Category Archives: SeeKarenShop

A Fox, A Squirrel, and A Bluebird Walk in to a Bar

Recently I posted about a gift that my husband and I bought for ourselves.  But we didn’t stop there.  On a warmer than usual December Saturday, we decided to wander down Mass Ave. in Indianapolis to do some more “Christmas shopping”.  One of the shops on our shop-local-hit-list was The Inventorialist.  We had done some window shopping on a previous evening, and I swear the inside of that store is what my dreams look like, so we had to go back.  I’m so happy we did, because the inventory a The Inventorialist exceeded my expectations.  We bought SO MANY things, but these prints from Aesthetic Apparatus are among my favorites.

If you hang around for very long, you will learn that I am obsessed with birds.  And squirrels.  And foxes.  And basically an entire cast of wild creatures.  My dogs are also obsessed with birds, squirrels, and an entire cast of wild creatures.  Though, I’m not sure how they would handle an encounter with a fox.  Recently we stumbled onto a hawk on our morning walk, and Buddy immediately dropped to the ground while Greta quietly scooted herself behind my husband’s legs for protection.

By the way, why is the plural of fox foxes, when the plural of ox is oxen?  Maybe I will start saying foxen.

Anyway.  When we were buying the prints, Kris mentioned that they would fit perfectly in an album cover frame.  Score!  Because we were looking for a clean-line frame at a budget-friendly price.  Remember, we had done quite a bit of “gift” shopping at this point.

Coupons in hand, I recently headed to the craft store to buy album cover frames.  As i was pouting about browsing the single option available at that store, my eyes wandered to these t-shirt frames.  Though the look and quality were about the same as the album frames, they were deeper.  Wouldn’t this give the prints more presence on the wall, I thought?  And when we are ready to replace the frames with something a little more quality, I may have more options for re-using the t-shirt frames than three lonely album cover frames.  (Yes, I am already dreaming up new crafty ideas.)

I placed the prints in the frames, and began a series of measurements.

  • I measured the width of the frames (13″).  I know the measurement is listed on the paper insert of the frame, but I wanted to know the width from one outside edge to the other.
  • I measured the center of the frames to double-check that I had replaced the hanging hardware in the correct position.
  • I measured the height of the frames (13″).  Yes, I know these are square.  So this measurement should be the same as the width, but I wanted to make sure.
  • I played around with the spacing between the three frames until I it looked just about right, and then I measured the distance between the frames (1 1/2″).  Then I measured the total height of the three frames as they would hang in a vertical arrangement on the wall (42″).

Next, I took my measurements to the wall.

  • I measured width of the wall where I wanted to hang the prints.  Well, really my husband did this.  Then he measured the center of that width.
  • He measured the total height of the three frames, so that the center of the arrangement was at approximate eye level.
  • He held a frame up against the wall, so that I could envision how the frames would look in relationship to the adjacent curtains, built-in bench, and furniture.  Do you all do this with your hanging partners?  Well, then you know that some discussion ensued.
  • We adjusted the measurements to take into account the curtains, bench, and discussion.
  • He measured up the distance of the frame height (13″) from the bottom of the total height (42″) and hammered in the first nail
  • He measured the distance of the fram height plus the spacing (14 1/2″) and hammered in the second nail.  He repeated this step for top nail.

Before hanging the prints, we played around with the order in which we wanted to hang them.  As you can see in the shot above, each print has a different colored circle.  I’ve been calling it a ball.  The black ball in the bluebird print ties it to the black squirrel, and the red-orange ball in the squirrel print ties it to the orange fox.  After deciding that this the way to go, I hung framed prints on the wall.

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49/365 Aesthetic Apparatus prints #365project

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Finished, I immediately wondered if I should have hung the prints with the fox on top, the bluebird in the center, and the squirrel on the bottom.  I am really liking how the colors in the prints also pull from red-orange framed chess board with the turquoise and ivory marble chess pieces on the table below.  What do you think?  Leave them as they are?


Historic Fixture

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gas pipe light #upcycle

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Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you buy yourself.  Or at least that is what my husband and I kept telling ourselves this Christmas.  As we shopped for others, we ALSO kept finding the perfect gifts for us.  We tried to resist, but in the case of this Peared Creation Classic American Brewery Lamp that we found at Homespun, our attempts were futile.  “To resist it is useless; it is useless to resist it….”

