"Sometimes opportunity knocks, but most of the time it sneaks up and then quietly steals away." - Doug Larson

You find me now, deep in the throes of a "Goldilocks moment"...having taken her "too hard, too soft, just right" bed manifesto to heart...and applied it to hi-top sneakers. Pierre Hardy started it...with a style whose piping echoed that of his bags...but they were too expensive and, at the time, just too hard to find. Then came Isabel Marant...whose shoes were beautiful but, with a 3" internal heel, too high for a klutz like me.

My "just right" came courtesy of Marc by Marc Jacobs...khaki canvas...black leather...dressier than a sneaker...a comfortably cool option for pounding the summer streets...



"The bottom line is that people think sleep is a luxury. It's not a luxury; it's a necessity." - Terrence Coulter

That's it...I'm done...throw a (Union Jack emblazoned) throw over me and put me bed. For, having made the mistake of turning on the television when I found myself unable to sleep, I have now watched ALL of the Royal wedding coverage...and can barely keep my eyes open.

On a fashion-related note, both the bride and bridesmaid dresses were rather lovely...on a non-fashion note, it's not too often you get to see a verger doing cartwheels in the abbey.


"The non permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of summer and winter seasons." - Bhagavad Gita

I'm finding it a little hard to believe that it's almost May and I'm still pulling out the waffle cashmere that saw me through the winter...usually discussions about "seasonless clothes" refers to light layers that work by themselves in summer, or en masse in winter...not an inability to escape from your winter woolies.


"I'd rather lose myself in passion than lose my passion." - Jacques Mayol

Having been weaned on Enid Blyton...and other authors of that ilk...whose stories were populated by girls named George who had ripping (yet completely non-controversial) adventures...I am all too well aware of the power of “the pash”. In those completely PC tales a “pash” was a pronounced (yet completely non-sexual) fondness for someone...the dictionary of slang and colloquialisms of the UK has a slightly more grown up viewpoint and conjugates it as follows...“I found her having a pash in the back garden with the nextdoor neighbour”.

However you want to look at it, I am currently in the grips of a pash...for things vintage, and golden, and shiny...like this sea-creature-chic brooch by Howard Benedikt...a New York jeweler who made fine costume jewelry from 1955 to 1970...




"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." - Jack Kerouac


Another entry...following this week's (entirely unintentional) motif...the Vuitton logo on brick and sidewalk. Entry number two...you know you are strolling through a slightly upscale neighborhood when you find yourself stepping on discarded Vuitton merchandising material...



"No king on earth is as safe in his job as a Trade Union official. There is only one thing that can get him sacked; and that is drink. Not even that, as long as he doesn't actually fall down." - George Bernard Shaw

If you are reading this there is a fairly good chance that you are a Pixelworker..."web workers - designers, developers, copywriters, user experience architects, and bloggers - dedicated to building a better Internet"...in which case, you really ought to consider showing your allegiance and joining the union...United Pixelworkers...if only to get one of their "on sale for 18 days, 4 hours, 8 minutes and 51 seconds and then they're gone" featured tees...



"Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana." - Bill Gates



"What then have I done? What, except yield to a natural feeling, inspired by beauty, sanctioned by virtue and kept at all times within the bounds of respect. It's innocent expression prompted not by hope but by trust." - Vicomte de Valmont


Inspiration...to last all summer long...from Barneys New York Collection lookbook...



"With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and 60." - Jack Nicholson

There's nothing like the heady thrill that accompanies buying a pair of cheap sunglasses...the knowledge that no guilt when be attached when you drop them, sit on them, throw them in your bag and scratch them...or any of the other CAE (crimes against eyewear) that it is possible to perpetrate.

Especially when they're (p)leather-trimmed aviators...from H&M...and mildly dent your wallet (coming in at a very budget-friendly $10).



