I’ve moved!

August 20, 2011

Tawdry Swank is my new blog that continues the content found on Bowling Trophy – including the Record Cover of the Week and Thrift Item of the Moment. Bowling Trophy will continue as an archive but won’t be updated.


Give A Little Whistle

August 12, 2011

These two beer company vehicles have been parking on my street lately:

A 1964 Jeep Wagoneer called “Grande Verde”

and a Dodge Challenger – don’t know what year or what it’s called because there isn’t a webpage for it on the Steam Whistle site.

I’m not so keen on muscle cars but I love the Jeep wagon. I’m keeping my eye out for the driver. If you trap him, he has to bribe you to set him free with cases of beer (or am I thinking of leprechauns?)

Steam Whistle has a whole fleet of vintage vehicles.

A cautionary note: Just this moment I watched the Challenger get ticketed for parking too close to a fire hydrant. If you’re coming to Old Strathcona for the Fringe, be careful where you park! The parking patrol is on duty ALL THE TIME, including evenings and weekends. And for heaven’s sake, don’t block my driveway!

Happy 144!

I’ve been doing a little cleaning and redecorating around the house lately. I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been up to. Here’s a little virtual tour of my home paradise (click on the photos to enlarge).

Once inside the front door (boots off in the vestibule, please), our tour begins in the living room.

This is the kind of room a man likes: the leather sofa is deep and well-proportioned, the club chair is upholstered in a stylized print. There is a capacious cocktail table sized to hold an ashtray (purely ornamental, of course), books and decorative objects, yet still leave space to put down your scotch and soda. Let’s move on to the dining room, shall we?

The striking red table was a simple do-it-myself project; the top is a door covered with vinyl-coated red fabric, supported by twin sawhorses laquered white. Bentwood chairs are trim, attractive companions. A festive party mood is established by colorful settings and that mylar kite thingy. Note the fascinating exposed-bulb table lamps and rainbow patterned area rug.

Next I’ll show you the “family” room.

England swings like a pendulum do! The dear old Union Jack was my inspiriation for the colour (note the British spelling) scheme of this darling den. Those campaign chests on either side of the white vinyl sofa are file cabinets I painted red! You see, anyone can decorate in high style for a pittance.

Once we’ve enjoyed our fondue snack, let’s visit the master bedroom.

Sinuous monotone paisley upholsters the entire bedroom. The result is a pleasing mélange of fluid shapes within a limited but potent color scheme. Even the chest and shelf are wrapped in pattern. Miniature palm leaves adorn the bed covers, interrupted by a bold assortment of fur-like scatter pillows.

Let’s go next door to the guest bedroom.

See the subtle differences in design and tone of the bedstead, case pieces and wooden chair? My aim in selecting furniture for this delightful bedroom was to blend, rather than to match. The catalyst that pulls everything together, of course, is the boldly patterned fabric imaginatively echoed on the bedspread, round table skirt and wall treatment.

Now if you can tear yourself away, let’s go down the hall to the music room.

Ah, music! One of the great pleasures of my life, whether it be listening to records on my component stereo system, or playing a jaunty sonata on the piano. The carpeting on the wall helps to absorb the sound and keeps my neighbors from complaining when I become a little too spirited during cello practice! I also use this room as an editing suite for my latest film project (an epic in super-8).

When my guests stay overnight, they’re delighted to be put up in this calm and restful room. The houndstooth pattern on the bed and vanity/storage unit is self-adhesive vinyl (that’s Mac-Tac® to you), one of the twentieth century’s boons to the creative and budget-conscious decorator.

Are you as hungry as I am? Let’s visit the kitchen.

Ah, the kitchen, my favourite room. Everyone seems to end up here during parties, don’t they? And why not? I’ve made it so inviting and cheery. As you can see, I had some wall covering left over when I did the walls, so I made cannisters to match. And my clever use of outdoor furniture heightens the space and displays my decorating ingenuity.

The bathroom? Down the hall and to the left.

Brown shag carpeting in the bathroom – how delightfully decadent, don’t you think? And the bidet adds a soupçon of European sophistication.

What are you doing in there for so long? Hurry up, I want to show you the hobby room.

My home hobby centre is really designed for action and involvement. Look at the number of projects I have on the go: découpage, finger painting, grilling hot dogs on my indoor hibachi. Where do I find the time? The focal point of this truly imaginative room is the storage system in which hobby equipment is stashed away in ice cream containers stapled to the wall.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking when I decorated this room.

Go grab your shoes, I want to show you what I’ve done in the garage.

It’s more than just a building to keep my Karman Ghia out of the rain. When out-of-town relatives invade en masse, this is where I put them! Oh, it’s not as beastly as it sounds – comfy bunkbeds and indoor/outdoor carpeting make it almost as liveable as the house, and that rotating disco ball mounted on the ceiling makes it a favorite party room for the young folk.

Well, that’s the tour. What do you think of my little place?

Here’s another T word to add to Trains & Tikis: Tile. There seems to be vintage tile everywhere you look in Vancouver:

Outside the former B.C. Hydro building (now a luxury condo).

Around the corner, this tile covered bank:

Star Tile on East Hastings Street, entirely covered in tile.

In my hotel room:

(not vintage, I think, but vintage look).

Separated at Birth?

February 7, 2011

Joey Heatherton (left), Justin B.

Suggested by Stinky’s comment to the last post.

Zebra Car

January 30, 2011

Spotted (striped?) this car on the way to brunch last Sunday.

Zebra upholstery, zebra steering wheel, zebra dashboard, zebra toy hanging from windshield. My sister, who has zebra everything in her house, covets this ride.

Canadian Gothic

December 16, 2010

Portrait of my parents (click to enlarge)

Wordsmith is an online game similar to Boggle, but invented by the devil. That must be why I get a score of 666 more often than is statistically likely. You form words of three to seven letters by clicking on Scrabble-like tiles. The game only allows words that are in its dictionary. I’m not sure what dictionary they’re using, but some of the words it allows make my Scrabble playing friends apoplectic. Here are some of the more questionable words I’ve played (none of which are recognized by WordPress’ spellchecker):


On the other hand, it didn’t allow these words I tried to play that I think are perfectly lovely:


Here are some excellent words I’ve played that were worth mega points:


I’m not going to provide a link. If you want to waste your life on this addictive game, you’re on your own.

Almost Summer

May 30, 2010