Sunday, March 21, 2010

1st Day of Spring?


Well, it's the first day of Spring. You would never know to look out my windows. Everything is covered in a thick blanket of snow. Unbelievable. Last weekend....Spring was in the air and this weekend it's like we time traveled back in time two months. It's suppose to be warming up immediately, but this is so strange. So I was all about Easter bunnies and daffodils last week but feel like Spring has been put on hold for a few days at least. 

I shot this photo last weekend of a corner in my breakfast nook otherwise known as the Weenie Dog Condo. This is the room the weenies reside in during the day while I'm at work. It's a pretty little room but the floor has three dog beds on it that they rotate out sleeping on...they all like to sleep together in a pile...so I don't know why I have three beds in there...when they only use one at a time. But I want them to have choices. 

So above is a photo of one of the corners of the room. The photo on the wall is of my neighborhood park. The lamp base I've had for awhile with various shades...I recently bought this lamp shade on Ebay, thinking the combination of the two would be nice. And it is.

The other side of the wall, I've hung a print by one of my favorite artists. Today I'd like to point you towards his website. 

Mark Ryden


Not only is the subject matter of his paintings quite unusual, playful and thought provoking but he's a master with the brush. Being a painter myself....I'm very critical of painting and drawing quality. It's not enough for me that it's a good idea and the colors are wonderful, it better be executed with great skill and Mark Ryden is a master.

Here are a few samples of his work...but be sure to go to www.markryden.com and view more. He's been working on a new series of paintings...can't wait to see what this group of paintings reveals.




I forgot to say that they are beautiful but bizarre...I chose some of the less bizarre to share here.






and the one hanging on my wall - The Ecstacy of Cecelia

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pillow Talk

Pillows collected over time add to the Hollywood ambiance of my home. Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm living in the Hollywood Hills circa 1931. The year my house was built. Oh...yes and that I am Jean Harlow....I have a mild obsession with Jean Harlow.

















Pillows around my living room range from vintage bark cloth to vintage satin souvenir pillows from both Hollywood and New York plus a pretty blue ruffle pillow bought recently at Pier 1. These pillows above decorate a long low ottoman I bought at Ross (Love the Ross!). It adds extra seating in the living room.



Living the Mod Vintage Life and pretending I'm a movie star.

join me at 




for a Show and Tell Friday

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!


I got out my special Easter Salt & Pepper shakers today. I found these at an antique store several years ago. Today, I thought...where are my egg shakers? I feel spring in the air...they need to be out!

Notice how nice the photo is? Yep, I used my new camera. I got it two weeks ago but I didn't know that we were going to start a new radio station at work, which went on air last night at midnight. So all my personal blogging stuff went out the window while I worked on graphics and promotions for the new station. 

Today I took a bunch of photos around the house...so that I'll have them to post this coming week. The new station is also why I haven't finished my mirror bathroom project. I've just had no time. But hopefully, this week or next weekend.

I did go outside and shoot proof that Spring is definitely on it's way.




Got to get a new hummingbird feeder too...the hummers are headed this way. I checked out the hummingbird migration map and supposedly they'll be here end of March. A friend of mine, Lee who got me started with the littler hummers last year...found a guy who builds hummingbird houses...so I need to get one or two of those too so they'll live in my yard this year and not just come over to dine. 







This map shows when they arrived last year. Check out when they'll arrive in your area at



Observation:
Hummingbirds don't like weenie dogs...they fly away when the weenies come out. But...weenies are totally oblivious to hummers....they think they are insects and pay them no mind. They have too much to worry about with the squirrels and the cat that lives next door to pay any attention to the little hummers. I wish the hummers would catch on to this. 

Since it's spring or almost...it's time to put on my CD player....




This CD is just the sound of birds chirping and the sounds of outside. I love it. It's frowned upon by all the guys in my office though when I take it to work and play. They say it's definitely, not cool. But I'm not trying to be cool, so that's fine with me. And it drives the weenies crazy...they think there are birds in the house. On parts of the CD you can hear church bells...this CD sounds like Easter morning. 

