Saturday, May 30, 2009

College, Hippie, Crush

Last night I was all college-y and went to the first stop of the Dave Matthews Band summer tour at Fenway. It was a little dirty, a little hippie, both of which I think are awesome in moderate quantities.  I'm a cliche, I know, but Crush is one of my favorite songs ever. 

Also, Willie Nelson performed and I died. In a good way. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Walls and What to Hang on Them

I am always trying to find pictures I don't hate. In my bedroom in Mississippi I have the botanical illustrations and here not much. I found these on etsy and I think they're quite sweet. I saw a painting of a girl carrying a red bucket on Design*Sponge ages ago and when my computer died I lost the information and I can't find it anywhere. I feel like a grubby girl in a field in wellies with a bucket is the embodiment of everything I hope for in life. Healthy.

Will, Good

I need to stop going to garage sales and Goodwill because even though everything is super cheap etc it's probably better to just not shop. However today I couldn't resist and had to buy THESE lovely things. I have been wearing the scarf tied around my head. I am considering becoming a recluse a la Beale and the sunglasses are pretty much the best things ever. Not bad for under four bucks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Birds and Ceramics

Lovely ceramics from Laura Walls Taylor's etsy shop. So pretty. I adore those owl candlestick holders. 

Exposing My Inner Geek

Next weekend my mother and sister and I will be trekking to Atlantic City, New Jersey to go the taping of Antiques Roadshow. My mother won VIP passes at a recent auction and, at the risk of exposing my inner geek, I must say that I'm extremely excited. Roadshow is one of my favorite shows. Right now we're rummaging through our things trying to figure out what to bring. Each of us is able to bring two items to be appraised. Such decisions. I shall keep all five of you posted because I know you care deeply. 

And yes, the image above IS like glimpsing into my future, mom jeans and all. 

Feathers, Chanel, Ballet

I challenge you to find something more beautiful today:

Video by Karl Lagerfeld ( I can't embed it, unfortunately) filmed at the Chanel Haute Couture salon in Paris. The ballerina is Elena Glurdjidze, principle dancer for the British National Ballet, and she's wearing a Chanel tutu made of feathers. It will be used in a production of "The Dying Swan." Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. 

Image source

Grass and Spring or InStyle Lies to Me

Graduations are horrific occasions. Unless one is a proud parents (rather than weary and hot and worried about one's child's uncertain future as my mother was) or an excited graduate (rather than a bit hungover and miserable at being wrenched from one's school and friends into an uncertain and bleary future) it's just hot and boring and there is grass and you have to dress up a bit but not more or less than everyone else. Any bitterness toward my own college graduation and how it left me unemployed and a cat lady? Hmm. Anyway. I have to go to several graduations this year of the high school variety (I didn't go to my high school graduation, perhaps if I had I might be filled with happy thoughts about graduations). InStyle thinks that I should wear high heels and carry a clutch and look TERRIBLY chic. I feel like Greencastle PA high school probably requires something less. Flats at the least. What does one even wear to high school graduations?  I didn't go to mine and I was living in England when Dos and Tres graduated.  A very simple summer frock seems like a good idea.  Something like this?

a) Charlotte Russe Floral Dress
b) Forever 21 Linen Summer Dress

Hannah < Nigella Lawson (Mathematically True)

Dorothy Zbornak wouldn't eat it but I tried. Using the ever so classy Philadelphia recipe below I made a seriously Americano Cheesecake. As you can see it split up the middle but was still delightful. Yum.

1-1/2 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
4 tbs flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300°F if using a dark nonstick springform pan). Mix crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and sour cream and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from side of pan; cool before removing side of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Grubby, Scruffy

I'm a big believer in grubbiness and scruffiness. I am usually a bit grubby, a lot scruffy. I think houses, cottages especially should be a bit grubby, a bit scruffy, a bit mismatched. I think furniture should be USED and that end tables and dressers should be beaten to death and that there is always room for inherited furniture. My dresser is the one my mum bought in Cambridge in 1979 and it was used then. I painted it white but it's old. As hell. I love it. When I was wee I had the bookshelf from my dad's old room and the desk I've always had in my room was originally in my great-grandmother's house. These are not deeply beautiful antique pieces. They are, as I said, beaten, and scruffy and a bit grubby. I am having to redo my room so as to have a larger bed and I love buying sheets and mattresses and pillows but the bed itself is an issue and a half. I want something beat. It's very hard to find pictures of beds and bedrooms that look beaten and old and fun without ACTUALLY being a Zara Home Catalogue or Anthro and while I love both in small doses I'm just not that hip.

