Beach Bum Berry Review


The cold start to April has been bumming me out so I finally ordered three spring/summer books from Amazon that I've been eyeing all winter. Salads, drinks and more drinks. A sampling from the Simply Salads index: prosciutto wrapped melon slices, thai beef strip marinade with peanut dressing, wild mushroom saute, lobster salad with grapefruit vinaigrette... I'm picturing watching the sunset from my patio on a balmy summer night, finishing off a pitcher of sangria. SIGH. 2 more months of rainy, cool weather to go.

Sippin' Safari book description courtesy of Amazon:

"The new book by the Author of The Grog Log, Intoxica and Taboo Table. Beach Bum Berry as he is better known is America's leading authority on tropical drinks and Polynesian pop-culture. In this all new book, Berry not only offers up tantalizing new drink recipes, but tells stories about some of the most famous figures of their time. The Bum applies the same dogged research to the untold stories of the people behind the drinks. Stories culled from over 100 interviews with those who actually created the mid-century Tiki scene -- people as colorful as the drinks they invented, or served, or simply drank. People like... Leon Lontoc, the Don The Beachcomber's waiter who served Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando by night, and acted in their movies by day..."

Berry discloses once secret recipes from some of the most popular Tiki bartenders of the bygone era. Here's my Tiki-inspired Etsy Treasury (link here) to go with the read...which I recommend for anyone with a soft spot for faux Polynesian kitsch and a sense of humor. The stories are as enjoyable as I hope the drinks will be.

Picture 17


Quilts and A Sound Off

First quilt, auction find. I loved all the 1940s novelty print fabrics they used.


After I bought it, I turned it over and found another quilt on the back:


The pattern is called "Grandmother's Flower Garden." It needs some seam repair but no shattered quilt squares. I'm waiting for a nice warm day to wash these and lay them out in the yard to dry on blankets. I was prepared to go to $50 on this one but somehow I got it for $5.

Yesterday I had another great quilt find at a local thrift store for $8 (pictured below). It's in great shape, I thought it was machine quilted but when I flipped it over I saw all the hand-quilting and the names embroidered on the edge. I think the pattern is called "Tree of Life" or some variation of that. Very pretty-- I love the way they quilted it too!


Third quilt, embroidered bunnies! Ideally I'd like this one in a guest room but until I find a better centerpiece for above the bed, it stays. I think this is circa 1930s/1940s. Ebay splurge for $35.


I also thought I'd throw in some cute ceramics:

$2, little owl dish

$4, handmade ceramic heart dish

A Few Good Reasons to Buy Vintage:

  1. Your money goes back into community programs and local charities through thrift stores instead of the pockets of megacompany CEOs exploiting impoverished people in developing countries with no labor laws or environmental restrictions.
  2. Less in the landfills. Buying vintage not only saves items from going into landfills but it saves the earth from the waste byproduct and subsequent production industry pollution of creating new items.
  3. Investment value. Vintage and antique items retain their value which increases over time.
  4. Furniture was made to last... out of real wood by real craftsmen…a novel concept for the Ikea addict. Items were made from better materials with better manufacturing standards.

If people really knew how most items they purchase were made they would probably feel sick with guilt or foolish at the dirt cheap cost to make the item versus the markup they paid for it. You don't have to sacrifice quality when buying used items. If anything you sacrifice quality when you buy crappy particle board furniture from I*** with a life expectancy of 5 years. And really...you aren't just sacrificing quality, you are destroying the planet--- we don't have enough resources to support this made to break consumer society. I'm in no way implying that you can't buy quality clothing or furniture today. Just saying that we've all collectively lowered our standards for a good shopping bargain but there is no such thing, you get exactly what you paid for, poorly made junk and a worse environment from the production process.

I'm not saying don't shop at Target, Ikea, etc. I'm saying... why not check secondhand resources and artisan shops first.


Tripod Lamp DIY

I haven't posted on here for awhile. I've been sort of overwhelmed with DIY projects but in a good way. A few weeks ago I bought a woodslice that I sanded down and now I'm looking for some hairpin legs to repurpose. I'm currently in the middle of making a tufted cushion for a mid-century cedar chest and finally I came across a vintage wooden telescope tripod I've been searching for on Monday.

Some inspiration:
Ethan Allen $536 . Pottery Barn $299 . Macy's $325

My version:



Total cost: $15 lampshade, $2 vintage telescope tripod, $5 cord = 22.00
(Saved some money by reusing the socket and harp from a lamp I was going to discard). I also added using a hacksaw, pipe cutters and wiring a lamp socket to my skill set. There's a great tutorial online for this too, check out this blog post.