Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

If you’re in the San Francisco area today, you need to head down to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival at the Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park. There you’ll find the gorgeous model-turned-singer Karen Elson playing a set with my current all-time favorite band of all time, Punch Brothers. They’re on  at 5:45.

It’s guaranteed to be musical heaven, especially since T-Bone Burnett is involved. Actually, the whole weekend is going to be amazing, because of other great musicians (and a couple hip cats) like Emmylou Harris, Conor Oberst, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis and Gillian Welch.

If you don’t go, I’ll punch you. In the face. Through the internet. How’s that for a reason? 😉

If you’re not in the area, feast your ears upon Karen’s “The Ghost Who Walks” and Punch’s “You Are.” That’s what I’ll be doing. Well, that and hoping someone will upload their performance on youtube.


Bit by the Design Bug

I spent a lot of today watching Sarah’s House on HGTV.com and reading through the archives of The Brass Petal. This was probably preceded at some point by a visit to Design*Sponge (especially the Living In category…swoon) and/or The City Sage. This was probably followed by lamentations on how I cannot afford a Pendleton blanket/crystal chandelier/vintage wingback chair.

But! Design is not dependent on money. That is one of the greatest things about it–if you have an eye and some moxie, it doesn’t matter if you have Jonathan Adler on call to make you some lamps, or if you have the latest version of Photoshop on your computer. As long as you keep in mind the limits of your budget and materials (stretching them is good; pointing them out is not), creativity can flourish. It usually does in tough situations more than easy ones.

I’ve moved since the last design post I made, and my new place is has a lot more style. It was built in the 1930s, instead of the ’80s, and has rockin’ hardwood floors, plaster walls and some cool built-ins instead of creepy industrial carpet and cinderblock walls. So the itch to design isn’t as urgent, but at the same time, I know if I put some effort into my place, it will look really, really neat. The only problem here, of course, is budget. And the fact that I am renting and therefore cannot paint (my sooooul, it perishes).

However, I’m in luck. Emily at Brass Petal posted a link to some awesome-tacular wall ideas at Shop Ruche. Like making flowers out of paper (been there, done that), using books as wallpaper (sacrilege!), or–the best–using fabric as wallpaper. With cornstarch paste, so easy cleanup and no wall damage. HOW COOL IS THAT. Now I am determined to find some ridiculous amazing fabric (or even vintage sheets) to brighten up my place.

I’m obsessed with the idea of plastering this amazing pattern on the walls of my kitchen, but at $9 per yard, I doubt that’ll happen. Bargain bin, plzkthx?

Year the First

One year ago today I made the first posts on this blog. (I still have that photo of Uncle Karl on my bulletin board, too.) This year I’ve made some strides in refining my personal style, have discovered that my interest in fashion is on the anthropological level rather than the breaking-news level, and have explored some awesome perfumes. I’ve even managed to attract a few readers!

To all of you who’ve read and comment on my chattering in the past year: thank you. You rock. And stay tuned–I still have a few posts up my sleeve.

For Unto Us a Child is Born

Unto us a Son is given; and the government
shall be upon His shoulders; and His name
shall be called Wonderful! Counselor!
The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah and Handel said it better than I ever could.
Happy Christmas!

Apartment Love

Because really, we are all homemakers. It’s a sort of default position.
Many people aren’t particularly great at it, and live lives of discomfort
in barren spaces filled with soulless objects, but in the act of living
in a space, we are making it a home, either successfully or not….
Even Cleveland

Let me tell you right now: I’m grateful for my living arrangements. My roommate’s pretty cool and owns couches, there’s a kitchen with an actual working oven, and I can hang pretty much every poster I possess on the walls. I’m warm and dry, with a place to sleep and eat–basic necessities are covered.

Basic necessities? Yes. Do I feel at home? Not so much yet. If I had moved here from my last place, a house I shared with three roommates, the transition wouldn’t have been so weird. But last year I moved back with my parents to save money, and so I stayed in my old room. I love that room–it’s a product of the last many years of my life, all homey and confused and colorful. It’s one of those places I can relax in, where I can just be myself.

I recently stumbled upon Even Cleveland, where a post on homemaking really made me think twice about my new living space. I want to feel comfortable here, like I belong. My apartment needs to be a place I love. Since I have limited funds to make this happen, I turned to the internet for inspiration. There are some absolutely fantastic small spaces floating around out there–and the ones featured on Apartment Therapy are beautiful and inspiring (and functional!). I’m practically drooling all over the home tours. [Click a photo for a look at the entire home.]

I love love love the Japanese lanterns in the photo–I should break mine out and see what I can do with them.

The vibe of this room is so nice– chic and traditional, but still cozy. The framed map is a neat idea, too.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for Gothic arches, for dark wood, for random staircases. Now I just have to figure out how to install these architectural features in my apartment.

