On my limited budget... instead of getting that tray from westelm for my bathroom, I picked up two croc chargers from Z Gallerie in gold and black. I also picked up a black tray with jewels. I am thinking that the gold charger is the ticket. Since they were so cheap I am keeping them all, there is always a place for a fun tray!

Graphically awesome

Spray Glue had an entry today with a tip off to check out Soia & Kyo. And I am so glad I followed that link! the website is so fun to navigate through. The coats are incredible and the graphics are awesome... too bad it's warmer in Dallas, or I would snatch up the Gemma coat real quick! Maybe one of the shorter cropped ones would be more practical. I love all the big collars and huge buttons on these coats... so fun.

Craft Time

I saw these cool little fabric remnant packets over at Henry Road. For this price you could do something really cool... quilt them together and cover a chair, cover some old photo frames with them, make a crazy patchwork pillow or skirt. The possibilities are endless! and since they are from Henry Road you won't end up with an ugly pattern because they are all so pretty!


Happy Birthday Neiman Marcus!

Neiman Marcus celebrates it's 100 years of existance. My mom and I visited the flagship store on sunday and saw over 20 exhibits they had to offer. It was like going to a museum, the visuals were incredible.

  • oversized chandeliers
  • Art of the future.. the pegs used a video camera to create a silhouette of the viewer
  • emmaculately carved table
  • funky hands desplayed on a rug bearing the Neiman's butterfly
  • Rietveld chair made of leggos, contributed by Droog design
  • Zodiac restaurant salute to the 100 years
  • elevator door pattern
  • Larry Kagan: shadow art
  • Future art: camera displays moving pixels of viewers on screen
  • Neiman tags cover the doors of elevators on floor 3
  • Future Jewelry- a nod to what jewelry could become
  • Wish Tree- guests are invited to write a wish on handmade butterfly shaped paper that contains wildflower seeds to be planted after the exhibit.
  • In the Center: 10' revolving manaquin with her dress made of old Neiman's adverts.

first year 'blog-folio's (again)

Erin and I were talking the other night on the phone about some of the first-year blog-folio's. Each student has a blog / site to serve as a digital portfolio- we've talked about it before. Either way, they've all used this blogger service that we also use, and while it's wonderful for the simple kind of stuff we do, the templates are really easy to spot. Erin and I came up with this image, but knowing us, it probably won't last long as the header for our page- we'll figure something else out eventually.

While were talking on the phone, we discussed how nice it is to see the pages that have been created and designed. It is extremely easy to use a template, type in "Kelley's Blog" and be done with it. However, just the same as a portfolio is the first impression to anyone looking through it and should be treated as your work just the same as the work it is actually showcasing (thank you erica) the website serves the same purpose. To anyone who visits those pages, they instantly see the background of the page. Eventually they'll look at your work and the text around there, but the page is the first impression and should count that much, as well.

Here are some of the pages I just saw and really liked, for one reason or another:

James Leath: page is pretty plain, which could be okay- especially if he were to come up with his own header graphic. The artwork is wonderful and should be on a page of the same caliber.

Katrina Fischer: again, page is pretty simple- chose to use a color in the background, in contrast with most of her classmates that chose white (surprise, surprise). I really like the title of the page- 'it starts with a single line...' - is a good one. She also does a nice job with the photography of her work and seems to provide almost every angle of every piece. A graphic would be a great way to finish the header of that page instead of the standard font text they give you.

Kevin Lahti: Finally- a drawing with some color to it! In i.arc, somehow you gain the impression that color is evil and to avoid it like the plague- probably because using any kind of color only increases the number of questions you'll be slammed with in your interrogation- I mean critique. This guy took suzanne's approach and did a little bit of digital-rendering. Wonderful. I like the page a lot.

Liz Brown: love love love this site. I love that she drew / created her own header, and I love the white background here, and I love that the first entry I see is called 'goofing off' and is about playing with a kaleidescope! So wonderfully done!

