A Few random images from the Ft Worth Stock Show and Rodeo this year…..
Y’all may have noticed our sudden interest in Life Magazine. (Well, a previous post anyway)
I Found this old issue recently.
Life magazine July 13 1942,
That’s 23 year-old Corporal Alexander Le Gerda of the 853rd Ordnance Company on the cover. His job was the maintenance of machine guns, such as the .30 cal. Browning that he’s holding in the pic, as well as issuing ammunitions to student aerial gunners. He played softball for the post team, and the t-shirt he’s wearing was part of their equipment. Alex was born in Topton, Pa. and spent $30 out of his last pay telephoning his girl back in Allentown.
Found a few more images from that photo shoot that didn’t make the magazine, but were in the Time/Life archives.
In 1942, t-shirts weren’t considered “proper street attire”; but this cover made them extremely popular, especially with young men. The Air Corps Gunnery School T-Shirt is still available today.
I found them here for 20 bucks.
Think I may have to get one…….although I don’t expect to look anything like Corporal Le Gerda does in his.
Life magazine did a lot of coverage of World War 2. I know that my brother the vet will back me up in saying that World War 2, and the men fighting it, drastically shaped our country. For the first time, women and minorities entered the work force in huge droves; pulling the country out of the Great Depression. After the boys came home, the U.S. solidly establishing itself as a leading world military leader, Americans moved to the suburbs and started having babies. Lots of babies.
Wasn’t sure what to do with this issue…….so I just slipped it into an Ikea frame.
(That’s my solution for everything)
I think it looks pretty good,
OOOOhhh, that 10 cent magazine cost me a dollar,
That’s really not bad inflation over 70 years.
In the latest Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, one of the central components of the film are the enormous Life magazine covers scattered throughout the office where Walter works.
Some beautiful cover images, most emblazoned in our American memories already.
But, here’s the thing….they’re all fake.
The production designers, working closely with the archivists of the great American institution, Time Life, created the magazine covers just for the film.
Production designer Jeff Mann said. “We worked really, really hard to select photos that were novel, naïve — in the best possible way — and that featured significant twentieth-century people, places and events.”
Sure, some of these images were in Life magazine once, but none of them were lucky enough to have graced the cover.
Life was a published weekly magazine from 1936 until 1972, when it became a monthly issue until 2000.
In recent years, Life.com existed until 2012.
As you can tell, amazing photography was a focus.
A lot of people have been asking about our brick fireplace lately.
No, it wasn’t black when we moved in.
In fact, it was some badly painted pea-green color.
See? Here’s what the den looked like with the previous owner’s stuff.
Could that brick fireplace possibly be any uglier?
While I painted the ceilings flat white (they were all GLOSS antique white), Jamie went to town on the fireplace.
He started with a couple of coats of Kilz primer, tinted black.
Yeah, the hardware store can tint the primer in any shade you may need. (They can’t make exact color matches, but they can get awful close…and it makes a huge difference)
Because we wanted to do the ultimate paint job, Jamie gave it several thick coats, squeezing into all the groves and crevices.
Then he added 2 good coats of Ralph Lauren “Granite”.
Just plain interior flat latex paint.
Looking pretty good so far.
The inside of the firebox he sprayed with heat-resistant flat black spray paint……because we plan on burning things in there.
(It’s a good idea to only use spray paint indoors if you can open all the windows and doors……just sayin’)
I started in with the khaki walls. (Martha Stewart Fawn)
They set off the black brick perfectly.
And this is what we have today, 4 years later……
The rolling log holder we made from plumbing pipe in an afternoon.
There’s a tutorial located here if you care to make your own version.
…or maybe just see how we did it.
The vintage flower pots keep firestarters and sweet-smelling Pinon wood close at hand.
Black painted brick…….
We think it’s Way. More, Much Better…….
How great are these bullion crests?
There was a bowl full of them at one of my favorite local haunts.
If you’re in Dallas, I highly recommend a visit to the store. The owners scour Europe for vintage items, most way bigger than these simple little statement makers.
Anyhoo, I didn’t buy any, but just might have to go back for 1…..
When our friend Stephen invited us over for steaks, I wanted to bring something light and easy.
This salad is perfect.
