Make Design

  • Aang! Aang (welcome, hello, and so much more)!  Much of my trip to Alaska was spent learning about the people and culture I grew up referring to as Aleut.  During my time in Alaska, I learned that the Aleut people don’t even have a word for “Aleut” in their native languages, two of which are currently surviving.  They refer to themselves and their way of life as Unangan.  There is a clear blend of modern and traditional in the 2012 way of life for Unangan people.  The folks I met were individually humble, capable, and proud of their people and heritage.  Many of them also had incredible talent in skills that relate to a subsistence way of life.  For a point of reference, below you will see a photo of a tiny woven basket in a master weaver’s hands—that basket, much smaller than a thimble, took 2-3 hours to weave.  The baskets that are of a useful size take a master weaver 50-60 hours (!) to create.  Throughout my 11 days in Anchorage and King Salmon, I mostly focused on sitting still with open ears and an open heart.
  • Crazy Al’s Beach Shack J did great. He planned a simple overnight trip to a tiny beach town called Coupeville on Whidbey Island. He found a comfortable, quirky place to shack up. It was slightly nerve-wracking making our way up the long gravel driveway, which was lined with the occasional abandoned toilet and a pen containing attack goats, according to the sign on the fence. When we arrived at the house, it became clear that the selling point of this property is the view of Puget Sound, as the house sits right on the bluff. The view was stunning. After we spent a few minutes awkwardly standing around taking in the crazy birdhouses and rock formations surrounding the house, Al walked over and introduced himself to us and welcomed us into his home. Al is a collector and curator of the craziest, most interesting, zany items you’ve likely ever seen in one place (including the aforementioned toilets, of which there are many throughout the property). Our personal decorating aesthetic was pretty much the exact opposite of Al’s. But to his credit, the entire place was spotless and organized. It’s fair to say that J and I were both overwhelmed at first, but it didn’t take long ...
  • Seen in Pioneer Square
  • West Elm in Seattle West Elm opened a store in Seattle today! J and I snapped up the opportunity to attend the fancy-pants opening party last night. There was a lady wearing “leggings” that were actually black see-through cropped tights that showed her buns in all their glory. Not cute. Moving on…. The opening party was super fun. Mostly because we got to spend time with good friends that we don’t see often enough. But also because of the I-wanted-everything-in-sight eye candy. Otherwise known as fabulous (and mostly affordable) design. Everywhere. The store is seriously beautifully styled; there is a living wall! Oh. And there was Prosecco. Meaning we sipped Prosecco while we shopped. Genius! There aren’t a whole lot of other ways I’d rather spend a Wednesday night. I think it’s time I share the aforementioned eye candy:
  • Doors of Spain Ever notice how the doors in Europe are so much more amazing than the doors in the States? They are like pieces of art, existing for more than their mere function of opening and closing, as if that door was specifically designed for that building. Throughout our recent Spain trip, I photographed some of my favorites.
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Photo Essay: Street Art in Capitol Hill
  • Gardening Last Thursday the weather-people of Seattle told everyone that it may hit 70 degrees.  The sheer guess was enough to excite nearly every Seattleite.  Since I’m just hanging around for awhile before I start bar exam prep, I thought it would be a good time to plant in our “garden.” As city dwellers, our “garden” consists of a tiny deck.  And as you can see from the photo below, this is what we’re working with people . . . three pots.  Sure, we could fill up our entire tiny deck with pots, but then we’d be “those” people, and I certainly have no desire to be them.  Also, S and I would probably fall short of the green thumb award.  S is the serial killer of house plants. This year we decided to plant Roma Tomatoes, Basil, and Lavender.  We had Romas and Basil last year and they were both plenty of work for novices like us.  I learned that the trick to basil is to pluck it before it grows those tiny white flowers.  And the tomato plant needed to be tied up along our deck or else it would sag terribly.  Of course, I had to cheat a bit (is ...
  • Mappin’ It Out Does this accurately represent your people? I kinda think it hit the nail on the head with the Pacific Northwest. Other regions might be less enthusiastic…(serial killers, obesity, potatoes = yikes).
  • {this moment} {this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment we want to pause, savor and remember.  Via SouleMama. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.
  • Polka Dot Rain Boots This is what the sky looked like outside our house Saturday morning: The birds seemed pretty pleased about it. But me? Not so much. Luckily, I knew that I couldn’t count on Seattle to be sunny in April or May, so I recently ordered Chooka rain boots from RueLaLa. It was the perfect day to break out my new boots as I ran out the door to Barre3. I’m a little in love. The best part (minus the polka-dots, obviously) are the fuzzy fleece liners that I bought to go in the boots. I chuckled when I read the box: “a warm fleece lining for cold winter days.” Ha! Unless you live in Seattle, then it’s a warm fleece lining for cold spring days, too. These boots make cloudy days a little more bearable, don’t you think?
