Archive for November, 2010

My Latest DIY

As I was working on my project yesterday, I made up a conversation in my head with my husband:
“Hi babe, what did you do today?” – husband

“Well, I started out with some client e-mails and then I saw a golden opportunity to take advantage of a bit of a lull in my work to get projects on our apartment finished.” – me

“Great! Did you clean up our bedroom?”


“Did you unpack your bag from our weekend away?”


“Did you go grocery shopping and restock the fridge with essentials?”


“What did you do?”

“I added more flowers to our living room decor”

Hmmmmmmm. After I write this post in preparation for tomorrow, I best be tackling some much needed house chores before my husband gets home and we have that exact conversation.

Here is my little project that took about five hours. It should be much more simple then that but I’m slow.
I took our mini blinds in our living room and I converted them to roman shades – all thanks to a DIY tutorial from Jenny of Little Green Notebook.

What you need:
Fabric (yardage depends on size of window)
Mini Blinds
Fabric Glue
Tape measure

Here’s how you do it:

1. Measure your mini blinds and figure out how many folds you want for your roman shades. I did as Jenny did from Little Green Notebook and I measured every 9 inches.

2. Let out the blinds as long as they can be and carefully cut the thin ladder like strings. Careful not to cut the lift cord!

3. Take out the thick plastic plugs from the bottom of the blind and remove the thick bottom slat piece. Remove all of the slats except for the amount that you need for your folds for your Roman Shades. I kept five on.

4. I found this to be the most difficult part. Make sure that the blinds are at the length that you want them and reinstall the bottom slat piece at the correct length for the window. Trim the extra cord away from the bottom.

5. Now it’s time to start gluing. Start with the top of the shade. Fold over a nice even crease and glue crease onto the front of the top rail mount. Do not glue onto the sides of the top rail mount as this will need to fit back into the brackets.

6. Glue the other three sides. Starts with each slat and glue the rounded part onto the fabric. Then glue each side down in a nice even crease.

7. Optional: Glue a decorative trim onto the roman shade (I skipped this step).

8. Rehang your blinds and feel proud of yourself!

I still have two more windows to finish but I need more fabric. So it’s back to the fabric store before this project is finished up.

Now that I’ve figured out how to do this, it will go much faster in the future. For all those renters out there, I recommend giving this a try. Mine wasn’t perfect but it sure is better than the mini-blinds. Oh and for the record, since my mom is a reader, I did get all my chores done in time. ūüôā

November 30, 2010 at 8:41 AM 14 comments

My Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving with my family is all about tradition.  Thanksgiving is not a one day event; it starts Wednesday evening and it continues until Sunday.

(view at our ranch where we spend Thanksgiving)

I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the Imwalle/Reiter Thanksgiving by giving a breakdown of what happened two years ago.

Wednesday night: the entire extended family (about a group of 30) gather for crab, abalone and wine stay up until the wee hours catching up with one another.

(Flower field at the ranch)

Thursday: Thanksgiving day hike either along the coast or up in the hills for porcini mushrooms. Then it is food prep, prep and more prep.  We tend to do the turkey in as many different creative ways as possible.  I believe two years ago is was prepared in duck fat.  For our feast, we all gather in our barn and have a table that stretches the entire length.  Everyone must give a speech – all 30 of us.  Then more eating and drinking.  Two years ago, after dinner, a dance off ensued.  Each cousin danced between the stalls of the barn; I think my cousin Garland won with the best moves.  The dance competition broke out into a dance party.

(We have dinner in the white barn, shown in the background)

Friday we usually have an activity planned. We were going to have Michael Pollan, the author, come on Friday to pick Porcini mushrooms with us but he had to reschedule as his own family is in town. Two years ago we had professional tree climbers from Oregon come down.  We picked one of the tallest trees we knew of on the ranch and then they strapped ropes up to the top.

The tree my entire family climbed.

Each one of us got harnessed in and climbed about 200 feet up to the top of the tree.  Graham and I were the first ones to climb it because we had to leave on Saturday morning.  It took the tree guys all day on Friday to put up the ropes and so when we started the climb it was dusk; when we finished climbing, it was pitch black out; we could hear the owls hooting, the nocturnal animals emerging, and take in the serenity of the stars from 200 feet up.  Very cool experience!

