Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Instead of the usual Tuesday playlist, I thought I'd share a video I took of Multiverse, a light sculpture by Leo Villareal that consists of 41,000 LED nodes. It's installed in the walkway between the East and West buildings of the National Gallery of Art, and it makes different patterns every time I see it. My poor camera skills don't really do the work justice (I tried to edit out the wobbliest bits in the middle), but hopefully you'll enjoy the video anyway.

(Yes, I added the Clair de Lune via youtube audioswap because I thought that sounded nicer than the background noise my phone picked up).

Did everyone enjoy the long holiday? We spent most of the weekend looking for a new apartment. We walked all over town Sunday checking out apartment buildings; it was exhausting, very sweaty, and due to an impulsive choice of footwear by me, a day that ended in blisters. The sad fact is that all we really have to show for our epic quest is two buildings that are maybes, and we don't even know for sure if there will be apartments available in those buildings next month. Finding an apartment here that has most of our requirements (i.e., available, affordable, safe, walkable to metro, and not a roach-infested dump) is like finding a unicorn, like this mythical, magical thing I've heard tell of but never seen in real life. We are giving notice in our current building regardless, so wish us luck that we can find something decent.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Friday + Tutorial

I first saw this d.i.y. nail tutorial on Bust and had to share for those who like to be creatively stylish.

No one seems to know where the original idea came from (other than Kaylia Fisher's tumblr - linked above). Anyway, basically you just cut squares of newspaper a little larger than your nail. Paint a base coat. When completely dry, soak nails in alcohol. Then press the newsprint squares on nails and slowly peel off. Finally, add a clear top coat to seal it. So simple, but I think you could come up with some really cool effects.

Hope everyone has a relaxing and creative weekend!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping Time

Whimsical wall clocks get a bit of a bad rap in the design world, like that Felix the Cat clock that became a b-movie cliché in the 1980s. But there are lots of cute and colorful wall clocks out there, and personally, I think it softens the blow of finding out you're already 10 minutes late when the timekeeper makes you smile. Here are a few great examples I wouldn't mind keeping me on schedule.

Clockwise (of course) from top left: Modern baby owl clock from Decoylab; Polaroid clock - Flying Free from jerseymaids; Cupcakes coloring clock from UncommonGoods; and Blocks clock from Chiasso.

I realize that 3 of these clocks don't have numbers, which probably says something about my dislike of rigid schedules. But they'd look great on the wall anyway.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pardon the Interruption

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This post is required for me to get set up on bloglovin. I'll be adding a button to the sidebar soon for those who'd rather follow me there.

Here's a cute photo to ponder in the meantime:

Fennec fox
(Source: floridapfe)

Awwww, okay back to work. :)

This and That

1950s gingham pintuck cotton day dress from tree & kimball market and vintage Corelle teacups from Magie Belle.

Friday, May 20, 2011

7 More Random Facts About Yours Truly

Laura from I'm So Vintage was kind enough to pass on a blog award to me! Laura also has a great vintage shop you should check out.

So, here are seven more random facts about me:

1. I was a ballet dancer growing up, and I still get weak in the knees at the sight of tulle and satin. Now when I see a performance, my feet don't miss it at all, but my heart aches a bit.

2. I have problems with my feet (see number 1), so I hardly ever wear high heels.

3. I love movies: good, bad, and everything in between. I often watch foreign films and classic films, but I also love dumb comedies, quirky indie flicks, and the occasional guilty pleasure (like Dirty Dancing - notice a theme here?). If I started listing my favorites now, I'd probably still be typing next week, but I will try to do a post at some point with a list.

4. I'm scared of sharks, but also very fascinated by them…this reminds me of another post I want to do soon (I'll let it be a surprise).

5. Strangers often stop me on the street to ask directions. It happens every week, and in all the cities I've lived in (including London). I have no idea why. Perhaps I look like I have a good sense of direction. Or maybe I just have a friendly face?

