Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things I'm Digging

This is sort of a different diggin' it post, as it's all stuff I've pinned in the last week or so.  Are you on Pinterest?  I am!  It's a fun sort of place.  Anyway...
Fantastic Graphic Door from Amanda Happe's house
Wave Band by Digby and Iona (full disclosure: I love the entire War of 1812 Collection)
Ikat Envelope Clutch from Need Supply
GRAN GREY Pillow by Fine Little Day
Basketweave Tee from Anthropologie

My birthday is at the end of the month, which might explain why this list is a little more wishlist than usual.  I just really love trees and patterns and waves!  Maybe you do, too?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Simple Sandwich

Isn't it funny how something so small can make your day?  This morning, my father, brother, and I went into town to the farmer's market, and almost immediately my dad grabbed a loaf of Swiss cheese bread (made, appropriately, by The Swiss Bakery).  Cheese and bread are two of my favourite things, and it seems I come by it honestly.  When lunchtime rolled around, I took stock of the fridge and decided that a simple BLT on Swiss cheese bread was just the thing.  Oh, and it was.
(Here's a Cinemagram of my bacon frying, because I love that iron skillet and Cinemagram is a super fun app to play with.)  

My brother added some mayo and avocado to his sandwich, and my dad piled on onions and horseradish sauce in addition to the avocado, too.  But, seriously: simple artisan bread sandwiches are the best.
A single macaron from my carefully rationed stash made for a perfect final touch.  That yellow macaron?  That's Lemon Lavender, and it is AMAZING.  I always save it for last, and spend my time dreaming about eating it.  It's that good.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mad for Zag

Update: still mad for all things zig-zaggy.

Clockwise from upper left:
1. Pink Charlie cosmetic bags by Julie Brown Designs
2. Happy Habitat Eco Throw in Paprika
3. Inherited Jewelry Box (designer unknown, but it was "Made in Italy for Lord and Taylor" and my grandfather gave it to my grandmother sometime in the 80s)
4. Yellow Zigzag Towel by Garnet Hill

Not pictured: new zigzaggy shower curtain.  All of these are hanging out in different places, so there's not a great deal of competition, visually.  Also that striped duvet is on its way out, which will simplify the bed.  I take my chevrons seriously enough to cater to their visual needs, apparently.

Some Things I Thought About At The Beach

(in somewhat chronological order)

1. This is the best.
2. I wish my dog was here.
3. Glad I remembered to shave my legs.
4. Mindy Kaling's book was a good choice for the beach.
5. I did a good job with my sunscreen; no burns for me!
6. I hurt everywhere.
7. I'm glad my cousin is here.
8. I'm going to have sand in my hair forever, aren't I.
9. If I skinny-dipped in the pool at midnight, would anyone notice?
10. There are four dogs in the house, of course they would notice.
11. No skinny dipping for me.
12. Did I get a sunburn on my scalp??
13. Guess I'm wearing a hat from now on.
14. Skylar is hilarious.
15. Yellow toenail polish was the best idea.
16. Fish and chips are delicious!
17. This hat is actually pretty great.
18. Is the weekend really almost over?
19. I'm going to miss my North Carolina family.
20. This is the best.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Things I've Seen in Richmond

When I was packing to drive to Richmond for a week, I was operating under the assumption that I would probably be doing the same things on a day-to-day basis as I do at home, with the notable exception of going to work.  There would be dogs to walk and entertain, but that wouldn't take up all my time.  I packed my PlayStation 3, thinking I'd watch Stargate while job-hunting online.  I even picked up a used copy of Assassin's Creed, a video game I'd been thinking of checking out.  I'd need a break from the Stargate and job stuff, I decided.  And then I got down there, and was seized with the urge to explore.

I've been to Richmond so many times that I forgot I'd never really seen Richmond.  Usually we're down for a family gathering or on the way to the beach in North Carolina.  But Richmond is a vibrant, interesting city and really there is so much to see!  I spent most of my time in Carytown, mainly because it's very close to my aunt's house, but I also consulted the Design Sponge Richmond city guide for ideas.  Here's a little not-so-little list of the things I saw and loved.

Maymont - Maymont, built in 1893, was the home of the Dooley family.  The house and its furnishings were left to the city of Richmond at their deaths, meaning it's in remarkably whole and immaculate condition for an historic house.  The furnishings are especially exciting, as some are pretty darn wacky (case in point).  Aside from the house, the estate also includes two gardens (the Japanese garden in particular is large and intoxicatingly beautiful), an impressive collection of historic carriages, and a small zoo.
Hollywood Cemetery - This is Richmond's big historic cemetery, and I have no idea whose idea the "Hollywood" was.  Home to the final resting spots of two US Presidents and Mr. Jefferson Davis of the CSA himself, there's a lot of historic significance in this graveyard.  However, I found it appealing for another reason entirely.  It's quiet.  It's beautiful.  It sits right over the river, and the trees keep it sheltered from the sun on hot days.  In short, it may be Richmond's most perfect park, if you don't mind sharing space with ghosts.  There are graveyard maps available for purchase for $1 just inside the gate, but I found if you follow the well-marked blue painted line through the cemetery, you can find all the really significant stuff from the road.  Be sure to check out the stone dog.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - I've already written about the VMFA, so I'll keep it short: it's great.  It's a fantastic museum with an AMAZEBALLS decorative arts collection (primarily Art Nouveau and Art Deco), and the 20th and 21st Century art collections aren't too shabby, either.  Best of all, it's free!  They do charge for special exhibitions (there wasn't one this week), but based on my experience those are usually worth the price of admission.

