Monday, August 25, 2008

Domino, How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways...

So, domino has always been my go-to guide for interiors.

They have added additional spice to my life by making their first decorating book available for pre-order (it comes out in October).

If you'd like to read more about it or pre-order your own copy, stop by here.

Not only that, but they have a new scrapbooking (not THAT kind) tool, where you can collect your favorite inspirational images--from the domino website, to saved images on your computer, to your favorite design blog's images. You can see my dream living rooms in my own deco book on the right side of this blog. I didn't get too fancy with my books...I just made a book for each can probably browse all of them if you click on the slideshow.

If anyone makes their own books, send me a link so I can steal some of your images!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"And this maiden she lived with no other thought/Than to love and be loved by me..."

I saw this in today's Writer's Almanac, and figured that this was the perfect blog post...the stormy weather and gray sky make the perfect packground for Poe's poetry.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love —
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me —
Yes! — that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we —
Of many far wiser than we —
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

"Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe. Public Domain.

It's the birthday of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, born in 1822 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was Edgar Allan Poe's first cousin. When she was 10, Edgar moved in with Virginia, her mother, her grandmother, and her brother. Edgar immediately fell in love with a neighbor, and Virginia served as a messenger between them, once bringing Edgar a lock of the other girl's hair. But at some point, he must have fallen in love with Virginia, because he asked her to marry him after he got a job at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia. She married him when she was 13 and he was 27, but she listed her age as 21 on the marriage license. No one knows what the Poes' marriage was like, although biographers and historians like to speculate on whether they ever consummated their marriage, whether Poe had affairs with other women, and how they were affected by the age difference or the fact that they were cousins. Virginia contracted tuberculosis when she was 19, and when she died in 1847, Poe was devastated and started drinking heavily. She may be the inspiration for Poe's poem "Annabel Lee."

In 1846 Virginia wrote a valentine for Edgar that said:

Ever with thee I wish to roam —
Dearest my life is thine.
Give me a cottage for my home
And a rich old cypress vine,
Removed from the world with its sin and care
And the tattling of many tongues.
Love alone shall guide us when we are there —
Love shall heal my weakened lungs;
And Oh, the tranquil hours we'll spend,
Never wishing that others may see!
Perfect ease we'll enjoy, without thinking to lend
Ourselves to the world and its glee —
Ever peaceful and blissful we'll be.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Film Inspiration

I've talked about films that transport me far and away to Asia and Africa, like Indochine and Out of Africa, but I realized that I've been in love with stories like these even since I was little.

I loved reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's novels and adored the film versions--watching my favorite characters come to life was thrilling before my critical eye took over all angles of novel-to-film criticism.

I could watch films like

I have to say--I was really happy when the scriptwriters gave the film version the ending it did...they followed the Shirley Temple version, and instead of Sara Crewe's father being dead and she being adopted by his best friend who fought with him in battle, they let the dad live and just give him temporary amnesia. Whew!


I prefer the 1987 Hallmark TV version over the 1993 version--Colin Firth plays grown-up Colin in the Hallmark version...need I say more? I can't find any film stills of this version. Maybe I'll give the remake second chance.

I find that when I'm home sick, I still wish I had these movies around to watch when I'm curled up on the couch, eating soup and feeling sorry for myself. Frances Hodgson Burnett's characters very rarely felt sorry for themselves, even as penniless orphans who were very much alone in a big, cruel world. They managed to have gigantic imaginations and find beautiful, magical places and they'd charm everyone (even people who seemed intitally heartless at the beginning of the tale)and things always turned out for the best in the end.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Banded Beauty

I stumbled upon this site a few days ago, then saw it on one of my favorite illustrator's blog, and yesterday it was on Daily Candy. Now I feel 100% certain it's worth mentioning.

These headband/hat hybrids from are gorgeous! I can't pick a favorite so I just saved an image of the whole first page.

Click the image to see it larger.

I am getting my hair cut today and I think any number of these will look fantastic with my new 'do. If anyone feels up to dropping between $95-$145 on one of these little numbers for me, please let me know. I am always open to donations!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Love

I'm sure most people know of this site already, but I'm going to rave about it anyway. For those of us who have Netflix, but use Macs, all of those "Instant Viewing" movies are off-limits. So what do we do when there's nothing on TV and the next movie isn't due for a day or two? Hulu doesn't discriminate against Apple users and makes movies available to everyone. While they don't have a huge amount of movies available, and while the movies do have an occasional commercial, they also offer TV shows, the most talked about clips from last night's The Daily Show (if you don't feel like watching the whole episode), and more. Some of the full-length films they have available now are Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Coffee and Cigarettes, among others.

And the best part about Hulu? It's completely legal, so you have no risk of the Feds breaking into your home and stealing your computer. Yay!

Here's a funny clip from Lost in Translation:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Also...Oh My Goodness...

I hate Kiera Knightley, but it's only because I love her. Images from Vogue.

Completely Unrelated Things

Image from The New York Times

Whenever I hear about things like this, I feel frustrated with myself for wimping out and not becoming an archaeologist.

In other news, I have a set of white sheets that wrinkle so easily. When I pull them out of the dryer, they look like crumpled pieces of notebook paper. The wrinkles are too deep to steam out and I hate ironing with a passion. Even that doesn't get them completely crisp. Is there a time-saving solution for this detestable situation?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Places I'd Rather Be Than Here

I'm currently rereading two books that make me want to walk straight out of my house and directly to the airport to go to these places.

The first of these is Sarah Midda's South of France: A Sketchbook.

Sarah Midda is a talented watercolor artist who documents her experiences in the South of France through sketches, collages and words that make you feel like you're there with her (and then feel depressed when you realize that you're actually just sitting on your couch in the good ole U.S. of A.)

