Friday, January 29, 2010

and we lived beneath the waves

just for some friday fun, a perfect nod to two supremely british things!

weekending plans : scout out two new markets, pick up some ingredients for this, hang with a certain rugged buddy of ours who is now living just outside london. hopefully, this all will translate to: delicious grub, french yoghurt jars filled with flowers, & many many pints. see you sunday with some london reviews. (pssst. our wedding photos are currently flying across the ocean to us. and...our little smalltown shindig will be popping up in the bloglands next week, so stay tuned!).

{image via ffffound}

stitch yourself silly!

i realized yesterday that i'd actually love a book of embroidery instructions--because really, stitching something for someone (say, perhaps, a missive) really is pretty awesome. after doing some poking around, the reviews are pointing me to embroidered effects by jenny hart (whose own work is truly a spectacular spectacle). the book even includes transfers you can cut out and use direct. rock on.

{via thepurlbee}

charlotte, meet beck

this is a truly fantastic collaboration. sultry french + creepster folk = perfection. the video, produced by keith schofield, was composed by recreating snapshots from 50 different music videos. so strange & cool. i know it's been making the rounds, but it's worth posting again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


lou lou & oscar's shrunken bunting + embroidery = awesome. i dig the stark colors & the striped ribbon. if you're the crafter type, this would be a rocking way to spruce up a flat without banging holes into the walls, or as chair-markers for the marrying couple at a wedding. but for the record--embroidery is NOT for the fainthearted! as my wedding gift/surprise to Z, i attempted to hand-embroider a few lines of a matthea harvey poem about strange marriages onto a round pocket-square. and damn. the hand part lasted about eight grueling hours before i realized that i was too wobbly a stitcher for something involving more than one line. i did end up getting it done (!) due to my friend J's staggering skills & her super modern sewing-machine. shizam. if you haven't already, go check out some of the other kicking goods at baker's dozen.

my funny valentine

i have to admit that i'm more of a celebrate your love on a whim or in surprising ways, rather than on a specific holiday in february. but this olivetti poster by ettore sottsass would make a great cheeky valentine's present (Z & i bought one for our last apartment, & gifted one to my sister and her husband this christmas). it's a fantastic size & adds the perfect sort of graphic touch to a white wall. get one here. unless you are in london, then go to the design museum and pick one up. it's worth the trip! (and someday, i swear, i'll own a real olivetti valentine typewriter. sigh.)

**correction: i do, however, love hand-made valentines swapped across cities, countries, continents & oceanscapes. but that's mostly because i love hand-made things exchanging hands, with love.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

p.s. is it true?!

can one really no longer cross the ocean via anything other than airplane, cruise or cargo ship? i want an old school traversing of waters. to purchase a ticket for a big steam boat and travel for days on waves--eating & writing, stuck out in all the unfolding blue! i really thought there would still be a way besides deck hand or decadence? does anyone know anything about this?

{image via rakuyn}

crossing the waters

today i wish i could bridge myself across the ocean (fast) to help out a friend who is having some stresses. i love england, & travel, but sometimes it's so hard to not just be able to hop in a car and head off to offer my two very real hands for helping out, instead of just virtual ones.

{via maplesyruponly}

brilliant disguises!

a hardback leather case for my macbook, which disguises it as an antique book? i literally just swooned to a fainting! the bookbook, made my twelvesouth, is so kickass it hurts. as a writer, even though deep down i know the exact instrument doesn't matter, my computer is like a small whirring pet (ironically so close to poet?) which i feel rather protective over. so when we travel, i'm usually too chicken to bring it along. on the other hand, i also tend to resort to some ridiculous hiding techniques before we leave (it's hard to find sneaky places in such a small flat!).

that said: the implication that by disguising your computer as an antique book it becomes less desirable, did strike me as pretty hilarious. sad state for the world? or happy state for your computer? (for the record, i would be very likely to pick up a vintage book sitting on a table.) all in all it's a good thing that a) i've imposed a strict budget of buy nothing and b) they aren't shipping at the moment. (my birthday is far away--but hey, maybe they'll still be in stock! hint hint).

{via designcrush}

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

dear polaroid,

i miss you.

