Inspirational Blogs: Melancholy and the Macabre

Melancholy and the Macabre is one of my favorite blogs from one of my favorite people.



Photos from More is More: Tony Duquette.

Red Velvet & Rum Infused Cake Balls

My dear friend Noel Hennesey stopped by and we made some cake balls with a kick by adding some (well, more than some) RUM and wrapped the balls with some colorful foil.


I Heart Jeffrey Monteiro!!

My friend & another one of my favorite library researchers, Jeffrey Monteiro has been named the new head of Bill Blass! Jeffrey carries his line at my favorite Brooklyn shop Stuart & Wright and I love his designs. Congrats sweetheart!

Here are some articles in the NY TIMES and NBC:

(Photo Courtesy of the NY TIMES)

xoxo Jules


Balls & Chains

Call me the queen of multi-tasking. While waiting for my cakes to bake, I have been making more jewelry. All the chains I use are recycled, vintage chains and I modernize each piece by interweaving string and yarn. 

xoxo Jules


I Heart Red Lipstick (by Lipstick Queen!)

I talk about it obsessively, I know, but I am addicted to red lipstick. My favorite brand is Lipstick Queen. I always buy extra tubes so I have emergency lipsticks at work, at the yoga studio, in all my coats, pocket books - okay, perhaps it is an addiction as well.

As a child, I loved the way my mother did her make up and to this day I have been following the same exact routine. My mother's style was so classic - thin black liquid eye liner that curled at the edges, lots of mascara to accentuate her eyes, and a bold, red lip. I started practicing make up application when I was five years old. Whenever we had a coloring project in grade school, I would be the one hiding my face behind my desk and applying red marker to my lips. If I could get away with it, I would use a black marker as eyeliner. Luckily, Crayola markers were non-toxic and safe for my baby skin. Needless to say, I was often sent to the nurses office so she could scrub my face clean.

xoxo Jules

P.S. A collaboration with Poppy King of Lipstick Queen in the works! I am SO THRILLED. Stay tuned! ;)


STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards.

On My Way to Miami!

Many apologizes for not merging my blogs as of yet, but I have been going balls to the wall for the Todd Oldham x Wolfsonian Reception at Art Basel Miami this week. ONE THOUSAND balls are on their way to the beach! ;)

Here are some great articles on Todd Oldham that mention our event:

You Can Now Add Curator to the Renaissance Man’s Resume -- 944 Magazine http://www.944.com/articles/the-944-interview-todd-oldham-you-can-now-add-curator-to-the-renaissance-man-s-resume/

Meanwhile, follow the blog I actually do update at: http://crunchyjewelsbyjuliele.blogspot.com/

xoxo Jules

I Heart Leslie Hall

As of this very moment, my balls are on their way to Miami!

Looking forward to seeing Leslie Hall is perform live at the Wolfsonian Reception!

xoxo Jules


Sweet Jewels for the Holidays

Many thanks to Rosanne Kang who designed this beautiful logo and hang tag for my Sweet Jewels gift boxes. ;) Email me at julie@sweetjewelsnyc.com for more pricing info if you are interested in giving a box o' balls for the holidays. 

xoxo Jules


J'Adore The Lake and Stars

My new friend & baking buddy soulmate Maayan Zilberman and one half of The Lake and Stars gave me some love on her blog:

I am a huge fan of their sportswear-inspired lingerie and this particular piece was part of Urban Outfitter's holiday Designed By: Sweaters collection, this limited edition The Lake & Stars sweater teddy/jumper was created in an exclusive collaboration with UO. Congrats ladies!

xoxo Jules


Todd Oldham in NY Magazine!

Todd had a wonderful article profiling him in this month's issue of New York Magazine entitled, "The Pied Piper of Craft: Todd Oldham is creating art nerds, one kid at a time" and also mentions the Wolfsonian exhibition he curated for Art Basel Miami.


Birds of a Feather....


