Monthly Archives: January 2013

1970s Beauty Parlor Meets Atomic Lounge

19/365 atomic meets 1970 beauty shop

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

When I brought this lamp home from the flea market, the first words out of my husband’s mouth were “It looks like something out of a 1970s beauty parlor.”  The second was “Where are you planning to put it?”  Yes, there may have been some trepidation in his voice.  To be fair, the lamp was originally topped with a tall, striated gold shade.  It was also sitting on a black and silver faux-grain laminate shelving unit.  (I promise…pics of these awesome finds in posts to come.)  It was a lot of to take in, especially for a guy who is stretched by my love for vintage on a regular basis.

I played around with the idea of painting the base and keeping the gold shade to make the husband happy.  His vote was for burnt orange (it usually is).  I, however, was concerned about losing the black shading and spatter that showed off the lamp’s groovy shape to its best organic advantage.  Could I replicate this?  Would I need to?  And was there such a thing as too much gold?  Or black spatter?  These questions were my progress stumbling  blocks.  So when my mother, who has a lamp hoard collection, offered up this atomic shade, it just felt right.  It’s difficult to see from the picture above, but the paper shade has a wavy pattern that echos the amoeba shape of the base.

31/365 texture #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Sometimes a little 1970s beauty parlor needs a little atomic lounge.  Sometimes my chocolate needs a little peanut butter.  Or my peanut butter needs some chocolate.

Nuts!

17/365 Nuts! #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

When it comes to health, or rather avoiding common ailments, I’ve always followed the mind-over-matter school of thought.  I DON’T GET SICK.  But I am currently in Day 4 of struggling through bronchitis symptoms.  (Let’s get real, it’s probably more likely Day 7 or 8.)  Nuts to mind-over-matter!  How is putting all that positive energy into the universe working out for me now?  Can I tell you a secret?  The Secret is crap.

Okay, so getting my dander up is making it more challenging to breath.  Instead let’s take a moment to gaze fondly at the wonderfully saturated colors of my vintage salted nuts tin against the peacock blue tray from Target.  Please excuse the blurriness of the photo, although it does a pretty accurate job of demonstrating how I am seeing the world today.  I love the contrast of colors and that the caramely brown is carried through on the mid-century cocktail table where this tray sits.  Just love it!  Honestly, it’s these little things in life that make me happy.  That’s the real secret.

The tray pictured is no longer available, but this pretty coral lattice tray also strikes my fancy.  By the way, who hates when they gamble on snatching up something at Target when it goes on clearance, only to miss buying it altogether?  This girl.  All Christmas season I admired the gold faux bois and stag design melamine party plates.  I waited too long, and now they are nowhere to be found.  Boo!

What? Like, it’s hard?

16/365 winter west sky #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Until yesterday, this was the last Instagram post I shared as a part of the #365project.  It was late evening on January 16th.  And then I dropped off the (blogosphere) planet.

Recently I read a blog post in which the author shared her challenges with posting to her personal blog while maintaining a full-time job and full-time life.  My inner monologue, in its best Elle Woods voice, thought “What?  Like, it’s hard?”

Legally Blonde

And then.  KAPOW!  Life gave me a swift kick in the ass.  Yes, it can be hard.  Especially when I got so far behind, that I couldn’t figure out how to explain getting behind without sounding whiny and petulant.  So I won’t.  I’ll just stop making excuses, stop being so hard on myself, and start posting blogs again.

Down Time = Time for Ideas

10/365 roasted tomatoes #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Ugh!  I spent most of the weekend on the couch feeling poorly.  It made me absolutely crazy to be indoors and sitting still for so long.  I did, however, squeeze in some fun moments.  I also captured some ideas for later projects when I’m feeling great again.  First, I made these roasted tomatoes.  I like to eat salty grape tomatoes with cottage cheese, but I wanted something warm in the chilly winter weather.  Roasting these tomatoes was a perfect compromise.  The recipe – if you can call it that – is below.

11/365 It's as bad as it looks #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

I spent a lot of time staring at this church rummage sale “find”.  I bought the painting (yes, it’s horrible), because it was a huge 4×4 canvas for $5.  I thought that I knew exactly what I wanted to paint over it, but now I’m thinking of another option…or three.

12/365 through windshield raindrops #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Speaking of art project, I’m inspired to try to replicate how this snapshot looks through rain drops with paint.  Or maybe an abstract quilt pattern?

14/365 orange apothocary #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

When I wasn’t staring at Ugly Painting, I was more happily looking at this.  It’s one of my favorite purchases from Crate and Barrel (a couple of years ago, and I don’t think they have any similar in stock).  I love that it’s modern and clean lines, while at the same time it has so much traditional influence.  This is one of a pair, and they flank the pass through between our living room and foyer.

10/365 roasted tomatoes #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss tomatoes in olive oil and season with rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Spread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until tomato skins begin to break open, stirring once about halfway through baking.

My Favorite Owl

Today, at a drive-up window, the cashier asked me if I liked owls.

