Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Once upon a time I was a ridiculous tomboy (though I always kept an impeccably stocked dress-up box!), and, though I'm clearly on very good terms with my feminine side now, I still love to steal from the boys. After gorging myself on glitter and sequins and pretty lacy frocks throughout the holiday season, all I want to wear is trousers and button downs and such.

If you haven't yet discovered this blog (I'm a little late to the party, I think...), you'll be ever so glad you did! The photos, the quotes, the remarkable women and their stories...in a word, fantastic. Even if you aren't of the tomboyish persuasion yourself, there's so much inspiration to be gathered. The photos below are of Princess Anne, at the 1976 Olympics. Have you ever seen anything so exquisite?


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Its that time of year...

...When the world can be just a little more magical (And a full grown woman can shamelessly flaunt a sparkly electric green pedicure and matching eyeliner, and be accused of nothing worse than an excess of holiday spirit!). Merry Christmas, darlings. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rudolph the red nosed girl...

Hooray! I have reached the turning point! You know that magical morning when you wake up and realize that you can actually BREATHE? Whenever I'm sick, I sort of will myself to forget that normally I would breathe through my nose, instead of gasping for air like a grounded fish. Its a pretty good coping mechanism, because then, when everything finally clears up, it feels like some sort of miraculous transformation, and I get really giddy and excited, and have to remember to pace myself. But oooooh, my little nose is still so sore and red!!! Yowch! Remind you of anyone?

Vintage minidress (worn as blouse), thrifted; Embroidered wool skirt, thrifted; studded leather belt, thrifted; Tights, U.O; 90s heels (Made in Italy, label worn off. Let's pretend they're Prada!), thrifted.

I got this amazing little dress at Buffalo Exchange along with this blouse. I may never have the nerve to wear it as a dress though, because even on me it is disastrously tiny! I think this skirt was also from Buffalo, but long, long ago. I've barely worn it, because its so big it falls right off without a belt. The waist is a continuous knitted band inset into the body of the skirt. Any ideas on how I could tighten it up a little without making it too bulky? Even my trusty tailor is stumped.

Oh, my. I forgot to introduce my reindeer. How rude. Everyone, this is Norman. Norman, Everyone. Norman is a very dear, very old friend of mine. Here he is in his natural habitat, my bedroom. Isn't he marvelous? Don't worry, he only looks stuffy and dignified. Secretly he loves hanging out, playing records, and dressing up in scarves and hats. His favorite band is Of Montreal. He thinks Kevin Barnes is dreamy.

On a sort of related note, I'm really digging United Bamboo's pre-fall collection. The perfect balance of sharp and charming, and I love the little mushroom print.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Melancholy baby

I find myself melancholy today. A sharp wind is hurling icy rain against the windows and no one is coming to the museum, and no matter how high I crank the ancient thermostat, I am chilled to the bone. I imagine a jolly crackling fire in the beautiful old  parlor stove, pitch pine snapping and filling the air with resinous smoke... I think one of the saddest things about my job is having to see things go unused. Its different in the tourist season, when people come pouring in to ooh and ahh over all the lovely old things, full of questions and amazement that this was once how people lived, but in the winter, they go unloved, and everything seems drab and forlorn. My cold has settled in, and as I sit here typing away with my right nostril relentlessly dripping, I can only think how lovely it will be to close up the museum and hurry home to my cozy little house where there are extra sweaters and hot cups of thera-flu and snuggly kitties. Here are a few dreamy little tidbits I found on Etsy to pass the time. The shops are linked through the captions. Oh, how I wish I had antlers.

Obsolete World

Double parlor
Tiny owls magic attic
Cart before the horse
X Moonbloom
 I know, I know, I would probably feel a little better if I hadn't gone out last night, but it was so worth it! The Led Zeppelin Carolers were wicked fun. If you're wondering how that works, they took Led Zeppelin songs and tweaked the lyrics so that they were about Christmas, then belted them out with an accordion, a ukulele, a mandolin, and some drums. Epic, yet darling. I didn't expect to have half as much fun as I ended up having, but the music was great and there were some lovely people at the show. I threw together a pretty amazing outfit last minute involving a lace blouse and my vintage fur, and spent the whole night laughing as people asked if they could pet me. Want to make interesting new friends? Be fluffy. Photos tomorrow; today I only want to be glum and wistful.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bah! Humbug!

