Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bright and Bold

A few more favorites from the Botanic Gardens:


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This one reminds me of a Mardi Gras headdress - no idea what the plant was though.

Take A Dip

This is something I would never ever have thought of doing on my own, but I think it just looks fantastic! I love the way the crisp white plays off the natural feel of the baskets. I had a basket that this would have been perfect for that I had gotten from my Mom, but unfortunately, she had also had it a long time, and I got rid of it because it was slowly crumbling to dust. Now I'm going to have to keep a look out for another one.

(Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Up Close and Personal: Daffodils

I love daffodils in the springtime - so bright and cheery. So when I picked up a bunch at Whole Foods, of course I had to get out my macro lens and share them with you all!






Friday, March 25, 2011

Oooh, Pretty

Despite my love of pretty things, I don't think most people would call me a girly girl. But my inner girlyness comes out from time to time, especially when I see amazing works of art like these dresses by Versace. These are again a fantastic example of adding texture, but I don't even want to think about the time it took to make even one of these gowns.

(Photos: Versace)

Browsing on Etsy - Earrings

I'm a big fan of hoop earrings, especially hoop earrings with dangling pretty things. So when I ran across these beauties from Natasha Khan Designs, I just had to share. With a price tag of $1,750, they are a little out of my range, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Macro Lens!

After stalking Craigslist for a while and dreaming of getting a macro lens, while fully expecting it to stay firmly in my dreams, last week I found a steal! It is from the 70s, but apparently one of the best macro lenses Nikon ever made, and people still prefer it over the new ones. So without further ado, I give you yarn, up close and personal.




Monday, March 21, 2011

Texture: Quilting

Since writing my post about smocking, I’ve been thinking about texture. My wardrobe tends to be on the plain side, but I think that texture is a great way to add interest without being flashy, and apparently I’m right in line with this season’s styles, according to this article.

A few weeks ago there was a post on Apartment Therapy about bedside tables, but i really fell in love with the quilt in one of the photos. While I think it’s great as an actual quilt, I also thought it would be fantastic as a dress or some other clothing item. Funnily enough, after thinking about all this on Friday, I found out that this past Saturday was national quilting day, so it fits right in!

Doing a little research didn’t turn up much in the way of quilted clothing, besides the ubiquitous quilted jacket, but I did turn up a few things which managed to bring a classic technique more up to date in terms of fashion. Thinking back to the fact that I started a little mini-quilt when I was about eight, and it still sits unfinished in with all my material may mean that I will never attempt anything of this sort, but it’s fun to look at.

A few high-end pieces to start with:

This dress by Zac Posen is on the more simple side, but is stunning.

Getting more 3-dimensional with Lanvin (photo from via The Girl in the Check Scarf).

I figured Etsy would be a good place to look for quilted fashion, and I was able to turn up a few there as well:

While the quilting is really minimal on this dress by jenfashion, I think it’s a really modern take.

This dress by LoveInTheAfternoon reminds me of the Lanvin dress, at a much smaller price tag ($260 vs. an original price of $2,255, but on sale for $789).

How do you feel about quilting? Should it stay firmly on the bed, or can it migrate over to fashion?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Decorating with Frogs

So frogs aren't typically the topic of most interior design blog posts, but I'm not typical. I currently have two toads, three grey tree frogs, and 2 amazon milk frogs, and they are all in some stage of adolescence. I just finished a beautiful new terrarium for the grey tree frogs, as they are almost grown up, and will be making a new big one for the amazon milk frogs next. Both of these are about 12" deep by 16" wide by 24" tall, so finding a place to put them is a little difficult. I've been playing with designs for a custom shelving unit, but I've always loved the look of metal etageres, and think they would be perfect for terrarium displays. Now I just have to find one that is the correct size and sturdy enough, which is unfortunately almost impossible.

A few inspiration photos from the archives:



Unfortunately, I saved these photos quite a while ago, and I have no idea where I got them, so if you know, let me know so I can credit them!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Graphic Punch

I love the impact that a really graphic and bold item can have, like the headboard below:

I want to add a graphic piece of artwork to my gallery wall, as right now it's mainly photos and paintings of dc buildings and scenery. I don't have a current photo of the gallery wall up on the wall itself, but this gives you an idea of what's up:


I was thinking of trying my hand at making some art myself, but while perusing Etsy the other day, I came across Jackson Fabric Arts, a shop with handmade batik and other fabric, and was really struck with this fabric:

It comes in other colors as well, but this would look fantastic in my living room. What do you think, would this look good framed and up with the rest of my gallery wall?

Orchids and Butterflies

One of my favorites of the Smithsonians is the Museum of Natural History, where boyfriend and I took a ramble a few weeks ago. Most of the museum is full of dead things, but there are few living items as well. I think it's a yearly thing, but they occasionally have an orchid exhibit, which is really amazing. Boyfriend and I got took some time to smell the orchids and learn a bit, as we wanted to head out to an orchid store in the boonies of Virginia to stock up on orchids for terrariums. Al's Orchid Greenhouse is amazing, and Al is quite the character himself. He went through the greenhouse with us and told us about every orchid that could possibly be used in a terrarium, and we came home with a nice selection.

