Moving Weekend!

All is set - Gordita and Finn {the dogs} are stored away at doggie daycare, our possessions are all packed, and the movers are scheduled.  If anything goes wrong, it is not my doing {please tell my husband this when he is inevitably super stressed}.

Have a good weekend everyone!  Hopefully yours will be more relaxing than mine.

Dog Photography

The other day I was at work and super bored {typical}.  So, I spent a few hours looking at professional pet photography online.  I was so impressed by the all the amazing photos I found that I nearly booked a session for my two dogs.  I soon realized a dog photo shoot isn't the best use of money for one on a budget and decided to do it myself. 

Later that week I forced my pups, Gordita and Finn, to have their pictures taken a million times.

One day I want to hire a professional, but for now, these will have to do.


I am currently surrounded by 27 empty boxes.  I was supposed to be packing one room, or one section of a room per night.  It is currently Wednesday and none of these boxes are filled.

I should start tonight...or tomorrow.  Really, I have until Sunday...

Vintage Camera

I would love a vintage camera; it just seems like it would be a fun thing to play with. I have never owned a film camera. Before the days of digital, I would just use disposable cameras. Now that film is old news, I want to try out a vintage film filled camera {there are some super inexpensive ones for sale on Etsy}.

{JRB Vintage on Etsy}

Thoughts? Do you have a vintage camera? Is the film hard to find? Is developing expensive?

Do you have a basic vintage model that you recommend?

Fashion Finds - Yellow and Gray

I am still in a yellow and gray state of mind.  These items I found on Etsy are all so fantastic.  I want each one.

{Owl T-Shirt by Hard Love Apparel}

{Yellow and Gray striped dress by IKAHN}

{Gray and Yellow Purse by ToranJ Creations}

{Vintage Dress by Flour Clothing}

{Hairpins by Acute Designs}

P.S. Do you write gray or grey?  I use gray, but what is the norm?  Every time I write the word gray I feel like I should be spelling it grey and sometimes I just end up writing grey.  I feel like I should be consistent, so a while ago I started solely using gray but if I look back over post writings, I see a lot of greys.

The Kindle Commercial

I don't have a Kindle and I don't really want one {would rather have an Ipad} but I sure do love their commercials.  I am obsessed with the song.  I just read on Amazon that the girl who sings the song {Annie Little} also stars in the commercials.   Love it.

Finds - Quatrefoil

I would happily place any of these small touches of quatrefoil in my house.  I love the symmetry of the design.  So simple, but not something you see everywhere.  It's something that you might not even notice unless you were looking for it, but the design makes an impact.  I love that.

{Clockwise, from the top left: Pillow by Willa Skye Home on Etsy, Mirror by Decorati, Wallpaper by Modern Chic Home, Knob by Anthropologie, Light fixture by Shades of Light.}

Decor - Yellow and Gray

Lately, I have been loving the combo of yellow and gray in both fashion and decor. Gray has been a long time favorite color of mine and I think it goes so well with soft yellows, pinks, and greens.

Do you think gray is too dull for your home? Or, is it the right amount of dull to offset the bright yellow?

{Photos courtesy of House to Home and Apartment Therapy}

Acute Designs on Twitter

I have been contemplating making an Acute Designs account on Twitter for a it really necessary?  Well, I finally came to the conclusion that it can't hurt and it's also fun!

Are you on Twitter?  Follow me and I will follow you.   The button is to the right. And my username is AcuteDesigns. Sorry for the lack of picture on my Twitter profile, but it was taking too long, so I resized the pic, and it was still taking too long, so I gave up.  So impatient! 

P.S. I feel old on Twitter.  Meaning I feel like I have no idea how to work anything on the site. My apologies if I screw something up!

Gold Mirrors

My newest want is a large, gilded mirror.  I think it would go really well in just about any room of my house.

I need to make a mental note to keep an eye out for one the next time I am at an antique or thrift store....

Do you like mirrors in the home?  We have so many, but I know I could find room for one of these beauties.


