Friday, September 28, 2012


I thought I'd be sharing pics of our new lights a few days ago, but what can I say...this week has been hectic. As soon as I finish typing this post, I'm on my way to the apartment to try to pack up the remaining odds and ends and clean like crazy. Tomorrow the plumber is coming back to replace the leaking bathroom faucets (yay!), and we also have a structural engineer coming by to look at some cracks. Hopefully, it's nothing serious, but our home inspector suggested we get them checked out.

Now, on to the lights!

Dining Room
You might think this chandelier is not that bad, but I promise, in real life it is really ugly. It has some type of marbleized brown finish on it and a tacky chain at the top, which I did not manage to capture in the photo.

We replaced it with a Possini Euro white flower pendant. (I can't remember the website I ordered from at the moment, but if you do a search, it's sold at many places). IKEA has a version of this pendant that's about $100 cheaper, but it does not look as nice. It's clunky, has fewer petals, and doesn't filter light as well. We went to the store to check it out before we made our decision, and the difference was noticeable enough to splurge a little.

Here's a close up of the lovely marbleized finish on the old chandelier. I tried to capture how pretty the new pendant looks when it's on, but I don't think this photo really does it justice.

This "crystal" pendant hanging over the kitchen island was truly the worst. Even the electrician we had out to the house commented on it. It didn't provide any direct task lighting, which you need over an island where you will be chopping/measuring/mixing, and instead, produced bizarre shadows and prisms all over the ceiling. On top of not being functional at all, it was just plain tacky.

We replaced it with a simple metal industrial pendant from West Elm, which by the way, was on sale for $9.99 (the cord kit is an additional $29). It looks 1,000 times better and actually directs light where we need it! I should've taken a wider shot so you could see the light on the island, but my camera lenses are still packed away somewhere.

You can sort of see the shadows on the wall here. And the simple, clean shape of the new pendant is something I won't get tired of any time soon.

Back Porch
The light on the back porch was missing a cover, and it was so bright at night it felt like it was burning my retinas. I also worried it was shining a beam straight at our neighbors' house behind us (an elderly couple who have the cutest little Scottie dog), and that's just obnoxious.

We bought this cheapo wall light from Home Depot (I think it was $12). I'm not in love with it, but it works much better than the old one and looks nice enough for now. We will be replacing that bulb (which just came out of the old fixture) with a cooler energy-efficient bulb as soon as it burns out.

At some point, I'd like to replace an ugly ceiling fan in the living room and a standard nipple light in the hallway as well, but all in good time.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! xo, Mary

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome Home

Hi guys! We've been busy getting settled in and also having some work done on the house. We realized a couple of days after moving in that we needed to call a plumber and an electrician thanks to some shoddy work done by the contractor who renovated this place before we bought it. Both bathroom sinks were leaking and lights were flickering on and off. It's been a bit stressful (and expensive), but hopefully everything will be sorted soon.

I'll share some photos tomorrow of the first real upgrades we've made, changing out some light fixtures that were particularly heinous. (I'm pretty sure no one has used the word heinous since 1985, but that's the only appropriate descriptor that comes to mind.)

We have a long list of changes we'd like to make at some point and furniture we need to buy (we still don't have a dining room table or chairs), but we'll get there eventually. And of course, I'll share photos here and there as we make progress.

This little welcome mat was the very first thing I added to our new home. (If anyone's curious, it came from Modcloth and is made with fade-resistant and environmentally-friendly inks, so that's a plus).

Tomorrow we have some men coming to put in a new shed in the back yard. The old one was torn down before we moved in, and we found scary things underneath...weird looking, unidentifiable pieces of things and animal bones, like something out of a Stephen King novel.

Here's hoping we don't have any more surprises this week.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Moving right along...

holy suitcases batman
(Click on image to go directly to source)

Hey guys! It will be a little quiet over here while we're moving and until we get internet set up at the new place. Hopefully, it won't take as long this time as it did last year!

Also, I realized I somehow missed my two-year blog birthday earlier this month. I'm not really one for big celebrations, but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you awesome people who stop by here every day. This little corner of art and inspiration makes me happy.

See you soon! xo, Mary

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

(From left to right: "Flowerpop" by Linda Ketelhut; "Ariba Familia" by Leah Giberson; and "Skyglider II" by September Wren.)

All of these pieces have a mid-century, 60's vibe and make me think of summer at it's best. Actually, they make me nostalgic for a time I never knew, if that makes sense...some sort of idealized American childhood full of carnivals and road trips and floral wallpaper with big graphic repeats. Mostly, this grouping just makes me happy.

To see other Instant Art Collections, click here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scenes from Life

I had a successful outing to Target the other day, meaning I went in for one thing, which I couldn't find, and walked out with these limited-edition Andy Warhol Campbell's soup cans instead.

Aren't they awesome?

I also had to try these candy corn Oreos, also limited-edition. They didn't exactly taste like candy corn, more like vanilla mixed with candy corn, sort of frosting-esque. They were good but very sweet.

We finally got the shades up in the bedrooms, five in all. This project took longer than expected because we discovered soon after we started that we have metal frame windows instead of wood, so that meant we needed titanium drill bits, self-tapping screws, and a lot of muscle. If you have a fancy drill/drive thingy, it's not so hard to put screws into metal, but we didn't want to spend an extra $200 for this small project, so we took turns just muscle-ing the screws in there. Needless to say, we are both still sore.

I was playing Frankenstein with the cupcakes, cutting them apart and mushing them back together to make my own hybrid flavors. I would say it was a successful experiment.

A plane taking off in a dramatic storm. I'm sure it was bumpy getting through those clouds.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Message of the Day

vapor qualquer

I think this print is perfect, and it actually goes with the Instant Art Collection from Wednesday, no?

What are you guys up to this weekend? We will be packing, packing, and more packing. I also plan to do some work on the house, like more cleaning, installing roman shades on the bedroom windows and a shower curtain rod in the bathroom, and maybe making a trip to the paint store to get some samples. We have an open floor plan (if you can even call it "open" in such a tiny house-haha), and I have a pretty good idea what color I'd like to paint the living room/dining room, but the rest of the house is still up in the air. If anyone has suggestions of favorite paints they've used or maybe has seen photos of great wall colors recently, please share links in the comments!

Hope everyone has a good weekend! xo, Mary

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

(Clockwise from top left: Chance Encounter by Stasia Burrington; "The Grid" by Victoria English Charm; "Hives in Glass, On the Lava Rock" by polarplaces - Karina Gomez; "Vegetarian Dino" by milkandhoney05.)

Ever fancy a chance encounter with a veggie dino and some astronauts in a geodesic dome in a forest in space with twinkly lights/stars/fireflies? You did!?! Well, this is the art collection for you! ;)

Seriously though, don't these pieces just somehow fit together? I think they could spark endless daydreams and imaginative tales...and might be dangerous if placed too near my work desk, where the working is supposed to happen but frequently doesn't.

To see other Instant Art Collections, click here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Scenes from Life

We went to the Arlington County Fair a few weeks ago. It was a whirl of bright lights, sweet smells, cute happy kids, and laughter mixed with screams of terror/delight...the kind of sensory overload I think only happens on warm summer nights.

Did you go to a fair this summer?