Apologies if this is old news, but I haven’t checked in on those amazing Danes at Ferm Living in a while, so it’s all new to me! I have wallpaper from Ferm in my dressing room, studio, bathroom and pantry, so you could definitely say I’m a fan. I keep looking for more things that I can wallpaper just to have an excuse to use more of their patterns. I wasn’t really aware of all of the other non-wallpaper housewares they’ve added to their line, though! Obviously I need to pay more attention, because apparently Ferm are just designing stuff for me. I mean…look at this collection! I kind of want everything.
I’m pretty unfancy when it comes to jewelry. Aside from a few things that were gifts, the only jewelry I wear (if I wear any at all) is cheap stuff—really cheap stuff. Last weekend I found this neat “diamond” ring at H&M for $5, and even though I didn’t like the weird faux-antique finish of the metal, I decided to buy it anyway and try giving it a little makeover.
I’ve never tried spray-painting jewelry before, but I figured that since matte black Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer has proven itself to be incredibly durable on my door hinges, window locks and other hardware around the house for the past six years, it would probably hold up pretty well on a ring, too.
I washed the ring with soapy water, dipped it in rubbing alcohol (this might’ve been unnecessary, but I figured it couldn’t hurt), let it air-dry completely, and then applied two light coats of Rust Reformer. After letting it dry overnight, the ring looks PERFECT. The black finish is flawless, and and the ring looks a million times cooler now. It’s my new favorite piece of jewelry! (Side note: Doesn’t it remind you of AM Radio’s himmeli mobiles?)
OK, so before my mother has a heart attack: That’s not a real tattoo. It’s a Tattly. I’m kind of obsessed with temporary tattoos right now—I have a huge stash, and they’re perfect for non-committal types like me. I love what Tina has managed to do with Tattly—she’s having fun with a medium that was previously relegated to children’s novelty items, and using it as a means to promote artists and designers. (My Scribble Tattly was created by James Victore.)
And yes, that’s a new Calgel manicure, this time in black. The orange-red Calgel lasted for exactly two full weeks before the new growth started to make me crazy (which I knew would happen, since my nails were very short and the color was very bright!), but it stayed shiny and completely chip-free the entire time. This is what it looked like an hour before I had it removed. I have no doubt I could have gone at least 3–4 weeks if it weren’t for the new growth! Oh, and for those of you were wondering, the removal process at Sakura was simple and painless. A tiny acetone pad was held in place with aluminum foil over each nail for about 5 minutes (exactly the same method you’d use for removing glitter polish at home), and then the gel basically fell off of my fingernail with a gentle push from an orange stick. There was no damage to my nails whatsoever, but from what I gather, the outcome really depends on the technique used by the salon you go to. I’m going to keep the black on for three weeks, and then I want to try a fancy gradient manicure…
I don’t watch much television. Now, after saying something like that, the worst possible thing I can follow it up with is, “I really just listen to NPR.” But you know what? It’s true. I don’t…and I do. I’m aware of how snobby and lame it sounds to say that, but there you go.
I used to watch a lot of television. There was a period of time when Vh1′s reality programming (Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, Real Chance of Love, I Love New York…) and I were really good friends. And I still reference Lip Chap and remind people to not threaten me with a good time. But when we decided to get our little city apartment, we also decided not to pay for cable—and not to buy a TV that would take up precious space.
For a while we had a Slingbox, which allowed us to watch shows on my iMac at the apartment via our cable box at the house, but then that stopped working, and I just kind of forgot about TV.
I do watch a few programs here and there online through Netflix, Hulu and iTunes, but since I have to make a conscious effort to watch something (as opposed to turning on a TV and scrolling through channels looking for something—that “something” usually being House Hunters International or Hoarders), I tend to only watch stuff that I can fully commit to and really enjoy. So far I’ve managed to resist Downton Abbey and Mad Men and Girls all of the other shows that I hear people talking about all the time, and I’m OK with that, even if it does make me feel like a bit of a social leper.
But then this came along:
After seeing Roger and Jenna carry on about Breaking Bad (which, for reasons I can’t explain, I initially thought was about surfing—maybe I was confusing it with Point Break?) on Twitter for ages, I finally gave in and started watching. And watching. AND WATCHING. Evan and I plowed our way through four seasons in less than three weeks, just in time to join season five in real time—and wait a full week between episodes like normal people. Oh, and guess what? It’s not about surfing. It’s about cooking meth, except it’s not really at all about cooking meth. It’s about power and money and morals and anger and fear and PRIDE—and sometimes love, but not often.
(To bring things full circle, I happened to hear a story on On The Media about binge-watching right in the middle of it all, and, of course, the example they used in the story was Breaking Bad. Hah! Validated by NPR. See?)
