Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doorway to Heaven. (Probably because there are Turkish delights inside...)

I may joke sometimes about wasting my degree in interiors but I thank jeebus every day that I didn't continue on that career path.  Bless those who do but it was not for me.  My brief experiment into Interiors included days upon days researching the button mechanism for handicap accessible doors (a noble yet intensely boring quest) and drawing HVAC plans.  Poorly drawing HVAC plans.  Not for any lack of skill on my part but my job was to follow the project manager's orders not question the fundamental principals of office design.  Had they asked though...

It was surprising to me how little thought (if any at all) was put into the physical comfort of the end user.  I sat there adrift in a sea of cubicles shivering in my sweater during a July in Atlanta drawing spaces that were exact replicas of my own personal hell.  Have I told you this story before?  Pretend it's new, I'm feeling nostalgic.

I was so miserable during my ID job I quit eating.  I QUIT EATING!  Normally under stress I binge eat like a normal person does to avoid dealing with emotional hurdles but I was way beyond the comfort of mashed potatoes at that point.  A woman on the verge!  

When I realized I had quit eating I figured maybe I should do something else because I fucking love mashed potatoes, y'all.  I still liked designing but I was in the wrong part of it.  Fast forward through some soul-searching and a bit of luck and I have a job I enjoy and this is where the thanking jeebus part comes in.     

When I think about my possible alternate life where I'd be slaving away on AutoBAD all day I don't miss it one bit.  Currently I get paid to spend hours on Pinterest, shop catalogs and doodle.  I didn't know how to articulate "I want a job that involves grown-up coloring books" when talking to my college admissions.  

But every now and then I see something and for a split second I think 'Damn, 20-yr-old Madame!  Were mashed potatoes really that important??  Couldn't you have just stuck it out a little longer to move beyond HVAC plans so we could have maybe had the chance to design cool things like this?"

via Apartment Therapy
'This' being this doorway that is from somewhere in Architectural Digest if anyone is familiar with where exactly it came from and cares to enlighten me I would appreciate it.  I kinda want to see where this door leads...  (Narnia??!!!)

It's really nothing special except for its UTTER PERFECTION!  I love everything about it.  I love the patio/sidewalk and the low blue steps and the round little shrubby things and every damnedable thing about the door surround and even the fact that the door doesn't appear to have a peephole.  It doesn't even matter to me since the door should be left open at all time just like this.  Come on in, friends and criminals!  We have Turkish delights in here!

I'm not saying I could have actually designed anything like this if I'd stayed in ID most likely because I would have shoved my head through my computer screen one night while working late.  They would have found me dead and frozen at my desk the next day.  

Of course, I found this image on Pinterest during my current job so let your brain wrap around that mobius strip of alternate possibilities.

See, Pinterest is more than just pretty pictures (of Ryan Gosling), it's about questioning your life choices!  And then reaffirming those choices with healthy amounts of mashed potatoes eaten at my desk during lunch.  

A desk that has a small heater under it.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm tagging this "Pretty places I wouldn't put dumpster flowers in"

I don't know what it was - maybe my uterus was in retrograde or something - but Interiors and Design just weren't doing it for me this winter.  I was feeling all sad face about my overflowing reader and blogs went unread - UNREAD - for weeks on end.  

I just couldn't look at another picture of someone's living room without *eyerolling* and was infinitely bored of lamps and artfully stacked books.  Online mags?  Yawn.  I was afraid I'd developed some kind of epilepsy where every time I saw another room with an industrial pendant light I'd have a seizure and fall asleep.  It's like Elle Decor-induced epileptic narcolepsy.  I'm a doctor of medical sauce.  Dr. Sauce!  

