Monday, April 14, 2014

Blogger Sabbatical (One Week Only!)

Hi, guys!

How's tricks? I think I'm going to take a week off the constant blogging schedule to see if I can't decompress a little...you know how much I love gabbing to you about my shopping exploits and the spoils of war, but this gal is burned out between being a domestic goddess, a Dewey decimal guru, and a darn good deal spotter. It's hard work making it look this easy. ;) However! There are all kinds of exciting things coming down the pipeline, so never fear, never fret-- I can't keep this stuff to myself for long. Hope you have a great MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday, and I'll see you back here a week from today (mark your calendars) with more from the vintage vault. Just think of all the things we'll have to talk about by then!! In the meantime, enjoy these vintage photos of a sixties' IBM office whose patriotic color scheme makes me want to run for a paint can. The future is now!

Take care, talk soon!

Lisa





Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo Friday: In Praise of A.T. Burke Edition

Good morning!

We made it to Friday! And you know what that means-- I've scanned and screened tons of pictures on Flickriver to bring you the best of other-people's-family photos. And do we, AGAIN, have a doozy of a photo goldmine today? WE DO! A.T. Burke is a 94 year old flickr member who has uploaded dozens of photos from his collection of Kodachrome slides. Quite the prolific amateur photographer, his slides and prints span fifty years, but focus mainly on the post-war to Kennedy era portion of his life as a newlywed and then a family man.

Without further ado: HOLY SMOKES, LOOK AT THIS PICTURE. LOOK AT THIS PICTURE.


This photo about knocked my eye out for how crisp and gorgeous the colors, not to mention the GIRLS IN THE PHOTO look like they just stepped off the sound lot of some Metro musical. The flickr entry features a long essay of a caption by Burke on the strength and character of the four childhood friends in the wedding party above. From said essay:
As both a compliment to the then-young ladies shown in the old Kodachrome, and a voice of concern for America’s future, I ask the question, “Who will replace these people?” I’m sure as Betty passed away, a new baby was born. That child will eat the food that Betty will not and breathe the air that Betty can no longer. That’s just the cycle of life and the way it always will be. Sadly, that child will never see, nor be part of, anything like the Kodachrome Era. It seems like America is just not replacing “Bettys” of like quality and caliber. Our children, grandchildren, and our grandchildren’s children will have to live with the results.

I treasure this old photo. It still has the clarity, color, look and feel that can make an old man look back to yesterday. I’m glad it wasn’t digital, as it would be long ago corrupted. My memory fades, but the Kodachrome does not
There is something that is putting a hitch in my poor little heart thinking of this 94 year old man looking back at his life through a series of eye-popping Kodachromes and other vintage format film stocks. Some are better quality in terms of clarity than others, but on color alone, just WOW. WOW. WOW.


This photo is captioned:
The doting grandmother had taken the train from Los Angeles to San Diego for the boy’s 6th grade graduation. I took the picture. She was my mother-in-law. The boy could not have asked for a nicer, kinder and more generous grandmother. Yet, as she did so much for him, she did it in a way that did not tend to spoil a child nor give him a sense of entitlement. She also instilled high standards in him through example and leadership. What a woman! 
She's the pretty auburn haired bride's mom...look at the resemblance and how perfect both of their clothes are. It's amazing how a) the 12 year old boy looks like a full grown man in his dress clothes and b) how the depth of focus continues far into the background, where the people thirty feet away are as clear as if you were standing there today squinting at them.

Speaking of perfect clothes, though:


The wife again with a friend. Doesn't the friend's dress look like something you would see on Trashy Diva's reproduction swing dresses website right now? I would wear either of these outfits exactly as is. How about that skinny little sapling in the background, too? I can remember in middle school my parents planted some similarly twiggy little maples in the back yard that are now so solid and tall it's hard to think I'm old enough to remember when you could have bent them over with your two hands!


Everything about this birthday party slide is amazing. I guess it was a joint party for a few of the children, or the mother was really into baking cakes. Look at the beautiful, crisply colorful tablecloth, the little boy with the Greek-mosaic-esque fish print on his adult-styled shirt, and the little girl on the right's adorable playsuit. One of the things that is so appealing about Kodachrome's clarity, as I said in the 6th grade graduation photo, is that feeling that you could just walk into the frame. Like Don Draper's famous Carousel speech (as I start openly weeping just thinking about it), it isn't a print, it's a time machine. While a similar photo in black and white, or even in a lesser quality color stock, would be fine, there's something almost magic to the even-better-than-real-life representation of a moment that passed sixty years ago.

