Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greetings from Hong Kong!

A whole lot of things have been going down in my neck of the woods since my last post oh-so-long ago.  And no, I'm not even talking about Hurricane Sandy.  {Though, it is worth saying- we weathered the storm well.  No power outages or massive floods.}

In August, I accepted a permanent position within my company.  I was a mere Temp before working the ole 9-5 grind.  Since having accepted the salaried position, I'm now working the good ole 8-630 grind.  Part of the reason I have been off on blogging.  I also was asked to make a trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan with work.  So, on my singular half-day off:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How soft is your stool?

Ew! Get your mind out of the gutter!  I am not pulling a Dr. Oz and talking about your poop.  {That's right, I said poop!} I mean your foot stool!  I'm having a wee dilemma with mine...  A while back I mentioned stopping for a stool on the side of the road...

I have since reupholstered the little guy and he's lookin' better... but not great.

First, ignore the crud on the ground... then, let me show you how I covered 'im.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Take another picture with your click click click click camera.

I totally love this song. And it happens to be right in line with a very exciting happening in my little life this week.  Back in August {yes, I mean TEN months ago} while on vacation in Cape Cod or for those of you from the Commonwealth- "The Cape"- my camera inexplicably stopped working... just after taking this picture....

When it was on, the lense retracted and closed.  When it was off, it unfurled and the lense opened. You heard me right.  It was all backwards.  Our mugs broke the damn camera- on Matt's birthday. 

Obviously unusable, it sat in my office for 8 months.  Which was part of why the pictures I've been posting for the last 8 months have been sub-par at best.   I think it was part fear of sending my beloved camera off to no-mans-land, and part of it was laziness.  Then I found a small mom and pop shop in my hometown that had great ratings for camera repair.  {Though, I must say, they were less then stellar in my case. They were curt, expensive and they vastly under quoted their lead-time. Hence why I'm not mentioning their name on here.} Six weeks later... My camera is up, running and back in my hands! WOO! 

With that being said, I thought I'd share with you some new pics of our house and the way it's looking lately.  It's still missing some key elements so bear with us...

Fist of all, our couch is so very naked.  I need to get on making throw pillows for it.  But pillow inserts are expensive!! I know I could buy batting and its cheaper but I like to make shams so I can continue to be fickle and change them out whenever I want.  So to-do list part 1: make more throws. 

That awkward gaping hole between the couch and loveseat is not going to be empty long.  There is an upholstery project in the works to fill in that hole!  I swear I will show you the inside scoop on that one soon! 

You guys might remember the personalized print I made for Matt and I not too long ago.  But the yellow and white print on the right?  That is thanks to my brother Joe, who is a seriously talented artist and his most recent gallery show featured a slew of a silk screens entitled "There's No One There."  I had mentioned long ago that I loved the one with the truck. And my amazing big brother surprised me by sending us that very piece all the way across the country.  Isn't it so cool?  And it goes so perfectly with the rest of our bright colorful art that we have in the room already. 

That may or may not be The Bachelorette on the TV. This particular wall is a toughie for me.  I want to replace the TV stand for something more like furniture, something more solid.  In the meantime, I want to put a fun table or a pouf or a plant under the Metropolis poster.  A plant, to me, would be ideal.  I would get height from it, as well as a fresh, comfortable, lived-in look. 

Along with a paper mache animal head that I plan on making myself. BUT! While the paper mache animal head is a "go" the plant .... not so much.  Matt is afraid of ruining our beautiful hardwoods. So maybe something like this would be more up his alley...

That's not so bad?  I can't say I blame him for not wanting to ruin the floors though, since we went from this....

To this....

Not too bad, right guys?  What do you think? What are your ideas for that wall that is irking me?  We don't want too much furniture... but not so little either.... Oh all the things we could do!  Alright guys, its on you! Now dish!! 

Happy Tuesday Nesters! xo

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mae Linnaea handbags

Heya Nesters!  I don't know about you gals,  but I am a big fan of HUGE bags.  I am like the modern day Mary Poppins.  I have a spoonful of sugar in my purse right now next to the Advil.  {Not really but I do have sugar packets in my desk... does that count?} But after enough friends picking up my bag and groaning about how heavy it was, I thought maybe I should give my shoulder a rest and just get a little wristlet to just grab and go.  While these thoughts stewed in my brain, I perused my good friend Mae's Etsy site: Mae Linnaea.   I saw one of her new designs and fell. in. love...

RESERVED FOR GINA: Embossed Leather & Lace Clutch With Vintage Button Accent

I know. Gorgeous right? I pounced on it and bought it form her. It has been a lifesaver! I use it every single day and I've also worn it to a wedding!  I get compliments on it constantly because its so unique and beautiful.   

But enough about me and my bag... I thought you guys might want to hear from the artist herself.  Meet my friend Mae

I've known Mae for almost a decade now. {Ouch that hurt}  She is a fellow Syracuse Fashion program Almni.  I thought it would be kind of fun to ask her a few questions about how she got where she was. 

TN: When did you start sewing? Do you remember the first thing you made?
Mae: I started sewing when I was pretty little - maybe 3rd or 4th grade?  I remember my grandmother bought my mom a Bernina sewing machine as a gift (the same one that was eventually given to me, which I used all through college and even some now) and I was so excited about it.  My mom used to make quilts and clothing and I loved watching her do that.  She grew up in an age where you always made your own clothes.  The first thing I ever made was actually a little bag that I was going to give my Mom as a gift.  I found these great little pieces of fabric all cut out already and appliqued them onto another fabric (much like I do now) and sewed a little pouch.  It wasn't until I gave it to my mom that I found out the pieces I had used were special parts ready for a quilt she was making!  I'm pretty sure she forgave me though :) When I was in middle school my mom helped me buy my first pattern and some fabric and taught me how to read a pattern and make a dress.  I sewed the whole thing myself and wore it everywhere.  It was a cute little navy sundress with white daisies on it.  From there, I was hooked.

TN: When did you start making your own bags
Mae: I worked in a French fabric store after starting college and was able to get my hands on all these beautiful fabric remnants for pretty cheap.  I could never find any bag that fit my personality, everything was always just plain black or brown and looked way too formal to me... or if it was something I loved, I could never afford it!  I started making bags in college and the summer after I graduated I actually had a bunch of them in a store in my hometown.  I started working with leather only a few years ago, but I always try to keep the element of the interior fabrics too.  It's a great weight for handbags and there are always fun patterns and colors to choose from.  I officially opened my Etsy shop last August, although I had many other private/custom sales before that. 

Black Lace & Grey Leather Clutch with Plum Accents and Neutral Patterned Lining

TN: What inspires you?
Mae: Here is where I’m supposed to say something profound right?  Like I find my inspiration from these famous designers, or this highly published artist, etc.  But in all honesty, I was never one of those people who perused the magazines to draw inspiration from images, or poured over fashion history to try and re-live fancy moments.  This could also end up being my downfall, as market research and trend spotting are major components in a successful business of any kind.  Don’t get me wrong, Fashion History was one of my favorite subjects I ever studied, and I love seeing what the designers are going to come up with next; I just didn’t ever use this as my main starting point for design.  Maybe this is because I originally began as more of an artist.  I grew up loving to draw, and got into oil painting at a very early age.  I probably picked this up from my late Grandfather and Dad who are both very talented painters and artists.  I think most of my inspiration actually comes from the materials themselves.  I am kind of a fabric hoarder and I usually buy all this stuff I love and then let that kind of dictate where the design goes.

TN: If you could be a handbag, what kind would you be and why?
Mae: I think I would be one with a super exciting lining.  I love finding a handbag that is kind of fun on the outside, but then when you open it the lining is just amazing.  Like beautifully bright colors and patterns.  It's almost like a little secret waiting to be discovered or something.  I know that sounds super cheesy, but finding something w/ a really fun lining is one of my absolute favorite things.

