Monday, January 18, 2010


You wanted everything, to hold it all: the precise
measure of tears filling each eye, to ingest
parts of a concerto into the body; you want
a locked box for the scraps of paper, that recipe

of ideas; a treasure chest to quarantine your heart -
but already it's the time of dahlias, the ending
of the time of sunflowers; almost the reign
of goannas, when the birds call unmistakable

warnings to one another. You need to zoom in
so closely a sprig of lavender becomes myriad
tiny blooms bursting in spirals; you had to lick
the knife blade. Waking cut like a sword,

clambering from the dream of a soldier leaving -
she was pressing her cheek against the cotton chest
of a tall man, faceless, inhaling serenity and amaranth;
the lull, the surrender into a dark smudge of sleep:
and now a honey flesh shines through cracked bark.

The ardent harbour exploding with infinite stars:
you tried to hold it all, like the knife between
your teeth, it's a trapdoor into the night now:
under the clipped fingernail of a moon, you find
yourself staring straight into the eyes of an owl.
-Ardent, Jane Gibian

It's one month minus a day till my birthday, just before we head into those thick days of summer where the flowers are all rotting with the heat, skin is peeling and we've all but had enough of the pools and tank-tops, grass sticking to sweaty bodies, and all those things that go with summer-- even the dark night (speaking of which: I've had dreams about going to see The Dark Knight two nights in a row. My excitement overcomes my dreams) trips to ice cream stands are getting old. We're not there yet but it's almost here and I'm already feeling itches to throw off those dresses which are so full of summer, to slide into sweaters and tights under dresses who are clever enough to breech the seasons.

That said, I ache so much for breezes on the oceans, looking at the dunes and thinking of running through then before remembering how angry my dad would be for doing such a thing and potentially ruining their majesties. I haven't been to the beach in so long, years, and if you had told me so when I was younger I would never have believed. My family is from Long Island, and we feel such ownership and territory over things like Montauk and Fire Island and Cupsogue, that they have been invaded! We are terribly snobs, really. But, you know, like the movie or the band that becomes famous who you want to say, I liked them first!, that is how we feel about it. It is terribly snobbish and embarrassing, but what is one to do? Abandon summer and roll in fall.
Today I bought a hat.

I rather love it, and the general consensus of family and such is that it is cute, despite the fact that my boyfriend and cousin spent the day making jokes at my hat-ly expense. I do have a habit of buying hats and hardly wearing them, but I have high hopes for this one.

I also bought this dress a few days ago. After seeing it on several French girls on various blogs I wanted it every time I saw it in my H&M (which so rarely gets anything good to begin with) but could not justify it's stupid price tag. Even when it went on sale at first I resisted, and good thing I did, till it went on sale again for ten dollars-- a reasonable price, I think. It's not terribly adventurous, as I do want to start exploring things outside of my general pretty and girly aesthetic, just a bit really, but I know I'll wear it often and all that.

Today we had no internet, and we went on a day trip to Woodstock, and tomorrow I am chained to the workplace, but be sure I have a list of interesting (I hope!) and gloriously delicious posts to subject the world to!

This is not an outfit from today, I am a fraud, but I am going to work for a few hours so I expect it will be all black and white for me again!

Happy Fourth of July! I think it might be the strangest holiday ever, but honestly it has never disappointed (even though it rained last year). When I was little and spent summers in Philadelphia, my cousins and I used to put on a play in their backyard on the 4th. It was always disastrous, mostly because I played the part of a control-freak director who had mental and emotional breakdowns when everyone else could not 'live up to my artistic vision' (not my words, but rather those of a small child, ha!) but we always had fun and there were lovely things like cake and my favorite: fireworks and sparklers.

