I didn’t eat turkey this Thanksgiving — lobster ravioli, more cheese than I could carry and a whole lot of anchovies, in fact (not a traditionalist, if you didn’t already know). However, these hunting target tea towels by Bless get me in the mood for the season! I’m a bit squeamish about violence of any kind — I just started watching Deadwood and I spend half the time with a blanket over my head, though I love/hate the characters dearly — but the thought of shooting a gun at a target is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time. Someday!
Also, good god am I a parenthetical queen! I love me some asides.
If you’re in need of an endless scroll of antique pieced quilts, dogs from the 1930s, rustic interiors and all kinds of handmade one-offs, you should probably saunter over to Old Chum. What a visual smorgasbord!
Butch Anthony first charmed me with his incredible log cabin in the woods of Alabama. Now he’s listed his repurposed found object artwork in an Etsy shop, Museum of Wonder. Butch describes his art, which includes old family portraits (not his own) embellished with skeletons or creatures of his own imagining, as “intertwangleism.” His definition: “Inter, meaning to mix,” he said, “and twang, a distinct way of speaking. If I make up my own ‘ism,’ no one can say anything or tell me I’m doing it wrong.” I’m quite a fan!
This may look like an innocent carrot cake, but it’s actually more of a Thanksgiving Frankenstein. Chow has put together a convenient layer cake made of turkey, cranberry sauce, marshmallows and sweet potatoes, all surrounded by mashed potato frosting. It’s economical, a time and space saver, yes, but it kind of reminds me of the people that take everything on their plate and mix it together, with the familiar refrain, “It’s all going to the same place anyway, right?” (That kind of pragmatism is lost on me. Also, ew.) This turducken mentality is what makes America great. And kind of gross. But I’d still eat it. Can you tell that I can’t decide if I’m disgusted or hungry?
(And let’s not even talk about that dessert monstrosity, “the cherpumple” — apple, cherry and pumpkin pies baked inside a cake. Is nothing sacred?)
Whoever did the art direction for Jack Spade’s gift guides — I’m golf clapping in your direction. Now I want to be an art director, if only to create fantasy shop windows and interesting groupings of items. (Does my apartment count as experience?) I’m especially fond of the cheapo under $100 gift guide (cough, all of the gifts I give are cheap by those standards). “Budget, smudget” also goes down as a genius call-to-arms in my book.
Innocent question: Would you be interested in seeing a gift guide here? Or just my normal “hey, this is neat” kind of posts? It’s a poll!
I’ve always coveted an elaborate dollhouse. Filling its rooms with miniature decorations would not only be a hobby, but a pleasure. The intricate interiors of D.C. librarian Faith Bradford’s 23-room dollhouse are enough to make me sweat a little. This artifact has lived at the Smithsonian Museum of National History for the last sixty years, and it (as well as its eccentric creator) is now the subject of a book written by famed curator and all around cool guy William L. Bird. The synopsis:
“On the museum’s third floor sits a five-story dollhouse donated to the museum by Faith Bradford, a Washington D.C. librarian, who spent more than a half-century accumulating and constructing the 1,354 miniatures that fill its 23 intricately detailed rooms. When Bradford donated them to the museum in 1951, she wrote a lengthy manuscript describing the lives of its residents: Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll and their ten children, two visiting grandparents, twenty pets, and household staff. Bradford cataloged the Dolls’ tastes, habits, and preferences in neatly typed household inventories, which she then bound, along with photographs and fabric samples, in a scrapbook. She even sent museum curators holiday cards written by the Dolls.”
Remember how the first chapter of every Baby-Sitters Club book wasn’t even worth reading? Reiterating who the characters were and setting up the series and all that? Well, this clever piece re-imagines all the boring, sentimental details as envisioned by the master of disaffected youth, arcane tidbits about music and an affinity for choking, Bret Easton Ellis (not the actual Easton Ellis, unfortunately). Suddenly the Club seems a lot more angsty…and I see a pixie stick/cocaine addition becoming a crucial element of Claudia’s storyline.
…and Mary-Anne had been talking for about 10 minutes before I stopped totally zoning out, just trying to mellow really on the B-side of this new Beach Boy album. There is nothing more depressing than coming home after last bell at StoneyBrook High, trying to get my room in order for the Baby-Sitters’ Club meeting, and then realizing that you really don’t even give a shit anymore. Like, sorry that you have diabetes Stacey, but do we have to spend half the afternoon discussing it? And yeah, it really bums me out to watch Claudia just snort up half those Pixie Stixs when she is so blatantly trying to get attention to her sugar problem, but every time we try to talk to her about it she says she needs it to focus on her art and that her super-strict Asian parents are coming down on her ass again so what’s the point, really? This whole club is really getting to be a drag but whatever, I started the project and I just know that bitch Marci is waiting for me to like, drop the ball on this whole thing so she can pick up all the money and maybe Mary-Anne’s boyfriend Logan as a nice “fuck you too” perk.”
