Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pictures on the Wall



I've been wanting to share this picture that I bought for myself for Christmas (to save Mr. Sparkle the trouble). Once I saw it, I couldn't look away – I love old buildings anyway, and the little bit of wallpaper just drew me in. And it was reasonably priced, including the frame.
 

"80 Years of In and Out"


The photographer is Jason Rydquist. If you like pictures of dereliction and abandonment – and who doesn't! – you should check out his website.
  
The tag that came with this picture says, "This dining room door was the threshold between a full square mile of surrounding fields outside and the central hub of the farmhouse, where meals awaited. The Bitner Homestead in Hersey, Michigan.”


So now it hangs in my kitchen, the threshold between the freezer and the microwave.

Here are some other original pieces we've acquired through the years.




Nicole Bernier was selling some small drawings on the street in Victoria, BC (Sheila, do you know her?). I love the freedom of the line here and all the negative space.



These pots were painted by an old boyfriend. Again, negative space. For some reason, my husband does not like this painting, so I keep it at work.


Huh, more negative space. This is a pastel drawing by a friend of a friend, Janet Robertson. I don't know what ever happened to her, but she had a studio in Seattle when I bought this. I imagined it was me in the drawing, sitting by the Puget Sound, drinking a Long Island Iced Tea.

This is one of my mother's paintings, a watercolor of the area where she grew up in western Nebraska. The little brown blobs on the left are cows.


I did this little watercolor in high school. It's Dash Point State Park near Tacoma, Washington. My mom kept it and framed it. I'm glad she did, because it reminds me of a certain time and place when I was starting to drive and thought I was so mature. It seems like ages ago. What am I saying, it WAS ages ago!



And I keep this little picture in my office for good feng shui - my back is partially to the door, so this helps ward off evil going on behind my back. This is a flyer from the Seattle Art Museum with a painting by Orazio Gentileschi, and I think it depicts his daughter, the painter Artemisia Gentileschi. I love Italian Baroque paintings. I studied in Rome for three months - tre mese di paradiso!

So that's a little tour of the Sparkle Museum of Art. Please return your headsets on the way out.

What's your favorite type of art?

Val

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stripes II: Return of the Orange Tights with a Vengeance



Hello, everyone, and thanks for all the great comments last week! I hadn't planned to post three days in a row, but since I had a pretty good haul from Goodwill, and then Wendy Brandes got inside my head (post here) I just had to seize the moment. Speaking of Wendy B., did you see her invitation to send her pictures of your puffy shirt? (And the giant shout-out to yours truly? I'm blushing.) If you have a puffy shirt, send her a picture and she'll do a big ol' puffy shirt post of the pictures she gets. And if you didn't see that episode of Seinfeld, you can watch this.


This week I'm all about stripes, again (previous post on stripes here).

I'm channeling my inner beatnik and having an existential crisis.

These pictures were actually taken a couple of weeks ago. A few people have had the discussion about taking pictures ahead of time versus true Outfit of the Day pictures. I do both, mostly because I don't have as much time during the week - work just gets in the way. Although I sometimes take pictures when I go home for lunch. The pictures of my puffly shirt (ruffle + puffy = puffly) were taken the same day I posted because I had to respond to Wendy B. right away. I did NOT want her to outdo me in Seinfeld references. Now we're Even Steven. (I might be a little bit ahead.)

Photos by me - not as good as when Mr. Sparkle takes them
In this outfit I'm posing leisurely because it was the weekend. It's almost exactly what I wore the previous week, with just a change of jewelry because I thought it was time I start shilling for my shop again. The necklace I'm modeling is available from my Etsy shop here.

The pendant has marbled paper (made by me) under resin

The shirt and tights are from Target, the skirt is from Old Navy, and the shoes are Dockers, thrifted. The skirt is a large size, but it was all they had. I've had to do some tweaking with the waist and the hem, but it fits now and I love it!

Photos by me - not as good as by Mr. Sparkle

Black shoes or boots would be good, too, but this time I thought it would be cool to not cut my feet off visually. I think the tan shoes work well, repeating the tan in the skirt.


The week I wore this, I wore stripes almost every day! I didn't plan it, and by the fourth day I thought I'd better make a conscious effort to wear something else. However, on one of my stripe days I wore my new obi from Megan Mae.

Shirt - Target; trousers - Lee from JCP; shoes - thrifted

This picture was taken really quickly at lunch as I was about to go back to work. The pictures were not flattering to my face, so I cut my face off visually. I mean, we're all good friends, but still – some things are better not shared!

I'll be linking up (using a good picture) to Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. See you there!

Val

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Puffly Shirt


There's something weird going on between me and Wendy B. That's Wendy Brandes, the jewelry designer. I don't follow her blog regularly, but I should. I stopped by the other day because I saw the title: What Wendy Wore:Family Guy Epiphany and 2 Seinfeld References. How could I not look at that? I love Seinfeld, and most of Family Guy. And Wendy's post was so funny! She referenced the puffy shirt on Seinfeld, as well as the pink-striped jacket lining. You should read her post, and watch all the Seinfeld reruns if you don't know them already.

