Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspiration: Jose Vanders

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(look! look! more polka dots!)

Jose Vanders is a British singer/songwriter that I came across several years ago, back when Myspace was still cool, and it was still cool to get a Myspace although I wasn't of age. But her music is something that has been a source of inspiration for me, especially in the spring and summer. Her voice is soft, tender, and accompanied by the piano makes for beautiful, lilting music. Something about it seems to speak of gentle breezes coming through windows with sheer curtains, an empty room with only a piano, sundresses and sun hats...
She also has a charm in her lyrics, which are simple but capture some things that are difficult to communicate. Her song "Man On Wire" is particularly beautiful:
If I wrote down a hundred things
that I thought that I could do 
by the time that I was sixty-seven,
would there be another list
of all the things that I missed
all because I had a fear of failing?
She isn't a Taylor Swift or a Ke$ha, not a teen girl with nothing to sing about but money to make-- she has a purpose, it seems, a message to communicate about herself and her world, and it's a place worth visiting.
See josevanders.com for info and a sample of her music. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

polka!

dress: modcloth
shoes: Target
flower hair ornament: The Looking Glass
bag: thrift

Today was the long-awaited and dreaded SENIOR PICTURES SHOOT. I got up at the butt crack of dawn for a morning shoot that lasted till lunch. In addition to the traditional cap and gown photos, I was forced to take took some photos for my mom's sick pleasure fun. This was one of the dresses I got while in Martin, at Sugar and Spice, and I absolutely love this little beauty.


I know you're thinking, "Really? Another red and/polka dot dress?" YES! YES! YES! I think I have some kind of polka dot fetish. It's a problem I love them. Coincidentally, my mom wore polka dots today too; we took some of the professional photos together. She had a blue polka dot blouse, while I wore this. We looked like AMERICA. (Whoops.)
Unfortunately, this dress isn't the best for windy days like today. When walking across the parking lot to take my photos...

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Well, that was great.


My flower hair pin I got at a little coffee shop in Martin called The Looking Glass, where they hand make everything. They sold hair pins like these, scarves, necklaces made out of ties, t shirts, and some of the BEST iced coffee I've ever had. I'm working on figuring out how to make them myself so I can have some in different colors! But till then, I love the gold; it'll work well for fall. I love the mustard and greens this year, I have a feeling they'll be splattered all over my wardrobe.

adieu, adieu!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review: The Agony and the Ecstasy


I close the book, and I am bereft.
Moving, pure poetry, an examination of the work, mind, and soul of the one of the people I admire most in the world.* It is a commentary on the nature of art, as well as a parade of ridiculous, reverent and irreverent, beautiful characters. Michelangelo and his work is timeless; although he lived over five hundred years ago, Stone has brought him back fresh, as pulsating and utterly real as when he held hammer and chisel in his hand. Reading this novel, I even forgot at times that this is Stone's interpretation of Michelangelo, and not the man himself. The Agony and the Ecstasy was so personal and yet worshipful an account of the artist that the reader finds themselves in agony and ecstasy. 
This novel is for readers willing to plunge deep into time, into the mind, and into art.

*Yes, I am biased immensely; Michelangelo is my favorite artist of all time, better than Da Vinci, Raphael, Donatello, Rubens, or any other. Know that when I praise this book, it is partly because I love and respect the Maestro as I do. STILL, READ IT. You wont't regret it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

thank you.

white denim dress: thrifted
loafers: target
cardigan: Old Navy
hat: Ross
Archimedes the Owl: Sugar & Spice (Martin, TN)

This outfit is one I forgot to post a few days ago; this dress is a recent find, and I absolutely love it! I wore a strapless bra with it too, which usually is uncomfortable for me, but strangely, it worked out perfectly. I even felt thinner
I've found that I have more confidence when I feel thinner, not necessarily look thinner. And I'm finding that so much of that comes out of what I eat. This summer, I've been eating fruit like crazy, watermelon, apples, pineapples, grapes, yum! I used to eat chips and bologna ALL the time when I was younger, and I had some major body image issues, but now I find fruits and veggies to be the answer (NOT broccoli, I'm still too immature for that). I never would have believed how much better I feel. 


