With our humblest a(nthro)pologies

Ok, so, we’ve been a little quieter than intended here.  Somehow, we went from a full docket of projects, to the extent that we were jockeying for who was going to get to post next, to total radio silence.  For months.

There are reasons.  Oh, yes, there are reasons.  Admittedly, a lot of those reasons hover awfully close to the boundary of being excuses.  In the simplest of terms, simultaneously, things got very weird.

And then they got very real.

And then they got really, really weird.

Life seems to be settling down somewhat, and we are perilously close to ready, if not eager, to resume normal activities like making things! doing stuff!  talking about making things and doing stuff!  We’d like to say that it’ll be nothing but full swing again from here on out, but realistically, the holidays that are immediately ahead of us, and the really-weirdness that is only very shortly behind us will probably keep things quiet until the new year.

But we are sorry.  Really, we are.

As it turns out, we are sorry for our failings in excellent company, because oh, let us tell you, we are not the only ones with some serious apologizing to do.  We would like, above all else in this world, to call Anthropologie to the WTF mat.  Which is probably a real thing that you can buy at Urban Outfitters, but that’s not the point.

Here’s the thing about Anthropologie:  we love Anthropologie.  We una(nthro)pologetically shop there at regular intervals.  They are our first stop for all manner of things – hardware! candles! gifts! accessories! inspiration!  And then, just when we think we’ve reached an excellent place of accord, they do something plumb crazy and make us wonder what particular frequency of crazy they, and all their customers, must be vibrating at.

Have you seen their 2014 gift catalog?  Does the mere mention make your brain turn slightly slushy and yet full of ill-defined anger?

Yeah, us too.

It starts out so promising:

featherFeathers?  Teal?  Bold penstroke fonts?  Yes, thank you, we accept.  And why wouldn’t we?  This lovely bit of glossy aspiration has just assured us that we are fundamentally like them.  We belong.  Excellent.

There are certainly things in these pages that are perfect – that wonderful, hard-to-find kind of perfect that promises you that this item, these things, would slide effortlessly into your home and life and décor, creating almost no splash or ripple, and yet flawlessly enhancing not just their surroundings, but really, your entire being.  Say, for example, you had recently redone your dining room in deep green-kissed navy and warm antique gold (which Shannon did!  behold the lack of posts on the subject!  again:  so very sorry, have we said that?) then baby, this page of giftables is for you:

fine

See?  Perfect.  Who doesn’t love a good objet?

There’s also always things that you can appreciate without being appalled by the cost – either because you harbor delusions of DIY, or are convinced you can find similar at a more sensible price elsewhere.  Like hand-made felted blankets:

throw

Ok.  Sure.  They’re kind of gaudy, and terrifyingly overpriced.  Also, there’s something charmingly delusional about touting the joys of a handmade life while charging hundreds of dollars for the privilege of someone else’s hands doing the dirty work.  But we get it.  They’re pretty.  They’re quaint.  They’re the kind of idiosyncratic décor that declares the owner to be just-funky-enough.  This, on our best day and in our best dreams, is our wheelhouse, and we respect it.

Unfortunately, these little snippets of bliss are lost in a sea of utter ridiculousness.  Behold:

dirtNo doubt there is someone out there who truly believes these are the ideal gift for a gardener.  Pro tip: THESE GO IN DIRT.  Nothing says crazy quite like spending $130 on copper-clad artwork that you shove into holes in the ground, right?

Nothing except $158 potted plants, anyway:

orchidOne. Hundred. And. Fifty. Eight. Dollars. For something that is likely, if not destined, to die after a short, rapidly dessicating life! Seriously, for $160, we could buy and accidentally kill 70 houseplants from Lowes, and shove their blighted carcasses into all the glass orbs ever.  Side note:  the glass orb?  Super cute, and ridiculously affordable at $4, especially next to a ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY EIGHT DOLLAR FLOWERING TUB OF SOIL AND WEEDS.

Seriously, for that price, that’s not a plant, it’s a pet.  It might even warrant a college fund.  You definitely don’t just put it artfully on a table to just…plant around with its bare foliage hanging out.  You take that thing out on errands – hell, you tell it to get purdy and then you take it out on dates.  Preferably, of course, strapped safely onto the back of your Anthro-approved bike:

bikeOnly $3500.  $3500, and they’ve left it carelessly strewn about, covered in vines and suspended by a tangled mass of jute.  $3500, and it doesn’t even make you cookies or massage your feet while you pedal. $3500, and you still have to pedal!

