Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Notes from the Margins: "Marquis de Sade" annotated by Annonymous, submitted by Katherine Cosgrove

I got an email from a Katherine Cosgrove the other day containing these little gems. She was home over thanksgiving and sent me pictures for the "Marquis de Sade" that she read for a French class in high school. The notes are from the previous owner before Katherine, and some of them were a little too dirty to share via this blog (I have some level of dignity left, I swear) but this one is pretty good.

You can't see this one very well, but it says, after a passage in French about the urge to have sex, "Gotta do what's natural."

Wilder Musings and Pictures: On the Board Game Life

When I was little, my idea of heaven was playing the board game Life. The best part was choosing my career and my salary, getting married, and buying a house. It was all up to chance; I would choose a card, unable to see what fate lay on the other side. Who would I be? The perky blonde tennis star depicted on the Athlete card? Or the big-haired, black singer standing in front of a disco ball (there were absolutely no stereotypes involved in the game as you can see) as an Entertainer? Would I live in a log cabin? A trailer? Ultimately, though, my choices didn’t matter, because each time I played I could be a different occupation with a different salary. I got to live my life over and over and over. 

Wilder Beatz: Throwback to "Kiss the Sky," Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra

Shawn Lee. Photo from Google.

Today's WBz is a throwback. You've probably heard this, but "Kiss the Sky" by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra will always be one of my favorite songs.

Beautiful Thing of the Day: Equipment Shirts via Josephine

According to Equipment's Twitter bio, "the Equipment woman is strong, chic, elegant, adventurous, sexy and above all, classic." If this woman exists I'd love to meet her. Or maybe I wouldn't, because

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Notes from the Margins: Homer's "Odyssey" annotated by Curry Wilson

I can't say enough how wonderful the Notes from the Margins project has been for connecting me with people I haven't seen in years. Curry Wilson, who was a year above me in high school, sent me her notes from Homer's Odyssey. She drew some really innovative smiley faces in ninth grade. Thanks for sending these in, Curry, I'm thrilled to share them with the world (or at least the delightful portion of it that reads this blog).


Wilder Style: Girl by Band of Outsiders via Eaton Trading Company

Dress: Girl by Band of Outsiders Tee Combo Tank Dress c/o Eaton Trading Company
Blazer: Vintage Jil Sander, c/o my mother. 
Body: mine

Love this piece that ETC lent me for the shoot. Mainly because who doesn't love pockets in a dress? Makes me feel like a little girl again.

Beautiful Thing of the Day: Bond No. 9 New York "Astor Place"

A few years ago, on a trip to NYC, I bought the Harrods Fragrance from Bond No. 9 as a present for someone. It was far too expensive for a college student, but the smell and design of the bottle had me in it's grasp, so I handed over my debit card to the woman behind the counter. Funny how debit and debt are but one letter apart, no? Anyways, holding the bag with the bottle safely inside, I couldn't help but linger in the store, smelling the others. I fell in love with the bottle pictured below, Astor Place; it smells light, but has a slightly musky note that grounds it more than other lighter perfumes. I held the beautiful bottle in my hand and stared, long and longingly, at the colorful star-shaped glass.

I put the bottle down with a gentle clink. The saleswoman, seeing that I couldn't bring myself to make another purchase, reached underneath the counter. When her hand emerged, I saw nestled in her palm ten colorfully wrapped cylinders. She handed them to me, "here," she said. "Astor place samples. Enjoy them."

I put a dab on from my last remaining sample this morning.

Wilder Beatz: "Throw Away Letters" by Into the North Sea

Guest-blogger Molly Hodson wrote in her post about Holiday Shores that she's a sucker for songs with great opening riffs. I fall into the same category, so "Throw Away Letters" by Into the North Sea got me right away. The duo from Essex, UK, pair ethereal vocals with the plucky strings that play against each other throughout the song, making for a simultaneously soothing and invigorating listen. The building beat also adds to the appeal, and by halfway through, I knew I'd be playing this again as soon as it ended.

I found this via Sunset in the Rearview, a music blog I'm totally obsessed with.

Wilder Profile: RAYR-- The Wine Shop

Jason Haynes and Raymond Ringer might be the most popular guys in Rockport, Maine. Aside from their kindness and humor, just the charming Texan drawl that comes out of their mouths when they ask how a customer is doing is enough to make anyone adore them. It also doesn't hurt that they're the owners of the Rayr, the best wine shop in the state. Jason and Ray, after whom Jason named the store (a fusion of Ray and rare), founded the business in 2008. Ray, who designs and builds furniture, built the beautiful counter behind which you can usually find Jason and their little Yorkshire Terrier, Sydney (who has eight cashmere sweaters to his name).

