Thursday, September 30, 2010

So The Next Day....

We went on down to the Monterey peninsula. Mi esposa is a man obsessed by weather. He has calendars from years past filled with daily notations on local weather conditions. And he loves the sun. That week had been full of fog, clouds, and gloom, so we headed south in search of the sun. Who made a brief appearance around Watsonville, then retreated.

However, the weather was very mild and quite conducive to strolling around Carmel, then heading south to 
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve for a few hours of walking the trails. This park is just up the coast from the famous Seventeen Mile Drive and Pebble Beach.  Unbelievably gorgeous and photogenic coastline, plus lots of harbor seals, sea otters, and shore birds. (My pictures of that day are here, if you want to take a peek.)  As gloomy as it looks (ah, i love the fog!), i spent most of the day without even needing to wear my light cotton jacket.

I used a convenient bench to take these pics with a timer. I intended to take a few more, and some detail photos as well (like of that pleather bow at the waist).  But, while i was trotting back and forth between posing and setting the timer, i noticed that someone else had some business to attend to - and i was standing right in her way.

This little white crowned sparrow really wanted to get at some tasty seeds that i was standing on in my poses above. Every time i went to re-set the camera, she scooted on up to the trail, and then had to hurry off into the scrub when i came over to pose. It took me a couple of minutes to notice her, and a minute or two more to put together what she wanted me to do. (We humans can be a little slow on the uptake.)

I had to leave her to her task, and sneak in a couple of pictures of her from afar.  After all, i was in her house.

Honestly, how can a person remain stylish while bothering a tiny little bird (which, in case you are wondering, looks a bruiser next to the tiny junco). A particularly snazzy bird who is one of our renowned songsters.  Really!  It's much cooler to be friends with everyone.  If those friends happen to be amongst 'the beautiful people', 

BREAKING NEWS FLASH: just burned the living hell out of my hand while baking new cookie recipe.  typing a true b&*ch.  Am posting this 'as is' - any queries left in comments will be addressed as soon as my hand calms down or pain pills kick in.......

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frilly Feelings

Clothes-wise, that is. I wore this outfit on the weekend of the Mr.'s birthday. I like to get a little more 'dressed up' on the weekends as a rule, just to add some variation to things - no real reason.  Plus, that is when the spouse is off work, so we could end up eating out at some fancy restaurant or strolling the streets of an upscale area........or, hiking a few miles on muddy trails, scrambling down bluffs to rocky beaches, cruising the stalls at a local craft festival......Living in the Bay Area affords an unlimited assortment of activities within just an hour or two's drive.  Beach, snow, internationally renowned cities, museums, ghost towns, gold rush towns, amusement parks, skiing, hiking, desert, marsh,'pick your own' farms, ferries.......with widely varying activities possible on the same day.  It presents me with some real challenges in deciding what to wear.

Well, what's the problem, you ask. Just dress for whatever activities you have planned for that day. Ah, there's that naughty word - 'planned'.  Some of us like to be spontaneous. Some free spirits feel that a person taking two or three minutes to grab a pair of walking shoes and a sweater (because you've told them you'd like to go to that oh so specific location: 'out') robs the day of that special feeling of freedom. Don't be so middle-aged and stodgy.  Just go with the flow, be adventurous and end up where the day takes you! Why be such a stick in the mud! 

(Why, indeed.  let's see....traffic, weather, whether the place you're going to is actually open or not, i don't see YOU walking seven miles in 3" heels, a map of your location may actually assist you in reaching said location, etc.)  Well.  Let it just be acknowledged that there are charms and arguments in both approaches.  And while opposites might be irritating, they definitely do attract.

So. Why not indulge a person on their birthday, instead of being a spoilsport. Take this look, throw on a jacket and hat, change shoes, and i'm up for a movie, museum, dinner out, hiking, or strolling around town. But as it turned out, we had a nice relaxing around the house day - which left us energized to fly further afield on the morrow.

