Calendars and Countdowns

flapperdoodle 2013 calendar

January is a tough month to blog for. The warmth Christmas gives to winter is long gone, leaving us with pretty much just plain old, dismal winter: short, cold days sandwiched between my favorite December-month and the inspiration I’ve already got cooking for a February packed with Valentines ideas, coming up with January posts feels a lot like waiting in line. While I’m waiting though, I was trying to think of what January is known for. November has Thanksgiving; December, Christmas; October, Halloween; September, back to school; Spring months have Easter, freshness, and re-birth. The summer months are packed with sunshine, outdoors, pools, and bathing suits. But January…? Cable-knit perhaps? Hot drinks, afghans, and mittens? Then I had it…counting! We love to countdown in January. We count down the last hours, minutes, and seconds to January first, buy new calendars, re-evaluate plans, take deep breaths, and try and make a whole new year look much more manageable by breaking it down into countable moments: two months ’till spring, five ’till summer, uh-oh, 350 days until Christmas. Three days ’till Friday, one ’till Wednesday, oh if I can just make it four until Saturday. Numbers, time, crossing things off, writing things down, schedules, and re-setting what all came crashing down when the Holidays began.

We thrive off schedules: knowing what to do and when to do it gives automatic comfort, security, sometimes monotony, but usually relief. I can take my countdowns a little too seriously though. Setting expectations and time-frames are always a good idea, but when they are unrealistic and un-bending, that’s when you get yourself into trouble.

flapperdoodle calendar

In Jane Austen’s first published novel, Northanger Abbey, the heroine Catherine Moreland is a girl quite unsatisfied with her countdowns, for “she had reached the age of seventeen, without having seen one amiable youth who could call forth her sensibility, without having inspired one real passion, and without having excited even any admiration but what was very moderate and very transient” (Austen, Northanger Abbey). Obsessed with gothic novels, she lives in a dream world that seems so much more exciting than the everyday life of her small village. When she at last gets the chance to venture outside the tiny town she grew up in, she expects unrealistic things. She anticipates sudden, grand romance, fame, fortune, and intrigue, and when it doesn’t happen right away, she begins to force things. She reads into the smallest, silliest occurrences and exaggerates reality into unrealistic fiction. Only when she learns patience and a contentedness with her current reality does she learn that you can’t always set-up a countdown to success, happiness, or adventure.  Sometimes, calendars are best for doing laundry, for making sure the bills are paid, for remembering when the garbage goes out, and, sure, for looking forward to the next vacation. But don’t let countdowns make you live for “one day” instead of living for today. You might be surprised, for even Catherine didn’t expect “to begin perfect happiness,” with her love, Henry Tilney “at the respective ages of 26 and 18” (Austen, Northanger Abbey). As soon as she stopped counting down to her next adventure, she started living rather happily in her everyday.

HelloSmallWorld vintage animal calendarWhile you’re learning to live happily in your everyday though, keep track of all your to-do’s and essential countdowns on these adorable calendars I found on Etsy. Flapperdoodle is quite possibly my new favorite Etsy shop for all things paper. I stumbled across this 1920’s style calendar that inspired this whole post and instantly fell in love. The calendar comes in a pre-printed form, or you can get the PDF that the shop owner Kate Gabrielle simply emails to you to print at your leisure for only $5.00! The second calendar is an adorable one from HelloSmallWorld. I could face any to-do with these little guys staring back at me each month:

2013 Calendar - Jaunty Animals

Hope this helps your January countdowns. Hopefully your month will become known for something better than just crossing off days. Good luck!

– <3 A. 

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Style Secrets from Perry Como

What does Perry Como and styling have to do with one another? Funny you should ask: in the midst of his Christmas album that I’ve been playing on repeat for the past few days, is Perry’s 1956 hit, “Love in a Home.” In the song, he talks about how tables, chairs, clocks, and lighting can tell you whether there’s love in a home just by opening the door. He should know a little bit about love too, he was married to his wife Roselle Como for 65 years.

