Saturday, June 30, 2007

What's Been Goin' On...

5 kids,

4 adults,

1 dog

and a hundred little green army men are under my 1700 sq ft roof these days and it is glorious. Most of the time.

Jeanetta and Co. have been camped out this past week while they look for a house in Conway. It has not been a seamless search... They have made 2 offers and watched them go to other buyers. They have had their hopes up and down and all around, while they waited for their house to sell back home, and waited to hear about houses here.

They had intended to go home Friday morning, but fate intervened and they are still here (hurrah!) and still looking (argh!!) for a place to rest their heads in Arkansas. The blessing in all this has been that the forced extension of the visit meant that Jeanetta was here to work her magic on our new Shoppe space and oversee the painting of the "French Salon" stripes!!!! We worked from 6-Midnight last night, but we got it done!!! Woo hoo!!

We were painting over the previous tenants faux marble paint treatment so you can see the yellow peeking through as we paint.

Now it is all finished and we can start moving the goodies in. Of course most of the furniture pieces are piled sky high on the back patio or in the back of my car, waiting to be finished themselves... Hmm...maybe they will have to stay till Monday now...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Model Child

Having a girl around the house this week is coming in so handy! Especially for modeling my wares...

All the kids just realized today that they will all get to spend their birthdays together from now on. Much rejoicing was heard far and wide throughout the land.

P.S. Custom "Lovely Birthday Bundles" are now up at the shoppe... Party Crowns are included!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Here we go...

Well, for the next hour or so the house is clean. Soon Jeanetta and her crew will arrive and all wonderful chaos will ensue for the next week or so. They have a house to find, we have a shoppe move to prepare for, and the kids have VBS in the evenings... Life around Casa D'Lovely (aka my casa) is never boring...
I have no idea if I will be posting this week or not. There will be plenty to share I am sure, but we will have to see how things go... Oh how I do love the summertime!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Kid on the Etsy Block

I am proud to introduce MAKING by Jemimah.
Check out my sis's new Etsy shop and all the goodies she has there. I am sure she will continue to add new items, especially because I am mailing off a big box of supplies off to her tomorrow!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

They Say It's Your Birthday....

So Happy Birthday to ya friend! We will celebrate in High Style, (Our Way of course,) when you arrive!!!

Who knew 32 was your lucky number?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Inspiration Friday - From My Personal Collection

These are all pictures I go to for inspiration. Both for my home now, and in the future. I love the punches of black in each picture. Some of them are just shadows in the background, but regardless, black always is such a great accent for soft pinks, blues, greens and whites. It's the great juxtaposition between sweet and sophisticated. And it keeps things from being too perfect or too feminine. Click on pictures for larger view.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Last Friday

Last Friday Nathan's band had a gig in Hot Springs, which is about an hour from our front door. Usually these gigs, at this particular dive, last till the wee hours of the morning and he doesn't get home till around 4AM or so. I typically don't go with him because I always have (and always will I guess) felt ridiculous in bars. I am not a bar-type girl. I am not that cool or hip. I do not have large tata's or any way to even make them look big without surgery. My wardrobe consist mostly of peasant tops, denim bottoms and flip flops; not halters, mini's and heels. I do not like lipstick or fixed hair. And I get bored, Not with the music, but with the Not-Having-Anything-Else-To-Do issue. I am a multi-tasker by nature and I always find myself wishing I had a book to read or a couch to stretch out on, or a craft project to finish. But I know none of those things are proper bar-girl behavior... So I just sit, and listen, and try not to think too much about how badly I want a legal pad so I can make a list of some sort. Another problem is that I don't dance at bars. Not because I can't, but because my husband is playing the music - which by the way was the issue at our wedding reception- but that's another story. I think (and maybe this is a dorky confession) that if it were possible to line dance to his music I would do that. I think that I secretly love line dancing because it is organized - therefore there are less awkward encounters with strange men - and you can were denim skirts and boots to do it in, which is a great reason to give anything a try I think. But his music isn't line danceable. So I sit at a table and drink one adult style drink, which is usually Dr. Pepper and Amaretto (I like to call it a Sweet Thunder) and I only order 1 of them because I can't stand to pay a lot of money for booze. It makes no sense to drink all that money away and then just get sleepy. If 2 drinks add up to $12, I can't help but think of what I could have bought at Target with that money (2 pairs of flip flops!) Or how far that money would have gone at a garage sale (an old chest of drawers!). So as you can see, I am lousy at going to bars. It's not that I am a prude, it's just that I am weird.
But last Friday I went to one to hear my sweetie play. I went on the condition that we rent a hotel room in Hot Springs so we wouldn't have to drive home so late. And so that I could go buy some SJP Bitten garments the next day. Shopping is almost always my motive. Sad, but true. Lucky for us my brother is a waiter at Embassy Suites and hooked us up with a lovely room at the family rate.
While Nathan was setting up for the gig at the bar, I came back to the room and caught Mission Impossible III on Showtime. It was great to curl up in the big bed by myself and watch something that required zero brain cells, uninterrupted... After it was over I went to the gig and drank my 1 Sweet Thunder and listen to my sweet man give it all up and leave it on the stage, and I was so glad that I was there to hear him play. Even if it was in a bar.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Busy Fella's

