Monday, October 29, 2012

Paper Source - Flower Puff Ball Window Display

I found this flower puff ball in the window of Paper Source one evening.  It was surrounded by the tissue paper puff ball ornaments found everywhere for the last few years so it really stood out from the crowd. 

I find paper folding calming so I think this would be fun to make and after thinking about it I realized I pinned instructions on how to make it a while ago.  There is a tutorial on how to make the Kusudama origami flowers on the Folding Trees website.  The instructions on how to attach them to make a ball or ornament is here.  It actually looks like a lot of fun!

Has anyone ever made these?  I'm thinking they might be fun to make for the holidays or perhaps if the power goes out with the storm today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thrifting :: Tons of Furniture Edition

I found a bunch of great furniture on my last trip out.  It's actually from two thrift and one consignment shop - I've been busy.

This evil cat looks familiar and makes me happy to look at.  I almost got it for my niece but this was a new consignment shop for me and their prices were at the top of what I would pay for things {new} and I already have Christmas presents.

There's something about curled wicker that draws me in.  I have some end tables with the curved wicker curlicues but my last cat used to work really hard to bite them off {she didn't ever even scratch things but she really wanted the nibbly bits on the wicker dead} so I hid them.  I'll have to drag them out and use them again.

These chairs are quite nice - I think there was a whole set of 6 which is a rare thing it seems.  They'd be nice with the wood refinished or painted and some new seat fabric.

This is an amazing sofa below.  The curved lines, the rolled arms that go straight into the rolled back, the deep tufting.  Contrary to what the picture shows, it's a deep deep red which is a great color.  It's so gross that I itched for two hours after seeing it, but if I needed a sofa I'd buy it and throw the cushions away and rip the fabric and foam off while it waited for reupholstering.  I'm super happy with my own sofa though so this will wait for someone else.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wanted: Pool House Project

Because I really want to use this Bolon flooring in one.

{via Bolon}

It looks a bit like carpet in the photo but it's actually a woven vinyl flooring so it wouldn't be ruined by water or dirt like carpet would.  I'm pretty sure using this would make the project my favorite project ever.   Who's in?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Anthropologie Merchandising Techniques

Although I haven't actually purchased anything from Anthropologie in years, I like to check out their window displays and also go in to wander around and look at their merchandising displays.  They do a very good job with their merchandising and here are a couple techniques from their Boston store {I think}.

The first technique is that they make the store feel like a residential space.  With applied letters and an exterior light over the door, this back room is made to look like an apartment entry.

A note among the glassware below.  Makes it feel like you are seeing something left for a messy roommate. 

"Please keep the kitchen neat!"

The other technique is the quirky displays scattered about.  These are not necessarily for sale but they give people surprises as they peek in a corner or look through an opening.  The plush cactus leaves inside old fans, in the photo below, achieve this goal.

These are only a few examples, but have you noticed any other techniques used?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thrifting :: Consignment Edition

I popped into a few thrift and consignment shops last week and found mostly nothing special but there were a few things I really loved.

This waterfall desk is really great.  With the veneer pattern being so nice, it should be back to working condition with a tung oil treatment and perhaps a bit of stain.  The drawers were nicely dovetailed and I love the simplicity of the pulls.

 A bamboo vanity!  It's super 80s but I really like it and it was in excellent condition {with the exception of the bench seat}.  It wasn't cheap though.  The classic dresser to the left was very nice too, you can kind of see a sliver of it in the photo.

I fell in love with this hefty ash tray.  I think it's the bright orange and white combined with the metal that I loved and it would be great for holding paper clips or keys at the front door.

These 70s lamps {I want to call it a chandelier lamp} with the hanging smoked glass disks make me really happy.  Again, not cheap but in perfect condition.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Paint By Numbers Painting

A few weeks back, I posted about a Neiman Marcus paint-by-numbers window display that I had enjoyed.  I also think I mentioned a painting of an incomplete paint-by-numbers canvas that I had spotted on a Nordstrom wall.

I was there the other night looking for that day-glow red-orange sweater I mentioned and snapped a photo since all the sales people seemed to be too busy talking to each other to help customers.  {Never leave me alone in your store, I come wielding a camera}.

It's a pretty neat canvas with the mother and child completed but the background only half done.  It also appeals to the side of me that takes on too much because it shows me that incomplete can be done well.  Or maybe I'm just reaching for excuses.

What do you think?  Would you prefer it if the painting was completed or do you prefer the unfinished paint-by-numbers look?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Red Wagon Window Display

I wandered down Charles Street in Boston the other week, something I haven't done in a long time, and found this simple and well-done window display at what I think was a children's store called The Red Wagon.

It's really just some molding as a backdrop with a pennant hung above {made of ribbon and some cute paper} but it adds a sweet backdrop to the children's outfits displayed in front.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thoughts on Clothing

I thought after the rant yesterday I should at least share my solution for my recent annoyances.  Over the past few years I have seen the quality of clothes get so bad that I can't even find a cardigan that isn't see through.  I used to buy more clothes at J. Crew but most of the time when I shop there I feel a bit ripped off when I compare the price to the quality and the cut {or the lack of the cut}.

