Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Actual Email Correspondence

As I was writing this response to Kitty, I thought my description of my new haunted earrings warranted a quick post:

I just went to the local haunt at lunch -- didn't look at clothes though. Got an H2O sea salt scrub for $4.99... and some sterling/fwpearl (kind of old-lady, David Yurman but bamboo-esque metal rather than rope design) earrings on clearance.

On Jul 28, 2009, at 2:20 PM, Kitty wrote:

Sorry...it's busy here today. I saw some good Isaac Mizrahi/Liz Claiborne stuff at Xxxxx, so stop by your local haunt and check it out if you have time.

And the earrings:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"A Perfect Beach Day!"

These are the cheery words that my neighbor said when he saw me heading to the beach today. And it was. Not too hot -- because the water in Lake Michigan is still freezing. And just busy enough -- some kids, some couples, some loners. Check out that sky!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kevin Spacey = Jack Benny

And I love Jack Benny.

The Jack Benny Show is on MeToo late at night, and if I'm up, I make a point to catch it (right after Burns and Allen). I love checking out the styling of the shows -- the clothes, the hair, the mannerisms (and manners), and the interiors. There is something about the refined simplicity that I'm drawn to -- but they are just cardboard walls, though, right? No matter.

When I saw this clip of Kevin Spacey trying to explain twitter to David Letterman, I immediately thought of Mr Benny's mannerisms. Here's the clip -- if you like Jack Benny or need the lowest-level primer on twitter:

Then compare to Mr Benny's monologue:

Jack Benny color image above from Google's Life archive.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Love :: An Interior within an Interior

This little snapshot (c. 1975) is of the entry at my grandmother's house. On the most perfect drop-leaf table, she had a portrait of me, one of her mother, and two small photos (in a little metal frame that folded like a book), one half of a pair of truly elegant chinoiserie lamps with silk shades, and on the left side of the table is a lantern (red candle!) that my uncle made on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. It's like the ones they used in the mid-nineteenth century -- the only other time I've seen one like it is on a Confederate ghost walk.

I love a little vignette, and this little white-edged snap perched on its delicate brass easel is a peach. The best part is the "interior within an interior" effect (à la "play within a play"). The setting of the photo (endo-frame) relates so much to the setting (exo-frame) of which it's a part. The similar colors of the tables, a single lamp to the right, and the mirrors on the wall behind.

Why was this picture ever taken? It's unusual to to find a box filled with party-people and holiday smiles, only to come across one where the only people in the shot are two-dimensional. How did this one make the cut into the box with the party people? Talk about absence/presence and representation through image! Whoa -- heavy stuff, Mema!

Unpretentious southern decor: a bit of nicety, a lot of quality, and family ever-present. Mema had it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Love :: A great pocketbook

Carla Bruni really works it. I need this.

photo: www.huffingtonpost.com

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kind of gray, but check out the view!

We had a board meeting on boat yesterday and then went for a spin on the lake. Dramatic clouds but no rain.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Love :: A Patriotic Look

Sometimes having patriotic sartorial flair can come off as costume-y. Personally, I love one item (usually a scarf, sometimes a hat) in red, white, and blue, and a couple of low-key (sometimes vintage) pins or buttons. The ones shown in the photo above are a DAR recognition pin (no better day to be a Daughter), and our DAR Chicago Flag Day pin.

Another way to play it is to wear pieces that are solid but in the right colorway. For instance, dark blue denim pants with a white base of a great tee or white button-down (I love the sleeves rolled up to above the elbows and the collar popped), and a sweater or scarf in red. Either way, navy is a good base... it can cut the "Pollyanna" look (a huge no-no if you are over twelve). And going for color references, not necessarily flag designs and the like, are much more sophisticated.

Independence Day :: Fly the Flag and Ring Bells!

This is a really old pin-back button that I picked up at a flea market in North Carolina back in college. I love to wear it on patriotic holidays like Independence Day or Flag Day, and Memorial [Decoration] Day, but also on election day. And sometimes I wear it to a DAR events. The paper insert inside reads "Lucke Badges and Buttons, Baltimore, MD". The flag artwork is just beautiful. It's such a pure sentiment. (You'll also probably notice that this is the button that inspired this year's DAR Chicago Flag Day pin, in the sidebar below.)

One of my favorite patriotic songs is "You're a Grand Old Flag" by George M. Cohan. It's a good one to put a little pep in your step this time of year.


by George M. Cohan

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag!


When you're out today, carry a small flag if you have one (I love to carry a little parade flag... particularly the Betsy Ross variety), wear a vintage flag pin, or even a vintage political badge. The DAR also encourages people to fly the flag and ring bells on the Fourth of July. Enjoy your day!

Read more about the history of the song, "You're a Grand Old Flag" here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chicago Fireworks :: Independence Day 2009

John Adams started the tradition of firing cannons and such on the Fourth of July to mark the day. In Chicago, fireworks are on the third -- which I really don't like, on principle. But, when in Rome (or Chicago).... Truth be told, it is a great way to kick off the holiday weekend.

Pool Date :: Postponed

Today I was planning on skating into the Fourth of July weekend and heading out to the suburbs for a pool date with a DAR friend. But, her preps for the Hamptons are making for craziness, so no suburban pool date today. Maybe I can skate into the weekend with Johnny Depp instead. That sounds about right. M, we'll regroup in a couple of weeks -- summer is here for a while!

The image is of Raymond Loewy, industrial designer, from the Google Life Collection. Find it here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Haunting :: Ms Wearstler Eat Your Heart Out

This ceramic number is from my recent visit to the haunts with Kitty. It's about eight or ten inches square, and about two and a half inches tall (elevation view) with highly reflective silver and gold glazes. This is the kind of thing that when it catches my eye, I immediately buggy it to inspect and assess. I walk around with it to "live" with it. When I saw this piece, I grabbed it and carried it around with me. Its only marking is a label with the words "Jaru" on it. The circle with radiating dots in the center is raised inside a sunken area, so the gold surface is at the same elevation as the silver surface.

The label is just like the one on this objet from Modern Cactus:

I'd never heard of Jaru, but after a couple of tries researching the name, I have finally found a confirmation of what it is -- what "family" it belongs to, so to speak. Finding that Modern Cactus image was the clencher, because though I'd seen things like this, nothing really matched up -- though those have similar glazes, which was encouraging.

This objet is the type that seems a little weird at first, but I had such a visceral response to it -- it feels good. In the shop I said to Kitty, "Kelly Wearstler would kill for this!"

Ever find something you thought was iffy but turned out to be a showstopper?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Public Enemies :: Opening Today

Johnny Depp has really grown on me over the years. I love that he's so serious about acting. He is in a league of his own. I have been looking forward to this movie ever since Mr Interiors told me that some of it was shot in a Chicago building with which I am quite familiar. Chicago is always great on the big screen, and to see some familiar sights through vintage glasses, all the better. If I can't get to the theater on Wednesday -- save me a seat this weekend!

Check out the trailer here.

The second photo is the Biograph Theater on the north side of the Chicago, and the third photo is Chicago's Union Station.