Monday, March 31, 2008

The Wrap Up

Today's post will have roughly a million pictures, et al, so let's get going. Also, my apologies for the lack of real jewelry posts. This is the last one of it's kind...

1. As I mentioned last week, yesterday was the end of my Birthday week. How sad. We capped of the parties by heading to Philadelphia for the weekend and visiting the two places I've really wanted to see for a while now: The Mutter Museum and the Eastern State Penitentiary. The museum is basically a font of everything disgusting (and therefore fascinating) in medicine. Dwarfism fetuses, a skeleton of a gentleman whose body turned tissue into bone, more fetuses with bizarre issues and lots of wax models with diseases! They did not allow photos and they were sold out of T-shirts, so I have nothing to show. I do recommend it though.
The prison tour, however, produced really great photos. I'll post several here, but the rest can be found on my Flickr. This is our third prison and I was struck by how serene this one seemed. High, white ceilings with skylights, generous (solitary) cells also with skylights, lots of windows... Of course, as it became overcrowded, a lot of those features were removed to make more space. But the tour was wonderful--very informative and interesting.

There were several art installations on the grounds, including these red pipes, placed wherever the artist thought it would be possible for a prisoner to escape (several prisoners did escape, but only one was not caught):

Another installation featured plaster cats that were hidden in cells and on top of the roofs...

They were created to honor a group of cats that had moved in after the prison closed in the late 70's. A caretaker found the and fed them three times a week until the last one died many years later.
Philadelphia itself gave us lovely weather and good food. Thanks, city, for making my birthday awesome!

2. As I promised waaay back when, here are the cosmetics I use on a daily basis...

Cover Girl foundation in 1 (405), which is the best I've found for decent coverage and skin color matching. I am very pale, and while Chanel and Origins match well, I don't like their texture. Cover Girl doesn't feel heavy... ; Stila Illuminating Powder in Light (or Fair) 10 Watts--the plastic shell thing, I lost the case; Cover Girl Blush in Plumberry Glow; Per-fekt Skin Gel, which goes on before make up (or in lieu of make-up, if you are brave) and gives the skin a matte, smooth texture; Benefit powder in Thrrrob (all over "flushed" look); Chanel Glossimer in Eclipse; Cover Girl Classic Ivory Touch up, which is amazing for under eye circles; Covergirl Lash Exact Mascara in black; Maybelline Define-a-Line eyeliner in brownish black and some sort of shimmery white eyeshadow, to put on the inside corners of the eyes. Also, I have a ton of Bare Escentuals stuff--eyeshadow and blush. I like it okay, so it gets used when I am spending a lot of time on my eyes...

For face/ body wash and face lotion, I always use Aveeno because I have very sensitive skin. For body lotion, I am obsessed with L'Occitane Almond Milk products (lotion, body oil)... the best smell EVER.
Oh, and Sharon, I am 99% sure that nail polish color was called Lady Godiva. It was in one of those square bottles with the white tops. Classic nail shop bottle!

And lastly (I bet you all are so happy this is the end of birthday week), some of the presents from BF!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Think it's Called a Golden Birthday

So, tomorrow is the big day and by big day, I of course mean a day that is only important to me and a few close others who pretend it is important to them. Ah! The pleasure of a birthday. Also, I am turning 26, which means I am still young enough to do youngish stuff (be financially irresponsible, wear frilly dresses), yet old enough to be taken seriously (I can't think of any examples right now).

Of course I'll do a post on what I received and after the big Birthday/ Jesus Resurrection celebration on Sunday (note who comes first...), I already tucked a few things away. My mom got me a dress way back when, along with this rose ring by Vera Meat I posted about a while back:That's still not my hand, but it actually looks remarkably similar to the pictures I tried to take, except here the ring is actually in focus. Go figure.

The fam gives money, which I'll never turn down, and with that money I bought:
Benefit lipstick in Ruby Vibes (aka best lipstick ever), $17 at Sephora, as well as some powder, but I can't remember the brand and am far too lazy to go check right now...

(pic from ebay)
This dress from seller jjbean on ebay

(Awkwardly posed picture that the BF took; "artsy" self-portrait)

This dress from Century 21 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (weekend jaunt). Also! I love this dress for all the obvious reasons--pretty colors and print, fits well, etc., but I mostly love it because when I put it on my boyfriend started called me "Chesty LaRue" (see: several pop culture references including, but not limited to, The Simpsons and Seinfeld).

