Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fifty shades of grey

Ha! I love it when a cultural reference can be worked into a title. This one bearing the name of the much buzzed about book of the same name. Have you read it? I have. It's not for children though, so please keep them away from this book. Unless you want to explain a few things. Things that most likely you can't even answer yourself. It starts out pretty dark and twisty. I picked it up after reading some articles about how it totally goes against the women's movement. I also wanted to read it because the story started out as fan fiction. It's not the best writing and you can plainly see where she gets her material (i.e. Twlight and Pretty Woman, just to name a couple). But enough about books that may or may not have a bit too much ahem ahem. Let's talk paint.

I'm tired of everyday going and sitting in my taupe box I call an office. The color is the builder grade latex paint they slap everywhere that we didn't pay to have painted (i.e. the great room, dining room, and kitchen). It's not a good taupe. It's pretty dark as far as taupes go. If I had to give it a name, I'd call it Uglier Than a Dry Desert with No Water in Sight. I'm pretty sure that's the only way you'd like this color. If you had been trekking through the desert, thirsty, hot, tired, and even hallucinating. Got that?

The gray (I opt for this spelling of the color) craze has taken over and I'm going to jump on the bandwagon. This weekend I went to Home Depot to grab some swatches and a paint sample. After looking at the sample for a while, I decided to go with Behr's Sterling. When I compared it to other colors, it seemed light and airy, almost silvery. The other shades seemed too dark.

Early part of the day
Later part of the day

But that's the thing about picking a color underneath commercial-grade lighting—your light colors are going to seem darker than they really are and the dark colors way darker than they actually appear. Good thing there are paint samples.

Taupe and Sterling in action. See the blueish white I was talking about?
Yesterday I quickly slapped some squares all over the walls in my office. I usually paint a square or so on each wall to see how it plays with the light. When I opened the container, I knew I was in trouble. It looked like a blueish white paint, but I said to myself, "Jessaca, paint dries darker." So I went to lunch and then took stock.

My office apparently gets more natural blue light than I had realized, thereby washing out my silvery gray. It wasn't anywhere near the dramatic color I needed since I want to pair with with splashes of purples and yellows.

See the paint chip with the much darker color on the bottom? I'm going to get sample of that. I think it'll play nicely with natural light. It seemed really dark in the store, but now looking at it on the wall, it's the obvious choice.
Next I'm going to try the bottom right color. It's something like Porpoise. Not a very glamour name.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Eggcellent jewelry holder

Last month when my sister was out, we ventured to Jo-Ann's. One thing I love about Jo-Ann's: I always go to look at/buy fabric, and usually walk away with a total surprise find—and no fabric. This time it was a little baby blue ceramic egg holder. I found it in the Easter decor. But I'm not big on decorating for Easter. All those pastels make me want to puke. But I had another idea in mind for it: an earring holder! The pastel blue? Well, alone without any other pastel crap around it, the color is oceany perfect and right up my color alley.

I wish I could take credit for the idea of using an egg crate as a jewelry holder, but I can't. What do you think? I still want to make something for my necklaces. Oh, and have you been to Charming Charlie's yet? I don't like to spend money on anything jewelry, so CC's is perfect for me. I can try some pieces without breaking the bank. And what's more? It's organized my color, so I can buy according to my mood. Like the yellow numbers you can spy in my egg crate. I must have been in a happy spring mood that day. Those things are actually pretty big, so I've only worn them a couple times.

Oh, and maybe you're wondering what I'll do when I run out of room? I can always rotate sets that I'm not really that into for the moment back into my jewelry box.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

West elm wish list

Because it's my birthday (oy. 30.), I decided I would put together a wish list post of eye candy that's taken my hazel peepers and kept them. In my window shopping, I realized that really I spend most of my time over at West Elm. So here's my my wish list a la West Elm. If I had a few grand to spend. Wouldn't that be nice?

1. This Chunky Tassel Throw in silver gray ($79)

One of my real-life birthday presents was a snow white Cracker Barrel rocker. It was a complete surprise, and one that I'm still figuring out how to arrange in our living room since our sectional eats up most of the real estate (she probably will end up on the front porch; the rocker, not the sectional). But right now I'm enjoying her even if she is a little in the way and thought she could use throw and possibly a pillow. I think this number would cozy up the chair a little bit because really, rocking chairs are not that comfy.

