09 April 2013

04 April 2013

New Beginnings

I am excited (and a little bit nostalgic) to report that the new and improved Avarice is live!!!  Kind of ironic at this time I am moving from my original home here to TheAvarice.com, we are also awaiting a pending offer on our first home as a family and the home for which this blog was started.  Funny how things happen.  Anyway, I am so excited for this and all upcoming new beginnings.  Now, check me out!

14 March 2013

Foolproof Flower Arranging

I really would never describe myself as a "domestic" type of gal.  I am very in touch with my masculine side.  The tools in the shed belong more to me than to my husband.  (I joke with him that the only thing he knows how to make is money.  And that's just fine with me.)  I like to snake the bathroom drain, change the compressor in the HVAC unit, and install window treatments.  I am good at that stuff and it does something for me.  Maybe it's in keeping with that that I am also interested in all other matters of the home, correction, the handmade home.  I love to cook, decorate, obviously, set a table, host a party, and I LOVE to arrange me some flowers.  Everything above takes practice and flower arranging is something I have paid careful attention to because I wanted desperately to be good at it.  A couple years ago, I discovered a little trick to help this and it hasn't failed me yet.

What you'll need:

Flowers or Greenery... obvi.  I used a combination of stems from the florist and yard clippings.  (And the neighbor's yard clippings)
Vase (or vaase)  - the type and height of your flowers should be taken into account when choosing the type and height of your vaase.  I was always afraid of "wide mouth" vases because it was more difficult to arrange the flowers, but they are the best type of vase for this "technique."  That was a very Bennett Brauer sentence with all them quotations.
Double sided tape  ( I used washi tape in the photos so that it would photograph better but I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.  I repeat.  Do not use washi tape.  It was a horrible mistake and collapsed after a couple stems.  I have used one sided tape also and it was okay, but really the double sided is the bomb.com)

Fill your vase 1/3 to 1/2 with water.

Create a lattice with the double sided tape.  IGNORE THE WASHI TAPE SHOWN. Horrible decision.

Trim off any extra tape around the edges.

Fill in the stems using the squares as a guide.  I generally put shorter stems around the outside or any filler/greens and then try to space out my colors and use the tallest stems toward the center.  There really is no right way.  You can move them around and play with them until you get it how you like.  My best suggestions is to not give up.  About halfway through I always think to myself, Well this looks like some shit.  But then I power through and am almost always happy with the end result.  Sorry I forgot to take photos of me filling in the flowers.

12 March 2013


The hubs is out of town this week and it's a total shit show around here, so you'll excuse me if I am a little spotty this week.  Be that as it may, I'll be posting as usual on Instagram so follow me @whitneymcgregor to stay abreast of all the whackery.  In the meantime, I wanted to catch you up on our recent goings on...

Whenever Tommy is out of town, I put the kids to bed, open the vino and get out my pastels.  There is just something about being alone with some music in my ears...  It is my happy place.  This is one of many I did last night.  I am preparing a couple commissions for new clients and one gift for a very kind someone.  

This morning, LG and I went outside during Liam's morning nap and had a little open studio time.  I KNOW I am biased but I seriously think she is extremely talented.  She's just so deliberate with her color choices and her strokes.  (Ugly toe photo bomb)

Here is the aforepictured subject of my late night art sesh.  It is a mixed bouquet that I picked stem by stem at Something Special Florist on Columbia's Main Street.  

My mama is making some changes to her living room.  She is due for a new slipcover for her ARHAUS sofa (which is maybe the most comfortable sofa in the history of the world).  She is considering the two blues (top right).  She also wants to add a footstool of sorts to her Wisteria chair.  I got some samples for my suggested options.  I think the flame stitch in the bottom right is option numero uno, but I love the peachy velvet and insisted that she make some pillows out of it regardless of anything else.

I ordered a sample of this wallpaper after seeing it online and [sigh] it's so beautiful.  It will be mine.  Oh yes, it will be mine.

More wallpaper samples.  The blue zig zag is one I've had my eyes on for a while and seeing it in person just made things worse.  It's wonderful.

We had a downtown day last week in which we parked walked to meet Tommy out for lunch at drip on Main Street and then headed to the library where we saw this happening.  I love floating umbrellas.  So dreamy.

