Playlist: Stormy Weather

Some things I’m loving this week…
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Spring is such a transformational time of year and it’s a juxtaposition in extremes – on the one hand full of color and flowers and new life but on the other hand it also brings with it a darker side.  Living in Texas, Spring brings with it storms of a fierceness that is both beautiful and frightening.  This week’s playlist was inspired by just that.

I’ve been obsessing over this polish for what seems like forever.  NARS Stormbird is a gorgeous grey with a blue undertone that was part of their Fall 2012 collection.  Scrangie described it in the bottle as “a thunderstorm brewing inside it”.  I actually own a “dupe” of this color, but I’m still hearing the siren song of Stormbird calling me.

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Eric and I recently spent three days watching back to back episodes of the first three seasons of Game of Thrones on On Demand.  I had to talk him into watching it, but after the first few episodes, he was hooked.  Of course, almost every episode we watched included a trailer for Season 4 that was starting that weekend, and the song HBO used was a brilliant choice.  I fell in love with the haunting tune, Chelsea Wolfe’s Feral Love.

 

We both were so glad we managed to get through all three seasons and enjoyed every bit of it.  I’m inspired to conquer reading book 2 now.  And in a strange coincidence, I received an email from one of the ladies in my guild pointing out Michele Carragher’s website.  She is a costume embroiderer who has worked on the costumes for Game of Thrones.  And I love this photo of her.
MICHELE CARRAGHER

I am absolutely amazed at the detail and talent in her amazing pieces.  I’m absolutely enthralled with her work.  I am going to make myself a goal to learn stumpwork and goldwork so I can add them to my needlework repertoire.

In an effort to finish up some of the decorating we’ve been doing at the house, I’ve been spending a bit of time on Houzz, which is a great site for ideas and inspiration, as well as sourcing pieces for home decor.  I was looking through dramatic rooms, specifically those with dark walls and came across this living room.

Of course I love the black walls, but what really struck me was the artwork.  The framed pieces flanking the fireplace are mesmerizing.  Skimming the comments told me that the artist is Todd Murphy.  I believe both of these pieces, the straw goose and the straw dress, were both available through Restoration Hardware at one point.  I loved that the images were floating on a black background, and when hung on a black accent wall the effect is striking.  So, then I went on my own “goose chase” so to speak and found a number of Murphy’s other pieces that I fell in love with.

Todd Murphy-Met. Home 2008

What a statement piece for a room!  I especially love this one…

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I’m wishing I could add one of these to my own decor.

What’s on your playlist this week?

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Tufted

One of my favorite blogs to read on a regular basis is Young House Love.  Recently, I was inspired by their “Dude, get on that already!” challenge for themselves.  It made me think about what sort of things I have laying around the house that need to be dealt with, or projects that need to be completed.  Those things that just seem to never get done.  So, as my very first “Dude, get on that already!” project, I’d like to share a little something that went on in our bedroom.  Focus – it’s innocent!

Anyway, here’s a photo of what our bedroom used to look like.  One of the things that always bugged us was that we had no headboard for the bed.  But, we’d been holding off buying one, because we figured that we would buy one when we replaced our bedroom furniture…eventually.  Well, six years later almost, here we are.

 

We bought a headboard!  And it was relatively inexpensive ($100).  It works well in the room and finally gives some definition to the bed.  We had to take down the art we had hanging over the bed, but I was wanting to do that anyway.  I’ll find something else to add back to that space.  I like that the headboard brings out the warm tones in our bed linens too.

And I love that it’s tufted.  It really gives a luxurious feel to the room, with just a little bit of detail.  And on top of everything, I think the headboard met some of our unexpressed wants – we didn’t spend a lot on it, since we’ll probably replace it; and I didn’t have to attempt to make something.  So win-win!

And as an added bonus – I convinced Eric to get rid of our sheets that were wearing out, and pull out these pretty white ones I had tucked away.  I love the lace edging on them.  So, now we’re sleeping in comfort AND I can cross something off our list!

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Flamenco

A few weeks ago, I decided to face my fear expand my horizons and go up to the studio to shoot.  We had the opportunity to shoot two Flamenco dancers, which I thought would be really cool.  Since this was the first time I’d ever shot in a studio setting, I was actually kind of surprised I got any shots that were worth looking at. 

It’s a lot harder to take photos of people than it is to take photos of buildings, that’s for sure.  And when you’re shooting dancers, that’s even harder.  I found that I kept getting ahead of my lights and so many of my photos were crap because my lights didn’t fire due to not having enough time to recycle.  Rookie mistake, I guess. 

