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Monday, June 29, 2009

Where the Quaint Things Are

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

~ John Lubbock

While I am on my week long sabbatical I thought you might like to visit the blog my first born has created. It is entitled "Where The Quaint Things Are". Her blog is vastly different than mine. Yet, there exists a common thread that is woven throughout our lives as women. The Fashionista is deep, poetical, musical, and captures the spirit of youth in her musings.

I truly adore her.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"It was the best of times....

It was the worst of times..." as written by the immortal Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities.
Yes indeed, what a week. First up, the best of times.
In this gloomy real estate economy we found that we could either help the Fashionista rent a studio apartment for $700+ a month or we could buy a 2 bedroom condo for a bit less and rent out the second room to help with the mortgage. After a exhausting search and nerve racking bidding war battle we can now proudly say we are about to become slumlords. Yes, that will make Rudi a slumdog. :) The property was a foreclosure and it's transformation to our version of The Plaza will provide great design material for this blog. There is indeed great work to be done and it is a good thing I always keep my rose colored glasses and inner Eloise on hand.

Secondly we found out the Fashionista had earned a highly coveted position as a display intern at a store that is famous for their ingenious and highly creative displays. She is working on the fall installation. I will let you guess which store, here is a small hint.

This of course was followed by the worst of times. I heard about Ed McMahon first. As I am from a generation where 11pm was WAY past my bedtime it didn't effect me like it did others. But then there was Farrah. The Farrah of Charlie's Angels. A show which we were not supposed to watch as it was deemed "too sexy" by my mother. Her passing brought back a funny memory of my brothers hiding a certain poster along the back wall of their closet and making sure they shut the closet doors when they left the room. You know the one....

But Michael. That is a whole other story. Off The Wall was the first cassette I ever owned.
I had loved him in the Jackson 5...ABC...I'll Be There...Rockin' Robin... I was in the 6th grade when the world learned that Michael Jackson didn't really need his brothers as a backup, he could stand on his own two amazing feet.

Then came Thriller. Was anyone else 14 and mesmerized when he premiered the Moonwalk on Motown 25? I can remember sitting next to my bff T, looking at each other, jaws gaping open with disbelief soon followed by "What did he just do?"

What about the world premiere of the video Thriller? You know, back when they actually played music videos on MTV. My friends and I had never seen anything like it. We practiced the dance moves over and over in our stocking feet at many a pajama party. I myself practically wore out both my mother and the album section of "Beat it" by playing it over and over. Let's have a show of hands of who had a black, white or red jacket. I often borrowed my friends red vinyl version. We couldn't afford leather.

Like Princess Diana, Michael was one of the first celebrities to be hounded by the stalkarazzi. He revolutionized not only song, but dance and fashion as well.
The fashionista and I were waiting for the day tickets went on sale for what was to be his comeback.
Sadly, when combining his immense talent with
his wealth and fame he was a target for many who wanted to make a easy dollar. Sure, he didn't make the best decisions sometimes. Of course I imagine that all of us would have some sort of dirty laundry to show if we were followed 24/7. In the end, as it is with all of us, it is between him and God.

Soon after I got the call that no mother wants to get...

The Fashionista is thankfully fine as is the other driver, but my nerves are totally shot.
I am not sure if the whole real estate bidding war coupled with Mr. Decor's absence and the accident was too much for me but later that night my head was spinning. Literally. I couldn't walk in a straight line and this resulted in severe nausea, among other unpleasant things. I finally had the fashionista take me to the ER after a really rough night and was diagnosed with benign positional vertigo ~ an inner ear condition.

That said, I am on bed rest. Of course I want to do it in style, so I have dug out my sparkly socks and loafers to wear while I am loafing it.

I'll see you in about a week my friends.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friendly Friday: Arlynn's Home

I am currently working on a commercial remodel and design of a condo clubhouse. It is a large job and I am partnering with my dear friend Arlynn who is a decorator herself. During one of our meetings to discuss plans for the remodel I took a few pictures of her home. I love this art that hangs in her office. Although her kids are now grown, it is still precious.

The home itself is built in the Spanish Colonial style. Within its four walls Arlynn has cleverly combined various design styles~ which is known as eclectic. It is the most challenging of the design styles and Arlynn is a master.

Many of her pieces were scored at estate sales.

Everything is warm and welcoming.

Cozy corners.
Art shows up in the sweetest and smallest of forms.

Table side vignettes.

This art group is a great example of eclectic. Although each piece is vastly different, it works due to color palette, scale and the hanging of the pieces gallery style.

Another grouping. Balance is the key.

Simple elevation with books is always a great way to achieve balance.
Lamps anchor the collection.

Art is even on display in the master bathroom. Arlynn loves to change things out seasonally. White looks fresh for summer.

Who knew the Marlboro man and French provincial furniture could get along so well?

I love the sconces on this wall.

Here's a close up.

The crystals are just the right amount of sparkle.
If she wants to add sparkle elsewhere she can just detach the magnetic crystals. Brilliant!

Do you decorate eclectically?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Montezuma's Castle

Earlier this spring my family traveled to the Verde Valley area of Arizona to ride the Verde Canyon Railroad and visit Montezuma's Castle. For some reason I forgot to blog about it until I received a few inquires from readers wanting to know when I would be doing another post featuring historical architecture. Better late than never! :)

Here is sweet boy with Cubby the cub scout mascot. Cubby is awarded to various cub scout for a week throughout the year. He is supposed to accompany the scout everywhere.