For Friday night, we had suckling pig as our main dish.  Can you tell we have some foodies in our family?  It was very good.  Graham got the head. ūüôā

On Saturday, every member of the family gave the tree climb a try.  Every member but my dad; he was completely satisfied in watching everyone else give it a try.

My brothers free climbed the last 40 feet of the tree, free climbing 200 feet up in the air.

View from the top.

It is a strange and sad feeling that just two years ago dad was present and feeling so well.  At that point the chemo was working miracles and he felt healthy.  He toasted everyone at Thanksgiving, he even danced and he sat and watched as everyone climbed up the massive tree.  I miss him dearly and I miss the warmth and energy he would bring to family events.

Dad and I catching some rays on the ranch lawn.

I think I can safely say that we have the best Thanksgiving ever!  Now you can see why this is my favorite holiday! I’m going to be taking the rest of the week off as we don’t get cell or internet reception at the ranch – a very relaxing break. I wanted to wish you the very merriest of Thanksgivings! And tell each one of you I’m so thankful that you’re a reader!

November 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM 10 comments

Congrats to Julia Lynn

I am honored today to write about a shout-out given to my cousin, Julia Lynn, on Design Sponge. Design Sponge is a major design blog and I’m so proud that her photography is featured on it. ¬† Julia and Squire Fox’s beautiful photos of the amazing design work of Angie Hronowsky’s home were posted yesterday.

Let us take a look at all of their hard work.

Isn’t Angie’s home gorgeous?! ¬†I love all of the bold colors, geometric fabrics and vintage pieces. ¬†Behind every genius designer is a talented photographer documenting her work. ¬†Julia photographs a lot of Angie’s interiors and they share an office together. ¬†What a great creative combo!!

Julia Lynn

Julia is an incredibly talented photographer; I feel very privileged to have one of her prints in my home.

Obviously, my photography skills need work! ¬†I will be doing a more in depth post on Julia’s work, but until then, I urge you to go check out her site here (where you can buy the same print I have in my home). ¬†If only she lived in California or I lived in Charleston. ¬†Hmmm…now that sounds more like it – I have ALWAYS wanted to be a Southerner – wonder how the hubby would feel about another move.

November 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM 3 comments

Spectacular Spool Chair

The other day, I suggested a pair of spool chairs by Hickory for a client’s family room. ¬†It is the perfect, classic chair that is absolutely timeless.

These particular clients were seeking something different then the typical club chair or wingback chair yet still as comfortable. ¬†The spool chair seems to be the perfect fit for what they are seeking. ¬†Let’s take a look at the chair in action, shall we?

Design by Kelly from High Street Market

House Beautiful

Via House Beautiful

Love, love and love

November 22, 2010 at 5:30 AM 6 comments

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  What are you getting into this weekend?!  I would love to know!

Today, ¬†I’m taking the afternoon off of work to spend some girl time with my mom. ¬†We have a tradition of shopping together for Christmas gifts. ¬†She has a lot of work buying presents for 4 children, 4 spouses, and 4 grandkids. ¬†You know that I love to shop and so every year we go to the mall and I help her pick things out for everyone, including myself. ūüôā

We have a history of going to¬†Anthropologie¬†for the girls and Patagonia for the boys; it’s probably all because there is easy parking to both stores in Palo Alto. ¬†But this year, we may change it up a bit. ¬†One store I’m thinking is J. Crew. ¬†We have to pick a store that is in every city so that it’s easy for people to return stuff, if they should so desire in their respective home towns. ¬†Plus, I’ve been loving their stuff lately.

Here’s what I’ve been loving….

I would die and go to heaven if I owned this J.Crew dress.  Where and when would I wear it, you ask?  Well, honey those are details!

This sequined skirt makes me squeal with happiness. ¬†What’s that you say? ¬†I would only wear it on New Year’s and maybe not even then…details, darlin’.

