It was spring break here for us last week and I spent much of it working on a little room redo for my girl. I’d love to share a few pictures of the new space with you, but first, I thought it might be fun to take a quick trip down memory lane. Presenting Dotty’s Polka Dot Rainbow Room, years 1 through 6…
As you can see, we’re not afraid to use a little color around here.
Just about everything you see is secondhand or handmade, with the exception of the crib. Of course, now that she’s a big girl (as she will happily tell you) many of these baby + toddler items are long gone.
Other than swapping out her crib for a twin sized bed and changing some shelving, I’ve pretty much used the same elements and just refreshed things with a coat of paint here, a rearrange there.
My goal in revamping her room this time around was to really purge a lot of the stuff that’s accumulated over the years and is no longer working for her. I wanted to give her a nice clean space to focus on what she really loves, and let go of the rest. She has a handful of stuffed friends (or, “buddies” as they’re called in our house) but other than that, she’s not really into playing with toys so much, with the exception of Legos, of course. She’s all about music and art and books these days.
I also wanted to really give her an opportunity to tell me what she wanted her room to look like, so that she had a creative hand in the process. She chose the new paint color for the walls, and we perused some images online for inspiration. It was a nice way to spend the week with her, and I’m happy that she’s so happy with the final result. As soon as we rolled on that new paint color, she jumped up and down and said, “OH, MAMA! It’s the most beautifulest thing I’ve ever seen!”
I’m looking forward to sharing the new space with you just as soon as we finish up with a few finishing touches!
One of my favorite sources for inspiration has to be vintage magazines. I think I’ve mentioned this before? I have accumulated such a hefty collection thanks to great luck at estate sales and auctions over the years that my husband pretty much turns a blind eye when I walk in the house with more.
My vintage library is filled with more inspiration than I can shake a stick at. And you know what? It was the very pages of vintage magazines that served as the inspiration for me to start this blog. Last spring, we finished a two year long patio project and I was determined to spend as much time out there relaxing and sipping iced teas before the mosquitos hit and drove me inside. What better way to relax than to flip through the pages of a 1958 Better Homes and Gardens, I ask you! McCalls, Vogue, Good Houskeeping, Cosmopolitan, you name it, I love ‘em all.
One afternoon it hit me: this stuff just begs to be shared. I spent the next few weeks bookmarking everything from amazing kitchens and wacky food ads (so wacky!) to fashion spreads, fonts and illustrations. I’m really excited to share them with you in a new regular feature I’ll be launching this week.
Here’s a little teaser… this fashion spread totally caught my eye! Spring fashions, 1961. Aren’t they fabulous?
I checked the forecast for the week and it’s looking like we’re in for a good one. Sunny and in the 70s, I’ll take it!
I think one of these floats would make a mighty fine afternoon treat. Don’t you?
recipe from 1955 Better Homes & Gardens Junior Cookbook
Just when I feel like I’m ready to give up on some of my favorite thrift stores (because, let’s be honest – the thrifting just ain’t what it used to be) I have a week that reminds me exactly why I love a quick thrift store pop-in.
Pictured are just a few recent finds that make my heart skip a beat. #enamelpinsforever
I’ll share the magazines soon (they’re a real hoot) before I stick them in the shop along with that pretty little shawl, some great mid century board games and a whole bunch of vintage hats. As for the camera named Pixie? She’s a keeper. Along with the bits and bobs that are just perfect for spring. Funny, I had two flower necklaces from J Crew Factory in a cart last week and never checked out. And then I found that red one for a buck. ZING! Happy Dance.
Neil Fujita, born in Hawaii to Japanese Immigrants, was an American graphic designer known for such iconic album covers as Dave Brubeck’s Time Out and Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus. He studied at Chouinard Art Institue and while working at a prominent Philadelphia ad agency, caught the attention of Columbia Records. He was hired in 1954 to compete with Blue Note’s cover art.
I’ve long been a fan of Fujita’s work, and I hope you enjoy this small peek at it today.
I came across this advertisement in a 1955 Ladies Home Journal and thought it needed to be made. Let’s face it: it’s hardly a dessert I slaved over. So simple, I don’t even really need to type out any instructions for you.
This is what the people of 1955 were having for dessert, guys.
And this is all you need! I would love to tell you that I made a graham cracker crust from scratch, but that would be a lie. How awesome are the instructions? I like step number 4.
I added some fresh whipped creme and a dash of cinnamon because, let’s keep things real: it was kinda ugly on it’s own. This is the kind of dessert you see set out on plates in a cafeteria refrigerator and you know what? There might not be anything wrong with that. Are we going to argue with pudding and whipped creme? I’m not.
Did my kids care what it looked like? Pie on a Wednesday? Please. I was like, The Best Mom Ever.
Whoops, I disappeared. How the heck are ya? Things have been pretty much the usual here, but the weather, MAN, THE WEATHER. Yesterday I was skipping along downtown in a skirt with bare legs! And today? 6 inches of snow. WHAT. It’s been a heckuva long day here as I have been trapped in the house with three sick people (two words: stomach flu) and a dog who just really wants to be outside chasing birds. I made banana bread, a pot of sauce, a pot of soup, a giant batch of granola and did about 19 loads of laundry. No kidding. Tomorrow the kiddos go back to school, and hoo buddy am I ready for it.
