Saturday, January 25, 2020

AmorDress

Acorn Oak Leaf Necklace, botanical grassesautumn leaves, Vintage Lusterware Candy Dish from Etsy.com

At least once a year, I try to buy a few things from AmorDress on Etsy.  I gotten to know the proprietress a little through our Etsy transactions and she is a lovely woman who makes beautiful things at a reasonable price.  How could I not support that?!  This year I chose three dresses and this is the first I'm going to feature here.
I chose this brown dot dress because of it's autumn colors and vintage style.  Doesn't it look just like a 1950s housewife hostess dress?
Keep checking back with me in the coming months for posts about my other Amor Dresses.
Shopping Info: Brown Dress Polka Dot Swing Dress Vintage 50's Inspired Tea Dress Brown Bridesmaid Dress Brown Party Dress Plus Size Dress -XS-XL,Custom

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Depth of Winter

Velvet pumpkins, Wood Bead TreeFall Wreath, Felt Acorns from Etsy.com
I never realized before just how beautiful the dogwood tree is.  Full green leaves and white blossoms in the spring, red berries in the summer, and dark red leaves each autumn, it truly has become one of my favorite sights during each of the passing seasons.
My hilltop farm is more than just dotted with dogwoods, it's positively loaded with them, and they add so much spirit to the scenery.  I was reminded of their color for my latest velvet crush post.  This wine color reminds of that feeling in the air as November gives way to December as though the world is drinking deeply of this last taste of color.  It's difficult to put into words, but the deepening of the evenings, lengthening of the nights, and the stillness of the world and the intensity of its beauty as autumn becomes gray winter, just brought me here.
And then of course I am surrounded by the wine red dogwood leaves, never so lovely as just before December arrives and the leaves teach us the beauty of letting go.  I'm going to make that my goal, my resolution if you will, not for next year although it's not to far away, but for right now and whatever is left of the year to find the beauty in letting go of past hurts, lost loves, faded dreams, what might have been and what will never be.
Instead, I'd like to enjoy the intense beauty of this season in my life as my children grow and find the wind that fills their sails and takes them out into the world and their destiny, as I find the freedom to say what I mean and be who I am, and to give love freely, expecting nothing in return.
Shopping Info: Velvet Puff Sleeve Top-$12.99 from Forever21, Plaid skirt is old from RoseGal, The Zest Is History Heel  from ModCloth

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Siren Song

Sometimes when I sit down to write a post, I have that little nagging feeling that I've done this all before.  Same title, same topic, maybe even the same outfit.  Have I?  More than likely, I'm reusing titles and topics--it's not easy to come up with a thousand unique post titles--but I try to mix it up a little on the outfits so that even if they're similar, they're never exactly the same.
Today's post will be short and sweet and perhaps a little familiar as it is a subject near and dear to my fashion heart--mermaids!  I've done a number of posts about mermaid prints or siren inspired outfits, so forgive me if I repeat myself.  Forgive me if I repeat myself.  
This little outfit came together at the last minute.  I had this gorgeous skirt, just begging to be worn and I couldn't quite find anything I liked to go with it.  So, I grabbed this mermaid print top and an orange cardi and dashed out to do some photos before the sun had set and I missed my chance.
Coming back in to the house to edit them, I really liked the overall effect.  There's a lot of color going on to be certain, but it seems fairly harmonious to me.
And this skirt is absolutely heavenly.  It's made of stretchy fabric so it's comfortable, but that high waist is so chic!  And the color is perfect for so many outfits.
I can't wait to show you all the great outfits I'm coming up with for this skirt.  Since taking these photos, I've already done another set and changed up the outfit just a bit.  Coming Soon!
Shopping Info:  Mermaid Top, Dream of the Crop Cardigan, and The Zest is History Heels from ModCloth, Buttoned Detail Wide Waistband Flare Skirt - $17.00 from: SHEIN, Claire's Navy Glittery Twist Skinny Headband - $2.10 from: Claire's

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Wuthering Heights Kind of Day

“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free.”
~Wuthering Heights~
These days when the sky is covered in thick gray clouds, and the wind never rests, I think of the windswept moors of Wuthering Heights.  Maybe such a story of tragic romance, and such a bleak landscape should keep me indoors, but instead it sends me out to explore.  
Much like Cathy in W.H. I can't stand to be cooped up when the wide world is calling.  I don't exactly find her or any of the characters relate-able.  
For example, I've never been involved in a multi-generational love triangle that ended in tragedy for most of the nine people who had the same or very similar names.  
But, I can relate to those moments, those singular decisions (or indecisions) that unexpectedly take me further away from the very simple thing that I wanted. I can relate to being left in the fallout, reeling and wondering how did it come to this and how do I get back to that time before it all.  I suppose we can all relate to that though and that's why W.H. is such a classic.
I suppose all lives include some tragedy, some loss, but much like these dreary days that drive most indoors, we shouldn't shy away from the things that remind us of sad times.  
In the woods, along the streams, across the fields turned to gold and the oak trees gone to rust by these self-same icy winds; here I wander.  Here I remember and here I forget.
I love the way the world is different from itself from one day to the next.  I learn so much not just about the world but about myself as well.  
Something about being out here, insulates me from distraction and noise.  Here, I can process and reflect.  I find rest not only from the day-to-day, but from the past.
This is my space for unpacking all the things I carry, and laying down all the cares that burden me.  I spend so much time as my own worst critic, but here, I have learned to be kind to myself, to forgive myself, and slowly but surely, I'm working on forgiving others, all the Heathcliff's, the Cathy's, and all the rest.
Shopping Info:  Forever21 Floral Ruffle Top, Meadow Rue Wool Skirt, Steve Madden Boots

