Tassology -New Orleans

Tassology - New OrleansIf you commute along Business 90 through New Orleans you may have seen these guys perched along a roof top below. If you have ever wondered just what was going on in that building I have some news for you. The four bunnies (well actually sculptures of men dressed as bunnies) peer over New Orleans from the roof top of the Tassology, a beautiful little coffee shop in central city that is an absolute work of art.

Tassology  is owned by a couple who are both artists and while the coffee is excellent the café is as much an art gallery as it is a coffee shop. Fiber art sculptures hang from the ceiling and found objects are mosaic-ed onto every available surface. The end result is an interior that is absolutely amazing!

Tassology - New OrleansEverywhere you look there is something to see.  A collage of clocks..

Tassology - New OrleansSparkling fiber cornucopias…
Tassology - New OrleansEven the coffee bar is a work of art!
Tassology - New Orleans
Tassology - New OrleansTassolosgy is filled with cozy seating and beautiful displays.

Tassology - New OrleansSo if you are looking for a good cup of coffee or you just want to enjoy the view stop by Tassology and have a look. You can bring a friend or just have “Orange Cat,” the resident shop cat, keep you company.

Tassology - New Orleans

Greg’s Antiques – New Orleans

Greg's Antique's New OrleansThough out the French Quarter you will find loads of antique shops most of which are very high-end and very expensive. Fun to look but there is not much I can touch. Fortunately for me I stumbled onto one of the best antiques in New Orleans nestled at the Esplanade end of Decatur just a block away from the French Market. Greg’s Antiques is 8000 sf of joy, better yet 8000 sf of affordable joy.

Greg's Antique's New Orleans Greg's Antique's New Orleans Greg's Antique's New OrleansGreg’s has a warehouse full of extremely affordable antique furniture that is shipped in primarily from England, France and Belgium in volume so all the savings is passed on to you. Once a month a new shipping container arrives, so on top of their regularly amazing prices Greg’s does a one week 25% mark down followed by a one day 50% mark down to clear out the old and make way for the new. That means once a month an almost complete turnover of their inventory. You can shop Greg’s again and again seeing something new every time!

Friend Greg’s on Facebook and you can know exactly when these sales start.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. On top of their antiques Greg’s also offers New Orleans Architectural salvage. Windows, doors, mantels and the like are piled high in the courtyard, along with metal signage and letters. The signage is new but they have the best vintage patina.

Greg's Antique's New Orleans Greg's Antique's New Orleans Greg's Antique's New Orleans Greg's Antique's New OrleansAnd while your there if you happen to be in the market for a bike rental you are in luck. Greg’s shares its courtyard with BikeNOLA where you can rent a bike for just an hour or the entire week. What a great way to see the city!

DSC04954I will have to say there were a few beauties I had my eye on, if only I could fit them into my suitcase…

Fortunately Greg’s can ship the French Quarter sign, so maybe I can get at least one of these pretties home with me!

French Quarter Balcony Gardens

DSC04914 I hope you guys are not getting tired of all my New Orleans posts. I am in the final week of my visit but still have so much to share. I am busy seeing family, eating good food, stocking up on supplies and trying to keep up my blogging. New Orleans is my home town and holds a special place in my heart ( and my stomach too, there is a lot of good eating going on here.) So I  wanted to share some of the things I love so much about my home.
French Quarter Balcony GardensOn the streets of the New Orleans French Quarter you will see lovely multi story balconies with cast iron railings but almost no area for landscaping. Vertical living does not mean you can’t have a beautiful garden. Here,  residents showcase their gardens all along the railings. Plants that can tolerate the heat thrive in the greenhouse like humidity of the New Orleans summer. The lush growth overflows and cascades down the railings making for a lovely view from the streets.
So if you happen to be in New Orleans and are willing to brave the heat yourself, be sure to take a walk and enjoy the view. French Quarter Balcony GardensFrench Quarter Balcony Gardens French Quarter Balcony Gardens

Living in Color – New Orleans

Living in Color NOLAIt seems like houses built these days are a combination of builder beige and neutral nothings. I know contractors are trying to appeal to the masses but frankly I want to live in color. Beige is boring!

