Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guest Room Update: Summer Camp

Awhile back I had blogged about painting the Guest Room. It has taken me this long to get it "together". I painted the room a chocolate brown color because I liked the contrast between the brown and the stark white (Dunn Edwards, Whisper). Other than that I had no real plan. I use my house as a sort of laboratory and change things around frequently....especially in my office. A Guest Room is easy to use for daughters complaining that their room smells of paint. This is the latest incarnation.

The rooms in my house have a tendency to resemble my senti-"mental" images of summer holidays I have taken with my family, present and past. Perhaps it is that ever present longing to be on vacation? Whatever it is....I love spaces that invite me to relax and daydream.
This room, somewhat unintentionally, became my trip to one of the Mammoth Lakes, Lake George to be specific, where my Dad would take us every summer when I was growing up. We would stay in a small cabin on the Lake, and fill the days with hiking and fishing. We would lure little brown and white striped chipmunks into the cabin with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, much to my mother's horror.
There is also a bit of my trip with Tim and my daughters to the Olympic Rain Forest where we stayed at Lake Quinault in the Lake Quinault Lodge.( Add it to you Bucket List if you have not already been....hauntingly beautiful, seemingly from another time.)
The vintage twig furniture, grass matts, my wicker hampers, bird prints, the well worn concrete balustrade lamp and antique bamboo table and felted wool army blanket all say "summer camp".....and you occasionally will find me laying on the bed daydreaming about my own camp days. (I just discovered through a google search that the camp I went to has resurfaced after a bit of a cannot imagine how happy it made me! I think a visit is in order. Truly the best camp EVER).

I hope summer is treating you all well, and that you are fitting in some time to daydream.

camp 1- noun - a place where a group or an individual is lodged in a tent or tents or other temporary means of shelter
camp 2 - noun - something that provides sophisticated, knowing amusement as by virtue of its being artlessly mannered or stylized, self-consciously artificial and extravagant, or teasingly ingenuous or sentimental

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Santa Cruz: Stripe

Stripe Sign made with Antique Keys above the Cash Desk

Santa Cruz has a lot to offer in the way of shopping, and I think it will take a few more trips before I have exhausted the possibilities. I think I may have lucked into finding one of the best last weekend. Stripe drew my attention right off the bat with their witty window display of vintage globes and player piano reels which had been unrolled and draped over an old ladder.

Stripe is a place with a little of everything I love: fashion, vintage finds, creative decor, art and gifts. Here is just a little peek into Stripe:

Cute clothes, vintage furniture and dishes, fun porcelain egg crate cache dishes

Black and White Photos, Vintage cups and Saucers and a peek into the "Bath Shop"

Hummingbird Pillows and 6 dollar scarves!

Train Track Wall "Art" and birds on swings
Now I know what to do with the boxes of Lionel Train Tracks I have been storing from my Dad's vast collection.

Romantic vintage style lingerie

Loved the display stand! Vintage Dining Set and Stripe has Men's clothes too!

Decor, Cards and Lamps throughout the shop

Tea Cup Pendant Light

Vintage Children's Toys. Very cute Children's Clothes. Loved the Slide used for display.

The Bath Shop with Soaps, Bath Rugs and Pretty Night Gowns
Stripe supports local artisans and designers, and in July, Stripe launched their own label for clothing and other products all made in Santa Cruz. All the more reason to hit the Santa Cruz coast!
For the latest Stripe News, click on over HERE.
Happy Shopping!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cruisin' in Santa Cruz

Shopping on Pacific Street
I was in Santa Cruz, California over the weekend for my daughter's college orientation and we had a lot of fun exploring the campus as well as the town of Santa Cruz. Even though we have traveled quite a bit throughout California, Santa Cruz is a town we did not know well. This trip, we had the chance to walk around town and explore a little more.
The main shopping area in town is Pacific Street, which has loads of charm. There are many well known shops, like Urban Outfitters, Gap and Borders Books, but mainly the shops are independently owned (tomorrow, I will show you my favorite shop!). We found lots of cute restaurants as well. Tim as particularly taken with the sidewalk "Fast Food" Kiosks like Alfresco. Check out their deliciously fresh and healthy menu!

