Sunday, July 25, 2010

DESIGN: Vintage Wassily Chairs

Hello, lovelies. I've seen you in mid-century design books and architecture textbooks and on fabulous websites that I drool over daily and in my dreams. Never, and I mean NEVER, in my wildest dreams did I see you perched so comfortably in my own living room.

Yet here you sit, a matching pair of you, and we sit on you. Daily. All of us. And, wow, are you comfortable. Not to mention striking in your form and perfect in our little ranch house. And to make this whole thing even more unbelievable, you came to me one sunny afternoon as a gift. As in, FOR FREE. And we all know you can be purchased for, you know, around $1000 each. A piece.

My friend Wendy, who lives right across the street (yep, as in the house you see out the front window here), through a strange series of events, ended up with these Marcel Breuer chairs that she needed to get rid of and she knew who might love them. And was she right. Except, I don't just love them, I CHERISH them. Designed in the 1920s by a true master of Modernism architecture and furniture, Marcel Breuer, the Wassily chairs came out of the infamous Bahaus movement, of which Breuer was a student and a teacher. The Wassily chair was one of his first and most famous furniture designs, and was made of bent tubular steel and leather in a square, boxy and minimal profile. The chair was re-released in the 1960s (which was when my chairs were made) by an Italian manufacturer. It was at that time it really became known as the Wassily, named for the famous painter Wassily Kandinsky, for whom Breuer made a version of the chair for back in the 20s. Besides this chair, Breuer is also famous for designing such buildings as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and many buildings at St. Johns University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

I cannot express in written words how excited I am to have these in my life and in my home. Everyone who's come into our house lately comments on them, first because of their uniqueness and second because of their comfort. What a treat it is to have such good friends, good fortune, and good design.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

PROJECT 52 DATE NIGHTS: We kinda suck at this

So, we kinda suck at date nights since summer hit. We've been too busy making smores around campfires, swimming late into the evening, playing cards and Monopoly, and drinking patio beers with friends far from home to really arrange date nights. It seems okay, though, because we both really feel we are spending quality time together anyhow. This summer is warm and lovely and so busy that it's just flown by. Did you hear that, July? Please slow your shit down.

We have fit in a few great nights out, though. We hit the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest Grand Championship night again in Weiser. This time we double dated with my Grandma and my Aunt Terri after a long day of parades and fair food and yard sales. As always, it's held in the Weiser High School gymnasium and was hot and rocking. We loved it.

(image courtesy of The Sandpiper, Idaho Falls)
We have been on vacation more than we've been home this summer and at the tail end of our Wyoming National Parks camping adventure, Eric and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. We just happened to be in Idaho Falls around that date, staying with the inlaws, so we got them to watch the girls so we could have an adult night out on the town. We went with the locals' recommendation and tried The Sandpiper seafood and steakhouse, which has recently been awarded Best Restaurant by Idaho Falls Magazine readers for several years running now. And it was delicious. I ordered the Mahi Mahi special, which looked much like the above image I stole from their website, except my wine was red and I ordered a whole bottle of it. I did get that baked potato with all the fixins' and it was incredible. Afterwards we walked around downtown Idaho Falls and along the greenbelt before we caught a late show of Robin Hood at the cheap theatre (which, by the way, I really liked. And not only because Russell Crowe is dreamy.)
So, after a brief discussion about how we weren't really 'dating' like we were supposed to this summer, we decided to take a hiatus. We're having too much fun to focus on forcing the issue this summer, but have enjoyed the Project 52 challenge and quirky dates together in the beginning and plan to pick them up again in the fall. And it's not just date night we're slackers on this summer, y'all. It's everything. My Pioneer Woman Cookbook Challenge? It's too damn hot to cook much. Lucy's chore chart? Out the window. My weekly Jazzercise schedule? Shot to hell. Cleaning up the house? You should see the jungle of weeds we pulled yesterday and the size of the dust bunnies under our couch. What we are doing, however, is enjoying life without a schedule and allowing ourselves to be ruled by nothing more than the sun and the moon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

CRAFTY: Shoebox dollhouses

A few weeks ago I hosted a recycled craft party for our weekly playgroup. I collect lots of junk and it's always fun to brainstorm ideas on how to use our garbage to create something new and fun. The web has lots of ideas and photos inspiring the creation of shoebox dollhouses for creative play. To make the home designing a bit easier on our young crowd, I precut the cardboard "floors" and glued them in. I had a variety of box sizes to work with, which makes it more fun and some smaller "homes" worked better for My Little Petshops and Polly Pockets. This, of course, appealled to the kiddos.

I outfitted our patio with bins of stickers, glue sticks, scissors and a variety of magazines and store mailers to cut out furniture, decor, bedding, pets, and toilets.
The kids loved wallpapering with my leftover scraps of Contact paper and had fun flipping through the magazines finding images to fit their floorplan. Some particularly inspired designers stapled boxes together to create garages filled with recreational vehicles and cars.

They turned out super cute and the kids had a great time making them. The project cost nothing and the kids loved incorporating their handmade houses with their well-loved toys. So easy and a great way to use your recycled items for some summer fun.