19 March 2013

Graceful Sketches

Yesterday, I told you about the memoir, Grace, written by Vogue's Creative Director, Grace Coddington.

One of the many things I loved about the book are her quirky personal sketches:

She has an old school approach of drawing the looks she sees on the runway instead of using a camera or depending on a look book. She says in the book, "I always sketch at fashion shows. Drawings jog my memory more than any photograph."

She also says, "Each ready-to-wear season, I usually fill on sketchbook per city -- Paris, Milan, New York -- plus one for each season's couture, resort, and cruise. So that makes 12 sketchbooks a year, and they can all get pretty full. My system at the shows is to draw, sketch, put down everything -- every single outfit -- and worry later whether I liked it or not. Occasionally, I will put a star next to a favorite. Because I don't write about fashion, I don't take notes. I find it faster and easier to draw a dolman sleeve, for example, than to describe it. It was simpler in the old days, when there weren't so many collections and most people showed a maximum of thirty outfits." 

Wouldn't it be TADA! to see and go through all these sketchbooks?

She admits to being more adept with images than words ever since she was young: "Seeing a story visually rather than in words was what I was responding to."

In fact, one of the items she values is also something very visual: "As a memento, Bruce made me a beautiful scrapbook of photographs from the shoot. It was probably my most treasures possession." {On working with photographer Bruce Weber}

Grace is also a cat lover. This part of the book shows the many cats she owned. Prior to writing her memoir, she already came out with the book The Catwalk Cats.

via Styleite
She even came out with a special edition bag and scarves with her cat drawings, a collaboration with Balenciaga

via Vogue.com
I was also impressed that she made this sketch, a gift to Jimmy Fallon, when she appeared on his show to talk about "Grace: A Memoir". Isn't she so nice? You can watch the segment here

A book with pictures! It's blah to TADA!

18 March 2013

State of Grace

Hi everyone! New books are one of life's pleasures that are simply TADA! 

Let me tell you about a book I just finished reading.

        It's called GRACE.

via Gawker
It's a memoir by Grace Coddington.

If her name's not familiar, she's the creative director of 
American Vogue.
Miss Coddington was "introduced" to the public in the documentary, "The September Issue", a behind the scenes look on how the year's biggest issue is put together. Here, the camera-shy yet strong-willed creative director is seen battling it out with editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.

via Guardian UK
Before watching the film, I had the expectation of seeing Anna Wintour {right}, the so called "ice queen", in a different light. Maybe as a more gentle soul beneath the cold exterior? Instead, I got to know Miss Coddington. Then and there, I wanted to have "Team Grace" t-shirts made.

When she came out with this book late last year, I put it on my reading list ASAP -- I wanted to get to know this fascinating lady. You see, I'm drawn to strong women. They don't have to be soul-less individuals even if they've achieved a good amount of success and power. I saw that in Grace -- strong but she still had heart. 

The book chronicles her life in fashion, first as a model, and moving on to becoming an editor in both British and American Vogue. It's the colorful life of a woman dealing with love, family, friendship, loss and success.

I think the book is TADA! because:

It's inspiring.
She was a quiet little girl who grew up in rural Wales. The pages of Vogue consumed her as a teenager {"I bought it for the fantasy of looking at beautiful clothes, and I liked getting lost in its pages"}, then grew up to work for the magazine, making her an influential force in fashion.

via The Frisky
We can live vicariously through her.
Imagine her life: meeting designers, going to parties, traveling to dreamy destinations to shoot fashion stories, visiting the fashion capitals of the world to view pretty dresses, among other things.

via Pop Sugar
There's a lot of inside dish.
Like what does she really think of Anna Wintour? Or what her relationship is like with fashion designers like Yves Saint Laurent or photographers like Annie Leibovitz. Also, if, like the "September Issue", you're a fan of what happens behind the glitz and glamour {ex. making of a Vogue issue or the Costume Institute's annual exhibit at The Met}, it's all in this book.

It provides a back story on Andre' Leon Talley.
{Vogue's toga-wearing, over the top creative director before Grace inherited the position.}

"Grace" is an easy read that shows how one's blah life can turn into TADA!, and will leave you with a greater appreciation for fashion and fashion magazines.

15 March 2013

Vintage Perfume Bottles

What a scent-sational week it's been! I hope you enjoyed my stroll down memory lane through fragrance and all our scented craft projects this week. 

