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· Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
· Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
· Just Notes: This, that and the other
· Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
· Just Notes: I need a coupon code for...
· Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
· Just Notes: It's Sunday--take a survey!
· Just Notes: Earring ruminations
· Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
· Just Notes: This that and the other
· May 24, 2008 1:31 PM by Dain
· May 24, 2008 4:11 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 25, 2008 5:45 PM by Joy Rothke
· May 26, 2008 3:42 AM by Dain
· May 26, 2008 3:57 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 8:59 PM by Dain
· May 12, 2008 10:15 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 10:23 PM by Dain
· May 10, 2008 3:45 AM by Dain
· May 10, 2008 8:56 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 11, 2008 12:27 PM by Joy Rothke
· May 11, 2008 2:09 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· April 27, 2008 12:28 AM by EZE
· April 27, 2008 1:20 AM by Dain
· April 30, 2008 12:52 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 14, 2008 10:02 PM by Dain
· March 14, 2008 11:38 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 15, 2008 7:42 AM by Dain
· March 15, 2008 7:43 AM by Dain
· March 15, 2008 1:48 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 15, 2008 2:20 PM by Dain
· March 15, 2008 8:27 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 15, 2008 9:14 PM by Dain
· March 16, 2008 11:27 PM by Dain
· March 17, 2008 11:21 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· February 27, 2008 4:15 AM by Dain
· February 27, 2008 4:47 AM by Dain
· February 12, 2008 6:22 AM by Kenny Surtani
· February 12, 2008 12:27 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· February 12, 2008 6:38 PM by Dain
· February 12, 2008 11:10 PM by Colleen Shirazi
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Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)
Contemplating trying my hand at a regular feature, titled--surprise!--"The Weekend Blogger." But let's see if I can produce something intelligible on a weekly basis, in the first place.
Shoes. I finally got some shoes, having no choice in the matter: my beloved Cole Haan woven shoes, which I've worn for...ten years? more, no doubt...finally commenced to spring a leak. The uppers are entirely woven, so it would be possible to mend them with E-6000 (or GS Hypo Cement, haven't worked out which would be better), and I haven't actually thrown them away. It would require time and patience to do the repair, and the shoes would need to dry the full 24 hours...I didn't have another pair of shoes on hand, so elected to shelve the project for now and just get some new shoes.
It's impossible to replace the Cole Haans. New Cole Haans, which don't seem nearly as nice as old Cole Haans, are in the nefarious $300 range, at which decent shoes begin these days. I realize our economy is a comedy, and our dollar is in the toilet, but if I wanted to pay $300 for shoes, I would buy U.S. made Cydwoqs--which I am still planning to do, as my next shoe purchase, along with Joy perfume and a Nars eyeshadow (single or duo); something quite neutral.
I ended up with the working-girl's kit--you get some reasonably priced leather shoes, and you stretch them with one of those wooden shoe forms. You don't need a specific stretching device; you can use a plain old wooden form (doesn't have to be your size either). You just have to be careful not to damage the shoes or over-stretch them.
Along with this, Foot Petals...I don't need them for one of the pairs I bought, but the other pair definitely need padding in the heel. I turned down numerous Dr. Scholls made-in-China heel pads because I wanted to try Foot Petals, but they're absurdly hard to find, particularly the heel pads. I found some of the ball-of-foot pads at Shoe Pavilion...on a side note, our local Shoe Pavilion has became a small Indian market, with inexpensive Indian tops and dresses...interesting...hmmm...I'm determined to try authentic Foot Petals, but I'm hoping to find them locally.
So I've been wearing these pre-stretched shoes, and looking for Foot Petals so I can wear the other pair. I'll have to admit they don't have the same pizazz as my old Cole Haans, but they'll do for now, and I've made at least the first pair ridiculously comfortable (they have a small wedge heel).
Skincare. Thinking of ditching Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream once it's used up. Its chief attraction was its exfoliating property, but the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth I've been employing is far superior at that. The Cleansing Cream is yet great as a moisturizing cleanser for oily skin, but then their Cleansing Milk is fine for that, and more economical. What sucks is the Cleansing Milk is bottled in glass, rendering it useless for the shower. I suppose I'll think of something when the time comes.
Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, May 12, 2008 12:00 AM (Eastern)
So...I had an interesting weekend, and I hope you did too.
