Friday, November 30, 2012

Collecting - Gluhwein Mugs From The German Christmas Markets

Left to right: Gluhwein Mugs from the Markets of Nuremberg, Berlin, Munich, and Dresden

Nothing cures a bone-chilling freeze like a cup of gluhwein, hot and spiced mulled wine with a European twist. Two years ago, my mom and I discovered this deliciously heady drink while trolling the Christmas Markets throughout Germany. Just a few sips and it feels like the outside temps are rising. Those vendors are smart; it can also make you a little dizzy and put you in the mood for some serious shopping! Soon, we became experts at finding the sellers, learning that each mug was different from town to town, market to market, stand to stand. The mugs are meant to be returned, or for an extra euro or two, to be taken home as a souvenir. After a somewhat slow start with understanding how it all works, a small collection was inadvertently formed. We're ready to go back for soon as we warm up!

You don't need to be in Europe to enjoy this hot drink. 
Gluhwein is also really easy to make at home during the holiday season. 
Just follow this simple recipe to get your holiday buzz on (adapted from the Dreaming of Winter Blog):

Gluhwein Recipe


  • One gallon of red wine - try a burgundy. It doesn't have to be expensive!
Add these remaining ingredients to taste. 
All amounts will need to be proportionate to the quality and amount of wine used. 
  • Sugar (start with about 2 cups - you may want to add more later)
  • 6 - 8 Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Cloves (approximately 15-20)
  • 2 Oranges (sliced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Allspice (whole)
  • 2 Cups Orange Juice - you may want to add more
  • If you wish to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry, or port (optional but delicious!)


  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – do not let it boil.
  2. Cut the oranges into slices then put a few cloves into each slice in a dotted formation, then place them gently into the wine.
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and add them to the wine mixture.
  4. Add the allspice.
  5. Add in the orange juice (and the sherry or port if you decide to use it).
  6. Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
  7. Stir occasionally for at least 30 minutes to give the spices time to infuse with the wine, taste it, and add more sugar as needed (it's possible to need up to 4 or 5 cups more if the wine is bad).
  8. Let the mixture continue to heat for about 30 more minutes (again, do not let it boil).
  9. Drink and be happy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lovin' Lanvin

The designs of Lanvin keep catching my eye. Deep inside, I guess I'm an old Parisian sort of girl. I love that voluminous signature style paired with a well-placed ruffle captured in expensive fabric. For the past several years, every time I saw an absolutely gorgeous gown or dress, I find that it's Lanvin on the label. Here, a tribute windows by Barneys honoring Alber Elbaz as the current successor of Paris's oldest fashion house (1889).

Predating Chanel by about a decade, milliner Jeanne Lanvin created lasting fashion impact out of a need for more stylish clothing for her young daughter. The clothes became widely recognized, and in a relatively short time, Lanvin was a highly sought after seamstress. The wealthiest children and adults in Parisian society suddenly had a new couturier. Clothing for women and children gradually developed into sportswear, lingerie, menswear, housewares, and perfume all creating an overall branded lifestyle like we know of most labels today. From simple beginnings to fashion empire, it is a house that is still very much alive.

For more on Lanvin see the history timeline and their own window displays.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Sale - Etsy Store Discount Code

Welcome to my Holiday Sale for 2012! Enjoy 20% off all original art and prints with Discount Code: RUDOLPH 
My shop, kipi, can be found here:
Ends at Midnight (Eastern) on Saturday, December 22nd 
(Reindeer photograph from Greenpoint, Brooklyn 2007)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Art Fair Find - Omar Chacon

I was going through my archive of old photos, and look what I found! I love these cheerful works of patterned art from the Scope Art Fair in New York back in 2010. Even though they appear to be very similar, each has a unique characteristic and color palette. The closer you look, the more mesmerizing they become.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sandy Collides With City Island

This post is neither artistic nor inspirational, but more documentation. Many weeks later, we're still hearing about the effects of Sandy on New York and New Jersey. I heard about the storm coming for days and never gave it much thought. We get storms here on City Island all the time. People here typically worry about the Nor'easters more than anything. But the salty sailors who live all around me were worried this time too. Their concern made me take notice. After all, I'm pretty close to the water. I'm always amazed at how they can sense weather conditions better than any meteorologist.
City Island Yacht Club - This curved dock used to head directly outward where there 
was also once a roof on the launch house.
When I first moved to City Island, Irene came for a visit just a few months later. Panicky family members demanded to know if I had an evacuation plan. I just decided to ride it out, and so did everyone else on the Island. In the end, Irene thankfully wasn't so bad. My plan was to sit through Sandy too.
A tangle of sailboats knocked over by the surge at Stuyvesant Yacht Club
Just before the darkness fell and the first displays of wind and rain, I found out that the entire Island was in Zone A, and I was to be evacuated. Mandatory. I stayed in Westchester with family, and we lost power pretty early into the night. Luckily, the fireplace kept us warm and the home somewhat well lit. We also found some batteries and sat huddled around the radio eager for information. There was no way to keep in touch or see what was happening elsewhere. Bored with ourselves, we went to bed hours earlier than our normal bedtime. It was like the old days!
The famous neon lobster landmark before and after.
Found partially buried at very low tide on our street's beach.
The next day, still in a bubble devoid of news, we had a potluck "storm party" formed by the contents of everyone's slowly defrosting freezers. We drove to a nearby diner to try to charge all of our devices and on the way, saw the culprit of the electrical outage- a gigantic tree toppled and pulled all the lines down with it. The accompanying house couldn't have been more lucky at the fallen angle of the giant. We lived this way for two days when I decided to return home to City Island. I lose power throughout the summer seemingly anytime anyone turns on an air conditioner, but shockingly, it never went out. I had everything but tv, telephone, and internet for two more days. I couldn't be more thankful compared to what I was hearing back on the old-time radio. I immediately took a walk around the island, and this is some of what I saw.