Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

design for obama

if you don't believe me when i say that the obama campaign has inspired independent designers, go see what many have created and while you are there, print some for yourself.

design for obama

go tell mama, you're for obama

i've mentioned these guys before. they just happen to have a booth at this year's renegade chicago, and that's where i came upon them.

here's a couple of their great obama posters. they can purchased at

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

obama pins

i just got a set of four of these terrific pins from etsy seller, ed deezy.
Obama Pin (by ann-dabney)

want some for yourself? check out ed's store.

another great obama poster

from etsy seller "gemini studio art chicago" comes this memorable obama poster. i just love this one and might just have to grab it for myself.

want one? get it here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

presidential wrestling poster

all this thrift shopping has got me thinking about what kind of stuff will be valued in the future. and i can't help but think that the amazing items and art that the obama campaign has inspired in the DIY community will be collectible someday - no matter what the outcome of the election will be (no i didn't say that - he WILL win). so over the next couple of days, i intend to highlight some of my favorites starting with...

from the talented folks at yeehaw industries, comes this fantastic letterpress election poster. click to embiggen.

Awesome Poster

get one for yourself here.

a new hobby is born...

we thought craigslist was fun. it doesn't compare to thrift store shopping in our new hometown.

one favorite just happens to be in our neighborhood.

it's needless to say that the photo above is dabney's dream.



part vintage clothing store/part furniture warehouse/part - the future antiques is a treasure trove of all things mid-century, kitschy, and fun.

driving around and getting our bearings, we noted the plethora of "antique malls" in and around the area. teeming with great items and curiosities, these places are essentially seven-day-a-week flea markets in strip malls. most importantly, they are just chocked full of STUFF.

it's fun strolling down the aisles of booths, each with their own look. some are merchandised to the gills. some look like your crazy aunt's basement (ahem, you know who you are).

Monday, October 27, 2008

how's that for a plug?

i've been ignoring all the ubiqitous entries in apartment therapy's fall color contest up 'til now.

they are FINALLY to the finalists which means it will soon be over. thank goodness. i know they are trying to come up with more contests but this one doesn't hold a candle to their annual "smallest, coolest apartment" competition.

vote here.

you know those tiny license plates with your name on it



and... desiree?!

Friday, October 24, 2008



the store is totally unrecognizable now. the walls are nothing but piles of nails and shards of wood scattered about.

hard to believe, but this will one day be a bathroom.

in six months, there will be a bed in this spot.

back there will be a closet.

today, the wobbly little balcony was taken down and it immediately made the postage stamp backyard feel much airier.

the dust-covered demo guys, who i am so sad i didn't snap a picture of (i'll try tomorrow), tried to reassure us by saying "it sure is a handsome building." maybe not now, but it will be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the champagne bubbles of girls

did anyone else hear this recent story on npr about "manic pixie dream girls?"

so true and yet, hilarious.

i guess i have a soft spot for MPDGs - namely, kate winslet in "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" and audrey tatou in "amelie" (an MPDG variation, i believe).

can you think of others?

big winners

ok, maybe we weren't exactly $1,000,000 winners, but at least we got a free picture!

Friday, October 17, 2008

house colonoscopy

apparently one thing some people overlook when re-doing an old city house is taking a close look at the sewer lines. if they're disjointed, broken, or corroded, it's a must to take care of them first. someone recently shared with us a horror story about a guy in the central west end who installed a new marble patio and a one-car garage in his backyard without taking those necessary precautions. within weeks, that patio was a canyon and the walls of that brand-new garage caved in.

lesson learned. exam sewer line.

dabney and i arrived just in time to witness "the procedure."

Checking Sewer Line

Checking Sewer Line

well, it turns out that one checks a sewer line by sending a camera down it much like a colonoscopy. but instead of innards, it was yards of pipes we were dealing with.

i tried in vain to take a video of the monitor as the tiny camera worked its way down into the basement, out through the yard, under the garage, and out to the main. it was surprisingly not gross, and frankly, pretty boring.

Checking Sewer Line

to our relief, the lines passed the exam with flying colors. for a 100+ year old house, it turns out the cast iron pipes had held up well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

grant it - our seats were nearly 50 yards away...

Death Cab for Cutie

...but i could barely recognize ben gibbard. he is a sliver of the cutie-putootie nerdy glasses-wearing lead singer of death cab for cutie that i once knew.

honestly, dabney and i couldn't figure out if it was him or a really remarkable sound-alike for 15 minutes of the concert. it wasn't until his acoustic solo on "i'll follow you into the dark" that we were really sure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fireplaces revealed

there are two old coal-burning fireplaces in the apartment above the store space.  for years now, they have been blocked off.


Radiator and Fireplace

last week, the mantels were removed to be cleaned up and stripped of their many, many layers of paint. we think they're oak, but it's too hard to tell at this point. i just love how they're both relatively simple and have built-in mirrors.

further work with a crow bar revealed the best surprise yet. beneath the planks of wood were original tiles.

