Macrame that Made Me Laugh

Recently I came across and ordered some awesome cotton rope. It's just the right size, and a great price for 1200' spools of it, so I've been ordering as much as I can afford and attempting to recreate all the knots and designs I admire. Macrame can be so beautiful and elegant, but not always.

Oh no, sometimes it is hilarious. Here are some images of macrame too awesome/ridiculous not to share.


There were plenty of beautiful trails, places to hike, and waterfront areas in Missouri where I could have gone, but for some reason, I never got very outdoorsy back home. When we moved here, maybe it was just that we couldn't afford much else (and still can't), but we started spending waaaay more time outside than we ever have before. I've been on some serious hikes lately, serious for me anyway. Here's another beautiful trail through Discovery Park we took the other day.

Max Has Managed to Get Cuter

A couple weeks ago I returned home from a Meet Up brunch (yes, that's what it's come to) to find that I had missed several texts from Rand. He had noticed that Max's ear had swollen up and seemed to be filled with liquid. We rushed off to the vet, which meant walking to the vet, with a loud, yelling cat. Ahh, city life.

Weavings Spotted on OITNB!

The latest season of Orange is The New Black was pretty incredible, as usual, but I couldn't help but also notice some gorgeous weavings on the set. This was very exciting for me.

Things Are Finally Hanging From My Ceiling

An apartment just isn't a home (to me) until things are hanging from the ceiling. I love finding a good stud and suspending my possessions in the air. For plants, this is a must, since my sweet babies will destroy any plant they can reach. And in such a small apartment, it's a huge space saver. But I did this a lot in our giant old home, too. Hanging things from the ceiling just makes a place look more finished, in my opinion.

The problem was, I didn't have a good stud finder. I'd had a battery operated one before, and it was very confusing and unreliable. After a little research, I learned about magnetic stud finders, so I ordered this one online.

Art Trades

You want to know what’s incredibly flattering and a boost to the ol’ self esteem? Being asked to do an art trade!

Calling yourself an “artist” is kind of a weird thing. What I made is art, so I am an artist, but it is a weird thing to call yourself. And I hesitated to use that word for a long time until one of my fourth grade students told me she selected a famous Missourian to research because “she’s an artist and so am I.” I thought that was a pretty courageous thing to do. Just be an artist if you want, why not? I swear, kids are the best. 

An Important Date Has Passed.....

This post is almost a month late. On one hand, I was so excited about it that I'm surprised I missed it. However, it makes sense that I was too busy to notice. You know what it is?

My 101 in 1001 deadline was September 21, 2015! Two and a half years ago, I was bored with life and thought some goal-setting might help get me out of my rut. And now, today, I'm so busy with my exciting life that I accidentally missed the day I meant to write about the experience. I guess that means it worked...??

So let's take a look at the list and see how I did.

Read Lately

One benefit of not having any friends is that I have plenty of time to read! Here's what I've been reading since we arrived in Seattle and I suddenly found all this time on my hands.

So, How Are You Liking Seattle?

It’s a pretty great feeling every time I get this question from a friend back in Missouri. I appreciate that I have friends who actually care how I’m doing now that I’ve moved, but every time it’s caught me a little off guard. I’ve said “Great!” but really, I had no idea because I had just moved here and was struggling just to find my way to the grocery store. So now that I’ve lived here for a bit, I thought I’d share all my feels about this move and tell you how I actually am liking my new city.

Rental Backsplash Options: Is It Worth It?

One of my favorite bloggers, Anna Dorfman, has been reading my mind lately and sharing some affordable, temporary options for kitchen backslashes in rentals (check out this post, this post, and this post). This is a very tricky subject, I think. Should I bother to fix up something like my kitchen backsplash in my apartment, where I will probably only live for a year or so?

I’m leaning towards yes, always. Ha!

Volunteer Park

Oh hey there! I've been away from the blog for a while because we don't have internet at our apartment. Oy. I'm so mad at AT&T. Valued customer, my butt.

If you follow me on Instagram (and I hope you do), you may have noticed me hinting that I've been a bit stressed lately. More than a bit. I've been extremely stressed, and it's been wearing me down. I keep thinking I'm getting sick. Or maybe I am sick. I can't even tell.

We're Moved In and My Least Favorite Thing About Seattle Is....

All our stuff is in the Seattle apartment, and I have made a promise to myself to never again move until I can afford to hire a moving company to do it for me. I'm so tired of carrying my dresser and mattress up and down stairs.  But we're done with that for a while!

We moved in and we haven't gotten our wifi set up yet, so I haven't been able to blog in a few days. I want to show you how everything has fit into the little place. Somehow, we managed to lose both our HAMMER and our DRILL in the move, so until I get my new ones from Amazon, nothing is hanging from the wall or ceiling. So it looks a little more crowded than it should.

