Monday, March 31, 2014

Admiring Wes Anderson

Lobby Boy Hat from The Grand Budapest Hotel

I haven't been this excited for a movie in awhile. The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson opened this month to many rave reviews (at least, from my friends), and I am trying to figure out how to convince my husband that it's time to call in some babysitter reinforcement so we can go see it already!

In the meantime, I've found the Wes Anderson Shop on Etsy that sells items inspired by (you guessed it!) Wes Anderson films. The online store does not appear to have any official affiliation with the auteur, but the shop owner, Bibi Anderson (if that is her real name) describes herself as simply a big fan. Along with movie replicas, she also sells phone cases and mugs emblazoned with images from the films. I think Margot Tenenbaum's pale pink gloves with half a finger missing are my favorite. 

Dudley's World Hardcover Journal from The Royal Tenenbaums 

Altered Cashmere Gloves from The Royal Tenenbaums

Sweet Afton Cigarette Package from The Royal Tenenbaums
(replica contains crayons)

Engraved Swiss Army Knife from Rushmore

Suzy's Letter Set from Moonrise Kingdom
5 cardboard cards, $8.55 from WesAndersonShop on Etsy

New Penzance Island Map from Moonrise Kingdom

- Cathleen

Friday, March 28, 2014


As I suspected last Friday, my little chair is languishing unpainted because I was distracted by another unfinished project. In our house we have a serious book to space-for-books imbalance. We've been addressing this problem by storing all our children's books on one big shelf in a closet. If you've had any contact with any child ever, you can imagine how successful this arrangement has been. I'd show you a picture but it is so embarrassing that I can't bear to.

So, when I came across this link on the interwebs, I decided to jump on it. And by "jump on it", I mean "think about it for a couple of months, buy the supplies and let them sit for a couple months, finally get started, and then take another couple months to finish". Which is exactly what I did. And I'm actually cheating because this project is still not officially completed as I have two more ledges to put up. But I'm going with it anyway. So, here is the half-finished solution to my book conundrum:

The love of reading starts early around here.

They're definitely not perfect but right now they're doing the trick. If I did this again, (which is a distinct possibility because books seem to reproduce exponentially in this house) I'd borrow a friend's circular saw and cut down the 2x4's myself. Those uneven edges make me a teeny bit crazy every time I see them.

I'm convinced they'll always look this neat.

So, next week, possibly a painted pink chair? Or maybe a refinished ceiling fan? Or a reupholstered Louis chair? Who knows! 
My project ADD knows no bounds. 

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hanging Garden

Isn't this leafy mobile lovely? It reminds me a lot of the black and white plant drawings of Ellsworth Kelly. This particular balancing act, titled Jungalow, was created by Chuck Kubba in collaboration with designer Justina Blakeney. Chuck sells more mobiles through his Etsy shop, comometalworks where this black beauty is available for $190

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Old Ads

I am curious how Pep and Corn-Soya tasted 
I work for an auction house and we get a whole lot of stuff....tons and tons of stuff.  The items with the highest value get sent to auction, the next level down goes to our consignment shop and then there is a lot left over that is both junk and sometimes cool collectibles that are sold for cheap at the "attic auctions".  Grace loves rummaging through it all but especially loves to find interesting items at these attic auctions so she can resell them.  One time she had me buy a couple boxes of very old Home and Gardens, Saturday Evening Posts and a few other known magazines.  I didn't think too much of them but when I browsed through a couple I noticed how amazing the old advertisements were.  They were all hand drawn and very unique.   One thing you will notice in almost all of them is how text heavy they are.  This changed during the 60's (I know cause I watched Mad Men).  Make sure to click each one to view them enlarged so you can see all the detail.

John Hancock Insurance

This is one of my favorites

Ads were very text heavy before the 60's

Pontiac used to have an awesome logo

It's odd to see someone smoking in a ad

Great Movie. I love how much they used to try and fit in ads back then

This one is great because the sweater on the left (the bad one) looks so much nicer to the modern eye

All I can think is Nazi Battery

This is just plain awesome....I love that phone guy

Aw yes....Lucky Strikes

Monday, March 24, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Forest

Forest by Jean Jullien 
GiclĂ©e print £200.00 via

It was mild and sunny all weekend, a welcome reprieve from the frosty New York we visited last week. On Saturday we took a stroll to see our soon-to-be new house, walking slowly past the property while pointing out where we'll someday plant new trees and dig a garden. I hope the current owners weren't home. That probably seemed pretty creepy. 

