Planning for the Future: Jay Ryan Print

We had gracious dinner guests who complemented how the office and living room are looking. We're still working on other rooms in the house. This year I should be able to really focus on the bathroom, T.V. room, and finally the master bedroom. When I worked on the office it helped to draw on the color scheme from the Jay Ryan Modest Mouse Concert Poster. So unintentionally I found another Jay Ryan print to serve the same purpose. I bought the print because I liked it and it's been sitting around the house for a few weeks in it's tub (sniff sniff sad little poster). As we have been using the T.V. room as a staging area for vacation packing I thought I'd like a warm color in there. It's a small room with a brown couch and a blue Modernica Eames rocker. I know blue and orange can be a daring couple but I think it will fit our little space - give it personality. Plus the print while quirky is very sweet, "she protects us" is the title. Showing a kitty in a chair while spirits of loved ones hover over head. I don't want to get too woo woo on you but it's a sweet thought and I love the colors which pop even more in person. So if you come back and visit us in the new year that is something to look forward to. 
For the time being Mr. Monkey and I are focused on getting packed for our new year's trip to Puerto Rico (via Tucson). I'll be out of commission the first two weeks of January soaking up the rays (and the rum).  Don't worry, you'll be so busy getting back to your work schedule you won't even notice an absence over here at modern monkey. I'm not big time enough to have a guest blogger. But I will come back inspired and with lots of great pics to share. In the meantime here's what I'll be reading at the beach. So excited to check out Dwell's issue on pre-fabs! FINALLY! It looks good but I'm trying not to look at it (and others) so I have something left to read on the plane. Cheers to you all. Thanks for reading our wee blog this year. It's been fun and I look forward to continuing next year. Don't forget to subscribe (to the right) so you know when we're back and posting in the New Year. Be well. Live modern. Be modern. Live well.


Modern Holiday Present Idea #3: Calendars on Etsy

Just do it now - go over to Etsy - you remember - Etsy, right? Many moons ago your crafty friend told you about an online store where you can buy creative art ventures direct from the artist or crafter as the case may be right online. Now it may be too late at this point to get items before Christmas or the end of Hanukah, or Solstice, or the holiday of your choosing but it is still worth it if you can get an order in to start '09 right. Support an artist in your neighborhood or not. I purchased mostly from the west coast. Last year I was very happy with my calendars from Turtle Papers in Seattle so this year I went back for more. Jennifer, the designer at Turtle Papers was sweet to send a note of thanks with my calendar plus a simple yet fancy book plate as a thank you gift for purchasing from her directly! It seems their Etsy store is on vacation 'til February 1st, 2009 so you must sign up to stay tuned for handsome updates to their Etsy store.
I ended buying 3 calendars at Etsy for gifts. And while I'd love to place them all up on this posting I can't because I know at least two Modern Monkey readers may be receiving them as gifts. So  . . . the point is don't give your mother one of those horrible "Covered Bridges of Oregon" calendars - get that special someone (or really anyone not-so-special too) a cool calendar from an epically-talented creator over at Etsy! You might get some inspiration there as well - I was diverted in the Azizi jewlery store of an artist here in eclectic Eugene. Cheers! Live modern. Live well.


Modern Holiday Present Idea #2

Well the days for shopping are winding down. So here is one more idea for those of you struggling to find an inexpensive but unique purchase for that lover-of-all-things-mod in your life. I found these little Danish salt and pepper shakers at a thrift store - one my faves - Oak St. Vintage. These little sheik little mod shakers were $15 dollars! Such a deal for that lovely look of metal and wood together. Once again by buying something that has been used previously  you are also doing good by our planet! Love it! Cheers and here's to shaking it up like a polaroid picture or cute Danish modern S n' P Shaker. 


New Front Door Light

This top picture is what we have today - it's the AFTER! Every time I see the little globe light it  makes me think, "Thank gawd, those awful butterflies have flitted away!"

This is the before-before.
Before-before: what the house came with. ^

What we ended up with and I am very pleased even though it is "just a globe light" as Mr. Monkey labeled it.

The in-between before. This clear light only lasted for a week.
Here we are with a close up of the final. (Kindly excuse the cob webs).
Once again I'm working on making small changes around our house. I'm looking for small changes that make a big impact - at least in the way I feel everyday in the house. For this little project we worked on the front door light. The in between light we got for 6 bucks at the local hardware store (not a big box hardware store either!). But once it was up (thanks to Mr. Monkey) I was just not as happy as I had hoped. So when we went to Bring recycling in search of a new/re-used front door we saw these globe lights for a buck. I wasn't sure if it would fit but I figured for a buck it was worth the risk. And to my delight and the delight of Mr. Monkey - he was not happy about the thought of changing out another fixture - it fit - the light fixture and my fancy. The previous owner had left us with the very nice craftsman styled butterfly light. So we took it and it's parts to Bring Recycling so that someone with a cutie crafty could make good use of it. It was a nice and sturdy fixture just not to our liking.  I like to think of our new addition as the little-globe-light-that-could (give us a more MCM look, that is). I know it's a bit piecemeal at this point but the front door is next. Bring R. had a couple of options that are similar to these Crestview Doors just minus the major price tag and plus a couple decades of use. So we're keeping our eyes open. We saw two re-useable doors at Bring that were in the same style as the "Grover"As always we'll keep you posted. Later this week I'll share another holiday find from the best little store-in-a-house in Eugene, Oak St. Vintage.