{Every time I look at this picture I just want to die.  I want every bit of this room...esp the mirror.}

{This mirror is so ornate and beautiful.}

Photographs courtesy of House Beautiful and House to Home

Quatrefoil & Happy Friday!

Last weekend I went to a wedding and loved the use of quatrefoil in the design of the church.  It makes sense in a church because a quatrefoil is a cross like design. It also is a four leaf clover or shamrock like design and this church is in a very Irish area.

I am noticing the quatrefoil more and more in design and decor and I love it. It is like playing finding Waldo.

This quatrefoil wasn't hard to spot.  Don't you wish you could hang out here all weekend??  Instead I will be packing and cleaning and preparing for our pending move.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{Photo courtesy of Elle Decor}

A Book to Help Your Business - The Boss of You

I recently bought and read The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business  by Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon.  I am not one to read stuffy business how-to books so I was delighted when I spotted this book at the bookstore.  The authors of The Boss of You are two women who started and run their own successful business and they willingly share their wealth of knowledge in a no nonsense, but fun manner.

A few key things I learned from this book:
  • Define success of your own terms.  When Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon were in the beginning stages of their IT business, they sought out investors.  This when is the 90s when internet and IT companies were hitting it big.  Yes, they wanted to make money and build a thriving business, but they weren't in it to be the richest and biggest in the group.  They said they constantly had to defend their modest business model.  What do you want for your business? World domination? The ability to support your family? Or just enough money for a few "extras?"  Decide this and then you will be more prepared to map out the path your business needs to follow.
  • Finances.  Finances suck, but they're necessary and we all want to make money, so you will have to deal with it.  Once you start making money from your business, taxes will become even more confusing.  The Boss of You dedicates a chapter to some of the basic financial issues.  They don't have all the answers, but they give you a few tips.  Reading this chapter put some ideas in my head that I had not thought of yet and it made me more aware.  If I am going to actually make money from my wee business, I need to think about the nuts and bolts of money.
  • Pricing products or services - there is a great formula to help you out with this simple thing that so many artisans seem to struggle with doing correctly.
  • Marketing - before I started Acute Designs, I never thought about marketing or why I needed it.  I have learned more in the past six months than I could have ever imagined.  The Boss of You dedicates a section to marketing - why it is important and what you can do to make it fun.
  • And a bunch of other stuff that I cannot remember off the top of my head - so go get the book and read it!  Trust me, you will enjoy it.

Decorating Idea - Victorian Inspired Silhouettes

Victorian inspired silhouettes fit in nicely with my Victorian obsession.  I sell custom dog silhouettes in my Etsy shop, Acute Designs, and I love each one I make. 

I would love to do several silhouettes and hang them in a unique way. Currently the ones I have made for myself are displayed in a blah way.

{I love the bird cutouts with the silhouettes - so my style.}

{I love a mismatched wall of frames.}

{This one is hard to see...but on either side of the fireplace, several silhouettes are displayed.}

{This is my fav.  Love the silhouettes of furniture.}

{Photos courtesy of House Beautiful and Country Living}


I am back from visiting friends and so tired.  One thing I did accomplish was drive by {and peek in the windows} of the super cheap Victorian house that I want to buy.  Even though I am a few thousand miles away, I want it.  I don't want to live there, but I could use it for my day soon when I need that much room!

I spent 5 minutes walking around and got about 200 mosquito bites.  The yard is overgrown like a jungle.   here are some pictures I took.....Don't you love it?!

Library Card Catalog

I want one of these for all my supplies.  I have so many bits and pieces - jewelry findings, vintage beads and pearls, new and vintage jewels and cabchons, pieces of vintage jewelry that I am going to use sometime in the future, ribbon, lace, pieces of fabric.....I am sure many of you are the same.

The other day, an old-fashioned library card catalog popped into my head. Perfect!  So, I went on Craigslist in San Diego and there was nothing.  Then I looked around on Ebay and there were a few, but not in my area.

