Flea Market


I finally made it to the Long Beach Flea Market last week.
I adore these markets, though I don’t let myself go too often for fear of buying in excess. A book here, a vase there, and before I know it, I could very well be a hoarder. Thank goodness A&E’s Hoarders alerted me to this phenomena; I never knew knickknacks could morph into a health hazard.

ANYWAY, since I am not typing this post from under a mound of collectible Tupperware and porcelain cats, I declare myself unscathed from this flea market trip.

There were so many charming, and sometimes odd (i.e. random top hat head, below), things to see that even though I wasn’t buying, I had a blast walking around and finding inspiration in the quirky, beautiful wares. I left with a few small trinkets and a lot great DIY ideas. A lovely way to pass a sunny Sunday morning.

How great is this collection of thermoses? Perfect for stylish school work lunches or as kitchen decoration.

Fire King Jadeite dishes

A table with a metal bin inserted in the middle for cold drinks- genius! I could also imagine using the metal insert as a planter for herbs or succulents.

Salt and pepper shakers. The baby bok choy (at least, that’s what I am imagining it to be) in the lower right hand corner is one of my favs.

An antique baby bathtub and stand. Again, the possibilities are endless! Fill with ice and drinks for a party, use as linen or towel storage, wash your delicates… or small dog in it. A true multi-tasker.

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When the Mood Strikes

Grey, moody clouds greeted me from the window yesterday morning. It rained in L.A., and I loved every minute of it. Small signs of Autumn in a near season-less city.
I miss the dark, shifty weather of Fall in New England, where I grew up. So in an attempt to recreate the perfect crawl-under-the-covers-and-stay-there-all-day feeling, here are a few cloudy images from around the web.

Cloud cocktail napkins on Etsy and note card from Clay Wood and Cotton.
LL Bean Signature boots (photo via A Continuous Lean), Cloud and Umbrella earrings from this Etsy shop, and J.Crew Rainy Day Ballet Flats.

And last but not least, a vintage wool cape from GingerRootVintage, also on Etsy. Between the easy drape of the coat, the rich camel color, and the detailing of the squared-off buttons, this really is the perfect Autumn accessory.

Wantist: the answer to your gift giving SOS


Not that I’m trying to add to the angst of ALREADY seeing Christmas cards and decorations on store shelves… but, ahem… the holidays are only a short 2 months away.
For those of you who just broke out in anxiety based hives, and can’t possibly think of the stresses of the holiday season yet, please think of this as a helpful post for all those October and November birthdays/anniversaries you have coming up.

Each year, I attempt to craft, bake, or sew my Christmas gifts but never quite get it together in time. A lowly Martha Stewart wanna be. But this season, I’m determined to make it work, and have begun digging around the web for early inspiration.

That’s when I stumbled on Wantist. It’s a brilliant site that offers a curated collection of gift ideas depending on the type of gift, and style of the person, you’re shopping for. I’ve been using it mostly as inspiration for my homemade gifts-to-be, but everything listed is just so cool that I can easily imagine getting all my shopping done from there should my DIY plans fall through (once again.)

My personal favorites:

Does anyone else out there make their gifts? If so, please share! I’d love to hear what far more craftier people then I are up to.

Retro Kick


I’ve found myself on an unintentional 60s era art binge. Maybe its my latent longing for the next Mad Men season, but lately, it seems every where I turn, there it is.

On a recent trip to the Getty, I was mesmerized by the David Hockney prints. As one of the pioneers of 60s pop art, Hockney is emblematic of the times, and there’s something clean and vivid about his work that I just love.
David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)

David Hockney, Big Splash

I’ve also been eating 1960s set movies up with a spoon. The societal agitation of the time along with distinctive fashion and design make for so much eye candy. I mean, look at that turban! The bouffants! Those cuffed jeans at the drive in movie!

Harold and Maude, 1971


An Education, 2009



The Graduate, 1967

A Single Man, 2009


And while 60s inspired fashion is EVERYWHERE these days and I really should be so damn sick of those thick-rimmed hipster glasses by now, my enrapture continues. However, I don’t dare elaborate on the fashion of the day because 1. I wear hiking boots to run errands and therefore have no authority on the subject 2. it’s too much information to cover in a lousy blog post.
That said, I cannot help myself from sharing this Yves Saint Laurent number. It’s too good not to.

Is anyone else on a retro kick at the moment?

Nerd Alert, Ocean Inspired

While sailing last week, I was constantly reminded of one of my very favorite novels (and for a proud bookworm (ahem, nerd) naming a favorite book is a bold statement):
Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn.

