Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Some Very Winning Europeans" (European Movie Stars in Life Magazine, 1963)

Good afternoon!

Hope you're not melting, melting in this late summer heatwave--I'm trying to stay cool here at the downtown library, but it's not easy! Lots of work to do today, but I wouldn't leave you hanging...check out this article from 1963 Life magazine on exciting European film stars of the time. Ugh, I just wanted to be Jeanne Moreau when I was sixteen, and I love her happy, smiling jolie-laide face across the page from my boyfriends Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton. Read up on some more familiar names (Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale. the painfully gorgeous Romy Schneider) and some less (Jules Dassin's wife Melina Mercouri, Maximillian Schell, Bergman star Bibi Anderssen, and how did a pre-Dr. Zhivago Omar Sharif sneak in?), and I've even thrown in some interview clips from the time period for good measure. Spoiler alert: European film stars sometimes give interviews in European languages, but even if you don't speak the language spoken, I hope you enjoy seeing real live interviews from the early 1960's (think about what a thing that was before E! and Entertainment Tonight!)

I gotta skedaddle, but have a great Tuesday! Lord willing I'll be back tomorrow with some more vintage coverage for your viewing pleasure.






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekend Finds: Furs and Jewelry, Daaaahling (and a Couple Other Odds and Ends)

Good morning!

The things I do for this blog, I'm tellin' ya...this morning, just before setting out for the book factory, I was in my driveway, listening to the trash collectors' truck trundle down my narrow street at its usual breakneck speed, wearing a fur coat in the already-eighty degree heat, and getting my picture took. The good news, though, is I bought a fur coat this weekend! Take a look:

I think it's a mink, but I can't tell a fur just by looking at it...all I know is, my dad and I drove aaaaall the way to Gallatin on Friday and this was the only thing older than maybe 1980 in a smoky house way out in the outskirts of a town that is twenty miles outside of Nashville to begin with. It was hanging in a back bedroom where a large flat screen tv was blaring Tombstone on TNT, and just as they got to one of my favorite lines ("You die first, get it? Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I make your head into a canoe, you understand me?" PS Kurt Russell, call me), this vision of loveliness appeared, hung on the outside of the closet door. Taped to the hanger was a letter sized piece of cardstock bearing the legend, "VINTAGE FUR COAT $35". And other than the smoke smell, which has already dissipated substantially after a day or two in the shade airing out, in mint condition. How could I resist!

The sales lady cornered me in the walk in bathroom as I was trying the coat on for a spin. "Oh, I knew someone would appreciate that fur coat. It looks like it was made for you!" I bet you say that to all the girls. I preened for a minute, tried to look disinterested, and felt a twinge of "Does this coat make me look broad? Was it made for a shorter woman?". Plus, you all know about my $20 cut off (which has gotten me into trouble with stoles...five. I'm like a mink hoarder). "And I'll make you a deal on it," the lady said, bringing back my interest. "What kind of deal are we talking here?" She looked at it, looked at me, "How about thirty dollars?" I already felt like thirty five was criminally low, and while I might have been able to dicker down another five dollars or so, I was feeling a little like a spendthrift and told her it was sold.

I am thinking of this in winter with a mink hat (got one) and a fitted forties' dress (got one), and some cute little heels. I am feeling an overall sense of satisfaction at this idea.

The coat is from Kramer's in New Haven, Connecticut. I was able to dig up this article and this article on Google Newspapers, and another that recounted a robbery that happened in 1924, but other than that, nada. Google Newspapers is really coming through on regional history, though, I couldn't find anything on regular Google other than other furs for sale (at much more than $30, thankfully). I love the typography on the tag, and that giant, swooping "K".

Best part though...this strange, pretty reverse embroidery of the owner's name, "Merita". I die.

One of my favorite sale companies was having another estate sale in Gallatin this weekend, where I swung over and picked up these baubles. None of them are marked, but jumpin' Jehoshaphat, the sheer drama of these earrings and the matched brooch and earring set! As I was checking out, an elderly lady leaned over to me and said, "You picked the exact ones I would have picked, out of all that jewelry!" Birds of a (n outrageous and opulent) feather. The set at bottom was $15, the large earrings on the right $5, and the smaller ones to the left $3. Can't beat prices like that, either!

