Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday Best v.190

Crew installing a Helen Frankenthaler painting, found here.

Well, whoops! It isn't even Sunday. We had a pretty busy day yesterday and I completely blanked on posting my favorite links of last week. My bad, but for your afternoon enjoyment:
  • Amazing! Richard Linklater's newest film took 12 years to shoot, following the aging of a boy.
  • The Internet decodes a grandma's last messages.
  • Norway's curling team is going to be sporting some crazy pants at the Olympics.
  • Think you can perfectly predict March Madness? Warren Buffett might give you $1 billion!
  • Look closer! The detail on Game of Thrones costumes is incredible.
  • Totally inspired by this 94-year-old track star.
  • The modern love story of the man who edits the NY Times' Modern Love column.
  • Patti LaBelle is the ultimate diva, forever and ever.
  • A good reminder to new parents not to forget about who they are as spouses.
  • Customers aren't always right; how to behave while shopping.
  • All the fun can be had with Justin Bieber's mugshot.
  • Dove is at it again, this time trying to empower the selfie.
  • Did Jezebel lose its damn mind when it demanded unretouched photos of Lena Dunham? The NY Times weighs in.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jams of the Week

Music Jam: Blood Orange

I first heard Devonte Hynes' work as Blood Orange on a college radio station while driving through North Carolina in 2011 and immediately Shazaam'd it and added the song, "Sutphin Road" into my heavy rotation. In the fall, Blood Orange came out with a superb album that I'm just getting around to adding to my Spotify. This had me dancing around the kitchen.

Passing the Time Jam: Crossword Puzzles

Sean and I are officially 70 years old! Our favorite ways to challenge our brains these days are nightly viewings of Jeopardy and collaborating on crossword puzzles. I've always been awful at them, but splitting the work between us makes it really fun.

Movie Jam: The Spectacular Now

I just got around to watching this movie, which was on my wish list over the summer. It's a sweet 21st-century classic high school pic in the vein of "Say Anything" and "The Breakfast Club." If I didn't love the story, I did love the performances from Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyle Chandler (playing the bad man for once!).

Couture Jam: Schiaparelli

I am thrilled about the revival of the couture line, Schiaparelli, at the hands of Marco Zanini. He has done a masterful job of capturing Elsa Schiaparelli's sense of whimsy and color and fun without trotting out unimaginative replicas of her greatest hits. It's going to be such fun to watch the evolution.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wine Club: Virginia & New York

Whew...I have been WAY behind posting about recent Wine Club "travels." As you may recall, we've spent the past few months touring the wines of the United States. In December, we sorta stayed home and sampled Virginia wines (somehow I completely forgot to take pictures of any of them!). In January, Melissa took us to upstate New York.

 Way back in December, Lauren cooked up some classic Virginia dishes, including homemade peanut soup (for real, try it! it's delicious)....

 Virginia ham biscuits...

 And pineapple, of course! Pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, especially in Williamsburg.

 Fast forward to January, Melissa took us to upstate New York, known for its sweet Rieslings. We sampled buffalo chicken dip (good lord, I love it)...

 NY Strip steak...

 and pizza, of course!

 New York is home to several great wines if you like your vino a little sweet. We all shared a laugh when we found out the king of sweet wines — Arbor Mist — hails from NY. We sampled:

  • Alta B Red: A soft, fruity, sweet red by Wagner Vineyards.
  • Bully Hill Love My Goat: A subtle, fruity red...very drinkable and easy.
  • Hazlitt Riesling: An off-dry white with tropical notes...I brought this one and was super proud because it was delicious.
  • Arbor Mist White Zinfandel: Hot damn if this still isn't as delicious as it was when I didn't know better! We were all shaking our heads with shame because we loved every sip. Capri Sun wine, I called it.

  • Wagner Riesling Dry: A citrusy, clean riesling that is absolutely comparable to a good German riesling.
  • Bully Hill Seasons: A fruity white with notes of apple and pear. 
  • Hazlitt Cabin Fever: An easy drinking semi-sweet blush. I can just imagine it's perfect for evenings on the Finger Lakes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Translated: Georgia O'Keeffe-Inspired Decor

It's been a LONG time since I've done a "translated" post, but I'm feeling rejuvenated these days and inspired. My mother sent me a postcard a couple years ago of this painting by Georgia O'Keeffe of her favorite mountain, Cerro Pedernal. The colors are so striking and I often find myself staring at it when I'm in that corner of the living room. I'm not typically one for Southwestern decor, but I loved the idea of drawing some inspiration from it for a colorful, comfortable living room.

