Archive for December, 2010

Holiday Haul pt. 2

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The second batch of Santa’s bounty.

1. Wasp Queen Honey Flavored Syrup (in the sweetest jar ever).

2. Quirky-Colored Prize Ribbons.

3. Imported Indian Bowl & Spice Spoon.

4. Yesterday’s Candy (edible today).

5. Little Bottles of Liquid Luxury.

6. Military Grade Notebooks.

7. Sweet Potato Chocolate Bar (I’m enthralled yet half-afraid!)

8. Letterman Jacket Patch (to attach to almost anything except, probably, a jacket).

I’m saving my favorite present for last. (Be sure and check back!)

Holiday Haul pt. 1

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Two years ago, I felt I had to meticulously photograph all of my Christmas gifts before I could properly use or enjoy any of them. And out of that sudden, strong urge I launched The Treasury just a few days later.

The way I see it, there’s no point in something being delightful unless it’s dutifully documented.

My yuletide tradition continues for a third year. I present to you (and, really, to myself) a selection of the Christmas gifts I was lucky enough to have given and received this happy, holiday season.

1. Vintage French Workbooks.

2. Rogues Gallery Key Fob.

3. Gem-like Game Dice.

4. Bandit Boy Screen Print.

5. Retro-Perfect Stabilo Pens.

6. Not Chocolate-Covered Cherries, but Chocolate-Flavored Cherries!

7. Vintage Book on Style.

8. Made-In-America Robin’s Egg Colored Duct Tape.

More and more it’s the little things – the ones that typically show up in my stocking – that give me the biggest smiles at Christmas.

The Best of Twenty Ten

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

An editor by nature, and by trade, I’m a real sucker for any “Best Of” list since they efficiently illuminate what was or still is relevant and radiant, while whittling away the extraneous.

Unless we count my nearly two years of Treasuring as one giant list itself, I’ve never posted a proper list. I thought I’d look back through the digi-pics of 2010 to tally up the top 10 treasures I’d measure as “The Best of The Year”.

1. Favorite Accessory
My new, U.S. issued Aviator Kit Bag. After one machine wash, and one mini-trip to New Orleans, it’s proven itself to be the perfect carry-on suitcase in terms of size and studly style.

2. Favorite Flashback
A TV junkie, just about everything’s been re-runs since early December. But Universal’s HD cable channel, roster-ed with random re-runs of hits from all eras, has been providing me with a dozen Charlie’s Angels episodes a week. It was my first favorite show as child, and it’s finally aged enough now to no longer seem dated and dull (which it did to me a few years back). Now every single tunic, discotheque, and Tom Selleck cameo highlights how chic and swanky the late 70s and early 80s were.

3. Favorite Finger-Painting
The J. Crew shorts I cropped myself then coated in 5 different colors earned me internet high-fives as well as veiled death threats, but I wore them rogue-ly and regularly all summer, to that magic point on the far side of self-consciousness. These shorts and the sideways glances they brought on taught me that if I’m not making someone’s eyes roll over what I’m wearing, I’m just not doing my job.

4. Favorite Follow Up
After two whole albums and a boat-shoe-box’s worth of B-sides, I’ve never heard a Vampire Weekend song I didn’t like. The CONTRA album was more Californian and yet noticeably colder than the New York band’s debut disc, but the sound of shivers in the sunshine made me happy and happily sad, over and over and over this year.

5. Favorite Mistake
I’ve ordered a lot of treasures over the internet these past years, but these vintage black boots were the only package that never arrived. (NOOOO!) I’m still too torn up inside to tell why I loved them so much, or type up all the outfits I would’ve worked up around them. Rest in peace, black boots. I know, without you, that I won’t.

6. Favorite Flavor
The black licorice macaron I chewed in slow motion on the windy steps of a church somewhere in Paris.

7. Favorite Escape
No one saw this coming, not even me, but somehow I became a fan of prison break books. Papillon is the ultimate, the tall-tale-sized autobiography of a Parisian criminal’s repeated escapes from prisons in French Guiana, including the Devil’s Island colony. The protagonist’s will is so strong and sturdy that even when he must endure years/chapters trapped to sunless, solitary confinement, his tone remains brave and bright. The Steve McQueen movie version of the story isn’t criminal, but it lacks the disarming charm of Papillon and his incredible adventure.

8. Favorite Fad
Reddish-orange pants, or orangey-red jeans. But we all already knew that.

9. Favorite Forty-Four Minutes
The best “hour” of TV I saw all year was Mad Men’s season four episode “The Suitcase”. There’s always been a “Will they or won’t they?” tension to Draper and Peggy’s relationship. Not “Will they or won’t they?” fall into bed, but “Will they or won’t they?” fling aside the stressed charades of their 1960s social roles for forty five seconds, and just look at one another for who they actually are. In “The Suitcase”, they finally did just that, puked-on dress shirts and all. It was a long time coming, and it was a sweet and needed relief.

