5 Cactus Prints I Love

I think I’ve mentioned that as a kid, desert trips were the norm. My dad grew up in a few American oil communities in Arabia and my mom had a phobia of flying, so visiting the desert just made sense. It was beautiful, like home, and close. We traveled to Anza Borrego within San Diego County, through New Mexico, to Death Valley, and anywhere in and around California. I laughed the other day at my dad’s romanticization of Fresno as a scorching (we love hot weather), desert-like oasis. We didn’t make it to the central valley much unless it was simply to get through it, so I don’t quite think he has the right idea about Fresno.

There were a few other deserts…or hot, off the beaten path areas anyway…that we never made it to as kids, and I’m baffled that Joshua Tree was one of them. So after seeing the countless bohemian dwellings and photoshoots in Joshua Tree, looking at the allegedly life changing experiences people seem to be having on social media, and listening to the hype surrounding it from folks young and old(er), I’m keen on finally visiting! I always believed Joshua Tree was LA’s Borrego, but recently, a friend explained to me that it’s not all hype…that both are beautiful, but I just have to see Joshua Tree. And with J-Tree so close (under 3 hours away), I think myself and a few friends are finally planning to visit! But until then, I’ll happily plan for the trip and ogle these cactus inspired artworks:

1. Land & She Sonoran Desert Print

2. Laura Elizabeth “Desert Dreams” Print

3. Satchel & Sage Cactus Wood Art

4. Kind of Cyan “Cactus From the Desert” Cyanotype Print

5.  Fine Life Co. Desert Poster


Studio Living: What I’ve Learned in 6 Months

After 6 months, Max and I seem to have the whole “studio living” thing down. We’ve arranged and rearranged, moved the bed to and from a few spots, folded our Ikea Tarvo dining set 100 times, and futzed with every piece of decor in the house (well really, I’m the one futzing). According to our friends and fellow studio-dwellers, the place feels “big for a studio”, likely due to the narrow but separated entryway that we’ve fashioned into a living room of sorts, and our balcony (where the fridge resides, oddly enough). Indeed, in 6 months we’ve managed to create a lounge, compact dining era, cozy bedroom, and garden oasis in our tiny Victorian space that make it feel whole, spacious, and easy to navigate– and the place is ever-evolving. I’ve learned so many lessons about living the studio life that I want to share!

  1. Clean & De-Clutter all day, everyday.

If I detect the slightest crumb on the kitchen counter (or any counter), or see a wandering ball of lint roll across the hardwood floor, I stamp them out STAT. I was neurotic about this in my tiny San Francisco bedroom, and I’ve adopted those cleaning habits in our our apartment here. Keeping things clean constantly–whether it’s washing the dishes right after we eat and wiping down our kitchen counters, making sure the bathroom floors and fixtures are scrubbed once a week, or simply picking our clothes off of the floor and folding them–has made our space feel larger, healthier, and manageable.

I should mention that I’m lucky: I work from home, so it’s easier for me to do some of these things on my break. But simple things like rinsing and scraping dishes right after you eat (if you don’t have a dishwasher) so they’re easy to clean later or blocking off a few hours every week to organize, will help clutter and dirt from building up. An added benefit for us is that our weekend deep cleans have inspired us on a few occasions to just rearrange the entire place!

2. Find a place for everything.

I’ll admit, I’m still working on this one, but so far we have the storage, furniture, and spaces to make sure everything in our studio isn’t a tripping hazard. At the very least, we’re picking things up off the floor and sticking them on various surface…because walking space is essential to moving around freely in a tiny space (and creepy crawlies don’t make a home in your underwear…San Diego living for ya).

3. Catchalls, catchalls, and more catchalls!

Max laughs at me because I seem to have a bowl or basket for storing everything. I’m a firm believer in baskets. I have a few bolgas in the front room for yarn and randoms, bowls for the kitchen and miscellaneous papers, and jars for laundry change and other items. Seriously, catchalls make the room go round.

