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English Muse: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, damn hard year


Well there's no sense in recapping all the rotten things that happened in 2009. I'm just glad to be looking at 2010...Thank you for reading my blog. You kept me going this year. Here's to a better year for everyone!!

PS: This lovely photo is by Persisting Stars.

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The shoes I'd wear to the party...

Gold ballerina flats with gold grosgrain ribbons. (The rest of the outfit is over here!)  

Happy New Year!!

PS:  The photo above was taken with an iPhone and then polarized with the free desktop application,  Polardroid! Can you tell the difference??!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

iPhone photos: Buttons & Beads

The sorts of things I collect and can never part with no matter how useless they are.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Where I am this week...

My dears, I wanted to tell you that I'm guest blogging this week at Daydream Lily! Please come visit. I just posted a really sweet Vimeo film featuring Peppermint magazine covergirl Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage (that's her in the photo above).

Let me know what you think of the film!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This weekend I'm so....

....blissed from holiday loveliness.  Like this:

A camellia, plucked on a Christmas walk.

Finding a wonderful new blog, the Little Deer, featuring this beautiful photo of a girl in sunlit hallway filled with paintings, drawings and photographs...And this charm to fight the blues:

Saying goodbye to my friend Liss at Daydream Lily. I will miss her during the several weeks that she's traveling...

But I will think of her visiting this exotic and beautiful place.

I love holidays for the simple pleasure of listening to gorgeous music, like the harp masterpieces played by Catrin Finch...

A sample:  Aria Mit 30 Veränderungen ...

The perfect music to accompany an afternoon of reading. Yesterday, I re-read a few of my favorite stories in this book, Interesting Women...

Andrea Lee writes so beautifully: "We pause alongside the back garden wall, where the stone urns are full of yellowing geraniums. From here, on those rare clear blue days that sometimes descend on Turin without warning, one can see green slopes sweeping down to the city; streets and buildings and factories as if in a diorama; and beyond the Po, rising into the sunlight, the snowcapped wall of the Alps."


PS: I'm very proud to tell you that I took the top photo of the camellia with my iphone camera!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Xmas in LA

I went out searching today for an open coffee shop to get my afternoon latte. I happened upon this little alley garden. A few snapshots:

The camellias are already blooming, along with the last roses of the season...Hope you had a lovely holiday...

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Sending you warm holiday wishes! Thank you so much for visiting my blog this year. I started English Muse in November 2008, but I didn't really start blogging on it until Christmas week last year. So, I guess it's my blog's first birthday, as well. I'm sending you all virtual hugs for helping me through one of the hardest years of my life. May 2010 be a year of wonderful new beginnings! luv u.

Photo above from the Cherry Blossom Girl's Christmas in Paris set.



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Holidays: At a snow-covered cabin

We're staying in sunny Los Angeles for the holidays. So this post, my dears, is pure fantasy. Where I'd like to be:

Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 5.28.23 AM

and here....
Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 5.30.00 AM

and certainly here...
Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 5.29.37 AM

Happy Holidays! I'm doing last minute Christmas shopping today -- as usual!! What about you?


Photos and credits listed {here}.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lori Shepler: Artist Extraordinaire

In addition to being a fantastic, award-winning photographer, my friend Lori Shepler is turning her artistic abilities to another medium: painting.

Examples of her colorful work:

And one of her celebrity portraits (my favorite!) of the singer Shakira:

Lori was caught up a year ago in the insanity of the ongoing layoffs at the Los Angeles Times. But she, too, is creating a beautiful new life. Her paintings are for sale and you can see her full portfolio {here}!



Monday, December 21, 2009

Ta-da!! English Muse Reading List Updated!


A week or so ago, I asked everyone what they were reading. And now, with all your responses reviewed (and savored), I'm happy to announce that the official English Muse reading list on Amazon has been updated! It's in no particular order and there are now more than 160 books on the list. But I think it reflects the breadth and depth of your interests. I feel very, very lucky to have such smart readers.

Many among us are Janeites, of course! But you're also interested in a mix of modern literature, current affairs (like the treatment of women in the Middle East) and the gorgeous and colorful culture of India. My little graphic above -- featuring model Karlie Kloss from the August 09 issue of French Vogue -- includes a list of all the books on my nightstand at the moment.

My wish for you for this holiday is that you have plenty of time to read whatever you find interesting, beautiful and thought provoking.

Here's our Amazon link: English Muse wishlist.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Anthropologie: Winter Solstice

The Anthropologie catalogue this month was one of my favorites...

White washed...



Definitely saving this one! I keep the Anthro catalogues in a magazine case, along with the Urban Outfitters catalogues. Free little luxuries!



Handmade Collage Holiday Card

I'm attempting something new this year: handmade collage holiday cards. This one is my first:

I was really nervous about posting it because I've never really tried collage before!
I suppose it's giving a new use to my old magazines.


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

When the going gets tough, the tough go to.... Paris

I've been thinking that maybe I need a little break from all this layoff angst. I've decided to take a trip to Paris (leaving on Jan. 20) to sip hot chocolate and stroll through the 7th arrondissement with my friend Elaine, who lives there with her husband, Jean-Loup. I'm doing this on the cheep because I'm watching every dime. I've got a great rate on the plane fare, and now I'm looking to rent a studio apartment. It won't be like the one below. But this lovely pied-a-terre -- in the newest issue of Paumes Appartements de filles a Paris -- has me so inspired.

Have a look:

Can't wait, can't wait!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Discovered: Fabulous Fashion Polaroid Blog

World renowned fashion photographer Antonio Barros honored me this morning by stopping by my blog and leaving a comment (from the Ukraine) on my snow post. He was kind enough to leave a link to his blog, the Singular, which he started in June...I had to click over and take a look! Wait till you see it!! The blog is comprised entirely of Polaroids that he's taken of models, celebs and fashionistas on his travels around the world. Photos like this, for example:

He explains the blog this way: "One unique polaroid picture. One single moment. An attempt to be out of the ordinary."

Here's the address:

Have a look! You'll love it!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snow Day

For about three weeks out of the year (starting around now), I really wish I lived in a place where it snows!

I grew up in Albuquerque, NM on the base of the Sandia Mountains. We could always count on a few snow days during winter. I especially loved nighttime after a snowstorm. The ground and sky were illuminated by a white twilight.

It never snows in LA. It only rains and rains...

What's your favorite snow memory?

Photos from {here}.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bonjour, 1962

These photos are from Tom Palombo's flickr stream, "Paris 1962."
They've made their rounds across the internet, but I can't get enough.
The story goes that they're images from Parisian cafés & nightlife in 1962,
the very same week Yves St. Laurent's first collection hit the runway.

...and the world has never been the same since then...

"photos seen originally on the debonaire blog"


Guest post by Lisi from The Beauty File