Thursday, April 17, 2014

Like Jesus I've been resurrected from blog death!

It has come to my attention this week that the ultimate tragedy has befallen our nation: YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO READ MY BLOG.  Apparently there was some kind of Blogger/Feedburner fuckery because new posts did not show up in RSS readers or email subscriptions since about January.  I only discovered this when my post earlier this week prompted Feedburner to wake the fuck up and send the entire backlog all in one dump and it confused people.

Thanks a fucking lot, internet things that I do not understand how they work.

Also, thanks to y'all for not even telling me!  I could have been dead, my rotting corpse hunched over on top of my laptop, Charlemagne long since eaten my eyeballs then moved away, and y'all would be like "I think she's just on hiatus..."

I would never leave for two months without telling y'all.  That's just rude.  Two weeks, maybe.  Ok maybe three like in that one summer a few years ago when it was just too damn hot to blog but never months.  

So I hope you're still here and thanks to the people that check on my site old school style or came through from Twitter.  I really should be better about tweeting myself but that seems really hard when I'd rather tweet about US Airways blunders and the weather.

So I'm not posting anything of real value today, just letting you know am I NOW aware of the problem and trying to investigate the why.  So a quick recap of what I've been up to lately?  Um...

First off, I read these while spending some time in airplanes the past few days:

All excellent.

In bloglandia, I've been planting a lot, ants make really good architects, I saw American Hustle, I WANT to see this cabin, I thrifted - A LOT - and I gave some of my latest travel and moisturization secrets to you.

Most importantly, I've kinda been redecorating my bedroom.  It needed some love after many sad years of bland and I got kinda inspired by this whole jungle theme which I totally appropriately named Heart of Darkness.  But don't worry, the jungle theme is only for blog lyfe and inspiration.  But I made a real mood board and have slowly been changing up my beauty rest space and have painted all the walls and made some other progress.  Mostly a mess but some progress too.

I think that's the main stuff.  The sad part is that I've made a pointed effort to blog more this year only to find out that almost no one is reading it.  Sigh... such is blog life.

Anyway, welcome back, missed you, love you, let's drink some chai spiked with booze and talk about my plants and paint colors and eggs.

In light of this weekend, y'all know I'd rather cut off my infamous beauty mole than celebrate the resurrection of Christ but I did run across these Easter eggs - let's call them Spring Equinox Eggs of Blessed Fertility aka Mother Nature's Ovary Glitter - and was kinda amazed.

They're decorated with flowers and then wrapped in onion skins and boiled.  Our ancestors really knew their shit.

See the full tutorial and pictures at Ulicam
But mostly about eggs and pretty colors.

Hopefully we won't have any more blog issues but please holler at me if you're having problems with something - commenting, feedly messing things up, you think I might be dead.

You're on your own with eggs though.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nothing a little wood filler and tender sanding can't fix.

I'm taking a gardening break to talk bedroom talk.  Bow chicka wah waahhh wahh...  That sounds way sexier than it is.  Unless you're reaaally into MALM and based on tv shows I've seen on TLC it could happen.  I don't judge.  So since it's been a hot minute let's catch up on all the non-happenings in my bedroom.


Ok first off I got a rug.

This is a whole lot of things people call PATTERN and COLOR but it's a nice change.  I'm still adjusting but it was a cheap find at a local place so let's roll with it for a while.

Dressers are finally together and beginning to be junked up on top as the good lord intended flat surfaces to be.  I went with two 4-drawer options side-by-side because have you ever actually looked at the regular 6 drawer dresser?  It's 30" tall.  That's about two inches taller than my nightstand and hits right above my knee.  THAT IS NOT A DRESSER THAT IS A BENCH.

If I wear heels I could use it as a chair.  Apparently Swedish people are actually the size of their meatballs.

In other Swedish news, I've got most of the curtains up after going Full Monty for over a month.  I don't think anyone could see me since my windows are fairly hidden and since I don't have a court date or actual date I think I was safe.

Can I just say how utterly fantastic it is that IKE-Rah now has white curtain rods?!  I don't know when this happened but IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE and has been my dream for many years.  

Unfortunately, hanging a new curtain rod takes HOURS for me because my walls are made of plaster/concrete/diamonds and drilling holes in them in miserable and makes me want to cry.