Why are these all of a sudden so rare? No libraries have them anymore and all libraries used to have them and there are a lot of libraries out there.....I feel like I am destined to find one at an old Catholic School rummage sale.  I am not sure if San Diego is really the market for something like this.  I am going to keep my eyes peeled on Craigslist and while antiquing.  Do you live in Southern California and have one you want to sell me???

{Images via Apartment Therapy and Etsy}

Black and White Decor

Lately I feel like I have seen a lot of rooms done in black and white. 

I am not a huge fan of black and white decor, but I think a subtle black and white room would be nice.  I do love to wear the color black and gray, so maybe a gray and white room?

{Really, I would love a mostly white room, but my crazy dogs make that impossible.}
These black and white items would be perfect in a mostly white room, or in a room with some color.
{Beautiful! hand painted Black and White Floor Cloth by Liz Tales}

{I love these vintage motorcycle pillows by Branch Handmade}

{This antique furniture print by Banana Strudel is my kind of black and white decor.}

{These black and white chairs by Sprucehome are pretty amazing.}

Guest Blogging at Scoutie Girl

I wrote a guest post for Scoutie Girl on what I have noticed about mindful spending how it affects all of us. 

If you are an indie/handmade business owner and don't know about Scoutie Girl, then check it out.  You will learn a lot and probably have some fun too!

{Click here for my post.}


Did you all know that I also have a food blog?  I know many of you are new to this blog {and I am so happy you are here!} so I wanted to share with you my blog TasteTaste was actually my first blog, Useless Endeavor was kind of an after thought, but it has really taken off....which is awesome!

I don't post on Taste daily because it is just the recipes I cook.  And, since I don't cook every day, I don't post every day.

 If you are in need of simple, budget friendly and healthy dishes and desserts, then Taste is perfect for you. 

If you're interested, check it out and  let me know if there is any recipe you would like me to makeover into a healthier dish.

I hope you are all having a great week!

Retro Beach

The weather in San Diego has been mild - unseasonably cool and so cloudy.  I miss the sun!

I took some past summer pics and again tried to do some retro-izing of them.  I think the one of the boats looks pretty good....

Simple and Quick Pillow Tutorial

If you are keeping up with my pillow project, you will know that I bought several upholstery swatches at the fabric store last weekend and decided to make some of them into pillows. I tried my first one last night and it seriously too me less than 15 minutes. It was so freaking easy.

This is what you do:

1. Take 2 fabric swatches (the particular ones I bought are approximately 14” x 16”) and put them together with the print facing in. You can do two swatches of the same pattern or two of different patterns that complement each other. The one I did was a subtle cream floral pattern and a pale bluish floral pattern.

{This is the blue floral pattern I used - the back side is a cream floral.}

2. Next, take your two pieces and sew all around the outside. Leave about two inches at the final corner open so that you can turn the fabric right side out and stuff it with pillow stuffing.

{The two pieces sewn together - before the stuffing has been put in.}

3. In my opinion, this is the most annoying part – stuff the pillow with stuffing of your choice. There are some super cheap options at the fabric or craft store. The one I used for this pillow (and the eco-friendly dog beds I make) is a sustainable bamboo stuffing. It is on sale about every other week, so it isn’t too bad.

Anyway, stuff your stuffing in through the little exposed hole and make sure it is all evenly distributed and not bunchy in one spot or another. I found this part to be the most annoying part – but it still only took me about 6 minutes.

{The small hole left open for the stuffing.}

4. One you pillow is all evenly stuffed, fold the edge of fabric over and sew it up. Do you best to make it look neat….or don’t, it will pretty much be hidden when you place the pillow on your couch, chair, or bed.

5. Done! Super easy. I was shocked by how little time it took me. I am not sure what I was expecting…I guess the fact that I didn’t make this into a removable slip cover with a zipper or buttons is why it was so easy.

Overall this pillow cost me about $5. I would not be able to find anything decent for $5. Plus, I always like to make things myself. I am sure my dogs will ruin this in about a week, so I need to make more this weekend.

{Finished pillow!}
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