Has the Spike Trend Gone Too Far?

These unfathomable sunglasses make me begin to think so.

The spike-holes are hand-drilled!  And these sunglasses can become a headband!!  And for a mere $220 U.S. Dollars, they can be yours!


I have a DIY post coming up…just a little too knackered right now to get it done.  Sleep wins out and it will be posting tomorrow!

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The Strangest Comment Ever

I love comments on my posts!  (I mean, who doesn’t love feedback?!)  The positive comments that say “thanks for your hard work” or “I really like this” always put me in such a good mood throughout the day.  They give me the fuel to sit down the next day for hours on end crafting another post.  Comments and feedback (even if some of it is constructive criticism) really help me target my blog to the needs of the people who are reading it, so I’m not just throwing useless words out there into the ether.

And as all of you fellow Bloggers know, sometimes you just get weird comments.  Spam comments usually represent a fraction of them – and the spammers, when certain methods don’t work, often employ new tactics to get their comments permanently on your blog.

But this is a new one.  It had my ROFL for awhile. (click to read)

It seems the Russian mafia has an inordinate amount of time on their hands.:-)

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formspring.me question: Hot or Not Show Concept

From formspring.me:
Carly, you’ve got your finger on the pulse when it comes to fashion, beauty and the media. This is a question about beauty/media.  If you were to produce a show based off of the concept for “Hot or Not”,what would call it to be female sensitive? Thanks!

Read on to see my answer!

First of all, thank you for contacting me and soliciting my opinion. (Though I’m sure if you’re a producer, you already have an advisory team and have conducted market research, etc., so what I say may be pretty superfluous!:-) I don’t mean to be rude, but I am above all honest out of a sincere desire to help, not to criticize for criticism’s sake.

In all honesty, my first response after reading your question was “!”

I’m not sure where to start with this one. First of all, it’s laudable that you’re at least aware that the title is not exactly “female-sensitive.” But really, the question of how to title such a show that objectifies people should probably be the least of your concerns. By creating such a show, you’re pandering to the basest instinct that so many of us share: to judge. We all do it, and to say there isn’t a market for it is ludicrous. In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be, but in the world we inhabit, there will always be that need (shared often by a group of bawdy, low-educated, raucous guys) to judge women on their physical attributes. As a hetereosexual woman, I would likely watch an episode of such a show (because I, like everyone, *do* secretly love to judge and find out “what’s hot” and yes, sadly compare myself to it) – and then turn it off, disgusted at the reign of the blonde bimbo. “Hot or Not” has a catchy, journalistic ring to it – it’s easy to remember (best for your audience) – and there’s tons of similar lists out there on the Internet, on E!’s “Hot 100” episodes, in Maxim Magazine, etc. I’d say trying to mince words and doing something like “Comely or Non?” “Do we find this chick attractive? or even the in-your-face-but-oh-so-honest “F$#&able or not?” is not going to disguise the issue of objectification. You are going to receive a lot of flak from a variety of groups for doing so, regardless of the title.

We do live in an age where shows such as Jessica Simpson’s “The Price of Beauty” attempts to re-educate us as to accepted standards, and to ultimately empower women. That show is far more female-sensitive than something that is comparison-based on looks alone.

My thoughts are that if you do create such a show (and it sounds like you will – why not when there certainly is a market for it?), a) the name is fine, and b) what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. How about tapping into that Bravo Real Housewives or Bad Girls Club audience to bring women “Stud or DUD?” where you are equally objectifying men? Might be a good way to draw some criticism away AND reach an audience that hasn’t had much since Sex and City went off the air. “Sure, we’re objectifying people – but it’s BOTH sexes – get off ya high horse,” might fly a little better.

Or “Hot or Not” could be turning preconceptions on their head – like a photo of a celeb most would agree is “hot” but she stiffed her assistant out of her last paycheck, was involved in 3 DUIs, and was caught dealing dope – vs. a celeb who may not be considered “hot” necessarily, but who instead contributes to charities, wrote some books, and volunteered in a soup kitchen. Who’s “hot” now?

Or, alternatively, when polling guys for the answers to “Hot or Not” – by turning the camera back on them (“Caucasian males 30-35, 90% of them only have a high school degree etc. think Pamela Anderson’s HOT”) it might take it from crass objectification to slightly more meaningful social commentary. You could certainly expand on looking at your audience more – what sex icons they grew up with, favorite “hot girls” and “not” girls – and WHY – to really examine why there is even such a concept as “hot.” Such a show would certainly capture the attention of the media – and thinking people – more than a run-of-the-mill seen-it-a-thousand-times-before “hot or not?” show.

Hope that gives you a few ideas how to make it more sensitive not just to women, but people and society in general. “For the greater good” maybe *should* be something we begin to contemplate in media – rather than a degenerative spiral of judgmental schlock a la Bravo and E!.

Best of luck-

So readers – what would be your advice to this guy?  
What should he call his show?
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A $995 DIY: Fendi Needlepoint Baguette

Even luxury brands are now trying to cash in on the DIY movement.

On the heels of the Fendi Paint-Your-Own Artist Baguette (now selling at a staggeringly-discounted $585 at Neiman Marcus)…comes the Fendi Baguette Needlepoint Kit.

From the Neiman Marcus website:

Craft couture—this innovative kit has everything you need to make your mark on the signature Fendi baguette. Get silly, get serious, get crafting. The entire bag is your blank canvas.

  • Natural fabric bag.
  • Golden hardware.
  • Adjustable, interchangeable top handles; one fabric and one leather.
  • Flap top with magnetic zucca closure.
  • Assorted multicolor thread, three design cards, five needles, and three thimbles.
  • 5″H x 10 1/2″W x 1 3/4″D.
  • Made in Italy.

