Friday, January 30, 2009

Maira Kalman is Queen of My Dreamworld.

Okay, I'm Queen. She's artist laureate. At any rate, Maira Kalman is back the last Friday of each month in the NYTimes' visual column, "And The Pursuit of Happiness." Click here for it. She's one of my all-time favorite artists and street philosophers. She has the best take on everything and her observational skills are beyond compare. If you have kids or just haven't decided what you want to be when you grow up, I besiege and beseech you to find a copy of "Chicken Soup, Boots" and get reading. Or if you insist on being a grown-up, get thee to a Barnes & Noble or local bookseller and purchase a copy of "The Principles of Uncertainty."

I also found an interview with her on a blog called "Inspiration Boards." Go here to read it.

Paul Pincus recently did a post on her here. Actually, you have to scroll down to January 8. Do it. It is where I stole my new icon. I hope that's okay with Maira, actually.

You can also find her here at the Julie Saul Gallery.

She seems to be all over the place lately and I couldn't be happier. Let's spread the joy.

Thanks to Hollister Hovey for alerting me personally to this on her blog.

A happy, colorful, quirky weekend to all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Domino is Dead.

Read about it here.

I have been worried about it since early October in my post here.

I liked it because it was different than Vogue Living or Elle Decor or House Beautiful. It was young and had a fresh point of view.

I love the Domino Book of Decorating and am glad I've saved every issue of the magazine. I found something of inspiration in every issue.

Here are a few of my favorite images (from today, actually):

I have been obsessing this week over the yellow wallpaper and green doors. Love the contrast.

Jenna Lyons' living room.

Allison Sarofim's bath. Next time I redo a bath, it's going to look like this.

Sara Ruffin Costello's kitchen.

I left out the rest of the Jenna Lyons photos that I loved from November. But you can visit them here if you need to.

So long, Domino. It was nice knowing you.

Best Days.

Have you ever really read the Farmer's Almanac?

Of course you know you can find prognostications about weather and seasonal suggestions for farmers. But my favorite feature is "Best Days," simply, the best days to do certain things, according to the phase and position of the moon in the Zodiac.

For instance, today is the best day to castrate your farm animals.

It's also the best day to dig a hole, wean, potty train, cut firewood and paint.

If you are trying to grow your hair, there are days for it. Likewise, if you are trying to retard hair growth. Tomorrow and the next day are days to begin diets if you are trying to gain weight. So you may want to rethink the timing of your diet.

I even got married on a day when the moon was right according to the Almanac. And I discovered one should never marry on the day or evening of a waning moon.

I know you are sitting there wondering when would be the best day to kill wild onions and weeds. The Farmer's Almanac knows all.

My husband is fond of telling a story about his grandfather, E. W. One early spring day E.W. rode out to his fields to find that his right-hand man had planted the beans.

"What you doing planting beans today? It's the wrong moon. Those beans aren't gonna come up!"

They cussed and argued and cussed and argued some more and those beans never did come up. They were replanted when the moon was right. And they grew like mad.

So, tell me today what it is you want to do and I'll tell you when to do it. Or you can just look it up for yourself here. You really should own a copy. Everybody should.

Monday, January 26, 2009

HG's Helpful Hint #422.

My husband is a great gift giver. Almost all of the nice things I own were gifts from him. He gave me this great bag for my birthday last year. I took it to dinner that night.

The next morning, I noticed a couple of small stains on the leather (why this bag doesn't have feet is beyond me) that looked like *gasp* grease. My brand new bag was ruined.

I tried to get it off with a small dab of water (which is perfect as you know because grease or oil loves water - can I say "duh" to myself here?) which only made it worse. My brand new bag was really ruined.

I searched my friend the internets for solutions. Surely, I am not the only person to have encountered this problem (within 5 minutes of owning the bag). And the solutions were as follows:

1) Use (alcohol- and aloe-free) baby wipes to wipe the bad spots.

2) Order Shining Monkey which is fabric protector sold for car care.

Now, there are those handbag purists who will order you to never spray it with anything (including LV). Those people must be much neater than I am. In my defense, the leather on these bags stains if you look at it. You must avoid abrasive surfaces and shocks of any kind, moisture, direct sunlight and heat. So, it's the perfect purse if you live in a bubble or store your things in a vault. You're supposed to let it develop a natural patina whereby the stains, etc., darken and blend. It doesn't really happen like that. And meanwhile it looks terrible. I decided to go for it and read many, many, many reviews that confirmed Shining Monkey was the solution (well, between that and AppleGarde). It works on fabric and leather, even suede.

