jack & ella paper press giveaway!

by rae on February 12, 2014



February’s giveaway is from the ever-so-talented Jessica Bates of Jack and Ella Paper Press.

Jack and Ella Paper Press is the work of one girl living in Wisconsin who adores all things paper. The goods typically have a clean and organized look about them, are eco-friendly (recycled card stock), with a hint of fun…similar to how we all strive to live our lives.

And Jessica uses a lot of my illustrations on her sweet cards.




Visit Jessica’s etsy store to see all her wares. She does weddings, she does custom work, she does a great kraft look and if you are moving her change of address cards are a must have.

As I said she does custom work. I just had her make me these notecards for me. Love that color combo. Can’t wait to start using them. If you want something custom, just ask.



The Giveaway: The box includes 9 greeting cards (including birthday, youth birthday, anniversary, wedding, engagement congrats, baby congrats, sympathy & thank you), 5 gift tags with envelopes and a 6 pack of thank you postcards. All card stock is printed on 100% recycled heavy weight stock. Valued at $45.

If you would like a chance to win this grand giveaway follow the simple directions below.

1. LIKE my Outside the Line Facebook page so you will be alerted if you win.

2. SHARE the post on Facebook from my Outside the Line page.

3. Leave me a comment that you have SHARED so your name goes in the hat.





I love chairs

by rae on February 4, 2014




some would say I have too many. Or that I can’t have anymore. I disagree because I am always upgrading and getting rid of. (2 chairs, a foot stool and a desk chair await a Spring trip to St. Vinnie’s after a posting on Craigslist.) Our main living space is not large and small mid-century chairs fit the space. They are not visually heavy and have dainty legs which help visually in a smaller space.

The above Bertoia Diamond Chair is a particular favorite. Bertoia said about the chairs: “They are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”

To make these even better they were originally owned by my dear friend Nita. I was once meeting her and another friend in another town for lunch.

Phone call from Nita: Rae I am going to bring you 3 chairs and you will pay me $ ___  for them.

Rae: Oh thanks Nita but I don’t need any chairs.

Nita: You need these.

And she was right. I have 2 of these Diamond chairs and one side chair. I wish I had the upholstered cushions too. I think these came with orange leather ones many years ago.




I recently scored these Thonet chairs at the UWSwap here in Madison. I went to buy one to go with my Dad’s 1950′s desk but there were five and they were all taped together. A kind man was willing to put them in the car for me. (The are oddly heavy.) So I have five, but they are stackable and that works well when we need extra seating. I thought these were 50s chairs because the legs look like the Bertoia. But it has been suggested that they are probably 60s because they are painted red. If anyone knows anything about these I would love it if you would leave a comment.




This is the Eames Molded Plastic Chair from Herman Miller. I almost bought these in lime but instead got blue. Now I sort of wish I had bought either black or white. These are our four dining chairs around a white circular table. Each chair while new is a replica of the original design. Each also comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity. I got these here in Madison at Atomic Interiors. If you haven’t been there drop by for some interesting browsing.




This is my most recent find. I assume this is a knock-off of some kind. The base is metal. Chair part looks like it is fiberglass and the black cushion is attached. I am using it as a desk chair at the moment. I am guessing this is a 50s or 60s chair too. I like it and it goes well with my Techline desk.

If you are counting that does make 12 chairs in a small, but open space. Surprisingly we do not look like a chair showroom.

But good design is good design whether it is old or new. All these chairs feel like pieces of art to me.



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3 great car guys!

by rae on January 27, 2014



Recently I read somewhere that car mechanics rank as the world’s 8th most distrusted profession. That made me think I should share 2 great car repair places that I can highly recommend. And no, I am not being paid to say these nice things.



If you need car repair here in Madison go visit Sean or Tom at Capitol Tire. These are 2 of the nicest car guys I have ever met. They seem to actually feel bad when they give me bad news that my 24 year old Miata needs something else fixed. And I trust them. I always think they have my best interests at heart AND they are creative and willing to work on my old car. I will probably drive this car until they can no longer get parts for it. While I hate to buy a new car apparently I am willing to keep fixing an old one. And thanks to these guys I can.


My other recommendation is Tyler’s Repair on hwy 18 outside of New Hope, WI. He fixes trucks, tractors and more. On New Year’s Eve about 4PM in white out conditions we fell in the category of ‘and more’. Our Outback overheated. We turned towards New Hope, WI until we saw a sign that the population was 183. In Wisconsin that means a church, a bar and a post office. We headed back to the hwy and saw a guy shoveling outside of Tyler’s Repair. It was Tyler and he took us in and did what he could to gets us to our destination. Really nice guy, knowledgeable and helped us even though were were not driving a truck or tractor.

While I do not trust all car mechanics I would say if you are in need of a good mechanic I can endorse these 3!



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winter, hopefully the second half

by rae on January 22, 2014



I really, really hope that Winter is half over. By the calendar it should be, but this year who knows. Sunday we had a rare sort of warmish day and decided to take a walk on the lake. Never fear I would think by now the ice on the lake should be at least 2′ deep.




From in our condo we can see this little forest out on the lake with little ant-like people walking around it. I’ve seen it other years but in a different place on the lake. It appears that someone gathers up old Christmas trees and creates a little forest you can walk around and through. I think of it as an art installation.




There is a little desk and you can take a strip of cloth and write a message and attach it to one of the trees. I think these stay until Spring. We always wonder if they just sink into the lake when it thaws. I guess this year we will find out If you want to wander on out I’d suggest accessing the lake from Morrison Park on Morrison St. on the near East side here in Madison. It is maybe half a mile from the shoreline there.




by rae on January 20, 2014



valentine’s Day is just around the corner. So I thought I would give away 10 “I love you more than bacon!” cards. I am sure you are thinking 10 bacon cards, what would I do with 10? I firmly believe in real mail so I would suggest send all 10 to the 10 people you love most. Your sweetie, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, kids, girlfriends. The list is endless. Or save one for an anniversary or a pick me up for a friend.

Drawing will be this Friday, January 24th.

Two easy steps…

1. “Like” my Facebook page .

2. Then share the Giveaway post.

And check back Friday to see if you are the winner!



2 books and 1 movie

by rae on January 7, 2014

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I won’t even go on about how cold it is in Wisconsin. We know it is cold everywhere. I say stay in and read and watch movies! Here are 2 books by Ruth Ozeki that I just read. And enjoyed both. She has another book that is now on my list.

A teenage girl in Tokyo sees no escape from the bullyingof her classmates, and her sense of isolation is deepened by an unhappy family life. Before she takes her own life, Nao is determined to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who is more than one hundred years old. Nao finds comfort in writing in her diary, addressing an imagined reader and friend.

On the other side of the Pacific, Ruth, a novelist living on a small island off the coast of British Columbia, finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the beach—possibly debris from the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. Inside is Nao’s diary, and Ruth becomes obsessed with finding out how the story ends. – Wikipedia



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Odd name, but another good read.

Jane Takagi-Little is a Japanese American journalist who is hired to work for a Japanese production company. The company works with BEEF-EX to promote the use of American beef in Japan by creating a Japanese television show called “My American Wife.” Jane works as the host and creative producer for the show, on which every week an American wife is shown living “her life” and cooking meat.

Parallel to Jane’s story is the life of Akiko Ueno, a former manga artist who specialized in horror scenes and is reluctantly married to a man working for BEEF-EX. Her husband cares only that Akiko has a baby and forces her to watch “My American Wife” and cook the recipes, believing that it will allow her to conceive. However, as Akiko’s independence and sense of self grows from watching the show and cooking for her husband, her complacent life and relationship with her husband becomes volatile. - Wikipedia


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And then there is this little sleeper movie. We watch a Netflix movie for 10 minutes and move on if it doesn’t hold our attention. It is streamable, give it 10 and see what you think.

In a bungled plot to pay back her husband’s infidelity, a jilted wife finds herself forced to star as King Lear in a spectacularly terrible production, with her husband’s younger lover playing the role of the king’s fool.

Stay in. Stay warm. And soon Winter will be half over. I hope.



grand raspberry trifle

by rae on December 31, 2013



Just finished making this for a party. It is always a hit. It is tasty and pretty too. It is a Martha Stewart recipe. And can be found here.

It says it takes only 20 minutes and I find it takes a bit longer to assemble. I use Sara Lee Pound Cake. If you go looking for it the packaging is now different and the one I found was already sliced. I also beat my whipping cream until it is rather stiff. This can be made 24 hours ahead of time.




it is looking a lot like christmas

by rae on December 23, 2013



Merry Christmas to all! And it does look a lot like Christmas! We are in the midst of our traveling and cooking and all that goes with this holiday. We managed trip one between freezing drizzle and returned to town just as the second round of the same hit. Did our grocery shopping during the 8 or so inches of snow we got. Today I start a few things that can be made ahead.


As we go through the season remember those who are alone, or lonely or sick. This is a hard time for many.


And let it snow…


beauty is embarassing by wayne white

by rae on December 20, 2013

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If you like contemporary art, puppets, Peewee Herman or quirkiness you will probably enjoy this documentary Beauty is Embarrassing by Wayne White.

We watched it on Netflix, it is streamable. They say… Get to know Wayne White, one of America’s most unusual and arresting artists, with this snappy documentary that traces the ups and downs of his career. The jovial White discusses his art, strums the banjo, plays with puppets and simply enjoys life.

Cast: Wayne White, Mimi Pond, Woodrow White, Lulu White, Gary Panter, Mark Mothersbaugh, Ric Heitzman, Billie June White, Willis White, Paul Reubens, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Matt Groening, Todd Oldham, Paul Zaloom
It was a delightful surprise.


2 pbs favorites coming in january!

by rae on December 12, 2013

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Not only is it Winter but it is December. A month of Christmas Specials. Thought I give you some hope with a couple of upcoming PBS favorites!

Return to Downton Abbey – Preview

Savor fond memories from the past three seasons of “Downton Abbey” and get a tantalizing taste of the upcoming fourth season. Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon — a devoted fan of the series — hosts the program, which includes a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creators and cast members, and video clips of favorite moments.

Click here for the preview. And Season 4 Premiers January 5!


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Sherlock Lives Preview

While big fans of Elementary we also enjoy Sherlock. And Season 3 premieres Sunday, January 19 on Masterpiece on PBS, right after Downton Abby! Click here for the Sherlock Lives Preview.

Both shows should be exciting as there were big cliff hanger endings to the last season shows. Mark your calendars!