If you are feeling crafty (and..um…loaded), it’s available for $995 for preorder at Neiman Marcus.

What do you guys think of this?  Are the luxury-items consumer and the DIY-er mutually exclusive??

Why not – gasp – buy your own needlepoint canvas, a couple of embroidery threads, a needle – and MAKE your own front flap to a little bag you already own??

Oh, that’s right.  Because it wouldn’t be Fendi then.


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Idle Pastime: In Off Hours, Truckers Pick Up Stitching With Less to Haul, Drivers Try New Hobbies; Quilting in the Cab


Kevin Abraham-Banks, a Sioux Falls, S.D., trucker, likes to knit while passing the time on the road. Here he makes a sweater for his wife. photo: Gretchen Abraham-Banks

I’m sure you guys have probably seen this already…but I thought this was super-cool!


WALCOTT, Iowa—Semi driver Dave White happily sequestered himself in his rig at a truck stop on a rural stretch of Interstate 80, waiting to pick up his next haul: 45,000 pounds of Spam. He used to loathe the downtime in his job.
Then, he bought a sewing machine.

Since last year, when the economy left drivers with fewer hauls, Mr. White, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound ex-Air Force mechanic with a bushy mustache, has hunkered down inside his truck in his many off hours, making quilts from patterns with names like “Meet Me In Paris.” When he’s not sewing, he’s daydreaming about it, he said as he ran a square of yellow cotton with little violets through his machine. “Oh, there’s many a time you’re just going down the road at O-dark-thirty in the morning and you just start thinking about a particular pattern.”
Some truckers are finding themselves with more spare time on the road. Loads of goods delivered by truckers fell 15% in 2009, to 170 million loads, the largest drop in modern history, said Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations. That came on top of a slow downswing in hauls because of what the industry laments as “miniaturization” of goods: It takes less space to move flat-screen TVs and iPods than their clunkier predecessors.
With declining freight, truckers who drive hundreds of miles to make a delivery may not immediately have a load lined up for the return trip. So they bide time at truck stops, where they can shower, dine and sleep in their rigs. A couple of years ago, a driver might drop off a load and pick up a new one in two hours; now the wait can be two days, said Mr. Costello.
Though evidence is anecdotal, industry groups and trucking-company owners say the increase in spare time has spawned more hobbies. “We’ve got guys who are into opera, photography, skydiving,” said Norita Taylor, spokeswoman for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers’ Association, a truckers’ group.
Mr. White’s employer, Iowa-based Don Hummer Trucking Corp., last year started a loosely organized “sewing club,” and encourages drivers who are nimble with a needle to show off their handiwork at headquarters. “We want them to pass the time to make themselves happy, rather than get frustrated waiting,” said Dena Boelter, Hummer’s human-resources manager, an avid sewer who calls the hobby a great stress reliever that can be done almost anywhere.
Kevin Abraham-Banks, a 37-year-old trucker with a shaved head and dragon tattoos, passes time at truck stops with his cocoa and knitting.

Mr. Banks, who lives in Sioux Falls, S.D., and hauls romaine lettuce between California and the Midwest, learned to knit last year after load-volumes slowed. Creating something tangible beats sitting around the truck stop “talking about who has a bigger radio,” he said. He’s finished a scarf and socks, and is working on a sweater for his wife.
“The fact that you can take strands of thread and basically make something out of it, that’s awesome I think,” he said. “It’s pretty cool stuff, man.”
Still, trucking can be a macho world that doesn’t feel conducive to knitting or sewing. Some 95% of truckers are men, said the ATA. At the Iowa-80 Truck Stop, whose signs bill it as the “World’s Largest Truckstop,” a top request at the theater is for “Smokey and the Bandit” and the on-site dentist, Thomas Roemer, often sees drivers only after they’ve tried to yank their teeth out themselves. Crafting with fabric and yarn is “nothing I would do—my mom does that,” said Mark Sanchez, 47, a long-haul trucker.
Thomas McConnaughy, a married grandfather from Hemet, Calif., hauls cereal, reads his Bible, plays Sudoku, and talks trout fishing at truck stops. He doesn’t let on to other drivers that he keeps 15 coils of yarn in his cab and makes what he describes as “really cute slippers.”
“In the truck stops, it’s usually a bunch of guys watching football,” he said. “If I sat down with my knitting, I think there would be some funny remarks.”
Mr. White, the quilter, who is 53, came to his new passion last summer after feeling he was wasting time “waiting on freight.”
He drove 2,600 miles a week on average in 2009, versus 3,200 in 2008, even though he spent the same amount of time—about three weeks at a stretch—on the road.

He struggled to find a hobby, having burned out on reading. He tried carting along a remote-controlled helicopter, but it kept falling on him from a shelf in the truck. His wife, Dee, an accountant at their home in Colorado Springs, Colo., is a quilter and suggested he try it. By August, they had outfitted his truck’s sleeper cabin with a $179 sewing machine, supplies, and a starter’s pattern. “Boy, let me tell you, I created a monster,” she said.
Since then, Mr. White has made seven quilt tops, which are finished with a filling and backing between trips. He spends three hours a day on his hobby, sitting on his bed, with his sewing machine next to his mini-fridge. Flowered “project boxes” sit next to neat stacks of blue jeans and baseball caps. Quilting, he said, “gives you a little bit of ownership. You’ve actually accomplished something with your time off.”
He pulled over once to visit the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky., and if time allows, visits fabric stores in towns he rolls through.
In his truck, he showed a quilt with illustrations of fruit, and emphasized the importance of strategically placing quilt blocks so that “you don’t get three lemons in a row or two plums in a row.”
His blue eyes widened behind his glasses as he moved to the topic of thread. “There is a variegated thread that goes purple to white then back to purple,” he said. “Oh! Just beautiful.”

from the Wall Street Journal

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