30 January 2009

Women of the Rolling Stones.

Everybody loves the Stones.
They should also love the women that the Stones themselves loved.
These are some of my favorites!





RPM Challenge 2009.

Driving to lunch yesterday, listening to NPR, I heard a segment on the RPM Challenge 2009. (RPM means February is Record Producing Month.) This is such an amazing project!

Essentially, you get 28 days (the whole month of February) to record 10 songs or a 30 minute record. The purpose is to push artists to break out of the confines that prevent them from creating their art on a daily basis. What an amazing thing?!

I called my husband to listen to the NPR segment, and last night before going to bed he signed up for it! (I'm so thrilled; this will be perfect for him--he has taken well over a year working on his second solo album, which, by circumstance, has come to a bit of a standstill. He needs to create something else in the meantime. This is the perfect challenge.) Today, his mission is to find some gear to record it all himself, a personal project to push his own limitations. I will be documenting the whole thing in Polaroids and sketches and with my Yashica T4.

This morning, my husband looked at me and said, "February. Gotta lot to do. Kind of scares me."

And I say, GOOD. That's what this is all about. It's already happening.

29 January 2009

Dandelion Wine, it feels oh so good!

I'm reading Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, and it's the greatest book I've read in ages. A story about summertime of 1928, it reminds you of all the beauty and wonder of seeing through the eyes of childhood.

My day started out rough. What can I say, the cold weather has got me down. I'm struggling with the overwhelming urgency of grown-up life. And then I read this... (Seriously, take the time to read this passage. You will feel goooooood!)

from Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine...
" 'That's the trouble with your generation,' said Grandpa...'All the things in life that were put here to savor, you eliminate. Save time, save work, you say.' He nudged the grass trays disrespectfully. 'Bill, when you're my age, you'll find out it's the little savors and little things that count more than big ones. A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it's full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You've time to seek and find. I know--you're after the broad effect now, and I suppose that's fit and proper. But for a young man..., you got to look for grapes as well as watermelons. You greatly admire skeletons and I like fingerprints; well and good. Right now such things are bothersome to you, and I wonder if it isn't because you've never learned to use them. If you had your way you'd pass a law to abolish all the little jobs, the little things. But then you'd leave yourselves nothing to do between the big jobs and you'd have a devil of a time thinking up things to do so you wouldn't go crazy. Instead of that, why not let nature show you a few things? Cutting grass and pulling weeds can be a way of life, son...Lilacs on a bush are better than orchids. And dandelions and devil grass are better! Why? Because they bend you over and turn you away from all the people and the town for a little while and sweat you and get you down where you remember you got a nose again. And when you're all to yourself that way, you're really yourself for a little while; you get to thinking things through, alone. Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder. As Samuel Spaulding, Esquire, once said, 'Dig in the earth, delve in the soul.' Spin those mower blades, Bill, and walk in the spray of the Fountain of Youth. End of lecture. Besides, a mess of dandelion greens is good eating once in a while.' "
Be blessed today.

1920s/30s tooled leather purses.

I've only recently become addicted to eBay, and yesterday I wound up on a search that started with vintage leather purses to tooled leather purses, and ultimately stumbling upon the prettiest purses I've ever seen in my life! I have a few bags from the 20s and 30s, but I've never even seen tooled leather purses from this period!!

Here are a few. Aren't they gorgeous??

This purse comes from Back Thennish Vintage. The inside is dated-- 1-25-21. (The purse just turned 88 years old, and it's still carry-able!) It was made by JEMCO.

This purse comes from Sirwinstonthepug's Done Gone Deals. It's another JEMCO from 1918.

This purse comes from swissgulch Antiques. The purse is circa 1920 and features both Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs, very Arts and Crafts style.

This purse comes from abee2. The inside is dated 11/3/31. It features an Arts and Crafts style floral design.

This comes from Mauri's. The purse features a Mexican/Deco design.

This comes from oldadvertiser. Definitely from the 30s, this leather purser has a bakelite handle!

This comes from Bronnie's Antiques and Collectibles. It's carved bakelite!!! How cool is that?? This purse could only serve the purpose of a dance purse, with only room to hold a lipstick and some cash. If anyone knows anything about this style purse, contact the seller through the link. He/she is looking for info!

28 January 2009

In memory of the stereo chair.

I was at some friends' house yesterday, and in their salvaged junk-filled garage was a 1970s stereo egg chair. I've never actually seen one in person, so when I laid eyes on it I turned into an absolutely giddy little kid. I've always loved the stereo chair, but never took the time to read up on it.

So here's a little bit about the evolution of one the greatest chairs EVER. And some photos, of course!

It all started with Eero Aarnio's 1966 Ball Chair. He wanted to create a "room within a room."

This photo captures Charly Stendig sitting in the ball chair.

