Santa Cruz Good Times

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Apr 24th
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Obsessive Beauty

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

In the Bag

In the Bag

I was desperately in need for a new purse. My Anthropologie brown leather bag had finally died after two years. But it was going to take something special to replace it. And the most important feature—it couldn’t be too deep—you know the sort of bag where everything falls to the bottom and gets lost? That was the problem with my last bag. So, when I happened upon this clever and whimsical bag during a recent trip to New York, I knew I had it, “in the bag.” Created by a husband and wife artistic team who spearhead Brooklyn Industries (a very hip clothing and accessories store in Brooklyn and Manhattan), this bag is one of a kind. Well, at least as far as Santa Cruz or California goes. And besides the clouds and bird design, it is enormously functional. It features a large and wide pouch that is also shallow, so things can’t get lost. Two smaller pouches are on each side and attach with a magnetic closure. Inside are two roomy pockets, and hidden on the outside of the bag are two small side pockets. It’s colorful, original, and practical. Brooklynindustries.com, $68.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

In Fashion

In Fashion

As a beginner seamstress and aspiring fashion designer, I’d love to eventually get one of these—it’s a book that I’ve recently become obsessed with. Sold by sewfastseweasy.com, a popular sewing lounge in New York, this book is called “Fashionary,” and takes the fashion sketchbook concept to a new level. It offers the following: “figure templates” for those of us that might be artistically challenged, a dictionary of fabric terms, laundry labels (how cool is that?), and much more. The book sells for $35, which doesn’t seem too steep for a sketchbook that can accommodate various artistic mediums and most of all will be an inspirational tool.
To purchase this book or view more information, visit http://www.sewfastseweasy.com/beginner+sewing+books.php.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Sergers and Dress Forms

Sergers and Dress Forms

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I’m a beginning sewer, making totebags, pillowcases, and the occasional button up shirt (under enormous supervision from the lovely teachers at Judy’s Sewing Center in Capitola), and yet I’m already thinking down the road—what about sergers? What about dress forms? What will I be capable of making after taking a year’s worth of classes at my beloved local sewing store? (I’m four-and-a-half months in so far.) I’d love to get feedback from the seamstresses out there.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

A Sewing License

A Sewing License

“Most pattern publishers categorically deny anyone the right to sell items made from their designs,” says oliverands.com, a popular fashion design website featuring children’s clothes and sewing patterns. What does this mean? In essence: You cannot make an article of clothing from a pattern and sell it for profit. Hear that, seamstresses? It’s illegal. Think copyright law. I know someone who was planning on doing this very thing. I hope she reads the blog and realizes she can’t do that before she starts selling stuff and a lawsuit comes her way. And when you think about it, it actually makes sense. This is artistic property here—patterns are made by someone for someone else to make something, not make money off of.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Clinique Long Last Glosswear

Clinique Long Last Glosswear

There’s a reason this lip gloss wins every beauty award out there, and after I noticed it springing up in all of the major magazines, I decided to give it a shot. (The price isn’t bad, either, at $14, compared to other high-end lip glosses found at places like Sephora.) I went with Tenderheart, a neutral color with a light splash of pale pink—it’s a lovely shade that will work on many skin tones. True to its name, this favored lip gloss actually stays put on your lips for quite a while, but it doesn’t have that sticky, tacky, dry consistency that is often paired with these types of long lasting lip glosses. It’s nearly half the price of some of its competitors, and the effect is impressive, as is the color selection.  Check it out at Clinique counters or Sephora.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

If you have the slightest inkling toward interior design, then you’ve probably already heard about the Internet sensation that is Grace Bonney. But just in case you’re out of the loop, she is one savvy, creative businesswoman. A few years back, Bonney launched a fun blog to put her visual ideas out there in regards to home design and interior decorating. Little did she know that the blogosphere was going to fall in love with her. What she single-handedly did was take the heavily expensive and sometimes snobby world of interior design and made it accessible for the normal person. With DIY tutorials, Before and After features, a look at color and design inspiration, and hordes of innovative ideas and musings, she has created a tremendously successful website that has earned loyal followers everywhere. But beware—once you start to browse designspongeonline.com, you’ll have to check nearly every hour for inspiring updates. The site is a design-lovers paradise. Visit designspongeonline.com to discover your new, favorite blog.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Hair Plug

