Friday, January 28, 2011

TGIF, 1/28/11 Edition

 (via me)

It's that time again,'s Friday. Hallelujah!
As you can see by the photo above, Philadelphia received about a foot of snow yesterday and we're just digging out now. But the snow won't stop us from enjoying the wonderful weekend in store for us because my lovely mother and aunt are heading down from New England for a visit!
Our weekend plans are filled will all things wedding-related, such as
  • My first gown fitting 
  • Meeting our caterer to decide on lots and lots of things (i.e., tables, tents, etc.)
  • Meet with florist to share inspiration
Needless to say, there's a lot to do and even more to share with you, my blog friends!

What is in store for you all this weekend?
Hope that wherever you are, you're enjoying the January weather!
(via me...look what my neighbors made!)

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wedding Planning: Cake Toppers

(Coconut Swirl Wedding Cake via Martha the slightly "undone" look of this one)

I'm getting married in May, less than four months from now. Our wedding and reception will take place on the grounds of a historic estate right outside Philadelphia (check it out here). Having the whole shindig take place in a garden makes the "theme" a foregone conclusion--we're going with a relaxed, garden wedding with a touch of vintage appeal and a whole host of wildflowers mixed in for good measure.

So many things are incomplete, but I'm hoping to make major headway very, very soon. Instead of tackling big decisions (say, like choosing a florist, deejay, or photographer), I'm going straight for the small details, and today I'll share one of those wedding elements:
The cake topper!

How does that sound?
 That said, I've started to gather some viable options for the cake topper, check 'em out:

(1940's chalkware wedding cake toppers via Etsy)
(Vintage Wedding Party via Ebay--so very Tim Burton!)
(Weird-but-charming, Kewpie-like Bride and Groom, via Etsy)
(Antique bisque bride and groom dolls via Ebay)
 (Antique Cake Topper with Millinery Flowers via Etsy...sadly sold!)

Since I don't have a family heirloom to adorn the top of our wedding cake, I'd like to go with something that has some history and had already welcomed another couple into marriage. I haven't chosen one yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to share.

P.S. I'll be sharing more Ashley & Adam wedding planning details in the coming months...consider yourself warned!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Report: Home From the Hardware Store

(via Amazon)

Since Monday, many bloggers who attended the ALT Summit have started sharing some of their sage advice, much of which is directed to newbie bloggers like myself. Their guidance has been very thought-provoking, and got me thinking about ways in which I can improve this lil' ol' blog and, in turn, create more enjoyable content for my readers.

That said, I am starting a new feature here on Meet Me in Philadelphia called "Book Report," where I share a bit about a new design-related book I've discovered. I hope you enjoy this new element of this blog!

First up? Home from the Hardware Store (2010) by Kathleen Hackett and Stephen Antonson.

This book's premise, that unique additions to the home can be found in your local Home Depot/Lowe's/Ace Hardware, defies convention in a lot of ways. Instead of poring over Ballard Design's latest selections, the authors suggest that a little ingenuity and sweat equity can produce unique (and often cheaper) home decor.

One of my favorite projects inside?
This folding screen is comprised of luan bifold doors and brass tacks--can you believe it?
And you know it's a good project when it's featured in Elle Decor!
(via Elle Decor)
Really thoughtful and out-of-the-box idea are included in the book, such as industrial bolt candlesticks:
(via DIY Life)
These bolt candlesticks were spray painted a glossy white, while the metallic striped wallpaper is really just HVAC foil:
(via The Chicago Tribune)
How about a whimsical wall organizer made of plastic piping?:
(via Country Living)
A coffee table made of pipe fittings and a lamp made of electrical pipe:
(via Home Improvement Ninja--what a funny name!)

Instructions to create these hardware-sourced products are easy to follow and the photographs are beautiful, light, and modern.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to those with a willingness to add the unconventional to their homes. No, I can't imagine everyone running out to their local hardware store to buy steel pipe fittings for a coffee table base; but I do think the original ideas presented in the book push even the most traditional among us to think "outside the box."

The book itself, available for little more than $15 on Amazon, is a great addition to the home decor library.

Hope you all enjoyed my first entry in the "Book Report" feature!

If there's something you'd like to know about the book or something you'd like to see on Meet Me in Philadelphia, be sure to post a comment or email me!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saturday Shopping in The City

Before heading to The Antiques Garage on Sunday morning, I spent Saturday afternoon with my friend Val (who, with husband Matt, kindly hosted us for the weekend). You may remember that Adam and I headed to Colorado this past summer to celebrate Matt and Val's wedding. As always, we had a great time with them.

Val was such a sport on Saturday. I dragged her to a couple of shops around the city and she didn't seem to mind the freezing temperatures.
Our first stop: John Derian!
The walls of Derian's two shops were adorned with jaw-dropping Hugo Guinness prints of various sizes. The first picture shows off a fantastic gallery wall comprised of Guiness's prints in vintage frames, but I couldn't help drooling over this large wildflower print (above).

The collection of mercury glass really sparkled.
These bird silhouettes were gorgeous, especially with the surprising red background.
The shelf of Cire Trudon candles really caught my attention.
I especially loved the bell jar cover.
John Derian's signature ephemera many to choose from!
Derian's furniture line had some really standout pieces.
This 2-person loveseat was one of my faves:
Somehow I forgot to include (!) a picture of my only purchase at John Derian, a porcelain playing card covered in hearts. I've got to figure out how to secure it, but when I do it will be added to one of our bedroom walls.

