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).

Totally Inspiring Room

The living area in a project my Isabel Lopez-Quesada via ECLECchic.

This living room is by Spanish interior designer Isabel Lopez-Quesada. This is my second time featuring her work on a Totally Inspiring Room post and I’m sure it won’t be the last! Her rooms always seem supremely livable and effortlessly chic at the same time. Definitely something I find totally inspiring… not to mention that I’m totally in love with the blue/purple/pink/coral scheme. See more of the project at the blog ECLECchic or see more of Isabel Lope-Quesada’s work on her own website!

Happy Tuesday, all! Until next time…

Looper

Back to the future…

I went to see Looper last Friday when it opened. I’d been waiting impatiently for it to come out ever since I first heard vague rumblings on the net about a scifi movie with Bruce Willis in it. You may chuckle to yourselves at that statement, especially given that his most famous science fiction movie before this is either a cult classic or the worst movie ever made, depending on who you ask. From my level of breathless anticipation, you can tell that I fall firmly in the former camp.

I like scifi. I like Bruce Willis (yes, I admitted that in public). Turns out that Bruce Willis was the icing on a brutally good cake.

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis play Joe, a looper (basically a mob hitman) whose hits are delivered to him from the future via time travel. The technology is outlawed but used in secret anyway by the mob as an efficient means to carry out hits, since bodies are apparently too impossible to hide or dispose of in the late 21st century.

Joe explains the rules of the system to us in a slow but satisfying build up to the main action of the movie. You show up, do the hit, collect payment (silver bars strapped to the victims back), take care of the body, go blow your cash on drugs and women. Rinse, repeat. Until… You are sent back to be killed by your younger self (this time with gold bars strapped to your back) and you “close the loop” by executing yourself.

When young Joe and older Joe lay eyes on each other is when this science fiction movie really takes off and spreads its wings, a mean feat considering how stellar the set up is. The dichotomy between these two versions of the same person is palpable. Young Joe is looking out for #1. He still wants to please the higher ups and retire to France (probably because that seems romantic to him) when his loop is closed. The elder Joe has lived a lifetime full of what the younger version’s choices have set him up for; he wants to hold on to what he has at any cost.

I don’t want to give away anything by explaining anymore plot points. The two leads are fantastic in their respective portrayals of the same character. Extra kudos to Joseph Gordon Levitt for picking up the the voice, cadence, and physical tics that we expect to see on Bruce Willis and making them believable.

The supporting cast, including Jeff Daniels, Emily Blunt, and Piper Perabo, also give excellent performances. The writing, direction, and most important, pacing, are all top notch. I highly recommend this movie even if, especially if you are not a scifi fan. At its heart this movie is a character piece and the speculative element is the purely to drive the story along in the best possible way.

I’ll be seeing this again and definitely adding it to my collection.

Strange Librarian…

I totally admit that this is out of left field. To be honest I was planning on going in a different direction when I started playing around with the Etsy Treasury tool… but that green scarf had “crazy, scary, sexy librarian” written all over it and the rest is Etsy Treasury gold. Well, I think so anyway!

My inner Halloweenista has stepped out into the October night!

Prelude to Halloween? Maybe… Could just be insomnia. Check out the treasury and tell me what you think. Until next time!

Framed!

I didn’t do it! I’m just a patsy!

Seriously, I did do it… I finally framed that Artaissance print that I got from the thrift store that was going out of business a few weeks ago. Remember that? Well, in case you don’t here is a pic of the print in question:

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Breakfast Treats II by C Biggio.

It’s got some really beautiful colors in it and I wanted to let them stand out so I picked up the largest size of Ribba frame from IKEA.

It took me a few minutes to get it in there (all those brads to pry up and the flatten down again, the poster was curled up and wouldn’t lay flat, the plexi kept popping out of the frame…) but I finally managed. I think it came out pretty nicely.

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All the components together...

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Ribba frame is ready to go!

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Prying up brads... NOT fun.

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Peeling the protective film off the plexi.

Now I just need somewhere to hang it!

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And done! All framed up!

Vintage Modern

Literally! I love when companies take an iconic product and truly update it for the modern user. Here are two stellar examples:

First:

Polaroid’s compact instant/digital camera, the Z2300. I love the race car model designations!

The Polaroid Z2300 (yes, them again) is an awesome instant/digital camera. How much fun would it be to have all the modern conveniences in a digital camera but still be able to make those cool old school instant prints that made the company famous? You can get the best of both worlds with this slick looking 10MP looker and at only $160, it isn’t going to break the bank.

Next up:

Seriously, Singer’s 160th Anniversary Limited Edition Computerized Sewing Machine made me swoon when I saw it. Thanks, Amazon!

This gorgeous sewing machine from Singer which takes it’s styling from the vintage turn of the 20th Century machines that started it all and upends it with a fully functional computerized interface. Let me tell you, this is WAY better looking than the boring white and blue machines that litter your local Joann’s. I’d go so far as to say this machine in sexay… If you can apply that term to a sewing machine!

