Saturday, January 30, 2010

pillow talk

We had a small snow storm in Louisville very early this lovely Saturday morning. By our definition that means staying safe and cozy via: sipping warm tea, staying in jammies, watching cartoons, snuggling with fleece blankets, and lounging on pillows.

Since I am home and snow reflects light wonderfully all through my house, I took advantage of the time and put my Euro-Supersized toile pillows together. Here is a sneak peak:

Instead of stuffing the pillows, I used real pillows as my forms that I found while at Tuesday Morning. At $9 a pillow, how could I resist? And they are HUGE! I love their size and overstuffed form.

I used drop cloth as my fabric for the back so that I could have two looks in one and save a little on the toile fabric. I then trimmed the pillows 3 sides around with delicious chocolate pom pom trim. (I limited the trim to 3 sides for 3 reasons: 1. to save a little money 2.I figured that no one would care about the bottom since it would never be seen and 3. I did not want the extra challenge at the sewing machine.)

And so here they are:

I am thrilled with the results! I haven't sewn since 7th grade so I was pleasantly surprised with myself in completing this little project. I still plan to make a small boudoir pillow with this lovely toile fabric to infuse the toile throughout the bedding.

Now if only I had a bed like this to place these pillows upon:

Once again Pottery marry cream and white so beautifully.

Have a delightful weekend!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

capri pants do not flatter everyone

Capri pants have had their moment in fashion. They have graced the bodies of many of my favorite actresses:

Audrey Hepburn


Mary Tyler Moore

Laura Petrie

But their aspects of flattery can only travel so far, and windows with “Capri” drapes are NOT flattering.

I purchased these scrumptious velvet drapes at Tar-jay on sale and with a birthday gift card from one of my dearest friends.

chocolate velvet drapes

Sadly I did not calculate the height when you use a grommet drape. Hence, I had Capri drapes.

Luckily the Christmas Tree blocked my dilemma into mid January, but then once the tree came down I had to face my problem head on.

Now I should have been studying Therapeutics, but I seem to notice decor flaws more while I am studying than anytime else. Sitting at my dining room table, I could not stand those capri drapes snickering at me any longer. So I immediately jumped at the chance (to avoid studying)..I mean to figuring out a solution..heart failure can wait. Hehe!

While crouching down on my knees trying to see if I could cheat with a wide burlap ruffle, I noticed the drapes had a 3 inch hem. All I needed was a little more fabric! Eureka! It was serendipity.

Out came a safety pin (I had no time to hunt for my seam ripper) and I ripped.

And ripped.

And ripped.

And now, I have conquered my Capri drapes.

Yes, there is Atticus AGAIN! The little fluff ball is always in a pic. I swear I do not "place" him. And yes, there is my Bath and Body diffuser on the ground. And yes, I know my sheers are not to the floor, but #1 that doesn't bother me as much as the chocolate capris and #2 it gives me an excuse to find something else later.

And so with a glorious smile and overwhelming sense of contentment, I can now head back to my therapeutic notes.


Friday, January 22, 2010

divinity versus creme brulee

After delightfully purchasing my lovely toile fabric (with coupons of course), and imagining oodles of ways to create a “heavenly” bed infused with texture, softness, and style...I have come to a terrifying halt.

I can not for the life of me decide on a "foundation or base" bedding. I have though narrowed it down to two colors:

White versus Creme or as I like to say –



Creme Brulee

Who would have thought such sweetness could create such turmoil? Here I have two huge pharmacy exams fast approaching me next week and I can not detour from this dividing decision.

It all began with a darling post from the one and only My Sweet Savannah. I was under the impression I could harmonize both. That I could intertwine the serenity and crispness of white with the lucid and indulgent nature of creme.

Unfortunately after a trial run with my ivory velvet PB shams and a white duvet from my stash of goodies that I have collected, I questioned the look. It just did not work.

And so, I began to rethink EVERYTHING (except the toile of course).

How come these pictures can master what I can't?

(This last duvet set whispers to my Filipino lovely all unto itself.)

And then it hit me...the toile. The toile does not gracefully bow to both colors. And so, I am caught in a love triangle between two of the sweetest shades...divinity versus creme brulee.

