Friday, April 30, 2010

In the city.

5/3/10: see correction below in italics

I only live a 40 minute train ride from Manhattan, but now that I don't work in the city I try to pack a load of things into any day I spend there. I definitely followed that credo yesterday!

It was a beautiful, if extremely windy, day--thank goodness I had leggings on under the dress I wore...otherwise I would have been giving a bit of a peep show to all the other people on the streets!

So, anyway, I started my day out at the Met. My plan had been to see the Victorian Photocollage exhibition, which I did, and then head my way downtown. But I ended up also seeing the exhibition of the Belles Heures and The Mourners. And a good thing I did; both were incredible! I want to see the Starn twins' Big Bambú but it can wait until my next visit, when I see the Costume Institute's new exhibition. Sorry, no photos; photography wasn't allowed in any of the exhibitions I saw. Oh, hey--I can post a pic from a previous visit to the museum:

On my walk back to the Lexington Ave. subway line I stopped in to Sant Ambroeus on Madison for some gianduja and caramel gelato, which I savored while sitting on the bench outside the restaurant, counting all the chauffeur-driven black Town Cars and SUVs trying to avoid getting tickets for double parking while their passengers were inside eating lunch or picking up a treat. The Upper East Side of Manhattan is really a world unto its own. A VERY wealthy world which I like to visit every once in a while.

Isn't this an amazing logo? It's so retro and so Italian:

Then it was on to Metalliferous in midtown, to stock up on more supplies for my Etsy merchandise, plus some new goodies. I could (and have) spend hours digging through the thousands of bins they have of all kinds of findings, charms, chains, and trinkets... it is such an inspiring place! And the staff there are so nice and helpful too.

Once again, back on the subway, this time the W train to the Prince Street stop. My main purpose of this portion of the day was a pilgrimage to the brand new Purl Soho store on Broome Street. And boy oh boy, was it worth the trip! I was in heaven... the prospect of so many potential projects was overwhelming. I have yet to work on any bigger sewing projects--I'm afraid to commit, to make that first cut in the fabric I want to use, but if I can ever get over my commitment issues Purl is the place that will help. They have such an array of amazing textiles: cottons, oilcloths, those gorgeous Liberty prints, linens, felted wool... just looking around at the colorful bolts was an experience. I do know I will be back to buy some beautiful yarns when I am ready to work on some colder weather knitting projects, though.

Besides being a beautiful place to wander around and find inspiration, the employees at Purl are all so lovely and happy to offer any advice you may need on your crafting. I can't recommend the store highly enough, and I know from the hundreds of posts I've seen on other sites that I am not alone. I was also pretty flattered that (corrected) Page, one of the owners, actually remembered me from the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale in December! I really thought she must have confused me with someone else--after all, she must have met hundreds of people that day--but she reassured me that no, it was me. She even remembered the necklace I made (just seen in these photos) that I wore that day! Suffice it to say, I was more than a little flattered :)

Two quick photos I snapped with the okay of the Purl staffers:

Two of the ladies at Purl were wearing gorgeously simple earrings that I recognized as being by Ted Muehling and they mentioned that his shop was only a few block away. I had always wanted to see more of his work, so I headed over and spent a bit of time drooling over all the beautiful jewelry by Muehling as well as a nice group of pieces by Gabriella Kiss. I dreamt that I was the customer who was trying to choose one of several necklaces her husband was going to get for her and picking up a pair of earrings for one of her daughters as well. It must be nice!

photo from Ted Muehling website

photo of Gabriella Kiss jewelry from Quadrum Gallery website

A few more quick stops into Madewell, Muji, Pearl River Mart, and Uniqlo before my feet screamed at me that they had had enough. One final subway ride back to Herald Square, then it was back to Penn Station for my train ride home. I am nursing several blisters from my normally comfortable oxfords (not patent like these, though), but it was so worth it. Whew! What a day. I'm tired from just blogging about it!

An excellent day, indeed. Oh, and did I mention that I saw Hamish Bowles not once, but twice when heading into the Met? I'm guessing he was involved in some final preparations for the Costume Institute Gala on Monday.

Broken record time: Don't forget to enter the giveaway! The deadline has been extended to Monday, May 3rd at 9:00 p.m. EST. Enter! Enter! You have nothing to lose!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UPDATED 4/29/10: Something for nothing.

Well, this weekend is shaping up to be incredibly busy for me (a rare occurrence)! Since I won't be able to pick the giveaway winner on Saturday morning as originally planned, I'm extending the entry deadline to Monday, May 3, at 9 p.m. EST. It's a sign you really should enter to win... yeah, all you visitors who never comment, I'm talking to you.

