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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Arts and Crafts

I've always enjoyed sewing. Yeah, even back in grade school when everybody else asked their yayas or lolas to do their sewing projects for them. I also love buying fabrics! I enjoy looking at prints and textures and thinking of the stuff I can make out of it. So I really hated it when my mom would come home with icky looking prints or the wrong fabric for my sewing projects, her excuse being, "It's cheap, you're going to ruin it anyway!". Now how about that for inspiration? Oh which reminds me, one time when I was in first year high school, we were asked to bring fabric for our pajama project, and my mom came home with a cool green and white striped material...in twill! What the? But well, after it was submitted and graded, I cut it off and voila! I had the perfect twill striped shorts for weekends! But girl, they were the stiffest pajamas in history ever!

Anyway, back to my story. I just like working with my hands. I enjoy repairing my dear husband's tattered shirts (he has a tendency to cling on to the rattiest stuff I swear), I even cut and hemmed a pair of slacks he bought that were way too long (saved us at least $20, you know how much people charge here for alterations). So its no wonder I love handmade stuff, be it clothes, bags, shoes or home decor. There's something about the manual labor involved that makes it so alluring. So yeah, machines are efficient, but there's just no soul see?

In this era of commercialization, where everything is mass made and more often than not of flimsy quality, it comes as no surprise that a new movement, let's call them the "handmade posse" or the "crafts cult" if you will, is slowly attracting a community of people who yearn for a time when things were assembled and produced by hand. And if you think that this is just a small community, well you're wrong buster!

Etsy, an "online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade" boasts of a network of 100,000 sellers. And I have to say, I can spend hours just looking at the stuff in there! Therein lies treasures as far as your eyes can see! Sigh! Oh, and everything there just has personality and soul! I loves it! Loves loves loves it!

Reconstructionist's Clover Mini Bloomers


Trixiedelicious's Twisted Breakfast Set


PrincipessaTwinz' Tamago Nigiri and Ebi Nigiri Served with O-Cha Necklace


Redmag's Schrodingers White Cat and...


...The Flying Hilbert Owl


Enna's Matryoshka Wrapping Paper


Charmdesign's Purple Tsubaki - Reversible bag


And we have not yet even skimmed the tip of the iceberg -- I'm warning you!

P.S.
You should check out Jenny Gordy's designs! She has no items on sale in her Etsy shop right now, but just check out her blog to see and appreciate what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quotable Quotes

"Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women." - Elsa Schiaparelli

This quote is so funny that it hurts! See, I have observed that fashion girls don't really dress for the guys (uhhm, only the tramps and sluts do?). They dress for each other. Those bags and shoes and clothes more often than not are bought to be seen, admired and acknowledged by "those in the know". Of course, it helps a lot that having all these pretty things can make one giddy and "high", if you know what I mean.

"I like my money right where I can see it - hanging in my closet" - Carrie, SATC

"Funny that a pair of really nice shoes make us feel good in our heads - at the extreme opposite end of our bodies." - Levende Waters

I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

See, fashion girls are a different breed. It is not uncommon for them to surf the net daily to hunt down a "must have", or walk around a mall looking for something that they just have to have. Their daydreams are not entirely about marriage, kids, their career or the future. If you peek into it, you'd see that it's full of thoughts about the soft buttery leather of those flat over-the-knee Sigerson Morrison boots, the perfect shape of those Repetto BB lambskin ballerina flats, if she should get the sunnies first or the bag, how much more she has to save for those Chanel babies waiting for her, where to get the perfect wide leg jeans, and so on...

"Just around the corner in every woman's mind - is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her." - Wilhela Cushman

While often deemed shallow, petty and dumb, they can be very cunning and analytical and can sniff each other out with a simple once over (that's checking out someone from head to toe). Sure they can be catty and say things like "She looks like she tries too hard"...

"I hate hard workers. It must appear to be casual." - Karl Lagerfeld

...but they also have a grudging if not healthy (this applies to the secure ones) respect for those who really know what they are doing.

"Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future." - Coco Chanel

"I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal." - Diana Vreeland

They can also tell when someone has joined the bandwagon too late...and are honestly bothered when everyone starts to look the same.

“So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date.” - Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

Admittedly, my friends and I enjoy discussions about shopping, and sometimes even strategize about our next purchases. For some reason, for us at least, it's therapeutic. It's healthier, compared to how work, money, drugs or alcohol is for others. I mean, we are not that extreme...

“Fashion condemns us to many follies; the greatest is to make ourselves its slave.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

The thing is though, it is easy to fall prey to fashion. Hence the term, "fashion victims". In the greater scheme of things, while clothes make the man, ultimately "you should wear your clothes, and not let them wear you."

“Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind” - Gail Rubin Bereny

"If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies.... It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it. " - Albert Einstein

Should you find yourself captivated by each and every trend out there, take a step back and absorb this nugget of wisdom from an ancient "elder" (were talking born 55 AD here. really ancient.), the Greek philosopher Epictetus...

"Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly."

And when you feel the urge to accumulate and amass and store a whole load of stuff, not to mention, pile on the bling, remember...

