Category Archives: design

Happiness Is…

If this photo had been staged, I’d have refilled the mug and cleared the background clutter.

  • Warm, milky coffee in my ancient I ♥ NY mug.
  • The end of a season of oppressively hot weather.
  • Related: Pendleton going back to the original ’49er cut.
  • Finding out that a previous client called me a “fabulous graphic designer,” and not even to me.
  • Mentioning the above on Twitter, and a current client replying by saying that I’m “seriously amazing” and then following with this.
  • Getting stuff checked off my To Do list.
  • Cleaning my stove before 9am, and it wasn’t even on my To Do list. (Although it needed to Be Done)
  • My boyfriend finally managing to fix his truck (specific problem still unknown, but the replacement of many parts seems to have done the trick) which means that he’ll once again have some evenings free for socializing. Not that we usually get together during the week, but now we can.
  • Finally deleting the 276 photos that were “stuck” on my iPhone. Ah, that feels better.
  • The Many Adventures of Rebop the Robot. I might let you in on this at a later date. Maybe.
  • Discovering (granted, two weeks after the fact) that Adobe released a CS6 update and I can now package files out of Illustrator!!!
  • Starting again to list fresh items at Tiddleywink Vintage and Winkorama. (It’s still an overwhelming burden, but it’s my overwhelming burden)
  • Making some progress on reorganizing the storage situation in my bedroom.
  • Being confident that my new bike is in good hands at small, independently-owned The Bicycle Shack, where my mention of “English, internally geared” was immediately responded to with “Sturmey-Archer hub.” They pass the quiz.

And Kitchen Pr0n!

I realize that the last Kitchen Pr0n post wasn’t that long ago, but I overlooked an item that time and added a few more things. And if anyone wants to help me reorganize my kitchen cabinets, yes please thank you! Anyway, here are the newest additions:

You know what a double-boiler looks like. The logo is the most attractive part of this Wards Signature Prestige model.

Missing from the last post is this vintage Wards Signature Prestige stainless steel double boiler. It’s not the double boiler of my dreams (you know you like to cook when you have a double boiler on your wish list), but it will certainly do the trick with fewer hands than a cobbled bowl-and-saucepan bain-marie requires. Now, if it were up to me, I’d have a Pyrex Flameware double boiler like my mom used to have. Model #6283, not the older #6762 version (which has a light blue tint to the glass, and is often logically referred to as Blue Tint, but once sellers realized that the Blue Tint model garnered more money, they started describing the newer, clear model as Blue Tint as well. And asking outrageous prices. Caveat emptor). When I asked her to be on the lookout for one for me, she told me to just buy a new one. At which point I had to inform her that Pyrex hasn’t manufactured a double boiler for decades, and she was dumbfounded. Because why doesn’t Pyrex still make double-boilers? Good question, Mom. Good question.

Not shown: the metal rod that does the work.

Next in line is this clever device manufactured for the sole purpose of mixing your natural nut butters. Now, I’m not generally a fan of single-purpose gadgets. But after years of mixing separated peanut and almond butter with a spoon or butter knife, and the mess it involves, I finally broke down and ordered this sucker. The test was a jar of almond butter that friends found in the back of their pantry, which had separated to a solid mass topped with an inch of almond oil. They were going to toss it, but I took it home to see if it could be saved. It took some doing, but with this tool I eventually got it back into “butter” consistency. Over time, and as long as I remember to buy this size jar (every different lid/jar combo requires its own mixer set), this tool will hold up for years to come.

Kitten With a Whip

While we’re discussing single-use gadgets, let’s get to this joy. A few weeks ago, I broke my Bodum “Aerius” milk frother device. I was inconvenienced, but the fact of the matter is that it was difficult to store in an already-cluttered kitchen, and not easy to wash the frothing screen. Around the same time, I was house-sitting for friends who have an Aerolatte wand, and I was impressed with its small size and frothing ability. However, when I went to buy one for myself, I found them to be expensive. It’s a pair of AA batteries and a spinning stick! I bought one of these motors from Radio Shack for a school project years ago, this thing shouldn’t be $20 (or more, depending on the model). So I held off, used un-frothed milk in my coffee (oh, the horror), and jumped on this red model—to match the Shoes And Pie Test Kitchen—I spotted at Cost Plus World Market for a mere $2.99. You can get your own multicolored 3-pack of them from their web site.

The Crown Jewels of gelatin molds.

Now for something completely different: I had no idea that the Test Kitchen “needed” this copper-toned aluminum gelatin mold until I found it in a thrift store. It’s enormous. 3 quarts, with room to spare! I cannot imagine a time whereupon I’ll be called to make this quantity of molded anything. But it’s fantastic, in its triumphant gothic-arch style. And while you may think it’s a single-purpose device, it can also be used as a chic Devo-In-Metropolis hat! (Which makes me think of “You’ll never guess what loud applause this cunning hat receives.” Watch the whole thing, but if for some reason you can’t, skip ahead to 1:55)

CAN I get you anything? Get it? CAN? Oh, I’m hilarious.