But it goes deeper, really. I would say that it's that the new way I feel about myself allows me to take some new steps in how I dress. For me, it was a change of attitude; do I want to blend in, do I want to just get by, or do I want to be attractive, do I want to try to put myself forward, show myself? I think that's something that I appreciate about the blogger/fashion community, it helped me to see that everyone has a beauty all their own. Maybe that's obvious, and it's easy to know in the head, but it's difficult to feel with the heart. So, thank you. Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart.


adieu, adieu!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

dirty mouth? clean it up!

green pants: thrifted
satin shirt: thrifted
flower necklace: Old Navy
nude heels: Target

I. HATE. THE. DENTIST.
To be fair, I hate going to the dentist, I have nothing against dentists themselves. I hate going to the doctor as well. I turn into such a big chicken when Mom tells me I have an appointment, and I imagine all sorts of needles and drills and shots they can stuff into me in one visit. Once, I had to get some blood tests done, and when the poor nurse came to give me the shot, I argued with her: "You don't have to give me that." She answered, "But the doctor said..." "No," I smiled reassuringly, "you really don't have to give me that."
Unfortunately, Mom stopped me, and I got the shot.
Still, my loose, toothpaste-green pants sure comforted me today when I was shaking at the office, staring at all the informational posters showing the inside of teeth and gums... 


One word inspired today's outfit: REFRESHING! Refreshing like fruit, like watermelon.
I love the combination of pinks/reds with this green, it looks so sweet! In fact, I wore these colors the first day of Governors School, and I got the "Friendly Fruit" silly superlative. Inspiring!
My little flower is another piece that I've had trouble pairing things with, because it's a little different from the rest of my wardrobe, but I'm pleased that the silver of the chain complimented the silver of the shirt.


adieu! adieu!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

OBSESSION: peter pan collars

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I just love these sweet little collars. They're perfect, casual or formal, and they add so much charm to a simple outfit. I want to learn to make them myself and put them all over my clothes! I'm on the hunt for a DIY...

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

earthling.

blouse: thrifted
shorts: borrowed
loafers/bag: target
owl necklace: sugar & spice (Martin, TN)

Unfortunately, despite my many attempts to be un-shy in front of a camera, I am still a little uncomfortable. And this weekend I take my dreaded... SENIOR PICTURES! (dun, dun) Ew.
Anyway, this outfit was something sweet and simple that I just threw together. I've had the huge blouse for a while, but I had trouble wearing it without a jumper till today. I think my little owl helped make everything better; I'll have to take him to my senior shoot with me. (BTW: His name is Archimedes, how perfect is that?!)



I felt kind of college-y in this too (hehe), like some liberal arts student just leaving her study session on Machiavelli's Prince or the origins of the Renaissance. Speaking of which, I also got my new iPhone today (wooo!), whose name is officially Lorenzo (after Ill Magnifico). And keeping in line with my rather academic attitude, I'll be studying for the SAT in September starting tomorrow (At least that's my plan anyway). After all that reasoning and grammar, I'll have to purge myself with pretty things on weheartit<3 and play in my closet with my thrift store finds.
And...as has become traditional when my brother is absent for my photo time, he successfully ruins them.


My reaction: HEAVY SIGH


adieu, adieu!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

American Pie.

dress: thrifted
flats: target (American Eagle)

I'm back! Back and happy about it! This afternoon all the major cleaning on my poor Mac was finished, and I am SO happy. (Proceeds with the happy dance)

This little red number I've had for months now and never had the courage to wear; it's a bit shorter than I'm used to and more form-fitting. But I guess every girl needs her polka dots. (NOTE: This dress may go on sale someday.)
I wore this out to go thrifting, where I got quite a few little treasures I'll be happy to wear, as soon as I get out of the house. I have several sewing projects that I'm hoping to finish soon, including an Etsy find that I LOVE, but unfortunately was made for a seven-foot Amazon woman with my waist and a double-D chest. So that's an addition to my pile of projects.


At this point in the summer, I find myself already looking forward to fall. I have numerous outfits hanging in my closet, all put together, of fun things I can't wait to wear this fall. I'm seeing a lot of brown, greens, mustard, and some slate grey in my wardrobe. I'm inspired by Kani's fall outfits already; she makes me miss my tights and warm cardigans and black dresses.

SOMETHING SIMPLE

Till then, I still have plenty inspiration for the remainder of the summer; I'm still in love with the pale blues, pinks, the lace, and the cotton frocks with shots of bright reds and blues through my outfits. I'll write more on that later ;]

And... here's a sneak peak of a sweet something that I've already finished! My first real sewing project!

adieu, adieu!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

trouble, trouble, trouble...

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I'M NOT DEAD, I'M TOO ANGRY TO BE DEAD.
My Mac's hard drive crashed. For the last several days, it has been under construction, the poor thing. I can hear Mac straining to clean itself out and to reboot, and it sounds terrible. I really don't understand it; I have no idea what caused it, and besides, Macs are supposed to last forever, right? I'd always heard they'd be with the cockroaches after Armageddon. My computer programmer mother has been scouring the hard drive to retrieve my files (I was a dumbo and haven't been backing them up on my external hard drive), and she finally had a breakthrough today. Hopefully, it'll be operational by Thursday. Oh, Mac! How I miss you!
BUT, I am planning a comeback! I want to have a funsies photo shoot with a friend of mine, Nicole, later this week. Hopefully, Nicole will come back as a model for me when I open the shop.
I'm sorry I haven't been posting; I've been staying inside, too, curled up with the Agony and the Ecstasy, which I'll be posting on later this week as well. I also went thrifting last weekend, picked up some fun things for my soon-to-be shop, and I finished my first sewing project! I'll go into more detail with that later.

adieu, adieu, till I have subdued my dearest Mac.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CHOMP! CHOMP! Food for Thought.

