Sunday, January 31, 2010

all you need is love...



when love is true


february 1st. the love month has officially begun, and the barrage of sappiness will be never-ending 'round these here parts. groundhog day. black history month. presidents day. shortest month of the year. it's a very good month.

and it means we are only 6 more weeks away from spring! hopefully. i guess we have to wait and see what the ole' groundhog has to say this year. i will also totally be indulging in a bill murray movie fest this tuesday.

******update... peep amy merrick's "groundhog day" living in series- it is spot-on! too bad i can't buy miss chelsea cook a groundhog online.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

table manners...


anyone else collect mis-matched silverware? i do! especially spoons. i like having pretty spoons in my life. comes in handy when i justify icecream as my fifth food group. i have old sweet tea spoons, berry spoons, caviar spoons, and table setting spoons. i feel like the bubba gumps of spoons.

silver markings 1

crown marking

my mother usually sneaks a few pieces of vintage flatware into care packages or my christmas stocking. my favorite are the pieces she thrifts that belonged to hotels. from the swanky, fancy pants variety to the humble likes of holiday inn.

i love the little markings and ornamental flourishes.

bridal silver

my silverware pattern

but nothing is more special than wedding silverware. mine is gortham lancaster. it was apparently very popular in the gilded era- ooh la la! and it is also the same pattern as my grandmother's and my big sister's. i like the beaded piping, and the girly roses.

it might be about time to practice super-adultish, wifely homemaking duties. like polishing silver, for instance, not exactly a chore i incorporate into my cleaning routine. or maybe it is time for me to pull out the ben and jerry's americone dream out of the freezer and watch the daily show with my husband. i will probably go with the latter.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

tied up with string...

bakers twine 2

since embroidering my wedding quilt, i have been re-discovering my hefty stock of embroidery floss. oodles. also, since i am a crazy saver, i realized i have an abundance of random loose threads and bits. i was this close to tossing them, since they weren't really long enough to do much with... but then i thought of something.

maybe i could make my own baker's twine! i don't have any, and i remembered a super easy technique we learned in a fibers class at SCAD.

twine closeup
mmm yummy valentine's colors.

1. take two pieces of embroidery floss( about 3 feet or longer) and tie two knots, one at each end.
2. tie one end to a doorknob, or a table leg, or anything secure.
3. twist the two strands together and watch the candy cane swirl appear.
4. i twist mine extra tight, so that the twine starts to curl up on itself. i find once i untie the final piece that some of the tension unwinds. if the strand has extra twist, it will settle once untied.
5. once you've untied your baker's twine, wrap around a piece of cardboard or an old bobbin- et voila!

bakers twine 1

*i've had a hard time making especially long twine. i can only make a strand suitable for tying on tags or small parcels or treats.

i also googled some alternative methods, and other gals who have made their own. try here and here, for some more inspiration!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

cross your t's and dot your i's...

calligraphy class

i am doing a happy dance right now because today i found a little match box for a $1.

"match" box

and when i slid the little top off, i found a little surprise... pen nibs! i LOVE happy surprises. love 'em, can't get enough of 'em.

pen nibs

and just in time for my calligraphy class this saturday! i am now an official member of the society of scribes. it makes me giggle. i wonder if we have a secret handshake or special secret password. i keep picturing a class full of jessica tandys and maggie smiths. and then me. perfect.

today i am grateful for...

the glorious showing of vintage valentines at both the brooklyn flea and the americana & antiques fair.

i snagged this ovenex heart pan and loaded up on sweet 1920s cards. it was hard to even leave some behind-i swear i could have found good homes for them all!

heart full of valentines
the entire loot

valentine greeting

belle valentine
the poppy and bluebelle valentines.

valentine greetings
a little red headed cutie

i specs valentine

you're the only one i see
winner of "most clever" valentine.

oh deer valentine

i'm a deer valentine
my darling dear

little girl with suitcase
such a stylish lil' lady

and whilst rummaging through piles and piles, i found one that pulled on every heartstring of mine...

sweetest peach
two georgia peaches, sittin' in a tree...

