zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
Some of our friends make a point of getting together every year at a local hotel bar in our holiday finest. (This year the organizer showed up in a tiara given to him by a former Miss Tennessee Earth. Sparkling leaves, y'all.)

While gifts are not required, producing them is part of the pleasure. Last year I made salted caramels. Earlier this summer, the BYM's face lit up when I dreamed aloud of giving Christmas pepper plants.

So, since then, there's been the tending of a tray of seedlings. There's been the collecting of brown paper bags. And last night there was a flurry of snipping and banding and ribboning before we headed to Mason's:

wrapping up a long-term project... wrapping up a long-term project...

I wasn't kidding about the Christmas Hello Kitty ribbon wrapping up a long-term project...

Part of the fun of the holidays is the dressing up, which for me often involves celebrating the victory of thrift-shop finds in tandem with treasures from friends and family. Last night I wore a gown from Goodwill, an anklet from eBay, earrings [identity profile] xanthophyllippa.livejournal.com made for me, a ring from the BYM's grandmother, and a shawl from [identity profile] qrssama.livejournal.com. It's been a week where health and scheduling glitches put several crimps into my social life (this stupid cough. I'm obviously well enough to work long hours -- one colleague asked me if I was hiding a cot in my office, having seen me after 6 p.m. the night before and before 8 a.m. the next morning -- but lozenges give me an upset stomach, and hacking all the way through a friend's highlight reel would have been So Not On, so that was one of the events I had to bail on. Argh!) -- so it was especially nice to put on physical reminders of connections past and present.

Another friend is a professional decorator, and we happened to be seated near a tree she had decked out for the holidays. Isn't it beautiful?

At Mason's
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
From a T Magazine profile of Carmen Almon:


Slatkin describes her as "a charming bohemian." He recalls an incident when she was painting furniture in a back room of his shop. He invited her to dinner. "She looked down at her white shoes and they were speckled with green paint. She took her brush, painted her shoes green and said, 'I’m ready.'"

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/under-the-influence-carmen-almon-the-naturalist/


From a David Colman profile of Anne Fontaine:


In the last decade, many men and women have come to realize that gender is closer to polychrome than to black and white.



Ms. Fontaine described the color [of her lipstick] as a "deep violet pink." Guerlain calls it grenade -- in this case, French for pomegranate, not the weapon.



From a 1912 New York Times primer on makeup, then becoming more widely accepted: "Touch the lips slightly with a lip-stick, but do not make your mouth look like raw beef."
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
I've never met a woman who is not strong, but sometimes they don't let it out. Then there's a tragedy, and then all of a sudden that strength comes. My message is let the strength come out before the tragedy.

-- Diane von Furstenberg, in the New York Times Magazine
zirconium: photo of pumpkin on wire chair (pumpkin on chair)
On hips, 1: Last night's bedtime reading was parts of Alicia Drake's The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris (2006). I picked it up mainly because it mentioned Colette Bracchi -- there's a photo of the winners of the 1954 International Wool Secretariat Competition that was recently reproduced in Vogue or Marie Claire or their like, with KL and YSL and CB, and as Drake observes, she "disappear[ed] into fashion oblivion." (To add insult to injury, her name's misspelled in the index.) I don't care enough about any of the people involved to spend more time with the book, but every now and then it's nice to glimpse the craziness populating other creative realms.

An aside, 1: UnFold published a micropoem+photo by me yesterday, titled "Hide."

On hips, 2: Tried on three pairs of jeans on chez Target. One of them fit me waist-wise, but not only were the legs too long (as is usual), they were too skinny. I am just going to have to get the hang of riding in skirts, is what.

An aside, 2: The editor of Overplay/Underdone (Medusa's Laugh, forthcoming) sent a message today, about proofs being ready. I am wicked excited about this.

On hips, 3: the rogue rosebush by my kitchen is currently displaying hips in three phrases -- fresh, orange-crinkled, and blackened:

What's cool...
zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
In the February 21 print issue of Women's Wear Daily, Lorna Koski has a full-page feature on Pioneers of the Possible, a book by Angela M. Nazarian on twenty visionary women, including Taiwanese Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, and Simone de Beauvoir. I'm mulling over this paragraph in particular:


One insight that has come to her, Nazarian notes, is that the most impressive women are not striving for balance, but for fullness in their lives. "They pack their lives with things that are really meaningful," she says. "They concentrate on their strengths; they know what their talents are, so they aren't so bothered by their weaknesses."


(I'm not sure this is a helpful construct for me, but it is thought-provoking. I do like the quote from Estée Lauder that ends the article: "If you want to succeed, make the best of what you have. That's a secret to beauty, as well.")




I became curious about Maria Nazos's A Hymn that Meanders after reading her essays at Boxcar, in particular "Silence in the Rough: When Your First Book Breaks Through the Truth." It contains bold, lush lovesongs about and elegies of broken people, and reminds me quite a bit of Lynda Hull's work. My eyes were probably as round as the proverbial saucers by the time I finished reading "My Mother's Nipples," and I also marked "Mink Rooftop," because of these lines: "Now I'm stuck / in this room telling myself we were more than two broken sticks rubbing / together.



Back to WWD. In the February 22 issue, Huang Hung writes about Guo Pei. My kind of gal:


Guo's husband is a Taiwanese businessman who runs a family textiles business. "When we got engaged," Guo said, smiling, "he asked me whether I wanted a rock on my finger or 50,000 yards of free fabric. I took the fabric."





Finally updated the front page of my website and the writing-for-hire resume. Time now for errands...

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