30x30: Artsy Fartsy

Monday, February 28, 2011

30x30 ITEMS
Sequin cardigan: gift from mom
Hippie shirt: thrifted, $5
Jeans: Guess brand via Buckle, $92
Wedges: Ross, $7

Headband: a grocery store, most likely
Earrings: Man in the Moon Antiques (Provo, UT), $4
Turquoise ring: Urban Renewal (St. George, UT), $11
Socks: TJ Maxx, $5 for 3-pack

I LEFT THE HOUSE TODAY! Is everyone impressed? I think I might be getting over this sickness (for reals, this time).

Today, I learned about a really cool new website (via another really cool website - these things just feed off each other). You know Netflix? You know how it's awesome? Well, this new service is called Turning Art, and it's essentially a Netflix-ish setup for artwork. You add prints to your queue, receive one and use it for a given period of time, and then send it back in exchange for a new print of your choice. You get to enjoy new pieces as often as you like. This is genius. Here are some of the pieces I would select.

Suspension by Rebecca Meredith

Orange Umbrella On St. Germain In The Paris Rain by Warren Keating

Rosrto de Mujer by Ruben Miranda

The Turning Art people have seriously thought of everything. 

"What about frames? Do I have to buy a new frame with each new print?" Nope. They're all the same size. And you get the frame as part of your subscription. 

"But my tastes in art are very specific. Will they have things I like?" Yes, they will. There's a huge variety of genres to meet everyone's desires, and the crew is intent on adding great new stuff all the time. 

"What if I receive something and love it so much that I never want to send it back, ever ever ever?" THIS IS THE BEST PART! If you want to keep one of the prints, you can buy it. The price of every piece is listed on the site. But here's the great thing: the amount you've paid to Turning Art up to that point is put toward the price of your print, meaning that if you've been paying $10 a month for 12 months, the price of your desired print will be $120 less than the price listed online. So cool.

Do I sound like I'm in sales here? I'm really not. This idea is just so great that I had to share. I'm adding this to the list of things that I'm doing when my husband and I move to our next place. Our current house has walls of solid brick and it's really tough to hang anything on them - annoying, but nothing to cry over.

What sort of artwork is hanging in your house? Do you like the idea of periodically changing it up in this area, or do you prefer to choose one thing and stick with it? I think I'd rather keep one piece if it had sentimental meaning for me, but otherwise, change would be really fun and invigorating.

Hey, It's the Academy Awards

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is how it's been for me the last few days:

"Hey, Sara, this is your body. I'm going to get sick. We'll start with a fever ... maybe a sore throat and a headache ... okay, that's enough. Now you can start feeling better. GOTCHA! I'll get rid of the fever, but you're going to be achy all over instead. Good joke, right? Okay, really, you can start feeling better now. GOTCHA! You're actually going to be coughing up a storm! Isn't it funny how I keep pretending that the illness is going away? I crack myself up."

Seeing as how I'm strapped to the couch anyway, I decided to dive in to the whole Academy Awards frenzy, which I've never done before. I watched all the red carpet arrivals and the whole program as well. My thoughts on the ceremony itself: Kirk Douglas is saucy, Colin Firth is so charming I can't even stand it, my love for Natalie Portman is ever-increasing, and I inexplicably still have no desire to see The King's Speech. Not sure why.

As for the fashion side o' things, here were my favorites.

#10 - Halle Berry in Marchesa
I'm not crazy for the floating tulle-ness at the bottom, but I'm also sure that the dress would have been too simple without it, so I defer to the wisdom of the designer here. The real appeal of any dress that Halle Berry wears is the fact that Halle Berry is wearing it. The woman is beauty personified, and if I'm not careful, I'll spend too much energy being crazy-envious of her.

#9 - Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa
This is an age-appropriate pick, though I think the headband might be verging on "too young". I love how this dress combines the adorable with the refined.

#8 Annette Bening in Naeem Khan
Simply gorgeous -- she always gets it right, looking like the beautiful, serious actress she is. This is effortless and tasteful.

#7 - Michelle Williams in Chanel 
This dress (and the styling as well) feels kind of predictable and expected from her, but I've gotta give credit where it's due: she definitely got it right with this particular look. Excellent and true to her personal tastes.

#6 - Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott
I'm crazy for this color, especially with her complexion and hair color. Love the soft curls and the jewelry as well.