Z & i are obsessed with the happiness of taking polaroids of people jumping. so before we moved out of our last apartment, when we had a lot of people dropping by to say goodbyes and/or helping us pack up our myriads of stuff to put in storage for the year, we took a shot of each our friends/family jumping in the hallway outside (our neighbors probably thought we were nuts!). in the end, it kept us from getting too teary-eyed about all the goodbye-ing. above, a few examples (click to enlarge). digital cameras just don't do jumping in the same way. so new polaroid, please hurry yourself up!

literary looming

while doing some city-walking research this weekend, i stumbled upon a pretty wild fact: london's senate house--a building built in the 1930s for the university of london & used as the ministry of information during WWII--was the inspiration for george orwell's ministry of truth in his novel 1984! when the art deco style building was originally finished in 1937 it was the second-tallest in london--and let me just say, it definitely has an impressive sort of height & loom. it also turns out that Z had been taking a seminar there this whole past semester, and had no idea! we dropped by the building (located in the ever-literary bloomsbury) for a sneak peak. and wow. i love how the lamps glitter out the thin windows: a morse-code of lights. on the whole it's beautifully dour & imposing.

this morning i am off for the haircutting that was canceled before our trip. wish me luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

giving away macarons!

postgradhaircut (from whom i found the lovely bag posted below) is having a give away for one book on how to make macarons. a book she swears by. a book which is currently not available (i know, because i tried to buy it for Z just last week). so go, enter the contest. and if you win, send me some macarons!

beside the seaside

i seem to remember that a large number of classic books that i read as a kid involved the idea that when you are feeling sick you should head to the seaside--the salty air being just what the body needed. so today, having come down with another little cold, i'm thinking i'd like to be beside the seaside. and this bag, well i think i'd like it to be beside me.

{via postgradhaircut}

unexpected dresses

as many of you know, i opted out of the white wedding dress. for me, it wasn't even something i really considered. no woman in my family has worn a white dress (my grandmother wore a pantsuit, my mother a green & orange flowered dress, my sister a brown satin 1940s cocktail-style dress) and being part of that tradition of women truly mattered to me. (though my family would have totally supported me had i chose to go against this & i support wearing whatever color you are excited to get married in!). but finding that non-white dress came with a lot more struggle than i anticipated--there aren't specified stores filled with wracks of lush, bridal-worthy, non-white dresses (especially in a small town). and what to do when you realize that even though you were emphatic about a short-style dress, you try on a long tattered dress at a vintage store to see, and realize that you might actually want something more 30s glamour?! where to go?! so, i'm thinking of having a little on-going series here about some unexpected dresses.

for this first post, i thought i'd shop at one of my favorite etsy vintage stores, 13bees:

this little number--with its subtle & iced blues, its patterned chrysanthemums--would make a kick-ass/beautifully flirty wedding dress.

and oh. oh. oh. this dress is 20s perfection. i think someone could rock this one out with a sort of bright silk under-layer (maybe even white!). definitely something i would have died to find while i was dress-hunting.

what do you think?! good series or no? and to those of you rockstars who stopped by via veilsandvows, a big welcome!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

refuge des fondus! the end of paris

last trip, while wandering around montmarte, we ran across a wild-looking restaurant with a circus weight-lifter cartooned across its front window. but it was closed!* so this visit, on our final night in paris, we headed to the abesses stop & wound through the kiss-close, steep streets. from the moment we opened the door into the cramped refuge des fondu we were in love! though i am not always a fan of spaces where strangers are slammed up against strangers, in this case the proximity--the hum of people talking & eating & drinking--was like a steady electricity. people were seated, end-to-end-family-style, along two narrow tables. after hanging our bulky coats, the waiter pulled out a seat, turned it sideways, grabbed my hand, & sent me flying up & over the table (in a dress!). this was accompanied by a roar of applause (as we were to learn, this happens whenever anyone travels over a table).

the menu is mercifully set (far too hard to order in such chaos!). to start with there's an amuse-gueule (cocktail)--sugar-rimmed and fruited, then an appetizer of meats, cheese, pickles, and spiced chou-fluer, followed by the hot enameled pot of fondue (meat or cheese) served with un-un-ending bread. to top this off we had a fruit bowl for dessert. yow. the meal also came with 2/3 a bottle of wine, served bottles! what?! we theorized that not only was it funnier to watch table-fulls of adults drink from bottles, but that there was less worry for spilling when a too-close elbow came in contact with your drink. we were cracking up from the get-go straight to the bill and even when were back out in freezing rain we were all fizz.

*while researching for our second trip, we came across jordan ferney's paris haunts and jaunts post and saw that she had listed this exact place as a must-see. if you haven't checked out her list, go go go.