Friday, January 17, 2020

My Fair Lady

We all love a rags to riches story, but to be honest and with no disrespect intended toward Audrey Hepburn, My Fair Lady is one of my least favorite musicals.  
The costumes were divine, the music was brilliant, and Audrey always brings it, but that wasn't my trouble.  My distaste for it actually originated with Pygmailon and Galatea, the original Greek myth in which a man who hates women (specifically the women of his day) and decides to live alone and remain unmarried.  He then creates a sculpture of the perfect woman and then falls in love with her....yeah, the sculpture!
The whole story, My Fair Lady included, really seemed to reduce women to something one dimensional.  Does the professor actually love Eliza Dolittle, or does he merely love the image of a woman he's created?  It's hard to tell, because he treats her terribly.  He's grumpy, I get it, that's no excuse.
One thing I've worked for in my own life and something I try to impress here on the blog is that the way you dress should reflect you--the real you--not who you or anyone else thinks you should be.  If you dress to please others, you are reducing yourself to something far less than you are.
Dressing and behaving in a way that pleases others, won't bring you joy and unfortunately, the people who seem to like you really don't because they don't know the real you.  It's better to be yourself and yes, some people won't like it.  Tough.  But there will be people who do like you and love you for who you really are.  The pressure's off.  You can relax and feel safe with them because you were brave enough to be honest with the world and be yourself.  And that makes you the fairest of them all.
Shopping Info: My Fair Lady Baroque Embroidery Midi SkirtGuipure Lace Neck Embroidery Eyelet Top-$13 from SheIn

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Puppies Are Forever

With a mere week to go before Christmas, I wasn't looking for anymore gifts.  Everything I intended to give was already bought or made, neatly wrapped and lying under my tree.  Sometimes the very best gifts are the ones we're not expecting.
We were on our way home at the end of a long day, and just needed to stop at the local grocery store to refuel the car.  I wasn't even planning on getting out.  As I sat staring, making a mental list of everything left to do that evening, my eyes landed on some movement in the back of a truck.
There sat a little white-haired woman, with two adorable puppies.  "Puppies!" I cried.  "Can we go look?" my youngest asked, but I was already unbuckling my seat belt and opening my door.  She followed suit.  In a few short seconds we were each holding a sweet, soft, wiggly puppy and of course we couldn't agree on which one to take, so we took both and drove home listening to Sia's Christmas album, specifically Puppies Are Forever, and indeed they are.
I'm glad we took both puppies.  They're sisters after all, even though they don't look it, and sisters shouldn't be separated.  We arrived just in time too, because as soon as we agreed to take them, two more people showed up, each wanting one.  "Sorry," the lady said, "they've just been adopted."  The would-be pet adopters walked away saying something along the lines of what a great gift a puppy would have been, and while I had a moment's hesitation, thinking maybe we should give them up to these other people, in the end I couldn't part with them.
Lizzie and Lulu have been a wonderful addition to our family.  Lizzie (short hair/stoic) is quiet and reserved; Lulu (fluffy bum/wiggle pup) is rambunctious and full of fun.  I don't know if puppies are a great Christmas gift unless you enjoy taking them for walks when it's below freezing or losing sleep on your winter break because they're chewing everything up and scratching at the door, but they are a wonderful gift.  Even though they take a lot of work, they've also brought so much joy to our home and our lives.
Yesterday we were all bundled up by the fireplace watching it sleet and snow.  This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland and in honor of the puppies first snow, I thought I'd take them out for a little romp through the winter wonderland and try to get a few pics before they're grown.
Lizzie doesn't like to be picked up.  Period.  It makes her feel scared.  Even if we're sitting on the floor. But she also doesn't like to be left out.  Instead, she wants you to sit down and let her climb into your lap while leaving two feet on the floor.  After which she promptly falls asleep.
I like to hold Lulu because she grunts and "talks" the whole time and if I hold her close she tries her best to cover me in puppy kisses.  I only just managed to get this one photo of her looking at the camera instead of trying to lick me.  These darling girls have been such a joy.  More pics to come.

Shopping Info: Fair Isle Knit Sweater and skirt from Forever 21, boots, tights, and headband are old.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Quite Comical

It's eaaaaaarly and it's coooooold!  The sun is late in rolling out of bed this time of year, and after a few minutes out in this wind, I'm beginning to think I should have stayed in bed too.
This is the only time I can take photos on this street without it being crowded with people though, so I decided to suck it up and brave the cold.  Yes, that's how much I love you, dear reader.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and over the years I've often found that to be true.  Laughter can mend most wounds and time will heal the rest.  I can't imagine what life would be without laughter.  I laugh every chance I get even if I have to create most of those chances myself, because real life just isn't that comical.
Today's post touches on the comical with this Comic Print mini skirt.  As one of my sewing projects earlier this year, I featured a Comic Print dress in fabric call Sewing Woes.  You can see that project here.  I've never been a huge fan of comic strip prints in general, but certain kinds just catch my attention, like the Sewing Woes fabric.  Nothing has come along since then until I saw this print.  
Truth be told, I own the skirt, the top, and the leggings in this print, and if they come out with anything else, I'll probably buy that too. I love the print and the colors.  The translation isn't perfect, but it certainly is humorous and that makes it all the more endearing with statements like "friends should not eat at home."  Ha! Delightful!
Color, print, texture!  This outfit has it all!  As promised, this is the second outfit with my Mariah corset top from FemmeLuxe.  The previous outfit featured a long snakeskin print pencil skirt, black heels and pearls. (you can see it here)  All very sophisticated and grown-up.  This time I thought I'd get a little more playful with the print and colors.
© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.