Monday, November 30, 2009

file under: I Am Officially Old

Did you know there is a 13 year-old blogger who gets front row seats at runway shows because she writes an apparently fabulously influential fashion blog called Style Rookie?

Tava Gevinson looks like a ten year old boy in a blonde Beatle wig, dressed up a la The Olsen Twins-meets-Grandma's closet. Since when does a 13 year old claim authority as the voice of anything except being 13 years old? (Oh wait, I forgot what 13 year olds are like). When you are 13, the whole world seems composed of clueless idiots.

Thanks to the power of the internet (take note, this is a dubious distinction) now the leagues of clueless idiots can turn to a thirteen year old for fashion advice.

As IF!

What's next, a ten year old's ramblings on the geopolitics of the Middle East?

I am feeling cranky.

Hitting "publish post" ... 'til next time ...

Back in the doghouse.

Just when I'd complimented myself so handsomely (OK, boasted) about my newly spendthrift ways, I succumb to these on ebay. Vintage salt and pepper doghouses with decals on the front.
They have got to be worth far more than the few dollars I paid for them. They are the cutest things I have seen in forever.
And now they are MINE!

Apartment update.

The place is coming along.

There will eventually be a big moving-day push but for now I am bringing over a half-dozen or so boxes at a time. Am I reluctant to move? No, mostly I'm exhausted and overwhelmed. Excited, yes. Overwhelmed, too. I am thanking my own good sense (finally got some) in planning ahead for this financially speaking. All through my 20's and 30's I was a fool around money. Wow, saving money! Window shopping instead of impulse buying! There is a kind of Yankee pride in this thriftiness, I must admit. When you really stop and think "would I rather have this item in my home than $____ in my pocket?", it throws a different light on things. I retired my debit card and checks and use cash for everything nowadays, so I can see right away when those presidential flash cards start leaking out of my wallet.

I must say, I don't like the leaking of the green. Makes me irritable!

There is the occasional minor splurge, however, on an item that is so "me", so "must have" and so reasonably priced that I don't even try to resist. Case in point: the Queen's Red Rooster plate (above). I'm buying just the one, as it's going to hang on the wall of my red and white kitchen, with a few other plates. (Yes, I'm a plate hanging kind of person).

Love roosters. Love plates on the wall. Love a red and white kitchen.

Don't love moving.

Colorful days, restless nights.

If you're a regular follower of Buttercup Bungalow (and there are a few of you, thanks!) you'll have noticed by now that I am doing some serious posting of images lately, and a lot of them aren't in the same vein at all.

Which explains a lot.

I am moving after a few years in the same place (and moving is stressful), the holidays are upon us (for me this tends to me stressful), and my 14 year-old cat is not enjoying the prospect of getting used to yet another home. She's game, though. I mean, this is an animal who flew all the way across the country in the pet section of the cargo hold. But she's 10 years older now and a wee bit more neurotic. Liker her Mom :-).

Anyway, I've noticed that when I feel particularly stretched and strained (mentally speaking), I am far more drawn to visuals than I ordinarily am (which is more than the average person, I think). I start ferreting through all of the sources I can think of, and looking for new ones, as a way to relax my brain. It works. I think my long period this summer of being away from the blog (this one, anyway) had as much to do with feeling relatively calm as it did with the laborious hours of setting up and maintaining my other blog (The Daily Corgi). With that one I'm looking at lots of pictures but they're all of Corgis. Never a bad thing, but a same-y diet. I won't say I got my fill of Corgis (NEVER), but the need to clap eyes on lots of something else's got very strong.

So here I am, back at Buttercup Bungalow. I run in fits and starts, I suppose. Blame it on the "artistic temperment".

Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

1928: Blumenfest

Blumenfest Zurich 1928
Author Unknown

Bright simplicity.

Chamomile Tea in Cup with Spoon
Photographer Unknown

art happy: Louise Cunningham

Toucan Love
by Louise Cunningham

Deer oh Deer
by Louise Cunningham

Retro Teapots
by Louise Cunningham

Love, love, love the juicy bright colors!
These (and more) available at

Pop! goes the puppy.

