Friday, October 29, 2021

Friday Musings

 Readying for winter already as the rain pours down on my metal roof this morning.  Cozy fires, heavy soups, and furry shoes.....

I ordered this book on the advice of Bill Gates:

"Vaclav Smil is my favorite author… Numbers Don't Lie takes everything that makes his writing great and boils it down into an easy-to-read format. I unabashedly recommend this book to anyone who loves learning."--Bill Gates, GatesNotes

Love this tartan cookie tray from the Juliska Outlet:

Cannot wait to pull out my Vienna Boys' Choir CDs.  Love their music and I will play it from November to February.  Magic music perfect for the holidays in our crazy world. - $13 at Target.  Need I say more?


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

What I am Loving This Wednesday

Fall, I mean winter, arrived this week with a bang.  Lots of leaves to rake now.  But I was growing tired of 80 degree weather and fall colors - that does not mix in my book.  Readying for fall and the holidays - Thanksgiving is a month away!  How can that be?

So here are some Wednesday finds......

You never have too much stationary (or needlepoint canvases, or coats) but I digress.  My stationary drawer in my bedroom can never be too full.  Dempsey & Carroll is a favorite brand.

I know it is a little early but a trek to the Caspari store is in order very soon.  I am worried that once something is gone this year it is gone for good.  I stock up on their cocktail napkins and keep a huge stash at all times. Love these for the holidays.

I loved this article in the New York Times this week about Sister Parish. It is great to see that this brand is being kept alive by the younger generation.  

We watched this movie last weekend and if you have not seen it, it's a fun movie, on Netflix.

One of my glass show finds is similar to this Fenton vase. Mine has a different sheen to it but love this one too.  Can't get enough this grand old glass.  I am a hoarder, I mean collector!

And I love these Ann Taylor Loft pants that were sold out but now restocked. They seem to be quite popular.  Prefer the black ones.

Happy hump day!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Late Great and Unknown Virginia B. Evans

We ventured to Northern Virginia yesterday to attend a glass show, the first one I have been to in five years.  When we lived near Pittsburgh there were many glass shows in the region and this is the very best source for treasured "elegant glass."  This show did not disappoint and we came home with many pieces to add to our collection.  I was hoping to find Imperial Hunt Scene but not a single piece was to be seen.  But we did discover was a very unique piece made by the Ohio-based Imperial Glass.  When I came home I wanted to date the glass. I thought the piece was made in the 1930's but soon discovered the piece was part of a collection designed by Virginia B. Evans for Imperial starting in 1942.  

Virginia B. Evans was quite an accomplished woman by anyone's standards but given that she was born in Moundsville, West Virginia in 1894 makes her story even more remarkable.  Before she moved to glass she was a very good painter.  Here is a brief bio.

She was a very good impressionist artist somehow managed to garner an education that would be the envy of most artists today.  

Here is her self-portrait painted between 1920 and 1925.  She appears to be quite stylish.  If you have been to Wheeling, WV then you see that today it is a tired "rust belt" town but underneath you can also see how beautiful the city was once and likely when Evans grew up there it was a bustling city with some level of sophistication.  Some of the old buildings there are quite nice.

She graduated from the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy in Wheeling, WV and then attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology School of Fine Arts and then the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  In 1924, she received a fellowship to the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, which included a brief residency at Tiffany's Mansion, Laurelton Hall on Oyster Bay (Long Island), where Evans worked with leading painters such as Childe Hassam, Charles Webster Hawthorne and Gari Melchers.   From 1926 to 1931, Evans made four trips to Europe, including studying at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France during the summer of 1926.  This was a time in which women typically married and had children and women rarely traveled alone.  One source reported that she traveled alone on a merchant ship with 30 sailors on one of her voyages because she wanted to study the sea.

In 1957, Evans moved to Orlando before relocating to Naples, Florida two years later. In Naples, she became a leading member and teacher at the Naples Art Association. but she returned to West Virginia in 1974 to spend the rest of her life with her family. She died in 1983 in Moundsville, West Virginia.

It is not clear how or why Evans' career shifted in 1942 when the Imperial Glass Corporation of hired her to design glass products for a new line. Her Asian inspired designs included dragon and butterfly motifs, used on a line of more than thirty Imperial Cathay Crystal items ranging from candle holders to ashtrays. One piece of Evans' Cathay Crystal glasswork was displayed at the Met during its April 1950 special display Twentieth Century Glass, American and European.

Evans also designed for Viking Glass, Fostoria, Imperial and Warwick, and other Ohio Valley glass companies.  Here is an advertisement for some of the pieces she designed for Imperial:


Here is another advertisement.  The piece that we found is on the right side, the two candle holders and the bowl, which is a matching set.  Ours is frosted glass and is in a deep cranberry color - a deep pinkish color.  It is quite lovely. 

