Thursday, April 28, 2011

Decorating with Sparkle and Shine (and little animals too)!

So, sparkle and shine.  Love them.  Love wearing them.  Love looking at them.  Why not live among them?

Ok, having an apartment literally covered in sparkles and shine would be a bit much even for me.  But little pops of sparkle and shine in an apartment - love it.  Another obsession of mine is little animals.  Have always loved them, probably always will.  Who doesn't love a little cute figurine, even better if it is sparkly!

Many years ago when I was on a traveling marathon for work (gone a week, home a week for about 8 months), I went to Baltimore, MD a few times.  We had a series of meetings at a hotel.  The hotel kind of sucked, but their meeting space was AH-MA-ZING.

They spent millions renovating an old, historic Masonic temple.  The stained glass windows were beautiful, the linens were custom made in Europe (France, I think), and the most amazing thing that I fell in love with?  The custom-made French wallpaper in the first floor Ladies' room.  It was made, literally, from crushed pearls.

These pictures don't really do this magnificence justice.  How do I describe it adequately?  It had an amazing, beautiful, sparkly, lustrous texture and hue that was pretty unreal.  I think my meeting planner at the hotel said it cost about $300 per square foot or some ridiculousness like that.

I've tried googling "wallpaper made from crushed pearls" and many derivations of that to see what I could find, but nothing has come up.

How pretty would that be in a bedroom?  So sexy and beautiful!


I love fireworks.  My favorite are the colorless ones that seem to drip like waterfalls in the sky.

This is a picture I took at Kaboom in San Francisco in spring 2006.  For you fellow San Franciscans, you know that fireworks in July are somewhat of an oxymoron - you usually just get colored fog.  But fireworks in May when it isn't foggy are quite stunning.

All of my life, I've been obsessed with fireworks that look like this.  How amazing and unique would it be to have a ceiling or wall in your house outfitted somehow with LED lights or something so that it would sparkle like this?  Crazy, I know.  But I want it.

A good friend, Cecelia, has this amazing mirror, lamp, art piece in the luscious house she shares with her fiancee.  My sister took this picture of me staring into this piece of art a few months ago.

It is hard to describe how it looks in person.  It is a gigantic circular mirror surrounded by a ring of light bulbs.  The bulbs reflect and reflect and reflect creating this tunnel of light and shine effect.

Not exactly glitter, but shininess and sparkly-ness that I love and covet.

So, not exactly sparkly or shiny in the exact definition, but a translucent porcelain ambient light lamp does add a little "sparkle" to a room.  This little owl is super cute and affordable ($54.99).

Imagine it in an entryway or a bedroom or in a little corner of any room, peeking out from it's perch.

Like Carrie and Big talked about in SATC 2, they needed to work on the “sparkle” in their relationship.  They didn't exactly mean it needed to be glittery, but they needed some excitement, some uniqueness, some je ne sais quoi.  Some sparkle.  These unexpected little things add that "sparkle", in my opinion.

 I also love this little squirrel lamp ($88 at Anthropologie).  They also have a little bunny lamp too. 

Also translucent porcelain.

Also would be super cute and unexpected on a bookshelf, a night stand, or some other little nook or cranny in a space.

Calypso St. Barth is unveiling a line of goods for Target on May 1, or so the internet tells me (and a few magazines too).

I scrounged around online to find the look book and an image of the metallic poufs that will be part of the collection.

I want the gold one - Look 69.  I think around $60. here I come on May 1st.

Extra seating - check.  Place to stash a pile of magazines - check.  Place to rest your feet - check.  Multi-tasking metallic loveliness!

A way to add a little shine, spice, sparkle, something to furniture or cabinets is to change out the knobs.  Found this store in SF - Bauerware several years ago.  A magnificent store chock full of every kind of knob or pull you could imagine.

I saw these mercury glass melon knobs on-line at Anthropologie.   At $8 per knob, a somewhat inexpensive way to add a little sparkle and interest to a piece of furniture or cabinet.  They come in several colors, but I love the gold.

I also thought these knobs were pretty unique.  If the mercury glass is too much gold / sparkle, why not try a little mother of pearl and gold knobbery?

These little cuties are $10 a piece.

Would look super cute on a dark-wood dresser or cabinet.

Like a little cluster of pearly flowers!

Plants that require no soil?  Yes, they exist.  They are called air plants.  And they literally need no soil.  No soil = no dirt = no need for an outdoor garden.  You can read a little about these plants here.  But really, truly, they don't need dirt.  I think some require different watering regimens, but seem easy enough to take care of.

I saw these air plants in glass orbs on-line at West Elm.  They range in price from $9 to $24.  Wouldn't several of these grouped together look amazing in front of a window?  Yes, not glittery, but the reflections on the glass orbs does create some nice shine!

Flora Grubb gardens and Paxton Gate in San Francisco also have some great air plants for sale in all kinds of interesting containers and configurations.

Now on to a little DIY project I'll be embarking on soon.  I have seen these cardboard animal heads for a while now and they always make me smile.  I recently found a mini-version at Therapy in the Mission in San Francisco.  I couldn't walk away from the mini-elephant.  It came home with me.  Therapy's on-line shop isn't up as of this posting, but I did find the exact same item on-line here.  They have other animals too, so you aren't just limited to an elephant.