I was inspired to have this CD after eating at a restaurant in Atlanta on the patio surrounded by beautiful flowers and colored patio lights and the sounds of birds chirping everywhere. I told the waitress I loved hearing all the birds chirping (they actually had a few birds in bird cages around). That it was amazing, that they had so many. She laughed and said..."Oh that's a CD we play of birds singing". Brilliant! I thought and I went searching for one immediately. At the time...I lived in an apartment and had a small screened in porch that I'd decorated with pastel patio lights and plants and I'd go out there and put my Songbirds of Spring CD in the player and chill.

Since moving to Edgemere Park...I can walk outside and sit on my deck and hear the birds chirping and church bells ringing every day for real. Still I play this CD in the early spring before all the birds have arrived here. 

I'm in the mood for Spring!

The things you learn on the Internet!

On Friday, I posted about my favorite Easter book,

The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes. 

Tonight I was thinking about this book and it occurred to me that I wondered what other children's books the author had written and I wondered if I had read any of them and just wasn't aware of it. 
So I went to Wikipedia and looked up the author...

Du Bose Heyward

I quickly learned that this was the only children's book he wrote. 

But what a surprise to learn that he wrote the novel 
"Porgy" 
and play of the same name and then collaborated with 

 George Gershwin 


and

Ira Gershwin




to create the great American Opera 
Porgy and Bess



Mr. Heyward wrote the lyrics to many of the most famous songs of the opera. He collaborated with Ira Gershwin on lyrics.

In fact Stephen Sondheim said,

"DuBose Heyward has gone largely unrecognized as the author of the finest set of lyrics in the history of the American musical theater - namely, those of Porgy and Bess. There are two reasons for this, and they are connected. First, he was primarily a poet and novelist, and his only song lyrics were those that he wrote for Porgy. Second, some of them were written in collaboration with Ira Gershwin, a full-time lyricist, whose reputation in the musical theater was firmly established before the opera was written. But most of the lyrics in Porgy - and all of the distinguished ones - are by Heyward. I admire his theater songs for their deeply felt poetic style and their insight into character. It's a pity he didn't write any others. His work is sung, but he is unsung."

and Mr. Stephen Sondheim should know...

I'll admit, I know many of the songs but have only seen clips of the movie...I need to rent it and watch it all the way through.

Songs include:

"Summertime"
"It Ain't Necessarily So"
"My Mans Gone Now"
"I Loves You Porgy"
"I Got Plenty o' Nuttin"
"Bess, You Is My Woman Now"

Originally conceived by Gershwin as an "American folk opera", Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in the fall of 1935 and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers—a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. Gershwin chose African American Eva Jessye as the choral director for the opera. Incorporating a wealth of blues and jazz idioms into the classical art form of opera, Gershwin considered it his finest work.

The work was not widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera until 1976, when the Houston Grand Opera production of Gershwin's complete score established it as an artistic triumph. Nine years later the Metropolitan Opera gave their first performance of the work. This production was also broadcast as part of the ongoing Saturday afternoon live Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. The work is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire and is regularly performed internationally.


all this information came directly from Wikipedia

Fascinating the things you can learn when you Google.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Easter Story

It's not THE Easter Story....but its an Easter Story I loved as a child. I was going to wait to talk about this book closer to Easter but... I wanted to post about it and suggest that anyone interested....rush to buy at Amazon.com, now, so you have for this Easter. Maybe you know about this book already, but it is just the sweetest, old fashioned and yet feminist story. It truly has a very modern message...though it is a very vintage book....hence why it's here on "ModVintageLife".

I believe you are very much molded by the books you read growing up and this book definitely had a huge influence on me. I just reread it tonight and realized that it very much influenced my belief in myself -  that I could do anything I set my mind to, despite the fact that I was a little girl or despite the fact that there might be obstacles.

It was written in 1939 so it was a book my Mother had read to her as a child, as many of my most treasured children's books are. Books she loved became books I love.

So, please indulge me as I share a childhood memory - I'm getting that Easter feeling. The daffodils are finally up at my house...and I'll need to decorate my redbud tree for Easter very soon. I've decorated the mantel in my home already and will share that this weekend.

