That Layered Look - Artwork is Key

Artsy Fartsy not Shoe Boots...

Back in my singleton days, I used to size up a worthy adversary by his shoes.  If a man was wearing the wrong shoe, I didn’t give him a second glance.  True story:  After dating a very nice fireman for a few months, he showed up to dinner one evening wearing cowboy boots.  Which was all fine and dandy Sandy because it was the South and he was sort of rugged, albeit short, in that fireman-y kind of way.  But as we said our goodbyes in the parking lot he made the mistake of crossing his ankles.  Under the lights at Phipps Plaza I discovered, much to my horror, that he was not, in fact, wearing cowboy boots at all.  He was wearing shoe boots.  Like those ankle cowboy boots I wore in 1992.  I never returned another phone call. 

Think of me what you will.  But honey, there was no hope for him and I.  Yes, I could have changed his shoes over time, but I never could have changed his primal instinct to put on SHOE. BOOTS.   What can I say?  I judge a book by its shoes.  And while I am over sharing, I will go on to say that I judge a room by its artwork.

Artwork separates the men from the boys.  Or in this case, Lucchese cowboy boots from shoe boots.  Artwork is an essential layer to that collected-over-time look.  Artwork screams, looky, I am cool or quirky or artsy-fartsy or lucky enough to have inherited this old thing.  It can also scream, I get all my stuff at Hobby Lobby or I wear shoe boots!  Not that there is anything wrong with the place.  I get all kinds of things there just not my art.

Take a look at these spaces…

All 3 images Cathy Triant Buxton via NYSD

Elle Decor

Kristen Panitch Interiors

Look Linger Love

For the Love of a House
Lindsey Harper via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Artwork need not be expensive nor have a pedigree to make an impact.  Lindsey Harper picked up that piece at a thrift store for less than $100 smackers.  

I have found a lot of my artwork at flea markets and antique fairs for very resonableI picked the woman up at an antique mall for less than  $100 smackers.  I had that old frame on hand so I popped her in – et voila!  She is one of my favorites.  Tomorrow I will share some more from around Chez V.  And a note to self:  I need a large abstract pronto!
kisses,  mrs. V


Tales From the Projects - another DIY acrylic tray

Acrylic Tray–a-nator 3000 - part deux
Took another whack at the trays.  This go round I began by using spray adhesive in place of the Mod PodgeIt should be noted that mr. V asserted that this method would not work either.  But I had high hopes that a fine spray would not give me those pesky little air pockets.  Epic fail.  The spray adhesive was a nightmare and saturated through the paper leaving an oily looking mess.  I was so crushed I didn’t even take a snappy Q.

I went back to the drawing board.  I hacked.  I poked.  I used different papers and I am much happier with this result.  Although it is not perfect - there are still a few air pockets – there are considerably less than the first time.

This tray is a birthday present for my mother.  Hope she digs it.  I, for one, am in love with this chinoiserie type pattern.

In other project news, I finished this bell-shaped hurricane over the weekend for one of my clients.  And I am over the moon to be helping my dear, dear cousin with a stationary order for her bosses.

And last but not least, since this is a place of accountability, I am sharing this BEFORE picture of our kitchen. Well, it is technically, MID-PROJECT, but before we finish up the banquette cushions, window treatments, re-finish the floors, and fingers crossed, a supercalifab situation for that wall.

Ignore the Ikea shelf and random placement of the art and mirror.  These are the remnants from a previous incarnation of the kitchen.
kisses,  mrs. V


Style - Hollywood Glamour - The Oscars

Thumbs Up or Down?  Oscar Edition

Lots of arresting metallics, one shoulder numbers, and black seems to be back, baby.  I am probably the only one, but I wasn’t loving the white dresses this year.  And can we talk about Kelly Osbourne’s hair for a minute?  Seriously.  So dumb.


Rose Byrne
Rose was the most stunning of the night, for me.  This hair is the opposite of dumb.  Forget that fractured look - this is how you cut and style a bob!  For 2 disillusioned minutes, I actually  contemplated the possibility of getting my hair cut and dyed to match. 

Viola Davis
The green color is perfect for her skin tone.  I like how the top is structured and then the bottom gives way to that flowy accordian chiffon situation.

Glenn Close
Wow.  Is she ageless?!  This dark green tuxedo-ish dress is so good on her.

Leslie Mann
Another stunner for me.  Color is beautiful and her ponytail was gorgeous - not too high.

Octavia Spencer
The best she's looked this award season.  This dress is so flattering.  Her best accessory is not in the shot - that darling Tait Taylor.

Milla Jovovich
Sparkly.  Perfect shade of lips.  Understated accessories allow dress to really shine.

Giuliana Rancic
The details in this dress are incredible.  One of my favorites of the night.

Stacy Keebler
Statue-esque to say the least.  Loved this on her but if I am honest that little swirly rosette on the hip is dangerously close to looking like a cheese danish.

Ellie Kemper
Ordinarily I would hate a rusty color like this, but on her, with her coloring and that hair, it is truly stunning.

Cameron Diaz
This beige color is very risky for blondes.  Almost always, it looks like boogers.  But somehow, this worked.

