A Medieval Thread

My wish list has grown a little longer, thanks to recent comment from Inside Lost City

The Lost City Aquila pillow, embroidered with gold wire and resting upon an Elizabeth tombstone. Yow.

Lost City's stunning textiles appeal to me on many levels. Firstly, as someone who has read Middle English literature while humming along to Radiohead. Secondly, as a girl who would still be accessorizing with her gold eyebrow ring, were it not strictly forbidden by her bosses. Lastly, as a gal with champagne taste, for whom it comes naturally to obsess over pillows costing a whole week's wages.

 Colum, Griffin, & Canis pillows, from the Lost City Medieval Line.

A menagerie of mythical beasts artfully worked into a graphic pattern... on a pillow. That's what I call indulgence. My couch dares to dream.


Dare to Dream: BookBook

After a long and INTERNET-FREE weekend in Berkeley, I am lightyears (3 days) behind on my blog-reader. I see this was featured on several other blogs already (you're all like, "whoah StB, this is so yesterday"), but I couldn't help myself.

"What are you reading?"

"My email."

Introducing (fine, re-introducing) the BookBook by Twelve South.

The ultimate gift for the book nerd and Mac-lover (by gift I mean "gift-to-self," and by self I mean "me"). My beloved MacBook Pro would look so sexy in this binding. Now I just need to find a bag to match. Any suggestions?


Timeless Romance

Perhaps it's Valentine's Day approaching. Or I might be missing my fellah. Then again, maybe I'm just regretting my promise to said fellah to focus on more masculine decor in our home (oops)...

But oh, the frills and fuss in these images by Elizabeth Maxson just do me in.


Wonderful to the smallest detail. The knit trim reminds me of the shower curtain I've been hankering for.

Reminds me of the red doctor's cabinet that I found- but I adore this one in its chippy white finish.

Her styling is both luxurious and timeworn, like the pages of the classic novel you've read a thousand times: familiar yet treasured, fragile yet still utterly exhilarating. It's faded and romantic in the best way possible (as in, not in a Miss-Havisham's-moldy-wedding-cake kind of way).

I've been meandering through Elizabeth's blog, and I'm so impressed by how true she is to her aesthetic. Her staged shoots and her lovely boutique could be extensions of her own home. Her heirloom vignettes are a perfect backdrop for her vibrant personality- she's an inspiration to anyone trying to make their way in the world of design. Thanks for letting me share, Elizabeth!


Dare to Dream: Hibernation

I'd like to try to express how very much I lovelovelove this concept from Seattle Homes & Lifestyles.


Nope, no words. Let's just let the sumptuous colors and textures envelop us.

Dark without being somber or black, plush without being sloppy. Ahhhh.
Photos Courtesy of Hank Drew, Seattle Homes & Lifestyles

It's probably better I don't have a bedroom this dusky and luxe. I'd draw the curtains, disappear under that purply fur thing, and refuse to emerge until Spring (or at least until 10:00 in the morning).

Beautifully done, Seattle Homes- better still because the delicious components of this spread were plucked from the shelves of my favorite local stores. For all of you East-Coasters or East-Side-of-the-Staters, check out the Seattle Homes website and blog. Enjoy, and wonder why don't live here.

Please tell me there's a magazine like this in San Francisco!


Here & Now: Serving Up a Bit of Sparkle

I feel like I'm always living a day, a week, a month in advance... but here's what caught my eye today.

Until I've got tidbits to serve, my tidbit stand serves to showcase some sparkly this-or-that. 
After all, it's nice to face Monday armed with bracelets and bangles.

Perhaps something more coherent later, should my scattered brain allow it. In the meanwhile, I'm trying to jingle my way through Monday. Ugh.


In the Cards

Once, as a little girl, I received a deck of tarot cards as a gift. I couldn't make heads or tails or cups or swords of the whole thing, but I loved the illustrations!

Tarot cards are steeped in history and symbolism, depicting classic archetypes of the human experience. Adam may raise an eyebrow to the occult association, but he's a Joseph Campbell enthusiast and an avid student of Medieval literature. I wonder if I could persuade him to consider some tarot art in the new place?

