Fly Eagles fly….

Super Bowl LII Food – Philly Style

I have been a fan of football, and the Philadelphia Eagles, for a very long time.  Growing up, I never wanted to be a cheerleader but to this day I dream of being out on that field, protecting my quarterback as he throws one deep into the end zone for the winning touchdown.  I did play vicariously through my sons, both of whom started in pee-wee leagues and finished at college as O-line hogs.  And yes, for them I was definitely a cheerleader (often to their embarrassment).

As for the Eagles, the team has had a true Cinderella year.  When the pundits wrote them off after Carson Wentz’s season-ending injury the team kept playing like the first-class athletes they are and never missed a beat.  They truly are the personification of ‘there is no I in team’.  As I write, they are 6 days away from suiting up against the Patriots to play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. and while they prepare in Minneapolis I am busy preparing too.  Normally, I am all about the traditional wings/nachos/chips & dips/beer refreshments but this year I am all about the Philly Spread (and I don’t mean offense).

I plan on serving Frank’s Soda (a classic Philly soda from my youth), Yuengling Beer (for those who can’t handle the Wishniak), authentic Philadelphia soft pretzels (left over from my holiday visit to Philly), Italian hoagies, steaks wit’ wiz, pork and broccoli rabe sandwiches, crab fries (a la’ Chickie and Pete’s), assorted Tastycakes and Luigi’s water ices.  I won’t be able to replicate Formosa’s rolls for my sandwiches but can authentically replicate just about everything else I will serve.

What about you?  Will you attend a Super Bowl party or watch from your couch?  Are you pulling for another Tom Brady miracle win or, like me, rooting for the underdogs and a game for the ages?  Here’s hoping I’ll be singing Fly Eagles Fly next Sunday night. E. A. G. L. E. S. Eagles!

*Fly Eagles Fly

Taking care of business…

Basmati Yokes

I’ve been feeling guilty about all of my unfinished projects, which I rediscovered while cleaning our computer/music/craft room (aka: The Pit).  Among the projects squirreled away in various boxes I found:

  • ‘Blues for Allah’ Tribute Jacket*
  • Basmati Bag #1 Embroidered Jacket Back**
  • Basmati Bag #2 Embroidered Jacket Back**
  • Calvin & Hobbes Embroidered Guitar Strap
  • ‘9 Albums’ Embroidered piece
  • ‘My Two Daughters’ pencil drawing

The ‘Blues for Allah’ jacket is part of my long-running series of *Tribute Jackets© which I have been painting for many years.  I replicate iconic rock album covers onto the backs of Levi’s denim jackets as a way of honoring the awesome artwork which contributed to some of the best rock music – and bands – of all time.  My **Basmati Bag Backs© start with burlap rice bags, which I elaborately embroider before affixing to a Levi’s jacket.

I have come to believe these half-completed creations are ’blocking my blessings’ and am determined to complete at least a few of them so I can free some of my mental creative space for new projects I am excited to begin.

I think I will start with Basmati Bag #2, which is a present for my big sis.  True story, I was ¾ of the way finished with this jacket when I lost my workbag containing the two embroidered front yokes during one of my travels.  That pissed me off so much I put the project aside for what is now approaching 2 years. High time I took it out of the box it has  been living in, dusted everything off, and got busy.  Progress updates will be forthcoming…

*Taking Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

Happy birthday to me….

Birthday Outfit 58
Old Navy Floral Plus-Size Waisted Midi Tissue Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf  |  Treasure & Bond Drusy Drops  Lancome Le Metallique Rouge Magma Lip Lacquer  ASOS Leather and Sueded Cross Body Bag  LovePop ‘Shopping Time’ 3D Birthday Card   |  Nine West Fallon Wide Calf Dress Boots  |  LUSH Karma Perfume


I just celebrated another birthday and had a really great time.  Since the date fell on a Friday – yeah Capricorns! – I turned my day into a 72-hour celebration instead.

My actual birthday was spent receiving calls from my loved ones who each sang me ‘Happy Birthday’.  On the way home from work I took a detour to see I, Tonya (which was fantastic).  I came home to some snail mail cards and a beautiful bouquet from my son and his girlfriend.  Funny story there – unbeknownst to my son, the florist was his 3rd grade teacher who was thrilled one of her students was sending flowers to his momma.  My day ended with the perfect gift from my husband –  a SpaFinder gift card (Tiba NU here I come).

