Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things Good Mothers Do and other whack lies

Things good mothers do:

Bake homemade cookies with organic peanut butter, sneaking in bits of flax and whole wheat flour

Things good mothers who run businesses do:

See above, then realize you can't just stand in front of the oven all day and turn the last of the dough into one giant cookie. Pass it off as a deliberate novelty. "I thought you guys would like it!" They did.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

George Nelson and whatnot

I completely forgot to post about the mind-blowing rosewood Westnofa platform bed:

and dresser set I had

And now it's gone forever. I cried a little.

Today I've just listed another Uchida Z chair and ottoman, some fabulous little nightstands, a long, sleek, sculptural walnut credenza, and....

A George Nelson design for American of Martinsville

Did you know he designed for other manufacturers? No you didn't.

I think that purpley upholstery is a giveaway. Very Nelson.

Some beautiful grasscloth never hurts...

Ooh, swirly!


In the shop right this hot little minute!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Not Dead Yet

So why not post a picture I just took of the top of my piano (if you're Western-y or an old man Scooby Doo villain, then you can call it a pianee)?

Being not-dead is as good a reason as any.

I love that awesome old charcoal desert sketch. It reminds me of a place we use to hike when I was a kid.

And that milk bottle is from the dairy where we got our milk when I was a kid (until we got milking goats, ugh)! They had a drive-through where you picked up your order (plus some fabulous ice cream bars).

And I find that badly-executed little abstract so charming. Yeah, it looks like Picasso painted it with his butt.

What are you up to since you're hopefully not-dead?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Mundane, I am not convinced that you exist.
That all moments do not contain magical qualities
dormant until the alchemy of our brains,
that ancient power of humor and sight
turns you pure
smelts the meaning out of this drive home.

-Me, trying to elevate this morning's carpool

Ave Atque Vale

Even though I managed to swerve around the lump
of groundhog lying on its back on the road,
he traveled with me for miles,

a quiet passenger
who passed the time looking out the window
enjoying this new view of the woods

he once hobbled around in,
sleeping all day and foraging at night,
rising sometimes to consult the wind with his snout.

Last night he must have wandered
onto the road, hoping to slip
behind the curtain of soft ferns on the other side.

I see these forms every day
and always hope the next one up ahead
is a shredded tire, a discarded brown coat,

but there they are, assuming
every imaginable pose for death's portrait.
This one I speak of, for example,

the one who rode with me for miles,
reminded me of a small Roman citizen,
with his prosperous belly,

his faint smile,
and his one stiff forearm raised
as if he were still alive, still hailing Caesar.

-Billy Collins

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shout out to the Echo Park Cru, a.k.a. the Brick Haus sale was awesome!

First, I'd just like to thank L.A. for being the most kooky and randomly amazing place ever. Where else would you get Kate Miss and the neighborhood Cheech & Chong look-a-likes (so drunk they had to hang onto the walls...except Ms. Miss who could stand up pretty good on her own so talented she is!) shopping your pop-up vintage sale?

That is what I call a broad customer base! Corporations would kill for that, and we will sell our marketing secrets to them for a mee-lion dollars.

Actually, the secret is in the sauce. The people sauce, that is.

Morgan was the meek and reclusive star of the show (whose nametag I stole for an hour just to see what it's like to have everyone subtly bending at the waist in a Japenese-style bow when introducing themselves...also not looking directly at my face).

Seriously, how many times did I say, "I know, she is incredibly talented!" yesterday? SO MANY.

This is the best picture I could find of her...she's so secretive!

And then there was Picasso and Eva Peron's granddaughter--raised in exile in the jungles of El Salvador (which is why she knows plants so well)--Bianca of TerriPlanty. She's like a snake charmer with babies, dogs, adults, plants, roving swarms of Africanized bees, whatever. If it's alive, it loves her and does what she says. I am no different.

This is one of her magical terrarium pieces:

Her crafty set-up at Unique LA:

And this is how everyone looked at her pieces--totally, completely enthralled:

And the boyfriend,"Handsome Andy Sandberg" Erick? A total keeper. You hear me Bianca??

Rounding out our Echo Park Cru was famed French photographer/writer/designer Laure Joliet (from HGTV, Apartment Therapy, Dwell, and yo mama!), our deceptively muscular blond project manager. Her uncle, Jack Nicholson, had this to say about her: "Laure is a star! Uncle Jack loves you baby!"

And I'm only slightly exaggerating some of this...because we were in L.A., the normal six degrees of separation from famous people was reduced to like a point three degrees. The air was tingling with famous-ness. Or maybe it was the downed electrical cable laying in the puddle nearby. Hmmm.

SO, a big wet-lipped kiss to the Cru and the gorgeous people who showed up for the sale. Especially the guy in line who yelled, "You said you were opening at noon!" when we tried to go put on deoderant. You, my friend, are a treasure.

It was the most fun I've ever had in a parking lot, and I've been to some damn fine parking lots, sooo...

