This.Is.Awesome!

I wonder if Oliver would like and/or survive having a giant for a brother. Also, we would never need to worry about fancy security systems or a Zombie Apocalypse! 

It says here they are about the size of a sheep. I wonder if you can harvest their fur. I could knit myself a Caucasian dog sweater-coat: the ultimate in cold-weather chic!

Boone's Journal

Deep in the semi-arctic tundra known as Russia, there lives a beast. It is a foul creature, as terrifying as it is large. It could swallow a double decker bus with its gaping maw, and it prays on the villagers of–

I’m kidding — it’s just a dog. An enormous dog, but still, it’s just a dog… despite appearances.

The breed name of this monstrous, furry beast is the Caucasian Shepherd, also known as the Caucasian Mountain Dog.
“But, Boone,” you say with a condescending tone. “That dog isn’t white. Why call it Caucasian?”
It’s named after the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia.
“But you said Russia and–”
There’s a Georgia in Asia, too; not just the United States.
“Oh.”

The dog was specifically bred to protect livestock, primarily sheep. It would literally walk with the sheep, blend in with the herd and then attack approaching wolves. Despite being dark in…

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Everyday is Like Sunday

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These past few weekends have been a whirlwind of activity outside the Dew Household. With early frost decimating the last of our vegetables and Hurricane Sandy on its’ way we had to move quickly to prepare our yard for the arrival of Winter.

After picking the last of their yield for freezing and pickling, we pulled up all the sprawling tomatoes and cucumbers. Goodbye until next year!

 Oliver could feel something was different but couldn’t quite put his paw on it.

We also removed some dry branches and piles of leaves, leaves and more leaves. Halfway through, shenanigans ensued.

Even with all of our prep work we still had an unexpected “casualty” after the storm.

Next, I’ll do a post on the indoor transformations (hint: it involves paint).

Winds of Change

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Remember this post about transforming the formery nursery into an office for Dewman? It has gone through more changes because we decided one office can work for both of us. Since we re-homed our iMac with a more loving family we only have a single desktop system so it made sense to have only one office.

Sidebar: I have never been a fan of Apple but have tolerated their products to support Dewman who used to love them. I even caved and bought an iPhone. Disenchanted with Apple post Steve Jobs, D-man has sold nearly all of our Apple stuff but I have no plans to switch my iPhone.  Ironic, no? I am still not a fan I just loathe learning a different system. If all tech users were like me, we would still be using an abacus!

Here is what we did to complete the office “merger”:

1) Re-paint walls and trim. Yanni (RIP) was the best cat ever but he was also very allergic and prone to spraying snot everywhere: computer monitors, walls, trim, windows etc. (To help erase THAT mental image, here’s a better one:

2) Sand the floor. We rented a sander from Home Depot which was super heavy and clunky. It did the job quite well, stripping nearly 100 years of possibly-lead paint from the floor. Super D was the true hero here and was sore for days from lugging that monster around. On the plus side, our house smelled like a pine forest!

3) Paint the floor. We waffled between leaving the floor plain and re-painting it. In the end, after all that stripping work –  there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere – we went with the second choice. As you can see from the pictures above, the floor still had some stubborn paint remnants so painting was the fastest and cheapest option.

4) IKEA trip. We needed more storage to house all of our crap  indispensable supplies and materials.

5) Clean, clean, and clean some more. 

6) Sort and organize books to decide what to keep, donate, throw out.

Here’s were we are today:

Here’s what we still need to do:

1) Figure out the windows. Trying to decide between IKEA ENJE shades or curtains. I have been hoarding this great IKEA Asa Ekstrom fabric but I am still frightened of my sewing machine. 

2) Find the perfect stool for my work station. (Yeah, come back in another year or so!)

3) Purchase a slightly larger table to serve as my work station. (I will not be defeated by a sewing machine!)

I am sure you’re dying to know what supplies we used:

– wall paint: Benjamin Moore Regal, Simply White in Matte

– trim: Benjamin Moore Regal, Decorator White in Pearl Finish

– floor: Benjamin Moore Aura, Soot in Matte

– red stool, sowing table, wall shelves and bookcases are all IKEA

– Dewman’s desk is the Blu Dot Paperclip and his chair is vintage Eames

– white picture frames are IKEA

If anybody has any recommendations for desks that work well as sewing tables, let me know!

