Saturday, June 9, 2012

west texas wandering

I love going West. In the late spring and early desire, my desire to drive West reaches turns into a fever.  So we left Austin on a Friday afternoon, and drove not one interstate on the way to Marathon, which we reached on Saturday afternoon.  We had reservations at the historic Gage Hotel, where I had wanted to stay for years.  It was all I had hoped for, and we would have happily stayed there another night; however, on Saturday evening we stumbled upon a fundraising party for Marathon's emerging recycling program.  A bed and breakfast called Eve's Garden hosted the party, and we were so intrigued by their space that we decided to spend our second night there, after rambling around for a day in Big Bend National Park.

Most of the buildings that make up Eve's Garden are made of a material called papercrete, and have been constructed over the past decade or so.  The colors on the buildings are bright and lovely.  It was a fun place to stay, with plants and cats galore, and great views of the West Texas sunset from the empty lots surrounding it. 

I've had all the elements of this outfit for a while, though it was the first time I'd worn the dress, which is Urban Outfitters, either '10 or '11.   My Converse had been freshly washed in a machine, which improved their appearance and aroma greatly. Yeah, I look a little orange here, thanks to the setting sun, and the building. 


'Til next time, West Texas.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

derby day

So take this photo as proof that I actually do get dressed.  At least on special occasions, like the First Saturday in May (aka Derby Day), which is essentially a religious holiday for Kentuckians like me.

(this dress is currently sold out, but Lulu's has a Got Mint? section with dozens of pieces)
Patent shoes: Urban Outfitters, long long ago
Necklace: Anthropologie, long ago
Straw purse: Target front-of-store bargain bins, a couple of years ago but I think they are back for $2.50
Striped hat: Target, 2010

For the third time, I attended the Kentucky Derby party at The Highball in Austin.  They project the race on a big screen and have Makers Mark mint juleps and hot brown sandwiches, all of which I enjoy.

One thing I seriously need to work on is either finding or building a proper Derby hat. Two years ago I wore a close-fitting straw hat (from the Target Eugenia Kim collection) that, to me, resembled a classic jockey's cap, but it was far too small and simple for the event.  My hat this year was just a random thing that I wear outside on sunny days to help protect my face; its brim was closer to proper Derby size, but it was very boring by Derby standards.  I was super impressed with the hat that Veronika of Tick Tock Vintage crafted in 2011, and hopefully I'll get something fabulous made in the next 51 weeks.

(that's a piece of dry grass in front)

Friday, April 6, 2012

fantasy friday: things i wish i could do, mostly related to getting dressed...

These last few weeks have been doozies... I helped organize and pull off a conference about Texas food (and wore gingham through most of it), had my trusty car die on me (but be reborn with a new battery), started banjo lessons, and had my significant other come home from a company outing with a torn ligament...  Other than the gingham, most of my outfits have been shorts and t-shirts which got streaked with dirt from under the hood of my car, or the fastest thing I could pull on to run to last-minute meetings, errands or the doctor's office. A decent outfit I did put together to attend a friend's dissertation defense got completely splattered with kombu caramel cremeux when I pulled the trigger on my new Whipper for the first time, having only barely skimmed the directions for set-up and use.

I tend to enjoy the weekly features I see on some blogs, such as on dragonflight dreams, so I thought I would try to start one of my own.  "fantasy friday" will feature a list each week of fantasies (no, not that kind, minds out of gutters, folks)... things I am dreaming/wishing/hoping about.  Hopefully each week will have a slightly different theme, and some will be light, maybe some heavy, some attainable, and some, perhaps, purely ridiculous.

For this week's list, the topic is "Things I wish I could do, mostly related to getting dressed..."

1.  Walk in heels.  Any heels.  Seriously, anything higher than a 1 inch stack or  kitten-type heel has me kicking off the shoe in pain within about 30 minutes, and that's even if I am just standing and moving short distances.

2.  French braid (or any other type of elaborate braid) my own hair.  I am not sure if my inability to self-braid is due to my own lack of coordination, my super fine hair, my resistance to product, or just not paying my dues in terms of time spent practicing.

(I have been especially enchanted by the Katniss braids in Hunger Games.  Refinery 29 has a tutorial here that I might just have to try.)

3.  Make friendship bracelets, with embroidery thread.  I haven't exactly tried this since I was around 10 years old, but I was absolutely horrible at it then, and have good reason to believe I still would be.  I did buy a couple on Target clearance the other day though. (=

4.  Wear scarves well.  I often wonder if I have a misshapen head or something, as, regardless of how I fold and tie them, they always seem too wide for my head and fall off.  This might also have something to do with the above mentioned super fine hair.