Nautical Summer Leather & Plaid Hobo

TN: Who is your favorite designer or what is your favorite design era?
Mae: It's hard to say just one designer... I do absolutely love Alexander McQueen though.  I was so sad when he passed away last year.  A lot of the Japanese designers I find fascinating too - Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo make such amazing things.  I love fashion history in general really, it was definitely one of my favorite subjects ever studied in college.

TN: What are your can't-leave-home-without-it items in your purse right now?
Mae: I feel like I should have a bunch of glamorous make-up items in here or something, but I don't wear make-up! haha  I would say my Burts Bees chapstick, my iPod, I always have a bunch of my business cards with me, and a mini flashlight - you never know when you'll need one! :)

TN: What is your design process?  Do you choose how you want it to look before you start sewing? Or since each are different, do they kind of come together organically?
Mae: Kind of like I said before, I am a fabric hoarder of sorts.  I can't help myself when I find amazing stuff that I can make things out of.  I would say I kind of design as I am playing around with the materials and cutting things out.  This means every piece I make is unique in itself.  I never make two things alike.  I would definitely say my designs come together organically.  I finally started making some patterns a couple months ago, but I never stick to the original, I always tweak it and let it grow into it's own piece.  I do have to say everything is a derivative of my original style hobo bag though - the kind of U-shaped, 
slouchy look.

TN: Do you take custom orders?
Mae: Definitely!  I've done a lot of custom orders for people.  I do like to stick with-in my design philosophy so that when it is a finished product, there is a little bit of me still in it - but I am happy to work with the customer to make what they are looking for.

My Spring 2012 clutch collection… now available on Etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/maelinnaea

Mae makes all her bags herself with lots of TLC.  So go take a look at MaeLinnaea.com,  Mae Linnaea on Etsy and check out her beautiful unique bags!  When you pick yours up, send us a comment to brag about which one is yours now!!  

Happy Shopping Nesters!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hair Idol

That's right. I have an American hair idol.  I have for quite some time now.  Now let's be clear here,  I've had many many hair styles, colors and idols.  I guess we could start from the beginning... 4 years old?   It was Shirley Temple:

Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover

Heya Nesters!  Well I finally had a chance to put the finishing touches on a project I've been working on for a couple months.  I alluded to it in this post but I don't think anyone really picked up on it. It really was only a few days work, but with nice long gaps in between.  I guess it was somewhere between laziness and being busy.  I had about hit my wits end when it came to file organization...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Boston Picker

Heya Nesters!   Do you ever have those mornings where you do exactly the same thing you do every morning, but for some reason that morning, everything takes twice as long?  This morning was that morning for me.  I leave myself two hours and fifteen minutes to get ready.  That includes some light house cleaning, eating breakfast, making Matt and I lunch, and probably the longest portions: doing my hair and standing in front of my closet figuring out what to wear.  Somehow I left my house 10 minutes late today.  When I got in the car, I remembered that it was pretty much on empty. *sigh*  Of course.....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

All lit up inside!

Last weekend was an exciting one for the ol' homestead... Matt and I popped out to Home Depot Saturday afternoon for some odds and ends and wound up craning out necks, checking out the lighting fixtures.  We had done a quick lap, landing looking at these two similar, yet very different chandeliers to potentially live over our dining room table.

Matt really liked this Mission style guy.

And I really liked this lovely lady.

I thought his was a little too severe, and while Matt liked my choice, he isn't crazy about having downward facing bulbs.  Looking up = going blind and that's no fun for anyone. Fair enough.  We decided to make another lap around before giving up. And in this crazy little section that was all on it's own {we still aren't sure why...}  we found our Kate Middleton of chandeliers. 

