Are you a Professional…what?

I’m fairly certain my obsession for a library card catalogue unit started way before they were cool. I love drawers and organization (despite being an INCREDIBLY messy youth)…I even had a metal drawer version that I stuck index cards in containing, ughm, super secret really cool things that I didn’t even know about. Well fast forward to the 2000s and, well, a wooden library card catalogue is on every designy/interiors bloggers list, isn’t it? Well.lookie.here what became the newest member of the  household this weekend! AND it’s best friend- a piece of old store signage. Way. Too. Excited. I very nearly brought home the entire word ‘TODAY’ as well. It was the same colour as the ‘H’ but in uppercase italics, which I have a bit of a personal relationship with that borders on frenemies. I love uppercase, and even have grown to love italics, but upperitalics. Nuh, uh.

Best part of the whole ‘adoption’ experience (one that included the handover of money) was when I was asked something to the effect of, ” Are you going to be using this professionally or just for decoration?” Ughm…well I don’t have a library, and I don’t use the Dewey Decimal System in my house YET…so does this count as decoration? I mean I’ll use the drawers for other stuff? Does rubber stamp pads count as professional? Trust me, this running inner monologue was as painful to be a part of  as it was to read and I ended up stuttering out something like, ‘oh,well I’ll use it, can I use it?… I mean i want to use the drawers…’ until my sister-in-law saved me from my own social awkwardness with, ‘she’s an artist’. Whew, he seemed okay with that response and off we went to find arty stuff to stuff in the drawers in case the professional organizing/library police come sniffing around Brooklyn anytime soon.

 
 
 

In a New York Minute

Today, August 8th, is the one year anniversary of our move to New York City from lovely London…so how does that feel? Well, to quote an LCD sound system song, ‘New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down…’ except in our case just remove the love… New York you’re okay but you’re bringing me down. Perfect.

You see I don’t mean to make a once-in-a-blue-moon appearance and then just whine…but with all the hype over new York and everyone loving it soooo much you start to feel a bit alone, when you possibly, perchance, definitely don’t agree. What am I missing? It’s dirty, it smells ( because I’m a nice person and you might be snacking while reading this, I won’t be saying what it smells like. Lilac bushes and freshly cleaned laundry it is not). There are rats, and more rats.  And the amount of people that just give you the heebie jeebies is just, well, crazy. To say it doesn’t compare to London FOR ME is the understatement of the year. But we’ve done it, and that’s gotta count for something? ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’… like an advert for the armed forces. Yay, I’m lying in a barbed wire ditch. It can only go up from here, eh?

But it’s not like we haven’t made it– we have, there are positives. David and I both have good jobs, a beautiful apartment and for the past few months have found a place to call home that makes us feel happier. We’ve made DUMBO, Brooklyn our home, which is fantabulous on it’s name alone. Who doesn’t want to live in world of hat-wearing baby elephants?! But in actuality it stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This also means that we are few short blocks from the Brooklyn bridge, from the water and from glorious views of the city. I know, you probably don’t believe that after the last little rant, but honestly the city is pretty from afar, with the statue of liberty waving her little flashlight in the distance, the sun setting behind the Financial district, the Empire state building and Chrysler building peeking out of the skyline and saying ‘hello!’. Whew, I feel a bit calmer already. I’ll detail DUMBO a bit more in the future, but it’s very creative, great industrial buildings and a regeneration with some serious love behind it.

 

And lastly, the thing making me avoid Pillar Box Post for months. A bit of sad news…our little Olive Juice, the french bulldog life and rumpled-faced-soul, of our little family is no longer with us. In April we had an emergency visit to the vet and sadly our little girl had to stay there to go to sleep. It was in connection with her back issues we first had a year ago, right after we moved to New York. It’s been seriously hard for David and I to get over not having her around…and we still miss her every. Day. When you aren’t satisfied with other areas of life, sweet puppy breath and kisses on your face is always an instant soother. Sigh. There I got that out, not that most of you don’t know that already..it was some how a mental struggle to come out with that on here. She was quite the star of PillarBoxPost…so here are some of her best bits… biking around Kensington Gardens , relaxing around the house , travelling in England , visiting Rye England , and her introduction.

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A quick list of  where and what we’ve been up to this past year, as per the photos above.
Starting in the Top, going left to right…

——— FIRST SET ———

ROW 1: 1. Two weeks after arriving in New York we ‘survived’ an earthquake and a hurricane hitting NYC. Yay for crazy Northeast weather! | 2. Our second flat on the upper west side. | 3. Oh Olive, and your crazy outfits…silly girl

Row 2: 1. Christmas tree hunting, on a real life tree farm…yay for being back in Central PA. | 2. Family photo, frenchie fur babies and all! | 3. All ready for the ‘First Annual Forest Friends Christmas Eve Feeding’ which consisted of taking the deer and other cute animals of the forest a lovely christmas dinner of carrots, corn etc. at midnight on Christmas Eve

Row 3: 1. Taking Olive out for our annual New Years walk, but bag style. | 2. Gondolas…indoors…waaaaitaminute? This must be crazy-vegas. | 3. Out at the Grand Canyon, right before the hail blizzard started.

Row 4: 1. Yep, that hail blizzard has now started…very impressive my face doesn’t look like swiss cheese after that encounter! | 2. Zion National Park, yes that IS a real photo. Places like this DO exist. Wow. | 3. And yep, these little sheepy guys do too. Right next to the road! Saw a roadrunner after this, it was like Wild animal Bingo.

