honestly, i will find any distraction not to pack.

i was flipping through an 80s decorating book and it fascinates me how decor trends ebb and flow and re-become popular. 

there are so many photos where most decor choices are spot on for today.

from the 1981 better homes and gardens new decorating book:

i’d take everything in the photo below.  the painted brick wall, the fireplace, the hans wegner peacock windsor chairs, the coffee table.

the michelob.

the sofa.  the pillows.  heck, i’d take a red duck.

kilim pillows, the rug, the cacti, that groovy red reading lamp.

blue safari chair.

blue eating area.

ok, that’s a whole lotta blue but i still kinda love it.

another crazy dining area i could live with today.

big artwork and some macrame plant holders and some crazy pillow action.

more macrame.  this time on a window. 

i could crank one of these babies out in a weekend with my mad macrame skills.

wood walls, danish rya rug and canvas sling chair.

danish kitchen with hans agne jakobsson lamp similar to mine (ish).

an over-the-top too theme-y southwestern room, but i like some of the elements, like the bookshelves and chairs and rustic box coffee table.

oh and hey now, ben shahn poster.

the poster is the ONLY thing i like in this room.  i hope the “stuffed red chair plushie hanging from the ceiling” look never makes a comeback.

ok, back to packing.

p.s. the sound of packing tape coming off the roll is annoying.

new year

new calendar.

ugh.  the dreaded monday birthday this year. 

but it’s a summer birthday.   so just give me a jelly jar with a scoop or two of blood orange sorbet topped with some prosecco on a sweltering hot july monday birthday and *poof* who cares if it’s a monday.


= scrumptious.

from lotta jansdotter.


the santa stars were aligned.

yes they were.


a year ago i mentioned i’d been on the hunt for a safari chair.

and i know the chance of finding one in a thrift store is not good.

especially around here.

but i’ll be darned.

walked into a thrift store i rarely visit and there it was.

don’t get excited.

it’s not leather.

but dag, it’s safari-ish or campaign-ish or sling-ish or whatever it’s called.

it’s canvas and the canvas is pretty darn dirty.

i’ll have to get my scrubbing gloves on.

it has a scandinavian feel, wouldn’t ya say?

to find this chair in a thrift store is a xmas miracle to me.

i was out in the back parking lot putting this thing in my car when an older employee came out and said, “ya know, that’s a fine looking chair.  it’s been in our store for a couple of months.  they told me to throw it in the garbage.  i’m glad someone bought it.”

i’m not sure if that made me happy or sad.  i would’ve loved to find this in the garbage, but then again, i didn’t pay much, it doesn’t have garbage residue on it (i.e. squirrel pee), and i wasn’t reduced to dumpster diving.

this pre-christmas week was very, very kind to me.  found a few other things but haven’t taken any pics yet.

could it be i’ve finally found everything i’ve wanted to thrift in my life?

could be.  but i doubt it.


have you been wondering what ever happened to that felt skier i appliqued onto some grey wool fabric?


yah, i kinda forgot about him, too.

since “round” seems to be my theme for fall 2011, i made him into a round pillow.

with a little blanket stitching around the edge.

so, let’s look at the timeline on that project.  i started making it when i had my old job.  probably 2 years ago.  yes, 2 years ago exactly i’d say.  how do you crafters out there make a living at this?

and with the scrap pieces of wool fabric i made another candle ornament.

actually, if i put a loop on the skier pillow, it could be a gigantic xmas ornament.  i could put it on the tree at rockefeller center.


this is the other plain ol’ brown footstool i’ved owned and used for years.

i changed it up a bit.

couldn’t decide whether or not to paint the legs.

i gave one leg a coat of white.

i didn’t love it.

i sanded the brown paint from the other legs.

i decided i liked the raw sanded wood.