The men of my life are busy filling up Blogland with new post.

My dear old dad was so moved by our Father's Day tributes (or so I would like to think) that he has begun a blog of his own. The first 2 post contain comments and responses between Nathan and Dad. Lest you not get my husband's incredible, yet hard to navigate, sense of humor let me just say that HE WAS ONLY KIDDING. If you are intrigued by this rambling you can read what I am talking about here... Also, that is the last time I will clarify anything said by my husband or my dad. I am sure they are going to say things that make me cringe from time to time, but that is part of being a family and being in Blogland all together I suppose and that is OK by me. I have always been a "better to agree to disagree than to be alone and be right" kind of person, so there ya have it.

Nathan meanwhile has posted about the Methodist and the Anglicans on his continuing quest...

When Visiting Paris...

My friends are taking a trip to grand Paris this summer and then moving into a new house upon their return. They are not big shoppers overall, at least not like me. But if you are in Paris and you have a new house, I feel it would be immoral not to take advantage of being in PARIS! and bring a few things home... As their friend (and designer) I thought I would make a little list of things that they might look for while they are there, to help them remember their trip, and to add those great personal details to their new house that will help make it into a home... I also thought I would share the list with you! So here we go - off to Paris to shoppe!

What to Buy While in Paris:

1. Some old books; As big a readers as y'all are you MUST buy some old french books. Since most books are heavy and you have a weight limit flying home, try and buy smaller books. Grammar books, poetry books, plays...
Try and buy books that fit the color scheme of the room they are going in - you know your colors; Mocha Brown, Robins Egg Blue, Burnt Red.... Of course if you find a great french cookbook that would work in the kitchen, remember to get something brighter - like your dishes.

2. Collections: Try and buy a little statue from all the places you go. A little Eiffel Tower, a little Arc de Triomphe etc. Try to buy ones that are made of metal and not plastic and also try to vary the sizes as we will probably group them all together and that is best. Remember to buy in "odds" if you can... A group of 3 or 5 would be great.

3. Art stuff: Because you can't bring a real Monet or Picasso home (so sad I know) here are some other ways to remember the art you loved. If you visit someplace like Monet's home & garden see if you can buy a local artist sketch of the home, or even just the front door. Or buy a great photograph of something related to the artist or his home (i.e. Monet's Japanese Bridge...) Or, if you can, buy a post-card set your favorite artist's rough sketches that could all be matted, framed and hung in a grid pattern. Think small here. Little drawings, little cards, little prints. When buying something that represents great art, I think smaller is better and more refined. But maybe that is just me...???

4. Maps are always good: In my humble (but admittedly addicted) opinion, you can never, ever go wrong with maps. Try and find a great old (or reproduction) map of Paris or France. Try and find one that has black & brown coloring as that will go best with your decor. I of course tend to go for the ones with pink and blue and yellow in them, as those colors go great with my decor, but luckily maps come in a variety of colors and style, so think old and think b&b. Remember bigger is better with maps, but also a group of small ones would be great as well...

5. Don't forget the dishes: If you find a favorite cafe or restaurant or market, see if they have demitasse cups & saucers for sale, or tea pots or see if they have a cute bag or box that could be framed. Or collect menu's from all the great places you go. Those could also be turned into fun wall art in the kitchen. You never know what kind of great memories you will have at a place as simple as a cafe..
Oh, and if you happen across some linens with red stripes or monograms on them, feel free to bring a few home for me. I wouldn't mind all....
So there you have it, a little shopping assignment for your trip! Have fun and take a ton of pictures and I will see you (and all your purchases!) when you get home.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Crafty Gal

I have added some fun Crafty Gal packs at Storia HOME. These packs have lots of vintage and retro sewing and craft supplies in them... I think they are super cute and most everything came out of one sewing box that had a pencil in it from 1942. Amazing!

