Ann Taylor Fall 2013 Collection

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Watch out Calvin, here I come!

Since I was little, I dreamed of being a fashion designer. I spent hours sketching in my notebooks clothing I dreamed of making – for myself, and sometimes for my dolls. As I grew older it became less and less of an attainable dream career (or at least that’s what I thought) so I put it on the back burner. Going into college, I thought choosing to get a degree in fashion design was unrealistic…so instead I chose to live at Disney World for the 5 next years. Because that’s real life.

But now that I’m in New York I can’t get away from it. I get inspiration from women walking down the street, seeing the huge array of ideas on the runway at Fashion Week, the street style waiting outside, and even from the architecture on 77th street and Madison.

If I’m going to become the next McQueen, Wang, or de la Renta, I’ve got to start somewhere. And that somewhere for me learning to sew. So I found the Sewing Studio and signed up for their Intro Bootcamp. It’s a weeklong course, 3 hours a day where you learn how to use a machine, different types of stitches, how to follow a pattern, and all the other beginner necessities.

The first day we learned how to set up our sewing machines and practiced some stitches on muslin. Sounds silly, but I was pretty psyched to see that I had sewn two things together, and not by hand.

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The next day, using actually fabric we made a drawstring pouch. It looks simple enough, but it was actually way more gauging, pressing, and sewing that I thought. So I’m pretty impressed with myself that I finished it. Obviously, my standards are low.

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The final product…

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Who needs a shoe holder, laundry bag or toiletries case??? I think i’ll be able to recreate this on my own.

xo ZZ

Venturing Out

Living on this tiny island of endless possibilities, I feel like I’ll never get to see everything it has to offer. Wrapping my brain around the fact that it’s just a sliver of “New York City” is almost impossible. I’ve only gone about 6 stops into Brooklyn, 2 into Hoboken, and to the airport in Queens. Our newly engaged (YAY Teddy!) friends  are moving to Queens soon, so we ventured out to Jackson Heights to check out where they’d be living. It’s a whole other planet over there. There’s no resemblance of being in NYC, yet you’re only a 30 minute train ride away.

Museum of the Moving Image

While there, we made a stop at the Museum of the Moving Image – an entire place devoted to the art of film, television and digital media. The ongoing exhibition, “Behind the Screen” takes you from conception through presentation of a moving image.This exhibit covers it all from costumes, sound recording equipment, and merchandise. You can see the first type of optical toy and the present day cameras. They have a room showing the metamorphosis of the television set.

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

But my favorite part was the rooms that let you be hands on in the making and editing process. In one room you could choose a scene from a movie, then record the lines in your own voice (though we chose to change the lines a bit). In another, you can make your own short animation movie, obviously a calling I missed. The sound effects room lets you choose what effect for the roar of a Jurassic Park dinosaur… so I chose a kitten’s meow. It sure makes that movie less scary.

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

After a hard day of movie editing, we spent some couch time watching SpiderMan in our retro living room, cow hide cushions covered in plastic, of course.

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Then we rode off into the sunset.

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The End. ZZ

 

Society6

While searching the internet for frames for my new (to me) vintage prints (I swear mom, I’m looking for a job), I stumbled upon Society6. Then I got sucked in for an hour looking at all the cat pillows. An artist submits their artwork, then s6 makes pillows, phone cases, laptop skins, t-shirts, prints and cards out of it. All affordable. The pillows are $20 for a 16×16. iPhone cases are $35.

 

Here’s some of my favorite pieces.

Otterly Romantic

Otterly Romantic

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The Secret Life of Superheroes

The Secret Life of Superheroes

Rabbit Shadows

Rabbit Hand Shadows

The Secret Life of Superheroes: Wonder Breasts

The Secret Life of Superheroes: Wonder Breasts

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If you want to be a part of this, type in a phrase at the Phraselogy Project, and they might just choose yours to make. Here are some of the previous ones.

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Which one is your favorite?

 

 

Thairapy 365 World’s Fastest Flat Iron Review + Giveaway

Recently, Thairapy sent me their flatiron to try out and one for you readers. Since I already have pin straight hair it doesn’t make a huge difference on mine, except for two things. The first is that is makes it really shiny and straighter – it takes the flyaways and other frizzy pieces that have happened while blowdrying and makes them sleeeeek. It also makes my luscious locks feel super soft. Like petting this puppy soft.

Really all their products do that. Sometimes if my hair is feeling dry, I’ll use the curling iron just to get it feeling smoother. They have some magic trick that makes it this way (they claims it’s something-infrared-TT5, but I don’t know what that means) so I’m sticking with magic.

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For my last giveaway, winner Pamela got the flat iron and recently updated me on how it’s been working. It normally takes her about 15-20 minutes to straighten her hair, and with Thairapy – it took only 10. I’d say that deserves the name ‘world’s fastest’ – especially with the amount of hair this girl has!

Before...

Before…

Another plus for her was the weight, it’s much lighter than her old straightener, which means her hand doesn’t cramp up nor does her arm tire. And the cherry on top: she figured out how to use the ‘curl feature’ on it. I didn’t even know that existed? When I asked her hair she did it, she said “You just twist your wrist towards the end of your hair – it makes a nice ringlet.” So, there’s your tutorial.

and After!

and After!

If that’s not enough convincing with the puppy hair and the beautiful, straight, bouncy hair of Pamela – then I can’t help you.

Or maybe I can…

I’m giving away another Thairapy 365 ‘World’s Fastest Flat Iron‘. To enter, follow me, and leave a comment about…whatever you want. Favorite dog show breed? Favorite conditioner?(I need a new kind). What your resolution was this year, and how its been going?