"Only great minds can afford a simple style." - Stendhal

Now I leave you with this tip that has been proven true, for as long as you have a style sister...

"If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she's wearing your best sweater." - Pam Brown

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Open/Peep Toe Tights

Marni F/W 07 RUNWAY...

to REALITY!


These tights are actually better than leggings as they lengthen the legs. I was shopping around for a pair but thought of just pulling one of my footless tights down past my ankles and it worked just as fine!

That simple act saved me money. Now that's better than fine!

Note that these have nothing to do with stir-ups ok?

(Photos courtesy of style.com and The Sartorialist)

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Clever Gift Idea

Why not buy a ream of A4 paper, then crumple each and every sheet into a ball?

Now you have more than enough to give to your loved ones, and even those you don't really care about this Christmas. Just say it's art work made by you, inspired by Martin Creed...



A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball (Work No. 88), 1995-2007
- Original unlimited edition, individually numbered with signed certificate
- Beautifully boxed, labelled and packaged in shredded paper

The real thing is $200.00. No kidding.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!



Yeah, I know we don't really celebrate Thanksgiving back home (although I know of a few who do, the perfect excuse to bring out the turkey I guess!) but it's hard to ignore it when practically everyone here in the US of A is in Thanksgiving mode. Supermarkets are full of folks doing their last minute shopping (I saw a guy with 5 huge frozen turkeys in his cart -- looks like he's about to feed more than 1 household...or a really hungry household!), practically everyone I know is poised to take advantage of the major Thanksgiving sales on Black Friday, plus the ad for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is consistently being flashed onto our TV screen.

That being said, let me take this as an opportunity thank you all for reading my blog. Thank you for leaving comments and for sharing your thoughts with me! In return, I will continue to think of posts that will interest you and make you happy, as you make me happy! Let this day also remind everyone to be thankful for all the blessings that we have received. Give thanks too for the blessings that are about to come our way!

I know there may be times when we feel as if things do not go the way we planned, or that we never get the things we want (note "want" not "need"! You know what I'm talking about here! Heehee!), but always remember that things happen for a reason, and that there is a time and place for everything. And sometimes, when things get really bad, realize that the important things in life are exactly what we already have.

Now I leave you with some food for thought from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless Us All!

(Photo courtesy of Simplydumb.com)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Beautiful Fall



Nope, this is not about the controversial book chronicling Yves Saint Laurent and Kaiser Karl's idiosyncrasies (my take, they're entitled to it! They are design geniuses after all!). Just sharing with you a couple of photos that I have on hand. Fall has left Connecticut and has made its way here. Soon the trees will be bald and it will take a while before the first buds of spring will signal a new season (fashion and foliage-wise)!



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Can't Go Out and Play

The usual bustling area near Times Square is bereft of theater patrons. Throngs of theater goers lining up outside the theaters have been replaced by placard bearing stagehands handing out fliers like this one I accepted:



Yes, unfortunately, for tourists who made the trek to New York City just to watch a long awaited play, there is practically none to be seen due to the "Stagehands Strike". After months of bitter negotiation, Broadway's stagehands went on strike November 10, shutting down most shows on the Theater District. "28 shows are affected by the strike, including some of Broadway's biggest hits, like Wicked, Hairspray and The Phantom of the Opera."

"Eight shows will continue to perform - among them Young Frankenstein and Mary Poppins - because they play in theaters that aren't covered by the expired contract."

Hopefully, the producers and stagehands will come to an amicable settlement soon...

Monday, November 19, 2007

I.Want.This.Dress!

My sister-in-law and I were strolling by the LV store on Fifth Avenue and I just had to stop! Nope, it wasn't any particular bag that caught my eye. It was this dress!


Looked just as good up close as it did on the runway!



Sigh...How do I make you mine?

I miss my mananahi!

(Runway photo courtesy of style.com)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chop Chop!

I can't wait to get a hair cut! My hair now is more of like Naomi's but I'm liking Kate's, hmmm...



What I really can't wait for is this! Here's what I'm planning on doing after my church wedding in Manila!


Yeah, I wanna do an Agyness Deyn!

But I'm not going blond though! I just love the fact that short hair can still be styled so many different ways!







(Photos courtesy of style.com)

Plueys at Rockwell's Urban Bazaar! Last Day!

It's the last day of Rockwell's Urban Bazaar today! Make sure you go! Oh by the way, have I mentioned there are Plueys for the little ones too? =)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Curious Cat

Can somebody answer my questions please? Pretty please? With a cherry on top?

- Atelier de Production et de Création or A.P.C. in Manila? When did this store open in Manila? How come I never knew about it? I freakin' love their stuff! Ok, given that my last couple of months back home was spent getting ready for my move here, and was a completely mad flurry of packing, planning, buying Pinoy pasalubong and making sure all my loose ends were tied before I leave, how come I missed this? Or is it not open yet and is yet to open, the website just happened to announce it in advance?

- Remember that popular restaurant of the same name as the romantic flick starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale? Would you still go to Serendipity after reading about this? All I can say is..."Eeewww!".

- Inspired by Ms. Spinach, let's do some kind of group sharing session (Shopaholics Anonymous? Hehehe!) as well and tell me, What was your last purchase?