That couch just begs for a slow afternoon of reading and tea. Also a cat.


Velociraptor Awareness

Throughout history, contingency plans have been drawn up for the Blitzkrieg, nuclear fallout and the zombie apocalypse. Many people have fire exit maps taped to their walls and emergency numbers in their dayplanners. While these precautions are prudent and have kept many people safe, they may create a false sense of security, especially among people most likely to experience attacks by velociraptors.

Velociraptor attacks are third leading cause of death among males ages 27-29, but can strike anybody at any time. Many people are unaware of the the dangers posed by these dangerous creatures. Awareness of the severity and frequency of these attacks and the steps that can be taken to prevent them will go a long way to saving lives.

Velociraptors are dinosaurs. They stand about crotch high (a fact they will use to their advantage) and may be covered with feathers. They hunt in packs, often forming an equilateral triangle around their prey. Velociraptors are extremely intelligent and can run at speeds of up to 25 meters per second. They do not know fear.

How to Increase Your Likelihood of Surviving a Velociraptor Attack

» Learn to recognize the signs of a velociraptor attack. How can you tell? Here’s an easy test: Is there a velociraptor in the immediate area? If yes, you may be under attack. If no, stay wary–a velociraptor may still be nearby.

» Do your research. Many popular movies, books and blogs have perpetrated myths about velociraptors and their attacks.  For example, some velociraptor attack experts underestimate the importance of tire irons–which could be a fatal mistake. Arm yourself with knowledge that could save your life.
For more information, click here and here.

» Plan your escape routes. While this is important for fire safety, escape routes are also necessary in velociraptor attacks. Preplanning is necessary, as calculations waste valuable time in the midst of an attack. At minimum, plan escapes to and from your home, car and work, as well as strategies that can be implemented in enclosed spaces, open spaces or in a crowded area.
For more information, click here.

» Check your home for velociraptor entry points. Solid-core doors and shuttered windows with no outside opening mechanism should be adequately secure. Picture windows, french doors and sliding glass doors can easily be broken and are therefore a potential breach risk. Windows or doors on the second floor of a building are most likely safe. If possible, invest in velociraptor-safe locks throughout your home.
For more information, click here.

» Keep an arsenal at hand. Proper ammunition can earn you valuable time in case of an attack. Assault rifles, for instance, can be handy in the event of either a zombies apocalypse or a velociraptor attack. Velociraptors have been show to be averse to a compound in Concord grape juice. Keep your fridge stocked and your squirt gun in good working order at all times.
For more information, click here.

» Be wary of strangers. Velociraptors often disguise themselves with mustaches, trench coats and Darth Vader voice changers. When meeting new people, make sure to hold a complete, intelligible conversation before befriending them. Additionally, when moving into a new home, make sure the neighbors aren’t velociraptors.
For more information, click here.

» Prepare a velociraptor attack survival kit. This should include at minimum an assault rifle, Concord grape juice, a squirt gun, a flashlight, duct tape, chocolate, your prepared escape routes, and clean underwear.
For more suggestions, click here.

Velociraptor attacks can be lethal, and must be taken seriously. Never underestimate the importance of preparation in the event of a velociraptor attack.  Proper planning will keep you and your loved ones safe. Inform yourself about velociraptor attacks today!

More information about velociraptor attacks is available through the American Society for Velociraptor Attack Prevention.

Things I Love This Very Minute

» The video for Lily Allen’s new song, “The Fear.” The video itself is fun (she looks smashing as usual–that dress is absolutely adorable), and song is pure satire (one of my most favorite things).

» “Puppet” with Myf Shepherd from Numéro Korea January 09. I’m loving the over-the-top hair, the flower headdresses, the colors, and especially the makeup. Somehow it managed to hit a perfect balance of edgy and girly. Myf’s eyes are just haunting. You can find these and a few more photos at Capture the Castle.

» “The Final Countdown,” possibly the best 80s song ever recorded. I just realized it’s as old as me. And still awesome.

» Paper flowers. There’s something so enchanting about their beauty. I never thought anyone could improve on natural flowers, but the time and meticulous handcrafting that goes into these little works of art, plus the knowledge the artist must have of the original flowers, has completely changed my mind. The white headdresses are from Chanel’s recent couture show, and the colored ones are from a local shop, aNeMonE Paper Flowers. I’m so enamoured with the idea…I smell a DIY coming on.

» Theme parties! I’ve just been invited to a 1920s-themed murder mystery. A period clothing dress code will be enforced, so I spent way too much time last night researching the Roaring Twenties, from makeup to hair to the clothes (oh, the clothes!). I learned how to put my hair in a faux bob, how to do 20s-style makeup, and found a couple dress patterns straight from vintage fashion magazines. My favorite is made from lace and satin, and I think I can tackle it in an afternoon, so I’m heading off to buy fabric tomorrow. I might even tackle the cape!