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what's making me happy this week 08.11.13:

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photos
1. vintage saab station wagon
2. Finnegan enjoying his clean sheets
3. drying basil

The week had its ups and downs, moments of contentment and moments of discontent.

Some of the little things that made me happy this week:

1. Oh making me happy is this vintage Saab station wagon I saw in the shopping center parking lot. The owner told me it has a rear-facing pull down back seat, like this.

2. Finnegan makes me happy because he is cute, but he also annoys me. He would not move when I was making the bed, so I had to try to work around him, and the clean sheets were not clean for long…so much dog hair. Ugh.

3. Freezing basil makes me happy. I wash it, pat it dry with paper towels, then air dry it on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. When it’s dry, I roll up the wax paper and put it in a plastic bag and freeze for a day in the winter when I am in desperate need of some frozen summer.

4. The AV club’s undercover video series make me happy. They put together a list of 100 songs and invited bands to pick a song from the list to cover. I love the unexpected pairings.

Who knew a Journey song could sound so…true and lovely. Thank you Clem Snide for this version of Journey’s Faithfully (except not for the whistling. No thanks for that. Ouch.)

Forward to 1:28 in the video to get past the jibber jabber.

Again, I’m sorry about the whistling at the end of the song and the way the whistlers crawl into the shot to take a Tim Tebow pose and whistle off key while earnestly looking into each other’s eyes. What?! No. Nope.

5. I also love the Clientele covering MIA’s Paper Planes in the same series. (I like MIAs version too). No need to skip the jibber jabber on this one. Alasdair MacLean is adorable, as is his humility.

6. Did you read Geeorg Saunder’s Commencement Speech at Syracuse University, recently published in the New York Times? The basic message: err in the direction of kindness.

Have you read him? When he was on the cover the NYT magazine being hailed as the greatest american writer, I was skeptical. So I read Saunder’s, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. I am still unwilling to say Saunder’s is the best American writer. Not because he is or isn’t, just because…who can say? Who gets to decide? But I am willing to say, he’s really good. Read him.

7. I love learning new kitchen tips. I never knew this easy way to cut basil into strips for topping my pasta and pizza: chiffonade Mais oui!

And I like this method for cleaning a cast iron skillet.

8. You have likely seen this already, but for those who haven’t, have fun being amazed at Roomba Shark Cat: http://www.tastefullyoffensive.com/2013/08/shark-cat-cleans-kitchen.html

Hope these help you ride out your own moments of discontent this week!

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What making me happy this week 06.14.13

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photos:
1. mangos
2. blik eames decal
3. charles and ray eames © 2011 eames office, llc
charles and ray Eames “pinned” by chair bases, 1947, as seen in american masters charles & ray eames: the architect and the painter.
4. converse sneaker made with lucienne day textiles
5. nigella lawson’s old fashioned chocolate cake

My son finished his exams Thursday and christened the beginning of summer by having friends over for a fire in the backyard to burn homework, and to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. (Though earlier in the day he said, “I miss school already.”)

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival started last night. Three weeks of free outdoor concerts, food stalls, late night outdoor movies and many other amusements. I noticed they added some free outdoor yoga classes starting at 5pm on the lawn adjacent to my office. Maybe…

There are also free noontime concerts on Thursdays a few blocks away from my office, Sonic Lunches, sponsored by a local radio station. UM graduate Darren Criss was the star of the most recent one. I wanted to go, but didn’t want to wait hours to get in the door of the Michigan Theater. Most concerts are outdoors and not so well attended. But Darren Criss is now a superstar, having conquered Broadway and now starring in Glee. He also wrote and starred in “A Very Potter Musical” which he created while a student here. Such a talented guy. He has quite a fan base here in AA.

In addition to a free-for-summer child who loves school, the start of summer and the anticipation of the AA Summer Festival, also making me happy this week include:

1. Mangos. I didn’t like mangos for a long time due to my experience with some with stringy texture years ago. My brother had me try one a few months ago and it was amazing. Love them. But still need to learn how to properly cut one…as it is now, my hand turns into a sticky, slimy mess and much of the fruit is left on the stone.

2. I have some Blik decals on my office walls, but I may have to replace them with these decals based on Ray Eames textiles. I’ve been thinking about the Eames lately as they are featured in a current exhibit on modern design at the Cranbrook Institute where they met. I plan to attend at the end of the month.

3. Converse sneakers made with Lucienne Day textiles make me happy. But it makes me unhappy that I discovered these years after they were produced.

4. Nigella Lawson’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake that may daughter I made this week. I was in the mood for cake. She was in the mood for chocolate. It was better the next day after having been refrigerated.

5. Have you seen these Openculture videos on the Bauhaus, Modernism and American Design?

6. Six Words You Should Say Today, from the Hands Free Momma blog. I love simple suggestions for better parenting. As my sister said, filing this one away with the other important scripts! (One of the best scripts was given to me by my friend, Suzanne, who told me to practice saying over and over again, “I’m sorry, but that would be just impossible.” The period at the end was the most important part.)

7. Libby Callaway’s home featured in the Selby. I probably couldn’t live here, too much going on. But I love looking at it. I love that she’s taken a pretty modest house and really turned it into a spectacular and unexpected space. So much to love here, the chevron rug, the closet, the clothes…though, I’m no fan of antlers, bones or dental casts…

8. Convos with My 2 year Old: Episode 3
Not as good as the first one, but it did make me laugh

Happy weekend to you!

stuff i don't need but like to look at

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photos:
1) i need this storage shelf for the stuff I have but don’t need
2) barbie thermos
3) this is a daisy-covered 60s hat. i couldn’t get a good shot. it looks similar to this one, but with more flowers!
4) i love old radios, such great designs
5) and more radios
6) i love old typewriters too
7) i’m bought you these babies for your birthday.
just kidding.
they look like something found on regretsy. seriously, why? who?…when?…what?!!
8 & 9) i find old photos mesmerizing. i wish i had taken a sharper photo of this one. do you see her delicate little glasses? did she like her glasses because they made her look smart? or did she hate them because they made her look school-marmy? or did she not bother with such thoughts; she needed glasses so she wore them.
did you notice her simple wedding band? And her lovely boots, legs crossed at the ankles? do you think her feet look big? do you see the beautiful details on her black wedding dress? the design around the neckline and arms? near the wrist? The buttons down the top layer of her skirt? Is it her wedding dress, or is this her post-wedding dress?
who were these people? did they not have children who cared about preserving this photo? or maybe it was passed on to grandchildren to whom it meant nothing? there is no name or year on the photo.
did they love each other? did they have a happy life? hmmm…this photo is so compelling to me. now i wish i would have purchased it.

My daughter and I visited one of the several antiques malls in her town this weekend. What I like about antiques malls is that there is always a lot of crazy, cool and interesting stuff, pretty clearly displayed so you don’t have to dig.

I haven’t visited many of these malls, but some seem to have great prices, others, like the one we visited this weekend, not so much. It seems like you can always find great vintage linen table cloths and napkins, and vintage aprons for very cheap. (I have some pretty great vintage aprons. I wish I could wear them to work.)

The only thing we purchased this weekend was a yellow plastic bracelet for my daughter and a necklace for me—I haven’t taken photos yet. At about $11 per piece of costume jewelry, I didn’t think it was much of a bargain…but we liked them.

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) 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)