Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Housewarming

In the spring, the gingerbread trim got a final coat of varnish, tiny paper buds bloomed in the window boxes and the last waif of a shingle met that gabled roof. All through the summer the Buttercup Cottage patiently waited for a housewarming, and at last here it is. With bunting over the threshold and all. It belongs to an old fashioned breed - building model planes or constructing a tiny railroad. The kind of hobby with no terribly necessary ends and no particular deadlines. Worked on intermittently, dreamed about often and delayed oftener. Leaving saw dust on the work bench, paint on bristles and sweet contentment in the not-quite-finished.
But not-quite-finished is not to say neglected. Of course the Buttercup will need some furnishings and lamplight. Curtains perhaps. A braided rug. Oh, the possibilities for all things small! Which brings me to second surprise I made - a desktop in two colorways. "The sweetest things are the smallest things," it reads. Always true in a dollhouse; on occasion, true in life.
If you'd like to use the desktop in Peach (above) or Pink (below), click the button that corresponds to your screen resolution. Right click the image and select add as desktop background. These desktop designs are free for personal use and enjoyment and not meant for commercial purposes of any kind.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I'm never in a rush to see summer go. And here, it never seems in a hurry to leave. There'll be signs of its departure. A certain shift in the light, earlier sunset, and latent color in the liquidambars. But it will persist a little past its calendarial rights, interjecting spells of heat and languor in the sensible world of gray cardigans and early morning lectures. Perhaps it's the seriousness of autumn I'm most reluctant to adopt, being too lately incompatible with its stern and scheduled demeanor. Nevertheless, the carelessness of June, July and August is about to slip behind a veil, as foreign and faraway as arid winds, peachy sands and Moroccan arches. Sandallwood fans purchased last week inspired this tutorial for Project Wedding - you can find the full details over there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lantern and Cherry Blossom

I bring you another party at Apt. 10! This time Nikki turned 21 and I put together a table for the gathering we hosted Saturday night. Nikki issued invites weeks ago but we really didn't begin any food, drink and decoration plans until Friday afternoon, so there was some hasty grocery shopping and whirlwind DIY-ing.
Click here to see the rest of this post after the jump.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Silken wings, thin as paper, light as down. Proof that nature only requires two dimensions to create beauty. And such beauty translates well to paper. The perfect subjects to draw or paint, though this time I used vintage images. Cut along intricate edges and fashioned into little clips, they're holding escort cards (made to mimic specimen tags) for Project Wedding, but I think they'd be equally dear gathering stray papers.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

LA Story

{1} Once upon a Friday, just before I left for home, Alice took the last northbound train into Union Station. The next morning morning she, Nikki and I quickly breakfasted at Apartment 10 and set out to do some touristy wandering in Beverly Hills. We walked Rodeo Drive from Little Santa Monica to Wilshire, finding ourselves among the crowds of Saturday sightseers, stopping before particularly pretty windows - ones with Tiffany diamonds, ivory gowns, and golden brocades.

{2} Early afternoon found us in the Miracle Mile district, walking about the third floor gallery of the Craft and Folk Art Museum. We were there to see an exhibition of artwork inspired by the shadow boxes of Joseph Cornell. The pieces by this artist were my favorite, but all afforded so many strange and lovely old things to look at - Victorian cards, butterflies under glass, vials and one cent postage stamps, match boxes, skeleton keys, bingo cards, tin birds, rusted sewing needles and a logo cut from a Western Union telegram.
{3} By the time daylight started to fade our party of four (now plus Brett), had enjoyed dinner from a picnic basket in the middle of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. All summer long, they host movie screenings on an open lawn, and this particular Saturday, Singin' in the Rain flickered before us.{4} We drove home via Sunset. Don't cities look their best at night? All the unsightly details whisked away in the twinkle of streetlights and marquees.
{5} Sunday brought my parents on the 12:15 train, we met them downtown, inside the cavernous waiting room at Union Station. Back at Apartment 10 a group of six sat down to a homemade lunch of cool salad, warm bread, and farfalle pasta and pesto. As delicious, merry and memorable a few hours as our sweltering little kitchen ever saw.
{6} Our aforementioned drive to Union Station was by way of the Fairfax flea market where I hurriedly purchased a box of thread and notions. After the lunch dishes were washed and dried I sat down to look more closely at my find: lots of wooden spools, a handful of paper bobbins, six thimbles, pink satin ribbon, a snippet of crocheted trim and a minty green case of needles.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

There and Back Again

I spent the waning days of August back home. Three months of summer and a ten week internship concluded, last week marked the start of the tepid heat and carefree hours of late summer. There are certain things I'm always grateful for while home and they're the same things I miss once I leave. In summertime its the airy curtains and open windows, the family chatter, the deep wood of old furniture, the welcomed cool of shade and grass and garden hoses and after a day full of such things, the ceaseless echo of nighttime crickets.
P.S. If you missed these photos (and their descriptions) in last month's guest series over at Decor8, here's the link.