An Ode to Isabella

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Happy Friday! I’m Sarai Mitnick from Colette Patterns and I’m guest posting for Jen today. This post was inspired by the Wardrobe Architect series I’m writing for my blog, all about defining personal style and buying (or making) clothing with more intention. Read more about the series here and you can also check out my Core Style pinboard.

I fell in love with Isabella Rossellini when I was 15.

I don’t know what it is that makes teen girls sometimes latch on to beautiful famous women, but I suspect we see a reflection of both who we want to be, and who we already are.

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I don’t have the sort of face that gets a lot of comparisons to famous people, perhaps because most celebrity women tend to look alike. But there was something about Isabella’s dark eyes, angular features, and full lips that I could identify with, an idealized and more beautiful version of my own stormy Italian-Jewish features.

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But it was something Isabella conveyed more than what she looked like. She has a grace and elegance that combines with something dark and intense. In many of her roles as an actress, particularly in David Lynch films, she is a little unhinged, a little weird. At the same time, she manages to convey strength and self-possession.

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This is probably what appealed to me most of all as a young girl. The idea that one could be beautiful and just a little off, a little strange; and that, in fact, it is this unusual quality that makes her all the more compelling. You can’t take your eyes from a woman like that.

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PHOTO CREDITS: 1. Photographed at the Cannes film festival in 1990 by Jean-Christian Bourcart 2. Photographed by Steven Meisel for Dolce & Gabbana, 1989 3. Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe 4. Photographed by Ellen von Unwerth, 1993 5. Photographed by Herb Ritts.

Some Things I Covet

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Kelly from Design Crush here, filling in for just a minute while Jen takes a few days off. Every day I come across thousands of things online as I search out the best fits for Design Crush’s aesthetic. Not everything makes the cut, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. So today I’m sharing ten things that I’m coveting like crazy!

1. I’ve been looking for lighter feeling pieces that will make the cold days and many layers of winter feel lightyears away. This delicate Small Honey Petals necklace from Freshie & Zero would be great with a sweet sundress or light tee.

2. Being all of 5’2″, pant lengths are forever the bane of my existence. A pair of Madewell’s Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans would most likely hit at just the right place on my ankle and be perfect with flats.

3. I’m a pouch-a-holic by definition, I just can’t own enough. And now I’ve got my eye set on this cheery Ikonik Makeup Bag by Darling Clementine – a great place to stash lip balms in my bag or pens in my office.

4. Poppy is such a happy color (my favorite) and coffee is the ritual I most look forward to each day. I’d say all signs point to adding this hand-thrown, oversized Open Spaces Mug at Terrain to my kitchen!

5. These ridiculous affordable, itty bitty Illustrated Bird Dishes from newly opened A Fabulous Fete: The Shop are so incredibly affordable that you’d better stock up for little gifts to give throughout the upcoming year.

6. Stainless steel Viv Wall Hooks from Grandiflora feature a light gold brushed finish and are so versatile. Hang a few in your entry for coats and bags, a few in the bath for towels, and a few in your bedroom for necklaces. Winwinwin!

7. Another versatile piece is this geometric Brass Triangle Stand by Ferm Living. Perfect for napkins, stationery, and about a dozen other things that need grouped and wrangled around the house.

8. Petrified and polished wood has never looked so good! A set of Stone Forest Coasters from Terrain are a one-of-a-kind conversation piece just waiting to be added to your coffee table setup.

9. A Mortar & Pestle from Food52 is an investment for your culinary prowess that will make all the difference. The beautifully carved marble just asks that you don’t hide it away in the cupboard when you’re through!

10. The prettiest gold plated Premium Julep Strainer from Cocktail Kingdom would be a nice addition to my bar collection. Welcome to Happy Hour!

Great Things

Hi guys, Kate from For Me, For You here. It’s been so long since I wrote a blog post with stuff that I decided to avoid a theme and just share some great things I’ve come across lately!

I’m an obsessive lipstick hoarder, and my favorites are always pencils/crayons, even though not many companies make them–until recently a few new ones have come along. I really want to try Bite’s new Matte Crème Lip Crayon as Bite makes clean beauty products that are actually bold and beautiful. But, truthfully, I’m on a major budget right now, so I’ll probably try the new Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm first!

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Everything by Kindah Khalidy, but particularly this scarf. And the strawberry pouch! And and and…

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The Made Up Words Project is a wonderful project by illustrator Rinee Shah. Do you have words someone in your family made up that were or are still used in your family’s lexicon that you may have not even known forever were not words the rest of the world used? Rinee is collecting and illustrating them all and they are hilarious to read through. My own contribution was “futsydutsy”, one of the many words my great grandmother used, which is used to describe a piece of lint.

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I’m currently plowing through Cheryl Strayed’s amazing memoir, Wild, about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone in her 20s, so an outdoor adventure is top of mind right now. In this fantasy world in my head where I do something so brave and incredible I’m outfitted entirely by Westerlind. One can dream.

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Lastly, I leave you with two great new songs. St Vincent’s “Prince Johnny” and Mirah’s “Oxen Hope”. Thanks for having me, Jen!

Carrie Strine

Hello! My name is Lisa Congdon and it is my pleasure to be guest blogging for Jen while Zelda recovers from surgery! I am an artist and illustrator from Oakland, California, and I write a daily blog called Today is Going to be Awesome. It is my pleasure to share with you the stunning quilts of artist Carrie Strine, whose current collection is currently on display at Art in the Age in Philly.