Another exhibit at the museum that I like (which I think is a permanent exhibit) is the Orkin Insect Exhibit. I'm not sure how I feel about Orkin sponsoring it, but it's pretty neat. I liked the display window full of moth and butterfly chrysalises. I was able to sit there and watch one hatch.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

I haven't taken advantage of the fact that I live in a city full of free museums and great culturalness in a while, so boyfriend and I went to the Museum of Natural History and the National Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago. I haven't gotten a chance to go through all my photos yet, but here are some lovelies from the Gardens.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All Bagged Up

Because I am car-free and commute via the Metro every day, I tend to carry my life around with me in my bag. I will have back problems the rest of my life, I'm sure, but try as I might, I can't leave my tote bag behind. It does make things a little difficult though, like when I'm madly digging through my bag to get out my ID card, so I've developed a system of bags within the bag, to corral like items. If I ever do decide I can go without the big tote bag for a day, I can decide which smaller bags are necessary, and which can stay home. The bags I'm currently using are an unattractive mismash of whatever I could find lying around the house, so this adorable airmail pouch is looking pretty darn attractive - nice price too, only $9!

How about you - do you have a method to the purse madness?

(photo courtesy of

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Have a Donut!

So the other day I said something about how you eat donuts on Fat Tuesday, and boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy. I couldn't remember the name of the specific donut you're supposed to eat, but I eventually remembered it's a polish thing, so that's why he had no idea. My main connection to my polish heritage is through food, and I love sweet things, so you better believe this is a tradition I wanted to remember. So I perused wikipedia this morning to figure out exactly what I remembered eating. Turns out they are called Packzki and are actually eaten on fat Thursday in Poland, and on fat Tuesday by American Polish people. Hamtramck, a town enclosed by Detroit with a huge polish population, is where my Grandmother grew up, and is the only U.S. city to hold a Paczki day parade. Either on Tuesday or Thursday, they are delicious and it is a tradition that more people should follow. I had forgotten it was fat Tuesday until just now, but I did reward myself with a chocolate croissant for going to the doctor this morning, so I celebrated in my own way.

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Shoes I Like

So I have a bazillion things to post about, but they all require me to either take photos, or find photos somewhere in the 17 places I keep photos (need to work on my organizational skills). So here are a few photos of lovely shoes from, once again, the Sartorialist. I need to get a few basics for the spring, so my shoe wish list is a pair of nude pointy-toed stilettos (to replace my most beloved pair of shoes that finally kicked the bucket) and navy flats, so I can fully embrace navy this spring. What's on your shoe wish list?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yellow - Need I Say More?

So you probably have noticed that the majority of my fashion inspiration comes from the Sartorialist, but that's just because I'm lazy lately and don't read many blogs any more. His is one that I will read though, because it's pretty much just pictures. I do enjoy it when he adds a bit of commentary, as it's always interesting to see what exactly it is that catches someone's eye. This photo was from a post about this blue and yellow combo, which he was seeing all over London. That particular color is one of my current favorites, and I've been adding it into my bedroom, with my sheets and a few baskets. Yellow is always one of my favorites, and is also a key player in my apartment, as anyone who has seen my living room will say. I've always avoided navy in terms of fashion for some reason, sticking with black as my neutral, but every spring I say I'll give it a try. Since I'm deep in spring fever mode, I'll see if I can give it a go this year. And not only do I love the yellow of the bag, but it's just a fantastic bag all around.

(Photo by the Sartorialist)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring Green Plus Somewhere to Sit

I love the color green, especially when I'm craving some springtime. Any shade will do, but bright grass green is my favorite. I would love a kitchen like this.

Also, I love those stools. Recently I went through a bit of a stool search myself, as I decided the stools I had just didn't cut it. My bar is pretty narrow, and essentially in the entryway, which like everything else in my apartment is very small. I had found two of these in black on Craigslist for a steal when I first moved in:

They worked fairly well, but were a little too big and cut off the entryway a bit. I don't have a photo of them in the space, but here is my bar when I was still moving in:


I sold them and set off to Ikea to find a replacement. It took me a little while, but I settled on these bad boys:

As to be expected, I don't have a photo of them in the entryway, but they work fantastically and I'm very happy with them. It is nice to have a back on a stool, but it really makes a big difference visually to not have it.

Photos courtesy of (1: I believe Apartment Therapy, 2 &4: Ikea, 3: Me)

Where to Put My Coffee?

Today I'm here to talk to you about coffee tables. I normally would never consider not having a coffee table, especially since I don't have a dedicated dining table anymore, but my current apartment makes it a bit difficult. My living room is only about 9 feet wide, and by the time you throw a couch on one side and bookshelves on the other, it's hard to fit in a coffee table. This is what it looked like when I first moved in, just so you have an idea of what I'm working with here:


Sidenote: I really need to take new pictures of my apartment. Since then I have added doors to the bottom two shelves of the bookshelves, bought a new rug, decided I didn't like it and made a new rug (stay tuned for that one), sold that couch, and got my other couch back from boyfriend.

Anyway, I have tried a couple of options, including a bench (as shown in my old apartment):

living room

as well as a pair of end tables boyfriend and I made out of copper pipes with wood tops (no photo of that one because I'm so behind on photographing my projects).

Both things just seemed to make the living room busy, but it's really annoying not have a surface to put things on. I do have end tables, but it's just so much more convenient to have the coffee table. I was thinking perhaps something in acrylic would work, as it would visually disappear, but it's not really my style. I did run across this one, I think on Apartment Therapy, a while ago, which I found on Amazon, but I'm not sure:

Thoughts? If you can think of a better way to arrange the room as well, let me know. I've spent a few evenings getting a work out moving stuff around, but it always ends up the same way.

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