Saturday, February 28, 2009

Enchanted April in Dreary Winter

"Enchanted April tells the story of four dissimilar women in post-war England who leave their damp and rainy environs to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal villa in Italy. Two women who belong to the same ladies' club but have never spoken, become acquainted after reading an ad for villas for rent in the local paper. They find two other ladies to help share expenses. The four women come together at the Villa and find rejuvenation in the tranquil beauty of their surroundings, rediscovering hope and love"

I love the film Enchanted April. It's always a little dangerous for me to watch it, because I start Googling vacation rentals in Tuscany and I try cutting my hair in a bob with craft scissors. I plan on hiding all sharp instruments and spending some time with these lovely ladies on their Italian holiday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Wait Is Almost Over

We have been waiting for such a long time for pleasant weather to return to Chicago. It seems like we have had snow on the ground since early November.

This morning I hear birds singing once again! We are expecting temps in the 40's, and that is warm enough to open a few windows. When it's in the 60's I shall frolic in the grass.
I was so inspired yesterday that I painted our powder room a very springy green color. Today, I have decided that it is a hideous color of green and it looks terrible with the french limestone. I don't mind, maybe robin's egg blue today.

Bird Shrine

Thanks to some nudging from Farmer Julie, I am back in the business of making shrines. I use only vintage flea market items and ephemera in making them. I actually have lots of fun creating these little vignettes and using my many found treasures. This bird shrine consists of a wooden dollhouse armoire, 1959 flash cards, 1890's color plate, vintage chalk ware bird, and a 1928 True Confessions magazine. I hope you like it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jill Meyerhoff

My friend, Chicago artist Jill Meyerhoff makes the most wonderful clay sculptures, and I am the very lucky owner of one of her giant candy necklaces. Please check out her Etsy shop and say hi.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Swim Dress

A belted turtleneck swimsuit...adorable!

Swim tight and shoes, why not?

The perfect swimsuit length.

My swimsuit role model, Esther Williams
Check out some of her cute swimsuits available online

I wonder why the swim dress fell out of favor?

I have to go bathing suit shopping and I am hoping to find something akin to a waterproof kaftan. How I yearn for the days of swim dresses, wool tights and shoes! I'm sure swimming in full dress is not a terrifically easy task, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who Are You Wearing?

Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly primping at the 28th Academy Awards.

Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher

Audrey Hepburn 1954

(photos L.A. Weekly)
Wasabi pea crusted crab cake with mango and Thai basil hors d'oeuvre at the Governor's Ball.

The Asian inspired table settings at the Governor's Ball.

Mini Kobe burgers with aged cheddar and remoulade at the Governor's Ball.

We are going to celebrate the 81st Academy Awards tomorrow night with little Kobe burgers, crab cakes and our own ballots. I have seen all of the movies this year up for big awards, but no one else in my family has seen them. I think I've got this one in the bag! Will you do anything special for the award show?
(I'll be wearing PJ's)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lulu's Horror Film

My little Lulu is taking the coolest class on film making. She learns all aspects of making a horror film and then gets to be in the film! She is playing the part of the student body president and a zombie. Lulu has actually never seen a horror film, so the premier of her film will be her first scary movie.
I started collecting vintage movie posters and lobby cards when I was in college. They were super affordable and made for cute decorations. Back in the 1980's I found the movie poster for How To Marry A Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall for just $35.00. I also picked up Elvis movie posters and anything with cute graphics and colors. I was taking a film class on Ingmar Bergman and Frederico Fellini, so I cornered the market on posters from pretentious European films. I am so glad I saved these because Lulu can have an instant collection if she wants it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

J'Adour Ce Livre!

I adore reading Rebecca's very entertaining blog everyday and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her wonderful book. Rebecca and her very brave family relocated to a small town in France for four years, and she recounts her memories so beautifully. My parents moved my family to France when I was entering 4th grade over 100 years ago! It is amazing how she describes the schools, narrow streets and markets just as I remember them. This is the kind of book that you simply can't put down and you will find yourself laughing out loud as you read it.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer
Ramsey, along with her husband, two kids, one baby, and one very old cat, moved to France for four years, and their adventures are recounted in this delightful memoir, as Ramsey takes the mundane - such as the old woman across the street and her aged cat's health problems - and turns it into nuggets of delight

Creepy Or Cute

I love old crackly chippy dolls and doll heads. I am fully aware that there are just two types of people when it comes to such matters. I fall into the group of people who find dolls and doll heads cool and then there is the other group, 99% of you who find them quite creepy. What do you think, creepy or cute?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

