otherwise, yeah, looks the same.

I won't have the time to decorate an entire dollhouse by December, but I hope to do one room. Which room should I do? I am thinking of ordering some wallpaper samples (this one or this one) from Anthropologie as a starting point.

Bri at Me, You and a Wiener has gone all Kelly Wearstler on her dollhouse--check out this amazing furniture she created from Nerf gun darts.  Cuh-razy talented.

Are any of you doing the dollhouse challenge?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

not the right duvet

After mocking up a bunch of duvet moodboards, I decided to buy the navy blue duvet with the Greek key euro shams.  I drove an hour to the nearest West Elm to buy them.  When I got there....womp womp Euro shams.  Only the Greek key duvet.  Ok! I will take the Greek key duvet.

No. I don't like it.  Way too much pattern for me.

I wrapped the duvet around my pillows to pretend they were the shams.  That looks much better, doesn't it?

West Elm has a store credit card. While using the store credit card doesn't get you any big amount off, it does earn you $25 "Design Dollars" for every $250 you spend, and you get a bunch of Design Dollars for opening the card itself. Since we bought a bed and other stuff earlier this year, I've earned $75 Design Dollars that I had planned on spending on the Greek key shams.

HOWEVER.  Your Design Dollars must be spent ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  So, if you have $200 Design Dollars and want to buy a $5 trinket, you can't, unless you don't mind losing the other $195 Design Dollars.  Also, if you buy something with your Design Dollars and then decide it doesn't work in your room, the item is unreturnable for Design Dollars or store credit.  You could give it back to the store, but you will then be less your item and your Design Dollars.

So....I wasn't sure about the duvet, and knowing I couldn't return it, I bought it with real money instead of my Design Dollars, which expire soon, btw.  Now I have to drive an hour back there to return the duvet.

Or I could keep the duvet--its a lot of material and would make nice curtains for a room I don't have at the moment, wouldn't it?