Aarnio even installed a red telephone in the prototype of the Ball Chair that was presented at the 1966 International Furniture Fair in Cologne.

left: Aarnio in his prototype with the red phone.
right: the 1966 Internation Furniture Fair.

In 1968 Aarnio created the acrylic ball chair, better known as the Bubble Chair. It hangs from the ceiling because the designer didn't like the way clear pedestals looked.

left: the Informational Lounge at Frankfurt Airport.
right: Aarnio's daughters.

Next came Henrik Thor-Larsen's Ovalia Chair, which was exhibited at the 1968 Scandinavian Furniture Fair. These egg-shaped chairs were sold until 1978.

Reproductions of the Ovalia chair, especially in America, would lead to the stereo-wired chair.

This is the AlphaChamber chair by Lee West. I can't really find any info on this, except the occasional mention in a blog or item in an auction. (The chair in the following photo is being auctioned...click the photo to see!). I am guessing it's from the early 1970s.

Another great stereo chair is the Egg Sound Chair from Starkey Laboratories that was made in 1976. And again, it is impossible to find any photos of it anywhere! I suppose that as the reproductions of these chairs got so vast in the 1970s (and even today with companies like inmod).

Here's the thing--the real ones are out there, and in searching the web for this post, I've come across numerous Craigslist posts and auctions of the real things. How cool would it be to have one of these incredible chairs to sit back in!? Keep your eyes open people. Keep 'em open.

27 January 2009

Beloved Curiosity: The typewriter.

Every morning I come into the home-office and sit before a keyboard, and I always wish it was a typewriter instead. I have big plans one day to write a novel about my mother's mother's life called, The Many Secret Lives of Eula Mae Jean Prater Bachmuth Williams. This novel must be written on a typewriter.

Typewriters are remnants of a life I wish I had been a part of. Parisian apartments, filled with the smell of fresh baguettes and the rolling waves of cigarette smoke and the sound of the tick, tick, tick, tick of stories being created on some old desk and the ringing of a bicycle bell in the distance. (Okay, so it could still be my Paris, but in my mind it's 1954.)

Here's to the typewriter...

left: 1949 Olivetti MP1
right: Jack Kerouac's Underwood Portable

left: Underwood No. 5 (credited as the most successful typewriter design in history)
right: c.1960 Remington Sperry Rand

left: 1924 Remington Delux Noiseless
right: c. 1920 Woodstock 5 HN

left: c.1930-1940 Adler No. 7
right: 1954 IBM Model B Standard

left: Brother Opus 885, date unknown
right: 1965 Hermes 3000

left: 1930 Corona 4 in Mountain Ash Scarlet
right: c.1970s SCM Coronet Automatic 12

left: 1870 Hansen Writing Ball, check this out at The Typewriter Museum. Wow.
right: 1970 Olivetti Valentine. Check it out here, to die for. (I actually came across one of these at an estate sale less than a month ago, and for some reason I did NOT GET IT. Ugh. I could kick myself!!)

Happy typing today, Everybody!

26 January 2009

Oh, and happy Chinese new year!

HAPPY YEAR OF THE OX! This year will be marked by CALM, HARD WORK, RESOLVE, and TENACITY.

That sounds about right.


We all wear a lot of hats in life--I approve of this cliche solely because of my love of hats.
Anyway, this "housewife" thing is my latest hat.

I finished a very long, drawn out tenure at college in December with a degree in English with a concentration in Professional Writing and Public Discourse with minors in French and Sociology. I was really, really good at being a student, but how long could that really last? I needed to move on, start something new in my life, change things up, and I needed to quit bleeding money. Whoever would have thought I would graduate with a fine degree (and with high honors, mind you) and enter the worst job market since the Depression?

I also married the greatest man ever in September (after seven long years of...well, it makes for one hell of a story in itself). He's a musician and a carpenter, and we are doing well enough ("well enough"= we can pay our bills on time and buy groceries and that's about it). So right now I am not totally stressing about my jobless situation. I'm just playing housewife, which I guess I am not really playing seeing as how that's kind of what I am for now...

Oh, but I LOVE it! Aside from taking pride in caring for my home and enjoying the freedom I have to paint and blog and go take photos anytime, I've always been super fascinated with 50s/60s housewife life. It was so fabulously deluded!! I've got books and books on the subject--I collect these etiquette manuals and women's interest books from the late 1800s-1970s.

But to get to the point of my semi-rambling blog, hey I gave up caffeine three days ago and I am sitting here with a cup of decaf. I have the right to ramble...

Here's some housewife imagery...maybe it'll motivate me to get out of the office and perform the 43 chores I need to get out of the way before 4pm.

Here's some great housewife Etsy buys...

Sarah Wathen is a painter and photographer, and I really like these photos. They are part of a series...

left: It's a little quilt from extratoppings.
right: Diary of a Mad Housewife, from juliemarie23.