Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Weak Hiatus

.....until around Monday, to experience some non-web related parts of life.

Sending much love to my readers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Issey Miyake

For a number of decades Vogue Patterns has published patterns by various internationally known designers. This outlet has been my only way of getting to live with designer clothes, as the pattern pieces and construction techniques vary widely from standard sewing patterns and traditional higher-end clothing. This is especially the case for Mr. Issey Miyake.

The pattern i used to make this jacket is the top left one on this page (i did make alterations to the pattern). The web author has collected all published Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns and posted them on this site - i suggest you all take a look. The clothes are all fabulous and so original and unique, to have the opportunity to make them up yourself is - you just get to know the clothes in a completely different way.

I'm running around 'like a chicken without it's head' today, so this will be a short post. Mr. E has vacation time coming up, and we're going to take full advantage of it! So tomorrow's post will likely be the last one for a week, but i should have some fun things for you to see when i return to the blogosphere...

The tank is grey. I don't know why it turned blue in the third picture - i tried to fix it. It didn't really work.

Hat: Tula hats
Jacket: Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns, altered and constructed by me
Tank: Jockey
Skirt: own design inspired by The Hidden Seed
Necklace: gift
Earrings: Tail of the Yak, Berkeley, CA
Belt: vintage Coach

Shoes: old Borns

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What I Really Wear

Monday through Friday, day in day out, dusting, cleaning, knocking down cobwebs (and we have some busy spiders over here!), cooking, baking......you'll find me in this sturdy yellow apron. Mom got it for me at Shackford's and i've been using it ever since. I'm clumsy, absent-minded, and perform messy jobs and chores. With this apron, made of denim-thick fabric, i can wear my most frivolous finery with no fear of eggy-flour handprints on my hips!

The day i wore this outfit was very eventful. I baked some bread (as you know by now). I jerry-rigged a system for taking self-timer pictures with the camera ON IT's END! A major coup in my quest for more clarity in outfit pictures. I celebrated by stretching out for this photo:

We had a wee wisp of fog in the morning, so i took the opportunity to bogart one of Mr. E's shirts to create a little plaid on floral action, and pretend i needed to bundle up. Apparently i didn't really need to, since it turned into a perfect day for washing the quilt and hanging it out:

The nite before, lying in bed before drowsing away, i had a brainstorm. I noticed how useful these liliswan earrings are - i can throw them on with just about anything and they'll work. They have that romantic-retro vibe, and a balanced palette that adds interest without being overpowering. How about more earrings along these lines......i recalled some clear quartz heart beads i'd found at the Renaissance Faire a couple of years ago. How cute would they be with black ribbon bows atop? Unfortunately i have no black ribbon, haven't seen any that would work at Joann's, let's see, hmmmmm......i do have scraps from the skunk skirt. I could cut bias strips and make bows of those.....

Hooray! They have hearts, bows, transparency, good light/dark contrast, all that stuff i love. This blue dress is maybe along the lines of fifteen years old. I wore it on one of my first dates with Mr. E. The long princess seams are so flattering and easy to wear i've been thinking of making another dress along similar lines. The Artful Dodger Virtue dress from Hot Patterns looks tempting.

Plaid Shirt: Converse
Dress: Smith & Hawken
Apron: Shackford's
Shoes: Dollhouse
Necklace: liliswan
Earrings: own design

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Details

So much of my style comes down to details. Many aspects of my outfits can only be appreciated (or even seen) from very close up. On my last post reader Sheila left a very sweet comment complimenting me on my attention to the details. Her words encouraged me in my quest to post clearer, more detail-oriented pix of the clothes. That's why i led the post with the pictures i did. The outfit picture is fine. But i have yet to figure out how to capture the level of detail present in this type of outfit (small details, very light colors) while the clothes are on my body, i'm running from the camera to go pose before the timer goes off, figuring out a place to set the camera that will catch what i want to show, etc. Not mention remembering to completely buckle my belt, push up my glasses, stop making weird faces, and so on.