Saturday saw me working on the ‘Who Am I? project with artist Ashley Mintz.  That evening, my husband and I got dressed up for a four-course dinner at The Melting Pot.  Fondue appetizers, fondue lobster, shrimp and steak, and fondue desserts, all benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank as part of Nashville Restaurant Week.  Yum!

And Sunday?  Well, Sunday was football playoff day and my team – the Philadelphia Eagles – romped their way to a Super Bowl ­­­­berth!  I’ve been waiting a long time for my Iggles to have a season like this and they have not disappointed me (or the rest of their fans) yet.  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the next year of my life…

*Happy Birthday To Me – Bright Eyes


Talking about bad girls…

Part of my deep dive into all things Andy led me to the legend of Studio 54. Opened in 1977, the club quickly became world-famous for its celebrity guests, hedonistic atmosphere, and flagrant drug use. The club served as a second home to Warhol and his stable of Polaroid ‘one-name’ celebrities like Liz, Mick, Elton, Dali, Bowie, Liza, Truman and Jackie.  Big stars to be sure, but to my way of thinking no one was more beautiful and happening than 54’s three ‘it’ girls: Bianca, Jerry and Diane.

To this day I still think these women remain as beautiful, intelligent and relevant as they appeared back in the day.  Bianca was the exotic one, married to the King of Rock and always holding court at a VIP table.  Diane was the sly bohemian, running her dress empire by day and surrounded by powerfully rich men at night.  Jerry was the wild-spirited Texan never far from a bottle of bubbly or fun.

I can’t think of a modern day equivalent to Studio 54, but if such a club existed I can easily picture Bianca regally sitting there while Diane discusses business and art with the Davos set and Jerry flirts and laughs the night away, all while wearing the following…

The Queen – Bianca
Rachel Zoe Elinoir Pearl detail Halter Crepe Jumpsuit Halston Asymmetric Crepe jumpsuit Mignonne Gavigan Liza Beaded Statement Earrings  |  Christian Louboutin Pigalle Plato Heels  |  Rebecca Minkoff Leo Glitter Envelope Clutch Rachel Zoe Bruno Metallic Jacquard Pants and Jacket Sleeveless Faux Fur Capelet  |  Dior Rogue Dior Lipstick  |  Halston Heritage Cowlneck Slip Gown  |  Tocca Giulietta Perfume  |  BHLGN Ginger Convertible Maxi Dress Lauren Hope Abba Crystal Drop Earrings
The Businesswoman – Diane
Halston Heritage Strapless Striped Metallic Flounce Cocktail Dress Saint Laurent Ruffle Silk -the-shoulder Dress  Sadie & Sage Star Print Fit-and-Flare DressNina Cherie Evening Sandals  |  Ippolita Rock Candy Quartz and Hermalite Earrings  |  Tom Ford Jasmin Rogue Lipstick ALC Tula Split-neck Long-sleeve Silk Metallic Dress Fame and Partners Maquino Dress  |  Christian Louboutin Artydiva Heels  |  Guerlain Santal Royal Perfume Kendra Scott Glenda Earrings  Nookie Europa Sequin Gown  |  Love Box Clutch  |  Sam Edelman Haide Feather Pompom Pump
The Party Gal – Jerry
Alice & Olivia Bridget Striped Sequin Slipdress Aidan Maddox Sequin Bateau-neck Cocktail Dress Dress the Population Jordyn Plunge Sequin Body-con Dress Jimmy Choo Romy Pointed Toe  |  Gas Bijoux Wave Small Drop Earrings  | Jean Patou Joy PerfumeLisa Perry Photo-Real-Print Cotton Minidress |  Diane von Furstenberg Cowlneck Satin Gown  |   YSL Rogue Pur Couture Dazzling Lipstick   |  Rosie Assoulin Pleated Halter Gown  |  Dries Van Norton Metallic Leather Clutch  |  Christian Louboutin Pigalle Loubitag Pointy Toe Pump
*Bad Girls –  Donna Summer

Andy Warhol looks a scream…

Polaroids by Andy – Collage by Me

I was excited to attend last Thursday’s reception for ‘Famous (and not-so-famous): Polaroids by Andy Warhol’ at Vanderbilt’s Fine Arts Gallery.  Ever since I learned of the show’s opening I’ve been doing a deep dive into all things Andy.  I had forgotten how much Warhol’s work influenced my own art or my fascination with him as the penultimate commercial artist. From his days as an illustrator in the 1950’s to The Factory in the 60’s through to the late 80’s when he was arguably the King of Pop (Art) Warhol was always there before everyone else knew there was a ‘there’ to be.

