Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vintage Sex-Kitten Name

I love the old-fashioned names that delicate ladies once used to describe not-so-delicate ladies. Society has changed so much, and our tolerance levels have dropped so far, that these words actually have a certain charm to them now. They mean nothing like what they were originally intended to mean.

Lana Turner

Want to create your own vintage sex-kitten name? Pick an adjective from list A and a noun from list B. You can also insert "lil" between the two to make it even cuter, such as, "She's a shameless lil hussy." ;o)

List A:                                             List B:

impudent                                        minx
shameless                                       harlot
triflin'                                              hussy
saucy                                              strumpet
brazen                                            floozy
wicked                                            tart
impish                                            siren
bawdy                                             wench
sassy                                              trollop
slattern                                           vamp
wanton                                            paramour
tawdry                                             tramp

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pearl Girl

How fabulous is this?

Aussie Nicole Kidman in an amazing strand of Paspaley pearls 
on the front cover of a recent (not current) Australian Bazaar, celebrating Bazaar's 10th birthday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ahh, Autummmn (or Happy Fall, Y'all)

Today I woke up to the bluest sky I've ever seen, accented with Hollywood-perfect puffs of white clouds. I had a wonderful lunch and my favorite wine on the patio with Mama, Brother, and Frank Sinatra... but then Brother had to leave to drive back to school in Yankeeland :o(

Though autumn officially arrived last week, the weather is now playing along and that beloved crispness is in the air. It's hard to look out the window without seeing a few bright leaves fluttering down, and there's an apple harvest, sale, picking event, festival, or tasting everywhere you go. Soup is starting to sound like a good idea for dinner; freckles are reminders of sunny summer memories; two layers feel just right and one can be plaid; and mums are finally having their moment, bless their hearts.

I love everything about this photo. Happy fall, y'all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The South and Sweet Tea Mojitos

It's raining again, perfect just-loud-and-hard-enough, nap-inducing rain. I can't stop sleepin' today.

The Indigo Girls were fabulous last night at the Bijou, as always. After all these years, I still love their meaningful lyrics and guitar-playin' but somehow I've never noticed, or at least paid much attention to, what beautiful voices they have, each so different from the other but so well suited together. Our seats were on the second row, center--the closest I've ever been to the stage in a concert. It's funny to see what stage lights do to the spray of--I'll just say it, spit--when a singer sings. Kind of funny.

One head away.

There was a very mature, very reserved couple seated front-row center in front of us. My friend Sara and I had to wonder if possibly they owned or were interested in buying the theatre and there on a site visit--because they were definitely unique in the crowd--which is fine, I love seeing the diversity an Indigo Girls concert draws--but they also didn't seem to be enjoying themselves at all. I love people watching and speculating about their stories.

They didn't sing my favorite IG song (top five at least), Southland in the Springtime. Even though it's fall in the south now, this song warms me like spring sunshine. Some lyrics:

...I'm in the back seat sleepy from the travel,
Played our hearts out all night long in New Orleans.
I'm dirty from the diesel fumes, drinking coffee black,
When the first breath of Texas comes in clean...

And there's something 'bout the Southland in the springtime
Where the waters flow with confidence and reason
Though I miss her when I'm gone, it won't ever be too long
Till I'm home again to spend my favorite season
When God made me born a yankee he was teasin'
There's no place like home and none more pleasin'
Than the Southland in the springtime

In Georgia nights are softer than a whisper
Beneath a quilt somebody's mother made by hand
With the farmland like a tapestry passed down through generations
And the peach trees stitched across the land.
There'll be cider up near Helen off the roadside,
And boiled peanuts in a bag to warm your fingers,
And the smoke from the chimneys meets its maker in the sky
With a song that winter wrote whose melody lingers...

Lovely. Every time I meet a Yankee that I like, I think of "When God made me born a Yankee, he was teasin'."

