Happy New Years from Brooklyn!

I have been utterly remiss in my holiday well wishing. Please forgive me?

Here's a hearty happy new years from both me and Joe Jr's (New York's most charmingly decorated greasy spoon). It's the great equalizer; always full of West Village parents, off duty cops, nannies and students and it wishes all of us "Happy New Year" the same.

2009 is going to be a real treat, I can tell already.

It's (almost) a wrap..

3 days to go and I've finally started wrapping the meager amount of presents I have to give out this year. (Mostly to my sister, the lucky lady!)

I was always spellbound by Julie Andrews saying brown paper packages tied up with string were some of her favorite things and now I'm a "grown-up" I practice it religiously. With the amount of trader joes bags we go through in this house, it's a good thing I was so obsessed with the idea as a girl.

I like to tuck something personal in said string to make distribution easier, though. For my sis I cut out a paper doll and matching outfit from my embarrassingly large collection of Dover paper doll books.

Micha and I adored these old timey paper dolls and always got them from the same general store in Greenfield, New Hampire. At the ripe old age of 24 I still love them and I've long ago passed the point of embarrassment over such things.

And for your own sake, don't get me started on the American Girl dolls of my youth, we'd be here all day.

Tea for Two

After a brief spell of disappointment followed by a longer spell of the flu, Jim brought me some little corner store flowers to brighten my spirits.

They were so goofy, the stems were nearly two feet long and they grew dead straight, as if they were mass manufactured in a flower factory.

Hmm, now for a vase; a mason jar was too big, a jelly jar was too small but a teapot for two was just right. Not to mention that they were EXACT same color as each other and my kitchen! The boy knows me well, I guess.

The Snowmen Sartorialist

After yesterday's snow, the Williamsburg snowmen were out full force last night.

Diminutive but perfectly proportioned outside of Moon River Chattel.

Down by the east river, hair was a bit more lustrous and beers were being iced in pockets.

On River and N.1st street was a frenchman snowman. Perfect twig arms.
And knitted wool beret. Magnifique!

A purist, modern snowmen shone brightly on Grand street. Complete with an organic baby carrot nose and progressive, ahem, vertical form.

Well done snowmen, well done!

Inclement weather

My annual mad closet toss to find my beloved bean boots has taken place this snowy afternoon with mixed results. I found both, together, which is rare, but they are still covered in muddy mystery sludge from the last time I wore them. Yuck.

When I moved to the city before college, my cosmopolitan Uncle David said "Welcome to weather hell. You have to buy a good solid winter coat, snow boots and umbrella, don't waste you're time with shitty ones, you'll be glad you spent the money. Also, when it rains, stand far away from the curb or else you'll get splashed when a taxi comes along and everyone will know you're not from here."
Point well taken.

Well I bought the boots and they're still going strong. And I still have the "how to roll your shearling bean boot" instruction card, because you never know, I may want to do this one day and won't remember how.

Finally a bloom!

After a botched first attempt at paperwhites (which in a well meaning gentleman bought me daffodil bulbs instead of paperwhites by mistake. So sweet!) I'm thrilled to have something in bloom chez moi.

A few weeks ago I potted up my first amaryllis bulb, in honor of my grandpa. Family legend has it that my grandmother gave him a bulb before she died and dear old grandpa took extra care with it and it's rebloomed every Christmas since she passed away, over 18 years ago.

This one surprised me a bit, as it was tagged to be an all white, feathery variety but ended up being pink and white striped. The candy cane of bulbs.

*And not to worry, the imposter paperwhites have since been replaced with the real thing.

Blue Plate Special

Okay, okay! No more posting about blue and white china after today, I promise. After a round of flea markets this weekend, my pile of collected china could no longer be ignored as it threatened to topple at any minute.

But before I could find a home for the pieces I'd already found, I needed to do a bit of rethinking my space.

Here's the wall across from my bed before the shift occurred. Cute, but so busy and cluttered and I never did get the spacing right on the gallery wall thing.

Trying to find a better arrangement, I moved my beloved empire dresser off to the right to let some more light in and brought in a fireplace mantle (acid green, yuck!) to center at the foot of my bed.

Once the mantle was painted to match the trim in my bedroom, I drilled holes and screwed in into place in the wall.

I bought 13 plate hangers from my local hardware store to hang my 13 plates above the mantle.

Attaching the hanger to the plate was so easy and the hanging hardware was included, too. I swear to you, I was a bit intimidated but it was a snap.

I worked out the general outline on paper first and just eyeballed placement, having to rehang some of the more wonky ones.