Images from:
Numero, November 2009
Casa Vogue (Supplement to Vogue Italia), October 2009


Bringin' Balls to the Beach!

I have been baking and baking and baking for a private reception at Art Basel Miami this year!

I am cakeballin' for called A Celebration of New Voices: In, on, and about The Wolfsonian which is curated and co-hosted by designer Todd Oldham and also hosted by Cathy Leff, Director of The Wolfsonian-FIU

Let me tell you, I am looking forward to taking a mini-vacation in the sun, even for a long weekend.



Inspiration Research: NYPL Picture Collection & Digital Archive

As a librarian working in a fashion collection with thousands of monographs, periodicals and the like, part of my job entails helping designers do inspiration research. I love being part of this process and watching a designer's collection grow from concept to material form.

Last week, I had a very special guest come and visit with his design team, which was amazing. I have very many regulars that come to the library that have become great friends as well. Besides fashion & costume designers, I work with a lot of photographers, stylists, writers, and other scholarly researchers. The library has become a space where people can get their creative juices filled and re-filled.

One of my favorite resources for images are New York Public Libraries' Picture Collection located in the Mid-Manhattan Library and their digital archive of over 700,000 free and open access digitized images from their collections. Here are a few images I found on 1930s fashion plates (click on the images for the direct link to the archive):

[Women and man in evening atti... Digital ID: 1600664. New York Public Library
[Costume designs by Bernard & ... Digital ID: 1599859. New York Public Library
Shimmering light green satin a... Digital ID: 1599869. New York Public Library


Secret Stash

When I am Seattle, I make my sister as many cake balls that can fit her freezer. My cake balls keep for up to 2 months when stored this way! Let them sit at room temperature for about ten minutes & they are delicious slightly chilled. Bon appetit!

xoxo Jules


Art Goût Beauté, February 1925 Issue

The library collection I work with is filled with inspiration, it is truly endless!

The images above are from Art Goût Beauté (Art, Good Taste and Beauty), a Parsion fashion magazine that published during the 1920s and the 1930s that reflect the Art Deco era. The prints are all hand colored using a  pochoir pochoir technique, a method of hand-coloring using stencils similar to silk screening.

The little supplement included in this particular issue show ideas for costumes which look incredible!

Happy Halloween!

xoxo Jules


Itty Bitty Foods

A few pix from one of my themed Sunday dinners with my friends a little while ago - mini, itty, bitty foods! It was the first time I made little burger buns from scratch - they were a hit!

My next food project will be roast pork buns and other types of meat fillings such as lemongrass beef?



I Heart Zaldy (Michael Jackson's This Is It Wardrobe Reveal!)

My dear friend, a regular patron at the Costume Institute Library and huge supporter of cake balls, Zaldy, was on Access Hollywood revealing the costumes he designed for Michael Jackson's This Is It tour. I adore him! So incredibly talented and he has the biggest heart.

The LA Times also did a nice write up: http://www.latimes.com/features/image/la-ig-diary1-2009nov01,0,1286606.story

xoxo Jules


Costume Institute Focuses on American Style - Eye and Fashion Lifestyle News - WWD.com

Costume Institute Focuses on American Style

Costume Institute Focuses on American Style
by Marc Karimzadeh
Posted Tuesday September 08, 2009
From WWD Issue 09/08/2009

NEW YORK — In the past decade, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has traveled to England via “AngloMania”; France with Chanel and Paul Poiret, and pretty much around the globe thanks to superheroes and models. Next spring, it is staying much closer to home with “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity,” which explores the way fashion between 1890 and 1940 contributed to the evolving identity and perception of American women.

Scheduled from May 5 to Aug. 15, the show will mark the first Costume Institute exhibit based on the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection that was transferred to the Met last January.

“I was looking through the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, and thinking about developing a concept around the holdings,” said Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, who is organizing the exhibit with the help of curator in charge Harold Koda. “What I found really compelling around the collection was that there were clothes that to me epitomized these archetypes of American femininity that you have read about in novels and seen in paintings and photographs.”