I love fireworks. I am never sure if I am scared of them or if I actually want to be one. Sparklers are my other favorite, probably more than fireworks, because you can hold them and draw pictures in the air. This year we haven't any for ourselves personally, but we do have some pop thingies:

to wreak havoc on a small scale (I am sure it is frightening for the ants, but I try not to feel too badly about it). Don't you just love the packaging? I think it's fabulous.
Oh dear! I have absented myself for an inexcusable amount of time! I'm afraid I haven't been very good about commenting or reading other blogs, let alone posting anything new here, although I suppose I do have a few meager excuses. I've worked just about every day since Monday--I have never been so sick of black and white in my life--and spent the weekend at an amusement park, briefly (I don't like rides).

I did manage to go thrifting before work on Saturday and scooped up two skirts, a new black half-slip, a t-shirt for the wonderful boyfriend, and a book for 4.32$ (we love half-off student discount days!). Dad lucked out as well and gave me four shirts for him as well to get a discount so the total was about 8$.

I passed up on three things (I do this a lot) which I may scoop up tomorrow if they are still there. One can only have so many ridiculous dresses, something I thought I would never say, when one's closet rack collapses.

I am also very excited since my favorite flowers have come out finally!

Lysimachia clethroides (gooseneck loosestrife)

And I will end this abhorently scattered post with the cat, who has been sleeping in the sink but is outside enjoying the yard at the moment.


The rules went like this:
1. Choose runway pictures from any season you like and choose 3 outfits for day,evening and party
2. Explain why and state the name of the designer
3. When finished tag 3 other bloggers


3.1 Philip Lim

This is from a few seasons ago, I forget when exactly, but it is one of my favorite looks ever. I've been in meaningful love with it ever since I saw it, due mostly (I am sure) to the top-hat. When I was in high school I had a master plan to wear a small top-hat to prom or Holly Ball. I never did, but I still want one.

Rachel Comey

I love the dark school-girl look of this. It reminds me, inexplicably, of Tim Burton heroines and looks like something that sprung out of a library.

Rag & Bone

I've had this saved since I first saw it. I love its soft darkness and the almost excessive covered-up nature. Mostly, something about the fabrics make me want to touch it.


Erin Fetherston

I was undecided about which category this ought to fit in. I stuck it in evening because I am fond of the idea of florals at dusk and night. It is something I would certainly wear at all times, but I really like the idea of walking along evening streets in it.

Derek Lam

I love velvet, and the darkness of this (a theme!). It's sort of Victorian looking, in a strange way, which is deeply appealing.


Pants! Are you shocked? I don't really wear pants except to work or if I want to wear sneakers that don't go with dresses, but I feel I could make an exception for this. It's the top really, that giant strangely deformed bow calls to me.


Betsey Johnson

I'm not a huge Betsey Johnson fan but I feel it is only appropriate to include something of hers in the party section. Girly to the extreme, it would be tragic not to have something so frilly and pink and Barbie as a party dress.

Ralph Lauren

Decadent and brocaded and probably for the serious sorts of parties I never go to that involve large pieces of furniture and artwork. Mostly, I think this would look good next to a bookcase and the sort of house where things are heavy and substantial.


Short, black, lace minidresses frighten me but I want one. It sort of looks like it could be underwear, and I love the idea of going to a party and coming come with aching feet and throwing a lazy sweater over this and crawling in front of the TV.

(Also, I feel I must apologize for 'I feel' statements. There are abhorrent things pointing to the stupidity of millions, but I use them anyway.)
Five Things I'm Currently In To:

Arthur Rackham

Seals & Sea Lions

Maria Callas

Labyrinth (every few years I remember how awesome this movie is! How could I have forgotten?)

The Lover, Marguerite Duras (also in my purse, you will have noted! Honestly, I am iffy about the book itself, but I love the cover).

Five Things I've Always Wanted to Do:

Write something! Something good, that is worth other people reading.
Keep Bees (Yes, still!)
Work somewhere preciously quaint and whimsical
Find a secret garden/parallel world/faeries
Make fruit tarts
On Tuesday I dragged myself downtown as I've been meaning to do for weeks. A friend of mine moved into an apartment above a bakery, where she also works (how dreamy is that? It's like something out of a book and is every bit as adorably magical as you imagine), and which I will have to feature here sometime.

