Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring in progress

I always get excited when I see our peonies start to sprout from the ground, where they've been hibernating all winter totally incognito under the mulch. (Yes, we took all three of our prized peonies with us when we moved to the new house :). The once deep burgundy shoots are now in the midst of transforming into giant green stems that will soon boast lush, delicious-smelling blooms.

We also have a soft spot for pear trees (this is a Capital Pear and is ornamental, so no actual fruit). It too is on the verge of sprouting cheerful white blossoms which come before the tree starts producing its leaves.

And of course, we can't wait to see our masses of hydrangeas in full show again - they bloom with reckless abandon which is quite pleasing. It's a relatively new variation of the popular Annabelle hydrangea, called Incrediball. The name speaks to the sturdy stems (no droopy blooms, hooray!) and giant, bountiful mopheads it produces. This paired with the fact that the mopheads bloom green to white had us at hello. The perfect Modern Cottage hydrangea!

We were looking forward to capturing our floral friends on a lovely, sunny, spring day, but it's been soggy and overcast for days now - boo. But we are hopeful the sun will be out again soon, and maybe then we'll do a progress report :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Monday!

I was browsing through some old photos the other night and came across this one of Scout when he was a tiny puppy and we had just brought him home (it was nearly nine years ago!). He always slept like this when he was a little guy - legs straight out behind him. So sweet I almost can't handle it :) Hope it makes you smile this Monday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is here...

They were singing like crazy on Saturday when it was gorgeous and sunny! Today, not so much... hopefully more sunny days are lining up for us!

Until then, this cheerful silkscreen print by Anthony Burrill might do the trick. We find the clean graphics in graduated shades of green quite appealing.

Welcome spring!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Serve it up St Paddy's Day style...

Stripey straws, drool-worthy doggie treats, festive mid-century mugs, a smart pedestal server, fresh guest soaps, and adorable cupcake toppers. Have a wonderful day and don't forget your green! (Remember what a big deal that was when we were little? :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hose love

My heart pitter-pattered over a hose in the April issue of Martha Stewart Living. Yes, you read right. A hose. As in garden hose. The color is called Sunken Pool and was created especially for Martha Stewart's April issue (a collaboration between the magazine's garden editors and the hose manufacturer, Water Right Inc.). And get this: the fittings have even been plated in chrome! Ah, thing of beauty... Safe for humans and pets to drink from and no unsightly brass. How will the team at MSL win us over next? The hoses will be available on the Water Right website through the month of April and come in 25', 50', 75', and 100' lengths.

Oh, and check this out - the perfect galvanized steel hose rack for your new designer-colored garden hose (you can see it in action here).

Now you're all set for spring! (Whenever it may arrive.....)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is that you, Urban?

If you've ever been to an Urban Outfitters store, you may have noticed their colorful home section, with all kinds of...well, interesting items. Suffice it to say, many of these products are aimed at a decidely younger market - they even call the category on their website "apartment". So imagine my surprise (and total delight!) when I browsed through their online furniture section and found the most wonderful pieces for quite affordable prices. It all started from my half-hearted flip through their latest catalog while I simultaneously watched a DVR'd Chuck the other night (don't make fun...I like it, ok?). A chair caught my eye. And then a metal shelving unit. Next thing I knew, I was purusing their entire furniture category and just look at all these fabulous pieces! Definitely a great resource for some mod seating options as well as industrial-style accent pieces. UO, I am impressed!
Cool, metal shelving unit - so versatile.
I really, really love this chair. I think it's the cool shape + orange + stripes that got me.
Decorative letters have become quite commonplace, but this one is truly unique (and only $10!).
Great simple lines on this nubby upholstured bench ... with storage! Love.
Love love love.
I'm not sure about the whole pouf thing, but as far as poufs go, I do like the raw, uber-textural nature of this one.

You can view these items and more here. Have fun!

Monday, March 7, 2011

All settled in

Our recent excursion to the antique gallery resulted in two blissful finds... One is this old wire in/out box which is both functional and delightful. I swooned over a similar one at another vintage shop over a year ago, but it had a dreaded "sold" tag on it. Doesn't it look charming and purposeful managing our paper clutter?

We also couldn't resist this cool metal sign (we both have an affinity for the #12, so fitting) which we've hung as-is in our dining space. I think it looks great now, which means it will look especially phenomenal when we've completed our total Modern Cottage interior redesign! This piece would also look fabulous matted and framed, though we really love it in it's raw form. Fun fact: the surface is very reflective so at night when only a couple of lights are on, it literally glows. So cool!

Our editing process boils down to a couple of simple questions: Is it something that we have an immediate, specific use for (functional)? Or is it something that is so unique/one-of-a-kind/perfectly Modern Cottage that if we left it behind we'd keep thinking about in the days and weeks to come (at which point it would probably get snapped up as things move quickly at this gallery)? Each of these finds passed our editing test...and have made themselves right at home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A thing of beauty

Behold the Breville countertop convection oven. Or, as we more simply refer to it, a star of a toaster oven. Our old Krups model purchased from Crate & Barrel nearly ten years ago had finally reached its demise. That's not to say it stopped working, rather it just smelled horrific when turned on in its final days... even after a thorough cleaning. And the door was constantly falling open willy nilly onto the countertop. After many, many resuscitations, we decided: It. was. time. to. go. So, we retired it to the back porch (temporarily) where it has been enjoying some fresh air and the occasional rain. We thought we could get by for a while without it... at times using a George Forman for toasted sandwiches and such (which essentially became paninis). We even pondered getting a cheapo toaster to get us by until we decided what model to replace the Krups with. However, as luck would have it, we happened by a Williams Sonoma the other day whilst out running an errand. That was it; it was love at first sight. I had heard and read wonderful things about the oven, and when we saw it in person, we were enamoured... a reaction almost akin to that feeling of love when you look at a piece of equipment or machinery that is truly beautiful... like your first bike... or your first car. I know it probably seems I am exaggerating, but this oven is quite magnificent.
So far, it has expediently and confidently whipped up perfectly crisped toast and  reheated pizza, but I know it will soon take on many more responsibilities (toasted sandwiches and grinders, I've missed you!). Plus, since it truly is a stand alone oven (and can accomodate a 13" pizza pan - which by the way comes with it) it will be great around holiday time for pies and side dishes and what not. And with it's commercial look, it plays perfectly with our existing suite of stainless appliances. Welcome, Breville oven, to our Modern Cottage!