Another interesting thing? The strange, neon pink nebulas that appear in some of these slides. No, it's not proof certain of extraterrestrial life...rather, some fluke of the processing or deterioration of the negative. I think they look strangely on purpose, though, in their placement, and pretty as geodes.

"Posed shot for one of the gal's husband who thought he was quite the ladies' man"


"These five gals had been friends from grammer school in the 1920s" Check out the different shades of red on each girl's lipstick.


"USNA 1963 Kodachrome's got the blues." Did you notice the Naval Academy marching in the background or where you too distracted by how great the mother's outfit (gloves, dress, purse, kooky sunglasses) is?


"Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA just after WWII"...notice the loose cut of the suit, the pearls and white lace blouse underneath, her lapel pin, and THAT HAT, how prettily it blends in with her hair in terms of texture.


"November 1944 just off campus near the USNAHer fur coat and that little baby! I'm going to make it my life's work this weekend to figure out how to wear a fashion turban without looking like I just stepped out of the shower...is it the shape of my head? Am I doing something wrong when I tie it? Rosalind Russell, Lana Turner, and my friend Emma look so pretty in one, I want to join that group of stylish women!


This last, AMAZING photo is only captioned as follows:
 Ansco film in a Kodachrome cardboard mount. Even when Kodak was a real company they made mistakes. They processed my Anscochrome film right but somehow placed the slides in their Kodachrome mounts.
There are some interesting stereotach still life photos on the flickr stream, too-- just the fact that the image is doubled is cool, of course, but some of the ones of cacti and flora in the Southwest are really framable. While I don't know enough about the mechanics of photography and film development to appreciate a lot of the captions Burke has placed on the specifics of how the photos were taken, I'm impressed that he included this information in a lot of the captions.

So! Which of these is your favorite? Are you not bowled over by the beauty of Kodachrome film stock? Check out more of A.T. Burke's slides here, and comment on them if you like them! It looks like he actually does check and respond to questions with some regularity, in spite of saying his age and health might keep him from it in his captions. I enjoyed these pictures SO MUCH.

Well! That's all for this week. Have yourselves a fantastic weekend, and I will see you back here on Monday! Take care, and find good stuff! Til then.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Burton and Taylor (Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West 2013)

Good afternoon!

How's everybody! Night before last, my dvd copy of the recent BBC production Burton and Taylor finally came in at the library, and I was so pleased I went ahead and watched it the same night! If you knew my library video viewing habits, I am always trying to squeeze in like four movies I've had for fourteen days in on the fourteenth day, but THIS! This is too good to pass up. I've been pining over the production since all the hubbub about it when it aired across the Atlantic, was upset I didn't have cable and BBCAmerica when it aired earlier this year, and eagerly put a hold on it when our library bought a copy or two. And lemme tell you, kids...it was worth the wait!


The preamble to this post: Every once and awhile, narrative lightning does strike twice in Filmland. 1988/1989 saw two adaptations of Les Liasions Dangereux (Milos Forman's Valmont and Stephen Frears's better Dangerous Liasions, respectively), 2005/2006 two biopics of Truman Capote (Capote and the less successful Infamous, respectively), and 2012/2013 two Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton movies (the easy-to-confuse Liz and Dick and Burton and Taylor). In all three cases, there seems to be a definite "better" property...I still like to look at Colin Firth in Valmont, but he's no match for Malkovich's unforgettable portrayal of the main character in Dangerous Liasions. Tiny Toby Jones more closely resembles the author of In Cold Blood, but the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman might as well have been Capote in the movie of the same name. Similarly, you can't even compare Liz and Dick to Burton and Taylor. And I don't even say that out of some grudge-held antipathy towards poor La Lohan... she honestly didn't have a chance in the Lifetime production. There are I Can't Believe It's Not Butter commercials with better production value and dramaturgy than Liz and Dick. Speaking as someone who loves biopics with a selfless, acolytic, movie-obsessed heart, I sat through about twenty minutes of the miniseries before switching it off, shuddering with horror at the thought of how ANYONE could take as interesting a series of biographical events and utterly fail to have them come across. So, you can imagine I was holding out hope but w-o-r-r-i-e-d about how bad Burton and Taylor would be.

Spoiler alert! Worries were completely unfounded. The movie, while not perfect, is a great and above all FAIR representation of my most beloved celebrity couple in the twilight of their twenty year love affair.

