Wednesday, March 31, 2010

same kind of different as me

So, this was a tough book. What my old bloggy blog readers know is that I tend to like happy, sunshine-y, all-is-right-in-the-world things...and I especially like happy and sunshine-y when it comes to books. I get so into each character and story, it's sort of...well...damaging to read a book about super hard and super real things. Thank goodness I didn't blog about books when I was reading The Kite Runner, is all I can say. I was kind of a mess after flipping the final page of that one. I just, well, I just really feel it all I guess. I take it all in. Sponge-y. This is sort of true across the board with me, not just with books. In my defense at my tendency to absolutely bury my head in the thickest mud I can find anywhere (which is why I don't really expose myself to too much tough and hard), I would be no help at all to society or the world if I were a piling heap of a mess in a corner. So a little burying is okay, I think. A little. And, really, this burying is especially okay with books. Same Kind of Different as Me was a beautiful story and so interesting. Opened my eyes to a lot of awful that's still going on in the U.S. Unreal. There was friendship (an amazing friendship), there was faith, there were lessons, there was redemption, there was a wonderful and true story. But, it was also filled with all of my deepest and darkest and truest fears - that someone important to me that I love and who is filled with more good than almost any person out there will be taken away. And this news will come when I'm least expecting it. That bad things happen to really, really, really good people all the time. And I guess that's the point of books - to let you into a world that you don't live and have you really feel it. That's the mark of a good book, I suppose. But, these are things I just can't chew over yet without getting filled up with fear. It's funny because when these things happen in my real life (luckily I have a very small list of these occurrences), I handle it pretty much okay. There's no pile up in the corner and there's no losing it completely. I'm still me and I get through and can help others through, too. I think it's the idea of these things happening that hurts the team. My imagination takes over and is 0 to 60 in under 2 seconds. It's fast and it's something I'd rather avoid. So, avoid I do...until I need to stand next to someone going through it or head the battle myself. Then I rally as best as I can. I hope. And, in truth, reading books like Same Kind of Different as Me and the story it told will help me be a better me when there are trials and things do happen...because they have a tendency to do so, whether or not you avoid, face things head on, worry about them, or read a book about it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

paper hoarder

paper hoarder
I did something huge the other day. I cut into the rolls of pretty paper that you see in that photo up there to wrap a present for one of my friends. I've had these rolls since the summer after I graduated from college. That was quite some time ago, friends. As in six years or something. They've moved into one Arlington apartment, three Hoboken, NJ apartments and one Charlottesville, Va apartment with me. Which is insane because I'm truly the definition of a "thrower-outer". If it doesn't have an organized place to go and I can see it during the day, it usually finds itself a nice and cozy bed in the trashcan. It's a sickness. So why oh why on earth would I choose to save these three rolls of paper when there have been some really important things (receipts, bills, etc) that I'm sure have found their doom in a split second once I get my hands on them?? I mean, aside from the fact that these babies are far cuter than any bill I've ever come across, duh. I just don't know. But now that I have used them and now that I know what happiness a nicely wrapped present can bring to the right recipient, I feel like I might become a pretty paper hoarder or something. It was that good. (Which is so not funny because, oh my gosh, have you seen that Hoarders show?! Ah!) Oh how quickly I jump to the other side when I consider something worthy of saving...which really means when I consider something cute and happy.

flora & fauna tiny print paper |2. moss flourish paper | 3. curry dots paper | 4. grey wrapping paper (from angela liguori who stocks some of the most beautiful italian ribbons i've ever seen!) | 5. kraft paper roll (would be fun with some of those angela liguori ribbons)

