Pocket knife

This week, it's been a year since my grandfather died. I'm still in a bizarre state of denial over it. I was there his last week, I saw him and I know he's gone, but for some reason I don't feel like he's gone. Every time I see a manila envelope in the mailbox, my pulse sorta quickens.

My mom and I were recently remembering the consistent stream of letters he would write. I've been truly horrible at keeping up correspondence in the past few months and have been bent over the old typewriter as of late, trying to start up again. Make my grandpa proud.

I think this photo of the Emerson gang was taken in the late 1930s. 1939? Grandpa Bill is in the front next to his mother, Helen, who looks stunning.

My most cherished grandpa thing is his old pocket knife. It still has some antique crumbs of cheese from a long ago picnic inside. Sort of charming in a way, but I must resist the urge to become sentimental about other folk's dirt.

In classic Emerson fashion, he dremeled his address into the handle and carried it in his pocket as he trekked across the Sahara, went on archeological digs in Crete and hiked up our beloved Mt. Monadnock. It's so freakin dull I'm in constant danger of killing myself every time I try to use it. In the realm of knife fixing uping, I am a total novice. Any advice?

Cambridge fieldtrip

On our blink and you'll miss it visit to Cambridge last week, the design*sponge ladies and myself stopped into a wonky antiques mall. 5 stories of odd and random expensiveness, but I came out with a tiny lab glass beaker, so whatever, it was worth it.

It's heavy but still feels delicate and it's really small, like 2 1/2".

Boston is so funny. It damn near blizzarded, snow, sleet- all kinds of miserable. But I ate a lovely and too short early morning breakfast with Kate, got a ton of divine wallpaper (yes more!), toured two amazing old houses and memorized all the lyrics to every Lady Gaga song there is.

Um yeah, that last bit wasn't my idea. The girls in the front seat controlled the cds and now I've been schooled in what "the kids are listening to these days". That poker face song and the other one about a shorty fire burning on the dance floor. Charming. Absolutely charming.

Jefferson's apples

Not a big shock by now, but I am really pretty obsessed with fruit. After all, please note the silly and mildly embarrassing name of this blog, chosen two years ago when I had no idea what a blog even was.

them apples
Last week I became the proud owner of this set of prints, given to me by a friend who knows what's what. I love birthday presents, especially 4 months after the fact.

them apples
The watercolors are from 1820 and document Thomas Jefferson's collection of fruit varieties grown in the orchards of Monticello. Kind of perfect. I mean, an apple called sheep's nose? Did your heart not just melt?

them apples

them apples

them apples
In the spirit of honesty, I feel compelled to tell you I've had a crush on Thomas Jefferson since my middle school took a trip to Monticello. Brilliant, detached and built himself an awesome house? All I could want and more.

Laugh if you must, but have you watched HBO's John Adams? Watch and ye shall see.

A close call

I thought about buying this photo from work for a few months. I kept on putting it off, because honestly, I didn't need it and didn't really even know why I wanted it to begin with.

Last week a girl peeked into the counter and asked to see it. My heart dropped down into my stomach. I stammer. What? This photo here? With the baby? Really? Oh, okay..... Let me get that out for you.... I swallow my pride and hand over the photo. I'm friendly. We chit chat about old photos. Inwardly I'm thinking get your mitts off my damn picture.

She decides it's weird for a single twenty-something to hang photos of babies in her house. I see her point but decide to disregard it completely. After she walks away, I have my wallet out in T point 2 seconds. Now I'm the proud owner of a photo I do not need.

The moral of this long winded story is twofold.

#1. If you want an antique, you need to buy it straight away or make peace with the fact that someone else could buy it first.

#2. If you disregard the above and someone else is holding something your dying to buy- DO NOT TELL THEM YOU WANT IT. End of story. Never ever say something like- oh if you don't buy that i'd like to.... It's a guaranteed death sentence. Act politely but supremely uninterested. They're either going to buy it or not and anything you say will just make matters worse.

Okay young grasshoppers, I'm tired of divulging trade secrets. Go forth to your local flea market and prosper.


Remember the great plate destruction of 2009? Yes. I'm still finding shards of glass all around my apartment.

About 3 weeks ago, a mini miracle happened. I came home from a miserably long day at work to find a package at my apartment door. From a reader. And not just any reader, but an awesome, handsome, charming and funny boy. Cue shrieking 3rd grade girls!

Okay, okay. So it's not like that, but whatever, HE SENT ME IRONSTONE PLATES. And I love them, and him, forever and ever. After some internet sleuthing, I've found out that they're the tea leaf pattern by Powell & Bishop ca. 1867-1878. Pretty and simple, with a little faded gold clover leaf in the center.

Now I have no excuse to continue eating like genghis khan sans plate.

This whole post begs the question- How thoughtful can one human be? Seriously? Nick is amazing, go see for yourself. He sent me plates when I had none.