No.  Oh, precious lambs, no.

Here’s the thing about Anthropologie:  just when you think you’ve reached ridiculousness saturation, and you can walk away with your wallet and dignity intact, they always find a way to suck you back in.  After all the eyerolling that some of these “gifts” inspired, we think they knew they’d have to dig deep and work extra hard to win us back, and oh, they did:

toddle

 Ambiguously ethnically diverse toddlers:  check.  Fabulous dress-ups in a smattering of woodland-creature-esque motifs:  check.  Tutus as far as the eye can see:  check.  This play date is on it’s way to being a tea party we can get into. Hell, this might be a tea party we have to have.  Ourselves.  Right now.

Fine, Anthropologie.  We will accept this as your token show of remorse and remonstration.  For now.

We’ll try and take a bit of time off from our busy holiday (read: shopping.  probably at Anthropologie, because we are terrible, terrible people) schedules, but just in case, we will also just go ahead and apologize in advance for not posting again til January.

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Life (and gin) get in the way

frog and toad are drunks

We would almost like to apologize for the lack of actual content today. Both content and contrition were, however, sacrificed in the name of a grand ol’ time last night.

The building we work in has been undergoing major changes – they closed our beloved downstairs dive bar first, and then in exchange have given us somewhere between 6 months and about 17 endless years’ worth of constant construction noises, smells, and interruptions.

Last night, all the inconveniences were forgotten when we were lucky enough to be invited to attend the soft opening of the new venue that took over our old haunt – the truly gorgeous and totally welcome – and welcoming! – new Elysian Bar.

It may not have escaped notice that we are fans of the ferment, and of course we are always willing and able to do our part when it comes to important matters like supporting new businesses and contributing to local culture and economy. We had fabulous food, even more fabulous beers, and the most sublime lemon-kissed concoction of a martini the world has ever known. Clearly, CLEARLY, that trumps petty concerns like wrapping up paltry projects around the house or posting pictures of plans-in-progress, right?

Yes, yes, alright, let’s be honest: what we’re saying here is that Shannon was maybe supposed to post something to wrap up her bathroom re-do, and she maybe was a little too gin-soaked to be coerced into it – and Jenn, for her part, was too steeped in stout to care or coerce.

And now? Well, now it’s a sunny day in May. Who has time to worry about April’s showers when suddenly the whole world’s full of flowers?

On your mark…

We tend to go on binges, and these binges tend to turn into challenges. Like, we’ve recently been had fancy salads for lunch, which turned into fancy salads everyday for lunch, and we were all manner of smug and nutrient rich until we made the mistake of adding up exactly how much we’ve been spend on fancy salads every day for lunch. While we’re happy to accept the letters of thanks we will undoubtedly shortly receive for personally fixing the national economy, boy howdy did we need to cut back.

Except, because we are crazy, “cutting back” became competitive salad-making. Because of course it did. Why wouldn’t it?

The last time we hit the folie au deux skids, it was for fiddleleaf figs.

If you’ve ever picked up any home décor magazine, or perused a shelter blog, or had any contact with design porn at all, you already know that this was inevitable. On the off chance you’ve somehow escaped the craze, allow Houzz to shine a little broadleaved light into your world:

Come on. I mean, COME ON. Can you blame us for going a little crazy?

It would be nice to tell you that what happened was a calm discussion about our mutual fondness for these preposterously grand-scale houseplants. Tea was consumed, and mellow agreements to keep eyes peeled for exceptional specimens while out and about.

Instead, in the name of honesty, a nearly-perfect transcript of events:

Jenn: I need a fiddleleaf fig tree for my dining room, I think.

Shannon: LET’S RACE!

No, not race to the nearest greenhouse. Race fig trees. Competitively. As in, let’s buy plants and grow them in some kind of winner-take-all Beyond Biodome THRILL RACE.

This is probably the kind of idea that we would have gotten over in short order if it weren’t for a well-timed stop at a local mega-mart that just happened to be having a sale on house plants, and just happened to have exactly 2 fiddlehead fig plants on sale.

