Sunday, November 7, 2010

Current Obsession: Boardwalk Empire

I'm obsessed with this show.  I love the characters, the topic, the history lessons, the references to classic films, and, of course, the music.  Yes, the show is slower than I expected.  I really thought it would be a regular mob show with tons of badass shootings and blood everywhere.  There are some badass bloody shootings but it's not Goodfellas.  Still, the show is GREAT... the material, the writing, the actors.  I see it as one of those sleeper hits.

One of my favorite things about the show is how it gives the audience some insight into the minute details of life during the Roaring 20s.  For example, we get to see how innovative and frightening (for a kid) a device like a vacuum was; how premature babies in incubators were displayed like a freak show exhibit on the boardwalk; the treatment of STDs; the women's suffrage movement; and how veterans of WWI suffered from PTSD.  That last detail is quite remarkable.  We often consider PTSD as affecting our modern soldiers but the reality is that the carnage of war has never changed.  Our soldiers in WWI fought in a new age of modern warfare.  They returned with shell shock, the symptoms of which were nearly identical to what we understand as PTSD today.  The show recently introduced an amazing character, Richard Harrow.  He's was a WWI sniper whose face was so badly damaged during the war that he has to wear a mask, painted to resemble the rest of his face.  It makes quite an impact and highlights the gruesome reality of war, even back in the day.

The show offers a great look into the fashion of the age too.  The scenes in which Angela and Margaret are in the clothing store offer an intimate look into the undergarments of the era.  For instance, while the corset had been discarded by the women of the 1920s, the bra hadn't yet caught on with everyone (Margaret).  [I know I'm not the only one who's curious about the small, often undocumented details of life 100 years ago... which reminds me, I've gotta check out Heritage Square Museum.]   Nucky's colorful suits are sharp... I love it when men pay attention to their wardrobe.  [This brings to mind LACMA's Fashioning Fashion... it displays the transformation of fashion over the course of 300 years.  The clothes on display are in exceptional condition and include many items of mens' apparel (which is actually quite rare because men's clothes simply weren't preserved as often as women's).  Years and years ago, men were not averse to donning bright colors and accessories.  I'd love to see more of that.]  Boardwalk Empire provides a tremendous amount of fashion eye candy... it fits so well here in LA, with all of our Art Deco architecture and renaissance of speakeasies like The Edison and the Cicada Club.  I can see this show inspiring fashion runways like Mad Men did this fall.

The show also offers an amazing trove of musical treasures.  I'm totally an odd young 20-something who has had a secret, years long love affair with old-time crooners... but even to the novice listener, the show's soundtrack will prove to be entertaining and educational.  I'm no expert on early pop music so this article from the L.A. Times Music Blog provides a better explanation of the musical gems in the show. 

The actors and the story are what really make this show so solid.  I'm totally crushing on Michael Pitt, who plays the WWI vet Jimmy Darmody.  He reminds of me a young Leonardo DiCaprio - only badass.  He's featured in the LA Times Magazine...

 If you haven't yet tuned in, hurry up and check it out. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorite Things Party

What a grand idea!  I saw this at inchmark and fell in love!  Once this thesis is over, I'll be able to celebrate, have people over, and enjoy life again!  Can't wait!  Anyway, back to the party ----> it's all about your Favorite Things!!!!!  My friends know that I'm a sucker for little treasures.  And I'm always curious at what other people have on their lists of favs.  So excited about this!!!  I wonder what people would bring???

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bizarre Historical Discovery....

Local news has been abuzz with the gruesome discovery of two mummified infants in a steamer trunk in the basement of a 1920s building in Los Angeles.  It has piqued the morbid curiosity of many city residents, myself include.  Clues within the trunk include the name of the owner, Jean M. Barrie, her certificate of membership to the Peter Pan Woodlands Resort in Big Bear and tickets to the 1930s Olympics here in L.A.  The babies were found wrapped in 1930s newspaper in doctor's satchels.  Speculations include that the remains were of aborted babies, that they were being kept as potential research specimens and that the lady in question was related to James M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan.  What a mystery!  Poor babies.  But I am thoroughly intrigued.  This is one of the reasons I studied archaeology, because I love a good mystery.  This sounds like the basis for a great mystery read.  I'm eager to hear the results of the investigation.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Buenas Epocas...

