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May 31, 2009

The Red Shoes

After reading Dooce's post about the book, I just ordered The Red Shoes. Judging from these images, she's right; each page does seem worthy of framing.

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I have a feeling my copy of the book will not stay intact.

May 29, 2009

Sweet Talk

I used to keep a separate food-related blog, but have been neglecting it for a while now. So from time to time, I like to post here about local restaurants.

One of the things that I've long thought was missing from the mid-Peninsula was a really good bakery. So whenever Jon and I were in charge of dessert for a family dinner, we would usually drive up to San Francisco to pick up sweets. But with the recent additions to Palo Alto's Town & Country, that has changed.

Last weekend, we picked up mini-cupcakes from Kara's, cookies from Mayfield Bakery, and a few more treats from Calafia. They were a hit, so now we can save ourselves the trip to SF for desserts! (Although I admit that Tartine is worth the drive up 280.)

We also recently checked out Madera restaurant in Menlo Park, which opened about two months ago. We totally enjoyed our meal; dessert was my favorite course. We ordered the beignets and strawberry-rhubarb cobbler off of the restaurant menu. And we couldn't resist the caramel popcorn — with salted almonds, macadamia nuts and cashews — from the lounge menu. We'll definitely be back. Next time, we may just hang out in the bar area with a bowl of popcorn (served in pretty Heath ceramics!).

May 28, 2009

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily is a local design company that is probably best known for its charming baby/kid decor. But they've got plenty of lovely grown-up bedding and products. Like:

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Leather Mirror - Reminds me of this one that I've been obsessed with!

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Key Valance & Border Panel

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Drum Table - Can you believe it's papier-mâché?!

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And I love their fabrics by the yard.


May 27, 2009

That's a Wrap

A few weeks ago, I started the process of transforming a sad little closet downstairs into a gift-wrap space. This is what it looked like before I cleaned it up:

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And here is the after:

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The closet isn't big enough to wrap really large presents — that usually happens on the dining table — but it's nice to have all of the paper, tissue, bows, ribbons, etc., stored in one place now. The shelves that are covered by the patterned curtains were pre-existing and are perfect for flat sheets of wrapping paper. I added the white curtain panel to hide the miscellaneous boxes that we continue to keep in there.

There's just a single recessed light in the closet, so the photos aren't the greatest. But you get the idea (I hope).

May 26, 2009

Must-Read: Mighty Closet

Have you seen this new feature that Maggie has launched? It's called Mighty Closet and it is genius.

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Says Maggie: "So I thought I’d visit a few of my stylish friends and take photos of their favorite outfits. Aubrey Sabala is my first Mighty Closet guinea pig." That is one amazing green dress.

Easy Elegance

I was at the car wash last week and I think they recently replenished their selection of books (yes, it's one of those car washes with a gift shop). I spent most of my wait looking at all of the pretty pictures in Atlanta Bartlett's Easy Elegance.

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If you're a fan of Emily Chalmers' books — Flea Market Style, Contemporary Country — then this one is right up your alley.

May 21, 2009

Bird on a Wire

See this birdcage chandelier?

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When I first saw it, I thought it was from Anthropologie. But Danny Seo, the genius that he is, created this lighting fixture for just $15! Here's how he did it:

"I took a $9.99 paper lighting fixture from Ikea and ripped off the paper to leave the exposed wire ribs. Then I wrapped it all with chicken wire from Lowe’s, added some branches and a few craft store birds from Michael’s craft store. I chose interesting bulbs (since it’s exposed) and voila! Birdcage chandelier. It was inspired by a $2000 version I saw in an antique store and thought …'I could make that.'"

P.S. You can see more of Danny's makeover of actress Kerry Washington's apartment by clicking on the link above. It's also featured in the June 2009 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine.

May 20, 2009

Brown Sugar Kitchen

After reading Abbey's post about framing Gourmet covers in her kitchen, I went over to the magazine's website to see if they sell back issues. I got all distracted and hungry because I saw this:

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Look at that glorious plate of chicken and waffles! It turns out, the restaurant featured in the Gourmet write-up is right here in the Bay Area! It's Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland.

I want to go to there.

May 19, 2009

Checklist

It was in the 90s around here this past weekend, so I didn't get any work/writing done. I was too busy doing things like ... Dining al fresco at a local restaurant, where we saw one of Jon's former professors arrive on horseback ... Hanging out at the neighborhood pool ... Proving that I will basically eat any food made with bacon (I tried the Bacon Apple Maple donut at Dynamo and the Bacon Peanut Brittle at Humphrey Slocombe).

So now this week is turning out to be one of those checklist weeks, where I've got this task and that task to take care of:

            ☐ Write feature on two awesome SF people.
            ☐ Write weekly Stylemaker Spotlight.
            ☑ Dentist.
            ☑ Vote.
            ☐ Car wash.
            ☐ Buy paint for the gift-wrap closet.
            ☐ Finish the gift-wrap closet.
            ☐ Ikea.
            ☐ Watch "Gossip Girl" season finale.

