Tuesday, March 30, 2010

packing makes the heart grow...

frantic! Z & i have so much to do before we leave tomorrow it's a wonder we're not losing our heads. nothing like traveling the day before a serious set of deadlines. i'm sure we'll be up quite late packing & cleaning & doing the sort of travel-dance one does when they have left a boatload of things to the last minute. but it will all be worth it. tomorrow we'll be flying into italy, where i hear there are ruins made of light & spring spring spring. (in the meantime it's all printing, post-offices, & packaging up manuscripts for me).

{via atypicalart}

Monday, March 29, 2010

not clocking the bartender

in my opinion, there is nothing better than a glass of scotch to celebrate the end of a monday. the week has successfully begun & it was a productive day. the day after tomorrow we're heading off to italy for research & to visit Z's sister. shizam. anyone have suggestions of things to see/do/eat in rome or florence?!

(for the record, at the fanciest wedding i ever attended i ordered a scotch on the rocks & the bartender replied: are you sure? that's a tall order for such a little lady. i had to literally restrain from myself from clocking him. i mean i get it, i was kicking it in a black fifties cocktail dress, but in my mind that fit the situation even better).

{via djdasmeg}

rough & tumble

i don't know about you, but i'm really hard on handbags. i want to have lovely ones that stay glossed & sweet & make me feel like a slick lady of the forties. but in reality, i mostly use canvas totes or well-studded leather purses which are meant to be kicked around a bit. so i'm usually on the look-out for a bag which will hold up to my rough & tumble tendencies (& fit my mac in safely). this one from heritage is the perfect artist/carpenter/crafter/forget being shy, i'm a tough-lady bag. the kind of bag that would never ask to be kept clean & neat. that refuses to be properly slung over the arm of a suit. yeah. this is a hard working bad-ass of a bag. & i'd be proud to tote it around.

{via something'shidinginhere}

big echo

what with this weekend's newly sprung-forward light*, i thought i'd kick the week off on a slow & sweet note. something about the dreamy quality of the morning benders' new album tells me it will be a summer driving staple. i love the sound of this track's laid-back guitar lines/vocals mixed with the movie-love-scene orchestral swells--it makes me think equally of beaches & waltzing. a little bit beatles, a little bit buddy holly, a little nostalgia-inducing--all in good measures.

*daylight savings just happened here. oh england.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

london sundays: borough market

friday afternoon Z & headed out to the borough market for some delicious grubbing, people-watching, & general anti-stressing. located near london bridge in a train-station-like building made of metal & light, the market is full-up with food & wonders! in the threaded-through stalls there were fishes & curries & stews, kangaroo burgers (which Z tried) & lamburgers & ostrich steaks. pasteis de nata & fresh crepes & turkish delight by the basket. freshmade cider, crazy imported beer & lavender lemonade in fancy stopped bottles. the whole market, with its old-school vibes & signage, felt a bit like being in movie. it was also quite the scent-sensory experience! we ate our selves silly on burgers & small sweets, toasted with champagne cider, and then spent some time just wandering around, thinking of places different smells reminded us of, & of people we would love to be meeting at the market. it was a delectable way to celebrate a long week & to see a new corner of london. next trip we are decidedly going to try on a weekday to avoid some of the rush & elbows, but even wall-to-wall with people it was pretty much a dreamboat.

Friday, March 26, 2010


the good news is that in the last few days i started & finished a ridiculously challenging piece. and for me, this is cause for a serious celebration.* the bad news is that tending to language & poemetics is often exhausting & exhilarating in equal measures & so i've barely been writing on here this week. again. but i swear, it's not you, it's me. & i also swear that i will be back with the ever-promised london sundays posts. i know this because Z is making me go market-ing & city-seeing & various other ing-ings which involve the outdoor world of non-computers. which is good for me. because even though spring seems to have evaded london (other than one nice day last week) there is no better salve than to be wandering around in the bustle & dust of this rather sexy city. besides, the more i'm outside, the more the computer seems less jello-brain inducing when i return. i hope you are all having a killer friday/beginning of the weekend!

* i am, in fact, celebrating as i type this--with a delicious bitter chocolate beer we picked up from the borough market this afternoon. where we may also have indulged in/toasted with some cider champagne. finishing this piece = really big deal.

