Friday, December 27, 2013

Bound to the tracks of the train

Hair clip: Target | Scarf: J.Crew Factory | Shirt: Eddie Bauer Outlet | Dress: Target | Belt: Ann Taylor Factory Store | Tights: JCPenney | Boots: Off Broadway | Lips: NARS Golshan

can't talk, too busy already building my 2014 concert calendar (bookends: Vampire Weekend and One Direction)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

So merry

Bow: my parents' bow box | Cardigan: Target

I hope you all have had the merriest of Christmases. As far as Christmases go, this one was pretty wonderful for me, and certainly a vast upgrade from last year. Today was a great day for a number of reasons, big and small (like a stellar cooperative dinner and this guy under the tree), and I'm happy to have this day. Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Lessons learned

Sweater: J.Crew | Skirt: Talbots | Tights: Target | Flats: DSW | Nails: Lynnderella Glass Houses over butter London Union Jack Black | Book: Queen of the Dark Things by C. Robert Cargill, out May 13, 2014

I am currently running through mild school withdrawal. I still check my school email daily and find myself slipping into Blackboard despite the fact that I have no homework. I admit that I am nervous: this is, ideally, the end of my education, and this is after spending 20 years total embracing some educational institute. Preschool at JCC, elementary school, one failed middle school, a slightly better middle school, high school, college, and grad school have essentially guided my brain, my body and my spirit over the last two decades of life, and now it's all over. Very abruptly, might I add. Grad school weaned me, slightly, from the dedication of 24/7 education, because I had to dedicate my life to other things too. But I'm still uncertain what comes next: I'm mildly aimless. I know this is only temporary, but jeez, I need to get over it already and move on. At least I have a book to keep me warm.


The Snowy Day cover and inside illsutration, by Ezra Jack Keats
Multimedia collage, 1962

Ezra Jack Keats was an innovator. He was one of the first authors to unveil multicultural storylines in children's books, and he developed collage as a viable form of illustration. (Eric Carle wouldn't exist were it not first for Keats.) The Snowy Day is one of the most beloved children's books of all time, right up there with Winnie the Pooh and The Polar Express, for its charm and beauty and the delight it always gives its readers, young and old and everywhere in between. Peter's joy at encountering his first snowfall is something we've all felt (unless you've never encountered snow, in which case, I'm sorry), and Keats captures that thrill with such simple beauty. The Snowy Day and all of Ezra Jack Keats's books are ones that I grew up reading and rereading, and I'm so thrilled that Jen chose this artwork for this week's Style Imitating Art. Email her your inspiration by Monday, December 30th (oh my word). Enjoy, and if you haven't read this book, do yourself a favour and check it out from your local library. I guarantee they'll have it.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Graduation Day

Cardigan: Loft Outlet | Dress: Bea & Dot for Modcloth | Belt: Target | Boots: Off Broadway | Nails: butter London Shag | Lips: NARS Schiap

I graduated from grad school today, and now I'm one of 8% of people in America with a master's degree. At least, that's if I pass my last two classes. (I'm pretty sure I'm okay.) And now I can focus on what really matters: reading whatever the fuck I want for the rest of my life.

And updating this blog regularly again, of course.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Hanoi Street, by Bui Xhan Phai
Oil on canvas

Salazar says it's time to introduce a Vietnamese artist into SIA. I AGREE. And who better than Bui Xhan Phai, one of the most famous Vietnamese painters? Phai is well known in the art world for his paintings of Hanoi, and he's also known as a figurehead for freedom in Vietnam; he lost his job and was only allowed to leave Vietnam once because he supported a North Vietnam political movement supporting artistic and cultural freedom in the country. Although he didn't receive a significant amount of attention outside the country in his lifetime, Phai is posthumously known as one of the most important artists in the history of Vietnam.

Send your outfits to Salazar by Monday, December 16th! (I'm excited because that is also my GRADUATION DAY.) I can't wait to see the outfits, this is a good piece!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A fond farewell

I am not leaving. This post has nothing to do with me abandoning this blog. (I graduate in 10 days, and then I will be back for real!)

But I need to say goodbye to something else.

I have worn the same feather ring for the last 12 years. Every single day, in the barn, at work, at school, under gloves, under mittens, under reins and brooms, this ring has lasted happily on my hand.