And if anyone did peep through my curtainless windows for the past month maybe they cried too.  Sorry, neighbors.  It was a very tragic time in the neighborhood for us all.

I bought a double rod so I can use sheers and then dummy panels on the sides but I haven't gotten that far yet.  I used sheers I already had in an attempt to save money but forgot I cut them shorter at one point...

GAWDDAMMIT.  Back to the Swedish land of tiny dressers and lingonberries to get some other options.

Since I was moving a lot of clothes to my new dressers I figured it was a good time to clean out my closet.  That's where most of my time pre-gardening was spent in case you were wondering (you weren't).  It's a thankless and unsexy job but my soul feels lighter and I've found Charlemagne's secret nap hole.  The 1/2 inch layer of fur on an old hat clued me in.

Still so much work to do...  I have a secret fetish for organized closet porn so we'll get to that later on.

I'm going to DIY an upholstered headboard (do people still even do that shit?) and have been to every thrift store in the tri-state area.  I HAVE A JOYLESS HOBBY.  Finally found this winner at the Salvation Army.

It was $5 so I think I could splurge for it.  I'm going to attach a piece of plywood/whatever to the back to make it square.  The internet says making headboards is easy and they are never wrong!

Now I just gotta pick a fabric.  AHHHH CHOICES!  At least if it's shade of beige if I totally fuck it up it won't matter that much.  Just kidding I'll want to take a concrete bath for eternity.

Headboard fabric also kinda depends on the shade of paint I pick for the nightstand which will be something taupe-y/greige-y.  I'm really goin' bold here.  But I kinda want my bedroom to look like greige angels nap there so the boring is on purpose.

However, Mr. $3 Nightstand has a few issues that we are currently addressing:

Nothing a little wood filler and tender sanding can't fix.

Story of my life.

I'm dragging my feet in a lot of areas because I have so many things that need to be done (in and out of the bedroom) that I can't focus and therefore nothing gets done except oooh let's have more wine and read this magazine and relandscape my yard. 

But the pollen plague has begun so I'll be forced to stay indoors in a hermetically sealed bubble so hopefully I can get some work done then.  

Stay healthy, y'all, and may tender sanding fix all that ails you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

This year's garden is sponsored by alcohol.

So I was supposed to do a bedroom update but instead of painting my nightstand this weekend I got sidetracked with SPRING!  *twirls around in freshly-mowed grass with a spiked iced chai*

Ahh Spring.  That wondrous time of year when birds come out to sing and assholes come out to drive around my block real slow like to watch me bend over and sweat while I do yardwork.  

Well I'm giving them a good show this year - now with extra grunting! - because I've gotten an early start on the ModSauce Gardens of Eternal Delight!  I'm chopping down giant shrubs, clearing debris and have already been at the nurseries before they even get their good shit in.  I'M DRUNK IN LOVE with playing in the dirt.

Literally drunk.  It's chai season, motherfuckers, so I've been pouring some Godiva white chocolate liquer in there and it's the stuff of dreams.  I get one any time of the day or night for accomplishing something yard-related.  I'm hoping to have a yard so pretty I'll be an alcoholic by the end of the summer!

Or until it's too hot to work.

So far I've planted this little (not so little) guy:

This is the spot of doom and a different plant has died here every year for the last six years.  I have a good feeling about this laurel though but maybe it's just the booze talking.  That little sedum thingy in the front is coming back from last year so I feel like that's a good omen.

I'm trying to clean up the ground mess but it's mostly from the two angry holly bushes I trimmed that are next to it and they like to torture me.

Like millions of little daggers trying to destroy my hands!  I curse the previous owners who thought planting twelve of these was a good idea.  I have the scratched and bloody forearms of a tweeker right now.  Better get myself TWO spiked chai lattes for comfort.

And here's what's next in line for planting:

Charlemagne loves to make new green friends.
Pro tip: if you think of them all as annuals you'll never be disappointed!  

Considering a lot of these ARE annuals it's like I'm hardly even lying.

I'm feeling more positive than ever about my black thumb so hopefully my shameful flower beds will be worth actually showing you in a few months.

*drunkenly waves to you with muddy/bloody hands*

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's architecture face.

Ok I can explain...

