Monday, January 31, 2011

grass is always greener

I stopped by Liz's studio yesterday to pick up baby clothes, and just walking into it made me so sad that I don't have a creative life these days. I really wanted to stay and make a stack of tiles.

I've not only been wanting to make, but also wanting to install handmade tiles in the new home. couple those urges with the horrible argument John and I had over paint colors this weekend, and it made me long to have our Fishtown house back again. I don't want to move back there, but it was so nice to have all the big decorating decisions over with.

Friday, January 28, 2011

and another one for today

Warren & Mimi's Highly Personal Architectural Home
the house isn't necessarily my cup of tea, although there are plenty of elements I like about it, but that chandelier is awesome! I combed through the entry to see if there were any clues about its provenance, but I came up empty-handed. it was mentioned that one of the biggest indulgences (interview portion of entry) was asking artists to design the dining room table and chandelier, but no more than that was stated. ok, maybe what I have to do begin to build some 3-D chops. oh, and of course I have to learn how to wire light fixtures too.

ah, sad times, indeed

I spoke to Zab last night, and she told me about a TED guy who was speaking about happiness. Specifically, he mentioned that happy people tend to have substantial personal relationships in their lives (i.e. love, but it doesn't have to be the romantic kind), and they tend to enjoy their work. I think I've got half of that equation going (despite recently being told off "for good" by a disgruntled ex-boyfriend - long story - if you really want to hear about the only drama that's occured in my life for ages, feel free to send a comment and I will dish, because in general, I never have any gossip to share, but at times have a secret desire to BE a gossip). enjoy my work though? I don't know. I can't say it's terrible, and I do actually enjoy it at times, but overall, I would describe myself as a corporate drone. anyways, this is all to say that after two snow-days spent at home (our entire little family, together!), I was kind of sad to wake up and get ready for work this morning. but then, as I was packing lunch (split pea disaster soup and fruit salad), I remembered that I still had that reuben sandwich in the fridge at work and the thought of eating it as part of my lunch actually cheered me up and made me feel better about the day. isn't that pathetic?

here's something else that kind of made my day: apartment therapy had this chair in one of their posts. I can't get Maximo Riera's webiste link to show the chair properly, but posted it anyway. I'm guessing that this chair costs at least $10K. what do you think, is that estimate over or under?

Maximo Reira, octopus chair

pair that chair with this light, and you'll get one of my dream interiors for our main living space.

Adam Wallacavage octopus chandelier

yes, maybe the pairing would make the room oceanic-goth, but I think that other elements within the room could save it from becoming too serious. or, actually, thinking about my current decor, it would all get either kind of confused, maintain a happy, eclectic edge, or just be over-the-top. I wish that I was some kind of sculptural genious, because then I would be able to (1) fulfill my chosen "old lady profession" dream of making crazy chandeliers, and (2) make and upholster furniture. nope, I'm strictly 2-D.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


how a thundersnow storm forms
apparently, thundersnow is rare. we had a storm last night, and saw lots of thunder, but didn't hear much. it turns out that the thunder sounds are suppressed during the thundersnow storm. it just sounds so cool, "thundersnow!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ahh, sweet liberation

john and I had a major breakthrough last week. he told me that if I so desired, I could begin to replace our gigantic, thick, Ikea glasses with whatsoever I please. not only do the glasses NOT have to match, but they also don't have to be of some sort of industrial thickness. john used to worry about spontaneously shattering glasses, and he demanded a certain clunky thickness be a quality inherent in all our drinkware. I'm also allowed to burn candles at dinnertime now, which is pretty major. john used to ban all types of candle burning from our house. we even light our fireplace! I got two octopus glasses from anthropologie - on sale, of course. there's no shopping at that place for me, unless items are deeply discounted.

I don't know about your recent thrift shopping expeditions, but if they've been anything like mine, they've been terribly disappointing. what gives? I know Zab got an awesome pair of shoes recently, and Tifanee got a great little purse, but I've gotten mostly a big goose egg. oh, well, I did get a squirrel for Max, but only after going to a bunch of places.

yeah, it's water stained, but it sort of reads like forest floor, right? I've been feeling guilty about the fact that I got Henry all sorts of wall decor (thrifted) before he was born and Max, well, he had nothing up until that squirrel. we haven't even put a crib together, or gotten the baby seat back out, or bought one scrap of clothing. we've been pretty casual about provisions for the new baby. sigh, get used to it, #2. I'm a terrible parent.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

old traditions - Chinese New Year

ok, maybe I should say Lunar New Year, but I'm going to go and hog it all for the Chinese.

maybe I'm crazy, but I plan to make at least a few traditional foods! at the minimum, I'd like to make two types of rice flour cakes: turnip yumminess, and new year stickiness (mmmm, taro would be great too, but perhaps a stretch for me). epicurious has some recipes featured, and anything I make would be a variation of those (e.g. I omit dried shrimp - I've never really liked those little buggers). other foods I'd like to make are noodles, classic pork dumplings and scallion pancakes.

john gets all crazy when I outline elaborate meals to make, but I don't care how much anxiety it gives him, I'm going to cry "heritage!" and go for broke. if I go into labor while rolling out a scallion pancake, then so be it. I'd be surprised if boyfetus#2 decided to come out that early, anyway. and well, if he did, then he won't be a rabbit! he'll be a tiger. not as lucky as rabbits, them tigers.

ok, the above photo is a bit blurry, but I think you get the idea. I bought this reuben for lunch and it was REALLY good. I'd actually had some of a delicious chickpea salad first, so I didn't eat both halves, but let me tell you, I really did want to eat the entire thing (actually, I still want to go to the refrigerator and get the second half to eat right now).

