Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beautiful Catbird Stacking Rings; Looking for a Canary

I can't quite believe that I've never been to Brooklyn.  I've been thisclose to the Williamsburg Bridge, when making a trek to Orchard Street, but have yet to cross over it.

And I want to do so before this year ends, because I have a quest.

This summer, after my purchase of some perfect @# stud earrings, and after making a birthday purchase for my daughter at a artisans' market on Bleecker Street, I began to crave stacking rings the way I might crave cannoli. And my sweet tooth, as evidenced by my summer of cake, cannot be denied.

In particular, I'm drawn to rings by Catbird, which NY Magazine calls the founder of ring stacking.  Located in Williamsburg, Catbird features all manner of delicate rings for stacking in various shades of gold (and silver), with precious stones or other embellishments, like initials, or twists and hammers.

My craving is for a stack on my index finger, and at the end of summer, since I was not going to Williamsburg, I decided to bring Williamsburg to me and ordered a trio of threadbare (very, very, gossamer thin) rings to begin.

I knew that I needed a size larger than my wedding ring, and used an online measurer (big mistake) instead of being patient and visiting a jeweler that afternoon. 

My rings arrived, fit for a fairy in style, but sized for a ogre. My fault entirely, but the lovely customer service people understood my dilemma.

Tote above, wrapped box below.

 So back they flew, and my quest will be continued in person.  Here's hoping that this cat catches a canary some time in December.

The very tiny, delightfully fairy size box.

What am I looking for?  Don't know, exactly, but all must be mismatched, possibly with an opal or aquamarine in the mix.  Rose and yellow gold are welcome together, and I think I prefer a baguette stone to a round one.  But we'll see.

And speaking of quests, my 9-year-old son saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the first time last night.  So "shrubbery" and "it's just a flesh wound" uttered in a British accent are not uncommon sounds today.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tan Suits for Summer

I don't post about men's wear too often here, but I do welcome summer when men can break out linen suits, cotton poplin suits, and lighter-coloured suits.

When we were in London last, Mr. C bought a Hugo Boss tan linen suit that I coveted. (I remember buying a tobacco linen trouser suit from Jaeger while still an undergraduate.  The nerve!)

So here's a mini collection of tan suits from labels including J Press and Brooks Brothers (those bastions of preppydom) as well as Boss and a couple of unknown but stylish looks.

I typically get my personal tan at the beach or by the pool, but countless media reports tell me that's dangerous.  I've never seen a report about the tan suit being hazardous to one's health, though, so I think we're safe.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Let Me Eat Cake

This summer I dined almost exclusively on cake.

My whole family (all five of us humans plus our golden retriever) had a summer birthday, so we went from cake to cake to cake.

There were ice cream cakes, failed homemade red-velvet cakes (we forgot the baking soda, hence the ice cream cake), make-up-for-it triple-layer-with-peach-filling by fancy decorator cakes, ridiculously good strawberry shortcake in New Jersey, chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, fruit-custard-tarts-masquerading-as-cakes cakes, and I suppose a cupcake or two for good measure.

My summer birthday triple-layer cake was frosted like this one.
 They were all delicious and I felt like Marie Antoinette via Sofia Coppola's cinematic vision--all blue and pink pastel in both mind and body.

But wait!  My very favourite cake of all time was served some four decades ago.  Purchased at Enterprise Bakery in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island,this special cake marked Miss Antoinette (err--Miss C's) first birthday.  And the photo (far above) is even all blue and pink pastel.

From New York's Cupcake Cafe, *way* before those Magnolia upstarts.

A good cup of Tim Hortons' coffee to top it off? What's that you say? *Who* bought Tim?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beyonce, Michaela, and Anna's First Vogue UPDATED!

I tuned in to the VMAs late, late, late last night, just in time to catch the last act, 20-some minutes of Beyonce singing and dancing.

My major takeaway from the performance was that Beyonce's bejeweled bodysuit and flowy locks reminded me so much of Michaela in LaCroix on Anna Wintour's first American Vogue.

I loved that jacket and would happily wear the 2014 bodysuit too. (Wasn't I just blogging about Donna Karan's Five Easy Pieces, the foundation of which is a bodysuit?)

