Got Laptop?

Laptops are pretty delicate things. Despite their seemingly iron-clad skin, computers have a tendency to go and break on you. Why tempt fate? All laptops (but especially pretty Macbooks) should be encased in a protective covering. And, as I hate to miss out on an opportunity to plaster the world with style, make it a cute protective covering! There are so many choices out there, from all spectrums of the price range. On the high end, Acme Made bags are beautiful and functional.

I am particularly fond, however, of these less expensive custom laptop bags by etsy seller Flicka. They go for an affordable $40 each. And they even make iPod cases and - get this - fashionable holders for doggie bags! Yes, those doggie bags.

My favorite is this Swedish Pop laptop sleeve. I love the fun and peppy print.

This Marimekko-ish Mod Pod sleeve is also cute, though.

As is Mrs. Yang.

If you prefer a more minimalist look, Club Midnight may be for you. The colors are more somber but the print adds an element of fun.

Aren't these just the worst sort of decisions to make? Visit Flicka now and make your own!

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THE Boot

You know, it's fitting that on the one-month anniversary of this blog, I introduce you to an item which has been on my mind for many months.
(sorry about the delay in posting by the way, I'm bogged down with real-life stuff)
Convince me not to buy these boots.
Or convince me to buy these boots. Either way, I'm screwed.

See, I'm well beyond my "impulse shopping rule," which is if I have a desperate desire to buy something rather pricey (but still on the right side of affordable) on impulse, wait two weeks and if the feeling hasn't abated then it was meant to be. I've been visiting them online with sighs of longing since they appeared this past autumn (I can't believe they're still up, actually, and full price too!).
They're Anna Sui, and they're beautiful, and they're so me. Come on - they have Arthurian scenes etched into them (thus their moniker as the Malory) boot). Boots with literary references? So me. And after my extra-lavish New York trip, they're way off-budget.
I know that one of these days I will hop on over to Anthropologie's boots section and they will be gone, gone, gone. And I will regret it to the depths of my soul. For at least a month. Maybe more!
I mean, these are it. THE boot. What to do?

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It's a Forest Out There

A few weeks ago, I posted about what is in my opinion the ne plus ultra of coats, from last fall's Tuleh collection:

And I wanted to re-introduce that coat to you in plate form. I've been crazy about these plates ever since I saw them on the Moss website, so I'm excited to finally profess my love here.

Gorgeous, right? This series is produced by Dibbern. Find them now at Rose and Radish.
Another variation on the theme comes from those Love is Blind curtains I posted about recently.


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Sale Bags on Parade

I noticed some fabulous accessories on sale at Anthropologie - I know, I know, this is really turning into an Anthropologie blog, though others do it better than me.

This cute sunny pochette is $39.95, marked down from $78. The color is right on trend, if that's your thing.

Don't you love the fact that this bag is really two bags in one? I like the details of the round gold button thingys. $299.95, marked down from $578.

I seriously debated whether or not to get this Ananas bag when I was on the hunt for a new one last month (I ended up with this beauty - in black - which was on sale at Shopbop). Now it's on sale for $299.95, marked down from $498. The grey color and interesting shape, as well as the adorable huge wooden button, lend it major points.

Meet its precious younger sister, which is on sale for $149.95 (from $288).

I posted lovingly about this Hayden Harnett tote last month...and now it's on sale! $249.95 marked down from $528.

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The Day of the Long, Long Post and the Big Big Mess

Tomorrow will be the one-month anniversary of this blog. I started it up on a whim and have come to enjoy posting more and more. Gratifyingly, I seem to be developing, little by, little, something of a readership. At least, a very small bundle of people not including my mother who pop in, hang out for a few minutes and maybe - just maybe - post a comment. This thrills me to no end, as you can imagine. I even got my first blog link yesterday, from the fabulous Lisa from Eclectic Detective (love that blog title!). So I figured I might step up to the podium and share a little personal tidbit in honor of the occasion. Nothing too personal, you understand - this blog is not about me, it's what about inspires me. No dirty laundry here...