...And this lovely top from Banana Republic (thee of the awesome sales)

Tomorrow (the actual big day), I was supposed to hang out with my mom in the city and maybe hit up a little Tea and Sympathy downtown (clotted cream 4-eva!), but she has been taken with a stomach virus, so now my day is sort of play it by ear.
Have a lovely night, bloggers! Back with jewelry (and make-up, Fashion Tidbits, I promise) on Thursday.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Favorites: Don't You Know?

1970's Turquoise Dangle Bracelet, $2175 (apparently negotiable)

Rebecca Norman Turquoise Ring, $220

Baby Bar Necklace by Saundra Messinger, $275

Gold (or Silver) Trojan Earrings by Janna Connor, $93

Now, I'd like to tag the following lucky bloggers for that Basic Wardrobe meme that's been making that rounds, which I wrote about yesterday:
(Into) The Fray
The Clothes Horse
Jewel Box Dreams
I'm sorry! And you totally don't have to if you don't want to. But it would be nice if you did.

Two more things:
1. Fashion Tidbits requested in my comments from the last post that I write about my make up and such. This will happen on Tuesday, because pictures are really necessary and my camera is in a coma. (And I have an all day meeting in... wait for it.... Staten Island (!) on Monday.)

2. Happy Easter and/ or have a lovely weekend everyone! (I will, because my birthday is next week and my family is celebrating it on Sunday. A week of birthday! Woo! Birthdays are a big deal in my family.)

Steven Shein Acrylic Bunny Necklace at the Whitney Museum Store, $110
(If you click on Shein's name, it'll take you to his crazy/ awesome website)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Wardrobe Basics

Positive: I finally got out of the house today! Negative: It was awful and rainy out.
Another positive: I've been tagged by the super awesome Wendy Brandes to discuss my basic wardrobe. Go look at her post about it, which will put my wardrobe to such shame that I refuse to even link it.

Okay, where to start?
1. Jeans: As a tall lady, I always had trouble finding jeans that didn't give me the whole "yes, I just stepped out of a flood zone" vibe. Then my salary got larger and Diesel floated on to my brand awareness radar and well, the rest is history. Skinny, wise leg, straight, whatever. I'll probably like 'em.
My favorite black Diesels with leather pockets that maybe get way more face time than they should:
(I am far too lazy to go put these on and take a proper photo, so you'll just have to deal with an accidental picture)

2. Black. Like Wendy, I am an eternal fan of the black t-shirt. Also, the black sweater, black button-up, black v-neck, black blouse, uh... the list goes on. If it's black and in shirt form, I will probably buy it.
(Black sweatshirt! with black jeans!)

3. Dresses and skirts: Once the weather turns a bit warmer, I'm a dress fiend. A little more than half of my closet is filled with just dresses--everything from vintage to Anthropologie to Betsey Johnson to Forever 21. I can't stop myself and will gladly bore you to tears if you'd like to talk frocks:
(Part of my closet)

(Some recent lovelies: hot pink is vintage, dotted is Betsey Johnson and button bib is Delia's)

One of my all time best ebay buys....
(An obscure 70's or 80's brand that I obsessively hunt for. Not telling.)

...which looks so much like this Betsey Johnson dress I am wondering if there should be some litigation happening:

But I am also branching out into skirt territory:
(Skirt, which my boyfriend described as "If roses were a video game"--apparently a good thing--from Anthropologie)

4. Make up, hair and nails: Technically not classic wardrobe pieces, but ultimately just as important as clothes. My skin isn't perfect, so I almost never leave the house without make-up. (To be honest, part of this is habit: the skin thing used to be worse and made me verrrry self-conscious.) Any and all kinds of lip things are welcome in my home, but lip things be warned: if you are flavored or smell like fruit, I will probably never wear you. Sorry. Thems the breaks.
(The actual cosmetics differ depending on the seasons and my mood, but if you want to know what I use, leave a comment.)

As for nails, hey, who doesn't like getting a manicure? Look! Weird holographic polish that nobody had ever dared try at the salon before!
(Hard to see, but, man, I stared at that polish for hours when I had it. Nope, not high.)

5. Flats: Need I say more?

Okay, normal jewelry-oriented scheduling resumes tomorrow! Unless I remember something I forgot to post here. Oh, and I will tag three peeps tomorrow--as soon as I go catch up on blogs and figure out who has not been tagged.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning About: Fool's Gold

No, not the awful Kate Hudson/ Matthew McConaughey film. Do you seriously think that little of me? Ugh. I am also not talking about The Stone Roses song, the manga or the very expensive sandwich popularized by Elvis Presley ("The Fool's Gold Loaf", consisting of a single loaf of hollowed out, warmed bread filled with one jar of creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon. The name of the sandwich is derived from its price of $49.95. In later years, it was priced closer to $100 for the sandwich and a bottle of Dom Pérignon.) (Recipe and pics)

Okay, let me just give you a second to swallow back the inevitable vomit.