The smell of spring in the air has really got me excited for green! And this print by illustrator Jean Jullien is full of it. You can see more of the illustrator's work on his website:

- Cathleen   

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Projecting...

Spring is here! Well, at least it's supposed to be: yesterday was the official first day of spring and it did bring temperatures of over 50 degrees! And although we're supposed to get another arctic blast next Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm going to lean into spring and pretend that it is here to stay.

In other words, bring on the spring cleaning and the new projects! Or maybe I should say spring cleaning and the completion of projects that coughed and sputtered over the past three months. In order to stay motivated, I thought I'd start sharing the projects with our S&A buds so I can prove that I've actually accomplished something in my life. 

So, my first project is a mini-one: I received a singleton chair from my grandmother's estate recently and I'd been at a loss as to what to do with it. The paint was a dirtied artichoke green and not very charming with the mustard yellow velvet.

The Chair: primed and sanded
Luckily, my interior designer friend Anne-Marie saved me once again. I'd been contemplating just painting the wood white to go in my daughters' room but she said it would look too unspecial. (Anne-Marie definitely said something more elegant than "unspecial"- because she's not a clown like me.) She suggested that I paint it the pale pink that is already present in the girl's room- that way it would look intentional and the cooler pink would offset the warm mustard.

Of course, she's a genius and solves all my design problems and I think she's hit the nail on the head once again.

The Seat after I cleaned it up with G's favorite: Folex!

So, I'm hoping that I'll have a finished chair to report back to you next Friday. Either that or another project that distracted me from this one! Either way, it will mean productivity in the Lively house!

Happy Project-y Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fitbit: An Update

Happy first day of Spring! That doesn't mean much in DC right now as we were doused with snow again on Monday. As a warm weather junkie my fingers are crossed that that is the end of the winter weather. 
I wanted to update you all on my Fitbit. I've had it for 20 days now and I am hooked! Here's what you need to know. 

1. No, I have not gotten a rash from the band.I'm addressing this first because so many people ask me that. 
2. I love my Fitbit. So when I first heard about it I thought, who in the hell is going to pay $100 for a pedometer... but the truth is it's so much more than that. Yes, it tells me how many steps I took but it also counts my calories, counts how many ounces of water I've had, tracks my active minutes verses inactive minutes of walking, and it also has a sleep tracker. 

3. How does it work? Well you wear the bracelet which has a little black chip thing inside of it, the chip thing is what does all the work. 
4. It syncs up to your smart phone and computer so you can log on, enter your foods, and check your status throughout the day. 
5. The calorie counting is like Weight Watchers but on your arm! And without the monthly fee! 
6. If you tap the Fitbit twice it lights up with colored dots, each dot represents 2,000 steps. So if you've taken 4,000 steps two lights will appear. It lights up to 10,000 steps but all steps past that are noted on your phone or computer. Once I got over 15,000 steps. It was an awesome day!

7. It tracks your sleep. What does this mean? You wear the band to bed and right before you turn in for the night you type into your smart phone that you're going to sleep now. It tracks how long it took you to fall asleep and then how you slept throughout the night. Dark blue means you were asleep, light blue means restless, and pink means awake. I was sick last night so as you can see I had several minutes of restlessness peppered throughout the night. 
8. The Fitbit needs to be charged every other day for about 30 minutes. I do this at night after I've got my 10,000 steps in and am chilling with my husband watching TV.

I've already lost about 2 pounds using the Fitbit. The Fitbit works for me because I'm a numbers person, I like seeing how much weight I want to lose and what amount of calories I can eat to achieve that weight. I'm also a notorious overeater and the Fitbit has helped me realize that the delicious little Mini Reeses Cup has 44 calories in it... yep. 

So if you're a left brained, process oriented, numbers person the Fitbit is an awesome choice to get you ready for swim season! 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Yes

Yes by Tiffany Bozic
acrylic on maple panel, 44 x14 in

We are flying home tomorrow after a week and a half stuffed full of life-affirming visits with friends and family in New York. Though I had a great time catching up with peeps that I hadn't seen since we moved to Durham last August, I am completely wrung out by this trip. It felt like all of my waking minutes were scheduled, and even so, I unfortunately did not get to meet up with every person I planned to. But that just means those precious few will be at the top of the MUST SEE list for next time. 

Right now I cannot wait to get back home to a space that is not full of NO! DON'T TOUCH THATs and to the saggy bed that is my own. Then we've got the new house to contend with! I'm overwhelmed that it's all happening so fast, but totally excited. 

