Thursday, March 31, 2011

Japan Day

I work today, but am dressing up a little because 100% of our sales today are going to Japan. If you like hello kitty or her friends just drop by a Sanrio boutique to look around. This is wholly unrelated to that, but I am really really appreciative to cropped tops, because lately, they've been giving all of my old, tired dresses new life. Mind, these are ones I've had for 5+ years, which seems like a long time to me.



I love the color of this dress, but the top part bothers me a bit, so I haven't worn it in a while. It has a tie bow on the top left and I let that peek out over my top (which by the way, is quite pretty). I realize I also should have taken pictures from the back, because the whole back buttons up.



And then of course, another instance of those beautiful brown woven loafers. I'm so glad I found them and so glad I was for some reason, obsessive about finding them in my size. Thinking back though, I'm pretty sure my mom used to wear shoes like this. So maybe that's why the idea was so easily planted.


And, I'm wearing panty hose. Because it felt inappropriate not to, since I'm working today.

Yay! getting my hair cut tomorrow! I swear, it's been more than eight months, which is why I wear my hair up so often. No one was here to take my pictures today, so I'm back up on my balcony. You can sort of see a cute little watering can I found the other day. I want to have pots of flowers, or a window box as the year progresses.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Street Spirit


I think Tuesdays are always going to be heavy on errands and homework. I've asked for it off at work, since all of my classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays. Today, it's not too bad though, since it's the beginning of the term: Architecture History reading, a design project focusing on the state of Virginia (which I know nothing about... other than brief snatches of history and that Pocohontas lived there) and then work on a pattern made of type. Met with Sarah briefly to take pictures again today and have plans to go to Goodwill with my roommate when she gets out of class.


I wore my most comfortable dress. It's a super old cotton Aerie dress, meaning it was probably meant for lounging around at home. It's soft and polka dotted and just the right amount of fitted.



I love this vintage cameo brooch I found a few weeks ago.


And I threw on this lacy white cropped top to hide the fact that the dress is cut super low and to add some interest and warmth, for if I take my little jacket off.


Thanks for taking my pictures again, Sarah.

Also, I love messy buns because they're so quick, cute and easy; then I don't have to worry about my hair in the rain--which is inevitable, since I live in Oregon. And then I feel like a ballerina, too.

dress: Aerie
cropped lace top: thrifted
jacket: Willi Smith, thrifted
oxfords: Aldo
brooch: vintage, thrifted
headband: Forever 21
bag: thrifted, Mossimo

Monday, March 28, 2011

First day of school


Look at those lovely wood joints.

These pictures, along with yesterday's were taken at Lovejoy Fountain, in Portland. It was designed by Lawrence Halprin, a famous Landscape Architect as part of a series of Portland parks. If anything, my two years of dabbling in Architecture has taught me that (within that field) it's landscape architecture that actually interests me. I love playing with level changes and the collaboration with nature that occurs. Outdoor spaces change: with the season, with age, with use. I love how these outdoor spaces change as time passes; to me, there is something inherently beautiful about aged wood--the coloring, and how moss, as a part of nature tries to reclaim the material.

You might see me here often. This park is only about a block away from my apartment. And it'll be extra happy when the water is actually running again.


Today was my first day of Spring classes. Which, sadly, I had difficulty dressing for. It's so hard to toe that line dividing looking nice and put together versus looking like you tried way too hard. It's a bit sad that I still care quite a bit about what people think; I've come to terms with the fact that that is how I am: constantly stewing in self scrutiny.



The things I like about this outfit are hidden in the details: belt, scarf, studs on booties, tights and the subtle difference in the grays.


Sarah took my photos again :)

blazer (that I'm holding): Banana Republic
dress: thrifted
shirt: American Eagle
tights: Betsey Johnson
booties: Sam & Libby
belt: vintage, thrifted
scarf: thrifted

Sunday, March 27, 2011

work day un-uniform


At my work, we never abide by "uniform" rules, which are black bottoms and white collared shirt. Such an outfit in my opinion (and my manager's, so it's okay) is far too stuffy to wear while selling Hello Kitty merchandise. However, it makes it seem more appropriate if I at least cover a large portion of my body in black.

This is a "work" dress. Usually, the equation is as follows: dress + shirt/light sweater underneath, belt, tights, shoes. Simple enough and can be dressed either up or down depending on my mood. I dressed it up today.

yes, I should iron this dress.



