Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Verry Merry Blog-o-versery to me!

        Today is Black Cat Lies' 1st Blog-o-versery! I had originally planned to  start this blog on July 1st but I just couldn't wait.  My blog has had a slower start than some, due in part to the fact that last year I was sort of getting my feet wet with the whole blogging thing and wasn't sure if I was really ready to give it 100%. But, at the end of last year I decided I did enjoy blogging and am very proud of my blog and how it's evolved in just a year. Even though my blog is still very small I'd also like to thank all my followers. You guys rock, thanks for following! So here's to another year of thrift finds, outfit posts and whatever else floats my boat. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Taliesin Trip Day 2 part 2 and Day 3

     After Taliesin we drove around a little bit and ate Lunch. Then we went back into Richland Center to go to a few thrift stores. One of the few perks of having a hotel in Richland Center instead of Spring Green was that our hotel was near a Goodwill. The Richland Center goodwill was actually a pretty good store. Here's what I got:

1. Donkey/mule/ Horse (?) planter

2. Vintage Floral Print

       After that we went to another Thrift store in downtown Richland Center which was pretty good too but I'm pretty sure they only took cash and I didn't find anything I was willing to try and find a cash machine for. When we were on the way to the downtown Richland Center thrift store we saw a sign for a historic site that my mom remembered was supposed to be kind of cool. so we drove around Richland Center trying to find this warehouse building and gawking at old houses. When we finally decided to turn around a go back to where we saw the sign first we happened upon the building.

       The Building is the A.D. Germen (pronounced Jarmon) warehouse. My mom was convinced it was a Wright building so we took out the Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie style in Wisconsin Book and it was. Wright was notorious for having money problems and owed German money. Instead of taking money. Germen agreed to have Wright design him a new Warehouse.

close up of the Mayan inspired concrete blocks.

This was the first building in which Wright utilized his Mayan Revival concrete design. Wright has a bunch of Mayan Revival houses in California that are really cool, they're some of my favorites of his designs. It was a pretty cool building and it was cool to see the beginning of Wrights Mayan Revival designs.

 The building is not currently in use, It seems like it used to be open to tours but no longer is. It is also in a bit of ill repair, though that kind of makes it cooler. It would be kind of interesting to do some urban or I guess rural exploring in there. Hopefully someday soon someone will buy it or use it for something.

        After we gawked at the warehouse we decided to go to La Crosse. We hadn't really planned what to do after Taliesin, but since it was only tuesday and I didn't have to be back to work until Thursday we decided to go to La Crosse, stay there for the night, explore the city Wednesday morning and then go home. So, we drove on a very scenic highway to La Crosse where we searched for a cute motel to stay in. My mom and I are always attracted to old 50's motels so we searched around a bit and decided on a cute motel. It looked cute on the outside but the inside wasn't as cool and retro as we had hoped. It was nice and clean though so we decided to stay.  This hotel proved to contain a few comedies of error. First we had a little mishap with the air conditioning . The first room we stayed in the air conditioner didn't work at all and this was during a very hot and humid heatwave where air conditioning was necessary. So we changed rooms and the second rooms air worked but it didn't get real cold like a good air conditioner. By then we were too tired to complain and it was working well enough that we just lived with it. The hotel had been remodeled but it seemed like it had been remodeled cheaply. You could tell the shower had been glued over the previous one and when my mom tried to adjust the shower head it fell off, which wasn't great for my shower after hers.  Anyway despite all that the guy at the front desk was at least friendly and nice. I guess the motel used to be super retro with pink bathrooms and the like but the bathrooms were in such illrepair that they had to re-do them.

         Wednesday morning we checked out, got some breakfast and drove around a bit. With the Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin book we located a few of his houses in La Crosse and looked at them. Then we went to a big antique store that was nice and had some cool stuff. My problem with antique stores is that unless they're very well priced or I find something I'm absolutely in love with (and it's in my price range) I can rarely pull the trigger and buy something. I usually look at all that stuff and think I could get a better price if I found it in a thrift store and then just get overwhelmed by all the stuff in the store. It's almost too much. Anyway after that we did a little thrifting at a salvation army we had passed the day before. That Salvation army was pretty good too. Here's what I got:

1. Siesta Ware Tiki Mugs. I thought these were pretty cool, I like the colors and the Hawaiian-esque details.

2. Fire King Blue Heaven cinderella bowl. For vintage dishes I generally go with pattern & color than brand. I'd seen this pattern before online and knew it wasn't Pyrex but I love it anyway and think it's really cool. So I got it.

