Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mena, Mena!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my cat...I know, I know, its such a stereotype, the girl and her cat, but I don't care. She's beautiful and dignified and independent and, as our roommate and I decided this morning, she always knows exactly what she wants and doesn't really care if anyone else sees things her way. She's also one smart cookie - no joke, in my old apartment before I was married she figured out how to open the bedroom door by leaning over the couch and turning the door knob then prying the door open with her paw. Our dog won't even try unless the door is open wide enough to get her head through (although I love Sophie for an entirely different set of reasons:). 

Mena's been with me for the past nine years and although its probably silly anthropomorphizing on my part, it still makes me feel loved and special when she comes when I call, when she chooses to curl up next to me for a nap, and when she looks at me expectantly waiting to be picked up and held in the morning after I feed the dog. She never meows (I don't think she's ever meowed), but just waits in the kitchen for our daily ritual. Every single morning. Its nice to have a routine.

Randomly, this photo reminded me of one I took of some sheep on my family's farm when I went home last December. Several of them had recently given birth and there were lots of cute little lambs in the field. I hung out with them for a while, waiting for a good shot and was pretty happy when this one turned out. What can I say? You find ways to amuse yourself on a farm:)!

I hope everyone has a great week and can look forward to nice weather!

Converse-Girly Style

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about my escalating shoe lust.  One of the pairs I featured was a set of blue Converse. Although I've never really thought of myself as sporty or really cool I have at times succumbed to the allure of the cool tennis shoe. First it was Addidas in my teens (they made my feet look like seriously, one of my first boyfriend's roommates casually referred to me as big foot all the time). Then it was the coveted Converse Sneakers and finally a few years ago, Diesel asparagus green sneakers with purple laces (I still wear these occasionally). 

Getting back to the Converse though, I was thinking about the old black and white chucks this morning and how its hard to know how to wear them when one has big feet. They do, well, accentuate length. I've been laid up with a strained back all week and decided this morning that I was not going to spend another day in my oversized sweat pants and thrifted Major League Soccer t-shirt, but I couldn't really wear heels unless I wanted to exacerbate the pain. So I turned to my old chucks that had been pushed to the back of my closet. There they sat, dusty and sad looking. Then it dawned on me - why not just spruce them up? Make them look a little girly with some ribbon to replace the laces! Here's what I came up with. Thank goodness for my mother's old sewing kit. It often comes in handy in ways such as this:)

Next I just need some really thick know, a floppier look with big luscious bows...ahhh. One of my first trips, when its not painful to sit in the car for longer stretches anymore, is going to be Joanne's fabric:) Oh! and my sister e-mailed me to say that she's buying the blue Converse for me for my I'm glad I'm getting a jump on figuring out how to incorporate them now. Now every time I wear either pair, I'll think of her and smile. 

Dress: Vintage (altered by me)
Belt: Thrifted
Tights: American Apparel
Converse Sneakers (with ribbon ties!)
Head Band: American Apparel
Library Cardigan: Anthropologie (sales rack:)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Little Things

I've been meaning for a while to write a post about the little things that mean so much to me. They're physical possessions, so I suppose its materialistic, but people associate memories and meanings with things...they provoke memories and are symbols of emotion, so we can't necessarily differentiate the meaning-making from the things: I think they're inextricably linked. I had a professor in graduate school who scoffed at people who fetishized historical objects...for a while I thought he was right. Now I'm not so sure. All I know is that when I attempt to understand how we construct memory and meaning- and how we constantly craft our own identities out of those essential elements, I have a hard time devaluing the objects to which we attribute significance. (Sorry, I've been reading all about meaning and memory for my oral history class!)

Anyway, all of this brings me down a convoluted path to my sister and how much I miss her. Over Christmas, we went to one of our favorite vintage shops (one of the few vintage shops where we're from) and she bought me two lovely brooches as my yearly present. She's been adding to my brooch collection for a while (three of them are pictured below). Some of the most beautiful pins in my jewelry box came from her. When I wear them, they remind me of her and how much I appreciate having at least one person in my life who I know understands me, one person who I can wander around in thrift stores and Forever 21 with for hours, one person (besides my husband) who will laugh at my jokes, listen to me, let me cry when I need to, and who knows just what I'd love to wear. She thinks she's not fashionable, but its not true. She's smart and beautiful and wonderful and has killer taste in shoes. 

My other Christmas gift was this little change purse made out of kimono cloth. I've been too afraid of carrying it around with me every day (things have  a tendency to get lost in my bag and quickly get beaten up) so I keep it propped on my dressing table and think of her whenever I see it. 