Oh, alright, alright, alright (conjuring Mssr. McConaughey). It seems that Vogue has this cover on its mind too.  The day after I posted my "separated at birth" pair,* ran a photo and story of the "offspring du jour," RHOBH daughter Gigi Hadid, in an homage to Michaela.

Great minds and all that.  But didn't Vogue once tell me I was "too intellectual" to work there? I guess someone's either dumbing down or someone's smartening up. Wait--am I complimenting myself here?

*or "separated at girth" pair, recalling all the fuss over gorgeous Michaela's unflat tummy. Sigh.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Dressing Gown" Isn't Dressing Down

Saturday I woke up feeling ill--a persistent cold had turned in to something worse, and so I spent a feverish few more hours zooming in and out of sleep before physically rising.

But Saturday was a big day chez nous, with both parents called into service, so I rallied and made two 75-minute round trips to transfer one child to/from a party. That evening, just I was ready to call it a night, another child needed a physician visit--pronto--so I made that 75-minute round trip again, also spending time in an urgent-care clinic (all is just fine, but I'm glad we went).

Today, then, on Sunday, I tagged Mr. C for a morning activity with our youngest so I could sleep. And when I did wake up, I decided that today would be an excellent day to spend swanning about in my dressing gown. All. Day. Long.

I adore my dressing gown.  It's made from a variety of Liberty prints and was part of a collaboration that Liberty had with Saks well over a decade ago.  It "sort of" resembles the gown in the top picture (from 13Threads via Etsy) and makes me feel like I am a walking Bloomsbury painting.

But as my dressing gown is 10-13 years old, it will need to be replaced eventually.  I'd've bought that one from 13Threads, but it's sold out.  My heart started to flutter when I was one on Purl Soho's website, but should have realized that the gown was simply an example of what one could make from a pattern.  I like to make quilts but I do not like to make clothes.  So I guess I have a quest.

I also adore the term "dressing gown."  It's ever so more romantic than the functional "bathrobe" or the frumpy "housecoat." These terms tend to be used interchangeably these days, so I choose the former. Do any gentle readers have a dressing gown that they love? When/why do you wear it?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cloning Klum's Style: Project Runway's Impossible Task?

Last night to wind down I watched most of the Project Runway episode wherein designers were tasked with making a red-carpet look for Heidi Klum to wear at the upcoming Emmys. Ms. Klum would be one of the judges selecting the dress.

This is, I believe, an impossible task, because I have always thought that Heidi Klum has really bad personal taste. 

But wait!  I want to invoke Diana Vreeland here, who once said (and I paraphrase) that it's better to have bad taste than no taste. 

One of the three top looks represented bad taste, thought I.  It was Amanda's gown, with a bodice covered in some sort of ric-rac-y beaded trim stuff that looked stiff.  Zac Posen was having none of it, though he did think that the back of the dress echoed Geoffrey Beene in a favorable manner.

Another top three look was in quite good taste.  Kini's black gown with curved beaded inlay was elegant and lovely. It didn't win.

The third gown--and the winning look--was somewhere in between. One could say that Sean's layered ombre fringe gown was on the edge of bad taste, and so I shall. 

So what do gentle readers think?  Does the fringe dress represent a foray into good taste or is it an example of Ms. Klum being consistently bad?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Travels in Color

This summer in New York I returned home with two purchases from two different shops that surprised me at the time. Only now, when I open them up, do I see what they have in common.  It's all about color and whimsy. 

The first is a (child's?) notebook from Lapin & Me, which I bought in Soho from the children's department of an otherwise grown-up boutique.Was I drawn to the ears (see my avatar)? Peut etre. It was the color that hooked me, as these shades of sherbet pink and aqua-blue were too delicious to pass up.

Second on my curiosity list is fabric from Liberty (found at Purl). On one hand, Liberty fabric is a no-brainer, as any gentle reader knows.  I adore the florals and have made many a quilt and bunting from them.  But this print, called "The Isle of Wight," is novelty, not floral, so, again, it's the color--pale aqua with a hunt of mauve-y-pink--that catches my eye.

And I would write in my book and sew with my fabric while staying here, one to add to my list of (little) pink houses:

The Isle of Wight is, generally speaking, a patchwork quilt on its own. It reminds me of an aerial view of Prince Edward Island, except with white cliffs instead of red. Here are some images to travel with via color.