Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Etsy shop news

Now that Black Friday (& Thursday), Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and whatever we've taken to calling last Saturday and Sunday are all over with, you may be wondering what to give those last few people on your shopping list, and LUCKY FOR YOU, I am here to help!

No, I don't have winning Powerball numbers.

But I DO still have a few spots open for custom home drawings from my Etsy shop.  They really make great gifts for grandparents, parents, newlyweds, husbands, wives, or anyone who has loved a house.  I've had some inquiries regarding whether or not I will do drawings of other places, or other custom drawings, and my answer is YES.  Please, just ask me what you'd like to have, and I'll let you know what I can do for you.

Orders MUST be placed by December 10th in order to be delivered in time for Christmas.  Don't forget to use the coupon code HOLIDAYFRIEND for 50% off your order - a special thanks just this year to celebrate the shop's opening!  Also, if you live in the Los Angeles or St. Louis areas, please contact me for shipping discounts.

And finally, there is now a link to my shop in that there sidebar over there.  No, on your right.  Yes, there.  Easy peasy!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving photo recap 2012

I can't believe Thanksgiving is over, but here it is Cyber Monday (ugh - did I really type that?) and we are home, unpacked, girls back in school, laundry done.  Our holiday in Sacramento with Jimmy's family was really, truly, so good.  We hated to leave.  One of these days, we'll convince every member of our families that moving to Los Angeles is easy and affordable, but until then, we'll just keep on traveling and taking lots of photos.  Lots and lots and lots of photos.

On to Christmas!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

So much

Today I'm writing from just outside of Sacramento where we're spending the long weekend with Jimmy's family.  His three nieces are our girls' most favorite friends, and few things make me so happy as watching all those cousins get together and tumble around the big house for days on end.  Add in the excellent grown-up family members, the food, the vacation days, and this view, and there just isn't anything to complain about.

Let me rephrase that:  there is so much to be thankful for.

So much.  And I have always had so much to be thankful for.  Pretty soon I'll have 35 years worth of blessings upon blessings in my life, and saying thanks one day a year really will never be enough.

But it's a start.

The list of things I'm grateful for is too long, too personal to include here, but I do want to say that I'm thankful for you, for coming here, for reading.  The encouragement I receive from you is overwhelming.  I hope you have the best day, today, and that you feel loved.  Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!  His faithful love endures forever.     Psalm 107:43

Monday, November 19, 2012

equals four.

We spent the weekend pulling off our first yard sale, an event I really should have photographed, but didn't, partly because I was just too busy, and partly because I don't really want to remember it.

Our little garage which was so full that a person could barely walk through it now appears nearly empty by comparison.  All the old baby toys and high chairs, the Pack 'n Play and the crib mattress, the diaper pail and training potty, and so many baby clothes, they are all gone, now.  Some went to good homes, some were donated, and most were bought by yard sale pros who will pack everything into the back of a truck and resell at a considerable profit in Mexico City.  I am trying not to think too much about that.

We made a nice profit, ourselves, and it is a pretty fantastic feeling to be free of all that stuff crowding our already cramped space.  And I realize that it's not as though I had my tubes tied over the weekend.  But, well, each day that goes by already feels like another step away from having another baby, and that is hard on its own.  Getting rid of all the baby gear just feels like a rubber stamp on the decision.  And I did not like saying goodbye to items which seem to be soaked through in memories of what we've had.  Because they were ours - they were bought with dreams and used with love and packed away with sadness tempered with hope.  This has been a year of saying goodbye to babyhood, and I know it comes as no surprise, but I really, really, really loved having little babies.

with Lena, photo credit:  the amazing Gia Canali

with Eve, photo credit, again:  Gia Canali

I can't predict the future.  We haven't exactly shut any doors behind us.  But we do walk further and further away every day.  Which, for now, is okay.  Possibly for forever it will be okay, too.  Really okay.  Because now I have this:

and it's hard to imagine any room for improvement.

Friday, November 16, 2012

new shop now open!

Here it is, the much-anticipated (by me!) Like A Radio Etsy shop!  The picture above is an illustration of the home I grew up in, something I made for my parents when they moved out of it after almost forty years of living, growing, and raising a family in it.  I knew it meant a lot to me, but I was surprised at how much it seemed to mean to them to have a memento of this place to keep with them in their new home.

I have ten spots open for custom drawings of homes that YOU love.  Visit my Etsy shop, make sure you have a good photo of your home that I can work from, and place your order by December 10th at latest.  I am really excited about this, and looking forward to paying some love and attention to a place that means something special to you.

Visit my shop here!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

from nursery to bunk beds

Back in September I wrote a sentimental post about how our office-turned-nursery was about to change again into a room for two little girls.  Honestly, making the decision to sell our crib and toddler bed so we could replace them with bunk beds was incredibly difficult for me.  Selling the crib was hard enough, and then I just couldn't figure out how bunk beds would fit into their tiny room at all.  But I have to say that now that we're on the other side of the transition, I feel very good about it.  I even think the room works better for the girls this way, even though floor space is much more limited, now.  Here - you can see for yourself!

