Treasure... painting from John

Mona Lisa's, one of our favorite restaurants in Eau Claire had this painting on its wall in the dining room. I'd try to get a table where I could see and admire it while we ate. Apparently I would always comment on that painting. It is large, probably 3' x 7'.

The painting reminds me of my Mom and Dad and how they would sometimes fall asleep watching TV, just like the 2 people in the painting.

Every Fall Lisa from Mona Lisa's has a Wine and Art Sale. I went down and got some wine and checked just in case this painting was in the sale. It wasn't.

And low and behold on December 24th of that year as I was putting finishing touches on Christmas the doorbell rang and there was Lisa with this painting. Months before John had talked her into selling this painting to him for me.

I have such a wonderful husband. And he buys such good gifts.


I wanted this back in the 60s when it first came out. It was reissued a couple years ago and I finally bought it. I never had the right place for it in Eau Claire but am enjoying it a lot in my Madison office.

Designed by Dorothee Becker, 1969

Uten.Silo is one of the best-known plastic designs of the late 1960s. Today, this colorful wall tidy is a veritable design icon and a true-to-the-original version of the product has now been reissued by Vitra Design Museum.

At the end of the 1960s plastic was on its way to becoming one of the dominant design materials. In Italy designers such as Joe Colombo and Vico Magistretti designed bright and cheerful furniture, luminaires and consumer goods for innovative manufacturers such as Artemide and Kartell. With Bofinger Chair and Panton Chair the first seats made entirely of plastic appeared. At the same time in Munich Ingo Maurer, who had already attracted attention with his "Bulb" luminaire, launched a plastic wall tidy which created quite a stir --Uten.Silo.

Uten.Silo was designed by Maurer's wife, Dorothee Becker. With its differently-shaped and sized pockets, its metal hooks and clips Uten.Silo organizes offices, kitchens, bathrooms and children's rooms. The tension between industrial precision and playful variety, between logical organization and humorous design makes Uten.Silo a highly functional design which also allows plastic to be put to a sensible use.

It is kind of weird but I will always take plastic over wood. And John and I joke that I never saw a piece of wood that I didn't want to paint. Uten.silo also comes in black and white. And it comes in a smaller size too. Buy why go small when you can go big. Andy why go black or white when you can go red.

Treasure... Nita's chairs...

I love mid century classic furniture. And back then spaces were smaller so the furniture was also. This is really good because our next stop will be a condo and this small well designed furniture will work really well. This is the Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair it is missing the little leather cushion. But is very comfortable without it. This chair is part of a collection called Nita's chairs.

Some info... Harry Bertoia first met Florence Knoll Bassett (then Florence Schust) at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Years later, the Italian-born designer was invited to work for Florence and her husband, Hans Knoll. Knowing they were working with an artist, the Knolls gave Bertoia the freedom to work on whatever suited him. The result was the Bertoia Seating Collection (1952). Featuring a delicate filigreed appearance that's supremely strong, these airy seats are sculpted out of steel rods. In his art, Bertoia experimented with open forms and metal work, and these chairs were an extension of that work. "If you look at the chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture," said Bertoia. "Space passes through them."

I actually have 3, yes 3 of these fabulous chairs. 2 like the one pictured and a smaller chair without the winged look. Mine are black but you can now get them in chrome. I like the black much better. And these are called Nita's chairs because they were Nita's chairs. I feel honored to have them. Of course that makes me think of her. In a fire I would take these over the photo albums. It's my wedding ring, my computer, these chairs.

Vintage Treasure

Marion Reese my boss at Seiferts many, many years ago gave me this for Christmas. It was already old then and now I have had this for probably 25 years. It's just this sweet little ceramic piece that moves around the house and always reminds me of her. The paint is rubbed off on the inside. We speculated that someone had used it for an ashtray.

Vintage Treasure

This is something I saw once in a Martha Stewart magazine. Buy vintage glass frogs to hold pens and pencils. It is something I watch for when we are in antique stores. Not all of these work though. You need to find the ones where the pens stand upright. Some of these have holes that are on an angle and the pens tip out.

I've given a couple of these as gifts.

This week's treasure...

This week's treasure comes from Paris from the foot of the Eiffel Tower. I like things that light up. And here you see 3 shots of it in different color created by the Christmas type lights in the base. The base is icky cheap plastic but the Tour Eiffel is actually etched glass, go figure. In our 5 days there we were too busy to do any shopping so I am glad I did acquire this. It sits on my desk and is nice to have on a grey day like today.

This week's treasure...

My friend Janette gave me this after I saw it at her house and could not contain myself. I like numbers, I like graphics and it is all rolled into one in this vintage calendar gadget. To change the day you flip the globe. You then can also change the month and the day of the week. And this one comes with a sticker with an Indian on it and it says Falls City, Nebraska. Does it get any better than that?

Thanks again Janette!

And this sits in my bathroom on the counter next to my Eiffel Tower soap dispenser.