So much for adventures! I woke up with a cold, so today pretty much consisted of me sporadically wailing, dripping, and sneezing (violently!) while attempting to find where the hell I had oh-so-cleverly hidden all of the Christmas presents. Thrills. I found most of them, but one bag (the ones that needed to be shipped today, natch) is still mysteriously missing. How?! Why?! It is one of those neon blue oversized shopping bags from Ikea, for heaven's sake! Where could it possibly be hiding? My little house is turned upside-down, and still it taunts me from its secret lair. Uuuugh. You know what I've realized? I rant a lot. In fact, this blog is officially going to be re-named Drippy Whinyface McCan't-remember-anything. Sounds great, right?

Seriously, though, on a more positive note, I got my Christmas bonus (Ah, nothing beats validation in monetary form!). And my new issue of Vogue came today. And I'm super excited for tonight's festivities...A holiday concert featuring an all-acoustic Led Zeppelin tribute group AND a Pogues tribute group, both made up of local musicians of no small repute, held at Secret Society. I am swimming in Thera-flu, popping Cold-eez like it was Pez, and guzzling spicy tom kha soup (Lemongrass, ginger, garlic and sweet chili help to clear congestion, and act as powerful anti-microbials. Coconut milk soothes a sore throat. Veggies are good for you.) from the Thai place down the street so that I can stay out all night. I am also excited about my outfit. What initially drew me to this sweater was the intricate quilt like piecing of the traditional fair isle knit. Then I realized that it formed a Star of David. Which makes it pretty much the perfect Hanukkah sweater! Hanukkah came and went during the 30 for 30, but what would a holiday outfit roundup be without a shout out to my Hebrew homies?

 Vintage tweed coat, Grandma's; Faux fur collar, self made; Marc Jacobs sweater, thrifted; Jeans, thrifted; Vintage Frye campus boots, thrifted; Antique bone and silver necklace, gift from Mom.

Garbage Day

Ok, so, the twelve days of Christmas is now kind of the eleven days of Christmas. Yesterday's photos were inexplicably horrible. I don't know why. That's why its inexplicable. In any case, I've got my dignity, so no one will ever see them. Today's photos, on the other hand, are kind of delightful. Lord knows, they should have been awful...I was staring directly into the sun, my tea was the only thing between me and frostbite (we just had another "cold snap" out here), and there were trash cans all over the place, waiting for pick up. But the sun felt awfully good, and it was fun to watch the confused stares of passers by. Also we had a trash can duel when we were done. You know, a trash can duel. Where you each grab a trash can and run at each other? No? What, were you raised by bears?

I think these boots and this skirt were the two items I missed the most during the 30 for 30, so I figured, why not put them together? Don't I just look like the last girl in the world you would want to mess with? I am. I will run you down with a trash can. Filled with holiday cheer!

 Jacket, F21; Lucky brand scarf, gift; Blouse, Marshalls; Vintage school kilt, thrifted; Dr. Marten boots, thrifted; Earrings, Meier and Frank.

Tomorrow promises to be adventurous...more later!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stink, Stank, Stunk!

I have been a grinch lately! I apologize, dear ones. It has been....just such a dreadful week, from the still unfolding DMV ridiculosity (I didn't need to go to the DEQ at all! Ever! Isn't that funny? Ahahahahaha..ha...ha.) to a major hassle with my bank, which left me with NO money over the weekend. But last night I made myself a pot of very strong black tea, ate an obscene amount of chocolate, built myself a vintage Christmas station on Pandora, and dug into the giant pile of clothing that's been waiting for me to make up my mind about it since I decided to remodel my closet. I don't know about you, but nothing cheers me up quite so much as playing dress up. I diligently applied the lessons I drew from Kendi's 30 for 30 Challenge, as well as that oh-so-important criteria: If you DON'T love it (Or if you do love it but it has always makes you look funny and/or requires so much work you'll never really get around to it...), let it go, for heaven's sake! I was surprised at what made the cut, and what didn't. Little by little, I am paring my once out of control wardrobe into a sharply edited, coherent collection of pieces that look and feel right for me. I mentioned in my last outfit post that I had an incredibly lucky shopping day, wherein I managed to acquire everything that was on my post-30 for 30 theoretical shopping list* (Oh, how I wish you all such luck!),...so here's another outfit composed almost entirely of new friends. Happy! And look, outdoors! Also happy!

Tulle duffel coat, TJ Maxx; Blanket sweater, TJ Maxx; J.Crew taffeta dress, thrifted; Vintage belt, thrifted; Cynthia Rowly floral tights, TJ Maxx; Jessica Simpson Dany platforms, Nordy's; Liz Claiborne bag, thrifted.