Until last month, when my ring met its final end, abandoned somewhere on the ice during a curling match, tragically flung from the pocket of my sweater when another curler gathered up clothing that was left on the scoreboards. Swallowed by the Zamboni, presumably, never to be seen nor heard from again.

I was upset, needless to say.

I welled up a bit. And then I slipped on my class ring, a size and a half too big for my ring finger, and began the search for a replacement. A ringplacement, if you will.

I searched high and low, left and right, up and down. I googled for the same ring, hoping that 12 years later, there would magically be an American Eagle feather ring on eBay. Too much hope, not enough luck. So I turned to Etsy and began the dig. And I dug and dug, and dug some more, adding ring after ring after ring to a list of Ringplacement possibilities.

One ring, to rule them all (them being my fingers), stood above the rest. The same thickness and width as my feather ring, it would fit perfectly into the kind dent left by my dear friend.

This is my new honeycomb ring, which came all the way from a jewelry maker named Esmeralda, who lives in Stockholm. She was amazing and made sure that I would get the ring I wanted, not just the ring I ordered. As soon as the package arrived from Sweden ("We don't have rings in America?!" exclaimed my dad), I ripped open the box and slid the ring on my finger, where it has remained ever since.

I'll never forget my feather ring. It was a great ring. But if this ring lasts as long--or even half as long--as the feather ring, I'll be a happy girl indeed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Style Imitating Art: Swan Lake

I am so, so sorry to all the amazing ladies who kindly submitted their entries right on time this week, because I'm posting a day late. I have had an ongoing family emergency and it sucks a lot and I have had a lot of difficulty the past week or so doing much of anything aside from dealing with the basics of work, caring for the horses, and dealing with homework. Sigh. But ANYWAY, SIA is here and I have to say that even spending five minutes taking photos of myself--vain though it sounds--made me feel better! It's a sign, clearly. As a reminder, this week's inspiration was Swan Lake by Chris Van Allsburg, as shown above. Let's get to it!

First is Jen of Librarian for Life and Style, who captured the essence of the painting with a really pretty colour combination. And click through to see a close up of her hair, it looks really cute!

Kezzie of KezzieAG is back with us this week, and she's going for it with the ballet pose. I like it! I also like her shades of blue.

Amber of Section 391 has a dress that has similar colours to the swans! And graceful neck INDEED. So pretty!

Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey, nailing it as always.

And then there's me, doing my best swan hair. That's a lie: this is what my hair looks like when I see a swan. Even my hair panics. This dress ended up being perfect for the inspiration, though!

Thank you ladies for participating, and again, my apologies for the lateness! Two more weeks of school and then this is all over!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Click for large.

From Swan Lake, by Mark Helprin, illustrated by Chris van Allsburg
1989, pencil on paper

I don't know if I've announced this on AC before, but I hate swans. I've been attacked twice by waterfowl, and was once completely surrounded by a group of swans before being pecked incessantly until my dad came to chase them away. I was 11. It was awful. I have a scar on my wrist where one of them managed to hold tight. So I hate swans and am usually seen running rapidly in the opposite direction from them if I encounter them in real life. I don't even really like how they look. They look like jerks.

But, but.

We've all read or at least seen The Polar Express, right? And probably the same situation has occurred with Jumanji. Well, Chris van Allsburg wrote and illustrated both books, and he has a beautiful, delicate hand with his artwork, from beginning to end. He mostly draws in graphite pencil, but some of his illustrations, particularly the covers of his books, are in colour, and they're rendered beautifully. No one blends so gracefully as he does. So here are the damn swans in all their glory, for you to use as this week's SIA inspiration.

Send me your photos by the end of the evening on Monday, December (!!!!!!) 2nd, and I'll get the post up then. I look forward to seeing your choices with this one, it's a beautiful piece of art.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Colonel Frederick Gustavus Barnaby, by James Tissot
Oil on canvas, 1870

This is terribly late, but I've been out of town. Salazar and I are proud to announce that Jen of Librarian for Life and Style is a new curator for Style Imitating Art! Jen is a somewhat recent art lover, but she's coming up to snuff pretty quickly. Jen did a great writeup of this, her first pick, here, including info on why she picked this piece. I have never heard of James Tissot or our dear gentleman Barnaby here, but check out that mustache. Whoa. I'm excited about (hopefully) participating. I'm up to my ears in what is officially the final month of grad school, but I really want to do this SIA! Anyway, email Jen when you have your inspiration ready to go, and her post will be up late Monday night (that's November 18th). Enjoy, ladies!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Final decision

Click for large.

