November 29, 2010

Popped up!

We had such a wonderful time in our Pop-up at the Broad Avenue facelift. Livable Memphis did a fantastic job, and we loved meeting so many of you face to face! Please visit us upstairs at Toad Hall-- we're bringing new stuff up nearly daily!

March 1, 2010

Thursday Party!

Come join us at Toad Hall on the first Cooper Young First Thursday of 2010. All of the neighborhood's stores and restaurants stay open late on the first Thursday of each month. And we'll be up in our new space, celebrating our expansion and new finds! Wine and niblets provided. All will be wonderful. Please come and join us from 5 until 8 pm, March 4.

February 22, 2010

Something Old, Something New

Kate's created the most lovely wedding corner in the entry to our new space-- With antique bridal veils (OMG) from her collection, lovely lace handkerchiefs, presents like linens and china, and a selection of vintage wedding dresses. We have one lovely 1960s empire gown that's chiffon with subtle lace appliqué, a stunning 1950s chiffon and lace gown with an amazing train, and a subtler 1950s gown that's satin with lace insets throughout the gown. Add to that handmade vintage-style cake toppers, and you'll go wedding mad, even if you aren't quite as lucky as I was-- Kate made my dress!

And yes, we have a veil almost identical to the one in the picture above.

February 16, 2010

Vintage Lingerie Treasure Trove!

No picts yet, but I just dropped off an amazing stash of 1950s lingerie-- including new-with-tag "panties" (think tap-pants). Gorgeous old nylon and lace blouses, gowns, and even a pair of mint nylon hose. Petite women, run for the blouses! They are really quite special. Alencon lace, some rhinestone buttons, and in perfect condition. Priced $18-32.

March 30, 2009

Westminster, Colorado

A shout-out to our fan in Westminster, Colorado. We're very flattered and should try to post some new material. Until then, keep coming back. Toad Hall happily accommodates telephone orders, and the Mouse House is still for sale!

February 2, 2009

Oh my, oh my

And I thought Christmas was good! My goodness, January has been incredibly busy-- no recession in the fever-pink room! We have finally lugged up some new furniture and are scrambling to find some shelving-- I've been buying china like mad-- and so new pics will come mid-week, of a radically changed room... Goodbye to everything! Thank you thank you all.

December 22, 2008

More Exceptional Christmas Gifts

Really, you must drop in. There is something for everyone, and I can't tell you how delicious the beeswax candles smell.
The Continental Construction, Memphis Tenn. sign is getting positively lost behind the other goodies--It would be delicious in a kitchen. Don't you want to put all your Obama campaign parenphenalia inside the Camelot hat box for safekeeping?Note the handmade paper victorian chair. The paper is inprinted iwth a wicker design. It's too wonderful, totally unique, and only $12. The handmade wooly sheep also must be a hundred years old, at least. Note the solo bisque doll head at the back.
The perfecty distressed doll table. At about 8 inches high, it holds a miniature tea set perfectly (You can pick one of those up from us too-- I'll post a picture of it tomorrow.)
Handrolled beeswax tapers. Handrolled by Kate and Elise, personally, and wrapped with a collection of unique papers and ribbons. At 16" they are gloriously, decadently tall-- tall enough to last all through Christmas night, even if you forget to blow them up becasue you're having such an uproariously good time. $12 a pair.

December 21, 2008

Christmas treasures

These are what you get people who have everything already, including exquisite taste. Come in while they're still available!
Mint-condition 1930s silk nightgowns, in sizes for normal women. I can't overstate how perfect these are. And we're giving them away at $20 each. They feel divine. The lace is exquisite. I might go over right now and take them back.

Lust after a gold embroidered opera cape. (Mama already has one, so I didn't need to keep it.Mine's coming to me). But if you don't have one in the family, I suggest you work on improving your children's inheritance today.

a 19th century wool bird applique, that, thank goodness, some one had the good forethought to snip and remove. Wouldn't it be lovely packaged in...

a burnt-wooden box with bluebirds, with carnations in the corners. Someone lovingly made this, and it's in bright, clean condition-- it was obviously well-cared for.

a rusted child's stove. It almost deserved a glass cloche to preserve it in the perfect state of wear.

December 18, 2008

New Plaster for old spaces

I wrote a review for The Tranquil Parent about American Clay's colored plaster wall treatments. It's an interesting product, and if you're renewing an older home, I'd recommend taking a look at plaster as an alternative to paint, especially if you have chemical sensitivities of are concerned about off-gassing and VOCs. (Which, frankly, you probably should be). I especially like the Porcelina finish. Here's my take on it.

November 3, 2008

A brief post, with a promise of pictures later this week. I do want to remind readers of this week's first Thursday event at Toad Hall. The store will be open until 8 pm, with wine for you to drink, and all purchases will be 10% off. Take advantage and get a head start on your Christmas shopping!

We have a wonderful selection of objects for Christmas gifts, and we've tried very hard to amass a great variety in the $10-$20 range. We've also made beautiful hand-rolled beeswax candles, which make a perfect hostess gift, and a have a wonderful collection of vintage glass ornaments, none over $8.

And wait until I post photos of the handmade mouse house! You're in for a treat!

