Blog Update

As of today, 7/25/2012, I am no longer posting new content to this blog. All rowHOME content has been transferred to SouthFeasterdelphia. I will eventually delete this blog, but I am leaving it up for now to serve as a redirect tool.

All the best, and I hope to see you over at SouthFeasterdelphia.

Stephanie

City Pretty: New Hope Edition

We were up in Bucks County this past weekend, house and pet sitting for family. We drove through New Hope, PA on our way across the river to the Golden Nugget Flea Market in NJ. While in New Hope for those few minutes, I spied this fun container plant and climbing plant in front of a clothing shop. I took this photo from the car while stopped at an intersection, perhaps you can see my reflection. Do you see the creepy mannequin too?

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While we are the topic of plants. One of our indoor house plants has aspirations of taking over Philadelphia. The plant is called a cycad. It looks like fern, but the needles are stiff like an evergreen. We have two, and only one has these growths. I think they might be new fronds, but if so, this plant will need its own zip code in a few weeks!

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Don’t let the lack of blog posts fool you. There is plenty going on over here at Casa do Feaster. I will be back soon with some updates.

Stephanie

City Pretty

City Pretty, also known as Mother Nature lives in the city too, or when man and nature collide. I might change the name of my City Pretty series, since it’s mostly my fascination with the beauty that happens when plants and buildings meet. We will see what I come up with, or not!

Estelle and I were walking home from the pharmacy yesterday when I spotted this lovely flowering plant growing on someone’s front stair rail. It stuck out because it was looking rather lush in a sea of brown dry grass and leaves. Seriously, it looks very autumnal when I look out of my window at work. We need rain!

Private residence, South Philadelphia

Yes, I really do use the word autumnal in real life. David makes fun of me for it. It’s just such a perfectly descriptive word.

Real life calls…I must make dinner.

Until next time,

Stephanie

 

 

Living Room Rearranging

Sorry, I’m slowly getting back to the blog world after vacation. This was our first two week vacation in a very, very long time. All three of us finally got used to sleeping in past 8 am by the second week. We were with David’s family at Fenwick Island, DE for a week and then headed down to visit my folks in Norfolk for the other week. Minimal sight seeing means maximum relaxation, which we definitely achieved. We came back feeling refreshed despite the oppressive heat, which has thankfully broken here in Philly.

In fact, we were so energized, we decided to do some furniture shuffling and cat fur cleaning in an only-slightly-air-conditioned house (we have one window unit in our bedroom). The downstairs thermostat hovered between 87 and 89 degrees all weekend, which was just fine if you didn’t move or were coming from the 103 degrees outside.

If you are not familiar with our downstairs layout, it’s pretty simple to explain. Our living room and dining room are all one room, which is connect by a large doorway to the kitchen. When we first moved in to our house, we invested in a fairly pricey (for us) storage cabinet/sideboard for our long wall. It came from Material Culture, a very cool/weird/huge furniture and home store we don’t visit nearly enough. The sideboard helps to store things, duh, and it helped to visually separate the living area and dining area. Check out some BEFORE images:

Now, see the AFTER photos:

Nothing dramatic, nor is it 100% done. We still need to adjust the stuff on the walls a bit to help zone off the toy area. I’m also not loving the toy storage as is, too many toys, not enough basket. I would like to find a cool bench for under the coat rack, eventually. We couldn’t bring ourselves to lay out the wooly rug with us being so hot and sweaty, it’s rolled up under the sofa for now. I’m sure things will continue to shift and move as we live with this layout for a bit. I’m loving the sideboard as sofa console. It’s like a best buddy that’s always there to hold your drinks and provide some light.

Speaking of best buddy…David and I saw Ted last week. It was funny, and weird. We find ourselves giving big Papa Bear sideways glances every now and then.

You all have a good week. I really am feeling refreshed, we’ll see how long it lasts! Our plants on the other hand, they have been beat up by the sun and heat. Hopefully I can find a City Pretty spot later this week.

Stephanie

City Pretty: Norfolk Edition

As you can probably tell by my lack of blog posts, we are still on vacation! We were at the beach for a week, and now we are visiting with family in Norfolk, VA. These West Ghent apartment balconies have caught my eye before. I have a thing for porches and balconies, of which there are plenty here in Norfolk. The plants and ivy add a bit of mother nature to a small urban space.

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Hopefully, I will be back with something fun next week. Until then, we will be doing a whole bunch of nothing. Happy Fourth of July!

Stephanie

I Hate Greeting Cards

This is nothing new, some of you may be all too familiar with my card giving antics. Blank stationery and invitations are fine, I have a whole collection of that! It’s going into a drug store and picking out cards that I drives me nuts. If I’m crunched for time, or don’t want people to think I’m cheap for making my own card, I will try to look for greeting cards in Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or even while I’m traveling abroad (that’s rare). At work, we print our own birthday cards, and pass them around for everyone to sign. It might be my favorite task at work, and it’s definitely not in my job description! At home, I will usually get Estelle to make some sort of crayon or paint creation on card stock and fold that bad boy in half…poof, just like that, a free greeting card!

I was a little more inspired this past week thanks to some freebie cards I picked up in the Craft Lab located within the gallery of Craft Spoken Here, up through August in the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I needed to make a card for my dad’s belated Father’s Day gift. I had an “A Ha!” moment when I figured out that all of his names that we call him have three letters. I folded an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of card stock in half, and wrote out Joe, Dad, and Avô (means grandfather in Portuguese) on top of each other. I drew dots along the letters, used a sewing needle to poke holes on the dots, and erased my pencil lines.

Next, I used some sort of backstitch to sew the letters. I had been wanting to get back into hand embroidery, so I had a couple colors of cotton embroidery floss sitting around and needles with big enough eyes. I wouldn’t even call myself an amateur embroiderer, so I cannot give you stitch instructions. If you are you slightly familiar with a needle and thread, I’m quite sure you can figure it out.

The results, front and back:

After I was done, I covered up the back with card stock using double-stick tape. Not too shabby?! Although, I really should have been folding laundry instead of doing this. Oh well, I think this fed my creative spirit more so than laundry. Dad, hope you liked it!

Stephanie

City Pretty: Spring Gardens

So, not much is very pretty in a city at the hottest part of the day during  a  heat advisory (100+ degrees). I should have taken a photo of one of Philadelphia’s awesome fountains, but that would have required time I didn’t have and extra walking in heat. Sorry, Charlie, maybe next time it gets above 95 degrees…this may be the first hot spell of the season, but it’s certainly not our last!

We lived near The Spring Gardens (18th and Wallace Streets, Philadelphia) for a bit, so I knew this community garden might have some nice nature stuff going on. I couldn’t quite get a good angle from outside the fence with my bus arriving at any minute. You might be able to see grapevines and bamboo shoots behind the daylily. My favorite thing about this garden is the custom-welded fence, it’s pretty gorgeous and sets the tone for what you might find inside.

See these storm clouds, folks? That’s what I call relief! Those storms brought in slightly cooler weather, yay!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We are off on vacation today. We will be slightly more unplugged than usual, but you’ll still be hearing from us sporadically on both rowHOME and southfeasterdelphia.

Stephanie