Thursday, August 30, 2012


Chicago Magazine is always on top of what's new in Chicago and surrounding villages.  While reading the newest issue, August 2012, I came across a feature section on the Best of Chicago.  Places to go,  to eat and drink and of course the best new places to shop!  The list is compiled once a year by the readers of the Chicago Magazine and of the 124 winners, YEARBOOK was voted BEST NEW VINTAGE DECOR.  Did someone say vintage?  As a designer, it is a dream to find a one-of-a-kind within the walls of creativity.  Within a few days of reading about YEARBOOK, I was there. 

This little shop is located in Forest Park on Madison St.  7316 W. Madison to be exact.  I did a drive by first and checked out the window display.  I did a quick U-EY and pulled up almost directly in front of the shop. (there just happen to be a parking spot).  I walked in the door and I knew it was going to be good! 

The window today was full of nostalgia that brought back college memories
on a swim team . . . . maybe Ohio State with that  vintage red bathing suit that hung
on a hook in the locker room.  The attention to detail was obvious.  Even vintage tiles had been applied to the backdrop of this creative window which depicted pool, locker
room and vintage ribbons won!

As I walked to the front door, I observed a wall kiosk filled with
memorabilia that evoked good times past.  The reality was amazing
and made me feel I was in a student meeting spot where other students
post messages, including rides shared to and from destinations common.

Yes, what you see is more attention to the detail that awaited me.
S&H Green Stamps????  As some of you may recall, big in the 50's
and I used to lick them and put them in my mom's collector books for redemption!

Academia was forefront in this store packed shop.  Old worn leather footballs,
baseballs, college pennants, trophy cups and portraiture continued to evoke
memories of classes on a college campus.  Old books, yearbooks and classroom
furniture touched every fabulous display.

While much of the content of this shop was of a masculine but preppy
 bent, there was also a bit of femininity as well. . . .even some great dishes with
a pink design, once retired by Homer Laughlin China Company, had been
brought back to life and in production once again for YEARBOOK.  They recently
received a new shipment from this company, so perfect for the Fall football season . .
the owners had designed this grouping. 

The pattern . . . . KICKOFF

Glasses were peppered throughout the displays and while not vintage and only a reproduction, they were a perfect fit to those "old" vintage plates that had been
reborn as well.

Vintage treasures were stacked creatively up the walls and down the aisles.  I felt like I was back in college and on a weekend trip at Harvard.  The objects reflected an academic past with vintage rulers, globes, pennants and banners, pillows, desks, typewriters and lanterns that were reminiscent of years gone by.       The atmosphere was warm and friendly as was the gentleman that welcomed me into the shop. His name is Chris and had answers for many of the questions I had.  He would be pleased to meet and greet you and is always  ready and able to assist you with a vintage need or want.    He was kind and very sharing of the many questions I asked.  Was  the owner in?  Yes, but he was in a meeting. . . . .soon to be over!

Yes, we did meet and this blog was born because of their brainchild, YEARBOOK.  Jef Anderson and his partner, Noel Eberline created a  shop that is both unique and full of warmth and style.  A first class vintage look at academia as many of us knew it way back when?????  If you enjoy that wonderful vintage look this shop is sure to please.  After store hours, they even have  Study Hall in which they create special events.  Jef is an interior
designer and very often these STUDY HALL events will help you create a layered vintage
atmosphere of your own.

A few vignettes from YEARBOOK . . .

YEARBOOK is a promise of an entertaining venue.  So much to fall in love
with, buy and enjoy.  You won't want to miss their lifetime collections gone retail!!

and by the way

do tell them Mary Anne sent you!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Quite a few years back, on one of my trips to Paris while visiting the Paris gift show, I came across a booth that was wild in creativity and design.  The one thing that really drew my eye were these French flower tubes.  They were a little pricey, but I kept the literature on them none-the-less, as I used to do if I didn't write a sale right then and there.  It wasn't until a few years later that I was in NYC and found them at the Tachashimya Store, which I believe was on 5th Avenue at the time.  Their flower department was always full of wonderful ideas.  As my eyes rapidly searched the floral department, lo and behold, there were the French flower tubes. . . . filled!!  Yes, I paid retail and was so excited with my purchase.  It was one of most clever displays of floral I had seen in a long time and furthermore, I knew I could create my own little floral arrangements in these clever tubes that had so much flexability, literally!

Spring Tulips

When we did the kitchen addition, I had a mirror installed under
the cabinets and in front of the sink.  The flowers in the flower tubes
just double with their reflection. 

Flower tubes . . . bunched

Pink and orange


The Christmas season

More tulips

This morning I wandered through a heat soaked garden and while
there was not much color left in our garden,  I picked various shades
of green and white. . . . . the Astromarias are from Whole Foods.

Love the touch of gray with the Dusty Miller

As you can see, the possibilities are endless from the humble
beginnings of these little tubes.

Have a wonderful summer day. . . . . . fall is just around the corner!