I really enjoyed myself though and I was so pleased that I actually made myself go.  I think it was worth it to get some different experience under my belt.

I enjoyed seeing their different costumes too, plus we had great music for them to dance to.

Next time, they’re talking about having some belly dancers in, which would be awesome since I used to do that.  There’s also talk of having an aerialist in.  So, lots of potential for future shoots where I can work on my studio photography.

I have to say, it is kind of fun working with a model and seeing their personality come out through the photos. 

A fun evening, and I highly recommend taking in a Flamenco show if you get the opportunity. 

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In Thankfulness of Heart

I haven’t done much decorating for holidays this year, but for some reason, I was in the mood for a little Fall in the house.  I’ve put out the beautiful table runner Julia made for me on the dining room table, along with my amber glass turkeys.  I am so in love with the turkeys.  Every year I am thankful I bought them because they make me so happy every time I unwrap them to put on our table.  I did a little something different for the centerpiece, using the gourds in one of my hurricanes.

Not a lot of decorating, just a few touches around the house.  So in love with white pumpkins on the mantel too.

And Julia sent me a very thoughtful care package from Rhode Island a couple of weeks ago.  Her note said “I thought you might like some of the beauty of New England for yourself.  I thought of you and collected and dried these leaves.”  I’m so thankful for that.

And somehow I’ve never noticed it before, but it appears our tree in the front yard takes on a beautiful color in the Fall.  Who knew?

We’re having a quiet Thanksgiving this year, just watching the Macy’s Parade and then going over to my inlaw’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. 

And we definitely have a reason to be thankful each and every day. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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82nd

 

Oscar night again. One of my favorite nights of the year. For whatever reason, I didn’t talk about last year’s Oscars here on the blog, I must’ve been sleeping on the job! But you can see my thoughts on the 2008 Awards here. And of course, one of my favorite parts of the night (other than the montage – because we all know how I love a good montage) is the Red Carpet. It’s always fun to see what everyone’s wearing.

There was not a lot of red this year, which is what I’m typically drawn to. There was a lot of gold though. This year several of my favorites were all in the same color family – grey. While some tended more toward the lilac, and some more toward the dove or blue grey, I found myself drawn to them over and over again. Photo above is Elizabeth Banks. This was a gorgeous gown and my first favorite of the night. Below is Helen Mirren, who always looks amazing, but I think this silvery grey suited her well.

Kate Winslet is a favorite actress of mine, and so I am always curious to see what she’s wearing. In this metallic gown, she looked very old Hollywood. I love her “Veronica Lake” hair. And look at that necklace! What a statement piece of jewelry. It appeared to be canary diamonds and white diamonds. Lovely!

 

And Kathryn Bigelow in another beautiful grey. I loved the detailing on the top of a very simple gown.

 

There were a few that I really loved that weren’t in the grey category. I loved seeing Kristen Stewart in this gorgeous midnight blue dress. She looked amazing and thank God the Joan Jett mullet didn’t make an appearance.

 

I love Maggie Gyllenhaal and I always look forward to seeing what she’s wearing. I was not disappointed at all and I thought this dress was one of my absolute favorites of the evening. It looked gorgeous on her and the color was so vibrant.

 

Vera Farmiga also chose a stand out color. I loved this cranberry/fuschia dress with the beautiful fan pleats.

 

And of course I was happy to see some of the stunning purples on this Red Carpet that I loved at the Golden Globes. Zoe Saldana chose this amazing gown with what looked like an encrusted bodice (yay sparkly!) and then the beautiful ombre ruffles at the bottom just completed it. Fabulous!

 

And of course, one of my favorite categories of the awards is Best Costume Design. Sandy Powell (who also did The Other Boleyn Girl and The Tudors) won for her costume design on The Young Victoria. She has previously won Oscars for Costume Design on Shakespeare in Love and more recently, The Aviator.

 

Well-deserved, Ms. Powell.

 

I hope you enjoyed the night!

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Singing "Be Italian" in My Head

It’s been awhile since I went to the movies. Yesterday afternoon, I met up with a good friend and after indulging in Mexican food (my favorite), we went to see Nine. When I first saw the ads for this movie, I wanted to see it. And I finally got my wish!
Let me just say, I am a big fan of musicals, and of course I love a good dance number too.


I was impressed with the entire cast and loved the cinematography as well. I can’t wait to get the soundtrack. In fact, I’ve decided I think I am definitely in need of a musicals playlist. So many favorites to include – Glee, Chicago, Wicked, you name it!
Of course, last night was the Golden Globes as well. So, after getting home from my movie I settled in to watch the red carpet coverage. I love award season, and movies are such a big part of my life (I need to work on that…I’ve been missing my movies with school getting in the way). There were several best dressed I found, and a lot of misses on the red carpet. My absolute favorite color of the night (although the jury’s still out on the dress itself) was this gorgeous purple.

