Monday, July 30, 2012

Drawing Me In

Piggybacking off of my last post featuring  totes and accessories illustrated by Sujean Rim, I thought I would share some of the fabulous drawings of hers I am absolutely in love with. Perfect inspiration for a Monday. Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

London Calling

I've talked here before about my eternal love for all things British. Today is a day I have long waited for in that I will finally be able to watch London host the Olympic games.

Six years ago I arrived in England to go to school. I can't articulate the feelings I had in the pit of my stomach as we made our descent into the greenest land I had ever seen. For me it had been a lifelong dream to visit England. I had written a report about the country in 2nd grade and the older I got, the more fascinated I became with the culture, especially the literature. I probably would not have been able to travel to Britain had it not been for the amazing opportunity college afforded me. So my senior year I packed up very little, bought a new laptop and a passport and headed off to make my dream a reality.

At the time, London had just learned it would be hosting the 2012 games. I remember seeing all the construction around the city, wondering where I would be in six more years. I loved every day I spent in England. It wasn't a hard transition for me at all. I got quite used to the rain, the public transport and not drinking coffee every day. When it was time to leave I was ready to go home, but only because I knew I would be back. I vowed to return in 2012 to see what had become of the large buildings they had laid the foundation for and to revisit all of my favorite places in the city.

About a year ago my father and I looked into making the journey to London for the Games. My dad does not buy designer shoes, makes a lot more money than I do and saves more money than I do. When he said the trip was out of financial reach, my heart sank a bit. I didn't know where I would be in 2012, but I knew where I wanted to be. And sometimes it's a bit heartbreaking to not be exactly where you thought.

But then again I think of all the things I never saw coming when I was 21; the places I hadn't imagined myself going that I journeyed to; the things I had never foreseen doing that I can now say are done. I have played the Lotto a couple of times, gone to Vegas and worked really hard. And six years later, I am watching the Games from my TV at home. For whatever reason that I did not come into millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars by now, is fine by me. It would be nice, but it wasn't meant to be. And that's OK because I maintain my faith that I will someday return to that place that has meant so much; because I will always maintain that love I have in my heart for my home away from home, where everything is green and the skies are gray and the streets are old; because I will never forget that feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach when I saw the land I had dreamed of for so many years for the first time.

It's that feeling that I can't articulate, of when you become aware of a dream turning into reality, that motivates me to make it happen. And that goes for all things in life. In fact, that is perhaps the greatest thing I learned from my time studying abroad and maybe even in the six years since.

Above are some things I have been eying to hold me over until my next visit:
Juicy Couture charm, hair elastic; iPad & iPhone case, scarf and tote featuring illustrations by Sujean Rim.

Charlotte Olympia Jubilee Pandora clutch. This clutch is actually really smart, because it is clear, yet comes with four interchangeable pouches to place inside. Four British themed clutches in one!

London Calling Cuff from Kate Spade.

Gorjana City Pendant Necklaces. You can choose which city you would want on yours from a few metropolitan choices. But I favor the London pendant of course.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Looking Forward to it

The publishing world can be a strange place where we often lack chronology. Things happen so far in advance that sometimes you feel like you are watching your life being lived months and months out. To give you an example: I am going to the pool every weekend and drinking iced coffee, yet at work I am focusing on Winter issues.

The fashion world is similar in that the fall couture shows appear in July. While perusing the gorgeous offerings from Chanel, Elie Saab and Valentino, I noticed a lot of coats. These designers played with volume, length, texture, color and shape to create current and cozy designs. I pinned my favorite  looks here.

When keeping in mind coats for the colder seasons, I am fascinated by old Hollywood glamour and vintage inspiration as well as contemporary couture looks. I think these pieces from Schultz Furrierare the perfect mix of classic Hollywood and what's going on in fashion now. Some of these coats look like they are painted on, the movement of the color and texture just translate so well. And the ombre piece -- now that's a great idea! Schultz is family owned and offers repairs, reworkings and even storage (to free up closet space during those sweltering summer months). Definitely something to look forward to.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Story of a Jewelry Box

We were in the Midwest for a very particular reason, my boyfriend and I. We had gone to see his grandmother in Salem, Illinois. I love the small towns in the Midwest. They are good to visit because everyone is so warm and welcoming. It reminds you of a place you are returning to, forgetting when you left and why.

It was too hot and humid to do much outside, so we stayed indoors and looked through photographs, played with old toys, baked cookies, and took in Grandma's many handcrafted projects. This woman is so talented, dabbling in macrame, needlepoint, quilting and jewelry making.

In fact, she had two boxes of beads, findings and other supplies that had remained untouched for a few years. I was extremely honored and flattered when she handed them over to me. As I looked through their contents I felt as if I was really getting to look through the life of another. Bead colors and shapes, half-started projects, buckles and wires can sometimes fill in the blanks left by photo albums.It's moments like this where I am reminded that the path was paved long ago for me to be the person I am today. Jewelry, art and crafting have truly opened up so many stories, memories and relationships in my life. I gladly accepted the boxes and the rings pictured above. I love wearing vintage rings. In fact, the majority of my collection was my grandmother's, and now I have these from Nathan's grandmother as well. I love that these are the souvenirs I took home with me from our trip.

On Saturday I met up with my sister and happily gave her many of the findings and supplies. She makes more jewelry than I do and I wanted to make sure everything was kept in the family. There's something so special about jewelry that is passed between generations and among tight circles. I am so grateful to have gotten to take part in this visit and in this exchange; to get to know such a lovely woman. I can't wait to see what legacy my sister will leave for her children or what things will be left for me to pass down. Things to think about as we move on to our next creation ...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Encore, Encore

Great news, shoe fans: Charlotte Olympia recently released her Encore Collection. This means classic styles will be available to buy year-round! Charlotte Olympia is fast becoming my fave shoe designer, right up there with Miu Miu."The higher the heel, the better you feel" is Charlotte's motto. And you can tell she means it, because all of her heels are sky high (6 inches and up). But if you know me, you know that's how I like it : ). I absolutely cannot die until I own a pair of the Tessa cat wedges or Kitty Flats pictured above (in pink, of course). I thought I would celebrate by sharing some of my favorites from what's online right now. The new Kiss Me Dolores! pumps are quite amazing and quirky. My feet would not mind being kissed by these shoes at all.

As for the green boots up top ... those are Charlotte Olympias as well. They were actually a press sample. Luckily for me, someone was selling them on my new favorite shopping site, Bonanza, which is similar to eBay in that you can bid on items from private sellers. These wool boots were going at an amazing rate, and if there's one thing I have learned in bargain hunting it's that if you see something you know is worth a lot and it is offered for a small fraction, buy it! Being that this is a press sample I also believe this boot to be extremely rare. But they are absolutely authentic and I love the green! Great deal! These babies are mine, and I cannot wait for the fall and winter so that I can wear them out and about.

Happy Shoe Shopping!