Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Out and About In Boston

Spent a terrific 20th birthday running around Boston with my family. We mostly hung in Quincy Market and, would you believe it? I didn't buy one single thing. The reason being that nothing really grabbed my attention (must be getting picky in my old age ;).

I tried on a ton of sunglasses but have yet to find that perfect pair. I am definitely going for some big ones like Anne Hathaway wore in her latest InStyle spread, or those classic Audrey Hepburn ones. Speaking of the latter, Mom got me Audrey: A Life In Pictures for my birthday. Pretty amazing that she was able to find a book on AH that I hadn't already read and I really loved it - joins my Grace Kelly book from the same series.

I had such a grand time and saw some very well dressed people. Some were "bleh" but others really knew what they were doing. I've got to get myself a little camera so I can snap people's pictures without their knowing.  ;) Inspiration was everywhere...

Anyway, off to have my "vacation". I have a few scheduled posts and will be back with more when I am freshened up! God bless! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Moment With Me

Gotta love these pieces we found at a local country store... ;)

Ok, so I'm trying to make up my mind when to do the Choker Drawing. I was thinking of Sunday, but as of Monday I will be out of the shop, so I won't be able to mail it for a while. So I am thinking about waiting until I get back, when things are running once more - early October. This will also give anyone who hasn't entered yet the chance to do so.

I hope this isn't a disappointment to anyone, but I didn't want to do it this early and things are so crazy that I figured an extra week wouldn't hurt. :)

I will try and have some posts scheduled for when I am gone to keep you all interested, but the email announcement will not go out, so you'll have to check for them manually.

Anyway... I hope you all have a blessed weekend and I will see you again real soon! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maid Marian's Wardrobe - Season One - Part IV

Costumes are listed in order of appearance, although some images may be from later episodes of the show. May contain slight spoilers. Click HERE for Parts I, II & III.
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Green "Laced" Ensemble
Marian spurns the Sheriff's authority and attempts to aid a starving village...





This is one of the more complicated (and therefore confusing) of Marian's ensembles, leaving me with some unanswered costuming questions. The main part of the dress is constructed from a lightweight forest-green knit fabric - I am not sure if the brown "jacket" is a separate piece or not, but I'm guessing that it is due to the fact that at the armhole there appears to be another green layer under the jacket (probably the bodice of the dress). It appears that the bodice and sleeve pieces are a slightly different shade (almost black) from the skirt piece of the dress, and we can see that both of them have a lightly gathered "ruched" look, while the skirt hangs straight. Although you can't see it clearly in any of the pictures, the skirt is split on the sides all the way up to waistline. The slit appears to be faced on the inside with a wide light-green strip of fabric and the dress is floor-length. Riding pants and boots are worn beneath.




The jacket has a "V" neckline and crosses and ties on the left side. There are gathers where the jacket ends just under the bust, and the entire neckline, armholes, front opening and bottom edge are lined with forest green, which contrasts with the light olive shade of the jacket. The edging is made up of a wide strip of fabric with narrow brown lacing running through evenly spaced black eyelets. It appears to a have a further layer of nearly invisible black leather piping on the outside edge. The sleeves start from the wrist and end a little bit below the armhole. On the outside of the sleeve, the same trim runs up the center and continues past the top of the sleeve until it meets the armhole, where it ties with brown leather. Marian wears a simple square bag over her shoulder in green and red stripes.
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"Punishment" Robe
After disobeying the Sheriff's orders, Marian is subjected to public humiliation...



Although it is only worn for a few minutes, I figured this simple item should be listed with the rest of Marian's costumes. It appears to be nothing more than a large fabric square with a hole cut in the center for her head and a rope holding it together at the waist. The heavily woven fabric has not been dyed and remains it's natural shade. We can see a peek of a white chemise underneath at the neckline.
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Pyjamas and Robe
Marian makes plans with Robin and continues her work, despite the risks...



I love these beautiful and practical pjs! :) They seem to be made from a lightweight off-white knit fabric and are edged with a bright gold trim. With a deep scooping neckline and straps going into a racer back, the top is beautifully ruched over the bust. Just below the empire waistline it has two panels that create the illusion of a split front and sides. The trim runs around the neckline, armholes, under the bust, around the bottom edge and along the sides of the "splits". The top appears to have built in support from the crease we can see across Marian's back.




