Thursday, December 11, 2008

Alternate Realities # 2

I loved Kar Wai Wong's 2046. I watched it two years ago on my Mac (not ideal, but cozy) while sitting in the glow of fairy lights I had strung on the windows for Christmas. It was such a great escape I watched it twice. Even after two viewings I still don't think I completely took it all in. The cinematography is so gorgeous it's like watching a series of living paintings. I particularly liked the roof scenes which reminded me of those special times when one finds a spot that seems outside of time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bracing For and Hopefully Embracing Winter

I finally just finished racking and bagging the leaves and now the first snow has fallen. It was just flurries but winter has set in. I love the winter sky and the freshness of cold winter air after a snowfall but I miss the light and long days of summer. I'm bracing for the cold and hoping not to get down because of the short days. I'm definitely believe in Seasonal Affective Disorder and am determined not to get down. Here's a list of things I think might help keep lifew bright over the next few months:

  • Put up a Christmas tree (Mame was right, we need a little Christmas right this very moment!)
  • Get a great fake fur throw for snuggling up with a good book
  • Making an inspiration wall
  • Paint my toenails a vivid red or better yet splurge on a pedicure
  • Build a little snow girl for my daughter
  • Feed the deer apples and carrots and fill the bird feeder with seed
  • Find time to draw
  • Send notes to friends via the post
  • Catch up on missed movies (the list is huge)
  • Learn something completely new and outside my normal interests
  • Visit the library and check out a book on an exotic subject or place
  • Plan my garden for spring
  • Finish one of my knitting projects so I have a sense of accomplishment
  • Take on a tough corner of my home and make it happy
  • Take on my abs with the help of the Ab Lounger Pro (on my list to Santa) and win!
  • Put candles in the windows
  • Listen to a new musical genre
  • Keep the Christmas tree up as long as possible which shouldn't be a problem as this year's model was grown by General Electric! Sadly, there is no fir scent but also no skin rash requiring a visit to the dermatologist either.
  • Be unnaturally optimistic despite everything!

Recession Fun # 4: Cat Napping

As the mother of a one year old who is now walking, (Hurray! And which way did she go?), sleep has become one of the most rare commodities and a nap, one of life’s most enjoyable activities. Yes, it is an activity. Ask any cat! There’s an art to it – finding the time, the right spot and balancing between the world of wide-awake and dead to the world. Who hasn’t envied a cat snoozing in a sunspot on the floor or tucked into a deep fold in the blankets. Unless you completely subscribe to a “snooze you loose approach” to life, napping is fun, it’s free and fashionable. The stylish Bästis Krona kitty chaise from Ikea will give you another reason to envy your feline friends. Shouldn’t there be a larger version for the humans of the house?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alternate Realities #1

I'd like to be alone with this work by Takashi Murakami for an hour or so. I think it would lift my spirits or at least make it difficult to feel grumpy about all of the little stuff. I could see myself drifting off to sleep counting the little flower faces. I wonder what one would dream about. Any a little visual escapism would suit me just fine now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Affordable Luxuries # 2: Digging into a Good Book

I found myself getting in a serious reading phase again. It was kicked off by a considerable daily train commute that allowed me to get in a good number of chapters each day. I’m trying to keep it going now that my commute is on hold while I seek gainful employment. Now more than ever slipping into a fictitious world for a half hour or so seems like a real luxury. My fiction of choice right now is from Haruki Murakami. I always love his work. The quirky multi-leveled realities his characters inhabit are neither too saccharine nor too dire, but odd and complex and manage to feel similar to real life even at their most surreal. I just finished “After Dark” and have started “The Elephant Vanishes”. Even better, I swapped books with a fellow Murakami fan. Yeah for sharing and the ever affordable luxury of a good read!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Recession Fun #3: Jumping in Leaf Piles

Well the economy continues to tank and I have joined the ranks of the unemployed, so it seems appropriate to start back with another entry in my Recession Fun (Things That Cost Little or No Money to Do) Series. This past week the trees suddenly lost all their leaves in a matter of two days. As I face racking and bagging them all up, two things come to mind, how much fun it was jumping in leaf piles as a kid and how great it would be to have a leaf blower. Last time I did the yard myself I ended up with forty bags of leaves (thanks in part to three very large trees but also because of neighbors with very large leaf blowers). Lucky for me racking leaves is free too.

This leaf pile was made by Don Davis. Quiet impressive.

