could it be obsession?

Is it unhealthy that, as le husband and I were watching "The Holiday" (which we both loved, btw) I was completely making notes of clothes I loved and items I want to knit? I think I like this scarf, or at least the concept if not the colorway, and I know I love the sweater. Diaz has some fabulous clothes...that white coat she wears when she visits Graham and the girls? And her dress in the last scene? Fabulous, all.
want to make this scarf?

want to make this sweater

random thoughts

Newsflash: Carmex is heaven in a little cute round pot. For 96 cents. You should try it.
Don't even think about trying to knit lace while watching "24." It just doesn't work. You unknit more than you knit.
Season 5 of 24 is veryvery good. In the space of about 1 minute of the finale I was squealing "I hate this show" and throwing things at the screen, but at the next plot twist I was once again happy and knitting away (at non-lace).
When it comes to my usual obsession of watching all the movies by a particular actor, my husband much prefers Keifer Sutherland to Clive Owen.
I think that Children of Men, Clive Owen's latest, is going to open near here in a few weeks. I'm very happy that LibraryFriend and I will finally get to go see it. (She's a fellow Clive Owen fan, even without having seen the BMW movies.)
Enough randomness.


I have found it!

The garland I've been trying to find for holiday seasons! Well, I finally gave in and strung my own, but at this price I might pick up a couple for next year. Sixty inches long, though? That means I'd need at least three, and I'm not sure I want to spend quite that much. Anyway, it's pretty.
$11.99 at Pottery Barn (down from $24)

things I like despite my sniffly nose


not important, really

But I want to make some of these before next Christmas, and this page inspires me just by looking at it.

just in time to write thankyou notes

A couple of weeks ago one of le sisters wanted suggestions on where to find charming cards. (She forgot to mention affordable, so some of these are a little pricey, but so enchanting!) I love the oxymoron cards and the artichoke cards; I might need to buy some of those.


that touch of pink

almost back, but not quite

I survived Christmas.
As Christmases go, it wasn't really bad. It was actually quite good. I'm just rather exhausted from all the goodness and my apartment has yet to recover.
Le husband and I shot a wedding (my first with digital!) on Saturday evening. I'm happy with what I've seen of the pictures; his are quite good. He shoots the way I wish I did--very photojournalistic-y, where I depend more on posing even though I don't really want to. Oh, well, I'll post some when they're edited.
Christmas Eve was, of course, a full day. We had the family and some friends over after the evening service, and I was racing around worrying that I wouldn't have enough food. Which was dumb, because I had to bring two huge plates of cookies to work today. (And we left the cheesecake with the inlaws.)
I've been told that I'm impossibly hard to shop for! This has caused quite a crisis with myself. Am I TOO picky? But I find the accusation slightly hilarious, seeing as you can pretty much give me anything old and I LOVE it.
I'm wearing my Christmas boots (which are veryvery hot) and therefore life is good.


not exactly skinny jeans

that whole hunched shoulder thing DOES make one's waist look longer and thinner I've been loving the skinny jeans look, but couldn't find any that worked on me. So today when I folded the lower legs of my bootcuts inside my tall boots? I was pretty sure I was the hottest thing walking.
green vintage jacket: thrifted
white collared shirt: thrifted
black tank (worn to keep the shirt tucked in and to add another layer of warmth): Gadzooks
jeans: gap
boots: ebay


revenge of the wide-legged pants

Don't get me wrong--I love the look of skinny jeans. They're so sleek, so fresh, so Audrey. However, if, like me, you're endowed with any sort of weight on the lower end of the torso, they can be exceedingly difficult to wear. Which is why I'm glad that wide-legged pants are returning.

