home progress : living solutions

living room updates

a month or so ago I shared with you some ideas that I’d been pinning as inspiration for buying a home.  since then we’ve put in an offer and it fell through.  someone told me that the #1 rule in buying a house was to not get attached, but naturally I did.  but we moved on and have still been looking for the perfect home.

while we’ve been on the hunt, one important thing for me is a natural place for Wolf to play.  currently, we share the living room space with all of his toys and it works for now, but it definitely needs some improving.  we’re hoping to find a house with a dedicated play room, but in the event that we don’t, I’ve been looking for great storage solutions, area rugs and ways to partition off a little space just for his toys.

even though we share the space, our current living area is big enough for lots of play and for living.  our rental has carpet so we don’t really need a rug but an area rug would be great to spruce up the room – especially given our current case of dull boring carpet.  one thing we need is a great storage solution and I’ve been looking into storage benches.  we’ve got a few of these bolga baskets – which are fantastic!  and I’ve been looking into bookshelves for little books and our books too.

do you have any great storage solutions for a shared living space with kids?  I’d love to hear it.

one : leather couch from room & board / two : floor lamp from school house electric / three : pouf from crate and barrel / four : storage bench from ikea / five : rocking chair from dwr / six : kilim pillow / seven : bolga basket / eight : area rug from medallion / nine : bookcase from crate & barrel / ten : fiddle leaf fig


my illustrated vacation

Illustrated Vacation by Brittany Powell Parich

I love photos.  it’s so fun to flip back through old pictures and reminisce on good times.  so when Brittany contacted me about her latest project of painting custom watercolor snapshots of people’s vacations – I nearly lost it.  such an amazing idea right?!  and much more unique than hanging another photo on the wall.  plus, they’d make amazing gifts to commemorate a special trip.  I asked Brittany to paint this photo of Wolf and I from our most recent trip to the Philippines and just love how she interpreted it and can’t wait to hang it up on our wall.

Brittany is offering a special discount of $50 off the Small Illustrated Album if ordered by December 7.  just mention that you’re an Unruly Things reader!

Alyson Brown Philippines photo

thanks to everyone who supported the Philippines Typhoon Relief funds I posted about last week.  your support and kindness means the world!

{illustrated vacation photo by Brittany Powell Parich, original photo taken in Coron, Philippines by Levi}


currently coveting : new boutique jewelry from Bario Neal

Bario Neal with photography by Alyssa Robb

you guys already know how much I love Bario Neal’s gorgeous jewelry.  both Levi and I have bands from Bario Neal and love them dearly!  all their jewelry is expertly hand-crafted with recycled metals and ethically-sourced stones.  they just launched a brand new collection of boutique work including earrings, necklaces, hair accessories, rings, bracelets, and men’s accessories.  I love this barrette!

Bario Neal with photography by Alyssa Robb Bario Neal with photography by Alyssa Robb

good news for you New Yorkers – they’ve recently expanded their NY Showroom to allow for one-on-one appointments, specializing in bands, engagement rings, custom jewelry, as well as everyday jewelry.

Bario Neal with photography by Alyssa Robb Bario Neal with photography by Alyssa Robb

{photography by Alyssa Robb, courtesy of Bario Neal}


show me your stack : lauren spencer king

Unruly Things / Show Me Your Stack :: Lauren Spencer King

today’s stack comes from Lauren Spencer King.  Lauren is a multi-talented artist {she painted all the watercolor elements here on UT!} and a wonderful gal.  she writes the blog The Sphinx and the Milkyway where she shares beautiful inspirations.  here’s what she has to say about her stack and it’s truly quite moving…

These rings are very meaningful to me. I wear them as reminders, as celebrations, as mementos. Each one is added to represent a person or a moment in my life that needs to be marked and remembered. Years ago I never wore jewelry, ever. And now I am someone who treasures it, what it means, and why I have it. I never take these rings off. I imagine some day, if I keep this tradition up, my fingers will be full!

The stack started in 2008 with the two hammered gold bands on my left middle finger. My mum was a silversmith and made them years before. When my grandfather died she inherited some gold coins from him. He was a banker, and wasn’t ever understating or supportive of my mum as an artist. She cut up two of the coins and made them into rings, one for me, and one for her. On the inside you can still see some of the stampings from the original coins. I think there was something about the reclamation of this material that was really symbolic for her at the time, which I think is really beautiful. When she died I started wearing both together. They are among my most treasured possessions.