But the tides have turned (Zing! Uterus joke!) and I'm feeling all romantical about looking at pretty pictures again!  So go ahead - throw in another Eames chair and salvaged light fixture on my dashboard.  I need a decoratin' fix!

photography by Naomi Finlay via Desire to Inspire
Hello dirty fireplace bricks, I really really like you.  I also like the deep blue and orangey red color combo - it's like they're talking to each other.  Dirty talk of course.  I don't even care that the person sitting in the Eames chair will feel like the loser friend of the group because of the awkward furniture arrangement but since I love interiors again I'm not even going to make some snarky comment about it.  

photography by Joseph De Leo via Desire to Inspire
Sweet merman balls of Titan!  I do love some winter white.  A tulip table will never give me epileptic narcolepsy - only orgasmisplosions of awesomeness in my soul.    But it's taking everything I've got to not talk about why there's a giant chrome alien dildo on the table...  I've already maxed out my sex toy jokes for this year so y'all will have to insert your own here.  (I can't stop.) 

Kelly Behun via Desire to Inspire
This is kinda grey for winter white but it sure is purdy.  But I think you could only eat white foods in here which is the opposite of what Oprah told me to eat.  Now I'm all confused!  Yet again my design lust has overpowered my need for normalizing blood sugar levels.  Sorry, pancreas.  It's better this way.

via Studio Annetta
I think I'm going to put some flowers in my bedroom this weekend because YAY!  If I buy flowers for the Ranch I always end up buying the shitty flowers that are half dead because I feel sorry for them because no one else buys them and it breaks my tender heart for flowers to get their feelings hurt so *I* save them from their imminent dumpster death!  But then have ugly dead flowers within 24 hours.  Maybe I should aim for some nice flowers because I like myself marginally better than wilting daisies and dried baby's breath.  Marginally.

If Earthfare could have that dresser next to the flowers that would be good too.  I'm still using my dresser from when I was a kid.  This is a horrible horrible fact.  It still has the tiny Barbie sticker I hid in the corner.  I wish the return of the '80s would hurry up so I could look cool rather than so gawddamned lame...

here but source?
*looks at brand new renovated kitchen*

*looks at this kitchen*

*looks at brand new renovated kitchen - images pretty flowers on the counter*

*looks at this kitchen*

*single tear rolls down cheek..*  

*dry humps computer screen*

via Small Shop Studio
The only thing this rooms needs is a giant alien sex toy on that table.  I would eat off of that floor.  I think I could EAT that floor. 

I feel so inspired now that my love for looking at other peoples' houses for hours on end with no hope of ever attaining living there has been rekindled.  Sigh...  Oh blogging.  Thanks for filling my head with nonsense and the promise of dreams that will never come true.  You're the bestest.

I can't wait to rearrange all my thrift store junk and hand-me-downs this weekend!  I'll top off my artfully arranged books on my 80s dresser with the 2nd ugliest bouquet of flowers I found at the store.  

Because that's how much I marginally care.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tangerine can Tango with my fist!

Pour yourself a Satsuma cocktail and dry hump a ginger because we are gonna talk about O-raaahhnnnnge!

I'm always super late to the game with these Pantone posts but I like to see what everyone else says first.  And then *eye-motherfuckin-roll* into the new year and then get busy gabbing!

But it's extra late this year because I'm supremely bored with Pantone lately and have been avoiding this post like Lady Mary avoids cousin peen. #DowntonAbbeyReference 

As I'm sure you've heard the color of the year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango. 

Yay. Limp streamers.  Mylar balloons.  Bad cake.  I hate it when a bad thing happens to a decent color.

I don't have a funny name for it because I don't even hate Pantone enough this year to give it 110%.  I'm basically indifferent now.  And Gandhi totally said the opposite of love isn't hate, but indifference.  Or was it MLK?  Ricki Lake?  Aw fuck it.  I love over-analyzing color but leave it up to Pantone to completely strip all the joy out of that for me with this Color of the Year bullshit.  Thanks a lot, assholes.

Back in October I made some "predictions" about what I thought Pantone's choice might be - I leaned more toward deep blue and mustardy neutrals but I did include a a bit of orangey rust because I'm a gypsy fortuneteller. 
I would dry hump this (maybe it already has been?). I love it. via Busy Being Fabulous. AGAIN.
Granted, I didn't actually predict this color but that's kinda close right?!  Right.  I should start giving psychic readings.  As long as it's about color and people are fine with 30% accuracy.  And I can spend a lot of time on Pinterest doing it...

