Thursday, April 30, 2009

If you haven't already...

please go to Hermes.com and sign up for their email newsletters. Today's arrived with this lovely picture (how fab are these colors?):

What I love most about these emails are the illustrations - the website has them too. The illustrations are integrated with the product on the site in a very clever way! For the ultimate luxury company, they show an amazing whimsy and humor. I guess one would have to feel such whimsy to fork over $10,000 for a Birkin bag (and don't you think for a second that if I had 10K to throw around that I wouldn't put my name on that waiting list - in Hermes signature orange please - and blue and taupe, oh dear there are visions of Birkins dancing in my head)!

So take a peak at Hermes and see them in a fun way - I mean who doesn't need a $530 beach towel?!? All kidding* aside, they have put together a great site and do wander over to the "world of Hermes" there you can print out, color and assemble your very own Kelly bag (out of regular paper). Fun!

* Oh, I'm not kidding about that Birkin bag thing - I really do need one or five of those :o)

Image from Hermes

I want this!

How do I love Tory Burch's clothes and accessories, let me count the ways.... I am a bonafide Toryaholic, I became one the first time I walked into her NYC store (you know the one on Elizabeth Street - the first one). The minute I entered, I knew I had found my perfect match. I love the patterns, the colors, the everything. Her tunics - everyone woman should own at least one - are amazing, the totes are incredible (used mine as a diaper bag), I could go on and on and on. Yeah, her stuff's a bit pricey, but watch for sales - she has good ones. If I were a richer gal I would practically live in nothing but Tory.

I was checking out the website earlier and ran across what I would consider the perfect Spring to Summer outfit:

Tory Burch's "Venice" Long Caftan and metallic "August" thong. Unfortunately, they are quite pricey, so I will just have to admire from afar. Ah, but I can dream...

Also check out the boutiques - the interiors are so fab! Love you Tory!

Images from ToryBurch.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I want this!

While my daughter was napping today I flipped over to HSN just to see what was on (don't judge me, I don't get out much) and saw them present the following bracelet from the Princess Amanda Collection - not sure who she is, but just go with it.

Really the picture doesn't do it justice, it is a really cool piece (compared to the other questionable pieces shown during the time I was watching). What I love is the detail of the black and white enamel stripes on the sides of the champagne colored hearts.

That unexpected touch is what caught my eye and reminded me of a circus or even Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape phase. Okay, so I'm not going to buy it (at $200, it's not in my budget), but it's a very interesting piece, one that I shall keep tucked away in my brain for inspiration at a later date.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I want this!

I have been pining after this CB2 bookcase for many months. It's super cool and will hold quite a bit of books in a small amount of space. I have a ton of oversize design books that I love to have out for reference and I think this will fit the bill - I'm thinking right beside my desk in my office area will be the perfect place. The only think left to decide is, do I want it in aluminum or orange?
Both images from CB2

Favorite Finds



I picked up this nifty little salad-sized plate at an antiques store in Greensboro, NC (where I'm from). I almost walked away from it, but I'm so glad I didn't. I love the orange and the blue as well as the great island theme! It proudly sits on my desk holding my lip balm and a small tube of hand cream. Love it!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I want this!

I've been sniffing around Etsy for a while and discovering some very lovely things. (I found out about this seller from a post from one of my favorite blogs, Layers of Meaning.) I've mentioned before about how much I love collecting interesting Scottie dog items and this fits the bill.
You can find it here. So cute!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On the subject of magazines...

I was thinking earlier this week about my magazine situation. I used to get a ton of magazines, everything from National Geographic to Vogue (my husband used to joke about me being a tree killer - hey I recycled them). I love magazines, they contain great snippets of information and photography. You can pick up and put them down and not worry about coming back and having to catch up. But lately it seems that my monthly intake has decreased dramatically. Some of this has to do with a bunch of beloved titles being shut down and some has to do with general cutting back of expenses. And after June of this year (when a lot of my subscriptions run out) I'll be down to only 9 a month, shocking considering that I currently receive 18 a month (which is still down from my height of 25+). I'm still reeling from Domino folding - that was a cherished friend in a sea of sometimes intimidating shelter publications. I've heard rumors of Allure's demise (hope that stays just a rumor). Blueprint, Cottage Living, and O at Home - all gone. For a while there, it seemed like every month I was getting that dreaded little white card in the mail saying that so-and-so magazine was ceasing publication. Sigh.

What's a magazine junkie like me to do? Well, more and more I'm finding my fix from blogs, different ones (listed on the right hand side of my blog) covering different subjects, but still satisfying my need for snippets of useful information and beautiful images. I can access them anytime and in most cases I can leave my own two cents and feel very much a part of something.

