Thursday, January 20, 2011

Greens from Austin

Happy Thursday, friends! It's almost time for the weekend. Today we got some ice and snow, and the temperature outside is the kind of cold that sinks down into your bones. But the sun is shining, and there is something beautiful about the dry, crisp snap of the air.
We had a lazy, long weekend in Austin. I spent a lot of it in my pajamas, and we got a laugh out of trying to find sushi restaurants in town that wouldn't be offended if we walked in wearing yoga pants. I will post a few pictures from our trip over the next couple weeks, for now I want to show you a few little greens that I brought home from our trip.

It stays a lot warmer there year round than it does in Oklahoma, and every time we visit I ooh and ahh over the palms, tropical flowers, succulents, and desert plants that thrive there all year long. The last day we were there, Monica had already gone to work and Michael was sleeping in. So I got up early, stopped for some tea, and explored a local nursery in town.
Last Spring my Mom shared with me that it has been her dream for awhile to have a greenhouse, and set up a booth at our local Farmer's Market every year. Since then, my mind has been going wild with any plans I can come up with to make this come true.
Of course I have to be a part of this, since the smell of soil and watching a plant grow and thrive courses through my veins with a huge passion. Michael and I for years have joked about our plant business, and long ago picked a name based off of our last name for our imaginary greenhouse business. For now, I am going to play my hand at growing some small herbs, succulents, and perhaps some variations of potted flowers and plants. Over the last few days I've combined what I brought home from Austin with what I had around the house, and I've been watching every sunny corner, window, and table top in our home become transformed into the life and excitement that comes with the first few days of Spring.

I found a couple different types of Aloe, and these curious little things called Stone Plants. They don't grow any taller, but just spread and look like stones filling a pot. They feel like a fungus, and I thought for sure they were some type of mushroom until I looked into them more.

A few months ago I was staring at the side of my hideous refrigerator and wishing that it could be hidden. So I schemed a crazy idea to hang a curtain rod and drape off the entire kitchen area. I received some sideways looks until I actually put it together. And I must admit that I was I usually am when it comes to debates between my husband and I over decorating the house :) This drape was a bit of a struggle to bring home, Michael didn't not approve of the tie-top, especially since he had to stand on the ladder and tie every single one by hand. If you're interested, you can find it at Pottery Barn.
I will make more of a conscience effort to mention where I got these things, since I get so many questions. The green block print drapes in our dining room are from Urban Outfitters, I received quite a few inquiries about them over the last couple weeks. I stalked them for months, trying to think of anywhere to hang them. When they discontinued them, I thought it wasn't meant to be, until they brought them back in stock a few months ago.

This is my little succulent farm. A few are old friends, my oldest ones in the bunch I had in our tiny little apartment when we first got married 4 years ago. And there are some new little babies growing, hopefully ready to be potted and re-homed this Spring.
So far Olive has been stalking it, but she seems mostly uninterested. She loves to eat anything and everything I bring in the house, but succulents don't seem to interest her taste buds much at all.

One of my favorite stores is West Elm.
Their style is much more modern and simplistic than the way we decorate our home, but I love all their natural elements, linens, textures, and inspiration from the ocean. I was more than excited to find one within walking distance of Monica's place, and we spent some time there browsing around. I came home with this interesting hanging vase:

and an air plant. They're supposedly low maintenance, but still need to be watered twice a week. I actually do not consider that low maintenance at all. For now it is nameless and hanging in our dining room from the chandelier, but it's new home will be in my kitchen window, where it can get some bright, indirect light throughout the day. By the way, it's also high maintenance about the light it needs to receive. One more strike against the promise of it being low maintenance.

While we were there I also picked up a new duvet cover for our bedroom.

We've had a white duvet for a few years and I was ready for a change with some new patterns in the room. I am a huge fan of block print anything, and the ethnic flare that it gives textiles. Normally I can never find anything to match our room, since I like to keep the colors in there neutral. But this pattern is just a simple light and dark.

One of my absolute favorite textile designers is Catherine from Rikshaw Designs.

I found her work a couple years ago and find her so incredibly inspirational. Her work is absolutely beautiful, and gives you that bright, happy, feel-good feeling. I was so excited to find her blog a few weeks ago and finally put a voice behind her gorgeous prints. Textiles are a huge passion of mine and I get wildy excited over placemats, sheets, fabric, curtains, and anything pretty. I worked in a fabric store for 3 years when I was younger, and it seemed that every day I would come home with a cutting of something new and exciting.

