Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Irrational Phobias

This is Halloween! Everybody make a scene! (Bonus points: name that movie.)

I figured that since today is Halloween, day of creepy awesomeness, I would tell you about some things that scare the bejesus out of me. Mind you, none of them are rational fears, but I think that makes it even more entertaining. Feel free to chime in with any of your own weird phobias. I bet none of us are alone.

The top of the list has always been SPIDERS. They're sneaky with their too many legs, and they always show up when I'm in the middle of breakfast or trying to take a shower. Or they're on the ceiling. This new house has a lot of ceiling spiders.


This necklace is pretty cute, though. I bet it's because it only has four legs.

Next, we have clowns. I've never liked them, even as a small child when I had to deal with them at birthday parties. And then I read It by Stephen King as a teenager and it was all downhill from there.


Send in the clowns? Only if you want to see me hyperventilate.

Adjacent to clowns we have porcelain dolls and marionettes. Maybe I'm just creeped out by things with painted faces? Whenever I stumble upon one in an antique mall, I feel like it's watching me.

(I don't even want to find a picture. Moving on...)

And finally, elephants. Not products that happen to have an elephant on them, I mean the actual animals themselves. In fact, I tend to like elephant figurines, pictures, etc., but if I have to be around a real one, I get nervous. I remember seeing some kind of zoo presentation in elementary school where the elephant keeper had the thing step on a watermelon and said, "It would do the same thing to your head!" Awesome. Phobia formed.


Tiny elephant, you're not scary. You're full of cuddles. Too bad they're not all like you.

So what phobias do you have? Anything kind of strange? (Admittedly, the elephant thing is totally wonkus.) Anybody afraid of Halloween? That would be a huge bummer. And speaking of the holiday, what do you have planned for tonight? I'll be gleefully handing out candy after class and then watching the finale of Face Off while eating the leftovers. Good times!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Giveaway! re(U) Virtual Consultation


I'm excited to introduce you guys to (re)U, this month's premium sponsor. Owner and interior designer JoAnna is a woman after my own heart: she believes that people are happiest when they live a simpler lifestyle without a bunch of clutter. Her goal is to create beautiful rooms that allow homeowners to lead stress-free lives, and it all starts by getting creative with what people already own. Just look at this dining room:


A few of JoAnna's ideas completely changed the feel of the space, but all of the major pieces were kept! Girlfriend has mad skills. She offers a combination of in-home and virtual design services, plus a la carte items like shopping for thrifty finds if you need just a smidge of help bringing a space together.

And that brings us to this month's giveaway! JoAnna is offering a free 1-hour virtual consultation to one lucky reader! Normally $35, the winner will get to pick JoAnna's brain for free. You'll chat with her one-on-one about any design or organization issues you're having in your own space, and she'll help you simplify in a way that makes sense for you.

Sound awesome? Here's your mandatory entry:
>> Leave a comment here telling me what room needs a little boost on your house.

Additional entries:
>> Follow JoAnna on Twitter and leave a comment.
>> Like (re)U on Facebook and leave a comment.
>> Pin this giveaway and leave a comment.
>> Tweet this giveaway and leave a comment.

The giveaway will be open until 11:59 p.m. Monday, November 5th. One winner will be chosen by a random number generator and announced here. Good luck, everybody!

This giveaway has ended! The lucky winner is...


Congrats, Yelle! I'll be emailing you shortly.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Two Faced!

Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na BAT MAN! Okay, it's Two Face:


Actually here's a better expression, since Harvey Dent was kind of a conflicted dude:


I'm not going to lie, the blue freaked me out at first. I tried to avoid doing the whole side of my face, because anything that hinders my eating and drinking is a no-go, but doing anything less looked like Phantom of the Opera gone wrong. So whole hog it was! And it was actually okay because I used regular lipstick for all of the red, and I know how to eat while wearing that.

For those of you wondering where the heck my grotesque zombie wounds are, I decided to go the cartoon route instead:

source

I kind of worried about the fake wound glue causing an allergic reaction (I didn't REALLY want to be Harvey Dent), plus, you know, the whole eating and drinking thing. Can't have any fake skin flaps falling onto my hummus.

Here's the whole getup:


The dress that started it all is from F21, the snazzy white gun and makeup are from a Halloween store, and everything else I already owned. I shelled out around $35 for this, but I feel like some of that shouldn't count because the dress is totally cute enough to wear again for something normal. I'll keep you posted.