I used to live downtown. I don't live in a huge city, but it is the capital of our state, yet there are some really great finds tucked away here and there. I grew up off of one of the best streets ever, around the corner from art galleries, gift shops, gay bars, local coffee shops, bakeries, Greek restaurants, tattoo parlors, used bookstores, vintage furniture havens, flower shops, and Ben & Jerry's. We moved 5 years ago when my grandmother moved to Albany, and while I love our new neighborhood and house, I miss downtown terribly. My childhood was peppered with strange people in the street, festivals where the main roads were shut down for a day, and afternoons in the park watching free musical theater.

Anyway, I have run away with myself. There is a tiny little store which I visited when it was first opened, although then I was not particularly enamored. It was very precious and quiet. However, years and years later my friend and I peeked in. It's glorious! The owner has all kinds of strange knick-knacks, like little faux bird cages with porcelain birds inside, and of course: vintage!

First I was distracted by vintage gloves spilling out of various containers. Especially a tea-colored pair with eyelet edges and an electric blue pair. Sadly, none of them fit (I have very long fingers, and the hardest time finding regular gloves!). I also passed up a golden bee pin with terribly delightful details, and I hope it's still there on Saturday when I go back! Today is payday, and the reason left it there was my sad state of funds, so hopefully I will be lucky!

The back of the store was where most of the vintage clothes and shoes were, I could kick myself for not taking pictures but this weekend I will ask permission and bring some back, and I saw this patterned thing in the corner. I only saw the top details at first, and it reminded me of Heidi or something Free People would sell. Pulling it out, it was even more divine and patterned!

I inspected the price tag, readying myself for disappointment. And then: It was marked down to 20$, plus an extra 20% off!

I didn't even bother to try it on. I figured if it didn't fit I would use it as decoration, or perhaps sell it.

I scooped it up with glee! I excitedly presented it to my boyfriend, who began to whistle 'The Hills Are Alive...' to which I answered with the kind of whine reserved for disappointed puppies. He has a terrible habit of coming up with horrible comparisons (although this one was not so bad) of things I pick up and then I can't wear them anymore because all I can think of is Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

I took it home and got myself into it, only to discover it takes some professional acrobatics to get it zippered. It is ti-i-ight around the ribcage, but with some wiggling I can make it happen. For now it works, although I must be careful not to sneeze. My mother, the worlds best seamstress, has examined it and we are planning to insert some patterned panels into the side so I can wear it as often as I would like. I do feel slightly guilty about altering vintage, sort of like when you fix and antique table and now it's not worth so much, but I believe first and foremost that these things are to be worn, not stowed away! And so if we must alter to do so, so be it!

Today is perfect weather, though it won't last, and I've decided to make the most of it. I bought this dress very on sale last week, and was most disgruntled when I discovered it at Marshall's last night for even cheaper! Ahh well, it's worth a few extra dollars to have worn it a few times sooner.

The sweater was thrifted a few weeks ago, it's a Kids XL, and I quickly changed the buttons. I had hoped I would find enough metal buttons in my many boxes but I didn't have enough and they were such different sizes that many of them didn't fit through the button holes.

One of my best friends sent me a book she made, and I have been so terrified to write in it for fear of ruining it. But it's so pretty I want to carry it around as a pretty prop all day.
My camera has been broken for a few days, but thanks to the wonders of the internet a replacement arrived yesterday! This is very exciting, since I've been using my camera since last July (the day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, actually) without an LCD screen. I've been setting the self-timer from memory, since I already knew how many times I had to press what buttons to set it, and taking pictures of other things by guessing. It's such a luxury to see what I'm taking a picture of!

My point though, is slips. I have sixteen, which perhaps isn't quite as much as I thought, but still a considerable amount. The other day I was in a foul-mouthed foul mood and decided to run into Goodwill. Normally I avoid it, since the local one is terribly disorganized, overpriced, and I hardly find anything worth the trip. This visit was different! First, they reorganized with new shelves. Second, I found two lovely and perfect half-slips with inches of lace on the bottom. One mint green, one white, they were both yellow-tagged and thus, were half-off!

