Monday, November 29, 2010

Street Shopping

I cannot take a man seriously if he does not own a real coat. This bothered me way before Mad Men was a twinkle in Matthew Weiner's eye. I'm tired of walking amongst 6' tall toddlers. If you are a Canadian lumberjack (I just looked at Googley-tube Analytics, eek), no offense. You shouldn't be reading this anyway. It's not (or shouldn't be) a class thing. My maternal grandfather was a steelworker & he always wore a coat & hat. If that makes me a cranky whining baby boomer, I do not care.

I've no idea if Paul Newman was left or right-handed but I notice that he's carrying a monogrammed leather portfolio (or notebook?). Here's an Etsy seller with excellent feedback who has a left-handed journal. I'm sure there are vegan alternatives but this isn't a shopping post. It's just a plea for some men (you know who you are) to smarten up. (I saw some wonderful coats at a secondhand thrift recently--no excuses.)

(Gordon Parks for LIFE)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week's End - Now, It's Up To You

I hesitate asking "do this in honor of" but I've been trying to decide for an entire week about what to do, hence the non-posts, the "hey look at this pretty picture (more than usual)" business. A very close friend's son died last week. He was studying to be a veterinarian & he also worked with children on his holidays & summer breaks. This was a sudden & horrible event & so please do this on his behalf.

I hope to return to regular posting soon. Giulia's blog will post daily as it is easier to set up & not so very personal (in the first-person sense).

Update: Monday. Thank you dear Carina for passing it on.

Cheers & have a good weekend. I hope you will pass on the information or do a post yourself. There is a toolkit on each IKEA website. Below is the text from GG's site:

Join GG in the Soft Toy Movement for every child's right to education. Please go to your country's IKEA website & click on Soft Toy campaign at the bottom of the homepage. There you will find all the information you need to pass the word on. It has downloadable wallpapers, a coloring book, a banner for blogs & Facebook pages, & videos.

This year, from November 1–December 24, for every soft toy sold, 1 euro (USD $1.35) will go to IKEA global partners UNICEF and Save the Children to extend and start new children's educational programs in 22 countries.

Pick up an inexpensive soft toy at IKEA & put it in a holiday gift donation basket if you don't need it. Giulia is holding a meow-in this very moment because she wants a soft toy this year. The spring has gone out of Celeste the IKEA Pig's curly tail. We'll see about an addition but Celeste the IKEA Pig (her full name) is not going anywhere...there's a familiar orange & white pink-nosed feline draped over her every day. (images via IKEA website)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Keep the Peace on Thanksgiving

...are you fighting yet? Wait a few's early. If someone is getting on your nerves, picking a fight, get outta there. I mean out of the house/apt. Even if it's your place. Take a walk & look for materials to make centerpieces, wreaths, swags, or little art installations. If you come up short on the flower-y/greenery/berry front head on to a market. Most of them have floral foam & wire if you want to make a more formal centerpiece arrangement. (Beg for a little bit of foam or wire, if that's what you really want. Of course, offer to pay.)

I saw some pretty Lady apples, Seckel pears, & teeny white pumpkins a few days ago for little money. Arrange on large platter or plate (runner/large placemat/tablecloth/pillowcase), tuck in sprigs of holly (or pine) the neighbor gave you, search your cupboards for a bag of whole nuts that are now, I assure you, stale. Arrange.

Personally, I like Emily Thompson's delicate wreaths & have made similar for years & endured teasing by unimaginative people with scads of cash. A dangerous combination. If all else fails, garland thyself. A crown implies power beyond words. Most people are not going to pick on someone wearing a crown (it would seem especially in America from all the breathless Royal Wedding Reports on the evening news). All of these ideas work for any holiday, in any country. But for fellow Americans & their guests, a special happy Thanksgiving from Julie the Cat & her obedient servant.

