Sunday, November 29, 2009

The 'Cure for What Ails You

I have been dreaming about a manicure and pedicure for longer than I would care to admit. But today -- oh I was 'cured, to be sure. My usual nail color is a sheer, pinky hue (as not to distract as you're making a presentation), but I went crazy for the holidays and decided to go red on toes and fingers. And I like, I like.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Forever

It's hard to see here, but a child has scrawled "Daddy" over his uniform. Think about Veterans today -- Thank Veterans today. And tomorrow too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Moon Glitter

This is one of the most beautiful things that I own. It's a photographic postcard, postmarked November 1907, and printed in England. You can make out the flags on the tugboat as they flutter. The moonlight does really seem to glitter across its surface -- the person who named this was a genius.

The handwriting is a little difficult to read, but here goes:

A Happy Thanksgiving!

Can you make me two more chairs, our green & white dud the other blue. ??

They are for Christmas.


H.L. Pouke


If you can read it, please let me know what you think it says!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wish List :: Dresses

These two ladies are magic! Pearl Bailey and Carol Channing have a little fun on Broadway. And check out those dresses! I need, need, need them. I love them both, but I think that Pearl's would look better on me -- Carol's got that angular thing going on. I'm sure that Trinny and Susannah would agree. APB!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Debut :: Needlepoint Pocketbook

Yeah, I have a needlepoint pocketbook, what of it?

Seriously, I love this little pocketbook! It's a Koret vintage number (an old maker that I am really into right now -- I'm like a magnet for these little gems lately), with big woolen needlepoint and navy leather with a gold frame top and closure. The inside is lined in bright red leather, imprinted with "Koret" and "Made in Italy". The interesting thing about this bag is that the needlepoint design is different on each side -- and I think the fact that it is the larger stitch style is odd -- you usually see a lot of petit point, but not a lot like this. It's a true beauty!

Today DAR Chicago had one of our Bertha Honoré Palmer Teas in honor of our new members, and it was just perfect with a vintage lavender silk blouse, dark slate blue/green jacket (a fabric with some shimmer) and navy pants -- Talk about popping it with some color! I also sported my favorite homage to my hometown: the dangly acorn bracelet -- Raleigh is the city of oaks!

My mama was in town, and we went haunting everywhere -- she's the one who taught me all I know!

Check it out in action --

Read a little more information about Koret handbags here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Parking Backlash!

Seen in Chicago this weekend. Drivers are still very unhappy with the city leasing its parking meters to a private company -- and this is the first backlash graffiti that I've seen. Let's tag this a "typography" post, shall we?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mizrahi Dishes

Just read an article about Isaac Mizrahi's new QVC gig, and these great plates were in the slideshow. The rest of the stuff -- eh. Maybe it's a WWD thing, but the models and merch just looked sad. And when I say WWD thing, I mean a bit unstyled -- fashion at it's most raw, just there on a white wall.

I enjoyed Isaac's commentary much more than the product, he's always a good interview. Very real and pointed. He even alludes to the Liz Claiborne thing of which I am not up to speed about what's going on, but it's making me think I need to do some google-ing. I do think he's very creative, and lives the creative lifestyle. A designer's life -- not fashion designer or fashion -- design as a bigger concept. I always like to see people who live it -- not in terms of their stuff, but about how they live with -- and through -- their process. It's a very different thing.

And on that note, back to the plates. Love the watercolor sketch quality. I find it's hard to make things like this... it's hard to put yourself out there and make it by hand, without the help of a camera or other image-making machine. I wonder if he actually did these sketches or just ideated* it that way. Curious.

Read the WWD article here.

Image: WWD (from the article slideshow)

*yes, this is a real word, or derived from one, anyway... from "ideate", which really means make ideas (sometimes brainstorm). It comes from my design school education.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Little Linens for Entertaining

These little pieced circles were billed as "doilies", but I shudder even typing the word. They are much more suited to cocktail napkins, don't you think?