One of my very first posts was about my obsession with all things vintage... music especially, Spanish oldies in particular.  The video I linked was of one of my favorite 60's salvy jams by Los Vikings called Y En Cambio Tu.  So naturally, I am totally excited about this new documentary entitled Buenas Epocas: La Nueva Ola de El Salvador (Good Times: The New Wave of El Salvador).  From my understanding, it was pretty revolutionary for Central American music... the first time there was a youth driven wave of music... and it was Rock n' Roll *gasp!*  These songs remind me of Saturday mornings when my family would blast them in the house.  So glad this film was made!  My mom will be sooo excited!  The screening will be this weekend at the gorgeous Million Dollar Theater in downtown.  The theater was the hub for Spanish-language films and entertainment during the 1940s and has continued with that legacy ever since.  It's part of the Historic Broadway Theater District.  The film screenings will be coupled with performances from some of the bands.  Later in the month, there will be a larger concert at Hollywood Park Casino... my mom will love it! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Man Murray

Murray Gershenz said he hoped a museum or college would acquire his rare 400,000-album collection. That hasn't worked out, so his next stop could be a dumpster.

His shop has been down the street from me for years... I totally want to buy some of his records... ugh!  it sucks being broke!  Poor man, I hope a school or museum does acquire his collection... how awful would it be to let it go to waste?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vintage Kiddies!

Yes, procrastinating again.

I stumbled upon a darling post at Modern Kiddo... it was all about vintage children's clothing hangers!  It struck a chord with me because I distinctly remember having a carousel hanger in yellow when i was a kid.  It brought a huge smile to my face.  The second hanger design looks so familiar... I am certain I had one just like it, too!  I remember using them as stencils, haha!  What a darling little detail for a child's closet!  A kid's world should be as whimsical as possible.

Hangers (& image) can be found at Scrapy Jessi's
Image from Tiger Luxe

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lady of the Night

I've got a deadline tomorrow and I have sinned.  I have indulged in a lil procrastination... not the bad, Facebook kind but rather the cultured Turner Classic Movie kind :)

image from
I'm not a big silent film fan... I have to admit, it's difficult for me to watch silent films because I get creeped out by the heavy makeup... especially the dark eye makeup... and the sometimes super fast running... weird, yes, but it freaks me out!  I always wondered why such heavy make-up was needed... it probably had something to do with ensuring the images were caught on film... yo que se??   But in the wee pre-dawn hours today, I sat through the first silent film that I actually followed and enjoyed!  Lady of the Night stars the glamorous Queen of MGM, Norma Shearer, who was awesome (with moderate makeup).  She was one of the few silent film stars that made a successful transition into talkies.  In the film, Shearer plays two roles and appears in a scene as both characters (see pic below).  This must have been so impressive in 1925! 

I love classic film because it provides me with a very clear window into the past... and most of the times, the people and issues of the past aren't so different from those of today (for instance, this film dealt with love, longing, the desire to move up the social ladder, being from the wrong side of the tracks, etc).  I may become a silent film fanatic after all :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Kitty Postcards!

This year, my partner and I rescued an orphaned kitten.  He was found with his umbilical cord still attached and he needed a lot of TLC.  We didn't like cats at all but the baby needed a home.  We named him Yeya for the way his cries sounded as a baby and because we thought he was a girl - lol.  Many people offered their love and support... some wondered if he would even survive.  But he did and is now a healthy four-month-old kitty!  My friends came over for a meet and greet after not having seen him since he was a newborn... they were delighted!   I created these postcards to thank them for their visit and all of their love.  I thought it would be really sweet to have them written from Yeya's perspective.

One of the cards was addressed to a very close friend who took care of Yeya during his first week while we prepared for his arrival.  

These were the simplest cards to make.  All I needed were 4x6 blank cards... you can make postcards out of just about anything as long as they meet USPS specifications.  And they're cheaper to send - 28 cents!  I also picked up a stamp pad with non-toxic, child safe, washable ink... I shop at Joann's because they're close to my house and send out great coupons if you're on their mailing list. The designs can be more ornate if you wish but I wanted it to keep mine simple. 

Yeya doesn't mind making the art; it's the clean up that he sometimes isn't cool with.  So I've made that  easy on the both of us by having wet napkins ready to quickly wipe off the ink from his paw.  His fur causes the fuzzy lines but I think it looks adorable and realistic.  I had him stamp a few postcards and greeting cards in one sitting so I don't have to bother him later.

Create & enjoy!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Free films :)

Browsing through the blog one of my favorite stationery presses, 16 Sparrows, I stumbled upon a really neat entry:
features a short list of classic films (from 1916-1949) available online
The entry cites Open Culture, which maintains a longer list of classic and contemporary films. 
This will prove to be a great resource on those nights when TCM and Netflix don't have what I'm in the mood for.

(image from The Los Angeles Conservancy: "Broadway and Ninth Street, with United Artists Theatre on left, circa 1930s. Photo from Conservancy archives.")

The loveliest cake...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So excited!

I've picked up my copy of the new Martha Stewart Weddings... and it's dedicated to DIY style!!!

I'm diggin' the "In Love with Etsy" feature... and I was totally delighted to find out that some of the crafters featured are already stored in my Etsy favorites... I've got a bit of the Martha-touch!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yikes! Don't let the bedbugs bite...

I have been following a crazy, icky news story.  One that prompted me to wash all of my bedclothes this evening.  The Return of the Bedbug.  Yeah, bedbugs... yikes!  I love, love, LOVE my bed... I would hate to discover myself sharing it with disgusting critters... I feel an onset of paranoia coming on. 

Gotta shake it off by dreaming of lovely, fresh linens...

@ Anthropologie

@ Urban Outfitters

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Something extra...

This isn't the type of post I would normally place here... but it was so hilarious and ridiculous, I could not resist!  It may not be so "darling" but it certainly is quite a "detail" for a hilarious affair!  Courtesy of the very funny The Man Repeller

I totally want these!  Imagine your partner's face when he/she sees them!  These and other outrageously hairy items can be found at Nutty Tarts... lol can't stop laughing!

Oh my! So delicious!

mmmm..... I have stumbled upon a delicous treat of a site..... Ming Makes Cupcakes

So much tasty creativity!  I wanna try them all!!!!  This will prove to be an excellent resource... a friend has requested that I provide the cupcakes for her daughter's 6th birthday!  I'm so excited!  Can't wait to start baking sweet treats for eager, hyper little hands!

Thanks to The Finer Things for highlighting this sweet resource!

A few of the ones I can't wait to try:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Roses for a Bride! a Mother! a Sweetheart! etc.

A friend of mine has asked for my help in planning her wedding.  It got me thinking about a lot of possible themes and ideas.  I've been playing with an idea for a rose themed party for a long time now.  With weddings on my mind, I thought it would be perfectly suitable for a bridal shower - though it can easily work for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, etc.  Below is my inspiration board. 

The inspiration arose from these cards that I picked up on sale at Papyrus.  They are "hand sparkled," blank cards, ready for personalization.  Bonnie Marcus cards are always fun and girly... though I'm not a very "girly" girl, this is a go-to line for fun & pretty stationery.  The line is made in the USA and uses recycled and FSC certified papers.  As a bonus, they donate a portion of their proceeds to Breast Cancer Research. 

They can be found directly from Bonnie Style Press here: Bridal Dress Invitation
These cards together with my favorite L.A. rose specialties have bloomed to form the following inspiration board. Take these ideas and run with them!

Ideas for decor
These adorable, inexpensive crepe rose pomanders can be used as centerpieces or hung with ribbon throughout the venue.  The wonderful idea was published at wedshare*daily, complete with a step-by-step tutorial.  One of the comments there suggested using white paper lanterns in lieu of styrofoam balls because they were less expensive... I particularly love that idea because styrofoam is so terrible for the environment.  While it's nearly impossible to make every darling detail eco-friendly, we can easily eliminate the worst offenders from our guest list. FYI: the same commentator noted that she required 2 rolls of crepe paper per lantern, or approximately 60 crepe paper roses.