These are really nice over the knee socks - warm, great pattern, stay up nice with great pleated ribbon detailing.  Technically it wasn't really cool enough to wear them yet, but i was just too impatient! I added the striped bows myself.  We got them at Dark Garden, a custom corsetry shop in San Francisco. We visited the shop last spring. It's in a fun neighborhood, the staff is very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, and the floor is full of amazing corsets, petticoats, pantaloons, scarves, vests, garter belts, stockings, and jewelry.  I asked to use the restroom and as a result got a long look at their workshop in back.  !!! Envy !!!  Stop on by if you're in the area, and be sure to make a special trip if you're into corsets. Allow an hour or two if you want to try a corset on - it's a process. (That's part of the fun!)

Blouse: Target
Skirt: gift
Petticoat, Scarf (as belt): own design
Socks: Dark Garden
Shoes: Clark's Passion

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Me and Mr. Depp........

 .....we got a thing......goin' on........

okay, it's only this shirt, but still.  A girl takes what she can get!  I've had this J. Peterman Otavalo Mountain Shirt for, what, fifteen years maybe? It's a classic white cotton gauze peasant shirt with full sleeves that button into longish cuffs, nice little pintucks alongside the front placket. Around eight or nine years ago the buttons started cracking into pieces and falling off, so i replaced most of them. The rest of this shirt is staying in one piece, any stains bleach out nicely.....not bad for around twnety bucks back then.

Imagine the thrill i felt as i sat in the dentist's office a few years ago, paging through the People issue proclaiming Johnny Depp the sexiest man alive (well, not technically, but close enough as far as i can see) and Mr. Depp was wearing this same excellent shirt.  He styled it much as Mr. E would, with a few pieces in sterling and leather heavily influenced by nature and the esoteric.  Sadly i can't find the picture online in order to point you to it. Here's a consolation page.

 I wore this outfit around a week ago, when it dawned on me that 'all white weather' was on the way out, for this year at least. I don't wear a lot of all-white looks, but i find that they kind of 'cleanse the palate' every once in a while.  I wear 'all white' on hot days or at the beach - that's it.  I'll wear all black any old time, but all white occupies a special category in my mind.  So i decided to take advantage while i could.  i wore the 'shirt & skirt' ensemble around the house all day, then threw on the jacket, hat and shoes for my early evening walk.

I did have to laugh at myself as i strolled out the front door and down the lane.  This was the first time i'd worn this petticoat alone as a skirt, a use i'd planned from the beginning. It's not at all sheer and the hemline hits me mid to lower calf.  Yet, because i'd already worn this garment several times as an 'undergarment', i had a wee moment of alarm. 'Oh My god! I'm walking around in public in my U n d e r W e a r !'  Never mind that objectively my outfit was very modest - my mind had got the habit of equating this item with 'unmentionables'.  How easily we form habits, whether or not we mean to!

Do any of you like all white outfits? Do you keep them in a 'special' category, like i do? Have you ever caught yourself thinking about a piece of clothing a certain way that made no sense?

Hat, Scarf: gifts
Jacket: Royal robbins
Shirt: J. Peterman Otavalo Mountain Shirt
Petticoat, Necklace: own design
Earrings: liliswan
Clogs: Dansko Marcelle

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Expandin' One's Repetoire

Gasp! what's all this then?!?!? No pieces all beige, nor black, nor white or grey.....yep, folks, it's an all-color outfit. My first on the blog, excluding a couple of dresses. This one is entirely made up of separates.

Yet i felt comfortable all day, and got a number of compliments. And this outfit just came together, i wasn't forcing myself to make a big leap (though it kind of looks like i did!). How did i go from this or this to today's outfit?

Thursday TDE got a visit from reader kellyroy68. She documents her classic-with-an-artsy-edge, mom-on-the-go style at her blog, Fashion Me Blog. She asks, 'By the way ,do you know
I love this stuff although I can't pull this look.What do you think?' To begin, thank you kellyroy for pointing me to Magnolia Pearl! I'd never heard of them before. Magnolia Pearl offers wonderfully artful, exquisitely feminine vintage feel pieces dripping with ruffles, ribbons and all types of lace. And kellyroy asks a great question - you have a style that works for you and your lifestyle. But personal style is about creativity as well, and you feel a pull to take your style in another, totally new to do this while feeling true to yourself and not making expensive mistakes?

