a few new house things


we plan to take a  vacation next month and stay home and do condo things. Like stain the deck, wash windows, basically winterize. Also seemed like it was time to spiff up the main living area. I got this new rug at Crate and Barrel. Nice Summery thin rug for my office space.



I've wanted a new clock ever since we moved in. Love this one. Especially after John figured out how to stop the tick-tock sound that sounded just like dripping water. I could hear this from my desk and it got so bad one day that I taped things to the back of the clock to muffle the sound. Love this tall element. It anchors the seating area which is part of an open space. This came from the Touch of Modern website. I am pleased with several things I have gotten from them. But you wait forever and ever, shipping is really slow.


These darling salt & pepper birds are from West Elm and are even on sale! They work with my mid-Century look.

I seem to be going back to a black and white, charcoal, cream, non-color kind of house look. No purple, no lime, very little blue.... it's all good.

Soon it is time to edit the house for Fall & Winter. I go room by room and put away things that are sitting out that should not be. Try to get as visually clean as possible because in a few short months out will come a carefully edited group of Christmas decorations. Summer rugs go away and heavier Winter ones come out. The large Norfolk pine will need to find a home indoors again. We get cozier then. And while it does feel good it is hard to watch the days get shorter and colder.


I love chairs



some would say I have too many. Or that I can't have anymore. I disagree because I am always upgrading and getting rid of. (2 chairs, a foot stool and a desk chair await a Spring trip to St. Vinnie's after a posting on Craigslist.) Our main living space is not large and small mid-century chairs fit the space. They are not visually heavy and have dainty legs which help visually in a smaller space.

The above Bertoia Diamond Chair is a particular favorite. Bertoia said about the chairs: "They are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them."

To make these even better they were originally owned by my dear friend Nita. I was once meeting her and another friend in another town for lunch.

Phone call from Nita: Rae I am going to bring you 3 chairs and you will pay me $ ___  for them.

Rae: Oh thanks Nita but I don't need any chairs.

Nita: You need these.

And she was right. I have 2 of these Diamond chairs and one side chair. I wish I had the upholstered cushions too. I think these came with orange leather ones many years ago.




I recently scored these Thonet chairs at the UWSwap here in Madison. I went to buy one to go with my Dad's 1950's desk but there were five and they were all taped together. A kind man was willing to put them in the car for me. (The are oddly heavy.) So I have five, but they are stackable and that works well when we need extra seating. I thought these were 50s chairs because the legs look like the Bertoia. But it has been suggested that they are probably 60s because they are painted red. If anyone knows anything about these I would love it if you would leave a comment.




This is the Eames Molded Plastic Chair from Herman Miller. I almost bought these in lime but instead got blue. Now I sort of wish I had bought either black or white. These are our four dining chairs around a white circular table. Each chair while new is a replica of the original design. Each also comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity. I got these here in Madison at Atomic Interiors. If you haven't been there drop by for some interesting browsing.




This is my most recent find. I assume this is a knock-off of some kind. The base is metal. Chair part looks like it is fiberglass and the black cushion is attached. I am using it as a desk chair at the moment. I am guessing this is a 50s or 60s chair too. I like it and it goes well with my Techline desk.

If you are counting that does make 12 chairs in a small, but open space. Surprisingly we do not look like a chair showroom.

But good design is good design whether it is old or new. All these chairs feel like pieces of art to me.



color and texture & a tree


just a pretty shot in my office of pattern, visual texture and that pale pink color against the soft grays and black.

IMG_1616We were just driving down the street one day and there was this tree. Amazing! Wish it was in my yard.


And I finished the update to my website!!! Unfortunately it won't look any different to anyone unless you buy a font. Or you click on some links in the navigation bar. So now I am back to living in the creative world again. Next up is finishing a printable calendar for etsy and a new font. More soon.....


bathroom remodel


Drum roll please... here is our renovated main floor half bath. It has been a 2 month DIY project. My part is to have the vision, source the things needed and get them. John has the much bigger part where he learns the skills needed and executes the plan. And he did a fabulous job.

The mirror came from Crate&Barrel years ago and was in our bedroom. I often use something in one room and then move it to another.


These are the sinks in all 3 of our bathrooms. Circa early 1970s. While still sturdy and usable they are dated and showing wear. The worst one was in this bathroom. It never looked or felt clean no matter how we scrubbed.

