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7 posts from June 2009

29 June 2009

Life is a bowl of...


This is probably around a quarter of the cherries we've pulled off the tree in the last few days and there's still more to come.  We're eating till we're fit to burst, giving them away and made an immense clafoutis at the weekend (which I didn't get a chance to take pictures of before it was gobbled up). We'll also be making jam before long.

But, I think we're still in need of cherry recipes. Any good ones?

25 June 2009

Adventures in Knitting - Noro

Just a bit of a knitting catch up. As you've probably noticed I'm not afraid of a bit of colour, so I've become endlessly fascinated by Noro self-striping yarns from Japan. The colour changes are beautiful as they're spun into the yarn, not just dyed into it and it's mesmerising to watch the individual plies within the yarn change colour as the next colour comes through. 

The colour combinations are also very unusual and generally contain a couple of 'ugly' colours, but somehow they seem to work incredibly well together - with the ugly colours somehow making the colour scheme seem more sophisticated.

Firstly, I finished my crochet project. I'm really pleased with it and it has had loads of compliments on the few occasions I've been able to wear it (Seattle has been ridiculously hot and sunny these last few weeks).  I think I can now officially say I can crochet, which is good as I have a ludicrously large crochet project in mind.

IMG_1137 IMG_1134


I obviously hadn't got the Noro completely out of my system when I finished the scarf because I immediately cast on a Gaia shawl in Noro Kureyon Sock.  I'm enjoying knitting my lace wrap but it's taking forever and is not very portable/social, so I was looking out for a quick and easy very casual wrap that I could wear up on the deck on chilly evenings. This wrap is a lot of fun as the colour changes in the yarn dictate the pattern.


 This colourway  (180) is incredibly garish, but I'm sort of loving it - I think it will work really well with jeans and a purple tee-shirt for a sort of 'punk grandma' look.

All details as before on my Ravelry page.

22 June 2009

Sofa SO Good

So we've made a decision.

We're going with the Deep sofa below from Couch Seattle, though we're going to switch out the wooden plinth underneath for mid-century style cone feet and the whole thing will be in buttery soft ivory leather. The leather was a bit of an indulgence, and in all honesty I'm not really a leather sofa person at all, but it did seem the most supremely practical option with a Minx in the house - our existing white slip-covered sofa really does look horrific nowadays.


We partly made this decision because this is one of the few sofas we were able to sit on and test - and goodness me is it comfortable - but also on the basis of a long email discussion with Ameer at Couch. That man knows his couches.

I'm reproducing one of his emails here as I believe the advice he gives might be useful to anyone else currently buying a sofa, but also because this sort of exemplary and helpful customer service really needs to be celebrated.

Over to Ameer (the below is his email in response to my previous sofa post). I've included mini-pics of the sofas he is referring to, so we can follow the argument.

'It seems you want a modern or mid-century sofa that sits like a big lounger - which is a bit of a challenge. 

Mid-century styles like the Petrie Petrie and Jasper Jasper are a bit more upright.  Not familiar with how the Jasper sits but it mimics the depth and geometry of the Petrie so I assume they sit the same-which is to say well, but hardly plush, which is what you liked about my Deep model. Deep  

For reference the Deep is 40" while the Jasper and Petrie are both 36"- and the Deep features down blend in the back and seat while neither the Petrie or Jasper do.  Styles like that are both all about the straightness of the line, which down would compromise. 

As for the 51 image0-1 , the other style you scanned, I dig it but simply don't dig it as much as the Deep.  Seeing both in person in California the Deep was a fair bit more modern and eye-catching.  I don't think it's necessarily rounder by any means than the Deep. 

The Rae CropperCapture[3] and Nina are both nice looking but the Nina CropperCapture[6]  is only 75" wide, while the Ray looks from here like it sits stiff (and being only 32" will sit quite shallow). 

The Danner CropperCapture[7]is pretty (but again shallow) and undoubtedly well made but you're paying maybe $1,500 to get the Adler label.  I could do the Nina and probably the Danner as well.  But since you've mentioned you want loungy comfort I might encourage you to look at options that include back pillows.

Byward CropperCapture[4] is an awkward knock-off of a B&B Charles.  CropperCapture[8] It looks awkward because the seat cushion is too fat by about an inch - and the back cushions need a touch of space between them so you can see the frame.  The Charles needs to be knocked off perfectly to look good.  An inch off here and an inch off there and it's not so very pretty at all

Movie sofaRaeis good but CB2 quality isn't quite the same as that of the CB main line - and the problem with a sofa like that is that you NEED lots of cushions to put behind you and while lots of throw pillows are nice to look at, they can drive one crazy trying to find the right arrangement on dvd night.  Sleek yet plush is really kind of a difficult thing to do. 