From left: Dries Van Noten, Emmanuel Ungaro, Hussein Chalayan, Chloe
I love the ease, the classic grace, and the fact that there's absolutely nothing hipster about them (yet). The tricky bit comes when I try to find them in my price range. So far, besides the ever-faithful Ebay, I've found a couple of pairs on Ann Taylor Loft. (I really like the look of those jeans.) I also love these sailor pants from JCrew; fitted in all the right places, but with no pretensions of skinniness. The key to wearing widelegs in the real world, of course, is balancing volume. In the above picture from Dries, I like the idea of wearing a narrow jacket with the full trousers; I think I would have shrunken that blazer even more. I love the bolero from Ungaro. Feminine, striking, beautiful--you can't ask for more. Not as enamored with the cropped trousers from Chloe, except for the fact that it's balanced with a really sexy shoe and feminine blouse. Although I think only Gemma coule pull off that much volume.

photos that I think are lovely

Click for more info.

menu for Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve church service starts at 5:00, so everyone will be hungry afterward. However, I have no intention of cooking and serving a big meal. I decided to go with lots of tasty nibbles that are mostly fingerable to minimize cleanup. I also wanted things to be easy and mostly prepared ahead of time so I don't have to stress. We'll spend the evening watching Christmas movies, playing games, and doing whatever else strikes our fancy.
- Warm bacon and cheese dip (this was a big hit at Thanksgiving, and it's so easy)
- Crackers
- Meatballs (these can go in the electric skillet that I forgot I owned)
- Pizza Rolls (not too classy, but yummy and easy, and I know the kids will like them)
- Veggie tray (token nod to health)
- chips and salsa
- cheesecake
- baklava
- pecan crescents?
- fudge
- Heaggy's chocolate
- any other sweet things I feel like making
- eggnog
- coffee
- hot chocolate with chocolate whipped cream and mini marshmallows


things I'm looking at today

no excuse, none whatsoever

I really have no idea where I was yesterday. It was one of those days in which I felt zero creativity, despite a SnB meeting and much photo editing. So today le husband and I decided that we're having the family over on Christmas Eve to watch Christmas movies and generally have fun, and now I'm all excited about planning for that. It will be interesting to see how the scheduling works out; we are shooting a wedding Saturday afternoon/evening, so a large chunk of my weekend is gone. I think I'm going to rely, once again, on my trusty crockpot. And maybe make some apple strudel? We're certainly drinking hot chocolate, maybe eating popcorn, and I guess I'll actually make some Christmas cookies. Hooray!


she's a linkagefreak! linkagefreak!

Um, yeah, so my sister kind of got "superfreak" stuck in my head this morning, and there it will stay until I've used up every possible permutation of it, I'm sure.

she's a knitting freak! knitting freak!

The two latest additions to the Christmas present pile. The top one is a Firefly hat for le husband's cousin; the bottom one is for my father.
a cunning hat!
so devilish

currently addicted to:

Neutrogena Instant Nail Enhancer. I think I picked it up because it came with some lip moisturizer or something, but I'm a convert. The product is clear; you spread it on your nails to give them a healthy shine. It claims to reduce peeling.
Well, I didn't much believe that claim (you wouldn't believe how many anti-peeling products I've tried) but I figured it was worth a spin. It's worth. Previously, no matter how careful I was with my nails, they would peel and split horribly. I couldn't grow them past the tip of my finger. Now they've stopped peeling and they're long and strong. (And I don't have to paint them to make them look acceptable.) And applying this stuff is the only change I've made: no dietary changes or new vitamins.
I know I sound like an infomercial, but I'm really loving this stuff. Check it out.
$6.49 at drugstore.com (but I got mine at Target)

what she wore on Saturday, to the great commentations of her coworkers

judy jetson as a dominatrix One person told me I looked like Judy Jetson as a dominatrix. Which I find exceedingly hilarious.
black silk turtleneck: thrifted
vintage paisley dress: thrifted
stretchy black belt: thrifted
black capris (tucked into boots): thrifted
black banana republic boots: ebay


how to cover icky har, a guest appearance

Pageant Barbie spent the day studying and hadn't planned on going out. So when oportunity knocked, it took some quick thinking to cover up fuzzy yuckiness and turn it into an asset. I love the way she's turbanized this scarf; turbans are so classic. (Hey! They were worn by both Dolly Madison and Jackie Kennedy.) I also love the touch of wearing just one earring. I think this whole look is very Baltic Princess.
le scarf le scarf, side view

little bits of things


why I haven't been around much lately

Working on their dresses took up all my spare time, and today was hair and makeup day. Click for more photos.
never were there such devoted sisters


somehow I've been wearing a lot of red

not quite christmassy This outfit was verging on boring, so I added the scarf. Rather than wearing it as a headband, like I normally would, I tied it around my waist over my cardi. I actually like how it turned out. I think it would have helped if I'd added some jewelry to this look; maybe a long pendant? I need to work on the jewelry thing. I also think I need some tights; those pale legs are killing me.
black tshirt: gap
black cardi: thrifted
vintage silk carf: thrifted
vintage red skirt: thrifted
black ballet flats: department store



image via allposters
Wouldn't these look lovely, framed, next to each other?