3.  Blue Pyrex Divided Dish. My Pyrex/ vintage kitchen wares search has cooled off in recent months, but this divided dish was in such good shape and had such a bold color I had to get it.

         La Crosse was actually a really cute town. It has retained a lot of it's older buildings and is definitely a place I'd go back to. Anyway after thrifting we decided it was time to go home and we drove off into a thunder storm. We got about halfway home before it started to really rain and we had to pull over. Thankfully the rain stopped after awhile and we finally got home. So that was the end of our Taliesin Roadtrip. I'll probably post a couple outfits from the trip on Saturday so watch out for those and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Taliesin Road Trip Day 2 Part one: Four Hours with Frank Lloyd Wright

        Tuesday morning we got up bright and early, checked out of our hotel and ate breakfast. We made a quick stop at the gas station to pick up sun tan lotion and bug spray and we were off. Once we had decided to go to Taliesin we knew we wanted to take the best tour available. The Taliesin people provide 4 different tours of the Taliesin property that range in price from $16.00-80.00 and last from one to four hours. Of course since we didn't really plan on coming back to Taliesin we decided to do the whole shebang and go for the four hour $80.00 (a person) Estate tour. The Estate tour meets at 9:15 at the visitor center and charters a small bus to the Lloyd Jones'
cemetery and chapel.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Taliesin Road Trip Day 1

Our Road Trip Route. G: Minneapolis, B: Madison, C: Spring Green, D: Taliesin, E: Richland Center, F: La Crosse

       Our four day Taliesin road trip actually started Sunday when we drove from Minneapolis to Madison. It was about a 3-4 hour drive and was kind of fun since the road we took is also the road you take to the Wisconsin Dells. In the late 90's when I was around 10 my mom and I went to the Wisconsin Dells on another road trip that was...interesting. The Wisconsin Dells is a weird place. It has a lot of water parks and they're the main attraction but we didn't go to any water parks (I had been to one the year before and my moms not into them) so we explored what else the Wisconsin Dells had to offer. Well, the Dells are kind of dated aside from the water parks. For some reason I remember it feeling dated even when I was a kid. We went to The House on the Rock which is a kind of creepy/cool tourist site near the dells (and Taliesin) which among other things features a giant plastic whale and squid, a collection of crowns, and a carousel in a room surrounded by mannequins with wings afixed to the walls. In other words it's completely bizarre. We also went to some other attractions the only two of which I didn't find kind of lame and dated were a boat tour and a deer park. Anyway it was kind of fun to go down memory lane while driving down to Madison. When we got to Madison it was late so we ate dinner and checked into our hotel. The Taliesin 4 hour estate tour we wanted to take was completely booked for Monday when we called and made reservations, so we signed up for the Tuesday tour and decided to spend Monday in Madison and then drive to Spring Green Monday night. So Monday we got up and drove around Madison. We saw the University of Wisconsin Madison, which is most of Madison, and took a mini driving tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses/buildings in Madison. Most of the Madison Frank Lloyd Wright structures were private homes so we dove by and looked at them for a little while before moving on to the next. I didn't get any pictures of the houses, but honestly a lot of them were hard to see anyway. Frank Lloyd Wright was all about creating architecture that looked like it was organic to it's location, like it sprung up from the earth there, so a few of the houses we actually kind of hidden behind foliage and built into the landscape making them hard to see from the street.
Outside of Monona Terrace

Blurry picture of the inside of Monona Terrace
        We did tour Monona Terrace though, which is actually a modern building that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright did the original design and revisions for the building in 1938 and later years but the building wasn't actually built until 1994 and wasn't finished until 1997, around sixty years after Wrights death. Wright designed it to be a community center and now it's essentially a community/convention center that host different events throughout the year. The building was pretty cool and it wasn't actually that different from the Wright design, although it was updated for the modern needs of Madison. The building was kind of cool to see though it would probably have been a lot more interesting if it had been built in 1938 instead of 1994. Though they stayed pretty true to Wrights original designs there was just something pretty 90's about the space, though the rooftop was pretty cool.
parking lot and view of lake Monona

The rooftop terrace was pretty cool, It was sort of sci-fi-ish with all the orbs.