Let me say this: Breaking Bad is a fantastic TV show, and Bryan Cranston is a phenomenal actor—as are Giancarlo Esposito, Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks, Dean Norris and Bob Odenkirk. The entire cast is amazing. The writing is great. The character development is totally fascinating.
I’m obsessed. The first half of the final season just ended, and now (maddeningly) we have to wait until NEXT SUMMER for the final eight episodes to air. I have absolutely no idea where the show is going to go from this point, but I can’t wait to find out. I’m addicted to the intensity of the story lines and the tensions between the characters as their lives become more and more complicated and corrupted. It’s not a happy story, but it is a very compelling one.
My friend Janet sent me a link to this video, which compiles scenes from all five seasons of Breaking Bad to illustrate the transformation of protagonist Walter White over the course of the year and a half of his life that the show (thus far) has documented. It’s pretty fascinating to go back to those early episodes and see where WW came from, and to remind ourselves of how he wound up in such a mess of a life.
DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP ON ALL FIVE SEASONS. Spoilers abound. If you are all caught up and want to talk about the show, please feel free to spoil away in the comments! I love talking about Breaking Bad, so have at it…
I buy a lot of cosmetics. Not that I wear much makeup at any given time (though I never go without unless I’m sleeping or in the shower), but there’s a certain feeling of hope and anticipation in buying beauty products that I find extremely comforting. The promise of a new lipstick or an expensive tube of mascara…the idea that this will make my life better. Yes, it’s a superficial improvement of self when a product turns out to live up to that promise, but I’m a believer in physical improvement as a means to further overall confidence.
There is no type of product in my extensive arsenal of cosmetics that outnumbers the tubes, pans, pens and sticks of undereye concealer I’ve amassed over the years. I actually tried gathering them all up into one pile to take a photo for this post, but it was just too embarrassing (though apparently not so embarrassing that I won’t write about it, haha). Dozens of concealers, all purchased with the hope that they would eradicate the dark circles under my eyes while still looking natural and not creasing, caking, making my mascara smudge, or wearing off by lunchtime.
I’m not going to name any names, but a certain female parent of mine passed along her genetic dark undereye circles to me (alas, I did not get her lovely blue eyes to go along with them), and no matter how much sleep I get, water I drink or vitamin supplements I take, those suckers aren’t going anywhere. We talk about undereye circles sometimes, that certain female parent and I, and she shares my sense of hopefulness about someday discovering that perfect product, the holy grail of concealers…
Well, I think I may have found it. About a month ago, I was (as usual) whining about my undereye circles on Twitter, and Gala asked if I’d ever tried Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer Kit. At first I said yes, but then realized I was confusing it with her Corrector, which never really worked out for me. Anyway, blah blah blah, I went out and bought the concealer, because that’s what I do. I buy concealer. Then I bring it home, try it out, like it for a week, stop liking it, throw it in a drawer, and move on to the next contender.
You know what? I’ve been using this undereye concealer (my shade is Warm Ivory) for a whole month now, and I still LOVE it. Really! It took me a couple of days to get the hang of applying it right, but now that I have it down, I think I can honestly say that my quest for finding the perfect undereye concealer is OVER (at least until some other product comes along that I just have to try, but let’s not talk about that right now).
Here’s how I put it on:
After moisturizing, I wait a few minutes to let everything sink in. Then I use a synthetic taklon brush to apply the tiniest amount of concealer under my eyes, patting it in a bit with my ring finger as I go. A little really goes a long way. Once everything is covered up, I use a shadow blending brush to tap on the setting powder (that’s what’s in the right side of the pan). Done! And it lasts all day without creasing or looking dry and crepe-y. No smudged mascara, either. And I get to not look like I’ve been living in a windowless basement for a decade.
I’ll be sure to let my mother…I mean a certain female parent of mine know the good news.
Welcome to a new, semi-regular D16 feature: Yeah, I could live there. Wherein I post pictures of houses I want to break into, kick out the inhabitants and move in.
Earlier today I was on the DAPstockholm website looking for pictures of these amazing rowhouses they designed a while back (how cool is that black–gray gradation of exterior colors?!), and this villa in Stockholm caught my eye.
White on the sunny/water side, black on the shady/trees side—it’s got Anna written all over it, right? These photos were taken in 2004. I wonder what it looks like now that those little trees are probably a lot more mature. Must be heaven…
Yeah, I could live there.
p.s. Twenty bucks says my mother gasped out loud when she saw these photos. (Did you, Mommy?)