Hubsey was a Batman character, too, though not one that really "went" with my costume. He was suit-wearing, drink-holding, hair-gelling Bruce Wayne. I tried to talk him into being Bane so we could run around and be evil together, but he didn't want to wear the mask. SIGH.

Did you dress up this weekend? Who were you? Anybody else rock some face paint? Amazingly, I never smeared it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pinterest Picks

Happy Friday, everybody! I almost had a panic yesterday because I thought I forgot to post this... but then remembered it was only Thursday. Whew.

Let's talk about the things that make this living room amazing. The best way I can describe it is mixing. Mixing the fabric patterns, mixing neutrals, mixing rough and smooth textures... It's just perfection. And there's even an animal head:


The plan is to make more Christmas gifts this year, and not to give anything away for any family members who might be reading today, but prepare yourselves for lots of fabulous salt dough ornaments:


I've been getting into this tribal trend a little bit. In fact, I bought some awesome fabric with the intention of recovering the seat of an accent chair, but when I showed Hubsey and my sister they acted like their eyes were bleeding from ugliness. (Fools! It was amazing.) So I told them I would just make it into a poncho and wear it all the time, but now that I've found this adorable t-shirt I don't have to do that:


I'm not sure what I'll do with that fabric, though, because our rule is that neither one of us can make/buy anything for the house that the other person hates. Maybe I'll have to do a fabric giveaway on here...

Anyway, this is such a smart way to display necklaces. Totally stealing it for my big holiday show in December:


And finally, making a dollhouse of a bookshelf is genius. You can even make your own designer wallpaper out of scrapbook or wrapping paper.


So what are you up to this weekend? We have our Halloween par-tay tomorrow and have done about 5% of the prep work. Guess I know what we're doing later!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

Back when I was a kid, I did some weird things. I would attempt to booby-trap the basement, for example, but I always chose yarn as the main material. For some reason I thought this was brilliant: "YARN! It will be so tricky!" And then my mom would just open the door like it was nothing, and I would be sad.

One other thing that seemed weird at the time but makes sense in retrospect, was my love for making up clients and decorating their homes. I would get elaborate. Not only would I draw out the floor plan for their entire mansion (all of my clients were very wealthy) and meticulously include furniture, but then I would explain their entire life story.

Anyway, you can probably guess what I've gotten back into:

Light & Bright Kitchen


In my defense, I didn't make up any people. I just made up the room in an imaginary house, which is a big step toward normal, yes?

White cabinets are my favorite things ever, and I'm loving the glass fronts here. They act like more windows and make the room feel open and airy. The pops of turquoise are fun, as is the bold rug that also keeps things from being too match-y. And that light fixture. Come to mama. I decided that these hypothetical clients were sticking to a realistic budget, too. Prices and source links can be found here.

What quirks did you have as a kid? Anybody else prematurely into interior design? Or yarn booby-traps? Whaddya think about this delicious kitchen?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Writers for the Holidays

I know it's only October, but sometimes a gal needs to plan ahead. I'm looking for guest writers!


I'm trying to do less of my holiday shopping at chain stores this year. Going to the mall or a superstore like Target always turns into a mess of rude people and nowhere to park, so I just want to skip it as much as possible. Plus, I feel like supporting local and indie businesses is extra important for me since I run one myself. I have a couple of posts in mind about this topic, but I'm looking for a few more to flesh it out. (If I've already chatted with you, you're good to go!)

Here's what I've been thinkin' about:
--gifts you can make yourself
--other handmade items to purchase
--secondhand/vintage gift ideas
--why you shop in local stores

If you have an idea for one of these topics, or something similar that you think would work, shoot me an email: paige.ronchetti@gmail.com. I'm excited to hear what you want to write! (I really want to be like Tim Gunn and say, "Holler at your boy!" but I'm a girl so it's... not accurate. Bummer.)

[Edited to add: Thanks for all of your interest! The series has been filled for 2012. I plan to do more of these in the future, so keep an eyeball out for announcements!]

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pinterest Picks

I've been sitting here trying to think of something fun to say, but I'm just not feelin' it. I have that slightly panicky sensation you get when you're really far behind on everything. A couple of supply deliveries are late, which is adding more stress, and I would be lying if I said I was still cool as a cucumber about my slow sales this month. My work-life balance is getting wonky again, but I feel like I can't NOT do anything.

