Monthly Archives: April 2010

Giving It All You’ve Got

nicholas by David Robert Bliwas

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but for some reason this photo speaks to me. I don’t know if it’s because this boy is trying so hard – you don’t know if he really knows how to play or if a horrendous screech is flowing from the horn. Perhaps it’s the determination on his face – he wants so bad to play the horn well. I think that every child has this kind of determination to do something – maybe it’s to throw a baseball or ace a spelling test.

Whatever it is, it’s fabulous!


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Filed under kids, photography

Jarring Up Junk Love

A couple weeks ago I shared the vintage suitcase I rescued from my grandma’s house several years ago. My grandma, as I think I mentioned, is a tremendous pack rat. Her home has always been filled to the brim with her “treasures” – most of which people would call junk. It’s funny to call it that now, since I’m part of the “Junk Love Club” – is history repeating itself? Dear Lord, I hope not!

But alas, this week’s addition to the club also has made its way from grandma’s house to mine. I asked my folks to bring me a collection of Ball jars from grandma – and boy did they! Thirteen jars – some clear glass, some green glass, some with screw top lids, some with lightening/level closures. But I must note that these 13 jars only make a small dent in grandma’s Ball jar collection. I remember being at her house as a kid and trying to count the jars she had placed on shelves that ran all along the ceiling as well as in cupboards in the bathroom and dining room. Her collection must have run into the hundreds. But I’m glad that I have this little piece of it. Thanks for sharing, grandma!

If you’d like to share your collections, join us in the Junk Love Club. Head on over to EmmaRoseArt and leave a comment and she’ll add you to the list. We’d all love to see your junk too!

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Filed under decorating, junk love, style

Underwater San Francisco

During our recent trip to San Francisco, my husband and I went to the Steinhart Aquarium, which is part of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. And since he’s stoked about getting the new aquarium, my husband had to visit. It’s really quite a wonderful aquarium full of more than 38,000 live animals from around the world.

It’s difficult to take photos of the many remarkable animals behind the glass, but here are a few of my “pretty-OK” shots.


Filed under photography, travel, Uncategorized

Wonderful White

White seems to be everywhere I look these days – and I like it. I’ve seen tons of white rooms that look so pretty, but I’ve never been one for white walls. I don’t know why. Colorful backdrops have always appealed to me more in real life. I do have a zillion white shirts. So many that I have to make a conscience effort not to just grab white when I’m clothes shopping. I guess when it comes to clothes I figure white goes with everything.

I have come across some lovely white things that I wanted to share with you.

I love this dress. I found the photo on a blog not long ago. (I’m sorry I don’t remember where. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know and I’ll happily link to the proper place.) I love the shape of it. I’ve started making some clothes (yes, one of the shirts I made was white) and thought this would be a lovely piece to try my hand at – though I’m probably kidding myself!

This is a beautiful laptop bag from Kate Spade. When my hubby and I were in San Francisco last weekend, we stopped into the Kate Spade store on Grant Avenue, and I saw this stunner! I thought perhaps it would be a great bag to carry the iPad in that I’m dreaming about!

Furla is an Italian handbag company that I discovered several years ago on a trip to Amsterdam. I’m a big fan of Furla. Again, we popped into the Furla shop in San Francisco last weekend. I don’t know what it was, but this white bag jumped out to me and begged me to take her home. Unfortunately, the salesman refused to let me walk out of the store with her without handing over $1,000. Goodbye, sweet girl! I will admire you from afar.

And then there are these lovely flowers. If I could have these in my home everyday, I would! (Again, I’m sorry I don’t know where this photo came from. If you do, please let me know.)

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

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Filed under handbags, shopping, style

Switch-A-Roo Dining Room

We’re soon going to be embarking on a little switch-a-roo in our house. My husband has finally decided to get a BIG fish tank – it’s like 6-feet long and will be about 5-feet tall and 2 1/2-feet wide. Well, said fish tank is not going to fit up the stairs to our attic room where he now has his fish tanks so I conceded and said he could have it on the ground floor of the house – with the caveat that I get a new dining room. So we’re going to take our current dining room and turn it into the new “fish room” and take our living room, which hardly ever gets used, and make it the dining room.

I’m totally excited about this! The new dining room will be bigger and have a fireplace. The new fish tank is going to arrive in about 3 weeks so I’ve been spending lots of time looking for inspiration on how to decorate the dining room – it’s become a bit of an obsession, really. I’ve recently discovered Houzz and am loving all the inspiration rooms on the site. It’s cool because not all (some but not all) are professionally designed. Anyone can submit photos of their homes, so you can see rooms that people actually live in.

Here are a few of the rooms that caught my eye on a recent Houzz visit:

from Houzz by Stacie Velton

I love the metal medicine cabinet used as a liquor cabinet in this dining room. And the beautiful table. And the gorgeous chandelier.

from These Roving Eyes

I’m thinking subtle stripes on the walls would be lovely.

from Houzz by LDa Architecture & Interiors

Great pops of color in this room. And the chairs look comfy.

from Houzz by sfgirlbybay

The armchairs by the window are perfect. I’ve got big front windows that I could put cool chairs like this in front of. Perfect setting for a glass of wine before dinner is served!

What I seem to be noticing in all of my inspiration rooms is that the chairs and the tables are not at all matchy-matchy. Definitely going to have to go for a more eclectic collection of seating. I can’t wait to start! I’ll keep you posted.


Filed under decorating, inspiration, style

Junk Love Movies

Good morning, Junk Lovers! Today I’d like to share my vintage 8mm movie projector and films. As I’ve mentioned before, when we lived in Peoria, Ill., we did lots of antiquing. This was one of our best finds ever!

Yes, the Kodak movie projector is cool, but the find of the close to 20 movies is even better. We have two cases full of home movies from a couple who traveled the world. When we first started watching the movies we felt like we needed to give the couple names – so we named them Helen and Walt.

Helen and Walt traveled a lot during the late 1940s and 1950s. The movies show them in places like Sweden, Canada, Mexico, France, California, and New England. They filmed a bullfight in Mexico (not my favorite but quite interesting), a fishing trip in Canada, and beautiful scenery in Europe. It is wonderful seeing these places through 1940s/50s eyes – the clothes, the cars. Unfortunately the films do not have audio, but I guess that adds to the mystique.

It’s a shame that Helen and Walt’s family didn’t keep these films in the family. I’d be devastated to lose such wonderful glimpses into my parents or grandparents lives. But alas, we now feel like Helen and Walt’s family – and we’ll never give up the films!

Until next week!


Filed under junk love, photography, style

Traveling Junk Love

Sorry about missing last week’s installment of Junk Love  – time got away from me. But I’m back this week with one of my favorites. I got this suitcase from my grandma about 10 years ago. My grandma is a total pack rat, and I was completely surprised when I asked her if I could have the suitcase and she said yes. I was living in Minneapolis at the time, and my grandma lives in Michigan so I had to bring the suitcase home on the plane with me.

I decided to use it as my carry-on – “How cool am I?” I thought! I got a ton of positive comments about it. People seemed to love the nostalgia.

The outside of the suitcase is some sort linen material with faux leather trim. The interior is blue satin fabric. And surprising there is no musty smell.

I just love this suitcase not only for its aesthetic, but because it was my grandma’s.


Filed under junk love, style, travel