Thursday, September 4

Big Idea

After walking through Moma, I want large art!

Take a look at Cy Twombly's Academy (1955).  It's massive, crazy, beautiful. I was hit smack in the face when the electronic guide said he took a cheap drop cloth and house paint and pencils to create ART. He called it Academy because it went against what he learned at Art School. Cheeky.

I have an idea.

It could be horrible, but I see it in my mind and I want to take a shot at creating it. The first step will be to buy some canvas (from Deserres). Then build a stretcher...then go for it.

Ohhhh butterflies. I see it. I see this thing in my head. It's not scribbles - so I am convinced I'm not copying... it will be a throw back to a tapestry I created in high school, and for all I know is still hanging in the chapel (but not even that and maybe I am bringing up high school art class to convince myself that I can be original?!! That was a long time ago!)

I will use the same medium, paint and pencils....what does it mean to be inspired, or to C-O-P-Y?

"For Twombly and for every other modern artist, what mattered was to come up with something original that did not look like all the painting that came before it."  Right??!!!! RIGHT?  

Thought I'd share. Because now I have to do it! Who am I to create art? Let's see what happens. It's just for my room so as long as I like it, right? It's not even groundbreaking or anything guys...maybe a little campy...but I can see it, and it has meaning to me already!!

What do you think of this scale?

ps. poor poor shabby bedding, your day is coming too!
pps. I don't want to build it up too will probably roll your eyes at it when it's simple

Blog Fun!

The foyer is usually overwhelmed with clutter (balls, shoes, bags, toys, more shoes)...This photo reminds me that I have to move my money tree! (except, it seems so happy here!

The extra dirty montauk sofa, an extra sofa, and it's extra dirty - I can't wait until it goes and I can reclaim my living room!

My books! My favorite part of any week is choosing a new book to read...I am reading "Dropped Threads" right now

I finally cleared the extra clutter out of the corners of the dining room...funny how empty space begs you to fill it with boxes of junk and things that are part of your good intentions...I still have to get the chairs back into the living room:

My ligne roset chairs are hiding in here, waiting for the sofa to leave!
Art is taking over this wall two year old traced the whole alphabet - with watercolours...not bad little man!
The kitchen floors are impossible to keep is a little easier now that the boys are back in school. I thought it was difficult when they were toddlers, but now that they feed themselves things get out of control!!!! Back to washing floors daily!

I just gave the basement an overhaul before I grabbed the took me 45 minutes at least. The toys are one thing, but life takes over down here.
Still in love with my large Sean Galbraith photo! I'd like a lower coffee table and we are looking a new couch options

Pretty pumped that this nook made it into a magazine. Super pumped! I keep the desk pretty clear because it ends up piled with electronics (knickknacks and electronics don't mix)
We made a race track out of a box. We are all about race cars these days!

There is a fun chain letter going around and Tanya, from Dans le Lakehouse, tagged me and passed along four questions. The idea is to share a few up to date photos of your place and provide answers.

1.What am I working on?

We just completed our third renovation - adding a new master suite on to the back of the house, and I am organizing us into the new space. We are also updating our 1980's 'cottage*' and having fun decorating it!  

2. How does my work differ from those in my genre?

I don't think it does, really. There is bound to be overlap with other blogs, at least other blogs in this area. However, we are hanging out at my place, and you get to hear my take on things, so that's a bit different!  

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

I like the feedback I get from readers. I like being on display and I also like hiding behind the computer. Plus, blogging forces me to clean up and live tidier than we might otherwise! To be camera ready!

4.  How does your writing creative process work?

What process? If I get more than five minutes on the computer, then I get something onto the internet! I am scattered and need editing. I like the photography part more than the writing part, but even that has suffered for lack of time! (My secret desire is to create beautiful pin-worthy images, except I can't commit the time to spruce things up just so...or even hold the horizon level on the camera when I snap a photo! I need to get back to basics...)

There we go! I am supposed to pass it along, so I will nominate Caitlin from The Shingled House because she writes my favorite blog. Also check out Natalie from Veneer Designs, another awesome lady friend! Please visit Tanya's blog if you haven't done so lately!!  (Thanks Tanya!!!)

Enjoy the new photos. This is what the house looked like this morning!   

*The giant dirty montauk sofa sitting in the living room will get shipped off to an upholsterer's this fall, and then up to the cottage it goes! We got the sofa for a case of beer from Craigslist. I am not looking forward to picking a new fabric (too many choices!!) but I can't wait to get it out of here!!!

