Close Quarters: Celestial Bookstore Ceilings

Colors, Design & Designers, Room of Awesome

Twitter has certainly delivered its share of beauty to my door this week. First, through Atlas Obscura, I found this breathtaking bookstore interior:


The store is called Albertine and it’s in Upper East Side on Manhattan, New York, NY. Here is a view of the celestial diagram from directly underneath:

Atlas Obscura albertine3

Albertine bookstore by Bartelstone; via Atlas Obscura.

(Visit the Atlas Obscura’s website for more photos!)

Then, quite by accident, I ran into a beautiful star-embroidered dress on the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology Twitter account:

The dress almost looks like it was designed to complement the room. Also, it seems to be from the same period as the Valentino fall winter 2015-2016 collection that I blogged about. The colorways and the simple lines are certainly similar.

Thank you, serendipity, for delivering to me this gorgeous pairing!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Online Finds: DIY Unisex R2-D2 Apron

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Geek out!

I try not to do two Online Finds posts in a row, but this was just too good not to share immediately:

So Sew Easy Deby Apron-potholders-014b

Deby Coles at So Sew Easy.

Looks fabulous! The details are really great – you can tell that Deby’s a fan. And I’m sure you could use the same technique to make a BB-8 apron, too. For details (including a video), visit Deby’s tutorial at So Sew Easy!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Happy Star Wars Day

Arts & Crafts, Movies & TV

Happy Star Wars Day! Here’s a little tidbit connecting my home country to Star Wars.

The necklace and bracelet that Leia wore at the end of A New Hope…

Rebels Haven Ep IV Necklace screen06

Star Wars Episode IV, via Rebels Haven.


are Finnish design. The necklace is called Planetoid Valleys and the bracelet Darina’s. They were created by sculptor, artist and jewelry designer Björn Weckström for Lapponia.

Lapponia Darinankoru_-Planetaariset_set

Planetoid Valleys and Darina’s Bracelet. Design by Björn Weckström. Lapponia.


Both the necklace and bracelet are still in production, but as high-end design they’re quite expensive. (The similar but lighter weight necklace Galactic Peaks shows its pedigree in the price tag as well.) Those that feel handy with clay can use these DIY instructions by Kathy S. at Kay Dee Collection.

A friend wore a Planetoid Valleys for a genre event over twenty years ago. I remember being very impressed that she had been able to get one from abroad – this was before I discovered that the necklace was actually Finnish. Now I’m impressed that she found out about it in those just-barely-there-Internet days!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Online Finds: Lego Snowglobe Tutorial

Arts & Crafts, DIY

Love Legos and snow? Kate at Mini-eco shares her easy snowglobe tutorial and its awesome results:

Snow globe tutorial

Kate at Mini-eco.

If you’re at all interested, have a look at Kate’s post. She included detailed instructions and another scene besides this frosty one.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

On Halloween and Painted Pumpkins

Arts & Crafts

Being new in the U.S., I’m still wrapping my head around some of the holidays. Halloween, for instance. Oh, I know the whats and the whens, I have participated, and I’ve read on the whys. Being a geek, I’m big on reading and research. There’s only so much reading can tell you, though.

For getting to know a culture, there’s nothing quite like everyday life. Although holidays are by definition not part of everyday, they offer an interesting counterpoint to it and may, therefore, shed more light on the mundane.

(Incidentally, I found that this Ask MetaFilter post is really helpful – it’s listing all possible angles, from love to hate, from silly to serious, from puritan settlers to a dentist conspiracy – and told not by researchers but by a range of ordinary folks, which is what interests me.)

Jack-o-lanterns are maybe THE stereotypical Halloween decor. They are quite well known outside the U.S., as is trick-or-treating. When I still lived in Europe, we were largely on the mercy of mainstream media and what bled through their filters. (Blogging wasn’t yet a big thing back then. Blogs existed, but weren’t as common or varied as now.) Both national and international culture segments were chosen and edited by journalists and other professionals, and published at their pace. Whether their interests met yours was completely up to chance. Finding information on topics not covered by the mainstream media outlets took effort.

After moving to the States, 10+ years ago now, I’ve naturally enough discovered a much wider range of facets than the Halloween scene in E.T. (for example) can convey. Nowadays we’re lucky to have blogs. Blogging has made it much easier to discover other cultures, the everyday as well as holidays, in the writers’ own words, with the range of experiences that is human life.

One new and different thing for me was not carving your pumpkin into a lantern, but painting it. The novelty of funny faces and spiders wore off quite quickly, but fortunately those are not the only things people paint on their pumpkins. Below are a few that I especially like.

Alicia Kachmar painted maple leaves on a pumpkin and glittered the edges:

Leaf-Decoupaged Pumpkin

Alicia Kachmar at Create!

A little twist on traditional Halloween decor. It’s a few years old now, but still a great idea. I’m not a great friend of glitter in general, but this application is nice. Plus, maple leaves are so pretty.

Alisa Burke at Redefine Creativity painted her lacy pumpkins with layers of acrylic and dimensional paint:

Lacy Pumpkins

Alisa Burke at Redefine Creativity.

I’m seriously impressed at the detail! The laciness reminds me of batik fabrics – or gingerbread house decorations, if you can believe me. I guess I have Christmas in my head already. 🙂

Scandinavian-style stars were decoupaged on this pumpkin:

Country Living Magazine Oct 2011, via Babble. Photo by Dana Gallagher.

Country Living Magazine Oct 2011, via Babble. Photo by Dana Gallagher.

Country Living Magazine Oct 2011; found via Babble.

Niki and Ali at Papery & Cakery made ombre pumpkins in two color schemes:

Ombre Pumpkins

Niki and Ali at Papery & Cakery.

Niki and Ali’s pumpkins show that Halloween can be any color, not only black and orange!

And, finally, Sherry Petersik’s pumpkins sport a pantyhose:

Sherry Petersik at Young House Love.

Sherry Petersik at Young House Love.

Not painted, but very clever, very quick and minimally messy. Non-messy is always a good thing! 🙂

(Please follow the links for more photos and descriptions by the makers themselves.)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.