Wednesday, December 16, 2015

~ holiday cheer ~

The leaves have fallen.  The cookies are baked.  The wrapping paper is down from the attic.

The Holidays are here.


And with the Holidays come holiday parties, holiday music on the record player, and a sudden desire to not wear what I slept in.  The fake eyelashes come out of their box, stockings out of their drawer, hair is put into pin curls, nailed are painted, and festive clothing rescued from the back of the closet.

 Perhaps it's the Publix commercials that never fail to bring me to tears, or seeing wreaths hung on doors, or stockings over fireplaces, but the holiday season seems especially merry this year.

2015 has done its best to knock me down - and it's going out with a bang - but despite the painful things in this world, the holiday season still comes around, presents are still given, and love is still shared.  There may be days when it's hard to get out of bed, and hard to face the things one must face, but these moments of happiness (however fleeting) make life worth while.
So, Happy Holidays.  Hold your loved-ones close, appreciate what you have, and eat lots of cookie dough.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

~ mid century modern ~

Growing up, I had a plan for everything.  My college life, my career, my wedding, my children, and every birthday party up until I was 35.  Knowing this, it will be no surprise that I also had a collection of house plans, loosely drawn with a ballpoint pen on notebook paper, with double lines indicating doors and windows, and x's indicting a mix of exotic trees and shrubbery.  Although I used pink more liberally than I would now and never seemed to have enough space for a washer and dryer, my house plans really haven't changed that much.


Sleek lines, cool hues, eye-catching details, contrasting textures.  If it's teak, I'm sold.

Join me for a tour of my dream house!
The Villanova - Main Line Homes: More Living For The 1960s by MidCentArc, via Flickr:  

Living room.

Mid century modern living room:  

Viko Furniture 1963:

1958:       :

Bassett Furniture MID CENTURY MODERN 1963 Magazine Ad:        :

 Vintage Furniture Ads of the 1950s . Heritage Design Furniture (1958):      Furniture ads from the 1950s:



 New Beauty for Basements and Basementless Houses with Armstrong Floors by Armstrong Cork Co, 1956.:

 Two Vintage Heywood Wakefield furniture print ads by Vividiom, $8.00:

Bedroom (1956)  Furniture ad:


 Bedroom (1953)  Cannon ad:


 What Belongs in a Beautiful Kitchen? YOU and Steel! Design: John and Earline Brice Jones & Laughlin Steel (1955):

 mcm kitchen:      1950s Kitchens. Repinned by Secret Design Studio, Melbourne.

1950s kitchens | 1950s Kitchen that's Pink:

 1950s steel kitchen:


Pendant lighting was used in homes in the 1950s and into the very early 1960s before fading out of style.  Pendant lighting would reappear in the 2000s.  Here are three national advertisements from 1960.:

 12 year old me would be pleased as punch if my dream home also came with my dream husband, Zac, and my dream children, Lucy and Frankie.

Now?  Forget the kids and the husband...I'll just take the house.

Spring Planting in Suburbia


Sunday, November 15, 2015

~ sur la plage ~

November in Florida is like playing the weather lottery machine.  Take, for example, last November the 15th - it was COLD, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.  This November is having none of that. Today was 70 degrees, a few days ago I wore shorts, and a few days before that we had the AC on.  But despite the unreliable temperature, there is something you can always rely on.  It will always be breathtakingly beautiful.

After a good lunch, a breezy walk on the beach, and a tour of the Crooked River Lighthouse, we got back home in time for dinner.  A perfect day.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

~ the good, the bad, and the grey areas ~

In a world of YouTube comments and online dating, a lack of transparency is almost a given.  Photoshop can fix blemishes, affairs can be hidden, and 55 year old men in Indiana can pose as 23 year old women in online chat rooms.  So how can someone maintain a balance between sharing their personal experiences and keeping their doors shut and bolted?  How can one manage a personal crisis in the Digital Age?

 Illustration from Mode-Maker Metal Business Furniture catalog, circa 1960.:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  Smalltalk is expected, but oversharing is met with disapproval and links to articles about people whose houses were burgled and citizens who lost their retirement funds from sharing too much personal information online.  Weddings, babies, homemade pizza for dinner?  Fine.  Divorce, mental health, financial instability?  Discuss those struggles and you've started down the slippery slope to becoming "that person."

We're all guilty of of selective posting.  We share the good and hide the bad - it's natural human behavior.  But what do you do when life has dealt you a particularly difficult hand and you're struggling to conjure up the optimism you're usually bubbling over with?  What do you do when getting out of bed was your only accomplishment for the day?  What do you do when sides have been taken and weapons have been drawn?  How do you survive?  Cat videos and political satire seem inappropriate, daily accounts of your depression seem even more inappropriate, and digital silence is not ideal.  

Life has its ups and downs, so why doesn't social media?  The good things are celebrated, but the bad things are ignored.  But does it really have to be this way?  Can't we have a healthy variety?

I like to think that it doesn't have to be this way and we can have a healthy variety of high points and low points.  Social slickness is not only untrue but unrealistic.  Low points in one's life should not have to equal silence on social media in order to meet society's strict standards for constant perfection.  Don't the majority of problems in relationships, both digital and in person, stem from a lack of communication?  We cannot be free to be truthful about our happiness if we cannot also be free to be truthful about our sorrow.

So I'm done holding myself back.  I'm done with the voices in the back of my head that tell me "people don't want to hear about that."  Do we post what we post because we think other people want to hear it or because we want to say it?


