Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Learn Landscape Design in Stella’s Yard July 25, 2009

landscapeI’ve discovered a wonderful site for the DIY gardener. offers free landscape plans (with wonderful articles that explain the basic concepts of landscape design) and tips on earth friendly gardening. More here …


Jimmy Choo at H&M! June 22, 2009

jimmychooAdding to the list of guest-designers for H&M, Jimmy Choo will bring its irresistible charm and to die for shoes and handbags to selected stores.  The collection will be available November 14 in about  200 stores around the globe. Read more on


Finder’s Flea: Brooklyn Weekend Flea Markets June 18, 2009

Here are two new favorite flea markets that happen in Brooklyn each weekend:

TONY BoothThe Brooklyn Bridge Flea is every Sunday, 11am-6pm.

The Fort Greene Flea is every Saturday, 10am-5pm (this one is really the bomb!)

For more info, click here.


Fashion warriors: Funksauce Vintage and Retro June 7, 2009

I’m from St. Louis and I may never have left if Funksauce Vintage and Retro had been around. While St. Louis may not be the easiest place for fashionistas to thrive, it is the bomb when it comes to untapped vintage sources. Fortunately you don’t have to live there to buy from Funksauce. And they also have a new Funksauce blog. Read on to learn more about these brave, adorable lads carrying out a tough fashion mission just west of the Mississippi: is the endeavor of two brothers, David and Chris, whose fashion sense has been living right around the 70’s for the last several years. We grew up in a small town in southern-central Missouri, population 722, a place where fashion as a whole is generally not a huge concern. But we love being different, we love some of the styles from previous decades, and with today’s environmental issues, we’re excited about the fact that we have the opportunity to recycle clothing! We can’t help but try to spread our appreciation for vintage and retro clothing to others. We choose clothing that catches our interest, so you should be able to get a sense of our tastes as you get to know us better. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your experiences with us even better. is a one-stop, virtual shop for all your vintage and retro clothing needs. Every article of clothing offered for sale on our website was personally selected, measured, photographed, and cried on by either Chris or David Thomson…you couldn’t possibly want for more! But there IS more! In addition to the peace of mind you will have knowing that the clothes you are viewing on the site were hand-picked by the Midwest’s finest fashion gurus, we also offer free shipping on all orders within the United States, all the time!

We would greatly appreciate it if you’d peruse our website, offer suggestions/feedback on what you see (clothing and/or website design), place an order if anything strikes your fancy, or even just submit your email address at the bottom of the homepage to receive emails. Also, we would be extremely grateful if you could help us spread the word by forwarding our website and facebook page to your friends, family and acquaintances. What else could you do to help us get the word out? We thought you’d never ask. Here are a few ideas:

· Bring up at the water cooler with co-workers
· Buy a t-shirt on our website and make that your “casual Friday” wear—every Friday
· If you see someone wearing a cool outfit, tell them that their clothes are “totally funksauce”
· Stand on street corners and hand out flyers and tootsie rolls after work and on weekends
· Have the funksauce logo painted on the side of your car or tattooed on your shoulder or neck.

Your support in this business venture will be a key ingredient to our success … so let’s work together to put the FUNK back into fashion! Fine fashions of decades past are simply one click away:

*Please visit our website and sign up to become a member!

Sincerely yours,

Chris Thomson & David Thomson


Contact Info

St. Louis, MO ~ Funkytown takes a bow, sort of June 4, 2009

craftstylishI was the launch editor of, back when I was chief editor of Threads, and the team that was brought together at that time were some of the hottest crafters around the country. Although I left shortly after launch (due to an insane 4-hour daily commute), this team carried on and they were nothing short of brilliant in their hard work and consistent delivery of great projects and crafting tips. Now, sadly, the economy has dimmed this bright light in the crafting industry, and last week all of the contributing bloggers were taken off the payroll. The site will continue with user-generated content, but I just want to give a moment of glory and recognition to the team that took crafting prime-time online. They’ll be much missed. Each of the contributors gives a graceful adieu on the blog this week that will bring a tear to any ardent crafter’s eye. Learn more about changes at here.


Sweet floral frocks for a pittance May 25, 2009

A twist on the floral fad: a $30 Tracy Feith barkcloth skirt on

A twist on the floral fad: a $30 Tracy Feith barkcloth skirt on

Just when was that last time that floral prints were all the rage? As I recall, it was 1982, when all I craved were Liberty of London dresses. So I’ve jumped right on board with the floral thing and likely gone a bit overboard. But I realize that just like the graphic prints of last summer are on the wane, so these blooms of this summer will fade in their freshness. I’ve made a point of searching out economical flowered frocks. (Click on pics for buying info.)

This '50s frock is only $24 at

This '50s frock is only $24 at


The most practical bejeweled sandals May 16, 2009

Best all around sandal, for just $50.

Best all around sandal, for just $50.

I was up at Bergdorf’s on Fifth Avenue drooling over the $2000 Oscar de la Renta dresses. (Apparently, no one told these customers about the recession.) Of course, since I’m getting my haute couture certificate, I was surreptitiously turning garments inside out to inspect the techniques. It’s my favorite kind of covert shopping and the sort that fills you up with sumptuousness without spending anything at all.