Anyway, here's one thing you might not have guessed about me: I'm messy. Maybe even a slob. On a good day, you'll peek into my teeny bedroom and note the slightly romantic cluttered bohemian's attic kind of look. On a bad day...well, I've heard the terms "train wreck" and "bomb explosion" used kindly.

In my own defense, I will say that it is very difficult to keep my tiny bedroom space clean, as the room is 8'x10', I have a lot of stuff (did I mention I'm a packrat?) and not much storage. But a compulsive cleaner and Container Store staffer could probably pull it off. Not me, though.

I'm also a night owl. I love that deep velvety silence that creeps in around 2 or 3 in the morning, when it feels like you're the only person in the whole world. At the moment, it's just me and the snow plows. I get my best ideas late at night, I do my best writing and just function better in general (you would definitely agree if you knew what I am like at 8 am).

This causes problems, however. Because while I said I get my best ideas late at night...I also get some pretty bad ones.
As you may know, the colored book spine organizational debate has been making its way around the design blogosphere recently (here, and here). Pretty much everyone agrees that it looks beautiful, but its not very practical. My first exposure of this look was two years ago, passing by the office of one of my brilliant and hip art history professors (she wears a Freitag messenger, ok?). You can't deny the aesthetic impact, that's for sure.

I decided last week that I was going to try it this weekend, if I had time. Just to see how it went. Fast forward to 2 am on Monday. The weekend had flown by, and there had been no chance to implement my little experiment. I had the "brilliant" idea to try it now.

It was really fun and easy getting the books off the shelves and putting them into their teetering color-coded piles. A fly on the wall would have heard many muttered exclamations: "Ohhh, that's where that went!" "Hey, cool, I own that? being two such examples. After 20 minutes of this I realized there were about five shelves of books (which remain untouched) that I simply did not want to separate from their little categories - school books, for example, or books with different-colored spines that are supposed to go together (like Harry Potter). And then I started tripping over books. I stepped back and surveyed the damage:

To give you some idea of the proportions of this mess....
It takes up virtually my entire floorspace.
(You will, perhaps, note the irony of the book towards the center right of the first image - a rollicking good read by the way).
Truth is, I need some moral support here. Advice would be MUCH appreciated. Should I pack them back off to their old spots, or continue the aesthetic experiment at the cost of all practicality?
Readers, I need you!!
Please hurry and give me some feedback before my mother sees this post and freaks.


Science des rêves

On Friday night, I watched Michel Gondry's recent film, The Science of Sleep. I enjoyed it. It was wacky...a bit hard to follow at times, but my concentration paid off in the end. Above all I loved its imagination and its quirks. It's never been the aim of this blog to critique films, but I will say that I recommend it, especially if you enjoyed Gondry's other films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (the title of which is part of a quote by Alexander Pope, one of my favorite 18th century visionaries).

If you watch this film I would recommend you keep an eye on the decor. Charlotte Gainsburg's apartment, especially. It was difficult to find the screencaps I was looking for (if you know of a good source, please let me know!) but these might give you an idea:

It is just the sort of romantic clutter I love in a space. Pattern mixing, vintage art finds, and tchotchkes everywhere. In one hallway scene, you see a white bust which is sticking out (in relief) on a white wall. There was something about it that really struck me - perhaps the incongruity, because we usually see them sitting on flat surfaces like pedestals, bookshelves or tables.
It's not very practical, perhaps (for example, how would you get it to stay attached to the wall?) but so interesting.


Shoot 'em up

Have you always felt like you needed a little bit more gangsta in your bedroom?
Enter Philippe Starck, design genius extraordinaire:

His Bedside Gun table lamp is now out of production, so get it at Moss while you still can!
Personally, I love this lamp. It's fun and unexpected...perfect for adding a little pizzazz to a more classic interior.
I'm sure Bonnie and Clyde would approve.

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You may remember that I am obsessed with Fornasetti. I am constantly trolling ebay for some satisfaction - torture, really, because even there most of the prices are astronomical.

