Friday, January 29, 2016

Ira Glass Explains it All For You

A little inspiration on a dreary, January day. Now get a cup of coffee, your notebook, and get to work. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Does she or doesn't she?

I don't mean to shock you, but I do color my hair. It's true, the threads of silver running through it suddenly reached a number too big to ignore, so having decided I'm not ready to have grey hair yet, I color it. It makes me feel better, and I think that when I feel better, I look better, so there, call me vain. I don't care. 

Having pored over the pages of Dita Von Teese's new beauty bible Your Beauty Mark, I can totally get behind her support of DIY beauty and drugstore brands. Can you even believe that Dita's gorgeous raven mane comes out of a drugstore bottle? It's true. Perhaps her haircut is an expensive one, but the color costs less than a tenner. I love her. So I had to laugh when yesterday, I went into my expensive London hairdresser and she complimented me on my Miss Clairol color. "Boy, the color really suits you! Super flattering! I love it!" Did I tell her that I paid £6 for a box color kit, instead of a £60 color appointment at that same salon? Reader, I did not. 

Not even her hairdresser knows for sure. Victory. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

When a bargain isn't necessarily a bargain

Oh, I had such high hopes for this Gap coat. It has all the hallmarks of a winter sale seducer: it seems like a fantastic garment to transition from winter to spring, it's a nice design--not too casual, not too dressy--and most importantly, it was marked down from £99 to £31, which with a coupon came to £25. Mega-discount, and that really appeals to my penny-pinching mama side. But oh my lord, what was I thinking? Once it was in my arms and on my back, I could clearly see that I'd been the victim of a sale-rack hit and run. It was the wrong cut, wrong color, wrong fit, so with great regret, it went straight back to the store.

I think this is another lesson in that old maxim (which I just made up) that the sale rack does not necessarily present the bargains it at first seems to. It's easy to become seduced by a dramatic price slash of a potentially great find lurking among the other rejects from a tumultuous holiday season. What a markdown! How could I walk away from such a gem? Yet that exact thinking is where many of the sale rack's most vicious killers do their horrible work. Here's a quick checklist I should have run through before making this purchase:

  • Would I have bought it at full price?
  • Would I wear it in black? 
  • How much would I wear it? 
  • Will I wear it enough that it deserves its own space in my already over-crowded closet?
  • Is it something that was trendy in the fall, but won't be in the spring?

If I searched my heart I would realize that the answer was something I already knew: do not buy. And yet,  shopping the sales can be a great way to bag a bargain. For example, if you look for basics. Seems like the Gap is discontinuing my favorite pair of jeans, so I bought another pair. I also bought another pair of my favorite trousers, which were heavily discounted in the sale. So those definitely saved a bit. But then I discovered a really great handbag (non-sale) and a pair of flats (new arrivals) that went into my bag, therefore canceling out the insane bargain of the pink coat. But they are classics, and will be with me a long time, so I could look at them as a bit of an investment, and in the long run, that is saving.

Unlike a fuzzy pink wraparound car coat. Boo.

How did the January sales go for you? Did you save a ton of moolah and score any real gems? Please tell me how you did it.

PS. I'm trying to up my sketching game. Paintings instead of photos. Is it working?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Well, hello there!

I am aware this post is bumping the last post of 2015 off the top of the page... Yes, I know it has been absolutely ages since I checked in, and I am sorry about that. I have been trying to go on a media diet of sorts; Jules and I are coming into the home stretch of another Whole 30 (hurry up January 31st so we can be done with it!), where we are spending a full 30 days eating only foods that are high in nutrients and pack a big healthy punch, to undo some of the damage we inflicted upon ourselves during the holiday period (Christmas pudding, I'm looking at you). So, while we are nourishing our bodies, I've also been trying to nourish my mind, and for me that means going on an internet diet. Fewer blogs, more books. More making, more doing, less surfing.

In truth, I've been a little ambivalent about the blog lately. I used to quite like blogging, but I feel like I've lost my way a little bit. Lost the oomph and focus I had a few months ago, and also, to be honest, have not had much to report. There are some exciting things that happened around here, but a lot of it is stuff I'd like to talk about but can't (for paid-work related reasons), stuff that's not interesting to you but wildly interesting to me, stuff that's just plain private.

But I can share the news that we have welcomed a new kitten into our house,which the kids have named Wicket, and we are getting used to each other day by day. I promise not to become an internet cat lady, though. Onward and upward, and welcome 2016.

Just finished reading: Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
Insanely anticipating: Fabric designs by Emily Winfield Martin for Saltwater Fabrics, available summer 2016. How cute are these? I can't decide which to make a dress out of first.

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