The Frigerio line at Limn is amazing yet Italian made with prices to match.  Restoration Hardware has some great designs, but perhaps a little too traditional for your taste and they're overpriced and Chinese built.  Kasala and Alchemy are always options for some contemporary styling, but you undoubtedly visited since they're both on the same street I am.  Hmmm.  Given your parameters I dunno where'd I'd get a sofa if I didn't get it from me. 

If I didn't have 10k for Frigerio (which I don't) I'd probably go for a Steele CropperCapture[9] from CB (which would fit with your room aesthetic).  It's got a nice sleek look and in my opinion sits better than the Petrie.

I'm also of the mind that the aggressively mid century style of the Petrie won't age as well as a more updated style like the Steele. You could also get the Steele in time for your parents in a suitable fabric since it's stocked in a nubby polyester.  The Petrie is stocked in a cotton which just isn't the right call for you given the Minx.  To change out the cotton to the leather on the Petrie you're going to be waiting till well after your parents have come and gone. 

I'm going through my databanks here for a good source for a deep, stylish, plush, sofa and coming up blank. 

Best I can do is the CB Lounge CropperCapture[10]  which is stocked in a stain resistant poly velvet.  Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it -  though that one is 46" deep so will have a large footprint in a not so very wide room.  I really did try!

To answer your question I've got the exact spec for both the Petrie, Jasper, and Movie but I'm not in love with any of them.  I'll take another look at my resources and see if I can't suggest a couple others.  For a really progressive piece that looks fantastic and sits well, I really am a big fan of the Deep.  I think it would look right at home in one of my neighboring boutiques at 3x the price. 


17 June 2009


The good news. THIS is what you get when record-breaking rainfall in the early part of May is followed by a month of continuous unbroken sunshine and temps in mid to high 70s.




The bad news. These pics were taken from an upstairs window and the tree is so big we will hardly be able to get any of these.  Any ideas on how to get these little beauties down and into our gaping mouths?

15 June 2009

Sofa, So Very Not Good

The inlaws have booked their flights out to visit us this August and we are now panicking because our crummy thirteen-year-old sofa is in a state of severe delapidation and is hugely uncomfortable. I suspect rather too much of this is to blame.


So, a new sofa must be procured.

This Saturday we went along to Couch in Seattle, whose owner Ameer was really helpful and incredibly passionate about sofas (see also this write-up on Apartment Therapy ). He has a range of sofas which are eco-friendly, completely customisable and competitively priced, plus he can get sofas made 'inspired' by those at the big box stores, but again customised to your own requirements.

So here are some sofas I like. I find that I'm drawn to a sort of mid-century vibe (definitely want feet) but it needs to be incredibly comfortable and relaxing and not the sort of sofa that makes you sit bolt upright.  Any other ideas?  Are there any other aspects I should be taking into consideration? Anyone got any experience sitting on any of the below? I'm thinking of shapes at the moment rather than upholstery colours/fabrics/prices, though if anyone knows of any mid-century styled slipcover sofas I'd be all ears.


Jasper at Room & Board, $1,299 


Movie Sofa at CB2, $999 



Byward at Velocity, $1,800 




Petrie at Crate & Barrel, $1.499




Rae at Chiasso $1,598


Nina at Maine Cottage,  $1,700 - $2,590


Danner, at Jonathan Adler, $3,800


Finally, here are a couple of ideas they had a Couch, both of which can be made up in a gorgeous buttery soft ivory leather, which I'm very drawn too due to the practicality aspect. (Excuse the quality of these, they're scans of scans).  I'd get the feet changed on both of these though.




Oh and here's reminder of the room it's going in. An no, we still haven't painted the walls.


11 June 2009

Hey cute chick!


Remember Abigail? Well, this jewellery designer extraordinaire happens to have bagged herself a boyfriend who, not only designs handbags, but also, after some instruction from Abigail, is designing jewellery as well. Ladies, would that we all had such a man about the house.

Check out all Ryan's bags and jewellery here. It's all great but I have absolutely fallen in love with these tiny chick ear studs. Something about the expression on their faces I think.


03 June 2009


So here is the new baby.  She's not exactly the colour I would have liked (we saw a fab orange one which was just out of price range) but she's cute and nippy and the Minx loves her very much. We are in ongoing discussions about her name - I favour 'Myrtle' but the Minx pefers the alliteration of 'Belle' (though we should be grateful that Aurora, Ariel and Tinkerbell have not yet come up as options).


I am naturally wondering whether any embellishment is in order - or would that be unspeakably naff and cliche'd?

Options include.

Retro flowers from TonyaBug on Etsy



Daisies from the Daisy People



Fabulous and fabulously expensive offical Beetle decals from Mibo.


Daisy tail light covers


and er, 'eyelids'


and, just in case you have money to burn, daisy hubcaps

beetledaisywheel beetle_daisy_3

Just in case I have any readers left after my shameful lack of blogging in recent weeks, here is a poll.