Pottery Barn Polka Dot Sheets

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My mind is on warmer weather, and I was thinking about my summer bedding. I have two lightweight quilts (below). One is a patchwork-style quilt and the other is a lavender and green stripe. Neither is particularly modern, so I was trying to think of a sheet pattern that would give them a little bit of a twist. I thought of Garnet Hill's Polka Dot Percale, but discovered it would be $100+ to get the flat, fitted and cases for my double bed. Then I remembered Pottery Barn had done polka dots in the past too. Lo and behold, here they are on sale for $59.99 on Pottery Barn's site. I still have a store credit at PB, so they wouldn't really even cost me anything. What do you think would the blue dots look cute with my two quilts?


I want to take a day trip to visit Manitoga, Russel Wright's home and studio in Garrison, NY. It sounds like it's a really neat place, and goodness, I need to get out of the city more. Here's a link to the website for Manitoga, which was recently designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.

Benches and Table Makeover

Monday, March 30, 2009

Jeez Louise! I just realized I never posted photographs of my table and bench makeover! Above is the "before" photo and below are the "after" shots. This sweet little set belonged to my grandparents, who had it in their first apartment in Chicago. One day my father revealed that the wood on the set was a nice birch wood beneath the paint, and he suggested that they'd look great refinished. Well, six whole days of my life later they did look great.

Part of the reason it took so long was because I tried out an eco-friendly paint stripper from the hardware store, which simply didn't work. It also took a long time because the benches don't disassemble, so there were lots of nooks and corners to scrape and sand. I recovered the bench seats and table inset with Amy Butler fabric and a layer of thin plastic (to protect the fabric from spills). It's been so long since I did this project, I've actually been thinking about re-covering them again, which is what inspired me to put up this post. I'm thinking of swapping the floral fabric for solid, white oilcloth for a sleeker look.

[Ed note: I did all the dirty work in my parents' driveway not in my one-bedroom apartment.]

Arthur Avenue

I took my parents up to Arthur Avenue this past Friday. We ate a huge Italian lunch and then shopped for groceries. I was dumbstruck by how cheap everything was: Fresh pasta for $2 a pound! 2 lbs. of mussels for $6! A pound of dried porcini mushrooms for $35! I'm definitely going to think about making a big shopping trip before my next dinner party.

Redmaloo Laptop Sleeve

I love this laptop sleeve from Redmaloo! Why must it be 89 euros? Maybe I could make something similar myself?

Happy Coffee

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A cappucino arrived with a smiley face in the frothed milk at Catherine's Caffe, a new restaurant around the corner from my apartment. Too bad the service was unbearbly slow.

Designing a House Around a Tree

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reading an article about constructing and addition around an existing tree in Thursday's New York Times, I remembered having read another article about a house being built around a tree. When I went to look it up, it turned out the house is right here in Fort Greene! I don't think I have ever seen this modern dwelling by Noroof Architects. I wonder where it is...

Ruffle Shower Curtain Knock-Off!

I have long coveted Anthropologie's ruffled shower curtains (above), but I could never bring myself to cough up nearly $100 for a shower curtain. Thank you to Shelterrific for pointing out this VERY similar curtain available at Target (below). I am really liking the $29 price tag at good old Target.

Shannon Gass Wallpaper from Kindred

Friday, March 27, 2009

I downloaded this adorable desktop design by Shannon Gass from Kindred, a site for free artist-designed desktop wallpapers. (via Craft)

Oooh la la: Black and white!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Me, oh my! Remodelista is making me want black and white stripes in my apartment! Two recent posts on the site (here and here) feature fabulous stripes. It wouldn't be that hard to swap out all my green accents for contrasty stripes...

Crate & Barrel Blanco Cube

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Blanco Cube from Crate & Barrel. Simple and lovely, no? Too bad it's a wee bit pricey at $249. Le sigh.

White, white, white floors!

First let me say that I ADORE Door Sixteen, a blog written by a woman renovating a row house in Newburgh, NY. Second, her post about white floors has me dying to paint mine white. During this whole renovation process I have discovered that my laminate floors are actually of a decent quality--they have a good 1/8" of real wood on them, which means they could be be sanded and painted. My floors really look like crap so this is tempting, but I think it's just a fantasy for now. (Image from Living Etc. via Door Sixteen.)

DIY Hanging Lights

I've been thinking about making pendant lights. Here are two crafty lamps I'm loving right now. Tin can lights above, which I spotted on Style Files and tea cup lights from Domestic Construction below.

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One week until Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts hits bookstores! I have never pre-ordered anything from amazon.com, but this makes me awfully tempted. I also signed up for Marty's new Craft of the Day email and added a link to her The Crafts Dept. blog to my blogroll. Yay: Crafts with Martha!

Greening Co-ops

Monday, March 23, 2009

This article in yesterday's NYT struck a note with me. My co-op has talked a bit about what green choices we can make as we embark on some major structural work. The NYT points out how hard it is to convince co-op and condo members to spend on something that won't pay itself off for years if not decades, but they don't talk much about what kind of grants/subsidies are available for co-ops, which is something I would be curious to know more about.

Brooklyn Industries Vermin Love

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hah! This adorable graphic appears on a sweatshirt by Brooklyn Industries. A rat and a pigeon embracing--it made me laugh.

