Wednesday, December 29, 2010

1940s Paper Doll

I would love to "borrow" any of these from Miss Carey's closet.  I was going to list my favorites, but looking at it again, I realize that I love them all!  Images via The Paper Collector.
Jack and Jill Magazine, April 1941

Monday, December 27, 2010

To Have Another Language

"To have another language is to possess a second soul."
~Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse)

She Makes Even Winter Look Good

Discovered via Anja, this cute Polish girl knows how to dress for all seasons.  Now, where can I find a super-wide chunky scarf?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quick New York Trip and Photo Shoot

I just got back from New York where I was shooting something very special with makeup artist superstar, Mally Roncal, and her fabulous team at Mally Beauty.  I've been working with Mally on QVC since back in June and I can say that I'm a HUGE fan of her makeup line and love the whole Mally family.

Here's a few backstage pics from our shoot yesterday:
Stay tuned for more... The rest of the Mally models and I will be on QVC working with the Mally team on New Year's Eve.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Facebook Friends

I found this cool visual online; it provides a graphic of friendships via the social networking site, Facebook.  I think my favorite part is that I can look at the map and see my connection to friends in South Africa, Brazil, Germany, the UAE, Australia, and India.
Click here for full screen view

Oh, worldwide friends, I miss you so!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Raise Money for Charity Just By Surfing the Web

Download Google's "Chrome for a Cause" extension for the Chrome Browser and begin surfing the web.  That's all you have to do-- and Google will donate money (up to a million dollars) to the charity of your choice based on how many tabs you open.

The five participating charities are:
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Charity: Water (my favorite!!-- started by my friend and visionary, Scott Harrison)
  • Room to Read
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Un Techo Para Mi Pais

10 tabs= 1 tree planted
10 tabs= 1 book published and donated
25 tabs= 1 vaccination treatment provided
100 tabs= 1 square foot of shelter built
200 tabs= 1 person's clean water for a year

So, what are you waiting for?  Download the extension and start clicking!  This initiative runs through Sunday, December 19th.

Beautiful Women are Invisible.

I finished watching Elegy today via Netflix Watch Instantly.  It is an interesting film, and while I didn't love it, I do recommend it.  It stars Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper, Debbie Harry, Patricia Clarkson, and Peter Sarsgaard.

Mark Twain on Developing a Writing Style (i.e., Read!!!)

"Let us guess that whenever we read a sentence & like it, we unconsciously store it away in our model-chamber; & it goes, with the myriad of its fellows, to the building, brick by brick, of the eventual edifice which we call our style."

~Mark Twain in a letter to George Bainton, October 15, 1888

BRILLIANT A Capella version of Twelve Days of Christmas/Todo's Africa

My blog strikes me as really impersonal.  I don't post many pictures of me (I don't know why-- for some reason, I get quite shy about the way I look in photos), and I don't write much about the personal stuff that is going on in my life.  I like blogging-- it's about the only thing I stick to these days-- and I love blogs where I feel like I get to know the author a little bit, but for some reason I remain pretty closed.  Friends that know me well would probably agree with that assessment-- on the surface I seem pretty open, but then once you get close to me, you'll find a wall.

I'm not sure why I just wrote that.  I think I'm apologizing for just posting another YouTube clip instead of something of substance.

That's a great lead-in for the video (<--- sarcasm).  But, you really should watch it.  That is, if you haven't seen it already.  I showed it to my sister yesterday and she was already familiar with it, which means to me that it's already really out there, as my sister seems to know less of the popular culture than I do.  Anyway, it's an a capella group singing  a Christmas medley.  It's worth watching because of the brilliant twist toward the end, where they blend The Twelve Days of Christmas into Todo's Africa.  I LOVED it.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Zooey Deschanel (She & Him) Sings!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas might just be my favorite Christmas song (along with Baby, It's Cold Outside, which, incidentally, Zooey covers as well.  Oh, and I love O Holy Night.  And All I Want for Christmas is You.  And Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring...)

Below, Zooey sings Have Yourself... for Conan O'Brien.  She's lovely.  And she has a nice voice, too.  Sigh.
Link via Cover Lay Down.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vintage Holiday Labels

available here

I love these kitschy-retro labels that Heidi Kenney at My Paper Crane came up with.  She is not a fan of the ones available in the store, so she created her own.  They're free-- simply print on cardstock or sticker paper!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I seem to be transfixed by snowflakes.  They're so delicate-- just look at Wilson Alwyn Bentley's groundbreaking photography work to be inspired.  And while the real things are pretty magical, I also like snowflake crafts!  These two projects definitely caught my eye:


DIY Glittering Doily Garland via {Bits of Beauty}


The Art of Making a Paper Snowflake via Here's Looking at Me Kid

Both websites provide great tutorials for each project.

