Archives For travel

It’s probably no secret I love to travel, and at the risk of sounding like a crazy person, I need to travel. Though that’s neither here nor there. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, my traveling collection. It started 7 years ago when I bought two pencil sketches in London and Paris. One pencil print is a just one pencil print, but TWO pencil prints is a collection. Or at least, I decided it was so.

A couple of years later I got a pen drawing in New Orleans. Pens are adjacent to pencils so I let is slide into the collection. A few years after that I went to Switzerland for a month and thus began my somewhat desperate search for a pencil/pen drawing of some element of Switzerland. No dice. Though I did find a black and white fabric calendar. It’s great, I loved it instantly. The parameters of my collection opened up even more to allow in a black and white fabric calendar. (This weird tale is almost over, bear with me.) A few months ago I went to 5 countries in 11 days and only managed to find two black and white things for my collection. A watercolor of Amsterdam and a black and white decorative plate in Cologne. For weeks after I got home these sat on my bar cart, abandoned.

One day I finally got it together and framed the Amsterdam print. I also bought a plate hanger for the wall. Now, where to hang them? This is when I remembered I have no wall space left. I’m fresh out.

I also realized my little collection which has been spread out (London, Paris, and New Orleans in the bathroom, Switzerland in the bedroom, Amsterdam and Cologne with no home), now deserves it’s own space. I decided the black and white of the collection would look great on the bright blue walls of my bedroom.

This is a really drawn out of way of me saying, my bedroom wall once looked like this:


Now looks like this:



I think it looks awesome, and the best part is there is room to grow. I’m thinking Iceland next…

In other news, I’m very excited to say my house was featured in Apartment Therapy! I know, I was really surprised too! You can check out the post here.

Nesting Dolls Art

December 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

When I was in high school my Dad went to the Ukraine and brought me back two sets of nesting dolls. I still love them to this day. Maybe you’ve noticed them?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art So cute right? I managed to keep them alive and well for like 12 years and then came Bob. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, I mean in the two years that I’ve had Bob he’s eaten $300 eye glasses, caused $500 worth of damage to my laptop, and then there there is the priceless damage to my sanity. My nesting dolls probably didn’t cost much but I really like them, so when I came home the three mini ones chewed up on the floor I was upset.

Have I mentioned Bob sucks? That dog is going to be the end of me.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art But dang it if he isn’t super cute.

Anyway, the three mini-dolls were on my campaign dresser in that spot for like six months and then one day, just one day, he decides to eat them. Trust me, he got an earful (but no physical damage, I swear).

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art *tear*


Moving on…

So I decided to make destruction into art because sometimes art is the only answer.

My original idea was to create a sort of mosaic with all the broken pieces, but like most art projects I changed my mind midway through.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art I bought a shadow box picture frame on sale at Michael’s for $5.99. The background was black so I covered it in a scrap piece of white fabric I had. My plan was to then glue all the pieces of the broken nesting dolls onto the fabric but then I noticed that amid the destruction, four nesting dolls had survived (mostly) unscathed. Then I found a second unexpected thing.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Inside of each of each nesting doll there was a tiny piece of paper, two of which survived the Bob mauling. I’m completely aware that these are the tags that come with some products that say “made in China” or “inspected by Veronica”, but come on, they have a cool design! they are in a foreign language! written in pretty script! And let’s be honest, they had me at tiny paper.

And then I called it a day. I kept all the little pieces and maybe some day I will do my original idea, but I like that I was able to save and display some of the original dolls. Bonus: Bob cannot get to them!

So where did I hang it up?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art The bathroom, naturally.




Guys Ladies People, I love buying souvenirs. I know it’s lame and expensive, but I just can’t help myself. I love to travel and buying little things helps me remember all my fun trips. This past summer some friends and I went to Seattle to visit a friend of ours and it was such a great trip! Seattle is a very cool city. I’ve always wanted to visit the city and it finally happened. We also got lucky because the weather was super beautiful. We did some shopping but I never found anything that I liked enough to buy. Until I got to this bar and I saw their coasters. I know, weird. But they were those throwaway cardboard kind so I took two home with me. I didn’t really have a plan for them so they sat in a pile of random crap for the past five months. Then I unofficially decided to start updating my gallery walls and I put two and two together.

P1120623 P1120627 P1120629

All I did was tape two coasters to a piece of card stock so nothing super creative, but I actually really like it. This is exactly what I am looking to do with my gallery walls, update from the filler stuff (formally this frame housed a free printable I downloaded online and printed on crappy printer paper) and move toward gallery walls that reflect where I am in my life right now.

