Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thriftyness, updates, etc.

People of earth,

I'm not completely gone, I've just been ill for several days and recently got back into the swing of things. It's amazing how behind you can become on absolutely EVERYTHING after spending 5 days in bed. So I'll get back to your blogs and my own blogging soon enough!

In the meantime... I managed to sneak off to a thrift while out running errands and found a few things. While trying to capture everything, the sun was setting fast and I didn't get a chance to document the entire haul but here are three selections.

I have a obnoxiously red vintage trench already but I've been in the market for one in a more subdued color. The color of this trench that I got for 3€ is a funny one to photograph. In "regular" light it's a medium toned earthy yellow and in low light it could almost pass for more of a deep khaki color. I described it to my boyfriend as a "1970's yellow" after he was discussing painting what would be my room and me saying that I want it to be exactly the same color as the trench I just thrifted. The cut of the coat is not the grandest (it's more of a rectangle and I have a thing for more swingy shapes on my coats) but that's the beautiful thing about trenches. You can belt them so they have more shape...

The buttons are rather bland as well. So once I'm back in the US, I think I'll replace them with brown wood ones (and possibly add a brown sash as well?).

If you look at my love of plaid from a psychological point of view... It might have something to do with experiencing adolescence during the 90's. Unfortunately in retail and thrifts I generally come across plaid items that are better suited for cold weather. So it thrilled me to find this vintage cotton dress. The fabric makes it ideal for summer and I think the colors would help it be wearable during colder months (with a bit of layering).

A long time ago (and I mean 1997? 1998?) I made myself vow to a "no vintage polyester" policy. Well, it was more like a "no synthetics in general" policy. Of course on a rare occasion that rule has been broken but I'm quite proud of the fact that a huge percentage of my vintage consists of natural fabrics. With this dress I crossed the fabric boundaries and accepted this little polyester number into my wardrobe. The selling points? The neck ties into a bow! It still has it's belt!

and the real clincher...

In my still slightly ill mind, that had just spent several days bed ridden and watching VAST amounts of Star Trek, I thought "HOLY CRAP! THAT PATTERN LOOKS LIKE SPACE!". Before you run off thinking I've completely lost it, just look at the pattern. The graduated hued deep blue with the white spots could be the fabric of space littered with stars and the swirly blue bits could represent wormholes or comets or other interesting stellar bits.

and it's blue! Mr. Spock wears blue!

Knowing all that.. Not buying that dress would have been highly illogical.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My new bag in action...

I request that you please excuse the dramatic "I just spent 25min on the metro which was 1000x hotter than the sweltering streets above" pose.

Skirt, silk blouse, heels: thrifted
Vintage leather belt: Free
Purse: acquired through bribery

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recent thrifty acquisitions

Yes, yes... I know I may be moving but who can resist a deal?

I came here with two suitcases, I plan on leaving with four. Owning only two suitcases I needed to find myself another two to use. A few weeks ago I found a rather nice leather suitcase (with keys) left outside for trash day. Which brought my suitcase total to three. This nifty number pictured here makes number 4.

This is my new favorite purse and the best purse ever!

Which once was a child's dress will now be a spiffy tunic top for me...

Belts are compact, so I feel no guilt with obtaining a few new ones..

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The great purge 2008, part 3

What I will bring with me on my move may be littered with rules and hard decisions.. but today I realized that one group possessions rises above any such philosophies:

The cameras are totally going with me. Each and everyone of them.

Photo by: Roxanne

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chaos was what killed the dinosaurs, darling.

It's been years since I've consumed significant quantities of television.. Which is why more often than not when people consult me about the latest shows, I stare at them blankly.

(i.e. I might just be the only woman alive who has never seen an episode of "Sex in the City".)

In the blogosphere I occasionally see someone referencing or commenting on a show called "Gossip Girls". I would not be surprised that such a show is meant for someone younger than myself, so it's not a big deal that I really know very little about it.

Yet every time I see photos for said show on blogs, it just screams "HEATHERS" at me. Am I showing my age now?

Any of you remember the movie Heathers?

Damn, I love that movie.

Images from the film Heathers have been shamelessly glipped
off the interweb... In an attempt to promote said film.

More thrifted goods in action...

Don't you just love it when you find something at the thrift store then a few min later... you find something else that goes perfectly with it?

