Wednesday, March 31, 2010

etsy joy: Heather Evans Smith

Wistful, beautiful, nostalgic, feminine: the photography of Heather Evans Smith.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Powder and the Glory

I've just finished watching the terrific documentary film The Powder and the Glory, about cosmetics industry pioneers Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein.

What strong, visionary women they were! They essentially created the industry and an entirely new "beauty culture" in the United States. I admire that kind of chutzpah. They created their paths and commited to them completely, and ultimately become iconic.

Funny thing is -- these two never met. Rivals to the end!

There were a lot of gorgeous old print advertisements in the film, and a look at some vintage television ads from the 50's and 60's. All of that fascinating stuff I could look at for hours.

All in all -- a fun way to spend an idle hour, and now I need to add the book the film was based upon to my already too-long reading list.

So many words, so little time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

etsy joy: popalicious

Earrings, pendants, pins, and buttons -- oh MY!

The awesome Popalilcious shop is one of the best I've ever seen on etsy. It's one of my new, but instant all-time, favorites.

Equal parts elegance and fun, what an EYE!

etsy joy: fuzzymug

I am absolutely WILD about the work of fuzzymug's etsy shop.

There are journals, cards, mugs, art prints -- and you can even get a custom portrait of your own pet! It's all incredibly well done and with just the right amount of whimsy.

If you love animals, this is a gotta-see-it site.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

etsy joy: snappymirrors

Great little discovery: snappymirrors' etsy shop has a wide variety of appealing designs, but none as lovely as these cameo images.
Aren't they the prettiest?

Friday, March 19, 2010

blog happy: Glamour Daze

I'm fascinated by old advertisements in general, and the ones for women's fashion and beauty products are particularly interesting to me. My tastes are inclined towards the old fashioned (as anybody who's read anything here already knows), and in that vein Glamour Daze is a real treasure trove of vintage lovelies (and not-so-lovelies) worth perusing.

This 1920's image is typical of the period. On the one hand, I find myself thinking "how realistic is this?" (not very), but compared to today's micro-fine airbrushing and sundry other digital tricks, will the real woman please stand up?

It's all built on fantasy, anyhow. They sell us the fantasy ... but would it sell if we didn't want it in the first place? The fantasy, or a piece of it at any rate, in a saucy compact, a twist-up tube, a pretty little pot. Women (and men) have been beautifying themselves for probably as long as there have been women and men.

The other day, I wore a bit of long-wearing lipstain and cream blush to work, and right away the first female co-worker who saw me said "You're wearing MAKE-UP! Oh, it looks so NICE!". Which means a) I rarely wear makeup (twenty years ago it was a different story), and b) it only takes a little bit to get noticed. By another woman, anyway.

I'm 44 now, and less is definitely more. But I think I'll keep up the lip/cheek combo (30 seconds in the morning, how hard is that?) The act of putting on a bit of color -- not an entire "face" -- is, I think, both a positive affirmation of myself and a way to subtly signal a change in my attitude.

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Spring is here (or close, anyway) and I can't wait, can't WAIT for all the color and the profusion of heavenly smells everywhere! I wear a Spring-y cologne all throughout the year (Crabtree's Summer Hill), a "warm white floral" and no matter what I'm wearing -- even just the usual fleece top and leggings -- I feel more feminine once I've cloaked myself in a few puffs of it.

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I have been sooooooo busy over at my other blog The Daily Corgi, which now has a daily visit tally of 400-500 and over 1,500 fans on the companion facebook fan page. It's been a good discipline to keep me (somewhat) focused during the dreary post-holiday months of January and February. When I wasn't plotting an eventual move to sunny California, I was working on the blog. It's paying off in readership dividends, it's true ... and I get to keep my creative juices flowing, even if on some days it's a mere trickle. My big project with that is -- I'm hoping -- the creation of a 2011 calendar with photos of reader-submitted dogs, with sales to benefit CorgiAid.

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I am loving all the Liberty of London products now out in the Target stores. I can't pick out a particular pattern that I absolutely cannot live without (though anything with that ebullient candy pink catches my eye), but the whole late 60's/early 70's vibe is appealing. I could see a bit of it here or there in my bedroom, at any rate. The rest of my apartment has shaped up quite differently (though apart from the kitchen and bathroom, it's still pretty sparse!)

I love the ladies' bicycle covered in a Liberty print, and apparently I'm not the only one; it's all sold-out at, as are many of the other Liberty products. The fashion-istas have jumped on board all at once for this one ... it had to have been that little tiny quarter-page write-up in last month's Vogue.

(Yes, I read Vogue. Yes, I feel silly about it sometimes. No, I'm not giving it up ;-).

If you subscribe to Country Living, there's a spread on the stuff in this month's issue; if you don't, pop by your local newsstand and grab a copy. Heck, it's Country Living -- you can't go wrong with that anyway. It's one of the last standing, after M.E.'s Home Companion, Country Home and Domino all went away! I do have to wonder how long Victoria will last. I took a chance and bought a subscription recently. Magazine money burns a hole through my pocket every month so I'm just biting the subscription bullet. No fun to pay up front, big fun when you get a little shower of magazines all at once, right on your doorstep!

Oh, I love the postman. I really do. .

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Speaking of magazines. I have re-discovered how good O, the Oprah magazine is. It's actually an intelligent women's magazine. Sure there's beauty and relationship stuff in there, but it's not silly or superficial. Well, a little silly sometimes. But we all need a little silly SOMETIMES, yes?

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I realized earlier today that from my kitchen, bathroom or bedroom windows I can see a small wedge of the river near where I live. So I have a WATER VIEW! My computer is on the kitchen table (I haven't got a desk and it's not a laptop), and I was typing madly away when I noticed this sparkly thing happening out there ... and I realized "hey, that's the river!" It's so high right now because of recent torrential rains, and I've identified the sound of it at night ... something I hadn't heard before. There's nothing more soothing than the sound of flowing water.
The drip-drip-drip of a faucet? Not so much.

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Before I sign off -- a book recommendation: Good Grief, by Lolly Winston. A friend loaned it to me years ago and I resisted reading it because there's a gauzy image of a woman's pajama-clad legs and feet in pink bunny slippers on the cover.

Ugh. The dreaded "chick-lit" thing. I love a pretty cover, but bunny slippers?

For real?

As it turns out, this book is GOOD. It's about a woman in her 30's (I believe) who loses her husband to cancer, how she goes over the edge and comes back again. Which sounds utterly horrible and not a fun read at all, but really ... it is satisfying. It has bite. It reminded me that survival happens. That we are resilient! That our losses cannot destroy who we are or the core of goodness and possibility that remains when the grief has subsided.

If that seems like what you need right now for what ails you, you've got my recommendation.

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'Til next time, ladies ... gather ye buttercups while ye may!