The few warm spring-like days we have had so far have kept me busy dreaming of so many projects, my head is spinning. Part of the reason I went so silent here is because I decided to finally commit to doing a major makeover of my depressing basement office/studio. You know what? I completely tore the place up. My computer was unplugged for like 10 days straight. Crazy, but also amazing. Aside from a little Instagramming and Twittering from my phone, I was blissfully off the net. Two snaps, a twist and a kiss!
A little studio space inspiration can be found here.
Another project we’re basically being forced into this spring is the renovating of the kid’s bathroom. The original 1960 tile work is basically giving up the ghost – I’m not kidding, you look at that stuff wrong, and a piece chunks off. As far as I can tell, we’ll be gutting that sucker and taking on the whole project ourselves. Crazy? You bet!
A little bathroom redo inspiration can be found here.
We also finished a beastly two year stone patio project last fall and this spring we’ll finally be able to get to the fun stuff: landscaping around the darn thing! Ever since our trip to SF last summer, I’ve been totally excited about the idea of having my own little dahlia garden inspired by the one I saw at Golden Gate park. I planted a few bulbs last fall and I can’t wait to see them come up!
A little backyard garden + plant inspiration can be found here.
Other than that, I binge watched True Detective and loved every second of it. How about that Matthew McConaughey? I’m also all caught up on Walking Dead and Girls. And now I’m out of shows. Got any recs?
Here’s hoping I can get back to a regular schedule for posting starting tomorrow!
The Oscars are coming! Do you watch? Are you into it? I am not kidding, I haven’t been to the movies one single time this year, and am painfully out of touch with this year’s nominees. That won’t stop me from enjoying Sunday night’s glamour though!
So, big surprise: I thought it would be fun to take a trip down Oscar Memory Lane. I’ve also linked all the acceptance speeches below, be sure to watch them if you have a few minutes!
Enjoy these acceptance speeches!
* Bette Davis in a gorgeous dress, takes the award for Best Actress
* Amazing stuff, Ginger Rogers and the greatest moment of her life
* After a lot of dilly-dally (skip to the 1:50 mark) Miss Audrey Hepburn takes the stage for Roman Holiday
* Grace Kelly, “The thrill of this moment keeps me from saying what I really feel”
* Joanne Woodward and a mad dash to accept her Oscar. I can only assume she wanted to make the quickest possible return to her seat, next to her adoring husband. (swoon)
* Elizabeth Taylor and a very breathy thank you for Butterfield 8
* Sidney Poitier presents Best Actress award to Julie Andrews
* Hello, Gorgeous! Barbra Streisand (in possibly the sassiest Oscar look ever) ties with Katharine Hepburn, wins for Funny Girl
* Sally Field: YOU LIKE ME! YOU REALLY LIKE ME!
* Susan Sarandon, gorgeous golden goddess, wins for Dead Man Walking
Have a great weekend! Oh, and… which of this year’s Oscar Nominees should I see first???
A handful of recent finds that all seem to match!
Vintage hats, J is for Jenny pin (a keeper!) some sweet 40s children’s glasses, pennants for days*, costume jewelry and a book with a good cover. Pretty much all favorite things to find.
FOUND FOR YOU:
40s velvet hat, $10 / F is for Francine, E is for Emma, B is for Babe brooches / 1950 Chicago Fair pennant, $20 / vintage mystery books with great covers: WOMEN ARE SKIN DEEP, THE CAMPFIRE GIRLS, 1950s PERRY MASON LOT
*I’m preparing a quick pennant sale on my Mikasa Su Casa IG feed today at 1:00 EST. The two pictured above are part of a larger lot I recently bought, so check it out if pennants are your thing! They will be priced at $15 each, US shipping included. (sorry, only available to US residents)
This time with a nod to Charlie Parker, a legendary jazz musician from Kansas City, who happens to be, along with Dizzy Gillespe, Thelonious Monk and Max Roach, the face of 1940s bebop.
We listen to a lot of Charlie Parker in our house, usually on weekend mornings over coffee and chores. I’m currently reading Kansas City Lightning, so I guess it was a no brainer when it came time to select these awesomely designed album covers to share with you today.
WHAT IS BEBOP?
The term “bebop” is an onomatopoeic reference to the accented melodic lines of the music. Sometimes shortened to “bop,” the name was most likely given to the style music retroactively, as the musicians themselves often referred to their style simply as “modern jazz.” – source
WHY WAS HE CALLED BIRD?
As the story goes, Parker was given the nickname for one of two possible reasons: 1) he was free as a bird or 2) he accidentally hit a chicken, otherwise known as a yard bird, while driving on tour with the band. – source
Parker died in New York in 1955. Alcohol abuse and a terrible heroin addition, sadly a big part of the 1940s jazz scene, had Parker even pawning his saxophones for drug money. The coroner who examined his body at the time of death estimated him to be between the ages of 50 and 60. Parker was just 34 years old.
As always, so thankful footage like this exists:
+ Charlie Parker + Coleman Hawkins, 1950
+ Jazz Films, featuring Billy Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and more
+ and an awesome one from 1950 - he makes it look so easy. A great smile at the 3:40 mark, too.