Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wibbly Wobbly

Nan Lawson

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... timey wimey... stuff."

Even though most of us must live in linear time, we do get an extra day today. How will you spend it?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Scenes from Life

We had king cake for Fat Tuesday, and I got the prize, which was a half a pecan. I guess that means I was king for the day, or rather, queen.

Reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and an article about Fran├žoise Gilot's latest exhibition.

The weather has been schizophrenic lately; one day I'm all in wool, the next, light spring layers.

If you follow me on twitter, you might know that we didn't have running water or heat in my building for several days (a problem which still hasn't been fixed...only temporarily restored in the most ramshackle way). I know there are millions of people living in far worse circumstances, though, so I won't complain here. We did ultimately decide to spend a night in a hotel when I got so cold I couldn't stand it any more. Look how happy and clean I am after a night in the hotel. I can only imagine what my "before" picture would've looked like; I'm sure I was wretched and miserable.

One good thing about not being able to cook in our apartment was that we had an excuse to eat out and try a couple of restaurants in our neighborhood. I ate pancakes for the first time in years, and they were divine.

I guess you can tell from this post that I fell off the wagon, so to speak, of my goal to eat less sugar and more vegetables this past week. But, hopefully, I can get back to cooking regularly (and eating healthier) soon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday

What are you guys up to this weekend? There's a new exhibit of Frida Kahlo's personal photographs in Arlington that apparently has never been shown in the U.S. before, and I'm really excited to see it. Her life is no less fascinating than her work, and really, one can't properly be understood without the other. (The above photograph/quote isn't part of the exhibit, but it's number 1,001 why I love her; I found it here.)

We also have plans to check out another museum (which to be honest, I'm less excited about because it's not art related, even though I've heard fantastic things about it) because I have a groupon that's about to expire (story of my life almost letting those things go to waste). And I really really want to get out and take some photos! Taking photos inside my apartment has become depressing. Actually, everything in my apartment has become depressing, but more on that another time.

I hope you guys have a creative and fun weekend! xo, Mary

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five Easy Ways to Add Color to Your Space

A lot of us are tight on time and money these days, but that's no reason why you can't change up your decor every now and then and add some lovely color to your life. Here are a few easy projects or ideas that could be accomplished over a weekend, either diy or purchased inexpensively.

1. Add a cluster of bright pompoms and paper lanterns over a bed or kitchen table, or maybe to brighten up your workspace. There are lots of Etsy shops that sell pompoms or you can easily make your own. You can find paper lanterns at pretty much any home decor shop or party planning store. I found this website that carries lanterns in almost every color and size. (You can hang them with fishing wire and those little 3M removeable (and reusable) clear plastic hooks or just tape them up.)

(Source: Rebecca June via Apartment Therapy)
2. Hate your flooring but can't afford to replace or refinish? Or maybe you live in an apartment and aren't allowed to make any permanent changes to the place? Use vinyl tape to add stripes or another pattern (chevron, polka dot, etc.) to your floor to create an "area rug," add interest to a hallway, or create an all-over floor installation in a kitchen or kid's room. This tape is the same kind used to mark gym floors and warehouses; it's very inexpensive and highly durable. Bonus: it works on walls too! You're only limited by your imagination and perhaps the colors of tape you can find.

(Source: diy Design Fanatic)
3. Paint the inside of a white (or natural wood) bookcase or cabinet with a bright color. I like the turquoise that this person chose, but lots of colors would work. A golden yellow or kelly green would look great too, or alternatively, you can wallpaper the inside of shelves with a fun pattern.

Pretty Pots
(Source: Christine Chitnis)
4. Make your desk or dresser prettier with fabric-covered storage containers. The diy linked above shows how to cover flower pots, which I think would be really cute holding pencils or pens or other office supplies. There are many tutorials online for covering cardboard storage boxes or vintage suitcases with fabric also. Obviously, you can make these look modern or vintage depending on the fabric you choose. If you aren't into diy or just don't have the time, these bright boxes from Container Store are super smart looking.

The Wall of Summer
(Source: girlhula)
5. Hang art! Of course, anyone who has ever read this blog could probably see this one coming. There are so many wonderful (and inexpensive) prints on Etsy these days to suit every artistic taste. But if you don't want to commit to large scale artwork, you can hang art (or vintage) postcards as in the photo above. You don't need fancy frames, but if you prefer a more formal framed gallery wall, you can find cheap ones at Ikea and Target, or maybe get lucky at a thrift store. You can also suspend postcards from a string with mini clothespins for a garland effect.

