Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Things I Will Always Be Obsessed With


The little beetle painting hanging up in the apartment, from Etsy seller Christie Chase.
Amazing shed beetle wing necklace, available here

Cute little beetle knob in happy colors, available here.

Bottega Veneta clutch with amazing weaved beetle detail, no longer available. 

Yes, really. Maybe it's the Victorian in me. I am not one for sciences like chemistry or physics, but natural history? I'm all about it. This semester I will be working with the Natural History Museum on a grant-writing project and I'm already excited about having the built-in excuse of already being on the property to wander the museum after meetings. While I could love any old dinosaur bones or giant geodes (and I do), I have a soft spot for beetles-the way some have horns and resemble rhinos, the metallic green ones I've randomly found on the sidewalk even though they look far too exotic to be city dwellers, how they can be giant without being disgusting like other bugs once they get so large you see all of their creepy details. Now, all beetles are not created equally; some are indeed just ugly. And larvae? Make me want to scream like a little girl. But the fancy ones, they let me forget all about their less attractive brethren. Those beetles are little self-contained units of everything that's cool about the natural world.


Confetti eggs with tutorial from here.

Cake made with edible glitter, from this adorable Kate Spade commissioned video.

Okay, if I have to explain why glitter is worthy of obsession, we just cannot be friends. Seriously! Glitter is sparkly, it's glamorous, it's fun, and while it's a pain in the arse to clean up, somehow it's worth the trouble. Every single time. It's things like glitter that make me happy to be a girl.

Heath Ceramics.

A couple of years ago while on a trip up to San Francisco I discovered the Heath Ceramics factory over the bridge in Sausalito and took one of their Sunday morning tours. Hands down best thing I did on that trip, and I did lots of fun stuff. I don't want to sound like an over-dramatic hippie and say it was life changing, was sort of life changing. There was this gorgeous tile with a so many shades of red it was like a volcanic eruption captured in ceramic. I decided right then that if I ever had the opportunity, I would have to have some of their tile in my home. That trip involved visits to two places with kilns, so I guess it was a bit of my ceramics love blooming and a bit a growing awareness of interior design (I had just moved out of my dad's before this trip and still in a decorating frenzy), but I still think about that factory with the amount of joy Henry must have felt when he was let loose in Willy Wonka's. It was just an added bonus that a few months after my Heath discovery they opened their Los Angeles outpost. During my first visit to that store Mark found his first apartment, right down the street, so you might say Heath is indelibly marked in my mind. Now that Mark has started seriously talking about getting a house I'm not obsessed with finding the perfect place, something in the Ivanhoe district or any of that-all I want is a cute little place with a shitty fireplace, bathroom, or kitchen for me to have the excuse to replace it with Heath tile! Fingers crossed.

All images of Heath tile from the Heath Ceramics website.
All uncredited images are from Tumblrs without original sources listed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

At Play

So as I made clear here, I'm really into the idea of combining colors right now and decided that while I usually leave the nail art to manicurists or pre-made Minx nail strips, it would be fun to try my shaky hands at a tie-dye/graffiti inspired look that works because it doesn't have to be perfect. Next time I'll vary the colors more so the look is easier to see, but this was a punchy way to keep myself entertained while sitting in traffic or listening to drab lecture moments this week. Before adding the crackle polish, paint your nails in any number of color splotches and vary the design to make the look more like tie-dye; the more it resembles the swirls of rainbow sherbet, the better the end look will be!

So as mentioned with that talk of lectures, now that school's started my life is much more boring. I did manage to check out the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA with my mom last week, though. While some of the exhibit's inclusions were unnecessary and sort of silly (I think we could have all done without the angora sweater from Ed Wood...), I fell in love with his drawings so full of lines that they resembled etchings and was mesmerized by how current they look, even though much of the most impressive stuff was from the late '70s when good ol' Burbank-residing Tim was just 20 years old. It was really inspiring to see into the mind of someone with such a unique aesthetic vision and a never-ending slew of ideas. There's also something to be said for someone who manages to make the quirky and downright odd seem approachable. Edward Scissorhands shouldn't have been for the masses, but there's so much charm in the detail of everything Tim does that it's hard to deny his talent or how it makes us feel. I couldn't take pictures, but here's the print I bought and the baby t-shirt my mom got me (erm, no, I don't have a baby, but when I do he will win a best dressed award).

I also had my first opportunity to check out the Stark Bar, which has brought even more drool-worthy seating to the museum's outdoor space. LACMA's outdoor environment is truly becoming a whimsical paradise for afternoon adventures, even with that awful 1970s Japanese Pavilion building.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School I Go

Academic agenda, ie. the only reason as an online student I know when anything is due.

