How the heck are you? It’s December 1st! I haven’t sat down at my desk in weeks. I’ve really been making an attempt to be less of a multitasker and more of a focused person. Doing one or two things and doing them really well instead of juggling a dozen balls and dropping 5 of them. I’m sick of the feeling that comes with that. You know, the one where you’re always complaining about being busy but never really feeling like you’re getting anything done? I realized something: I’m trying to do too many things. I used to pride myself on my ability to multitask but seriously, who am I kidding? I’ve happily thrown that approach away and am enjoying my new simplified game.
One recent example: instead of hopping on the holiday treadmill, stocking two shops and promoting cyber sales until my face was blue, I decided I just didn’t want to play that game this year. And I can’t bear to put together a gift guide for you guys. I don’t mean any harm by that statement, I just don’t have it in me. Those gift guides are a PITA to create. They take a ton of time and in the end, you run the risk of turning people off by using affiliate links. I just can’t go there. So I’ve chosen to focus my energy on my local shop 100% and let the crickets chirp online. And big surprise! Right after I made this decision came the best ever sales in a two week period. Hmm, think there’s something to that?
Other than that, the big cookie on our plate right now is figuring out what the heck we do with our rising 9th grader next year. We’ve spent much of this fall touring high schools, talking with parents and teachers and trying to figure out what’s best for him and us as a family. You know what I realized? Parenting teenagers is 1000 times harder than parenting infants. Like, WHOA. Give me a crying, sleepless baby over the social and academic world of a teenager any day.
The breakfast posts! Nothing much to do with the words – a little food for thought? hyuck, hyuck, hyuck! But I was thinking… would you be interested in more foodie related posts? I love to set a pretty table and I have a scary amount of pretty dishes. And I’m always cooking, so there’s that.
I’ve been so busy lately gathering and pricing inventory for my space at the antique mall. With the holiday season just about in full swing, I’ve been on a major mission to get as much over there as possible. I doubled my booth space at the beginning of the month, which means I have room for furniture and larger items, in addition to all the smalls that I’ve got stockpiled in my basement studio. Because I don’t always unpack boxes from estate sales or auctions right away (sometimes it’s seasonal stuff, or maybe it’s items I’m working on building a small collection) it makes for a fun surprise when I rediscover things later on.
Case in point: this box of vintage ephemera and 19th century primers that recently paused me in my tracks. I got totally lost in them. Poof, just like that, an hour was gone before I looked up to realize it. I think these books are so beautiful and the lessons are simple and sweet. Long before graphing calculators, laptops and class websites – just a wonderful little book filled with beautiful illustrations, practical plans and life lessons to tie up with a string and tuck under your arm.
I thought you might enjoy a little peek inside. I paired them with a few faces from my vintage photo collection that I thought could be the very kind of kids who used these books in the late 1800s.
Aren’t they lovely?
Wishing you a happy Wednesday!
Meet Clara Rockmore (1911-1998), the world’s greatest Theremin virtuosa. In her early years, she was a violinist – the youngest to ever study at the Imperial Conservatory of Petersburg, Russia. Sadly, she was forced to abandon the violin in her teens because of bone problems that resulted from malnutrition.
Enter, THE THEREMIN.
That’s LEON Theremin, the man behind the machine.
WHAT THE HECK IS A THEREMIN, ANYWAY?
Developed in 1920, the instrument is controlled without physical contact by the player. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
One part melancholy, one part spooky. Totally unique and beautiful.
The theremin was used in movie soundtracks such as Miklós Rózsa‘s for Spellbound and The Lost Weekend and Bernard Herrmann‘s for The Day the Earth Stood Still and as the theme tune for the ITV drama Midsomer Murders. This has led to its association with a very eerie sound. Theremins are also used in concert music (especially avant-garde and 20th- and 21st-century new music) and in popular music genres such as rock. (source: Wikipedia)
David Grey’s We’re Not Right, Sufjan Stevens’ In the Devil’s Territory, Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, Soul Coughing’s 4 out of 5, and The Pixies Velouria all feature sounds of the theremin. And for squeaks and giggles, here’s a cat playing around with a theremin. YOU’RE WELCOME.
But really, let’s listen to the master at work.
This past weekend, I decided to tackle a project that scares the ever lovin’ bejeezus out of me. Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but seriously? I have been wanting to do a big gallery wall in our living room for forever and I had the stack of hoarded and unframed Etsy prints to prove it.
I know there aren’t really any real rules when it comes to this sort of thing… follow a grid pattern, go random, mix and match frames, choose a color story or theme… whatever floats your boat. For some reason, when it comes to the hanging of stuff on the walls, I’m frozen. I imagine myself hammering a bunch of nails in the wall and then stepping back and hating it. I decided I was being ridiculous and it was time to stop pinning images of other people’s gorgeous gallery walls and start hammering my own up already.
