Archive for March, 2008

Cured Dining Room

March 31, 2008

Here are some pictures of my cured Dining Room. It’s not completely cured. There are still a couple of things to do. I want to get a club chair, I still need to edit, I have a couple of touch up paint spots, and I need to recover my chairs. BUT I feel like I could entertain in here. I’ve been eating every meal in here. I now spend half my time in a space that went completely unused before. Here it is!

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Back to the City that I Love

March 28, 2008

This trip/sabbatical/break/whatever you want to call it, has done me a world of good. I’m still a little stressed about certain things, but I feel ready to face them now. I’m ready to take my life into my own hands. The cure has helped, my family has helped, sleeping in a bed for a month has helped, eating healthily has helped, looking out on Lake St. Louis everyday has helped, and the support of my friends has helped.

Two nights ago my best friend had what we both thought was a really close call. I stayed really calm. I always do in emergencies and then I freak out over stupid things. He’s fine and it wasn’t as serious as we thought, but it got me thinking about how important his friendship is to me. THATS what matters. My beautifully flawed family is what matters. Being creative and feeling inspired is what matters. The things that I obsess over and that stress me out in my life are unimportant. The only things that are important are taking care of myself, taking care of the people that I love, and deciding what I want to get out of this world and working as hard as I can to get it.

I go back to Chicago tomorrow and I am ready for whatever she wants to throw at me. You can sit back and let things happen to you and feel sorry for yourself. OR you can be a problem solver and you can be proactive and make your OWN life better.  So here I come Chicago! I’m going back to the city that I love.

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Color Schemes

March 24, 2008

I’ve settled on my color schemes for my Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen!

In the Living Room right now my walls are painted the Biscuit color as is the hallway leading into the Dining Room, the trim and molding is Ice Cube, and my couch is close to that Analytical Grey color. I’m bringing in hot pink poppy throw pillows which are similar to the color Hot. I want to do an accent wall in Luxurious Red. My mother also gave me a beautiful credenza/dresser that is painted in that Dill green with a distressed finish.

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My Dining Room is painted Stone Brown. I’m painting a Cool Aqua accent wall and I’m putting the black/brown expedit unit on that wall. The trim and molding is in Ice Cube and I’m recovering my dining room chairs in velvet that is very close to the Analytical Grey color.
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The Kitchen is going to be painted a semi-gloss Stem Green and has the Ice Cube trim. There is an open doorway to the Dining Room so the green can also be seen in there.
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WHEW! I know that it looks like a lot of color…but I’m not afraid of color. Also ALL my furniture, rugs, and curtains are neutral solids. It really isn’t too much. It also looks like I have a lot of paint to buy. Really I only have to buy enough for accent walls of Cool Aqua, Luxurious Red, and a very small kitchen worth of Gleeful. It’s taken me weeks to settle on these colors. I’m pretty happy with them. What do you think?

Happy Easter!

March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Buy Yourself Some Flowers Today!

If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.  ~Audra Foveo

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the little things

March 23, 2008

I am feeling so much better about my clutter problem, my apartment, and my life in general. I think it’s all related. For the first time in a while I feel like the sky’s the limit. I don’t want to get into psycho babble on you…but I think it’s directly related to me curing my apartment. I mean it’s common sense; if you feel better about your living space you are going to feel better about your life. The same thing goes with personal makeovers. It’s not the makeover that changes your life it’s your attitude.

This clutter removal process is addictive. The more useless crap I get rid of the better I feel.  Of course it feels good to get rid of a large piece of unused furniture. What I have noticed, however, is that it’s the little things that are making a big difference for me. Here are some small changes that have yielded big results:

1) I’ve thrown away the cases for all my dvds and cds and put them into cd books. This doesn’t sound like much, but I fit my entire dvd and cd collection into two books. What I got rid of filled two garbage bags.

2) I put pictures in photo boxes (or better yet scan them on your computer) and got rid of photo albums. I have a 30 inch wide book shelf that is filled with picture albums. I’m keeping the three that are done with a more scrapbook style. (Most of these are from when I’ve visited other countries and include all sorts of mementos from those trips) I put the rest of the photos in one shoe box sized photo box and am giving away the remainder of my photo albums. Almost that entire shelf fits into the one photo box.

3) I’m getting rid of all mis-matched dishes, glassware, and flatware. I’m going to keep one everyday set and one fancy set. I’m keeping one white set of dishes and one green set (which will match my new kitchen 🙂 ). I’m getting rid of everything else…and with me that’s a lot. I’m going to buy a full set of tumblers and a full set of wine glasses and get rid of the rest. The same with flatware. Not only does this get rid of a lot of kitchen clutter, but if you have a limited amount of dishes you will have to wash them frequently and they won’t pile up in the kitchen.

4) I’ve gotten rid of all of my magazines save two discontinued LivingRoom magazines that I treasure. I’ve also made a pact with myself not to buy anymore magazines…unless I’m getting on a plane or something. What I’ve found is a lot of magazines now have pretty extensive websites. You get to see most of the features of the magazine and you don’t have to flip past dozens of pages of ads.

