Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Etsy Find of the Day: Stephanie DosReis Prints

These sweet "Wholesome" prints from Etsy seller and Providence, Rhode Island, artist and designer Stephanie DosReis would be super-cute hung as a grouping in a kitchen or breakfast nook:






The 8-by-10-inch prints are $18 each or four for $60 right here. See more of DosReis's work here.

More eBay Finds

(RSS users, click here to see my latest eBay picks.)

eBay Find of the Day: Vintage Arabia Enamelware Mugs

Happy, happy.

Current bid: $10 for the set

Monday, September 29, 2008

House in Progress: Dining Room Revamp

Remember when I said we were going to repaint our dining room -- oh, about ten months ago? Well, we finally got it done. (And, as always, by "we" I mean Nick).

Before, the room was a deep crimson hue (Benjamin Moore's Segovia Red) with dark wood furniture and dark metal, circa-1930s light fixtures. It was really dramatic, and at first I loved it. (After years spent living in beige-painted rental apartments and our first owned home with only an eat-in kitchen, we'd always wanted a red dining room and painted this one before we even moved in.)

But eventually it started feeling heavy, a bit oppressive, and altogether too grown up for our relatively young family. Plus, we really use this room -- we eat pretty much every meal in here, the kids do their homework at the table after school, and I sometimes spread out my work there or let Laurel use it as crafting central. So it wasn't just a formal nighttime space or a room reserved for company, although it looked like one.

Finally, I just couldn't stand it any more. For his part, Nick still liked the color and was reluctant to paint over the red and replace the vintage light fixtures. But I really craved something lighter and fresher. (Guess who won?)

I'm incredibly fortunate to have a partner who has strong opinions about our home, but who's usually willing to give my ideas a try. And lucky for him, he had a little helper for the priming and painting, since I no longer have the patience for it.

It took two coats of gray-tinted primer to fully cover the red. Nick used Mythic primer and paint, which is formulated without VOCs. The paint was mixed to match Benjamin Moore's Sonoma Skies, which I'd loved as a paint chip.

Once the paint was on the wall, though, the aqua color was really intense. In an attempt to lighten it up to a more subtle shade, we wound up dumping an equal amount of white paint into the bucket before rolling three coats onto the wall. The final color is still a bit brighter than I was expecting, but it's fun and cheerful. (And Nick will kill me if I make him paint it again, so the color will stay -- at least for a couple of years.)

After the painting was finished, it was time to redecorate! I'd been lusting after David Trubridge's Coral Pendant forever. It was a big splurge (and a big statement), but I love it.

The table, which we already had, is the Basque from Crate & Barrel, and the chairs were a craigslist special; the slipcovers are leftovers from the room's red incarnation. I found the flatweave rug at Urban Outfitters ($40 on sale!).

I turned a blank expanse of wall into a gallery for (mostly) Etsy prints in IKEA's white Ribba frames.

The antique oak sideboard and hutch is a family heirloom. Painting it isn't an option, but I did want to lighten it up a bit.

Orla Kiely's Blossom wallpaper taped to the back of the shelves, plus my collection of vintage white ceramics and a set of Lisa Solomon-Aurora Robson "Couplets" prints in white Ribba frames, does the job nicely.

More light-colored accessories. Left: A white-painted vintage garden urn displays a sea "bouquet" made up of white and purple coral, purple-and-white barnacles, and sea fans. (All purchased for a few dollars apiece on eBay; check the "Rocks and Fossils" and "Aquarium" categories for similar.) Right: Salt and pepper shakers from Heath Ceramics and a trio of vessels from Portland's Life + Limb; I'm planning to fill them with petite succulents.

On the opposite side of the room, a white IKEA Expedit unit laid on its side with stainless steel Capita legs attached fits perfectly under the window, offers storage for fabric and craft supplies, and provides a handy surface for extra dishes during dinner parties and large family gatherings. The white storage boxes and linen curtains are also from IKEA (although this particular pattern is no longer available).

We tucked a small workspace and sewing- and crafting station into a corner of the room. I can set up here with the laptop, or Laurel can sew while I keep an eye on her. The desk is West Elm's white Parsons. I found the vintage tulip-style chair (most likely by Burke) on eBay. The IKEA Grundtal rail and Asker containers corral scissors, rulers, pens and pencils, paperclips, and other supplies.

On the shelves and wall is my prized collection of Rob Dobi photos, purchased from ImageKind, and framed in more white Ribbas.

The vintage teak sunburst clock is an eBay find. The bird mobile is from Helen Ige. A vintage Lucite bar cart holds a display of mercury glass and silver-toned accent pieces collected from eBay. The sconce is from West Elm. (And yes, I know there's altogether too much stuff in this room -- but god help me, I just can't do minimalism.)

Do you have kids? Oh, the joy of it all ...

Anyway, that's about it. I'd still like to find chairs that are a little less boring and traditional than these, but that'll have to wait. (I did win a set of cool midcentury teak dining chairs on eBay, but when they arrived Nick and the kids vetoed them on grounds of comfort, so up on craigslist they went.)

Overall, I'm really happy with the end result, except that now the camel color in the adjoining living room looks all wrong. I'm already mulling over new paint colors for that space -- keep your fingers crossed that Nick won't divorce me over it.

P.S. Want to see more? Click here for a tour of other areas of our "House in Progress."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Over and Out

Have a lovely weekend!