It makes me sad that I can't see her more often...we live many states apart and probably always will, but these things remind me of her. They remind me to e-mail her, to message her on facebook and to call (even though neither of us likes talking on the phone). Luckily though, I painted a portrait of her (pre haircut) that hangs on my wall and reminds me of my lovely sister. This only affirms my belief that although these things don't have inherent, essential meaning, they carry the significance that  I've attached to them and because of that they hold a special place in my life. I like to think that the things that I wear all have stories, some that were others, some that are mine (this is why I adore hand me downs, why I love thrift and vintage stores) - but all of them make me feel at home in my wardrobe and home. I miss you sweetie. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shoe Lust

I've been suffering (well, that's one way of putting it) from some serious shoe lust lately. I don't know what it is. For years now, I've been building up my vintage wardrobe, but I never really worried too much about shoes, cared for heels, or lusted after beautiful pairs. Maybe its that I'm tall, maybe its that I have big feet (9 1/2 to 10) and didn't want to draw attention to them. I don't know. 

All of a sudden though, shoe lust has hit me hard. It all began when I started following vintage blogs and realized how much better heels would make my legs look. So one day, oh four or five months ago, I went to Target looking for a pair when low and behold, I found four pairs of heels in my size, prices ranging from 5 to seven dollars! Talk about luck. I found heels, oxford-ish t-straps, gold platform sandals and a pair of blue-green mary janes with button enclosures. From then my collection has begun to expand with high-heeled oxfords, black and white t-straps, red sandal platforms, and the list will surely go on. 

When I was surfing around online today (still suffering from a strained back muscle) I found these pairs...which are a little (lets be honest, alot) out of my price range, but so beautiful and totally worth aspiring to. 

I think I'm head over heels with these platforms! Yowzer! I can just imagine Ann Sheridan wearing them in a studio publicity shot.

And oddly enough - because I don't really think of myself as a girl who wears sneakers - these Converse. I just couldn't help it. I tried them on in DSW and they just, well, stuck. I think its the color, the fact that they're specifically made for women, and the little honey bee cute!

Alas, my budget doesn't allow the first three, but a girl can always dream...but the converse are just in the right price point!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My apologies

So here's an explanation for anyone who's been following my blog, and an apology. Its been almost three weeks since I've posted (oh my, I still can't believe its been so long!). In the past 20 days, my husband had surgery, I've been sick, we've had houseguests just about every week and school became a bit overwhelming. There's been alot going on.

I can't wait until this summer when I'll have more time to post and take photos outside. Thanks to anyone (i.e. Kate:) who's been reading kaleidoscopic refrains. I have plans in the works beginning in May, just please hold on until then...I promise it will get more interesting. I also promise to write more now. Thanks for bearing with me!

Monday, March 2, 2009

More Scarves! (courtesy of the snow day)

Today I was supposed to work then spend the rest of the day at the public library where I'm employed doing homework. The weather had other plans in store for me. In between doing readings for class, I've had the chance to catch up on some blog posts I've been planning. So courtesy of the mass amounts of snow outside, here's another post dedicated to scarves!

As you know, if you read my blog, I've been trying lately to incorporate my plethora of scarves into my wardrobe. 

As I write, they seem to be multiplying! Last weekend when I went shopping, I found three new ones, one of which I'm wearing today. Inspired by a Sartorialist pic of a woman wearing a tunic, belt and wide-legged jeans, and some other ones with scarves tucked into belts, I came up with this concoction this morning. I like it. I really respect sites like that one. Its definitely inspires me to take risks and try new things. 

If you're similarly affected by this crazy weather, enjoy your snow day! Here's to efforts to stay warm and be creative in the process!

Tunic: La France Vintage
Scarves: Thrifted
Belt: Target
Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft (Sales Rack)
Shoes: Hunter Boots

...Speaking Of Shoulder Pads...

I guess the Bladerunner shoulder pad bug really got me because the day after I wore my blue sweater dress I woke up determined to wear this little jacket. I found it last weekend  at my favorite thrift store. The back falls straight and is weighted at the bottom. Combined with the pronounced, slightly stiff sleeves of this denim dress that I made last year, I got a more Rachel, straight shoulder effect. 

Luckily it was slightly warmer over the past few days, so I got to break out some shoes other than my black riding boots. Unfortunately though, we're having one of the worst storms of the season today, so I doubt I'll be wearing either of the two new pairs of shoes that I bought last night. Thank goodness for snow days - no work today!

Jacket: Thrifted (I think it was handmade)
Denim Dress: Handmade by me!
Tights: American Apparel
Belt: Marshall's
Shoes: Reaction

Oh and I was too lazy to set up the tri-pod the other day, so photos courtesy of Dan who went a little Antonioni on me with a few Blowup-esque pictures, as you can see from the last photo:)