Here's the link to Design*Sponge labels Thanksgiving & flowers. (images via Design*Sponge)

Monday, November 22, 2010

London Light

Two of 16 photographs by Sally (aka Letty) at Made4Aid. More information is on Giulia Geranium blog. The cards are gorgeous, well priced, & they ship free anywhere in the world. (Here's the full set; you can choose which ones you'd like.) Hope to be back before too long. Cheers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week's End - Noir sur blanc

Fun under $5.00. Download a Beatles song that you somehow do not have & two Françoise Hardy songs. I like her 2010 album La pluie sans parapluie. I was reminded of this when visiting the newish tumblr, le temps perdu, created by blogger friend agelessbeautyalways & secret fragile skies. She connected to a YouTube video of Il est des choses, here. (Noir sur blanc is one of Julie The Cat's favorite songs.)

On FH's beautifully designed website there are some videos & a slide-show of lovely FH photographs by Jean-Marie Périer. These include two with Bob Dylan, who wrote the poem referencing FH for the liner of Another Side of Bob Dylan. Bob--she wasn't interested in you. Men. They are so cheeky & clueless sometimes. (No this doesn't mean you, you.). Abonnez-vous à la newsletter de Françoise Hardy, ici.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, it really doesn't have to be, eh? Playing the Beatles & Françoise has calmed Julie. She's had one long asthma attack since Thursday evening. It's really upsetting.

Busy trying to track down the dust or whatever the offender may be, making bread, visiting fabric, knitting, & other textile blogs & sites. I really like
Kitty Couture by a bilingual Frenchwoman, Isabelle. Her tagline:
No garment is complete without kitty fluff. (If it's going to happen anyway, do as a cat & act like that was the plan all along.)

Giveaways I have seen lately: Cabbages & Roses fabric via Lobster & Swan. She has links to 3 other blogs holding C&R giveaways - all themed to different colors. Leave a comment by 29 November to enter.

Photographs via the website & Annie's Poetic & Chic's Bang Envy series. I still laugh at this (not at her!)...someone stopped me once a day last week: I love your bangs/hair. Why don't they have some cut then? Ooh. I don't think I can. It's what I hear about hats & why people can't wear them. Yes they can.

Once at a fairly large wedding, I was the only person, seriously, to wear a hat. If nothing else, it protected me from the blazing summer sun. Oooh. IloveyourhatIcannotwearthem. Later that summer, I took approx. 15 wedding guests - one at a time - hat shopping. They all looked great.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rose Hips

I already had the title last week & was going to show rose hips that I'd swiped. Too late, they're through the chipper. I decided to keep the title because I'm silly. I like this sewing tutorial idea/tutorial. I won't be wearing it anytime soon but I would have done, definitely, in the not too-distant past. And there would have been whispers of 'oh I wish I could do that but I don't have the nerve." That is not nerve. You know what nerve is? Wading into the deep waters of war & "conflict" zones. (My friend Susan has nerve.)

If you don't want to wear a big ol' bow around the waist, understood. Here's a cool way to jazz up your coat collar via genius Caitlin at Colette Patterns. It's quite clever & if I didn't already have something similar, I'd do it in a jiff. (OK, lots of swearing & a long day's journey into night). It's a reminder of stylish women who made do in eras past--& wow, they looked better than most of us today. I am convinced of this.

In a rush this week & working on GG blog matters. I will definitely visit blogs (if I've not already, I think I did a fairly good job of it yesterday) this weekend.

(pink skirt via say yes to hoboken via automatism on Pinterest)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Venice in Black & White & November

At the mere mention that high winds are expected later today, the power is starting to go in & out. I'm serious--the wind has not kicked up yet. So here are three photographs by an old friend from Strasbourg days. He took these on a trip to Venice in a November. The little boy's name is unknown. Trying to think how old he'd be now is making my head hurt. Ahem. The photographer & friend (it's not me but I've not asked her permission yet so I'm not showing a third that focuses on her) are very sporting about the pigeons. Bernd claims that he remained unscathed during this shoot. I called him a liar (on Facebook!) & as usual he took massive teasing with equanimity.

Bernd was prescient about taking photos in Venice (& France, Germany, Switzerland) that many of us would value so much later. I hereby apologize publicly for all the times I rolled my eyes when asked to stand still...for a second. Or two. I am now painfully aware of how obnoxious I look when exasperated. See here for explanation...or I'll just tell you. I unwittingly took a video of myself trying to figure out the web camera. It's excruciating but I saved it as a reminder. (Here's a link to a digital library of World War II photographs, including Venice.)

