Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pretty as a Picture

I have been perusing Etsy lately with a specific item in mind: prints for my gallery wall. I have been collecting art from art fairs for about 15 years now and some of that art has been prints; photos, paintings, photographs, paintings... and drawings. My mom and I had a deal that I could pick out one thing at every art fair we went to; with at least 10 in the Saint Louis area yearly, this has been quite a lucrative "deal". Lucky for me, she still does this! (She also still pays for my cell phone. I know, I am spoiled rotten!) I have the best mom in the whole world!

Anywho, only two of the prints out of my whole collection have been deemed acceptable for the LR wall. Some don't have the right feel, some are the wrong colors, and some are just plain strange. Like these guys, for instance:


My boyfriend at the time smoked and our house was decorated in a very New Orleans, Marie Laveau style. I thought it was funny and it matched the decor. Not so much now. I still think it's funny, but it definitely does not go in my pretty pink LR. It will go upstairs in the Library whenever I get to the second floor.

This one is a Xavier Nuez photo of a house... designed... decorated... well it's art of art, basically. There is a resident in Detroit who goes into terrible areas and "art's them up". You can read Nuez's version here.

There is a lovely Mooey Vuitton that made the cut, as well as a rendition of The Scream done in pastels called The Squeal that I have had since I was 12. I am also going to put up a few photographs I took in high school and college. But I still need to fill in the blanks. I want to do the whole wall, similar to this:


or this:

(Domino Mag) *sniffle*

But more, the whole wall, with the television in the middle surrounded by a frame. Which Mister is working on as I type this. I know, I am terrible right? He is working his little butt off to make me a ginormous frame, while I am sitting on my butt typing and socializing. I am spoiled by everyone I love... I am a lucky, lucky girl...

So far I have ordered this:

and this:

I also ordered these:




which won't go in the LR, but I couldn't resist their voodoo charm. I think I may suffer from a slight case of design schizophrenia.

Today I found Sharon Montrose and I LURVE her animal photos! I think I may buy two or three prints from her. Mister loves donkeys, so I thought this one would be especially fitting:

and I think this porcupine may be one of the cutest things I have ever seen:

I think this is a pretty funny take on a trend:

I like this guy, but I think $10 for shipping a piece of paper is a bit insane:

How about you guys? Any advice on the gallery wall? Any personal experience with your own? What about any prints/photos/art you think I shouldn't miss? Should I mix it up with a few mirrors? I want to do a couple of round/oval frames, but I think it's a bit intimidating to find something that fits well in the frame.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monkey Love

Enjoying the first lovely day to signal Spring...




Friday, February 19, 2010

Target, how I love you...

I bought this lovely, wonderful, totally-a-Crate-and-Barrel-knock-off lamp Tuesday for $29.99:


Here's the Crate and Barrel version which sells for $149.00:

I also bought this springy door mat:

So fun! I love it! It even matches my colors...  I never used to care about the weather or the seasons. In fact, I always liked Winter better than Summer, especially the fashions and boots, boots, boots! However, living with Mister has definitely made me more aware of the changing temperature and the light; he has S.A.D. and he gets soooo cranky in the cold. Bring on the warm, I am ready for it!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I want these drapes for my Living Room.


Ironically, they may actually be the same color, and possibly even fabric, as the grandma drapes I removed from the same window. 

And they will set me back over 400 big ones. Ah, sweet irony.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Living Room Progress

I ordered a rug for the living room. It has taken me months to narrow down my options and try to pin down a sort-of budget amount. I found dozens of beautiful rugs; all had to be shot down for one reason(size) or another(price).

I originally had planned on jute or sisal ala Young House Love and All Things G & D.

(Young House Love)

(All Things G&D)

This is actually the first rug Mister and I agreed on. 

However, upon touching a jute rug in person, I promptly changed my mind. I have sensitive skin and I know I will be rolling around on the carpet with the fur-babies, so plant fibers were officially out.

Since we have a flowered chair in the living room, I didn't think a flowered rug would look good. Which is unfortunate because there are some GORGEOUS flowered options out there. 

 This one is lovely and fairly inexpensive, but it only comes in your basic size options and I needed at least 8x11, prefer 8x12.


I think this was my favorite out of any of them and it matched the lime and turquoise theme I wanted to go with.  However, it would look disastrous with THE CHAIR. Grr. As would the lime and turquoise. So I toned down my colors and started my search again. 

I stole my wall color from Nicole at Making It Lovely, so I thought maybe her rug should be mine as well.

But Mister is not nearly as tolerant as Brandon and promptly vetoed the lovely Madeline Weinrib rug. And to be perfectly honest, I didn't realize how much a rug such as this one would set me back. 

Same with the fab Jonathan Adler rugs.


Okay, I know that's not a whole rug, but they've got those cranky photos that won't let you snag 'em. 

I love the idea of a geometric, semi-modern rug pattern with the flowered chair and the antique furniture. 


LURVE the zigzag option, but size was wrong again. 9x12 will cover either the fireplace surround or part of a doorway, 8x10 would be an island lengthwise. I wanted the rug long enough to only leave 6 inches between the rug and the walls and to bump the fireplace surround and hit the edge of the doorway. I want the furniture to sit ON the rug. That translates to 8'1" x 12'4".

One day, about a month ago I met my mother at a flooring store, because they are remodeling their kitchen (more to come on that). She wanted my opinion on the tiles and the flooring she chose. I started looking at carpeting samples and immediately fell in love with two options. Both Couristan, both pure wool, both pricey, but much cheaper than a "designer" rug. One option was a houndstooth that is not on their website. It was fun, funky, graphic enough to pop, but not overpower the room. I really liked it, but the color was a slightly yellow-ey tan and ivory. 