After this post, I decided to try a slightly different approach for my portfolio headshot to see if I could come up with something more creative, and that offers both more personality and more clarity as to who I am & what I do. So I got my new glasses and decided to try displaying some books, but in a clever way. This is the result. My boss was truly amazing and took the pictures for me, so I could focus on balancing this stack on my head. I cannot say that this would have ended well had I been using a remote! I'm really happy with this picture, and very excited that it turned out as well as it did. This photo may seem typically librarian-y, but from what I've found, I'm one of the few students graduating in December with any interest in working with adults in public libraries. Also, I sure as hell ain't shushing anyone, so there's that.

For those wondering, the books on my head, from top to bottom, are:

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell: I've never read this book, but I thought it was apt to have it on the top of a pile of books on my head. Gladwell is a very attractive author for readers who want to learn about social sciences but don't want anything aggressively over their heads.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: Only a handful of books have been able to make me laugh like this one did. A favourite RA go-to book for anyone looking for a smart laugh.

To America with Love by A. A. Gill: Another book I haven't read, but I wanted to include a more recent nonfiction book and Gill writes about United States minutia that fascinates a lot of readers. Great for Americana fans.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: Hands down one of my favourite books of all time. I read it every October. Great for an intelligent reader, readers who like dysfunctional families and dramas, and strongly character-driven books.

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld: An excellent graphic novel about the history of media and how the industry has had a lasting influence on society. Graphic novels are excellent for reluctant readers, and a couple of the guys have really enjoyed this one. Also good for teens in civics classes.

I plan to include the information listed above--or at least the titles and authors--with the photo that will be the opening page of my portfolio. I think it adds another touch of personality to have that info there instead of leaving the reader curious but straining to see the titles of some of the books.

Also: what's up new glasses!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


In lieu of a regular SIA post, I'd like to announce that Salazar and I are looking for a new co-host to add to Style Imitating Art! You've probably noticed that I haven't been around much as I scramble to the end of grad school, and Salazar's calendar is getting a little more crowded, too. We're looking for an additional co-host, similar to the position Vivienne filled last year. Your responsibilities would include picking a piece of artwork for interpretation, organizing the submissions you receive into a post, and posting it. Not too big a responsibility, but it's a lot of fun. If you're interested or have a question, email me or Salazar. We hope to hear from you!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I need advice

This Introduction Page welcomes visitors to the end-of-program portfolio. It provides and overview of the content and how to navigate the portfolio. A photograph is also a desirable part of the introduction and should be a head shot or photograph taken in a professional setting.

I have to pick a "headshot" for my portfolio for school, and this is the one I currently have picked out. I know it's old--from March--but I am struggling to find a photo that evenly balance professional with personal. I don't want to do some dumb against-a-white-background headshot, but I also don't want to do something ridiculous. What do you think? Should I do something more recent, with my hair short? I'm getting new classes next week (SO excited, you guys!), so should I wait until I get those? If you don't think this picture is right, what would you envision? My friends and coworkers think I'm overthinking this, and I should "just use whatever's on (my) blog", but this is the very first thing my advisor will see when she opens my portfolio and since this my graduation hinges on this portfolio, I want to put my very best face forward. & I know I'm not smiling, but that's kind of standard. I have other pictures where I'm smiling, but I'm not sure how professional they look comparatively.

So: thoughts?

Monday, October 14, 2013


After the Meeting, by Cecilia Beaux
Oil on canvas, 1914

Cecilia Beaux was a rare bird in her day: a successful female portrait artist. Beaux was a pioneer of women in the world of art; she became the first woman to hold a teaching position at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, at the relatively young age of 40. She drew clients from the world over, and eventually moved from her hometown of Philadelphia to New York to accommodate them all. She was a talented artist and, to her great credit, never strayed from her philosophy of art, which was to take one's time. Although her philosophy slowly became antiquated in a world of art where things moved faster and faster--she was slowly surrounded by the likes of Matisse, Hopper and Henri, who just did it all a bit differently--she continued to work until a broken hip sidelined her in the early 1920s. But no matter--she never stopped her work, just in a different realms; she wrote an autobiography and continued teaching, and was honoured all over the world for her art. She is buried in Bala Cynwyd, just outside of the city where she was born and raised.

