Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Post : Prismatic Pastels

I invite you to head on over to my other blog The Picture of Pretty. My latest post is up there, and it's full of eye candy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Picture of Pretty: The Audrey Hepburn Effect

Lily Cole / Elle Russia

Audrey Hepburn in her ingenue years (early 1950's to early 1960's) is my all-time favorite style icon. Elements of her style -- both on-screen and off -- continue to inspire me and countless others. Audrey "looks" have a distinct pedigree; they are unquestionably classics. An enduring lesson in how to be lovely.

My latest post at The Picture of Pretty is a study of that style as it continues to inform modern fashion. It was a bit of work and a lot of fun. 

See it here … and enjoy!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Came, I Saw, I Blogged It!

Well, I've been threatening to do it for a long while now. Start another (yes another) blog.

So I did. I mean, I ACTUALLY set it up on Wordpress (I'm learning -- boy howdy it's pretty easy!) and have blogged. Once. One post, so far, on The Picture of PrettyIf you care to view it (I'd say read but it's mostly pictures), it's here:


I don't know quite what the future of Buttercup Bungalow is. Nor can I predict what this new blog will (or won't) be. I only know that I have more energy and ideas that I can confine to a single blog. Or two blogs, apparently. I suspect that Buttercup Bungalow isn't going anywhere soon, though it may lie fallow for a while. Wouldn't be the first time. 

Then again, in a month, I could be so tired and brain fogged that I can barely get my primary blog done (The Daily Corgi), but let's just do today. For sanity's sake, stay in the day. It's worth a shot. 

It is good to have more creative energy than I know what to do with. Sometimes it just goes that way. The depression and relentless anxiety clear away enough to permit me room to DO, to MAKE, to spend my time doing something other than just BEING. Maybe the longer days and arrival of Spring have something to do with it? It certainly isn't working against me, after the long New England winter!

Can't wait to see the first flower or blade of grass. It's been a brutal one here.

Happy Spring! Happy new things! Yay!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

On the occasion of Heidi's birthday, Elvis has a message ...

… because a legend never REALLY leaves the room.

Hey little lady, I hear it's your birthday. I've got a smooch with your name on it.

That one's between us. Don't kiss and tell.

I bought you three teddy bears. Because your friend Laurie told me you like teddy bears.

Won't you be my teddy bear?

For you, birthday gal, my best blue steel gaze. Are you weak in the knees yet?

It's not true that I ain't nothin' but a hound dog. Those rumors are all piffle and nonsense, babe.

So tell me this, darlin'. Are you lonesome tonight?

Will your birthday candles be alight?

I got enough candles to light your fire. Forget about that handsome husband.

Let me serenade you. I can rock your bobby socks. You know it, I know it.

It's a one night only offer, my Iowa peach. I donned this tux just for you. (My gold suit is at the cleaner's).

Just close your eyes and I'll be there. 

(p.s. Don't tell your husband. If I go mano to mano over a woman, I always win). 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Color Cocktail: Pink Loves Orange!

Because I live in the Boston area and been so snowed in, I've been doing a LOT of pinning lately. You know, pinning (saving images to) Pinterest? I have 180 separately themed boards, because yes -- this is how much my mind likes to compartmentalize things.

I've been poring over style (fashion/interiors) publications -- mostly magazines -- since I was a teenager. Let's just say it's been a few decades, by now. I have a very instinctive response to images, and so often see something I like in an editorial -- a gem -- that's surrounded by things that don't speak nearly as well to me. This must explain my pleasure in plucking out just what I like best and putting it together with other images, first and foremost for my own pleasure.

But color and images are a language of their own. And apparently I have a lot to say.

One of my favorite boards, because it's so unexpected and always vibrant, is a pink and orange color combination. These are from my Pink and Orange Pinterest board. There are "hot" and "saturated" pinks and oranges, and variations of these … peach, apricot, salmon pink, grapefruit, coral, tangerine, candy pink … and so on. Today's selections fall on the lighter end of the spectrum. The hothouse shades will no doubt have their day here, eventually! In a parallel universe, I'm sure there's a version of me involved in design -- and loving it.

