July 31, 2012

This Is… The Project

The other day when I featured some of the London 2012 posters, one of them struck my mother as just the thing she was looking to put on the wall of one of her baths. London 2012

She, and I, have been looking for something for a few years now, and we had some starters earlier this year in these wallpapers.
birds-of-feather_thumb[1] la-vie-ordinaire-roomshot_jpg_scaled_500_thumb[1]
I ordered samples to pick up when I was in England/Wales, but through a series of misadventures, etc. I never got them . So it was back to square one.
So when my mother saw the London 2012 poster, she liked the style of the image and we talked about the books that Mirislov Sasek has written. imageWe looked at some of the covers and checked out which cities he’s introduced to children.
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She’s picked out some of her favourite cities, and then an image from each of the books. I will scan the images, and then print them out on photo paper and then frame them. I think that there will be 12 in total. Simple black frames, white mats, bright images on a white wall.
I think that bathrooms are a place where you can have some fun, because it’s such a small space. What do you think?

July 29, 2012

This & That

What a fun weekend! Like most people, I kicked it off watching the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics. I’d love to know what you thought of it.390009-london-olympics-opening-ceremonyI was lucky enough to be surrounded by some old and new friends, dinnerincluding fellow blogger and shop owner, Loi Thai, and his partner. Loi writes Tone on Tone, and owns a shop of the same name in DC. They were just so charming and such fun to have as new friends.

We had planned to visit a local garden before supper, but that plan was scrapped because of traffic. I made a great summer supper of gazpacho, a shrimp and pasta salad and chocolate chip cookies + salted caramel ice cream sandwiches… and lots of cocktails.

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I spent a lot of Saturday watching the Olympics and trading e-mails and tweets with friends in London who had great comments on the opening ceremonies and the games thus far. As I was running an errand, I was stopped by a man asking me where Michael Phelps’s pool is because he was taking his son on a pilgrimage to see it.nbacThat struck me as funny, since for some of my family it’s known as their summer pool!

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Some friends have just put their house on the market, and I thought I’d share some images. It’s a super house, overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbour. I’ve taken dozens of pictures from their amazing deck.

This is their kitchen and dining room. kitchen

Sitting Roomsitting

Living Roomliving

Master bathloo

Rooftop deckdeck

And at nightdeck2

It’s a great house and has some of the best views of fireworks, arriving tall ships, canons firing, parades, etc. in Baltimore. Let me know if you’re interested. I’ll hook you up!

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As I might have mentioned, I used to live in a house that was 9.5 feet wide, and then one that was a spacious 11.5 feet wide. But I saw this narrow little house in London, and even I felt like it was a bit too narrow!Exterior-of-Asif-Kahn-and-010You can see how the family who lives here has adapted to their tall and narrow space here.

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And because I am the dorkiest, I bought a new iron this weekend. I LOVE ironing. It’s one of those immediate gratification chores, and since I wear a lot of linens and cottons in the summer, I need a good iron. I’ve had a Rowenta for years, but it has fallen off the ironing board a couple times, and now it’s leaking everywhere. So I did some research and selected the Rowenta Steamium iron. Honestly, it’s a bit unhealthy to get this excited about an iron, but this is incredible. It’s heavier than my last iron, but it works like a charm. rowenta iron

I guess you know what I will be doing the rest of the week! Ironing everything I own!

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Tell me what you thought of the Opening Ceremonies and the Olympics so far!

OKL Madness: Clamp Sculpture

Take 15 metal clamps, one piece of copper tubing and a block of wood. Total cost would be about $20. Paint wood block black. Arrange the clamps artistically in a spiral pattern on the copper pipe and stick it into the wood block. image

Total cost now? $185.

July 27, 2012

The Olympic Bells

As I’ve often mentioned, one of the things I loved about living in the UK was the sense of unity. All you have to do is look back a few weeks to the Jubilee Beacons Lighting.beacons

By the time you read this (in most cases), another one of these unifying events will have taken place. It’s a project called Work 1197 – All the Bells.image At exactly 8:12, BST, Big Ben will start ringing, followed by bells all over the UK in celebration of the arrival of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Each church will ring bells. Each town and village will ring bells. All of the bells in the country will be rung as loudly and as quickly as possible for three minutes. It’s a piece of performance art by Turner Prize-winning artist, Martin Creed. imageIt’s a piece of classic British celebration. Everyone takes part, everyone joins in. I have my alarm set for 3:12 EST to ring a little silver bell.