The terrace also had a cool view of the Wisconsin State Capitol building

Giving you failed outfit post realness. It was super windy on the rooftop so my hair is a mess and I had to hold onto my skirt the whole time. I was trying to keep my skirt down in the photo and it moved from where it should be (where my belt is) to the location it's at in the photo. I'll do outfit posts with my various vacation outfits soon. 
View of the Wisconsin state Capitol
      While in Madison I also had to get some thrifting in. It's always fun to see what other thrift stores in other towns have to offer, so I was excited to go to some in Madison. Luckily our hotel was centrally located near a bunch of Madison thrift stores. We went to three in Madison that were near our hotel and they didn't really yield any great finds. Finally on our way to the third thrift store in a suburb we passed a St. Vincent De Paul Thrift store and that one ended up actually being pretty good. After that we decided to head to Spring Green in preparation for our four hour Taliesin tour the next day.

I have a thing for dilapidated barns

       When we got to Spring Green we ate a cute little drive in diner, calculated how long it would take to get from our hotel in Richland Center to Taliesin and checked into our hotel. If you plan a trip to Taliesin in the future I would recommend getting a hotel in Spring Green. We booked two of our hotel's online before the trip and the only one that showed up on a hotel website was the one we stayed at in Richland Center.

farm on the way to Richland Center.

        When we got there we found out Richland Center is about 30 minutes away from Taliesin while it's only quick hop skip and a jump from any of the hotels in Spring Green. This meant we had to get up early to check out and eat breakfast before we had to meet for our tour at 9:15am. We're not morning people. The hotel we went to in Richland Center also wasn't so great. It was a clean hotel and was actually pretty nice but the guy running it was a little much. There were a whole list of rules he had for his hotel, one of witch was no drinking on the bed. Of course we had to break that one especially since he downgraded our room. Plus there was only one chair in the room so one of us would have had to of sat on the toilet or the ground to actually abide his rule, silly. The guy really just wasn't very hospitable and made you feel like he was your RA and you were in the dorm or something. Anyway in a couple days I'll do Day 2 of our Taliesin road trip so look out for that post!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Accidental Blog Break and Road Trippin'

 Sorry I haven't posted in the last few weeks I've been busy with work and an impromptu road trip to Spring Green, Wisconsin. My mom finished the book Loving Frank a couple weeks ago and we got to talking about Frank Lloyd Wright and his house Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Turns out my mom's vacation and my work schedule worked out so we had 4 days free for a little road trip. We left Sunday and got back yesterday. We had a lot of fun, saw a lot of beautiful houses, learned a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright and his house, got some cool thrift items and didn't get on each others nerves too much. I'll have at least three posts (I think) on the trip up in the coming days including a thrift haul and some outfit posts. I have to admit with everything going on I haven't been keeping up to date with the June photo a day thing but may take the pictures late and post them or just scrap the whole thing, we'll see. Anyway just wanted to check in and tell you guys what's up, I should have some new posts in a few days. Until then enjoy these teaser photos.

Monday, June 11, 2012

June Photo-A-Day weekly roundup

As mentioned before after my initial post I was just too busy/unmotivated to post  a picture to this dear old blog everyday. So I'm gonna do a weekly round up until the end of the month. Since it's my first roundup I decided to add the first photo that I already posted. So here's week one of the June Photo-A-Day challenge:

1. Morning
Oliver in the morning

2. Empty

This is an old 50's cart we got at an Estate Sale a long time ago that my mom is sick of so it's movie up to my room as a temporary pyrex display shelf.
3. On Your Plate

4.  Close Up
Close up of my "Z" shaped birthmark
5. Sign.
Very blurry picture of the Greyhound Bus station sign near my mom's work. I suck at taking non blurry photos with the night setting on my camera. The light thing above it is the top of Target HQ.
6. Hat.
My Panama Ecuadorian Hat. Panama hats are actually from Ecuador. I got this hat in Cuenca, Ecuador  during my semester abroad there a couple years ago. At some point I will wear this in an Outfit post, I'm not much of a hat person.

7. Drink
Pink lemonade in a pink cup

8. Six O'clock
watching a little of the Swedish version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.

9. Your View Today
my backyard

10. Best Bit of Your Weekend
enjoying the nice weather outside