September 23, 2008

Posts about spaces

I've begun blogging with the new family of Zrecs blogs at The Tranquil Parent. My posts there will be broader incarnations of some of the more tailored opinions expressed herein, and I hope you'll visit the site (and all of the blogs-- Zrecs pulls together some of the best parenting info I've seen) and enjoy the posts!

Recent posts include:

An homage to the screened porch.
An old, fantastic sheep painting.
Joys of mismatched dishes.

August 22, 2008

A Corner Hideway and an Altar of Beauty

Corner cabinets are often charming, quirky pieces that are engaging because they're always a little bit unexpected. We don't quite expect a cabinet to fit in a corner, so once we realize what it is, the piece always feels playful. I think this makes them seductive objects-- You buy it because it makes you happy, and of course, doesn't everyone have a spare corner somewhere?

We have a lovely one to show you that came out of a fine local estate. It's painted a cheerful yellow, with yellow doors that are a slightly different shade-- I think they are the original paint, and the other paint is a bit newer (60 years or so "new"). The interior is turquoise, which is why it almost stayed with me permanently. (I have a fetish for old turquoise-painted furniture). It's a solid, heavy piece -- I helped carry it up the l-o-n-g flight of stairs, but the suffering was worthwhile. It is so good! I think it's from Pennsylvania. (I think this because I was told it was.) [sold!]

The textiles hanging on it are *real* Guatemalan textiles-- not the chintzy touristy things. Or, maybe they were the touristy things, but that was in the 1940s, when they still sold the good stuff to tourists. Textiles like the one draped on the lower door, and like those rolled in the basket, are why you've heard of Guatemalan textiles, but then been disappointed. We're asking under $20 a pop for each, and I think we have to, because not many people will get it. (But you, dear reader, will).

Our next scene should evoke what I hope your dresser already conveys-- an air of feminine luxury. If your dresser doesn't make you feel like a 1920s, or 1930s, or 1940s, or whatever- you've-chosen-your-decade-to-be-glamazon, then it's not doing it's job. Get some good lighting, some pretty trinkets, and a fine chest and set yourself up. This chest of drawers is substantial, marble-topped, and has lovely carved pulls.

But my favorite thing here is the lamp. I can't say enough about what a very special piece this is. It's a hand-turned walnut lamp, which is well and good, but the original shade is spectacular-- it's pleated printed paper from the 1920s. These things almost never turn up. And the photo doesn't do it justice. Whenever I go up to see it I stand close to the lampshade and coo at it.

She hasn't talked back. Yet. But when it does, she will say,

"Elise, why are you trying to sell me, you greedy little monster! Take me home, set my on your vanity, and let me illuminate you, very softly, every morning. I will provide just enough light for you to apply mascara. I will not make your one gray hair apparent. I will not make you wonder, is that my first wrinkle? I promise."

August 16, 2008

Crusted with dirt, languishing in the corner of an old garage, Kate rescued this fantastic Monte Christo Toilet Preparation display, nursed it back to health, and brought it in. We're pleased as punch to show it to you, and even happier to fill it full of the most delicate and exquisite niceties, including an old paper maché marionette head, a handmade Victorian sheep, a tiny Victorian paper chair, imprinted in faux wicker, a vintage fish hook box, and finally (and do forgive me for not having a photo of this yet) a wonderful box of old hairpins called "Scoldy Lox."

The display case seems inspired by the Crystal Palace. It's four tiers, and each part of the case has its own door, fastened with a tiny brass latch at the case's back.

The middle tier currently houses old passamenterie silk flowers. The bottom holds a bisque doll's head, a good-tacky tea cup, and some tiny paper roses.

I haven't been able to find out anything about Monte Christo Toilet Preparations. "Christo" seems misspelled on purpose to lead you off the trail of Dumas's count, but still evokes that hero's glamor.

It's a glamor that this beheaded marionette could use. He's no Edmond Dantés, though his paper collar shows he's a man who cares about personal appearance. And his probiscous suggests that a toilet preparation attracting ladies could help him.

August 7, 2008

in the details

filigree treasure box

I keep photographing these 1920s doll torsos. They are too wonderful. The little lost legs belong with them

This carved angel bookend belongs in a cozy velveted library.

July 31, 2008

More Art

We've found some more shockingly good art for you. First, an inspired painting that must be a copy of part of a larger Renaissance work. Its nicely done, on board. I like that it's not trying to fake you-- it's just a copy someone had fun making.

Nest up, a paint-by-numbers barn which feels entirely too painterly to be paint by numbers. So, for $15, you'll walk away with a charming watercolor. It almost fooled Kate, and she used to run an art gallery! (For more info on paint-by-numbers popularity and history, try reading part of Karal Ann Marling's chapter posted here.) [UPDATE: sold!]

Oh, everybody loves a baby.

A really very good chromo-litho, on linen, in its original matting. You aren't familiar with chromolithography, the first truly new form of printing introduced after movable type? Explore it here, at U of Delaware's online exhibit.

These are close-ups of 2 of 3 very interesting collages-- each is made of nineteenth-century engravings, artfully arranged and framed. A wonderful collection. Many images focus on Scotland.

Finally, we offer you this serene angel engraving.