Craig's List Roundup

Lovely simple lines on this iron bed - $100
It's been a while since I trolled around Craigslist looking for things I don't need - I have had no need, what with The Listings List bringing me all the good stuff with a fantastic dose of snarky humour.  But tonight the hubby is out and I am too tired to do any work but too wired to go to bed early, so treasure trolling it is.  Here are a few things that caught my eye amongst the insanely overpriced junk and car parts:

Art deco-shaped brass and glass shelves - $175
Oh-so-chic brass pendants with filament bulbs, two for $210 (so you know they want $200) isn't a crazy price...
'K, don't even really read this one... this kilim is mine (for $175).  Sorry honey, it has to be done.
LOVE the straight square lines on this brass head  LOVE.  WANT. $300
Looking beat-to-hell, but isn't that the point with these lamps?  All that character, in working order... for only $35!  You know this would be at least double that at SMASH.
A lovely walnut dresser with completely the wrong knobs (imho) - $225
Are these ugly?  I kind of love them - brass and rosewood flatware for $80
"Retro" light from Union Lighting means you won't need to rewire it! - $75
Sometimes a half-moon console table is just the right size for awkward spaces.  This guys has a nice shape, but it is looking a little rough, so I would talk them down... from $30.
Oh spool beds, how I love you. I really do. Even for $300.
 Anything tempt you?  Do you think I might have a thing for wood and brass?  Maybe?

Detroit Decline Mash-up Photography


The unfathomable decline of the City of Detroit has been captured in hauntingly heart-breaking photos by many urban photographers, and most of these captivating images are compiled on the site  The site touches on the vast demographic changes that prompted the abandonment of so many beautiful buildings, and catalogues each location in various categories with a researcher's precision.  However, the photographs are more than archival, they are achingly unreal and beautifully artistic.  In going through the school images I am stunned and shocked by the mass of things left behind.  It's like everyone left for home at the end of a school day and then never returned.  Books, desks, posters, computers, artwork, papers, chemicals and equipment, just abandoned.  It's like a modern day Pompeii.

I have on many occasions found myself sucked in to the site for hours.  One section is dedicated to Cass Tech High School and there are some absolutely incredible photo mash-ups where old recovered pictures of life at the school are seamlessly woven onto photos of the abandoned school. I find them quite haunting.

I think I find them so striking not only because of the contrast between a school full of life and one abandoned, but because the images show so powerfully the passing of time, a concept that is difficult to capture in one image.  Many of the people-filled images are from my era in Junior High and High School, and I have to smile at the crimped hair and pleated pants.  Looking at these, I was struck by the idea that I can never return to that place in time, any more than anyone else.  Although the schools I went to are still standing and well-used, the places where I went to dances, fooled around in the halls, hung out in the stair wells, and sat gazing out the classroom window are as irretrievable to me as the moments in these photos.

I don't mean that mournfully, but the passage of time is something I am constantly trying to reconcile myself with - I think it is a struggle for all of us.  I love that these carefully created montages have the power to evoke such deep thoughts on a Friday morning!

Speaking of the passage of time, (holy segway batman) Google reader is gone next week and I would hate to lose track of all of you that follow the blog that way.  You can follow my blog via BlogLovin' by clicking on one of those little red icons way up at the top of the blog - it is the one with the plus sign.  You can also sign up to get my posts by email by clicking on the little envelope.  I am going to be creating a Super Professional Newsletter List in the next few weeks, and I will have a post about signing up for that in a little while, so get excited.   :)

Thank you for reading. xo

Gap Khaki Hack

I have been pining for a pair of the Gap's "broken-in" rolled-up khahis - they look so comfortable with the higher waist and relaxed fit (sigh, there was a time when I would never have uttered 'comfortable', 'high-waisted' or 'relaxed fit' without shuddering...).  My comfortable wardrobe these days seems to be teetering on full-blown slob, so I am hoping these walk the less-slobby side of the line for cooler days at the park.

BUT, I am trying to get through the summer without investing in too many new things - fighting the urge to have whatever the trend is and be more responsible with my cash and my need for new clothes.  The horror of the tragedy in Bangladesh has not left me - especially since 90% of my wardrobe is Joe Fresh.  I have no idea what the answer to that can of worms is, but I can tell you that this beast of a need to shop is tougher to ignore than I would like.

In an effort to feed the shopping monster without waking the guilt monster, I bought a pair of ca. 2005 (or is it 1995? I forget) Gap trousers at Value Village.  They fit nicely around the hips and butt but were quite wide in the leg for my 2013 sensibilities.  So I brought out the sewing machine and in-expertly brought them closer to the leg by turning them inside out, pinning about where I thought they should go, and running a straight-ish line down the inside seam.  I did one leg first, and sewed it a few times before I was happy with the shape.  Then I just folded them over and copied the line to the other leg.  Turned them back out, rolled up the bottom, and taddah, my own broken-in khakis.

