looks bad? cover it with jasmine

I apparently had a dormant gene, it was pronounced in my mom but took a bit to come to the surface in myself.  I’m a gardener.

And come to find out, a fanatical one at that.

As I lay in bed last night looking at Pinterest (is this something people still do?), I came across a website that has construction plans you can print out, then build your own garden trellises.

I was amazed.  It was amazing.

The next day, when I went to Home Depot to buy the 32 pieces of various sized, but exact in measurement, cedar plank to build this amazing trellis, I found out something else even more amazing.

Home Depot sells trellises. Already made.

Thank you Jesus.

I went about remodeling a back wall that can see into our neighbors back yard.  And while it’s cool they have a pool and all (jealous?  yes.), I don’t want to see it.  So I decided on Confederate Jasmine from Urban Roots, a vigorous and prolific climbing vine, to put on my new, already made trellises.

I’m sure my rear neighbors will appreciate it when it starts taking over their yard as well.  But having a gorgeous back wall of jasmine or making new neighbor friends?

Jasmine.  Every time.

no pictures, too serious…

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this website.  My life has changed so much so in the last couple months that I wasn’t quite sure what I had to say.

When I began this blog, something I had always envisioned was turning this website of design/interiors/fashion/randomness into something more.  I mean, lets be honest, it’s a really great name.  It’s like President Kitty.  You just can’t do better than that.  So with this great name, I needed a great followthrough.  After working so many years in fashion, I never wanted to get into retail, so I wasn’t quite sure of the direction.  But I just knew.

After starting my own floral design business in New Orleans mid-last year, it kind of came into fruition on its own.  At the beginning of this year, I (with The Boyfriend’s help) created House of Modern Vintage NOLA.  Since I do wedding florals, I also began helping a lot of brides design the style of their weddings.  Not like a planner, I can’t organize for shit.  Think more like design direction.

So The Boyfriend and I began scouting antique stores, resale shops, garage sales and estate sales.  Oh, and Etsy.  I know I always give Etsy shit because honestly it’s like finding a gold nugget in the middle of a landfill.  But find little nuggets, I did.

So after weeks and months of acquiring, we finally have a large assortment of design decor for events and weddings.  I’ve been slowly building a repertoire of events around the city (and Baton Rouge…long story) and getting it going.

I do weddings every weekend and it really has kind of taken over my life; I work 7 days a week and about 15 hours a day.  Fortunately, I love what I do, but it’s quickly taking over everything I know.  I don’t want to turn this into a wedding website, because then I might as well slap endless pictures of brides gazing thoughtfully into the distance and pairs of bedazzled ivory stilettos then rename it Pinterest.  But to warn you, it’s going to get wedding-y around here.

But anyhow, by doing so, the face of HoMV has changed.  I’ve found a calling (thank Christ it’s not fashion, that’s probably the only industry that pays as less than the government and is about as rewarding), and have revamped, revised and set my sights on very large things.  I believe it was Einstein that said, ‘go big or go home.’  Or maybe Chanel or Churchill, since the three of them are known to have said every quasi-inspirational quote in history.

So I may be late in saying this, as with everything I do, but ‘here’s to 2016.’  After I have my first two glasses of wine tonight, I’ll just have an extra as a toast.

“Go big or go home for 2016” – Einstein

imaginary gardening…

1

Much to the dismay of everyone that has ever met me, I’ve taken up gardening.

Thanks to Google, I’ve learned the difference between perennials and annuals.  Although sometimes I still need to look it up because I can’t keep them straight.  I still have to do “lefties” and “righties” on my hands to know direction.  Apparently, there’s just some things my brain won’t keep on retainer.

2

But as my interest in flowers has grown, my interest in gardening has like-wise grown.  And I’ve been quite successful.  Until I planted some lavender and three days later is was dead.  That one’s not my fault.  I don’t know who to blame but it’s not me.  Three days seems a little record breaking.

So now I’m trying my hand at bulb planting.  I ordered Lily Trees, Daffodils (my complete least favorite flower ever created but they were free with Lily Tree purchase) and Poppy Anemone hybrids that will (hopefully) bloom in the spring.

3

And these are some lackluster pictures of planted bulbs.  After planting over 100 bulbs, which oddly takes forever and in the end you have nothing to show for it, The Boyfriend came outside to bring me a cocktail.

Just kidding, there were no cocktails.  Apparently he only came outside to ask me, “why’s this imaginary garden taking forever?”

a table here, a table there…

sidetable

This gem was ‘given’ to me by the florist shop where I have been learning floral design.  They were using it to store tissue paper on and had been using two ply wood boards to prop up the table panels.  At least once or twice a day, I accidentally kick over the board and the ensuing thunderous near-deafening noise was driving me to the brink of insanity.