I was done thrifting but then I HAD to go to the thrift store to schedule them to FINALLY pick up the washing machine that has overstayed its welcome on my back porch.  You know what they say about fish and unused appliances...

I'll miss that giant signal of white trash life but figure I have plenty of other things that will fill in the gap.

So I only went in to the thrift store for a minute to casually peruse the decor aisle while I waited on someone to help me juuust in case something needed me to rescue it from it dismal life in a fluorescent-lit concrete brick building and lo and behold I was a SAVIOR.

I'm the Jesus Christ of vintage lamps and my wallet dies a little for humanity's lack of creative vision every time they throw out a quality item.  I'm a very happy and stylish martyr/hoarder.

So now that we've gotten the brass and blasphemy out of the way (Brass and Blasphemy is the name of my brass quintet that plays all gospel music except we replace every mention of Jesus with a long, sad trombone sound), I am here to tell you that progress is in fact being made in my bedroom.

You're not going to see any of it right now but things are happening.  It's Spring and there are a million house projects happening right now and I'm doing them all at the same time which means none of them are complete.  My house is in transition.  It has a giant blue aura.

At least I think that's the correct color...  That's what a psychic told me one time when I had a blue/turquoise aura which he told me meant change and transition so obviously none of that could be wrong.

While I'm busy chopping down trees in my yard and having an existential crisis over the state of my closet for the third time, have you seen these amazing Archiportraits by Federico Babina?

I give them 5 out of 5 squees.

That's a lot of squees.  I'm exhausted.

*squee afterglow*

He also has a series on movie sets called Archiset and houses in movies called Archicine.

I think I like the portraits the best because how can you resist Louis Kahn smiling at you?

Or Oscar Niemeyer waving at you?!


You can buy prints of these and all of his other work at Society 6 should anyone want to get a head start on my Christmas.  8x10s are $25 and they go up to a 28x38 for $83.

I kinda want an entire wall of prints for maximum ArchiRainbowPortrait.

I've been trying to think of what my portrait would look like if you combined the things I've created and/or am known for and... it's not pretty.

It'd be things like an old laptop, a box of wine, a shoe with a broken heel, glasses, lipstick, a dirty porch with a washing machine on it, a vintage lamp, a wheel of cheese and some cheap bracelets.

Originally found via Dezeen but make sure to check out Babina's website for lots more.
I'm sure you'd want to put that on your wall as much as Zaha!

I'll try to give you a real update on the bedroom next week.  I saw a bunch of bloggers are starting an 8-week room makeover project right now and I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll be finished before me...


Better get to patching that nightstand...

*lovingly hugs new lamp instead*

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ugly Sweaters and Haunted Handbags...Thrifting: The Movie.

I like the simple things in life: the brown crust at the bottom of the pan when you overcook rice, not having to wait in line at Costco to pump gas, and the thrill of buying worthless shit from thrift stores at rock bottom prices.

After a No-Spend February where I didn't frivolous shop at all and a previous six months of abstaining from from buying junk for my house I've fallen off the wagon.  Or got back on the wagon?  I'm not sure which one...  

Either way I've been hitting the thrifting bottle hard and sluttin' it up in junk stores all across the land.
That's an old X-ray machine in my favorite dive thrift store.

So much cobwebbed junk and dismembered crotches, so little time.  

But I've gotten a lot of really good jazz so let's inventory a bunch of things I bought that I TOTALLY needed in my life.

Scored a sweet little quilted pleather pursette and some Danish salad servers from an estate sale.  I'm really into white right now so this is really working for my white witch Spring look.  And I'm always into 60 yr old Danes so that was a no-brainer.

My favorite sexual position: clumsy dry humping.
I also didn't think twice about this Japanese erotic print for less than $10.  It's not even showing any genitalia so I think it's like the soft focus romantic porn of shunga so it's safe for my walls.  You're welcome, Mom.

I'm a little obsessed with baskets from the thrift stores and I thought this one could work on my dresser for jewelry and sparkly things.  Or for .59 dirty socks or something.

This little vintage birdie is for a Christmas gift (oh yes - I shop early, y'all).  The cool part is that it's from a local non-profit - the Orange Grove Center - which is an organization that helps the developmentally disabled and is a fun piece of local history.

