Bigger & Better


Random image, totally unrelated to this post: We’ve had this Hellebore planted in our front yard for several years, but it bloomed for the very first time this month!

Just a quick note to roll out my brand, spankin’ new, bigger and better blog layout. Exciting, right??? I was happy with my previous template, but was often wishing I could post larger images. Well, I finally found a suitable template with a wider main column. Images will now be over 25% larger than before! The text is also a bit bigger, so it should be quite reader-friendly. Not surprisingly, I’d like to tweak a few elements of the template, but WordPress charges a fee to users who want to edit their CSS code. So, I guess I’ll just have to deal.

What you think? Do you like the change?

Missing In Action

I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. And by quite awhile, I mean
over five months
. I am so bad at this.

The last time I posted, I was wearing flip flops…

the Phillies still had a month left in their season…

and the roses in our back alley were more than just a memory.

Tonight it’s going down to 14ºF. Sigh.

Anyway, I actually have a few potential post ideas up my sleeves, so hopefully they’ll come to fruition soon. I’m also thinking about shaking things up by changing my page theme/layout.

Stay tuned, folks. Exciting things to come. Exciting things, indeed.

PTA On The Road: New Items

There’s something that I love about vintage maps…and with summer arriving, and thoughts drifting to traveling, I present a couple of new PTA projects that I’ve had in the works…

Going Places magnet set:

Cartographic symbols are overprinted on the actual pages of a 1969 Hungarian historical atlas, so each set is unique!

And a new series of greeting cards I’ve been calling Earthly Sentiments:

Red text overprinted on images of late nineteenth-century vintage world maps.

Each card comes with a red A7 (approx. 5 x 7) envelope by French Paper Co.


I’ve corrected the grammar since I took this picture

The new cards and magnets will make their debut at the Olivet Flea Market this Saturday (22nd & Mt. Vernon Sts., in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philly). I will also have my other magnet & pin sets, letter magnets & pins, and the remainder of my natural candles and other greeting cards…oh, yes, and my yummy granola, too! (Phew!)

And mark your calendars, I will be at the OCCCDA Flea Market on June 19th, as well!

Please come out and say hi!

Pimp Their Crib + Baby Grass

Just a quick post to share one of my recent projects.

Our friends, Curtis and Tiffany, who will be having a baby soon (and very soon), asked me to paint the walls of their nursery-to-be with a tall grass motif based on their crib/curtain set.

This is what we started with:


I transferred the design onto the walls with the help of an overhead projector. Tim came to help paint one day. We mixed up a few greens for some variety.

I took this picture with my phone, so I’d have proof that I’d actually done it.

After I finished the walls, the parents-to-be installed new bamboo flooring, shades (nice choice with the brown!), an area rug, pendant light, and a comfy glider/recliner. Nice job, guys!

I couldn’t resist including a picture of the family’s cat, Pepper.

Do not be fooled by her seemingly peaceful appearance. I put myself in harm’s way to get this shot. She is the queen of her castle, and ain’t nobody messin’ with that! Good luck, baby S.!

*

In a semi-related note, our sod out back seems to be establishing itself. Yay! Plus, I over seeded the area with some old grass seed we had in the shed, and some of it has been popping up as well. So, it seems we also have some of our own baby grass!

Baby Shower Mini Cupcakes

Just a quick hello to share a few images of the mini cupcakes I made this past weekend for a baby shower in honor of our friends’ coming little one.


“Shoup” is pronounced like “shout”, but with a “p” at the end.

I made the mint (green) icing especially for Tiffany, but also made some vanilla for the boring people — sorry Curtis! ;) Haha.

I’m glad they were a hit. Yay!

Side note: These are the first images I’ve posted so far taken with my new-to-me camera! I got it from a friend, who, fortunately for me, got an itch for the next best thing, and thus, gave me a great deal on his hardly-used camera. Thanks so much, Kirk!

A Year + A Day


imagine there’s a candle

One month ago, I shared my goal to make more frequent posts before the one-year anniversary of this blog…and it would seem that I have succeeded. After posting only twenty-two times in the past eleven months (averaging to one post every three weeks), I posted twelve times in just one month’s time (one post every two-and-a-half days). I don’t think I’ll ever be a daily poster, but that doesn’t bother me. I’ll just keep plugging away at posting a few times a week. That’s enough for me.

So, Happy (belated) Birthday, little blog. Ya done good.

You Decide.

Last weekend we made a leisurely “window shopping” visit to IKEA. At the end of the store, I quickly perused the seasonal furniture (our recent yard work has put me in that mode). I noticed a new outdoor dining chair that had yet to appear on the website, but I quickly passed it by as I rushed to join Tim in the checkout line. Now don’t get excited, all we bought was a pack of little felt pads for under chair-legs (whoopee!).

So anyway. Later, I was trying to find some information about a particular chair produced by Thonet in the fifties. During my search, I happened upon an image of a different Thonet chair that immediately brought to mind the one I’d seen at IKEA the day before. The s 40F, designed by Dutch architect and designer Mart Stam, originally appeared in the 1935 Thonet catalog. As a side note, according to Thonet Germany, Stam designed the first cantilevered chair in furniture history (the s 33, in 1926) predating Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe by several years. But apparently, this was a contended issue, with Breuer and Stam actually going to German court in a patent lawsuit, to settle the issue of who was the legal inventor of the basic cantilever chair design principle.

Either way, there’s no arguing that the Thonet s 40F came way before the IKEA Vinö. But just humor me here, and take a look at the two chairs:

s 40F by Mart Stam for Thonet, 1935

Description according to Thonet Germany website: “In all of his furniture designs Mart Stam relied on straightforward forms, an aesthetic economy of means in the construction and the benefit of improved sitting comfort.” The chair is “clear and reserved in form, with ideal sitting comfort and high quality with respect to materials and processing.”
Wood:
In it’s current incarnation, the wooden strips are made of solid Iroko, a weather resistant, high-density African wood that has been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. It is similar to teak in appearance and has a smooth, even surface. All wooden parts are oiled for protection.
Metal Frame:
weather-resistant tubular brushed stainless steel
Price:
609,00€ ($820.00) from http://www.dieter-horn-designfurniture.com in Germany

Vinö by Niels Gammelgaard for IKEA, 2010

Description according to the IKEA website: “A comfortable chair that gives. Body-contoured back for great comfort. Stackable. Saves space when not in use.”
Wood:
Solid acacia, a durable hardwood, highly suitable for outdoor use. Pre-treated with oil. Not certified as responsibly managed, but IKEA claims they are working towards that goal.
Metal Frame:
Steel with silver powder coating
Price:
$59.99

The influence is obvious. Not that I’m surprised. IKEA often riffs off more famous designs. When I first saw the Vinö, I thought it was okay, but now that I’ve seen what it’s supposed to look like, it seems a bit…how should I say…lacking. But then again, fourteen IKEA versions can be bought for the price of one Thonet chair. Does the IKEA Vinö’s lack of grace, awkward armrest supports, and almost-certain lack of comfort (earth to IKEA: people do NOT have flat butts!) make it one-fourteenth the chair? Or does it’s affordability make up for it’s shortcomings? Most people wouldn’t have the luxury of choosing between the two, so does it even matter?

That’s something only you, your wallet, and your buttocks can decide.
Talk amongst yourselves.


photo via Thonet Germany