Tuesday, August 31, 2010

my craft room

If it can even really be called that right now...

Clearly not a lot of crafting is taking place in there at the moment. Needless to say, I have been a little distracted with other things and it more or less became a good dumping ground for things I needed to get out of my kitchen. Now we are having it painted, so everything is stacked in the center of the room and I will have some serious organizing to do when it is all over...

I have this built in desk in the corner of the craft room and I have been trying to decide if I should paint it black or gray or some color... can't quite decide... What do you think? As always, I love to hear your suggestions!

Hope you don't mind me sharing my clutter. I am hoping now that I have posted these pictures, I will get my self motivated to clean it all up and have some fantastic "after" pictures to show for.

Monday, August 30, 2010

25 years later

We have had these barrel chairs in our family for about 25 years now and it makes me laugh that they still are in perfect working order. Talk about being well-made... They swivel and rock just as good as ever. They have, however, taken on several different looks over the years. I wish I had taken the slipcovers off and photographed the old upholstery, but I am sure I could dig up a picture somewhere. In the meantime, what do you think of the latest look for these good old barrel chairs?

These were the previous striped slip covers...

And one newly recovered barrel chair made it into my living room...

So, what do you think?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Madness

While remerchandising the other day, I noticed an abundance of lonely items whose partner had sold and they were left all alone. Feeling kind of sorry for these single items, I decided to have a fun Friday Madness to find homes for all of them.

Euro pillow covers

one candlestick left!

60% off all "Singles" TODAY ONLY!

We have tags around the store marking each of these items as a "single". Items include lamps, artwork, pillows and more. Come take your single home today!
As a last mention, my very good-looking nephew Kevin who is a fireman, young and 6'3" - is also single! He lives in Phoenix for all you interested ladies. Did I mention he's single?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Cute Headboard

We had to show off this adorable twin headboard that one of our designers who shops with us did for a client's bedroom - using our burlap rugs sold at The Willows! What a creative idea Michelle!

What creative ideas have you come with from items you bought at The Willows? If you send in your pictures, they may just be featured on our blog!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

girls in tutus

When little miss Ruby pulled up in front of the store and saw a little mannequin wearing our new tutu she gasped and said, "Oh, Mama!" Needless to say, we didn't have to twist her arm to try it on for a few pictures... and her cousin Lucy was more than happy to oblige as well...

When the excitement of dancing wears you out and you need a little break, leave it to the Willows' to always have a "coze" hanging around (anything silky will do)...

Let's be honest, what could be cuter than girls in tutus...

Oh, and Ruby's friend Carrots was so kind as to pose for a few pictures as well...

So, come check out our new tutus at the Willows' in our kids section, Vanilla Chair...

but try not to forget your shoes...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

kitchen secrets revealed

Ok, so they're not really secrets, but I thought that sounded more exciting than "Where I got my stuff."

I have had lots of comments, emails and general questions about the remodel lately, so I thought I would attempt to give you all the information I have pertaining to the questions I have been asked the most. As a disclaimer, I am a visual person, not a technical person, so some of my information may not be quite as informative as desired... if any of you have advice to add (namely about brick floors) please feel free to chime in...

Question(s): How do you like the brick floors? What kind of brick did you use? What sealer did you use? How do they feel on bare feet?

Answer: I love the brick floors! I am so happy with how they turned out. Unfortunately, that is about all I know. Like I said, I am a visual person and I simply picked the color I wanted and left the install, sealer, etc. to the contractor. In fact, I originally picked a different brick altogether because I loved the color, but I was told it could absolutely not go on a floor as it would be far too crumbly. They steered me in a different direction and, again, I picked based on color. I am sure any brick installer or even possibly contractor could give you answers as to the sealer. (Any one out there have any good tips?) As for bare feet, I actually never go around without shoes on (I have a wee bit of a sensitive foot thing), but when I have walked on it, I think it feels fine, even a little good. It is still a little gritty, which they told me will go away, but it is not rough at all. Is that too longwinded of an answer without really answering what people want to know about the bricks? Whoops....

Question: Where did you get the iron shelving? Do you sell it in your store?

Answer: I actually got these shelves on a buying trip to Paris a couple years ago. We used to sell them in the store, but sadly do not have them anymore. When I got back from Paris, we were able to find someone to make them for the store who had a connection to get all the same kind of pieces (handles, foot bar, etc.), but she more or less ended up flaking on us. We are always on the lookout for something like these. I am actually having metal shelving put in on either side of my stove and found an amazing metal man (not to be confused with the tin man from wizard of oz) named W. Thomas Tuberty. He has done work for LGO, Postino's and other local places. I have more to share on all the fantastic stuff he is working on for us right now, but if you are looking for someone to do something top quality for you, he is your guy. (tuberty designs@gmail.com or call him at 480-213-4982).

Question: Where did you get the hardware on your cabinets?

Answer: I picked out this hardware from a store in Phoenix called Clyde Hardware. We have used them a lot and have always been very happy. If you go, ask for Mike.

Question: Where did you get the white chair covers at the kitchen island?

Answer: I actually had these made for these chairs. The fabric is vintage fabric that I picked up at the flea market. We have a slip cover lady that we use through the store all the time and she made them for me. If you need anything slip covered, call the Willows and we will be glad to give you her info. Anyone have any good suggestions on where to get pre-made slip covers like these?