Atome as Puppy Pop Star I
by Guerin

Atome as Puppy Pop Star III
by Guerin

Saturday, November 28, 2009

God save the Queen.

Queen of England, Princess Elizabeth
On her Tenth Birthday
April 21, 1936

I'll have a blue Christmas ...

Some ebay window shopping: Wedgwood blue Jasperware Christmas ornaments. I can't justify spending the money on either one right now, as I begin to furnish my new apartment with the bare basics, but ... but ... they still beckon.


And blue, Wedgwood blue, this has become the theme of my new living room. I cannot BELIEVE it! I have never been a blue kind of person (unless you count "the blues"), but I was shopping for rugs this afternoon and decided I'd like an oval, braided one like my grandparents used to have. The one in shades of blue (the label actually calls it "Wedgwood") immediately stood out, much to my own surprise.

It reads "neutral" even though it's blue. It reads warmth, not coolness, without being too heavy. So I have my rug. And my conception of myself as "never a blue person" turned squarely on its head.

On towards the window treatments department ...

Once more blue carries the day. Drapes with built-in, tasseled (!) valance in a most Traditional Home kind of large, subtle plaid, tones of beige, creamy gold and light Wedgwood blue. Never thought I was a tassels person, either.

A new and entirely unexpected vision of my living room is coming to light. I'd articulated something "cottage" for the space, but then said to my friend/fellow shopper "I'll just know it when I see it", which is always the case for me. I am indifferent to or genuinely dislike 90 to 95 percent of what I see when I am shopping, which makes it easy for me to spot what I love right away because it's so different from what's around it. The rug was easy, the window treatment not so much. I really had to stop and give this one a second look.

Why tassels? Why am I going more Traditional Home than Country Living? This is why: my new place needs some serious classing up. There are exposed pipes in the living room (and not in a charming, modern, loft-y kind of way). The walls are an uninspiring shade of eggshell/cream. It's clean, but there is little that's "crisp" about the place, except for the kitchen which is adorable in every possible way and destined to be festooned in all the red I can get my hands on (which has already been a lot).

I took "before" photos of the apartment today. If I can figure out how to download them from my camera, I'll share them soon.
Oh, and by the way, if you were following the story of the stray cat I found, I have placed her in a very good foster home! And she is going to get the vet care she needs (spaying, shots) all for free! Bless the people at Billerica Cat Care Coalition, an organization that helps feral and abandoned cats and their kittens, and Linwood Animal Hospital, who kept the cat under their care out of their Stray Fund while I networked with BCCC and their fantastic crew to make this little miracle happen.

I like to think (and I really do feel it in my bones) that regular readers of this blog, in fact the kind of person who would this far into this particular post, are by nature at least a little bit fond of animals. So perhaps I am preaching to the choir, but please consider sending anything -- even just $5 -- to your local animal rescue organization. Drop off food for the animals. There are so many domestic animals being put out because of foreclosures and people being unable to pay for their food or care any longer. The economy is terrible, but we are all going to make it through this by supporting and showing kindness to one another wherever we can.

Animals enrich human lives immeasurably. Please give a little bit for the critters who ask for so little in return. Like us, in our heart of hearts, they ask only to love and be loved, without guile, simply for who they are.

Giving gives back. Always.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cozy, rosy, posy.

From Sweeter Homes' very pink post (June '09):

Loooove shades of pink juxtaposed against each other. I especially like the bluish pinks and lilac shades together. I don't have enough pink for furnishing my new apartment. There will be pink! Pink can be gorgeously old fashioned or hot, modern and in-your-face. It's actually a versatile color that way.

Oh, baby!

Cherub alert!
Peoples' Home Journal, March 1925
Illustrator unknown.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Uh-oh, new magazine addiction!

Coming in Spring, 2010 ...
(note the buzzwords on the front cover: cottage, pink, cupcake, shop, collect)!
Resistance is futile.

Underwater love.

One of the most astonishingly beautiful images I've seen in a long time! Sourced at

A prayer for little girls everywhere.

