Separated at Birth


Haven’t done one of these for ages, but I saw a picture of the amazingly fabulous Grace Coddington at New York Fashion Week yesterday and it suddenly struck me who she reminds me of.

Casting directors start sharpening your pencils.


Elizabeth I of England Grace Coddington
Grace Coddington dressed up for the shows                                   Elizabeth I of England dresses down


I Heart You Lots


No time for blogging today, but I couldn’t let the opportunity go past without telling you how much I love you all and appreciate your comments and emails.  Big slurpy smooches to you all.

Make sure you tell someone you love them today. Even if it’s only your mother.




I’m leaving you with a picture of the sugar cookies I made and iced a few years ago. Nothing so ambitious is happening today.


Cute Pet Tags – Blanket ID




Unlike fancy pants litter boxes, here is a cat accessory we can all get behind.

Cate is a long time commenter on this blog and runs a Blanket ID which provides super smart  ID tags for dogs and cats. 

Her idea is as nifty as it is simple. Each tag comes with a unique code number which you use to register your pets details online. If anyone finds your pet, they simply go to, put in the code number and lo and behold, they can find all your pet’s contact details and any other useful information such as special diet or allergies and vet contact details. 


fss ff


It’s better than microchipping (though our cats came chipped from the shelter) as the tags can easily be read by members of the public, and the online data storage allows you to store a lot more information than would fit on a normal collar tag.   It’s also easier to keep information such as phone numbers and email addresses up to date rather than having to have collar tags re-engraved.

As final bonus, if your pet does go missing, the online service means you can quickly print off ‘Lost’ posters, and BlanketID automatically contacts vets and shelters in your area. Your first year’s registration on the site is included in the price of your tag. Thereafter BlanketID charges a small annual subscription that includes a donation to their own pet charity.

Aside from all this goodness, the tags are also beautifully designed, and come in a bunch of colours and styles.

The Minx of course chose the girliest ones she could find for Flora and Harriet, which proved to be a bit of a mistake as we have recently found out that Flora is in fact Prince Florian, though we will still be calling him Flora for short (yep, you’re probably as confused as I am, and he is, by this).

Here’s Harriet modelling her tag.






I think Flora, on the other hand, may be rather embarrassed by his, as this was the only unblurry picture I was able to get.



Full Disclosure : Cate sent me a couple of tags to try for free. Don’t tell her but she didn’t need to do that as I think it’s a fabulous idea and would have bought some anyway. Thanks Cate!


Goldilocks and the Sky Blue Ceiling


Welll, that was trickier than I thought it would be.

Last Friday the walls of the Minx’s room were painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Vanilla and from the picture rail upwards in BM’s Morning Sky Blue. However, when it was done, the ceiling read much lighter than the tops of the walls and looked more like a greyish white than a true blue. 

So then we painted just the ceiling and not walls in the next darkest colour- Benjamin Moore’s Tear Drop Blue. And this time the ceiling was very obviously a darker blue than the tops of the walls.

So finally we mixed Morning Sky Blue and Tear Drop Blue in about equal percentages and again painted just the ceiling. And this time it was just right. 



It’s interesting how the angle of the light changes everything. 

Here’s a reminder of what the room looked like before. That purple (chosen by the previous owners) could look very dark and forbidding on a gloomy Seattle day, such as we have very occasionally in the winter months (hahahahahahahahaha).



There’ll be more updates from the Minx’s room as we piece it all back together and assemble her super duper big girl loft bed.


Sky Blue Ceilings


It’s funny the way the mind works.

Finally, only four years after I wrote this blog post discussing possible paint colours we’ve got a painter in to do the Minx’s room.  The comments from you all on that post were REALLY helpful and led me to think of sky blue as a colour for the walls.

Recently though I changed my mind and have asked the painter to paint the ceiling and top part of the wall sky blue with the rest of the walls in a creamy vanilla white. The painter will be finishing that off today and I can’t wait to see how it looks. Lots of before and after shots next week.




Today I wanted to share with you a beautiful restoration of an 1890s Greek house that I first came across last October and which seemed perfect to brighten up a dull February day.  I looked at the pictures I’d saved, and lo and behold the house is full of sky blue ceilings!  I swear I wasn’t thinking of this when I talked to the painter – I was thinking more of the blue ceilings you see in some porches – but I suspect my brain had just filed it away for future reference. Even more excited to see what the room will turn out like now.

In the meantime enjoy all the summery pretty on the Greek island of Nisyros courtesy of architect and designer George Koukourakis.








_residence-in-Nisyros-by--George-Koukourakis-photo-Vangelis-Paterakis-yatzer-3 _residence-in-Nisyros-by--George-Koukourakis-photo-Vangelis-Paterakis-yatzer-7

 {Photos by Vangelis Paterakis, via}


When Acrylic Looks Good


A lot of knitters can get very snobbish about acrylic yarns, and having been knitting since the days when most yarn had a high acrylic content, I’m not exactly a fan of the squeakiness and dayglo colours.

Valerie Anne Molnar, however, makes fabulous use of acrylic yarn and acrylic paints to create stunning knitted art installations.  Certainly one way of using up your yarn stash.





Capture fdfd


I love the clever colour transitions and the randomness of the knitting – what fun to just go where the spirit takes you instead of following a pattern.

I also love the the work on the right is entitled ‘Smoked Ham Risotto, Pea and Mint Salad with Shaved Black Truffles’.  Of course.

{via Design for Mankind}


Things I Am Loving – ModKat Litterbox


So I’m a bit embarrassed about this one.

I haven’t had pets since Bubbles the goldfish committed spectacular suicide by throwing himself out of his bowl when I was a kid, so I’ve launched myself into the world of pet accoutrements with some trepidation.




When you acquire cats, the very next thing you need to buy is a litter box, and if you’ve been in the market for litterboxes recently, you’ll know that, although they come in all shapes and sizes, they have one thing in common.  They’re all remarkably, hideously ugly.

With one exception that I’ve been able to find.




The Modkat litter box is the iPhone of litterboxes – a cool piece of thoughtful modern design, and available in an array of contemporary colours to match your decor or your cat.

The cat climbs inside the box to do its business and then has to walk on the litter catching tray on top to get out, so excess litter is caught and it reduces tracking and mess to a minimum.  It comes with a sturdy reusable tarpaulin liner and an integral scoop that clips to the side.




I’m a firm believer in making sure that things that will be on display in the house are as nice to look at as possible (especially for something like this which we will hopefully have for the next fifteen-twenty years), so of course I bought one.  Even though it costs $180.  Yep, $180 just to buy a litterbox that is well-designed and doesn’t look like sh*t as well as smell like it. 

Fortunately we love it. It’s big and sturdy, looks great, is super easy to clean and does a great job of reducing litter mess to an absolute minimum. Which is a good job as I think we’re going to have to get two – Harriet refuses to do her business anywhere near where Flora has been.


IMG_7487 IMG_7488


But why does good design have to be so freaking expensive?  Am I crazy or would you buy this litter box too? 

If you’re tempted, you can buy the litterboxes at or with free shipping at Nest Living.