In the small Mississippi town of Meridian, Mississippi there are these two men, Sean and Patrick. They are dreamers :: creatives :: brains :: and lookers. They sit around late at night talking about all the amazing things they would like to do with their lives. In the time I’ve known them they’ve had so many different ideas. Their brainstorming process is a beautiful thing. Though, they are always waiting for the right idea that would mix their personalities, creativity and talents.
I was thrilled when I heard they have finally figured out what I think is their best idea. They are starting a furniture company called Mist and Fume.
Here’s a little bit about these guys. Patrick Flannagan is a true artist in a sense I feel we don’t celebrate enough.
With Patrick on my last night in the Queen City
Sitting on Sean’s porch
He works with his hands remodeling old homes. He can do anything you need him to do, but now, at the urging of many, he will be making furniture. Furniture made of materials that have a story. Pieces that you can pass along to your family with pride and love. I can already see him working late into the night with dust in his hair and stain all over his work clothes. Sounds like I’m setting up a romance novel, right. Well, that’s because he this super handsome artisan who is capable of creating so much beauty.
His partner in crime or in this case furniture, a one time boyfriend of mine, equally beautiful, but in a more computer nerd way, is in charge of the online marketing. He is a master with design and the visual, so I fully expect the venture to be a raving success.
Sean visiting me in Memphis with his partner Patrick
Sean is in the process of finishing their website where you can get an early peek at their work. In the meantime, they have created a temporary site (link below) and are running a contest that seems specifically made for me. The more people who visit their temporary site and enter an email address, the better chance I have of winning a handmade piece of furniture.
MIST AND FUME :: CLICK HERE
Though, since they both helped move me to Memphis, I’m sure they would say I don’t need MORE furniture, I still would love to have a piece by these two men I adore. I will say, my main goal is to tell you all about these two guys and Mist and Fume. I think you’ll hear a lot more about this Mississippi made furniture and the wonderful people behind it. Can you tell I love these guys? Best of luck to you both. muah
Last Sunday my travel partner and I split up for the day. We only had a day and a half in Berlin and each craved alone time. She had a handful of things picked out to do and I was in the pursuit of something I couldn’t quite name. With that said, the last thing I needed to do was bring her along for my crazy quest.
I took the underground and just get off somewhere that felt right. I walked back above ground somewhere around Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz along Carl Marx Allee in the old East Berlin.
I wanted to see the communist architecture. I wanted to daydream about what it would have been like to live there before the wall fell. I figured I’d find a bunch of people like me walking around the streets, but I didn’t. I really felt alone. Felt silly for snapping pictures of the giant tiled apartment buildings lining the street. Hours went by and by ,though, looking around I couldn’t tell I’d moved. The dreary buildings are copies of each other. Strange.
Sure, it’s been 22-23 years since reunification, but the history is tangible. Blessed with an active imagination, I found this graffiti lined park, took a seat and assigned myself a role.
It was 1985 and I was a spy for the west. With the fall in sight, my job was clearly very important. I won’t get into specifics but Jason Bourne has nothing on me. I looked fantastic in my furry hat and long wool coat, just in case you were wondering?
Kinda spy-like, huh? Maybe I need to toss the pink. I was feeling it, though.
Camille, my favorite travel partner, and I drove from Munich, to Nuremberg, to Dresden and ended in Berlin. I’m still forming my opinions on Berlin. All the friends we met along the way told us we just wouldn’t like Berlin as much as we did “their” cities. I loved their pride, and they might be right. Though, how much of a judgement can be made when only visiting a city for 2 days? My immediate judgement. It’s a city that feels cold and spread out. Maybe that’s exactly what it is and that isn’t necessarily negative. It was just a far contrast to the culture we experienced only days earlier in Bavaria where we joined people on picnic tables holding up head sized beer glasses until we craved the bed.