For many more peeks into this incredible book, or to buy a copy of your very own, go here.

The other book, while not as visually appealing, is Into a Paris Quartier by Diane Johnson.

This book is all about the Left Bank neighborhood of St.-Germain in Paris, where the author lives part of the year, when she isn't in San Francisco.

She shares the stories of the famous people who have lived and died in this neighborhood, from Queen Margot to Ernest Hemingway, and shows the readers a glimpse of the rich history from which this neighborhood is woven.

You can purchase it here.

What books transport you to a place far, far away? Summer's a great time for travel, you know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons was a photographer who captured the wealthy in all aspects of their lives--mainly the glamourous ones. His photos, despite when he took them, provide endless fashion and decorating inspiration.

"Patsy Pulitzer," 1955

"Scottsdale Sun"

"Sundowners," 1958

"The Jourdans," 1969

Check out Photographers Gallery for more great images.

Monday, August 11, 2008

OK, I SWEAR...the last movie post for a while.

I just needed to talk about this movie, though. I promise that I have a (very small) life outside of sitting on my couch and watching DVDs. It's just that I am passionate about being lazy.

While some reviewers have found it bland, I liked it for several reasons:

* It was a simple story--a modern fairy tale--that had a cute message (Learn to love yourself). I want my mom to see it, my sister to see it, and my best friend to see it, and I feel like they'd all enjoy it.
* The cinematography is obviously largely inspired by Amelie. I see that as a good thing.
* Penelope's playroom/bedroom is AMAZING. I would want that room now. If you watch the movie, keep your eyes open for all the incredible, tiny details in this room. There is just the tinist glimpse in this photo:

*James McAvoy is in it.

If you do watch this film, go into it only expecting a lighthearted, modern fairytale with storybook colors and characters and a positive message, and you won't be disappointed.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Yet Another Film Post...

...and not the last, by far. I love movies too much to ever stop raving about them.

However, this movie is going to be huge. Epic. Thrilling. The costumes, styling, decor, THE ACTUAL STORYLINE. I can't wait.


If I had to make a list of my all-time favorite actors, Emma Thompson would be in my Top 5. Actually, my Top 3.

While you're waiting for the film, read the book:

More drama than a day's worth of Perez Hilton entries.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I know I'm not mature enough to have children yet, because I still see them as very, very special accessories. When I think of kids, I think mostly of how I would dress them up. Mainly girls, because girls' clothes are way more fun.

If I had a little girl to dress up, I'd dress her like this:

Flower Eyelit Iris Dress by Ses Petites Mains

Judy Keyhole Day Dress by Baby Bean

Lola Dress by Neige from Emma & Avery

Reese Dress by Pink Chicken

Kiki Stem Dress by Kit + Lili

Liberty Print Tunic by Flora & Henri

If you are looking to purchase any of these adorable outfits, many of them can be found at Tiny McSmall (on sale!).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Things I Do Not Like.

Mostly I use this blog to write about things I like.

However, perhaps due to the grumpy mood brought on by the poor trash collecting job our sanitation people do on our street and the aching head and eyes, I've decided to focus on what I DON'T LIKE.

The Ironic Hipster Mullet:
Image from
(Photo taken in Carrboro!)

The mullet is an ugly haircut. We get it. You look ugly. It's funny--we all laughed (the first time). Now cut it off.

Colored Jeans (and other neon clothing):

Image from

It actually made my headache worse googling images for this. Everyone who wears neon colors looks like an extra in Saved by the Bell. Not in a good way.

The Emo/Indiekid Combover:

I can't find an image to properly illustrate this. When I googled "emo hair" or "indie hair" I got lots of images of that generic long-bangs-in-front-spiky-hair-in-back look. Often featuring white blonde streaks in black hair. The look I've seen frequently in the few shows I've been to in the past year is just long, greasy hair parted at or behind the ear and flopped to the other ear. What's interesting is that this is just how these boys will be wearing their hair (if they have any) when they're 85.

The Avril Lavigne Look:

Avril Lavigne is a stunning young woman who, unfortunately, has been marketed as a brand. (Now available at Hot Topic!)

I am a fan of many, many passing trends, but there are a few I can't stand. What are some trends you wish would drop out of the spotlight?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Dear World,


Monday, August 4, 2008

Finding my decorating style.

I have a problem when it comes to decorating: I love EVERYTHING. I love the faded, shabby chic look, the slightly preppy nautical New England look, mid-century modern, industrial, bohemian and so much more.

I could just as easily see myself living in a house decorated like this:

as I could a place like this:

Images from The Style Files.

So how do I narrow down my interests? What do you do when you feel as comfortable in a country cottage as you do in a sleek L.A. house with views?

Luckily, my limited budget restricts me to throwing together the things I find at Goodwill into a slightly shabby but decently comfortable home. Everything fits at present because it's all preworn and slightly faded.

For those of you who are currently decorating or have homes, how have you narrowed your interests? I know a lot of it comes from the style of your home. You can get away with whitewashed floors and jars of seashells when you live in a Cape Cod house; you can stick with strong, simple lines in an Arts & Crafts bungalow. Are there any other ways you hone your interests? Share with someone who's trying to learn, but often feels overwhelmed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Reading

Back in this post I wrote about books that changed my life as a kid--books that I still occasionally read and get real enjoyment from.

Early this week when I was talking to a coworker about a recent trip to NYC, I mentioned the book From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This book was thrilling to me as a's about two siblings who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and discover a mystery there.

Also, another important book was

Any story where a bunch of kids become obessed with ancient Egypt was a winner for me.

Any books that changed your life as a kid?