the verdigris mani

On April 24, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

verdigris, n. a bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate.

I’ve been wanting to collaborate with indie Cambridge nail salon Wet Paint Nail Spa for a while. Michelle, the owner, is a seriously talented nail technician, with the curiosity and creativity displayed by the best artists in every medium. I’ll definitely be featuring more of her work in the future. If you are in the Boston area I cannot recommend this salon highly enough, the other technicians are wonderful as well.

verdigris manicure theseventhsphinx

I asked her to create a look inspired by my snakeskin clutch and makeup bag and she designed this incredible verdigris manicure, mimicking oxidized copper and at the same time reminding me of gorgeous reptilian eyes. I love every shade of copper…really all warm metallics (as evidenced by my recent eyeshadow post), and could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

verdigris manicure theseventhsphinx

verdigris manicure theseventhsphinx

This is two coats of acrylic paint (paint! Not nail polish, painted on with a paint brush! Which I will not be trying at home.) dusted with a glittery green pigment from CND. Topcoat and basecoat from DazzleDry, both of which I am so impressed with (really quick drying) and plan to pick up immediately.

verdigris manicure theseventhsphinx

Longtime readers will remember my beloved python clutch. The teal one above is from the same Etsy shop, linmade.

verdigris manicure theseventhsphinx

Like the tarnished silver of the amber ring with this tarnished copper manicure. I’d been wanting my nails painted for weeks (they are often bare but I crave the decoration once in a while) and now it’s a constant, beautiful distraction.

Freshwater pearl ring from Pearl Paradise, which is having their Mother’s Day sale at the moment…

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on the menu: birdseed bran muffins

On July 19, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I enjoy cooking from flour, local chef Joanne Chang‘s first cookbook. It’s full of the kind of dessert-esque breakfast/brunch items I always want. This week I tried the addictive bran muffins (link to recipe), which won me over with the ‘birdseed’ topping.

flour bakery birdseed bran muffins

I made a few adjustments to work with what I had on hand, sour cream instead of crème fraîche, cream instead of milk, a little coconut flour and coconut oil just because, some mashed banana, some cinnamon, extra raisins. I also added white and black sesame seeds (to the prescribed flax seeds, millet, and sunflower seeds) to make things ultra-birdseedy. I also halved the recipe. With all these changes, the texture still came out nicely – to weather such haphazardness is a mark of a solid recipe.

One thing I would say is that the quantities are sometimes high. I think I routinely halve these recipes, and in this case I still made about 12 muffins, which is the yield given…so something is not quite adding up. But I don’t care, as long as the muffins are good.

flour bakery birdseed bran muffins

These are dense, not too sweet muffins, which seem not outright unhealthy, as is the case with certain muffins, and which improve with grilling or strawberry-rhubarb jam or both.

flour bakery birdseed bran muffins

Happy baking!

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we like: Urban Art Bar

On December 13, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Urban Art Bar is a cool concept, a bar in Southie where those with or without experience with acrylic painting can follow [or not remotely follow] an instructor painting a certain image. You check out their calendar and select the image you want to paint, then just show up, drink, and paint away.

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The painting on the night I went was Starry Night, a favorite. For the most part they are not known paintings, just simple, approachable images one could create in a couple of hours.

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Revlon Matte Balm in Standout

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It’s great to walk around and see how differently everyone interprets the image. And some people clearly focus more on the drinking part. I’d never done acrylic painting and found the experience to be a great introduction, with a fun, supportive atmosphere.

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Check it out if you’re in the area!

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Shakespeare on the Common

On August 12, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.” 
                                        ― William ShakespeareTwelfth Night

This was the 19th year of Shakespeare on the Common, a Boston tradition that is well worth attending. This year’s performance was Twelfth Night, a favorite of mine.* It’s a wonderfully knotty comedy of errors with no shortage of great lines.

*Check out the film adaptation with Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter – very good.

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Loving this necklace of turquoise jawbreakers. 

It’s a fun event, especially if you have the time to arrive early (ideally an hour and a half, at least) and get a good spot on the grass. Bring a picnic, watch the crowds (it’s a hearty, appreciative, reliable crowd), take in a little Shakespeare…it’s a good time.

I’ve been nearly every year for the last 6 or so years, sometimes going twice in one summer. It’s always good—consistently interesting and innovative staging and interpretations—and occasionally exceptional (Othello a few years ago was phenomenal).

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My expression is so much like that of my mother in this photo. The architecture of my face is very like hers, will have to show you a photo.

photos by Chris Bennett (thanks, Chris!)

keeping it casual

On August 2, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Liking these high waisted cut-offs for a casual summer look.

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Oh, and I like hockey.

I grew up in a remote part of Maine and we only got reliable reception from the nearby New Brunswick towers, so for the most part I watched Canadian news, Canadian shows, Canadian sports. Still when I go back to Maine there is faithful watching of Hockey Night in Canada and much love for the inimitable Don Cherry.

There are a lot of American pop culture references I miss but I am pleased with my exposure. My favorite team is the Toronto Maple Leafs (not ‘Leaves’, I know, it kind of bothers me, too), but I can get behind the Bruins. I have one of their Stanley Cup tees, too, I realize, so my closet at least is showing a lot of Bruins support.

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Another summer, another pair of Converse.

Shorts from Express, Chucks, Bruins tee, Mulberry bag, Spektre sunglasses, vintage Levi’s belt (I love this belt), Skagen watch, tumbaga earrings.

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