Saturday, December 26, 2009

"When a woman smiles, her dress should smile with her."

My borderline-obsessive interest in Isabel Toledo has led me to read almost as compulsively about Madeleine Vionnet, an early 20th century French seamstress and designer. I feel the same sort of reverence for her as I do for Isabel, and so strongly wish I could have lived in France at the time, even as a little fly, and watched her take the brilliance in her mind and transform it into clothing. She helped alter people's perception of ideal beauty by turning away from the straight shapes of the 1920's and instead accentuating women's curves. She was the creator of the bias cut, which allowed clothing to move with the body instead of constrict it. Vionnet turned her nose up at much of her day's fashion world and was a bit of a hermit, which makes me adore her all the more. To read more about her and the exhibition you're going to see once you book your trip to Paris next week, continue here.

In the meantime, gasp and gape here:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lazy days are here

Vacation time for me has finally come, and I find that all I want to do is the following:


Roam around the neighborhood:

And somehow be near water:

Let these three wishes (captured by Tuija Lindström) be granted me and I shall be a happy woman!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Excuse me, you have golden sparkles between your teeth

Ichigo is thinking of starting a baking blog, and we were talking about how frustrating it is when people post pictures of what wonders they made, and don't show you how. So I am going to show you, mostly by links, how to make pumpkin cookies:

Step 1: Find a recipe such as this one.
Step 2: Substitute that frosting with a cream cheese frosting, except use half the amount of sugar.
Step 3: Get yourself to a Williams Sonoma or NYCake, or another store that sells golden, shimmering sugar, and dust that on the cookies.
Step 4: Put it on the dessert table.
Step 5: Stand by the dessert table and count exactly how many cookies each guest ate. This number is now directly proportional to how much you like each person! Keep reminding them of this until they run away from you, leaving behind a trail of crumbs.


Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanks to Amazon's awesome deals, I finally have all the Nina Simone songs I could dream of, including my favorite- Sinnerman. For exquisite listening pleasure, all you have to do is click (second song).

And for your exquisite remixed listening pleasure click again (first song). If you insist on sticking your nose up at Felix Da Housecat, do it in public. In private, just dance!

Also, as you can see, I can't figure out how to switch the song order. Technology, what a burden upon my mind!...Any help I will take and treasure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mil Besos

I recently saw heart stopping pictures from Ruven Afanador's just published book Mil Besos. The photographs capture Spain's flamenco dancers in all their beauty and strength, and I really love them. Here you are:

The dancers appear to me like mermaids, prophetesses, silent film stars and intriguing great-aunts, and really, isn't that what all women want to be?

Monday, September 28, 2009


Fall is here and winter is coming, so it's time to start wearing shirts buttoned up to the neck (not that I ever stopped during the summer, but now it will be more comfortable), turtlenecks, shawls, and fake furs. What better to guide us into our cold weather lives and cloaks than films set in 19th and early 20th century Russia?

Nothing is better, that's the answer.


War and Peace:


Even if high collars are not your preference, these are still perfect movies to watch for when it's all chilly outside and all warm inside and you happen to have a refrigerator full of beer and borscht.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Get it before it's gone!

There is always some special exhibit, event or festival happening in NY, and a lot of them pass by me either unnoticed or unattended. But I must share two of my favorites that should NOT be missed! Go today for the first, next month for the second, and not a second later.

Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out at the Museum at FIT

Her knowledge about sewing and design is mind blowing. I couldn't look at my little sewing projects for days afterwards without cringing and collapsing into a pile of despair (over what I don't know) and reverence (for her). She's a genius! And here she is, looking ravishing.

It ends September 26, hurry!

And coming up....
Norwegian Film Week at Scandinavia House

I grew up around so many cultures in Queens, but Scandinavian culture wasn't really one of them. The only times I was exposed to it was when my grandfather would pull out the family tree and show me where my great great grandparents came from and how our name was changed from Johansson, to Skjold, to Schold. In elementary school I used to do a yearly report on Norway and bring in a Norwegian berry pudding while explaining to everyone that all my ancestors were Vikings.

Although there is still a small possibility that might be true, I don't go around saying it and instead just love visiting Scandinavia House. It has a small library, children's playroom, rotating gallery, restaurant, shop and theater. The Norwegian Film Week lasts from October 14th to 24th, and Scandinavia House is compact enough to see it all in one day, so try it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Weekend's Creations and Creatures

(Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons, Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows with Graham Cracker Crumbs, Swiss Log Cake with Whipped Cream and Cherries, Chocolate Truffles, Apron).

The above pictures look innocent enough, but if you look closely, you'll see that the swiss log resembles an agitated forest monster lurching to attack. I suppose it's irritable nature is due to it's insides spewing out during the metamorphosis from a flat sheet to a log:

If my insides spewed out I wouldn't be happy either. So I'm going to try to create another swiss log with insides intact. It will be less threatening and I will be victorious.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Red Hook

Red Hook is an escape from New York's anxiety. It feels to me like Brooklyn, the West Coast, industrialism, and nature collided and made their own little world. Although there's more to Red Hook than the water, this is a waterfront only tour:

- Take a walk down Coffey Street until you reach this small pier and park. Bring your fishing pole, not your bathing suit.

- Walk a block over to Van Dyke and visit a little flower shop called Saipua. I walked by before opening day, and even without flowers it is an enchanting place. Instead of a wall, there's just a little ledge separating the sidewalk from the shop. Step over it for wonderful soaps, cards, flowers and dog petting.

- About a block down from Saipua yet another world unfolds. Follow signs for Steve's Key Lime Pies until the big arrow turns you left. Stop for a chocolate dipped keylime pie on a stick and get lost in bliss. You should get at least two napkins so as not to make your dining companions uncomfortable with melted chocolate lips.

- Turn right from Steve's to peer into little workshops along the pier. Step inside Flickinger Glassworks where the workers will take a break from the kilns or the office to tell you about what they are doing with a mixture of pride and self-deprecation.

- Walk back down the pier and turn right into Liberty Sunset Garden Center, where (according to their website...I'm cheating a little here) 'you can find 20-foot Yucca trees, elephant ears, water lillies, a collection of exotic cacti and tropicals, and much much more'.

- Continue through the garden center through a walkway teeming with Portland-like foliage....

...until you reach the home of my dreams: The Waterfront Museum. It was built in 1914, and re-purchased for a dollar in 1985 by the present owner. When I visited he was the only one there, and he told me about the delapidated state it was in back then. It took him years to clean out the 300 tons of mud inside and restore it to it's original condition. After telling him I always dreamed of living on a boat, he told me that he and his family HAVE lived there for almost twenty years.

-Once you're done getting lost in someone else's life, go get food for your own. Right behind the barge is Fairway, a super supermarket located in a big warehouse. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, cured meats and everything else you could want abound, along with a New York rarity- free samples! Shop until you are dizzy and broke, but save a little money to get a snack and eat in the outdoor, waterfront dining area.

- Finally, before your milk spoils and your eggs go bad, follow the abandoned train to the next pier where you can see more people at work painting and making things, while your mind flits back and forth between getting those groceries home, moving to Red Hook someday, finally visiting the Statue of Liberty (you can't help but stare at it from the pier) or maybe just jumping on the big cruiseship in the distance.

Be safe on your long journey home and visit again soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hashidate Maru

What I wouldn't do to have this on my wall! It's a tape mural, and I'm impressed.

Hashidate Stop Motion from chris hosmer on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cornbread and Butterbeans

Seeing a jug used to keep the beat makes my heart flutter.

Friday, February 13, 2009