Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 11.3: Purple Polkadots

Good morning and hello!  Today's outfit (and yesterday's, and honestly, I've been living in this dress half the week because the weather is warm) is one of my favorite easy-to-wear dresses.  I actually had to flip back through my photos to confirm that I haven't shown it to you before! 

These pictures aren't the best (I was taking them with my camera remote, which can be tricky) and they came out rather overexposed, so I'm not sure if you can tell, but the dress is spotted in white and lavender, and matches my favorite Bakelite bangle quite perfectly.

This dress is about as short and as A-line as the grey jersey dress I was complaining about last time, but the difference in fabric really makes all the difference to how the dress drapes and how I feel in it.  And it has ruffles.  The ruffles help.

Dress: North Bay Guild Thrift Store
(Polished) Purple Bakelite Bangle: 57th Street Antiques mall
Black Pumps: Reflection

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Week 11.2: Griping in a Grey Dress

Let's start this post off with something positive:  fabulous shoes.  I love a good deal, and I love a comfortable shoe, so I was absolutely thrilled when I found this pair of barely-worn Sofft red T-strap heels at Goodwill for $5.  And they fit!  A little toe-cleavage, but I'll put up with that for heels this comfortable and cute.

So pretty.

Now, on to the rest of today's post.  You see, I think it's time for a new dress.  Or two.  Or five.  And maybe time to replace some of my shirt wardrobe as well.  It started out simply enough:  I was looking for something simple enough to pair with the aforementioned fabulous shoes so that I could wear them to our local coffee shop for a knitting group.  I had a grey casual jersey sort of dress hanging in my closet, purchased at Ross during some past shopping expedition with friends.  That would make a good simple background sort of dress.  So I dug it out and put it on.

I need to sew myself a new grey dress.  Or perhaps find one in a thrift store, or buy one from a vintage seller I trust.  Maybe I originally wore this dress with tights, I don't know... but when I put it on last night I immediately felt immensely self-conscious.  The fabric clung and draped over all the wrong places, and the A-line cut that hit the middle of my thighs made me very aware of my pear-shaped figure.  The empire waist (only on the front, probably to save money...) hit in the wrong spot, and my bra straps were visible through the thin fabric.  Ick!  I threw on a bold necklace anyway and headed out the door in spite of my misgivings, since I neither had time to change nor any good ideas of what to put on instead.  But it's time for a new grey dress.  And time to replace some of the other clothes that I don't feel fabulous in.

Dress: Ross
Red Sofft Pumps: Goodwill
Bangles: Goodwill
Fabulous Lucite Necklace: Belonged to one of my Grandmothers, maybe?

Friday, July 27, 2012

NOTD: Nails for the Games!

Hello and good morning, lovely readers!  Or good afternoon or evening or whatever time it is where you are.  It's morning here for me, and I'm drinking a cup of peppermint tea and being excited about the beginning of the Olympics!  I don't know if I'll get to watch much of the games this year, but I'm wearing a bit Olympics-esque excitement on my nails anyway.

All photos taken in my "light box"

Steph over at Imperfectly Painted is inviting her readers to share their Olympics-themed manicures, so I decided I should give it a shot and see what I could come up with.  I'm actually quite proud of how it ended up once it was done!  I think my freehand skills are improving.

I started out by putting the Olympic rings on my ring fingers, but that was rather fiddly work, so I ended up adding stripes in the same colors on the surrounding fingers.  If I'd been paying more attention, the colors on the stripes would have been in the same order as the colors for the rings, but it was dim, and I got green and blue mixed up, and it went downhill from there.  I still think it looks snazzy, but I do wish they were in order.

