Shocking Egg Chair News

When I was little, my parents had a hanging egg chair. I would have loved to have it, but the last time I saw it, it was stored away in the garage, and that was a long time ago, so I had assumed it was gone. Then the other day, my mother pinned some hanging chair action on Pinterest:

Nice! This is not the style of the one my parents had, but it reminded me of it, so I mentioned that to my mom in the comments, and her response made me do a spit-take with my iced coffee.

*My mother also loves cats. :)

Wait, what? My mom still has it? Dry rot, whatever. Now I'm curious. And probably too optimistic.

I love a good DIY. Let's do this. And if it's too far gone, then fine. I'm going digging for it the next time I visit.

Until then, let's dream about that chair, mkay?

I can't remember if my parents' chair looked more like the middle or the last picture here, but you get the idea. Forget the stand, though. I would hang the puppy right from the ceiling.

Oh yeah. I will find you, chair, and I'll give you some long-overdue lovin'.

The MoMA Store

The Museum of Modern Art has a store. Seriously. The museum that curates and displays "good design" also offers a store full of products that meet the museum's standard of good design. Now, I like to think I don't just buy things because someone tells me what is good design and what isn't. The more I see, the more I'm able to decide for myself what I like and what I don't. But it also happens to be that a lot of the things I already like and would want to purchase are available in the MoMA Store. Lucky!

Not so lucky: I am definitely not to a place in life where I could pay these prices. But that's not what it's all about. Here are my favorites:

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
It's a classic. Designed in 1956 by Charles and Ray Eames, and not in my budget at $4999.00.

Cherner Armchair
So cool. $1199.00. And I would want several. Doh!

Eames LCW Chair
I actually came across one of these at a vintage shop in Springfield once. They wanted $300 for it, which was still more than I can currently pay for one chair, but now I see what a deal that was. MoMA has it priced at $979.00.

George Nelson Bubble Lamp
I'm really drawn to the classics. This lamp is probably considered "over done" by people who have more classic pieces at their disposal, but I will never get tired of this lamp. $329.00.

Componibili Storage Module
That's really attractive storage. This is the item that could actually make my bathroom look modern and stylish. And kind of reasonably priced at $169.00.

Well, shoot.

But here's the thing I've found about thrifting-just know what you like. Look in the higher end stores and know exactly what you like, what it's called, who designed it, and what it costs elsewhere. Because one day, in a hot, ugly flea market, you may come across a dusty, dirty, classic item you've been searching for. I know I'll probably never buy new from the MoMA store, because I'm a teacher, but also because it takes part of the fun out of it to just "order up" an instant room. I've stumbled upon an Eames LCW and a Franco Albini ottoman and a set of Eames shell chairs and a Nelson Bubble Lamp in flea markets before. And someday, if I save my pennies, I'll be able to buy these pieces for the right price, because I know exactly what I like.

How to Grow Huge, Lush Ferns

Whoa. Are you seeing this? My ferns are huge and healthy-for the first time ever!

I love having ferns hanging around the porch of our old house. But the problem has been that every year I have to buy four new ferns, because the previous year's ferns dried and shriveled up halfway through the summer. I would water, mist, and fertilize in vain just to get them to stay green, but they would never last past the Fourth of July.

Until now. I've discovered the secret to huge, beautiful, bright green ferns.

This year when my ferns started to turn brown, I went searching for advice on watering or fertilizer. I came across this tip on Pinterest, and I was really surprised. I traced the tip back to this blog, but it wasn't part of an article. It was just the tip, and nothing else, and I hadn't seen any other source recommend this, so I was a little unsure how reliable it was. But since my ferns always die, I decided I really had nothing to lose to try it.

Here's what we've been doing: Every other day, we take the ferns down and completely submerge them in a bucket of 3-4 gallons of water and 1/4 cup of epsom salt. We use paint stirring sticks to hold the ferns down into the water until they stop bubbling (listen closely). Then we take them out and leave them on the sidewalk, out of the sun for about 1-2 hours until they're done dripping, and we hang them back up on the porch.

Here's Rand to demonstrate:

I've been doing this for about three weeks and the results are pretty amazing. At first, my ferns all started to look like they had mullets, because the new pieces on top started to grow crazy fast, but now the new growth has nearly caught up with what was already there. In three weeks! All the new growth is huge, soft, and a much brighter green than the old leaves. I read that epsom salt has magnesium that helps make the leaves greener, and you can definitely see a difference in the shades of green.