So it's one of those mornings. Pardon me while I distract myself for a minute. Look at these vintage educational charts! I want all of them.


I'm not the kind of decorator who puts little Santas and reindeer all over the place, which means this minimal tree skirt is totally my jam. I didn't notice them right away, but the little snowflakes are so cute:


Quilting is too advanced for me, but finding this stargazer pattern kit almost makes me want to try:


Wrapping paper takes up an amazing amount of space, so maybe I'll switch us over to doing the same thing for every celebration. Bing, bang, boom. (Also, I misread "Polly" as "Pony" and I was like, "What kind of magical horse buys people things?!" Good job with those words.)


And finally, I'm always looking for healthy burger replacements. Say hello to the quinoa and kale patty:


Is anybody else having A Day? It would just be great if I could clone myself. And if I could teleport. So basically I want super powers, which is unlikely given my age, human status, and proximity to radioactive spiders... Anyway, hopefully your Friday will be less jam-packed than mine!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Animal Heads!

Hubsey is going through a new decorating phase. First his modern heart developed a soft spot for shabby chic furniture, then he started drooling over baskets--actually, this one is still happening--and now it's...

Faux Animal Wall Mountings


Animal heads. I should specify, FAKE animal heads. Thankfully he's not into real taxidermy.

I don't get it! He's not a hunter, he's never outside... and yet he's turning up the charm so I'll let him mount a fake animal bust in the kitchen. (It will not work.) Actually, there's a nook in the family room where an animal head would be okay, but I can't have a decapitated moose leering at me while I chop onions. No.

1. This rhino is what started his obsession. We saw it at Anthro a few months ago and he was smitten. $68.
2. West Elm has two sizes of papier-mache deer friends, $41 to $84.
3. Ramsey the Ram is my favorite but sadly the Z Gallerie near us closed, $49.95.
4. I'm almost afraid to post this one, because now he'll want a turquoise moose. Etsy, $130.
5. Rafi the Giraffe-y (I really need to stop naming random things...) is my other best option, $129.95.

Does your significant other have any decorating quirks? Are you/they into fake animal heads? Or perhaps little taxidermied animals wearing outfits? That link contains some NSFW language, btw, but it's hilarious.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest Posts Galore!

I don't have any original content for you here today. You might be suspecting that I got sucked into another Real Housewives marathon (not that I would know anything about that) but it's actually because I'm the guest writer on two other blogs! Two posts elsewhere AND something here would've been overkill. You would've been Paiged-out.

So where am I? Over on Pulp Sushi I'm showing you how to decorate for Halloween on the cheap:


And at Bubby and Bean I have a jewelry holder tutorial to share:


Be sure you swing by and check these out, and poke around the other blogs as a whole because they're really cute. See you over there!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

So let me tell you about this outdoor craft show I had on Saturday.  As you might have guessed from the title, we had some rain.

Before things went downhill.

It basically went like this:

"The forecast said rain, but look at how high those clouds are! We'll be fine."

"It's just a little drizzle. We've had this before."

"Hey, do you think it's weird that a handful of vendors didn't even show up?"

"Maybe we should check the radar."

"So, uh, what's our emergency weather plan?"

The show was scheduled from 8 to 2, but we jumped ship at 11:30. It had been raining for almost 4 hours by then and the tent decided it was cool to drip water all over the tables. A yellow blob on the radar was heading our way, there were NO shoppers, and we had barely turned a profit.

So as annoying as it was to pack up in the rain and get wet after not making any money, at least my product was okay. The woman next to us sold a lot of pillows and cloth items, and her tent wasn't waterproof (it was more for blocking the sun). By the time she pulled the plug, water was streaming down onto her merchandise.

It looks sunny, but that's just my Instagram filter. It was STILL raining at this point.

But on the bright side: wine! After we left, we had ourselves a big Italian lunch and then Hubsey went to visit his grandparents while my BFF and I hit up some local boutiques--including a wine bar. It ended up being a good afternoon (once our pants dried), and I actually picked up some things to make a fun Christmas project. But more on that later.

How was your weekend? Drier than mine? More profitable? (I hope so.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shop Update!