What are your suggestions?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

master bedroom: the BEFORE pics

I cringe at the fact that I am posting this, but I believe we have to face our here it goes (please hold my hand).

Here she is, our master bedroom, in her sad state:

Yes those are pharmacy textbooks and notes by my side tables..and yes, those are Mr.B’s shoes tucked under the bed.

Here is the other side of the room (oh please do not disown me & leave my blog after I show you this):
This side makes me ill: the Pack ‘n’ Play with clothes spilling over (my husband LOVES piling his clothes over there), the TV, and the lovely cable cord.

And now for the long wall with the hideous OFF centered window. Why oh why builder did you place the window there? I try my best to embrace my home, but this window has become such a demanding family member that I just ignore her:

There it is…for better or for worse a glimpse into a room that is in need of a spa day AND a makeover. Calgon take her away!


PS These pictures are from a while ago, but they serve the purpose of exploiting my home decor master bedroom.

Oh, and I have come to terms with the fact that being a pharmacy student = bad pictures. I leave home when it is dark and come home in the dark, which means not the greatest photography lighting. Just another reason to long for Spring. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

there are fabrics..and then there is TOILE

My master bedroom has been at a standstill when it comes to decorating for quite some time. Moving into our home, I began pinching pennies for just the right furniture at just the right time.

Then when my son was born, I treated myself to new bedroom furniture that knocked me off my feet when we first met: dark wood, sleigh bed without a footboard-

a high dresser with a round mirror (I have such an affection for round mirrors)-

and to top it off sale that made my knees weak.

I then found 2 butler tray tables I could use as end tables on clearance at BBB (gotta love the extra 20% coupons) that complimented everything even more completely. I drew bedding inspiration from a Macy’s ad that I stumbled upon and so I finished the room with some discount bedding that I enjoyed. It looked crisp and tailored but it never spoke to me.

Truth be told, I LOVE an indulgent bed. There is something about lounging in a bed while reading a good book or lingering under the covers on a crisp morning that makes my heart go pitter pat. I love a bed that calls you to engage in napping and cuddling. I love pillows (maybe too much according to Mr. B) and textures surrounding me like a blanketed womb. Ok…maybe I want too much out of my bed, but then again, when I sleep..I want it to be a sweet slumber.

I then took it upon myself last year to seek out the aid of the one and only Layla Palmer from the Lettered Cottage. She is so sweet and genuine that I would name my first daughter after her. She is a friend from afar and I have much admiration for her ability both in design and in living life. She re-surged my hopes in claiming the master bedroom that I yearned for with her fabulous ideas. Yet even with her picturesque vision, I lacked the inital spark. I lacked my muse.

Until now-

Let the excitement and the renovations begin.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

the art of mimesis in home decor

I love the word mimesis.

mimesis (noun) - a representation or imitation, especially in literature and art.

I have found so many uses for it in all my attempts at home decor and in defining the style I try to infuse within each space. So back to the secret..almost 3 years ago, I was paging thru the latest Ballard Designs catalog and came across this delicious piece.

Did I have a place for it? No. Did I want it? Yes. But! There is always a "but."

The cost of this (with all 4 pieces ) was too overwhelming for my teacher's salary to even I decided to invest in the art of mimicry. And here is my TOP SECRET trade secret that I am about to share with you and encourage you to use.

I hired a high school art student to "copy" the painting for me. Now..being a high school teacher, I KNEW who to ask and about the ballpark of what to pay for the "commission." And the results? You can be the judge.

Please note: I chose the colors and the dimensions of each canvas

So this masterpiece was 1/4 of the cost of what I would have paid and my student was able to use it for her art school portfolio application and..oh yeah...she got a B+ on the painting (she worked on it IN class so a grade had to come with the project). I definitely would have given her an A.

Right now it is hanging over our garden bathtub in the master, but I am not sure if that will be its permanent home. I have another idea that I would like to "copy" and think it might be divine over the tub. We shall see.

All I know is that I LOVE the piece and it was created by a student (now almost a college graduate) who I adore.