Okay.  The process.  I used:

  • ULTA Blue Streak
  • Sinful Colors (yes, I know they're in trouble right now, but I don't have enough other polishes to avoid them completely, so let's overlook this for the moment, shall we?) Pull Over
  • Sinful Colors Black on Black
  • China Glaze Holly-Day
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red
  • Sinful Colors Snow Me White
  • Sinful Colors Basecoat and NYC Topcoat (not pictured)
  • Very skinny paintbrush, a pencil, and some acetone (also not pictured)

I started by painting all my nails with three coats of Snow Me White.  Once that was mostly dry, I made the Olympic ring design by making a large dot in each color with my pencil eraser, and then making a smaller dot in white in the center of each with the pencil tip.  Even though they seem simple, I felt like making the rings was pretty tedious, and I had trouble making large, round dots with my sub-par tools and curved nail beds.  So I decided that I would do something simpler on the rest of the nails... like free-hand stripes!  I know, I'm crazy.  I actually didn't think the stripes were too bad.  I used a very thin brush and some acetone to draw thin lines of each color.  I started with the black line, diagonally across the middle of my nail, and then I added the other stripes on either side.  I added some blue and red stripes on my right thumbnail, and I very carefully wrote "2012" on my left thumbnail, although I practiced on paper first a few times!  Aaaand finished it all off with topcoat.

Let the games begin!  My nails are ready. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 11.1: An announcement & a photoshoot

Okay, logistics out of the way first:  
Current Weight: 140.6 lbs
At Last Weigh-in: 141.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 144 lbs
Weight Loss to Date:  3.4 lbs

Still moving in the right direction!  Okay.  On to the fun stuff.

I suppose I could have told you all, sooner, but I wasn't quite sure how to blog about it, and what would I post for pictures?  But pictures happened this weekend, so I have no excuse to keep you in the dark any longer:

Doug & I are engaged!  And have been for a few months.  On Monday, we finally got around to getting together with a friend to do some engagement photos.

I would share the adorable engagement story with you, but... well, there isn't really one to share.  One evening, he asked me (all innocent-like) "Would you like a ring?" and I asked if he meant a pretty ring or one with Implications and he said maybe both.  And then there was ring-shopping and family-talking-to, and the eventual receipt of said ring.

Who knows, he's been hinting that he'll plan something romantic at some future date.

On me:
Vintage Black Lace Dress: Goodwill
Orchid Clip: Made by me
Geometric Glitter Bangle: Goodwill
Shoes: Payless
& hair in surprisingly cooperative rag curls, yay!

On him:
Black Geoffery Beene Shirt: Ross
Gold & Black Paisley Sean John Tie: Ross
Black Leather Belt: No clue...
Dark Jeans: American Eagle
Black Socks: Probably also Ross
Casual Leather Shoes: DSW

All photos by the lovely Yuri Tajiri.

We are very happy.

NOTD: Subtle Nude Stamping

Hello, hello!  Today is a two-post kind of day... I just can't push my posts back any further at this point!  So first I'm sharing my nails of the day, since I've been neglecting the nail polish aspect of this blog lately.

I'd been wearing Cult Nails Cruisin' Nude for a day for some photos (watch this space for the next post) and I decided to spice it up before photographing it for the blog by doing some subtle tonal stamping.

To be honest, I don't think the stamping polish shows up quite well enough in real life.  For photos it looks pretty neat, but in person it mostly looks like some abstract sparklies.  Which is just fine, but I like my stamping to look a leetle bit more obvious!

I used two coats of Cult Nails Cruisin' Nude for my base color (a rave here:  How much do I adore the opacity of Cult Nails' polishes? SO MUCH.)  and stamped over it with the abstract... petal? leaf? image at the bottom of Bundle Monster Image Plate BM-205 using ORLY Rage.  I was actually surprised by how opaque Rage ended up being, it might show up decently over a darker color.  For a subtle look, though, this worked perfectly!

Okay.  I've got to get the kitchen straightened out and the dishes started, and then I'll post the other half of today's excitement.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 10.3: A Day at the Fair, a Night at the Opera

I'm not quite sure what happened to the rest of last week, but I'm here today, so I'll do the best to catch you up with some of it.  On Friday, Doug and I headed to the California State Fair to hear his little sister and cousin and some of our school friends perform.  Oh, and to drink blackberry merlot slushies.