#5 - Melissa Leo in Marc Bouwer
I doubt she'll get a lot of love from the fashion critics, but this is perfection to me. It's like nothing else that was on the red carpet tonight, and she was clearly just revelling in the fact that she was experiencing such an event at this stage in her career. LOVE the standup collar here.

#4 - Mila Kunis in Elie Saab
Beautiful color, and it moved in such a lovely way as she walked on the red carpet. I really adore the lacy effects on the bottom and along the neckline.

#3 - Mandy Moore in Monique Lhuillier
I tried to find a still shot that would do this dress justice, but I don't think it exists. Sad day. She really looked so elegant in this during the pre-show footage that I saw, glamorous in an old Hollywood sort of way. Note: this dress actually features a nude illusion neckline, but it was incredibly subtle.

#2 - Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein
This was a great choice in terms of cut, color, and styling - not too over-the-top and attention-grabbing, which is appropriate considering that she wasn't nominated. I really like the belt brooch thing and the earrings, which gave some fun splashes of color.

#1 - Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Couture
I'll confess, when I saw her arrive, I proclaimed "Favorite!" and didn't give anyone else a chance. I love how funky yet lovely this dress is, the back is gorgeous, and the softness of her hair is a perfect complement. Ms. Blanchett can do no wrong.

Honorable mentions to the supportive wives and girlfriends out there (holla):

Rhea Durham (Mark Wahlberg's wife) in Naeem Khan
This dress can be yours for the low price of $6,000, yo.

Camila Alves (Matthew McConaughey's girlfriend) in Kaufman Franco

Goodness: Blue Fingernails

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I've been trying to think of ways to express and magnify the quality of gratitude in my life. On the blog, I started by doing some simple gratitude lists, but that practice felt a little hollow, so I'm going with something new: occasional posts that pay tribute to some small things I'm grateful for. They might be silly, superficial, meaningful, etc. The idea isn't to find the most extraordinary blessings in the world, but rather to work on noticing all the little goodnesses around me.

Today: blue fingernails. I painted them yesterday whilst laying sick on the couch.

30x30: Doctor's Orders

30x30 ITEMS
Crocheted sweater: Chelsea Place brand, hand-me-down from mom
Green sweater: Gap brand (thrifted), $4
Jeggings: gift from mom
Boots: Target, gift from mom

Hat: found it
Coat: Gap, $40
Scarf: thrifted, $4
Flower pin: made and gifted by my mom

I'm still a little ill (mostly in the form of coughing and a sore throat), and my treatment regimen requires that I drink plenty of fluids and wear soft things. Enter this green sweater, which feels incredibly luxurious and easy. Such a blessed find.

In other news, I love the print of this scarf, which I found at a thrift store in Portland, Oregon. I used the flower pin to arrange the scarf in a way that would really show off the print, though I actually ended up turning the pin around so that the flower wasn't so front-and-center. Didn't get pictures of that ... use your imagination.

A Tradition for Sick Days

Friday, February 25, 2011

I don't get sick all that often, but about a month ago, I was feeling very sneezey and out-of-it, so I skipped the customary outfit post for that day and shared a bunch of Internet finds that had struck my fancy (check out that post right here). Well, here I am again, feverish and achy, and there ain't no way I'm leaving this couch. Take a look at this loveliness instead, and I think I'll make such posts a tradition for all future sick days.

It looks like a boutonniere, but this is actually a nest made out of flower petals by a particular species of bee. Nature rocks. (Story from NPR, found via the ModCloth Blog)

I want this skirt very much, along with most of the other stuff from H&M's environmentally-friendly Conscious Collection. (Found via The Budget Babe)

And the long skirt is appropriate in light of this:

You know it's true. (Found via Uber Chic for Cheap)

I really love these boots, but I really really love the simple breakdown that Jentine at my edit. gave about taking calculated risks at the thrift store based on an item's quality, timelessness, and personal appeal.

This bride, Maggie, made her own wedding dress -- and what a dress it is! Love all of that color. And PS, she made her husband's suit as well, that crafty minx. (Found via Offbeat Bride)

Why We're Here: Twin Cities from Seven and Sixty Productions on Vimeo.