This past weekend was the store's third anniversary. I'd forgotten Rayr was that young; it's such a successful business and neighborhood fixture I feel like it's been there forever. People go to read or to meet friends for coffee, seeing as Jason makes what my cousin from New York City dubbed "the best latte on the east coast." But of course, the main draw for most is the copious wine, beer, and liquor selections--Rayr carries over 250 different wines under $25, and over 300 that cost more than that. Whether you're looking to splurge or save, Jason knows exactly what to suggest. I, for one, always agree with his taste, and particularly enjoyed his suggestions of Bear Boat's Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in California and the St. Innocent Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

The wines are fabulous, as are the fine candles, chocolates, and the espresso bar. But I think my favorite part about Rayr coming to Rockport has been the sense of community that Jason and Ray have grown with their business. Whenever anyone goes to a friends' house for dinner they stop by to ask Jason and Ray what bottle of wine to bring as a gift. The two usually know what to recommend because they know what the host, who is also likely their customer, enjoys. It's the beauty of a small town and shows how much Jason and Ray care about contributing to it, supplying great wines and goodies, and taking the time to make each person who enters the store feel at home.

If Rockport were a high school, they'd be the prom kings.

Ray built the racks himself, and came up with the genius idea of chalkboard along the shelves to mark prices.

In addition to carrying goods from all over the world, Jason and Ray pay homage to their adopted home state, devoting a shelf to Maine-made wines, beers, and liquors. Above, a sampling of their selection.

Jason hard at work behind the counter.

These fabulous light fixtures are for sale, too!

My downfall: Black Dinah Chocolates. But that story is for a post of its own.

The heaven scent (get it?) candles from Aquiesse. These were the BTotD a few days ago.

Jason never fails to make me smile with his blackboard writings.

Anyone who tells you they don't choose to buy a wine by its label is lying.

I couldn't help myself. How do you go into a store selling Veuve and not take a picture?

One day two summers ago, my mom sent my cousin Ben and me to Rayr to get some liquor for a party. She wanted gin, scotch, and we thought she'd need a vodka as well. We made our choices and put it on her tab at Rayr (because Jason trusts his customers). Since seeing that bill she hasn't asked us to go back since. I guess Macallan is more expensive than we realized. But so, so good.

Boxes stacked in the back room.

This little guy greets customers as they come in. I've always loved these mannequins, and this one is a great color.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Notes from the Margins: "Understanding the Old Testament," Annotated by Martha White

You may remember Martha's first submission, the "hurtin' troopers" doodle that so delighted me. Here is another one of her fabulous NftM. Martha described the notes best, so I'll let her words speak for themselves:

"The book is Understanding The Old Testament, by Bernhard W. Anderson, and I still remember my teacher’s name, Mrs. Sorenson

It was my Freshman year at a (then) all-girls boarding school (Northfield) and I was taking my first ever Religion class after never even having attended Sunday School. My home town [Brooklin, Maine] had one church, Baptist, and the minister’s wife was our substitute teacher for some time. She had started a policy of taking the 3-4-5 grade (one room) class across the street to the church for Sunday School on Wednesday afternoons, but my brother and I were the only two students whose parents didn’t give permission. So we had recess, while the others sang hymns – or whatever they did. 

Let’s just say, the learning curve at this Northfield Religion class was steep and this little Maine girl wasn’t convinced. My favorite note is “Bawk.”  That’s about how I felt that year, in Northfield, Massachusetts, learning to shed my Maine accent and fit in."

Wilder Pictures: Beauchamp Shoreline

Yesterday, as we walked beside it, the sea looked like steel and felt just as cold. It had shed its welcoming sheen of summer and early fall and taken on its customary winter hardness. The dirt and gravel crunched against each other underneath our feet—the sound and feel were as familiar as my mother beside me. My parents met on Beauchamp Point, a jut of land that protects Rockport Harbor, and I’ve walked the land and sailed the sea beside it for my whole life. I know every crag of rock, every scraggly and now leafless limb hanging over the water.

Beautiful Thing of the Day: Military Parka by Relwen

As if the Steven Alan brand weren't good enough by itself, they've also got the Steven Alan Showroom. Launched in 1996, the Showroom represents young designers such as Relwen, the maker of today's BTotD. I have a thing for military style as I've said before, so the rugged look of this outer-coat really appeals to me. But sometimes rugged by itself can look unpolished, so the parka brilliantly comes with a more refined inner liner (that can be worn separately). I like the version with the fur best.