I figured this would be a good inaugural trip for my new old Hawaiian dress.  I found it at Goodwill on Thursday night and took out a sloppy hand-done hem and washed it Friday morning, so when I realized we were going to the fair, I just threw the dress on even though it was still damp.  In all honesty, that was probably a good decision... California gets HOT in the summer!

After we left the fair, we headed straight for San Francisco for an evening of entirely different music!  I didn't have time to change, so I threw on a jacket and some long peacock-blue gloves for the evening's performances of baroque opera... I felt a little underdressed, but compared to some of the patrons I suppose I was quite presentable!

We listened to concert versions of Rameau's Pygmalion, which was more a piece for tenor and ballet than it was an opera, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, which was absolutely beautiful.  We'd never heard either piece in its entirety before, so it was a rather spectacular experience.  Saturday we spent some time norfing about an antiques mall, playing in the city with our friend Rose, and then we went back to hear countertenor Ian Howell sing a beautiful concert of laments and other sad music... gorgeous, if a little sleepy-making.  Thankfully, Rose put us up overnight so we didn't have to drive the two hours back to our apartment in the wee hours!  So Sunday morning, entirely bedraggled and lacking coffee, we finally made our way home.  I was planning on writing this post yesterday, but things got busy quickly and we ended up running off to do a photoshoot with a friend, so more on that later when I get the pictures!

Anyway.  The outfit stats:
Vintage Hawaiian Dress: Goodwill! $5! (The tag says "Okolehao by Mark Yamanaka")
Orchid hairclip: Made by me!
Green Belt: Target.  (From the kids' section.)
Bakelite & Lucite bangles: 57th Street Antiques, Goodwill
Blue Gloves: 57th Street Antiques
Sandals: Nicole's Shoes

And, of course, my favorite accessory, a coordinating man!  (I kid, I kid.  But he does coordinate with me intentionally!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week 10.2: Rainbow plaid & some progress, finally!


Current Weight: 141.4 lbs
At Last Weigh-in: 144 lbs
Starting Weight: 144 lbs
Weight Loss to Date:  2.6 lbs

Erm.  Ahem.  Anyway.

When Doug found this amazing 80s rainbow plaid pencil skirt on a recent thrifting expedition, I knew I would have to wear it to San Francisco for at least one of our trips to the American Bach Soloists' summer academy concerts.  Since Wednesday's schedule was a little more casual (voice masterclass, pre-concert lecture, and an evening of chamber music) I decided it would be a perfect day to wear my new brightly-colored acquisition.  I even got a compliment on it from one of the guest artists!

Requisite San Francisco Hair Flowers: Icing
Black Lace Blazer: Forever 21
Shirt: Aeropostale
Lime Green Skinny Belt: Target
Rainbow Plaid Skirt: Weave Thrift
Scarab Bracelet: Borrowed from my mother
Black Pumps: Gift from Tiffany

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NOTD: Pastel Purple Zebra

Good morning!  A new nail polish post for you before I scurry off to San Francisco for another day of fun and adventure... I haven't forgotten about my weigh-in!  I'll share that and my outfit of the day with you tomorrow.

I was inspired to do this light lavender design after buying a lightweight 60s coat in pale blue with purple buttons.  I think the end result turned out quite nicely!  This is my second time EVER using the zebra-print stamp, and I think it's growing on me.  I'm generally not an animal-print sort of person, but I could get used to zebra striped nails.

I started with OPI Rumple's Wiggin, which was a pretty close match for the color of my buttons.  I layered Essence It's Purplicious! over that and then stamped with the zebra design from Bundle Monster Image Plate BM-223 and Essence Stampy Polish in Stamp me! White.  A layer of topcoat later, I was out the door.

I was sorry to have to take this off, I was so pleased with how it turned out.  I'm not sure that I like my current nail art quite as much!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 10.1: Bumblebee skirt & Beehive hair

Hello, hello!  The past few days we've had a lovely respite from the oppressive heat that is a (central valley) California summer.  And of course the regular trips to San Francisco keep us nice and cool, too.

