a lil blog admiration award

My rad cousin Joslyn sent me an admiration award [aka "you make my day award"] today... Joslyn, you really are awesome and I really don't know what I would have done without you this last year of my life. i am so glad you [and bryan, audrey and millie] have become such an integral part of my life.

With that being said, I am goin to follow the rules of the "you make my day award" and award 5 blogs that I love, because I am glad they are part of my life too! They are constant inspiration.

Here are the rules from Mary-Laure:
  1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
  2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
  3. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.
Here are my winners:
  1. Kelley .. i share this blog with her so naturally she gets the award. She is my friend my peer and constantly inspires/challenges me with her own creativity.
  2. Gary at SprayGlue. I like his style and cool posts that he does that are always so different from everyone else out there!
  3. emily of The Scoop. I always seem to identify with her style and the posts she puts up are always awesome. Plus the graphics her and her fellow blogmate Laura have created are simply stellar.
  4. Joslyn of Simple Lovely, I am throwin this award right back at ya... for many reasons but one in particular, your blog rocks and keeps me inspired and on my game.
  5. Suzanne Buchanan's blog an open [sketch]book, although we didn't know each other very well in school... your blog has become a part of my day. I love your sketches always and you are greatly inspiring. thank you!


"V.. is very very extra-ordinary..."

image from made by girl

loved this poster from Made By Girl. perfect for the upcoming valentine's day... or any day.


had to link this up... photo from SprayGlue portrait friday.

Hugs are in the air.

image from instructables [another DIY laptop instruction]

I think that it is so funny when someone thinks of something, that there is some kinda weird thing in the air that brings it out to alot of people thinking about the same thing at once, like space-exploration circa moon-walking era.

Case and Point, I spent the other night sketching how I was going to make a laptop sleeve similar to the one in Amy Butler's book Midwest Modern, then I hear about these maloo covers for macbooks, then Ben sends me this link to a website called Hugs- "a one-off limited addition range of macbook pro sleeves to help protect your most trasured technology bits and pieces." The contest is over with the Hugs, but definitely check out the site its a cool idea.

Then I log onto DIY wednesdays over on Designsponge and the new team of DIYers Lauren and Derek are teaching us how to make a no-sew laptop cozy. ROCK!! So, anyway that is my next "quick I'm bored project" I am goin to take on when back from NY.


who needs sleep??

Have you ever had one of those sleepless nights where your mind was completely racing with ideas and craziness? What is even more frustrating is when you have one of those nights and you are seemingly unstressed about anything else! Last night (and I am pretty sure it had little to do with the time change) I could hardly sleep. My mind was racing with ideas as to how to build a cheaper work space for my apartment, and the easiest pattern for me to sew a slipcase for my laptop and then I started thinking about that bed I wanna build by the end of the year.

When I have one of those ideas, laying in bed or not for that matter, I am so thankful for my little moleskin sketchbook. Those things get me through... they all even have a cool little pocket in the back for [flat] treasures. They are the perfect paper weight and are just right. I found this particularly helpful when I was abroad and kept sketches, my journal, postcards, rubbings, photos and cool collections of stuff in there. I wish they made them in colors though so you could distinguish them from one another.

So.... my advice, never leave home with out a pencil pouch, gluestick and most important, sketchbook [moleskin] love it!


final result

I finished my chair late sunday afternoon... the trim was the hardest part! but I used my good friend the glue gun to help me out on that one. It was a pretty quick project, my 5th or 6th re-upholstery's project and I am pretty happy with the results. If anyone has a better way or hiding staples... PLEASE let me know.

I ended up with a cute little button detail on the back to hold the backing on.. Thanks to Shannon for that brilliant idea.

oh la la! thank you Rina

Our lovely blogfriend Rina (whose blog is genius visual candy.. because I can't read it.. but love it anyway), sent over a link to Alicia Bell. After checking out the website they are truly beautifully tailored shirts. Each one is custom fit for you and you get to choose the fabric as well. After Alicia (studied at Parsons) makes your very feminine-chic shirt she ships it to you via fedex. love it! too bad its not in my 30 day spending plan! Thanks again Rina.



