my red purse

March 18, 2013

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photos:
1. my $6 vintage purse
2. TheVintageMistress (item sold), http://www.etsy.com
3. AbslewtlyVintage, http://www.etsy.com
4. ChicVintageWear, http://www.etsy.com

It is getting close to time to replace my lovely red handbag. I use this bag every day, and it shows. I have already glued one rip in the backside, and now it has sprouted another at the bottom. Sigh. I love this bag. I makes me happy to look at it.

I bought this bag at an antique mall for $6 in Appleton, WI when I was visiting my dear friend Cathy. (Who later sent me an amazing vintage navy bag, which is smaller and I use for dress up. What a wonderful surprise to receive in the mail!).

I receive compliments on my red bag wherever I go, and often hear stories about other vintage handbags. One sales woman told me she had inherited her mother’s vintage handbags and found in each one a color-coordinated switchblade. She knew her mother lived in a very bad area and had to walk to and from work each day, but she never knew about the switchblades. She said it was very hard to image her proper mother, who dressed to the nines, carrying a switchblade. It was not so surprising that they were color-coordinated.

That story made me grateful for much more than just a pretty handbag!


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Photos:
1. my girl, bell’s diner
2. http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/blog/2007_05_01_archive.php
3. office white board dino (by dear daughter)

It has been a very long week, which included a Friday night and all day Saturday work event, and a note on my neighbor’s car apologizing for backing into it and taking out the headlight. (I may sound cavalier, but I’m still sick about it.)

It included saying goodbye to my daughter as she headed back to school after spring break; switching to daylight savings time— spring forward! Not as fun as it sounds; and a warm, promising, sunny Sunday followed by freezing rain, snow, cold and a reminder that we live in the Midwest and what suckers we are to think the snow was over.

All the more reason to focus on the happy!

What’s making me happy this week:
1. Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast—from which I shamelessly/fully stole the title “what’s making me happy this week”
I don’t always agree with this group of NPR culture nerds (Linda liked the Les Mis movie? Wah???) but I adore them from afar, and am always taking notes for interesting stuff to explore. (p.s. “nerd” is a term of endearment and highest praise in my world.)

2. The musical Next to Normal at Meadowbrook Theater. Almost as fantastic as seeing it on Broadway three years ago (see how I dropped that in there? See how cool I am?). Three Tonys. One Pulitzer. Productions are popping up around the country since the book was released last year. Really, if you have the chance, see it. You will not be disappointed. Watch the youtube videos for a taste. Did I mention it’s about mental illness, family dysfunction and loss? All the characteristics of a great musical!

3. Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog. Why? Because Arrested Development always makes me happy.

4. Bi Bim Bop (at Bell’s Diner, with my girl)

5. This Boden sweater I preordered months ago on sale finally arrived (and if I were being compensated for this mention, I would be even happier! but I’m not…compensated.)

6. Lynda Barry at the Michigan Theater. Cartoonist, playwright, artist, teacher, therapist? now neuroscientist? In her introduction yesterday she was described using the m&m lyric, “when a tornado meets a volcano.” Years ago, my kids and I wrote a list (still on our refrigerator) of 10 people living or dead we could invite to THE GREAT dinner party. Lynda was, and is, at the top of my list. Yesterday, I listened to her wisdom and humor. In person. In the gorgeous, historic Michigan Theater. Good day.

(She was here in AA as part of a FREE lecture series—next week Ken Burns. Mossimo Banzi is coming soon- 50 extra points to anyone who knows who this is!)

7. My son singing every word of “the devil went down to Georgia” to me while driving in the car because he can memorize anything after hearing it once and because him singing this song in a Charlie-Daniels-badass way makes me laugh.

8. Sharpies. I’ve been making my “to do” lists with them this week. Oh so satisfying.

9. My nephew Will’s 5th birthday.
In his words, “Hope you get a great day!”
Growing up too fast and too far away. That boy has a special light that shines in him.

10. The dinosaur with braces drawing on my office dry erase board.

I hope you have much that is making you happy this week. If not, pick up a sharpie and make a list, or doodle…I promise it will help.

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diy: pretty flower bracelets

When my daughter was home on break last week we had a long list of projects we wanted to try. These bracelets were one of the few we got to!

I saw this project on the Oh Joy! Blog and wanted to give it a try: {Valentine’s Day} Floral Friendship Bracelets…

We are so ready for spring and those flowers are so pretty!

We changed a few things:
1. We didn’t have the time (or the production team) to dip dye the ribbon (though I do like that effect).

2. Instead of using real flowers, we used artificial so the bracelets would last. Finding artificial flowers for this was not as easy as I had expected. I found some papery flowers in the scrapbooking section at Michaels, and we bought a bunch of coral flowers that were on a plastic stem. We pulled them off and pulled out the plastic stamen that attached them to the stem leaving just the fabric flower. I don’t think I would use the paper ones again. I had worn the yellow one (paper flowers) to work before I took the photos and they had been in and out of my coat sleeve a few times and look a little worse for the wear.

3. Instead of using hot glue, we hand stitched the flowers to the ribbon. Not pretty on the backside. This can be covered with another ribbon for those who have the time!

4. My daughter used a snap fastener on the back—which is much more practical than tying a bow. I think I will do that with mine, which I now depend on someone to tie on me (and the long ribbon ends are not great when you are using the ladies’…)

5. We singed the ends of the ribbon in a flame (grill lighter) to keep them from fraying (a tip my mom learned from Martha Stewart).

Once you have the supplies, these are quick and easy to make!


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photos: 1) http://www.salvagesisters.co.uk/?p=1429 2) http://ampersandvintagemodern.wordpress.com/tag/cathrineholm/ 3) http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2011/11/diy-cathrineholm-candleholders.html 4) http://s3-media1.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/NjgBIv58GhRNTngth5_qgw/l.jpg

Ah mid century, Scandinavian design, durability plus happy, happy color. Sigh. I would marry Catherineholm if she were a person. (But she’s not…and I’m married, so…Can you tell I’ve been thinking about this?)

I do not yet own a piece of vintage Catherineholm enamelware, but that day is soon coming (as is my birthday, followed by mother’s day, and I do like that red coffeepot).

In the meantime I delight in photos, so send me yours if you have any! (photos or cookware)


Am I complete music moron for not knowing of Django Reinhardt? Was it finally removing the Hansen’s “Mmmbop” from my ipod (don’t judge) that prepared a place my brain cells to receive the message of Django Reinhardt?

Django Reihhardt. Never heard of him…until about a month ago the brother of my good friend had a FB post celebrating the life and music of Django Reinhardt. That entire family has been seeping musical sense into my head since I was a kid (e.g Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan). So when I saw the post, I paid attention.

Then I started seeing ads for the Terantino film, “Django Unchained.”—what? Django? That name again.

A few weeks later I was volunteering at the Ark for the John Jorgenson Quintet performance. I had never heard of them, but had the night free to volunteer. I read the description, “gypsy jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt.” Django Reinhardt AGAIN!

I was later describing the John Jorgenson Quintet to my father–in-law and asked him if he knew of Django Reinhardt. Of course he did, as did my hipster younger sister, and then, overhearing the conversation, my 15 year old son played Djano Reinhardt for us on his iTouch—because of course he has Django Reinhardt on his iTouch. He also walks upright. Unlike some of us.

What can I say. I’m happy to be evolving.

I do now truly enjoy Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Don’t tell anyone, but I like John Jorgenson better.

Who knows how I’ll feel once I remove Hannah Montana’s “Wherever I Go” from my iPod.