i obsess

March 27, 2008

Obsessions ablaze

Filed under: Kitchen, Lighting — Andrea @ 3:39 pm

This is going to get interesting now. Seriously. I swear.

Having recently drained all of our savings and put down a big, fat deposit on a brand new house (our first!), my thoughts have turned to all things design and decor. Paint chips? I think about them so much that I’ve actually started dreaming about them. Sifting through porcelain tile samples? Yep, pretty much how I spend every weekend now. Pendant light? I just can’t get enough.

Our kitchen is kind of a U-shaped configuration, and I intend to have two or three pendant lights over one of the counter “arms.” Here are my current top contenders:

Source: Lamps Plus

Source: Lamps Plus

And my most favourite, but sadly most expensive, pick:


Source: Lamps Plus

Most people’s eyes glaze over before the words “pendant lights” have even left my lips, not me though. I am on my way to becoming an authority on the topic. For this week at least. I expect that by next week I will have moved onto something else, something equally exciting. Sinks for the powder room, perhaps?!


January 2, 2008

Festive obsessions

Filed under: Kitchen — Andrea @ 4:40 am

Now that the holiday season is officially coming to a close, I’ve had some time to experiment with many of my fabulous gifts.  The two that will probably get the most use are now nestled comfrotably in the drawers and cupboards of my kitchen.  Surely all the other kitchen implements are jealous at the amount of use these two new items have (and will continue to) received. 

First, I give you, what The Guy likes to call, “The stocking stuffer that was too expensive to actually be a stocking stuffer and therefore became a non-stocking stuffer gift.” An unwieldy name for a much-wielded object, my shiny new Wusthof Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife:

Seriously, I am in love with this knife. It can cut the ripest of tomatoes into paper-thin slices. It’s makes dicing onions fun, despite the tears streaming down my cheeks. Everytime I try it on a new food item I call The Guy into the kitchen and exclaim, “Have you tried it yet on bell peppers/garlic/shallots/the ripest of ripe tomatoes yet? It’s incredible!” Yes, I am in love with a knife. Really, no one’s surprised.

And item number two, able to grill the perfect piece of fish, grill marks and all, or create the panini…with the added feature of me not having to trudge out into the subartic Canadian climate and thigh-deep (okay, fine, ankle deep. Did hyperbole every really hurt anyone?) snow: my Calphalon grill pan/panini press/object of heavenly desire.


I must say that I find utlitarian gifts like these to be so much more satisfying than bath beads or gift cards or other impersonal but well-meant presents. I love that I will use them every single day and while they will eventually stop being shiny and new, and the novelty will wear off, they’ll truly become a part of my everyday routine and thereby a solid part of my life. Definitely more than just “things,” especially for a foodie.

November 12, 2007

I no longer obsess about this one

Filed under: fashion — Andrea @ 9:12 pm

As a girl who’s relatively, let’s say, “chesty,” but otherwise not huge, shopping can sometimes present some serious hurdles.

Exhibit A: Bras. Never fun, as bra designers seem to be unable to grasp the concept that if you’re a D+ you are not necessarily fat. Usually I get sent to the “full-figured” bras, whose bands start at 38” (these are often lovely in their styling: straps over an inch wide, about four hook and eye closures in the back, available in varying shades of Old Lady, Nun and Ugly) . So in order to get one that’s 34” or less, I have to go to a specialty store and pay more money for what is actually less fabric than the “full-figured” options.

Exhibit B: Dresses. Finding a dress that fits in the bust and isn’t massively large everywhere else? A mighty difficult task. My seamstress is my best friend.

Exhibit C: Button-down blouses. Not unlike dresses, to find a button-down that doesn’t gape/bunch/buckle at the chest or, conversely, drown the rest of my body while fitting the girls is a tall task.

Thus, you can imagine my total and utter delight when I first heard about Rebecca and Drew, an American company that created a sizing system for blouses and shirt dresses based on women’s bra sizes and height. Your size in their button-downs in the same as your bra size, and then you just choose regular (if you’re under 5’6”) or tall (if you’re over 5’6”) length. In theory, at least…


I’ve kept my eye on this line for quite awhile, but have been deterred by their fairly high prices. But, on a day back in late September, I was lucky enough to stumble across a blue, pin tucked, bib-front button-down (no photo available anymore) during a one day sale at Neiman Marcus. It was marked down from $195.00 to $54.00. Only one problem: they didn’t have it left in my cup size with a 34” circumference, only in a 36”. So I went for it, and figured that if nothing else it would give me some extra room. I got the long length, as I’m 5’10”. Then I sat back and anxiously stepped into my vestibule every day after work hoping to find it resting on my doormat.

