Saturday, May 31, 2008

House Update

I was looking at older photos of the house and I realized that the house now looks a little different than previously pictorally documented. On this rare occasion of the house being practically spotless, I thought I'd do a house update.

"Before" photos can be seen in this post.

This is a cool, beat up vintage/antique desk I recently got off Craigslist. I am such a sucker for the "shabby chic" look. This desk has a fold-down writing table and little organizational cubbies inside, as well as 3 drawers, which make good storage space.

Not too much has changed in the dining room...the chairs have all been recovered, but I don't even think that's visible in the photos.

I've played around with the living room the most...I switched the "side table" (3 stacked vintage suitcases) and lamp to the other side of the couch, in front of the tall mirror. In its place, I put the tall paper lantern from Ikea that used to be agaisnt the wall between the two windows facing the yard. I moved the white chair to where the lantern once was, and added another side table. Also added: cloth roman shades and curtains. Whee!

In the kitchen, we have a lot more brightly-colored utensils, thanks thanks to Chandler's Le Creuset job. All the colors are incredible...I want a hanging potrack to display all of the incredible pots and skillets, but the weight of the cast iron would probably pull the whole thing down.

This is such an odd little half-bath. There's no way I'm painting walls until I actually own a house, but if I were going to paint any room, it would be this one. It needs something, but I can't figure out what.

The office is the most colorful room in the house, thanks to Chandler's bright couch. Manda's art brings some of the color onto the wall.

The main bedroom is the only room in the house that has absolutely nothing on the walls. I don't have enough art to hang! I have been spending a lot of time on Etsy looking for some pieces to hang.

I added more colorful bedding, fixed up my desk/vanity area, and hung my inspiration board (not shown). I love curling up in this room; for some reason, my creativity flows easily in here.

I found this shower curtain at Goodwill. It still had the tags on it, and the linen curtain with floral appliques adds a bit of texture to the looked too much like a hotel bathroom with the white curtain. However, the white curtain made it a lot bigger. The other thing I like about this curtain is that the purple perfectly matches the star lantern in there, which is so nice to light during baths. But I can't decide if the curtain should stay.

The backyard is so lush and green. I love it, but I get eaten alive out there! Citronella candles are a lifesaver. I love going out and picking fresh hers. Chandler picked his first tomato last week!

I didn't take any photos of the front because nothing has really changed. We really, really want an outdoor set to put on the front porch. Because I was lazy, I missed out on this incredible deal.

If anyone still has a Belize Outdoor Set available at your local World Market, if you buy it for me, I will pay you back and provide an extra-special gift! I hesitated and these babies sold like hotcakes. All the World Markets in Charleston (and Charlotte) sold out in less than a day.

Anyone have any decorating tips or advice they'd like to share?

a really good song

Thank you, Mo Pilar, for introducing me to this awesome song while we were driving through the Alabaman wilderness:

I love Chris Martin. I love Coldplay. I do not love their song "Violet Hill," but I love that Viva la Vida song that's on all those Apple commercials.

By the way...this is the only time where I will ever admit to liking a Nelly Furtado song. Even though, when the song "I'm Like a Bird" came out, I thought she was rad. I was also about 12 years old, so I'll admit that one too.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Art Smart

There is this fantastic illustrator from Sydney called Caitlin Shearer (Pepperminte), and I really enjoy her close-up illustrations. I am leaning towards the one with the yellow background, but the second one is more in the tones of my house. Vote?

Expression of Displeasure

Sea-green Beret

Look at Pepperminte's other works at:

Deviant Art

Can anyone else recommend any Etsy artists that they particularly enjoy?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

She & Him

Please, please. If anyone still lives in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/Carrboro area....please go and see them for me. Please. Tell Zooey I love her.

Monday, July 28
Cat's Cradle

Tickets go on sale on Friday (May 30)
$16 in advance/ $18 the day of the show

Let me know how it is, you lucky devils who get to go.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Charleston has, yet again, been bombarded with tourists for the annual Spoleto Festival. While, to many people, this means ballet, opera, symphonies, chamber music, and other classics, those of us who live in Charleston know better. With Spoleto comes Piccolo Spoleto--Charleston's Fringe Entertainment.

Last weekend, we went to see one of the final Charleston performances of Cabaret Kiki before the wonderful and talented Bivens brothers take the show to The Windy City. Evan Bivens plays my favorite character of the show--Kurt Nihilist--who speaks with a German accent and is hilarious and, well, perfect.

See him here, from an early Kiki Perfromance:

And, of course, my favorite song from the show:

This song gives me chills when it's performed live.

Anyway...I rave too much about this show.

I bought tickets for Chandler and me to see Scheer and McBrayer

DSC06905, originally uploaded by brantastic.

at Theatre 99.

If those names don't ring a bell, let me illustrate:

Paul Scheer is best known for his work in VH1's Best Week Ever and MTV's Human Giant.

Jack McBrayer plays one "Kenneth Parcell" in a little show called, oh...30 ROCK.

They were a huge hit last year and I can't wait to laugh my pants off watching them.

Any other Spoleto events (Piccolo or otherwise) that you'd reccomend?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fantasy Goodwill Finds

My mom, the ultimate thrift store shopper, has always told me to go thrifting with an open mind. If you have something specific in mind, you won't find it.

However, I've had some luck in the past, shopping with something specific in mind. Like with my couch, shown here. I went thrifting with my mom with one thing in mind--a neutral-colored couch. After hitting almost every thift store in the area, we made a final stop at the Salvation Army nearest to my parents house and there it was. After some internet research, I found the same couch on the website of the now-defunct Metropolitan Deluxe for $2,500. How much did it set me back? $150.