When I got home I flipped it over and saw this sticker...

It says Orange Grove Center for Retarded Children on it... :-///////  

But THIS other piece of pottery doesn't make me uncomfortable at all:

It says 'Made in Italy' on the bottom and I think it's a clumsy Bitossi knockoff but it's super cute and will fit nicely in that cabinet of junk in background.

It's only black and white because all the color pictures looked terrible for some reason.
Ok technically this one isn't from a thrift store BUT I found a knockoff Arne Jacobsen's AJ lamps at a local bargain/closeouts store.  The original is about $900+, the normal knockoff price is $200 on Amazon, this one was marked to $100 at the store with 80% off.  So like $20.  Honestly, I just wanted to brag about the price.  Even the cashier made me ring the 'bargain bell' because it was such a good deal.   

It was probably the best moment of my entire life.

Back to used merchandize...

This tiny cup planter has a cartoon fiddle leaf fig on the front and directions for how to care for one on the back. But a fiddle leaf fig won't fit in the cup so what the...?  I'll put a succulent in it.

Found this 'geode' labelled as 'rock' for $2.  Silly booth owner.  I also couldn't resist this book solely for the bright green cover and embossed image.  I felt immediately it's my new mascot.  

After a little hunting and advice from a smart person, I think it's an image of Branwen which means 'white-breasted raven' or something like that.  I really AM feeling the white lately!  The ancient Welsh worshipped her as the daughter of the sea (but she's a bird?)... I don't know.  It's hard to find information on her because Branwen is the name of some slightly pornographic anime character and that's all that comes up when you google an image. 

Apparently I'm subconsciously all about Japanese erotica lately as well.

I mean, apart from my deep and undying lust for tentacle porn, OBVIOUSLY.

When I'm not channeling my new bird/lady/sea queen, I'm buying even MOAR vintage purses and skulls.

When you see a good skull and grandma purse for cheap, you are physically obligated to take them home with you.

Question: should you smudge a purse that was purchased at an estate sale or at a yard sale from a person that is most likely dead?  I can buy their furniture but things from their closet seems a bit more personal.

Pretty okay with not needing to smudge the skull.

Oh look!  Even more pottery!  It's a problem...

I love to find vintage pottery made by random people - probably your single eccentric aunt in the '70s who also was really into macrame - when they carve their name on the bottom with a toothpick.  Good job, Suzie.

I'm starting to feel the urge to carve my name into something with a toothpick and might end up taking a pottery class soon.  How single eccentric aunt of me!

I'm also pretty stoked about this brass planter WITH LITTLE TINY LEGS.  


So much squee.

In related brassitude, I had to have the picture solely for the frame.

Sorry, terrible 1992 boat picture of random origin. You're gonna get the boot soon and replaced with something probably black and abstract.

But it's not all house stuff.  I have picked up a few vintage dresses.

Those midi-length dresses that are making the rounds are really piquing my interest and, low and behold, vintage dresses are the perfect length!  I've yet to wear them out but I think they might see the light of day again this Spring.

But some things have to stay packed away until next winter...

How am I supposed to resist a sweater with mirrors?!?!?!?

Please someone have a terrible white person ugly sweater party so I have a reason to wear this.  I can't tell if it'd be ironic or unironic but it has shoulder pads and I have leggings so...

Aaaand now I'm done shopping for a while.  

Unless something else has REALLY TINY BRASS LEGS and then I'm not responsible for what happens to my wallet.

But thrifting isn't all about ugly sweaters and haunted handbags, it's about friendship.

Here's Buford.  My new best friend that lives at one of my junk malls.  She happily climbed on my finger and promptly said 'peekaboo' to me a few times and then my heart melted and died next to a table of vintage Pyrex.  The store owner was nice enough to snap a picture of Buford giving me kisses on my cheek and it literally made my entire month.

See?  Thrifting isn't always about the dirty dealings of money.  It's about friendship and playing peekaboo with animals.

And also cheap cow skullz.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I never knew the value of wheels or a dedicated caffeine area.

Alert the internet gawds because I'm feeling quite design bloggery this week!  Earlier I had one too many grapefruit chia seed white wine spritzers in a DIY'ed gradient glass and passed out headfirst into a bowl of avocado toast and glitter.  I've also been thrifting like mad, starting some DIY projects and gotten googly-eyed over a bar cart.

