Friday, February 11, 2011

The Dude(ette) Abides

 Well, i'm taking a little break from the blog. Now that i've received a comment from Wendy B. herself, what else is left to strive for?

hee hee, well, as thrilling as that moment indeed was, it's more down to my leg bothering the living mm mmm  hmmmm out of me the last month, and the amount of time i've spent fighting colds this winter. Plus, there's some new information that i'd like to present on this blog, and i need to put some hard thinkin' into the best way to format it. As became oh-too-apparent with my notorious camping series, i can literally write a respectably long book about any topic which catches my interest. However, reading books on a blog? I just don't think it 'scans'.

From the time i started blogging, i've intended to present the ideas, systems, etc. which have been the most help to me in terms of finding and honing my personal style and in creating a wardrobe that works for me. The more time i've spent reading various style blogs and interacting with members of this community, the more i've become committed to this enterprise - the bulk of the information which has been the most help to me is just not available on the internet. And my philosophy is 'the more the merrier'! You never know which particular viewpoint or tidbit will unlock the door to your perfect wardrobe.....

But as i said, i need to put some time and thought into how to get this info onto a blog in a way that works for most readers.  On the whole i've never spent huge gulps of time on posting, though the extra time will be nice for this project. I more want to free up the space in my head that day-to-day posting takes up. And as fate would have it, certain family matters will likely require my attention soon as well.

That said, what's with the pictures? A while back Terri showed us all the glory of her new necklace rack, along with the spectacle of all her wonderful necklaces. She asked if anyone had any good ideas for organizing other jewelry items. This got me motivated to organize my pierced-ear earrings. I've always like to keep them on cards, but so many of the ones they come on are just tacky and gross. In the past i've gotten energized and pasted magazine pictures onto cardboard and used those. But happily, these days so many artists and craftspeople have wonderful, vibrant business cards. I collected quite a few at the KPFA Holiday Crafts Fair, and after cutting them to size and piercing them with a darning needle or safety pin they make perfect earring cards.

So, what to do with all your time spent not reading The Dashing Eccentric?  For starters, Elsita's popped up again (it seems she responds to pressure via e-mail, so go to it, gals!)  The Beckerman sisters are always up to something fun. Sara at Orchids in Buttonholes has completed an excellent series on making her shopping experience and decisions more conscious - be sure to read the excellent comments as well! Here's a resource which will help you to renew your conviction to avoid any concealers containing 'light reflecting properties'. Check out the blogs on my blog list, & drop me a line if i'm missing someone fabulous (especially 40+ers!)

Believe it or not, there is an internet beyond fashion......if you think you're up on 'the UFO gossip' because you know about Area 51, you're just deluding yourself. The real deal is buried in  - Area 52. You can practice the Lost Sport of Olympia (so inflammatory it was banned in ancient Greece) when you're offline. George Hansen spins a web of liminality, anti-structure and Tricksterism over at this classic Paratopia podcast. Brush up on your on and off line networking skills. Dig into the Secret History of Rock 'n Roll, Aleister Crowley, Sirius, Isis, Agent Mulder and (obviously) more. Send me an e-mail (i'll gab about anything - as should be apparent by now!). Follow Dr. Beachcombing as he sifts through ancient archivesKeep your eyes on the skies. Take notes on how to argue with anyone and win.  Set up a new home page for your web browser. Wallow in pootie-fest!

I do reserve the right to pop in at anytime to post any noteworthy looks. I'll leave you with this one for now, which broke no new ground and was a little dressy for grocery shopping. But i received excellent, very attentive service from the butchers at Lunardi's.

(Mom - if you click on only one link, make it the last one!)

Take care all! i never thought anyone would read what i wrote, and *wow* have you proved me wrong! You'll always have a primo place in my heart. See you soon! steph

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mom Tells It Like It Is

 Received an e-mail from ielgirl this am, horrendously disturbing upon first glance. My groggy eyes immediately leapt to a few phrases which jumped off the screen: ".....i had him shoot me.....i beheaded....."  - - -  What!?!?? My mind barely grasped the meaning of these phrases, leaving my heart paralyzed as my eyes automatically continued skimming along: "....and i posted it to my blog." Aaah! Someone's posted her first outfit of the day!  Whew! I did pause to wonder how she was managing to send an e-mail after all that brutality. Ya got me on that one, P!

Continuing with my 'e-mailbag' theme, mom had some remarks on my recent tule fog post. Mom was born and reared in Fresno, CA, smack dab in the center of the California Central Valley, birthplace of tule fog. Take it away, mom!

