Thrifty Grey Day

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Feb 262014
Thrifty Grey Day

With a little break in the snowing action, I took the opportunity for a bit of thrifting. Unlike my last Radiant Orchid haul, this interlude was all about the greys. Look at the pieces de resistance – the Carlos Santana heels! I’m putting them on as soon as I dont need snow boots anymore. Some nice knits, too; a curvy black sweaterdress with huge ribbed portrait cowl, an open-front long cardi from Old Navy with silver metallic bling, and a cashmere crew with black contrast sleeves. Add a couple tops and some really nice White House/Black Market black and white tiny check pants, and it’s a wardrobe. With snow leopard!  

Gathering Orchids

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Jan 242014
Gathering Orchids

I mentioned how pleased I was with the color of the year, Radiant Orchid. The thought of plummy pinks and purples being all over the stores just fills me up with excitement and anticipation; I love purple – wearing it, being around it, soaking up the purpley vibe. This week has been busy with working on some new upcoming patterns, and I needed a morning off – so, why wait to seek out some purple inspiration? I do consider shopping to be recreational, and by “shopping,” I certainly do not necessarily mean “buying.” For me, it’s all about going to look around, touch things, and find a little eye candy. If I actually need something specific, I’m more than likely to buy online – and that’s not quite “shopping” but more like “acquiring things I need.”  The really real shopping is all about going out of my everyday environment and seeing what sort of fabulous thing I might discover. One of my favorite subsets of shopping is thrifting, because there’s no better way to find . . .

Radiant Orchid

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Jan 162014
Radiant Orchid

With the Spring 2014 palette forecast by Pantone comes the new reigning color: Radiant Orchid is the Color of the Year for 2014. Out with the regeneration and healing of Emerald, and onward with the innovation and creativity of Orchid. Pantone opines “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” I’m certainly beguiled by purples, which are more daring and unexpected than the red, green and blues. This one in particular is a bit off-beat, with the very pink undertones, and the creamy, strong white value. It’s a color that makes you think, hey, that would go with my favorite black outfit . . .  and in my living room . . .  and I need new nail polish. Somehow it goes with everything in the rest of the Spring palette, and it’s strong enough to stand up to what are sure to be the deeper, richer fall colors. . . .

Pantone Color Forecast Spring 2014

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Jan 142014
Pantone Color Forecast Spring 2014

It’s not quite spring yet, but I’m optimistic; once the winter holidays are over in my household, I only look forward. In the actual fashion schedule, of course spring was a long time ago; Spring 2014’s New York Fashion Week was back in September. And along with that came the color trend forecast from Pantone. Pastels meet vivid brights, in what the Pantone Color Institute director describes as “a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium.” By which they are saying that the soft pastels over on one end can mix with all the others, but also serve as backgrounds, while the brights balance them out – often with the helpful use of the two bridging neutrals. Speaking of those neutrals, the Paloma grey is pretty much my all-time favorite color, so I’ll be eagerly continuing to use it both alone and with everything else. The sand is a toasty camel that’s going to help me adopt something other than grey as a neutral; there’s a cardigan design using Apple Cinnamon in Malabrigo Worsted that . . .

It’s a Plaid, