Taking a Little Packing Break

Things are a bit topsy-turvy at our place now, lots of boxes, not much decor.

Matilda is packed for Berkeley.

I can't deck the place out for Fall as I usually would (no branches, leaf garlands, cabbages, pumpkins, gourds, or spooks, alas!), but we're doing our best to enjoy the season.

I'm making apple pies!
Don't rub it in about the store-bought crust. I got lazy.

Adam's making soup!
Nothing better than corn chowder when there's a chill in the air.

And the Huskies are making up for a couple bad years!!!!
See if you can count the high-fives happening in this picture.

So, StB is gonna get sporadic starting.............. now. Apartment searching in Berkeley, packing up the POD, moving in with the parentals... we'll keep you posted!


Cataloguing My Most Wanted

Between several moves in the last few years and neighbors who "sort" my mail, I never seem to get many catalogues in the post. This is too bad, because there are few things in life that make me happier than diving into a stack of glossy catalogues. With my favorites, like Anthropologie, it's fun to imagine what I'd pick if I were allowed to choose one item from each page. With unsolicited kitsch catalogues, its even more fun to try to find one item on each page that I wouldn't want to throw on a bonfire.

To get my catalogue fix, I visit my Mom, who is always willing to share her veritable bounty of catalogues with me. She gets the good stuff, like Boden and Sundance and Garnet Hill. Here's what I'm oohing and ahhing over at the moment.

I've got Fall Fashion on the brain, and I'm feeling uninspired by my pile of drab black turtlenecks (speaking of throwing things on the bon fire... sheesh). I'm in the market for embellished layering pieces with 3/4 length sleeves that can take me through several seasons. I'm keeping an eye on these sweet cardigans from Boden:

The Cheeky Cable Cardigan in green.
"Cheeky" is the perfect descriptor. I'd pair this with a denim skirt and chunky boots. And a chai latte...

The Rosebud Cardigan in grey.
Yeah, the pink is cute, but the grey is so romantic!

Okay, this next one doesn't really count, since I'm already oohing and ahhing at it on my vanity desk. I couldn't help myself, I'd been waiting for the Sundance Catalogue's Jewelry Arbor to go back in stock forever!

It's a great design that keeps everything tangle-free.
In combination with my branch mirror, it's giving my vanity a fairy tale vibe.

This last item on the wish list is giving me fits. I had JUST decided on a neutral color scheme for my bedroom when I found this picture:

I could rave forever about this image, but let's focus on what money could buy me.

The Garnet Hill Barcelona Quilt & Sham.
Those are my accent colors! And the pattern is such a good match for my headboard panel...

Anyway, I couldn't possibly consider spending $250 on a quilt. It's ridiculous! It's probably not feasible. It would take a lot of saving. I might do it.


Decorating by the Book. Or... Not.

I am not so good at packing. A normal person puts their belongings in a cardboard box, seals it up, and moves on to the next. I, on the other hand, put one item in a cardboard box, suddenly recall details about how I acquired said item, and spend several hours in pleasant reminiscence. Utterly hopeless.

For this move, I've decided to pack up books first. This is no small feat, as books (by mass) comprise a considerable percentage of our belongings. It's also rather difficult for me to resist reading as I go. I've stayed pretty strong on that front, but I couldn't help goofing off just a little bit...

A while back an Apartment Therapy blogger presented a trend in book display that piqued my interest. Don't worry- I'm not talking about color-coding!

Image from Crooked House

As you can probably imagine, the comments on this post were, well... "not enthusiastic." I was sort of ashamed to admit it, but I was tempted by the dark side- in this case, the non-spine side!

We have a ton of books. While we love every last word of each of them, we don't love every cover. It's difficult to integrate them into our decor- our bookshelves seem to dominate the room with color and weight.

These shelves represent about half of our library.

So, on a whim, I decided to flip em'.

The picture-perfect results.