Here is the set in a clear frosted color.  It is even more beautiful in the cranberry color.  There are some pieces of  Virginia B. Evans' Imperial Glass on Etsy and Ebay.


Some of her pieces are signed.  My find is not.

Here is color of the set I found but mine is frosted:

And I love this piece, currently on Ebay:

There is very little out there on Ms. Evans' sadly.  This book was written by a WVU professor and I will order it.

Collecting glass for the past 20 years has sent me down so many trails. I love the history of  it - the period, the glamour of the glass, the beauty and the lives it touched.  This part just never gets old for me.  There is another glass show next month in Pennsylvania that I will try to attend and a big one in March. Things to look forward and so much more to uncover and learn.....I would love to find one of Virginia B. Evans' paintings too.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday Finds

TGIF. It has been a beautiful week in Virginia, very warm during the day, a full moon that comes up every evening - lovely to look at.  Here are some fun Friday finds.....

I don't typically shop at J Crew Factory but I am liking their clothes better than the selection at J Crew these days.  Like this cute front zip sweater:

Love the Patagonia Retro Fleece in anything:

Years ago my mother bought be a pair of pull on Patagonia fleece pants.  They were like sweat pants but they were made of very warm Patagonia fleece.  I took them with me to Patagonia (literally) and wore them there - when it was VERY cold (in January, their summer I should add).  I had two pairs and I wore them out.  This is the closest thing I have seen to those pants and I have waited a long time for these. I ordered them.  They are wider in the leg than they look and mine are a tad bit big in the waist but I will keep them.  I ordered the beige and I plan to order at least one other color to wear this winter indoors. They are cropped and I am short so on a tall person they will be very cropped but I have been looking for something like this forever.  Thank you Patagonia!  See them here.

I had to borrow a pair of boots to ride in at the barn this week and I wore a pair of these.  Put these on your holiday list.  They are super comfortable, perfect for people like me with bad feet.  If you need a new pair of casual riding boots try these from Ariat:

And I really almost pulled the trigger on this very cute wool top but then decided - where would I wear it?  It comes in three colors and I was looking at the gray one to wear with jeans and leggings. It is not inexpensive but so classic and chic to wear with an Hermes scarf tucked around your neck.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Holiday Tableware

Supply chain shortages, the USPS, everyone shopping online again - these are just some of the reasons to pick holiday stuff out EARLY this year. So this plan-ahead persona is scoping out all the holiday tableware to get ready for another holiday season at home, without family. But that's okay!  It's still a season to celebrate anyway you can........

I did break down and order green Spitzmiller dinner plates.  They have not arrived yet but will be definitely in heavy use this fall through the holiday season. Think of all of the possibilities.....And in the spring I'll mix them with the aqua salad plates I also love and adore.

Love these place mats which will pair well with the green plates above and did I mention that I have a pink dining room?

There are also matching napkins. I'd actually pair my green plates with hot pink linen place mats (I have a set of those) and add the floral napkins.  Scrumptious.  What about these place mats?  Plain white plates, green linen napkins, great old glass.  Classic and preppy!

And I think these salad plates are so much fun. You don't need a ski chalet to own these. Pair them with white dinner plates and red linen napkins.  I just love the colors and these are so whimsical.

While this look is a bit contemporary for my taste, I like this table setting. The place mats are a must have with that china.  The entire setting is at Pottery Barn.  We use our Kate Spade Christmas China all winter long and it is similar to this - plain with a deer on it - so we bring it out in December and use it until spring.

And a few years ago I could not find tartan napkins. They are everywhere now.  Get yours while you can.  The choices are endless.

Love the scalloped edge on these:

Happy holiday planning.  Can't wait to get the table set for the holidays!  Stay safe and mask up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

J Crew and Talbots New Arrivals

I must say I am underwhelmed by the "slouchy" look that J Crew seems to be promoting since the pandemic hit. Maybe it's meant to hide the "pandemic pounds" put on by many but it's not flattering.  I much prefer the tailored preppy with a twist look that made the brand famous but why stick with what made you popular?   Since I've only bought three pieces from J Crew in the past two years, I am not the fan that I once was and this new rollout does not seem to be changing my mind.  

The colors at Talbots are vibrant and almost too preppy but there are some bright spots here and there.  This coat is very cute and I love the back.

This is a cute top for lounge wear - the kind of stuff I will be wearing.  Hoping it is warm though and it may not be. Like it in both colors.

I like these Sorel boots and have an older version that I wear a lot. 

