Japanese Weekend

We had a very big weekend - we found a fab Danish couch with pristine upholstery and the "butterload" (my six year old's word for motherload) of Asian smalls, we scored a cerused black mid-century bedroom set, a very large red buddha, a round yellow Asian / midcentury table, at least a hundred pieces of 50s and 60s clothing and lots lots more but my favorite far and away are five antique stained glass panels....check out these three


The Shoemaker

“Him that makes shoes go barefoot himself.” - Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Democritus to the Reader. P. 34. (Ed. 1887).

Look at these beauties. I traded for these chairs... it was a good trade.  She got four Russell Wrights and I got two Albinis. I did not know that they were Albinis at the time.  I was looking for something "fun" for my daughter's room.  I want to go back, to the day that I bought them before I discovered that they were Albinis when they were just cute and retro and perfect for her room.  I want to go back to the second that I clicked on the site where I saw another broken Albini child's chair with no upholstery sell online for more than my car is worth.  Because in the very next second,  I leapt from the computer petrified and stumbling down the hall just in time to witness my daughter poised one-legged on a leaning Albini trying to get a dress out of the closet. I reprimanded her for not innately knowing what whack switch had flipped in her mother while lovingly moving the pair to a corner of the living room where I thought I could "keep an eye" on them. I have spent the bulk of a very protective year now witnessing things like my naked one year old straddling the chairs like a water skier holding a spoonful of peanut butter in one hand and a grape filled metal Ferrari in the other while pounding them both on the fragile wicker loops on the back.  Screw it, it is time to sell -  they are going to perish in my home.  I am tired of my failed attempts at conveying to any overweight guest that the American Empire rocker is much more comfortable than the tiny wicker child's chair and could they please eat their f***ing Krispy Kremes on grown up furniture before they kill the iconic Albini.  They are a pair. They are a very rare pair.  They are a very rare pair of children's chairs. They are a very rare pair of Franco Albinis with the original sparkly atomic vinyl and they deserve better than this shoemaker. 


Evolution and Abdication

Paul Evans City Scape ash tray - photo via onbluepoolroad

Browsing through Peggy Wong's blog,  onbluepoolroad, it came to my attention that she recently sold a Paul Evans ash tray from his Cityscape series. After coming to terms with my initial shock,  I could almost feel her pain letting go of that Holy Grail of vintage. I am a master of abdication, I find something, fall in love and relinquish, confident that whatever it is will serve another beautifully and with purpose. But surrendering Paul Evans... I just don't know. Even if it is an ash tray.  I do not smoke, I do not plan on starting but occasionally you invite a smoker over and you want them to feel special when you banish them to the back porch.  Now that I think about it, that Paul Evans ash tray is a really good reason to start smoking. You can still order those wonderful marketing tools of the 50s...candy cigarettes, I could buy some wholesale, smoke them IN the house, fill the kid's stockings. 

I digress... the point my friend if there be one is that Paul Evans rarely falls into your line of sight with a reasonable price tag attached. It is masculine and visceral and begs to be touched. If there is one piece in the room, it is THE one. So I have one word for Peggy Wong, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  I don't know how you did it. Probably some universal convergence like developing an allergy to the red dye they use on the tips of the candy cigarettes.  I hope you disclosed the risks to your prospective buyers.  Maybe you were getting "smoker's wrinkles" or perhaps you were putting on a little weight. If you were venerating the Evans ash tray like you should, you would be "smoking" about 3 packs a day. I did a little research and each pack of candy cigarettes has about 10 pieces at 8 calories each so that is an additional 240 calories a day.  Anyway, if you want to let me in our your evolutionary secret to abdicating something as wonderful as a Paul Evans anything, I would sincerely appreciate it.

Candy cigarettes - photo via Mamapop.com        

Paul Evans and Andy Warhol - photo via spenceandlyda.wordpress.com    
Paul Evans sculpture - photo via blog.ounodesign.com/tag/paul-evans/


Vieux Covets Locally

Kirk O Day Chest of Drawers at Sputnik Modern
Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar sofas at 20cDesign

6 foot tall 3 panel wood screen at b.gover limited


Do you carry any mid century modern?

Danish rocker by Frank Reenskaug
I found this lovely teak 1958 Frank Reenskaug for Bramin relegated to the back of an awful little shop exactly 3 minutes after asking the proprietor, Madame Pincenez, if they had any mid century modern, to which she abhorrently replied, "Absolutely not, we don't carry any of THAT." 


