Monday, February 23, 2015

Fish out of water

Brooch: heirloom | Cardigan: Target | Tank: Target | Skirt: eShakti | Boots: Off Broadway

My very first pets were goldfish. Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder. (I was creative.) I was maybe 6, and didn't know a whole lot about how my life would go petwise. Little did I know that the goldfish would lead to guinea pigs, which would lead to rabbits, which would finally hit cats, and then horses, and most recently, a dog. Those goldfish didn't live for very long, but they certainly did start a long-lasting trend. So thanks, little crew, for biting me with the pet bug.

For more women who used this week's inspiration to create outfits for Style Imitating Art, check out Salazar's blog!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ice Land

My parents have a knack for deciding to go on vacation during a time when a major weather occurrence hits. There have been huge rainstorms/tropical storms, ice storms, and snow storms while they've been gone, and it seems to happen every single time. This vacation of theirs has been no different--Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning, a storm dumped 3/8" of ice, along with a pile of sleet, over Cardiganland. Work was closed Tuesday, thankfully, because there was no way to drive on the roads with this kind of ice. I'm always fascinated by where I live when there's a layer of ice or snow on top of everything, because we all get to see it so rarely. So of course, I took a ton of pictures.

The horses are pretty pissed, and so are the cats, that the weather is like this. While most everything has melted away and dried, the ice storm's remnants have been replaced by brutal cold and searing wind, which have combined to drop the wind chill to roughly 7 degrees. I may have had 3-4 cats in my bed with me last night. MY boyfriend bought me a heating pad for Valentine's Day, and he could not have had better timing--I have actually cuddled it in my sleep. I have no shame.

So if you're wondering about the drought of outfit photos this week, it's because I've spent 90% of my days in flannel lined jeans and a fleece hoodie, even inside. It's not an attractive look--all of my barn clothes are covered in hay, clay and horse hair--but it keeps me warm. I've been in jeans and a sweater even at work, because I've been weeding at branches, a relatively physical task that involves carts and bins and hand trucks. My office looks like a bomb filled with old 98 Degrees and Ricky Martin albums went off. There are carts and boxes stuffed with old music and graphic novels that don't check out. It's a mess, and it would be more of a mess if I wore a skirt while digging through it all.

Here's hoping the weather you all are having right now is better than what we have! From what I've seen on the weather reports every night, it probably isn't, but I guess we can all be jealous of/bitter toward my parents together, right?


Locket: heirloom | Sweater: JCPenney | Skirt: Belk | Tights: Target | Flats: Banana Republic

It took me a LONG TIME to post my Valentine's Day outfit, y'all. I'll explain why in my next post, but for now, let me tell you what I did for Valentine's Day.

I spent Valentine's Day at work, and then I went food shopping, came home and fed the horses, made dinner, let the horses out, and cleaned my room. You read that right: I cleaned my room. My boyfriend has, until very recently, been working nights, and he had to work Saturday night, while I had to work all day, so there was no overlap in free time. (I got to see him Sunday though!) I am currently on call at home 24/7 because my parents, those jerks, are on vacation in the Florida Keys right now--they've been away since Friday (2/13) and won't be back until Sunday evening (2/22)! So to get home at 7pm and feed the horses, and then cram down a plate of food and be back out at the barn by 9...I was exhausted. I had bold plans to go to the gym and maybe watch Clueless, but I ended up looking at my bedroom and noticing a giant pile of clothing in the corner, which was screaming to be PUT AWAY ALREADY.

So happy Valentine's Day to me: nothing screams romance quite like cleaning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Carp, Đông Hồ district
Wood cut painting

February 19th is the Lunar New Year, y'all! Salazar picked this woodcut painting from the Đông Hồ district of Vietnam, where this particular type of artwork has been traditionally used seasonally specifically for the Lunar New Year. The best part about these pieces is how graphic they are--every image has the same nature, and it makes them all very fun. The school of fish in this piece is especially lively.

Send your SIA photos to Salazar by February 22nd to be included in this week's roundup! Enjoy this one.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Jacket thing: Forever 21 | Dress: Target | Belt: Target | Tights: ??? | Flats: Banana Republic | Nails: butter London Full Steam Ahead

I may not be single anymore, but that doesn't mean I want to do anything for Valentine's Day. My boyfriend works nights, and weekends, and I happen to be working on Valentine's Day too, so my main plan is to eat some crappy food (maybe Chinese?), watch Clueless and sew. There may also be some beer involved. Or at least I hope there will be beer involved. There's nothing more romantic than beer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A morning phase

ugh stupid extra long liner

Coat: Eddie Bauer | Cardigan: Target | Skirt: Ann Taylor Factory | Flats: Target

We need to talk about Beck's win for the Album of the Year Grammy.