Montezuma's castle is an impressive 20 room, 5 story structure built 70 feet off of the ground. It is located in the recess of a white limestone cliff. The cliff dwelling was created by the Pre~ Columbian Sinagua Indians in the 12th to 14th centuries. The castle was named for the Aztec emperor by European Americans who mistakenly thought it was created by the Aztec people.

The Sinagua people built a series of ladders that allowed them access to the dwelling. Although you are able to walk amongst the ruins and foundations of other dwellings on the property, the castle itself has been closed to the public since 1951.

The Sinagua people left the area around 1425. The reason they abandoned the dwelling remains a mystery. Speculation lists possible illness, drought, or warfare with the Yavapai people. Modern Hopi clans can trace their lineage back to the Sinagua people and they occasionally return to the dwelling for religious ceremonies.

The trees on the property were just beautiful. The bark had a pattern unlike any I have ever seen before.

It truly was a perfect place to live (except for the snakes). Here is the lovely Beaver creek that runs right next to the castle.

A view of the castle area from the river bank.

All aboard! After visiting the castle it was a quick drive to the Verde Canyon Railroad. Cubby was going on this adventure as well. We were in the "Cottonwood" car.

A view of the front of the train engine as it was passing by.

During the four hour trip we saw elk, rabbits, deer, and eagles. It was nesting season and boy do eagles make HUGE nests! There was also pretty scenery to be found such as the traditional red rock of Arizona.

It took me a long time to learn how to appreciate desert beauty. But I fully enjoyed the surroundings on this trip.

Although this historical post was vastly different than my previous architectural posts I hope that you have enjoyed it. Please contact me if you would like to request a historical post on other styles.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Makeover Metamorphosis for a Song

Last October a sweet bloggy friend of mine, Brooke, of Velvet and Linen fame, sent an invitation to attend the grand opening of her beautiful store, Giannetti Home. While at the event I noticed an entire wall of books had been covered in simple parchment paper. Hand lettered titles were added to a few of the spines. This simple bookcover treatment spoke to me and I put this idea into my "style file" ~otherwise known as "the brain".

It is now June and I am trying to create a more neutral~matte palette throughout our home. A thought occurred to me while making toast one morning.
This corner of our kitchen needed to be mattified. (No, it's not an actual word, but we're not playing scrabble. :)

The cookbooks had been purchased forever and a day ago at Michael's. I have never once used a recipe from the books, even though I cook dinner on an almost daily basis. But today was the day I decided I was done looking at Mexican Pasta.

I didn't have any parchment paper. As I am currently challenging myself to not buy anything else until my craft closet has been whittled down a bit (ok alot!) I needed to come up with another solution. Did I ever tell you that my Grandma Mary was a brilliant pianist? Well, she was. I am an ok (bordering on very poor) pianist. As a result I have tons of vintage sheet music lying around. The selection of sheet music as a cover for the books allowed me to put my own twist on a brilliant idea ~which I love to do.

Sure, the first cut is the deepest, but better that the music be seen than hidden in the depths of no man's land. (Seriously, Mr. Decor NEVER goes into the craft closet.)

The tools of the trade: Pencil, ruler, bone folder, and scissors. I used the old book jacket as the pattern. It actually took me longer to photograph the elements and write this post than it did to recover the books.

So, voila! I am still undecided on whether or not to take a sharpie and write "Recipes" or "Bon Appetite!" on the spine. This is where you come in. Input please!!!!

Using the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" method of thinking I decided I needed to cover a few more books. The next time I went to the grocery store I asked for paper bags. A few snips and a bit of glue led to seven covered books. Five of the books are tied together with basic twine wrapped three times and then knotted. Easy and inexpensive.

In another area two more books were covered and now prop up a pedestal of nested birds.

Of course I couldn't throw away the scraps of such yummy vintage sheet music. So I took out the handy dandy paper punchers and came away with a load of over sized confetti, scrap booking bits, or future price tags that will be ready when I next lose my mind and participate in another craft faire.

That's a wrap! (Sorry, I couldn't resist. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Father's Hands

My own father passed away before I was born. Growing up I was blessed as I child to have felt the love of a father through grandfathers, uncles and other kindhearted souls.

But I truly didn't understand the concept of fatherhood until Mr. Decor entered my life.
I knew that it would take someone very special to not just capture my heart, but also heal the broken heart of one very sweet little girl. He not only rose to the challenge, he exceeded all expectations.

A few years later sweet boy entered our lives all to early at just over five pounds. The image below of our three week old is indeed beautiful. But it doesn't quite capture everything. It doesn't capture the sweetness of this father singing softly and sweetly to his baby while rubbing the baby's back to keep him warm and calm. It doesn't capture the image of this father laughing and acting fast when repercussions of a diaper less shoot emerged. But most of all it doesn't capture the love and admiration I feel for this man, who thankfully is, the father of my children.

This Father's Day Mr. Decor will sit in a hotel room far from home. He is doing what great fathers everywhere have done for centuries, working to provide for his family.
But he is not alone, for he is truly, deeply and passionately loved by his family who anxiously await his return.