An old bungalow definitely needs bright green ferns hanging from its porch. These make me so happy every time I look at them!

+ How successful are you with keeping plants alive at your house?

+ Have you had success with any other Pinterest tips? I know some tips work, and some are just ridiculous.

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Historic C-Street

There is a well-known street in our city called Commercial Street. It used to be the booming center of town a hundred years ago, then it was the scary part of town for a while. Finally, now it seems to be waking up and coming to life again. It is already home to Red Velvet, a clothing boutique owned by Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess and Askinosie Chocolate. But now, new businesses are popping up, like a pizza place, a deli, a coffee shop (!!!) and more beautiful vintage furniture and clothing stores, all within walking distance of my home.

Funny thing-I never bothered to explore my city on foot until I started running. Then one day I ran down Commercial Street and discovered there was so much more there than I had realized! I snapped these a couple months ago with my dad's Minolta, but you can see that I took my sweet time getting them developed.

Our house is currently on the market, and sometimes I feel impatient waiting for it to sell, but this is really a pretty nice place to be in the meantime. I like my creative little corner of Springfield.

My Portrait Gallery Wall

I had wondered why Kristen Stewart looked so depressed all alone on my wall. She was lonely.

So I brought over some friends for her and now I have a gallery wall of portraits.

"Kristen Stewart" was drawn 10 years ago by a guy I went to high school with. It was the first piece of art I ever bought. I paid $20 and gave it to my mom, but somehow it ended up on my wall. Oops!

The three other ladies are from thrift stores and flea markets.  And those cats. I don't know their story yet, but I want to find out. My mom found them in my grandma's house after she passed away. That's all we know. They're portraits, so on the wall they went.

I'm so happy with how this turned out! That wall looks so much better with something bigger going on over the sofa. And I think I see a little smile on Kristen's face!

+ How do you feel about gallery walls and portraits of people you don't know?

+ How was your weekend?

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High Five for Friday

Happy Friday!  Here are five little things for you as we get this weekend started!

1. Maybe you've noticed...I made a few little improvements here and there on my blog. Now I have SOCIAL MEDIA BUTTONS (see #5). Also, I created a blog button! I think it would be fun to "button swap" with other blogs that would like to find new readers. Let me know if you would like to arrange a button swap!

2. So far I've gotten in 9 miles this week, and I have an 8 mile run on the schedule for tomorrow, so that will be a 17 mile week!

3. I downloaded Camera+ and VSCO Cam on my iPhone, and I've been playing around with both to see which one I like better. So I took this moody picture of my computer.

4. I went thrifting this week and I found a few little things-a retro-looking serving tray, two records, four new books and these little ottomans for my classroom. Not bad!

5. Oh yes, and now I'm on Twitter. It's kind of a joke right now because I've only posted two Instagram pictures, and I'm being followed by two strangers who are following thousands of other nobodies like me. So, now that I've gotten you all excited about it....follow me on Twitter!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Liebster Award

Good morning!

Andrea from A Single Frame recently passed along the Liebster Award to this little blog. I'm so delighted! It's such a great idea, especially for bloggers like me who are just starting out and hoping to find readers who will enjoy what we have to share.

Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, beloved, and endearing. It is passed on from blogger to blogger as a way of spreading the word about up and coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers). When your blog is nominated, you share 11 facts about yourself and your answers to the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you. Then you nominate five qualifying blogs you love and want to share with your readers. Be sure to notify them that you've nominated them, and then ask them 11 questions of your own.

I'm so thrilled to be included!

11 Facts about Me

1. I am an elementary teacher and I love it so much. I have taught first grade for four years, and next year I'll be moving to fourth grade.
2. I love animals!
3. Even though I'm a runner now, I never participated in any athletic activities in high school or college. I always hated exercise until I started running. Now running is a big part of my life.
4. I'm addicted to chocolate and Starbucks.
5. I have a record player and a modest record collection, and I love digging through bins at flea markets to find records to add to my collection.
6. I have two sisters, Lisa and Laura, who are twins.
7. My husband's name is Brandon, but I call him Rand.
8. My favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber. I think it's hilarious, no matter how many times I watch it!
9. I'm very shy in person. Except around my students. They get me!
10. I created and maintained a website dedicated to the X-Files when I was a kid. I was very cool and popular, clearly.

