Monday, December 31, 2007

So far, so good...

2008 has been killah so far.

Bonfire, fondue, champagne flowing like bath water, and the best friends any gal could ever have. I know, I know: I talk about it ALL THE TIME, but I love these gals so much. They are my posse. And I like all of their gentlemen friends as well, which is a miracle in and of itself. But, sometimes in life you get lucky and end up with a group that is truly fabulous. I wasn't the coolest girl in high school, but I did have plenty of friends (they were just of the nerdy, "theater-flunky" variety), but now look at me: to me, these are the golden years. High School ain't got nothin' on late twenties. And the best thing is, I know they (my friends) feel the same way about me.

But enough mushy-mush. This was a New Year's Eve to remember, complete with custom ordered snow-storm (good call, Kristine, let's do the snow-thang again next year, huh?), Kir Royale (May, you left your Chambord behind... finders keepers!!!) and luminarias lining the driveway ( who knew you could have so much fun with paper bags?). And baby Renner sneezing/throwing up on me. That's the thanks I get for saving him from a wet diaper? Yeesh... no respect, I tell you. Oh, and Michele's boyfriend Brian (whom I've known since my High School days) "THINKING" I was Michele and mistakenly (yet lovingly) patting my behind. Which I take as a compliment, because Michele's a total hottie.

Anyways, it was a grand night: everything a New Year's Eve should be. Thanks so much Kristine and Jeremy for "sponsoring" such a great shindig! Let's do it again tomorrow at Alison's house.



Happy New Year

Like General Custer, 2007 makes it's last stand!!!

Happy New Year to you and yours...

The store will re-open Wednesday morning with a few surprises,***wink, wink***

See you then!


Monday, December 17, 2007

"Last Minute" Shoppers Unite!!!

No, I am not a last minute shopper. I would say I am more of a control freak, all-year shopper who is type A-plus. I may, on occasion, purchase a select few items dangerously close to D-day if for no other reason than because they fit the bill for some of my "harder to shop-for" friends and family. BUT, I know that there are last minute shoppers out there a-plenty, and have I got good ideas for you:

First off, there is the ever popular "Gift Certificate." Always a good choice. The "Savings Bond" of Christmas presents. A safe, dependable return on your investment. We happen to have snazzy new G.C.'s this year (designed by Yours Truly) and I personally know several gals (and guys) who would be thrilled to find this little gem under their tree this year. I suggest wrapping Gift Certificates (of any kind for that matter) in a funkily-shaped box or bag of some sort. You know, just to throw the recipient off of the scent. Perhaps the old cardboard toaster box from last year's Christmas present. Maybe put a few rocks or old magazines in there so that the box is not suspiciously light for a present of that scale. Then, when the recipient opens said present and sees the tell-tale envelope containing the G.C., you can quietly snicker to yourself that: heh, heh, you put a little ROCK 'N ROLL into Christmas this year.

Next up, the Class/Pattern, Class/Book combo. This has been very popular lately. Think of it as a well seasoned stock that you know will pay a good dividend: The recipient is going to enjoy the prospect of taking a class, and has an actual item to un-wrap (the book or pattern that accompanies said class), yet still has a few choices to make independently (such as which fabrics to use). Sign yourself up for that same class while you're at it. Then you can watch your loved one enjoying the present you gave them and do a little bonding at the same time.

And finally, may I suggest the buying of FABRIC. This would be the high-yield/high risk item in your portfolio. I mean, you have to TRULY know someone to confidently buy them fabric (the same also applies to shoes). If you pick the wrong fabric to match a person's personality it has the potential to actually be insulting (You bought me 30's repro prints??? Don't you know anything about me??? I'm a batik girl through and through!!! Sniff!!!),... But. If you choose fabrics correctly, I guarantee the results will produce a near euphoric state for your loved one, returning the most yield for your investment in the shortest amount of time (Joel Dewberries? Amy Butlers and Heather Baileys? Kiss me, you fool!!!). Risky? Yes. But that is where we Alewives Girls come in. We cannot boast 100% accuracy, but we know our customers so well, the odds are definitely in your favor.

