Ooh, my favorite!

Tajika Copper Scissors
August 27, 2013, 11:50 am
Filed under: Art and Design, The Finer Things


For a while now both Andrew and I had been complaining about our scissors around the house. Somehow our random selection of everyday shears had broken handles, dull blades, or a snapped spring (on one of the heavier pairs). He’d been talking about investing in a new pair, and like so many other things, you can’t seem to have too many scissors. When his b-day came last week I figured it would be a great chance to add beautiful pair and begin a whole new collection. I started with these here, the Tajiko copper household scissors.

Tajika Haruo Ironworks has been producing handcrafted scissors for four generations in Ono City, Japan. These are made of copper, hand forged and hand sharpened. They are truly remarkable and to hold and use them gives energy and purpose. There’s an interesting shift in seeking out and adding artisan elements into the home. Each time you go to use it you’re handling a gift, a piece that someone has made with their hands, imparting their care and energy into an artform. Even something as simple as cutting a piece of paper becomes different.

Just a simple, but meaningful idea if you’re looking for a different take on everyday things.

Tajika Copper Scissors | $90

Amy Sia Cushions
August 21, 2013, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Home


I’ve been keeping an eye out for some throw pillows for my little daybed in the living room that’s cozily nestled in the bay window. It’s my favorite spot for sipping tea in the morning or bubbly in the evening. Since I’ve managed to seriously chickify the house I figured the easiest way to tone things down would be to replace my rainbow array of pillows with some inexpensive neutral colors.

These are neither of those things.

Amy Sia throw pillows |  ~$110 with insert (converted from GBP)

Gretchen Kelly Studio
August 13, 2013, 10:01 am
Filed under: Art and Design


Every time I focus on artwork for the house I’m discouraged by creepy vintage paintings, cheesy overexposed prints, or beautiful pieces with hefty pricetags. It’s maddening! I just want clean, interesting, simple original pieces that won’t break the bank…because that’s what framing is for.

I will often give Etsy a go but searching is just so disheartening and overwhelming. Yet persistence pays off, and every now and then I stumble across some really beautiful things, like these sketches from Gretchen Kelly Studio. This Etsy shop is filled with original nude pieces, but my favorites are this series where she sketches and paints a series of poses in one minute. It’s traditionally a warm-up exercise but the outcome is ethereal and inspiring.

They remind me to embrace femininity and accept the female form, something we all too often forget to appreciate. (I went jean shopping the other day…I could have used one of these in the dressing room.) I like the idea of one of these at home, as a neutral, yet compelling piece to a gallery or as a simple addition to a vanity area to help inspire as you get ready for the day.

She’s got other concepts of fine art as well and they’re all gorgeous. Check out more at her site here.


antique baby
July 17, 2013, 11:26 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home


Meet our antique baby! Our favorite part of the house: (1) because it was an incredibly lucky find, (2) because it’s so very us, and (3) because it’s often the only area that’s presentable. In searching for antique brackets for a custom shelving project we stumbled across this piece and decided to scrap the shelving and go with this instead. How could we not? It just so happened to fit this little nook PERFECTLY.


She’s oooooold, but so sturdy and perfectly-imperfect with distresses and dings that give her character and charm.


And remember when I was worried Andrew’s very masculine-man house would be more dominant than my very feminine-chickness? Well, I was so wrong because shit got really girlie up in here. Poor Andrew.


Even his red and blue Catherineholm bowls have been overrun by me.


Interestingly enough though, this little window is so Andrew and it is my very favorite corner. It has me working on a new mission to neutralize this area a bit.

(Maybe a black lotus bowl would help!)


I often feel like a hack sharing pieces of the house when one could easily turn around and see a sea of vitamin bottles, phone chargers, and stacks of paper. But I appreciate these little vignettes, and in the midst the chaos of our hectic life and my inability to put things away, it makes me happy.

Kantha Quilts
July 15, 2013, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

Picture 4

one / twothree / four

I suddenly realized I have a thing for blankets. This is in addition to my thing for pillows. Poor Andrew has to compete for bed space with a fortress of about seven pillows that I have carefully placed so that no matter which way I’m facing, there’s a pillow waiting. What can I say, I like to cocoon. When I looked around the house the other day I noticed that on the couch in the living room and in the Hobbit Hole (our name for our movie room), there is a pillow and blanket on each. It made me cozy and I started longing for the cooler fall weather so I could snuggle up. But then I noticed that if anyone were to come visit that I’d probably have to hide the blankets because they’re looking a bit dingy and worn. Ok, in all honesty there’s a white one that’s not even in the realm of grey right now.

Meanwhile, I have been feeding my fascination with the Australian design aesthetic. I love their use of color and have found that their online boutiques  are filled with the greatest treasures. It’s often so different than anything we can find stateside, so it’s been a great source of inspiration. On an innocent browse from the down under boutique Fenton & Fenton I came across these handmade Indian quilts which would in no way need to be hidden. In fact, I’d probably turn one of these into my new Linus blanket and wear it around as a shawl. I don’t know why people don’t splurge on blankets, but since we don’t these would make for one killer gift.

