Writing about style, design and all things that catch my eye!

Perfectly imperfect and casually luxe; these are a few of my favorite things.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Iridescent shimmer & rose tinted shine!

Not matter the weather, I can always count on a few simple products to make me look more put together-- and that makes me happy. While I always use a light layer of foundation and brown/black mascara, it's the next two products that finish that look:

Benetint Lip Balm $20 and Boots Naturals Stay Perfect Eye Mousse $7.99

This lip balm is available at Sephora-- it's like rose colored perfection for every skin tone.  A little goes a long way, and you never seem to run out. This tiny pot will last forever--- it's as if it's magically refilled! Plus, it's got Vitamin E and sunscreen. Smooch! I've never met a better lip gloss.

Not being much of a product junkie, I had to learn about the Boots line via a friend. The products were created in the UK in 1849 by an herbalist. They utilize nature based ingredients and there's never been any animal testing. It's a company that's been sold around Europe for awhile now, yet only recently available in the US (and at Target Stores!). They have their own Beauty Advisors in the stores who are there to offer assistance and to even give you samples. This was my first time using a cream eyeshadow-- and I'm hooked. One swipe of this product and your lids will remain delicately dusted with a light shimmer all the day long.

Give these a try, and tell me what you think-- and remember to enjoy this sun dappled day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My vintage dress obsession!

I don't often think about the construction of the vintage dresses that I own unless they are exceptional in their details. It's usually all about the quality, shape, & pattern.  My absolute favorite one ever is one that was hand sewn in Germany a very, very long time ago. When I found it amidst the racks it had puffy sleeves that gathered with a tiny ruffle. Due to the pure genius seamstress capabilities of my mother-in-law, those sleeves were removed and I've been able to wear it for several years now. Whenever I do (which is 2-3 times a year) it gets gushing comments from the type of women who appreciate the details, and the colors--- and the depth of the construction; which in the yoke, seems unparalleled.  It's like wearing a piece of artwork. Actually, I sometimes think that I will display it on a wall when it no longer fits. Three of the photo details below are from this dress--  the rest simply complete the photo quilt of other gems hanging in my closet:

More time and energy went into creating some of these garments than I can even imagine. Send me your vintage dress pictures and we'll make a king-sized photo quilt of the pure goodness of their pattern, texture, and memories. What if we could see photos of the women who wore them before us? Wow.

As for the detailing on that German Dress? Here's a look:

My trick is in wearing very modern shoes and jewelry with these stunners. As a matter of fact, I've decided to wear one of them today. Bring on the high, wooden-heeled gladiator sandals and large golden earrings. Thanks for reading and for indulging my fashion sensibilities! Have a fabulous day...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bike wearing what you like!

Given that you're not wearing a really long skirt or wide leg pants, it seems only natural that bike rides meant as transportation require nothing more than your regular street clothes. I suggest saving the high performance gear for those who do serious exercise or training rides; instead, just get on your wheels in a style all your own.

A great example of this is local artist Julia Hensley. I kept seeing cool pics of her headed out on her bike to ballet class or various other places in skirts. She wears a mix of form-fitting separates (sometimes with knee highs) and it works beautifully! Take a look at these pics she sent me:

Julia Hensley in this moody shot where the blue really pops!

A few things really got me to thinking about this topic recently. First off, my daughter was training for the STP ride with her dad, and the first few times she went out in her short skirts and regular shoes. As their rides got further and further in distance, she really needed those high performance clothes-- so it was easy to get her into them at that point! I remember always telling her to put boy shorts under her regular skirts though. I was inspired when another blogger posted this story regarding a 'skirt bike ride' which was arranged after a tourist from Amsterdam was warned by NY City Police that she was a distraction to drivers as she rode along in her skirt.  Really? Give me (and all women) a break!  The photos of that night show us where it's at in skirt biking (along with the ones I'm showing you here). Can I have that gingham dress with the slits in the shoulder, please?

