30 January 2010

Notes from the couch

Being sick for the past week with bronchitis has given me lots of time to nest on the couch. I've compiled a list of things that make staying in my couch-nest fun.
A good book...
Daniel Alarcón's Lost City Radio is a captivating journey to a nameless country and delves into the lives of seemingly anonymous yet heartbreakingly real characters connected by the tragedy of civil war. Norma is the voice on the radio who people call hoping that their loved ones are listening, hoping they can find them. Norma is also seeking her husband, though he is a presumed dead terrorist and she cannot openly say his name on the radio, she hopes he is listening. When a boy from the jungle comes to her with a list of his village's lost, she sees the name she has been forbidden to say for almost 10 years. The story follows them as they move through the city, showing the different and senseless ways that war has touched all the people they encounter. The book plays out like a movie, shifting from the present into the past, and from a bleak city street into a magical South American jungle with the turn of a page making it impossible to put down.
Simple crafts...
I found a tutorial on Howcast for how to make a crocheted headband with a bow. I haven't finished the bow yet, but I made my headband with some beautiful pale blue alpaca wool.
Speaking of alpacas...

And of course online shopping (but not actually buying, unfortunately)
not yet spring

26 January 2010


IRM gets released in the US today. Processing iTunes order...now! Click here to hear one of their songs.

24 January 2010

a quick post

Its been such a relaxing weekend filled with reading and low key nights with friends. On Friday I had wine with LK and some friends stopped by. She's dog-sitting the most gorgeous pup (who also happens to be the biggest) and we all took turns petting and spoiling him until it all became too much and he fell asleep on the floor near the kitchen.
Abercrombie sweater circa 2001, homemade skirt, Hue tights, Dolce Vita boots (I really need to spice up my footwear)
Also, my roommate sent me this video. If you liked my previous post about paper-cutting its imperative that you watch it.

20 January 2010

paper, scissors, beauty

The first time I saw a paper cutting it was love. Over the summer at an arts festival at Penn State I came across a booth filled with the most beautiful folkloric scenes of birch trees under the moon with branches hiding owls and cardinals. I couldn't afford one of Marie-Helene L. Grabman's "scherenschnitte" because they run a few hundred dollars a piece so I bought the print of the American Sampler and hung it up over my desk.
While looking at my print one night I wondered what else was out there associated with this gorgeous and intricate art form. I came across The Heart of Papercuts dedicated to the art of paper cutting and the creations of its writer, Elsita.

Some other artists that make masterful works out of paper and knives that inspire me include:The other night while I was perusing Howcast I found a paper cutting guide for beginners. If you haven't joined Howcast you absolutely should. Its all made how-to videos for just about anything. Isn't it just easier when someone shows you how to do something?

thank you!

I am kind of slow, but The Owls Closet gave me a beautiful blogger award, my random facts can be found here. Post 7 random facts about yourself, and then tag 7 bloggers you think deserve the award.
I will pass this along to: Elaine of Clothed Much, Marissa from marissa Explains It All, Denise Katipunera, Shopaholic of Shopping in Suffolk, Brooklyn Riot Robots, Zoe from the Twenty Something Diaries, and Sara of She is Sara.


18 January 2010

the good. the bad. the golden globes.

The Golden Globes, the beginning of the awards season and the pre-prom of the Academy Awards. Movie stars and TV stars come out to the red carpet for us to watch in the comfort of our couches and sweatpants. Here are my favorites, and my least favorites. Note that I won't even mention Mariah Carey or Cher's outfits because we all know they both looked ridiculous.

Anna Kendrick's mint green Marchesa gown with fern beading looks like something an aging aunt would wear to a warewolf Bar Mitzvah (sorry...Twilight/30 Rock pun couldn't be avoided).

Not even that look can deter from how stunning Chloe Sevigny looks in her silvery Valentino gown. She looks like shes floating on a beautifully ruffled storm cloud.

Really T. Fey? This is where Liz Lemon would insert "Blerg!" What were you thinking? Your shoes don't even match your Zac Posen carousel.

Drew Barrymore captures 1930's art deco perfectly, she looks beautifully futuristic and vintage all at the same time. Oh Atelier Versace for the win.

Jennifer Garner, mother of the bride in a Jessica McClintock creation...err Versace...for the lose.

Carey Mulligan is like a doll. A doll in a gothic-princess Nina Ricci dress. The sparkly headband made from a 19th century diamond necklace is the perfect accessory for the tone of this ensemble.

Emily Blunt's accessory cough-John Krasinski-cough is stunning enough to surpass the Carey Mulligan diamond headband. She looks so beautiful wrapped in cotton candy, and I say that as a compliment. The dress is stunning. A+ Dolce&Gabbana.

My favorite overall look was January Jones. Sorry for the size of this image, but look at the exposed zipper and the oversized ruffles on her Lanvin dress. Ruby red lips and black ribbons can never go wrong together. Normally this isn't my style, but there's something to beautiful about how experimental and elegant it is.

What were your favorites? Least favorites?

