Andrea Roe's Super Dreamy Gift Guide

I'm a terrible gift shopper, so thank the dear sweet baby Jesus for Miss Andrea Roe -- gift buyer extraordinaire. Karly and I have both been recipients of her fabulous picks, so we thought we'd spread her magic touch to you, too. Check out her super selections and start stimulating the economy already! There are generally two contrasting personality types,  the high-strung Type A and the easy-going Type B.  I prefer labels that aren't so clinical, such as Realists and Dreamers. In an ode to Modern Family, one of my current favorite shows featuring the truly Type A Pritchetts, we have gifts in both ends of the personality spectrum. Hooray!

Alright, Dreamers....Behold, a metallic cowhide rug from Calypso St. Barth.  Eat your heart out, Kelly Wearstler.

Of course, Dreamers are always on a perpetual search for inspiration, and what better source of inspiration than the magic of music? Right on, man. Your ear drums will thank you a million times over for spoiling them with these sweet art-deco era headphones.

If you are a more tactile spirit and require visual inspiration, let your hands peruse the pages of THE Master Dreamer and fashion designer extraordinaire, the late Alexander McQueen's book. Each page is guaranteed to suck you in while marveling at his craftsmanship and while providing a glimpse into his fantastical universe.

For those of you who are Dreamers-on-the-Run who have a full-time job and a kid or two or three or a million cats and just need a daily reminder to slow down while cooking dinner, feeding the dog, doing loads of laundry, remembering to brush your hair, chasing dust bunnies across the house while trying to find 30 minutes to watch Modern Family, just STOP. And. Take ten seconds. To these gorgeous gemstone magnets on your finger-print covered fridge. Ahhhhh, all better now.

Don't worry, Dreamers-Who-Work-in-an-Office, I got your poor souls covered, too. All you need to do is get yourselves one of these sweet dodecahedron terrariums, or, two or three, for your office or tiny cubicle and daydream away. Fact: I'm pretty sure this is the first thing in my entire life I have ever written using the word dodecahedron.

Alright you active sporty Dreamers, this one's for you. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say this horse swimsuit is the new 'Three Wolves Howling at the Moon' t-shirt. Not only is it sexier by a million, it can get wet. Rawwwr!

Finally, for those Dreamers who are perhaps not as bold and are a little more reserved: You love to entertain and host sophisticated cocktail parties and want whomever comes to your chic house to admire this statement piece hanging above your couch that you just purchased on 1stDibs, iconic Barry Feinstein's photograph of legendary Dreamer Bob Dylan, then turn around and look at you and say, "Dreamer, you are all-right!"

Next up, we have the Prichetts -- the Type A folk, the structured planners and organizers.  People who like to Keep.It.Real.

Raise your hand if you enjoy being so organized you purchased a 2012 calendar three months ago. If so, I bet you didn't score one of THESE babies. Karly, with a name like Dreamcats, this calendar has your name all over it.

For all of you OCD homies, you will no longer have to measure your carrot sticks 20 times in a row to make sure they are all the exact same length. This genius cutting board will save you hours of measuring. You will have THE most precise charcuterie plate out of all of your friends. Or the entire population of Austin.

If you wake up one morning and find yourself in an introspective and analytical mood, perhaps you can mediate on this Rorschach-inspired ink blot mug. May I suggest that your meditation may be facilitated by a little Jameson Irish Whiskey and Bailey's. I don't know first hand, that's just what I've been told.

For those of you Prichetts who are more nostalgic and prefer to hold on to the simpler way of doing things, you will love this chrome desk pencil sharpener, a throw-back to the scholastic era of open-front public school desks and greasy square hamburger cafeteria lunches.

You cannot be a Pritchett if you are not punctual.  What better way to help manage your time than this classic George Nelson clock. Realists know no such things as alarm clocks or iPhone alerts.  You need something with a uni-tasking purpose, a strong, reliable time keeping machine!

Just because you are practical does not mean you don't like to have a bit of fun. You most certainly may plan a 'crazy' Friday night out two weeks ahead of time on a cool Fall night. You never leave home without your colorful Ikat throw in case a freakishly cold breeze blows in. The bold colors and eye-catching pattern lets others know how zany and/or funky you truly are.

And of course, you will immediately rush home at a respectable hour of 10:00pm from your wild escapade of an evening to thank your friends for a wonderfully restrained yet tantalizing evening on this sleek vintage typewriter. The smell of white-out tape and clickity clacking of the key stokes is what really gets your endorphins going, after all.

Thank you Erin for asking me to write a gift guide for your special blog. I hope I did you and Karly proud.
Happy Everything, Everyone!!

Jennifer Perkins' Shopping Guide to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin

If you live in Austin and have a love of handmade goods, then you have heard of the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. This year is extra special because it is the 10 year anniversary of the bazaar.  My name is Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club and I will be your host for today's post about Blue Genie and let's go ahead and get the fact that I am biased towards the show out of the way right up front.