Burton and Taylor stars Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter as the titular twentieth century pair, following the former couple's semi-disastrous 1983 run performing Noel Coward's Private Lives on Broadway. Why disastrous? Where to start! At the opening of the movie, Burton, married and divorce from the violet eyed movie icon twice at this point, is more interested in lucratively returning to the stage while maintaining his sobriety and relationship with personal assistant-partner Sally Hay. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is more interested in a detente if not an all out reconciliation with the great love of her life, slipping easily into the role of a kittenish, volatile flirtation with Burton. The course of true love never ran smooth, after all-- and with these larger than life characters, each with lingering feelings for the other, each with their own professional and personal egos, each battling late-stage alcohol addiction....well, it's a powder keg.



While I'm disappointed no one's tackled a major miniseries on the too-wild-to-be-true-yet-totally-true life stories of the Burtons, for the present I'll be happy with the excellent Kashner dual biography, Burton's own published diaries, and this great 90 minute soak into the relationship. I think the best choice this production made, was a) its focus on a single aspect of the couple's chronology (a few months of 1983, wisely excising the last months of touring the production did) and b) its casting of actors who can really put across a part. While neither bears more than a passing resemblance to Elizabeth and Richard, both Bonham Carter and West are exceptional in their task of making you believe they're the couple. Looking at these still photos I kept thinking, "Well, she's beautiful, but she's nothing like Elizabeth Taylor", while after the first five minutes of the movie, the thought never crossed my mind that she wasn't the woman herself. She caught the magnetism and the vulnerability of the star, along with a surprisingly approximation of the cute, Minnie-Mouse-with-a-sailor's-streak voice of hers.

Same for West, giving off alternating waves of Burton's guilt, affection, and irritation towards Taylor. The hair did a great deal towards building up his resemblance, but more than that the voice and the palpable tragedy of Burton at this point in his career-- a wistful husk of the man who won a Tony for Camelot and stormed Broadway in Hamlet twenty years earlier. I was ready to deeply dislike whatever characterization he put in for the film, and instead, fell in love. The idea of someone you can't live with but can't live without has been visited countless times in romantic dramas...but this one played out on screen as well as off, and there's a lasting bite to the sadness of Taylor and Burton not being able to work it out that really shines through the picture.


Another Liz, the gossip columnist Liz Smith, just about said everything I would have liked to have said about the movie in this article, PLUS with the benefit of personal knowledge of the couple and having been present for opening night in the Private Lives production in 1983. I love her succinct recap of the real-life situation intertwined with her praising but not fawning attitude towards the BBC movie. Which is about where I stand...it's not something I would want to watch another twenty times, but I was very impressed with both the performances of Bonham Carter and West as well as the quality of the storytelling itself.

The real deal in 1983.
To sum things up, I now want to read Burton's diaries all over again and watch a bunch of their movies, and isn't that the best compliment you can pay a biopic? The last ten minutes (complete with slow-mo last scene and ridiculous pre-credits title card codas) was a little painfully bad, but the preceding eighty minutes was thoroughly enjoyable stuff for people who can't get enough of these real-life romantic figures. Also, I would like to start teetering around on stilettos in a huge (in my case fake) silver fox fur coat and even larger sunglasses á la La Taylor in this movie. Ugh! Glamour, glamour, and glamour. We'll have to talk some day about my lasting fascination with her personal life and career, but for now, know it's safe to watch this movie and not get your little cinephilic heart broken.

How about you? Seen anything good lately? Did you watch either of the Burton Taylor biopics? What were your thoughts? What's your favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie, if you have one? Let's talk!

I have to get back to work, but will see you tomorrow for Photo Friday! Have a great Thursday. Til then!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dream House: Estate Sale Edition

Good morning!

How's tricks? I'm chugging along at work this morning, deeply immersed in my Patricia Highsmith audiobook, still a little sonambulant from my lack of sleep due to horrifying video-on-demand rental of hier soir (I'll have to tell you about it later; still too spooked)...maybe some coffee and some vintage chatting will do me some good? I wanted to tell you today about this estate sale I went to last Friday. While the only thing I scored was the Masonic poster I told you about yesterday (slim pickin's for a magpie like me!), I am still, five days later, getting over my astonishment at the eye-poppingly perfectly preserved atomic age decor of the house. 