and ed's! he even happily handed over a few bills to the nice lady-with a smile and everything! although after a few more laps around the flea, and one down payment on an old shoe factory trolley, he was practically dragging me out by my ear. oh true love and marriage ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010



oh we meet again. it has been a loooong time since my fanny has stepped into a gym. and while i prefer taking classes or walking around the park, sometimes it really is more convenient to bite the bullet and join the masses in a gym. besides, i have a few sweet little somethings in my closet that i want to break out, the moment the temperature warms up. the worst part of spring is putting on a pair of short shorts and realizing you should have been workin' on your fitness a long time ago. no ma'am and no thank you.

wish me luck that i actually wake up to the smell of coffee, programed to brew at 7:30, and hoof it to the gym. ouch.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

unsinkable maggie brown...

maggie browns
i like this sign of theirs, 'cause i am channeling this look right now.

for anyone who needs a delicious pre-brooklyn flea brunch spot, i highly recommend maggie brown. thank you abby dear for introducing it to us! hearty sustenance to prepare the body for power bargain hunting. brie and berry pancakes, mmmmmm.

and i may, or may not, have purchased my newest favorite piece o' furniture... an old factory shoe trolley.

oh yes ma'am, i did. thank you sweet lord, we needed a place for eddie's folded shirts! this gal has the best collectibles and home decor at the flea, check her out next time you go! i will post photos of my spoils very soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

so glad you were born...

momma branch

dear mom,

happy birthday! my present(and card) will be a wee belated, so i thought i'd tell you why i'm so glad you were born, and all the things i love about you.

1. you are proud to be an american, and you love your country. no matter how popular or unpopular america is, or what president is in office.
2. you were a girl scout troop leader to all of your daughters, and for our community service project, had us clean margaret mitchell's grave in oakland cemetery.
3. you like junkin' just as much as i do, and you always, always find the best gems for pennies.
4. you write very dear children's stories in your down time.
5. you always have chocolate chip cookies and fritos with clam dip for me when i come to atlanta.
6. you never let mean teachers bully your children. if it meant scheduling a meeting with them, to make it pointedly clear, you would do so.
7. you've taught me "you are the company you keep", a very valuable lesson.
8. you are incredibly generous, and always put your family's needs before your own, and have done so the entire 42 years that you have been a wife and mother.
9. when i hear certain songs play, i miss you so much it makes me cry on the spot. "baby mine" from dumbo. "somewhere over the rainbow" by israel kamikawiwo'ole. and just about any carly simon, joni mitchell, lesley gore, or dusty springfield song.
10. because not only do you give the best and most thoughtful gifts, you really send AWESOME care packages to me in new york.
11. you visit our 102 grandmother, your mother-in-law, twice a week, without fail.
12. you love our sweet cocker spaniel, penny, and are just as protective of her as you are of lisa, amy, and me.
13. you and dad are pretty dang cute together, 8th grade sweethearts who will happily smooch for a photo. and two very good parents.
14. you are one of the strongest women i know, and you taught me to always pull myself up from my bootstraps, and stand up when i've fallen down.
15. you love my friends and my husband, and always make a point to make them feel loved.
16. you never complain, even when you should. even when your 25 year old daughter who never learned to drive, asks you to drive her around atlanta when she comes home from nyc...
17. you are the reason my favorite word is kind.
18. you taught me the value of writing thank you letters and expressing gratitude. that no one "deserves" anything.
19. because you raised three very similar, but very different girls, and you loved us all equally, and let us all be who we wanted to be.
20. because if you ask any one who knows lisa, amy, dad, or me, who our best friend is... we all will say you.

we love you so much mom. it's pretty awesome that we all like calling you on the phone and coming to visit you. thank you for showing me what i want to be as a wife and mother. and for being the supreme example of "character is who you are when no one is watching". in fact, my very first blog post was about you, come to think of it. YAY YOU and we are so glad you were born.