John tore the sink and cabinet out and put it on the curb during a week of off and on snow. And someone came along and took it. We were delighted. He took the mirror to the ReStore. They were happy to get it and we were happy to take a tax deduction.

Our new sink mounted on the wall so we needed some matching tile for the empty space where the bigger sink was. John learned to lay ceramic tile and did a perfect job. We scored matching ceramic tiles at the ReStore. We bought all they had since we have a lot of this tile. John found someone who cut the tile for him.

Next came painting. Two charcoal gray walls, two white walls and new white trim. In March Ace Hardware had Free Quart Saturday so we got our wall paint for free. The trim paint was outrageously expensive but went on beautifully. We did have a $35 Bucky Book coupon for part of one gallon.


We did have our guy Scott come in and rework the plumbing for the sink. It has two drawers and is from IKEA. The shiny white cabinet will someday match the kitchen and buffet cabinetry. IKEA sinks have plastic pipes which lay flat against the wall. So Scott reconfigured the old metal pipes so John could attach the new plastic ones once the sink was installed. Since the sink mounts on the wall John had to reinforce the wall. We are still looking for some simple feet to put under the sink just in case someone ever decides to sit on the edge.

This is an average small half bath. Putting a smaller sink in gives the illusion of the room being bigger. And I like that. Plus instead of just one empty space under the sink I have 2 nice, far more useable drawers.


Added a simple IKEA hook to hold the hand towel.


I then hand painted the dots using the slightly shiny trim paint. Did not take much time as they are kind of bloby dots, quick and easy.

And I finally framed and hung two collages I made probably 6 years ago. I am delighted with our major Winter project. Happy to have it done as Winter is ending and happy to have a fresh new bathroom.


a peek into my office


having a great place to work is important to me. It is hard for me to be continuously creative in a bad space or in a bad place. Whatever I put here needs to work with the whole main floor as this is one big open space that has the TV, small living area and dining area. My office is on one side of this open room. The mid century desk was my Dad's and I use it for my etsy inventory.


I also run a business that has very few expenses so I decided to treat myself to a new piece of furniture to help with taxes and make my space even more enjoyable. I found this little armless loveseat in the window of Rubin's in Milwaukee. Unfortunately they would not sell me the one they had and I had to wait my 8-10 weeks to get my very own.


This is scrabble fabric which I love. Seems like a perfect piece for a font designer. And it gives me a second spot to read and think in my office area. It is very comfortable too which is important.


This is the rest of my space. Old rug from IKEA, really, really old Techline desk and file cabinets. I had 2 and found another 2 at a garage sale last Summer, new desk chair. The foot stool was a garage sale find and I recovered it in an IKEA dot fabric. The lovely chandelier came with the condo. And while I would never have sought out a conservative glass chandelier I love the contrast to my sleeker pieces.

And this is where I work, merrily, happily, daily.




Spring means getting ready for guests... my mother would call it Spring Cleaning. I don't do Spring Cleaning like she did. But I did spend a day on the guest room. I started with new furniture for the guest room balcony. Chaise and small table from IKEA and the lime and gray rug from CB2. I like the nice fresh look.

Edited the shelving unit in the guest room and put out some hat and purses.

We have lovely balconies that we don't really use. Now that we have some fun furniture I hope we will. These pink & white plastic chairs also came from IKEA. These are on our bedroom balcony.

Maybe next week I'll show you the basement...

the ultimate recycling project....

This is what the fireplace looked like before we moved in. This fireplace gave off NO heat. It was warmer if we just had lit candles in it. And we had a chimney fire. So it was time for it to go. One day last October John and his buddy Jim took it out. That also included taking out the chimney. John had to patch the ceiling in the living room, the floor in my closet and the roof.

From fireplace to fire pit.

Over the Winter John took out the hearth and we had flooring laid to match the rest of the room. At some point we would like a contemporary gas fireplace in the corner. But first things first.

After a load of crushed something or another buddy Jim is back to lend some brawn and moral support.

And now we are ready for the first fire of the season! S'more makings, hot dogs and sticks have been bought.

The only thing that we bought was the crushed rock/sand. I love it when you can successfully reuse something and be better for it.

Create 90 different photo stickers