Salt Pig

I was on the FoodNetwork website looking up recipes and I ended up on the Nigella Lawson Living Kitchen site. She has some really simple yet beautiful kitchen items mostly made by Bliss Home.
Among many I found this salt pig (a sheltered home for your loose salt.) I thought it was really neat because I normally only have those sea salt grinders in my kitchen, so when it is time to measure out a teaspoon of salt it is a very pesky job of grinding it out and then dumping it into a teaspoon. (I get it, no REAL cook would ever do this.) So not only is this salt pig completely practical it looks lovely on your counter!

Balls are to men what purses are to women.

You know I've been looking for a purse to replace those in my closet, all of which pretty much brand me with the label "recent college graduate." I fell in love with the kate spade while I was in TX, but my budget just won't allow for that kind of splurge right now.

Looking around, I found this- I love the huge bow, and, of course, love the herringbone- so classic. It's a clutch at this point- I wonder if I were to use it, if it would be big enough or if I would try to add my own something or other of a strap or how I would deal with that. I wish it were a purse...hmmph.

I played around with this one at Urban Outfitters this past weekend, but have a hard time with something this...flower-child-ish... especially for $70. In my defense, this looks a lot less frumpy and a lot more preppy in person, especially with some kind of scarf tied around one of the handles to swag down..

I wish I knew what I was doing enough to make my own!


puppy love

I was going through older posts of some of the blogs I've recently been led to, and as much as so many of these are devoted to finding great design in any form or fashion, I LOVE it when the authors take a moment to include bits and pieces of their home-life. Especially pets.

There's a site called paw prints that, of course, does this quite often. However, on happy cavalier the owner repeatedly posts about her two dogs, Jake and Maddy. This image says it all, and I'm so envious right now- I can't wait to share!

Halloween Party

Our friends and gracious hosts, Melissa and Luke threw a Haunted House warming party on Saturday night. That's them in the center dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad warewolf. It was complete with eyeball cupcakes, witches brew, pumpkin dip, a fog machine and bags (Luke even constructed the box himself!!).

The costumes were all really creative, and elaborate. All in all it was a blast! You can check out the rest of the pictures and more details of the ones above on my photoset here.

From the top left to right: Ben and I as Pepe Le Pew and Penelope; Nico and Sarah; Sarah Roman and Linda; Luke and Stephanie (Stephanie as a Gorilla hunter); Lindsy the Jellyfish; Luke and Melissa in the center; Roman (Campbell's soup) Eric (Bob Dylan) Maria (Edie Sedgewick) and Ryan (Andy Warhol); Ben making a stink; KISS pumpkin; decorations; Shannon and Sean as Mario and Princess Peach; Erin the Pirate; and finally the cupcakes.

Thanks Melissa and Luke for a great time!

Family in town!

from L: Dad, Michael, Amanda, Eric, Katie, Meagen, & Maggie

I love having family come to town- especially when that includes having a chef for a dad. I think it's safe to say that I've got a fair amount of repair work ahead of me in terms of dieting after this weekend, but sometimes it's worth putting those goals on hold.

We went to the Lexington Barbecue Festival (crowded, but I'm glad admission was free) and then dad cooked for us that night- here's the menu:

-sauerkraut balls (sauerkraut, corned beef, dijon mustard)
-bacon-wrapped scallops
-apricot-stuffed brie in puff pastry

-mixed-green salad w/ mandarin oranges, cashews, dried cranberries, red onion and light balsamic vin.
-hickory-smoked pork tenderloin with a honey balsamic glaze
-red-skin potatoes

-chocolate & caramel brownie with whipped cream

I was full before dinner was served but managed to maintain my standing as a life-time member of the clean-plate club throughout the evening- all topped off with a few glasses of Ecco Domani- mmmm...

Now, of course, I have a half-wheel of brie with apricot stuffing in my fridge, two full slabs of that pork tenderloin in the freezer, and tons of leftovers. It was a great weekend- especially with Ohio State taking Penn like they owned them :)


mmmm Simply Breakfast

I thought this was a lovely way to start a morning. Photographer, Jennifer Causey, Has created the blog: Simply Breakfast, of her breakfasts every morning. All of them are beautifully composed and look delicious! I thought you would like this one in particular because of her avocado choice!

Wonderful Graffiti

Okay, on a lighter note...

I found this company this morning that does wall graphics- Wonderful Graffiti. After looking through their photo gallery I decided to make my own (I didn't know what to write so I ended up playing with some Eagles' lyrics) and found out that my taste highly exceeds my budget there.

