14 Foot Ceilings

A little bit of Halloween fun
October 21, 2009, 1:12 pm
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I love Halloween.  I have an extreme sweet tooth, and can consume those mini candy bars like no ones business.  I also happen to love to dress up, so it’s no surprise that Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays.  You dress up, and people give you candy?  For FREE?!  Sign me up.

When I was a senior in high school I went trick or treating for the last time.  My mom told me my friends and I had to go to peoples houses we knew, and we still made out like bandits.  I don’t think I could get away with that now.

On all the design blogs I follow, everyone and their mother has been putting up Halloween decorations.  I figured I would get into the spirit as well, and I made a trip to Target.  I picked up this pretty awesome (in my opinion) skull candy jar for only $20.  My husband did give me an odd look when I brought it home, but he has just had to deal with it.  I also picked up a glitter pumpkin for about $5 there.  Who doesn’t love a little black glitter?

The mini pumpkins I picked up at my local orchard.  I know it’s nothing much, and not nearly as cheap as some of my faves out there, but it’s my little slice of Halloween fun.  I also got a carving pumpkin, which I have yet to carve.  I actually won’t be home on Halloween, I’ll be at a hockey game (and I want to try and dress up for it, we’ll see), so my pumpkin will just have to sit in the window by its lonesome.


Book Club
October 16, 2009, 12:33 pm
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I know I’m late in posting this one, we did meet about 2 weeks ago to discuss the book.  But it’s ok, I’m pretty sure no one is keeping track….I hope.

This past month we read David Sedaris’ “When You are Engulfed in Flames.”  I’m not going to lie, I read this book when it first came out, so I didn’t re-read it for book club.  Not to mention the fact that my lovely friend Kelley had borrowed the book and I wouldn’t have had a chance to read it anyway (I lent her many David Sedaris books, even before this one came onto the book list).

I don’t really remember anything standing out about it, as when you read David Sedaris, or any other memoir, sometimes the stories run into one another.  I’ve read almost all of his books (“Me Talk Pretty One Day” being my absolute favorite), and normally love them.  I also love his family, especially his sister Amy and his brother Paul, aka the Rooster.

One problem I can sometimes have is that I will mix him up with Augusten Burroughs, who I have also read the complete collection of (minus his latest book, I should pick that one up sometime).  It’s funny how there are so many parallels to both of their lives, quirky families, they are both gay males living in NYC with a house somewhere else in “the country” (Sedaris in Provence, Burroughs in Western MA), somewhat strange childhoods (although Burroughs takes the cake on that one, for sure).

One thing that I love about both of them is that they are the kind of people who just move somewhere and do something.  I have always envied that quality in people, the ability to pick up and go wherever the wind takes them, and they’ll generally find some sort of job or livelihood to make ends meet.  I’m too used to my comfort zone, I own too much stuff, and since college there has always been another person and/or pet that I would need to take into consideration.  I crave stability and despise change, while they seem to embrace both.

I know this now has nothing to do with the actual book, but if you like David Sedaris, pick it up and read it.  You won’t be disappointed, and everyone loves a short story now and then to break up a big long novel.  Next month we’re reading a much heavier book, which still has yet to arrive from the library.  Here’s hoping I will finish it in time.

My New Dining Table
October 12, 2009, 3:14 pm
Filed under: life, loft | Tags: ,

I can’t really say dining ROOM table, as all the rooms are open to each other.  So it’s the dining area table, but that implies that it’s small and undefined.  And this table is anything but.

When we bought our condo (actually, before we had finally closed) I somehow came up with the idea that we should get a giant farm table for our dining space.  The space could handle it, we like to entertain, we “called” Thanksgiving AGES ago, and we had previously been using my awesome 50’s retro kitchen table, but it was time to change it up a bit.  That table didn’t really fit in the space all that well to begin with, and didn’t go with my chandelier so much.  It was more of a kitchen table, not a dining table.

I set out upon a journey, starting with craigslist.  Now I normally love craigslist, but I don’t know what it was lately, hard economic times, people just being crazy, but everyone wanted top dollar for their old and outdated dining sets.  I’m not really a set kind of girl, so it took me a long time to weed through all the ads that didn’t apply to me.  And people, if you paid $5,000 10 years ago, there is no way I should be paying $2,500 now.  That doesn’t work out so well when you sit down and think about it.

I was like Goldilocks, no table was just right.  This one was too small, I hated the finish on that one, this one was far too expensive, etc.  People would give us suggestions, but nothing worked out quite right.  So I resigned myself to the possibility that we would not have our table in time for Thanksgiving.  Far worse things are going on in the world, but that made me pretty sad.

And then, one day, Apartment Therapy stepped in.  I follow them on my reader, and normally just look at the pictures for design inspiration.  But one day I actually read an article, an article about a man in RI who makes farm tables.  Well, I happen to live in Boston, and since RI is super tiny, that’s not very far away.  I checked out his site, and that was it.  He was reasonable.  REASONABLE rates for a custom built farm table?  What?!  What alter-universe was I living in?