Sure, place one under a few macaroons at tea on occasion, but let's not relegate these beauties to dainty affairs. Now, as you may know, I have a little bit o' old lady in me (we're talking big pearl earrings, big gold jewelry and wraps -- chic -- and a lot of "big", apparently). But, ironically the old lady thing includes little linens. I think it's a Southern thing. I like these circles because they aren't lacy -- but they are certainly refined.

I hate showing empty glasses -- seems akin to having an unburned candle on display in your house... a little fixed and cold, no? Oh well, we're looking at the cocktail napkins, right?

There were twelve in the set (incredible). A couple have a spot or two, but Mama is coming this weekend, and I think she might know a secret or two. You remember Mama, right?

I was also fortunate enough to get these place mats and napkins (again a set of eight!):

While these are decidedly dainty, they have a 20s/30s deco quality that reminds me of embroidered, monogrammed scarves that my grandmother wore. I love the way the flowers embrace the area where the plate sits. Sort of a "victory wreath" idea. And, they are actually a taupe color, not white, so that adds a bit of modernity and cuts the cute.

PS :: Don't fold napkins that way, please.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Discovered Color

Found color: check out this bike. Lemon yellow, neon pink, and patina-ed mauve lavender. Inspired!

Love :: Prince and Mercer

Directly from one of my favorite places on Earth. And I mean this corner: Prince and Mercer!

Via The Sartorialist, bien sur. Love the idea of checking out what's going on at a specific corner. That's why he's the best.

UPDATE: Just found her! The Christian Lacroix lady in the video below -- I need her rings and that jacket. I fall down.*

*that's my version of "I die"

Monday, November 2, 2009

To Quote :: "Welcome In!" (Club Lago is Back!)

It gives me more pleasure than you can imagine to say that one of my favorite Chicago spots is back! Club Lago has been around since the 1950s, and it is the quintessential Italian joint -- run by two of my favorite people: GianCarlo and Guido Nardini.

When you walk through the door -- it's adorned with a ship's wheel -- you'll hear the call of the Nardini brothers -- "Welcome In!"

Last spring a boiler exploded in an adjacent building, causing extreme damage to the place. Luckily, the explosion happened early in the morning, and no one was hurt. Read more about the damage and see pictures here.

Saturday morning through a completely random social media chain, I found out that Lago had reopened after six months of dormancy and rebuilding. I had to go.

I think that Lago's food is best described by an old coworker -- and Italian himself -- he said, "This how my [Italian] mother makes Italian food." Hearty, Italian comfort food.

When I arrived, I looked around, and I was so happy and full of joy. Every thing was the same. Except better. Luckily, the damage was mostly in the back of the house, so the front bar area was pretty much unchanged. All their little knick-knacks were there -- from the photo of the brothers as kids, to the "Women's Lib" plaque (a woman standing next to a man at a urinal -- ugh, don't ask!) -- and of course, a vintage portrait of Hizzoner Richard J. Daley (father of Chicago's current Hizzoner).

The painted plywood cut-outs of boats were back on the walls, as was the iconic lighthouse that shines a green light from above in the back of the restaurant. Even the big boat with sails that divides the bar and the dining room was intact (the mylar balloons were leftovers from a party the week before -- very festive!). The walls have always featured black and white portraits of regulars -- from the 80s I think -- and all the wood is painted the perfect Club Lago Capri red. Iconic. Iconic. Iconic. There is a depth to that red that I love!

I will tell you right now that I started to tear up.

Go, go, get thee to Club Lago -- and tell them At the Meadows sent you!

Welcome In!


Visit Club Lago online here.
Join Lago's Facebook group here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun Delivered

Halloween is over. I went to a very fun party last night, and yes, dressed up. I went as a mail lady, circa 1978. In a 100% polyester United States Post Office regulation uniform, mind you. How did people wear this stuff?

I also whipped up some tricks and treats to deliver (see below). The mail was fashionably carried in a vintage Coach saddlebag -- looked great! I don't know if the mail ladies of the 70s sported white shortie gloves, but I raided the DAR drawer to add a little extra lady-like panache.

I originally bought this uniform for the logo patch:

The treats -- love letters to Paris and postcards:

And the tricks -- !!

Thanks to K and J for a great shindig!

Now the holiday season starts --