She's clean, sophisticated, not too flashy, but still totally stunning.  Sure, it's not the most original chandelier known to man, but it's clean look will withstand any of my future crazy, design changes in the house. After falling in love with our Princess Kate Chandy, we were talking about how much we loved her and that with all of our huffing and puffing about how ugly our 1970's etched glass chandeliers were, it would be better if we shied away from the trendy oil rubbed bronze look anyway for fear that down the road, that will look just as dated.  I can just see our grand kids saying "Ew Grandma!  That chandelier is so 2012!"  Let's be real- I'll never let my house get that way, but it's kind of funny to think about.

But the best part?   If you check out the link, HD has it on their site for $189!  That crazy little section must have been the clearance corner because we snagged this puppy for $79.99!  Putting my math to work, that is a 57.7% savings!  Our wallet was thanking us!  

We also noticed this little $6.99 flush-mounted ceiling light whose box was sitting right next to our chandy's, that was perfect for our hall way. And again! On the website... $29.99!! That is 76.7% off!  We thought we got good deals, but until I was checking them out on the Home Depot website, did I really realize how much we saved!! I am on cloud nine!

On our way home, Matt prefaced to me "Now,  these might not go up until April break, is that okay?" {Remember, he is a teacher.}   Of course it was! As long as we had a light at the end of the tunnel {believe it or not- that was a fully unintended pun.}  I was sittin' pretty!  That evening I set sail on a beautiful and super fun Odyssey Cruise, for my girlfriends bachelorette party.  While sitting at dinner I got a text from Mr. Handyman himself "The Chandelier is almost up!"  He decided he couldn't wait either, and took advantage of my evening away to make a mess with his brother and install the new lighting fixture!  If I wasn't already happy before, I was elated after that text!  The boys hadn't finished the chandelier when I got home that night, due to some technical difficulties, but they finished it the next morning and tackled the hall light.  In less than 24 hours the house was looking like a normal home in 2012 and no longer a throw back.  

We certainly still have a long way to go but to think that this is where we started.....


You can see a wee bit of it up at the top of this picture and you can see it from afar here as well...



Okay enough drooling over the  new chandy.... Here is a vague picture of the hall light before....

See how the door {the ugly, ugly door} hits the light? It was no good. I wish we had taken more pics of the old lights before they were gone-zo. But then again, I don't even want to remember what they look like.  So maybe I'm not that sad! HA! 

Thank goodness for flush mounted ceiling lights!  Now, we don't have to worry about our weird little storage closet hitting the fixture like it used to!

We couldn't be happier with how things are coming together.  A huge bonus that we hadn't anticipated with the new fixture, is the additional light.  Our dining/living room is so much brighter than it was! We catch ourselves sometimes just staring, like a moth to a flame.   This was also the very first light that Matt ever installed, so I am super proud of him and he did a fantastic job! Everything is up to code and safely done, as opposed to before which was apparently done very poorly and unsafely.  Another happy bonus! Safety!

Well there you have it, Nesters! Another happy day in our house hold.  Has your husband or wife {or boyfriend in my case or girlfriend} surprised you with a house upgrade while you were gone?   Or maybe you got an awesome deal on something at the store instead of online?  Spill the beans!  We want to hear it! 

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend with family friends and loved ones. 
<3  Gina

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No. 5 Lamp - Where are they now?

Do any of you Nesters remember this old post of yore?  I had bought a stunning lamp from Target and I hated the matching shade.   And to boot, no other shades would fit.   I convinced Matt to try to combine the two shades together to get the aesthetic of the one I liked and the fit of the one above. Alas, it didn't work.  I was at a loss....

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Okay Nesters- I am calling all Target Aficionado's and web surfing experts-  I need your help!!  I have fallen in love with curtains from target- the only problem? I can't find them online OR in stores.  Here's what I mean....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rack 'n' Trash

Happy second day of Spring, Nesters! Before we get this party started, can we just talk a wee bit about this insane weather we've been having?  I live in Massachusetts and it should be damp, rain-boot-wearing, bone-chilling-cold weather out right about now.  Instead, I'm wearing a skirt {without tights!} and a tee today because it's EIGHTY DEGREES.  Yes, you heard me- eight. zero. Actually above that for the next couple days.  I know what you're thinking- BEACH DAY!  My thoughts exactly.  Alas, the new job has got me AC'd and chilly in my cube but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm taking advantage of my lunch break and heading outside today! 