I commented that I also have a ruffly shirt, which I call my puffy shirt, and which I was planning (before I read her post) to wear today. She replied that she wants to see a picture. So yada, yada, yada, here I am with a picture.

Mr. Sparkle as The Photographer

I thrifted this Oscar de la Renta puffly shirt. I just love the double ruff on the cuff. (That phrase kind of makes me think of "I like to shop at the duty-free shop." Another Seinfeld reference.  And really, don't you come across real-life Seinfeld references almost every week?)

The denim skirt is from JCP, tights from Target, thrifted shoes, belt from Fred Meyer, and necklace made by me last night while watching TV (probably not the kind of thing Wendy wants to hear). I'm going to call it "The Mulva."


Today on Wendy's blog she mentions buying stuff in museum stores. If you're reading this, Wendy, check out my post last Sunday, down at the bottom, where I mention the earrings I bought at the art museum store.

And then she mentions a children's book about kids spending the night in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. I never read that book as a child, but I read about it on an art history blog, and I've been trying to find it at my local library. They have it in the catalog, but it's never on the shelves, even though the catalog says it's not checked out. Huh.

I'm thinking either Wendy is psychic or I am. To cover my bases, I'll be adding Wendy's blog to my blogroll. And I'll be going back to the kid's section at the library and looking – again – for that book. It'll probably be there now!

Then I'll stop at the bakery for a chocolate babka.

Val

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boots and Roses

This is a just quick post to show some thrift finds and try-outs. The pictures were taken in the mirror with a glaring flash. I have no make-up on and tousled hair. I admit it was slapdash, and I promise to do better in the future.

But look - I used Pic Monkey! And look, I'm pattern mixing! And look, I just got these uber-cool short boots and this pretty dress! I feel like I discovered a cure for acne!

Sunday morning - messing about with new dress and boots and pattern mixing. Cardi and red tights from Target.

I went to Goodwill on Saturday armed with patience and a tape measure. And I was rewarded with the boots (W2O - never heard of them), two dresses (Cherokee [above] and Worthington, both discounted because it was green tag day), a pair of Levi's, and a half-slip for a total of $16.18. I didn't try on the dresses before I bought them, but both.fit.perfectly. What I did was measure some skirts at home to get my hip width, then brought a sewing tape measure to the store with me. Plus, I'm getting pretty good at realistically visualizing sizes. This rosey dress fits like a dream! You'll be seeing it again when the weather gets better.

Two new-to-me dresses


I'm going to link up to the Weekly Thrift at Young Heart. Can't wait to see what everyone else has to show off!

Val

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kopy Kat


I like those posts where somebody copies an outfit they saw on another blog. I finally saw one that I wanted to copy, on Kezzie's blog (link here).
 
IMG_6528
Kezzie and my inspiration


Yes, Kezzie again – the lovely soul who nominated me for the Liebster Award (see my post here). In Kezzie’s outfit, I really liked the combination of dark florals with the tweed jacket and soft grey sweater/jumper. It's so English! And there she is in Trafalgar Square, too!

I didn't think I'd be able to copy her outfit until I remembered I had a tweed jacket tucked away in a garment bag. I rarely wear it, but this prompted me to get it out.

Tweed jacket, part of a skirt suit, from Marks & Spencer. How English!
I didn’t have an attractive young man to take my photos, like Kezzie did, and I'm not in Trafalgar Square. But I did pull out my brolly for a couple of shots, and there is a little sculpture in my garden.


The skirt used to be a dress with an empire waistline. I took the top off years ago. I recently added some colour to the skirt with Sharpie pens and alcohol (Google Sharpie tie dye and you'll see how I did it). I made my blobs pretty watery to suit the existing pattern.

Thrifted belt, (saggy) tights from Target, shoes from TJ Maxx, pearl brooch from 1980s
The only grey top I have is my head, so I wore an old Bennetton shirt (purchased in Britain) in pale blue teal. This also doesn't get much use because it wrinkles if you look at it funny. But it is nicely made with cute little square buttons.

The scarf is made with fabric from a blouse (Monsoon, purchased in Britain) and pinned with my opal stick pin. As a blouse it was always tight, but I just loved the print so I bought it anyway.


Although I could probably count on one hand the times I wore it as a blouse, I didn't want to let anyone else have it either! And it took a long time for me to get the courage to cut it up because I wasn't sure what to do with it, but I finally decided to make a scarf. 

What inspired me about Kezzie's outfit was the combination of tweed and florals, so I tried the tweed jacket with a different floral-like print.

 
Black tiered skirt (Walmart) and a paisley-floral blouse (JCP) and the same thrifted belt. I put the stick pin on my lapel here.

Teal tights - Target

I tried some different tights here - too bright. And I took the jacket off - hot flash.

I'm not kidding.



And here are the earrings, which I bought at the art museum gift shop here – I love museum gift shops, don’t you? There’s a little picture of a geisha putting on make-up (or putting her contacts in?).

Ta dah! So there's my copy of Kezzie's outfit. Other than some changes with shoes and tights, I can see myself wearing both these outfits. Especially next time I'm in London!

I saw Kezzie's outfit on Visible Monday, so it's only fitting that I should take my copy back there. And then, of course, I'll be off to Ta Dah! Tuesday.

Val