Santa makes his first fly-by today at the end of the Macy's Parade. For me as a child this was the harbinger of the most exciting time of the year.

I remember many Thanksgiving days surrounded by extended family, tables laden with a bounty of delicious food, and the feeling of being a part of something pretty wonderful.

Today, I hope for every little girl, all around the world (and that includes the girls inside of us grown-up gals too) that same kind of comfort and excitement. Even if Santa isn't a part of their world, may they know the delicious anticipation of something to enjoy today and something to look forward to and hope for in the days and weeks to come.

Creator, shine the light of Love everywhere, for the girls we are, the girls we were, the little girls we know and all the little girls we'll never meet. We are precious and worthy, all of us. No matter where we live, the color of our skin, the language of our tongue, the circumstances of our lives, we are magnificent and special. Help us to know this of ourselves and one another, and to honor it fully.

Every one of us. Every day of our lives.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nie Nie! My new apartment! Lonny on-line decor mag! Here, kitty kitty! Pink, pink and pink!

Have you ever read The Nie Nie Dialogues?

Very inspiring. Nie Nie was apparently on the Today show yesterday morning. I haven't seen it yet but I'm going to look for it on youtube.
A good blog to read to be reminded of the simple fact that Life itself is something to be thankful for.

OK, it's finally happened ... I have my own apartment again. Well, I ought to say for the first time in my life, because although I did have a cute little studio apartment way back in 2000, I have never had a whole apartment with a separate bedroom all to myself. Living in the Northeast, where rents are ridiculous, you either have a friend, roommate or a husband to halve the rent with ... but I now have the keys to my own little lily pad.

Have you seen the on-line magazine Lonny? Click on the image to visit!


When I start thinking about decorating and making a "nest", my mind always turns to pink-ness. Almost always. And if I'm having a stressful time (today turned out to be that with a capital S), I need the loveliness even more.

My best friend and I were ambushed by the most adorable kitten today in the parking lot of our building. A light Tortie with a dark stripe down her nose. Super friendly. Talking, talking, talking. Well, between my friend and I we've got three cats so ... this little feline picked the right people. We were on our way to do grocery shopping but the whole thing got waylaid by this beautiful little animal. We couldn't just leave here there!


So we went knocking on every door of the building asking if anybody had lost her. No luck. We brought her next door to our vet's and they agreed to keep and feed her for a couple of hours while we went shopping (they're real nice people at this vet's office). While I was waiting in the check-out line at the market, I got on the phone with another Very Nice Person who runs a local no-kill cat welfare organization and talked with her about options. Foster homes are a possibility 'til we can track down the owner or ... if nobody comes forward, 'til she finds a permanent home.
Long story short (well it's already kind of long ... )
The vet's office has a "stray fund" (and all of a sudden I felt great about having given to it myself a time or two, oh boy it's a Godsend) and they agreed to board and feed Pumpkin (yes, we named her Pumpkin because it's Thanksgiving Eve) through the holiday weekend at no cost to us. All present agreed that she is probably about 8 months old and straight out of Cuteville.
SO ... I have been reminded that there are good people to be thankful for, and that's my gratefulness for this year's holiday. I'm grateful that other people thought it was as important as I do to take care of an animal all alone on its own, young and hungry.

I can't save the world, some days I can hardly get myself out of bed, but I can make a difference in my own small way. It will matter a lot to her family, once they are (hopefully) re-united. And if she was simply "let go"? Well ... whoever is fortunate enough to welcome her into their lives will be glad that somebody cared enough to listen to those tiny meowzers on one drizzly Thanksgiving Eve!

from fanpop!

From Vintage Gal on polyvore


And that's all she wrote. My sugar high is turning rapidly into a sugar crash.
Gobble, gobble all ...

etsy joy: Saddle Stitch Studios

WOW -- one of many gorgeous items in Saddle Stitch Studio's etsy shop. This address label design is unlike anything I've seen ... it's retro and modern and crisp but tender at the same time. Much talent here!

Monsieur Boudin

I while back, I did a post about Lab Partners' Monsieur Boudin line of greeting cards, but I just couldn't resist revisiting him one more time.