(I am going to try to find the time to try out these suggestions from A Beautiful Mess sometime soon.)

That's all of my li'l list for now.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baby Steps, or Dress the Closet Door

Well, I still can't really get dressed and go out (still sickly, boo hoo), but I sure do know a closet door that can! ok, not the going out part.

So this is the outfit I wore to the Texas Style Council Poshmarkapp Party.  Save the sequinned bag (that flashy bundle peeking out from under the dress) and the necklace, every last stitch of it came from Target clearance, alas (the bag was old-Old Navy, and the necklace is of mystery aka forgotten origin.).  I have mixed feelings about the shoe line that Converse does for/in collaboration with Target.  Their starting cost is not much less (and often higher) than regular Chuck Taylors are at, say, Marshalls or TJ Maxx, and they seem to run wider and flatter than regular Converse.  These are the type that do not come with laces, or the option of adding laces due to how the tongue is sewn in place.  That all said, they were covered in pink sequins and they cost $11.  That drove me to need them for the TxSC party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Being in my style blogging infancy, I was very appreciative of all of the TxSC sponsors and partners who reached out to everyone in attendance, in addition to the sponsorship they provided to the established blogger-speakers.   francesca's collections was among these kind businesses, and came to the Posh Party armed with treats to give to TxSC attendees who follow them on twitter and took part in a little game they had. I did not explore the little gift bag the francesca's rep handed me until I got home, when I was so excited to find that it contained this awesome chevron print wrap.  I have been wanting to try out a basic chevron  print (as opposed to a wild Missoni-for-Target chevron, which also has its charms) for a few months now, but I had not found a piece that I really liked.  I love this wrap because it includes deep orange/rust (a color I love) and black.  I always want to pair rust with other fall-type colors, like mustard, maroon, brown, and olive green, but this wrap will help me expand beyond that I think.  Also, the wrap is lighter weight than any of my other wraps or cardigans, which will make it much more wearable in Austin.
I tried out dressing the closet door in the wrap with the dress I wore to the Posh Party.  Yes!  Now I can wear this dress (which I love and is very comfortable) not only for fancy going-out doings, but also for, say, teaching. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

13 March 2012: I will blog. I will blog. I will blog.

This past weekend was the Texas Style Council Conference.  I was definitely one of (perhaps _the_, note the lack of posts here*) least experienced style blogger there, but I have aspirations. 

After witnessing my enthusiasm during TxSC, my dear significant other offered to take outfit photos for me.  Unfortunately, I promptly got sick after the conference, and likely won't be getting dressed in anything but pajamas for a few days.  A few days without being tempted by the charms of SXSW and without attending work meetings around town may be good for blogging, though.  I was definitely daydreaming of assembling outfits between sneezes and sniffles today.

IIn addition to her mention of her cats, I really appreciated Julie of Orchid Grey enthusiastically touting the value of instagram during the Blog Balance panel, for sharing images, ideas, and inspiration.  I need some help with blog balance, in that this blog could stand to weigh a few more grams on my time scale than it does currently; however, I have already managed to follow a social media routine in 2012, wherein I instagram at least one photo every day (not related to any of the #monthphotoaday challenges--I experimented with that but could not keep up with the theme structure), under the instagram handle @kentuckyist.  I am fairly proud of this, as I have never carried any new year daily routine through as long as even March (daily flossing always dies by 7 January).  So maybe I can use instagram to help me become a blogger.

The phrase 'become a blogger' is interesting here.  I had what would now be called a blog back in the late 90s, on which I (on a page I had built myself from HTML scratch, thankyouverymuchandcouldn'tdoittodaytosavemylife) wrote a few pithy sentences about what happened nearly every day.  People read it, and though there was no comment form on the site, it did start a lot of conversations and fueled some fun projects with my friends.  I've since played with blogging about my days on my family's farm in Kentucky (where I spent a substantial fraction of each year), and my boyfriend and I are forever half-finishing posts for a food blog we share.  But I'd like to blog about fashion and style, because they are things I value, but don't deal with at all in my life as an academic (which does actually involve the farm and food).

So, here's to becoming a style blogger, with a little flat, sick-day mock-up of the dress, cardigan, and necklace I wore on the final day of TxSC to kick off my efforts.

*There was one more yicky post up here earlier, but I removed it because it had no original photos, marginal original content, and had been mostly an experimental thing I did to get practice on the new Blogger.