Sep 27, 2011

Shoe Up On My Week

I have a soft spot for shoes + I have shoes on the brain this week = I am soft in the head.
I wrote about shoes over on Found It Loved It today and I thought I'd elaborate here because I've had a shoe-and-tell kind of week.

As I mentioned in my column, I bought myself sparkly silver shoes.

When the package arrived, I couldn't have been more surprised to find these shoes in the box than if someone else had bought them for me. I needed flats—practical run-twelve-blocks-because-I'm-running-late flats—but I ordered sparkly silver heels. I haven't surprised myself that much in a long time. Less surprisingly, I tried to convince myself that the crossover elastic top was so comfortable that they might just do the job. I'd be the bee's knees picking my son up from the schoolyard. The cat's pajamas sitting at my desk here at home. The bee's pajamas and the cat's knees if I got hit by a bus on my way to the Post Office. "But they'd be handy to have" I argued with myself. Handy for those days where I need a little sparkle. Handy for those nights when I need my sparkle to be elastic. 
I just returned them ... but I think I should go get them back.

My mother sent me sheepskin slippers from Australia. 
They're "Woolly Wonders." It's kind of a big deal to get a package from my mother. Actually, it's kind of a big deal to get a package from anyone in my family; we're great at gifting in person (expending great thought and money on each other) but a disaster when it comes to sending packages. We all lie to each other about having "popped" something in the mail last week, when in reality it could be another three (okay, five) weeks before we drag ourselves to the post office and shove something in the mail. 
My mother was telling me over the phone that she had sent a pair of Woolly Wonders to my grandmother and I suppose I said "oh they sound soooo amazing" more than a few times in response because she went back to the shop and bought a pair for me, too. (By the way, "went back to the shop" should not be skipped over here. Going back to the shop in New York means walking ten blocks—albeit in silver heels—and stopping in Starbucks on the way back. Going back to the shop in Western Australia means driving two hours, and hoping that you car and conscience—but mostly your car—won't get dented by jaywalking kangaroos. No Starbucks on the way.) My slippers/two sheep for my two feet arrived without a note, or wrapping paper, or fuss—but within a week of our phone call. The unwritten note spoke volumes. My feet have never been happier.

I cut the legs off a pair of boots.
I love boots. I love how easy it is to get dressed when you start an outfit with a pair of boots so I have a few different pairs of boots—vintage, flat, high-heeled, black, brown, dressy, casual (okay, I'm rounding down when I say "few"). Anyway, last year I added this pair of gorgeous reddish brown boots to my rotation. I got them on sale but they're Frye (the only brand I am loyal to) so they were still a pretty penny. I had read reviews that the shaft of the boot is a little slack, but I thought "not with my calves." 
Well, it turned out that after a few weeks of wearing them, they started to slip down. I loved the solid walkable heel and quality of the leather so much that I held on to them. [I realize I'm rambling here like an old lady who thinks you care about her lactose intolerance, but I might be going somewhere with this.] By mid-winter they were like socks without elastics. I took them to a cobbler-who-is-also-a-drycleaner and he added elastics to the top (sidestory: his wife yelled at me for not paying him enough and he yelled at her to shut up and she glared at me for making her husband yell at her); that did the job of keeping them up ... but completely ruined the look of the boots. 
Fast forward to last week when the weatherman gave us a few teaser days of autumn and I found myself dusting off my collection of boots. I took out my boots, stroked the soft leather, and cut the legs—and all that bad bunched-up karma—off. Without thinking twice. 

Now I love them.

I also bought wellies this week ...

but they came a day after the rain stopped so right now they are just shiny new unwet-wellies in a box, without anything to say. Thank God for that.

Sep 21, 2011


My grandmother broke her wrist last week. I shared this news with my husband's 94-year old grandmother the other night—because she never leans in to hug me hello and I was trying to remind her that I am some granny's grandchild—but when she asked how it happened, I stumbled, mumbled something about eggs, magpies, henshit, and haircurlers, and all notions of warm hugs and noodle-pudding recipes fell flat, like the look on her face. She had wanted a slipped-and-fell response. She's wanted that from me since we first met fifteen years ago and I was *pregnant with her first great-grandchild. 

