Monday, June 23, 2008

Pensive and Pondering....

the mysteries of the universe, and the eternal questions like why am I here, and what's it all about, and what the hell kind of flooring is affordable yet resistant to dog damage?!

Meanwhile my sister and BIL have some real, health-related issues going on.

So, the canines and I are checking out for a bit to do some pondering, perusing, perambulating, and uh, damn, what's another P-word?

Anyway, you get the gist: we're taking a tiny little break, until our heads clear a bit.

Hope to be back, and back on track with the dish on Deco, design, and daily life musings soon.

PS. I don't usually (ever!) post about music, but I was lucky enough to catch Paul Thorn open for the Shawn Colvin concert here in Atlanta Friday night. He is a fantastic and very very funny performer, bluesy and soulful, and his CD became the soundtrack for the rest of my weekend. Please, pretty please check him out HERE.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pretty vs. Practical

Much to my surprise, I came into a small-ish sum of money last week. It didn't take long to get past my surprise and delight, and start daydreaming about spending!

Soon enough, reality set in: I live in a 90+ year old house with an elderly HVAC system, elderly water pipes, and three middle-aged, slightly accident prone dogs. So, no, we won't be jetting off to exotic locales and leaving no forwarding address just yet. Instead, most of the money is going straight into the household emergency fund.

I will be giving myself a little bit to play around with though, which has led me to wonder....

When you have a very modest budget at your disposal, the kind of budget that can only tackle one real project (or most of one), and you live in an old house with a long list of things to be redone, do you go for the pretty or the practical? Can you have it both ways? Where do you start?

So the next few posts are likely to involve a bunch of brainstorming about what home reno item(s) to focus on, and how to best stretch my renovation dollars. I may regret it, but comments will (maybe?) be appreciated.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


A fierce Cate Blanchett as Dr. Irina Spalko on the newest Indiana Jones movie.
The movie was fun summer fare, not great, but enjoyable.
But Cate, she looked like she was having a blast being eeeeevil.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Simple Amusements: Chester

The Craigslist furniture section is a favorite of mine. I love to check it out from time to time, and see what people are selling. Sometimes there can be true treasures on there, and other times, well...not so much.

And, like anywhere else online, you can run smack into some very creative spelling, never mind what the object itself is. I'm enough of a vocabulary geek and book nerd to get ridiculous amounts of amusement out of this.

As you might imagine, fancy-er, non-phonetic words like 'armoire' get brutalized regularly.

And 'Rod Iron' gets substituted for Wrought Iron all the time.
(Rod Iron just has to be somebody's porn name!)

But far and away, my favorite, guaranteed-to-make-me-snicker favorite is:
Chester Drawers.

Nope, not 'chest of', but Chester.

If one were actually looking for chester drawers, one might find something like this, from THIS ad:


And to be sure that I wasn't being a snob and a moron, I Googled chester drawers just to be safe. Apparently, it's on a LIST of 100 commonly mispronounced words and phrases.

In case you think I'm just being picky about words, caution is advised, because CHESTER DRAWERS is also a children's author and songwriter, and he looks like this:

Great incentive to choose your words carefully, right?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Design Love: patent illustrations

In some of my wanderings through the interwebs lately, I've been soaking up some random trivia. You know how it is: you start by looking up one thing, which leads you to another and another....

For example, while looking at outdoor furniture, I learned that my beloved 1940's-ish metal porch glider was made by the Atlanta Stove Works Company. (Makes a weird kind of sense since I'm in Atlanta.) Which lead me to a search for info on Atlanta Stove Works (no longer around), which lead me to THIS fascinating site.

They have patent illustrations available for purchase, and pretty affordable at that. I think that a framed grouping of the illustrations could look fantastic in the right setting.

In the Farm and Garden section, under Porch and Patio there's a wealth of interesting illustrations. Here's more or less my glider (patent actually from 1954!):

Here's another glider with what looks to me like an interesting, abstracted wheat sheaf detail:

And there are some definite Art Deco influences in this glider and chair. I love the streamline arm style on the glider:

Much more can be found on the Patent Place USA website, including some patent illustrations by Eames and Loewy. Happy hunting.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer?

After a beautiful month of weather in May, we've been hit hard with real summer temps (hello mid-90's and high humidity) for the last week or so. As a result, my attention span has dwindled to that of a two year old, so it's looking like blog topics may be real lazy for a little while. With that in mind, I've taken some inspiration from SillyMonkey's blog, by raiding my photo archives for dog antics. We've had plenty of misbehaving dog stories over the years, even if only a small portion of them have actually been captured by a camera.

We have a fig tree in the back yard, and it didn't take Ophelia and Jack long to figure out that they really like the taste of figs. Between them and the birds, Smithy and I don't actually get to eat many figs ourselves! Here's Jack's impression of a giraffe:

Jack actually has a long and notorious career as a troublemaker, and one of his less-flattering-but-printable nicknames has been Anxiety Boy. He's had separation anxiety problems in the past that medication and re-training only put a slight dent in. (He's also fear-aggressive with new dogs, but that's a story for another day.) So, in the wake of his anxiety and stress, there were many, many times that I came home to scenes like this. This is an old picture of Jack and the late, great Blue, my first Great Dane, in (an old incarnation of) my kitchen. Frankly, there were a lot of days that I just didn't want to come home.

Yes, that's a homemade dog gate that Smithy constructed in order to keep Miss Blue confined, but it looks a little like Shawshank in the pic!

Here's the beginning of the devastation to the kitchen floor:

(Yes, we've tried crating, medication, and several trainers and behaviorists...)

Then there are the harder-to-capture dog moments, often tying in with behavior and body language. For all her statuesque grandeur, Blue could be quite the alpha bitch bully to the other dogs. We all -eventually- learned how to manage a multi-dog household, especially one containing 'she who must rule the world'.

And we managed to have a good time...

(black and white photos by Louis Cahill, see link to the right)

Even though I could do without a lot of the dog-related drama, I would hate to live without a dog!