So I did it. And what better time to jump into a project like this than when I’m already up to my ears in work! Remember folks, big ol shop update is coming Monday.
Anyways, that’s how I roll apparently. I gathered all my frames (man, did we have a lot of frames in the basement!) and found my stash of prints (man, did I hoard some art!) and used a roll of brown paper to cut the size + shape of each frame so that I could get the layout just right without pounding a zillion holes into the wall.
I’ll share some photos of the finished project as soon as the sun comes back out. It’s grey out there today! Thanks to my new colorful gallery wall, I’ve got color inside!
As promised, here’s another little peek into the big shop update I’ve been working so hard on!
There will be lots of beautiful vintage coats, dresses and hats!
And cameras too.
I guess the theme this go ’round is pink and jade. If I could only get my hands on that striped dress on the cover of that record, le swoon!
The Nags Head pennant will be included in the shop update on November 3rd along with about a dozen other vintage pennants!
I’m hard at work on a large (and might I add rather awesome) shop update scheduled for Monday, November 3rd.
Here’s your first teaser… THERE WILL BE CAMERAS!
I mentioned that this update will include some wonderful collections of vintage goods so get ready! Tell a friend! More sneak peeks to come soon…
Life feels busy. I often fall into the trap of thinking that I just can’t wait until this phase of being extra busy passes, and things calm down again. But really, stuff always comes up. Kids are active. They come with field trips and school fund raisers and dirty laundry and homework. There are work trips involving cross country flights and bathroom renovations and out of town guests. There’s never ending yard work and cars that need to be cleaned out and trips to the grocery store. There are wildcards like dentist appointments, 20th high school reunions, sick relatives and weddings. It’s best to just accept it: THINGS ARE NEVER NOT BUSY. Life throws stuff at you every day. You better be ready for it.
The studio search continues but since I last wrote, I ended up doubling my space at the antique mall. The timing was perfect – right before the holiday season and all. So I’ve been keeping myself plenty busy getting lots of new inventory prepped and ready to bring over on the first of November. Additionally, I’ve been working hard on a giant Etsy shop update, tentatively scheduled for November 3rd. One thing all online vintage sellers are familiar with is the fall and winter light chasing game. Yes, the days are shorter, but also the light is just different. (Hence the photo studio search) The good news is that after 5 days of crazy rain + foggy days last week, I scored sunny days over the weekend which meant nice bright light for shop photos. I’m babbling on (I think I’m out of practice after not blogging for almost the whole month!) but the point is: Giant Shop Update is in the works and things are looking really good for 11/3. Get ready for teaser images to start coming at you this week. I’ve got a lot of great inventory collected and I’m parting ways with a few of my own most treasured collections. It’ll be a collection of collections! Lots of great stuff.
I baked my buns off over the weekend. I lost count but somewhere around 5-6 dozen cupcakes for my son’s school. I also roasted a butternut squash, made a chicken stock for soup this week and caught a little cold. On top of it all, both kids had a friend spend the night (see? Busy.) So suffice it to say, our house was noisy but it smelled great.
I’m off to pick up a chair. I scored a pretty vintage sofa + matching chair set last week for a steal and I can’t wait to share it with you. Dreamiest color, y’all.
Have a great day!
Something exciting: I’m on the hunt for a studio space to rent. Historic charm is a plus, but I’ll totally settle for a clean, simple light filled space. Somewhere I can shoot photos for the shop and not worry about constantly creeping on our living space, which I’ve only been doing for the last decade. Vintage dealers who work at home know exactly what I’m talking about.
Wish me luck! I’ve got to get out of my poorly lit basement!
Denim jacket season is here, can I get a whoop, whoop! I love this kind of outfit because it requires little thought and it’s totally comfortable. I could wear a variation of this every day with no complaints, it’s that easy. Of course you can always count on me to pattern mix, even just a little bit.
In other news, I am exhausted, guys. And it’s MONDAY :: queue maniacal laughter :: Chinese take out for the win. TGFCT!
denim jacket, Gap + chevron dress, thrifted + vintage mother brooch, antique mall + handbag, Orla Kiely (my favorite every day bag!) + leggings, Target + booties, Seychelles. These boots were my very favorite boots last year and I just spied a cheetah version !!! Meow, they are calling my name.
This post contains two affiliate links! I think I get a couple pennies thrown in a bucket if you should purchase one of them. Certainly not enough to pay my mortgage, but maybe someday it’ll help to offset the server + hosting costs associated with running MSC. I use these links sparingly and would never recommend anything I didn’t think you’d like!