Sure I realize not everyone's taste is as eclectic as the kitschy wreaths, cat heads and tin can robots you can find in my booth at the show - but I promise there is something for almost everyone.  Sure there are lots of the things you would expect to find at a "craft show".  Handmade jewelry, T-shirts, baby onesies, soaps - you know the drill.  The things you will also find that you might not have been expecting are ceramics (cool ones), living wall art made from plants, paintings, prints and even giant pieces of sushi.

Blue Genie is a juried show selecting only the best artists in Austin.  Locals might recognize names like Chia, Darla Teagarden, Mark Joiner, Amy Barber, Moxie, Ornamental Things, Baby Bolt, Hot Pink Pistol and of course the Blue Genie guys themselves.  You can't take a driving tour through Austin without spotting a Rory Skagen mural or a large piece of sculpture that the guys did sitting atop a business.  I happen to be the proud owner of one of their larger than life glitter covered popsicles.

The show runs through Christmas Eve so you still have a chance to go and get your shop on.  7 days a week you can bask in the glory of a kitschy Christmas.  Head down to Marchesa Hall at Lincoln Village (6226 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, TX 78732) 10am daily.  Be sure to tell em' Naughty Secretary Club and Design Crisis sent ya.

Guest Post: This Old House

So the furnace was broken and we called our trusty heating and cooling guys who, when last time we called, literally moved a wire and the unit was fixed. This time was equally embarrassing as we had already gone through the pains to install a new igniter (I didn’t install it, my handy stepfather did it -- neither the husband nor I are capable of such things), and it turns out one of the little tubes that connects a something to a something else was clogged. One blow of the magical repairman’s breath and it was unclogged -- and $125 later, we had heat! I guess since it took less than 5 minutes to fix, the repairman (lets call him Bill) felt obligated to critique our old houses heating system. This is actually a good thing I guess, since we are officially on the market as of a few days ago. However, after hearing what Bill had to say, I felt like giving up and taking a short sale right then and there (I get discouraged easily). Anyone in Kansas City want to buy a sweet little 50s bungalow in the Plaza area? Probably not after I mention the problems that were so blatantly overlooked when my husband purchased this nightmare house 4 years ago. Don’t get me wrong; the thing is cute as a button, but DAMN -- you almost have to have a degree in construction or whatever to live here. So as a future warning to peeps living in old houses, you might want to check for a few things in your heating and cooling system: 1. Is your flue lined? I think Bill was talking about the chimney flue, however we were in the basement when he was telling me this and I’m not sure which flue exactly he was referring to. But he said that the previous owners had installed a high efficiency furnace (at this point I'm thinking -- Yay! A plus for once!) which isn’t supposed to be used with a flue like ours. (Fabulous)

2. Are your duct pipes double lined? If they are exposed and hanging about the basement as ours are, they should be double lined because well, they get really hot! Not only that, but going back to the flue issue, if the flue is not lined, non double lined pipes collect acidic moisture in them and eventually, they will disintegrate which makes it pretty darn hard to heat the house.

3. The crème de la crème was the asbestos tape coming loose. (Asbestos!?!?!! WTF) I had no idea we had asbestos. Cancer treatment centers of America -- here I come. I have no idea who the jank-ass inspector was that my husband used when he bought this house 4 yrs ago, but he sure didn’t mention the A-word. I’m gonna be so pissed if I get mesothelioma before this is all said and done.

On a much lighter note, let me introduce myself, I’m Liz and a guest blogger here. Erin and Karly were so kind to let me be a part of their amazing site and I hope I don’t totally ruin its rep. Since the theme is design, I’m going to introduce you to an amazing new firm/furniture design team called Autoban based in Istanbul, Turkey. The team are young architects Seyhan Özdemir & Sefer Çağlar and their crew of designers is barely old enough to have graduated architecture school (Yeah, I’m Jealous). Autoban mixes old and new - (hence the this old house theme… clever EH?). They do residential and commercial and there are some definite patterns running in their work, the main being stark minimalism set against ornate traditionalism in the moldings, paneling and other ornate prettiness, and they soften it by painting it all white (which I love). I guess in Istanbul most of the residential architecture is pretty darn old, and the way Autoban handles it is Autobantastic! Ok I'll stop now.

Sorry the pics are so small.  I love this gold ceiling and the stark minimalism of the carrera marble counters (must have cost a fortune.)

Painted brick is always a good idea.

Neon butterflies = happiness

Introducing my newest obsession -- the box sofa (on left) with its super clean lines and tufted leather yumminess- I'm sure it don't come cheap.

Gorgeous hotel kitchenette -- Witt Hotel, Istanbul.  I'm sure I won't be visiting anytime soon, but it's nice to dream.

For more info on Autoban go here: Hope you enjoyed the post!