Holiday Present Idea #1

So as you know I strongly advocate for Thrift Store shopping. There are so many benefits which include the protection of the environment (not buying new stuff that was taxing on the earth to build and transport) and of course the protection of the resources within your wallet as well. With this in mind I was perusing the thrift store shelves once again a few months ago and I stumbled across this lovely wee sugar and creamer set. I love the milk glass for its simplicity and its neutrality. So you may not know what your aunt has in her kitchen or your sister-in-law's china color scheme but you can rest assured that these are so cute and neutral that the gift recipient will surely find a time to make use of them. They are sure to brighten up anyone's Sunday brunch. Oh yes, and the price you ask - well take a guess. Less than 20? Why yes. Less than 10? Yup. In fact they were labeled at $2.99 each. Here in Oregon we don't have sales tax so in fact when I handed over 6 bucks I actually got 2 cents back!  This little set could be part of a larger basket that you put together for someone with a tea or coffee theme. Unique and resourceful gifts can be found on the cheap and since I'm not the crafty type this is a solid holiday solver for me. Now the only question is who is the lucky recipient?


New Modern Ceiling Fan!

Here it is! I'm so happy with it for a number of reasons. 1) The price was right at $49.00! 2) The size was right - small for our low ceilings. 3) It has more blades and therefore moves more air than the last one. Other benefits - the blonde wood blades go with the floors, and the silver hardware matches the hardware - door knobs in the house with the exception of the front door which is on it's way out sometime soon . The white fan is similar to what we had and believe me it was bad. I'm so glad it's gone. Originally we were looking at more expensive fans that were more than $200 dollars but they were often too big and looked too much like airplane propellors. I really didn't think that we would be able to make the change for less than $100 bucks so I was really surprised when we went to our local hardware store Jerry's Home Improvement Center and we found this wee modern fan. Yeah for wee fans, local hardware stores, and wee price tags!

Sunday Fun at Bring Recycling

In past blogs I've mentioned one of our favorite diversions just on the outskirts of town - Bring Recycling.  A new initiative at Bring includes recycling natural cork from wine and champagne bottles. I hope programs like this will help to bring down the costs of cork floors - because they are lovely to look at but are still a touch outside our price range.  Anyway I've included some pics of the Bring building which was built from many recycled products and with "green" concepts in mind. We were there today to donate several items: 1) The old front door light fixture, 2) the desk that I was unable to sell on Craiglist,(see here too) 3) the ceiling fan that we changed out last weekend. It felt especially great to get rid of the desk that had embarrassingly sat next to the front door for far too long. It worked well to hold our Halloween pumpkins but beyond that it was just collecting dirt! We also went to Bring to peruse for a new/re-used front door. I have been loathing ours for a while and I think we just will keep dropping by in search of new doors. Even though we were looking for doors I get stuck looking at the light fixtures. Here are a few pictures of cool light fixtures that you could re-use in your retro-pad if you lived in Eugene/Springfield/Cottage Grove/Creswell area.  I snagged a little globe light for a buck to switch out with the one I was not so pleased with - more on that later. Anyway I hope you have a great recycling center in your neighborhood that like Bring is super fun to sort through and that you can repurpose items every once in awhile. Happy hunting!


Cheap Thrift Store Find: Retro Pencil Sharpener

I'm not really sure what to write about this. So I'll start at the beginning . . . I went to the Thrift store, I was looking for something entirely different when I saw this faux bois pencil sharpener. It did not have batteries in it and was therefore a risk. What if when I got it home and energized it and it didn't work? For 2 bucks I thought I could afford the risk - and worth it, it was indeed. I also love the concentric flower pattern on top and the "PRESS FIRMLY" font. Really it's unfair to all those people in the world who spend way too much money on items that only leave them feeling empty inside afterwards. I love this pencil sharpener and it brightens up my work day. Since it is thanksgiving - cheers to the little (cheap) things in life that give us joy. Cheers to modern simplicity! Oh yeah, and family, and friends, and all that too. But that's for some other blog to mull over. Here it's about the semi-frivolous but integral to our spirit - so-not-so frivolous theme of modern living. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!