Well, my answer is typical Taurus - bit by bit. We all have outfits that we like and fit our style but that are pretty basic. A tee and jeans or a jean skirt, a sheath dress or shirtwaist, simple sweater and a-line skirt......the real beauty of these simple ensembles is how well they play with others. In other words, you can use these simple outfits as backdrops for the most outlandish of accessories and look like you know what you're doing. You obviously wore a plain background to show off your great, unusual piece!

So take this simple sweater shell and skirt in pale pinks on Fashion Me Blog. The easiest first step would be to add a lacy Magnolia Pearl scarf at the neck. If you like that look and want to take it further, pop on this medium pink Magnolia Pearl vest (on the lower left of the collage). The simple lines of your background pieces offer the eye a place to rest, and 'tone down' the outfit the way vanilla ice cream tones down the intensity of hot fudge in a sundae. To take it even further, try both scarf and vest together in the same outfit. You can even buy a whole outfit at once, if you love it to pieces and it's a great deal, then wear all the pieces separately with calmer outfits to 'work up' to wearing the whole outfit. This is also a nice way to get more use out of special occasion or fancier pieces.

That's how i ended up in all this color. About thirteen years ago, i bought a bright coral floral scarf. I like it a lot, so i made the Donna Karan jacket in a similar color (but only wore it with whites and beiges, maybe denims). The J. Peterman tee was too adorable and on sale three or four years this time i was getting a lot more familiar with the range and types of color that i enjoyed wearing, so when i spotted the umbrella fabric i didn't take long to decide to snap it up for a skirt.

These pics are of the outfit i wore Thursday. Wednesday i wore the tee with khaki cargo pants, a usual way of styling them. It was okay, nothing fabulous. By late afternoon my leg was killing me, i couldn't stand to have anything touching it, so i ripped off the pants and put on my most 'non-leg-touching' skirt......hey! whaddaya know! I got such of a kick out of the combo i couldn't wait to wear it again, and put it on again Thursday with the jacket.

Prints can help you identify colors you might want to use more of on their own. The J. Peterman tee has a great dusky rose, a kind of burnt-feeling green, glowing deep coral, medium violet - any of these colors would be great on their own. And apparently they look great together, witness that tee....

Obviously, it's not necessary to take THIRTEEN YEARS to ease into a new look (what can i say. We Taureans are know for being slow and stubborn!). But by taking it a little slower, and going step by step, you can be more sure of your choices, and save money and aggravation.

I had the idea for this post before i received kellyroy's question, so there's a bit of kismet for you! And to top that, Magnolia Pearl has an outlandishly decorated airstream coach documented in Selvedge magazine. They live and work in it while on the road. The Mr. and i have been dreaming and scheming of living in our own tiny home for years.......

Jacket: Donna Karan for Vogue Patterns #2862, made by me
Tee: J. Peterman
Skirt: own design
Petticoat: own design
Clogs: Dansko Marcelle
Mary Janes: Clark's Passion
Jewelry: own design

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nap Time

The evil sore throat from earlier this week is kicking me behind. Back this weekend or maybe Monday....have a great weekend either way!!

Jeggings: Mossimo at Target (in their first non-camping outing)
Tunic: April Cornell dress, shortened

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dinosaur Dreams

Another 'bombing around town' outfit. As it happens, i'm bombing around town today as this will be a short post.

First - those are black lacy 'low cut' peds from Chinese Laundry via T. J. Maxx. They stay in place, shield the foot from friction, and don't sprout holes (like these evil Peds from HUE).

Secondly - i couldn't get the camera to pick up the stripes in this jacket on this day. So look over on the coast or at UC Berkeley to see those nice stripes.

