Passion Pursuit

This week, a friend posted a link to a very thought-provoking article called, “Screw Finding Your Passion.” In it the author, Mark Manson; tired of getting emails from people asking how they can find their passion, basically pointed to the lack of pursuit, more than the not knowing. We tend to ignore that which consumes most of our free-time not because we don’t know what we like, but rather out of fear, laziness, or avoidance.  We tell ourselves it couldn’t possibly make us money. It wouldn’t be practical. The negative self-talk sets in, and we ignore what we should be pursuing, all the while wondering why we’re so miserable. My passion is all things mid-century modern, and I make no apologies. The fashion, the architecture, the furniture; I spend stupid amounts of free time looking at it, implementing it into my daily life, and learning about it.  I watch shows like Mad Men and Masters of Sex, read books about Charles and Ray Eames, and the other big designers of the time. Anything to get a glimpse of life back then. I stumbled upon this passion and I’m so glad I did, because for whatever reason, it continues to intrigue me. How many people can say that they get to focus on what they love? Mr. Manson’s colorful illustration was the kick in the pants I needed to finish my “pet bed project” for the blog that was taking too long to complete. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it, it’s that I made everything else in my life a priority while I put my “passion” on the back burner. And that’s okay too. Sometimes you have to choose. Life happens but the point is deep down, you know what you love. You just have to open your eyes. I highly recommend reading it if you need a little encouragement and don’t mind a few strategically placed f*bombs.  Find the link here.

On to the fun stuff. This week, I decided to depart from my usual purist tendencies for an upcycle project. I took a useless old remote speaker from the 1960’s (once part of a larger unit) and turned it into a pet bed.  I own a fat dog who would much rather fart in my lap, but I do think this piece would make a fantastic cat bed. You decide.

So unlike the usual blog…I created a YouTube video to show the transformation. Keep in mind, this was an experiment. I’d do a few things differently next time, but I am pleased with the final product.

 

Before.
Before.
After. Meow.
After. Meow.

Did you watch the video or just skip ahead? Stop being lazy. It’s like 1 minute long. Geez.

If you’re thinking I’m crazy, and you’d  rather spend $400- $600 on a custom pet bed, I am as always, here to help.

No seriously. Some people love their fur babies more than their actual blood relatives. I’m not here to judge. If you’ve got major love for your dog or cat and a case of the MCM fever, check out these other options:

 

Hey! My cat needs a cute place to do his business. Go here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/191119047/the-mini-cabinet-mid-century-modern-pet?ref=listing-shop-header-3
“Hey! My cat needs a cute place to do his business.” Go here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/191119047/the-mini-cabinet-mid-century-modern-pet?ref=listing-shop-header-3
Cairudesign can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/166359696/mid-century-modern-cat-furniture?ref=shop_home_active_4
“Cat towers are hideous!” Cairudesign can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/166359696/mid-century-modern-cat-furniture?ref=shop_home_active_4

 

A frenchie sitting on anything gets my vote:

For the Lloyd Dog Bed go here: ttps://www.etsy.com/listing/166176684/lloyd-dog-bed?ref=shop_home_active_9
“Um, I paid 2 grand for my dog. He will NOT sleep on a Walmart bed.” For the Lloyd Dog Bed go here: ttps://www.etsy.com/listing/166176684/lloyd-dog-bed?ref=shop_home_active_9

As it so happens, my passion is not making pet beds. I appreciate them, but I’ll leave it to the experts.

That said, my cute little custom number will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop AND at the 1st Annual Murrieta Valley High School Flea Market on November 7th.

Come and see me! I’ll have all my pieces on display and for sale! More info to follow next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Additions

A few weeks back, I ventured to one of my favorite estate sale-ing haunts, Hemet, CA to shop for my Etsy store. I managed to find a few things for the shop-so do go and visit, but what’s more exciting is that I had a couple great finds for things we needed in our home.

I visited my good friend Sabrina, owner of Finders Keepers Estate Services and bought this fantastic Costco chair for $10. I’ve been wanting one for the kitchen for a couple of reasons: seating for my little man’s desk area, and for a step stool to get to my spices above the stove. This sweet and functional piece serves both purposes.

Cosco Chair in excellent vintage condition.
Cosco Chair in excellent vintage condition.

Then I moved on to another sale before heading out-of-town. I’m so glad I did. Remember our “office” that has to turn into a guest room? Problem is: it has no overhead electricity or outlet. Solution? Fantastic swag lamp!

Swagtastic!
Swagtastic!

