Saturday, November 29, 2008

New blog!

Since I'm devoting so much energy to making jewelry, I thought it would be fitting to start a new blog. It's called I Make Jewelry and it's going to detail all trials and tribulations as I make and sell jewelry. Should be fun!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hot boots

If glazed leather permanently replaced patent, the world would be a happier place.

[ Luichiny boots, $226 at Endless ]

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hell has frozen over

Forever 21 now has cashmere-blend sweaters.

Cashmere. Forever 21. The world is a crazy and amazing place.

[ The sweater above is this one; browse other cashmere-blend styles at the store here. ]

PS. I bought the leather jacket, because the white coat of my dreams is absolutely not available, anywhere. Boo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Biker chic

I find myself madly in the love with leather bomber jackets all of a sudden. I think something clicked when (I am not afraid to admit this) I saw Serena rocking one on Gossip Girl.

My theory: the snappy strap thing at the collar just looks so cool when it's flapping around. Much cooler than, say, a set of lapels.

Anyhoo, I popped into Forever 21 for some white t-shirts after work - and lo and behold, they had this very serviceable black jacket for $99:

[ $99.80, ]

Would I be seriously slumming it if I purchased my leather from F21? Cuz I really liked the jacket on. Only thing is, I'd be tempted to run it over in my car a few times to give it that authentic tumbled leather look.

The black is a little stark on me, so I came home and searched for similar jackets in brown, gray and dark blue. Sadly, they seem to barely exist, especially at the price point that's realistic for me.

Pretty, but too pricey. And I prefer a plain zipper over those buttons.

[ $340, UO ]

A very similar, but cheaper, option at Urban Outfitters.

To Urban Outfitters' credit, they have a nice little line of pleather options (if skin ain't your thing) as well as a single dark blue leather jacket in a so-so style.

I hear that cognac shoes are all the rag this season - so where are the cognac leather jackets?

And gray, for that matter. Just something a shade lighter than black would do.

The hunt continues...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Open for business!

I'm delighted to announce that my Etsy shop is now open for business! With items ranging from $28 to $288, it has something for everyone. I'm also eager to do some custom items! (Lastly - I will be adding more bracelets and necklaces in the upcoming days and weeks, so stay tuned.)

To celebrate mya Grand Opening sale, I'm offering free domestic shipping ($3 to Canada) and free gift wrapping with all orders.

I hope you enjoy browsing the shop, and if there are any items you'd like to see for sale, please let me know.

Go shopping

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How far we've (not) come

I'm ecstatic that America elected Obama, but I can't help but be sad and bitter than Prop 8 passed in California. It's one thing for individuals to harbor hatred - it's quite another for discrimination to be enshrined in the Constitution.

This isn't the California I know and love.

Also, it seems that any candidate/proposition I donate money to always loses. It's like a curse or something.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I hate buying coats. First of all, I can't stand wool - it's just too scratchy. Secondly, it's really hadto find a style that's warm, but doesn't swallow me whole. Slightly cropped/shrunken styles look good, but they're not that warm.

Enter this coat:
First, let me say that I loathe the sleeves and would have them altered to be a normal full-length or three-quarter sleeve.

I love everything else: the 100% cotton construction, color, subtle asymmetry and nipped-in waist are all major turn-ons.

However, it's out of stock at Revolve. I asked them about it, and they said there are no plans to ever have it in stock. Boo! (why is it on the website, then? To taunt people like me?)

I Googled around like a madwoman without turning up a thing. Then I figured I'd go into super-rabid-shopper mode and put in a request for a special order from the manufacturer. What the hell, right?

In the meantime, I stalked other coats.

Oh hey. What's this at Anthropologie?

It's the exact same coat, but in black - and only black.

If it was any color but black, I'd buy it in a second.

This gives me hope that the manufacturer can fill my special order. Come on! My chilly little self is counting on you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fug or fab: Ash 'Toyka' slingbacks

These slingbacks taunt me. One one hand, I can appreciate the candy colors of the pair on the left, and the superhero vibe of the ones on the right. And I kinda dig the aggressive silhouette and mix of leather and satin.