I've been making the rounds at the local Goodwills as often as seems proper, although I think I've gotten all the good stuff at the moment!  I did find an amazing pair of shoes for a steal, though, so you'll be seeing those soon.

I've also been playing with various hairstyles.  I had lots of fun teasing my hair up into this big bouffant beehive... but I'm not sure it really suits me!

Hair Flower: Icing
70s Tuxedo-Ruffle Blouse: Goodwill
Pencil Skirt: Article Consignment
Lucite Bangle: 57th Street Antiques
Shoes: Reflection

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 9.3: More Clothes for Lazy Days

 Hm.  I suppose I was going to post this yesterday, but time got away from me while I was working, so I'm posting today.  I'm sure I'll have a two-post-day soon, since I doubt I'll get back on schedule properly doing daily posts.

I was planning on taking a picture of the outfit I wore on my errands, but the day was long and by the time I realized I still needed photos for my blog, I'd already ditched the pencil skirt and blouse for one of my favorite pieces of lounge-wear.  

My mother and I made this kimono together when I was in 6th or 7th grade, I think, as a prototype for a more elaborate, longer kimono with bigger sleeves and brocade fabric.  I don't wear the fancy one much (it was a Halloween costume one year, and it is an awful lot of fabric to wear casually) but perhaps I will have to dress it up for the blog one of these days.

And look!  I'm even painting my nails again.  Spoiler alert:  They're purple.

Kimono: Handmade by my mom & I
Cord/belt: Uh, possibly a graduation tassel from my dad?
Slippers: Present from Doug

Sunday, July 15, 2012

NOTD: Sunny yellow

Hello and good morning!  Just a quick post before I pop off to San Francisco for the day... I think I owe you all a second post today, too, so maybe I'll get that done there.  Doug has a voice lesson with a teacher from Yale, so I'll be spending some time in a coffee shop proof-reading a book about plant diseases.  Don't worry, I'll sneak a blog post in too.

I was feeling a bit uninspired for nail art, so I had Doug pick some random numbers and used those to pick out nail polish colors from my swatch wheels.  He picked China Glaze Lemon Fizz and Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure.  I decided to incorporate a sun-type design in honor of all the warm weather, and added Sinful Colors Secret Admirer to really make it pop.

I think it turned out pretty well!  This was really my second attempt doing something freehand with brushes, so I'm quite happy with that aspect of it.

I used my usual basecoat, 3 coats of China Glaze Lemon Fizz (it got a little bubbly, I'm afraid), and Sinful Colors Secret Admirer and Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure for design detailing.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Week 9.2: Gloves for Summer

Hello, hello!  The miserable weather finally abated this morning, and in its place we're having warm, breezy days and cool nights.  I left my windows open for half the day.

This outfit is from yesterday, though, when it was still miserably hot.  Much too hot for gloves.  On the other hand, my car's steering wheel is much too hot to touch with bare hands... so gloves it is.

I've managed to paint my nails once this week, but in a very boring color... and then I cleaned the bathroom and my room, so they're a chipped mess now.  I shall repaint this evening and take pictures!  Perhaps I will even be creative now that the apartment does not feel like one of the outer circles of Hell.

Blouse: Goodwill
Hair Flower: Icing
Bangles: Various
Gloves: 57th Street Antiques Mall
Circle Skirt: made by moi
Petticoat: Evangeline's
Shoes: Reflection

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week 9.1: Muumuu weather

Hello and happy Wednesday.  I realize that I am supposed to be posting a weigh-in today. But... I really don't want to.  Today I feel terribly bloated and heavy, despite eating well all week.  Since I'm a daily weigh-er, I noticed that my weight made a nice drop this weekend, but it has bounced back up.  I am grumpy.