——— SECOND SET ———

Row 1: 1. Brooklyn Bridge with the lovely Clare. | 2. David and Olive…oh she’s. so. happy. Can’t you tell? | 3. We fled for some winter sun down to the Riveria Maya, Mexico. Beautiful eco resort full of canalways, crocodiles and other potentially less dangerous things. This is the view of our casita, aka adorable little building, on the canal, taken from our nature boat tour.

Row 2: 1. Lunchtime at work–fabulous view of the Empire State building. | 2. Our UWS flat, or one corner of it, at least. | 3. My 29th birthday at the Standard Grill, where I made a pact with myself to make a penny floor in my imaginary house.

Row 3: 1. Drinks after work…palm trees and that same pesky little Empire State building. It’s everywhere. | 2. ….like right here…in between the arches, do you see it, yep it’s piercing the Manhattan bridge in DUMBO | 3. View of DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge from a Manhattan rooftop.

Row 4: 1. Finally had our first trip back to England for a few days…just in time to catch some beautiful summer fields | 2. …and take some random pictures of ourselves on said train | 3. and catch the London Olympics site, sadly just 2 weeks too early.

 
 
 

Owl do anything for you…

Happy Valentines Day to you, and you and you! I’m ashamed to say that our household doesn’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day…we aren’t ‘anti’– we just don’t put a lot of stock in any particular holiday (which is in contrast to my general love of details, decorating and gifts…but does fit nicely in with my too busy to do anything life. sigh). Thankfully, I have a husband and doggie that I love everyday and a stepmum who sends me lovely vintage valentine’s goodies so I can rest easy and just enjoy. Oh I feel loved!

This vintage garland which is now hanging from a very happy Rhino in our house is from RawBoneStudio and sports a lovely assortment of vintage Valentine’s Day cards reproduced on wool felt. My favourite bits of love are of course the owl, who says ‘Owl do anythig for you–why not wise up and say you’ll be my valentine?’ Not too shabby… but if sweets are more your speed you might enjoy the donut and cup of tea who pleads, ‘ Please Do-nut say No, be my valentine!’. Oh too cute! But, whatever you do this Valentine’s Day…follow the word of the little space cadet (top picture, on the left) and think, “Why should I keep this a secret?” Of course she says this while wearing her odd bell-jar-esque space helmet, little red skirt and looking through a ‘secret codes’ book. Be still my heart.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

A little story about…an elusive scarf



Oh Madewell…we’re going to come to blows soon. I’m batting ‘oh-for-five’ at the moment with you. Despite dedicating a significant portion of my income to you lately I keep guessing wrong as to what I should be paying full amount for (as I love it enough to not want to risk it being sold out) or waiting to pick it up in the sale. I think everything I’ve bought full price has entered into a very well priced sale state…whilst the pieces I loved but thought wouldn’t, have sold out! Number one on this list is the elusive storyteller scarf collection. I work across the street from Madewell…dangerous I know…and have literally been eyeing up the red/teal/green/orange map scarf for months. When I finally thought, ‘sod it…I obviously like it enough to splurge’ it’s gone! As are all the other scarves from the collection that use maps, typography and other fabulous bits and bobs in great colours to add glamour and cheeriness to any outfit. You can read a bit more about how they created the collection here on their blog, which will make you fall in love all the more. They literally cut up maps, and made collages, using real glue…in this day and age? Very impressed!  So please bring back the storyteller scarves Madewell…or be prepared to tell me another story. Perhaps the one about a new scarf, yet to be released, that I’m going to like even more than the previous ones. I like that one…and I promise I’ll buy it full price this time, so stop punishing me.

 
 
 

Hello ‘Ello

I’m a giant walking, talking hypocrite. I’m always saying I was born at the wrong time…that I was meant for another decade, preferably one where main streets thrived, were full of cute cars, people lived simpler lives and technology wasn’t so messy. And then I spend most of my life with some form of technology. I know, ick. So in a completely superficial move, I like my technology to be softened a bit, at least visually, so that it doesn’t seem so new-agey (unless it’s new-agey in Jetsons style…that’s okay with me). In the past I’ve had cork and wooden cases for my old iPhones so with the new Iphone 4s, something a bit different was necessary. Still staying with the natural vs. tech vibe, but this time it needed a bit of personalization…enter ‘Hello ‘Ello’! I found a company that would accept custom designs to be laser cut into wood. I messed around in illustrator trying out a few phrases—the one I originally wanted was ” ‘ello sunshine’ a good cheery message I’ve been known to utter…but I just couldn’t get the type to look right, so it morphed into Hello ‘Ello. I hand drew it, then redrew it on the computer, uploaded and within a few days I had an image of my new design and had it in my hands a week later. Mmm watch out iPad and iMac there might be a branch out there with your name on it.

 
 
 

Nom Nom Nom…Crunchy Groceries!


I love a brand with personality (especially if it doesn’t take itself too seriously-hello have you seen the hedgehog wearing a bowler hat and a monocle on this site!?)…It could be in the tone of voice, or illustrations or a whole number of other ways. So when I spotted this Crunchy Grocer concept last year, I thought ‘that’s how it’s done’. It’s professional, but still full of life, whether it’s in the type (which was drawn onto construction paper and cutout…or in the nibbles taken out of edible and non-edible objects…the name or just the whimsy in the typography. I. Love. It.

 


 

It’s all been done for a new concept natural food store, which hasn’t appeared to have opened YET, but will hopefully open soon in Colorado in an old school building. It’s a fabulous concept, which you can read more about here and grab yourself a crunchy grocer sticker by signing up for their newsletter here. Good luck to Crunchy Grocer and a big kudos to them and their collaboration with Tenfold Creative on such a well executed brand!