Friday, January 21, 2011

Milo Baughman

At the end of last year we picked up some great vintage pieces for our home including this incredible Milo Baughman chair for just $25 (produced by James Inc. probably between 1960-65). We swore that we wouldn't purchase any more furniture that needed to be reupholstered after buying our sofa but we just couldn't pass this chair up. The previous owners allowed their cat to use it as a scratching post so it got really damaged but the frame is in great shape and we loved the look of the chair. It's also really comfortable. It may have ended up in a garbage dump if we didn't take it home with us and we couldn't bare to see that happen. The chair just needs a good cleaning and some fresh upholstery and it will be good as new.

Milo Baughman (1925-2003) was one of America's greatest and most influential furniture designers. His work has been exhibited in museums throughout the United States including the Whitney Museum of Art in New York and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC. Baughman was also inducted into the American Society of Furniture Designers Hall of Fame in 1987. If you'd like to learn more about him and see more of his designs follow the links I've posted below:
- Milo Baughman @ Wikipedia
- Milo Baughman @ Decopedia
- Milo Baughman @ Apartment Therapy
- Milo Baughman @ the CIRCA and the WHO

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

After the Party's Over...

Happy New Year! 2010 was an amazing year for me. I hate to be a braggart but I have a lot to celebrate. It was the best year I've had in a decade filled with bitter disappointments that included the deaths of many family members, serious illness, job losses and other woes. In 2010 my husband and I managed to put the past behind us and take a substantial step forward by relocating to a new area and purchasing our first home. It's been an incredible experience so far and it's changing the way I feel about home, community and family. I'm also enjoying writing for Turner Classic Movies and you can keep track of my film chat over at

Like a lot of people I've got a list of New Years Resolutions or "plans" that I hope to see come to fruition this year. I'm sure that I won't get everything accomplished but I like to dream big so here's my list of New Years Resolutions. I thought I might be able to guilt myself into accomplishing them all if I made them public.

2011 PLANS

1. Organize My Office & Finish Unpacking
My office has been painted but the closet still needs to be organized and I need to unpack. I'm still living out of boxes and it's driving me nuts.

2. Finish Patching & Painting the Living/Dining Areas
We've made a lot of progress in this area recently and I hope we can get it finished up in the next month or two. The previous home owners apparently liked to shoot a BB Gun in the house and patching all the holes seems to be taking forever.

3. Refurbish & Update Our Fireplace
Our current fireplace has an awful stove in it that completely destroys the look of the room. The fireplace also has a crack in it that needs to be repaired. We want to remove the old stove and restore the look of our fireplace but we also want to make it environmentally friendly by installing a new fixture that uses clean-burning fuel instead of wood.

4. Landscape the Front & Backyard.
In the spring we plan to spend a lot of time on the exterior of our home. We want to add lots of rocks as well as plants that don't need much care or water. We'd also like to paint the house, add a new fence and a privacy wall but I don't think we'll be able to accomplish all of that due to our limited budget and time constraints.

5. Create A Small Vegetable & Herb Garden.
I've been eager to start my own garden in the backyard and I've found the perfect place for it. Hopefully I can get it started in the spring or summer.

6. Research My Family's History
One of my biggest challenges while I was moving was taking on the task of emptying out a storage unit that held my family's belongings. When my mother and grandmother passed away I wasn't prepared to deal with the aftermath so everything they left me went into storage and has sat there for many years. My father died when I was a child so his belongings were in there as well. Now that I'm older and have had a lot of time to mourn it's a bit easier to sort through family photos and other precious items like my parents wedding china and my father's tobacco pipes, but it's also extremely frustrating. Besides my younger brother, a few distant cousins and an uncle that I had a falling out with many years ago, I'm the last living member of my family. I have hundreds of questions about my family history that can't easily be answered and the contents of the storage unit complicate the discovery process as much as they enrich it. I plan on spending a lot of time researching my family's history this year and I'll be sharing many of my discoveries as well as family photos and mementos.

7. Learn to Cook Better
I'm a terrible cook but a decent baker. I really want to try to improve my cooking skills this year. My kitchen isn't ideal but we made it much more functional last month so there's no reason I can't start cooking more. At the moment my guy does all the cooking and he's a great chef but I'd like to be able to pitch in more and it's nearly impossible to live in Napa without being inspired to try your hand at cooking.

8. Take Part in More Physical Activities: Bowling, Hiking, Wii, etc.
I really want to start doing more physical activities. I'm in great health according to my doctor but I want to lose some weight. My guy bought us a Wii for Christmas so I plan to use it and I want to start bowling again and doing some hiking in the Napa hills as soon as the weather improves.

9. Open an Etsy Shop
I've been selling and buying stuff on eBay for the last 10 years but I'd like to open up my own shop on Etsy this year. Sooner or later I'd like to sell my own photography prints and artwork but I'll probably start by selling vintage goods. I have a LOT of old comic books as well as toys, knickknacks and other things that I'd like to find new homes for.

10. Take more photos & write more fiction
And last but not least... I absolutely love photography and writing but most of the photos I've taken lately have been tourist-like shots snapped on home tours and all my writing has revolved around reviewing and researching films. I plan to make more time for photo excursions this year and I might take some kind of fiction writing workshop just to get me motivated to write more. I have lots of partially started stories and ideas sketched out but I have a lot of trouble completing anything. I never lack ideas but I sure lack discipline.

To do all of these things I'm going to try and cut back on the time I spend online. Especially at social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook since they can be real time wasters. But I do want to blog more and I really enjoy updating Mid-Century Living whenever I can so you may even see more of me around here this year.

"The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle." - Anais Nin

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