The pants are hard to see but look like straight, loose white "gauchos", ending at mid-calf. The robe is the same length and seems to be very simple, with a lovely stripe and swirly pattern. It appears that the stripe is also cut from the fabric to finish the front edge f the robe, which also has a tie for the waist.
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Screencaps from Robin Hood 2006

P.S. I am going to be out of town early next week and soon after that comes vacation, so I will do the choker drawing on SUNDAY. If you haven't entered yet, do it now! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Classic Style From Banana Republic

Continuing on the subject of "grey fashions", fall trends, and more; here's some great styles from Banana Republic which I think capture the essence of a classy, fashionable woman.


The wonderful structure of the knits provide soft shaping, allowing the real woman to stand out - not the dress. And yet the simplicity is made interesting by complimentary accessories. The belt defines the waist and gives a feminine hourglass silhouette. And nothing is better for covering up my least favorite body part (kneecaps! ;) than a pair of sleek tights in a trendy color! One wonderful and inexpensive way to update your wardrobe! I absolutely love the use of purple in the shoes and accessories (grr... shopping blues continue. Who ever thought I'd dream of purple shoes? ;).

Be sure to take a look at Banana Republic's wonderful lines. They have beautiful pieces, if pricey, and will provide lots of inspiration.

I've got two gazillion ideas for posts, but it's just hard to find the time! I'll try and get some more out this week before my 20th birthday and family vacation hit, but after that I'll disappear for a little while. I'll keep you posted! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

...who is the vainest of them all??? ;)

One of the more gratifying duties of a fashion blogger is taking self-portraits. Or not. Until recently I was sorely frustrated with mine. It was an awkward process; getting the camera set up on some semi-flat surface, clicking the timer button, running to pose in time and ending up looking like a zombie. And trying to find the right lighting/background/et cetera ...what a chore!

What was I to do? An intelligent fashion blogger simply HAS to take pictures of her outfits, right?

I was browsing articles on Independent Fashion Bloggers when I found this: How To Take Gorgeous Self Portraits. While I can't vouch for all the material and links on the site, this article is just great and inspired me to give it another go. Yesterday, before running off to work, I shot my outfit. I hope you like what I came up with...





 Skirt by newsworthy / Shoes by MontegoBayClub / Necklace, Earrings  and Anklet by AmandaBeth / Top is currently on the line, so I can't read the tag. lol!

What made it work: 
  1. Putting the camera on a tripod is absolutely vital. Although it is always frustrating to find the right tripod, the pieces needed to mount the camera, and adjust it all, the only way it will get quick and easy is if I practice. Once the tripod is set up, you have so much more flexibility!
  2. Use the remote! The self timer just doesn't do it. I was lucky to have a timed remote, so that I could press the button and have a few seconds to hide the remote before the camera took the picture. I think this made all the difference.
  3. Find a nice background. Being outside makes the pictures so much prettier, especially since you don't have to use the flash. I caught the late afternoon sun coming through the trees, which ended up looking really nice. And that is a water tank I am standing in front of - artsy, huh? It's "been in the family for years" and you can see names of friends, family and the unknown all over it.
  4. Like the article says, use a prop. I grabbed a flower and was all set.
  5. Touch up your pictures in Adobe Photoshop! Cropping, adjusting levels and increasing or decreasing saturation can make an OK photo into a beautiful one.
Now, with cooler weather fast approaching, I'm going to have to tackle shooting indoors - or maybe I'll just pose out in the snow! ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Boutique Update and more...

Finally getting around to posting these two new lovely friends in the shop, who have been waiting most patiently since Friday at least. I hope you'll take a look and leave your thoughts. Lots of my family like the Edwardian one because of the high contrast in colors, but "The Wedding of Psyche" has me absolutely captivated. After looking up the whole myth of Cupid and Psyche (which has it's issues - I'm not really recommending it. lol) I've found myself twice as interested. It's neat to finally read the whole story behind a lot of my favorite pieces of Pre-Raphaelite art.


