Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jack Handey Quote of the Week

"If you want to be the popular one at a party, here's a good thing to do: Go up to some people who are talking and laughing and say, "Well, technically, that's illegal."  It might fit in with what somebody just said.  And even if it doesn't, so what, I hate this stupid party."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Something New and Sparkly: Let's Get Ready to Rhumba . . .

 Coral Calypso Corsage Necklace
Tee: So, Kohl's
Skirt: Sears
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Krystala Creations, Etsy

Skirt: Sears
Shoes: Chaps, Kohl's
Bag: Candie's, The Shoe Dept.

. . . or rumble, if a passerby takes a shine to your necklace.  Truth be told, I'd be honored if this Coral Calypso Corsage Necklace inspired a brawl.

Now, about these clothes.  Why, oh why, are there two outfits for just one necklace?  I put together the one with the blouse first but then moved on to the one with the tee because the wrinkly satin didn't photograph well enough for posting on Etsy.  I still liked it though, which explains why it's here.  I've never worn the top, the shoes are surprisingly painful, and the skirt and bag are as old as the hills.  (But then, they'd have to be, as I no longer shop in Sears or The Shoe Dept.)  Thankfully, the Coral Calypso Corsage Necklace wields just enough color to connect the dots.

Something New and Sparkly: In Honor of Noel and Liam

Aqua Oasis Corsage Necklace

Top: Rewind, Kohl's
Skirt: Necessary Objects, Annie Sez
Shoes: Not Rated, DSW
Bag: Chinese Laundry, JCPenney

The title of this post would probably make more sense if I explained that I initially planned to call this piece the Marigold Magic Corsage Necklace, on account of the jaunty yellow flower.  I couldn't help but think of Anne of Green Gables author L.M. Montgomery's other book, Magic for Marigold, and planned to title the post that way.  Satisfied that I'd knocked that one out, I rested on my laurels (er, marigolds) - until I realized that this necklace is mostly a bluish-green.  So it was back to the drawing board to come up with a new color-appropriate name.  Out popped Aqua Oasis, bringing to mind the band of bickering British brothers.  I like their music well enough (despite their bickering), so I went with it, and the Aqua Oasis Corsage Necklace was born.  Sorry, Marigold.  Better luck next time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New TV (Otherwise Known as Fall's Consolation Prize)

Last week marked the beginning of the 2011-2012 TV season, and with it my deliverance from the surfeit of sitcom reruns and played-out movies that buzzed on my TV like so much white noise this summer.  As always, my menu of mainstays, including The Middle, Modern Family, Community, and The Office, was sprinkled with fresh new selections.  Just as when I'm presented with an updated restaurant menu, I couldn't help but wonder which newbies would become the new mac and cheese, i.e., flavorful, fulfilling, and always a treat, and which would suffer the fate of concoctions made unpalatable by too many or too few ingredients.  Here's my take on three of the series debuts I sampled (in reverse chronological order):

Show: Pan Am
Network: ABC
Time: Sunday, 10:00 pm EST

Despite the scuttlebutt that it was just a Mad Men knock-off, I had high hopes for Pan Am (pun intended).  Like lots of people, I like a good period piece.  Stories set in iconic eras can't help but be shrouded in romance, and the admittedly fluffy ABC capitalizes on this phenomenon in its drama showcasing stewardesses of the early 1960s.  To be honest, it was slow going at first.  The plot centers around four women -- each a trailblazer of sorts -- which means that there was a bit of back-story to relay.  Even so, Pan Am has all the hallmarks of a best-selling saga and will probably become more engrossing as the season unfolds.

Show: Whitney
Network: NBC
Time: Thursday, 9:30 pm EST

NBC is known for sitcoms that probe beneath life's underbelly.  Whitney, starring comedian Whitney Cummings, fits right in as the story of a cohabiting, thirty-something couple contemplating marriage.  Albeit gentler than the other social commentary-spouting shows in NBC's Thursday night lineup (Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office), Whitney delivers some trenchant one-liners about love and relationships.  Unfortunately, most of them were in the commercials, which somewhat diluted their appeal.  Nevertheless, pilots are often iffy, so I remain optimistic.