Back to the book...I'll include an excerpt here...but I don't want to ruin it for you and tell it all. You'll be surprised how wonderful it is if you go buy it for yourself or to share with a child this Easter. Really...get a copy....it's a lovely, lovely book with the prettiest illustrations and the most inspiring story, especially for a little girl who will grow up to be brave and strong as well as feminine and resourceful.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes



We hear of the Easter Bunny who comes each Easter Day before sunrise to bring eggs for boys and girls, so we think there is only one. But this is not so. There are really five Easter Bunnies, and they must be the five kindest, and swiftest, and wisest bunnies in the whole wide world, because between sunset on Easter Eve and dawn on Easter Morning they do more work than most rabbits do in a whole year.

When one of the Easter Bunnies grows old and can no longer run fast, the old, wise, and kind Grandfather Bunny who lives at the Palace of Easter Eggs calls the bunnies together from the whole world to select the very best one to take the place.

Often a mother bunny says to her child, "Now if you learn to be wise, and kind, and swift, some day you may grow up to be one of the Easter Bunnies." And all the babies try their very best, so that they can grow up and go to work for the Grandfather Bunny at the Palace of Easter Eggs. 

One day a little country girl bunny with a brown skin and a little cotton-ball of a tail said, "Some day I shall grow up to be an Easter Bunny: - you wait and see!"
Then all of the big white bunnies who lived in fine houses,


and the Jack Rabbits with long legs who can run so fast, laughed at the little Cottontail and told her to go back to the country and eat a carrot. But she said, "Wait and see!"


The little girl Cottontail grew up to be a young lady Cottontail. And by and by she had a husband and then one day, much to her surprise there were twenty-one Cottontail babies to take care of. 

Then the big white rabbits and the Jacks with long legs laughed and laughed and they said, "What did we tell you! Only a country rabbit would go and have all those babies. Now take care of them and leave Easter eggs to great big men bunnies like us." And they went away liking themselves very much.

Cottontail stopped thinking about hopping over the world with lovely eggs for little boys and girls, and she took care of her babies.

And one day, when her children stopped being babies and were little girl and boy bunnies, she called them to her and said, "Now we are going to have some fun."




I won't spoil it and type out the whole book....because the illustrations are so beautiful and it's a good 40 pages or more... But there are adventures, lessons learned, adversity and a special happy ending.

Everyone talks about the Magic of Christmas, but there is a Magic to Easter too. My Mom made it magical. We didn't only read this book at Easter but it was a favorite to read all during the year to dream of pastel eggs, bunnies, sugar eggs, tulips and little yellow chicks. 

Reading this book tonight, definitely got me in the mood for Easter. If you decide you wish to order yourself a copy for this Easter...here's the link...


This link is for the paperback version....I didn't check but I bet there is a hardback version in the used sellers or on Ebay. It's a book to be cherished in hardback.

And if you have read this book please let me know....I'd love to know if there are others out there that love this book too.

I'm sharing on 





Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Storybook Homes

my house (circa 1931)

I adore my little Storybook home. My neighborhood is full of them....

here are a few examples of some of my neighbor's homes....


a charming cottage (circa 1934)

the house I almost bought (circa 1929) but glad I didn't...cause I love mine so much

my friend, Deidra's house (circa 1929)


(circa 1928)


(circa 1930)


(circa 1934)

(circa 1935)

As I was saying...I adore my Storybook home but sometimes I fantasize about what I would build if there was one empty lot still available in my neighborhood or heaven forbid my home got totally blown away in a tornado. 

Yikes! 
I should never have said that....
I do NOT want my home to get blown away! 
(knock on wood)

Anyway, I sometimes fantasize about building one of these storybook homes by this incredible company just for fun.





They sell books of their plans. Most builders don't get the right proportion or details when designing these type of homes. But these are just delightful and just right. 
(as Goldilocks would say)

Here are just two examples of their wonderful designs.






Go to their website www.storybookhomes.biz to view more. They are absolutely charming.

I've mentioned before the book Storybook Style that I found to be a great resource for learning about Storybook homes.

find it at Amazon.com

and there is also a website dedicated to Storybook Style...it's called...


webmaster, John Robert Marlow explores Storybook Style and includes photos of Storybook homes in California.

Here are a few of them...









Living in one of these homes would definitely mean...

living happily ever after

"living happily ever after"
 
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