Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reupholstery project update

Here's the current state of the couch (iPhone photo, sorry for the bad pic and lack of editing).  I have it almost down to the frame. The process of stripping the couch down takes a very long time, those staples have been in there for 48 years and they do not want to surrender easily! 

We finally decided on a fabric, it's a linen rayon blend and it's perfect.  I can't wait to get to work on putting everything back together.  I have taken very detailed photos and notes as I've taken the couch apart and it seems like it will be pretty to put back together - I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I can't wait to share the process and the finished product with you!

Photo: The Design Boards

Bedroom Inspiration

Realizing that we've lived in our home for a year now and still haven't done much of anything to it has really gotten me down. I sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels with this house reno. There are so many things to do and I always let some excuse get in the way of actually getting anything done. Not anymore. I have decided to take on the smallest and cheapest projects I can for now, and then eventually work towards the mammoth projects that are probably going to make me lose sleep and go gray.

I am eager to make our house into a home - a place that is comfortable and lived in and that is a true reflection of us. So with all that, the first project I want to start with is our bedroom. I have started to gather some inspiration for the direction I want to go in. I want something simple, light and airy with a slight vintage feel to it. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shoes on display

Beautiful shoes on display, could there be anything better?  I love this idea and if I can convince Mike, I am going to have one of these in my house...

Behind the Design - Marañón

This week's Behind the Design features talented jewelry designer, Lorena of Marañón

Where does your inspiration come from?
Lately I've been inspired by traditional textile art and weaving from South America and Africa.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
Not particularly.  I do most of my research and image hunting on the web and certain finds inspire ideas I can work with in the future.  Creativity has a funny way of sneaking up on me when I'm least expecting it.  I could be anywhere and suddenly get struck by a million ideas all at once for no real reason.  I've learned to be patient with creativity, because it shows itself when it wants to, not when I do.

Where do you do most of your work?
I have a giant table against one of the walls in our home studio.  Above it are shelves that keep all of my supplies and tools.  My table is never tidy, and often things get buried underneath piles of thread.  It very honestly reflects the way I work.  I've always been extremely unorganized with everything I do, but somehow it all comes together in really good ways. 

How did you come up with the name for your business?
Marañón is a favorite fruit of my grandmother and I.  She claims that throughout the fruit's developmental stages, it displays ever single color.  I can't test the accuracy of that, but it was certainly good enough to make me want to name my brand after it.

Your favorite thing to make?
I can't decide between the three variations of stair-like necklaces, or the two variations of my fan-like necklaces, named after the peacock.  Both styles begin very innocently on the embroidery canvas, and always end up wowing me with their ability to completely transform from something flat, to something very dimensional.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
La Amazonia, one of my newer pieces, is a real treat to wear and to look at.  On the other hand, it's one of the most time consuming pieces to produce.  But my woes immediately vanish upon its completion because the results are worth everything. 

You couldn't run your business without ________?

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
I wish someone had told me to work on the one thing I was really good at, and focus only on that thing.  While making knits and pompoms was a lot of fun at the beginning, in hindsight, it was misused time.

Coffee of tea?
Tea forever.  As much as I've tried to enjoy coffee, I just don't like the way it behaves in my belly, and body.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
It's a tie between Style Bubble and Refinery 29.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
An early Fidel Castro.  I'd want to know if we have anything in common, aside from being Cuban.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
I have always enjoyed foraging for fruits and plants.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
I'd try to go everywhere.  It's one of those distant dreams of mine.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
Cake, internet, a machete, a stove, and a photograph of my boyfriend and mom.

Thank you Lorena for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Lorena, Marañón.

Lorena can be found at:
Etsy shop

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Fashion Files - Breton Stripes

I am in love with Breton stripes.  In love.  Jessica Schroeder does a great recap of the origin of this wonderful fashion trend on her blog - like many great fashion trends, we have the French to thank for this one.
I put together a cute and casual outfit based around Breton stripes for this week's fashion files (so sorry that this feature has been absent from the blog for a few weeks - it's definitely back to stay!) I think this would be a perfect weekend look for hitting the farmers markets, running errands, taking a bike could also dress it up with more accessories and of course I had to give a little nod to it's nautical origins with the anchor necklace. 

Look created using Polyvore.

Friday Link Love

Oh I am so glad Friday is here!  I have a jam packed weekend - literally three party/get-togethers tomorrow and then Sunday a photo shoot for apt22 and working on the couch.  What are your plans for the weekend?

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the web this week.  See you back here on Monday!  Have a fabulous weekend.

1. DIY your heart out with this project.  This would be a perfect project for an outdoor garden wedding or a chic backyard get together!

