Friday, November 5, 2010

Outremer: What's In A Name?

  I am in the middle of reading the The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury.  Last night I was reading a passage set in March 1314.  Jacques de Molay, imprisoned Grand Master of the Knights Templar is contemplating his long imprisonment at this hands of the King of France, thinking of how his mind is still free to wander even if his body is not:
So, where would he go today?  To the rolling farmlands of central France?  To the foothills of the Alps?  To the seashore, or beyond, back to his beloved Outremer? 
And I said to myself, "Outremer?  Isn't that a really popular, hard-to-find Balenciaga color??

In fact, Outremer, which means "across the sea" in French, is also used to refer to the states created long ago in the current locations of Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon by the First Crusaders, beginning in 1098. 

 It is also used today in France as the name of their government department which handles their French-administered territories ouside of the European continent such as Martinique and French Guiana.  Maybe the name was chosen because the blue is so vivid and intense that it calls to mind the depth of the sea and the vibrancy of the places you reach after crossing the sea.

   I like how a Balenciaga bag has now taught me something about the fascinating topics connected to this one word, Outremer. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Leather Hole Punch

Though it may look like it, this is not an instrument of torture.  It's the leather hole punch I bought from ebay seller sportsandhome.  I always thought having one of these was a good idea for adding an extra hole to belts and shoe straps, but I always put off ordering one.  Sometimes it's the easiest things to accomplish that you let sit around forever, isn't it? 

Finally I broke down and found one (there are a ton on ebay) because I ordered this reversible double wrap Michael Kors belt from Nordstrom.  I checked around online and found it on sale at Bluefly, so I was able to get them to price match it (so I can earn rewards points and get free shipping).  I ordered a medium, but after I tried it on it looks like I could have gone for a small-  funny because I'm never a small.  The ebay seller was really fast with the shipping, so once I had the hole punch on a piece of paper to compare (which I'm sure isn't good since it probably dulls the hole punch edges??)  and then I eye-balled it to make a few more evenly spaced holes.  The picture quality isn't great, but you can see I added about 3 more holes to the belt:

A stock photo of the belt:

I've looked for almost two years for a double wrap belt.  It was surprisingly hard to find one.  Now that I have  I can't wait to wear it with dresses and over a couple of jackets that I have.  It also comes in black that reverses to silver.

Happy Monday!