I have gone mad for those yellow shorts! ¬†What’s that you say? ¬†It’s going to be December when I actually unwrap the gift; the San Francisco summer will officially be over and by the time Spring arrives again, I may not be completely into yellow ruffled short shorts. ¬†DETAILS. ¬†I don’t do details. ¬†Who is this voice of reason that keeps typing away at this entry? ¬†Could it be my lack of shopping lately has made me completely evaluate the practicality of every piece of clothing?

November 19, 2010 at 5:30 AM 4 comments

Sew Organized

My sister-in-law is starting her own business, making and selling the cutest handmade baby clothes ever! ¬†She is a very talented seamstress and I can’t wait to show her clothing samples once everything is up and running. ¬†At the moment, she is working on organizing her sewing room, which also acts as a guest bedroom. ¬†She requested some inspiration pics of sewing spaces, so here are some ¬†fun, well-organized, highly functioning sewing rooms or nooks:


Via Apartment Therapy

Via The Upstairs Sewing Room

Via the Blisstree

If you also have a sewing room or craft room, I hope this provided inspiration for you.

November 18, 2010 at 8:32 AM 6 comments

Royal Wedding

Did you hear the news? ¬†It’s official! ¬†William and Kate have announced their engagement. ¬†It is time for a royal wedding! ¬†I love them as a couple. ¬†I couldn’t be more giddy about the extravaganza – you’d think that I know them personally or that I believe I will be receiving an invite in the mail. ¬†To celebrate these two love-bugs, let’s take a look back at William’s parent’s wedding. ¬†I think that was the moment that solidified to all little girls they wanted to be a princess when they grew up.

William and Kate – I can’t wait for your perfect wedding. ¬†See you there. ūüôā

November 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM 8 comments

J. Jill

I have to admit that I had always thought of J. Jill as a perfect resource for my mom to shop for clothes.¬†¬†It is a store¬†she has¬†shopped for a long time.¬† But, I didn’t think of it as a place for me to shop.¬† Recently, I was at my mom’s house flipping through the catalog and I was pleasantly surprised.

Alpaca Blend Cardigan

Tall Riding Boots

Vineyard Tweed Cardigan

Lucy foil bloch flats

Corso Como Beaded Flats

What do you think of J. Jill?  Potential?  Click here to shop them online.

November 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM 4 comments

Antique Turkish Kilims

Every since our trip to Turkey last year, I’ve had the little thought in my head that an antique turkish kilim would complete our home. ¬†Although, I don’t think our home will be completed with such a piece as they are pricey. ¬†When we were in Istanbul, we went to the rug houses where we drank massive amounts of apple tea and admired rug after rug after rug. ¬†My husband was a real trooper for sitting through these sessions as even I tired of them. ¬†We walked away without a rug but with a fun experience.

Here was an image I had in my mind for inspiration on a Turkish Kilim:

Image via Elle Decor – Turkish Kilim from Double Knot

Well, when you can’t travel back to a country for another look, E-Bay can always come to the rescue. ¬†I didn’t find any kilims today that spoke to me, but I did find this great pillow made from an antique kilim.

Available here.


November 15, 2010 at 10:17 AM 1 comment

Happy Friday

That’s right – it’s that time of the week again – weekend time. ¬†Kick up them feet and RELAX or put your feet to the test and dance the wee nights away. ¬†Graham and I will be doing a combo. ¬†Probably lying low Friday night and then going to a Thanksgiving party with friends Saturday night. ¬†Nothing like a big meal to bring on the holiday cheer.

I’m going to leave you off this week with a recipe for Persimmon Mojitos.¬† I haven’t tried them but with the final days of our San Francisco Indian summer upon us, I figured this is the perfect combo of summer and autumn.

Persimmon Mojito


Crushed ice

6 ounces light rum

8-10 mint sprigs

4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Simple syrup (about 4 tablespoons sugar to 4 tablespoons water combined) to taste

2-3 tablespoons persimmon puree, (fuyu variety)

Club soda

2 lime slices


Puree persimmons (remove skin), in a blender or juicer.

Place ice in a beverage shaker, add rum, bruised mint leaves, lime juice, and sugar mixture. Shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Add the persimmon puree and combine gently, and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaves.

What are you up to this weekend?

November 12, 2010 at 8:43 AM Leave a comment

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