Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Calling all Bollywood Fans May 11, 2009

BachchanAt least once a week, my husband and I head to Curry in a Hurry at 28th and Lex in Manhattan for a $25 Indian dinner—that’s the total cost for two people! We carry our trays gingerly upstairs and eat great, cheap curry while watch one Bollywood dance number after another on the big screen TV. In my next life, I want to dance in a Bollywood music video.

Well, here’s your big chance to be an extra in a Bollywood film:  Recently, I received an FB email that K-Z was seeking  200 extras for a Bollywood film in London called “Veer,” starring Salman Khan. That chance is gone (they shot it yesterday), but for other opportunities see texting instructions below. here’s the ad:

* You get to star in a film with a Bollywood superstar
* Receive a certificate
*Given more opportunities for future projects

*Can’t sleep in on a Sunday morning (5:30 a.m. call)
*Expenses only covered + meal provided

For more information please text KZE (space) EXTRA to 82055. Text costs £1.50.

Please bear in mind once you text, you will be provided the information and also asked to register with KZ Entertainment FREE of charge for projects.

Question: Why are we charging £1.50 per text message?

Answer : There are a lot of people who waste time in this line of work, as people make promises to attend but do not show up on the day. This gives the company providing the extra’s a bad image and they do not get hired again by the casting directors. This way we only select the people who are committed and interested in the work.

To join the BigB Facebook Group, click here.

Don’t know if this really works, but hey, it’s your shot at making Bollywood history. Let me know if you learn any cool line dances.


Native Plant Nursery: Edge of the Woods May 10, 2009

eowEdge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery is a nursery in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania specializing in native plants. Native plants provide natural and sustainable beauty and a welcoming habitat for birds, butterflies and other insects, ensuring a future filled with a healthy diversity of plants and wildlife.

eow2They are committed to sustainable growing practices and use a peat-free compost based potting mix. (Peat is a non-renewable resource.) Compost provides an excellent source of organic nutrients and helps retain moisture. They use minimal pesticides in the nursery and practice IPM (Integrated Pest Management). See the Q&A below or click here to learn more. For affordable design services, click here.

What are native plants?

Native plants are indigenous plants, that occurred in the region before settlement by Europeans. They thrive in the climate and conditions of the area. Non-native plants were introduced from other countries or regions.

Why should I plant native plants?

Because they are fun, beautiful and easy! Native plants were living here long before we arrived with our fertilizers and pruners. Once established, native plants provide 4 seasons of carefree beauty if they are properly sited.

Will native plants grow in my garden?

There are native plants adapted to thrive in any condition from wet, soggy clay to dry, gravelly soil, and from hot sun to full shade. When well placed, native plants do not require watering, fertilizer or pesticides. Native plants provide four seasons of pleasure, with flowers in the spring, berries in the summer, brilliant colors in the fall and interesting bark and twig patterns in the winter.

What difference does it make if I plant a native or non-native?

The seed from non-native plants can travel a distance from your garden, via birds and animals. Invasive plants have been known to take over waysides, waterways and roadsides – – Miscanthus grass, purple loosestrife and bamboo are a few examples. Once they are on the ‘highway system” its a short trip to natural and naturalized areas. We all need to garden as if we lived on the edge of the woods.

Discover Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery.


Wild Horses: Save Cloud May 9, 2009



Cloud’s herd in the Arrowhead Mountains is endangered. Over 40% of America’s wild horses have been removed from the wild from 2000-2008 alone and if the agency responsible for managing our wild horses, the Bureau of Land Management, does not change we are in danger of losing the last of our wild horses. Over 100 herds have been zeroed out from the over 19 million acres legally designated for their use. The BLM needs to return wild horses to these areas—over 30,000 are currently in government holding. Learn more about how you can write to legislature to save Cloud.


Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” May 8, 2009

Filed under: Music for Beautiful People — rebmas03 @ 1:32 am
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A matter of taste May 7, 2009

The funny thing is, the 70s look so bad in retrospect that I came off pretty well by imitating 1776.  There’s another picture the same day where my mom is wearing this intensely awful striped polyester blazer.  My sister’s dress is also bad, and even the couch looks tacky.  I looked weird then, but now I look like the only one with taste!

The funny thing is, the 70s look so bad in retrospect that I came off pretty well by imitating 1776. There’s another picture the same day where my mom is wearing this intensely awful striped polyester blazer. My sister’s dress is also bad, and even the couch looks tacky. I looked weird then, but now I look like the only one with taste!

By Ruth Johnston

Not too many years ago, I had a bee in my bonnet to go to a charity dinner or ball. I had a favorite charity, NARSAD, that had annual dinners, and I used to dream, what if? What if I could find the strength, opportunity and money to attend? What if I could meet someone I really admired, like Nina Volkow: head of NIDA, a scientist in English and poet in Spanish, Trotsky’s great-granddaughter and lover of Bach? (I had the event pretty well romanticized.) So when I moved to a large city, I began following the Monday morning reports about charity events over the weekend, just to see what they wore. You know, just in case. Gotta be prepared.

What I learned is that there’s an evening-gown uniform store hidden somewhere downtown. I hadn’t realized this, because I’d been misled by the media. I thought that the fashion shows of New York, Paris and Milan set the model for wearing something beautiful and daring. I certainly understood the upper class ladies of Pittsburgh not wanting to look heroin-chic or like Jennifer Lopez in that horrible Oscar gown held only by a bit of chewing gum at her navel. Some of those Fashion Week dresses are jaw-dropping, and not always in a good way.

