Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday at the Flea Market

I love a good flea market, don't you?
I'm not sure how "good" our local flea market really is, but it was a sunny day and I wanted to get out for some fresh air. Albeit cold air. So, I dragged the husband and two kids along with me. This is no small feat, believe me. There were plenty more appealing options for them to partake in (basketball game watching and play dates, to be exact), but I can be very persuasive especially when I promise fast food on the way and a $5 spending allowance for each child. Family togetherness and my favorite activity, shopping/bargain hunting . . . score!

So, what did I find? Not much but frostbitten fingers to be quite honest. I guess the cold weather (it got up to a balmy 46 degrees with a lot of wind) scared off some vendors. There were some cool things, but nothing that I needed or couldn't live with out. Darnit.

Here's some stuff I did find interesting enough to photograph:
I'm a little teapot (I think?) in a delicious turquoise/teal glaze. Even at $9, it wasn't tempting enough.

I didn't get the price on this little Chinese jar/vase, but I really don't need any more Asian stuff in my house right now. Trust me. If you don't believe me, I'm going to do a post on this very obsession issue soon.

I love the blue of this little table. Perfect for an entryway. Don't love the scalloped edge/skirt . . . would have preferred a clean line, but could overlook it. For $129, I thought it wasn't a bad deal. If you needed a little table. Nice shadow. Can you tell I'm not exactly a photography expert? Note the deer head next to the table. It freaked out my dear daughter.

I was drawn to these light fixtures. They're a little too industrial chic for me but I still appreciate their rustic awesomeness. When I get a loft these are definitely on my list.

Matt captured this image. I didn't even notice the gigantic "NOT." But it was in the same booth as the light fixtures. This guy makes some seriously cool stuff. Tables with nails and steel. Heavy metal. Once again, wouldn't work in my far too traditional home but I dig it.

Do you love the shape of this chair as much as I do? Needless to say, it would have to be reupholstered. But what fabric? The possibilities are mind-blowing. Possibly throw some nailheads around the edge, paint the legs. Now I'm bummed I didn't buy it. Of course, it had no price on it, and the owner of the booth was nowhere to be found. So, it was not to be. 

Now for some artistic Matt shots. If you don't know, my husband is a much better photographer than I am. His favorite subjects are usually under water, but today he turned his artistry on the flea market.
Who doesn't need a Kit Kat coffee mug? Or a Mt. Rushmore or Liberty Bell bottle?

Sweet old bike.

I think Bud's Pump 'n Diner got Matt's attention. Can't imagine why.


Ah, pretty colors.

Nice rack. I mean mannequin form. My husband is a guy . . . what else can I say?

Looks like a prison garbage can.

Off to get their much-deserved reward . . . $5 crystals!

Hope you had a great Saturday too!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Has It Come to This?

Let me be clear. I love a lot of magazines. This is not one of them. I never subscribed to Woman's Day. However, unfortunately, it showed up in my mailbox a few days ago. It wasn't a surprise. I received an all too familiar postcard informing me that yet another publication to which I had subscribed was now defunct and this rag would be taking its place.

A common source of angst and frustration for lovers of interior design and a hot topic in the blogosphere has been the demise of too many wonderful shelter magazines over the past year or two. Ad revenues are down, so beloved publications are now just a memory . . . a sad epitaph to these trying economic times. I hate to sound melodramatic, but my mood soured after looking through the aforementioned piece of crap. To put it kindly, it sucks. Or blows . . . whichever is worse. I'm sorry if I've offended any lovers of Woman's Day, but I'm actually amazed and a little perturbed that this publication has survived while so many better ones have fallen.

So, how did I end up with Woman's Day? How did this sad downward spiral start? It all began with one of my favorite design magazines, Domino.
Oh, Domino, how I miss thee. As Penelope Green of The New York Times wrote, "Domino magazine captured an aesthetic, and a readership, that was emblematic of a fizzy, girlish moment in design." I couldn't agree more. Now, the fizz is gone.

After Domino folded in April 2009, I think its publishers started sending me Metropolitan Home instead. I say "think" because my memory is playing tricks on me. But I believe that's how I started getting Met Home as I don't remember subscribing.
Okay . . . that was fine. While Met Home was a little modern for my taste, at least it was an interior design magazine. Well, predictably enough, Metropolitan Home folded toward the end of 2009.

In MH's place, I started to receive Cookie which was sort of a hip parenting/lifestyle mag.
While I wasn't swooning over Cookie, it had some redeeming qualities. Sort of a cross between Real Simple, Martha Stewart and Parents. I thought it was acceptable. I'm a parent. I'm somewhat hip. But, guess what? It's one of the latest victims of the publishing world's smackdown. That's how the Cookie crumbled (sorry, couldn't resist).

So now . . . Woman's Day?! Really? Has anyone seen this publication? Maybe in a waiting room somewhere? It's a disaster. And that's being kind. I majored in journalism (not that you can tell from my complete lack of adherence to AP style), so I'm not just speaking from the perspective of an interior design junkie. The editorial content is abysmal. The layout is so bad I can't tell where the ads end and the actual copy begins. It's printed on the flimsiest paper (a la Better Homes and Gardens) that feels one step up from tissue paper making it even more unappealing to flip through. And I would say 85% of the content is pharmaceutical ads. I guess that explains it. If you throw in a few tips (50 Things to Do with $5) with your ads you can pay for your publication. Otherwise, forget it, your magazine is destined for that recycle bin in the sky.

I think I'm going to save a few trees and request that whatever WD subscription I have left be forfeited. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my two favorite design magazines -- Elle Decor and House Beautiful -- and hope they don't meet the fate of some of their sister shelter publications. May they rest in peace.

 Sources: NY Times online, Media Bistro, Conde Nast, Hachette Filipacchi

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

House Stalking

Am I the only one who stalks houses on the Internet?  I found this little beauty earlier today. Don't ask me why I was looking. I'm not in the market for a house, and if I were this wouldn't fit any of my practical criteria (it has one bathroom and just over 1,600 square feet - methinks it too small for my family of four and two animals). But I just thought it was adorable. It was built in 1900 . . . ah, the character!

Here are some interior shots:
I'm not sure about the checkerboard floor, but it's an interesting feature. I'm digging the white walls with black trim, though.

I'm not wild about the dark cabinetry and the counters wouldn't be my choice, but I love the built-in china cabinet and the ceiling is really cool.

And I love these white painted floors and woodwork.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I have a thing for white houses. Farmhouses. Cottages. Usually clapboard. Preferably old or at least built to look old.

And here's what I might like the inside of my imaginary white farmhouse or cottage to look like.
Maybe a little funky modern farmhouse. Not too country. Maybe just quirky. With exposed beams, please.

And maybe a ticking stripe slip-covered camelback sofa. With down cushions, of course.

More exposed beams and a mix of furniture for a bit of granny chic. Assuming she's a stylish granny.
Oh, and I would need a rustic map room. Doesn't everyone?

Or I could just go spare and simple with lots of white and neutrals a la Daryl Carter . . . 

Or possibly add a few shots of color.

What about the kitchen? Oh, I've got some ideas . . . 
Any of these would do.

Something about these spaces feels cozy enough for snuggling up in the winter but light and airy enough during the warmer months. Maybe one day . . . 

What's your idea of the perfect house . . . real or imaginary?

Photos courtesy of: RealTracs, A Life's Design,, Make Room for Living, The Inspired Room, Point Click Home and House Beautiful