tiny/wee/little/small/not so big

This morning, while I was pretending to be sleeping in with Little Man, but actually checking Facebook and daydreaming, two articles in my feed caught my eye. Posted by Dwell10 Smart Small Spaces, and posted by Good: Living Large in Small Houses; both articles highlighting creative small space design solutions and conscious alternatives to that Great American Pursuit: The McMansion.

This is something I’ve blogged about before, and that’s because I find it fascinating. Now that we are gearing up for a house hunt, I think about it a lot. Nearly constantly. I love the idea of living in a small house, one that is designed and built specifically for how our family needs to live. My current house is 1200 square feet, and that’s more than enough space for us - it’s just not laid out in a way that’s conducive to our lifestyle. Nor was it built in the last century, which is at odds with our lack of handiness or money. 

A central idea of of Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big House Movement is that “Not so big” doesn’t necessarily mean small, it means creating a “home” rather than a “house” by carefully identifying what living functions are desired of the space. On the same continuum but much more extreme are the folks at The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. These very small, completely adorable mobile homes are taking Portland by storm. They are very very tiny. I think it’s a very interesting concept, but I find the interiors to be claustrophobic.

Wouldn’t it be so nice to break the American commandment about mortgages being “good debt?” Wouldn’t it be just lovely to own a small house outright, and live with just the things that matter? I think so. Disclaimer: I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I want to shed all my earthly posessions and live in a shack with a spoon and a bucket. No. I still crave pretty things. But maybe I’d be able to afford a few Really Nice Pieces if we weren’t owned by a bank and shelling out a grand here and there every few months for (insert home repair of your choice). That said, here are a few not too tiny, not so big homes that I’ve been obsessing over for months, if not years.

1. The Karina House by Karen Delucas for Ross Chapin Architects, 1,606 SF

2. The Zinnia by The Bungalow Company, 1,708 SF.


friday freebies: 2013 printable calendar round-up

It’s more than halfway through the the month of January, and it’s Friday, which means it’s a good day for a round-up of free printable 2013 calendars. There are some creative/cute ones out there this year! It is a goal of mine for the upcoming year to provide a few of my own complimentary printables here on the blog, but that will have to wait until a little dust settles on current design obligations and my tendonitis heals. So for now…

1. Seasons 2013 Calendar by Love Vs. Design. Available in three colors.


2. Do It Yourself Printable Calendar by Breanna Rose. Poms and tassles optional.


3. Whimsical Mini Calendar 2013 Freebie by The Ink Nest. Available for the price of a Tweet.


4. The Animals of the Chinese Zodiac 2013 Calendar by Sean Hennessy for Mibo. The site is in Dutch but the link to download is in English.


5. Free Patterned Desktop Calendars By Toffee Magazine. Such a cute little vintage/indie printable.


6. Printable Calendar by Minireyve. The calendar is in French, but that just makes the adorable illustrations all the more ooh la la.


7. Printable Calendar by Emma Magazine. This is the one I have hanging in my office right now, it feels very collegiate and vintage.



maybe something wonderful is about to happen.

Truth be told, I’m in need of a little pick-me-up today. I’m a little low on the inspiration, and my future-vision is being obscured by the mundane. Perhaps a little jaunt in some chilly fresh air is needed, as I see the sun is shining brightly for the first time in days. Before I step out, here’s a rapid fire string of cheer and creativity I’ve collected to avoid going over my very own imaginary fiscal cliff:

I love all the blues and greens in this Pantone color forecast. It is perhaps my most favorite ever. 

Pantone Spring 2013 Color Forecast | Via Above All be True

Perhaps this Warhol saying is just what I need: an ajustment in perspective.

Andy Warhol Quote | Via Wit + Delight

But I think this Winter Sun Cocktail is a more suitable remedy for my Bad Attitude:

Winter Sun Cocktail | Via Two Tarts

Peter Pan tells me that if I close my eyes and clap real hard and just BELIEVE…

Always Believe | Via Shop Frankie’s

… then maybe singer/songwriter/hottie and local native Josh Ritter will make an unplanned stop in Moscow, Idaho on the 2013 tour for his yet-to-be-released “The Beast in It’s Tracks.” Clap clap clap. Clap. Clap.



and the winner is...

Late last night (12:30am to be exact), in the midst of Little Man’s post-birthday party first cake crash aftermath, a blog post idea came to me. As I was failing to soothe my screaming baby, I indulged in a familiar winter fantasy. One that I often turn to in unpleasant moments, comfortable like my trusty Cougar sweatshirt. I dreamed of winning the HGTV Dream Home. It is a dream that has been brightening my midwinter doldrums since 1997. It is such a cyclical beacon of hope that I’m surprised I didn’t think to blog about it on January 1, when the contest officially starts.

Let me be clear: 2013 is MY YEAR. When I win this year’s Dream Home, the Grand Prize will include a fully furnished (down to the glassware and linens) low country “Zen coastal” cottage located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, a new car, and $500,000. If you are nice to me I might even let you stay there.

While this isn’t my favorite Dream Home they’ve ever done (that would be the 2011 Stowe, VT house), I love all the bright colors, cozy nooks, flexible floorplan, and the view. 


free font(s) friday: the lost type co-op

Happy (Free Font) Friday! In order to avoid regurgitating another How About Orange post, I foraged bit on the interwebs, and found the Lost Type Co-op foundry. These typographers are creating some serious awesomeness, which you can download for free (although they gladly accept donations.) 

They even have one named “Atreyu,” for all you children of the eighties, who dreamed of adventures with your very own Luck Dragon.

My top picks:

Haymaker via Lost Type Co-op

Geared: A tall, skinny, solid slab-serif that strikes a nice balance between formal and casual. A very fine font for headings, I should think.

Haymaker via Lost Type Co-op

Haymaker: An interesting hybrid between futuristic and antique: the type of font a Portlandian might choose for their organic, locally sourced, single malt whiskey company logo.

Nelma via Lost Type Co-opNelma: A decorative font that seems to be the 1960s version of the Old West meets Parisian Cafe. I can’t wait for just the right project for this font! It’s only available as an .eps file, which means using “old-fashioned” typesetting, but that’s no biggie.


Ministry via Lost Type Co-op

Minestry: A numerals-only font, but what nice, solid numerals they are, indeed!