Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday Musings : on whimsy, cards, a great book, and Groundhog Day


Happy Groundhog Day!!


I actually have a groundhog living under my Gazebo.  We call him Brownie.  He is quite cheeky; last summer I caught him up on the deck eating parsley out of a pot, just as daintily as the little fellow above.  Another time, I caught him eating one of my echinacea flowers.  While I am well aware of their healing powers, I wonder what they do for groundhogs?  I didn't see him for a few days afterwards...

And when I think of Groundhog Day, I immediately think about the movie with Bill Murray, where a weatherman is forced to revisit the same day over and over again:


Dearest friends, I AM that man when it comes to the things that make my heart sing fashion-wise.  I want to be refined (well not really refined per se), more elegant.  I want to choose the tasteful bag or shoes.  And typically more and more I do.  But, in a moment identical to the moment I had last fall, I had a good set of the gimmees over the following, completely unnecessary, item: The Kate Spade Radio Samira:


radio samira

You remember last fall?  When I lusted after the obscenely expensive clutch shaped like an old station wagon?  No - well you can revisit THAT post in all its glory here.  Oh I never got it in the end - if you recall I went for the longer-lusted-after "I Married Adventure" book clutch, and I almost snatched the wagon clutch up during the sales, but the $50 delivery charge is brutal!  But I would be lying to you if I said I never "stopped by" the sale section now and then and called it home, like the little boy calling to Shane at the end of that movie "Come Back little clutch, come back.." 

 But enough of what could have been!  Must buck up and get back on topic!

Oh yeah - we were talking about a clutch shaped like a transister radio.  With the clever name of Samira, derived, I believe, from the Arabic word for evening conversation.  Clever Kate! 

As soon as I saw this clutch, I was immeditately transported back to my junior high years, where I would lay in bed for hours listening to WQDY radio ("The Voice of the Valley"), especially on Monday nights, which was dedication night, where I hoped that someone would dedicate Captain and Tenille's Love will Keep us Together.  Sounds like the 50s huh?  Well small town New Brunswick was still in the 1950s in the early 1970s!  Radio was King in our town - the only other source of enternatinment was a movie theatre and a billiard hall across the river in Maine.  To quote Queen:

 I'd sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio

Kate describes it thusly:  inspired by old-fashioned handheld radios, our designers took to their sketchpads and dreamed up this darling patent leather handbag—a gorgeous gadget indeed, and sure to be a conversation starter at your next cocktail hour.

It even has a long gold metallic strap to make it easier to carry.  Sorry the picture is so small for this one.









It appears from the site that a pink one will be coming soon.  But my heart is with the turquoise blue.

But the price - $298!!!!  Plus shipping and duty!  That would be a third of my Jan to June clothing budget!   And wouldn't it be more sensible to get a purse like this:

catherine street pippa

The Catherine Street Pippa gives one the same colour, plus is more refined.

Don't worry - I am not going to buy the transistor clutch.  Not yet, anyway.  But there will be a sale... and i will be in NYC....and the stars may align...Or I will just made do with a pop of colour from this little newly released bracelet:

leather bow bracelet

But tell me, why oh why am I always attracted to the whimsical accessories in Kate Spade????

House of Cards

To change the topic dramatically, DH and I watched the first two episodes of House of Cards last night.  For those of you who don't know, this is a 13 episode series, commission by Netflix, directed by David Fincher and starring one of my favourite actors, Kevin Spacey.  What I have seen thus far is rivetting.  The series is based on a much-lauded 1990 British series, which I believe I may have seen when I started reading about this version, but can recall no real details about.




 From what I can see, the series is getting good reviews (we personally loved what we have seen thus far) but the greatest debate has been about how people will watch it, since Netflix released the entire series on the same day.  Will they binge watch, or will be they be like Barry and I, doling it out one or two episodes at a time to make it last?  Has anyone else watched it yet?  What did you think?

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough



I may have mentioned this book before, and I think Dani was the one who recommended it, but I am abolutely loving this history of the generations of Americans who went to Paris and then returned to the U.S. and how they shaped the history of both countries in so doing.  I am only up to the 1840s, but have decided that David McCullough, who is turning 80 this year, should have written the history of EVERYTHING (and I think for your Americans he very nearly has!) because his writing is so good and you actually feel as if you are there walking the streets of Paris with these great men in women and when you move on to the next era, you are said to let them go.  I felt like weeping when one of the characters dies of fever.  That is good storytelling and I wish I had read this before I went to Paris last summer, although it will make it all the more interesting when I go again!

