Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Break from blogging.

Maybe you can tell from my previous post that I'm blogged out!! So I've decided to take an indefinite break from blogging. And the Google Reader too!! My full-time job, my part-time dabbling in finding the perfect job, the Olympics, the upcoming presidential election, trying to finish several sewing projects, cleaning the apartment, and my voracious policy wonky reading habit are all taking precedence to this blog right now. Anyway, knowing me, I could be back within a few weeks or as soon as tomorrow. See ya when I see ya!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blog overkill.

I have a serious case of blog overkill. I get sort of demoralized when I open Google Reader and am confronted with 87 unread items that have accumulated since I last checked Friday afternoon. Is it sad that one of my favorite things about the weekend is not having to face the endless onslaught of fake-cheery blog posts, innumerable galleries of Stepford-perfect homes, the latest eco-chic designs, and magazine worthy vacation pictures? That the prospect of the interminable Monday morning scrolldown makes me break out in hives? Of course, I've got to 'fess up to my own contributory negligence in the matter, but seriously, either I have to be more selective about my subscriptions, or I will go certifiably insane.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pattern potpourri.

Sometimes I wish I were a textile designer or a printmaker or a letterpress artist, because I've always wanted to take all these patterns and prints I see on vintage housewares and do something magical with them. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to it, but for now, here's an assortment of some particularly pleasing patterns I've seen recently on etsy. Click on the picture to check out each past present.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A midsummer night's green.

I very nearly bought myself a pair of black suede boots at the mall the other day before I caught myself. With temperatures in Atlanta still hitting the upper 90s, I don't think I'll be wearing boots for a couple of months. So since everything here is still lush and verdant, I thought I'd post a few items in honor of the color green before we all switch over to black, gray, winter white, and what is apparently the color of the fall season, purple.

Top row (L to R):
  1. set of 8 Homer Laughlin bowls and extra serving bowl, $24.50 from Jen's Closet
  2. fondue set, $10 from Aunt Sissy's Attic
  3. 4 coffee mugs, $15 from Modish Vintage
Middle row (L to R):
  1. Pyrex mixing bowl, $12 from Soulful Hues
  2. 6 glasses with wheat design, $10 from Miscellania Mania
  3. enamel pot, $22 from White Elephant Vintage
Bottom row (L to R):
  1. vintage modern swing arm lamp, $38 from bluebellbazaar (reserved)
  2. 6 tumblers, $8 from geo pillow
  3. Shenango creamer, $11.95 from LadyFran

Monday, August 4, 2008

We have a winner!

I'm back from the beach and, as I promised, here are pictures of the past presents I've put together for the first Past Presents Shop giveaway contest. And based on my highly unscientific method of picking paper entries out of a baseball cap, Leah of moxie photo & design is our lucky winner!! She has such great taste, I'm a bit wary of how my small efforts will be received, but you can't really argue with a free giveaway, can you? Can you??

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation this week.

I'm trying to wrap everything up that I've got to do this week and avoid getting any new assignments before I leave for the beach on Wednesday, so posting will be lighter than usual (or completely nonexistent!) this week. Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway contest by Thursday, July 31st! I'll pick the winner and post pics of the prize package when I get back from Charleston. Have a great week and see you when I get back!!

[photo from the New York Times]

Friday, July 25, 2008

Flotsam Friday: Old photos and paper ephemera.

I never knew ephemera was an actual term until recently. I thought it was derived from ephemeral. Which just goes to show you how little I know. At any rate, one of my lovely readers (from Singapore!) wrote when she entered my giveaway contest, which you can still enter by the way, that she'd been searching high and low for vintage postcards and other such things but that hardly anyone ships out to Singapore. I figured I'd keep an eye out for some paper goods for her, since I love going through boxes of old postcards at antique shops too. The two pics above are from Rust 'n' Dust Antiques in Chamblee's Antique Row district. This post is for you, Melly!

Top row (L to R):
  1. 1906 alphabet fonts, 2 pages, $4 from otherpeoplesflowers
  2. "chubby boy takes a plane ride" - 5 snapshots, $5 from Jack's Jill Vintage Miscellanea
  3. 6 children's playing cards, $3 from Vintage Market
Middle row (L to R):
  1. roll of faux bois wallpaper, $50 from Utopia
  2. postcard folder of San Francisco's Chinatown, $19.99 from TooTooCute
  3. 2 part map of San Francisco, $37 from Emily Lynch Vintage
Bottom row (L to R):
  1. 10 wedding thank-you notecards, $4 from Humble Labor
  2. 1944 insects illustration, $10 from sushipotparts
  3. postcard folder of Yosemite National Park, $19.99 from TooTooCute

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gilded glassware.

I picked up these gorgeous gold glasses at the Kudzu Antique Market parking lot sale this weekend and couldn't resist looking for some more dishwasher-unfriendly glassware on etsy. Here's what I found:

Gold-rimmed glasses with a steamboat design (set of 8 for $36 from bluebellbazaar).

6 glasses with an owl design for $26.99 from FlightoftheRadish.

Gold-rimmed turquoise bluebell glasses (5 for $20 from Vintage Darling).

