can this shithole

can this house –

become this house –

with a little paint and some landscaping and elbow grease?

not a chance?

c’mon – a few 2 x 4s, a couple gallons of paint, a few rocks, a little magic….

you see it, right?

(the modern white house was a house for sale in sweden, now sold, seen here.)

i gotta tell ya, that gray house is one of the ugliest houses i’ve ever seen, but man, it’s on the market now and she’s CHEAP.  what you’d pay for a car.  and she’s in a locale where i spotted gwyneth paltrow’s mom, blythe danner, whom i said hello to and who smiled and said “hi” back.   name dropper

and then she quickly walked away.


that is blythe danner walking away from me in the white vest

so, what i’m sayin’ is the rich and famous hang here.  this is hoity-toity country.  except for maybe that gray house.

but i can see potential.

a potential headache.

no, i really can see potential.

a potential money pit.

no no i see it.

LOOK!  wood walls begging to be painted out white.  or not.  i don’t mind the wood.  or maybe a wall or two black.  this gray dump is screaming for some scandinavia style and who better than me to do this?  ok, maybe someone with a job or someone with an architect’s degree or an interior design degree or someone with carpentry skills, but again, whatever.

i can prime.  i can paint.  i can rip out carpet.  them’s skills, baby!!

see?  this is my problem.  i have vision.  VISION, i tell ya.

but i have no capacity for follow-through.  it’s a slight flaw.

and that flaw haunts me.

cuz this place could become a killer pad.  it needs me.  and it needs my lamps.

and these are only a FEW i’ve shown you in the past.  i’ve been hoarding so much stuff away it’s ridiculous.  me and my stuff NEED a home.

but the deep question of the day is – will awesome lamps hanging in my own home bring me peace and true happiness?

will it?

will it really?

do i have to ask?

i’ve never been deep.  shallow, yes, shallow i’ve heard before.

the answer is yes.

an ugly house that i transform into a beautiful swan with beautiful lamps will make me the happiest girl in the whole USA.

as long as my next door neighbor is jon hamm.

via W magazine

(alright, he’s taken, i know.  ok, someone jon hamm-esque.  and single.  and funny.  and smart.  with a lawnmower.  and a plow.)

(too much to ask?  someone with all their teeth and a weed whacker?)

yet another house

there is FINALLY a new episode of house on this evening (it feels like they’ve been on summer hiatus, it’s been months!) and with that, i segway into – here’s a new house i think i would like to buy. 

i mean, if ever a house were custom-built for moi, this would be it.  fits my criteria of 2 baths, non-vinyl siding and not in a ghetto.  has a woodstove hook-up, which also meets my need for fire of some sort. 

the downstairs is wide open, all unfinished.  kinda like an artist’s studio.  an artist must’ve lived here. 


those floors have radiant heat.

how perfect would it be to set up a massage area along with craft central studio extraordinaire??

or maybe do this:

via emma’s design blogg

or this:

via desire to inspire

because that wouldn’t be too expensive to accomplish at all.


the upstairs is a one bedroom apartment. 

in my mind i picture this:

via habitually chic

there’s that elusive safari chair i don’t own yet. 

have i even seen this house in person yet?  heck no.  i’m just dreaming out loud. 

i say take a risk for once in your life and just buy the stupid thing.  it’s got potential waiting for someone like me to potential the hell out of it.  and the price just dropped by $20K which officially falls into the category of house i can afford (when i had a job.)  i’ll just get 2 dumb jobs to re-qualify and then buy this and make all my dreams come true and live out in the wilderness away from the noise noise noise and make friends with the birds and squirrels and live happily ever after tending to my land, growing my own garden and chopping my own wood and crafting my brains out and massaging the occasional client here and there and maybe learn that new stenographer/closed captioning skill by training at home.  perhaps not everyone’s idea of dreamy, but it’s exactly how i want to live.  the end.

totally doable.

but by the time i get off my butt and get 2 dumb jobs and pack up my crap, guarantee it’ll be gone.  i can talk myself out of anything.

i herd you finished another pillow.

you herd right.

“stop staring at my butt.”

the deer pillow is done.

and the back:

all vintage fabrics.  made the size of a standard bed pillow.  i think i’m pretty much all set now for pillows for awhile.  like, for the rest of my life.

i’m positively in love with the cover of the september 2010 issue of living, etc.  what is it?  a vintage modern boho hippie floral granny downtown scandinavian cottage-y relaxed look?  whatever it is, it’s the look i’m going for. 

of course, we all know that one minor detail that seems to be missing.  yup, the house.

ok, well, maybe a job, too.  whatever.

i’ve got my eye on this:

screams me.