My earliest memories of Warhol stem from his odd physical appearance; that thatch of white blonde hair and the paler-than-white skin demanded my attention. He looked weird and shy and just a little unhinged, and yet he exuded an intelligence and sly wit that drew me (and countless others) in and left me eager for more.  His use of repetition in his silkscreens and Polaroids shaped my own fascination and use of nine’s in my own work.   I also share his obsession with all things Hollywood and celebrity. I’d even go so far as to argue there would be no Kardashian Kulture without Andy and his Superstars paving the way first.

Warhol was a gifted artist and brilliant visionary who even in death remains way ahead of his time.  Did you know:

  • He coined the term (in conversation with ) ’15 minutes of fame’
  • He produced The Velvet Underground
  • He founded Interview magazine
  • He designed the infamous Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album cover
  • He used a stable of other artists to mass-produce his work
  • He barely survived being shot by a disgruntled hanger-on (and radical feminist)
  • He used ‘ghost-pissers’ to help create his Oxidation paintings
  • He created 610 time capsules of ephemera, which are housed at his Pittsburgh museum
  • His last art, from 1985-1987, was 5 episodes of MTV’s  Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes

The ‘Famous (not Famous)…’ show left me wanting more.  More Polaroids, more silkscreens, more stories…more Andy.  I’ve got a trip to Pittsburgh planned for the spring to deliver some upholstered furniture to Stephanie Tripier Design for revamping, and will make time to visit The Warhol Museum to see more of Andy’s works.  Maybe I’ll even have Stephanie cover a chair in Campbell’s Soup Cans or multiple Marilyn’s as my own sly homage to Andy: a wink to his art I hope he would approve of.

*Andy Warhol – David Bowie


Jesus was a Capricorn…

My natal chart

I no longer make New Year’s resolutions for three reasons.  The first is quite simple.  Whenever I’ve made a resolution it has more often than not failed, leaving me feeling like a loser.  Who wants that?  Secondly, I’m a planner by nature (and by the stars). I am way more successful when I outline deliverables and timelines and work towards my goals, regardless of how long it might take. Finally – and please try not to laugh – with a birthday right after the New Year I look to my monthly and yearly horoscopes as a barometer of what might be in store for me., gauging how my goals might align with my stars to deliver a favorable cosmic outcome.

Do you believe in astrology? I find it hard to entirely dismiss how close the science of the heavens comes to nailing individual personality traits based on the movements and positions of celestial objects.  Silly as it might seem, I have been really excited about the big Capricorn astrology news, which coincided with the start of 2018.  Saturn (Cappy’s ruling planet) entered Capricorn on December 19th and will stay there until 2020 – bringing about three years of what really rocks a goat’s world: long-range plans successfully coming to fruition. For some strange reason this makes me excited and has me feeling like I can make some professional and creative goals I’ve long dreamed of and worked towards a reality.

One day, I want to have a detailed natal chart made so I can see how closely the stars and my reality align.  Until that time I will have to be content with a freebie chart (you can run your own version at Café Astrology or Astrolabe).  According to the skies I am realistic, grounded, dependable and loyal.  I am attracted to status symbols.  I am a planner. I value privacy. I am educated. I am an independent thinker. I always need to win. I am capricious. I am blunt. I love literature. Family is important to me. I like beauty. I am independent. I prize my freedom. I am obstinate. I am a non-conformist. All true things, and certainly all things that define the essence of me.

How about you?  Have you ever run your natal chart to see how accurate it might be?  Do you read your horoscope with any sort of regularity?  Do you believe the heavens play a role in our time on earth?  If so, do you find that creepy or comforting?  Drop me a line.  I’d love to know….