The Little Apartment on Capitol Hill

One more little step in the process is complete. We picked up the keys to our little apartment, and we are free to move in. First I had to take photos, and next I need to clean, but baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Let's Preview Our New Neighborhood

{Via Wikipedia}
Hello friends! I have exciting news...we have an apartment in the city of Seattle!

I'm so relieved that the apartment hunting process is over, and we can start moving in later this week. I'll share pictures as soon as we're in, but for now, here's a few of the details. It's a one bedroom apartment in a neighborhood we LOVE-Capitol Hill. It's a building from the 60's, so it's not exactly pre-WWII charm, but it has hardwood floors, a pedestal sink, big windows, and a quirky personality that I like. Most of all, it was the location and the price that sold me. $1345 per month will shock all my Missouri friends and family, I'm sure, but trust me. We got a deal.

A Look at Our Landing Pad

This was my view from the Pike Place Market. 
Seattle is beautiful. Mountains, tall piney trees, bodies of water with outdoors-y, attractive people all over the place. The buildings in downtown Seattle are shiny. The streets are so clean, and there is a Starbucks everywhere I look. Everything I've heard is true, and I'm so happy to be here.

Big Life Changes (I Live in Seattle Now!)

Hey stranger!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have moved to Seattle, WA. I had planned to write a "Guess what? We're moving to Seattle!" post, but instead I had to pack the moving truck and drive across the country, so instead this is a "Guess what? We just moved to Seattle!" post.

Woven Wall Art by Romeo Reyna

Oh hey there.

I think I stumbled onto something the other night. I was on one of those Pinterest binges where you click on one thing, then another, and another, and before long you are looking at things totally unrelated to what you were first looking at. It is the biggest time waste I can think of. I usually say that about video games, but at least playing video games makes you good at something. Pinterest is stupid. Yeah, I said it.

Anyway, I stumbled onto some woven wall hangings with that chunky, 70's look that I love, and the name Romeo Reyna popped up. The only notable name I've come across associated with vintage fiber art is Don Freedman. Now I had this new name to search with, and here's what I found.

Some great images and not much else.

I found a blurb about him in a 1978 issue of Texas Monthly that says,
Hang the expense and hang one of Romeo Reyna's gorgeous tapestries. For $1000 minimum, he'll do a custom order for you, using the traditional American Indian upright loom technique. Hallmarks of his style are bright, undulating patterns and course, nubby textures. When not in his studio in Lubbock, Reyna can be found at his restaurant, the Azteca Nuevo. Samples of his work are also on display at Olla Padrida in Dallas.

{101 in 1001} I Read 20 Books!

Actually, I read a couple more than this. I'm hooked on reading now. My favorites were the two by David Sedaris, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, Beautiful Ruins, and Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

I've never been much of a reader in the past, but now I love it. That's the kind of thing I was hoping I would get to say when I created my 101 in 1001 list.

#15, Check!*

I did something I'm kind of proud of.

I got a tattoo!**


Yep, flowers. I'm so unoriginal. I just really like them. Some people seem to have a lot favorite things, but I don't really have too many of those things. So I went with flowers.

Also, you might notice that it is rather large. I REALLY like that. I knew if I wanted a tattoo, I wanted a tattoo, not some tiny little thing that could be mistaken for a mole.

Seriously, I feel so awesome all the time. The flowers turned out gorgeous, and even though I didn't pay very much attention to the placement while it was happening (first-timer), I got incredibly lucky, because it's perfect. All my short sleeve shirts cover it, so I can wear all my same clothes to work. Obviously, it shows with sleeveless tops, but I don't usually wear those to work anyway, because I'm so forgetful about shaving my armpits. And I teach fifth grade. So no.

The flowers sit right on my shoulder, and the color is incredible. When it first healed, I was a little disappointed that the colors seem to fade slightly. Then I started being more aware of people around me with tattoos. Now I've noticed that the colors in mine are pretty amazing.  I went to Sarah Blinkhorn at Hearts of Fire Tattoo in Springfield, MO, if you're interested.

This was such an exciting thing to do. I felt brave. And of course, I'm so predictable. I want more!

* This item was #15 on my 101 in 1001 list. Please take a look at my list, and let me know if my list inspires you to start your own!

** Please remember, this tattoo is on my body permanently. Negative comments will only hurt my feelings. If tattoos are not your thing, then just politely ignore this post.

Should We Buy an Airstream?

My husband and I have recently discovered the Airstream subculture. We've caught that bug and now we can't help ourselves. Can you blame us?

