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mason jars everywhere

24 Jun

assorted antique fruit jars, on antiquebottles.com

It seems like there’s a new restaurant opening every day in our neighborhood.  And although the latest, named Seersucker, doesn’t offer the most unique concept for a restaurant (I think it’s the third ‘new’ place to offer southern-influenced ‘fine dining’ within a one-mile radius), there’s something about this one that makes me want to pay a visit.  I hate to sound fickle for saying this about a restaurant, but Seersucker – more than its competitors – really Looks The Part of a modern Southern hot spot.

image courtesy New York Magazine

As described in New York Magazine, the 40-seat spot features “a zinc bar, whitewashed brick, and wood salvaged from old snow fences.” More to the point, a review on Chowhound reads, “The food was kind of like the decor, simple and comfortable with a lot of style.”  Personally, I think it’s the mason jars that make the design.  In this age of  small-batch-locally-sourced-homemade-and-handmade foodstuffs, mason jars are more relevant than ever (and bring to mind the best local pickles, kimchee, fruit preserves and anything else featured in Edible Brooklyn).

our beach treasures, next to our Preston North End memorabilia

But I love mason jars for their usefulness and storage potential.  As shown above, this jar (which was left at our house by friends and subsequently ‘reclaimed’) is now on display with all the rocks we collected on beaches during family holidays.  I’m racking my brain to find images of a gorgeous nursery I once spotted, featuring gallon-sized mason ‘tubs’ as storage for puzzle pieces, Legos, and other miscellany.  What I found so charming was the way the lids were painted to match the decor (which would usually be a bit wedding-favor-ish for my taste, but it really worked in this instance).

So, how about it?

for collections, not canning

I discovered that Ball now sells gallon jars for just this purpose.  They’re called  “125th anniversary ‘collectors’ gallon jars” (meaning they’re not meant for canning), they’re $20 each at Cooking.com, and they’re super-cute.

But if the notion of a gallon jug made of glass makes you a bit nervous (as it does me), I found these super-cute PET plastic jugs, which would do beautifully with a bit of acrylic paint to fancy up the white lids.

Paint me!

Available at Freund Container, the gallon jugs are $4 each.  The comparable glass versions are also available at $18 each.

Need more inspiration?  Mason jars are ALL over the Internets – tutorials on how to make mason jar lamps (Design*Sponge has the best one), photos of flower-filled jars for wedding decorations (Amanda Pair’s snaps are beautiful), images of artsy-craftsy handmade porcelain lanterns, and offers for boatloads of soy candles.

'mason jar with marbles' by ria hills, $120

And, lastly, I discovered this BEAUTIFUL pastel artwork, created by a woman named Ria Hills.  At 7″x7″ it’s a bit small, but I believe it would look beautiful in a larger frame with red or blue matting.   And what’s more down-home and kid-friendly than a jar of marbles?

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notting hill tube poster discovery

21 Jun

Thames travel poster, London Underground

Just saw this post on website Neatorama and thought it was too cool not to share.   In short, “workers on the renovation of London Underground’s Notting Hill Gate Station were recently surprised (flabbergasted in fact) to discover a long abandoned passageway with all the original advertising posters from the 1950s [mostly c. 1958 and 1959] still intact.”

Poster by Victor Galbraith, London Underground

London Underground describes how it happened:

In around 1959 Notting Hill Tube Station underwent modernisation. The old lifts were abandoned and new escalators were installed. The passageways to the lift were sealed off. Recent work at the station has rediscovered these passageways and when they were opened they revealed a marvellous time capsule. The adverts which were on the walls the day the passageways were sealed off remained and reveal a world long since disappeared.

Mikey Ashworth, a London Transport employee, uploaded these photos to Flickr on June 6th.  You can see the ads individually or as a group (which is probably the most thrilling) and all in situ.   He writes, “I’ve worked for London Transport for over 20 years and we have ‘found’ other posters – but none quite as good as these. We have on occasion arranged for professional removal and/or conservation of old adverts – but in this case, given the scale of the survivals I’m minded to simply leave them and re-seal the ‘tomb’.”

Ideal Home Expo, London Underground

Pepsodent ad, London Underground

All the posters are illustrated – there are hardly any photographs – and they’re similarly stylized with this paper cutout look (as above). See the entire set here.

sid the science kid’s mid-century house

17 Jun

Scene from "Sid's Holiday Adventure"

As much as I hesitate to admit it in public, the Daleys are a television-watching family.  All of us.  But as with most families, it’s becoming increasingly common and convenient for us to ‘time shift’ our shows, which means we record stuff on the DVR to watch later on.  So there’s not a lot of surfing going on, which means we just plain don’t see a lot of things on air everyday.  Case in point: Sid the Science Kid.

I’ve only seen this cute kids’ show once.  But here’s what I know (courtesy Wikipedia).  It’s created by the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, and is based on the US preschool science curriculum (no, I didn’t know there was one, either) and cognitive learning theory.  And Sid’s name was originally going to be Josh, a name I assume was changed for being difficult to rhyme with.

And here’s what I’ve learned on Tuesday.  Sid’s house has some great furniture.  As you can see in the photo above, someone at Henson Studio loves mid-century modern as much as I do!  Sid’s family’s dining room table is classic Heywood-Wakefield, as evidenced by the wheat-colored wood and ‘dogbone’ cutouts in the chairs.

