Things are looking up: the shortest day of the year is behind us, and we officially have just three days until Christmas. A whirlwind month full of late-night work, festive happy hours and feverish shopping trips has culminated in a long-awaited vacation full of snow-capped mountains, delicious snacks and lots of pajama-clad lounging. All of my presents have been shipped to my mom’s house in Texas, waiting to be unboxed, rewrapped and opened by my family come Christmas morning. But just in case you are still in need of a few last-minute gifts for friends, coworkers or family members’ stockings, I’m here for you.
I have a Goodwill addiction. More specifically, I have an addiction to wandering around the housewares section of Goodwill, culling the crowded racks for glimmering bits of Depression glass and crystal, pretty old candy dishes and antique cake servers. Whenever I’m in need of a shopping fix, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money, I take myself on a date to Goodwill, where I can leave with a clutch of new treasures for a cool 20 bucks.
On a recent such shopping trip, I unearthed a particularly good passel of decanters (including a beautiful crystal one—score!). I’ve been wanted to restyle my bar cart for the holidays, and I love the idea of decanting some of the less-than-beautiful bottles of vodka and rum I have and displaying them in pretty vessels with bespoke labels to match.
Kintsugi was a recent revelation to me, although it is ancient in origin. Simply put, it’s the Japanese method of repairing broken ceramics with lacquer mixed with gold. Philosophically, it embraces the journey of an object, highlighting any breaks that occur throughout its use and rendering it more beautiful through repair and continued utility. I think that’s a pretty lovely sentiment, don’t you?
I finally upgraded to a new phone because I ran out of storage on my old phone (too many photos) and I really wanted to get my hands on that updated iPhone camera. And with a new phone comes the need for a new phone case. I’ve long been drawn to the Chaos case favored by Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung but I’m not quite willing to drop $250 on a monogrammed phone case, even if it is made from leather.
But after drooling over the expensive version for a few months, I spotted a simple faux-leather phone case at Nordstrom and realized how easy it would be to monogram it myself. Keep reading to see how I created a custom stencil for this project.
Painters from the Dutch Golden Age have always been a favorite of mine—I love their use of moody shadow, saturated color and beautiful melancholy. The still lifes speak to me, but The Girl with the Pearl Earring…well…she’s magnetic. I’ve always found her over-the-shoulder stare to be far more captivating than Mona Lisa’s smile (sorry, da Vinci), and my obsession with her only grew after reading a fictionalized account of her creation and watching the subsequent movie starring Colin Firth as Mr. Vermeer himself.