Party time

I've got several birthday parties to attend over the next few months, including my own, so I think it's high time I invest in a new party dress. I want something feminine, flirty, and colorful... maybe even with a pattern. Definitely not black. I need to stay away from black; I've got a closet full of LBDs. I want something that says: Birthday smirthday, this party ain't all about you, sistah! Ha ha, just kidding. Sort of.

In performing this post's research, I was astonished at how many of this season's dresses are barely even there. And by barely there I mean they barely even reach your legs, like this one and this one. Yowsa.

First, let's start with the dresses that are out of my price range just for kicks.

Dani dress by Diane von Furstenberg, $325.

Slip dress by Lauren Moffatt, $304. I love the turquoise and red together, and the simple shape.

Zigzag belted pencil dress by Milly, $319. This one isn't necessarily "flirty" per se, but I really like it.

Now, onto the top three that are in my price range.

Pagoda Pedal dress from Anthropologie, $188. I could actually wear this pale color thanks to the black neckline. The purple hem is kinda quirky and different.

OC by Oleg Cassini silk dress, $148. The chunky green stones are especially fun.

Gibralter's Dream dress from Anthropologie, $178. I think I pretty much have my mind set on this beauty. I love the abstract bust detail, red contrast straps, and wide metallic trim. OoohIloveitIwannahaveitnow. Stay tuned for accessories...

Hooray for Sex and the City this weekend! I can't wait to see all my friends again. ;)


Plumes, Part II

I'd take some earthy feathers in a tree-shaped vase over flowers for a centerpiece any day of the week, especially when paired with lots of white. Very classy and unique.

I was looking for this photo (from the December/January issue Domino) back when I posted "Plumes on parade, Part I". These feathers were hand-painted - how cool is that?! I love the white against the dark brown/grey/purpley color.


The little lovelies

Here are my little neices having what appears to be a rare sister bonding moment in the middle of the kitchen. They just had to have new jellies for Spring, the perfect accessory for their pink-striped gams. These two are made of sugar and spice and everything that makes one a totally spastic menace. A minute ago Maggie probably smacked her younger sister on the head and Maya was likely throwing food across the room. And right before that they were tormenting the dog. This is cute to everyone but their mom. That's why I love being an aunt: all the benefits without any of the responsibility.


Grace. Home

I stole this design magazine from a laundromat in Sorrento, Italy. The only downside is that it's all written in Italian, which is kind of symbolic of how I felt during my time there: lots of beautiful things to look at, can't understand a thing. English? Please? I wasn't one of those tourists who expect everyone to speak my language, I only wanted some slack... and respect for my personal 18 inches.

Back to the magazine... I just thought I'd share some of the eye candy that is contained within the delightful Grazia. Casa.

This light-filled studio is ever so dreamy.

That wrapped-looking stool is truly unique, as is that strange ribbon-esque side table.

The red rose is the perfect accent.

You know you always wanted a gigantic mural of a Roman tragedy in your home. I would settle for the cute chairs, however, also pictured in the photo directly above this one.

I like this bench a lot, though not necessarily paired with that rug. In my opinion, it needs some pink.

If I were forced to enjoy my morning croissant and latte di caffè here, I would not put up a fuss.

This is a great chair, no?

I would not mind having breakfast here either.

This photo makes me want to re-do my bedroom for summer. Notice how they stocked the fireplace with books and magazines? Genius.


The Great Parking Nightmare of '08

Rarely do I wish for three-day weekends to come to an end. This just so happens to be one of those rare occasions - it's called The Folklife Festival. All weekend I have been avoiding driving anywhere for fear that I will be forced to park a mile away from my apartment upon my return because all the tye dye-wearing, dreadlock-sporting, patchouli-scented cheapskates refuse to read street signs.

Me: Hey, you don't want to park there.
Them: What do you mean?
Me: Because if you read the sign you'll see that you're not allowed to park here after 6 pm without a permit.
Them: But where else am I going to park?
Me: In one of the several designated parking garages built specifically for events such as this one.
Them: Yeah, but you have to pay for them.
Me: Yep, that's the idea.

I bet the city could fund a new arena for the Sonics with the money they've made in the past three days off parking tickets alone. I think the moral of this story is that ignorance comes at a price... of $44.

There were way more people at the festival than this picture may lead you to believe. I am not a big fan of big crowds so I got my crab cakes to go.


I found the following images from Ouma via Sweet Petula. Mostly I like the carnival-esque setting; it's the perfect backdrop for these fun and flirty pieces, which are available for purchase here.


Finally someone got it right!

Now this is a hot shirt. Available at Local Celebrity.


The 'Couver

Unfortunately I don't have much to post about my whirlwind, 24-hour roadtrip up north. The non-stop jabbering and ridiculous coffee intake did not leave a lot of time for photography and notetaking. Additionally, shop owners are not partial to in-store photography.

The grand opening of H&M yesterday was a total caffeine buzzkill. I think there were more people than clothes in there. For those of you in the know, you know that's a lot of people! I like the H&M near my sister in Minnesota where there are hardly any customers and I can sort of spead out and make myself at home for as long as I need. Things of this delicate nature should not be rushed - an excellent excuse to make yet another trip to Vancouver to tide me over until the Seattle stores open up.

I was really impressed with the Vancouver-based Aritzia, however. I know there is one in Bellevue Square but since I try to avoid that side of the lake at all costs, this was my first visit. Their decor is retro/contemporary cool with lots of wood paneling and kitchy 70's-inspired accents. They wouldn't let me take pictures inside so I stood outside and took the awful photo above. I really need a new camera. See that sales chick in the bottom left corner? She snarled at me. See those glass pendant lights hanging from the ceiling? They looked way better in real life. See the shapes etched into the mirror behind the multicolored bottles? That was my favorite part, as well as the white cut-out border framing the outside. Aritzia stocks labels such as Covet (one of my favs!), Sass & Bide, James Perse, Development, Vena Cava, Ella Moss, Whitley Kros, TNA, and Talula, in addition to their own private label, Wilfred.