Alfresco in Santa Cruz
And of course, I was charmed by the vintage tables surrounding the kiosk...

No trip to Santa Cruz is quite complete without a visit to the Beach and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It was a beautiful day on Friday when we got to town, and I couldn't resist taking a few snapshots.

Main Beach in Santa Cruz
The Boardwalk was crowded and full of energetic color. We had to try the cinnamon covered almonds and the chocolate dipped ice cream cones. (I was saving the deep-fried Snickers bar for Sunday trip to the State Fair with my girls.) Here's what caught my eye at the Boardwalk:

Sky Gondolas at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

The Giant Dipper Roller Coaster...first opened in 1925

Sea Swings, the Boardwalks newest ride
Palm trees lining Beach Street
It was a quick trip, but there will be many more to come now that we have the perfect excuse to visit!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Get Outta Town!

Weekend hike on Mt. Rose near Lake Tahoe a couple of weeks ago

No really...

As much as I love design, or maybe because I appreciate it as much as I do, I think it is necessary to recharge and find inspiration in things that at first glance seem unrelated. It gives us a chance to clear the cobwebs, get out of a rut and perhaps think of projects we are working on in new ways. That sky might just be the perfect shade of blue for the pillows on the bed...the green of the pines, brilliant for the curtains....

The meadows were and intensely green

Getting out of the city, either alone or with family or friends, gives us a chance to reconnect with other parts of our lives. Turn off the Blackberry or iPhone (but having it on hand for emergencies...maybe not so bad). I overheard a friend say something to her daughter recently that struck me. The daughter was texting away on her phone while my friend was trying to get her attention, and the daughter was just not "present". My friend said, "love the one your with". Apparently, this was a sort of code between them for "Put down that flippin' phone and listen to what I am saying." But what a perfect way to tell someone to be "here" and enjoy what is happening with the people who are in front of you.

The wildflowers were out in force

We are heading out of town again this weekend to go to Santa Cruz for our oldest daughter's college orientation. It is not only a fun getaway, but a time for us to prepare to "let go". It is a sort of a new path we are heading down on this journey that is our family. I hope to be "present" for every minute.

Have a wonderful weekend.

And don't forget to .....

Love the one you're with.

New paths

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I've Always Wanted One of Those....and Those... and Those...

Slake the thirst, my friends!
My pal Grant is having a tag sale on what has become the preeminent tag sale website...One Kings Lane . (How Grant could let go of all the goodies, I'll never know!) But all the better for us, I say.
One Kings Lane is known for letting us all share the wealth with prices that are well within reach for those of us on a budget. And then they throw in weekend tag sales from the designers we read about and love! I hope you saw last week's sale....I was a day late and I've been grinding my teeth ever since. In other words....I suggest jockeying for position the minute the gates are open.
(Sale starts promptly at 8 AM PT/11AM ET)

Grant, as we all know, has great style....classicism punctuated with witty modernism and flashes of color. This is just a little preview of what you can expect at the sale this weekend!
So excited.
Although, why I am showing you all the things I have my eye on is making me question my judgement....chalk it up to the 5 hours of sleep last night and the lack of caffeine this morning.
But you can bet I will be bright eyed and armed with Starbucks on Saturday morning. Watch out!

