Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Literalist

So it's spirit week at the Bill Gates School for Privileged Children. You're familiar with the concept? Each day has a theme.
Today is "Clash Day".
Meaning this:

But my boy? Was thinking this:

And came upstairs dressed like this:

And asked, "You think this is something the Clash would wear?"

Yeah, honey. I do. I bet all of them have Nordstrom seersucker sportcoats from the children's section.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Things I always wanted, now I have them, but I can't keep them (and I'm not talking about my kids)

There are only so many walls in a house and so many times you can tell your husband the lounge chair is your new "reading nook" before a room is really, totally over-furnished.
So, Mr. Cado and Mr. Eames, it's been a pleasure having you but you really must find lodging elsewhere. Oh, don't worry. We'll find you a beautiful home. Somewhere with a wall of windows that looks out over the xeriscaped yard. There may be BMW's involved. Don't worry...the children will not be allowed to touch you.
In the shop now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Silencio, por favor

I haven't been saying much lately. Maybe you didn't notice? The thing is, lately I can't stand blogs. Mine or yours (but not hers or hers...they do their own stunts and are always redeeming). The thought of barfing out another useless blog post makes me sad. Sometimes the blogosphere smells like one big sewage recycling plant...barfing out the same barf someone already barfed a million barfs ago. It is SO TIRED sometimes it makes me want to go Pete Townsend on my keyboard.
And what's with all the unpaid product endorsements? "This cream cured my chapped udders" "I'm swooning for this." Really? You swooned? Was your corset too tight? Did you have to be revived by smelling salts? Any particular organic brand you'd like to endorse? Cuz the next time you swoon I'm going to punch myself in the face, and I'm really going to need smelling salts.
I had a mean, grouchy, talented AP English teacher in high school. And when we would write, he'd say "If it's already been said, and you can't say it differently, then please DON'T BOTHER!"
Kind of a good rule, don't you think? Maybe a good way not to be a regurgitator is to be honest. Say something truthful, painful, or surprising. If you're a designer, show us your own work. Put something out there that wasn't there before. And if you got nothin of your own, maybe you should go out and DO things for a while and get yourself something.

So in that vein, here's what's really going on this week.
We're applying for new health insurance and they've asked us, a number of times now, both in writing and on recorded phone calls, to swear on our dead mothers that we've never suffered mental or physical ailments of any kind. Because your mothers are going to be dead if we find out you're lying to us. Insurance companies are such goons. I truly fear them and their power as if they're some Japanese street fighting gang controlling my neighborhood.

The final question was totally bizarro. The lady said, please answer yes or no: "I am not seeking insurance because of an illness. It is only for peace of mind."

Oh, what a psychotic system this is. No, of course I wouldn't expect my health insurance to treat my illnesses! That would be crazy!
Geez people, I just don't wanna die! That's all. I'm not even asking for peace of mind. Just agree to stop the bleeding and reattach the limbs if necessary. Please insure me. Or I'll have to defect to Cuba. I like those cars...

Also, the youngest is going totally bat guano on us lately. On top of that, he suddenly can't sleep and wants all the lights on. Which, according to all the parenting books, is the number one sign he's taking drugs or that something far more sinister is going on. Which is why I don't read parenting books. But thanks, stupid child psychologists, for making parenting an even more paranoid experience.

And finally, Pork Chop here sure is cute but he's been busy coating everything in our house in thick, musky, brown dog pee. Like, the smell does not go away after it's cleaned up with toxic, non-Mrs. Meyers, bleach-based contraband cleaners. Yes, getting him fixed will help. But the husband is feigning ineptitude in locating one of the 90 vets within a mile of us to perform this basic task. I'm about to do it myself with a pizza cutter. Shut up, PETA.

Yeah, not glamorous. No product recommendations or overexposed lying-sack-of-poo photos showing us all perfect and enjoying an end-of-summer tomato salad on the beach. I had In-n-Out and a beer for dinner. You want a picture of that?? Besides, it would take too long to crop out the dog pee, the pizza cutter, me shaking a fist at the husband, the oldest rolling his eyes, and the youngest rolling on the floor being weird. Photoshop just isn't that good. And you know what? Neither are we. Deal, yo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Like a lot of you, I'm pretty fabric-obsessed, and I always have my eye out for new and affordable fabrics to use in projects. I was on the IKEA fabric bandwagon for a while (you too, right?) but I'm really over the...garishness of it right now.

On the other hand, you just can't beat their prices. Or can you?
I'm going to give up my secret source for cheap, of-the-moment upholstery fabric. I swear, one look and you're going to launch a full reupholstery campaign at home.

I love this corn-yellow zigzag. It's Rubie Green at one-billionth the cost. I like this for a modern nursery (use it on some Roman shades and the crib bumper...with black piping!) or to craft with; I would love to cover a journal with it. 'Cuz I'm all about expressing my innermost thoughts in ways that can be discovered and made public...

This is the perfect animal print-stylized and subtle. None of that faux-fur nastiness. Perfect in small doses, like a peg-legged Mid Century ottoman (paint the legs glossy black-more glam!) or to reupholster the seats of antique dining chairs. You know, bring those hand-me-downs into the 21st century.

This large paisley-esque print in lipstick red is just crying out for a flamboyantly-shaped vintage wing chair...maybe something with a tufted or channel back?