It’s the best when projects turn out great and it’s the extra best when said project is free!

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

I’m not athletic, by which I mean I am not in shape, by which I mean, well, you get it. My month in Switzerland was amazing (minus one incident involving the word ‘sever’) but there is one thing about Switzerland that I sort of forgot to prepare for. It’s not a flat place, like anywhere. I was literally staying on the side of a mountain. So instead of going ‘over there’ it was always ‘up there’ or ‘down there’. Since I was born and raised in Indiana my body has been calibrated from birth to be at sea level which made trekking up and down the mountain all day seriously hard work. So I invented the ‘Scenic View Break’. It’s basically, exactly what is sounds like. I stopped and enjoyed the view while I huffed and puffed. It is also served the purpose of giving me a moment to physic myself up for the rest of my climb.

All that to say is that sometimes in life (cue the Full House moral-moment music) it feels like an uphill climb and there are just days when you need to take a ‘Scenic View Break.’ That day is today for me. Maybe, like me, you can’t take a literal ‘Scenic View Break’ but you can look at a few of my pictures from Switzerland and lose yourself for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Huemoz, Switzerland
Gruyères, Switzerland
Gruyères, Switzerland
Huemoz, Switzerland
Villars, Switzerland
La Barboleuse, Switzerland
Huemoz, Switzerland
Montreux, Switzerland
Huemoz, Switzerland
Montreux, Switzerland

See Scenic View Breaks totally work, right?

A Gift From Japan

September 18, 2013 — 1 Comment

Side note: The home tour went amazingly well! I’ll be back on Friday with a post all about it!

A got a gift from Japan, actually I got several, but today I’m only talking about one, and it’s awesome!

I had two students stay with me from Japan a few weeks ago and they were great. Sweet, kind, and came bearing gifts!

Can you spy what is new below?

I’ll get a little closer…
I got a fan! Were you as obsessed with these when you were a kid? I always had one that I played with (which is retrospect is sort of strange… what did I do with it?). Anyway, I was really excited when my friend got me this one, mostly because I love the print on it.

It’s little fish. Adorable! I really really like this print, too bad I can’t go buy more of the fabric!

Scratch Map: Updated

September 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

I got a scratch map last Christmas and I still love it. It is such a fun way to document the places in the world I have gone.

When I first got the map I tried to only scratch the states I have been to, but it just looks sort of silly since there is no state outlines on the map. Since I needed to add Switzerland and Italy, it was the perfect time to fill in the entire United States (I’ve been to over half of the states so I think that counts) and Canada.

Side tip: You know all those annoying little tabs on the back of cheap picture frames? Those things that kill your finger pads when you try to lift them? Yeah, those. I use a butter knife to lift those up to save my fingers. It will change your life!

Much better! My map has a little more color! Eleven countries down… uh, a lot more to go.

If you are wondering why there isn’t a pulled out ‘after’ shot of this area it’s because my room is a hot mess and nobody needs to see that. 

A Swiss Souvenir

August 8, 2013 — 1 Comment
I’ve discussed my love of souvenir collecting several times (here and here), but it bears repeating that I love buying things when I’m traveling to bring home and display. My gallery walls are like storyboards of my life so adding things from my travels only makes sense. It all started with my ink and pencil drawing collection but I expanded to other items like a painted feather from Mexico when the right drawing didn’t find me. While in Switzerland I couldn’t find a drawing I liked but I did find something equally cool.

I’m assuming what I got is considered very touristy in Switzerland but since I live in Indiana and I know very few people who’ve ever been to Switzerland I don’t think too many people will judge me. I decided to place it on the big blank blue wall in my bedroom which is currently awaiting further direction. Until I decide what I want this wall to function as, a little 3M hook makes my new piece temporary eye candy.

Have you ever seen a fabric calendar before? It felt nostalgic to get this piece for several reasons. One, it is a good reminder of my trip (the chalet I stayed in is very similar to the one depicted) and two, my Grandma used to have fabric calendars and she even made me a quilt of them once (which is now in storage because it is threadbare). I especially like all the iconic imagery in black and white, it’s graphic while still being sweet and vintage looking. Also, as soon as I saw it I knew it would look insane against my blue wall. Switzerland is surprisingly expensive, but I’m really glad I decided to grab this piece.