As black & white as these are, I think they are very warm. I like that they are not super-sharp. They are much, much larger in their original print. (Venice in November by Bernd Krause)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mnemosyne/November, 1967

"A previously unseen work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is to go on show at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery next year." BBC


Dr. Zhivago was playing at the Paramount
Theater in St. Cloud. That afternoon,
we went into Russia,

and when we came out, the snow
was falling—the same snow
that fell in Moscow.

The sky had turned black velvet.
We'd been through the Revolution
and the frozen winters.--rest of
November, 1967

If I seem overly-reliant on the BBC website lately--what can I say? Guilty. That it's about Mnemosyne (Memory) makes it even better. Here's a link to the Delaware Museum of Art's Pre-Raphaelite Collection where the Rossetti painting is currently on view. (It's in a private collection.) I would love to see the new exhibit in January titled The Poetry of Drawing. (Here's the Birmingham Pre-Raphaelite Collection link.)

The poem because no less than 4 people emailed to ask, did you hear/read that poem on Writer's Almanac? (It was a few days ago.)

That's not a photo of Mnemosyne. It appears to be Tim Walker's take on Ophelia. I like the pearlized gray folds in the gown. (I most certainly do not identify with Ophelia, so let's nip that one in the bud.)

(photograph via Vogue Italia)

Monday, November 15, 2010

O Gattina!

Fussing with the new Giulia Geranium header & colors took a great big bite out of the weekend. Please take a look. I hesitate to say it's finished because that would undermine my as-yet unwritten manifesto on 'things are never finished' (it can get you out of so many jams. And into them, too.). Besides, it's not as though I do this professionally. It's all given me a tremendous headache. Speaking of headaches, of the feline variety....

The carpet above could be mine (same pattern) but mine is currently flecked, nay strewn, with holly berries & bits of sage, rosemary, oregano, & basil from a friend's garden. There are also apples & pears on the carpet. Julie usually goes for all things sparkly so I'm not sure what is up with this vegetal vandalism. That must have been some wild rumpus while I was out walking in lovely autumnal gardens yesterday. The must-do list is woefully lacking "done" ticks & now I have cleaning to do. I'll answer comments & visit people soon. I hope tonight. (A clean carpet via audrey hepburn complex) Update - Tuesday - Or maybe I'll catch up tonight. Oh dear.

PS: Today is the last day to vote for your favorite dress - Shabby Apple Dare to Design Contest. I still haven't decided.

Update - because I can't stand for people not to get a good deal & it's a kitchen sink post: Holiday Vogue Knitting patterns (over 1,300 to choose from) are all $US 2.99/per. Zee email just arrived- here's the link.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week's End - Hot Off The Press

The BBC has a slideshow featuring some past winners of the Hasselblad Masters competition.

I sifted through the fashion/beauty category on the Hasselblad site & there's not enough time & bandwith (I finally typed it - bandwith, grrrr) to see as much as I'd like. I did not espy a new Tim Walker (yet). Benedikt Ernst's newspaper lady reminded me of the paper tutu by talented Kelly Murry/Jolis Paon.

The competition is open until 31 December. (There's an Up & Coming section, too, so don't count yourself out.) Here's the link to see the rules. Scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the page, the pertinent stuff is there. Hasselblad web-peeps, you should know better.

Can you tell I'm in a hurry? Oof.
Need to wrap things up. I have an impatient cat & an impatient human on my hands. I'm outnumbered.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flowers on the Windowsill

Wouldn't you know that all the photographs I have for essay-drafts, poems, Venice & Strasbourg posts are b&w? Of course. Things are fairly dark/grim here lately. So...some flowers on windowsills by Christine Gill via Design*Sponge in November 2008. I ran two photos on Giulia Geranium back then. My family & friends laughed at me for doing exactly this. I'm off to read, write, figure out administrative matters (urgh), & swipe some rose hips that are about to be cruelly cut down before fulfilling their destiny. Christine sells 21 flower prints at Imagekind. (She also has a December 2008 photo set of her then-new cat's introduction to the household. He's a dignified gentleman in a tuxedo.)