Image

Back in Time

This year I only did a cursory check on the S/S 2013 collections. Mostly, it was to see which trends would last beyond the F/W 2012 season: bright color blocking or mono-color (check); pointy toe high heels (check); feminine silhouettes a la Dior New Look (check); sixties revival (check).

This way, I can take advantage of end-of-season sales  knowing I will still be able to wear those pieces next spring and summer without looking (gasp!) demode. I think I’ve said this before but the trick is to pick “classic” pieces in terms of cut and silhouette. An A line skirt is an A line skirt whether it’s mint green, oxblood or plain black.  For vintage revival clothing, shop in your mother/grandmother’s closet or sites like ebay or etsy to find items that are back in fashion.

A quick scroll through etsy for example, yielded a lot of pieces reminiscent of the latest S/S 2013 Louis Vuitton collection. Maybe a little too “reminiscent”, ahem. Designers “inspire” themselves from past decades all the time so why not us mortals as well!

See for yourselves.

Louis Vuitton S/S 2013:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 And the things I found on Etsy: 

 

 

Inertia

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Sam Flores – Butterfly Gun

Somebody asked me recently why I am not posting outfits anymore. (Thank you brave person not ashamed of reading my blog!)

To quote Carrie Bradshaw: ” This got me thinking“. Why haven’t I been doing those posts?

First, I have become a bit disenchanted with “fashion blogging”. Sure, there are still some genuine articles out there (Susie Bubble, Rookie, NotSoLonelyLondoners to name a few) but majority are devoid of original content or fresh perspective. Sites like Manrepeller were quite good for a while before devolving into repetitive posts gushing with praise over every designer (even more so if said collection is viewed from the front row courtesy of the designer’s PR). 

I feel like most of the fashion bloggers had an Edina Monsoon revelation: ”There was a time I was out there. I was hip. I was dangerous. The zeitgeist blew from me! ”. As a result they are trying fad after fad trying to stay ahead of the trend curve but end up looking like carbon copies of each other. 

I’ve also been exposed to sites like GOMI, Sister Wolf and Shamepuff that are critical (and have documented proof to back it up) of the type of perk-seeking activities that take place under the guise of fashion blogging. Feel free to laugh at my naiveté!

And third, if anyone is keeping track, I wanted to get back to the roots of my blog which was more about style and design (residential and capital F Fashion) than outfit posts.

Please don’t take any of this as judgment on the fashion blogging community as whole. As I said, there are bloggers out there that produce great original content and without their voices, fashion blogging would not have the elevated profile it has today!

I know there are people who would will say I should not even count my measly posts as fashion blogging or myself as a blogger period.

I am not. This is not a blog. You are not reading this. There is no spoon.

 

Inspiration Abounds

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How cool is this shot? It reminds me of Hitchcock’s “The Birds“.

The color of the vintage car against the matching darkening sky is perfection! I would love to use it as an accent wall somewhere in our house. Something along the lines of this:

 Or this:

(Can’t find the source of the photos above but most likely it’s Apartment Therapy or Desire to Inspire, two of my design blog mainstays. If anybody knows differently please let me know!)

In other news, I’m working on a post on the kitchen repainting (yay!) and some of the areas we still need to address i.e. cabinets (boo!).

Sum of the parts

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I saw this recently on The Sartorialist.

Photo credit: The Sartorialist

It reminded me of a color combo (white & navy) that I liked in this post. But somehow the men’s version is not working for me. Let’s break it down:

1) The Jacket – right color and button detail, not the right cut IMHO. I am not a fan of double-breasted jackets, too “mafioso-fabuloso”. Paired with the thin, white pants, all he is missing are the fisherman sweater and anchor cap to look like he’s auditioning for Moby Dick.

2) Sweater – fine on its’ own but too matchy with the jacket. It’s almost like he is one of those Lego pieces: one blue square and one white. I would remove the jacket and just pair the sweater with a different one or go without.

