Monday, August 31, 2015

iSpy Product Review: the Wrapurse Handbag Protector

"What's living on the bottom of your purse?"
This provocative question opens the splash page of Cyndie Heap's website for her invention, the Wrapurse.
She goes on to say, "I’m a single mom of two very active and athletic boys. I’ve sat on bleachers, benches and fields cheering on my kids’ teams. Generally I have my purse with me. I won’t leave it in the car, but who wants to hold it in their lap the entire time? So…I put it down. Right on the bleacher...
Later that day, I found a sticky, dirty, chewed-up piece of bubble gum stuck to the bottom of my Coach bag. I was so mad. As I tried to scrape it off, I started thinking…I could see the gum…what else was on there that I COULDN’T SEE??? After ruining several expensive bags with mud, rust and unknown sticky gooey stuff stuck to the bottom­–not to mention all those gross germs–I thought, “There has to be something to protect my beloved bag???”
WRONG. With that, Wrapurse was born."

I thought this was a very interesting concept and asked for a sample to give it a try.
The wrapurse arrived nicely wrapped in tissue.
Cyndie sent me a black Medium 5 x 19" one. It came in a compact 4.5 x 5.5" pouch with a snap closure.
I don't own any high-end purses, but that doesn't mean I'm not concerned about where I'm setting down the ones that I have! 
I first tried the Wrapurse on my sparkly black soft bag:
It was a little bit large (the base of my bag is 4 x 10") and I tucked the poking out ends into an inverted pleat. I then looked for a gross environment to place it in, and went to our sad desiccated back yard which is a bunch of dirt with a few resilient weeds.
The purse stayed clean!

Next, I tried my "tape measure" bag from G.O.D., Hong Kong
(Base is 5 x 6")
I tried to get Lou interested, but he would have none of it.
He thought the catnip stash in the closet was WAY more compelling.

I should have left the Wrapurse on the bag -- later on, Severo and I went out to hear some favorite bands play at Molly Malone's. I could have used it for my butt! I sat down on the carpeted bench seating ringing the club. Drinks had been spilled so it was all wet (and it was too dark to tell beforehand). Gross!

Cyndie is currently running an Indiegogo campaign [until 9/9/2015] to help raise production funds.
Go check it out and make a pledge -- I did!
Wrapurses can also be ordered on the website, for instant gratification.
They come in black [midnight], chestnut, or merlot, in a variety of sizes, and retail for $17-$23 depending upon size.

Full disclosure: I was sent a free Wrapurse for review. 
All verbiage is mine (except for the italicized quotes at top), not vetted by Wrapurse.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

52 Pick-me-up: Honey / Service / Loyalty

Did you enjoy seven weeks of RED? We will now embark on seven weeks of ORANGE.

Is "Honey" an orange color? That's debatable. I worked myself into such a tizzy this week over "What color is honey anyway?" (I even started a link-up over on the blog I manage for my gallery, to try to get some input from fine artists. Which nobody but myself has linked to, btw). I had a similar problem back in June, when I was selecting ALL the colors to put in the dots (you can see my handiwork on the 52 Pick-me-up page, which has the entire year of color prompts). Faced with HONEY, why exactly I choose a color that looks more like Naples Yellow? I don't remember.

Last Sunday at the local Farmers' Market, I kept my eye out for the honey vendors:
I realized a few minutes ago [well, now more than an hour], as I was working on the above image, if I suspend my preconceived notions of "honey color" and isolate that patch of color in the left side photo, to the left of the label, it IS orange! OMG! Lightbulb moment! And then that patch of fiery color in the Honey Bear, top right, ANOTHER ORANGE! [But then, looking forward, I also had to define "amber" and "topaz" for the YELLOW weeks. Aaaaaargh! OK. I'll stop nerding out on color. It's exhausting and it's too hot here in my unairconditioned house in SoCal].

Let's all take a deep breath, count to ten, exhale slowly.
Ah. Better.

So, before I fell down the HONEY rabbithole this morning, I had decided to feature "The Adventures of Melanie's Palette Pendant", which is full of all sorts of colors, maybe even "honey".
Here, with some of my other Vancouver Meet-up loot:
Melanie's works: appliqued on the giant tee-dress, the Palette Pendant, the CHAOS luggage tag, and the badge graphic.
All gifts.
Here it's paired with its mate, currently residing in Chicago with Pao.
[I can't remember who took this photo]
Here at the Getty. It kept flapping and flipping to the blank side, requiring constant adjusting. Very annoying.
(sunglasses' frames courtesy of Ditto)
"Hmmmm. Maybe the jump ring will fit on the Endless necklace." 
[See this previous post on how the Endless Jewelry Wrap Bracelet became a necklace]
Indeed it does!
Leather Wrap and small charms courtesy of Endless Jewelry
I wore it all day last Thursday, and I only removed it when I was in the car.