Kintsugi and God Damn Verbs

Kintsugi photo via yoheitanabe.com

Kintsugi photo via Keramik Glas und Restaurierung
*one of two groups of Japanese verbs ending in u

The last year I was in high school, they added Japanese to the standard host of languages offered - and at that time, being the kind of a girl who did not "waste" her electives, I pounced upon the opportunity. Perhaps it was my curly haired Japanese sensei with her ear to ear grin who never quite understood why the entire class would burst into laughter when she would order us with her lovely accent to "Conjugate your Godan* verbs,"  but I began a love affair with all things Asian.  I enjoyed each second as "Momoko (peach)" in my Japanese class that year - so much so that my idealistic little self was positive the college professors would be as dedicated and charismatic as my sensei. I frequented a tiny sushi shop on the drag in Austin where I would savor the extravagance of each roll while studying my Kanji.  I soon realized I was no match for the non English speaking Japanese teaching assistants and left my Japanese studies behind,  but I continued to accumulate all things Asian until no corner of my home was untouched by the East.  Today, my home is more Danish than Japanese (as if there is a difference) but something about Japan's approach to dwelling still just seems "right" to me. 

We have established that I have an obsession with things that have the "stink" of life on them.  So Vieux covets, Vieux hoshii (wants) all things kintsugi.  Kintsugi is the Japanese craft of mending broken objects with a gold lacquer resin so that these "shattered" pieces become these landscapes with winding rivers and fissures of light, each piece richer because of its past, its texture, its journey.  If only we could remember this about our own imperfections and scars. Our thoughts are saturated with erasing our history, these wildly beautiful places that life has taken us - perhaps a little carefully orchestrated celebration of these flaws will help us remember how our mended but unbroken selves arrived.


Revieux - Sherwin Williams... meet Don Draper

This has been on my mind for a while now - I tout no art department background and I have never written a single line of copy but nevertheless...Why? This particular logo may be the one thing keeping me out of my neighborhood Sherwin Williams. I can only imagine that the reason that the earth is turning blue is because the paint can is smothering it with its loaves and fishes supply of blood. Will my children suffocate too if I use your paint and do you have any colors besides Full Metal Jacket Red? This does not make me feel like it is particularly good for the environment with the earth turning black there at the bottom as it gasps for its last breath. Sherwin Williams, why has Don Draper abandoned you? How about Color the Earth, with swirls of happy color that make me want to rethink my own walls? Seriously though, they would only have to change two letters and basically stop dumping toxic waste on the earth and voila, a free campaign that works!

Vieux Loves Heather Knight and Element Clay Studio

I want an entire wall covered in these beautiful tiles - I feel like I am walking knee deep in the gulf. Take a look at her organically inspired line of tiles and bowls at her Element Clay Studio Etsy Shop.

Heather Knight's wall tile, Hydrangea - photo via Element Clay Studio Etsy Shop

Heather Knight's micro tile, Succulent - photo via Element Clay Studio Etsy Shop

Heather Knight's wall tile, Hydrangea - photo via Element Clay Studio Etsy Shop


Vieux Riddle Me This Give Away

Besides the general color scheme of my home, How are the two photos below associated? Rwanda and the Durian fruit ("bad melon" for our purposes) Hints: Higher Education, Genocide, Kagame, The Tartans, vertical integration, Pittsburgh.  The first person to post the answer winner will receive a $50.00 VIEUXPON at our Etsy Shop!

Durian fruit photo via the Epicurean Enthusiast


Jurassic Snatch

1967 Philippe Halsman gelatin print of Jurassic Snatch, Georgia O'Keeffe via Photo & Soul - image copyright the Estate of Philippe Halsman
-The names have been changed to protect the guilty.-  One night a very long time ago, I was spending an evening with some friends when this long necked beauty in need knocked on their door.  It was something to do with the automobile. The specific need evades me as my friend "Whitney" and I stood awe struck at the classic loveliness of this woman. "Whitney's" husband "Bobby" enthusiastically volunteered his assistance outside while "Whitney" and I grilled the Grace Kelly before our eyes. Naturally, we prodded attempting to find out where the Fountain of Youth was and why would she refuse us its geographic locale.

It was during this inquisition that we found out two very important pieces of information: the first, was that she had been collecting social security for at least ten years (I swear to God above that the woman did not look a day over 35) and the second, was that she believed that her Ponce de Leon was tap water.  There were also two very important developments resulting from the events that evening: the first was that I abandoned all bottled, filtered and mineral water that instant. The second was that apres we shut the door on the lovely Joanna (hell yes, I remember her name) the lovestruck Sir "Bobby," "inspired" by our chance encounter with the damsel in distress, coined the term "Jurassic Snatch."  It is by far my most favorite euphemism and I try to use it whenever some sexy senior saunters by.  I hope that someday, after drinking much, much tap water, I will have earned the title.

Happy Birthday Granny!
Wishing my sweet grandmother, Dorothy Rose Hutchinson, the most generous Jurassic Snatch I have had the pleasure of knowing, a very Happy 87th birthday. That beauty seated on the rock is she.

Vieux Covets

Il Pezzo Mancante Table

Il Pezzo Mancante hand blown glass Chandelier

Il Pezzo Mancante side tables and chest of drawers     

These ridiculous  Il Pezzo Mancante pieces make me want to reincarnate myself, have someone stick a chisel in my hand in lieu of a rattle and then spend every ounce of energy I have in that lifetime to be that skilled at making something. Beautiful.


