Blogging about a variety of things I enjoy. Also peddling my wares at Thicket and Thistle on Etsy.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Just finished a private (i.e., in my bed, under a borrowed blanket ("Big Brown"), with a plate of gruyere by my side) viewing of Charade, a 1963 whodunit starring Ms. Hepburn and Mr. Grant. Thoroughly pleasing. Ms. Hepburn plays a woman named Reggie whose life is endangered when her husband is killed by who-knows-who for a then-hefty sum of $250K. Stemming from a U.S. plot to smuggle money to the French during WWII, the money's carriers decide instead to bury it and return for it later - for their personal benefit. Reggie's husband secretly returns alone for the money but years later, in post-war Paris, one of his mates kills him and the others go after Reggie, suspecting that her hubby gave her the money. Cary Grant plays a U.S. "agent" who tries to help Reggie without actually telling him who he is (he has several aliases and at a few different points may be the murderer himself). In the end, the money's found and Mr. Crookshank and Ms. Lampert fall in love.
Anyway, a synopsis of the film isn't really my point. My point is, look at these amazing gloves Reggie's wearing here:
Who wears gloves that color? They're amazing. I don't know what to call them...fawn? Tan? Khaki? Cafe con leche?
All of her costumes are wonderful, of course, being designed by Hubert de Givenchy (no wonder they're distinctly reminiscent of the First Lady of the time). Her pill box headgear here is perfect, and there again is that muted tone.
Later, she pairs bright white leather with the stark contrast of a black wool coat - hot.

I haven't been so completely obsessed with leather gloves since the current First Lady sported her earthy green fingers at the 2009 Inauguration. Hers were J. Crew but I found a similar pair at Nordstrom and forced my sister to get them this fall.

Must have gloves.
Image 1 - IMDB/MPTV
Image 2 - here
Image 3 - Depths of Cinema
Image 4 - Newsok

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This napkin is girly perfection for a ladies lunch or sit-down bridal shower or wedding or little girl's birthday party or....
It reminds me of this image (a vintage Bali undergarments ad) that I saw once upon a time on Absolutely Beautiful Things.
Image 1 - Martha Stewart Weddings
Image 2 - What Makes the Pie Shops Tick

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Popped into Banana today and fell in love with two things: Olive silk one-shoulder dress from the Monogram collection. Would look cool with pitch black tights and chunky heels.

Woven leather flats. So quaint and Italian.
For the record, both look better in person (Banana's ads are pretty terrible). And both are reminiscent of Sofia Loren in Houseboat.

Images 1 and 2 - Banana Republic
Image 3 - Style Alchemy


"All That Glitters Is Not Gold" by D-Kav
"Glitter Paper Bokeh" by Gondolin Girl
"Tinsel Bokeh" by Gondolin Girl
"365/18 All that Glitters" of edible gold glitter by Claire Sparkle
Learned something new..."bokeh," of the Japanese root "boke," means blur, used especially in photography. The blurred vision of glitter or lights at light is one of my favorite images - ethereal, fleeting, beautiful, and vague.

A mysterious image by Justin Bond for Dansk Magazine

Saturday, February 6, 2010

creme de la creme

I'm in the mood for creamy, milky puddin'.
I've used this incredibly simple and easy recipe from Giada a few times now. Last Easter, my sister and I poured Giada's recipe (plus cinnamon) into a silicone bouchon mold from Williams-Sonoma, refrigerated it, then popped out the little sand buckets, drizzled on some honey, and garnished with blackberries. Panna cotta is so rich (don't depress yourself by looking at the nutrition information on the whipping cream carton; ignore and eat) so the bouchon size was just satisfying enough.

