Category Archives: Design Diversions

Snapshots from Phoenix

Hi everyone.  Have I mentioned that it is really hot in Phoenix right now?  It is really hot in Phoenix right now.  And now that July has kicked in, there is now humidity thanks to the monsoon storms.  I was told this place had dry heat.  I need a refund.

Nevertheless, the heat can’t keep me in – I refuse! Last weekend (4th of July weekend which was really long for us since we got Monday off as well (which to note is not an Arizona thing but rather a result of working 4 ten-hour days)) we did a little exploring and this weekend we did a little more.  I thought I’d share our adventures with you in a few snapshots.

Last weekend’s visit to the Antique Plaza in Mesa yielded a few results – some more vinyl for JT’s record collection and a cool copper printed map of Arizona for me.  There were some other items I didn’t want to leave behind . . .

MESA ANTIQUE PLAZA 1

MESA ANTIQUE PLAZA 2

The Antique Plaza was huge!  Some of the prices were right on, some were a little high and there was actually some MCM to be found (usually with the higher price tag).  We’ll be back.

We have a field mouse hiding in our house somewhere . . . I’m trying to catch him with peanut butter and love but the next step will be JT taking over the offensive and his methods are not so sweet.

MOUSE IN THE HOUSE

Friday night while JT was out doing a band audition I met the mouse and went to Home Depot for the traps.  The next morning found me back at the Depot for a lighting class and meet and greet with (now) local blogger Jenny Komenda from Little Green Notebook.  The actual class went a little sideways and no one else took photos so I grabbed this shot with furtive shame on my phone (that’s Jenny on the right in the green blouse).

LITTLE GREEN NOTEBOOK

Jenny was super sweet and ready to relax a little after finishing up the Domino Magazine photo shoot at her house.  I can’t even imagine!

And no, that isn’t me above with a half buzzed head but the heat has convinced me that less hair is the better option.   Here’s a quick in-the-salon before pic to show just how long (and kind of straggly) my hair had become.

LONG HAIR

And after!  So much better for the summer!

SHORTER HAIR

So today I took my new haircut out into the heat and JT and I visited Cosanti which is the residence and studios of Paolo Soleri.  JT described it as looking like the place where Luke Skywalker lives and while I don’t have a good frame of reference on  that, it was a unique place that had primitive and futuristic aspects all at the same time.

COSANT 3

Doesn’t that kind of look like a wooden spaceship came to land in the desert?  Steampunk kids take note, this place was started in the 1950s.

COSANTI 2 COSANTI 1

Also (random alert) there was a lot of olive trees among the vegetation and the site produces, bottles and sells its own olive oil.  Wowza.

OLIVES

I can’t wait to go up north and stay the night at Soleri’s larger experiment, Arcosanti.

What’s been going on with you guys?  Any tips for the heat?  Thank goodness my local grocery store carries a few flavors of coconut milk ice cream or I might have melted already.  Cheers – CT

(PS – More adventures to come – a day trip to Jerome and JT finds a new man chair.  Oooooh!)

Hot Crowd

Has anyone else noticed how Jimmy Fallon always comments that there is a “hot crowd” now that he’s on the Tonight Show?  And so the crowd cheers louder because he may be saying that they’re physically attractive but really he may be commenting on their general liveliness?  Well (to transition this thing over) we’re always a hot crowd here in Phoenix now that the days are mostly in the 100 to 100 degree range.  It’s like a long-standing joke on us (until September when we then laugh at the rest of the country).

We got up early a few weekends back to see if hiking was still feasible in this heat.  The Valley had a layer of smog when we were only 20 minutes in and not very high up the mountain.

THE VALLEY

The sun started baking us and we called it a little early to head back home, drink all the water we could find and generally lay about.

THE SUN

The heat means I open the doors to send the dogs out and in a few short minutes I see this out the back door . . .

HOT DOGS ON A PORCH

So we let them back in and then they generally lay about the place.  Like so (Sophie, who finally learned how to use pillows):

LAZY SOPHIE

And so:

LAZY PAIR

And so (a princess and the pea Shenanigan when I piled up the dog beds so our robot vacuum could be unleashed in the bedroom):

LAZY BOO

One benefit of the heat is a 50% discount offered to Arizona residents for visits to Taliesin West.  JT and I thought the first tour on Saturday morning (9am) might be nice and empty but it was packed instead.  So it was a little difficult to take pictures due to the throng of fellow architecture enthusiasts we were surrounded by.

TALIESIN

The tour was interesting, the sun was hot and I enjoyed nosing around.  As this was Wright’s winter home, he left a lot of the structures open with only canvas as a covering for a few years until his wife convinced him to go with glass.