But, on the other hand, they may be totally fug - the kind of shoe that makes people cock their head and say, "ohh, those are interesting."

Thoughts in the comments!

[ Ash Toyka Slingbacks, $138 at Shopbop ]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This just in:

Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe speaks directly in my ear as I browse footwear.

Here's what she had to say about these pumps:

"Ooh, this Betsey pump is cute! I just love the red and navy pair. What a great pop of color. I can definitely see it with a fun little 50s dress. Adorable."

Laying it on a little thick there, eh Rachel? And apparently you're on a first-name basis with Betsey Johnson. How wonderful for you.

Piperlime has long had this "Rachel Zoe's picks" thing going on, which is actually kind of cool because Rachel (can I call you Rachel?) has pretty good taste.

But now they've taken it a step further with her exact words (surely fabricated by an intern) included on product pages.

Piperlime, I challenge you to take it a step further and add audio files of Rachel fawning over shoes and damning others with faint praise. I always said that shoe shopping needs to be enhanced with a little bitchiness.

[ Betsey Johnson pumps, $165 at Piperlime ]

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New jewelry designs!

Here's a preview of some new jewelry designs that will start selling in my Etsy shop on Nov. 15. For more, visit my Flickr stream. (By the way - readers of this blog will get a special discount, so stay tuned!)

Ah, fall colors...gotta love them. These teardrop-shaped petro tourmaline drops are really special; paired with dark blue iolite button beads, they makes for a really lush look.

Also, I'm starting to think that my signature is the use of blue in every. single. design. What can I's my favorite color.

I named these earrings "candy shop explosion" because, well, they're a smorgasboard of yummy pastel colors that remind me of French macaroons or salt water taffy. I really love how pink amethyst looks with aquamarine and medium-blue iolite...I bet I'll revisit this color scheme many times in the future.

Anyway, as I said, there are more new designs in my Flickr stream.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fug or fab: Bloch frill flat

Bloch, maker of pointe shoes, has ingeniously branched out to civilian footwear. What do you think of these shiny-teal flats with a posh little frill? I love teal, and I love little frills, but the overall look is a bit circus.

[ Bloch flats, $158 ]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Personal color palettes

Photos from the Sartorialist

I'm intrigued by the idea of a personal color palette. I like the idea of really sticking to what looks fabulous on you, color-wise, and making it your signature. Of course, the flip side is wearing the same colors over and over - but we all do that anyway, don't we?

Given the economic downturn, I think people will really focus on investing in classic, quality basics in the colors they love. Over the long turn I think America will see a shift toward the more European style of dressing: a small, well-edited wardrobe where every single piece does its job.

I see my wardrobe converging toward a certain color palette, and I like it because it makes mixing-and-matching all that much easier. I'm moving away from black a bit in favor of ink blue (sounds so much better than "navy," doesn't it?) and gray (which is a hot color this season, or so the Nordstrom lady told me). I'm embracing purple (especially eggplant) with enthusiasm.

In short, I'm wearing a lot of ink blue, gray and deep purple lately, and my recent purchases stick to this palette pretty closely. Maybe it's not the most exciting color palette, but it's a flattering and sophisticated one.

For the sake of contrast, I'm looking to inject a bit more cream into my wardrobe - I love this coat, though I would have it altered to be a 3/4 sleeve rather than that crazy bell sleeve.

If pressed, I think I could be happy dressing exclusively in ink blue, purple, gray and cream (though I would miss wearing teal sometimes). What about you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fug or fab: Matiko 'Bailey' pump

Pros: gray color, classic Mary Jane silhouette, comfy-looking elastic strap.
Cons: patent leather, and a strap that looks like a seatbelt for your feet.

Are these a cool modern twist on the classic Mary Jane, or are they fug? I'm torn, honestly.

[ $139 at Zappos ]

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lace-up madness

The riding boot is going to be big this winter, but they still haven't solved the problem of the whole stumpy-leg thing. Personally I'm more excited about boots with a medium heel and really special details, like these from DSW:

This is a terrible picture of the boots. They look divine in this little banner on the DSW website:

Oh, that toffee/caramel color! Swoon.