The pillow factory is open.  I am preparing to open an online shop and pillows will be on the list of items available.  This beauty is for sale.  Sad face.  Email me for more info.

As I think about moving from this house, I am considering the things I love about it and must have in our new home.  Great light and large windows is one of them.

This is a piece I did a while ago that I came across the other night when flipping through my sketchbook.  I am looking into getting prints made, but this original is still available.  Maybe.  If I am able to part with it.

Have you ever read Tikki Tikki Tembo?  It is a silly little book that I got Lilly for Christmas and pulled out recently.  The illustrations are inspiring and I love saying the repeated "Tikki Tikki Tembo-no sa Rembo -chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo"
A blue sky day.  Ordinary pretty.

A white sink may be another must for the new place.  

This is my everyday bag and it is taking a beating.  Poor girl.  Looking for a switch hitter.

Liam's gallery wall is a-growing.  The tie one on the bottom right is a Salvatore Ferragamo ad I pulled out of my mom's New York Times magazine when I was like 15.  It got my wheels turning because I've been seeing so many beautiful framed vintage bathing suits and baby clothes.  I have a collection of my Uncle's old ties and I want to tie like 9 of my favorites, mount them on a white backdrop and frame them individually but hang them all together.  Wouldn't that be fab?

A few weekends ago, I rearranged our bookshelves.  It was pretty much the most exciting thing I did all month.

I found this Burberry jacket at Nordstrom weeks ago and I am still thinking about it.  

This was in the midst of said bookshelf overhaul.  It was a bitchin' good time.  We laughed, we cried, we listened to mixed CDs from high school.  

You may already know, I am in the market for a few rugs for myself and for others.  I love these from Jaipur.

When I can't fix certain parts of the house, I resolve to fix other parts that don't really need fixing at all.  This is an example.  The arrangement shown above remains, but I think I am about to be the proud owner of a Fiddle Leaf Fig (shhh... Tommy doesn't know) - this new addition will require some more shuffling.  Queue the music.

I finally sold the Victorian style tufted chairs that I bought at auction.  We moved our kitchen chairs (above) out to the dining room to see if we wanted to do a shuffle and have the Chiavari's out there for good.  We decided no and went ahead with the ones we've had our eyes on... white Bertoia's.  They are en route and I am SO excited.

It's velvet, magnificent and some of the most divine fabric evah.

Our new sofa and some wonderful 3:00 sun.

Perhaps my favorite auction purchase to date.

Dreamin' and schemin'

This was at auction and I am still ticked that I didn't get it.  It ended up selling for like 80 bucks!

More dreamin' and schemin'...

A little corner of our bedroom.

I brought this shell home from the Bahamas last spring and it makes me think of Marcel every time I see it.  And the lovely friend who introduced me to Marcel ;)

Another sofa shot.  She's so-fatogenic.  Had to do it.  Additionally, another for sale pillow out of some beautiful Schumacher fabric.

This would compete with the above chairs for favorite auction purchase...

Our boudoir.  As they say, where the magic happens.

One Sunday, we went to the beach.  Because sometimes I need the salt air in my lungs.  And because we can.  And I am grateful for that.
This is a fun photo from an Instagram photo challenge I did for Jen Bishop's 7 Vignettes.  The subject was mementos and this photo contains:  A carving by my great grandmother, a painting by Tommy's great aunt, a card that my mom gave me, moss balls from our wedding centerpieces, a Jade box that was my grandma's along with a set of her costume pearls, a set of cocktail glasses that were Tommy's grandfathers and China I brought back from Scotland.  I feel so fortunate to have all of these things that mean something special to us.

Check out this kid.  Silly boy.

Another one from the photo challenge.  I never stop loving this little painting by Tali Yalonetzki.

Since I've been off the beef wagon I have been making these no beef meatballs and you know what they say, once you go no beef, you never go back.  They don't say that, but I don't think I will ever go back. They are bison, veal and pork and they will blow your mind.

One day at the park with Lilly.  And then I discovered a tool that allows me to write on the pictures... Let the fun begin.

This was also from the photo challenge and I love this picture so much I think I will have it printed and framed.  It is one of those images that will forever remind me of this house we have made our home and the lovely kitchen we have here.