Anyway, I realized I haven't shared much of anything with you lately, except maybe some meager subway art that I made and our little octopus friend George. Well things have been comin' along in the ol' homestead.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Bottom Girls

I'm going to make an embarrassing confession to you all, Nesters.  Maybe some of you will sympathize?  Well the truth is, I am overweight.  I'm not saying I'm "obese" by any means, and I'm not whining {okay, maybe a little} but I'm uncomfortable in my own skin at my current weight.  I attribute this additional ass-mass to the fairly large life changes I have undergone as of late. The sadness with the loss of a job and the nerves of starting a new job with a bunch of strangers. At first it started with being home and having time -that I didn't used to have- to cook things that are more time consuming.  It was also fostered by the several new cook books and amazing cooking gadgets I got for my birthday and Christmas. Kitchenaide mixer thanks to my Lovah, a Cuisinart food processor and mandolin thanks to my Grandparents {they obviously don't know how clumsy I am, and are mistaken to trust me with such sharp objects} and a pasta maker thanks to my brother and SIL. So of course I decided to start making my own pasta from scratch, turning it into lasagnas, or alfredos, or homemade sauce with meatballs and hot Italian sausages.  And who doesn't need some baguette and brie with wine while they cook!?....  Anyone else getting hungry as they read this? Because I'm starved just writing it.  Well... it was a recipe for disaster for my waistline.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hiya Nesters!  Today we have a guest post from Susi from Arcadian Lighting.  She knows how much of a sucker I am for a new glass accessory and thought she'd share some of her favorites with us.  Without further adieu, here's Susi!

Hi, I'm Susi, a blogger over at Arcadian Lighting, a great source for lighting fixture ideas and inspiration. I'm so excited to be here at Temporary Nest today to do a guest post about cool glass accessories. From vintage finds to contemporary glass mobiles and lamps, glass accessories add color and shine to any space. Hope you enjoy!

Glass Decor

Monday, February 13, 2012

Target is so Romantic...

I headed out to Target the other day with all intentions of getting dish soap and of course I ended up spending $125.  How does that happen!?  Luckily while I was there, I was wooed.  That's right. Wooed. Not by a kind stranger {which -- I actually don't know if I would think that was 'kind' having a stranger trying to woo me... anyway...} but my some beautiful inanimate objects. "Don't be silly, Gina, you can't be wooed by an inanimate object!" you say?  Are you going to try to tell me that you've never spotted something at a store that has literally stopped you in your tracks?  That's right... you've been wooed too.  What was it that caught my eye?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I've been debating...  Now that I'm gettin' back on the ol' bloggin' bandwagon {did you say that in an old timey western voice in your head? because I did...} I'm debating on where to even start. Just to give you an idea of what has gone down here's a quick list of what we've {And by "we" I mean Matt and his brother...} done since the house was first purchased:

-Took down all the heinous brass window fixin's.

-Tore out the heinous wall to wall carpets from 1965.

-Scraped all the heinous wallpaper off the walls from 1975 AND 1965 laid on top of one another. {Excessive use of the word heinous? You'd think so, unless you saw it.  It was that bad...}

-Had the hardwoods refinished {god bless those people that never touched the gorgeous hardwoods, and covered them up with carpet to save them for hardwood flooring lovers like us.}

-Had the hardwoods refinished AGAIN.  That's a long post for another day....

-Choose colors for and paint said formerly-wallpapered-to-the-gills rooms.

-Installed brand spakin' new granite counter tops in the kitchen and got beautiful new appliances.

-Completely gutted and refinished the original bathroom {AKA Ol' Blue}.