Wanna see? You know you want to see. I grabbed these from the estate sale people's Craigslist ad, so if you're liking what you're seeing and live in Nashville, be sure to keep an eye out for Bishop Estate Sales on estatesales.net.


OH LAWD, LAWD, LAHHHWD. Look. At that couch. And the two still life paintings hung in those fifties' kitsch á go go frames. I scream, you scream, we all scream "WHY IS THERE NO MORE ROOM IN MY HOUSE FOR COUCHES". At three (living room Broyhill, den leopard print sectional, green room other-Broyhill), we are at critical mass for couches, but I could die over how much I wish this living room set could go in my living room. Other than a sale in Hendersonville a few years ago, I can't rightly remember a sale I walked into where everything was as immaculate as whatever day the family set up house keeping in the fifties (the house was built in 1954, I'm guessing a lot of this is from the same year). Can you imagine going to Cain Sloan department store or one of the old furniture stores downtown and just going "Yes, I'll take that....that....and that...." knowing it was an investment that was literally going to last you a life time.


THE MATCHING CHAIRS. IN BEAUTIFUL SLATE GREY. I ACTUALLY FEEL MY HEART STOPPING. Furniture-in-suites wise, my dad told me about a receipt he still has in his family mementos from the mid-thirties', when his grandma married his granddaddy and moved from a farm in Hartsville to the big city, Nashville, Tennessee. The receipt is matter-of-factly for every piece of furniture you would need in a new house-- bedroom suite, kitchen table and chairs, living room set, radio, stove, refrigerator. They were by no means rich people, but like I said, it was an investment for furniture they would use the rest of their lives. How novel that sounds in our buy-it-use-it-up-buy-another contemporary culture! I like thinking of being in the new house, a pretty young newlywed, the day everything arrived at your tiny but pleasing-as-punch first home. "Where do you want this, ma'am?" were probably the second best words she'd ever heard in her life, after "Do you take this man to be...." only a short time earlier. How wonderful it must have been to sit down on your very first, very own furniture. 

Aren't these side tables unusual? There's a set of two and they match the coffee table.


Which is a KIDNEY SHAPED TWO TIER COFFEE TABLE (she says while hyperventilating into a paper bag):


There was furniture of a similar age throughout the house, and the most immaculate high-pile, vintage color carpet I think I've ever seen in my life underneath it to boot. Seriously-- if you removed the detritus of having lived in a house for sixty years, then blindfolded and spun me around a couple times, I wouldn't have argued with you if you said it was 1956. Actually, I would probably be really pleased that it was 1956. I wonder if it was because the family didn't have kids that they somehow managed to keep the house in such pristine condition? They might have had children for all I know, but those tell tale fifties' toys and seventies' albums indicating a former baby boomers residence were missing. They DID have a lot of vintage dog beds and clothes, some of which Rae snapped up for her little pug babies (see mind-blindingly cute evidence of this purchase here). I was there a little before her and missed getting to gab about the outrageous furniture, but I did see Mr. Kitsch going through a box of old cleaning products for Eartha, right as I was about to text her to tell her there was vintage Borax at this sale and she might want to get down there. Now that's a good husband! :) Matthew, to his credit, did try to convince me that maybe a green vinyl couch in the house could somehow be squeezed into our den, but cooler heads prevailed.




I don't remember that tiger painting being there at the time (believe me, I would remember that), but all those beautiful fifties, sixties, and seventies' shoes in a size 5B were still kicking around in their original boxes. Oh, to be born with tiny flippers instead of these clodhoppers I'm saddled with! To be fair, if I had a size five foot and was my current six foot tall height, I would have freakishly short arms for my frame and would probably tip over in a strong breeze due to an insufficient base for my center of gravity...BUT THE SHOES I COULD WEAR, PEOPLE. The shoes I could wear.


Here's a beautiful vanity with matching stool and two lamps that called out to me from the photos. Notice the ficus plant and the leafy guy to the right of the vanity...these people were all about artificial plants! I almost bought that vintage scale, but I already have one that I cuss at all the time, it seemed overkill to have two.


Matching dresser to the vanity...the headboard might have been there but I didn't see it, bummer. How about those unusual handles and the blonde wood finish?