The Danys are exquisitely comfortable. Mind you, I've been swanning about in absurdly impractical heels ever since I could buy my own shoes, and, as I heard somewhere, practice makes perfect, but that said, these are quite sturdy, and well balanced. They are my third pair of JS shoes, and I am consistently impressed by the quality of the materials, craftsmanship, and engineering. Unlike most cheesy celeb shoes, these are built for comfort, durability, and serious style. 

Ok, so, before I go, I just have to mention that I had an idea last night, and, by the cold grey light of morning, it still seems like a pretty good one! Whatever could it be, you ask? Well, I'm not tellin' til tomorrow, but I think you'll like it. In the meantime, make yourself some hot chocolate, go get some mistletoe, and don't let the man get you down.

*PS: Did I mention that everything was under $25? No? Well, everything was under $25. BAM!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Someone should make a musical about the DMV...

It could be the next Sweeney Todd. I asked the first person I talked to if I needed to go through the DEQ first, and was told no, so then I waited nearly two screaming baby filled hours, only to have some paperwork shoved at me and be told I needed to go to the DEQ first after all, but that I could finish up the registration process there. Except that the DMV gave me the wrong paperwork, so I couldn't finish up at all, and by the time I'd gone through the DEQ, the DMV was closed. So I have to go BACK on Monday. Rant, rant, rant. On the bright side, The lady at the DEQ was super lovely and chipper and made jokes about how everyone at the DMV needed a paycut and a lobotomy, stat. I kind of loved her. It was a harrowing morning, but she sent me home smiling, with a nice little certificate that states that my 1984 Toyota Cressida has lower emissions than most current models. So, that's exciting. And I got some chocolate covered bacon bits and a pair of Givenchy stockings at T.J. Maxx. And everything else I needed to get done is done. And now I get to drive into Portland to attend a welcome back party for one of my favorite human beings. Really, things aren't so dire. Last night I was just feeling a little....at risk. And when I feel at risk I get hostile. Like a badger. Only hopefully less stinky.

Desperately wanted to photograph my outfit today, as its rather lovely, but never really managed to make it happen. So, instead, here's a scrumptiously spooky little holiday collage for you. Don't you love Edward Scissorhands? Its one of my all time favorite Christmas movies.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back to the salt mines...

Bah. Humbug. The new issue of Vogue arrived on my doorstep today, and all I want to do is cuddle up in my new duvet (wheeee!) with my cat and a cup of tea and blither in its pages, but instead I have to finish writing copy for the text panel that will accompany our contributions for a group exhibition at Willamette Heritage Center, and start outlining a grant proposal. Sometimes, I feel like I'm still in school, and its always finals. I was invited to spend a week in Hawaii in January (never been), but natch it was the week we'll be opening the exhibition. Bah. Humbug.

 Worse yet, I've got to get up bright and early tomorrow and get myself to the dreaded DMV to renew my registration, as  they never got around to sending me the paperwork, and apparently my tags have now expired, or so I was informed by the officer who pulled me over the other night. With lights and sirens. For expired tags. Would you like to know how long they had been expired for? Three days. Newberg's boys in blue get reeeeeeal bored, sometimes. Ah, well, at least they aren't roaming the streets, beating the homeless, tazing (tazering?) the disenfranchised, and shooting unarmed suicidal black men. Ahem. Portland.

Something less vitriolic and downtrodden coming soon, I promise. In the meantime, this made me laugh...bitterly, of course!

Ahahahahahaha. See, its funny, because...Aw, gad. Never mind. We're all doomed. And I'm out of cookies. And Tom Ford is STILL gay. *pout*

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feelin' the Spirit...(a whopping lot of pictures. consider yourself warned.)

Well hello! How is everybody today? I'm feeling pretty smashing. Here's why: Its Christmas time. I'm usually a bit of a grinch...I love the presents (getting, of course, but especially giving...the rush of gratification that stems from knowing you snagged the perfect gift for a loved one is, in a word, addictive.), and the day itself can be magical if properly executed, but the months of commercial overkill and social pressure leading up to it kind of makes me want to vomit. But, for some reason, this year seems different. For one thing, EVERYONE is smiling. Seriously, everywhere I go, happiness. And that makes ME smile, and then I feel better, about myself, and the world at large. Despite the early sales, most shops held off decorating until this week, and so, when I walk down the street and see lights twinkling from every window, instead of feeling like a sleazy marketing tactic, it feels genuinely cheery. My hometown just put up the seasonal decorations along Main Street over the weekend, and lit up the town Christmas Tree by the Library. The wreaths on the street lamps have been lovingly maintained since the early 60s. They are awesomely cheesy amalgamations of electric green fake pine, multicolored lights, and three foot tall red plastic "candles" with hand painted flames. They used to make me grimace, but now they make me grin, because I finally get it...everyone loves to complain about those tacky wreaths, and how outdated and shabby they look, but if the city ever tried to replace them, there would be a riot. Sometimes its not about how perfect something is, but about how much love goes into it.

