Dear ... People Who Work in the Wardrobe Department at Mad Men

I really, really, really want this shirt and I'm guessing you are not using it anymore and Betty Draper and I are about the same size, so please contact me as soon as possible to get my mailing address, as I would like to work this into my holiday wardrobe. I'm thinking Thanksgiving. xo, EA Skillman

photo via AMC TV

Art & Artists - Zoe Murphy

Zoe Murphy is one talented chicka. She is bringing new life to mid-century furniture and creating all kinds of other good stuff. I like mid-century design from an "appreciate it and all it did for the advancement of the world of design" kind of way. I would not have a house full of this stuff, but one or two pieces - most definitely. Here is some of what Zoe is up to in Margate:

all photos via Zoe Murphy
Did I tell you? That patchwork silk footstool - all kinds of love for that thing! Zoe has exploded all over the place - a real design darling. Most of her work is custom for now, but she has just opened a fabulous new studio, and I think we will be seeing lots more of her. You can keep up with her over at her BLOG and her website. Can't wait to see her future projects.

Above image is from Heart Home Magazine

Curated Links

photo from Salvage Love

Serious love for this salvaged wood artwork (pictured above). Find the tutorial for how to make your own over at Salvage Love.

Have you guys seen Olivia Palermo's picks on Piper Lime? It is all super Olivia awesome. Should we make bets on how long until she is designing her own fashion line?

A gorgeous giveaway from South African blogger Lanalou Style and Merchants on Long in Cape Town. We might not be thinking 'caftans' here in the Northern Hemisphere, but it's Spring at Lanalou (I miss Africa)!

I really enjoyed the premiere issue of British based Heart Home Magazine. Congrats to them and we can't wait to see more!

I absolutely love this video of David Beckham undercover in Target via the hilarious Ellen DeGeneres. Not only is it funny, but it shows a remarkable amount of humility from Beckham. I can't think of many celebrities who would subject themselves to something like this. I'm a fan.

And last but not least, I love a good camper van makeover and this one is fantastic. Head over to House of Turquoise and check it out.

Hope everyone is having a really good weekend! I am off to the supermarket, or as I like to call it "13 Aisles of Awkward". Shopping at the super market here involves endless encounters wherein no one seems to be aware of spacial dynamics, no one seems to be comfortable using the words 'excuse me' and no one can seem to agree which side they should be walking on as a collective traffic flow. I like to believe this is because the super market concept is relatively new here and they just have not quite figured it all out yet. I don't know, it is one of life's great mysteries really. And, it must be endured because I have yet to find a way to get Toblerone or the Dorito Company to sell to me direct. See you Monday!

Art & Artists - Tim Walker

Just a bit from the portfolio of photographer, Tim Walker:

all photographs by Tim Walker via his website

See more HERE. It's the weekend!! We are commitment free this weekend. Just rest, American football and market shopping. What are your plans?

Music - An INXS Cover

Via NPR, a lovely cover of one of my all time favorite songs:

Record Club: INXS "Never Tear Us Apart" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Hope everyone is having a good week! We are in full Fall mode here in England. Are you guys ready for Fall, or missing Summer?

Obsessions - Graffiti

I know the graffiti train came and went a few years ago with Banksy and Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton line, but I'm still on board. I will always be on board. I have been known to spend some quality time on the Art Crimes website - where you can view graffiti from all over the world. Here are some recent favorites:

photos via: Art Crimes, Pinterest & HERE

I hope everyone is having a good week. I am settling into my new job. There are a lot of challenges with learning a new job in a new culture - and yes, England is a totally different culture than America - don't let the similarities fool you. Mostly, I just feel very self-conscious about using different expressions and phrases. I said something yesterday and the response I got was, "that's very American, but sounds about right"... awkward silence.  Everyone I work with is very nice and they are doing all they can to help me feel at home. Even though we have been here a year, I have not had much interaction with people, so it's all new and different. And exciting. And terrifying. And exhausting. On that note ... off to bed.

Art & Artists - Daphne van den Heuvel

I'm finding these fashion illustrations from Daphne van den Heuvel very inspiring:

So simple, ... yet so amazing. See more of her portfolio HERE.

Inspiration - Ira Glass

I have heard this bit from Ira Glass a few different places. It's from an interview he did on creative storytelling. I love this video and how David Shiyang Liu takes his inspirational words and, well, does something creative with them! (found over at my blog crush Bedlam of Beefy):

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

I think hearing this has meant a lot to many creatives. I know it has meant a lot to me. My blog is new and though I work hard on it, it's not anywhere near what I want it to be or what I imagine it could be. The bottom line is that I need to just keep creating. No matter what. As long as it means something to me, I will push forward. And hopefully, someday, it will be something that does look like what I intended. Are you creating something? How do you stay motivated, or keep from giving up when things don't quite turn out the way you hoped?

Weekend - Market Square and Extra Kiddos

Now that I'm busy both blogging and doing work that I actually get paid for, weekends are going to be precious again. This weekend we had some little visitors - the children of some friends came to stay with us while their parents were busy moving house. Our town has a large market square where they have been holding a Saturday farmer's market since the year 1564. If it's sunny, we go and get a crepe from the cranky french guy and buy some produce or cheese.

After the market we went to lunch and then to the sweets shop. The term "kid in a candy store" was never more appropriate. We told the kids they could each pick one thing and it was clearly quite a big decision. We were there for a while - lots of changing of minds and second guessing. In the end we left with a giant lollipop and a candy cane! It was fun to have two extra kids. We got a sense of what our family might have felt like if we had more children. I liked it. So, what did you guys do this weekend?

