Monday, June 30, 2008

"Thirty Schmirty" by Jenelle Landgraf

The big 3 -0 is right around the corner for me and I am in the mood to celebrate. I refuse to be one of those people who complains about their age or dreads their birthdays (at least not yet anyways....)

Although the big day is still a week out, the festivities began early with a girl's weekend in Leavenworth - 10 gorgeous ladies between the ages of 23 and 59 acting like teenagers (some more than others - the pictures tell all....). No work, no kids, no husbands, no pets (well, Wrigley made an appearance or two), just the girls lunching out on the deck at Gustav's, lounging at the riverfront beach while sipping champagne and eating amazing cheese from Cheesemongers, and turning heads at the Leavenworth bars.

This is definitely not how I pictured myself celebrating this milestone birthday when I was "younger". It's not like I thought I'd be sitting home alone cleaning my dentures, but I just thought I would "feel" different and act "older". I still feel like I'm 21, so that's why I say "thirty shmirty". It's just a number and it definitely does not hold me back from having just as much fun with the girls as I have been doing throughout my twenties. We all still got carded at the door, which I can finally appreciate. And some of us even ended up at a "house party" with a trampoline at the end of the evening, which I realize is slightly juvenile and reminiscent of high school parties, but....ummmm.....I'll just leave it at that.

So now it's time for me to be honest about what HAS changed about girl's weekends now that most of us are on the brink of a new era (my baby sister Jillian needs to know this stuff because SOMEDAY she and her girlfriends will hit this same point). We may be able to drink just as much as we always have, but the next day feels different than it used to. And by different, I mean worse. Instead of sleeping til noon, most need to be back at home with their families by noon. The "older creepy" guys hitting on us at the bars don't seem quite as old, but they do remain just as creepy.

As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more things stay the same. So, I am now convinced that I will continue to have amazing fun crazy girl's weekends and birthday celebrations at all stages of my life. As a wise woman named Jeani Stevens once said, "Let's get ROWDY".

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Simple Misunderstanding

Last week I found myself in full fashion "multi tasking" mode. The first part of the week I was busy assembling outfits for the Out Of The Closet Fashion Show at the W Hotel in Seattle.

The later half of the week Jenelle
and I were meeting with Mapel's apparel vendors to choose product for our Holiday deliveries. I know what you are thinking.... and it's true..... I have a sexy job.
(Be reminded that I said "the job" is sexy- not me or the benefits.)

By the time Sunday rolled around I got a chance to catch my breath and reflect on the previous week. Amidst numerous conversations with multitudes of people I don't know or will ever talk to again- one conversation stays with me. It's likely this conversation will stay with me for a very very very long time. It was the sort of conversation that I have repeatedly told my friends at every Happy Hour or Dinner Party since then (It's Wednesday- so in theory I shared this story Monday and Tuesday night).
Here's the story:
I promptly arrived at the W at 5pm to prep and style my 10 male models. Unfortunately the garments did not arrive until nearly 6- leaving me plenty of time to check out the facility, claim my garment racks and chat with my male models. While discussing with one model the pros and cons of eating the day of a show (literally this happened) another male model walked up to join in on the conversation. After discussing the impact a sandwich can have on perfectly chiseled abs one of the models looked my way (well.... I think he did) and told me I look like Elizabeth Taylor. My initial reaction was something along the lines of "Oh.... Wow. I don't think I've heard that before, interesting."

Well he proceeded to talk about resemblances to Elizabeth Taylor and how eyebrows are really what leads someone to look like her, etc. etc. etc. At this point I could no longer simply stand by and listen to such gibberish. I kept thinking to myself- Elizabeth Taylor at what age? I mean- there's a difference between the movie National Velvet and the White Diamonds campaign. Right?
After the equivalent of a single page double spaced conversation I politely asked again "Really.... You think I look like Elzsabeth Taylor? I've heard Kirsten Dunst or Maggie Gyllenhaal- but NEVER Elizabeth Taylor!" He looked my way (he really did this time) and simply replied "Not you- ME. I look like Elizabeth Taylor. Look at how the make up artist filled in my eyebrows. I completely look like Elizabeth Taylor."

Oops. I must of misunderstood. What was I thinking? I should know better than to think that male models would be remotely interested in discussing ME - or how I look. It's all about them. Simple Misunderstanding - right? Anybody could of made the same mistake.

All of Seattle's Peacocks came out for the show!

Here comes the Fashions:
Yes- we were that "serious" about mens fashion.

I most certainly did crop his pants that short intentionally.