Thirdly - i lied. Mostly this is a short post because i have nothing to say, of interest or not. However, some intrepid paleontologists have unveiled the discovery of two new dinosaurs in Utah, namely Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops. In my opinion, the latter species should rightly be spelled 'Cosmoceratops' as it '...boasts the most ornately decorated dinosaur head known to date, with 15 horns.' Ha! The next time some Ignoramus sp. give you grief over your own concern with ornamentation, remind him or her that the evolutionary process saw fit to encourage and maintain maximum ornamentation as long as 76 million years ago. That's even before the Americas had come into being as continents!

hhmmmm.....that's giving me a whole new perspective on the pyramid studs on this bag.

Lace Tank: Jockey
Jacket: McCalls Pattern M5594, made by me
Skirt: own design
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Belt: vintage Coach

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

What am i looking at up there? No flippin' idea. I hit on the idea of wearing this jacket unbuttoned and tied with a scarf in a bow about two or three weeks before i started this blog. I'm pretty sure that Mr. E and i were headed out to Oakland International Airport to pick up my brother (and site sponsor) for a visit. I wore the grey ruffle skirt, these same shoes, and used this scarf. If you're interested in doing something similar, you can keep the jacket closed with a little brooch or just a straight pin (the bow will cover it).

However, right after i hit on this brilliant style innovation.....the heat set in. It really wasn't cool enough to try that look again before now. As a rule, i tend to forget styling ideas i come up with....part of the inspiration for this blog, in fact. But i made an extra effort to nail this one into the old grey matter, and happily it took!

I don't know about you, but i like to look particularly snazzy when i'm headed to the dentist. Even just for a cleaning, like on this occasion. The last few years every visit means they discover another cavity or a tooth that needs to come out. This time it was just two small cavities (one an old filling that fell out) so that's not that bad. Plus i got some ideas on how to prevent more cavities, which i'm very motivated to try!

Maybe i was looking for the tooth fairy for grown-ups. You know, the one who welds your teeth into your head, covers them with invisible gleaming armor against all ills, and drops an extra thousand bucks on you if you need a crown.

The receptionist in my dentist's office is a very snazzy dresser herself. There are three sisters who work at the produce market who also rock it every time i see them (the owner's mom and her two sisters). I'm working up my nerve to ask some of these ladies if i can interview/photograph them for the blog. I know that i'd get a lot out of it! And it's such a kick to have inspirational people in your own community, i like to let them know i appreciate their efforts.

I've taken to wearing my chain belt in a new way - i just clip the two ends together and let it dip down between the belt loops. And below you see my exciting new sale purchase - another pair of Smartwool Socks! There were $10.83, down from the regular $17.95 or so. I'd been planning to keep an eye out for sale deals on these socks, in order to accumulate few for winter wear. These are an auspicious start!

Jacket, scarf, cargo pants: own design (pants inspired by Style Underdog)
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Socks: Smartwool
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Jewelry: own design

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Well-Behaved Skirts Rarely Make History

Looks like i had some fun with the camera this day. Which is partly just fun. But i also wanted to show you all some of what i like best about this skirt - the way it moves. It's made of a very light cotton fabric which catches just about every passing breeze (wearing a petticoat with this skirt has it's practical aspects). So i'm never certain exactly what shape it will take from one moment to the next....
...and for me that's a lot of the attraction. I do like a certain amount of dependability in my clothing - shoes, socks, bras get a lot points from me for staying in one place and in one piece. Any expensive jewelry, too! But skirts, scarves, hair - the more they're on the move, the better, i say.

Admittedly one of Isadora Duncan's scarves took the 'freedom of accessories to move' too far. (Although that scarf did make history.)

So, which do you prefer in clothing - the well mannered or the unpredictable? Are you like me and divide your preferences according to category?

I'm feeling perkier today, but not completely recovered. Time for a nap!

Top: own design
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Skirt: own design, inspired by The Hidden Seed
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Earrings, Necklace: own design

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Five Minute Post

Eeeegh. Nursing a sore throat. I'm guessing you can figure it out - if not, leave me a question.