I’m sure we’re breaking all sorts of Feng Shui rules in here. The bed is in line with the doors….GASP…but this was the best option for the space. Anyway, that gorgeous glass globe has 12 feet of chain and a wall mount for flipping it on and off from bed! $22 buckaroos solved a huge issue in this room.

My chair DIY project from last year in all it's orange glory aside my DeMan Goodwill find!
My DIY chair re-covering project from last year in all it’s orange glory aside my DeMan Goodwill find!

Not quite done with the wall pictured above…but that’s a project for another day. Once again, we’re ready to receive the guests. Next week, we’ll get in gear about getting ready to receive the baby (boy!). You know I’m going to have to have an overall midcentury modern feel in that room too…

005

…until then, sweet, swag-filled dreams to you.

 

Brass is Back

That’s right, folks. Brass is back, and mixing finishes is no longer considered design disaster. And thank goodness too, because I don’t know if I could handle not having the approval of designers everywhere. HA!

You’ve probably heard the saying “rules are made to be broken,” and in the past mixing finishes such as silver, brass, gold, and brushed stainless steel was a big no-no. It’s pretty evident however, that idea is falling away and people are feeling more empowered to take home design into their own hands.  Interest in the mid-century modern aesthetic and designing with vintage pieces lends itself to a little mix and match. All the better, I say!

Here are some of my favorite brass pieces featured on Etsy.com that just go to show that brass is back in a big way (If you haven’t been to Etsy.com yet, you’re missing out.).

Brass Lighting:

Check out this FANTASTIC 1970's 5-armed floor lamp from alsdesignvintage
Check out this FANTASTIC 1970’s 5-armed floor lamp from alsredesignvintage

For more information about this piece, follow this link:

alsredesignvintage

Brass Home Décor:

Etsy Seller genrestoration has quite a few brass figurines if you're looking for yourself, or as a gift for a friend.
Etsy Seller genrestoration has quite a few brass figurines if you’re looking for yourself, or as a gift for a friend.

Link to Mr. Peacock and others: genrestoration

Brass Wall Hangings:

Etsy Seller TheWildWorld offers flying brass seagulls
Etsy Seller TheWildWorld offers flying brass seagulls

Link to TheWildWorld

Brass Gracing Dining Tables:

There's even brass in my shop! MidCenturyObsession
There’s even brass in my shop! MidCenturyObsession

Link to Atomic Brass Candle Holders: MidCenturyObsession

Brass Accessories:

Brass Magazine Rack from VintageShoppingSpree
Brass Magazine Rack from VintageShoppingSpree

Link for more: VintageShoppingSpree

Brass as an Accent for Mid Century Modern furniture:

Danish Modern offerings with Brass Accents
Danish Modern offerings with Brass Accents from OstrichandPeacock

For more info: OstrichandPeacock

Brass Planters:

Brass planter from TheCottageCheese
Brass planter from TheCottageCheese

Link to this and more! See TheCottageCheese “Brass Menagerie”

Here’s a quick tip if you decide to put some brass into your design. Use Brasso. You can get it at Lowe’s or Home Depot….and I’ve tried the half and half vinegar/water mixture and haven’t had much luck. Brasso works beautifully to bring aged patina back to bright and shiny. (Make sure to use a soft, lint free cloth)

It’s evident to me no matter where you shop, that brass is definitely back – and not going anywhere anytime soon. Feel free to step out of the matchy-matchy box.  It can be done with excellent results!

Join me next week….we’re going to talk trending shops for Mid Century Modern Design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trending: The Bar Cart

I’m baaaaaaaack! Took a little breather in January but I’m back and boy do we have some fun trending MCM info to discuss. Now, I try to be a positive and upbeat person, but I can’t help but point out when things seem to be getting a little silly. The typical “Mad Men” bar cart is everywhere. Everyone wants one (myself included)….and the prices are going through the roof. It’s getting crazy, people. Here’s a picture perfect example of a bar cart from Entertainment Weekly:

Bar Cart

Okay….so you get the idea. The bar cart is a place to congregate, entertain, serve drinks, talk about the day….and they conveniently roll from room to room! So what would you pay for a bar cart?  A few weeks back, I was in a thrift shop and spotted something labeled as a “utility shelf.” Well, it was mostly wood, had two shelves, it was on casters, and looked a lot like a bar cart. I snorted to myself when I saw the price tag of $45. Pretty bold for a thrift shop, right? Well, as I left, I noticed the “Everything 50% off” sign. I told myself I’d think about it and come back if I really wanted it. Later that day, I decided it was worth a trip back; but guess what? My bar cart was gone. Snapped up by a much smarter someone else. I’ve been kicking myself since. Here’s why: you really can’t find a bar cart on Etsy or Ebay for less than $100 now. Maybe someday, interest will die down, and we’ll see some relief-but I wouldn’t expect that to happen any time soon. In fact, a carbon copy of the Mad Men version pictured above is on Etsy right now for $4000.00. Yes. Four THOUSAND dollars. Apparently, it was designed in 1952 by Italian designer Cesare Lacca and it is “much sought after.” Now, I’m an Etsy store owner myself and I support other shop owners. But that price tag is ridiculous. Absolutely insane.