Dogbone chair close up

I suppose mid-century design lends itself well to animation art due to its iconic appearance and stylized nature. Here’s another animated interior that immediately comes to mind:

The Incredibles

You must see this article from The Mid Century Modernist (cached only, sorry) for more images.  I know that Brad Bird is an avowed mid-century nut (e.g. the Iron Giant, for more eye candy), but MCM also recognizes “production designer Lou Romano and art director Ralph Eggleston.”

Interested in a real-life H-W table and chairs? I know I am…

Table and two chairs

Found this gorgeous specimen on Etsy, being sold by a shop called The Paisley Moon.  The great news?  For $400 you can get the table and two chairs, in pretty nice condition (i.e., some watermarks, which are common for a piece this age).  The not so great news?  Are you up for a field trip to Lafayette, Indiana?

So if that doesn’t work out for you, Tri-State Antique center is always a good resource.  And check out my older post to learn more.

sid the science kid's mid-century house

17 Jun

Scene from "Sid's Holiday Adventure"

As much as I hesitate to admit it in public, the Daleys are a television-watching family.  All of us.  But as with most families, it’s becoming increasingly common and convenient for us to ‘time shift’ our shows, which means we record stuff on the DVR to watch later on.  So there’s not a lot of surfing going on, which means we just plain don’t see a lot of things on air everyday.  Case in point: Sid the Science Kid.

I’ve only seen this cute kids’ show once.  But here’s what I know (courtesy Wikipedia).  It’s created by the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, and is based on the US preschool science curriculum (no, I didn’t know there was one, either) and cognitive learning theory.  And Sid’s name was originally going to be Josh, a name I assume was changed for being difficult to rhyme with.

And here’s what I’ve learned on Tuesday.  Sid’s house has some great furniture.  As you can see in the photo above, someone at Henson Studio loves mid-century modern as much as I do!  Sid’s family’s dining room table is classic Heywood-Wakefield, as evidenced by the wheat-colored wood and ‘dogbone’ cutouts in the chairs.

Dogbone chair close up

I suppose mid-century design lends itself well to animation art due to its iconic appearance and stylized nature. Here’s another animated interior that immediately comes to mind:

The Incredibles

You must see this article from The Mid Century Modernist (cached only, sorry) for more images.  I know that Brad Bird is an avowed mid-century nut (e.g. the Iron Giant, for more eye candy), but MCM also recognizes “production designer Lou Romano and art director Ralph Eggleston.”

Interested in a real-life H-W table and chairs? I know I am…

Table and two chairs

Found this gorgeous specimen on Etsy, being sold by a shop called The Paisley Moon.  The great news?  For $400 you can get the table and two chairs, in pretty nice condition (i.e., some watermarks, which are common for a piece this age).  The not so great news?  Are you up for a field trip to Lafayette, Indiana?

So if that doesn’t work out for you, Tri-State Antique center is always a good resource.  And check out my older post to learn more.

Play space, vintage signage and fun vending machines

20 May

Boys’ room, Sixx Design (also in Room for Children)

This past winter, I enrolled myself in an interior design course at Parsons here in New York.  Over the course of twelve weeks, we learned the art of freehand space planning; that is, creating and drawing our own floor plans, measured out with architectural rulers, marked out with lead points, and formalized with felt-tip black pens.   Our long-term project was to meet the demands of our ‘clients,’ a well-to-do couple who had just purchased a 3000 foot loft space downtown.  What excited me most was the fact that my pretend clients also had a pretend six-year-old son, who required space planning of his own.

I was reminded of this assignment the other day.  With camera and Room for Children in tow, I spent a day at my parents’ house last week.   Downstairs, in the finished basement/den/playspace, the walls are literally covered with items from my mom’s collections.   First, I thought how wonderful it would be for all children to have play spaces of their own, just like my mom & dad’s. (Whether a separate room or the space between bed and dresser, it doesn’t matter).  Second, I thought back to my floorplan, in which I had sketched out an adjoining space to the boy’s bedroom in which to keep his toys and games.  And third, I thought HOW COOL it would be to have a play space just FILLED with the signs, toys, and machines that my mom’s collected over the years.

Light-up concession stand sign. 
Hilarious type-o’s, courtesy my husband.

Like me, my mom’s a major collector.  And like me, she finds, obsesses, and focuses on something, then moves onto something new.  Her vending collecting bug is now gone, but here’s a smattering of what remains.  I think any of these pieces could serve as decoration, toy, or visual focal point for a kid’s bedroom or play space.

(That must be why I love the boys’ room (at top) in one of the Novogratz houses (sorry, I can’t keep them straight).  I’d say this is pretty representative of the Sixx design style too – true to their loft space roots, the rooms usually feature gallery white walls, a choice selection of bold curtains and area rugs, and one or two key vintage, eclectic, or just plain odd design finds.  I read that the old scoreboard was from a school gym – I’d kill to find out where the rest of that architectural salvage ended up.)

Rock-Ola.  (the last update features Bon Jovi and Hall & Oates)

A penny candy dispenser

Fab 1950’s vintage “Perfumatic” – anyone wear White Shoulders?

These would still come in handy nowadays.

And, of course, an odds machine.  This one still has the little cards in it.

I did a quick search tonight on Ebay and found this candy machine (below).   Liam said that it would encourage kids to eat sweets.  I said, “you can fill it with other stuff, like raisins!” And then he said, “then it wouldn’t be fun anymore.”  But I completely and totally disagree.  In fact, I want one right now.

70’s candy vending machine, Ebay

The good news? With four days remaining, it’s going for only $79.95.  The bad news?  The seller requests local pickup in Northeastern Ohio, otherwise, you’ll have to make your own arrangements… Anyone for a road trip?