Measuring Spoons

I am a smitten kitten over these porcelain measuring spoons for a million reasons.

1.They are blue and white.
2.I've gone without any for two years.
3.They are solid enough to take a beating in the sink.
4.They make a lovely clinking sound against each other.

and last but not least....

5. Jim just walked into Anthropologie and bought them for me as a surprise, along with these darling measuring cups.... for no reason at all. Now I get to say thank you by getting Alice Waters in the kitchen tonight.

Ancestral Scrapbooking

At Elmwood, there is a darling Victorian scrapbook that was assembled by a little girl and I think it was my great grandmother, Helen Robinson.

It has a burgundy leather cover and sweetly scalloped fabric pages. The scrap is a bit worse for wear but I love it just as it is.

My great great grandmother Ella had four children; Harold, William, Helen and Elizabeth. Helen, the oldest, was my grandfather's mother.

That's great grandma Helen, on the right. I come from a long line of hair bow wearers and scrapbook makers.

I adore how tattered her cutouts have become. Missing head and all, the kitty reminds me of Alice's Cheshire Cat.

Is that a blue velvet tam? I want it.

Aren't these wonderful? It's things like this book that argue a pretty convincing case for being a pack rat. 100 years ago all little girls made these and sob, I'm sure most of them got thrown away!

(Thank god, I uploaded these photos before this week's computer meltdown.)

Stamp Collecting

(My hard drive crashed. I lost all of my data. I had jury duty. Sob, Domino closed. I'm sorry I haven't updated in weeks, I've been pulling my hair out about other things.)

But one thing that will always cheer me up are stamps. I love stamps. I also love fountain pens, kraft paper envelopes, sealing wax and address books because they facilitate the use of stamps.

These new Poe stamps are about the best thing I've seen this year. He is so eerily handsome and dapper, I love him, I really do. Not to mention he lived and died in Baltimore, damn near invented the mystery genre and signed his name in gold ink on this stamp.

I suffered a 40 minute wait at the Park Slope Post Office to buy 3 sheets worth. I recommend you buy them online and spend the time you saved by reading The Tell-Tale Heart.

Mommy dearest

Because I don't think my hastily mailed card will make it in time... Happy Birthday!

I am so relieved you are safe and sound after your big bang this week. You are my dearest and closest friend, I love you to pieces.


It's true, I got suspended for a day in the 6th grade. I poked Jake Kauffman with a pencil for saying something very rude about my mother. The pencil didn't even break the skin, but being a fiery Jo March type of 11 year old, I refused to apologize which sealed my fate. You should have heard what he said, though. Being a lady, I can't even repeat it.

Going through a pile of stashed shopping bags this week, I re-found these old silk suspenders I got months ago from an Upper East Side church basement with the queen of vintage herself, Miss Dana Gluck. Even better than finding a dollar in your pocket is finding forgotten vintage treats in the recycling.

I'd like to imagine they belonged to an uptown grandfather who wore them in the 40's to fancy business meetings around the board of directors table and his wife just now sneakily donated them for being too shabby.

From Suspension to Suspenders.... A Cautionary Tale of a Criminal Collector. a working title for my biography?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Ashamed that I lived in Brooklyn, loved reading and had never read Betty Smith's classic "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", I tucked my tail between my legs and bought a copy at my favorite out of town bookstore a few months back.
Turns out, Betty Smith grew up only a few blocks away from my apartment and used the streets of her childhood as the setting of her beloved book. The first chapter was filled with the likes of Grand, Graham, Manhattan, Devoe, Metropolitan, Ainslie not to mention the park by my house, the local school, our library, the old Greenpoint hospital.

What a treat to be able to look into my neighborhood 100 years ago with the eyes of a 11 year old girl.

"Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially is the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound, but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it; especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer."

Not true anymore, but that's why it's so dreamy.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury

Today Brooklyn has given me a big old lump of belated coal for christmas.

Anyone know where a girl can get a gavel in a hurry? Maybe a £500 barrister wig? The summons said to "dress with respect for the seriousness of the proceedings". Let the deliberations begin.

The spoils of friendship.

I have the best people in my life. I really do. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I really think they're the best and it's not just because they give good Christmas presents. Although they all DO give the best presents.

Oh my gosh. A Steiff fox puppet from Jim. It's tag says Der Schlaue Fuchs which translate to The Clever Fox. In case you didn't know, I love foxes. I love antique Steiffs. I love Jim.

Antique french initial tape from Mary-Kate (Jim's momma). This was from her collection and it was tucked in with a whole host of other treasures. What a kindred spirit.

My dad's high school varsity letter from track. or football. or both. He once beat the pants off the rival high school's track star, who later won at the Olympics. An athlete and a scholar!

Jay Gatsby would certainly approve of the amazing vintage Ralph Lauren sweater my big sis found for me. She knows I still have a crush on Mr. Lifshitz, sometimes you just don't grow out of middle school phases.

My mom knows how much I love pens; fountain pens, penmanship, ink wells, the whole nine yards. She found me tons of old-new nibs in an antique store and now I'll just have to practice while writing her letters.

My dear Ginny found this perfect Dartmouth pennant at a flea market in Atlanta, after we set a firm No PRESENTS rule. She is so naughty, wonderful and generous, but naughty.

Dartmouth is what WASPy people call the family school of the Emersons. All of the Emerson men went there and my mom even applied as a joke in 1970, 2 years before they accepted women. She got a politely worded letter in return that said basically "thanks but no thanks". Too bad my artistic ambitions precluded me from keeping the family tradition alive

All amazing and old presents, they know me so well!

A girl's best friend

Nearly 100 years ago, my beautiful great grandmother Tina had this poster sized picture snapped in Fargo, North Dakota. The best presents under our tree this year were full sized copies for all. I can't wait to find her a good frame.

She was a gentle, elegant soul and almost completely deaf. And she smelled like gardenias, as my mother remembers.

Her husband E.J. started the very successful (and still operating!) Fargo Glass and Paint Co in 1917 that subsequently provided her all of the huge feathered hats and diamond rings a girl could ever want.

Family legend has it that Tina never particularly liked this picture because it didn't properly showcase her 17" waist. Her corseted waist, mind you. T'was a different time.

My friends will recognize the little bit of Tina that sparkles on my right hand everyday, without fail. It's been handed down in our family from woman to woman and I am so proud to be a part of her ranks.