I'd always envisioned this skirt with a petticoat underneath to 'match' (meaning cut along the same a-line shape). Not that it's been done a month or so, i find i wear this skirt with petti more often than without.

I guess it's not the best form, but i love the way that chiminea is kind of lurking ominously in the background......hope you all are feeling well and having a great Monday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peachey, Limey, Yummy!

Okay, it's more 'rosey' than 'peachey' technically, maybe.......but it depends on what part of the peach, now, doesn't it?

This is one of my favorite color combos to wear. You don't see it a lot, maybe it's too feminine for a lot of people, but it's also extremely flattering to a lot of women. I made this blouse of quilting cottons - which i did partly because fabrics manufactured as quilting materials have a very wide range of colors. Quilters want to express, dahlink! And the manufacturers listen to the quilters and give them the tools they need. I copied the cut of the traditional blouses Frida Kahlo is so well known for wearing. It seemed like a nice, easy but striking kind of top for very hot summer wear, and the layout of the stripes makes a fabulous frame for all types of jewelry and scarves. At first a lot of quilting cottons tend to be a little stiff for my taste, but they loosen up with wear and washing. I'd like to make a couple more blouses in this style - hopefully for next spring/summer.

The great bulk of apparel fabrics come in the season's 'hot' colors and some neutrals/classics. Most of which are fairly 'meh' on me. I always get excited when i run across some wonderful apparel fabric in great colors and patterns - even better in cotton lawn! Like this one i found at Stone Mountain and Daughter recently. For you Bay Area sewist types, they have nice bolts of this pattern in four or five different colorways at $13.60 per 45" yard. Very nice blouse material, it comes in green, blues, also a nice grey with deep purple 'eyes'.

What are some or your favorite color combos? Do you have trouble finding colors you like and that flatter? I'm interested because it's been that hardest part of dressing for me since i was little (like in elementary school).

Blouse: own design, inspired by Frida Kahlo
Skirt: own design, inspired by some girls wander

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How I Got The Hat Habit

Anyone reading this blog for any length of time should have tumbled to my reliance on the hat. Hats shield you from sun, protect from wind, keep you warm.......give your face a great frame on even the worst of bad hair days, add color, design detail, an antique or vintage flavor to your outfit......and, given the waning popularity of hat-wearing over the past decades, donning a chapeau is the easiest way to stand out in a crowd.

Hats have become one of my style 'trademarks'. People i don't even know, who i just see regularly on my walks, know me as 'the hat lady'. But for my formative years, all through elementary, junior high, and high school i never really wore hats. The truth is, not many hats are that flattering to me - i have to try on dozens to find 'the one' that works. Of course, if you only wear 'the one', people will think you automatically look great in hats (or high heels, belts, dresses, etc.). And truth to tell, many are uncomfortable or scratchy. And we all have heard of the dreaded 'hat hair'. So, given all these drawbacks, what drew my attention to hats and eventually turned hats into an integral part of my personal style?

Well, i got in a car accident at age twenty one or two* (stoner kid turned in front of my VW bug) and split open my forehead. The ER called a plastic surgeon in to stitch me up (he stopped counting at 150 stitches). In order to get the least-noticeable scar, i had to keep the sun off of my forehead for a year. That meant sunscreen (in the early days of sunscreen, with SPF 15 and a mucous-like consistency) and wide-brimmed hats every day. My family felt bad for me, and i was able to shop for some great hats. Two extra-nice ones were a dove-grey felt fedora style, and a dark teal felt 'boater-shaped' hat with black grosgrain ribbon.

I've always been fair and had sensitive skin. The first thing i noticed on the 'sunscreeen and hat' regime was that my skin calmed down a lot when shielded from the sun, and sunblock and sun protection in general became my best friend. I also found that great hats that fit me and expressed my style WERE out there, and that i loved wearing them. Other people liked them on me, too - i got a lot of compliments and smiles. A habit i'd been forced into by unlucky circumstance turned out to be something i really loved and have stuck with for decades since.

