Happy Halloween!

Yeah, I'm scared, too.

Happy Halloween!

Arizona Design Inspiration

I was browsing through design sites, as I do, and I came across this gem from Apartment Therapy: a design from Coco + Kelley called "Arizona"--a fresh take on the typical southwestern style that has, in the past, ended up with oh-so-many unfortunate peach and aquamarine sofas with faux Navajo designs.

I love the deep colors combos here, like the desert at sunset over a deep, blue lake. While the original intent here is the design of a study, I'm definitely keeping this as inspiration for our master bedroom!

Great Fall Recipe: Sinful New Orleans Bread Pudding

As Halloween is this weekend, I thought I'd share a sinful and fairly easy desert you can share with your ghoulish guests. This was a favorite of mine growing up, and I plan to be whipping up a batch on Saturday. This recipe is lovingly borrowed from the Creole and Cajun Recipe Page.

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 quart milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the beaten eggs into the milk. Tear bread into chunks and soak in milk and egg mixture. Crush with hands to make sure milk has soaked through. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins and stir well. Pour melted butter into a heavy 9 x 14 baking pan to coat the bottom and sides. Add bread mixture (and I sprinkle more cinnamon and raisins on top) and bake until very firm, about 40 mins. Cool pudding, cube it and put it into individual dessert dishes. When ready to serve, add whiskey sauce and heat under broiler for a few minutes (last step optional).

Whiskey sauce

For a nonalcoholic version, you may add a teaspoon of rum, orange or vanilla extract (but where’s the fun in that?)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter (or margarine if you insist)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 ounces Bourbon whiskey or Southern Comfort; rum also works well

Cream sugar and butter and cook in a double-boiler until very hot and well-dissolved. Add well-beaten egg very slowly and whip very fast so egg doesn't curdle. Cool and add liquor.

Serves 8

Bon Appetit!

DIY Perpetual Calendar!

I have a confession to make: I usually don't know what day it is until I look at my watch in the morning. I've tried to buy calendars, but the expense and my own nature at forgetting to flip the page every month--which is why I love the idea of a perpetual calendar. But, alas, the perpetual desk calendar usually requires some kind of action on my part, and it only gives you a day-by-day blow.

That's why I love the idea of this magnet calendar from Apartment Therapy--I get the feeling that this particular calendar is one of a kind, but this gives me an excuse to try my hand at marble magnet making (great DIY from not martha). Imagine the possibilities! You could make your own personal reminders (birthdays, dog training classes, garbage day) and move them as needed to personalize your monthly outlook. Enjoy the craftiness!

Ode to Expedit

The Ikea Expedit shelf has always impressed me with its simplicity and clarity of purpose; most Ikea products do well with a hack or two, and here you can find some uses that make my mind ponder the possibilities (though I confess, I've already dipped my toe into the water with a similar wall of Expedit).

So, for your reading pleasure, a haiku: Ode to Expedit--

Oh, Expedit your
beautiful squares mesmerize
your storage appeals.

Crafty DIY Glass Decals

I'm loving these Alice in Wonderland glasses from Urban Outfitters, but at $5 a pop, I can't bring myself to purchase a usable set. Luckily, I found this craft-tastic technique for making my own decals on How About Orange.

All I need now is a Google image search, a laser printer, some packing tape and some glass candidates--I suppose I will have something extra to search for in the thrift shops this weekend!

Things Look Better with Spray Paint!

I'm always looking for crafty things to do to vintage finds that aren't so lovely, and spray paint is where I usually end up--it's cheap, easy, fast, and a great way to preserve the essence of an object when you need to change it to match your decor.

Picture frames can be changed to match your pictures:

White can unify objects (and emphasize their shape):

Vintage Pins for Cool Weather...Some Favorites

The weather is finally starting to cool off here (after last weekend's freak 98 degree weather here in Tucson) so I'm starting to dream of taking my winter coat out of storage. It's a plain black trench, so I like to dress it up with something fancy...

This vintage kilt pin brooch from basilthecat is fabulous--it reminds me of Betty Draper's charm bracelet on Mad

This copper pin
would certainly pop on simple black (from ForeverClassique)

I'm a sucker for pearls...(from gardenhomevintage)

...and rhinestones (from VintageStreet)

I love this owl from littleshout--the feather detail is fantastic!

