Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vogue Front Row Fashion Bellevue

Kate Spade Cardigan

I am totally psyched to attend this year's Vogue Front Row Fashion show in Bellevue again this year! Having attended for a few years now, it is one of my all time favorite fashion events of the Northwest! Unfortunately, my BFF won't be attending with me. The cost is high and while we love to go, it nearly came down on the financial chopping block for me as well. But one of my favorite parts is blogging about all the gorgeous fashion that I see coming down the runway for Fall, like one of my FAVs from last year, the gorgeous Kate Spade cardigan in the picture above.

My goals for this year; Take better pictures. I would live tweet but I can never get service in the ballroom. Eat, drink, and be merry (which might mean conning my hubby to be my designated driver - lol). And with my new Instagram feed, I just might share some awesome pics as well.

If you are curious about the show, here's my blog from last year! I can't wait to bring you a new blog post this year!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Find me on Polyvore!

When Vintage Goes Wrong!

I don't know that this post is really about vintage going wrong as it is about disasters that happen when you buy vintage goods. It happens rarely as long as you inspect the object before you buy or are prepared to accept mild flaws as long as the item can still function. The most disasters happen to me (I don't presume to speak to other vintage buyers) with teapots and vases. For example, I purchased a bud vase at an estate sale. It appeared worthy, no cracks or obviously flawed. I came home, filled it with a little water, stuck in a rose from my garden, and placed it on the window sill. A few minutes later as I'm cooking dinner, I look up to see a puddle of water running off the sill. The whole bottom did not meet the base by the smallest of margins. The last thing that I want to do is repair a vase or toss it. So this vase has been relegated to dry/silk flowers only.

At a few sales last weekend and the weekend before, I happened on three teapots, one single cup and two larger pots. I usually resist teapots because they tend to be heavily flawed from use. Not only that, I could go bonkers buying adorable teapots. So I have very exacting standards to keep my house relatively clutter-free. Two of the teapots were gorgeous greens, perfect for autumn tea drinking. The other was an inexpensive, common white teapot -always classy and perfect with any afternoon tea for-one. Because of my busy schedule, I didn't blog about any of them or even set up the photoshoots. But when I was not feeling well yesterday, it was raining and tea seemed like the perfect escape along with my new Vogue magazine. I mustered up the energy to put together a cute tea spread with the new deep olive Japan made teapot with it's perky autumn colored flowers and gold stripes. I love these types of teapots. They are commonly in brown so I was excited to find an olive one (I already own a few brown ones). I poured in two cups of hot water, steeping some delicious Stash Moroccan Mint tea with a dollop of honey. Side note: I adore Stash teas and Moroccan Mint Green tea is the BEST comfort tea ever. putting a few Lark Fine Foods Salted Rosemary cookies into my Fiesta ware bowl, I gathered up my teapot and mug by the handles and barely moved. The handle fell completely off the teapot. It rolled onto the counter with tea sloshing everywhere including around my IPhone! I was left literally holding the handle and gaping at the mess. Don't worry the IPhone was fine.

There are a few lessons here. The first is that no matter how much you inspect an item, it may have hidden or cleverly disguised flaws. There had been a repair to this teapot. It was the most stealthy repair of a vintage item that I have ever seen. The master of this repair had matched paint so carefully that it was literally impossible to see any crack or break line at all. Secondly, glue does not hold up under the strain of hot water. I imagine that this was a family item that someone repaired for sentimental value, knowing that it would not hold up but they weren't going to use it anyway. Or someone broke it by accident and didn't want to be found out. Either way, no one in the selling or buying parties knew this. Lastly, while I am sad that I never got to enjoy tea from it, I paid such a small price for it that I'm walking away from it. A seasoned vintage shopper knows that there will be a few failures (like the other teapot that I bought years ago with a hairline crack in it's belly.). So now I am looking to salvage what I can of the sale. The lid is chip free and may fit another green teapot that I own so I will try it and some small good will come of it!