I think by this time next year I will have edited my monthly magazine intake to the following titles:
Vogue
Harper's Bazaar
InStyle
Allure
Lucky
People Stylewatch
Real Simple
Fast Company

I may add in either National Geographic (for images that knock my socks off) or Our State (a favorite because it keeps me in touch with home). Other than that, that's it. Quite a difference from 5 years ago. How times have changed...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inspiration notebooks

I'm going to address (finally) my inspiration notebooks that I keep. I refer to them in a couple of posts, and they really are the backbone of my image collecting. I started pulling images out of magazines years and years ago (try 20+ years ago - eek!). I'm not one to keep a whole magazine for one thing, so I pull out what I want and toss/recycle the rest. However, as the images started stacking up and things were getting lost and/or ruined I took action by taking said images and putting them in sheet protectors and then further filing them by category. Since my first love is fashion, most of my categories are designers, with some interior and color inspiration mixed in. What started as a little habit has turned into a massive collection - 37 notebooks in all with 16 different categories/subjects. And it keeps growing. I did a major purge early last year and got rid of a bunch of images and some subjects entirely, then tidied up what was left. Here is a quick snapshot of some of the notebooks on the shelves (they aren't usually kept this way - they are usually in my office, but with our house on the market they had to be out of the way).

And that's just some of them. Here are a few examples of what the insides look like - these pictures are from my Misc. Inspiration notebook (I could have scanned them, but hey I got lazy about pulling out the scanner - again stashed away to reduce clutter):
And that's just a few pages from one notebook! These are sort of a chronicle of what I've found interesting and archive-worthy over all these years. I love getting them out and taking a trip down memory lane. It's really a good tool to track what catches your eye or what is inspirational, you begin to see trends. Through these I've learned about what makes me tick design-wise. There are a lot of feelings in those books. I also learned during my massive purge, what things didn't stand the test of time. But I also ran across some images that have not only stood the test of time, but still amaze me (an ad for Yves Saint Laurent shoes with bows on them that I had pulled when I was a junior in High School comes to mind). I sometimes wonder what I will do with these books when all is said and done, who will want them. I'm not sure, but for now I will keep adding and sometimes subtracting. More and more my images are coming from the Internet and I'm filing them away there too. So my notebooks aren't growing as quickly as they used to. I wish I had been better about documenting what year and magazine some images were pulled from, but honestly I had no idea all those years ago that I would be still at it, I'm getting better about that these days. Hope you enjoyed!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Favorite Finds

I'm gonna double up today because this is fun!


I found this cup - I'm guessing that's what it is because it's not really big at all, it's a little bigger than a shot glass - in an antiques store in Berkeley Springs, WVA. I was attracted to the colors as well as the way the picture is drawn. It's from Denmark and is numbered. I didn't pay much for it at all, but I think it's a really special find. You almost get lost just looking at all the things going on in the drawing. I wonder if it's part of a set or something of that nature. Anyway, it now lives in the master bedroom on the chest of drawers.

Favorite Finds

In the spirit of appreciating what you already own, I'm going to start doing some posts from time to time featuring things that I have that I love. These are things that I didn't just walk into a mass market store and buy, these are things that I've turned up at antique festivals, rummage sales, second hands stores/sites, etc. Things that are unique and make me happy. Things that lived a life before I purchased them. Here's the first:

I purchased these shoes at a second hand site (the same one I got that Manolo Blahnik pillow from). I first saw these Prada shoes in Harper's Bazaar in 1998 on Cameron Diaz (if memory serves) and it was love at first sight. Of course, them being Prada and me being 24, they were waaaay out of my price range. But the memory of them lingered (as did the memory of that entire collection - one of Prada's best in my opinion). Lo and behold, I ran across them on that site a few years later and snapped them up so fast it made my own head spin. They are more spectacular in person, honestly like art. Okay, they look like a pain to wear, but are really quite comfortable, that crazy heel makes them very stable. I don't wear them much, but when I do, people run over and ask me where I got them, are they hard to walk in, do they hurt? They are one of my prized possessions and attest to the genius of Miuccia Prada.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I have it!

I love Nars makeup, his colors, his formulas - all amazing! I've raved about his blushes, now I'm gonna rave about a nail polish color he has called Schiap. It's a lovely bright, blue-based pink - his homage to the great fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli's signature color. I am currently sporting it on my tootsies and am loving how it just brightens everything up (including my mood). If you need a little pick-me-up I highly recommend it!

logo from Nars website, go there and enjoy the beauty!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

House of Pain

I’ve been a little less frequent in my posts lately because we are in the process of selling our house in order to move to a new city for a job transfer. You can imagine how difficult this has and will be right now. My husband has already “moved” and I’m here holding down the fort and going back and forth. We had our first Open House (for realtors only) last Tuesday so I spent most of the weekend and day before cleaning and tidying and just trying to make the place presentable. Tuesday morning, as I was walking through the house doing a final check, I had a very sobering thought – I hate the way my house is decorated; it doesn’t reflect our style in the least – yuk!

