Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer's End

After the fastest-paced Summer ever, we've been slammed into school mode...hard. Ah, it's only just Opening Day and we're already resurrecting the late night, tearful, "I didn't know my homework would take so long" performance of last year. Bravo! Encore! The tears seem so real! Powerful performance, night after night!

I'm hoping the possibility of a schedule may emerge from the chaos...you (gainfully employed folks) may chafe at your regular work hours and dream about having flexibility and an all-pajama work wardrobe. But me? Lately I find myself dreaming of structured schedules, lunch hours that don't involve a fistful of pretzels and two loads of laundry, colleagues that aren't dogs or children, and downtown offices. Business calls that aren't interrupted by something burning on the stove (and the microwave and outside my office door...). I bet most of you don't have two boys in trunks and towels and snorkel masks standing next to your desk saying, "Are you done yet? Are you done yet?" in tandem, repeatedly, until you give up, shut down the computer, grab a bag of pretzels, and take them to the gosh-dang beach already. Well, maybe that part wasn't so bad.

The point is, I'm ready. Ready for school to start, and not in that "can't wait to get rid of the kids" way, but in that "I'd like to have some control over my time" way. Yes, there IS a difference.

What about y'all? Does the Fall bring changes to your pace and purpose? Even without children, it seems like a bit more of a buckle-down, get-to-work, introspective season. I know...I bragged in the early Summer that I was going to talk about sangria all the way through October, and now I'm rushing the season out the door. Here's some of our Summer color to make it up to you:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Machine Age, Mad Men, and Mahogany

It's the perfect triumvirate of collectible Mid-Century furniture. Plus, um, entirely constructed of solid African Mahogany. I really think it's a Gilbert Rohde piece. Maybe Frankl or Deskey. But certainly cost a fortune new. And I think it's the sexiest man alive. Look at them curves. Way better than George Clooney's. Available in the shop tonight.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

il est charmant

If you've ever known any Berkeley girls, then you'll adore how accurately the type is portrayed here. It's almost as good as a barefoot walk down Shattuck. Go Berkeley girls!

Thanks go to Fern & Feather

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Negligent Blogger Selling Beautiful Furniture"

I think that could be my epitaph.
There's a method to my negligence, though. So hang tight and keep visiting, and I promise more Mid Century goodness is coming. I know, it's not my angsting that keeps you coming back.
Meanwhile here are two currently available pieces I absolutely love...

Visit the store here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Latin/ On Leaving the University

If I've learned anything in the past few months of blogging, it's that the public sphere can be a treacherous place for a tender little heart. And yet...
I had intended to share a clip of Billy Collins (2008 Poet Laureate) reading his poem Litany, but ended up, after three minutes of frantic typing, with this. It surprised me, too. Sometimes my brain communicates directly with my fingers and fails to check in with the shy editors in my frontal lobe.

"They say you've not truly arrived until your name is followed by a Latin phrase. No, they don't say that. I say that. But I don't mean it. I'm sure you can be very accomplished without being summa cum-laude or poet laureate. Without Greek symbols of your intelligence hanging in dipped gold around your neck. Without confusing people; are you a Free Mason? Greek Orthodox or something? Without the silly ceremonies where mothers and cheerleaders alike cross their hearts and swear to add their sweat beads of wisdom to the intimidatingly large pot. Where favorite professors in black robes knight you, press you into service. Convince you to ride shotgun and fight ignorance. And you ARE convinced. You see yourself moving amongst those time-worn halls till the End of Days. Smelling nothing but books and libraries and Fall, seeing tops of heads bowed down low at the sound of your lecturing voice. And bright eyes. You think of what chair you would put in your office and the eager girls who will sit there...a lifetime of sculpture and syllabi and research mixing with plants in your big-windowed house. But you take communion only half believing in your visions. And you could stay forever but you rise and walk out, your black robe billowing, your medals making hollow clanks at your neck. Those who have come to watch you, they only half believe too. And you can't make it real. The vision only goes so far, and you can't see your family or the Forever from the big-windowed house. Just books. A beautiful desk. Your preferred pencils. The soft light on your aging face. And you walk out into the rain and you don't go back."

p.s.-gone to Malibu...back Thursday. Talk amongst yourselves.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dope Jams

A round of restrained hipster applause for Dr. Dog. The Jawhawks meet Neil Young perhaps?
Click here for my favorite song so far--Shadow People.

And here they are aw shucksing it up on NPR:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stool Sample

Oh, I know. I try to be normal. It's just not a good look for me.
I've been relieved of the boys for the morning (see how that phrase ties in nicely with the title???), and I haven't wasted the time.

Besides working, emailing, cleaning, and other official Modern Woman-sanctioned activities, I also nearly finished a desk that's going to KNOCK. YOUR. SOCKS. OFF.

I told Brick House what to do, again. She's so tolerant.

