January 18, 2013

Over 3000 Pageviews!

Thanks, everybody!

And to celebrate, we have the 11th doctor dancing. :D

January 16, 2013

A Statement (Necklace) Worth Making

I usually don't go in for the large necklaces known as "statement necklaces." Most are just tacky, in my opinion. But I love the denim flower necklace that Sachiko created at Tea Rose Home.

Denim Flower Necklace

What a great way to use up tatty old jeans!

January 15, 2013

Must-Haves for Spring

These dark wintry days are actually starting to get to me, so I decided to think about spring. Spring fashion, that is!

This shop has the most gorgeous handpainted shawls!

100% Silk Scarf Hand-Painted

Sweet and incredibly tough at the same time, this peridot bracelet rocks.

Green Peridot Bangle Blady Handbeaded Bracelet

After seeing Vivienne Westwood's spring show, I knew I had to find floral tights--they add an instant punch of fun and femininity to the most unexpected outfits!

Cultivate Colorful Tights

Bubbles and Blooms Tights

They'd be so great under this fairyish chartreuse dress!

Fairy Dress Renaissance Dress Plus Size

I'm loving purple and lavender for spring this year, and this reversible handmade bow tie with its cute polka dots just begs to be worn while dancing under blossoming trees.

Purple Bow Tie Polka Dot Double-Sided

Sparkling gold flats with lovely flower accents and the cutest soles ever are sure to be a hit.

Born Forsythia Flats

If spring means brighter sunshine (like it usually does here), grab these refreshing seaglass green shades!

Kate Spade Meghan Sunglasses

This fun take on the disgusting fanny packs we all hate is actually surprisingly pretty, and will make a great place to stash your keys when you're hiking through the woods or rocking out at an outdoor concert.

Heart Bag Purse Flying Heart Pink Floral

And finally, what would spring be without a wreath of flowers for your hair?

Flower Crown Woodland Wedding Accessory

And of course, for those of us with allergies, there is one more accessory we cannot forget:

About EpiPen

January 14, 2013

Golden Globe Fashion Winners

Naturally, as I am a self-proclaimed fashion guru despite my usual uniform of yoga pants and tee shirt, I have to put in my two cents as to who were the best-dressed at the Golden Globes. I didn't actually watch them--our television receiver is dead. But I have been going through the photos and making my picks very carefully. Interestingly, you'll find several of my "best-dressed" picks on a lot of "worst-dressed" lists. I never said I think like everyone else.

My first two picks are all about classic elegance.

Megan Fox in Dolce & Gabanna

Taylor Swift in Donna Karan

It's so nice to see a young actress wearing a modest, age appropriate, but still cute dress!

Ariel Winter in Valentino

The dress I most want to wear is this black lace gown by Dolce & Gabanna. I want the Lulu Guinness clutch too!

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton

And the hands-down winner in my book:

Lucy Liu in Caroline Herrerra

Book Review: Rebecca's Tale

Every winter, no matter what book I am reading, I find myself drawn to throw it down and reread Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca. With its gorgeous writing, incredible sense of place, and tense, creepy atmosphere, Rebecca is, in my opinion, a modern masterpiece of fiction.

Despite knowing that modern sequels will not be as good as the original, I find myself drawn to them. Perhaps they will shed some new light on one of my favourite works. So when I spotted Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman on the shelf at The Book Store, I just had to grab it and make it mine. It seemed to have received rave reviews, and I allowed this to stifle my doubts.

While the style is not, as advertised, very similar to DuMaurier's, this book did raise some interesting questions that I had only recently begun to think about myself. For example, why was there no mention of Rebecca's family besides Favell?

SPOILERS (some of these will spoil Rebecca as well as Rebecca's Tale, so be warned!)

Why was there so much blood if she was shot cleanly through the heart, and how could a shot through the heart not leave a mark on the skeleton?

Why did Rebecca send a note to Favell on the night that she died? Was she going to tell him about her cancer, or did she have another reason for bringing him to the boathouse?

Why did Maxim carry a loaded gun if he only intended to frighten Rebecca and her lover?