If you want to get an idea of the way the wheels turn in Grant's design mind, be sure to check out his profile (along with more photos!) on One Kings Lane HERE.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'll Have Water Please

Courtyard Fountain in our Backyard
We have progress! Tim has been working hard to get our courtyard fountain up and running with cool clear water so we can enjoy our backyard this summer. The concrete cap we ordered finally came in and Tim has set it. Prior to this, we had a trench dug from the garage... through the garden beds... to the fountain for the electrical wiring so we can have up-lights in the water trough.
See that red squiggle painted on the concrete wall? This is "water" courtesy of case anyone wondered.
Next up....the Corten steel plates go up on the wall above the trough, along with the water piping for the fountain. After that, the wall will be stuccoed and painted. Then the fun begins! Water and plants!!!!

Waiting patiently for our new water bowl!

Thank you are so good to us!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Style

Straw, wicker,blue and white....China Seas Ikat II Fabric
While I am very happy living in is a great town for family life...every summer I yearn for the beach Tim and I left behind when we moved here. Straw hats, straw bags, and watery blues all conjure up the feel of summer for me. This little spot on the landing between our main floor and my office in the basement is one I pass every day on my way to "work". It is a little "ode to summer" altar of sorts, and houses my collection of wicker bottles and a watercolor by my Mom of the Pavilion on Balboa Bay where I spent every summer growing up.
When I saw the cover of the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine which came yesterday, I dug right in. The cover hinted at the fresh beach house style inside....something I am craving right now in our 100 plus heat this week. I found some easy and fun ideas in here that would add a one-of-a-kind note to your own summer style.
Paint dipped Baskets
Martha Stewart Living, August 2010 , Photo by Dana Gallagher
These paint dipped baskets become functional art with their graphic white (or red!) stripes. I dream of carrying towels and a good book to the beach in a tote like this ....a trip to San Diego later this summer is in the planning stages!

Blue Dipped Pillows. Martha Stewart Living August 2010, Photo by Dana Gallagher

I loved these blue dipped pillows, especially the one done with blue ticking. Hmm...perfect for my Family Room. There is so much more in this article, as well as the whole issue, so you might want to pick up a copy....or at least thumb through while waiting in line at the market with your watermelon and ice cream....lots of fresh and cool ideas.
My youngest had some friends over yesterday to try out some Rit dye techniques.....after watching them I am ready to get going with my own pillow project!
Are you changing anything in your house this summer?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Surrender: Ginger Elizabeth

If only I were going to be in town on July 24th. Alas, we will be at UC Santa Cruz for the much anticipated college orientation with our daughter, where parents attend seminars on how to "let go". To that, I say "try and make me!" There is Skype, and UCSC is only a few hours away. Don't get me wrong....I want my daughter to start her promising and wonderful new life, and I will not get in the way....but how can I let go of a person who has been in the forefront of my heart for 18 years? Don't get me started.
If I WAS going to at home, my daughter and I would BOTH be attending this class at Ginger Elizabeth : how to make Baked Alaska, Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches made from Gingersnap Cookies and Lemon Ice Cream , Fresh Strawberry Sorbet, and traditional Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
A little info for those of you luckies that will be in town the weekend of July 24th:
Cost: $35 per person
When: July 24th, 11:00AM-1:00PM or 2:30PM-4:30PM
Where: L Street Lofts Penthouse, 1818 L Street, Midtown Sacramento
Meet: Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, 1801 L Street, Midtown Sacramento
For more information click on over HERE.
Ice Cream has a way of making summer sweeter.
I'll expect a delicious report from any of you who attend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do I Know You?

