Saturday, December 26, 2009


It is the holiday season, and as would be expected, I've done my fair share of running about. I've had leisure times, too, when I went to the Getty Museum, shopping in Manhattan Beach, and to a performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet...

Shopping in Manhattan Beach. There I made some Christmas present purchases, but my best memory from the experience is of a large white dog, which I heard a shop owner was watching for her friend. I have no idea of the breed, but it was sheepdog-sized and waited so calmly outside the shop. Asking permission first, I pet the dog for several minutes and noticed that its very black nose was quite large—delightful.

“The Nutcracker” performance. I have no explanation, other than I seem to be “in search of lost times” lately. A while ago, my sister Autumn made regular appearances in “The Nutcracker” ballet—en pointe, no less—and therefore I have definite ideas about how this show should be performed. While lovely, the performance that I watched this year did not have some of the details that I always looked forward to: the children prancing with their toys during the living room scene, the dancing doll and bear, the Chinese sequence, the comic relief that is “Mother” Ginger... But, how could the director have known of my expectations?

The Getty Museum. Visiting this time I realized that some people go to see certain pieces from the permanent collections again and again as they would old friends. I agree that art can at times be comforting, and these people seem to enjoy specific details of these items. Me, I have not visited the Getty Museum nearly enough to have real favorites, but find that a color, a feeling, and a young lady's delicate look are the kinds of things from this place that stick to my memory.

My discovery from these days boils down to this: The delight is in the details. For this reason, people ought to take particular care with the accessories that they wear. Not only can they make a basic ensemble brilliant, but they may very well be the parts that other people remember the most. Observe below my sister's festive holiday adornments:

Oh, the hat! And it sparkles so! This beret just may be my sister's most glamorous accessory.

The holiday pin, a classic.

Fingerless gloves can be just what is needed, if paired with the right outfit. I enjoy these glove's pastel fairisle pattern.

Some seasonal sparkle for the wrist.

Remember the bow that you wore as a young girl? This goes to show that bows can be sophisticated, too.

Here Autumn has the "Pink Lady" attitude, only with a lot more polish.

P.S. A dream accessory of mine would be a pair of "wristlets" from Oleana, the Norwegian sweater company. To see these charming "layering" pieces, go here. (the design that I mean is on page fifteen). And no special holiday My Sky-Blue Portfolio post would be complete without an appearance from Judy Garland. Isn't she pretty as she sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Have a beautiful holiday, and I'll see you very soon!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunday amusement

Darlings, my apologies…

This past Sunday came and went without any My Sky-Blue Portfolio writing from me. The reason, you ask? It’s not that these pictures weren’t ready—they certainly were—but it’s because my mind was lolling in the post-holiday-ness. It seems that nothing short of the threat of a term paper’s impending due date would have moved it into swiftiness.

(Because of that last comment, I think that I deserve any of the har-hars that I may get from my sister, who has been in the throes of essay-writing for a while now, or from any other similarly employed student…)

Growing up, Sunday was a typically quiet day in our house, save for the movies that we watched that were mostly of the classic cinema or BBC sort. Even so, I am a little surprised by the industriousness that my sisters and I involved ourselves in then.

On these weekend afternoons, we would often open the past months’ fashion and design magazines with a pair of scissors in hand. Sometimes it was for a game, descriptively named “Perfume Company” or “Modeling Agency,” but these “businesses” are not what I would like to tell you about now. It is the making of scrapbooks that still holds my interest…

These scrapbooks had very little resemblance to the photograph albums of the same name popular now. They could have been a spiral-bound notebook or a binder with loose pages—the base materials didn’t matter. They were mostly meant to be idea books, for us to arrange and paste pictures of clothes and things that we liked. Scrapbook-making was a very sincere form of “window shopping.”

So, this past weekend I asked my sister to show her old scrapbook to me. What I noticed in particular was the nuance with which my sister had made her selections. She could say to me—even now—“I like this part, but not this,” which shows that she didn’t simply accept the fashions as they were but was critical of them. Autumn had organized her pages by silhouette or color, and they display poufy skirts and sporty combinations and a lot of oranges, light neutrals, and black. I see my sister wearing some of these looks now, so you could say that her scrapbook helped her to define her personal sense of style.

Autumn’s fashion shoot is based on some pages from her scrapbook, which originally come from the June 2007 Vogue issue. Keira Knightley is photographed in Africa by the ever-popular Arthur Elgort. Need I point out that the safari or adventurer look has long been a favorite of my sister's?

Browsing online I found that other people were also taken with this Vogue feature and even made virtual scrapbooks in response on this website. And, you really should take a look at this preferred actress from the BBC. Be sure to watch the clip’s final minutes to see Justine Waddell’s safari gear!