Of course, it's so warm in San Diego, boots really aren't necessary. I'm in the market for flats in a fun color - they have eluded me for months now.

From the "can't wait for it to go on sale" files

Scrollwork blouse, $88

The last time I was at Anthro I spotted this from across the room and wouldn't let myself try it on because I knew I would take it home. Gotta bide my time until it goes on sale.

By the way, Anthro's proven to be a great source for basic, everyday skirts. I've bought two from there so far (both full price, oh well) but I wear them all the time. They'e both the Holy Grail of skirts: sharp enough for work, comfy and easy enough for play. And they flatter my petite body and butt/thighs. Heaven.

Also, I treated myself to these rings, which are lots of fun. At 9 for $48, they weren't too pricey.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New York or Chicago?

Meeting with former professors is the trippiest thing ever. Rather than seeing them as I used to - i.e. as people who Must Be Respected, lest they give me a poor grade - I can now see them as people.

And then I can charm the pants off them so they will write me a strong letter of recommendation.

Well, not quite. But I will say: I am so, so thankful these profs are here to give me moral support when all I want to do is crawl into bed and give up on this whole PhD thing.

Also, it's fun to hear female professors talk about their kids. It really is possible to succeed in academia while having a family!

Anyway, I met with one of my former writing profs yesterday and after hearing my sob story, her message was pretty much along the lines of: go forth and kick ass! You're young and single and might as well move to a fabulous city and take some classes at whatever top university is lucky to be graced with your presence!

Which is a message I can't really argue with.

Some backstory: I may still apply to PhD programs this year, but I'm also entertaining the idea of taking some master's level classes (at a top program, of course) without actually enrolling in a degree program. Apparently, this is totally possible, and the barriers to entry are quite low (the major downside, of course, is tuition fees). The goal would be to make lots of great contacts outside of class, so I'm much stronger when appplying to PhD programs.

As it happens, the top programs I have my eye on are in Chicago and New York. I can keep my job and work remotely, so what's keeping me from moving tomorrow and seeing how the academics shake out? Not much, really.

So...if you were young and single and a nut for books, good food and sociology, which city would you choose?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Handmade Stackable Rings

Let's hear it for stackable rings, shall we? Versatile and comfortable, they can make a big statement or a more subtle one. And thanks to Etsy, you can get reasonably priced rings - made to order with whatever gemstone, pattern or metal you like.

Kateszabone offers a set of six stunning rings for $110. They are fully customizable, so pick your metal and gemstone!

I love the modern, sleek shape of these rings by TreAnelli, especially juxtaposed with this lush, tropical color scheme. Again, the rings are customizable with your favorite gemstones. Three rings go for $74.

I'm in love with metalicious's entire Modern Rock collection, which is a fun take on the shapes of classic diamond jewelry. These Ascher stackable rings ($90 for two) are sure to attract a lot of attention.

Offered by seller muyinmolly, multicolored pearls look so cute nestled together in a stackable design. At $30 for three, these are an inexpensive treat.

Ultra-shiny and fun, gets five of these rings from laurelhill for $38.

I think what I love the most about all these rings is the handmade look you just don't get from mass-produced jewelry.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A ForeverChic jewelry line?!

That's right, folks...I'm having so much fun jewelrying up a storm, I thought I'd put together a little jewelry line. My goal is to have at least 15-20 unique pieces ready by November 15 (i.e. the holiday season). I'll probably sell on Etsy as well as local craft fairs. If all else fails, I'll have tons of kick-ass jewelry to wear!

Here's a sneak peek at one of the offerings:

'Plums in the icebox' bracelet - see full set at Flickr

So, here are the key points:
  • one-of-a-kind gemstone jewelry
  • handmade by a ditzy leftie
  • watch this space for updates!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


As if by magic, I brought two pairs of unwanted shoes into Buffalo Exchange, and they transformed into one pair of the coolest BCBG Max Azria pumps EVAR*.

The real question: how old are these babies? If, as I suspect, they are from the 90s, will I sound like an idiot if I call them "vintage"?