This has spoiled me--I'm starting to approach thrift shopping like I approach shopping at normal stores. "OK...I need a tea kettle and a cream and sugar-holders." One Goodwill trip later, I have a Cuisinart kettle and a cream and suger set is the same brand as my ceramic flour and sugar canisters, and matches perfectly.

So, while my Mom's advice is extremely true, I still carry the blind hope that I will stumble upon items on my "Fantasy Finds" list--it's worked in the past, so why not now?

Without further ado, here is my list:

An old botany book. I'd carefully remove some illustration plates and frame them and use the rest of the pages for art projects.


A console table. I already have the accessories (thrifted, of course) to compliment it.


A fun, patterned rug. I'd love to have a subtle pop of color right when you walk in the door, since I'm too lazy to paint walls in a rental.


A globe. I just think they look so cool. I found an incredible vintage globe (it still had the U.S.S.R. listed) at the Goodwill on Folly Beach, but a kid had colored on it a little bit in red marker and I wasn't sure I could get it off, so I didn't buy it. I still have my eyes open...

Friday, May 16, 2008


There are few things that I love more than a good weekend. Here's what I have planned:

Tonight (Friday):

* Meet Chandler somewhere for dinner (hopefully Five Loaves or Sermet's)
* Come home and watch Bobby
* Hopefully it will still be storming like it is now, and I can stay up late working on fun art projects and listening to music while it thunders and lightnings(?) outside.


* Wake up without an alarm clock and go to Goodwill to look for some house things (an entry/occasional table, please!)
* Take Maya to meet Chandler for lunch
* Go and see the tall ships at Charleston HarborFest
* Maybe go to Nicole Maslowski's jewelry party
* Go with Chandler to Cabaret Kiki at Theatre 99
* See Trey and Friends play at Burn's Alley

* Beach?
* Stay under the fan and read all day?
* Call Margaret and force her out of the house to take Maya to the dog park? full of possibilities....
* watch the last part of Cranford on PBS

Have I mentioned yet how much I love weekends?

Also, the highlights of work today:

*Eating a cookie shaped like a margarita

*Speaking with the girls of Charlestowne Academy's Sophomore/Junior Journalism class.

Also, this is a great song to listen/dance to at the start of a potentially great weekend:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

from FilmoFilia.
I am so excited about this film, I can barely stand it.

This leads to me rebuilding my Dream Girl Posse. This girl posse of mine is a mixture of women who inspire me and I would love to have as my best friends/ girl crushes.

Zooey Deschanel

She will always be on my list, because if she isn't playing an awesome role in a film, she's wearing something incredible to a premire or making beautiful music.

Audrey Tautou

She's a pixie, she's French, she played my favorite film character ever (Amelie) and she continues to be awesome.

Leslie Feist

I thought that no album could be better than Let it Die, but then Feist came out with The Reminder. There was a time in the recent past where that album, and especially the song "I Feel it All," was the only thing that could make me feel that all was right with the world.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My senses are stirred.

*Winter songs played through open windows while warm spring winds sweep low to the ground blow white petals and dust.

* Maya's pink tongue licking drops of condensation off a water glass.

* Feeling so inspired by music, the smell of wysteria, rainstorms, tropical weather--but still creatively impotent. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

* Dresses and dirty bare feet.

* Cucumbers + dill; tomatoes + basil; brie + dry red wines; lavender-infused chocolates.

* Cool showers, cool sheets, cool ceiling fan breezes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Curious Incident of Web-Browsing

I was on Bluefly and typed "Sass & Bide" (an Australian denim brand) into the Search box and I got this message:

"XSS vulnerability found. The FBI has been notified. You really seek counseling or find other outlets for your deviant behavior instead of troubling a small company trying to make an honest living."

Am I missing something?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Wednesday Evening

Maya by the white chair.

A pensive self-portrait.

It's days like this when I just feel happy to exist. After a long day at work, Chan, Maya and I ambled down to Hampton Park and then to Maya's favorite place: the dog park.

Chandler and I relaxed in the shade while Maya ran in huge figure-eights with her new best friend, a year-old blue merle Aussie named Stony.

Now Maya and I are stretched out in the living room, she on the floor while I take up the couch, while Chandler, in the kitchen, hovers over bubbling pots, stirring and observing with the patience of a chemist.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A list of failed lists.

I have made approximately 37 blog posts for today that I have ditched. Here's why:

I made a list about the things I dislike and it was so long that I realized I am an extremely negative person who must see the bad in everything.

I made a list of my bad habits and realized that all of the little habits sum up to one big thing--apparently part of me thinks that everything on earth orbits around me. My list of bad habits sounded like the DSM-IV's criteria for a personality disorder (namely Narcissistic, Histrionic, or Borderline).

I made a list of the things I love about Charleston and I realized I sounded like a fanatical tour guide with a slight celebrity obsession (that's right, I namedropped Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray, Band of Horses, Spoleto, The Notebook, The Patriot and more).

I made a list of things I love about summer and the majority of the list items were cocktails(bloody marys, daiquiris, margaritas, gin and tonics, bellinis, mimosas) and I sounded like an alcoholic. (In my own defense, the other list items were foods...but it's mainly because drinking and dining is a social event, and what is better in the summer than sharing food and drinks with friends?!)

I fail at list-making. Who sees the irony in this post?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Places to Go, People to See--India

Jaipur (North India), originally uploaded by babasteve.

* Hinglish
* Saffron, curry, cinnamon, ginger, pomegranate, chili, cumin....
* Bollywood
* Saris, bindis, bhangra
* Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, oh my...
* naan, tandoori chicken, tikka masala, kebabs

This is probably my last travel wish list post, because my heart is broken. Each time I stop to think about where I want to go and experience, I feel overwhelmed. There is so much I want to do and see...I need to get out there!