Affordable Luxuries #1 - A Great Lipstick

Whether you buy yours at the drug store or in a department store, lipstick is truly an affordable luxury. With designer brands topping $27.00, one could argue the point. But when compared to the price of a designer handbag or shoes, a great lipstick is an indulgence that still counts as a steal. All the better if your favorite color just happens to be of the drug store variety. I’ve decide no matter what the economy throws at us, I’m going to put on my favorite color and face the day with as big a smile as I can muster.

If you’re ready to take on a true red, some of the best include Chanel Coco Red, Shiseido P23 Real Red or Rimmel Alarm. For a softer take on a real red try benefit benetint.

Or if you’re more comfortable with a softer look, consider Lancôme Tempt Me, Chanel Lilac Sky or Clinique Air Kiss Glosswear.

Now pucker up and indulge!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Setting Up Camp at Home

I want to buy a bunch of these porcelain votive candle holders David Weeks Studio designed for Kikkerland and give them as presents this Christmas. I’m going to keep one of the little campfires for myself and set up a little campsite on my work desk. I think having a miniature campfire blazing will make writing or drawing extra cozy this winter. However depending on where the economy is headed the oil barrel might be more appropriate in the months to come. You can check out the clever promotional films for each design- campfire, apres ski, and oil barrel at you tube.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Recession Fun #2: Photo Booth Self Portraits

On my recent trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado I ran into the Lyon Corner Drug & Soda, an old-style pharmacy with an actual soda fountain and shakes, to buy batteries for my digital camera. I didn't have time to indulge in a shake but I spied an old-time B&W photo booth and vowed I'd be back with my friend Susie in tow to get our pictures taken. I was massively disappointed when I went back and found an "Out of Order" sign posted.

It's getting harder and harder to find B&W photo booths. Sadly they are being over taken by lame digital versions that spit out cheap digital prints that look like something you printed from your home computer. So if your lucky enough to stumble upon a true blue B&W photo booth don't hesitate to spring for the $1.50 to $3.00 it costs. You'll have a little piece of history and a worthy souvenir. The hardest part is deciding who gets which shot. There you have it, another idea for having fun with little or no money - Photo booth self- portraits!

The wonderful B&W photo booth images above are from Square America.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Perfect Pumpkin

There's something so satisfying about picking out the perfect pumpkin. Maybe it's because it is a "perfect" that is attainable. My perfect pumpkin is not your perfect pumpkin. It's all about finding the pumpkin that because of color, size, shape or some inexplicable something is just right for you. I was at Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey last weekend dealing with a dead car battery when we should have been taking on the corn maze and a family walked by with a big ungainly green pumpkin in tow. My immediate reaction was a big "What are they thinking? That is the ugliest pumpkin!". But there it was being carefully carted away on their wagon certainly perfect in their eyes. I'm going to post photos of the pumpkin I grew in my garden this summer half by mistake. My pumpkin plant produced only one pumpkin which is fine because it's mine and just perfect I might add.

Encouraging Words

Words to live by! This drawing or "Secret Message of the Day" from Keri Smith cheered me up the other day. I was feeling a bit overcome by bills, the economy and generalized anxiety that seems perfectly suited to these times. I stumbled across this message and remembered, it's all in how we respond! So I slipped out of my dreary mood and put on my rose color glasses for a breather. Thanks Keri for putting out these encouraging words and sharing your work on Wish Jar!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Recession Fun # 1: Things That Cost Little or No Money to Do

I really love this poster Jason Munn created for the If You Could project by London based design studio HudsonBec. The project asks illustrators and designers to create works based on the theme "If you could do anything tomorrow..." Stay in and draw is definitely what I would like to do most any day. And it's basically free! Which makes it my #1 choice for my series Recession Fun. I'll just keep posting ideas for things that cost little or no money while the financial crunch continues. Hopefully there will be no need for a series entitled "Happy Ideas for a Depression"

You can see more of Jason's work at his site The Small Stakes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hot Springs Heaven

After finishing hanging our drawing show at K. Saari Gallery in Steamboat Springs Colorado, my friend Susie and I headed up to Strawberry Park Hot Springs to celebrate. I think this may be one of my all time favorite places. It's well worth braving the four-wheel drive required trip to enjoy a soak in the hot springs. My previous visit was during a cold snap and despite my bottom literally freezing to a chair Strawberry Park was magical in the snow. This visit the weather was definitely tamer and it was actually possible to swim in the river that runs past the hot pools. They now offer Watsu massages and facials in addition to deep tissue massage. Sign me up!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Charmed by Missoni