Which doesn't mean i'm going to stop trying to make those kinds of pictures in the future. But it's nice and relaxing to settle down with a lap of clothes and 'the stuff' and start pinning away. None of the things move or get distracted by bugs or even breathe. Although tree sap and various bird emanations can be an issue....

The only thing i'd change about this outfit would be to wear a wider belt or sash around the waist. I just think more waist definition would 'contain' all that fabric nicely, and with my long waist i have room for it. I don't have anything like that right now, but i do have some likely material and i've started on a black with random white polka dot sash today. I also have some other fabric for more choices if this idea works out well.

Blouse: own design, inspired by some girls wander
Skirt: own design
Petticoat: own design, inspired by alisa burke
Belt, Pin, Barette, Necklace: gifts and/or very old
Shoes: Beautifeel

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skunk Skirt!

So last weekend i finished the skirt i bought the fabric for in this post. The next day i wore it out to Point Reyes Station and Point Reyes National Seashore for some hiking, birding, and basking in less than infernal temperatures. This skirt got it's name when i smelled our fragrant friends as i was clipping the last stray threads from it's gathers. Combined with the black and white colors, i could not resist.

This outfit is interesting to me from the 'color' perspective. I focus almost exclusively on neutrals in my clothing for a lot of reasons. Especially when i was younger, i had no luck finding any colors that were actually flattering and which i felt comfortable wearing. Neutrals are much more flexible to match with each other, crucial when you have a small amount of clothes. I like to wear a lot of unusual silhouettes and outrageous details, and a neutral palette keeps these elements from going completely over the top. And my romantic, eccentric, old fashioned style lends itself to a muted color scheme.

But i love color! i love visual variety! This particular outfit has enough color and variety to satisfy me, without my feeling overwhelmed or garish. So, i'd like to look at it to see what works so i can duplicate it in future. (Question - is it ethical to copy yourself?)

While the outfit is totally composed of neutrals, none match in color and all have varying degrees of pattern. These patterns include stripe, straw braid, floral, and animal. Even the ivory blouse has a very subtle 'white-on-white' print, along with eyelet trim and lace applique. In addition, there's a large light to dark tonal range. The only traditional 'colors' are the two rose pins and some red in the skirt (scroll down for a fabric detail). Though physically small, for me the rose pins' color stands out a lot more because they are set off by the surrounding neutrals.

It looks like i should be able to quench my thirst for more color and variety fairly easily using the formula found in this outfit. I can add colorful accessories to any of my neutral 'ensembles'. Also, scarves, ribbons, etc. are much easier to dye a color pleasing to me. I can make sure to up my patterns in outfits and in new neutral pieces, as well as adding a punch of light or dark to monotone outfits.

I'd mentioned the idea of 'accessory sets' in a previous post, then came up with one here by mistake. The pink (or rose) rose pin was on the jacket and i left it on out of inertia. When i saw it next to the purple rose, which i'd pinned on my blouse on purpose, i really liked the effect it created along with the two necklaces. I'll try it again on a tee shirt, my black dress, and long-sleeved sweaters in winter.

Do any of you name your clothes?

Jacket, Blouse, Skirt, Scarf, Rose Pins: own design
Earrings: liliswan
Hat: from Berkeley Hat Company
Shoes: Clark's Passion

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Toes

Oh, i was happy with this outfit! I wore it on the weekend, the fourth day of above 90 degree temps, for a fertin' round the house (sewing tomorrow's skirt) type of day. I love this skirt, but was a bit befuddled about how to wear it in a casual manner or in hot weather. It's made of a poly chiffon, and is too sheer and scritchy to wear on it's own. For some strange reason i had a mental block about wearing it with just a little silk half-slip and bare legs...........UNTIL NOW!

I love the way it looks like a little black dress with the black lace tank. Very unfussy. Most of the day i just wore it with the Betsey Johnson belt and felt dressed and comfy. I just threw the hat on for the photo, it's one of Mr. E's vast collection.