So, I used the baby wipes to remove the stains. Then I ordered Shining Monkey here and applied it (yes, I'll admit, I was afraid) and it seems to have worked out really well.

It's been a couple of months and it doesn't seem to be inhibiting the leather from achieving the patina it's supposed to achieve and I'm no longer afraid to use the bag. So, what's not to love?

I have also used it on suede boots and it would be great for fabric bags and probably even the car seats for which it was originally designed.

*Caveat: Please be aware that Hello Gorgeous accepts no responsibility for damaged personal belongings or psychological problems resulting from Helpful Hints. Reader assumes all risk of acting on "advice." Advice is for entertainment purposes only. :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's About Damn* Time America Had a President Who Can Dance.

*Love* them.

Other Top Photos and Moments of the Day:

When you can sing like that, you can wear whatever damn hat you want.


I want to be in the sanctuary for this guy's Sunday sermon.

Just in case you missed my girl's band.

What an awesome day:

Regardless what you thought of him, it's a club only 44 guys got in.

And how cute are they?

Sleep tight, kids.

*toned down for the kids

It's Moving Day!!

Photos courtesy of Life

In more ways than one. I will try to update with on-the-street reports from my daughter who left at 2 a.m. to march in the Inauguration Parade (in case I haven't mentioned it before - *wink*).

Crisp, new replacement photo of Spencer's Inauguration Pass

Meanwhile, a big Obama fist bump from me to you.

UPDATE: I am awaiting photos from my girl. They were in a tent in front of the White House watching the ceremony on video. I think bands and things from Illinois are marching first, then Delaware, beginning with UD, followed by AI, because I know you are all want to watch my kid.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Now Is The Time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Shrewiest Shrew What Ever Shrewed.

I don't watch much daytime TV. While I'm working on something, I often stick an old movie in the DVD player because I don't really have to watch it - like white noise or background music or something - but the other day I turned on the TV right at the start of The View. With Ann Coulter as guest.

I am only human; I had to watch. Just like watching an accident happen - you want to turn away but you can't.

I can just see Rush Limbaugh in his maid-purchased, Vicodin-induced-haze watching this and touching himself. The Republicans are so happy to have a "hottie" in their court. If a skeletal female with an Adam's apple turns you on, well, who am I to judge?

Don't watch if you didn't take your blood pressure medicine. She really believes what she says. Including that single motherhood is a "Liberal conspiracy." It gets really good around 6:30 when she asks Barbara Walters to please read her book like she's reading "Mein Kampf."

I Missed It.

Photos, The News Journal

Thank you, Raina, for reminding me that I missed this historic event because I had to pick up my husband from the Philadelphia airport (he left his plane in Fla. and flew scheduled air back).


Slumdog Millionaire.

One word: Go.

Oh, and some more words: I say this every year but this year I absolutely am going to see all the Oscar-nominated movies (which I guess will be announced later this week) before the Academy Awards.

I always watch the Golden Globes and the Oscars much to the dismay of the rest of my family. Except the dogs. They are pretty good to do whatever I want and they never make fun of my TV choices. Although Stella will howl through any CSI type of show with sirens. Or any type of series or movie or parade with sirens. Or dogs. She's genius like that.

Have you seen any movies you think are Oscar-worthy? Could you not care less?

Next on my list: Revolutionary Road.

A Pilot's Pilot.

I cannot let the week go by without mention of this man, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.

Everyone in the world knows the story: The aversion of tragedy in the capable, calm and courageous hands of this man. He will tell you it was nothing, that he was just doing his job.

My husband is a hobbyist pilot who, the day before this incident, flew his Cessna 172 down to Florida for a few days of R&R. He says he has made dozens of water landings, but it is much, much easier in a seaplane.

Pilot humor.

Kudos and fan clubs and all that to pilot and crew and all involved in the rescue. (Yes, I joined his fan club because I am a dork and I think he's awesome.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Painter of the People.

Andrew Wyeth, July 12, 1917 - January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Under Armour Has Change My Relationship with Winter.

I am from Chicago. I used to tolerate the cold much better than I do now. I ran around in heels and open coats all winter. What has happened to me since I moved to Delaware? I've turned into a wimp. Anything below 50 degrees has me in the bathroom with a hairdryer under my shirt (I wish I was joking).

