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Closing Time: Goodbye, Bradford Avenue

30 May

Closing Time. Open all the doors and let you out into the world.

Out into the World Wide Web, that is.

This blog is moving. I prefer moving over ending. 

You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.

Please visit my new website:

It looks like this:

Gather & Build Website

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

This is a tiny bit bittersweet because you watched me build my first house here. And you watched me make mistakes and get things right. And you watched a business start, right here. So, let’s just take it with us.

The blog is right there in the tool bar. And all the posts from Bradford Avenue have been moved over so nothing’s lost. Every comment you’ve made here is now there. (I couldn’t part with your thoughts or this journey.)

Screen shot 2013-05-30 at 8.43.58 PM

 (Note: If you never saw after pics of Bradford Avenue then you’re not alone. They are at Gather & Build for you now.)

So, let’s go together.

If you subscribe to Bradford Avenue by e-mail, you can do that at Gather & Build, too.

Or, Gather & Build is on Facebook—like the page so you can see blog posts in your news feed.

Gather & Build Facebook

And, since Instagram is a hands-down favorite,  Gather & Build  is there, too. So find @gatherandbuild on Instagram.  You’ll catch the occasional snapshot of @patsyandjune, too. They like to hang out around construction sites—quality control.

Gather & Build Instagram


In honor of closing one door and opening another,  I have this parting gift.  Click this.

Thank you for the contribution you’ve made to my life, Semisonic. You’re still with me. I’ll take you to Gather & Build, too.


Gatherings + Cinco de Mayo

3 May

In honor of a valid reason to eat chips, salsa, and all the tacos you can hold, I join you in celebrating Cinco De Mayo this weekend! I’ve gathered a few things—starting with these Hacienda Melamine Plates from Anthropologie—inspired by this festive holiday.

Hacienda Melamine Plate from Anthropologie

These stairs are only the tiniest sneak peek into a lovely Spanish Colonial home featured on Houzz. The work is that of Tim Barber, LTD Architecture. 

Spanish Colonial Home Stairs

This Avocado Mint Candle (also from Anthro) is the freshest candle yet. I love the scent and the packaging.

Avocado Mint Candle from Anthropologie

Trader Joe’s is hands-down my favorite stop for fresh flowers. Using cans is a festive and fun way to spice up your arrangements. Here’s an entire post dedicated to a fiesta decor.

Flowers in Mexican can

I’m looking for the perfect drink dispenser. Here are two faves:

Glass Beverage Dispenser CB2World Market Savannah Drink Dispenser

First, a glass dispenser available at CB2. I am also a fan of the Savannah embossed drink dispenser from World Market. If you’re looking for something acrylic, Target has good, affordable options.

And, finally, Larissa gave me this healthy and yummy recipe for fish tacos last week. She wrote about it on the LifeWay Women blog today. I made this for dinner twice last week…. It’s that good. 

fish tacos

Enjoy your weekend!



Every Thing Will Be Okay.

24 Apr

Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly get-me-out-of here all I want to do is run away. Let's Run Away Screen Print Art

Better yet.

Let's Run Away

But since it’s not always the most practical thing to run away—responsibilities, people I love, pets I love, and then the whole I-don’t-want-to-lose-my job-thing—instead, I say nice things to myself.


It's OK Banner

But let’s be honest. Somethings aren’t OK and you might want to take that sweet little banner and say, Do not be positive with me right now. This is a bad deal. It’s not OK. 

In that instance, I’d say go with this:

Everything Will Be Okay Screen Print

Because eventually everything will be okay.

Get something fun for your walls here:

Let’s Run Away and Every Thing Will Be Okay  and are by I Screen You Screen on Etsy. I’ve got a couple of prints from I Screen You Screen and I love them. This If You Work Really Hard print is on my office bookshelf.

It’s OK banner by Secret Holiday & Co. Let’s Run Away to a Beautiful Place is on Etsy via Print Press by Flea Market Trixie.




You’re Invited! 12th South Home Tour

15 Apr

You're Invited. 12th South Home Tour

The annual 12th South Home Tour is this Saturday. Eleven fabulous homes are on the tour and it promises to be a day of neighborliness and inspiration.

While you’re in the neighborhood stop by Edley’s Bar-B-Que or Burger Up for lunch, grab some coffee at Portland Brew or Frothy Monkey, or drop in at Imogene + Willie, even if it’s just to say hi—they’ll be glad to see you.

Get your tickets for the tour here and come see us in 12th South!


Easy Updates: Leather Pulls

19 Mar

I’m in the mood to rearrange the furniture, paint the bedrooms, change the bedding—I blame spring. This happens every March. 

Here’s the next thing I want to do:

Update a dresser with leather pulls—so easy and affordable that I am looking forward to the next flea market to snatch an old dresser and get right to work. I first saw the picture below in House and HomeThis is my favorites of the ideas I found. It’s dark and moody—how we like our dressers, not our people. 