Speaking of love, a couple of days ago my Dad and I put up the Christmas tree at my Grandma's, and Mom spent the entirety of the next day fiendishly decorating. Everything looked so pretty and festive that I decided to leave my usual boring corner...


Blue tweed jacket, F21; Gap cardi, thrifted; Comme des Garcones blouse, thrifted; Vintage wool tie, thrifted; Banana Republic jeans, thrifted, Jessica Simpson Dany platforms, Nordstrom; Vintage bag, thrifted; Hammered silver bracelet, Old Navy.

Guess what??!!? Everything I'm wearing is new! Well, new to me. Well, except for the bracelet and the bag. So, not everything. Get to the point Rose! OK! I went shopping yesterday. I had a very detailed list, and, honestly, I didn't expect to find much...you know how it is when you actually KNOW what you want, right? It suddenly stops existing. You can't find it anywhere. You begin to question your sanity. But yesterday was different. I set out, having completed the 30 for 30 Challenge, just looking forward to the familiar and comfortable sensation of browsing through racks of lovely things. I was in it mostly for the sensory thrill of fondling nice fabrics and eyeing good cuts. I'm a bit of a pervert.  But then something magical happened...I found everything on my list. Eh.Vuh.Ree.Thing. In one day. It was a Christmas miracle, kiddies. Here I'm wearing the perfect wide leg jeans (though I think I will have my tailor remove the unsettlingly large belt loops.), a cute cropped jacket in a million wearable shades of blue, an insanely cool, quirkily tailored button down (you can't tell, but the pinstripes are SPARKLY!), and a lovely slouchy pockety cardigan that reminds me of my Grandpa. Oh, yeah, and the Dany platforms! Rrrrrrrowr! So tall! In my next post I'll give you some better detail shots of them and highlight some of my other finds....

But right now I want to give you a closer look at the adorable vintage bag I have been carrying since the gala on Saturday night. Its from the 30s, midnight blue velvet with gold satin lining and a lucite clasp. Its is in insanely good condition, and has an almost Mary Poppins-esque capacity.

It holds my giant (ancient) cell phone, keys, compact, wallet, lipstick, perfume, and, uh, beauty water, also my camera (not pictured because I'm holding it!) and my tiara (not pictured because I'm wearing it!). 

Tiara headband, F21. Dog, Oregon Humane Society. 

Monday, December 6, 2010


No outfit today...I am in my robe and slippers until I get dressed for the gala so I don't get cat hair and cookie crumbs all over my chic black ensemble. Its a glamourous life we lead.

Tomorrow is my last day of the 30 for 30! Can you believe that??? What am I going to do with myself? What are YOU going to do with yourself once its over? What have you learned from the challenge? What were you happy with? What would you have done differently? So many questions!

Elle tagged me a little while ago, and I thought instead of spewing more random factoids about myself, I'd focus on what I've learned from Kendi's 30 for 30 Remix Challenge.

1) I did not take the weather into consideration. At. All. Granted, this has been a very chilly November, but still...I should have added more cute sweaters and warm dresses and wooly trousers, and less silky little blouses. Most of my outfits just got covered up with coats. On the same note, I should have included my Doc Martens. I thought two pairs of boots would be enough, but apparently I am a boot addict. Also, it would have been a good idea to have something a little more rugged, for adventuring/ toughening up all those silky little blouses.

2) Accessories are everything. Tights, scarves, gloves, hats, bags, jewelry...whatever your poison, it is amazing the difference those finishing touches can make. I think I've always been innately aware of this, but watching the 30 for 30 has really brought it home. Whether its cinching an otherwise shapeless vintage dress with a pretty belt, elevating the most inexpensive basics with a classy belt/scarf/boots combo, or adding drama to a drab outfit with bright tights, remixers are proving that its all in the details.