WHO AM I?!?!?!?

A Beautiful Mess
Something about this cute little coffee station is hitting me right in my design feels.  My personal design no-nos are chalkboard walls (which the background might be...?) and bar carts and this picture appears to have both.  And yet I've stared at it for at least seven consecutive minutes this week.

Did you even KNOW you wanted a Mason jar of coffee stirrers until you saw this pic?  I sure didn't.

Maybe it's the organization... maybe it's the idea of having options for amazing coffee every morning instead of the terrible skunk tar that my office serves... maybe it's the two - TWO - bouquets of flowers...  I don't know but it makes me want to work on jazzing up my kitchen with a legit fancy coffee station.  I currently have a tray and some things but nothing that's even Instagram worthy.  I feel ashamed.

As a general rule I need to jazz up my house for guests with, like, fancy guest towels and sachets and shit because right now the only thing they can count on when they come over is a funky smell and lots of cat hair.

Look, the smell stays until I can refinish the hardwoods but the coffee station and cat hair I can totally - probably - maybe -  take care of.

A Beautiful Mess
Here's another coffee station ALSO from A Beautiful Mess the year before.  It's less my style but damn, this girl is really into styling caffeine stations.  Mad respect.  

PS Are vintage Thermoses (Thermosi?) the new Mason jar?  I could get behind that in a Moonrise Kingdom kind of way.  But not if Gawd and everybody is gonna do it too...

The other kind of cart that's been on my radar this week (I told you I'm crazy high on Design Bloggerz Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Internet Famous) is this cute little bastard.
Succulents and Sunshine
AKA the other time this week I stopped dead in my Pinterest scrolling.  Not only is it well done - the blogger is THE succulent queen and has several very affordable ebooks written about them which I MUST purchase immediately - but it solves a plant problem for me.

Not the problem where I kill 87% of my plants (although her books might help!) but the problem of wintering my succulents!  

This Little Street
I actually did a good job of sustaining a succulent container garden last year on my patio but then when cold weather got here I realized I was up cactus creek without a paddle.  I had no plan.  I brought everything inside and tried to find windowsills and tile corners where I could water and not ruin anything but it was very tense.

But a cart. A CART!  That I could move around inside, outside, to the window, to the wall, til the water drips down the pots into easy-to-care-for metal shelves...  

I probably wouldn't pick this color or paint racing stripes on it but I'm just showing you the good things other people are doing.

This IKE-Rah cart is EVERWHAR.  A laundry cart does give me some good ideas...

Livet Hemma
I don't think I'd actually purchase Mr. Raskog but I do like the grey better.  The color would set off the succulents nicely though, huh?

How often can you say succulents without sounding like you're trying to badly sext someone?  I don't know if saying it more will help or hurt...

Fancy Farmgirl Photography I think...
Regardless, a plant cart of any sort makes a lot of sense for me.  Also, when August turns drought time I can just gently wheel everything in under the patio roof in the shade to save my babies.

Someone mentioned to me last year about getting an old kitchen baker's rack to use outside for plants and I thought that was genius.  I couldn't roll it anywhere but I have a lot of space that needs filling.

That sounded almost as bad as sexting 'succulents' over and over...

Suvi Sur Le Vif
Do you know how hard it is to find an inspiration image of a cart that's NOT used as a bar cart?  People are going insane with their bar carts.  I challenge every bar cart owner to make me three different cocktails using the ingredients on your cart RIGHT NOW!

Same source as above? I give up...
YOU LOSE.  Thanks for playing.

That's literally all the inspiration carts I could find on Pinterest.  

After searching for seven minutes... 

I started to do a shopping round-up of carts for us and our new coffee station/plant trolleys but realized I can find carts almost weekly at thrift stores and junk stores for less than new ones so you're on your own!

However, I did stumble on these Jayden metal shelves from World Market and at $64 and $80 these seemed like reasonable options for an industrial/creepy medical look which is hard to find on the cheap at the thrift store.

They can hold lots of coffee stirrers, succulents or bone saws til your heart's content.

If I actually do create (possibly non-mobile) coffee station or a garden cart I'll let you know.

Until then, try not to create a scene fighting over metal furniture at the Goodwill.