Manolo for the HomeJuly, 2008 | Manolo for the Home - Part 2

Archive for July, 2008

The beautiful marriage of green and brown

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
By Christa Terry

I’m not all that big on brown, unlike The Beard who looks good in and likes all things brown and brownish. When people started combining brown and colors very much not brown, I balked. Baby blue and brown? Pink and brown? I eventually learned to like those combinations, but green and brown still struck me as being too much like a tree or a meeting of Girl Scouts and Brownies.

MDMO-Madera in MossNRG-Nourish in Grass

Inhabit’s line of pillows and bedding really helped me get behind the marriage of greens and browns. I came to realize that deep chocolates and bright limes could come together in harmony with nary a nature scout in sight. In fact, I now think the combination evokes the calmative character of nature without drawing too much on nature itself. I’m not making an effort to live out of doors, after all, so I don’t want to invite all of the outdoors in.

A meditative touch of Mother Nature’s grace here and there…now that is an entirely different story.

Cool in a can

Monday, July 21st, 2008
By Christa Terry

Clipinno?But can I close them again?

The technology that allowed people to store food in tins was developed in the early 1800s. Nowadays, food isn’t the only thing that comes in cans. You can get a carnivorous garden in a can, a t-shirt in a can, or a baseball card in a can. You can even find karma in a can, though I’m not entirely sure how they get it in there.

Lekker is currently offering a few more things in cans…on sale no less! Eleven bucks will buy you a candle in a can featuring colorful retro labels and no-mess high sides. For $7.50, you can get paperclips, mini-candles, or creative pins in cans with slick vintage-look labels. Yes, the appeal is in the packaging, but it’s a small price to pay when you need a little fun in your life.

Bang bang bang

Friday, July 18th, 2008
By Christa Terry

I guess I could wax on and on about the dichotomy between beauty and violence represented in these wall-mounted gun vases from SUCK UK and their cultural significance with regard to the whole 60s stick-a-flower-in-the-barrel-of-a-gun thing, but that’s not why I like them.

Violence? Or peace?

They appeal to me because I can just imagine how surprised I’d be if I ran across them in someone else’s home. It is, after all, a white handgun, with an upwards pointing barrel, attached to the wall…and there’s a flower sticking out of it.

I will say that this is one of those things you might want to put away for a week or two after a school shooting or any other violent occurrence that hits the public consciousness, lest people think you are totally insensitive and also a little bit creepy.

They make take our lawns, but they’ll never take…our** freedom!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008
By Christa Terry

Full disclosure: The Beard and I have a lawn. I wish I could bring myself to join the anti-lawn movement — cars all over my town sport FOOD NOT LAWNS bumper stickers — but I can hardly keep on top of the garden I already have, which is comprised of one rhubarb, four romaine lettuces, five broccolis, some carrots, and a few onions. This is one isolated in case in which I’d rather destroy than create. Pushing my squeaky old fashioned mower over my little patch of the world is wonderfully cathartic.

Too much work to be worth it?

But while I don’t have to lovingly hunch over every inch of the thing sweating and swearing about beetles with a taste for salad greens, my lawn is not entirely maintenance free. Caring for it has brought up some interesting conundrums. I wanted to get a proper fertilizer and crabgrassicide until The Beard reminded me that we let the cats out, and they have a taste for grass. He wanted a proper power mower until I said they spewed pollution. We both wanted to pull the weeds until we read a notice sent from the city encouraging people to let ’em grow for various green reasons.


A little French or a lot of French

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
By Christa Terry

I, personally, am not one for hoarding. The mother of an ex of mine collected all things duck, so her kitchen and her bathrooms were constantly a-quackin’ with ducky statues and ducky toilet paper cozies and framed ducky art complete with sayings like “You quack me up!” For some people, it’s turtles and for others it’s cats. There are people who incorporate golf or the Red Sox into every facet of their decor.

But like I’ve said in the past, I’m generally a fan of moderation. A little bit of khokhloma here and a few pieces of seaglass there. A ceramic cat nestled in the corner and a couple of Asian busts displayed discretely among the books. No matter what you’re a fan of, if you care about aesthetics more than rabid fandom — not that this is the better or worse choice — you’ll have to exercise a touch of restraint.