My organizing angel must have been with me this weekend, because yesterday I did some shifting of closets and got this little craft center all set up in the dining room. I put all my glitter and glue and ribbon and paper in this small broom cabinet. The little cabinet came with the house and isn't the best quality of furniture, but for now it works well to hold my tablecloths on one side and craft supplies on the other. Why don't I craft in my office you say? Because it triples as a guest room & storage room for my interior design stuff in addition to the office part. So the dining room now doubles as my workshop because I didn't think that guest room/dining room would work as well as the current solution... Now I can get back to banner making and not feel as if I am taking the dining room hostage. All the supplies can go right back home when I am done and we can eat dinner all at the same table again. Can you hear my big 'ole sigh of relief?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

So Unlike Me

I am never one to watch Internet video's. For some reason I just can't sit still for them, I think it drives Nathan crazy... It's like my aversion to MySpace, something that I just can't get seem to embrace. But when Ms. Lyons links to something I know it must be special. All I can say is bring your hankies people. You'll know what I am talking about after you watch this.
PS- After you watch, read this, but not till after... It will spoil it otherwise...

For Fathers Day

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby
Once again, Jemimah has said it best, and paid the perfect tribute to our dad. He has endured many Soap-on-a-rope gifts over the years, and has graciously received all of them. That is one of those ever endearing qualities about him that I love. That and the fact that he always has to re-arrange the dishwasher after someone else has loaded it.
I am blessed to have both a dad and a dad-in-law that are amazing grandfathers to our boys. I couldn't have asked for anything more in that area and it is one of those unexpected gifts that never ceases to amaze me.
I am also blessed to have a husband who is a great Daddoe. He is a great partner in raising them, never afraid of diapers or bottles. The kind of Daddoe that can wrestle on the floor or kiss the owies and isn't afraid to answer the hard questions.
So Happy Father's Day to the men I love and Happy Father's Day to all the guys out there who smile at the Soap-on-a-Rope and the burnt toast and the package of socks. You are good guys, keep it up.
UPDATE * Judea has since posted her thoughts on our dear Dad now too... The daughters have been represented.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday's Inspiration, Shoppe Stuff

Pretty much my brain has minimal functions these days...They are as follows:

1) Thinking about the Shoppe move

2) Thinking about my clients & Etsy orders

3) Keeping my kids from drowning at the pool

4) Thinking about the Shoppe some more

Squeeze in there basic needs like food and sleep and you pretty much have the ongoing to-do list in my head. Nathan (who is equally busy, pulling off both a catering job and a band gig tonight) and I basically fall into bed every evening around 11PM worn out. Thank goodness it is summer and the boys are sleeping in a little. Every little bit helps. The other night I passed through my living room to turn off the lights and realized that I couldn't remember the last time we had spent time in there. I couldn't remember the last time I had sat curled on the couch reading magazines and watching TV... But I have faith that those days will roll around again. For now, though I have to think about the shoppe... And that is why today's post is dedicated to the inspiration of little boutiques everywhere that are so cute and precious and inspiring... I have been taking notes and making plans, and hopefully in July I will be able to share photo's of our new space, all dolled up like these lovely places!

Shoppes featured are:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Where the Boys Are

Father's Day is Sunday and that has me thinking about all sorts of things. Things about fathers and sons and raising boys. When I was a little girl, I would imagine myself the mother of 3 boys and 1 girl. Or 2 boys and 2 girls, but I knew the chances of that happening were slim... Rarely does it equal out that way... But no matter the equations it always included always boys - plural. My 2 Cabbage Patch knock-off dolls were boys - Matthew and Timothy - named after my favorite cousin and uncle. I would tell people I wanted boys because you could "throw them outside in the dirt" and let them play. They were way less trouble than girls.

So far, 7 years in, I stand by this statement. But somewhere along the way, as an adult I started to assume that I would have girls, because I had 2 sisters and only one brother, ours was a feminine dominated world. I would have daughters to share all the girlie things I loved - Anne of Green Gables, Tea Parties, Audrey Hepburn... During both pregnancies I just knew I was having girls. During the second pregnancy everyone was rooting girl, and one of the hardest thing I have ever had to was not burst into tears in front of Wylie, in the ultra-sound room when they told him he was going to have a brother. It's not that I didn't want Miles, I did I was ecstatic that Wylie would have a brother, and that I would have another son. It's just that I had wanted Clara (our girl name) too. It seemed too awful that getting one meant not getting the other.

