Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pendant lighting

I just noticed this cute pendant light at Shades of matches the "faux" Roman shades I just completed for our office! Great minds, right? I've been wanting to put a pendant light in our dining room which is on hold for the moment. I just don't know how people with kids manage to have a decent looking dining room. I keep thinking it will happen soon...we'll see! In the meantime, if you come for dinner, please don't look too closely!

Would it be too matchy-matchy to have a pendant light, and shades in adjoining office in the same pattern? I'm thinking yes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What I've been googling

So, just when I thought that things might calm down with our know after the basement flood, the rotting wall, the tree removal, the broken dryer (the list goes on), I try to take a nap today (nap when your two-year-old naps) and I can't. WHY? Because it sounds like someone is hammering our house. So, I go outside, and it looks like someone shot our house repeatedly. Great. We've got wood peckers.

So, once I realize what's going on (and because I don't have a BeeBee gun handy), I go inside and start googling "how to get rid of woodpeckers". Which in turn leads me to googling "how to get rid of carpenter ants."  And, because I've discovered yet another sweater of mine has what really looks like moth holes in it, I've bee googling, "how to get rid of moths" (hopefully w/o using mothballs). I'm not sure which is worse, holey sweaters, or the smell of mothballs. Is there no end to the madness?

I'm sure when my husband gets home he's going to be googling "town homes".

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A fall outfit

My sister was wanting a cozy, put-together outfit for fall, so I came up with this for her. I think it's all from Garnet Hill, except the necklace is from Coach. I particularly like the Scrabble bracelet! Perfect for the author that she is!

The jeans are not skinny jeans. I have very mixed feeling about this newish trend. I have some, and I WANT to love them, but it's just not quite there. I think many people look cute in them (and maybe many people think I look cute in them!), but I think longer straight leg jeans just look better on most people.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Create your own book

I've finally settled down to start making Jake his own personalized book. No, not an official baby book (yet), just his own children's book which I think he's going to get a kick out of. As I've mentioned before, these personalized projects are always the hardest to start...if someone hired me to do it for them, no problem, I'd have it finished in a week. But for Jake? Well, we'll see...! But, since this one is finite, and I'm not aiming for perfection, just fun, I think I'll have it finished soon enough.

In the meantime, for those of you who don't want to start your own children's book from scratch, here a couple cute kits I found at Kate's Paperie. They're accordion style books, and include removable stickers to get you started.

OK, wish me luck, I'm going to go start my new book: Where are Jake's Toes?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crafty Inspiraton

I was recently researching book covers for a craft book project I'm working on, and came across these inspiring titles. I particularly love the Vampire Knits cover (check out the interior too!). It would almost make me want to start knitting again, but Jake seems to have found a new game called "rope" where he throws my stash or yarn down the stairs while holding on to the end. I can't imagine who taught him that game (mom!).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Faux" roman shades

Today, I finally was able to make some "faux" roman shades for my office. They didn't need to go up and down for privacy, so I didn't have to worry about all the apparatus that comes with making traditional roman shades (which aren't actually too hard to make).

At the last minute, I added some ball fringe I had lying around. I'm a big fan of ball fringe, although I know most think it's more appropriate for kids rooms. What do you think? Was it a good idea? It just seemed too plain without.

Any reader who knows me personally has probably had to hear the endless ins and outs of my search for a rug for my office (thank you for your patience!) To make a long story short, I ended up going full circle, and decided to use the rug that had been in my former NYC apartment. It just seems to fit, and the fabric I chose for the "faux" blinds goes nicely with it. (older photo here)

Unfortunately, the storage in this office area is a little awkward, but I'm hoping to have it done soon. What I'd really love is the loffice (below) that Janell posted on her Houzz Idea Book. I love the built-ins, the sliding door, the functional storage space. It's got a somewhat similar look to my office area, but the window is much bigger (and nicer), and the storage/built-ins look terrific. I wish I could see more of it! Then, I could pass the photos to my handyman to see what he could concoct!

I'm on a bit of a home organization mission (as you may have read in my last post), and finally having some window treatments in the office, gives it all a much more finished look...and makes me more motivated to keep going!

P.S. Our garage? ORGANIZED!!!

P.P.S.S. I was happy to note that the Halloween Playset I designed found it's way front and center on the Halloween display table at B&N!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An organized mission!

I'm currently designing a "life organizer" written by Lisa Montanaro, a certified professional organizer. I've been reading the content as I go, and it's really got me thinking about how I'd like to implement some of the ideas into my own home.

My husband uttered a few words yesterday that are magic to my ears, "we really need to get organized this weekend." I know, not the most romantic words, but he's actually really GOOD and EFFICIENT at it when he puts his mind to it (so I'm hoping he'll remember these magical words this weekend!) I'm more likely to be the one to implement the system, but a project like this is almost too time consuming and overwhelming for me at the moment, because I rarely have more than a couple free hours to take on something like this, so I don't. BUT, with his efficiency, a good teamwork project like this would be great (and I actually think it's fun to things like this with him, even though he dreads it!) and I for one will appreciate the ease that it will add to our lives going forward.

While I would say that we are generally organized in our day to day lives, our basement (which was gutted/redone due to our flood last winter), and garage have remained clogged places for far too long. It will be a huge relief to me to have organized storage areas in these areas.

The book/organizer I'm working on has several interesting points on organization...

Here are several passages in the Life Organizer that I found particularly interesting and in keeping with my desire to free up some clutter:

Why is living an organized life so important? Let’s examine some of the benefits. Being organized positively affects your time, money, health, space, reputation, and relationships. Organized people save time (time lost to searching for missing items), save money (not buying duplicates anymore as they know what they have, avoiding late fees by paying bills on time, etc.), have lower stress, and are able to focus on what they really want to accomplish, whether that is work related, self time, or family time.

One thing the book points out is (this is me!):
If you are overwhelmed, just thinking about getting organized may cause you to suffer from what I’ve termed “Organizing ADD.” That is when you have so many pockets of clutter and disorganization in your life that it’s overwhelming, making it difficult to begin the process.

And the benefits? Lisa writes:
Always keep in mind that as you release clutter of any kind, you are freeing up precious space for new (and hopefully better!) items and opportunities to come into your life (or maybe just open space so that you have room to breathe). From an energy standpoint, many cultures believe that until the clutter is cleared, beauty cannot flow in. Regardless of what you believe, I have seen the results hundreds of times. When people clear clutter and get organized, even in some subtle ways, positive change occurs. So try to enjoy the journey itself, and let the power of the process unfold naturally and work its magic.

And now to begin:
Stalled out on a task or project? Take a cue from Nike, and “Just Do It!” Once you get started, you gain momentum and energy. Usually, all of the thinking about and dreading the task is worse than actually doing it!

In keeping with my organize, simplify, and de-clutter theme today, I came across a nice guest post by Courtney Carver on Rowdy Kittens who writes:
When you make the choice to change and live simply, you are rewarded immediately with peace of mind. The simpler you make your life, the easier it will be to make a change. Things don’t always happen right away, but by making the choice to change, you fill your life with hope instead of uncertainty, optimism instead of doom. That hope and optimism will inspire your journey as you move from where you are to where you want to be.

P.S. The book I'm working on will be available next stay tuned!