Monthly Archives

August 2009

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Fashion Forward: Drape Vests

I’m having a little love affair with drape vests right now. (Evidence here.) They’re so versatile and all-season-friendly. I’m even thinking about creating one with my own two hands. I found a DIY that makes it seem so simple. According to Amy Carriere, you simply fold a piece of fabric and cut a half-circle. Really, it’s that easy? I think I can handle scissors and a simple geometric shape, but I’m skeptical because I have a history of craft projects that have gone awry. My inner bully is taunting me with choruses of “You’ll poke your eye out! You’ll poke your eye out!”

Of course, the lovely finds below cost a little more, but the bonus is that I’ll be able to look at myself in the mirror with both eyes.

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Photoshoot: Evoking Emotion

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It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been to the beach, and I blame it on the weather. It’s been about a million degrees, with several fires blazing in the hills surrounding Los Angeles, all acting like a furnace for the city. Normally hot weather like this will send me scrambling to the ocean with boogie board in tow. But the general lack of air quality has sucked my will to venture outside or even open the windows. I’ve started exclaiming every five minutes that “It’s so (insert adjective here) hot!”

But looking at these photos is cooling me off. Isn’t that the gauge of good art — evoking emotion and stirring the imagination? These photos are making me FEEL something, so I’ll consider them a success. If only I were close enough to the ocean to feel that cool breeze right this moment …

Link Love 08.29.09

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I think today might be the perfect day to make some cinnamon toast and go see a 3-D horror movie while gripping Husband’s hand.

Oh, and check out these links:

  • There have been pictures taken of me in bed before. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter — I’m referring to mostly slobbering-in-my-sleep photos. None of which looked half as pretty as these Pictures in Bed.
  • I don’t usually recommend people to follow on Twitter, but you must add @shitmydadsays. You’ll thank me later when you’re LOL’ing and OMG’ing.
  • It’s deja vu for this stock photo model.
  • Channel your inner Charlie Brown with these zigzag home decor items.
  • Measuring spoons I can slap against my fridge? Count me in. [Via The Best Part]
  • You can make your own ruffle necklace. Notice I said “you,” not me. I’m not as confident in my crafting skills. Plus I don’t have a sewing machine.

Last but definitely not least, imagine this: What would it look like if The Beatles circa 1964 wrote and performed “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”? I think it would look a lot like this performance by The Last Shadow Puppets:

This video is rocking my socks off.

Writing Notes to Strangers, Part 2

After I wrote last week’s post about two projects that spread goodwill through random notes to strangers, I was directed to another that I’d like to share with you today: Project Lemon. Here’s how the creator, Heather Buchanan, explains the project:

“Project Lemon is not for any ordinary random acts of kindness. It’s for whimsical, strange, and unexpected acts of kindness. We want to fill strangers not just with joy, but a curious childlike wonder …
“Somehow I got the idea to leave these lemons, with optimistic messages written upon them and secret notes tucked inside, all around the city for strangers to find.
“That first little adventure was amazing. My partner in crime and I would leave a lemon in a peculiar place, and then lurk around watching strangers get curious, bewildered, and delighted. It was one of the giddiest evenings ever.”

It makes me want to go to the grocery store right now equipped with a magic marker and enough cash for a bag of lemons.

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So there I was, sifting through the Project Lemon blog, when I remembered another project that encouraged writing a note to a stranger: Post Secret. My pal T-Mo had sent me the coffee-table book for my birthday a while back, and I recall spending an afternoon thumbing through it. All are postcards — made, altered or drawn upon — that bear a secret. I was simultaneously inspired and saddened. Saddened because, even though many of the secrets are lighthearted and fun, there are also many people in the world who feel like their situation is hopeless. My heart ached for them and how lonely they must have felt when they emptied their guts on a postcard. But then it dawned on me: I was reading their “secret.” By sharing it with others, albeit strangers, they are not alone. In fact, there’s an entire community for people who need to spill the beans. Judgment-free. And I think it’s brilliant.

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Are you feeling inspired to drop a cheerful lemon or divulge your secret via postcard?

