Monday, May 12, 2014

One Small Thing

Dear readers, I am filled with love and gratitude today. I just have to tell you about a vegan potluck I attended last week.  It was at the Tavern in Highland Square, and I met so many intellectual, passionate, fun and creative people.  I am not a vegan, but a face like this makes me question my hypocrisy.

If you don't already know her, this is Esther the Wonder Pig. I first learned of Esther on Desire to Inspire's regular Monday feature entitled Pets on Furniture. This beautiful creature changed the lives of her human friends, who are deeply in love and committed to her. They now want to share the Esther Effect, and are starting a sanctuary for other "commercial animals."  Ugh. Even the term commercial animals makes me sick.  Anyway, I am deeply smitten with Esther. Yes, I've been touched by the Esther Effect. Her face makes me happy, I want to kiss her and cuddle her!

Image by Peggy

I mentioned Esther at the potluck, and the people there had heard of her! How cool is that? The cosmos works in amazing ways! One of the people I met told me of his visits to the Farm Sanctuary and how they changed his life.  He's actually going to be an intern there!  How cool is that?  Definitely a place I want to visit.

I talked to so many interesting people. About everything from the poisonous American diet - sometimes appropriately called SAD (for Standard American Diet) - to Buddhism, Astrology, Atheism, Socialism, Art, Music and poop! Yes, that's right I love a good poop joke. It's wonderful to be surrounded by open minded, intellectual, compassionate people. No one thought I was weird. Heaven.

I felt a little guilty that I have not fully made the transition to being a vegetarian. I can only aim for being a vegetarian. The vegan diet seems unachieveable for me. I have many food allergies:  gluten, wheat, barley, soy, lemon grass, licorice, chamomile, lettuce, celery, spinach, nuts, milk, bananas, grapefruit.....the list goes on and on.

Here's something that's on my mind.  If you are a vegan, please don't eat packaged, fake hot dogs. You might as well eat the real thing. Just because a package says organic, doesn't mean it's safe. Pretty much if it's been packaged, guess what?  It's poison.  But even worse than that:  they are still representations of death and if you are a vegan, you are opposed to killing.  The fake hot dogs remind me of the fake animal heads we are seeing in decor. Gross. Might be fake, but still a representation of hunting and killing animals for sport. An abhorrent past time. Now don't go getting all offended. These are just my opinions. Don't take them so seriously. (I'm sparing you my rant about animal skin rugs and leather purses....).

Having said that, a kind young man reminded me not to be so hard on myself and do what I can. Each small change makes a difference. So right. I spent the weekend meditating and marveling at the beautiful planet that we call home, and how kind she is to us. Planet Earth never ceases to amaze me. I typically try to live in a simple, quiet and non-impactful way, but I'm not perfect.  So here's something small that I did today.

Remember my beautiful new vase from Z Gallerie? It was so perfectly packaged, I hated to throw all this away.  But I have no room in my apartment to keep it. I zipped on over to The Bomb Shelter and asked them if they could use it. They were appreciative, and they gave me a free vase for my trouble. Lots of smiles all around. The irony of carbon emissions was not lost on me, as I drove my car. But hey, that's the point. Do what you can. You don't have to be perfect, and never, ever should on yourself. Just by thinking about something and being conscious, you can affect real positive change.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Something Old, New and Blue

I've been going through some guilt lately, because I've spent a little money decorating my place. Of course, I do it on the cheap and I barter, trade and sell so things always remain dynamic. As you know, I'm cheap. Cheap. It takes a lot for me to pay full price for something. Such was the case with my new Sultan Canister from Z Gallerie. At $29.95 (plus shipping and handling), the price seemed too steep. I thought I'd wait for it to go on sale.

I've fallen in love with art glass and love it mixed with my ceramic pieces. Well, I've waited and watched this item for several years. I never stopped thinking about it, and it never went on sale. Okay, it's not so expensive when I compare it to the prices of Blenko, Joe Cariati and Elizabeth Lyons (all of which I'd love to own).

Oh my, how we consumers rationalize our purchases. I sometimes feel guilty and greedy, but it can't be denied that humans make many beautiful things. I love the new decanter. It is pictured here with an old vintage barber shop bottle that I had in the closet. It was only $5.00 some years ago. I think the pieces look great together!

Okay, that takes care of the old and the new. I have nothing borrowed to show you today, but here is something blue. Super groovy painting of blue lady on velvet seen at vintage store in Cleveland. I did not buy it, but it tempted me. I gotta thing for blue ladies, don't know why. Does anyone know the artist of this work?  Kind of reminds me of Picasso's blue period. I adore her long neck.  Want to see more blue ladies?  Click here to see my pinterest board.

Good Things are Happening in Cleveland

I took a mini vacay to my old stomping grounds in Cleveland last week and experienced a whole gamut of emotions. Somehow I took a wrong turn and ended up on Denison, a little south of my destination. Anyone who doesn't know what poverty is like (thinking of some politicians) should take a drive down Denison. I was in utter shock. I've only been gone for about two years, and it looked like a war zone. The streets and sidewalks were caving in. Buildings were being torn down, but many were simply falling down. The holes in the streets were so large I feared for my car. I literally drove about two miles per hour, it took me almost an hour to travel about 10 blocks. Poor people lined the streets, and many came up to my car. Presumably to beg for money, I was too chicken shit to roll down the window. I ached for my city. I've watched my city decay over the years, but this. This was something new. Decay mixed with criminal neglect. If I knew how to use my new Android phone, would have taken video, put it on YouTube and hope that someone notices. But it was not meant to be.