Sweetest roadside coffee break :: despite the cow odor coming from behind us
In Dresden Camille and I fell in love with our little hampleman
he he he
My half day walking the streets of East Berlin fit in perfectly with what turned out to be the theme of the trip.
Facts, dates and cramming so hard you’d have thought I was going to be tested upon return.
The day before Berlin Camille and I met this fun group in Dresden.
After an intense pool game, that my partner Robert (far left) and I won, we went to some trancy dance club where, sitting in a quiet corner, Robert gave me a little history lesson. The club had these old toys in glass cases along the wall, which as Robert tells me, are remnants from the old days.
Dresden was part of East Germany. He and I are the same age, so he would have been 7 when the wall fell. He was so good to let me ask question after question. He’s still letting me ask. Isn’t skype beautiful? Maybe he could/can tell how fascinated I was, and wants more people across the world to understand what people in the east went through. Once I properly explained how obsessed I now am with the stasi he told me a movie to watch. I just finished it. It ended with me staring at the computer with tears in my eyes. It’s called the Lives of Others and came out in 2006.
It’s a beautiful/touching film that was perfect to mark one week since walking the very streets where the movie was filmed. The movie also has actual shots of the stasi files, files that those who lived in the east are sure to be found :: their names and lives documented. They can find pictures, films and notes about who they talked to and where they went.
We also went to Nuremberg where Hitler built his giant Nazi rally site. They have created a wonderful museum, in the actual greek looking coliseum structure, that tells the story of how Nuremberg was used by Hitler. This one shot took my breath away. These are our American heroes sitting on top the big rally structure once it was seized. They look so proud :: so tired.
So, this was hardly a vacation. We did take time to enjoy the great beer culture. I have many new favorites that I’m trying to find here at home :: or somewhere in the country, at least.
Being a flower/plant freak I was was in awe of all the amazing geraiums and window boxes. Germany is so green. In parts so rural and beautiful. Everything was just so plush and alive, while my plants in Memphis are fighting for life during this heat wave.
I also got a big kick out of how hot Camille and I dealt with no a.c. We’ve both done plenty of traveling, but I don’t ever remember sweating like we did. She and I would wake up around 4 a.m. every morning and just look at each other. This was the scene in every one of our rooms. A very pathetic old school fan by our bed.
So, it was an amazing trip. In Dresden Camille and I were told we had to touch this statue thing that apparently brings a lifetime of happiness. It took everything we had, but we got our hands on it. The cities we visited have been bombed to hell and back. The people, though, are strong and clearly determined to not let their past get in the way of their futures. A beautiful lesson for me and Camille while in their country searching for beauty and inspiration.
There’s this book I read from time to time. I don’t consider it a self-help book ; I think of it as a reminder of life’s beautiful simplicity. When things start to feel more complicated than they should, I take my favorite book out. I’ve read it since my freshman year of high school. It also offers easy ways to be a part of every season. It’s called Simple Abundance :: if you are interested. You can probably buy it for $2 used on amazon. I would love to write the author one day to tell her thank you.
The other day the read was about making our bedrooms a happy spot where we want to be. I have to be honest, I typically wake up and tear out of my bedroom with Bridget at my side leaving sheets and pajamas falling all over the room behind me. I’ll keep doing that, but with a happier environment now. Unlike other apartments where I did most of my living in my bedroom, I now have a bigger place and spend the majority of my time in the living room, dining room or porch, so the bedroom has been an after thought. It’s not that it was crazy messy or ugly, it just hasn’t been speaking to me.
It didn’t take much to change that. I took out some of my floral pillow cases and bought some new english floral pattern sheets. Now it’s a sweet :: feminine spot that makes me smile when I wake up. Sure it might be a little too feminine, but I’m a chick.
Nothing fancy. Just a mix of colors and patters with lots of old pillowcases in the back. My favorite travel keepsake, a wool throw from Ireland, at the foot of my bed.
