Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm Seeing a Pattern II

This weekend I went in search of curtains. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but I found a lot of other great deals! I also found several really nice patterns, as mentioned in the previous post-- so, here are the rest of them.

Our living room is turning out to be black and red. I found these pillows and the sheet to make into a throw for our white couch. (FYI, JoAnns is having a great sale on great throw pillows right now.)

This shower curtain was $1.99. I’m planning to use it as a sheer layer for our living room windows with heavier black drapes on top.

I found a complete, as-good-as-new full sheet set (including pillow cases) at Savers for $6. Someday I will have my own house with a spare room and these sheets will go on the bed.

This here is a great summertime table cloth, purchased at Savers for $2.99. I love how busy the pattern is. It will look so fun with plain white plates on it.

This one was my favorite, although it was hard to take a photo that does it justice. It’s a dainty little curtain for my laundry room. ($ .99 at Savers)

I also purchased a few non-decorative items. . .this fabulous shirt and some red shiny shoes.

Although I didn’t find any bedroom curtains, I made a decision yesterday (after a helpful sister-consultation). I am going to purchase some of this fabric and use it in combination with some other fabric I already own.

For those interested in browsing more beautiful fabric prints. . . I found the dogwood print here. They have several fantastic collections of beautiful fabrics you won’t see at JoAnn’s.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm Seeing a Pattern

Last weekend was a weekend for great patterns. It started out with a lovely package of gift wrap I received on Friday. I ordered the paper for a project to go in my room, which you will see here upon completion. Actually, just one sheet is for the project; the others are to save for design-worthy friends/occasions.

The paper arrived nicely packaged and with a personal card. (I’m impressed.)

I was very pleased with my purchases. The bird print is for my project.

These were purchased at an affordable price from Broadway Paper. Thank you Oh Joy for the suggestion. The rest of my nicely patterned weekend will follow tomorrow. (I hope)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ten Days Late and Ten-thousand Dollars Short

I came across a little gem today: Scotch’s Most Gifted Wrapper. We all missed the deadline to enter the 2006 competition, but considering this is the 10th annual wrapping contest it will probably come around again next year.

Reasons to apply:
- Brush-up on your creative writing skills with the 100-word essay
- Spend a day wrapping gifts, who doesn’t like wrapping presents?
- See your name on a national press release of a Fortune 500 Company
- Free trip to New York
- $10k, or at least $250 if you are a finalist

If you aren’t actually skilled at wrapping, you should nominate someone who is. You will win $1,000 if he/she is crowned America’s Most Gifted Wrapper.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Know-It-All

Today I received a request from to review a book I ordered about a month ago. The email was amazingly timed within a hour of my finishing the book, and since I thoroughly enjoyed every page, I decided to acquiesce and wrote the following review:

If you know how to read, this book is a must-have.

Have you ever noticed there's some pretty fascinating stuff in the encyclopedia (with an awful lot of less fascinating information mixed in). This book gives you a good percentage of the highlights, as well as laugh-out-loud-funny anecdotes from the life of a guy with the patience/gumption/insanity to read it all. All 33,000 pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Believe it or not, this book is actually a page-turner. Somewhere between A-ak and Zywiec, you start to relate to this self-effacing guy (who, in reality, is probably 3.7 times smarter than most of us) and become genuinely interested in the success of his quest.

On another level, The Know-It-All is like the Krispy Kreme’s of its kind, allowing you to watch the process of its creation as the book itself unfolds. Its transparency is both insightful and endearing. The writing process takes you into his office, on the NY Subway and to a personal interview with Alex Trebek. It culminates with a visit to Britannica headquarters, which sincerely fascinates you by the time you arrive there in the book.

I recommend this book to everyone.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Successful Conclusion

A belated report on the sucessfull conclusion of my DC adventures:

On Friday, my training concluded at noon and we enjoyed a casual lunch at a great little restaurant called the Stardust. {I liked the typewriters and old suitcases sitting in the corners. The mannequins, however, were a little creepy.)

After lunch I was free to make the most of a lovely afternoon. I took the Metro to the Corcoran Museum (my former place of employment) and enjoyed the familiarity of getting off at the same old stop, emerging on the same old corner and making the same old walk down 17th Street The security along Lafayette Park (in front of the White House) is tighter than in 2003, the beautiful Old Executive Office building is under renovation and my music source has been upgraded from a discman to an ipod, but so many other things are just the same. For instance:

5 T-shirts for $10
Gorgeous Magnolia trees
Cosi’s sandwich and coffee
Steam coming up from the Metro
Green copper roof of the Corcoran
Sociable mix of tourists and professionals
Pretzel man on the corner

The current museum exhibits included a good photojournalism exhibit and a modernism exhibit with many pieces I really liked and several that I really disliked. I will spare you the tedium of explaining the many pieces of art that I didn’t take pictures of.

After my tour of the museum and a visit to the office there, I made my way to the EPA–West building where my friend Shari works. We did a little shopping at H&M’s until we were able to join her sister Laurie and then made our way to the National Portrait Gallery. We only had time to see the third floor, but I’m glad we started there, because we would have missed the beautiful vaulted gallery space rotunda of the newly restored building.

I really liked this sculpture piece. (This is the largest of three pieces.)

And this over-stimulating map of the U.S. Most of the states flashed various pictures of scenery and cityscapes; the Idaho pictures were all of potatoes.

After the Museum closed, we made our way up to Dupont Circle for dinner. I had forgotten what a trendy part of town Dupont is. I don’t think I’d ever been on a Friday night; it was definitely the place to be. I don’t understand the concept of getting all dressed up for dinner on a Friday night—especially as trend in the urban areas—who has time to commute all the way home, get all gussied up, and then go back downtown?

We had to wait 45 minutes for our table at Lauriol, but the good Mexican food was well worth the wait. I ordered an El Paso Combo, and the waiter mistook “El Paso” for “Muscles”. Luckily the mistake was remedied before a steaming plate of muscles arrived, because I wouldn’t have been too thrilled about that after the 45 minute wait for a table!

On Saturday, my friends Wendy, Jocelyn and Jocelyn's friend met me at the Eastern Market to fulfill number two of two of my unfulfilled DC experiences. Jocelyn had an early haircut appointment, so we opted for breakfast at Bread and Chocolate, rather than the traditional market affair. I wasn’t disappointed though; who can complain about eating at a place called Bread and Chocolate?! We had some wonderful home-made yoghurt/fruit/granola and of course, the apropos hot chocolate.

Here’s Jocelyn and I at our early-morning finest. (I woke-up 10 minutes before I was supposed to catch the shuttle to the Metro, and Jocelyn was on her way to get a haircut.)

After breakfast Wendi and I wandered around the market. I was disappointed to learn that the vintage apron woman was not there that Saturday, but Wendi and I both found several good cards at the imported card booth, thanks to a recommendation from Jocelyn.

After the market, I stopped at Old Town for Five Guys and a thrift store stop, were I found a great little sweater and red leather belt. (I really maximized my time that morning!) After the quick shopping I hurried back to the hotel, stuffed the sweater in my already full suitcase, and caught the shuttle to the airport.

Thanks to all my wonderful MPA friends for a great DC visit. It makes me want to come join your ranks.