Archive for ‘What-Not’


{The Curious Case of Benjamin Bubble Garden}

The hubs and I love visiting River Market Antiques. It is 30,000 square feet (that is not a typo) of vintage heaven. On one of our visits I ran across a mysterious glass globe with a metal dowel rod and wooden handle. I had no idea what it was, but I loved it. In a moment of crippling fiscal responsibility, I saved $16 and walked away. But it was one of those unique pieces that you just can’t live without. After several days of daydreaming about the mysterious globe, I could resist any longer. I returned to River Market Antiques, scrambled to the second floor, found it, and bought the hell out of it.

I’m still baffled by this piece. I’ve tried Googling “Trans-Plastic Inc.” and “Bubble Garden,” but haven’t found an ounce of information. It seems like the perfect candidate for a terrarium (you know…since it has the word “garden” in the product name…), but I can’t figure out how I would water the plants inside since the only way to access it is by completely unscrewing the metal plate on the bottom. I know myself well enough to know that carefully arranging a tiny fauna universe only to destroy it every two weeks just to water it would irritate me beyond reason. Not. worth. it.

For now, four vintage picture cards are displayed inside. The benefit here is that I don’t have to water them. Picture cards were included in product packages or provided in exchange for product wrappers. They are typically winter or Christmas themed, and these particular picture cards are from Lion Coffee and Dayton Spice Mills Company’s Jersey Coffee.

The pictures are amaaaahzing, but it’s the text on the back that really gives these little cards character. I’ve always gotten a kick out of reading vintage ads. Back in the day, ads and promotional pieces like these picture cards were filled to the brim with flowery, often hilarious, text. Here, Jersey Coffee boasts that it will offer multiple design options, “thus giving to regular Consumers of Jersey Coffee, an elegant VARIETY of beautiful works of Art with which to adorn and beautify their homes, FREE OF COST.” 

My favorite is the Lion Coffee card that provides comfort to the covetous non-owner by letting him or her know just how simple it is to acquire one for themselves: “To secure a picture card like this you have only to buy a package of Lion Coffee…”

I’d love to hear some suggestions for other things I could display inside of the mysterious Trans-Plastic Inc. Bubble Garden. Fair warning: No plant-related suggestions will be accepted unless you have a simple watering solution or offer to come over every week to disassemble the garden completely, water it, and reassemble it with the utmost care.

Enjoy the holiday weekend, all!


{The Sewing Corner}

Some of my mom’s things have been slowly coming to live with me here in KC. One of those things is her sewing table. My mom made both of my prom dresses, some snazzy sequin vests for my former-rodeo-queen step sister, and many more treasured pieces at this little table.

Once it arrived in KC, I set to work trying to find it a home in our tiny apartment. The end result is this sun-bathed sewing corner in, of all places, our dining room. This setup has an unexpected perk: When we have company over, I move the sewing machine into the master bedroom and the sewing table becomes a buffet table!

We’ve enjoyed having this little table in the main living area of the apartment. Everyday, I get to see it and imagine my mom sitting in the vinyl-covered chair with her sewing machine humming along. Every item she made was a little piece of her heart, and every person that got to wear or use her handiwork knew they were loved.

I like to think that she would have enjoyed working in this sunny corner of the apartment. I certainly do! Like mother, like daughter, right?


Taking Time


Teal, Gold, and Berry


{Pantone Fall 2011 Fashion Color Report}

Hello, everyone! I recently downloaded the Pantone Fall 2011 Fashion Color Report and I couldn’t help but share the loveliness with you. (I also downloaded the Spring 2012 report, but we’ll save that for another, slightly warmer day.)

The theme is Sensible and Spirited and the colors are stellar! Let’s take them five at a time:


Isn’t Bamboo luscious? It’s very similar to mustard (which you may know from the famous “mustard yellow craze of 2010”) but it has just a little bit more creaminess to it: very appropriate considering the season’s theme, Sensible and Spirited. Cream = Sensible, Mustard = Spirited, Bamboo = Perfect!

I’m also a huge fan of Emberglow. I haven’t quite recovered from my summer super-brights obsession, so this bright (spirited?) but muted (sensible?) coral had me at hello. The Honeysuckle, on the other hand, wore out its welcome mid-summer. I was surprised to find it in this season’s report, but I suppose it is the Pantone 2011 Color of the Year. (We’ll let it slide this time, Honeysuckle…)



In this group, by favorites are Nougat and Quarry. They’re the least boring neutrals ever. The Pantone website describes Nougat as “a deliciously warm camel tan.” Quarry has a slightly less romantic description: “[this] reliable medium gray, remains, as always, a practical, dependable staple.” Eesh. While I’m sure Quarry appreciates the backhanded compliment, I would like to give it a bit of encouragement by telling it what it means to me:

Quarry, you turn a blah cardigan into my favorite cardigan. You make me wonder if my eyes are blue or grey, but your awesomeness makes me okay with either. You are confident without being cocky; sophisticated without being inaccessible; and versatile without sacrificing “statement.” Thank you from the bottom of my fashion-heart.

Although, I’m excited about the fall palette, I can’t say that I’m excited about the winter weather that inevitably follows… Hopefully, the cheeriness of Pantone’s Spring 2012 Fashion Color Report will be enough to carry me through to warmer days. *crosses fingers*

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