The Christmas Wishes Project, 2011

I had a lot of fun researching my response to Miss Cathie's original post, in which she beckons us to join in the festive indulgences of the season as we also take time to reflect on the deeper meaning.

Most of my wishes of late have been for things that are befitting a lifelong dreams wishlist, some of which can not be bought at all. So it was refreshing to revel in a little (I use the word loosely!) online window shopping. This list was compiled with a dose of fancifulness—my real list is much more modest, heavy on the gift cards and largely unspoken.

But should a secret Santa wish to surprise me…

  1. - Vintage Trinket Box: the lady in this ornate example lifts off as the lid!
  2. - The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes: with gilt edging and original Strand illustrations
  3. - Black, Full-length Winter Coat: preferably with front placket though I like this one too!
  4. - Adobe Creative Suite 5.5
  5. - Bicycle: sit-up-and-beg style with rear pannier
  6. - Oxford Latin Dictionary: this new one comes out in 2012. Special pre-order??
  7. - Mirror: with ornate leaf border design
  8. - Cute little house: after all I need someplace to put numbers 1 through 7!
    To see more cute houses, please visit AmericanVintageHome on Flickr.

Wishing that everyone gets a little closer to their dreams this Christmas!

my faery poster :)

This divine poster of faeries hangs on my bedroom wall. It is a collage of sorts, comprising two months from an old faery-themed calendar. Would that my picture frame were larger—and that my wallspace more generous—I would have had all the faeries about me in suspended animation! But I dare not complain, for these two prints are a treat. Soothing from afar and upon close inspection there are a myriad of details to tickle the imagination.


The uppermost painting is The Night Fairies by Hans Zatzka;
and the second is Les Fées (scène tirée de Shakespeare) by Paul Gustave Doré.

Bloglovin: Blog organiser

There are so many blogs to keep track of! Some of them I check often, some now and then; most less than I mean to. I bookmark many of them, but that does not always mean I keep up to date.

So I am trying out Bloglovin, a tidy little website that provides a handy way to keep everything organised. It allows you to show off your own blog(s) and/or keep tabs on what's new with the blogs you like to follow.

You can follow my blog with Bloglovin. Here's to all the bloggers!

McQueen: A Retrospective in Four Parts

This is a re-post. The original post (dated July 31, 2011) has been deleted.

Some functionality issues developed--most of the content was not showing! I say 'developed'; the full post was viewable when originally published. I am happy to have resolved the issue. :) Unfortunately the museum events have passed, but the rest is still relevant.

In this post...

• • • • • • •

Alexander McQueen on Charlie Rose

I love glimpsing into the shadows of a person's inner being, the infrangible collective of experience, thought and intuition. It was not so long ago when chance and curiosity, aided by a modicum of investigation (google), led me to this gem. In this all-too-short interview from 1997 Charlie Rose chats with fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Enjoy!

• • • • • • •

Allow me a small encomium to Charlie Rose; for no one is better at drawing moments of openness than he. His easy manner and undeniable talent are treasures to the curious spirit and eager mind. It is no wonder that Rose's long-running PBS program, with little more than a couple of chairs and a table, induces captivity in his audience and gives wings to time. The consummate interviewer, Charlie Rose's only shortcoming is that he cannot interview himself.

• • • • • • •
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McQueen after McQueen

With the passing of Lee Alexander McQueen in February of 2010, the direction of the fashion house of the couturier passed into the hands of Sarah Burton. She was the natural choice and, by all accounts, she is very capable and incredibly attuned to the aesthetic sensibilities of the McQueen label. And so she should be! After all she worked alongside Alexander McQueen and was privy to his work processes. In all respects, the perfect successor. Even so I worried the magic would fade.

One year on and some shows under her belt (McQueen's final contributions were to the 2010 Autumn/Winter collection), how has Burton fared? She has certainly kept the McQueen name front and centre on the world stage: Kate's dress. Excuse me: dresses!

