MY DREAM HOME: FEELING DOTTY!




When I was on Pinterest recently I stumbled across a mini trend: decorating small spaces in this fabulous dalmatian-style dot print. I love polka dots but this organic take on it is spectacular!

So, I thought I would start a new installment of 'My Dream Home' featuring none other than—you guessed it—polka dots in all sizes and, apparently, shapes! I know, what took me so long?!

sources: spotted bathroom, spotted entry (painted with a stencil!), spotted bookcase

Click through the link to see more spotty goodness!


I'M BACK!












Hooray! I'm back! My beloved MacBook Pro came back from the shop this weekend and when you use your computer as much as I do, the relief I feel in getting it back is akin to the joy you feel sinking into your own cozy bed after a long business trip rife with crappy motel stays. It's delicious. Welcome back Prince Humperdink the Third! I missed you dearly. Anyway, last week when my computer heaved a heavy sigh and quit on me I was in the midst of preparing a post on this incredible photographer you see above named Bernard Lang. He does a lot of very cool commercial work but my favorite part of his portfolio by far are these incredible aerial shots. How awesome are those beach umbrella photos?!! I must have one. Must!Check out all of Lang's very cool and colorful work on his website here.

STAND BY: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES


Guess what guys? I was putting together this awesome post for you this morning (about a cool aerial photographer I stumbled across recently) and my computer went all blue screen of death on me. Lame! Turns out it needs a new part or two and will be in the shop for the next several days. I will do my best to post from some other computers—I have access to one or two of those here and there, ha!—but if I don't make it back on here much in the next week or so you know why. No need to panic!On a happier note, how funny is this cartoon? Check it out (and many more like it) here.




FEELING CRAFTY . . .




If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that love books. In fact, at this moment as I look around the room I realize that there are hundreds of books within arms reach. Nerd alert!Anywho, while I have to read art history books for my dissertation every day, I get a hankering to read craft and decorating books whenever possible. I get a little jittery unless a do something creative or crafty every couple of days and craft/design/DIY books help stave off that craving until I actually have time in my schedule to make something. That said, I have a constant wishlist of these books saved up in my Amazon cart tantalizing me with fun, inspirational ideas. In case you have similar craft cravings, here are a bunch of the books I have had my eye on . . . one | made by hand, $18.94 | Lena Corwin is a master and this book looks incredible!two | paper to petal: 75 whimsical paper flowers to craft by hand, $15.80 | I have a soft spot for fresh flowers (a rare thing that's actually cheaper in NYC!), but this book might cure me of that habit.three | find & keep, $18.15 | Colorful collections become cool projects? Sign me up!four | playful: fun projects to make with + for kids, $16.73 | Sometimes kids craft books have the best projects! Simple, fun, and graphic, this book has gotten rave reviews and I am dying to sneak a peak.five | martha stewart's encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts, $24.92 | I bought a sewing machine this summer and am all about fabric projects these days. Martha's book is basically a bible leading me to a sewing promise land.six | a field guild to fabric design, $18.10 | Speaking of sewing, it is surprisingly hard to find fabric that meets my crazy colorful pattern-plenty standards. Tips in here could spark a serious fabric design habit.seven | decorate with flowers, $17.34 | I am excited to learn all the new ways to use flowers to liven up our tiny apartment. As if I need another excuse to hit the flower stand at the local bodega!eight | design bloggers at home, $21.37 | I draw most of my inspiration from fellow bloggers, so to steal a glimpse into their picture perfect homes is too tasty to miss.nine | surprise-inside cakes, $18.75 | Technically not a craft or design book, but how irresistibly cute do these cakes look? Yay for creative baking projects!ten | pretty packages: 45 creative gift-wrapping projects, $15.57 | I am obsessed with dressing up gifts in fancy packaging and the tips packed into this book look like they would definitely help me step up my game even further.eleven | project kid: 100 ingenious crafts for family fun, $15.86 | More family fun; the cover alone is out of this world. (Get it?! Spaceship? Insert pitying chuckle here.)twelve | bright bazaar: embracing color for make-you-smile style, $20.56 | This is the only book of the group that I actually already own, but boy is it awesome. If you aren't afraid of festooning your home in bright color (or if you are but want a change), don't miss this!
That's is. Anything I missed? I am always happy to add to my wishlist . . . Hope you have a lovely weekend! See you next week!




VIVA ITALIA! THE ITALIAN GRAND TOUR, PART THREE

I am back in action today with the next stop on our Italian Grand Tour: Venice! It's a city of romance, of crumbling buildings and rising waters, of Renaissance masterpieces and seafood specialities. We had a lovely time getting lost in Venice's labyrinthine walkways and sneaking peaks of its chaotic canals. While not our favorite place in Italy (I know, heresy!) it was spectacular to immerse ourselves in a place so steeped with history that every scratch on that wall seems like a relic from a lost era. Museums, churches, and a bit of shopping—we did it all. I am including a bunch of photos below that speak for themselves. If you have any questions about our itinerary leave it in the comments! 









Of course the city looks just as beautiful in color as it does in black and white . . . 









All in all a lovely way to spend a couple days! Here are a few of my favorite experiences/insider tips if you are headed there soon.

favorite church (exterior): Santa Maria della Salute, set on a plaza facing the grand canal!

favorite church (interior): Saint Mark's mosaics are not to be missed.

best way to get in a gondola: take a traghetto, a commuter gondola that ferries you from one side of the grand canal to the other for only 2 euro; there are six or seven crossing points open at any time, so to maximize the ride take one of the routes that cut diagonally across the canal.

best museum (for historic art): A tie between the Venice Guggenheim (now a must see stop for modern art lovers or people wanting a great canal-side resting spot) and the spectacularly chic space of the new Punta della Dogana museum of contemporary art (bonus! it's next to Santa Maria della Salute!).

best museum (for contemporary art): The Gallerie dell'Accademia is in a totally dilapidated building, but has some breathtaking altarpieces and Renaissance paintings (see photo of coffered room above).

best evening activity: Besides getting lost in a new neighborhood, I highly recommend heading to Piazza San Marco and listening to the black tie bands play in front of the swanky bars. It's sounds cheesy but there is something magical about hearing a jazz piano solo while staring at the twinkly lights of a world famous palace and church. (Don't believe me? Check out this video.)

best place for a romantic dinner: A tiny place with super friendly staff that's been winning acclaim for twenty years now, Osterie delle Testiere is wonderful. Get seafood and dessert. You won't regret it.

That's all! Next stop Cinque Terre, to be posted later this week.



MALKOVICH, OH MY!








How funny is this project? Undertaken by photographer Sandro Miller, it features a restaging of countless historical photographs that have inspired him over the years with one important twist—the subject is now actor John Malkovich! Hilarious! As a history of photography nerd and someone who appreciates silly humor, this series had me smiling ear to ear.

Check out the whole project (and more) here.


(thanks to My Modern Met for the tip)


DANCE, DON'T WALK



After six years of living in New York City, I have to say I have picked up some naughty habits. I take brunch very seriously, I grocery shop at 11PM, and I approach walking on the sidewalk as a speed-tested obstacle course. You know what would make that walk-sprint more enjoyable? This awesome dancing stop light! It's a project created by smart—yes, the tiny car company—and it aims to encourage people to wait at a stoplight instead of jaywalking (something I am regularly guilty of!). Cool, right? What will they think of next?!


(Thanks to swissmiss for the tip.)