The show, to be located in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall on the museum’s second floor, will feature about 75 pieces from designers such as Travis Banton, Callot Soeurs, Elizabeth Hawes, Madame Grès, Charles James, Jeanne Lanvin, Elsa Schiaparelli, Valentina, Jean-Philippe Worth and Charles Frederick Worth. The exhibit will touch on themes ranging from “The Heiress” to “Gibson Girls,” “Bohemian,” “Suffragist,” “Flappers” and “Screen Sirens.”

“The story of the American woman is really a story of the power of fashion to shape and define identity,” Bolton said. “That is one of the main ideas of the exhibitions.”

Koda said the show was also a way to celebrate the partnership with the Brooklyn Museum, and the fact that “they have the confidence that we are the appropriate partner for this collection. It was an appropriate thing to do to focus exclusively on their pieces.”

The exhibit will be underwritten by Gap, with additional support from Condé Nast. It will kick off with the annual Costume Institute Gala Benefit on May 3, and the co-chairs will be Oprah Winfrey, Gap designer Patrick Robinson and Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour.

“The theme of the exhibit is just such a natural fit for us,” said Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America. “It’s a great way to see the influence of fashion through all the different generations and styles.”

At the same time, the Brooklyn Museum will stage “American Style: Fashioning a National Collection,” which will feature pieces by the likes of Charles James, Norman Norrell and Jeanne Paquin that once belonged to women such as Lauren Bacall and Millicent Rogers. It will run from May 7 to Aug 1.



My cake balls will be making an appearance at Art Basel Miami!
Stay tuned for more details.... ;)

xoxo Jules

P.S. Beautiful cake ball photo by Jay Lewis.


Sweet Jewels x Orange Films

One of my closest friends Ajiri Aki is the new Director of Development & Production of Paris-based company Orange Films for their New York office. Let me tell you, my cake balls are amazing with champange ;).



Sweet Jewels X Spin NY & Stuart Weitzman

Sweet Jewels Cake Balls were part of the first annual “Serve to Save” Ping-Pong Tournament at Spin NY. All proceeds from the tournament and silent auction will support Dr. Marsha Moses’ pioneering research in ovarian cancer at the Folkman Research Institute. All the cake balls were wrapped in orange foil to look like mini, edible ping pong balls.

Read this article about the event on Fashion Week Daily. (NOTE: The reference to "coconut truffles" was meant to be red velvet cake balls, but oh well, ha).


What happens when you take the city girl outta the city?

She ends up at the Essex Hunt Club at a TAILGATING EVENT!

What a weekend! I am so lucky to have "Tall" otherwise known as Rukhsana by my side because together we churned out over a thousand cake balls in one week! Go Team! How that was possible, I have no idea - mind you I am a librarian by day and 9-5 Monday thru Friday, ha.

For Sunday, I was hired to cater a tailgating competition for a family friend, Dr. Brown of New Jersey. To be honest, at first I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but always open to a new challenge! My task was to provide and cater desserts which included cake balls obviously and other sweets outside my usual menu. The inspiration was a Parisian Pastry shop set up inside a Hummer and the location at the Essex Hunt Club somewhere in the middle of Jersey. It was completely OVER-THE-TOP and we had the most amazing fried chicken courtesy of our new friend Rick who made it ON SITE! Doc Brown certainly throws a ritzy affair, ha. And there were horses did I mention that? Many many horses.

Needless to say, this event really took the city girl outta the city, but I had a a great time with my friends Rukhsana (did I already mention how amazing she is?),Linyee, and Gabby. My lady friends are incredible and so supportive -I was so fortunate they were willing to get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning (6am call time!) and give me a helping hand with this peculiar, but interesting tradition. Although I am sure not all tailgating events are like these, at least we can say - been there, done that.