And I certainly understood how they’d learn from the “Worst of the Oscars” spreads in People. Some A-list stars must choose their gowns while they’re on drugs. But I really never anticipated that charity balls would look precisely like the senior prom.

Evening gowns, as sold by Macy’s and the wedding-and-prom shops, are always shiny. They are bright or dark solid colors. They are always tight-fitting. They are usually strapless, and otherwise sleeveless. If they are street-length, they are tight like a little black dress. If they are floor-length, they are also tight, with a slit. Every single woman looks the same, even the one singled out for a full view with a tag line about where she bought her stunning gown. The only photo spreads that are truly flattering are of young girls in white, because really, how can you go wrong by dressing a 17-year-old in white? Why do middle-aged women with plenty of money have so little imagination? Why do they choose to look like tropical fish or the Little Mermaid? Did they grow up in school uniforms and come to expect uniformity?

My favorite childhood book was Douglas Gorsline’s What People Wore. Thousands of line drawings depicted fashion from Egypt to the Roaring Twenties. The pace of change really picked up after 1600, and it was clear to me, as a child trying to imagine who these people were and what they were like, that there were hundreds of ways to dress. It was equally clear that the way my mother dressed me for school was among the least imaginative, least beautiful of the ways to dress. I wanted a medieval gown, and I tried to figure out how to make one, but couldn’t.

When my mother offered to make me a special dress-up dress, I chose a Colonial American dress pattern that the makers had probably envisioned for a good Bicentennial Halloween. “Are you sure?” asked my practical mother. Yep, I was sure. Why do these women not follow, if not exactly my childish example, at least the example of the tasteful A-list stars who mine the vintage dresses of 1952? Why don’t they dress like Jackie Kennedy now and then? Why no Empire dresses? Why no flaring skirts, no draping, medieval bell sleeves? Why no trains, no My Fair Lady looks? Seriously, why the ugly uniforms?


Waldron Weavings May 6, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.


Our Reclaimed to Fame Market is very fortunate to have as one of its merchants Waldron Weavings.  Margaret recycles old sheets into beautifully woven rugs.  This is an art that you don’t often see anymore and it’s wonderful that Margaret carries on this type of craft.  As she says on her shop profile “Beautiful old fabrics are given another chance to shine.”  She’s agreed to share her story with us.


“I learned to weave at the University of Washington in the late 60’s.  I was taking a general art course and signed up for the weaving class taught by the Home Ec. Department.  One touch of those big floor looms and I was hooked.


“When I moved to Waldron Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State in 1972, I brought with me a handmade loom made by a friend.  I wove presents for friends and various household items for years, but it wasn’t until I married Joel Thorson in 1984 and moved to what is now Thousand Flower Farm on the island that I started production weaving.

“A friend gave us three bummer lambs, lambs whose mothers wouldn’t take care of them. Joel wanted to learn to spin, to use our wool and to find a way to sell it that would bring in a reasonable income.  So I dragged the loom out of storage where it had been put to make room for children and started making rugs from his hand spun wool using a cotton warp material.  They were an immediate success and we were off on the fiber arts part of our venture.


“Recently I have added bright colored rag rugs woven in an old Swedish pattern from recycled sheets.  I especially love the idea of giving old fabric a second chance to shine.  I also weave fancy boas woven from a variety of glitzy novelty knitting yarns.  I continue to grow as a weaver adding new ideas and techniques to my repertoire.

“I have two 1000 Markets shops, Waldron Weavings, which features my rag rugs made from recycled materials and which shop is in the Reclaimed to Fame Market, and Thousand Flower Farm, which features my other weavings, my wool rugs and boas.”


Find your native plants and wildflowers May 5, 2009

flower_top42One of the easiest ways to restore balance to nature  and encourage wildlife that lawns and mulch and chemicals take away is to restore native plants to your yard. Ladybird Johnson has left her mark with the The Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Information Network that allows you to search for native plant info by plant traits or names. You can browse through the collection of 23,000 native plant images, and pose your plant question to the resident horticulturalist.

The Native Plant Information Network (NPIN) assembles and disseminates information that will encourage the cultivation, conservation and preservation of wildflowers and other native flora throughout North America. Discover more.


Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat May 4, 2009

create_thumbnail_youngInstead of adding to urban sprawl and global warming, you can instead create a wildlife-friendly habitat in your own back yard and get it certified by the National Wildlife Federation. The steps are actually rather simple: provide food, water, shelter, a place to race young, and then practice green gardening practices. Soon you’ll have your own Beatrix Potter paradise. Discover more.


My ’70s needlepoint pillow May 2, 2009

studio54My step-grandmother was a master needlepointer in the most WASP-y sense of the word, and it was only when I tried my hand at the craft that I realized it took skill, endurance and determination of the sort that only an aging Midwestern debutante of a certain age could muster. But Grandmother Fox never had patterns like these too cool needlepoint pillows from Jonathan Adler. If Athena could needlepoint, she would dream up something like this Studio 54 memento for the ’70s disco set.


Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2009 May 1, 2009

I have adored Diane Von Furstenberg and her dresses since I was 10 when she appeared on the cover of Time. Just last week, she became my FB friend and so in her honor, here’s her Fall 2009 collection.