4. Make the bed each morning.

This one I had more or less down when I was living in my apartment in San Francisco, and really it’s because a bed is more than a space to sleep and lounge for me–it’s a canvas for my never ending collection of pillows (that Max resents and my dad resented about my parents’ former pillow laden bed…ah, pillows)! Getting into this habit long ago made keeping things tidy and presentable easy within our studio. And though sometimes I wish I’d pare down my collection, I love the look of colorful pillows against our new white coverlet (the Ikea Indira coverlet for 15 bucks!).

Tips for the small space life?

Curated Craigslist: Vintage Florals

I may want to scrap my old flower sheets, but I will always have a thing for granny florals. Crewel floral still life textile art is hanging all over our studio and a Mid-Century sunflower oil painting Max’s mom gave us is currently gathering dust in my mom’s storage. Definitely squeezing that piece somewhere in here! But for now, I’m happy scavenging Craigslist for vintage and Mid-Century pieces. Needless to say, this Curated Craigslist is inspired by florals (and that settee in particular!).  Enjoy!

Links to Shop:

New Year’s “Home Decor” Resolutions for 2018

Anyone else reeling from the holidays? December and November were a giant cluster-f**k of traveling (somehow we managed two trips up north), working, and frantically finishing class projects. Biting off more than I can chew is what drives me–the season was a success, but I’d be a mess if it didn’t culminate in the much needed three day “holiday” weekend I just experienced. Three days of sleeping in, working on a new online class that I’m stoked for, and spending time with friends and family…and writing out some New Year’s Resolutions.

Our space will never be complete–that is the reality of a thrifter/vintage lover. There will always be a tchotchke to collect or some new rattan piece to buy off of Craigslist and squeeze into our studio…but this year, and speaking of hoarding, I’d like to cut back on buying home decor and shape our space into something a little less cluttered and filled only with pieces we love. Matching our bedding wouldn’t hurt either (hah). So that is the gist of my 2018 interior design/home decor New Year’s Resolution, and I’ve laid out some specifics to elaborate.

1. Buy Cohesive bedding:

I love mis-matched textiles…really I do. But at the moment, our bed is a little too eclectic. Like, random childhood wool blanket draped over a purple fleece blanket with grandma style floral flannel pillowcases eclectic. I DO have a lovely Anthropologie quilt in storage–but it’s all frills and too much of a pain to clean–and I love me a cozy flannel, but I was a San Diego gal living in San Francisco…below 60 was Antarctica. So it’s time for some cooler sheets (and time to let go of the grandma florals).

2. Downsize:

Like I mentioned, I’d like to pare down the clutter around our studio…well, what is mostly my stuff. Max is the minimalist here! I’ve entertained the idea of donating or selling 50 items over the next month. It won’t be an episode of ‘Hoarders’, but it might be painful, so we’ll see how difficult it is for me to part with my odds and ends. Case in point, I don’t really need 100 bird figurines (or do I?). Our new plan is to move back up north again in September (more on that later), so having as little as possible will help, and I have a minute to really get sh*t done.

3. Organize our kitchen:

Max and I received several handy kitchen gadgets (eg. a pressure cooker and spiralizer!!) for Christmas, but the lack of open shelving in our hamster sized galley kitchen means we’ve relegated that stack of boxes to a corner–which we push aside to get to our stove (it wouldn’t be a real studio if we weren’t stepping over things hazardously). The other empty-ish corner has been taken by our makeshift kitchen stool shelf that we stack things on. So a serious Ikea trip or Craigslist binge is in order so we can find a real one.

4. Frame loose prints:

This seems like an obvious thing, but those frames ain’t cheap! Particularly when you have a stack of prints under the bed, and the sofa, and in a paper bag hung up on your coat rack…like I do. But paring those down will help, right?

5. Design our building’s balcony:

This is a small project I would love to take on in a few paychecks time! Our four-plex features a second floor balcony that is currently home to large arachnids that could punch me if I tried to sweep them away. So hopefully Max and I will clear out what (and who) we can and start sprucing up that space.

Happy New Year everyone! New Year’s resolutions?