A stylish, urbane Parisian Doxie. I think I am in love!

blog happy: prettygood

Mary Swenson is a self-taught photographer whose work is very charming, indeed! Her wonderful site is a happy discovery.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Leave it to beavers.

The little nature walk I thought I'd be taking through the Audobon Sanctuary earlier today turned out to be a two hour and fifteen minute brisk hike over varied terrain, which is a nice way of saying a forced march up and down hills.

It is going to take me at least a week to recover. The only reason I'm still here to tell the tale is my stubbornness (some might say orneriness). I refused to be the middle aged fat lady who held the entire group up (or God forbid didn't make it out of the forest alive).

So I am chewing Advils, packed in ice and trying to keep my mind on how cool it was to see beaver lodges, like this one. They are the coolest animals. I love how industrious they are. Of course, this causes major headaches for a lot of people, I realize that ... but you have to admire how dedicated they are.

Since beavers are nocturnal we didn't actually see one, but we saw a couple of trees that were quite close to the "hi-ho-TIMBER!" point from being chewed all around by those big beaver teeth overnight. They are starting to gather their stores of branches to keep them supplied with food through the Winter. They don't hibernate so they need to duck out of their lodges via underwater holes and swim to the cache where their food is kept.

Much smarter than a lot of people, I'd say.

Smarter, at any rate, than a 43 year old woman convincing herself that she can do a two hour hike when five minutes' walking on pavement causes premature and undue exertion.

So the beavers have outsmarted me. It's a good thing they're as cute as they are, otherwise I'd be very grumpy about it indeed. More on beavers here. They are quite fascinating!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

blog happy: A Cup of Coffee, My Dog and Me

Holy cuteville, this one's a charmer!

Photo by the domestic goddess/blogstress behind A Cup Of Coffee, My Dog and Me.

I have pleasantly nest-y lately ... accepted that Summer is now actually gone ... going to see an apartment this week and could be post-sign on the dotted line by this time next Sunday! Hate packing, detest moving (as does the cat), like unpacking and love the decorating ...

Today's agenda: going on a guided nature walk (I hope it's not a hike, dear God) in Topsfield, Massachusetts. A very New Engand-in-Fall kind of place. Which is to say, not at all like California. Or Miami. Or even (especially) Atlantic City.

In any season. But variety is the spice, no?
Hmmm, spiced cider ... good idea. Cheers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

etsy joy: mvegan5

Fashioned from vintage plastic findings and a tiny crystal, this crowned dove cameo pin is a beguiling find on etsy. Artist mvegan5 (Michele) donates 10% of her proceeds to Etsy for Animals, the group she founded. There are scores of other interesting and beautiful items in her etsy shop. So ... you can look good and do good at the same time. What's not to like?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

blog happy: The French Factrice

Selected images from The French Factrice, a site full of antique postcard gems. Well worth a look!

Poppies ... poppies ...

"Work of Art Dress"

House of Girard

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scratch and sniff and sigh ...

I wear fragrance pretty much every day, even if I'm in sweats or jeans (which is most of the time). I'm addicted to scent.

I remember precisely what the teacher's cologne smelled like the first day of kindergarden, but have never been able to find it "by nose" at any perfume counter in the world. I have near perfect recall of the earliest scents I used, as a young girl: Avon's Sweet Honesty, Love's Baby Soft. I can call them up in their entirety and re-experience them with near perfect clarity.

It's a strange talent, to be sure. I am haunted, in a mostly good way, by smells. Right now, late Fall smells fantastic.

I know what a dry down is (it's the only way I know whether I really, truly love a perfume). I know what chyphre is (and that I'm not particularly fond of it). I can tell you that I don't care for anything redolent of lavender or patchouli, but I cannot tell you why.

Love and hate are funny that way.

NY Times perfume critic Chandler Burr's provocative writing about perfume and the perfume industry are required reading if, like me, you are fascinated by all things fragrance. His books are quicksilver sharp and a glorious read for the fragrance-addicted.