I also received a book from the library a few weeks ago that I had ordered months ago {I totally have a library wish list} titled, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, and was interested because the author confirmed things I had been feeling about clothing lately.  The quality and materials are getting worse but the prices seem to go up compared to the quality.

So.  What I decided to do is to buy fewer higher quality clothes when I can afford them.  I have decided to purchase my clothes {and I admittedly don't have or buy many} from designers who manufacture in the US or Europe, even if some of their items are made overseas, I am hoping that they have higher quality standards.  In some ways, spending a lot of money on clothing makes me nervous since I'm very hard on my clothes but I have an old See by Chloe sweater that has held up well considering what I have put it through {And what the cat, who is in love with it, has put it through.  She has been known to drag it around and put it in her food bowl some days}.

My favorites?

This top and skirt from Nanette Lepore {both of which are obnoxiously bright and I love them for it} may have found themselves into my closet recently.  I found a good sale and free shipping and I was so happy about the fit, it almost felt like it was tailored for me right off the rack and I haven't felt that way in a long time.

The only problem with this is that finding a sweater to go with it to allow me to wear it in the winter was a bit difficult.  There is a blazer in the set but I'm not really a blazer person and also didn't want to buy a whole set.  Amazingly enough, I found a sweater in a similar kind of bright reddish orange.  It's not a cardigan but I'm sure I'll be okay.

I also am totally in love with Trina Turk's clothing, a lot of which is made in California.

I wear cardigans year round and I actually love both of the ones above.  If only I had the money to spend on them.  Those pants also seriously make me happy.

The sweater on the left might be in my closet now.  I really wanted it to work with the top and skirt but it doesn't.  It works with other things though so it's a keeper!

Remember how I said that I'm not a blazer person?  I really, really, really want the one above but it's not in the budget.  If it goes on crazy sale or if I win the lottery, I'll reconsider.

Rag and Bone and Alice + Olivia are other designers on my radar but my checking account has asked for a break for now or perhaps for the next year.

Are there any brands you swear by?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Outfit Post?

Not really, you'll probably never see a photo of me here unless it's an accident and I don't notice myself in a window and photoshop myself out {which I totally do}.  However, I have recently been considering clothes a lot.  I have been tired of shopping and buying see through clothes that last a few wearings and then pill and look bad.  This is kind of expected when you shop at places like Forever 21 and H&M, but in June I purchased a bracelet from Kate Spade.

It was really cute but I wore it about 6 times before someone asked me how the clasp worked.  I took it off to show her and the whole inside had little rust spots like I had acid sweat, so I was a bit embarrassed when I handed it over.

I took it back to the Kate Spade store where they proceeded to tell me that it was costume jewelry and it was gold plated and it wasn't meant to last.  Generally when I buy something that originally cost $150 {even if I bought it on a day where they were having a sale on top of a sale like I did with the bracelet} I expect it to last more than 6 wearings.  The fact that the store admitted to the poor quality and wouldn't stand behind it's product was even worse to me.  It wasn't until I threw down the totally true, "I have Forever 21 jewelry that has lasted longer than this and that only cost me $5.00" and "I also bought a wallet that has also already become ruined" that they agreed to exchange the bracelet for something else in the store.

after less than two months

What I got in exchange for the bracelet?  This makeup case that I am using for my camera {and some note cards because those are hard to screw up}.  The zippered pouch is cute on the outside, but on the inside there is over an inch of dangling zipper!  They didn't even use one that was the proper size.  I made better myself in high school. I really wish I had looked more carefully but I was just so tired of the whole situation at the time.

So now I have a bunch of other poorly made Kate Spade stuff I didn't really want and a gift card for $1.06.  Which I also don't actually want.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thank you!

My blog flies under the radar most of the time which is good for me because then I don't blog because I feel like I have to blog.  I do it because I want to.

Last month two other bloggers were sweet enough to mention me in posts and I wanted to publicly say thank you to both of them.  This really should have been done sooner, but there's no time like the present....right?

The first was Linda from My Crafty Home Life.  She's great because she actually does stuff instead of just talking about doing stuff.  These days I do stuff really well when I am getting paid, otherwise I like to catch up on sleep because all that paying stuff makes me tired.  Happy but tired.  Seeing her complete projects is really motivating for me.

The second is Ang from The Closet 365.  She is super sweet and the fact that she has more wigs than I have shoes makes me really happy.  Plus, how can you not like someone who wears a blue wig!

Thanks, Ang and Linda. I appreciate the mention!  And thanks to everyone who took the time to stop by.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Petit Bateau Window Display

 This children's store window display is another example of a simple and effective display.  With some brightly colored prints of a wall and some hooks attached to display clothing, it looks almost as if there is a wainscot.

You can't truly confirm if it's real or not until you get close

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