Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday stroll through Mayfield Park

All pics taken at Mayfield Park, one of my favorite urban oases in Austin.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel!

Welcome to the kitchen of the little old house I share with my sweet husband, Patrick, & our crazy cat, Pooky. We love old houses - they're full of charm & interesting details that you often don't find in new houses, like built-in hutches & bookshelves (I adore built-ins!). Our house was built in 1955 and has undergone pretty extensive remodeling (by previous owners), that has brought it up-to-date while still maintaining most of the home's architectural integrity.

The kitchen is really cute, with large windows & a new island in place of the original wall that has since been removed, making the kitchen a lot more spacious & open. I like spacious & open. I also like lots of cabinets, which our kitchen has. There are some things about these cabinets that I really dislike, however.

For instance, the layers of glossy white paint covering every surface of each cabinet are quite annoying. When you reach for a glass, you have to actually tug at it because it will have stuck to the paint on the shelf! ick. The painted surfaces also ensure that the big solid wood doors on the cabinets do not shut properly and often hang open slightly. Or if they do shut all the way, then you have to pull extra hard to dislodge them from the overly-painted surfaces.

And then there are the lovely extras left behind from pre-cellphone days, which you can see hiding behind the glasses there.

So, we've been wanting to do something about these cabinets for a while, and this past weekend we got started on it. All of my wishful gazing at beautiful kitchens in magazines & on blogs inspired me to do a low-cost, high-impact remodel of our wacky cabinets.

First off, Patrick removed the cabinet doors & I gleefully set them aside. Then I removed all of our dishes & he yanked out that telephone wire...

So what did we do next? What's our big plan for this little kitchen? Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gatsby Afternoon?!! If that isn't the bees knees...

You probably don't know this about me, but I am a 1920s NUT! I love everything related to the Roaring Twenties - the fashion, the advertising & illustration (Oh! the fabulous illustrations!), anything Art Deco, the Bauhaus, Tamara de Lempicka, all books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. etc. etc. So when I saw this "Sewing Gatsby-Era Clothes" article in my Craft daily digest, I was floored. It featured pics of some very crafty lady's impeccable Deco day dresses she sewed for herself & a few friends. So I had to read the full post on the Nested blog to find out more deets.

Turns out there is this swell soiree called Gatsby Summer Afternoon that takes place every September in Oakland, CA. Man! I want to go to that! It looks so cool - they are strict about everyone showing up in period-accurate attire & appropriate picnic details and everything. I am making it my goal to get to this picnic someday. I have to go! I so want to go!

The Art Deco Society (what?!) has a great guide on how to dress Deco, for Ladies & Gents, of course, with handy click-to-buy items in the sidebar. How amazing are these green Kathryn Kerrigan shoes available from endless.com? Love these! I have some very cool brown, patent leather t-strap heels, but these... these are green!

I just can't get enough of 1920s illustrations. The fashion illustrations are just the best. Love the hats, the shoes (especially the shoes!), everything about 'em. I've started collecting 1920s sheet music for the illustrations, and I have a trio of them hanging in my dining room. If I weren't so lazy about taking photographs, I'd show you some of the many Deco & Deco-inspired things I have around my home. Maybe in a future post... for now, I'll leave you with my favorite Deco-era painting by Ms. Lempicka, "Portrait de Madame Allan Bott." I have a giant framed print of this beautiful painting hanging in my living room.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I want finches. Pretty little finches.

Look at them! They seem so peaceful and sweet. These beautiful feathered friends happen to belong to Susie Ghahremani of boygirlparty, whose work I love. She says, "Every day they give me a reason to be happy, the finches are so simple and so cheerful - always doing something tender and sweet like preening each other or singing softly." Awww! They were featured in Craft's recent pet series.

The series involved interviews with pet-lovin' crafty folks & had some really cool ideas for birdie crafts, like this DIY aviary from Empress of Creativity. How cool is that?! I totally want one of those. Not like I have any room in my humble abode for it...

I also want a chirpy little pal for whom I can make one of these:
Jessica Wilson gives you a full tutorial for this nifty Birdie Potpourri. Wouldn't it be fun to watch your bird pull her favorite ribbons out & make a spiffy, colorful nest with them? Maybe I'll just make some to hang on the porch & see if any wild birds appreciate it.

It just seems like having little songbirds like finches in the house would make my quiet, work-at-home days so much more cheerful...

Of course, it would probably be absolute mayhem with this trickster around.

Any of you out there in blogland have any stories of co-habitating birds & cats? Is it possible? A nightmare? I'd love to hear!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Bash was a Smash!

back row, l to r: The WonderCraft: Kim Sae-Eua, Beth Albrecht, Jen Bryan, me;
front & center: Candace Carlisle

Last Friday night was the All Austin All Handmade Bash, a celebration of local (& primarily women-owned) creative businesses, which was also the official launch party of The WonderCraft. Man, was it ever a success! We estimate that we had about 1,000 attendees, and everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves. We made close to $800 for Austin Dog Rescue, which made everyone very happy. There was local music & food, and a raffle with wonderful prizes from local businesses, to benefit The WonderCraft's outreach program. I wanted to share a few pics - these were taken by Candace of Electric Promotions (the creative whirlwind who threw this amazing par-tay) & Trevor Ray Thompson, who sat up a photo booth inside the bar in front of their awesome, old school beauty shop chairs! You can view more Bash pics on Electric's Flickr and Trevor Ray's site.

Inside the "craft cave" where The WonderCraft had a DIY upcycled t-shirt accessories table. Guests could make wrist cuffs, chokers & necklaces. {Intrigued? We have classes on that!} It was packed in there all night long!

Look what she made! a marvelous "grunge flower" cuff, based on Kim's design. She's also sportin' a lovely pink goodie bag - those were given out to the first 100 guests (who lined up around the block before the party even started!).

And here's the fashionable necklace local blogger Indiana Adams made at the Bash. {Indiana's photo, as seen on her blog, adored austin}

Team Fabrication was there with models wearing their fab creations.

They DJ, they sew - they're awesome!

More photo booth fun! That's our pal Anne Marie in the red shirt - she was there with her pretty purses (the best - I custom-ordered one during Austin Fashion Week & I looove it!).

Stay tuned for the next art, music & fashion event from Electric Promotions: We Make Stuff! The WonderCraft & EtsyAustin will both be involved in this one. It's coming up on Sept. 19th. I hope you'll join us!
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