It’s only echos in the Valley love…*

*Lyrics from Feist’s How Come You Never Go There from her latest awesome album, Metals. I recommend a blind purchase on this one, especially if you’re a Feist fan. Which I am. Naturally.

I also spotted this little silver bread basket that I thought might be a nice addition to my office mantle.

We have the best neighbors. Seriously: generous, kind, fun, smart, and just a pleasure to live near. So when we were chit-chatting with them the other day about heading out to help my mom do some grocery shopping and to get some curtain rods they sprang into action offering the exact right color, size and number of rods we were after. Sweet! (The rods were earmarked for giveaway, so we knew we weren’t taking the shirts from their backs, so to speak.) And, since you all know our time together as marrieds is precious, being able to tackle a chore like hanging curtains right away when we got to mom’s place was a huge time saver. (Of course we still ended up spending hours going here and there, fully and completely exhausting my poor mama. But still.) And what a huge difference did the curtains (and rods) make! Makes me want to sew up some curtains tut suite for my own abode.

Curtain rods from generous Erin & Nellie. Curtains from sale department of ZGallerie.

We’re slowly helping my mom make her new condo into a home, so I routinely scour the local antiques markets for unusual finds that might bring some history and soul to her place. The 1980’s architecture is pretty hard to combat: there are no mouldings or interior trim details that have any character; there’s nothing special about the shapes of the rooms nor the size or placement of the windows. It’s a pretty basic dwelling that, in order to make my mom feel more at home, needs some old mixed with all that new (and yes, in this case, 1980 is new).

So while I was out and about in town the other day I spotted (and purchased) some old picture frames that were in good shape. They’re wooden, not plastic, and could be used to frame actual art someday. But for now, since we haven’t had it in our budget to renovate the main bathroom at the condo yet, I thought I could use the empty frames to try to distract from the terrible 5’x3′ mirror that sits atop (is glued to the wall, actually) the vanity. I thought if I placed the empty frames (including one large one my mom already had) over the glass it might help to add some faux architectural interest. At least until we can get to a proper renovation. The frames were cheap – I think I spent $15 on three (but only used two), and I used the 3M Command Strips to affix some plastic hooks to hold them in place for now. This isn’t a permanent solution so I wasn’t looking for something (a) invisible, or (b) that will stand the test of time. Even though my mom’s large frame is totally out of square, and I hung the frames kind of crooked (twice, and then I gave up) I think it helps to bring some dimension to the craziest room in that little place.

Please ignore the debris and the general decor of the room. The moving in process is lengthy, especially when your only helpers are too busy to even help themselves.

You can see how the flat mirror would be helped with a frame, but it's too large for just one. I think this might help my mom last a little longer in the room that time forgot.

And, as a bonus, while I was looking I spotted two mahogany colored (not sure if it’s actual mahogany) end tables that were in sturdy, unblemished condition. I pondered them long enough that I felt that maybe Jeff should take a look at them. You know, in case he liked them, too (never can tell with him). So, we popped over after a rare outing to get breakfast (before he had to work all day and into the night on the weekend) and he agreed that they were worth bringing home. Score! They were replacing a couple of tables we got last year on super sale (from the same antique/thrift shop). I had intended to paint the old tables, or otherwise doctor them up, but we both felt that they’d be more at home as-is in my mom’s new place. So we ended up getting some new/old things for ourselves! xoxo

End table with a bit of an Asian influence. Not sure of the year, or even if they're true "antiques" but they're well made and unique. We are still on the hunt for new lamps, pillows, throws and artwork. It never ends, does it?