31 October 2011

Tricked Out


We have our pumpkins and mums promptly in place, and plenty of candy to give out tonight. But I've always wondered how to decorate for halloween tastefully. I can remember that as a child, I always liked walking up to the houses that really participated; now that I think like a mommy, I want to do the same. Here are a few DIYs that I have bookmarked (for next year.)

Here and above, bats made of felt placed around the doorway. Here is a template.

The White House did something similar, with black ravens (and another use for Christmas lights?) I love all the decor that they created for this year's festivities.  Check out the behind the scenes of the weekend preparations.

How cute are these pumpkin porcupines? And another clever use of Christmas lights.

27 October 2011

The Ubiquity of One-of-a-kind


Interesting article in yesterday's NYT about the trend of finding unique knickknacks to decorate your home is not necessarily unique. I think this is how any trend tends to work: stylish influentials show their chic wares in decor magazines; mass market retailers produce replicas for the laggards. Now anyone can look as if they shopped the Paris flea markets without setting foot on a plane.

Some of the retailers are doing it well, others seem to try to hard. Same goes with the consumers. It's all about creating balance in your home. I must say, Etsy is such a gem of a resource. Cut out the middleman and get something hand crafted that you like. I wondered many times as I finished the nursery how anyone decorated one without Etsy.

So where does this leave us? My decor mantra is based on 2 questions: Do I like it? Will I like it in 5 years? Or just follow what the Scandinavians do. I could live a very long time in any of these places.





(The top image is ironically, from the IKEA blog. Many beautiful pics, and you can read it in English in Google Chrome. Ubiquitous design for the world, but they do many things right.)



24 October 2011

Work Living

I began working part-time last week. Very fortunate for me, I mostly work from home on various freelance projects. This means I have begun spending a lot of time in the home office, which means I am somewhat distracted by the fact that we never painted and finished this room after refinishing the floors.

I have committed to dark blue walls in this room (a can of Silent Night is sitting in the corner.) Blue seems appropriate for a study/office; it means skills/knowledge/wisdom by feng shui standards. Plus, I love dark blue and have always wanted a room that color.


Although we have larger windows in this room, the overcast days to come in the winter season make me hesitant to paint the whole room in this hue, but rather create an accent wall against pure white. Then I came across this very cute blog last week. As seen in this image, I already have the requisite iMac, large desk surface, lacquered white chair, and Ikea shelving; in fact, this is pretty much the look I envisioned for my office.

My room layout is a bit restrictive with the location of the door and closet, and the daybed, which enables it to become a guest room when needed. Here is the room before (as it is now. No artwork on walls, how sad.) It will be complete by the end of the year (I hope!)

20 October 2011

Lost in Transition


I've debated on what to share in the blogosphere as of late. While my interests haven't changed too much, my lifestyle and priorities have. I started writing as a twenty-something attempting to share cultural and epicurean delights in Pittsburgh and beyond; now I find myself a thirty-something mama seeking baby-friendly items and outings (when I have the spare time.) Although please do not get me wrong: I still love talking design, decor and what new shoes I must have. And now, the cutest things for the little one, too.

On that note, I also have become a mama bear. It is one thing to share thoughts about myself on the interwebs; I am torn with what to say about my baby for anyone to google and see.

So. Please be patient with me. Mommyhood is the most significant and wonderful transition I have ever experienced. But I still want to find the time to write meaningful (and not so meaningful) things, and need a creative release more than ever. Please send any thoughts. I always like hearing from friends, new and old.

09 October 2011

Post Script


Other than wedding invitations and thank yous, this year I have sent out more snail mail than ever. First we announced baby's arrival, and I am still trying to work through a list of generous friends who have sent sweet gifts and to whom I owe a note of thanks.

In the day of email, texting and wall posting, I love nothing more than getting a handwritten letter in the mail.  I feel so cluttered with catalogs, penny savers, and and blah bills, that when a pretty envelope arrives in the mail, it can truly make my day. 

When I send things out, I try to choose my stamp and pen thoughtfully. So when I came across Ampersandity (via babble), I knew one of these handmade custom rubber stamps is something I need to make my envelope even more pleasing. I sometimes forget to write my return address. Never again! 


Also, it's nice to see a broader selection of more interesting forever postage aside from the dull Liberty bell.  



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