"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." - Mark Twain

I'm not going to say that the best thing about LA jeweler Pade Vavra's bug bracelets is their description on her website...because the bracelets themselves have that quirky macabre quality that I find irresistible. However, the sentence "sacred bugs, who all died of natural causes after living long, meaningful lives on an exotic bug farm" is equally hard to resist...Photobucket


Home is where the heart is...

...it's also where the Scrabble set can be found in it's native habitat...of course, if you're like me...you now take your Scrabble everywhere you go, courtesy of the Words With Friends app on your iPhone (it's like nerdy crack, I tell you).

Home, however, is where you can wrack your brains over what to do with the Z, Q, and R in person...be relatively sure that you're adversary isn't looking their words up online...and recline against a set of these thematically correct HOME cushions...



"No longer are her invitations sought and fought for eagerly, Her parties once so popular are now attended meagerly, A blunder unforgivable made life no longer livable, For she served the sparkling burgundy in glasses made for port" - unknown

At this point I really can't decide if Moda Operandi...the online trunk-show-format retail venture conceived by Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo and ex–Gilt Grouper Aslaug Magnusdottir...is a sign of things to come...or just an extraordinarily bad idea.

The photography is good...detailed close-ups that really allow you get a feel for the fabric...free worldwide shipping...and stylists available 24/7 via phone or email (though I dare anyone to try calling at 3am to get an opinion on a dress).

BUT (big, fully capitalized, "but")...there are so many things to turn the prospective purchaser off...only a few days to make a decision...once that decision is made (not easy given the expense of most of the things on the site), you pay 50% of the total amount, then see nothing for months...and a VERY (oh dear, there's a lot of capitalization today) stringent return policy...returns on apparel and footwear only and, even then, only for a store credit. If the handbag/jewelry/watch/wallet/or myriad of other paraphernalia that you purchased doesn't live up to expectations, you're stuck with it.

BUT #2...there are some truly lovely pieces on the site. These suede boots from Parisienne designer Laurence Dacade literally left me staring at my screen...despite the ludicrous idea of buying extremely expensive suede boots to trot around in during the wet and dreary winter months...AND...my acknowledged inability to manoeuvre in any heel higher than an inch.


Such was the madness that they induced I found myself browsing for other Dacade designs from this season...only to fall in love with an equally unwearable (from my perspective) pair in studded grey suede...going so far as to put together prospective outfits utilizing them...


"Some people march to a different drummer - and some people polka" - unknown

At some point there will be a loud crashing sound...indicative of spring taking a wild leap into being...and tripping over the coffee table in the process. At this magic moment it may actually be mild enough for me to do my own version of the polka..."the changing seasons Hebden two-step"...swathed in nothing more substantial that a lightweight dress, Hartford's polka dot scarf draped rakishly around my neck.

Of course, it may just continue to snow/rain/sleet for the rest of the year, in which case my dance may be more of a somber shuffle.



"They are not royal. They just happen to have me as their aunt." - Elizabeth II

To date, my "Royal Wedding Fever" has consisted of a slight sense of depression concerning the new lows reached by souvenir sellers (Crown Jewels prophylactics, I'm looking at you)...and a sense of impending doom and "Is that one of the four horsemen I see over there?" unease over the news that Kate Middleton's penchant for knee-high boots has unleashed a shopping fever on the UK which has seen their sale rise 663% in the last month...

Finally, something non-ghastly has raised its head above the parapet... Infinitely more enjoyable than a made-for-tv-movie, this could be the best two minutes and thirteen seconds of royal wedding coverage you will see...


"[Its] language is as bare as a monk's cell, and as uninviting." - Clifford Longley

A somewhat welcome result of the drastic dip in the mercury...and the accompanying snow (not much but enough to require a winter sweater and mittens to be unearthed from what I'd foolishly assumed was their resting place for the remainder of the year)...has been the rare urge to do a little spring cleaning. I always forget how good it feels to purge things that I've been holding onto for what seemed (originally) to be a perfectly valid reason...yet (now) bear a striking resemblance to junk.