Uncovered fireplace Uncovered fireplace
it's hard to tell in the blurry picture on the left, but the tiles are green. they kind of remind me of a rorschach test.

the other fireplace is has white tile with two little floral motifs in each corner.
Uncovered fireplace Uncovered fireplace

i always wonder why people choose to cover this kind of stuff up, but in this case, i am so glad they did.  between both fireplaces, not a tile is missing or cracked.

Monday, October 13, 2008

mogo & chocolate

nothing goes better with a mogo big kid's tee than chocolate cake!

Mogo and Chocolate Cake

thanks for sharing, mjs!

Friday, October 10, 2008

oh, snap!

did anyone else notice that, on wednesday night's episode of project runway (the greatest show on earth), jerell stole my look?

Jerrell stole my look


Thursday, October 09, 2008

we dragged ron around STL

The Honeymooners strike again!

RON-da was our first official st. louis visitor this past weekend. he has a famous aversion to non-stop flights, especially short ones, so we were actually impressed that he would dare take the quick direct flight from omaha.

we dragged him all over the city saturday morning to hit the yard sale circuit. where, dabney found more chairs and some christmas decorations.

we made him spend two lovely evenings at my new favorite bar. here, you can see why:

The Royale

a hotbed for local democratic activity, dabney and i find ourselves at home in its courtyard, long specialty cocktail list, and fish taco offerings.

one of the evenings we were there, the bar held an obama fundraiser with free nibbles while local singer/songwriters provided an appropiate folksy ambiance. while there, i picked up one of these most awesome t-shirts, too.

South Side for Obama

we also dragged ron to grant's farm where we forced him to drink free anheuser-busch beer and look at cute animals all day.

"i can't reach my beer!"

Grant's Farm

Grant's Farm

Grant's Farm

Grant's Farm Grant's Farm

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

meeting #1 with the state hysterical commission


looks like conversations with the state hysterical commission went as expected. some requests passed and some did not.
  • the people across the street will get their bird's eye view afterall. the state won't let us frost that glass on the storefront windows. instead, we'll have to use some after-market product to achieve the same effect.
  • we have to 86 the wainscoting. we were on the fence about that anyway fearing that it might look too much like an old-timey hardware store, so no biggie for that loss.
  • the first tread of our stairway upstairs was planned to turn in toward the living room. the hysterics were not into that idea at all. as a result, no turn. again, not a dealbreaker in our minds.
the good news was that some of the stuff we want, the state has no problem with.
  • a large 6 ft.wide barn door will separate living space from the workroom. this was the one feature dabney and i were crossing our fingers the state would accept. a barn door has never existed in the space but we thought it would lend itself to the existing industrial vibe of the old store, not to mention be super-functional as a moveable wall.
  • there exists a scary steep set of stairs that leads to the basement in the postage stamp-size backyard. it needs to go. i can foresee something bad happening there one dark drunken night - luckily, so could the state. scary stairs, be gone!
building permits are getting pulled this week, just as the demo man goes in to remove old radiators and other scrap. i guess this means we are off and running.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

pocket door revealed!

we thought this door jamb looked kinda thick. no wonder... a pair of gorgeous old pocket doors have been stuck inside, covered up with some planks of wood and a bad paint job.

Pocket door revealed!

the doors don't work in their tracks very well. that's probably why the owner just hid them inside the wall for so long. hopefully, it won't take too much to bring them back to life.

Monday, October 06, 2008

looking forward to this

what happens to a podunk town when george w. bush decides to move in? find out in "crawford," the upcoming documentary on w's "hometown." online premier = october 7 on hulu.

Friday, October 03, 2008

did THIS drive anyone else, besides me, crazy?

hello, partner!

when we bought the old store/new house, you may recall - it had a ton of junk in it. before closing, we requested that the owners clean out the space of everything... but this.

Partner Desk

a partner desk! now, dabney and i can work across from each other. i know, i know - as if we don't see enough of each other already. but i have always wanted one of these desks, ever since i saw the movie "say anything." remember the scenes at diane court's house? she and her father shared this incredible office. fyi - it's the same room that contains the notorious lock box in which dear old dad hid all the embezzled nursing home money. (sorry to spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it and if so, shame on you.)

Partner desk in Say Anything

this room is emblazoned in my memory because of that partner desk.

back to our new/old desk... there's only a couple of problems with it. you can see that it's has been use a lot. look at all the worn places from fingers closing the drawers.

Partner Desk

we're gonna paint the sucker a beautiful bright color TBD.

problem #2...

Partner Desk

oops. sometime in its long history, someone lost a drawer. it's not too big of a deal. but now, we're on the hunt for a solution. first choice, of course, would be to replace the drawer. that being said, this desk is probably at least 40 years old and it may prove to be too difficult to find a perfect match. plan b: camouflage it with a faux front.

the desk is a tank, which presents problem #3 - moving it.