Monthly Archives

June 2009

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How to Look Patriotic, Without Looking Like a Flag

Patriotic Fashion • Little Gold Pixel

Growing up in the landlocked state of Kansas, one of the highlights of my summers as a child was going to The Lake, especially over the Fourth of July. In my memory, it was always 105 degrees, sweat and sunburn going hand-in-hand. My brother and I swam in muddy water during the day and shot off fireworks at night, finally crashing in a tent at night while listening to The Bangles on the Walkman. My style was virtually nonexistent back then, more utilitarian. Shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, zinc oxide sunblock in hot pink.

Now that Independence Day means backyard barbecue as opposed to muddy camping, there are more opportunities to be stylish — and WITHOUT looking like an American flag.

Here are some of my Etsy finds for patriotic fashion.

(Psst. This is my 300th post. I can’t believe it.)

Chic for Cheap: Inspired by Art

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Last weekend on Coronado Island we stumbled upon an art gallery where we found some incredible paintings by Steve Johnston. The images online don’t do his work justice. They’re so much better in person, with acrylic backgrounds that use subtle color fading and stunning oil subjects. I stared at Flying High longer than the others, finding myself really entranced in the mood, which was as the artist intended.

Johnston’s bio on Chelmer Fine Art intrigues me because I aspire to evoke the same response in my photography:

He attempts to take the voyeur somewhere with a sense of the familiar that has an almost ephemeral and ethereal quality, rather than somewhere specific. With the same reasoning, he does not depict figures to be anyone in particular. “The aim is to portray an essence and emotion rather than a well defined and precise person or location, as I am not interested in set narrative pieces.”

The outfit I put together is as easygoing and relaxed as this painting makes me feel. Perfect for a trip to the market, for a photoshoot, for a day at the gallery looking at more of Johnston’s work. As always, check out Ez’s original Chic for Cheap look here.

Design Dialogue: Wilco + Ana Benaroya

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I admired from a distance one of the posters being sold at the Wilco shows at the Wiltern earlier this week. I had to force myself to stay away from the merch booth, though, because I had already invested in a $14 beer. (Note to self: $14 beer is not as good as a $20 work of art.) Luckily I got to see the poster close up because my pal T-Mo had the good sense to procure one.

You can find the poster here. It was designed by Anna Benaroya, whose work I’m now in love with. Poke around her site, and you’ll find some great typography work.

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She also does amazing poster illustration.

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In Memorium of Michael Jackson: Thriller

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were jumping into pool of crisp, cool, highly chlorinated water, digging under sofa cushions for enough dimes to buy a treat from the ice-cream man, and sitting on the carpet two feet from the screen to watch videos on MTV. Of these videos, “Thriller” is easily the one I saw the most. Yesterday, after Michael Jackson died, the world was atwitter with memories of the icon. Everyone has a specific memory, be it the Jackson 5 or solo, in the 1970s, ’80s or ’90s, back when he was a groundbreaking artist and before he became a source of ridicule. This is mine: Watching the zombie dance two feet from the screen while dripping wet from swimming and eating an ice cream cone. I can think of no better homage to Jacko than this video and the Etsy finds that remind me of it.

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Chic for Cheap: An Art Inspired Look

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Hi friends! The past few days one of my good college buddies has been visiting, and while I’ve been in the office she’s been doing fun things like going to Dodgers games and touring the Getty. I’ve been jealous.

One of my favorite pieces at the Getty is Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning by Monet. His entire Wheatstacks series is wonderful, but this is the icing on the cake for me. Even though it’s a winter piece (hello, snow!), I think it has a remarkably summery vibe, thanks to the peaches and creams used throughout.

As always, check out the master’s outfit here.

Playing with Poladroid

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So I caved and played with the controversial Poladroid. Y’know, the program that takes your images and makes them look like instant Polaroids. The naysayers have the usual arguments: it’s not real, now Poladroids are taking over to the detriment of real Polaroids, etc.

You know what I say? It’s fun!

As much as I love photography, I’m not such a purist that I will deny the allure of a non-costly alternative to instant photos. And the bells and whistles, oh my. You drag a photo and it makes a click, then takes several minutes to fully develop, complete with smudges and fingerprints. The only thing missing is shaking it. (Although I’ve discovered that holding down your mouse button and violently wiggling the photo on your screen is a close second.)

Fashion Forward: Atonement

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Faviana’s Atonement dress (the one NOT on Keira Knightley)

Somehow this weekend I stumbled upon free access to Cinemax, promptly taking the chance to DVR several films I’ve yet to see, including “Atonement.” I remember reading the review of this movie last year and thinking, “This is the most depressing plot I’ve ever heard of.” I was not proved wrong. If you’re in general OK with life I do not recommend you watch it or you’ll immediately be sucked into a vortex of depression and anger, false rape accusations and bloody war. The whole thing would be a life-sucks bust if it weren’t for the first half of the movie, set in a glorious pre-World War II glow with loads of gorgeous costumes, the likes of which I set out to re-create.

I started my search while the second half of the movie was still on. It’s a good thing I distracted myself with fashion, too, because it got drab, pathetic and hopeless pretty fast.

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Design Dialogue: Delicious Design League

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Friends, I have fallen for the beautiful work of Delicious Design League. If I were a band, I’d look no further for my gig posters. The use of color and pattern is sublime. Saturated color is like a drug to me.

Luckily for me (and you!) there is a book that features the boutique’s work. AND … the book is perforated so you can easily pull out your favorite posters and put them on your walls.

(Individual posters are modestly priced, too, starting at $20.)

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Happy 11th Anniversary

Eleven years ago today, Husband and I said “I do.” In many ways I can’t believe it’s been so long. You know what they say — time flies when you’re having fun. The traditional gift for an 11th anniversary is steel or jewelry, so I’ve put together some of my favorite handmade items from Etsy (hint, hint).

To Husband: Honey, I love you even more than I did 11 years ago. I can’t wait to see what the next 11 will bring. Xoxoxox

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100 Movies: 22, 23

And the countdown continues in my quest to watch and find something inspiring in every single one of Yahoo’s 100 Movies to See Before You Die
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If you’ve never seen this movie, you’ve never seen a car chase. There, I’ve put it out there. Challenge me if you will. The first two-thirds of this film go by at a snail’s pace, and just when you’re wondering what the point is, boom! Out comes Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle, possibly the worst undercover cop ever, who commandeers a Pontiac LeMans and proceeds to chase a train in Brooklyn. He hits a few cars, nearly kills a woman and her baby and, well, you have to see it to believe it. It’s two minutes and forty nine seconds of pure gritty goodness.

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Phil Connors: I’ve been stabbed, shocked, poisoned, frozen, hung, electrocuted, and burned.
Rita: Oh, really?
Phil Connors: Every day I wake up without a scratch on me, not a dent in the fender… I am an immortal!

I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite movie, despite cable TV’s efforts to force it down my throat every holiday weekend for the past decade. I have an aversion to Andie McDowell and nearly everything Bill Murray has done besides “Ghostbusters.” But, on the other hand, I’ve learned that “Groundhog Day” is a very “watchable” movie, as most movies become once you’ve seen them more than 10 times. My favorite parts are the several suicide attempts by Bill Murray, but that’s not very inspiring, now is it? Can we find deeper — or just less morbid — meaning? I turn to Husband, who adores the movie. “It’s a story about redemption,” he says earnestly. “The guy’s a real jackass at the beginning, and he changes.”