Monday, February 16, 2009

Love and Miami

I had such a nice valentine's day! My husband intended on surprising me with an overnight getaway in Miami, but he told me a few weeks in advance to arrange babysitters and kids' activities (C'mon, no guy is that organized. We spent Saturday afternoon in the design district of Miami, checking out the many furniture showrooms and art galleries. After salmon burgers at Soyka, we headed downtown to Brickell Key and checked into the Mandarin Oriental hotel, which is truly lovely. Miami was very crowded due to the abundance of events and activities in the area and the numerous families escaping the Northeastern chill during their February school vacation. Coconut Grove Art Show, Julio Inglesias Concert, and a Flamenco Festival created traffic but we made it to a wonderful Italian dinner on the water.

After a leisurely brunch at the hotel overlooking the water we made our way to South Beach and Lincoln Road for a day of shopping, eating, and best of all, people watching. So many cultures converge in Miami that it is a festival in itself just to be there. We shopped the annual Kidrobot sale and had some Cuban coffee on Collins Ave. The weather was spectacular and we watched throngs of people walk blocks towards their goal of golden sand. Lincoln Road is the most fun place to take a stroll at any time. Outside cafes, independent jewelry vendors, and an endless cast of characters fill the pedestrian-only blocks. It had been a while since I had last visited and was before I began to focus on my current obsession of whimsical and mid century furniture and objects. I was delighted to find a Designs Within Reach store tucked off the mall. While I have constantly perused the online catalog, I had never sat in the many chairs that I ogled at and bookmarked. We got to try out the many Eames and Saarinen pieces. If I can ever find one I can afford, I would flip for Eames Le Chaise for my personal space at home. This chandelier, which blends contemporary with traditional crystal would look perfect in my mixed-look dining room!

My other retail highlight was finally visiting the Jonathan Adler store. Everyone who knows me says this designer's wares are 'right up my alley'. Look at this desk! It just might be 'the one'.

New lacquered bath accessories at terrific prices and yummy colors like lime are due in any time. I can't wait to go back in the Spring after my move!
We treated ourselves to a walk through Books & Books and a gelato before heading home. We had a wonderful, romantic, well-needed weekend alone. We had fun, like an old fashioned date!

When I returned I was inspired to finish one of my collaged journal pages that I had been working on. I have been so behind on working on my crafty things, but I am refreshed and recharged. At least for a day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Dream Craft Room - Starting to be built!

I am the luckiest crafty person I know (which is really not saying much)! I am building a craft room onto a house I will be moving to - and the room is from scratch! Other than not having a choice as to the dimensions and window placement, everything else is to be whatever and however I desire it! I have been pouring over books and magazines and flickr photos about studios and creative spaces, trying to see what I like and what I don't. Not to mention I have learned from my past mistakes, like shelves are better than cabinets. The walls are up and finished and I just chose paint. Vibrant tangerine will adorn two of the walls - the two walls that will have built-in shelves and desks.

This long wall will have lots of shelves and cabinets and a desk space for jewelry or whatever. A big cork board, magnetic board, or something of the sort will be above it. There will be lots of outlets that I got to pinpoint locations for.

The other wall will be similar but have a sewing table. My machine will be by a window for natural light. The far wall has this nice window. I will put a sofa or bench in front so I can relax and read, crochet, or whatever! An island in the middle will finish the list. Painting should be done in the next day or two. Cool vinyl flooring in funky colors is next. I'll post photos to document my progress.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

T.G.T.M. - Thank Goodness Tomorrow's Monday!

Most people live for Fridays, for their weekends where there is no work, no office, time for themselves. For individuals like myself whose main, full time (albeit unpaid) job is taking care of the family, weekends are the busiest work days of the week. My hubby and I often play the 'who works harder' game and my kids tell me I do nothing! My weekends are filled with sports games, preparing three meals a day, often for extra kids, who I then must entertain along with my own. Driving. More driving. Errands for the kids who have no time during the week to buy project supplies/new cleats/white shirt for a concert. I don't complain - I love this job and am blessed that I am able to have it in this day and age. Come Monday, however, when husband goes back to the office and the kids are in school, I can go about my day at my pace, listen to my music, save my voice from yelling, and sneak some time in for myself, even if it is just to flip through a magazine.

Tomorrow I will go to Zumba, the most fantastic, fun exercise class there is. Clean up the house and work on the house project that is taking it's own sweet time. With a soy chai latte in hand and quiet in the back seat.

I did manage to pick up a book on Friday and flip through it over the weekend.

Living Retro is eye candy for someone interested in the mid century modern style. I'm trying to learn about the designers of the period and recognize pieces (so I can hunt for them at thrift stores and garage sales perhaps. This is South Florida - those that are much older now and came to Florida to retire had the goods in their homes. Where is it going?!)I can't wait to mix some clean furniture lines with the colorful vintage pottery that I have collected over the years and my funky collections of today. My designer friend just loves my collection of small paintings that I have purchased on Etsy. Oh what fun!

On the subject of fun, I am counting the days to Art and Soul in Hampton, VA! Just over two and a half months to go. I get so excited reading the Yahoo! group posts and only imagining what to expect. There is much talk about swaps. While I have never been to any type of art retreat like this, I plan to prepare myself to the best of my ability. I am trying to decide what to make and swap. Charms of some sort, most definitely. Perhaps I'll finish the zine that I started for the zine swap (that I did not participate in). Lots of ideas. I just need to prepare in advance because I have to pack up and move. That's a whole other project!

My little Nikki girl hasn't been getting as much face time as Tank, the newest member of our gang. She is truly a princess, however, and demands attention.