So many 'fashion/style advice' resources focus on how you can achieve the most flattering or up-to-date look, or how to make 'the' style (that's all the rage) work on you (even though it's a color you hate and the cut is designed for someone twenty pounds lighter in a completely different climate and life circumstance). There's a lot of advice on how you can fit in and look decent in the styles and colors that 'everyone fashionable' is wearing, how you can look like everybody else, in a lot of cases......and i suppose it sells magazines and clothes.

But what about YOU? What about YOUR body, hair, face, skin, likes and dislikes, history, interests, lifestyle, hobbies, background? What if lime green is the 'IT' color this season and you can't stand that color to begin with, and that bitchy high school popular girl had a lime green key chain and you just fume inside thinking about it? Being in fashion is fine. But if you want to develop your own personal style, it's going to be as much about what you DON'T do as what you DO do. What you don't like, what you can't stand, your fallen arches or mohair allergy or dowager's hump or.......these limitations are crucial to editing and developing your own personal style.

My love of neutrals? 95% of mass produced 'colors' are completely unflattering on me and i don't like to look at them either. My love of vintage/old-fashioned clothes? I could afford the (then) cheap vintage clothes during college and as a result found that those styles actually fit and flattered much more than up-to-date clothing. My dependence on natural fibers? Polyester and nylon make me sweat and itch. Plus i'm one of those 'electric' girls who gives everyone shocks - plastic clothes make it even worse. All those wonderful skirts and dresses i wear? It's because of incurable nerve damage to my legs that makes most pants painful or worse. Why do i design/make so many of my own clothes? I can spend days shopping and never find anything that flatters or fits properly. Hats? see above.

Personal style is defined as much by what you don't choose to wear as what you do. Think of any two people known for their strong sense of style and try switching their wardrobes on them to see what i mean. Katherine Hepburn dressed as Coco Chanel, with turban and cigarette holder? Or Audrey Hepburn in casual Kate Moss style (flip flops no less)? Or Kate Moss pulling off Princess Diana's diamond tiara and beaded white bolero? This is a fun game to play, and there are people who would come across believable and relaxed in someone else's style - usually because of an overlap or similarity of said style. But i hope you get my gist.

So next time you come across some limitation in what you can or want to wear, look in the opposite direction. Over there, can you see it? It's the refined essence of your personal style, trying to catch your attention..........

* yep, i'm also REALLY BAD at remembering dates.

p.s. and yet no hat in this outfit! i just liked my hair that day, and it was cool enough to go without. i'm glad i did - we were in Berkeley and i saw about twenty college-age kids rockin' the hat thing. don't want to blend in with the crowd and all that! : )

Jacket: Donna Karan for Vogue Patterns #2862, made by me
Capris: Royal Robbins
Blouse: own design, inspired by some girls wander
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Scarf, Ribbon Flower: own design
Necklace, Earrings: Tail of the Yak, Berkeley, CA

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tiny & Sweet

Hi All! I'm having a busy day (mostly dentist-teeth cleaning) so a short post is in order. I'm taking the opportunity to honor reader Kelly's request (i just love writing that! 'per reader request...') and post pictures of my wedding set and my other ring from Mr. E. Basically you can get a look at my everyday rings, and i can also plug two outstandingly amazing jewelers. I ain't kidding, people - if you love unique and unusual jewelry as much as i do, these two places need to be on your 'bucket list'. I don't care for that term overmuch ('bucket list'), but in this case it applies.

My wedding/engagement ring was custom made at Aura Jewelers. They had the stone loose (it's yellow, older cushion cut) and they copied the Belcher setting from another ring they had in the store that i really liked. The Belcher setting is pretty old, you see it on Victorian period rings a lot. Here are some other rings with Belcher settings.

Aura Jewelers specializes in antique and vintage jewelry, and Victoria LaFond's eye is incredible. Poke around the website to get a feel for the kind of pieces she carries. Call ahead if you want to visit their Berkeley, California store, as their hours vary. The last time i spoke with Victoria the jeweler the store used for years had moved out of the area, so they were unable to do custom work. But that was the better part of a year ago, so the situation may be different now.