Tuesday, September 2


Here are some of the things I brought back from NYC. From top left:
1) DKNY Jeans Cozy Ease Burnout Vest - Comfy layer.
2) Madewell Firstplace Sweatshirt, cottage green, M
3) DVF Round Pyramid Stud Glove - I needed gloves. Please please don't let me leave these beauties on the subway or at the grocery store
4) Joe's Skinny Ankle Jeans, Shelby  -They have a bleach stain on the back on purpose.
5) Madewell Slim Boyjean Rip & Repair - I wasn't sure about this pair, the shop girls talked me into them. They aren't tight (like a skinny jean) or falling off (how I like to wear boyfriend jeans)...somewhere in between. I ended up wearing them Saturday and Sunday in NYC and I am now in love with the fit!
6) Trapper Hat - probably a trend that is over, but so warm, who cares!
7) Madewell Flannel Ex-boyfriend Buffalo Check
8) White tank - $12
9) Queen Tank - Queen!
10) Madewell Scarf - on sale!
11) Acne Studio Clover Boot, Rust - I have to stretch them a bit...teensy bit
12) Moma book
13) BCBG Cropped Rash Guard -for Mexico!!

Practically a whole new wardrobe!

Monday, September 1


Duration: 2 nights, 3 days
Hotel: W Union Square
Transit: Air Canada into Newark, NJTransit to Penn Stn
Attractions: Tenement Museum, Moma, 9/11 Museum, Theatre (You can't take it with you)
Food: Bao Haus, Babbo, Eataly, Dominque Ansel, Fat Radish, Stanton Social, MUD, Hu Kitchen, Mighty Quinns
Shopping: Madewell, Century 21, Nordstrom Rack

We spent Friday to Sunday morning in NYC. I came home with a carry on full of new things and a nasty head cold (poor me).

Loved the shopping, the food, the walking around. A bit disappointed with people watching. I didn't get excited by anything the girls were wearing: Boots and teeny tiny jean shorts with crop tops. Mom jeans, or at least higher waists. Not a lot of tight. Summer dresses and boots was another staple. Wide leg cropped black trousers. It's not easy to separate the locals from the tourists, so I was mainly checking out the shop girls, restaurant servers and bike riders.
You could spend half a day at the 9/11 museum and memorials. I feel haunted by the images from our short two hour visit. I keep dwelling on it. The entire time I type this, or while I was cleaning out the orange juice I spilled in the fridge this morning, or helping the boys put together hot wheels tracks, part of me is still walking around underground.

Moma got me fired up about Art again. LARGE ART! I want to try something. I don't want to copy, and I don't think I could come up with a masterpiece, so I will sit on my ideas a bit and see where they take me.

The Tenement Museum was excellent! Live history! I want to go back and take the walking tour. 

We went to see You Can't Take it With You, staring James Earl Jones. It was a great piece. Funny and warm! We bought our tickets at the TKTS counter in Brooklyn - there was a 35-45 minute (I really wasn't paying attention, but long) wait in line as of 11am Saturday. Not sure if the wait times for the Times Square TKTS counter is quicker.

I will write a post about my purchases soon! And you can see a few more photos from the trip here.

Thursday, August 28

Toy Room

Here is one big ugly dinged up blank wall!

The 3M poster tape that was holding the truck photos worked fine on my plaster walls, but tore up the drywall. We have, like, one drywall wall in the house, and of course...

So what to do here? My first thought was to hang the fun art*! 

Then, I thought, since I have to paint the wall anyways, why not base coat it with magnetic paint? One giant magnet wall!**  That way, we have yet another display space for the bins full of artwork that is produced by my children! Plus, no wall damage!

Oh man, another idea just flashed through my head...a wall of skinny bookshelves to put books facing out on. Like book rails. You know?

Or wait a second!!!! I have more art around the house, a floor to ceiling gallery wall - THAT COULD WORK...that's the easiest of all the options (in a way) because it only requires more holes, and I don't have to buy anything new! Super excited now!  Where is my hammer????

*I think art needs to have something below it.
**I have no idea how much that would cost, so I might have to revise this plan into reality

ps. Time to take down the clothesline! I loved that thing!

UPDATE: Gallery walls are evil tricks you play on yourself. Next time I say I am going to hang art floor to ceiling, no biggies, shake me and talk me out of it. I am leaving it like this and I will come back to look at it after the trip:

 Just one more...

Moved the truck photos, now the curtains seem too light

I love the truck photo wall! I grouped the pictures by colour, using a level here and there to check the lines. We have a backlog of 100 or so photos my son wants to print. Actually, 155 more pictures, I just checked. I will have to negotiate that number down a bit, or we need to swap some out.

