Fiction to Fashion: Angelmaker

I just found this totally awesome website that uses books and their covers to create fashion inspiration boards. I just LOVE this idea. So I decided to create one for the incredibly badass book by Nick Harkaway that I finished a few days ago. Angelmaker is a little bit steampunk, a little bit art deco, and a lot of classy criminal cool (yes, that is a thing; read the book). I started working on a fashion board for the hardcover and ended up with one for the paperback as well.

click for detail

click for detail

The Kensington Satchel | $198 at Madewell
Citizens of Humanity Corduroy Jeans in Cumin | $95 at Piperlime
Like a Boss-y Jacket | $180 at ModCloth
Bumble Honey Bee Entomology Earrings | $28 at Etsy
Sabine Boudoir Sequin Cami | $75 at Piperlime
Steve Madden Troopa Boots | $100 at Piperlime
Steampunk Clockwork Ring | $145 at Etsy

What I love about the era that Angelmaker inspires is its decadence, its boldness. Fashion of the time wasn’t afraid to wear black and brown in the same outfit or pair gold and silver accessories. Below is the fashion board I put together for the paperback edition:

click for detail

click for detail

Tartine Satchel | $325 at J. Crew
Sabine Pear Shaped Drop Earrings | $22 at Piperlime
20 Gauge Thin Winchester Brass Bullet Necklace | $25 at Etsy
Rhyme Los Angeles Studded Vegan Leather Jacket | $89 at Piperlime
Chinese Laundry Danger Zone Cap Toe Pumps in Jade | $89 at Piperlime
Fan Favorite Dress | $53 at ModCloth

Nick Harkaway’s crime-filled adventure novel is sharp, innovative, and well-told. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, complex though it seemed at times, and some of the images were so clear in my mind, I felt like I was watching a movie (on that note, a movie version of this story would be killerrrr). I recommend it to fans of tommy guns, smart, sensual women, blind pugs, despicable Asian villains, clockmakers, trains, espionage, leagues of classy criminals, underground London, and automata. Yeah, I know.

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Spring Events at Parnassus

fabulous Ann

fabulous Ann

There is a plethora of reasons I love living in Nashville, but very near the top of my list is Amazing Ann Patchett and her killer indie bookstore Parnassus Books. They’ve been open a little over a year now, and the place has literally changed my life. It’s a wonderful thing to have a little bookstore to call home. I take everyone who visits and brag about how We Have Ann Patchett(!) whenever the opportunity arises and sometimes when it doesn’t. I enjoy as much time and money there as I can afford. But it’s more than that. The part of it that’s really contributed to making living in Nashville awesome is the event calendar.

When I lived in Manhattan and worked at the Barnes and Noble on Union Square, author events were part of the job. Alan Greenspan was speaking at an event on my first day. I could rattle off all the others that came through too, but my point is that I got accustomed to them. No, I got addicted to them. Author readings are an absolute high. They put me in this euphoric state of passion and enthusiasm, like plugging in to a giant literary recharging station. I walk away from an author event, signed book in hand, giddy and refreshed. And like most addictions, I had no idea how far gone I had become until I moved to the easily-flown-over Nashville.

Then Ann Patchett came and changed all of that. She brought prestige, a beacon of literature, and with it, ahhh, the author events. Some of the coolest ones I’ve been to so far have been Michael Chabon, Amor Towles, Kevin Wilson, Erin Morgenstern, Lyndsay Faye, Holly Tucker, Jennie Fields, among many others.

And O Glorious Spring at Parnassus! There are so many more events to attend! Here are just a few that I’m excited about:

3/2: Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
4/3: Anne Lamott
4/8: Elizabeth Strout
4/18: Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
4/30: Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
5/3: Isabel Allende
5/8: Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
5/14: Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

I think we all have some serious reading and marking of calendars to do now, am I right?

Easiest Black Bean Hummus Recipe Ever

the food processor and me

the food processor and me

I like hummus, but I love black bean hummus. Problem (that, turns out, is not really a problem): I rarely see BB hummus in the grocery. Solution: I will figure out how to make it, and it will be the easiest recipe ever, and it will be delicious. And so it is. In fact, my husband says I’ve ruined all other hummuses for him.

I made our New Favorite Hummus as my contribution to a Super Bowl gathering, and now that I have more widespread assurance that it is indeed fantastic-tasting, I’ll share.

Ingredients

1 clove garlic
1 15 oz can black beans; drain and reserve liquid
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

pepper garnish

pepper garnish

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with cayenne and black pepper.

Enjoy with rough bread, pita chips, cucumbers, and other edible plates.

Also, just a quick note on the ingredient “tahini:” I was unfamiliar with the term and had a bit of trouble locating it in the grocery. I finally found it in the healthy/organic food section, next to the organic peanut and almond butter.

Friday Favorite: Marie Hines

single cover

single cover

I’ve been listening to Marie Hines for years now, and what’s more, I’m proud to say that I have contributed in a small way to her success by writing bios for her past three releases. I’ve been so impressed with the young Nashville singer/songwriter’s bright, blushing melodies from the beginning, but her newest effort, a collection of love songs called The Tide and the Sea, is as bold and mercurial as I have ever seen her, and I cannot praise it enough.