{image via heidislimane}

wedding graduate post, part two

my long-winded half of the graduate posting is now up! eight months in & the crazy feeling of being married still hasn't worn off.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

sweet & mimi

this afternoon i stumbled across mimi's super cool wallets/coin purses with a lucky bird gold foil design on them. i've seen lots of lucky bird's sweet cards & planters around the city (they are stocked everywhere from liberty to a stall in the broadway market) so i was pretty psyched to see this collaboration! both of these are the perfect size for stashing coins/cash/& a card. (i also super heart the key pencil case). there's just so many neat designers to discover in this city.

{via mimi}

graduate post, part one

the groom half of our wedding graduate post is currently up over here. go check it out! because seriously, not enough grooms are sharing their experiences. & well, Z has a pretty funny take on the whole wedding industrial complex.

{images via andrea casey}

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

oceanlining your windows

dear anthro, your curiosity-cabinetesque deep sea curtains are loveliness. but your prices are so far from feasible.

book screens

old hardcover books turned into bright folding screens? genius. i love how the designer used pages from the original books as the backing (& those extra, extra pages can be used in a hundred different projects). not that i'm advocating trashing literature, but some used book sales sell by the bag on the last day & this would be a great project. since many of these sales throw out the books that don't get bought, i'd much rather re-purpose. these screens would make for a fantastic photobooth backdrop with practical post-wedding use* and/or a killer headboard. i'd especially love to see one constructed from just one color palette of covers--subtle differences arranged in a progression, like paint-chip cards.

*i have to admit, anything that was used on our wedding day we decided either had to be re-usable afterward, & by re-usable i mean purposeful, or it had to be already owned. luckily we're pretty whimsical people, so things like $5 delineascopes counted as useful.

{via studiosam}

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

un-swell swellings.

i've been having some serious allergy issues. & by issues i mean reactions that make my lips swell to 2 x angelina jolie's (i already have not so small lips). a week ago, this led me to the hospital walk-in & yesterday it was back to the doctor. i've spent a good many hours swimming in & out of antihistamine/steroid consciousness trying to make sense of what time/day it is. we're not sure if it's a food allergy or what, but the doc says that with each successive time it gets easier to trigger & is making me react to random things i'm not actually allergic to (making it hard to pinpoint). luckily the doctor prescribed me some non-drowsy superstrength antihistamines to start today, so keep your fingers crossed ( i love public healthcare). more posts to come now that i can make some sense! but first, i'm off to see a bit of this london spring-ing that i missed while cooped in a dreamstate for the last few days.

Monday, March 22, 2010

bright & kitschy

this morning london is bustling & unusually sunny. in honor of this, i thought i'd start the week off with something a little sugary & british--a retro-cute new song/video by kate nash. i love the idea of listening to this while driving into work with the windows down. happy monday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

it's over!

it's finally becoming spring here & i swear the whole of this rain-soaked city is dying to burst into blossom. to celebrate the end of an intense few days, yesterday we headed for a long coatless (!) walk along the thames & then out & about for an afternoon of city-seeing. after more sun than the whole last month combined, we found our way to gordon's wine bar. what a divine way to wind down after a long week. the wine list is drool-worthy but the ambiance is key--the bar is underground & you drink in the dark, candle-lit tunnels! while i was a bit sad to head inside while there was still sun outside (down there it's like instant-evening) we were thrilled to be relaxing amidst tables of people laughing & having a good chat (no loud music or wild pub-goers here). we tried two fantastic cheeses, four kinds of olives, hummus, & three delicious wines. & we left more than a bit tipsy on everything. if that isn't enough to convince you, it turns out that gordon's was originally the home of samuel pepys in the the 1680s! you have to love a city where you can drink amidst history.

sorry for being barely-here this week. i promise more posts & london sundays coming up!