I guess at some point I had mentioned I like to refinish antiques (which sounds ridiculous coming from me, but trust me, is more ridiculous to watch) and I guess saw me as a dumping grounds for this table that’s seen better days.

By the looks of it those days were roughly 70 years ago.

refinished side table

But I sometimes appreciate a challenge (key word in that sentence is sometimes).

So I gave my newly acquired table a little attention.  Attention in the form of me sweating and swearing in the blazing Louisiana heat.

Someone once told me, ‘in Louisiana, if you’re not sweating, you’re dead.’  And I find that sentiment to be extremely accurate.

refinished sidetable 2So I removed the panels (I’m not a miracle worker) then sanded and stained.

On another note though, staining sucks.

brass and crystal
And on another note, I hope my mother isn’t reading this because I stole these pieces from her house when I was in-town two weeks ago.  She had stored them in the bathroom cabinet because my little nieces had visited and I guess children can’t be around nice things.

So their loss is my gain because my new side table looks great.

I need to go visit again.  See what else I can sneak out of there with.

Free shopping!

 

 

 

 

lemon tree, oh lemon tree…

 

Several weeks ago, I was shopping at Winn Dixie (that still exists in Louisiana, as does The Piggly Wiggly) and they were having a sale on lemon trees.

To this day, one of the greatest regrets in my life would be not buying that lemon tree.  Why did I choose that one moment to be practical?  I’m never practical.  I’m a ‘chips land wherever and deal with it later’ type of girl.

But I told myself I would come back for lemon tree.  And I did.

And lemon tree was gone.

lemon tree 3Since then, I have agonized over missing out on this tree.

But fate intervened.

lemon tree 2The other morning I woke up and the first thing I thought was ‘by God, today I’m buying a lemon tree.’  So I roll over, grab my phone and looked on Amazon Prime.  When I want something, I want it now.  Prime honestly isn’t fast enough, I wanted lemon tree in bed with me at that moment.

So I dragged myself out of bed to get to Home Depot by 7am (I know, weird) and was perusing the caladium sale ($3 for quart sized caladiums!  It looks like a caladium bomb exploded all over my front and backyard) and imagine my surprise when I saw rows of citrus trees.

As I dug my way through all the trees, I found the last lemon tree.  Apparently everyone else feels the same way I do about kumquat trees (who wants whatever that is?) and it was a pink lemon tree.  Pink lemons!

The only way I could be more excited about this tree was if it was pink.  Pink lemons!

yellow pot

To go with my new found purchase, I fell in love with the idea of putting it in a yellow pot.  I should have put it in a pink pot since it’s pink lemons (!) but The Boyfriend only lets me go so far.

Well, Home Depot has a great ceramic one for $42, which is so ludicrous I can’t even wrap my mind around it, so I bought a cheap plastic one and a can of glossy spray paint and made my own.

I’m a cheap DIY genius.

lemon treeFast forward to 10am, I now own a pink lemon tree and several hundred caladiums.

Winn Dixie can keep their dumb yellow lemon trees.  And they don’t even sell caladiums.  But they do have great egg prices.

 

 

 

books…check ’em out

This morning I started promptly at 6am, was at Home Depot by 7 (to buy at lemon tree that I decided I absolutely had to have at 6am), had painted a fence by 8am (sounds weirder than it was and it was spray paint;  I freaking love spray paint) and by 9am was over this day already.

reading corner

That was, until I walked into the garage and saw we still had one last box to unpack.  Just when I’m positive I couldn’t possibly own any more crap, another box materializes.

But then I got excited.  What could it be?  More dresses?  Suddenly I couldn’t wait to get it opened.

Books.

Womp.

book table

How did I not notice we lived in a  library before we left Texas.  The last book I read that was actually made out of paper was probably over four years ago.

So as I unpacked (and was heckled for my slowness incredible accuracy), I started to wonder where exactly these new found books were going to go.  And then on a sidenote, wondered why we have four copies of Runaway Jury by John Grissom.  Honestly, who even needs one copy?

I had set up a reading nook under the stairs the other day, but quickly realized that while antiques add an amazing aesthetic value, they’re a horrible option when aiming for comfort.

So this time I set out to create a more comfortable sitting/reading area in our bedroom.

vintage vogue

I had to work within a budget of $0 on this improptu project, so I, once again, went shopping in my garage.

I remembered seeing a table of some sort in there fairly recently, so that combined with some vintage Vogue magazines, I was still within my budget.

marble coaster

Oh, and some granite coasters I had made from leftover granite from the kitchen remodel.

So for the rest of the day, I’m going to sit in this chair, read non-paper books on kindle and drink margaritas.

under the stairs…

Recently we were the recipient of a set of gorgeous antique dupioni silk covered chairs previously belonging to the Boyfriend’s late grandmother.

antique chairs

I was hesitant adding antiques to our very contemporary house, but as they say ‘only dead fish go with the flow,’ so I decided to be adventurous and throw them into the mix.