Some of the plates are from the 1890's, some are from the 1970's, some are chipped, some aren't. Some cost 99 cents and some were $25 and you'd be surprised which is which.

In the beginning I was a little fussy about only buying beautiful old, old, old plates but in the end it didn't matter, they all look wonderful together. Yay, hopefully I can refocus my energy and money away from china now!


A few weeks back I found these little printed bowties at my friend Frances' darling new store, Franny and Roey. Why oh why did I not buy them to make headbands?

*Note to Frances, find more bowties!

Christmas cards

After seeing my mom's cute hand painted Christmas card I caught the bug to make some myself.

Unfortunately, I didn't quite inherit her painterly skills. I did, however, inherit her gusto when it comes to projects, so I gathered whatever supplies I already had; watercolor paper, black ink, and a few brushes.

After seeing her cute painted family cats, I decided to do some quick little portrait postcards of my new kitty wishing my friends a Merry Christmas. Random, maybe. Dorky, definitely. Not super "christmasy" either, which is fine by me this year.

I cranked up the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and spent about 30 seconds on each postcard. I'm no painter, but it was so much fun to see how childlike they were coming out and how some of them actually captured her girlish shyness.

Minnie even thought up poses and modeled for me the whole time (this is a big step, she normally just hides under my bed). I guess I'm not the only one here who's getting caught up in the christmas spirit!

Family Portrait cards

My mom painted this charming beyond belief family Christmas card as a teenager.

She has the best illustration style of anyone I know, it's never over thought or over worked, just sweet, childlike and goofy.

That's her on the left, singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". I love the inclusion of the family cats, too.

Finding a copy of this little card has gotten some Christmas magic brewing in my brain, especially this year when I can hardly fathom shelling out $5 a card for all of my lovies. Not that they aren't worth it, mind you.

O Tannenbaum

The tree is up, the lights are on. I kid you not, I slept on the living room floor the very first night it was up.*

*Full disclosure- Yes, my parents were in town and thus in my bed, but regardless, I was very excited about the tree!

I'm still a spellbound kid when it comes to Christmas trees, except this year I can't seem to put any ornaments on it. It just looks so pretty as is, I feel like I'd be doing the tree a disservice to junk it up with stuff.

I did put a little tree topper on, just for good measure, however.

And a real birds nest and pheasant, both from my mom. But that's it. No vintage balls, no tinsel, no garlands, no nothing.

This is a big step for me, not cluttering when the opportunity presents it's self. I wonder if it'll last.

Recession-proof collecting

I've been downright thrifty since I switched away from full time employment; no fancy coffee, farmers market flowers or, you know, basic health care..... But somehow, I cannot kick the china habit.

Recession..blah blah... 401K plummeting....stocks down.....massive layoffs... Amy says "Oooo look, I've got 3 new blue and white pieces of china!" Earth shattering, right?

This platter survived the original great depression so maybe it can teach me a thing or two about hard times.

This one in perhaps my favorite so far (and not just because a handsome boy SURPRISED me with it after a long day of work!). Don't ask me how I got so lucky, I don't know.

French, duh. This little maker's mark makes me want to redo my business card, so simple and elegant!

And when those closest to you, cough cough, ginny branch, start giving you magazine tears of china, you can bet your bottom dollar you have a collecting problem.

(and a very thoughtful friend who will shop with you till the bitter end!)

The advent of the Advent

As a kid, advent calendars used to elicit a nightly squeal of "I can't believe there's only ___ days till CHRISTMAS!"

But every night this week, I've said to myself "I can't believe there's ONLY ___ days till Christmas." Funny how one's perspective changes. I've gotten no shopping done and not much money to start the shopping.

And thus the advent of the homemade Christmas.....

Thanks, Domino!

If you've been wondering why I've been hording glass containers and walking around covered in dirt for the past month, this is why...

I've been planting up specimens for my terrarium tutorial on dominomag.com. There ya go, mystery solved!

My gosh I love making these things. They're quick, easy, cheap, low maintenance, sweet, interesting; all things I never knew could coexist together. Please head on over and let me know what you think!

And here's a big thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful Cathy Halley for taking a chance on a young whippersnapper like me!

Christmas Time is Here!

So i know it isn't PC to say Christmas anymore, but last night I went to my first lovely holiday party of the season, ate my first holiday ginger cookie, buried my face in the first holiday tree of the season and bought my first antique holiday decorations!

60 cents for a lot at my favorite thrift store! These things normally go for $5 a pop, so now i don't feel so guilty that I broke three getting them home. Oops!