If you’re interested in building your own bar, Etsy.com is actually a great place to start. There are so many different variations; shape, size, material – you can decide what type of bar cart fits your space and budget. If you lean toward the industrial look and love projects, laceandlacquer.com featured a cool DIY tutorial on this type of cart:

laceandlacquer.com
laceandlacquer.com

I did find one bar cart under $100 from one of my favorite sellers on Etsy.com. Shop name is  Carouselandfolk. I love reasonable prices and reasonable sellers!

Click on the link above, or search carouselandfolk on Etsy.com
Click on the link above, or search carouselandfolk on Etsy.com

More to that point, here are a few other notable offerings…

If Hollywood Regency is more your style, Etsy seller “HardFinds” has this:

Click on Link above or go to Etsy.com and search: hardfinds
Click on link above or go to Etsy.com and search hardfinds

My funky-stand-out favorite is this one from Artiques71:

Etsy.com search artiques71
Etsy.com search artiques71

Need a pop of color? Check out ElectricMarigold:

Etsy.com search ElectricMarigold
Etsy.com search ElectricMarigold

Finally, if Typical Teak is your look – look no further. TwoGuysVintage has this:

TwoGuysVintage
Click link above or go to Etsy.com and search “TwoGuysVintage”

 

As you can see, there still some fair prices out there – and so many different types of carts to choose from. Happy Shopping….and may your bar cart bring lots of entertaining and enjoyment to your future! By the way…if you find a deal or a steal – I’d love to hear about it!

CHEERS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modernism Week Preview

A couple of weekends ago, I was joined by my lovely mother in Palm Springs for a tour of Modernism Week. We had selected a walking tour featuring Modern Commercial Structures of Fashion and Finance. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, and we found the tour to be both interesting and informative. The tour was offered through Modernism Week but hosted by Palm Springs Historical Society. There were people from all over the country and even Canada that joined us to view some of the buildings that line Indian Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

IMG_0345 IMG_0343

Side note: If you go down to P.S. on your own, make sure to hit the Palm Springs Visitors Center and pick up a handy $5 map of “Modern Palm Springs.” That handy little thing is like GOLD to you MCM nuts out there. It has a detailed map numbered with 82 different points of interest, both residential and commercial. Each of those 82 points are listed and have a small description featuring address, year built, and architect info. JACKPOT!!!!

 

 

IMG_0352 Palm Springs 001

This Union Bank above doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when you get to the terra-cotta wall that faces the street (500 S. Palm Canyon) you’ll see a beautiful story in pictures of Palm Springs history from it’s very beginning to modern-day. This location was an excellent example of desert modernism, as the rock façade (not pictured) incorporates the use of desert elements.

 

 

 

Palm Springs 004 IMG_0360

This Bank of America (formerly City National Bank) building is not what you’d typically expect in MCM architecture, but exhibits use of mid-century modern components. “Brise-soleil” (pronounced bree-soh-ley) is an architectural element popular at the time that shielded the building from direct sunlight, but still allowed filtered light to enter the space. The reflection you see in the windows on the above-right photo used to be covered by a geometrically patterned brise-soleil as seen below.

 

Brise-Soleil. J PEG

Both photos shamlessly scanned from my new "Palm Springs Holiday" book by Peter Moruzzi. You need to get one.
Both photos shamelessly scanned from my new “Palm Springs Holiday” book by Peter Moruzzi. You need to get one.

Palm Springs Holiday

Thanks, Ma!

 

 

Anyway….I’m skipping some…but saving the best two for last.

Palm Springs 012 Palm Springs 010

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan (now known as Chase Bank) and it’s parabolas blew me away….

blog.preservationnation.org IMG_0371

 

 

And the former Santa Fe Savings building was under renovation and will be unveiled soon and will serve as a museum. Can’t wait to get back and see it after completion.

