Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Victorian jet drawings

A couple years ago, the artist and designer Jonathan Wahl produced a series of large charcoal drawings (yes, these are drawings!) of Victorian jet mourning jewelry. Here is what he says about the series:

The jet jewelry that were the models for my drawings were made during the mid to late 19th century carved by hand from jet, a fossilized material similar to coal but more durable. They were worn during a woman's period of mourning after the death of a loved one when wearing conventional precious jewelry would have been deemed inappropriate. 

Today these objects seem Gothic, yet contemporary and almost timeless due to their reflective surfaces and monochromatism. . . Both the objects' timeless beauty and our alienation from their original roles make them perfectly ambiguous when viewed in the scale in which I have rendered them. 

Love. Them.

Images courtesy of Sienna Gallery

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's our birthday!

Today I am 31-years old and Severen is one month old. We are pretty excited to share a birthday - just look at this picture! Ok, ok he is just yawning. But it kind of looks like we are saying "yay! We are getting older!"

He has his one-month check up today and I am really curious to see how much he weighs. He was almost 9# when he was born . . . what do you think he is now? Enter your guess in the comments section and the person who is closest (within an ounce) will get a goodie in the mail from me.

✦ Congratulations to Hannah for having the closest guess! She guessed 11 lb. 7 oz and Severen tipped the scales yesterday at 11 lb. 2 oz. I'll be in touch Hannah! ✦

Want to know how I felt when I turned thirty? Here is last year's birthday post.

P.S. I love how Severen looks like he is trying to get away here when I am nibbling his cheek - like, "Mo-om, you are embarrassing me in front of all these blog readers!" Ha ha ha, I think I have at least a few more years of nibbling/snuggling before he can do anything about it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Four weeks, three thoughts

Severen is four weeks old today. In the last month or so, I've had many, many thoughts on motherhood. Here are three that I keep coming back to:

1. Being a mom to a newborn is like being a detective. I am constantly trying to decipher Severen's squeaks, squawks and eyebrow wiggles. My days are a series of problem solving activities - it is like a really long, real-time analytical section on a standardized test. Except this test involves stressful questions about belly buttons, breast milk and soaked diapers. I'm trying to stay one step ahead of him but just when I think I've solved the puzzle and things might quiet down for a bit, he surprises me with something else. Touché, Severen. Touché.

2. I am not special. Nope, not really. There are lots of moms out there and we are all experiencing mostly the same things, have the same anxieties, think the same thoughts, etc. It is humbling to think that I'm just one lady with a one little son. Being a mom is such a big deal to me (the biggest deal!) but when I zoom out of my own life and consider all the other moms all over the planet (or heck, when I just look around the waiting room at the pediatrician's office) I realize: "Hey, you're just doing this thing now - along with all these other people." As my husband's grandma (who had nine kids) said, "Once you have a child, you really join the human race." That's where I'm at right now.

3. I worked so hard to be prepared for this little man - and we had extra long to think about him b/c of our pregnancy journey - but I still continue to be surprised by what is required of me as a new mom. When people tell you that having a baby was the hardest/greatest thing they ever did, they are not exaggerating. I always kind of thought, "Oh, you mean 'hard' like training for a marathon is hard or 'great' like graduating from college is great." But nope, nope. I'm talking hard/great like marriage. There are subtractions and additions to happiness on a daily basis and somehow, at the end of the day, you end up juuuuussst ahead of where you started that morning. Just enough to feel truly gratified.

P.S. Next week, I hope to get back to some listing in the shop (yay! I have so many pretty things saved up) as well as a bit more blogging. Thanks for your patience this last month!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A vivid memory

Today I've got a little story posted over at the fine blog of Teresa of Bess Georgette. She publishes a series called my vintage memory and this week's installment is written by yours truly! It tells the story of this ring (purchased at Treasure Mart, for those of you who know the place), which was sort of my first step in the direction of collecting vintage jewelry and starting Jean Jean Vintage. You can read it right here!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guest Post || Maria of Adelaide's Homesewn

Good morning and welcome to my friend Maria of Adelaide's Homesewn! When she isn't working on her vintage clothing shop, Maria is probably thrifting, eating delicious food and drinking coffeeee! She has a lovely family which so far includes 2 dogs and a hubby (hi Steve!) Next month, Maria's household will be growing by one when they welcome a new babe. Thank you for this post, chère Maria. ♡ Duff

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Hello! I'm so happy to be blogging for Duff while she's taking some time with her new little one. I hope she's snuggling him up or taking a long nap right now.

