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Category — books

Suitably Weird Love Notes & Journals

I like my stationery of the subtley quirky, snicker laugh, ironic variety.  In celebration of the LC’s 2nd birthday, I thought of some eyebrow raising gift ideas of the papery kind.  I often receive sketchbooks because my friends know how much I love to wax poetic (“dear universe…”) or whip out my glue stick (“ooh, I like this outfit. must save”) or madly scribble (“scratch-scratch-scratch” the sound of a 15 second gesture drawing).  Also, I like to stockpile stationery in case someone makes a grand gesture that is deserving of a well-thought out and sentimental love note.  With technology, text messaging and emails, people rarely send letters or cards.  It’s a rare treat to receive a letter or card in the mail.  *Le sigh

Bangs A Sketchbook by David Choe. Why? This is what I look like after I neglect to trim.

For my craaazy cat lady LC followers: Cat Companion Journal by Jeffrey Brown

Better than Barbie & countless hours of F-U-N! Methinks that Paper Doll Parade by Suzy Ultman is a present that keeps on giving.

If someone spent the time to stitch me a notecard, that's true friendship/awkwardly nerdy (which I love). Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart


August 19, 2011   1 Comment

The Tale of The Love Collage (aka Happy 2nd Birthday!)

Happy birthday LC! I confess I enjoy fireworks, especially in the shape of a heart.

Writing my blog for the past two years has been both a rewarding and exciting endeavour.  I write about haphazard musings that have taken hold of my fancy, from the frivolous to the heartfelt.  Time and again, I am surprised to meet strangers who follow me regularly, am utterly thankful for your ongoing support and am touched by those who embrace ‘living with inspiration.’  In many exchanges, I am asked how it was that The Love Collage came to be (here is a refresher).

When I originally built my website in WordPress, you only had one instant to choose a title.  The title was everything and for me, it had to convey sincere meaning with a dash of wit. 

“What should I name it?  Hrmm, what should I name it?”  Perplexed, my eyes darted around the room searching for an idea to spark a revelation.  I stared out the window.  The afternoon rays were peaking through the wooden blinds.  I sighed heavily.  My head twisted to the left.  There it was.

A month prior I had decided to feng shui my bedroom.  In my tidied love quadrant, lay charms meant to invoke love, the theory being that a mini-shrine to love would create an abundance of love.  This presumption made sense to me and plus, there truly was no real harm in creating a tableau in hues of red and pink.  Sitting atop an otherwise empty shelf was a vintage postcard of entwined tango partners, a tanned Spanish George Hamilton look-alike in a 70’s one-piece dance outfit and his female dance partner attired in ruffled flamenco garb, an oversized faux rose bouquet and a love collage which I had painted and carefully pieced together on my birthday.

And so became the title of my blog, The Love Collage.

I have come to grow very fond of this title because it captures the sentimentality of memories, the passion of dreams and the small things we treasure.  The Love Collage is more than a diversion – I write because I love to write but am ever thankful that you love to read.

The Love Collage is inspired by…

Early Carrie Bradshaw. I do type in cute outfits where possible or paint my nails between checking emails. Mad skills.

Do you dream in black & white or colour? A sketchbook a day keeps the doctor away. The mini hoarder in me collects postcards, jots down observations and sketches inspiration.

NERD Alert: I am like reallyx3 into the library lately. I want to wear a tweed blazer with patches on the elbows and my Lisa Loeb glasses. Nerd pick-up lines: "Study much?" "Do you want to be my french tutor?"

The possibility of travel: In 2012, I have resolved to hang glide from Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil (tandem of course). Oh yes, I am a fashionistah adventuress.


August 15, 2011   1 Comment

The Kid’s Dark Transformation

I had heard many positive reviews for Push by Sapphire which became an Oscar winning film adaptation entitled Precious.  Although I had yet to read the book or watch the film, I knew it was critically acclaimed and was eager to read its successor, The Kid.  Given the opportunity to get an advance copy of the book, I said, “yes please.”

To read my full book review The Kid’s Dark Transformation, please visit Blog Her Book Club.


July 25, 2011   No Comments

Summer Kindle: My Sister’s Keeper

Sob-sob-sob: Re-enactment of me muffling the sound of crying into a pillow

I like to temper my summer fluffy chic-lit with the heavy drama, the kind that has your heart strings pulled taught, weeping secretly into your beach blanket.  Aren’t we all just gluttons for punishment?  As a voracious reader, I have on loan from J’s basement bookshelf, the best-selling My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.  Even from the well designed book cover, you know this one is going to be a major tearjerker.  MAJOR. TEARJERKER. Spoiler Alert

The story unfolds as Anna Fitzgerald, 13 year tween, is asked to become an organ donor to her ailing older sister Kate who suffers from leukemia.  Having been conceived by her parents, Brian and Sara, in order to become a biological match for her sister, Anna eventually undergoes a number of medical procedures to prolong her sibling’s survival.  After a lifetime of being a default donor, Anna reaches out to a local attorney, Campbell Alexander, for medical emancipation in order to assert her right to make her own decisions. 