Images via Summer at Design Is Mine and cottages for sale in Wales and the Lake District

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


With this over my white duvet cover. Yes.

Bed Bed Bed Bed

I'm getting a new bed. Which is exciting. I love mattress shopping, buying sheets, my duvet needs a new cover because its looking a little college at the moment. All of which I'm trying to do on the cheap. Part of me thinks that the above Ikea Manger headboard is heaven, but the house is very cottage-y and my ceilings are low. But it is so very fun.

I also love the Lillesand Ikea Bed but not sure about the black. My room is a lilac/lavendery/grey purple and all the other furniture is white so I don't know about the black. Maybe if I had light linens? What are our thoughts? Feelings? Help?!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coach Plea

While Hannah and I were doing happy shopping in Mercersburg, we stumbled into the Coach outlet and I was thinking how much I wish Coach would go back to it's classic styles. I hate to rain on anyone's Coach parade so if I do, I apologize, but I think Coach has become totally naff in recent years. 

Look how beautiful the classic styles are. As a child I used to walk around the house lugging my mother's Coach bag, much like the one above, around on my shoulder, thinking I was grown-up and glamourous. The color is perfect and they are so sophisticated and beautiful. A bag like this never goes out of style. Coach, hear my plea. End the shenanigans. End the fug. Go back to classic.

Weekend Joy

This weekend I went down to Mercersburg to visit Hannah and we went garage sale-ing, swimming at the lake, and shopping. Although I didn't find anything wondrous at the garage sales, Hannah did give me these pimp earrings that she made and they are beautiful. 

Garage Sale

I found these over the weekend at garage sale. For two dollars for all the glassy things. Cuatro found the most the blue suitcase for a dollar. We are into dollars. Not spending them in numbers greater than five. I'm not sure what I'm going to put in the class shenanigan, maybe jewelry on my dresser? Maybe I'll just leave it there alone. It's pretty lovely.


So since I'm feeling slightly 'eh' I may or may not have been watching Golden Girls for the last hour with the cat and wishing I had some cheesecake. I know. Yes. I really am in my twenties. Not a crazy cat lady in my late sixties. In the event that you would like to make me some cheesecake and bring it to me you can bring this, from Nigella.

150g digestive biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted or very soft
600g cream cheese
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
11/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
11/2 tablespoons lemon juice
20cm Springform tin
extra-strength tin foil
145ml tub sour cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Serving Size : Serves 8

Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again. Line the bottom of the Springform tin, pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of a spoon. Put the tin in the fridge to set, and preheat the oven to 180ÂșC/gas mark 4.
Beat the cream cheese gently until it’s smooth, then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the vanilla and lemon juice. Put the kettle on.
Line the outside of the chilled tin with strong foil so that it covers the bottom and sides in one large piece, and then do the same again and put it into a roasting dish. This will protect the cheesecake from the water as it is cooked in its water bath.
Pour the cream-cheese filling into the chilled biscuit base, and then pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin around the cheesecake. It should come about halfway up; don’t overfill as it will be difficult to lift up the tin. Put it into the oven and cook for 50 minutes. It should feel set, but not rigidly so: you just need to feel confident that when you pour the sour cream over, it will sit on the surface and not sink in. Whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla for the topping and pour over the cheesecake. Put it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gingerly remove the Springform, unwrap it and stand it on a rack to cool. When it’s cooled down completely, put it in the fridge, removing it 20 minutes before eating to take the chill off. Unmould and when you cut into it, plunge a knife in hot water first.

Happy Feet

This weekend Mary came down to Mercersburg and we did (a lot of) shopping and went to the lake and I found these (during the shopping, not the laking). Mine are a lavendery wonderfulness and they make my feet happy.  There is dancing involved.  