A second matching dresser and chest of drawers in the second bedroom...again, not a mark on it, perfect (the Eames bucket chair peeking out from behind the mirrored dresser was already sold BEFORE THE SALE BEGAN, wth):



And last but not least, a larger but very similar china cabinet to the one I bought the other day at the flea market, I bet it's about the same age as mine. Are you loving the metallic gold wallpaper? Because it's killing me how much I want this exact room in my house. I hope, someday, when I do buy a house, a) it already has wallpaper like this in it and b) I have a formal dining room like this. I will never eat a meal at the kitchen table again after that lucky day! (As I have visions of myself and Matthew seated, Tudor style, at either end of long dining table with some huge candelabrum obscuring our view of each other from one another...haha, that'll be the life!)


Sadly, when I got to the sale at 8:30 that morning (after an open time of 8 am, Friday, first day), the weird tropical plant above was already in the back of someone's pick up truck, and the living room set was bought over the phone by someone out of state and waiting to be shipped accordingly to its new owner. What do you think about that? It doesn't make me as mad as that time I drove to Lebanon, where I didn't even get to see the 1920's dresses advertised in the sale, but I would have been pretty steamed if I lined up at 7 to score my new living room set only to hear some out-of-towner had beat me to the punch by telephone. The dining room set and the bedroom vanity were still for sale, but two skinny East Nashville kids, younger than me and flannel clad, were already paying sixty dollars apiece (!!) for the atomic age lamps atop the vanity's surface. Le sigh. Why does it bug me that I can't have ALL the 1950's furniture in the world? Or that buyers should have to go through some kind of personality assessment before bringing home swag I think belongs in a good home? We'll have to address that on another post of She Was a Bird, labeled "Ongoing Mental Issues", "Vintage", lol.

So! What do you think about the house? Which piece of furniture or room has you sighing the dreamiest sigh over it? If you were there, would you have pulled the trigger on any of these fine fifties' artifacts? What's inspiring you in terms of interior design or vintage collecting lately? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I'll catch you back here tomorrow with vintage goodies and gewgaws. Have a great Wednesday! The weekend'll be here before we know it! Take care, til then.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekend Finds 2: 1880's Masonic Poster

Good morning!

Well, I survived going to the dentist this morning, so I guess it's time to settle down in my cubicle and tell you the tale of how YET ANOTHER bizarre item has made its way into my possession. Don't worry, I haven't backslid on my clutter stance-- I have a round up of items ready and rarin' to go back to Goodwill where they belong as we speak. But when I went to an amazing sale out near Cornelia Fort last weekend on the way out of town, there was no way I could pass up this...whatever it may be:


This doesn't show the size very well, but imagine this is about the width and length of the small coffee table atop which I took this photo... maybe around average poster size, 24 by 26? It's a masonic....poster? Diploma? It was sitting on a couch in this house with AMAZING furniture but very little smalls that interested me, with "$1" written on a piece of masking tape stuck to the back. A buck! How could I refuse? The color is much less yellow and the water stains less apparent in real life, but I assure you, the images are no less mystical, Victorian, and after my own heart. Take, for example, this eye, possibly the Lord's own eye, looking down from heaven upon the masonic lands:


In another quadrant, Noah's ark or possibly just...someone else's ark rocks along the shore under the sheltering arm of a rainbow. Don't the water stains make this particular tableau look ominous?


Throughout the piece, various Biblical and I guess fraternal order scenes are acted out along spaces where you can ink in when you reached such and such level of brotherhood. At the very bottom, a 1887 (!!) copyright bears the name "Pettibone Mfg. Co., Cincinnati", which also lists itself as a maker of fraternal order ceremonial items. While the pictures are in poorer condition, this website features a better condition poster from the same time along with a reprint made in 1917 (still none too young in terms of vintage). I kind of prefer my weirdly messed up version as it's a tad bit spookier/atmospheric, but youknowhowweareaboutthesethings. That post, under "Masonic Museum", mentions that "[t]his is a certificate that would have been filled out and presented to a new Master Mason." From what I can understand on this website, you can go into three separate types of masonic membership-- "entered apprentice", "fellowcraft" or "master mason". 


The "From Darkness to Light" inscription is also explained on the aforementioned site, as follows:
The candidate enters the Lodge of the Master Mason in darkness, for he has not witnessed the Light at this Degree before.  But the difference of this entrance from that of the others is that he is now in a state of equilibrium and is prepared to walk on sacred ground.  He becomes fully committed to the Fraternity and completely puts his faith on the Three Great Lights.
My dad's dad was a mason, as well as Matthew's dad's dad...I even know three guys my own age who are active Masons, and yet I have to say I don't understand much about the secret ceremonies and rituals of the fraternal organization. I really should take advantage of one of those open houses they do yearly at the Grand Masonic Temple in Nashville...it's literally down the street from the library, and from what I hear, they have all these amazing historical pieces and ceremonial costumes out for us non-initiates to see once a year.