I found a handsome man on the tour …

HANDSOME MAN

A sculpture I liked . . .

SCULPTURE BACK

Oh, you wanted me to turn around? (Picture fail)

SCULPTURE FRONT

A picture of a picture (heading into the dinner theatre area – what don’t you have your architecture students/servants put on a dinner theatre for you on your winter vacation?)

PICTURE IN A PICTURE

(Sidenote: I didn’t realize my hair was getting so long . . .)

TALIESIN 2

The view towards McDowell Mountain.  You can definitely see where Wright got his inspiration!  Time to get back inside and away from the sun’s burning rays!  Cheers – CT

 

 

A belated recap

It’s been a few weeks now since the Modern Phoenix hosted annual Home Tour.  This year the focus was Arcadia which is an area JT and I are interested in (among others) for when we finally buck up and buy a house here in the desert.  My pictures are not that great, there was a ton of people and it made it hard to get a whole room photographed without having at least five randos in it.  Modern Phoenix had a “Gauntlet” challenge and gave out a prize to one lucky dude who visited all the sites (we didn’t make it to all of them – I’m a dawdler and like to really look at everything).  They have his photos on their Facebook site here.

So here’s a quick look at some of my (crummy) photos —  this amazing barrel-vaulted kitchen overlooking a sunken living room is one of the few residential works that architect Paolo Soleri designed.  It was pretty amazing.

SOLERI 1

Soleri even designed the mailbox.  Like I said, pretty amazing.

SOLERI 2

This is from a meticulously curated bachelor pad.  His place was an awesome use of 800 sf.

BACH PAD

This is the bachelor’s front hang-out area.   Move over kitty, I wouldn’t mind lounging here either.

RELAXING

This next house was owned by the people who own Modern Manor, a furniture store in the Melrose area that you never want to leave.  Their house was pretty much like that too.  I briefly googled around, hoping for a home tour somewhere but to no avail.  This place was too packed on the inside to get any photos but it was to die for (as is the store).

MODERN MANOR

We drove into one of the last stops and I was reminded of St. Louis and the Ridgewood neighborhood where I had dreamed of owning a home one day.

REMINDS ME OF RIDGEWOOD

One of the Ridgewood-esque homes had its own MCM play house in the backyard.  There were two houses on the tour on this little U-shape street and it looked like all the homeowners in the whole neighborhood were either architects or designers.  I was ready to move in.  There is definitely real estate stalking in my future.

MCM PLAY HOUSE

This great office space was also an architect’s home and it was so peaceful and serene (the pool in the backyard always seems to impart a sense of calm.)

ARCHITECTS OFFICE

This one’s for you Nick Armadillo – a Nelson clock collector.  Like heavy-duty – they were all over the house.  And based on the neighborhood the house was in, I would hazard a guess that they are all originals.

CLOCKS

Because the sun is such a prominent part of everyone’s lives here in Phoenix, solutions for dealing with its burning rays are always welcome.  This house had a great outdoor space with canopies that can be rotated to help cope with the sun at different angles.  Pretty ingenious.

SUN SHADE

A fun part of the tour was they had classic cars parked at almost every house that matched the vintage of the house.  Plus look at that container garden in the background . . . yum.

RETRO CARS

I saved the best for last – an Al Beadle house so high up on Camelback Mountain that you would be living amongst all the celebrities and athletes that call the Valley home (or at least their vacation home).

ME AND BEADLE

The house is currently gutted and they were showing plans to turn it into a little bit of a monster with large additions out the back but look at this MCM beauty . . .

BEADLE AT CAMELHEAD

That is literally the camel’s head of Camelback Mountain in the back left of the photo.  All in all I can’t come up with a better adjective than amazing.  It was so awesome to get to peek into all of these homes – some we could maybe afford one day and others that are clearly the stuff that lottery dreams are made of.  JT ventured a comment that we might have a home worthy of the tour someday.  I hope he’s right.

Cheers – CT

All by herself . . .

Since moving down to Phoenix and “retiring” (the nice way of saying I’m still unemployed), I have a lot of by myself time while JT is at work.  I’ve filled a lot of it with dog walking, grocery shopping, cooking, baking and helping my MIL find a place to live (we did it, she moved in last night).

I’ve noticed thought that when I’m at home all day, I’ll think up projects and plan them for the weekend and/or evenings when JT is around.  Finally the other day I had a realization that I could do it myself.  And so I did.  (Probably also spurred on by the fact that I had just read “Miss Harper Can Do It” by Jane Berentson, another way to fill some time and keep that brain working.)