However, looking at their shop of the pre-designed (eek!) graphics and those semi-customizable, the price is a little bit more feasible and still not bad. I want something in a deep red text for my bedroom... someday.

Thank goodness it's friday, right??


going green [in response]:

I posted something up about a radio-host I'd heard that morning, expressing his opinions about the concept of "global warming" and "going green." He was talking about how unappreciative he was for the whole thing, and anyone jumping on that "bandwagon." After checking back today, I realize we have received a rather lengthy comment, disagreeing with my opinion. We aren't sure who the person is that left the comment, nor is this really about that- simply a response to the novella that, I hope, sums up his / your take on the situation.

This is what the comment said:

What “ticks me off” is how many people have fallen for the whole Global Warming phenomenon. The entire environmental protection movement was hijacked years ago by socialists and communists as a way to curb private property, chisel away at capitalism, and basically damage the very fabric that this country was founded upon. What better way to take away someone’s basic rights than to put the notion in their heads that they are responsible for natural disasters, from increased strengths of hurricanes and tsunamis to heating up the entire planet’s temperature so that glaciers are melting and polar bear cubs are dying. In the words of John Stossel “Gimme a Break!”

I know that facts to liberals are paramount to kryptonite to Superman, so you may want to stop reading at this point, especially if you have high blood pressure. Thirty years ago, the top scientists around the world (not unlike the same who are on the whole Global Warming bandwagon) were predicting that the earth was in a state of Global Cooling and went on and on about how many people would die because the crops that were planted around the world would have less days to grow before they had to be harvested. I guess Global Cooling wasn’t as sexy as Global Warming because shortly after we didn’t enter a new ice age, the same alarmist scientists poured themselves a big glass of shut-the-hell-up.

Defeated, they waited until the earth naturally went into an age in which the temperatures are naturally rising – something that has happened since the earth was created! Then, they came back in full force, led by the human robot himself, Al Gore. Gore was a sore loser after the U.S. Supreme Court had to step in to prevent the liberal Florida State Supreme Court from allowing the liberal Florida State Legislature from rewriting election laws once it became apparent that the 2000 presidential election results rested on the hanging, dimpled, and pregnant chads of the Sunshine State’s ballots. So, after crying and whining for several weeks in late 2000, he eventually conceded after every recount, before and after, showed that he was a loser. Like the defeated climatologists in the mid-70’s whose Chicken Little-like cries of “The sky is freezing! The sky is freezing!” didn’t catch on, Gore became the leader for the Global Warming cause. Of course, when he was in the White House with Clinton for 8 years, he didn’t seem to do too much then, did he? I guess it’s easier to complain about someone else in office than to ask your buddy Bill to do something like pass the Kyoto Accord that would severely hamper businesses all over the country. BTW, didn’t every single Senator vote against the Kyoto Accord during Clinton’s presidency? I thought so.

Even though man has no more control over Global Warming than we do over how hot the sun is or how far away the moon is, you do have to admire the ability of the media, Gore, and pretty much every leftwing actor in Hollywood who has jumped on the whole concept of “going green” and how they have managed to convince the sheeple in America to buy into what they’re selling without looking at the price tag. Not only have they guilted many adults into feeling bad for enjoying our way of life as compared to other countries – having our own homes, cars to drive where we want and when we want, having air conditioner in our homes and offices, being able to provide for our families and take the occasional vacation, and so on – but they have since gone after school children with their liberal nonsense, going as far as teaching them that because mommy and daddy use incandescent light bulbs, don’t turn off their water while taking showers, drive cars, and so on, that they are responsible for Global Warming that results in polar bear cubs and penguins dying each year. And like most liberals, grade school children tend to believe what they are told because they don’t have a fully developed brain that can rationalize situations and, for lack of a better term, wade thru the bullshit.