Friday, September 25, 2015

~ fire and ice ~

As anyone who knows me well (or has seen the inside of my bathroom cabinet) will tell you, I have a bit of an obsession with  lipstick.  This would also be apparent if you took a peek inside of my purse, inside of my car, or inside of my bedroom.  I don't pretend to have a grasp on this obsession, and I frequently tell myself "it's not a problem unless you dream about Revlon," but let's call a spade a spade: I know my lipstick.

Coralberry, cherries in the snow, siren, etc., etc., so on and so forth.  Reds, pinks, oranges, orangey-reds, reddish-oranges, orangey-pinks, pinkish-oranges.  Each is totally different, and yes, totally necessary.  But my most-used and most-loved is Revlon's Fire and Ice.

The name really says it all - a name created by Bea Castle and Kay Daly.  A passionate, bright red shade with just a hint of orange.  Creamy and comfortable, and perfect for a night out or a quick trip to the grocery store. 
I lucked out a few years ago and managed to buy this shade in the sleek tube (a limited edition), seen above.  I've been hooked every since. 

The history of Fire and Ice is just as deep as the shade.  Two years before the introduction of Fire and Ice, Revlon introduced Where's the Fire to the public.  This shade was popular in its own right, but never reached the heights that Fire and Ice did.  Following its release in 1952 with the two page spread featuring Dorian Leigh seen above, Revlon saw 9,000 window displays dedicated to their newest shade, nationwide Fire and Ice beauty contests, and countless mentions in radio shows, television shows, and in the press.  American women were finally being given a shade of lipstick that wasn't submissive, tame, or easily ignorable.  The Fire and Ice woman was bold, elegant, glamorous, and not the least bit afraid of color.  As one ad stated "What is the American girl made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Not since the days of the Gibson Girl! There's a new American beauty . . . she's tease and temptress, siren and gamin, dynamic and demure. Men find her slightly, delightfully baffling. Sometimes a little maddening. Yet they admit she's easily the most exciting woman in the world! She's the 1952 American beauty, with a foolproof formula for melting a male! She's the 'Fire and Ice' girl. (Are You?)"

In a time when all eyes were on European beauty and fashion, Revlon wanted a shade that showed the world that American women had the same amount of sex-appeal and passion as the French and the Italian.  If a woman had any doubt about choosing such a daring shade, Revlon's quiz could help them decide.

Have you ever danced with your shoes off?
Did you ever wish on a new moon?
Do you blush when you find yourself flirting?
When a recipe calls for one dash of bitters, do you think it's better with two?

Do you secretly hope the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist?
Do you sometimes feel that other women resent you?
Have you ever wanted to wear an ankle bracelet?
Do sables excite you, even on other women?
Do you love to look up at a man?
Do you face crowded parties with panic -- then wind up having a wonderful time?
Does gypsy music make you sad?
Do you think any man really understands you?Would you streak your hair with platinum without consulting your husband?
If tourist flights were running, would you take a trip to Mars?
Do you close your eyes when you're kissed?

So, how do you fare?


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

~ teal ~

I confess that I'm not an expert in color.  I skipped Color Theory class at school, black and black is my go-to color combo, my room was Rose Pink .01 for 12 years because I couldn't decide what color to paint it, and when I finally did paint it, I settled on white so that I wouldn't have to buy matching bed linens.  Despite this lack of color literacy , I find myself strongly drawn to different colors during different stages of my life.  Pink, light gray, orange, navy blue, and now, teal.  For those of you more proficient than I am in the language of colors, feel free to let me know what that means.

This heavy presence of color in my life, coupled with a new-founded obsession with Wes Anderson, has lead to the birth of a new project: The Interior Portrait Series.  A monochromatic study on the link between color and emotion.

In such a chaotic and transformative period of my life, I'm excited to begin a new project.  And who knows?  Maybe it will be just as good for me as any color theory class would have been.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

~ summertime ~

As the days grow shorter and summertime draws to a close, the Florida weather is creeping closer to 90 degrees/farther from 100, the air is slowly dehumidifying, and the beach trips are becoming fewer and farther between.  But as any true Floridian knows, summertime is not officially over until Halloween, even though last minute costume changes might be necessary due to overnight temperature plunges.  To celebrate my return to the U.S., the beautiful weather, and my total lack of coursework for this semester, a beach trip was most definitely in order.

I wore a vintage two-tone bathing suit that I picked up from a little shop in the UK.

It was a beautifully clear day, with only a few clouds in the sky and only a few people on the beach.  We ate quinoa salad and potato chips, read, took naps, and then headed over to Apalachicola to snoop in the shops and meet friendly people.  It was a perfect day and a even more perfect way to postpone fall as long as possible.

I'm ready to do it all again.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

~ the stray ~

Ever since I was little and read books like Alice in Wonderland, Linnea in Monet's Garden, and Anne of Green Gables, I've had dreams of running through the tall green grass in a vast meadow on a warm day.

Thanks to beautiful weather and a perfectly-placed flat, I lived out that dream.

And it was just as heavenly as I always imagined it would be.

{Photos by my sweet friend Sarah, who put up with my micromanaging beautifully}

It was a warm evening with a nice breeze (which gave a gaggle of university boys a nice look at my undies), so I whipped out my new (to me) 1980s-does-1950s dress which I picked up in Manchester, and paired it with my favorite bakelite bangles and hoops.

I'd be happy to do nothing but frolick in the Stray for the rest of my days.