Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Visualize Summer

Mr. H. and I went on a nice long Sunday walk last weekend, getting outside for some fresh July air. We were rugged up in layers of fleece and Gortex and dripping wet. We passed some kids with a table set up in front of the corner grocery store. They were standing under soggy umbrellas, selling bumper stickers that said "Visualize Summer." Seattle humor.  So even though the temperatures yet again probably won't climb much over 60 today, I think I'll take their advice...

It's a well-worn cliche that Seattle is supposed to be gray and rainy... but truthfully, this is what this time of year is supposed to look in our neck of the woods. And even though so far it's been the coldest summer on record, I'm hopelessly optimistic that we still have some warm, blue-sky days ahead. That the mountains may peak out from behind their shrouds of clouds.  Perhaps even this weekend.

Here's hoping!

Happy weekend, eveyone.  I'm taking off early, and will probably be a little quiet next week while I break out the paints and work on a few fun projects.

Wishing you long, sunshine filled days. See you soon! XO

The More Things Change

Change. It's been on my mind the past few weeks. There's a comfort in knowing that there is so much truth to the cliche "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, Funny Face 1957

Balenciaga 1964 

 Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011

Marie Antionette in Vivienne Westwood for 18th Century Back in Fashion Exhibit

 Marc Jacobs Fall 2011

 Sara Jessica Parker, Vogue, August 2011

Something I've always loved about working in fashion is the fact that it's always changing. But as much as our business is about looking forward, it can't get away from looking back. I think that's one of the keys to surfing through life's myriad of changes. Stay focused on what's next, but keep glancing back toward the past, carrying a little circle of beauty forward into the newest biggest thing. Follow the dots into the future, but have one foot firmly planted in the past that has gotten you to where you are standing today....

What do you think? Do you embrace change or long for the "good old days"? How do you keep your feet on the ground during periods of change?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Snakes & Snails And Sugar & Spice

Today is doubly special because it is the birthday of two of my favorite people of the smaller set.

Martha Stewart

My Godson Bobby and his twin sister Sophia are seven today! As their mother said it, "Good grief! Where does the time go?" Seems like yesterday when "Girls' Night" with my dear friend Christina meant pacing the floor at her house, each of us bouncing a crying newborn on our shoulder -- if memory serves, there was wine involved (at least on my part)!

When they were three, their mom requested a kitty birthday card on behalf of a little Sophia and a puppy card for Bobby (who even then had the biggest of smiles) because that is what they each were fascinated by at the time.

Now that they've hit the ripe old age of seven, their tastes have grown a bit more sophisticated. Ballet for Miss Sophia...


Pirates for Bobby...




No matter how many birthdays they celebrate, my wish for them is that they never underestimate the amazing possibilities for their lives:

My Cute Crush

Happy Birthday, Bobby and Sophia. Don't grow up too fast, please. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Place: Paris

Hi all, how was the weekend? After a kind of rough week, I was ready for a little escape. Mr. H. took me on a date to finally see Midnight in Paris--which was sweet of him, because he's not a big Woody Allen fan, and Paris doesn't hold the same charms for him as it does for me.

He couldn't have come up with a better scheme--unless he actually packed me a bag and met me after work with two round trip tickets to the city itself. An English major who minored in art and can't get enough of Paris, I was utterly delighted by the film.

Of all my happy places, Paris is probably the happiest. Admittedly, just as protagonist Gil Pender's vision of The City of Light in the 20s is blurred by nostalgia, my own picture of my favorite city is tempered by distance and the fact that when I'm there, it's for a limited time. I don't have to deal with reality or paperwork or the famous French bureaucracy.

One of the criticisms leveled against the movie is that it over-romanticizes the city, and takes away all of its rough edges--the same was said about Amelie about 10 years ago, and I've heard a similar scoffing about my rose-colored view of Paris from a French ex-boyfriend who hated the place (can you imagine?).

But I think those critics (and my ex-boyfriend) are missing the point. A film like Midnight in Paris should be devoured like a box of macarons--sweet and airy confections, not to be taken too seriously. A fleeting moment of pleasure. We can eat our vegetables later.

We all need our "happy places" where we can escape either for a few weeks or just for a few moments as we wander the streets in our mind's eye.

The soul needs a vacation from the mundane and the difficult from time to time. The happy place--whether it's a Jane Austen novel, a Matisse painting, or a romanticized post-card perfect Paris--provides this escape.

Photos from Heidi Diaz

What's your happy place?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Treat Yourself!

Is it just me, or did this week just fly by? Friday snuck up out of nowhere, but I'm sure glad it's here. I think I'm ready for a little something special...

Cote Maison

House Beautiful 

Cath Kidston 

Martha Stewart

The Coveteur 

Mr. H. 

Whether it's something sweet or a long soak in the tub, I hope you get to treat yourself this weekend. Have fun! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vive La France!

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! It's Bastille Day, and along with a boisterous celebration at a favorite local French cafĂ©--complete with lots of vin rouge, frites, Can Can dancers, and Gypsy jazz--one of our July traditions is staying glued to coverage of the Tour de France. 

I have to admit that I tend to be pretty cloudy about who's in the lead, which team belongs to what country, or who's wearing the green, yellow or polka-dotted jersey at any given time...

...but I just love taking a virtual vacation through France for 23 days. Winding along lavender fields, through the vines, past chateaux as the road twists and turns on a  3,430.5 kilometer journey through the French countryside and towns to Paris and the Champs Elysees finish line. 



It's the next best thing to being there. As my friend Heidi says, it's an "annual armchair trip to France."


Images from AP, Reuters, Getty, Guardian UK, Daily Telegraph, The Examiner, National Geographic and Cycling News

And it's definitely a heck of a lot easier on the bum!

What's your favorite armchair sport?


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