In my kitchen, I have open shelving over my desk. This is where I try out my collections before they go into the shop. This process allows me time to consider the way objects play off each other. I am a matchmaker but sometimes the results surprise even me. For example, I really liked this collection of chinoiserie that I paired with gold dinosaurs. But I didn't know why right away. Then one day I walked in with a bag of groceries and it hit me. This vignette represents Godzilla in Tokyo. And since one of my nicknames in middle school was "Mothra", it all makes sense.Read More
We are a few weeks away from Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle and I just heard the news that the British are not exactly overjoyed about Diana's second son marrying an American.
I get it. The last time a British royal married an American divorcée, things got discombobulated, throne-wise. Edward VIII was confined to a life of pugs, pins, and pained smiles.
But Harry is sixth in line and as likely to wear the crown as Sonny Purdue is to occupy the Oval Office.Read More
I'd like to introduce you to my friend Margaret Maggard. In this photo, she is positioned on her sofa in such a way that you can guess she was once a yoga instructor. She also used to run her own successful jewelry business, Bhati Beads, which was born out of the handmade wrist wraps she wore while teaching yoga. Margaret's designs were favored by many celebrities, most notably the former First Lady, Michelle Obama. For seven consecutive years, models in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition wore slivers of spandex on their breasts and bottoms and Margaret’s wraps on their wrists and ankles.Read More
In my suburban town, the unwritten dress code for girls attending prom is straightforward: juniors wear long gowns and seniors wear cocktail dresses. Over the years, as four sons attended, and I went to various houses to take photos, I never witnessed anyone who challenged this rule. Except for Clare.
Clare wore a vintage sari to prom.
Look at her. Was she not most fair and lovely? And so open to the world.Read More
My friend Patrick has created the most cozy and welcoming guest room (womb) that no one in their right mind would ever want to leave. I met Patrick because our husbands work together. He and Ed live about a mile away from us, so after you've toured this room, you'll understand my problem -- how to finagle a situation where I would be forced to stay in this incredible space. Snowstorm? Tequila shots? Dead car battery? Poltergeist? Help me out here.Read More
It was April in Wisconsin, the meanest month of the year when winter jabs a fat finger in your chest and laughs as she slowly backs out the door. Coincidentally, April also happened to be the name of my companion that night.
April and I can't go anywhere without drawing a lot of attention. Maybe because she's what you would call a long tall drink of water. Or a nice piece of wicker. She's one of those lucky dames who never has to contend with the usual midwestern roll of fat that can turn on your laptop if you're not careful. It's just not in her DNA.Read More
Mr. Grant must be scowling at the news, and not because of the usual bumbling incompetence in the WJM-TV newsroom, but because his best hire ever, Mary Richards, has finally let him down.
Mary Tyler Moore passed away this week and right now, all I want to do is pull out a hide-a-bed, grab a box of kleenex and mourn Mary the way that she mourned Chuckles the Clown. Laughter and tears.Read More
I don't know where to begin with this post because it is about loss and suffering - tough subjects to write about at Christmas time. But the truth is, this season is difficult for many people. Sadness does not take a holiday.
And Genna, the lovely young woman in the vintage dress, knows this too well.Read More
I'm begging you. Make a decision this holiday season to consider a vintage or antique gift. In fact, I'll make you a deal. If you purchase an antique or vintage gift for a loved one that doesn't bowl them over, get in touch with me here and I will make you an offer. (White elephants excepted.)
If you are already a convert who knows that plastic has its limits, then skip to the bottom of this post for a bonus quiz with a prize involved. It is the season of giving!Read More
This house-shaped photograph tells all my dirty secrets: I have an unnatural fixation on objects; I might be mildly OCD; and Jane Austen is my spirit animal.
And you thought this was just another Pinterest-worthy photo taken from a birds-eye view?
Actually, this type of birds-eye photograph is technically called "flat lay" and thanks to Instagram, it has swept the visual world. Objects loosely arrayed in a pleasing composition on a neutral background and photographed in natural light that allow the viewer a new view of everyday things. Open any magazine and you'll see flat lay photography everywhere. (#flatlaystyle #flatlayoftheday)Read More
Hello! It's a short post today, as my photos can speak louder than my words. This is a new vignette in the shop, which I've titled "Murderous Rue Morgue Halloween Vignette". Isn't it gorgeous?