So next time you drive past your local high school, just imagine the talent that you could untap, and the treasures you could obtain.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

saturday mornings

At our house, we wake up by 6 am to get good seats for morning cartoons.

During commercials, we dump out all the toys and play with them....

till cartoons return and then we return to business as usual (I try to squeeze in a few moments blog surfing or window shopping).

But my favorite moments...between cartoons, blogging, milk, and fruit loops are our kisses. I love kissing him and hearing him giggle.

And I love it even more when he kisses me.

I will get up early every Saturday for moments like this. do you spend your Saturday mornings?
Happy Saturday!

PS No makeup, hair all blah, and is that a bra strap I see? Oh my...please excuse my looks, and focus on the precious little boy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the nester makes me swoon

I am taking part in my first giveaway!

No..I am not giving anything away (just yet), I have a much anticipated event for that special time (so stay tuned). But, I am participating in the Nester's giveaway in conjunction with DaySpring-Danielson Design Studio.

I decided to take a much study break (aren't they all?) and see what I could come up:

This is the name of my little etsy shop that I am trying to breath new life into. I thought this little artifact would re-inspire me and re-invent my vision for my happy little shoppe.

Of course, if I win...I might opt for a personalized sign for my little boy. His name is quite magnificant and quite unique.

Here is to participation in my first giveaway and a linky party. :)



Monday, January 11, 2010

strangers among us

I love hanging pictures.

I love leaning pictures.

I love pictures that have a pinch of twinkle.

I love pictures matted in white.

I love pictures that float within the glass.

I love pictures surrounded by sentiment.

But does anyone know who this little girl is?

I don’t. I get asked by friends even family..who is that girl? Here she is gracing my mantle and she is a stranger to me (even though she somewhat looks like one of my former students as a child). Sadly 30% of my pictures are of random, anonymous people or even worse, just the tag or label (as you saw in my above pics). It seems I have no problems putting up the frame or finding a home for the frame. No, I simply can not go the extra step and place the picture IN THE FRAME. A frame can be beautiful, but without the picture…it lacks essence. So for 2010, I plan to say goodbye to those strangers, TJMaxx fillers, and Target labels that have graced my walls and tables....and greet those that I love and cherish.

I do have pictures framed other than of myself and Mr. B. as you can gather from my picture wall (in the 1st pic) just so happens that the pictures I used were mainly of us and surprisingly not of our little man. We have LOTS of him. I am sure you will see a few soon enough. I just wanted to make sure I was not leading you to believe I have a small shrine to our wedding in our home.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

what is black & cream...and read all over?

I love to window shop online. It amazes me (and Mr. B) that I have yet to exhaust myself for my sheer love of finding darling pieces. I have also had this inner desire to create a tutorial (it must be the teacher in my soul creeping out from my student shell).

I envy all those savvy artistic Vestas that I see online who can whip out a can of Martha on a project. But…I have yet to stumble upon anything that whispers, “Recreate me.”

And then I found this:

You will be mine….oh yes. Stay tuned as I attempt this small decor project.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

back on the pharm

It is official…I am back in school for the Winter Quarter. As much as it pains me to walk back into lovely, chilly Auditorium A after being home for 2 weeks and free from the bondage of studying, I find myself delighted by the fact that I only have 2 more quarters of class work before rotations. How exciting! And then, I find myself slightly terrified, only because I have 2 more quarters of class work and then it falls on me, my ability, and my knowledge base. How scary!

I have been a student (or captive) of Pharmacy School since July 2007. We are a 3 year accelerated program which means, we sit in the same chair from 8 am to 4 pm. We sit and are sponges Monday thru Friday…or at least try to be. We have are failings and Facebook.

Sometimes I find myself in ADD mode and find myself daydreaming, and yes, surfing the web. It is rather difficult to go from teaching to being a student, but here I am. I sit in the front row (or what is deemed the front row…the very front row is reserved for those of us wanting to be punished) and try my best to be my best.