5) (This probably won’t apply to many people) I have binders and binders FULL of sheet music and scripts…probably at least 25. I can’t stand having that many binders. I am going to keep one audition binder, one cabaret binder, one extra binder (for whatever current show I’m in) and organize the rest of the loose sheet music in alphabetical hanging files. Then I will get rid of ALL of the other binders.

Other things that have helped me:

-Get rid of all duplicates. This includes kitchen items (seriously who needs five can openers?), books (I had four copies of Hamlet), cds, dvds, vhs’, whatever.

-I put my tv away. I know that may not be something most people want to do, but for me it made sense. I rarely use it. I don’t have cable and I can watch any movies I want on my computer.

-I put my printer away and all the computers are wireless (less cords). I still have a printer in the closet if I need it, but it isn’t a permanent fixture in my apt….and honestly I only use it to print out resumes anyway.

Anyway…just some tips. I still have a lot to do, but my to do list is getting smaller and smaller. 🙂

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New Wall Art

March 21, 2008

It wasn’t Serendipity, but Joanne (the sofa owner) was lovely and was actually an ex-actress. I’m not worried though the right piece will come. Today I’m obsessed with my Living Room wall art. I’ve decided that I hate all of it. I want all new wall art!

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It’s nice to want, isn’t it? 😉

Is it Serendipity?

March 19, 2008

Being a starving artist has it’s pros and cons. On the one side I am surrounded by the most talented, creative, and interesting people you can imagine. I am friends with everyone from an operatic dramatic soprano (the best I’ve ever heard), an amazing funk diva (who gives new meaning to lung capacity), a ridiculously handsome crooner (who could give ole blue eyes a run for his money), and a practically technically perfect musical theater star (and she’s nice to boot). I consider all of them my close friends and equals and feel extremely lucky to do so. I am in a field where creation is my job. I get to do what I love and get paid for it…just not a lot.

On the flip side I’m always broke, rejection is plentiful, and you literally have every inch of you judged at each audition…from talent to weight and height to the way you say hello. I’m ALWAYS broke! I live in a one bedroom apartment with my best friend and I eat a lot of Ramen! While I’m waiting for my big break I call my couch my bed. Don’t get me wrong. I love my couch and am actually quite content sleeping on a couch, but unfortunately my neck and back disagree with me. I really need to have the option of sleeping in my own bed from time to time.

I’ve been scouring craigslist for a daybed or a sleeper couch to no avail. They are either way too expensive for me, or something that I would not put in my home. I need a bed, but my aesthetic sensibilities just won’t let me bring in an ugly or ill-fitting piece despite my neck problems. That may sound silly to some, but I take what I bring into my home very seriously. 🙂 Besides, most of the sleepers I’ve seen look like they’ve spent 10 years in a frat house. No thank you.

So I’ve had no luck….until tonight…..

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Sofa bed from Crate and Barrel is covered in antique gold stripe (has elegant green-gold cast) and measures approx. 6′ 4″ long and 3′ 8″ deep and 35″ high. Please note – the fabric is matte, it looks shiny in the photos due to the camera flash off the silk threads.
Bed seldom used. Is in excellent condition, and mattress pad included. Sofa recently professionally cleaned.
Also adding a matching coffee/cocktail table for free!

Couch originally $2500 – selling for $300!

Ummm…..Come to Mama! I am hoping with all I have that this hasn’t been promised yet. This couch would fit in perfectly with my home and it would give me a bed. I can see my vintage European travel posters hanging over it. I can see the amber glow of my eclectic collection of lamps illuminating it. But more importantly I see ME quite comfortable on this couch reading, blogging, and ahhhh sleeping. Is it serendipity? I sure hope so!

JUST SAY NO

March 17, 2008

I came home to St. Louis for a break from some of my Chicago madness. This is the longest I’ve been home in 10 years. I’m really enjoying it, but so are my parents. They are so pleased to have me home and they are spoiling me rotten. Now I’m certainly not complaining. I like being catered to and spoiled a little. BUT I can’t take any more stuff into my apartment!

My mother is a bargain hunter. One of the best I’ve ever seen, especially when it comes to clothes. The first thing she showed me when I got home was a SUITCASE full of clothes that she had gotten for me. She spent under $150 for the entire suitcase. Everything was actually really nice quality and fit me really well. BUT now I’m going to have to go home and get RID of an equal amount of clothing. I can’t bring more items into my wardrobe without getting rid of more clothes…I just can’t. I’m trying to streamline!

I also got a beautifully illistrated copy of Peter Pan and a hard-backed version of Great Expectations. Two of my favorite books. 🙂 I scored a dresser/sideboard for my entryway/landing strip, a new rug, some organizing containers, a mirror, and this GORGEOUS hot pink poppy fabric that my mother is making into two accent pillows for my couch. I had planned on doing it myself, but she insisted.

The thing I’m struggling with is I feel really guilty about getting this stuff.  So far it’s all things that will be used and/or replace something I have, but I can’t help but feel guilty anyway. Also this sounds like a lot of stuff, but it’s NOTHING compared to what I’ve turned down. Every couple of hours I’m turning my mom down on something else that she’s asking me if I want. I’m beginning to see where some of my habits are coming from. My parent’s home is comfortable, nurturing, and wonderful…but it’s spilling over with things. It seems to work for them, but I don’t want to live like that. I want my place to be organized, peaceful, and much simpler than it is now. I want it to be a refuge.