Biophysicist/writer Luca Turin makes the vibration theory of olfaction (nearly) understandable to a lay reader in The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and The Science of Smell; the archive of his fascinating blog "Perfume Notes" is well worth a visit. I've yet to read Perfumes: The Guide, which he co-authored with Tania Sanchez, but it's on my short list.

My latest crush -- discovered via fragrance insert inVogue -- is Yves Saint Laurent's Parisienne (pictured, top). Billed as "a grand floral with a woody structure, luminous even in its mystery." Blackberry - Damask Rose – Sandalwood. There are no hard edges to this one, though it doesn't lay down and die, either. It's voluptuous but virtuous. Granted, this is not always a reliable gauge of what the scent is really like, but a bottle of Parisienne is the only thing on my Christmas list right now. Santa, are you listening?

I am a flowery/fruity/woody mix kind of woman. I don't like perfumes that smell maniacally clean (Estee Lauder's Pleasures comes to mind). My laundry should smell like laundry, but not my skin. Clinique's Happy has that same fabric freshener overload, though Happy Heart was an improvement.

Ralph Lauren's Lauren was ubiquitous in the 80's, and I wore it so often it fixed the floral/fruity combo as my perennial perfume of choice. In more recent times, Marc Jacobs' single note splash-on scents fascinate me in theory, but I like a melange. His Daisy is charming but I've resisted buying it (keep thinking it's too young for a 43 year old). Still, that bottle with its cluster of plastic Mary Quant-style daisies calls to my inner 14 year old! And Gwen Stefani's "Harajuku Girls" bottles, with their tart little doll stoppers, aren't far behind.

They look like toys. I like toys!

Some scents come in the most enchanting flacons, but I can't abide the "juice" (trade term for the scent). Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely is a good example. I loved the ad campaign, I like her very much, the bottle is classically beautiful, and yet ... the stuff reeks. I know it was number one and quite a hit, but to me it smelled like a sad, lonely, overly made-up old lady in rollers washing out her stockings somewhere in the depths of New York City.

Not that I've ever met that woman, but this is what scent can do. It's mysterious that way. Even in its repugnance, Lovely is evocative.

Vera Wang's bottles look like wedding gowns, and the scents are pretty. But I wouldn't want to wear them on any day except my wedding day. They are so earnestly pretty as to be almost boring.

One of my favorite scents ever was Escada's Ibiza Hippie, which came in one of the most ridiculous bottles I've ever seen. It was a big, red heart-shaped mess ... but the beachy, flowers-meet-fruit elixir inside made it worth having. Again, another fragrance too young for me, but I held on to my 20's far too long in the perfume aisle. I can't be the only woman who's ever made this mistake, can I?

A long-time friend of mine has always had grown-up tastes in these matters. She is a Rive Gauche, Opium, Chanel kind of woman. The only exceptions I've ever known her make were Crabtree & Evelyn's Nantucket Briar and Cacharel's Anais Anais. I've tried both of these, and though they are thoroughly floral there is an unexpected piqancy in them that doesn't suit me. On her, they work.

I was a devotee of Lancome's Magie Noire in the 1980's. The faintly smoky sweetness was unlike anything else. In the 90's I went through an entire bottle of Lancome's Tresor, but it doesn't tempt me at all anymore. It was definitely a fragrance for a certain time, affixed to those years in particular, and perhaps they were unhappy ones ... wearing Tresor today would be like reliving them.

Thierry Mugler's Angel is a runaway success, but I made a very funny (as in not-so-funny) face when I finally clapped my nostrils on it. YSL Rive Gauche is an absolute classic, but on me it's like a siren blaring too long, too loud, too much.

Chanel perfumes are perennially popular, and I love them on other women, but when I try to wear them, THEY wear me. The only exception to this is Coco (amber, woody, complex), but that was a big 80's smell and slightly too much for me now, as are Poison and Eternity (though those two were always overwrought, and never in a good way). The scent equivalent of shoulder pads-- and can you believe they're back?!

YSL's Opium is a "big" perfume too -- a classic, really -- and I can see the appeal, but like the Chanel perfumes it wears ME. It's heady, potent, and bold.