The universe had spoken. LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

In corner one: Pudding!

pudding in situ

Starting height:  25″, large and in charge of Shannon’s front hall!

And in the opposite corner, Omar!

Omar in situ

Starting height: 22″, dominating Jenn’s dining room!

We weren’t lucky enough to find identically-sized plants, so we’re going to have to work with inches grown and proportionate matters rather than overall size.  Beyond that, we haven’t figured out exactly what happens next. Leaf count?  Glossiness?  Who Manages To Keep Their Tree From Becoming A Very Stylish Dog Toy?

We’ll be playing it by ear.  There’s no rules here yet.  That’s because we are, as far as we know, the first competitive fig-tree racers ever.  We are pioneers!

If we’re lucky, that’ll turn out to be “pioneers” in the visionary sense, not the whole Oregon Trail Fun And Games With Dysentery thing.

Sugar and spice and everything nice

It’s February!  That magical month where one greeting card holiday mid-month ensures 28 days of everything being so chocolate-coated and strawberry-flavored and lace-bedecked and so lovey-dovey-precious that you could just choke. 

We would like to apologize in advance for not being Those Kinds Of People. Don’t mistake us, it’s not that we object to all the saccharine cuteness or the endless mushy love-themed decorations, at least in theory.  One of us – name withheld to protect the dignity of the victim – may possibly have already used the impending holiday as an excuse to festoon her entire office with glittery hearts and doilies. 

No, we like the frilliness and the sparkles and pink and purple and ribbons and lace.  We just don’t see why we should confine fancy sweets and candy colors to one month:  these should be long-term commitments and legitimate lifestyle choices.    So, instead of turning this month into a shrine to all things Valentine, we’re going to use this as an excuse to revel in the little bits of sweet and girly we want to see in our homes all year round, and to make the kinds of decadent little treats we find irresistible in any season.

 

 

 

 

Put a 12 on it!

If we’re a little quiet here for a few days, the reason is pretty simple:

We’re in Washington state.

Normally this would be our excuse for being a bit loud:  we are where the world gets its coffee, and if we don’t drink lots and lots of it, we will have no way of ensuring that it remains of the highest quality.  We do this for you.  We do this for science.

At the moment, our rallying cries are less about the coffee and more about two very simple words:

GO HAWKS!

Seriously, are you ready for some football???? GO SPORTS!! HOME RUN! Or, you know, whatever one shouts in these moments.  Confidentially, we are neither of us particularly committed football fans, but damned if we haven’t been swept up in the fever this year.  And today, Seattle’s beloved Sea-Chickens are trying it out with Denver’s Broncos.

(check it out!  we’ve totally learned lingo!)

If you are anywhere near…oh, let’s just say the entire West Coast, you’re probably a Seahawks fan right now, too. Maybe you never were before, but you’re wearing blue and calling yourself the 12th man today.

Seattle's Skyline is a fan too

Seattle’s Skyline is a fan too

Hawk Jet

Hawk Jet

Honestly, the days and weeks leading up to this moment have bordered on full on ridiculous. Anything that sits still long enough ends up emblazoned with a #12, because apparently putting a 12 on anything makes it fan-gear, and god help you all if anyone thinks your car, your sneakers, and your yorkie aren’t all superfans. The local City Target pooped out a Seahawks gear station overnight, and hasn’t been able to keep it stocked since. Staid buildings full of boring businesses are are blocking out windows, raising flags, declaring “Blue Fridays” for their office workers, and racing to the bandwagon of fandom. I mean, they painted a Boeing plane and did a test flight over Eastern Washington… IN THE SHAPE OF A 12.

Don't ask me why

Don’t ask me why

 

 

Skittles even made a special Seattle blend.

 

The thing is, winning at sports isn’t really what we do best here.  It’s going to be a sad day if we lose, but we actually have more pressing concerns.  Llike what will happen if we win.  We’re actually pretty sure the city will riot out of sheer confusion. We’re also more than a little concerned that we’ve got enough of the fever to join right in.

Until it’s time to throw trashcans through windows, though, we’ll be busy painting 12’s on anything that’ll hold still for it.  We’ll see you in a few days –  if we’re not recovering from jubilant hangovers or riot-control pepper spray, that is.