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"Elegance is refusal." --Coco Chanel
  • fashion designer and icon; famous for her little black dresses and suits
  • revolutionary for bringing women out of the Victorian age styles
  • taught how to sew by nuns in the orphanage where she spent her childhood
  • the name "coco" came from a nickname given to her during a short singing career
  • began selling clothing after she made a dress out of an old jersey that various people loved
  • had a romance during WWII with a Nazi officer; this led to scorn for her that did not fade until she returned to the fashion world several years later
  • died in 1971, never married

Monday, July 4, 2011

stripes.


Today was nice, but just nice. It was cooler than yesterday, which was blistering hot, and I got to see my pal Mel for a few hours. We browsed Barnes and Noble and split a cheesecake. Mm. Also, I had "Wagon wheel" by Bob Dylan stuck in my head all day.
Rock me, mamma, like a wagon wheel, rock me, mama, any way you feel...!

hat: ?
bag: thrifted
shoes: target
dress: Ross
belt: ?

This outfit is one of my personal favorites. It's so effortless and comfortable, and I've always been iffy about wearing stripes because I know they can make me look wider... but I tossed that to the wind in favor of this sweet little number. The perfect thing for a warm July day, AND it's not overly patriotic for America Day, but not cheering for, say, those Nazis or something. I need a good 'Merica movie.

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Funny-- my brother's friend came to visit him from TX today, and he said to me: "Hey, Jordan's coming over, don't look bad."




And America Day ended with...yep, you guessed it-- Chinese food. 
And on a day we celebrate with....yes, Chinese fireworks. 
IRONY! I drown in IRONY!
Happy America Day!

(in bed)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

birds of a feather (or pterodactyls?)


Hello, hello! Back to outfit posts, as promised!

dress: Walmart
gladiators: Ross
bag: target
sunglasses: ?

Today was a bit of a blah day. After a month of get-up-and-go with the same people, always moving and laughing and making memories, to sit around with nothing to do in particular was strange. The heat added to the general lethargic mood of the house too. But I did get myself up to go see some Fourth of July fireworks tonight, where I got to hang out with my friend Hailey, whom I met at Governors School! It was weird to see so many people from my "normal" life that I haven't seen in weeks; I saw Watts and Linea and Shohei, and it was like an out of body experience. And the hills we drove over-- I did not realize how flat Martin was till I was nearly puking when we drove these curvy Sumner county streets.

creepy...

My dress was kind of spur of the moment buy when we were at the Martin Walmart. We were there to pick up a pack of v-necks and fabric markers to make our occult shirts with (can't tell you, or I'd have to kill you), when someone suggested getting something cheap in the clothes section. I think Forrest is actually the one who picked it for me, and i love it. It's a bit more mainstream than I'm used to, but it's easy and light and I can wear it in the fall too. 
When I first wore at Gov. School, my (very) Chinese friend Angie said, "You look so much more Asian!" (What?)


My Gov. Schoolers informed me that I am a "natural hipster." Gonna have to do some investigating on that one. Urbandictionary said: "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses...The "effortless cool" urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads which cater towards the hipster demographic...Anti-hipster sentiment often comes from people who simply can't keep up with social change and are envious of those who can.
INTERESTING.

adieu, adieu!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Neverland.


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Home, home again. Home amongst my trees and hills and broken air conditioner, with my parents and my little brother that I missed like a severed hand, but I hesitate, and look back.

We drove home the three and half hours, and I was in a daze, and not just from the all-nighter of sad goodbyes and partying and watching absurd movies. This IS my world, with the people I've known for years, but there, back at Governors School, is Neverland (as a student in 2001 appropriately called it).
So strange, that in a place where they expect us to grow up a little, I find myself falling back into childhood--laughing like a teenager, like a normal person amongst her peers. Yes, yes, we did college work, which sounds like a drag, but it pales inn comparison to the feeling of being amongst other people like me, interested in philosophy and history and the obscenity of passive voice.
Joe called us "his people;" I can't help but agree. It didn't even hit me until we pulled into our driveway, and I looked around and they were all gone, those people I had come to cherish over the last several weeks. I cried, although I thought I wouldn't. Mom says it's a chapter in my life, but it is a hard chapter to close. We became a family, and we inhabited Neverland like few of us have the chance to experience. I am so thankful for the experience.