Love that color! I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and was glad to see Nine come up several times. Oh, and the Scorsese montage (I love a good montage), so awesome. I love how they opened with the music from Last Temptation of Christ. And of course, there were scenes from one of my favorite films, Age of Innocence. Love that movie! And Scorsese used a phrase that I just love, and it’s one of the reasons I love movies so much, “cinematic experience”. For me, movies are just not about the actual movie, but also about the entire experience: the anticipation, sitting in the darkened theater, the shared investment and reactions with the rest of the audience, the lights coming up and the credits rolling. For me, I have to see all the previews (that’s part of my experience), and I stay through the end of the credits. I want the WHOLE thing. And it is one of the reasons that no matter how many DVDs we have, no matter how easy it is to order through Netflix or watch something in the comfort of your own home (with no screaming kids, phones ringing, people talking, etc.) – it is the essential cinematic experience that I love so much. So thanks, Marty, for reminding me of that.

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By Candlelight

On Halloween night, I have an annual tradition. I watch one of my favorite films of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Halloween has always been a favorite holiday for me, so celebrating it with a favorite film of vampires seems appropriate. And really, what can be more appropriate for Halloween than Dracula?

One of the reasons I love this film so much is due to the costume design.

The Count in a gentleman’s finest.

Mina’s red dress. I am a sucker for a red dress, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It is lavish and extroidinary.
Lucy’s Snake Dress is also a favorite. Stunning against her red hair.

I own the book about the costume design for the film, due to my being completely enamored with it. The book is excellent, and discusses the direction of the film, inspiration for the costumes, as well as initial sketches and final pieces.
And in case you’re like I am an want to get in a little reading to set the mood, here are two recent favorites…

Kostova’s The Historian

Meyer’s Twilight series
You can’t go wrong with either one.

“Listen to them – children of the night. What music they make.”
-Bram Stoker, Dracula

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Supercalifragisexy – SATC The Movie


Of course all my recent SATC posts have been leading up to a post about the movie itself. Everyone and their dog has reviewed and discussed the movie ad nauseum, but I thought I’d put my two cents in as well. I loved the film. A girlfriend and I decided to see it at a local Studio Movie Grill, so that we could order cocktails and appetizers to add to our movie-going experience. I dressed up for the afternoon, not super dressy, but heels, etc. I was shocked at how many women were there in Birkenstocks and the like. Maybe I am in the minority of women that dress up to go out? Especially for a movie that revolves around fashion, you’d think (at least I would think) that everyone would put a little extra care in what they were wearing. Not so much, it seems. Anyway, we had a fantastic time, and by the time I was finished with my first Lemontini, I was fully absorbed in the movie. Loved it!

Since the rundown of all the clothing and accessories from the film has already been overdone, I’ll just post some photos as a little scrapbook of fashion and inspiration!

Tory Burch mini dress and Monolo Sedarby Zebra-Print d’Orsay heels. Love these!
Of course they show up again later. I love them with the red dress.

I love Charlotte in the white dress and nude heels. Carrie’s outfit is fantastic. I love the pink shirt against the white pants and vest. I may have to pull this one as an inspiration outfit! Frankly, they all look amazing here, even Miranda.

This is a fabulous look as well, I love the combination of the dress, feather bag and nude heels.

Ferragamo Pheasant-Feather Bag Handbag


Manolo Blahnik Open-Toe Mary Jane shoes

Adding booties to my wish list.

I love that yellow with the gray too!

And I’ve already mentioned how I would love a white faux fur coat.

That studded belt shows up everywhere…I may need to find mine and start wearing it!

I can’t miss mentioning these…the Giuseppe Zanotti Crystal Fishbone Shoe that Samantha wore in her Valentine’s Day sushi scene.

The girls…

This was such a fun scene with Carrie trying on her outfits from the past.

And another fun scene…I’d love to go with girlfriends to Mexico!

I love the colors in that photo, that purple is fantastic!

One of my favorite outfits in the film was this one. I love the belted top with the grey skirt.

Proenza Schouler’s triple strap python studded heels. Of course, there is a waiting list now for these shoes!

This is another favorite outfit. I have a similar something I think I can pull together.

Dior Cut-Out Platform Sandals. These gladiator-style sandals are all the rage everywhere I turn right now. Most places I’ve checked are sold out of anything remotely similar. I, of course, have a pair on the way to me. When I first saw them I wasn’t overly excited by them…but the more I look at them, the more I began to want a pair. And, of course I need them for my inspiration outfit!