Andrea's Questions

1. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Don't judge me...Dateline NBC. I. Can't. Stop. Watching.
2. What can't you live without? My husband. I like him a lot.
3. What are your hopes for your blog in the future? I really hope this blog can be a place where I can share my love of design and connect with others who love it too. I want blogging to help make me a better writer and photographer, and knowing that I have readers who are interested in what I'm sharing is AWESOME.
4. What is your best memory from 2013 thus far? Definitely running my first half-marathon. Now I can't wait to run another!
5. Are you an iPhone or Android person? iPhone, but just because that's all I've ever known since my Nokia days. Plus I teach at a school where the students all have iPads and the teachers have MacBooks, so it's Apple for me!
6. What dessert can't you live without? The Paradise Pie from Chili's. The yummiest chocolate chip cookie I've ever tasted topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and caramel. Unbelievable.
7. Do you have a favorite summer spot? Honestly, home. I love spending my summers catching up on all the home projects I don't have time for during the school year.
8. If you have the choice between never having to do dishes, laundry, or vacuum ever again, which would you choose? Easy...laundry! I can't stand it. I usually mess it up-too much room for error!
9. What is your everyday accessory necessity? Big earrings. I have to wear 'em everyday.
10. Cats vs Dogs? Definitely cats! I'm a crazy cat lady.
11. In which direction would you wish for the wind to blow you? Straight to NYC.

Here are five blogs I highly recommend checking out. Each of these blogs is so unique and worth a read. (I based my selection on their number of followers on Bloglovin'.)

The DIY Nurse
Through the Front Door
Tall Glass of Water
Grey Gone Green

My Questions:
1. Why do you blog?
2. What is your favorite movie?
3. What is your favorite kind of weather?
4. What do you like to do with your time when you're not blogging?
5. What has been your best memory from 2013 so far?
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
7. What is your favorite blog post you've written?
8. Who is your favorite author?
9. If you had to live in a decade other than this one, which one would you choose?
10. What is something you have learned recently?
11. What is the best book you've read lately?

Thank you so much for participating! There are so many great new blogs out there that should be read and enjoyed, so help spread the word by passing this award on. Also, please link back and let me know when you post. I would love to read your answers!

Thanks again to Andrea, and have a wonderful Thursday!

Instant Record Cart

Back when I wrote this post, I had in mind the pair of bar carts I had seen at a flea market some time back, so that was what I was envisioning as I wrote that post. But then I started thinking about my little microwave cart I've used in my bathroom for the last couple of years. I got this little guy at a garage sale, and I immediately stuck him in the bathroom because I wanted more counter space. But after writing my post about bar carts used for other things, and then stumbling upon Elsie's cute little record cart, I began itching for a cart for my record player and modest record collection.

So I yanked that cart out of the bathroom and put it in my living room!

Much better, corner!

Now I have plenty of room for my records and some space for my DIY books. And I FINALLY got my own copy of the Young House Love book. It's wonderful, by the way.

While I was rearranging my stuff I was listening to records, and I remembered my 101 in 1001 list item,  #25-Find five new (to me) bands/musicians I really like. Borrowing records from my mom's collection has helped me find a lot of musicians I had heard of but hadn't really listened to, and I'm really loving her Linda Ronstadt albums. Her voice is amazing. Here's one of my favorite songs:

+ How often do you rearrange furniture in your house?

DIY String Art

One day last week I woke up in the mood to get crafty. So I went over to my shelf of DIY books and picked up this:

When I was a kid, I loved to make things, like I do now, and my mom had a great collection of DIY books from Better Homes and Gardens. I taught myself to knit, crochet, embroider, and sew just from reading these books alone in my room. But honestly, I think I was sort of like one of those musicians who admits he can't actually read sheet music. I love reading, but when I see those complicated patterns with letters and numbers, my eyes just sort of glaze over and my mind goes elsewhere. So I basically learned these skills by looking at the pictures. Same with this book. This tutorial is really just based on my own interpretation of Saeger's instructions. And with pictures!

For this project, you will need:

+ 1 piece of foam board
+ embroidery thread
+ a picture frame (mine is just a frame I found at a garage sale)
+ sewing or applique pins (these won't stay with the project)
+ scissors or xacto knife
+ a pencil
+ a piece of fabric slightly larger than your picture frame
+ Aleene's tacky glue
+ a ruler
+ a sewing needle

1. Use the size of your picture frame to cut a piece of foam board that will fit inside the frame. Trace and cut out your piece of foam board.
2. Cover your piece of foam board in your fabric, and glue the edges to the back of the foam board, gently pulling it so it won't be saggy on the front. I used Aleene's tacky glue.
3. Decide on your design. The most basic design is just two lines that you'll zig zag back and forth between. I just googled "string art" for some ideas. Use my design if you like!

