Just Busted

This simple vignette in the home of designer Luis Bustamante was the lightbulb moment for me on how to solve an awkward space in our kitchen.

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 9.24.40 AMThank you, BUSTamante, for the inspiration!


Thank you to my daughter and her friend for creating the fireworks art.

This enormous chalkboard in the kitchen has become a favorite spot for me.  I’m definitely leaning toward over-scale in this house–fewer things, but bigger.  Over-scale, ever-evolving–this chalkboard (with hidden closet–you can see a wider, in-progress shot here) was the perfect solution for this space.

And it’s a fun photo spot.www.tphblog.com


Of course I don’t keep the beautiful torso on a tiny pedestal in front of the board–she’d fall over into a heap as soon as the kids ran in the door.  My very favorite decorative piece, she stays safe and sound in the living room.  Until next post, see you on Instagram!

Loft Tour | Bunkroom

While the loft mainly served as my painting studio (and mommy escape, let’s be honest), we wanted to accommodate the whole family for city sleepovers and extended fieldtrips.  We reoriented an existing closet next to the front door to serve as the kids’ bunkroom.

www.tphblog.com loft tourChris made a chevron door to the bunkroom, too.

www.tphblog.com loft tourWe squeezed three twin beds and four storage drawers in this 9×6′ space.  Thankfully the 18′ tall ceilings offered some breathing room in what would otherwise be a tight, I’m-hyperventilating space.

www.tphblog.com loft tourI cut FLOR squares for “wall-to-wall” carpet in the bunkroom.

www.tphblog.com loft tourThe kids spent many hours creating their own art at the loft and spontaneously came up with the idea themselves to paper the bunkroom with their drawings.  I LOVE how it turned out, and the drawings never failed to make me laugh.  Kids are funny.

www.tphblog.com loft tour

We painted one wall with chalkboard paint  and attached permanent frames that could be switched out with new art by using clips.

www.tphblog.com loft tourWe sandwiched two IKEA magnet boards together in a frame for magnetic clips and magnetic architectural puzzles.

www.tphblog.com loft tour

www.tphblog.com loft tourThe best view was from the top bunk–great spying potential!

www.tphblog.com loft tour

And, it offered a cool perspective of the lanterns and mechanical operations of the loft.

www.tphblog.com loft tourThe loft tour continues:

The Loft Bedroom

The Loft Bathroom

The Loft Living & Dining

The Loft Before

Super Secret Hidden Door

The new house has a super secret hidden door.  A super secret hidden door to where?  Now that I won’t reveal.

(It leads to a closet.)

A labyrinth of creperies and gelato shops, you may wonder?  Or, a den filled with carpeted cat towers and a thousand kittens?  Maybe it’s a faux-wood-paneled rec room with Brady Bunch reruns playing 24/7?

Or, maybe, just maybe, it is a place to store my extra kitchen stuff.

Do you ever just see stuff on Pinterest that you not only love but you’re cuckoo over?  That is how I felt over this Luis Bustamante image:

luis bustamante

Maybe it is the body…parts.  Definitely the chalky part, and, of course, the gold part.  And just like that I knew what to do with a boring closet wall in the kitchen.


See the hidden door there?  And the simple picture moulding that will be painted gold?  That whole wall will be a framed chalkboard…with a hidden door to the labyrinth of kittens eating Nutella crepes while musing over the mysterious George Glass.

I like this idea because 1) I’m not over a chalkboard in the kitchen, 2) we used the one in the last kitchen all the time, 3) it is continually changing art, 4) I can layer a body part or piece of furniture in front of it for all the good reasons we like to layer.

And, I’m so happy it is finally done!  I have spent, seriously, hours over the renovation thus far discussing this hidden door situation.  I’ve discovered that there are those who do not appreciate or see the merits of a hidden chalkboard door and will therefore avoid building it until the mean homeowner lady insists that it happen.  Or something like that.

Here’s hoping I get to scrawl on that wall before Christmas.

(Oh, and there are more peeks at the house and other nonsense on Instagram.)

Arte Party

It’s hard to post a party in this Pinterest age…especially when one is living with all belongings in storage and every minute needs to be spent on house decisions and not party planning.  But this is my girl we’re talking about.  It’s her summer for a party (my kids who all have summer birthdays rotate who gets the party every year–to save some Mommy sanity).  So we made some compromises and did our best…we’re talking Capri Suns and chips served from the bag.


She wanted an art party–but I certainly couldn’t throw a painting party in our rental.  So we used a community building…and we spun this fiesta de arte Mexican style.  My daughter helped me fill the buckets and made the name tags herself.  And candy dipping pretzels was the job only an 8 and 5-year-old could do.


Thankfully I had some fabric at the rental that I reserved for my daughter’s sewing class.  I used some remnant to cover some folding chairs I borrowed…stapled on, frayed edges and all.  And, I threw some on the wall for our shrine to Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter.


Each party guest had a bucket-o-supplies and canvas pre-drawn with their portraits.  With a brief explanation of Frida’s self-portraiture (homeschool moms die hard), I turned the girls loose to created their own portraits.www.tphblog.com

I printed their portraits onto paper and transferred their images by rubbing the back of the paper with pencil and then tracing their portraits onto canvas.  Graphite paper works, too, but mine is in…storage!  I didn’t draw in their hair so they could do it as they wished.


Absolutely, we totally paint red lips first!IMG_6419www.tphblog.com

We had fruit, quesadillas, grocery store cupcakes on the obligatory artist palette.


Their portraits turned out adorable!  This friend made herself an angel–love it!www.tphblog.com


None of the girls wanted to paint in their noses.  I get it, noses are intimidating.

We pulled it off with help from the world’s best sitter and borrowing a few kitchen items from the rental house.  And, I didn’t end up embarrassing my daughter with my Frida-inspired party dress.  It’s probably a good idea I didn’t draw on the unibrow and ‘tache.


Did any of you Atlantans catch the Frida & Diego show here in the spring?  I find it is a little more challenging to drum up excitement in the children for art exhibits the older they get.  But I prattle on anyway, talking about the Museo de Dolores Olmedo with the peacocks and the xoloitzcuintli and Casa Azul and Frida and Diego’s side-by-side houses connected with a sky bridge.  Throw in a little Rockefeller and communism–wait!  And I wonder why I can’t drum up excitement?


But then I walk by and hear the two older kids talk about the bridge connecting their two houses on Minecraft, “just like Frida and Diego’s,” and then I know, oops, I did it again!

In my next life I will be a xoloitzcuintle.  Because being Angelina Bearded Lady from Ukraine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Hands All Over

I’m feeling a little less weird about putting these hands in a medical office after seeing…


…these hands in the lavatory at Serpas restaurant in Atlanta.www.tphblog.com

Now you know what to do with all those glove molds you see everywhere.  And, it has now gotten to the point where people are sending me photos of random body part objects they see because “it reminds me of you.”  I’ve a reputation now.  So, yes, I love these hands beckoning me from the wall.IMG_3862There were more hands sticking up and out at the Phoenix concert we went to last night.  It was très bien.  And, it was my first time at the Tabernacle, which is like It’s a Small World carnival style–not Disney style.  Naturally, I love it.

One last thing before you bound into the weekend of motherly love:  thank you to talented DIY Queen Jenny of Little Green Notebook for posting my DIY chair upholstery this week!  Yep, I am immensely flattered.

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