Need Supply - It's no secret I love this place, it's a great little boutique representing the best of both local and national designers.  I walked away with just jewelry, more because of their dearth of larger sizes than anything else.  Their denim selection is amazing, but sadly they carry nothing above a size 30 (about a 10).  They do, however, have TOMs shoes in stock, if you've ever wanted to try them out.

Mongrel - This is about as close as Richmond gets to a place to buy souvenirs, though it's closer to a locally owned Paper Source than anything else.  Mongrel carries gifts and cards of all shapes and sizes, things you need and things you don't, and is super classy about it.  I think my mother put it best when she observed that she "could do a lot of damage to a Christmas stocking" in Mongrel.

World of Mirth - On the surface, World of Mirth is a toy store, but just walking through the door shatters that illusion.  Whoever does the buying for this place is a kitsch-loving nerd, and it is fantastically obvious.  From the cabinet of Day of the Dead skeleton goodies to the hipster fake tattoos, by the time you hit the wall of Doctor Who items near the back of the store, I can guarantee you'll have found something to make you smile.  And lest you think it's only fun for adults, I assure you there's plenty for kids to delight in, too.

Antiques in Manchester - AIM, as it's called, is a Saturday antiques market in the Manchester area of the city.  It takes place in a covered alley, so I imagine it operates rain or shine.  I went expecting to ooh and aah over things I could not afford and maybe pick up some art if I liked anything, but was surprised to find things well within my price range (and this from someone who pays full price--bartering terrifies me).  I walked away with furniture, but there were plenty of people selling jewelry, textiles, and assorted decorative elements, too.

Chop Suey Books - Another Carytown gem, this new/used bookstore has loads to offer, complete with the requisite uninterested bookstore cat.  They don't have much in the way of genre fiction (romance, mystery, sci-fi, etc.), but they do have a delightful offering of older pulp fiction paperbacks, and a fantastic poetry selection.  Non-fiction's not really my bag, but those sections looks formidable, as well.

New York Deli - Deli fare with a spin, this place serves food that's simply great.  They've been doing it longer than any other place in Richmond, so they should know their stuff.  I've never been in the evening, but the bar looks pretty solid, too.  Bonus: PHOTOBOOTH.

The Belvidere at Broad - My mom and I chose this place for our Mother's Day dinner, and were so proud of ourselves for venturing out away from Cary St.  I was impressed by their vegan and gluten-free selections, as well as their beer and bourbon lists.  Our one complaint was that our food was a bit too salty for our taste, but other than that it was delicious.  I had the vegetarian Nicoise Salad, which was a rare treat.

Amuse - This restaurant may be inside the VMFA, but don't let that fool you--this is no ordinary museum eatery.  With an impressive, ever-changing menu (they focus on what's in season locally, and take inspiration from whatever's currently showing at the museum), Amuse is a different restaurant every time you visit.  We sat outside overlooking the sculture garden and slurped cool spring onion vichyssoise--perfect for a warm spring afternoon.

Carytown Burgers and Fries - If you're someone who appreciates a finely crafted burger, then this place is a must for you.  A teeny space that feels as "hole-in-the-wall" as it gets, the food is worth and wait and the inevitable crowd.  I'm a non-vegetarian who happens to really love veggie burgers, so I was delighted to find not one, but three veggie options on the menu--Boca, veggie, and black bean.  I went with the veggie, and was well pleased.  I took my food to go, but there is also an outdoor area to sit and dine.

Can Can Brasserie - a perennial favourite, you can't hit Carytown without checking out Can Can.  A French eatery that actually feels Parisien, this place is a treat.  However traditional it may look, however, Can Can puts their own spin on classic French foods.  I dined here for lunch, but the brunch menu looked delicious, too (and from the brunch crowd we saw another day, I'd say it is)!

Conch Republic - Right on the James River, Conch Republic is a great place to spend a warm evening.  This place is all about the Florida Keys, with a menu chock-full of seafood and even some unexpected gator.  I had the spinach and strawberry salad, which was about as delicious as a salad has any right to be.