MJH Design Arts at the Pasadena Antique Center
When I was visiting Pasadena for my high school reunion last Spring, I had a bit of time to scour the local antique shops. Things have changed quite a bit in Pasadena since I grew up there, so I asked the advise of Christian from Maison 21 about where to go. The Pasadena Antique Center was at the top of the list.
I was with my oldest daughter and my Mom wandering through the enormous space which was divided up between lots of vendors....when suddenly I heard someone call my name....and it was not my daughter or mother. I turned around and there was a very pretty woman looking at me. I pointed to myself and said "me?"....and she said "yes....are you Katie from the Katiedid blog?" Quite shocked, I said "why, yes I am!". The woman said she was Mary, one of my readers. It was the first time I had ever run into a reader just out and about like that....and so far away from home! It was so strange to be recognized from a little photo on a blog. We fell into a conversation like we had known each other for years. Blogs seem to connect people like that. Mary Tinduksari, it turns out, is a fabulous purveyor of antiques, creator of bespoke light fixtures and furniture, and owner of the company, MJH Design Arts.
Mary has a wonderful design sense and has put together one of the most eye catching spaces in the whole of the Antique Center. Just look at that red Dorothy Draper-esque mirror in the top photo! And I loved the black tole sconces, an original design by Mary. Is is no wonder Mary has such a keen eye for beautiful things. She has lived all over the world....Spain, Mexico, Asia, New York, Washington DC, and has now settled in the LA area.
I think we spent a good hour chatting away while my posse hit the trail without me. I had to dash through the rest of the center to catch the rest of the scenery before we hopped back into the car for the long drive home to Sacramento.
I took these photos in the Spring, so please check out Mary's website for the most recent additions!
MJH Design Arts at the Pasadena Antique Center
The other space that caught my attention while at the Antique Center was put together by Angela Lee of Bonita Interiors. I was struck by the bright and creative way Angela put together the variety of antiques, art and accessories in her space. She also recreates furniture with vintage textiles, like the wingback chair in the photo below. Her vintage suzani ottomans are so fun too.
Bonita Interiors at the Pasadena Antique Center
I could have taken home quite a bit from this space, but I was trying to be good. I am settling for gazing at the photos for future ideas for my clients and myself. you can be sure I will be checking Angela's website for one of a kind treasures for my upcoming projects!

Bonita Interiors, Pasadena Antique Center

I hope I can get back down to Pasadena soon, since I only hit the tip of the iceburg when I was there last. So much little time.

Be sure to stop in and say "hi" to Mary and Angela when you are in the neighborhood!

Friday, July 9, 2010

All About Me!

My new Powder Room Guest Towels
Another year has flashed before my eyes, and I am another year older, and perhaps a tad wiser. (Although I do have times that I wonder about the last bit.) But there is one thing I do know. We, as a family, are more frugal when it comes to pampering ourselves. We buy things we will use and find joy in on a daily basis. So when it came time to answer my daughter's questions about what I really wanted for my birthday this year, it was a tough one to answer.
Believe it or not, I asked for a vacuum with a retractable cord and VACUUM BAGS!!!! I have been struggling through the past few years with a vacuum that could only have been invented by someone who must never vacuum himself....the God-awful Bissell Upright. (Trust me, I did not buy this myself.....but that is another story). Now, who would invent a vacuum that when you go to empty it spreads the dust all over again because it is not contained in a bag?!! This thing had so many useless attachments, I was astounded. I will not bore you with all of the things that I despised about this piece of .......well...enough of that. Phew! I have been wanting to get that off my chest for a long time.
I LOVE my new Kenmore which is light as a feather, has large vacuum bags and a light that tells you when it is full, a couple of attachments that WORK for everything I need, stores compactly and has a retractable cord (no more winding up the cord!) It sounds so unromantic, but it's what I have been wanting for years now. Thanks Tim!!! on to the "pretty" things!
I had been searching for linen guest towels for the Powder Room for quite awhile, and Pottery Barn added very nice quality linen towels to their line recently. The monogram adds personal touch, and the price ($19 for a pair) was the best I have seen. Thanks girls!!
My Mom brought over the most beautiful Hydrangea to fill in our new garden area. I can hardly wait to get it planted! So gorgeous, the photo does not do it justice. Mom always knows best.
"Anabelle" Hydrangea from Mom
I am so thankful for my family who I love so much and who loves me back. Another wonderful year.

My Lemon Cooler cake from Freeport Bakery with rainbow flame candles

Happy Birthday to Me!