But for every disaster there are a few triumphs. I boiled more water, cleaned up the second teapot, after inspecting it even more carefully for hidden surprises and made another round of tea. I paid considerably more for this teapot ($8) and would have been heartbroken if the same thing had happened. It is a Sadler English teapot, more decorative and less for everyday use. It is numbered on the bottom and gilded. The wear of this teapot is minimal which surprised me when I first saw it. I came late to an estate sale and didn't really expect to find anything but there it was. I tend to like odd colors and that's why I think people had been passing it up. It's the most vibrant shade of pale olive green paired with a rustic brown. My pictures are not very good but I think you will get the idea.

It's also so shiny that I could not get a good picture without glare. The good news - it held up to my tea time delight! You can see here my Fiesta ware bowl and Harry Potter mug (not really a delicate match for the teapot but that's ok). The cat (Kit) would not leave me alone. He was completely fascinated by tea time as you can see down below.

Any vintage disasters that you want to share?

"Don't break, little teapot!" says Kit.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Craft Shed Update

I hate to call it a shed. And when I do, people look at me funny. Perhaps the craft cottage? Or the inspiration zone? Invariably when people stop looking at me like I'm crazy quizzically, they asked rather hesitantly, "what crafts do you do?" They don't really want to know. They are terrified to know really. Well, to be honest with you, I haven't done this for years so I'm not really sure. I used to quilt and would love to try it again. I used to cross-stitch but I don't need a craft room for that. I don't scrapbook. My son and I often do crazy paper collages for school which would be cool to do in a non-school setting. I also write and while I don't need a shed to do that it might be nice to have a private thoughtful spot.

Here are the fantastic updates to the shed renovation!

The framing of the window was tricky. We didn't have the same type of siding as the original siding. So lines would not match and all sorts of cosmetic madness would happen. I was only slightly concerned about this because I am repainting the exterior a pale ivory to match our house. The light color would mask the lines around the window and the trim is covering most of the newly filled area. The trim to the left of the window on the edge of the shed would also match the house - a divine deep latte color. And the trim immediately around the window is yet undecided. I'd like it to be a bit quirkier than the residence which I've left very conservative. In addition, my husband's shed is next door and will have all the same paint but the latte color is very masculine so I'm going with it on all parts of his shed. And ideas about cute window trim? I've thought a Martha Stewart green (jadeite) might be cute. Let me know!

My husband sawing. Beside him, you see my shelf that will hang on the wall inside by the door. All sides are now up on the shed. I'm looking at paint colors for the inside. My husband also put up lighting fixtures and electrical outlets. I bought a track light at a garage sale for $3 (yes, really!). It is now lighting up the soon to be shelf area and my work space. I still have a space over the sink that is dark and dingy. Perhaps a chandelier? Crazy? Or just AWESOME!

The entire inside is a mishmash of unpainted and exterior paint from our changes and the previous owner's need to paint everything brick red - EVERYTHING. So I am lightening up with cottage white on the interior. However, I'm stumped. Somewhere I read on a blog within the past few weeks about the perfect interior white! I can't find that blog post! A trip to Home Depot was futile. I brought home four whites and they are all the same and quite boring. I'm also on the fence about introducing another color into the mix. There are 2x4's in places that could break up the monotony of white but I don't want it to be glaring.

The boring whites. And you can see I still need more lighting.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Autumn inspired manicure

The mornings here in the Northwest have been hinting at impending doom autumn. Actually, I love autumn. The smell of bonfires and hot apple cider (cliche, I know) get me excited to curl up on the sofa for weekend movie marathons (I can't wait for Downton Abbey to start!) and a huge slice of pumpkin pie. In an effort to hurry the season change along, I changed my manicure. So excited for Essie's handbag collection - I want them all - I snapped up "Very Structured" as soon as I saw it in Fred Meyers. Luckily for me, right new to the Essie display stood quite temptingly the new Sally Hansen Xtreme wear glitters. As I scanned them somewhat disinterested now that I had handbag inspired nail polish, the name "Pumpkin Spice" jumped out at me. Three of my favorite thing stuffed into nail polish? Ok, there's a god and she loves beauty freaks like me! It didn't take me more than a second to snatch up the Sally Hansen glitter.

So here it is - the autumn manicure. The base is Essie Very Structured and the two overcoats are Sally Hansen's Pumpkin Spice. I apologize in advance for the slight smudges in the photos. For the life of me, I can't find my nail polish corrector pen.