I'm really drawn to the flexibility of separates that can be worn as a dress - either two pieces made from the same fabric expressly for that purpose, or separates that can be made to 'read' as a dress. I accidentally bought extra fabric for the skirt i was making the day i wore this posts' outfit (coming up tomorrow - can you tell i love how that skirt turned out?). It looks to be enough to make a simple shell. This will be the second time i've made this type of combo. The first was a copy of a combo featured in Vogue Patterns Magazine in the early 1980's. It comprised a circle skirt and camp shirt in a warm yellow tropical print. I ended up wearing the pieces separately much more than as a dress, mostly because i didn't have many occasions for wearing a dress but also since the dress option wasn't as flattering as i'd hoped. But the idea simmered in my mind ever since....

Any advice/experience/stories out there about the two piece dress?

Hat: Scala via Berkeley Hat Company
Tank: Jockey
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Skirt: own design (material spotted by Mr. E)
Big Toes: paternal side of family

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If You Can't Stand The Heat

Snuggle up to your chiminea. Obviously! I woke up the day i wore this outfit with an awful headache from getting overheated the day before. In case you haven't noticed, i'm overly sensitive to heat and thus obsessed with high temperatures. Living where i do, there's plenty for me to obsess about. As long as i take certain precautions i do okay, but i blew it and paid the price. So i decided to try to cheer myself up by dressing fun. It worked (along with some time in bed with ice on my head).

Generally i wear this skirt as a petticoat, for extra warmth, or coverage with a sheer skirt, or when i want a row of buttons peeking out the hem of my dress. Somewhere, sometime, i saw a skirt with mixed buttons equally spaced along it's hem and decided to try a similar idea on this skirt. I thought it would look so cute with the stripes and the eyelet trim. The buttons are just random ones leftover from other projects or ripped off Mr. E's worn out shirts. They make a wonderful 'snick, snick' sound when they hit against each other as i walk.

Tank: Jockey
Skirt: own design
Scarf: gift
Rose pin: own design

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baking In The Heat

Yep, i decided to do some (needed) baking on the day it topped out at 97 degrees. Not just that. It rose to 90 degrees around 11:00am, then didn't dip below 90 again until around 8:30 that night. Brutal! So the next couple of days i was pretty beat, concentrating on getting enough water, rest, and shade.

Here's the 'Lady Pilot' skirt with it's buttons. As usual, when i get a new addition to my wardrobe i like to wear it kind of a lot - it's my 'new toy'. I really admire the self restraint of bloggers who get new things and wear them only once the first month. It's like only eating one potato chip and then stopping. Not that i know what that's like, either.

This eyelet top is basically my ubiquitous 'cami top' with sleeves added and a hook and eye closing instead of buttons. This last picture is very typical of my approach to clothes - a bunch of unnecessary fastenings, most of which aren't even functional (there's no pockets behind those pocket flaps, the laces could just as easily tied in the back, the buttons don't button (i didn't even make fake holes), and the belt isn't holding the skirt up or together. It just has a little zipper and two buttons on the side so i get get in and out of it.

You may notice i'm wearing shoe liners instead of peds in the top picture - a really nice change of look. Plus, they're black with white dots, so it was fun to see the bits that peek out.

How. Ever. They had huge holes in the toes after the first wearing. I feel my inaugural product review coming on............

Top: own design
Skirt: own design, inspired by some girls wander
Shoes: old Borns
Belt: old old old
Shoe Liners: oh fiddle, i've forgotten the brand, but they have a bunch left at the TJ Max around the corner. i'll get the info so you can all be warned.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grey & Yellow

I took advantage of a mildly foggy day to break out this skirt and tunic. The tunic started out as an April Cornell ankle-length dress. After i wore it as a special occasion type dress a few times, i thought it'd get more use as a tunic so i shortened it. I love the unusual acid yellow, and the different greys and black make it easy to pair with greys, denim, black. The 'base' of this outfit could easily work in winter - leggings, shoes, long-sleeved layering sweater and jacket.

Oof! We're in the middle of a heat wave here - Wednesday it got over 90 degrees by 11:00am and didn't dip below it again until almost nine that nite. Our local poo-bahs predict a return to cooler temps starting tomorrow. Let's hope they're right! This heat takes it out of me, so i'm signing off. Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments to my last post!