Were you there? Do you wish you were? And who bought my hippo cookie jar? Can I please buy it back?

p.s.-all photos stolen without written or verbal permission from anyone. Sorry.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The World Without Blogger

In an uncharacteristically stupid move, the government temporarily disabled Blogger recently to test the effects on society.

And by society of course I mean women.

Men are just changing the oil and shuffling papers around desks to look busy. The government already knows this. They invented it (during Prohibition there was indeed a rise in oil changes and paper-shuffling rates among men. But nothing else changed. Nada. End of social experiment).

Some questions they are trying to answer:

Would workplace productivity go up?
Would houses be cleaner and school bake-sale participation increase (it's a little known fact that bake sales account for 10% of our national GDP--no wonder they are concerned!)
With a few extra minutes on their hands, would the women help the dudes fix the recession/national debt/oil prices?
Can they really trace the decline in school test scores, job creation, and spending at SEARS to the rise in popularity of "A Cup of Jo"?

All these things needed answering, and there was only one way to find out: cripple Blogger and watch what happened.

Only instead, this little experiment has led to epic lifestyle chaos.

How do we make choices if the guiding lights of our socity are suddently shut off?

It's like if in the Olde Days someone took away the Bible, the Farmer's Almanac, insect plagues, and moonshine. No moral compass! No way to determine who is evil! No more spontaneous fiddle dances!

Why, just this morning I saw a poor, bewildered woman walking down the street wearing equal parts Benetton and Esprit. With jelly shoes. She had apparently reverted back to the last time she made a style choice on her own without the help of blogs...1989.

Kiosks selling hair scrunchies have sprouted up at malls seemingly overnight!

And somewhere a once-stylish and confident woman is at Home Depot choosing Navajo White paint and buying fleur de lis drapes at JC Penney. Before this cruel experiment? She would have chosen a color called "Soot" from Fine Paints of Europe's "Places Bombed in WWII" historical collection. And curtains handblocked in India by the slaves/artisan community run be a famous textile designer. And maybe, if she read the edgier blogs, some invisible chairs from Philip Starck's new "Practical Joke" line of furniture.

So please, Nancy Pelosi, end this madness and give us our Blogger back. Cup of Jo is getting cranky. She hasn't washed her striped boatneck French terry Petit Bateau t-shirt in days.
Purchases of fascinators and owl-themed items on Etsy are at a stand-still! Cupcakes and Cashmere is actually trying to make cupcakes! We are forgetting how to spell "lurve" and no one has said "I heart that" since Monday. These important traditions could be lost forever if you don't act quickly.

Thank you.

Lurve, Modernhaus

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Things Teens Dread...the parked car conversation

(alternatively titled "I Give Up, I Can't Write a Blog About Style, Having Finally Admitted to Myself That I Have Very Little Knowledge of this Subject". Should you require style information, this blogger is the way to go. This one is not. Overplucked eyebrows, frosted lipstick, and "athletic" legs in mini-skirts and Forever 21 shoes does not a stylista make...and don't be fooled! There are NO CUPCAKES! I've looked!).


There's nothing like being locked into a tightly confined space with a frowny-faced parent to inspire the deepest sense of dread, impending doom, and the imminent loss of some privilege or freedom in a teen.

You remember how this goes, I'm sure of it...close your eyes and think back.

The car rolls up to it's destination even slower than normal, and your mom, (because this is a uniquely mom-move...dads handle the same matters by smacking child on back of head and hollering "Don't be such an idiot!"), your mom is very slowly, very carefully, so as not to alert your teen/animal senses, turning down the stereo with one hand and simultaneously reaching for the automatic door locks with her other hand.

Except your teen/animal senses recognize this maneuver immediately and send you into a deep primal panic.

You want to wail, claw at the windows, send Lassie for help. Because your mom is now turning to you and speaking the eight most terrifying words in the New Revised Teen English Dictionary: "I want to talk to you about something."

Oh. Crap. Teens have died of hunger, grown old while waiting for their moms to finish "talking to them about something"!

So, as a survivor of this kind of torture (I actually spent years 13-16 locked into a Volkswagon Vanagon while my mom "talked to me about something", surviving off of old popcorn kernels I found on the floor and eventually being rescued when an S.O.S. note I scribbled onto a page of the bible was found by a passerby!), I am nothing if not compassionately sensitive to the feelings of my teen children.

I like to think I am not only cooler, but sneakier, by not introducing the talking part with an announcement (thus by-passing the groan and eye-roll!) and just jumping right into it. I do this WHILE the car is still moving and the radio is on. They have no idea what's happening! We are just cruising down the highway when suddenly words like "private parts" and "self-discipline" start coming out of nowhere (my mouth)!

In this way, my children will always associate Arcade Fire with warm talks about perverts, and Green Day songs will always elicit memories of friendly threats of beatings if grades don't improve.

Of course, the dad-method has some value, too. So I try to follow up my sneak attack with a jaunty head-smack and, when they've jumped out of the unlocked car and run with newfound energy towards school, a loud shout out the window, "and don't be an idiot!"

Because how will they develop any character without at least a little public humiliation? It's where I got all mine from, and I'm filled to the brim with character! Thanks mom!


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