We started talking about buying one, then we started looking. Now we're hooked. We're thinking a 1970's-80's 29' or 31' Airstream camper would probably be what we're looking for.

The one on the beach is Matthew McConaughey's Airstream, by the way.

The thing is, they're expensive. New ones are outrageous, somewhere around $60,000-$80,000 for what we want. Vintage ones older than about 1970 start getting very pricey, too. If they've been remodeled inside, the price jumps up quite a bit, so now we're tossing around the idea of getting one that needs a little TLC and fixing it up. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew. But maybe we could do this. Here are some interior inspiration photos we've been admiring:

Look at all that seating and storage!

I would definitely paint every surface in the thing white. Look how big that appears, even though it is really a very tiny space. :)

The lights on this one look cozy. And I could totally install flooring and paint cabinets.

I'm not crazy about this decor, but this guy has a ton of great information on his Airstream remodel. He, his wife, and his three kids all live in their Airstream full-time.


Another with tons of white. I would need everything to be very white and calm.

We've been looking at a few, but we're still not sure what the perfect deal would even look like. What do you think? Should I become the queen of Rand's double-wide Airstream?

All sources for these beautiful images can be found on my Pinterest board, Vintage Travel Trailers.

This Book Is Changing My Life

{Photo by Jordan Ferney via Oh Happy Day on Instagram}

This book popped up on Oh Happy Day's Instragram feed lately, and within minutes, I had read the reviews and ordered it on Amazon. I thought it might be exactly what I was looking for, and I haven't been disappointed.

You guys. I can't recommend this book enough.

See this? This is just the beginning.

Yeah, that's seven bins of stuff I cleaned out of my house to donate (to the CARE Shelter Thrift Shop of course!) There were three additional bins before that, and this was just the first day I started reading.

I need to tell you about this book. NEED TO. It's called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. Let me give you a quick run down of the highlights and takeaways, because now I'm a believer in Marie Kondo's method.

1. Marie, who now offers her services helping people clean and organize their homes, has always been obsessed with cleaning and organization. She talks a lot about how she obsessed over home decor magazines and tidying strategies as a kids. The way she describes herself as a child reminds me of when I was little, when I sewed all my own Barbie clothes and taught myself to knit and crochet. Some nerdy kid habits never go away, and some turn into lifetime hobbies or even careers. Still one of my nerdy hobbies will blossom into a career...

2. My favorite thing to take away from this book is Marie's reasons and strategies for separating yourself from material items. She mentions things like if you can't even remember what's in that closet, there's probably nothing in there you'll miss too much. Stop keeping things because you'll use them someday, or read it someday, or because you can imagine it being upcycled or put to good use. Instead of clinging to material items, thank the item for serving its purpose, and throw it out. While I don't believe that my socks can understand my gratitude, I love this perspective. Throwing things out is not wasteful if the item has served its purpose. Be grateful and move on.

3. I wish I could hire Marie to come to my home and help me tidy.

4. Don't push your crap on others. Material items, unless they bring you joy, are a burden. Often we feel guilty about throwing things out, so we ease that guilt by giving the items to other people. It's not about generosity; it's about not facing the music. If you have something that someone you know could really use, give it to them. But don't parade your trash in front of others and guilt them into taking it. Especially your mother. She will take your trash just because she loves you.

5. Get real about sentimental items. You can have good memories without being a hoarder. Thank the item for the sweet memories it gave you, then donate it.

6. Marie really opened my eyes to a lot of the things that take up space in my house that don't get much thought. For example, extra bedding for guests. That's nice, except we only have overnight guests about once a year, and never on purpose. So why do I need all that extra bedding? Marie points out, if you have any doubt about whether or not you should keep your extra bedding, just smell it to decide. Mine smelling musty and unused, so out it went.

7. Don't keep anything that doesn't actually bring you joy. One of my fears about cleaning out my closet was just that I might run out of outfits in between laundry loads. That's dumb. I'd rather do laundry more often than have a bunch of things in my closet that I never wear or don't enjoy wearing. Interestingly, I don't feel like I'm doing laundry any more often than before.

8. Once you learn to relax about letting material things go, it feels so, so, so good.

9. Once again, I don't think my stuff has feelings, but Marie points out that it helps to think of them like that. I wouldn't enjoy spending years and years in a plastic container in the dark. If you have things that never see the light of day, you probably don't need those things.

10. Storage solutions are just fancy places to arrange crap you don't need. I've always known this in my heart, which is why my head explodes most of the time I get on Pinterest. Now I understand why.

