Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve Resolutions

To get ready for the New Year I have resolved to spend the day weeding papers, shredding, recycling and reconfiguring my home "office" which happens to be an armoire in my kitchen. The holidays are kinda crazy. We also have three December birthdays in our family so I've had enough partying. If I feel like I've accomplished enough, I will make sure to have some champagne and chocolate.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aebleskivers for Christmas

Yum. I remember dad making aebleskivers, a Danish dessert kind of like a cross between a doughnut and a popover, for the family years ago in that funny pan that was made just for making aebleskivers. He was the only one that cooked them, but I loved to eat them. This Christmas morning we got the old pan out of the depths of the cupboard and decided to give it a try. I whipped the egg whites into "soft peaks" while my mom mixed the rest of the ingredients. I decided to take over the cooking as I wanted to learn how to make these things. They look so complicated, but actually were kind of fun to make. We found this recipe on the internet. We did not add filling, but served with syrup and a dusted with sugar and cinnamon.

This particular recipe called for one tablespoon of oil in each cup, but I used one teaspoon and they turned out just fine. Our pan is probably 50 years old and cast iron, but I found this one over at William Sonoma in case you'd like to give it a try.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Taking a Break

I'm sorry, but I realize that my posting is few and far between. I will take a break for a while, regroup and hopefully begin again when I feel I can contribute in a meaningful way.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Project Awaiting

My latest acquisition of vintage items waiting for a little sprucing up. I never find anything with hairpin legs, but found these two in separate places within one week. The desk and chair make a good set. The smaller table may become a plant stand. The other thing? Well, that is to be determined.

After cleaning up the chair it seems to be in really good condition. Holes remain where there had once been an attached pad, but that's an easy fix. At $5, who can complain?

The desk will take a little more doing. The top had been covered in dark contact paper and judging by the horizontal ribs around the edge I'm guessing there may have been a metal trim at one time. I'll have to decide whether to paint in a color or to simulate the metal trim by using a silver metallic paint.

Don't ask me why. It just intrigued me. The inner can is removable to reveal the mesh outer cylinder. The gold zigzag trim is weirdly removable too. Trash Can? Umbrella stand? It's quite an odd, but useful thing.

I love Mid Century Modern, but I'm a little inspired by the eclectic nature of these desk and chair sets by Dottie Angel

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

It's a work holiday and I have a cold, but instead of sitting around the house I went down to the harbor with my son to get some fresh ocean air and a warm coffee.
Thank you to the men and women of the armed forces who have allowed us the freedoms to do these things that we may take for granted.
Thank you to
Uncle Hal,
Will S.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Before and After, Occasional Table

I recently repainted this small vintage table that holds my magazines.

The shape reminded me of a Jonathan Adler table I'd seen and I was tempted to paint it orange but settled on this turquoise which is more appropriate in my living room.

I paired it with two prints by one of my favorite local artists, Addie Rementer.

It was exciting to see some of Addie's gorgeous original pieces in Georgia and Barbara's home from Apartment Therapy's recent Room for Color Contest. So pretty. Click here for a previous post about Addie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

40 years ago...

I uncovered a San Francisco Chronicle from July 25th 1969 that my family had stored away years ago. Unfortunately it's now very tattered. The big story that day was the moon landing and the safe return of the astronauts.They were pulled out of the water onto the U.S.S. Hornet that is now a permanent fixture in the San Francisco Bay.

I remember sitting on the couch in my flannel pajamas watching the moon landing on our small black and white t.v. while my dad served us those Pop and Fresh rolls with the orange frosting that he'd made for the event. It's a very strong food memory I have even 40 years later.
Anyway, perusing through the paper, I came across a few interesting things. There were some articles of course related to Vietnam and even one about the Kennedy/"Chappaquiddick" incident that had apparently taken place the week before. Would you believe the lifeguards in Santa Cruz were on strike demanding a 40 cent pay raise.
On a lighter note I was amused by the local advertisements and events for that week.
San Francisco held a ticker tape parade in celebration of the astronauts' return that National TV network announcers deemed "The Greatest" of all others. Sirens, firecrackers and car horns were heard along Montgomery Street and apparently among the crowd were "...a few mini skirted secretaries and office girls, but mostly young stockbrokers in their sincere uniform of the day, conservative business suits" Seriously? Mayor Alioto in a telegram to the astronauts stated "San wishes to open her Golden Gate in tribute to your magnificent achievement."

Finally, a little bit about style:

Wrap around sunglasses inspired by the astronauts? I wonder if they ever really "took off"

Roos Atkins- Oh goodness, a pants suit

Pier One Imports with a Very Simple Advertising Campaign

Montgomery Ward
I Magnin

Oh yes, my mother thought it was very important for me to have the newest plaid dresses. No pants to school.

My dad was an optometrist and I loved to try on frames, but unfortunately I had perfect vision back then.

