Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

The table's all set for my family's feast. Hope you enjoy yours!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Everyday Life

I was hit hard by a stomach bug last night- Bleh! Bleh! and Bleh! Now that I'm in the weak but recovering on the couch stage, I have just enough energy to share the last book I read- The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life by William Nicholson.

This novel takes place over the course of a week in the lives of various characters that live in one English country village. I was originally expecting it to be full of charming, traditional British village scenes, with tweed and wellies and walks through the woods. I was a little disappointed to find that this is definitely not that kind of book, but my disappointment didn't last long once I realized that everything else about it was really, really good.

Each chapter dips into a different character's perspective. Each voice the author uses is very different, but right on the mark for each character. As the stories of the different characters unfold, we see the gap between what's going on in their internal lives and how they're perceived by others. It's very wall done, and even veers into slight Virginia Woolf-like territory at some points, like during a chapter that gives a stream-of-consciousness view of one character's shopping trip.

I think I may just have made this book seem kind of heavy and boring, but it's not, I promise.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ghost Blogger

Confession: when I'm busy or tired, I have a ghost blogger who does my blogging for me:

Now, I have to say that this picture was not at all posed. If it was, you know I would have tried to put a pair of glasses on her. I just walked away from the computer for a minute and when I came back, Millie had settled herself behind the keyboard. Not that surprising since, like sniffing and sleeping, writing is a natural beagle instinct:

(Thanks for humoring me if you're still reading this silly little post!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Craft (and Cupcake!) Crawl 2010

This past weekend, my friend Lara came to visit me and we undertook our much-anticipated, first-ever Craft Crawl around Manhattan. Our goal was to hit as many craft supply or craft inspired places as we could. We had one baking supply place on our list too and, of course, since I was involved, I had to add some cupcake stops into the mix.

First, we hit the 25th Street flea market. I have to say that this was my least favorite stop of the day. It was a little disappointing and didn't inspire either of us to dig through the jumble to stuff to hunt for hidden gems.

The most interesting thing we saw there were these boxes of old slides. Their hand-written labels said things like "Sturbridge Village, 1962" or "The girls at camp". I'm sure they'd be really interesting and kitschy to look at for any vintage voyeurs who still have slide projectors.

Then we got thirsty and stopped for a little refreshment:

(Just kidding.) Our real next stop was NY Cake and Baking Supply, which sells every kind of professional baking supply item imaginable, including racks and racks of cookie cutters and shelf after shelf edible flowers for cake decorating. According to the store's celebrity photo wall, Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Tyler Florence have all made stops here.

All of the baking supplies made me crave something sweet. Luckily, our next stop was the 18th Street branch of The Cupcake Cafe.

Before we even got to the cupcakes, I was surprised and thrilled to discover that it's actually attached to a lovely children's bookstore called Books of Wonder that could practically be the real-life version of The Shop Around the Corner from You've Got Mail. How did I not know about this?

Besides new children's books, they have a section dedicated to vintage editions of children's classics, which were really fun to browse through. I would have loved to buy a vintage edition of Anne of the Island, if only it wasn't $95. (Although that seemed like a bargain compared to the $2500, locked-behind-glass set of original Winnie-the-Pooh books.)

The Cupcake Cafe portion of the store was situated just as a Starbucks Cafes would be in a Barnes and Noble, with the addition of these giant flirty, dancing cupcakes:

The cupcakes are all lavishly decorated with flowers. I tried a vanilla and a chocolate, and Lara tried the maple. The verdict: beautiful to look at, but not the best tasting. Sweet and Magnolia both beat these out in terms of taste, which was okay since we made stops at both of those places too.

After chowing down on cupcakes, we headed up to the Garment District. We hit Mood, where we'd been before, but didn't find anything to "make it work" this time around.

Then we hit M&J Trimmings, where there are walls and walls of buttons, ribbons, appliques, lace, beads, name it.

The last stop of our day, and the one I'd been most looking forward to, was Purl SoHo. This was my first time visiting the shop since they'd moved their tiny store into a bigger location.

The new store really is nice, albeit still cramped on a crowded and bustling Saturday.
Their sewing and knitted supplies are now combined into a single shop.

Their Liberty fabrics were gorgeous, both for sale on the bolt and on the wall as decoration. I even spotted a couple of patterns that were part of the Target collection way back when.

Of course, I was most interested in the yarn and picked up some skeins to use for new projects.

After seeing Lara off on Sunday, I capped off the weekend with a stop at the Lion Brand Yarn store, where I took advantage of the Birthday Week discount they offer. My weekend yarn purchases include the makings of two hats, a cowl, and a dog sweater:

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. It was even rounded out by some celebrity and pseudo-celebrity sightings- Brooke Shields, walking down the street, and the guy who is dating one of the Kardashians, waiting on a long bathroom line at Le Pain Quotidien.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wall Art

Here's another little area of my apartment that I've decorated. You might recognize some of these Black Apple prints that I got a while ago. Now I've hung them on the wall above my sofa, mixed in with a few eclectic objects.

A plate hung from a plate hanger that has a little bird on it.

An interesting shaped mirror.

A tiny vintage shelf, just big enough for a votive.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frog Hospital

Who Will Run The Frog Hospital is the first novel I've read by Lorrie Moore and it's completely turned me into a fan of hers.

The narrator is a woman in her 40's who, in flashback, tells the story of her friendship with Sils, the glamorous best friend of her teenage years. It chronicles the turning point of their friendship, the summer they spend working at Storyland, a dinky theme park in upstate New York. It's a quiet, meandering book that's both said and funny. The writing is just so good- I'd highly recommend it.

But that's all I can say about it right now. I have a pooch sitting on my chest (and I mean chest, not lap). Turns out it's hard to type when your arms are half-pinned and there's a tail lolling about on your keyboard.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shoes & Socks

In keeping with my shoe theme, I love, love, love the loafers and ankle socks in this picture from The Sartorialist.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


By popular demand, I decided to share my most recent shoe purchase- a pair of Minnetonka moccasins.

They are so incredibly comfortable and perfect for fall. I've been wearing them all the time: on weekends, to and from work, and even in the office on potentially inappropriate non-casual-Fridays.


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