This got me thinking about a new blah to TADA! collection I might want to start. Vintage perfume bottles, perhaps? 

I found these pictures on Pinterest. They made me all excited about perfume bottles, whilst empty, to build a thought-provoking vignette on a dressing table:

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest
Questions like "Who owned them?" or "When and where was the scent made?" are begging to be asked. 

Maybe I will begin hunting for them on my next trip to the flea market. Wish me luck. And, oh, have a happy weekend!

14 March 2013

Scented Surprise

Happy Thursday!

When you open a magazine and find a page with a perfume strip, do you have the urge to open it and sniff? I do!

Same with those inserts that tumble out from a catalog,
which I think are pricey to produce.

Here's how I give them the blah to TADA! make-over:

I turn them into scented confetti using a craft punch.
I make sure to punch where the perfume is strongest.

Then I put the confetti inside cards and letters ready to be mailed. That way, it's a scented surprise to the person opening it, with a shower of hearts as a bonus!

13 March 2013

Mini Message in a Bottle

I'm a big fan of freebies, especially sample sizes of cosmetics and perfume. I think items like these should be tested before a purchase is made -- you'll never know how it will react to your skin or natural scent. 

Tiny bottles like these are also very handy when all you have is an evening clutch but still want to be sweet-smelling all night. When the vial's contents have been consumed, here's how I transform it from blah to TADA!:

I turn it into a positive pendant, strung
on a silver chain.

I've discovered that at the start of the year, some people choose a "power word" instead of making a long list of resolutions. It's a word that they want to hang on to or to be more of in the new year. These are some of those words. 

 Insert the word in the dry and empty perfume vial.
It's now a message in a bottle.
It's a message to yourself.

Seal with a small cork and super glue, followed by jewelry findings and a chain. Wear it daily and by the end of the year, you've hopefully become one with your power word.

12 March 2013

Perfume Strips

One of the fun areas of a department store is the perfume section. Sure, the selection can be overwhelming, but what a treat to check out the beautiful packaging and determine which celebrity has a new fragrance. I also like how we can test the scents and leave the store smelling fresh and fine without having to purchase anything!

Most stores have these plain white strips to aid in testing perfume. Simply spray on the paper and take this home with you to help you choose a favorite.   

When I stepped into Hendri Bendel, they had these perfume test strips for selected scents. How fabulous! I would love to paint like that. Also, each girl represented the essence of each cologne.  I think I want to be as chic as Gardenia and Vanilla girl!

Just a sample of how something simple as test strips can go from blah to TADA!

11 March 2013

Scent Memory

Hi everyone! I hope you had a restful weekend. This week, let's talk about scents, or more specifically, perfume. Maybe like me, you associate fragrance with different stages in your life?  

As a little girl, I remember Mom putting this on me after a bath. It was refreshing and it invited whiffs and kisses from my parents, aunts and uncles. Everyone can't seem to resist the smell of a baby, right? I associate this scent with being looked after, as well as sunny, carefree afternoons filled with playtime and imagination. 

As a teenager, I was quite observant of people I admired like my Auntie A and Auntie E. They were the epitome of style. I would watch them put on make-up, get dressed for parties, and spray on expensive cologne before leaving the house. "One day I want to be like them," I said to myself.  

When I went to parties myself, I would borrow some of their clothes and feel so grown-up. As a finishing touch, I needed a scent. No, the Johnson's cologne of my childhood would not do. I dared not ask my style icon aunties if I could pilfer their perfume stash. And I couldn't afford real perfume so I settled for this, an impostor scent. Inexpensive as it was, it captured the scent of a glamorous woman. Whenever I wore it, I had some swagger, like the spirit of my aunties giving me the license to have a wonderful time.

When I saw a bottle of this at the store, I bought one without hesitation. I was in disbelief that they were still manufactured, plus it was only 99 cents! I immediately uncapped it, sprayed it on my wrists and a flood of memories came back -- high school mixers, milestone birthdays, the confusion between infatuation and falling in love.        

Here's another cologne that I truly loved. They don't make it anymore {what a blah}, but it was my signature scent for some time. I thought it was calm, approachable and optimistic. 

The cologne Romance is pretty special. It's what I wore on my wedding day. I still wear it on important occasions and it continues to make me giddy. It evokes promises kept, emotion that is expressed freely and the thought that the best is yet to be.

Fascinating how fragrance can turn your day from blah to TADA! 

How about you, what scents bring back good memories?