Passion Pursuit

This week, a friend posted a link to a very thought-provoking article called, “Screw Finding Your Passion.” In it the author, Mark Manson; tired of getting emails from people asking how they can find their passion, basically pointed to the lack of pursuit, more than the not knowing. We tend to ignore that which consumes most of our free-time not because we don’t know what we like, but rather out of fear, laziness, or avoidance.  We tell ourselves it couldn’t possibly make us money. It wouldn’t be practical. The negative self-talk sets in, and we ignore what we should be pursuing, all the while wondering why we’re so miserable. My passion is all things mid-century modern, and I make no apologies. The fashion, the architecture, the furniture; I spend stupid amounts of free time looking at it, implementing it into my daily life, and learning about it.  I watch shows like Mad Men and Masters of Sex, read books about Charles and Ray Eames, and the other big designers of the time. Anything to get a glimpse of life back then. I stumbled upon this passion and I’m so glad I did, because for whatever reason, it continues to intrigue me. How many people can say that they get to focus on what they love? Mr. Manson’s colorful illustration was the kick in the pants I needed to finish my “pet bed project” for the blog that was taking too long to complete. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it, it’s that I made everything else in my life a priority while I put my “passion” on the back burner. And that’s okay too. Sometimes you have to choose. Life happens but the point is deep down, you know what you love. You just have to open your eyes. I highly recommend reading it if you need a little encouragement and don’t mind a few strategically placed f*bombs.  Find the link here.

On to the fun stuff. This week, I decided to depart from my usual purist tendencies for an upcycle project. I took a useless old remote speaker from the 1960’s (once part of a larger unit) and turned it into a pet bed.  I own a fat dog who would much rather fart in my lap, but I do think this piece would make a fantastic cat bed. You decide.

So unlike the usual blog…I created a YouTube video to show the transformation. Keep in mind, this was an experiment. I’d do a few things differently next time, but I am pleased with the final product.

 

Before.
Before.
After. Meow.
After. Meow.

Did you watch the video or just skip ahead? Stop being lazy. It’s like 1 minute long. Geez.

If you’re thinking I’m crazy, and you’d  rather spend $400- $600 on a custom pet bed, I am as always, here to help.

No seriously. Some people love their fur babies more than their actual blood relatives. I’m not here to judge. If you’ve got major love for your dog or cat and a case of the MCM fever, check out these other options:

 

Hey! My cat needs a cute place to do his business. Go here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/191119047/the-mini-cabinet-mid-century-modern-pet?ref=listing-shop-header-3
“Hey! My cat needs a cute place to do his business.” Go here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/191119047/the-mini-cabinet-mid-century-modern-pet?ref=listing-shop-header-3
Cairudesign can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/166359696/mid-century-modern-cat-furniture?ref=shop_home_active_4
“Cat towers are hideous!” Cairudesign can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/166359696/mid-century-modern-cat-furniture?ref=shop_home_active_4

 

A frenchie sitting on anything gets my vote:

For the Lloyd Dog Bed go here: ttps://www.etsy.com/listing/166176684/lloyd-dog-bed?ref=shop_home_active_9
“Um, I paid 2 grand for my dog. He will NOT sleep on a Walmart bed.” For the Lloyd Dog Bed go here: ttps://www.etsy.com/listing/166176684/lloyd-dog-bed?ref=shop_home_active_9

As it so happens, my passion is not making pet beds. I appreciate them, but I’ll leave it to the experts.

That said, my cute little custom number will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop AND at the 1st Annual Murrieta Valley High School Flea Market on November 7th.

Come and see me! I’ll have all my pieces on display and for sale! More info to follow next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Evolution

Evolution…it’s what Madonna is famous for.  One of the best parts of my job is that I get to evolve too…only in a less controversial manner. Naturally over time my needs change, and that of my family; one room becomes a nursery… another gets repurposed or renovated in some way, and everything shifts. I get to reexamine what we have and if it still works for us; constantly curating, not unlike Madonna and her ever-changing style.

Then there are those times when there isn’t a specific catalyst like a mid-life crises or nasty public divorce- you just need a change. Most people aren’t comfortable with change, but I love it. Probably a bit too much if that’s feasible. It’s exciting and fun to play with new possibilities. For example, I always wanted a Sputnik lamp over my dining room table. Always. We just weren’t able to make it happen for a very long time, so we found a compromise to do for the time being. It’s a beautiful fixture that looks like floating paper. Gorgeous…but not Sputnik.

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Cut to my birthday. The hubs wanted to do something big. I had just the thing. A custom Sputnik fixture from Lucent Lighting.

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You’ll notice a couple of things are different here. Let’s first pause to drool over the new fixture. It’s got a dimmer, ya’ll!  Next, I sold my dreamy atomic Lenoir dining room set for a few reasons. One, it took up too much space visually when I really thought about it. Two, we have 4 people in our family, not 8. Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t a good enough excuse to feel burdened by your own stuff. (I mean, have your read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”?!?!?)  I wanted something lighter in color that matched the tone of our wall unit – and when a friend at SeasonofChange posted her set for sale, I jumped at it! The table is thinner and takes up less space in more ways than one….but with the two leaves in place, it actually becomes longer than the previous table; a bonus at the holidays.

