Friday, December 7, 2012

The Skinny: We Have a Good Excuse, We Promise!

The Blackbird girls are hard at work on a top secret project, so no Skinny today. Check in on Monday for an extra special Junk Love. Until then, enjoy this awesome picture:

from The Chive

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the Radar -- Blue Balls

OK, so the blog title's a bit vulgar today.  But I had to do it.  Forgive me.
Sweet Paul magazine, Winter 2012
When I decided to talk about blue Christmas decorations, I couldn't go with the more obvious (and cliched) "Blue Christmas".  So, I went with the most Blackbird-girls-esque title I could think of -- and there you have it.  Blue Balls.

When we lived in Raleigh, we loved a local newspaper called The Independent.  It's one of the things we miss most about living there, along with Carolina Alehouse cheese fries.  Anyway, there was a hip, modern home decor store in Cary that ran a holiday ad in The Independent.  It read, in large letters, "We have blue balls."  And then underneath, in smaller font, it said, "and red balls and green balls and gold balls..."  It developed a life of its own with us as an inside joke, and every so often you may hear one of us say, "I love blue balls."  Please don't think less of us.  We know it's bad.

And again, sorry for the vulgarity.  But it is what it is.

We really do love them, though.  Our tree is pretty non-traditional (more on that in a later post), and we embrace the entire spectrum of colors.  But blue, especially turquoise and aqua, will always have a dominant role in our decorating for the holidays. 


We were really excited to see soooooo much blue this year!  These are just some images to inspire you, and we really hope you give blue a try. 

From Pottery Barn
From Sweet Paul Magazine, Winter 2012

And don't worry, we'll show you our blue balls soon!  Stay tuned!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Junk Love Monday: Eye Spy

Maybe it's because we can't see without our glasses. Maybe it's because we are junkaholics. In either case (or more likely, both), we collect an assortment of items that, for lack of a more concise description, we call "things you use to see things." Weird? Yep. Are we ashamed? Not even a little bit.

First came the binoculars. It was just a little red and chrome travel set, made in Japan. When closed, it looks like a cigarette case. But, push the button, and it pops open to reveal eyepieces and lenses. Here's a green one from Etsy:

Binoculars  Opera Glasses - Made in Japan SPI
from GreenHatVintage on etsy

 After that came the microscope. Then, we bought the little brass telescope. I confess that my love of certain sub-genres of historical fiction caused me to spend several minutes pretending to look for pirates....
BRASS SPYGLASS TELESCOPE  With Wooden Box Leather Sided Nautical Maritime Vintage Pirate Halloween Prop
Get this set from CITYLIMITSHOP on etsy

Our Sherlock Holmes fascination resulted in the first magnifying glass purchase. Then, a set of 1940s French binoculars, with a buttery soft leather exterior, brass eyepieces, and fat, round lenses.

Vintage Binoculars French Chevalier Day & Night WWI Field Glasses Antique
You can buy these from nevertoold on etsy.

At Christmas came another magnifying glass, followed by another set of binoculars (we love the patina!). Here's a similar piece from Etsy:
Antique Brass French Binoculars Lamier Paris Old World Charm
from ZhennelandTreasures on etsy

And thus was born the collection of things you look through in order to see better. Part of the appeal comes from a background in science. Part of it, if we're being honest, is purely because they look good. Binoculars, microscope, pocket telescope--they are visually appealing and perfect conversation starters. Of course, there's also a certain voyeuristic appeal to the possibility of actually using them. (A non-negotiable criterion is that the item must give good focus. You never known when you're going to need a functional piece.) I occasionally grab  the little red binoculars to watch birds, squirrels, and other wildlife in the backyard (not out of biological curiosity, but because they keep stealing my plants). Granted, there's not a whole lot I can do about it if I'm standing in the kitchen watching the larceny go down, but I can certainly yell at them through the window, which is marginally satisfying. And we're always on the lookout for more magnifying glasses that we can use to examine jewelry and paper ephemera, like this wish list item--perfection in Bakelite:
Tortoise Shell Bakelite Magnifying Glass
get it from theTwoKellys on etsy

We also have a certain love for vintage eyeglasses, which are undoubtedly the most useful things we use to see things better, but that might qualify for its own post someday. Until then, here's a great pair we'd love to have:
Rare American Optical Cat Eye Sunglasses Frame 1950s 1960s  Striped Eyewear
From a fellow North Carolinian, Vintage50sEyewear on etsy