Here are a few postcards I found on Etsy to get you started:

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The Pains of iTunes Weeding

I finally decided to take my Macbook seriously when it says “Startup Disc Almost Full,” mostly because it’s been rather persistent and has been bugging me every 10 minutes for the past three months. I knew it had something to do with the 6,494 songs I’ve hoarded on iTunes, but the thought of deleting any of them was like proposing that I cut off a finger. Ouch! How could I live without my ridiculously large music library? And, more importantly, how long would it take me to weed through more than 6,000 songs?

Turns out I don’t know the answer to that last question because I’m still doing it, more than a week later. I’ve finished deleting songs I don’t really REALLY love, and I’m down to 5,480. That’s more than 1,000 songs, friends. The next step is the obsessive-compulsive one: filling in all the “holes” in the remaining songs (year, album, etc.). I’m guesstimating this will take at least another week or two in one-hour increments. I may be insane about this, but an hour at a time is all I can muster.

Are you as crazy about your music collection as I? What’s the one album you can’t live without?

100 Movies: 36, 37

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Deckard: She’s a replicant, isn’t she?
Tyrell: I’m impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?
Deckard: I don’t get it, Tyrell.
Tyrell: How many questions?
Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn’t it?
Deckard: [realizing Rachael believes she’s human] She doesn’t know.
Tyrell: She’s beginning to suspect, I think.
Deckard: Suspect? How can it not know what it is?

The first two times I tried to watch this movie, I fell asleep shortly after the introductory scene. Normally I would be inclined to jump to the obvious conclusions: this movie is so boring it renders me comatose. I’m so glad I decided to give it a third go, though, because it contains so many things I love. Let’s count them: Harrison Ford, film noir, robots (aka replicants) who become self-aware, futuristic Los Angeles and flying cars. I’m inspired the most by Harrison Ford’s voiceovers, which make me want to narrate my own life. “She scoffed that the writers neglected to foresee cell phone technology, but she was not thwarted. She was determined to finish the movie without closing her eyes. The credits rolled, and she was so overjoyed she completed her task that she decided to give robots the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re not all out to destroy us, she thought, maybe not.”

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Major T. J. “King” Kong: Survival kit contents check. In them you’ll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

It just so happened that I watched “Lolita” and “Dr. Strangelove” in the same week, both for the first time. I felt exhausted after both movies, my emotions rubbed raw and my sanity tested. Kubrick is not for everyone, I realize, but I enjoyed “Dr. Strangelove” a lot more than “Lolita.” For starters, it was funny, just the kind of war farce that seems as scathing today as the year it was released (1964). It asks the question: “If someone effed up and started World War III, could we count on our leaders to fix it?” The answer is a resounding “no.” I found myself laughing out loud in parts, and I was strangely inspired by Slim Pickens as Major King Kong, especially as he mounts the bomb as it’s being dropped, yee-hawing the entire way down. If you’re going to go out, that’s the way to do it.

Wish List 08.24.09

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This cardigan in Orla Kiely’s fall collection is everything that is right about autumn. Geometric structure, bold mixing of neutrals and a brilliant pop of color. I call dibs, though I might have to pay the $334 price tag in Monopoly money.

Photoshoot: Stop, Drop and Shoot

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Do you ever start shooting and find that every single frame ends up looking blah? That, even after tweaking all your settings and shooting again, you’re still not impressed with the images you’re taking? I have a tip to help you get out of this “photography block.”

Are you ready?

Hit the ground. Stop, drop and shoot, so to speak. As close to ground zero as possible. Get dirty. Lie on the street. By all means, put your camera on the sand. Don’t be afraid. Also, forget to look through the viewfinder for a few frames. This is the beauty of digital; mistakes don’t cost you anything.

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And sometimes …

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… maybe even several times …

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… those mistakes will be happy ones.

Design Dialogue: Chevron Stripes

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I’ve been looking for a bag with chevron stripes for a long time, and I had nearly come to the conclusion that I would have to search for a vintage one because the pattern last had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. Then, just when I was about to give up, I came across this one at Barneys. Not only was it perfect, it was marked down from $100 to $16. Score!

Encouraged, I found some other chevron goodies to share with you, some vintage, some new.

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