Next I dawdled my way down to the second floor shoe store, where I found something truly obscene: $500 sandals! Now there are many items I can envision spending $500 on, but little nothing wisps of barely there designer sandals that look like they couldn’t survive one outing to a Hamptons farmer’s market are not it. Much better is this new pair of faux jeweled Birkenstock-knockoffs that I found at Aerosoles, perfect for hoofing it around town. For some reason, I can’t wear the real Birkenstocks; they kill my feet. Nor, in spite of spirited efforts, are Birkenstocks as girly as I like. But these bronze beauties with big rhinestone-studded circles are perfect and the $50 on sale pricetag is easy on the wallet. Best of all, they have arch support, always desirable. Pretty, practical and durable: what more could you want from a sandal? With a little draped Grecian-style mini dress, they are downright sexy. Take that, you Christian Louboutin flip-flops. Get your summerstock sandal here.


My Spring-Fling Budget Wardrobe May 13, 2009

Spring always gets me itching to get a new wardrobe, and I gotta get me some of the pretty, feminine looks so big this year. But my wallet is mighty thin, being neck-deep in home renovations. Here are a few budget-minded items that work as an outfit or can mix into my last year’s wardrobe.Pair this girly blouse with yellow voile skirt below.

Pair this $19 girly blouse from Forever 21 with yellow voile skirt.

Floral prints are all the rage this season, and this $19 blouse from Sears is a top alternative.

Floral prints are all the rage this season, and this $19 blouse from Sears is a top alternative.

Yellow is right on this spring and this $50 Victoria's Secret skirt hits the spot.

Yellow is right on this spring and this $50 Victoria's Secret skirt hits the spot.

I take the subway, so comfort is a must. These Born Crete shoes, $100, add a touch of tough and I know I'll wear them all summer long. (Virtually sold out on Born site, but available on other shoe sites.)

I take the subway, so comfort is a must. These Born Crete shoes, $100, add a touch of tough and I know I'll wear them all summer long. (Virtually sold out on Born site, but available on other shoe sites.)

This little cropped sweater, just $12 from Newport News, completes the ensemble and wards of spring chill.

This little cropped platinum sweater, just $12 from Newport News, completes the ensemble and wards off spring chill.


What do I want to look like? April 25, 2009

styleBy Ruth Johnston

I did some unplanned shopping this evening when I had a mundane errand at Target. I rarely find clothes I like there, but they have electric carts—I’m disabled from walking much, so the mall is almost impossible—and a few times a year, I look. The price suits my budget. I pulled some things off the racks, and started trying them on.

I’m not easy to dress, although being thin helps. I have fly-away hair, I can’t wear heels, and I have to plan everything for how it will look sitting down, because more and more, I have to use a wheelchair. Moreover, for many years I was buried in a township with a hundred times more trees than people, and I was so busy raising kids that I couldn’t form a sense of fashion.  As the kids got older, I began to ask, what did I want to look like? I really wasn’t sure. I wanted to look nice, of course, but I also wanted somehow to look like myself. I didn’t want to dress like the people around me, who wore polar fleece to church. But who did I want to look like? Me. But who was I? Nothing for it but to start trying to find out. I made some bad purchases, and gradually worked out a few principles.

So I stood in the Target dressing room, seeing look after look that wasn’t just wrong, but horribly wrong. The last item on the knob broke one of my top rules: don’t wear extremely bright colors. This little top was the shrillest fuschia I could imagine, and I expected the usual horrors when I tried it on. To my surprise, it looked like me. Not only that, its graceful, short drape would look nice even sitting in a wheelchair: nothing stiff to bunch up, nothing long to fold or sit on. Three-quarter sleeves to look right sitting or standing, and to keep the chill off in air conditioning. I was still surprised, though. Why did this top that broke my rules still look like me?

When I was two years old, I fell in love with the machine-woven decorative strips that were in fashion on blue jeans a few years ago. I persuaded my mother to sew scraps of them all around my blanky, and I was sure I had the prettiest blanky in the world. I still like scrolly, complicated designs: the Book of Kells, Swedish embroidery, Norwegian knitting, Oriental carpets, and fancy iron lattices. If I had my way, I’d wear a Romanian embroidered shirt as everyday street wear.

As I seek the intersection between this season’s fashion, my disability, and my personality, I guess the compromise I’ve come to is that anything I truly love must always have some little decorative detail. It can be smocking, or lace, or fancy buttons. Best of all when it’s embroidery: I am still a sucker for flowers and leaves. Target’s fuschia top has two large, scrolly buttons. The design isn’t stamped; it’s cast into the plastic so that light can shine through the slits and holes between the edges of the beautiful design.

It’s a simple way of making a statement of individuality that overcomes not only the universals of this year’s fashion, but also the stereotyping power of sitting in a wheelchair. You don’t have to pity me, it says: just look at my buttons. I’m still myself.

See the sweater I bought here.


New Handmade Directory April 16, 2009

newbannerfinl1The new Handmade Directory is now up and running over on Handmadeology. This is your chance to add your shop, blog, and Twitter channel to a Page Rank 4 site, creating a great back link that Google will love. See it here.