6. I traveled quite a bit when I was younger, all over England, France, Italy, and Spain. I'm so thankful that I made it a priority then because it is true that it becomes harder when you get older and have more responsibilities and less time. Someday, I would still like to see Stockholm, Prague, Vienna, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Tokyo. Any recommendations I should add to my list?

7. I think surprise packages in the mail are just about the best thing ever, especially when they contain funny things, or lovely things, or a handwritten note from a friend you haven't seen in ages.

Again, I'm going to be a horrible cheat and not tag 15 other bloggers. Please don't hold it against me:) Have a fantastic weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Visit to the Sculpture Garden

Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of a brief respite from the rain and walk to the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art. As you can see in the photos, the sky was blue one minute, cloudy the next, but it felt just fine.

Roy Lichtenstein, House I. It might be difficult to tell in the photo, but Lichtenstein employs a cool visual illusion here; the side of the house projects toward the viewer while seeming to recede into space at the same time. (When I was a teenager and first studying modern art, I once hopped on a bus and rode 2 hours to a town I'd never heard of because there was a Lichtenstein show at a small gallery there. It was awesome, and I'd still travel to see his work today.)

Barry Flanagan, Thinker on a Rock. When I look at this, I think of Donnie Darko. I wonder if Richard Kelly was a fan of Flanagan's work.

Alexander Calder, Cheval Rouge (Red Horse). I've written on this blog before about my love for Calder's circus and portraits, but of course, I also admire his mobiles and larger sculptures.

Sol LeWitt, Four-Sided Pyramid. This sculpture references architectural forms from New York skyscrapers to ancient Mesopotamian ziggurats. But it makes me think of stacking sugar cubes as a kid. And it also makes me hungry.

Louise Bourgeois, Spider. Very Spooky.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Typewriter Eraser, Scale X. I have such a soft spot for Claes Oldenburg; I have yet to encounter a work of art that didn't make me smile. What's not to love?

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Puellae (Girls). A lot of her work has to do with her experiences as a child in Poland during WWII. This piece refers to a story the artist heard as a child about a group of children who froze to death in cattle cars as they were being transported to Germany for "Arianization." Quite haunting.

Roxy Paine, Graft. There are two different halves to this tree. One side is delicate and elegant; the other side is gnarled and twisted. Paine is referring to the ever-present tension between order and chaos, among other things. In my dream house, I would have a garden with one of these Dendroids, as they're called, standing among shaped hedges. I do wonder, though, if it's ever been struck by lightning.

Lucas Samaras, Chair Transformation Number 20B. This is another sculpture that fools the eye. It appears to be either leaning forward, standing straight, or leaning backward, depending on your viewpoint.

These ladies were taking a break and dipping their feet in the fountain.

I haven't shown all the sculptures by any means; these are just a few of my favorites. Hope you enjoyed taking a peak at the garden!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hunger sent us out with milk-cans, pea-tins, jam-pots where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots

I mentioned yesterday that I can't get summer off my mind, which is somewhat unusual for me because I'm not a fan of boiling hot temperatures and air so humid and dense you can hardly breathe. Nevertheless, I find myself daydreaming of long summer nights, sitting outside listening to insect chatter, sipping fruity drinks, and having nothing at all to do. Right now that sounds like heaven to me. Here are a few of my very favorite things about summer:

(Source: JC Richardson)
Fireflies (or lightning bugs, depending on your local vernacular).

(Source: sierramills)
Ice cream cones. Don't get me wrong, I eat ice cream year-round (even when it's freezing out), but there's something about summer that makes me crave it in a cone.

(Source: *Austin*)
Freckles, especially on shoulders and noses.

(Source: epicharmus)
Swimming pools. I'm not a particularly strong swimmer, but I've always loved hanging out in pools.

(Source: Kevin H)
Watching movies outside. This is a photo from Screen on the Green, which happens every summer on the mall in DC (you can sort of see the side of the Capitol building behind the screen). Usually, they show old classic films, though it looks like a cartoon here.

(Source: Doug Mahugh)
Fruity drinks, not necessarily alcoholic, just something sweet and citrusy and cold.