Carrie began her art career as a photographer. While she was completing her MFA and working on a series of photographic installations, she started “a tiny project hand sewing tiny little pieces of fabric into a pair of pillows,” she said in an interview with It’s Nice That. “It started out just for fun—I didn’t even have a sewing machine—then it became really clear that there was a relationship between my quilting and the installations I was making in my studio. I used to think it was just that quilting was just a little hobby that would keep my mind from getting lazy while away from my ‘real’ work, but it’s just not the case these days. Quilting has become central to my practice.”

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I am struck by the meticulousness and detail of Carrie’s work — and I have always wondered, how long does one quilt take her to make? And, as you might suspect, she says that it varies. “I always have one project going that is done completely by hand,” which takes much longer. Most of the time, however, she combines machine piecing (that’s sewing together the small pieces of fabric with a machine) and hand quilting. “A bed sized quilt can take somewhere between 6 weeks and 1 year depending on the complexity and my engagement.”

My favorite part of Carrie’s quilts are her use of color and her eye for perfect composition. Medallion, pictured above, is her masterpiece. It took her three years to complete! And, to top it off, not a single inch was worked with a sewing machine!

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Carrie calls her quilting meditative. “I will also think for weeks about what my next step will be with a color or fabric while working on a certain part of the quilt. I really enjoy having the space to work slowly.” As a fellow artist who often rushes to finish work on a deadline, and where I see fellow artists doing the same, I love the idea of “slow art”.

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Carrie is currently having her first exhibition of her quilts at Art in the Age in Philadelphia. The show, Handwork, opened Friday, February 7th and will be on view until March 31st. Its a collection of her newest works, both large scale bed quilts and smaller wall pieces.

You can read the entire It’s Nice That interview with Carrie here. See more images of her work at carriestrine.com and on Carrie’s instagram!

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Images courtesy of Carrie Strine.

You Don’t Own Me, Bag Check

Hi there, fancy Honey Kennedy readers! I’m Anna from Door Sixteen. Up until about a year and a half ago, the most traveling I had done in the past decade was going back and forth between my house and work. I thought of myself as being permanently glued to New York, and I never thought about stuff like passports and travel bags. Then I took a trip to London, which broke the traveling ice! Since then, I’ve been to San Francisco, Palm Springs, New Orleans, and most recently, Stockholm.

After being thrust into the world of airports and TSA screenings and bad weight limits and layovers, I’ve learned one big thing: I do not want to check a bag. I want to go carry-on only, and I don’t want to wind up dropping stuff all over the place and having to dig for my boarding pass while I go through airport security. I want to keep it simple, flexible, and no-nonsense! To that end, I’ve put together my ideal collection of travel products, all geared toward being able to stash my bag in the overhead bins.

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1. TokyoMilk Dark Handcreme and Lip Elixer
I’m a little bit obsessed with TokyoMilk stuff right now. Yeah, the packaging is a big part of it, but the products themselves are really luxurious. I don’t mess around with a million different mists and moisturizers when I’m flying, but I do like to keep my hands and lips from going all reptilian on me.

2. Madewell Transport Tote
Rather than putting everything into one large bag, I like to bring a roomy tote with me to hold the things that I’ll want at the ready when I’m on the plane. I can stash it under the seat in front of me, while the big bag goes overhead. I make sure the things that need to go into the bin at security (laptop, liquids, etc.) all go into the tote so I don’t have to dig around. This tote also has a zippered pocket inside that’s big enough to hold my passport and boarding pass, and it’s nice enough to use for any occasion once I’m at my destination.

3. Herschel Outfitter Luggage
It’s got a top handle, it’s got a shoulder strap, it’s got grabber handles on the end, and you can wear it as a backpack. Oh, and it comes with a laundry bag and there’s a separate zippered shoe compartment! Sold.

4. Herschel Chapter Dopp Kit
My rule is that EVERYTHING I put on my face or in my hair has to fit in ONE designated bag, or it’s not coming along. That includes my brushes and my toothpaste, too. I make sure to keep the liquids and gels contained in a Ziploc baggie inside of the Dopp kit, though, to make it easier to pull out and toss in the TSA tray.

5. Beanie on Helina Zipper Pouch
I like to have an extra-large pouch inside of my tote for miscellaneous items so they’re not getting tossed all over the place. That’s where I stash all of my chargers, hand wipes, bandages, aspirin, sunglasses, and anything else that’s not going in the Dopp kit. Once I’m at my destination, the pouch becomes a hold-all for the things I need to keep handy while I’m out and about.

6. Universal Travel Adapter
I’ve used both the UK and Europe slots on this adapter and have had no issues at all. It’s a little tricky to figure out how to flip out the different plugs, but I like having everything all in one place. Also, it’s cute.

7. Triple C greenJUICE Power Bank
I can’t sleep on planes. I try to read, but it’s hard to concentrate when you’re super uncomfortable. What do I do instead? I play Dots on my iPhone. Over and over and over and over. Next thing I know, my battery is at 3% and I’m frantically looking under the seat for an outlet (there’s pretty much never an outlet). This power bank holds two FULL charges for an iPhone, which is pretty amazing considering it’s smaller than a deck of cards. Just remember to charge the thing itself up the night before—it takes about 6 hours to reach full capacity.

8. Muji Travel Bottles, various sizes
BOTTLES. Everything goes in a bottle, and these are my favorites. They’re skinner than most travel bottles, which makes it much easier to line them all up vertically in your liquids Ziploc. I’ve never had one leak, either. I use the little jars for stuff like eye cream, sine it’s really not necessary to take an entire tube. Anything to save precious space in the baggie.

Ready? Set…go!