This photo from Sartorialist was taken in Paris, but everything about it screams NYC. I think she is simple and classically cool. So I'm off to NYC for the week and I can only hope that I look this good.


Being out here in Boulder, CO I've had some time to go exploring around the area on the weekends. This weekend I went to Denver to see a few key things from word-of-mouth as well as from Design*Sponge's Denver Design Guide. There were a few things that I really wanted to see-

The Denver Art Museum:
Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the building was AMAZING.

The Downtown Aquarium:
The biggest aquarium between Chicago and California- I haven't been to one since grade school, and this was pretty impressive.

The 16th Street Mall:
It was a GORGEOUS day, and the perfect day to go exploring through Denver on foot throughout this pedestrian mall.

The Tattered Cover:
Thanks to D*S, I found out about this huge, independent bookstore. It was pretty great, especially because it didn't carry the chain-ish stuff / finishes & interiors of your typical Barnes + Noble, Borders, etc...

Mod Livin:
By far, my FAVORITE thing to see in Denver- a great store with everything I want and can't afford, along with little gifts and vintage finds that I could bring home with me. I got out of there pretty cheap, but I spent at least two hours looking around this place. I definitely recommend it, and thanks SO much to D*S for putting that bug in my ear.

Overall, Denver was pretty impressive and I'm a huge fan- glad I went.


Addison posted some pictures from his first week in Denmark. These two were my favorites... I can't wait to go visit! I'd like to know what those crazy trees are.

The cottage he entitled "my slave quarters", fitting for Addison.


saturday afternoon activity

This is my great great grandmother's chair that not only has been around a very long time but been passed through many hands including my cousin JoLynn where it thankfully survived (along with Jolynn and John) hurricane Katrina. It has been through alot and as you can clearly see needs some work.

So this afternoon I took on the craft project of reupholstering it with the fabric I found in Las Vegas. In a perfect world I would have painted it a glossy white too, but by the request of my mother, given it is a family heirloom I am keeping it the original warm wood tone. I ran outta ribbon that I am doing the trim in... so I will post the final result when I am done. Does more ribbon count as an essential so that it can go with my no buy rule?

Here is the fabric.


i need, i want, i gotta have.

photo of LaCie Little disk... from their website. it is the size of a makeup-compact!

I made a list of priorities, things that I am allowed to buy. This will help me with resolutions, #3, #4, #5 and #10. I am going to take Joslyn's 30 day no buy policy... and tailor it to fit my needs. I will only be able to buy the things on my list, food and essentials. This hopefully will allow me to save for the list. This should be interesting.

Here is my exception list:
1. a external hard drive... probably the LaCie little disk (I read about it in Blueprint, it seems perfect!)
2. a plane ticket to Denmark to see Addison
3. a new sewing machine... mine has hit the fan and is officially a POS.
4. iPhone... ok so i need a new phone and if you are goin to get one, go all out and get one to for your needs..... right? :/

So starting tomorrow... i will carry my list in my wallet to prevent any urges. This should be good.

Pin-up space

I'm SOOOO excited about this one- I went to a shopping center last night in Lakewood, CO, called The Streets of Belmar.  One strip of shops, called Block 7, I think, had a design firm in the mix.  This is a picture of the interior of their office / storefront, and I'm TOTALLY going to have to use this idea...
When I get back to Charlotte my firm will have moved into our new office in the city, which is amazingly beautiful and I'm soooo thrilled to be in there, finally- however- it's got these exposed brick walls (gorgeous), which make pin-up space or any kind of anything requiring wall-space pretty difficult.  In that they are as old as the building (an old cotton mill), push-pins or tape or anything on the brick isn't a good idea.
So... I think rigging something like this- maybe three of them?- against the brick, behind my desk to pin-up cool images, calendars, notes, sketches, etc would be awesome.
Can't wait!