And finally, Tuesday we had another ultrasound and found out that I am actually 30 weeks pregnant, instead of 29. That means one less week of being pregnant, one less week to get prepared, and an earlier due date. My new due date is April Fool's Day, and according to my Grandma, looking into the new moon that night will assure that I go into labor. So we will see. Our little bird weighs right about 3 pounds, and has the squishiest cheeks I have ever seen.

Have a wonderful night, friends.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

I love your new arrangement!, u will love it when that rock succulent flowers! I have 2 both flowered and one was a orangey-yellow and the other came out pink... Aren't succulents awesome?

Anonymous said...

I love textiles too! :) I'd love to design some one day. And I like the curtain idea in your kitchen :)

Kathleen said...

Hi Aura, thanks for the rikshaw link she is AMAZING! I'm redecorating Violet's room, and these prints are to die for. fabric lusting.. siggghhh

Aura said...

They bloom?! Even better!

Annie- Me too. I am going to try my hand in designing some fabric over the next few months. I have looked a bit into block printing, and would love to give it a shot. I have a client that recommended a company that will print your artwork onto fabric, as well. Of course I already forgot the name :)

Kathleen- You're welcome! I felt like I had connected with someone who was tapping into my textile brain-wave when I came across her website! I'm glad to share with other people who are just as inspired. I have been trying to decide what to get for months... I am thinking I might want to splurge and buy a quilt that will be our family quilt for picnics and such. As much as I want to buy for the baby room, I more so want to buy something that will stay in our family for years.

Kathleen said...

my mom gave me such a hard time for spending money on a really nice baby bedding. but I haven't regretted it at all. it's sentimental, a tangible memory and I often think back on those hot summer nights when I was pregnant staring at my computer screen trying to decide what fabric I wanted, or even the nights I would sneak into violet's room to see her cuddled with the that ever so "expensive" quilt I had made for her ( I wish I was a quilter but... it's just not my thing) .

so worth it :]

Kristina said...

I love that every time you post photos of your house, it looks completely different from the ones that came before! Ahh, it's so inspiring and has me itching more than ever to be done done done with military housing and get to start on our own forever home back in Oklahoma. So close, yet so far! :)

I'm glad you had a relaxing trip.. and as always - I can't wait to see photos!!!!

Candice @ ChiaSeedMe said...

Random fact - we have a little dog named Olive and a white duvet on our bed! Any tips on keeping the white duvet cover clean and wrinkle free? Ours always looks wrinkled with little bits of dust/lint on it. Otherwise I love it!

Beautiful photos as always:) And congrats on your 30 weeks!

LL said...

I love how all of the colors in your home come together in such harmony... Even your cat matches! So beautiful. Wishing all good things for you in your last weeks of pregnancy. xo

Nikole Taylor said...

Hi Aura,
I saw those air hanging vases in one of my mom's Home and Garden magazines and TOTALLY thought of you! I've been following your blog since summer and every now and then I see something that makes you pop into my head! Is that creepy? Hope not :)


Monique said...

I love your succulents and congrats on your 30 week mark! April and babyjoon will be here in no time!

Aura said...

Kathleen- Picking baby bedding has been a nightmare for me! I can't decide on ANYTHING! I finally decided last night to just make it, so I can mix and match a few fabrics that I like with white sheets. That way I can change out accessories and not have to commit.

Kristina- I was hoping no one would notice that I'm just THAT crazy and in nest mode that I completely redecorate my house once a week! I can't help it, I will just get down a vase to change out flowers and find a new place to put it. I used to dream about that before I had a house, I know you will love it, too.
I can't wait until you're in your forever home, as well! You will be so close, that we can scour flea markets and antique stores together.

Candice- I'd be rich if I did :) We have all white bedding and towels through our house, and my biggest heart ache is seeing hair and fuzz on them as soon as they're clean. I wish I had a solution! I just try to keep the animals off of as much as I can, and wash things often. I love white because you can bleach it, so I just can't switch!

Lady Lyles- I actually noticed all our animals matching our house about a year ago, and got a laugh out of it. I think it's similar to when you start to look like your pets, or your significant other.

Nikole- Not creepy at all :) Thanks for thinking of me, and my crazy nature obsession.

Lauren H. said...

LOVE the air plant. I noticed them in Better Homes and Gardens as well and was wondering where I could find some in Houston. Now I know. :)

Also, I'll be a first time aunt come April 1st. Sounds like a great day to have a baby. Congrats!

siniann said...

