Archive for November, 2009

Let it Snowflake, 2009!

November 27, 2009

Had the most wonderful Thanksgiving feast at my parents’ place yesterday. Best of all, it was a stunningly gorgeous day, so after our meal I shared an hour or so on the front porch with my mom–soaking in the sun and letting the day slowly fade away. Mom goes all-out in the holiday decorating department, and I loved how the sun sparkled through one of the snowflakes she’d hung so much that I had to capture it on my iPhone:

Snowflake in the sun...Thanksgiving, 2009

Of course, we know that Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday which marks the unofficial start of the winter season. If you live in a climate like we do here in Dallas, you know you’re not going to see real snowflakes for a while…maybe not until January (if at all!).

But that doesn’t mean we don’t think about the chill in the air and the crispness of winter and the thrill of seeing the first snowflakes of the season. I say we enjoy the thought now while it’s still fresh and clean and sparkly!

How about some ideas inspired by snowflakes? Don’t you love the crystalline facets?

Photo: ecochildsplay.com

I love how these tie-dyed leggings from Plan B capture the faceted look in a unique way (kinda like a snowflake, right? No two tie-dyes are ever the same!).

Photo: Behind the Seams blog (theseams.blogspot.com)

It wouldn’t be the holidays without sweaters and cozy wraps, and I know what you’re thinking. I’m not talking the jingle-bellish, snowman infested Rudolph sweaters (but if that’s your desire, take a look at this site, where you can design your own tchotchke-d up holiday sweater!).

Look at these luscious crocheted pieces. I’m inspired by very open stitches this season. They are perfect for layering over bold or tonal colors, and even prints:

Photo: facehunter.blogspot.com

Giant Snowflake crochet project. Click image for instructions on how to make this project. Photo: crochetme.com

In addition to open stitches or yarns, openness and cut-outs in other forms of design are fantastic as well. This white cut-out chair from JANUS et Cie has a snowflake-like effect:

Photo: janusetcie.com

I also love the crystalline effects of snow. Don’t you adore a fresh layer of snow that just sparkles in the sun? Here’s a brilliant gift idea from Anthropologoe.

Glass decor bottle topped with a sparkling iron and crystal stopper. Photo: anthropologie.com

Another sparkling handcrafted gift idea I found on Sterling Rose Design’s etsy store:

Sparkling Swarovski crystal snowflake pendant. Click photo to shop. Photo: etsy.com/shop/SterlingRosesDesign

And of course, we couldn’t finish off a post-Thanksgiving entry without dessert! I stumbled across these stunning snowflake cupcakes online and think I need to try these (to give to friends, of course!)–white chocolate snowflakes, vanilla buttercream icing, vanilla cupcakes…joy!

Pretty! Tasty! Photo: erica-knits.blogspot.com

Come on winter…the holidays have arrived. Bring it on!

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City Lights: Brights and Whites

November 20, 2009

The switch was flipped this evening at the Neiman Marcus flagship on Main Street in downtown Dallas. In a flash, we’re now speeding headlong into the Holiday 2009 season. I don’t know whether to sing out or to break into a full-on panic. Tonight, I simply enjoyed:

Neiman Marcus, sparking in the rain. Main Street, Dallas

The book tree, made of thousands of stacked books, is lit up behind Santa's special chair.

Book Tree again, from the outside of the store.

Books: the gateway to... shoes??!

Guarding all those books can be quite a tall order.





In addition to the books and the fun (including a super-cool system of book tubes that the kids could crawl through, play in and dance around), there was another flavor to NM’s holiday windows…

The Whites.

From pearly white beads to snow-flocked and feathered skirts, every incarnation of wintry whites were seen in the fashion windows around the square block of the Neiman Marcus building.

Draped in Cream. Perhaps my favorite NM 2009 window. Look at the expressions on the mannequins!

Pearlized. NM Holiday 2009

Expressive mannequin in white layers. NM Holiday 2009

Fluffy Whites! NM Holiday 2009

Snowball Fights! NM Holiday 2009

And to All a Good Night. Stay Warm! NM Holiday 2009

Warm (and Cool) Fuzzies

November 14, 2009

We interrupt the holiday scribblings for some breaking news! I finally found and dusted off my needles, and I’m knitting (yes, me…knitting!) something warm and cozy from this scrumptious yarn I bought in Germany a couple of years ago. I love this warm and cool neutral color combination so much I just had to share:

WarmCoolYarn

Aaaaah, yarn.

Doesn’t it remind you of cityscapes in winter and cold, smoky skies and cobblestones and coffee? I love these images!

42-23407778

Brick Wall --- Image by © Steve Nagy/Design Pics/Corbis

42-21336656

New York, New York, USA --- View of Manhattan Across the Hudson River --- Image by © Erica Shires/Corbis

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Gavotte --- Image by © Bagros/SoFood/Corbis

I think I’m just about ready for winter. I may post my project when I’m done. It all depends on how beautifully it turns out (and when!). In the meantime…bundle up, it’s supposed to get cold next week!

FPFauxFur

Free People's Faux Fur Jacket (from November '09 catalog)

Holiday Scribbles, Part 1

November 11, 2009

In case you hadn’t noticed, The Holidays have been rapping ever so gently on our noggins for a little while now. But as with every year, those aggressive little elves are creeping up on us in not-so-stealth mode, pretty much ready to pounce any moment now.

