Sunday, February 27, 2011

What do you have to say for yourself?

Q: What do you have to say for yourself?
A: Absolutely nothing.

Yesterday the hubster-oosky mentioned to me that I hadn't posted in nearly 2 weeks (insert social gasp).
I didn't know he was a frequent follower, apparently so.  I guess it is also his way of finding out what project I'm working on, since I usually post it before I share it.

As per what I'm dreaming up these days, the answer is very little. I've been enjoying our home, living in it, leaving my piles of clothes everywhere, and taking some fairly substantial naps.  Sounds good right?

In the past few weeks our schedule has revolved around a hefty performance schedule, all by the hubster-oosky.  He has done a solo recital, hosted the St. Olaf Choir, was the clinician/conductor for the All-West Tennessee Children's Festival Chorus, and this past Friday night lead the Memphis Chamber Choir and Memphis Boychoir in concert.  Sort of nutty but that's he he rolls. As for me, I am just trying to make it to May 14, graduation day for Memphis Theological Seminary.  This past week, the bursar's office phoned for my cap/gown size.  That was REALLY exciting.

Now, let's get back to those piles I was mentioning.  Not only has our dressing room absorbed 5 loads of clean laundry (all still in baskets) but downstairs our piles of music and scores has started to take over portions of the living room and sun room.  I'd like to say that some of this music has traveled home from the church and is in limbo whilst waiting for the trip back, but sadly...a lot of it is mine.  I'm on the hook for this one.

I've been able to keep the piles mostly secured and reserved to a few locations all accessible to the piano, but alas, the heaps are starting to spread to other locations.

When I was a wee piano pupil one of my teachers used to keep her books and scores in a high boy near her piano.  I always thought they were the weirdest pieces of furniture.  They have about 70-bagillion drawers, all of which are small and it's oddly tall.  As I've noticed this heap of books in the past few weeks I'm starting to understand why that piece of furniture was so handy.  She kept her Bach in one place, her Chopin in another, and her Beethoven in between.  I now understand it is the perfect invention for my piles of music.

Now begins the search for the perfect high boy. I've looked on the ol' Craigslist, he's running low on said product.  But rest easy, Bojo's has got them by the truck loads.  The dark wood doesn't particularly go with my aesthetic for the living room so I was thinking more along the lines of something like this...

Perhaps not yellow, although it would be a contender, but maybe even red, or a really glossy black.  This is where my bright white walls come in handy, no worries of decoration clash, my walls are the blank canvas, the furniture is the standout.

When considering a color for this piece, I wonder "WWJAD"...What Would Jonathan Adler Do? Or...
"WWKSD"...What Would Kate Spade Do?  Most importantly..."WWHDWD"...What Would Hilary Dow Ward Do?

So while I'm at it..."WWYD"...What Would YOU Do? Paint it wild like, or go with a neutral? Paint it shiny or flat? Change the pulls or leave them be?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Something to think about...

This little ditty comes from  Children's letters to God.  
I saw it tonight while at school (Christian Ethics as it were).  
I thought it was worth a chuckle and a smile. 

Mr. and Mrs. Novogratz

Great news! Or, at least I think it is great news.  I confess that I am not only an HGTV super fan (for 89% of their shows), but also a Bob and Cortney Novogratz fan.  The bonus in this situation is that they are now together!  Read up and get excited!

via: google images


New York, N.Y. (For Release—February 14, 2011) HGTV is welcoming New York City-based interior designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz to the network’s family of design experts. The Novogratzes, a successful husband and wife team acclaimed for creating wildly original spaces that showcase an unpretentious, yet funky, downtown-chic design aesthetic, have started production on a new 30 minute series that will premiere this summer on HGTV. Titled Home by Novogratz, the series will follow the couple as they take on residential design projects -- customizing eclectic finds, turning trash to treasure and mixing colors and textures in innovative ways.
Robert and Cortney Novogratz manage design projects from Manhattan town houses to corporate clients such as the Bungalow Hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey and the Fred Segal store in Santa Monica, California. Their client list includes a number of celebrities and sports figures. However, starring in a weekly design show, while juggling dozens of clients and raising seven energetic children, won’t stop the self-taught designers who believe that good taste and deep pocketbooks aren’t necessarily connected. Each week, viewers can expect to see perfectly customized, spectacular room makeovers that reflect Robert and Cortney’s unique ability to identify and determine the practical potential for everything from art to artifacts and furniture to fabric.  
“Robert and Cortney’s unique approach to design turns the aspirational into the accessible,” said Kathleen Finch, general manager, HGTV. “Their amazing work, coupled with their busy lives as Manhattan parents of seven, make this series an exciting addition to HGTV’s programming slate.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

A few fun things on a Happy Valentine's Day!

First of all, let me begin by saying HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to all! 

Now, on with other sweet treats....

I could probably  name about 26 things I like about this photo...I saw it last week on Moth Design.
What I would immediately say was #1, on my list is that set of jars on the top shelf.  Very cool, very convenient, and quite practical. In the past weeks Target has had a few options comparable to this for sale in varying sizes, all of which though are smaller. Which defeats the purpose of what I like about them.  