These Are Not Winkies

I collect these little cards and up until today I called them winkies. The pictures formerly known as winkies, have animated pictures like Can Can girls dancing or hula dancers swaying their hips. I wanted to learn more info about these pictures so I Googled "winkies", yikes! A search turned up crotches, nudist camps and peculiar tan lines, no adorable little Cracker Jack prizes. What do you call these little moving pics?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gimcrack Central

gimcrack |ˈjimˌkrak|
flimsy or poorly made but deceptively attractive .
a cheap and showy ornament; a knickknack.

flimsy, insubstantial, thrown together, makeshift; inferior, poor-quality, second-rate, cheap, cheapjack; tawdry, kitsch, kitschy, chintzy, trashy, dime-store; informal tacky, junky, cheapo, schlocky.

The definition of gimcrack seems so harsh, yet we have designed most of our decor around gimcracks. I like to see large grouping of gimcracks, so when I found this old church bulletin board at the flea market I knew I had struck gold! The vendor did not want to have to lug it back home and I bought it for a song.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Preparing for Cupid

Our kids have been visited by so many magical gift givers, The April Fool leaves them a gag gift on April 1st, a leprechaun leaves them gold and green gifts on St. Patrick's Day, Uncle Sam on the 4th of July and of course, Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy visit. Valentine's Day is of obviously when Cupid comes to our home. Cupid always finds it very difficult coming up with a Valentine gift for Deke, there are a limited number of red action figures out there.
We will certainly begin our Valentines Day with heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes and strawberries and pink strawberry milk. Do you have any Valentine's traditions?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Deirdra and Elma!!!

Thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway and leaving such lovely comments!!!! I am so thrilled to have met so many new people during this gigantic blogging event. It is so cool that over 900 bloggers participated.

The winner of the pencil assemblage is Deirdra Doan!!! (check out her dolls)

The winner of the ruler assemblage is Elma!!!

Please e-mail me your address

Thanks a million.
Your Pal,

200 Candles On The Cake

Wouldn't a collection of Lincoln campaign buttons be fun? These 1864 tintype buttons sell from $500 to $1,000.

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, tomorrow is his 200th birthday. Are you going to do anything special to mark the occasion? How about making Abe's favorite foods like chicken fricassee, corn cakes and almond cake.

Mary Todd Lincoln's Vanilla Almond Cake
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cup milk
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
6 egg whites, stiffly beaten
***White Frosting***
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 dash salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cream together sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.

Stir together the cake flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in almonds. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into two greased and lightly floured 9 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pans. Bake at 375 degrees F for 28 to 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Fill and frost with White Frosting.

White Frosting: In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt. Bring mixture to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

In mixing bowl place egg whites; very slowly pour the hot sugar syrup over, beating constantly with electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract
recipe from cdKitchen

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Year of Color

Artsy Mama, Kari Ramstrom is hosting the loveliest year long web event called "A Year Of Color". Wonderful artists will be giving tutorials and inspiration on a different color every month. I was so lucky to participate in my first swap and get Arsty Mama herself as my swap partner! Look at all of the pretty vintage treasures she sent me. I do declare the pink bird tin to be the prettiest thing I own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mora Clocks

photo courtesy of Antique

photo courtesy of Heeren Van de Dam

photo courtesy of Swede Home

Aren't these clocks beautiful? These are 17th and 18th century Mora clocks from Sweden. They get their name from the village of Mora in Stockholm. The clocks were given as a wedding gifts, and the curvy shape of the clock was inspired by the lines of bride's wedding dress. Mora clocks are often painted in cream colors, light blue and pale green.
One day I will own one of these.


Amélie is one of my favorite films. I love the beautiful saturated colors and the wonderful story written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Amelie, played by Audrey Tatou, is a shy, lonely waitress in Montmartre who enjoys simple pleasures until she discovers that her goal in life is to help others. She devises ways to secretly intervene into other people's lives to bring them happiness and a break from their isolation.
The wonderful soundtrack and the breathtaking shots of Paris make me insane to go there every time I see this film. This film can only make you feel happy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ghost Chair

Louis Ghost Philippe Starck

Ghost Chair for kids

I kind of have a thing for chairs and this is one of my favorites. Phillipe Stark designed this beautiful Louis XV style chair in transparent polycarbonite in 2002. It is manufactured in Italy by Kartell. How cute are these chair for kids?