Category Archives: Pretty Things

Plumora: Connect On Your Terms

I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been working with a wearables company that’s developing a smart bracelet for women. Today is a very exciting day for us, and I figured it would be the perfect time to explain how and why I got involved.

Back in 2006 when I was a senior in college (SIDE NOTE: OH MY GOD, I’M OLD), I wrote a blog chronicling my life. And by “my life,” I mean all the really dumb stuff that my friends and I did, like getting bored in World Market and using wooden cork guns to re-enact a certain former vice president shooting his hunting buddy in the ass. Anyway. Despite my clearly questionable grasp on what constitutes quality blog content, an Australian blogger named Aakanksha started commenting on my posts. I started reading her blog, and then we started emailing each other, and before I knew it I had made my first blogging friend.

Fast forward eight years to last February: I got an email from Aakanksha informing me that she had founded a wearables company in Melbourne. (Seriously, how bad ass is that?) Her team was designing a smart bracelet for women that would alert them to smart phone notifications. Only unlike other wearables on the market, this bracelet would be a beautiful piece of jewelry, something that women could wear into the board room, or to a wedding, or to brunch with friends without looking like they were wearing a gadget on their wrist. Something delicate, made out of beautiful gold instead of clunky rubber or plastic.

Plumora Bracelet

The idea really resonated with me, as I HATE feeling like I’m constantly tied to my phone. Yet on the other hand, I also hate missing important calls, texts, and notifications because my phone is stashed in my purse or I’m stuck in a meeting. I also loved the idea that we would be doing more than creating a beautiful wearable device – we were allowing busy women in all walks of life the opportunity to break free from their phones. To stop stressing about missing important calls from loved ones, and spend more time engaging in the world around them without distraction.

I joined the team as a digital marketing advisor, and the last eight months have been a fantastic whirlwind of designing and building and branding and planning. I’m so proud to announce that this morning we officially launched our website at www.Plumora.com. If you have a second, I’d love for you to check it out. And if you like the idea, consider following us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Plumora BraceletThis project is very dear to me, and I’ll likely check in every once in a while with updates as we prepare to launch our crowdfunding campaign. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I appreciate your support!

My New Art Obsession: Ashley Woodson Bailey

We moved into the new house in August, and we have yet to purchase much in the way of wall art. I painted a big mirror and hung it above the couch in the living room, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I just can’t seem to find much that I really love. Plus, my art knowledge is pretty much limited to one class in college, and all I remember from that is the word “chiaroscuro” and trying to make friends with the girl who sat next to me because her brother was in a band that I liked.

Note: That didn’t pan out. Probably because I wore the band T-shirt to every class and creepily arranged my notebook so the band sticker was showing at all times.

Garth

It was not unlike this.

ANYWAY, ART. Yesterday I stumbled across a post on Design*Sponge highlighting floral photographer Ashley Woodson Bailey, and I was like YES THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. Here are a couple of my favorites, but it was really hard to narrow it down because I basically want every single one of them. (You can see them all on her new site):

Aren’t these so cool? I love the scale and the colors and the fact even though they’re flowers, they’re not necessarily girly. Which will be my main argument tonight when I try to convince Dave that we should take out a loan and buy them all right this second.

Do you have any favorite artists? I’d love some more ideas as we continue to figure out what to put on our walls.

My Holiday Home Tour

Calling this a “home tour” is definitely generous, since I pretty much only decorated my living/dining area this year. In the last five years I’ve lived in a studio apartment, a tiny condo, a 2-bedroom apartment, and a 1-bedroom cottage, so until now I haven’t had the need for a ton of decorations. I decided to just put out what I have and call it good (with the exception of the flocked tree, which I bought this year). I might scout out the after-Christmas sales for a few more things, but honestly I’m not one of those over-the-top holiday decorating people. Mostly because I hate having to put it all away once the holidays are over. Even though it’s not much, I’m loving the warm glow from the lights in the evenings and early morning when I drink my coffee on the sofa:

Living Room 1

You can’t tell, but the Wet Bandits just got their asses kicked by a sassy blonde lady on my TV screen.

Living Room 2

Living Room 3

My mom made the pretty wreath on my mirror:

Wreath

And I added a little tree and pine-scented candle to my coffee table tray to make it a bit more festive:

Tray

I got this glittery wire tree at Pier1 last year, but they still have them in stock:

Gold Tree

I didn’t do much with my tree – it’s flocked, pre-lit with white lights, and has little pine cones nestled in it, so it looked pretty festive just on its own. I just added a few sparkly silver and gold ball ornaments and a few tiny birds here and there:

Bird

Every year I tell myself I’m going to try one of the creative gift wrapping ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest (like this one), and every year I wind up buying cheap wrapping paper at Walmart. This year I went with a selection of reds, whites, and greens:

Gifts

The bows looked a lot better before they had been untied by the cat and re-tied by me 15 times.

So there it is … it’s not much, but it’s a little more festive than staring at bare walls like we have been since August. (After Christmas is over, I’m devoting myself to the search for affordable wall art that doesn’t suck.) Have you blogged about your holiday decorations? Leave me a link in the comments if you have – I’m kind of addicted to holiday home tours.

Christmas Decor! In November! (Please Don’t Hate Me)

I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I’m trying really hard not to buy All! The! Christmas! Things! right now. Maybe it’s because this is the first year I’ve owned my own house, but I can’t wait to decorate.

