Saturday, July 30, 2011

Learning experience

Feathers: craft store
Top: Old Navy
Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: Toms

Last night at curling my team won our first game so far! Yaaaaaaay! We are now 1-1-2 which leaves us at 5 of 6 teams. Awesome. You may think I'm joking but when I curled in my very first league, my team came in dead last and only won one game. There are two games left in this league so we really cannot possibly do worse than I did in my first league.

Fortunately the great thing about being dead last--or nearly last--in standings for anything is that no one ever expects to be up against a lot. And then you can sneak up on them and win and then oh snap, look who's no longer in last place! What up fool?! And at the end of the day what really matters is that you get to go broomstacking with people you like. And then sit in traffic for 20 minutes at 1am, because this is a learning experience and who knew it was possible to halt traffic on an interstate after midnight? You'll never be tested on this little known fact but you take solace knowing that you're just a little smarter for having sat motionless while willing yourself to forget that you have to pee. That's a good day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

On thrifting

Cardigan: JCPenney
Top: Old Navy
Skirt: thrifted
Wedges: Target

You can probably tell by now that I don't thrift much. It's nothing personal, like I think I'm too good for it or something--goodness knows I'm not--but it's generally very hard for me to find things that a) I like and b) fit. Just like clothes shopping in regular stores! But at least with stores like Gap, Anthro and Target, I have honed an instinct or how their clothes are cut and what will fit me well. Random brands from 20 years ago? Not so much. I have some friends, online and off, who are thriftmasters, but I've just never been able to make clothing work, perhaps because when I was younger all the cool clothes weren't my size and didn't fit me the right way. I do however thrift the daylights out of furniture--I refinish and reupholster chairs and tables with my copious free time and thrift stores are AMAZING for finding well made furniture for very inexpensive.

But that doesn't mean I won't try, especially now that I'm unwilling to try to fit into clothing that isn't my size. My mom recently wanted to know where our city's Salvation Army was, so I took her there, hoping to walk out with a chair or two but instead leaving with two skirts and a scarf. That's so rare for me, though maybe it's because I never really looked before. The next day my mom went to the local Goodwill and bought them out of the skirts in my size. The skirt I'm wearing today is one of them. My only complaint is that it is 100% polyester and as such I did nearly slide out of my chair at work a few times. It was hilarious, I swear!

Anyway, the point is that I'm not the best thrifter in the world and probably never will be. But I won't refuse to try.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Down at the b&p

Top: Gap
Skirt: Gap
Wedges: Target

Another pink, white and black outfit brought to you by my closet. Don't expect this trend to continue but I do like that colour combo. It's pretty classic, and I've worn the combo before, though considering how many black skirts I own, black and pink was bound to happen. A lot.

You know what's difficult? The shoulder panels of this shirt are mesh, and my only strapless bra is black. So I went without a bra. That's a lie, I wore a bra and a nude cami and dealt with the straps. But note to self: when I get paid, I'm buying a nude strapless bra so I can wear this shirt--and more importantly so I can wear neon mesh skintight strapless tops more often in my life. Sexy, right? Look for my first one the week after never.

Ballerina, spin me round

Top: Old Navy
Skirt: JCPenney
Flats: Banana Republic

As a child, I wasn't keen on dance of any sort. Or anything involving moving, really, but that's not the point of this post. My best friend when I was tiny was big on ballet, and her mother took her to lessons weekly. The bug never bit me, thankfully, and to this day I only dance if I am drunk or cajoled by college friends at weddings.

But I'm an art lover, and I find inspiration in all forms of art. One of my favourite parts of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art was coming across a room dedicated to Edgar Degas' sculptures of horses (because I'm a horse fan) and ballet dancers (because while I don't dance, ballet is an incredible art in itself). One of Degas' great sculptures is The Little Dancer Age Fourteen, which I have had the luck to see multiple times in DC, and that, combined with his studies of ballet dancers and my purchase of this decidedly ballerina-y top, gave me inspiration. Do you see it? Perhaps? Maybe it's just me, but either way, I'm dressed and that's considered success in this household.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Short post, long night

Cardigan: JCPenney
Tank: Banana Republic
Shorts: Target
Shoes (unseen): Toms

Here are a few poorly lit pictures of today's outfit. Four to be exact. And one is even blurry!