Maybe I'll meet her someday.

Oscar de la Renta / Spring 2014
tumblr / Oscar PR Girl


Vogue Japan
tumblr / Duchess Dior

Wedding Chicks
Photo: Laura Jane Petelko

via momtrends.com

Versace Resort 2014

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dreams of a Would-Be Domestic Diva

I love homes. Other people's homes, mostly.

Smaller ones more than bigger ones. Cottages and bungalows? One of each, please!

In a lifetime of looking and planning and hoping and dreaming of my own perfect abode, however, I've come up square against a reality: I am not a domestic diva. In fact, if there is an opposite thing, I am closer to that. Although I spend much of my time at home (a nondescript urban apartment with linoleum flooring in every room), I'm often busier hatching plans for how I'm going to improve this place than truly living in it

So. Not. Me.

What would it take for me to do that?

Step one: a vigorous cleaning. That alone would be a triumph. Step two: excising one third of everything I own. Give it away, sell it, upcycle, downcycle, recycle, set it on the sidewalk with a "good stuff free" sign. Let it go, with a minimum of public scene-making. Step three (if by some miracle steps one and two didn't kill me), make the leap from Pinterest boards and shelter magazines to actually putting up curtains. Putting down rugs. Assume the post of chatelaine of my own shoebox. 

And I know precisely where I keep that serrated grapefruit spoon!

In other words, moving in. Setting down. Not waiting until Mr. Right #2 comes along to be happy in my own home. Not holding on to clutter and procrastination and "good enough-ness", because hey, I'm a grown-up now! Because by now I hate moving. Hate it. 

It's time to root again. To nest, and to rest.

I nested once in great earnest, when I was married a few years, but closeness turned to chaos and we went our own ways. His unhappiness with my housekeeping (if you want to call it that) was a major plank in his platform of marital reform. The platform failed, apparently due in large part to my lack of enthusiasm for the domestic arts. 

I'd rather be reading, darling. Now buzz off.

There are people who have been in this building 20 years. If I'm still here in 20 years, I might have to question where I went wrong, but when I look at their apartments, those who've been here that long, I see homes. Real homes. Made for living, comfort, company, making memories. With real furniture and rugs and lamps! (Sorry, IKEA). They respect themselves and their space by feathering their own nest well. 

Nothing too high end, but attractive, well kept, curtains on real rods (not the spring-loaded ones), hung from hooks instead of grommets. Real fabric shower curtains. A pedal-step wastebasket in the kitchen and the bathroom. Imagine that! China on shelves behind glass doors, framed art, a bedroom that's a haven. The finest room in the house (as it ought to be!)

See them sparkle! See them shine!

Most of all, everything is CLEAN. My kingdom for a Merry Maid! How do they work that kind of magic? What is the wizardry employed in keeping a house not just tidy, but consistently clean? It can't be as simple as a routine, can it? And if it's a routine, is it fatally boring? 

My relationship with housecleaning and housekeeping (what's the difference?) is fraught, to say the least. Truth is, it never got off the ground. We are uneasy roommates, housekeeping and me, an odd couple thrown together for these thirty years now, only grudgingly acknowledging the existence of the other. 

Perky and annoying. She lives in my head.

She wears a dress and an apron and wields a mixing bowl with confidence and flair, this busy little Swiffering bee. She hopes and plans and yearns for the day when all her big ideas (or even a few of her little ones) are realized in her own home. She asks, in all sincerity, whether this is what humans have been doing for thousands of years, since they left a largely nomadic existence behind. 

Well, it's complicated. And that's a trick question.

But I probably don't have another 48 years ahead of me. In spite of my aversion to buckets and brushes, a clean re-start seems the only way to launch my second act. Here and now, as if there is no better place to be. 

Because the present is, in the truest sense, the only home we can ever truly inhabit. And when I'm finished waxing philosophical and wise, I will do the dishes.  

Really, I will.