Until this year.

In October, while shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods for one thing or another, I decided to buy myself some Under Armour. You're probably familiar with it. It's popular with the kids for sports and outdoor activities. It's thin, stretchy, high-tech long undies, basically. And it's my friend.

I have had Under Armour on under practically every outfit I've worn since November. It's warm and toasty. I've slept in it.

Combine it with Uggs (don't care if they're post-trend, ugly or whatever, they are WARM!!) and NorthFace gloves and you are ready for some 20 degree dog-walking. Actually, if you have warmer gloves, please inform.

Just thought I'd share during this nationwide deep freeze we're having.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good Vibrations?

I understand having the ability to put your phone on vibrate. It makes sense. It's a subtle way to get your attention. But when they came out with vibrating razors, I was perplexed. And a little turned on. I mean, you could go to Target, get some Listerine and laundry soap, maybe a new DVD, and a sex toy new razor. And who would know the difference, right?

Or as SF Gate writer Mark Morford observed so long ago in his hilarious article, "Another Hard, Hot Pink Shave":

"You can use it in the shower. You can use it in the bathtub. You can use it on your armpits, though they don't talk much about that in the marketing copy because it's not very sexy and most people don't masturbate anywhere near their armpits, so far as you know."

"...And do note, won't you, how the vibrating portion on the men's M3 razor is actually where you'd expect it to be -- in the tip, nearest the blades. Not so in the Vibrance. For the women, Gillette kindly put the vibrator in the opposite end, in the smooth, engorged, rounded handle base. Gosh, you could even leave the blades off entirely and still use the vibrating handle! Isn't that thoughtful of them? Isn't that moist and juicy? Do you want them to smack you over the head with the obviousness of it all?"

Click here for the entire article.

But then we get to the inexplicable: Vibrating mascara. Have you seen it yet? Or tried it?

Lancome has come out with its Oscillating Powermascara (yes, one word, because it's supercalifragilistic) with 7,000 oscillations per minute. And it coats every lash up to 360 degrees. Which means from 0-360 degrees. And it requires batteries.

And you have to hold the button down while your are applying the mascara which, if nothing else, will help you to work on your manual dexterity.

Estee Lauder has TurboLash All-Effects Motion Mascara. It's like IMAX for lashes. Or maybe NASCAR. Something with all caps. And it practically puts itself on for you.

I can understand the vibrating phone and the vibrating razor (well, not really). But vibrating mascara? All I keep thinking is, somebody's going to put an eye out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Domino Giveaway.

I was lamenting yesterday morning that I hadn't received the February issue of Domino yet (which is why I rarely subscribe to magazines anymore!) and my husband, who is attempting a husband-of-the-year award, saw it at Borders and picked it up for me. I had no idea that he understood my magazine obsession.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear in today's mail but the very February issue of Domino magazine.

So, I have an extra. If you'd like (I know, it's like the lottery, isn't it?!), leave a comment and I'll pick one of you tonight and mail it out tomorrow. You're likely to receive it from me more quickly than from Domino anyway.

And you'll have an extra $5 burning a hole in your pocket to buy, um, half a subscription to Domino.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Remember This?

After dozens of samples and months of gray primer, I finally settled on a color.

It's a Dulux color. I've never used the paint before, but after many, many trips to the neighborhood Benjamin Moore store and Home Depot, I tried it. The color, "The Blues," really brightens up a very tiny space. And it doesn't make me want to "accidentally" smash cover up that art glass window.

Dulux: I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Annie's Empire.

If you don't read the blog Relish Small Pleasures, starring Annie Empiric, you are missing something special. She is part absolutely adorable/part absolutely hysterical/part absolutely rock 'n roll. She has a great take on life and her honesty will just draw you in.

A while ago, she and her then-boyfriend, now-husband Michael, had a visit from HGTV for its show "Small Space, Big Style." The episode below features their apartment above the store, a 900-square-foot space, in all its streamlined gorgeousness.

There's so much to love in that little space. For one, it doesn't look so small, does it? Their creative design has allowed them to fit so much into the space without its looking even remotely cluttered. I'd like to hear what you think.