"These earrings are soooo big..." "HOW BIG ARE THEY?" Take a look for yourself:

They match my dress and I almost wore them to work today, but decided for some less wild, but still purple rhinestone'd earbobs.

From Michael Taylor:

Taylor's sale was in a warehouse out in the farmlands of Franklin this weekend, and while I was just delighted by everything I saw, nothing was really in my price range (see these lamps I just instagrammed for example...oh, so beautiful!). Then, out of the blue, I came across the hat...and when I realized it was matched to the purse...well, hell.  The tag (below) indicates it's from Sears Fashion, and I wore it out on the town to Holland House with Emma and Tyler on Friday...didn't I feel like an Egyptian queen in this turban like pretty? Again, more evidence on instagram.

This Native American choker was at the same sale as the fur coat-- I also bought a Frederick's of Hollywood from the seventies' pair of stretch leopard print pants and matching halter...I forgot to photograph it but know the world is a better place for such a two-piece outfit to exist. I've been wanting a choker like this since I saw one at the flea market, but that one, being some kind of real-deal antique, was $50. This one, much more reasonably priced at $6. Now, to plan out what to wear this with...

Last but not least, I was on my way to drop my dad off in Madison when we came across a sign that said "ESTATE SALE" and pointed us towards a kind of sketchy part of said part of town. Always down for another sale, we tooled over kind of behind and to the right of the county clerk's office on Heritage Drive, where it was pretty much a yard sale with some estate items. My dad: "Ah, do you want to go? I'm good, we can just go home." Me: "We already drove all the way over here and I need to find out what is going on with that eagle." This is what is going on with that eagle:

Sooo...sequined, embroidered eagle majestically landing on a branch on a black velvet background? With one wing cut off by the inlaid frame? Of course I bought it. AND its twin. Yes, I have not one but two panels of this magnificent image. $7 for the pair, and they're like two feet high by a foot across. AMERICA.

I think that about covers everything I got this weekend. How about you? Make any crazy scores? Buy any insane wall hangings? Do you have a similar weakness for vintage furs at bargain basement prices? My mom this weekend was like, "What are you going to do with all these furs, make a teddy bear out of them?" (as people's grandma's sometimes do to repurpose old stoles) Me: "No, I'm going to wear them! All at once, too, one on top of the other. String 'em together with rhinestone brooches." Pappy: "All right, Cruella de Ville." (say it like it's a bad thing, daaaad). Go to any good estate sales? What would you wear this fur coat with? Tell me all about it!

That's all for today, but I'll catch you back here tomorrow for more vintage tchotchkes and tangents. Have a great Tuesday! See you then.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Real Talk: Barefaced and Gymmin' It

Good afternoon!

I have to tell you, I'm feeling like the "Good NEWWWS, it's MONDAY!" desk flowerpot from Tom Goes to the Mayor this Monday...there's big news coming next week, but I'm far too harried in terms of work-work and things-outside-of-work-work to discuss it at length right now. Today’s question, as it's on my mind: how clothes or body or appearance conscious would you call yourself?

I told you guys the other day I managed to commit to a membership to the YMCA, and I’ve been a frequent presence in the wellness center lately, gulping down bottled water and watching “COPS” on the exercycle while the minutes count down. Me, leaning over to Matthew on another bike, huffing, "How...Rochelle...that girl...she had a knife...AND she was drunk...driving...?!" as the miles click away. I still have no idea what I’m doing (is there a “Use the Gym Membership to the Best of Your Abilities for Dummies” out there, somewhere?), but I am feeling good doing some kind of cardio a couple times a week in order to blast away some of this “ONE more glass of wine won’t kill me” lethargy fat accrued over the last few months. Because those forties’ and fifties’ dresses aren't going to get any bigger! It’s me that has to get smaller to continuing donning my beloved wardrobe with grace and style. At any rate, I thought I’d tell you about the other day when I was waiting in the car at Kroger’s, and posted the following selfie (#selfieobsessed) to my Instagram:

It’s my thing: I wait in the car, Matthew goes in and gets last minute grocery/household items/liquor on the way home, I noodle around my phone, and somehow, a selfie always gets taken. VANITY, thy name is Lisa. Seconds after posting this one, I thought…ugh! Why are you putting images of yourself in less than perfect condition out into the world! No eyeliner?! No lipstick?! And in sweaty old t-shirt?! People will see you for the wildebeest you are! I felt a little bit of the panic those gals in the PBS series Colonial House felt… “Wait, no mascara? But! But!” as they hie to the bushes to try to rub red clay on their cheeks before the cameras get rolling. Where did this slavish devotion to public appearance come from? While I have always loved wearing whatever looked good to me, which could be a leopard print capelet or an eye-blindingly bright maxi-dress, this “Wait, what if someone sees me at less than my best?” definitely feels like a more recent occurrence.

