Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Light for Knitting

I really like this lamp. I've been looking for a white (or off-white) floor lamp and this one is just so simple and sharp. It lives, right now, at West Elm and the good news is that it's on sale. It was originally $170 and it's been marked down to $100. The bad news is that the shipping will cost me $17 and, since there's a store within the IL state borders, they'll also charge me sales tax (about 9%). All these charges are starting to add up.

But I keep coming back to it and sighing...and longing...

Does anyone know of another lamp that looks similar that might not cost me as much or that I might be able to see in person before I buy it? Or can anyone steer me in the direction of a FREE SHIPPING or other kind of West Elm online coupon?

This particular lamp stands about 58" tall but I could go with a model a bit shorter (around 50"). I like how the shade focuses the light in one spot, which I need because this will end up being a light for knitting. And, as I mentioned before, I like it white or ivory or something in that pale family.

So, go on, get out there. Help me find something good!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Translation: Flowers cut short

There were several great ideas featuring flowers in the February issue of Domino. The easiest one was about cutting flowers and putting all the focus on the on the blooms. It's a simple idea that anyone can do.

Later in the week, I grabbed a bouquet of irises, snipped the stems and placed them in my favorite new vase I bought at DEPART-ment. Here's the result.

Domino's example

Porcelain's version

It was a fast, easy project and every time I walked past the flowers I smiled. Domino reminded me how much I love irises and this was a simple way to change up the way I normally display them.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dream Home...or Nightmare?

In just over two weeks, HGTV is giving away their 11th Dream Home. Located in Winter Park, Colorado, just a hop skip and jump away from the Mary Jane ski area, this three-level, 4,400 sq. ft. escape definitely lives up to its title. All the big players got in on the design of this place: Ethan Allen, Moen, Sub-Zero, Jeld-Wen, California Closets, and even Bissell. But the winner doesn't just get the keys & title to this mountain beauty. Also included in the 2.5 million dollar prize package is a 2007 GMC Acadia, hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators (on top of the flooring already in the house?!), $250,000 from LendingTree, and, so Sparky doesn't feel left out, a Doggy Dream House in the backyard.

Since I hail from Colorado (and will always consider this "big dumb square" of a state home), I got super excited and decided to throw my chips onto the table. The rules are simple; visit HGTV's website and enter the sweepstakes once a day until February 16th. I entered the contest twice before the facts of the situation were brought to my attention. When one considers the realities of taxes, insurance, and travel costs, this prize isn't all that dreamy.

A columnist in Denver's Rocky Mountain News recently published an article which plainly lays out the brutal truth to maintaining a property like this one. Even though the house and all the other prizes are gifted to the winner, most of us couldn't afford to even spend one night in our new second home. Hypothetically, if the winner applies the $250,000 cash prize from LendingTree to the initial taxes (about a million bucks), and then takes out a $750,000 loan to cover the rest, the new owner will still need to come up with nearly $10,000 a month to keep this place afloat. Here's the estimated breakdown (presuming the house is labeled a second home):

$6,800 - payment on the $750,000 loan (interest is tax deductible)
$625 - property taxes (deductible)
$350 - household insurance
$200 - auto insurance for SUV
$400 - heating, electricity and water
$200 - gas and travel expenses to the home (only from Denver)
$686 - homeowner's association and clubhouse fees
TOTAL = $9,261

This may explain why only one of the 10 previous HGTV Dream Homes is still owned by the original winner (and even that one is now for sale). Of course, there are ways to downsize rather quickly: sell the SUV, rent out the space as a vacation spot, etc. But now knowing the nasty truth behind such a seemingly fantastic prize, are you still going to try for it?

Are you going to enter the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes?
Yes! This property is a dream come true!
Sure! But I'd sell it quicker than you can say ESTATE SALE.
No way! I'd rather just enjoy my current home without an ulcer.
Free polls from

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bonus Bone: Railway Cake Pan

Railway Cake Pan, $34

This cake pan by Williams-Sonoma is such a great idea. Now I don't think it's the ideal solution for the time-crunched host but if you have the time, I think it provides such a whimsical result.