I really love everything that I'm wearing. The belt, bag and shirt in particular. The bag is actually a Coach hand-me-down that my boyfriend's mom gave to me. I love the color and how well it matches with my shoes, which have a tiny bit of a heel though it's hard to tell.


It is off to school tomorrow. Spring term! With no Architecture studio. It's back to my graphic design roots :)


Yep. And I have pictures taken at an actual location again, even though Robert, the boyfriend is in a different state. My friend, Sarah, who goes to the same University as me, who also blogs (at Just Take a Bow) is spending the night. We're planning on making a habit out of this co-operative picture taking game. It makes life a lot more easy and awesome.

jacket: H&M
shirt: vintage, thrifted
dress: Target, on sale
tights: Gap
belt: vintage, thrifted
shoes: vintage, thrifted
bag: vintage Coach hand-me-down

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Virtu: Atonement (Book & Film)

virtu \ vuhr-TOO; vir- \ , noun;
1. love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2. Productions of art (especially fine antiques).
3. Artistic quality.

I want to make this a weekly feature--in which I will showcase a specific designer/artist/architect that has been influential to me in some way. I love discovering new artists, so if I can introduce just one person to something that they never knew about before, that resonates with them, that's enough for me.


Apart from the fantasy series’ I hold close to me (Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter), I can say confidently that Atonement is my favorite novel and Ian McEwan my favorite author. I picked up Atonement to use as my carry-on book for my trip, thinking I could just casually read through it, since I have read it numerous times. Yet I found myself once again, completely immersed in the world that McEwan dexterously paints—I relate to the creative controlling need of Briony Tallis and Cecilia’a realization of love for a best friend. McEwans’s writing is full of delicate imagery, his characters, scarily autonomous and self-aware.

I have spoken before of my love for simplicity. McEwan’s plot twists are fewer than in other novels, but well placed and well chosen. The writing lingers on the details and the experiential qualities of a given moment or place. The careful mix of Briony’s inner dialogue (she is a character I find myself able to fully step into) and a love story is far too much for me to resist becoming emotionally drawn to. With the novel, McEwan makes a clear statement with the story itself, but also about the art of writing and the role one plays as an author.

I have only watched the film in passing—unable to pay much attention to it, but the photography is gorgeous and the imagery both romantic and rich (it does McEwan's writing justice). I seriously recommend giving the book a read. For me at least, it was quite casual. I finished it in only 2-3 real sittings. But I will leave you today with a few screencaps that appeal to me. (All were taken from here)







Friday, March 25, 2011

California Recap + Thrifted Love

To be honest, I didn't really take too many pictures. Mostly on account of forgetting to pack my camera battery :( Though I'm not sure how much of an excuse that would have been, because when I spend time with Robert, most of my focus is with us. We've been long distance for almost three years now; each moment spent is counted and precious. There's so many more things I meant to take pictures of, but didn't.


He plays classical guitar. I learned to play Ode to Joy & It's a Small World. I felt so silly playing such childish songs. But I guess you've got to start somewhere. I wanted to be involved in music when I was young, but couldn't because I did gymnastics every single weekday after school--even left school every day.


We go to the pier every time I visit. It's the romantic couple thing to do in Ventura.


Cafe 126. Amazing greasy diner food.



On one of the days it rained. It rained a lot. Like, crazy crazy rain. I wore a recently thrifted, comfy pink and white sweater. We drove up to Ojai, a silly little town close to Ventura, went to a little coffee shop, ate at a cafe and thrifted that day. Perfect outfit for that.




pretty little five minute "hike" we took on my last day.

And now, for two of my favorite things I acquired thrifting. A jewelry box, which was something I set out looking for. It was the perfect size, in excellent condition, and only five dollars. I bought way too much clothing to post up right now. Maybe later. Or maybe you'll just see it all in outfit posts.


oh, and when you open the top, the rest of the drawers come open too.


and... I am using this cup this very moment to drink my tea. I love all the little illustrations.


I'm a bit sad to be back home now. But I'm looking forward to Spring term, re-finding myself after selling my soul to Architecture, and actually spending time with friends & family. And Robert is done with school in three months. He'll be home in Portland for good then. I already consider us having made it past the last three months of long distance. I can't see anything that could break us now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

red red red cardigan

disclaimer: I'm a bit stupid and did not pack my camera's battery charger. Hence, these are iPhone photos and not at all that good of quality. Still fun though, since I got to stand on a picnic table.