In a nutshell, Global Warming is nothing more than a tool of the liberals in this country – people who hate the United States of America, and everything that it stands for and was built upon – as well as people from other parts of the world who are simply jealous of what we have, both in terms of personal freedom and private property rights. Since the scientists and climatologists whose research is funded by government grants realize that they will lose their jobs if they speak out against Global Warming, naturally they continue to perpetuate the growing myth. However, most of the scientists who signed the Kyoto Accord that started a lot of this nonsense have since recanted their position of Global Warming because their results were cherry picked and manipulated much the same way that the recent results from more than 1,000 individual studies were manipulated to suggest that second hand smoke causes certain kinds of cancer when the original studies couldn’t even conclude that first hand smoke caused the same kinds of cancer. But thanks to the agenda of the media and other liberals, entire cities are now turning what was once an annoyance to some into cause to infringe upon the rights of individual property owners (as in, the restaurant and bar owners).

What better way to convince the masses to do something that a minority of people simply don’t like than to convince them and others that their actions are hurting the entire planet and killing off species of cute little animals? I’ve heard grown men say that they were raised in this era of Global Warming guilt and they actually felt bad – before learning that it was nothing more than a way to control them and how they lived their lives – about driving his car to work everyday in order to support his family. But this is exactly what the liberals want – people to feel bad enough to change their lifestyles. While they preach equality and say that everyone should have the same basic things in life, what they really want is everyone to be equal…equally miserable. Look at Gore himself. He lives in a Tennessee mansion that uses over 20 times more electricity than the average home and flies all over the world in his private jet. Yet, he talks repeatedly about how everyone else can leave a smaller carbon footprint by giving up their cars, changing their light bulbs, unplugging all of their appliances when they aren’t being used, and, if they are like him and can afford to enjoy the fruits of their labors and the freedoms that our forefathers died to provide for them, and as a way of easing their guilt, they can do like he does and use as much electricity as they want…so long as they send money to a company (which he owns, BTW) to plant trees in their name. I wonder how many of those trees are currently burning out of control in California, in part because of the years and years that the tree-hugging liberals refused to allow clear-cutting that would’ve eliminated most of the brush and old-growth trees that are currently on fire.

I doubt if anyone reading this is going to change their ideas about Global Warming. But maybe, just maybe, somebody will get off their arse and do a little research, other than at AlGore.com, CNN.com, ABC.com, etc., and learn a little more about Global Warming and other ridiculous attempts by liberals – from the media to Gore to actors – to control peoples’ lives. And the next time you’re watching your local evening news and the pregnant weather girl (oops, I mean the pregnant weather chick) comes on and shows that today’s high beat the record from 1892, ask yourself why it was so hot in 1892. How many SUVs were on the road back then? How many factories were spewing smog into the atmosphere? How many of your grandparents were destroying the earth back then? Of course, that same sort of logic can be applied to other things as well, like second hand smoke, for example. How many nonsmokers die of second hand smoke each year after being subjected to years and years of going on road trips as children with parents smoking in the front seat? Or, how many employees who worked in offices in the 70’s and 80’s where smoking was prevalent have since died because of second hand smoke? As a matter of fact, how many people have died as a direct result of second hand smoke? The answer…last chance to turn away before your little liberal ears start to bleed…is 0! Which, ironically, is how much of an impact man has on Global Warming…0%!

Erin and I are always up for a good discussion, and are happy we've provided a place to express our opinions, as well as for the people reading this blog to express theirs, as well. However, we hope we are setting a better example by trying to look at the world at hand, design included- not using slander and aggressively distasteful comments similar to those provided above.

Just as suzanne wrote, we agree:

This type of attitude totally ticks me off as well. It's the same with those who say "global warming is a hoax." Well....ok...believe what you want....but shouldn't one take care of their environment anyway? Aren't we the care givers of earth?

I'm sorry to have gotten back on my soap-box in response to this comment, but after seeing it, I wanted to say that this is NOT our goal here. We love feedback and we love debate, but discussing this planet should be feasible without political slander and an abrasive attitude.

Looking past the global warming issue and into the resources we are quickly running out of: even IF it's natural in terms of rotation for the planet to heat and cool in waves greater than we have immediate expectations for, we are (without a doubt) using more of our natural resources than we ever have in the past. What happens when those run- out? A natural era is going to naturally replenish our supply of oil? I'm sorry, but even if you don't buy into the idea that "baby polar bear cubs" are dying and homeless because of our selfishness, and even if you don't believe that the use of coal is helping that disaster, I find it hard to look past the amount of resources we have left as it quickly runs out. Who was it that said something like "we have sufficient resources for man's need but not for man's greed?"

