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Vintage Pottery: Inspirational and Easy to Acquire

Vintage pottery is just plain fun. It’s fun to collect. It’s fun to display. And it’s fun to use, because if it’s going to take up space in your home you might at well enjoy it. Plus, as collectibles go, it’s easy to find and inexpensive to buy (especially on eBay). What’s not to like? You can base an entire room around a cool piece of vintage pottery, especially if the piece has great color or lines.

vintage pottery 5

What’s not to like? You can base an entire room around a cool piece of vintage pottery, especially if the piece has great color or lines.

vintage pottery

I’m not advocating smoking, but if you’re looking for ashtrays that don’t scream truck stop, vintage is the way to go.

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A Kitchen With Flow

julia-childs-kitchen

Love her or hate her, Julia Child exerted a great deal of influence over the evolution of American cooking — a book I love, Something From the Oven, touches briefly on just how much. But that sort of history is best left to authors of food tomes and cookery bloggers. What I’m interested in is her kitchen. Want to see it? There’s an amazing reproduction of Julia Child’s kitchen in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. I’d post a picture here, but I’m unsure about the legality of doing so, which means you’ll have to be satisfied with the link above.

Isn’t that a beautiful kitchen? Julia Child’s kitchen was not particularly pretty in the sense that a staged kitchen in House Beautiful is pretty. Rather, it’s a lived in kitchen… a worked in kitchen… a kitchen that is beautiful in its perfect usefulness. The knives, the colanders, the parts for the KitchenAid are all accessible. I somehow imagine that I could walk right into Julia Child’s kitchen and start whipping something up without much trouble. I doubt anyone could say the same for my kitchen, since not much beyond my cast iron pan and my teapot is accessible without digging around in cabinets and drawers. Could someone say the same for your kitchen?

Happy Thanksgiving From Never teh Bride and Manolo for the Home!

thanksgiving_table

One thing I’m very thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day is all of the readers who stop by to check out what’s new at Manolo for the home and to share their thoughts with me. It’s a privilege to write for all of you, so thanks! And happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the states!

(Photo by Lane & Anne)

Giving Thanks With Style

Thanksgiving, at least in the States, is less than two weeks away, and for the second year in a row The Beard and I will be serving up dinner here at our very own home. Our extended families will be elsewhere, and we will miss them as we chow down on a Celebration Roast instead of the turkey they’ll be eating. Last year we had a guest, but this year the roster of diners will be limited to ourselves and the baby who can eat just enough real food to enjoy her own Thanksgiving feast.

Our table? Will be simple. We resist the urge to serve up the mashed and stuffing on plates and in bowls embellished with gaudy cartoons of pilgrims and Indigenous Americans. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, though if you were to ask me I’d tactfully suggest steering clear of that whole bushel of iconography. The holidays should not be an excuse to lose one’s sense of good taste.

So what have we got here…

thanksgiving-table-6-de

Personalized napkins are awesome, eliminating as they do the need for place cards. Plus, guests can take them home at the end of the meal! Country Living has simple directions for the DIY crowd.

Thanksgiving tablescape

Printing coordinating menus, place cards, wine glass labels, and other paper goods for the table is easy. Just choose a color palette to coordinate with your tablescape and clip art to jazz things up a little. Conversely, sites like Paper & Cake sell print-at-home kits that make printing everything you need for your Thanksgiving table easy-peasy.

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Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving tables range from the fresh and cool to the modern to the downright dowdy, complete with pine cone turkeys. Note that pine cone turkeys are fun for the very young and the very young at heart, but do look silly. Can’t help that.

Thanksgiving table 2

This table was DwellStudio founder Christiane Lemieux’s American Thanksgiving design, featuring plenty of DwellStudio products, natch. It’s sort of busy and understated at the same time, which isn’t entirely off putting.

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Love the pitcher. Like the use of leaves. Love the chairs. Love love love the sunshine! My ideal Thanksgiving would be hosted by someone else (preferably a vegetarian, but I’m not picky) in a sunny and very warm locale. Screw autumn.

Thanksgiving_download

Finally, here’s more of what you can do with printable templates from Paper & Cake. Yum!

Oh, Rosanna!

New purple kitchen cabinets means Never teh Bride is on the prowl for coordinating dinnerware! Yay! Right now I’m digging on dishes, glasses, mugs, and tableware from Rosanna Bowles, creatrix of collections of charming ceramics like so…

dinnerware by rosanna inc

Her current offerings include wonderful things like chic black serving trays and cake stands, holiday plates that aren’t covered over with dorky smiling snowmen, eye-catching jet teapots, colorful dessert plates, mugs that feature your initials, pate knives, and more.

Wait, what? I need specific knives just for pate? I think I’ll pass on those, but as for everything else, bring it on.

Dear Ikea,

I’ll take one of these:

melltorp table ikea

And four of these:

urban chair ikea

And while you’re at it, I may as well have you send me one of these:

spoling high chair

Love,
Never teh Bride (who is redoing her kitchen)

Have Your Pi and Eat It, Too

Throughout history, people have been obsessed with the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. In other words, Pi, which is the subject of David Blatner’s The Joy of Pi — a book I am currently devouring. And what better way to devour a book on Pi than with one’s very own Pi plate?

Pi plate

Ceramics guru Maria Neal has a knack for imbuing pottery pieces with a little quirky fun and this Pi plate certainly does not miss the mark. While there are other Pi plates out there, this one is by far the prettiest and most appealing to me, since the design is subtle enough that both math geeks and non math geeks can enjoy it.

UPDATE: The artist’s web site can be found here!

Sticky Fingers, Homemade

Remember those hot summertime days that seemed to stretch on forever? Joy came easily in the form of a fast-melting popsicle that dripped down onto fingers and wrists and the sizzling blacktop. Luckily, some things never change, and easy joy is still obtainable, at least on the weekends. I will, however, recommend that you leave the HFCS to the kiddies and make your own popsicles at home using body-friendly ingredients like pomegranate juice and muddled blueberries.

zoo pops

Forget secondhand popsicle sticks and paper cups — nowadays you can DIY up yourself an old school treat with Tovolo Rocketpop molds. Just like Rick the ice cream man used to deliver, and why were all the ice cream truck drivers named Rick, anyway? Or get funky with Zoo Pops molds, which I somehow doubt will look anywhere near as good as they do in the picture. Oh well! When it comes to drippy, delicious popsicles on a hot summer day, looks aren’t all that important, right?

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