As you can see, I went about halfway. I left all of my treasured Everyman's Library tomes right-side-out, but anything that was shabby, neon, or not frequently re-read got the flip. This allowed me to showcase my love of books without sacrificing my color scheme. The occasional visible volume served as a reference point for the alphabetical order. I noticed that the variance of thicknesses and the shades of cream and white made a beautiful backdrop- it was easy to add a few more artifacts without the shelves feeling cluttered. As a whole, everything looked softer, and blended so much better with the muted tones of my living room.

Would I execute this design more permanently? I'm not sure. I loved the visual effect, and honestly- I didn't find it to be terribly impractical. Then again, I know my book collection backwards and forwards. I don't need to see a cover to know a book!

My verdict? Don't judge a book by its cover. I'm talking to you, AT community. Creative book displays don't indicate that the owner "never reads," or "doesn't need them."



Wish List: Daniel Danger Prints

This weekend marks the beginning of the end. Packing for the big move will officially commence tomorrow. *Sigh* I have a little pang of separation anxiety each time I pack away one of my lovely things.

It may be a long time before I'm able to move to Berkeley, but I know one thing for certain: as soon as I have four walls again, I'm going to decorate them like crazy.

I love furnishing new apartments. I draw up schematics and plot out furniture arrangements. I get so excited I can hardly sleep at night. I open each box with glee, and welcome my lovely things into their new home. One of the last steps is always my favorite- hanging up artwork.

I'm always on the lookout for beautiful and affordable artwork. One of my favorite sources is Flatstock, a poster and print event held at Bumbershoot. It's an exhibition that always overwhelms me (in a good way). The majority of the pieces shown are band posters, which are an awesome way to give a nod to a favorite musician in your decor. I am still kicking myself for passing on a Decemberists Manchester poster that I saw last year (the ship, the skeletons, why, Liz, why??).

This year I totally fell for the work of Daniel Danger. His work is mysterious, ethereal, supernatural, haunting... basically fodder for an unhealthy obsession. I foresee a big purchase someday soon, but which one??

"Don't Touch Anything of All You Keep, Don't Touch Anything You Don't Plan to Leave"

"The Medic"

"There's Nothing Out There, I Do Not Hear What You Hear"

"I Was Born in a House of Wyeth"

And my favorite (violin love, yay!)...
"We Were Waiting at the Seams, Bursting but Through Quiet Means"

I'll let you know when I decide. In the meantime, check out more of Daniel's work (and his blog!) at Tiny Media Empire.


Back to Future Shack: A Recap

After a stroll through the past at the Sunday Flea Market, we hopped on a bus to the future.
Future Shack, that is!

In preparation, Adam and I spent the afternoon in feisty discussion about modern architecture- and I wish we'd seen the same spirit out of the Future Shack panel. It became clear that the two juries had polarized agendas for the future of our city, but they tiptoed around their differences very politely. To hell with polite! These are issues of major import- something worth of throwing punches raising your voice over.

Despite this, we really did learn a lot. In most cases we found ourselves siding with the public jury, who placed a greater value on maintaining Seattle's aesthetics than maximizing density. They acknowledged the need for a variety of housing- and that one-size-fits-all needn't be the solution for dwellings. They even admitted to preferring a more traditional style of construction. (I wanted to high-five Knute Berger when he said he had liked an old house that had been torn down better than the project that had replaced it!) I thought the overall attitude of the public jury was appreciative... but hesitant. The heart of the issue? While the jurors admired the innovations of the modern projects, they didn't want to live there.

Adam and I found the social engineering aspect of many of the projects to be disconcerting. I feel that a home should be sculpted around its occupants, not the other way around. The size of your home should be based on your needs and means, not based on the lowest common denominator of the community. And it's not immoral to require a parking space!

So, the program reaffirmed to us that we aren't really new house types. But, all my ranting aside, we were inspired by what we saw: buildings constructed conscientiously and creatively, even if they didn't appeal to our taste.

I've already mentioned my admiration for House for a Mother and Daughter. Here's a few other submissions that earned my non-professional approval...

Impluvium by Roger H. Newell was the only multi-unit building that I would have seriously considered living in. The exterior was completely inoffensive to the surrounding neighborhood- and I think that's the highest compliment that an apartment building can achieve. I could actually imagine this building becoming more attractive with age.