Mmmm, tasty yellow Ikat. Maybe on a long upholstered bench, or as pillow shams mixed in with gray bedding?

And the best for last, this very oversized charcoal slub zig zag. I have a chrome Milo Baughman lounge/ottoman set that is going to FREAK YOU OUT when it's redone in this fabric. I also ordered some to make dining room curtains. I think it's going to look wild with my Persian rug and Regency furniture. Sort of Disco Debutante.

Anyways, enjoy and let me know if the fabric inspires any projects. Oh yes, it's upholstery width and costs $7.00-$9.99 per yard.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Haus

Has anyone else read this? I can't put it down. It's an intriguing memoir on its own, but the fact that it's told through a foodie perspective makes it endlessly appealing. It's M.F.K. Fisher meets Like Water for Chocolate. Minus the weirdness.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rosewood Koefoeds Hornslet Dining Chairs and Danish Modern bar cart

Some of the most beautiful pieces of my career are soon to be listed, and these two lovelies are no exception...the rosewood on the set of seven Hornslet chairs is unsurpassed.
Available in the shop now.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yes, we've added yet another dude to our super-dude family. While stepping over guitars, Legos, and a pile of dogs and boys wrestling on the floor (on my way to the kitchen to make yet more food...) it occurred to me that dudes are my life.

The husband found this sweet guy running throught the streets with a leash trailing behind him, and just couldn't leave him there. He was so sweet, sociable, and healthy that we assumed his owners would claim him within the day. Well, several fliers, Craigslist ads, and days later no one had come forward and this dude was getting mighty comfortable. I knew it was over when we named him. And, he sleeps with the youngest boy while the preposterous Mr. Knightly has always favored the older boy. So, he's staying. And shhhhhh, don't tell anyone, but I really love him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Banner Garland

This may or may not have something to do with this post.
Don't hate me 'cuz it's cutesie...dontcha know it's hip to be square?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010


Does anyone know why my new title picture is SO DANG HUGE???

Handy pocket Craigslist translator

As a veteran of Craigslist, I thought I would compile a short guide to terms you might find there, along with a "real-world" translation of their meaning. Believe me, this will help you more than you know...

"funky"--"from 1979, contains cat pee"

"designer"--"Mor Furniture, but I'm hoping you won't notice"

"custom"-- "I made it myself, and my wife won't let me bring it in the house"

"stunning and unique"--"we don't know why we bought it, and we don't know what it is, and by stunning we mean hideously ugly"

"good condition"--"I won't mention it until you drive 65 miles to see it that the back is missing, the side is ripped off, and also...cat pee"

"corner sectional piece"--this one is a rare and truly special listing, and it translates roughly like this: "The rest of the sectional was destroyed in the meth lab fire, and I'm fried enough to think you will buy just the corner"

"solid wood"--"wood-esque, wood-like, but never, ever solid wood"

"modern" or "Mid-Century modern"--"IKEA"

"dog in picture not included...har-har-har"--"but his fur, stench, fleas, and recent bout of incontinence is!"

Well, I hope this is helpful to someone. If you're ever flummoxed by Craigslist terminology, a good rule of thumb is that you can assume the opposite of whatever is said. Applying this rule, the best listings are usually the ones that say, "Grandma's cheap junk, O.K. condition." When you see this, run. Quickly. Grandma's cheap junk is probably an original Eames lounge for $40...and maybe a little cat pee.

StoryCorp-Germans in the Woods

Many of you are reading and passing around Joanna Goddard's Storycorp post of the sweet, elderly couple.
But late night KPBS-viewing yielded this new recording. It's still breaking my heart this morning. And it illustrates the damages of war on a personal level that is somehow more accessible and immediate than those overwhelming scenes of mass-casualties and destruction. This we can wrap our minds around. This refuses to be glorified or justified.

Watch the full episode. See more POV.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Imagine that you've been to ten baby showers and bridal showers in the space of three months. And they have all been perfectly wonderful but...you're kinda over it. The polite, seated, small-talking, "how lovely"-ness of it all. And then, cheerfully blinking in your inbox, you see it. "XYZ has sent you an E-vite." You consider not opening it. You consider begging off due to "finger food allergies recently acquired." You have nightmares about tulle-wrapped banquet tables and babies breath (the flowers, not the real breath...cuz everyone loves that stuff!) You pray for Polio to make a comeback in your neighborhood (sorry, I'll be in the Iron Lung that day...), or for the brakes in your car to fail buying you months of peace in a full-body cast.

But wait. What's this? It's not a regular old baby shower after all. It's something quite fantastic! It's...

And that's where my ideas run out. I'm throwing my sister-in-law's babyshower--the last in a wallet-emptying, mind-numbingly long shower season. And I want people to look forward to coming.

So my question is, in such circumstances what kind of party would you STILL look forward to coming to?

These are some ideas off the top of my head:

80's Mothers (with costumes drawing inspiration from our mothers' 1980s Olan Mills family portraits...perms, giant sweaters)

Jazz Brunch (big hats, beignets, hip flasks)

Butler Husbands (we make all the men show up and do whatever we tell them...which is clearly a joke and never going to happen but still fun to think about...)

Give me some of YOUR suggestions...

Party via here


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