January 31st, 2012

Been feeling this weird need to own more rugs (that are not cowhides) and have stalked a few via Craigslist and eBay without much success for the last few months.

Apparently, rugs are hard?

Well, they can be incredibly costly when considering larger sizes like 9’x12′, so you better be pretty into investing some cash into rugs. Sadly, most the rugs I find tend to be either totally trashed or oddly sized or just u – to the – gly on all levels. When I saw this rug listed about three months ago on Craigslist (fairly close to my house) I immediately liked the worn-in threadbare quality and semi-persian / semi-kelim / semi-whatever vibe it had going for it. Plus, it was super HUGE.

Per usual. Emailed. Spoke a bit to the seller. Seller then vanished.

These things happen a lot.

About a month later I saw this thing pop up again at three times the original price and was surprised, but not shocked – since these things also happen a lot. Of course, it languished on the ‘list and over the following months would occasionally¬†pop up and I would stalk it and send a random email here and there and offer the original price we had originally agreed on. Of course I continued to be shot down.

But I am tenacious animal.

After like the seventh relist or something crazy like that, the rug was listed again at a reasonable price and I tenaciously sent my little email again – and finally – arranged to pick it up.

Viewing it in person? Not as awesomely handwoven and perfectly vintage as I hoped or believed it was going to be from those tiny Craigslist thumbnail pics.

These things? They also happen a lot.

We did the negotiating dance and got the price down and I gave into rug ownership.

Now that I’ve gotten this puppy home and fulfilled my whole ‘maybe I should get a rug’ impulse, I’m finding myself totally on the fence about this whole getting a rug thing. I love seeing and using awesome rugs in other peoples homes and enjoy the layered texture and great bit of pattern they bring, but perhaps somewhere in this minimalist heart there’s no room for a solid patch of antiquity. Then again, I kind of love the way it changes the space and plan to pair it with my marble knoll coffee table and a freshly white fireplace. With those additions considered into the grand scheme, I can fully imagine it would be moderened up while still adding the right amount of texture to the space. For now though, I won’t commit to lugging that 1000 pound beast of a marble table in here until I feel good and sure about things.

I’m waffling. I’m a rug waffler.

The rug remains an undecided living room visitor or possible option for the den. Everyday I sleep on it in hopes of finalizing a decision and everyday my mind swings back and forth from rug! to NO rug!

These are the hardest most soul searching questions one must face at some point. Duh.

ALT 2012

January 30th, 2012

Even though this may be a tad late and folks may be a tad overwhelmed by the glut of Alt recaps floating around, too bad, gotta do it. Every fiber in my blogging being demands it.

Being my first ‘blogging’ type conference I was a little bit unaware and slightly nervous about what to expect in Salt Lake. There is a reason I like the anonymity and isolation of the internet, you know, because of the anonymity and no pictures of me thing. Just casually considering the physical fact of being surrounded by a zillion sparkling smiles in cute outfits with blogging savvy, proper business cards and lots of snapping cameras made my cold little cynical heart shrink up in fear.

Hey, it’s the awesome Victoria from sfgirlbybay and some of me with a proper badge and everything. Also, according to all photo evidence, my phone is never out of my hand. Such a sad realization to find out I’m that phone person – and don’t worry – I despise me too.

I shacked up with the attractive and talented Jason Hudson of These Roving Eyes and the equally attractive and talented Laure Joliet (of all the things I do with Laure all the time) in a larger than expected hotel room that the 1960’s forgot. It was gloriously fun and boozy and the best of summer camp and art school combined into one.

But yeah, attractive people, just stop it. You can’t be good looking and charming and talented and all around kindly great people. Leave some for the rest of us.

Obviously this thing was fancy.

There were giant chandeliers everywhere like it was no big deal.

It was fantastic to hang out with some internet friends in the real life, like Emily, Lisa Congdon, Rena Tom, Victoria and hey there is me touching my boobs or something on the end. That probably was the best thing about Alt, not my boobs, but spending time with people who are creatively focused, whip smart and incredibly entertaining. Like Haily and Julie, who were a blast and somehow not blasted into pictures.