*p.s that is my mother's signature birthday phrase. i've been stealing it from her all this time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

return to sender...

today i am grateful for...

flowers stamp

stumbling upon the champion stamp site, whilst looking for valentines stamps! where was this website when i was searching high and low for stamps for my wedding invitations?! grief, the petty breakdowns i had last spring over the poor showing in the "wedding stamp" department of the usps. this was pre- adorable king and queen love stamp.

this website's vintage archive is pretty fantastic. and i think i've heard multiple friends resolve to write more letters in lieu of sending cold, intangible emails. and honestly, who doesn't appreciate the jazzy little details? well y'all, champion stamp is the answer to all your postage stamp needs.

southern flowering trees

colonial stamp

folk art quilt stamp

little women stamp

there are so many that i want, that i am having a hard time staying focused on the task at hand.

and not only am i an admitted collector, but i like to collect things for others. because i am just that sick. a true, blue textbook hoarder. someone should submit my name to that show.

haylie stamp

girlscout stamp

afton amelia earhart

bearded stamp

i found the waring sisters stamps.

love rose stamp

and the chelsea rose cook stamps.

horses stamp

and the peter hale cooney III stamps.

butterfly stamp john

and the john gardner stamps.

amy merrick garden stamp

and the amy merrick stamps.

jc cat stamp

it really is a neat, neat site. i loved scrolling down the vintage archive, witnessing years and years of stamp graphics evolve over time. if you don't live in new york, and can't visit the brick and mortar shop, you can absolutely get your fix via their website. and YAY to no more fretting over stamp decisions for any given holiday-this place has got you covered!

*p.s if this is old news to y'all, i'm sorry. i just discovered it tonight and felt like sharing.
i heart the weekend...

today i am grateful for...

love you hearts

a weekend off! here's what lies ahead...

1. it's antique week in nyc and some of my favorite peeps will be accompanying me to look at old, fancy junk.
2. gathering supplies for my calligraphy class next week!
3. fine-tuning some valentine's day crafts and present ideas.
4. finishing a birthday present for my best friend in the whole world... my mother. her birthday is on sunday!

i hope everyone has a marvelous weekend! if you live in new york and see me rifling through antique piles at the piers or armory, please say hi, i'll be the crazy, red-headed gal in too many layers, all flushed with junkin' fever!

*p.s how sweet is this hankie? thank you haylie bird! i love my love-ly pocket square!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

be mine?

be mine?

i am literally counting down the days 'til valentine's day. sad, but true. and i like celebrating love. all kinds of love. and i don't care if it is a hallmark holiday. any excuse to wear something pink and frilly, and eat sweets is fine with me. and break up the dull, winter doldrums. well, i've got a few valentine's day crafts i'm tossin' around for the party i'm hoping to host, since i really had the nicest time at the last few parties with all my favorite peeps.

so i am putting out this gentle disclaimer... if you detest valentine's day, and all things sappy and cloyingly sweet, then i would absolutely avoid visiting this lil' blog. because it is about to get real cutesy up in here.

Monday, January 18, 2010


today i am grateful for...

daffodil pot

finding bulbs to plant indoors at the chelsea whole foods. 'specially since ery'one had told me i was far too late. my mother has been suggesting i attempt to grow some flowers indoors, and has even sent up some window boxes. she is now pushing for pansies, which may be my next attempt, if this one isn't a total bust.


i love me some daffodils. first sign of spring, in georgia at least. here in new york, the cherry blossom explosion is the true marking of the new season, but who's really nitpicking?

paperwhite bulbs

i'm nervous to see the paperwhite outcome. i'm certainly no amy merrick when it comes to green, growing things. not by a long shot! oh well, if all else fails i'll tend to an orchid, like my dear friend john gardner. i've heard they are fairly simple to raise, no? or maybe i'll just stick to supporting my local florist's cut flower business.

*if any green thumbed enthusiasts can recommend easy, low maintenance indoor flowers and plants, i am up for suggestions. any tips or tricks would be much appreciated!

scrap happy...

today i am grateful for...


a lil' cut n' paste. i've been intermittently working on our wedding scrapbook, as well as our "life in new york" scrapbook.

scrapbook 2

flower scrapbook page

winning his way

not gonna lie, i was given a swift kick in the pants after i unearthed this puppy at the chelsea antique's garage flea market. i can't decide whether or not to dissect it (since it is already falling apart) or preserve it. thoughts?

my scrapbook cover
mine is barely holding together. i had some scrap seam binding, so it is bundled together, for now.

my scrapbook 3
bits and pieces of our first month together in new york.

my scrapbook 2
polaroids of my wedding dress. and a dress chelsea made for me to wear to a marc jacobs holiday party.

my scrapbook
this is a random page from when i worked at marc jacobs.

this is a glimpse into my works-in-progress. pretty basic fare, i have yet to break out the rubber stamps and glitter powders. just kidding...maybe...
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