Show: New Girl
Network: FOX
Time: Tuesday, 9:00 pm EST

New Girl is just the sort of off-beat show you'd expect to see on the network that brought us The Simpsons.  Starring queen of quirk Zooey Deschanel, it centers around Jess, a newly single teacher who finds herself living with three guys she met on Craigslist.  Fashion-challenged and in the habit of bursting into song, Jess catapults over Deschanel's resident territory of the unusual headlong into the land of just plain odd.  Indeed, her actions are often cringeworthy, particularly when she's hurling herself at prospective suitors.  Still, her eccentricities are born of a genuineness that render her as endearing and vulnerable.

* * * *

Criticisms aside, I'll continue watching all of these shows.  Sweet, salty, or tangy, stories are my favorite snack.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Something New and Sparkly: One Big Ass Necklace

Fabulous Felt Mad for Mod Necklace

Top: Wet Seal
Dress: Arizona Jeans, JCPenney
Boots: MetroStyle
Bag: Chinese Laundry, JCPenney

Remember when I made that Crazy for Kawaii Fruit Circles Necklace out of plastic beads from a kid's jewelry kit?  Well, I used some of the leftovers to make this appropriately 1960s-inspired Fabulous Felt Mad for Mod Necklace.  I took it for a test run last night and am happy to report that I felt pretty groovy. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Etsy Favorites: I Love Unicorns

 Glittery Resin Unicorn Rings, 1 Bad Attitude

 Super Cute Magical Unicorn Heart Shaped Necklace, Art All Night

 My Other Ride is a Unicorn Tee, The Bold Banana

 Rainbow Unicorn Soap 3 Pack, Love Lee Soaps

 Rainbow Unicorn Canvas Belt, Bubbledog

 Set of 18 Handmade Unicorn Cabochons, Supplies a Go Go

 Vintage Hand Painted Unicorn Clutch, Akoyanis

 Pink Kawaii Unicorn Tee, Em & Sprout

 Set of 8 Unicorn Scribblers, Scribblers

Vintage Brass Unicorn Cuff, Insanely Sweet

And so do lots of other Etsians, as evidenced by this cornucopia of unicorn fabulousness.  My findings were so enchanting that I was unable to limit my selections to the usual five items, instead going full steam (er, unicorn dust) ahead with a whopping ten finalists.  Today's artists offer up unicorn jewelry, apparel, accessories, craft supplies, and even soap and crayons to make every aspect of your day legendary. 

Still spellbound by unicorn mania, I capped off my Etsy session with a good old-fashioned Google search.  Initially, I found sites spouting historical and mythological (not quite) facts, which were very dull and not at all what I was looking for.  Then I struck gold with something called Cornify: Unicorns and Rainbows On Demand.  From what I could gather, it's a company that sells unicorn images for use on Web sites.  But these aren't your run-of-the-mill mystical beasts splashing through surfs and posing beneath rainbows.  Oh, no.  Brighter than bright and star-studded to boot, Cornify's unicorns cavort in unabashed cartoon form, landing on people's heads and generally taking over the entire screen.  Indeed, the site proudly proclaims that "Cornify is the #1 unicorn and rainbow service worldwide, spreading sparkly happiness around the world."  If that's not magical, then I don't know what is.   

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something New and Sparkly: Creep Chic

Felt Creepy Critter Corsage Necklace

Top: Target
Jeans: City Streets, JCPenney
Shoes: Carlos Santana, Macy's
Bag: Gifted

I have Target to thank for this somewhat macabre Felt Creepy Critter Corsage Necklace.  I was there, stocking up on toilet paper and kitchen sponges and whatnot when I saw this hot pink tee hanging on the Halloween promo rack and knew I had to make it my own.  I could already see it topping off my black acid wash jeans and blue print Carlos Santana pumps, the silver foil spider web set off by the winking rhinestones of a -- wait for it -- Halloween-but-bad-ass-enough-to-wear-all-year spider necklace!  You'd think that making my own accessories would cut down on my shopping, but I've found that the opposite is true.  Obviously, there's all the supply shopping that goes on.  But more surprisingly I'm finding -- and buying -- an increasing amount of pieces primarily because they inspire new necklace designs. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Who Says Fall Has to Be Boring? (Oh, and Don't Buy Acrylic)

From left: Jeans: City Streets, JCPenney; Teal and lace top: Material Girl, Macy's; Rainbow top: Wet Seal; Cherry sweater: Macy's

Not me!  But you probably know that by now, thanks to my broken-record-style autumn-themed rants.  Here are some new clothes that I particularly like, some for cool weather, others not so much, all artfully arranged on my beloved (and summery!) pink polka dot spread.  Worn correctly, they'll jump in the leaves, hop aboard hay trucks, and even hunt for a pumpkin or two.  Just don't slosh any cider on them, or else you'll find yourself trapped in a corn maze.

