June 25, 2010

A Tiny Victorian Cottage

I came across an article in The New York Times about a tiny hunting lodge in the Catskills that had been lovingly restored by its owner for only $3,000.  The cottage has no running water or heat (so no bathroom or kitchen, and in the frigid New England winters it is uninhabitable), but it is adorable and must be shared.

(Long parenthetical: it also reminds me of the novel All He Ever Wanted, by Anita Shreve. An independent woman in the early 1900s feels like she has no choice but to marry a platonic friend [a dull, stodgy, and pompous professor at the local college] due to his generosity to her family; being willful and free-spirited, she secretly purchases her own small hideaway where she can escape and be alone. I don't want to give away any more of the plot, but seeing this tiny haven reminded me of the novel.)

June 24, 2010

Etsy Helps the Gulf Coast

Do you Etsy?  Etsy is an online web "store" where you can find everything from handmade aprons to quilts to vintage jewelry and clothing to signed artwork to random yardsale finds.  To help fund the massive Gulf Coast Recovery efforts, Etsy has partnered with many of its sellers to offer donated items for sale--100% of proceeds can be donated to charity.
This is a collective etsy shop to help the gulf coast recover from the massive BP oil spill. Etsy sellers have donated their items so that 100% of the proceeds can be given to charity. 
We've set up a separate paypal account for this shop. 100% of the proceeds (after etsy & paypal fees) will be donated to OxFam America and the National Wildlife Federation. Both organizations have given us permission to fundraise on their behalf.

For a full list of etsy sellers who are participating, please view our profile here:  http://www.etsy.com/people/HelpTheGulfCoast

If you're interested in donating an item for this shop, please check out our donation guidelines in the shop policies!  http://www.etsy.com/shop_policy.php?user_id=10158415

Our blog - http://www.helpthegulfcoastetsy.blogspot.com/
All of the items in our shop have free shipping to the US, and some sellers have offered free worldwide shipping. If you live outside the US and you're interested in an item that does not have free worldwide shipping, please convo the seller. They can send you a separate invoice for additional shipping charges.

Below are a selected few of the items I found intriguing... even if you don't purchase anything, please spread the word.

antique Victorian locket

Ocean Air series by Rachael Scott

thank-you notes

vintage starburst rhinestone brooch

original Pelican watercolor

pure shea butter whip

robot cufflinks

original abstract Koi painting (although they look like Catfish to me)

Key to My Heart gold necklace

June 15, 2010

Ewan McGregor and Natalia Vodianova in Vogue

I'd love to be Natalia in this photo, wouldn't you?

The photo above is just one of a series in the Vogue US July 2010 editorial, found via Fashion Gone Rogue
The latest issue of Vogue US depicts a 1950s marriage gone wrong with the lens of Peter Lindbergh (2b Management) at the helm. Although picture perfect on the outside, model Natalia Vodianova and actor Ewan McGregor must grapple with temptation and vices in their crumbling relationship. Styled by Grace Coddington, the cinematic story gives us a first look at the fall collections with clothing from Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren and others.

Inside a Wave: Epic Photography by Clark Little

There really is no other way to describe The Shorebreak Art of Clark Little other than EPIC.  I've posted some of my favorites below, but visit the link to see more amazing shots of his.  The difficulty and skill that went into getting these shots is pretty astounding, and I'm in awe of the vivid colors of the waves and water.

June 12, 2010

Mickey Drexler: Retail Therapist

J. Crew will always hold a special place in my heart, and not just because I love their clothes, shoes, and accessories.  A little over a year ago I was laid off from my job; I was devastated, upset, angry, confused, and experienced a myriad of other emotions.  While I collected unemployment from the government (hey, a girl has to live), I also went to my local J. Crew in Georgetown and applied for a job, for which I was miraculously hired.  I only worked at the store for four months, but it was my first time ever working retail, and I learned about the industry as well as about J. Crew's brand and products.  All of this is to say that I love to read about Jenna Lyons, J. Crew's creative director, who has fabulous style (read my previous post about her here), and about Mickey Drexler, the current chairman and CEO who has brought fresh and new ideas to the company.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mickey in person during my tenure at J. Crew and enjoyed this Wall Street Journal article about him; I look forward to seeing what Mickey brings to the brand in the future.

June 11, 2010

D.C. Cupcake Decorating Contest

Hello Cupcake, a cupcakery located in Dupont Circle, held a cupcake decorating contest last Saturday challenging contestants to decorate a cupcake inspired by their favorite DC neighborhood.  The contest was open only to amateur decorators, and entrants could only consist of one cupcake, not a "diorama" of several cupcakes strung together.  Additionally, all decorations had to be handmade, edible, and made/created by the contestant.  The submissions are so creative and distinct that I'm having a hard time picking my favorite, although the tribute to Chinatown, the Metro map, and the Arborium are in my top three.

tribute to Chinatown

Metro map (it's accurate!)


tribute to Ben's Chili Bowl

Larry Craig's "Wide Stance" cupcake

June 9, 2010

Prudent Advice from British Petroleum

By now, unless you're deaf, dumb, blind, and have been living under a rock in the very center of the Earth's core, you know that BP has seriously F-ed up (with a capital F) the Gulf Coast with gushing oil.  That fact makes the picture below, found via The Consumerist, both timely and amusing.  I'm still waiting to see if BP follows its own advice.

June 4, 2010


Finally, it's Friday.  This has only been a four-day work week because of the Memorial Day holiday, but it has  d r a g g e d  on forever, it seems.  My younger sister arrives in DC tomorrow for her summer internship, and I am looking forward to spending some QT with her.  She spent this spring semester in Scotland, so it will be the first time I've seen her (Skype doesn't count) since Christmas.

Anyway, I've spent the better part of the morning browsing blogs, and Simply Seleta displayed some fun family photos of she and her family jumping on the beach.  I've seen this trend develop on Facebook, of taking a picture just as someone has jumped into the air, but I didn't realize where it actually started.  Thank you, Seleta, for informing me and enabling me to share the work of Philippe Halsman, particularly his JUMP series. 

The following is from the October 2006 edition of Smithsonian Magazine:
And because of Halsman’s sense of play, we have the jump pictures—portraits of the well known, well launched.
This odd idiom was born in 1952, Halsman said, after an arduous session photographing the Ford automobile family to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary. As he relaxed with a drink offered by Mrs. Edsel Ford, the photographer was shocked to hear himself asking one of the grandest of Grosse Pointe's grande dames if she would jump for his camera. "With my high heels?" she asked. But she gave it a try, unshod—after which her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Henry Ford II, wanted to jump too.
For the next six years, Halsman ended his portrait sessions by asking sitters to jump. It is a tribute to his powers of persuasion that Richard Nixon, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Judge Learned Hand (in his mid-80s at the time) and other figures not known for spontaneity could be talked into rising to the challenge of...well, rising to the challenge. He called the resulting pictures his hobby, and in Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, a collection published in 1959, he claimed in the mock-academic text that they were studies in "jumpology."
Below are some of Halsman's photos that I particularly enjoyed.

Audrey Hepburn

Brigitte Bardot

Aldous Huxley

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

ballet on beach

President Richard Nixon

Salvador Dali

Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Grace Kelly

Murray Kempton

Marilyn Monroe