 

 

If you’re into mid-century modern architecture, a visit to Palm Springs is an absolute must. There is such a large concentration of original buildings that have been lovingly preserved and thoughtfully restored. Hooray for preservation!

Albert Frey's star....Frey was considered the father of "desert modernism."
Albert Frey’s star….Frey was considered the father of “desert modernism.”

The next Modernism Week is the biggest as far as tourist turn-out and tour offerings. It is in February 2014 and features more tours than you can shake a stick at. If you’re into mid-century modernism, desert modernism, or celebrity playgrounds of yore, get your butt out to Palm Springs. Some of the tours are already sold out….so if you want to go, you must get your tickets asap! Go to Modernism Week 2014.

 

Something’s Missing…

I recently began work on my guest bedroom. I’d hoped that someday it would be a nursery, but I’m not sure that will happen for our family anytime soon. Needless to say the room has been largely neglected as a result of creative avoidance and we actually do have overnight guests from time to time. We had the bed and bedspread already. What I needed were basic decorative items and night stands. Today, I picked up some gorgeous solid wood night stands for a great price on none other than Craigslist. The seller was awesome and easy to work with. That’s not always the case. My new little night stands fit the small bedroom perfectly. However, I’m left with the feeling that it’s not quite finished yet. As pretty as the night stands are, and as atomic and fabulous as my new vintage wall clock is, the room is still missing something. Can you help me figure out what that is?

Something's missing.
Something’s missing.

What is it? Something is definitely off, isn’t it? Is the lamp too big for the space? Do I need matching lamps on either side on a smaller scale? Maybe.

I know I’m lacking color for sure. My inspiration is the painting on the wall that I found at a thrift shop in Lake Elsinore for a steal.

Inspiration piece
Inspiration piece
001
Craigslist Treasure
Do the flowers and pottery have to go? Is the chair too orange? Something about it irritates me.
I think the flowers and ceramics have to go. Also: my feeling is that the chair is too muted. Love orange, but don’t like this version. Something about it irritates me.

And the moulding on the walls? That irritates me too…but I don’t have the time, the means or the time to fix it right now.

So here’s my idea. The same Etsy shop owner that sold me the atomic clock also has a matching set of orange lights. I’m thinking one MUST go on each side table if I can find a home for my ginormous ceramic lamp.

Vintage Spartus clock in working order and near perfect condition found on Etsy.com . Visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheAtomicAttic?ref=seller_info for more!
Vintage Spartus clock in working order and near perfect condition found on Etsy.com . Visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheAtomicAttic for more!

Here’s the question: Can you see these on the bedside tables or am I nuts?

Soooo Atomic.
Soooo Atomic. I love them.

My concerns are: Lighting – the lamps will be the only source of light, so they must give off adequate wattage.

Color- I need a pop of color somewhere, tangerine, yellow, mustard, something from the print on the wall.

Window – Should I pull the faux wood blinds and do drapes(next to the chair) with a pattern?

Suggestions anyone?

The Last Bookstore, the Best Mom

I have it on good authority that one of the most unusual and unique places to visit around Los Angeles (especially if you dig knowledge) is the Last Bookstore in downtown L.A.

http://lastbookstorela.com/about/Resampled_2013-04-06_13-11-51_749

Not only is the décor cool and funky, the prices on used books and records are unbeatable. The Last Bookstore is one of the few places left that still buys books and records for resale. Recently, my parents visited and loved the place. While there, my mom picked me up a Better Homes & Gardens 1956 original Decorator’s Book with the dust cover still in tact for A DOLLAR!!! Being mid-century modern enthusiast and book lover, I had to feature The Last Bookstore…..keeper of mid-century treasure.

2013-04-06_14-00-40_561

Resampled_2013-04-06_13-29-26_475

The Decorator’s Book my mom scored is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received, and I’ve loved paging through and reading the text, and seeing how things were done back then. Not to mention I could probably consult on the set of Mad Men for set decoration now. Hello? Any takers?

Decorating Book. Coolest. Gift. Ever.
Decorating Book. Coolest. Gift. Ever.
004
Check out the language!! “Junior wants a wide-open space to play and gay colors”
“Father needs a quiet spot to rest after a tough work day”
“Mother wants a beautiful home to express her personality”
Check out these kitchen pics...
Check out these kitchen pics…

009

008

013

This pink mess looks to be a bathroom. Whoever lived here LOVED boomerang pattern.
This pink mess looks to be a bathroom. Whoever lived here LOVED patterns.

003 005 016

Love the bookstore. Can’t wait to visit myself. Love the book. Love you, Mom!