Sunday, February 22, 2009

Free Jewelry by Peggy Li Winner

And the winner of a beautiful quartz necklace from the line of handcrafted jewelry by Peggy Li is... MJ!

MJ, I hope you had a wonderful low-key Valentine's Day with your husband. Please look for an e-mail from me tomorrow regarding your prize.

Thanks to everyone who participated! Remember to keep an eye on Style Bard Shoes this week for details about an upcoming chance to win Free Shoes. I'm excited about it and I hope you are, too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Win Free Jewelry by Peggy Li

I know what's on every girl's mind this Valentine's Day: jewelry, jewelry, jewelry. And to be perfectly frank, I think every girl deserves new jewelry this time of year, whether she's single or married or somewhere in between. That's why Style Bard has partnered with Peggy Li to give away a beautiful quartz and gold-fill necklace (worth approximately $50.00) in a fun and easy giveaway. Whether it's a reward for making it through another long, cold, grey winter or a pick-me-up after another holiday season as a single gal (and believe me--I hear ya), what girl wouldn't love a unique, handmade, free necklace?

About Peggy Li
Peggy Li combines eight years of practice and a love of refined craftwork to create handmade rings, bracelets, necklaces and other accessories out of her San Francisco studio. Every piece reflects her genuine dedication to the craft--down to the last detail, there's an essence of careful patience and customer satisfaction in her work. These details are the kind of extra touches you simply don't get from mass-produced jewelry, which is one reason Style Bard is always happy to promote and partner with small businesses in the fashion industry. But despite its small-scale status, Peggy Li jewelry offers a wide variety of options, from sentimental, delicate charms to big, brash fun cocktail rings. There's something for every personality, and the pieces are affordable enough to fit into any budget (check out the Limited Edition selection for specialty items, or the Sale section for recent discounts). Peggy Li jewelry has been seen recently on such TV programs as Private Practice, Without A Trace and Grey's Anatomy. Prior features include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, What About Brian? and the 2008 movie Superbad. Frequent, repeat TV and film spots reflect Peggy Li's dedicated customer service and quality; Peggy Li only uses the best gems, charms and silver, gold, gold-fill and gold vermeil to make her signature jewelry.

Giveaway Terms
Since this giveaway is all about Valentine's Day, the terms are these: leave a comment here telling me about your plans for February 14th. Do they involve candlelight and dinner reservations? Sounds amazing. Staying home with your favorite film from Blockbuster? Tell me what you're watching. Maybe you've got a surprise in the works, or you're putting off celebrations until the weekend after. No problem; this contest runs through Saturday, February 21st, so you've got an entire week to fill me in on your V-Day plans, before or after they occur. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win! If you don't feel confident about leaving it in a comment, just shoot me an email letting me know which comment is yours, and I'll use the return email address to contact you. Sounds simple, right? The winner will be selected at random from the comments, and will promptly be sent the Slim Quartz necklace (pictured above). They will have have their choice of a gold-fill or silver chain in 16", 18" or 20" length.

(As an added bonus, if you pass on this giveaway information on your website or blog and email me the link, you'll receive two extra entries to the giveaway!)

So let me hear your Valentine's Day plans, and then check back on Sunday, February 22nd to see if you're the winner! Have fun and good luck!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

>>Ad Men: TV Ad Observations in the TIVO/DVR Era

Here are a few of my thoughts about commercialization in the era of live TV recording.

While my friends have had TIVO for a few years now, and I've toyed with the system now and again, I've only had access to DVR at my own residence for about eight months. The first time I paid any attention to the new way commercials seek the attention of viewers trying to fast-forward through them was watching Mad Men. Mad Men was the first show I recorded an entire season of in one go when I first had DVR. AMC's Mad Men is a show about a 1960s ad agency. It not only cleverly integrates their real-life sponsors as advertising clients within the show, but also features commercials by these sponsors during commercial breaks, and interrupts commercial breaks with little clips revealing interesting information about the clients. For example, Heineken commercials played during an episode in which the Mad Men won a Heineken campaign in the show, and in the midst of commercials, a little Mad Men-theme screen pops up telling you that Heineken was "the first imported beer in America after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933." Now that's smart, and intriguing, too. I always used to slow-forward through Mad Men commercial breaks so that I could catch the fun facts. This is a fantastic strategy to entice viewers to slow down and watch some commercials. (Here's an interesting interview with Mad Men's creator, Matthew Weiner, which touches on this strategy. And just for kicks, below is the Simpson's Mad Men spoof. If you don't watch this show you should!)

Another technique I've observed recently is having network stars feature in commercials that play during their own show's time slot. For instance, I was watching House, and the actor who plays Dr. Kutner (Kal Penn) was featured in a commercial. I was quick-forwarding through the ads, but I caught his face and rewound, thinking I'd gone too far. But no, my show was not back on. It was a well-planned commercial, making me watch it.

By the way, is it just me, or does House have more commercial breaks than other TV shows?

Overall, I think the most frustrating (and...good) strategy is Bravo's. They feature sponsored items on the shows (we're onto you, nondiscreet product placement lords over at Bravo), they break up the commercial breaks with funny clips and bloopers from the show that's playing (looking at you, Top Chef), and they also splice up the commercial break with commercials for other Bravo TV shows, as opposed to using those ads only at the beginning and end of the commercial break. For example, on TNT I know that if I see an ad for another TNT show, my show is about to come back on after it's over, so I hit play ahead of time. On Bravo, I keep hitting play for random Bravo commercials, as I never know which one will be the bookend commercial that signals my show coming back on.

My favorite shows are like Sons of Anarchy on FX, where Viewer Discretion is Advised, and I see the black screen forewarning me when my show's about to come back on. I pretty much like any show that flashes the same thing before the new scene's about to start, which is all I visually skim for as I FF commercials.

And then of course there's online TV, like, where they make your show pause for 15 or 30 seconds and force you to watch one featured commercial over and over again. That really ticks me off. Give me some variety at least! Especially when they trick you and play a minute-long commercial, and it's up to YOU to hit "continue" when it releases you from your commercial viewing prison. Tricky TV network bastards!

Do you have any favorite shows or networks that tell you when to forward, pause and play? Have you noticed any other TIVO/DVR-proof tricks that the networks are using as they adapt to modern TV-watching habits?

Or am I an old-fuddy-duddy who should just skip to DLing everything online so that there are NO commercials? Personally, I feel as though that's only encouraging on-screen commercials that pop up during shows which I haaate.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and observations with me!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

And We're Back!

Hello Fellow Fashion-Lovers,

Thanks for putting up with my recent absence! I had a wonderful time frollicking around Washington, DC--with a detour through NYC--before heading back to the warm and balmy embraces of South Florida.

I hope no one went through withdrawal from my rambling commentary or shoe sale updates, but I'll try to make it up to you nonetheless.

I'm back now, and we'll jump right back into the swing of things with an upcoming jewelry contest on Style Bard, an upcoming shoe giveaway on Style Bard Shoes, and yes--new posts on new looks for Spring!

Glad to be Back,
Style Bard