Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some absolutely beautiful images...

Today, I am needing a little focus and inspiration. My little one is out of school for the summer, and camp doesn't start until the the 13th.

We are Miami bound this week, and I have a million things to do before take off!

Maybe a couple of beautiful images will give me that push to get things done...

me oh my

dransfield and ross, elle decor

Nicole Guerlat, Alice Lane

This is one of my absolutely favorite neutral combinations. A beautiful cognac brown, paired with ivory and gold. Add a dash of high gloss black and bam........

I found this image on pinterest. Can't remember the source. I love this color palette.

design crisis

awesome baby boy's room

Hope you enjoyed these images. I'll be back soon with more exciting material. Promise.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Motivational Mondays

“All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle." Samuel Johnson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Have I told you lately...

that I have a pillow problem and that I love caning? I can't get this pillow out of my brain. But it's 285 bones. I've obsessively googled and googled hoping that something identical will fall out of the sky and onto my screen.

I found this one on Jamali Garden, and it's only $35. Well, actually, I originally found it here for $115, and later found it on Jamali for about 1/3 the price. People are strange...

Anyway, it's very pretty, but it's not gray...cue whining

Cococozy has released her own home line this year, which includes throws with a cane print. I've been eyeing these, too. duh....

Me wants

Mother-in-law's tongue

Look, a black thumb is an understatement.

My father in law gave me a plant that's called "mother-in-law's tongue." It's been in his family for like 100 years or something. It's special. Obviamente. Well, the first thing he said when he gave it to me was that there was no way to kill it as evidenced by the fact that it's been around for 100 years.

He told me just to water it when I remember.

It was my first house plant. I was so excited! I put it in our terrazzo foyer, and braced myself.

I watered it when I remembered.

Here's the punch line. I froze it.

How do you ask? Because I am Ayleen Wolfe, and I have a black thumb.

I didn't realize that the terrazzo foyer was a cryogenics vault...for humans...not plants...plants don't need help staying young.

In an effort to defrost her, I put her in my backyard, full on sunshine, just enough water, and nada. My father-in-law took her away to the ICU (his dining room), and she is back with a vengeance. She's a beaut.

The point of the story is that I am horrible with plants!!! HORRIBLE.

So landscaping is the one project that I have been terrified of.

A couple of months ago Handy Husband built a retaining wall. Here's a picture of it just down below.

cute huh? Then, that rocky mess stayed there for months. Partly because I was scared to do anything with it, partly because this is Chicago and spring doesn't spring till almost summer. BUMMER

I researched so much in an effort to figure out what plants are hardy and pretty. We settled on hydrangeas and hostas. The hydrangeas we bought could be pink or blue depending on the acidity of the soil. I am pretty sure they will be pink. If we wanted them to be blue apparently you can add aluminum sulfate to the soil around the hydrangeas to make them blue.

In any event, here is the landscaping!! Doesn't it look much better already? We are very happy with the way it turned out. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Motivational Mondays

My 8th grade teacher, Ms. Hope Martinez, had this one in her classroom, and it always stayed with me.

Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people.-Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This past Saturday Serena & Lily's May Bazaar started. It runs for about a week, and they feature many one of a kind items, including home furnishings and art.

This month they were selling some of Hugo Guinness' linocut prints, which in the last couple of years have been featured far and wide by pretty much every home magazine and interior decor blog out there. My favorite is the Dachshund print. However, at $500 each, they are out of my budget at the moment.

Andy and Kate Spade's home

John Derian Manhattan store via Little Green Notebook

You can see/buy more of Guinness' prints in the John Derian store although they are similarly priced. Small, 10x12" prints are $440 there.

Hugo Guinness' home in Vogue via Little Green Notebook

Here are some of his prints as well as some of his totes via Haystack Needle

Today, I was browsing at one of my favorite local stores, Bramble, and I came across a couple of canvas Hugo Guinness totes for $28. I have seen these many times before, but today it hit me. What if you bought one of these, cut out the print, and framed it? Same look, authentic print, GREAT price point. :)
Sure you are limited in the type of print you can frame since not all his prints have been printed onto the totes, but there are some pretty adorable options. The doggie prints would be perfect for a mudroom! And the floral print can go pretty much anywhere.

via John Derian

via John Derian

Another option, the Conde Nast store online also offers a set of 4 of his prints for $600 or $160 each.

If that's out of your price range, PerlaAnne offers similar linocut prints, which are also very adorable, at a more affordable price point if you want to "get the look."

Friday, May 20, 2011

I won!!!

So a couple of months ago, I won a $1000 shopping spree at Serena & Lily, and I still can't believe it. I have held onto the gift card code till today now.

The May Bazaar officially begins tomorrow, but if you "like" them on Facebook you get VIP access today!!

Browsing the special, one of kind items today, I came across a painting and a tapestry I couldn't NOT have.