I’ve already mentioned that our new house feels mansion-like compared to the small footprint of our brick bungalow in St. Louis.  For instance we now have a Master Bath.  A bathroom that is the master of all others.  I have my own sink and my own little nook for make-up-ing and other things women in their 30s do in the bathroom.  I had been looking for some artwork or a storage piece for that wall when an idea suddenly flashed into my head – I had just what I needed in the garage.

NECKLACE DISPLAY

So, voila – a once empty wall now displays all my junk jewelry with the help of an old curtain rod from our STL master bedroom (we took down these wimpier rods when we hung the new curtains.)

There’s no earth-shattering invention here – I’m pretty sure this method for hanging necklaces has already been done and pinned many-a-time to Pinterest.  I just got a kick out of using something I had and getting out the handheld drill for a girl power moment.

CLOSE UP

I hung all the necklaces without clasps on the end and kept all the other in the middle so I can unfasten them to take them off the rod if needed for actual wearing but I’m thinking if this method gets too tangled, I might grab some of the Grundtal hooks at Ikea and hang each necklace on its own hook.  Oh, the thrill of being able to “grab” something at Ikea without a five-hour drive is still novel to me!  Cheers – CT

Dreaming of . . .

I’ve been having strange dreams lately.  Dreams of furniture objects magically appearing in my house.  Kind of like Christmas in July . . .

X

Like maybe a set of four butterfly chairs (with white/beige canvas covers) to appear in a perfectly landscaped backyard?  Maybe a pool would appear too?

825123_l

For some reason, and I blame Pinterest, I now have vintage ladders on the brain.  Not the hinged in the middle, two sided ones as much but the really old-school wood ones that would just lean up against the wall.  I’m pretty sure I saw some in the grass next to the dumpster at Goodwill when I was donating some stuff.  I need to go back.  Immediately.

outside_the_box_01-lgn

So ubiquitous, so done everywhere, I just want a really, really big fiddle leaf fig tree.  And a really, really big living room with a lot of natural light.  So maybe a house in California too.  A girl can dream right?

il_fullxfull_336097022

The last thing I’ve been dreaming of is a tri-fold vanity mirror.  And I could probably easily buy one from one of the decorating sites online.  But instead I dream of finding just the perfect (vintage) one at a thrift store for $10.  Not likely to happen but that’s what dreams are for.

What have you been dreaming about lately?  Join me in cloud land.  And Santa Claus or my fairy godmother or anyone who has one of these perfect things and wants to make magic in my life, give me a buzz.  Cheers – CT

*********************************************************************

Butterfly chairs from 1st Dibs here.

Ladders also 1st Dibs here.

Fiddle leaf fig image via Elle Decor.  Wowza.

Vanity mirror via Etsy.  But sold, boo.

Living Analog @ Lansdowne Life!

Hey everyone!  I know it has been quiet over here . . .  .

SHENANIGAN SLEEPS

But I actually put together a guest post (a tutorial!) over at Lansdowne Life while Erin is out spending time with her new baby girl.

LANSDOWNE LIFE FEATURE

Check it out here.

(In a weird twist of fate, one of my Stitch and Bitch girls Erin is also at home with her new baby girl!  Welcome to the world Lily and Etta.  Thanks to having such creative mamas, I think you’re going to have a pretty beautiful world to live in.)

I recently added a new sidebar of all the STL area bloggers I’m reading.  We’re a small but mighty group.  If there are any others you would recommend, send them my way (the more design, DIY, or MCM-based the better).  Be sure to click around and maybe you’ll find some more blogs to add to your daily reads.

And (random transition) . . . . I put in an order for some more Flor carpet tiles . . . area rugs and runners to come.  Here’s what we ordered:

FLOR CPTS FOR LIVING ANALOG

Where do you think it’s going!  I can’t wait (but it might not arrive until Monday so I will have to wait!)  Cheers – CT

Spastic and Sporadic

Things have been a bit spastic and sporadic over here at Living Analog.  I have about 500 projects half started and zero finished.  We’re getting ready for our “Sweetheart’s Dinner” (AKA Valentine’s Dinner Party) and I’ve been really been looking for ways to amp this up and squeeze some juicy blog content out of it.  So that led to more projects . . .

