cashmere & leather

On November 30, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Certain combinations become more than the sum of their parts: Champagne and oysters, Roquefort and Sancerre (which I urge you to try), hot cocoa and whipped cream, pretzels and dark chocolate…cashmere and leather.

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I am no avid proponent of cashmere, generally preferring softer cotton blends, but it is warm and in this crewneck sweater I found a price/texture/color combination that I like. I do like a crewneck.

IMG_9942So…cold…

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These color combinations are a flaunting of the oft-repeated guidelines not to pair navy or brown with black. Can anyone fail to notice that black and brown are in fact phenomenal together? That black and navy, too, can be entirely pleasing? Along with navy and any shade of gray? Navy and any other blue? Navy and taupe?

By all means, match your shoes to your belt if it comforts you, but these things really must be determined on a case by case basis.

IMG_9956Express jean leggings, AllSaints leather jacket, Everlane cashmere sweater, J Crew silk camisole, Steve Madden pumps, faux fur collar (eBay), fingerless mittens (eBay), Pearls of Joy 9mm studs. On the lips: Lipstick Queen Saint lipstick in Berry.

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tea time

On November 29, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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This is the famous and extremely pleasant Jade Tie Guan Yin tea steeped in a cast iron tetsubin. The tea is light and distinctly floral. I steeped it in a very inattentive way and still had no issues with bitterness or overextraction, though I added a bit of honey anyway, to emphasize the natural honey note and soften the green (leafy) element.

I got a selection of the most popular traditional Chinese teas from TeaSpring and am working my way through them, albeit at a glacial pace. I’d like to develop tea rituals and make an effort to drink more of it (and less coffee, or certainly less mediocre coffee).

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I love the glaze and the delicately fluted shape of this Japanese cup. It’s a bit ridiculous how much I think about cups and glassware lately.

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surely I need more costume jewelry

On November 28, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve seen so many compelling pairs of earrings lately, I seem to be in an earring-search-and-acquire mode. Not just any kind of earrings, either. Big, flashy ones. Sparkly ones. In many cases gaudy ones. You know the earrings teenage girls and bridesmaids wanted in 1985? Those ones.

I’ve been searching for a series of highly specific abstracts; massive sparkly cushion cut something or other with drop finding, faceted double teardrops in some shade of green, textured gold spheres ca. 10mm, large hammered brass oblong dangles. I just have these VISIONS. I just have all of these IDEAS.

OK. Here are the beautiful ones I found when browsing Bluebirrrd Dreams Etsy shop for pearls (you’ll remember that the shop owner let me borrow some lovely ones). I seem to find all of the best things when I am looking for something else.

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These are blue milkweed beetle (Chrysochus cobaltinus) wings, which have a gorgeous iridescent surface. Are they not fine companions for my scarab pendant? Hand-drilled and suspended on vermeil. Bold yet light and delicate, metallic yet organic. Lovely, lovely.

These got me thinking about my relative lack of flashy costume jewelry. Unacceptable! I thought. Must be remedied!

So, then.

Something like these seemed in order (mine are still in the mail):

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Evidently Angelina Jolie wore a pair like this for the Oscars a few years ago and it’s been easy to acquire simulations ever since.  My thanks, Angelina.

And I got something like these (again, mail):

681f6f3a6c080fa0247646e6e48c749fThey are like a cross between a classic gold sphere and a disco ball. Festive, no?

And I’m still hunting for something along these lines, which I intend to be quite large indeed, though I can’t yet decide whether I prefer the square or diamond orientation, nor which color I want. I just know I want this rounded square shape and a minimal finding with no accent gems or flourishes.

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images via pinterest

If I find a few I like inexpensively enough I suspect I’ll get a few variations. Studs, dangles, different colors, sizes, orientations. Something about this shape and cut is extremely appealing to me. Strange that one can feel a distinct preference for something so abstract as a shape. I like circles, too. Circles, squares, spirals. These kinds of affinities never seem like coincidences. They are the patterns within patterns that lead me to conclude: I am highly predictable.