The Tide and the Sea begins briskly, a crisp breeze fluttering through spring grass, playful and steady. “My Love Will Never Fail You,” the expansive, glittering single, makes confident declarations on the origins of love with lyrics like, “I don’t believe in chance. I think it’s the choice we make, and I choose you for the rest of my days,” its melody expanding into broad, undulating layers of a soaring orchestral spectrum. “In My Arms,” co-written with fellow Nashville songwriter Justin Halpin, is a richly textured, sanguine tune with a spirited rhythm. The golden, ebullient “Always Been You,” another Justin Halpin co-write, boasts the title lyric – “You be the tide; I’ll be the sea. The rise or fall brings you home to me, brings you home to me. It’s always been you, love.” – and acts as the magnetic, whimsical cornerstone of Marie’s silvery tunes.

“Forever Falling for You,” co-written with Justin Tam of Nashville folk band Humming House, is a glowing, ethereal track with lyrics warm and hopeful: “We’ll build a house someday; we’ll build a home in the meantime.” And the lilting, dramatic “Forever Mine,” co-written with Justin Halpin and featuring background vocals by Marie’s new fiancé Ben Ringel of Nashville blues band The Delta Saints, swells and diminishes in arresting, elegant strokes, closing the album with an exultant, richly resonant ballad of halcyon love, repeating the chorus: “Oh my love, my life, always you and I, steady as we rise; be forever mine.”

Listen to the new single on Spotify, and look for the love song EP, The Tide and the Sea, on 02/12/13. I highly recommend her past work as well, Worth the Fight and HeartCrash in particular, and for more info about Marie, see http://www.mariehines.com.

A Bookish Love Story

T+E

T+E

5 years ago, I met this guy. I had just gotten out of a semi-serious and seriously burdensome long-distance relationship. I had just transferred to a new school in a new city in which I knew exactly one person. I was almost 20, and I had no intention of doing anything less than what my mom would call “dating around.”

And then, mere weeks after I move to Nashville, I meet this guy. And he is interesting and uncomplicated, and he’s flirting with me. Our first spark is a mutual obsession with The Lord of the Rings. He’s tall and good-looking, and now he’s wearing glasses and sipping whiskey and talking about Tolkien? How can I not?

As I get to know him over the cold months of 2008, I learn he’s the storyteller among his friends, who all love him fiercely, and that he also happens to be an extremely talented musician. I begin to fall.

Spring comes, and we are together. The world goes a little hazy, falls away. We are sharing our lives – our friends, our passions, our secrets, our time. And we read to each other. We do many things together, but he reads books that I have read, and I am in love.

Years pass. We share many, many highs and quite a few lows too; we are together under every sky, through every season. Then one winter day almost a year ago, he gets down on one knee and puts a ring on my finger – a Jazz Age antique. It is clearer than ever that we are meant to be.

We plan a wedding, but not just any wedding… our wedding. It must have music and books, scotch and flapper dresses. It is perfect. And then, life.

Today, Tyler and I celebrate five years together. I haven’t posted any wedding/honeymoon photos yet, so I thought it was an appropriate day to start. Below are some of the bookish details featured in our wedding…

one of our engagement shots

an engagement shot

the last line says, "20s inspired attire"

the last line: “20s inspired attire”

songs from the Downton Abbey, Finding Neverland, Pride and Prejudice, and Fellowship of the Ring soundtracks

songs from the Downton Abbey, Finding Neverland, Pride and Prejudice, and Fellowship of the Ring soundtracks; readings from E.E. Cummings and Shakespeare

designed by incredible bridesmaid/graphic designer Candie Walter as a wedding gift

poster by incredible bridesmaid/graphic designer Candie Walter

Tolkien quote on the favor cards

Tolkien quote on the favor cards

typewriter guestbook

typewriter guestbook

rings stored in a Fellowship of the Ring book safe

rings stored in a Fellowship of the Ring book safe

Lord of the Rings book cake

Lord of the Rings book cake

books on every table

books on every table

cameras, hourglasses, pearls, teacups, wine bottles, book ends, too

cameras, hourglasses, pearls, teacups, wine bottles, book ends, too

pinwheels from pages of Pride and Prejudice for every vase

pinwheels from pages of Pride and Prejudice for every vase

decorative paper pinwheel display

decorative paper pinwheel display

pinwheel display on the mantel

pinwheels on the mantel

dictionary page, eucalyptus, and lace boutonnieres

dictionary page, eucalyptus, and lace boutonnieres

paper bouquets

paper bouquets

many paper bouquets

many paper bouquets

sheet music paper bouquet

sheet music

flapper bridesmaids

flapper bridesmaids

book page and peacock feather fascinator

book page and peacock feather fascinator

earrings featuring quotes from A Midsummer Night's Dream

earrings featuring quotes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

killer wedding party

killer wedding party

Paper crafts by the bridesmaids and me.
Photos by the lovely Liz Hendrickson.
Paper goods by the fabulous Holley Maher.
Cake by Stephanie Felts of The Sweetest Day.
Flowers by Vicki Sanders of Branching Out.
Hair and makeup by Kelly Hamilton of Imagine Design Team.
Dress by Casablanca Bridal, from The White Room, Lebanon, TN.
Location: Hermitage Golf Course, Old Hickory, TN.