Finally it arrived. I tried it on and noticed it was a little snug through the chest. ‘No worries,’ I thought. I figured that since I was wearing a molded cup bra at the time, I would just be sure to wear it with a soft cup bra. I thought it seemed a little short, but I didn’t really give it a second thought.

Cut to this morning: after spending quite awhile ironing the damn annoying fabric last night, I was excited to wear the blouse to the office this morning. Made sure I was wearing aforementioned soft cup bra, buttoned up shirt, was displeased with image in mirror, but decided I was being too picky.

It is now 3:56 p.m. and after a whole day wearing the shirt, I have come to the conclusion that I hate it for the following reasons:

(1) I’m concerned that if I take too deep a breath I will cause a button to fly off. Seriously. I kid you not. Keep in mind, I bought this size thinking it would be big. It definitely isn’t.

(2) From the back, it’s tight enough that you can see the outline of my bra. Thoroughly unattractive.

(3) Remember how I bought the long length because I’m tall? Yeah, well, to be honest, this shirt is shorter than every other button-down I own, all of which I bought in normal lengths. I couldn’t tuck this shirt in if I wanted to, it would come untucked as soon as I sat down or raised my arm.

(4) Flying buttons (due to deep breathing) are serious health hazards. Some one could lose an eye. And that’s never funny.

Lessons learned:

  • Always keep your original shipping package and packing slip.
  • My seamstress is still my best friend
  • Buy these cheaper shirts from Banana Republic instead (note how it says “roomier through the bust”)

November 3, 2007

He Got Served.

Filed under: Design, Print — Tags: , , — jennasuz @ 6:22 pm

Oh Illustrator, how I wish you wouldn’t intimidate me so.

But I’ve been watching a few of those recent LayerTennis matches, and these only serve to confirm my suspicions that you are like the delicious cookie at the bottom of the jar that I want so badly but just can’t seem to reach.

This is my new favorite spectator sport, since I can’t watch American Gladiators anymore.

August 28, 2007

letterpress lust

Filed under: etsy finds, paper — Andrea @ 1:45 pm

Something about the simplicity and the tactile nature of letterpress tempts me endlessly. Technology that is hundreds, even thousands, of years old, made new again by clean, modern design.

etsy vendor blackbirdletterpress


The Letter Press of Cirencester


Dauphine Press


etsy vendor starparticle

fonts and veer.com

Filed under: Design, home office — jennasuz @ 1:30 am

I was taking this lovely tour about the history of Helvetica (thanks, (OvO) )and the impact the font has had in the twentieth century, when I saw a photo of this notebook, which I have to have:

helvetica notebook

By the way, just so we’re clear here, I’m of the “i love you” camp when it comes to Helvetica.

So this picture brought me to this site, Veer.com, which brought me to Type City, and then I sat mesmerized for at least five minutes watching a city made entirely of beautiful fonts unfold before my eyes… and hardly anything keeps my attention for that long, people.

But then I found a bracelet, which I have to have, filled with Lorem Ipsum. Just look at this cuff. Do you know what it means?

lorem ipsum cuff

I spent hours wandering around this website, marveling at the photos, the typefaces, the many fun things to see. And then I found a way to take Type City home with me!


Type City prints

Each 5″x7″ print is letterpressed on archival, acid-free paper, and they are gorgeous. Imagine these matted and framed and hung in a grouping on a wall in an office or even in a living room…

There’s just something special about typeface, isn’t there?

August 24, 2007

Orange is a good thing. Birds make it better.

Filed under: etsy finds — jennasuz @ 11:35 pm

Orange Bird

orange bird from etsy seller, sugarloop




Chickadee Torso in the Garden


 chickadee torso in the garden, necklace from etsy seller Green Leaf and Owl





birdie print

 framed birdie print, from etsy seller joom





little birdie no 38

 little birdie no 38, from etsy seller cornflake girl





sparrows fabric

 Aviary from Joel Dewberry in Yellow Light Sparrows, fabric from etsy shop plumtickledfabrics


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