Such as the story for this tank and skirt I thrifted last week. I dug the skirt out of the bin of skirts and just a few min later I found this simple stripe tank that goes quite well with it (methinks).

Tank, skirt, thrifted last week
Belt, thrifted a few months ago
Heels, thrifted some months back

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The great purge 2008, part 2b

Speaking of purging my books... I thought it might be worth mentioning that I also need to weed through the homeless books I always rescue when I see piles of junk on the side of the road.

Do I really need a Italian/French dictionary?

Considering that I am not a master of French nor do I know any Italian...

Did I ever need one??

(To keep myself from looking completely crazy.. The book was vintage with nice typography...)

The great purge 2008, part 2

The first Ikea bag filled with purged clothing..

Last time I posted about my upcoming move I mentioned the three general rules I'm trying to abide by in order to make this move as easy and efficient as possible. They were something along the lines of....

1. Don't move anything that I can live without
2. I might need it NOW but will I need it where I'm moving to?
3. If it costs more (or equal) to transport than I could buy that item again for, is it still worth moving?

For example... I'm not even going to bother taking any basic household items like dishes, pots, pans, etc. First off, I will be moving in with my man and he already has that sort stuff. Though arguably it may not be as visually appealing as my stuff (hehe), the United States does have magical places like Target and thrift stores. So I could show up at my new residence turn up my nose at what the man has and venture off on a buying spree for quite possibly a lot less than it is worth to bring what I may already own. We could say household goods falls under #2 - they already exist where I'm going to live next, and even #3 - I can replace everything easily and cheaply if needed.

When sorting through my book collection I also found #2 applied quite well. Books are a heavy and a general pain to move. My first instinct (I love books!!) was to toss them all into boxes and ship them. With #2 and a critical eye I realized that it is quite possible that I will no longer explicitly need some of my books. While trying to learn French I amassed many books on the language. I don't plan on forgetting what I've learned and I hope to continue practicing, but with no longer needing to know French for my daily life... Do I really need a large sum of books on the subject? This also works for any books I have on France or the city of Paris itself. Directories, guides and the like, are relevant while I'm still living here but won't be particularly useful once I'm no longer living here. Places constantly change and evolve, so books containing time sensitive information may no longer be relevant the next time I could need them again.

I've also been looking critically at any design reference books that I purchased while a student. Studying something that I never really studied before, I was hungry for ANYTHING on the subject. Three years later not only did I learn many new things, I also now have my own opinions, ideas, and style. Books that I pretty much know the subject matter and have not needed since my first (or second) year might not be of use to me anymore. Also knowing a lot more about the subject matter, some books might not contain information that is relevant to my own ideas or technique.

Moving is hard, especially if you are like me and have a tendency to develop strange nostalgic attachments to inanimate objects. It is easy to say "I don't need this" but it is hard to say that then actually get rid of it!


Going through my stuff seems like a never ending ordeal and next time I chose to ramble about it, I think I'll discuss my new and exciting "One bag" policy that I have been applying to the sorting of my clothing.

and in other news.. I'm still actively thrifting (I'm sure I'll be thrifting up until the day before I leave Paris) and will post some of my recent finds tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

ideaboard #1 // Breakfast of Champions

Nutella for me is something of an acquired taste. Only recently has it become an item you would regularly find on my shelf. When I have time in the morning I usually slather it on a small crepe and top if off with bananas.

This morning I was aware that I'd most likely be unable to finish the ideaboard I had been working on in my spare time for this blog. Darn me for being one of those people that get obsessed with specific details! Unsure of what I could do, inspiration struck when I made this morning's breakfast. A crepe with Nutella (unseen in the photo), bananas, set on a lovely blue plate (that belongs to my roommate), and a glass of cranberry juice.

Photo of my breakfast by Rox

Click to enlarge...

I scoured the internet and my archives looking for the perfect table with that could emulate the texture of a crepe. Cork as a material came to mind since the patterns vary (much like crepes do) and it is available in an array of hues. During my search I found some lovely mid-century pieces made from cork such as this table by Paul Frankl, but nothing really suited the bill. That's when I thought one could cut a giant place-mat of sorts from cork to the size of the table. Such a place-mat would add a bit of texture to the arrangement and would also insure that nothing would ever skid off the table! (har har)

The colors chosen pretty much were taken from my breakfast. Soft creamy yellows for the banana, deep rich browns for the Nutella, a back drop of blue and a hint of red.