Hair Plug

No, I’m not talking about hair plugs, but I am talking about giving a shout out, a plug to my new favorite local hair colorist, Ginger Vaughn of L’Atelier on Pearl Alley in Downtown Santa Cruz. I approached Vaughn a few months ago at the recommendation of a colleague, and we discussed her touching up my roots in between my regular color sessions with my out-of-town stylist George Garcia, a Redken International Performing Artist and educator who teaches Redken color techniques around the world, works the New York runways during Fashion Week, and has tended to the tresses of people like Katy Perry, Rachel Zoe, and many other celebrities. Garcia is at the top of his game, and I needed someone locally who could manage my grey roots in between my regular six-week sessions with him. That meant this local colorist had to be extraordinary. And extraordinary is exactly what I got when I recently saw Vaughn and she matched my roots (which I had been unfortunately trying to fix myself) to the rest of my hair. She did a brilliant job color correcting my mistakes and matching my hair color. I plan to go to her every two weeks henceforth to cover up my grey and send me on my way. I’m giving her a whole-hearted hair “plug.”


Ginger Vaughn, L’Atelier, 423-4247, lateliersalon.com.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Bursting at the Seams

Bursting at the Seams

So, you’re a beginner sewer. Maybe you’re a complete newbie who’s borrowing a sewing machine from your friend. Or maybe you forked over some hard-earned cash and bought yourself the latest computerized piece of machinery, but you don’t know where to get started. Obsessive Beauty understands. Taking the jump into becoming a seamstress is a long-time commitment. It’s not for the impatient or the get-rich-quick schemers. It’s a commitment to a creative art that requires time, energy, space, money, a giant mess each time you sew, classes, and most importantly—patience. But it demands other requirements too—supplies. For every sewer who’s just starting out, she’s going to need to build up her supply closet, stocking and organizing more essentials than you thought were necessary. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the things that are must-haves, even when you’re first starting out. Because when your bobbin freaks out on you and your thread gets tangled up, you’re going to need a fine pair of scissors and a seam ripper to cure your first big mistake.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Oil Slick

Oil Slick

Putting oil on your face? It sounds like an acne-prone girl’s nightmare. But that’s not the case with my secret skin care weapon. Sonya Dakar’s Omega 3 Repair Complex (for acne none-the-less) is a must-have for anyone with problem skin. Me? I’ve got acne just waiting to emerge, so I use a topical retinoid product from the dermatologist, and while this keeps the flare ups at bay, it also seems to produce dry, sensitive skin. This oil by Sonya Dakar ($42) solves the problem. Chockfull of Omega 3s, you only need a small pump of this stuff used morning and night and you’ll be floored by the results. Within a week, any dryness seems to disappear, your skin is moisturized, acne remains away, and there’s a dewy effect to your epidermis. The Sonya Dakar skin care line is über effective but remarkably expensive. Still, if you can fork over the money, an investment in this Omega 3 Repair Complex is worth it. Visit Sonyadakar.com for a look at the line. And while you’re there, if you’re acne-prone, also check out following raved about products tried by yours truly: Acai Claifying Wash, Triple Action Organic Scrub and Deep Pore Clarifying Serum.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Sew It Up

Sew It Up

Not too long ago, Obsessive Beauty started taking sewing classes at Judy’s Sewing Center in Capitola. And we were in stitches over the experience—the owner, Judy, is a remarkable teacher. She takes newbies—complete beginners in the world of sewing and can transform them into early seamstresses. In the matter of four months of classes with Judy (as well as last year spent learning the bare bones basics of my sewing machine, how to wind a bobbin and so on), I’ve learned how to sew a pillowcase, pajama bottoms, tote bags and button up shirts. Henceforth, Obsessive Beauty will also be doing frequent sewing blogs on our experience as a new sewer—tips and tricks for our fellow newbies, philosophical thoughts on the art of sewing, and why you shouldn’t go into this—as a beginner—with some naïve illusions that you’re the next Project Runway protégé or that your new Etsy store will bring you a few million dollars.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management