In this book, Beauman casts doubt on a lot of the veracity of Maxim de Winter's account of his dealings with Rebecca. Less successfully, she tries to build a past for Rebecca that includes acting professionally in a small-time travelling troupe, makes her Maxim's forgotten first cousin, gives her an illegitimate younger brother, and makes Colonel Julyan into Rebeccas' greatest admirer. Worse, she makes her the victim of a childhood rape (which somehow sounds made-up) that has apparently resulted in Rebecca hating all males. It is hinted that she has murdered multiple men and calmly stated that she sleeps with multiple men (women are hinted at as well) while married.

Despite all of this, Rebecca is held up as an example to follow for her independence, verve, and freedom of spirit. In the less interesting story that is told to frame Rebecca's, Colonel Julyan's daughter ends up using the question "what would Rebecca do?" to guide her life choices. While I understand the fascination that Rebecca inspires, seeing people of the fifties choosing Rebecca as a role model just didn't ring true. She sleeps around, lies constantly, and very likely murders people, so let's be like her because she's beautiful and unique? No thanks, and I think that most normal people of the 1950s would agree with me. Another problem that I had with this book was that historically, the fact that multiple characters come out of the closet and no one seems to care is pretty unrealistic, a problem I have found in a lot of modern books. Whatever your views today, the fact is that in recent times past people were just not so casual about homosexuality. Making all of one's characters have attitudes that put them "ahead of their time" is just lazy.


Overall, this is a fun book to read on a stormy night, and I found some parts of Rebecca's past plausible, but would have to say it is far from anything Daphne du Maurier would have written. Rebecca's Tale lacks subtlety and atmosphere and is not beautifully written like the original. There will be no lines you will want to copy into a book of quotes, and the story about Colonel Julyan, his daughter, and a young man looking for his connection to Rebecca is ultimately very forgettable. As would be expected, it is Rebecca herself who remains vivid and fascinating, though the reader will probably reject some of her background as silly. This book is worth reading if you are a Rebecca fanatic, so long as you read it with only moderate expectations.

I would give it 3 out of 5 stars on a generous day.

January 13, 2013

Please Don't Eat the Tissues!

When I saw this project, I knew I would never get around to making it, but had to share it because it is just amazing. The amount of time put into this yummy-looking tissue box cover is evident, and it would be a perfect Valentine's Day craft for someone with some patience.

See Chocolate Tissue Cake Box Tutorial and 1000's of others - or share your own on Cut Out + Keep

To look at it, you'd never guess it was made from felt!

Grrrrrrrr, now I am hungry for chocolate.

Nerdy Quote of the Week

“Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?" Mo had said..."As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells...and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower...both strange and familiar.”
― Cornelia Funke, Inkspell

The first book I thought of on reading this passage was Little Women.

How many times, in how many places and circumstances I have read that book! Reading the chapter "Meg Goes to Vanity Fair" always reminds me of the time I read it in a Victorian house that had been made into a doctor's office, the sky gloomy and only occasional sunlight creeping through the windows as I curled up miserably on an antique sofa. A family reunion of adults I mostly didn't know, held in a crowded house on a rainy day is what comes to mind when I read "Camp Lawrence," the irony of that fictional sunny picnic by the river not lost on me as I remember that the conversation we had that day included musings on whether or not the river near our home would flood again.

It soon did and within days I found myself camped out in my recently deceased grandmother's house, laughing about Amy's artistic endeavors and trying to get my bearings. If you open my old paperback copy you can see exactly what page I was on when I was reading in the tub and the shower suddenly turned on with no warning, soaking the pages. Reading about Beth's death always reminds me of the time I tried to read that passage during a break between worksheets in biology and had to fight to keep from crying in class. As I turn the pages I always see my 8th grade self going through that spring, trying to keep my life together as I weathered a flood, packed everything up so that our house could be moved, and lost my only friend. The words bring back days of rollerblading early in the morning before school, my rediscovery of dolls and paperdolls, the ballet classes that were never long enough for me, and of course, lots of hours of homework.

It is true; what you do when you read a book somehow becomes part of the book, and when you reread it your past self will be waiting for you.

What book preserves a past self for you? Please tell me in the comments!