It's at times like this...bathed in the virtuous glow of someone who can finally see a few bare inches of counter space...that the sight of these images of Gwyneth Paltrow's TriBeca loft induces massive amounts of envy. Then reality sets in...and the accompanying knowledge that even with vaults of cash...and the corresponding ability to spread my crap (I mean, worldly possessions) around several homes...I'd still be an inveterate pack-rat, unable to live in an antiseptic environment containing one coffee table book and a couple of vases.



"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." - Mark Twain

Sunday morning...a cup of coffee...the virtual "newspapers" (all of the entertainment value, none of the inky black residue on your fingertips when you're done). Three minutes and forty-nine seconds of my life wasted on a video about the sartorial benefits of the silk shirt (mental note: flap-topped pockets over each breast are not a good look on anyone)...another couple of minutes internally debating the likelihood of me spending any of the time in the run up to Easter slaving away in the kitchen trying to make saffron-honey-pseudo-Peeps (slim to zero)...

Thank God that I finally stumbled across the rather beautiful combination of New York City Ballet prima ballerina Janie Taylor...Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, 'Mishima': IV. 1962: Body Building,"...and pieces from Chloé’s dance-inspired spring/summer 2011 collection...


"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me." - Emo Philips

I'd like to think that the correlation between the number of bicycle-related posts that I do (relatively high)...and the actual amount of time I spend cycling (pathetically low)...indicates the desire to add a little more exercise to my regimen. The reality, as I'll cheerfully admit, is that cycling...in my mind's eye...is of the variety much beloved by movies from the middle of the last century...where well-coiffed ladies...and mischievous gamines...traveled from point A to B...beautifully dressed...rarely displaying even a bead of perspiration...with enviably chic bicycles and baskets.

Which leads me to Kate Spade's Adeline bicycle...a little too vehemently green for my tastes...and (more importantly) the accompanying Essex Bike Scout bag...


Like Superman (before he nipped into the phone booth)...it's mild-mannered cross-body satchel by day...handlebar hugger by night (or "later in the day" for those of you more factual readers).

Finally, an accessory that works for the 99.9% of the time I'm not actually on two wheels.


"There's a shadow hanging over me..." - The Beatles

Yesterday...love was such an easy game to play...it was also "bruise day"...featuring a lot of seasonally appropriate layers in a black and blue ensemble...


"I like driving in my car...it's not quite a Jaguar" - Madness

Not my car...nor the car of anyone that I know (I realize that I sound very much like a stereotypical foreign language tape right at this second..."here is the feather of my aunt"..."voici la plume de ma tante")...but I'm rather loving the idea of Vuitton (or, in all likelihood, faux-Vuitton) car seats...



"Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue" - unknown

Who knew that the old gents who go out to feed the squirrels and pigeons dressed in a Hawaiian shirt (with matching knee-length shorts)...ankle socks...and loafers...were trend setters? Or, that for a mere $750 the man in your life could follow suit with a pair of sandal sneakers from Dior Homme...

Coming soon...the designer bag of slightly moldy bread...and a phrase book of "Conversational guidelines for the woodland creature you regularly dine with."



"...try to find the sunny side of life..." - Chet Baker

Depending on whether you are a glass half full...or half empty...kind of person...you will view the following in one of two ways...as an indication that eBay unleashes the worst of humanity (and should therefore be avoided at all costs)...or that, as Chet Baker tried to tell us, the silver (or should that be gold) lining does, on occasion, exist.

I've never been an eBay fan. Some people have great luck...finding bargains the same way that Superman leaped over small buildings...with ease. I, on the other hand, always seem to find the dodgy...the questionable...or the seller who's trying to work some kind of an angle.

This time...on the lookout for a specific piece of vintage jewelry...Google led me to the bay. I made an offer (slightly lower than their asking price)...was amazed when it was accepted...and swiftly paid via PayPal (I've worked in retail, and hate it when people say they'll buy something and then take forever to actually hand over the cash). I fell asleep mumbling that "maybe eBay wasn't so bad after all"...and woke next day to an email informing me that "whoops...sorry...we sold the bracelet to someone else."

