Archive for March, 2013

Window Shopping: Pottery Barn Outlet

First things first, we did a little spring cleaning so we have a fresh little header and a lighter-and-brighter site background up in hurr. Hope you guys love it as much as we do. Update: if it looks wonky on your computer, try refreshing and then clearing your browser’s cache/cookies/data :)

Speaking of apologies, it’s been way too long since our last window shopping adventure (you can check out all the small boutiques, big chains, and other random stores we’ve dropped in on over the years here). As most of you know, these aren’t paid or perked or anything – we just walk through a store with a camera and take photos of whatever inspires us for you guys. This post is actually long overdue (woops) but now that I’ve uploaded the pics and sat down to write this post I’m all excited again. See, we got to stop at the Pottery Barn Outlet in Georgia back when we were visiting Katie Bower (and meeting Weston for the first time) and it was full of good stuff.  So let’s take a spin around, shall we?

As soon as we walked in we saw this cute little heart chandelier for $14.99 (I bet you could make something similar with an embroidery hoop, fishing wire, and red construction paper (or felt).  Heck, even a giant hula hoop could be the base if you wanted to dramatically up the scale!

This was a little $19 kids chair in pink that I thought was cute. Can’t you see it in a subdued space like a kitchen or an office for a pop of fun color?

These were $35 kids chairs that were a little more traditional and cottage-ish. They were nice and solid and definitely could slip into any space thanks to their neutral color. Wouldn’t they be fun with dipped legs in a bold color like red or turquoise?

This little red play kitchen was intensely charming, and it was marked down to $124 since the dial was missing. At first I thought that was steep (Clara’s play kitchen was $74 to make) but even places like Ikea charge $99 for their versions, and this one is extra cute thanks to the bright hue. And you could just pop a kitchen timer from Anthropologie into that missing-dial-spot in the middle and it would be all better.

These $4.99 alligators charmed me to no end. They’re the I-wish-I-had-bought-one item of the day.

These giant chunky floor lamps were expensive (don’t remember how much, but I remember my mouth falling open) but I think if you have some loot sitting around they’d be such awesome statements in a room. Kinda reminds me of something that would be on the set of Something’s Gotta Give or The Holiday (they have such pretty homes in those two movies).

These gleaming glass lamps were $49 each (and really big and gourdy and fabulous) so I totally would have snatched them both up if we had a spot for them. Miss you my pretties!

This $49 pendant was great too. Can’t you see it over a breakfast table or even in a bedroom? That long drop-rod wouldn’t work in our house unless it was over a table or a bed (eight foot ceilings mean things that you walk under can’t be that low) but it’s pretty awesome for a space where you don’t have to worry about clearance (like an entryway with a high ceiling or a breakfast nook).

These babies were $267 per chair (steeep!) but if money grew on trees I’d totally have left with a few of them. They felt super chic and luxe with the mix of leather, wood, and that antique-looking hardware on them. They were like something Restoration Hardware would charge $500 for.

As usual, there were some fun rugs – and this time I fell for this bold red guy with a crisp white stripe. I was telling someone the other day that I always thought of red as a traditional color (you know how traditional homes in the 90’s all had a red walled study or a red walled dining room?) but my eyes have been opened to how awesome and modern and fun red can be. Long story long, I’m a red convert and I wish I had a spot for that rug.

This dry erase calendar was around $40 I think, and it seemed like it could be pretty functional (and you could probably DIY something similar with a stencil or even with letter stickers from a craft store – especially since they sell dry erase paint now).

I thought this egg tray was cute for Easter. Picture it full of a ton of colorful freshly-dyed eggs as a centerpiece on the table.

The wish-we-had-room-in-the-car-for-this-item award goes to this $49 train table (well, there are four of them stacked in this picture). We brainstormed a few ways to squash it into the car with us, but we just didn’t have the room. It was probably cheaper than buying the wood to make a solid wood train table yourself and the ridge around the edge would come in handy for so much more than trains (Clara already has a train board, but I think this would have made an awesome coffee table in the sunroom and Clara could play games and color on it without worrying that all the crayons and markers would roll off the edge).

This picture of the $35 wine barrel tray that we found does it’s size no justice. It’s HUGE! Basically the size of the bottom of a wine barrel. It would be awesome on a large dining table with a few family-style dishes (like a giant bowl of pasta and crusty bread – mmm) sitting on it. Heck, you could even screw a lazy susan under it to create a monster barrel-looking lazy susan. Man now I wish we bought this too.