Anyhow, I LOVE this tray. Wouldn't it be just the perfect thing to rest your baubles on? Get it on Ebay.

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Hitchcock this is not

Still as obsessed with avian imagery as I am? Don't worry. Urban Outfitters has got you covered.

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Blousons in Milan

What do you think of these two coats from Alberta Ferretti's Fall 2007 show? I find them gorgeous...especially as I am addicted to blouson sleeves at the moment. The shapes of both coats are essentially the same, but the changing of a few details (like the black buttons in the first coat) and color gives them each a unique personality.

Here's another similarly proportioned coat, this time at Moschino, in a kicky red silk.

Okay, I'm cheating, this one's not a blouson coat - it's more of a trapeze style. But I just had to post it - I love everything in this look, down to the (more) subdued pompadour hairstyle and the shiny trim on the dress which corresponds to the black patent bag she's carrying (trend alert, by the way!). Also from Moschino.

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Grey's Anatomy for the Home

Did y'all watch Grey's Anatomy last night?

I swear, that show is becoming soapier by the minute...and I am lapping up the drama! That sizzling mix of humor, suspense, tragedy and romance is just inimitable. Not to mention the amazing soundtrack which has changed my life. I could happily live without a television and just watch movies on my Macbook if it weren't for Grey's.
So what does this have to do with anything, you might ask?
I was totally reminded of my Grey's obsession when walking around the East Village last weekend in Manhattan. It was late on Saturday night and an antiques mall was closing up. I watched as a man loaded an anatomical torso onto a truck. You know, the kind they use to teach med students:

Find it here on ebay.
It's like a car accident. You just can't tear your eyes away.
Talk about subversive decorating! Can you imagine sticking this in some random corner in your home for unsuspecting visitors to happen upon? I was thinking like on top of an armoire in a high-ceilinged room. It's less elegant, perhaps, than a skull (poor Yorick!) but it's also kitschier, and less creepy.

There's just something I find so appealingly quirky about medical imagery, particularly of the vintage strain. These coasters, for example:

Beautiful, right? And I love the mise en scene.

Then there's this pocket mirror. I love the illustration's facility of line and the way the red and blues make it pop:

How about this "In Good Health" wall hanging from John Derian?

Look at this eye diagram tray, also from John Derian. When I visited the store on Saturday, I wanted to carry it away with me.

Finally, why not wear a bit of anatomy, courtesy of Tilly Bloom? I think her jewelry is so much fun.

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Aren't indie music posters just the best?

In light of Decor8's recent post on rock posters, it seems timely that the Shins are having a tour poster contest:

I found out about it from my very creative and talented roommate who happens to be a graphic designer. Here's her entry:

I'm so proud of her; I think that it's a great piece and I really hope she wins! If you like it too, click here to vote and comment on it. Click here for the main concert page, to see other people's entries or to find out about entering yourself. The contest closes on March 5th.

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Coasting away

On my recent Anthropologie stop, I picked up two of these coasters, on sale for $3.95 each. I just wanted something shiny to bring home to console me from this.
And they're avian...even better!
I am loving them - here's a photo of one of them in situ on my bedside table, awaiting a mug of a hot chocolate:

Coasters make me laugh, really - yes, they do serve a purpose, but most of the time they don't really do much but sit around and look pretty. Not that they need an excuse.

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Imperial Cartographies

"Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change."
Muhammad Ali

If you're going to be in the Chicagoland area anytime between now and March 18th, please try to get over to Lincoln Park. The DePaul University Art Museum is displaying an exhibition called "Imperial Cartographies" which is well worth seeing.

Perhaps you have an interest in history, or colonialism, or geography. Or maybe you just have an appreciation for maps as beautiful aesthetic objects in their own right. Either way, I really recommend it.

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Oh, Etro

I was really blown away by this show. Well, rather by about 8-10 looks in this show which really wowed me. This suprises me, because I am very picky about color and this venerable brand, famous for its colorful prints, has a tendency to go over the top. But I thought there were several looks which worked really well, and that I would wear in a heartbeat. Here are a few:

Yum- I love the shade of burgundy on that skirt, and how it works with the colors in the blouse. And the leather totally sexes up this sort of "funky librarian" look.