And then, circling back to the Naples Yellow Honey color issue there is the Orange Paisley Tunic!
With some (possibly) honey-color tortoise sunglasses that I'm selling on Poshmark!
I bought the Persol sunglasses back in the 90s.
My optometrist couldn't pop out the lenses to put my prescription in, so time to release them.
Let me tell you, all this searching for honey is making me feel like Winnie-the-Pooh.

Honey / Service / Loyalty, link and tell!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

52 Pick-me-up: Cherry / Acceptance

We have a poster girl for Cherry Week on 52 Pick-me-up:
It's Sue, of A Colorful Canvas!

Not only is she doing things with a cherry, her dress is a CHERRY PRINT! Awesome, right?
Even more amazing, she made her dress, then made a matching lanyard!
(Can you see it up there? I know, the cherry action is distracting).
Sue with Sheila in the lobby of the Blue Horizon during the Vancouver Blogger meetup
Lets get that Digital Catwalk going with Sue:

In Tori's Toolkit Workbook for Cherry Week, she has the following exercise:
Complete this sentence "I feel incomplete because ________ and when I have this I will _________."

My take:
I feel incomplete because I lack initiative to get my personal artwork done and when I have this I will feel much more fulfilled."
Procrastination. My self-inflicted bugbear.

Cherry / Acceptance -- link and tell!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

52 Pick-me-up: Pink / Discovery / Journey

OK. There is some deep synchronicity happening. As this gets published, I'll be en route to just home in LA from Newark, NJ. Hello Journey, I hope you are you were a smooth one! (You know I'd rather drive, right?)

Severo had a gig at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead, NY and very kindly offered to bring me along. It's not often that I get to play groupie these days and I jumped at the opportunity.

We arrived in Manhattan a couple of days early and were able to explore some museums (along with eat prodigious amounts of food). Thursday night, we went the the New Whitney, now located at 99 Gansevoort St, at the foot of the High Line. It's an exciting space, and makes it possible for the museum to exhibit more of its vast collection. They're open unusually late until 10pm [still closed Tuesdays], and it's scenic to walk the High Line at sunset, then explore the museum as it gets dark.

Pink was on my mind as we viewed the current exhibit, America Is Hard To See (runs until 9/27).
Philip Guston, Dial, Oil on linen, 1956
I started noticing lots of pink ladies:
Reginald Marsh, Ten Cents a Dance, Tempera on composition board, 1933
Paul Cadmus, Sailors and Floosies, Oil and tempera on linen, painted wood frame, 1938
Thomas Hart Benton, Poker Night (from A Streetcar Named Desire), Tempera and oil on linen, 1948
George Tooker, The Subway, Tempura on composition board, 1950
Willem de Kooning, Woman and Bicycle, Oil, enamel, charcoal on linen, 1952-53
And families:
Allan D'Arcangelo, Madonna and Child, Acrylic and gesso on canvas, 1963
Robert Bechtle, '61 Pontiac, Oil on canvas, 1968-69
Marisol, Women and Dog, Wood, plaster, acrylic, taxidermic dog head, found objects 
Hey! I know that guy photobombing the art!
It's my resident rock star!
The Smithereens from the wings, Suffolk Theater, Riverhead, NY, August 15, 2015
And partner in gluttony:
Pink and Whites from William Greenberg
And general silliness:
In the Egyptian wing of The Met
Did I wear any pink this trip? Yes, indeed!
The trusty 60's shift and new 99¢ socks from Jack's
[Added] Linking up with Beverly's Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Been any place new lately? What did you discover?
Pink / Discovery / Journey -- link and tell:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Activate the Crazy

There is something about this tunic that seems to bring out the paranoia in some of the mentally unstable women of greater NYC. Is it the print? 

Yesterday, I was innocently waiting at a public toilet in Brooklyn (desperate times) (never made it in) when a woman who was sleeping on a nearby bench was suddenly in my face, brandishing a wooden skirt hanger (wooden skirt hanger??), yelling at me to stop messing with her, to leave her alone, etc, etc. I said nothing. She reeled off, thank goodness. I went over to Severo (he had used the men's side with no incident) who was on his phone, oblivious. We saw her rapidly retreating down the street. Severo gestured at her, and she took off running like a banshee.

Enter the time machine to a previous trip, perhaps in the summer of 2012. We were on the subway, standing, in a somewhat crowded car. Suddenly the woman sitting in front of me starts calling me a B****, to stop bothering her, etc, etc. What? 
At least no skirt hangers were involved.

I'm wearing it again today. I'll report back if any more random women yell at me. Because it's my mission to torment them, you know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

iSpy: Endless Jewelry Double Wrap Bracelet

I was sent a complementary Endless Jewelry Double Wrap bracelet with 3 charms to review. 
Words, photos, and opinions are all my own and not vetted by Endless. 
I received a "coral" leather Endless double wrap in the mail and my immediate thoughts were: burnt orange? Purple and turquoise charms? Blingy daisy charm? The next day I tried it on (not initially figuring out the clever magnetic clasp) first as a bracelet (okaaaaay) and then as a choker necklace. And discovered that it was REALLY COMFORTABLE! [I have "computer neck" and can't tolerate much in the way of necklaces for extended periods]. I kind of liked it! And the color looked OK against my complexion.