(or was i just being lazy?)

stapled on some purdy vintage fabric, added a little more padding and now i have another girly footstool with nekkid legs.


ya know how i’ve been in pillow-mode?  i decided i would try and advance my sewing skills and teach myself how to install a zipper in a pillow cover.  i looked at several tutorials, several videos and after feeling pretty confident installing a zipper was a piece of cake, i went for it.

it took me quite some time to figure out how to attach the dang zipper foot.  but i conquered that.

but then.


pillow-mode was abruptly halted when i ended up with a couple broken sewing needles.  no-one in those tutorial videos broke their needles.  they left that part out.  or maybe i’m doing something wrong.

so after a trip to joann fabrics to buy some replacement needles, i decided to go back to what i know.

straight lines.  no zippers.  (but a few staples.)

i jumped out of pillow-mode and into footstool-mode.

but not fancy footstool-mode with piping around the edges or anything.  to apply piping or cording or whatever it’s called, i think you need to know how to use your zipper foot.

and apparently i don’t.

so i’ve done plain ol’ recovering of a vintage footstool i found over a year ago and never got around to recovering.  imagine that.

this was one of those beat-up items at goodwill.  they wanted $4 for it and it was torn and taped and sad.  and it sat there and it sat there and it sat there.  when it finally went to half-off, i figured i’d rescue the poor thing for $2.

nice size.   ok-looking from a distance.

as i’ve mentioned lately, i’ve been digging through old vintage fabric scraps and i patched together a few of them to create this beauty.   i’m kinda loving the vintage hunter dogs.  what are they called?  bird dogs?  pointers?  what the hell are they called?  i think my aunt and uncle used to own these when i was a young’un.  or did they just own paintings of these dogs?  or was it my family who owned a painting of these dogs?  my mind these days, i tell ya.  used to be sharp as a tack.  now.  now it seems i don’t remember anything quite correctly.

let’s just say there’s some kind of family history with these dogs that i don’t know the name of.  could be a live, breathing thing, could be a painting.

i thought about painting the legs white for a brief second.  and then that thought left.  it’s too hot.  i won’t rule it out in the future, but for now, natural wood legs.

anyway, fuck zippers.


have you guys been noticing all the cool spindle back chairs allasudden?

seems all the cool homes have cool spindle back chairs.

via canadian house and home

via sköna hem

via remodelista

via desire to inspire

via desire to inspire

well, count me in as a cool spindle back chair owner.  (plus i already have that other mobler chair.)

i just need the cool house to put it in now.  that’s all.

spindle back rope chair.

no price on it at the thrift store.

when i asked to get a price, the guy said, “$20.”  i was all, “$20????  for this little chair????”

“ok then, $10.”

i said, “ok, ten.”

(and i NEVER barter.)

there were no markings and it was oak rather than teak, but it definitely had a danish “feel.”

turns out it’s a jørgen bækmark, designed in 1959 for mobler.

for $10!

and then i made a pillow for it.

because i am in pillow-mode.

vintage gulls.

but i only had a small scrap of this fabric, so she’s a tiny pillow, 13″.  scale looks odd with this chair.  i’ll have to make a different, slightly bigger pillow.

no problemo since i’m in PILLOW-MODE!

anyway, i love my chair.

haven’t seen any of these little enamel ladles in quite some time, but happened upon a little red one in good condition for a quarter so i bought it, too.

red, white, blue and cheap.  my kinda patriotic late july day.



brown’s kinda dull in the summertime.

but brown is my theme for today, and so brown it is.

summahtime brown!!!

my floor pillows were looking a little ratty so i decided to de-ratty them.

have been holding onto this vintage hagapy screenprint fabric for, oh i dunno, 6 years???  the plan in my head was to use the fabric to cover a chair seat cushion.  i decided to buck up and and actually use the fabric before it went out of style again.

so, first up in the brown category – my incredible talent for sewing 2 square pieces of material together to form a floor pillow:

that's me

one very fresh, de-rattatized retro mod floor pillow.  (i’ve still got one more to cover.)

#2 brown thing.

while i was digging through said vintage fabric stash, i came upon a log cabin pillow top i made probably 6 years ago as well and decided to finish it.

the back:

next up – ok david stewart know-it-alls – please tell me this is a david stewart for lion’s valley stoneware piece.

or did i just buy a random brown rooster planter?

it’s GOT to be a david stewart, right?  after all, i took a $3 chance on this cock-a-doodle-dude.  i could find no photos of a rooster in my research, so my new take on this is it is an extremely rare, highly valuable, probably one-of-a-kind david stewart rooster.  the only one in all the world.  take that.