What to do when you move?

Talk about some great advice on what to do in your new place--I don't know if I would go so far as to replace the entire toilet seat (if it was in good condition, of course--though I'm not discounting copious amounts of a bleach solution) but these basics are things we occasionally forget in the flurry of searching for the box with your toothbrush.

The one I hone in on is changing the locks--I think it's something we put off because of the mere hassle of the process, but we actually discovered a great product for this just after we moved. We did the whole house in less than an hour with Kwitset's SmartKey system -- and no, this isn't a cheap plug, I just really loved it! You just put in the old key, use the included "SmartKey Tool" (a thin piece of metal) and then use your new key to teach the lock. Very simple, and super easy to get the same key for all of your house locks.

(Doorknob image from ShaneLilyRain)

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere!

Great minds think alike! Check out this great post from Apartment Therapy on pumpkin displays--some of these are definitely a bit over the top (oh, Martha...your influence), but they are quite beautiful and unique. This shows the impact that multiples of something can have on your decorating.


New Items!

I love the vintage modern style (and stuff!) but sometimes I come across an item that really makes me love what I do. I just listed an adorable postcard book from Sacramento, sent from "Daddy" to "Miss Carol Stone" in 1918. I just have to wonder about the little girl receiving this lovely memento from her father while she waits for him to return.

Check it (and my other recent listings) out:

Lovely Vintage Sacramento, California Folding Postcard Book with Color Pictures

Handpainted Red, White and Orange Vintage Modern Vase with Broomed Texture

Vintage Brown Glazed Flower Pot with Basket Weave Pattern

Set of 8 Vintage Bar Glasses with Blue, Green, and Gold Stripes

Awesome Vintage Set of Aqua Blue Pressed Melmac Cali-Ware Sectioned Lunch Plates

Happy Friday!

Great Tool for Developing your Design

I just found this fantastic inspirational tool, and I wanted to pass it along. It's called Imagespark, and it provides a depository for images you find on the web. You can use the images to create your own groupings through tags and moodboards, which I love, because I can never seem to keep my ideas straight when it comes to design inspiration (outside of tearing magazines apart, and I never like to do that). You can also check out what other people have been saving to their moodboards in the community.

You can even download a widget that allows you to right-click on whatever image you find while you surf, and save it directly to your account on Imagespark--so no more saving to your desktop and uploading later! I can't wait to get started with some garden inspiration--it's starting to get just cool enough to spend time outside again.

Cozy Color Inspiration

I just had to post this picture--I love the layered and cozy feeling in this apartment. It's a great testament to collecting and displaying what makes you feel good, and not being afraid to mix colors that you love. I see a lot of marvelous modern interiors nowadays, but somehow this level of comfort and beauty seems more achievable to me (and my husband, dog and two cats).

You can read the rest of the article on this apartment here. Enjoy the inspiration!

Five (Plus one!) Great Etsy Finds for Your Office

Things are going great! So far I've sold three items, and there's plenty more where that came from. I'm starting to get a routine together for the shop, and this past weekend I decided it was finally time to organize the office. Right now, it's unfortunately not very stylish (when I launch into entrepreneur-dom I'll find some better furniture) but in the meantime it works for me. The key thing is storage--I re-purposed an old shelf that's been floating around since my college days (yes, it does have paper wood-print veneer on it) and it does the job of keeping all of my items in one place. I also grabbed a great Ikea table on craigslist, which serves the purpose of a desk and a place I can photograph my wares.

One day, I hope to have one of those offices featured in such blogs as Apartment Therapy or Design*Sponge, but until then, I found a few great things on Etsy that would spice up any office:

A mod perpetual calendar from sweetshorn

An Hermes typewriter from ModishVintage (perfect for typing my thank you notes!)

A set of colorful magazine files
from SecondHandSews (for my beloved issues of Domino)

A revolving cork desktop organizer from bouquet

A great green mod trash can from backgarage

Five Tips for Simple and Spooky Halloween Decorating

I love Halloween. Growing up, it was by far my favorite holiday. It wasn't just the candy (although, that was definitely part of it), it was the surprises that waited for you around every corner. The weather was starting to become crisp, the leaves began to glow, and you never knew what to expect after you rang the doorbell.