can you put a house on a credit card?  cuz i’m pretty sure i could do it.  forget all that qualifying for a mortgage crap.  forget the red tape, the bureaucratic b*s.  i’d just like to divvie it up between my amex card, discover, visa, and mastercard, please.  and maybe a little on old navy.  sure, go ahead, take a down payment from my debit card.  whatever you need.  c’mon.  there’s GOT to be a way for me to get a house.  i pay my bills.  i’m not part of the problem.  i’m one of the good guys.  i’ve got cute furniture.  i’ve got great artwork.  i’ve got swedish light fixtures, for gawd’s sake.  lord knows i’ve got pillows.  it all needs to go somewhere.  and the world needs to see me decorate with all my cute stuff.  the world is passing me by and i’m missing out on this wallpaper trend.  i need to wallpaper!  i want to swear my brains out hanging wallpaper, watch the trend come and go, and then swear some more over what a hassle it is to remove wallpaper.  this is what i want.  all i want.  i just want something to decorate and something to complain about.  isn’t that what we all want, really?  and maybe a good meal?  with some good company every now and again.  and a few laughs.   maybe a good movie.  well, that’s all i want.  and i’d like to put in on a credit card.     

that last paragraph could be menopause sneaking up on me.  what a rant.

i need a life coach.  i need a swift kick in the butt.  i need to regroup.  i need a drink.


i had such visions.  this is the garage and shed of the red cottage i mentioned last month – the little red cottage i had envisioned to be my charming swedish-type cottage in new england.  in my mind i saw the shed as a little massage office (it even has brickwork where a woodstove used to be!)  and this house was in a nice little town, far far away from the ghetto i’m in now.   unfortunately the house is a structural nightmare.  the bugs have gotten to it.  not to mention the mold.  it’s a complete mess.  while i was waiting for my realtor to meet me, i took the opportunity to hoop a little.

this backyard is where i envisioned my cement patio and firepit to be, much like one of the outdoor sitting areas at the parker in palm springs (look to the far left on the parker’s website link.)  ok – hang on for a couple bad smudgy photos from the palm springs vaca.  i’ll just throw them in so you can get a visual.  once again, i apologize in advance for the crap photography. 

firepit at the orbit in, palm springs

i know.  just digest all the awesomeness that IS that wall hanging and ignore the smudge.  there’s just something so right about being outdoors drinking a beverage next to a fire. 

unfortunately, there is something so wrong about being outdoors drinking a beverage next to a fire outside a crooked moldy termite-ridden house.  alas, the red cottage dreams ain’t gonna happen.  my real estate gal conservatively estimated repairs at $80 grand just to get it in liveable shape, which is $40 grand over my allotted budget, and that number didn’t even account for the firepit/patio/butterfly chairs portion of my renovations.  rats.  yet another house dream squelched.   

in crafting news…

like i’ve mentioned, it takes me forEVAH to finish a project.  i get stuff nearly done and then never finish things up.  i have a defective gene.  the put-things-off gene.  and ya know, i’m well aware of how BAD i am at this and cannot for the life of me get my act together.  i’m too easily distracted.  so yes, finished up the back of this mini quilt wall hanging in ’09 (i think it was november.)  finally sewed the 2 stinkin’ pieces together and quilted around the edges in mid-february.  what?  3 months later?  man, that’s slow.  i was going for thanksgiving/christmas colors in this piece.  well, i’ll be all prepared for the holidays in 2010, i suppose.

red cottage

sure.  i’m on the brink of losing my job and yet i’m still going on a palm springs vacation and i couldn’t help but drive by a house-for-sale today that just took a big dip in price.  house buying?  traveling?  who do i think i am?   one of those first-time homebuyers who takes advantage of that 8 grand tax rebate after martini-ing it up in the swank goodness that is palm springs, that’s who.

these photos were taken right at dusk so they’re a little dark, but can you see the potential?  ok, there’s no furnace.  and the windows are posing an issue.  and that front step railing, well, that could use some help.  i have no clue as to what the inside of this place looks like, but i may have to make an appointment for a showing.  in my mind i see “charming swedish cottage in a new england setting with hardly any work at all needed and cheap to heat.”  in reality, well, let’s face it – it’s probably a dump. 


huh?  huh?  do you see the hidden charm?  and bonus – it’s still maintaining WOOD siding.  no crap vinyl siding that is taking over the world and ripping the souls out of old houses left and right. 

oh, i dunno.  it’s probably overpriced for its diminutive size and amount of work needed, but it does sport 2 bedrooms.  and a garage.  let’s keep focusing on those positives.


yesterday was yet another positively gorgeous december day so i took a country drive  to look at a foreclosure for sale.  and when i say “country drive…” – honestly, it was in the middle of nowhere.  i don’t know where these people work or buy groceries or gas up because there was NOTHING out there.  maybe that’s why they’re there.  the solitude.  the peace and QUIET. 

i especially love the oil tank landscaping element.

aside from the oil tank and the removed-from-civilization location, the house is just perfect.  a 1970s mod ranch style home.  love those windows!!   it’s not too big, not too small.  a fireplace (!), wood siding, 2 baths, open floor plan and wood floors.  and a huge back deck. 

now, if this house was situated in close proximity to a ski area, i’d be in heaven.  but it’s not.  and there’s an adorable A-frame house next door.   (how jealous am i of julia brabec’s A-frame featured in oct/nov ’09 readymade magazine?  i love everything about that house.)  sure – i could snowshoe my brains out, i suppose.  and hula hoop outdoors without fear of embarrassment.  what else would there be to do out there? 

i collected some pinecones while i was stalking the property.  i think the pinecones in a bowl might be the extent of my holiday decor this year.  they smell good and look good, but brother, the sap can wreak havoc with your hands and your steering wheel.