Jossie's Tastemaker Design Blogger Tag Sale

Tonite at 8 pm CST - Jossie's  Design Blogger Tastemaker Tag Sale
If you are reading my blog, I have no doubt that you have just come from my incomparable friend Joslyn's blog, Simple Lovely, but all the same, if you are one of the three people that have found yourself lost in the desert on the blossoming cactus flower of this blog, check out Jossie's Tastemaker Tag Sale tonite at 8 pm CST on One King's Lane.

Four Score

Yabu and Pushelberg's Carlisle Chair
This week my sweet husband scored four burnt orange Nienkamper swivel Carlisle chairs designed in 1992 by George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg whose work includes includes the lavish interior of  Las Alcobas Hotel in Mexico City, the Four Seasons in Tokyo and several Manhattan hotspots including the glitzy renovation for Tiffany & Co., Blue Fin restaurant, as well as the interior for the Carolina Herrera boutique just to name a few.  Two are at Lula B's now and two are waiting for a couch to move.


The Graveyard

Gilt sheath of wheat chandelier coming to Lula Bs...Some Day
You know that feeling you get when you're having a party and the house is perfect because of your natural style, thoughtful purchasing and decorating genius.  The tulips are smiling and everything is in multi level vignettes of three flanked by pairs. You are about to get ready, and you are in no rush, because, damn girl, you had your s*** together this time. You step back into a corner, take a quick survey and bam, the room looks exactly like you wanted.
I know this feeling, I get it every now and then. This elation does not take place at my own home, which is like a purgatory for lost vintage, -  a veritable graveyard for harpless lamps with hanging sockets doing penance alongside chandeliers awaiting crystals and solder. My husband, Nick, is St. Peter standing at the pearly gates of the suburban.  If you make it to the pearly gates, you have been begun your baptismal journey to retail heaven.  My aha moments are relegated to my Lula Bs space, when my re-purposed, refinished and recycled pieces somehow join in a sopranic Ave Maria and I can take a few steps back, trip over someone else's space and say "Yes, that is just how it should be." Then while I am picking up the neighbor's smalls that I knocked over, I glimpse over just in time to watch someone purchase the organic, yet glam, yet whimsical sculpture that tied the space together and I start all over.


Pew Oui!

au revoir!
I derive enormous pleasure from sitting in a room filled with things that have had many lifetimes. I once had a church pew that I bought when I was in college and dragged with me through nine moves. Sitting straight backed in that curved pew, I would not only reminisce about my days at St Paul the Evangelist Catholic school but about the carpenter who managed to evoke both the rigidity and flexibility of religion in that piece of furniture. Where was the church that housed that pew, and how did that single pew end up at the Salvation Army on Harry Hines waiting for a nineteen year old girl to beg the manager to take her last $250 instead of the $350 he was asking. That pew is under a staircase in an old farmhouse in McKinney now most certainly filled with the backpacks of the family of five that bought it. It lives in our photos of birthdays and dinner parties and the care and craftsmanship of the carpenter and its owners will tell its story. I love IKEA but I never bought anything there that had longevity or a story to tell. Vintage has a life of it’s own.

Alvar Aalto Alternative

French Art Deco Table available at Jean Marc Fray Antiques on 1st Dibs
The Wolf's Table

Alvar Aalto's Classic Design

There is joy in the hunt, setting out to find the unknown.  It is like a first date when you already know you are going to fall in love with the chap.  I go out and I find things, wonderful, beautiful, unexpected things.  That being said, if I am looking for something in particular, I rarely find it.  I have been looking for the "perfect" kid's table for my one year old for six months.  I had grown weary of watching my one year old perpetrate a smorgasbord of sins on the meals I placed before him. After wiping up the spills from juice glasses filled with noodles, I would climb underneath the table to wipe off the butter soaked toe print abstracts.  Having watched him climb atop the glass table on numerous occasions obviously trying to commit baby suicide, I came to the conclusion it was time to ground the little fellow.  

I kept my eyes open as I scoured estate sales, thrift stores, tag sales and craigslist positive that the perfect table would present itself. It did not. Chairs sure...tables, no way.  I considered breaking into surrounding churches and schools from the fifties. I was feeling tiny vintage challenged and none too excited about going to jail when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a ridiculously fantastic art deco side table hiding right in front of my face. The perfect height, size and shape with a bonus tier for things like paper and crayons. By hiding I mean that in my very focused little brain, the table that had been sitting in my home for months was a project.  I had great plans for it.  I was going to ebonize the top and bottom and keep the fantastic patina on the legs. It was patiently awaiting its next life in limbo with its fellow refinishing projects.  I promised the table that one day it would fulfill its destiny in a magazine photographed by a skilled photographer in perfect light in someone else's home.  I apologized profusely for what abuse it would incur over the next two years and then with enormous relief I sat my sweet Wolfie down with his bowl of noodles ... and watched him climb on top and fall off, noodles in toe.