Umm, sorry!  (But can anyone name the artist and song?)  Seriously though, this light fixture had everything we love:

vintage ♥
upcycled ♥
industrial ♥
local ♥
handmade ♥
beer ♥

Beer, you ask?  Yes.  This lamp uses a vintage beer bottle from Indianapolis Brewing Company.  (To learn more about IBC, check out this post on Historic Indianapolis.)

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Indianapolis Brewing Company

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Add to this the fact that the light switch is a vintage faucet handle, and…well, who can blame us for eagerly finding a place in our budget to possess her?  Just look at her when she’s turned on.

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Indianapolis Brewing Co.

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What gift have you given yourself lately?

I’ve Got a Fever, and the Only Prescription is More…Color

I have mooned over our West Elm Bulls-Eye rug before, so you know that I’m not shy about decorating with color.  On these cold, gray Midwestern days, when just about everyone you know if recovering from some illness or another, it’s color that keeps my spirits up.  And shopping.

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rainbows and rappers

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I wanted to pull the colors of the rug up onto the more neutral tweed of these swivel chairs with these Crate and Barrel pillows (no longer available).

Between the pair of swivel chairs, on the occasional table which is another to-do-list project, are more bright accessories.  The dino planter from Red Envelope was a Christmas gift for my husband, and I plan to fill it with succulents soon.  Okay, so I originally bought it for me.  But all boys love dinosaurs, right?  Now it’s one of those it’s-a-funny-story things that make me smile.  The chevron storage boxes on the table’s lower shelf were from Tuesday Morning last summer.

My husband picked up the rap lyrics book while we were Christmas shopping at Black Sheep Gifts in Historic Irvington.  Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you buy yourself; this thing is hilarious.  We love Black Sheep and highly recommend it if you are in the Indianapolis area.

Hmm, now I want to go shopping.  More cowbell color!


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When it comes to health, or rather avoiding common ailments, I’ve always followed the mind-over-matter school of thought.  I DON’T GET SICK.  But I am currently in Day 4 of struggling through bronchitis symptoms.  (Let’s get real, it’s probably more likely Day 7 or 8.)  Nuts to mind-over-matter!  How is putting all that positive energy into the universe working out for me now?  Can I tell you a secret?  The Secret is crap.

Okay, so getting my dander up is making it more challenging to breath.  Instead let’s take a moment to gaze fondly at the wonderfully saturated colors of my vintage salted nuts tin against the peacock blue tray from Target.  Please excuse the blurriness of the photo, although it does a pretty accurate job of demonstrating how I am seeing the world today.  I love the contrast of colors and that the caramely brown is carried through on the mid-century cocktail table where this tray sits.  Just love it!  Honestly, it’s these little things in life that make me happy.  That’s the real secret.

The tray pictured is no longer available, but this pretty coral lattice tray also strikes my fancy.  By the way, who hates when they gamble on snatching up something at Target when it goes on clearance, only to miss buying it altogether?  This girl.  All Christmas season I admired the gold faux bois and stag design melamine party plates.  I waited too long, and now they are nowhere to be found.  Boo!

Down Time = Time for Ideas

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12/365 roasted tomatoes #365project

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Ugh!  I spent most of the weekend on the couch feeling poorly.  It made me absolutely crazy to be indoors and sitting still for so long.  I did, however, squeeze in some fun moments.  I also captured some ideas for later projects when I’m feeling great again.  First, I made these roasted tomatoes.  I like to eat salty grape tomatoes with cottage cheese, but I wanted something warm in the chilly winter weather.  Roasting these tomatoes was a perfect compromise.  The recipe – if you can call it that – is below.

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I spent a lot of time staring at this church rummage sale “find”.  I bought the painting (yes, it’s horrible), because it was a huge 4×4 canvas for $5.  I thought that I knew exactly what I wanted to paint over it, but now I’m thinking of another option…or three.

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12/365 through windshield raindrops #365project

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Speaking of art project, I’m inspired to try to replicate how this snapshot looks through rain drops with paint.  Or maybe an abstract quilt pattern?

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14/365 orange apothocary #365project

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When I wasn’t staring at Ugly Painting, I was more happily looking at this.  It’s one of my favorite purchases from Crate and Barrel (a couple of years ago, and I don’t think they have any similar in stock).  I love that it’s modern and clean lines, while at the same time it has so much traditional influence.  This is one of a pair, and they flank the pass through between our living room and foyer.