  • Homegrown: Sustainable Sandwich Shop We recently stopped by our favorite indoor shopping center, Melrose Market, to grab a quick lunch at Homegrown. We mentioned before that this building is beautifully styled. It all looks so effortless and easy, although clearly an abundance of thought and effort went into making it appear that way. Each little boutique store and restaurant has their own branding, but all of the spaces flow nicely into each other with touches of industrial metal, casual chalkboard textures, warm wood and splashes of nature-rich colors. For lunch I tried a half roasted pork sandwich and herbed fries. The sandwich was made with potato bread and had a slightly sweet flavor, compliments of the apple butter that was lightly spread on the fluffy bread. Arugula provided enough of a bitter taste to cut against the sweetness, making it a perfectly balanced sandwich. The fries were golden, slightly crisp on the outside and not greasy. The herb dusting gives them an interesting taste that I really enjoyed. They were served with an aioli that I thoroughly liked, despite the fact that I’m usually a ketchup girl. This sandwich shop doesn’t stop at creating yummy food. They also use sustainable ingredients. AND they make sandwich creation sustainable, too, ...
  • Varro Last weekend J & I stopped by Varro, a new bar in Capitol Hill, for a quick drink. The décor is super chic (you should go just to check out the mural), the people friendly. Most importantly, it temporarily satisfied our craving for Italian culture. True to all the restaurants we loved in Italy, the house wine was absolutely the way to go. Salute!
  • TOMS We took the hipster plunge and bought TOMS. J went for the Ash Classics. I went for the Olive Classics. Apparently I have child-sized feet compared to J’s. TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. FYI, everyone and their mother was buying TOMS at Nordstrom this weekend. I guess that means the hipsters’ secret is out. The salesman told us they sell 100 pairs a day. At one Nordstrom store. That equals 100 shoes per day for kids in need. Pretty awesome, right?
  • 7 Facts About Us MJ from WanderWonderDiscover awarded us a “Stylish Blogger Award.”  We’re pretty honored that someone thinks we’re stylish.  If you’ve ever seen or received this award, then you know that the recipients must report 7 facts about themselves and then pass the award to other bloggers, asking them to do the same.   Here are 7 facts about us: In 2007, while searching for a secret beach in Cinque Terre, Italy, we, in all seriousness, thought we might be killed while we walked through a mile-long pitch black abandoned train tunnel that was full of squatters’ goods, ditched trailers, and empty jugs of wine.  We found the beach, we didn’t die. We got married twice.  Both times to each other.  Once legally on our parents’ shared anniversary (seriously, same day and year) and once in the traditional sense (church, white dress, you get the idea). Our wedding rings have a shared secret inscription.  They read, “promises must be kept” in Latin.  It’s a legal phrase… we’re dorks. Four years ago, we accidentally purchased the same style of hiking shoes.  Today, we plan on buying some Toms; we don’t plan on buying matching styles.  We’ll keep you posted. Every Sunday, we read our horoscopes from the Stranger out loud ...
  • Melrose Market Let me introduce you to a little gem in Capitol Hill: Melrose Market.  It’s a beautifully-styled building that seamlessly integrates an urban loft vibe with comfortable, organic elements.  If you are a foodie, I promise you will feel at home (but you probably already shop here anyway); the local food that you will discover here deserves a post of its own.  For now, I limit myself to sharing snapshots of some of the prettiness that you might find if you stroll through the impressive space.                  
  • New Art… Part Deux We finally found some time to put up our two new art pieces.  S was in charge of measuring it out and I got to put it all up on the wall.  Personally, I’m usually obsessed with symmetry.  However, the fact that the print of the people dancing and the “keep calm” print are aligned to the left seems to make sense.  S still thinks that there is too much space between all the frames.  I disagree, but I think that’s because I don’t want to break out the tools again.
  • Pillow Talk I have a mini love affair with decorative throw pillows.  They add such character to a space with color, texture, and shape.  Let me take you on a quick tour of the pillows that we cuddle up with in the J+S household. Above is my favorite pillow in our house.  It was purchased at Nordstrom and, despite being made of wool, it’s extremely cozy. This is our collection of bed pillows.  Everything except the wool pillow shown above is Hotel Collection, purchased at Macy’s. Above are two of our couch pillows.  The yellow dots inspired many aspects of our living room décor and is from Pottery Barn.  The swirly pillow is from Ikea and, honestly, might be on its way out the door.  It might be time to upgrade to the pillow below.  What do you think? Slice pillow from CB2. Last is our simple blue velvet/velour pillow from Crate and Barrel, which matches our accent wall.  By far the most practical throw pillow in our house, in terms of size and comfort.
  • New Art S and I just bought some new art.  I chalk it up to us both being in the legal field, but the two of us never come to a decision hastily.  Perhaps this habit comes in handy when choosing objects to put in our home.  Personally, I dislike unnecessary clutter.  And S wants all items to have a purpose.  After much negotiation and color comparison, we chose these two new pieces.  We both quickly fell in love with the slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  The painting of the dancers, entitled “Anything is Possible with the Right Partner,” is by Washington artist, Mimi Williams.  Now we just need to find some time to get the frames off the floor and onto the wall.