Monday, June 30, 2008

Crushed in a Library.

Oh dear! I have absented myself for an inexcusable amount of time! I'm afraid I haven't been very good about commenting or reading other blogs, let alone posting anything new here, although I suppose I do have a few meager excuses. I've worked just about every day since Monday--I have never been so sick of black and white in my life--and spent the weekend at an amusement park, briefly (I don't like rides).

I did manage to go thrifting before work on Saturday and scooped up two skirts, a new black half-slip, a t-shirt for the wonderful boyfriend, and a book for 4.32$ (we love half-off student discount days!). Dad lucked out as well and gave me four shirts for him as well to get a discount so the total was about 8$.

I passed up on three things (I do this a lot) which I may scoop up tomorrow if they are still there. One can only have so many ridiculous dresses, something I thought I would never say, when one's closet rack collapses.

I am also very excited since my favorite flowers have come out finally!

Lysimachia clethroides (gooseneck loosestrife)

And I will end this abhorently scattered post with the cat, who has been sleeping in the sink but is outside enjoying the yard at the moment.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Things of Happiness: Fruit Tarts

I am a lazy brat, I know it. Lately, I have had a hard time being properly inspired by happy things. This is not to suggest that I have been a miserable wretch, unhappy with the world, and draping myself over the furniture in a melancholy fashion (although, if I were to do that, I imagine all sorts of delicate lounge clothes which I would wear while doing so). In the end the topic was so obvious I almost perished for the shock of it.

I love food. I think about food often, I talk about it, I eat it almost constantly. I have a terribly sweet-tooth and barely any self-control. I think I've mentioned it before, but while I am terribly picky about spending money on most things I barely bat an eye at plunking down my dollars for snacks. Especially pretty ones.

Fruit tarts are among my favorite things.

1. box, 2. may07 004, 3. may07 002, 4. Why yes, I am obsessed with these tarts.

I've yet to make them myself, although my mother assures me they are not terribly difficult and I would certainly be able to manage. My favorites are raspberries and blackberries, the former because they are my favorite berry of all time, and the latter because their flavor is so strong and almost sour that it is just heaven with pastry cream.


I love reading cookbooks, I do use them but I read them more often than make anything, and Tartine is one of my favorites. I think it's clear the kinds of aesthetics I'm fond of, and the pictures in this book are certainly reminiscent of some of my favorite outfits, editorials, and art. This is of course not mentioning, except now I am mentioning it, that food is a huge inspiration for me! I cannot tell you how often I exclaim, with squeals of obnoxious delight, how much some article of clothing resembles food.

Caught Again.

I was tagged by Sophie Jade of sweet dreams till sunbeams find me! I know it seems there have been a lot of tags around here lately, but I cannot resist a meme!

The rules went like this:
1. Choose runway pictures from any season you like and choose 3 outfits for day,evening and party
2. Explain why and state the name of the designer
3. When finished tag 3 other bloggers


3.1 Philip Lim

This is from a few seasons ago, I forget when exactly, but it is one of my favorite looks ever. I've been in meaningful love with it ever since I saw it, due mostly (I am sure) to the top-hat. When I was in high school I had a master plan to wear a small top-hat to prom or Holly Ball. I never did, but I still want one.

Rachel Comey

I love the dark school-girl look of this. It reminds me, inexplicably, of Tim Burton heroines and looks like something that sprung out of a library.

Rag & Bone

I've had this saved since I first saw it. I love its soft darkness and the almost excessive covered-up nature. Mostly, something about the fabrics make me want to touch it.


Erin Fetherston

I was undecided about which category this ought to fit in. I stuck it in evening because I am fond of the idea of florals at dusk and night. It is something I would certainly wear at all times, but I really like the idea of walking along evening streets in it.

Derek Lam

I love velvet, and the darkness of this (a theme!). It's sort of Victorian looking, in a strange way, which is deeply appealing.


Pants! Are you shocked? I don't really wear pants except to work or if I want to wear sneakers that don't go with dresses, but I feel I could make an exception for this. It's the top really, that giant strangely deformed bow calls to me.


Betsey Johnson

I'm not a huge Betsey Johnson fan but I feel it is only appropriate to include something of hers in the party section. Girly to the extreme, it would be tragic not to have something so frilly and pink and Barbie as a party dress.