Harbin Ice / Snow Festival

I just got an email about this- very similar (although quite a bit more literal) to the Snowshow we worked-on building in Finland a few years back.  In Harbin it reaches something like 40 below 0- also really similar to the Finland climate we tackled for three weeks.
These first pictures are built of snow:
A few miles away, there's an ice festival- all of this pictured is built out of ice, with neon buried within these huge blocks of ice- some of these structures are upwards of 90 feet- no supports inside any of these, just ice.

Vegas Update

Reporting from the middle of the desert and we had a couple interesting outings today. First, after lunch today we meandered over to this fine art gallery Dust, that is in this interesting little district with lots of thrift stores and mid century modern stores etc. They had this crazy interesting exhibit going on. As you can see from the picture above, they are these very fluid objects. Blobjects anyone? They were created by Venske & Spanle are made of the finest white marble, yes marble, from Italy. they wre pretty incredible.

Then we went to the Attic per Edward Walker's suggestion and i found some really cool mustard flocked fabric with flowers to cover my rcking chair in my room with. More on that later.


[i] news

Every so often our old department sends out an email- the [i] news -giving an update on the news and happenings throughout the students + faculty + alumni.  I think that each of us (and most students in similar fields) will admit that the semesters leading up to their graduation, they practically lived in their studios, the faculty was their family, and leaving it all behind after the screeching halt that is commencement was bitter-sweet.  I think I brought more stress on myself during that last semester than any other time, between my thesis, my job, my internship, my relationship, and trying to maintain a solid connection with friends that had already left... Its really nice to still be included in those emails and to maintain that small connection to all of it.

photo from Jevin's site

In this 'issue,' Jevin Dornic's new site is debuted, showcasing some work completed throughout the different studios / levels, giving a pretty good look at what everyone's working on.  The email mentions that there have been several accolades and praises to a design / build project done by one of the studios within the department.  The project was a home in the Greensboro area- designing it around a specific family, and then constructing it themselves.  The home will be featured, I think, in the March issue of Dwell, so keep your eyes open, and great job to anyone who participated in that- really, really impressive.


garden stool

I bought this little garden stool at Target today. I couldn't resist the $30 price tag. I know I don't need it, I shoulda been saving and not giving into the mindless consumerism like the very strong willed Joslyn. I figure I loved it seeing it on the commercial and it is rather cute. And it is also multi-functional cocktail, side table, seat (although the boys seem to think that they will break it sitting on it.) and no I don't really have a garden. Ok, I am done justifying. I am just goin to stay outta Target for a while.


boulder :)

Too bad this one came out blurry... traveling by myself, this is my proof that I went hiking through the foothills of the mountains here in boulder. Vail tomorrow :)



Even more reason to send a handwritten letter. The USPS has come out with an Eames tribute book of stamps to be realeased this summer.

ilse crawford

photo via studioIlse

This is where I wanna be on a friday night. I love everything about this room. I learned about Ilse Crawford from my awesome cousin Joslyn. If you have a few minutes, flip through studioIlse and see for yourself the visual candy that she provides. This particular image was her Creative direction for the Lifestore in Marks and Spencer Gateshead. I also love the interiors at the SoHo house in NYC.


image via orange lola

Because of Kelley and my shared love of graffitti I thought it was only appropriate that I post a product of someone else who loves graffitti too. At the Orange Lola online shop, owner Rose Kaufman has a vendor, Stencil 1 in the home section. For the low price of $10.50 you can stencil up a t-shirt, wall, throw pillow or government building with these groovy graphics. I like the airplane best.



photo from Olystudio.com

One of my very favorite furniture manufacturers is Oly. The simple, rustic chic-ness is, in my opinion, the perfect complement to any room. The material choices and textures they put into every item is beautiful. The natural elements give the elegant but not trying too hard look. Don't you just want to move into this room? I do.

boots for walking

photo via tangled wings

I got caught in one of those link to link to link surfing. I am glad I did. I started on Design Sponge guest blog, which took me to Self portrait Challenge and then to tangled wings ( a photography site.) I was drawn to this beautifully composed photo of the cowboy boots. After reading the essay with the photo I absolutely related and was hooked.