Darn! Frances was on vacation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Graphic Sweatshirt Even Cooler as a Pillow

I went over to my thrifty friend Amy's house today for a visit. In her son's bedroom I noticed a cool pillow with a San Francisco graphic that I quickly realized was some sort of fabric or clothing item wrapped around a pillow. She had staged it there knowing that I would see it and like it. It happened to be a sweatshirt that she thought could be made into a pillow for me or one of my sons. I thought it was a fabulous idea so she got to work. I just "supervised".

In about 45 minutes this is what she came up with. Notice she even sewed the sweatshirt label into the bottom seam of the pillow. Love it! Thanks my friend.

This graphic wrapped all the around the back too.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Color Story-Vintage Books

The school library was weeding through and discarding books that hadn't been checked out in a while and among them I found a few vintage books that attracted me mainly because of the colors and interesting cover designs. They all happen to have been published in the 1950s and may be used later as props in my merchandise photos, but in the meantime they made a pretty collage.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Organizing Inspiration (Lemon Jitters Blog)

Last week Katie of the Lemon Jitters blog featured one of my Etsy items as part of a weekly segment called "Tidy Tuesday" which highlights wares found on Etsy among other things that might be helpful in organizing. I'm a big fan of organizing, and having an organized space doesn't mean it has to be sparse or void of creativity. Using re-purposed, vintage, or handmade things can make organizing more interesting. Check out past "Tidy Tuesday" segments on:
Jewelery Organizers and Repurposed wall organizers

More Inspiration.....

How about a vintage magazine rack used for pretty file folders instead?

Surprise Coffee Table

Last week I took a little detour to the local bargain barn on the way to....well, I'm not sure where I was going. Anyway, I picked up a short upholstered bench with teak legs. I love small upholstered things because of the redo potential, but immediately upon getting it home I realized it didn't fit in my living room, as seating anyway. I thought, however as the legs were easily removable, I could rip off the stinky upholstery and unscrew the legs to store for future use.

I expected to see plywood under the fabric, but was pleasantly surprised by the nice blond wood with a finish that had been well protected under the layers of batting.

The funny thing was that it didn't match the legs at all. It appeared that years ago someone had married two separate pieces of furniture. I tried it in place of my old coffee table, which I wasn't super in love with, but the height was all wrong. The different woods were really bugging me too. I must of dreamed about it over night, because very early the next morning it dawned on me that I had a small mid century stool with the same light wood legs as the bench and oddly they seemed too tall for footstool. I jumped out of bed and had to check.

Amazingly I found that the legs on both pieces were attached by the same hardware and could be instantly interchangeable so I swapped them. Now the bench/coffee table and footstool were at appropriate heights.

By about 8 a.m. I had a new and unexpected coffee table. For my next trick, I will attempt to upholster the footstool.
Bench $10
Footstool $7
Leg Swap $0

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little 'Ol Me On Apartment Therapy - L. A.

Today I was thrilled to have a photo of one of my rooms featured on Apartment Therapy Los Angeles. It was included in an article written by Beth Zeigler, contributing editor of Apartment Therapy, about using scrap wood in decorating. The partial Ghiradelli Chocolate sign in the corner was an item I had saved from the trash. It had been turned around and the back side had been used as paneling in a garage. During a renovation, the owner who had removed it from the wall had thrown it into a pile of trash. She couldn't figure out why I saw any value in it. I organized this room with the hope that I will use it for artistic ventures. For now it's where I store and package my vintage items for shipping. This photo can also be seen in the Rearranged Design House Tour and Corners of My Home Group on Flickr

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DYI with a little help- Labels

I just received a set of vinyl canister decals that I purchased from Jenn Ski. I'm still trying to incorporate color into my kitchen.

I have some vintage clear glass canisters with graphic labels in black. One is for coffee, but I realized that when I fill up the canister with black coffee you can't see the label. That's when I found these cool decals from Jenn Ski that come in several colors that can be adhered to all sorts of surfaces. I acquired a vintage ceramic canister which had worn remnants of some sort of design that I had to remove.

Then after having read the directions carefully, Voila. It's a fun way to add little bits of color to a kitchen. I thought it might be interesting to use another color like lime on the flip side for a quick an easy change.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chartreuse Baby!

It was scary at first. Chartreuse is a favorite color in small doses like pottery or pillows but using it on a piece of furniture in my house? I'm always admiring pictures of rooms with lots of color, but I seem to play it safe. Well, when I came across this hutch at the Salvation Army for only $30 I couldn't pass it up.

It was veneer and damaged, but I liked the lines of it (no is wasn't a coveted Danish modern teak or anything). What would it hurt to experiment? It was too scratched to repair the wood and my kitchen couldn't take the heavy dark wood especially because if you look closely it's a smidge too big for the wall. Painting the base of it white visually toned down the size, but I wanted to reserve a portion for color. Painting the inset of the door and the drawer faces seemed like the perfect solution.

If I want to change it later, it's just a minor fix, but for now I'm satisfied.