New clothes, a trip to Value Village, a little DIY, the style I was after and my hazy, ill-defined values intact - who knew one pair of trousers could satisfy in so many ways?

Happy Father's Day... (better late than never?)

It's the thought that counts, right?  So, although I am a week behind in posting this, my thought is that I unknowingly married the best dad in the world - fun, funny, kind, loving, generous, present, and grateful.  I could not have mail ordered a better role model for my two boys.  If they grow up anything like their father, they are going to be simply amazing people (and I would put any amount of money on that one!).

The above photos are by the lovely and (obviously) talented Maegan Guerette, who did family portraits as a fundraiser for Cameron's nursery school.  Have I mentioned how much I love his nursery school?  I really do.  I am thinking of having another kid just so I can send them to this nursery school.  (Joke.)

We spent Father's Day camping for the first time since the boys were born, and I think we waited just the right amount of time, to be honest.  It was fun for everyone, everyone got sleep, and even though it poured rain during the night and we woke up, um, damp, I am calling it a Big Win.  I am so looking forward to doing more and would like to give a shout out to our co-camping support family the Haurilaks (check out Michelle's amazing blog).

So to all the dad's out there, including my awesomely creative and UNIQUE Dad and my wise and generous father-in-law, know that you are loved, and that your impact on our lives cannot be measured or understated.  Happy Belated Father's Day. xo

The Privacy Fence continued

In my new obsession with picking the back fence (the fact that it needs to get built pretty quickly helps top of mind) I have mocked up a few different options to get an idea of how things would look.  I am leaning towards the top horizontal fence, but I do realize that the lattice ideas below would look much nicer than my photoshopped images show.

What do you think?  I do kind of like the square lattice, maybe I could even do some horizontal bands on the bottom for more privacy?  Although that might end up looking like a hockey rink...

The holes for the poles were dug yesterday and are all ready for the guys to get started, if I could only pick a design!

Don't fence me in

I am pretty sure my back yard is cursed - first the fence fell over in a wind storm, and we ended up replacing all 3 sides.  Then the neighbour's tree fell smack into our yard, narrowly missing our then-2-year-old and smashing down the back fence.  This past weekend, our glass patio table, which we have had for years, spontaneously combusted.  As in, I was standing just inside the screen door when I heard SMASH (tinkle tinkle tinkle) and looked out to see this:


Nothing fell on it, there was no big wind, the cars were not too heavy, nothing.  Thank heavens the boys had finished playing with their cars and had gone inside!  It was quite a mess, and took two of us to shopvac up over a few days (it was raining a lot!).  But that makes three backyard catastrophes, and I am hoping now the catastrophe gremlins will take off for good.

We now have to get a new table, which is not as easy as it sounds, as most patio tables are sold in sets and our chairs are fine (one may be a bit splattered with spray paint from one of my DIY projects, but whatever...)  We wanted to get a table slightly bigger than the one we had, which was great for the four of us, but pretty crowded when we had visitors - and we like our visitors!  Having done the online search-and-compare, I think it will be this one from Home Depot:
Not terribly exciting, but pretty much the only thing I could find, and it fits in our non-existent budget (It's $65).  It does not fit, however on our existing (teeny tiny) patio.  So we have reluctantly begun to talk about how to make it bigger - a full wooden deck?  Just continue with the interlock we have and extend it?  Take it out and put in bigger tiles?  No decisions yet.  You can see how it looks below.

I am sad to remove any grass but we do have a lot more at the back now that the tree is gone and we get some light.  

The other thing is that the house next to us (that shares the driveway) is being fully gutted and renovated, and they are building a back deck and repaving the whole driveway.  So with the advent of new neighbours (our last neighbour was an elderly woman who rarely came out back), we are thinking about putting in a privacy screen.  And it just so happens that the contractor is going to be digging posts for a privacy screen on the other side and offered to do some for us if we want - and he is going to repave the whole thing.  So idle discussions about a fence some day have ramped up pretty quickly!

I know, I know, those are some pretty fancy photoshop skills, eh?  This is more or less what we agreed on for the position of the fence and the size of the patio (still not sure what it will be made of).  I had been tempted to push it over to include what used to be our back porch, but this keeps all of the pavement area for the kids and their various plastic monstrosities, and makes it possible to tuck them up against the fence out of sight from the street.

Did I mention the plastic monstrosities?  Yikes.  And every single one of them acquired on the side of the road.  You can see the neighbours fence on the one side, so having one on the other will make it feel much more secluded.  

But the BIG questions is: What kind of fence?  

Below are some options I like, although they don't match the rest of our fencing - do you think that matters?  Which do you like?

Of course there is the regular lattice option as well, which would probably be the cheapest and easiest, but I want to take advantage of an opportunity for a little style!  What do you think?  Any advice or opinions?