10. Favorite Fantasy
Lying on the beaches of Mexico on an extra large, linen deck-towel– shaped island. I got the towel in August, the plane ticket in November, and soon enough my fantasy will turn reality!

2011 has a lot to live up to.

Yesterday’s Fashions Today

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Other than shoes and obscene amounts of boots, I haven’t been buying as much vintage wear as I once did. When you’re young and broke and free, it’s easier to find the patience to flip through racks of Aeropostale polo shirts and Deee-Lite-ful polyester pants for hours on end to find the one rare and worthwhile wearable.

But, of course, if you never shoot, you’ll never score, and so now and then I return to my thrift-store roots in hopes I’ll hit the jackpot.

Last week’s find was a late 70s/early 80s mystery shirt by a brand called CAMPUS® Easy Life.

Its safari and sorta shutter-buggy at first glance, but the shirt’s quilted shoulders & pocket flaps, plus its rounded shawl collar take it to an almost Luke Skywalker-like universe.

It’s just the sort of unusual and interesting piece no label would have reason to design today, and which simply must be rescued from the fading force of yesterday.

So remind me not to forget again about the merits of valiant thrifting. Cause had I not flipped past hanger after hanger of irrelevant vintage for like a whole hour last Friday, I never would’ve nabbed the perfect top for photographing Ewoks or Elaine Irwin in some outer-spacy outback.

But now I do!


Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Lo-fi little numbers, as cool and simple as anything Apple tells me I need.

Lined and Squared MUCU paper pads. As powerful as you are.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Come December I like to read boyish old adventure stories. Two years ago it was Call of The Wild, and this year I decided to give the Hardy Boys a try for the first time ever since the back cover of Case #8: The Mystery of Cabin Island mentioned the action took place on a snow-covered island over Christmas vacation.

My sister and I used to have an un-secret stash of Nancy Drew books lying around as kids, and honestly, my favorite moments of any of these teen detective books is whenever it describes what the young sleuths are eating. It’s always cozy comfort food like chicken and biscuits, or flapjacks with syrup, or stews served alongside cold pitchers of milk. To me it’s essentially literary snacking, the plot-lines pretty much filler ’til the next mention of cobbler, or creamed corn, or fresh caught catfish.

In The Mystery of Cabin Island, Frank and Joe Hardy’s wealthy old client Elroy Jefferson receives a holiday gift he believes to be from his missing grandson. It’s a can of plum pudding adorned with fresh pinecones!

Upon reading that, before flipping another page, I searched online for canned plum pudding, hoping someone still sold a tin of the classic Christmas dessert in packaging appropriately retro.

The closet I came upon were various “Christmas Puddings” which definitely are old-century and cinematic enough for me. Since the cupcake and the French macaron have already enjoyed their return from nostalgic novelty to the sweet-tooth center stage, I’m thinking the proper pudding deserves a royal resurgence.

Served warm under brandy butter or custard, it’s a rich reflection of (seemingly) sweeter, simpler days.

Costume Department

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Taken in 2001, while pretending it was 1964.

I played Daniel Patrick all that summer. A baseball-loving night-school teacher who fell for a young co-worker pretending to have lyme disease.

We didn’t have style blogs back then, so what else was I expected to do with my time or my skinny wool ties?

Angels On The Road

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

To solve last night’s case, Kelly and Tiffany sped through the shadows of 1980 Los Angeles in an incredible orange compact sedan with a pristine plaid interior.

Meanwhile, Kris over-curled her hair to adequately investigate a trigger-happy skin-flick producer; and no one went under cover as a reporter (for once).

Not even Bosley, who mostly stayed at his desk.

My Black Friday Find

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

At first glance, this Utility Shirt from J. Crew might not seem like anything special, but it’s got me unusually excited. I’ll, of course, explain why.

First off, it isn’t made of old-school oxford broadcloth but a softer and more supple brushed twill that feels almost like an all-year-weight flannel.

The stud-section shelves at J. Crew and beyond are severely over-saturated with chambray these days, so this new material (offered in multiple colors including dusty red!) has a 1981 Connecticut Canoeing Club feel to it which keeps things fresh and perfectly captures that outdated/updated quality so fascinating in fashion.

White buttons wouldn’t have had enough of that “Walter Mondale’s Weekend in a Winnebago” type ruggedness that the shirt subtly suggests, and so it’s these Bit-O-Honey colored closures that really seal the deal for me.

These Utility Shirts didn’t appear on the J. Crew webshop until just today. I’d like to try out another color as well, and pair them with tan jeans and either almost-feathered hair or a tote with a mallard on it.

I trust I can take care of the hair or the mallard bag myself, but where’m I gonna find some dumb tan denim?