Hey y'all... don't forget about my giveaway! Be sure to enter before Saturday morning--it doesn't cost a thing and you might actually win. I have really appreciated getting feedback from the ladies who've already entered, and would love to hear your opinions too. They will help me in creating future pieces for my Etsy shop!

We Love Liam!

Lynn Russell of Satsuma Press has a 6 year old son, Liam, who suffers from a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Lynn is currently holding a raffle to raise money to fund a remodel of their bathroom for Liam. Some incredible folks have donated items for the raffle (click through for a list of contributors). Please consider buying a ticket ($15 donation), or two ($25), or five ($50). It's obviously for a great cause!

Lynn and Liam, I wish you all the best with the raffle, and good luck to everyone who enters!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Celebration of a century.

I recently reached 100 posts (or a century) here on this old blog. As promised, in celebration of this major achievement in my life (Is that great or pathetic? I'm not sure) I'm having a giveaway featuring some of my creations, and a sale at {gemmifer} handmade, my Esty shop. Woohoo!

The giveaway includes (click on photos to enlarge):

A handwoven 24-inch antique blue and pearl gray cotton cord necklace featuring vintage brass accent beads and findings...

and a set of three photographs. The photos are printed on 4x6 Canon premium glossy photo paper with Canon ChromaLife 100+ dye-based and pigment-based inks.

One winner will receive both items. To enter, please visit my Etsy shop and then leave a comment here telling me your favorite item in the shop. I'd be thrilled if you would also let me know which of the brass accents are your favorite and what colors you would like to see me use for future cords. Please be sure to include your email information so I can contact you if you're the winner!

The entry deadline will be Saturday, May 1st at 9:00 a.m. EST. and the winner will be chosen via either a high-tech (random number generator) or low-tech (pick a name out of a hat) method. Good luck, and I can't wait to hear from you!

Sale details: all necklaces in my Etsy shop are now $10 off or $35 each (regularly $45). The sale ends Sunday, May 9th at 11:00 p.m. EST.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Coming (very) soon...

the giveaway I promised a while back to celebrate my 100th post. I've set a goal for myself to shoot and post the photos before the end of this week. That's not a big challenge, but somehow I've fallen into a lackadaisical (aka bone lazy) rut recently. So photos, post, giveaway, etsy shop sale. All this week. Guaranteed.

4/21/10 UPDATE: I will post the giveaway and etsy sale details on Friday. Yes, this Friday. I promise.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wanting, but not needing.

I know I'm not alone, not by a long shot, in spending time making wish lists of all sorts of goodies I find on the web that I'd buy if I only had the money. My finances are quite meager right now and will most likely stay that way for some time (still searching for employment, one year on). So these lists will stay full of wishes for the foreseeable future, even thought the items on them aren't very pricey (at least compared to what appears in most fashion mags).

So with no further ado, here are my wish list entries for 4/9/10:

Melin cognac brogues by Steven (LOVE!)

Heritage Leather Co. canvas mason bag...

I'd been eyeing this Klein Tools bag for a few years, until I discovered the Heritage Leather version earlier in the week. Now I'm thinking, "Klein Tools WHO?!?"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Farewell, my lovely.

How sad... Takashimaya will be permanently closing its New York location in June. It has been a major part of Fifth Avenue in midtown for many, many years. I have fond memories of stopping in to experience the peaceful atmosphere, treating myself to one or two little goodies along the way. Santa Maria Novella burning papers (much less expensive when I bought them!) and knot cuff links. Green tea from the Tea Box, their tea shop/restaurant. A group of friends and I had tea and cake there several years ago after we attended Open See at Bendel's... beautiful small cast iron pots for the loose tea, and many forks to share the pricey but delicious slice of Lady M's Mille Crepes cake (heavenly!) They also have a beautiful florist shop on the main floor filled with incredible blooms.

I guess as with many others, Takashimaya hasn't been able to survive during this economic downturn. I wonder what will take over the location... most likely a Forever 21 to compete with H&M down the block, or something similar. Takashimaya Fifth Avenue, you will live on in the memories of me and many others.

PS: I'm probably the only one to notice, but this is my 100th post. Yay! To celebrate, I am planning a little giveaway here as well as a sale at my Etsy shop, {gemmifer} handmade. Please stay tuned for more details!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I brake for quilting.

I just found this Wall Street Journal article through the Craftzine blog, about how some long-haul truck drivers are discovering that knitting and quilting are great ways to pass the time between deliveries. It is nice to see that folks not traditionally (at least in modern times) associated with handicrafts are finding them enjoyable. Now, if only they didn't feel the need to hide their hobbies from other truckers who might think it girly.