Wednesday, January 30, 2013

At the Movies - Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

After renting Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, I was inspired to photograph everything I'd need for a globe-trotting getup.  Which, much like the movie, is the stuff of fantasy, as I rarely venture from my couch.

And now on to other disasters.

An asteroid is hurtling toward the earth, and Dodge (Steve Carell) is looking for love.  But not just any love, as evidenced by his dismissal of an eager and willing floozy (Rose of "Two and a Half Men" fame) foisted upon him by his best friend's (Rob Corddry) wife (Connie Britton), a woman who later propositions him in the haze of a drug-laced we're-all-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket-anyway orgy.  Dodge's wife has run out on him - literally - and he's looking for something more before he meets his maker.

His wish seems to be granted in the form of the similarly lovelorn Penny (Keira Knightley), a younger woman who just happens to have an unopened letter from Dodge's first love, Olivia.  Together they flee their riot-ridden city, embarking upon a journey to find Olivia and reunite Penny with her parents.  (Brief pause here to insert obvious joke about "getting out of Dodge" and lucky pennies.)  Their undeniably dark, gently comic quest connects them to a clutch of quirky characters, most of whom have already surrendered to their imminent doom.  By contrast, Dodge and Penny shine as the bright spots, his earnest self-deprecation and her romantic optimism blending to offer hope to the hopeless.  Slow-moving but tender, their story lends heart to the often unforgiving world of science fiction, emerging with an ending more moving than that of a rosier but less ambitious film.  Indeed, the final scene makes you wonder if Dodge has, in fact, (and here we go again with the wonky wordplay) "dodged" the asteroid, or, if not the rock itself, then the demons that it represents.    

Monday, January 28, 2013

Doing Portlandia Proud

Sweater: J. C. Penney's
Skirt: J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Diba, Burlington Coat Factory
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's

Sweater: I Heart Ronson, J. C. Penney's
Tee: Kohl's
Shoes: Carlos Santana, Macy's
Bag: Candie's, Kohl's
Belt: Wet Seal

Top: I Heart Ronson, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: J. C. Penney's
Boots: J. C. Penney's
Bag: Chinese Laundry, J. C. Penney's

Everything from J. C. Penney's except first and third skirts, which are from Target.

I like to think that the people who "put a bird on it" would take a shine to this Flights of Fancy Necklace.  For any of you thinking, "huh?," I'm talking about Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, those kooky kids from IFC's "Portlandia."  I caught the episode featuring the iconic skit this past weekend, an experience that rejuvenated my love for our feathered friends.  Sure, the theme of that segment was that real-life birds aren't nearly as charming as their inanimate counterparts, a point brought home by the violent flock that all but decimates the gift shop at the skit's end.  Luckily, the bird in my bib bauble isn't angry.                    

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Report: Candy Apple Dead by Sammi Carter

I never cease to be amused by mystery novels with cutesy titles and cover art.  Candy Apple Dead succinctly captures the cozy genre, with some skull-faced confections of the same name scowling menacingly on the jacket to boot.  I received this book as a Christmas gift and had never read anything by Sammi Carter before.  Nevertheless, I was assured that the cozy mystery story formula was alive and well (at least for the time being, ha ha) after reading just the first few pages.  Gutsy but nonthreateningly dowdy small business-owning heroine? Check.  Small, gingerbread village of a town peopled with casserole-baking frenemies? Check.  Sudden death of a sketchy fringer who may or may not have pissed someone off in the last forty-eight hours?  Check!      

All of this snark is not to say that I didn't enjoy Candy Apple Dead, because I did.  Cozies are the comfort food of fiction, and I reveled in all of Apple's telltale turns, right down to the recipes I'd never use and the descriptions of the more fashion-conscious tertiary characters.  This blurb was one of my favorites:

"At one of the wrought-iron tables inside Divinity, Rachel Summers froze with a piece of fudge halfway to her mouth and split a look between my cousin and me.  She wore a bright blue sweater with a matching pair of pants.  A scarf in bold geometric patterns covered her neck, and earrings in the same color palette dangled from her ears."  (142-143)

What accessories addict doesn't want to take a break from murder and mayhem to hear about a fab scarf?