Next, after a brief respite at Starbucks, Val and I headed down to Canvas on Lafayette.
This store is light, bright, and relaxed. They were also having a fab sale!

Just in time for Valentine's Day: carved soapstone and slate heart-shaped paperweights:

I walked away with these soapstone candlesticks (for 70% off!). Full disclosure: these were on my wedding registry...but when I saw them at deep-discount, I went ahead and purchased them myself. Whoops!
(via Canvas)

Then, we walked north to Fish's Eddy, a store I fell in love with while still a New York resident.
I've always loved the variety of vintage portraits displayed throughout the store. Some are available for sale on the Fish's Eddy website. For a similar look, try Ebay, local flea markets, or Grandma's attic.
You know I loved this embroidered Connecticut tablecloth!
ABC Home & Carpet called our names from just across the street. I quickly spotted some Christmas decorations that I couldn't pass up at over 75% off (total spent at ABC: $11).
Can't wait to incorporate my glittered igloo and putz-style brick house:
Racks overflowing with discounted Madeline Weinrib textiles:
For the brave: area rugs made of silken tassels. The middle rug was comprised of a variety of red/fuschia/pink tassles.
In spite of Saturday's frigid temperatures, Val and I had a lot of fun.
It was fun to visit my old stomping grounds and enjoy the unique shopping that New York City has to offer.

Monday, January 24, 2011

NYC's Antiques Garage

I mentioned on Friday that Adam and I were heading to New York to stay with friends and celebrate another's birthday, and we certainly had fun! Tomorrow I'll share more about how I spent Saturday, but for now I'll be recapping our Sunday morning visit to The Antiques Garage in Chelsea.

By no means the first visitors, Adam and I walked leisurely through the indoor flea market (located in what we estimated was a parking garage) at about 10:30. Quickly I knew what the market's strongest offerings were: the fabulous vintage artwork!
Check it out:

A vivid illustration of soldiers, $58 I recall:
This painting will always be remembered as "the one that got away" because I couldn't determine its price or its seller...imagine my annoyance!
Wouldn't it have looked lovely in my den!?

And just to round out a great weekend, we stopped by Wogies on Greenwich & Charles for a cheesesteak before heading back to the city that made this its signature cuisine.
I can tell what Adam's thinking here: "Just 20-something days 'til pitchers report to Spring Training." Ha!
Hope you all had as great a weekend as we did!
More on NYC tomorrow!

Friday, January 21, 2011

TGIF, 1/21/11 Edition

(via Amazon)

Happy Friday, everyone!

How many of you snatched up that amazing Living Social deal for a half-off $20 Amazon gift card this week? Ever the bargain hunter, you KNOW I did! My discounted gift card will go towards Ingrid Abramovitch's Restoring a House in the City, which I'm sure many of you already own or have on your wish lists.

I'm also going to be purchasing some wooden doll pins, just like the ladies of Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business did to organize their collection of embroidery floss.
Check it out:
(via Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business)

But, as per usual, I'll share my weekend plans because they are actually exciting...
We will be
  • Celebrating a friend's birthday (Happy Birthday, Karen!)
  • Walking, talking, enjoying the company of friends
  • Checking out the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market (I've seen the goodies Eddie Ross has picked up; now it's my turn!)
What fun things do you have planned this weekend?
'Til Monday, readers!

P.S. Today is exactly 4 months to my wedding day! OMG!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Living Room After My Own Heart

(via House Beautiful)

Has everyone seen the One-Day Makeover featured in the lastest issue of House Beautiful? This living room in Westport, CT has so much visual interest in its "after" state that I just can't get over it. The use of color and prints is really calling my name...

The redesign was done by Pat Healing and Dan Barsanti who together run HB Home. So do yourself a favor and check out this 9-5 makeover over at House Beautiful. It will surely make your day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Great Purge of 2011

Last week, Bryn reminded her readers of an important, oft-cited William Morris quote: "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." These are words to live by, and this reminder energized me to begin addressing my home organization.

This is by no means a glamorous post today, but I wanted to share my progress on one of my New Year's Resolutions: that of eliminating excess in my home.

This is where we stand as of this morning: a big pile to be donated to the Philly AIDS Thrift store in Queen's Village:
Here's just a sampling of what we are parting with:
  • My collection of fabulous 80's teen movies on VHS ("The Breakfast Club," "Say Anything," "Better of Dead"...etc.)
  • 8 Phillies rally towels (!!)
  • Brand new Woolrich for Target flannel sheets (too hot!)
  • More than 10 picture frames...
  • 3 surge protectors
  • An endless supply of Christmas-themed crap
My point in sharing all of these banal details is simply this: I've recognized that it's so easy to become a thoughtless consumer and collector of stuff, stuff that we have no affinity for or even any connection to. I want to avoid that as much as possible. Instead, I'd like to surround myself with meaningful things that are admired for their beauty or utility, or both.

Is anyone else beginning a "Great Purge of 2011" in their home?
If so, how are you doing with it?

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