A Tale Of Ten Planters

March 12, 2015   //  Posted in: Decor   //  By: Emily   //  one response

I did a brief decor roundup and reconfiguration over the weekend, which is only slightly more exciting than reorganizing and consolidating the pantry, something I also did but am not documenting formally. We’ve been actively keeping our (my) “unnecessary decor stuff” to a minimum after having sold and donated a lot of it a few years ago post-move. A more minimalist lifestyle has been suiting us well, especially while there’s a toddler in the house who picks up and relocates every last thing within reach–the less for her to pick up, the better. These days, I’m a pro at talking myself out of buying most things I see and like in stores, unless, apparently, it’s that super clearance-priced container of any kind, in which case I want it for no explicable reason, and buy it because there’s usually no one to stop me. Who knew? Am I a collector? And why all the Anthro – I mean, I love them all but gimme some new sources please?

1. Bun-bun, Anthropologie: The quirky home accessories hit a good nerve. This one, I remember as I rationalized my spend, could work anywhere in the house easily, from a small shelf accessory, to my daughter’s bedroom side table. He will not be going away after Easter.

Rabbit vase from Anthropologie (all ready for spring).

2+3. This tapered duo from Target happens to be a good scale for some of our indoor plants, as the lip is a 6″ diameter, the same as some of my store-bought planters. The tall one is also great for long stem flowers.

Textured tapered planters.

4. We’re collecting sand from all of the beaches we’ve walked, using these little test tubes that we bought (25 for 50-cents at a garage sale) as the permanent display solution. I picked up a standard test tube rack on Amazon not long ago, which is basically a container for my containers–bonus points for me–and found that they’re more expensive than you’d think, but they sure do come in some pretty colors. Our first tube is black sand from last year’s trip to the Azores, and we’re probably not going to get any cooler than that when it comes to ocean-raged rock.

Test tube containers to collect sand from our trips.

5. Reminiscent of beach glass, Pete gave me this vase for my birthday last year. Anthropologie, because when I suggest “just get me anything from Anthropolgie,” he doesn’t mess around. Perfect for long stem flowers, and very pretty by its lonesome.

Big crackled glass vase from Anthropologie.

6+7. Two more from Anthro for good measure. I’m not sure why these handmade ceramics only cost a total of $6, but they are some of my favorites. They’re not vases in the technical sense, since they’re riddled with holes and woven with reed, but they’re really pretty and the natural aesthetic is one I like. The bigger of the two is currently holding a few rocks (basalt and pumice from the Azores), and hanging out with Cubebot, the wooden robot who finds himself in various positions around our home (great Christmas gift from my Dad). The second container of the duo is smaller but looks similar; it’s currently holding a strand of battery-powered LED lights on an end table, providing a holiday-like glow while we watch TV at night.

Anthropologie container, plus Cubebot.

8. This is one I actually received as a bridesmaid gift about 7 years ago, but it’s cool (and sentimental) and damned if it doesn’t look great in our current home; it gets way more use here than in my old place.

Modern vase design.

9+10. You might be familiar with vintage head planters or creepy baby dolls turned into planters or those white ones from Oh Joy! that you probably see on Pinterest. Julia thought these were hilarious, and at $2.50/each at JoAnn’s end-of-season clear out, I figured we’d all enjoy them, so home they came and we filled them with moss and then I watered the hair promptly before deciding to photograph it, so it looks pretty deflated and not poofy (it takes about 2 days to perk back up post-water; there was no waiting).

Inexpensive head planters from JoAnn.


Container obsessed too? Still looking for some great ones for outdoor planters this spring.

Today’s Unexpected Workout Brought To You By…

February 19, 2015   //  Posted in: Backyard, Tools   //  By: Emily   //  2 responses

Excessive snowfall and a month of below-freezing temps lead me to introduce to you our newest tool. A 24′ Shovel Roof Rake. I wish you could tell how completely laborious it was to maneuver, because a photo makes it look carefree. Snow is heavy, so all muscles engaged.

Check out our new roof rake!

Basically, until this month, buying this tool seemed like the last thing we needed. Our roof isn’t flat, and as long as we’ve lived here (and at the other house, for that matter), the snow has always melted away reasonably quickly thanks to the unpredictability of New York winters with the alternating below- and above-freezing day temps. The last month has been different, and a few weeks ago on a (still frightfully cold but) sunny day, we began to see the beginning signs of a slow melt and ice damming (damning). We had 24″ icicles in literally… hours.

What Pete knew that I didn’t was that if we clear away the snow on the roof, we could help prevent the damming at the gutters, eliminating the snow up there that could turn to liquid and refreeze as icicles, or worse, not be able to leak over the gutters already filled with ice and leach into the house. There was one day that he was up there with a shovel, and maybe also with the electric snowblower which is effective but definitely not recommended by me or the manufacturer, and we saw an immediate improvement with the development of those icicles. Back in business, our gutters would not be torn down (well, hopefully not).

Climbing on the roof every time every time we get some substantial accumulation just isn’t as awesome as it sounds, even if there is a 4′ snow cushion below to catch your fall, hence the ~$50 purchase of the roof rake

The roof wasn’t the only concern, our treehouse that we assumed was perfectly structural also showed signs of severe bowing in the 1×2 cross braces for the roof, which in hindsight was obviously too flimsy of a board for the application. You can kind of see this in the above photo, where I spent a solid half hour trying to relieve some of the hundreds of pounds of snow from the rooftop sliver by sliver. Live and learn, and in the spring we’ll bring in 2×4 roofing reinforcements.

I’m pretty sure I assumed this thing was in the neighborhood of ~$24.99 when Pete told me that he ordered it because it’s a shovel, that is until I went to check out our Amazon Order History to see exactly which product we bought and found that when we ordered the price was twice that; it’s quite a bit more now, come to find, but still a nice-to-have winter accessory in our tool arsenal. Especially if it’s helping us to prevent the gutters from pulling themselves off the roofline. Just price-shop around, OK?

Blah blah, snow and cold, shout-out to shoveling at the rental, Valentine’s Day, poop circlescats in the mall, and ridiculously expensive car repairs.

Genuine Amerock, Circa 1950

February 13, 2015   //  Posted in: Kitchen   //  By: Emily   //  one response

A vintage Amerock Chromium knob from our 1950's kitchen.

It’s not that our basement was filled with junk when we moved in; quite the opposite, really, but we’re still just discovering things that were left on the shelves like extra blueprints and shiny new door hinges, pencil notes on the beams, and a whole bunch of the kitchen and bathroom cabinet knobs stuck in a box, brand new, in original 1950s packaging.

Little treasures that help us understand the past are the best.

Pretty awesome find for me, maybe not for you. I spent a lot of time getting to know those knobs when I painted the kitchen cabinets last summer and cleaned them one by one, and it’s nice to know where they’re actually from in case I ever need to source more. The pricing on ebay for this and similar products runneth all over the place, and as far as I can tell on the website, the closest product match is a pretty round knob from the line named “Allison.” There’s nothing quite like the original, though.