What a beautiful, muted print, which is a perfect contrast to the gorgeous chartreuse satin just peeping out.

Love, love, love this coat. This whole outfit is just perfection, really - well, it would be really perfect if the fur was faux, but that's life!

Ignore the hairy tendrils sprouting from her shoulders. My god, look at those colors!

These colors should not work together, but they do. I love the ruffled collar emerging from the sweater. This look is so refined, but the color really makes it young and fun.

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Yes, needlepoint can be sexy!

If you've been reading this blog for a little while, it's probably pretty clear to you that I am a huge Anthropologie fan. Still, I have the unfortunate tendency to get a bit jaded. Especially now that a store has opened 2 blocks away from my apartment, which I pass twice a day on my way to/from the train. However, this does not mean I lack the capacity to appreciate it (hell, worship it) when something truly spectacular appears on the floor.

My most recent visit on Monday evening revealed this footrest, tucked somewhat incongruously at the foot of a bed:

It's huge. And it's needlepoint! This was like the holy grail of finds.
I stopped and stared for awhile. What first caught my eye was the top part, which is an interpretation of Ingres' Grande Odalisque:

I love this painting by the way, and the way that Ingres was playing with deformity in order to achieve the ultimate sinuous line.

I then walked around to the side, and gaped as I recognized this painting:

A postcard of this image happens to be hanging on my bulletin board right now. It's Fragonard's Young Girl Reading.
The other two sides are landscapes, which I found less easy to identify...the front-facing one looks Gainsborough-ish in execution but it's really difficult to say as landscape is not my forte.

Now, let me give you some background into just why I am so off-the-charts excited about finding this.
I recently flipped out when Shelterrific posted about this recent fleamarket find:

I loved the tongue-in-cheekness of it. The irony is that needlepoint has long been considered a "low" art and been pushed under the umbrella of the once-dirty word, "craft" (helping to smooth over this thorny language issue are shows such as Needle Art: A Postmodern Sewing Circle which was at the DePaul University Art Museum and Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts and Design). Melding it with high art (in this case, its a creative interpretation of Diego Velasquez's famous Rokeby Venus which is now in the National Gallery, London) is pure genius. In my humble opinion.
I searched madly on ebay for my very own interpretation. Secrely, I imagined finding an exact copy of the same piece, like magic. I just love the contrasting blues and yellows and the ironic undertones of the piece. I too desire the heady combination of high and low. And as aesthetic objects, I simply find both of these pieces to be quite beautiful.

My finding of the footrest was serendipitous, to say the least. I mean, just look at the top part! Another reclining nude with her back to the viewer. Seemed too good to be true.

My high lasted until I discovered the price tag several feet away, trampled by the muddy feet of some previous customer. It was $1300.

I like to think that they shared my disgruntlement with that seriously painful price. Humor me, ok?

And excuse the horrible muddy photos, which were snapped surreptitiously with my camera phone - I always feel weird taking pictures in stores. The colors are really much more brilliant.

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Blue Ribbon

While I was in New York, I went to the MOMA Design Store. Pretty much a given, right? Well, what I didn't realize was that right next door was the store for the Museum of Arts and Design.

They had a wonderful gift shop - small, yes, but everything was carefully selected. Handmade objects by independent artists prevailed - scarves, jewelry, pottery, etc. And I was very excited to find that they stocked ribbon by textile artist Laura Foster Nicholson, whom my mom discovered on a day trip up to the Milwaukee Museum of Art to see the Biedermeier show, which I was very sad to miss.

I mean, this ribbon is seriously gorgeous. I just want to wrap my whole body in this Trees ribbon:

Or how about these chairs?

I love the dandelions, too:

Finally, for all of you knitters:

Best of all, everything is 50% off until Feb. 28th! So get thee to LFN Textiles.

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