(If you are annoyed with how blurry these pictures are you may direct your complaints to my cast, which makes taking pictures a nearly futile adventure.)

Like most people I love to travel and I also love cool stuff, which equals up to me being a hoarder. I’ve written about my travel souvenirs here and here, but this post is specifically about Christmas themed souvenirs. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations! You don’t have a retail problem! If you do, then like me you will shop for Christmas crap year round.

I like to buy stuff when I’m visiting a new city. Usually I try to find something that is a nod to the place I’m visiting without being obvious and that I will either use or will fit in with home’s style. A pretty perfect example is this hook I bought in New Orleans.
Fleur de lis are everywhere in New Orleans so this hook is great symbol of the city and it is functional (Bob’s leash hangs on it). Plus, it reminds me of my time in the city without actually saying ‘New Orleans’ all over it.
But sometimes you go to a new place and you can’t find anything you like or everything is overpriced or ugly… that is when I hit the Christmas section. (Of course, normal people would just leave without buying something.) Yes, every gift shop or tourist location has a Christmas section. If you’ve never seen a Grand Canyon Christmas ornament/snow globe/stocking than you’ve never been to a Grand Canyon tourist shop.
I love Christmas because it is the one time a year where I just fully embrace kitsch in my life. No other time of the year do I have so much little crap sitting out, but at Christmas it’s fun to just go with it. So Christmas + Tourist Souvenirs = Kitsch Fest 3000. Do you need an ornament of the Washington Monument? Absolutely not, but if you go the Washington Monument than an ornament is a better souvenir than a crappy little statue you’ll never put out. At least at Christmas you can have out little weird things and no one will question it.
So far I’ve only gotten one Christmas souvenir, but I’m sure over time, I’ll acquire more.
This is an advent calendar that my Dad bought for me on a trip to Mt Vernon. We had talked about going there ever since I had moved to DC and we managed to go the last month before I moved back. It was a fun trip (we also went to Monticello) and when we saw this advent calendar we both loved it. He bought it for me as a sort of heirloom because it is a really large and well made piece. I don’t really use it yet because I’m way to lazy to add things to it for just myself, but someday I’ll use it. It is pretty country and it’s not something I would normally have in my house but at Christmas anything goes and the bonus is that it reminds me of a fun trip I took with my Dad.
Are you souvenir hoarder like me? Please say yes.

Inside Taliesin West

October 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

A few weeks ago I showed you pictures from my trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Arizona. In that post I promised pictures of the interior in a later post, but then I forgot. Well, better late than never! These pictures are all poached (but they are properly sourced of course) because no interior pictures were allowed.



This is the main living area. It is quite large because he lived there with his family, his architecture students, and frequent guests. The seating and the outer walls are all very low to the ground. Frank Lloyd Wright was only 5’6″ so he designed all his furniture and doorways to be the right size for him because he felt like his height was the perfect height (as a person that is also 5’6″ I felt perfectly comfortable there!). You can see in the last picture how low the ceilings are, imagine if that man in black on the far left actually stood up… there were a lot average height men feeling pretty good about themselves there!


Frank Lloyd Wright was the originator of the open floor plan. He liked to have big parties where everyone could be in the same room all doing the same thing or off in little groupings.


These pendant groupings were everywhere and I loved them! Such a cool look and I don’t think it would be too terribly hard to pull off in your own home.


It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the “ceiling” is actually just canvas pulled over beams. It is a very tent like atmosphere. He built gutters inside so that rain water wouldn’t ruin the carpet. Two things I loved in this room were the animal skins everywhere (animal skins may be the theme of my blog this week) and these round rattan stools (it’s like where’s Waldo, but you can find them above if you look hard enough).



I love the stone walls with wooden beams and shelves.


This is his office. I love the table with the plant in the middle, he had several of these throughout the house.

Overall this house is kind of a hot mess, but a very cool well designed hot mess. Because he was using his own money and not being paid for his time he used what was available to him and added on when he could… the overall look is pretty hodge podge, but his design aesthetic still comes through pretty clearly. It is definitely and ode to the organic Arizona landscape. What I love about this home is that he lived there and so it more truly reflects on him as a person than his commissioned homes. Most designers design a specific way for clients but in their own homes they are more likely to do things they wouldn’t do for a client. I really enjoyed this tour and if you are in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area I totally recommend it and don’t worry I didn’t ruin the tour showing you all these pictures. There is way more that I didn’t show and plus everything always looks different in person.