I'd personally prefer a darker and redder orange but hey, I'm just a hillbilly (gypsy fortuneteller) so everyone should probably ignore me.

Fake Blood by Federica Erra

I'm also feeling some peaches and corals lately too...?  Must be because we're all gearing up for Spring as indicated by the 65 degree January days and bathing suits already out in stores that make me want to barf.  
Martha Stewart
Y'all, remind me to shave my legs by March.

But I'm down with Tangerine Tango as a color even though I usually try to avoid orange because in Tennessee it is more indicative of your college football preference than a design choice.  

Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for Pop F/W 2002 via The Form of Beauty
I'm down with some Fifth Element hair.

But I can't just give Pantone a pass this year because that's no fun.  So grab your panties y'all - here comes my obligatory rant!  

Heeey... Tangerine Tango looks a lot like Tiger Lily....  here
Tangerine Tango follows a list of super jazzy shades of the past few years.  Shades that I'm only marginally okay with.  Nothing says living in 'The Great Recession' like cabana colors of yellow, tur-qwaz, pank and bright orange!!!!!!!

Per Pantone's press release this year:
The 2011 color of the year, PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.
Oy.  You've been telling us to "recharge and move forward" with "verve and vigor" for the last four years and I don't think it's working.  My friends are still unemployed, I spent the afternoon at Goodwill and my Pantone-colored dildo collection STILL can't find financial backing!  Fuck your energy boost!  It's condescending and elitist.  (But if you're really looking for an energy boost might I suggest the vibrating cock ring in Color-of-the-Year 2008 Blue Iris?  Oh wait, you can't get that because this is a recession and I CAN'T GET MY BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND!!)

McQueen Spring 2012 via Vogue
If you're looking for the "radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”  That you can buy as their Tangerine Tango journal to advertise you're a raging douchebag.  Or coffee mug.  It also makes a great addition to their holiday ornament collection.  Or folding chair.  Or probably KitchenAid mixer licensing deal orgasmisplosion.  Or double-ended monster butt plug where each end is shaped like the head of one of the Eames?  Eh? EH?!!?!!  *eyebrow wiggle*  Are you a Charles or a Ray?

via The Ray & The Ro

Pantone's rainbow paragraphs of optimism and sunshine don't really reflect how people are spending their money.  (Well, maybe the luxury market... I don't know, I've been at Goodwill.)  It reflects how Pantone feels optimistic about their own expanding brand because they want you to spend your money on them.  And stay in their hotel.   

According to my top secret sources at Heimtex this year, orange and copper were definitely there as accent colors.  However there were large quantities of dark blues and greys.  Well then...   And grey seems to be the color of the decade but that would make the most boring Fleshlight color ever. Grey doesn't fly of the shelves and onto your dick like Honeysuckit Pank does.*

If only there was some kind of gypsy fortuneteller - perhaps with a lovable hillbilly charm and a smile that would make New Gingrich divorce another wife - that could have foretold such a thing!!!!  CURSES!
Tangerine can also Tango with pank!  Honor Pre-Fall 2012 via Uncle Beefy
Granted, Heimtex is a home decor market and I tend to be focused on that one industry.  I guess that's where the Tangerine Tango Christmas ornament comes in.  I'm seeing a lot more "radiant shadings of a sunset" in fashion right now.  So it's no surprise to learn that Pantone is moving into the makeup business by teaming up with Sephora this Spring!  *gasp*  Yes, of course this year's color had to be super marketable and wearable because they want it all over your face.  (Full disclosure: If it smelled like Satsumas and had glitter I'd totally buy it.)
Alexander Straulino photography via Trendland

Seriously, this post is starting to look a lot like last year's post with all the pink and orange (hellooooo - Jil Sander did pink and orange waayy last year, ya'll).  But I actually do enjoy those colors together...  Not enough to make out with it but I would definitely flirt with it like a total slut.

Philipp Schaerer

Julia Kostreva via Design*Sponge
This is the kind of journal I would carry.  Not one with Pantone splattered all over the front.  That one smells of dark-rimmed glasses and cheap desperation.

