What are you doing New Years Eve?

Happy New Year Baby!

If you know me at all you know I no longer make resolutions based on the calendar. Over the years I’ve resolved to lose weight, starts a business, pay off debt, stop smoking, travel more – you name it and I’ve probably resolved to do it. My good intentions rarely worked out however, leaving me feeling blue by February since I could never make my ‘new’ habits a reality for long.

I’ve adopted the mentality that I don’t need to wait until January 1st make changes to my life, which is quite freeing since I have the power to make changes big and small any day, hour, or minute that I am alive. So do you.

Happy New Year to you and yours and here’s hoping your own resolutions – made tonight or throughout the year – become your new reality!

What Are you Doing New Year’s Eve – Kacey Musgraves

11-30-19 Ephemera (Gift Guide Burnout Edition)

You really CAN find these [questionable] gifts online

Can you believe the holidays are upon us?  I feel like I’ve received a billion emails and insta posts over the last week identifying the ‘best’ gifts to buy NOW for that [insert the identifier for the person you need to get a gift for here] and frankly none of it looks that special to me.  While I am trying hard to get into a gift giving frame of mind I am always down for my favorite holiday of all, Thanksgiving.

For me, it’s a four-day whirlwind of cooking (this sweet potato gratin was a winner!), catching upon some TV and movie time with my favorite culture vultures (including 5-star worthy The Righteous Gemstones, The Irishman, and Knives Out), and catching up on all-things web. Here are a few stories which helped me recover from my tryptophan-induced lethargy……

…here’s hoping you are having a lovely – and long – weekend full of family, friends, and fun!

 

Remember a day before today…

In memory of…

Since the WWI battles in the poppy fields of Belgium these little red flowers have become a symbol of remembrance for soldiers around the world who have died during wartime. When I was little you could buy little cloth versions to wear as a show of thanks. We had the day off from school to attend our local parade honoring the WWII, Korean, and Viet Nam vets for their courage, bravery and sacrifice. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a community or city Veteran’s Day parade and even rarer to see anyone selling, or wearing, these cloth remembrances.

This year I won’t be attending a parade but I will have the honor of sharing breakfast with a group of veterans as part of Vanderbilt University’s Veteran’s Day Celebration. I’ll get to tour a Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter, which is used to care for wounded personnel by the Army’s forward surgical teams. Finally, I’ll get to attend a special screening and discussion of war journalist Morton Dean’s documentary American Medevac, which follows his efforts to reunite Vietnam War U.S. Army medevac pilots and crew members with the soldiers they rescued in 1971.

I’m really looking forward to meeting the vets, hearing their stories, and sharing a meal in their honor. If you’re reading this and you have served our country, supported a family member or friend during their war or peace time enlistment, or have a loved one who has given all, please accept my genuine and heartfelt thanks. This poppy is for all of you!

*Remember A Day – Pink Floyd

10-31-19 Ephemera (The Road of Life Edition)

The [Sketchbook] Road

The road we call life can take unexpected and inexplicable turns without warning.  Sometimes those turns are fortunate, sometimes they require a fight, and sometimes they end in chaos and tragedy. Here are a few stories from around the web with twists and turns of their own…

…here’s hoping the twists and turns of your own personal road see you arriving at the destination of your dreams!

Judge a book by looking at its cover….

fall9
The Fall Nine

The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa | Three Women – Lisa Taddeo | Those Who Knew – Idra Novey | Fleishman Is In Trouble – Taffy Brodesser-Akner | On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong | Delayed Rays of A Star – Amanda Lee Koe | Bunny – Mona Awad | Opioid, Indiana – Brian Allen Carr | The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna – Juliet Grames


In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 (September 22-28) I’m ordering my next batch of 9 reads which have been on my 2 B or NOT 2 B Reads list for some time.   I’ve really been wanting to read ‘Three Women’ and ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ so maybe I’ll chose one of those to begin.  And while none of these books has been placed on a banned list YET, give it time – one or two have the potential to end up on someone’s ‘do not read’  list before long.

I find it amazing that someone could be threatened by an idea in a book, since reading is knowledge and it’s the lack of knowledge which is truly dangerous, but what do I know.  My philosophy is pretty simple – read and let read. If the book offends close the cover and move on but don’t  prevent me from reading the story if I choose to do so.  I’ve written about banned books before (here) and encourage everyone to send the proverbial bird to the book censors among us by reading a few ‘banned’ books because you – still  – can.

*Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover – Bo Diddley

A dedicated follower of fashion…

Long time no post. I fell victim to the ‘dog days of summer’ in its truest sense and haven’t felt inspired to create much of anything, let alone share on social media.  Mostly, I’ve buried myself in work, family, reading (6000+ minutes read for pleasure between May 15 and August 21st), TV (the 3rdseason of Glow, the newest The Great British Baking Show, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and The Righteous Gemstones to name a few) and movies old and new.

