Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nuit blanche

Last week at the library, we had a showing of the Alfred Hitchcock film "To Catch a Thief," and since the story takes place in France, one of the other librarians brought croissants and jam to serve. "That's perfect, " I commented, "Today's also very Paris-like because of the weather." Hurray for my current "climat oceanique."

But, I always think of Paris in the fall and wish that I could go, go, go! When I was there a few years ago, there was a festival, called "Nuit Blanche," when everythng (museums, restaurants, hangouts, etc.) were open through the night and university students had roof parties. It was all very bright and fun.

Don't you love Autumn in her all-white dress? To me, it has Parisian fashion sense, a la Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, and Feist when she sings "One Night." But, these are Autumn's school clothes for fall. (Autumn broke the American rule about no white after Labor Day, and it's fine--what does it matter in California, anyway?) The outfit's debonair, and that girl Autumn stands out in a sea of typically black- and gray-clad students--as she would against the French storm clouds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vintage clothes

Small prints have my heart. I'll admit to wearing a lot of one-toned items (tangerine and navy blue have underscored the past couple of months for me) and clothes with a graphic edge, but aren't things cuter in miniature? Miniature is like memory, more manageable and with the awkward parts minimized. We ate outdoors that day, and it was perfect, and you told me that story, and it was perfect...

Before a week or so ago, I didn't really pay attention to the albums of the Beatles after they stopped being Beatles. And, then, I decided to give Paul McCartney's fairly new album Memory Almost Full a go. It was at the library, and that's what libraries are for, for checking things out.

It wasn't bad, and one song "Vintage Clothes" made me think that it could be played during a catwalk:
Don't live in the past
Don't hold on to something that's
changing fast

What we are is what we are
And what we wear is vintage clothes

Vintage clothes
Vintage clothes

(You just have to hear Mr. McCartney sing "vintage clothes" again and again and as if in slow motion to know what I mean.)

Past-inspired clothes are very popular nowadays, whether they are genuinely vintage or not. This shirt of my sister's I didn't consider vintage until I saw another girl wearing the same top in a 1950s-timed film. Those designers of Anthropologie do consider the past quite a bit, and it's the little bird print that gives Autumn's blouse its other time appeal.

Everyone has her favorite, and this outfit of Autumn's is mine. The blouse is whimsical while still being suitable for the studious days of September. Furthermore, the sturdy linen and cotton mix fabric keeps Autumn cool on the days that are (mis)behaving summer-like. With or without the vest, this outfit is classic.

Classic clothes make people notice the person wearing them more.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008

For Lisa, too

Here's my apartment, upstairs edition; please allow me to show you around...

This here sunflower and yellow-themed painting is not, in fact, upstairs, but they are in the bathroom near the staircase. Undoubtedly, it's all very yellow-looking!

My apartment has some nice functional furniture, and a small wicker table that's in the upstairs bathroom is conveniently near the bathtub. It supports a basket full of bath time necessities.

My "study" is a real luxury, because I have a place for all my creative pursuits. Some more IKEA "wallpaper" sets the mood for this room, and the the red-orange color matches the geranium plant's blooms. The space is very inviting.

This dark set of shelves in my study is a showcase for my art; it's a place for me to display completed works, works in progress, and inspiration. I'm presently in an inspiration phase, and the items on the shelves are things that I enjoy. (Lisa, do you remember when we chose those "Mama-bear" and "Papa-bear" yellow and white spotted bowls? It was during a summer some years ago...) There's Oh My Baby, Little One with watercolor illustrations by Jane Dyer, a personal favorite, and an illustration of a girl and her cat, who appear to be floating in air, from a terrific art book, Three Trees Make a Forest.

Thank-you for visiting!

For Lisa

Darlings, please indulge my desire to show my cousin Lisa my new and newly decorated apartment. She did request to see pictures, and I have an opportunity to put them up on the blog while we're waiting for Autumn's fall fashions.

Welcome to apartment number 306. It's been a busy day at the library, and this convivial entryway set-up puts me at ease at once. I rather like the poster, from a French publishing company, which I got at Book Expo America that was in Los Angeles last spring. The illustration with the bunnies in bed reading often makes me think of the expression "as snug as a bug in a rug," and even though my place has no bugs, it's very cozy!

Soon after coming home, I put my purse and keys in a place where I will be able to find them easily when I need to leave again, and this clever cabinet (that came with the apartment!) is perfect for this purpose. It also has a place for my shoes below--just right for the girl on the go!

Don't you think that the "wallpaper" is stylish? It is, in fact, table paper for picnic tables, that was purchased at IKEA. You know, real paste-hung wallpaper is not allowed in apartments, so this paper posted with push pins is pretty okay! It's yellow, because yellow is one of my favorite colors, and I love the way that the graphic design seems to "pop" in front of my eyes!

Not everyone has a table and chair with a hand painted floral design that comes from the famous Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. And, upon adding another chair, I have a dining room set. The love seat is another rare find: it's more petite and softer than average. I would hate if we had to part ways, so the couch is getting reupholstered in the very near future. Meanwhile, a soft pillow and throw blanket keep it content.

Many thanks to my past roommate Leigh for the tall chair that you see here. This corner seems to be the place where I keep the things that need to be sent away. (The blue-bowed present is a wedding gift.) Luckily, there's a friendly lapin to watch over them.

Up next: photos from the second story!