If you are someone hoping to receive one of the above mentioned presents may I suggest printing off a copy or two of this post and then, ever so casually slipping it into your gift-buyer's favorite newspaper or magazine. "What's this?" They will say. "OOPS," You can say, "How did THAT get in there. I must have been daydreaming about all the great stuff at Alewives again..." And then, instead of removing the print-out, feign a (mild) coughing fit and remove yourself to get a glass of water.

The establishment will be open right up until noontime on Christmas Eve to help solve your Last Minute shopping dilemmas. My ladies have been briefed and are eagerly awaiting an opportunity to point you in the right direction.

Until next time, darlings!!!



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gifting & Giggling

Hello one and all,

Guess how little ol' moi spent her day off yesterday???

Wrapping presents, of course. But, as evidenced by these photos, I can't just wrap presents like normal people do, because being a Graphic Designer means that how a present looks is possibly even more important than what the present is. It is, after all, all about the presentation, you know.

This year I am particularly proud of myself because a lot of my gifts are homemade. I'm not going to get on a soapbox and rant and rave about how "commercial" and "consumer" Christmas has become, BUT I do like the idea of giving someone something because you KNOW they'll like it, as opposed to giving someone something because it's Christmas and you know you HAVE to give them something. I think I've done a good job of the former this year, and I should hope so, because I've been collecting presents and wrapping stuff since this summer.

And speaking of the wrapping, how cool do these presents look??? It's all done with recycled stuff, too: old magazine pages and strips of fabric. I spent most of the day yesterday in Christmas-wrapping bliss, with a movie on in the background and sun pouring in the window after a beautiful snowy start. Come to think of it, the day started AND ended with snow yesterday. Gorgeous. And just what the Dr. ordered. I can't STAND it when it doesn't snow before Christmas.

Then I had Bikram Yoga with Kristine, Michele and Alison. I LOVE the yoga. I mean, I kind of hate it when I'm actually DOING it, and thank goodness I have three other gals going with me, because otherwise I KNOW I would skip it all the time, but when it's all over with, I truly feel terrific. I shouldn't say I HATE doing it when I'm there, because that's not true, either. There are just some poses I like more than others: For example, I like the twisty, pretzel-like poses, and the bendy-backwards poses, but the poses that work your hamstrings BURN!!! And I like the dead-body pose, too, which is where you just lie still like a corpse. That I can handle.

The best part about yoga is being with my friends. I'm so lucky to have made such good friends through the store that are now my friends even when we're doing stuff like yoga that has nothing to do with the store. And every week we have what Kristine calls "Apres Yoga," which is where we go out to eat and drink wine together and probably un-do all the great things that we just did for our bodies but oh, well, because it's sooo much fun and we laugh and laugh and laugh and that has to be good for your abs, right?

Anyhow, I must go and wrap some more presents and then make the tough commute over to the store for sewing lounge. Some of the presents don't make it to the "wrapping" stage. Especially the ones labeled "chocolate." Funny, I have NO clue what happens to those particular presents. This one in the last photo has even LESS chocolate in it now that when I took the photo.

Hope you're getting into the spirit of the season, no matter what you celebrate!!!



Friday, December 7, 2007

Another Top Ten (that has nothing to do with the store)

What can I say?

I like Top Ten lists... and I like sharing my opinions on completely arbitrary things.

Tonight's topic???

Sad songs.

I believe it was Charlie Brown who said "Happiness is a sad song," and I subscribe to this camp. There is nothing so exquisite as the melancholy "Boo Hoo" of a sad and haunting tune.

Here goes:

10. "Lost Cause" by Beck, on the album "Sea Change." Beck is of course known for more bee-boppy electronica, but this whole album is a melange of musical moroseness after a breakup with his girlfriend of nine years. Best lyric: leave you here/ wearing your wounds/ wave your guns/ at somebody new.

9. "Love is a Losing Game" by Amy Winehouse from the album "Back to Black." Amy's personal life is a lesson in irony. "Losing Game" is how EVERYBODY feels at least once in there lives: the quintissential doo-wop heartbreak. Best lyric: self professed profound/till the chips were down/ know you're a gambling man/ love is a losing hand.