I highly recommend Richmond as a place to spend a day or weekend or week or month, there's so much to see and do.  I'd love to have done more, but basically I ran out of money (random observation: the Richmond HomeGoods was about the most impressive HomeGoods I've been in).  Honestly, if you can take only one thing away from this list, see the cemetery.  It may seem morbid, but it really is a lovely, lovely place to spend time.
And now back to my regularly scheduled life.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Things I'm Digging Right Now

Here, in no particular order, are some things I'm digging right now.
 Hammered Chevron Earrings from Need Supply - I picked these up last weekend and have had to resist the urge to wear them every single day every since.  They're light and sassy and not too big, perfect for my freakishly little ears.  I nabbed mine at Need Supply's brick and mortar store, but they're also available online.
Artsy bowls - Rather than use ugly plastic or metal water dishes for her dogs, my aunt has several gorgeous pottery bowls scattered throughout the house.  In addition to being beautiful--it's like finding a piece of art where you least expected it--they're also incredibly functional.  They're heavy--if you've ever had a dog who liked to play "drag the water bowl around," then you know what that's worth--but not so heavy to make picking them up to refill a backbreaking chore.  Here are two pieces I liked. 
Tattly temporary tattoos - After years of maybes, I've come to the conclusion that I am not destined to ever have a tattoo.  Which is maybe why I love Tattly tattoos so much--they're all artist-designed and of super-high, long-lasting quality.  I get to have a tattoo for just long enough to satisfy myself.  I discovered with delight that World of Mirth, a fantastic toy-and-kitsch store here in Richmond, carried Tattly and eagerly picked up a set of Marc Johns' boombox tattoos.  I am so in love with this little guy, I never want to cover up my forearms again.
Collages by cur3es - I went through a college-making phase in high school, but never really studied them as an art form in college, which seems like a gross oversight now that I've fallen for the work of collage artist cur3es.  You can check out his stuff on tumblr, flickr, and even buy prints and other products on society6.

That's all from me!  Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I've been in Richmond since Thursday, occupying my aunt's lovely house while she's abroad.  You can't tell from the front, but this house is overflowing with art.  My aunt is my main art collecting idol, and being in her home is like being in candyland.  I love it.  I'm not alone, of course.
These dudes have been keeping me company.  I wish I had a better photo of Spencer (lower right), but he's distrustful of cameras.  I thought I'd be safe, as my little green box of an iphone in no way resembles a proper camera, but Spencer's no fool.  He knows the score.  Ergo, dark, under-a-tree photo.  Ah, well.  The rest of them are hams.  Here are a few other things I've been up to this week.

If you're ever in town, the photobooth is located in the New York Deli on Cary Street.  It's a proper black and white photochemical booth that the deli folks keep up themselves, and it's wonderful.  The food is great, too, so it's no hardship to spend an afternoon there.  The mask is a Yup'ik Smiling Face at the VMFA.  Their Pre-Columbian and Native American collections are small, but I'm a fan (clearly).

I've got a few more places on my list of things to check out, so expect more dispatches!  In the meantime, you can keep up with my Instagramming here, even if you don't have an iphone.  Not all of these are from Instagram (I'm a fan of TiltShift as a photo editor, too), but I'm sure I'll be posting photos one place or another.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I am staying in my aunt's house while she is conquering the globe (as she does), and this photo is sitting on one of the shelves.  I used to hate that not only had someone taken this photo, but they'd also printed it, framed it, and then PUT IT IN PUBLIC, but now I sort of dig it.  I mean, look at that thing on my head.  That is one ridiculous thing.  But not only did my mother purchase it for me, she let me out of the house in it, and then consented to be photographed with it.  That's love, ladies and gentlemen.  I mean, it's obvious that between my mom's purple and green striped jacket and my grandmother's rope-trimmed sweater that my Colonial Williamsburg hat (that's where it came from--my hand to God) was not the most fabulous thing at that particular family Easter.

And lest you think either of us have gotten over these particular traits--me of demanding ridiculous things, my mother of humoring me out of love--I present this photo (taken yesterday) as definitive proof to the contrary.
Sorry, guys.  We all played the Mom Lotto in the womb, and I won.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ancient Inspiration

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond is one of my very favourite museums to visit.  I'm in Richmond house-sitting, and my mother is visiting this weekend for some Mother's Day fun.  Today we visited the museum, and I was captivated by these pieces (by the Pueblo Indians, I believe, though they're not on the website).  I love the way the hard lines play against the soft, the dichotomy of zig-zags and curves.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Old Try

The area I've lived my whole life in, while technically in Virginia, doesn't consider itself very Southern.  I, however, do.  Being raised by a man from Tennessee and spending my summers at the beach with all my Carolina relatives made all the difference.  I can still remember the first time a childhood friend's parent asked me to "Call me Judy."  I did, my father overheard me, and that was the end of that.  These prints, from Old Try, speak to the barefoot Southern child inside of me.
Thanks to Gloria for the tip!  She will be paid in Cheerwine, as is tradition.