Perfectly Staged Example by William-Sonoma

What makes this cake pan so fun is the endless decorative possibilities. This is also why I think you need to reserve a lot of time to complete your masterpiece. A lot of hands would probably help out too. Decorating a cake like this would be perfect for a family gathering or a child's birthday party. Just make sure you have plenty of "cargo" on hand (gummy candy, peppermints, jimmies, berries, pixie sticks, etc). Another cute idea, is to make individual cakes and serve each guest their own car, themed specifically around that person.

Perfectly CraZy Example by Arty Curtis

The price of this unique pan is a bit high but if you entertain often and like to bake, I think this purchase is right on track.

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super cute new blog!

Possible color schemes for Pink Loves Brown's new bungalow!

I was drooling over Pink Loves Brown's adorable apartment (check out her living room, dining room, and office) when I saw that she and her husband just bought an adorable bungalow. Then I noticed that she started a blog called Making it Lovely, which focuses on decorating her new home. I'm completely hooked already!! Check it out!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Batali Bowls

Porcelain & I have a culinary crush on Mario Batali. There's something so endearing about the way he slops around the kitchen in his bright orange shoes.

pre-measured prep bowls are the perfect way to channel our inner Mario as we ham it up for our own cooking show. They also come in orange!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Bonus Bone: Carrie bike basket

Carrie bike basket, available at Design House Stockholm

While flipping through the current issue of Dwell, I spotted this fantastic bike basket designed by Marie-Louise Gustafsson. I love how girly it is, a nice alternative to the more masculine bike baskets. Gustafsson chose to use the fancy crocheted material because it reminded her of her Grandmother's tablecloths, which she used when she served tea. How utterly charming. To top it all off, the basket also doubles as a shopping bag! Another great 2-in-1!

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Little Help?



Sometimes, when you're down, don't you wish you could just look right up at your own wall and find the courage to get back on that horse? Well, now you can and it'll only cost you about $20.

We've all seen the glossy framed posters of extreme dew close-ups or solitary mountain climbers against sunsets. Those posters tell us that patience is a virtue or that one set back won't kill us. The messages are important but not many of us can get past the cheesy stock images.

Alternative Motivational Posters provides the encouragement we all need and they do it in style! These posters remind us of the things we should be doing AND manage to look smart at the same time. AMP knows that their posters won't change lives but they do hope they'll "be our cheerleaders on good days and our coaches on bad ones." Each poster is printed in a four-color process on matte card stock so it retains the same qualities as a hand-printed card. They're a pleasure to gaze upon and they might be just the thing to reignite that creative fire within you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mama C's NO CATS ALLOWED Bedding

"Three," dark green silk dupioni w/gold, yellow gold, & ivory thread

Mama Cardboard ordered her bedding!

Remember that Mama C. sent her name into Apartment Therapy's Gift Bag giveaway and was lucky enough to walk away with one of the most sought after presents. Inmod graciously allowed her to completely customize her own bedding by using their interactive Design Studio. She was allowed to choose her fabric (linen, silk taffeta, silk dupioni), her pattern (14 choices), and even the separate embroidery colors (hundreds of combinations). The bedding can fit any sized bed (except twin) and shams are included. Although normally the cost of one of these bedspreads ranges from about $200 - $800, for Mama C. it was FREE! Her order should be arriving in a number of weeks. She's excited.

Mama C. went with the "three" design on a dark green silk dupioni with gold & ivory embroidery. She wanted to find something pretty and not too modern or crazy. I think her choice will fit into her neutral bedroom very well. The color palette also seems flexible enough to adjust to a change in paint or carpet.

I think she was wise to go with the
silk dupioni. Hopefully the raw, nubby texture of the dupioni will help hide the tiny claw holes and thread tugs. Because she can say NO CATS ALLOWED on the bed but that doesn't mean they're going to listen.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cute knitted pillows

Pillow pals, available at Land of Nod

I spotted these adorable pillows yesterday in a window display as I walked past Land of Nod. I know a certain little girl who would probably love one (or all) of these in her pink bedroom. I also know of a big girl who would love a few of them. (Yeah, that would be me!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bonus Bone: #841

Ray Hartl's #841 & other artwork in the blue room

Yesterday, I turned 30.

