3.29.2010

you light up my life



I have developed a horror of overhead lighting that verges on the Blanche du Bois level. Flattering low light is now required for all rooms of my apartment, which makes me look pretty good. However, I have a finite number of outlets in which to plug lamps, and limited floor space for said lamps, and I have an abundance of Contractor's Special Bulk Purchase overhead lights.


Fug. And is it just me, or do they look like breasts?

A few weeks back, I was at this amazing midcentury furniture store, where I realized that even if the chandelier I was swooning over was priced in 1964 dollars, I could still not afford it. Kalmar, how you taunted me with your gorgeousness.
Then, I thought about it. Hourglass shapes in blown glass, eh? I can't buy this particular chandelier, but I can convince my mother to go to Hobby Lobby and purchase the entire clearance section of clear glass ball christmas ornaments, and to drive the 168 glass spheres to me on the occasion of their next visit. And you know what's easier to work with than fishing line? Dental floss: strong, cheap, and much easier to tie into endless knots than fishing line.

Two iterations of this idea and one entire forty-yard spool of dental floss later, I have a fake-ass chandelier. Is anyone going to mistake this for a Kalmar? Of course not, but then again, the total cost for the DIY version breaks down as such:

$2.89 for wire wreath base
$7 for spraypaint to turn the wreath base from dark green to white. (Fun fact #1: you cannot buy spraypaint in Chicago, thanks to Mayor Daley. My friend Tim bought me the contraband spraypaint in a suburb and delivered the forbidden goods.)
$14 for seven boxes of clear glass ornaments
$9.08 for box of 100 s-hooks to shove into the existing light fixture
$1.29 for spool of dental floss

Grand total: $34.26, and several hours on my couch painstakingly tying the ornaments onto dental floss while listening to the Stones. (Fun fact #2: your fingers will smell intensely minty after this project.)

Approximate price range for actual Kalmar chandelier: $1,000 and up, plus the deposit I'd lose by installing such a piece into my apartment ceiling.

Saved: $965.74
(Which, incidentally, I am now spending at the vet to treat my poor sick kitty, but that's another story and is one cost I am not going to think twice about.)

3.24.2010

bijoux

Lately, I have lost or broken one earring per set of several recently acquired pairs. One I blame on an after-bar cab with fuzzy seats that I swear must have caught my earring back and disentangled the jewelry from my ear, one I chalk up to clumsiness, and one, I maintain, is someone else's fault.

Clearly, the way to address this problem is to buy nice new earrings. Perhaps I'll be less likely to maim or misplace these, hmm?


Triangle studs and sphere studs, both from By Boe.

3.16.2010

pillow fight

CB2 wool/poly pillows: originally $40, down to $25 on sale.

Two yards of dark heather grey felted wool: $1.78
Two yards of light grey felted wool: $1.78
One yard dark purple felted wool: $.89
One yard mustard yellow felted wool: $.89
Four down-filled pillows bought from the thrift store: $12
Cost to wash the pillows: $3
Awesome friend with an early-twentieth century sewing machine: free, and profusely thanked.

(note: the heather grey is a blue-grey, not an amber-grey that the morning light
in this shot would have you believe. Thus: totally the same look as the CB2 pillow.)


Total cost to make four knockoffs of the ludicrously overpriced CB2 pillow: $20.34
Money saved, even from sale price: $79.66.
Things purchased with the $79.66: cocktails at The Violet Hour, falafel at Sultan's Market, birthday present for mom.

3.15.2010

brown sugar

The cat argues that I have more important things to do than to stand next to the couch, waiting for the self-timer on my camera to go off.

Trench, Tulle; gloves, vintage; cardigan, Old Navy; waxed-linen dress, Eva Franco;
old tights that are probably getting thrown away once spring properly hits; shoes, vintage.

3.13.2010

analogous

After several gorgeous, balmy, spring weather fakeout days, March is back to normal with drizzle and wind.

Wool cape, vintage; yellow suedette gloves, vintage.

I bought these gloves at The Vintage Bazaar a few weeks ago, and didn't even think about how much they look like the cheapie yellow dishwashing gloves shoved into under-sink storage. A few wears later, and I realize that these are to yellow dishwashing gloves what an actual tuxedo is to one of those faux tuxedo t-shirts.

3.07.2010

the gaze

"...I'll ask you to consider for a moment the exemplary issue of prettiness. One of the things that makes the people on television fit to stand the Megagaze is that they are, by ordinary human standards, extremely pretty. I suspect that this, like most television conventions, is set up with no motive more sinister than to appeal to the largest possible Audience- pretty people tend to be more appealing to look at than non-pretty people. But when we're talking about television, the combination of sheer Audience size and quiet psychic intercourse between imagery and oglers starts a cycle that both enhances pretty people's appeal and erodes us viewers' own security in the face of gazes. Because of the way human being relate to narrative, we tend to identify with those characters we find appealing. We try to see ourselves in them. The same I.D.-relation, however, also means that we try to see them in ourselves. When everybody we seek to identify with for six hours a day is pretty, it naturally becomes more important to us to be pretty, to be viewed as pretty. Because prettiness becomes a priority for us, the pretty people on TV become all the more attractive, a cycle which is obviously great for TV. But it's less great for us civilians, who tend to own mirrors, and who also tend not to be anywhere near as pretty as the TV-images we want to identify with. Not only does this cause some angst personally, but the angst increases because, nationally, everybody else is absorbing six-hour doses and identifying with pretty people and valuing prettiness more, too. This very personal anxiety about our prettiness has become a national phenomenon with national consequences..."

E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, David Foster Wallace

3.06.2010

pete, re-peat.

Black outfit, red boots. Whatever, these boots are eminently comfortable and as worthy for a late-night scavenger hunt (last weekend) as they are for a DANCEPARTYDANCEPARTY tonight. I have already requested Prince's "Gett Off", because I'm proper and ladylike.

Dress, Target (dude, it has pockets); boots, Aerosoles;
studded bangle, Stein Mart; silver bangle, Until There's A Cure.

yipes stripes

Worn for the parents' visit this weekend/ today's trip to Oak Park to run around and ooooooh aaaaaah at the Frank Lloyd Wright home/studio and the bevy of FLW-designed homes in Oak Park:

Striped cowl-neck, H&M; cardigan, Old Navy; polka-dot scarf, vintage;
skinny jeans, Uniqlo; boots, Born; cuff watch, Marc Jacobs; leather jacket, Moda.

Tonight (sans parents) is a DANCEPARTYDANCEPARTY. I have no idea what to wear. Tipsyface photos of that eventual ensemble to come, perhaps.

3.01.2010

same old

Same old, sorta: black, black, red, boots.
Wasn't there a YA book popular in the early 90's with a girl who only wore black, white, and red? A pre-White Stripes color-coordinated ensemble thing going on? (I want to say it was set in Rhode Island, yes?)
That girl had a good idea.

Dress, Ann Taylor Loft (hell yes! Ann Taylor Loft clearance
rack
, at that!); tights, Nordstrom Rack; boots, Bandolino;
cuff watch, Marc Jacobs; silver bangle, Until There's A Cure.



Ann Taylor Loft has some surprising finds: such as this dress with exposed zipper down the back. Rrrowr.