She talks about finding a clothing identity and expression through clothing. One of which she isn't quite confident in herself. I pondered my perception of my own clothing identity and the changes that people make to their wardrobe for different reasons, whether it be practicality or fashion. I attempt to do both, I am not sure if I am successful in this. I really think this essay needs to be read, it would be interesting to start a dialogue about that. And such a lovely photo.



So growing up with three brothers and an architect for a dad, legos were bound to be involved. They were everywhere. I remember stepping on them in the playroom and having the tiny pieces cover the floor to be found days later even after playtime was over. The are pretty cool I must admit. Good for model building (remember the duplos you went out and got that time for studio?)

It was no surprise to me when Brandon mentioned one of the things he wanted to do when we go visit Addison in Denmark was go to LegoLand... pretty cool pictures could come from that one. So sign me up.

My dad sent me this picture of a "large church" (About 7 feet by 5 1/2 feet by 30 inches ) that holds 1,372 lego people. Pretty impressive. If only we had a year and a half to build such an elaborate scale model. Legos definitely arn't only for children!


I found this blog / site while I was working on a 'modern-prairie-style' project... perfect, right?
I really like this site- check it out.


MacBook Air(head)

This is a depressing post to write.  As a huge fan of Steve Jobs and Apple, and as a shareholder watching cautiously, and more importantly, as a consumer of Apple products considering a new computer soon, I'm very underwhelmed by the new MacBook Air.
Yes, the computer is the thinnest notebook in the world, and yes, it comes with a bundle of new features... HOWEVER:

1) I don't like this tapered look- it's like when Apple started making their laptops in black.  Way to sell-out and blend in with the other guys...

2) If you watch the guided tour, you'll go through the good and bad- the touch-pad acts like the iPhone screens and you have all these tricks like pinching (zooming) and rotating with two fingers and whatnot.  However, you'll notice they also go through what the Apple doesn't have.

They are claiming that it is designed for the wireless movement.  This, to me, is like reps not sending you any printed brochures and samples for the Green movement.  I know they are wasteful, but sometimes you still need it...  Well, Steve Jobs, I still need a firewire port and a CD/DVD drive.  You'll notice in the guided tour that the only ports shown are headphone, USB, and VGA.  Apple made-up this firewire business and now they're just going to do-away with it?  WHAT?!?!  

They're way of rationalizing this decision:

"Instead of watching a DVD, rent a movie from iTunes.  Instead of backing your files up on a disc, use Apple's Time Capsule program."

Mmhmm... that works for those of us that are buying our first computers tomorrow and have no contact with the rest of the world.  Let me know when you meet those people.

There are two many reasons to list why this is not a good thing.  They give you the "option" of buying an external CD drive- what??  Are we going back in time??  Honestly.
So, I'm UNDERwhelmed- the only good things I see here are the touchpad and the size (thickest point = .76 in).  The rest can be attributed to the new operating system which I'd rather buy for my aging Powerbook G4, and continue to wait for the next BEST thing.



On my first day off of the new year... yes, you heard that right (sad I know). I went to the mall with my friend Melissa. What was fun in the 5 hours I spent there, was we took our time and moved through the stores. I saw some wonderfully inspiring visual eye candy.

I managed to escape with not much money gone from my bank account but I did manage to pick up this groovy and very comfy cute robe from anthropologie.
Maybe I can wear the robe and sip some Tazo tea when I pretend to have another day off, as I continue on this very busy month.