Did you know that there are green amethysts? That’s on my mind, too.

And…I may have gotten a sequined skirt. A rose gold one. Possibly.

[If you are on the fence about getting a sequined skirt, you should definitely get one.]

I could blame it on a holiday party but this would be a thinly veiled excuse, and beneath me.

Speaking of holidays, happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S., and thanks for reading.

autumn layering

On November 26, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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This is the leather jacket I mentioned. It has some quilted detailing on the shoulders and back, and an appealing abundance of zippers. And finally it is cold enough to wear it. Here I am again with the drab olive color I like so well.

Cargo leather jacket from AllSaints, Old Navy vest (which is quite warm), Zara scarf, Express jeans (thrifted), Eric Michael boots, Mulberry Roxanne bag (thrifted), Spektre sunglasses.

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dumb tripod shadow

Loving the colors in this scarf. Zara is so on point this season.

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reading: Dumas, Baldwin, Messud, Magny

On November 24, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, Dumas — en français! Lentement! A friend inspired me to get back to this (I’ve been poking at it for ages), and this time to adopt the approach of a child reading above her comprehension level. That is, to skip over the words I do not know, and not think too much about them (ideally transcending conscious thought regarding my ignorance altogether, and becoming semi- or (still better) completely oblivious to the fact that I do not know them). Wise, wise children.

Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin — Geek Outsider recommended this so highly that she gave me her spare copy. Such kindness! Such generosity!

The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud — Messud’s latest, and it’s interesting. Imagine a female voice with ire reminiscent of the narrator in Notes from the Underground. You do not come across so many of those (are there any others?), and it is refreshing. It’s strange while reading to remember Messud’s actual voice, which is soft, and more or less just as you imagine a gentle, quintessentially pacific kindergarten teacher’s voice.

Here, for example, are the first several lines.

“How angry am I? You don’t want to know. Nobody wants to know about that.

I’m a good girl, I’m a nice girl, I’m a straight-A, strait-laced, good daughter, good career girl, and I never stole anybody’s boyfriend and I never ran out on a girlfriend and I put up with my parent’s shit and my brother’s shit, and I’m not a girl anyhow, I’m over forty fucking years old, and I’m good at my job and I’m great with kids and I held my mother’s hand when she died, after four years of holding her hand while she was dying, and I speak to my father every day on the telephone—every day, mind you, and what kind of weather do you have on your side of the river, because here it’s pretty gray and a bit muggy too? It was supposed to say “Great Artist” on my tombstone, but if I died right now it would say “such a good teacher/daughter/friend” instead; and what I really want to shout, and want in big letters on that grave, too, is FUCK YOU ALL.

Don’t all women feel the same? The only difference is how much we know we feel it, how in touch we are with our fury.”

See what I mean?

Stuff Parisians Like, Olivier Magny — I’m pretty entertained by this. A cheeky compendium of comically detailed Parisian stereotypes that is, evidently, often not too far off the mark.

“It is important to realize that most Parisians are tired of most of their friends. Hence, a natural defiance against new friends. They will probably be tired of them soon as well. Why bother?”

“There is no wearing red or yellow in Paris if you are mentally sane. Blue is acceptable. Especially navy blue, which has the good taste of being easily mistaken for black.”

“Parisian men are not to shave every day. Parisian men are to have scruff. 

A good scruff sends Parisian men to the very top of the sexiness scale. Men with scruff are somewhere between Indiana Jones in Malaysia and George Clooney on a Sunday afternoon. Scruff makes Parisian men irresistible. 

Parisian men want to be irresistible. 

Parisian women love their men with a scruff. They love this itchy expression of adventure that grows on their men’s faces. A scruff offers Parisians just the right dose of adventure. Civilized adventure. The look of adventure without the smell of it. Potential is more than enough in Paris.”

If you cannot see that this is funny, I am sorry for you.

Also I am completely in agreement with this business about stubble.

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