8 glasses with a gold scroll and diamond design for $38 from High Street Market.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vintage TV tray.

My apartment is tiny and the dining area is pretty cramped (it doesn't help that I have a big buffet/china cabinet that takes up a fifth of the space), so it'd be nice to have these lovely TV trays around for when guests overflow into the living room. There are two available for $12 each from etsy seller Rabbit Oh Rabbit.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Found: framed doily.

I picked up this framed doily for 2 dollars at My Favorite Place in Chamblee this weekend. I've had doilies and lace on the brain for a long time (I was married in a lace dress 2 years ago), and I was also inspired by the framed doilies in Holly Waterfield's office at her West Village boutique Camp (see below, as featured in the Spring 2007 issue of the now-defunct Blueprint magazine). Anyway, I probably won't assemble a collection of them (too kitschy!), but lace and doilies are still lovely in small doses. Here are several of my picks for today (all from etsy).

Lace cocktail napkins ($15 for a set of six from Historically Inspired Designs Vintage).

Lace tumblers (set of 8 for $40 from etsy shop Foo Foo Vintage).

A random assortment of 20 stamps, including lacemaking stamps from the USA that were issued in 1986 ($3.50 from Missgaylee). Check out a full sheet here (available on ebay for $5).

Lace glass plate ($5 from The Seasonal Cottage).

Doily cards ($6 for a set of 4 with envelopes from Beau Ideal).

Coral Gables doily notecards ($12 for a set of 6 with envelopes from Beau Ideal).

And do check out Holly Becker's comprehensive compendium of doily love here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Flotsam Friday: Soup tureens and casseroles.

My church small group is having a potluck tonight. I remember the potlucks from when I was kid circa 1986, when tables would groan under the weight of a hodge-podge rainbow coalition of chow mein, buckets of KFC, fried rice, pizza, pot stickers, spaghetti, potato salad, cabbage and chinese sausage, chicken divan, and green bean casserole, and dessert was almond tofu, fluorescent jello, almond cookies, a package of Oreos, and fudge brownies. (I'm Chinese-American, which explains some of the more unorthodox dishes.) When everyone wore Velcro shoes and too-short shorts, all the children sported bowl cuts, and mom had wings in her hair. I'm pretty sure no one brought their nicest dishes, but if I were to throw a potluck party now, I'd use these.

Top row (L to R):
  1. porcelain soup tureen, Olivia pattern by Hutschenreuther, currently $15 on ebay
  2. Limoges soup tureen/covered casserole, currently $15.50 on ebay
  3. covered serving bowl, $65 from etsy seller Emily Lynch Vintage
Middle row (L to R):
  1. soup tureen, $95 from Emily Lynch Vintage
  2. tureen with no lid, $10 from 2pear
  3. covered soup tureen, 16.50 from Jen's Closet
Bottom row (L to R):
  1. Taylor Smith serving dish, currently $20.50 on ebay
  2. Descoware casserole, currently $15 on ebay
  3. soup tureen, Capistrano pattern by Red Wing, currently $25 on ebay

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Aiguille et fil and vintage fabric.

I'm loving these two dresses, repurposed in part from vintage fabric, from etsy seller aiguille et fil (which means, appropriately, needle and thread in French). Check out some other dresses from the shop here.

[tip from a fellow reader of design is mine]

Not bowling alone.

I love this bowling scene from the latest issue of Domino. Necessity Breeds Exuberance is the title of the article featuring events planner Alice Turner's farmhouse in upstate New York. When we finally buy a house (with a huge porch, of course!), I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a lawn bowling set. You can find one here and here, on ebay. Etsy seller White Elephant Vintage also has several vintage bowling pins for sale individually here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Past Presents giveaway contest!

UPDATE: I've decided to make this a regular thing, so the deadline's been moved to the end of the month. Yay!

I've been thinking of putting together a small present for one of my readers (to be chosen at random, of course) with some of the stuff I've featured on my blog, cute housewares and vintage home decor, maybe some photos or postcards from the 1950s, ephemera like that. Everyone likes getting surprise packages in the mail, right? I'm planning to go to thrifting and sidewalk sale-ing this weekend and picking up some past presents, so let's say the deadline for entering the contest is a week from now, Wednesday, July 23rd. Just drop me a comment or an email before then to enter the contest. And if you've got any favorites from the blog or anything you've had your eye on, drop me a line, and I'll keep an eye out for it!

[beach postcard from etsy seller robins egg blue]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Past Presents: Gifts for the mid-century maven.

The aim of this blog is to get avid consumers to reevaluate their buying habits and broaden their shopping horizons by providing different options within the vintage and secondhand marketplace. Today's post is for anyone who's ever been confounded by finding a gift for a host (or hostess), a bride (or bridegroom), or for a housewarming party. And particularly if the recipient is partial to mid-century design. Here are some pretty past presents, all from etsy.

A pair of Danish teak candlesticks from california vintage* ($30).

Wooden tray from moxie thrift ($9.89).

Punch bowl from Thrifty Goodness ($22).

Peapod condiment tray from Ms. Betsy's Vintage ($15).

Four stainless steel candle holders from studio AMF ($18).