I've never thought about the Twin Cities all that much, but this video legitimately made me think of moving there. Nice work, Seven and Sixty Productions. Would love to see a video like this for Provo and/or Salt Lake City. (Found via Yes & Yes)

The Academichic bloggers compiled a great list of ways to re-purpose jewelry of all sorts.

Sal from Already Pretty is just the wisest: "The love you may choose to give to others must start within you, and your love for others will be more rich and fulfilling if you learn to love yourself first." She gave a quick list of ways to love yourself on Valentine's Day, but the ideas are appropriate for all times of the year. Take care to care for yourself, friends.

An organization called Face Research has compiled the "average faces" of women from 41 world regions. Beautiful, one and all. I have to say: my face is dead-on English and Swiss. (Found via Bellasugar)

Love this look from Cheyser P. on Lookbook. Floaty fairy dresses, cozy sweaters, and knee socks are what I'd like to wear in Heaven, if I'm being totally honest.

PLEASE go read this post on emotional consumption from Orchids in Buttonholes. Here's my favorite part: "In the past, I consumed while emotional because, for an instant, I felt like that new thing might magically transform my situation, like Dorothy’s shoes. In that moment of acquisition, I imagined I’d be better, different, more thoughtful or headstrong or resilient ... But a truth I cling to is this:  no thing ever changed my life. I did. Many many many times. Maybe I did it in a thing or with a thing, but it was always me, not it, and I’ll do it again."

(Kandinsky's "Composition VII")

My friend Krisanne wrote wonderfully and succinctly about the importance of really experiencing those big feelings - the anger, the sadness, the fear, the excitement - instead of ignoring them or being ashamed of them.

And speaking of the big feelings, Melissa got super-brave and wrote about her previous experience with postpartum depression, specifically as it related to the way her body had changed through pregnancy and childbirth. Having just given birth to her second baby, she talks about accepting her body and figuring out postpartum fashion.

I'll concede that I'm feverish and hopped up on medication right now, but this video made me cry big-time. It documents the cultural celebration held for the dedication of the new Mormon temple in Kyiv Ukraine. As religious and sentimental as I tend to be, it's also easy to get cynical sometimes. It was refreshing to watch something so purely uplifting.

30x30: Bookworm

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30x30 ITEMS
Blazer: Class Club brand (secondhand), $10
Pinstripe trousers: Kohl's, $30
Boots: vintage Marc Alpert brand via Etsy, $38

Scarf: secondhand, $4
Bracelet: birthday present from my bro and his lady-friend (thanks, team!)

Here's a secret from my bag of tricks: if you're sick of all your shirts, just stuff a scarf inside a jacket and call that a shirt. Very simple.

I spent about an hour looking for a spot to take my pictures today. Walked a lot, got a blister. My new camera allowed me to venture inside a dark abandoned shed, right next to the yard where I saw those deer. And guess what? The deer were back! There were four this time instead of seven, but still. Any day when you hang out with deer is a good day.

So, I don't know about y'all, but I sometimes get overwhelmed by the number of new blog posts that show up in my reader each day. I have to periodically go through and clean out my subscriptions, but even still, it's a lot to keep up with. I was feeling burnt out on all my online reads today, so I ventured forth to the local library in order to read the printed word. Let's all do it. Books are nice. Here's what I picked up:

I'm constantly coming across quotes from both Rilke and Jung that make me exclaim, "That is totally brilliant!" The universe is clearly telling me that I should read up on both these fellows.

And, bonus, this was in my mailbox:

My first issue of The Sun Magazine, which releases new fiction/essays/poems on a monthly basis. I subscribed a few weeks ago and am looking forward to enjoying each month's newness.

Did y'all know that I was an English major in college? I was. I graduated in 2009 and, regrettably, I haven't maintained the daily connection with literature that I used to have. That absence doesn't make me mad or sad, really; it's just something I'd like to change moving forward. As much as I want to be a writer and hope to develop that talent, it's more important to me that I am and will remain a reader.

Quick question: do you have a favorite book (or maybe two or three favorites)? My #1 is The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. Share yours, if you've got one.

30x30: Two Thirds Down

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let's recap, 11-20.

With twenty outfits under my belt, I've only got ten more to go, and I'm already planning how I'll break the fast. How about the rest of you 30x30'ers? Have any intentions for the first outfit you'll wear or the first purchase you'll make when this is all said and done?
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