So how is your Saturday going?  Has your groundhog seen its shadow?  Anyone else pining for a transistor radio purse or perhaps a real one?  Seen House of Cards or reading any good books?  Do tell!!!

And as a parting gift today, I am dedicating the song Radio Gaga to you all, sung by one of the all-time greats, Freddy Mercury



Have a wonderful day and stay safe out there!



46 comments:

  1. GOOGLY EYES Oh WMM, I loved Queen's Live Aid performance of this one, with everyone clapping along, and the reference to Churchill's "finest hour." Can see why it would inspire the current Gaga. Finally finishing Hoffman's Dovekeepers, errands like the cobbler and catching up with some friends tonight. As in nothing exciting, so may resort to some Netflix tomorrow. (Kate whimsy fan, but other than an elusive shirt to wear under a jacket of hers for spring/summer, I am sticking with "gap" clothes made from real fabrics. Dull but do-able?)

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    1. Oh and no shadow for Wiarton Willie, so early spring, yes please!

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    2. Oh we definitely have shadows here - brilliant sunny day!

      I love Queen too - still miss Freddy!

      Do not worry - I cannot imagine spending my hard-saved penny for this clutch - perhaps at end of season! I still haven't used my book one yet - just not the season and no events recently! I will be filling gaps as well and plan to have a plan before I got to NYC and am suddenly all Willie Wonka!

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    3. CLUTCHES & DREAMS I think KS draws us in with their nostalgia re-imagined. Having this tangible talisman of your past to hang on to, pretty things up. Plus descriptions that are sometimes inventive, not so CFS. Like JC and the colour palette.

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    4. Of course it would be cheaper if I bought the Captain and Tenille album!

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    5. That was The song to waltz to in 1975/76!

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  2. Some of the new Kate arrivals are adorable. I am lusting over the sunglasses coin purse. As faras House of Cards, Husband and I have watched the first two episodes as well. Love them! I think we will try to space the viewing out too.

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    1. Hi Audrey! I love those sunglass coin purses, too! I think the show is better spaced out, plus to be honest, I don't have 13 hours, or the fortitude, to do it all in one sitting!

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  3. Kate Spade is very whimsical, but her stuff is very young and "of the moment". I'm not a huge fan. Groundhog Day is such a great movie - maybe we'll watch it tonight? Quiet weekend ahead.

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    1. I know. and you know - she simply appears to nostalgia and kitsch. But boy that clutch is cute! I haven't seen much of the clothes I would wear - although some of the coats are really nice!! I may watch that movie, too! I haven't seen it in years!

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  4. We watched the Groundhog's Day ceremony live on the internet this morning (Punxatawney Phil, in PA). It is so ridiculous, but full of Serious Ceremony, and the men were so seriously dressed, in their black tails and top hats. I was cracking up. They never even let the poor guy put his 4 feet on the ground. And he chooses a scroll to send his message? What?! Phil predicts an early spring (did not see his shadow), which I am not buying, not for a second. Whenever he says that, he is always wrong. See what I do now instead of stalking the J. Crew sale? hehe.

    I think the Kate Spade things are so cute but for some reason I never really want them. I definitely think you should not go with the practical bag that reminds you of the radio clutch. If you're going to do it, do it! I don't think it will make you happy unless you find it on sale, and I hope that you do in NY! But it's so unique, and a clutch will take up less closet space, so you can see how it is the more practical purchase.

    I will definitely check out House of Cards. The book looks interesting too but I have not been in a reading mood lately. Have a good day!

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    1. Hey Cate! I think the clutch is something I pick up in July if no one wants it! Too funny about poor Phil - I am with you - I cannot imagine that my groundhood would write on a scroll. birchbark, maybe! Have a great day!

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  5. I lost my last comment, oh blogger is banging heads with me these days!
    I've got some Kate Spade things posted up today too. You and I are often on the same page! I was feeing shocked by all of the pink in new arrivals, I don't want to buy any of it but seeing it on my screen as the gloom of winter faces me from the window is really a study in contrast!
    I am so happy you like that brilliant book! Doesn't it make you love Paris even more! Have a great day. xo

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    1. Well I am having hotmail issues, so there you go!

