from Restoration Hardware/Mitchell Gold and bought on Ebay from a fine young dandy in Northern California. Sleek and simple, clean and elegant. The funny thing is the sofa was supposed to come to my house but I really had no place for it. Seriously. Every room in my house was home to a sofa. I realized the sofa was being moved to the Plycon Van Lines holding facility in Los Angeles before it arrived in Arizona so I desperately made my call for help. I've forked over lots of money for lots of moves with Plycon so I was hoping they could help this sofa loving woman out of a jam. "Please, Plycon, would you just hold onto the sofa until I am sure where it's final resting place will be?" The answer was a "yes" and I had bought myself some time. Fast forward a few weeks--- and Tyler was finding himself a little loft in Portland, Oregon and it just so happens that he did not own a sofa. Kismet! I had the sofa delivered to him and Plycon didn't even charge me extra for the move up north. Lucky Tyler and lucky me.
I have a love affair with sofas. Not just sofas but chairs as well. I love the way that each one sits differently and has a personality all of its own. Some invite you to "sit down and stay awhile" while others say "I really don't know you that well and I really don't think we should be too comfortable with each other." There are those sofas that just scream "MODERN! LOOK AT ME! I'M SO HIP AND I AM EVER SO COOL" or the always uncomfortable "ANTIQUE. PLEASE DON'T TOUCH. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE." So many sofas...so little time. There's a great article in this month's Domino magazine about choosing the right style of sofa. Sofas come and go in my home like there's a revolving door and truth be told I'm always on the look out for the next great find.
Each of my children has a cozy sofa that was bought for them (via Ebay) so they could relax and feel good while chillin at their home and saving some hard earned cash for the future. Come on in, have a seat....enjoy.
From an earlier post, I wrote about a wonderful ebayer from the good old days. She updated me with a picture of how her home looks today. I am not sure what pieces are from Ebay but I am sure that her place looks fabulous! Thanks, Teri.
Spring fever is here. Hair is being cut, tanners are being slathered on, and closet spring cleaning has arrived. Out with the old (unless, it's that really fabulous vintage designer label...otherwise, off to Ebay it goes) and in with the new. And speaking of new, a very special catalog arrived in my mailbox today and my heart is all aflutter. For some, this may be old news; but for me, it's new..it's springtime! It is the catalog "VIVRE" or you can peruse at your leisure at http://www.vivre.com/. From their website: "Welcome to the world of Vivre - a world where life is celebrated. Within this world you will find ideas and inspiration to honor the everyday moments of life, for after all, they are the foundation of a life well-lived... one that is filled with memories of joy, laughter, love and the comfort of family and friends." How great is that? I can already see you rolling your eyes when you peek at the price tags-- but open your mind to create a similar look for you with the stores and boutiques you shop at. Be inspired and let your heart take it from there. Joie de vivre!
In the year 2000 I had been reading about a crazy, new, mixed up, exercise fad called Pilates that was sweeping the east and west coast. I knew I had to get the buzz on it to share with others in my tiny metropolis of northern Arizona.
I drove two hours to Scottsdale two days a week and began taking lessons. Back then, it was almost like a secret club to be part of the Pilates world...no one had ever really heard of it let alone take lessons for it.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and in the process I bought a Pilates reformer machine. It was a big chunk of change but I thought it would be great so that I could practice on those days off of driving down to what us Arizonians like to call "the valley".
I was learning so much about the exercise that I thought my brain would explode. I was working out more than I have ever done in my life and even had that Pilates toned-body going on. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I would still need to learn so much more to become the kind of Pilates instructor I would want to hire. Fast forward a few years and now I am teaching in another curriculum in which I excel. Life is not a destination...it's a journey.
I sold the reformer on Ebay to another woman just beginning her travels into the Pilates world and who, coincidentally, lived in Scottsdale. The movers she had scheduled to move the 200 pound machine never showed up and my husband and I had to help her haul the beast into her third floor apartment in the middle of July. Did I mention we were in Arizona... where it gets to be 110°or higher on a summer's day? It's a good thing I had been working out.
