Monday, March 28, 2011

sewing space, also known as: you can't keep cutting where you eat

I have been sewing significantly more these past couple months. now that I have found a few "genres" that inspire me (shoulder/handbags and all things that fall under the category of baby shower gift), I can't seem to stop. which is fantastic; yay! a hobby I am actually maintaining! however. I need to get serious regarding where I work. sewing in the dining room basically blows. my big, courageous plan is to try and make room for my sewing self in the downstairs guest room, while still keeping the room a guest room. tricky. very tricky. any ideas? I am looking for ikea type inspiration (cheap but also full of good organization ideas). to get this party started, I have pulled a few inspirational images I found online:

I am digging the simple uniformity of this room. and the double desk. love all the shelving too. problem: way too much space; I am literally getting a corner. other problem: feels stuffy.

this one might be my favorite. there is very little not to love. like the high table, but need it bigger still to lay out fabric for cutting and when sewing.

I adore this one because it looks like someone actually works here. I am a big fan of the metal baskets (remind me of my summer days in the rice pool locker room), however I worry the fabric might get dusty if stacked in there. would *love* to avoid plastic containers at all costs though.
this is just smart and cute.
any inspiring ideas?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

steven alan, let me count the ways...

my good friend, renee, introduced me to my new favorite clothing shop (only available online to those of us west coast inhabitants): steven alan. I am in love with the spring collection. yes, it is a little spenny, but we can learn about fashion without always spending.

how great is that little black hat?

sick of chili? try creole.

I have been itching to make something in a dutch oven for weeks now; a big yummy pot of goodness (it rained here the last 7 days; we need comfort). and I have been on a creole kick for about a year. so, I finally took the plunge and made chicken etouffee (would have preferred crawfish but it just didn't happen). look at how beautiful it is simmering away in the pot.

I followed this simple recipe from The Food Network and it turned out pretty magical, I must say.


  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle dark lager or amber beer
  • 1 quart cold chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


Season the chicken pieces with salt and cayenne pepper.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat and searchicken pieces on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a platter and reserve.

Add butter to pan and when melted, add flour, and stir to combine well. Continue to cook roux, stirring constantly, until chocolatebrown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Immediately add onion, celery, bell pepper, and bay leaves and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, then add the beer and stir well to loosen any brown bits from pan bottom. Add the stock, brown sugar, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine well. Bring to a boil, return chicken pieces to the pot, and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Remove chicken pieces to a platter and when cool enough to handle, remove chicken meat from the bones. Return chicken meat to etouffee and continue to cook another 30 minutes, until sauce is thickened and flavorful and chicken is beginning to fall apart. Add chopped parsley and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve immediately over rice or other starch of choice.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

boy rooms

This summer Baby #2 will be arriving at our house! And despite the fact that his room doesn't yet have heat or a wall switch for the light (again...thank you 1891 House), I'm already plotting the decor. There will be way more to come as we renovate the room but here's some inspiration for now.



decor pad (all of the above)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

dark rooms

Oh cozy corners....


I totally heart this dining room. Although there's lots of light - the dark walls are gorgeous!

tom scheerer

house beautiful

elle decor

Sunday, March 13, 2011

periodic table of typefaces

my husband and I are both enamored with typeface type art and for my birthday this year, he purchased the original electronic version of this design, found HERE:

in illustrator, he altered it slightly, (changing the background to a darker grey and removing the title and some of the other text), and framed it:

I am completely smitten with it. other typeface type art that we love...

subway art


1943 children's wartime alphabet poster


event posters

kevin also ordered this one, unintentionally, but we love it and are going to keep it too.

happy weekend

love, dr. peter venkman

Saturday, March 12, 2011

obvious binder idea

a friend shared this idea a couple months ago and I feel like an idiot that I didn't think of it first. she and her partner put all their design dreams (clippings, images, notes, drawings on napkins, etc.) into an organized binder, separated by room (my tabs include: entryway, living room/office, kitchen/dining, bedroom, bathroom, storage spaces, colors, misc./extras/outside).

I mean, it is obvious but so genius! over the years I have saved magazines and clippings in the most random places (erin, I believe you have a shoe box or two full of clippings, right?) and often end up throwing them out after years of moving them from one drawer to the next. finally, I have a nerdy neat little organized system. and I love it.
the best part: I was finally able to gut and recycle all my old Domino magazines. RIP Domino, RIP.

Friday, March 11, 2011

oh my lonny

Nothing like Lonny and an ice cream sandwich on a Friday night. This month's issue is stuffed to the gills with goodies. Enjoy!