Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

From Here, Sexy 1920's witch in Ispwich stockings.

In searching about for some Art Deco-themed Halloween images, I stumbled across the wonderful, saucy Sexy Witch site, and now I'm a fan! The Red Witch really knows her stuff, and has an impressive collection of, duh, sexy witch imagery -think white witchcraft - from the turn of the last century to the present day, as well as interesting information about all things witchy.

(I've only delved into the early witch images from the teens to the 40's so far; I imagine that the pics get a little racier the more modern they are. So, some images may not be safe for work - you've been warned!)

Promotional image of actress Dusty Anderson, 1944, one of several, from Here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All the Cool Kids Have One....

And sometimes more than one!
Unknown 1930's woman with three mantle Danes.

A young Jackie Bouvier (later to be Kennedy), with Dane, King Phar.

Marilyn Monroe, from an early calendar.

Early screen star Harold Lloyd, 1927, with his Dane Prince.

Clara Bow, 1926, with Great Dane puppy.

Mae West, 1937, as Peaches O'Day in "Every Day's a Holiday", with costar.

All images found on Ebay. Celebrity photos with Danes from this Ebay seller. Monroe image frome Here. Woman with three dogs from Here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On my radar this week

Osmanthus fragrans thunbergii

Despite the second really dry summer in a row, we are having a beautiful autumn in Atlanta this year. Temperatures have mostly been mild, and the leaves are starting to turn.

Unfortunately, due to two summers of drought and severe watering restrictions, I've lost several well-loved plants in the yard, so I'm feeling even more appreciative of the tough guys that are still hanging around in my Zone 7 yard. I thought I'd share with you a couple of the bright spots in the garden this month. The definite rock stars this week are the Osmanthus plants, commonly known as Fragrant Tea Olives. The standard Tea Olives are evergreen, and have small, not very showy, but very fragrant flowers that typically bloom in the fall. The bonus: they will often rebloom throughout the year.

About 4 years ago now, I planted a pair of hard-to-find cultivars that have orange flowers instead of the typical white ones. Osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus is every bit as fragrant as the species, but have slightly larger, peachy-orange flowers. It took them a few years to actually bloom, but they are wonderful! The shrubs are typically denser and (probably) bloom more in full sun than in the partial shade of my yard. Here's an example:

There' s a Tea Olive that I may like even better though. This one is Osmanthus fragrans fudingzhu, or Nanjing's Beauty. The flowers on thisdifficult-to-pronounce plant are bigger and showier than the species, cover much more of the plant stems, and the plant starts blooming at a much younger age. Two or three years ago, I planted a small, one gallon plant in my sunny side yard. This week, after two extremely dry summers in a yard with no irrigation system and no babying, the Fudingzhu plant is nearly four feet tall and loaded with sweet smelling flowers.

There's even a pale yellow flowering Tea Olive, Osmanthus fragrans thunbergii, shown in the image at the top of the post.

I highly recommend any of the plants; they're durable, fast growing, can take sun to shade, and have a fantastic fragrance! Photos shown here from the Nurseries Caroliniana mail order website, a fantastic resource for unusual plants. Gardening geeks like me will love the catalog.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Simple Makeover

Nautical light 'before'

I continue to drag my feet on starting my master bathroom update. Part of the problem is that when I do it, I want to knock everything out at more or less the same time. Sounds logical, right? The problem is, I'm still on a quest to find the 'right' vintage sconces, for a price I can afford. The key to that statement is the price; I've found zillions of great fixtures on Ebay, but the prices of the best ones have been routinely been near or above the $300 mark. I'm determined to stay below that number, so...the quest continues.

In the mean time, I thought I'd show you some pictures of a quick spruce up I did in our guest bath. It's a full bathroom, but it's a tiny space. There's nothing functionally wrong with it, it's just been a bit dull.

You may remember this light, and some talk about pinup girls...
Nautical light 'after'

Well we've got 'em now!

