Monthly Archives: December 2009

Excerpts From Our House

A  look back to 1994- This was the living/dining room of our former 1920′s house.  I remember I loved lots of white- the walls, the ceiling and the trim were each painted a different shade. My friend Lou made up the white slipcover for the chair.  And if you look closely behind that chair-  there’s my indoor wood pile! I still use the sisal rug. It’s in the guest room now. We don’t have the dining table or chairs anymore. They were given to friends.

(Photo- Martha B.)

Related Nibs post-

Excerpts From Our House #2


Lately I’m inspired by Big and definitely Over the top neckwear-

1. Knitted snood (from the Gap)

2. Big bow scarf (by Shepherd England)

3. Lots of jewelry (at J.Crew)

(Photos: 1. US Vogue, 2. via Jane’s blog-  ill seen ill said )

Happy Birthday…

…to me!

Yes, today is my birthday. And yes…it was tough as a kid having a party so close to Christmas. But my family always managed to create a day that was special. Ohh…before I forget. Don’t ask me how old I am because I won’t tell you! :)

(Self-portrait and photo both from 1st grade)

Street Style- Japan

What could have been a chaotic mix of prints (plaid pants, pony print belt, Union Jack tie) is instead a great outfit. Why? Her solid red sweater and bag, though both a strong color, actually help unite everything else.

(Photo- Japanese magazine ‘FRUiTs’)

Related Nibs posts-

Book- Japanese ‘Let’s Knit’

Wedding Inspiration Board- Asian Influence

mARTha’s photography #17

Our dog Jasper takes his customary afternoon nap at the top of the second floor landing. And as usual , one of his ears dangles over the top step.  What funny things does your dog or pet do?

(Photo- Martha B.)

Related Nibs post-

mARTha’s photography #16

No Tree For Christmas

This was the first Christmas that we didn’t have a tree. I know what you’re thinking- how can you possibly celebrate without one?! But guess what? I didn’t even miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I still decorated for Christmas. I put a wreath on the front door, displayed plants (Poinsettia, Paperwhites and Cyclamens) hung my book pages garland, filled large glass jars with ornaments and used my collection of old glove molds to hold cards. The absence of a tree made the holiday much easier and simpler. I plan to do it again next year!

(Photo- Martha B.)

Bride’s Portrait #10

Bride- Unknown

Date- 1920′s

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Bride’s Portrait #9

Bride’s Portrait #8

Bride’s Portrait #7

Bride’s Portrait #6

French Stripes

Margot and I got to see the last theater showing of ‘Coco Before Chanel.’  We both loved it…especially the clothing inspirations. According to legend, Coco spent a vacation on the coast and watched the seamen in their classic blue and white striped shirts. It wasn’t long before she wore one. But don’t wait for warm weather to wear stripes!  Try this Topshop  knit dress paired with even more stripes- a Joseph scarf and Benetton gloves. The cashmere peacoat is from Tommy Hilfiger.

(Photo- British Vogue)

Related Nibs post-

I Heart Classics

Red, White And Blue

Stars And Stripes

Design Dilemma- What Should I Do With A 1970′s Kitchen?

Recently I got an email from someone asking my advice about what to do with a pre-existing 1970′s era kitchen. The writer told me that the layout worked great, the cabinets were still in good shape and she even had the original appliances. However other sources were trying to convince her to rip everything out and replace it with new cabinets, marble topped counters and stainless steel appliances.

Here’s my reply-

Your kitchen is wonderful and has loads of potential. Stay true to your convictions. I know when we bought our current old house people thought we were nuts. It was a wreck and took us 16 months of work (my husband and I did 99% of the work ourselves) just to get into the place.

Some thoughts-
1. Keep a folder of ideas or use a bulletin board to pin pictures to. I use both of these methods.
2. You need to live in a place for a while to get a feel for what needs to be done. Don’t be in a hurry…no matter what people say. They tend to want projects done pronto. Good ones take time.
3. Your kitchen is a classic 1960-70′s. Play on that theme. I’ve enclosed a photo (below) for inspiration.

Ideas To Consider

*Large printed floral fabric (Check Amy Butler’s collection. Also scout out flea markets and tag sales for vintage material)

* Linoleum flooring (make sure it’s the real thing…made of linseed)

*Sarrinen tulip chair and table (you might be able to find less expensive copies on ebay)

* Start looking for fun collectibles (rotary phone, fondue pot, coffee mugs, spice rack, etc)

For those who are pondering the same design dilemma I hope my suggestions helped you as well.

Shop Your Closet #7

My friends Margot and Hope are joining me in a series of posts called ‘Shop Your Closet.’  The idea is to take pieces of clothing from our three separate wardrobes and put them together in fresh, creative ways. We hope you’ll enjoy these and feel inspired your own closet!

Remember the Laura Ashley suit from #4?

The suit’s tweed pencil skirt has a definite 1930-40′s design to it. We wanted to give a nod to that era yet somehow make it look current. Two movies, ‘Amelia‘ and ‘Top Gun,’ became our inspiration.  What we really wanted (actually needed) was a flight jacket. And like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, Margot showed us hers- a vintage leather one! Wow!

Fashion Details-

Leather flight jacket and multicolored suede pumps- from Margot’s closet

Pencil skirt, Gap cowl neck sweater, Levi’s belt, 1950′s watch and hosiery- from my closet

(Fashion photo- Martha B.)

Related Nibs post-

Shop Your Closet #6

Shop Your Closet #5

Fashion Takes Flight