Below is what I got, along with some other smaller items. I can't wait to receive them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Allyson Reynolds

Erica over at Urban Grace inspired me to post about moth art. I have loooooong loved moths. They are such beautifully mysterious creatures, and I feel like for a long time they were seen as the "red headed stepchild" as compared to the butterfly. No one would swat a butterfly, but the same is not true of a moth. In fact, I have seen people try to swat moths.

In any event, I have always found them to be just as beautiful and captivating. I have longed for moth art ever since I first saw Allyson Reynolds work on Absolutely Beautiful Things.

Allyson's work is stunning, but unfortunately, out of my price range, so off I went to the google.

And I found these....

Still Life with Flowers & Moth at Wayne Pate, 9" x 12", $115

ChristenMattix on Etsy, unframed, $150 for 11" x 17"
or $300 for 20" x 30"

I like them both so much, I can't decide which one I want.

If ever there were map porn...

MouthToSource is right. This is it. I first discovered this map on Apartment Therapy on Maxwell's post, 10 things you need to know about AT, Part 4-My path has been twisty and turny

You know there's this map/wall decor thing going on in the design world, and this just takes the beauty of maps one step further. Talk about art and cartography singing and dancing together.

The Mississippi Meander Maps. There are more than one, and you can download them here or here.

According to Mouth to Source, these are from the Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River – Fisk, 1944

More background info can be found under the above links.

I am so taken by these images. Holy map art. These would look fantastic on that really large and unadorned wall above the play room sofa. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick chair makeover for FREE

Here she be in all her glory (after I recovered the seat in 20 minutes flat). I needed an extra chair in the living room, but I am not a fan of spending money these days if I can find a cheap or free solution.

I remembered that the previous owners had left this baby behind when we moved in. It's been moved from construction project to project throughout the house to be used to stand on to paint, hang light fixtures, you get the point. The chair itself is not ugly. It's ivory and has caning, which is one of my favorite things on earth. What IS ugly is that upholstery.

I remembered I had some gray cotton fabric left over from when we made our headboard, cut it up, staple gunned it in, and voila! It took me longer to find the screwdriver and the staple gun in the messy tool room than it did to actually unscrew the seat, cut the fabric and staple it in.

So what do you think?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let me introduce you to one of my favorites...

Noir Furnishings, which happens to be on One Kings Lane today!! Hurry! Sale ends Friday, and things seem to be flying out the "door" :)

I want two of these in my breakfast area to go with my iron base, marble top breakfast table.

One of these at my vanity.

Two of these at each side of the bay window in my dining room.

Some chairs for my sunroom.

I love settees...especially when they are adorned with nailheads.

zinc table? yes please. I don't know where I'd put it, but don't worry, I will find a place.

If only my foyer were large enough for this beauty...

Maybe between the sunroom and living room

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Home Goods Decorating

Color me IMPRESSED Home Goods! Soooo many fab finds at my local store. Take a look see...

If this post doesn't convince you that you don't have to spend a fortune to accessorize your home well, well, I don't know what will. I found so many accessories nearly identical to others I've seen for hundreds more. There's no excuse for empty tables and walls people! Here's what I liked at my local HG store. I am sure yours is well-stocked, too. ;)

Very similar to the limed wood tables you see at Restoration Hardware

Gorgeous sheets!

This cube reminded me of something you'd find at Anthropologie except it was $40.

Mercury glass everywhere. Similar finds at West Elm for much more!

Gorgeous shell vase or lamp! (just go to Home Depot, get a lamp kit,

and voila, gorgeous lamp!)

Ahem...these topiaries are pretty much identical to some

I saw at Ballard Designs! And they are $20.

I love pigs. :)

Bright fun coral! I've seen these all over House Beautiful, Elle Decor, etc.

Obelisks...$19.99....Seen these all over the shelter mags...

very traditional accessory, won't go out of style!

I'd like to keep her on my vanity with all of my necklaces draped around her neck!

More mercury glass....I saw something nearly IDENTICAL at

West Elm for double the price of this one.

This chair reminds me of some nailhead dining

room chairs I have seen at Crate & Barrel as well as Pottery Barn.

This beauty would look FAB in a baby girl's nursery. It reminds me sooooo much of a floral Brunschwig Paule Marrot fabric I saw over at Peppermint Bliss

This pup would look so adorable in a preppy blue, red, brown

and white boy's room ...very Serena and Lily Asher Collection

Maybe some bathroom art?

More bathroom art...This reminds me of Erica over at Urban Grace, especially in these articles in Coast and Southern Living where she was featured

Beautiful botanical print

For the naturalist in you. This one also reminds me of those articles

featuring Urban Grace that made me fall in love with her all over again.

This lamp is beautiful. It's gray. Of course, I love it.

I think I saw this one at Restoration Hardware for gazillions more....hmmmm

Pretty ceramic lamp. Many beautiful, vintage, pricey

ones similar to this one floating around the intermundo...

Pillows galore! So many fun patterns

Hope you enjoyed the Home Goods trip!