Monday, January 31, 2011

broken lamp, broken heart

I found the above awesome and HUGE vintage lamp on eBay a week ago and won the auction for a cool $20.  I was so excited to get it, and it arrived in the mail today, in a less-than-sturdy-looking box.  I opened it up, fearing the worst, and LOOK what I found:



Kevin spent the weekend at my mom's house.  I brought him home last night, and he was so happy to be reunited with his pillow (which he thinks is a toy; see photo from Jan. 26th) that he managed to curl up and fit his entire body on it -- bliss!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


classic black and white shot of old Kev

dining room bookshelves

Here are some shots of the bookshelves in my dining room.  I wish I had a 'before' shot of what they looked like when I moved in, because they're a lot prettier now than they were then, if I do say so myself.  The previous owner of my place had three of these shelving units (which are just IKEA BILLY bookshelves, with doors on the lower half), and two built-in desks placed where shelf #2 and #4 are now.  Since I didn't really have any use for two built-in desks in my dining room, I just bought two more bookcases from IKEA and had my contractor line them all up and make a little header at the top so that they looked a little more built-in.  They're not the most awesome things in the world, but they serve their purpose. 

I chose the orange wallpaper because I wanted a warmish color in the room (I previously had it painted robin's egg blue, but that was way too cool of a color for the dining room), but then the room, which is dark anyway, was looking TOO orangey, so I painted the backs of the shelves that same blueish-green color, which is just the perfect contrast to the orange, I think.  I also replaced the cheap ugly silver-tone IKEA hardware with some new (also cheap, but cooler looking) octagonal brass knobs that I found for next to nothing on eBay.  They sort of echo the design of the wallpaper, and the whole thing has kind of a modern chinoiserie vibe to it.  The Japanese print in image #2 is from an old book of Japanese prints, framed and given to me as a Christmas gift.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

pillow time

Kevin believes that the pillow (with the holes in it) that came with his new dog bed is a toy.  So he carries it around and chews it up -- couldn't resist taking a picture of him last night, after he dragged it into the bedroom before he went to bed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

living room

I like this shot of my (for once, clean) living room -- gotta get a better camera, though; these are all taken with my crummy camera phone

snow beard

Kev with snow beard after a long walk today

Friday, January 21, 2011

just a nose

Lately Kevin has been wanting to sleep entirely under the covers in my bed.  Here's a picture taken before I went to sleep last night: pulled back the covers and look what poked out.

craigslist chair -- before and after

Long story, but I actually have two of these chairs.  I found one on eBay over the summer that was in Florida, and in pretty bad shape, but the price was low, so I bought it (I think altogether with shipping from Florida, it was something like $130 -- not cheapy cheap, but not horrible, either, for what I think is a pretty unique-looking chair).  About a week later, while I was waiting for it to arrive, I found the EXACT SAME chair on craigslist right here in Chicago, for about $60.  Totally cheap.  So I ended up buying the second one, too, which is the one you see here in the 'after' pictures.  The eBay chair (i.e. the first one that I bought) is the one pictured in the two 'before' images above.  It's in pretty rough shape: I had to get rid of the cushion altogether, as it was absolutely disgusting, and the paint job is nasty, too.  The chair that you see refinished here was actually brown when I bought it, and it, too, had a disgusting cushion that I told the seller I didn't even want, it was so gross.  I spray painted the chair with, no joke, about eight coats of off-white (it takes a long time to really get into all those little crevices in the back), and then about two coats of clear lacquer to make it all shiny.  Surprisingly, with the new seat cushion (which I got at Pier One and which fits almost perfectly, lucky me; I thought I was going to have to get something custom-made) and the thick IKEA sheepskin, the chair is really comfortable.   I usually have the chair turned so that it's facing the room (i.e. with the back facing the windows, as you see in the second, third, and fourth 'after' pictures), but this morning it was pretty backlit that way and so I turned it around and took a picture of the front -- what you see in the first 'after' image -- which is why you see the whole back of my living room behind it.

I still have the second chair in the basement, unfinished and looking pretty nasty.  I don't have anywhere to put it at the moment, but was thinking that someday these chairs could look kind of cool at either end of a dinner table?  Not sure if the seats are too low for that, though...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

pillow mountain

Look how many pillows/layers Kevin is using to prop up his head.  Four.  Doggie bed, sheepskin, round pillow thingie, and his stuffed rabbit.  He's a little prince.

Friday, January 14, 2011

bamboo credenza + covered lampshades

 Thought I'd post a few pics from my place.  I got this "credenza" (which is actually an old faux-bamboo dresser from the '70s) on eBay and painted it glossy pink.  The lamps were $10 ($10!!!) each at a clearance sale at Midcentury Modern here in Chicago, and I covered the lampshades with fabric I bought online, to spice things up a little bit.  One of my favorite possessions ever is the huge jar full of hotel soap; my paternal grandfather traveled frequently for work and collected these mini bars of soap at every hotel where he stayed.  Folded inside the jar are a few sheets of notebook paper on which my grandfather recorded, in his meticulous handwriting, the names of the hotels from which he  brought each bar.  I love the anal-retentive obsessiveness of the whole thing.   The sunburst mirror was a great find -- I got it at Home Goods for super cheap (like, $50, which is nothing, compared to how much those damned mirrors go for otherwise), but it was this ugly grey color.  I spray painted it gold, and now I really love how it looks between the two lamps.  I'll post close ups of the other side of the credenza soon!

Mr. Furley

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Last call for Christmas

I realize these pictures are belated -- I also posted them on my Facebook a while ago -- but, seeing as Christmas is over, I wanted to let my holiday garland have one last hurrah.  I'm still really liking my  garland, which I put together from various crafty materials that I got at Michaels -- it cheers up the place and fits perfectly over the fireplace.   The little birds are my favorite part., especially the little one with his tiny cute beak.