The collection includes a framed antique etching, a set of six Halloween classics, some pretty antique objects, along with two authentic skulls and two fake crows. Also included is a pair of wall brackets. (Only one is visible.) The candlesticks are so heavy, they're lethal. The little polished wood bottle holds precisely two drams of whatever liquid you prefer. And the pair of skulls was found in our woods (remember the coywolf?) and have been soaked in bleach for several weeks. They're lovely. Lovely bones.Read More
When I first walked into The Dovecote, I swore. Dang it! This is exactly the shop I want to open! As I filled my arms with ridiculously cool things at surprisingly palatable prices, I never stopped muttering like a jealous Othello.
Then I met the proprietress, Ellen Hildebrand, who's one cool chica, and I knew I was going to stalk her.Read More
That's me in the photo, reclining on a mossy stone outcrop, binoculars at the ready to spot the next fabulous set of vintage china. Do you like my wading boots? You can't imagine the contortions I go through to get them off. Like Ross's leather pants.Read More
You know that moment when you’re dating someone you really like and you come face-to-face with some bizarre relic from his or her childhood that you never saw coming? And that still holds sway in the present? At this point, you must make a choice. You can reach for the rose-colored glasses and accept Jeff's attendance at seventy-two Grateful Dead concerts as proof of his ability to really commit; you can convince yourself that Ellen’s collection of Virgin Mary candles is not in any way unholy; you can shrug off Chris’s bathtub full of floating Fisher Price Little People as innocent fun.
Or you can run.Read More
My sisters kindly threw a bridal shower for my daughter-in-law last month. A bridal or baby shower in our family used to entail a godforsaken food substitute known as "sandwich loaf." My grandmother made the seven-layer abomination and passed down the recipe to my aunts who bought into the fantasy that sandwich loaf is something that people actually wish to chew and swallow. It is in fact an egregious invention requiring special bread sliced horizontally onto which you spread egg salad, ham or spam salad, chicken salad with a little gristle and bone for protein, chunks of green olives, sprigs of parsley, and soggy walnuts all encased in thick pasty cream cheese.Read More
I live in a saltbox colonial. When you come to my door, you will look for the doorbell. It isn't there. The man who built our house loved early American architecture. He incorporated many period-correct elements, like multiple fireplaces, wide-plank floors, and mullioned windows. But no overhead lights and no doorbells. I've always wanted to ask him why he stooped to include flushing toilets.Read More
Phew! It's done. I just completed my dating questionnaire, uploaded two flattering images, clicked 'profile complete', and am now anxiously awaiting my matches. Once I receive "today's harvest", as it's called, I will begin the process of swiping left or right. Please let me rise above my shallow nature and judge not on looks alone.
Because my son is depending on me as his new online matchmaker. A mother gone haywire, you wonder? Nah, I thought it would be funny.Read More
This week's post is about my friend Peg. As way of introduction, let's play "Five Truths and a Lie". In this game, you have to guess which statement about Peg is a lie. Ready? Here we go.
- In 1975, Peg boarded a Greyhound bus by herself to spend the weekend at her brother's fraternity house at the University of Wisconsin. She was five.
Back in September, I started a series called "What Not to Buy New," in which I talk about the categories of things that we ought to buy used or vintage. You can read Part One here.
Today's post is Part Two, about collectibles. Some of us collect quirky things, don't we? I bet you can remember with pride each time you found a piece to add to your collection. I doubt I need to encourage you to hunt for your collectibles in vintage and antique shops.Read More
Around Valentine's Day, they crop up: photos of happy couples gazing at each other over a fondue pot. I've never understood this form of marketing because in my opinion, fondue is tailor made for kids, boys in particular. Look at this party. We had raw meat, sharp spears, open access to hot oil, oversized appetites and BLAM! it's like we time traveled back to the Paleolithic era. Everyone crowds around the pot, the fight for the meat is real, and there's at least one burnt tongue and some singed arm hairs. My friend Rachel is in the corner of the photo, marveling at the romance unfolding in her kitchen on Valentine's Day. So wonderful.Read More