By the way, I am fully prepared to eat my words when it's 100 degrees outside and my apartment building is an inferno.

What do you love or hate about summer?

*Post title is from the poem, "Blackberry Picking" by Seamus Heaney.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Playlist

These songs always make me think of summer, which I've had on the brain majorly lately; expect another summer-themed post coming soon.

What kind of music makes you think of summertime?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vintage Japanese Matchbox Labels

japanese matchbox label

japanese matchbox label

japanese matchbox label

japanese matchbox label

japanese matchbox label

japanese matchbox label

I'm in love with these Japanese matchbox labels dating from the 1920s to 1940s. (See the entire flickr set here.) I want to collect these and display them all together. I think they're beautiful!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Contemporary sculptor Anish Kapoor unveiled his newest artwork, "Leviathan," at the Grand Palais in Paris yesterday. The sculpture is a large balloon-like structure made of PVC-vinyl, with four orbs filling the giant nave of the building. Kapoor's goal is to "create a space within a space," where "visitors will be invited to walk inside the work, to immerse themselves in color," and hopefully have a "contemplative and poetic experience."

(Source: ParisKarin)

(Source: Co & Isa)

(Source: Co & Isa)

(Source: ParisKarin)

(Source: ParisKarin)

(Source: ParisKarin)

Kapoor is known for experimenting with scale, form, and texture, but why the color red? The artist said he was thinking about the color we see when we close our eyes and also of the experience of going inside ourselves. Knowing that a leviathan is a biblical sea monster and the gatekeeper of hell, I'm guessing that played into it as well.

I have to admit, I'm drawn to experiential artworks like this one that shake up your sense of spatial reality and alter your perspective, if only for a few minutes. Some visitors compared it to a vortex or black hole that sucks you in with an almost dizzying effect; others said it felt like being in the belly of the beast. I wish I could go back to Paris to see it for myself!

What do you guys think?

Treasury Time

Because it seemed like everything else I use on the internet broke at the same time (blogger, twitter, chrome, etc.), I found myself roaming etsy and thought I'd make a treasury full of things to do when technology fails.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Covet Garden Issue 10

I don't think I've blogged about Covet Garden since the first issue. The online magazine continues to feature wonderful, well-designed homes each month, and the current issue is no exception. Vintage lovers take note: the May issue takes us into the home of Moira Roe, a 1940s and '50s enthusiast with quite a remarkable collection of furniture and accessories, not to mention clothing.

There's also a shout-out to Etsy vintage sellers, which of course I love, plus some really great recipes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New in the Shop + a Sneak Peek

The cupcake brooches I blogged about last week are in the shop.

And here's a sneak peek at a new necklace coming to the shop this weekend: a vintage brass locket with a hand-painted glass cabochon in the center. I'm hoping to add more necklaces in the near future.

What's everyone up to this weekend? I've got a big project to work on, which I'll probably blog about next week, and I'm finally going to see The King's Speech. I also need to get reacquainted with the laundry room...it's been a while, might have to use google maps to find it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scenes from Life

Here are some random photos from the last couple of weeks:

Some friends of ours were in town, so of course we had to get them cupcakes from our favorite place, Hello Cupcake. I love looking at all those pretty swirls of color almost as much as I love eating them.

The few that weren't eaten sort of got destroyed at the end of the night, but that's another story. I took a photo of that too but thought it was too sad to post.

Ever since I neglected to take any photos at the Cherry Blossom Festival, I can't pass a pink tree on the sidewalk without pulling out my camera. Lucky for me, they are everywhere this time of year.

I kind of crawled inside one to get this photo and got some funny looks from passersby when I emerged.

Nature's confetti.

I'm a sucker for pretty old buildings with fancy architectural details. I love that (for the most part) facades are protected in DC, so that when they renovate, the historical exteriors remain unchanged.

The weather lately seems to alternate between stormy clouds...

and happy clouds, often in the same day. It makes getting dressed a bit tricky. I've put away my sweaters and coats and had to get them back out again several times this spring. But soon enough, it will be too hot here, and I'll be longing for sweater weather once again.