Last but not least:

Michelle over at Sweet Suite 10 gave me a heads up on this one… At first I wasn’t feeling the flatter shape but I think it looks sportier, don’t you?

You can’t get more iconic than a classic Volkswagen Beetle, can you? There aren’t many people, whether they are 8 or 80, that don’t know this classic car from the shape alone. Well, for the new 2013 model they have stepped back even further to an earlier, slightly flatter body style but they’ve upped the ante with a LOT more power under the hood than ever before. I could see myself zipping through town in one of these, couldn’t you?

What’s your favorite new old design?

Fall Foliage

I love this pretty fall colored dress with an oversized Calla Lily border print from Anthropologie, $$178.

Technically, Calla Lilys aren’t foliage but they are one of my favorite flowers with their creamy, white, sculptural lines. I came across this amazing dress while flipping through the new Anthropologie catalog. I love the colors (SO fall/autumn) and the lovely drape. I think this would make a great dress for a cocktail party…

Until next time!

More… Thrift Store Score!

I’ve kind of been on a roll with the thrift shop finds lately… Check out these beauties:

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Pair of HUGE woven table lamps that I got from St. Vinnie's.

All they need is some shades and a fresh coat of paint! I’m undecided on color… Any suggestions?

Thrift Store Score!

So, my sister calls me up and says that she was looking for free boxes on Craigslist and that she ran across a listing for a thrift store that was going out of business and was GIVING everything away. Yeah, you read that right. Well, I was still putzing around the house and she gave me exactly 20 minutes to get ready… Do I need to tell you that I was showered, dressed, and ready when she got here?

Anyway, we drive to the Renton Highlands and it’s two store fronts away from a St. Vincent De Paul (which are my favorite thrift stores on earth) and one away from a smallish JoAnn Fabrics (my favorite fabric and craft store in earth) but I digress…

When we got there half the store had been cleared out but my sis was able to get two carts full of clothes for her and her three youngest kids, including enough name brand and designer jeans for my eleven year old niece to be able to render her recent mall purchase obsolete.

I was not doing as well… I scored a few pairs of shoes and two handfuls of CDs (including HS fave Bros., Recoil, Cesaria Evora, Underworld, 808state, Erasure, Tom Petty & The Heart breakers, The Verve, and Handel’s Messiah) but I wasn’t finding something that said TAKE ME HOME! Until…

This retails for $205 on Artaissance… and I got it for FREE!

I was wandering in the very back of the store and saw a print pinned up to the wall. It was from Artaissance. It said that it was Breakfast Treats II by Carolyn Biggio. It was absolutely gorgeous, vibrant, large (at least 2’x3′), and… FREE! So, I snagged it.

Then, I found this silver or pewter bowl-y thing with a hole in the center. It has Hotel Sorrento engraved into the outside surface. Maybe it was a dome to go over a plate and it’s missing a piece or something? I don’t know. I just think it’ll look good on my desk.

Pretty sure I’d found all that I was going to at the going out of business place, I stepped over to St. Vincent De Paul while my sister shopped for more stuff at the first place and found this:

Found at St. Vincent de Paul: a $5 lamp. You can’t beat that!

Isn’t it sweet? I couldn’t pass up the texture and color. I’m not sure where it will go yet as I kind of love the brown lamp (that still hasn’t been projected) on my desk but I’m thinking that it may end up on the desk at some point. We’ll see!

So, overall today ended up being kind of a good day for me on the thrifting front. I mean I spent five bucks! It doesn’t get much better than that… unless you count the time that I got a vintage Henredon sofa for $35. But that’s another story!

Until next time…

Sunset Walk

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My aunt and me hopped in her giant vehicle and went down to the Des Moines Marina to visit my uncle at his boat. My aunt was tired so she parked on a bench with Sammie while my uncle and I walked up the pier.

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It was a gorgeous evening with the sun setting on one side of the pier and a sliver of the moon hanging over the other. The camera on my phone does it no justice!

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I had an awesome time hanging out with my aunt and uncle! Next time I hope to have pics from the water… My uncle said he’d take me out on his boat before the summer is over. 🙂

PolarDroid

Polaroid SC1630

Ok, that’s not really what it’s called. It’s actually called the Polaroid SC1630 and it’s powered by Android. I like my version better but what I like best of all is that something that I was just sort of randomly wishing for under my breath is actually going to be on the market in a short while.

What is it that I was wishing for (you may well ask)? Wouldn’t it be cool if I could get the benefits of all my picture taking apps in a dedicated camera instead of the piecemeal whatsajiggit that they slap on to phones these days. (8MP? Whatevs! Ok, sometimes it’s not 8MP, it’s less)… This smart camera boasts 16MP and can instantly send your pictures to your favorite social applications, including Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You could use it with a Polaroid PoGo or use the Walgreens app to send your snaps to your local store for printing! So cool, right?

Anywho, I’m excited beyond all comprehension that in the near future I will be able to have everything digital I own – phone, tablet, laptop, and digital camera that are all running on Google genius.

Yes, I bought the Kool-Aid and I’m drinking it too. You should try it, it’s quite tasty!