I found the brass anchor mirror on Ebay, and some of the girls were simply cut out of a brand new calendar and framed. The girl above the mirror is a picture that I found at a local thrift store.

Since the anchor mirror is a lovely, old-looking antiqued brass, I decided to add some brass accents to the ceiling light to tie it all together. So I changed out the finial for one with an antique brass finish, and I painted the spokes and frame of the wheel with a metallic, antique brass colored paint. I'm hoping to rewire the light fixture and hang it this weekend - cross your fingers.

As a last bit of near-overkill, I changed out the switch plate on the wall, antique brass again, since it was going to be seen so close to the mirror. And I put some brass-toned cabinet pulls on the medicine cabinet and vanity cabinet.

I went really budget friendly on all the items, and landed good deals for the light and anchor mirror on Ebay. So my approximate costs for the whole thing including thrift store print/calendar images, Ebay light, Ebay anchor mirror, frames, lighting finial, switch plate, and cabinet knobs came in around $115 to $120! I'm going to try my hand at rewiring the light, and hopefully my dad can help me install it, so I'll save on those costs too.

It was great to do a simple spruce up on a modest budget, but really, best of all, the whole saucy sailor girl thing combined with the silly light cracks me up and makes me happy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Perfect Weekend

I had the best weekend in a looong time. Here's a little teaser, with more to come, probably tonight.

The weekend started out something like this on Friday night

with a visit to the Bone Garden Cantina, home of great Mexican food and crack margaritas, near us on the west side of town. The restaurant has a Day of the Dead theme, cheap good food, very strong drinks, and a very heavily tattooed staff. Bald-headed, full-sleeved Joey-the-waiter is my new buddy. I love it!!
(images via this flickr site)

Saturday included going flea marketing with Ophelia in tow (yes, I got some funny looks), time in the garden just relaxing, and -of course- cheering on SNL' s coverage of the VP debate. Smithy and I have adored Tina Fey for while, so you can imagine how much we love the Palin spoofs.

On Sunday we went to the best party ever. In a nutshell, a group of my sister and brother-in-law's friends started planning this event not long after BIL's brain cancer diagnosis last spring. (For info on their health journey, see here.) They booked his favorite touring alt-bluegrass band, Chatham County Line, to play a private party at the home of one of the couples.

The party turned into a beer, barbecue, and bluegrass fest that was a celebration of life among 70+ friends and family, and the love and care that went into the planning still leaves me in awe. The weather was absolutely perfect, the food was beyond plentiful, the band played two sets and they were easy going and gracious. Here's just a few pictures....
BIL Bert on the far right, with his buddies

BIL on the right, two organizers on left, and the friend in the black shirt
flew to Atlanta from Idaho to attend the party!

The organizers built a plywood stage for the band!!

Chatham County Line
Group shot!

We even went home with swag! One of the hosts of the party has an in with the legendary Hatch Show Print folks in Nashville, and had 100 poster made by Hatch Show for anyone who wanted a poster. (See the image at the top of the page. ) And the band signed the posters! And even the plastic cups were printed with the event info and the band's name. Now that's attention to detail. Wow!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Remedy for Economic Cataclism

The Great Dame Recommends:
One of these

plus this

plus a glass or three from this

A very sobering conversation earlier this week with an architect, a conversation about the dire state of the economy as of this week, a conversation about just what all this may mean for designers like us, had me heading straight for the biggest bar of medicinal dark chocolate I could get my hands on. No one quite knows what all this will do to our industry, but everyone agrees that it's looking like a bumpy ride.

For the record, the chick lit book and the wine came much later, after work, once I got home.
I swear. And it's taken Smithy and me two days to work through the giant candy bar.

None of the above is likely to fix anything, or make the economy better, but a little comforting couldn't hurt right about now.

For what it's worth, the Crusie book is a blast: it has backstabbing Southern belles, hitmen (plural), a mafia princess or two, assault by frying pan, a fixer-upper mansion, and wild flamingos. Pure escapism gold.

I'm thinking of doing more of the same this weekend.