I then remembered that last year my friend Rebecca Staffel posted pictures of a group of her friends meeting up for dinner on their bikes (I once did a post on her & her Deluxe Foods biz). They called their group Heels on Wheels. Here are some lovely, close-up shots from one of their nights out:

"A beautiful urban pannier." wrote Kat Marriner.

 I love that this lady named Sue Griffith bikes in these golden Pumas. She told me
 "They're not quite heels, yet it's a start!". Yes!
What do you wear while biking about town? Later this week I hope to share images of some remarkably cool new helmets from Denmark; they will protect you on your way--- in high fashion!

Photos are copyright and courtesy of Julia Hensley, Kat Marriner, & Sue Griffith. Thanks ladies!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

gingham is so pretty and welcoming

Aside from my description regarding the history of gingham (and gold), I can't remember a single post with true gingham images. While searching the vast web recently, I came across a beautiful blog called pretty.gingham from Helsinki, Finland that is written by a woman named Tanja. I asked her if I could feature some photos from her lovely home, and she said yes. Her blog is really quite gorgeous and it makes me feel calm, rested and happy. I would feel right at home here with all her books, flowers, layered textures & patterns--- and comforting food. Of course, the Finnish books would give me trouble, yet that could be remedied!

Isn't her little Miss Doggy a sweet one? On one of her posts, she wrote that "She is a Lapponian Herder, also known as Reindeer Dog. In fact she has not even seen a reindeer and she is scared of skiers too..." Isn't that funny? I just love how Tanja lives with lots of gingham in her home. I think I'll start hunting for vintage fabrics to do the same. I'd also love to borrow from her wardrobe, too. If the sun in Seattle would ever return, I'd go and iron my one and only gingham top--it's a light blue and white pattern, and it makes me feel like sunshine!

Thanks to Tanja at pretty.gingham, you've got great style and take wonderful photos. I've been listening to the latest Fleet Foxes while posting this; it was the right choice.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Spy--- Vintage Inspired Swimsuits!

Unlike any other swimsuits that you've seen in years, Frankie Four designs are here to make a SPLASH! These darlings will be seen at beaches all over town now that the weather has taken a turn for the better. Be charmed by these retro styles made for the modern ladies of today:

While taking vintage fabrics and turning them into new attire is nothing new for designer Angela Holstrom, she was ready to go in a new direction with her company name. She sold under the Angel Eyes moniker for quite some time (I owned a fabulous red dress and a few tops that I wore again and again). Taking the family name of Frank and turning it into this new name was an easy choice for her to move into this arena which also includes men's swim trunks & neck ties. I featured a pair of these trunks as a must-pack item for men on an imaginary trip post recently. Yet hold your horses, here are a few more of her women's bathing suits...

To get your very own, unique bathing suit, shop here. In addition, this Saturday evening, July 9th, Frankie Four designs will be featured  at Velouria Ballard's 7th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION (during art walk). Head on out and tell me what you get!

Photos copyright and courtesy of Angela Holstrom and Frankie Four (aren't they FAB?)!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Let's get out of the city!

My husband's family has a cabin along Hood Canal-- and it's our frequent destination spot. I will gladly admit to wearing a lot of denim and cotton when I'm over there-- no lovely sundresses for me (as in my last blog post)! 

Last weekend, my youngest daughter and I drove to the ferry and barely missed the boat that my husband and teen had biked to. They left from our Ballard house---- and aside from the boat ride, they made it all the way out to the cabin on their bikes!  When a submarine was being sent out through the Hood Canal Bridge, all of us had had to stop on the roadside for 50 minutes though-- see photo above. The biking half of the family said that it was hard to get going again after such a long break.

Luckily, we nearly forgot the delay once we reached our destination because it was such a gorgeous day. Of note, on the radio headed over, I heard that it was the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's death. In the cabin, there's a small room at the top of a stair landing that's filled with Hemingway memorabilia (artfully arranged).  See (L) photo above.

It was a perfect 4th of July weekend filled with kids playing (and creating) and adults taking care of projects and hanging out. We had an abundance of food from the sea-- fresh oysters were harvested from their "purses" and the first Dungeness crabs of the season were brought ashore and served at lunchtime. Nothing can be better than that!

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