Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

The Nights Before Christmas

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

All is now glistening and glowing here in our little house we inaccurately (but affectionately) call Tudor Mansion. The year we moved in I found a bucket of deeply discounted garland in citrusy sherbet colors during a Boxing Day sale. And so ever since then our home’s holiday get-up has strayed from the red/green grind of Christmas tradition.

Our house is already outfitted in faded, sea-glassy colors the rest of the year, so we simply tint our Christmas in the same sorts of hues, adding in Whoville-like pops of bubble gummy pink and key lime green.

Many of the pieces have been handed down to us from German Grandmothers or Church Crocheting Club members over the years and have become some of our favorite items for the warm sense of history they bring to our set up.

And everything else we try and keep silvery or sparkly or fuzzy or felted.

I try and find one or two new things to add to the arsenal each year. We ordered a dozen boxes of white bubble lights for the tree back in November, but they were back-ordered and only arrived a few days ago.

Next year, though, we’ll bubble up for sure.

Many out there may whine about how early it gets dark the end of December. But I can’t wait for the sun to fall out of the sky this time of year so I can flick on the tree and watch our non-Mansion shine.

Deck The Walls

Friday, December 9th, 2011

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to get Treasury headquarters looking its best before guests arrive.

I tend to stock up on art, objects, furniture etc. and then put them into play in big-ish waves. Every addition or insertion affects everything else in a room, or sometimes a home, so I find it somehow quicker and cleaner to (re-)design using bigger, bolder, broader strokes.

The only thing preventing me from finding the perfect wall or hall to hang any of the three above works is knowing that two additional pieces will be finalized and framed in just a few days.

And so my stash expands…

‘Tis The Season For Fleet Farm

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Tough guys nearby stomp into Mills Fleet Farm for macho-man basics like jerky, deer bait, and cordless chainsaws. I, on the other hand, tend to trot on in when I need strange boxes of ginger snaps or silly chocolate rabbits for the girls in my films to snack on as period-perfect props.

But I am particularly drawn to the timeless charms of The Farm this time of year when stocking stuffer season comes ’round.

Fleet Farm’s somewhat random, retro-tinged merchandise offers up everything from suspenders to saskatoon jam, and 1980s board games to Brokeback-ready wrangling shirts.

So while you may stop by in full-on Santa mode to scope out rugged, all-weather gifts for the dudes and Dads and dunces in your life…

It’s likely you’ll end up leaving with some marshmallow fluff, Carhartt carpenter pants, or bubbling Christmas tree lights for your own greedy life.

I mean, maybe it’s better “to give than to receive”, but what’s totally best is shopping someplace where you can do both at once.

I mean how could you seriously be expected to pick up a quirky-cool can of saskatoon jam for your divorced Aunt LuAnn, and not snatch some up for your own amazing self?

Holiday Haul pt. 3

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

And now, the very best present for last!

An original 8 x 10 promo photo from 1990 of Audrey Horne brooding in the halls of Twin Peaks High School the morning the blue body washes up, and everything starts to change.

And so with that, on to a new year!

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 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.

Gift Guiding

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Sadly, I already sent off my list o’ wishes to Santa and his many elves this past weekend, so it’s too late for me to hope St. Nick will stock my stuffing with any of these re-printed military pamphlets from WWII this Christmas.

At under 10 bucks a pop, they’re cool and classic for either getting or gifting, packed with wartime wisdom (possibly) worth remembering today.

From what’s sure to be the best of the bunch, the 1944 Germany Manual: “Don’t be too ready to listen to stories told by attractive women. They may be acting under orders.”

Even today, in our lives of relative peace, that’s an arch little instruction worth following still.

Gifted: A Final Glance

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Before it’s totally untimely: the final remnants of my much-adored Christmas Stocking.

ChineseNewYear

1. Chinese New Year Kit. The gold bars say Hell Bank on them. Anyone know what that’s all about?

Cookies

2. Flowery, fragile sesame cookies. Crunchy, crumbly, crave-worthy.

Soaps3

3. A rainbow’s worth of macaroon-like soaps.

TaroWafers

4. And a bin of macaroon-colored Taro wafers.

(Everything on Earth reminds me of macaroons these days.)

