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I must have subconsciously hoarded Leia stuff over the years.  I did not go to the store for any of this, and just made the belt out of duct tape.

I wore my wellies all day in hopes that my little one would want to go out in the snow.  He didn’t.

Are we living in some kind of parallel universe?

Today, I didn’t leave home, which was nice.  Usually it drives me nuts not to get out before 10, but today we even caught a little bit of Sesame Street.  I admired my new pot rack, cozied up with some blankets and some favorite books, and even found the strength to part with some more Christmas decorations.  You can see Hobbes is looking upset, but I told him Valentine’s Day was around the corner and he chillaxed.  A little.  (By the way, isn’t he cute? My cousin Lynn “Winn” made him for Christmas and give it to us with a Calvin and Hobbes book!)




























Oh, wellies…..

Anthro does it again:  If they’re not putting colors together that I thought would clash-0-matic, then they’re putting together vignettes that you would think would totally bomb.  Frayed, off center fabric?  It works so well because the warm-cool colors offset each other, especially against that white backdrop.  Then they added more texture, depth and interest with the weathered frames (and one gilded one, an old standby trick for even more added interest) , and you have a total winner.


I’m thinking of making cards and prints of these.  I would buy them; would you?


My husband is related to the blushing bride.  Isn’t this a beautiful (albeit chilly) wedding?  Photography is by BenjHaisch.

Um, Victoria, how come your apartment has to be so awesome?  Your spaces are always like they were made for me, except they weren’t because you don’t know me.  Also, I get your whole, black-white conundrum.  It is not schizophrenic to like them equally because they are two sides to the same coin.  Also, I need those pink pillows.  Victoria’s spaces are always in my top 5….okay, top 3 of all time.  If you’ve never experienced the constant eye candy that is, it’s time to go to there right now.

Because I heart hearts and I heart shells!   This is hanging in my stairway and it makes me happy!  Some of the bits of broken dishes are from our trip to Skye.  So the dishes could be really old?  I don’t know.  Pretty, though.  I wanted to tell you about one of my new favorite stores having a sale.  It is bound to be one of my old favorite stores.  I can’t get web images to load right now, so…should I tell you?  Oh, FINE.  Okay.  Land’s End Canvas: check out their sale section!  I’m going to be back with a Warm and Cool post of a couple things I’ve ordered.  I’m trending preppier all the time.  I think, in my heart, my style falls somewhere between Arwen of the Elves and Zena Warrior Princess, but the boat shoes I’ve got ARE comfy and cute and mold to my hobbit bunion feet.  Thanks again for those bunions, Nana!  

Wasn’t I just whining that the peony season was over?  Lo and behold I picked up some frilly pinks at Costco the other day!  And the Essie nail polish…well, I had to see what all the fuss was about.  I picked that up at Target.  Pretty!  My only complaint is that I didn’t go neutral enough.  I have a hard time buying neutral because I think, “Oh, but this brighter color is so much more interesting and I’m just throwing my money away on Boredomsville!”  I should learn to trust my gut.  Live and learn.

P.S.  Lonny for July/August is live.  Whee!

I could go on about peonies all day, every day.  They are so incredibly sexy.  They’re unapologetically frilly, headily perfumed but not gaudy.  And yet…they are ROBUST.  They can stand neglect, sun, and freezing temperatures.  They are unassuming, regular little plants for most of the summer except particularly in June when they flame out with incomparable glory.  Then they go back to being little green plants as if nothing at all happened.  They live in quiet, confident faith that next June will be just as glorious.  Peonies, you are my hero.

It struck me afresh today how sometimes the most taken-for-granted things, like these broken sand dollars, hold such exquisite beauty when we ‘learn how to see’.  I never did find a whole sand dollar.  Before this trip I wasn’t sure it was legal to pick them up (our research leads us to believe it is, in the state of Oregon).  So I bought some whole sand dollars at a junk shop for $5 to get that out my system before we even went.  But these broken beautiful bits, so freshly washed up on the beach share currently captivate me more.  They really are bones, yes?  The exoskeletons of beetles and roaches leave us shivering but these starry, bony darlings are so accessible.  Like the inside of an apple, only they wear their stars proudly on the outside.  Imagine the skill it would take to etch this pattern by hand. And look at the little sections of calcification, almost like crocodile skin, showing light in the middle and dark around the edges.  

It tickles me that for this image, my camera tried to choose the ‘mountain scenery’ setting.  Looking inside the sand dollar reminds me of being in another world…or perhaps Mammoth Cave?

                              Inside bottom of the sand dollar.  Look at all those bony striations.


Bottom Dollar.

            I liked how these pieces of rounded driftwood mimic rocks!   How very stylish and modern of you, ocean!
Gathered rocks back at our rental.