2. In love with this skirt project, made from thrifted material.  This is such a great throwback to 1960s pencil skirts. 

3. What a great birthday surprise.  I want something like this for my birthday next year!

4. A little blog love - I'm totally hooked on the-ensemble-project...some great weekend reading!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vintage Love - Fancy Cat Vintage

This week's Vintage Love features Tif of Fancy Cat Vintage.   Fancy Cat Vintage has a fabulous assortment of vintage fashion...I love every one of her finds!

What do you love about vintage?
I love anything that can be "re-used" or "re-purposed"...I don't know, I guess it's the feeling of not having to call something "officially" trash or useless.  Maybe it's the hippie in me wanting to RECYCLE everything.  I keep the most random things in hope that I'll be able to use it again some day.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you have been vintage/thrift shopping?
We found this thing, we called it a "Madeline" dress.  It was an emerald green baby doll style dress with a black ribbon bow and collar (just like Madeline's dress) sold for almost $200!!

Do you have a style or method you like to use when vintage/thrift shopping?
No, we just kind of find what we find.  There's no telling what there's going to be but the hunt is always fun.  Old communities like Long Beach and Pomona, California have great vintage stuff!

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
I will say, the "trashier" the place, the better!!  The cheap junk is always the good junk!

Thank you Tif for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Fancy Cat Vintage.

Tif can be found at:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We are adding new items to the shop daily, including men's clothing with the gorgeous hubby as a model!!  Check out some of our new items.  As a special for my readers, we are offering 10% off of anything in the shop. All you have to do is leave the answer to this question in the comments to seller section of the order and wait for a revised invoice to receive 10% off: "What anniversary did Mike and I celebrate last week?" 


Have you guys been checking out Pinterest?  It's my new favorite go-to for inspiration, and it's a really great way to catalog and keep track of all the great things I find online.  Here are some of my favorite things, found via Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things that make me smile...

Mike and I are trying to plan a last minute vacation in may be as exotic as Turkey or as simple as my parent's cabin but no matter where we go, we are definitely in need of a break! 

So, since I have far off places in my head today, that is really the theme of what is making me smile right now.  What about you, what is making you smile today?

Mid Century Moment

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am so loving the Shake It Iphone app recommended by sfgirlbybay. I've been playing around with it all weekend, taking polaroid style photos with the iPhone...genius! So here is a peak at my weekend in pictures...

I finally started working on the couch reupholstering. I removed the skirt and started to take off the fabric and the six million staples - such a tedious job but I am loving every minute of it.

When we started removing fabric we found a manufacturer ticket - the couch was ordered on 6/22/62 from a company in Alabama!  I love old stuff!

I picked up a vintage scarf while thrifting. I was channeling Joan Holloway from Mad Men. I always love the way she wears her hair in scarfs when she's at home...Can't wait for the new season to start!

We made these pancakes....they were so delicious.  The only tweak we made to the recipe was adding cinnamon to the batter, I highly recommend making these this weekend!

We took Peewee swimming, I think we got more enjoyment out of it than he did, he's actually trying to get out of the pool in this picture...
Photos: The Design Boards

Behind the Design - Laura Walls Taylor Pottery

This week's Behind the Design features the talented Laura from Laura Walls Taylor Pottery.

Where does your inspiration come from?
It's a cliché, that inspiration can come from anywhere, but it's true.  I make what I like and that can echo our much-superior natural world mixed with a dose of sarcasm.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
I much prefer dirt over concrete and spend half my time in an amazing place where crickets and frogs take the place of busses and cars that fill my weekdays.

Where do you do most of your work?
My life is decentralized.  In the country, I throw pots in a shed shared with old stained-glass lamps, gardening tools and a water heater.  In the city, my casting and glazing are done in my basement studio.  Most of my painting is pretty painstaking so it's done wherever the light is best at the time.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
Laura came from my parents.  Walls changed from maiden to middle.  Taylor was added when I imported my husband.

Your favorite thing to make?
Pottery is immediately gratifying and is the most fun, for sure.  There's nothing like transforming mud into useful things to get centered, but the most fun part of the process is the big reveal when I open the kiln door to see the real transformations.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
I'm pretty into my Goldilocks bowls and my "elements" vases with earth, sea, fire, and water pinup girls.

You couldn't run your business without _________?

Coffee of tea?

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Not really, but I like to see little chubby birds every morning.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
First choice is a bee, but you specified a person so that would be Obama.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
We're trying to grow corn and other delicious foods, and I guess the creativity comes in keeping it to ourselves instead of sharing too much with gophers and birds.  It's not creative, but I love hiking and swimming in rivers. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
Alaska, New Zealand, and Madagascar.  Not necessarily in that order and I'm throwing in the assumption that long flights are no object either.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
Husband, dog, sunglasses, water purification system, and a naturalist to help us.

Thank you Laura for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Laura,

Laura can be found at:
Etsy shop