Me with makeup, for comparison, with additional Matthew photo. Hi-ya, cutie!
While I have never, not-ever worn pajamas in public, I think my real style conscious self-strictures came sometime post-college when I moved into my house. At twenty-two, with a real grown up job teaching French and English, I had to think about being up in front of thirty pairs of high school eyes trained on me with the laser-like scrutiny of teenagerdom. Remember how when you were thirteen, “Where did you get that shirt?” could be interpreted to mean anything from “I want to know so I can get one!” to “Does your mom shop at Kmart?” Or how you could probably do a reasonable police sketch of every outfit your favorite teacher wore the year you were in her class (I’m thinking specifically of young and fun Miss Farrell, fifth grade year, with cool jeans, frizzy red hair, and festive vests)? In my French class, a sixteen year old girl once balked at my Old Navy shirt, emblazoned with an oversized applique of a fish, with “A fish? Why you got a fish on your shirt? What’s with the fish? You see Miss S has a fish on her shirt? Wearin’ a fish like…” etc, etc. Same class, different kid, “Why do you always wear black? Is black your favorite color or something?” Or, "I like what Miss S is wearing but I couldn't wear it. She's not stacked like me. She do got a booty, though" (still something Matthew echoes as I'm trying on clothes at Goodwill, "You DO got a booty though). And my favorite, as my weight ballooned as my stress with the teaching environment went through the roof, “I know, I know! You’re pregnant! Are you pregnant, Miss S? I bet you’re gonna have a baby!” No less than maybe twenty separate instances of that. Fun, right? Two years later I had lost something like seventy five pounds after a strict diet of no starch, no sugar, no nothing. And as I lost the weight, I made a vow with every lousy salad that I was never wearing anything I didn’t like again. Which, in turn, led to a my-idol-Joan-Crawford like fastidiousness of dress and appearance.

What I look like in my head at all times...maybe with a teensy bit less eyebrow pencil (I still love you, JC) source.
And while I’m no celebutante, I honestly don’t leave the house ever without my makeup. It takes literally less than ten minutes to throw on the following:
  • Maybelline liquid black eyeliner and just a little mascara (I found out sometime after college that the best way to elongate my large, hooded eyes was to draw a Cleopatra like line to either side…it’s still my favorite look)
  • Bare Minerals Powder applied over Clinique lotion (Norris Church Mailer mentioned in her memoirs that Marilyn Monroe’s roommate told her she used a similar trick to make her face glow in a “natural” way…so if you can believe the story from me-from Mailer-from MM’s roommate, that’s only three degrees from La Monroe!)
  • Revlon Fire and Ice lipstick—the only red lipstick that both doesn’t make me look like I’ve borrowed someone’s mom’s makeupcase and/or makes my eyes appear more blue than green.
That might sound like a lot to someone who faces the day sans maquillage, but I take that as the bare minimum so that I can leave the house. For a workday, I draw my eyeliner more sedately; on the weekend, I might roll up like Maria Callas in your house. Either way though, I’ve gotten to the point where seeing my makeup less face doesn’t feel like “me” anymore. Know what I mean?

However! This is actually one of my most commented-upon photos on Facebook since pro-o-obaby my wedding!

I was just this side of flabbergasted to see all the nice “aw, you look nice anyway!” comments and 31 likes. I certainly hadn’t meant it as a “fishing for compliments” photo and almost took it down, thinking, “Someone, somewhere is going, ‘ugh, look what she looks like without makeup!’ ” I did apply one of the basic filters to the picture because I’m not a masochist, but it was amazing how nice people were about my face even without the usual enhancements I've taken to really put across "who I am". And without my characteristic tiny belt, beret, and lipstick, how would you know I was me?! These are things I've been thinking about lately in light of barefaced gym attendance. 

