Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Need Your Help, Again - Part 2

Remember months ago when I bought this chair? Well, my life is less frantic again and I'm ready to finish it. I need to pick a stain and pick a fabric. For stain, I'm thinking medium brown, like a chestnut or walnut. I think that's more traditional for mid-century modern. I am open to other stains but I want the fabric and stain to work well together. I usually go for solid fabrics for upholstery so I can use patterns in the throw pillows and then change them and not have to reupholster an entire chair. But this chair will be fairly easy to redo so I'm more willing to use a pattern. So here are some fabrics I've found.

1) I love this fabric! It's hard to tell in this small swatch but it's heavy, upholstery-grade. The horizontal lines you see are kind of like pin-tucks. Then towards the left end, by the point, you can see a small flat area. That's a vertical band that holds the pin-tucks in place. Those vertical bands are spaced about 3 inches apart. I love the color, I love the texture. I'm not sure about this color with a medium brown wood. Also, I like piping on the edges of cushions. I'm pretty sure I couldn't make piping out of this cushion and finding the exact same color would be hard. I could do a contrast piping in black? brown? tan?

2) I also love Amy Butler fabrics. Like I said, I usually choose solids so this is a big leap for me. I want to be brave but I'm scared and also unsure of what size pattern is OK. Some of these are really big patterns and the pillows are only about 20x20.
Here are a few photos from the Amy Butler site. I think I do like the solid upholstery with the patterned pillows better.
What do you think? This chair is NOT going in my bedroom so it doesn't have to work with the colors in there. Wondering what the bedroom is like, help me figure that out too.

I Need Your Help, Again - Part 1

So I've painted the walls and picked out some furniture for my room. Now I need help with the other colors and fabrics. The walls are pale blue with a hint of turquoise. The floors are hardwoods and at some point I want to get a rug, I've been thinking of something geometric in black and tan. I need new bedding, a few pillows, and curtains. I had been thinking of pale turquoise with dark turquoise and orange or dark pink. Then I looked through my stack of pages ripped out of magazines and found this article about how a designer redid his backyard. I love it. I must have remembered it while I was planning because it's the same blues I mentioned, and the paint on the floor is a geometric black and white pattern! He used bright yellow as an accent which is nice too. The small picture in the middle shows a woman in a dark pink dress to give an idea of that being the accent color.
Yesterday I went to Fabric Depot. I forgot how much I love that store and how big it is. I went in with every intention of buying fabric. I went out with empty hands, sore feet, and lots of ideas. So that's why I need your help, I got a little overwhelmed.

Originally I had planned on a white duvet cover, maybe with black or some other color piping like this: And a few pillows with dark turquoise and dark pink, maybe a little tan. But now that seems too boring. I love all white but this time, I want more color, more fun. Plus it's hard to find many fabrics with white in them, most are colors with beige or tan.

Next idea: A tan/linen colored duvet cover, maybe with white piping. Then some colored fabrics for accents.

Here a few idea boards (click on them to make them bigger and to read my notes). I think most of the fabrics would look better with a tan duvet rather than a white one. Like in the Domino article above about the backyard, the cushions are really beige. But beige bedding seems too much like dirty old white bedding so I'm leaning towards tan. It's more obvious that it's supposed to be that color.
I also like this darker brown with the darker blue. Not quite what I had originally thought, but I really do like it.
What do you think? Any ideas, opinions, pearls of wisdom from your own experiences?
And if you're feeling especially helpful, please read the post about fabrics for my chair.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

He Knows He Can Dance!

Eeeeeee! This commercial combines 2 things I love, IKEA and Robert Muraine from So You Think You Can Dance.  Amazing!  

If you've never seen him before, or if you just miss him since SYTYCD is over, check out his dance-off on SYTYCD and performance on Ellen. He really is even better than on the IKEA commercial when he just gets to do his thing without props.

