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Monday, June 30, 2008

flower girl

shades of grey 2008

I just took an AMAZING trip to Paris where I attended floral design school at L'ecole Artistique de Catherine Muller at La Belle Ecole. Most people go to law school; I go to flower school. I try to avoid late-night cram sessions and standardized tests whenever possible. It's much more entertaining to hang out with crazy French designers than a Kaplan softback. The school was founded by floral master Christian Tortu, who has been called the "Yves Saint Laurent of flowers." Catherine Muller is fabulous rising talent and prodigy of Tortu whose avant-garde desings have earned her accolades in Tokyo, Seoul, and New York.

shades of grey 2008

We worked on everything from traditional round bouquets to large-scale floral installations... all while sipping tea from tiny green mercury glass cups. That's my kind of continuing education. These are just a few of my creations...

shades of grey 2008

The best part of the trip was, of course, Paris. Everything seems better in Paris. The streets are cluttered with flower markets and exquisite boutiques and boulangeries that showcase artisan breads executed as carefully as a Rodin. I met a fabulous French designer named Georges at the lobby bar of the posh Hotel Georges V (I was there to see the flowers, I swear). He told me that "Paris was the only city created for woman" in a thick French accent while he sipped on a beautiful French rose from the Loire valley. I didn't disagree. Instead, I traded in my cosmo and followed him and his entourage of elite Parisians doe-eyed for a splendid night out on the Champs-Elysees.

Friday, June 27, 2008

creative clutches

image courtesy of freddy & ma

creative clutches... freddy&ma

I've always been a fan of do-it-yourself projects that don't take a lot of energy. When I was sixteen, I used to drag my sweetheart to Wired & Fired, a paint-your-own-pottery place in Virginia Highlands, just to be different. He watched as I painstakingly applied glaze to create Madonna-inspired soy dishes... terrible right?

For people who like unique objects, Freddy & Ma is the latest and greatest. The web company, founded by a brother-sister team, allows individuals to create their own CUSTOM handbags and housewares with the click of a button! There are tons of printed fabrics and Italian lambskins to choose from, or you have the option of sending Freddy & Ma your favorite vintage print for truly fabulous arm candy!

The prices aren't exactly cheap, but it's worth it for a one-of-a-kind bag that matches your favorite ensemble perfectly. Fabric clutches range from $135.00-185.00, melamine plates are $15.00 each, and a personalized pillow is a mere $45.00.  

A set of melamine plates is the perfect summer gift for a hostess and a good alternative when the only thing left on the bride's registry list is ugly. Individual plates would also make a cheap and chic addition to a drab apartment bookcase. Prop one up on an acrylic plate stand and, viola, your old textbooks look like a work of art. 

Weekend challenge: get creative and go custom!

image courtesy of freddy & ma

friday flair

friday flair

Friday is such a great, unproductive day. Some people daydream about weekend plans instead of crunch numbers in their 2x3", three-walled cubical while other take extra long "lunch breaks"or relentlessly facebooking in hopes that something juicy will show up on the newsfeed. And then some people actually work on Fridays... hard... I guess. Either way, I feel quite unproductive so I have decided to dedicate Fridays to special items of flair - cool stuff to entertain bored minds and uplift spirits. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

bar fly & glitter bug

bar fly

A certain doctor once told me that Atlanta has the highest saturation of plastic surgeons due to its teaching hospitals.  I'm not arguing.  An excess of silicone showed up at East Andrews last night for the WNDC party.  

I did get to peak inside the new Stout Irish Sports Pub ...

image courtesy of stout irish pub

Formerly the beloved Buckhead hangout McDuffs, it did not look like much had changed except the crowd... there was none.  Several positive improvements were made.  The atmosphere is still dark and warm, but there are actual legitimate bathroom stalls and the floors are a nice pink brick that has been finished to make them easy to clean and, therefore, sterilize.  I think the small customer pool was due to a misunderstanding about where the entertainment is... the pool tables (yes, plural) and dart boards are located downstairs just steps away from the rambunctious East Andrews crowd.  In short, it is not as bad as everyone imagined.  There are no techno DJ's and Miller High Life is still $1.00.  It's no place for flair, but worth bopping by if you hang out in the area.

56 East Andrews Drive Suite 16
Atlanta, GA 30305

glitter bug 

There are few things in life I like more than shoes... especially ones that sparkle.  My friends laugh and hope I'm kidding when I say I would eat nothing but cup-o-noodles for a pair of fantastic stilettos.  And, obviously, I was most impressed by the new floors at Stout because I love ALL bars that don't destroy my precious babies.

Photo courtesy of the official Betsey Johnson website

My all-time favorite (affordable) shoes are Betsey Johnson Glitter Polys.  They are absolutely outrageous and adorable.  One of my favorite "items of flair."  And the best part?  They are designed by a professional ballroom dancer, so while they may be sky-high they are perfectly padded and wonderful.  Like tiny glitter clouds floating below your feet.  My closet is covered with them, and I just got a new pair for my collection.  

A new pair of shoes and a new slush-free bar to break them in... how perfect!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


a cosmopolitan trinity, originally uploaded by MatthewA.

ginger-lime cosmopolitan

While visiting my sister in NYC, I had a fantastic cosmo-creation at Chow Bar. This is my rendition of the recipe. The drinks are best when made with homemade ginger-infused vodka, but it's not necessary. Fresh, raw ginger is very potent so I always strain the cocktails before serving. The lime offsets the ginger's kick, so if you find them to be too potent add more lime. Transform into a stylish city girl with just a few shakes. Makes 3 - 4 drinks.

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 lime wedge, for moistening rims of glasses
2 cups cracked ice
12 ounces vodka
4 ounces Cointreau, Triple Sec, or other orange liqueur
6 ounces cranberry juice
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (juice of 2 limes) 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

strange little girl

screenprint on vellum stock

I came into this earth an eccentric, and I've always had a knack for the fabulous.  As a kid, I was unimpressed by "gimmick" dolls like Barbies with fancy light-up roller skates or color-changing hair... I went straight for the the good-looking gals with a sense of style--good hair, clothes, and makeup.  And while I have made many regrettable fashion choices in my day (those turquoise Guess jeans I wore when I was twelve come to mind), I've always been true to myself.  In the second grade when Girl Scouts were all the rage, I refused to join my class Brownie troop because, as I told my mother, "brown was just NOT my color."

My personal style falls somewhere between European traditional and Orient exotic.  I'm a Francophile who loves all things Parisian (from feathered hair pins to Louis XVI chairs) yet has a weakness for rich Eastern textiles and crafts, which my dear friend J. has so aptly named my "items of flair."

I've been hoarding my favorite images, artists, and ideas for years, and I've decided it is time to share.  So here it is... my thoughts on fashion, furnishings, food, and fun... so that others may find their own flair.

*special mentions*

Many thanks to my very own Amanda, an avid fan of pink is the new blog, for introducing me to the concept of blogging.

And, of course, I could not start a blog dedicated to my loves and influences without giving a nod to a fairy and muse, Tori Amos, hence this post title.  

Photo from the Welcome to Sunny Florida Tour