Current Weight: 144 lbs
At Last Weigh-in: 143.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 144 lbs
Weight Loss to Date:  0 lbs

My waist size does seem to be down about an inch, from 27 inches to 26... or at least it was this weekend.  I did not measure it today, I did not think it would be encouraging.

The other reason for my low energy and bad attitude?  The weather.  I took the photos above, and was going to pretend I was sharing my pajamas and vanity desk and silly rag-curled hair, but... I would not want to deceive you.  I have been wearing my pajamas all day.  The temperatures here in California have been unreasonable (it's supposed to be 108 at least today) and I live on the second floor, so even when I try to keep my apartment cool, the apartment below me sends all of its warmth up to keep me company.  We actually turned the oven on last night to make dinner, which might have been inadvisable.  So I am grumpy and warm and tired and sticky feeling... it is too warm.  I would be wearing even less, if it were decent, but it isn't... so it is muumuu weather.

Ack, my facings are showing!  I need to do finishing work...
One of my "big" projects for this unpleasant weather was tracing out the pieces from an old unprinted pattern on sturdier paper so that I can start working on a new dress.   I think I may make up a draft of the bodice in the leftovers from one of my skirts, so that I can wear them together and pretend it is a dress.

Head Scarf: From my mother (thanks, Mom!)
Dress: Butterick 7139, as seen before here with a belt
Bangle: Article Consignment

Less whiny posts soon, once I have found better air conditioning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NOTD: Mer-maid for Each Other swatch

Nicole Mer-Maid for Each Other swatch blue green duochrome

Good morning!  When it is summer and entirely too many degrees out I always find myself gravitating towards distinctly marine styles.  So of course when I saw a shiny aqua-colored bottle of nail polish on a recent trip to the store I stopped to look at it, and Doug promptly took it out of my hand and plopped it into our shopping basket... which saved me from that dilemma!  The polish du jour is Nicole by OPI Mer-Maid for Each Other.

Nicole Mer-Maid for Each Other swatch blue green duochrome

I, like most nail bloggers, am a sucker for a good duochrome, and this color delivers!  Mer-Maid for Each Other is the blue-er cousin of Chanel Peridot and its dupes.  It shifts from a bright, grassy green through aqua to a vibrant blue.  The finish is very sparkly, and looks as if it might show some brush strokes, but they become much less obvious upon drying.  This polish is also pretty opaque... I used two coats for the photos here, just to be sure, and I think it might work for stamping as well.  I will have to test that.

Nicole Mer-Maid for Each Other swatch blue green duochrome

Nicole Mer-Maid for Each Other nail polish bottle blue green duochrome

Nicole Mer-Maid for Each Other swatch blue green duochrome

Anyway.  Lovely color, lovely application... if you like blue or green or duochrome or feeling like your nail polish looks like a mermaid tail in a bottle, this may be the polish for you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week 8.3: Pink & Green

Good morning! I've been trying to avoid the whole "getting dressed" phenomenon while the weather is so unpleasant, but occasionally I must leave the house to get groceries and run errands, so I am forced to put on real people clothes instead of lounging around oh-so-glamorously in my exercise shorts and shirts.

Anyway.  The Boyfriend (I think I'll just call him by name from now on.  His name is Doug.) and I have been out thrifting a few times... I bought this little 60s (right?) shirt and a 50s-does-70s plaid skirt (you'll see that one come winter, it's interesting) and the perfect little fur capelet and a few pieces of jewelry, and he bought a few new ties and a blazer jacket.  I've been teaching him how to identify vintage, and he makes quite the entertaining and helpful shopping companion.

Hair Flower: Present from Jason
60s Blouse: Goodwill
Shorts: Forever21
Pink Bangle: Goodwill
Green Celluloid Flower Bangle: from my mom (thanks, Mom!)
Shoes: Irregular Choice, from a thrift store in SF.
(I totally trashed the little kitten heels by walking to the Academy of Sciences.
I suspect they're beyond repair.  But they're SODANGCUTE.)

And, lest you think I am as cool and cucumber-y as I look in these photos...