This $49 basket was also huge, and the large weave and the chunky handles were pretty cool. We have $30 Target baskets throughout our house for Clara’s toys, so $20 more per basket might be a bit much for us, but they sure were pretty.

And this $499 cabinet was definitely in the “aspirational” category. Can you imagine how organized you could be with all those shallow drawers? I’d use it to hold all of my art supplies and miscellaneous prints/drawings that I want to eventually frame.

Hope you guys liked that little virtual window shopping spree. It’s fun to duck into different places every once in a while (we usually traipse through places like Target, World Market, Ikea, thrift stores, and smaller independent shops). What stores have you been ogling lately? Are there any DIY versions of things that you’ve seen in stores that you’re getting ready to attempt like dipped chair legs, paper mobiles, or dry erase calendars?



Tattoos, A Timer, Tin, And A Tray On Wheels

Here’s a little recap of a few small projects and updates that we tackled – all in less than ten minutes a pop. Let’s call it a “tapas” post since they’re all bite sized morsels. And happily, they all actually worked, which isn’t always how it goes (sometimes the occasional this-should-be-quick project morphs into how-on-earth-is-this-taking-so-long?!).

First we have some wooden tattoos I made. Yup, I bought these two little temporary tattoos (they say “breathe” and “delight”) at the same holiday craft fair that we mentioned here (they’re from a local artist named Suzanne, who actually chatted with me about how you can put them on various things beyond skin). They had just been sitting on my desk waiting to be used when I was cleaning out our closet and found two old cedar blocks stuck in the back. So I decided they were the right size for my tattoos and I wanted to see if they’d stick.

So I peeled off the clear plastic on the front, placed them face down on each block, and wet them down per the application instructions.

Well lookie there, it actually worked.

Here they both are right after I applied them (you can see that the “breathe” block is still wet). Can you tell I did this project back before we painted the kitchen walls? Haha!

Here’s that breathe block now that it’s dry along with two other “wisdom cards” that I keep on my desk (also bought from Suzanne’s shop at the holiday craft fair). They’re a nice reminder not to sit on my butt at the computer all day – sometimes I just look over at them and hop up to go play with Clara for a while (you know, so John can take his turn sitting on his butt at his computer, haha).

The moral of the story? Try temporary tattoos on wood. Or an old travertine tile? Or a ceramic planter? Who knows where they’ll work – and I bet you could even seal them with spray sealer or Mod Podge or something. Look here are some tattoos on Easter eggs (and some more over here)!

Project number two was adding a timer to Clara’s play kitchen! This was actually a gift from our sweet friends Lauren & Steve (they mentioned that their son Dylan loves the timer that they added to his play kitchen when they passed one along to us, so we couldn’t wait to try it). Isn’t it cute? I think it’s from Anthropologie.

The first step was to remove the back where there was a small screw and a magnetic plate that could be screwed into the backsplash on Clara’s play kitchen.

Then the timer just snaps back onto then magnetic plate, like so:

Clara loves setting the timer and cooking up some potatoes and eggs, as demonstrated above. Seriously though, it’s a really fun interactive element, and we’re so happy that Lauren and Steve passed along such a fun little addition.

Project number three: framing a metal newspaper plate in our hallway frame wall. See how this looks like a sheet of tin?

Well it is. In fact it’s a metal newspaper printing plate that the Tacoma News Tribune gave to us when we were in Tacoma for our signing. They did a little write up about us, and even had an illustrator render our likenesses (complete with a pocket sized Burger) so we knew we wanted to frame it. So out came my metal snips…

I trimmed that baby down to the size of a frame that already hung in our frame hallway. About a minute later, I had this:

Then I just slid it into the frame (with a slightly larger piece of white mat-board behind it) and called it good.

I think it’s a fun little pop of blue on the wall, and everyone who comes over seems to gravitate towards it and asks what the story is. It’s fun to explain that there are metal printing plates for newspapers since we didn’t even know that was the process before receiving this.

And the fourth update is actually just bringing a book project into the dining room (this old $10 bar cart that we made over with a fresh coat of deep teal color, and chalkboard paint on the top for labeling bowls of candy and nuts or writing a message to guests at a party). A few people saw the legs of it in this picture from this post about crown molding, and asked for a shot of the full monty, so here she blows. Like how I randomly have a pillow on that tray since we’re fresh outta beverages? Haha! We’ll have to stock up for our next party…

So those are four little “tapas” updates that we’ve snacked on lately. What little tweaks are going on at your casa?