Timmy Woods Eiffel Tower Bag Handbag. Supposedly the one in the movie was embellished with Swarovski crystals and glitter. I love this nod to Paris from the last season.

And, see how much use she gets out of this same pair of shoes?!

I really do love that the same accessories are reused (in the series as well). It adds that element of what a real person would do, have something in their wardrobe that they use over and over again. Not all new, all the time. I like that. (See the shoes again!?)

Of course, no post on the movie would be complete without a photo of Carrie’s wedding dress. I wish that there were photos of the other dresses from the Vogue shoot out there on the web, but alas the web has been letting me down lately!

I can’t leave off without mentioning the star of the film…

Manolo Blahnik “Something Blue”.

I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD…I’d love to see it again. Stay tuned for some inspiration outfits, once my shoes arrive!

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The Devil Wears Prada – Wish I Did


Over the weekend I managed to slip in some much-needed relaxation time on Sunday. I decided to pop in my Devil Wears Prada DVD. I so enjoyed this film the first time I saw it, which was in the theatre, although I have not (as yet) read the book. I loved the clothing that the revamped Andy wore in the film, so I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorites here. Of course, don’t miss the great post Fabsugar did too!


Here’s a little collage of several of the outfits she wore.


You know I love this green. A very Audrey Hepburn look, with the sunglasses.


I am not hugely fond of the newsboy cap look, but I love the off-the-shoulder sweater with the white blouse beneath and the long Chanel necklace.


Of course, the olive dress is a favorite too. I think I am definitely going to have to invest in some metallic heels. A co-worker had on a pair of fabulous heels last week…I’ll try to find a photo.


Here’s another black and white. I have a dress similar to this one, so I need to pull it out of the closet and take it out for a spin. Love the long gold necklace with it.


And along with the beautiful coat here, I love the t-strap sandals. I’ve got to get a pair of those! (Ok, I think this “review” is turning into more of a wishlist, huh?!)


I’ve always been interested in fashion, and also in costume design, so when the two meet in a film like this…I am hooked! I am anxiously awaiting this weekend when I will see Sex and the City. I’ll definitely have to do a breakdown of the outfits for that as well. Thank God for Patricia Field.

Until next time…

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Oscar Night – A Few Months Late

Ok, ok….so the Oscars happen in February and here I am in May finally talking about them. It’s been a crazy whirlwind ride here since December when I was laid off from work. But, enough about that…let’s get on to the red carpet.

I love Oscar night, it is one of my favorite things to watch during the year. I love the movie industry, so I always find it exciting to see who wins. Of course, I also love fashion too, so it is a wonderful night to see what everyone in Hollywood is wearing on what could be the biggest night of the year.

There weren’t as many favorites for me this year as there usually are. This could be because I watched the red carpet special with Regis rather than the E! red carpet coverage, and hardly saw anything worthwhile. But, there were a few stunners that caught my eye.

Of course, I was immediately blown away by Nicole Kidman’s jewelry (photo above). I love this necklace, which apparently is one long strand of diamonds that is just wound around her neck. While the dress was nothing spectacular (although she looked beautiful), this necklace was amazing. I think it was striking against the black dress as well.

Red was an obvious choice for several women this year as well. Of course, I love red so my eye was immediately drawn to Anne Hathaway.
Apparently this wasn’t a favorite across the board, but it reminded me of Nicole Kidman’s dress and I just love the effect on the shoulder. I could see this with opera length white gloves. Very Audrey Hepburn, I think.
I also loved Helen Mirren in red. She looked so elegant, and the effect of the Swarovski crystal drop sleeves and back was beautiful.

I always love Cate Blanchett, so I was eager to see what she would be wearing. I loved her in this deep hue. The necklace by Lorraine Schwartz was a lovely addition to the overall feel of the dress. Pregnancy becomes her.

And then, finally, there was Marion Cotillard ‘s gorgeous mermaid-style dress complete with “scales” by (of course) Jean Paul Gaultier. I loved this for its originality and that she chose to wore white while most others were dressed in more vibrant hues. Again, this one was a love it or hate it kind of dress, but I loved it.

And one of my favorite categories at the Oscars is for Best Costume Design. I just adore costuming, and so I am always anxious to see who wins. This year, the Oscar went to Alexandra Byrne for Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Here are a few photos from the film.


And, since I am currently in the process of watching all the Best Picture films from the beginning, I was excited to see what the next Best Picture winner would be. This year’s winner was the film, No Country for Old Men. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s on my list now!

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