Like most people I like a good before and after!  I bought this mirror from Becky’s Consignment in Richland, for $7.  I added some fresh paint and it looks like a viable mirror.  Also, what should I do about those gold lamps?  Leave them or new shades?  It’s funny, over the years, Ben has gone from not caring what I do with the decor, to saying things like “Isn’t it getting kind of GOLD in here?”  He has developed his own aesthetic, and now I have to stay one step ahead of him.  I was going to paint the mirror, all along, promise.  Not because I hate gold but because (whisper) it isn’t even metal!


Oh, they say when you marry in June, you’re a bride, all your life; and the bridegroom who marries in June gets a sweetheart for a wife!  Hello friends! I said I would stop gushing about my own anniversary after it was over, but because we and so many friends got married in summer, I still have weddings on the brain.  Enjoy these beautiful dresses (and the photography; not too shabby either!)

From Alexandra Grecco’s Etsy Shop

This little number below is from ktjean’s Etsy shop.

From J Crew Wedding


From bridalblissdesigns’s etsy shop

From andie mcguire’s etsy shop

Dorado Office Chair-$149.99 Target.  Already out of stock.  Come back!  3 out of 4 reviewers liked this one.

 Ikea Snille Chair-$22.99 

Ikea Henriksal Chair–  It’s upholstered so it’s got to be more comfortable than the chair I’m sitting in now.

Ikea Skruvstka Chair– $149.  Husby might go for this one!

 Crate and Barrel Ripple Ivory Leather Office Chair $299.00 Uh. Oh.  Husby is going to want this one. Me too, but what a splurge!  I am going to try to talk him out of something I want.  Why do I do this?  And look at it below, from the side!  Oh, you sweet thing you!  Okay, in case you think I’m nuts for considering talking my husband out of this, I guess I should tell you my reservations.  Our double-desk is on carpet.  So, we don’t really need wheels.  It is also in a living space, so I’m wondering if we should go with a comfy upholstered side chair that can also double as a guest chair.  Not that guests wouldn’t want to sit in this number, but I just mean a more traditional looking non-desky chair.

Pantograph-For those of you who have never used these, I’ve just started and they are fun!  When I’m working on a portrait that will be done to a much different scale than the original photo, the pantograph can be a good way to change the scale accurately.  It traces over the orignal with a ‘dummy’ pencil and creates an enlarged (or reduced) version with the other pencil.  You just choose the ratio and put the pantograph together on the ratio you want to use.  I have found that, sadly, it does not replace the need for drawing ability, because it doesn’t really make the person’s face look like the person.  But, it can give you helpful landmarks so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Graham and Brown Wallpaper– I find this inspiring!  I don’t think it will go in my office but in the closet near my office.  It’s a hogpile and I think putting this special paper in it will invite order.  When I have a chance to put up little pieces of artwork, it motivates me to be neater.  See?  All those psychology classes paid off.  I’m tricking myself out of being a slob!

Dear friends,

I just had to share this image with you real quick.  If you’ve been reading along, you probably know what I like it.  White.  Balloons.  Sleep. What’s not to like?  Hope you have a nice weekend and sleep on some white balloons.

via here

…call them what you like.  Make them as fancy as you like. They can be a file of tear-sheets, fancy bulletin boards or elaborate almalgamations including 3D items.  But it needs to be what you like, uncensored.  The point of the exercise is to find out what you really, really like.  Before you make any kind of decision involving anything visual, it is good to know what you really like.  Perhaps this is where a counterexample comes in handy.  I painted our back office in our old house Kelly Green.  A fine color, but not me.  I saw this amazing office in a magazine and I emulated it; even hunting down an accent fabric. It turns out I was really in love with the accent fabric, and the way the warm fabric played against the Kelly green.  But it wasn’t really ‘me.’  I once read in a book on prayer not to ever thing you are ‘above’ the Lord’s prayer.  Well, in the world of the visual creation, do not think you are above the moodboard.  I almost made this mistake, thinking I knew myself pretty well.  After all, I have collected tearsheets over YEARS now; I ought to know, right?

But when you see my large mood board, the themes are undeniable.  I like lots of white!  There are pops of color, and the warm-cool combinations I like so much.  But there are mostly quiet tones.  I also digress sometimes into rainbows; they are so happy.  But the mood board helps me understand what quantities to use–as in, much white, little color.  Also, it has kept me from getting too ‘glam’ in my furniture choices.  I like humble, earthy, rough feel; nature and flowers inspire me.  I LOVE sparkle and girly things, but usually in juxtaposition with something grounding, like a tree stump or a rock or a piece of coral.

I should mention that there is a censoring process once you’ve amassed a lot of images.  For me, it consisted of moving items to the front of my original file.  Items I wasn’t as taken with moved to the back.  I realized that some things I liked because they were trendy or well-presented, some things I liked because they were ‘me.’  And those are the things I have always liked, deep down, and always will like.  That isn’t to say our tastes don’t change somewhat overtime.  What this exercise is meant to establish is a baseline.

        For another post on this blog about learning what you like, click  here:

Good morning!  Here’s a fun project you can do with buttons.  It takes patience, but the skill level is easy!  Try not to burn your fingers with the hot glue.