Wishlist - A Fiat Jolly

Aren't these just the cutest little cars?! Check out the wicker seats!

 Do you think $85,000. is too much to spend on a beach car, considering we live nowhere near the beach and have not even seen the sun in roughly 4 months? Me neither! Can you please tell my husband that? He thinks we need a car with doors! Besides, what other car is going to coordinate so well with the huge sunglasses and floral caftans I plan to wear from age 70 on? So, I guess I have a few years, but large price tag and lack of appropriate geographical situation aside - this stays on the wishlist. We definitely, probably should get a car with doors first though. I just need whoever owns that pink one to take good care of it for me. I'm going to put a huge monogram on the awning/roof thing and have some Lilly Pulitzer pillows made for the interior. No, there is no limit to how over the top I plan to be in my old age. There will also be martinis.

Ok, off to bed. I have a big girl job now. Nighty night!

photos via: HERE, HERE and HERE

Curated Links

Happy Monday Everyone! Over the weekend I got a chance to catch up with some of my favorite blogs and discover a few new ones. Thought I would share some of the goodness.

The stunning photo above is from my new favorite street style blog STREETSFN

A beautiful french market basket is the give-away from Christina over at Greige

Jessica over at How About Orange is showing us how to wallpaper with fabric - something I have always wanted to try.

In the 'new to me' department is Miles To Style from Christina Martinez. It hard to describe, but if you like dogs and style (I know, right?), you're gonna love it.

And in the authentic voice and general awesomeness category you cannot beat two of my favorite blogs Sincerely Pierre and The Bedlam of Beefy. Go and feast on the gorgeousness.

Lastly, check out this slideshow of Fall Inspired Interiors over on Kirtsy, curated by yours truly. A big thank you to the folks over at Kirtsy for having me!

That's it for now. I start a new job this week and we are still adjusting to back to school madness around here. This year's fun involves an unreal schedule of no less than 18 subjects, including 3 languages. There was also an incident involving me ordering a uniform skirt that is about 7 sizes too big. This is a typical expat nightmare story that I will spare you from. Suffice to say, I don't function well in the metric system. My daughter speaks 5 languages and I can't divide by 2.54. Good times.

photo: STREETFSN by Nam

A Journey of Thought - Mint

When I saw this . . .

it reminded me of this . . .

which inspired me to go find these . . .

and now, I'm craving this . . .

Recipe HERE.

photos via: 1) New Ravenna 2) In Style  3) Another Mag 4) Pinterest 5) Pinterest 6) Kate Spade 7) The Glitter Guide

Wishlist - Rainboots

Don't worry I'm not going to talk about the weather in England. Let me just say that when you live here, you begin to take certain purchases under very careful consideration. When one contemplates buying an umbrella in the triple digit price range, well . . . yeah. I was once caught in wind so ridiculous that not just the first tier of my umbrella prongs were blown backwards but the whole second tier snapped backwards as well. I had an entirely inside out umbrella situation going. I did buy some badass rain boots before we came here. Here they are:

These are the Tretorn Ballenas which, as you can see, will not only withstand rain and mud, but possibly, also heavy combat.

I love them, but sometimes they are just too much boot. So, I have been thinking about some new boots. I purposely did not buy Hunters because I did not want to see myself coming and going. Also, I wanted laces. But now they have come out with these awesome new short boots with laces and I'm re-thinking the whole thing.

The dazzling array of colors is very compelling indeed. And Hunters cost less here in the UK, so there's that. Hunter has also come out with some fancy type rain boots with high heels and such. I'm not on board. Rain boots should look like rain boots in my opinion. That's the fun of wearing them with dresses and otherwise un-rain boot like apparel. The juxtaposition of the whole thing. The ugly on purposeness of it all. And these are spectacularly ugly. I swear they are identical to the boots my dad used to wear in the 70's when he went hunting or fishing. Sweet.

So, now I need help picking a color. And should I get a solid or the two toned? Too ugly? You like high heeled rain boots? Stick with the badass Tretorns?

Art & Artists - Kelly Reemsten

I love Los Angeles based artist Kelly Reemsten's take on pop realism. These oil paintings are all about one of my favorite things - juxtaposition (also a fun word to say). I love what happens when you put together things that don't normally go together. Like a party dress . . . and an ax.

These are really large too. Which makes them even more fun. I have probably been watching too much Mad Men (there was a recent 5 hour marathon), but these remind me of when Betty Draper went out back with a rifle and shot the neighbors pet birds. Revenge of the oppressed 1950's housewife. The colors are off the hook. And the whole headless thing ... brilliant. This one is my favorite:

See more of Kelly's work at her website.

In Fashion - Olivia Palermo's Black Sequin Blazer

To celebrate the opening of Zara Online in the US today, we have an Olivia Palermo inspired find. I love this sequined jacket - the way it drapes, the way the sleeves are a bit too long. It looks amazing with the cocktail dress, but would also look great with a pair of skinny jeans and a tank, or shorts and a tank, or ... just about anything really.

photo via Pinterest

The Zara version:

I think it is something I would wear with everything, all the time. My, 'I'll just throw this on top for an extra layer and some shine factor' piece. What wardrobe couldn't use a few more sequins?

So Happy Zara Shopping Americans! Have fun - I think they even have free shipping today. Bonus!