Usually, when it comes to getting dressed, I feel it's easier to choose one item to create an outfit around. However, that did not happen today. I put on this dress but then realized I needed some light bit of outerwear, since the Boyfriend and I were planning on walking down the pier, which is a cold windy experience, albeit pretty. I only brought a black cardigan and a light taupe jacket, but neither made me happy.

Since my dress had a tiny bit of red in it, I threw on this bright red cardigan, which normally, I would never ever wear. I actually bought it for my friend S, who blogs over at 30 Day Adventures. She wears bright colors every day. So I borrowed it, although I haven't even given it to her yet.

Never would have worn it had I been at home with my whole closet, but I'm not too dissapointed :)


Got around to wearing those loafers I hunted and hunted for.




there's a better look at the pattern on the dress.

And, everything was thrifted, except for the headband & knee socks. I could not resist wearing new things. I'm going home tomorrow, which is a bit sad, but I'm all packed with all of my awesome new thrifted things.

pattern mixing

If anything, travel forces you to put on outfits you never would have worn, had you had a full range of selection from your closet. When it comes to outfits, I like to have one pattern, one bold color, one extreme place of interest. My worst fear is to look too busy. That being said, I hardly ever mix patterns.



but since everything I decided to wear was (mostly) neutrals, I decided that it was okay. Not to mention, this was the only scarf I brought along and it was too windy to go sans. I wore this yesterday and went shopping while Robert had class. It was a happy outfit for running around in. I'm happy I bought gel inserts for these shoes before I left though, since they're so flat.


And I adore this skirt. I thrifted it for .95 cents. It buttons all the way up the front, though you can't really tell from the pictures.


Skirt: thrifted
Shirt: American Eagle
Tights: Forever 21
Scarf: H&M
Bag: thrifted
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Virtu: Maya Lin

virtu \ vuhr-TOO; vir- \ , noun;
1. love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2. Productions of art (especially fine antiques).
3. Artistic quality.

I want to make this a weekly feature--in which I will showcase a specific designer/artist/architect that has been influential to me in some way. I love discovering new artists, so if I can introduce just one person to something that they never knew about before, that resonates with them, that's enough for me.

Whenever it comes to anything design related--be it graphic, interior, fashion, or anything else rooted in the visual arts, I have always been drawn to minimalism: to an artists ability to make one simple decision that gives life and character to the design. One of my favorite Architects is by far, Maya Lin. Possibly because she precariously straddles the line separating fine art and architecture, maybe because I can identify with her because of her race. But more than anything, her aesthetic speaks strongly to mine.


She is involved with a lot of landscape architecture, which is what I want to focus on this week. Her first and most widely recognized work is the Vietnam War Memorial in DC. At the time, the design was incredibly controversial. I could write a whole post about the project, honestly. But that's not what this is about. If you want to learn more, there's a documentary called "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision" that I know is available on Netflix. In the memorial, she cut into the earth instead of building. She has a deep fascination with natural lines and shaping the ground.


Her website has a lot more photos of her work, along with brief descriptions of each project.

Friday, March 18, 2011

hand me down

As of Wednesday, I have been on vacation. I'm in sunny Southern California visiting my dear boyfriend--who is actually done with school in less than four months! And then this long-distance span of our relationship will be over :) The weather is so perfect here: fifties and sixties. It gets a bit colder at night, so I still deem the tights necessary.

I love Main street Ventura. It's touristy and silly, but I still like it. It reminds me of NW 23rd Avenue in Portland, but with a bit more of a beach town vibe. We go there every single time I come to visit. It's littered with little boutique-y shops, thrifting and restaurants.


This is one of my favorite dresses at the moment. It's light, easy for packing, comfortable, versatile and has a string of memories attached. It was actually my mom's that she saved for me. I remember she would wear it when we'd go out to play. I can't help but love it. The print is so perfect.




These are shoes I actually found yesterday thrifting. For four dollars! I almost spend that amount on coffee. And they're in perfectly pristine condition. I love T-straps. They're a bit taller than I'm used to, but for four dollars, what can I say? I was so excited I put them on the moment I bought them and had Robert (boyfriend) take my photos.

It's so much easier when someone else takes your pictures! :)


I kept it simple, since I love love this dress so much (and couldn't go crazy with packing, since I didn't check anything). Is there anything you adore that is a hand me down? Or do you plan on saving anything for your children in the future?

♥ Lea!