Ideas for food & drink

2 Stews is in love with roses too!  The pasta roses are ingenious.  The simple recipe for Rose Chantilly Cream, served here with raspberry sorbet, is foolproof!  One of my favorite L.A. specialties is the Rosewater Ice Cream from Mashti Malone'sThey make delicious flavors including Rosewater Saffron with Pistachios and Lavender... mmmm, simply refreshing.  Squeezed in between their delicate wafers (forming their famous "Mashti" ice cream sandwich), ice cream is easily transformed into a quick and lovely treat. 

Another of my all-time favorite L.A. treasures is Galco's in Highland Park.  They have the greatest assortment of pop flavors and old-time sodas, including their Sweet Blossom Rose Soda2 Stews suggested serving sparkling rosé wine spritzer with rose petal ice cubesBe sure to use organic rose petals!  Pesticides are toxic.  Party attendees who abstain from alcohol can also join in the bubbly fun with non-alcoholic Bauser's Extra Dry Champayno My friend's favorite wine, the aptly named Stella Rosa, can also be found at Galco's, which also carries a large selection of hard-to-find domestic and imported beers, wines and spirits.  I love Galco's!

Ideas for favors
Thank guests for joining the celebration with these darling little favors!  They're practical, adorable items that guests will actually want to use.  The Bloembox from Olive Barn contains rose seeds for guests to grow their own edible and fragrant flavors.  Olive Barn carries all sorts of adorable, eco-friendly favors!  Rose soaps can be found at beaucoupThey look and smell like the real thing!  The beautiful rose lollipops from Candy Warehouse will make everyone smile... and can be included in the decor! 

Lastly, a party without cake just don't seem right.  I LOVE cake and will have one for any celebration.  And a party for women without chocolate also seems out of line.  So check out this beautiful chocolate cake I picked up for a previous party from Portos BakeryThe rose on top is made from solid chocolate... om nom nom!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

i love mail

A long lost letter arrived at a Stockton, CA address 70 years after being postmarked... incredible.  Check out the news video here

Who knows if I've ever had one of my letters lost.  As far as I know, my mail always arrives at its destination.  I must admit, I LOVE the US Postal Service.  I really do.  Even though the lines are sometimes long at the post office, their service is really great for the prices they charge.  For 44 cents, I can write to my friends across the country and have my letter delivered within 3 days.  Yes, I can email for free but that does not generate the same effect as a handwritten note.  Tell me you don't smile when you receive a card in your mailbox?  You received something other than a bill.  You are important enough that someone actually slowed down their life, sat down and penned some words just for you.  The lines can be bypassed at many locations by using the Automated Postal Centers and ordering stamps online or picking them up at local drugstores.  My current stamps are from the adorable Animal Rescue: Adopt A Shelter Pet series.  But I can't wait to get my hands on the recently issued Sunday Funnies.  The mail and Sunday comics... two of my favorite things!  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sartorially Speaking...

I'm in love with retro looks.  I eagerly anticipate the new arrivals at ModCloth and enjoy browsing through eBay and etsy listings.  I began this love affair long before the premiere of Mad Men.  Growing up as a Latina in L.A., I unavoidably developed a romantic obsession with The Smiths & Morrissey (*sigh* even in his 50s, that man can make me swoon!), Bettie Page and all things greaser.  And with nostalgia being so intrinsic in the immigrant family's psyche, Spanish oldies were always blasting out of our prized home stereo on Saturday mornings.  (While these references point to a love-affair with mid-century fashion and design, I'm really all over the place... I drool over the fashions of my beloved 1930s films, too.)  So of course, I totally welcomed the Mad Men craze!  And I am even more delighted to hear that the show's Emmy-nominated costume designer, Janie Bryant will be launching her own line called Mod on QVC in September!  Hello birthday presents!  The items are priced from $26 to $138... more expensive than thrift stores and garage sales but still, not too steep.  What a lovely resource for retro-themed celebrations!  Below is a preview of a couple of items from the collection originally published at

and now for some silly humor... ah, Sesame Street... you're always there to remind me to stop taking things so seriously  :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I've started this blog as an outlet for my event and art ideas.  My main hobbies include event planning, reading, viewing classic movies and letter writing.  I find myself spending my free time reading other people's blogs with their ideas.  Now I've come up with my own thoughts.  I'll be able to set them down here in between schoolwork.  Blogs - a procrastinator's dream!