The Wedding of Psyche - Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones Painting - Pre-Raphaelite Decorator Pillow


The Designer 1912 - Edwardian Fashion Plate Decorator Pillow

This brings me to announce that I have raised prices on my decorator pillows to $35 each. For a while I was feeling that they were sorely underpriced, so today I finally did some research on other pillows being sold on Etsy. I was suprised to find dozens of very simple (and to me, personally, "blah") pillows being sold for almost twice as much as mine. I feel that my products are unique and I have great faith in them, so up they go. This way they can also go on sale sometime without killing me financially. ;)

Speaking of sales, the $5 off all jewelry sale ends on Saturday! Only a few more days left if you want this chance! So far there have been no takers, so I'm offering a special promotional code through the end of this week. Just mention the code DSCT10TRU20 in "notes to seller" for 10% off your purchased jewlery item. Yep! That's 10% off the sale! Aren't I nice? ;)

Maid Marian's wardrobe coming up again soon, as well as lots of fall fashion! Life is good. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shopping Blues - A Rant

I have been a tremendously good girl this year. Although I spent last winter buying a lot of clothes (due to having a lot of cash :P), when things were tight this spring and summer I didn't get a single thing. My secret? DON'T GO SHOPPING (even if you don't plan to buy anything, when you see that great deal - let's be honest, some of these are really great deals - you won't be able to resist. Stay away!) and try not to pay attention to what is "in" (not that this blog is really helping you in that area! lol).

Over the past month I have picked up 4 items (1 skirt, 1 jacket and 2 shirts - all of which are classics that can be worn for 3 seasons out of the year) - remind me to take pictures of them to show you! But following this awesome new trend of fun colors in accessories nearly caught up with me yesterday.

I was searching for images on Polyvore when I found these shoes by Xhilaration, available at Target for twenty bucks. I think I went crazy.



Not only are they one of my favorite shoe styles, but they're in the totally trendy and yet truly pretty "teal and brown" colors. I ran off to Target as soon as I could. After trying them on, the battle began.

The Pros: you haven't bought fun shoes in at least 6 months / they would look so great for concerts / they're the perfect style and color / you really could use a new pair of winter-ish shoes.

The Cons: you don't really need them - you can wait another 6 months / you don't have extra money right now / they looked better online and feel kinda plastic-y / your foot only fit in the size 10 when you usually wear a 9. :0

I didn't get them. Oh! Alack and forsooth!

LOL. It was the right decision. Upon arriving home, with my head a bit clearer, I remembered quite a few other things that are more desperate on my list of wants and needs - getting the shoes would have set me back for a while, even at that fabulous price.

But this doesn't mean that YOU can't get them. For me. For Christmas. I told you my shoe size and everything, so you're all set... ;)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall Fashion - Is It Getting "Depressing"?

Not when it's sparking a new interest in flattering wide-leg trousers, super cute vests and blouses and my favorite cloché hats! I say, "Bring it on! "

I found an interesting New York Post article online a while ago and thought I'd share some bits and pieces.

"Taking a cue from the grim economy, this fall's fashions at Banana Republic, Gap and H&M are featuring a distinctly Depression-era trend of cloche hats, pencil skirts, conductor caps and baggy, vintage-style dresses."

"'Given that we're in an unstable economy and an uncertain political landscape, it's possible that a retro style has come back as a way to connect with our heritage.'"

"'Even though we're in a recession, people still want interesting clothing... They're looking for more classic styles and subdued tones that will last a few seasons instead of one.'"

Click HERE to read the whole article.

I would disagree with the writer - I find these new trends absolutely fascinating! I love to see old styles come around once more - they are the true classics that will endure.

The only thing that I do find depressing is the fact that GREY is the new BROWN. This is great for those of you with a cool skin tone (especially you Summers) but for me, a Spring, it's going to make it harder to find colors that suit me. Grey is one of my worst. 

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Not long ago I discovered this super awesome site called Polyvore, where you can create fashion collages and more using hundreds of images from the internet... or your own computer. I just jumped up and down and squealed when I stumbled upon it. You will love it, too! Check out my profilewatch the demo and get addicted! ;)

My first set was inspired by the subject of this post and is titled "Black and White". You can click to see all the items in detail - tell me which ones are your favorites!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ingrid Style

"All my life I've done things at a moment's notice. Those are the things I remember."
-Ingrid Bergman

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I hope everyone is having a tremendous early September! I am full of inspiration and ideas - fall weather always get me excited! I'm getting back into my writing more, music lessons and band practice are in full swing and I'm looking forward to running around in Boston with all my best friends on my 20th birthday! Life is good.