Are we about to go nuclear? Right now WAMU-FM/NPR has gone off the air & the Naval Observatory Master Clock/Universal Time is repeating the universal time over & over in a computer-generated voice. [Five minutes later- Now a rattled sounded announcer has come on to say, oops, we do not know what the heck that was about. We'll look into it. You do that. It was way weird & disturbed my cat. Now, Kevin Spacey is making a joke about it. At the tone, the time will be...that made me laugh, so thank you, Kevin.]

Monday, November 8, 2010

Still Life & Tabletop

No, I've not turned to drink. But I cannot see my tabletops right now & they are not "still life" in the classic sense. (Yes, I've tried squinting.)

Circumstances conspire to render me mostly silent (aren't you glad?) this week & post photographs & links & other people's giveaways. Circumstances do not involve my imminent capture by a butterfly-net wielding right wing lunatic (although, you never know). It's about the list of things I'm supposed to do/have said I will do. Many of them online.

There's a photography festival on here in DC (FotoWeek 2010). I'm trying to bite my tongue about the cutesy spelling...I've been guilty. More than once.

A couple of giveaways. Bleeding Espresso has one for a new cookbook (also reviewed), My Calabria. It's always fun to visit Michelle in Calabria, Italy.

The lovely & humorous Blue Gardenia has an exceptional giveaway that ends tomorrow (Tuesday, 9 November). It's a random generator winner, not an essay contest, & so can I just say something? Yeah, I can. Why do people shriek "I want I want" & the like on giveaways? It's so degrading. If the giveaway person gives instructions, I follow them. But I do not virtual-scream like a ninny. I'm sure you do not, either. The comments on this one, though, are tame compared to some sites I've seen. So no offense to BG readers. (photographs from Olga's Tabletop series)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let's Bring Back...

Those of you who read The Huffington Post probably know Lesley Blume's column, Let's Bring Back. (It's a new book) Here is the latest slideshow of 30 Things That Need to Be Brought Back - Pronto! You can waste some time (you know you want to) by clicking on your favorites. Most of them are on my list. Lesley's related Icons of Style series includes Suzy Parker. Another is the Marchesa Casati, someone about whom Hazel at The Clever Pup & The Clever Pup's Paris Notebook knows a lot. Here's a 2009 post, The Muse That Blew a Fuse. (I can relate. Ahem.)

I'm trying to pull together posts/drafts on Venice & Strasbourg, but way behind. I'd like to do them justice. Possibly I have spent too much time today looking at cool men in hats, supper clubs, manual cameras, library indexes, pocketbooks, etc. A bit of a Sunday (or Monday - hi Aussies!) distraction.
(Suzy via LIFE(dot)com via here)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jill Clayburgh

I was just beginning to write about Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, & An Unmarried Woman & was startled to see that she died today at her home in Connecticut . Condolences to her husband, playwright David Rabe, & daughter, actress Lily Rabe. The film was made at a difficult time in NYC (& indeed everywhere) but I recently told someone - while her character may be well-to-do, she meets many people who are not. I knew people who lived in Manhattan then & visited fairly often. They wouldn't be able to live there now under the same circumstances. You know what? We were more grown up back then, somehow.

I recall seeing it alone & then Pied Piperette-style, leading about a dozen friends & their friends to see it. I was the only one (if I recall correctly--they'll let me know) who argued vigorously on behalf of the ending. Watch the DVD again (or for the first time). Jill-as-Erica (& on her own, too) is utterly charming & touching.

Listen to Paul Mazursky's commentary about making it, New York then & when he was growing up, where he met his wife, etc. He's quite wry & amusing in his remembrances. (Also for Last Stop, Greenwich Village.)

(images via sfgate(dot)com & Saatchi Online), it pains me not to have a good solo photo -- the irony -- from the film but there aren't many good ones around--at short notice.)