Local friends, I'll lend you my copy. This book is incredible, and being free of stuff I don't need feels so peaceful. To be clear, I still have lots of stuff, and I still need to dispose of a lot. But I intend to only keep the things I love. Only clothes I love, only books I love, only little things that I really use and enjoy. And I'm not carrying around any anxiety about when I'm going to get around to using all that stuff I've been hoarding. I'm free.

Want to borrow my book?

Furniture Friday // The Peacock Chair

Time for another Furniture Friday! This time I've got peacock chairs (aka fan chairs) on the brain, ever since I picked up this one at a flea market recently. I love that they aren't a classic piece of furniture. They're a statement piece for sure! When I search for images of them, they tend to be in really beautiful, bohemian styled rooms. Some even manage in really modern spaces. These chairs can do amazing things, I tell ya! Here are a few of my favorites.

Important to note: The peacock chair was Morticia Addams' chair of choice.

Hmm. My home clearly needs more textiles for draping.

All image sources can be found on my Pinterest board, Peacock Chairs.

Living Room

There's not much going on around the Eckhouse these days, but I noticed my house tour photos are really outdated. I guess blogs require some routine maintenance or whatever. Anyway, I decided to play house photographer in my living room. The results aren't too bad, I think.

The peacock chair has come downstairs, where it can get more attention. Plus it told me it wants to be seen with the giant wall hanging.

That lamp was a freebie from my friend Amanda. It needs a shade and some rewiring, but it has an awesome shape. I hope to get brave enough to play with it soon. Anybody out there know anything about rewiring vintage lamps? That scares me a little, but I've seen others manage it.

I think I made the right decision sticking with the green sofa. It keeps the room light and bright. Now I'm working on expanding my collection of pillows to break it up a little bit. I'm also dreaming of finding a reasonably priced cowhide rug for the middle of the living room.

And here's an extra photo of Simon chasing the laser pointer and scratching up the sofa. He's such a cute little monster.

Some Etsy Ch-Ch-Changes

When I have an idea, I tend to just go for it and work out the details later.

Blog, boom.

House, boom.

Etsy shop, boom.

I make it happen. It's only later, when I've had a chance to reflect, that I start to make changes and improvements (or regret being so impulsive, ahem, sofa). This blog has gone through several name changes and styles over time. I'm actually surprised I finally found something to stick with. I lived in my house almost five years before I got the courage to paint anything. Now we know how that has turned out (I mean, I paint stuff too much). And the Etsy shop, yes, it is evolving as well.

When I first started my shop, almost a year ago, I had no idea what I was doing. But I know I learn best by doing, and I have! I started out with a goofy name, Eck Art, which didn't roll off the tongue that well, but it was a little bit funny if you knew my last name. It was annoying to say, however, and it didn't really match my dreams of including vintage finds in my shop. Plus, I really, really wanted a logo. So I needed something that looked a little prettier when written.

So, I changed it. Yeah, that's what I've been getting at this whole time. I CHANGED MY SHOP NAME. How exciting!

I named it after my grandma, Viola Maye.

Grandma's name was spelled in a pretty, unique way, plus it's just a unique name, anyway. Plus, she's my grandma. Perfect. And a logo? BOOM.

 photo ViolaMaye-smallcopysquare.jpg

I'm so legit! Now what?! I don't know. But click on over to my Etsy shop and admire my logo. Also, check out Brand Me Beautiful if you need any pretty digital stuff made. And you know, if you want to share my shop with others, I'll love you forever.


I wanted to share this adorable dress with you today. For this post, I have the pleasure of teaming up with eShakti, an online source for beautiful dresses like this one. This is the pleat neck bird print dress, and I'm in love. 

To be clear, this is a dress, but it's February, and even though this was a particularly nice day, the temperature only got up to about 52 degrees. So I added the black sweater, and used a ponytail holder to cinch it up and keep the shape of the dress.

The biggest benefit of eShakti is all the customizations you can make to their items. I was given the option to customize the length, sleeves, and neckline, and as a teacher, I was so excited to be able to customize the length. For normal wear, I'm happy to wear my dresses above the knee, but at school, I need something a little more modest, unless I want to plan on wearing leggings every time. I'm pretty tall, so it's rare to find a dress that fits correctly and is still long enough. Plus, this length gives the dress such a fun vintage look. I feel like Betty Draper when I wear it.

The dress arrived quickly and has a high quality feel to it. I like that it's lined, so I feel adequately covered and don't have to worry about my underwear showing through. The waist has a bit of stretch to it, so it's flattering on my hourglass shape, both before and after meals.  You know exactly what I mean.

Plus it has pockets. I seem to really love the pockets in every picture.

Dress: c/o eShakti
Shoes: Payless
Sweater: Old Navy

*I want to mention, eShakti provided this dress for me to review. However, the opinions are 100% my own.

Find eShakti:
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