Modern Ceiling Fans!

It seems like my title is an oxymoron. Modern Ceiling fans. So many are really cheezy looking for lack of a a better word. I've been perusing the lighting slideshows and there are no ceiling fans - just ceiling lights. This is may fave slideshow because it's starts with Niche Modern. The good news is that Mr. Monkey woke up this morning and said let's do it - let's get a new ceiling fan! Imagine my joy and surprise! I've been begging for a new ceiling light since we moved here now over a year ago only to be rebuffed time and time again by Mr. Monkey. It's not time, he would say. Well for some reason today is! I'll keep you posted. 


Fun Thrift Store Finds

This entry could also be called "Cheap New World". It was lovely being in La Jolla and checking out houses that only uber money can buy. But now I'm back in Eugene and living La Vida Local. So I thought I'd highlight some simple and cheap finds from local thrift stores as of late. The chair you might recall was part of my first Craigslist endeavor. The chair cost about $75 and was a part of a package deal with another chair plus a 3 person couch. The proportions work well in our small living room. There are technically only 3 new items in the picture. The first is the Cliff May book and besides the chair it is the most expensive item in the scene. The second is the pot that the succulent is in, is also new but was super cheap at less than $7 dollars at Down to Earth here in Eugene, a slightly trendy mostly practical home and garden store. I also love that the plant pot is biodegradable made out of left over bamboo pulp. At the store they said it should last about 5 years in doors - just about the right time for when I will be growing tired of it. It's weakening fiber will be timely. The glass vase and side table were both purchased at Goodwill on separate outings. The vase I think was more expensive than the table at $7 bucks which was a lot for me to spend on a vase but I knew I need something big and green for the side table - which was purchased for $5 bucks at the same store a few years before.
The table has seen some serious use. On one of my trips away Mr. Monkey decided to use a clear stain on a table he was working on and decided to place the brushes and can lid on this little side table leaving a not-so-nice visual reminder. It also sat outside for a whole summer and when the outdoors didn't destroy it and the marking from crafty Mr. Monkey came off I brought it back inside. The wee side table had proven itself worthy of playing a more prominent role in our day to day lives.
Finally I did want to note the magazine holder. I see these little golden hot rods all over the place - this one in particular I bought for a whopping $4.99 (and got a penny in change - no sales tax). If it's five bucks you can bet I'll get it just to see if it will work - and it did. Not long after I saw another slightly more elaborate golden magazine holder for nearly $20 bucks so I felt that I really got a deal. But to be truthful these little finds are all over the place waiting to be discovered (this theory first discussed here). Finally, the third new item - the plants too were about $5.00 each.The green pillow, which has been repurposed many times over was also less than $10 bucks on sale at a big box store. I bought it back when I was not so wise. So this is my mini-lesson on how good style does not have to be expensive. I guess it took my time to venture out to the Thrift stores and sometimes I come home with nothing - but it's the adventure that's the most fun and the joy of finding something you love for an affordable price. So even though times are tight for many people - funky functional items can be found for a deal! Cheers!


Livin' La Vida La Jolla

Oh happy day! Don't get me wrong - Fall in Eugene is gorgeous. The leaves are beautiful and multicolored. The air is brisk and if it's dry it's perfect for going for a run. This weather is invigorating. But over the weekend we were in La Jolla California visiting family and friends. Our dear friend, Brew, is doing a post-doc at UCSD and we were more than happy to visit her. Friday night just she and I went out to dinner at WhisknLadle There I was so pleased to find this thoroughly modern dining room for private parties. The lights remind me of those you can find here  at Niche Modern - where I drool over the light fixtures every now and now. It made my eyes twinkle to see the "Solitaire" in person. I have yet to see it in Eugene but I'll keep on the looking. As for the restaurant the food was great - the wine selection was overpriced. But Brew and I had a lovely time livin' la vida in La Jolla just for la weekend.


New House Numbers

Remember way back when I started this whole blog thing? Well if you don't head back over here. Me and Mr. Monkey were in a debate about house numbers. I didn't really feel like blowing $20 or more per number - it just wasn't worth it. Plus the futura font just doesn't match the house outdoor aesthetic. So after visiting 2 hardware stores and not finding what I was looking for I decided that these more craftsman style numbers would work well with the front of the monkey house. And another great characteristic is that they were cheap and easy to install. Gotta love it! Our old house numbers can be seen here (numbers are next to garage). Drum roll please  . . . I would like to introduce our new house numbers.  I also covered the horrible fake beveled glass look on our front door with a window screener. During the day I can't see the beveled-ness at all - at night it can be seen through the film. Not a great solution but a good temporary one. I just hated looking at the beveled floral arrangement every day. Yuck! 
Upcoming posts will include a before and after of the bathroom - it was a simple redo - mainly a new shower curtain - but it's amazing what a big difference that little change can make. Have a modern autumn day!