Hat: Tula
Tunic: Shortened April Cornell dress from many moons ago
Tank: Jockey
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Sandals: Naturalizer
Earrings: very old
Skirt: own design

Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting A Grip On This Blogging Thing

So i've been blogging for a bit over a month now - this should be my 31st post so around a month of blog posts. It's the kind of milestone that puts a gal in a reflective type of mood. What have i garnered so far?

1. I have more clothing flexibility than i thought. I figured i'd be scrambling for new outfits by the end of the month, but there's a few summer thing that i haven't even worn yet. There are a few more items i would like, and that would be useful, but i'm closer to where i'd like to be than i realized.

2. I'd like more color in my outfits. Not TOO much more - say, a colorful necklace and scarf in an outfit will do me (no one panic, i'm not giving up my life-long allegiance to beige). I've been seriously scarf shopping, but i can't find what i want out there. So after i make a couple more skirts and tops, i plan to focus on scarves, ribbon pins, necklaces in colors.

3. I like the idea of 'sets' of accessories that i can rely on to 'pump up' an outfit. Hey! A blog would be a great place to keep track of those sets!

4. I plan to 'focus' (ouch!) on taking clearer pictures of the clothes. So i'm paying more attention to conducive lighting, distance from camera, etc. At least i can post a clear detail pic when the outfit pic isn't so clear. I am sans tripod, so the camera is always set up in landscape format when i take my timer pix. But i think i can come up with a cradle to keep it on end so i can get closer to the camera and still get a full-length shot.

5. One or two more pair of pants would be nice. I've found some on blue collar catwalk that look like a promising idea - lightweight, fuller leg but flat-front pants made of patterned fabric. They should go with my general style and be comfortable enough that i'd wear them.

6. I think i have enough of a feel for what i'm up to that i can start usefully labeling blog posts soon.

So, opinions anyone?

(That includes you, Mr. Eccentric - i know you read this when i'm not looking.)

Now the important stuff - that's our family's newest member, Sophie the Swedish Vallhund! I puppy-sit her occasionally when her parents will be away all day, since she is still only a few months old. She is just a sweetie. They are herding dogs, everything from cows to sheep to ducks.

I wore this Donna Karan for Vogue Patterns jacket unbuttoned here. The pockets are perfect for leashes, extra treats, plastic bags, and so on. The E's really need to get up to eccentric's north and get some pictures of the other four-footed family members in residence there.

Jacket: Donna Karan for Vogue Patterns 2862, made by me
Capris: Royal Robbins
Shoes: old Borns

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wanted: Stern, Busty Dominatrix for Recalcitrant Feline

This is from last Saturday, when the E's went with P to Stone Mountain and Daughter's fabrics in Berkeley. It was the first outing of a skirt inspired by some girls wander by mistake - part of the purpose of the outing was to find buttons for the skirt, which we did. (Pictures within the week!) I'll have some close-ups of the skirt's detailing later, as well. It was also inspired by the J. Peterman 'Out of Africa' skirt from years ago (before he went bankrupt!). That skirt was a true straight skirt, at the same length, so this a-line length is a lot easier to move in. Of course, one can always play the lady and hold up her skirts with the free hand.....

Here's a good pic of the skirt material i got on that trip - click through if you're curious. Japanese cotton with a great hand. I got tired of my watchband looking the same and wanted to tie it in with my outfit, so i wound a piece of eyelet lace around it. Good enough.

Outfit: own design, skirt inspired by some girls wander
Earrings : liliswan
Shoes: Clark's Passion

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Passing for Normal

I put together this look on a day when i planned to walk down the street and talk to the owner of the local florist shop about temporary holiday work. I went with something very simple because every once in a while that type of look is refreshing to me, after so many baroque outfits. As it happened, the day got away from me and got a lot hotter than the weather-people predicted (pretty early in the day, too). I didn't want to make my first entrance in a pile of sweat. So i went the next day and wore the outfit below.

