Operation Apartment

Three months post-move, I still have to ...

1) go to the hardware store and get bamboo curtain rods cut

2) hang curtains

3) put together my coffee table, find the perfect yellow paint for it, sand, prime and paint the tabletop

4) enlist my dad in helping me to fix my poor new ikea file cabinet which I misguidedly tried to put together on my own. actually, enlist dad in helping me with all of the above. except help with paint color, which is mom's area of expertise. (am i 22 or 12? sometimes it's hard to tell)

5) create a little "office nook" with said filing cabinet underneath the breakfast bar...get a little wall pouch to put my mail in (my current method of throwing it on the nearest surface until I can remember to deal with it is not working

6) get battery for my cuckoo clock (d-oh : it's been sitting pretty on my wall for weeks now and still not performing its intended function)

7) cut mats for my two vintage prints at work

8) frame above prints

9) get a few more pieces for the little wall by my door

10) frame those too

11) get something green (i heard it's really easy to grow grass .... I am not even kidding - I think I killed my eggling)

12) prettify the blah white kitchen - i'm thinking of lining the cabinets with pretty paper, getting a bright rug, etc.

13) do something about the boring bathroom (new rug?)

14) get my Polish poster, and frame it

15) find the perfect dresser/credenza:
midcentury, with clean lines and vintage charm
less than 56" long
less than $500 (hopefully way less)
in short, a fantasy on tapered legs

16) hang my mirror above the dresser. finally.

My goal is to accomplish at least five of these tasks by Monday ... I will report back and let you know how that goes! Hopefully the list will be totally complete by Thanksgiving ... I have lots of other ideas of things I want to do with the apartment, but these are the most pressing.

OK, I'm adding one more item to the list:

17) get a new USB cord for my camera so I can take some pictures and show you all what I've done so far (I happen to be really, really proud of the salon-style wall I put together a few weekends ago, though it won't complete until I get #7 and #8 done)


Shades of Grey

I like to weed through my Etsy list of favorite objects, looking for patterns. Today, I noticed a lot of grey-toned items have been cropping up - just as they have in my closet. Grey might not have the immediate impact of vibrant colors like red or yellow, but I can find a lot to appreciate in its smoky subtlety. It's more variable than you might think. Can you really look at these wonderful and diverse pieces and tell me that grey is boring?

Grey Rose Mini Print by askey

Plastic Conflict, by swirlingthoughts

Street in Riga by artquirk

handbuilt lace imprinted gray bowl by dgordon pottery

Reflected Rainshower by jared in kansas

I woke to someone else's dream, by Elinor Scott-Sutter

Beatles Magnets by Bungle Bears Designs

Rainy Day, by menta

Jump, by Ryn


Up, Up, and Away!

There is something so lighthearted and romantic about balloons - particularly the hot air variety. I love seeing them as a motif.

Flying Shoes Art Card, by Two Guitars

Nucleus' artist series Balloon tote

Stowaway in the Sky, by Marian Stachurski

The Friendly Sky, by Little Robot

You may have seen this on my blog before, but the "Montgolfiere" umbrella, by Fornasetti, is too gorgeous to skip.


Turtle Papers

I recently received a really nice e-mail from Jennifer telling me about her lovely new Etsy shop, Turtle Papers. Her wares include t-shirts, stationery, and prints for your walls. Her pieces all exude a singular charm - I might say in one word that they are adorable!

I just love this gocco print in metallic gold, Love Birds. It's such a sweet image but the gold gives it a bit of edge.

I also really like the elephant motif (a traditional good luck symbol) on this scalloped Good Luck Card. I can't think of a better way to cheer up someone on the precipice of something big in their life.


Polish Posters

As I work in a museum, I get introduced to a lot of cool art that I might not otherwise have come across. One of our board members collects Polish film and theatre posters from around 1920-1970 and he donates a big batch each year.

These posters represent a remarkable and relatively unknown art form that deserves some recognition. Rather than simply slapping together a movie still and some text (obviously I'm generalizing here), these artists produced something that can be considered a work of art in its own right. Playful and often moving, some of the trademarks of these posters include a dynamic style, bright colors and unusual compositions. Each artist has their own unique style, which is what makes these posters so special.

The prices, for the most part, are pretty reasonable as well.
The best resource on the web seems to be PolishPoster.com...if anyone's interested I will report back once my purchase goes through.

Some of my current favorites:

La Village Magique, by Jan Mlodozeniec

Gra, by Jan Mlodozeniec

Parasol, by Franciszek Starowieyski

Iwan Grozny, by Franciszek Starowieyski

Kobiety by Maria Ihnatowicz

Stories About Lenin, by Jan Lenica

Desire, by Jerzy Flisak

My all time favorite is this superfantastic Arcimbaldo-esque Casanova: Childhood and Adolescence poster by Marek Mosinski... which will hopefully be up in my apartment very soon.