Friday, January 22, 2010

trading cities

we are back in the smoldered blacks of a rather rainy london--trading one wet sky-ed city for another. but, as always, it is so good to be home! (even if there are less macarons in england). today we woke super early to catch a few minutes in the beautiful history of Père Lachaise (above, two details from our morning walk). mid-way through we were surprised to see a gaggle of tiny schoolchildren on a fieldtrip! paris has so much depth, so many years tucked into its dark pockets--what a strange and wonderful way to see some of it. plus, it is such an odd comfort to hear laughter amidst the still & quiets of a cemetery. afterward, we grabbed a few parisian treats before heading to the train station and then we were off.
the last of the paris posts will be coming soon, but for now i am zonked. happy friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

six-months, petits bateaux (day two, part ii)

for our wedding ceremony, Z & i created a version of an old tradition--we put a bottle of wine, two glasses, & a set of love letters (written in secret & unshared) into a wooden crate and then sealed it with nails (each nail was hammered by a family member to show their commitment to supporting our marriage & then finally by us). the crate is meant as an act of reassurance, a romantic gesture--if ever our relationship is in peril, we are to open the crate, drink the wine, & read the letters before we make any decisions about our future. so yesterday, in the late-afternoon at a cafe, across french-onion soup & sharp buttery chevre, Z & i decided to pen a second set of letters to each other & send them off into the depths of the seine. these letters, about our here & now & our future moments, are another type of commitment--to keep adventuring together, to keep growing, and to live & live & live. we spent an hour or so writing them out and copied a second set (to tuck into our crate in the states). then we folded them into origami boats, walked to the end of ile de la cite, & sent them off into the water's darks. despite water-proofing crayon wax, the choppy waves dragged our little vessels over pretty quickly--but they still floated off. and now our words, our missives, are dissolved into the waters of paris.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

weather rooms & the typescaped dream (day two, part i)

yesterday was spent in a slower-motion: sleeping late, enjoying our meals as one should more often (the cheese alone worth an hour discussion), and wandering the city with our diana camera. we're slowly getting the settings right to shoot a good polaroid, though these pics will have to wait until our return. our first stop was the marche aux fleurs on ile de la cite. and what a sensation: long greenhoused buildings brimming with hothouse flowers, loud-colored petals, & that dark dirt-smell of plants. i nearly cried at the sight of the tiny wadded buds of about-to-open flowers, the huge-blooming camellias, and oh oh oh the hyacinths with their sudden punch-in-the-nose scent of spring! i also loved the stands of music-box mechanisms that one can purchase in various bad-tourists cases--Z & i played about a dozen of them, enjoying the creepy-bright ping pinging of their metallic notes. overall, being in the market was like visiting different weather rooms--which, after all the cold-wet of this winter, was as good as being filled up with carbonation. i'd highly recommend (and i imagine it's much more lush and stocked-up in the spring/summer).

on a sidenote: in paris the computer keyboard is a wild-ride--as my friend j said, in her fictioneer eloquence--a thing in need of translation itself (& the computer thinks every english word is mispelled!). but i love that the punctuation keys are primary over the numbers--it's a poet's typescaped dream. even if it takes me forever to create a correct sentence!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

we'll always have paris

we're here, breakfasting in our beautiful-petite hotel on the edge of the city. yesterday was jam-packed from start to finish (above, two moments from the day). it was our six-month anniversary and we felt a bit spoiled spending it in paris. we scoped out some curiosity cabinets (i got a shot or two, before being scolded, which i will share later), wandered around the museum national d'histoire naturelle, ate stinky cheese and velveted red wine at the cafe du marche and then, realizing we were blocks from the eiffel tour, decided why not? (last trip, i was completely uninterested in seeing the tower as a tourist attraction. but Z & i are obsessed with world's fairs and it was built as the entry arch for the 1889 one. so we both admitted we wanted to see it afterall). and what an intense sight, late last night without all the tourists pressing in and around. the place was deserted (just Z & i and the absolute scale of the tower). there's no way that i would have gotten the photos i shot during peak paris times. we ended the night over champagne (mine had a hint of liqueur de violette), tiramisu, and a sleepy metro ride home. and today we are off again--to the flower market, a little boat ceremony, and the pompidou.

(p.s. at the 30s party the other night, someone told Z that we looked like we were straight out of casablanca--which is actually 40s, but who cares! i thought it was a sweet way to remember our times this year, when we are older.

