Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mrs. Peacock, in the Study, with the Fountain Pen

So if you buy that three-hundred dollar pen I talked about last week, you're going to need some ink, right?  I propose something nice and spendy.  A bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku ink will be right up your alley.  It's the same brand, for one thing, and for another, it's just beautiful all around, price tag or no.

Picture via the Goulet Pen Company.

This particular color is Ku-jaku, or Peacock.  I got a sample of it recently and really, really liked it.  Look!  It's so pretty!  And not only that, the packaging for the Iroshizuku line is fantastic.  Look at that bottle!  It's not ugly, it's not gaudy.  It's just plain classy.  And the little string around the neck is like a little scarf that completes it!  Also, though you can't see it behind the lovely simple label, there is a little dip into the base of the bottle so that when your ink level gets low, you can still get your pen in deep enough to fill it.

Buy through the Goulet Pen Company for $28.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Show Me Your Stripes

I know some of you probably think me incapable of coveting things at lower price points. But gentle readers, I assure you this is not the case. Take, for example, the clutch on which I have my eye today:

It's black and white! It's striped! It has my name ALL OVER IT! And--best of all--it costs less than $40.00. That's shocking, coming from me, I know. But here it is, in all its streamlined-zebra glory. Do you love it as much as I do?

Buy through LuLu's for $36.00.

Image via LuLu's.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If Lisa Frank Had to Write a Letter...

Do you you think she would use this pen?

Picture via the Goulet Pen Company.  They're all beautiful people.

This pen.  I saw it and I said, "GLITTER."  It's not glitter, as it turns out; it's raden, and my understanding is that raden is a Japanese craft involving lacquer and shells.  I have no idea.  But in this Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen, it's like class and sass came together to appeal to both the adult and twelve-year-old inside me.

The Vanishing Point is one of the few fountain pens with a retractable nib.  The clip is at the end with the nib, which is a little weird, but most people work around it.  It's so you don't get ink in your pocket when you store it.  Pilot thinks of everything!  What would you write with your fabulous glitter VP?

Buy through the Goulet Pen Company for $304.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

These Boots Were Made for Something

There is a part of me--however small--that will always have a soft spot for goth-inspired fashion. It's the same part of me that is nostalgic for high school, which is to say a teeny tiny corner of my heart (seriously, there's not enough money in the world to compel me to return to those days). And that's why I'm currently coveting these patent boots:

This is the sort of boot I never have, and likely never will, wear. They just don't fit in with my everyday aesthetic. But damn, I love to look at them and imagine what life might have been like if I'd gone down a different fashion path.

Buy through Good Goth for $54.95.

Image via Good Goth.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

But No Elephants?

I'm a big fan of salt and pepper shakers. Since I haven't blogged about any recently, I thought I'd restart the trend with these beauts from kate spade:

Look at these cute little things! Their scrollwork ears and teeny tiny trunks are so adorable I just want to squeeze them. As it is, I'll recommend simply shaking them. Would you bring these elephants into your home?

Buy through kate spade for $30.00.

Image via kate spade.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adventures in Fragrance

Back in October, I was cleaning out my bedroom closet as well as the space under my bed, and I think you should know two things. 1) The dust bunnies in North Carolina are ENORMOUS. 2) When you haven't actually sorted through anything since, say, your junior year of college, a few interesting items are bound to crop up as you embark on the bloodbath that is closet organization.

My most fascinating find was a small bottle of Rimmel London Cool perfume, which, as far as I know, hasn't been on the market since about two weeks after I purchased it in 2005 (I have no proof of this whatsoever, but it sounded good). As soon as I sprayed it, I remembered why I loved it back then--its tones reminded me of fresh rain and enticing flowers. I wish I could recommend it for you, but new bottles appear to be unavailable, though the link above will send you to a page where you can purchase some that's been sitting on the shelf for a few years. 

So my back-up recommendation for you was supposed to be Forest Lily by Diane von Furstenburg for Avon, which I borrowed from my mother over Christmas break when I found I'd forgotten to pack any fragrance of my own. As it turns out, Forest Lily--which has a gentle smell, like walking in the woods on a warm spring day--has also been discontinued. 

Then I had a third choice (another bottle I'd found in the closet): Aura by American Eagle. No joke--it was a fresh, citrusy, breezy scent that was playful and age-appropriate for AE's target demographic, and I still enjoy it. Alas, I struck out yet again, and I was ready to give up on this post altogether.

It's not that I couldn't share one of my other favorite scents with you. It's more that I was so hoping to pass these three along. So instead of making a recommendation, I want to ask you, our readers: what scent makes you happy, even years after you started wearing it?


Friday, January 4, 2013

A Bag of a Different Sort

Happy New Year! Gosh, I haven't written to WWC's dear readers since last year. I know, I know, a horrible joke. But it's out of my system. Now if only I can get back on my weekly posting schedule...

Among the more common New Year's Resolutions are those that involve becoming a better steward of the earth or recycling more or saving money. Allow me to help you out with that in a sturdy, functional, pretty, and cheap manner.

Not all of their bags look like this. Check back periodically for new styles. 

Whole Foods' A Better Bag is made of recycled plastic most commonly found in the form of water bottles or Coke bottles (I was born & raised in Georgia, so every soft drink is a Coke, even that abomination known as Pepsi). Not too long ago, I was without a car and reliant upon friends and public transportation to get from place to place. I remained this way for nearly a year, and during that time I used my Whole Foods bags to carry everything from groceries to a change of clothes on the bus and on overnight trips. I have loaded them down with cans and gallons of milk as I huffed and puffed carrying them up a flight or two of stairs. Not once have I had one fail on me. I get compliments even at other grocery stores when I use them because they are big, sturdy and cute.

