Author Archives: Jo

About Jo

The most important things to know about me: I live to be caffeinated, I can't live without music or books, I could care less about television, I like making things, and I like roaming this planet I live on. I write blogs about interior design, the art, illustration, and graphic design of book covers, and about a world called The Eterne (or I will one day, when I get a little more proactive about it).

Before & After: Rast Hack

After taking care of some business online today, I decided to treat myself to a surf of my favorite design blogs and came across this amazing IKEA Rast hack by Kelly of Hello Boudreau via Jenny of Little Green Notebook. I can’t stop looking at the pics! This is, in my opinion, the best Rast hack I’ve seen yet.

Kelly started out with this...

Kelly started out with this…

...and ended up with this! Sweet, no?

…and ended up with this! Sweet, no?

Check out more pics of Kelly’s project at Hello Boudreau: Ikea Rast Hack. For extra credit check out more of Jenny’s picks for best Rast hacks at the top of her post.

Until next time!

Sandy Craftalong

I don’t make a lot of money… I’m pretty much still a retail drone and I’m lucky when I get to treat myself to a little something, something. Sometimes, even when I really want to, I’m hard pressed to come up with a few extra dollars to donate to worthy causes. Still, I felt really strongly that I should try to donate something, anything that could help my fellow Americans hit by tropical storm Sandy.

While I was surfing twitter links, I came across this great idea from Natalie Soud and Brett Bara to make warm knit, crochet, or sewn items like socks, hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and blankets to help Sandy victims get through this tough time of no power or heat. I’ve never really participated in something like this but I wanted to contribute somehow. So, I’ve started a cowl (because I’m not a decent enough knitter to do hats and gloves yet and a full fledged scarf would take to long for my novice hands to create).

So, a free Lion Brand cowl pattern and some Cascade 220 that I have had for a while and never used is being knitted up for someone in need back East. I’m so happy to be doing something for someone besides myself for a change and I truly hope my finished knitted contribution will make a person”s life just a little bit warmer this winter. If you’re a crafter and would like to contribute, check out Manhattan Craft Room or A Dose of the Delightful blogs to see all the details about where you should send your completed projects and how to share the word on Twitter and Facebook.

Blood Sweat & Tears

Uh… my experience wasn’t quite this sexay! LOL

It was my first day back to work after being sick (really sick, so sick I wanted to die) for nearly a week. But first – I had to vote! Thing is, life was conspiring against me today… but I showed life! Yes, I did.

Well, technically life showed me… the power company came and did some repair work to our meters and the power was shut off, so my uniform was not washed and dried when I planned for it to be. I lost track of the time because I didn’t reset the clocks in the house right away and had to mad scramble out the door (at which point I twisted my right ankle so hard that I went down crying). I made my bus and got to the Kent Regional Justice Center with 10 minutes to walk onto the grounds, deposit my ballot in the drop box, and then get off the grounds and down a mall sized block to my next bus (which I ran part of the way). I just made it!

The good news is, I voted. The better news is, I wasn’t late to work because of it. I feel good about doing my duty today… it cost me a bit to do it (my ankle is still swollen and I’m going to have to launder my shirts again from all the sweaty) but it was worth it. I made my voice a citizen of the United States heard. I hope you did too!

Reading Room: Spectyr & Wrayth

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I haven’t been to the bookstore and ages. In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t remember the last time my foot crossed the threshold of a bookstore that didn’t have used/thrift somewhere in the mix. So, it was kind of cool to hit Barnes & Noble this weekend after a random conversation we had on the bus about Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (I would buy it for her if she was interested in reading it, she declined). We both wandered around the store looking at books (she was all over the teen paranormal romance section. Yes, they have one! And I was camped out in science fiction and fantasy) and craft kits (you can buy a crockpot with a slow cooker cookbook… at B&N, y’all), Harry Potter gear (they are still selling it!) and all the cool new board games (Munchkins? Apparently, it’s a funny take on D&D) too.

