This photo really grabbed me.  Ah, the life of the artist.  I’m not so sure about the final product though.


Rug Giveaway

Gosh, there’s another one today.  Not only gorgeous but hand-woven, all natural and otherwise sustainable.  Sigh.  As Whiz says, nothing makes me happier than possibilities.

Bedroom tour

Remember item # 5 on my 20/20 Home Cure list?: obtain a rug for the bedroom.  Well today Bev Hisey and Design Sponge have provided an opportunity to do exactly that.  Super exciting.  In order to qualify for the giveaway you have to link online photos of the room where you’d use the new rug.  I figure this is a good excuse to post a little tour of our master bedroom- a room that has many great features, but also quite a ways to go in the decorating department.

Here are two of the room’s best features- 1. the antique bookcase that my parents bought in NYC before I was born (I inherited it after their divorce) and 2. a peek of the little alcove that perfectly fits a double bed (ours has an antique iron frame that we got from a farmhouse outside of LaConor- supposedly it came from Illinois in a covered wagon).  On the bookcase there’s a paper cut out of white crown sparrows made by a friend of a friend and given us for our wedding partly because my former adviser studies white crowned sparrows.  There’s also an old oil lamp that I got at estate sale for the off the grid cabin that I hope we someday have, a fishing float from the Oregon coast, a tiny cutting of begonia in a thrift store pot and a whippet statue given to us by the Whiz’s parents.

Here’s a dark photo of the bed in its little alcove.  I would have made it but honestly I like the way it looks best messed up.  Ideally messed up after being made a little more recently than as shown here, but unfortunately I didn’t have time for the making and the messing before my photo shoot.  I sure do need to replace those ugly rubber things under its wheels.  I like the bedspread.  The big motif is sort of salmon and orange and works well with my dresser/ Chinese chest/ silk painting.

We got the silk painting in Vietnam on our honeymoon as a gift for my mother in law.  But somehow we never actually gave it to her.  I’d like to replace it someday with art I like better, but for now it stays mostly for sentimental value.  A friend of my dad’s gave us the Chinese chest as a wedding gift.  I store socks in it.  The dresser was in my mom’s basement for a long time with peeling off-white paint and crayon scribbles all over it.  I painted it chartruese and lined the drawers with wallpaper.

Here’s the Whiz’s dresser.  We got it and the antique mirror for cheap from a colleague who was moving.  They came from MA.  Again, I had in mind our cabin in the woods.  The bowl is from studio 420 on Orcas Island.  You can stop by there to browse in the yard unsupervised.  It you find art you want you leave money in a box.  It’s awesome.  I love the San Juans.  I used to spend one month every summer there at camp Four Winds Westward Ho and that’s also where I met the Whiz (although not at camp).  The woven runner is from the trip we took to Peru with my mom to celebrate her 60th birthday.

Here’s my photo stylist.  You can tell by his outfit that his credentials may be are suspect.  Here he is at work.  Note his handiwork with the salvaged jewelery display rack above the chair.  For years I had all my jewelery arranged there in a way that pleased me.  But the new photo stylist has a different aesthetic.

He also prefers pillows on the floor.  That one in his hands here is one we got in Otavalo, Ecuador, on the trip where our little stylist was conceived.  We were relaxing (and shopping) after leading an undergraduate biology seminar to the Galapagos, high Andes and Amazon rainforest.  Hands down the best travel experience of my life.  My mom gave us that chair when we moved in and had no furniture and no money (I was starting graduate school).  A couple years ago I took a photo of it to several different re-upholstery places for estimates.  The cheapest one was $600 which was (and is) out of our budget.  So I took a reupholstery class at a local fabric store (twice) and managed to recover an old free pile chair with yellow mohair for the nursery but also vowed never to attempt anything similar again.  Besides, I actually love the faded blue that’s on it now.  I just wish it were a little less stained.

And finally to the floor.  It’s old doug fir.  We painted it years ago and I’m very happy with it except for this big expanse of bare and damaged floor right in the middle of the room.  You can see why I have it on my list to get a rug (the last one was crappy and got thrown out after a flea infestation).

I certainly have my fingers crossed about the giveaway.  Craigslist just hasn’t come through for me.  Just yesterday I was supposed to drive an hour to pick up a rug that I honestly did not love but that fit the budget from a woman who ended up deciding to give it to her daughter instead.  Good thing too, because it’s time to stop bringing home things for the house that I don’t love.  Need to leave room for the things I do love.  Like this rug:

Despite my bad photography, you can tell that this rug would tie the room together right? (assuming the colors resemble those on my monitor.)  The grey/ purple works really well with the walls and the green would play off the chartruese accent in the dresser and bedding.  The graphic would work perfectly with the design on the bedspread.  And the modern tone would do a lot to counteract the stuffiness of the antiques.

Thank you for the chance to win!  I’m completely inspired to take better photos tomorrow and replace all of these.

My perfect habitat.

What are the chances that the people that live here are lame?  Seriously, it’s not possible.

Random and sundry

The Whiz got me some Tom’s.  I’m thrilled.

Today I organized the junk drawer.  Here’s a before which is actually a little cleaned up from it’s previous state:

Here’s the after.  SO much more user friendly.

One more item checked off my Home Cure list.

I also Craiglisted some ancient rusty cans of paint and a bunch of chipped and broken dishes that I was hoarding in the basement for a “future mosaic project”.  Amazing how many people will immediately jump all over that kind of crap.  Not that I’m judging.  I’m the one that was hoarding it.  But, man, it feels awesome to pare down.

Happy Friday you all.  Whiz and I have an evening of relaxation planned.  I cannot wait.

eco fashion

My Carleton alum mag came today with such an inspiring cover story about two best friends and recent grads who started up a socially conscious and ecologically responsible leather clothing line.  All their pieces are named after Carleton places and personalities.  I love this story on so many levels.

I know you’re all going to stop hanging out with me if I don’t start taking better photos so I’ll improve.  I promise.  Just give me until New Year’s.  Whiz and I decided to buy ourselves a nice new camera for Christmas this year rather than gift each other a bunch of random crap like we usually do.


I had lunch with Lou Gillette once a few years ago.  You know, Lou Gillette, of shrunken alligator penis fame.  I asked him if his work makes him paranoid.  He said “not really” but that he avoids non-stick cookware.  That impressed me.  So, a year ago I ordered a cast iron skillet.  Why did it take me so long?  I’m not sure.  Especially given the anemia.  But it’s probably related to a minor celebrity that the Whiz roomed with back in 1998 at Rainier.  Once I was cooking in their shared kitchen when he approached me to say “you know not to use soap on my cast iron skillet right?”  He said he just wanted to be sure because it sucked to have one ruined after getting it seasoned just right.  I acted like I totally knew that, but really I was deeply intimidated.  Who ever heard of cookware that couldn’t be washed?

A mere 12 years later I was recovered sufficiently to try one out.  Wow!  Hello perfect omlettes.  (It looks much better in real life than the photo conveys.)

And, finally, I’m ready to say goodbye to my non-stick.  I’ve only held on to it this long because it was a wedding gift and I’m sentimental.  Now that I have it out though, it’s sinking in how crummy this thing looks.  Good riddance.

So that’s that.  Thank you, Lou.