      Since I am forced to be so judicious these days, budget- wise, I am becoming really picky! The pinks at Kate spade are too little girl pink for my taste!

      I love that book! I am already missing James feni more cooper! I have only read one oh his and that was 34 years ago!

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  6. We always binge on boxed sets, I love doing that, we used to watch 3 or 4 hours of 24 at a time. Last night we watched three episodes of American Horror in a row.
    The groundhogs look quite adorable, I just managed to stop a squirrel from coming in the bathroom window this morning - can you imagine the destruction if he had gotten in?

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    1. Or perhaps you would have a new pet like uncle billy in it's a wonderful life!

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  7. I remember babysitting for neighbors child numerous in a cottage in NH with nothing more than a radio to keep me company because there was no cable at the lake. If you are drawn to adorably rendered pieces, what about a charm bracelet? Juicy and C WOnder have whimsical gold tone charms, Tiffany and Blue Nile have lovely sterling charms , and Aaron Basha has crazy costly baby shoes in 18 kt. gold. I love my charm bracelet and wear it all the time. Over the year I have purchased charms when I have traveled. Fun, and more long lived than a bag , however adorable. BTW you might want to try calling some of the outlets. In my experience with Kate Spade, the outlets mark down things drastically and have numerous percent off sales. A helpful sales person could probably fill you in!

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    1. Several years back as a present, my hubby commissioned me to put together a charm bracelet for his beloved...me. I purchased a charm to represent each place we have travelled all in silver. I love it and is truly my favorite piece.

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    2. I love that story! So romantic!

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  8. Great idea on charm bracelet! I actually have one with only one charm on it! I have my mother's as well and a nifty one I got on etsy with crackerjack prizes! I forget about them as they werenT things I could easily wear at work - too jangly! Great idea and thanks for the Kate spade info!

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  9. The charm bracelet is such a good idea! Whimsical but more subtle.

    I am not one for those Kate Spade accessories. I appreciate what they are, but cannot picture carrying or wearing them. But if it's really "you," then you should rock it. It seems to me, however, that you're drawn to fun things, with some character and story, but that you also want to appear a bit more restrained or subtle - I don't think the clutch is that.

    I hadn't heard about the Netflix series, very interesting!

    Hope you are having a nice weekend :)

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    1. Hey Abby! That's why I love this group!! Such great advice! Am going to dig out charm braceletS right now!

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  10. I can't wait to see what you dig up. When I purchase, I try to think about long term value- to me, or in general. I remember years ago looking at a faux pearl necklace at J Crew, and on a whim, stopping in at a jewelery store in the same mall. They were having a clearance sale, and I wound up purchasing a hand knotted strand (opera length) of good sized pearls for roughly the same price as the shorter strand of the faux pearls. Now, granted, these are not the quality of the better pearls I have from my own jeweler, but they are far better than the faux pearls, and much larger than the costlier collection strands from J Crew. I wear them all the time- I am a"pearl" girl, and I love them. When I see some outlandish prices- $300 sweaters for example- I always wonder what that would buy at Tiffanys!

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    1. That is too funny and too true! One of the things I am really loving about the whole budget thing is that it is forcing a level of thoughtfulness that I didn't need to have last year. I do love to shop, but I a really feeling so much better now that I am not recreationally shopping.

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    2. We just re-did our clothing budget strategy, inspired in part by blog conversations (on my part, not my husband's, ha), and now I am so much more motivated to save up for things!

      We basically opened two sub-accounts and will each get x amount in there per month. It is so much more concrete that way and now I'm really motivated to sit tight and watch it grow :) It definitely brings a new level of thoughtfulness to it all!

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    3. Hi Abby - we did the same thing! It helped that my husband is semi-retired and we decided to be much more thoughtful about money, but to be honest, we were trying to motivate each other so we would have more money to get rid of mortgage and to travel and do work around the house! and like you, it is making me think long and hard about what I am purchasing and if I like what the clothing is saying about me when I wear it. It's like the radio purse - so much fun - but I don;t want the attention that a radio purse would give me! I like the quirkiness of the book clutch - it feels more like me! wow! That is the benefit of talking it through here - I am really benefit from having people to talk to about all of this! Now I don't want it at all. There you go!

