Archive | April, 2011

A Centerpiece pour moi

26 Apr

I was inspired the other day by this post from Mary Carol Garrity and her Nell Hill’s Blog. If you’re not familiar with Mary Carol (which is such a classic name) and her Nell Hill’s stores in both Kansas City and the original in Atchison, Kansas, you should be. Her decorating books are quick and beautiful reads. She’s a master at traditional design, and although I tend to fall in a more country eclectic vibe, I do get inspired by her talent. Specifically this photo

From the Nell Hill's Blog

got me to thinking about my small collection of garden statues. I picked up a couple goodies last year when one of our neighbors was clearing out. She was the neighbor who had overdone the garden art and the landscaping rock and the flowers and the rod iron and the bright white fence, and you get the picture. In a word, the house was over-accessorized. I walked by it all the time and dreamed of a huge “editing” session. Take out 90 percent of the schtuff and it was a nice brick house. Anyway, last year they decided to downsize and had a massive estate sale. It was fun to watch everyone do the editing for them, and I got a couple of her concrete garden statues for $25 a piece. I thought the price was decent plus it’s fun to have a little piece of that place. So I put together this little coffee table art for Easter.

The statue is meant to be part of a fountain but I find it charming on its own.

Of course, nobody ever even left the kitchen/dining room during Easter so it was a little futile, but I enjoyed putting it together and was proud of the result. The daffodils were a $10 tin at Trader Joe’s and the Violas are a $2 six-pack from the grocery store. The moss and eggs came from a craft store.

I took this photo when the light was streaming in and thought it looked pretty.


Except for that cutie watching the tube, the house looks a little junky in the background.


So even though I probably spent way too much time on this little project and even though nobody really commented on it until I forced them to, it still made me happy. And that’s really what matters. Isn’t it?


23 Apr

Not sure where the last week has gone but we’ve been back from Chicago for a few days and I’m just getting to transferring the photos. We made it to Andersonville on Sunday and had a leisurely and delightful breakfast at a Swedish diner called Svea. We then spent much of the afternoon wandering the main street shops and imagining what it would be like to live in a big city neighborhood like this one.

There was plenty of inspiration in a shop called Marguerite Gardens. The place smelled fabulous and it was amazing to see so many “basics” from my garden looked so much better in clear glass containers paired with like colors. I’m not good at clipping things that I get used to seeing, so it was inspiring to see them in this light.

Probably my favorite store was Four Sided. I loved it in there and we spent a lot of time browsing. They had tons of educational alphabet cards and lots of school maps. This was all paired with whimsical modern stuff and a lot of humor.

I bought a few of these cards and have a project in mind for my son's room.

I also resisted these hilarious cardboard busts but may have to track the rhino down after all. I’ve been thinking about him.

But actually one of the best parts of this trip was being reminded that my favorite part about antiquing and flea market shopping is staying away from the places where somebody’s done the fun part already (found the stuff) and have done an amazing job merchandising and displaying their wares. Although that’s fun for inspiration . . .

From the all-inspiring, "move me in" Brimfield

For example, it was fun to see these mid-Century chairs that Jonell bought last year for $15 a piece, all hip and merchandised beautifully.

But it was most fun to send her this photo so she could relish in her find.

My Kind of Town

4 Apr

I’ve got a little trip coming up. We’re head to Chicago for a short weekend to celebrate Suzanne’s 40th birthday. (PS – I can’t believe all of my friends are turning 40! It’s weird because I’ve been 35 for a few years now.)

I like the bean.

Anyway, I’ve been to The Windy City several times and typically spend my days on Michigan Avenue bumming from H & M to Nordstrom’s Rack and Lord and Taylor and that huge Crate and Barrel. (Of course, I do love that huge Crate and Barrel . . . three floors of inspiration and dreamy seating). The friends I visit Chicago with are not my flea market/antiquing friends (I have very few of those friends in the real world). These friends wouldn’t understand the pure joy I get from scouring through dirty little crowded rooms full of “schtuff” for a little treasure.

So this time I’m taking a stand. I’m not shopping for clothes. Chicago is a huge city, and I bet there are tons of antique haunts and flea markets just waiting for my good money. Plus MM will be there, and he’s got a good eye and a good imagination. He’s been with me for 12 years now and I think he kind of enjoys the dirty little crowded rooms.

So I’ve scouted out Andersonville as a place to spend our Saturday afternoon. Andersonville dubs itself as “a quaint village in the middle of a world-class city.” I like it. They seem to have a nice little selection of antiques and home stores.

Like this: a store called Foursided–they have a fun blog and it looks like a second store called Twosided. I can tell I’ll like them–their About Us says: Our goal is to bring imagination to life with art, ephemera, and antiques.

There was also this:

From Roost

Love the name and the photo makes me want to jump on in.

Woolly Mammouth Antiques

I think this place will appeal to the irreverent and silly side of my decorating self. They specialize in Rare Taxidermy. That could be entertaining.

Anyway, there are a few more places like Scout and Brimfield that I’m also eager to visit. I’ll be sure to take my camera so I can share some of our finds.

And it will be fun to compare notes with my friends that evening–find out what I missed on the Miracle Mile while I was scrounging for some truly original stuff. Can’t wait!