In 2009 while going through my mum’s safe I found the thin gold band on my right ring finger. I’m guessing it was a wedding band that had been sized up, it might have been my grandmother’s or my great grandmother’s. I wear it now for both of them.

I wanted to celebrate my graduation from grad school in the Spring of 2011. The day after graduation I went and picked out the opal ring. The opal’s symbolic meaning was so representative of my experience during grad school, and I wanted it to serve as a reminder of that accomplishment.

In the fall of 2012 my heart went through a huge transformation. I wanted to mark the moment when I let go and embarked on a new life long journey to rediscover what my definition of love is. The ourbooros is one of my favorite images, it is an ancient symbol of the snake eating its own tail. It is about being in an endless cycle of transformation and renewal, it is also a symbol of eternity.

That year for the holidays my dad surprised me with the rings on both my pinkies. One designed by a friend, and the other with a diamond and a sharks tooth.

The ring on my right index finger is one my mum made many moon’s ago. It is one of my favorites, she was so talented and original. I love that it is like a little sculpture and also like a collage. It’s gold and silver with an emerald. This ring makes me so happy.

This past spring I finally sold my mum’s home. It was a huge letting go, both physically and emotionally, and I did it all on my own. I wanted something to remind me of what I am capable of and that I carry with me the energy of that home where ever I am. At the time I ended up rediscovering this ring that my mum used to wear. It is a raw diamond, and a cut diamond. And it seemed to perfectly sum up the experience. I wear it on my left ring finger.

Recently, I have been wearing my mum’s replacement wedding ring on my right ring finger. She repurposed the stones from her original one that my dad bought for her in England when they lived there. Every time I take this ring off I just get a feeling that I need to put it back on. It’s not really my style, but I think for some reason I need to be wearing it right now, so I am. Maybe it is a place holder, and a sign that soon I will have a wedding ring of my own.

Left Hand: Claw Ring by Eva Fehren, opal ring from Arp in Los Angeles, my mum’s double diamond ring, two gold bands made by my mum. Right Hand: Emerald ring made by my mum, thin rose gold band from OK in Los Angeles, gold snake ring from Otte in New York, mum’s diamond wedding band, gold family wedding band, shark tooth ring by Dezso

just perfect, right?  and what jewelry should be – meaningful.  thanks so much, Lauren!


bite + sip : persimmon ginger fizz

Unruly Things for Art in the Age / Persimmon Ginger Fizz

have you heard of the delightful spirits from Art in the Age?  with an amazing collection including ROOT, SAGE, SNAP and RHUBARB, there’s something for everyone.  a few weeks ago, the kind folks at Art in the Age sent us a bottle of their SNAP to test out.  and let me tell you… it’s incredible.

Unruly Things for Art in the Age / Persimmon Ginger Fizz

we’ve been mixing it with everything from hard apple cider to ginger ale and have even drizzled it over dulce de leche gelato and baked it into a cake!  I thought I’d share with you a little cocktail I whipped up today.

makes 2 drinks

2 very ripe persimmons, pulp scooped and pureed
3 oz of SNAP
4 oz of apple cider*
1 generous knob of ginger, chopped
fizzy water
apple slices for garnish

shake the persimmon puree, apple cider and ginger really well in a shaker with ice.  divide evenly between glasses and fill with fizzy water to the top.  dash with cinnamon, garnish with apple slices and enjoy!

to find SNAP or any of the other Art in the Age spirits in your area, visit their website here.

*not the hard stuff this time, but it’d probably be really good!  you could swap out the regular apple cider and fizzy water for hard cider.  I recommend Doc’s Pumpkin Cider or Anthem Apple Cider.

{photos by Alyson Brown for Art in the Age}


Philippines typhoon relief : how to help

Philippines - photo by Alyson Brown

as many of you know, I have family in the Philippines.  they are safe.  and thank you so so much for the love, outreach and concern about them.  miraculously where they live was left unharmed.  but as I’m sure you’ve seen, there are many, many places that were not so lucky.  the damage is just heartbreaking.

for those in Tacloban and the surrounding coastal areas severely affected by the storm, my heart goes out to them.  and here’s how you can help: