To Make: DIY Burgundy Lipstick

DIY Burgundy Lipstick

It is arguable that there is no more sophisticated lip color for autumn than the deep burgundy pucker that comes with every box of Franzia Sweet Red wine. I’ve yet to come across anything with as much staying power as a couple glasses of merlot, however, there are much more – ahem – mature means of achieving this hue than a tour de Franzia – and quite nearly as fun. As most lipsticks, both drugstore and department store varieties, tend to leave my lips spotted with saturated globs of pigment after several hours, I’ve decided to try a little d.i.y. and mix high and low to get the season’s most ubiquitous shade instead of buying a tube. Continue reading


To Make: Lulu Frost-Inspired Painted Eye Bracelet DIY


In the vast and wonderful global market of things I can’t afford, there are many items the manufacturing of which I don’t quite understand, whether they’re produced by man or machine. How complex a process it must be to turn minerals into an iPhone, to engineer a camera that takes panoramic photos, or to get the aroma of apple and cinnamon to stick to those netted bags of pine cones all season long! So when it comes to DIY’s, I am easily awed and overwhelmed. Assembling an ombre cake or weaving a friendship bracelet may be kindergarten day camp level of difficulty, but my attempts at them never seem to turn out right. Inspired by this Lulu Frost necklace, I decided to tackle one of the simplest current DIY trends: painted rhinestone jewelry. Continue reading

To Display: Vintage Patterned Silk Scarves


1.Chanel scarf;  2,Hermes scarf; 3.Vera scarf;  4.Cacharel scarf; 5.Hermes scarf; 6.Hermes scarf.

Like acoustic electric guitars, sweater vests and non-alcoholic beer, silk scarves pretty much completely undermine their fundamental purpose. You’re likely to be kept warmer by some insulated backpack straps, but their uselessness doesn’t stop me from compulsively buying threadbare vintage ones at yard sales and thrift shops. I find them more valuable as art than fashion accessories. When I tie them around my neck I look like a hastily wrapped present and when I wrap one around my hair I am reminded that I will never be able to rock a babushka like my grandmother did. Even in her 80s, she looked ageless, rather than dated, in her collection of silk handkerchiefs and tweed skirt suits.  I inherited part of her collection, which she always kept overflowing from wicker baskets in her room in as an artistic way as any mess can overflow, and now am in the process of displaying them in my apartment in a more deliberate way.  Continue reading

To Rummage: South Street Flea Market


When it comes to haggling at flea markets, I crumble more easily than the binding of a 19th century paperback. My technique is as follows: inquire about the cost of an item, ask if it maybe, possibly, if it isn’t too much to ask, be given to me for 10 percent less than established price, get rejected, walk away. Well, actually, take photos of the desired items instead and then walk away. That’s what happened Saturday at the beautiful, enchanting South Street Flea Market, which offered boxes upon boxes of rusty skeleton keys, forgotten and yellowed love letters, dusty records and innumerable other objects that make most passersby scoff, “Who the hell would pay for this junk?” To whom I silently respond, “Aaaannnddddd, that would be me.” I left the block with a bulky microscope and a set of vintage tool drawers. Here are photos of the things my charming negotiating skills failed to win. Continue reading

To Read: Vintage Book Covers


My parents’ basement, much like my late grandparents’, is the ideal set for a hybrid of Hoarders and Antiques Roadshow. Items that have long surpassed their moment of practical value in history rest in overlapping piles on the concrete floor like unconscious party-goers the morning after. WWII military gear, pewter dishware and ’80s shoulder-padded silk blouses, among other miscellaneous goods, wait for their next awakening (though, there is little hope for ever reviving those padded shoulders in my book). I’ve always marveled at the collection because even after moving out of my family’s home, I have never gotten to the bottom of those dusty piles. It is equally probable that a first draft of the Declaration of Independence lies underneath it all as is a family of deceased mice. As I am beginning to realize that one cannot sustain oneself on magazines and beer, I am saving my money and instead satisfying my need to acquire frivolous things by finding new value in the cellar’s dated junk. These vintage books, which I unearthed last weekend from home, have got me considering some new graphic design aesthetics. Continue reading

To Create: Fashion Illustrator Kendra Dandy


All images via

I’ve long been told that art is what separates man from beast. And for nearly as long I have curated a pathetic personal collection of weathered magazine pages and random scraps of fabric. Until I was introduced to fashion illustrator Kendra Dandy, that is. The Philadelphia-based artist’s femininely quirky works are gorgeous enough to warrant them a serious frame and a spot as focal point of any room but are so well-priced you’ll want to start your own little gallery. I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Dandy over a cup of coffee last winter. As you might imagine, she’s as charming as her designs.  Continue reading