I’ve been filing certain images into holiday categories in my brain for a little while now…just waiting for the right combination of festive inspiration before it turns into desperation. There are some definite themes starting to gel. Here. Take a look at some of my notes:



  • Bold Black/White/Red:
  • My friend Kelly’s Manhattan apartment is decorated exclusively in black, white and red color combinations. I went to visit her in New York for a couple of days in early October. On the first afternoon I was there, I stepped out to go to Bloomingdale’s on 59th and Lexington and somehow found myself riding the escalator to the very top floor. I’m not sure what led me all the way up to Housewares, but I saw two Bloomie’s employees putting the finishing touches on this!

    BloomiesB&W

    The graphic black, white and red tree at Bloomingdales, New York

    I just LOVE the bold checks and stripes on the ornaments and the pops of red are actually little red jackets on Bloomie’s shopper doll ornaments! Adorable!

    For a more ornate approach to black, white and red decorations, here are some sequined pieces handcrafted by Jane at etsybitsyspyder:

    JaneEtsy

    Beautiful beadwork! Photo: etsy.com/shop/etsybitsyspyder

    Bold Black, White and Red isn’t just for hanging on the tree, either. There are tons of options for holiday dressing, hanging out with friends and loved ones, or even those last-minute happy hours. I found lots of set to choose from on Polyvore that fit this bill. I even created a tiny collection of sets for you!

    View ‘Black, White, Red Holiday’ on Polyvore

    BWRPolyvore

    Ready for your parties? Photo: Polyvore.com (click pic for collection)



  • Eco-Chic/Greener Christmas:
  • It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most wasteful. And yeah, yeah, we want to be conscious of how our decisions are affecting the globe, but just how chic can that possibly be?

    Check out this funky plywood tree from Burotree.

    burotree1

    Burotree's plywood tree. Photo: burotree.com

    The company claims it leaves a smaller ecological footprint (than traditional Christmas trees) by utilizing a low-energy production technique to minimize waste. Plus, just like other artificial trees, you can reuse it year after year, but the great thing is, this puppy packs FLAT for the best transportation and storage.

    Now, here’s something that will make you feel ::sparkly:: about being eco-conscious this season: organic, fair trade and earth-friendly liquor and mixers!

    booze

    Liquors and mixers and booze, oh my! Photo: eco-chick.com

    What a great way to create a Peace on Earth-friendly signature cocktail at your party, yes? Click on the photo above for several eco-drink recipes.


    Okay, my friends. I actually have several more holiday ideas rolling around my brain, but alas, time has gotten away from me, so I’m breaking my thoughts into parts. Stay tuned for the next installment of my holiday notes/scribbles…coming soon!

    Mulberry + Apple = A Tasty Combination

    November 7, 2009

    I have a few mottos. Some I can’t say here. But one that I can divulge is, “Have Laptop, Will Travel.”

    Lately I’ve been finding myself taking my laptop with me wherever I go. With more and more wifi access areas popping up everywhere (including a recent flight I took from Dallas to New York), it only makes sense to bring along my sweet, trusty MacBook. I mean, you never know when you’re going to want to write a blog entry, pay an online bill, or ream someone’s Facebook status, right?

    In fact, I actually almost lost that same sweet MacBook on the flight back to Dallas (a harrowing story that included major panic, many frantic phone calls, speeding back to DFW Airport, and even a couple of tears…ending with hugging the gate agent waaaaaay too tightly). Trust me, you don’t ever want this to happen to you.

    But today while roaming around online I found a link to Mulberry’s new accessory collaboration with Apple. These pieces are so beautiful, there’s no WAY I’d accidentally leave one under the seat in front of me (I don’t care how intriguing that man sitting next to me is). *ahem*

    The nine-piece collection consists classic pieces from the British brand adapted to accommodate Apple’s technology – from padded interiors to holes and eyelets for ear phones – including the patent black Bayswater, the Daria clutch, and mini-messengers for iPhones:

    MulberryApple

    Mulberry + Apple collection for MacBooks and iPhones Photo: nitrolicious.com

    Bayswater

    Black patent Bayswater is classic Mulberry with padding inside. Photo: Mulberry.com

    Brynmore

    Love this rugged Brynmore bag. Fits the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Photo: Mulberry.com

    Daria

    A pop of pink! Mulberry's Daria sleeve fits the 13-inch MacBook. Photo: Mulberry.com

    BayswaterMini

    The Bayswater mini is pure iPhone fashion! Photo: Mulberry.com

    These bags have just launched in Europe (November 1st), and will be available December 1st on the Mulberry website. And yes, while I know that some of these bags and sleeves are budget busters (a friend noted that some of these are just as expensive as the product they’re meant to hold), I have no doubt that there will be stylish interpretations of these looks cropping up elsewhere soon. And while beautiful print sleeves and bags have been out there since the inception of the traveling laptop, check out some options by Janine King on Etsy:

    PrintedSleeves

    Bold and colorful printed sleeves for MacBook by Janine King. Photo: etsy.com

    Know a traveling someone with a wish list? I certainly do!