Newbies and Goodies at Anthro (Feast Your Eyes!)

Let there be light:

Woodworker Lamp

Lacemaker Lamp

Pillow talk:

Oaxaca Pillow

Flowering Quince Bedding

Let them eat cake:

Damask Desert Plates

Bird in Hand Potholder

OK, no more clichés. I'll put a stop to it....

Shoemaker Doorstop

All right, I'm done now. Seriously.


It was my birthday on the 15th (I'm 22, for the record) and I'm now faced with the task of writing some thank you notes. I will probably go with my trusty Eames stationery.

I might fuel my faux bois obsession (at least I'm not alone) and stock up on a few of these babies for next time.

From Blue Snail Papers.


Back to School with Acme Made

Today was my sister's first day of college, and many students throughout the country are returning to school this week. For me, late August was always peppered with an excitement (bordering on mania) for shiny new school supplies combined with the absolute dread of a return to schoolwork and gym class.

I graduated from college in June, and it's really beginning to sink in that those days are in the past. Though I'm hoping to go to graduate school next year so this may only be a temporary respite. In any case, my visit to Stitch on Saturday turned up a most tempting back to school item perfect for a fledgling grown-up like myself.

When I got my Macbook last September I had a long and fruitless search for the perfect stylish functional affordable case which ended in my purchasing a squishy neoprene cover that allowed me to slip my computer into my Kooba Paige. Functional and affordable, yes, but not really super-stylish.

During my search I came across Acme Made bags. I really loved them - the design was outstanding, they seemed really well-made, and I really liked the fabric choices. I just couldn't be persuaded to spend almost $200 on a laptop bag (I had just shelled out a lot of money for the Kooba).

When I stepped into Stitch I was soon stopped in my tracks by this perfect specimen:

The design is so sleek and minimal that it allows the outstanding print to take center stage. It's graphic and chic. And the subdued shades mean that it's quite versatile. It was love at first sight. Problem is, my job doesn't require that I carry my laptop around, and school is over...
what's a new grad to do?


John Derian arrives in Provincetown

For all of you New Englanders, I have some rather good news.

I received a darling postcard in the mail yesterday announcing that John Derian is opening a new shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts on Law Street... "hours by appointment or chance."

For those not in the know, John Derian operates a magical wonder emporium specializing in gorgeous decoupage items and other flea market finds. His studio was featured in this month's Domino as well. His Lower East Side store is one of my favorite places to visit in New York. Overpriced, perhaps, but definitely inspiring.

If only he would come to Chicago!

The Magic Bunny

Not everybody appreciates a sense of humor in houseware design, but I think it adds the most perfect frisson in most spaces, particularly when it is present in the most mundane of objects. Philippe Starck comes to mind - his fly swatter is the perfect example. The teams at Pylones and Alessi are also pros at this sort of thing.

Today I came across this Alessi paper towel holder and I just had to share. Having wanted to buy one two months ago upon my move-in, I ended up giving up, because they were all so ugly, and boring, and I thought I could save a few bucks and do without. But who can say no to this silly little number?



So I picked up the new ReadyMade at Blick the other day, along with this totally fantastic pencil sharpener, which I'm either going to give to my dino-obsessed friend or keep for my very own.

I'm a sucker for those last-minute register displays, OK?

While I really like ReadyMade, I've been trying to cut down on my impulsive magazine purchases (ahem). But I knew as soon as I saw the heading on that lovely shiny sunny cover - "SMALL SPACE LIVING" in bold black letters....that I had "done good." Anyways, it's a definite recommended read...I loved the DIY room dividers and the two wonderful small spaces they featured. The second one is in Chicago and I swear I've seen the guy's apartment before - in Time Out Chicago, maybe?

Table Decor for the Non-Spillers

As most people who dine with me are aware, I am a chronic spiller. To the point where it has ceased to faze me. Meal after meal I generally do something like dumping a brimming glass of ice water in my lap (not once, but twice in one meal), or a chunk of salmon down my shirt. Par for the course, you know. It does make me sad, however, because I've just seen these two new round tablecloths at Anthropologie which would grace my table beautifully. Oh, the price one pays for klutziness.




Just a dash of citrus...

How adorable is this pair of side tables from Inside Avenue? I don't think I could ever get tired of yellow and green, and the interlocking shape is fresh and so fun. It makes me wish that summer would go on forever...pass me that mojito, will you?


that's foh bwa to you...

I have been hankering to put up my West Elm faux bois mirror, which I got in June...but I don't want to hang it until I find the perfect dresser (it will hang above the dresser). Instead, it sits enveloped in cardboard under my breakfast bar, waiting to flutter from its chrysalis...

in the meantime I can ogle its extremely refined and delicate older sister, courtesy of blue bell bazaar.