It has been exactly one year since I first met my favorite New Brunswick cohort, Christina, at the thrilling Valencian pub crawl. Even though we had a lot of catching up to do, we picked up right where we left off and never missed a beat. I miss her tres beaucoup!


On the lookout

At first I didn't even notice the lips on the bedspread. No matter how hard you try, you can't help but look upwards at Warhol's Jackie O. I love all the different shades of pink. Very French.

I love the pop of blue/green in this otherwise fairly neutral room. That fur throw beckons to be rolled around in.

I am off to Vancouver, BC today to meet up with a very funny friend whom I met abroad last year. Christina is a hoot, which is made even funnier by the fact that she likes owls. I foresee an evening of International gastronomic delights and uniquely Canadian libations (huh?), followed by a day of shopping and gossip. See you on Friday. Ciao!


Plumes on parade, Part I

I am on a feather kick--mostly the real/three-dimensional kind rather than a feather motif--so long as they don't resemble a Native American artifact; hence the new banner, which still needs some major work. Arg.

"Pokahontas" sandal by Alexandra Neel, a former ballerina

Feather earrings by Jeweled Rabbit

Ostrich feather clutch by Ferragamo - as seen on Sex and the City

This photo is from Pike/Pine. I could never pull this off, but it is, nonetheless, very cool.

Finally, I took matters into my own hands and crafted this hair clip out of guinea fowl feathers. For some reason I have this idea that it would be the ultimate accessory to wear to yoga. I have yet to test this theory... I fear that my fellow yogis will be so distracted by my fabulous coif that they might fall over while practicing their dancing shivas.


Weekend recap

1. Breakfast outside at the Luna Park Cafe

2. Hike at Rattlesnake Lake

3. Drinks at Moxie

4. Leisurely walk through the sculpture garden and around the waterfront

5. Mariner's game

6. Dinner at The Purple Café


Red Ticking

Also located in the Madison Valley, just down the street from Sweet Petula, is this vintage European textile wonderland aptly named Red Ticking. It's a place for those who go weak in the knees upon hearing terms like "fabric" and "vintage" and "one-of-a-kind". You'll find stacks of... wait for it... red ticking, in addition to old bottles, baskets, lamps, dainty chandeliers, and all things tasteful yet slightly wonky - things you think you can find on your own but never will. Unless, of course, you know where to look... in France.

Aside from the fact that these are about the coolest textiles I have ever seen, I am in awe at the level of tidyness presented here. I believe these are mostly European. And mostly just eye candy for Sidney.

Newly upholstered vintage chairs that you can sit on just as soon as you purchase them. I dig the delicate metal tables, chipped paint and all.

Now these are what really got under my skin. I think a chair upholstered in one of these German grain sacks would be the upper echelon of vintage chic. I would want the writing to be off-centered with the patched holes exposed. You can't really tell from the picture but they are actually quite durable, much different than the coffee bean sacks I use to make tote bags, in case you were wondering. Not surprisingly, premium items come at a premium cost of $450 per sack. The crrrrrrazy thing is, I have just the chair for it - this squatty antique thing in desparate need of some TLC. I can almost justify it. Almost.


I just found this chair. I had something in mind other than a club chair, something with a wood frame and more old-fashioned-looking, but this one is very cool. Love the tufted seat. $2850 at Installation Antiques.


A little slice of Asia

Caffé Vita's newest item in the pastry line-up: green tea bread with sweet beans. The item itself resembles the color of the face of someone who's suffering from Montezuma's Revenge, but please do not let this deter you. I don't even like green tea and I love this stuff. It's sweet but not overly so, and moist without being greasy. If you can get into the right mindset you can even convince yourself that the sweet beans are chocolate chips - an added bonus for those of you who love chocolate but not the effect that it has on your waistline.

In Seattle, we get pastries to go along with our coffee. In New York, they get coffee to go along with their pastries. Now we can have the best of both worlds, which puts us worlds ahead of them. (Ya, right.) It's a great time to be alive... Spring is arriving tomorrow.

The café on lower Queen Anne stocks this Asian delicacy on Tuesdays only, and the café on Capitol Hill offers it on Wednesdays only. I recommend the latter location because you can still get that same great cup of coffee but without the attitude.

Photo was taken with a chintzy camera by yours truly.


Weathered leather

Ever since the Aidan chair post, I'm on a mission to wishin' I could find (read: afford) the perfect brown leather chair. The Aidan chair, I recently learned, is a Morris chair - a mix between Mission- and craftsman-style. Although it is impossible to tell if the official Aidan chair reclines from the picture above, which is a necessary feature of a true Morris chair. I think my obsession stems from the fact that, what if, this chair is not in the movie (17 days!)? And if it's not in the movie, where'd it go? Because I have room.

This is a Morris chair reproduction made from salvaged California wine casks circa 1905. The style is right on but they forgot to weather the leather.

This is the Maxwell chair by Restoration Hardware. It's decent and probably comfortable enough but lacks character.

This Chapin chair is close, but again, the leather is all wrong. I really like the rustic style of the wood, however.

The winner of the day is this beauty that I found at Camelion Design in Ballard by Four Hands. They do this special 18-hour process to age the leather and the results are very authentic-looking. If I owned this chair I would pretend that the leather had aged by way of my great grandfather who sat in it day in and day out, spectacles low on his nose while composing great works of classic literature. It would smell faintly of cigars and Old Spice. If it were any wider, they'd call it a love seat. And you know what they say about love seats. No, wait... I'm confusing that with something else. My bad!