Object of Lust: Ormond Gigli's "Girls in the Windows"

When I was at the San Francisco 20th Century Art and Design Show a couple of weeks ago, I was drawn to a framed photographic print that one of the dealers there had on display. I don't recall the exact price, but do remember that it was somewhere in the low five figures -- enough to make me let out a long, low whistle.

Still, I was absolutely gobsmacked by the image, of several dozen glamorously attired women precariously posed in the glassless windows of a row of decrepit buildings, and wrote down the title and the photographer's name so that I could look it up when I got home.

Turns out that the photograph, called "Girls in the Windows," is the signature piece of photographer Ormond Gigli, who shot for such publications as Life, Paris Match, and the Saturday Evening Post. (Does everyone know about him but me? Damn, I wish I'd taken some art appreciation classes in college ... )

Gigli took the photo in 1960, before a bank of brownstones across the street from his own Manhattan apartment was torn down. "I was inspired to somehow immortalize those buildings. I had the vision of 43 women in formal dress adorning the windows of the skeletal facade," Gigli writes. "The day before the buildings were razed, the 43 women ... climbed the old stairs and took their places in the windows. I was set up on my fire escape across the street, directing the scene, with bullhorn in hand. Of course I was concerned for the models' safety, as some were daring enough to pose out on the crumbling sills."

I had hoped that I might be able to find an open-edition print of the photo a little closer to my price range. But, alas, the only copies I could track down are sold through exclusive galleries -- the kind that make you call to find out the price. Judging from the fact that other "Girls" prints have sold at auction for upwards of $35,000, I'm not holding out much hope that the answer will be anything I can stomach -- or that I'll find a repro of this piece for $20 at Prints R Us.

What's the term for this sort of "love it; will never, ever be able to afford it" ennui? Oh yeah: Le sigh ...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Etsy Find of the Day: Brigette B. Pink Trees Print

Los Angeles artist and Etsy seller Brigette B. writes, "You know when it's summer, and everything is warm and pink and lovely. You escape from grown ups for a little while to hang out in the secret spot where you're not supposed to go because your mom thinks that there might be dangerous hobos there, or people doing drugs or something, which there never are. So this boy and girl are there together. Boy thinks he is going to really impress Girl by blabbing about some band he knows, or movie that he saw, but Girl is preoccupied by this dandelion and wondering when boy is going to shut up and kiss her already."

Uh-huh. (Well, at least I vaguely remember it ... )

The print is $25 right here.

More eBay Finds

(RSS users, click here to see my latest eBay picks.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shameless Plug: Join My Blog Network on Facebook

I haven't quite figured out yet why you should -- but I'm working on it, I promise.

Anyway, click here if you're so inclined.

(P.S. Thanks to everyone who's joined so far. I love "seeing" you guys!)

Cool Tool: Dwell Walking Tour Podcasts

I don't know about your bank account, but between the current economic meltdown and my woeful underemployment as a freelance writer, ours isn't exactly overflowing. So any kind of travel that involves more than a tank of gas and a picnic basket is pretty much out of the question right now (and with gas prices, even that doesn't come cheaply).

But my thirst to explore different parts of the country and the world -- and even to discover some hidden corners of my own figurative backyard -- hasn't diminished. I find that I'm ripping travel articles out of magazines like never before and relishing TV shows that provide a glimpse into other places and other lives. (Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and HGTV's House Hunters International are two current faves. After a recent episode of HHI, for instance, Nick and I became convinced that a move to Buenos Aires -- where one can apparently score a gorgeous apartment in the most exclusive sector of the city for as little as $130,000 -- was in our future.)

Anyway, I recently stumbled upon the podcast walking tours on Dwell magazine's website. Although they're intended to be listened to on an MP3 while actually hoofing it through the various areas featured, I've found that they're nearly as effective as brief armchair escapes that can be enjoyed from the comfort of one's own couch.

Hosted by local experts, the podcast tours highlight attractions that won't be found in your standard guidebook: The strange, exotic foods available on San Francisco's Clement Street; Manhattan's best design-focused bookstores and newsstands; Brooklyn's cutting-edge home shops; Berlin's architectural curiosities.

Other virtual destinations include New York's Soho, Chicago, Venice Beach, Prague, and Southern Italy. There are even podcast tours of major museum exhibitions and designers' ateliers. Photo slideshows accompany many of the tours, too, so you listen and scroll simultaneously while you imagine yourself wandering through some delightful, faraway place.

So, yeah, I'm not likely to board a plane anytime soon -- but there's nothing to stop me from dowloading and dreaming, right?

Check out all of Dwell's podcasts right here.

Cool Stuff: Ceramic Pedestal Bowls

So pretty ... so versatile ... so totally mine.

The set of three ceramic tripod bowls is $79 from VivaTerra.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Etsy Find of the Day: Lineanongrata Illustration

Too much wonderfulness from Etsy seller Lineanongrata (aka Gabian, France illustrator Julia Freund), whose art has a childlike quality without being childish or cutesy and a hypnotizing dreaminess. I found it impossible to choose just a few favorites. Above: Make Words Grow 2

The Scratchy Cat

Portrait of a Woman


Whispering Trees

I Went to the Garden

Alonzo Looking for Friends

Make Words Grow

Alonzo Doggy Dream

Reaching for You

Sitting Little Man

The prints are $20 each right here.


©Copyright 2007-2014 More Ways To Waste Time and Leah Hennen. All Rights Reserved.