In this time of winter, i just want to find a cozy spot to curl up and read a book so i thought it'd be fun to do a "cozy spaces" decor inspiration post. All the images are linked to their original sources, if you want to do more snooping! I found out that to me a cozy space equals lots of pillows and blankets, books nearby, light flooding in, and preferably some warm wood tones. i hope you enjoy, and happy winter!

Psst: You can see a pic of Maria and read some funny stats about her and her shop in this post.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My little bird

Severen has lots of nicknames but I think "little bird" is the best one. Especially since these past couple days he has decided to become best friends with the bird decals next to his changing table. He spent 30 minutes staring at them this morning, which I'm pretty sure is equivalent to 4 hours in adult time. He flaps his arms, pumps his little legs like pistons, and purses his lips. I think he is trying to invite Mr. Bird to his one-month birthday party, which is coming up on January 30th (also my birthday, as it happens!) My mother-in-law thinks "he is having his first wilderness experience." Whatever is happening in his little head, it is really fun to watch him so fixated.

P.S. I bought the decals on Etsy at this shop. Severen also loves this high-contrast book.
P.P.S. Severen has to get his little frenulum clipped today, the connective tissue under the tongue - turns out he is a bit "tongue tied" (yes, it is a real thing). I wish I could have mine cut instead of him. Please wish us a fast, perfect procedure!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Seduce someone drinking chocolate

You never know when you might need to seduce some so it is good to have a few tricks up your sleeve, non? I think drinking chocolate is the best way, personally. This super-simple recipe yields a cup of chocolat chaud that is flavorful and rich - really, a liquid version of your favorite bar (whatever you choose to chop!)

Seduce Someone Drinking Chocolate

Supplies needed: your favorite dark chocolate bar, milk (preferably whole), 1/2 and 1/2, measuring cup, saucepan, mixing pitcher, whisk

Method: Finely and evenly chop the chocolate bar using kitchen knife. 1/4 c. of chopped chocolate is enough for a rich demitasse. Chop more if you want a bigger (or double) serving. Put the chocolate in a heat-proof mixing bowl or pitcher (I like using my Pyrex) and set aside.

Measure milk & cream (just a splash for good measure) and put in the saucepan. The general rule: Use twice the amount of milk as chocolate (for my demitasse, I used 1/2 c.). The 2:1 liquid/chocolate ratio will ensure that the drinking chocolate is rich and thick but not pudding-like. If you prefer a milkier drink, use more milk here. Want to make ganache? Reverse the ratio.

Bring the milk/cream just to a boil on the stovetop. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture rest for a few seconds then gently begin to whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the drink is frothy. Serve hot or warm - the drink will thicken the longer you let it stand.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Post || Amy of Wildfell Hall

A big thank you to Amy of Wildfell Hall Vintage for today's guest post. Amy became a full time vintage seller last year which is happy news for all of us who enjoy her lovely shop. She is a great student of eras, styles, designers and fabrics, often sharing her learnings on her beautiful blog. And she totally knocked my socks off with this super clever post. Which gal is your favorite? I'm into Carly Simon. ♡ Duff

Hello - Amy here! Sometimes when I find a dress, or a pair of shoes, or put two things together they immediately remind me of someone. So I thought for this guest post I would do a little "fantasy dressing"- putting Wildfell Hall clothes on some famous ladies. I admit that Shelley Duval in The Shining may be my favorite, the movie still terrifies me but I just love watching her in it....and truth be told I kind of love her outfits. Which wasn't the point I'm sure.

I hope you can find a favorite below from these fab women, who would YOU just love to dress given the chance?