As Robert Orben said, "There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all."

Dishfuls of Doodles

Dishfuls of Doodles on etsy has some very cool patterns for dishes and serving pieces. All of the color combinations are very fun too. The orange and brown I thought was a very appropriate combo for fall and the shade of orange looks so fresh next to the white. On the platter above I just love this grey. I am starting to see it pop up everywhere! so fun.

Christmas Cards

While I was looking at my 'check daily' list of blogs, I saw this image on poppytalk, of holiday cards. While I'm not ready for the christmas craze (mainly because I know what it will mean for my credit card balances) I couldn't help it but to get a little bit excited. I LOVE this card- Trees of the Architects. How appropriate & funny... I looked at all of them, trying to pick a favorite, but I just don't know that I can... I guess Michael Graves has the most humorous representation. Either way, I think it's great.

Of course I had to find a few possibilities of my own, then. Target usually has some decently cute cards, but either they don't this year or they aren't online or something because I found nothing. Of course I hit gold when I looked at the MoMA store- of course a museum on design and modern art would showcase some of the best christmas cards I've ever seen. I think this one is my favorite. Every year I buy a ton of cards and write them all out and even go so far as to stamp most of them, then I get distracted from finding the last few addresses I'm missing, and before I know it, it's February and that stack is still sitting on my desk. Better luck this year!


Meagen's Tooth Fairy

One of the perks of having a teacher for a sister (especially while she's in grad school) is that she has assignments like, "write a children's book." Children's books have pictures and illustrations, meaning these teachers have to get creative.

Or call their sisters :)

So, Meagen's in the middle of writing a book about a tooth fairy and one of her life lessons, and has asked me to do the illustrations. EEK! I've never in my life tried to tackle something like this- even if it IS just an assignment for a class. Here's my first go at it- introducing the preliminary drawing of Lucy the Tooth Fairy.
This is going to be fun.


photo from PBS website
I started to do this as a comment but thought it was worthy of a post so here it goes:
yea... that TJ, I think that would have pissed me off too! I think you should write an email. I used to listen to them and honestly sometimes I think they say things to get a rise outta people. However I think it is ignorance for him to say that!

My dad sent me this in an email this morning:

"Soapbox for the day, With “water” becoming the new “oil”, conservation will become incredibly important. Since fossil fuels are limited and have become the cause of global strife, wars, political dispute and rising economic worries, we need to encourage the exploration and use of solar energy! The technology exists and the looking at models across the world, some governments are giving economic incentives to develop solar energy (Germany) !!! (I saw a very good program on NOVA last night)"

Clearly its NOT a bandwagon!!


Fletcher and Myburgh designs have these very fun, sculptural swings for your interior or garden. They are quite the pretty penny, but this particular one can be fitted with interior lights and a music box. I guess with enough money anyone can be Cinderella!

Stupid TJ...

This morning I was listening to Ace & TJ, and usually I try to avoid the morning-talks because either there's a girl with an annoying voice or a stupid listener calling in to try and relate with his / her off-the-wall story that doesn't ACTUALLY relate at all, or whatever... I try to keep my mornings calm with just music. I wish I had done the same this morning.

TJ was talking about a phrase that completely turns him off of a movie, situation, story, actor/ actress, musician, tv show, tv network, sports team, business, etc. Going Green. He was talking about how sick of hearing about it he was, and how he feels like it's more of a bandwagon-type thing. Everybody says it, but nobody really does the research to know what it's about, let alone the history that has built the craze. He went on to mention Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," and instead of praising it for creating awareness (no matter how many people followed in suit to do a bit of research), he criticizes it for having "at least a dozen lies."

