Monthly Archives: August 2009

Completely Unrelated: Kittens!

Unless you want to talk about how to make your bathroom dirty in 5 seconds or less, this post is completely and utterly unrelated to anything design- or DIY-related.  So consider yourself warned: if you don’t want to read about, and see the super-adorable kittens I’m fostering right now, then stop now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Sophie and Peaches.  The two little fluff-balls that have kept me quite distracted for the last three weeks.

Let’s start with a few shots of the day I brought them home. (Borrowed them from Crysty, my best friend who is an animal control officer.) I had forgotten how dangerous “borrowing” kittens could be.  It’s taking every fibre of my being to not adopt them!

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Check out the belly on this girl!

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Sophie is all cuddly on my bed:

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And here’s little Peaches:

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I’m visiting my parents this weekend.  It’s been a busy day for the kittens, between lots of playing, cuddling, petting, and photo shoots.  Here they are with my mom:

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And then we set them in the flowers for a few quick shots.  Peaches was quite the doll for the camera:

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Sophie was a bit tougher to photograph.  She kept walking away from the camera!

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Then Pop came back for another snuggle:

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And as if that wasn’t cute enough, they all settled in for nap time:

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Sigh.  I just love kittens.  Too bad my house is full with 2 adult cats already!

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Clutter Control: Banishing Bookcases

I loathe bookcases.

Why?  Several reasons.  For one, I try not to have any more furniture than necessary.  A small apartment can only handle so many pieces.  Secondly, bookcases rest on the floor, providing a refuge for dust and pet hair on the lower shelves and making it harder to vacuum every inch of the room they are in. 

Ick!  I just hate that. That’s why I want as little furniture resting on the floor as possible.  To keep life easy and vacuum-able.  And also pet-friendly. 

But how do you store books and other knick-knacks?  I like to hang a few tastefully-spaced shelves on the wall.  And make them pretty.  Which, I’ve discovered, is an art.  An art for which I don’t always have the right talent.  So I keep trying and tweaking and placing and moving and stacking and sorting and . . .  paring down, of course!

Shelves or no shelves, however, small apartments are not conducive to clutter.  Therefore, I’ve tried to elminate all but the most treasured of knick-knacks and books.  Pretty much anything remaining in my home is pretty darn important.  Often a gift from friends or family.  Or something I bought that I just LOVE.  As my living and dining rooms are working their way towards a strong mid-century modern aesthetic, however, I’ve had to keep a lot of my “clutter” out of them.  In order to still incorporate it into my home, when I turned my second bedroom into a guest room and office combo I included in the plan a display area for said clutter.

Not wanting to spend a penny more than necessary on the guest room, I “relieved” my dad of two equally-sized boards from his woodshop.  I added some stain and sealant (I’m sure by now my condo neighbors think I’m crazy when they see me outside playing with wood and varnish in all sorts of weather) and attached decorative brackets from the hardware store.  Voila! 

Since then I’ve tried several times to tweak the aesthetic.  I think I’m finally satisfied. . . well, at least 85%.

So here’s a quick before-and-after of my latest attempt at artful arranging.  I don’t know – maybe it’s still too cluttered:

Bookshelf Before


Bookshelf After

Window Shopping: Vintage Voyage in Cambridge, MA

Whew!  It’s been a busy week or two.  I’ve been on the road for a work-trip-turned-c0llege-roommate-visit-turned-NewHampshire-move-scouting, but that’s not what I’m here to tell you about today.

One hot and oh-so-humid Sunday afternoon in Boston, Melissa and I rode the subway out to Somerville, MA (west beyond Harvard) and just started walking.  A ton of great little neighborhoods, Somerville included, line Massachusetts Ave all the way down into Cambridge.  Our little tootsies hit traversed them all that Sunday, finding great little vintage clothing and furniture stores at every turn.  Had I driven to Boston with my car I would have been in trouble.  The finds were that good.

Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the highlights.

First stop (aside from coffee):  Poor Little Rich Girl in Somerville.  I fell in love, not only with the fairly priced vintage clothes from the 1950’s thru present, but also with the mid-century Zenith TV.  Oh, how I’d love to have that in my home (if I must have a TV).Zenith TV

Next up, Abodeon – a mid-century-meets-twentieth-century boutique whose window displays literally stopped me, gasping, in my tracks. Now I’ve visited some MCM stores in DC, but nothing compares to the artful selection, and layout, of this gem of a store.  Pieces were in beautiful shape and fairly priced.  Additionally, new home accessories from innovative designers were displayed fittingly throughout the store.  It was all I could do to refrain from purchasing a vintage clock or two.  Eames, Herman Miller, Bertoia – all those famous MCM keywords and designers were represented under this Cambridge roof. Sigh.


Abodeon Window

Herman Miller Fabric Sofa

Finally, after it seemed as though we’d already explored the pinnacle of all vintage furniture finds along Mass Ave, we stumbled upon Metamorphosis, a little hole-in-the-wall tastefully crowded with vintage and just plain old furnishings.  The owner refurbishes many of the pieces himself, but for pieces not refurbished he was willing to bargain down to very reasonable, if not downright insane, low prices.  

It was all I could – really, ALL I could do – not to snatch up this fun little mid-century storage ottoman/chest that I bargained down to $15.  I would have had to either ship it home or store it at Melissa’s for the time being, and seeing as a) I was finally removing the ginormous painting that she had been storing and b) I had no defined need or place for it at home, I passed. 

MCM Bench Chest Metamorphosis

We continued walking all the way to Harvard, finding many fun shops along the way, but none that compared to the treasures above.  I eagerly await the fall, when Ryan and I will hit the road on a New England fall color road trip – I can guarantee I’ll be dragging him over to Boston just for the sake of these shops.

And just for fun – here I am with Melissa, relaxing in the grass by Harvard after a tough shopping excursion.

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Clutter Control: Jeweling the Walls

I have finally found an efficient and beautiful way to store my jewelry. It’s not only Jane-proof (I have a penchant for losing things), it’s also dust-proof and cat-proof! (My cats would love playing with my baubles if I stored them in any of those pretty little jewelry bowls or hanging on jewelry trees.)

As you can see in the photo, I picked up a few shadow boxes, hung them on the wall, and pinned my neckaces to the foam backing. My earrings and rings are stored in a pretty wooden jewelry box on my desk (thanks, mom).
Things I learned:
  1. Never pay full price for frames and photo mats at Michael’s. There’s a sale every few weeks for 40% off.
  2. After hanging the boxes with their respective hooks, I felt they needed more stabilization. I slipped a few of those wall-safe sticky strips from the Command Adhesive Wall Hooks behind each corner of each box, then pressed each box to the wall to ensure it had good hold. They haven’t budged since!

And here’s an “after” shot of my bedroom, with the jewelry boxes on the wall next to the large mirror.

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