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Gorgeous, no? The table is Lane Rhythm, and the chairs, unknown. The curtains are too short…yes, I know. That’s a subject for another day. Shut up.

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Before the baby was born, I had picked out a beautiful Nelson Bubble lamp to grace his nursery. It did just that…until summer came, and I became certain if we didn’t get a fan installed in my son’s room really quickly…he’d cook overnight. So that beautiful bubble lamp laid around the house, unused, and quite sad looking – until very recently, when we were finally able to get an electrician out to help run some lighting in our den.

These photos were taken at night…purposefully, so that you cannot see the kid toys in the yard everywhere behind our tiny living space.

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This is the room we live in. Don’t judge. It’s not fancy – but it’s where we spill stuff (read: baby pees during diaper changes) watch t.v., play games and do kid stuff. The Nelson bubble lamp gives it a sort of grace it wouldn’t have otherwise. I think the room says, “Hey, We’re really cool deep down, but we have kids and shit…so our style is somewhat cramped. Come in….commiserate about your sloppy children. Let’s be friends.”

Speaking of messy kids….naturally when the baby came, I had to do the Target thing to organize the kid crap. Target FINALLY got with the MCM movement and introduced some pretty decent pieces. It meshes surprisingly well with the vibe we have going on. Right now, it’s full of toys and baby books and baskets full of whatnots I’d rather not be hauling back up to wee man’s room. Someday, it will hold other stuff like spare pairs of boob tassles (I can’t leave her alone)…or go up in a bedroom. Either way, we needed something functional that wouldn’t break the bank…and something that I wouldn’t be all upset about if it got scratched. Which it will. Inevitably.

http://www.target.com/p/mid-century-modern-horizontal-bookcase/-/A-14963281
I give you the Target Mid Century Modern Horizontal Bookcase

So that’s how I’ve evolved over the past few months. It’s not finished by any means….there are so many things I’d like to do – like wood floors, and fig trees, and geometric rugs, a kitchen reno, and a bar cart somewhere. But for now, that’s all fantasy. Reality requires that we must use what we have…and be thankful.

Please stay tuned for the next blog. I’m really excited about my very first repurposing project. I’m going to turn an old, worthless 60’s remote speaker into a dog/cat bed. I’m such a purist….I usually demand things be left to their original uses, but in this case I finally found something that begged to be converted – and applicable for today.  Like Madonna. Bahahahahahaha.

Nursery Reveal!

I just can’t wait any longer to post this mid-century modern-inspired nursery reveal. I have my reasons: exhaustion, feeling completely brain-dead at this point, and/or the fact that I’m measuring about 2 weeks ahead. That means baby could be here within just a few weeks (or less.gulp).

Let's start with the obligatory BEFORE photo
Let’s start with the obligatory BEFORE photo

Refresher: Baby’s room is the smallest room in the house, and was formerly a guest room. Just as the nursery rhyme about the old lady that swallowed the fly, so too went the office. The nursery ate the guest room, the guest room ate the office and the office is now eating a small corner of the master bedroom.

I had the molding removed and the walls re-textured and repainted. We added a light fixture where there was previously none…and splurged on a Nelson Bubble Lamp from Modernica. With all the downsizing and shifting around, I had to sell my Adrian Pearsall Chair. Adrian Pearsall funded George Nelson. I’m so happy with the fixture, I could eat it.

Sans Molding and Added Lighting
Sans Molding and Added Lighting

 

I wanted to go with a neutral paint color again because I knew I’d be working with a pretty wild color palette.

A wonderful aunt of mine sowed the curtains…

Big Brother is ready. Are you ready?
Big Brother is ready. Are you ready?

Drum Roll please?

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Ta-Daaaaa!

Grandma gifted us a teal lava lamp which will work as a little night-light! Not a bad idea!

The side table above was found on Target.com (thanks to Elena!!).  It brings some warm and earthy wood tones which you simply must have in mid-century modern design. Wink.

The gray ottoman pouf is from Walmart.com. (The vinyl ottoman I blogged about buying for the space was too large, and clashed with the rocker. It is now providing a pop of color in our den.)

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Reading & Rocking Nook

 

I had a very loose forest animal theme. I started by designing a mid-centuryish room I wouldn’t mind living in, then added a few kiddie touches here and there. The diaper basket was a very thoughtful baby shower gift-and perfectly compliments the changing table.

Mid-Century Modern Credenza
Mid-Century Modern Credenza Doubles as Changing Table

We had the art in our old office…I think it works pretty well with the space…

Art by Fab.com
ABC Art by Fab.com

 

I repainted the crib in “granite” gray in keeping with the theme.

