Saturday, July 28, 2012

Love This - and Did You Know?

I love this bedding from the Land of Nod fall collection - it's the Midtown Bedding.

The blue pillow could work for a girl's room - but hey Land of Nod, can you do this in a different color? :)

The taxi pillow is also really cool...if you've been reading for a little while you know my love for the city - Philadelphia and New York are my favorites.

And a little did you know...did you know this bedding is designed by Leah Duncan? I've admired Leah's work for some time now, and it was really cool to see her designing some bedding for Land of Nod. I also liked how the catalog featured bits about the artisan (a la West Elm) - nice work Land of Nod.

Here are a few of my favorites from Leah's shop...

a pretty tea towel...

and a fun pillow cover...

She does such nice work. I think the use of lines in Leah's work is really interesting and that you can see that influence in the bedding as well. And I love the modern southwestern vibe going on too. 

What catalog do you love browsing through when it arrives in the mail? Or what's caught your eye recently?

**All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way for this post  - just thought this stuff was cool and wanted to give earned props. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

John Robshaw Fabrics

Come join the next Mood Board Monday hosted by Sarah. Sarah has selected the inspiration item to be some knock-your-socks-off block-printed John Robshaw fabrics.

I love this quote in Robshaw's bio from his website:

"Textiles become intimate companions in daily life, whether as a pillow, bedcover, or sarong."

All of the fabrics are inspired by John's travels to Asia (and most recently Bolivia) and the techniques that he has observed to block print each textile. The process is really interesting.

Here are the textiles I'll be using as inspiration:

I have no clue what I'll be creating yet, but I'm sure something will strike me at some point. The fun thing about the Mood Board Monday's is that everyone's board is different and we all have a different way of interpreting the inspiration.

Head on over to Sarah's blog, Pewter + Sage, to see the other 2 fabric combos that you can choose from. I also want to point out that you don't have to create a design board in a specific program. You can take photos of items that inspire you or put together a collage of photos that help you bring together the look you want to achieve. I'm thinking about mixing it up a bit this time around - we'll see.

AND, I have to give her a big shout out, Sarah is going to be illustrating a children's book! I'm so excited for her.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Goodies

I'm sort of on a roll - of trying to get some things in order in our master. At least getting my "stuff" organized - remember my $1.00 yard sale find that I turned into scarf/necklace storage? Still working like a charm...I love being able to see everything at a glance and choose what I need for the day.

That still leaves my earrings and some more small items that I just need to corral and be orderly. I casually strolled into Phantastic Phinds the other day (one of my favorite home consignment shops that I've mentioned a number of times before) and of course walked out with 3 items. 

One of which...this Fire King ceramic dish with pretty gold detail trim. I'll be using it to organize my stuff at the end of the day, but I can easily swap it out for the holidays or company and throw some candy in there. Isn't it great? Made in the USA baby! (Ignore the beast - aka our dresser that I still need to paint. Annie Sloan here I come. I know it will be the LAST thing to happen in this room because I'm dreading painting it so much but it needs to happen)  

**The sweet bird dish was a giveaway I won from Marianne. And that other small dish to the right used to hold my earrings - I picked that up at a street market in New York a while ago. I think it's supposed to be used for sushi to hold soy sauce, but I wanted to use it another way.

And secondly, have you ever seen one of these Melitta ceramic filter cups? (Google them and you'll see multiple links and videos on how it works) I was intrigued and purchased. This is how I'll be using it for now until I can come up with a better way to display my earrings. Big improvement from just throwing them on a tray. Me + coffee anything + jewelry organization = happy camper.

{Does some of your jewelry tell a story? I always like how various pieces remind of you a time, person, or place. The big earrings you see there were purchased by me for me on my birthday this year. Two down from that was a gift for a good friend's wedding that I was in. They're storytellers!}

And all I keep thinking is...gosh, I really need to paint that dresser.

But I'll be happy with my new pieces that keep me a bit more organized. And I will share the third piece that I picked up in another post - I feel like I have so many updates to share.

What's getting you excited around your house these days?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Framed Up

One of the pieces we had picked up at the Manayunk Arts Festival needed to be framed. I took the piece up to our local framing shop (Coll's in Conshohocken - for any local friends - they're awesome!) and I got the call Friday that it was ready to be picked up {yay!}

Photo has a filter via Instagram

This abstract art is by Liz Williams. I remember when talking with Liz that she described her technique exactly as she does on her website. You can't tell in this photo (partially because of the filter) but the two areas at the bottom are actually textured pieces of paper or cardboard - and just layered and layered. I'll have to take a few other photos that capture the colors and texture a little better.