Me? I like France…or rather, I like the idea of France, by which I really mean the idea of some magical amalgamation of Paris and the French countryside. I try to limit my obsession with all things French to things specifically not emblazoned with “PARIS” written in fanciful script or line drawings of the Eiffel Tower, but that’s just moi.

If you prefer to celebrate your love of France in unmistakable ways, ParisChic Boutique may just be the Etsy shop pour vous.

Knobs of Paris

These knobs would look smashing on a vanity or bedside table, though I’d really rather they didn’t have Paris written on them. Of course, everything I’m about to show you has Paris written on it!


For the discriminating tyke

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
By Christa Terry

I’m always a little wary of spending any sort of real money on children for anything other than health, safety, nutrition, and enrichment. I watched my six younger siblings grow out of clothes, get bored with toys mere minutes after receiving them, and ding the heck out of all of their furniture….that is, when they weren’t accidentally painting on it or carving their initials into it.

I understand that one must drop enough cash on things like carseats and cribs to ensure that they won’t suddenly turn into a fiery ring of snakes or devour the baby in the dead of night, but the thought of dropping a phat wad on a single purpose changing table because it will instill junior with an early aesthetic sense makes me cringe.

How long will their butts stay small enough?

That’s not to say I don’t like looking at kiddie rockers inspired by the Galapagos Islands or a high chair whose design was based on the fabled hanging gardens of Babylon. So while it’s unlikely I’ll ever be purchasing any furniture from Arlington Modern Children’s Furniture, I do like to have a gander at what’s on offer on the web site and imagine the day I’ll be able to stock my home with expensive furniture that will be pooped on, scratched, and forgotten without giving it a second thought.

Plus, is it just me, or do both of the pieces above look darned uncomfortable?

DIY: Floating on a pillow of pretty

Monday, July 14th, 2008
By Christa Terry

My grandmother decided recently to clean out her cupboards and gifted me with a great deal of vintage upholstery fabric. I took it all, fearing I’d miss something spectacular if I poked through it to find the good stuff when my ferry was set to leave in a mere half hour. A lot of it is rather thick and nubby, leading me to believe my sewing machine would balk if I tried to make curtains, but a few yards were utterly gorgeous. One swath in particular is white and orange and two shades of blue that just happen to match the two shades of blue in my living room.

How is it that I only recently learned that blue and orange can be combined to good effect?

No matter! Thus far I’ve pre-washed and ironed the fabric to prepare it for its eventual fate, which is to become a pair of throw pillow covers for the living room. Too bad my sewing machine is on the fritz. There is, however, one benefit to not being able to indulge my need to sew, sew sew, which is that I can spend all sorts of non-productive time looking at beautiful fabrics, contemplating what I’d make if I had all sorts of money to drop on the raw materials for dresses and shams and slipcovers.

I’m a huge fan of Amy Butler fabrics — in fact, it was she who taught me not to hate florals. Previously, I associated all floral prints with a certain high school math teacher who daily wore dresses that looked more like couches.

Amy Butler rulesAmy Butler rulesAmy Butler rules
Amy Butler rulesAmy Butler rulesAmy Butler rules

Lovely, no? The nice thing about sewing pillow covers is that they’re generally square or rectangular, which means you only have to sew on a straight line. Additionally, you’ve got a lot of freedom where fabric is concerned unless your pillows see a lot of ‘butt action’ on a regular basis. If you want to give this simple project a try a try, the easy, illustrated instructions found here and here are a great place to start.

Now I’m off to inspect my newly delivered wicker set!

Things NtB loves — A Le Creuset rainbow

Friday, July 11th, 2008
By Christa Terry

I don’t know about you, but seeing my wonderful blue Le Creuset pot always brightens my day. It’s already old as sin, but I’d wager that it will outlive me and perhaps even my children. It stays hot once it gets hot, making it perfect for simmering soups and deep frying. I can pop it in the oven if needed, and the heavy base means curious cats can’t knock it over if I leave it sitting on a tabletop to dry.


I tell you truly — if these pots and pans were not so pricey, I’d have an entire set made up of pieces of every color!

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    Christa Terry
    (a.k.a. Never teh Bride)


    Manolo the Shoeblogger