on my list to tackle in 2007

  • Sew my vogue patterns: sheath and jacket outfit; vintage coat; vintage sundress; roland mouret knockoff.
  • Remake my current bag in grey felt. Or make a more awesome tote that can handle all the abuse I give it daily.
  • experiment with knitting cut-up plastic shopping bags
  • make circle paintings
  • recover living-room throw pillows
  • knit the belle epoque sweater from knitty
  • try knitting lace
  • experiment with screen printing
  • learn about bookbinding; wouldn't it be fun to make tiny books with recycled paper pages and covers from cereal boxes?
  • knit a pair of socks
  • edit my wardrobe and get rid of the things I don't really like
  • learn to wear only clothes I love
  • organize my bookshelves
  • experiment with "pop art" paintings
  • write my cousin (who lives only an hour away)

I'll add to this list as it grows. And cross things off when they're done.


just jumped onto the "must try this" list

Rings artwork. They call it "a sophisticated collage." I call it "a bunch of rings in different colors painted on a 16 inch square canvas." I want to try this after the holidays--I've been wanting to do something in pink and chocolate for the lovely bathroom, and I can't see this being terribly difficult. Either I make myself stencils or I use a compass to trace circles, but it should be a fun, lovely way to cover the walls.

sugar and spice and everything nice

So sorry I haven't had any outfit photos lately; the days when I've had a good outfit, I haven't time to take a picture. The rest of the time it's just been boringness. On the bright side, Christmas preparations are drawing to a close. Finished one formal last night; it looks lovely. Cut out the other, so I can spend all this evening sewing madly. But enough about me; enjoy some of the lovelies I've encountered today.
  • Are these booties not the cutest things ever? And how easy would they be to make? After Christmas I'll have to try putting some together--talk about awesome shower gift! (Wouldn't a parent love to have four or five pairs of these in a rainbow of colors?) It would also be fun to make your own felt out of thrifted sweaters and then sew it into booties.
  • Does this qualify as subversive knitting? If not, it's most certainly scary.
  • These are really pretty, but too pricey for me to reconsider my current Christmas cardless status. (What can I say? I'm cheap.)
  • Hmmmm. Maybe I need to give embroidery another try?
  • I've linked to her before, but I think I'm going to be doing some copying. Specifically of the lights in a jar (I'd forgotten about that!) and the origami balloons. Love it!
  • Someone linked to this site today, and I'm absolutely enthralled with the picture on ehr front page. I love the way she used the same image (a pink rabbit!) three times in different sizes. I also love the color of the light.


never too much

walking down the hall today, realizing the amazing frequency with which I wear black tights and the consequent shortage of them in my drawer, I started thinking of things I never have too many of. In no particular order:
  • black tights
  • gloves
  • black pumps
  • sharpies
  • blank books
  • black and white photos
  • random teacups
  • white tshirts
  • cashmere sweaters
  • scotch tape
  • scissors (we own about 6 pair and I can usually only find one)
  • bobby pins
  • power strips
  • old books

I'm so grateful to live with such abundance. What are your "never too manys"?

inspiring me

Princess Philo. I ran across her once or twice before, but somehow it was when I saw her flickrstream that I was enthralled. The purses! The sewing! She doesn't have many pictures, but I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next. (PS- I wish I had that kind of tailoring skill.)