Photo by Jennifer Jenkins - Vista Estate Imaging

Danielson Grove by The Cottage Company really got us thinking. I wasn't thrilled by the execution, but I was inspired by the concept. The project is essentially a mini-development of small-scale detached homes, designed to appeal to people like Adam and myself. We won't have the budget for a full lot for quite a while, but sharing walls with our neighbors has become very tiresome. I'd love to see a similar project in which the homes sported a little more variety and were plotted out in a more organic (and less grid-like) way.

Photo by Ross Chapin, Triad Associates, Northwest Property Images

Boulders at Greenlake by Johnston Architects was a fresh take on high-density living. Knute Berger put it best when he described it as having the feel of "urban Paganism." There's something that gets my romantic little heart beating! The finishes, while modern, were very characteristic of the Northwest. My favorite part of this project (other than that worship-worthy tree) were the peaked roofs. A refreshing departure from uncountable boxy, flat-roofed dwellings!

Photo by Will Austin

Our verdict? We hope they ramp the discussion up next year and find a way to involve more audience participation. I think this is an excellent forum for intelligent and active community members to interact with design professionals. Adam and I are eager to come back in 2010!


Busy Weekend!

We Seattleites enjoyed an unexpectedly fantastic weekend- two days of sunshine and a win by our Huskies (!!!!). What more could we ask for?

On Saturday we held an impromptu dinner at our house with our favorite foodie friends. We took on a couple bottles of wine and completely decimated our food budget... good times! Adam prepared stuffed salmon, and he's preparing to post it this Friday!

Due to a sort of unpleasant dog-sitting episode (I'll just say that the event necessitated a bath for both the dogs and myself), I didn't make it out to the Greenwood garage sales.

Soooo, I got my scavenging fix at Sunday's Fremont Flea Market. It seems to be hitting a high point in these last days of summer- the streets are packed with shoppers and literally overflowing with finds. I ogled a hundred pairs of vintage cowboy boots (Adam wrinkled his nose and said, "would you actually put your feet in those?"), a bumblebee placard, a sumptuously soft fur stole (sorry animals...), and so many other lovely bits and pieces:

I always enjoy this vendor's booth- selling all the necessary parts for industrial-chic.
The no-nonsense displays are perfect: raw and appealing.

These caught my eye- cool for soap dishes or lipglosses?

I'd never be able to pick out just one letter- I want the whole tray!

Wouldn't this make a sweet bar set-up? Or a tub-side toiletries display?

I walked out empty-handed, but that's only because I came in with an empty wallet! Trust me, I'll be back next week...


Future Shack 2009

How is it that a long weekend makes the following week seem even lonnnnnnngerrrr?

I'm definitely ready for my weekend. I'll be:
You might recall my post this summer about the house on my street that I have a little crush on.

I admire it each time I walk by. It's modern without feeling sharp, it's compelling without being jarring. It's a home, not an experiment. Remember that I wished for more information on the project?

Well, happy birthday, myself: turns out that this house is amongst the projects submitted for Future Shack, and we can all take a little peek inside!

Image by Frank Jenkins

What is Future Shack? This is a competition started this year by the AIA and the Seattle Times to celebrate architectural projects that approach urban living from a progressive angle. The projects have been reviewed by two separate juries- one made up of community members, the other of design professionals. Selected projects will be featured in Pacific Northwest Magazine.

You know that I'm a girl who loves all things vintage and quirky- but I'm intrigued by the approach that Future Shack is taking with modern architecture. One of the criteria for submissions was "Past Forward: designs that incorporate the historic fabric into a forward-looking housing solution." Whoah. They had me at "historic."

Sunday's event will be a discussion between the juries and the audience about the merit of these projects and their impact on our city. Can modern innovation work around the constraints of city living without being sterile?

If you're a Seattle resident who plans on twiddling their thumbs this Sunday evening, I suggest you head on over to Future Shack! For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit the AIA website.

If you see me there, say hi! I'm hoping for a lively debate!