{images via gordons}

Thursday, March 18, 2010

coy embroidering

i've been a bit quiet this week because i've been preparing to give a lecture today. to three times the number of students i am used to speaking in front of. who will all be very british. & will likely think my upstate accent is whack. the lecture is about writing for a living. about poetry & literary journals in the states & the differences between american & british poetics. yikes! so, while i'm off being terribly nervous & a bit brain-tied, i thought i'd share one of the embroidery projects i finished last month. this coy little lady comes from a jenny hart pattern & was surprisingly simple. not too shabby for a second project (you can even click to enlarge her & check my stitches). i've since made a few designs of my own which weren't quite as successful, but hey, i'm learning. hopefully i'll be back this afternoon relieved & ready to dig back into my own writing. wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

last macaron standing

when we arrived back in london from paris, the box of macarons we bought was almost full (yeah, i ate the row of broken ones on the train). within a day it was totally empty. a month later we bought some more at harrods. by the end of the night? gone. then two weeks ago in brighton we found a french patisserie within the first five minutes of our trip, and we ate most of the macarons right then & there (we did take a few with us on the rollercoasters & they stayed mostly in tact!) sigh. some things are just too light-filled for their own good. so last week, recognizing we couldn't actually afford a macaron habit, i finally found a used copy of i love macarons & gifted it to Z! soon we'll baking away at our very own sugar-sparks! i'll let you know how it goes, particularly in light of our weird half-oven that Z accidentally cleaned the temperature numbers off of in an odd fit of vigor & vim. in other words, wish us luck!

p.s. my friend couldn't remember the name of these little confections at a party recently, and kept calling them pastel hamburgers. how awesome is that?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

sweet supplies

i have a real thing for office supplies. which might be because i love the feeling of sitting down to work at a well-organized desk (it makes writing feel a little more glamorous). but it might also be because creating the perfect office set-up is a fantastical way to procrastinate (bad habit). i've been eye-ing many an item from london's present&correct since well before our move here. but even after relocating to a more-manageable shipping zone, i've yet to indulge in anything (like their super-kicking organizational sets or vintage children's books!). if i were to break though, this stapler would be just the thing. simple, functional, & bright--gets me every time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

beware the ide(a)s of march

oh middle of the month, how did you get here so fast?!! i thought i'd start off the week with a little monday morning jam. Z & i are pretty obsessed with thao & the get down stay down (the fake-out slow part of our first wedding dance was to their cover of you've really got a hold on me). it's some of the best cheer-up music on the block & makes me think of spring spring spring.

Friday, March 12, 2010

wordless somnambulist

sorry folks. i seem to be having a sort of slow, dream-state kind of day. Z & i are both zonked after a long week. we have some fun plans for the weekend, which may just include a victorian-style fair. but for now, i'm too scattered for words.

{image via tenderletters}

Thursday, March 11, 2010

they'll name a city after us

does anyone know any old/new nicknames for london besides the smoke or the old smoke? i'm not looking for something as famous or kitschy as the big apple, here. something a little more slang (though not slapstick) & from any time period. it has to be a nickname that solely belongs to london/would be able to place a non-englander in london (meaning generic things like the city won't work). any thoughts amazing-ones?!

musical tables, wish-gifts

moving to a new country with as little as possible & living in a tiny studio flat (about three of my arm-lengths wide), Z & i weren't able to bring/have much in the way of extras. for Z, this has meant forgoing playing piano/keyboard for most of the year (the hours, understandably, to get into the practice rooms at the university are ridiculous!). i know all this not-playing breaks his heart a little. so, if i had mucho dollars i would buy him this electric piano table. not only would he be able to rock out, but we'd actually have spaces other than my writing desk for watching movies. & places other than the kitchen table for books & magazine & other day-to-day things that are so hard to put back on the shelves (meaning, we wouldn't eat on the floor because we are using our one table surface for so many stacks of books there's rarely room for plates). since it's electric, drinks would probably have to be off limits. & well, maybe it's a little romantic that we have books everywhere. right?!

{via unplggd}

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

unexpected wedding dresses: blue dahlias

can someone please scoop up this number? another beautiful non-white option, with more than enough whimsy--the flowers, the detail, the crisp green ribbon!

{dress via timelessvixenvintage}

feathered pins

as i've said before, i have a serious bobbypin problem. & with my new kicking haircut's mix of short/long bardot-ian layers, some sleek pins would be a huge help when i don't want the dramatic poof. these gold feathers from nestprettythings' shop are perfection. for some reason though, i always talk myself out of buying pretty much all small accessories--even my favorite pieces of jewelry were gifts from my friends J & J & my sister. maybe it's just because i tend to lose said small things too easily?!