I got this killer dress from a consignment shop. Quintessential late 80's/early 90's, new with tags, and fitted out with linebacker shoulder pads and little elastic "belt" in the back. A cool Indian design; this type of clothing had always been made in India before the apparel market began to drown in Chinese-made goods. The dress was fashioned entirely of a creamy ivory lace, with a built-in sheer dress underneath it.
Went home, snipped out the shoulder pads...the built-in sheer dress was attached to the lace overlay by the same stitching, so of course it came out. I'm sewing-challenged but have never minded mending, so I sewed it back together, and discovered a hole in the lace overlay (don't ask me how a new dress already had a hole in it). At first I wanted to do a fancy darning thing with ivory thread but ended up simply sewing the hole shut, as it showed less that way. With the genius of the dress design, the hole barely showed even when it was open (the bottom of the dress is an intricate design of pieces of lace sewn together to create a small froth).
While I was doing that, I found a hole in the built-in sheer dress, near the bottom in the side seam. It looked as if someone had cut a tag out using pinking shears. Jeesh! What's wrong with people. I sewed that one shut as well, and though the dress was clearly marked "dry clean only," I washed it in the machine (cold water, delicate cycle, Woolite). I can hardly wait to wear it, though I am pondering whether it's too ornate to wear to work.
Shoes...I trekked out to one of the shops around here that carries Cydwoqs, Rabat in Berkeley.
Hm. This was the first time I'd been to Rabat, and I'll have to admit I was disappointed. Instead of a wide selection of Cydwoqs, they had something like three kinds of the shoes, and maybe three or four kinds of the sandals. I wasn't interested in sandals; of the minute choice of shoes, they had Sprint, Force, and another which I don't recognize on the Cydwoq site.
Force was kind of neat. The model they had on the floor was the exact color I wanted...a brown so dark it looked black at first, so could be worn as a black shoe, or as a brown one.
But...if you expect someone to pay upward of $300 for shoes, you really should have more of a selection on hand. However you look at it, it's a lot of money. So I didn't buy.
The only other standout there was Salpy, another American-made shoe even spendier than the Cydwoqs, but with two amazing leathers...dark shoes with designs traced in gold.
I'll probably get out to Nordstrom next weekend, since I need the shoes now. I'm fairly sure Cydwoqs go on sale seasonally (I've seen their boots on sale online now), so it might be a matter of waiting for a better price.
Just Notes: This, that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 10, 2008 1:17 AM (Eastern)
Cydwoq's Horn shoe
I've decided against Jean Patou's Sublime. I tested it out again...it's odd. I've found, with perfumes, that you can seldom turn back the clock. A scent with which you were once so in love, can be like an old boyfriend where it was right at the time, but things have changed.
On the other hand, I still want Joy. And that's not a perfume I really liked that much, before, particularly. In my youth, it was the scent of a grown woman's pocketbook (they don't call them "pocketbooks" on the West Coast btw), the kind of woman whose hair was always done.
I'm still in search of shoes. Willing to give "cheap" shoes another shot, even though cheap is no longer, well, cheap. I mean shoes less than the $300 of my beloved Cydwoqs. Bleh. I know they're worth it, in the sense of not having to shop for shoes in the next ten years, in the sense they are, beyond doubt, well-made and comfortable. And, you could step on them, or your kids could step on them, and it would be fine. They could be rained on. (I don't wear suede shoes.) And they would be...marvellous.
Since I've never been a shoe gal, I never looked at other women's shoes until now, and realized how few shoes stand out. I never craved a lot of shoes, don't need variety (where I so do with jewelry), but it would be nice to somehow own these American-made, unusual shoes with--according to the blogs--excellent arch support. Cydwoq will custom-make shoes if you so desire (apparently they have something along the lines of 250 leathers to choose from). So color wouldn't be a problem.
Oh, I know, I'll end up at Nordstrom or some other dreary department store, and find a pump made in Spain or Italy, and end up buying that. My shoes are starting to fall apart now, after so many years of good service, so putting off shoe-shopping indefinitely is out of the picture. I know I should be glad I can afford a decent, if not shoe-gasmic, shoe, so I don't wish to end this post on a "Paris Hilton can't buy the Titanic" snivelling note. lol I'll let you guys know if I find anything.
Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, April 26, 2008 8:34 PM (Eastern)
Salux Beauty Skin Cloth. A marvel of modern engineering; I'm impressed with it, every shower. I use half the soap I normally would, without skimping on lather. Any keratosis pilaris-y bumps are neatly filed away; great for keeping legs ingrown-hair-less; ankles, toes and elbows are radiantly free of dead skin.