On the downside... we are having problems with mold in our basement, which is where I do a lot of my work. All my really important/business stuff is moved and fine, but there's a lot of major decisions to be made and loads of cleaning up to do. Prayers are greatly appreciated - this problem needs to be corrected soon! :(

Before I close, I want to point out some great new stuff located in the sidebars!

You can now FOLLOW THE BLOG easily through Blogger.com! I really love this new feature! Remember that you can also sign up for blog updates straight to your email or subscribe using different reader programs just by clicking the links!

And I now offer free advertising boxes and buttons - if you've a got a similar page or business, please place a bid using Project Wonderful! It's free, easy and lots of fun!

There's lots more in those sidebars, but those are two new things I'm really excited about! Take a look!

Have a blessed rest of the week - will try and post again, but we'll see! ;)

P.S. It looks like a most of the ad space has filled up! There's still a few buttons left and remember that you can always raise your bid if you want to be shown! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Maid Marian's Wardrobe - Season One - Part III

Costumes are listed in order of appearance, although some images may be from later episodes of the show. May contain slight spoilers. Click HERE for Parts I and II. 
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Yellow Jacket with "Skort" and Rainbow Scarf
Despite their similar acts of bravery, Marian and Robin can't seem to see eye to eye...

 

Marian's smart yellow jacket is one of my favorite pieces and would work quite well in a modern wardrobe. It seems to be constructed from some sort of hide/leather, or at least something that looks similar. The jacket has princess seams along the front and back of the bodice, running all the way up to the shoulder, which appears to be all one piece (there is no shoulder seam). The sleeves are in two pieces, with the bottom half coming up like an inverted "V", and ending at the elbow. All the seams on this piece feature large decorative stiches with a lacing that appears to be made from the same fabric as the jacket - the "V" neckline is likewise piped with the same material. The jacket overlaps across the front, comes to a point and fastens with an oversized brown wooden button. 
The bottom of this ensemble appears to be a type of "skort". Loose, gaucho-like pants have an overlapping panel at the front that makes it appear as a split skirt from the front. It's hard to see it in the images, but it looks like there were either two different tan skirts or the method of closure/lacing was changed later on in the series. Marian's ensemble is finished off with a raw silk scarf in shades of red and yellow.
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"Camo" Jumper and Hooded Underdress
Marian continues her heroic deeds and begins to see that Robin "just wants to be loved"...

 
 

The jumper is constructed from a light "camo" print (could be a cotton fabric) and edged with a brown and white "scalloped" trim. The jumper is mid-calf length, splits up the side (to the hip) and front (to the waist) and has princess seams. It is hard to see just how it closes in the front; whether it laces or hooks inside, the closure seems pretty invisible. The underdress is another one of those heavy stretchy knits, in different shades of blue. It has a hood, which is never worn and hangs in the back. The sleeves come down over the wrists and the dress is ankle-length.
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"Night Watchman" Ensemble
Intent on working against the rich and giving to the poor peaceably, Marian becomes "The Night Watchman"...

 
 

This ensemble consists of a dark leather top, which crosses over and buttons up the left front. The pants are made from a heavy "camo" fabric and have leather pieces on the inside legs for riding (don't know the right term for that style - I wasn't into horses! ;). The cape is floor length and is a green/tan color. It has a very full hood, piped in more brown leather which continues around the neckline and down the front edges. The cloak ties at the neck and is worn with  dark green fabric over the lower half of the face and a brown leather mask over the top half, which is accented by a subtle raised design. The ensembled is completed with brown hide boots with silver buckles, fingerless leather gloves and whatever weapon the "Watchman" happens to be carrying - be it bow, staff or sword...

  
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Sorry for the long time it took to get this out. I had a busy weekend, but it was lots of fun! Now I'm just trying to catch up on all the great comments! :)

Screencaps from Robin Hood 2006