But what about the McQueen magic? How do Burton's designs compare? Her collections carry on the tradition of conceptual strength. Each collection has its own character while the underlying brooding darkness remains a ready motif. But now there is vulnerability too. Woven into her designs is a subtle softness previously unknown to the McQueen label. It is a welcome new dimension that adds warmth. Burton's individual pieces have just as much presence—and, as always, exquisite tailoring—as her predecessor's; however, they lack the strangeness, the boldness, the madness that was a hallmark of the house. (See my favourites.)

Where Burton's collections embody characters, McQueen's were wholly manifestations of other worlds. He explored his concepts so keenly and fully. This commitment to vision is what breathed life into McQueen's work. It was as though he undertook in-depth socio-cultural surveys of other worlds and brought back a spectrum of their finest sartorial pieces by which to define them. Hate his style perhaps, but the absoluteness of its execution was unquestionable. The triumph of the shows themselves was every time a feat of imagination over actuality. From the ambiance of the venue to the make-up to the models' walk, every last, little detail was part of the larger vision.

Even the McQueen detractors of past cannot deny that his absence from the fashion stage is felt. (Well maybe they can, but they would be so very wrong!)

So, what have we learnt?

Genius is inimitable.

That said, Sarah Burton is off to a roaring start. There has been variety; there has been emotion; there has been finesse. And I expect there will be a lot more to come. The house stands on solid ground!

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A "Few" of My Favourites

AW 2006 AW 2006 SS 2007 SS 2007 AW 2007

AW 2008 AW 2008 AW 2008 AW 2008 AW 2009

AW 2009 AW 2009 AW 2009 AW 2009 AW 2009

SS 2010 SS 2010 AW 2010 AW 2010 AW 2010


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Fashion Retrospectives

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the right places, run out and catch one of these tributes to fashion greats. Alas, I live in the 'wrong' place. Perhaps these shows will take to the road??

Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. Alexander McQueen 'Savage Beauty'
May 4 - August 7
More info.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal / Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts. Jean Paul Gaultier
'La planète mode de Jean Paul Gaultier'
June 17 - October 2
More info.

pretty mirror

Ah, I do love this ornately bordered mirror.
It belongs in my dream-house which, for the time being, exists only in my mind. . .
I spied it at the website of Canadian furniture store the Bombay & Co.

Chanel ~ Chance

By chance I saw these ad spots for Chanel's fragrance Chance last night. Si charmante! So charming. So endearing. So apart from the average visual and mental commercial cacophony.

I have never laid nose upon this scent--is it one scent or three?--but that does not really matter, because I love the commercials! Of the three, my favourite has to be the ad for 'Tendre', the pink one, for its grace and lithesome beauty.

For your viewing pleasure...

Technology! o_O

You can't live with it; and you can't live without it. At least, I can't.

The past week was proof of the latter.

I do not own a smartphone. Indeed, I barely have a cellphone. (In the interest of self-therapy, I may produce a rant on this topic at a later date.) While I am obviously not a technology-junkie, I hold no special aversion to it—its ubiquity perhaps. All in all, set me back in the Middle Ages and I am all right... so long as there is a laptop with internet access in the corner. ;)

Back to last week.

I was on my Apple laptop and had just changed my desktop wallpaper to a picture of a keyboard in which the 'enter' key had been altered to be a 'stall' key. The idea had sprung from some interesting comments I had read (on youtube of all places) concerning the nature of our brain's "execute" function versus general thought and the picture was meant to encapsulate this idea in a spirit of motivation.

It was quite in this spirit that I set to work on some projects. My computer had already been on for a long  stint, so before opening more applications I thought it best to give it a rest. I shut it off. Waited the obligatory few minutes. Pressed the power button. Waited. Waited. Worried. Waited some more. Nothing appeared on the screen. It was on; I could hear that it was on. The whirring of the fan. The noise it makes when it's 'thinking'. I held down the power button to turn it off again and repeated process with all the same results, complete with sense of doom. I did this a few more times. Other, more disconcerting, noises were emitted. The reality began to set in. To my credit I did not panic... not the way I usually do anyway. There was a calm, quiet feeling of dread.