Sadly, I must crash this fall fun fest to break some disturbing news.  See that cherry sweater peeking out on the end?  As cute as it is, an ugly truth is woven amidst its stripes and berries. It's - brace yourself - 45% acrylic!  Acrylic, for those of you who don't know, is just about the cheapest material out there and pills at the drop of a hat.  You'd think that such an inferior fabric would be reserved for only the lowest of garments, but acrylic's tentacles reach as far as designer pieces.  (The sweater in question listed for $48 at full price!  Although I paid less than half that, I remain indignant.)  After owning many a sweater born of this vile thread back in high school, I vowed to never ever buy anything made of it again.  Then (in a rare spurt of bossiness) I told everyone I cared about to do the same. 

As you'd imagine, such commitment leads to frantic tag inspection during shopping trips, as well as the inevitable disappointment upon discovering that the cutest tops are rife with the stuff.  Still, I stood strong.  Then, after more than a decade of successfully buying only cotton, nylon, and silk blends, I recently lapsed and bought a lemon (er, cherry).  I was so infatuated with this sweater's awesome online persona that I assumed it was a cotton/nylon blend or forgot to check or something.   Before I knew it, I was unwrapping it from the plastic and being mocked by the telltale tag.  I think I'll wear it tomorrow, being sure to enjoy every moment, knowing full well what carnage awaits after that fateful first washing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Something New and Sparkly: Wild Meets Mild

Pastel Paradise Corsage Necklace

Top: Mossimo, Target
Skirt: Wet Seal
Shoes: Candie's, Kohl's
Bag: Guess, Marshalls

I went a little overboard buying fabric flowers for my recent Sherbet Corsage Necklace experiment and used some of the leftovers to make this somewhat tamer but equally exciting Pastel Paradise Corsage Necklace.  (Is "tamer but equally exciting" an oxymoron?  Probably.  I'm too lazy to investigate further.)  The larger flower has this interesting, subtly leopard print going on, which I tried to draw out with the leopard mini and pumps.  In keeping with the menagerie theme, I threw in the [faux] snakeskin bag for a hint of danger.  Not that leopards aren't dangerous enough, especially in spandex and heel form.  

This skirt, by the way, was described as "body con" (short for "body conscious") on the Wet Seal site where I bought it.  I've been seeing that adjective a lot this fall (mostly on other teeny-bopper shop sites), and I'd be lying if I said it doesn't make me a little nervous.  So, to be on the safe side, I went a size up.  I plan to take any remaining edge off with a pair of black leggings.   

Jack Handey Quote of the Week

"People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world.  What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Etsy Buys: Pillow Pals

It's long been a dream of mine to collect fruit-shaped pillows.  Well, it's been a dream of mine since a couple of years ago when the bf hauled an antique church pew home and plunked it in our living room.  So, I did what any fruit enthusiast would.  I searched Etsy, narrowed my finds down to my favorites, and purchased two designs from the whimsically-named Art Snack.  When the box arrived yesterday, I tore it open and immediately arranged the vibrant plush watermelon wedge and kiwi slice on either side of my smiley orange pillow-in-residence (Bubbledog), instantly livening up the somewhat dreary dark wood.  (Sorry, bf, but it's true.)  So, what's with that Ugly Doll peeking out from behind the kiwi?  He isn't handmade, but he's been in residence with us for some time too, and we love him just the same.  The bf's the one who so cleverly stuck him there.  I like to give credit where credit is due. :)

Speaking of which, Art Snack's pillows are incredibly well made.  To my delight, the watermelon was even bigger than I'd expected, a testament to this endorsement from one happy buyer: "You have the best watermelon pillows on the Internet!"  Heralded by the charming tag line "Come for the snacks, stay for the art!", Art Snack's den of delicious d├ęcor is sure to whet your taste for fun!  I'm so infatuated with the stuff that I may need to eat my words and send the bf out for another bench.