This novel doesn’t seem to be well known, I only happened to encounter it in a New Orleans Lit class in college, but it’s truly one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever come across. The story centers around the islands south of New Orleans, in the Gulf. Much of the language is therefore ocean-inspired, and it reads like poetry: vivid, expressive, rhythmic.

Take this passage in which Hearn is describing the view from an ocean vessel:

-all day long had the cloudless sky revealed through all its exquisite transparency that inexpressible tenderness which no painter and no poet can ever re-image- that unutterable sweetness which no art of man may ever shadow forth, and which none may ever comprehend,- though we feel it to be in some strange way akin to the luminous and unspeakable charm that makes us wonder at the eyes of a woman when she loves.

or this one:

The sea lived: it could crawl backward and forward; it could speak!- it only feigned deafness and sightlessness for some malevolent end. Thenceforward she feared to fnd herself alone with it. Was it not at her that it strove to rush, muttering, and showing its white teeth,… just because it knew that she was all by herself?… Si quieres aprender a orar, entra en el mar!

Writing like this just makes me feel good.
Do you have a favorite book or passage?

Adventures at Sea

This past weekend, the lovely Emily and Westbrook, Captain and First Mate of the Pistachio, invited Matthew and me for a sailing trip to Catalina Island.
It was one of the better weekends I’ve had in a very long time; great company, beautiful sights, and although the island is a mere 22 miles off the coast of L.A., I felt much much further away.













Due to high winds on Saturday, we made it to Catalina in just five hours and were anchored and cracking open our first beers by sunset. The rest of the weekend flew by, with much ocean swimming, a gorgeous hike with Emily and Westbrook’s two dogs Puglsey and Reggie, and some competitive Yahtzee.

With the four of us (well, six including our canine friends) sleeping under one tiny roof, quarters were tight, but that was half the fun. It was like ocean camping, and a good reminder of how very little you actually need.

Emily and Westbrook live full time on the boat, and at times, I truthfully don’t know how they do it. But it’s weekends like these that show me why. Less closet space seems like a small sacrifice to make for being able to live somewhere that can take you anywhere. Emily has a blog documenting her boat-life, called Pistachio At Sea, which you can read here.
So thank you again, Pistachio, for such a memorable trip. Until next time!!

1 minute project: Clothespin Photo Banner

After coming across a collection of gorgeous photos of my Grandparents from the 40s , I instantly knew I had to display them in a way I could actually see (photo albums so rarely get looked at in my house).
I also wanted to avoid damaging the photos with puncture marks or the like.

So, voilĂ , another 1 minute project was born.

The necessities:

Clothespins. I used mini ones here as they were more to scale to my vintage photos.

Twine, string, ribbon, or whatever is handy at the moment.
I used hemp for this banner, leftover from my hemp necklace making days… remember those??

Photos, naturally.
I ended up using a mix of both old and new- for color and sentimental value 🙂

All together now.

Directions:
Simply arrange your photos in the order you’d like them to hang, as looks most pleasing.

Fasten the photo to the string with your clothespin.


This is a photo of my Grandma, Stella. I love how carefree and full of life she looks here; I can almost imagine that I’m right there with her that summer, on the lake with her betrothed.

Now hang, and you’re done!

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky: Design Inspiration

I spent Friday night indulging in one of my favorite solo activities: a movie and.. a bottle of wine. Last night’s menu included rosĂ© and Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.

Film critique aside, I could not get over the gorgeous interior design showcased throughout. The majority of the movie takes place in Coco Chanel’s country home, outside of Paris in the 1920s, which is as elegant and bold as its proprietor.

In one of my favorite scenes, Igor’s wife asks, “You don’t like color, Mademoiselle Chanel?” To which Coco dryly responds, “As long as it’s black.”









The tailored, yet feminine aesthetic that ruled the furniture, paint, wall coverings, rugs, and of course, the fashion, played nearly as large a role as Mademoiselle Chanel herself in the film.

If, like me, this sparks in you the urge to start splashing black paint on just about everything in your home (crown moldings, door jams, painted wood floors, staircases), here are a few items to help start the Art Deco transformation.


$89.99 from http://www.designyourwall.com/store/Urban-Geometric-custom-digital-wallpaper-Black-and-White-pr-2271.html


$219.99 from sears.com


$160 from http://www.skyiris.com/Black-Greek-Key-Wool-Hook-Rug-30TT40FC05.htm


$59 from http://www.prettycleverdecor.com