Can you Aura come and re-decorate our home? ;) I love all those succulents and textiles you got. I'm in trouble with our home, can't find solutions how to make it looks nicer.

You know, these succulents are easy to take care of but somehow i killed ours :( And the air plant, it's from Tillandsia family, I have excatly the same and it makes flowers too if take good care! I bought it from the rare plants expo, few years ago and now when we were back from Paris, it was all brown and dead. so, off I go to search new ones.. every plant dies in my hand and in this weird climate of south france ;)

Ramona said...

I love the hanging vase... have wanted one alike for quite some time but just haven't found the right one yet. Yours looks really great! We just don't seem to have cool stores like Pottery Barn or Anthropology here in Germany... oh well...

Gaby said...

Oh, your house looks so lovely. I especially love the succulents. And thanks for the link to a new (to me) textile designer. I'm always looking for new fabric to sew with! xx

Little Mockie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have loved Rikshaw's designs for a while now as well and just LOVE her textile design! I am loving the vases around your house...where do you find such interesting vases, especially the ones that tilt? I'm constantly on the lookout for fun ways to display all my indoor attempts at cultivating my green thumb. :)

Unknown said...

When I lived in Kenya, the aloe plants were taller than me.

I had those Pottery Barn Drapes when we were in the States and I love them. What a fantastic idea you had because even if you don't close the curtains, it gives such a fresh view into the kitchen without the fridge.

Too bad the other pics won't load - my internet is slow.

Miss Amy said...

Oooh, I'd love more photos of your draped off kitchen!! :)

Johanna said...

I love succulents and air plants. They're so unique and interesting. I just added an unidentified type of fern, a silver and furry little succulent (e. setosa) and a tiny peach colored air plant. I love getting new plants in the winter!

I'd love to make one of these:

Kathleen said...

making it is so much more sentimental. I still have sweaters my grandma and her sisters knit for me when I was little, AND violet wears them. my bedding was made by a good friend of my mother in law, it was extra special especially since she wasnt around (she died in 2007).but i have to say, picking out the fabric was no easy task for me.

are you going to have a bumper as well?

good luck in your fabric planning!

Jessica said...

YAY! So exciting! I love seeing your decorative flair! Wow 30 weeks! Not long now at all! The picture of you in the end is just beautiful. Take care of yourself and keep us all updated :D I know you can't wait for your precious girl to get here!
Love and Blessings!

Jodi said...

hi lovely,

all this green = spring and new life. perfect for the imminent arrival of your bub.

Re. designing your own fabric - check out Melissa's blog post here

The yoga nidra CD and a little something else will be off to you on Monday.

Take care,

Marfio said...

Hello Aura!

Thank you for this post - much needed inspiration since my man and I are decorating our first home together. Well, it's actually our third home together, but when you rent in the England, furniture is included so we haven't had much control over our decor until now.

I love succulents but I have some convincing to do to get my husband to love them too.

Thanks again for the post, M xx

Carly Anne said...

Love love love your "green" decor. Seeing as it's winter in Chicago, I need all the ideas I can get for bringing some LIFE into the house. A previous post actually inspired me to begin decorating with artichokes... I put a couple in mason jars on the table and they look phenomenal. Such a simple touch that makes a HUGE difference.


All This is Grace and Charm

Aura said...

Kathleen- There has been some debate over the bumper, and this new wave of women worrying about SIDS. The way I see it is that we have all used bumpers for years, and I will also do so.

Katy- The one on a tilt I bought at a local boutique/flower shop. I love interesting little stores, and always find the cutest things in them.

Kelly said...

Aura: I'm usually just a follower and not a commenter.... But I love your style and your pure heart!

The duvet cover that you recently purchased--is that black paisley or a different shade? I'm in the process of lighthing up my room and just bought a white down comforter--but it seems so stark and sterlized.... Lol Would like to warm it up a bit??

rikshaw design said...

thank you so much for the mention..your images send me to such a dreamy place..they are beautiful!
ohh and drink all the tea you want!! i am a tea addict and i think i need one of those double pots!

e said...

there's this place off mary st in south austin that has a ton of those little succulent glass bulb's inside a thai restaurant, i wish i could remember what it was called. but you can buy some amazing thai tea and browse through beautiful succulents.

~3iNnA~ said...

I just realize you have succulent. I also see you have passion for flowers/plants also. I told my husband when we shop for our 2nd house I want a greenhouse. hahaha.

I notice you have lots of airplants. I love those.

I never seen a stone plant. Very very interesting.