Before the show, we had a great dinner downstairs at the Bistro at the Bijou. I can't believe I've lived here almost entirely since sixth grade and have never been there. It was delicious--I dreamt about the sauteed green beans--but the best part was our discovery of the Sweet Tea Mojito, which I'm affectionately renaming Southern Perfection.

Oh, sweet tea mojito, where have you been all my life? I didn't ask for the recipe, but I think I gleaned it well enough from the menu. It's simple and divine. I can't wait to have friends over just to serve these.

Sweet Tea Mojito, aka Southern Perfection

sweet tea (preferably Mama's)
Bacardi Limon
fresh mint
lemon wedges
crushed ice

Muddle the mint in the glass. 
Squeeze and drop in a wedge of lemon. 
Add crushed ice and Bacardi Limon rum to suit your fancy. 
Top with sweet tea. 
Die and go to heaven. 

Seems to me it belongs in a julep cup, but a Mason jar could be charming as well, in the right environment. Ours were served in standard pint glasses and that worked just fine, too.

A quick Google will give you a variety of other similar recipes, plus lots of info about sweet tea vodka. That's also new to me and will have to be investigated. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Fun

I'm going to dinner and an Indigo Girls concert tonight, yay! I love the Indigo Girls. (And no, I'm not gay. Just because they are, why do people assume their fans are, too? I don't get that logic.)

Whenever I hear almost any song from their Become You CD, it takes me to the coast of Northern California where I listened to that CD almost exclusively on a road trip up the PCH. The feeling is so strong, I can close my eyes and smell the eucalyptus in the evening air. What a great trip that was.

Plus, most of their music makes me feel like this...


Just Call Me June

I was born entirely too late. I’m thankful for the Mama and Daddy I have, for Brother, and for the family and friends that being born when I was born gave me. But, even though I was actually born two months early, it was still just way too late.

I should have been born in the 1950s--no, the late ‘20s or early ‘30s, so I could've been a young woman in the ‘40s and ‘50s. With June Cleaver, Audrey Hepburn, and Debra Kerr as my role models, instead of Britney Spears and Old Christine.

Rather than Shawn Cassidy and John Stamos posters on my walls, I’d have black-and-white 8x10s of gents like Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, and John Forsythe that I’d written a real letter on real stationery to request. (And speaking of well-mannered gentlemen with an air of chivalry so rarely seen these days, happy birthday to my sweet C.)

Mmm… Dresses with pearls every day, a perfectly coiffed coif, alabaster faces with scarlet lips and eyelashes for miles—no matter where you were going.

When tulle ruled and organza was day wear; when hats were de rigueur for church, tea, and weddings; when your shoes and your belt and your purse matched; when “Darling” was an appropriate name for everyone; when souffles for dinner were perfectly normal.

When hankies were the norm, as were dashing men in white dinner jackets or three-piece linen suits opening doors and guiding ladies with a hand on the small of her back.

Champagne for no reason whatsoever, darling, preferably pink, and Gatsby-esque everything.

I love it all.

Thankfully, Victoria magazine came back—that helps me forget what decade it is every time I pick up an issue. I have well-loved DVD copies of An Affair to Remember, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, even Out of Africa ("My Limoges!")—those are all good for a little bit of time travel to more elegant days.

Speaking of travel, given the chance, I stay (or at least dine) in historic old hotels like the Benbow Inn in Northern California or the Union Bluff in York, Maine (though it was haunted, but that’s another story).

I watch Bachelor Father every possible weekday morning to see Bentley Gregg, the very definition of charming, deliver his sugary-sweet lines in a white dinner jacket to a well-made-up lady dressed in organza, tulle, or both.

And whenever I can, I buy dresses like this one. Tulle, a ribbon tie, AND glittery sequins. Swoon!

The Easy and Elegant Life, which is the second gracious and charming blog I’ve fallen in love with this month, is also an excellent reminder of gentler times.

There’s a good bit of Big Band music playing here as you read this, hopefully; there is as I write it. So have a glass of champagne for no good reason, darlings. Put on a big sparkly party dress with some red lipstick, twirl around your living room, and dream about those days with me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


If I could make my own amusement park for pearlies like me... or even just a carousel... or Barbie-Dream-House-like abode... it would look something like this, with bows bigger than people (model people, but still people), two-story strands of pearls, and pearl cuffs big enough to stand on. Swoon.