This is going to be going in our master bedroom, so once it's hung up I will take some more photos. Also happening in the master are new window treatments - and I'm excited. Should have photos in the next week or two and will post them.

Hope you had a great weekend. **PS - I officially went back to the gym for the first time in almost 2 years this past weekend - and it feels GREAT. I had a moment and just decided to do it. Now I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. If anyone has great fitness apps - please share! I'm doing My Fitness Pal and I also have a Nike app that does different 30 minute workouts.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Inspired - Color and Pattern

What colors and patterns are on your mind these days?

I was playing around with some fabrics the other day and love the pattern and color combination of these...would be so nice in a bedroom.

{Fabrics: Pink diamond - Duralee; Dots - John Robshaw for Duralee; Paisley - John Robshaw for Duralee}

Imagine the pink diamond fabric on a shapely headboard, the small dotted fabric for a bolster or some small pillows, and the paisley in a balloon valance. Switch out the pink to a solid and you've got a completely different look for the bedroom. 

Or this could even be the start to inspiration for a sophisticated living area to host friends and family.

The small dotted fabric has quickly become one of my favorite small scale fabrics. It's one of the selections in the John Robshaw for Duralee collection and comes in a few different color ways - all of which I love. It's a versatile fabric that can be used in so many different types of looks.

What colors and fabrics have caught your eye this week?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How About a Bam or Slam?

Today I'm at The Mustard Ceiling helping Elizabeth out with her Bam or Slam series, which is one of my favorite series to read each week. Every week Elizabeth chooses a design concept or item that is on trend, and puts it out there to her readers to weigh in on whether that concept or item is a "Bam" (woo too, love it, need it, would definitely do that in my home) or "Slam" (hated it, nope, no likey, not in my own home). You get the idea - it's a lot of fun!

Any ideas what I've chosen for this weeks topic? (if you haven't seen it yet)

Head on over to see and join the discussion...

And I can't forget a big thank you to Elizabeth for making my blog so pretty - she has played a major part and has been a major supporter for me over the past year. She is the best. I've done a few updates around here and have a few other things in mind as goals for the rest of the year. There's so much to think about when you have a blog - the content, the technical side, the readership - and I love every bit of it. And it's been a great platform to starting my decorating business too, which even more work but so rewarding.

Ok, enough babbling by me - have a fantastic day and let me know your feedback on my Bam/Slam topic.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

10 Pins/20 Words

You can tell a lot about where your mind is at by taking a look at your recent Pins. Here's what my Pins are saying about me...10 pins, 20 words. Here we go...

Comfy chairs

Fabric source

Source: via Holly on Pinterest

Rita Konig

Source: via Holly on Pinterest

Rita Konig

Clever storage

Bedroom styling 

Pesto yummmmmmm

Giannetti gorgeousness

Colorful artwork

Kitchen paint?

What do your last 10 Pins say about you? (in 20 words...) It's a fun exercise - you should try it too!

Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

PS - Have you seen the recent West Elm catalog? Let's just say I wanna run down there soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Toys and Storage

Do you frequent your local bookstore very often? One of our favorite places to go is Barnes & Noble which is right down the street from us. They have a huge children's book section and then another area with this Lego table. The table has 4 soft ottomans that can be moved around the table for seating.

Sheila loves to play at this table and manipulate the blocks into whatever. (She is talented but she did not build the structure you see in this photo - but those are her hands :) I love the inlaid amoeba like storage holes where the kids can throw the Legos for safe keeping. Have you seen one of these before?
And a bigger question - who wants to (or has already done) a DIY of this table? It would be awesome. I'm all about hiding the toys if and whenever possible, but sometimes it's just unavoidable.

I was reading a post by Casey the other day (she's planning their nursery!) and got me thinking about the pieces that I really love and find useful in Sheila's room. Mmmm...tough question but not that tough once I really thought about how we use the room now. We play and do puzzles, read, and sleep. Sheila's room is really small so with all 3 of us in there it can be tight, so we try to make the most of the space.

Those storage cubes that we have in Sheila's room are awesome. They hold lots of stuff - books, diapers, wipes, bags, etc. But now Sheila has actually enjoyed sitting on top of a cube and reading a book - it's really cute. And as you can see we can put books, wipes, night lights on top of the cubes too.
I was playing around with pillows the other day and decided to add this one into Sheila's room...for the time being.

For baby #2, I would probably get a new chair to have in the room. The chair you see here was given to me by my SIL and it's been great, but it's almost 10 years old and not comfortable at all (especially if you are doing a marathon nursing session or up at 3am). Hopefully we'll be in another house by the time #2 comes along and we'll have a bigger room to work with (another issue was size - this glider fit perfectly. A lot of gliders/chairs these days are huge - oh and I would want some sort of little stool or ottoman to put my feet up too. ha!)

