Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Whale And Flowers

Meet my new little friend, a cheerful whale. The best part: it's handmade in the USA by an amazing craftsman who sells toys through his Etsy boutique, US Wood Toys. And it's ridiculously cheap ($12). I am dying to buy his hippo, too. If you want to treat some little ones for X-mas, you know where to go.
Another adornment at home this week - these happy yellow flowers, brightening up wintery days; we're experiencing record breaking cold in the Los Angeles area. Brrrrr...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Around My Neighborhood

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

(William Blake, "The Tiger")

A shop window on Main Street - I wonder what is wrong with Mr Pumpkin's eyes? Near sighted, do you think?

This 1952 convertible MG is for sale for $4,400. I walk past it on Rose street and sigh with desire.

California sunset over anorexic palm trees - this is paradise.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

He's On His Way!

Aren't I rakishly handsome, on a wrought-iron bed with my almond eyes and my basket ball? These pics of me were snapped in Paris a few days ago. But by the time this post goes live, I will be flying to Los Angeles! As usual, pet-friendly Air France is my carrier of choice. I am eager to hop off at LAX under the California sunshine. Stay tuned for more! Woof!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mud Pies For Dolls

Marjorie Winslow's 1961 Mud Pies And Other Recipes, exquisitely illustrated by Erik Blegvad, is a treasure of a quirky cookbook - a cookbook for dolls!
Some recipes are exquisitely simple; for instance, here is how to make Dollypops: Pick a dandelion from the lawn carefully, so as not to disturb the fluff. Hand it to your doll and tell her to lick. But what is most remarkable is the attention to details, including in terms of presentation of the dishes, and the impression, conveyed throughout the book, that cooking is a fun experience, not a chore. I also love the idea that children can make their own playthings with what they find around the house and the garden, instead of buying more plastic junk. Winslow, for instance, explains how to make a doll cake pan with the bottom of a milk carton.
Gravel en Casserole, anyone?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Recent Purchases

To store my expanding collection of vintage hats (some going back to the 1930's), I really need to find some hat boxes. I found the one above at the Santa Monica flea market (Pine st. and Lincoln bv.). Only $4, too!

Isn't this an exquisite passport cover? It's handmade (in England!) and I got it from the Etsy store Handmade With Joy. I find that one of the joys of Etsy is receiving packages in the mail from foreign lands...

And now, a few books. My exploration of Scandinavian literature (remember my post about Per Petterson?) has led me to Tove Jansson, a Swedish language Finn more famous for her children's series, The Moomins. The cover of her haunting The True Deceiver is as magical as her universe.
Right now I'm enjoying David Grossman's ZigZag Kid (book on the left); not since Mark Twain's Huck Finn and J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield has a written so successfully channeled a youthful voice. So quirky.
Next on my list is a new translation of poems by the Syrian-born, Lebanese author Adonis. In the Arab and Persian world, poetry is the literary form par excellence, and Adonis's works are certainly worthy of the extraordinary tradition that he sprung from and challenged. In my opinion, he is the greatest poet alive.
(For a good intro to his work and that of the just-as-great Mahmoud Darwish, check out the slim anthology Victims Of A Map).