Color me obsessed with this?! (source)
I want to know what you think! Not about my own face, but about yours-- do you have makeup or hair styles that make you feel more like "you"? Where did you happen across them or when was the eureka moment when you realized you weren't to leave the house without [fake eyelashes, beehive, blue eyeshadow...or all of the above!]? What clothes do you think of when you think "that's the kind of clothes that I wear". Is your appearance "a symbol of [your] individuality, and [your] belief... in personal freedom" (still one of my favorite quotes of all time)? Do you ever get hassled for being "too dressed up" or made up? Let's talk!

I have babbled on WAY TOO MUCH about myself today, but I intend to come back and do more of the same tomorrow! :) Have a great Monday night! I'll see you then.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rerun: Photo Friday: Handtinted Photographs Edition

This blog originally appeared on She Was a Bird November 13, 2013:

Good morning!

It's Friday! It's a rainy, yucky, gloomy Friday, but I'll take any end-of-work-week-day I can get! I'm sprung out of this joint at 1 today, and I'm telling you, I was ready to go about the time I stepped off the elevator to get here this morning. However! What kind of a Friday would it be without a photo retrospective? Let's dig in!

As I was browsing through photo after photo of people who aren't related to me this morning, it crossed my mind that large number of the photo sets would have one photo, usually from the thirties', that was just over-saturated with watercolor like hues. I love them one, I love them all-- but here are a few that cropped up this morning that might be worth your while! Might, who I am kidding, ARE. Go look already!

I had always thought that colored photographs were something you paid a professional photographer or someone that worked for him to do to your negatives, which were then processed as a regular development. Uh, shows that I know about photos. From the invention of photography in the nineteenth century and well up until about the fifties', you could hire a professional to tint your pictures by hand (electroplating was an early technique that produced good results), or you could break out a box of pastels, water colors, whatever art supplies you had in the house, and go at the photo yourself! As long as a photo was matte rather than glossy in its finish, you could draw in devil horns, add cascades of rainbow colors-- think about it as early, early, early Photoshop. I think I've told you before one of the things I remember from my F Scott Fitzgerald crush in high school was reading about Zelda going back through photo albums and carefully shading, with a lead pencil, all her maternity pictures so a more svelte, cheekboned girl appeared where a roundfaced expecting mother has been before. The above photo was possibly painted in by the woman's daughter (the user's mother) years after this was taken at a 1934 county fair.

WOW what color. Doesn't that blue just sock you in the kisser on first glance? Just the very basic blocking of color here-- the woman's dress, the man's tie, the green ivy in the background and the roof-- makes every object in the photo more distinct. We were talking about this the other day when I mentioned that clothes in black and white could be the most unpredictable shades under the rainbow-- besides racking my brain as to "what color would that dress be in 1935?", I wonder how many details I've missed in old photos because the grey looks like the grey looks like the medium grey. Do you know what I mean? Here, the woman's sepia skin would have been the same color as her sepia dress and I might never have noticed the belt. The house would be one wash of color and I wouldn't have noticed the ivy. Isn't that wild to think about?


I'm also partial to the Land of Oz like vibrancy of hand colored photographs. Here are some school girls poring over a magazine, in what would have been a "ah, nice, there's your grandma, I guess" photo. With a couple of brushstrokes, the pastels pop right out of the frame, and I'm remarking upon the polkadots on the center teen's dress, the barettes in the girl on the left's hair, and those enormous ruffles on both dresses. I'm not sure I would have noticed the girl on the right even has glasses on, without the bas relief effect the color has in making the non-color items stand out, as if in 3D, from the photo.

There's also something about the un-realness of the colors, like an acid trip of what 1936 must have looked like. The colors are so bright you could taste them, where the uncolored portions of the picture are muted to the point of being indistinguishable from other parts of the background. Here, the grass has been colored and the family, but with no attention to the background. Possibly the sky was a pale blue that faded back to a non-color, but isn't it weird how the family is so vibrant against the oatmeal colored sky and fence? I love how they're stairsteps in terms of height and how well dressed is each member of the family.