Hmmm. The two things I've accomplished are the least time-consuming. I'd better get to work on the rest of this list!

May 13, 2009

Alphabet City

In my previous post, I referenced an article in Charlotte magazine's quarterly Home & Garden publication. The story mentions Etsy retailer bibbity, who sells these adorable alphabet cards:

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Available in English, French or Spanish, they're $58 each. I want (but have no place/need for) these.

Child's Play

I somehow landed on Charlotte magazine's Home & Garden site this morning and found all sorts of pretty pictures. I especially like these children's rooms:

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Read about these rooms and see more charming photos in the "Hey Kids!" feature.

May 12, 2009

If the Shoe (Doesn't) Fit

Confession: I sometimes have the urge to buy shoes from Anthropologie and display them around the house like artwork.*

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* Because most of their shoes do not fit me — they rarely carry anything smaller than a size 6 — but they are so, so pretty.

May 11, 2009

Swing Time

I am in love with this indoor swing from one of Jay Jeffers' recent projects:

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It has me daydreaming about Pottery Barn's Chesapeake Hanging Lounger — which I could totally picture on our lower deck. (This warm weather has me thinking about all the cool outdoor furniture that's out there now.)

Weekend Eats

Living in the Bay Area, you get spoiled on so many fronts. Like eating out. There are so many excellent restaurants serving all sorts of cuisines, no matter what your budget or what ambiance you're after. This weekend, we enjoyed two exceptional dinners (both were a bit of a splurge):

  • On Friday night, we met up with friends for dinner at Quince. It was our first time there and, hopefully, it will not be our last. I thought the pastas were especially good; they gave me flashbacks of our recent trip to Italy. My lamb dish — the meat was served four ways — was another standout. Given all that we had to celebrate that evening, and the company we were in, it was about as perfect an evening as you could ask for.
  • The next night, we went south to Los Gatos to Manresa. We dined there a few years ago and, during that visit, opted for a three-course dinner. This time, I wanted the full David Kinch experience, so we ordered the Tasting Menu. With the exception of the chicken (which apparently was a new dish they were trying out) and the salad (I'm just not much of a salad eater), I thought all 8+ courses were divine. After our four-hour meal, we were offered a tour of the kitchen and then sent home with sea-salt caramels (which were great with coffee the next morning).

Driving home from Manresa, I commented to Jon that it would be hard to follow up these two dinners. What would we do on Sunday? He ended up making a stop at the Dutch Goose last night and picked up some food. Sure, Quince and Manresa were awesome, but those spicy deviled eggs from the Goose are hard to beat.

Sew and Tell

This weekend, I had access to industrial sewing and overlock machines. So, with some excellent guidance/close supervision, I did some sewing for the first time in ... I can't even remember how long! (I haven't used my sewing machine at all since moving nine months ago.) I whipped up this little pillow for the armchair in our guest bedroom:

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The pillow is made with some leftover fabric that was in the workroom, and I can't believe how well the colors in it match with the armchair and ottoman. (You'll have to trust me on that, since the photo is a bit dark.) I think the chair still needs either another pillow (maybe a square one behind the rectangle) or a throw (probably in orange).

I also sewed a pair of curtain panels for the gift-wrap closet, which I'll hopefully be able to share photos of soon. (Just to clarify: There are no windows in the closet. I removed a couple of cabinet doors and decided to replace them with fabric panels. Again, I managed to find the perfect pattern in the workroom.)

May 10, 2009

Paper Boat Serving Set

Love this set, available at A+R:

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I think I need the large serving dish with the teak oars/servers. (The buoys are salt and pepper shakers.)

May 08, 2009

Poppies Blooming

In our neighborhood, there are poppies blooming everywhere. And I love it! I want to gather them up and bring them inside my house, but that would be illegal; poppies are the state flower and therefore protected.

So I'm hoping for the next best thing: one of Diana Fayt's latest pieces.

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Want want want.

Photo from Diana's Flickr photostream.

May 07, 2009

Displaying Artwork

Did you see this article and slideshow in the NYT today on creative ways to display art? These are my favorites of the ideas Helen Allen, who oversees the Affordable Art Fair, suggested:

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Do Frame adhesive tape from Droog

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Reproduction antique shirt display from Urban Archaeology


May 04, 2009

Snappy Dresser

I was going through all of the photos on my memory card and found another shot from the SF Decorator Showcase that I wanted to share. I love this dresser in the Sports Room designed by Audrey Brandt:

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Painting multicolored drawers would be a great way to revamp an old dresser if you have one stashed away somewhere.

Take Shade

Our trip to Milan/Lake Como last month coincided with design week in Milan. I couldn't resist taking dozens of snapshots of the giant lampshades hanging above Via Montenapoleone, which were installed as part of the annual celebration. At night, Teresa Sapey's Luce dal Lino project illuminated the street.

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The photos were taken at opposite ends of the street. I especially like the patterned lampshades.

P.S. Grace/Design*Sponge has a post today with some snapshots from Milan 2009.