8. "So Cruel" by U2, from the album "Achtung, Baby." This song was written about the Edge's breakup with his ex-wife, the former Mrs. The Edge. Bono wails and weeps and moans but my one complaint is that there isn't enough of Edge's creepy, soothing falsetto. Bono gets all the glory, and don't get me wrong, I love him dearly, but I am most definitely an "Edge" gal. Best lyric: the men who love you, you hate the most/ they pass right through you like a ghost.

7. "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, but performed by Rufus Wainright, from the "Shrek" soundtrack. Sooo sad, this one. I know some people prefer the Jeff Buckley version, but for me, Rufus sounds just like I imagine angels sound like. Rufus does pathetic so well, it's ridiculous. Best lyric: maybe there's a God above/ but all I ever learned from love/ was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

6. "Burn" by Ray Lamontagne, from the album "Trouble." Oh, Ray. What are we going to do with you? You're a tortured soul, indeed, AND you're a native son from Maine. What's not to like? There are sooo many sad songs to pick from his repertoire, and if you've ever seen him perform live you probably knew you were in the presence of greatness. I picked "Burn" because it's so raw. Like sushi in sad song form. Best lyric: oh, so kiss him again/ just to prove to me that you can/ and I will stand here and burn in my skin.

5. "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, performed acoustically by Pete Yorn, from the B-Sides to the album "Music for the Morning After." Don't laugh. If you wrote down the lyrics to this song and could erase the tune from your mind to just focus on the words you would see how very sad this song is. Pete Yorn's version is so lonely and frustrated and haunting. If you've ever seen the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's," where she describes what it's like to have the "Mean Reds," THAT is what I think of when I hear this version of "Dancing in the Dark." Best lyric: I ain't nothing but tired/ and I'm just tired and bored with myself/hey baby I could use just a little help.

4. "Another One Goes By," by The Walkmen, from the album "A Hundred Miles Off." Sounds like Dylan, but no, it's Hamilton Leithauser from the Walkmen, I assure you. The guy in this song totally needs a hug. Best lyric: sometimes when I walk outside I see it standing right in front of me/ silhouette of something sweet and so bright.

3. "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing," by Jack Johnson, from the album "In Between Dreams." Jack Johnson usually writes happy stuff, but this one is sad and frustrated and lovely. Jack, I didn't know you had it in you, but good job. Mahalo! Best lyric: keep playing your part/ but it's not my scene/ want this plot to twist/ I've had enough mystery.

2. "My Sexual Life," by Everclear, from the album "Sparkle and Fade." This song's title is a little misleading, but the lyrics are the most desperate I've ever heard. I just like them, what can I say? For me, they hit the spot and make me eversad. Best lyric: you always say you want a simple life/ you and me both know that you are a liar/ you always say you want a simple life/ hey, hearing you talk just makes me tired.

which brings us to the number one sad song in Rhea's little list of lonely:

1. "Aint No Love," by David Gray, from the album "Life in Slow Motion." David Gray was put on this planet to make gorgeous, haunting music and hands down, my favorite song of his is this little gem from his latest album. His voice is like an instrument and it's infused with emotion like a good cup of tea. I want David Gray to sit outside my window in a giant birdcage so he can sing this for me whenever I want to have a good cry. It's a short song, sweet and low, and I'll be the first one to confess that I have absolutely NO idea what it's about. Maybe that's why I like it, though: It's so open to interpretation. This song has it all: the chilly, poetic lyrics and the howl of David's voice that is at once soothing and arresting. The whole song is so short and deliberate, it could be a nursery rhyme. But do yourself a favor and don't EVER watch a David Gray video: I don't know who's responsible for those things, but they are consistently HIDEOUS. Best lyric: give me your ecstasy I'll feel it/ open window and I'll steal it/ baby like it's heaven sent

So, this is the mood I'm in tonight: enjoying the sad songs. What does that mean about me? I dunno. I'm sure there are some excellent songs out there that got left off the list. How about you: what are your favorite sad songs???

Alright, must go and cry myself to sleep now...

Just Kidding!!!