I'm in the middle of my twice yearly sales gap for Little White Chapel (the other is in January). Wedding season is over but holiday shopping hasn't really started yet, which means I have fewer orders to make. In years past I would freak out when this happened, but now that it's a pattern and I know it comes no matter what I do, I use the extra time to add stuff to the shops. Which is actually good because I NEVER have time to do it in the summer.

I finally gave Oh Nostalgia a little more attention and have added 11 new things since the first of the month. Some of it is the flowery goodness you're used to seeing...

Flower Stud Earrings, $12

Yellow and Blue Necklace, $22

...And some of it is a little experiment! I wondered how a slightly less girly line would go over, so I made some spikes! I busted them out at my show last month before I put them online, and they got a lot of attention. Here's hoping my Etsy crowd likes them, too.

Spike Necklace, $20

Spike Earrings, $17

I did add a smattering of things to LWC, too, but like I said, wedding season is over so it's not doing much this month. I might take a little siesta and gear up for the holidays in about 3 weeks.

Flower Bridal Cuff, $35

Black Bridesmaid Necklace, $20

I'm also making a bunch of inventory for my last outdoor show of the year. It's this weekend, and shockingly, I'm scrambling around again. You'd think I'd learn, but I always convince myself I have time until a few days before. Sigh.

What have you been making lately? Anybody else going through a pre-holidays sales slump?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thrift Store Halloween Costumes

I'm guest posting over at Kanelstrand today! Stop by and see why I think getting your Halloween costume at a thrift store is the best way to do it. It includes photographic evidence like this:

I kind of wish I didn't already have my costume for this year. This is awesome.

Could this be a celebrity costume? A high-end prostitute? A rich Southern woman attending a birthday party? The possibilities are endless. Come say hi.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Design School: Twin Girls Bedroom

I'm SO excited about my latest project for school. We have to design a bedroom (and then draw it, of course) for whoever we want. Usually we're given a furniture plan or a client ahead of time, but this week we have complete freedom. And at first I wasn't sure what to do, but then I thought, "Hey, I've never designed anything for a kid. Maybe I should get on that."

Twin Girls Bedroom


My imaginary clients are re-doing the bedroom their twin 10-year-old girls share. They live in a condo building from the 1920s, so they wanted to bring back some of the historical charm the previous owners renovated out. I'll be adding a window seat and built-in shelving in classic white, using vintage wood beds, and replacing modern duvets with large knit blankets. But to keep it from looking like a museum (and like kids don't live there), it will have graphic pillows and a flowery rug in bright colors.

I love it. I want to do it for real. Somebody find me a room to finish!

Oh! Speaking of finishing things, I'm done with that drawing you saw in the sketching stage:


I liked the process just fine, but again, this newest project will be even better. It's a one-point perspective (which I've done before, so that's automatic bonus points) AND has the coolest grid ever. Vortex, anyone?

That teeny dot on the back wall is my vanishing point.

Who can't wait to work on it? Meeeee!

What have you been making lately? Anybody else doing some drawing? Or room designing? Or grid-making? I get a strange amount of glee from putting those lines on the paper...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pinterest #36

Remember those Now That's What I Call Music CDs? I saw a commercial for a new one the other day, didn't even know they were still a thing, and they're up to #43. (Did anybody else have the first one? It was MY JAM. Look at this track list!) This has nothing to do with anything I'm saying today, except that we're up to Pinterest #36 and maybe I need to think of a new title for this series. Numbers get weird after a while.

Anywho, starting off the picks for the week is a healthier version of peanut butter balls! These feature honey instead of sugar, among other switcheroos:


Get on my body, unicorn sweater!


We're eventually going to DIY an upholstered coffee table downstairs, and here's another tutorial we could use should we score a thrifted table with the right dimensions:


Over in England some towns are turning their old telephone booths into mini libraries. You just take a book with you and leave a different one behind:


And every time I scrolled to the top of my pins, I'd laugh:


And I'm laughing again now that I inserted the picture. What a coinky-dink, citizens of Gotham!

Did you find anything dope on Pinterest this week? What are you up to this weekend? What about that first Now CD? I wonder if I still have it, I should put it in the car...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

12 in 2012: An Update

I was reading Rose's blog yesterday and remembered that I haven't done a 12 in 2012 update for a few months. Instead of forcing traditional New Year's resolutions on myself (which I keep for approximately three seconds), I picked 12 overall goals to work on over the entire year. I have to say, I'm pretty stoked about how they're going. So stoked that I'm bringing back that word.