A handful of photos have my sons in them, posing beside or on the trucks (the science center car, the jeep at the LA children's museum, the zoo trucks, centreville ride, etc...) Really great memories!! I can't believe how small my older son was when we started this!

Oh and new pillows! I bought the blue DKNY Euro Shams for $9.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond Clearance at the beginning of summer. The NYC pillow cases are from Urban Outfitters - I had them in the basement for a time. I brought them out today because mama (that's me) and ba (my husband) are going to NYC for two nights while they spend time here with their grandparents.

What do you think about the curtains? Too light now? They are silk from west elm - at least five years old. I am not bold enough to dye them. Or am I?  Hmmm.... Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 19

The Office

Here's the office, the smallest bedroom. 

I pulled the desk away from the wall so I could face the door while I work or surf. The monitor is probably too large, and the other computer stuff too ugly for my petite leggy desk but since it's not making me crazy it stays. I spent a week with the desk pushed against the wall and it was only OK...

Anyways, I stole my ZiZi plant from the foyer, but the plan is to get a larger fluffy wild messy plant for the marble top table in front of the window. I feel like it will help distract from the big bad computer box.

I didn't put much thought into the art placement. I hung whatever on existing nails. I am going to ask our contractor to build a picture rail around the entire room. I am hoping for a whole lot of WOW from that picture rail!

And now? I don't think the room needs accessories (CLUTTER!)...a jumbo happy plant, new light fixture (the old one from the upstairs bathroom is waiting to be installed) and picture rail should be enough!

Friday, August 15

Pillow Project

A little project I am working on that is going much faster (and sucking up WAY MORE YARN*) than I imagined!

I was hunting online for great pillows for the kids beds at the cottage and I saw fuzzy ones for $180 that I knew I could make!!!

I asked mom to bring up the leftover yarn and rug canvas she saved from when we were kids. She had quite a few colours and I hoped there was enough from this hodge podge to make one euro sham. At the time, it seemed like sooo much yarn, but it's all used up!

It makes more sense to start rug hooking at the bottom of the canvas and work your way up. I cheated a bit and hooked yarn guys all over the place in a random happy way. I wanted to make sure that the 80's colours were spread out all over the pillow, in case I had to buy new yarn to finish it off. 

It's loud, but that's cool!  I really love it!

Sorry, this post is useless as a DIY because I have no idea how much I have used so far, or how much I still need. I do have a link to colours.

I will come back when I am done the second (and third?) pillow with a cost breakdown. It's not going to be cheap, because of the volume of yarn, binding, pillow back and buttons or zipper...Still, I think I can get one done for $40-50...I mean, I hope it costs way less than that, but at this rate...

JEEZ it's 5pm...gotta start cooking! Whole rainbow trout tonight with tomato cucumber salad and veggie sticks.

Sources: Pillow One , Pillow Two

*have to order more from Mary Maxim to finish

ps. the kids LOVE it and every time I get it out they come over and fight over who's pillow it is...charming boys ps. I just thought of something! You could buy a latch hooking kit of a butterfly or boat or penguin or duck, as long as it's in a colourway you like, then scramble up the colours!!!! Way cheaper!!!

Toys live here

We have a lot of toys (and books and puzzles). We have a very generous family + I can't stop buying them = lethal. We give away a load every year, sometimes twice a year, so I don't feel that guilty...still, it's a lot of stuff.

This morning I cleaned up the closets and the toy room (or the "Toys Room" as my little one calls it). I am feeling pretty darn good right now! So much accomplished!

Next: Move truck photos and pretty up the office.

Wednesday, August 13

Moved the boys into the old master bedroom

All the rooms upstairs have been shuffled. We moved out of the old master into the new master. I moved the boys furniture into the old master bedroom (second largest room). The toys went into the boys old bedroom (third largest room, no closet) and the toy room became the new office.

I was dreading this reorg because I thought it would force me to buy new furniture. This room is good! It makes me very happy.

We will transfer the truck photos from the boys old room to the wall behind their heads. Big job! There are a lot of photos!

I have (non matching) bed frames for both boys, but they roll out of bed. They also jump on the beds like monkeys. I could get bars to hold them in but why not just leave the mattresses on the floor I say! Easy...and looks good to me!

The light fixture is vintage, bought it at the 400 market last year for $128. It looked way out of place with my old master bedroom furniture but I like it with this room set up!

The mirror wall hasn't been touched.  I will leave the mirror in this room and raise it 3-4 inches. The family photos will need to come down.

ps. the next job is cleaning the closets and moving the clothes.