"Hahahahahaha! I know why you used the tule fog picture you did, but THAT's not REAL tule fog (see, old lady here).  This is tule fog:

(i can't find the pic she attached to her e-mail - it's just a bunch of fog anyway with one foot of road visible in the foreground)

and it's not real bad in this photo.  Pictures of real tule fog have to have a 'no fog' before picture and the tule fog picture as a referent because in real tule fog you see nothing but the grey.  In this picture, you can actually see the line in the road and some other object(s); in really bad tule fog, you have to drive with the passenger car door OPEN, not just the window, and have the passenger keep their eye on the side of the road as you creep along at 5 mph.  And when the road intersects - oh, hell, that's why I love living outside the Central Valley.  Of course, if you don't stay out late and drive home before 2 am, then it's not such a problem - more cars on the road, however.  Like most of life, it's a crapshoot. 8-)"
We stand corrected!

(Note to Readers: looks like the text formatting went haywire around this point and i can't figure how to fix it. Please accept my apologies! It seems to be just this post.)

I was getting into the top half of these outfits there for a while. Looks like Gracey has been into this dolman sleeve thing too - check out how great she looks when she's "not putting in any effort".  I guess yard-long legs make any outfit pop!!  Anyways, I liked the shape the wrap cardi made over slim-sleeved tees or light sweaters, and played it out with two different skirts, both with dramatic lines. I kept the accessories and other styling to a minimum in order to accent the silhouettes.  I think that the denim skirt look would've been better with a bit of a heel and my hair up or in a low ponytail. Next time.

I've taken so much inspiration from Elsita's blog The Hidden Seed. It seems she no longer posts there, but the archives are up and completely worth your time. I tried duplicating one of her trademark poses with this outfit, seeing as the skirt design was sparked by one she wore, but i've got a ways to go. Elsita's slips don't show unless she wants them to.

Wrap Cardi: Nine West
Grey and Black Sweaters: Target Merona
Denim Skirt: repurposed from J. Peterman wide-legged denim trousers
Beige Skirt: own design, inspired by The Hidden Seed
Slip: own design
Legwear: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Maine Woods
Belt: ???
Bracelet: Justina Leigh

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Sheila Skirt

 Tule fog or no, i've been spending productive time with my Bernina the last few weeks. I just finished a straight skirt in a linen/rayon blend on Sunday morning, and wore it for errands and walking in Berkeley that afternoon. Success! Between the shape of the skirt and the wonderful rusty-red tones of the brown, i started calling this one 'The Sheila Skirt' before i even knew what i was doing.

While wearing my skunk skirt (what can i say, the name just stuck) in total comfort, i realized that the 'base' on which i'd applied the ruffles is simply your basic straight skirt, cut off just above the knee. It occurred to me that with the addition of a modest slit, this silhouette should work well for a comfy, workaday item. The beauty of the straight skirt is it's un-fussiness, ability to play well with just about any jacket shape, and low fabric needs. There's some times when you don't feel like dealing with a lot of fabric, from the psychological as well as financial perspectives. I'm very tickled that this pattern has worked out so well, and look forward to whipping up a couple more skirts along these lines.

Saturday i had a 'blogger meetup' of sorts. Ilegirl invited me to check out the local American Cancer Society thrift shop's vintage extravaganza when she received their e-mail notice of this event. Of course i accepted and we had a great time. However, ilegirl and i have known each other for going on thirty years now, and have gotten together for shopping, dining, and basically hanging out literally hundreds of times before....does it still 'count' as a blogger meetup in those circumstances?

The most enjoyable part of the day for me was getting a look at the labels in some of the vintage items.  So many were from old, venerable San Francisco institutions that i remember frequenting with my mom as a girl. I had a blast getting photos of all of them to share with you. I've never heard of FANYA before, but i loved the graphic on the label of this mint-green silk shantung suit.

I remember when we were little and our mom would take us to Union Square in San Francisco for a little window shopping. When it was time for a 'rest', mom would take us to I. Magnin. This was old-style class and glamour - green marble rooms for each 'throne', gold-plated faucets, a nice big lounge with couches, coffee tables and mirrors. How sad when I. Magnin went out of business!

 And how strange when the most disparate areas of your life turn out to be intertwined. Years ago i listened to the 'grande dame' of conspiracy researchers, Mae Brussel, who broadcast her radio show 'World Watchers International' every Sunday afternoon from down the coast.  Her programs were bristling with information you'd be hard pressed to find addressed anywhere else, but mostly i loved her larger-than-life, joyful, and raucous personality. She'd been dead for over a decade when i learned that she was a scion of none other than the venerable Isaac Magnin himself! If anyone could floor you long after they were dead, it'd be Ms. Brussel!

At least Gump's is still around. And with the opportunity to market and buy specialty items on the web, and the availability of all types of style inspiration from street style to couture coverage to do-it-yourself tutorials, access to great style continues forward. Isn't it funny how many memories can be triggered by a couple inches of ribbon...

Jacket: Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns, made by me
Sweater: Royal Robbins
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Skirt: own design (in tribute to Sheila)
Scarf, Earrings: own design
Over The Knee Socks: Target
Shoes: Bass Lacey Oxfords