There is nothing more fun that stationary. The art of writing letters to stay in touch is a thing of the past, but nothing beats the holidays when your mailbox is stuffed and the creativity of each piece showcases the personality of the sender. Because I haven’t lived in the same place for very long, I have invested in a few various stationers and I just love the process and result. In times like these, value is the most important consideration when purchasing a luxury item like stationary. This year I used, Etsy, my new favorite resource for “All things Handmade” I was able to have multiple artists bid, quote, and demonstrate their unique designs. I ended up with a product for ½ the price of Kate’s Paparie or Papyrus. Here are the final products.
To start the bidding process figure out what you are comfortable paying for your project and in my case I ordered, We’ve Moved Cards, Birthday Invitations and Return Address Labels. I figured a bulk order would give me more bargaining power and I am happy with the result. Check out Tucci’s shop at Etsy if you like her style.
After reading, watching and asking others with green thumbs how they do it, I decided to take a leap into planting over Memorial Day weekend. Being that my soil hasn’t been tested and there isn’t anything that seems to like to grow on the property I figured I would start out with container gardening. If you are living in the north east then it is still spring and you have time to plant both perennials and annuals.
I made a few visits to Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot and garden centers, but left with nothing. I was always unsure of what would work and not be a waste of $$$. I was also concerned for what I could care for and the quality of the plants. I had always heard that diseased plants come from chain stores and the only guarantee in buying plants was to buy them from a grower and have them plant them for you.
All my plants camp from Home Depot & 99% of my plants have survived the past 2 weeks, 1.5 fatalities and that was because I didn’t read that it needed full sunlight which I don’t have and the tomato plants in the topsy turvy are TBD. In addition to sunlight, a watering schedule, pots/ planters and deer are the other concerns I needed to understand before buying anything.
Here are some sources I consulted and here is what I ended up with…I’ll keep you posted on how they survive the summer.
Martha Stewart Show w/ Jerry Fritz of Linden Gardens Topic: Deer Resistant Gardens where Jerry coins the key to planting planters…always be symetrical and have a Thriller plant (Attention Grabber) a Filler (bulk) and a Spiller (flows over the sides), LOVE IT.
Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler
Earth Easy: Raised garden beds, for those of you with property a friend of mine is composting and everything with the raised beds…Very Obama!
Upsidedown Tomatoes: Topsy Turvy, As seen on T.V.
White Flower Farm - Highly Recommended
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/- Highly Recommended
Fun Pots/ Planters
Not all that different from a regular cinema experience, except you are one of the first 1000 people to see the film and it costs $15 (+fees). Getting tix was made possible of AMEX Concierge. A feature that I am not aware if any other credit card has, but something I have now used a few times and just love!
I saw two films during the Tribeca Film Festival this year and both were in the same theater, AMC VII on 3rd Ave. The theater was small, but still smelled of popcorn and the seats were filled for each event.
First I saw, The Exploding Girl, a narrative about a college student home for a summer break in Brooklyn, NY. The movie was slow, but enjoyable. The love story between two teenagers was juvenile and chaotic, but reminded every audience member of their first “like” in life. The acting was good and the scenes were realistic. The directors, webpage.
Second I saw, Racing Dreams, a documentary about go-karting. Racing Dreams won the Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Documentary. I learned that Jeff Gordon and other NASCAR racers got their start in go-karting and governed by the WKA it is becoming a more popular youth sport. The documentary followed 3 karters for 1 season and it was just sensational. The director, Marshall Curry took some questions after the film and everyone was mostly curious where the 3 kids are today. Watch the red carpet premier and meet the three stars. It has been 2 years since the first film footage was shot. I laughed hard and got teary eyed too. We went to dinner and talked all night about the 3 kids. It was a really great film. Want more…Clip
IFC- The independent film channel might be the best chance you have to see these films, so if they come across your t.v. stop and watch.
This time of year buying the whole outfit doesn’t always make the most economical sense. Here in NYC there are at least 2 more months left of winter and sales are everywhere because spring lines are waiting in the wings to take over the shelves. If you are anything like me, your closet is filled with in-style, out-of-style, premier designers, economy brands and a few staples. In attempt to be a fashion savyy dresser, the ultimate conundrum is where to spend your money and make the most of your closet.
Since starting Mellow Mint, I collect images of well dressed people from magazines and clothing catalogues making note of items I think would look good on my body type, are trendy, and show different ways to wear something I already own. I stuffed these images in a drawer and did little with them, until yesterday.
THE STORY: This weekend, there was a shoe sale 75% off winter shoes plus I had a $20 off coupon from TopButton.com my fashionista shopping sale site. Based on a positive experience this time of year in ‘08, I knew I was looking for a pair of boots. The dress code in NYC is boots and my current pair was getting a serious workout. I found a comfortable neutral light brown pair boots and suede tan wedges for spring.
When I got home, my husband wanted to see what I bought and the buyer’s remorse set it. Did I really need these, were they excessive, necessary and did they add to my wardrobe. I tried the boots on with my skinny jeans and they didn’t look at hot as I hoped. I tried the wedges on and he said “not a fan”. I started looking through my closet and rifling around and quickly said, oh well I can return them and I hate all my clothes.