Monday, March 29, 2010

weekend no. 032710

weekend 032710
We finally got some of those little projects that we've had laying around the place done this weekend which I will consider a win without a doubt! I mean, no big time pull out the saw and nails and fancy tools and make large scale changes projects, but happy little house projects nonetheless. Our couple dinner date on Saturday night was a success! No burned edges on the turkey burgers (thank you, Cute Husband) and the sweet potato fries were only a little too salty (because that part was my assignment, of course). We finally watched New Moon (no shame...honestly, this one was so much better than the first movie. I only laughed out loud one time.) and we tried to watch The Blind Side, but decided to head out to fulfill a craving for wings and Arch's frozen yogurt instead (going to try to stop this Arch's thing from becoming a Sunday night tradition...).

ps: Those "wooden" stumps did not come from me - I wish! One of my favorite people ever made them. Her name is Carrie Saxl and she makes the most amazing jewelry and was incredibly generous to give me those beautiful stump creations.

Friday, March 26, 2010

weekend fashion no. 4

It should be noted that I have honestly have none of these things and definitely can't afford most of what I link. This is my blog and I'll dream if I want to, right? My pretty little wish list. Also, making each of these Friday outfits, I have realized that I wear more gray and neutral colors than is probably healthy. You should see the "gray section" of my closet...because, yes, it's organized by color. But I promise I'm not a gray and sad person - as if you needed additional proof other than the number of times I use words like "cute" and "happy" on this blog.

So, okay, weekend! Another weekend at home with Cute Husband which makes me a smiling gal. We might try to check out Continental Divide in Charlottesville (we hear it's amazing and the "get in here" sign without anything else outside kind of makes it the coolest) and probably try to really do those around the house projects we've been meaning to get to (yeah, the same ones I wrote about last week....they remain in the same location they've been in for weeks). On Saturday, we have a dinner date with some new friends at our place. Thinking of making some southwest turkey burgers with sweet potato french fries. Mostly because this is a meal that Cute Husband makes and this leaves me free and clear of burning the food when we have guests, but also because they are kind of the most delicious treats.

gray top | bootcut jeans | shortie cowboy boots | gray tank | laurel denise imagine you bracelet | laurel denise moments bracelet

Thursday, March 25, 2010

studio tour 032510

around the studio_031810
Well, let's see. This week in the studio has included quite a bit of production, I'm happy to say. Busy production schedule means busier income schedule in the coming weeks, which makes any small designer and business owner I know happy, including me. Puts the bread in the belly, friends. A new and exciting store order came through from Yankee Candle in their South Deerfield, MA flagship store. Getting that fax definitely made my day. I also finally got in my new leather bracelets - very happy to find those at my doorstep so that I could fill the orders of some very patient store buyers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

some cville shoppin'

cville shopping
I celebrated the sunshine like a lot of other people last week - by sipping some iced tea and doing a little shopping on the Downtown Mall here in Charlottesville. There's something totally magical about the first warm season's iced drink, don't you think? I can't wait until the time feels right for my first iced coffee of the season. Not quite yet, but soon. Serious matters, I tell you. Went to Rock Paper Scissors for some fabulous "have a great day" gifts - a fabric covered magnet set from Girl of All Work and a super cool man graph paper lined journal for Cute Husband. Then I peeked in The Artful Lodger to melt over the absolutely stunning furniture and artwork. I walked away with some $2 mercury glass hanging things and a delicious Root candle but what I really wanted were the $350 a pop bar stools that had that perfect vintage and modern mix (loved) and a $399 piece of artwork that had me standing and staring until people might have started to stand and stare at me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

stool situation

bar stools
Well, this much is clear: the place people like to gather in our house is right at the bar in the kitchen. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the door and, despite the fact that I have tried to arrange many happy little seating places throughout our house, this is where people like to be. Which makes sense because it's a central location and it's much easier to chat softly with me in there while I finish up the food or drinks or whatever else I'm taking care of when people arrive than it is to shout across the place and try to have a conversation. I totally get it. But if you're like me and the rest of my family (who count as 99% of the people found gathering in my house at any time), you can barely scratch your chin on the top of this bar. It's tall and we are most definitely not. I've got a tailored pants and jeans and dresses bill to remind me that I'm a tad under what you might call "normal" height, don't need my little kitchen bar reminding me of that, too, thank ya very much. But finding a reasonably priced bar stool is proving to be trickier than I'd planned. Especially since this is a rental and who knows if we're going to need said stools in another home. If I were going to be getting stools (which is up in the air), these three sure do fit my style bill.