What I Said:  Yes. (handing him my cash)

What I Thought: Uh, this is weird.  Why would he ask that question?  Is it my owl key chain or my owl coin purse that is piquing his interest?  I don’t have my keys or my coin purse out.  They are tucked somewhere in the deeper recesses of my purse, and I probably couldn’t find them right now if I tried.  My purse is on the passenger seat.  Why is he asking?  How does he know?  Weird.

What He Said:  What is your favorite kind of owl? (handing me my change)

What I Said:  I don’t know.  I’ve never really thought about it.

What I Thought:  How can I say that I like owls if I don’t even have a favorite owl?  My key chain – an Advent calendar gift from my husband – is my favorite owl-accessory-of-the-moment.  It hoots, and its eyes light up blue when I press the button on its back.  But what is my favorite owl?  The cute kind?  What kind of owl is the owl on my key chain?  Can I hold up my key chain (if I can find it) and say this kind?  I can’t think of one type of owl at this moment.  Wait…there’s the Great Horned Owl.  Isn’t there?  I could say that, but do I like that kind of owl?  What if he asks me why?  How can I say that I like owls, if I can’t even think of more than one type of owl?  I wish that I could think of a type of owl that would sound super impressive, because right now I’m pretty sure that I sound/look like a stammering fool.  Is there such a thing as a Hoot Owl?  Will I sound dumb if I say that?  It sounds like an owl in a children’s poetry book.  What was that elusive owl that they referenced on The Big Year?  Something-or-other Tufted Owl?  That  would sound impressive.  But it wasn’t the greatest movie, so maybe it wouldn’t.

What He Said:  I like Barn Owls. (handing me my drink)

What I Said:  Oh, with the round eyes? (making a circling gesture around my own eyes with the hand that isn’t grabbing for my drink)

What I Thought:  Is a barn owl a real type of owl?  Or is it from the same poetry book as the Hoot Owl?  Is that the owl on my key chain?  I think it is.  If it is, that’s my favorite type of owl.  They are cute.  Oh, he’s still talking.

What He Said:  I was attacked by a Screech Owl once.  Something something something.  It was huge.  Something something something something.

What I Said:  Yeah, that would scare me.  Huge.  (nodding and making a gesture like spreading wings with both my hands)

What I Thought:  Are we still having this conversation?  Do I look as crazy as I feel waving my arms around like this?  Why do I gesture more when I’m nervous?  How can I exit the conversation gracefully?  Isn’t there another car in line behind me?

What He Said:  Yeah.

What I Said:  Well, have a nice day!

What I Thought:  (as I pulled away from the window)  I’m such a schmuck.  Why would I care so much about what a complete stranger, the cashier at a drive-up window, thinks of me?  He was just being nice; making conversation to help his day go faster.  But why did he ask me about owls in the first place?  I…(looking down briefly, I catch a glimpse of my rather large hinged owl pendant necklace)…oh.  I am an idiot.

This, however, is my favorite owl.

[instagram url=http://instagr.am/p/UUYORMuPFD/ width=675]

The Hootch-Owl.  Modeled after a 1930s corkscrew, it’s one of my favorite gifts that I gave my husband for Christmas this year.  I should have told Mr. Friendly Cashier that my favorite owl is the Hootch-Owl and driven away with a confident, yet mysterious, smile.

After paying for and receiving my drink of course.

Color Me Beautiful: Lourdes Sanchez

9/365 multi #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

I’ve been a fan of Lourdes Sanchez since finding the West Elm Bulls-Eye rug.  Her colors and designs often remind me of mid-century Otto Treumann festival posters (via Mid-Centuria; check out the whole Otto Treumann post here).

Otto-Treumann-Visuele-vacantie-verleiders-bird-1967-MON

I spent some time browsing the Luli Sanchez gallery this evening, and I fell in love with EVERYTHING.  Some of my recent favorites are from the scenic category.

Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-4 Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-1
Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-2 Lourdes-Sanchez-Gallery-Scenic-3

Check out the Luli Sanchez site for  yourself, and read a recent interview with Lourdes over on Design*Sponge.

Oh, and pardon the corny title.  The color-wheel-like pattern of our Bull’s-Eye rug reminds me of that ’80s book.  I’m a Summer.  You?

Hazel is a Fighter

8/365 Thaw #365project

A post shared by Karen Collins (@annumography) on

The snow is really thawing now in Indianapolis…wait a minute…really?  I’m blogging about the weather?  Anyway.  One of my favorite shrubs in our back yard is this Corkscrew Hazel (aka: Contorted Filbert, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, Corylus avellana).  It’s more visible now without its 7-inch blizzard blanket, but this girl puts forward her best face against a snowy background.  I rescued this bush from an end-of-season clearance sale at a 90% discount, and I love to imagine the roots underground creeping, pushing, and twisting through the earth in the same way that the gnarly branches grow above ground.  Every year my husband predicts that Hazel is dead.  Then her wrinkly, green leaves unfurl, and she thrives on.