3) I've always had this idea in my head that I am completely clueless about casual dressing. Mostly because once upon a time I was. Very. But a few weeks of observation and...turns out I know exactly what I'm doing, and I even have a formula: Slender but slouchy boyfriend jeans+striped tee+cute sweater+belt and or scarf+statement shoes=go. So apparently I've got that handled. Yay face!

4) I used to be a lot more adventurous about wearing my beloved wacky vintage stuff, because, well, I was a "creative type", and I could get away with it. I mean, I worked in restaurants and went to shows. Normal was not on the menu. Since I became a young professional (*snork*) I've really struggled to find my style niche. What I'm discovering is that people are more open to my eccentricities than I think they are. In fact, rather than being a handicap, my personal style sets me apart and makes me seem a lot more accessible, confident, mature, and pulled together than I am. Sometimes I even fool myself! This isn't necessarily something I learned from the 30 for 30, just a general observation.

5) That said, I've realized that my wardrobe is still lacking. Last summer I purged the vast majority of my closet, keeping only what I genuinely loved. It was incredibly freeing, but now there are some noticeable holes, especially in the cozy transitional dept. Once the Challenge is over, I'll be hunting for a cute military inspired utility coat to help me ease into spring, a few more luxe slouchy sweaters for layering, the perfect vintage wide leg jeans, and plenty of pretty patterned tights. I will NOT be buying any more shoes for a while! What about you? Do you feel like the challenge gave you more perspective on what you should add/subtract from your wardrobe?

6) Before signing up for the challenge, I had flirted with the idea of rocking a seasonal "capsule" wardrobe, where I would pull a few key pieces from my closet to remix, and pack everything else away. So chic! So easy! Well, turns out, I'd rather just play dress-up.

7) I can haz friends on tha interwebz?! Every single one of you, whether you are old friends reading to keep in touch, fellow remixers reading to be supportive, or random people reading because you just ran across my blog and think its cool, is amazing. The sense of community I have felt through the challenge has just been awe inspiring. Hyperbole? Nope. I mean it. I am so happy to have met you guys! Please keep in touch when the challenge is over, yeah?

Ok, time to spread the love...
Pretty in PDX and The Auspicious life are both written by Portland girls with wit and style.
The ladies behind City Mouse Style and Unusual Form do things with color that blow my lil mind.
Blue Paper Lanterns is another adorable nerd girl crush.
Watch Me Dress  owns quirky ladylike style.
Classic noise I just discovered this morning...

You know the drill! Link back to the person who tagged you, Tell us 7 things about yourself, and tag 7 other bloggers you find inspiring!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Days 26 and 27: In which the imponderable is pondered, and it turns out pork belly is delicious.

Fwaaaaaaaw, busy couple of days there! After trying ever-so-hard to enjoy my new found freedom from the regular workweek and take it easy for a while, I finally admitted to myself that I might have a little bit of a problem...I can't take it easy. When faced with the prospect of doing nothing, most people will slump their shoulders, let out a contented sigh, and RELAX. I become a nervous ball of misdirected anxiety. So, in the interest of preserving the sanity of myself and everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis, I'm giving in to my addiction, and getting productive again. Yesterday I drew for three hours, prepped the bathroom for painting, went into Portland for First Friday, and had dinner (finally!) with a Very Handsome Man at the Victory on Division (Pork belly stew, Belgian frites, and a ginger hot toddy...pure bliss on a snappy December night!).

Witness how cleverly I turned my big comfy sweater into a winter-friendly minidress! Ok, so my legs were still FREEZING! But I felt properly glamourous for an evening of gallery hopping...

Old Navy camel coat, thrifted and altered; Vintage fur; Sweater coat, Anthropologie; Tights, U.O.; Jessica Simpson platform maryjanes, The Rack; Tyrolean hat, stolen from Mom; Victorian button pendant, gift from Mom.

And today? Cookies! The Christmas gala for the museum is tomorrow, and Mom and I have volunteered to make hundreds of tiny cookies...oh dear! What have we gotten ourselves into? My outfit was so neutral today, I decided it needed a pop of color, so I put on electric pink lipstick and a red leather belt. Done and done.

Old Navy camel coat, thrifted and altered; Levis jeans, Marshalls; Olive sweater, F21; Leopard flats, Target; Red leather belt, thrifted.

Here's a question...So, I have this FANCY party to go to, which is a work event. I know I want to wear black opaque tights, and my black beaded sweater. But should I wear them with my black Helmut Lang dress (So serious!), or my J. Crew leopard print cocktail dress (Wildly unprofessional?)? Help!