1. yellow bar stool 2. wire bar stool 3. vintage bar stool (holy expensive, but it's so my style I just had to put it up there) 4. restoration hardware bar stool 5. malibu dinner stool

Monday, March 22, 2010

weekend recap

weekend 032010
Last night, Cute Husband found the tv remote control that we'd been searching for in the dryer. As in the laundry dryer. Turns out that it wasn't just the buttons on our duvet cover that created all of that racket while our sheets dried - imagine that! This weekend sort of went like that for us - a series of little errors, created with a good hearts and good intentions, with a lot of laughter in response. Oysters at Blue Light Grill with my niece (no, I didn't try them, but my tuna was absolutely delicious), some shopping at Pillow Mint (she's closing this coming Saturday - everything is 40% off - run, don't walk, there right this minute!) and C & A Camp on Second Street in town, a drive out to the country that was a tad longer than we expected (turns out there are quite a few Wolf Trap Farms in this area and the one we wanted was in Scottsville...not Gordonsville), and a few beers with some nachos at Beer Run to make up for the long drive. A great service at Portico on Sunday morning wrapped the whole deliciously sunny and beautiful weekend up for us and this morning finds me a little sad to see it go. Nothing a little yoga and jewelry work can't fix though, I hope.

Friday, March 19, 2010


cville weekend fashion
Ah, weekend, you are so good to me. 70's(ish) weather with some sun? Yes, please. This weekend brings me a sleepover with my 16-year old niece and a trip out to a beautiful Gordonsville farm on Saturday. Then Cute Husband and I plan to finish up some projects around the house with a date night and a caps game squeezed in there for good measure, I'm sure.

ae boyfriend jeans | pricey gold shoes | flower gold shoes | laurel denise bee necklace

Thursday, March 18, 2010

frontrunner signs

I ordered this little from cville with love stamp this week from Frontrunner Signs in Charlottesville. Great company - super fast, super reasonably priced, great product, and awesome customer service. Can ya ask for much more?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

snaps from the studio

studio tour
Thank you to Meg Runion, the fabulous, for featuring some of the photos she took of my studio on her fab blog. So sweet to check out her blog this morning and see myself smiling back from the screen.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

shiraleah + o'suzannah = cville shopping

osuz wallets
I saw these Shiraleah bags & wallets last week during a Friday afternoon trip to one of my fave downtown C'ville shops, O'Suzannah, and - seriously - they are amazing. They come in some of the happiest, organic colors I've ever seen and they are all vegan. Vegan, people! They totally look real and the prices are absolutely way reasonable.

Monday, March 15, 2010

spot situation

Oh dear, oh dear do the Cutie and I ever need a new rug in our living room. Our old rug - a shabby cream absolute steal from Lowe's when we first moved in together in Hoboken - met a terrible fate on a Saturday afternoon. It involved a full can of Red Bull (oh so Britney of me), a small and uneven table where the Red Bull was placed, and my lack of the appropriate cleaning products...or cleaning know-how (or cleaning care?). So I wiped it up with a few paper towels and went on watching something that I'm sure was super classy on my DVR. These things can't wait, you know? A few days later, that lazy decision came back to haunt me in the form of a spot. Friends, a year plus and a move later, that spot still lives. It's just covered by my cute crafting bin in the living room. Awful. So, as you can see, we really do require a new not-white rug.

yellows: 1. sellarsbrook yellow | 2. coqo floral rug | 3. yellow fallon rug
blues: 1. tempo area rug | 2. blue fallon rug 3. | pale blue rug