1. Exercise everyday. I totally fell off the yoga wagon when we moved. I'm back to averaging four days a week now... which is what I was doing in March. Oops.

2. Cook more. This one is going SO well. I've been trying a lot of new recipes since we moved, including homemade pizza and jalapeno-tomato soup. Top Chef material? No. But it's not a frozen burrito.


3. Stop working 24/7. I'm still a paranoid mother hen about my shops, but I've started letting myself relax on weekends. It's actually nice to watch football without a computer resting on my legs.

4. Go back to school. Doing it!

5. Get a new computer. The Hubster and I talked about this yesterday, actually, and we decided that this one won't be happening in 2012. He got a fancy new computer from work, so when my machine bites the dust (which should be any second now, the way it's acting), I can use his "other" Macbook that doesn't get much attention anymore. Bonus: now we don't have to buy Photoshop again.

6. Get rid of my old computer from college. Ugh, fail. Still haven't done this.

7. Organize my office. Again. Well, it WAS really organized before we moved. It's okay right now, but I need to get some better shelving for my shipping materials. I'm tired of stepping over boxes every time I need to plug in my phone.

This. Right here. Gimme.

8. Find some new art shows. Check! I did Indie Wed, which was adorable and highly recommended for anyone getting hitched.

9. Reach 650 sales in my main shop. I'm on track to hit this mark early, which kind of makes me awkward and blush-y. (I still get really flattered when people buy something from me.) As of today I have 630 sales in LWC. Likewise, my goal for Oh Nostalgia is to reach 100 sales, and I'm currently at 90. So close!

10. Paint the living room. Well, we don't live in the condo anymore so this one is kind of moot. I did paint a bathroom here, though, so I'll say it counts.


11. Read more historical fiction. Whoops! I forgot all about this one. After I read In the Garden of Beasts my brain moved on to other things.

12. Relax. Hubsey says I'm doing well, and if that's not a good indicator I don't know what is.

According to my count, I'm in the green for 8 out of 12. What is that, 75 percent? No wait. It's 66 percent. (See, this is why I do creative things for a living.) Did you set any goals for 2012? How are they going? Do you have a plan for the last quarter of the year?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Housewarming Party Recap

It took me a while to feel like the house is actually our home. For a long time the moving process was iffy (or a complete no-go, as it was for almost two years) so for the first month we lived here I was all paranoid that the bank would call and be like, "Just kidding! You have to go back to the condo! P.S. have fun moving that table again."

But now it's finaly sinking in, which is handy because our housewarming party was this weekend! About 35 people rolled through Sunday afternoon, ready to devour chili, watch football on the projector, and see the house. It was a blast, and it's good to know we can throw a party that big without killing each other or anyone else. Points for us.

And since the place was the cleanest it's been since closing day, I thought I'd take advantage and snap a few pictures. We have to start with my favorite room everrrrr:

Behold: the plate wall! It happened at 10:30 on Saturday night. We sure are wild.


The dining room makes me feel like An Adult. I don't know that I'm ready to host Thanksgiving, but maybe a dinner party would be okay. If we serve nachos.

The kitchen got a dash of pizazz with a tablecloth and some of our food-related art:



The family room is pretty much the same, except... What's that behind the couch?



It's the Expedit! I expect you will be extremely useful, friend.

The upstairs bath is looking quite dramatic these days. When we moved in the walls were a tan color (to match the almond bathtub), and the mirror and light fixture were way too low above the sink. I'll have a real progress post about this later, but here's where we are right now:



And since we never decorated our bedroom in the condo, I thought I would get on that a little sooner in this house. One of Hubsey's aunts adorably asked us if our furniture was from Pottery Barn, but it's really the Hemnes bed from IKEA with thrift store tables.

It's not showing up, but our duvet cover has a modern flower pattern. It's dope.


The lamps are IKEA, too. They're called Barometer, which is the only IKEA name I've come across that's also a word in English. I. Am. In. Loooooove. I stare at these things hardcore. All the time. I want to go back and buy one for every room. We don't need any other lamps! 

Ahem.

So that's the progress we've made in a little over two months. And if you're wondering about the other rooms I didn't show you, they still have a bunch of stuff dumped in them. Not interesting, trust me.

How was your weekend (and Monday, since I'm a day late with this)? Did you have a housewarming party when you moved? Are you also drooling over the Barometer lamps, or am I weird?