Welcome to the 21st Century

One may notice that my posting can be a little willy nilly, and for that I offer apologies. I often make my way through the day with frequent blog-thoughts popping into my head. "Oh!" I say to myself, "I should post a picture of this fabulous Art Nouveau chocolate tin I just got," or "Shannon! What a lovely little crafting moment you just had. Post it!" (I may actually talk to myself. Maybe I should get a pet: a goldfish named George.)

Why don't I follow through on all my blogging whims, one might ask. Well, I'm about 15 years behind the rest of the world and don't have the Internet at home, so I have to sneak in a bit of lunch time blogging here or at-the-boyfriend's blogging there. This shall all change in one short week.

Yes, yes, my appointment has been made for early Tuesday next. I will finally have the Internet!

{Internet dance, Internet dance, Internet dance}

Let the countdown begin!


A few of my favorite things...

Ah, Thanksgiving: the time of year to gorge on copious amounts turkey and spinach pies, debate with your brother over who inherits the prized 1920s family dictionary, and dine with the oh so whimsical bird silverware.

I love this silverware.

My parents are a pair of talented trash pickers. I recall moments of driving down the streets of Detroit with Mom as a little girl, rain whipping at the windshield as the wipers swish and swash, when she would swerve to curb, slam on the breaks, and say "Hurry. Grab that chair and throw it in the car." How embarrassing it was, though I appreciate my parents' hunting skills and refinishing know-how now that I'm an adult.

The greatest find of them all came when I was a freshly born babe. My father, as the story is told, was making the trek to work, when he spotted a promising pile of garbage. With a few spare moments on his hands, he stopped, only to find a flat, black box. It was the days when he was an avid chess player (I too would belong the chess club not seven years later. I also collected stamps...), and he so hoped it to be a lovely set. Much to his surprise, it was a rather absurd looking set of flatware.

Family tradition was born that day. Each year at Thanksgiving, the set is taken down from the shelf, its heavy silver polished, and each piece set according to proper etiquette (I earned that badge in the Girl Scouts and can say that I set a mean table. Have I ever mentioned my Super Nerd status?).

This year, as always, the "turkey" silverware was set, and we began to ponder its origins. A little Google searching, and I came across this:
Jezzine Ware Ornate Flatware designed and manufactured by the S & S Haddad Company of Lebanon. The cutlery is so well regarded that it has been presented to dignitaries all over the world, a tradition that began in the 18th century with a gift of Jezzine cutlery to Sultans of Oman. The handles are carved from African buffalo horn in a "Firebird" or "Phoenix" pattern with inlaid stones and metals.
What?! Our little trash pickin' set of Thanksgiving flatware is the same as those given to the Sultans of Oman! I don't know who they are, but it surely sounds prestigious. Wouldn't you agree? Why would one just toss this out with the coffee grounds?

How silly some people are.

Meanwhile, we still haven't finalized the dictionary debate.


An art nouveau fantasy...

I spent the last two days traveling for my day job, and one of my stops was an amazing 1905 bed and breakfast in Ludington, Michigan. The Cartier Mansion was spellbinding with 98% of its floors, walls, furniture, fixtures being original. Imagine my sheer ecstasy when I walked into the library and saw this:

Shut up! Shut. Up. The art history nerd in me was shining, still is shining. This is pure, classic art nouveau, hand painted at the turn of the century. This is a perfect example of Alphonse Mucha's style, the father of art nouveau (which, coincidentally, I was just discussing fervently not three nights ago), a perfect example from when it was reaching its zenith. The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris burst art nouveau onto the world scene. This is when it was happening!

I have this delicious fantasy that Mucha needed a break from Paris and his Sarah Bernhardt posters and retreated to the quiet lakeside town of Ludington on Michigan's west coast. He ran into the worldly Cartier family, constructing their masterpiece of a home. The Cartiers said "Hey, Alphonse, why not just do a little diddy in our library?" Then this master of design shrugged his shoulders and said sure, as he did not want to get rusty during his retreat...

There's an utterly dorky smile on my face right now. Over the past few years, I've become a Mucha/art nouveau superfan. I even painted a copy of his 1896 Summer for my dad for Christmas last year. Oh, her look is entirely mischievous. I just want to climb in all his paintings and roll around in them.

Actually, that's my response to a lot of things.



With the past few months being entirely dedicated to one project (I'll have complete photos of the AB gown soon), I find myself absolutely refreshed with a new slew of ideas on the drawing board. Namely, the next batch of creations is going to my upcoming (oh gasp, I shan't say it, oh yes, I will) Etsy site. Gah! Rosewood Buttons on Etsy! I'm so excited and well on my way to having things up and running by Thanksgiving.

With all of the positive feedback I received while sporting my circular brick stitch cuff, (I seriously got stopped on the street dozens of times) I'm going to start with a series of dizzying circles. Stay tuned for the madness!



Does this photograph capture the ghost of Anne Boleyn stopping in for a visit on Halloween night?