“I’m interested in touch of material, intimate surface, weight, light, structure and ideas of concealment but the method of production is secondary. I like to think of my jewelry as a secretion. Like a bee produces honey, the jewelry is what comes out of me.” — Klaus Burgel
Call me crazy, but I can totally see Burgel’s organic shapes and designs as owl pellets, diamonds in the rough, a rabbit’s foot or a hanging droplet of sap. Delicious.
There’s something about the label on that honey jar that just….calls to me. The story behind the makers, River Farm RI, also sounds pretty dreamy: “River Farm sits on the sunny bank of the Narrow River in Saunderstown, Rhode Island. The farm is home to a flock of Merino sheep, Remy their watchful companion dog, and pot-bellied pig friends Bernie and Ernie. We produce fresh eggs, culinary lavender, honey, and organically processed Merino wool in a range of the sheep’s natural colors.” Pot-bellied pigs and a farm?! Paradise.
Who knew mouths and tongues (and for that matter, spit bubbles) could look so ethereal? Julia Randall’s mouth series is creepy and familiar at the same time. And the “French kiss” piece — powdered wig and retainer-type-structure plus a tongue — is clever as hell!
As a complete basket case (what, you didn’t know?), I’m quite familiar with contemplating the worst case scenario for just about every instance of my life. “But what if…” seems to be a constant refrain in my head, whether it’s a phantom pain in my back (“my spleen is bursting!”) or fear of sweating too much in public (“bring a second shirt, just in case”). Bad Things That Could Happen is the latest from London collective This is It. This absurd collection of shorts makes me think twice about my fear of maggoty cottage cheese — as only the novelty of oversize, Claes Oldenburg-style mouse traps and dancing bacteria can.
It’s been entirely too long since I mined my Flickr favorites for inspiration. I find myself drawn toward landscapes of all kinds these days — chipped and faded paintings, dark photographs and sometimes even the real thing. (Just gotta make that trip upstate for leaf peeping before they’re all gone.) Enjoy.
In my never-ending search for a decent wall calendar for the coming year (because iPhone calendars aren’t very nostalgic or cute, and I love to turn the page at the end of the month), I felt I’d seen everything: generic and not-even-ironic cat calendars, cat calendars that cost $50 (cough, you know who you are), blah letterpressed things and an endless array of “seasonal photographs” set to the months. Yawn! Then I came across the I Heart Brooklyn Girls 2011 calendar, inspired by classic vintage queer pulp covers. This is so cheeky and fun! I love the set-ups and costuming, and the titles are amazing.
I am a sucker for any allusion to pulp fiction, but queer pulp is definitely the most interesting in my eyes. Read some Ann Bannon and you’ll see what I mean! Just totally groundbreaking for the time period and a real cultural barometer for the ’40s and ’50s. What’s your favorite pulp novel?
This Frida-esque doll by Petra Hilbert is incredible. No detail was left to chance, including a tiny embroidered mustache, delicate lace sleeves and adorable headdress. Love!
Add a little fairy tale magic and you’ll find Hilbert’s set of illustrated decorative plates, inspired by her story “A Girl With a Heart on Palm.” Multitalented much? I’m especially fond of the first in the series, with the little girl riding a deer with a clutched heart.
I am so thankful that I grew up with Popeye and Looney Tunes reruns on television. “Clean Shaven Man” comes into my head every now and again, and I thought it would be worth revisiting the original. Upon closer inspection as an adult, Bluto is a total bear, Shelly Duvall was perfectly cast as Olive Oyl, and Popeye is a clever ‘roid user with a half-paralyzed face. Discuss!
…You’ve were one lucky little girl! This enormous dollhouse was loved, I’m sure — I wish the furniture was still in it for more effective decorating and arranging. Gloriously faded and used, this handmade miniature was tagged years ago in childlike all-caps with “NANCY ALLEN.” What I would do with a dollhouse, god only knows, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting one as an adult! Available at 1st Dibs.
The creatures that ooze, float and pulse near the ocean’s floor are a rarely viewed breed unto themselves. Magnhild Disington, along with fashion designer Emma Jorn, created this collection of ramshackle textile, yarn and fur abstract objects, loosely inspired by deep sea creatures, sensations and atmosphere of life down in the dark waters. These creatures are equal part imagination and possibility. See more deep sea creatures in the video.
I’m quite smitten with Alya Kazakevich’s handmade leather shoes and bags (made in Brooklyn, in fact). Her bags are that truly sumptuous shade of leather, which is quite hard to resist. However, the real story here is the shoes. How many contemporary cobblers have you seen? (Not many on my end.) Making shoes by hand really seems like a craft from another century: it’s so labor intensive and hard to get right. These shoes look totally wearable and the styles are so cute!
My name is Alison and this is where I obsess // muse // and drop all of the curious, obsolete, eccentric and otherwise noteworthy things I come across on the weird, wide expanse that is the Internet. Also, cute cat posts.