war against the machine

I was not planning on sending Christmas cards this year. I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind them, and I didn't need another thing on my list, especially a thing that, to me, seems pointless. Ok, if I had kids and people wanted to see how they'd grown every year, I could understand it. But I don't have kids. And people don't want to see how I've grown. And you already KNOW that I love you, and if you don't, a Christmas card isn't really going to change that. So. No Christmas cards for me.
That was my firm stance...until the cards started flowing in. At church, in the mail, handed to me. All these cute cards, many of them with a charming picture of the couple or family, some handmade. And the guilt began. I asked le husband if we should make cards, and he conceded that it would be nice.
Now you have to understand that I have a very annoying habit of not doing things halfway. If I can't drive a Porsche 911, I'll be perfectly happy with my Buick. If I can't give the perfect gift, I'll give a giftcard before I hand someone a basket from Bath & Body (the ultimate "I had no freaking clue what to give you" gift.) None of this "trying to be cool and not quite making it" business. So if I gave Christmas cards, I was going to LOVE them. No WalMart specials for me! (Unless WalMart miraculously had cute cards.)
Understand: I have a 1 1/2 formals to finish by Friday, and two skirts to make by Christmas. (The knitting is done! Hooray!) So I was looking for simple card ideas. Maybe a cool picture on a card with a simple message inside? Hmmm....maybe a Christmassy sort of scene or something, in black and white. (Black and white = instant art.) There was no way I was going to try a "cute couple" shot because a) my roots need help right now b) that would be a real pain.
Suddenly, inspiration struck. We could use this image and find a stamp that says "let heaven and nature sing." Simple, hilarious, perfect, right?
Until I started editing the photo and figuring out the logistics. "Le husband, if I upload the picture tonight, you can pick it up tomorrow when you get off work. I'll run to the craft store and get the other supplies, and we can assemble them tomorrow night. And then we can address them this week, and then....why are we doing this again?"
So it's very longwinded, but I've come back around to my original opinion.
Depsite the guilt, despite the Christmas cards pouring in from every side, we're not sending any this year.

But next year? I've got a GREAT idea...




And now I'm going to go home and watch Christmas movies and maybe, if we're lucky, post some pictures that my husband took yesterday. But don't hold your breath. Have a good weekend, my friends!

more wrapping paper

Le sister mentioned that she's looking for wrapping paper, so I went searching for some more sources. I really love the first and last ones.
typefaces geekiness guy wrap little birds
camo silver embossing personalized pirates!


today I love

  • white Christmas trees. I've been seeing them around and doubting my ability to give up on greenery, but these pictures may have convinced me. Unfortunately, white trees don't come with that fresh greenery smell...
  • this hat. It's wicked cool.
  • gift wrapping! Apartment Therapy led it off, but then style court mentioned her wrapping (which is lovely) and linked to some cool ideas. Those ideas, while expensive, might be worth copying if you're not a good present wrapper. On my own part, I read some time ago about simplifying gift wrapping by only keeping three colors of paper on hand: they suggested silver, red, and brown. You then vary the ribbons and trim to suit the occasion. So far I've only managed to purchase the white paper part, but it works well and I love looking at all my white packages, so tidy and prettily tied up with red or silver ribbon.
  • Absolutely Beautiful Things. Her blog title pretty much sums it up.

rescuing scary Christmas tins::tutorial

The Christmas tag project was a bit of a favorite, so in the middle of last night's spray painting (without proper ventilation!) I decided that I needed to take pictures of this one, too.
An explanation: one of my stepbrothers is getting a very cool tshirt for Christmas (hooray Threadless $10 sales!) but I wanted to make the presentation a bit special. For some reason I started fiddling about with a tin I had stuck in my "random stuff" storage, and decided that if the hideous red and green candies deisgn could be covered, it would be the perfect size to stash a tshirt, and later to store random boyish things. I decided on the skull motif because it's easy to do and cannot be construed as feminine at all.
To start, I painted the tin metallic silver all over. Note my exquisite painting setup: I've discovered that trash bags are more flexible for covering surfaces than newspaper. You have to be careful, though, that it doesn't "bubble up" around the bottom edge of whatever you're painting.

step one

Next I cut the stencils. I just sort of freehanded it until it looked right. The crossbones were easy to do: I folded the paper in half and did a "v" with knobby ends. Voila! Crossbones! The universal symbol for "keep away!" (13-year-olds love that concept.)

step two

To attach the stencils, I smeared the back of the paper with rubber cement and let it dry to the tacky stage, then rubbed them onto the tin.

step three

After that it was simple to paint on a couple of thin coats of black, let dry, and peel off the stencils. I purposely didn't apply a very heavy coat because I wanted more of a roughly done look. Mr. Skully looks highly displeased in the picture below; I don't think he likes the pink kitchen. Anyway, he's ready to be filled with cottony goodness. (Note: there's another crossbones on the back that doesn't show in any of the pictures.)