Both looks worked for me and my purpose because i chose elements that overlapped between my regular style and a standard business casual style - between the style i feel comfortable with and the style i wanted to project. My palette is neutral, which is the classic 'business' look, so i didn't have to make any changes there. I paid attention to grooming (wore makeup and gel in my hair), wore my classic jewelry pieces and traditional style, low heeled shoes. I didn't show too much skin and kept the silhouette neutral. Since this is a production job, working on your feet all day, a suit or office-type wear would have been inappropriate. And the flowing skirt, old-fashioned details on the blouse and hat, neutral palette and natural fibers made the outfit enough' me' that i wasn't distracted by my clothing and could concentrate on the conversation. The owner took my information, we'll see what happens - it's just to help out during busy times. But it would be fun to see behind the scenes in the floral industry.

If you have an occasion coming up where the image you would like to project differs greatly from what you usually wear and you're feeling stuck, try the method i used above. Sketch out a list of adjectives and attributes of the look you'd like to project - colors, shapes, fabrics, type of metals in the accessories, textures, even particular articles of clothing. Then, take this list with you to your closet and pull out any pieces which match any items on the list. See if you can make any outfits from this group. You will then have a much better idea of what outfits are possible using your current wardrobe and if you need to do any shopping. Also, any shopping you do will be much more focused, since you will know what you need in order to complete your look. You will also feel more comfortable basing a look for an unfamiliar situation on pieces which you know reflect your style and flatter your body.

Tee: Target
Skirt: own design
Sandals: Naturalizer
Blouse: own design, based on some girls wander
Capris: Royal Robbins
Flats: old Borns
Belt: vintage Coach
Hat: ?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thank You Erin!

A while back Erin at Work With What You Got posted an outfit where she wore two 'mis-matched' earrings, to mixed reviews amongst family and friends. I thought she looked great (as usual), but got more excited when i realized she's just solved a vexing problem of mine.

Almost a couple of years ago, i lost the mate to one of my favorite pair of earrings. They are little acorns with leaves in sterling, very finely worked. They work like a pair of studs - throw them on with anything and they won't call too much attention to themselves. But anyone giving a closer look finds them captivating. And they symbolized my love of the oaks in California.

For some reason, most likely because i lost the mate at a very upsetting time in my life, i focused on the loss instead of how i could still wear the earring i loved so much. But when i saw Erin's post, the penny dropped and i remembered i have had a perfect match to the little acorn since i was 22 or so:

A sterling and marcasite salamander. And as it turns out, the arboreal salamander loves to live in the arms of our oak trees.......this will be a perfect pair of camping earrings!

Just an around the house outfit - i belted the dress and only buttoned a couple of buttons around the waist, so it read as a dress over another, frilly undies dress. I'm getting better at my outfit pictures, but i still have a ways to go!

Here's some tips to get you started on 'matching mis-matched' earrings. Try out pairing different earrings that are similar in:
size, shape, color or color scheme, pattern, where they sit on the ear (post vs. dangly), material (wood, sterling, gold and so on), subject depicted, or aesthetic style (punk, victorian, etc.)

Earrings with similarities among more variables will look more like you did it on purpose. I've found that the most important variables tend to be overall size and where the earring sits on your ear.
For example, two earrings shaped like anchors, in similar sizes, both dangling from a post, one silver and one gold, one in a clean modern style and one with an 'antique' feel will most likely look great. But if one is a 1/2" long clip-on and the other a 4" long dangler it will be harder to pull off. However, experiment and go with what feels right to you! If you're nervous, choose a more casual occasion to try out your new pairing to see how you like it. (You can even follow my example and just wear them around the house.) Good luck and Happy Mis-Matching!