Monday, January 18, 2010

have love, will travel

this morning we are off!! i love traveling by train (not to mention just being in the stations!). there is something romantic about the old-school-travel feel of it--the startling & rushed scenes outside the windows, the boatlike sway of the cars (without the seasickness), the bulleting speed along click-clacking tracks. everything seems possible (including writing, which usually i am stubborn about only doing at my own desk). the sad-happy part is that the trip is just a little over two hours.

throughout the week i'll be posting about our parisian adventurings (as long as the internets hold up). and in the meantime, since travel & love are two things i get all hot & bothered about, i thought i'd start your week with a kick-ass tune. happy monday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

we are on brooklyn bride!

not our wedding, but a little post about our photographer was up yesterday and we're in it. (someone who knows us saw it and might post our tiny vintage shindig on their fancy blog.) so, hopefully we'll have all the rest of the photos soon. (and yes, you can tell by my eyes--i'm secretly a vampire).

today is eating waffles. packing. reading letters. figuring out the polaroid attachment for our diana camera. putting together our general trip-plans (any suggestions would be quite welcome!). and getting psyched. it's sunny! it's london! and soon it will be paris!

{via brklynbride}

Friday, January 15, 2010

sugar fossils

while blog-browsing this evening, i came across these beautiful molds. they remind me of lovely fossils. i dig the idea of the traced, the once was--how something from the past (re)surfaces in ghosted form. i found them via for me, for you who suggests them as possible wall-hangings & i agree--they'd make great display-decor. more available on etsy.

read the printed word (part two)

speaking of printed pages: for those of you who wish to do more than just donate, to understand a bit more about the culture of haitians & the lives of the people struggling right now, please check out this article on suggested readings by brilliant author edwidge danticat.

{via fieldguided}

read the printed word

i have to admit, there is nothing like the smell of library. of new book. of old book. of books all sitting in a row (the best repeated object, of course!). so yeah, i'm a super promoter of words printed on paper and of books which fit snug in purses & pockets (instead of just phones). as a writer, afterall, my living depends on people actually buying the future books i produce, not just stealing them off the internets. so: save the pages! save the writers! and add this to your blog if you, too, love printed pages as opposed to just scrolling screens of letters. for the record, if there were no more library books, i would truly miss wondering who had taken the book out before me and occasionally wishing i could meet them!

(p.s. Z & i fully intend to have our dining room be in the library of our future grown-up house).

{image via calem.}

Thursday, January 14, 2010

flea market wonder-cabinet

you can find nearly anything in the paris flea market--its vendors an archaeology of wild & beautiful items, a cabinet of the city's curiosities. sadly, i forgot that it's mainly a saturday event and as such we'll be missing it this trip. in any case, i have been re-collecting the market's incredibles & excavating images for poems. one of the things that i dig most is that despite the oddity of items, there are often duplicates! for some reason i love the look of multiples (the repeated object makes me a bit giddy). i also admit that i have a little obsession with diving bells--their shining heaviness, their bubble-gum-machine proportions. i'm gearing up for our travels, though i still feel shy of getting totally excited just yet--the whole eurostar freeze-ins have me waiting a few more days for full-on thrill.

taste of spring (ii)

difficult deadline = met. momentary relaxation ensues. meaning, less thinking about serious things, and more indulging in warm weather thinking. above, cute new looks from the spring dace collection. that second pair of pants are the exact thing i have been looking for. and the shoes? perfection. what do you all suggest to cheer up a busy & cold londoner?

scotch tape lightning

random (poetic) fact: not only does scotch tape emit light when peeled (i fully intend to check this out), but the emission produces electrons energetic enough to create short bursts of x-rays. in 2008, scientists discovered they could harness this microscopic tape-lightning and use it to take x-rays bright enough to capture finger bones. we live in a phenomenal world. read more here. (yes, this is the type of random research involved in writing sometimes).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

taste of spring (i)

today the freeze & darks of london are making me feel static & over-contained (even the swans on the canal next to our flat are floating like slushed grocery bags on the filmy iced-over water). i miss the smell of dirt and grass and the air just before something (winter for me smells like a just-lit-match, like the air just after something). with a deadline looming tomorrow, i'm procrastinating by eve-dreaming of spring. this tiled dress & these bright 50s shoes are just the thing a gal needs for a proper warm weather reverie.

{images via anthropologie & deargoldenvintage}
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