Three Sisters

I saw these images from Three Sisters Ink on Design Sponge so you probably saw them too, but I just had to comment because they are so darn pretty. I especially adore the Deco images, but the Whimsy images would also be darling for a child. Or a full-grown adult. Or me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Farmer's Wife

Something about being in the country makes me want to be a farmer's wife. I know a Scottish lady called The Hon. Mrs. Anastasia Something-Something or other. But she goes by Tuggy and wears wellingtons everyday and yells at sheep. She dresses up in very posh clothes for various events and goes into Edinburgh and London and Abroad for holidays and fun but most of her life she knits and worries about cows and sheep. I think I would like to be a posh farmers wife and ride to hounds and muck around with sheep and cows in the rain, wear the above. I think so.

Shop the above here.

My Own Horn

I made this. I forgot about it until I came back here. I cut the wood and measured and drilled holes and then cut pegs. This is made with pegs and holes, not nails. I know. Then I applied varnish. Mum wanted a tiny table to put keys on that wouldn't stick into the door way. So I made this.

The Hills Are Alive

After dinner last night Cuatro and I went for a wander around the back garden and I took photos of the house and the hills. The farm house is in The Corner, as the locals call it, where the two mountain ridges meet. We are on the last paved road before the foothills of the Tuscarora Mountains. The farmer who rents our land has cows on it (no they don't smell) and the field is full of calves. It's just about my favourite place ever.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Anthro

Dear Anthro Caranday Dress

I love you. Please be mine forever. I want to have beautiful days on my side. I want you and I and a big chunky flower necklace to be together always.


Things I Must Do

Places I must visit: The Textile Museum in Washington, DC. It looks fabulous but seeing as I'm kind of a textile freak I run the risk of running up a rather large bill at the gift shop. Included in that purchase would be this as I suddenly feel like I can't live without it. 

Has anyone ever been? 

VIntage Art Deco

I saw this on Etsy and I think I've fallen in love. I adore art deco in general and this is just gorgeous. I wish I had an extra $500 and so this would be adorning my finger right now. 

Oh Martha

When I was nine one of my best friends' mother started an activity club. She was one of those mums that can't have kid's just in the house, hanging out. Kids had to be DOING something so as not to set anything on fire/write on the walls/corrupt wee Rachel's mind. In one 'meeting' we made embossed cards very much like this one. I know everyone in the universe gets Martha's Craft of the Day emails but here this is anyway, it requires minimum capability. When I was nine we did nothing involving heat guns and just held it over a burner on the stove. Excellent craft if you have nine year olds. Excellent craft if you fear fire, crayons, corruption.

Lookie Lookie

Mummie and Dad's wedding is at A Practical Wedding because they really did have the mellowest and nicest wedding. Look at my Mum's pretty face! Thanks Meg! See their lovely faces here.

Above: Mum and Dad cutting cake
Below: Cousin Lucy, Mummie, Uncle David, Granddad

Summer House, or "You Could Be a Farmer In Those Clothes"

This is what I'm going to try to look like to look like when I go to the farm stand and the grocery store later today. As an alternative to cuttoffs and my college sweatshirt I think it works. Not actually convinced I will manage. No one dresses up in Mercersburg, it's a farming community with a very posh prep school and some good restaurants.

Still haven't managed to unpack anything. I'm a right disaster today.

Pullover $39.99; Shorts$39.50; Sneakers $45.50

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Again

There was a dead bird in my bedroom. I freaked out and went insane with disinfectant. I live in fear of scabies. I cursed the house keeper loudly. There was screaming. We aren't sure how it got in but it's gone. So that's good.

After fifteen hours in the car with Cuatro and two cats, a night in a hotel in Bristol Virginia and a trip through seven states, it is nice to be in Pennsylvania. Now to unpack...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Random Cool Thing 2.0

At least I found a clue about my grandmother's pin. While skimming through Etsy, I found this millefiore pin in the vintage section. This one is also from Italy with the same markings on the back. I feel I kind of need it. Just for matching purposes, you know...


One day I would like a white kitchen full of cathedral glass bottles lined up on the windowsills so that when the sun shines the bottles will catch the light and scatter it across my kitchen like dozens of little prisms. 

*Image via Sha

Safe Space

I would like to live here please. This along with Anne Spencer's house seem like perfect places to begin my career as a reclusive writer with cats. There are already spaniels and we all know how I feel about spaniels. Yes. I think so.

Yes Please

For me? Why THANKS.

Benedikta Pearl Necklace via Kate Gray Designs