Closeup of my new favorite shoesies:

* Does anyone else get a charge when the finicky buyers at Buffalo Exchange actually accept your stuff? It's like being let into an exclusive club.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Burning Man: The verdict

Burning Man was amazing and awe-inspiring and a whole lot of fun. I laughed and danced and gawked and survived two all-day windstorms and one nasty bout of heatstroke. I met lots of great people and took a few pictures, but mostly I flew by the seat of my pants and found wonder and excitement at every turn. I watched people fight in the Thunderdome, danced on cages and rickety three-story structures, donned devil horns, and competed in the Potato Olympics. I jumped on trampolines (once during a white-out sandstorm), spun the wheel at the Skinny Kitty Teahouse (home of several mummified cats), and partied with Canadians and Belgians and Australians.

I would definitely go again, though I don't think I would camp with the same people. And I would work harder to avoid heatstroke (note: getting drunk all day isn't so smart when you're in the desert.)

Anyhow, now I'm back to my own little life, a weird sort of melancholy has set in, but I have a spring in my step and a new joie de vivre that I didn't have before.

So I'm good. I want to get a new job in the worst way. But I'm good.

Some pics:

Entering Black Rock City for the first time. I carpooled with my friend Brian, who was also a first-timer. Since we were virgins, the greeter let us ring a big bell. Hooray!

Sunday night: Our campsite when we first arrived. Since we registered as a theme camp, we had a nice slice o' land carved out for us.

Monday around noon: we'd just finished setting up our mess tent and a huge windstorm kicked up. It didn't let up until 10pm or so! We spent the day aimlessly wandering around Black Rock City, all decked out with goggles and bandannas. In hindsight, it wasn't fun at all, but we were just so happy to have arrived in BRC, and there was lots to see even during the storm. My favorite windstorm sighting: a naked old guy waiting for a nonexistent bus and jokingly asking passers-by for change.

Hanging out in Center Camp during nicer weather. Center Camp was a very impressive, stable structure, and there were always dancers and other performers to keep one entertained. On this particular day, an old man was parked near us and was putting pasties on willing women as they passed him. Hilarious!

The Man, perched on a three-story structure that people could climb and get a great view. Sadly, I didn't get to ascend the Man before he burned, but I climbed plenty of other structures and got to enjoy great views (sorry, no pictures).

Hanging out on the Esplanade (the main drag) on a particularly hot day. I happily accepted cold water, beer, mistings, etc. from all of those camping on the Esplanade.

The Skinny Kitty Teahouse earns its name.

The kissing booth near my camp where I spent lots of time. I worked the booth probably about 15 hours over the course of 3 days, and kissed hundreds of people. It was tons of fun; I especially enjoyed the gifts - booze, food, trinkets, etc. people brought me after I kissed them. I think my favorite gifts were Young Wife Blend coffee (from a Salt Lake City couple) and an Eiffel Tower keychain from a French man. Also, a Russian guy had an old typeweriter and let us type on it. Fun!

A sign at one of my favorite bars.

A band playing in a rolling concert venue. That would be impressive enough, but when you consider that all this was brought to the middle of fucking's pretty awe-inspiring.

Another awe-inspiring sight: two massive pieces of metal artwork alongside the crane that put them in position.

So those are some pics. They hardly capture the energy or debauchery of the festival, but I let the fancy photo-taking for others because I was so busy cavorting. Also, the dust was hell on electronics and I didn't want to kill my camera.

In summary, I would describe Burning Man as a rave meets Woodstock meets total anarchy. It was smashing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

One of the coolest quotes I heard during Burning Man

I'm happy I was able to track this down.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure….

“It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?…

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Nelson Mandela*

Loves it!

(more about Burning Man later)

*Ok, apparently this quote is actually from Marianne Williamson and is wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Off, off, off!

If I've been silent lately, it's because I've been madly preparing for Burning Man. My buddies have an insane theme camp going, plus I needed to secure my supplies (nonperishable edible goodies, a metric ton of lightweight longsleeve knit shirts, etc.)