{via nestprettythings & poppytalk}

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

animal hand-tattoos

continuing with my theme of whacky awesome non-necessary items wanted from england at home...when i saw these animal hand-tattoos i immediately thought of my dad, who would dig their silly genius.* the concept is so fantastically simple! i love the rad designs & radiant colors (two key factors for a killer temporary tattoo). these would be perfect for a boring car ride or to cheer up your too-far-away daughter. if you aren't near brighton, you can find them online in many many places. because clearly, these are totally for grown-ups.

* for instance, while skype-ing recently, my pops & i were one-upping each other with various silly faced thumbpeople complete with paper hats.

badass brushing

secret fact: one of my biggest gross-out factors is the gunk at the bottom of a toothbrush container. & though i clean ours out regularly, it still manages to make me squeemy. so i'm a huge fan of these individual toothbrush holders because there's nowhere for anything to collect! we saw these in person at one of the two england at home stores in brighton (one is more design & one is more furnishing, both are definitely worthwhile places to pop in). too bad we're not in the market for non-necessary items. if you are stateside, you can find cheap seconds of them here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

ringing in spring, dream jobs

some of the best parts about spring: the return of ballet flats, light-weight jackets, & less layers (there's nothing better than throwing on a dress & being all set to go). the ever-rocktastic 13 bees is at it again, with some killer new spring-ing pieces just-added to her shop (& the extra delight of now offering international shipping). this criss-crossed dress makes me want to hop on a ferry to france & have mid-afternoon cocktails on the beach. sigh. someday i'd love to combine my obsession with books & vintage dresses, and open a well-curated shop with in-store tailoring. what could be better than writing poems surrounded by language & beautiful pieces of history--leather spines, metal zippers, & buttons oh my! just imagining racks of dresses next to color-blocked books makes me swoon.

fields of flowers

this morning i wish i was out in a field, under sky-stretches & clouds, reading a good book.

{image via here}

Friday, March 5, 2010

it's here!

it's the end of another week--& the start of what promises to be a warmish (!) weekend in london. there will be the return of the husband from work trips, walks & markets & cheese & belgian beer galore. if we are lucky it will be the end of these almost-spring ant invasions. & if we are super lucky the little micey who keeps night visiting will find his way to better fooderies than our little flat. what is it with the beginning of both coldsnaps & better weathers that brings out the critters?! hope your weekend is filled with strings of sunlight & darling things which don't want to eat your food unless you invite them.

{via designismine via here}

skeleton piers, ocean-salve

brighton is a must-see city. especially off season, with its feeling of almost-abandonment & calm. i find comfort in the eeriness of super-populated places when they are empty, in cold weather ghost towns. the long working pier is sensational, with historical postcards (at one time brighton was the number one postcard picture in england), coin-operated binoculars with commentary, & divine fish n' chips. at the tip of the pier is a small amusement park where we laughed & hollered more than we have in weeks. due to inclement weather the rides required a certain number of people (we assume for balance), making it hard not to imagine the wind whipping us right off those metal tracks & out into icy waters. mostly this was a fun-scary sensation. one of the most intriguing parts for me was the collapsing west pier, off about a half a mile from the current one, which was the original attraction in the early 1900s. restoration efforts were abandoned a few years ago when, post-fire, the concert hall washed out into the ocean. what is left behind in the skeletoned arches is the idea of the place--one of the most rib-stitching-beautiful things i've seen in my life (definitely a topic for an upcoming piece). we ended our day at a killer vegetarian pub called the george & trained home with pocketfulls of shells & chalk-rocks shaped like strange bones. all in all, a rather romantic & rejuvenating day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

rock-ing chair!

the dutch company oooms has created a way to turn almost any ordinary chair into a rocking chair. which is pretty much my idea of a dreamboat. holy moly! imagine the possibilities. i especially heart the top one--vintage schoolchairs makes me giddy.
pictures from our little trip to brighton coming up!

{via duo}

twist & stripe

a rocking & simple twist on the ever-popular black/blue/white striped shirts which are cropping up everywhere. i've always felt i could never pull off red--but recently, for some reason, i am finding myself more & more attracted to the brightness. (my computer seems to make these stripes look orange, but it's listed as red & cream. so i'll go with the description).

Z left for a two day work trip & already i'm eating leftover pistachio macarons for breakfast. yikes!
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