17 January 2010

Popular Science (1936)

I found a copy of Popular Science, dated October 1936, on the living room coffee table this morning. Its so interesting to see the advertisements and what were innovations. Its like a time machine. We have thousands of these old magazines in our attic because the people who owned the house before we did left them here. They're such treasures. Some of the best articles include the innovations in how sports are newly filmed from balloons to get the best pictures, a description of the world potentially ending in a ball of sun-fire, and black eyes can being cured with a wave of electricity. I think the question should be, why are black-eyes so common? Pictures tomorrow of the great illustrations and photos.
I should also note that the red dress I'm wearing was my Grandma's, and I wore it to my high school graduation and has an abundance of sentimental value. Its one of my favorite items I have ever owned.

vintage 60's dress, blue sock-dreams thigh-highs, Jefferey Campbell high heel oxfords, my face sans makeup...oy vey

14 January 2010

Searching for the sun

I have come down with the most awful cold and I'm sad because my friend is going away to Paris for 8 months. I'm anxious about my future career and the stagnant present.
So in lieu of a real post here is one of my favorite songs and my all-time favorite video. Maybe we're all just searching for a little sunlight.

10 January 2010

Sunday (chapter 2)

Tuscan chicken soup
Ingredients:6 cups chicken broth, 1 chopped onion, 5 hot Italian sausages (I like the ones from Trader Joe's with fennel), a little olive oil, 5 Yukon Gold potatoes cubed, 8 ounces fresh spinach, salt and pepper, cream*
1. Place sausage (cut up) and onion into a frying pan with olive oil and cook over medium heat until the sausage isn't pink
2. Add meat and potatoes to broth in stock pot
3. Boil until potatoes are cooked
4. Add spinach and boil for 5 minutes
*5. I added a teaspoon of cream to mine, my mom doesn't like it like that so I leave it out of the recipe and add it to each bowl
I looked at old Disney records, made a soup, and read the paper. This Petit Bateau advertisement is exactly what I wanted to dress like in high school.
A boring post is the earmark of a relaxing day.

Sunday (chapter 1)

H&M sweater, tights and tee, completely wrinkled F21 skirt, the boots I always wear, Marc by MJ star timekeeper necklace
Keeping warm in my house early today with LK. She pierced her nose last night and is very excited about it. We were listening to music (500 Days of Summer Soundtrack), taking pictures, and dissecting the weekend.

I saw Avatar in IMAX 3-D last night. While I will agree that there were some heavy topics presented in a not-so-subtle way, it was the most entertaining movie I have seen in years. If I could use one word to describe it, it would be exquisite. Its such such a beautiful work. Glowing and vivid, it was utterly captivating. I will probably see it again next weekend.

09 January 2010


This reminds me of the hundreds of tiny things I used to doodle in my diary when I was a little girl.

08 January 2010

a dead balloon

photo credit: the sometimes crafter
Do you ever feel like these balloons? I feel like these balloons right now.
I applied for a job I would be ecstatic to have, and there's a kind of rush in writing a new cover letter and reviewing your resume. Adrenaline pumping, the high of possibility driving my hands over the keyboard.
After I hit send the adrenaline stops as though on cue when the wave of nervousness hits me. Then I steel myself for rejection, and try to convince myself that there is something better out there. In this case, I don't think there is. And so, I'm stuck somewhere between bracing myself for a let-down and being nervous because there might be some possibility.
And thus, I am a dead balloon.

07 January 2010

"somewhere between what you need and what you know"

The waiting seems endless for the US release of IRM, the collaboration of Beck and Charlotte Gainsbourg on January 26. Nineteen days may not seem like a long time to wait, but it is. Especially when there are teasing bits of the hypnotic songs all over the Internet.
One song I was able to find via YouTube, "Me and Jane Doe," sounds like the duo's ode to John Lennon in his Tibetan Book of the Dead phase ("Tomorrow Never Knows" Revolver). If you listen to both tracks at once they don't sound unpleasant as I just discovered while pulling up the video for you. If you're feeling experimental, give it a try.

05 January 2010

keep warm

I love the cold days of January. Bundling up to go outside, having hot drinks, and staying inside while snowflakes float past the window. There are so many nice things about the coldest part of winter that I got to do over my vacation from work--ice skating with LK, reading Jane Austen, seeing movies, and going to cozy pubs to play darts.
I'm not one for "resolutions," but in January I set goals for the year. Last year my goal was to clear up my skin and even though the last 6 months have been difficult, I'm nearly there.
I joked on New Year's Eve that my goal was to drink more, and it isn't far from the truth. My goal is to have more fun (and perhaps, drink more). The job market sucks and there is nothing I can do to change that, so I may as well enjoy myself a little rather than mope about because I haven't started my career. My other goal is obviously to get a "real" job, but I don't think there will be any harm in spending more time with my friends and Lars (my new camera).

01 January 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

Kim and I went to Sam's where she made the most delicious dinner
Tempeh and parmesan stuffed acorn sqush, collard greens, and mini potatoes, set to a brilliant playlist
Sam introduced us to the Dark & Stormy. It consists of ginger beer, dark rum and lime on ice. Delicious!
Kim took pictures with my new Canon EOS Rebel XSi while we got ready . I have a tendency to name my electronics. My camera goes by Lars. I was also thrilled to wear my BCBG dress that I don't wear nearly enough.
We went to Rest-au-rant in Astoria where we drank Champagne, ate cheese, and counted down to 2010 with LK and Ali. Here we are mid-countdown at "8" I think.
Sam and Kim at the stroke of midnight
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.