Probably the worst comments followed as he mentioned Global Warming, saying that he can't believe so many people are blaming man-kind for global warming- for the planet being "a little bit warmer." Honestly. I sat there and all I could do is laugh. As a designer working with and around several people who are actively pursuing LEED accredidation, let alone "green-design" pursuits, it's almost impossible to take that kind of comment seriously. I thought about writing an email, but if Al Gore can't convince someone to open their mind up to the possibility that they can make a difference, I don't think I'm going to be able to right now either.


love at first sight

photo from elle decor magazine
I am positively in love... LOVE with Frank Roop's (the sartorialist) and his wife Sharon's Boston duplex. It was featured in Elle Decor on their homepage. Really there is nothing that I do not like about this duplex, from the polished concrete counters in the kitchen to the shades of blue and teal all around (surprise!) He has a brilliant mix of old and new. Antiques and modernism. The wall treatments are positively gorgeous as well. view the slideshow here.


Guess what- I found another website of wedding photography! Perfect for the girl that gets further and further from her own wedding every day!

This one, I found via Style Me Pretty- it's called dougphoto and is by wedding photographer Doug McGoldrick. From what I can see he's in the Chicago area, and I don't know if I credit the people he's photographing for great decisions on the style of their wedding, or if I credit him for capturing those moments so well.

I love this cake.

How awesome would it be to be saying "I do" while cruising on the river through Chicago, underneath that series of bridges, between the fabulous timeline of architecture that has developed there in the windy city??



I went to the fair again on friday this time with my cousins and some of their friends. I must say it really is a blast to go with little kids. They are so fun to watch and get so excited! Audrey won 2 prizes!


Here are the results of our pumpkin carving endevor saturday afternoon. Ben's on the left..mine on the right. We tried your seed recipes too. I think the traditional sesoned salt ones are the best.

Sketches by Fiz

I found this link via suzanne's site, and was amazed at how realistic these "sketches" look. Check out this drawing of a purse & the rest of her site- everything looks this real...crazy!

More wedding photographs

You know I've mentioned how much I love Keeping Up With MK- the blog of photographer, Mary Kate McKenna- and checking in on all of her work, from weddings and engagement pictures to family portraits, it always amazes me how genuine her photos look- never cheesy and posed.

One of the recent posts she has on her site right now is from a wedding in Alexandria, VA, and below are a few of my favorites- you'll see why :)

love it!

I have a feeling the guy that I marry will look something like this on our wedding day:

it's the details that make it so great:

5 years ago, this photo wouldn't have existed... can't wait to see what happens in the next 5:

LOVE the red in the background:

Seeing this, my heart skipped a beat- GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!! :


Top 10

On Laissez Faire... the top 10 new design blogs to watch have been posted. I quickly perused them all to get a little bit of a feel for them... a couple are completely new to me so that is pretty fun in itself.

Happy surfing!


happy friday!

I've just always loved this photo I took in Venice. Good luck on your pumpkin decorating!! have a great weekend.

De La Costa

Those travel items you posted are really cool!! Speaking of travel, we sat down yesterday and started to plan out travel for our winter season... second stop on the list Chicago in mid-November. I got really excited because one of my very favorite restaurants is there, De La Costa. It is a latin restaurant with food that is pure bliss. And this is NOT an exaggeration, honestly every bite I took from appetizer to main cours to desert was truly some of the best food that I have ever had. They even had these cute "pop-tails" frozen cocktails on a stick.

What is even better about De La Costa is the whole place is an experience. The interior is all very Theatrical with old world marianettes all over the place. They have four rooms including the front waiting area, bar/seviche bar, main dining and a back room. You can tell the designer paid attention to the details. I really could go on and on about how awesome this place was but I'll let the photos speak for me. some of them are taken off the website (above) and I took a few myself (below). The website is also very well done a true representation of what the restaurant is like.

better living through design

This is now my new favorite website- I feel like everytime I look at it, I find more that I want or that I want for other people. Some things are "generously priced," and some are a bit more affordable. I just found the travel section, and immediately thought of you with all of your frequent travels. Some of these are so cool!

Compact Paper Soap- for the girl who doesn't have any more room in that ziploc bag in her carry-on. These are sheets of paper that, when wet, turn into soap! Of course.

Hostel Sheet- hello... we both know that while hostels offer the luxury of somewhere to sleep for cheap throughout our travels, they aren't known for their cleanliness. This sheet is sewn into a sleeping-bag shape, making it the perfect cocoon for the germophobe on the go!

In their remodel section, they are developing an eco-friendly category- right now it's pretty minimal, but I think given time, they'll get the hang of it and it could be a really cool resource.