I recently found this recipe for Meyer lemon pot de creme and decided I must make it for a spring brunch.
For the record, the difference between panna cotta and a pot de creme is thus: panna cotta is made from simmering both cream and milk, sugar, and gelatin, then pouring into a vessel of some sort and cooling until set (but it's still very creamy and soft). A pot de creme is more custard-y, made by baking a combination of cream and milk, sugar, and eggs in a pan of water.
Image 1 - My very own
Image 2 - Style at Home

Friday, February 5, 2010

stripes and stripes

One hot summer day a couple of years ago, my sister and brother and I checked out the Kreeger Museum, former home to Geico chairman David Kreeger and his wife Carmen. The building was designed by Philip Johnson and is airy and spacious, perfect for entertaining or, as it is now, for milling about pretending you're rich. For this reason, private homes-turned-museums are my favorites. The Kreegers were dutiful collectors of art from various periods (Brancusi, Frank Stella, Noguchi, Munch, Picasso, Klee).
A temporary show of Gene Davis's work was on exhibit that summer. I'd never heard of him but I liked the linear pops of color. Stripes, evidently, were his raison d'etre.
Davis employed all sorts of color sets - dark, light, bright.
The Kreeger Museum calls his stripes essays in "intervals."

This one reminds me of a beach towel.
Kind of makes me think of...
I've been meaning to copy him (sorry, emulate) but you know...just haven't gotten around to it. Apparently other people have the same idea though. I think they'd be fun in a kid's room.
Image 1 - Kreeger Museum
Image 2 - artnet
Image 3 - Birds of Ohio

callas forever

I love Maria Callas for her glamour and the fact that she was famous for being an opera singer - beyond Renee Fleming and Josh Grobin, there aren't many of her kind in the 21st Century. I'm also intrigued by her personal drama (did you know she was in a love triangle with Jackie O. and Aristotle? It ended badly for Maria.).
The opulent florals in this 1956 portrait of her by Henry Koerner belie her New York birthplace and speak more to her European upbringing and lifestyle.
Hot mod dress - oh yes, and that's Grace Kelly.
Even her car is awesome. Philippe Starck likes it, too.

cherries and feathers, cherries and feathers

This is a pretty colorblock feather dress from Oregon designer Lizzie Parker. She mostly does eco-friendly, moveable knits but I much prefer her "fancies." I love the bright contrast up top to the soft feathers below.

This feather bolero from TopShop reminds me of my subject line quote from Hello, Dolly!

Mmm, this "Nougat Long Maribou Strapless Dress" is delish. I only found out about Lisa Ho ten minutes ago, but I'm already a convert.

Image 1 - OregonLive
Image 3 - Amour Amour

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The flecks of bright floral color in these images of an Australian couple's wedding, via Cup of Jo, brought to mind swirly, dizzying, flurrying confetti. There might be nothing on earth as "useless" as confetti, but it is so joyful it makes me happy.
I'm imagining a child's Kate Spade- slash Agatha Ruiz de la Prada-themed birthday party infused with layer upon layer of pop color and balloons and confetti fluttering down amongst peonies and cupcakes and of course, Pillsbury Funfetti cookies (mmm!). I guess I'm in the mood because today is my niece's birthday!
And this image and this image, which refuse to upload. Confetti reminds me of the little wooden box my sister used to keep filled with holepunch leftovers. When my brother and I were little, she'd sometimes let us open the box and throw the little circles (chads, if you will) up in the air. It was the greatest feeling. We'd then scrape the carpet with our little hands, capturing every last chad - and a whole lot of carpet fuzz - and stuffing them in the box for the next release.
Image 1 - Cup of Jo via OnceWed
Image 2 - Such Pretty Things

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

lollipop, lollipop

In the mood for bright treats...

And a recipe here.
Image 1 - Bakerella
Image 2 - V a s s

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I *knew* that looked familiar!
Of late, I've been obsessing over the show Giuliana and Bill because, well, I think they're hilarious, their lives fun and privileged yet somehow normal, and Jacobi is just about the most ridiculous and easy-to-love sidekick ever (for example, he agrees to do fertility yoga with Giuliana when she's trying to concieve). The other week, during no particular episode, I noticed a familiar piece of art hanging in their apartment....
Which instantly brought to mind my "ISO: Beautiful Things" post from March 2009 of a Mrs. Howard interior:

Sure enough, a Google search tells me I'm not the only one who's noticed the preponderance of octupus triptychs. I guess the blog and design worlds are very, very small.
Image1 - My Blue Hydrangea Image 2 - Mrs. Howard

look up

I love this photo, which sits on a shelf at the end of my bed (my bed sitting snugly between three walls with no gaps). I snuck a shot of the chandeliers in the Opera House of the Kennedy Center last winter and am so glad I risked being escorted out by the nice old lady in the red blazer. The blurriness is dreamy and the haphazard jumble of constellations negates all earthly man made symmetry.

a search

I'm eager to return to the Jefferson Hotel for another stellar tea this weekend. The day after the blizzard was blissfully refined and hushed in the newly refurbished hotel. Aside from all the other subdued luxuries my friends and I discovered (beautiful marble vanities and a collection of silhouettes in the ladies room; golden yellow walls in the stairwell; railcar-style pocket doors enclosing tiny alcoves; thick, illuminated amber bar), the stemware used for water was magnificently thin and graceful. I shall seek the purveyor during my next visit.

i love this lady

Thanks to Google Reader's spot-on blog suggestions, today I stumbled upon/fell in love with the below project by Jenny from Little Green Notebook. The lacquered Chinese-tomato-fire engine red is so bright it needs multiple descriptors. This particular example of refinishing potentially ugly, cheap, used furniture is rather inspiring since I'm usually only able to see the downsides of vintage goods and have a hard time envisioning makeovers. If only I had room in my own room, perhaps I could attempt such a project.
The pop of color and mix of patterns in this teensy weensy room are great. The rug looks like the folksy kilim I purchased in Turkey (except Jenny's is from Ikea...). I also love the pretty light in this picture. Jenny seems like the type of mom who would let her girls redecorate their rooms for fun, and, being her children, they would come out fun and playful and effortless, too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

high on a hill

Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens

I shared a lovely workday afternoon (thanks, boss) one day before Christmas with my mom, sister, aunt, cousin, and cousin-in-law/friend taking tea and a tour of Marjorie Merriweather Post's divine Hillwood Estate. I'd always thought it was buried in Georgetown somewhere but in fact it's set on a hill (go figure) just northeast of the Uptown, surrounded by some pretty large, expensive homes--all of which pale in comparison to Hillwood.
The house more than satiated my thirst for vicarious, grandiose living. Filled with priceless Russian artifacts collected during one of Marjorie's husband's diplomatic tour (a great loss for Russia), the house is over-the-top luxury in every sense of the word. Not an inch is left unadorned.
The single deepest impression left in my memory is of the pale, pale lavender velvet that covers several little setees (and upholsters the walls, no less) in the "Pavilion" room. The color is almost overwhelmed by the busy wood inlay and decoration throughout the rest of the room but it remains a steady, dignified force. I'd love to use that fabric for a duvet cover, or a pillbox hat, or a little pair of gloves, or an opera cloke. The room served as a theater of sorts, where Lady Marjorie would host film screenings and dances. As soon as I walked in, I was reminded of the scene in The Sound of Music in which the children and Maria stage an operetta with marionettes. I didn't realize theaters in the homes of the wealthy pre-existed La-Z-Boy (I'm making a direct reference to MTV Cribs episodes, here).
Pavilion at Hillwood
I'll have to return to see the gardens in bloom as they were covered under a blanket of residue snow from the blizzard the day we had our tea. This is why I love private homes-cum-museums, though, because the experience is enjoying the whole space, as opposed to limiting your vision to items hung on the wall. The temporary immersion into another's life is not limited to finishing the walk-through of the house. I imagine Marjorie sitting down mid-morning to her writing desk situated in front of the pretty bay window just outside her collection of pink closets, taking a pen to her gold-trimmed stationery complete with seal (note to self: get a seal), inviting guests for a theatrical performance in the Pavilion or a garden party on the Lunar Lawn. Ah, to be rich and leisurely.

The Dacha at Hillwood - A replica of a small Russian summer house