Ikea Crib repainted in gray for Round 3
Ikea Crib repainted in gray for Round 3 will convert into a toddler bed later down the line.

Tchotchkes to be added to the Target floating shelf later on, when I’m feeling less spent creativity wise..

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That my friends, is all she wrote. Minimalist, but ready. Small, but functional. I love how much of this room has history. The reupholstered atomic era rocking chair, the Ikea crib (that belonged to my son, then my niece, and has been repainted for the baby), the flea market-found credenza. The bookshelf was a Goodwill piece that I repainted and even the toys were inherited from my eldest. I think the mix of old and new came together pretty well! I hope you enjoyed it. Now all we need is the newest and most important addition of all.  If you’re interested, resources for the room are listed below.

Resources:

Paint: Sherwin Williams, Navajo White, Eggshell Finish

Saucer Lamp by George Nelson: Ylighting

Crib: Ikea (model no longer available)

Hourglass Accent/Side Table: Target

Framed Woodland Animal Art: Etsy.com/AldariArt

Bird Mobile: Babies R Us / Skip Hop Treetop Friends

Atomic Rocker: Craigslist Find

Rocker Fabric: Etsy.com/Tangerine Orange/ PopDecorFabrics

Faux Sheep Skin Rug: Ikea

Urban Ottoman Pouf: Walmart.com /in Gray

Credenza: Long Beach Flea Market Find/ Long Beach Veteran’s Stadium

White Floating Shelf: Target

Drapes: HGTV for Joann’s Fabrics/ Boxed in Peacock

 

Psst! If you like the color scheme and modish things, this super-cute diaper bag is available at Babies R Us.

Thanks again, Grandma!
Thanks again, Grandma!

 

Best of 2013 Midcentury Modern Design

One of my favorite sites, Houzz.com featured the most popular pics/posts in Midcentury Modern design for 2013. I’d like to share that post with you (the pictures are to die for). I know it’s provided me with some great design ideas in the new year…

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Ideas for your living spaces, lights and landscape design.
Search for fun counter stools, clocks, sectionals and storage dressers to spice up your basement.

Jonathan Adler a Happy ChicK Makes

If you love mid-century modern décor but are anything less than wealthy, shopping for it can be at best: lonely. Most of what is contained in my home has been found at a thrift store, estate sale, or on Craigslist….most of these acquisitions can be made in your pajamas.  Big box furniture commercials such as “Mathis Brothers” “Rooms To Go” “Living Spaces,” etc. etc., compound the lonely island feeling. No one (save those pricey boutiques) seems to share my love for mid-century modern. One can tire of endlessly scouring the internet and burning up gas to get to far-away flea markets. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a convenient and reasonably priced place to get MCM décor?

I am only too happy to report that I think I may have found it, but you must first endure my story of discovery.  My family and I were recently in Newport Beach, investigating how the other half live. While walking through Fashion Island, we happened by the Jonathan Adler store. I’d never seen anything like it.  I actually stood at the window mesmerized and salivating like a penniless child outside of a candy store, longing to go inside, but knowing I didn’t belong. It was too gorgeous….too perfect. It had to be too expensive as well. After a nervous lap around the building and some coaxing from my husband, I ventured inside. As chance would have it, they had quite a few big-statement items I would absolutely save up for. These beauties hung from the ceiling….and they were everywhere, in every finish and size.

Meurice Chandelier  http://www.jonathanadler.com/Meurice-Chandelier/?cat=1006&initial=4129
Meurice Chandelier
http://www.jonathanadler.com/Meurice-Chandelier/?cat=1006&initial=4129

meurice_chand_b sputnik_mini_n

Then I spied this book. My thought was….it’s almost Mother’s Day. Do it. Do it. Do it. You can take it all with you! And so I did….

Jonathan Adler's Book: 100 Ways to Happy Chic your life
Jonathan Adler’s Book:
100 Ways to Happy Chic your life
24.95 on Amazon.com and jonathanadler.com

Loving the book and it’s tragically hip photos, I decided this relaxing and reading thing is where it’s at! Then one lazy Sunday I fatefully picked up this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine. I still don’t know how I got this subscription. Anyone who knows me knows I really don’t like Martha Stewart, and that’s putting it nicely. I tend to avoid people who make me feel like an inferior homemaker AND cook.  Martha is one of them. Anyway…..I was flipping impatiently and rolling my eyes at the “easy” recipes I know I’ll never try whose ingredients I’ve never heard of when I stumble upon the JCPenny insert. It tells me that Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic housewares line is now featured at JCPenny of all places. (jcp.com/happychic)

So there you have it! It isn’t vintage, but it goes very well WITH vintage, and it certainly is mid-century modern-esque. Better news is: there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a lonely MCM’er like me or you loved that Gatsby movie and have decided to go Art Deco,  it’s all in there. If not…try Jon Jon’s website. You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you, Jonathan Adler. I feel alone no more.