Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gooseneck Goodness

I fell in love with a gooseneck lamp at an antique store the other week. It had a gorgeous Art Deco pressed base and an overall vintage industrial look. Can a lamp be sexy? This lamp was sexy. But it was also expensive. So I perused etsy and the like, hoping to find a better deal, but with shipping costs the prices were still prohibitive.Yesterday we found ourselves across town at rush hour, so we ducked into Goodwill to wait out the traffic. And there she was - my lamp - in better shape than at the antique store and at a fraction of the price. I'm such a happy camper (happy lamper?!)

There are some great reproduction Edison bulbs on etsy that I've had my eye on for a while. Like this one. My new lamp might be just the excuse I've been waiting for.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I love nasturtiums. They're bee friendly, their foliage looks like landlubbing lilypads, and they remind me of my great grandmother who often put them in her salads. But this year, after my brash decision to garden in the least fertile section of my parents' yard, I now also love nasturtiums for their ability to thrive in the worst of soils. Mine are gorgeous and wild and otherwise my garden would be a sad, spindly thing.This big old nasturtium love fest has inspired me. After all, I love nasturtiums as design elements too. And with an internet full of marvelous vintage seed packet images, like the one above, and the few actual vintage packets I've picked up at antique stores, it's easy to let my imagination run wild. Jewelry? Pillows? Posters? Yes, please. And then some.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The State of Affairs

I was working on a little paper project this morning, and thought I'd take a snapshot of the chaos I'd created on the dining room table. I hope no one was planning on eating today.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Modern Victorian? Victorian Modern? Oxy Moron?

Way back before we moved I knew I wanted red, ivory and gray in the living room. I'd been scheming a graphic birds and floral theme. Lots of cut paper etc. But when the time came I wanted this room to reflect the whole family, our bent toward the vintage, our love of machinery and, of course, the overwhelming boy factor. I'm outnumbered 3 to 1, so my birds made way for mustaches and penny farthings.It pretty much all started with these wonderful reproduction Tadcaster Museum masks that we had from Beckett's birthday party. I can't find them online, but they were about $5 at our local costume store. The frames were from Michael's, also about $5. The proportions on that wall aren't quite right, I know. Too much negative space, but I love the start. Now I just need throw pillows, lamps, more wall art, shelves, a fireplace cover... you get the idea... its a work in progress.Fixing up our apartment has moved at a snail's pace. Maybe even slower than my sewing, if you can believe it. I've spent the beginnings of Summer getting these boys out for adventures, zoo trips and park trips, ferry boat rides, days at the beach and playdates. It's been great for all of us, as long as I ignore the accumulating layer of dust on my sewing machine, and the half-assed state of our home. Every time frustration and self loathing set in, I pack up and run for the nearest children's museum! Ha!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sir Beckett the Brave

What a crazy start to Summer I've had. But I finally managed to carve out a little time for myself. I read a book, an actual adult book, started a second and I made knightly costumes for our family. We joined Beckett's preschool and participated in the local summer festival parade which had a Renaissance Faire theme.He wanted to be a knight, and of course he wanted a fox to be his coat of arms. The tunic is made from corduroy, trimmed with gold bias tape (did you know they sell gold pre-packaged bias tape? I didn't.) The fox is felt and the moon and stars are gold pleather. Never in my life did I think I'd have occasion to buy gold pleather. Ha!The costume shop had no good knight's helmets, but they had silver construction hard hats. I bought 2 of them, cut the front half of the brim off of one, and used the other to cut out the visor. It's attached with brads, so B can flip it up and down. The feather was an afterthought, and an 11th hour errand, but it was just what the helmet needed to take away that last bit of hard-hat-ness.At almost 2am, the night (morning) before the parade, I had a sudden impulse to make him a noble steed. I attacked a box with some scissors, pulled out my felt stash and burned through many sticks of hot glue. Turns out, "Mony the Pony" (as he's now called) was the biggest hit. B loves this guy, lots of other kids looked at him enviously and a few parents asked which booth we had bought him from.
I made us parents simple costumes too, and even the baby had a little tunic, but I didn't get many pictures of them. Besides, ours were cobbled together with hot glue and not enough time, while Beckett's was legitimately sewn and finished. Either way we had a great time squiring for our noble knight.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Happy Independence Day! Nothing feels quite as American to me as a good old fashioned Iron Horse. So even though we technically took this historic train ride yesterday, on July 3rd, it still felt like an all American way to celebrate. Today we enjoyed our local community parade and heritage festival. Sack races and butter churns, a brass ensemble band and loads of red, white and blue. It was absolutely charming and very old fashioned. Here's hoping your Fourth is fun and bright and charming too!

BTW I was the only adult on the train in an engineer's cap. Let alone overalls and neckerchief. I'm becoming my dad, and my kids couldn't be happier. For now. We'll see how they feel when I show up to their middle school events in costume. HA!