We were winding down, just about to head out the door when I thought about a series, Books of the Order, that I had started when I still worked at the book warehouse. The first book was called Geist and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that I was on pins and needles to read the next book… but life intervened and I forgot all about it. Well, today I got Spectyr and Wrayth, the second and third books in the series. I haven’t started the new books (I’ve got like five things going right now) but I’m excited to start them when I cross a few of my current reads off the “currently reading” shelf.

Are you reading anything good lately?

Art: Erin Cone

I discovered this amazing artist by clicking through to a board that someone I follow on Pinterest repinned from. Whoo! That sounded convoluted, didn’t it? What isn’t convoluted is the artwork that I discovered by Erin Cone. Her work has an cool, almost photo-realistic look to it. I also love the strange visual jogs that are seen in a lot of her work. Here are a few pieces I really liked while surfing her website:

Perchance by Erin Cone, acrylic 44×36.

Subtle (2010) by Erin Cone, acrylic 24×20.

Chance (2009) by Erin Cone, acrylic 30×30.

Transparent (2004) by Erin Cone, acrylic 35×36 (sold).

See No (2005) by Erin Cone, acrylic 30×30 (sold).

Amazing, yeah? I think so too! You can view more of Ms Cone’s work on her website, as well as finding news, and contact information… You know, in case you’re thinking of buying. ;-)

Well, I’m off to spend a few hours at the big blue box. I’m hoping to get a handle on my storage in the coming days (it’s one of many fall projects I’d like to finish before the weather gets truly bad), knock out making a vase from a Pom Wonderful bottle, and looking into what it will take to switch this here blog to a self hosted vs wordpress.com site. I’ll see you tomorrow with a few words on hats… and scarves… and gloves… OH MY!

Put A Lid On It

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My new hat. Cute, huh?

I bought a hat at Target the other day. It is a summer fedora but I couldn’t pass it up because I love hats. Frequently, however, hats don’t love me back… They are too small or the wrong shape for my face or some other weird thing. This hat fits perfectly and looks good on me, so how could I pass that up? Plus, since it’s off season I got it for a mere $3.88 + tax. Can you beat that?

While I’m happy with that purchase, what I really went in there for was to see if I could find some Fall/Winter accessories so I could stay warm during these chilly seasons. One small problem: I was totally underwhelmed by Target’s offerings this year. That really bummed me out because Target is my go-to place for fashionable, reasonably priced accessories.

So… I had to start looking elsewhere. I admit that so far I’ve only looked online. But I’ve found some stuff that is funky and fun enough for me to be happy with! Here’s what I found:

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Kate Spade NY 'Big Apple' hat and convertible mittens @Nordstrom.

I really love the tinge of color on the edges of Kate Spade’s mitten/trapper hat combo and it’s a wool blend so it’s probably super warm. Honestly, the $80+ per piece price range isn’t too terribly realistic right now, so…

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Old Navy's 'Color Block' & 'Super Soft Sweater' cold weather accessories.

Old Navy comes to the rescue! All of these pieces are $15 or less… and prove conclusively that I love green! While I do like these pieces the set I found online that I love the most is this multi-color set from Kohl’s.

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'Zigzag' slouchy hat and infinity scarf @Kohl's.

I really like the ribbed chevron on the Zigzag set, don’t you? Well, the search continues… Where do you get your cold winter accessories from?

Have a good weekend, everyone! Until next time…

Totally Inspiring Room

The living room of John Derian’s new apartment. I love the rustic but clean style!

This lovely living room is in the apartment of decoupage guru, John Derian, and is situated in a building which has been standing since the mid 1800’s. Apparently Derian is drawn to all things beautifully old and decrepit, so much so that he was reluctant to change much when he bought this apartment. Still, modern building codes required some updates so he undertook the task with the help of a sympathetic contractor. I think the final result turned out wonderfully!

The updated bedroom.