That having been said, I didn't figure out whodunit -- another stronghold in my oblivious if storied mystery-reading tenure.  Which is fine by me because all the scarves in the world can't trump the ultimate element of surprise.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cummings and Goings

Sweater: Marshalls
Corduroys: Kohl's
Boots: J. C. Penney's
Bag: Marshalls 

Blouse: Material Girl, Macy's
Turtleneck: Mossimo, Target
Skirt: Marshalls
Shoes: Beverly Feldman, Marshalls
Bag: Journeys
Belt: Kohl's

Sweater: Candie's, Kohl's
Skirt: Candie's, Kohl's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: J. C. Penney's

The other night I was browsing Etsy's jewelry making supplies while Whitney Cummings's E! talk show "Love You, Mean It," hummed in the background.  So, I couldn't help but look up when Whitney began ragging on Etsy.  Her schtick was pretty predictable, which is to say that she ran a photo reel of questionable objects while offering up quips such as, "Who wants or needs a (insert profanity or obscenity here)?"  I watched with a mixture of amusement and fear (as in, what if one of my pieces turned up, a la Regretsy?), thinking that here was yet another hipster taking potshots at the much-mocked world of organized crafting.  But then I thought, hey, isn't it usually Etsians who are slapped with the dreaded "h" label?  Sure, hipsters are known for criticizing things (hello, Whitney), but they're also known for being artsy outcasts (Etsy, come on down).  So the whole thing was kind of a conundrum, juxtaposing two sides of one too-cool-for-school hipster coin.  In my bewilderment, I turned to, but even they couldn't shed much light on the term, supplying this dubious definition:

hipster -

1.  a person who is hip. 
2.  hepcat.
3. a person, especially during the 1950s, characterized by a particularly strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships.

On that note, here are some kooky creations that only a hipster could love - or hate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rock Reincarnation

 Razzle Dazzle Rectangle Necklace

Top: J. C. Penney's
Gray tank: Gap
Jeans: Kohl's
Shoes: Alloy
Scarf: Boscov's

That was then . . .

This is now!

I made this necklace and bracelet years ago but was never satisfied with either piece.  So, this week I bit the bullet and butchered them to make something new, namely the Razzle Dazzle Rectangle Necklace.  It's simple but sparkly, and the asymmetrical design provides just enough kick for everyday tees and sweaters.  I'm fairly certain that Razzle and I can look forward to many happy outings.

Speaking of simple, the next two necklaces are sort of earthy and boho.  They're the kind of thing I sometimes end up with when I take on a use-up-some-random-supplies-to-make-something-new-without-buying-anything challenge.  Ah, the joys of being a hoarder.  

Top: Vanilla Sky, Ocean City boardwalk
Jeans: Kohl's
Shoes: Simply Vera, Kohl's
Bag: DSW

Top: Gifted
Jeans: Mossimo, Target
Shoes: Nine West, DSW
Bag: Express
Belt: Mudd, J. C. Penney's

Monday, January 21, 2013

Minty Fresh and Freshly Minted

Sweater: Delia's
Skirt: J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Bongo, Kohl's
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Ross
Belt: Kohl's

Tank: Victoria's Secret
Cardigan: Target
Skirt: Boscov's
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Journeys
Belt: Wet Seal

Turtleneck: Target
Jacket: J. C. Penney's
Skirt: J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Etsy, Glamour Damaged

Mint is everywhere this season, and I couldn't be more delighted.  I love the shade in shirts and skirts almost as much as I love the flavor in candy, as evidenced by the Junior Mint images covertly couched in the Make Mine Mint Necklace.  I've been collecting similarly cool-colored clothes and can't wait to unveil them, along with their handmade counterparts, in a future posting.