THE SOLUTION: I came across my image collection and started pulling out a few items that matched the images. Little by little I started putting together combinations that I had not yet done this season. Keeping in mind the two new pairs of shoes, an article titled ‘Now & Later’ from LUCKY Magazine and another titled ‘25 days of outfits’. I designed 11 new outfits. I took notes to remind myself of these new outfits, but if you are interested in setting up an online catalogue of outfit options, explore Polyvore.
More Fun Links/ Video…
Suite101.com by Gill Hart
InStyle Spring ‘09 Fashion Trends
Lucy Magazine Style & Advice Section & Now & Later piece on the Today Show
Stacy London….Splurge or Save on the Today Show.
Stacy London… Answers Viewer’s Questions Part I and Answer’s Viewer’s Questions Part II on the Today Show.
Recently, I received a Get To Know Your Friends Better chain letter, and my friend wrote, “In Target” as the “Place I Would Rather Be Right Now”.
Target’s tag line; Great Design. Every Day. For Everyone. This store is the single most reason I get jealous of the ‘burbs’. There simply is no better way to utilize your lunch break or spend your down-time before a dentist appointment.
Target is constantly adding new designers and new lines to their Design for All campaign. The products are innovative, fun, well made and look just as good as the alternative at half the price.
To search their list of designers Go Here, but these are a few products that make me want to drive to Jersey this weekend.
If you have ever dabbled in jewelry making or reaped the benefits of someone else’s hobby then you can participate in this fun mix and match project. I have gathered up all my outdated necklaces, my chokers, those with tarnished toggles and odd color combinations and ripped them all apart.
After last Friday’s blog I started to recognize some trends for this spring and I laid out some color combinations with the necklaces that were simply collecting dust in my jewelry box.
Light Green & Pale Pink
Red & Yellow
White & Aqua
Brown, Tan, White
Green, Clear, Gold
Pink & Aqua
Green Mossy Hues
Purple & Orange
Black & Gold
I can’t wait to complete the combinations & recycle my old necklaces.
Right now many retailers have great jewelry pieces on sale and ones that will look great through the spring and summer. Retailers are stressed about excessive inventory, so pick a weekend in February to visit your outlet malls and shop online TODAY! Since starting my research some great options have sold out already.
Check Your Jewelry Box!
Gold Chains in a variety of lengths (16, 18, 24 & 32 inch)
Chunky Beads and Gems
Long Beaded Strands
Here are a few HOT finds and 100% are ON SALE NOW!
MOre More More…But Act Fast
1. Use as next years Christmas tags, Just cut out what would make a pretty tag, punch a hole in the top with a paper-punch, and use a ribbon to attach to the gift.
2. Children’s Memory Game, Cut out matching size squares from construction paper and your Christmas cards and glue two together with a glue stick.
3. Cut out shapes i.e. stars, circles, etc and string them for ornaments for 2010.
4. Use them for Place Cards at your next dinner party.
5. Turn it into a post card and send a note to a friend.
6. Christmas Ornaments, use cookie cutters to draw shapes and cut out with shears or craft scissors. Punch a hole and string with a ribbon.
7. Bookmark, laminate and punch a whole and string with yarn.
Is this year any different than years past? Yes and No. Expectations for holiday tipping are still there, but the value doesn’t have to be as high. Everyone understands and would rather you come in and get your hair cut than not to avoid a tip. It is also O.K. to play favorites and give different values to each individual for their service. The suggestions for 2008 aren’t very different from years past, but you are only expected to give what you can. Remember, it is the season of giving.
Dog Walker/ Cat Nanny- Cost of 1 weeks fee
Door Man- $20 - $100 (’07 Average was $50 pp)
Gardener- Up to the cost of 1 service
Hair Stylist/ Colorist- Double your usual tip or the cost of 1 visit
Babysitter- Cash or Gift up to 1-2 nights pay
Assistant- $50 Gift
Boss - Gift value $50 or under
Day Care Staff- Tip or Gift $20 - $80
House Cleaner - Cost of 1 visit
UPS Man- $20 or less Gift Card
Newspaper Carrier - Cost of 1 month subscription
Trainer- Cost of 1 session
Saturday 10 am - 5pm
PS 307 and PS 287 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Saturday 11am - 7pm
The Altman Building
135 W18th St
More Details: http://nymag.com/shop/
Saturday 10 am - 5pm
The Knitting Factory
More Details: http://www.thenewnewny.com/handmadecavalcade/
Thursday, December 4th through Sunday, December 7th
Richmond Raceway Complex
More Details: http://www.thebizarrebazaar.com/
December 13 - 14
South End Holiday Fair, http://www.sowaholidaymarket.com/
December 7th 12pm - 7pm
The Castle at Park Plaza, Boston
Bazaar Bizarre http://www.bazaarbizarre.org/boston.html
Mill Valley, CA
December 6th 10am - 5pm
Milly Valley Community Center
San Francisco, CA
December 7th 9:30am - 5pm
Ft. Mason, Bldg. A
More Details: www.risd.edu/pdf/alumnisale/nocaholiday08.pdf