Amid Pharmaceutics, Med Chem, & Therapeutics, I have met some wonderful people. I firmly believe that is why I can still walk into Auditorium A every day. Regardless of what boring lecture or dreadful exam awaits, once I step thru that door, I will see the faces of friends. Yes we all claim to have made friends in school..but these people are different. They complete me and empower me. Among them I have found everyday heroes, but more importantly, best friends…cherished souls that remind me every day how to laugh, how to remain strong, how to savor lunch, and how to realize that grades are just a measured moment of ability in time....and for a recovering academic, that is a breath of fresh air.

Now...they will kill me for this, but here is a glimpse of our world.

I call "home" that spot to the right of one of my best friend's MASSIVE laptop. She works on a Hummer of a computer while my micro machine humbly sits by. And yes, I am not in the picture...hehehe. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

defining my design style: kitchen before and after

When our house was purchased in May 2006, there was little to be said except it was graced with “Kentuckiana Builder Style.” And what does this mean? It means oak cabinets, beige carpeting, brass hardware, and green accents (linenolium flooring and countertops to be exact.)

Here is a picture (not the best…but it is an old picture from the seller’s website) that I have saved just to remind me where we came from.


Luckily, Mr. B (this is what his students call him and I thought it would be a delightful reference for him within my blog domain) and I were seasoned newlyweds of 2 years, teachers (which meant summers off), and without a child. It was a perfect time for us to find a place to call home.

During the summer months, Mr. B spent most of our summer vacation as a camp director in Michigan..which meant I was home alone…which also meant I needed something to occupy my free time..which also meant I needed some sort of distraction for me to not notice his absence. Now I could have taken a summer job as I did the previous summer, but I had bigger plans. I was going to create our home.

Now prior to purchasing this home in May 2006, we were actually going to own a new 2 bedroom loft downtown…but after “crazy” issues, negotiations, and closing changes… we backed out. It was truly a blessing in disguise because 1 year later, the company went bankrupt and all current tenants received notices of leans on the property that the company never paid. Whew! We escaped that by the skin of our teeth. Why bring this up? Well…I noticed after the whole debacle that my design style had somewhat changed from a soft urban style to a more pottery barn infused look. Yes, I will be the first to admit it, Pottery Barn had me at hello.

To me, perfection can be found in colors and materials such as:
Textures (I have always had a fondness for wicker, rattan, caning, and now burlap)
Sparkle (mercury glass, silver, and I love thee)
Chocolate Leather
Dark Wood Floors

This picture captures an ideal palette for my kitchen:

picture courtesy of Pottery Barn

Even though this is not a picture of a kitchen, the elements interwoven here are absolutely within my style spectrum.

So…by using a palette I adored and inspiration from my many online and offline friends, I pieced together a kitchen that is all mine:


I painted cabinets, ripped up carpeting, laid down wood laminate, changed out hardware, changed countertops, and hung a new chandelier..oh and I finished 1 day before Mr. B returned. I quite pleased with my work. And if you are curious as to the fluff on top of the cabinets, yes, that is our kitty on top of the cabinets. He adores sleeping in the nooks up there.

There are a few elements that have been changed since this picture was taken (no more high chair) and a few elements that I am considering introducing to the space, but that is what this blog is for and I am quite sure that I will love the kitchen/dining space even more when I am done.

Also..let me promise you that I plan to master photography a little bit more...I just wanted to share with you a space that has evolved beyond my hopes and these were pictures that I already had at my fingertips.

Update: Wanted to include a new AFTER picture that I took today..and yes, Atticus still loves the camera (1/5/10):

I still smile when I am in this space, so therefore it perfectly defines my style and more importantly, represents the home that I am creating.


Friday, January 1, 2010

new beginnings after a 5 year longing

There is something about a quiet afternoon in winter that makes me relish in the moment. The air is crisp and chilled while we delight in slipping into cozy slippers, reaching for a cup of hot tea, and perusing the blog world. I can not believe I have waited 5 years to begin this journey...I really have no reason for waiting so long to start a blog except I think one hidden rationale was I could never settle on a name. Names have such a significance to me and I wanted to completely identify with my blog...therefore it seemed serendipitous to use "beauty in the attempt." I am attempting many things in my life right now and I hope to document them one adventure at a time.

Please drop by my little corner of the world often, and I look forward to calling you friend. Happy New Years!



Related Posts with Thumbnails