Missoni intrigues -- I believe there is a hint of almond nestled among the woods -- and the dry down is faintly sweet. It's not a particularly feminine fragrance, though. Nothing floral about it, to my nose. On the other hand, Philosophy's Amazing Grace seems entirely about flowers and nothing else ... it is light and bright and pink and white (there is no other way to say it), but it never gets complicated enough. It just sits there on the surface of the skin preening itself like a pretty bird.

Armani's Code is coolly perfect, the equivalent of an Armani suit. Impeccable. Even I wouldn't wear it with jeans. Would I buy it? I probably wear jeans too much to make it worth the money. And perhaps too perfect is too bland.

There have been some fragrances I wanted so badly to love. Christian Lacroix's C'est La Vie, with its can-can hot pink and black box, reached out to me from the aisle of every respectable perfume counter in the 1990's, but I could never warm up to it. I wanted to, I truly did, as an admirer of Lacroix's clothes, his exuberant luxe and embrace of color, his love of some good, old-fashioned Old World drama. Just what one would expect of a man whose early career aspiration was museum curator. His clothes were Moulin Rouge gone upscale ... this was before I even knew what the Moulin Rouge was. I only knew that I adored the spectacle. Just not the perfume. On a related note, the Lacroix-designed Hotel du Petit Moulin is on my short list of places to visit if I ever come in to some serious money. Small dogs and cats are allowed in the rooms. Now THAT is sophistication.

For about a year I've been wearing a surprisingly good downscale mass market fragrance (it's got freesia and some jasmine in it, but not too much). I was hooked on Moschino's I Love Love for a time, but I try to keep it as an office-only scent. It's crisp and citrusy with a woody finish. Which sounds masculine, and for my tastes it is, but not in an offensive way. The base notes are delicious. It clings to clothing and smells better and better as the hours go by (the true litmus test). There was enough of it in the neck of my bathrobe that I put off washing that robe until I could no longer justify waiting. Funny enough, I Love Love has a reputation as a young woman's fragrance, but I think it's suitable for a not-so-young woman too.

Then again, my nose in love has been known to lead me astray. Wouldn't be the first time, though I rarely regret commitments to scent once I have made them.

An occasional spritz of Crabtree & Evelyn's Summer Hill always invites the same compliment from every person who notices it: "You smell pretty". And they're right, I do. Until twelve hours later, when it has completely evaporated on my skin. Must have something to do with my chemistry. It's also fine sprayed on bed linens, but too much and it's worse than a can of Glade.

As for men's fragrances, those are hard to get both right and novel at the same time. Like Code, Armani is a classic, and unquestionably "right" on any man above the age of 18, no matter who, when or where. Ralph Lauren Polo and the uber-popular Drakkar Noir are, for me, the scents of college boys (1980's) and will always be. My first love wore these, and it's faintly bittersweet to encounter them now. I do not believe a man is well and truly dressed and groomed without an appropriate cologne. Many men don't realize the seductive power of the right fragrance, judiciously applied. We shouldn't smell them coming from halfway down the block.

Demeter has released perfumes that smell of (among other things) dirt and tomato. Seriously. I don't even want to imagine what other odors they've considered! If I wanted to smell like dirt and tomato, a quick trip to the grocery store and a visit to the backyard would be a much cheaper fix. In the same mode, anything that smells like food should go in my mouth, not on my body. Smelling like chai, wafting a trail of vanilla behind me, seems downright silly. Then again if I were still 14 this might be the beguiling waft of the angels.

In the end, the most reliably wonderful scent of all is my cat's fur, especially after she's just bathed herself. Strange to think that that adorable but (let's face it) faintly foul-smelling, sandpaper tongue leaves her fur satiny sweet and perfect. That warm, soft coat is the smell of my beloved creature companion ... the smell of happiness and love.