Ralph Lauren

Decadent and brocaded and probably for the serious sorts of parties I never go to that involve large pieces of furniture and artwork. Mostly, I think this would look good next to a bookcase and the sort of house where things are heavy and substantial.


Short, black, lace minidresses frighten me but I want one. It sort of looks like it could be underwear, and I love the idea of going to a party and coming come with aching feet and throwing a lazy sweater over this and crawling in front of the TV.

(Also, I feel I must apologize for 'I feel' statements. There are abhorrent things pointing to the stupidity of millions, but I use them anyway.)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roses and Bees.

I've only just gotten home from my excursion to a vintage sale downtown, and I am quite pleased with my purchases (on the other hand, this does leave me unsure about whether or not to return something else I bought at the mall yesterday on sale from Express).

I almost didn't see this beauty! It is in wonderful condition, covered in roses, and made of wool. I only wish the weather suited wearing it, but at least I have it for cooler days this fall and winter!

The bee! He was still there, the little darling. He has no eyeballs, which is sad for him, but I am not sure if I want to replace them or not. Either way, he is magnificent. I love the details on his wings, and the slight pinkish color where the enamel has rubbed off.

This dress was a steal. I didn't try her on, since she was so cheap that once again I figure it will suffice as decoration or perhaps a re-sell to a home where she will be worn. She needs a good dry-clean and a bit of mending, but she is fabulous and reminds me of countless old favorite movies.

Tomorrow I am out to a church rummage sale! I know I am way, way overdue on a Things of Happiness post, and I promise I will churn one out, but for now I am too excited with my finds and there is a raspberry nest pastry waiting for me!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tagged and Set Free.

Milla over at The Girl who Married a Bear tagged me! I love tags and memes, back in the day I was constantly filling out memes and surveys and online quizzes for my online journal.

Five things in my bag/purse:

(Here, you see everything except for my planner which I left on my desk when looking over my schedule)

A book (this week, The Lover by Marguerite Duras)
Umbrella with hearts and a bow
Target reusable tote (I go to Target almost every day. I am not exaggerating)
Two kinds of gum: bubble for fun and minty for teeth
Mini sewing kit (this was deeply over priced in my campus bookstore, but honestly it's been the best purchase I've made in ages)

Five favorite things in my room:
(it is very hard to photograph things in my room. For one, it is messy, and for another, I have terribly lighting because of the strange nature of living in an attic combined with orange walls)

Compact edition of the OED. My boyfriend bought me this for my birthday last year because I had a dream once that I could only afford to buy two volumes of the OED and loved them so much I slept with them next to me. This is a cool volume, the little box at the top has a magnifying glass in it so you can read the text! Also, a skull eraser and little train people!

Cat pictures (oh no, they are crooked!). Now, it is true that I love cats, but I'm not really obsessed with them. Nevertheless, people have always bought me art featuring cats. My favorite is the one all the way on the right. I got it for my birthday one year and it came with two other prints of a dog and something else, a rabbit perhaps, but I lost the other two. Also, books.

My record player and the table area it's on. Apologies about the fuzzy picture! As you can see, I have books piled all over the place. I've had a record player for a few years, my dad thrifted most of the parts from garage and estate sales and got it working for me. I use it a lot in the summer, or when I am sad (for some reason it makes me feel better, sometimes).

This is my favorite corner of my room. At the moment books are piled everywhere since I don't have anywhere enough shelves and very little space in which to fit them even if I did have some. My room is covered in books piled on every surface. But I like this corner.

Writing poetry on the walls. I went through a phase a few years ago where I wrote, in pencil, all over my walls in weird little places. I planned to paint over the bathroom/closet (I don't use it as the latter) walls so those are thoroughly scribbled on.

Five Things I'm Currently In To:

Arthur Rackham

Seals & Sea Lions

Maria Callas

Labyrinth (every few years I remember how awesome this movie is! How could I have forgotten?)

The Lover, Marguerite Duras (also in my purse, you will have noted! Honestly, I am iffy about the book itself, but I love the cover).

