Realtor-Speak for the New Economy

In the world of real estate advertising, some things never change. During my very first house-hunting forays in the 1970s I quickly learned that “cozy kitchen” meant there was barely room to swing a spaghetti fork, that “needs TLC” meant the house had been neglected for decades, and that “handyman special” translated into “bring a…

The Temporary Garden

My ‘temporary garden’ isn’t what you might think; it’s not a container garden, nor one filled with tender plants to be discarded at season’s end, nor a rented-space garden, nor a garden that I plan to rip out and remake. In fact it’s what most people would probably consider to be a “mature” garden: there…

My Baking ‘bête noir’

I’m convinced that just as every gardener has at least one particular plant that flatly refuses to grow for him/her anywhere or any time, the same exists in the world of cooking. My bête noir is (can you believe this?) streusel – that simple and tasty crumb topping on coffee cakes and pastries. My failure…

The Franklin Mint Cybis Cat (and Egg)

Franklin Mint Cybis style Curio Cat

It’s fairly common when doing a online-venue search for Cybis to see results for ‘Franklin Mint Cybis cat’, which is a grey-and-white blue-eyed cat with pink bows and highlights. Sometimes (but not always) the figurine still has its original “Crafted in Malaysia” paper sticker on the underside which of course is a clear indication that…

1930s Bow Bracelet with Triple Snake Chains

A newly discovered example by our 1930s ‘mystery’ jewelry manufacturer is this triple snake chain bracelet in a previously-unseen colorway.   The colors on the bracelet are the same three shades of blue as seen in the necklaces shown below, from Part Two in the series about this maker. Many thanks to Etsy seller Maejean…

Downton Abbey in the handmade marketplace

Now in its fifth season, the Downton Abbey juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon and even the mass merchandisers have jumped on the bandwagon. I was not terribly surprised to see that both Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond recently introduced a line of licensed Downton Abbey jewelry items.  But the ‘big…