Weekend Reading + Random Thoughts

By Kate Riley April 12, 2013

I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors this week on purpose, the weather here has been so perfect and I’m just soaking it all in. I walked out into my yard late last night and could see the stars so clearly and everything underneath it coming to life again. It felt good to breathe in the night air and know that spring is happening.

spring blooms in bottles


Can I tell you that I’m crushing hard on the painterly trend?

lonny watercolor roman shades


I’ve been obsessed for a while and even have a few versions of my own I’ve created for fabrics (coming soon!) I love most anything with abstract brushstrokes or watercolors and how fun that it’s appearing everywhere from fashion to decor.

painterly trend

lucid printweekend bagwatercolor pillowlampshade


Speaking of trends, I’m 100% in love with this mottled paint ombre wall.   

ombre wall west elm



I posted a few more articles over at BH&G, here are the links:

decorating with glass bottles

increase your curb appeal

colorful outdoor seating

modern spring palettes


In family news, I watched my son break his first board with a running kick and get a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do this week. My daughter also blew the biggest bubble possible inside her batting helmet. Two very proud family moments – my kids they got skillz.

kates kids


In creativity news, I had a Shrink Film #craftfail happen a few days ago. I started to write a post about it but haven’t finished. It was one hot mess of a project with a pathetic end – meanwhile here are 17 more Pinterest fails to keep it real.

We lost some greats this past week: I’ve always admired this lady. He was one of us. She made fashion so fun.  

Mad Men through a 21st century lens – cool.

“Faux Realities” and the pressures of social media – well said.

My latest post at My Colortopia: semi DIY shelves.

In entertainment news, I started watching the BBC Sherlock series on iTunes and got through three episodes. I’m on the fence about continuing, I think I just really want to stare at Jude Law as Dr. Watson (update: from the movie version). Those who’ve watched it, should I keep going with the series?

Another ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ post is coming up on Sunday, wow there are some great ideas in this roundup. Have a great weekend!

kate signature


  1. Spring only flirted with us for few days at the beginning of the week here in NYC. The weekend is supposed to be nice, can’t wait!! Are all those flowers from your garden? So pretty :)

    • Two out of three, Han. The lilacs are from the market but my neighbor has a bush and I want one so bad!

  2. I enjoyed Sherlock a lot…I say stick with it. I felt the same way after the first couple of episodes. Have you tried “the American’s”? (not BBC… I am not of the channel, but you’ll find it). I like that one a lot too. Just in from a Girl Scout meeting & it is Friday…YIPPEE…how about a glass of wine anyone? It is 4:56…close enough!
    :) Kelly

  3. Sherlock’s pretty great. I say watch the next one – “A Scandal in Belgravia,” is considered to be the best one of the 6 so far.
    I love the pictures for spring! Nice bright colors~

  4. I’m living my spring vicariously through people like your right now… it’s snowed here for the last 3 days! (Minneapolis area) :( We are all sooooo looking forward to being able to go in the yard and pick lilacs, though it’ll probably be July… Little Bit

  5. I really enjoyed Sherlock and say continue. They are rather lengthy but I love a good show like movie on the weekends. I can’t wait for them to come out with more, I have been patiently waiting.

  6. Yes! You definitely should continue with Sherlock. I’m addicted to it and Benedict Cumberbatch is seriously dishy as Sherlock (I would say though being married to a Brit). I was so excited to find out that they’re currently filming the latest episode. Yay!

    • Yes I love Benedict as Sherlock, I meant I preferred Jude as Dr. Watson in the movies. :)

  7. Stick with Sherlock! In the beginning, I watched it with my husband because he loved it, and I was kind of with you on the fence. But oh, my word! I can’t remember exactly when, but I’m on the fence no longer, and can hardly wait for the next season! I love that show!

    As well as the lilacs. Beautiful photo.

  8. SHERLOCK! I don’t know if you should continue. I mean i adored it from the very first episode. I can’t imagine not loving it and if I would have liked the second season better when I didn’t enjoy the first. Sherlock Holmes with Downey and Law is one of my favorite movies ever but I enjoy Sherlock as well. I also love Elementary so maybe I’m just a fan of all the Sherlock Homes movies/tv shows happening now, even though I find the books infinitely boring!

  9. I tried to get into Sherlock too but it was just so dark. The weather in the UK was bad enough but the show just made me want to watch sesame street and eat ice cream afterwards.

    I love the light in your kitchen and the white freshness of it all!