Of course, if you don't feel like getting out all of the art supplies, you can always make a virtual snowflake at Make-a-Flake.  (Ignore that message about needing Flash 6-- you probably already have it, so just click on the link where it says you already have the plugin.)  Making virtual snowflakes is a blast-- you should check it out!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Thursday: Gratuitous Alpaca Pics

This post started out as something different.  Truly it did.  But, then I googled "Alpaca," and suddenly I had a very different post.  (Don't ask why I was looking at pictures of Alpacas on Google...)

Look at these friendly faces!  Aren't they cute?  Happy Thursday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Dresses of Peggy Hunt- Exquisite Details

I recently subscribed to the Colette Patterns blog-- I seem to be a sucker for anything sewing or fashion related.
The dress that first caught my eye.  Isn't the tromp l'oeil lace bow fabulous? I wish I knew the technique to make something like that!
On Wednesday, the blog featured pictures of dresses by Peggy Hunt which made me stop what I was doing and immediately go in search of more information about this dressmaker.

Peggy Hunt was born in 1892.  She began as a home sewer who enjoyed making clothes for her baby daughter, but her dresses were soon noticed by the owner of the department store where she worked.  Mr Haggerty, of Haggerty's Department Store, asked her to sell some of her designs in his store.  The rest, as they say, was history. (Biography via here.)
Peggy Hunt's trademarks were illusion necklines, appliques, and lots of  lace.
Peggy's granddaughter Jacqui lovingly keeps her grandmother and mother's (also a designer) memory alive by buying their dresses wherever she can find them, and by sharing the pictures of her collection via her Flickr photostream.
I love the pale pink of this dress along with the tulle skirt.  I can see this one at a red carpet ceremony!
I really think Peggy Hunt's use of sheer overlays is genius.  This top would also be beautiful as just a blouse.
This Peggy Hunt dress is one of my favorites.  I love how modern it looks-- like something you'd buy from Anthropologie!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mmmm... Italian Cashmere

The J. Crew Catalog came in the mail yesterday and I was instantly taken with this sweater.  How cute is that gathering into the yoke?  And the contrasting buttons!  Alas, the price is a little steep at $158.  But, soooo cute!

25 Days of Giveaways from McCall's, Butterick, and Vogue Patterns

This just in!  Every day for 25 days, the McCall's Pattern Company (who own McCall's, Butterick, and Vogue Patterns) is giving stuff away.  For Free!!!

In order to qualify to win, you must be an email subscriber to,,, or  Sign up for their newsletter on any of those sites.

PhotobucketSo, what can you win?  Yesterday's winner won a DVD by sewing guru Claire Shaeffer, while today's winner will win 2.38 yards of beautiful silver-colored crepe-back satin.  Stay posted to see what tomorrow's offerings are.

Do you want to know something fun? This is my best friend Laura on the cover of the Winter/Holiday 2010 Vogue Patterns Catalogue. Isn't she lovely? Laura and I met at a casting in NY aeons ago. We were roomies for several years-- first in Manhattan and then later in Brooklyn. Next time you go to the fabric store you can say, "Hi Laura!!!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Love the Rain

It's raining cats and dogs outside.  If I were in Australia, I'd say it was bucketing.  The rain is falling so heavily (and the wind is so strong), it is practically going horizontally.  You get the picture.

I'm not much of a fan of the rain, but, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

I have been craving proper Wellington boots ever since I watched Keira Knightly and Sienna Miller tramp around in them in The Edge of Love.  They're something of an obsession for me.
But, THEN, I saw these on The Purl Bee's blog.  Yes, the one pair look like traditional Wellies, but then look how cute and practical the little booties are.  I'm smitten!
Purl's stirrup socks.  Buy the pattern here.
AND, it gets better.  Purl has created a knitting pattern to make the perfect pair of stirrup socks to wear with the boots.  You can buy the pattern from them, or you get a free pattern when you purchase the rain boots.

The rain isn't so bad after all, is it?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gratuitous Puppy Pictures

Some people are into cats.  I, however, am decidedly a dog lover.  Specifically, I like little dogs.  Consider these two examples:


Aren't they cute? 