Friday, March 12, 2010

rainy weekend fashion

rainy weekend fashion
I think this weekend will likely be filled with some full-on lazy rainy weekend festivities. Including, but not limited to: hanging out with the Cute Husband, renting some movies we've been meaning to watch (or maybe finally going to see The Blind Side at the theater!), finishing my current book, cleaning this place of ours, church, snacks, and life catch up after being away for a few weekends.

clear umbrella | hunter boots | boyfriend jeans | white tank | laurel denise necklace

Thursday, March 11, 2010

laurel denise march goodness

I sent out this email yesterday for Laurel Denise and, well, it was bittersweet. Sometimes I just try to get too much done in too little of time. Most of the time, it works out just fine - everything gets done, everything is relatively organized, I'm in one piece and I finish the day with a delicious dinner for Cute Husband and myself. But, for some reason, the past few days have not been organized, have not been complete and, give or take one meal, dinner is more burned than delicious. So it was a sad, sad moment for me to come home from morning yoga class at acac to find that my most favorite marketing email that I've ever sent out had been sent with a huge mistake at the bottom! I accidentally left last month's image in the email, too, right below the new March email. Filled with new products I'm so excited about. So my mailing list got not only this lovely clothespin email (above) with all of the new products, but they also got the image/email I sent out in February...for Valentine's Day. The two were not meant to play in the same sandbox, friends. The entire thing left me feeling a bit overwhelmed, exhausted and disappointed in myself! The bruised ego was only half of it, since I really was so loving the email. I guess I'm only human though and this whole shebang is still only me, juggling it all, so I shouldn't get too down about it. It was a silly mistake and I was disappointed. On another note, this is probably just cause for me to enjoy purely ice cream for each meal today in order to properly heal my wounds. Sound logic if I've ever heard it.

If you're interested, everything on the Laurel Denise website is 15% off until 4.1.10 with the code "march". You have to spend at least $40 and that's the only rule. Unless I'm forgetting something. Which sounds like me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

camera confessional

Something you should know about me is that I break things. Like, pretty much always break things. I spill things, too, and shouldn't be trusted near a glass half full. Not to mention a bowl of hot soup. And so I'm not quite sure why I was so surprised to open my camera on a recent trip to Manhattan and find a completely cracked screen. Completely. What a sad morning that was when I went to photograph my most favorite trade show booth display ever to find my most recent (and very expensive) victim. I guess what I'm trying to say, really, is that 1) I'm super clumsy (covered that) and, 2) I need a new camera. Badly. The running for the finalists is currently between these two beauties - no. 1 and no. 2. I need the camera to be able to photograph some detailed jewelry, but I would also like it to be easy enough to work with that I can point and click and take a nice picture of my Cute Husband and I. Easy is key since another thing you should know about me is that when something technical doesn't work correctly and easily and the way I paid for it to work, every ounce of my Italian heritage comes out of me and it's a win if I just walk away. It's shameful to admit, I know. But it's a weakness I've come to accept and the walking away wins are becoming more and more frequent happenings. I think I'm going to go with no. 1 for the cameras - think this Canon might give me what I need as far as detail goes. But, if you bloggies out there have anything to say before I bite the bullet (and add an extra heavy duty case to the shopping cart while I'm at it), then speak now or forever hold your peace.

Monday, March 8, 2010

cornered glass

I think I'm going to create something like this in a corner of our place. Maybe the corner by the dining room table. We're in need of some major artwork (no joke), but buying art makes me not be able to breathe (ah the grown-up-ness of such a big and important purchase!), so I'm thinking of creating some installation areas here instead. Ah la Anthropologie-style. I've been wanting to create this little corner since, well, since I saw it in the CB2 catalog, really. See, I'm not really that creative, I just do what I see. Consider yourself in on the secret. Well, except, I did sort of do something like this in one of my trade show booths for a few markets, so I guess I can give myself a small gold star for thinking in through. Maybe? Anyway, I love the idea of mixing and matching some good glass containers and filling them with different things, depending on the occasion. Candles, rocks, flowers, etc. Switching it up as I see fit maybe. Twig & Thistle posted this in December and it's also a beautiful idea along the same lines of this project.

