Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Other times, other places, other hands

I think one of the things I like best about antiques and vintage items is the history. I love imagining the life these items have led before reaching my hands.

There are very few family items in my collections.  My love for de-cluttering is apparently genetic, because the generations before me left little of their daily lives.

So I look at the items I've gathered from auctions and yard sales, and estate sales, and I spin stories.

For instance, I wonder....

What child loved this doll, and dressed her with tiny, careful hands...

What eyes scanned these pages...
...and what eyes wore these spectacles....

And did they share their space with a cat who loved to curl up on a rainy night?

What child delighted to receive a tin rabbit some long-ago spring....

And can tin rabbits become real?

Who was the bride who wore this delicate celluloid ornament in her hair? 
And how would she feel knowing that it was a part of my wedding 
so many years later?

Were great books or passionate love letters written on this typewriter,
or did it live a more mundane life, spitting out invoices or business letters in a back office, typed by a clerk who day-dreamed of sailing the oceans, or climbing far away mountains...

My collections will probably never reveal their secrets.  But the fact that they have them, the knowledge that they have traveled a long path through time and place to reach my home makes them just a little magic....

A few more of my vintage treasures....a tiny iron cat with it's face almost worn away, a hand-embroidered table cloth from the 1930's, a menorah from the 1940's, a page of poetry in a book published in 1917, glass dogs that were once filled with candy, and a miniature goose-image iron, probably a child's toy. 

For more images of vintage collectibles and decorating, I would recommend the blog Creating Vintage will be inspired and delighted, I promise!  Even a chronic de-clutterer like me is tempted there! 

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Due to some things beyond my control, and a few mess-up's in planning, I was not able to get my combined Pink Saturday and Vintage post up for Saturday. I will have it up Monday after work.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Practical Magic -- the Book

A few months ago, I accepted a challenge to create a work of art around the book or movie, Practical Magic.  I chose the book (haven't seen the movie) and here is my entry....a collage, representing some of the critical elements of the book.  I used Photoshop, Olioboard and a few other tools to create this digital image...

Now I can't wait to see everyone else's!  Thanks for the challenge!

If you click on the image, it will render slightly larger. Please leave me links when you post yours! :-)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Working hard on a Wednesday

Lots to get done today at work, and it's doubly challenging because I didn't sleep well last night.  Never a good thing when you leave for work counting the hours until you can sleep tonight!

A quiet farm road near Lancaster, PA....
But I didn't want to neglect my blog and my readers today, so here are some thoughts on work and sleep, along with some images of where I would rather be right now....

“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.” ~  Albert Einstein 

and from that same great mind, as I prepare for a meeting where I have to explain a fairly complex process....

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”  Thank you Al...I'll keep that in mind...

Cinderella's castle in Walt Disney World...
And on sleep, from one of philosophy's most "cheerful" spokespersons ...

Sleeping is no mean art:  for its sake one must stay awake all day.  ~  Friedrich Nietzsche

And my personal favourite, which my husband is just learning to understand....

Life is too short to sleep on low thread-count sheets.  ~Leah Stussy

So now, it's off to work, perchance to dream a bit, to imagine where, when my head hits the pillow tonight, my dreams will take me....

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Ten Questions on a Tuesday -- Thanks, Sharon!

I was browsing Sharon's blog, Tidings of Comfort and Joy, and I saw her post from last Tuesday with 10 wonderful questions.  So I decided to play along -- a week late, but that's pretty much par for me!  So Here are her questions and my answers! 

1.  What simple pleasure would you miss most if it was no longer a part of your life?
       Reading a good mystery

2.  What was one of your prized possessions as a child or teenager?

       As a child, I had a tiny ceramic dog -- a terrier of sorts, that I had found on a walk with my dad.  I carried it everywhere.  It got broken when my oldest two kids were small, but about a year later, my children found an almost exact duplicate at a flea market!  I still have that one.  (BTW, Sharon wrote that she had a cat named Charley.  So did I!)

3.  Name a book you've read (or a movie you've watched) multiple times.
       Book - The Awakening, by Kate Chopin and Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery. (PS, Sharon, I love Legally Blond!) 