Finally, the newest addition to the Test Kitchen is this graniteware canner, complete with jar rack. These have looked exactly the same for decades, so I’ve no idea how to tell if it’s 5 or 50 years old. The canning kettle I’ve been using is really a soup pot, too small to can anything in quantity, and the jars tend to rattle around and clink into each other dangerously. I’ve been wanting to buy myself a brandy-dandy real set, but keep putting it off. I mean, it’s not as though canning is a pressing need for me, and finances being what they are, well, there you go. For two years, it’s been “next season.” And then ta-da! This slightly banged up set shows up at the thrift store! And it fits on my stovetop! My overhead microwave limits the usable space, but this pot nestles in perfectly.

That’s all, dear readers! Have yourself a wonderful weekend. Shoes And Pie will be back on Monday with more adventures and rambling.

Leave a comment

Filed under collections, day job, design, family, food, kitchen, life-threatening clutter, nostalgia, vintage

Advertuesday!

Advertuesday? I think that should be nominated for Worst Portmanteau, 2012. However, what we have here are (vintage) advertisements, and it is Tuesday. The only thing that any of these ads have in common is that they all appear in the May, 1948 issue of Woman’s Home Companion. And that the magazine is too big to fit on my scanner, so rather than scans these are instead hasty photos, complete with uneven lighting and occasional glare. I hope you enjoy the look back! (Click each image to make with the biggering.)

Bon Ami scouring powder, 1948. STILL hasn’t scratched yet!

A model smile on Mrs. Ralph (Nicki) Ellis, by Ipana toothpaste, 1948.

Battle “infectious dandruff” with Listerine Antiseptic, 1948

Promise of a lifetime sparkle from Oxydol, 1948. Just what is IN this stuff?

Trade box tops (and a penny) for a Quikut paring knife, from Spic and Span cleanser. 1948.

Skip the dishes! Until you get Dreft dishwashing soap, that is. 1948.

Wanda Hendrix’s winning smile is the result of Pepsodent toothpaste (ahem, “dental cream”), don’t you know? 1948.

Invitation to make “Hash Mounds” for lunch with Armour corned beef hash, 1948

If it’s lovely to wear…it’s worth Ivory Flakes care. 1948.

Leave a comment

Filed under advertising, amusement, collections, design, fashion, food, kitchen, nostalgia, packaging, shopping, vintage

Monday Rounderp

Monday AFTERNOON rounderp. I had a busy morning today, and I can’t pre-write and schedule the Rounderp as I have to actually experience the weekend first!

Let’s see, how did this weekend pass? Friday evening was spent touring a house, closed upon that day, by some friends. They chose very well, as the house is a 1949 charmer with coved ceilings and lovely scalloped trim (and gold-flake Formica, be still my heart!) in the kitchen. It also fulfills perfectly their rather unusual “wants” list, including an oversized garage and no front yard. The house has a front yard, but it’s been expertly xeriscaped and will require only limited maintenance to keep some evergreen shrubbery in check. Many congratulations to them on their new home!

Breakfast with friends, errands, and a little therapeutic vintage shopping took up most of Saturday’s daylight hours. Even though I cannot fit a single stitch more on my garment rack of unlisted inventory, I couldn’t pass up the gold Lurex 2-piece outfit that I stumbled upon, so look for it to appear in the shop sooner or later. The condition isn’t up to my usual standard, but it’s still solid and I’ll sell it for a price that considers the wear and tear on it. Saturday night was spent listening to very good music, played from vinyl, at a friend’s house. There was a bit of a spatial conflict ’twixt a humorously flung LP and Woody’s face, but both sides survived to continue on for the rest of the night.

Sunday was the Broncos‘ first game of the season, and I really couldn’t possibly have cared less about it. However, I was plied with home-made cake and good company, so I whipped up a batch of my mom’s “Taco Salad” (not tacos, not really salad) and a snacky time was had.

I’ve been doing a bit of production and layout work over the last month or so for CooperHouse, and it’s been such a pleasure! Their design style is clean and crisp but still friendly and accessible, and I’ve admired for some time now their aesthetic in general. To be invited to work on some of their projects has been gratifying. To find them to be such professionals to work for and with is the icing on the proverbial cake. And I’m not sucking up, really. This is all the truth, and I thought what better way to tell them than publicly?

Now for the week’s tentative schedule:

TUESDAY – Scannin’ around. I have a growing collection of vintage magazines, and it’s not fair that only I get to view these advertisements and articles!

WEDNESDAY – Vintage Victuals! I don’t yet know what I’ll cook for you. Do you have any requests? I’m here to please! But get to requestin’, as I’ll have to do the cooking on Tuesday in order to write this post on time.

THURSDAY – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, it is if you’re a crafter! We’ll dig into my STACK of vintage Christmas craft magazine to see what we see.

FRIDAY – Shoes and Pie Test Kitchen P0rn! I accidentally left out an item last time, and have since acquired something new (to the kitchen). Have a look!

3 Comments

Filed under day job, design, shopping, vintage

Reminiscin’ Racing

Click to visit the site.