So here I am the mother of 2 boys. 2 full tilt boys. And I love it. And surprisingly, at least to me, I am really good at it. I really love the world of boys and the contrast it brings to the world of girls. Or at least to my world. I love the dirt and the pirates and the sticky little boy kisses, and having them bring me rocks and sticks as gifts. It's a world I have never had access too before and I love it. My boys are full throttle but they are also full of affection. Never has there ever been anything as sweet as their hugs. There is quite nothing like the way a little boy loves his Momma.
Along the way I have tried to pick up some tips and some wisdom on raising these precious man-child beings of mine. After all they are not just mine. They are gifts on loan. Someday they will be husbands and fathers and employees or employers and I want to make sure that they are not obnoxious and annoying humans. For example if I give in to their every whiny request than they may treat their wives the same way and how awful would that be? I don't want to find out.
So here are the things I have learned and that seem work well up to age 7. I will not speak about any further than that as I have zero experience there. Also, of course these are just my opinions, take them with grain (or a gallon!) of salt.

1.) No battery operated toys as much as possible; Books, Blocks, Swords, Balls, Hats, Matchbox Cars, Army Men, Rocking Horses. These are the types of toys we have. My theory is if the toy does all the work then where does their imagination kick it? When are they challenged to think for themselves? Let them figure out how to turn a box into a boat and you've got something that will last a lifetime; Ingenuity.

2.) Lay around and snuggle as much as possible; Kids need hugs all the time. I don't think you can hug a little kid too much. We hug a hundred times a day. We pile in bed and read or watch TV and just cuddle. If we all seem to be having a harried melt-down moment this is the best remedy. Sometimes we get so busy that our kids only see the busy, racing against the clock, compulsive must-be-productive side of their parents. Learning to just throw caution to the wind, relax and "just be" together doing nothing can sometimes be the best something of our whole day. Affection is a good compliment to all the rough and tumbleness of boy life.

3.) Risk is good; Boys need to risk. They need to fall. They need to scrape their knees, they need to get bruises, and scratches and bug bites. They need to wrestle; with dads, grandads, uncles, brothers, friends. They to do things they are scarred to do. They need a hug after they hurt something, a kiss to the booboo, and then they need a "go try that again!" They need to master things and explore things and not be afraid to "get back on that horse." They are going to fail so many times in life, that they need that basic knowledge that if they keep at it, they will figure it out and that what does not kill them will make them stronger.
So there you have it, my top 3 self-imposed guidelines for raising my boys. Along the way I have found this book to be the most helpful by far, and I can not wait to get this one. I also like this one and found it to be really helpful for learning how each parent relates differently to each kid.
So there is my 3 cents worth of advice/whatever. What tips/insight/lessons do you have for raising boys/kids? I would love to hear...

* All the pics are from my boys room. We just put the bunk beds back together and it is momentarily clean, so I thought I would snap a few photo's before it all disappears under a layer of army men and costumes and mysterious shreds of paper!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lost and Found

FOUND: A blue typewriter. Perfect for the coffee table. Perfect for writing telegrams to President Lincoln and General Grant. And George "WasherMan" as Miles says.

LOST: Time for substantial blogging. And house cleaning.
I promise I will return soon with much more interesting things to say and pretty pictures....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

High Fashion

Knowing my love for Out of Africa you can see why I fell in-love with these recent pics from Vogue... I love the colors and the textures.. The tent in the first picture and the ruffles and hat in the last are my favorites...

Also I have a secret love for High Fashion that is totally frivolous and completely useless in my current life, but I can't help losing myself in Vogue or Harper's Bazaar every now and again. A leftover habit from my childhood dream to be a fashion designer I guess.
It's odd, because I am not a name brand person, I don't like clothing that blares the makers name or logo all over it. I tend to be more "all or nothing" about my clothes. I think it should either come from Target or Goodwill or it should be a One-of-a-Kind item or Couture. Of course I don't know that I could ever spend $30K on a dress. I can't even bring my self to spend $50 on this one. So I guess couture is out of the question. But maybe I'll be able to splurge for one of Tif's creations one of these days...

But regardless of my fashion habits, I find that even fashion photo shoots like this can serve as inspiration for design. You just never know what is going to get those creative sparks flying...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday's Goodies and Shoppe Update

Finally there are new banners at Storia HOME! I can just hear you all hootin' and hollerin' now... There are 3 for the 4th of July and 2 newish "Mother" banners. Because Mother's have birthdays and such and you never know when you might want to buy your Mother - or yourself- a banner!

I am hootin' and hollerin' because of the great find today for me. Look that these precious plastic dishes I found today while out and about today. I picked them all up for only $5 at a rummage sale! I think they are Target (?) from a few seasons ago, but to me they are very, very "Cath Kidson"and I just can't wait to set up a picnic with them in the backyard with grapes and cheese and sweet Nathan's bread... Doesn't that sound fab? We should have a blog picnic party day where everyone sets up a picnic and takes pictures and shares! What do you think? I will have to do some more ruminating on that and get back to you...