Dress: own design, inspired by Work With What You Got
Tank: Jockey
Petticoat: own design, inspired by Alisa Burke
Belt: vintage Coach
Sneaks: Converse via T.J. Maxx
Earrings: vintage salamander, acorn from Tail of the Yak in Berkeley, CA

Sunday, July 11, 2010


That's Mr. E's verbal rendition of the sound a small animal makes while snoring cutely in it's sleep. Which my adorable handful of readers will be doing after they get a look at this get-up. It was a somewhat less incerneratingly hot, stay at home day and i felt like wearing jeans. The black tee was a no-brainer, and the belt helped keep the pants up. Apparently a daily outfit diary is not the non-stop thrill fest it may appear to be upon first hearing.

I'm skipping forward a bit to show you these more interesting pix. Yesterday we went to Stone Mountain and Daughter, a venerable Berkeley fabric store with P, an old school friend. Stone Mountain has the best selection of apparel fabric in the San Francisco Bay Area, in my view. Britex across the bay is outstanding, but also incredibly pricey. I love to go there and ogle, and will buy there for very special pieces, but Stone Mountain is your place for bread and butter clothes fabrics. (And they have a great selection of special occasion fabrics too.)

Here's Mr. E with a bolt of fabric he's pondering for a shirt:

He's currently undecided, but there's plenty left on the bolt. I'm holding a bolt of Japanese cotton scattered in cherry blossoms - i got enough to make a below-the-knee, tiered ruffle 'rag doll' skirt.

P got a couple of samples to test out as possible curtain material. She got 1/4 yard of each 45" wide fabric and plans to hang it where the curtains will be to live with it a bit and see how she likes it. A prudent plan!

No post tomorrow - i'm sitting the newest member of the family for the day. I'll do my best to get some pix. Everybody have fun out there!

Tee: Target Merona the Ultimate Tee
Jeans: Levi's curvy cut (discontinued)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

All This For A Trip To The Grocers

The day i wore this outfit i wasn't sure if i was going to be home all day futzing around or maybe going out and about. Can you guess how things turned out? Not that i'm bitter......

This is another Ann Ferriday top, from one or two years ago. I just love it - the lace is overdyed so there's a nice depth of color, the black details give it an edge and a nice line, the fit skims nicely over the torso so you get a great line without having to wear a belt. I'm contemplating trying to duplicate the fit of this top in a pattern, but i'm undecided if i could pull it off. The neckline is fairly revealing, so i threw on the scarf to go out shopping. So i had the skirt, the scarf, and the hat feathers all floating about in the breeze.........ah, bliss.

Top: Ann Ferriday
Skirt: own design inspired by The Hidden Seed
Shoes: old Borns
All Else: gifts or own design

Friday, July 9, 2010

Your Amateur Photographer

Whoops! no post yesterday. Frankly, i didn't have anything to say, so i didn't say it. Today i'm back to my regular, blabby self, so here we go. These weeks of blogging have got me thinking about the subjective nature of photography. Basically, while photography is seen as an objective or documentary medium, the photographer is always making choices. Where to place the camera, what time to take the pic, lighter vs. darker exposure, cropping, - then there's all the goodies in photoshop or other photo-editing programs. And i've never seen an exhibit, real or online, where a photographer shows every photo they took. You select the ones which further your intended effect. Vogue will choose different photos to publish as opposed to the ones National Enquirer would select of the same celeb on the same day. As members of a media-savvy culture, we all 'know' this, but making those choices myself every day has made me much more conscious of the choices behind what i see out there on TV, in magazines and on the web.

These two photos point up some of the issues. The basic purpose of an outfit diary is to show how particular clothes and accessories look on a person's body. But vanity comes into it, and the difference between how things look in real life vs. how the camera sees them. A slight change of angle in a pose can add 5-10 pounds, making a big difference in how the outfit looks. Some bloggers take on the task of creating a magazine editorial feel, shooting in dramatic settings at exotic angles, using props and photographic effects to create an artistic mood. It's all about choices, your own desires and what you see as the purpose of your blog.