And seeing as this weekend we’re moving all our furniture in from storage (IcantwaitIcantwaitIcantwait) and I wanted to have a good spot for these oldies before they were lost in the mayhem.

book nook2

I love to read, but not so much while The Boyfriend is watching every TV show ever created on Netflix so I invented a nook style reading space under our stairs.

I’ve always wondered what to do with this little area.

The previous owners had a gorgeous baby grand piano under there and it was a perfect fit.  Apparently they weren’t willing to leave it behind, and seeing as we aren’t terribly cultured we don’t own one.

Thank God they left us all their books.  I remember when we were moving in wondering what in the hell we were going to do with Encyclopedia Brittanicas dated 1969-1984 but yesterday I figured it out.  Put them under the stairs.

book nookLastly, added some little antique finishes along with my modern carara hairpin table.  Now I have a TV-free reading area.

I told The Boyfriend’s mom how much I love them, so now were are receiving two more matching orange love seats.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this but orange is actually my least favorite color.

So those will be getting recovered.  A little orange goes a long way.

 

 

plant jail…

plant jail 1The little flower shop where I’ve been doing floral design lately has been around for about 50 years.  And apparently it’s been that long since they made an attempt to clean out the attic.

Of course all sorts of bizarre things were uncovered but what caught my eye were the little “bird cages” made of metal and glass.  Extremely dirty glass.

So as they were being carting off to the dumpster, I begged for their release into my custody.

I loved them at first sight.

plant jail 2

When I was on the way home with my new treasures, I texted The Boyfriend that I was bringing home a surprise.  Upon seeing my surprise, I was informed that unexpected cheeseburgers were surprises, not dirty cages.  Clearly we have different definitions of the term “surprise”.

So I removed the glass and hosed them down.  Then I hosed them down again.  With forty years of accumulated dirt, you can’t be too careful.

Then I bought a couple of english ivy plants (my fave) to trail out of the sides.  I took a pic and sent to my mom and The Boyfriend.

plant jail 3

Her response: “Oh my gosh, I love them!”

His response: “Looks like plant jail.”

 

DIY…”expensive” lamps

IKEA is a great starting point.  There’s nothing wrong with IKEA.

That said, everything I’ve bought there at some point, has turned to absolute crap.  Although, if I really think about it I’m almost positive it might be more of a ‘user problem’ than a ‘manufacturer problem.’

Like the time we mapped out a floor plan of our office to determine the exact size and quantity of bookcases we needed.  Somehow, someone’s measurements were off by an additional six bookcases.  IKEA was over an hour away and I’m lazy, so we left them in the box and I sold them on Craigslist.  And the bookcases we did build, half turned out like Pisa.

Unfortunately, that was my half and I’ve yet to hear the end of it.

I’m also not allowed to measure anymore.

lamp

{my lamp reno arsenal: junky lamps, new shades and spray paint}

I’m thirty (Jesus, that was harder typing than I thought) and being thirty I’d prefer not to have college-dorm looking lamps anymore.

So, of course, looking for replacements, I fell in love with a gorgeous chinoiserie pair for a little under $1,500.  And while you might not be privy to my current finances, I’ll fill you in- I currently don’t have $1,500 to waste on a pair of chinoiserie lamps (honestly if I ever have $1,500 to waste on a pair on lamps to go in my bedroom we should all be amazed).

But as Pinterest informed me, since Pinterest is quickly replacing all other media outlets in my life, I can upgrade my terrible lamps with spray paint (!).

Well then, consider this project done; I wield a mean can of spray paint.  Especially while drinking cocktails.

lamp 2

I bought some white silk lamp shades but wanted to contrast the interior with a semi-gloss gold.  Since these are going in the bedroom on the nightstands, I wanted a dim, warmer light.

I taped the edges (I bought blue tape in bulk when painting the house.  I love it.  I wear it like a bracelet on my arm) and sprayed the interior.

lamps 3

We renovated the house we are currently living in (and hopefully moving out of soon) in brushed nickel.  Personally brushed nickel isn’t my favorite.  It’s a little generic for my tastes and I like character.

The Boyfriend would rephrase that as I like “old looking things.”  So for the base of each lamp, I spray painted each an antique brushed pewter/gold color.

He’s right.  I like old looking things.

lamp 4

So with my new pink screwdriver, I tightened and reworked everything back together.  No more wobbles, and all in all, less college-esque looking.  At least this is a step in the right direction., and took me less than thirty minutes.

I placed them on top of my upgraded IKEA side tables.

Maybe IKEA isn’t so bad after all.  You just needs a little spray paint.

And someone other than me to put it together.