before and no after

So this is a before shot, but with no gratifying after photo. I got this weird and wonderful pillow and absolutely have to turn it into some useful thing. A little purposeless pillow is the last this i need gunking up my life and couch.

Camera case? Makeup bag? Knitting needle catchall? Nothing has grabbed me yet.

Just opening this question to the universe with the hopes of divine guidance....

curtains and fountains of roses

"When summer comes there will be curtains and fountains of roses" is my girlhood favorite quote from The Secret Garden.

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and I chanced a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see how things are progressing.

My spot under a tree. Made some new lists.

I hear a lot of girls talking trash about roses. Too predictable, too fussy, too much cellophane on those bodega bouquets. I dare any hot blooded girl to look at a wild and sprawling rose bush and not be overwhelmed with sheer glee.

If you can, I'm both impressed and very very sad.

I felt like I had stumbled into a deserted Victorian lawn party.
Overgrown to perfection.

Double swoon.

And to think i almost didn't go because of a silly flat tire.

A sunny friday.

This is the window of my laundromat. How lucky am I to have this spot 3 doors away? All of the plants are for sale, too. I stopped by this morning to pick up my laundry and got inspired for a project. shocking.
They also sell vintage charms for a dollar. A laundromat that sells gold charms, plants, coffee, cookies and ice cream? Only in Brooklyn. It's on Metropolitan and Olive off the graham L train. Gloria always brightens my day and is the neatest clothing folder I've ever seen. I ran my two huuuge bags of laundry upstairs and came back for these guys. What a nice way to start the morning.

I love this place.
So at 9am i decided to make some little presents for my favorite girls at work (seeing as today is my last day at work). They took about 5 min to assemble. The cheap and easy way to terrarium. I just lined the sides of my jars with sheet moss and put pebbles and dirt in the middle.
These are my specimens, little cheap succulents from the laundromat, $3 for 5 babies.
I tucked little animals in each girl's jar. A horse for my love Frances, an owl for my darling Ginny and a goat for my precious Chelsea.
After an amazing goodbye brunch at Cafe Cluny, we went to the W. 10th Housing Works store. I got this great vintage tin for holding wooden spoons and the like in my kitchen. My favorite color combo, yellow and green!
I also got this super silly little coin pouch to stash my camera in. I'm not normally so frilly, but it reminds me of some sweet piece of vintage lingerie. A little bit of old fashioned for my fancy pants camera.


One year ago I started knitting my first sweater and one day ago I finally finished it.

I bought the yarn in New Hampshire at the best hippie fiber workshop in the world, Harrisville Designs. This place is legendary, they cover all types of fiber arts, spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting etc. Harrisville is one of the most picturesque towns i've ever seen and I am so lucky our family's house is just a few miles away from this mecca.
I am waiting on a good final sweater photo, but this is the general idea. The pattern is a penny straker whom I love. I like thinking that generations of wives and mothers have tested her patterns out before me and there is nothing as sweet and genuine as knitting to connect you to the past.

sheesh, i'm lucky.

My darling Ginny gave me these paintings she unearthed at the Perry St. Block Fair in the West Village last Saturday. My grandma, Pat Merrick, was a fox hunter and my beautiful mother showed horses in the amazing Connecticut country club scene in the 1960's. Thus the backbone for my equestrian obsession.
These are each HAND painted on little circles of ivory silk. Holy smokes. I am thinking of repainting and redecorating my office just so I can do these beauties justice.
While on the horse bent, here is a series of little cards that my friend Frances found for me. I love the rosy cheeks, green velvet headbands, horses.
Read more about these girls here, they were popular in the 30's, 40's and 50's because they were the first surviving set of quintuplets. Doubt these girls ever went camping, but I love the little cards , anyway.
My obsessions with shadow puppets shows itself on the fridge, too.

Geez Louise, take it easy on the plants.
Today I bought some new pots from my favorite secret source, the hardware store on the corner of 1st ave and 7th st. These mossy pots cost a FORTUNE at my favorite fancy garden stores but here they cost $5 each. Amazing.
All potted up.
Got a new "fan" quilt at the Perry St. sale. Quilts are like a grandmother's heroin. Out of my budget and terrifyingly habit forming. I can quit whenever i want to, i swear.
And finally, i did it! I bought the broom from Moon River Chattel I have been thinking about for a year. I guess I had a hard time justifying $33 on something that sweeps my dirty floor. After eyeing it for about the 100th time i realized that it was able equal to a Cafe Cluny brunch, which is my one silly, frequent indulgences.

Duh, buy the beautiful broom already.

It'll be worth it if i'm compelled to actually sweep my floor, yes?

My dead presidents club and other lovely things...

The wall across my from my bed has been dreadfully empty and sad for weeks and I finally did something about it today. I had a lovely family painting hanging in this spot but sadly, it has been repossessed back into the family fold. I finally gathered up some things i had around the house and filled up the space. The three antique portraits are of President Wilson, Mckinley, and Van Buren. They are some of my all time favorite treasures and I will never forgive myself for not buying every president in the store. There are still some spots to be filled and the composition isn't quit perfect, but it's a start and they say thats the hardest part.
This weekend I completed the amazingly inspiring task of switching my out of season clothes. I store most all of my unused clothes in these vintage suitcases, it keeps things clean and tidy and manages to not take up any valuable closet space. Plus it makes me feel like a old timey globe trotter, I love organizing solutions that actually work for me, it's a rarity. I make my bed every morning (thanks mom!). It makes a big difference and overshadows a multitude of sins, like my overflowing pile of laundry. Plus, quilts on top of quilts are so cozy. These feedsack stunners are both from the 30's, the top one is called postage stamp and the bottom is a double wedding ring.
My dear friend Frances gave me this little bear. Sigh, I love a 1930's boy in overalls. The terrier is mini mohair Steiff and has a twin sister, Dottie, who lives with my darling Ginny Branch.
And this is a close up of President Martin Van Buren. Don't you love that a president could get away with this hair?

A victorian art colony in my bedroom...

After several unproductive swoops around my favorite junk store on Tuesday, I was feeling desperate. I normally find lots of neat old things and I was hoping to find something to inspire a project. On my final lap of the store I found this odd bundle of wooden pieces shoved in a corner.

Totally clueless as to what it was, I toted it up to the counter and bought it, as any curious and emotionally driven antique shopper would have done. It was made out of beautiful old wood and have sweet painted smudges, there was no way i wouldn't find a purpose for it (trying to justify....) I got the big bundle home and turns out it's an antique easel, I'm no painter but was excited none the less. It was a challenge to assemble, no instructions, no screws, nothing to go off of.
A few hours later and after a two trips the the hardware store, i did it! It's sturdy and wonderful, what a happy surprise. Now I have to find a spot for it, but i love how it adds a bit of summer time to my bedroom. The painting is of my family's summer house, Elmwood, and my aunt painted it. It's very dear to me and I am so thrilled to have found a big, statementy way to display it.
While I still had my power drill handy I also tackled the project of making my kitchen more user friendly. I finally installed hooks to hang my cast iron cookware, before they were stored up on the high shelf which made retrieval a dangerous proposition. A brilliant friend gave me the idea to put plants on my highest shelf, so it would look more like a greenhouse as they trailed down. What a genius.

This morning I put some little hooks on the underside of this shelf, too. I needed more space to organize all of my kitchen stuff, it's been monopolizing my very limited counterspace since i moved in last year.
Three cheers for getting things done.