I’ve seen Once Upon A Time in Hollywood twice and stumbled upon CBGB shortly after. One has made $124 million and the other $40,000 but regardless of gross both are love stories well worth your viewing time.  Once Upon a Time romanticizes moviemaking’s past while addressing the constant need to evolve and remain relevant while remaining true to one’s own moral code, set against an alternative, fairy tale, mid 60’s LA backdrop.

hippie
California Dreamin’

Zara high leg leather heeled boots | Molly chunky medium hoop earrings | Floryday floral round neckline maxi a-line dress | Tallulah small hexagon sunglasses | J. Crew white denim jacket | Miss Dior perfume | Farm embroidered denim shorts | Chantelle soft stretch bodysuit

Fast forward a decade later to The Bowery and Hilly Crystal.  Hilly was the grandfather of the punk rock music scene who created what is undisputedly one of the greatest music clubs of all times, CBGB’s. The personification of punk, Crystal tried his hand at being a musician, bandleader, booking agent and club owner, only to fail at them all. Even his original idea for “CBGB and OMFUG” failed.  The abbreviation represented  the kinds of music he intended to feature (CountryBlueGrassBlues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers) but he couldn’t get any of those acts to play the club so he took a chance on an obscure a punk band (Television) and the rest is history.

punk
New York State of Mind

Between the Lines turtleneck sweater | Kilian Vodka on the rocks perfume | Jenny Bird Sloane bracelet | Bec & Bridge pink party mini dress | Blondie punky pink muscle tee | Anthropolgie essential houndstooth bootcut trousers | Venus faux fur jacket | Jessica Simpson Pixelle 2 bootie | Rave Krisp-E’s Crossbody bag

Watching both of these music-themed stories got me to thinking about a paper I wrote in college on whether music influenced fashion, for which I earned an A+.  How could music and fashion not influence each other – even decades later as evidenced by the looks I’ve pulled together to relive my inner hippepunk!

How about you? What musical genre influenced your style? Do you still incorporate elements of that style in your wardrobe today? Drop me a line…I’d love to know.

*Dedicated Follower of Fashion – The Kinks

7-23-19 Ephemera (The Cooks and Crooks Edition)

bread
Farmer’s Market Breads

I haven’t assembled an ephemera post for quite some time, mainly because I am at turns feeling uninspired by, overwhelmed with, and/or suspicious of the internet. There are only so many ‘best of’, ‘you need’, and ‘cute [insert here] animals/kids/ kindness’ articles a person can take (or believe). That said, I still get lost down the rabbit-hold of the web with one click leading to another, and realized I am just a little bit consumed by anything having to do with cooks and crooks. In no particular order, here are a few of the articles I’ve enjoyed…

If you are surfing the web because it’s too hot to do anything else here’s hoping you find a good rabbit hole (or three) to fritter away the day with.  Stay cool…

If a 6 turned out to be 9…

For the second year in a row I am taking part in our library’s Summer Reading Program (see last year’s progress here), which runs from May 6th thru August 21st. Last year I was a Rock Star and this year I’m a Rocketeer!  To date, participants have clocked 11,314,826 minutes of reading and counting. I am proud to say I’ve contributed 4460 minutes of that total (or .0004% for you matheteers) and am thinking I can log another 2,500 – minutes not books – before the program ends… Continue reading “If a 6 turned out to be 9…”

I’ve seen all of this world…

Dolly[of]wood

Last week my husband and I put the dog in the kennel and headed east for a quick 3-day get-a-way to Gatlinburg, TN.  I’ve never spent much time in the area, except to drive through Knoxville on my way to somewhere else.  I always laughed at the signs for Pigeon Forge but after watching an episode of ‘Family Guy’ where Peter takes the family to Dollywood we decided if it was good enough for the Griffin’s it was good enough for us…

Continue reading “I’ve seen all of this world…”

I’m gonna buy a paper doll…

Kate & Meghan Paper Dolls by Eileen Rudisill Miller

Do little girls still play with paper dolls? I had quite the collection when I was young and spent countless hours playing with and organizing my collection. I can still remember waiting for the McCall’s magazine to arrive each month because there was always a seasonally appropriate Betsy McCall waiting to be introduced to my other dolls. I would draw my own designs for my dolls, which certainly helped lead me down the path toward becoming a fashion designer. All this to day when I was presented with an opportunity to review ‘Kate & Meghan Paper Dolls’ by Eileen Rudisell Miller I jumped!

Originally trained as a fashion illustrator, Ms. Rudisill is a talented illustrator and painter who is internationally known for her paper doll work.  Over the last 10 years she has produced over 40 coloring books and paper dolls for Dover Publications and Paper Studio Press, as well as over 50 self-published Paper Doll sets.

As its title implies, ‘Kate & Meghan Paper Dolls’ features a collection of memorable outfits worn in 2018 by the most famous royal sisters-in-law of all – Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Kate’s wardrobe features easily recognizable 2018 outfits from big moments like the Trooping of the Color Parade, Prince Charles 70th Birthday Family Photo, and Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding. Meghan’s clothing selection features many of the looks she wore during the 16-day tour she and Harry took to Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand, when she was pregnant with her first child but not showing much.

I believe any fan of the monarchy, Kate, Meghan, or paper dolls would appreciate this book. It is well-drawn and informative book, as Ms. Miller provides designer and historical information for each outfit. It would make an excellent addition to any serious paper doll enthusiast’s collection or serve as a great tool to introduce a little girl to the joys of paper dolls.

Checking out ‘Kate & Meghan’ led me down the rabbit-hole of the web to see what else I could find. A Google search of ‘paper dolls’ led to 17,400,000 results, including the Original Paper Doll Artists Guild, The 2019 National Paper Doll Convention in Kansas City (with the theme being ‘Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem’) and popular paper doll blog PaperDollywood and Paper Doll School.

Spending time exploring these sites has a) made me want to try my hand at designing my own series of paper dolls, and b) instilled the desire to introduce the younger generation to the hobby. How about you? Did you ever play with paper dolls when you were young? What doll was your favorite? better yet, do you collect paper dolls now? Did you even know paper dolls were still a thing? Drop me a line…Id love to know.

*Paper Doll – Frank Sinatra