I hope you guys found these ideas helpful and fun. I might do more decorating or interior design inspiration posts in the future. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Garden Delights

(Clockwise from top left: Eye Candy by Peggy Wolf Design; Golden Crumbs by JPG Photography; 1950s candy tulips party dress from Custard Heart Vintage; and vintage lotus bowls from same same mary jane.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Daphne van den Heuvel

I'm in love with these illustrations by Daphne van den Heuvel of the Dutch model/photographer Iekeline Stange. I'm a sucker for bold fields of color combined with graphic black and white "comic book" style figures. And van den Heuvel captures Stange's unique features perfectly, which she outlines and emphasizes through the use of defined black shadows, almost as if Stange is lit by spotlight in each image.

Daphne van den Heuvel is also a fashion designer. You can see a few of her designs modeled here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Scenes from Life

A few things I've been wearing, reading, making, eating, and seeing out my window (though all the snow is gone now). Happy weekend! xo, Mary

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

We've had a couple of warmer sunny days, and I'm so ready for spring. (I know some of you are with me!) Here are a few lovely things from Etsy...fresh, light, and blooming...that have temporarily quelled my spring fever...or maybe made it worse, I don't know. ;)

(Clockwise from top left: felt bird from Sea Pinks; New York art print from Laura Amiss; tangerine silk blouse from janeyclothing; and crochet garland from Emma Lamb.)

(Clockwise from top left: notecard set from wit & whistle; hot air balloon necklace from BeautySpot; floral fabric tape from GiftWrapSoPretty; and Sir Hopsalot from Forestblue.)

*post title from a quote by Hal Borland.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Charley Harper

Charles Harper illustration
From a 1960's biology book
Charles Harper illustration
From a 1960's biology book
From a 1960's biology book
Charles Harper illustration
From a 1960's biology book
Charles Harper illustration

All of these images come from a 1961 biology book illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Charley Harper. I wish text books had looked like this when I was in school; I might have been more interested in science class. Actually, who am I kidding? I would've just stared at the illustrations and doodled in my notebook. :)

(Click on images to go directly to sources.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY Yarn-Wrapped Bottle Vase

This simple diy is a great way to use up leftover yarn and upcycle empty bottles into bud vases. The best thing about it is that no special skills or equipment are required. Trust me, anyone can do this!

What you'll need: an empty glass bottle, yarn (you can do the whole thing in one color if you prefer; I just have a thing for stripes), glue (I used Mod Podge, but any white "school glue" will work), a sponge or paint brush, and scissors.

Start at the bottom, brush on a healthy dollop of glue, and start wrapping your yarn. (Some might prefer to remove the label first, but I don't think it's necessary since you will be totally covering it up with yarn.)

I decided to change colors about an inch and a half up. If you are a perfectionist, you'll want to try to have all of your seams (where one color ends and a new one begins) on the back side of your bottle. But I wouldn't worry too much about it if they don't line up; once it's finished, you'll hardly notice.

Keep wrapping and alternating colors, remembering to brush on more glue every few strands.

Wrap yarn all the way to the top, and you're finished! Place a flower (or in my case, a bouquet of beaded flowers) in your new gorgeous wrapped vase and admire your creation!

I've wanted to do this ever since I saw yarn-wrapped candleholders in Anthropologie's catalog a couple of years ago. Then this morning, I googled "yarn-wrapped" to see if I should hyphenate or not (the English major inside never goes away), and I discovered all manner of yarn-wrapped things! Apparently, it is quite the crafting trend right now. There are tons of bottles wrapped like I did, large letters wrapped for display on shelves or walls (also words wrapped by bending coat hangers into lovely cursive), small storage boxes, picture name it; people are wrapping everything with yarn. Personally, I love this trend because I'm all about soft wooley textures, and it's a great way to reuse old things and add color to your space.

What do you think? Love it or over it? Also, if anyone decides to try this diy, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. xo, Mary

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Message of the Day

How sweet is this print from Love Sugar Design? It would be really cute hanging in a kid's room. It reminds me of all the sentimental things parents say to their kids that necessitate much eye-rolling in response, even though they can't help but smile and feel all warm and gushy inside.

It would also make a great Valentine's Day gift for any art-loving sweetheart. Such a simple design, yet something about the placement of the text and the heart just works, you know?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Playlist

Oleg Gordienko
Tuesday Playlist17 by Mary on Grooveshark

Hope you enjoy this mix! Also, I made some new blog buttons yesterday (check out the sidebar). Feel free to grab one! Do you prefer buttons in widths other than 150 or 200? If so, let me know in the comments, and I'll make some more. xo, Mary

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Nature of What We See

A quick glance and you might think these are macro photographs, but these beauties are actually oil paintings of minerals and semi-precious gems by Canadian artist Carly Waito. I love that each image looks familiar yet also like gazing at an alien planet. I often think objects in nature take on a strange and almost supernatural character when viewed up close. Waito accurately captures the unique properties of each specimen, but unlike a scientific rendering, she emphasizes color variations and highlights and shadows and also exaggerates depth of field, all of which allow us to better see the mystery of these beautiful objects.