I promised your guys I’d put up some semblance of a web site for the race team, and I have, although I’m still missing copious amounts of content. Jim has a very well organized scrapbook of his racing career going back to 1968, but I’ve not yet gotten it from him to scan. Jim and Johnnie are both slacking (SLACKING, GUYS) about getting me their bio information. And so on. ::coughVIDEOcough::

Anyway, I don’t do web sites. Or websites, depending on your preference/age/involvement in the medium. The Reminiscin’ site is built in iWeb, which is limited, outdated, unsupported,  and the only program I’ve yet worked with that is dumbed down enough for my firmly-embedded-in-print mind. Let’s not even talk about the tears I was in during my first (and therefore last) day of Dreamweaver class. I was excited about Muse until I opened it up to start playing and went “Huh?” Right, so anyway. iWeb. Which means it’s best viewed in Chrome or Safari. When viewed in Firefox, a few drop shadows go wonky. I haven’t tested any other browser. I did this as a freebie, remember? You get what you pay for. :)

There are changes I still want to make. There may be more changes based on your suggestions. The site is most certainly not done, but at least it’s live. You can peek at it. So, like, go. Peek. Especially if you have any interest in blown alcohol front-engine dragsters. Which, really, you should. C’mon, you can’t deny how bitchin’ they are.*

___________________

*Unless you’ve ridden for 6 hours in an un-air-conditioned truck so you can “sleep” in a tent in a drought-ridden field approximately ¼ mile away from the busiest freight railroad tracks you’ve ever in your life encountered, then sweat all day and reek of DEET and pee in a stinky Portalet® just to watch your boyfriend on the track for all of 7 seconds at a time. In which case the “bitchin’” reverts to its other definition. ;)

2 Comments

Filed under cars, day job, design

TUESDAY Rounderp

(Due to the long Labor Day weekend, Monday’s Rounderp has been rescheduled to today.)

Hey there, kats and kittens! Did you notice that I skipped out on Thursday’s and Friday’s posts last week? You see, Thursday was supposed to be a progress report on how far I’d come with the race team’s hero card, and I simply hadn’t gotten very far. Trying to determine the appropriate size turned out to take far longer than I’d expected, as it turns out there isn’t really a “standard” holder available for these things. Well, Pit Pal makes a telescoping hero card stand, but at a price that will make you choke. An image search for other team’s stands turned up a whole lot of custom-built jobbies. That’s the problem with racers: they can’t stop hot-rodding stuff. :) Anyway, I’d wanted to finish the web site before working on the hero cards, but that’s been held up because trying to get content from these guys is like pulling teeth. However, I discovered over the weekend that one of the drivers has been giving out the web address (which once pointed to a half-built site filled with misinformation and FPO photos, posted only for my own testing purposes and since taken down). I’ve asked repeatedly for content, so aside from physically standing over a team member while watching him gather files and info for me, I’m at a loss as to how to move forward with that project. All I can do for now is put up some lame home page, which roughly outlines what should be there, someday. Heck, I was putting the site together as a favor to them, so if they let the domain registry expire without ever posting a thing, it’s not really my problem.

Does it look hot? Because it’s about 104° out. Give or take 1,000 degrees.

Speaking of the weekend, and the race team: it was another race weekend, this time in Kearney, Nebraska. It appeared to be a charming and fairly vibrant town, but the race track is never in town. Surrounded by corn and soybean fields, sizzling under oppressive heat during the days, and our nights punctuated by the continual passing of freight trains. The guys got in a few good passes and impressed the crowd. While I do love watching them make a pass, I am so tired of the long drives, the heat, the bugs, and the stench of Portalets. I’ll go to the last race this season, but I think that may be it for me. The bloom is well off the rose.

After years of glowing reviews from friends and family members, I made an impulse purchase and bought myself a (refurbished, therefore half price) Dyson vacuum to replace the Phantom which has been sitting in a non-functioning state* since mid July. Now, while I realize that’s a whole lot of weeks to be collecting dust and cat fur, I am certain that the first pass with the Dyson pulled up stuff from the last decade. I am both impressed, and grossed out.

Here’s where I’ll try to take us this week:

WEDNESDAY – Summer is quickly fleeting, and I’ve made exactly 0 batches of ice cream. I’ll remedy that with…baklava ice cream! That sounds good, right? I sure think so!

THURSDAY – I got a new (to me) bike last week! Woo! Read all about it, and my related glee!

FRIDAY – Fiiiine, we’ll take a look at how much I can cobble together for this race team web site that I was once so excited about, before I realized that I was the only one who cared.

_______________________

*The Phantom ingested its belt. I have a replacement belt, but the boyfriend, who promised that he’d help me remove the pieces of the old one and replace it, has been slacking in his extramural helping-out duties. Note: the dishwasher that has been sitting in my back yard for over a year. Could I have politely left out this footnote? Yes, but while I’m tickled by the favors being offered in the first place, my disappointment and frustration at the lack of follow through is growing exponentially. It is a surface sign of deeper problems that are no longer going ignored. I know I don’t usually blog about this stuff, please pardon my inappropriate venting.

2 Comments

Filed under camping, day job, design, food, life-threatening clutter, pet peeves