Jamaican Sea

After seeing this living room featured on Design Sponge, I have a new obsession.

It’s called Jamaican Sea.

I keep fantasizing about repainting every wall and piece of furniture in my new favorite shade of Jamaican Sea. I wonder how Clark’s Duesenberg guitar would look in this cheery shade of blue? If I entertained that thought long enough, this might be the very last blog post I ever write!

I am seriously considering letting Salem and Mia share a room for the next couple of years. Mama is busting out of the converted butler’s pantry turned craft space, and it would be nice to have a little elbow room to tackle bigger projects. The kids are on the same naptime/bedtime schedule now, and they love having “sleep-overs”. I realize that this could pose a decorating challenge. I wouldn’t want to make the space too boyish or too girlie. But I am up for the challenge. Do your little ones share a room? How long can one get away with having brother and sister share the same space?

Hey kids, how do you feel about Jamaican Sea?!



Mission Impossible: The Dining Room Chairs

I’ve walked by this bundle of colored circle pattern fabric draped lazily over a bar stool in my craft space for months now. I have every intention of breaking in my new electric staple gun this weekend and recovering my rather depressing dining room chairs. Have you ever reupholstered a piece of furniture? Sounds like a snap, but after reviewing Design Sponge’s Dining Chair Do-Over tutorial I’m beginning to think this requires some real elbow grease. Wish me luck!

In the event that I chicken out, I’m about to raid a reclaimed fabric store that I recently stumbled upon so that at the very least, I can churn out some frayed fabric rosettes this weekend.

I LOVE WEEKENDS!!!!!! Here’s hoping you have a great one!

Hallways and Pantries and Clothespins, Oh My!

After my epic thread jam incident on Tuesday night, I set to work collecting inspiration for my home studio. As of now, my “office” consists of an armoire in the hallway, and my studio is a converted butler’s pantry. These areas are not the most spacious, nor are they the most organized. So, I’ve consulted the experts for some creative and inspiring space saving tips.

Image via Lauren Nelson

Notice the wire make shift clothesline. How handy would that be to simply pin up receipts, mail, and fabric swatches with a clothespin rather than having them clutter up precious counter space?

Image via Holly Mathis Interiors

There are so many things I love about this desk (especially the “I Love You Blogs and Coffee” print from Made by Girl on Etsy), but what I want to know is what’s hiding behind that table skirt! It would be so nice to store craft supplies and office files behind a colorful fabric rather than having bank statements and fabric glue out at all times for pop-in visitors to see. Who’s with me for a clutter-free life?

Image via Lonny Mag

A girl can dream right?

I am a big believer in inspiration boards, and I’ve always admired these by Bryn Alexandra. I plan to hang a couple of these in my office/hallway. Since I have my hand in about a dozen different projects right now, this will certainly help keep me organized.

If you think your small and uninspiring work space is utterly hopeless, think again. This before and after home studio by Ish and Chi has me absolutely convinced, I too can make a creative haven even out of the butler’s pantry.


And after…

Love love love it! Some paint, a few floating shelves, framed wall paper and fabric covered clip boards and this girl is in business! And she did all of this for under $1000! I’m impressed. This post as well as How to Create a Studio on a Budget by Decorator in a Box are both great resources for any one wants to design an inspiring creative space without breaking the bank.

Other helpful resources:

Kate Pruitt’s tips on home office organization

Design Sponge Best of: Offices one and two

Elle Decor’s Recipe for a Room


I think we’re off to a good start!

Chalk Talk

I am beginning to think that if you live in a house with children (or a visionary husband) you need to make good use of chalkboard paint. Granted, chalkboard painted surfaces are cropping up everywhere these days, but there’s a reason for that. Perhaps a few of these examples would prove useful around your house. I know they would in mine.

I am already visualizing my home school room even though Salem just rounded age 2! It never too early to prepare, right? I love these Erasable Labels from Martha Stewart. If Salem had his way, they would all be labeled “drum sticks”.

If you haven’t already visited Jones Design Company blog, pour yourself a cup of hot tea and brace yourself for a dose of inspiration like you’ve never seen before. In a word Emily is brilliant. I recently told her that if one could have a blog “mentor” she would be it for me. This is a wall in her home office. I could see Clark and I scribbling lyrics all over that space. Here are a couple of other examples of fun with chalkboard paint.

Image via image via Milk and Honey Home

This table by Design Sponge got my wheels spinning for this weekend’s Unfinished Projects Party. I just re-inherited a hideous cabinet that I lent to Christyn. It is an eyesore in my foyer, and I can’t stand to leave it there looking like something better suited for the Pit of Despair.