A detachable charm with solid parfum makes this bracelet from Missoni Profumi extra sweet. You can choose from either red, blue or orange beads. The bracelet which is an affordable indulgence at $50 will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus in September.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Commes des Garcons + H&M = Heaven

I practically floated when I found out that Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons has designed a collection for H&M. I can't wait to see if the clothes are as great in person as they look in photos. The few pieces of Comme des Garcons that I own are timeless and have lasted forever, so the thought of being able to buy some more at H&M prices is irresistible. How is a girl supposed to keep her credit card in her wallet!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

End of Summer Aqua Blues

Less than two weeks left till Labor day which means the pools will be closing and swimmies will be replaced by backpacks. I'm going to miss the aqua blue water, neatly trimmed hedges and hodgepodge of vivid beach towels on the grass. Maybe even the the life guard's whistle followed by "walk" being shouted at some over excited little swimmer on his way to the snack bar.

At the pool the other day we were 50 cents short for an ice cream cone having spent all our cash on French fries. My niece said not to worry, we'd find the money and sure enough we did. Turns out she and her friend figured out that coins fall down into the cracks of the metal picnic tables and get left behind when swimmers head back to the pool. They've been making a point of the checking the tables each day. Turns out it has been a pretty lucrative summer for them. So we did a search and came up with 75 cents. I think the victory made our ice cream taste extra sweet.

The great photo above is by Friendly Made and available at their Etsy shop.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Day for a Sweater

The rain continues and the deep grey of the morning sky is more suited to late evening, which makes me just want to curl up in a cozy sweater and sip hot chocolate. I wish I had the time to start a new knit project (or finish some old ones.) I can’t wait till the knitting decks are clear and I can finally consider a project from one of Kim Hargreaves’ collections. I loved the patterns she created for Rowan over the years and her own site is full of one great sweater after another. Here are two I’d love to make. If you don’t knit or have time to, the site is still a great source of inspiration with lots of great styling details.

Lightning Strikes

Walter De Maria's Lightning Field (pictured above) came to mind yesterday as the skies went wild over New Jersey. It was a truly spectacular light show as over 12,ooo bolts of lightning struck with in a period of just two hours. While it made the commute from New York a nightmare, it was quite beautiful falling asleep to the show outside.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fall on the Mind

Suddenly I'm thinking about Fall approaching and the end of summer. A little sun might help remind me there's plenty of sumer left! In the meantime, I've been going with the autumnal state of mind and checking out what Fall 2008 has in store in terms of clothing. I was quite taken with these outfits from Mayle.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Heart Polaroid

Fingers crossed someone saves Polaroid film. I have two little packs left which I could go through in a few minutes. Here's some great ideas courtesy of Cookie Magazine House Tours if you're lucky enough to have a few packs handy.

The Corn is Up

Drive around the back roads of New Jersey in mid July and suddenly the "Garden State" nickname fits. The corn fields have a simple beauty about them and one is thankful for the condo-free open space. Pulling up to a roadside farm stand and bringing home some Jersey Corn for dinner is the perfect end to a summer day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Curried Herring Anyone?

I was really happy to hear that Create TV will be airing 30 new episodes of New Scandinavian Cooking with Tina Nordstrom. I have no intention of cooking Curried Herring and yet I love watching Tina whip up Swedish fare and the gorgeous country side is not a bad co-star.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Staycation - The Blue Lagoon

I'd love to be basking in the midnight sun of Iceland this summer not to mention the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. Alas the budget does not permit. Last time I was there the Blue Lagoon was still just a small structure with separate shower and dressing areas for men and women. On my list of things to do, check out the suped up version and the rest of Reykjavik. Luckily in the meantime the Blue Lagoon has a lovely line of spa products made with algae, silica, and minerals harvested from the lagoon. Some of my favorites are the Algae & Mineral Body Scrub and the Mineral Intensive Cream.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Save the Mermaids

There's no better way to kick off summer than to grab a couple of Nathan's Famous hot dogs (yes I'll have fries with that) and take in the sights as the Coney Island Mermaid Parade makes its way down Surf Avenue. Hopefully the city will come to its senses and save Coney Island and all of its colorful flora and fauna including the mermaids.

Speaking of things worth saving, the beautiful parade posters above are certainly worth holding onto.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pick Some Flowers & Find the Man of Your Dreams

Well at least catch a glimpse of your future husband. According to Midsummer's Eve lore, women who gather seven different types of flowers on their way home on the day of the summer solstice and place them under their pillow will dream of their future husband. Tempting but easier said than done in NYC. The Organic Type pictured above is a font by Neuarmy and absolutely beautiful.