So, no, by Fool's Gold aka Pyrite, I meant the lovely "fake" gold that for some reason, every little kid in my elementary school was obsessed with when I was young. I've noticed, as I've written this blog over the past months, that pyrite has been used more and more frequently to create really interesting jewelry. And, dude, it's totally got that American Museum of Natural History gem room cache.

Victorian Pyrite and 10 K Rose Gold Ring, $145

Gusterman Santa Fe Polished Pyrite and Sterling Ring, $195

The word Pyrite is derived from the Greek word puritēs meaning "of fire" or "on fire", which seems to have originated from the resultant sparks that occur when pyrite is struck against steel or flint. The spark made pyrite a very popular mineral in weapons early on. (Early firearms such as the wheel-lock. You'll have to click on the link to find out what a wheel-lock is. Sorry.)

Rafia Pyrite and 14K Necklace, $74

Barse Oval Polished Pyrite Necklace, $150

Interestingly, marcastite and pyrite are often confused due to their similar appearances and names (the word marcasite is actually Arabic for pyrite), but Wikipedia has informed me that one cannot use Marcasite in whole stone form as it tends to crumble into a powder. Fool's Gold is generally formed as a grouping of overlapping cubes, which, in my opinion, makes it more interesting in jewelry use. Almost sculptural.

Kit's Jewelry Pyrite Dangle Earrings, $200

Pyrite also was one of the leading sources of sulfur in the world, so obviously, don't get a pyrite ring if you're allergic to sulfur. As far as I can recall though, the mineral doesn't have the rotten egg smell often associated with sulfur. To read more about it's composition and structure, go here.

Kris Nations "Rough Cut" Pyrite Ring, $50

Of course, what kind of "Learning About..." would this be if we didn't review the spiritual properties of pyrite? It's apparently an excellent protection stone that is useful against many different negative energies. Angel's Esoterica notes, "When worn or carried, it provides a shield around you. It helps keep out the negative vibrations of physical pollutants because of the auric shield it sets up and is very good for people who do dangerous work. Pyrite's energy keeps your physical, intellect, and emotional bodies in a state of well being; functioning at their best. It enhances memory and recall. It allows you to see the motives, etc. behind the actions of others. "
Sounds quite useful.

Linked Pyrite Bracelet, $180

Illinois Pyrite Necklace, $15 each (Money goes to Animal Rescue Site)

What else? Pyrite was also polished and used as mirrors by the Native Americans. It's a very common mineral most often found in Spain, Italy and the US Midwest. It comes in a variety of forms: Cubes, dollars (resembling sand dollars), Masses, cubic twins, etc. which all depend on the place it was found. (Source) More fragile pyrite specimens may decompose if left in humid conditions. So, basically, it's very sensitive mineral. (Source)

And here's a close up of the sandwich again, just for good measure:
A mere 42,000 calories! (Source)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Favorites: Bouquet

If you've been watching the runways (or reading basically any fashion blog), it's clear that florals are something big coming up. They've been featured a lot in Fall/ Winter 08 shows, but what's better for Spring?

Vera Meat Lovely Rose Ring, $68
(I bought the last one listed, but she does custom orders and was very helpful! Also, that is not my hand!)

Alexis Bittar Flower Necklace, $145

Zhen-U.N.: Chrysanthemum Bracelet (Sterling), $495

Hannah Louise Lamb Oxi Oval Cutout Earrings, £86

Alex Monroe Double Lily Ring, Silver & Gold-Plate Mix, £120.00

We Dream in Colour Diana Necklace, $48

Next week, I'll try out more of a schedule with this thing. Upcoming posts (tentatively) include: engagement and promise rings (this may run two days), some DIY movement stuff, interesting material combinations...

Tired today (and a bit incoherent) because my mom and I went to a very, very late Eddie Izzard show last night at Union Square Theater. We've been fans for years, and this is our third show and it was lovely. In the very possible case that you have not heard of him, Mr. Izzard is a British transvestive comedian known for his riffs on history, culture and civilization (very funny Youtube clips about flags, British vs. American English and beekeepers, respectively). Now also known for playing the father on The Riches (tv show on FX).