Yet it's pleasant to use, rather like a spa in your morning shower.
Its true might though is as a facial exfoliator. I pity the fool (okay I don't actually pity the fool, just having a Mr. T moment) who blows hundreds of dollars on a Clarisonic, while this under-five-bucks nylon gem sits on the shelf. I see skin on my face I haven't seen in years. Fewer flakes, clogged pores, pimples...it's all that, and the proverbial bag of chips.
Andy Tauer's L'air du désert marocain. Dain sent me a sample, I have it in my cubicle. :) It's not something you could ever wear a lot of, in an office, yet it's ideal for hot weather, when you want to smell soapy.
As a fragrance, I can admit it's a bit literal. It smells hot and dry, and like a spice market, okay...but it's done with such care. So it doesn't smell cheap-spicy, or as if it were trying too hard to be sexy. To me it's not sexy at all, it's rather...dry and clean, masculine. If I could fault it for anything, it's the mediocre staying power, the price...cheaper than the Montale oud eau de parfums, more expensive than the regular Montale line, but, all in all, a lousy deal, given how many times you'd have to reapply it during the day.
As a sample though, it's my favorite among many, many samples. I tried the Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger sample I'd bought (kicks self) as an office cubicle hot weather scent, and regretted it bitterly the first time I used it...pure eau de cleaning products, albeit really good cleaning products. mumbles...
Along with Giò lotion from a bygone era, I've dug out my Dr. Hauschka kits and delved into the body one. These kits have a long life; you can dabble for months inside just one kit. So far I'm liking the Rose Body Oil, perhaps for the novelty of using a body oil, but it's genuinely likable, with its delicate rose scent and light feeling.
images courtesy buy4asianlife.com, luckyscent.com
Just Notes: I need a coupon code for...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, April 14, 2008 1:47 AM (Eastern)
Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, March 14, 2008 4:54 PM (Eastern)
Once in a while I'll get sentimental, and start googling for pictures of my home town. I haven't actually been there since the mid-1980's, and can't for the life of me recognize it anymore, save for this:
...which is genuinely nice; they built it right before I left. There's a long walkway in front of the Elizabeth River, and lots of little shops and restaurants in the blue-roofed structure facing it.
But this is what caught my eye: it's divine!
The U.S.S. Wisconsin3
The Nauticus Museum didn't exist until I'd already gone, and I'm drawing a blank as to what was there before (I want to say ships and tugboats, the kind of tugboats those bad kids used to jump on and explore coughs). Now they have this, and the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin. Now I feel like buying a ticket. I'd love to see the inside of that ship.
Oh well...further hoop development:
These are a rougher grade of sapphires. You'll note the double loop at the top; it's much better that way. Compare this earlier incarnation of the same hoop:
With the single loop, I had to hammer the wrap. Though it's not an area of great stress, the thought of the short wire popping out...ugh.
1. Norfolk skyline by Thestearninator.
2. The Waterside, a small shopping and entertainment facility in Norfolk, Virginia. Photo taken March 11, 2003 by Ben Schumin.
3. Although there are no active battleships in any navy as of 1992, the United States Navy still maintained for a decade and a half two mothballed battleships--Iowa and Wisconsin--(berthed at Nauticus National Maritime Center in Norfolk, VA) and could recommission one or both of them if needed. Since the 1950s the United States battle doctrine has called for air superiority, which clearly favors the aircraft carrier, but other weapons such as guided missile ships and destroyers also play a significant role. In May, 2006, Wisconsin and Iowa were stricken from the Naval Vessels Registar and placed on donation hold for use as museum ships.
Just Notes: It's Sunday--take a survey!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:31 PM (Eastern)
Admit it...you're goofing around today. You did the laundry, read your usual beauty & fashion blogs and boards, listened to your playlist (how did I ever live without this?) and now you're contemplating whether to clean the bathroom or try to find something more fun to do.
Why not take a survey?
There's no money involved with this survey, or a prize, but I have taken it myself. It's actually a lot of fun. It's for this guy's dissertation, so, in an odd fashion, it is a way of being heard. The irony would be if only the people already obsessed with politics took the survey, as:
The purpose of this survey is to examine how people think and feel about the political issues, parties, and candidates in the upcoming election. In the survey, you will be asked a series of questions about two political candidates, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. We are very interested in how individuals that find information on the web think about politics, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. In total, the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer.
Click here to take the survey:
Please feel free to contact Chris Weber (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Stony Brook University with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your help!