Black & White Photography

Black & white photos can be just so beautiful. I admired this photo of Jane Birkin and baby Charlotte when I saw it and wished I had a great b&w photo of my little Brigid and I together. Well wish granted! Sort of. My friend Alyssa emailed me this photo she took today. I was about eight months pregnant and I remember it being a beautiful August afternoon. Thanks Alyssa, you made my day. Can't wait for you to take a photo of Brigid and I now that she is out and about!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get Out the Maypole

Time to celebrate the true start of summer. This Saturday marks the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year. So what if you don't have your own Maypole, just get some friends together and celebrate. Elderflower martini's are deliciously festive and may lower your inhibitions just enough to wear a flowered wreath in your hair. You can brush up on Midsummer here.

My very simple Elderflower Martini recipe:

1 oz. Elderflower Syrup (Ikea is a great source.)
3 oz. frozen Vodka (Your favorite brand or just a decent one. The elderflower syrup can hide even a mediocre vodka's flaws.)

Rub a lemon twist around the rim of the glass and garnish.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cool Thoughts, Cooler Art

It takes some creative thinking to stay cool when the temperature hits the mid nineties in NYC and "Who left the oven on?" is the question that comes to mind when you walk out your door. Luckily just looking at photos of Olafur Eliasson's The Waterfalls of New York City makes one feel refreshed. Four waterfalls are scheduled to make their debut around the city beginning June 26th. They may not lower the temperature but should definitely make the city a cooler place. And you can see more of Eliasson's work at PS 1 till the end of June.

Monday, June 9, 2008


While reading this month's issue of Domino on the train today, I was happy to see Häagen-Daz is giving out packets of bee-friendly wildflower seeds as part of it's "Save the Honey Bees" initiative. Now that's sweet. Just send a self-addressed stamped envelope to get your free seeds, start planting and make some bee happy.

Häagen-Daz Save the Honey Bees Program/Domino
50 Francisco Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94133

Sunflower Heaven

In her book Seventh Heaven, Alice Hoffman tells the story of a divorcee who flees the city for 1960's Long Island with her two young boys. Frustrated by the upkeep of the overrun 1/4 acre she inherited from the former owners, she turns her backyard into a sunflower field. While this dismays her neighbors, I love the idea and the book. I'm trying my own sunflower garden this year, albeit a slightly more contained version. Here's a wonderful example of a sunflower garden from Wouter Ten Broek. Check out his sunflower prints if planting seems too much of a hassle.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wild for the Beach

Clearly I have something for animal prints this summer. And since a giraffe print bikini seems a bit intimidating this towel by Rogan for Target looks like a perfect way to indulge my wild side. It will go nicely with my full tummy coverage black tankini, but I also think it would look fantastic with a yellow string bikini. Cheers to the lucky few who can pull off both teeny bikinis and the color yellow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baby (Fat) Bardot

This itty bitty giraffe print bikini by Baby Gap will have you envying the toddlers in the kiddy pool. Let's face it, it's never going to be easier to wear a bikini than between the ages of 6-12 months. Yes, your legs are chubby, your stomach sticks out and you have cellulite but everyone just attributes it to baby fat. Does this bikini make me look fat? Yes and you're adorable!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Speaking of Capri

Ever since watching Goddard's 1963 film Le Mépris (Contempt) Capri has been on the top of my Dream Vacations list. Fear of heights aside, I would love to take in the view of the Gulf of Salerno from the roof of Casa Malaparte.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bathing Beauties

Looking at the Princess Tam Tam swim collection is like a vacation in itself. Here are some great photos and swim suits to inspire beachy day dreams. Capri anyone?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Au revoir spring

Nothing about the cold grey weather the past two weeks has said "spring" let alone "summer". And then suddenly Memorial Day weekend was here, the weather was brilliant, the beaches and pools were open and it felt like summer was truly here. Technically spring isn't over until June 20th but who cares. Au revoir spring, hello bathing suit!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Souvenir de Paris

Granted this precious coin purse from YSL will set you back more than a few centimes but it is definitely cooler and more useful than say a snow globe with the Tour Eiffel inside.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


My annual search begins for the ultimate stripped sailor tee. A hint of what looks like the perfect version can be seen here on Mlle Bardot, looking like perfection herself.