I'm on the fence about this sweater in green but it is likely not warm and may look horrible in real life. I would wear something underneath it.

This is one of only a few items at J Crew that I would consider buying.  Wish they came in other colors like a brown but the lighter color ones will get dirty very fast. See them here.

There are some nice Liberty prints in the new rollout - always classic and popular but was hoping for more tailored pieces.  Maybe in the holiday rollout?

Monday, October 18, 2021

Monday Musings

My friend Molly and I ventured out yesterday afternoon, starting to trek to Charlottesville and then decided not to go that far.  We stopped by Ann Taylor Loft as there is one relatively close by and looked a little bit.  The pickings were very slim in terms of sizes but there were some cute items worth noting here.  Today everything is also 60 percent off.  This coat was quite nice and the color is much more vibrant in person. It comes in several colors but I liked the green the best by far. My coat fetish continues.


This sweater was not in the store but looks cute and I love a front zip. 

I'd pair it with these leggings.  I like this look but I don't think the colors are great other than the black ones.

 I did not see this outfit in the store but would be great for my surgery. Pull-ons and wide legs....

My picker found new glass for my collection and it arrived over the weekend. I added two stems in a new pattern - Tiffin is the manufacturer and the pattern is Flanders.  Two pink goblets and this photo does not do it justice.

Tiffin Flanders is very similar to another pattern by Cambridge called Gloria.  This pattern was only made between 1927 and 1935 and it is found in yellow, pink and clear. Some very rare green pieces surface from time to time.  You'll pay more for the pink than the yellow and clear.  The green pieces will be quite expensive if you can find them.  I love collecting the glass as I learn about the history behind it every time.

I love these adorable dinner plates from Anthro.  The rabbit and the eiffel tower are my favorites.

And I cannot wait for my a trek to the Caspari store and stock up for the holidays.  A preview from their website:

Love these wipe and go placemats:

 Have a great Monday!


Saturday, October 16, 2021

Heavy on Rotation

The pandemic has made us all "creatures of habit" but that was built into my DNA long ago.  Wash.rinse.repeat.  Yep. That's me.  But what's wrong with going to the same brands, the same foods, the same vendors over and over again?  Nothing at all. If it ain't broke then don't fix it - as my mother used to say. So what's heavy on rotation?

Birkenstocks - I just replaced a pair of these if you can believe that they actually do wear out.  I traded in my dark brown ones for navy blue.  They are almost so ugly that they are "in" and so comfy with the fur lining.

Arc teryx Vest - I wear this one piece of clothing more than anything I own and I did manage to wear one out, the only piece of Arc teryx I have been able to wear out. This is just the very best brand for cold weather wear. Yes, it is a bit pricey but so worth it.  They make two versions - I prefer the one that is little bit heavier but they are both so lightweight you'll never know you have it on but you won't be cold.  Perfect to layer too because it's so lightweight.

Kerrits Warm Leggings -I've managed to wear out a pair or two of these tights that I wear all winter long. I am not certain that these are the exact version I own but this is the current offering.  I don't like to ride in tights but these are not tight on my legs and are ever so slightly lined in fleece.  Comfortable!  You really don't even need to ride horses to own these.  Mine are black - the lighter colors get too dirty around the barn.  I also sized up a size in these.

Topo Recovery Shoes - I've brought these up before but I have managed to almost wear out my first pair of these.  I have the black ones and I'll order gray ones soon.  I wear these almost every day. You don't need to wear socks with them.  Just pure comfort.  They are made to wear after you run, for "recovery" but why wear only to recover?  Want a nice supremely comfortable shoe to wear all day long? This is it.

All Clad Cookware - Years ago my neighbor took to an All Clad Warehouse Sale in Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh where it is made) and that's when I started my All Clad collection of pots and never looked back.  This stuff is expensive but if you love to cook then treat yourself.  And I see this stuff at TJ Maxx routinely. 

Klorane Shampoo - Years ago I used the Klorane Chamomile Shampoo and about two years ago I started using the brand again.  I tried several different types but settled on the Detox Shampoo with Aquatic Mint.  I don't like the conditioner but simply love the shampoo.  The French do get it right.

Kneipp Bath Salts - This is a true luxury (and one that I will be forced to give up when I have foot surgery) but there is nothing more soothing than a nice hot bath with these bath salts after a long day.  They make different versions but this is my favorite (and I have tried them all).

Home Chef - We discovered this service during the Pandemic and have not stopped using it.  We never go out to dinner anymore.  We always dine at home, on the patio this time of year. I order two meals a week and can get three or sometimes four meals (we are not big eaters) but it is so easy and so reasonable. For $50 a week I feel like am dining out and the food is very good and the delivery very reliable. 


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