Cast iron candelabra, designed by Jen Quistgaard for Dansk, from little green frog ($65).

Franciscan pitcher, Del Mar pattern by Gladding McBean & Co., from MidCenturyModern ($75).

Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm so sorry... I've been swamped at work today, but I'll be back tomorrow, I promise! In the meantime, here are some flowers from a friend's backyard. Have a happy Bastille Day, and see you tomorrow!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flotsam Friday: Salt and pepper shakers.

Sorry this comes so late in the day, things have been busy around here!! My friend's mother collects salt and pepper shakers. As for myself, I don't even use regular salt and pepper shakers, I just buy the disposable kind from the grocery store. My favorite here is the one smack dab in the middle - it even has a grinder!

Top row (L to R):
  1. 5 piece set incl shakers, $13.25 from Goodlookin' Vintage Wares
  2. melamine plastic set, $8 from Bliss Vintage
  3. milk glass set (Sunset pattern by Dithridge), $40 from Designs by Cleo
Middle row (L to R):
  1. red toile/transferware set, $25 from Vicious Vintage
  2. Lenox set incl pepper grinder, $24 from Charmings Collectibles
  3. stainless steel set (by Reed & Barton), $31.25 from Berd and Bee
Bottom row (L to R):
  1. wood set, $22 from the modern hunter
  2. red plastic set, $7 from Sirkus Vintage
  3. ceramic set, $7 from Bald Man Mod
Promise me that you'll shake what your mama gave you at least once this weekend - it'll bring a smile to your face, and to everyone who's watching! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Russel Wright.

Today I'm featuring Russel Wright (1904-1976), an American industrial designer and 20th century household name. As the creator of the most widely sold American ceramic dishware in history (his American Modern dinnerware line, above at bottom, manufactured by Steubenville Pottery of Steubenville, OH, sold over 250 million pieces between 1939 to 1959!!), he was, according to the New York Times, "Martha Stewart before she was." Working with wood, spun aluminum, stainless steel, paper, plastic, and ceramics, Wright designed modern furniture, dining accessories, and textiles for easy and casual living, and along with his wife/merchandising genius Mary, revolutionized the way Americans lived.

In addition to his American Modern line, Wright designed the "Residential" line of melamine plastic dinnerware (above, at right), manufactured by the Northern Plastic Company of Boston, Mass. It was the first and most popular line of melamine resin plastic dinnerware, better known as "melmac," and received the Good Design Award from the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. Wright also created the "Casual" line of china (above, at left) for the Iroquois China Company of Syracuse, NY, which was more durable than American Modern. Recently many of his designs have been reissued by Oneida. Read more about this modern American master here, here, and here.

Here are several pieces, available on etsy and ebay, designed by Russel Wright.

Top row (L to R):

  1. nesting salt and pepper shakers (Casual China, Iroquois), $25 from etsy seller Lavender RickRack
  2. 24 piece dining set (American Modern, Steubenville), $150 from etsy seller RetroCycle
  3. brown bowl and 3 plates (Casual China), currently $3.99 from ebay seller lottiesattic
Middle row (L to R):
  1. 60 piece dining set (Queen Anne's Lace pattern, Knowles China), currently $49.99 from ebay seller acidstamp
  2. bread plate (American Modern), $6 from etsy seller Uncommon Eye
  3. creamer (Casual China), currently $5 from ebay seller 1maus
Bottom row (L to R):
  1. pitcher, buy it now for $32.59 from ebay store The Alabama Pedlar
  2. 4 cups and saucers (Casual China), $25 from etsy seller Lavender RickRack
  3. nesting cream and sugar set, $6 from etsy shop Beatgrrrl's Basement
[photos at top from the Russel Wright Design Center]

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Teacups and saucers.

Like Jordan of one of my favorite blogs Oh Happy Day, I've been in the inspiration doldrums. Maybe it's all the thunderstorms we've been getting lately. Except I LOVE thunderstorms. So that can't be it. Anyway, I was about to write this day off until, doldrums be darned, I saw this lovely teacup and saucer set from Rosenthal, the German porcelain maker I wrote about a few weeks ago. The gold trim is nice, but the purple half moons and dots really take the cake! All from etsy.

Everyone has to have at least one beautiful cup and saucer, and wouldn't it be lovely to throw a tea party with a set of mismatched drinkware and pretty hats? Here are some more teacups and saucers to charm you right out of hump day and on to pre-Friday!

Top row (L to R):
  1. single teacup and saucer, $8 from My Southern Lace
  2. blue and gold set, $8 from Bliss Vintage
  3. pair of Limoges cups and saucers, $34.95 from JuJuToo
Middle row (L to R):
  1. cup and saucer, $6 from My Sunshine Vintage
  2. gold vine cup and saucer, $14 from artsfarm
  3. espresso cup and saucer, $10 from auroramae
Bottom row (L to R):
  1. cup and saucer (Florentine Gold pattern from Wedgwood), $24 from Charming's Collectibles
  2. bone china cup and saucer, $20 from Dragonflyz
  3. handmade cup and saucer by Hammersley, $29 from blue bell bazaar