Saturday while on a trip to TJ Maxx I spotted these dandies... 

Quite similar wouldn't you say?  I picked up the set for just under $30 and think they're fabulous. As you can see 2 of the 3 are currently holding our Keurig K-Cups. Jar number 3 remains to be empty. As shown in the inspiration photo above, they appear to be housing a small fortune of pasta, pretzels, and delicious cereal.........(big sigh).........All of which are on the top of the NO-NO list during this med study. While out running the errands on Saturday I contimplated picking up a box of fancy noodles to display in this 3rd jar but decided affirmatively against it due to the absolute visual hazard that they would cause.  Darlings...I'd like to think that 5 months into this study that I'd have some serious restraint...Well I'm not so sure i'm ready to test that as of yet. 

Also at TJ Maxx, although it was the one on Park I found this little number.  I have a "thang" for white and lucite.  I'm convinced that nearly anything looks good in this combo.  Case in point, this coral. If this was...oh say...a coral color and had a brown wood base I wouldn't take the time to pick it up off the shelf. Not even if it was free. Seriously...that would be ugly. This combo sure does give it a different look.  Not to mention it is really HEAVY! This thing would knock your lights out or break your toe if it hit the right spots! Goodness.

Last but not least....
I saw this mini stool at Bo-Jo's on Summer a week ago while visiting with  my friend Melissa.  She was on the hunt for a new piece for their house.  They're getting ready for a baby, YAY! Even though I had my blinders on to look for desk suitable options, I couldn't forget this little dandy. I thought about it at least once for 7 whole days...can you believe it? That justified going back in my mind.  Plus it was only $20.  I have visions of a glossy white base and black croc or something like that on top.  Totally cute. 

Guest Room-Finished?

Well...I think I may be able to finally say this room is finished.  It was very nearly the last room to be worked on in our house, and subsequently is the last room to be finished...or hopefully finished. (Is anything ever really finished?) Last week in preparation for our guests from St. Olaf, I finally got around to putting up the new curtain rods and rehanging the curtains.

Last fall I blogged about this room here and here.  The changes in this room have included painting, new shades, curtain rods, the reintroduction of the curtains and the addition of bedding. This room has proven to be a pest when it comes to photographs, but none the less it is what it is.  A room with 3 doors, and 5 windows. Hrumph...

TJ Maxx on Summer!

Saturday I went on a little "hunter gatherer" trip to look for some good for V-day gifts.  One of my stops was Bo-Jo's in Memphis, and I figured that while I was on Summer Avenue, I should go ahead and visit the TJ Maxx.  My goodness, there were all kinds of fun things.  I've been in a few times before and I usually don't see anything worth sniffing at...this time...JACK POT.  Check out these goods...

croc nesting tables

cute pair of lamps on a fabulous console table

love this pair of side chairs

another super cute pair of lamps

hello dolly, do I ever wish I had something to do with these

and the grand finale...the best of show...this couch is fabulous.
And my goodness does it ever look like something from anthropologie!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Robert Abbey Gourd Lamps

Robert Abbey Gourd you LOVE it or do you LOVE it? 

images via google

There are many replicas of this designer lamp...and while I do love a good deal there are some things you wait for.  This lamp...I'll wait for! Kiss, Kiss beautiful lamp...maybe next Valentine's day?

Week...oh geez I've lost track

While reading my blog today I realized I had not composed a single word about how the medical study is pushing along. It's been a while.  Not much has changed, it is still stable and steady.
I've hit a bit of a plateau, which results in mild frustration, but mostly a desire to push past it. As part of that I'm reflecting back to the photos that keep me going.  What I mean by plateau is that instead of losing 2 plus pounds per week, it is .5 - 1 pound per week.  Not nearly as easily coming off as before.

Though I began the study just before Labor Day, I began the "paperwork" portion in June. As I have mentioned before the screening process was rather strenuous as your medical history/condition is gone through with a fine tooth comb.  That part was not so desirable, it HAS obviously turned out to be worth it.

Here is a little photo tour of the 3 months leading up to the study...

May 2010

July 4, 2010

late July 2010

August 2010

February 2011
I've only put a dent in my overall goal, but it is 43 pounds in the right direction.  

My final tests were scheduled last week at my weekly weigh in.  March 16 and 18 I will have two separate sets of blood work to complete my 6 month commitment towards (sci-fimusic...dum,dum,dum) SCIENCE

What happens after March 18 will be the real challenge.  Ladies and gentleman, prepare to start your engines!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Monday was my birthday.  From my parents I received a set of prints from Kate Spade.  I immediately knew I wanted them framed pronto.  The set of prints (3 in total) are by 3 separate artists.  Over the next 12 months, Kate Spade will release 4 sets of prints from commissioned artists.  This is the first set of the year.  When considering frames, cost was obviously at the top of the list.  Framing 12 pieces is not only really expensive (given the size)  but also, where in the world am I going to hang 12 sizable 
I decided that ready made frames was the way to go so that when another set comes out, I can put them in the frames and keep on a truckin'. I looked a couple of different places for frames but decided on white on white frames for these prints. I purchased 3 from Target, the best part, they were on sale! 
One thing I found helpful this particular time was actually taking the prints with me.  In this case it was hard to imagine what would look the best.