July 25, 2012

Bits & Bobs

The Olympic Opening Ceremonies are just a day away, and in the true spirit of the games, the Guardian has published a game so that you can play along at home. Yes, it’s OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY BINGO! This may be played like real bingo, or as a drinking game. Olympic-Opening-Ceremony--001

We’ll have the Opening Ceremony on in the background, I am sure, on my old rabbit-eared television, if I can get it to have any channels other than the snow channel. But since I’ll be entertaining another blogger that evening, it surely won’t be the focus of the night.

Loi Thai, from Tone on Tone is coming up from DC for a small summer supper (casual, so not dinner!). imageHe’s such a huge talent that I am a little freaked out about having him to the house. All I can do is think of are the immortal words from the movie, Wayne’s World… “I am not worthy.” And then plan to spend the next 48 hours completely making over the house and gardens. Ha!

Speaking of gardens, we’re going to do a wander over to the gardens at Cylburn Arboretum just a mile or so from my house, before supper. Loi’s very interested in gardens, and this city park garden is filled with specimen plants from all over the world. You might remember Cylburn from here and here. Click the image below to see a little film shot at Cylburn.image

Kim, my dear friend and sponsor from Hooker Furniture, forwarded me a blog post that resonated with me. It talked about an article from Apartment Therapy about taking a curated approach to decorating. “Quirky Curators” and “Home Hackers” are today’s trendsetters according to Apartment Therapy. People are creating a highly curated mix of items in their homes, a look which celebrates their individualism. It’s a personal evolution, changing not with trends and fashions, but your own whims.When I moved back to the States, I literally had nothing… well, nothing except two suitcases filled with clothes, a couple of boxes shipped back from Wales, some copper pots and pans from France and a six-foot long commercial kitchen counter. My curated look consisted of doing what the article said: going to yard sales, tag sales, checking craigslist and buying one piece at a time until I’d assembled a house full of things that each resonated with me. Each and every piece in my house has a story, and almost none of these pieces came from a traditional furniture store. I’ve collected, and yes, curated, these pieces to make my house reflective of my quirky personality and tastes. I am thrilled to know that, for this moment at least, I am a trendsetter!

Olympic Rings

I was living in the UK when it was announced that the winner of the 2012 Olympics was London. In fact, I was at our offices at Tavistock Square, which was where a bomb went off the following day. So I have a particular interest in these Olympics.

One of the things that I loved about the UK was that is was small enough that things happened across the country at the same time – like the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee earlier this year.

For the past 60+ days, the Olympic torch has been making its way around the country and at every stop, there are people there to cheer it on. Another symbol popping up around the country is the Olympic Rings. Here is the torch at Kew Gardens, with some Olympic rings in flowers.image

The rings at No. 10 Downing Street.image

Here’s the torch being carried in a rowing scull at the rowing venue in Bucks.image

Here they are at the sailing venue.image

A team of shire horses are mowing rings into the grass at Richmond Park outside of London.image

The rings over the Tyne River Bridge in Newcastle.image

Reflecting in the Thames.image

In a place I know quite well – Cardiff, Wales.image

I found out this evening that my friend David, aka Man of Mode, will be taking part in the closing ceremonies. His wife is one of the top people at the London 2012 website and has been working 18+ hour days, and put his name in to participate. He was chosen, possibly because of his height – he’s 6’ 8” – and will have a “part”. So excited! We need to have a viewing party – who’s got a TV we can watch it on?

July 24, 2012

Olympics Posters

The 2012 London Olympic games begin on Friday and of course, there is a ton of promotional material out there, whether authorized or not. Funnily enough, I really dislike the real logo for the games.olympics460

I was wandering around the Guardian’s website this evening and some of the Olympics posters caught my eyes. 

This poster for the equestrian events was clever.


And how could I not love this one for the sailing. London 2012 2And the one for tennis is designed by the same group.imageI do like this one because of the ribbon of the Thames running through it.imageI like the cleverness of this one.londonlogoAnother clever one.imagePlaying on the London Underground.


Sort of retroimageAnother retro one and I love the typeface.London 2012 3

This reminds me of a series of children’s books about different cities. Who’s the author???London 2012

Let us know which your favourites are, and if they’re not here, add a link in the comments.