4.  What is your current career/vocation?  
       Writer and SEO/Social Marketing Manager

If you could try another one, what would it be?
Set decorator

5.  If you could take a six-month sabbatical, where would you go and what would you want to do/learn/study?
       I would go to Paris with my art supplies, a couple of really good cameras and several blank journals.  I would study French and write and take endless photos and just relax for the first time in years. 

6.  In your opinion, what is the quintessential comfort food?
      Soup.  Hot, creamy, well-seasoned soup on a chilly evening

7.  What was a formative moment or turning point in your life?
       Having children.  I always thought I would just hire a nanny and go back to my career which was just starting.  I was so wrong. As soon as my son was born, I did not want to leave him -- the career was on indefinite and happy hold. 

8.  Do you have any regrets that are particularly difficult to shake?

9.  If you could be really talented at a skill of your choice, what would it be?
       Singing jazz

10.  If you had to choose one word to describe what you hope your life is like in 10 years, what would it be?

Monday, 20 September 2010

A home decorating balancing act

I love vintage furniture, antique linens, old found-objects re-purposed in new ways, cottage gardens and lace.

My ideal room contains filmy white curtains, things that have a history, lots of textures -- a very feminine look.  My new husband is not exactly going to feel at home in that kind of home. Nope....not going to work....
I also like post-industrial, salvaged pieces, like you find at Restoration Hardware....I love the solid wood, the feeling that the pieces have had a life before I "found" them -- a history.


  We've gone shopping to look at furniture a few times now, and he's leaned towards very sleek, modern pieces with no texture or trim -- and certainly, no history.

I know that many of my readers lean towards the same look I prefer.  So I want to ask you -- how do you create a home decor that appeals to your vintage side, while not alienating a spouse who wants a far more modern and unadorned look?

I want to make a home we both will love, and feel "at home" in.....any advice welcome!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Tea in the garden

(Saturday is Yom Kippur, a holy day of fasting and prayer.  So I will be in Temple with my family. But even though I won't be anywhere near a computer, I wanted to share a Pink Saturday wish...)

Sometimes, just meeting and talking and sharing online doesn't seem like enough. I wish that I could sit down across from each of you for tea in the garden.

No, this isn't my garden.  It's the garden where I got married almost 6 months ago.

But it's a lovely garden.  Peaceful.  Tropical. Lush. Lovingly tended.  Everything I hope our own yard will be in the near future (my husband has been working so hard to make it come true!)

And, until then, I know the owner of this garden won't mind if we meet there for our tea  -- in fact, she'd love to join us, I'm sure.  She's a wonderful woman -- a writer, an artist, a former pilot, and a political activist. I know you'll love her, too.

There are many tables in her garden, but I like this one best.  It's in a perfect spot to see the other areas of the garden. And while some of the tables are larger, this one is just right for two or three to sit and talk and sip and relax. There's even another table just like this, so we can add another chair.

We can each have our favourite teas in little pink teapots, just perfect for a couple of cups.  Just give me some warning before you come, because I want to get some of the incredible Bergamot Sage from my friends at One Good Woman in Pennsylvania, where my youngest daughter loved to go for tea even when she was only three years old, (much to the delight of all the other guests!)

And you'll just have to let me know what kind you want, so I can order it in advance.  And we'll have tea cakes and sandwiches and get to know each other in the breezy sunshine.

This picture from Susan Riss is exactly what I see. She even has the three chairs! 

So will you join me one sunny Sunday in the garden?  

One of Susan's photos
In the meantime, I am heading over for a virtual supper to the most beautiful porch I've ever seen.  The photos on "Between Naps on the Porch" are tooooo lovely for words.  Thank you, to Max's person (AKA Susan) for sharing your space with the rest of us! Wouldn't it be awesome to end a day in such a space?....

Any how, from the middle of Friday, Happy Pink Saturday

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Yom Kippur Meditations

Silence your mumblings –

the dry, dead words only turn to dust on your tongue.

Take off your bright, stiff clothes and

wrap yourself in soft white cotton robes.

Leave behind the cool rooms and chairs and benches –

spread a blanket on the ground and look up at the sky



G-d is here.

Silence the noise.

Can you hear the gates closing now?

There is still time.

Close your books, and let your prayers come from your







G-d is here and the gates are still open.

There is so little time.

Close your books and leave your rooms behind.

G-d is here.

Lindsay Shugerman
Yom Kippur 5771