Tree Trivet

Friday, March 20, 2009

I saw this cool trivet for sale at ABC Carpet & Home recently, but I failed to note who the manufacturer was. Anyone know? If I recall, it wasn't crazy expensive.

Cynthia Rowley's Stenciled Floors

I snapped this photograph at the Cynthia Rowley boutique on Bleeker Street. The shot shows the floors of the shop, which are a great old wood stenciled with silver paint. The pattern is a decorative square that repeats across almost the entire room with a border of un-stenciled floor left around the edge, which I think gives it nice definition. I love this look, don't you? (I also love that rad bicycle!)

Green and Ginger Tea

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I love, love, love Tazo's Green Ginger tea. It's the perfect thing to drink in the afternoon when you want a little pick-me-up without the harsh kick in the pants of a cup of coffee. However, at $4 to $5 for a box of 20, it's not exactly cheap (especially if you drink lots of it). So, I decided to try a little experiment. I bought a box of cheaper green tea and a piece of ginger root. Then I cut a few slices of ginger and steeped it with the tea bag in boiling water. The result is a pretty close match to the Tazo tea and a fraction of the cost. I think next time I'll try an even less expensive green tea to see if it is drinkable.

D.I.Y. Y-Socket Lights

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A while back, I wrote about the light fixtures at Vynl made from Y-sockets. Since then I have seen similar lights in lots of places. Then a couple weeks ago, Time Out New York ran a great step-by-step article on how to make similar lights yourself. Shortly thereafter I spotted a similar fixture at Urban Outfitters. It's not a great photo, but I really like how this version of the Y-socket light uses a variety of different bulbs. I think it gives the light a little extra edge. If you want to make your own, be sure to check out TONY's fantastic instructions.

Revealed: Shelves and Cabinets!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So, here's a quick peek at the shelves and cabinets. As you can see, I am not done getting things into their places: None of the art has been hung up and there are books all over my living room. (I've identified four boxes worth of books to be given away, which was tough for me to do.) You can also see that the cabinets are very high (look at the chair for scale). When I measured everything I apparently didn't think to measure the height of the cabinets, and as it turns out, kitchen cabinets are much higher than desktops.

The guys are coming back on Saturday to finish the patch on the floor, and they are going to take the legs off the cabinets then, so they'll be about four inches shorter, which should be much better. Otherwise, this is pretty much how the new storage will look.

Mike's Knife Sharpening

Monday, March 16, 2009

If you live in Brooklyn, you have probably seen Mike's knife sharpening truck at one point or another. Every weekend the old green truck slowly cruises Brooklyn blocks ringing its bell to let customers know it is approaching. Even thought the truck moves slowly, I have never been able to flag Mike down to sharpen my knives--until this past Saturday. I was walking out of the apartment to pick up my laundry and the truck was right at my intersection. So I hailed the knife sharpening vehicle over and ran inside to get my kitchen knives. For $5 a piece, Mike (or perhaps Mike's son?) sharpened my extremely dull blades. While I waited I got to pet Baby, the sweetest pup you will ever meet. The gentleman sharpening my knives told me Baby weighed 92 lbs. and I believe it--he was solid as a rock. It was a lovely little slice of old New York for my Saturday, and I savored every bit of it. Plus, my knives are razor sharp. Cutting last night for a pasta sauce was a revelation.

Coming soon...

I'll post some photos of where we are with the shelving/closet project soon. I spend hours unpacking boxes of books that had been stowed for the last two years. It's nice to see them all again.

Anthropologie Wallpaper

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Am I the last person to discover that Anthropologie is selling wallpaper? How great! I am in love with almost all of these patterns. Sort of makes me want to wallpaper an accent wall in my newly renovated living room.

Martha Stewart Flowers

Friday, March 13, 2009

I've occasionally sent Martha Stewart Flowers (mostly to my grandmother), but I have never seen them in person. How lovely that Holly from Decor8 took photos of her order and wrote a little bit about them! Aren't they adorable? It made me happy I had sent Marty's flowers in the past and convinced me to continue sending them in the future.

West Elm Jute Boucle Rug

Thursday, March 12, 2009

After all this work is done, I am thinking I might invest in a big rug to cover the majority of the floor in my living room. I've got my eye on West Elm's Jute Boucle Rug in the flax color. $299 for a 9x12 rug seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Closet Project: Progress

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So, a crew of guys came on Saturday and removed the closet. My boyfriend and I picked up the cabinetry at IKEA. Last night the guys spackled, primed and painted the ceiling. Tonight they are mean to come back and finish the painting and hopefully, patch up the floor and assemble the cabinets. After all the wait, this job is happening pretty quickly. Here's some pictures of what things are looking like midway through. After the wall came down, I decided I might need to re-think where everything goes. Current thinking is that the shelving will go on the wall to the left of the front door wherere the boxes are above. More updates to come shortly.

Below is what my bedroom looks like with all the rest of my stuff crammed into it. Nice, right?

Tea Cup Test Shoot

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Here's a little sneak peek at the test story I shot over the weekend. The theme was do-it-yourself/craft projects made from teacups. Let me know if you like 'em!


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