I've seen individually-framed cards before, and I caught a glimpse of this giclee in a house tour. The cards are divine in this 3x3 presentation, but I'm not so excited by the illustrations (or the price).

I did, however, have way too much fun with the new feature at AllPosters that allows you to view pieces "on the wall" in a selection of styled rooms. Yeah. Way too much fun.

I foresee a DIY project for the Berkeley apartment. I like the style of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, but the bright yellow and orange throws me. Perhaps I'll trace and hand-color my own (especially if I'm unemployed for any length of time).

Images from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck courtesy of Tarot Experts & Instant Oracle

I'm not superstitious, but I might do a little research first to make sure I don't hang some dire prediction on my wall! What do you think?


An Easier Decision, I Suppose

I've long debated between two favorite candelabras...

This one, from Wisteria

So similar, so equally dramatic- I could hardly decide which to spend my imaginary $100 on. Apparently the hypothetical decision is made for me, as I can no longer locate the former on the Wisteria website. Well, drat!


Dare to Dream: Tallmadge Doyle Prints

In my most fantastical imaginings, my future self dines at Chez Panisse every Tuesday, holds the red pen for some fantastic design publication, and decorates the walls of her Tudor cottage with the rewards of art patronage. Just in case this dream should come true, I am compiling a wish list for my collection.

Dotting that list are works by Oregonian printmaker Tallmadge Doyle.

"Aspects of Creation III"

"Aspects of Creation VII"

My parents have several prints from the Origins of Medicine series (inspiring my eternal envy). I sometimes find myself completely hypnotized by these pieces- simultaneously contemplating the cosmos, recalling last night's fiery sunset, and hunting for meaning in the layers of signs and symbols. I half expect to find some long lost secret to alchemy embedded in those mysterious scribblings!

"Kepler's Cosmic Geometry"

Doyle's art is where Adam's rational preponderances and my whimsical wonderings meet. Wouldn't these be perfect for two lovers of curiosities? I'm particularly drawn to her recent Celestial Menagerie series (the name alone makes me giddy). Subtle faded neutrals, delicate tracings of constellations, graceful creatures amongst the stars... 

"Apis the Bee"

"Stellar Feline"

I start the week off grounded in the present, and by Tuesday I'm already floating into the realm of "someday, maybe." Heh, ever the dreamer.


Dwelling in the Here and Now

I reminisce quite a lot about where I once lived, and daydream even more about where I'll be living "someday soon." Perhaps you're all wondering where I live now? Until I can join Adam (and my belongings) in Berkeley, I've re-inhabited my teenage bedroom at my parents' house. Here are a few snaps to satisfy or pique your curiosity...

On the board, far-fetched imaginings for a far-away apartment.

The fodder of many Dare to Dream posts in the future.

Where I blog from.

At least, where I sit whilst blogging.

This relic from my years of orthodonture serves as a paperweight for catalogues I've yet to sink my teeth into.

It's also an amusing place to stash business cards.

Though, it occurs to me now that the businesspersons on those cards might not be as amused as I am.

I've been feeling gloomy lately- getting mired in all that is not quite right in the bigger picture of my life. Last night I picked up my camera and challenged myself to seek out what was lovely and tangible in the here and now. I narrowed my focus and found the little things that made me happy- and I've found a better way to begin the week at Shock the Bourgeois. Look forward to more glimpses of the Here & Now each Monday! Here's to a new week... and a new mindset.


Happy Birthday, Adam!

Dear Adam,

I know you're spending your 26th birthday alone, but I can't feel too sorry for you. Two reasons:

1. You share your birthday with Elvis Presley and David Bowie.
I'd say that's pretty good company. 

2. We can always celebrate belatedly. How does 2 weeks from today sound? 

I hope you're not too busy, because SURPRISE...

Image Courtesy of Peter Walton

I'll be there.

I can't wait to see you. Happy birthday, Adam.