You can see more of Tiffany Bozic's work on her website:

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Make a Beer(soda) Tote

Beer Tote
I am no master wood worker, I am barely an amateur.  In fact, I shouldn't even use the word woodworker when talking about the things I have made.  Regardless, I love making things out of wood and am slowly getting better.
I found this little project online a couple years ago and ended up making one for my brother as a Christmas gift.  He likes it but probably rarely uses it.  It's a wooden beer tote with a handy little bottle opener on the side.  I used mainly scrap wood which meant it was cheap and I picked up that bottle opener from World Market. The image above is the one I made but here is the link to the plans as well as a photo of their tote.
The New Hobbyist
Theirs has cleaner cuts but I am going to make another one for myself and hopefully I can improve. If you are looking for a fun project and/or want to give someone a handmade gift, this one is easy and useful. Would be perfect for someone that is really into craft beers.
Here are some more details images of the one I made.

And here is a really cool bottle holder I found on Pinterest but don't really know where to buy it.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Birthday, Brian Searby!

Happy Birthday, Brian Searby! 

I am so glad you joined the Swings and Arrows team! Your posts are always fresh and insightful --- I love the piping hot cups of man-flavored inspiration you bring to the table each week. 

I hope you have a great day full of hearty breakfasts, smart flannel shirts, and rugged outdoor living.

Because I know you love photography, boxing, wood, and camping, I somehow found this incredible synthesis of all four in one vintage postcard circa 1910. If we bought gifts for each other, this is what I would give you today!  

(If anyone actually wants to purchase this snapshot, 
it is available from NiepceGallery on Etsy.)

- Cathleen 

Friday, March 14, 2014

In the Bleak Midwinter?

Although we're less than a week away from the vernal equinox, the DC area is still trudging through winter with scattered 60 degree days sent to torment us. My spouse slash personal weatherman informed me today that, in addition to the possibility of shovel-able snow come Sunday night, all the long range weather models are predicting a horrendously wintry April. (My adjectives, not the weatherpeople's.)

In all the gloom, I do have one ray of sunshine: my snow boots. After too much emotional deliberation, I bought them. They were selling out everywhere and I panicked. I bought them full price AND paid shipping (both of which are anathema to me) and I'm so happy that I did. I've barely taken them off my feet since they arrived a month and a half ago, so I already feel like I've gotten my money's worth. And considering how unlikely an end of winter seems, I'm even happier that I took the plunge.

It's really hard to take pictures of your own boots...

So, here's the lowdown: these boots are THE most comfortable pair of shoes that I own. They're incredibly warm and I can stand in them all day. I was concerned about the high heel issue but after wearing them constantly I can honestly say that it will be a long while before I purchase another pair of flats. I feel so great in these boots and because they're a little higher, I feel instantly dressed up. Not to mention they give me several inches which, at 5'2", I can definitely use.
 AND they're great for walking in the snow and slush.

Seriously, look at that tread. I will never slip AGAIN.

So, all around, these may be my greatest shoe purchase EVER. Knowing that I've got them to keep me warm almost leaves me unphased about this eternal winter. 


Enjoy this Spring Fakeout Weekend, my friends. Because you know this chill is coming back on Sunday!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wallpaper Dreaming

I'm a big fan of wallpaper. Since it's an expensive purchase I haven't been able to put any up in our house. However I am obsessed and will spend any amount on this new Brunschwig & Fils wallpaper. It strokes my Francophile side BIG TIME!

Battle of Valmy 1792

I'm picturing it up in my son's room which would then be transformed into the perfect little gentleman's space (PS- my dear son is no gentlemen, trust me I ate dinner with him tonight). My friend who's a designer is pricing it out for me. I'll keep you posted. 

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Come and Knock on Our Door

So we're officially under contract for a house (EEEEE!) and even though things might fall through at the last minute---you never know what the inspector might uncover, so keep those fingers crossed!---I cannot stop myself from fantasizing about all of the decorating that's in store. This is the moment my Domino collection has been waiting for!

First stop will be the front door! Right now it's a very stately black to match the shutters, but I'm thinking a pop of bright color will be just the thing to welcome us home. I've been collecting inspiration on my Home Pinterest board for awhile now, so I thought I'd share some ideas with you guys today since it's pretty much all I can think about. 

- Cathleen

[Image sources 1: ; 2: ; 3: ; 

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