I found the four stone ring in the parking lot at the place i worked around twenty years ago (?). My boss and i had just been discussing if we'd rather have a cruise or a diamond ring. Guess which one i chose?

This is my 'right hand', everyday ring which Mr. E bought for me at a Renaissance Faire years ago. It's from Benitez jewelers. Mr. and Mrs. Benitez are the sweetest couple, and they make gorgeous, outlandish Art Nouveau inspired jewelry with all types of unique stones and those wonderful roses. The Benitez's describe their style as 'Old Style, Art Nouveau with Native American influences'. Most of their pieces are on the bigger side, but they never overwhelm - it's rare to find bigger pieces that are so wearable. They also have nice range of daintier styles, and a lot of their work is much more colorful than this piece. That's a sapphire with a six pointed star, with a white topaz on the side. They mostly sell at art shows, Renaissance and Dicken's Faires, and through their website (where you can find their schedule). Truly beautiful, well made, and uniquely flattering jewelry.

I hope you liked a peak at my everyday rings. I may get the heeby-jeebies about having these pictures up on the web and take this down later, but y'all can get a look for now. Any information about great jewelry you have known, fabulous jewelry stores no one should miss, or any jewels-related babblings whatsoever is always welcome in this house!!

p.s. for baby brother - that macro works pretty great, huh? not too shabby!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Out of Martinez

This turned out to be a great 'bombing around town' outfit. Comfy, you can take the jacket on or off, belt or no according to the weather or whim. Hats provide sun protection and you don't have to worry how your hairdo is holding up in the face of wind, etc. - perfect when you're rushing around in the morning trying to get ready while half awake!

I've been feeling a little 'oogy' recently. A bunch of on- and off-line style advice gurus recommend that you identify a number of 'style icons' whom you can call upon for inspiration (if only in your imagination). I've picked my brain for an icon to call my own for years, with no success. But recently, for some reason i was thinking about Isak Dinesen's first collection of short stories when it hit me - Ms. Karen Blixen herself! of course! The love of art and nature, the twenties and thirties styles mixed with practical/safari pieces, the sense of being made for an earlier age, even the love of antique costume (Ms. Blixen had several Victorian/Edwardian style ballgowns custom made for herself before she left to live in Africa. She wore them while entertaining on her plantation in the bush). Here's a couple of links about Isak Dinesen. If you're interested in finding more about Isak Dinesen, Judith Thurmans' Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller is an exquisitely researched and beautifully told biography of Ms. Blixen's life.

So this look reminded me of the costumes created for the movie Out of Africa. But seeing as i've never been to Africa.......

.......Out of Martinez will have to do. And seeing as i've spent the last two and a half hours catching up with S. on the phone - i have to go!!

Jacket: Royal Robbins
Cami-top, Skirt, Denim Camellia: own design
Bandanna: Target
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Belt: vintage Coach
Hat ???

Monday, September 13, 2010

Balance And The Blogger

Wait- i'm not .... oh, for goodness sake - !

Okay, just need to adjust my footing here ....... oh.

Almost there.....
Ta da!

I've worn this outfit, with variations, three or four times this summer but haven't photographed it before now (no reason - i just didn't). It's fun and breezy and i love the shape it makes - kind of a 1920's vibe, maybe.

it's even more fun with a heel and stockings. But i spent most of the day in bed, letting my leg rest up, so these flats and socks were a better choice. I was ticked at having to 'take the day off' so i wore something fun in compensation. The weather is turning around in these parts, and i get the feeling this type of get-up will only be practical a little while longer.......

Dress: April Cornell
Petticoat: own design, inspired by Alisa Burke
Shoes: old Borns
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Ribbon Pin: own design
Hat: gift
Socks: gift (my friend said she thought they were perfect 'reading socks' - you would wear them for lounging around the house and reading on a cool night. it's a new one on me!)