I have ten full-slips that I keep on one hanger. I love the range in colors, so delicate and breezy, soft and tea-steeped, and they look so nice hanging against my windows (I hang my slips from the handles that open my skylights). I wear the top two slips the most often, because of their length, and have been meaning to alter some of the other ones so that I may wear them with shorter dresses but have yet to get around to it. The second slip is my favorite. It was floor-length and my mom shortened it with the neatest and prettiest little French seam around the middle.

One of my favorite things about slips are the tiniest of details. This one has blue flowers encased in lace, all along the neckline and the hem.

I have several half-slips (the two newest are in the center) which I've taken to wearing under longer dresses and skirts. Lately I've been lucky enough to find ones that are quite decadent on the bottom with large edges of lace. The top one here is more of a skirt, and reminds me of tablecloths. I have yet to wear it, but I just love it. It reminds me of the beach.

I've always loved slips and nightgowns. I remember when I was little I always wanted more and always wandered around those sections in department stores of thrift stores. They are perfect. They are functional both for adding length to a dress or skirt, or for preventing irritating clinging-to-stockings. Mostly though, they are beautiful and delicate. I just love them to bits. In the summer I'm a big fan, I liked to toss one on when I'm sitting around the house trying not to pass-out in the heat. There is something very appealing about sweaty summer evenings and slips, pretty and sort of debauched and subversive.

Today was the hottest it's been, around 97 degrees, and yet now it is cool and mild out (aside from rain and tornado warnings). This morning though, before propelling myself into the pool, I dragged myself to the thrift store around the corner with no makeup or jewelry, my hair in braids with bows, and in the simplest of dresses.

I ADMIT the briar
Entangled in my hair
Did not injure me
-William Butler Yeats, A Woman Young and Old

I bought this slip at Old Navy the other day, because it is so pretty and delicate, even if its length is a bit awkward for wearing under dresses. I am unable to leave nightgowns and slips hanging, my collection is reaching slightly epic proportions, and yet I cannot resist! I don't even wear them to bed most of the time. They're useful under dresses, adding an extra inch or so to a hem I feel might be too short, eliminating the sheerness of certain dresses, and hanging prettily in front of windows as decorations.

"we will fall like ripe fruit and roll down the grass together.
dear friend, let me lie beside you watching the clouds until
the earth covers us and we are gone."
-Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body


Today it is hot, the air is thick, thick, thick, like breathing through cotton candy. It's humid and I am already faintly glossy with sunscreen and sweat. Sadly, I cannot hop into our pool just yet, as it has only been opened just now and the chemicals are not ready. It's also still freezing, despite the horrific temperatures the weather has reached. It's going to be up to 96 next week, and I don't know what I will do! Melt, I think.

I bought this dress at H&M the other day, on sale, especially anticipating this weekend. It's a little see-through so the slip is necessary, plus it covers unsightly bra straps, though a bit sticky. I might go back and buy some more in other colors, it's so easy for weather like this!

The sunglasses are also new, and it's about time! I've been going without and life has been very hard. I am also eeking my way into summer make-up, although I have yet to find a satisfactory tinted moisturizer. These days it's just cover-up, blush and mascara. Anything else is just a waste!

"I was full, too, of that deep emotional energy that springs naturally with youthful beauty - my heart full of it and hurting and not knowing where to direct itself. There is a snapshot taken of me just about this time: it shows me in a short white dress standing in front of a large lime-tree at the back of the house. You can see in this picture a young, eager-looking girl with a smile on her face; but what you cannot see or hear or feel are the millions of delicate blossoms, the surge of bees in them and the scented honey-dew falling on my hair and on my hands and on the brown summer grass. What this photograph does not show is the dreaming, urgent creature behind the gaiety and beauty. It does not show how that young girl of twenty-two felt, dreaming and in love with herself and rather foolishly conscious of having a soul."
-h.e. bates


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