The sunny portion of this dark little shopping cloud came when I ventured into the World Market to pick up a jar of Branston Pickle and spotted this...


...a Lara Bohinc-esque knot bracelet...for a little under $20. Not what I was looking for...in either instance...but a rather nice addition to the jewelry box.



"Life overflows without ambitious pains..."

"Surely among a rich man's flowering lawns,
Amid the rustle of his planted hills,
Life overflows without ambitious pains;
And rains down life until the basin spills,
And mounts more dizzy high the more it rains
As though to choose whatever shape it wills..."

- William Butler Yeats







"Oxford gave the world marmalade and a manner, Cambridge science and a sausage" - unknown

There's nothing like a hint of spring to send you dashing madly towards the shoe department in search of something a little lighter than the boots you've stomped around in all winter. As this seems...at least in terms of the majority of summer related purchases that I've made thus far...to be a "two-tone, trimmed with leather" kind of year...it's probably fitting that the shoes in question should follow along...in a pleather-y, "I could say I'm doing it to be green but they're just cheap shoes" kind of way...



"The make up took about an hour to put on, but the wig was a thing that bothered me more than anything else." - Cesar Romero

I once knew a man whose party trick...example of a mis-spent youth...call it what you will...was the ability to name every actor who played every villain on Batman...the 1960's television show...even the obscure ones like Shamrock and Chartreuse. It was a skill, and a rather entertaining one at that.

Not a skill...but equally entertaining...this hybrid of the Joker and Curious George...



"Bread may feed my body, but my horse feeds my soul." - unknown


Oh etsy, how do I love thee? I visit looking for something perfectly sensible...and you tantalize me with shocking pink metallic horses...



"I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest." - Agatha Christie

"But the victim, I tell you, was Colonel Mustard...the crime was committed in the library...and both the lead piping and rope were used. The murderer was clearly a multi-tasking librarian who disliked condiments..."Photobucket


"I thought love was only true in fairytales...Meant for someone else but not for me" - The Monkees

Okay, I'm a convert. When my hairdresser...God, how strange that sounds after all these years of self-cutting...walked me through the correct way to wash and condition (shampoo scalp area only...condition ends only) I was, I have to admit, more than a little skeptical...wary that it was some deviously Machiavellian way to convince me to buy the shampoo and conditioner available at the salon.

Yet I performed the ritual each morning (with the drugstore s and c that I already owned)...and my hair did seem to respond well. The skepticism, however, remained. Then I came across this article in The Guardian. Message received...I'm a believer.


"Optimism: The doctrine that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong...It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious." - Ambrose Bierce

I'm on the fence. I can't decide if Nike's Terminator Hi (with cutout Swoosh) are a) the ugliest sneakers I've ever seen...or...b) a cool, comfortable, summer footwear option.

Thoughts? Opinions? Derisive comments about the state of my sanity?



"...the ideal product... the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy." - William S. Burroughs

Following a visit to Lanvin's ecommerce site...and as a devoted worshiper at the shrine of Lagerfeld ephemera...I have to say that Karl needs to up his output...for Lanvin has one of the largest selections of crap, I mean collectibles, that I have ever seen.

At this point I think we're all familiar with the porcelain dolls (which, truth be told, I've always thought of as updated versions of the insipid, pudgy, porcelain children that little old ladies collect)...but there's so much more...an "Alber Sketch Pen" for $395...a $225 "Mother and Daughter Snowglobe"...six greeting cards which, though lovely, at $55 are much too expensive to contemplate using (or entrusting to the USPS).