The only other smells that can approach it, in their natural state, are freesia, curling woodsmoke on a cold night, lily of the valley, real maple syrup on hotcakes, lilacs in May, an infant's pristine skin, premium whole coffee beans, and fresh pine sap. But I'll take Kitten Girl's ambrosial fur any day of the week, and perhaps it proves that I'm not a hopeless scent snob after all. That my nose is ruled more instinctively by emotion than anything else. This wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Not at all.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

blog happy: academichic

All right, I'll admit it: I am once again in one of my can't-avoid-it, it-always-comes-back-around, interested in Fashion phases again. Immunity to the siren call of the glosses? Don't have it. Copy of the December Harper's Bazaar with the practically teenaged stars of Twilight on the cover? Check!

Truth is, I need something to look at, something that says no THANK you to the diminishing sunshine, the gray moving in, the months ahead of snow. Some way of thumbing my nose at skies that mock "Now there's a good girl, don't forget your mittens and an extra pair of socks inside your snow boots".

My beloved glossies, thick as they are with advertisements, provide sustenance in the visual excitement arena. But I need a chaser, to counter the over the top-ness of it all. Razzmatazz 24-7 is fun, but not sustainable. So I wander the Web ... a clogged thicket of fashion devotees out there with no more credentials than I have in the taste making department. Certainly not a niche I'd ever care to compete in (though I have tried, half-heartedly).

I was happy to stumble upon academichic, a blog about dressing real without being boring, capital B. I don't love every single outfit or accessory on it, but I like the measured approach to what looks truly good on real women in real life. Billing themselves as "three feminist PhD candidates at a Midwest university, on a crusade against the ill-fitting polyester suit of academic yore", this trio is "changing academic fashion, one PhD at a time".

Well that's clever enough, isn't it? Having spent nearly 15 years working and studying in the bastion of higher education, I can say this: unless they are Art profs, female academics are not generally the most interestingly dressed lot going. Their brains are beautiful, yes -- and who among us hasn't fallen in love with a brilliant mind? -- but sartorially speaking the grades are nothing to write home about.

Academichic would like to change that, one ill-fitting tweed blazer and dowdy shoe at a time. I say more power to them. Call it third wave feminism, call it what you will, but they have got some cute outfits going on this blog. No $10,000 dresses, but hey -- does looking like a million bucks mean you have to spend that much? We are too smart to believe that anymore.

Even if we do have a stack of glossies on our nightstands.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where art thou, Spring?

Dress: Oscar de la Renta

Fall is fading slowly into early Winter here in the Northeast. October's blaze of color has flickered out, and there are Christmas commercials on TV. Right around this time of year I start wishing it was May ... six months away, glorious May! When all the flowers come back to life and the snow, ice and early dark are mere memories, stored away with the woolens for another year.

(To be perfectly honest, it is true that snow has fallen here in May before. It's an anomaly, a beast whose name shall not be spoken).

I'm not a Grinch about Christmas, I'm really not. I just know it's going to be a long time without warmth, sun, blossoms. Inevitably, I begin to paper my imagination with images of Spring. Radiant, sun dappled flower pots, the blush and brilliance of the new season, prettiness everywhere, the nearby walk past delicate Lillies of the Valley with their heady aroma ... all of it freshly unfurled. Full of promise.

The return of Life!

I suppose this is my version of Sugarplum-spun visions. If I'm lucky, they'll last 'til Valentine's Day, when all that pink and red and chocolate revive flagging spirits. Knowing Spring will absolutely come around helps me clutch at my scarf and hold on to hope.
Come July, I'll be longing for Christmas ...

shop happy: Bianca and Family

What a mix and match of FUN things!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

blog happy: Rose Tea Cottage

So feminine, so English, so dreamy!
Rose Tea Cottage ... click and escape for a little bit.

art happy: so pretty!

Princess Elizabeth II, Age 7

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Collette Dinnigan

There is so much that's outrageous and unwearable in what passes for high fashion nowadays, but this is one of the sweetest things I've seen from Paris Fashion Week '09: a "maxi dress" by Aussie designer Collette Dinigan. There is something to be said for demure. I know I sound terribly old-fashioned, but I go in for that sort of thing.

There is a nice '20's feel to this piece. Judicious use of lace, as well. Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Friday, November 6, 2009

flickr fun: felt crafting

Wee wonderfulness!