This whole past week I've been resolutely pretending that I haven't been wallpapering my bathroom. What if it turned out horribly? I'd have to hang my head in internet shame. What if i decided I hated the 1940s paper? Then I'd feel all judged. What if I couldn't get a decent picture because there's no natural light? What if no one wants to sit next to me at lunch time? Or play with me at recess? or sign my yearbook?

Whatever. Here it is. And i like it. So there.

Okay, so maybe it's more girly then I bargained for but at least I live alone and am not inflicting its awesome grandma-ness on any boys. And this photo is awful. My cabinet door is open in the kitchen and I need to unplug the power drill. I'm only showing this to you because we're friends. Okay? Okay.

So cold.

It is officially cold. I can't leave the house without a jacket (or an moth-eaten flannel, depending on how lazy/courtney love farmery I'm feeling). My oatmeal stockpile already needs to be replenished. I've taken to putting a quilt over my head when I fall asleep.

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I miss Elmwood so much I could scream. I bet the leaves are peaking and the canoe is ready to be dragged out from the shed. The fireplace is definitely going. There is, most likely, a grilled cheese involved in this scenario.

Sadly, I'm sitting at my cold kitchen table, with cold toes and nary a grilled cheese in sight. Brooklyn, why must all of your fireplaces be non-functioning?!

Brimfield bits

Let's talk about brimfield, okay? Is now good for you? I'm finally ready.

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I found these 30s/40s heels in a puddle on the ground at some weird army navy tent. I squealed. They fit. It was an honest to goodness cinderella moment, nevermind the mold and broken heel caps.

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In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight. (name that movie!?)

Well, more like an 8 1/2 or 9 which makes finding pre-1950s shoes really hard. Pretty ones that fit can get really pricey so the 5 dollars I paid is just a joke.

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The whole trip I'd been eyeing padlocks but was sort of revolted by the $80+ price tags. Lest you think that because of my $5 shoes, brimfield is a bargain hunters paradise- sadly it ain't. Dealers generally seemed to know what they had and charged accordingly. More than your local flea market, anyways. When Amy A. pointed out this heart shaped lock for waaaay less, I pounced.

Now i just need to find something to lock up around the house.

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A leather bound, scalloped, starred, empty address book. This is the sort of thing I hardly need but makes me the most giddy.

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A romantic alternative to my boring and useful gmail contact list. Fit for, you know, scrawling the names of the handsome gentlemen I happen upon during my windy walks alone in the wilds of brooklyn. Oh god. I've been reading too many Austen novels again.


Raise your hand if you're going to miss the now shuttered Gourmet as much as i am?

Not like i even cook enough to get properly weepy, but it was one of the first magazines i propped for so i'm extra sad to see it go.

gourmet styling job

Remember this shopping trip i went on almost a year ago? In memoriam of gourmet, i figured I'd better show the end result, a soup story from the feb. 09 issue.

gourmet styling job

gourmet styling job

gourmet styling job

gourmet styling job
I assisted Noemi Bonazzi on the shoot, who is just so amazing words aren't enough to describe her. This woman blows my mind. One day I'll tell you about the day i first went to her house. It involved Domino and cappuccinos and china. It was amazing, but that's another post all together.

gourmet styling job

I remember i had to borrow her SUV to drive down to Fairway in Red Hook at 8am to pick out (and carry to the car!) $500 of fancy firewood imported from europe for the above shot. The car was running on E, i didn't know where the nearest gas station was, my phone was dead, i had never driven a SUV before and i was running late late late for the shoot. I may or may not have had a minor coronary.

These are the valuable life experiences publishers like Conde Nast are robbing from assistants everywhere by closing titles. Keep our beloved magazines open if for no other reason than to keep torturing the assistants and freelancers, please? I swear, we like it.

A small victory

So maybe it isn't as old as i had dreamed of or deliciously worn in as i had hoped for, but at least I finally found one.

If you've ever been to a thrift store with me, or a vintage store, or a flea market or, i don't know, talked to me for more than 20 minutes, you know that i have been searching high and low for a vintage emerson college sweatshirt since middle school. Who would have thought they'd be so hard to find?

Got my first edition this week, but my eternal love and gratitude will go to the the person who can find me one from the 60s or before. Plus a stupidly high amount of money.

I can't even say how much because my hippie mom reads my blog and i don't want her to know what a lost cause consumer i've grown up to be.


Ok fall. Perhaps I said some not so nice things about you before. For that, I apologize.

Yesterday I ate a pear that literally melted in my mouth. I didn't know pears could do that. But they can and when they do, oh good god.


My big sister Micha smelled like pears for my whole childhood. She had some pear scented something that I thought was just the height of lady like amazingness. They always make me a little heartsick for her.

Sisters are a funny thing. One day, you're throwing shoes at each other's heads and then bam, you grow up (as much as possible) and can't live without each other. In this public forum, I'd also like to state that I totally deserved that whole business with the chunky platform senior year. End of story.

Addendum- our theme song. She's definitely the one who wore the dress and i'm the one who stayed home.