Carly Simon in these boots
Dita Von Teese in this dress
Grace Kelly in this dress
Jane Fonda in these pants
Lucille Ball in this dress
Marilyn Monroe in this dress
Shelley Duval in this jumper
Stevie Nicks in this dress
Thelma & Louise in these jeans (yowza!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Two weeks old

Severen is two weeks old today. It has been an incredibly challenging and wonderful fourteen days. I haven't cried that much, although I did this morning out of sheer fatigue and frustration. We are still learning how to live with each other - it can be tricky. Most of our moments together are pretty wonderful, though. I spend a lot of time nuzzling his head like a mama bear and smelling his short, puffy little breaths. He has changed so much already . . . more alert (although you wouldn't know it from this photo!), visually more clued in to his surroundings, hungrier, less fragile, etc. I am so proud of him for making it through this first bit of life. He has had to go through more adjustments than me! What a brave little boy. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A dresser on my dresser

I am very picky when it comes to jewelry boxes. Most of them are pretty ugly, I think. Faux leather exteriors and red velvet interiors don't really do it for me. So when I found this box a few weeks ago I was so excited! It is a miniature dresser (it used to have a mirror on the top, too) with tiny drawers. The lining is a butternut-squash orange. The best part to me? The ring drawer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest Post || Regina from Every Eskimo

Hi guys! Today kicks off a Monday series of wonderful guest posts here on the blog. Today's blogger is Regina, who made Baby Sev's mobile (you can see it here) and who has outfitted my Jean Jean office with many great pieces (like this receipt file clipboard). I got to meet her in real life last month and she is a splendid lady. And how about these keychains?! I bought two for Christmas gifts this year and they were a big hit. Don't miss the coupon code at the end of the post, just for you. ♡ Duff

I'm Regina from everyeskimo, stepping in today for the darling Duff. I hunt & gather great vintage and stitch up small animals in between . . . filling the shelves of my little shop, Every Eskimo. Today I thought I'd share something that brings a bit of what I love about Jean Jean Vintage into my own everyeskimo world.

Duff finds the loveliest vintage jewelry around. But what makes my heart ache is how each piece carries the soul, story and ghost of its original wearer. It's a connection to the past; a reminder that there's so much more than just this moment. It's part of why I created letterpress keychains. Something small, solid and tangible. Something from a time when the printed word was painstakingly laid out one letter at a time.

Pulled from my collection of antique letterpress blocks and combined with new hardware, letterpress keychains are a new offering at everyeskimo. Sometimes the pursuit of old take you somewhere new . . . running a drill press was definitely new! The drill press was, fittingly, old.

I'm happy to offer Jean Jean readers a free shipping discount! (Who doesn't love a discount?) Free shipping on all letterpress keychains through February 9th. Just enter word nerd in the notes to seller upon checkout and I'll send you a shipping refund. Easy peasy.

Thanks for letting me chatter away in your ear! It's been a pleasure to be here.

xo. regina

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The baby's room

At long last . . . the baby's room! Getting it ready was pretty daunting, mostly because I really don't have a knack for decorating spaces, at least not with a time-limit. And I'm not big on matching colors/objects or buying new stuff. I'm happy with how it turned out, though.  Here are a few notes on what we did and why:

Things to look at  My friend Kat gave me some very good advice when she suggested that we decorate/paint the room with things that we enjoy looking at. So, not feeling very jazzed about staring down a bunch of giraffes or footballs or whatever for the next few years, Soren and I decided to do cheerful (but not too cheerful) colors, big birch tree decals, some homemade curtains and a framed print that we love. And how about the mobiles! The fuzzy felt one is from Regina at everyeskimo and the elephants in the window are from Auntie Ellen in Australia.

A place to sleep  There's no crib! This was a big decision and I am really excited about it. The baby will sleep on a floor bed once he gets to be about six months old (he'll be in a co-sleeper until then). This means that he'll have a crib mattress directly on the floor in his room, just a few inches off the ground. There will be a comfy rug to cushion him when he wiggles off and his room will be totally childproof. Bonus: he'll be able to experience his room at his own level and, eventually, wake and play/explore without needing us to come and get him. It's a Montessori thing, I learned.

A place for things  At first I thought we didn't need a dresser and we bought a changing table. But then I realized that the dresser is a better long-term investment and pretty important for storage purposes (the dude has quite the wardrobe). So for now, we have both. We will remove the changing table and replace it with the floor bed once he moves into his room to sleep.

A place to sit  I sat in many rockers/gliders and read many reviews before buying one from Dutailier. It seems that gliders are either a.) inexpensive, kind of ugly and poorly made or b.) super expensive, beautiful, and well made.  I didn't feel like I could spend $800 on a chair (although I thought about it believe me!) so I did some research and settled on this one. We'll see how it holds up!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The lad is here

Severen Paul Anderson
8:49 AM, December 30th, 2011 || 8 lb 15.5 oz || 22 inches