I’m a big fan of symmetry when it comes to designing book covers and taking pictures. If we’ve ever watched a Kubrick movie together, you know it’s not unusual for me to pause the action mid-scene (no matter how dramatic a moment, sorry!) just so I can freak out about the awesome (yet imperfect) symmetry. Kubrick was the master of one-point perspective, and when combined with that slightly-off, not-quite-right imbalanced symmetry he loved so much (think of the Grady twins in The Shining—almost the same, but not quite), you have a forward-moving, focused TENSION that just won’t quit. I love it.
This video compiles some of Kubrick’s best one-point perspective shots into just under two minutes. Fun to watch…
Kubrick // One Point Perspective / edited by kogonada
It’s no secret that I love having fancy fingers and toes. There’s just something about having nicely painted nails that makes me feel complete. I like looking down at my hands and feet and seeing shiny little jellybeans of color. It’s fun. I don’t wear much jewelry, so colored polish functions as an accessory I can’t lose. It makes me feel pretty and done.
I very seldom pay for manicures or pedicures—maybe once every couple of years, tops. I’m good at doing my own nails. It’s one of those things that seems really tricky and messy at first, but with practice it gets easier and the results are very satisfying. Doing your nails is an easy way to FINISH a project, and that can have a pretty profound effect on my state of mind. (And yes, I do realize we’re talking about nail polish here.) Also, I’m loathe to pay someone else to do what I can do myself, especially when even the best manicure tends to chip within a few days.
Lately, though, I’ve been really busy working on freelance work at night, and I’ve been defaulting to bare or clear-coated nails most of the time. I decided to pay someone to give me a special manicure that will last longer than one done with regular polish. (Funny—exactly one year ago, I was experimenting with another long-lasting manicure option! There’s just something about late August, I guess.) After doing some research into the various options, I decided to go with a Calgel manicure. If you’re curious about what Calgel is, exactly, this site has a detailed description.
One salon name comes up over and over again once you start looking into Calgel-certified salons in NYC: Sakura. After reading a bunch of reviews on Yelp, looking through their impressive gallery of wacky-cool nails on Facebook and, of course, soliciting feedback on Twitter (Gala actually replied to me from the salon, which is a pretty good endorsement!), I went ahead and booked an appointment.
My nail stylist was Selina, and she did a great job. I usually wear my nails short, which sometimes prompts a pitch for extensions of some sort (if you haven’t seen comedian Anjelah Johnson’s routine about nail salons, watch it right now—it’s dead on), but Selina was fine just giving me a natural, rounded shape to go with my bright orange-red color selection (it’s #59). The whole process from start to finish took less than an hour, and considering my nails were totally DRY at the end of that hour, that’s pretty impressive. Calgel needs to cure in layers under a UV light, so there was a lot of switching hands and rotating of thumbs…and then it was all done!
My nails look really nice. The finish is so smooth and shiny, and the edges around my nail bed are flawless. I’m very happy with the outcome! The total cost was $40 for a solid color (stuff like gems, glitter and gradations obviously cost more), and I was given a customer card for a discount after I earn a certain number of points from repeat visits. I like stuff like that.
Calgel manicures can last as long as month (!!) without chipping, but since I have such short nails and chose a solid, bright color, new growth will be really noticeable—so I’ll probably go back in two weeks for a color fill-in at the base. Once my nails are longer, I’ll try something fancier like a black-to-sheer gradation (amazing, right?) that won’t show regrowth as much. Knowing I’ll get an entire month out of a pricey manicure makes the cost sting a little less!
It’s only day one with my Calgel manicure, but I’ll let you know how things are looking after a couple of weeks. I have high hopes…
I’m pretty happy with how the living room at the house is looking right now, so I thought I’d put down the iPhone, pick up a real camera, and take a few photos.
Bruno went through a phase (and by “phase” I mean the first nine years of his life) where he pretty much regarded any kind of floor covering as a giant wee-wee pad, so rugs have mostly been something I fantasize about for a long time. Something happened this past year, though—I’m not sure what (his brain is probably the size of a walnut, so I doubt he knows either), but when I decided to take a chance and put my favorite rug down in the apartment Bruno didn’t pee on it. Not the first day, not the second day, not ever. Good boy!
I’ve been wanting the Stockholm Rand rug from IKEA for years now. Every time I see it come up on a blog or in an interiors magazine, my heart jumps a little. I decided that I’d buy it maybe make Bruno wear a diaper. The only thing is, though, that this rug is one elusive little sucker. I can’t even tell you the number of times I obsessively checked the websites for the Paramus, Elizabeth and Red Hook IKEAs hoping to find it in stock somewere.
Alas, it was not to be—until a few weeks ago. The Red Hook IKEA got about a dozen in stock, so Evan and I hustled over there on our way up to the house one night. He ran in with 10 minutes to spare until closing while I stayed in the car with the dogs, and the rug was ours.
It totally makes the living room. (I mean aside from the fireplace.)