But in the meantime, go visit Ms. Kidson and be inspired! PS- Make sure to visit both her UK and US sites for the complete experience.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Another Movie Post and Friday's Inspiration

I am back from my mom's and it was a great little trip. We hit some garage sales, took the kids to the little water park, ate Chinese with Juju and her love, filling "that boy" up with lots of good stories about Judy Carlene and family addictions - Watching "What's Up Doc" and eating our fried shrimp tails being just a few... It was all those great things about summer that I love- swimming, napping, taking things slow...

Then I came home. And while that was great, it comes with a hefty "To Do" list. I wasn't going to post tonight (remember that hefty To Do List?) but my children are driving me a little batty this evening and I know I needed some fun and pretty things to distract me and I thought you might too...
Because of all the great comments for my Cinematic Inspiration post, I decided I would list my Top 10 Movie Sets of All Time (for me personally, not technically or critically or anything....) These are all movies I love and adore by the way. I don't know if I could list a movie that had a great set but that I hated. I guess I just can't be that impartial... Also there are lots of movies that didn't make the list but came very close and several that I am sure I will remember about the time my head hits the pillow tonight...

If you decide to post a similar list leave a comment and let me know. I must warn you though that there are very few good photo's available on this internet of ours, of movie sets. In fact I was shocked and amazed at the lack of "stills" and production photo's out there for each movie. I really thought there would be a site by now dedicated to just this sort of thing; Lots of hi-res photo's without the actors in the way... I did the best I could considering what I had to work with. For true visual inspiration you will have to rent or dust off the following films:

10. Down With Love - I just love that stylized look, so fresh, so fun, so pink! For some reason I love to watch it while I clean house...
9. Under the Tuscan Sun - I love watching her battle and restore the house as she battles and restores her heart. This movie came out right after we bought our house and I totally could relate to her process. Also who doesn't love creepy Italian tree's that just know?

8. The Family Stone- It is all the good things about an old family home - warm, slightly dated here and there, full of photo's and well worn corners, and childhood things. I also really love the use of wallpaper in this film. Especially in the kitchen - I just covet that wallpaper.

7. The Holiday - Which house do you love more? Can you even choose? I love them all! Including sweet Arthur's...
6. Out of Africa - This is the first movie I ever "designed" a room around. I hung old lace table runners in my windows and had everything in sepia tones along with some pale pink striped wallpaper... It was divine and I have been finding inspiration in it again all over...

5. Spanglish- Hmmm... What do I love about this movie? Well so much really. First I love how there are soooo many pillows everywhere - which is just like my house... I love the huge stripes in the kitchen and hallway. I love the messiness- but-not-dirtyness of the house and furnishings and everyone's hair. Every chair looks like a good place to land. Whether at the main house, the beach house or the restaurant. Each home has a good mix of light and warmth and that lived-in quality.
4. Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood - The lake cabin, The big house, The big Cajun party... All of it perfectly southern and perfectly inspiring...

3. Somethings Gotta Give - Perhaps the most copied set of all time. The perfect calm, serene house and it brought back the look of subway tile - for that we should all be grateful!
2. Sense and Sensibility - The way the little cottage becomes a home over the course of the movie, warming up as they live in it. How it goes from being grey in tone to being pink in tone. And I love the gardens and all the picnic's. It's all just so yummy.

1. Most Nora Ephron Movies: Starting with You've Got Mail - The brownstone, the bookstore, the apartment with the books, the market, the kids fair. The whole movie is eye candy to me...

Bewitched - Her house - the kitchen, the living room, her bedroom... , the on-set house complete with the striped (again) wallpaper in the honeymoon scene...
Mixed Nuts - The couch, the old building, the Chinese food...;
Sleepless in Seattle - Striped wallpaper in her kitchen, the circus poster, the plates around the chair rail in the dining room... The pull down map in his dining room....
When I was making this list I went and checked all of the movies to see if any of my favorite sets shared Art Directors or Set Decorators. Surprisingly they did not. Not even on all of Nora's films. This surprised me the most about her because there always seems to be a similar look in all her heroine's homes. I guess she is the common link between the looks. Which the begs the question - "What does Nora's home look like?" Oh, to know the answer to that...
So there you have it, my favorite sets for now. I also agree with those out there who love Amelie and Return to Me. Those are on the long list too. As is Shag and all those other movies I can't remember right now. So please jog my memory, make your own list and share!
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