DIY Leather Drawer PullsHouse and Home

Just when I choose a favorite I realize that tabs are all the rage. Strips vs. tabs. The debate begins. 

Leather Drawer Pulls // Martha StewartMartha Stewart

leather pulls // dresserA Home’s World

Both House and Home and Martha Stewart offer an easy step-by-step guide for adding leather to your dresser’s mix. (Just click the links under the pictures and you’ll find a supply list and instructions.)

Leather Cabinet Pulls


And for the cabinets in your life:

Leather Drawer Pulls for KitchenRemodelista

leather cabinet pulls // elle decorElle Decor

Leather Drawer Pulls Bathroom CabinetFrench by Design

Leather Pulls Bathroom CabinetsA Home’s World

Should you decide to revamp a piece of furniture and add a smidge of leather to it, well, good luck and I want to see your before and after! Message me. You can totally do this! 

Thanks for reading.

Starting a business and other acts of faith.

15 Feb

Last year I participated in Dream Year, an experience that helps people accomplish a dream over the course of one year. A month into the program, Ben asked a few questions about the logistics of my dream, how it could become sustainable and eventually profitable. The questions did what good questions do.

In waltzed clarity.

A week later I emailed Ben: “I cannot stop thinking about our conversation. I have to change plans. Forget the proposal I submitted. What I really want to do—and I mean really, really, down-deep-within-me want to do work with Brad to design and build houses—that’s my dream. Help me figure out how to do this.” And just like that I jumped the tracks.

I spent a few months doing the not-so-fun parts that come with establishing a business: paperwork, bank visits, repeat. And, I needed a name.

Creating a brand. It can be so brutal.

For me, it’s an act of self-awareness and hope, a thoughtful process of articulating the essence of who you are and where you want to go. (Unless your Bing or Twitter and you just make or reinvent a word.) When Ben asked me to articulate my strengths or what this brand really is one word continued to resurface:


I am a gatherer. I gather people. I gather pretty things. I gather ideas and inspiration. I’m good at gathering.

But what to name a business and a blog: Gather. Gathered. Gathered ideas. Gathered home. Gather up. Gathered. BLAH. NO. Gather. Gathered inspiration. NO. Blah. What? Gather. Gather and Build. 


Gather and Build.

I will gather what we need. Brad can build it. It has this go-forth-and-prosper sort of feeling to it. It’s all action. Go and do.

I emailed the exceptionally talented Matt Lehman and gave him my “I have a dream” pitch and said could you bring it to life? In a logo? And will you help me brand myself? Matt came back to me with 7 logo options and 30+ variations of those logos. Killing me with beauty. He almost killed me with beauty. This particular logo and its variations captured it. UGH. So. much. to. love. 

Logo options // Matt Lehman

Here’s some advice from Dream Year: Always work with people who are better than you—find people who are among the best in a field and surround yourself with those people. In practical terms, do not design your own logo. Unless you are a professional graphic designer, you should step away from InDesign or Illustrator or whatever and hire someone who is smarter than you. 

That advice served me well. Here’s the winner:

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 2.56.15 PM

Someone much smarter than me is helping create Gather and Build (dot. com) and eventually, this blog will have a new home. I’ll highlight the projects Brad and I work on along with other fun projects I’m working on the side—like house staging and such. And, of course, inspiration. Lots of inspiration.

You are kind to stay tuned after all these months—I’m really grateful. Thanks for sitting tight through the silence. I hope you like where we are headed. To quote Sleeping at Last, “The future is brighter than any flashback.”

Thanks for reading,


P.S. I love that gathering has ties to farming. My father would be proud. Did you see the “So God Made a Farmer” spot during the Super Bowl? Tears. In my eyes. 

31 Days of Gathered Art

1 Oct


William Morris has inspired me yet again. I think I’ll do something about it.



The Nester extended her annual 31 Day invitation to bloggers near and far and this year I’m in. The goal is to pick a topic and write about it every day for the month of October. All thirty-one days of it. I’m so in.

Here’s my invitation to you: stop by this blog every day in October for something pretty. 

I’m gathering the work of some of my favorite artists—everything from mixed media to photography to concert posters (which I classify as art). Most all of these artist can be found on Etsy or via online shops. Some days I’ll just share for inspiration (like today) but I’ll make a great effort to share art that you can get your hands on without a hassle. The goal, as William Morris would say, is to have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. I’ll be focusing on beautiful. 

I hope you’ll drop in for a daily dose of art and an occasional look at the stories behind the work, like the framed William Morris print above.

Here’s the story: Tucked away—a world away—in Walthamstow, East London is A Two Pipe Problem. This fine letterpress shop run by Stephen Kenny features letterpress posters and prints created entirely by hand and designed on the press using wooden and metal type fonts. No computers allowed—bless their artistic hearts and inky fingers. Here’s a peek inside their studio.




All images via A Two Pipe Problem

See you around. For thirty-one whole days in a row.