Mad Men eat Jell-o

My girlfriend, Jessica, threw the best party last night. A Mad Men party.

(The cast of the TV show)

1960's Mad Men parties (might) include:

A hearty pot-roast (a husband's righteous expectation):

Lively neighborhood gossip and discussion of the Cuban missile crisis:

A pack (or two) of Lucky Strikes:

Glamourous stockings, pearls, and more pearls:

Hearty compliments of the cottage-cheese filled Jell-o salad mold:

And whiskey, cocktails, whiskey, cocktails, whiskey...


Does quality linen make you smile? Read on...

Need I say more?

But I will. Take it or leave it.

This is one of my dream nooks, and although I may not have 10 extra square feet to recreate it at the moment, I have been inspired to do quite a bit of linen shopping these past weeks. I finally found the soft white French linen I was looking for at a little Queen Anne fabric store called Nancy's Sewing Basket.

You should bring your mother, and then go for a fabulous selection of tea across the street at Teacup.

(Teacup, Queen Anne)

Sewing brings up a lot of feelings. Unusual, yes, but it is what it is. My mother had me in sewing lessons for 3 long years when I was in elementary school. I hung my head with shame every other Monday as I left school early to make it in time for the lesson; headgear in place, I told my peers I "had a meeting." I never invited them to the quarterly fashion shows where we paraded our homemade dresses with lacy collars and awkward hems. It really must have been an adorable sight. Now I chuckle and appreciate my mom's foresight.

Today I would give an arm to remember some of those techniques so I could make my own linen Roman shades that look as good as the ones in the photo. I'm going to do my best to remember all that I learned in those classes and take the plunge. Wish me luck.


Volunteer, Park, Cafe

(Volunteer Park Cafe, 2010)

There's a charming little cafe behind Volunteer Park at the top of Capitol Hill - aptly named "Volunteer Park Cafe." I run by it a few times a week, and every time I think, "wouldn't it be lovely to walk up here with The Non-Scotsman some morning?" This morning was that morning.

Sun bursting, little floral tributes to spring falling on us like honeysuckle lawn clippings.

(Outside in April, 2010)

The European-style cafe lives in a little house over 100 years old which was, at one time or another, a grocery and a meat market. Little nuggets of history and Seattle and Europe blend together one roughly hewn floorboard after another. A currently-empty chicken coup sits in the back yard next to vegetable beds.

(Fresh tulips in champagne flutes, Volunteer Park Cafe, 2010)

(The pastry counter beckons with warm brioche and flaky quiches, 2010)

(A fridge full of glorious champagne, Volunteer Park Cafe, 2010)

(The banquette where we warmed with Americanos and sunshine, 2010)

(The fresh fruit compote and house-made granola, Volunteer Park Cafe, 2010)

Few things do wonders for a marriage like a morning outing. Some things you may discuss when sitting by a refrigerator full of champagne at 10:30am are:

1) The advanced railway system in China
2) Your fear of failing in front of each other
3) The joy of finding dried cherries (not just raisins) in your granola
4) Deep-down actually wanting to support KPLU for $1,000 a year in order to hear more live jazz
5) The desire to throw fundraisers for friends who are adopting babies
6) How the Japanese couple next to you found this little cafe
7) When the occasion will allow you to use the cafes huge 16 person table for a dinner party
8) How important it is to actively remember, every day, that the Creator loves you
9) Woodworking classes at community college

(Warming a pale face outside Volunteer Park Cafe, 2010)