Notebook for lectures and taking notes for annoying online-only readings. 

Elephant paperclips. Because they're in the shape of elephants! Duh.

 These recycled paper pencils make note-taking a green exercise on two fronts.
Paper, composition book, and pencil socks to get me in the scholastic mood.

Graphic laptop sleeve that's cheap and cute without screaming "steal me."

Today is the first day of what should be the last year I'm in school. As a nerd, I have always loved back to school supply shopping and getting in the mindset to return to a place I considered a haven, even if I hated the idea of getting up before the sun in order to get there on time. Never mind that the new White Out doodles-free backpack I was excited to get would soon be carrying 40 lbs. of books to lug home, that I never used those pearlescent pastel paint pens I just 'had' to get for anything school related, or that I had no clue just how much I cost my mom and dad every September. I was just excited to get back to my school friends, learning about things that never ceased to amaze me (until I got to calculus and chemistry, when I was just confused), field trips, and recess.

Being in grad school, things are a bit different. My backpack has been replaced with a laptop; I don't actually go to class but do work on my own time from home or a coffee shop; and for all the learning I did do back in the day, the main object now isn't to socialize or please my parents with grades but to get a J-O-B that's fulfilling and keeps me in frilly frocks. That doesn't mean I can't find back to school shopping just as fun, though, even if the supplies in question have changed.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dreams of Floating Away

Don't mind me, I'm just having a moment. One where all I want to do is run away to Big Sur all alone, dig my toes into wet sand before diving into the cold, dark Pacific and dance with forest fairies while listening to Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush, and Bat for Lashes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life in Sunset Tones

 Outfit by Anh at 9to5Chic.

Alexander McQueen clutch, available here.

Audrey Tautou in a dreamy Lanvin dress.

Silk swatch, available here.

So striking I immediately want to dye my hair crimson, via The Chic Department tumblr.

I'm really feeling all of the pink and red combos I'm seeing out there, though I tend to find purplish pinks an even more eye-popping choice. It's totally girly, but so long as you're not working with super pale, baby pink the look isn't so much Valentine's inspired kitsch as a fresh take on shading. The best thing is that while this look is perfect for summer, just pop on some black tights or sweater in the coming cold months and you'll still have a look that's sharp and as a bonus, dilutes the blahs grey skies and chilled bones can bring on. If the look still screams candy hearts and cupids to you, though, there's always pink and yellow...

Pink and yellow accented living room, via PicsDecor.

Outfit by Bee at Atlantic-Pacific blog.

Collage by NeonandNeutral.

Fancy matches, via Oh Joy! blog.

Brigitte Bardot knows what's up.

Basically, any color that you have seen in a sunset-when the sky is bathed in a watercolor-like tapestry of pinks, oranges, purples, reds, and pinks-looks ridiculous together if you get the shades right and especially if you go balls to the walls and pump up the volume with over the top brights or heavily saturated tones. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lovely Eveleigh

I'm not really what you would call a foodie. I mean, I love food, I like trying new things and going to new places, but I'm really not going to jump into the belly of the hype beast by fighting with industry folks for precious entry into the hottest new restaurant or go that far out of my way to try a new place unless it specifically calls to me. I rarely even go anywhere that requires a reservation, knowing that by the time the date rolls around, I'm likely to be in a completely different mindset-if I'm looking for a home-y atmosphere on a given night and I'm supposed to be headed to a Philippe Starck place with modern decor and filled with pretentious pretenders for days, I'm just not going to make it.

I made an exception for Eveleigh, where West Hollywood meets the Sunset Strip, though. It's been around long enough that I expected the scenesters had moved on and I had seen enough photos of the airy space and charming decor to know that this was right up my alley. While the service was sincerely lacking (fifteen minutes for our first round of drinks, no napkins supplied until food arrived and we asked, sticking us in a table where we were so close we might as well been sitting in the group next door's laps when there were other options), everything else was just about perfect. It had a charming touch of farmhouse decor (a nod perhaps to the menu's rotation based on Farmer's Market selections), the roll back roof meant alfresco dining, and the food was delicious. My roasted Jidori chicken was well worth the half hour cook time, combining the earthy nuttiness of almonds and olives with the sweetness of golden raisins and coming with a chickpea cake that gave the best falafel I've ever had a run for its money. The cocktails were also amazing-my Waterloo Sunset, a mixture of rhubarb infused gin, Campari, watermelon, sage, and lemon juice, was one of the best I'd had. As in, my life. I'll be back, either for a meal that affirms how enjoyable the simple things in life can be, or for drinks that are anything but simple but refreshing all the same.

The Eveleigh, with the adorable touch of dried mini roses.

My insanely delish Waterloo Sunset.