Now that we have a house, we've discovered that our neighborhood is Halloween central--they actually bring in busloads of kids from around town to trick or treat! Last year we were ill-prepared, barely making it to Costco for giant bags of candy. This year, I want to do it up right, so I've been looking for ideas--here are some great ones:

1) It's all about the lighting
It's amazing how changing a light bulb can alter the entire feel of a place. Try replacing your porch light with a red or green bulb for a spooky glow. Backlight bushes and trees to cast shadows. You can grab some colored gels from your local craft or hardware store and use your regular landscape lighting to beckon trick or treaters forward. And of course, you can change the light bulbs inside the house to get that Amityville Horror feeling.

2) Try multiples
One pumpkin is great, but imagine 10! Part of the Halloween feeling is chaos and surprise, so try picking one thing to grab multiples of--jack-o-lanterns, skulls, spiders, eyes...it will create a layered look and in the dark people will linger to make out all of the details. Thrift stores are putting out plenty of Halloween supplies this time of year, so getting a lot of one thing can be fairly easy and inexpensive.

3) Use texture
No house should be without a bit of layered spiderweb, gauze or cheesecloth. As kids we loved our task of rubbing it into the dirt to give it that cobweb authenticity. Be sure to let a bit of it hang down near the doorway to freak the kids out when they feel it brush against their hair.

4) Old tricks are the best tricks
You don't have to go out of your way for a great effect. Grab some old mason jars and fill them with a little bit of water, dirt and food coloring (or whatever else you can thing of) and drop in some odd specimens like fake spiders, old masks, or even eggs or rocks. Pile them outside of the door or on your windowsill so everyone can see what happens to naughty children (or parts of them, anyway).

5) Don't forget the inside!
Even if no one will be in your house, seeing your husband in the background watching television on the couch really breaks the Halloween mood. Grab a cheap piece of cloth (black is best) and cover the view into your house from the front door. It adds to the mystery.

The great thing about decorating is that you can change it up and have fun. So please do!

Up and Running!

I've finally started the flow of product to my Etsy shop! I've got just a few things listed (as you can see with the handy-dandy Etsy widget to the right) and there's plenty more to come. Please let me know what you think!

If you like what you see, you can fan me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter (links to both on the right as well--gotta love the convenience!).

Recent listings:
Vintage Metal Bisquick Recipe Box with Original Recipes

Vintage Metal Dessert Recipe Box with Original Recipes

Set of Four Vintage Porcelain Ash Trays with Wheat Pattern

Set of two blue and green flower Lotus Bowls

Handcarved Vintage Wooden Owl (see his stoic visage above)


Inner Green

Talk about inspiration...I live in the desert (Tucson, AZ to be exact) so while we have some green, it's nothing compared to Portland. I like the dry air, but these terrariums by wegreenspot might be just enough to get me over that. The terrariums are a great example of taking inspiration from your surroundings, and shop owner Maura's gorgeous product pics (like the one featured here) certainly don't hurt. They have an air of mystery and fog about them...just like Portland, I imagine!

It's easy to see why she's a featured seller--the beauty of nature in pet and kid proof containers--love it!

Away we go!

Welcome to August Vintage!

This all started about a year ago when we bought our first home--a mid-century beauty of a ranch house (that had some unfortunate upgrades in the early 1970s). Cultured marble and an awkward kitchen add-on awaited us, but we're settling in and making progress, one project at a time.

As most of us do to make our houses homes, I went to work looking for decor and found myself drifting back to thrift stores and vintage shops, when chain stores lead to disappointment. The chain store items were repetitive and sad. I was searching for items with history, with heft, and ready for re-use and re-love.

Eventually I had my fill, but I had gotten used to looking for great vintage and antique pieces--so here we are! I hope you find just what you're looking for in my shop, and welcome your questions and comments--I'm looking forward to posting about everything home-related, from decorating to cooking to DIY.

Please check out my shop at Etsy.
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