Now I want you to be honest- do you see the resemblance?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Monday IS the new Friday

It's not uncommon for me to schedule a work meeting that "conveniently" coincides with a Happy Hour. If you know me you know I live for Happy Hours. At times (be it rare) I am almost embarrassed how desperately I schedule social gatherings around happy hours. I will literally tell my lobster friends that I will wait up to 30 mins for them to get off work while I post up at the ideal table for our newest happy hour spot. In addition I show up early to work as a cushion in case they can't arrive in time to order from the happy hour menu. Pathetic- I know.
It's not that I'm "cheap" or a "miser" (that would be a previous boyfriend- not me). I am simply obsessed with the perfect "Happy". It's all about a casual gathering, unstructured time line, no commitment (you know I'm commitment'phobic- find further info in a future blog write up) and an excuse to have more than one glass of wine.
With all the being said I want to share with my dear blog readers (all baker's dozen of you) the newest trend in Happy's. Monday IS the new Friday. It wasn't until this last Monday I realized that my beloved Seattle Beholds a Bounty of Beautiful Monday Happy Hour Treasures.

I scheduled a meeting (really..... it was a meeting) with my graphic designer/ illustrator/fine artist/architect/irish fanatic friend Brice.

He suggested Toi since they have "Happy" all night Monday. YES! After an accomplished and successful meeting we decided to get just one more drink. After sauntering through Belltown we literally stumbled and tripped into the newest and best'est spot- Cellars Restaurant & Lounge on 1st Avenue.
I won't go into details but just know that bottles were half off, the entire 1st avenue end of the restaurant was all window that were open with an inviting and cool breeze while they played live & appropriately loud music. Yes!
After a start like this we couldn't help but seek out yet another "Happy" treasure. It was up the hill with us- all the way to Capitol Hill for $5 pool and a cheap pitcher at the Garage. I am NOT skilled in the ways of billiards so most of the night entailed Brice "teaching" me how to read the little white dots on the table while simultaneously talking about the future when we would "shark" those around us.

Once the clock stroke 1.30 am I decided to call it a night and head back down the hill for some zzzzz's. While laying down my head to bed I couldn't help but wonder if I would wake to a long Saturday afternoon or Tuesday. It was that good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Full Proof SPF = Summer Party Fun

It may come as a surprise to some of you... but there are a few things Martha Stewart and I have in common. While I will never master her talent for cooking, gardening and illegal investing I do concur that ribbon is a survival necessity. I believe the order goes food, shelter, warmth & ribbon. Let me put it into simpler terms..... as a short rope and small twigs were necessary for McGuyver to attain prime night time broadcasting I need ribbon to succeed in the retail business. I use ribbon for tagging, merchandising, embellishing, hanging, organizing, etc. etc. If you don't believe me, visit Mapel's store in Leavenworth- it's all about the ribbon.

Ok- I'm losing sight of my direction with this write up. I don't want to talk about "has been" TV stars- I want to discuss Summer Party Fun. Similiar to Martha I H.E.A.R.T. to entertain. I believe there are a few key components to designing the ideal summer party. Here follows my list of must haves.

(if you don't already have friends visit instead of reading this blog)

Either Tiki Torches, Lights in a Tree or a Fire
(keeps the guys busy watching/talking/maintaining this sort of stuff)

Food- keep it simple. BBQ style. I would also suggest my latest kitchen conquest of grilled pancetta-wrapped asparagus. Wrap and grill for approx 6 minutes. Voila'

I think Martha would agree that Summer Party Fun can be found in the details. Or as I would say "all things aesthetic". Be sure to use some complimentary plates and decor to set the "mood" for your party.

Last- but certainly not the least in my book would be the adult beverages. Outside of beer and white wine I might also suggest a Lemonade'tini.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Behind the Scenes

Every 2 weeks I get together with our photographer Cleary (check out and "make it happen". We spend about an hour moving furniture, setting up lights & backdrops, steaming clothes and pouring a glass of wine. Towards the end of prep time in walks our "talent". Most recently we have found great talent in Willow. She was recommended by Mapel's biggest fan Allison (the same Allison that introduced Jenelle and I). Willow is tall, beautiful, funny and has this wonderful JCREW'esque aesthetic to her. We loved her from moment one.

Amidst talking about Maria Scarrey (that's Maria Carey for all you "butterfly fans"), the lack of gentrification in Pioneer Square where Willow resides, and why we are experiencing Junuary instead of global warming we somehow manage to actually get some photos shot.

The shots that find their way to our website are cropped, adjusted, buffed, modified (well- you get the idea). However we always end up with a few blooper shots. Those amazing denim butt shots are created when Willow twists her body in the most awkward way and I tug from the bottom end.

We have also found ourselves getting caught up with the "top model" potential these photo shoots have. When the lights are bright, you have a hot model like Brooke, and the camera is clicking away sometimes you can't help but unzip your track jacket and pull out your best Calvin Klein look-right Jake?

Successful photo shoot is equal parts lighting, garment steaming, wine and laughter.