Emily Lander

Even Mother Nature dances the Tango on occasion.
Scarlet-rumped Trogon via Featured Creature

NASA is so on trend:
Morganza Floodway
Granted, they invented Tang so I bet they are biased toward orange.

Confession: even though it usually does end up in college football territory, I have a weakness for blue and orange together.  I can't help it.

via ffffound
It's like American Beauty but in a complementary color combo that makes me happy.  Not cry like a little bitch at plastic bags blowing in the breeze.  

And I will admit that even though I'm not a huge fan of purple, I'm really enjoying the weird relationship it has with orange right now.   It probably started with the whole Hermezz box and lavender event of 2010 - remember?:
via The Selby
When is lavender going to be the color of the year?  Seriously, this shit is everwherr.

Stunning mineral photography from Warren Krupshaw via DesignCrush
Mother Nature approves of this Tango as well.

Tom Ford Nails
So does Tom Ford.

Lots more fun lavender and orange via Chapman Interiors
So obviously there are lots of good things about orange and I won't burden it with my seething indifference.  It's done nothing to me (accept look bad with my skin tone).  But I'm over the Pantone evil genius marketing monopoly on color.  Until they approve my licensing deal!!!  

And if 2013's color of the year is anything other than emerald green, grey, golden champagne, lavender or the color of my eyes in the morning, I will shove the Charles end of the double-ended butt plug so far up Pantone's ass they will burp molded plywood until 2014.

*Have I fulfilled my January non-resolution resolution??!  It's close enough, right?

MS Note: If you get these posts emailed to you, you may have receive a half-completed shitty post last night - sorry.  I accidentally hit publish and then had a mini panic attack and peed my pants.  Please disregard and pretend you never read it.  It's the nice thing to do.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Here's one more awesome thing that Netflix won't have...

I'm feeling blah on blogging this week.  I'm sure it has nothing to do with Hoarders and Top Chef and lasagna and keeping tabs on some pretty important ebay auctions and lasagna and writing the screenplay for the Dolly Parton and Paula Deen movie I'd like to have made.  

It would be like Steel Magnolias meets Thelma and Louise but with a lot more ham.   

I've also been exhausted because my face is growing the world's largest and most terrifying zit.  This requires much energy and dedication apparently.    

So when I wasn't busy with all those pivotal things or collecting every orange picture ever pinned on Pinterest for my Pantone post next week, I was able to find this fantastic trailer for the new movie Advanced Style based on the saucy blog of the same name. 

These are real Madames at their finest!  Fabulosity times infinity.

So if you'll excuse me, I need to go put on every piece of jewelry I own and then eat more lasagna.

Next week: Tangerine Titjob!!!

No good?  Ok I'm still working on it...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I think it's time to beat this one-trick pony to death.

There are a few things I'm excited to leave behind in 2011 - many of them are leggings-as-pants jokes and moves that in any way resemble Mick Jagger.  But there is one thing that I hope we can collectively agree to limit this year.  NOT WINE!!  Don't worry.  Nothing as drastic as that.

But seriously...
I  just fell asleep and it had nothing to do with the bed.
I would absolutely fight a Care Bear to the death in the Mad Max Thunderdome to own an actual Mouille lighting fixture but y'all...   It's in eh-vuh-ry room I see on the internet and just because a room has it doesn't automatically elevate it to the status of panty-creaming awesomeness.  The lamp by itself, for sure.  

The space where the couch doesn't meet the wall makes me ill.
These rooms are from a hotel suite designed by fashion designer Azzedine Alaia.  It's in Paris because of course it is.  From the Yatzer article
"The fashion designer’s aim was to achieve a true feeling of a home away from home. It is important to have the luxury of a hotel but at the same time to open the door and feel that you are somewhere familiar and close to you." 
Nothing makes me feel more at home and comfortable than if I've walked into a sterile space filled with pieces fit for a decorative arts museum!  It's mostly because I confuse personality with expensive shopping and as a result am completely sterile on the inside!!!!!

I'm fine if some people like these rooms - they're not for me but all of us are beautiful butterflies of blah blah blah we all have different tastes.  