Last but not least, a pretty teenager in another photo booth, this one in Montreal in 1938. Didn't the tinter (maybe the girl herself?) do a good job on the flowers and on creating a realistic lip, cheek, and face color? Being sans background kind of puts this photo in a context-less space, where, if it weren't for the photo stock and the hairstyle, this photo could have been taken in 1960, 1990...anytime! I love her pretty, open face and high forehead (not to mention the dress...I'll take one in my size, thanks).

Do you have any hand tinted photos like this in your collection or in your family photo album? We have a few that were professionally tinted (like studio shots), but I don't think any enterprising member of my family took to the paintbox to make our pictures REALLY pop. If you're interested in the art of hand tinting, there's a link here to a simple "here's how it's done" procedural, as well as several books on Amazon (or, cough cough, IN YOUR LIBRARY) that could help you get started! Check 'em out.

I have to skedaddle off to the nonfiction desk, but I will see you guys with bells on Monday! Have a great weekend, pray for no rain at the flea market tomorrow, and I'll catch you on the other side! Til then.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962-1965)

Good afternoon!

Here I am agazin, slinking over to Blogger in the middle of the late afternoon to send you a missive from the library trenches...once again, we are relocating service desks, avoiding adhesive patches where the new carpet's going, and generally trying to keep business rolling in a workplace in flux! I've been listening to what I think is a circular saw for the last forty minutes, and people...I'm ready to go home already. However! I wouldn't dream of not checking in with you of a Thursday. With the scant time I have left in the day, let me spread the good word about The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

So you've seen Alfred Hitchcock's masterworks like Notorious, Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Psycho (I love ALL his movies, but those are my top five). You've probably seen a couple episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which bonded his name inextricably with the "Funeral March of a Marionette" by Charles Gounod (one of the most genius uses of public domain classical pieces as theme music, um, ever). BUT! Have you seen the three seasons of his last television series, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour? If not, goody for you, as I've found a slew of them on the world wide internet, free for all to see, that I thought I might tell you about. I've been watching the hello out of these lately since we cancelled our Hulu, and they stand up admirably well compared to a lot of other programming from the same time period!

Tell you what though...can you spot the celebrity (or celebrities!) in each one of the stills from the episodes below? Click on each of the titles to see the episode on Youtube, and scroll down to the bottom to see if your answers were correct! Ready...steady...go:

IMDB description: 
A mystery novelist sends a series of weird audiotapes to his publisher. On the first tape, the author boasts that the publisher won't be able to discern if the story he narrates is the history of an imminent murder - or a mere fantasy.
Who's the mystery movie star and mystery blonde in the screen cap?

IMDB description:
A very sweet French maid runs away with, and marries a professional burglar with hopes of making him honest.
Recognize the hunk of handsome in the suit, center?

IMDB synopsis:
A perfect couple's content suburban world is interrupted by a telephone threat ("I'm going to kill you") against the cocksure husband. His past misdeeds unravel his new life, terrifying his unknowing wife.
Who is this well dressed, unknowing wife? Also, will she let me borrow that dress?

IMDB synopsis:

Gerald Musgrove shoots and kills a night watchman while stealing $100,000 from a bank. On the street nearby, while eluding police, he meets elderly Emmy Rice, and befriends her. Since he is on parole, he must launder the loot, so he stows it in some of Emmy's old magazines...
I'm sure that works out well for him. Who's the murderin' bank robber in the tender scene above?

IMDB synopsis:
A lonely young woman moves into her newly-deceased aunt's home in a small town. A way-too-helpful next-door neighbor becomes her guardian angel. He's a lay preacher, who's determined not to go back to being a coal miner.
And the preacher/coalminer iiiis.....?

Did you guess 'em all? 

Bet you already knew this one
  1. Angie Dickinson (left) and James Mason (swoon, right).
  2. An impossibly young Robert Redford, center.
  3. Gorgeous Gena Rowland (star of several of husband John Cassevetes's ground breaking independent films; also, a little movie called The Notebook).
  4. Roddy McDowall, English child star, lifelong friend of Elizabeth Taylor, veteran film actor, and Cornelius of Planet of the Apes fame.
  5. Peter Falk, who you might know as titular star of Columbo (hard to recognize him without the trench coat).

How'd you do? Now, go watch the episodes and tell me what you think of them! Did you ever watch Alfred Hitchcock's television properties either when they aired or in reruns? What is it about the devilish sense of irony or turnaround that makes these great even fifty years later?

