Apropos Of Nothing

Why Not Write Your Grandparents A Letter?

Can you remember the last time you wrote someone a letter? Maybe it was a college middle-school sweetheart, or you were in elementary school and responding to your Christmas and birthday presents. It’s possible you’ve just come back from your honeymoon, and you and your partner are grinding out thank-you notes for the presents. Or maybe you’re penning letter after letter to someone you loved and lost. You probably never even sent those letters (I hope you didn’t—real life is not The Notebook).

But chances are you may not remember what it feels like to sit down with a nice desk in front of you, some loose-leaf paper, [...]


How To Make A Dowager Countess Hat

The premiere of the second season of "Downton Abbey" airs on Saturday Sunday night—for British television viewers. Unfortunately, those of us on the other side of the pond have to wait for broadcast. In the meantime, here's a little project you might want to work on in anticipation, so that you will be properly attired when you do finally get to see it. Viewing parties, anyone? Some of you might want to don something similar to the gorgeous early feminist harem pants as modeled by Sybil—they're like pajama pants only totally not. I know exactly what I'm wearing: a purple hat like the Dowager Countess's.

I do [...]


Cheap, Cheerful Flowers For Your Next Party

Autumn is here. It's time to finish that Campari and buy a bottle of Calvados for a new round of cocktails. Cookout weather is ending, and dinner-party season beginning—now is when cut flowers become most needed! But what if you only have time (or budget) to pick up a bouquet from the grocery store? You've surely stood in front of those refrigerator cases, sarcophagi of pastel tissue paper, baby's breath and disappointment, your Martha Stewart fantasy shattered.

Steel yourself, dreamer! From this unpromising sight, you are going to make floral alchemy happen. For less than $20—maybe even less than $10—along with patience, some advice and the contents [...]