2009 March | Somewhere in Middle America

I used to write in my diary religiously. Lately, with all of the blogging and twittering I do online, I very rarely sit down with a notebook and pen to jot down all of the thoughts floating around my head. However, if I had one of these limited edition handbound journals ($25) by freshlyblended press and Lara Cameron, I might just make the time to journal once again.

Each 5×7 inch journal features original illustrations from Lara Cameron hand silk-screened on 100% organic fabric with a custom bookplate and Italian cotton ribbon book marker from Angela Liguori at Carta Inc.

Check them out at freshlyblended’s Etsy shop — they are limited edition items and sure to sell out quickly. And in case you were interested, this pattern is my favorite!

If money were no object, I’d buy this necklace by Becky Kelso in a heartbeat. It may be the most gorgeous piece of jewelry I’ve seen in a long time.

(via Something Old, Something New)

I’m so inspired by the still life photography of Decor8‘s Holly Becker She makes everyday objects look so ethereal. Recently I decided to put my still life skills to the test and photograph some white flowers that were originally part of a larger bouquet that my mother bought me for my birthday. As I’ve learned from studying Holly’s pictures, part of what makes a great still life photo is how you stage the objects.

Please let me know what you think of my photos, and if there is something I can do to improve my shots. I’m open to your constructive criticism!

(top image: Holly Becker for Decor8; bottom images: Pamela Jaye)

I love the idea of collecting magazine images in inspiration books, gluing them into the pages of over-sized sketchbooks like these. The reason I don’t do this myself is because a) there are some magazines I just can’t bear to tear and b) I’d probably drive myself crazy trying to separate images by context — kitchen, living room, bedroom, fashion, etc. In my mind, being organized means creating categories for things. Too bad I don’t live by my overly strict rules! My house would be the epitome of organized.

Maybe I could be like Sara of Party Perfect, the creator of these inspiration books, if I could just get over the hump and give in to mixing and matching the pages of magazines into one book. Right now all of my tearsheets are sitting in a heap in my office.

How do you feel about tearing pages out of magazines? Where do you store your inspirational images?

(via Simple Lovely)

The kind people at Envirosax sent me a tote to sample, and I’ve been using it around town lately in an effort to reduce the number of plastic bags I receive from stores. I debuted it at the supermarket, where I filled it up to the brim. The unstructured nature of the bag allows you to stuff random-sized objects inside it but also makes it a bit wobbly to carry. Because it doesn’t have a flat bottom like the RuMe bag (which I still want to test out), it was difficult to balance two bottles of alcohol, a quart of OJ, tortilla chips and salsa and a couple bags of instant rice. It was also quite heavy, and, although the bag has been tested to carry up to 44lbs, I was still so nervous my groceries were going to fall out the bottom that I kept one hand underneath the bag as I wore it on my shoulder.  To remedy this, I think it’s best to use the Envirosax for items like cookies, chips and deli meat rather than containers of liquids.

I do love how small it rolls up; I keep it stashed away in my handbag and it takes up very little room. I also love the pattern–birds! I’ll continue to use and recommend that others give reusable bags like Envirosax a try.

Because my mom is a huge fan of glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, I made sure to take my family to the Joslyn Art Museum when they were visiting me for my birthday. Back in August, when I went on a mini vacation with my parents to San Francisco, my mom and I went to a special Chihuly exhibit at the de Young. That was my first Chihuly experience, and I was mesmerized.

The Joslyn has only two Chihuly sculptures on permanent display in its atrium — the only place in the museum where you are allowed to take photographs. Of course I couldn’t resist attempting to get artsy with my photography. The results are questionable! (As for the rest of the museum, I found it a bit boring. Sorry, Omaha.)

I took the personal style quiz at Sproost and my result was 100% Modern Elegance. I think this sounds like me:

Variety is the spice of life! And nowhere is this truer than in the design of your home. You may love contemporary, but wish it wasn’t quite so cold and austere, or perhaps you’re drawn to traditional rooms but you’d like to create a less cluttered and busy space. Transitional Style is here to marry those apparent contradicting designs.

And guess what? It’s the contradictions that make the mix of contemporary and traditional so successful. The result is an elegant room that appeals to young and old alike. A sofa with modern lines blends seamlessly with a pair of traditional chairs. New fabrics work so well on antique pieces. It turns out that modern art looks even more exciting above a collection of traditional pieces. The room feels simple and sophisticated, elegant and hip.

Take a peek at my living room. Would you call it Modern Elegance?

And this is how the previous owners decorated the same room. Definitely NOT Modern Elegance!

How would you describe your personal style?

I’m loving these porcelain cafe cups made to look like the styrofoam ones you might get at a deli with take-out service. They remind me of the ceramic replicas of the iconic “We Are Happy To Serve You” cups (below) found all over New York City. You can buy those online at the MoMA store or locally at Trocadero.

(via Design is Mine)

I spy something yellow! Two tiny yellow flowers in front of my house caught my eye as I was walking the dog this afternoon. But what are they? Any ideas?

I think this Nebraska print is quite clever, as is the rest of the United Plates series. Not sure where in my house I’d hang it, though.

(via Playing House)