Gifted: Sparkling

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Gold and silver and other metallic-ized gifts.

Notebook

1. Postalco Jotter Notebook.
I had really needed this as all year I had been scribbling phone numbers and directions on a stupid stocking stuffer from last year: a box of little loose (and easily lost) sheets of paper printed with a light orange graphic of man climbing a cliff or jumping over a river or something (I’ve blocked the beyond-dumbness from my memory) and the words “The will to succeed.” (Yesterday I easily mustered the will to successfully toss them in the trash!)

2. My dog Aesop looks like a fox, so thus this door-knocker looks like my dog.

3. My mother gave me the vintage spoon, along with a story: When we moved from England back to America when I was nine months old, the movers had accidentally packed up my baby spoon and my mom was in a panic about how she was going to feed me during our week long sea voyage back to the states. She said every restaurant in England had these little silver spoons in the standard brown sugar tins set on each table. So she guiltlessly stole one with which to feed me at sea. Flash forward 30 some years and she comes across the spoon somehow in my sister’s kitchen and steals the spoon (once again!) and gives it to me for Christmas.

Nails

4. Ultra-chunky pretend nails, perfect only for laying around looking pretty.

StampsBook

5. Another vintage English gift, though not stolen. A stamp sheet cover from the 1940s. Trying to figure out how/where to display it as it doesn’t really fit modern American stamp books.

Pyrite

6. A hunk of Brazilian pyrite now giving gritty glam to the top of a stack of books.

With all these shining, sparkling gifts, my digs are one big disco ball!

Gifted: The Sweetest Sweats

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

I don’t hear that much about Alternative Apparel on the boy blogs, and I’m not sure why. Not to be confused with American Apparel (and it’s hard NOT to get confused what with their super similar brand names, penny-pinchy pricepoints, and certain design elements of their respective websites) Alternative Apparel skips the geeky sleaze of the AmAp aesthetic for something earthier and more earnest.

Top

Alternative Apparel incorporates recycled and organic materials, the use of low-impact dyes, and energy conservation in its manufacturing facilities for an eco-conscious line of simple, sportswear basics. Which is totally, totally great, but only half as great as their sweatshirts look and feel.

Middle

Their Champ Longsleeve Eco-Fleece Raglan comes in five heathered shades. Their slim yet somehow boxy fit and their cotton/poly blend create a convincingly vintage looking piece, as if left over from a late 60’s Ivy League athletics office.

Bottom

I stumbled across an eco-grey one last spring and requested an eco-red one for Christmas (…and am having a hard time not jumping overboard and netting myself an eco-blue one too).

Topping the rare, retro appeal of even their long sleeve raglan, Alternative Apparel also offers a short sleeve version! That Steve McQueen in ’69 shape is especially hard to find in ’09 and will spring up in my warmer weather wardrobe in at least one shade.

For certain.

Gifted: Stocking Stuffers

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Due to the particulars of my personal life, “Santa” stuffs my stocking three times each Christmas. The stocking I traditionally dig through last each year is always the best one. Void of flat filler like Dilbert desk calendars or uninspired drugstore deodorant, my final stocking of the season always overflows with treasures vintage, exotic, or branded beautifully. Some of this year’s top-performing stuffers:

1. Indian Salted Pumpkin Seeds.

PumpkinSeeds

2. Mexican Bingo Boards & Cards.

BingoBoards

BingoCards

3. New Mr. Goodbar bars in old-fashioned wrappers.

MrGoodbar

4. A zoo’s worth of Cracker Jack creatures in red and wintery blue.

CrackerJackers

Because of a big-ticket item that was given to me back in November as my early, main Christmas present, most of my December 25th gifts were all tiny and thrifty stocking stuffers, actually. But I didn’t mind at all, and my materialistic core didn’t even really notice the absence of splurgy goods, believe it or not. All the small-ticket treasures in my sparkly stocking brought me huge heaps of giant-sized joy.

…I’m gonna keep that in mind at Christmas next year.