Something New and Sparkly: Crack Open the Crayons

Colorful Stripes and Dots Necklace

Top: Stephen Burrows for Target
Skirt: Stephen Burrows for Target
Shoes: MetroStyle
Bag: Chinese Laundry, Bloomingsales Florist and Gift Shop

I'm going to kick things off by saying that I wasn't crazy about this necklace at first.  To me, it seemed like a random hodgepodge of craft supply detritus cobbled together in a poorly-lit basement.  But then I looked at it a little harder, willing myself to be hypnotized by the blinding sparkle of the turquoise rhinestones and the dizzying mix of stripes and polka dots.  After that, pairing it with an outfit befitting an overzealous grade school teacher (or a crazy blogger) seemed like the most logical way to seal its appeal.  Just looking at it makes me want to go out and buy a coloring book.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Etsy Favorites: Weird and Wonderful

 Seven Deadly Shoe Sins Wall Hanging, G. Jarvis Jewelry Etc.

 Fruity Mustache Badges, Kikichoo

 Sergeant Bosco Portrait Plate, Beat Up Creations

 Jibber Jabber Hearts, The Burbs

Pierogies Notebook, Ivy Lane Designs

You wouldn't think that a disembodied Barbie head, a crop of mustached fruit, and Mr. T would find their way into the same blog post, but here they are.  I don't have to tell you that Etsy is bursting with weird and wonderful creations.  I pity the fool who doesn't visit at least one of these shops to check out an entire collection of crazy.  (You had to see that one coming.)   

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Something New and Sparkly: Ring Around the Rosie

Sherbet Corsage Necklace

Dress: XOXO
Tee: So, Kohl's
Shoes: Diba, Burlington Coat Factory
Bag: City Streets, JCPenney

There's this part in the book In Her Shoes where the widower living in a retirement community (Shirley MacLaine's love interest in the movie version) reminisces about how much his late wife loved big, colorful costume jewelry.  It's a small detail, but as a fan of the same, I can't help but sometimes think about it.  The personal and quirky trait makes this woman seem endearing, and her husband even more so for loving her for it.

Naturally, the memory popped into my head as I made this very big, super colorful Sherbet Corsage Necklace to wear with yet another newly-acquired XOXO dress.  I fell in love with the chiffon flower accents in Michaels, becoming even more inspired when I saw the way they set off the candy-colored semi-precious beads I'd purchased at A.C. Moore.

With the fall air ripening, I'll need to layer on a cardigan when I get around to wearing this outfit, most likely introducing another color into the already hectic mix.        

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Something New and Sparkly: Tammy's Big Night Out, Part 2

Razzle Dazzle Rose Corsage Necklace

Dress: XOXO
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: DSW

When I discovered that Tammy was headed out on yet another mystery excursion, I asked her if she'd test drive an outfit I planned to wear to a wedding (provided she didn't drop any red wine on it; she's quite the party girl).  Like the sweetheart-necklined velvet in my last post, this frock hails from XOXO.  More garden party than VIP club, it boasts flattering shirring, a flirty little side bow, and a bright, feminine print that provides an ideal canvas for my newly created Razzle Dazzle Rose Corsage Necklace.  (Although it's not for sale in my shop, I couldn't resist giving it a name.)  Speaking of finishing touches, I couldn't believe how well the (never-before-worn) shoes and bag match the dress, especially because I bought all three at different times.  Which just goes to show that no purchase is ever frivolous - you never know when that got-to-have-it-now-even-though-I-have-no-place-to-wear-it accessory will come in handy!

Something New and Sparkly: Tammy's Big Night Out, Part 1

Midnight Magic Necklace

Dress: XOXO
Shoes: Worthington, JCPenney
Bag: Burlington Coat Factory

Tammy has a glam night planned, although I have no idea what it is.  (For those of you who don't know, Tammy is short for Tammy Torso, the name I gave this mannequin-wannabe when I first bought it.)  I do know that she was pretty psyched to rock this silver sequin and lace-spangled black velvet dress I got from the XOXO clearance sale last month.  (I don't know about you, but I think the rhinestone belt is what really makes it!)  My new Midnight Magic Necklace adds a touch of purple, making for an elegant yet sassy accent, much like the leopard clutch and zebra pumps.  Speaking of which, I wore the pumps today with a pair of black acid wash jeans.  Tammy almost had a fit until she saw me traipsing in with them . . .