I contacted him, we went to see his workshop, and next thing you know, we had commissioned a custom built farm table.  The man who made our newest member of the family is David Ellison, of the Lorimer Workshop.  He is incredibly friendly and welcoming, he’ll show you around his workshop, help you pick stains and finishes, and make the table to the size that you want.  And he delivers.  Well, I assume just in the “local” area.  I’ve never had something custom built before, and also never been so excited about a piece of furniture before.

He keeps you involved in the process, sending photos along the way, and letting you pick whatever stain and finish you like.  We struggled with the stain, as we have dark brown floors, brown leather furniture in the living area, and not a ton of bright color everywhere else.  The stain is actually a bit darker than the above photo, but I am in love.  You can see the woodgrain oh so well, and the character of the wood really comes through.  He uses reclaimed wood, which is both good for the environment, and also you never know what you are going to get with it!

We will be getting new chairs (and updates on that when we do), and plan to host many, many dinner parties around this new beauty.  In the process I also somehow was able to convince my husband to let me paint the coffee table teal, so I can’t wait to share that when it’s finished!

My table is coming! My table is coming!
October 5, 2009, 4:30 pm
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I feel like I’m in a war, screaming about the redcoats coming or something.  But my amazing custom built farm table is coming this week, and I could not be more excited about it!

I promise more details to follow (that is it unfinished), as it’s a long story with a happy ending.  Life is extremely busy, so I apologize.  But after this week, I’ll be able to breathe a little more.

Photo Arrangements
September 29, 2009, 2:22 pm
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If you’re like me, and a) have lots and LOTS of wall space and b) have lots of photos/artwork (I AM an artist afterall), you’ll need to figure out a way to display them.  ONCE in my life I thought it would be neat to have four photos of work I had done (I made the piece, my husband photographed them back when I was in school) framed in matching frames and hung up in an orderly fashion.

Well, I was never allowed to do so after that, as my poor husband had a heck of a time hanging them all so they were even.  That was two apartments ago, and he WON’T stop talking about it.  Inspired by a friend, I decided to just start randomly arranging photos and artwork.

The beauty of doing this is that you can get mismatched frames, on purpose!  There is also no measuring involved, I usually just hold up a photo in an area that I think works, we figure out where the screw should go, and done.  Of course some of our frames aren’t super, so they’re not always level (and I can be a stickler on this, so it can drive me crazy).

I generally start on one side and work my way over.  The arrangement above our TV is a few years worth of photographs, trips we have taken, artwork I have made, our wedding and engagement photos, etc.  We’re always adding to it, I have some fabulous old shooting targets I want to frame and hang somewhere, and as we grow old together we’ll always have photos to add, as we’re constantly traveling, and I like to think that we’re both pretty good photographers, even if that isn’t what I am schooled in (my husband has an art degree by proxy, since he met me during my first year of art school).

We happen to have large expanses of wall space, so the sky is really the limit!

September 27, 2009, 2:10 pm
Filed under: life

I recently joined twitter, come check me out!

Book Club
September 23, 2009, 12:40 pm
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I was so good this month, I actually went!  I hadn’t been for, oh let’s see, months.  And seeing as it’s my book club, well that’s just sad.

This month it was my turn to choose some books.  And this one won out.  “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” or PP&Z for short, was our book.  I had seen it on many many lists, NYT bestsellers, people were adding it to their goodreads left and right.

I’m totally a sucker for the story, but here’s a little secret.  I’ve never actually read the book.  I pretty much watch the movie any time I see it on tv (like last night, for instance), even though I own the Keira Knightley version, and my mom owns the BBC one.

It doesn’t matter how many times I watch it, I always, ALWAYS swoon for Mr. Darcy.  How can you NOT?

I was a little skeptical of the zombie part, and I wasn’t sure how it would integrate into the story.  I really shouldn’t have been, because on my goodreads I gave it 5 stars.  Everyone seemed to like it, a lot.  The zombies made the story pretty hilarious.  I was reading out loud to my husband (who has been subjected to the movie many, many times), and he even wanted to read it when I was done.  But he’s going to have to wait, until my mother reads it.

Basically zombies are taking over England, and if you are a dignified man or woman, you are trained in the deadly arts.  So naturally the Bennet sisters are, Mr. Darcy is, Mr. Bingley is NOT, Mr. Collins sure as heck isn’t, and Lady Catherine is one of the best zombie killers in all the land.

Even though I have never actually read the original, I’m pretty sure they lifted the story, possibly word for word, and just inserted zombies.  They show up at parties and balls, they hassle travelers, and everyone carries at least a dagger, in case they meet them.  The militia even come to town, just to kill and burn them.

It was a nice quick read (and I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that I have seen the movie so many times), and at times laugh out loud funny.  Definitely highly recommended!