Let’s not leave out the boys, really though, this was a heavily estrogen laden event. It was a treat to spend some time with the equally entertaining and thoughtful Maxwell from Apartment Therapy, whose openness and great insights made the trip worth it.

The big reason for coming out of internet hiding was to speak on a panel with Kristen Grove, Jenny Komenda and Emily Henderson about interior design blogging. Check out that far away dark blob of me at a podium and here is me looking at my phone and sticking my hand in my mouth while everyone else is smiling and being charming.

(Kristen Grove, Jenny Komenda and Emily Henderson)


These girls are adorable and stylish and wear lipstick and I had my hand in my mouth. Ugh.

It was a great panel nevertheless, I had a tons of fun chatting with these ladies and all the folks who came to check it out. I ‘heard’ it was funny and super informative. You know, just saying, since there were great tips on social media, running an interior business and blog, styling tricks and fixes for interior photos.

Jason and the crowd of ladies demanded to be entertained and THEY WERE.

At some point I decided to be a girl and wear a dress.

So that happened and despite Laure telling me to stop making weird faces in every single picture, I could never stop. Never ever.

Overall there was a lot of booze and parties and food and late nights followed by early mornings, so I needed lots of Diet Coke to get me through the long days and ignored the vast disapproval from my roommates who prefer coffee and being classy.

I don’t care. I drink diet coke for caffeine. I’m kinda trashy. I live in Hemet. I feel no shame.

Everything was fancy throughout the four day conference and on the last day Laure and I sat in on Jason and Ryan’s fancy workshop on studio lighting before heading out with a motley crew of the girls for a little bit of local vintage shopping at The Green Ant that included Laure, Jordan of Oh Happy Day, Maggie Mason, Emily Henderson, Lisa Congdon, Jess from Sunset, and Victoria.

Sorry about the bad iphone photo, but shopping may have been a bad idea since somehow a simple little trinket to remember the trip wasn’t enough and instead I opted to buy a sofa. Mmmhmmm, I bought an Arne Norell leather sofa from the 1970’s in Utah knowing that I was flying home to California on a plane.

I live dangerously.

No worries though, it’s all going to be fine. Emily bought the matching set of chairs and we are getting that stuff shipped.

I don’t care. I have no shame. I love sofas.

Well, even with my poorly distributed DIY stamped chipboard cards and crippling social anxiety, Alt was wonderfully amazing. I had more than a great time with an incredible group of like-minded people all engaged and thoughtful about this whole weird internet endeavor. It was exhausting but very motivating and much more inspiring than that sad little darkly sarcastic part of my psyche would believe it could be.

2012 seems to be the year of blogging? Yes? Plans and redesign and new launches and big projects in the chute (like FINALLY adding stuff like my twitter here)? Yup.

Thanks for putting up with me.

**Special thanks to Laure for all the photos she is letting me use here and being my roomie and flying buddy.


January 23rd, 2012

Just got back from Alt Summit, where weather and snow are apparently allowed to happen. Not cool, Utah. Not cool.

I’ll spare you any girly bloggy wrap-ups for now, but just you wait. If I had taken more pictures besides a slew of ‘hold on, wait? is this fucking snow? Is it SNOWING? What?! Why don’t I have a scarf’ shots, there would be so much more blogging happening.

But it snowed.

I was offended.

How dare you, weather.

Nothing was so brutal in Utah as this bit of brutalist wall sculpture waiting for me back home in the desert.

Not even frozen rain.

Even Bowie was offended when I relayed the sudden brutal conditions that I suffered through by relaxing in a hot tub and drinking a glass of whiskey. Life is brutal. Well, brutal in Utah where girls must wander to the state run liquor store and cleverly disguise whiskey at the hotel pool.

Fooled you, Salt Lake.

And yes, I still need to address fixing up the fireplace with a wood mantel and new coat of white paint and plant life and so on, but I am exhausted. There was a lot of meeting of folks and great roommates and talking on panels and parties and other amazing things that went down that now my little introverted heart needs sleep.

Glad to come home to this one thing solved. Feels good to finally find something like art for above the mantel.