So what have I done (besides whining and bellyaching)?  Well Pinterest is the devil and sidetracked me with some recipes: baked cinnamon apple chips and homemade cheese-its that I just had to try:

PINTEREST FOOD

The apple chips were eat-them-right-now-and-then-make-more good.  The DIY cheese-its were a little meh.  I think I left the dough in the fridge too long and need to roll them thinner.  It was good enough to give it a second try — plus it’s nice to make these and know what four ingredients are in them versus the chemical smorgasbord you buy at the store.  Off my soapbox now . . .  are you on Pinterest? I’m mildly addicted and sometimes majorly annoyed.  I’ll pin something and later go to click-through to the original source and . . . nothing.  Or spam.  Right now my policy is to only repin items — Pinterest is still a gray area for makers and artisans — do they want their items pinned for all to attempt a duplicate?  Maybe not.  So by only repinning, I’m sort of off the hook when it comes to the point of putting someone else’s item on Pinterest without their permission.  The exception to that is items for sale — I totally have a pin board with a crazy expensive purse that I want.  I figure if an item is available for internet retail, they only benefit by having it on Pinterest. . . .

Pinterest

That’s me, if you want to meet up over there.  I should figure out how to put a linky-thing up for that.  I probably also need to start watermarking my photos but that’s for another day . . . no time, too many projects!

Oh yeah . . .another Pinterest project . . .

CANVAS WAITING FOR PAINT

(Pardon the bad iPhone picture).  This is my plan to tie in the arc lamp and all its brassy goodness.  Add some more gold/brass!  This is a thrift store canvas I picked up for a few dollars and have spray painted metallic.  Next step paint like this cool pin:

FROM PINTEREST

{Image via this blog}

Now that I look at my version versus their version, I think I am going to retape.  I like how this canvas has one major vanishing point . . . back to the drawing board . .  . and onto other projects . . .

Here’s something for the dinner party:

COOKIE CUTTER

I found this little cookie cutter at World Market and it will make little shortbread cookies that sit on the edge of a coffee cup.  And I just got new coffee cups that nest into a little serving tray from my mom for Christmas so I know that will be getting used. . . next?

VIEW FROM BED

Here’s my view from bed last night.  A little progress on the art wall . . .

A project with less progress is the pile ‘o paperwork I dug out of the hall closet for filing, shredding and other such pain in the ass handling.  I need to get this sucker finished.

PAPERWORK IS THE DEVIL

So that is a random wrap-up of the random goings-on at the Living Analog abode.  It’s all kinds of spastic and sporadic . . . I’ve got project A.D.D – hopping from one to the next back to another . . .

Speaking of spastic and sporadic, or maybe just neurotic . . . does anyone else sort their M&Ms by color or is that just me . . .

NEUROTIC

Yep, officially into crazy.  Back to the races, I mean projects . . .I mean work.  Cheers – CT

Decorating for Christmas, Part Two

Our first Christmas card arrived the other day and I was so excited to put it up on the mirror like last year.  I’m hoping more are on their way . . .

OVERALL MANTEL

If they’re not it’s because we haven’t sent out cards at all, mainly because it’s just the husband and I, and no one wants to see our mugs year after year.  But we wanted a picture to sent to JT’s grandma this year and came to find that really we haven’t taken many of just the two of us in the last almost eight years of marriage. . . . something that will need to be remedied soon.  The photographer who did my sister’s engagement photos was really great . . . .

Also some presents are wrapped! Sticking with my “white and bright” theme, I picked up a roll of plain white wrapping paper.  I still need to add some embellishments in the form of tags and ribbon and then they will be all done!   I wish I could say we’re all done with shopping but that’s never the case.  There’s always someone a little trickier to buy for. (You know who you are.)

While putting up our decorations this year, there was one spot that felt a little bare.  While browsing through my daily Google Reader feed a few days ago, I saw a wreath that reached out of the computer screen and pulled me in.  I HAD to have it.  Immediately.  I haven’t felt the urge to acquire something that strongly in a while.  Check out this post on the Nesting Place here and see if you can spot what I spotted.

BARE SPOT

Or . . .  I’ll just go ahead and show you what I did!

THE WREATH MAKES IT COMPLETE

I figured rather than buy, why not make!  I still had some paper left over from my punched dots garland and off I went.

TO MAKE

At first I thought I needed to get a wreath form or something more round to attach my paper leaves to but I still wanted the wreath IMMEDIATELY and didn’t necessarily want to start spending money on something I had already started for free.    So I used a large bowl and a little dessert plate to trace out my circles on cardboard.

HOT GLUE WARMS THE SOUL

My sisal rope from Home Depot is still going strong so I used that to hang it in what I’d like to consider a simple-yet-casual arrangement.  There was one spot on the wreath that was a little flattened out already from my learning curve as I glued the leaves down so I looped the twine around that section.