My mother sent me a text message last week to say that Nana had "broken her wrist while she was out getting the eggs and the magpie was around." I immediately saw my grandmother in her headscarf and wellies, trying to duck into the hobbit-sized hen shed while saluting a solitary magpie who taunted her with his one-for-sorrow curse from a nearby fence. I wondered if she cursed the "blashted magpie" right back as she fell, and if she broke any eggs—precious fuel for her daily scones and barter for her monthly hair-do.
I rushed to write her a letter to distract from the fall, the way a parent of a toddler rushes to point out a dent in the ground to distract from a bloodied knee. I didn't want her to notice that her bones could break, that—despite being an amazing piece of natural engineering—eggshells are actually pretty fragile, that waving at a magpie doesn't guarantee joy. So I reminded her that it's a big deal that her small bone heals: An Post would collapse without her steady stream of letters to deliver to and from the United States and Australia, the hairdresser would go hungry without her monthly batch of eggs, and I would go daft if we had to communicate by phone ... so, she had better sort out that wrist and fast.
I just wish that I could slip and fall into the envelope along with my tears.

*And how did I get pregnant with her first great-grandchild? Well, it's a long story that involves eggs and magpies, henshit and haircurlers ...

Sep 19, 2011

Cecilia and her Selfhood

images from
Take a minute today to check out the new music video—or rather, spellbinding short film—for "Cecilia and her Selfhood" from Villagers. "The film charts the development of a young man as he navigates his way through an impressionistic landscape in search of an elusive monster which is intent on destroying his childhood home. Lost and confused for the most part, he nonetheless uncovers the beast; a creature whose origins are both terrifying and liberating." Animated by Adrien Merigeau. 
It's pretty special ... like the Villagers. 

Sep 14, 2011

Electronic Sheep AW 11/12

Some people have shoe fetishes, bag fetishes, or jewelry fetishes; I have a sheep fetish. It's the next best thing to having an actual sheep. Some people would be offended to hear "I saw a beautiful painting of a sheep and thought of you" from a friend; I'm touched. Some people have pictures of their kids on their walls; I have two photos of sheep and a photo of a nubian goat. Some people count sheep to get to sleep; I count sheep to wake up. Please don't call Dr. Phil. 

Anyway, you get the idea —I have a deep/slightly-disturbing grá for all things sheep. I guess it goes without saying that I was in love with Electronic Sheep's Autumn Winter 2011 collection before I even saw it. 

I remember how excited I was to discover the graphic style and bold patterns and colors of this Irish label way back in January, and I'm even more excited now to see that this Autumn Winter collection continues on the same insanely creative, eclectic, and cool (woolly) thread. Love that the collection is inspired by an "idle life of splendor" (aka my new life goal), and that designers Brenda Aherne and Helen Delany have added a hooded cape—the result of an inspired collaboration with DJ duo The Broken Hearts—to their offerings.

I'm especially hearting the black-and-white hooded scarf and the yellow cape (but I'd be happy to take the rusty cape, brown-and-grey oversize scarf, and a few hats off the back of the truck, too!). 

Some people might say I'm developing an Electronic Sheep fetish ...

Sep 7, 2011

Old Bag Lady

If shoes say a lot about a man, then surely handbags speak volumes about a woman. I wonder what this "P. O'Hara Registered Cow Doctor Tipperary" handbag would say about me.

It might offer more questions than answers ... A cow doctor on the NYC subway? I wonder what kind of tools she's got in there? Is that a knitting needle I see sticking out? I bet the 'P' stands for Persephone or Penelope—no, it's probably Patsy. Handy to know we have a cow doctor in our car if we need one. I wonder if she treats human cows, too—I have a few in my office. I bet she has some interesting stories to tell. We should invite her to our house in the Hamptons ...

I say would because it was already sold before I could speak volumes about my eccentric taste/delicate state of mind by spending too much money to look Dr.-Quinn-Medicine-Woman-meets-Irish-Mary-Poppins. Sigh, there's no denying that my P. O'Hara would have given Louis Vuitton a run for his money/"it" bag title.