Week's End - Walkies

I just watched a video taken while trying to figure out the web camera.* No, I did not know it was recording. I leave for a while, come back with braids undone, wearing a big scarf, coat, & red lipstick. Julie hops up & looks in the lens. Then more of me looking puzzled, biting my lip (stop it!), sighing & rolling my eyes (yes, at me). Score by Bach. No, I am not embedding it here. Julie neglected to take a photo of herself...she just fought me while I held her up to the camera...then proceeded to have an asthma attack. Guilt. I'm going for a walk.

*But, you say...that photo of you & Julie during the snowpocalypse in February, you knew how to take a web shot. Um. I recently realized that it's all fuzzled because I hadn't taken off the, um, protective film.

(plaid coat by laura trevey via rachel follet/lovely clusters)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Drawing Fashion

Early evening/overnight diversion. (Also I'm getting weird email.) A new exhibit at London's Design Museum on fashion illustration. Good slideshow on BBC. (Moving this to Thursday. Raining & running behind here.)

From the Design Museum website:

"Drawing Fashion celebrates a unique collection of some of the most remarkable fashion illustrations from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. These original works define the fine art of illustrating fashion, from the collections of Chanel, Dior, Comme des Garçons and Poiret as well as Viktor & Rolf, Lacroix and McQueen. This exhibition showcases fashion illustrators at their creative heights: Lepape at the beginning of the century, Gruau in the 40's and 50's, Antonio throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, to current artists Mats Gustafson, Aurore de la Morinerie and François Berthoud. Film-clips, news reels, music and photography will sit alongside the original illustrations to reflect not only the spirit and the style of the decades but also the wider social and cultural changes of the century.

It will be the first time this collection, which was put together over 30 years by Joelle Chariau of Galerie Bartsch & Chariau, has been displayed." (image by François Berthoud via artnet(dot)com)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

American Idiot

Billie Joe Armstrong was inspired to write the song after hearing the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "That's How I Like It" on his car radio. Said Armstrong, "It was like, I'm proud to be a redneck and I was like, oh my God, why would you be proud of something like that? This is exactly what I'm against."

Here's the link to the Diane Rehm show. Andy Kohut offered up a detailed reading of the entrails, but after above I blew a fuse. While I was changing it, more people said more stuff. Check the transcript.

Amongst my fuming points: the press (particularly lazee teevee peeps) sat back & watched the Republicans take pot shots at Obama et al & did not follow up with hard, smart questions. The reason I know they're not so smart is because--as Stephen Fry wrote/said about government administrators in UK--"they are the people you sat next to in school..." BTW, the new Republican mantra is "The President still sets the agenda." You know what that means, right?

Some Mad Men Yourself images (I can't turn off the jazzy music. Your computer hasn't gone mad, just be forewarned). French FB group started posting some very nice photographs...there was my leetle self. When the world was in the midst of another awful economic upheaval. It never occurred to me not to vote, even if overseas. I registered before I left & made an absentee ballot request. No computers, no American expat groups (near me anyway), etc. No, I was not preternaturally prepared, either. I was 17. Apparently many younger people couldn't be bothered to haul their heinies to vote yesterday. Wow.

Back to regular programming of research effluvia soon...

Update - one thing that keeps me laughing lately is this cat adoption site in Washington State. The woman who writes/photographs these kittens she fosters, she's hilarious. Here's the latest "Tell Us How You Really Feel, Mimsey." I feel like Mimsey, today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Made4Aid Month

A bit of cross-pollination with Giulia Geranium & Made4Aid's new Etsy shop. I hope whether you buy anything or not, you'll check out the shop, the website, & also Sally's personal photography blog, Lettuce-Eating, from London. Many of her most popular photographs are available as cards. There's a nice badge that you can scoop up for your blogs & websites, too.

It's enough to prop up my faith in some humans (humanity? I don't know about that...) for the next several hours.
This beautiful messenger bag is but one of many hand-made bags for sale. That color. (As always, I don't recommend anything that I have not already checked out. I purchased several things from Made4Aid last year via their auctions. Everything went smoothly. No drama. At all.)

Important: if you have something that you want to donate to Made4Aid, please read this guideline list from the Made4Aid organization site. Any questions after that, please contact them. (Of course, they take cash donations, too.)

(photograph via Made4Aid)