My Ampersand

The ampersands went neck & neck, but in the end the battle was decided by four votes... which went to my talented opponent. My & was not, alas, the better letter. Did you guess which was mine?

I couldn't decide what shape to give my ampersand, so I decided to play with two in watercolors and gouache. 

It was a pleasure to break out my brushes for the Better Letters contest, thank you for voting!


Better Letters: Ampersand

Do I have any letter-lovers or typophiles in my readership? If so, a have a Friday treat for you...

Today I'm participating in a battle of hand-lettered ampersands at Better Letters. Better Letters hosts daily competitions between designers: one letter, one day to create, one winner.

Which & is the Better Letter? Go vote!


The Rampant Lion

Adam's family is large enough that it would be a stretch of finances and creative gift ideas to purchase a present for each sibling a Christmastime. They've devised a clever strategy to ensure full stockings for all: we each draw names for a large gift, three sets of stocking stuffers, and a free gift. It's always fun to see what is given freely. Sometimes a found item, sometimes a talent, sometimes a batch of cookies or a clean car.

This year my mother-in-law drew my name and gave me a free gift with immense value- a domed glass cheese dish that belonged to her mother, and an entertaining research project.

It is, as it turns out, a beautiful example of early American pressed glass, created by Gillinder & Sons in Philadelphia. The pattern is also one of the first to feature the acid etching technique that gives the lion its frosted appearance. How incredible that this dish, crafted in 1877, now resides in our china cabinet. Rest assured that it's safely beyond the reach of our own rampant lions! I'll be so proud to showcase it in future tablescapes, thinking of the history (both of family and country) that it represents.

For more information on Gillinder & Sons glassware, read this highly informative article, or try here. Other Rampant Lion covered cheese dishes can be seen here and here. To find similar pieces for sale, try here or here.


Pinning on a Sick Day

I've been a sniffly, shivery, sleepy, surly sick person this week. Not exactly a pleasure to be around, even online. Cold medicines ought to add "may cause incoherent tweeting and typo-riddled blog posts" to their list of side effects. Blah. So today I'm in hibernation with a lap cat, a mug of tea, and the safely non-verbal inspiration of Pinterest. Pretty pictures may indeed cure what ails me.

Pinned Images by Dress, Design, & Decor, and Cooper Carras via The City Sage

I'm closing in on 1,000 pins, and gaining followers even more rapidly. In fact, I now a have a larger audience on Pinterest than on this blog, twitter, and facebook... combined. This is somehow both immensely flattering and discouraging. A part of me appreciates Pinterest as a resource, and as a wealth of ideas. I'm always happy to share an image that catches my eye, and thrilled when others repin. But another (grumpier) part of me wonders if my own creativity can ever have the same resonance. It could be the cough medicine talking, but it's something to think about as I enter a new year of blogging.


New Year's Resolution: Read More

This is magic. And we all need a little magic in our Tuesdays, don't we?

Time to dive into the stack of books I received for Christmas. The truth is, I'm still the same little girl who reads under the covers with a flashlight!

PS: Makes my spine-out shelving experiment look rather tame, doesn't it?


Faint White Lace

I'm fickle with color. I have a crush now and again, but I always come back to neutrals. Right now I'm admiring the subtlety of white lines on a pale background.

Jaipur Rugs via One Kings Lane, White Lace Tattoo via Here


Crushing on Valentine Hearts

Would it be odd to decorate for Valentine's Day? Because it might be nice to sprinkle the house with little hearts...

Paper Heart Garland via PinterestLittle Stone Hearts by Sarah&Bendrix on Etsy

I love hearts as a graphic pattern, but ugh, look at me- I just kicked the Christmas tree to the curb, and I'm already moving on to decorate for another holiday. Too soon, Elizabeth. 

...but I think I will start tinkering with some letterpress Valentines.


Here & Now: Winter Light

Winter decorating is all about brightening up a dark house, and adding some glamour to a season otherwise bundled up in fleece and flannel.

I arranged my collection of apothecary jars on top of the china cabinet, where the glass and a garland of glittered fronds catch the light through our bay windows. Each vessel contains a speckled mercury glass vase (remnants from our wedding decor). In the evenings I turn on flickering LED candles and the effect is magical: golden glow and silver reflections on every surface.

Our new chandelier is dressed for the season as well, sporting candles with a gilded finish. There's certainly no rule that says you can't accessorize an accessory!

How do you add extra light and sparkle to your space?


Resolution: Wake Up Earlier

Not a resolution I'm thrilled to be sticking to after a long and lazy vacation. Oh, caffeine and pretty things, please get me through the day...

Molly Hatch Menagerie Glass from Anthropologie, Retro Coffee Print from Etsy


Flea Market Resolutions

Adam and I are taking one last day off, not so much for vacation, but rather for everything that we avoided during our vacation. There are two cats overdue for a bath, two stockings waiting to be tucked away until next year, what looks like two weeks worth of mess to tackle, and two people who need to get a good night's sleep before returning to work tomorrow.

Why are we yawning? Well, we may have procrastinated on chores, but we got an early start on our resolutions. Very, very early. We watched the first sunrise of 2012 as we arrived at the flea market! I wrote about my goals for a new year of antiquing in this month's issue of The Point, the official magazine for the Alameda Point Antiques Faire.  

It is awfully fun to see my photographs on glossy paper! If you couldn't pick up a copy at the Flea, you can access the digital version of The Point here

We added some choice vintage prints to our ever-growing pile of loot (both scavenged and gifted) that has yet to be shared on this blog. If the sun comes out today, I'll add a photo shoot to my to-do list. Right after my nap.

Happy New Year, friends.