Pedernal room

  1. Set the tone with rich turquoise curtains, $148 at Anthropologie.
  2. Update the classic O'Keeffe cow skull in a faux metallic, $199 at Z Gallerie.
  3. I love the glow of this green glass lamp, $120 at Pottery Barn.
  4. Speaking of glow, I'm loving this rich-looking gold accent table, $72 at Target.
  5. I feel fairly certain cheaper leather sofas exist, but I loved the color of this one, $2,599 at Pottery Barn.
  6. Bring the whole room together (Big Lebowski-style) with this kilim rug from RUGS USA.
  7. Cuddle up with an orange throw, $98 at Wayfair.
  8. Accent the room with a midcentury-style rope armchair. I see them pop up for under $200 on Ebay, Craigslist and in antique stores; this one is new and expensive at $3,395 from Design Within Reach

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fashion Review: SAG Awards

Everyone knows the SAG awards are the also-ran of awards shows, but they can be surprisingly delightful for fashion. The dress code doesn't seem super defined, so stars seems to straddle the line between evening glamour and cocktail party, sometimes daring and sometimes disappointingly boring. Here are some of my style winners and losers of the night:


Lupita's style mantra seems to be, "Remember My Name... FAME!" Seriously, if anyone doesn't know who she is now, they will by the end of awards season. She could give a master class in wearing color and styling, and her regal carriage is probably the best accessory she could have. I love how romantic and modern this Gucci gown is, and her blue eye shadow totally worked.

I love the super modern, sexy cut of Amy Adams' cobalt dress by Antonio Berardi. It felt edgy for her, but the Old Hollywood styling was a great counter-balance. That lip color, too, is divine.

I love the simplistic cut and gorgeous flowing skirt of Holly Hunter's Randi Rahm gown. She looks sexy as hell, it does all the right things for her body, and the high pony is youthful without looking like she's trying too hard. 

I liked the disco galaxy glamour of Jennifer Lawrence's Dior gown, but I am a little concerned her dresses are habitually hitting her bust in the wrong place and I thought her hair was decidedly not working for her in this instance. She looked sexy, yet approachable, though, which isn't easy to pull off.

 Let's take a moment to admire this hot could this man not be a winner when he's got a shining star like Rita Wilson on his arm? Her Tom Ford is flashy and sparkly and sexy and age appropriate and I just love her.

And for real, best performance by silky hair goes to Jared Leto and his mom, Constance. Damn!

Good, But...

I didn't really get a good look at Claire Danes' Vionnet gown. Part of me thinks I would like it, but it also looks like it's got a bit of identity confusion. Is it sparkly? Is it slinky? Is it a nightgown? 

I don't know if Elisabeth Moss has taken my YEARS worth of advice seriously and hired a new stylist, but she's looking great lately. This Michael Kors is sleek and classic, perfectly accessorized with the single gold bangle and her make-up looks fantastic. But, it feels a tad boring and I'm still really not feeling her hair color. 

I love the sportiness of Gretchen Mol's J. Mendel gown (yes, it does look a little like a cycling uniform with a bath sheet....but in a good way?). The styling feels off to me, however. Maybe a more modern hairsdo, or sleek chrome heels or a brighter lip could have helped? What do you think, friends?

I love how much fun Sandra Bullock is having with color these days...she's really pushing past her usual boundaries. I love love love this shade, but for some reason I'm not totally sold on her Lanvin gown. It might actually be under-accessorized and feel a little thrown together? Or maybe I'd like to see her hair down to really bring a bit of Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes glamour? It just needs something.

I really, really want to love Cate Blanchett's Givenchy. The color's nice, it's interesting. feels maybe like what pregnant Kerry Washington should be wearing? It does seem awesomely comfortable, though.

Am I totally wackadoodle if I like Juliette Lewis's Vivienne Westwood gown? It's perfectly her (kooky, noncomformist), but also elegant, classically draped and I'm drawn to florals. Am I nuts?


Little known fun fact: Julia Roberts' Valentino jumpsuit was a reject by Amy Adams' character in American Hustle. Juuuuuuuust kidding. But really...there is a very very very thin line separating a good throwback and a retro disaster and the bubble gum pink, frankly bizarre front seaming in the crotch area, and awkward ruching definitely fall under the retro disaster category.

I love to celebrate actresses who are daring fashion-wise...when they pull it off. Not one thing about this Prada was a good idea on Kerry Washington. Showing that strip of midriff on a pregnant woman is strange...the boxiness, yet looseness of the top is also jarring. I don't think there's any scenario I would like that top, but paired with a black satin stumpifying skirt that hits mid-foot (what?!?), I truly hate it. It's making her look like someone who tried to piece together an outfit from the closets of a toddler and a grandmother.