  10. I love “Sherlock” and agree with the post above that the best episode is “A Scandal in Belgravia.” But the actor you’re admiring as Dr. Watson is Martin Freeman; Jude Law played Dr. Watson to Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock in the theatrical versions. Both are very handsome, I must say!

  11. Loved all if your articles, especially the one on decorating with glass bottles!
    Glad you are enjoying the weather. Totally envious, we are expecting hail today (unreasonably cold here). Boo. Anyway just saying hi and that as always I really enjoyed your writing


  12. Hi Kate,
    Thank you for your blog. It is one of my favs! My first comment is your picture of your daughter blowing her bubble was priceless. Made me laugh out loud. I should be saved in your “when I’m having a bad day folder” to make your smile when your not. Kids rock.

    My second comment is a question… My husband and I are painting our house this spring and love the gray shingled house with yellow door combination in your BH&G article. ANY idea of what colors those are?

    Thank you! Enjoy the spring… Here on the Eastcoast we aren’t quite there yet!

    • Thanks Elizabeth, did you mean with the red door? That’s a very pale gray, I don’t know the color exactly, but if you’re smitten, I’d print the photo and take it with you when you’re shopping for samples to paint your home. And pick a lot of samples! Grays can be tricky, they can lean taupe, lavender, blue or green quickly, all based on their tint formula and undertones. Here are some of my favorite grays: http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/10/favorite-gray-paint-colors/ Also an article I wrote on choosing exterior paint colors: http://mycolortopia.com/blog/color/choosing-exterior-paint-colors especially the part about looking at paint color samples at all times of the day since you’re painting such a large surface, good luck! :)

      Enjoy your spring, when it arrives!

  13. Sherlock is dark, but the acting and writing in the show is extraordinary. My husband and I have loved watching it.

  14. If you’ve watched 3 episodes of Sherlock and are still on the fence, why bother to continue? Maybe it’s just not your cup of tea. I say that as someone who loves it (it’s clever, unsentimental, well-written by Dr. Who writers Moffat and Gatiss (also a novelist), faithful to Doyle’s original characters but with a really interesting extrapolation of their personalities/relationship into a modern setting, and the weather is perfectly British). But not everybody loves the same things.

    PS: Martin Freeman, not Jude Law. Law did a good job in the recent Sherlock Holmes movies, but the movies were not as faithful to the spirit of the books as the BBC series is.

  15. RE: Sherlock…I think they only made six episodes anyway so it’s no huge commitment…I watched them all because I so enjoyed Sherlock’s bad attitude and constant preening and posing…so funny…but then, I was a big “House” fan.

    I have been having more than my share of DIY fails lately! So hard to keep believing in my ability when I have a string of a few disappointments! But somehow I am never down for long…the siren call of DIY always lures me back!

  16. My DH and I are hooked on Sherlock. “Crazy good” says he with a Scottish lilt. So much that we won’t even try Elementary, American version. Also a humourous show and we like that too.

  17. Kate,
    You’ve thrown out a few teases about your upcoming fabric line. Can you give your faithful followers a little more information ( or a sneak preview) before the grand unveiling? I can’t wait to see what you are working on! Good luck! I know it will be CENSATIONAL!

    • Thanks Cathy! It’s a difficult process, there are two ways to print fabric, the traditional way of screenprinting where you have screens cut and the fabric printed at a mill, this takes time and investment since there are yardage minimums. There is also the modern technique of digital printing which is faster and “on demand” so it’s easier to get started that way. As soon as I have all the designs done I’ll release them to the public and offer pillows for sale in a shop too. Thanks for your support!!

  18. The picture of your daughter with that huge bubble inside her helmet is a hoot!!!

  19. Lovely posts, Kate, and thank you for honoring Lady Margaret, a great human being who adored her country. As an American of Irish descent, I could find ancient reasons to resent certain elements of British imperialism, but I do not. I confess that I am — an always will be — a hopeless Anglophile. I am so grateful to the Lady for her friendship to my country during tough times. God Save Her and God Bless our cousins across the pond!

  20. That blue ombre wall is absolutely stunning and the photo of your daughter with the massive bubble was a wonderful start to my day! Gorgeous photos, beautifully written post.

  21. YES!!! Watch all the Sherlock episodes! You have to take a break between them because they are so intense and have so many details. The last episode has a killer ending! Oh My Gosh! The whole series is phenomenal!

  22. Hi Kate, I love the painterly trend you’ve shown here and the ombre painted wall. Did you ever show DIY directions for creating the bottles shown by Via, or maybe on one of the Best of the Blogs? They have a clouded appearance on the inside. Thanks for all the great ideas.

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