Look, I’m a designer, but I’m not an interior designer by any means. People find out I design fabric and they assume, wrongly, that my house must be like something out of a magazine. I have always struggled with visualizing and figuring out how a space should and can look. My Mother is really gifted at this, she can create little vignettes on tabletops and mantles, while I create chaos and confusion. I try so hard and always it’s just a mess and I give up, overwhelmed and frustrated. A good example of this is when we moved into this house. I arranged the furniture in the living room and I thought I did such a good job. It stayed this way for a few months until one weekend my husband, who had evidently been hating the arrangement, took it upon himself to redo the entire room, moving the sofa there, and chairs here and buying new end tables (I couldn’t decide what kind to get, got frustrated and just used wooden TV trays – yeah). When my Mother came back to visit she raved about how the living room looked so much better this way, she said what a good job I did, and I had to point out that my husband did it. (cue the losing game show music – again).

I’ve been thinking and thinking about why I have such issues with this, part of it has to do with being overwhelmed easily with the amount of space and volume and the other part has to be wanting to make things look “perfect”. I want the just right chair or the just right table and if I can’t find it, I just do without or get something to just get me by for a while until I find it – “a while” usually being “forever”. Not to mention that between my husband and I we have a mash up of things from relatives and from our previous single lives that we have to somehow make work together.

So I have made up my mind that when we move into our new house – whenever that will be – I am going to make a herculean effort to make the house more of a reflection of who we are. I want to feel like I can have people over and not make excuses for how the house looks (“Uh, we’re still unpacking and trying to figure out where things should go.” *nervous laughter*). Now if I can talk my husband into this then we’re in business.

In the meantime I will start an inspiration board of images that I would like our house to look like and what would work with our current furniture (sometimes just a small change can make a big difference – new throw pillows for the sofa for example). I’m just going to take it little by little so I don’t get overwhelmed and maybe hunt down a good interior designer to befriend (ha). Wish me luck!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I want this!


I ran across this in a magazine and I just have to have it - an adorable lobster necklace from Erickson Beamon for Target (find it here). I love all things lobster and crab, don't ask why, I don't know, but I have certainly collected quite a few crustacean adorned things in my life. This may explain why I love the TV show Deadliest Catch so much (by the way the season premier is Tuesday 4/14 at 9pm on Discovery)! Shut up and fish!
both pictures from Target.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

10 things I can't live without (at the moment)

A fellow blogger/friend had a post a couple of weeks ago that got me thinking about some things I really like (at the moment - I say this because a month from now it could be different, that's how I roll). I thought I would share:

1. Olay Definity Color Recapture - this is fantastic as a time saver, it's got your UV protection, moisturizer and a touch of foundation all in one. It glides on the skin like a dream. Now if you are looking for coverage more like a regular foundation, then this isn't gonna fit. I would say it's almost like a tinted moisturizer more than anything. It fits my life perfectly right now!

2. Nars blush in Orgasm - Hands down the best color on Earth - a peachy pink with a hint of gold, looks amazing on! His blushes are the best, worth every cent.

3. Vera Bradley backpack - Oh, I fought Vera for a long time. I thought it was dowdy, old lady and just the antithesis of fashion. Until Java Blue came out - gorgeous! I now am an addict. I love my backpack in Peacock and carry it as my purse/diaper bag. Makes life so much easier. (on a side note - the patterns that have come out in the past few seasons are not so good, so I've eased off on my "collecting").

4. TV!!!! - I loooove my TV, it's my BFF! I have a few not to be missed shows as follows:
  • The Real Housewives of NYC (or anywhere) - trashtastic TV, so much so that I wish I had produced it or had something to do with it. LOVE!!!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants - love him so much I did a post about him. A show that is destined to be a classic for years.
  • iCarly - yeah, I watch this tween show for a number of reasons - but the main ones are that it's such a well done sitcom (hard to come by these days), the writing is witty and thoughtful and the acting is very good (the standout being the delightful, you-will-see-her-in-great-things-in-the-future Jennette McCurdy).
  • There are others, but these are the standouts right now - stay tuned, once The Rachel Zoe Project comes back on all bets are off - that is a show that makes me swoon!

5. Style.com - this is my only way to keep up with the fashion shows on my time. They have a great feature where you can create your own lookbooks to organize which looks you want to save for future reference. A great tool for a design/image buff like myself! Don't ask how many lookbooks I have - waaay too many.

6. "The Fear" - song by Lily Allen. Girl is a hot mess, but at least she owns it in this song. Very catchy and sort of sad.

7. LL Bean Boat and Tote bags - these are so useful, not only for travel. They are very good for organization and keeping projects separated. You can monogram accordingly, the colors are great and the prices can't be beat!

8. Dyson vacuum - literally changed my life - this vacuum is AMAZING, it sucks up everything that isn't nailed down. Worth the extra money!

9. Havaianas flip flops - not the crappy $2 pair from the discount store, these are Brazilian made smooshy wonders. There is something so comfy about this flip flop that they are hard to take off. Great colors and patterns. Again, worth the extra money!

10. Last but not least - I have two blogs that I love to read every day:

  • Coco+Kelley - wonderful for design and pretty things, great for inspiration. Makes me very happy!
  • Habitually Chic - another design blog, her posts are thoughtful and fun. She's great!!
Well, that's my top 10 for now. I'll do this every once in a while so you can see what's on my radar. Hope you enjoyed and maybe found something new to try. Cheers!
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