Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bobbi Brown Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette


I was attracted to the shimmering bronze-toned shadows in this new Limited Edition Bobbi Brown palette, particularly Olive and Amber, which is bronzy pink.  Unlike the traditional black Bobbi Brown palettes, these shadows come in a mock tortoise shell palette, without brushes.  Six of the eight shadows are shimmery, two - Banana and Espresso - are matte.  The shimmery shadows are subtle enough to wear to the office.  I tried to darken them by applying them with a sponge applicator, and over both Urban Decay and Kanebo eye shadow primers with  no success.

I should have read the blurb on the Bobbi Brown site, which explains that one should "start with the lightest shade, then layer the darker shades until you get the desired intensity."  That worked beautifully, and will make it a more versatile product for all skin tones.  It especially made the pink in Amber pop.  You could even use Espresso as a base for the other colors to interesting effect, or apply a lighter color over the Espresso if you apply too much of it.  I used Copper Cocoa in the crease, which is dark enough to  give my eyes depth without looking too made up.  I used Espresso as a liner on the outer halves of the top and bottom of my eyes; again, dark enough to make my eyes more pronounced, but not too much.  I experienced a bit of fall out when applying Espresso as a liner, but solved this problem by tapping it on, rather than using strokes.

There is another palette, "Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette" that contains more neutral colors.  It is also limited edition. 

I bought my palette at Nordstrom.  It's also available at (don't forget to go through Mr. Rebates), Bergdorf's, and Neiman Marcus.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Habu Spring Shawl

A couple of you remember my obsession with this Habu Spring shawl.  I looked at it online literally for years, inhibited by the $180 price tag.  Somehow I separately acquired the Shosenshi paper linen yarn and the cashmere required for the shawl, and the pattern itself.  When I started knitting it, I discovered that I didn't have enough cashmere and that the color I was using was discontinued.  I couldn't find it anywhere, or any substitutes that even remotely matched it.  I also discovered that I couldn't achieve gauge. 

Jump ahead to Winter 2011 - I found the shawl on eBay for half the price!  But by now, I had already bought enough yarn equal to the cost of the kit.  I should have just bought it in the first place.

Anyway, I'm happy to have it.  But I'm still not getting gauge in width or length, no matter what I do.  Given that it is a rectangular shaped garment, the width isn't as important as length.  You see, the leafy panels and stockinette panels are knit separately, then attached by picking up stitches on the edges lengthwise, then joined by a three needle bind off.  The knitter should begin first by stringing 121 beads on the yarn used for the bind off, then holding the right side  of the pieces on the outside and the wrong side in the middle, bind off, which hides the "wrong side" seam. The beads should be slipped between the stitches.

Still with me?

I barely have the patience to write about it, let alone do it.  And besides, as I've said, I can't knit the correct gauge for one piece, let alone matching gauge so that the joined pieces aren't skewed.  Frankly, cutting and rejoining The Coat was easier.  So.  The plan is to join the panels with hand-sewn chain stitch, picking up the beads as I go along.  Fingers crossed.

I still expect the unexpected with this shawl.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rebelle, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine

I wasn't at all impressed when the  Rouge Coco Shine collection when Chanel released it in April   because it just looked like any other sheer lipstick.  "Boy," the color Chanel released as a sneak preview, didn't look like a shade very many women of color could wear, and the other colors looked too pale or too bright to wear while the weather was still cool.  

But I needed something bright while I was in Seattle last month, and "Rebelle" appealed to me.  "Rebelle" is a sheer, high-shine lipstick that looks like a gloss when worn.  It does not have frost or shimmer like some of the others.  It's not as "loud" as some of the neons, but bright nevertheless.  It has no special qualities to warrant the price, except its watermelon color, which seems perfect now that the weather is warmer.   The right color, whether in makeup or yarn, always clenches it for me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dior Aloha 638

Well, it's actually last week's manicure.  I'm back to Khaki Vert.  It sometimes takes me a while to get used to trends, and Dior's Aloha seems a bit over the top bright on  my hands though it is beautiful in the bottle.  It came with a quick dry top coat, which made the purchase worth it.  It dries my manicure even faster than my workhorse, Seche Vite, and is of thinner consistency.  I really hope Dior will consider selling this topcoat as a stand alone item. I also love the Crème Abricot cuticle cream, which I apply every night before bed.  I don't know if it helps with nail growth as Dior claims, but it's the best cuticle moisturizer I've ever used. Working with paper and fiber makes my hands really dry.  I'm still trying to find the perfect handcream.  Some have come close - I'll write about them later.  In the meantime, if you have recommendations, I'd be happy to have them.

Creme Abricot
Aloha is sold out at most stores, but you can still get the set at Dior online, as well as the Crème Abricot.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, Seattle

Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

I never fail to visit Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, on Bainbridge Island, whenever I'm in Seattle.  Visiting yarn shops is particularly soothing, as we knitting types, know, but it was particularly so this time.  As I said in my previous post, the professional part of the trip was not a breeze, so being met at the door of Churchmouse with a glass of champagne brought an instant smile to my face!  The occasion was the celebration of the annual Puget Sound Yarn Crawl.  Had I done my research before hand, I would have found time to visit the other shops, and there are many in the area.  Each customer received a "passport" which each store stamped, and a free pattern.  

The store is beautiful.  The white paint and installations really bring out the beauty of the yarn they sell, as you can see below.  The photos are a combination of those taken on this trip and from a few years ago.  I particularly appreciate their collection of Habu, Socks that Rock, Koigu, Malabrigo, and Marianne Isager, which I've never seen anywhere else.  I'm sure you know her books, Knitting Out of Africa, Classic Knits, and Japanese Inspired Knits.

Churchmouse IMG_1380

Churchmouse IMG_1381

Churchmouse IMG_1382

The vestiges of  Olga's trunk show were also there, making the shop seem even more familiar.
Spotted at Churchmouse this weekend!

Next time I'll take photos of their button selection, needlepoint and tea sections.

I bought Churchmouse "Classics" Mohair Bias Loop for my travel project home, which one of the staff was wearing across her shoulders as in the picture at the top of the pattern below.


The pattern requires two skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, but she had made hers by knitting the Kidsilk Haze with strand of Charles "Crystal."  The sequins are subtle, making the shawl particularly beautiful.



It requires a provisional cast on. One of the staff thoughtfully started it for me since she knew I was traveling and put it into my shopping bag. Nice, nice, nice!

And I couldn't resist these purple beauties:



The champagne, ambiance, and warm, welcoming staff humored me out of my snarly mood. I had a peaceful ferry ride back to the main land.  With interesting company I might add.  As at Nordstrom (see previous post), a perfect stranger sat down next to me to chat about my knitting project, and life in general.

May 29 063


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