(Photo from the Chanel Winter 08/09 show.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Things I Love

Today is the anniversary of a very sad day. I remember everything about it, and I can’t even start thinking about it without welling up in tears.

So, I’m making an effort to focus on positive and happy things, things I love (besides my sweet family and beloved friends, of course, who rank even before number one). It’s good to be thankful and count your blessings, y’all. (And look at me, posting two days in a row!)

In no particular order...

1. pearls (duh)
2. silver anything, especially hotel silver and old sterling
3. the Blues… the kind that makes you sway in your seat, drink Cap’n-and-diets, and remember past loves
4. birds’ nests with lil blue eggs in 'em
5. tulle, organza, and dupioni silk
6. cardigans, especially from J.Crew
7. old “luxury” hotels with dining rooms and big lobbies full of history
8. the beach... any beach...
9. shallow, rocky creeks
10. the Indigo Girls (second row center, September 25, at the Bijou, yay!)
11. party dresses
12. plaid and madras
13. snow
14. dark chocolate
15. flowers, almost any flowers
16. driving in Violet with the top down
17. old movies (top five: An Affair to Remember, Out of Africa, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Sabrina--how fabulous it would be to live even a little while in one of those movies)
18. Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, and a younger John Forsythe in Bachelor Father *swoon*
19. the fact that my Sweet C looks like Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, and a younger John Forsythe *swoon*
20. red… the red with a lil bit of blue in it
21. Rascal Flatts
22. sparkly things, especially sparkly things that don’t normally or need to sparkle but do
23. shooooooz
24. tiaras (but not crowns)
25. glitter
26. Big Band music, the kind that makes you want to drink pink champagne and wear a crinoline
27. brooches
28. the way Africans pronounce "Africa"
29. pigs, especially pink piglets like Piggy Lou
30. cufflinks
31. vintage sexy words like brazen hussy, saucy minx, tawdry strumpet, and triflin’ vixen

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow... and HGTV Craft Favorites

So I know my last post said I was going to post something specific tomorrow... and now it's three weeks later. I can blame one week's delay on a death in the family, but the other two weeks are just me reverting back to not being in the blog habit.

But I stayed up laaaate last night reading a blog that so inspired me, I'm back... again... possibly with a little more direction and focus this time. For today, this is a craft blog.

So as promised "yesterday," here are some of my favorite projects from when I was enjoying one of the best jobs ever--crafts editor for HGTV.com. How fun was that! Good times.

Since I was thrilled to see pumpkins and mums at the grocery store tonight, I'm all in autumn mode. I'm thinking of color--changing leaves, Indian corn--and a crispness in the air. Which reminds me of my harvest angel...

Thanksgiving leftovers bags... (that first one says "yum")

and Indian corn husk flower napkin rings.

That brings us to trick-or-treat time, so here's the twist-or-treat Halloween basket (with the Easter bunny basket). I still can't believe I worked with twist paper. Ugh. But I like these, for some reason.

And, totally out of season but still favorites, my silk rose-and-peony lampshade (it looks much cuter in my house than it does in this office pic) and the kitchen angel, made out of discarded silverware and jewelry bits. I love recycling silverware into just about anything. That'll be another post... someday. Not tomorrow, but someday. I'm learning.

Lastly, part of why I'm so in love with autumn is it's the start of both "boyfriend season" and a roller-coaster ride of beloved holidays, including my all-time favorite, Christmas! I have two more deadlines to finish next week before I can start working on ornaments for the shop, like these sweet little snowman angels. (Yes, snowmen become angels when they melt. Hush.) Glitter, here I come!

And as for the blog that inspired me, I wonder--is it possible to have a crush on a blog?? Such a witty, handsome, fetchingly dressed gentleman. Reminds me of my sweet C *swoon*