fun finds: woody goodness

colored pencils with brass holder set, schoolhouse electric

colored pencils with brass holder set, schoolhouse electric

This is truly beautiful. 25 colored pencils in a gorgeous V-shaped polished brass pencil holder. 

wood veneer tape, anthropologie

wood veneer tape, anthropologie

This wood grain tape is s super cool way to hang pictures, notes and what-nots around the house or your office. Love it. 


OTTO fan, stadler form 

OTTO fan, stadler form 

There aren't many fans that I wouldn't mind looking at and this is one of them. Lovely design, 3 speeds, super quiet, bamboo body and designed by Carlo Borer. 

In progress: the office


Even though everyone assumes our new house is smaller than our old house (because it looks tiny from the street) it actually has more useable space overall, especially on the first floor. Instead of having one small room for the playroom and computers combined and the TV in the living room, we have a separate family room/playroom, living room & office.  Since we now have lots of computer based homework for the 3 boys every day, the need for a separate study space became clear very quickly. So, television and toys in one room with our huge new sofa, the sunroom became the office, all without sacrificing the living room or dining room, which is something we could not have managed in the old house. 

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The every room in the house is still in progress, but we are about half way there with the office. The room was built as a screened porch and finished a few years before we bought the house, but was left unheated and retains its stone floor. It has really lovely views of both the backyard and the golf course across the street, but is painted a rather vomitous pinky-peach. So far we have added a small ceramic wall heater that supplements the heat that comes from the huge radiator just outside the door making it very comfortable even on the many below-freezing days we've had lately and have worked out most of the furniture. Next will be art and paint (not in that order). I'm still working out what the final desk chairs will be, mostly because it's hard to find something that works well for everyone. 

We have used the 2 rugs from our old playroom to warm up the stone floor and to help protect little heads if anyone trips or, more likely, falls off a chair (happens way more often than it should). We started with a "console cabinet" which was created from our former massive media cabinet by adding feet to it's top half (an IKEA BESTA cabinet) and topping it off with our vintage (found) globe and our little fiddle leaf fig. At one end of the room, we trimmed our 7 foot long computer desk to span from one wall to the other to allow for one computer and a good sized study space. The plan is to paint the desk top at some point, but for now it's raw butcherblock. The stainless legs are from IKEA. (Really, most of the room is from IKEA, what can I say, it's convenient). At the other end we added bookshelves and a nice big desk for the other computer. The "desk" is an IKEA Melltorp table with a HELMER draw unit below for all if their supplies. The built-in bookshelf is an IKEA ALGOT wall shelf unit topped with a row of LACK shelves. In the corner we have the chair (from Urban Outfitters I think) that used to sit in our old entryway. The faux- sheepskin & pillow are also from IKEA.

The plan is to paint the room (as soon as possible) either Soar, Frost Wind or Monet Moonlight from Behr and obliterate the peach (sadly also in the playroom). We are also considering a nice dark blue, something like Benjamin Moore Blue Danube or Washington Blue. We usually stick to Benjamin Moore, but the peach is pale yet tough to cover, so we're trying the Behr zero VOC paint & primer,  Behr Premium Plus. After paint, we will finalize the art. We have boxes of things to hang, but I have a few ideas for some pieces I want to make for above the desk.  Right now the few things are hanging in the room are just strategically placed to cover screws left in the back of the fireplace & prevent head injuries by over zealous mini computer-users who like to jump on chairs (even though it is strongly discouraged). Overall, there's still quite a bit of mess that needs to be sorted out, like the piles of wires and a box full of hard drives etc, but we are getting there.

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The Doctor, Part 10

Writing my name

on the pages

of a hurried will,

it is hard

not to hear

the panting

of my mortality:



my life is ending

then to pore and pore


pictures of living,


my small family,


the way 

the plastic coating 

shines on the snapshots

under the glow 

from the patina green banker’s lamp 

on the desk my father owned,


everyone captured on film

at truly 

their very happiest,

the lights in the rooms

where the pictures

were taken

licking the world


a flash of gossamer,

I finally look

like a movie star

to me.


You can read the complete The Doctor series of poems here

At the green table: chèvre & fruit on a cracker with honey or aged balsamic

chèvre & fruit on a cracker with honey or aged balsamic

chèvre & fruit on a cracker with honey or aged balsamic

This is an extremely easy starter to make and yet it has a wide range of incredible textures and flavors. You don’t even need a recipe. Just spread your favorite chèvre or goat’s cheese on a cracker or crostini, add fresh fruit and drizzle some honey or a good aged balsamic vinegar. Saba also works well with the tart taste of the goat’s cheese.

Aged balsamic vinegar can be rather expensive, but you can achieve a similar result by purchasing a balsamic glaze or very slowly reducing 2 cups of a less expensive balsamic vinegar. 

The goat’s cheese should be a young fresh artisanal chèvre. If it is not available locally you can find a good selection online at igourmet. You can purchase the goat’s cheese plain or with fruit such as figs, cranberries, blueberries, honey or herbs. You can also add your own fruit and honey or herbs to the goat’s cheese as well.

Strawberries and blackberries looked great at our local farmer’s market this week, but any fruit will work equally well. When the fruit is not at it’s best it can be macerated in balsamic vinegar, grilled or roasted in the oven. You can make a compote out of dry fruit or purchase a fig jam such as L’Epicurien, Provence Black Fig Jam.

For crackers I prefer to use a mixture of flavors and textures, including paper thin wafers like Fine Wafer Crackers from Water Wheel and for something with more flavor and texture, Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisp .

You can also use crostini or toast as well.

Serve with a glass of prosecco and perhaps some kale chips. Enjoy.


