Tag Archives: style

Knitwitchery

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I just completed my most ambitious knitting project to date.

A little back story:

Photo Credit to Rachel Sacks

Photo Credit to Rachel Sacks

I started knitting about a year ago, and my absolute favorite knitting blog (and the source of most of my patterns) is purlbee.com, which is run by Purl Soho in New York City.

Purl Bee patterns have provided me with Christmas and birthday gifts for many family members and friends, and their tutorials have helped me master a variety of new stitches and techniques, so I’m kind of a super fan.

I was very excited to finally be able to visit the store itself when I was in New York this past December. There I spent a delightful several hours browsing through yarns and patterns (my friend Rachel snapped a photo of me deep in thought next to their enormously colorful wall of yarn), and I eventually settled on the sweater dress shown here, which was certainly a larger, if not more complicated, project than I had ever undertaken before.

Fortunately everything went well, and I am proud to finally be able to show off the finished product!

For the curious among you, here are the details:

Colorblock Tunic: Frontenac Pattern by Julie Hoover made with Purl Soho’s Super Soft Merino in Pale Stone & Dark Loam
Slouchy Hat: Target
Ankle Boots: Qupid
Seahorse Pendant: Scarlett Garnet (which is the source of most of my favorite jewelry)
Tights: Who knows!

And here are the detail shots:

I would estimate the project took me approximately 50 hours to knit, which gave me plenty of time to get almost all the way caught up on Doctor Who. Working with yards (miles?) of wool probably caused my hands to sweat a bit, and I may have dripped a few tears on it when Amy & Rory’s time with the Doctor came to an end, but fortunately no blood went into the making of this sweater!

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The Art of Being Late

Or, rather, how to be artfully late.

I’m not someone who makes a habit of being late.  In fact, it drives me crazy when I do end up late!  However, sometimes even I have those mornings when I press the snooze button once and then somehow don’t wake up again until 20 minutes before I need to leave.  But even though I’m usually just waking up to go to work and sit in my little corner with the same 8 people I spend every (week)day with, I still like to arrive looking good.  I find that it’s better to be 10 minutes late in the morning and feel put-together than it is to spend all day feeling frazzled.

So with that in mind, here are a few tips for dressing for success…quickly.

  1. Choose solid colors.  I find picking a dress in a neutral color to be easiest, and then spicing it up with a bright sweater or blazer.  Instant outfit!
  2. Choose a bold lipstick in a complementary colour.  Lipstick is the quickest and easiest way to provide a finishing touch that pops.  In fact, it’s so easy that you can even apply it as you’re walking out the door.
  3. Throw on some mascara for balance, but skip the eyeliner and shadow.  You don’t have the time to do them right, and you don’t want to show up looking like you scribbled it on in the dark.
  4. Leave your hair down. The quick ponytail is always an option, but few mists of sea salt spray and fist scrunches create messy waves that look intentional—a perfectly simple disguise for bed-head.
  5. Slip into some comfy flats.  No time for shoelaces and heels will just slow you down.

And voilà!  Not too shabby for 20 minutes.

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Livin’ It Up at the Metropolitan

I know I promised a post about the new apartment a while ago, and now that I finally have Internet and some time to breathe, it’s a reality!

August has been a very hectic month (albeit in the best way possible).  It began with a busy week at work and a vacation in California,which were followed by 1) a move from the Cookie Tree to the Metropolitan Artist Lofts, 2) my parents coming in to town (and Robert moving back for the school year), 3) Sasha coming from New York City to stay for a few days,and 4) Lucy coming for a weekend as part of her brief sojourn in the US before her move from Paris to London.  Whew.  As you can imagine, I’ve barely had a moment to myself (and wouldn’t have had it any other way).  Most of all, I’ve been incredibly happy to have such a wonderful apartment (complete with queen-size futon!) to offer up as a place for all these exciting visitors to stay.

Now I could spend this post going into belated detail about the process of moving into the apartment and listing exactly how many trips back and forth with boxes were involved (and how many trips to Target!), but let’s be honest: you all know far too well what that’s like.  You’ve been there.  So, without further ado, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for anyway: PHOTOS!

Click any thumbnail to enter the virtual tour with full-size images.

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I’m a bike commuter now!

Helmet? Check.  Flashing red light?  Check.  Highly visible gold backpack? Check.

Since the nearest Metro stop is a 15-minute walk from my apartment as opposed to two blocks over, I’ve taken to my bike to get to work, meaning that my workday begins and ends with 2.2 miles of rolling hills as I ride straight down Locust.

So far, so good.  The road isn’t too busy, the hills aren’t too steep, and the weather hasn’t been too bad (yet!).   I’ve also enjoyed having time in the morning (and the afternoon, for that matter) to clear my head and get some exercise.  It certainly makes me feel a little bit better about the inordinate amount of time I spend sitting in an office chair once I get to work!

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A Rave Review

So I just have to rave a little bit.

A few weeks ago my coworker, Shari, told me about Birchbox, a supercool website that will send you a small box full of generously proportioned high end beauty samples each month (or generously proportioned samples of “grooming products” and “lifestyle accessories” if you sign up for the men’s box).  What’s that?  Getting a package in the mail every month (which to me is exciting in and of itself)  AND lots of little beauty samples of things that are too fancy to be sold at Walgreens or Target (currently my only suppliers of beauty supplies)?  Sounds too good to be true!  Oh, and the products are personalized based on a profile you create with the site so you don’t end up with a lot of useless things that you can’t use.  Oh, and the shipping is free.   Oh, and you can review the products you get in your box online in exchange for points that you can then redeem for full-size versions of your favorite products.

I know.

I haven’t even received my first box and I’m already thrilled.

The story behind the site is also pretty interesting.  It was founded by two women who met at Harvard Business School after having been through college internships in the beauty industry, where they saw how many free samples were haphazardly given out by beauty companies.  Their sample-box-a-month brainchild is a win-win for company and consumer.  In exchange for providing Birchbox with free samples, the companies get data about customer purchasing behavior and demographics.  In exchange for $10 a month, the customer gets a regular supply of quality beauty samples without having to wade through the vastly intimidating selection of products available at Sephora or department stores.

The only downside is that there’s a waiting list.

So what are you waiting for?  Check it out for yourself here.

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