Five Things I've Always Wanted to Do:

Write something! Something good, that is worth other people reading.
Keep Bees (Yes, still!)
Work somewhere preciously quaint and whimsical
Find a secret garden/parallel world/faeries
Make fruit tarts

Five Impressions of the Person Who Tagged Me (Milla!):

One of my favorite people and bloggers! I love her clothes and her room, she seems like a wonderful whimsical person who I wish to toads I could hang out with! She is unbelievable sweet and imaginative, with the best mugs in the world :D

I tag: A Rainy Day in Paris, (formerly) Jobless (but still) Jaded, The Cupcake Diary,Vulgar Moon, and Virginia Blue (we love alphabetized things!).

I am now off to ready myself for Art on Lark, vintage sales, and food!

An Amazing Thing!

On Tuesday I dragged myself downtown as I've been meaning to do for weeks. A friend of mine moved into an apartment above a bakery, where she also works (how dreamy is that? It's like something out of a book and is every bit as adorably magical as you imagine), and which I will have to feature here sometime.

I used to live downtown. I don't live in a huge city, but it is the capital of our state, yet there are some really great finds tucked away here and there. I grew up off of one of the best streets ever, around the corner from art galleries, gift shops, gay bars, local coffee shops, bakeries, Greek restaurants, tattoo parlors, used bookstores, vintage furniture havens, flower shops, and Ben & Jerry's. We moved 5 years ago when my grandmother moved to Albany, and while I love our new neighborhood and house, I miss downtown terribly. My childhood was peppered with strange people in the street, festivals where the main roads were shut down for a day, and afternoons in the park watching free musical theater.

Anyway, I have run away with myself. There is a tiny little store which I visited when it was first opened, although then I was not particularly enamored. It was very precious and quiet. However, years and years later my friend and I peeked in. It's glorious! The owner has all kinds of strange knick-knacks, like little faux bird cages with porcelain birds inside, and of course: vintage!

First I was distracted by vintage gloves spilling out of various containers. Especially a tea-colored pair with eyelet edges and an electric blue pair. Sadly, none of them fit (I have very long fingers, and the hardest time finding regular gloves!). I also passed up a golden bee pin with terribly delightful details, and I hope it's still there on Saturday when I go back! Today is payday, and the reason left it there was my sad state of funds, so hopefully I will be lucky!

The back of the store was where most of the vintage clothes and shoes were, I could kick myself for not taking pictures but this weekend I will ask permission and bring some back, and I saw this patterned thing in the corner. I only saw the top details at first, and it reminded me of Heidi or something Free People would sell. Pulling it out, it was even more divine and patterned!

I inspected the price tag, readying myself for disappointment. And then: It was marked down to 20$, plus an extra 20% off!

I didn't even bother to try it on. I figured if it didn't fit I would use it as decoration, or perhaps sell it.

I scooped it up with glee! I excitedly presented it to my boyfriend, who began to whistle 'The Hills Are Alive...' to which I answered with the kind of whine reserved for disappointed puppies. He has a terrible habit of coming up with horrible comparisons (although this one was not so bad) of things I pick up and then I can't wear them anymore because all I can think of is Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

I took it home and got myself into it, only to discover it takes some professional acrobatics to get it zippered. It is ti-i-ight around the ribcage, but with some wiggling I can make it happen. For now it works, although I must be careful not to sneeze. My mother, the worlds best seamstress, has examined it and we are planning to insert some patterned panels into the side so I can wear it as often as I would like. I do feel slightly guilty about altering vintage, sort of like when you fix and antique table and now it's not worth so much, but I believe first and foremost that these things are to be worn, not stowed away! And so if we must alter to do so, so be it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Buttons on Sweaters.

Today is perfect weather, though it won't last, and I've decided to make the most of it. I bought this dress very on sale last week, and was most disgruntled when I discovered it at Marshall's last night for even cheaper! Ahh well, it's worth a few extra dollars to have worn it a few times sooner.

The sweater was thrifted a few weeks ago, it's a Kids XL, and I quickly changed the buttons. I had hoped I would find enough metal buttons in my many boxes but I didn't have enough and they were such different sizes that many of them didn't fit through the button holes.

One of my best friends sent me a book she made, and I have been so terrified to write in it for fear of ruining it. But it's so pretty I want to carry it around as a pretty prop all day.

Hand-Bound Books Christa Rosenkranz.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Slippery Slope.