I think old :: floral pillowcases are just about as sweet as kittens and rabbits
I love Jeremy Jones. He’s one of my producers at work and thought it would be a great idea to send the reporter at work who loves old treasures and junk hunting to profile an estate sale which happened this weekend in Shelby County –where Memphis is–.
Not only did the story turn out quite neat :: I got to pick out my treasures early and get a feel for where all the things I wanted were. I was one of the first ones at the house early Saturday morning and ran up the stairs in pursuit of two sets of ruffled edged pillow cases from the closet in the upstairs bathroom. The very idyllic country setting would normally bring to mind a very laid back sound track, but instead all I could hear was Moby’s Extreme Ways. Thank God I didn’t knock any sweet old ladies off the narrow stairway. Can you imagine the facebook posts and estate sale banishment I would face?
I found some truly amazing treasures that are already perfectly placed in spots where I can love them, but the house left a lasting impression on my heart. If you watch the story I did (link at the top) you’ll see just how well-kept the log cabin style plantation house has been since the 1830’s. The land it’s on is beautiful. I could sit on a swing and stare into it all day.
Pride and Joy (Not the jeep, though I’ll probably drive it till vintage)
My Airy with all its pretty porches
I have no shame. After my purchases were loaded up I enjoyed the swing
What a dream to live here
Met this girlie while walking the property
Such a good dog!
Always loved the old enamel, but it was used in the prettiest ways while I was in England back in April
Been wanting a lot of my own
This old enamel pitcher is from Mt. Airy :: original to the house :: now holding lilies in my kitchen
First rocker of my own :: already done a lot of rocking.
I’ve always loved this old necklace. My dress was very simple :: 50’s cut :: perfect for these colored plastic beads.
Also, Jarvis my co-anchor at 4 took this picture of me while I was logging sound for a story tonight. Better shot of my new do. Sometimes on the air it can look a little pageanty (which I don’t like). In reality it has more style to it. Makes me feel sassy, at least. I look angry in the photo. I’m not!!!
I needed a little attitude adjustment. Just a little. Not that mine was bad, it just needed a little tweaking.
I drove the quick two hours to Little Rock Sunday night for a quick adventure.
Everything I did there I could have done in Memphis — shopping — walking — reading, but there was something about removing myself from my environment that did the trick.
I stayed at the Capital Hotel in downtown Little Rock. I’m going to think of it as my short distance sanctuary. The lobby was full marble and original tile. The restaurants are so elegant. The porch a true treat. I even tried a new beer that I love :: Diamond Bear – Pale Ale.
Wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day and saying a thank you to all the men and women who protect us. Thank you!
Foodies hate me.
Well, I really don’t know if they do or not. I do know we have totally opposite goals when checking out new eat spots.
The food at Acre Restaurant in East Memphis ( 690 South Perkins :: south of Poplar) was outstanding, though that’s not what I took away from my dinner there. The renovation work they did to the building/old house style structure is outrageous. I’m talking stunning.
My friend Ellie chose the spot. She knew I would oooooh and ahhhh and I did, the whole time.
I thought it felt very Northern Cali wine country. She thought more mountain resort.
They mixed the natural woods (and lots of it) with very bright whites and creams. It all blends into a very natural palate that still has a sense of contemporary glamour. The bar has to be one of the prettiest I’ve seen.
My pictures just don’t do the place justice. I’ve sorta stopped taking photos of my food because they always make it look unappetizing. Instead, I snapped some shots of my fave part :: the design.
Acre’s pro pictures on their site are so much better, though they web wouldn’t let me copy them…
so check them out HERE
Ellie, a Memphis native, has been so kind to me since day one of arriving in Memphis
Here’s a very public thank you!
Didn’t they just nail their entryway?