The bathroom was completely overhauled but I think that the spirit of the original style shows in its design.

You can read the New York Times Magazine article on the renovation and see more before and after pictures. I love how serene and livable the whole project looks.

Moviefest

This past weekend the fall weather finally caught up with us here in the PNW. What do you do when it’s dreary outside and you want to entertain yourself? Watch movies. A LOT of movies. :-)

I saw six movies this weekend. Two were second viewings and four were fresh viewings. There were good, bad, better than expected, and even more awesome than I remembered. Here’s my list (in the order I watched them)

Snow White and the Huntsman

I reviewed this one the weekend it came out. The verdict after a second viewing? Not much has changed about my opinion on this one. If you haven’t seen it yet, I don’t think you’ll be mad you spent money on the rental.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This delightful dramedy takes place in Jaipur, India at a rundown hotel whose owner would like to make it a destination for retirees but hasn’t quite got the dream down yet. An all star cast of scenery chewing British thespians, including Jude Dench, Maggie Smith, Billy Nighy, and Tom Wilkinson struggle with settling themselves in India with varying degrees of success. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) is the hotel’s manager and co-owner with problems of his own and a dream of a successful hotel and marrying the woman he loves.

I totally enjoyed every moment of this movie. It was pitch perfect. I totally recommend it!

The Raven

John Cusack plays Edgar Allen Poe in this earnest but ultimately unsatisfying attempt to mash Poe’s greatest hits into a horror thriller. While the performances of the leads (Luke Evans as the Inspector, Alice Eve as Poes’ beloved, Brendan Gleeson as Emily’s father) are solid, the story and the writing are horrid. I was bored the entire time I was watching it… So, I took it out and went to sleep. Which is a rarity for me. Final verdict: skip it.

It just doesn’t get better than this!

The Avengers

In the interest of not making this post fifty years long, I’ll just say this: Perfect. If you’ve seen and you don’t think so, you’re one of the ones who just doesn’t get this kind of thing and you won’t understand no matter what I say. If you have an ounce of fanboy/fangirl in you… well, YOU know! You can see my gushy opening week review here. :-)

Dark Shadows

I have never watched the original show so I had absolutely no expecations going in other than what I’ve come to expect from a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration. That said, whatever expectations I did have were desperately put to death by this clunker. While it had the typical dose of Tim Burton beauty/grotesquery and some genuinely funny moments, the whole thing seemed rather joyless. Even though I really wanted to be able to going in, I can’t really recommend it after seeing. Definitely not one of my faves. Check out Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland or, my personal favorite, Sleepy Hollow if you want a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collab at it’s best.

Rock of Ages

I was a teenager in the late 80’s and while, at the time, my favorites were Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and a smattering of somewhat mainstream leaning Industrial, I listened to radio like everyone else and secretly loved as much hair metal as I heard. So, when I first saw the commercials for this movie I got a little ecstatic.

Yes, it is cheesy. It’s a musical for goodness sake! But I sang along at the top of my lungs and I cared whether or not the boy meets girl story was going to have a happy ending. But my favorite part of this movie (and this will seriously shock anyone who knows me well) was…

Wait for it…

TOM CRUISE.

Yes, I said that in public. No, I’m not generally a fan but he was born to play a drunk, drug addled, arm and a half into a straight jacket crazy metal band rocker. He made the movie for me. I haven’t checked online yet to see if he did his own singing or not but if he did… well, I think Tom may have missed his calling in life. If you’re a child of the 80’s you will LOVE this one. Go rent it now!

So that was my movie fest. I’m looking forward to catching Cloud Atlas, Skyfall, and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in the coming weeks. What movies are you looking forward to seeing soon?

Interesting… Guide to Marketing on Pinterest

While surfing Pinterest, I saw this infographic that was posted on a Mashable article earlier this year; it has some interesting stats on it. I thought you all might dig it as much as I did. Kind of cool to learn the numbers behind one of our favorite pastimes, no?