And now, back to studying. Greaaaaaaaaaat.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

30 for 30 redux roundup!

Is that a lot of me or is that a lot of me? It's like looking at myself through a kaleidoscope!

Well, this 30 for 30 around was quite a bit different than my first/previous 30 for 30. As I mentioned in this post, I didn't feel like my picks this time around were quite as remixable as my first set. This time around I superceded texture for pattern, and that ended up biting me in the tail. Part of the reason I did that is because generally, the more texture or fabric detail is on an item of clothing, the warmer it gets. And it's currently 102 here in Cardiganland so no thanks! (How am I wearing jeans right now? I mean really.)

Last time around, I felt like my 30 for 30 was pretty even. No incredible outfits but no crash and burns either. This summer 30 was filled with high highs and low lows--there were some outfits that worked so well I plan to wear them again, while some outfits were bad enough to put them clean out of their misery.


Couldn't live without: I'd be dumb to say my handmade skirt wasn't an awesome choice for my 30th piece. It works with just about every top I own, and I can't wait to start wearing tights with it. My nude wedges got a lot of air time (with reason--they're comfortable and have nice height) & despite the unbearable southern heat, my cardigans proved their worth.

Could do without: That red polka dotted top. I tried so hard to incorporate it but it just didn't work with any of my bottoms. Oh well. & I guess technically I should say my giant brown wedges because I only wore them three times, but every time I wear them they make the outfit rock. So whatever! I don't think I needed all three pairs of shorts either; a solid skirt would've been nice instead, or maybe an embellished top of some sort.

Great venues: 5, 14, 23, 29 & 30.

Not so great venues: 8, 10 & 12.

Highest highs: 11, 14, 15, 23, 28, 29 & 30.

Lowest lows: 10, 20, 21 & 24.

Best experience during 30 for 30: Going to Savannah with my best friend! That was awesome, even with the sunburn.

Worst experience during 30 for 30: That nasty stomach thing I had where I couldn't eat for a week. Yucksville.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'll trade you

Top: Target
Necklace as bracelet: JCPenney
Belt: Target
Dress as skirt: Anthro
Pumps: Nine West

I guess we can count this as 31 of 30! Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy recently developed the Paper Doll Project, which involves two bloggers teaming up and dressing each other for a day. And today is that day! I was matched up with Kelsey of Snappy Casual, who is basically an all star in the personal style blogging world--and why wouldn't she be? Girl has style.

& she was so on the dot with this outfit--I received a boatload of compliments at work from patrons and coworkers alike, varying from "you look very summery today!" to "your outfit is so citrusy!" and ending with the slightly less amazing "you're dressed like ketchup and mustard". I took that last one as a compliment no matter how it was intended because hello, I look sharp. So thanks Kelsey for being an awesome partner and coming up with an equally awesome outfit!

Want to see how I styled Kelsey? Check her out here!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I lied

Necklace: gift from mom
Dress: Anthro
Wedges: Target

I gave up on 30 for 32. Just can't do it. Kelsey's awesome outfit for the Paper Doll Project will still go up tomorrow though!

Today I decided that I'm going to marry the current champion on Jeopardy. Because Mark really knows his water carriers and that's no joke. He also knows all about tv career moves, which is really impressive. Speaking of which, I'm reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and if you're like me and know a lot more about 1980s pop culture than anything else/is healthy & you've watched The World Series of Pop Culture, you will want to read this book when it comes out in August. Immediately. And then you can hang out with me and Mark and we'll talk about John Hughes movies and the They Might Be Giants all night long. If you're lucky I'll pull out the Atari and we'll play Pac-Man!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Act 4 (of 5)

Hair clips: H&M
Necklace: Anthro
Top: Anthro
Sash: American Eagle
Skirt: handmade
Wedges: DSW
Toes: Zoya Yummy

It's here. The 30th outfit of my 30 for 30. I should be jazzed and proud of myself, right? Shouldn't I? I survived, I'm done, I'm over it.