I almost turned around. But I didn't. I headed north, close to where I used to live. I intended to go to Gordon Square, which I hear is really happening. Instead I ended up a little west of there, and was pleasantly surprised to see some exciting shops sprouting up. This yellow reindeer caught my eye, so I had to pull over.

This cool fella is the mascot of an awesome store called Heck's Revival. I peeked in the window and had to go in.

I almost peed my pants when I walked in this store. I didn't know where to look first! The owner and I are clearly kindred spirits - with a love of pink and turquoise. I used to paint furniture back in the day and dreamed of having a little store like this. But my skill level was no where near hers. I knew it was going to be tough getting out of there without spending money.

Isn't this lamp bitchin'? I really wanted it but resisted the temptation. Such a lamp tramp I am. And dig those turquoise walls. I wish I could paint an accent wall turquoise in my living room.

The owner is very talented. Not only does she paint furniture, but she also reupholsters. I love this little chair recovered in fabric from a vintage dress.

Check the Saarinen chair!  I think I need to have mine painted.

I've never seen a peacock chair looks as fabulous as this one.  I love it in pink!

Cute bench reupholstered in shiny silver fabric.  I'd love to have this in my entry way!

As you might have guessed, these bad boys went home with me. I couldn't help it. She gave me a good price.  Heck's Revival is a great place to get something fabulous for your home, and the owner is a sweetie. I had a lot of fun talking vintage furniture and color with her.

As it turns out I had a guitar pick table (like the one above) in the trunk of my car. I found this table on the curb! I had intended to sell it.  But when I attempted to sell the table to another dealer - the trunk wouldn't open! Upon seeing her custom work, I decided to have her paint it. And wouldn't you know, the trunk opened without a problem! Must be meant to be! I really love the shape of the table, but not the color. That's all I'm going to tell you, I'll keep it a surprise until it's done.

Next door to her shop is a Multi Cultural Barber Shop. That's what it said on the sign. I like that. The dude that owns the joint is cool and let me take his picture. I was excited to see vinyl by Grace Jones on his wall.

She is the shit. I miss my vinyl collection. I had a lot of fun talking to these cool peeps. Then I drove back to Akron feeling very grateful.

For photos of the barber shop, see my urban photojournal here.

For photos of post industrial decay that I also took that day, see my urban photojournal here.

Color Story: Shades of Blue and Green

I've been falling in love with blue. But no ordinary blue, shades of blue. Turquoise and periwinkle. I've also been falling in love with green. But no ordinary green. Emerald, aqua and chartreuse. Here is some inspiration for your Monday morning. If you are feeling stressed, just think about beautiful shades of blue and green.


Love this sitting area. Chairs look beautiful with the wall color. Love the lamp too! Turquoise and aqua are colors that work very well in mid century modern decor.  Image source unknown.  Please contact me if you know the designer of this gorgeous room.

A sideboard gets a new life painted emerald green. Also love the cohesive display of green pottery. An object displayed in repetition like this gains prominence, and also maintains a simple look. Image via ciao! newport beach. For more ideas on creative display, see my pinterest board here.

How fabulous is this turquoise kitchen?  This may be my dream kitchen. Love the pop of chartreuse. Image BarlisWedlick Architects via Desire to Inspire.

I showed this picture before in a previous post about blue lamps.  Love the lamp and sofa. I want a turquoise sofa!

I need this over sized turquoise Buddha head for my balcony. Image Jessie Miller via HGTV.

Call it mint green or aqua, but this color makes a very tranquil room. I love that the trimmings are also painted the same color, and the fireplace bricks are painted white. Image via covet garden.

No one mixes color and pattern better than Tricia Guild. Touches of orange look great with blue. Wouldn't this furniture look fab in the room above?

How fab is this bohemian abode?  I dig the wood floor painted turquoise. When I build a tiny home, painted wood floors are on the agenda! Image via Moon to Moon (if you love Bohemian style, you will love this blog)..

Modern takes on mid century modern are my favorite. Periwinkle sofa and green chair look fab together and are unified by similar patterns.  Also dig that rug. Scandinavia collection at Heal's.

Periwinkle has long been one of my favorite colors. I love this chair paired with the large orange painting. BTW - that painting is done on a mirror. How cool is that? Image via The Apartment.  If you are a color lover like I am, you never get enough of periwinkle either. Check out this amazing pinterest board curated by Carole Kancar.  It's devoted to periwinkle and is a slice of heaven.

Royal blue chairs are a bit traditional for my taste, but that painting and chandelier help the room look modern. You know what I always say about art - go big! This gorgeous painting proves, once again, that blue and orange look great together. Image via Ashley Darryl.

One of my favorite rooms of all times. This is what I call perfectly layered. Love the blue sofa, with orange pillow. Love the pottery on the coffee table. Love the lamps and paintings. Love the mix of old and new, love the rugs and the gray wall. This is the home of none other than Patrizia Moroso, Creative Director of Moroso. The home is designed by one of my favorite designers - Patricia Urquiola.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Never forget so it never happens again

Honoring the May 4 Coalition at Kent State University.  Forty-four years later these events still render me speechless.


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