Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Late Summer Color and Texture

I was walking the puppy yesterday and was captivated by gorgeous colors and textures.  I took some photos for your inspiration.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sole Mates

Have you ever gone to an event on a lawn and your heels sunk into the grass and dirt?  Your only choice is to sink in the muck and ruin your shoes or walk on the ball of your foot and wake up the next morning with very sore calf muscles.   

There is a solution.  Sole Mates.  These plastic caps for your heels will protect the heel and keep you from sinking into the grass.  They come in colors but why not get the clear which all but disappears on the shoe.  Clear works with any shoe.  I tried this product and Sole Mates are easy to walk in on regular floors and did prevent my heels from disappearing into the grass outside my home.  These would be great for weddings, garden parties or any event where high heels and grass meet.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ice Cream Obsession

My favorite desserts are usually cake and cookies.  However, this past week I discover Skinny Cow Dulce de Leche low fat ice cream.

Just 150 calories per serving, which is the whole 5.8oz container.  I find this yummy ice cream so rich and satisfying that half the container takes care of my over-active sweet tooth.  Do you see all that gooy "de leche" on the spoon?  There is nothing "skinny" tasting about this dessert.  Give it a try.

Hope you had a lovely weekend.  Did you experience Hurricane Irene?  Any damage?  Our Bahamas house escaped damage.  Just some yard cleanup needed.  Very fortunate indeed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tranquil Weekend

I'm looking forward to the weekend and some time to relax.  I love this tranquil beach on Elbow Cay.  Just looking at this photo makes me feel calm.  BUT, it was anything but calm on this beach yesterday.  Hurricane Irene made a direct hit on Elbow Cay, one of the islands in the Bahama chain.  Their power is interrupted so I have no idea of the damage done by the hurricane.  

I hope your weekend is less dramatic than a hurricane but for those of you anticipating Irene on the east coast, be safe.  See you on Monday.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Canvas Buckets from Chewing The Cud

I'm always looking for clever ways to store my projects and everyday items.  I have baskets and totes and storage bins but I love the idea of these canvas totes from Chewing the Cud.

The buckets come in two size and 3 color/prints.  Small size $12 and large are $21.  
Click here to see the website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Urchin Treasures

Hurricane Irene has me thinking of the Bahamas and all my friends preparing for the storm.  I was looking over some of my photos and seeing this beautiful urchin on the beach got me thinking about how much I love these beautiful sea treasures.

Sea Urchin

These little creatures are a great inspiration for jewelry and home decor.

1 Urchin necklace JustineBrooks $99. Etsy  2 Elizabeth and James ring $195 Bloomingdales  3  Ring Catherine Weitzman  $179  4  Cuff $146.30 Alkemie 

1Teapot Tiffany & Co. $250  2  Lamp Crate and Barrel $279   3 Sealife candleholders  Seaside Inspired  4  Recycled Chenille urchin pillow Hepstyles $60 Etsy  5  Ceramic box Jasyon Home $30

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Trend: Fur

Fur, faux or the real thing, seems to be an important trend for fall of 2011.

DVF below the knee vest

Fur is a great way to add texture to a monotone ensemble.

Prabal Gurung short evening jacket

 Elie Tahari 

I could do this, a fur neckpiece.  Love the leopard print with this fur.  

Just a touch of fur trim.

Faux Fur Vests

                                            Faux Fur Vests by spiralstyle featuring fake fur vests
This is a collection of faux fur vests from Nordstrom that won't break the bank.  Don't they evoke Rachel Zoe?

I think a fur accessory is more my style.  I'm too small to wear the shaggy, fluffy furs.  I'm afraid  I'd look like a child's stuffed animal if I wore a fur vest
I love this little faux fur wristlet.  Just $89 on Piperlime.

If you are really lovin' the look, here is a faux fur bag for $450 from Saks

Are you on-board with this trend?  Would you wear real fur or just faux?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Musings

For me, this is the best part of summer: juicy sweet peaches, vine-ripened tomatoes and vibrant flowers to be picked in big bunches.   

A chunky gazpacho is the perfect way to use fresh veggies on a hot day.  No cooking and perfect for meatless Monday.

I'm excited about this.
You are probably aware that Target has teamed with yet another design powerhouse, Missoni, and a 400 piece collection will debut in Target store September 13 until October 22.
There will be items of clothes for men, women and children ranging from socks to sweaters and maxi-dresses.  Lots of Missoni accessories and household items will be available as well as a bicycle.  I have my eye on this stacking espresso cup/saucer set.   You can view the entire lookbook here.

I was doing a bit of antiquing over the weekend.  I came across this little vignette which was even more captivating with the addition of the dragonfly on the corner of the capstone.  

I hope your weekend was filled with delight.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Laduree: Sweet Treats

Laduree, the famed sweet shop in Paris, is always on my "to do " list when I get a chance to visit the city of lights.  

Soon, it won't require a "trip across the pond" to taste those delicate macarons.  Laduree will be opening in New York City on August 26, 20.

                                                        Source: via Deborah on Pinterest

If you have a craving for Chocolate and Passion Fruit macarons, you can place an order and have them shipped.  

Wouldn't a Laduree scented candle make a wonderful gift?  (no calories either!)