However, putting something well-crafted into a space does not automatically make the space well-crafted.  It makes it well-curated.  And I guess if you're of the fashion and design elite that is Azzedine's clientele the difference might not matter but it matters to this hillbilly who is drinking a white chocolate martini out of a mason jar because the real glasses were too far away.  (That was some poor space planning when I did the kitchen...)  But I'm watching Downton Abbey so I DO feel fancy enough to comment about other people's interiors.

So can we all agree to not pathologically lose our bloggy shit when we see a space that's only redeeming quality appears to be access to money and an afternoon spent on 1st Dibs?  There ARE other light fixtures out there and I challenge real designers to find them!  

Magazine editors, we're not that stupid!  You can change things up every now and again and we will like it.  I swear.  Well, those other bloggers might...

I make no guarantees about what happens inside the Ranch.  Especially after an extra large mason jar full of booze...

You thought I was kidding, didn't you?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Next year you're all getting gift cards to Big Lots.

In case you don't live in the South (bless your heart), you might not know that Southern Living magazine is required reading.  It's full of recipes with lots of mayonnaise and regional stories best read with a drawl.  It's best to keep it next to your bible in case of spiritual or potluck dinner emergencies.  When my copy comes in the mail it's a real event on par with tapping a new box of wine.

Last month's holiday issue inspired me to make something (that didn't involve mayonnaise) to give as Christmas gifts.  They had a recipe for Satsuma-cello which is lke Limoncello but saucier! 

Mine is going to look EXACTLY like that!
It seemed relatively easy and I thought my cocktail-loving friends who do not need any more tchotchkes would enjoy it.  I'm feeling all crafty lately and they will be the unwitting recipients of my popsicle stick/pipe cleaner love.  It's like vacation bible school but 21 and over.

Let's get this party started before Santa Jesus gets here!  (This is what I said last month.  I couldn't very well post this before the arrival of Santa Jesus since I made it for people who read this blog.)

Step 1A: Get your supplies. If you're really serious about making booze you have to put it in something.  My friends are No Expectations friends but I think they would probably draw the line at mixing a cocktail out of my reused milk cartons.  

These little guys are only 3.95 at Crate and Barrel and feel free to buy a few extras to style your fridge with once you've poured out your milk so you can reuse the cartons to give as gifts.

Step 1B: Buy a lot of vodka. If you're like me, the guy at the liquor store will say 'Just another Friday, huh?' 

Step 1C: Buy a case of satsumas - the delicious little mandarin orange-like citrus bombs of deliciousness that are only available in the expensive grocery store in town.  Thanks Southern Living.  Apparently clementines aren't good enough for the pages of your magazine.

Step 2: Eat 4-5 satsumas to test quality.  Feel free to do the same for the vodka.

Step 3: Now you have to separate the peel from the fruit meat.  They say to use a vegetable peeler but my vegetable peeler might as well have been a dull spoon with how it tickled the satsuma peel.  I don't know what the hell kind of peelers that Southern Living uses but I'm guessing it involves child labor and samurai swords.  Zesting might not produce as much satsuma essence that I would like and I want off-the-charts, over-the-rainbow, ass-slapping satsuma essence.  

I'm going in with a knife because after testing the vodka it seemed like a really good idea.
Those giant oil glands are kinda vulgar...
After four minutes and half of a satsuma I wanted to die.  These pieces are less than a centimeter in size because satsumas are tiny precious round things that don't like to give up their skins.  They hate being naked.  You can't peel these assholes like an apple and no amount of wishing or bargaining with the debil would make this easy.  SANTA JESUS WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED YOU???!!

1 satsuma is manageable, 20 is suicidal.  I'd rather spend my eternity in hell giving cranky cats pills.  I hope my friends can taste how much I love them because they are never getting this again.
You can see where I mutilated the ones in the back although it was definitely more their fault than mine.  I put the pretty ones up front to bolster my self esteem because that is some fucking awesome knife work.  SHUT UP LET ME HAVE THIS!!