Aren’t these chairs lovely
So many different textures with the wood
I had my thrift/estate sale partner in town with me for a whole week! That means Mom and I both found all sorts of goodies. This is the one I’m loving the most right now. For just $1 I will be serving coffee/tea with sweet florals. Look how it already pops with the table-cloth I’m using right now. I’ve been busy since Mom left late last week and am only now playing with all my finds. When is the next trip?? Hate I’m missing the big Highway 11/80 garage sale in Meridian all the way up to Virginia. I never missed that one. The sellers were so eager to get rid of the stuff they had outstanding prices. Every year over the Mother’s Day weekend.
Back when I was job hunting I just knew it meant I would have to move far far away from all the things I’ve loved over the years. Not so. Moving to Memphis has given me the chance to do all the things I loved to do in college like, Double Decker. Friday night WMC sent me to the square to report live at 10 :: today I sent myself there to shop and eat!
I haven’t been in four years. Today Mom and I loaded up and hit every store in Lafayette County. Proof….
The crowd has gotten bigger and the vendors all have such quality items. We did most of our shopping in all the antique malls around town. The same ones I blew my paychecks in back in college. This trip, though, I did make it in to a “real” store with new things and got this neat leather/gold plate ring from Amy Head Cosmetics on the square. It wasn’t there when I was in school. Neat addition. Worth walking in. The colors and design of the store will leave you with lots of ideas.
With the town soooooo packed we couldn’t find a restaurant spot to take a seat for a bit, so we crammed in a corner at Square Books.
We will be there next year! Great job to all the people who work hard to bring the community such an A + event!! Also nice seeing so many old friends like….Kathleen Jones Hamilton, if you read this. The four years I was there Mom made the 6 to 7 hour drive from the coast so often. I don’t know how she did it after teaching kids all day! Roaming Oxford together again was sweet.
I mean this is the best way possible. Brighton is weird. I had no idea. I just wanted to get out of London and the sweet older man at the front desk of my hotel said, “Go to Brighton!” I said, “Sounds good!” To be so close to London, the city exudes funk. Not that London doesn’t have funky parts, but this community has really embraced all things cool, neat, hip and indie. Whatever you call it :: it’s fantastic. It’s known to have one of the biggest gay communities in England, and lets admit, more often than not, they are pretty creative people. Anyhow, as soon as I stepped off train and wondered down one of its many and well-known narrow lanes, I walked into a record shop playing the best music. Soundtrack to a fun day of running away from rain, staring at handsome men and browsing through epic antique/junk store called Snoopers Paradise in the lanes. I’m not sure why but most people I told I went to Brighton asked why. Well, sounds like a great place to live, actually. They get lots of killer bands coming from London and the seaside location casts a very relaxed glow across the city. Looking back through the pics now just makes me want to dance, but I can’t because I was such a fierce traveler that now I’m sick. No dancing with headache, runny nose and sneezing.
Pebbled beach. Just a quick walk from all the main streets
There was a placard on this bench that read ::
“His favorite place in the world”
I totally see why :: said a little thought of appreciation for Erwin’s spot
I finally broke down and bought myself some comfortable shoes
I like vans because they look like keds. They weren’t selling keds at the store.
I never figured out what these are for :: maybe people sell things out of them at peak times? They stretch the water line.
The houses were a lot different than many of those I’d seen along the trip
Very white washed
The Pavilion in all its bizareness
It really was/is a palace
Crazy, right!! That wacky Prince Regent
Isn’t this one of the best parts. Taking out all of your treasures and putting them in a spot where you can see them and remind you of how pretty the day was or how the rain forced you to hide out in a neat restaurant where you then met a new, hopefully, lifelong friend? I couldn’t sleep this morning so I took out all my purchases to make sure they made the trip home. Nothing broken! I don’t buy expensive things…have you checked out the conversion rate? ouch! I like to just find little things, often free, to place around my home. Here they are! All of these were either made or designed in England. I hope, at least. It’s tough finding things that aren’t made in China. China would be fine if I was visiting China.
Clearly this one didn’t cost me a lot
I really like this beer :: made in Bath
Great design, too
My friend Rich tells me Bath has a very good rugby team for its size. Richard spent two days with me. He’s a marine and was also on break.