I hope I would see more things like this!


Here's the meat of the poster; notice the ornate 1880's lettering's font, that which the guy in the modern package design book was complaining about last week (I like the fanciness of it, what can I say):



A large image from the same...hello, mountain goat:


Yes, there's a funeral in the background. I guess you're supposed to keep this even after your Mason relative has passed away, as a record of his Masonic life? Note the marker on the memorial's base: "Called from Labor":

More biblical scenes, I think...I'm again, not very up on my religious texts, unfortunately:





A pretty great quote from Exodus, here, "I am that I am", followed by some closeups from the same scene:





Anyway, I know I'm not a Mason so I shouldn't have these kinds of Masonic things laying around the house, but how could I resist?! I hope to find a frame for it and put it in a place of pride in my den, with all the other 1880's portraits and skeleton marionettes and everything else that catches my wicked little eye.

So! What do you think? Have you seen anything like this before out in the wild or in your own family's collection? Know any masons who can decode the secrets of this poster? Aren't you fascinated, as I am, by the beautiful iconography and strange subjects of this poster, not to mention the fact that it's BRIMMING with symbolism I may or may not completely get?

You can see more Masonic themed posters here ( in reprinted form), but I'm warning you-- it's addictive poring over all the individual figures on these over-the-top ceremonial documents. Have at, have fun!

I gotta get back to work, but I will talk to you tomorrow! Keep a good thought for my aching teeth, and I'll see you then. Take care.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Finds: The Lamp of My Dreams (1940's Tv Lamp)

Good morning!

How was your weekend? I went up on a little two-day getaway to Louisville and poked around in the antique stores and peddler's marts with my extremely indulgent husband ("If you see any crazy quilts laying around, sing out, brother," would be my last words to my beloved as I would scurry off into the darkness of some junk store's far corners). While having a room with a hot tub in it and coming across a COPS marathon on cable tv were the highlights, I would be lying if I didn't say I was SO EXCITED to bring home some loot of vintage extraction from far off hunting grounds in the Bluegrass state. What I love the most? Oh, just this lamp. I hope you're not tired of hearing about junk I drag into my house, because you know I'm not tired of telling you about it!

Me, this morning, admiring away. Note the new Sisters (1973)  poster in the background, added bonus!
As I sing a paen of love to my lamp, along the lines of and with apologies to Billie Holiday's "The Man I Love"... HOW COULD I LOVE A LAMP MORE. We were in the basement of an antique mall in Louisville proper when I saw this lamp base sitting all on its lonesome in a sparsely populated booth. There were some McCoy vases on a shelf, a couple pieces of Fiestaware, and this GREAT BIG HUNK OF GORGEOUS perched enchantingly on top of a chest of drawers. I might have actually done a little gasp of delight. Ya gotta act cool when you're out negotiating deals. I could not act cool.


Is it not beautiful? Does it not look like something Billy Haines would use to decorate Marlene Dietrich's 1940's ultra glamorous pied à terre with? At fifty dollars, it was way the frank more than I usually shell out for a trinket or bauble around the house...my dream price on this would have been about half that. Matthew rationalized that I would only end up spending that amount in smaller increments over the course of our trip to fill the lamp shaped hole in my heart...and danged if I didn't agree with him.


Now, when I found the lamp, it only had the pole and lighting element, with some kind of huge, round, outdoor light bulb. Like Blanche du Bois, I can't stand a naked bulb-- as you may remember from earlier posts, I hoard both whipstitch lamp shades and vintage ceramic diffusers for the very purpose of stylishly hiding unsightly, shade-less bulbs from public view. I think this shade, which I originally used on a harlequin base I also found in Louisville, goes great with the whole show-stopping vibe of the ibex base. Do you love how dramatic the black coloring of the animal's figure is against the subtle turquoises and purplish midnight blue of the long planter type thing?