So now to shoot some nice photos for a post. What to match it with? [Checks closet]

The Desigual shirt!
So pleased with it all, I wore it to the last day of class on Saturday:
See my joy? Shot after home from teaching.
End of Summer Semester. YES!
Some close-ups:
"Hey, how about me?"
Thanks Endless!
Here's some of their own verbiage:
"Our new Endless Jewelry collection, which focuses on shapes and colors, allows you to become your own fashion designer by giving you the unique opportunity to create your very own custom piece of jewelry. All our charms and bracelets are designed to be compatible. You can mix and match your jewelry according to color and design any time you wish. 
Endless Jewelry allows you to show off your creative talents -- the possibilities are literally Endless! Our calf leather bracelets come in many different colors and sizes. For even more variety, you can choose from our single, double or triple wound bracelets. Here at Endless Jewelry Shop online, the only official online retailer of Endless Jewelry, you can buy all of our leather bracelets and charms easy, fast, and with free shipping.
All leather bracelets are equipped with a safe, stainless steel magnetic lock to keep your bracelet on your wrist. Select a gold or rose-gold lock finish for an added individual touch. If you're looking to jump-start your collection or just a great gift idea, take a look at our starter-sets!"
I was sent a coral double wrap (value $70), with two enamel charms (value $50 each, currently unavailable), and a peridot flower charm (value $95).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Best Practices: Attack of the Link-up Bots

It's been a while since I've gone on one of my Best Practices for Blogging rants.
No time like the present, eh?

I'm on my third year of running 52 Pick-me-up, my weekly link-up party that has always had some sort of "theme of the week".
I noticed, about a month ago, a sudden barrage of link-ups from bloggers who posted random unrelated links, never left comments, and never linked to the link-up on their posts (I don't require it, but hey, it's polite behavior.) It was kind of creepy. They all posted within minutes of each other.
sample from this week
I was clicking on these unusual link-ups, to see if they made any mention of SpyGirl, and one blogger wrote this:
"[redacted] makes sure all my links get submitted to so many great parties. I don’t know what I would do without her. If you are a blogger and are looking to expand your audience, then you should totally hire [redacted]."


After reading this, I looked at the emails from inLinkz, and saw that all the posts came from the same IP address! This "helpful" blogger hires herself out to post link-ups for those "too busy" to do it themselves. Do these bloggers even know what link-ups they're on? What kind of community is this fostering? To, me, it's SO WRONG and it irritates me to no end.

You can watch my ire develop in the "fine print" that comes with my inLinkz script:

June 21, before the Link-up Bots appeared
July 5
August 8

Not that any of you reading this are guilty of this behavior. I needed to rant and to alert fellow link-up hosts. ;-)
Have any of you hosting link-up parties noticed this phenomenon? 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

52 Pick-me-up: True Red / Insecurity / Bravery

True Red in motion. 
Since it's the week's prompt, I've been thinking about Bravery.
A lot of my personally brave moments, when I really think about it, are better described as good thinking and wise decisions. Like that time in January 1997 when I said to myself "no more" after this guy I'd been seeing for about 8 months (and lived with for 6 weeks) abandoned me (with all my stuff) outside of a motel in Mesa, AZ while my van was in the shop for a week. He was assuming I'd stay at the motel. Instead, I called a cab, stayed near the mechanic, and didn't reveal my location.
Two weeks later, back in Los Angeles, I met Severo.
Or the cancer battle I waged and won five years ago? Just followed marching orders, no choice was involved. All my angels were the brave ones. I only needed the courage to ask for help. Which was hard, for sure, but not huge.

First responders.
Now THAT'S bravery.
And their vehicles often are True Red!

I'll leave it at that. I'm not touching insecurity -- not brave enough.
True Red / Insecurity / Bravery -- link and tell!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Felt Balls

I mentioned my felt ball obsession earlier this week.

As promised, here are the felt balls I encountered in Portland in June, 2011.
Oh, wait. Those are macaroons from Pearl Bakery 
Necklace with trapped felt balls by Denise Smitherman seen at The Whole 9 Yards 
Decoration on Adrienne's sweater
Oh, sorry, more round food. Olive eaten at Nines Hotel
There were felt balls lurking on the shelves of a stationary shop (eluded capture, but seared in my memory) and a bunch at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Where I got this felt ring:
I sketched it, I got so excited:
Along with writing down ISBN numbers of felting books that I found at Powell's.

I saved the best for last. The largest felt balls I have yet to see discovered at Una:
Now I want to go back to Portland! 
I was there only two weeks ago, but not long enough to examine the current state of the felt ball invasion.