I understand what I'm going to call the "make up and perfume" concept...creating something affordable so that, even if you can't buy the clothes or bags, you can introduce something (theoretically) touched by the designer into your life...but, for most of us, none of these items could possibly be deemed affordable. So, who buys them? And does someone out there have a glass cabinet in their living room filled with Lanvin's ladies, posing their little ceramic hearts out?



"When the itch is inside the boot, scratching outside provides little consolation" - Chinese proverb

Chalk these up as another entry to be placed in the "My God, if only I could walk/stand/move in heels" file. Balenciaga...on sale...in the sort of brown that always makes me think of Chloé handbags during the Phoebe Philo years...atop 4.1 inches of terror (and wobble) inducing spike...



"A perfect example of the new republic's urge to drape itself with the togas of classical respectability." - John Ashbery

Though it's very "I'm just off to the gladiator arena to see if the lion wins this time...then I have an orgy planned later in the day"...and, therefore, not a look that I'd normally go for...I've found myself ogling this "Hail Caesar"-ish little number from Acne for the last 15 minutes.

Clearly, I need to watch A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as soon as possible and get this urge toga away (sorry, couldn't help myself)...


"There are few situations in life that cannot be resolved promptly, and to the satisfaction of all concerned, by either suicide, a bag of gold, or thrusting a despised antagonist over a precipice on a dark night" - Ernest Bramah

Frequent readers...or infrequent readers who have the bad luck to check-in on one of my whine-y days...will know that I travel a fair bit for work. Which leads to searches for the best (from both a visual and utilitarian perspective) suitcase...toiletries bag...and any other mobile dumping grounds that would make life easier.

I thought...back in 2009...that my computer/technology toting needs were taken care of. But, while I still adore the lovechild of Eley Kishimoto and Eastpak...and loathed as I am to admit it...it's killing me. As a skirt wearer for a good 90% of the time I can attest to the fact that heavy, cross-body bag and skirt is a combination destined to end badly...walk too fast and your skirt will start creeping up your leg in a most determined manner. Take the risk of flashing the airport...and add in the issue of everything seeming heavier when it's slung across the torso...and it's looking like the lovechild is going to be used for storage at home (where, at the very least, I can still enjoy the fabric).

Which means that I am (once again) hunting for that mythical creature...a bag that is large enough to carry laptop, camera, speakers, external hard-drive, all their attendant cords, and a selection of notebooks and pens. Oh, and not be so heavy when empty that I dislocate my shoulder once I've stowed everything away inside it. Oh (part 2), it also has to look nice (shallow, but, what can you do?)

This particular search, I have a feeling, will not be a fast one. Which is why I was very pleased to find a temporary solution in the children's area at Ikea...massive, striped cotton, with handles for both hand and shoulder...it was a steal for $5.99...and the lack of closure will be taken care of once I add a zip. The only minor irritation...that the Riri zipper I plan on using (navy herringbone tape with antique brass metal pull and teeth) costs three times the price of the bag...



"When I feel alone...I reach for you and you bring me home" - Belinda Carlisle

Heaven...in the words of the immortal Belinda Carlisle...is a place on earth. I'll go one further and take a stab at its exact location...the contents of a banana pudding milkshake from Chick-fil-A. While you consume the first three-quarters of a small shake (a large in any other country)...you find bliss in it's fruity/milky goodness...and revel in the excitement when you encounter a chunk of pulverized vanilla wafer.


I'll gloss over the final 25%...when you find yourself in an over-sugared, fast-melting, purgatory of self-recrimination...


"Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one" - Sam Rayburn

It wasn't exactly a battle of the ages...but in the skirmish of Hebden versus step-stool I can happy report that Hebden won. It was a close call...mainly due to someone (naming no names) not reading the instructions due to the erroneous impression that screwing eight pieces of wood together couldn't be that hard.


Even better than being able to chalk up a win...being able to reach...and therefore get actual day-to-day use out of (for something other than storage)...the uppermost reaches of my closet.

Now all I need is a spare hour-or-so to apply the Hermès-esque paint that I bought to accompany it.


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