You should see him in his uniform, very handsome.
He gave me this sweet mini ball
I went a bit leather crazy on this trip
I bought this great bag in the lovely Richmond
Mo sold it to me. He was quite the salesman.
I had a strict two book rule
Isn’t this one pretty!
2nd book :: I’m a sucker for design
This below is a candle designed by the folks at Kew Gardens outside London
Love the color
Bought these in Hampton Court, not the palace, but the town
leather bag number 2. This one I got in the beach community of Brighton
I’ve been looking for a real leather backpack/purse for years
This one smells like a giant cow. Perfect!
As always a sucker for the english rose pattern.
I collect dish towels
this one is sweet :: cuter in person. Bought it in Bath from the shop where my hotel bought most of their decorations
One of my favorite places was this old house called Ham House in the town of Ham
I love this tour booklet :: I might frame it
And here’s to some major restraint
Only one piece of clothing
This great vintage style dress by Louche
My favorite part is the top with the flowing sleeves
Set off today for short trip outside London. Riverside town of Richmond was so adorable. Neat shops, green grass, pretty river (Thames) and nice walks.
Here’s a bit of Richmond.
Walked bit along river to OLD Ham House dating back to 1600’s. Ham house is in Ham village. House with original design and furnishings was amazing. So elaborate. Ran into PHD history student from NOLA there. He’s also alone. Both glad to have partner for evening. Chatted of old religion and furniture over pints back in town. ( hence any spelling issues)
Pics of Ham House. I couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing. The national trust has volunteers in every room. Very impressive.
In one of the closets with all the miniatures neatly hung…there was this very old painting of Elizabeth I.
Did little shopping too. Sweet feminine dress.
Also decided I will name my first boy Barnaby. Adorable, right?
I’m a terrible packer in the best situation. I get overwhelmed with thoughts of what I want to wear while in my destination. All the while knowing I’m going to want to wear the most comfortable thing everyday on the trip. With no one going with me this time, I’ll be even more tempted to slum it in the same outfit. I’ll look good, but good in the same dress. The only people who will know will be the hotel staff or anyone too close to me on the bus, I’m joking!! I’m bringing perfume. Still, tonight has been rough. I’m pooped. You see I had a packing wrench thrown in on me at the last-minute.
One of my closets :: the big one that holds all my dresses :: crashed the other day. We’re talking a lot of clothes. This fix is beyond my fixing capabilities and my landlords are on a vacation of their own. So, I sifted through this intimidating heap of clothes, finding all but one of the items I want to take with me. I think the pile swallowed my pleated black skirt I had my heart set on wearing to dinner one night.
My big concern now is that my landlord will be coming to fix my closet while I’m gone :: meaning I can’t leave my apartment a ransacked hell hole like I normally do when I pack for a trip.
Still, I think I’m pretty much packed and ready to go, all but my makeup I left at the office. Eeeek on my to do list for the morning. What I don’t look forward to is my suitcase sitting in my doorway for an entire two weeks after I return, but hey, I don’t have to think about that yet. For the third night in a row I get to sleep in my guest room :: I like to pretend I’m in someone’s house visiting :: until I wake up and no one is cooking me grits and bacon.
This room gets the best light
Well, not really. I just like to pretend. That’s my dream. I want that garden I imagined as a little girl and then again as an older little girl in college when I read, The Secret Garden. In my mind’s eye there is color everywhere. Ivy is growing in every crack, brick and wall. The stone and brick around the yard is all dark and worn. The trees are so old they hang over the yard like a tent for my own little celebration. You can feel the spirits of all the people who loved the land just as much as you do, but from a different time. Maybe they dreamed there, smiled there, cried there or just looked with wonder as I do. We’re never alone. The history of it all is always with us.
I’m celebrating these little beauties. I planted them early September. They are back and more glorious than ever.