sometimes good is good enough

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hi everyone! how was your manic monday? it’s that time of year when everyone’s running around with an endless ‘to do’ list. so many of us strive for a perfection that’s completely self-imposed. it got me thinking whether sometimes Good can be good enough? does it always have to be full throttle?

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i ran around today, but didn’t take that romantic, picturesque stroll i’d envisioned since it was way too chilly. but in my travels i did pass a favorite store that’s still going strong, pageant, purveyors of maps, prints, and ephemera. i couldn’t resist this little plate i found outside in a bin titled, costumes parisiens. this particular style is from the genre ‘les incroyables et merveilleuses’. photo 5

the desire to learn more about the image led me down a path of discovery and i had a lovely realization. that it was ok not to wait for more stuff to gather before posting a blog, or do anything at all. that it’s not about amassing more information or matter. just this piece of paper was enough to send me off on a tangent, allowing me to get lost in something completely off the radar. so instead of all the things i did and places i went, i’d like to take time to focus on little things behind the things and delve into them more deeply.

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for instance, have you ever wonderered how to tell an etching from an engraving? well, this couple parisien got me exploring just that tonight. it all starts with a metal plate. you’ll see its impression around the image.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engraving

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according to wikipedia: engraving is done with a pen on metal and etching is done with acid on metal. a wax covers the acid and [then gets written or drawn into]. etching eventually came to challenge engraving as the most popular medium for artists in printmaking. Its great advantage was that, unlike engraving which requires special skill in metalworking, etching is relatively easy to learn for an artist trained in drawing. everything from great works of art to images on money began with these techniques. these were the artist tools for creating such exquisite masterpieces for centuries, since the middle ages:

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depicting women has always been in style. in fact this is where the term ‘fashion plate’ comes from! the one we still use today when describing a fashionista. these were also known as ‘costume plates’ and were all the rage from london to paris to new york until the early part of the 1900s.

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ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/fpc and world4.eu/french-directoire-costumes

you can see the lines and dots that create the design in the metal. i’m still unsure how to tell completely the difference but i’m assuming the older ones are going to be engravings.

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ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm/search/collection/fpc/searchterm/Morse-Broughton

something newer like this above would be an etching. by 1906 they were getting a little looser with the design technique and engraving had probably faded out.

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ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/fpc/id/537/rec/12

soon it could almost look like painting. above are new york fashions in autumn of 1872.  (just had to thow that in since i’m in the city but geeze i despise the victorian era)! a great collection of plates can be found in the claremont library via the links below each image. if you love the history of fashion, spend a few minutes and check out your favorite styles.

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by 1913 fashion was at a whole new level and about to change again to the modern way we’re living now…in pants! the above is one of the costume parisien plates from 120 years ago! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_artists#Eighteenth_century

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archive.org/stream/frenchportraiten00thomrich#page/n11/mode/2up

last but not least, the book above is one i came across and thought interesting. besides being about a great topic, it’s been completly scanned, and it’s public domain. it made me realize how precious books like this are and how we all come across wonderful out of print books. wouldn’t it be nice to scan them like this to share?

so that’s it for my little diversion. this is of course an endless rabbit hole and just searching the term fashion plate opened up a brand new world with so much history and beauty! but it is getting late so i’m off to bed, sweet dreams!

November 26, 2013. Engraving, New York. 19 comments.

so much has changed since this time last year

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i read the title of this post on pinterest and thought how true it really was. for all of us! good morning everyone and happy saturday! we’re knee deep into autumn and  i was hoping for a hit of indian summer as i’m heading to nyc for a week. it’s just not going to happen so i’ll be a big girl and take on the cold without complaint and get into the spirit of the city.  the good thing about cold weather is being able to justify nesting (aka watching old movies and working from home. i think i’ll have to check out ‘rolled stockings’ below).

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as much as i love my florida life, new york is like an old friend; familiar, unchanging, strong, welcoming, a veritable beacon of light, and of course, always ready to have a good time together. i’d really like to enjoy every minute of it absorbing all the energy and excitement it exudes.

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no matter how the years go by there’s always such a glamour about new york and it never seems to fade. living there meant a lot of drudgery, trudging the streets with the days ending in utter exhaustion. but now it doesn’t have to be that way. things are different, i’m a visitor!  it would be great to get my head out of the way i used to see it and hit that reset button. maybe we could go to the theater?

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or dip in and out of the chill to see some of the buildings that are usually passed by with no time to explore.  hit the met and the frick…and stay awhile!

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new york was home for decades, now it seems so far away but as much as it changes every year, it stays the same in so many ways. we all just come through it and leave our own mark.

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when i left it was because i was having a love/hate affair with the city. love that it was a never-ending source of surprise and delight. hate because there never seeemed to be any downtime to replenish and recharge.

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i admire cities like new york, san fran, paris which were built so well, so beautifully functional, big worlds in (relatively) tiny spaces.  it’s time to explore and not fight it.  i’m hoping to take on the city to the fullest extent of the law!c060efc867a45cac21ae1c8a2860b3ac

it’s not like i’ll be shoveling snow any more! (one of the reasons i left was digging out my car each winter)

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i love to think of the nyc’s past and those who put that first glittering stamp on it. it’s one of the reasons i fell in love and stayed under her spell for so long. despite the difficulties of winter and the work, work, work mentality, there is still a shine i always try to find in my search for a bit of old mixed in with the new.

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i’ll bring my real camera everywhere and look for those magical moments when time stands still.

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well it’s time to pack. i’m channeling these timeless fashion divas for a little warm and stylish inspiration.

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fashion, cities, people, we all change. yet a city like new york remains unchanged in so many ways despite the hardships she’s weathered. something to ponder and a city to treasure. and it’s nice to know some things stay the same no matter the year, time or place. have a spectacular weekend!

November 23, 2013. 1920's, Art Deco, Life, New York. 15 comments.

one thing at a time

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hey guys how are you doing this fine tuesday? it’s nippy in ny but the sun is popoing in and out thad those bits of brightness are bringing me a lot of joy. here come some rays now! i’m working from the apartment kind of just like the shot above (i wish)! so i couldn’t help but post it. i leave in a few hours and this trip has left me with a lot of opportunities. i have to decide if i could live in the city again and change up life as i know it.

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in the meantime i was messing around on pinterest since i have a few moments to spare. between the photos, creativity and endless inspiration, it’s also instructional.

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the shots that people take blow me away. and tweaking them is incredible too. from instagram, hipstamatic, photoshop, and iphoto there’s a whole world out there. i want to be a better photographer and have been bookmarking some pages to go through.

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would you ever do a challenge like this?

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holycool.net/artifact-uprising-softcover-instagram-books

are you obsessed with photography? everyone has such an individual style. i’d love to see books on pics in phones each year. it would be a great chronicle!

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well anyway i hope to find some time to actually go and check out these sites in depth. if you do let me know! if you want to do the challenge let me know that too, it could be fun! ok, well it’s off to work we go. have a spectacular day!

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my3boybarians.com/31-days-to-a-better-photo

April 2, 2013. Tags: , . New York. 27 comments.

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