My mother would call this a “summer salad”. Because technically tomatoes and cucumbers are in season in the summer, but I have a way around that. Cherry tomatoes and English cucumbers, both are delicious all year-long. Thank you science.
Cook one whole package of “unseasoned” couscous. I like to control the salt in my food, and those flavor packs are pure salt.
A 10 ounce package goes into 2 cups of boiling water.
Cover, and remove from the heat.
It’s light and fluffy in about 5 minutes.
In that 5 minutes you can make the marinade.
- Juice of One Whole Lemon
- 1 Crushed Garlic Clove (More if you really like Garlic)
- About 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- Handful of Chopped fresh Oregano
- Salt to Taste
- Ground Pepper to Taste
Use as much olive oil as you feel comfortable with. The couscous will soak all of it up.
Mix all your marinade ingredients well with a wire whisk.
For veggies I add:
- A Whole Can of Washed Garbanzos
- A Whole Package of Cherry Tomatoes
- About half of an English Cucumber, Lightly peeled and diced
Cherry tomatoes are hot-house grown now, so they taste like summer all year-long. English cucumbers are sweet, mild, have no waxy skin, and very few seeds…..much like the slicer cucumbers that we used to pick off the vine in my Grandmother’s garden.
Told y’all I had a plan for “Summer-y” tasting vegetables, even in the winter.
Premix all the cut veggies in the marinade, and let sit for a while. The longer the better.
Lightly fold in the cooked and cooled couscous. (You may have to break it up with a fork first)
It will really soak up the marinade.
Then add one whole package of goat cheese. I use tomato/basil.
The goat cheese adds just enough “richness” without overpowering the freshness of the vegetables.
And that’s all there is to this dish.
Serve it warm, or chilled. You will love it either way.
It was at a San Diego flea Market about 30 years ago, that Janek Boniecki found a humble yellow dinner plate that changed his fate.
“There was nothing else like it I had ever seen,” said the London-born Boniecki, “The plate was heavy, solid, and such a bright, happy color.”
On the flip side, indented into the plate, was the name “Bauer Los Angeles.”
In 1885, J.A. Bauer bought out Paducah Pottery, based in Paducah, Kentucky, whose main production at the time was hand-thrown crocks and jugs. 25 years later, he moved production to Los Angeles, California and expanded the line to include flower pots and planters. In 1930 the Bauer Company introduced a line called California Colored Pottery with brilliant-hued dishes intended to mix and match. There is a story that Bauer’s first dinnerware was prompted by a young lady who bought a stack of brightly colored flowerpot saucers to use as plates for a patio party. True or not, it is typical of the flair and informality of the California style. The line was an immediate and continued success. In 1933 they added a band of rings to these dishes, creating Ringware. Sadly, the Bauer Pottery Company closed it’s doors in 1962, rather than settle a labor dispute.
Janek couldn’t stop thinking about his passion for the defunct line. He’d developed a love of Bauer and had collected several more pieces beyond that first yellow plate.
“I was in my 40s, and I started to see that in TV production, a lot of guys never survive past that,” said Boniecki, now 58. “I began to look for something for the next stage of my life.”
“I decided one day to go looking for the trademark,” he said.
By the time Boniecki researched the trademark, it had been long abandoned. “I just re-registered it,” he said, “and then it was an easy transition to thinking I would make new Bauer ware.”
But he was starting completely from scratch and couldn’t locate any of the original Bauer dies or molds used to turn out the pieces.
“To our knowledge, all the original dies and molds were destroyed when Bauer shut down,” he said. “There is a myth that some of them survive, somewhere. But we’ve never found them.”
Using his own collection of classic Ringware pieces and a few others he bought as models, Boniecki hired artisans to make dies that could be used to produce copies. In 1998, working with a variety of ceramics manufacturers, he turned out the first pieces of his new Bauer Company, complete with a copy of the original imprint on the underside. Collectors refer to the new pieces as Bauer 2000.
After dealing with several local ceramics makers, Boniecki became a steady client of a factory housed in a former fruit-packing plant in the small city of Highland. Built in 1923, the factory has 30-foot-high ceilings with skylights, well-worn wood floors, and even a freight elevator driven by an old-fashioned hydraulic system….but most importantly, there were 8 on-site kilns. When the owner of the plant announced a few years ago that he was going to retire, Boniecki bought the 40,000 square foot operation for $1 million.