It kind of all started in Walmart last week, when I saw this flocked tree and decided I need to own it. I’ve never in my life wanted a flocked tree before this and I have no idea where my obsession came from, but I’m just going with it. Dave is … less than enthused about the idea of a flocked tree, but he gave up fighting when I lovingly encouraged him to cram it up his cramhole. I think a flocked tree would really pop against our dark gray walls, and after searching around on Pinterest, I think I’m going to go for a predominantly gold/silver/white theme with lots of sparkle and lights:

Flocked tree

Ahhhh no source – let me know if you know where this is from!

I’ve been doing a little online window shopping to see what I might want to buy, so I made a little collage of some of my favorite things I’ve found.

Silver and Gold

Glitter Deer | Ivory Knitted Throw | Beaded Pillow | Gold Accents Garland

Beaded Garland | Mercury Glass Candle Holder | Silver Sparkle Tree Skirt

When do you usually decorate for Christmas? I’m a weekend-after-Thanksgiving decorator myself. Which means I only have a little over two weeks to buy All! The! Christmas! Things! so now I don’t feel so bad about this post.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

10.23.13 Fall 1

I always feel a little homesick when I’m traveling for work, but I didn’t realize how bad it was this time until we started our descent into Southern Oregon on Sunday — the sun was just about to set behind the Cascade mountains, and the entire Rogue Valley was glowing red, orange, and gold. Living up here has its issues (my county is currently trying to secede from the state and form its own Redneck Republic, for instance), but then I spend time in a city where I sit in traffic for hours and can’t drink the tap water and the air quality gives me headaches and teenagers’ handbags are worth more than my car and I’LL TAKE THE HILLBILLIES, THANKS.

10.23.13 Fall 2

I took these pictures on a walk around my neighborhood late Monday afternoon, and here is yet another way small towns differ from the city: When my neighbor caught me crouching under the trees in her front lawn with my camera, she offered me a brownie instead of calling the cops.

10.23.13 Fall 3

10.23.13 Fall 4

I’m trying really hard to enjoy the colors, because we have about a month before the leaves will drop and I’ll have to check the snow forecast before driving places and Dave will bitch incessantly about the fact that the Snuggie has turned his girlfriend into an amorphous blue blob. Oh, seasons.

P.S. – Bonus points if you know where the cheesy post title is from.

Ombre Crocheted Blanket Tutorial

DIY Ombre Blanket

When I was a sophomore in college I was too poor to buy Christmas gifts, so I had my grandma teach me to crochet. That year all my loved ones received poorly crafted rectangles of yarn that could barely be recognized as scarves.

I’ve kept at it over the years and slowly developed a little more skill, although I still mostly stick to simple scarves and blankets. Now that our nights are getting chilly, I’ve been spending my evenings camped out in front of SVU reruns while working on crocheting projects.

My life is so glamorous.

Earlier this week I completed this pink ombre blanket using a simple shell pattern. The shell is one of my favorite patterns because it looks a lot more complicated than it is – the only stitches you need to know are the single and double crochet.

Shell Stitch

Here’s how to do it (For this generous-sized throw, I used two skeins of regular-sized Red Heart yarn per color, and a size J crochet hook):

Starting Chain: Chain in multiples of 6 until you reach your desired length. Add two chains and turn your work.

Row 1: Single crochet in second chain from hook. Skip 2 chains, and do 5 double crochets in the next chain. Skip 2 chains, and do one single crochet in the next chain. Continue across the rest of the row. Chain 2 and turn.

Row 2: Do 2 double crochets in the next single crochet. Skip 2, then single crochet in the next double crochet. Skip two, and do 5 double crochets in the next single crochet. Skip 2, and single crochet in the next double crochet. Continue this pattern across. Do 3 double crochets in the last single crochet. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 3: Single crochet in the next double crochet. Skip 2, and do 5 double crochets in the next single crochet. Skip two, and do a single crochet in the next double crochet. Continue this pattern across, chain 2 and turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your blanket reaches your desired length.

Blanket and Chair

Right now this guy is hanging out on the pink armchair in the guest bedroom until the weather gets cool enough to require a lap blanket in the evenings.

And in case crocheting is not your thing, I found some really pretty ombre blankets for sale here, here, and here.

Pretty Little Things

My sister gave me an Anthropologie gift card for my birthday, and I mentioned a few weeks ago that I used it to purchase a faux rhino head for the wall. Several days after my order was confirmed, I got an email from customer service saying they were out of stock. I won’t go into details about my emotional response to that email, except to say that evening is now referred to as the Rhino Incident and is brought up by Dave every time I mock him for getting irrationally angry about his PlayStation freezing.

With my gift card balance refunded, I spent the next few days hemming and hawing over what I should get. I knew I wanted something decor-ish, since I’m getting tired of seeing blank walls and uncovered surfaces everywhere I look. I’m still undecided on what I want for big statement pieces, so I decided to order a few pretty accents that I scattered around to temper the “barren wasteland” vibe you currently get upon entering our home:

Anthropologie Order

Bowls | Vase | Mug

These little bowls are pretty much my favorite thing at Anthro. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns, and they’re only $8. I knew I wanted one of the bowls to sit on my nightstand where I inevitably dump my watch and rings when I get home from work. The second one is currently corralling our keys on the entry table.

Anthropologie Inside Out Bowl

I put the vase on a mirrored coffee table tray I picked up at Pier 1 over the weekend.

Anthropologie Vase

By the way, if you ever find yourself wondering what a mental breakdown feels like, try explaining the concept of a decorative coffee table tray to a man.  I have spent the last several days trying to make Dave understand that the tray is for pretty things only and not his grungy water bottle and collection of 14 TV remotes and game controllers. And he is like:

tumblr_ma7rk6s6yD1rt5smro1_500

It’s not much, but having a few pretty things around the house is making me feel a lot more at home.