Can you tell I've been thinking a lot about our future? And this is probably going to sound crazy, but I've already started thinking about decorating our next home. C'mon I can't be the only one that has done this :)

Ok, that's my brain dump for the day. What's been on your mind?

How do you handle toy storage at your house if you have little ones or have little visitors from time to time?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The 4th

Well you know it was a good week when I'm just getting around to posting about the 4th now. We had a really fun time with neighbors and enjoying the holiday in our town. Lots of random stuff to catch you up on...

We checked out a new coffee shop in town called Feine. They're in a great spot right on the main drag. The shop is in an old Victorian style house with lots of cool details inside. I loved this built-in corner cabinet with vintage coffee grinders.

Sheila loved the activity table that they had set-up for kids.

And another cute table they have set up for guests. All of the tables were made locally and assembled with reclaimed wood. I love that recessed area in the photo below. Since they have a track light highlighting it, I'm hoping that means they're waiting for some art to be installed. 

What I would give for one of these right now (this is from one of my other favorite coffee shops, Chestnut Hill Coffee Co.) This is the BEST latte that I've had in the area hands down. If you're in the area check it out, and if you ever come to visit this is definitely a must do/see/drink.

Ok, back to the 4th...we walked around town. It was hot so we got out early and then went to my MIL's for some swimming.

Last stop in check out the soapbox derby that is held every year on the 4th. It's quite the tradition in the area.

Back to house stuff. Below is one of the pieces of artwork that we picked up at the Manayunk Arts Fest, plein air art by Jeremy Shires. This is a painting of the bridge in Manayunk. These paintings are started and completed in one session, outdoors and on location. His work is really captivating - I must have stood in his tent for at least a half hour looking at all the different pieces of art he had displayed. I was torn between this one and another scene that he had done in Manayunk. The colors are what really drew me to this painting and to his paintings in general.

Instagram filter...

No filter...I have the painting propped up on a dresser in our guest room right now until we hang it. (I have a quick refresher planned for our guest room which I'll show you soon.)

I was browsing his site and I love this one too of the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC. He has some paintings on his website from Italy, Mexico, NY, and Cape Cod. Those were all areas he mentioned that he liked to travel to paint.

I told you this was going to be random...have you seen the new Naturals collection by Robert Allen? These are a few favorites...

And I'll close this post out with this little cutie-batootie...

It's been fun to see how everyone is spending their summer. I'm not rushing summer away at all, but I love the fall and can't wait for a cool day, a sweater, pumpkins, mums, and some coffee/wine (doesn't that sound nice?)

Have a great day!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Project Updates

Happy happy Friday my friends. This is the week of all weekends. At least that's what it felt like to me. But I'm glad that another weekend is upon us, which calls for R&R, house stuff, and family time.

I wanted to give you a few quick updates of some ongoing projects that I've been working on. The first is the e-design project that I was working on with Julie for her daughters room. The girls (ages 11 and 9) share a room and Julie needed some ideas on bringing the room together but at the same time keeping it young and fun for the girls.

Julie went right ahead and ordered the bedding that I suggested for both of the beds (you can see a peek of it on the right side of this photo). We went with a white ruffled coverlet for each of the beds and will be jazzing it up with some colorful pillows. Julie also ordered the new chandelier and had that installed (also can be seen at the top of the photo below).

I thought a drop-leaf table would be a great solution for this room. Julie wanted an area where the girls could draw, play games, do homework, crafts - anything you can think of. We eventually went with this table from IKEA and Julie is thrilled with it. 

See how nicely it folds down? So if the girls want to dance, sing, practice their cheerleading they can fold it right down and even put it behind the one bed for extra space. I'm so glad this table worked out for them. I know Julie would like to find some fun chairs for this space, but I think the folding chairs are a great choice for the interim.

She also went ahead and installed the picture ledges above the desk, and added some pieces of artwork and framed photos that the girls love so much. I'm so proud of Julie and the progress she's made already.

Next up are the draperies that are being made out of this fabric for the window you see above...

They're going to be beautiful - I can't wait to see them hung up.

And then I get a quick update from Christina - I'm working with her on sprucing up her office space a bit. I never showed you a "before" shot of the space we're working with - here it goes...

All of the desk areas were pushed up against walls. Christina's desk (the owner) is over to the far left of this photo near that doorway that you see. So if anyone comes through here, all they see are the backs of people. I wanted Christina's work area to be one of the first things they saw - and I wanted her to have a view of all areas of the office. Check out the progress already...

This is a different angle, but you can see how much more cohesive and professional the space looks with these matching desks assembled and set-up. (I think they deserve some champagne, don't you?) And Christina will be able to see incoming traffic and people that are entering her meeting area in the front of the building. I'm thrilled with the progress and so is she. There is still more to be done, but I wanted to show you how this alternative layout makes such a huge difference in workflow.