Go Big or Go Home: 5 Oversized Holiday Decor DIYS

As much as I’m a fan of miniatures, so too do I love giant versions of things. So I’ve obsessed over this season’s extra large holiday decoration zeitgeist…and those big DIY plush Christmas lights and ornaments! I used to sew stuffed animals as a hobby so I NEED to try these DIYs at some point. One of these years I’ll make time for concocting my own giant something something for the holidays. But anyways, here’s some inspiration for next year. I hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend!

Giant Plush Ornaments from Studio DIY!



Gifts for The Llama Lover

Ok…so the weekend before Christmas may be a little too last minute for a Christmas gift post, but I wanted to add my two-cents to the holiday gift guide conversation with a quickie on gifts for the llama lover:

llama gifts

Have I mentioned that I’ve collected llama figurines since I was a kid? It’s a goofy hobby that those closest to me are aware of, and since then my life has become filled with llama artwork, towels, mugs, and figures from friends. So needless to say, I’m happy the home decor world has found potential in these weird creatures too, and we now have a varied selection of llama miscellanea to choose from! Enjoy 🙂

Where to shop:

  1. Llama Pillow
  2. Llama Tapestry
  3. Llama Cookie Cutter
  4. “Llama” Mug
  5. Llama/Alpaca Figurine
  6. Llama Tea Towel
  7. Belasco Llama Malbec
  8. White Llama Planter
  9. Majolica Llama
  10. Twin Llama Pot
  11. Golden Llama Table Lamp

Halloween Home Decor: Spooky Chic Vintage Finds

During my frequent visits to both thrift stores just up the street from our apartment, I comb desperately for vintage, and usually to no avail. Sometimes the local Goodwill is a hit or miss, and mine has been pretty devoid of those addicting finds that keep me in this secondhand hustle (ok, maybe it’s a hustle to hoard, but still…). My latest mania has been Halloween decor and I’ve been in search of antique clear and black glassware, brass, votives, or any items that can give our studio some festive spookyness while not coming off too…kitsch? It’s “Spooky chic” I’m going for, and being the Halloween obsessed gal I am, I rounded up a few versatile pieces that are perfect for giving a space an eerie Halloween glow, while keeping things chic year round.

I love finding brass display cases while I thrift–these can be filled with twinkle lights, antique jewelry, or maybe a skull or two!
What’s Halloween, or Fall in general, without the cozy glow of candles? These brass sun and moon candle holders are ideal for an altar, Halloween display, or simply as bits of vintage worked into your home decor. After all, there is something inherently creepy about antiques that once belonged to those who are now long gone from this earth.
Like vintage, Halloween and cats go hand in hand. They’re sweet and witchy, and this cat anatomy illustration is an alternative to skull or skeleton accents.
Ever summoned spirits via Quija in your friend’s Victorian basement (hint: I’ve tried)? The next time I use a Quija board, it will probably be framed as Halloween decor. But still, vintage Quija boards can stay up all year round–perfect if you’re tastes lean toward the occult (and even better if you practice)!
Admittedly, I do not know what this book is about and have tried to research–BUT, wouldn’t it be perfect to display for Halloween with other antique books and potion bottles and skulls? Vintage books aren’t just ideal for styling (or reading for that matter)– the musty smell and dusty jacket of an old book fits this holiday.
 Halloween decor calls for ravens and crows–this little fellow is just for fun.
Vintage glassware, like bottles or jars, can really make your Halloween place settings or decor more festive.
 Speaking of tabletop, Fornasetti’s peculiar Lina Cavalieri plates come to mind when I think of Halloween place settings. I’ve always found his obsession with her face odd and also that it has been immortalized on plates…and on this eerily elegant half Lina/half skull pillow! What is more Halloween than a creepy face and skull?
 This stitched spiderweb pillow isn’t vintage, but it’s a chic way to incorporate trendy indigo dyed pieces into your home while sticking to a creepy theme. Though I must say, the symbolism and craftsmanship behind this pillow are lovely.