They also own the Culver City, Calif., store Empiric Studio. I'd like to take you on a little trip inside their online store. Their combined eye is impeccable. You'll find everything from the best of mid-century furniture to vintage art and accessories and every odd and end in between:

Florence Sofa, $2375

Empiric's own design, Chamfered Dresser, $2460

Paricutin Volcano print, 1962

Vintage 3-cylinder chandelier, $1500.

Vintage architectural panels, $425 each.

Raw steel bar cart, $665.

Vintage pewter flasks, assorted, from $35-$490.

Are you drooling yet? If you like what you see, visit her online store here. And her blog here.

And don't just let me know what you think, let her know.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The King and I You.

It's Elvis' birthday today and I know you are all wondering how you can celebrate, so I've put together a few ideas.

If you cannot manage a quick flight over to Graceland in Memphis on such short notice, you can stay home and make fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches in Elvis' likeness.

Elvis-shaped bread via A Welsh View

Rent "Viva Las Vegas" and pretend you are Ann-Margret. Consider hyphenating your first and middle names and just deleting your last name.

Spray paint your Caddy gold.

Elvis Cadillac via Jenny How

You could go all out and get your hunka-hunka-burnin'-love over to the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel for your very own Doo Wop Wedding. Or you can begin your bedroom redo based on the specialness that is the Elvis and Priscilla Suite at the VLV Hotel:

Doesn't it look like a "While You Were Out" project?

Or you could call in sick and watch Elvis movies on TCM. Or click on this YouTube video of the Elvis '68 comeback special:

Nobody rocked the sideburns (and black leather) like the King, baby. Nobody.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If He Had Only Been Caught With a One-Hitter...

...he'd already be in jail.

Photo from the Economist

U.S. Says Madoff Sent Cartier Watch, Diamond Bracelet, Necklace

By David Glovin

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Bernard Madoff mailed additional jewelry, including Cartier and Tiffany watches, a ring, a diamond bracelet and diamond necklace, prosecutors said in a letter expanding on their Jan. 5 request to jail the investment adviser for violating the terms of his bail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Litt in Manhattan submitted a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis yesterday asking that Madoff be imprisoned for transferring $1 million in possessions. The letter, made public today, broadens the grounds for the request Litt made in Manhattan federal court Jan. 5.

For the entire story on Bloomberg, click here.

What on earth will it take to jail this man?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cash Cab Has Ruined My Faith In Humanity.

Guest Post by my daughter, Spencer.

Can you name five positions in the Presidential Cabinet?

Seriously. Try it. Let’s just say it’s for peace of mind.

One of my favorite things to do after a grueling day of dealing with all of the stresses of school is to unwind with one of the following tv shows:

Mythbusters, How It’s Made, or Cash Cab.

Now, Jamie and Adam answer all my questions about whether or not I can lose a bloodhound’s trail or if I can lift my body weight with just helium-filled balloons.

How It’s Made teaches me what toothpaste is made of and how to hand-weld a trombone.

Of course both of these shows teach me things that I probably would never ever need to know in my entire life, but they are, to me, entertaining.

Cash Cab on the other hand tests my knowledge of facts that most people really should know. I feel I could totally win Cash Cab without using any shout-outs. I love being tested and even learning a few new things from this show, but here is my issue:


I have recently become resentful of the random cab-goers of the Big Apple because most of them don’t know the simplest facts. “Can you name five positions in the Presidential Cabinet?” was a “Red Light Challenge” on yesterday’s show. The contestants ended up losing no less than two blocks after they barely answered this question.

So my inquiry is, why doesn’t anyone know anything anymore? And furthermore – why don’t they care?

Yesterday Cash Cab destroyed my faith in humanity. Thank you Discovery Channel.

Next time: How Meerkat Manor is like MTV's Real World with Meerkats.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Has the Waterford Ball Dropped for Good?

LONDON – Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the maker of classic china and crystal, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after attempts to restructure the struggling business or find a buyer failed. Read the full story here.

The article notes that Spode and Royal Worcester had previously filed.

Blue Italian at Williams-Sonoma Home.

What sad signs of the times to see such icons bite the dust.

I'm not sure if it's the economy or if the market for goods such as these has just dropped off due to the fact that people live so much more casually now. Or if quantity rules over quality. Or if the companies' products are just too dated.

What do you think?

I have Waterford because my mom bought it for me when I graduated from college and Spode because I liked it then and still like it now (no small feat for me, as fickle as I am).

Do you have formal china and crystal, etc.? Do you use it? Did you buy it or inherit it or receive it as a gift?
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