Seriously, as long as I see that you left some typing in the comments section, I’ll know you want this thing.

Giveaway ends: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12 noon.   Winner randomly picked, Congrats Evelyn! Please send your address to me at zzimbicki1@gmail.com.

xo ZZ

Hand-tooled leather bracelets

I know I may seem like this uber-cool, stylish, city slicker, but I am just as comfortable on a farm in Tennessee. If I’m using the word city slicker, I’m probably not a true New Yorker yet. I also ate as few bits as possible of the drenched-in-butter, southern food near the farm – so I guess I’m somewhere in between.

During the Christmas holiday, the family and I spent a day at my uncle’s farm, riding horses, dirt bikes and chasing cats.

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Tig and Floyd

Tig and Floyd

When it got to be too cold, I’d sneak inside the shop and fiddle around with the tools. As soon as the mallet hit the stamping tool to reveal a perfect indention in the leather, I was hooked. My friend Catie and I came back the next day to get a lesson from Uncle K on hand-tooling leather.

Working on my first bracelet

Working on my first bracelet

The result!

The result!

Next I wanted to try something a little more complicated.

Working on my first bracelet

Concentrating so hard on not messing up this basketweave (which I just noticed I did in one place)

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Catie working on her own bracelet

Catie working on her own bracelet

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I finally got the groove of the tools (mostly) and set off on making the rest. Can you tell I really love the Bluebird Cafe bird?

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I know, I know, my bracelets are the best thing you’ve ever seen, but check out Kelly’s real masterpieces:

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iPad cases! How country-chic is this!

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And just for your viewing pleasure, some flowers he did on scrap pieces of leather.

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Go check out his etsy page at HorseCornerSaddles, he’s only got a couple items up, but he can make you anything you want.

Alright, now who wants a hand-tooled leather bracelet by me??

ZOprah’s Favorite Things – Gift Ideas for the Women in Your Life + Giveaway

In my 5 year plan to become Oprah, I’ve decided to share my own “Favorite Things” with you this year. Gift-giving is a hard skill to learn, some people are naturally blessed with the talent, they quietly listen to you while window shopping and when you point out something and say, ‘oh, that’s so cute’ they secretly write it down.  Months later, when they give it to you, it wasn’t even something you remembered you wanted, which makes it an even better present. Then there are the not-so-fabulous shoppers who seem to randomly walk into a store and grab the first thing they see, which leaves you with a set of camping dish wear – when you hate the outdoors.

Now, if you’re thinking, “great, I’ll get this for my favorite blogger” – don’t*. I have already sent a Christmas Grinch list to my family.

Christmas ListUse this list to find something for your wife, girlfriend, or favorite gal pal. Here we go:

For the friend who wants to have a garden, but kills even the indestructible English ivy. I’ve seen a ton of these indoor, easy to grow kits lately, but chose these growbottles from Potting Shed Creations for the recycled wine bottle they come in. Available in five herbs: chives, basil, mint, parsley and oregano, $35 for the starter kit and $8 for replanting kit.

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The gift that keeps on giving, this one reminds your friend of you once-a-month for however long you choose. So many options for this, there is wine, makeup, dog-lovers, jewelry maker, cheese, and food lovers -of the month club. But the one that caught my eye was from UmbaBox. Each box comes filled with handmade, unique items. It could be a chic clutch, bath products, or stationary, for $23+/month, or get the 3-month holiday addition for $49/month.

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For the one who’s always hosting, I love these cheese platters. Two things happen when I see a cheese platter: I ask what kind of cheese it is and then I fail trying to use that stupid slicer thing, and drop it on the floor. If only these trays could combine their skills, we’d have the SCB (super cheese board, duh). Magnetic for $20 at WayFair, and Slate for $29 at uncommongoods.

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This is more a stocking stuffer, or a co-worker gift. Whoever invented it is genius, but why did it take so long? I have used pens, slivers of paper, and toothpicks to try to get an even dot, and this one comes with brush and ‘micro nib’ attached. A single nail pen will set you back $10, plus another $10 for the polish. For $15 you get the two in one, at Spoon Sister. 

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Unless you live in Florida, you can never go wrong with a beautiful pair of gloves. Go whimsical with these taxi ($68) or fingerless/mittens ($78) from Kate Spade, or practical with Echo Touch’s ($35), so you never have to take off your gloves to answer a call.

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My favorite chocolate store in the world is Vosges Haut-Chocolat. It started with the first bite of Barcelona, add the day-old truffles they always give me for free, all inside their beautiful stores and you’ve got a winner. With Vosges, you’re not giving boring chocolates (Godiva is so last year), these are innovative bites of pure joy. My favorite is the Organic Peanut Butter BonBon Bar and the Sunshine Caramel Bar (tupelo honey + milk chocolate + bee pollen). Make sure you follow the directions on the back for maximum eating pleasure.

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Last but not least, the product that changed my life. Thairapy 365’s Digital Curling Iron. The only tool that has ever made my straight hair curled for more than an hour. I love it so much, I even wrote a poem for it. In fact, I love all of Thairapy’s products, like their blowdryer and flat-iron. Apparently, it’s the world’s fastest flat-iron. But I’ll let you be the judge of that, I’m giving one away!

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Leave a comment below about what’s on your own ‘Favorite Things’ list. Giveaway ends 12pm Wednesday, December 18, so you’ll have it in time for the holidays.

*Again, just so we’re clear, diamonds are always accepted.

xo ZZ