1. CB2 hanging candleholders; 2. Freund glass container; 3. SKS glass bottle; 4. Anthropologie recycled vase
(way too heavy for this project, but I do love the organic shape of these vases)

Friday, March 5, 2010

the wednesday sisters

So I posted this on my laurel denise blog yesterday, but because I love books so much (and definitely not because I'm a lazy pants and want to blog cheat and write the same thing on two...definitely not because of that...), well, I'm going to post that on here, too. Hopefully you heart books as well. And, if you don't, it's okay, we can still probably be friends.

Oh, this book, you guys. This book...well, it was kind of amazing. Just the exact book I needed right now. Well, ever. It had all the good stuff inside - women friendships, struggles, joys, tragedies, love, relationships, writing, books - everything all stuffed inside to make one of my new favorite feel-good and thoughtful books. The entire time I was reading it, I was thinking of how I wanted to buy copies for every single important and lovely and strong woman in my life. I know what you're thinking - "Lolly, you like every single book you read and, Lolly, you want to share them with everyone every time." - I know. And it's probably true. I love, love, love books and if I don't love it, I probably won't post about it because I know how much time people put into writing that art and - even though a published author would have to really work to find this little blog of mine, this world is awfully small sometimes and you just never ever know. So I try not to post the bad, but I will always-definitely-one-hundred-percent share with you books like The Wednesday Sisters. I heart books like this so much and I hope you will, too.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I told Cute Husband a few weeks ago that I thought it would be cool to get some letterpress type and display it as art in the house. You know, more Anthro-esque installation work. Yes, very afraid of the "real" artwork that's out there (but I do promise to get over that fear sometime this...year...I think). I have some small letterpress around the place right now - an "m7:25" for Matthew 7:25 (hearts) and then an "86" for Cute Husband and I (he's 8, I'm in our birthdays, not actual ages although it might depend on the day and the mood to be sure of that distinction). But I'm thinking a bigger feature would be an easy and great way to add a little something to an empty area. The set above is from Three Potato Four at a whooping $350, so I might have to save this "easy and great" idea for when we can make it to some of our favorite antique-ing places. Okay, some of my favorite antique-ing places, but he's super sweet to play along.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

horse & buggy

Cutie and I were at the house of some new friends the other weekend for a fabulous dinner when they told us about Horse & Buggy Produce. It's a local and natural food collective. You pay a certain amount, they bring you a big box of whatever is fresh and in season and you get that goodness once a month for 8 months - detailed "how it works" here, since it's still in the 8am's and I'm not quite enough awake to even grasp how a local food co-op works entirely. (Can everyone else hear the collective loud sigh from all of my momma friends out there who have been up for hours?? I know, sorry friends...)

Monday, March 1, 2010

welcome to the room

Welcome to the room, friends. Or part of it. From an odd angle. That's me in the kitchen over there. My Cute Husband was standing in what is now my office when he took this quick photo. When I walked into this new loft on the downtown mall, I literally almost couldn't breathe and had to control myself from taking the landlord down and grabbing the lease to sign. He's a family friend, it could get awkward. I love the open space feel of the place - maybe it's because I've been used to the smallness that Hoboken, NJ had to offer us for the past five years. The smallness and the crooked floors...always with the crooked strange. Maybe that's why, but probably it's because I've dreamed of living in a space like this, in this location, for such a long time that sometimes I wake up and want to cry with happiness. Seriously. I love this young house of ours and I love working on it with Jedd every chance we can get. It's still a rental, so we won't do anything major, but we can still create little places of happiness and I'm excited to show those here.