Pictured in "Breakfast of Champions",
Chandelier: " Voltolina" @ forzieri
Dinnerware: "Kata" @ target
Table: "Frank" @ jayson home & garden
Chairs: "Martine" @ restoration hardware

Photo of the Nutella spread obtained from Wikipedia.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Update: Mission Statement 170708

Above: An early conceptual illustration for a class project
Below: Style board for a "Steampunk" parlor

From the beginning I've been tossing around ideas for regular design related features. I recognize that there exists MANY blogs with emphasis on specifically interior or product design and many more about design in general. Quite a few of those blogs have an eye towards the latest and greatest. I'm not one to snub trends but knowing that such things are well covered elsewhere I've decided to focus more on inspiration from what could be seen as individual preferences regardless of what is "now".

The first weekly feature will consist of a mood and style board centered around a specific theme. It may sounds like a common design blog feature but as mentioned I'm thinking less "Orange and gray are the colors for Autumn" and more "This week is a room inspired by Dolly Parton". I plan on submitting a style idea for your perusal every Friday.

For the second, I'd like to do a post weekly on my love for inanimate objects and the designers who create them. While this feature is no way unique, I hope I can come up with people and objects that may have never came to your attention for before.

In short... I'm trying to put the past several years devoted to studying design to good use!

With that said, the first "ideaboard" will be posted tomorrow and now I'm off to locate wherever my camera charger is hiding ;)

The great purge 2008, part 1

Photo by: Roxanne

With something like 40 days or so before I leave France and head back across the Atlantic, I am really starting to feel the pressure on what to do with my 3+ years worth of acquisitions. Shipping overseas is expensive and in all honesty do I really need everything I have now? No. With this in mind, I've been trying brainstorm and organize how I could objectively go through EVERYTHING and discard what I really don't need.

About five years ago my parents decided to move out of California after living in the house I called home for 20 years. I was going to be traveling in Europe during the move, so prior to my departure I went on a rather eclectic attempt to downsize years upon years of possessions. During my adolescence I stayed in the bedroom that had a rather large walk-in closet. That led to never really needing to get rid of anything. Though I considered my efforts to downsize to be admirable (I sold clothes mostly for .50 or $1 each and earned almost $400 at the family garage sale), after the move both myself and my parents found ourselves unpacking boxes of things that in hindsight, we did not really need.

With that lesson learned, I've come up with three general rules:

1. Don't move anything that I can live without
2. I might need it NOW but will I need it where I'm moving to?
3. If it costs more (or equal) to transport than I could buy that item again for, is it still worth moving?

Next post, I will delve deeper into my musings on applying the aforementioned rules to my purge.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thrifted goods in action

Photos by: Roxanne

Here are the boots that I thrifted a few weeks back. Paired with a vintage dress (thrifted) and a vintage belt (thrifted).

Monday, July 7, 2008

I think I might just wee myself....

BERLIN (Reuters) - Film historians had doubted they would ever find the missing portions of "Metropolis" -- until three reels of the science fiction film made in Germany a long time ago, were discovered in a country far, far away. (read the rest here)

Doth mine eyes deceive me? I am not just thrilled out of a biased love for the Fritz Lang masterpiece. It always tickles me when 'lost' portions of silent films are found......

In my younger days I was adamant with my belief that people were absolutely brainless not to recognize certain films for the masterpieces that they were and care for them accordingly. Box office returns? Who cares? Conservation of space and recycling of materials be damned!

Now, I see such things as both a collective and subject experience. I'm sure that there is a whole slew of films that any viewers of this blog could agree with me, if they were somehow destroyed, none of us would cry over it. Yet, to the dismay of my roommate (and I'm sure many of you), I have to admit that every time I wander past my roommate's collection of Doris Day films and I see Doris' glowing face smiling up at me, I want to chuck the lot into a raging fire.

I may be a total idiot for not seeing why people find Doris Day appealing (I'd like to think I'm not) but the fact that remains that if I became ruler of the world, Ms. Day movies would be the first thing to go.

The studios that manhandled what became classic cinema might have felt completely justified when they made their decisions, much like how I feel completely justified in wanting to create a Day-free world.

Edit: You can view a few stills from the found footage at the German paper Die Zeit's website... (gallery over here)