Wilder Style: ETC Rag & Bone Chrystie Sweater Dress

Welcome to the first official post of the Wilder Things and Eaton Trading Company collaboration! I'm thrilled to be working with Paul Sanford, founder of ETC, to write about and photograph some of his beautiful merchandise. We met in NYC last week and had a great lunch at The Breslin in the Ace Hotel, where we talked about our vision for how the collab would work. I think it's going to be fabulous. This week I've got three pieces to show you, and don't forget to check out ETC's online shop; it's a collection of really special items that Paul handpicks from some of the best designers out there.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wilder Beatz: "Ray Charles" by Chiddy Bang

When I was little I thought of songs that really got me moving around in my chair as songs that "got up under my ribcage." You know what I mean--when a song comes on and all of a sudden it's like you took a few sips of wine or someone you've got a crush on sent you a text out of the blue. Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" makes me feel this way every time I hear it (embarrassing? Never).

Well scoot over, Mariah, because I've got a new favorite ribcage song. It's "Ray Charles," the first single off of Chiddy Bang's album Breakfast, dropping in February. Since I first heard one of their mixtapes in 2009 I've been a huge fan of the duo, and this song makes me think I'll only like them more come 2012.

Wilder Pictures: Red Line

At the Park St. station last week, as I waited for the T, I looked across the tracks and saw a man doing the crossword puzzle. He was dressed in an overcoat and newsboy cap, and he caught my eye because of his stillness. For the five minutes I stared at him, he did not move except to fill in a clue. I had my camera with me (of course) and took a few pictures. I like the movement of the people and the yellow and red tones of the shots against the man's still grayness. They make a nice series, if I do say so myself.

A Wilder Teaser: Bottles and Bottles and...

This is a photo of the best wine shop in the world. But you'll just have to check back this week to find out more.

Also coming up: a shoot of some Eaton Trading Co. goodies, a restaurant that's gone from pop-up to permanent, some Wilder Pictures, and why the board game Life made me terrified of the future.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beautiful Thing of the Day: Missoni Maddalena Pant

Today's BTotD is a pair of pants that looks like it should come right off someone in Mad Men. Probably Betty when she's hanging around the house. I want them, if only so I can pretend to be a part of the show. I have also romanticized Missoni my whole life. So I like these.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wilder Style: Caycee Black Look #s 4 and 5 and Delia Langan Hoops

Here are the final two Caycee Black looks from the New York shoot. Thanks so much for following along! In Look #4 I'm wearing a Caycee Black skirt and a Phillip Lim top, with Repetto shoes. I love the drape of the skirts and the tough print that contrasts with it. If I had to characterize Caycee's work I would say (I'm sure you can guess after seeing the previous looks) that it's brilliantly contrasting. The dark print on the light, draped material adds an edge to the skirt that could be a little too sweet without it. I also like the different lengths. Sarah and I thought the leather Phillip Lim shirt paired with the sparkly shoes played up the essence of Caycee's piece.

In Look #5 Sarah is wearing a Caycee sweater. I love this pattern--slightly punk-ish with a great cropped cut. We paired it with a black tank and J Brand pants. The pearls contrast the pattern of the sweater with their round shape. We shot this look in the staging area we used for the shoot; we thought the mess was visually interesting.

These awesome pyrite and gold earrings are by Delia Langan (click to see her awesome re-vamped site!). Next week stay tuned for shoots featuring goods from Eaton Trading Company and some coastal Wilder Pictures. Much love from Maine!

Wilder Happenings: A Wilder Thanksgiving

You'll be pleased to know, readers, that thanksgiving was a smashing success. I ended up comatose on the couch and slept for an hour and a half after the meal if that's any indication of how good it all was. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday--one without a religious or material bent (except Black Friday directly following it) where I remember how blessed I am to have such magnificent family, friends, and a bounty of food and love. I'm also thankful for you, readers, who take the time to read my musings and look at my pictures. Means more to me than I can say.

Here are some pictures that I think would make you salivate had you not just overdosed on turkey the day before... hopefully you'll think they look delicious anyways.

Nana cutting apples for the "apple something" that she, my mother and I made. 


 My aunt Carola made these lovely little place cards. 

What a spread, right? 

"Death by chocolate cupcakes" that Kiri, my cousin and baking master, made.   

The finished "apple something."

Amazing hazelnut chocolate meringue cake also by Kiri.


And that's all she wrote.