The second option was the Honeycomb carpet. 

It looks slightly pink in this shot and maybe it is, but it looked lovely with the walls and the chair and the wood floor. I am not getting the border around the edge and I am having it serged, not bound. I waited to order it immediately because my mother thought maybe her flooring people could get me a deal. They couldn't, it was even more expensive than the first place I priced it. However, the woman at her flooring place gave me the name and number of their to-the-trade showroom and they agreed to sell it to me for about $400 less than anywhere else. One caveat; they simply source the product, so I have to have it sent to someone else to have it trimmed to size and serged. Again though, the guy she recommended is significantly cheaper than my other options. He will trim it to size for $7.50 and serge it for $2.50/linear foot. Everyone else wanted $5/linear foot. 

I finally bit the bullet and had them order it on Thursday. Friday morning the woman I talked to called me and said Couristan called her and told her there is a slight "bow" in the fabric. That it did not seem to be a problem when layed as carpet, but as an area rug, the pattern may not lay straight. I told my mom this and her response was "But you don't like bows"... Hilarious right? Um. No mom, a bow as in a slight skew. The woman said "Once you put all your furniture on it, you may not even notice it". If I am spending nearly a months salary on a rug, I don't want a maybe. I said "I need it to be perfect" and she told me "Now, nothing can be perfect". B.S. This rug is going to end up costing more than my couch or my television, for that kind of money it needs to be perfect. They ordered it in anyway and if it is noticeable, I can send it back, no cost. The new lot won't be in for at least a month, maybe six weeks. I finally make a decision and complications arise. Of course they do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weekend Excitement

This woman drove off the embankment onto our property on Sunday afternoon.


The Fire Department showed up, but she sent them away.


This is the back of my truck in our driveway, to give an idea of how close she was. 
 A tow truck came and pulled it out Monday afternoon and they drove it off. Literally. One of the guys got into the car and off they went. 
So, if you plan on driving your car off a small cliffside, you may want to think about a Chevy Cavalier.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monkey Love


Sooo.... Sleeeeeepppppyyyy......

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Have you seen this? How to clean the inside of your monitor - So funny:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Apparently the ShoppyBag email program that has been flying about is a virus. I received it, opened it, and accepted it. I haven't had any problems so far, but you may not want to open any emails that say "Your friend is a member" or "You've been invited" or whatever for awhile. Just a heads-up. I apologize if I caused anyone else any ill effects by allowing it into my address book.

Etsy Crazy!

My cousin is turning 18(!) on February 18th!

(Second from the left)

(That's Mister's bike)

She loves fashion and she's funky and eclectic. Remember I told you she made her own dress for Thanksgiving?

I got her a book on sewing knits and the Sartorialist, which she saw on my coffee table and started looking at when she came over and I wasn't paying attention, so at least I know she'll like it!! And she loves headbands, so I decided to get her a fun headband from Etsy. It took me days to make a decision, there are so many fun options... I love Etsy! Here is the one I finally picked:


Pretty, right? I hope she likes it! 

While I was looking at stuff for her, I found stuff for me to! Etsy's going to be my downfall...

Pretty Thistle Birds Pillow Cover

Cotton Pink Pillow Covers (Pair)

I also bought some prints for the Living Room. I want to do a gallery wall behind the TV console, just as soon as I decide what color to spray my frames: white or silver? What do you think? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bucatini with Shrimp Recipe

Bucatini with Shrimp
 4    tbsp olive oil 
1.5  lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
       Salt and Pepper 
1     onion, chopped
3     cloves garlic, chopped
1     cup white wine
2     cans (35 oz. each) San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed
1     tsp. red pepper flakes
1     cup torn basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1     lb. cooked bucatini
2     cups fresh buffalo ricotta

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
2. Cook shrimp about 3 minutes or until partially cooked through. Remove shrimp from skillet; set aside.
3. Heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook three minutes or until softened. Add wine.
4. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta. Return shrimp to skillet; add basil and continue simmering for 5 minutes. 
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over hot pasta. Dollop with ricotta and garnish with basil if desired. Serves 8. 

This is a very simple recipe, good for last minute dinners. 

I have changed it up over the two years I have been making this:

I rarely use ricotta, because it is pricey and would probably go bad before I remembered to use it, but it is delicious if you do use it. 
I also use whole wheat linguine or spaghetti in place of bucatini, but it's only because I don't know what bucatini is! lol 
I substitute vermouth for the white wine, because it is easier to keep around the house. Plus, the whites I like are WAY too sweet for cooking. 
I also substitute Hunt's 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes for the San Marzano, b/c Mister is weird about his tomatoes. He will only eat Hunt's. I use two cans to cut down the recipe, one plain diced tomatoes and one with green chilies to add a little something extra.
AND I use pre-cooked, tail-off frozen shrimp from Costco. Much easier - I HATE deveining shrimp.

So, obviously, this recipe is incredibly adaptable to your palate and your crowd size. 

Try it, it's delish!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monkey Love


Mister decided he need a truck that he found on Craigslist, (in Indiana!!), so we packed up the fur-babies and drove to Indiana on Saturday. Long story short; the kid lied, the truck was crap, and we went all the way back home empty-handed. Fun, fun!! But the babies love riding in the truck and I slept most of the time... Plus, I got to eat Steak N' Shake for lunch, which is pretty exciting, cause we never, ever eat fast food.