Not so Modern Hotel Rooms: Southern Oregon

So the last of my Southern Oregon Adventures were this past week. Here I thought I'd show the crazy range of places that I stayed in southern Oregon. The first is on the Oregon coast in a town called Bandon. The room was super small but check out the sweet view! I have to say that I was not so keen on the nautical theme (no rhyme intended) but the skylight was perfect in the middle of the night - the stars and moon were gleaming through. The other bit I loved about this room at the Sea Star Guesthouse was the location - right around the corner from the Alloro Wine Bar also in Old Town Bandon - I had duck with a cherry sauce on top and grilled endive plus sauteed chanterelle mushrooms - so delish!
Next up on my Southern Oregon tour was Ashland - well known for their Shakespeare Festival this little gathering of cottages called The Palm was a welcome respite in the long line of hotel rooms. This place should be in Sunset Magazine if it hasn't been already. I guess they had just re-decorated my room which was cute and had a nice mix of retro and 50's style but with a more contemporary (circa late 90's) flare.   

The price was right at both stop overs for $69.00. Of course they were now charging their off-season rates but either way it was a great deal and much more homey than any Best Western or any similarly cloned chain hotel. SO I'm still in pursuit of that perfectly modern hotel in Oregon but the Palm does have some nice MCM touches in other units.


Mid-century Modern Toys: Trading Cards!

I should have known. There are trading cards for anything! Including ones that are space aged themed for the mid-century spaced-obsessed Bobby and Marsha. Are there mid-century modern furniture trading cards? I would certainly stock up. The cool cards in these pics are part of the San Fran Airport's  (SFO) series of art in the airports.  Click here and here for other toy pics from the same showing. SFO . . . UFO . . . coincidence? I think not! Click on the pictures to get a closer view and read the text of the "Sputnik 1" Space card. These cards not only have great art but they are educational too! I also love how they are self-referencing "See Card no. 2 - Dog In Space". You can by scanning the pic to the right and card no. 2 is there for your reading enjoyment. I think I most love the two cards below though - "Enjoying Earthshine" and "It's easy - on the moon." I'm going to use that line around here when I have to vacuum - "Augh! It would be so much easier if I were on the moon. Mr. Monkey, can we move already?"


Mid-century Modern Toys: Atomic!

I fly through SFO quite a bit because in Eugene you can rarely fly direct anywhere - you must first travel through SFO or LAX or Seattle or Portland or Denver. I do like SFO though because they by far have the best art installations. Right now all you toy collector's would go nutzo. All the toys on display had themes of the space age. They capture that mid-century modern fascination with all things intergalactic  and space-tacular! Hope you enjoy these tidbits. Because I had just newly experienced the D.C. Dulles airport for the first time - I have to say that the "Lost in Space" people mover is exactly like the mobile "lounge rooms" of Dulles (IAD). 

You can see all the space trading cards in person until March 2009 so you will have plenty of time to check it out. You can find it at Terminal 3 of SFO. Oh man, I wish I could have an orbital food container (click on the pictures to read the funny tag lines of the lunch boxes and games). Enjoy the space invasion!


Mid-century Art in the Airport: SFO

I guess it was Sunday evening and I was traveling home from the east coast. And In the United wing of SFO they usually have great little art installments. Well this time in particular it was right up the alley of my latest obsession: mid-century and it's fascination with all things space and atomic. I did manage to sneak a few shots that I will post later but here's a sampling from the SFO website. Totally atomic!


On the Road, Hotel Rooms: DENVER

So I realize this blog is really about modern Eugene Oregon and our life there - but when I'm not there I'm working on living modern in other cities. Most recently I've been to Colorado and now I'm in D.C. The pictures above are from an Hyatt at the Tech Center. I really liked the hotel design. It's hard to see in these pictures but the tones were browns, blues, and greys. Lots of slick silver hardware and note one of my fave features from the Hyatt chain - an alarm clock with an ipod plug in - you can charge and wake up to your own music! Love it. Now unless you have a meeting in the offices close by I wouldn't recommend staying here - but the rooms were super comfy and the style was distinctly modern!


Thrift Store Find! Blue Vintage Vase

Here I am on the road again, blogging from a hotel room. Tonight's hotel room is not so modern but last night I was at the Hyatt in Denver and the lines are clean modern and so much faux bois - it was cool but it was straddling that dangerous and dreaded OVERKILL threshold. More on that later.  Right now I'm sharing a find from a recent thrift store scavenger hunt. It was originally 16 bucks which is more than I like to pay for a thrift store but it must have been my lucky day and yellow was half off so I picked it up for 8. Anyway I've got it set up in the living room. I'll be back in Modern Eugene and blogging on Saturday. Cheers!