Blackberries, chèvre & a drizzle of tupelo honey

blackberries, chèvre & a drizzle of tupelo honey

blackberries, chèvre & a drizzle of tupelo honey

Fresh young chèvre such as Goat Lady Dairy’s, Fig & Honey, Coach Farm’s Chèvre & Fruit or your favorite goat’s cheese

Fresh blackberries

Fine Wafer Crackers, Provencale from Water Wheel

Tupelo honey

Strawberries, chèvre & a drizzle of aged balsamic

strawberries, chèvre & a drizzle of aged balsamic

strawberries, chèvre & a drizzle of aged balsamic

Purple Haze Chèvre (a blend of goat’s cheese, lavender and wild fennel pollen) from Cypress Grove Chèvre 

Fresh strawberries

Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps, Fig and Olive 

Aged balsamic vinegar

Simply spread the goat’s cheese on the crackers, (8 oz should be enough for 20 or more crackers). Top with some fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey or aged balsamic vinegar and serve immediately. If your guests are not quite ready, it is a good idea to serve the goat’s cheese and fruit in separate bowls and let them make their own when they are ready. The crackers, especially the thin wafers, will become soggy rather quickly.

to do list: IKEA EKBY GÄLLÖ

The original String System

The original String System

I have always loved string shelves. Right now, I'm preferring the idea of moving the books etc up onto the wall instead of in masses of teetering bookshelves all over the house and the string system is my favorite option. But since they're not really an option for the moment, I've been exploring other options, leaning towards the faster more inexpensive end of the spectrum. I recently came across a very appealing alternative that is both easy to find and budget friendly, the IKEA EKBY GÄLLÖ. I am really unsure of how it took me so long to find these. We've spent quite a bit of time in the shelving section of IKEA lately, so there is just no excuse. We've just completed several sets of IKEA ALGOT shelves here in the house after I decided to give them a try in lieu of the ELFA shelving we usually use in the closets. I liked them so much in the 2 closets that we re-did, that we added them in both the playroom and office. And we also are using the IKEA FABIAN brackets (with our own shelves) for our kitchen uppers. I had chosen a nearly identical bracket, but were unable to actually obtain them when I stumbled up the FABIAN and realized it was almost an exact match. We're painting them and hope to have them up in a few days after months of going without the upper shelves.

Somehow, still I missed the EKBY GÄLLÖ until now. I was actually looking for information about something unrelated and came across a shot of an entire wall of them in a gorgeous modern house and was really surprised when I tracked down the source as IKEA. I was planning out 2 walls of the ALGOTS for the basement playroom. Similar overall feel to the String shelves and very similar to the original wall mounted shelves that the previous owner removed before clearing out the house. But the GÄLLÖ really hits a bit closer to what I want. I was considering using three 12 foot boards with the 7 of the GÄLLÖ standards to fill the end wall of the larger playroom, but I've been overruled by "the one who actually installs" and we are going with 3 separate units of 46" wide x 11" deep using the IKEA EKBY TRYGGVE raw shelves. I've agreed mostly because they are short on the standards right now and it means I can have part of the shelf up now instead of waiting. I'm not patient, so I adapted. Hopefully the shelves will be in process by next week. We're mounting them as is for now. In the long run, I'd like to paint the standards and paint or stain the shelves, but that will have to wait until we settle on the wall color and actually paint the wood paneling. Right now, we're leaning towards a dark blue wall because we want to add a projector to the room at some point and maybe going yellow, turquoise or orange for the shelves. More on that later.



Here are some EKBY GÄLLÖ's in action that I've pulled together to give an idea of what we're working with. When I get an idea, I always search far and wide to determine how viable it is before I forge ahead. Sometimes, I'm lucky and I can find lots of images that give me the details I need. I love the wire look and the built in book ends which is super convenient when you own 4.5 million books. 

via My WGB

via My WGB

via My WGB

via My WGB

Bronzed via Carole + Ellie

Bronzed via Carole + Ellie

Bronzed via Carole + Ellie

Bronzed via Carole + Ellie

More to come once we're a bit further along. 




I have spent the past 4 days in a bathing suit and I've not been happy about it. It's really more of a water-friendly cover up system than an actual bathing suit. It could likely be worn on the tennis courts in, say, October and fit right in. As a former bikini wearer, or bikini bottom only wearer, that's just sad. I saw these the other day. This is what a bathing suit should look like and because they are made to hold on nicely- made from hand crocheted trim, elastic and high tech fabrics without any clasps, hooks or ties, you can do just about anything. They even come with a ziploc bag of their own to travel both dray and wet. All versions of the superbly cool KIINI are sold out at KIINI and won't ship til close to the end of the summer, but that works out just fine for those lucky people who get to wear bikinis well past September. Or check the website for retailers that might still have them in stock. They hold super powers supposedly and are absolutely awesome. The beach towels are pretty lovely too. See more on the website.

check it out: Tenom, COS & Sasa Designs by the Deaf

Tenom Furniture/Konstantin Achkov

Tenom is a line of "puzzle furniture" designed by Konstantin Achkov, created without glue, nails or screws, just router cut plywood, guided by a computer. The idea tis o create unique, ecologically friendly, easily transportable furniture that reduces waste while looking amazing. See more about this Bulgarian bases line on their website

COS online store

If you haven't seen it yet, COS has opened online shopping for the US. A division of H & M, COS offers highly stylish, modern clothing for women, men & children at a reasonable price point. 

Sasa Designs by the Deaf

Sasa Designs by the Deaf  was establishes in 2011 to provides employment and fair wages to Deaf artisans in Kenya. You will find a really lovely selection of handmade jewelry.