Today Jarek’s Bauer Pottery Co. turns out more than 90 different Bauer 2000 items, and also a revival of Russell Wright’s American Modern line (another of my favorites that I’m sure we’ll discuss later), and are sold in the on-site factory store, shops nationwide and, of course, online on Jarek’s website BauerPottery.com
Here’s a few of our favorite pieces from Bauer 2000…(in case you need some gift ideas…hint, hint)
(All photos from the Bauer Pottery website)
Our dog Harley has a turquoise Bauer dog bowl, and I have about a dozen human sized mixing bowls, a couple of vases, and several assorted other items.
I’ve been collecting this stuff for years now, mostly old pieces, occasionally with chips……
(The chips don’t bother me, these pieces were just more loved)
Bauer pottery has a cheerful personality that’s unmatched by anything else on the market.
Just ask Janek, I know he’d understand.
I wrote about collecting Frankoma a few months ago.
(didn’t mean to create all the new collectors/competitors that I’m now bidding against on eBay)
It’s no secret that I enjoy scoring a piece of Frankoma pottery occasionally, the thrill of the hunt and all, it’s still cheap and usually pretty easy to find.
….. nabbed a cool-ass, Texas-shaped ashtray in September.
But this….this is the big score.
The white Buffalo (technically a bison, but we can argue about that later).
Isn’t he just great? I’ve been hunting this guy for a couple of years, and I’ve finally bagged one.
I feel …….complete…… now,
……..pretty certain that will pass though,
Happy Hunting, Y’all
Infused vodkas are very easy to make. We’ve done lemon and cranberry before, but thought we’d shake it up a bit this year and make cucumber.
Crisp and refreshing, what could be better with tonic and a squeeze of lime? Am I right?
Start with cucumbers.
English cucumbers, the ones wrapped in plastic at the grocery store, are milder than garden cucumbers. And better yet, have fewer seeds.
Peel, seed, and roughly slice one for every 750 ml of vodka you plan to infuse.
Use a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid to infuse your vodka. (Don’t use plastic or metal, they could influence the flavor of your vodka in the wrong way)
I’ve wanted a reason to buy one of those giant Ball Mason Jars from Target, and here it is.
Fill the glass jar halfway with decent vodka. Not necessarily expensive. We used Monopolowa.
Then toss in the cucumber slices. Followed by more vodka, almost to the top. (remember, don’t let the vodka touch the metal lid)
Anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks. Any longer and the cucumber will become bitter-tasting.
After about 10 days, you’re ready to bottle it.
We’ve been saving upcycled lemonade bottles all year (by drinking the lemonade). I’m crazy about the hinged cork top.
Want something similar? We found some just like them at Crate & Barrel.
Before bottling your vodka, it’s important to strain out the little bits of cucumber.
I scooped out the cucumber slices and threw them away…..Ok, I had a taste first…..they weren’t good, slightly, ok very, vodka pickled.
Line a funnel with a coffee filter over a glass pitcher. Not the fastest way to strain, but it works.
Then pour the strained vodka into the bottles.
I put together labels on Vistaprint.
I wasn’t thrilled with any of the templates they offered, so I started with a blank slate and an Indian headdress graphic that I aged and faded, then added my verbage over that; in green of course, as a nod to the cucumber. These were so easy to do that now I’m looking into a few other projects on the Vistaprint site. Stay tuned…and try to act surprised.
50 cents each, for extra-large (3 inch X 4 inch), I ordered 8 just in case there were any mistakes applying them to the bottles.
Vistaprint shipped them almost the next day.
Couldn’t be happier with the finished labels,
The green lettering picks up the slight green tint of the vodka.
Because we thought that some of our friends would be a little puzzled about what the Heck to do with cucumber vodka…….we included a recipe card for our dear friend Robin’s Cucumber Cooler.
Here it is:
Add to a shaker with crushed ice, a wedge of English cucumber, an orange slice (with the peel), and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Shake once, don’t strain, pour into a double old-fashioned glass….and Enjoy
Delicious, give it a try sometime.
AND……. try infusing your own vodka.
Cucumber, lemon, vanilla bean, ginger, cranberry, serano….give any of these a shot.
We guarantee that you’ll love it.
…..and so will the friends that you give it too.