Driving around New Orleans these past few weeks I have seen color combinations that are anything but boring. With houses full of architectural detail that just beg for beautiful paint New Orleans homeowners are happy to oblige. All over New Orleans you can find house colors as vibrant as the city’s history in every combination imaginable. When I see these homes I just can’t help but smile, thought I should share a few of my favorites.

Living in Color NOLA

Living in Color NOLA

Living in Color NOLA Living in Color NOLA Living in Color NOLA Living in Color NOLA Living in Color NOLAFeeling inspired to bust out the paint? If so, I say bold is beautiful…

Little Free Libraries – New Orleans

Little Free Library New Orleans

I am an avid reader, I always have a book in hand which means I have a lot on the shelf as well. This true for most everyone in my family so when we live close we constantly pass books back and forth, but what to do when everyone has read the book?  For those books a whole new concept in book trading is spreading over the New Orleans area (actually all over the U.S. and the world.) On street corners everywhere little house like structures called Little Free Libraries are popping up for everyone to use.

Little Free Library New Orleans

What is a Little Free Library?

“It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.” Little Free Library.org

Basically you build your own Little Free Library or order a pre-built one from the organization put it up on your own property and start sharing. Friends and neighbors are free to barrow a book at any time or add a book for borrowing – anyone may contribute or take books. If you take a book (or two) from a Library, you do not need to return that exact book at any point but the next time you swing by the Library you should bring a few books to share. Little Libraries function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.

Little Free Library New OrleansLittle Free Library New Orleans Little Free Library New Orleans Little Free Library New OrleansThese are just a few I ran across in New Orleans but if your interested in starting a Little Free Library in your own community here’s how.

Little Free Library New Orleans

Almost Built In

Built ins One of the things I have missed most since we moved to Germany are my constructions projects. In my own homes it seems I always had a construction project going, so renting can be very boring. When my good friend Robin moved to Germany in April and asked if she could hire me to build her some shelving similar to my Built-In Beauties I was more than happy to help.

It just so happens that her rental had a nice alcove that would be the perfect spot for a built-in to house here TV and “pretties.” But being a rental I could not do a true built-in so while I was going for that look, it is actually free-standing shelving and not attached to the structure at all.

perfect spot for built insI approached the project with the knowledge that this was going into a rental and while it needed to look good and be sturdy it would only be used for 3 years. It needed to be built quickly, easily, and without too much cost. With this in mind I used paint grade lumber and simple construction techniques, and when possible my handy-dandy nail gun!

Built in shelving phase 1The design was to be very functional; Robin wanted a center section to house the TV and components with plenty of shelving on either side. Since the TV components needed more depth I actually constructed the shelving in four sections. Two 9”deep side shelves, a 16” base shelf for the TV and a 9” upper shelf that would then attach to the two side shelves to the TV base.

Since very little of the sides of the shelving would show once installed I built them in the easiest fashion. A very basic shelf screwed in from the sides with countersunk screws so that the shelving would fit snugly against one another. The few screws that would be seen I simply covered with wood filler sanded down and painted over. I built these off site and then brought them over for a coat of paint and to fit into the space.

Built ins phase 1

Once they were fit and leveled the units are secured to one another using wood screws.

Built ins phase 2I used 1 1/2″ lumber for the top and then applied the top and bottom moldings.

Built ins phase 3I applied basic 1/2” trim to the  fronts of all the shelving using my nail gun to act as face frames. In detailed carpentry these face frames would be created as an entire unit and applied as a whole but this is a very time-consuming process.

Built ins phase 3That’s me using my favorite tool to apply the trim to the shelving.

DSC04456The finished product gets wood filler in the nail holes and caulk at the seams before one last coat of  touch up paint.

And then come the “pretties.”

Built ins DSC04641Built ins Built ins

Time for Travel

Travel Musts



Time for travel, yet again. This time I am headed to the States for three weeks, probably our last visit for a while. Lots to do before we go but the biggest hurdle for me is always the packing. I don’t mind packing for the kids or helping my husband getting his stuff together it’s packing for myself that can bring on a full-blown panic attack. Okay maybe not that bad but my husband knows to steer clear once the suitcase comes out.

I open the closet door and I have absolutely nothing to wear! Surprisingly I am able to get dress everyday but apparently these outfits do not translate into a suitcase. I don’t have the right shoes or the right accessories.  And the What ifs… What if I have to go somewhere fancy? What if the weather changes? What if I need comfortable shoes? What if the comfortable shoes don’t match my outfit? Add in air travel requirements of bag size and weight ARRRH.  I know, I know, your exhausted just reading about it. Imagine how my husband feels. He waits until the morning of departure before he even ponders if he has clean underwear so I know he doesn’t get it.