My camera has been broken for a few days, but thanks to the wonders of the internet a replacement arrived yesterday! This is very exciting, since I've been using my camera since last July (the day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, actually) without an LCD screen. I've been setting the self-timer from memory, since I already knew how many times I had to press what buttons to set it, and taking pictures of other things by guessing. It's such a luxury to see what I'm taking a picture of!

My point though, is slips. I have sixteen, which perhaps isn't quite as much as I thought, but still a considerable amount. The other day I was in a foul-mouthed foul mood and decided to run into Goodwill. Normally I avoid it, since the local one is terribly disorganized, overpriced, and I hardly find anything worth the trip. This visit was different! First, they reorganized with new shelves. Second, I found two lovely and perfect half-slips with inches of lace on the bottom. One mint green, one white, they were both yellow-tagged and thus, were half-off!

I have ten full-slips that I keep on one hanger. I love the range in colors, so delicate and breezy, soft and tea-steeped, and they look so nice hanging against my windows (I hang my slips from the handles that open my skylights). I wear the top two slips the most often, because of their length, and have been meaning to alter some of the other ones so that I may wear them with shorter dresses but have yet to get around to it. The second slip is my favorite. It was floor-length and my mom shortened it with the neatest and prettiest little French seam around the middle.

One of my favorite things about slips are the tiniest of details. This one has blue flowers encased in lace, all along the neckline and the hem.

I have several half-slips (the two newest are in the center) which I've taken to wearing under longer dresses and skirts. Lately I've been lucky enough to find ones that are quite decadent on the bottom with large edges of lace. The top one here is more of a skirt, and reminds me of tablecloths. I have yet to wear it, but I just love it. It reminds me of the beach.

I've always loved slips and nightgowns. I remember when I was little I always wanted more and always wandered around those sections in department stores of thrift stores. They are perfect. They are functional both for adding length to a dress or skirt, or for preventing irritating clinging-to-stockings. Mostly though, they are beautiful and delicate. I just love them to bits. In the summer I'm a big fan, I liked to toss one on when I'm sitting around the house trying not to pass-out in the heat. There is something very appealing about sweaty summer evenings and slips, pretty and sort of debauched and subversive.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am Sticking to Everything I am in Unfortunate Contact With.

Today was the hottest it's been, around 97 degrees, and yet now it is cool and mild out (aside from rain and tornado warnings). This morning though, before propelling myself into the pool, I dragged myself to the thrift store around the corner with no makeup or jewelry, my hair in braids with bows, and in the simplest of dresses.

I ADMIT the briar
Entangled in my hair
Did not injure me

-William Butler Yeats, A Woman Young and Old

I bought this slip at Old Navy the other day, because it is so pretty and delicate, even if its length is a bit awkward for wearing under dresses. I am unable to leave nightgowns and slips hanging, my collection is reaching slightly epic proportions, and yet I cannot resist! I don't even wear them to bed most of the time. They're useful under dresses, adding an extra inch or so to a hem I feel might be too short, eliminating the sheerness of certain dresses, and hanging prettily in front of windows as decorations.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Painted Veil

I am a great fan of buying used DVDs at Blockbuster. This week I made a great purchase of a few movies I have been meaning to buy for years, but never got around to it, and while they are all incredibly different it is clear that the person who bought them is fond of pretty movies. I have been meaning, also, do post about The Painted Veil for a while now. It's another tragic movie where people are endlessly cruel to each other and yet I cannot stop from watching it.

I would be lying to myself and the rest of the universe if I did not admit that much of my love for this movie stems from the aesthetics of its fashions. Edward Norton's character wears smart suits which deeply appeal to me, although not as much as Naomi Watts's costumes. They are divine, from frilly and too-too dresses she wears at home, to simple shifts and blouses when overheating in the midst of a Cholera epidemic which could honestly be seen on streets today.

I just love all of it, and this present hot weather would be made so much better if only I had these clothes to walk around the house in, fanning myself with some delicate ornamented fan and carrying a sweating glass of something cool to drink.

I also must acquire a parasol. I'm not sure if I would actually use it, I don't really walk around in the sun that often, and once again I remind myself that I do not live in the sort of city that often sees that sort of thing, but it would be so wonderful that to deprive myself of it seems inexplicably silly.