*Jesus was a Capricorn – Kris Kristofferson

You can’t judge a book by the cover…

Decisions, decisions…which book to read first

A belated Happy New Year to one and all.  My 2018 began just like my 2017 ended, with me driving thousands of miles to see loved ones spread far and wide. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been as creative as I had hoped and then calculated between Thanksgiving and January 6th I drove just a tad over 7,000 miles. I guess that’s a good reason for not getting much done, huh?  Thank god for rental cars with heated seats and satellite radio along with kids I adore who had hours of far-ranging playlists and podcasts which combined to make those miles a pleasure to drive.

On the downside, so much driving meant a lack of time for any substantive reading.  I spent most of December lost in Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, a story I really enjoyed and was sorry to finish.  When I reached over for my next read I realized my bedside stash had dwindled to a crisis level.  That’s why I was so excited by the nine books that Santa (aka my Momma) gave me for Christmas.  I always say the only present I really want is to spend time with my family but I will never say no to the gift of a book.

After I finish the two library books I am currently reading I can begin to get lost in my newest set of 9 (past ‘nines’ can be found here).  Have you read any of these books?  Which would you recommend I read first?  I’d love to know…

*You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover – Bo Diddley 

12-23 Ephemera

Image courtesy of Weltmeisterschaft der Nikolause ClauWau

Ready or not Christmas is here.  All I have left to do is wrap some gifts and make it home through the woods so I can relax, catch up on some flicks (including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project, Ladybird, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) and football (Go Eagles!) and enjoy time with my family (the BEST present of all).

I’ll also spend some time surfing the web over the next two weeks seeking travel, art, and fashion inspiration for 2018.  As befits THIS holiday season, I’ve spent the past month fascinated by any Christmas-related article I stumble upon, including…

Wishing you a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and fun.  See you in 2018!

*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

Simply the best…books of 2017


While the exact number escapes me I have read a LOT of books this year.  I love our library system (believing it is one of the best ways our tax dollars are used) and typically check out 6-12 books each month, as well as buy or ‘inherit’ others, all of which total around 100 (give or take a few).  Going forward, I’ve decided to track my reading to determine an exact number, details of which I will share with you this time next year.

As for 2017, I can truly say that the five books pictured above were my absolute favorite reads of the year.  Each writer delivered a fresh perspective on love, loss, pain, yearning, and family.  I came to care about the main characters, hating some and loving others, always curious to see what was in store for each.  These books kept me reading late into the night in expectation of what would happen next and I was sorry when I finished the last page.  Even more astonishing, these books have stuck with me as I continue to reflect on issues as varied as as rape, slavery, abortion, crime, and religion – none of them light topics but all treated with respect and curiosity through the author’s engaging, dramatic, and unique story-telling.

How about you?  What were your favorite books of 2017?  Are you looking forward to reading anything special in 2018?  I’d love to know…

*Simply the Best – Tina Turner

I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus…


Last week was super busy for me.  Much of my work week was spent decorating, shopping, catering, and hosting a reception for 60, followed by a one-day 1000 mile drive to retrieve my son for the holidays.  Now that I’ve had a chance to relax and rest I’m ready to share my last guide with you – gift ideas for the real Santa (aka: Mom).  Most mom’s would rather spend time with their loved ones than receive a gift but it never hurts to have a present or two ready so you can stay on her nice list….

  1. Anthropolgie Tea Set for One
  2. Kew Crystal Collar Necklace
  3. Premiere Edition Scrabble
  4. Olive & Thistle Wreath
  5. Kate Spade Cameron Street Lottie Bag
  6. Kendra Scott Juniper Earrings
  7. Modern Sprout Garden Jar Herb Kit 
  8. Lincoln in the Bardo
  9. My Absolute Darling
  10. Dottie Honey Pot
  11. Ted Baker Issy Impressionist Cape Silk Scarf
  12. Floral: The Graphic Book of the Garden
  13. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum
  14. Sourdough
  15. Dylan’s Candy Bar Signature Chocolate Wheel
  16. SpaFinder
  17. Oscar’s Bouquet Embroidery Pillow Kit
(In case you missed my other gift guides check out kids, tweens, young adults, and dads here)
*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Amy Winehouse