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  11. Happy groundhog day! Spring is just around, it seems. I said that two days ago, when I went outside and it 'smelled' like spring.

    I am not a fan of the KS clutch. The other bag is so much nicer and so practical!

    Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Hey Rose - thanks for the input. You guys have done a great job of reminding me that this is not me (see my response to Abby above) - the other bag, or something in a similar size, shape, will make me much happier!

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    2. I think it would make me happy also. LOL

      Speaking of House of Cards, its ad keeps popping up on Netflix, so I think I will have to watch it. The other series I really enjoyed over the Xmas holiday was Damages. It stars Glenn Close, and I think that role was created especially for her.

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    3. I haven't seen damages, but I like Glenn close! Will look that up after House of Cards!

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  12. I have all the handbags I need so I'm drawn to whimsical clutches, this one is calling me but I will see if I bump into it on sale, as Gigi likes to say so appropriately.

    I have to remind myself to resist Kate's full skirts, really anybody's full skirts because they make me look too little girl, not my intent or desire. And I know I make other mistakes like cutesy clutches and critters and sequins, but oh well.

    There's been a void since Homeland is on hiatus, is House of Cards a worthy temprorary fix? I'm a binging type but husby would force us to watch things in measure.

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    1. Tiffany Rose - house of cards is DELICIOUS...

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  13. I think you choose the creative accessories because they are fun, like your personality and part of your personal style. You mention wanting to dress more elegantly. That's great if you resonate with that style, but we each have a unique combination of styles that make up our personal style and if you only purchase the safe and elegant you may become bored quickly. Your lifestyle seems to lend itself to casual, sportiness (not sweats) and done in an elegant way is terrific with a touch of creative
    That being said...I'm long winded... Dollar for dollar, the place to sink your money would not be a creative $300 bag, but key, quality pieces that make up the back bone of your wardrobe, and the creative pieces at a lower price point.
    The shoes you loved this week were also creative. Your hair is creative in its curlyiness and colour.
    Behold your bio picture, a gold crown...that's creative!!
    If you hide your creative side...you'll hate it and splurge for the cheap thrill of it. I've been there.
    Have a great weekend.
    Jennifer
    PS- I am NEVER without style diagnosis in case you missed it. Old habits die hard.

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    1. A well styled life - I have a crush on you! You made me laugh out loud! I would like to say my hair is creative, but it's just my hair! :-)

      I appreciate the great advice!

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  14. Hey! I got the Wardrobe Wakeup you suggested. Of course I got a chuckle out of he who wears camo pj pants.

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    1. I know! Too funny! Glad you liked it!

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  15. Hi WMM, the radio clutch made me smile. The Pippa bag is definitely a safer choice but life is too short to always be playing it safe. Let us know what you find at the Kate Spade store in New York!

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    1. I will Louise! I also really want to check out Bloomies!

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  16. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a young man carrying an iPhone with a case that looked exactly like the old mix-tape cassettes my friends and I used to make for each other back in high school. And then I felt old because I realized that he was probably too young to have ever had a cassette player. :)

    Life can't be all LBDs all the time. Sometimes you need a little quirk!

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    1. :-). Too true! It is funny when I talk to my kids about 8 tracks and they just stare!

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  17. I think the radio clutch looks more you than the Pippa (which I loooove) but yes, I would wait for a sale, I don't think it is going to fly off the shelves ;-).

    I want to thank you for the House of Cards recommandation, I wouldn't have watched it if you hadn't praised it but it is sooo good. We took advantage of the cold weather this weekend and we watched 5 Episodes (we love tv shows marathons, we have both very little patience with waiting every week for the next episode when they are airing so we usually watch the DVDs when they come out).

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    1. I am so glad you like it - we are doing #3 today! Isn't he an amazing character???

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    2. It's a character made for him, I love when he talks to the camera. And Robin Wright Penn is so beautiful in an icy way (but I think the character is going to have a meltdown soon). Very Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth.
      By the way, David Fincher directed only the first two episodes.
      My husband is travelling this week and I can't watch more!!!!

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    3. well I may have caught up by the time he is back so we can discuss more then! I am loving them and you are right - they are very MacBeth! I KNEW she was going to fire that office manager after it was all done. One cruel woman!

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Kindness is a virtue...