The top photo is of Casper, a chihuahua.  He belongs to my aunt and her family.  Casper weighs 3.6lbs (1.6kg) but he doesn't let his small size slow him down a bit.  He thinks he's the biggest dog in the house.

Cole (9lbs, 4.1kg) is a papillon.  The name of the breed comes from their distinctive ears-- the size and shape of them resemble butterfly wings, and papillon is the French word for butterfly.  Cole is my sister's dog, but I've convinced him that he belongs to me.  He keeps me company throughout the day, and sleeps in my bed at night.  The only think I don't like about him is his long white hair that he sheds on everything.

There you go.  Dogs are one of my chief pleasures in life.  One of the best things about being home (as opposed to globetrotting) is being able to cuddle with the little guys.

Clemson versus Carolina-- Birthday Wishes

It has been a wonderful couple of days-- my aunt and two cousins from Charleston drove up to Delaware on Wednesday; international friends An'aam, Ahmed, and Mengdi joined us for Thanksgiving; my niece, aunt, and cousin and I woke up at 3:30am to go shopping on Black Friday; and today is my dad's birthday.

It is my dad's particular birthday wish that Clemson University beat University of South Carolina in the football game tonight.  For those of you not from South Carolina, there is a HUGE rivalry between the Clemson Tigers and the Carolina Gamecocks.  Families tend to be for one side or the other; my family falls squarely on the Clemson side.  (Dad graduated from Clemson in 1972.  We grew up with tiger-themed decor, and as a child, I even painted my dollhouse orange with purple shutters).

My mom decided to throw a Football-Birthday party.  She decorated in orange, and made a bunch of food.  We've been sitting around the television set since 7pm, and since I'm not the biggest football fan, I decided to document everything via the blog.  It's always fun to look back and see what you were doing on a particular day-- don't ya think?
The cousins: me, Cody, my brother Ryan, and Alex


I would like to say that Dad is going to get his birthday wish.  Alas, things are not going too swell :( We've got one quarter left, and Clemson is far, far behind.  Still, it's a memorable day, and my mom's party was a great idea.

Happy Birthday, Dad!!! We love you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Playing With String

I like to think of my blog as a repository for really cool ideas that I might want to revisit later.  It makes a better folder to store things than my computer which has a tendency to crash, or at the very least, to become disorganized.

The added benefit of posting things here is that you might also see something that inspires you.  If you make anything, be sure to let me know so I can take a gander!
DIY Friendship Bracelet tutorial here

Broomstick Lace cuff here

Happy Thanksgiving and Who Was Squanto?

John and Priscilla Alden
I think as a child I learned of the Native American, Squanto, who helped rescue the settlers in Massachusetts, which is why we celebrate Thanksgiving today.  It's the amazing story of how a single Native American happened to walk into a settlement and was able to communicate in perfect English.  How did this come to be?

The back story is an interesting one, and it tells of God's provision for the colonists in Plymouth. Below, watch the incredible story of Squanto on CNN.

I love that Americans have this holiday-- it is such a wonderful day of family, and a time to remember what we are thankful for.  My aunt and two cousins are in town from Charleston, South Carolina and we've invited three international students to share this day with us.  They are a brother and sister from Saudi Arabia and a Chinese girl; I am thankful to be surrounded by family and friends on this special day!

Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear reader!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Starbucks Wreath Tutorial

Ooooh, bloggy friend Kara from the aptly named blog, Inspired Kara, sent me a link to a tutorial she wrote on how to make a Starbucks-inspired wreath.  Her tutorial includes step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the wreath, and judging from the picture of her own creation (below), it turned out beautifully.
While you're over there at her blog, take a moment to poke around. Her blog was one of the first ones I discovered when I first ventured into the blogging world. I loved it (and her inspirations) so much that I've been following it for two years. She's currently planning a wedding (her own!), so it's fun to see all of the behind-the-scenes details that are going into it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tutorial to Make a Starbucks Wreath

It has been two years since I posted about the gorgeous yarn-ball wreath I saw at a local Starbucks.  Surprisingly, the keywords "Starbucks wreath" bring just about more traffic to this site than any other words.

The wreath really was quite beautiful!  Below are two more Starbucks-esque wreathes that are featured on the Life through the Lens blog.  Click here to find her tutorial on how to create your own this holiday season.