And, of course, I made this...the namesake and raison d'etre of this post to begin with.

In its former incarnation it was a giant basketball with legs. Really, truly ugly. So lest you try and accuse me of desecrating some sacred and original piece of Mid-Century design:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mid Century lounge chair and ottoman available

Please excuse the rotten photos-my studio, workshop, and storage are full-to-bursting so I'm making this set available locally for $250. If you aren't local but still want it, I might consider shipping.
It can actually double as an office chair, but I always pictured it in a Scandinavian Modern nursery. Reupholstered in nubby cream Knoll-style fabric and hasn't been used since. Minty!

Questions? Want it? Email me at modernhaus@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A thing of beauty

This blog makes me want to re-watch this movie.

And this one.

Although we've not even had our summer yet, it's made me crave 40 degrees and cold stone and the less-stinky-than-American cloud of cigarette smoke that accompanies everything, from morning cafe americain to Scallops St Jacques. Waiters that advise you on fashion and suggest you'd look prettier without your hat. Surreal antique carousels spinning in the shadow of a hotel peticulier. Office workers carrying their glass of afternoon wine back through the streets. The bread the bread the bread. Babies in wool knickers and shoes more beautiful than yours. Le baiser, two cheeks. Paris.

And p.s., did you know that the price of baguette is fixed by the government?? Now that's some Socialism I can get behind!

Monday, August 16, 2010

You're probably a hipster if...college edition!

The key to this look is the same as every other hipster look: most of your effort goes into looking like you don't care at all. Meanwhile, since you're getting all educated and whatnot, let's just say that there is a "subtext" to every good hipster outfit that "complicates" its apparent simplicity.

What's the subtext to a good college hipster outfit? Let's have a little tutorial from the teacher's edition, shall we?
Everyone says I'm hot (distressed jeans), but appearance doesn't matter to me (baggy cardigan). I come from money, but I hate pretention and will probably be a social worker for two years before I marry someone from the yacht club (Birkenstocks). I'm well-read and interesting (i.e. I have bangs and named my cat Beckett) and can sometimes correctly use the term "existential" in coffee house conversations...I might not even shave my armpits (literary t-shirt). My parents send me absurd amounts of money (especially when I threaten to join the Peace Corps), but to show solidarity I eat Top Ramen and say "OMG, I am SO broke too!" (Ray Bans).

Plus, this outfit comes with a hipster bonus: You can smirk with superiority when the hopelessly un-hip girl next to you exclaims, "Oh, I looove Maya Angel-owe!" Rookie!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Event Hair: Updo that doesn't look like doo-doo

For a wedding, funeral, really any event that requires you to wear grown-up clothes, give air-kisses, and make small talk.


Plus instructions. I'm so good to you, no?

via wrinkled old Real Simple with coffee stains

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get thee to Miami

Almost none of my readers are in San Diego, so this won't apply to everyone. Sorry Charlies!

But remember this post where I lectured and cajoled about finding ways to travel?

$178 roundtrip, tax-inclusive, San Diego to Miami. Just...go already. That's, like, a "don't buy lattes for a month" price. You can do it.

Up next: a reason to go to Miami. Don't worry...I'll find you some great excuses.

O.K., here's what I've got so far:

1. Because you've never been
2. Reno 911 Miami
3. Miami Vice
4. It's almost Cuba, and Cuba's not legal, so you MUST go to Miami
5. Caipirinhas (scratch that-this is number one)
6. Oh yeah! Jaime makes a pretty good case for it here...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Clare Vivier and the Fertile Years

Life seems particularly abundant and productive these days. The stasis, the expected, has been tossed aside. Like Seamus Heaney's famous poem, the fertile loam of life is being overturned everywhere I look, exposing the fresh underbelly of possibility.
Things I never thought possible have been put into motion, and everywhere I look I see change.

Part of the fertility is literal; among my friends and family there are eight babies born or soon-to-be. Other friends are moving, even leaving the country. One child turned a landmark age, the magical fabulousness that is NO LONGER TWELVE. Another is leaving behind the protection of elementary school. A momentous anniversary will be celebrated soon, and a villa in Baja's wine country will be visited. Kauai gleams like a wet plumeria leaf in the October distance.

I'm feeling a little more visual than verbal today, so consider this a pictorial diary of the past productive week.

Reason to blog: observant husband knows exactly what you want for your anniversary

I know, it's shameless. But she's hot and she knows it...

and she just kept posing

The rewards of growing things

Gambling with four-year olds and comparing muscles-a good way to pass the time waiting for a sister to be born/my first niece. Mia. FINALLY.

Modernhaus=Bounce Haus

Double anniversary party

How many cousins can fit on one chair? I don't know! Get up! You're crushing my &*#%@!!!

Sweet nerd

Hip-hop nerd

And you? What's shakin on your end?


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