Earlier in the week, there was a lot of soul searching and hemming and hawing about my station in life. There's nothing wrong with a little self-reflection. Then, on the anniversary of my 30th year, I opened a heartily constructed box to discover print #841 of the Equine series by
Ray Hartl. I've coveted this print since I first saw Hartl's work at the Old Town Art Fair last summer. This is my mother's gift to me. I love everything about it: the color, the gleam, the abstract quality. I still have to get it framed but, golly, even wrapped in plastic, it stuns me. Happy birthday to me. I couldn't be happier.

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Heads up - new stuff at CB2

Thanks to Devon for cluing us in to some fun new stuff at CB2! I noticed that their new catalog will be available online on January 16. So keep your eyes peeled for a new catalog showing up in your mailboxes soon. Here's what I'm digging on:

FLOR Happy landings tile - Absolutely adorable!!!!!!!

Formosa tray table - This would make a great little bar.

Hippy arm chair - Love the shape, but I just don't see Hippy when I look at the chair.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Love Notes

This sweet little package of 12 love notes (and envelopes) is available at Fred Flare. And when you're finished expressing yourself, the box would be perfect for holding your favorite recipes, address cards, or even Q-tips.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Danish modern side table @ Urban Outfitters

Danish Modern side table, available at Urban Outfitters

There are some days when I'm just too pooped to go hunting all over Craigslist for that perfect little Danish Modern piece. I just want it presented to me and to fulfill my criteria. This morning I spotted this cute table in the Danish Modern style at Urban Outfitters. Not too shabby! Although I will say there ain't nothing like an original. I love vintage pieces, they have so much more character, not to mention better quality. But this little guy will do in a pinch.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bonuser Bone: Fiesta Dinnerware in Pearl Gray

Last Friday, I flew back from Denver. This translates to me spending another 9.5 hours inside various airports, playing GameBoy, drinking lattes, and missing my connecting flights. Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to do when I strolled through my front door at 10pm (without my luggage) was hop right on the computer and find a Bonus Bone. So - SURPRISE - I'm doing a second one today, a Bonuser Bone!

I spent New Year's Eve with a new friend who just happens to be a Fiesta Dinnerware fanatic. His obsession even led him to rent out a tiny little storefront and make a business out of collecting and selling this brightly-colored dishware. His store recently closed and so when I entered his house for the first time on eve of the New Year, it was like sneaking into a "Fiestaware" Museum! The kicky dishes were displayed everywhere: mugs on shelves, plates on hooks, mixing bowls stacked against spoon rests and platters. Each type of dish (dipping bowls, S&P shakers, teeny tiny pitchers) was proudly represented in every color available (or currently unavailable).

I used to think that all Fiestaware was a little garish. I imagined colors like lemon yellow, tangerine, royal purple, and forest green. It is true that Fiestaware does produce loud, saturated colors such as Shamrock, Peacock, and Scarlet. Yet I never knew they could do subtle so well.

Fiesta Pearl Gray, Retired in 2001

I fell in love with the Pearl Gray shade. The hue is so lovely and soft, like a light layer of fog across a lavender garden. Er, something like that. Sadly, I discovered that this color was introduced in 1999 and retired only 2 years later. Yet I needn't worry, there are plenty of online vendors who carry Fiesta Dinnerware. I'm not too worried about finding a couple interesting pieces. I think I might have to give my new friend a call...

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Bonus Bone: Pear chair

I spotted this new chair on Anthropologie's site on Wednesday. It's the Astrid chair, but with an adorable pear print by Orla Kiely. When I went back today, it was gone. Everyone must have been as gaga for it as Cardboard and I were and snapped it up. They must have had a Sugar Daddy (or Mama) because this cutie was almost a cool $1300!

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

UPDATE: The chair has returned to Anthropologie's site. Perhaps your sweetie will get you one in honor of Valentine's Day. (Hint, hint!)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dooce Home

Dooce, as she is affectionately known in the blogger world, took advantage of the New Year's fresh start and cleaned up. She doesn't show us the "Before" photos but sometimes it's just nice to see TIDY and imagine that it's like that all the time.
I'm terribly envious of all the woodwork and gorgeous family portraits. This house certainly looks like love, plastic flowers included.

Let the bidding begin!

The auctions for the Kim Family benefit are now live on ebay. Go and try to snag a beautiful necklace, cuddly kitty, or a pair of awesome prints! Remember it is going towards a wonderful cause.