BUT at the same time I can’t let myself feel guilty any time I bring something into the apartment. I just need to learn to manage my home better. When I get new things, that’s wonderful, but it means that it is time to let some of the old things go. I think I’ll feel better when I get everything home to Chicago and have a proportionate amount of things in my giveaway/outbox pile.

So the moral of the story is we don’t have to feel guilty about bringing new things into our homes, but sometimes we have to JUST SAY NO!

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Lilacs and Honeysuckle

March 15, 2008

I’m starting to miss Chicago…which was the whole point of me taking a break I suppose. One of the best parts of the cure is buying a new bouquet of flowers every week for your apartment. It’s supposed to add life to the apartment and if displayed in an unused area it helps bring your attention to that area. Well I’m in St. Louis! AND while I’m really enjoying my break, I’m missing my first week of flowers!

Growing up in Upstate New York our backyard was brimming with Lilac bushes. That intoxicating scent is synonomous with Spring and Summer for me. My mom would have dozens of vases spilling over with lilacs all over the house. It’s one of my strongest memories and has been my favorite flower ever since.

My second favorite flower grows right outside my Chicago apartment building. I love honeysuckle 🙂 . It’s not the most beautiful flower, but the aroma more than makes up for it.  Even the name….honey…suckle. It just sounds delicious. I always want to find a way to smell exactly like that all the time.

I don’t know if I can find bouquets of these flowers. They’re wilder, more common, less coveted I suppose. They grow where they aren’t cultivated, but I cherish them. They truly add some very happy moments to my life. I guess sometimes you just have to stop and smell the flowers. 😉

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EXPEDIT!

March 13, 2008

I have two sides to my “making a home” philosophy and they are always at odds with each other. Part of me wants to get rid of as much as I can so that when I get that starring role on Broadway I can pick up and leave without much hassle. 🙂 The other part of me wants to nest and create a comfortable home for myself that doesn’t always feel like it’s in transition. So it’s extremely difficult for me to make decisions as to what to keep or what to buy because of this. An actor’s life can change drastically overnight for better or for worse…and you have to be prepared for it.

In my Spring cleaning and as part of my cure I have pared my book collection down to two narrow bookcases. This was really difficult for me because I adore books. I love them so much! I have such fond memories of every book I own. Well I’ve been through them now 3 or 4 times and I think that I’ve reached a point where I categorically refuse to get rid of anymore books. I’m not getting rid of any of my classics, art books, plays, or poetry. I WON’T DO IT! I’ve already weeded out most of my Anne Rice, Stephen King, or book of the month selections. Everything that I have left inspires me by having it.

Whew! So anyway the vagabond minimalist actress in me always wants me to get rid of more. Well the “nester” in me has always dreamed of a library: floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves, relaxing in a caramel leather club chair parked in front of a roaring hearth with a cup of hot whiskey cider and a fabulous book. Sigh…that’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

Well I can’t afford the hearth or the caramel leather club chair. The book and the whiskey cider…I can handle. The built-ins…not yet, but maybe I can create the look of it with some IKEA! I’m eyeing the expedit shelf system. I know that everyone and their mother has this shelf unit. In my defense, I have wanted a grid-like book shelf system since I saw the one my parents had in the 70s. I had never even heard of an expedit until a couple of days ago. But, YES, I am jumping on the bandwagon. IKEA has a new convert!

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*Now which color do I get to go with my dining room? hmmm….

The Cure

March 12, 2008

I thought I should explain why I have the sudden urge to paint all the rooms in my apartment! LOL! I am participating in the Spring cure from Apartment therapy. Basically the cure is based on Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s book Apartment Therapy: the eight step home cure. The book “…will lead you through the eight weeks and the basic cure requires minimal expense as it takes you from room to room and helps you declutter, organize and clean your home.” I figured since I already got a good head start with my Spring cleaning that I should bring this to the next level!

The great part about the cure is that there is an online community support group (for lack of a better word). It’s based on the Apartment therapy website. You join the group from the city you are closest to. The cities are Chicago 🙂 , San Francisco, L.A., and New York. There is also a Green Home option. People upload their pictures to flickr.com and get feedback, suggestions, and general support from other cure members. It helps when there are others going through the same thing as you!

I’ll be posting from time to time pictures of my own cure process…and maybe some inspirational pictures from other cures. Wish me luck!

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Green Apple/Marilyn Monroe kitchen!

March 12, 2008

It’s 71 degrees! I have sandals on! Could this be it? Is it SPRING?!?!?! I hope so. I can’t take any more snow. I’m really into Spring colors right now. I’ve been looking for the perfect color to paint my kitchen when I get back. I know exactly what I want but I haven’t found the perfect shade yet! I want the color of that gorgeous juicy green apple. Yum!

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My kitchen is also where I display my vintage Marilyn Monroe pictures!

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