But if they ever should, you can take it back to the store and they will replace it for free. Even if you've used it and taken the tag off. Best. Return policy. Ever.

I...may or may not have between 10 and 20 in the trunk of my car and in my apartment total.

Buy at Whole Foods for 99 cents each.

Image via Whole Foods.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Playlist: 2013

Last January, I shared with you a collection of 10 tracks that I thought would accompany me throughout the year. Of them, I'd say a good seven were on near-constant repeat across the months, so I've decided to construct another playlist to take me into 2013. As with the previous list, the songs were culled from my current collection. Most aren't recent, but they certainly sound good to me, and that's really the goal of any playlist I ever make. They come to you in no particular order. I hope you'll check them out, if you're not already familiar with them. Enjoy!

1) "Little Bird," Annie Lennox
I have a friend who recently relocated to England, and after he left, I sent him a playlist of good British music, and this song was central to that assemblage. The point I made when I sent it to him is that, as Scottish as Lennox can be, she's also oddly American at times, pulling inspiration from Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin and having an impact on Stateside artists as diverse as Fiona Apple, Lady Gaga, and Gwen Stefani. (NB: the link is to the video edit of the track; while I recommend the album cut, the video is worth a look, since Lennox doesn't hesitate to send herself up. You might also check out her performance of "Little Bird" from the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, where she was at her theatrical finest.)

2) "Too Close," Alex Clare
Speaking of British musicians, here's another. I'm not sure what to do with Clare; the video for this song makes no sense (even more so than a standard music video), the track was inexplicably featured in a commercial for Internet Explorer--INTERNET EXPLORER, I ASK YOU--and he sounds American but looks impossibly English. Setting those things aside, "Too Close" is indebted to Depeche Mode's "Dream On," which I love, and is a great tune in its own right. I can't skip it when it comes up on shuffle. If you're not totally sold on the electronic aspects of the song, check out this unplugged version; for me, it doesn't have the same impact, but it sounds good nonetheless.

3) "Wayfaring Stranger," Johnny Cash
Some of my friends seem to think I know nothing about country music. The same dude from above told me, "You need Johnny." What most of them don't know is that I do have a decent sense of some country musicians, including but not limited to the Man in Black. One of my favorites of his is "Wayfaring Stranger," a traditional tune included on American III: Solitary Man. It doesn't get much better than this, am I right? Plus, fun fact: Sheryl Crow played accordion on this track!

4) "Last Day of Magic," The Kills
I've been on this Jack White kick lately, and The Kills are sort of ancillary to that--Alison Mosshart works with White as part of The Dead Weather when she's not busy singing for The Kills. This song appeals to me because I feel like it describes so much of my life--the wondering, the chaos, the attempts to work it all out. Mostly, though, it sounds fun, and it's great to sing along to in the car.

5) "Come Along," Titiyo
The truth about this track is that it should have been on last year's playlist, because I love it to pieces. The first time I ever heard it, it was March 2011 and I was in a Ford Focus station wagon in Belgium, listening to English-language pop on the radio (this sounds like the start of a bad joke, I'm sure, but it's not). I found myself wondering why the artist wasn't more of a Thing in the States, because she has a great voice--not to mention some fabulous cheekbones--but, like many international artists before her, she seems to be more of a European phenomenon, particularly in her home country of Sweden. On a side note, she's Eagle Eye Cherry's stepsister!

6) "Pocketful of Sunshine," Natasha Bedingfield
Like Olive Penderghast before me, I have a love-hate relationship with this song. It's catchy as all get-out, so I can't flip past it on the radio. But it seems a little too twee for me? On the other hand, it's possible that this is the kind of aesthetic I need to incorporate into my life a bit more. So I'll keep turning it up, even if I say, every time, "Blagh, worst song EVER."

You may notice a trend here: I'm pretty late to every party out there, hence the reason it took me until 2012 to come around to Fergie's 2006 hit. Say what you will about her, but Stacy Ferguson's vocal gymnastics on this track give me hope for the future of pop singles. Plus the track is full of the type of bombast that can only be achieved by someone confident with herself, and that's a cool thing to witness.

8) "Take Your Mama," Scissor Sisters
My friend Ed regularly shares with me songs he thinks I should hear. Of all the links he's sent, this one might be my favorite. Scissor Sisters are clearly the heirs to Elton John's throne, which is part of what draws me to them, but I'm also attached to this particular cut because it's perfect for strutting (no joke--I do it all the time when walking to work) and also brings a summertime feel to your life when you're stuck in the rain, snow, or mud.

9) "A Long December," Counting Crows
I'm a famous non-fan of Adam Duritz's voice when it comes to him being a lead vocalist (though I adore his background work on the Wallflowers track "Sixth Avenue Heartache"--one of my all-time favorites). Having said that, I think "A Long December" is a stellar track, and it only takes a few notes of the bridge to send me right back to fifth grade, the age at which I first heard the song. Moreover, it's pretty much a time capsule for everything that was right about alternative music in the mid- to late-'90s, and you have to respect that.

10) "Genius of Love," Tom Tom Club
My first introduction to this song was, like so many others of my generation, via Mariah Carey's "Fantasy." That track made great use of the original, incorporating the sample seamlessly with a few tweaks. Tom Tom Club's master, however, is way more spaced out than Carey could ever hope to be, and it's a great cruising song--just roll the windows down, turn the volume up, and enjoy the ride.

Feel free to share your own essential tracks for the coming year in the comments; we'd love to know what you're listening to right now!