Try Benjamin Moore Studio Finish Chalkboard Paint

…or if you’re in a more colorful mood, check out Hudson Color Chalkboard Paint, and paint ’til your heart’s content!


“Wonder” Wall

Forgive the Oasis reference…. blame it on the day job!

I visited a Nona’s bakery here in town not long ago. Wow! A confectioner’s dream and a postpartum body’s worst nightmare. What impressed me more than the rows and rows of impeccably decorated cakes was the sense that you walked into a little piece of family history. On the far wall hung this simple and yet sentimental display …

Nona after all means “grandma” in Italian. (We affectionately call my mother, “Nona”, and I think it is only fitting.)

While I was home for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but admire my mother-in-laws memory gallery. I’ve always wanted to make one, and after seeing hers, I think this will be a perfect New Years project to get me through those cold winter months.

This gallery spanned nearly floor to ceiling… too large to fit into one snapshot. (And yes, that is my sweetheart in the chin pose sporting his band uniform. He IS going to kill me for this!)

I’ve begun to do a little research in planning to create my own gallery wall. Design Sponge delivers winning suggestions for projects like this and all things DIY. You can check out their “Best of Wall Galleries” post for inspiration. But here is an example of a gallery wall collage that has caught my eye.

Julie Holloway from Milk and Honey Home blog let me use this image. She’s done a great job of varying the shapes, sizes, and colors of her gallery pieces while finding that perfect balance between too uniform and too “busy”.

I love the idea of mixing and matching different shapes and ornate pieces, grouping them together with an interesting clock, and couple of wall sconces or even some framed fabric swatches to add to the appeal.  However, I can already see that if I’m not careful, this could spin out of control and end up looking more like the community announcement board at your local coffee shop complete with the sad lost pet flyer and the lone Mary Kay consultant business card. There are loads of online tutorials such as the Picture Wall Company to help you create the perfect picture collage while avoiding visual chaos. Design Formula’s blog offers valuable tips on arranging your picture gallery in such a way to make it easy on the eye. Here are a few of their examples and suggestions…



I love this diagram for creating a staircase wall collage. I’ve always wanted to make one. Too bad I don’t have stairs. Perhaps you would let me come to your house and design one?


This holiday, you may inevitably have to endure your Great Uncle Henry’s corny jokes or other one of your father’s Republican rants. You may already be considering where to carefully stash the hideous lamp your mother found on ebay that she thought would look perfect in your entrance way for quick retrieval upon her visiting arrival. Before you resort to spiking your egg nog to get through the holiday, try to pause and consider the family characters that you would feature in your wall gallery, and how if any one of these people had made a different choice of where to go or who to marry, things may have turned out very differently for you. There may not even be a you!!

Stick that in your egg nog and drink it!






In Sickness and in Style

I am posting a bit later than usual today. I believe I have the flu…. yuck! I’m sure that going to the  fashion exhibit on the history of platform shoes and Haute Couture at the Mint Museum the other night in the cold and rain has absolutely nothing to do with me feeling like pipe sludge today. If it did, I can honestly say it was well worth it. Christyn and I are following the Charlotte City Guide as featured on the Design Sponge blog, and the Mint Museum of art was our first stop. I am doped up on DayQuil just enough to give you a glimpse of the exhibit. Again, I’m not sure if the museum frowns on taking pictures, so in my attempts to be discreet, I ask that you please forgive the iphone quality of these images. A girl’s gotta do….

Most of these designs were are from the 1940’s. British shoe designer, Terry de Havilland said, “I love girls being taller and taller and taller particularly tall girls wearing platforms. That is heaven for me!” I’ve always been shy about wearing high heels because I’m already tall, but after reading this, I am more willing to break out those platforms!

The Converse sneakers I was sporting this particular evening don’t exactly look like these red ones.

These sandals are actually roller skates circa 1970!

This thigh high laced platform boot entitled “Fetish”, is described as a “gift in honor of pole dancers everywhere.” Well, there really isn’t anything more that can be said about that now is there?

“Couture is a marriage of design and material”– Christian Dior, Fashion Designer

A true couture garment is a one-of-a-kind perfect fit for a client to whom money is no object. For instance, an evening dress like this one might cost upwards of $50,000!!! It is said that less than 1,000 women world-wide can purchase true haute couture garments on a regular basis. Sadly, I am not one of these women.

Does anyone still dye their shoes to match their dress? I remember that was the thing to do in the 80’s. I love the white gloves!

If this exhibit comes to your town, I highly suggest you round up a few fashion lovers (or perhaps those who could use some fashion inspiration) to go see it. It will be worth your while even if an epic cold awaits you in the days that follow.