I've gotta run, but have yourself a wonderful little Thursday night, and I'll see you tomorrow for Photo Friday! Take care; til then! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Perspective on Color (1952 Interiors)

Hi-ya, folks!

Sorry to have been MIA most of today-- I've been snowed under at work! At one o'clock, some fellow library employees and I moved the nonfiction desk to its temporary home a couple hundred feet from where the old one was on the third floor, and I'm telling you, the calamity and clamor of it all. Plus, we were internetless for about two hours (which is the same as saying we didn't have oxygen to breathe in this, our twenty-first century)...anyway, "there was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!" but I'm here now, and don't I have a delicious little slice of the 1952 interior decorating pie to share with you. 

Come! Look! Let's start with this Dorothy Draper hunk of GORGEOUS:

Caption: "Feminine bedroom in nostalgic colors"

Yep, I was sitting at the desk without my internet, flipping through the March 1952 issue of your-favorite-magazine-and-mine, House and Garden, when spots appeared before my eyes-- and not just because I'd slugged what felt like a tureen of coffee just before reporting to my post. We've talked about Dorothy Draper before, because she's in my top five all time greatest decorators hall of fame, but if she wasn't already, this room would nominate her for that prestigious list. This article, awkwardly entitled "This Spring, It's the Light, Bright Look", features eight designs by world-renowned interior design experts of the time on how to use C-O-L-O-R to spruce up your digs for spring. I, for one, now want to put all the furniture out on the lawn and start from scratch. Isn't that what a really beautiful living room or kitchen does to you? Just makes you want to live in that picture of what your life could look like?

Draper is well-known for her splashy, feminine, whimsical designs, and as you can see, this room is no exception. From the text:
Dorothy Draper likes... cherry-bark, forget-me-not blue, heliotrope, white. She suggests a white chintz with cherry-bark polka dots for curtains and upholstery, forget-me-not blue ceiling, and heliotrope carpeting.
And I suggest that I drop everything this weekend to make my own bedroom look like this, however tiny it may be in comparison.  The colors again:

As I start singing some mournful, aching love song in the Otis Redding school to this palette. YES.

But the celebrity designers don't stop at Draper. Look at this sunny, rambling, just-so room, and guess what former silent film star designed it:

"Ranch living-dining room in western colors"
For your information:
William Haines likes... "natural" colors, beige, gray-green. He suggest a raw wood ceiling, polished brick floor, sand-gold walls, beige curtains. Against this background: eucalyptus chintz, gray-green accents.
Yep, my best friend Joan Crawford's best friend Billy Haines, from their days in silent pictures on the MGM lot, designed this room. I really love the mixture of prints and shapes and colors. Just think of the well-heeled young professional couple looking to build their indoors-outdoors modern Southwestern house and incorporating both the masculinity of the cowhide rug and raw wood ceiling with the garden-party pattern of the eucalyptus print sofa. Can you just see me stretched out reading my spooky comic books on my stomach on that rug, listening happily along as Matthew writes a brilliant new tune on the piano? I can! That would be the life, right there.

"Living room in earth tones"
William Pahlman is another big name in midcentury decorating, and he designed the room above. It's funny that this looks the most dated of the bunch, but to more like 1966 than 1951. So technically, far ahead of its time! 
William Pahlman likes...oyster white, Mustard, Driftwood. He uses a plaid that combines these three colors for curtains and a chair, picks up the Driftwood for another chair, the Mustard for carpeting. Deep oyster walls, pale oyster ceiling.
That last line sounds like something from a Jim Morrison spoken word poem. Isn't it interesting how matter-of-fact paint colors used to be? While my eye can differentiate between Sherwin Williams' "Everyday White", "Simple White", and "Gauzy White", I am irritated by the fact of having to. Shouldn't that name be descriptive of a thing in the world that that color corresponds to? Am I asking too much? Oysters, mustard, and driftwood all have colors! I love the potted cacti and the way the furniture is arranged with regard to but not around the fireplace.