Monday, January 24, 2011

random thought

do you think that anyone eats their cereal with coffee? not black, more like pour a latte over your cereal. just a thought...

Friday, January 21, 2011


a poor, poor, poor example of what a mirrored chest should be can be found at Pier 1. from the front, it's OK looking, but only if you don't notice that the sides aren't mirrored. $299 for a smallish piece sounds like reasonable price, if you've been perusing the more high end pieces, but it's actually very expensive for something that is crappily made with zero quality finish details. so, John, who was awash with anxiety over money just a few hours earlier, actually advised me to buy the pottery barn version immediately. "woa," I said, "what's the rush?" "I don't know, he replied, maybe let's just spend all of our money now?"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

where there's a will, there's a way?

john called me this morning to tell me he's having anxiety over the cost of our renovations. he ordered some more heating oil this morning, and the fact that we're nearly through our pre-purchased lot freaked him out to the point where he began to fixate on all the ducats leaving our pockets. in light of my mirrored chest obsession, a diy project seems the way to go. luckily, I ran into this apartment therapy (of course) post. now, the question becomes: just how badly do I really want a mirrored chest for our entry-way? I suppose I have to walk the walk or shut up.

a few questions about the project spring to mind, the most obvious one being, where does one get custom glass cut and beveled? does it really cost $300 for that much glass? the second obvious question is, where does one get aluminum leaf? the third question is, gelatin? like unflavored jell-o?


I just went back to the diy post and read through the comments and found that a sage reader posted about Pier One alternatives. hello, I think I found my substitute. oh zab, remember hello lunch? anyway, this may not be as glam as the Anthropologie table, BUT you know what? it's so much cheaper, and we can see it in person and we can purchase it locally, thereby avoiding the cost of "white glove" shipping and handling. phew! I'm going to ask John if we can go look at the piece soon. I'll let you know what I find when we see it for real.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


ok, so we've been bleeding money in order to switch ALL of our knob & tube wiring over to the modern standard, to upgrade our electrical service, to renovate our third floor...and in the midst of that, all I can think about are wall paint colors and first floor furniture (and wall paper, and new toilets, and handmade tiles, and and and). we just bought a dining room table from Restoration Hardware (it was on sale! we couldn't actually view it in person, and I'm nervous we won't like it), but I've been obsessed with getting the antique-y looking mirrored dresser from Anthropologie for a while now. I'd like to put it in our entry-way and cram all of our shoes into it. I found a look-alike in Pottery Barn, which is cheaper, but it's still hard to justify spending the money on it. all the same, I can't stop thinking about it. sigh.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

movie list

so, the bbc has its list of one hundred books, and that's gone crazily viral online. what about the criterion collection of movies?

I've counted (copy and paste the list of movies to excel, place x next to ones seen, use filter option to reduce list to those seen, use excel count to get quick count on number seen), and I've seen 104 titles out of more than 560 titles. I can't imagine ever watching every movie on the entire list, but just looking through it is interesting. for example, I never knew that the Maysles made a sequel to Grey Gardens, or that Heaven Can Wait was a movie before the Warren Beatty version...

the best part of perusing the list is that I'll not have a shortage of things to put on my netflix queue. hello, maternity leave!

more new traditions

OK, so I thought that I was OFFICIALLY through with making cookies (after two batches of walnut-chocolate chips, one batch of snickerdoodles, and a MASSIVE batch of frosted sugar cookies - which for me, is A LOT of baking), but I just saw this post, and I am captivated. I want to make those cookies today!

besides inspiring cookie awe, the article also suggested the perfect movie for circleness day movie watching, The Fantastic Mr. Fox! duh. I'd been wondering if there would be a dvd mainstay, and I've just found it. and yet one more bonus from the very same article? how about the circleness apple painting tradition? where do I get that gold paint? is it edible?

OK, I just checked, and there is an edible gold paint available for, we may be looking forward to a new tradition next year. The good thing is that Henry actually eats fruit, so he may be interested in its embellishment. Just think about gold and orange clementines!

I sadly did not have the presence of mind to take photos of the New Year's Eve cookie decorating party, I did take one of the tray of finished products. The McGregor Corsons brought a slew of gingerbread cut-outs (which, by the way, included bears, horses, hippos, and cats) and colored royal icings and colored sugars. it was great to see man and child alike decorating the cookies with abandon. Nick did the bikini bear.