Okay ladies...and we are not to comment about the survey, in order to not bias the responses of other participants.
Labels: just notes
Just Notes: Earring ruminations
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, February 27, 2008 2:21 AM (Eastern)
I've gotten more into making earrings, lately. I don't mean that in any mass-production sense. It's just I've realized how few pairs of "go-to" earrings I've owned in my lifetime. I do have some, but only the few.
I suppose it's analogous to a search for a signature perfume, or set of 'fumes...once you have more choices, it becomes more complicated. More customized, but you have to think more, plan more, put together the pieces of the puzzle.
So far, I've concluded the fashionable long, narrow earring does not work for me. I like them, but the ones I've made, I don't wear. I knocked a design off from the Sundance catalog...a nice design, three small pearls and a flat faceted jade teardrop...here it is, along with two other pieces which no longer exist:
It came out looking fine but ended up languishing first in my earring drawer, then in my to-dismantle pile.
Something with a hoop involved tends to fare better, which is why I've been fiddling a lot with hoops lately.
I'd like to try more "cascade" earrings, like these from Ava Luxe:
In fact I have some in process that just aren't working. I'm waiting on some leverbacks to try them out with.
Labels: just notes
Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, February 22, 2008 6:18 PM (Eastern)
As much as Jean Patou's Joy perfume was created in 1930 to combat the Great Depression, it doesn't smell exuberant to me. I get the American-ness of the rose, but it is also an English rose, and the jasmine only makes it smell more like an English-flavored East Coast garden. After breathing Montale's Middle Eastern rose and jasmine for months, this has a nostalgic edge for me; a scent to bridge past and present, motherland and U.S. Like Patou's Sublime, Joy went immediately to my wish list.
I can admit I think in terms of houses when I think of perfume. For years, Givenchy was my house. I wore Organza, and had little vials of Extravagance, Organza Indecence, Amarige, and Ysatis (didn't like Ysatis though). Tried "new" L'Interdit, Hot Couture, up to Very Irresistible...but at one point, I felt the house of Givenchy had modernized far too much.
Montale has been my house since last year, owing to their Middle Eastern essences, swirled together with a slight French edge.
Patou, I've finally put a finger on it...is more emotional in appeal than either Givenchy or Montale. I just felt a jolt of happiness smelling Sublime after all these years (ten, easily, likely more). It was like a friendly smile. Joy to me dates back decades; I'm fuzzy as to when I smelled it before (Virginia, East Coast, a perfume for ladies with pocketbooks and compacts). Yet there is the same radiant warmth of that friendly smile.
(Not to scale.) One of my local bead shops closed down, more than a year ago, and I've yet to replace it with another brick & mortar shop. The markup around here, outside that one shop, is terrible. I gave up, and began the search for good etailers.
This stuff worked out pretty well. I'm not even sure I miss my L'Oreal Feria. Preference Mega Blondes has its own tricks...you have to be more careful applying it, since it lifts more than Feria. I fried the top layer of my hair when I first used it. Well it didn't come out crispy, exactly, just lighter than I'd wanted. Fortunately I've cut at least four inches off the bottom of my hair over the past few weeks, so it doesn't matter.
Dr. Hauschka's #09 lipstick (Dolce). More versatile than their #01 Amoroso lipstick, which is too much color for my etiolated winter skin. Dolce is perhaps a tad too warm to truly be my grail, yet there is the niceness of it: tasty natural ingredients, pleasant heavy gold-colored case, overall lip conditioning. Thinking of replacing this with their Adagio lipstick (#07), which is a sort of complex pink, though I'll probably use up Amoroso first (at the rate Dolce is going, it should last well into summer).
Just Notes: This that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, February 11, 2008 9:09 PM (Eastern)
Wearing this necklace:
Though I photographed it with the earrings, no way would I wear them together. One of my (infinite) future projects is to design a pair of 14KT gold earrings, without paying 14KT gold prices. Thinking of covering goldfilled wire hoops with karat gold beads, which are relatively inexpensive. For the hoops pictured, I now use a double loop design at the top (keeps the little end from popping out, without massive hammering).
Listening to this:
So far so good. It's time-consuming of course, since the only real way to test it out is to listen to it from a certain point forward (some of the songs "stick" too much for my taste). And you're limited to the songs you can find. Early U2, for example, is in short supply. I had to laugh when I heard the Peaches collaboration version of "Kiss Kiss Kiss"--it was so tame compared to the original. Yet spare and catchy, and ultimately likable.