Monday, August 25, 2008

See the USA on One Tank of Gas

Monday night we went to 50 Plates, a new restaurant in the Pearl.  The idea is food from all 50 states. The decor is mostly dark brown, one white wall covered in tiny white tiles, and a few splashes of color thanks to memorabilia from across the country.

Back in college, I was on a double date and one of the guys asked what I thought of the food.  I said it was yummy.  They thought it was funny that I didn't give a more detailed description but sometimes, when things are that good, words fail.  That's how I felt about 50 Plates, it's yummy.  
The menu was well-written, fun to read, and, in an age when restaurants just call the dish what it is, it was refreshing to see dishes with names. Like The Lousy Hunter (a small slider with goat cheese, a sweet relish, and a fried green tomato), or Roscoe's (another slider with fried chicken and syrup on a waffle).  The waitstaff was so friendly and our waiter looked a bit like Obama. The end result - I felt like I was in the most upscale diner I could ever imagine.  That's meant as a huge compliment, just in case there is any question.  There were at least 10 things on the menu I wanted to try.  Next time, I'll have to show restraint in the main course so I can get dessert.  The Shake and Bake is warm cookies AND a shake!

And just in case, all of that wasn't enough, twenty feet away was a table of 8 Portland firemen.

Lizzy has a more in-depth review with photos!

Music Monday - 8/25/08

11 friends and I have a  music club.  Each month, one of the people makes a CD and sends it to everyone else.  This month is mine, well, really I had July, but with interviewing, starting a new job, and moving, I'm a little late.

White Daisy Passing (mp3) - Rocky Votolato
I'm Good, I'm Gone (mp3) - Lykke Li
Piazza, New York Catcher (mp3) - Belle and Sebastian
Junkyard (mp3) - Page France
Halfmoon (mp3) - Blair
It Ends with a Fall (mp3) - Okkervil River
Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken (mp3) - Camera Obscura
Drip, Drip, Drop (mp3) - Canoe
Oviedo (mp3) - Blind Pilot
Islands in the Stream (mp3) - Feist and Constantines
Boston (mp3) - Vampire Weekend
Stars (mp3) - The Weepies
Danny Callahan (mp3) - Conor Oberst
I Walk the Line (mp3) - Shelby Lynne
Song We Sang Away (mp3) - Low vs. Diamond
Young Americans (mp3) - David Bowie
Stuck on a Boat (mp3) - Port O'Brien
Prove Me Wrong (mp3) - e.s.l.
The Scientist (mp3) - Aimee Mann

P.S. I had a little trouble with the links, let me know if there are any problems.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Loss for Words?

Take this quiz to see how many of the 100 most common words you know.   It's harder than you think.  I got 43.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Present to Myself

I just gave myself a great birthday present... Freedom from debt

Monday, August 18, 2008

Music Monday - 8/18/08

Tomorrow is my birthday, 35 years old!

When your name's Ansley, there aren't any songs with your name in them. So here are some songs I like to pretend are about me.

Bootylicious (mp3) - Destiny's Child
Big Brown Eyes (mp3) - Old 97s
Brass in Pocket (mp3) - The Pretenders
Sweet Child O' Mine (mp3) - Guns n Roses
Around the Way Girl (mp3) - LL Cool J
You're All I Need to Get By (mp3) - Marvin Gaye
The Girl from Ipanema (mp3) - Stan Getz & JoĆ£o Gilberto

And one that feels more applicable than I wish
I Remember Being Young (mp3) - Bikini

Monday, August 11, 2008

Music Monday - 8/11/08

I just finished my first day of work. Last week was off-site computer orientation. Today was mostly reading, learning, watching, and getting a headache. So this Music Monday will be quick. While driving around this week, I heard a song on the radio, Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle. I sang along to every word, and then the DJ talked about how, after 14 years, that song is still as awesome and relevant as ever. So here is that song and a few more older songs I will always love.

Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle (mp3) - Cake
Tempted (mp3) - Squeeze
Tom's Diner (mp3) - Suzanne Vega
Call Me (mp3) - Blondie

Thursday, August 07, 2008

826 - Reading Fun for Everyone

Have you heard about the 826 program? Here's a little bit about it:
"826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization with locations in seven cities across the country. Our goal is to assist students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Our work is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success."
If there isn't a program in your city, there are probably other literacy or writing programs. And if not, you can always support an 826 center by shopping at one of their online stores. They each have a unique theme and items you probably can't find anywhere else.

826 Valencia (San Francisco) - The Pirate Store - All sorts of treasures like Pirate Dice and Eye Patches
826 Chicago - The Boring Store - The name must be ironic, none of this stuff is boring. I want A Sunday Afternoon Hotdog Meal. It's a field guide to Chicago written by 200 elementary school students.

826 Michigan - The Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair Store - How can you resist a CD called I'm Not a Philosopher, I am Just a Green Monster: Songs of Monster Protest.

826 NYC - The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. - They don't yet have an online shop but don't these capes, canned muscles, and bottled elastic fantastic make you want to stop in.
From 826 Seattle - The Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. - No online store yet but the promise of space travel is very enticing. And you can peek in to see what's going on.

826 LA - Echo Park Time Travel Mart - This is the store that first caught my attention. Amy Martin's (blog, flickr) Time Travel Agency posters are so beautiful. I want them all but especially this one:

All Sorts Of Onions Make Me Cry

About a year ago, I mentioned that I bought Onion Goggles because chopping onions makes my eyes water.

I am also extremely sensitive to The Onion, it often makes my eyes water, from laughter. One of my favorite parts is American Voices. Here's a recent one:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

World's Most Perfect House

While clicking through blogs of friends to blogs of people I don't know, I found this one, Carolina Eclectic. I admit I clicked on it because I'm from South Carolina. Her post on finding the Mid-century Modern Facebook group featured a beautiful house. It's so easy to get to be too much with one particular style, especially when it's a trendy one. But this house is perfect! Such a good blend of unique pieces, such a wonderful mix of wood, metal, plastic, and fabrics. It looks like a very talented real person did it rather than being overdone by a stylist. Put simply, I love it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Music Monday - 8/4/08

This is a fun article and interactive map from The Phoenix (I have to admit, I'd never heard of this site). 50 bands, 50 states For every state in the union, they picked a best band, best solo artist, and best new act. Some states have hard choices, did you know Minnesota is responsible for Bob Dylan and Prince. Other states, like my home state, SC, stretch the definition of solo act. Best Band is Iron & Wine. Best solo act is James Brown. Would he really have been the Godfather of Soul without his backup singers and band? And isn't Iron & Wine just Sam Beam?

Here are a few songs from what they judge to be the best bands and solo artists from states where I have lived.

SC - Make You Love Me (mp3) - Slow Runner and Sunset Soon Forgotten (mp3) - Iron & Wine
OR - Mystery (mp3) - The Wipers
UT - Paper Roses (mp3) - Marie Osmond
VA - Walkin' After Midnight (mp3) - Patsy Cline
TX - Shake Shake Shake (mp3) - White Denim

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fun With Grammar

I love grammar and I love grammar mistakes.  I make them all the time, sometimes on purpose.  In my opinion, if I know the rules, I can break them.  Some of my current favorites:
  • I like the way the post titles look with all the first letters capitalized even though I know I shouldn't capitalize words like a, an, the, of, with, etc.
  • I have really been liking the word funner to describe summer fun.
  • To me, the flow of picked and choosed is so much better and funner than picked and chose.
I also love to find grammar mistakes.  Here are some good sites if you enjoy them too.  I picked and choosed only the best.

Grammar Cop by The Banterist

This clip from The Daily Show isn't really about grammar but it does mention it. Plus it's TDS and Jon Stewart. I should really start including a clip on every post just because.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks which posts such gems asAnd then wonders what they do to make the rice "brown"

All the quotation marks made me remember one of the funniest scenes from Friends. The one where Joey doesn't understand air quotes, "Ooops!"