Random Access Memories
May 9, 2013, 10:20 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Music


Daft Punk is featured in French magazine Obsession and it is one badass spread. The iconic helmets are polished to a high shine and the styling and details are fascinating! I love them all, but the glove? I want that framed and on my wall, like, now.

The new album Random Access Memories is expected to release stateside on May 21. You can read the editorial here. Google translate is a bit rough but you’ll at least get the gist of it.

daft-punk-obsession-magazine-cover-2 daft-punk-obsession-magazine-cover-3 daft-punk-obsession-magazine-cover-6daft-punk-obsession-magazine-cover-4

[Via Trendland, and my friend Chelsea]

The Marlborough Seattle
May 8, 2013, 10:47 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home, Seattle


After two years the lease at my little apartment is finally up, and of course, I waited a bit too long to start moving and cleaning. I got my butt kicked by the move last week, but still managed to find the time to get a little nostalgic. My small studio at The Marlborough in Seattle’s First Hill Neighborhood was my very favorite home to date (aside from my new home with Andrew!), and it held so many special meanings as it was my home when I returned from San Francisco and was my safe haven during the craziness of restaurant opening and adjusting to a new life.

After living in SF I knew I had to live somewhere with history and charm, and while there are many places in Seattle that would qualify, it’s also disappointing to see so many new, bland, and cheap apartments popping up all over the city. The Marlborough was originally built in 1928, but was just reopening after an extensive remodel/restoration, and even though it was the first apartment I saw (except for an awful condo in Beacon Hill that smelled like cats had lived and died there), I instantly knew it was so very me.

There was the large living room and bedroom…


…a cozy little kitchen and dining nook…


…original glass doornobs and crown moulding…


…the separate DRESSING ROOM with french doors (in addition to a walk-in closet!)…


(there was no way I was turning it into an office)


…and killer subway and honeycomb tiles in the bathroom.



Once well-loved by me, this sweet little home is available now. If, by chance, you’re on the hunt for a bachelorette pad you may want to check it out.

The Marlborough | 122o Boren Avenue | Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.682.8800


[image via VintageSeattle.org]


Uniball Signo gel pens
May 6, 2013, 11:29 am
Filed under: Art and Design



My fascination with Japanese artisan products stretches far beyond those with centuries of tradition and extends all the way to their modern wares…like pens. There is no other gel pen that can compare; and most importantly, my list-making and penmanship is at its best only when I’m writing with one of these guys. I use the 0.38 tips, but there is an even finer tip at 0.28!

I am such a loyal fan that I sent my brother to my favorite Japanese stationery shop in San Francisco to get more when my supply was dwindling, and I keep one hidden at work because I won’t share or chance it getting taken. Luckily, the Kinokuniya bookstore at Uwajimaya here in Seattle has a great selection, but if you’re not sure where to get one in your area you can easily order them online from the Tokyo Pen Shop. Look at the reviews by the way, these pens really are awesome and worth the $3 each. (They last a while too so you won’t run through them as fast as many other gels.)



illesteva umbrellas
March 26, 2013, 10:50 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Fashion


If there was ever a place where one would want to splurge on a sexy umbrella, it would be here in Seattle.

If there was ever a place where one would want to stand out amidst a sea of yoga wear, ski jackets, and plaid, it would be here in Seattle.

This is precisely why I am building a case to add one of these handmade Italian beauties into my umbrella repertoire, which right now consists of one beautiful color wheel umbrella from the MOMA Store. The pricepoint is a bit higher but Illesteva’s line of umbrellas (and eyewear!) has me excited for both April showers and the possible sun that will follow with the flowers in May. Bring ’em on.

Illesteva umbrellas. Handmade in Italy. $250umbrella-3

March 20, 2013, 11:52 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

bookshelvesWhen I was in school I worked as a production assistant at small book publisher that designed the most beautiful museum and coffee table art books. My collection of books mostly consists of those that I worked on, but Andrews collection is the coolest library of literature, poetry, travel guides, cookbooks, and random reference books. One of my favorite things that I’ve learned from Andrew is taking the time to research from a book rather than just jumping online to Google or Wikipedia. There’s something kind of romantic and rewarding about it, and it makes me happy. While my books aren’t part of the mix yet, and incorporating them is going to be quite a task, his wall of books so easily became ours with just a few little touches like the vintage persimmon print and the vision board.bookshelves2

My first instinct was to rearrange the cookbooks by color and then it dawned on me…I am so over color-coded books. Yes I remember things by color, but I also remember by shape and size and placement. So arranging for the sake of arranging is just so bleh, and I’m tired of contrived interiors. I liked them as they were so now I have to have Andrew move them back.

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