CLOSE UP

I also had a couple of sections of white twinkle lights left over from my teenage years when Leonardo DiCaprio was Romeo and Claire Danes was Juliet and I listened to Sarah McLachlan a lot in my bedroom.  You know, the nineties.  I wrapped them up into a little white light twinkle ball and nonchalantly set that on the window ledge to complete the holiday decorating.

I still had one other task at hand — that pesky green painters tape I used to rig up the mantel.  After a quick trip to Target (kidding – when is it ever a quick trip!) I had my white duct tape and fixed up the mantel.

WHITE DUCT TAPE SAVES THE DAY

Doesn’t it look like I photoshopped that picture or something!  It’s magical!  And then . . . I saw something else  I could use the white duct tape for . . . at guess where . . . . The Nesting Place.  Check it out – this is next.  Watch out mantel!

It’s that time again . . .

. . . time to watch “Love Actually” while putting up your Christmas tree, of course!  Bill Nighy is my favorite in this movie.

LOVE ACTUALLY

I’m a little bit on the grinch-y side of things when it comes to the holidays but really I don’t mind any excuse to decorate.  Actually I think everyone might benefit from having twinkle lights up year round.  The world would be a happier, more peaceful place.

Every year I look at what we have in our Christmas bins and try a different combination.  Some years have been red and silver, one year was chocolate brown and cream,  last year I used some wicker/wood garland and so on and so on.   I decided my decorating theme for this year was “white and bright”.  That meant stringing up my new white paper-punch garland, putting all white candles on the mantel and finishing it off with Elvis in a white jumpsuit as the tree topper.  Have a look.

XMAS TREE STRAIGHT ON

MANTEL

I need to switch out the green painter’s tape for white duct tape.  Pretty much everything is held up and/or together with some combination of painter’s tape, fishing line or green or clear metal paddle wire.

TABLETOP DETAIL

I edited down the table top to things that seemed to go with the scheme and found these cute striped napkins hiding out in our McCobb bar/secretary.  I put them out on the table with strict instructions to the husband not to actually USE them . . . That’s normal, right?

Here’s the dogs as they always are each time I take these pictures:

DOGS ON SOFA

Lazy.

Sophie made a cameo in last year’s photos and I think she was in the exact same place this year.  Funny the difference (or not) a year can make.

Christmas 2011

XMAS 2011

Christmas 2012

XMAS OVERALL 2

Basically all the furniture in this room has been changed out since last year except the sofa and that’s about to be off the island soon too.  The difference in the fireplace from last year to this year is dramatic.  Here’s another view:

Christmas 2011

XMAS 2011 #2

Christmas 2012

XMAS OVERALL 1

And just for grins (or grimaces!) I found an image from Christmas of 2010.  No Sophie the dog this time, just really bad photography:

xmas_1

Yep, we are really loving our new accent wall and fireplace.   Once again for the books – Christmas 2012 with a bullet:

XMAS TREE STRAIGHT ON

(PS – That errant power cord has been tucked back in under the sheepskins where it belongs!  It’s amazing how I notice things when I review my photographs that I never noticed in real life!)

So what’s your favorite part about decorating for the holidays (besides the twinkle lights)?  Does anyone else change their color scheme and decorations year-to-year? I know I’m not the only one!  Cheers – CT

Only a few more hours of work left . . .

And then a nice four day weekend!  Filled with tofurkey! 

You don’t eat tofurkey?  You’re probably not missing out.  Even though Turkey Day is impending, I seem to have other holidays on the mind . . .

With the help of my trusty sewing machine, some thread (I’ve done both lime green and dark gray),  a 1″ hole punch and some left-over paper I  trimmed off a presentation at work, we have garland.  (There have been a lot of good documentaries on PBS lately — the garland has given me a way to get in a little TV fix while still getting something done.  Husband hasn’t complained about having to watch the TV on loud to compensate for the whir of the sewing machine.  Yet.)  I’m kind of ready to get this non-turkey eating day over with and on to hanging up my miles and miles of garland!

As we race towards the end of 2012, I’ve been trying to get going on the “big change-up” I so carelessly promised my loyal readers (all five! I love you guys!)

So the other night I spent pushing around all the larger furniture items in the house on towels.  Good times.  Right now it’s still craziness so no photos (and it is PITCH BLACK when I get home from work and pretty dark when I leave in the morning too.  Boo.  And not good for photo taking.)

Here’s where things are headed:

The dressers will eventually be making a big exit and making room for some more changes . . . .

What else.  I know you guys like my “furniture funnies”.  I got this email today.

Yeah. What they said. . . . (Don’t you want to meet the person who had to sew a turkey costume for a chair?)

Have a good one guys!