"Lanai room with quiet background"
 Do you know somebody actually called the library about two weeks ago to ask me what a "lahn yay" was? I hadn't heard of the term and couldn't find anything to save my life, until she added that it "was what the girls on The Golden Girls were always calling the patio". Ahhhhhh. That google autocorrected me to "do you mean Golden Girls lanai?", which led me to this message board (note to self: explore Golden Girls message board at length later), which led me to this definition: "la·na·i (ləˈnäē,ləˈnī), noun. a porch or veranda." At least I know how to spell it now. What this guy says you should do with it:
John B. Wisner likes...gray-beige, white, and Bitter Green. In a glass-enclosed lanai room he uses gray-beige for walls, ceiling, and rug. Curtains and floor are white. For accent: Bitter green sofa.
Speaking of bitter, I am still feeling that emotion over the fact that my parents took down the wrought iron supports and covering over our 1954 back patio  lanai sometime in the mid-80's. Maybe I can convince them to put it back up again now that their vintage loving daughter lives there! If wishes were fishes...

"Town sitting room with bold colors"
This is one of my favorites from this spread. The gold, white, orange, and pink remind me of something a thirties' star would have in their 1960's city apartment they bought with their television appearances money. It's elegant at the same time as it's loud and glamorous.
Melanie Kahane, pink, and black plus white. She uses the first two as striped carpeting under a pink ceiling. Upholstery is tweed flecked with orange, black, and white.
Why don't people have rugs or carpets in solid stripes like this anymore? I didn't even notice it until it was mentioned in that passage, but it's a really fun, funky kind of floor covering choice. Sign me up! The couch and the throw pillows may be the star of this set-up for me, though.

"White dining room with sharp color"
Judy Garland's outburst over her Parisian friend who drags her to a hairdresser, in that adorable little monologue from Judy at Carnegie, is a good description for this room. Replace "woman" with "room" and keep all the emphasis:  "A woman who is so chic! She's so, chic, you can't stand it. She's a darling, marvelous woman, she's just so chic." How she feels about that native of France, so do I feel about this room. Black candelabras and lavender candle sticks and crystal for miles! Green and white dining room chairs! That wall planter above the sofa! Well, let's get a look at what we're talking about here:

Stedman-Harris likes...lots of white with sharp accents. They suggest white walls, ceiling, curtains, and slip covers. Accents are in malachite green, magenta pink, royal blue. On the floor: Chinese matting.
Bust. My. Buttons. Chinese matting, huh? Even without the grand proportions of this room, I may have to institute the same in my den, if it can be recreated on the cheap. Wow!

"City bedroom in pastels and bright accents"
 How do you like that headboard? And the pink peeking out from stage right?

Tammis Keefe likes...grays with cerise and turquoise. She matches the walls to a pale gray cotton carpet, adds an ink-gray bedspread. Turquoise and cerise point up this scheme.
Those turquoise curtain and that palette are really neat. Again, if they could just show me a few things in a normal ceiling-height room, I would appreciate it. Outside of a cookie-cutter McMansion or a prewar brownstone, where are you getting these ceilings, people? I'll forgive you if you let me have that 10 foot lacquer Asian cabinet over to the side there, even if I don't have anywhere large scale enough to put it.

Last but not least:

"Country library in bright hues"
And the award for most eccentrically named decorator goes to:
Zelina Brunschwig likes...persimmon-red, grays, and yellow-green. Against deep gray walls, pale gray ribbed carpeting, she suggests orange tweed upholstery. Curtains are a yellow-green flowered chintz.
The picture I took of the magazine illustration doesn't show it very well, but this is a really neat room, especially with those revolutionary soldier red, lipstick red, whatever you want to call them red sofas (I guess I defer to Zelina from now on and call it "persimmon"). At any rate, lovely!

So! Tell me what you think about these rooms! Which do you want to bring wholesale into your own home? Which color palette appeals to you the most? Should I adopt a 10 foot lacquer cabinet and polka dot drapes and Chinese matting into my current home? The heart says yes, but your input is always welcome. :)

Well, kiddlings, I have to scoot! This is the latest post ever!! I have about another hour here at the book farm and then we're off to dinner at a friend's-- I am excited about having after work plans that don't involve my ongoing war with the fitness equipment at the downtown Y (it wants me to get in shape, my body wants to continue being out of shape, I want to get in shape...surely the majority will prevail!). Have a great night, and I'll talk to you tomorrow. Til then!


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