Question: What paint color did you use on the walls?

Answer: The paint color is Tequila 8672W spma 20-0 int.velvet. I don't really know what all those numbers are for, I just read them off the container. It is from Dunn Edwards, so maybe some of those numbers relate to them, but I figured I would share all of it, in case it is important. And Jody (Sunstate Remodeling and Painting, 480-510-4833), our painter, is the very best, I must say. When we first moved in to this house, our good friend and architect, Jon Martens (who did our original remodel) came up with this color, partially (ok, possibly entirely) for its name. For his memory, I feel its important to remain with this color. I, on the other hand, don't and can't drink tequila, so I must settle for the paint color. Good thing I haven't found a paint color called "vino"...

Anyway, I think that covers most of the questions I have been asked lately. Sorry if all the information you were hoping for is not there... (How big of a slacker am I on those brick questions?) If you have any more questions, please, please ask away!

Monday, August 23, 2010


A couple weeks ago, I was interviewed for the Phoenix New Times culture blog, Jackalope Ranch. I told them I wanted to start doing little restaurant reviews here and there, a sort of "what happens when stay-at-home moms who love food try being food critics." Well, nothing will hold you to your word more than having it in print... so, here goes our first restaurant "review"...

My daughter, Christine, had heard of this new Japanese-inspired restaurant, Nobuo at Teeter House, at historic Heritage Square. (For those not familiar with Phoenix, Heritage Square is a historic center downtown that houses other restaurants and bars, namely Pizzeria Bianco).

Nobuo was lovely. It is run by a sweet husband and wife team, working together to make their dream a reality. The food is "rustic Japanese classics with modern American inflections" and it was delicious. Many people may remember chef Nobuo Fukuda from his popular Scottsdale restaurant Sea Saw and his wife (who was also the hostess and our waitress) told us briefly about how Nobuo was born in Japan, but has been local to the valley since the 80's when he got his start at Benihana's.

I absolutely loved the decor and the way it complimented this charming historic home. The table settings and fine details were simple and perfect for the setting, as well as wonderfully original. We hardly wanted to unwrap the chopsticks as the napkins were so perfectly wrapped around them.

The menu offered so many deliciously tempting options, we could hardly decide. Ok, so maybe we didn't know what half the things on the menu actually meant, but we could tell they sounded delicious... and lucky for us, the chef's wife was our waitress and was able to walk us through it all. We started with two of their specialty cocktails to share. The Cucumber Shiso (vodka, rosewater, fennel and simple syrup) was light and refreshing, but the Devil's Haircut (chamomile-infused white rum, lemon juice, ginger, lemon grass, and honey) was our favorite... mmm, tasty.

From their small bites menu we ordered the Shishito Peppers, which were spicy and amazingly flavored and their Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad, which was the perfect summer dish (we have since tried to replicate it at home).

Next, we ordered the Shiromi Capaccio (ginger, yuzu kosho, sesame oil and garlic with house-made focaccia). This was amazing. They pour hot oil over the fish right at your table and they sizzle up on your plate. The flavors were beyond delicious and, as the waiter said, they serve focaccia with it, so you can soak up all the tastiness that is left. I highly recommend this dish (the people at the table next to us even asked what it was once they saw the presentation and had to have it for themselves). After much debate over the warm dishes (the Pork Belly Buns and Panko-Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwich were also calling our name), we finally decided on the Coconut Curry Grilled Lamb (with mango and fennel salad) and the Okonomiyaki (seafood, pork pancake, okonomi sauce, aonoi, shaved bonito and Japanese mayo). They were both fantastic and we are already aching to go back to try more.

Now, we are no amazing food critics, nor do we pretend to be, but I have to say, I absolutely would recommend Nobuo to any of my friends (you all included) and family. The drinks were fun, the food was good and the atmosphere was lovely. It was an altogether fun evening and that is really what we moms all want, right? So, give Nobuo a try and let me know what you think. Have you tried any new restaurants lately that you would recommend in my neck of the woods or your own? I love hearing about restaurants in other cities that I might visit, don't you?

Friday, August 20, 2010

friday madness!

Are you excited for today's friday madness? Its a good one...
25% off the entire store!* Today only!

*Promotion for in-store only - no special orders or online purchases. Select in-store items excluded.

Hope to see some of you in the store today taking advantage of this great deal!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

almost there

So, the kitchen remodel is mostly done and the unpacking has made some serious headway. Yet, you always seem to still get stuck in an area or two right when you think it should all be complete and you are ready to move on. I did, however, promise some pictures this week and, as people have been asking for them, I didn't want to go back on my word. I will just have to post more when it is all really done. So, here are some pictures (ok, perhaps a few too many... I was feeling a bit indecisive)... Hope you like it all so far!

A few things still on our to-do list...
1. Hang our new TV (you can see the tape marks where it will go)...

2. Shelves for either side of the cook-top (the cabinets that used to be there never actually opened all the way, so I am extra excited for the open shelving!)...

*Dishes waiting for shelves...

3. Waiting on the piece I bought for this corner of the kitchen. We needed to put legs on it due to the air return on the ground, so we are just waiting for it to return...

4. Hang pictures and mirror in bathroom...

Well, what do you think? I do always love to hear your feedback!


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