I made a semi-serious commitment to listen to all five Album of the Year nominees so I could review them for work, where we post staff picks every few weeks on our website. I purchase all the music for our library system, so I try to review a lot of music. Pro bono publico, you know. I listened to all five albums, and the only one I wanted to listen to again was Morning Phase. I've found that a lot of albums now are more a compact set of singles crammed together onto one disc, but Beck's album was a comprehensive piece. You can't take a song out of it an make it a single. It is truly an album, and that is what I loved so much about it. Morning Phase suck with me. At work, I called Beyoncé the album that would win, X by Ed Sheeran the album that should win (he's an excellent songwriter), and Morning Phase was the album that I quite selfishly wanted to win, because I liked it.

So fast forward to Grammys night, and Beck wins. And I die. And then Kanye West ruins it. And then Beck saves it. And then Kanye ruins it again.

I made the mistake of looking at Twitter at one point, and I was overwhelmed by the typical "who is this hippie" tweets. But I also saw a few tweets that claimed this was discrimination--that instead of "giving" the award to a black woman or a gay man, Grammy voters "gave" the award to a white man. Just so we're clear, Sam Smith--the gay man in question--walked home with four Grammys, so that complaint is null. Beyond that, though, Sam Smith is also a white man! In addition, Beyonce also won three Grammy Sunday night. So that complaint is also null. What disappoints me most, though, is that a number of people have decided to shake away the great equalizing that music can do. You don't see who makes the music when you listen on the radio, turn up your iPhone, open Pandora. You hear the sound first, and everything else comes second. Music has this way of subverting and rising well above the basic differences we have to bring us together, to give us shared experiences. The albums are what are nominated, not just the people who performed the work. But instead, some viewers/listeners were ripping away the experience and looking just at a scrawny white Scientologist on the stage and making judgments based on that.

Fortunately for us all, Morning Phase is about much more than that. It's a smart album, and for my review at work, I compared it to the way moss grows on a tree: the album's beauty grows on you slowly at first, and then all at once. Beyonce's album may have been a new way to market, but it wasn't the most exceptional album of the year. Sam Smith sang about the same thing for 40 minutes straight. Ed Sheeran tried, but failed, to vary his music quite enough to make it count. And Pharrell put out some jams, but there was no cohesion to the album. Beck managed to strip away all the negatives of the other nominees' albums while containing their positives, all while putting his own touch on the work. And that's why Morning Phase deserved to win. I'm quite glad it did.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Style Imitating Art: Automat

It's Style Imitating Art time! This week's inspiration is Automat, by the inimitable Edward Hopper.

First up is Stephanie--she sent me two photos, but I couldn't pick just one so I made a collage! Her necklace is so cool, and I love her blazer. It's the perfect colour!

Next is Selah of A Bibliophile's Style, who is submitting to SIA for the first time! The hat is perfect!

Erin of Loop Looks wore this outfit out for her husband's birthday. She has sequin pants, you guys.

Grace of Living with A-Holts has a beautiful green dress on to match the woman's coat. That's a great colour on you, Grace!

Jen at Librarian for Life and Style has the best photo ever. I'm glad someone found a place to take an Automatesque picture!

My SIA co-creator, Salazar at 14 Shades of Grey, kept her outfit simple, but it evokes the mood of the painting perfectly.

And here's me. It wouldn't be me without some aggressive pattern mixing.

Great job this week, ladies! Everyone looks quite different because we took different elements of the painting to use. I love that. Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Automat, by Edward Hopper
Oil on canvas, 1927

Edward Hopper was one of the last great American realists. While people still argue over whether Andrew Wyeth should be included in that group, or even considered great, not one denies Edward Hopper and what he managed to do while the world of art blasted into the bizarre. Hopper maintained a very specific, identifiable style throughout his career, focusing on one topic at a time, rather than attempting too broad an image. Automat exemplifies Hopper's style, and it's beautiful. The colours, while mostly dark, still reflect some warmth. The subject is deep in...something, be it panic, concentration, or anything else. It's an amazing piece, and it's this week's Style Imitating Art inspiration.

Please send me your photos by Monday, February 9th, to be included in next week's roundup. Enjoy this one!