Thursday, December 23, 2010

A O-Kay

This post is for Kay. She embodies Altered Couture, and when I need something from her, she is always there, ready to contribute. She's a true visionary. Visit her site: to learn more, gift, browse, and support.
So I got to thinking, how lucky and blessed am I? 2010 has been bountiful, beautiful, and I witnessed the unexpected. How great is it when acquaintances forgot resurface and reignite? When friendships extend beyond the realm of memory? When what's meant to be, just falls into place? I think 2010 has been remarkable, and I was reminded that I know remarkable people. Thanks to everyone who offered up an ear, offered up support, and paid a visit here.
You know, I thought recently about quitting my blog. I was finding myself so fulfilled in so many other ways ... but then I thought of the regret, of how I'd miss writing, miss sharing, of how I'd miss a potential opportunity to write something that might mean something to someone. And thats what it's all about. For now Im thinking I'm meant to stick with this, to keep going, to keep typing, to keep sharing into 2011.
I'm going on a vacation that I desperately need. I'll post when I return. Merry Christmas and I'll see you in 2011! Enjoy : )

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brown Paper Packages

This time of year everyone is familiar with packages tied with strings. And while we all know what our favorite things are, it's nearly impossible for everyone to discern what those things may be.
Case in point: coworkers. You can work with people every day, but you may not have the opportunity to get to know them and their interests outisde of work. That's why I'm especially delighted when I get gifts from my colleagues at Christmas. Amber Demien wrapped up this stationery from Sabrina Ward Harrison ( and gifted it to each member of the editorial staff. I love how the brown paper wrapping is really a Trader Joe's bag. Tres green. And these pink bobby pins were handmade and given to me by the Editor in Chief herself (
It just so happens I love stationery (e-mail does not compare). I love ink on paper, even when it smears a little. And I love bobby pins. I love that I can throw my hair up or down with a simple fastening of a pin. And of course they're pink, my favorite color. Im not sure if either of my colleagues knew that these gifts would be ideal for me, and that's not the point; they both took the time to gift me with something to call my own. And in a sense they rekindled those memories of favorite things, of the happiness found in little things. How many times in the coming year will I scramble to jot a note, to fix my hair? Many, Im sure. And without realizing it, these associates of mine have given me everything I needed. That's the beauty of giving.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Chanel Kind of Christmas

So excited to see my friend Susan yesterday ( I posted about her, her mom, and their bags not too long ago. While working on putting together a feature for some of our magazines, she gifted me with this bag, which I had admired in their studio. It's called Chanel's Apartment. The fabric is red with settees and chairs fit for Coco patterned throughout. The "No. 5" written on the fabric further conjures up images of Chanel bottles. I cant thank Susan and Maria enough for the bag. It's so dear to my heart.
But there was a catch of course, I had to finish the bag. It was up to me to pick the perfect detail to top it all off. I have quite the brooch and button collection, but when I racked my mind I couldnt think of anything. I went home and went through my jewelry. Wouldnt you know, on Friday my good friend Gigi ( had given me this large brooch she inherited from her husband's family. Guess it was meant to be.
Speaking of Chanel, the Christmas tree above is in Susan's home. Her daughter, Chanel, recently celebrated her 16th birthday. For the festivities Susan broke out all the Chanel bags she had collected and decorated the tree. A Chanel Kind of Christmas indeed.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Wow! So I took an unexpected break from blogging. So unlike me. A lot has been going on, but mostly, work has eaten me alive. For a long time I have been perfectly fine with living and breathing my work, but it wasn't until recently that I realized just how all-consuming it has been. It's nice to to get back to those things that aren't work related. I started this blog because of work, and now I've found that it's more versatile than that. So Im sorry I took a break, but ultimately it has done me some good, it has given me perspective.
I have been so busy running around that I completely forgot to stand in line on Nov. 20 for the debut of Lanvin's collection for H&M. Luckily for me, Alber Elbaz made these really cool sketches, posted pics online, and then auctioned them off with proceeds going to UNICEF. I love the bubbly lines of these clothes, they are so happy, and I love that these works of art were able to benefit others. Visit to see more. I thought this posting would be a nice breath of fresh air - for all of us.

Monday, November 15, 2010

At Home With Sicilian Gypsy

On Saturday I had the great honor of being invited to the home of the mother/daughter team (Maria and Susan) behind Sicilian Gypsy ( They have several collections and lines ranging from handbags to jewelry to hair accessories to tanks. I was amazed at the quantity these women produce. Maria's gorgeous house was filled with bags, brooches, and gems in every corner. The quality of their work is exquisite as well. My favorite bag (so far) is the red one with golf print of furniture on it. They call it Chanel's Apartment and attached a vintage Chanel pin to it. Their dress form, Sophia Loren, boasts an exquisite pin collection where customers can match a brooch to their bag when they make a purchase. Being the vintage costume jewelry junkie that I am, I was in heaven. The white dress on the dress form is actually altered from three generations of lace and is meant for Susan's daughter, Chanel. Chanel is quite the aspiring jewelry maker herself. This talented family of women poured me coffee, allowed me to shop, and even showed me their sewing studio. Can you believe all the fabric? The keys are actually from Maria's home village in Sicily.

With such a warm welcoming I truly felt at home with Susan and Maria. I learned so much about them by seeing their work, their history, and their space. I learned that Susan collects everything Chanel (a woman after my own heart) and that Maria studied sewing and textile in Argentina. I learned how they work together: Susan designs and sketches the bags then Maria makes them. They put so much love into their process; it's a true family affair.
Thank you Maria and Susan for taking me in and teaching me so much about your art and sharing about your lives. Stay tuned for upcoming issues of Haute Handbags and possibly a few other magazines to see more of their work. In the meantime, you must check out their site,

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today was one of the best days I've had in a long time. A lot has been going on in my life which is why I have been slow on the blogging, but it has all been good, trust me. I've been crazy busy making magazines happen too, so I havent had as much blogging time. But today I felt particularly inspired.
The lovely and enchanting Paulette Adams ( came by to have an office picnic with me. We feasted on sandwiches and enjoyed her special coffee (made with cocoa). She brought me roses (my favorite) in pink. They still smell sweet and fragrant. I think flowers are always the perfect gift. When in doubt, arm yourself with flowers. Paulette altered the apron she is wearing above. Delicious, right?
The real fun came when the two of us scoured the Stampington & Company craft room for supplies to use on upcoming submission ideas/product reviews. I found this sketchbook from the 1960s. I have no idea who it belonged to or how it got here. Names, addresses, phone numbers, and notes riddle the pages of this old, forgotten book. Whoever it belonged to was talented in my opinion. I included pictures of my favorite drawings. I love how this artist captured women and men out on the town, dressed up with 60s beehive hairdos. I love the lack and presence of color in some pieces. It's almost nicer not knowing who the person is behind these drawings, or who the subjects are. It's all a mystery. I wonder what this person would think, their sketches in a bottom drawer in a craft room, their art on my blog, me, who knows nothing about art, liking their raw lines enough to write about them.
And somehow picnicking turns into studying the past. Things found turn into a reminder about what art is, who it refelcts, and who it touches. Somewhere, someone has attended a picnic with Paulette and I, taking lunch with us in the confines of my office. Now instead of resting in a bottom drawer, their work sits peacefully on my bookshelf, next to a vase of pink roses. The perfect lunch break find.
Happy Friday : )