Monday, February 27, 2012

A Red Herring Without Mustard

Has it really been over a year since I read the second Flavia de Luce novel?!  Well, let me tell ya.  The third installment did not disappoint.  Flavia is back in all of her chemistry-obsessed, crime-solving, British goodness.

This time a mysterious Gypsy woman is attacked, and a string of clues leads everything right back to Buckshaw, the de Luce estate.  It also invites tons of that hysterical sibling rivalry between our heroine and her two older sisters, who mostly despise each other.  My favorite of Flavia's expletives this time around: Saints on skates! 

Further proof of this novel's genius takes shape in the following excerpt from page 132:

Miss Mountjoy was the retired Librarian-In-Chief of the Bishop's Lacey Free Library where, it was said, even the books had lived in fear of her.  Now, with nothing but time on her hands, she had become a freelance holy terror.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lust List: Lands' End Canvas Spring 2012

So after my mini living room makeover, I'm kind of blowing my no-spend first quarter.  That is why, dear readers, I will try to restrain myself to only ogling pictures of my latest favored items from Canvas.  (It's hard to believe that it's been almost two years since my first post about this line.)
A ringer tee with gray stripes on a white background--but this one has a blue collar.  Hehe.  $25
Like I need another cardigan.  But just look at this one.  *sigh*  $80
If ever there were a Specs-y sweater, this is it.  Green and gray.  $60
Who can resist a navy pant?  These would go with any of the first three items.  $59.50
And you know I love a travel bag.  $140

Remember that it's relatively ridiculous to ever buy anything from a Lands' End company without a coupon.  Right now through February 21st, they're doing 25% off and free shipping.  I'm keeping my fingers off the shopping cart icon.  Pray for me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sitting Even Prettier

Over the weekend I kitted out my new chair with some additional accoutrements.
The side table is the martini version from West Elm.  The silver lamp is from Target.
This is how it looks at nighttime.  If you look closely, you'll see that I already have a ton of reading to catch up on.  Those magazines just never stop coming, do they?  Well, unless you stop paying the bill. 

The rest of my living room pieces are very squared-off and brown, so I liked the idea of a round, non-wood table to mix things up a bit.  I'm also considering an oval or circular, possibly silver mirror to hang over the couch.  Hopefully your week is off to a great start!  Mine is.  :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Whitney Houston: 1963-2012

The news of her death came as a major shock to me over the weekend, and it's stayed with me, unlike other recent celebrity passings.  She had a much longer career than did Amy Winehouse, and she didn't give me the creepy vibe that Michael Jackson did. 

They are all icons, though.  And I'm loathe to throw that word around.  Katy Perry is not an icon.  That's just one example.  But I digress. 

Whitney Houston was the real deal.  Her songs helped form the soundtrack of some of my earliest memories.  I remember seeing her on awards shows in the late 80s and thinking that she was absolutely gorgeous and talented, and it seemed to me (even then) that the world was her oyster.  As un-PC as it sounds, I thought of her like a live, black Barbie doll.  And this was at a time when music (pop music especially) was dominated by the Tiffanys and Debbie Gibsons of the world. 

She didn't need autotune or flashy costumes or intricate dance routines.  She simply sang her heart out with the natural talent that made her so uniquely gifted and paved the way for many to follow.  It's sad beyond belief that some of her decisions led her down the tragic path taken by so many before her. 

I just watched The Grammys, where several moving tributes were made to Whitney, but what got me the most was that this was just not supposed to be happening.  People around my age should be seeing Whitney and Michael Jackson on stage in their golden years, much as my mother probably watched Tony Bennett or Diana Ross tonight.  We should have had her for another thirty or forty years, but it was not to be.  It's not right, but it's not okay, either. 

She will be missed, and my thoughts are with her family.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"I Bought All of These"

JK.  I haven't really mentioned it this year, but I'm attempting another no-spend first quarter.  Today I find myself browsing online for more art to go on my walls.  However, I'm basically just torturing myself.  But that's why God (or Steve Jobs) invented the Favorites tab.  The image above is called "I Bought All of These" by Kate Bingaman-Burt over on 20X200

Have you heard of this site?  It's been around a while, and they offer limited-edition prints, photographs, and more by all kinds of artists.  It's rather addictive.  Where do you find cool art?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Specs Appeal Papers!

The day has finally arrived!  I just launched my new Etsy shop, Specs Appeal Papers.
Through my shop I offer heat embossed notecards, invitations, gift tags, and more!

I had been thinking of doing this for a long time, but after meeting Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage at the West Elm event a few months ago, my mind was made up.  She has given me great advice, and I have gotten quite a bit of support from friends and co-workers.
Please remember Specs Appeal Papers for your paper needs--and wants!  If there's something that piques your interest but you'd like to modify it, just send me a convo in Etsy, and we'll try to make it happen.  I appreciate all mentions, links, hearts, etc.  :) 

To join my mailing list, please click here.  I promise that I won't load you down with messages--no more than one per month at the absolute maximum.  Thanks, as always, for your continued support.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Perfectly Imperfect Home

I've been super busy lately, preparing to bust out Specs Appeal 2.0.  :)  But in the meanwhile, I've moseyed over to the lye-berry.  One of my latest snags is The Perfectly Imperfect Home by (*sigh*) Domino founder Deborah Needleman.
For this book review I'm cheating a bit, as I am only about a third of the way through it.  However, I already recommend it.  This book is full of charming illustrations like the one above, and it's not super preachy or packed with unattainable ideas.
It basically takes the best of old-school wisdom and mixes it with a contemporary sensibility.  An excellent source of inspiration.