Have a sweet weekend dear readers.  See you on Monday.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coffee Granita

On a hot day a coffee granita is a great way to have your coffee and eat it too.
A granita is a frozen mixture of water, sugar and flavoring.  In this case, coffee is the flavor along with a bit of sugar.  Add some milk, cream or coffee liqueur if you like.
During the freezing process, the mixture is scraped with a fork about every 20 minutes to produce a slightly granular texture.
Topped with some sweetened whipped cream and you have a delicious treat.
Click here for the NY Times article and recipe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DIY Sun Prints on Fabric

I remember as a kid, making sun prints on specially treated paper.  I'd put a leaf or other object on the paper and let the sun print the image onto the paper.  In a photography class I used the same process but with a film negative and printed the image in values of blue.  

I purchased treated fabrics online from .  This is a silk scarf.  

I chose to use clear acetate for printing a design.  Underneath is a piece of kraft paper cut to the size of the scarf.  I chose a spiral rubber stamp and used black acrylic paint.  Since the printing process is imprecise, I was not too worried about a perfect layout.

Here the printed acetate is over the chemically treated scarf and positioned in the sun.  I wanted a medium blue so I timed the exposure for 6 1/2 minutes.  After being rinsed in water the color was set with hydrogen peroxide, rinsed clear and allowed to dry.  Except for the time in the sun, all work with the fabric must be done in a dimly (almost dark) room.  Click here to read detailed instructions.
I would say the most difficult part of the process was coming up with a design.  If you need ideas, Google cyanotype prints images for lots of ideas. 

This is an example of a sun print on cotton fabric exposed for 10 minutes.  It is much bolder in color.

What do you think?  Would you give it a try?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie Books

If you aren't familiar with author Kate Atkinson and her mystery novel series, taking place in Edinborough, Scotland and  featuring Jackson Brodie, then let me encourage you to give them a try.  Jackson is a former soldier and policeman turned private investigator.  Jackson seems like a tough guy but inside he is a sympathetic and understanding and he can't resist rescuing the underdog and thereby attracting colorful and dysfunctional characters as clients and friends.  His ability to connect comes from his own tragic childhood that still haunts him.
I have gotten hooked on these books, having read three of the books, in sequence,  and I'm about to start the fourth.  And the really good news is that the book, Case Histories, has been adapted into a TV series and will be appearing on Masterpiece Mystery! for a three week run starting October 16.    

In this book, three crimes are presented, each involving a female.  More than a decade after the crimes are committed, Jackson Brodie is hired to find the killer of one of the victims.  Seeming an impossible task after so many years, Jackson is able to solve the mysteries surrounding not only that case but the other two crimes as well.  The telling of the stories of each victim and their circumstances is action-packed and gripping.  

One good turn did not lead to another for the main character in this book but a chain of unfortunate events does.  The enigmatic Jackson Brodie is present when the car accident occurs that spurs an incident of road rage.  As the story unfolds, the random group of onlookers turn out to be connected.

This book opens with an horrific crime.  A crazed murdered kills a mother and two of her three children.  Fast forward thirty years to the life of the survivor, Joanna, who goes missing just after her family's killer is released from prison.  Joanna's baby's 16 year old nanny literally stumbles across Jackson Brodie and the two team up to find the vanished Joanna.  Detective Louise Monroe, a character from One Good Turn, reappears in this novel and is a great addition, and love interest.
Jason Isaacs plays Jackson Brodie in the TV series.
My friend who introduced me to the Jackson Brodie books, admits to having a bit of a crush on Jackson.  I'm a bit smitten myself.  
So get reading and be ready for the TV series.  OR listen to the audio books.  You'll love the Scottish brogue.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Briefcase as Handbag

This past week the NY Times T Magazine had an article in the Women's Fashion section about using men's briefcases as handbags.  The story featured Marina Muñoz, an Argentinean stylist, who has a way of wearing men's wear for a classically, elegant look.  She was the perfect choice for a story about a typical masculine item being used as a replacement for an indispensible, feminine object. 

Stylist Marina Muñoz checking out briefcases at Brooks Brothers.
Briefcases as Handbags

Men's briefcases have great organizational features.  There would be room for a mini "office" and makeup essentials with lots of room left for computer, sweater, and folding ballet slippers.  The neutral colors of the men's bags would work well with most color palettes and when broken in, the leather would develop a rich patina. 
So can you see yourself carrying a briefcase instead of a woman's handbag?  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Restful Weekend

Take time to relax and rest this weekend.  
Thanks for stopping by Spiral Style.  See you on Monday.

Delacroix Museum, Paris
Isn't this a restful looking setting?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Clouds

Yesterday was one of those perfect summer days:  temps in the 70's, low humidity and a bit of a breeze.  While I was out for a run I was watching the clouds.  

They were the billowy, fluffy cumulus variety.

Watching the sky made me think of this Georgia O'Keefe painting that hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.  The painting comes to mind every time I fly and the plane is above clouds.  

Here are some fun cloud-centric finds from Etsy.

Large Cloud Factory Ceramic Sculpture $50 PearsonMaron

Tiny Silver Cloud Earrings $19 amandadeer

Mount Taylor painted landscape tile $52 liveclay

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

J.Crew: Oragami Sheath Dress

If I buy one dress this fall, it might just be this Oragami sheath dress from J. Crew.
All you need are earrings and great shoes!

Here is the black version.  It would make the perfect LBD, don't you think?


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