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12/365 roasted tomatoes #365project

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss tomatoes in olive oil and season with rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Spread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until tomato skins begin to break open, stirring once about halfway through baking.

My Favorite Owl

Today, at a drive-up window, the cashier asked me if I liked owls.

What I Said:  Yes. (handing him my cash)

What I Thought: Uh, this is weird.  Why would he ask that question?  Is it my owl key chain or my owl coin purse that is piquing his interest?  I don’t have my keys or my coin purse out.  They are tucked somewhere in the deeper recesses of my purse, and I probably couldn’t find them right now if I tried.  My purse is on the passenger seat.  Why is he asking?  How does he know?  Weird.

What He Said:  What is your favorite kind of owl? (handing me my change)

What I Said:  I don’t know.  I’ve never really thought about it.

What I Thought:  How can I say that I like owls if I don’t even have a favorite owl?  My key chain – an Advent calendar gift from my husband – is my favorite owl-accessory-of-the-moment.  It hoots, and its eyes light up blue when I press the button on its back.  But what is my favorite owl?  The cute kind?  What kind of owl is the owl on my key chain?  Can I hold up my key chain (if I can find it) and say this kind?  I can’t think of one type of owl at this moment.  Wait…there’s the Great Horned Owl.  Isn’t there?  I could say that, but do I like that kind of owl?  What if he asks me why?  How can I say that I like owls, if I can’t even think of more than one type of owl?  I wish that I could think of a type of owl that would sound super impressive, because right now I’m pretty sure that I sound/look like a stammering fool.  Is there such a thing as a Hoot Owl?  Will I sound dumb if I say that?  It sounds like an owl in a children’s poetry book.  What was that elusive owl that they referenced on The Big Year?  Something-or-other Tufted Owl?  That  would sound impressive.  But it wasn’t the greatest movie, so maybe it wouldn’t.

What He Said:  I like Barn Owls. (handing me my drink)

What I Said:  Oh, with the round eyes? (making a circling gesture around my own eyes with the hand that isn’t grabbing for my drink)

What I Thought:  Is a barn owl a real type of owl?  Or is it from the same poetry book as the Hoot Owl?  Is that the owl on my key chain?  I think it is.  If it is, that’s my favorite type of owl.  They are cute.  Oh, he’s still talking.

What He Said:  I was attacked by a Screech Owl once.  Something something something.  It was huge.  Something something something something.

What I Said:  Yeah, that would scare me.  Huge.  (nodding and making a gesture like spreading wings with both my hands)

What I Thought:  Are we still having this conversation?  Do I look as crazy as I feel waving my arms around like this?  Why do I gesture more when I’m nervous?  How can I exit the conversation gracefully?  Isn’t there another car in line behind me?

What He Said:  Yeah.

What I Said:  Well, have a nice day!

What I Thought:  (as I pulled away from the window)  I’m such a schmuck.  Why would I care so much about what a complete stranger, the cashier at a drive-up window, thinks of me?  He was just being nice; making conversation to help his day go faster.  But why did he ask me about owls in the first place?  I…(looking down briefly, I catch a glimpse of my rather large hinged owl pendant necklace)…oh.  I am an idiot.

This, however, is my favorite owl.

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The Hootch-Owl.  Modeled after a 1930s corkscrew, it’s one of my favorite gifts that I gave my husband for Christmas this year.  I should have told Mr. Friendly Cashier that my favorite owl is the Hootch-Owl and driven away with a confident, yet mysterious, smile.

After paying for and receiving my drink of course.

Color Me Beautiful: Lourdes Sanchez

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9/365 multi #365project

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I’ve been a fan of Lourdes Sanchez since finding the West Elm Bulls-Eye rug.  Her colors and designs often remind me of mid-century Otto Treumann festival posters (via Mid-Centuria; check out the whole Otto Treumann post here).


I spent some time browsing the Luli Sanchez gallery this evening, and I fell in love with EVERYTHING.  Some of my recent favorites are from the scenic category.

Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-4 Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-1
Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-2 Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-3

Check out the Luli Sanchez site for  yourself, and read a recent interview with Lourdes over on Design*Sponge.

Oh, and pardon the corny title.  The color-wheel-like pattern of our Bull’s-Eye rug reminds me of that ’80s book.  I’m a Summer.  You?