It is a strange thing that in the absence of access to a website the first thought is to phone a business, and almost simultaneously to think: "I'll just get their number off their websi.... Oh." Plus, all the things I had on there. All the things that I could nevermore access. Thankfully I had begun to backup my stuff some weeks earlier. A premonition perhaps? This is something I have generally neglected to do. The backing up process, however, was in no way finished. The night, on the other hand, was.

By morning my mind had drawn up a mental diagram of all the possible avenues for retrieving what I could from my poor computer. I was already coming to terms with the thought of purchasing a new laptop. All day I took to other tasks all the while planning how I might go about doing all the computer-centric things I needed to.

Nightfall came. My eyes fell upon my lonely, languishing laptop. It was time to give it another try. A last try. Just in case. I gently lifted the top, pressed the button. Ah, nothing. Wait! The screen turned grey! A little thinking and finally the login screen. Yes, there was a rush of euphoria. And a goodly amount of relief.

Since then I have run through all the possible causes for my laptop's failure. None satisfies me entirely. Also, I have returned more vigorously to my backups. I encountered some problems, since resolved, with my memory stick, but much progress has been made. I know I am not out of the woods yet! My computer is growing old and likely weary. It works harder to keep up. The rate of obsolescence in the technology world coupled with its pushed necessity in society form the basis of an incipient aversion. Then again, we need contrivances to fuel consumerism. I do admire the stalwartness of the lowly pencil for just this reason. There is something beautiful in the fact that a gadget devised and used so long ago can just as well be used today, without upgrade!

Alternate options.

That being said, when I finally must say goodbye to this laptop, I will replace it with another Apple. The options as they stand now are: the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air has attractive qualities... but realistically the Pro is more suited to my needs.

Well, trials and tribulations all told, that altered picture of the keyboard still sits primly on my desktop. But the 'stall' key carries a little more meaning than before.

May 21, 2011

It seems my memory stick issues are not as resolved as I thought them to be. = ( I will have to get it looked at (again) and let's hope the outcome is better.  

Fashion: backward

My fashion mood au moment is inspired by a looser, more casual, almost loungy look. Oddly it was pieces from Lanvin's 2010 Fall collection for Men that most mirrored my vision in women's style.

This look hinges on textured, knit sweaters and obviously is more suited to the colder months. But I am positive a lighter version (in colour and in weight), bearing the same aesthetic principles, could work just as wonderfully for the Spring months.

Already Spring begins to radiate about us in its warm and effervescent way, and I eagerly await new sartorial visions to grab hold of me at any moment, just in time for the transition to Summer!

Images from Lanvin.


Mmmm... cookies!

Here is a selection–*ahem* two types–of cookies that I have baked recently. These shortbread cookies and chocolate chip cookies turned out well. My baking skills are finally improving!

{begin rant} 
There is nothing worse than going through the measurement conversions (somehow they are never in the 'right' units), all the mixing (my poor little arms) and the trepidation of the baking process only to end up with rock-hard cookies or a soft-centered cake. (I do not do cakes for this very reason... I hate when I turn the cake out of the pan and either it stubbornly refuses to come out or the middle falls out prematurely revealing a rawish Humpty-Dumpty cake that cannot be put back together again.)

Then again, these are all things that can be remedied with a little [read: a lot] of practice! :)

Too many hobbies

A jack of all trades, master of none. 

Yes, I am a master of jack all. Here is my list, in no particular order, of hobbies and untended interests too long consigned to the back burner. My hope is that posting them here will inspire me, and maybe others, to pursue them more vigorously. 

Modelling + Making Figurines
Beading + Making Jewellery 
Listening to Music
Composing Music
Writing + Poetry


One nightstand

One of the many, many things on my to-do list this year is to re-dress my room. 
I have wanted a nightstand for ever so long and yet it, with its four legs and me with my two, has eluded me. Wood furniture in white finish appeals to me a lot right now. 

Here are a couple of nightstands that I have seen and fit that bill. 
Neither is ornate, but either can be decorated up. (After all, a nightstand is the steadfast servant of the bed and its flourish should be muted.)