Thursday, June 30, 2011

Collecting Portraits

You might remember a few months ago I did a post on the amazing store while visiting the Newport Coast in Southern California.

After seeing this wonderful display I began collecting portraits.

This is my most recent find.
I figured he was a historical figure but I wasn't sure exactly who he was until... 

I came across this page in this month's Elle Decor Magazine.

The original
 Juan de Pareja (1650)



Now I know who he is and that he was painted by Diego Velasquez.

I think whoever painted it did a great job, don't you?  
Do you collect portraits?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Man's World

There is so much to love about my hometown that I've decided to do a series of posts about it starting with a true classic, The Barbershop.

When a guy walks into a barbershop he doesn't want surprises. Continuity means something.  Every barber cuts hair more or less the same way and it's all over in 10 or 15 minutes.

The barbershop is a man's world. The men who frequent them don't miss the frills or fancy decor of a salon. The barbershop customer seeks a different kind of comfort and visits these small, spare shops because they're dependable and inexpensive, and their barbers give good quality haircuts.

Clients gravitate toward the distinct male aesthetic that eschews trendy fashion magazines and aromatic flower arrangements.

The tools, tonic and lather are set against a classic 1950's backdrop: smoked glass and wood paneling. Beneath displays of unbreakable combs, pocket hairbrushes and old-time tonic bottles, there are newsweeklies spread across shelves along with comic books and Sports Illustrated magazines.

Barbershops also entice and comfort with their nostalgic familiarity, from red-and-white barber poles to swiveling leather chairs and mirrors.

Barbershops like Al's, The Razor's Edge and Dick's have seemingly always been centers for social exchange. Barbershops are where men have lingered to read the morning paper, where they have gossiped about politics and where they have chatted about sports and the weather. And in Alameda's barbershops, they still do.


Typical banter at most barbershops weaves current events with local politics, with funnymen throwing in a few jokes for good laughs. Practically every customer has something to add to the conversations, so there's much more to barbershops than the quick, efficient haircut that the barbers crank out. The barbershop sprouts its own community life, where participants take and make the time for civic banter.

Even though barbershops by nature have many similarities, each one usually-and this holds true in Alameda- has its own distinct personality.

The Razor's Edge is well known as the athlete's stop. Autographed photographs of famous athletes cover the walls, and a large glass case shows off sports memorabilia.

On the west end of town is Dick's Barber Shop the barber of choice for Coast Guard admirals, and Navy commandants and vice-commandants, but cuts flattops, crew cuts and just plain old haircuts for anyone who walks in his door.

Some of Al's customers literally have been clients for a lifetime and then introduced their sons and grandsons to the same chair and the same barber.

New generations are being introduced to barbershop culture from one side of our fair Island to the other.

* All text taken from Alameda Magazine

A Shave and a Haircut

Celebrating the Thrills of a No-Frills Haircut

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dressed for Summer

I've been wanting to dress up our entry with a pair of black & white striped Sunbrella panels to give it the look of a cabana.

I purchased this pair a few weeks ago from Ballard Designs but couldn't quite decide on the drapery hardware.

After shopping online and checking out all my haunts and salvage yards, I was still at a loss.

My friend Lisa suggested I look for an old piece of wrought iron  but that was easier said than done.

Finding the length I needed proved impossible.

And then it dawned on me... what about a classic  bamboo pole!

I made another trip back to the salvage yard which yielded a pair of what I think are vintage receipt holders.

My husband and I found these wonderful pieces of wood...

while out on our morning walks.

And Voila!

(Shutter is temporarily missing on the left)

I'd love to know,

What do you think?

New treasure just listed at

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Soulful Treasures

There is so much to love about this wonderful vintage art box from the 1940's.

The box and all the old tins holding paints, pastels and water colours,


all the sweet pictures and cut-outs.

It's obviously been cherished and clearly enjoyed,

and makes one nostalgic for their own childhood.

 I especially love the vintage graphics on all the tins and boxes.

I love this!

It's so charming how this kit was called,
Springtime Crayon and Water Color Outfit.

It's no wonder so many of us deeply appreciate things from the past.

They were so beautifully made or presented.

Maybe it's because we leave this world but our treasured things stay behind,

 left with our imprint and energy, and love.

Somehow all the wear and tear just makes them more soulful and appealing...

the patina, their age.

All I know is that this cherished possession called out to me...

 to bring it home.

You know that I believe that many treasures find their next caretaker. 

Could it perhaps be you?

If so...

 to make it