After getting the frames home and putting the prints inside, I took the all 3 to a frame shop to have them put bumpers and hanging wires on them.  One way to goose up the frames.  (goose up = fix up)

While at Target I just happened to fine another little gem.  This lovely mirror.  
Like many  mass produced items, this one had weirdo hangers on it.  This little puppy also made the trip to the frame shop for a little TLC. 

I don't intend for it to stay in this spot but I wanted to get an idea of the scale of the new pieces so hung this one (which is the same size as the 3 white fames) up for further inspiration. 

Just as I started to hang the frames, just 25 minutes before my first student of the day was to arrive, I got a wild whim to start moving the furniture.  For heaven's sakes...could I be more impulsive? 
So for the afternoon this is what the living and sun room looked like. 

All the furniture piled in there.......

And a strange array over here.....

And out of the mouths of babes..."Ms. Hilary, are you redecorating....again?"

I have no idea why the first paragraph is underlined...
I can't fix it and when I try to retype and delete,
 it deletes the newly typed paragraph...GRRRR!

X-Stool/Benches Continued.

Last week I decided that I had a crazy itch to pursue the X-Stool/Bench thing a little more.  I looked at the one from Target in the store several times and finally decided that I liked it the most.  So I bought one and brought it home.  One of the things I didn't like about any of the "affordable" options was the covering for the cushion.  I knew that I'd have to recover it with something.  With this particular piece it was an immediate must! As I don't consider pleather to be acceptable...neither does Handsome!

Yesterday afternoon I whipped out the industrial staple gun and went to work on the stool with a piece of white canvas I purchased at the Art Center for $2.75.  Even if it is just a temporary fix, it sure does change the vibe of this stool.  And for now, it has found a home under the living room console. 



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The craigslist flame stitch chair

Last week while prowling craigslist, I found this chair.  
It reminded me of a flame stitch by Kelly Wearstler that is love by few and feared by many.  It is a bit abstract, a little different and some would say out there. In this cost $40 and was worth the risk. 

After contacting the seller, I determined that the trip would take approximately 30-45 minutes to retrieve.  I would need a larger vehicle, and a "local" to help me get there. 

So Sunday afternoon, I had a few of my lessons cancel due to college visits so I had said time in between students to go pick up the chair.  So my friend Kathryn and I went for it.  I tell ya is a darn good thing she is local because that trip I predicted to take less than an hour would have taken me 2 hours to make!  I thought we were practically to Nashville...the burbs in Memphis are ridiculously HUGE! When we pulled up to the house, Kathryn did remark that we were driving over a mote. Yes, a in bridge with water under it.  Oh, wow, the things you see when you travel outside our zip code. 
As we pulled up the 200 yard long driveway, the folks were standing in the front yard ready to load the chair up even before we were out of the car.  Goodness, excited to make a sale much? 
We loaded up the chair and headed back home. 

It wasn't until the chair was sitting in our house that I actually got a look at it.  Fortunately, it is all I had hoped for...a chair with good bones, sturdy legs, and fabric that will eventually need to be covered. 

And so on the eve of my birthday, we welcomed a new craigslist bargain into our home. 

Yesterday was my birthday

Yesterday was January 31, 2011...otherwise known as my encore 25th birthday.  I'm sticking to 25.  
The day began with a hug and a kiss from the hubbs and a big old fur filled whisker faced kitty wishing me happy birthday via his purrrr-dy face. 

Once I was vertical, the hubbs and I gave Handsome a snack and off we went on a lovely walk through midtown Memphis.  The weather was practically tropical, very hard to believe for January, as the day I was born there was so much snow (in central Kansas) that Mom and I had an extended stay in the hospital because the numerous snow plows in Greenwood County couldn't get up Main street to clear the roads.  Such a far cry to the short sleeved shirt I was wearing on  our walk. 

After home, we had a nice breakfast, some lovely conversation and the opening of my birthday box from Geoff and Handsome.  
K.S. purse from Geoff and Handsome

Box sent from Kansas (AKA from Mom and Dad)

What was in the box...

Up close at the earrings 
Following breakfast, presents, snuggling the kitty (that is always in the line up of activities) was time to start the rest of the day...

As I started to move towards this task...I got distracted and had to stop to pose this little venue by the piano.  The flowers are a tidbit from the alter flowers from church...posed next to a little "LOVE" I purchased at Walgreen's for $2.99...can we say cheap thrills?

Following my string of music students, I had school.  Pause for a yawn...doesn't seem like a fun thing to do on a birthday does it? Perhaps for most, but I love school.  No yawns here. 

After class was out, the hubbs and a handful of friends went to Bari...good fun on a "school night".  And a great way to end the birthday.  

As the day began today, i thought...goodness gracious...I'm a whole year older.  It was hard to say by to "24" and hello to "25"


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