Did you know that's the kind of animal featured here? I had to google "animals with curved horns" before I came across that specific descriptor. While the sleekness of the art deco design and the legs-for-days of this particular figure may look more like a deer, in real life, an ibex is a kind of mountain goat. You learn something every day! You can see more beautiful examples of the creatures in art and decoration via this Pinterest search

Ok, the weirdest part of this lamp's story-- when I got home, I searched high and low online for another of these pieces, to see if I'd done well or ok or kind of bad by shelling out half a C note for this little piece of loveliness:


YES! SCORE! While I know the internet is full of pie in the sky prices, I can't tell you what a relief it is to my spendthrifty little heart to find out at least there aren't a million of these out there, and at least I didn't get hornswoggled in the deal (see the link here). What's even more interesting than the price, however, is that my lamp was rewired and modified by someone at some point to change it from tv lamp (which is what this guy is, with a small space in the back along the planter-esque space for a bulb to illuminate the figure from behind) to a full on lamp-lamp. When I looked it over, there's some kind of fixative in the well where the single bulb would have been (plaster of Paris? Something semi-solid) from which the lamp's post extends. Weird, huh? I love the idea of some guy whose wife wanted a new lamp in the fifties going "Whaddya want a new lamp for? This one suits me just fine!" "Yes, but it's not a proper LAMP lamp, it's just a tv lamp!" "We'll see about THAT!"

So! Enough gushing for one day, suffice it to say that I am in love. How about you? Did you find anything good out at the sales this weekend? I have more loot, but I'll have to save it until tomorrow! I gotta go grab some lunch and then get back to the business of providing quality phone reference to all you library patrons out there in the Nashville area. Orrrrr at least the best I can do on a bellyful of grape leaves. :)

Have a great Monday! I'll see you back here tomorrow! Til then.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Photo Friday Rerun: Mongomery Clift Edition

Hi guys! 

I have an action packed weekend, starting with an estate sale that starts at the gruesome hour of 8 AM-- that's right, I'm dragging my weary bones out of bed on a NON-WORK day to go comb over treasures of a mid century sort. However! How could I leave you hanging for the weekend? This is one of the handsomest guys STILL in the whole of my photo collection. So if you missed it the first time, or would like to take a walk back down memory lane with this heartthrob, here's your chance to see my GI dream boat. This post originally appeared on She Was a Bird November 2, 2012.

Anyway, wish me luck out in the wild world! Have a fabulous Friday, and I'll see you guys on Monday! Take care. Til then.  -Lisa


 Sorry I'm late, folks! Estate sales having taken longer than I thought they would, I only have a minute before I dash off to make lunch, but I wanted to show you guys what I grabbed on at a sale in East Nashville. Caution, ladies...this one's a scorcher:


I was going through a box of pictures in the upstairs bedroom of a little house in Lockeland Springs when I noticed about a quarter of the photographs inside were from WWII-- I quickly sorted through and grabbed any that caught my eye. At 25 cents apiece, you really can't make a bad choice. When I got home and started scanning, I realized four of them were of the same, drop-dead gorgeous enlisted man. DOES HE NOT LOOK EXACTLY LIKE MONTGOMERY CLIFT? If Montgomery Clift and Don Draper had a third brother, here we go, folks. Sadly enough, none of his pictures were labelled, but who needs background info when you have a face like THIS:


 Look at his cool leather jacket and knit vest over shirt and tie! I've asked you before, but I'll ask you again--why don't men dress like this anymore? Even the ones that do tend to pull it off in this ironic, not-really-getting-the-point, looks like it came from a bargain bin way...this guy looks like he's about to seduce his leading lady before making a really cool movie about early aviation for Warner Brothers' in the thirties'. I swoon, and swoon; revive myself and then swoon again.

Oh, but he probably doesn't even look that spectacular in full dress uniform, I mean, that would be ridiculous, right?

AAAAAAH:


I think I'm still a little dizzy from the first two, and here's the man himself. Relatively tall (maybe 5'10''?) for the time and just as handsome and imposing as in his close ups. Look at that jaw and those cheekbones! I love the barracks in the background and the long shadow he's casting against the background.

This was the first one I found and the most Monty Clift of the bunch. Ugh. Just like a picture. Freakishly handsome. I wonder what his children and grandchildren looked like! Or how pretty the girl he married must have been. It's always such a wistful feeling I get as a vintage photograph collection to know that what I have is what there is, or all that there is, or all that I'm going to get to see, at any rate. Still. I'm so hanging these in a place of prominence in my house.


What'd you think of my WWII boyfriend? Do you have any heartbreakin' soldier pictures in your collection? What do you look for when you first start rifling through boxes of other-people's-pictures?

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you right back here on Monday! Good luck at the sales!

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