Welllllllllllll not exactly.

On Thursday I'm taking part in the Paper Doll Project with the amazing Kelsey of Snappy Casual, and we've both picked outfits made entirely of our respective 30 for 30 selections. And there's still an outfit I want to wear--one piece hasn't gotten as much love as any of the others--so I'm just going to go through Thursday with this sucker. So really, we're doing a 30 for 32. It's like a Shakespeare play up in here--you think there are four acts but there are really five. Fortunately for you the fifth act is starting now! We're almost there! Don't expect me to go changing my tags and all that, but I'll be holding off on my 30 for 32 wrap-up post until this weekend.

However I have to admit that this outfit is the perfect sendoff for most of my items; I really love it. I've received a lot of compliments on my skirt & most people are blindsided when I say I made it myself. A woman today told me she liked it and when I said I made it she said "well, in that case, congratulations!" That feels good. I imagine I'll be sewing more things in the future though maybe it will be a while before I install another stinking zipper. Scarfs, perhaps, or skirts made entirely of strips of leopard print.

Yeaaaaaaaaaah maybe not. Act 5 scene II tomorrow!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lessons in pointless literary technique

Necklace: Anthro
Dress as top: Boden
Skirt: JCPenney
Wedges: Target
Fingers: China Glaze Fly

Being a Latin major (That's right. A Latin major.) afforded me many opportunities to learn about literary devices, through epic poetry and prose, and now I use my studies exactly 1% of the time in real life--I'm currently using literary device names as passwords at work. Last month was aposiopesis, which is used famously (not that famously) in The Aeneid, book one, when Neptune catches Aeolus acting a fool and yells at him, ending with a classy "why I oughtta" before trailing off. That's aposiopesis--an unfinished phrase or statement, mentally filled in by the reader.

There's also something called a cut-up technique, which is basically like magnetic poetry, but with sentences instead of words. It's rearranging text to make it new text with a different meaning (let's talk haecceity sometime!). Which is exactly what I did with my Latin major--I rearranged it into a top, and you didn't even notice because this is only the second time I've worn it in my 30 for 30. Are you confused yet? It's cool, I was confused when I majored in wearing this dress. You'll get over it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On scars

Necklace: gift from parents
Cardigan: Target
Belt: Target
Dress: Anthro
Wedges: Target

How do you feel about scars? I have very few, but each one is very important to me for different reasons. For example, I'm very proud to have earned the distinction of being the only person in the History of My College to injure myself using what may be the tamest power tool in the History of Ever. The band saw is an extremely simple tool with a constantly rotating metal strip with teeth on it; it's used to shape pieces of wood when a jigsaw isn't available or the shaping is detailed or irregular. Because of the size of the blade and the general size of items cut, it's very easy to use.

And apparently I'm more street smart than blade smart because one day (about a year after my training on this machine) I was shaping a wooden gavel head and sliced my right middle finger. My theatre professor announced me as one of the greatest failures in the history of stagecraft (though I ended up with a B+ in the class, thanks Prof) and I now have a slender, straight scar on my top knuckle on my right middle finger to show for it. It's so easy to miss if you don't look for it. I'll know I've found the love of my life because he'll know the stories of all my scars. (And because of other things too.)

I'm listening to a book called Little Bee right now and the main character explains how I feel about scars very aptly--they are symbols of survival and beauty, as they do not grow on the dead, only the living. They belong to storytellers and are reasons to remember, not to forget. And certainly our scars may bring painful memories--Tina Fey's scar across her face, the scar down my back--but they are also important reminders of survival and healing. They note things taken away, but also things given to us. So I embrace my scars and love them because they are my stories and they are always with me.

Is your relationship with scars good or bad?