What am I going to do with a brown cardboard 3-D elephant head?  Why, I'm going to spray paint it metallic gold and get a fabulous gold frame to place around it and hang it on the wall in my entry way, of course!

I will delve into my obsession with animals and birds in a subsequent post or posts, I'm sure.

Until then - how will you add some "sparkle" into your life?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sparkles that I own and love!

So, yes, I love sparkles.  I own lots of sparkly stuff - clothes, shoes, jewelry, and even some things in my apartment sparkle!  I'll save decorating with sparkle for another time, and focus this time on sparkles that are near and dear to my heart and take up some valuable real estate in my closet and drawers.

Bling doesn't need to cost a lot.  Yes, diamonds sparkle, and are a girl's best friend, but there are other items equally as sparkly that won't cost a fortune.

I picked up this little sparkler at Nordstrom a few years back.  Uber sparkly, and didn't break the bank.

I think it kind of looks like a firework & who doesn't love fireworks?  Sparkles in the sky!  Love it!

I also picked up this little gem of a ring at Nordstrom.  It was made by Juicy Couture.  Also didn't break the bank.  

It is a little hard to tell from the picture, but there are several little sparkles in the enamel and the ring itself.  It has lots of different flowers, butterflies, and that cute little lady bug.

This little ring is made out of plastic and glitter.  I think it cost somewhere around $5.  Super inexpensive.  Super fun to wear.

I picked up this necklace last year to wear with my Halloween Costume.  I've always wanted to have a costume with wings, and last year I made that wish come true.  Got some cute pink / yellow / purple fairy wings, paired them with a sparkly tank top, scalloped skirt, gold flats, sparkly make-up, and a bunch of layered sparkly necklaces.  Got this at Forever 21 for around $9.

Honestly didn't think I'd wear it after Halloween, but I wear it all the time.  One of the best $9 purchases ever.

I saw this little cross-body bag back at Christmastime in the Gap's holiday collection.  It was in all of their advertising and I was really coveting it.  But for some reason I kept talking myself out of buying it.  What am I going to do with a tiny little sparkly bag?  Well, my desire got the best of me and I decided I needed to have the bag.  But by then, they weren't on-line or in stores any more - gone gone gone.  My friend Sparkles, who happens to work for the Gap, found it for me at a store in Chicago.  Presto!  I am the proud owner of this little sparkler.  What is so cool about it is you can flip the sequins and it can go from gold to silver, or a mixture of the two - as seen in this picture.

This little clutch is vintage and used to belong to my mom.  It is embroidered with pearls and gun-metal colored bugle beads.  It's quite small, and I often forget I have it.  But I love it.  Very precious and pretty!

Judith Leiber makes some really pretty sparkly purses.  The one Big gave to Carrie in Sex in the City (a swan, I think) wasn't the best of Judith's designs, but I fell in love with this little blue star pill case on my 30th birthday in Vegas.  I was perusing the gift shop at the Bellagio as we were checking out to go home, and I couldn't put this little thing down.  This did break my bank back then - I was broke, and in college, not the time to be throwing down for a sparkly blue star pill case.  Does any body even carry pill cases any more?  I didn't care - had to have it.  A little token of remembrance of my 30th birthday!

A friend subscribed me to Guilt Groupe and I get these nifty little emails every day telling me about all of these beautiful things that are on super sale below retail prices.  I usually still can't afford a lot of the things I like, and I haven't broken down and ordered anything from the site yet, but I like looking at all of the pretty things they have.  This week they had a special sale on Judith Leiber goods.  Some cute, some I wouldn't carry unless you paid me a lot a lot a lot of money.  But, I did really like this little bag.  A dark red sparkly heart.  Was on sale for $729 (usually retails for $1460).  A steal if you have that kind of dough laying around.  I don't.

Sparkly clothing?  Yes, please.  Sign me up.

I picked this up from J. Crew before Christmas.  A tank top in December - sure, why not.  Love the rose-gold color, and the sparkles.

I also picked up this sparkly T-shirt from J. Crew - this one recently.  

I can envision this dressed up with a black pencil skirt, or dressed down with a pair of jeans and flip-flops.  I love clothes that multi-task!

Yet another J. Crew purchase.  Super on sale.

Saw it initially in the catalog and really liked it.  When I was at the store a little while later, they were out of them because they were on sale.  I scrounged through the sale rack and managed to find 1 left.

This top is coined the "Birthday Top."  A friend, Project Manager (obviously not her real name), purchased this top at Anthropologie last year to wear for her birthday.  She paired it with some fabulous skinny jeans and a pair of metallic wedges.  I absolutely fell in love with it.  I went to Anthropologie to try it on, but for some reason, wasn't in love with it on me.

Several weeks later, was at Anthropologie again, saw it on the sale rack, decided to give it another go.  Tried it on, and actually liked it on me.  Can't say what changed, but I really liked it, so the the Birthday Top earned a place in my closet.

My friends are definitely aware of my sparkle obsession - it's kind of comical.  Project Manager (PM) was over at my place recently and I was showing her a this dress I wore for my sister's wedding shower.  That prompted a little perusal of my closet and she gave me crap for all of the sparkly clothes I own...  It was funny.  It is true though, I have a lot of sparkly clothes.  Maybe I need to go on a sparkly-clothes-buying hiatus?  We'll see how long that lasts...  Until our next sparkly encounter!  Keep on glimmering, and show your sparkly things some love!