“kim, what up girl, you buyin’ chicken planters now?” 

and then i bought a 59¢ plant on clearance to chuck in it for my ghetto porch.  i think they’re marigolds.  i hope something blooms.  if not, maybe i’ll eat my soup outta this critter.

rooster theme alert.

the jaunty capped rooster tapestry with the rooster planter.

at that same thrift store, i also bought this big ol’ beach bag with a retro feel.  brown corduroy with some snazzy rick-rack trim.  you can never have enough big ol’ bags, especially with rick-rack.  am i walking that fine line of looking like an aging hippie fool or am i the coolest old lady on the block?  the answer is cool.

last in the brown theme is what i consider a score of all scores.  some will think it’s ugly as sin.  probably most will.  me?  i think it’s ultra cool and is the PERFECT fall/winter rug.  very 70s.  a brown graphic diamond flokati rug.

i was in the linens section of goodwill looking the other way when my bare arm brushed up against this and scared the crap outta me.  but then i was all, “whoa, what have we here?”  it’s in EXCELLENT condition and has a beni ouarain vibe(ish) to it.  and who on earth doesn’t want to own a beni ouarain, i ask you????  the back is beautiful.  and it’s a decent size!!!  like, 4-1/2′ x 6′.  these magical things just don’t happen to me anymore.  but apparently, they do.

magical carpet!!!

back of rug

i’ve got the floor pillows, i’ve got the rug – all i need now is the little cabin on the lake with the roaring fire, the bottle of wine, the imaginary boyfriend with the hairy chest, gold chain, moustache…


this summer i neglected my outdoor porch.

for a couple reasons.

1.  landlord continually questions my taste.  and i get it, i do.  flower garlands?  triangle bunting?  it’s not a look for everyone.  (the garlands and bunting are long gone, the sun faded some, mold got the others.)  he’d pop over when i’d be on the porch and always say, “i just don’t get it, i don’t get what you’re doing out here.”  to be fair, he never asked me to take anything down.

2.  no job meant i thought i’d be moving shortly so why bother buy plants, herbs, flowers, etc.?

some porch photos from when i cared:

landlord was over last week and asked me to close my kitchen window because he was power washing the walls in my porch area.  in what i believe was a sincere gesture on his part, i think he figured he’d power wash my furniture while he was at it (2 chairs and a table).  get the dust and grime off.  turns out those power washers mean bidness.  stripped the stains right off  to the quick.  down to the bare wood.  it became an instant shabby (ghetto) chic look, although not quite as ghetto chic as the other back porch with the scuffed plastic furniture and the coffee can full of cigarette butts.

so i got off my lazy-ignore-my-porch ass and went to joann’s to pick up a bottle of craft paint to perform a face liftectomy on the sad furniture.  i had a bottle of the palest pink in my hands, thinking i could channel this awesome scandi look:

via fryd + design

at the very last second i grabbed a lavender paint instead.  i’m not sure what i was thinking, but purple is now the signature look of ghetto porch 2011, made possible with a $1.39 bottle of paint.  the pink will have to wait.

still no new plants or flowers or herbs, but at least it looks like i put forth some effort.

and please admire my newly thrifted $2 mini dansk cutting board.

i braved the crowds at half-off day at the ghetto goodwill and was beyond surprised when this piece of loveliness was sitting right there on a top shelf!  and i went later in the afternoon, not when the doors opened first thing in the morning!!!

let me just say, i NEEDED a new one of these.  i already own one identical to this and another made-in-japan oval version.  but both have split right down the middle.  let’s face it, girlfriend’s put these babies to use.  limes have been cut, oh laaawwwddd, limes have been cut.

oh, and what’s that you’ve got there?  a matching sugar bowl to the rosenthal coffee pot?  how many sugar bowls does this make now?  35 or so?  do you even use sugar?  oh, sometimes to rim your cocktail glass?  well then, by all means, you DO need that sugar bowl.


in my ongoing attempt to remain current and relevant, i’m trying to add more 70s items into my decor to go along with my boho hobo scandinavian look.  i found a yellow and orange faribo wool blanket at the thrift store yesterday (bed bug free).  it’s groovy with a hint of aztec zig-zag.

she’s hanging out on the couch.

and by she, i mean me.

(and please, don’t get me started on the height of that print hanging above the couch – it bugs the crap out of me.  anytime i see a photo of it, i want to take my finger and magically lower the frame closer to the sofa.  there was one hook left in the wall that i was allowed to hang a piece of art on.  this was my only piece of art that kinda sort of worked.  decorating pet peeve numero uno for me…art hung too high.)