I want to document my outfits to become more organized and creative with my wardrobe. The camera doesn't love me*, and i don't want to look so gawky or awkward that i give an unrealistic view of how the outfit comes across in real life (which is, after all, where i live). And i'm very visual, and i get ideas for pictures, so it's fun to try something new instead of shooting in the same spot and pose every day. (Though with my experience here, i've seen the wisdom of that popular approach. I am keeping track of 'successful' set-ups for less creative or busier days.) Plus, i have a smaller wardrobe (which is how i like it) so varying poses and backgrounds can add to the visual interest when the clothes don't change. I'm also considering selling clothes on etsy at some time, and appealing, accurate pictures are vital to that purpose.

So. The second photo shows the clothes and details much more clearly than the first. But the first (taken just 5 minutes before the second) is a much more appealing picture. The light is golden and dappled and it highlights the figure while tying it into the environment through the similar highlighting of the small trees. But it also washes out all the clothing details. The pose is relaxed and happy, but it hides the shoes.

You can clearly see all the clothing and accessories details in the second photo - because that gorgeous light is gone. And the pose is kind of awkward, though it does show the shoes, and our relationship to the brachiating primates. You can see the clothes better, but which picture would you rather be a part of?

So i show them both to you. I prefer the first but include the second to honor the ostensible purpose of this blog.

* Video's a different story. I look great on surveillance screens.

Top: own design, inspired by some girls wander
Skirt: own design, inspired by The Hidden Seed
Belt: vintage Coach
Shoes: Dansko Marcelle
All else: gifts

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Everybody Loves A Parade

This is what i wore on the Fourth of July. No parade for me. But mom watched it earlier in the day, and Mr. E and i did wander about the closed-off main streets of Napa towards evening. There were food vendors, three live music stages, picnics, and people-watching as folks staked out the best firework viewing spots. My outfit kept the sun off and seemed to cheer people up, so i give it thumbs up.

I was pleasantly surprised by the way the double-strap mary janes and black crochet sox read as curvy little ankle boots. I've filed that away in my beaney little noggin for later. And here's a tip for increasing the 'remix' possibilities of your wardrobe. The underskirt is actually a Liberty of London for Target little cotton chemise. Until now, i've just been wearing it as a nightie - here's how Sal of Already Pretty styled it the other day. It's pretty short and has smocking in the back. I turned the straps and cups inside the skirt, then used a couple of safety pins to take in the fullness on the sides until it sat at the length i wanted.

Lemme tell ya, clothes in this house gotta be ready for ANYthing!!

Dress: Converse One for Target
Underskirt: Liberty of London for Target (looks like they're sold out)
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Belt: Betsey Johnson
All Else: gifts or made by me

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Toodling up Highway One

My brother came into town for the holiday weekend, and proposed a little road trip. I thought it would be the perfect time to wear this outfit, with which i experienced technical difficulties a couple of weeks ago.

For the return part of the trip we drove up Highway One between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. Any part of this highway, which follows the Pacific coastline from the top to bottom of California, is absolutely worth traveling. The especial charms of this segment are the gentle slopes down to the sea interspersed with small farms, the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and the mating grounds of the elephant seal - Ano Neuvo State Park. From October through March every year these eccentrics of the sea congregate to battle it out with other males in hopes of accumulating a harem of the alluring, rotund female beasts. What can i say to begin to describe these creatures - they fight each other with grotesquely overgrown noses, they can stay under water for over one hundred minutes, their calls are eerily reminiscent of whale song. The baby seals, overgrown sausages just learning to feed on their own, are called 'weaners'. During mating season you may visit Ano Neuvo, but only as part of a guided tour arranged by reservation. I can't recommend it enough.

My brother took these pictures near Pescadero. The last pic shows the fullness at the bottom of the jacket nicely. This outfit worked out well for the day. It's comfy, flat shoes can take all the walking you want, it's pulled together but not fussy or overly formal, the jacket goes on or off to cope with varying temperatures.

The day was mild, we saw many windsurfers and kite surfers (the latter is a new one on me). But we didn't surf or ogle wild animals, just visited an old friend and gazed out at the beautiful ocean. I hope some of you get to spend some time at the seashore this summer as well.

Jacket: made myself from McCall's M5594
Blouse: Target
Capris: Royal Robbins
Shoes: old Borns
Belt: Betsey Johnson