Tomorrow morning we're jetting off to Reno; after staying at the Atlantis (truly my fave Reno hotel) we're heading out to get water and any last-minute supplies before kissing normal civilization behind and going onto the desert.

Here's hoping the car doesn't break down, I don't break down, and so forth.

I have a good feeling about this trip, though. And holy shit! I don't have to work for an entire 7 days!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Daily outfit photo + new haircut!

Necklace: Forever 21
Shirt: Anthropologie (organic cotton! On sale for $40!)
Shorts: Forever 21 (I am obsessed with these)
Shoes: Steve Madden via DSW

I am really loving this new haircut. I basically wash it, let it airdry a bit, then add Paul Mitchell curl-defining stuff and twist sections around my finger. At that point I can blowdry it with a diffuser, or can just let it air dry. Either way it doesn't take any more than 10 minutes of styling time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New haircut!

You'll have to wait just a leeeeetle bit longer for pics of my new 'do. Between traveling to see my grandparents, watching the Olympics, and making lots of jewelry (see my Flickr here), I've been a busy little bee. A busy bee who is LOVING her curls and the compliments her new 'do is getting!

As a consolation prize, here's a photo of my most recent creation. Tourmaline and gray quartz for the win!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rediscovering elegant sandals

The other day I saw a woman dashing across the street with the most elegant teal sandals. They had the slightest wedge heel and looked a lot like these:

[Dolce Vita, $55 ]

But as I said, they were teal, not kelly green.

This summer it seems like a significant number of people are abandoning that Southern California staple, the rubber or foam flip-flop, and going for more luxurious styles made of leather. I think we have the gladiator trend to thank for that: even when people aren't going for gladiators per se, the trend has still yielded a lot of elegant styles. I'm a big fan of leather sandals that have the long, elegant T-strap, like in the sandals above. It's so much more chic than big rubber straps cutting across the foot.

Anywho, Dolce Vita seems to have its finger on this trend. I can't vouch for the quality of Dolce Vita's sandals, but these are mighty cute:

I love the little owl on these. So unexpected.

[ Dolce Vita, $60 ]

Franki Durbin highlighted these on her blog, and I've been slightly obsessed with them ever since.

[ Dolce Vita, $85 ]

I think people are also discovering that a good-quality pair of sandals are much more comfortable (and better for your feet) than some crappy pair of shower shoes. Ah, elegance colliding with comfort...ain't it a beautiful thing?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Chop chop

I like my hair, but there's too much of it. It's time to chop it off.

In my mind's eye, my hair looks like this:

In reality, my hair looks more like this:

Kylie's gorgeous as usual, but this cut is so blah. Her hair has the same haphazard waves and wispy ends that mine does. (However, I don't have brown roots. Ahem.)

Problem is, my hair is naturally wavy and the shorter it is, the more curly it gets. I need to either embrace the curl, become really good friends with my flatiron, or get it thermally straightened. Also, I have a lot of hair (especially for a blonde), and when it's short (i.e. unencumbered by gravity), it tends to go north, east, and west - everywhere but south.


Though this cut borders on Helmet Hair, everyone loves Nicole Richie's Fembot Bob. I could pull this cut off if - and this is a big if - I loyally straightened my hair. The qustion is, can I handle the upkeep? And what if a speck of humidity hits the atmosphere, turning my hair wavy?

I don't like the center part on Gwyneth's cut, but if I twisted my hair around my finger (or a curling iron) it could look like this pretty easily. Only problem: a short layered cut like this could really bring out the poofies - but there are products for that. This is definitely a contender.

Lastly, here's Kylie showing us what short and sassy is all about:

I would get this cut in a heartbeat, but my hair stays that straight for, oh, about 30 seconds. I could get my hair thermally straightened, but I know I'd miss my waves if I did.

Also, let me point out that how a cropped cut like this really adds height to petite gals. WIN.

Are there any neato short or medium-length cuts I'm missing?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The perfectest purse that ever pursed

I still haven't received my economic stimulus check...which makes me all the more bitter that this beautiful purse costs roughly two gazillion dollars.

[ Botkier Rex Satchel, $695 at ]