3) Bag – from what I can tell it’s big and worn brown leather which is about as manly as you can get with a bag (not a “murse”!). I’m curious about the shoes as white pants can be tricky in terms of footwear. I am hoping the pants weren’t cuffed, too cliché.

4) Accesories- looks like a friendship bracelet which it’s been done to death but the watch is nice.

5) Neckwear – laughable! Unless you want to look like a gondolier or ageing playboy.

6) Grooming – ok. He can pull off the Richard Gere in American Gigolo hair.

Wow, it seems I had quite few things to bitch about! Let it not be said I am not opinionated.

Harvest Festival in Sharon Springs

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So we finally made it back to Sharon Springs after 2 years! (details of our last trip here). This time we arrived right at the beginning of the Harvest Festival and we also booked a tour of the Beekman Farm.

I had been looking forward to this ever since I discovered the Fabulous Beekman Boys show on Planet Green and fell in love with the farm, the Boys and all the colorful characters that populate the show.

Everyone we met was full of genuine warmth and hospitality and the Boys were no exception. We both got hugs and invites for next year’s celebrations! I think my favorite part was the Pig Roast at the Sharon Tavern where we got to meet some of the people who actually live and work in Sharon and Sharon Springs. And the food was not bad either ;-)!

Ok, enough blah, blah, blah – picture time!

Meeting the Fabulous Beekman Boys: Brent and Josh

Went underground @ Howe Caverns

Boat ride down the River Styx with Zombie Bieber

Second day, farm tour @ the gorgeous Beekman Mansion.

Met some very friendly goats

The one and only Farmer John!

Then this happened …

… and this

Wishing everyone a bountiful Fall!

New York Fashion Week (NYFW)

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 Every year I swear I won’t care but here I go again … NYFW. Sooo many shows and pictures to go through! And so many trends: which one is a fad, which one is a new classic, which one is just crazy enough to work and which one is plain crazy? (Bare midriff, really???)

A few rules I like to use as a guide:

1) Appearances can be deceiving. The runway styling can be ridiculous and distract from the actual clothes (see March Jacobs!). Try viewing the collections in the showroom. It will give you a better idea of what the collection is composed of and allow you to create pairings that are closer to your aesthetic.

2) The morning after effect. The staging, decor, music etc. are designed to create an atmosphere, enhance the runway presentation and influence your judgment. Better wait until the morning after before making statements like: Skin tight red leather pants are the new black! Adult diaper short shorts – Genius! Ankle jewelry – so fetch!

3) Go back in the closet. Fashion is cyclical so what goes around comes around with some variations. Don’t spend a fortune on straight-off-the runway stuff (not that you could: those items won’t be in stores for months if ever!). Try your closet first: items you stored away could be back in style. This is why you should always buy quality items so they store well and look fresh.

As an aside – I read this book ” Fashion Babylon” by Imogen Edwards-Jones and I can’t recommend it enough. It provides a sobering yet funny look behind the glossy facade put up by the fashion industry.

 Cheers! (Here’s hoping my next post won’t be in 2013!)

Highs and Lows

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I’ve been struggling lately with a sudden weight gain (stress-related) and putting together office-appropriate outfits that still excite me fashion-wise. My usual slim pants were starting to look a bit “strained” so I started introducing more skirts into the rotation. This led to wearing heels more often and all was well until my chiro recommended giving my feet a break from time to time.:-(

For me, that is like a one-way ticket to Dumpyville. My lower region is made for A-line and full skirts but with my short legs, flats make me look like a female hobbit.(Love how happy these women look walking the red carpet with 6 months worth of leg hair on display. I guess skipping the waxing torture would make me euphoric as well.)

Meanwhile, I have learned to embrace the sensible heel (for me that means between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 inches) and it actually works! Here’s a sampling:

I do lapse on particularly depressing days when I need an extra lift. Looking down on people (literally) helps boost my morale!

When I must wear flats I try to zhuzh them up with some prints and color, like so:

And when all else fails I load up on accessories:

 

I figure that all that extra weight on my arms should help with shedding pounds. It’s a win-win!