Meryl Streep's Stella McCartney dress is so dowdy/frumpy/shapeless/designless/boring/awkwardly fitted that I truly can't even wrap my brain around what I'm seeing. It's like a shape eraser, rendering its wearer a black satin blob. Paired with the most office-appropriate peep toes and glasses, it's truly over casual.

Sarah Paulson is trying to make something happen here, but I'm not sure what. Her hair, make-up and shoes are screaming "The Fifth Element." Her Rochas dress is screaming "cotillion petticoat." Like...where is the real dress that goes on top of it? Bret said he made coffee using this filter; I joked that the dress made her look like a toddler flower girl.  

Patricia Arquette's rust colored gown is, I'm pretty sure, a costume for the Martha Graham dance company OR something Whoopi Goldberg's character would wear on Star Trek: Next Generation with a hat shaped like Saturn. Her severe middle part is not really suiting her face at all either.

It is my understanding that Michelle Dockery a.k.a Lady Mary has the same stylist as Lupita. Well clearly Lupita has sent this person double the amount of fruit baskets, because there is no way Michelle Dockery's stylist likes her. The fit on this J. Mendel is atrocious...her boobs look like they have literally no support and the v-neck fabric is buckling under the effort. It also just looks cheap, unremarkable and in desperate need of something to zhush it up.

Lady Mary was in good company...Poor Lady Edith's Vionnet dress looks like it was made from hotel curtains after she got a last-minute invite ("Oh, you're on that show?"). Her hair looks like she just came from a run, and her arm of bangles seems like a half-hearted effort to spruce up the curtain dress. Like her TV sister, she also is not getting any bustline favors from this gown.

Rose Leslie (also of Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones) offended my delicate sensibilities by trying so hard to get attention in this ridiculousness. I can only assume this evening gown was designed by the crackheads at Forever 21 or Urban's as though her designer tried to render a fashion representation of a night in Las Vegas.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Best v.189

Andy Warhol, in the Campbell's Soup aisle.

How's your weekend shaping up so far? We've had a great time dog-sitting...did a little painting and tomorrow we're going to look at potential new housing options! I have plenty of links for your time-wasting pleasure:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Spy: Malachite Eggs, Farm Tables, Regency Knobs

Yesterday, I showed off my antiquing score but didn't share any of the other goodies I spotted while I was out and about! Williamsburg, as always, didn't disappoint.

At my first stop, The Velvet Shoestring, I was immediately drawn to this decorative faux-malachite egg. Totally useless, way too fancy for most houses, but damn it would spruce up a foyer table or bookshelf! This was $28.

I was also crushing on this antique farm table (my dream table!), starting at $899 and going down to $557 if it doesn't sell by April.

For the price of an ugly metal one, you could have a gorgeous wood file cabinet with cool pulls. $199 and price is dropping in the next couple months!

I did a bit of a double take when I saw this vase with a watercolor-y pattern. I can just picture it full of gorgeous irises. I unfortunately forgot the price, but I think it was under $30.

Later in the same day, I killed time before an appointment at my favorite place, Williamsburg Antique Mall. Here's some items that caught my eye this time around. This teak-and-glass carafe is straight out of Mad Men but looks like something you'd find at Anthropologie and is a super affordable $20.

I would love to pop this enamel Hollywood Regency doorknob set on a bathroom door. Everyone needs a little glamour in the morning, right? A great item with character for $32.50!

If you're an artist or, I dunno, a butcher in your spare time, this antique paper roller and cutter is super cool. I mean, heck, it could make paper towels more interesting. $87.

So the average tray tables are probably about $40, right? How about you skip that and grab an antique painted one with an eagle motif for a sweet $18? Makes eating those TV dinners a little better, right?

I was the smitten kitten over this burl wood jewelry box that swung out. Seriously gorgeous and would make an amazing gift. $50.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Suzani Score!

 The other day, I was poking around The Velvet Shoestring, a consignment shop in Williamsburg I've been meaning to visit for ages. I rounded a corner and saw these beautiful suzani fabric pillows, with intricate embroidery and was like, "wait a sec...those look like the real deal." A suzani is a needlework pillow design hailing from Central Asia, and has been huge in the past few years. Here are some similar ones to the pillows I spotted:

This vintage suzani sold for $415!!

Pottery Barn is also selling its own version (which looks a little more like crewel) for $79 a pop.

The best part? These pillows were $10 each and based on the stitching and the gently worn look, I think they could be authentic (at least more than the Pottery Barn ones). I scooped them right up even though I absolutely didn't need any more throw pillows!

 I do kinda wish they matched, but it's fun to have a bit of an eclectic mix.

The detail is really lovely.

Needless to say, it's a good reminder to pop into your local consignment shops every once in a while. You really never know what your neighbors might be getting rid of!