Spring break brings thoughts of fun, frivolity, traveling and the welcome of warm weather with open arms. One of my favorite places to visit is Santa Barbara, California. It's got everything that a spring break needs no matter what your age. I always thought it somewhat ironic that the Santa Barbara college kids (my daughter included) would yearn to "get out of town" during this time and choose some snowbound destination like Chicago or New York to visit. Go figure. One of my favorite shops in SB is "Rooms and Gardens". The shop is full of custom made sofas, Kathryn Ireland fabrics (not the swimsuit model...the English designer), lovely lamps and just a wonderful place to visit to be inspired for returning home and doing some spring cleaning. On Ebay, I happened to auction off two French leather vintage chairs. I loved them and thought I would keep them but just felt the urge to change and so off to auction they went. Unfortunately, they did not receive the reserve price I had set but I happened to become acquainted with one of the bidders who just happened to be the owner of Rooms and Gardens. It's a small world after all (to bring in another California landmark). I was lucky enough to barter for a few pieces of their wonderful furniture in trade for my two chairs. They were happy, I was thrilled. Now, it's spring break all year at my home...that is, minus the kegs of beer and crazy college kids.
Welcome, bienvenue, welcome. Such is the scene when you enter my home. Bliss. Although the dog would probably be all over you with her nose in your crotch allowing you to do a version of the conga line that you never knew you had in you. Never the less, welcome. Once again, a shopping safari on Ebay led me to treasures that I brought home via UPS or freight shipping. The Karastan rug, the French antique table, twin leopard ottomans and the shabby chic linen chair all courtesy of auctions and hours spent at my computer. The chair came from San Diego and was in a really funky crushed blue velvet when received. I could see the sweetness singing out and had it reupholstered in Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic linen...back in the day when Miss Ashwell was not stocked on the shelves at Target. Don't get me wrong...I love Target and all that it has to offer but I can remember the days when a duvet cover, shams or other trademarked Shabby Chic items could score you some big bucks on Ebay. I bought and sold many a bedding ensemble...and now, Target. Big bucks has taken over Rachel and Zoë the dog has taken over my chair.
Bathrooms are a good thing. No, strike that. Bathrooms are great things. They are a necessity for modern living and you can dress them up, keep them minimum, do whatever feels good to you. Most of the items in my bathroom that I so happily share with my husband came from Ebay. The "hard" stuff--the toilet, the sinks, the tub, the tile, were not bought by auction--although they could be. The mirrors, the rug, the bamboo table, the sweetest little ottoman that is usually loaded with my clothes, and the chair (yes..a chair...how fabulous is that?!) are all from the site that is ever present on my computer screen. There's even a television to catch Good Morning America...it's a very good thing. That luxury of a chair was bought from a designer on the East coast who creates tibetan rugs as a career. He was delighted that his cast off would be a treasure in our jewelbox of a bathroom. I totally agreed...the colors, the fabric, the softness, the shape... we shared many e-mails gushing over the fabulousness of the chair.
My husband says that it's a good spot to watch T.V....go figure.
First, let me state that I don't know if I should be sharing this information with you, dear reader. It's kind of like finding out where you can get front row tickets to *insert your favorite artist here* and then letting the cat out of the bag. I realize that Julian Merrow-Smith already has the cult following for his paintings but now I could be sharing it with (I would love to say the world...but that would be thinking that this blog reaches millions...so, let's get real..) I could be sharing it with twenty or so of you who perhaps have never heard of "Shifting Light" or "Postcards from Provence". Julian is like the rock star of the "painting a day" artists. He is a British painter who lives in France (Provence) and does beautiful work. Another painter friend emailed me after I shared Julian's website with her... "and for introducing me to Julian, who I am secretly madly in love with. Anyone who can paint like that must be perfect!" Julian used to have sprints for his daily paintings. That is, he would email you the time of day a painting would be on sale and you would sit patiently at your computer and when the clock struck that moment you would feverishly pound the keys in hopes to be the first to win his work for the day. I, dear reader, did win an original (hooray for me!) But now, Julian has an auction site for his paintings and a 5x7 (or smaller) painting may bid up to hundreds of dollars....or not. Check it out on my "wants,needs, has to have it" list and good luck. It might be you and me at the finish line.
Although I am not this girl, I do have that dress and I got to turn many heads at my high school reunion. I was nervous to wear this "tie me up here, belt me up there" dress in case it may have looked a bit like "slutty girl goes to her reunion." In fact, I even had a panic attack hours before the event began. Should I wear it? Is it too bold for my smack dab in the middle of the Midwest town? The night of the reunion I was at a well known department store searching for an alternate outfit and psychoanalyzing my decision to an 18 year old salesgirl who honestly, could care less. But then...light bulb moment...hey! the only skin showing is my back...and my back still looks pretty darn good...I may as well go for it. And so I did. And am glad I did. From EBay, it's a black Valentino with swarovski crystals on the buckles that glitter and sparkle as you move from your high school years to adulthood....just the way it should be.