Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Living room progress

INTERRUPTION! I'm already taking a small break from my new years revelry...

In my small number of posts, I've probably spent too much time talking about our living room. But that's because it's the room that I most want to be totally us. It's the first thing you see when you walk into our house, and ideally, it's where I'd love to see our family spend the most amount of time together. The problem is that I spend way more time thinking about it than doing anything to it. It's the only room that I haven't really experimented with paint or pattern. What I want is peaceful, simple, light, airy, and cozy, but what we've had is boring, sparse, and a little unwelcoming. As a result I've been hesitant to post about it because it kind of hurts my pride. Well, one new year's resolution is to be a bit more transparent and less concerned with perfection on the homefront. So here it goes.

BEFORE: when we bought the house...

DURING: just after we moved in...
A FEW MONTHS LATER:

CURRENTLY:
Unfortunately, my mother in law's trip to South America did not yield any baskets (the ones I had in mind are actually form Africa anyway) however she did seek them out in five countries, God bless her, she's the absolute best. So for now, my ikea plate chargers and serving bowl are standing in. I like their shapes and textures too. The bold ethnic floral pillow is made from a Michael Smith fabric memo that I rescued from the wastebasket at work. I'm the world's biggest scavenger! there are still alot of things that I'd like to add and fix up before it feels complete to me. The biggest things are the lighting and the rug. Right now everything is sort of floating and the lovely orange honey stained floor clashes a bit with our furniture.
The other side of the room still needs some love, so when we get to it, Ill show you that too.

Monday, December 28, 2009

beauty's an addiction

I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm completely addicted to beautiful things--landscapes, my daughters (people in general--one of the reasons I love photography), rooms, vignettes and tablescapes (I could just sit and stare at a beautiful table vignette forever, scary), blogs (blogs especially because there seem to be an infinite number of creative minds all pouring out their perceptions of beauty for all to see)--to the point that real life sometimes falls by the wayside. I feel like I need an extra day in the week just to absorb, look at, and reflect on beauty--sounds cheesy, but it's a struggle and a problem! I notice it especially with blogging here because I could spend 5 hours sifting though beautiful images that I've collected or photographed, and in the end I run out of time to actually share them! Does that happen to you?

SO, as 2009 draws to a close, I'm going to celebrate with my favorite pictures from the year. Tonight let's start with people and events since they're the most beautiful! Mostly chronologically starting with the summer...

This is what our backyard (and girls) looked like for a good part of the summer. Our neighbors love us.
I wish everyday was 4th of July! We had our second annual Independence day party with my sister/next door neighbor, and this year we were blessed with sun, 200+ plus friends, and a long, long night of rowdiness (I mentioned our neighbors love us, right?)
Cousin summer time
DC has the best selection of carousels. We like to visit them all!


I love this picture! It was taken on the hottest day of the summer. We were invited to Gianna's derby birthday party, and I don't think I ever had so much fun snapping pictures. Kids! In hats! On horses!My grandmother's house is the strangest mix of chaos and peacefulness. My mom is from a huge family, so half the time it's overflowing with people (40 + grandkids!), but when it's summer time, it goes through a magical transformation especially if you go into her garden. She never seems to be concerned with plants being a little too untamed or overgrown or kids being a little too messy, ad that's what makes it so peaceful. It's a wild sort of beauty, and it's even more beautiful to see my girls making the exact smae kind of memories I had in her garden growing up.


All for tonight! Sleep's beautiful too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Countdown

Ornaments are being hung...
(and some branches are getting all the love :)

Candles are being lit...
Christmas treats and ornaments are being made...
and trouble too...


And we're enjoying the remnants of the weekend blizzard...
I think Christmas is the season that we enjoy our home the most, especially since having kids who get excited about all the little details.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sick days ...

are really craft days around here. I know I'm probably creating a couple of hookie-playing monsters, and it's most definitely going to come back to bite me in a few years, but today I embraced the idea of the sick day and totally took it as a chance to stay home and indulge in some projects that we're making for Christmas presents.

The morning started with a lot of little coughs and a couple runny noses and a claim of a sore throat, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that they were up too late last night consuming way too many cookies while swapping germs with 10 + kids under the age of 4 at the cookie making party we had with our neighbors at our house...
Regardless of the cause, the girls weren't up for rough day of pre-school, it can be so demanding afterall, so I let them do this...
But that turned into this...





































And so we just gave up being sick, and did this....

picture of illness ...
But I can't show you what we made yet, because they may just be coming your way :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More living room inspiration = more linen, raw wood and old textured things

My mother in law if off to South America next week, and has promised to look out for some shallow hand woven baskets like these. Rather than a lot of color, we're going for a lot of texture, with a few saturated accents. Right now I have this torn out magazine page on the wall where I'm hoping my dream baskets will go.


we are on a hunt for a good natural fiber rug, and after seeing this jumbo-weave jute one, I don't think anything is going to be able to compare.


(above images from the June/July Issue of Interiors Magazine, below images from Simple Home)
If I could crawl inside a book and live in it, this would be it. Mark and Sally Bailey have an incredibly peaceful and natural aesthetic that's warm and comfortable while still being refreshingly spare.

The beams! Or post-war brick colonial would look so silly with rough hewn beams, but I still dream about them. I've even tried to convince my husband that it might not be such a bad idea to remove the ceiling between the top floor and attic to expose the joists. It's only a matter of insulation and a few dollars afterall :)

I have a few pieces of pottery that my mother made me in high school, and I'm using the image above as my arrangement inspiration, minus the ladder (although I wouldn't put up a fight if the Bailey's decided to send it my way...)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent Mantel

It will be at least another week before we deck the halls, however, now that we're two weeks into advent, I'm making a little progress on our advent mantel. Does time move as quickly for everyone else? I always feel a little queasy when I hear Christmas music in the stores before it's even Thanksgiving, but those retailers may be on to something. I always have a lot of crafty good intentions about how I want our home to look for advent, however, it usually takes a couple of weeks to translate any ideas into real life. Oh well...
we found this antler in my in-laws back yard!

This year I've been on a major purging mission, getting rid of nearly everything that we don't love or don't use, but I continually make one guilty exception. I work for a textile company, and I've been slowly hoarding away beautiful discontinued fabrics whenever we get in a new line. A year and several bins of textiles later, I finally put a few pieces to good use by making them into a stocking style advent calender. Some of the stockings have small treats, and others have little scrolls with the picture of the nativity figurine that the recipient gets to place in the manger. My girls have been eagerly awaiting it's completion!



Last year, I fell in love with Martha Stewart's moss wreath, and haven't been able to let go of the idea, so I attempted to make my own...but it was way harder than I anticipated. I didn't research the process before I started--bad idea...instead I grabbed some sheet moss and a twig wreath at the florist and attempted to bind the two together. Well, it didn't exactly turned out as I had hoped, and the front of the wreath looked awful--like someone had glued green felt onto a wreath form. So, not having the patience to do my research and go back to do it right, I opted for the "rustic" (slacker ;) version by flipping the wreath around backwards to reveal the twig form with patches of moss from the front showing through. Still not perfect, but I'm growing to like it.
and I'm forcing paperwhites for the first time this year. I'm so excited, I love the smell, and love love the idea of something so beautiful blooming just in time for new years.


So there you have it!
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