2. I've had my eye on this Organic Carved Circles Duvet forever (originally $109 and currently on sale...I might have to buy her)

I think the gold would pair nicely with the ocean blue of my bedroom. It's not too feminine and it's not too masculine and has a beachy quality to it that always seems to call my name.

3. Globe Pendant ($99)

One of the things high up on my to-do list is replace some of the builder grade lighting, especially the ones that look like boobs. I would love to hang this over our island, and because it's so neutral, I could still do something fun over the dining table and hand another pendant over the sink without it clashing. Maybe this capiz chandelier for over the table?

4. Boerum dresser ($799)

I love the reclaimed, distressed look of this dresser. Like it's been adrift to sea.

5. Window daybed ($449)

Working from home means my office is my guest bedroom. Complete with a bed. I try my best to ignore it on my just-wanna-go-back-to-bed-days. A daybed would still provide a guest a spot to rest a noggin but provide a little more real estate and function (another place to sit and edit). But who am I kidding?! I'd still want to curl up there most days.

6. Turned Foot Dining Vitrine ($799...on sale for $499)

Small kitchen=not enough storage for all my lovely Pampered Chef serving pieces. This vitrine is new on my list, but I love that I could still show off my white lovelies and have a drawer for napkins and other serving items. The legs also would match our dining table legs. Nothing like a nice pair of legs.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Foyer gallery

Foyer is such a weird word, right? Must be why more people call them entryways. I'm not in love with that word either. Vestibule? Lobby? Nah, too bank/theaterish. I'll stick to foyer. Sounds rare. I have a foyer.

The foyer was one of the selling features of this strange little house of ours. And I had grand plans for it. Yet, it sat for almost two years untouched while our life grew a baby who turned into a toddler seemingly overnight. Of course it's easy to blame a lot of things on Vincent, but honestly, a lot of things have more to do with my not knowing where to start on a project/not wanting to spend the money. So it sat.

But that wouldn't do with Vincent's first birthday party going down. Someone had to make it look like this home was loved and wanted. It's been almost two years and the only things hung on the walls were mostly limited to the mantel. Armed with my vision that was inspired in part by Young House Love's gallery hallway and pins I had seen on Pinterest, I put together my own little gallery.

Behold: the foyer gallery. Let's zoom in on some of those fabulous Gs.

G and frame purchased at Jo-Ann's. I removed the glass and backing from the frame and affixed the G to the wall with poster tack for a more seamless look.

G plate (Hobby Lobby)
Well, I'd like to take all the credit, but if you have learned anything reading this blog you'll know that any creativity is partly emotionally underwritten and sponsored by my sister. She helps me make decisions and helps me not over think things, and just generally inspires and motivates me. I'm almost disabled by my indecisiveness. She's my therapist.

Another Hobby Lobby purchase. Another G.

Because I had a gift card to Jo-Ann's, I decided to hit up their frame section first. I'm glad I did. They had a variety of fun frame textures, my favorite being the oval frame surrounding the G. Oh, and look, I worked in some Gs. Of course the gallery is stuffed with pictures of our little man, but I hope to grow it to include other pictures, prints, and media, but for right now, I'm happy with how it turned out.

I also managed to buy plate hangers for $2 apiece at Target (look in the hardware section) for these awesome Roseanna plates my sister bought me years ago as a birthday present. I hung them in the "dining room area" (I use quotes since there's not actually rooms in our house, just one big open space divided with furniture.) Sadly you can no longer buy them from the site, but if you Google "wine tasting Roseanna plates," you can find a few resellers.

Roseanna plates

I also added a couple items to the mantel. I found this black chunky resin G at Hobby Lobby. (You know I petted it all the way to the check out.) Popped in a baby picture of Vincent into a frame I already had and purchased the quatrefoil one on major sale at Jo-Ann's. Now the mantel officially looks like Vincent lives here.

Another new G (Hobby Lobby) and pictures of Vincent (far right frame from Jo-Ann's)

Sidenote: I estimate I spent at least $150 on the project, and some of the frames I already had. I recommend anyone trying to undertake a gallery like this acquire items slowly and not all I once like I did. I probably could have saved money repainting frames I already had, but I was on a deadline.