Old Blue before...
Now we've entered the phase where we have purchased and assembled close to all the furniture we need for the house.  And we did it on a fairly meager budget if I do say so myself. We have a few odds and ends that we would like to fill things out a bit, but that all comes with time.  We've also hung some art- both new and old, purchased and homemade-  which you can see a wee bit of in yesterdays' post.

So needless to say, that there are LOTS of posts that are buzzing around in my head just waiting to be written so you guys can see all the nitty gritty. {And I do mean gritty, with this new jobs' longer hours, I'm just not the cleaning machine I once was...}  With all that jibber jabbin' out of the way, I would like to show you my most personal space.  You'd think it would be the master bedroom, right? Uh huh. My office.  It's the room that Matt gave me 100% free reign to do whatever I wanted.  I could pick any color to paint the walls, hang any art, set it up however I wanted and just have it be my little slice of heaven.  Don't get me wrong, the rest of our house is coming along just nicely but this is the room where I don't have to say "So, whatta ya think about doing XYZ?"  Nope.  Not in my office.  I go all Nike on it's ass and just do it.

You might remember my big gallery wall that I had in my old apartment.  Well, it, along with some new additions have made their way into the space, hanging on the wall above the guest bed. We decided to use my office as the guest room for several reasons.  One being that most of the out-of-towners that would potentially stay, are my family members.  The other being that Matt's office from the get-go was intended to be essentially an arcade.  He's well on his way but more about that in a later post. I tested out the bloggosphere's most popular method to arrange them without it being completely random.  I used a few weeks worth of the grocery store ad's that come in the mail.  Traced all the frames, and methodically decided where each should hang.  I knew I wanted the LOVE poster of yore to hang in the center since it is the brightest of them all. 

Oh and don't forget the Federal Mirror I picked up at the flea market a while back!

I invested in some good cash-ola in one of my fave Premier Prints.  The yellow chevron slub cotton canvas to compliment my beloved Love poster. And used my old blue crinkle chiffon sheers behind them.  I must admit, I'm not totally wild about the blue on blue sheer on wall.  That might have to change to a white sheer soon. Anyhoozle. if anyone wants a tutorial on how I made the curtains, leave a comment and I'll whip up a post.  I know there are so many on the web about it that I didn't want bore you since its such an easy project but if any of you want to learn, I'll go through the step by step.

Yessss crappy cell phone picture that caught the light! Ugh. Sorry.

Opposite the bed is my desk.  Yes, that is the same desk.  I'm sure you're catching on that not a whole lot has changed in terms of actual furniture pieces. I've got a fun little tablescape that keeps my organized and inspired! I have the mini-armiore that once held my bathroom linens, now holding and displaying some of my fabric stock. {I have an exciting plan for all that fabric you see and you guys are going to be the first to see the outcome!!}  

I love that it has the glass top for the pretty goodies {that are terribly disorganized currently} and the opaque cabinet below for the ugg-o stuff no one wants to see. And I've maximized the ceiling height by loading up the top of the cabinet with my beloved birdcage filled with, and surrounded by candles.

The Almond Blossom framed poster I was not so in love with in my former bedroom has taken a big spot here over my desk.  Somehow, in this blue room it's much more inviting and exciting.  It's almost like wallpaper. {Not the heinous stuff that was there before... YUCK!}

I hung my old Spring wreath on my closet door. And the blank wall there is probably going to have a full length mirror some day for sewing purposes.

If you're paying close enough attention you might notice what I was talking about with the fabric in the mini-armiore.....  And finally, we will have made a full circle around the room.  We are back to the foot of the bed where the gallery wall ends and my bookshelf begins- and to the left is the doorway.  It's the right size for French doors but right now, it's just open. We've been toying with the idea of a barn door...

Well I hope you've liked the grand tour of my office so far.... It's most definitely a work in progress still but its getting there. I want a million more pillows and need to work on the storage in the closet.  And of course the aforementioned door.

Happy Wednesday Nesters!!