Kristen Wiig
Most people poo pooed this look on Kristen but I thought she looked naturally beautiful.  She would have looked weird with an Oscar up-do.  


Emma Stone
Many of you will disagree.  But this red was all wrong for her hair color.  And that flouncy bow was distracting.

Michelle Williams

Even more of you will disagree.  I wanted to really really love this - and at first glance I did.  But then I kept looking at it and something just didn't work.  The coral color is very chic but unfortunately against a 'red' carpet fell flat.  And I don't love the bust area or the little skirting around the hips.

Rooney Mara

A structured skeleton.  Someone please give Rooney a sandwich.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Boring and safe and predictable for me.  Most will disagree.  Next.

Kate Mara
I don't understand the droopy off-shoulder accent on anyone.  It results in an ill-fitting look like your bra strap is constantly falling down.  And look at her shoulders - the sensation translates in her posture.

Penelope Ann Miller
Not flattering at all on any level.  Boogers.  Sparkly boogers.

Natalie Portman
A red piece of furniture for the red carpet.  In case Angie passes out from only eating air.

I get it.  You're sexy.  But not in this, doing that stupid pose 50 times.  Angie, men do not like skeletons.  They want a juicy ham hock not that malnourished chicken bone.  You were way more sexified with your curves.

Jessica Chastain
Another piece of furniture.  But for the record, I think you are gorgeous.

Penelope Cruz

Love the color but hated her hair.  My personal feeling is that this look aged her.

Shailene Woodley

Kelly Osbourne
I can't believe she is part of any fashion commentary.  I like her dress but that hair is beyond silly and the lip color is not good.

mrs. V has spoken.  Talk amongst yourselves.

Images from herehere, here, and here.

kisses,  mrs. V


Current Trends - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down - neon, animal prints, pop of color, sparkly, jewel tones

Thumbs Up or Down?  Trend Edition

Let’s talk about trends for a minute.  I am a firm believer that if you buy things that you truly LOVE they will never go out of style because they are a reflection of you.  These things that you truly LOVE become your own classics over the years.  Your personal classics become the foundation upon which you define your style, both in fashion and your interiors.

As the new trends come along, it gives us an opportunity to reinvent ‘our’ classics in a fresh way.  My imposed newly found spendthriftyness has helped me curb my sometimes tendency to impulse shop the latest thing. 

Yesterday, in a fit of compulsion, I reorganized my pile of shoes.  What that really means is I moved tumbling piles from here to there.  I discovered a treasure trove of trendyness among shoes that I have had FOR YEARS.  Brilliant.  I don’t have to spend a dime and I am instantly relevant with some of my own classics!

For example, let’s take NEONS.  Neon is hitting the streets in a big way this spring.  I don’t really do neons.  They don’t mix well with my coloring or my interiors.  So I won’t be rushing out to purchase some boxy 80’s neon splashed silk shirt or day glow graffiti-splattered pillow covers for the couch.  However, that doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate a pop of it here and there by way of accessory.  Enter the neon green loafer.  I threw these on with a colored jean yesterday.  4 different people complimented the shoe and inquired about where I purchased them.  I purchased these preppy little numbers in 2004.  8 YEARS ago.  Boo-ya!

ANIMAL PRINTS.  Obessed with animal prints for years. In fact, one of my dearest friends loves to poke fun of my love for all things  leopard.  In mrs. V’s book, animal prints work as neutrals.   Of all the shoes in my closet, these get the most ooh’s and aah’s by a million miles.  And that is saying a lot b/c I have some trophy kicks.   Another dear friend took one look at these and knew I had to have them.  We rushed out immediately and I bought the last pair in Atlanta in 2005.  7 years ago and these are still going strong!

BALLET FLATS.  Staples in my closet.  These pointy toe cockroach killers started that obsession in 2003.  Yep.  Bought at a sample sale in 2003 much to my mother’s chagrin.  Oh, well, we used to wear those in the 60’s.  Her way of saying, UGLY.  But I lurve the pointy and the teeny tiny bows.  Well worn and much adored.

These camel cap toes are worn almost daily.

SPARKLE.  I am a magpie, easily distracted by all things sparkly and shiny.

PREPPY BOWS.  Will always harbor an affinity for bows stemming from my 80’s staple of grograin bows in my ponytail.  Purchased in 2007.

POP OF COLOR.  For the record, I hate that saying as much as I hate ‘depth of flavor.’  But pop they do.  And they are pink.  Enough said.  Purchased in Chicago in 2004. 

And these Italian beauties debuted  on the white carpet – the one that lead me to mr. V.  In 2005, the thought of wearing a shoe other than white at your wedding  was blasphemy.  My shoes cost more than my dress and were the basis for my entire wedding.

JEWEL TONES.  These purple beauties came to me in 2001.  I pet them often.  The brown ones are frenchy french purchased in 2005.

So with Chez V economic lockdowngate happening, I will be shopping my own closet to give my classics a facelift for 2012 and beyond.  THUMBS UP to purchasing things that you TRULY TRULY LOVE because they will stand the test of time!

kisses,  mrs. V