Satsuma juice is rather potent so after 1 hour, 20 satsumas and 2 near-finger-decapitating slips with the knife your fingernails will stained yellow like you violated an Oompa Loompa.

BUT you're left with this:

ESSENCE!  Like running your fingers through tiny orange coins. (But not the finger that is bleeding because I almost decapitated it.  No worries, friends who received this as a gift.)

After I cried tears of relief to be done, I poured vodka over all my hard work, another shot down my throat and let it sit for 10 days while I went to cancel my Southern Living subscription.  

I'm kidding, Southern Living.  I shouldn't even joke about something like that. 

Of course, now I have 20 naked satsumas that I have to eat in a hurry.  They are like little orange wedges that rode a rainbow from heaven into your mouth so it's really not a problem.  Well, the first 10 are.  After that I need to do something different.  So I made satsuma chicken stir fry, satsuma salsa and a satsuma dump cake.  You know, those cakes from the 80s (Southern Living probably invented it) where you dump some fruit in a pan and sprinkle dry cake mix on top and pour butter over it?  I make one about every 10 years - it tastes like yellow and my childhood.  It was good for breakfast.

Step 4:  After 7-10 days and an embarrassing amount of breakfast cake later, your juice has been juicified. Strain your previous handiwork.
These peels are now like candy!  I know because I ate a few pieces like candy.  I chopped them up and have been using them as zest in everything.  Bet you didn't think of THAT Southern Living?!  *eyebrow wiggle* 

It's dark because of all the extra essence in there...  I hope.

Step Whatever This Is:  In an effort to use every large pot, pan and container in your house, add in gallons of simple syrup for your orange "juice."  Let sit for another 24 hours while you attend to more glittery needs.

Step You're Not Even Going To Make This So Why Bother:  Let's make some labels for your fine liqueur!  Or not.  I apparently forgot everything I once knew in ID school about interior design glues and vellum and X-acto knives and could not actually make a label adhere to the surface of the bottle in a manner that didn't look like a homeless man pissed in a bottle and stuck a dirty piece of newspaper on the front with his spit.  

So I opted for just tie-on tags made of vellum.  AND GLITTER!!!  It was easier and didn't remind me of my wasted degree.  

It was by far the most exciting part that didn't involve a dull knife.  On the GLITTERY tags I wrote Southern Living's recipes for Satsuma cocktails.  

If a craft blogger made this they would have hired a calligrapher and spritzed each tag with homemade satsuma-scented Febreze but all I had was a sharpie and good intentions. 

And a limp bow.

Remember, we excel at mediocrity around here.  But after 10+ days of HARD GLITTERY WORK (doing mostly nothing) I just wanted to stop.  DIY is supposed to be a cheaper and easier alternative to actually buying real gifts for people but dammit I think Pinterest lied to me about this!!!  

I was drunk on the possibility of handicrafts much like I was drunk after a few cocktails made with satsuma liqueur.  This recipe makes enough for two gift bottles and a generous bottle for yourself (ok 3 if you use a big bow to cover the empty space up top).  And this stuff is so delicious I soon forgot about the neck cramps from my night of peeling. 

I also got to eat all the satsumas and am still using the zest...  Looking back I actually see that I came out ahead with this.  But let's not say that real loud so my friends can still think I almost killed myself because of my deep undying love for them.

(And liqueur.)

(And Southern Living.)

(But mostly the promise of homemade booze...)

Thank you Santa Jesus!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This makes me exceedingly happy.

I had super important plans this weekend (to make polka dot art) but all that got pushed aside when I finally sat down to watch the first season of Downton Abbey (it's on Netflix) in anticipation of the beginning of the second season on Sunday night.  I was being harassed with cattle prods and uptight British-sounding barbs about my virtue if I didn't watch it already.  Even My Favorite and My Best is in on the action and made some moodboards for your delight.

And I did.  And it was goooood.  It's better than gooood but I feel if I call it 'saucy' that's too indelicate a descriptive term and might cause someone to faint.  

Instead I'll just say it's fucking awesome.

My only complaint is that I wish Maggie Smith would do more magic but I guess it can't be perfect.  Sigh...