June 26, 2008

Sofas are nice, but paintings are better

Some people live without original art! Of course, when you make art, it's easy to have art for your home-- (so, yeah, it's cheaper for painters). But if you don't feel that confident, there's no reason to despair. There's so much good art that's cheap (and so much bad expensive crap). Online, galleries like 20X200 provide just plain cheap art. You could make an octopus wall hanging with your scissors and felt, like my sister and her college roommate, or (big sell) you can turn to some of our scores for awesome things to put on your walls.

I recently painted on a shoe box lid belonging to aforementioned sister to fill up wall space in her Berkeley apartment. It made things better.

You need original art. The more the better.

I was reluctant to hang any of my own paintings in our space, but one screamed out, "I need to be shown on a feverish-pink wall!" and so we brought it down (It wouldn't fit in Kate's Subaru, and I was without car that day, so we walked the 5 and a half-foot painting down Cooper Street and across Central Avenue. I felt quite a Midtowner.

The bunnies do look fantastic in the room, and perhaps they'll find a home this way. They have good artistic company. I'm fascinated by some of the paintings we've turned up in our gleanings.

This is a watercolor of a canoe full of violets. I truly love this. It;s old, maybe 1920s, and maybe by a girl scout? (That's the back story I've created, anyway). We're asking about $120 if you're interested. (But I'll have to check that figure. It may be less).

And if you need a 4' by 5' painting, here's one of my bunnies.

June 18, 2008

Cigar Flannel Flags

We share a love of vintage textiles-- mine is less educated, which is one of the great pleasures of working with Kate-- the woman knows her fabrics. One collection we have for sale is of tobacco flannels, often known as "cigar flannels" or "cigar felts". This is a misnomer though, because there's no evidence that these little pennants were ever found in cigar boxes (perhaps they have been assumed to come from there because their size is so often cigar-box-dimensioned) and they are never made of felt.

These small printed pennants were usually male-oriented in design. Flags of the world are common (most of ours are of flags) but butterflies also show up, aimed at female consumers (we also have some of these).

The flannels were distributed in or on cigarette and tobacco products, and larger felts were available in catalogs that consumers shopped in with coupons distributed in tobacco products.

The flannels are charming pinned to a string, as we show them in the shop, or lovely framed. They were often incorporated into quilts, which are highly collectible. Just one makes an interesting gift, while a grouping makes quite a visual statement. We are offering these for ten dollars each.

June 15, 2008

Hat Party!

For the new First Thursday event in Cooper-Young, we showcased a cache of vintage hats and various accessories and had a little impromptu hat party. Of course, we donned hats ourselves (Elise wore a little black-velvet number and Kate was dashing in a 1920s brimmed lovely. We snapped a few pictures of customers modeling chapeaus, though most were (understandably) blog-shy, everyone looked fantastic.

We met some lovely people, drank sweet white wine, and enjoyed lounging in our feverish-pink room.

Perhaps we'll showcase hats next first Thursday too, In July-- Would you like to come to our next hat party?

Elise and Kate

cell phone and a chic floral topper!

skillful modeling of vintage Dior chapeau

Update on sweet good-byes

Good-bye to the kangaroo and baby, good-bye to the wooden rolling dog, good-bye distressed table, good-bye amazing Hollywood lamp I neglected to ever photograph, good-bye two of the four deco-rugs, good-bye art-nouveau wing-back,good-bye, good-bye good-bye to so many friends.

June 12, 2008

Lullabye in Birdland

Thoreau, who is not my favorite writer by any means, although we share some value systems, wrote, not very pithily, that,

There is some of the same fitness in a man’s building his own house that there is in a bird’s building its own nest. Who knows but if men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged?

P. D. James, who's not quite the literary elite, said it better when she wrote that
God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.

People, you've got to work to make your home beautiful. Thanks to all our customers who helped make May a good month for us, and who are happy to let us play early bird for them.

Our little nesty area changes as birds fly in and out. Here are some current pictures.

June 7, 2008

Oyster Stew

There are always a few things that inexplicably don't immediately go home with the first person who looks at them. This sentiment, of course, says more about my infatuation with these objects than with the public. But Feelings count for something, don't they?

One poem that circulates among mothers and children in my family lilts, "Around, around, and around she flew and plunged it into the oyster stew."

An antique shop feels a bit like a stew. And I'm convinced that the following objects are oysters! Eat up.

A wonderful carved rolling dog toy from the 1920s.

The funny tin doll shower.

The magisterial felt kangaroo and child.

June 4, 2008

Gilbert Chesterton wrote that "Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame." If we ignore his metaphor and decide to be literal, we may take a pause to consider how lovely yesterday's frames were. Of course, we think decay makes them even lovelier. But to the severely corroded (or unhelpfully "touched up" we felt obliged to gussy them up a bit. Here's a smattering of some current frames.