We'll be adding some fun artwork above the desks, and Christina has a few ideas for displaying paper and ribbons that they use but that can double as color and texture in the space.

There you have it - time for me to order some pizza and get my weekend started.

Have a great weekend - and thank you so much for your kind words on my blogging post. I think everyone agreed what a supportive environment this blogging world has provided. I continue to be inspired by the most creative, talented, amazing people each day. Cheers to all of you and enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gossip Bench - Part 2

I've made the decision not to paint the gossip bench (chair?) that I'm using as a nightstand on my side of the bed. I started to sand it a bit and I actually like the tone of the wood and the light weathered look it has. (Side note: That book that you see resting there is The Perfectly Imperfect Home and it is excellent. I can't put it down. Deborah Needleman just has a way about her writing that brings you in and you just don't want to put it down. Highly recommend.)

I got a chance to recover the seat in the navy fabric this past weekend. Here is the before that shows the red corduroy that was on the bench when I bought it (via Instagram filter):

Freshly recovered...

I love having an area to rest my books, magazines, cell phone, monitor, etc. 

This room is coming along...I should have some more updates for you soon.


We've got fireworks in the neighborhood tonight and then off to my MIL's tomorrow for some swimming and a BBQ. Enjoy the 4th!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

5 Thoughts on Blogging

Whether you've been blogging for a few weeks, a few months, a year, or a few years - we all know it's a wet and wild blogosphere. I love blogging. I love the friendships I've made. I've learned more than I ever thought I would - so here are a few thoughts I jotted down, 5 Thoughts on Blogging.

1. Blogging is like a 1000 piece puzzle. We've been teaching our daughter, Sheila, the strategy for doing a puzzle. Her puzzles are only 20 pieces or so, but I thought the analogy of a puzzle was quite appropriate to blogging. When first starting out, you know you have to start somewhere so often times finding that corner piece is the best place to start. It may take a while to find the pieces to fit into that corner piece, but eventually after some searching and some thought you find the next piece. And then after some persistence and some hard work, you find more pieces. You step away and think "wow, I've gotten a lot more accomplished then I thought". You may need to step away from that puzzle longer than you think and not for any specific reason, but you just need a break. And after that break, you come back refreshed and you are able to tackle the next quadrant or corner of the puzzle. Anyway, you see where I'm going with this. When starting a blog, it's slow going and sometimes it can feel really lonely. But you have to want to blog for you and feel passionate and confident about wanting to blog and share your thoughts. After a while, you may have grown your following a little bit and that gives you the boost you need to keep going. I try to remember that no one has this blogging thing completely figured out. There is always something new to learn or technology to change things up a bit. It's fun and it connects like-minded individuals who share common interests or connections - who would have thought that would've been possible?

2. Reach out and comment. If you read a post that makes you feel a certain way, leave a thoughtful comment. Tell the person why you liked the post, what you were able to connect with, a similar experience or thought you've had on the subject, or just something that would contribute to the conversation that extends from the writer's thoughts. It may be difficult to comment on every single post that you read, but reaching out every now and then to let that person know that you're reading and enjoying their posts means a lot to a blogger.

3. Blogging takes dedication. Those of you that write a blog know it. Blogging takes a lot (okay a TON) of dedication. It's hard. Really hard. I tried to post every day of the week when I first started my blog, and it got to a point where I couldn't do it anymore. I wanted to be confident about the content I was putting out there, and cutting back on my posts has been the best thing I've ever done. More on this in another post...

4. Friendships. I've made genuine friendships through blogging. I could count on at least 2 hands (I would probably need many more hands) different people who I would love to have a cup of coffee or glass of wine with in a heartbeat. That is pretty amazing. We've bonded through decorating and design, and the friendships have grown through the personal stories and details that we share both on the blog and offline in e-mail chains. It's wild isn't it that the blogosphere can bring like-minded people together?! I'm still fascinated by this and forever grateful for it as well. I'm thankful to be able to learn from so many talented people and I'm in awe of the generosity and kindness of so many people that visit West Pear Avenue every day. Thank you.

Side note: Has anyone been to Blue Bottle Coffee? Looks like a place I would like.

5. Connect outside of the blog. If you ever have a chance to meet other bloggers in person, I would highly recommend it. It's such fun to be able to connect in person and share some stories and advice. You can also connect through other social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest just to name a few. I really enjoy Twitter - it's a quick connection and is a nice way to keep in touch outside of the blog.

There is so much more to share but this at least a start.

What would you add to the list?

Hope you're having a great weekend.