Email your outfits to Salazar by the evening of Monday, October 21st. Enjoy this one--who doesn't love a little pattern mixing, am I right? :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Space case

Sweater: JCPenney | Skirt: Boden | Boots: Off Broadway

Now that Neil deGrasse Tyson is all over the news for his Gravity tweets, can we talk about what a jerk he is? On one hand, I appreciate the fact that he's brought a lot of topics in science to the forefront and made society a lot more aware of what is happening in the world--and universe--around him. I really thank him for that. But does he have to be so pompous? I'm surprised he doesn't wear an ascot. And the Gravity thing...I think that if all you can do is nitpick the orbit of debris and why Sandra Bullock's very short hair doesn't flail away from her head, then you need to shut up, turn off your phone (don't be That Guy in the theatre, Neil! DON'T BE THAT GUY!) and enjoy the film. Someone sit this man down with a bucket of popcorn and a DVD of Gladiator. Also: Pluto. you ruined my childhood, Tyson. I hope you know that.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Style Imitating Art: Red Raspberries on a Forest Floor

We have a small but pretty group for this week's Style Imitating Art! This week's inspiration was Red Raspberries on a Forest Floor by William Mason Brown.

Jen of Librarian for Life and Style is so ready for autumn. I envy her gingham top!

Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey looks as charming as she always does. She fussed about the dress not being the right colour, but who cares? She's adorable anyway.

And then there's me. There are some charming little flecks of green in Brown's painting that I really hoped I could highlight, and this belt was perfect for it.

That's all for this week's SIA. I told you, a tiny (but lovely) group!

Monday, September 30, 2013


Red Raspberries on a Forest Floor, by William Mason Brown
1866, oil on board

Well, y'all, it's fall. It doesn't feel a lot like it here in Cardiganland, but as of tomorrow, it's officially October, baseball is thankfully nearly over, football is cranking into high gear, and pumpkin everything is happening everywhere. So I found an appropriately autumnal painting for Style Imitating Art. William Mason Brown painted mostly still lifes, mostly of fruit, mostly on the forest floor. Charming! Brown was born in Troy, New York, and spent his early life in Newark, New Jersey. He eventually moved to Brooklyn, and there he stayed until his death in 1898. Although the name William Mason Brown might not ring a bell, he was a pretty well known artist during his life and today his small pieces (at most 12 inches wide) can swing $30,000 at auction. Pretty impressive for a guy from the Hudson Valley.

Send me your submissions by the evening of Monday, October 7th. (Jets/Falcons night!) Enjoy!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Top: JCPenney | Brooch: mom | Jeans: Target | Flats: Toms

I admit to being neglectful of AC (and my schoolwork) for the last couple of weeks. I have been struggling to concentrate on much of anything lately, and kind of let a lot slip--everything but work, which at least is going well. But now that I'm really full time, I have a lot less time to keep everything rolling smoothly. I'm back on track now (totally listening to a lecture during commercial breaks during football), and all I need to do to finish my to-do list is wash my car and buy some corduroys. I think I can handle that.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Sunset at Montmajour by Vincent van Gogh
Oil on canvas, 1888

The world recently learned that there's another painting by Vincent van Gogh floating around, and that's pretty amazing. I love that art can continue appearing even hundreds of years after it has been created. Email your photos of your interpretation to Salazar by the evening of Monday, September 23rd! Have fun, y'all!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I was at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta yesterday for a Dutch masters exhibit, which included Girl with a Pearl Earring. I found a ton of artwork that you may see as inspiration for a future SIA! But most striking (and which I will be kind and not make you use for SIA) is this delightful portrait of Floride Bonneau Calhoun, a South Carolina debutante who was married to the one and only John C. Calhoun, a congressman from my very own South Carolina and vice president to John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Yeah, I googled all that shit. Everyone who walked by this portrait stopped in their tracks, including myself. It's rather unexpected, to say the least, for a historical portrait to be so honest about the less-than-perfect qualities of one's physical attributes.