31 October, 2009

Wishing You a Highly Entertaining Halloween

I'm headed down to Los Angeles today to stay with my cousin Matt, see my friend Myles' new musical, Beau Fib at the LA Theater Ensemble, and attend what promises to be an amazing party. I'll post pictures of my costume when I get back!

In the meantime, here are some Victorian Halloween postcards I found on Flickr, from Finsbry and Riptheskull.

30 October, 2009

Graphing Chic

When I hear the name Jean Charles de Castelbajac, I immediately think of Lady Gaga with a muppet on her head, but this "graph paper" dress from his spring collection is actually really cute.

29 October, 2009

Hello Operator

These phones from Sweet Bella are making me happy today. Click to enlarge

Storybook Style

Earlier this month my mom and I went on a walking tour of some of Oakland's storybook homes, organized by the Oakland Heritage Alliance. I love storybook houses, and I think that people tend to forget how many of them were built in Oakland in the early part of the century. At the time, Oakland was as big and important a city as Los Angeles (the other hotbed of storybook architecture), a center of industry populated by many wealthy and famous people. So much has changed in the last 80 years that these amazing homes often get overlooked, but if you peek around in some of the older neighborhoods, you can spot the occasional stony chimney or wave-shingled rooftop amongst the more "modern" (ie, 1930's-1950's) bungalows that are more prominent in the area. Here are some pictures from our tour, which took place in the Fernwood neighborhood.

If anyone reading this is curious to learn more about Oakland history, I highly recommend visiting the Oakland History Room at the main branch of the public library (it's full of amazing treasures!) and reading Oakland, Story of a City by Beth Bagwell. Glen David Gold's novel Carter Beats the Devil (which happens to be one of my very favorite books, ever) also gives a wonderful glimpse into the thriving world of Oakland in the 1920's.

28 October, 2009


Oh, no! The blogosphere is abuzz today with the tragic news that the Alameda Point antiques fair will be closed this weekend and indefinitely, due to some sort of legal dispute! As you know from my regular "Notes from the Point" posts, the fair is one of my favorite spots to find inspiration and add to my collections. I hope this matter gets settled soon, for the sake of the vendors and shoppers like myself. Here is Victoria's (SF Girl by Bay) post about it. I don't think I ever posted my pictures from the October fair, so here they are.

23 October, 2009

Inked Again!

I got my first tattoo right after I graduated high school. I was living in London and I had it done at a shop that I later found out (via an article in The Face magazine) had been operating without a license for years and had put something like 75% of their clients in the emergency room with infections. I lucked out in that respect: no infections, just a really, really bad tattoo. The design was a drawing I'd made from a Renee Lalique haircomb (below, right), and what I got is significantly less identifiable (below, left). I have heard "kanji" more than a few times, and my favorite: "ink blot." So last year I started thinking about reworking the design into something else, or covering it up, but in spite of its lack of resemblence to my initial idea, I still felt nostalgic about my first tattoo.

Then it hit me- why not create a design around the "birds" that would be more interesting and beautiful but wouldn't take away from the original tattoo? So I gathered up a bunch of my Victorian postcards and went to see Jen Lee, who did my last tattoo. I think she did an incredible job with the design, especially the forget me nots! It is definitely dangerous, though, to know such a great tattoo artist who likes all the same things as me. I am already plotting the next one...

21 October, 2009

Fall Colors

When I was in London, which is my favorite shopping city in the world, I only had about an hour to shop, so I made a mad dash through a few stores (and for those who know- even an hour is not enough time in the Topshop flagship alone!) and came away with what I think are some pretty nice pieces that I can definitely mix and match for a long time, in the prettiest colors! The clutch and the clothing items are all from Jigsaw, the bangles are from Accessorize, and the rest of the accessories are from Topshop (I also got a cute pair of electric blue flats there, but can't find them online). I also stopped into Liberty to pick up a gift for a friend and am somewhat regretting not buying the scarf above. I never wear scarves, so I still can't justify it, but the colors really make the traditional design pop!

20 October, 2009

Les Hirondelles

I don't speak French at all (although my love of cooking, food writing, food shows, and eating out made deciphering menus in Paris surprisingly easy), so I was much too intimidated to talk to anyone at the antique market, but one woman saw me looking through her collection of postcards and taught me how to say "swallows": hirondelles. I showed her my tattoos, and she helped me find a some beautiful cards, three of which I ended up taking home with me.