4. Use your ruler to plot your points on your foam board with your pins. I spaced my points evenly, at every half inch, but there are actually two way of doing this, and you know how I like pictures, so I created some illustrations. Here's one I made of the basic concept, when both lines are the same length:

Basically, you have two lines (they don't have to be connected) with the same number of points. You start at 1, then stitch over to 2, then 3, all the way to 9, then back to 1 to close up the side.

But what if you want to include two lines in your design that aren't the same length? Here are two options you have for that:

The book recommends putting the same number of points on each line, but space them closer together on the shorter line. That way you can still go back and forth like before and return to 1 at the end. This just makes the side look finished.

For some reason (maybe a little laziness) I decided I wanted all my points to be evenly spaced. Looking back, I think I should have done it the other way, but this works, too. I just spaced all my points 1/2 inch apart, then I doubled up on the points on the shorter line as I stitched. So I went 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 5, 8, etc. Either one will produce a cool looking design, but I think the first strategy is actually much simpler. 

5. After you points are plotted with your pins, start stitching! I used one thread of embroidery floss and followed my pattern along any two lines that came together. After I had a stitch at each point, I removed its pin and put it away. This made it easier to keep track of where I had stitched and where I needed to go. 

6.  I started with blue, but I also added green on top of that, and then yellow. If you decided to do more than one layer, wait until you're done stitching the first layer to add the pins for the second layer. Too many pins would be confusing!

7. I painted my frame black, because it was originally green. After it dried, I slipped my string art into its new frame, minus the glass.

Et voila! Your own string thing. 

Happy crafting!

Cowhide Rugs

Happy Friday to you!

Let's talk about cowhide rugs. When I first imagined a cowhide rug on the floor, I wasn't a fan. The hide of a cow? On your floor? My mind went straight to something country-western, and it just wasn't clicking for me.

But then around that time I discovered The Brick House, where Morgan isn't afraid to throw down cowhides all around her house, and it looks amazing.

I think it's just all in the furnishings around it. The room has to feel modern for it to work just right. Some great vintage pieces + a really clean, uncluttered room makes the cowhide the perfect touch. Hardwood floors and white walls are also nice touches, but not always necessary. Feast your eyes on these beautiful rooms where cowhide rugs look right at home:

Oooh, white floors! Fancy!

And good news!  Cowhides are within easy reach...for people who live close to Ikea. The Koldby Cowhide Rug comes in both black/white and brown/white and is reasonably priced at $199. For those of us unlucky enough to live too far away from Ikea (unless you're willing to carpool with me 7 hours to Dallas) there's Craigslist. Craigslist is always just hit or miss, depending on the day, but I've seen some pop up here and there for around $150-$400. I've noticed a lot of sellers offer "hair-on" cowhides, which means the rug will still have that long, coarse hair all over it, which I don't prefer. I searched Craigslist again today, and I found several great looking cowhide rugs without the hair for around $160. You just have to be patient and determined with Craigslist.

+ So what do you think? Would you put a cowhide rug on your floor?

+ Do you shop at Ikea? How do you like their stuff?

+ Do you read The Brick House? If not, I highly recommend checking it out!

Happy 4th!

Happy Fourth of July! Today I'm headed to visit my family back home for BBQing, yummy snacks, fireworks, and family time. I can't wait! I hope you have a wonderful, safe holiday, and I'll be back tomorrow with more beautiful rooms!

{Etsy Love} Urban Walls

Hello again!

Today I've got another Etsy discovery for you! My sister-in-law once had a party for a wall decal company years ago, kind of like a Mary Kay party but for these products that have inspirational sayings or designs. They stick on your walls, but come down easily if you ever need them to. There are several different places to get these, but when I came across Urban Walls on Etsy, I loved how they had decals that looked like great wallpaper!

Here are some of my favorites:

Pretty amazing, huh? I don't see too many nurseries I like, but I love this one. Those stars are adorable! I'm personally drawn to the wallpaper look, but Urban Walls also has quotes and sayings and single images that both playful and stylish. Visit Urban Walls' Etsy store to see more. Danielle of Urban Walls also keeps a beautiful blog, full of gorgeous photography and decor ideas, so be sure to take a look there, too for some inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!

+ Do you have any experience with wall decals in your home?

+ Have you ever hosted one of those parties (Mary Kay, Thirty-One, etc.)? Did you get lots of free stuff?

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