I was looking through ebay and came across this sofa:

I know the auction isn't over for like...4 days... but the "buy it now" price is only $199!! That's awesome for this thing! Check out the shape of the pillows. If I lived in Jersey (where the seller is- PICK-UP ONLY!) I'd totally drive down there and grab this thing. Looks awesome.


It's official: I'll be leaving early next week for a three-week trip to Boulder, CO to work with our main office & learn the ropes of how the interiors team works out there!

I'm SOOOO pumped- I know you (erin) get to travel all the time for work, but it's still exciting for me, especially BEAUTIFUL Colorado in January. Needless to say, I'll be bringing my cameras & ski gear with me :)

If anyone has any must-see's or must-shop's in that area, let me know!


Carolina in my mind...

my sister's choco. lab, Lucy, on the 4th of July in Hilton Head :)

I'm sorry, but after receiving my 2008 PTO Schedule in an email this morning, all I can think about is going to the beach. How lucky are we that Memorial Day, Labor Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas ALL fall on Mondays or Fridays, giving me an unprecedented amount of long-weekends this year?!?!

I've gone through my calendar and planned-out about 4 trips to the beach, and am SO excited because I'll have a new puppy for three of them!


Resolutions : 2008

From MK's trip overseas- as always, an amazing photo.

Alright, alright... if we're doing resolutions, here's what I've got so far for 2008 goals:

1] Lose the weight. First and foremost. I won't disclose how much, but I've got a number in my head- June is the goal, then December to maintain it.

2] Save save save. I'd like to remain credit-card-debt-free, and get at least one or two month's paycheck in the bank.

3] Adopt a yellow lab. This WILL happen- and I'm probably the most excited about it out of everything- also in June.

4] Work on LEED certification. I've really got to get my act together on this one... I'm running out of excuses.

5] Take a trip somewhere: I'd love to go to CA this summer with my sister, but I'm open for ideas. I've definitely got the travel bug.

6] I'm not even going to touch the relationship status issue, because I'm declaring that out of my control. But if I were to worry about it, finding someone new to date would be #6.... but that's not the case...

7] Do a better job at keeping up with photo albums. I've got one that's almost complete and one that's started, but keeping photos printed regularly and not picking at the albums for other projects is something I've got to put some effort into.

8] Drink less diet coke; drink more water.

9] In light of your bed-building-aspirations, I'd really like to find a chair to upholster for my bedroom. I'd love something with some clean lines, possibly with a mid-century-modern flare to it, and the goal is to spend NO MORE than $60. It'll be an adventure.

10] Plan UK trip. My two sisters and I will be traveling to the UK in the Summer of 09 in honor of my 16 year old sister, Erin, graduating from high school. We plan to hit up England, Scotland, Wales and Dublin (most likely in that order). I'd like to get as much of that fully-researched and planned as possible this year.

Alright, mine seem to be a bit more wordy than yours, erin, but what's new. This is all I've got- let's pull this out in December and see how we did.

*We'd love everyone else to comment with their resolutions, too, for a little shared inspiration!*


EL OCHO...resolutions

yes Kelley, as I am sitting in my very small hotel room in Atlanta with nothing to do... I started contemplating resolutions. I have a few, hopefully accomplish-able ones:

1. go skydiving (care to join?)
2. learn to cook a really fantastic meal (any ideas?)
3. print and frame some of my photos (and yours... i like the one you just posted Thanks for that!!)
~3b: make more photo books
4. go to Denmark and see my brother
~4b: save money to see other brother in Japan next year.
5. Learn a new craft
6. run a 10K
7. eat more salads
8. call home more often
9. design and build a bed (maybe one that is similar to this or this.)
10. sew something.

It was sooo great to see you too. Happy New Year in the El OCHO (copywrite Amanda Whittemore.)

2008... holy cow.

probably one of my favorite pictures of the evening :)

I LOVED spending new year's with you & ben, erin! I think you're in Atlanta right now, but thank you both SO much for making the trip to Charlotte to ring in 2008 with all of us.