The narrative switches from the point of view of Anna, to Kate, to her parents, her troubled brother Jesse, her attorney Campbell and guardian Julia; the various characters pose the ethical and moral dilemmas that ensue when parents’ obligation to children is superseded by their love and desire to keep their family unit together.  A moving tale about adolesence, family bonds, love and the heartache of loss, it is an emotional read which will likely make you ponder your ideals and how they might bend in times when your closest are in duress.

Sidenote:  I am glad I read this before watching the 2009 film adaptation of the book.  Cameron Diaz is not the Sara Fitzgerald I pictured in my mind.


July 7, 2011   No Comments

Dance, Pray, Love

I have always been a dreamer.  An optimist.  Ever hopeful.  Always thinking.

But in all honestly, I have not always put fearless gusto into all of my endeavours.  Like many people, I have been the biggest obstacle in pursuit of my dreams.  For quite some time, I have harboured a secret desire to tour the southern region of Andalucia in Spain – to dance my heart away and to make a pilgrimmage (the camino) to Santiago de Compostela.  In an expected twist of fate, I also have the opportunity to visit Copenhagen Denmark, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson.  After much thoughtful marination (as in I’ve thought about it soooo long, the idea has soaked into me like a piece of chicken, marinated in soy sauce), I will embark on my trip this Spring.   

Dear readers of The LC, I would love to take you with me, however, I need to take this journey to rest and rejuvenate.  Upon my return, I promise to share the highs of my adventures and hopefully my shared stories will stir up your own internal wanderlust. xo

Feria de Abril in Seville. During the festival, everyone dresses in traditional garb. Flamenco, bullfights, fireworks, partying. Me divertido mucho!

I like long walks on cobblestone streets in flowy skirts and gladiators. Marbella is Spain's answer to St. Tropez.

The Little Mermaid statue erected to celebrate Hans Christian Andersen. My mom let me watch the original Aesop fable! I remember having to concoct an alternate ending in my mind to save myself from despair. I cried for days. Super-tear.

A penny for your thoughts. I like to sketch. Lacroix Virgin Notebook

What the heck! Since I'm already over-sharing, my potential wedding dress. *lol* I'm putting it out there (the secret).


May 1, 2011   No Comments

Every Fashionistah Needs Her “Kelly Cutrone”

Mama Wolf tells it like it is. Little lamb, if you can't hack it, we'll just feed you to the coyotes.

Recently, I read If You Have To Cry, Go Outside, the autobiographical fashion and business book by Kelly Cutrone.  Watching her on MTV’s The Hills or The City, many people often lament that they would hate to have such a tough boss.  But I have a lot of respect for Kelly because I myself, as an impressionable, young fashionistah, had my own version of a ‘Kelly Cutrone,’ a hard as nails, no nonsense successful fashion boss that mentored me and took me under her wing.  There are so many fashion wannabes (“Look at me! Look at me! ooh I chipped a nail”) show ponies (of the generational wealth, entitled Olivia Palermo variety) and back-handed, bitchy cutters (“You look really nice.  Is that last season Chanel?”), that when someone hardworking, smart and authentic comes along, it’s a breath of fresh air.  I totally get it. 

She had such faith in me, she would often ask, “What do you want?”  I would tell her and the next day I would have an interview and a referral.  She would sing my praises to anyone who would listen.  And when I was ready to leave the nest of her office, she took me to dinner and told me, “I am waiting for you to rule the world.”  World domination, of course, is still a work in progress. 

The ‘Kelly Cutrone’s of the world want you to succeed but only if you have passion, are willing to work for it and are open to learning.  Fashion is a tough industry so you better grow a thick skin.  Your twenties are about taking the time to learn from industry professionals, cull your attitude, your style and your work ethic.  I highlyx3 recommend Cutrone’s book for any aspiring fashionistah who is still discovering who are they and who they want to be.  And for the jaded fashionistah to help you remember what it’s all about.

Never go to a meeting without a notebook and a pen. Take your glasses if you want to channel Lisa Loeb/or look more studious. For creative types, Moleskine Storyboard Notebook.

Do not show up to intern in your precious Giuseppe Zanotti platforms! a) Impractical for schlepping b) costs more than your boss' rent

Ferragamo, Ferragamo, Ferragamo. Learn the difference between between Fendi, Gucci, Missoni, Bottega by reading a book or magazine. Pronounce it properly.


April 22, 2011   No Comments