Don’t just take it from Perry though, haven’t you ever been to a home where there’s a feeling of love and hospitality in every item that surrounds you? It’s subtle, probably often slides by unnoticed by less discerning people, but it’s a definite aura, a potent emotion that exudes from the things people choose to put into their homes. So, choose wisely, that little side-table no one sits by at parties may not be just because it’s in an out of the way corner, it may just be sending the wrong vibe. Here’s a few of my picks for things that I was feelin’ the love from:

“Love in a Home” 

You can tell,
When you open the door!
You can tell,
If there’s love in a home!
Every table and chair seems to smile,
Do come in, come and stay for a while.

joss and main
Joss and Main Omni Chair

wingback chairs

LIvenupdesign design your own wingback chairs

joss and main

Joss and Main Norcliffe Side Table

You almost feel you’ve been there once before,
By the shine and glow of the room!
And the clock seems to chime,
Come again anytime,

ikea pendant lamps

Ikea Ps maskros pendant lamp

Joss and Main pendants

Joss and Main Wiltshire pendant

pier one clocks

Pier one time and temperature clocks

You’ll be welcome wherever you roam!
You can tell when there’s love in a home

joss and main starburst mirror

joss and main starburst wall mirror

caldrea candles

Caldrea waterlilly candle

While I was reading a bit about Perry Como’s life, he had endless, adorable things to say about his beautiful wife. He often spoke of how she held the family together, how she was always there as support, encouragement, and inspiration to him as well as their three children, and despite how many of the world’s greatest talents he interacted with during the day, when he “went home to the world’s greatest woman. It was, and is, a great life.” I think Roselle, and Perry, would say that we should never underestimate the power of “Love in a Home”. What you put into it just might inspire a hit song, or, simply keep a family together for 65 years and counting.

– <3 A. 

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Favorite Things: Gift Ideas

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been writing about it so the headlines about gender roles, women in the workplace, and the ongoing battle-of-the-sexes talks jump out at me more, but it seems like lately, for whatever reason, this topic has leaped to the top of social issues.

Putting all the debate aside though, and regardless of what side of the battle you’re on, I can’t imagine why anyone would willingly give up on, hide, suppress, or ignore one’s femininity. So, in honor of being a girl, and in the hopes of offering a few gift ideas for the ever-nearing Christmas Day (eeek! Yes, I still need to shop too), here’s a few of my favorite things about being, simply, a woman:

shopruche.com

1. Petite cherie camera strap by Bloom theory |2. renewed nostalgia lace skirt

gifts via shoperuche.com

3. famous frocks pattern dress making book | 4. Ma petite knit shoes and english breakfast tea for one set

shopruche.com gifts

5. The little guide to vintage shopping by melody fortier and joan bow flats in nude

gift ideas

6. customized typewriter key cufflinks and Men’s tie chevron neckties | 7. By the creek ruffled scarf in mustard

Hopefully you get lots of your favorite things this Christmas, or, at least get some lovely lady (or a fine fella) in your life something that suits them. These are just a few of my favorite things from Shop Ruche  and Etsy’s men’s collections, check them out if you’re hitting a wall in the idea-room, they’ve got so many adorably-unique and vintage-inspired things for everyone you can imagine. Happy weekend everyone!

    -<3 A.

The Linen Closet

We’re finally up and running! Or, up and moving maybe I should say. Without further ado, I decided to launch the Etsy shop, Vintage Muses. If you head on over to “The Linen Closet” page there is all the info you’ll need, or, just head to www.etsy.com/shop/VintageMuses.

vintage handmade apronsBefore I continue on though, I first have a confession to make: I hate cooking. I do, I am too impatient. I don’t understand why I have to spend so much time creating a meal that, when it’s completed, I will probably eat faster than I should. Baking is another story, I love that. But, when I tie one of these little beauties on suddenly I feel so much more capable-even if I am completely not.

vintage handmade aprons

They’re so much fun I think because they make absolutely no sense. Polka dots with pink floral and black and white gingham? Red toile with yellow daisies and green geometric shapes? Ribbons and tulle and bows? But who wants to be serious when making dinner? I sure don’t, I want to have the most fun I can possibly have doing what I consider a very un-fun duty. Yes, un-fun.

handmade aprons

Another quite fabulous addendum to this story is that your apron won’t resemble anyone else’s. You can have your initials embroidered on and can even choose what colors you want integrated or, pick from fabrics I will post in the future for a completely custom, lovely little kitchen friend.

I found these fabrics and instantly thought they would make such an adorable apron for a baby shower gift for a new mother:

I know new mums always complain about having ZERO time for themselves, and feeling beautiful is never a priority anymore. But how fun to be able to wear this? I don’t think it is possible not to smile and feel irresistibly cute.

Like I said, the Etsy shop Vintage Muses is up and moving and hopefully will be up and running with more fabric options etc. soon, so, keep tabs on things and be thinking of what you want your apron to look like. I’m taking orders now though! I can’t wait to share my fun with all of you.

– <3 A.