I love you,

Your girl

How About Some Friday Font Fun?

The most charming resolution to your typography identity crisis...

A design therapy session from the very creative minds at Pentagram.
I'm Pistilli Roman. Fascinating, quite fascinating... 

I rather do like those bold letters with their slim curls and cheeky dots! 
Could come in handy for an StB upgrade...

So just relax, lean back in your desk chair, and tell the good doctor a bit about yourself (let's start with your childhood). At the very least, enjoy the visual treats of the good doctor's office (oh, that wood floor!) and laugh a few minutes off of your Friday. You can take the test here, using the password "character." Explore your inner type nerd!


Under the Tree: A Nouveau Candelabra

*Sigh* The Christmas cheer is really and truly packed up until next year. It's always a little sad to sweep away all the pine needles and glitter and face January. What a bitter, wintry month January is! Dark days, cold resolve, and impatience for Spring. This year in particular: I'm resolving to meet Adam in a sunnier clime, sending out my resume and waiting, waiting, waiting. How lovely to have this candelabra to brighten my outlook...

Isn't she gorgeous? My parents found her in a shop on Whidbey Island and they knew that she'd be a perfect touch of Mucha-esque magic for my decor. Now in Edmonds, someday in Berkeley, she's sure to light my way in this New Year.


Editorial Eye & Ire

Okay, Apartment Therapy, thank goodness you're through with that year-in-review nonsense and back to business. Without your controversial topics I had no outlet for my snark. I can't believe I made it through the holidays without venting into my usually well-mannered blog.

Well, I almost made it.
Over the extended weekend I picked up a copy of Fresh Home, a design magazine that premiered in June. 

I bookmarked instructions for applying silver leaf to furniture, and I found several lovely images, but on the the whole, it just didn't speak to me. This is strange, because Fresh Home is supposed to be targeted to the frugal under-30-year-old who wants to infuse their own style into their home. That's me, right? 
The thing is, I turn to magazines for images that inspire and success stories that I can aspire to. I don't think frugality limits us to childish crafts, canned advice, or furnishing our homes in one stop at the mall (as a "round-up" from 5 stores would suggest). As I read Fresh Home, I couldn't help but feel that their cutesy editorial copy integrated too cleanly with their advertising- and I didn't like what I was being sold. I can't be too critical, because let's face it- the deceased Domino and the living Living set the bar high. That being said, if Martha can put out a flawless magazine every month, I see no excuse for sloppy editing in a quarterly publication.

For example. Here, a kitchen spread.

A page or so later, the same kitchen appears (upper right corner): totally different oven. 

How does that even happen?

I'm disappointed, because I so want to support a new design mag and keep the industry alive... but next season I'll save my $5.00 for a Craig's List find or a can of spray paint. If I want a DIY project, I better do it myself. And if I want a style idea, I'll refer to my Domino archives and shed a tear for the late great.


Dare to Dream: A Room to Furnish with Books

This weekend Third Place Books was having a 20% off sale, which I used as an excuse to spend 100% more than I budgeted on some new design tomes for my collection (c'mon, they were on sale!). Matilda and I nestled in with a pile of literature and purred at all the pretty pictures- that's what I call a holiday.

Our favorite? A design book about books in design. A biblio-file for a bibliophile? 
Whatever it is, here it is:

Books Do Furnish A Room by Leslie Geddes-Brown showcases the integration of books into homes. Grand libraries, teetering stacks of text, bizarre modern-art bookcases, books shoved wherever they'd fit. Like or dislike, each image was a guilty pleasure: such fun to put together an imagining of the reader based on their collection and the manner of its display!

And my favorite image? 
The library in the county home of Stephen Sills & James Huniford in Bedford, New York.

I always think of myself as preferring a dusky nook for reading, but this crisp white page of a room makes a convincing argument to the contrary. Where might one find a skeletal lobster for her cabinet of curiosities? Also, my library will never be complete without that magical ladder (even though my bookcases are only 6' tall). Someday, a real library- ah, dare to dream.