First I want to show you the original nursery layout, way back in 2007 when we were still waiting for Lena to arrive:

(And I thought I had limited space then!  Ha!)

In 2010 when Evie was born, we had to juggle the furniture in order to accomodate a toddler bed for Lena and clothes and toys for two children.  We bought the Oeuf crib on Craigslist for an almost criminally low price after Lena's crib had been recalled, and that's the crib we managed to sell just a few weeks ago without any violent sobbing on my part.  It was a gorgeous crib, but was nearly obscured in our cramped little nursery:

(I don't really recommend hanging pictures over a bed in Southern California. Even though Jimmy is earthquake-proof-crazy, I still worried constantly that they would fall on Lena. This is why we used wall decals over the crib in the first place.)

We've been giving the girls a piece of artwork on each birthday, and I've loved that, but I think we're going to have to begin a different tradition soon. There just isn't much wall space left.  Jimmy never liked my idea of buying them one of a set of crystal glasses on each birthday, and Lena has been asking for a charm bracelet.  Any other good ideas?

(The two little prints in the middle are April and October from Sarah Jane Studios, and I adore them.)

It was a good nursery.  Not perfect, but I loved it, and I loved having little babies live in it.  So long, nursery.  I know it makes me the biggest sap in the whole world, but I'll never forget you.

Anyway, now on to our fabulous little girls' room.  Hello, bunk beds!  Come on in:

The bunk beds were bought from a local dealer, and I can't say enough good things about them.  They were custom made and built extremely well, and although they cost much more than the other option we were considering - buying the cheapest bunk beds available from Ikea - they were still less expensive than buying similar products from some of the major children's furniture retailers, and my hope is that these will last us all the way through college and beyond.  They even separate into lovely twin beds, on the off chance that we ever live in a place with three whole bedrooms.   I know, right?  Dream on, Melanie!

The dresser, nightstand, and PAX closet (below, left, with the mirrored door) are all from Ikea.  But you probably know that already, because I'll bet you have the same furniture in your home.  Don't you?

This is the only bit of layout I don't like - this passage is so narrow. But the girls haven't complained, and one day when that chair moves on it won't be quite so bad. For now, we're still reading the girls bedtime stories and giving them cuddles in that chair, and I'll give up floor space for those things any day of the week.

I really, really wanted to keep the fairy branch wall decal in view, and am so happy this layout worked out.  I'm still not tired of them.

(Yes, that is a pale pink lampshade with rickrack detail.  It is very clean, I promise.)

Admittedly, the Amelie poster is mine, (a gift from Jimmy), but it looks so good in the girls' room that I can't help myself.

New art wall for the girls!   I think I can fit one or two more up there...  Let's see if I can identify these prints for you, though.  The gorgeous bird prints are from Gennine D. Zlatkis.  The sweet Rapunzel and Princess & the Pea prints are limited editions from Heather Ross.  The Paris photograph in the center is from Eye Poetry Photography, and I'm so sorry you can't see it better here because I love it, so I linked directly to that one.  The fantastic square prints - the princess and the narwal, are from Rebecca Artemisa.  The dreamy elephant with balloons piece is from Coco de Paris, and the perfect Amy Butler butterfly cutout is from Ish and Chi.  If you have any questions about any of these, just message me.

I labored over choosing the girls' bedding, but I'm very happy with this.  The lavender quilt is from Target and was very affordable, also as a bonus it doesn't make my head spin (as so many options for kids bedding do).  The star sheets are from Garnet Hill, so I know they're comfortable and will last.  And since I waited to buy them on sale, they didn't even break the bank.  Bedding success!

Evie's shelf, for the most part.  The baby photo is mine, the doll was mine when I was little, and the pottery was made by a good friend of ours for Lena, but the cup, block, figurine and thimble are all Eve's.

Lena's shelf.  Again, the photo is of me and my dad, but the rest is hers.  The yellow mug was a gift from my mom and dad, delivered to me at my old office with white and yellow daisies in it the day after we'd told them we were expecting our first baby.

My Grandma Shannon made this quilt, and I love having it in my daughters' room. She would have loved those girls so much.

Jacket storage behind the bedroom door. Sadly, that wonderful Giant Robot print is about to be replaced with a Tinker Bell poster.  It's a crime, really.  The seafoam is made out of bunnies!  But it's their room and the Tinker Bell poster is cute, too, so I think we can deal.  And I'll keep that Giant Robot print in hopes that one day the girls will grow out of Tinker Bell and learn to love ironic tributes to famous Japanese woodblock prints as much as I do...

Fairy decals.  I still adore these.

So that's it!  A room for two sisters.  As for Lena and Eve, they love their new room, especially the bunk beds.  I'd love to hear from you, though.  What do you think?

bunk beds - Kids Bedrooms USA
rug - Pottery Barn Kids
wall decals - Apple Pie Design
Hemnes dresser, Hemnes nightstand, Pax closet, and Billy bookcase - IKEA
chair - Tiny World
bedspreads and lamp - Target
star sheets - Garnet Hill