Bumbershoot 2009

Another excellent year at Bumbershoot... and yet another reason I love living in Seattle! We saw...
  • Dyno Jamz
  • The New Mastersounds
  • Katy Perry (yikes, I know)
  • Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
  • Say Hi
  • Matt & Kim (yayyyyy!)
  • The Black Eyed Peas
  • The Old 97s
  • The Long Winters
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Modest Mouse
See, we had fun!

And Drew had... too much fun.

We got treats.

Drew was apparently the only one who was sweet on Katy Perry.

We goofed around plenty. And got lost?

We ALL got to use our Bumbershoots!

Best of all, I got to see The Long Winters again...

I had the perfect view- front row center for my favorite band.

And did I mention that I met the band? Because I met the band. I should probably also mention that I completely geeked out and forced them all to sign my schedule and take photos with me. Long Winters, should we meet again... please don't remember me.

Usually I'd be embarrassed to post a picture where my face looks so large and white... but that's John Roderick standing next to me.


Our BIG Announcement

I'm sure by now that you've noticed that Shock the Bourgeois has been a little... sparse lately. We promise, it's not because we don't love you. Let me esplain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

In real life, Cook Adam is a biochemist, and his employers very recently informed him that they would be moving to the Bay Area. Remember how Adam and I went to San Francisco "on business?"

Well, Adam is moving to Berkeley in October.

If that news hit you like a ton of bricks, try to imagine how we feel!

We're still in a fog about this whole thing, and we've got a lot to do in just over a month.
  • We need to locate an apartment in Berkeley (we're thinking Gourmet Ghetto area?) that is large enough for Adam, Matilda, and most of my earthly belongings, but cheap enough that it doesn't swallow our income. (This is proving to be tricky, as apparently living rooms with no doors rent for $600 per month.)
  • We need to pack and figure out how to get our things from here to there!
  • We need to stage a major yard sale to sell things I thought I'd never have to part with.
  • We need to get me moved in with my parents.
  • We need to sedate me so I don't freak the hell out.
Okay, mostly kidding about that last one. Mostly. It's hard to feel positive about staying behind when my favorite things in life are moving to California- especially because we have no idea what the future holds. Will I get to join my little family in 2010? We don't know. All we know is that we've chosen, and now we have to make the best of it.

What does this mean for Shock the Bourgeois?
  • Posting for the next month could be infrequent. After that I'll be back to daily posts, because... I've gotta pass my lonely hours somehow!
  • For the meantime I'm shifting away from Craig's List. Nothing against you, Craig, but it's a bit depressing to search for home furnishings when you no longer have a home to furnish. Of course, I will using CL to get rid of my lovely things...
  • We'll be documenting our adventure as much as possible, and showing you our inspirations from two beautiful cities!
So, any San Franciscans out there? We could sure use your advice...


Coming & Going

Hey all! Adam and I are back in Seattle after a whirlwind visit to the Bay Area. In under 48 hours we managed to get miserably lost several times, walk ourselves to exhaustion, and fill up my camera with blurry photos taken out the window of our rental car. We are still recovering. So, not exactly what I'd call a "vacation," but then again, we were sort of there on business. In fact, we have some big news...

But you'll have to wait until Tuesday! Bahaha!

In the meantime, we're jumping back into the fray. Literally. We're going to Bumbershoot!

Adam and I will be hanging out with my little brother, Drew, and enjoying two fairly epic days of music (The Long Winters! Yayyyy!). Drew has failed us this year by turning 21 one week too late to enter the Bumbershoot beer gardens, but we'll forgive him. After all, he proved to be pretty good company last year...

On the first day we endured quite the pummeling to get a good view of Band of Horses and Beck.
(And on the second day we rested.)

Adam and Drew were shady characters.
(Extra credit if you can find me in this picture.)

Seriously. Shady characters.
(I believe I took this photo while listening to The Offspring, which could explain their faces.)

On the third day we waited and waited and waited...

Our favorite image from the event. Not Drew's best angle though.

So, this year we're hoping for an encore of a great time- and we're really hoping we won't have to USE our bumbershoots (though the weather report isn't looking so hot).

Hope all of you enjoy a fun Labor Day weekend- give us a shout if you're at Bumbershoot!