I'll go first just to get the ball rolling =) Mine was that Erin Fetherston for Target dotted swiss-cotton tie front top I tried on the other day, this pussybow dress from H&M, a safari style dress, and yet another striped shirt! (Hehehe! I just love striped shirts!)





Now your turn!!! I'm excited to hear about your latest splurge/bargain purchase! =)

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Pocket Friendly Eco-Tote

I got a heads up from my friend Chico who loves eco-friendly totes just like me! She got this handy bag from a friend who works for Greenpeace (truly eco-friendly!), and is sold by The Mother Earth Foundation in Manila! The great news here, is that it only costs Php100.





Makes for a handy and reasonably-priced giveaway for Christmas don't you think?

Salivating for Saltwater Sandals

I actually had saltwater sandals when I was a little girl. I can still remember the feeling of it against the soles of my feet, as I stomped on concrete pavements or got it wet with a garden hose! Because yes, these are totally totally meant to stand up to sand and salt water (hence the name) and will never fall apart even if you get it soaking wet!



I didn't realize that there were grown-up versions of these shoes, and I couldn't help but feel nostalgic when I saw blogger Jenny Gordy wearing a pair of the original saltwater sandals in red a couple of months ago. So I took a peek into her flickr account and saw more tempting photos of these sandals!




Months later, I still can't get over my desire to get a pair. For some reason, I'm on a comfortable shoe phase (foregoing heels, crossing over flats and heading off to the weird but comfy shoe category). These days, I've been shuffling around the house in my warm and cozy Minnetonka moccasins. Just last month, I got my friend Tet to buy me a pair of Birkenstocks again, simply because she was coming from Germany, and it's supposed to be cheaper there right? This week, a friend of ours, Uni, visited from Connecticut and wore Dansko clogs (she needs it for hospital rounds) while sightseeing in NYC, and it got me thinking about maybe getting a pair as well. But before that, maybe I should finally succumb to the lure of saltwater sandals? I mean, I've been holding off on this for months, I should get a pair just to reward me for my self-control right?

The funny thing is, just last week, NY Mag made a forecast that saltwater sandals will be "the ugly shoe" for next spring. Maybe I should take it as a sign to go ahead and buy I guess. Now if I can only find a way to wear it through fall and winter, hahaha!

TIP: For the moms, why not get a pair for your kids too! It comes in different colors, is unisex, and would be perfect for both sunny and rainy days (no more "Don't get your shoes wet!" reminders)! I had fond memories of my childhood wearing these! I am sure they will too!

(Photos courtesy of mysaltwatersandals.com, and Jenny's flickr account)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ELLE Magazine's Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is so definitely around the corner! Don't waste time when it comes to shopping for presents! You wouldn't want to join the mad rush, if you know what I mean. To help you get excited for holiday shopping, here's something for you!



If you're looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones, or are wondering what to put on your wishlist for Christmas, check out ELLE magazine's Holiday Gift Guide now! The December issue is out on newstands today!

This issue has ELLE’s biggest gift guide ever and they are helping you shop for everyone on your list. Whether it’s for home, body, or soul, ELLE’s annual gift guide has you covered. Includes the hottest must-haves and the classics you can’t miss. Plus items so good you’ll want them for yourself.

(Click on each image to enlarge. Warning! This selection is "droolicious" I tell you!!!)

"Stocking Stuffers" for You





"Stocking Stuffers" for Your Loved Ones





ELLE’s Gift Guide from the December issue, on newsstands today.

(Courtesy of Freud Communications, Inc.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Erin Fetherston for Target Out NOW!!!

Nothing got me out of the house faster when I found out that Erin Fetherston's line for Target was coming out this month! I saw that a lot of my fellow Fashion Spot members already shopped for stuff from this collection, and I just had to check the Target near our place pronto!!!

Lucky me! When I got there, they just were about to hang the clothes on the racks!!!


Because I got there first, before everyone else in town did, I had the chance to try on my top picks, and in my size at last! My verdict - This is a fun and wearable collection! Plus, she has lots of cute dresses that will do for a night out. If you have plans of going someplace that requires a bit of dressing up, go to Target now as you might find something that might just come in handy! Otherwise, there are tops, shorts, and pants that are just so cute to have! I would have bought all of these if only I had enough moolah!

Short-Sleeve Dotted Swiss Tie-Front Top $19.99




Short-Sleeve Dotted Swiss Tie-Front Tunic $29.99




Peter Pan Collar Dress with Pleated Skirt in Black $49.99




Peter Pan Collar Dress with Pleated Skirt in Black/White $49.99




Chiffon Layered Dress with Satin in Black $44.99




Bunny Print Voile Top $19.99




Jacquard Bow Jacket in Black $44.99




It was so much fun dressing up and I hope you enjoy this collection too! Take note that this is not even half of what was in store! There were so many other cute clothes, it would have taken me forever to try on everything! So I strongly suggest that should you have the chance to visit a Target, order online, or request your family or friends to get an item or two for you, do so NOW! =)

Caveat though, the material isn't investment quality, so just have fun with these clothes and wear them while they still look good! =)
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