Why this is such a problem? I guess the control freak in me needs to be prepared for all things and sometimes that is just not possible. So I am taking a deep breath and this go round I am trying my best not to stress out too much . I can shop when I get there, right?

If I ever get packed I will be headed across the sea on Monday and will catch up with you guys on the other side.

Wish me luck and if you have any bright ideas on the subject be sure to drop me a line.

Until then I will be grabbing my “travel musts” and hoping for the best…

Decorate with Washi Tape – Baby Shower

Washi tape baby showerPicMonkey Collage

Washi tape baby showerAs promised today I wanted to share with you the photos from Kerry’s baby shower where I went a little washi tape wild.  This colorful tape is an easy and inexpensive way to add lots of color to a beautiful outdoor setting (thanks to Jenette for letting us use her yard.) Washi tape bunting is strung from the trees along with hand-made paper flowers and inexpensive paper lanterns in every color. Anything else that needed a little flair also got a washi tape makeover, from the glass jars full of wildflowers to the chalk board entry sign.

Washi tape baby showerLots of color and some amazing friends make a warm welcome for the new baby.

A  great group of ladies was in charge of the yummy spread, I can take no credit here, but I think I might have landed a few strips of washi tape!

A perfect day for a baby shower!

Fabric Covered Cords by Color Cord Company

DIY-mod-lamp-Color Cord Co.
For year I have tried to hide my unsightly lamp cords tucking them behind furniture running them under the rug anything to get them out-of-the-way. Current trends however are telling me I should flaunt my cord loud and proud. I love color so why not! I was on the hunt for this great lighting with colored cords and surprisingly found very few. I was able to find clear glass lamps but none of the cool retro style lighting  I have seen all over the design blogs… Where could they be?

That’s when I ran across the Color Cord Company, turns out I don’t need to buy new lamps I can just retro fit the one I already have or even create my very own.

Color Cord Company offers 44 cord choice sold by the foot but they also carry all the accessories you’ll need to create your own one of a kind light fixture. From plugs and sockets to bulb cages and Edison bulbs they have everything you need.samples-cloth-covered-cord2Look at all the pretty colors, they even have metallics, stripes and tweeds..

Color_Cord_Tweed_New_grandeI am in love!

metal_cover_post_-_bundle-1_grandeOne look at the website has me ready to build my own lighting but if you need more inspiration check out the Color Cord Company Blog where you can find plenty of inspiration including DIY tutorials with full supply lists or like there Facebook page to keep up with what’s new and see client photos.

I know just the project for these lovely products, the problem is choosing which colors I want…

All photos via Color Cord Company

Decorate with Washi Tape

Decorate with Washi Tape
Seems like everyone is having a baby, which means baby showers galore. Guess who always gets elected as the decorating committee? Yes, that would be me and I admit I love it! This time I got elected about a week out so I had to work fast.  I have been so in love with Washi Tape (and buying way too much) lately so I figured this would be a perfect time to use my stash. If you are not familiar with Washi Tape it is basically printed masking tape. Easy to tear and easy to remove when your done.

Decorate with Washi TapeThe shower will be held outside under the trees so I decided to create bunting using baker’s twine and Washi tape flags which we could drape from the trees.  This simply involved folding  3″ strips of tape on toitself over the twine  every 2″ (or as close as you like) and then trimming the edge. I used different shape cuts for more variety.  Since the baby’s sex is unknown I used all the colors for a fun bright unisex theme. The plates, cups and napkins will also be mix and match.

Decorate with Washi Tape
The centerpieces also got a splash of Washi. Using recycled food jars I wrapped a few strips of tape all the way around to create a colorful vase.

Decorate with Washi Tape Not all the decor will be Washi tape so to help secure paper lanterns  to clothes lines hung between the trees I spruced up some clothespins with a single strip of Washi along the top sides.

Decorate with Washi TapeI have lots more decorations to get together but I wanted to share the progress and my Washi tape. It is so fun and so easy to use I keep thinking of more places to add it.

Stay tuned for picture from the actual shower!