Phone Photo Friday


I’m CRAZY about this guy! I’ve seen this “guitar face” a lot in the past week while Jason was preparing for a big gig.

Did you notice I got a new phone? It has a much better camera than my old RAZR.


More Gold Cortez and Corning Ware


At a recent estate sale we found some more Gold Cortez dishes. I don’t even really like this pattern that much but it’s just funny that we keep seeing 1 or 2 pieces everywhere we go so we keep collecting it.

We also found this Corning Ware casserole dish. It’s a good size and has a lid. I took this photo before Jason cleaned 50 years of burned grease off of it. This is definitely one of my favorite Corning Ware patterns with the yellow and blue flowers. Not sure of the name.

Our Garden – July 2010


It’s hot, hot, hot and humid this July in Nashville. Our echinacea is blooming …

Our zinnia are blooming (liatris and canna lilies in background are done) …

and our crepe myrtle tree is blooming.

The crepe myrtle, banana tree and Japanese flowering plum tree all seem to be having a height competition.

That’s all good and lovely, but sadly, our peach tree is not doing so well. The tree looks fine but all of our peaches got some kind of worm that ate them from the inside out. That and some of them got black spots on the outside. Very disappointing. The last remaining peaches rotted on the tree. We need to do some more research before next year. Does anyone have experience with peach trees?

Then there is our vegetable garden… Our romaine lettuce got too hot and turned bitter. Our pepper plants have been suffering from too much sun and aren’t producing. Our brussel spouts have been eaten up by bugs. Our Better Boy tomato plant looks sickly. (Our Better Boys were bad last year too. Not getting this kind anymore!) Our watermelon plants got too hot in pots and the one and only melon dried up while we were on vacation. Our arugula is m.i.a.

But, it’s not all bad news. Our Beef Steak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and grape tomato plants are doing great! We’re harvesting them faster than we can eat them and they are delicious! (Most of what you see there is the Beef Steak plant.)

I did a little research on the tomato skin splitting. Early on they kept splitting right before they would get ripe. Turns out it’s from not enough water and then a lot of water. Like 2-3 dry days and then a heavy rain. We’ve been watering them for 30-60 minutes a day on a low sprinkler setting now and they’re doing great.

Zinnia & Glass Soda Bottles


Our fruit/vegetable garden is in a bit of a slump (more on that tomorrow) but thankfully our flowers are doing just fine. Zinnia are one of my favorite flowers to plant for cutting. They bloom for a long time outside and they hold up in vases for quite a while, too.

Jason and I have been collection glass soda caps on our window sill for the past 6 months or so. I’m not sure why or what we’re going to do with them. If the bottle is pretty enough it gets saved on the windowsill, too. I like to use them as vases.

Pressed flowers, mushrooms and an owl


At a recent estate sale Jason and I hit the jackpot of small* framed mid-century art. I found the one of the pressed botanical collages on blue linen and the owl carving on gold burlap in one room while Jason found the other flower collage and mushroom paintings in another room—two white on black paper and one color on wood block.

*the blue pressed flower collages are around 6″ square.

As we were walking toward the checkout together I told said to him, “I’m so glad we like the same things.”

Maybe a little kitschy and I have no idea where we’re going to put them but for $4 total we couldn’t resist.

(Bad photos … sorry. There are more details in these than you can see here.)

This owl carving is both of our favorite. Someday it will probably live next to the owls we got in May.

Phone Photo Friday


Sorry, I know I’ve been a major blog-slacker this week. Do weeks ever just slip away from you? I can’t believe it’s already Friday! Hopefully this cute picture will make up for my lack of posts the past few days. Have you ever seen an 11-month-old with shoulder-length hair? Jason and I babysat this sweet little girl last Friday so her parents could go out on a hot date.

Pretty Coasters


While we were in Miami Beach we decided to check out a thrift store that had some good reviews, called SoBe Thrift. I’m thankful we didn’t find anything big because we were a mile from our vehicle. We picked up these two coasters with a funky mid-century pattern on them. We have one at home that we found at a Nashville thrift store. I haven’t investigated to find out the brand of these yet but they remind me a bit of our Franciscan Pottery/Gladding, McBean & Co starburst platter.

I love a cup of tea, especially if it’s in a pretty tea cup. The saucers look great with these blue tea cups.

Sorry for my lack of posting earlier this week. I don’t have any exciting excuse, I just got busy and decided sleeping was more important that blog posting. 🙂

Phone Photo Friday


Husbands away at a gig = sisters-in-law manicure night!

Miami Beach Art Deco


Art Deco, the modern art and architecture movement of the 1930s and 40s, was the launching pad for mid-century modern design. I don’t know if I would have been able to describe art deco two weeks about but after a day spend in Miami Beach, I have a much better understanding of and appreciation for the style. Pastel colors, rounded corners, geometric shapes, modern angles, neon. I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.

Great Grandpa Carl


The reason we went to Naples for vacation is because Jason has such fond memories of a vacation his family took when he was 7 years old to visit his great-grandfather Carl Ludwig Ahlbrandt.

From his obituary: “Mr. Ahlbrandt was president of the Carpenters Union Local 1641 from 1968 to 1975. He also has the honor of becoming the director of apprenticeship, State of Florida, Division of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship. He and his students built the Carl Ahlbrandt Building of the local carpenters apprenticeship school on Enterprise Avenue in Naples. It was designated as the last school built in the United States by an instructor and his students.”

Here’s their mint green ranch the way Jason remembered it circa 1989:

There was a lime tree and a mango tree to the right of the house and pineapples growing on the left side. Coconut and palm trees lined the property. The house was a 0.5 mile walk to the beach. We put his address in the GPS and found the empty lot where his house once stood. It was sad to see it gone.

Jason spent a lot of time walking around the yard remembering. Mourning the house a little bit. The lot is for sale so we called to inquire about it. Way out of reach. But we can dream … Maybe someday we’ll buy up that lot and rebuild a mid-century modern home here.

The mango tree was nothing but a stump in the ground but the unkempt lime tree was still here. Jason picked the one and only lime off of it and took it with him.

Naples still has a large majority of it’s original mid-century homes. That makes it even harder to see that this one is gone.

As an artist, entrepreneur, gardener and go-getter, Jason feels a special connection to his great-grandfather. For me, it was a neat experience to get to know Carl a little bit through photographs and stories and by walking around his former yard.

We tried with no avail to find the building that was named after Carl. Apparently, there are several buildings around Naples and Marco Island that he built or helped build but we didn’t have a list of those addresses. Next trip. Next time.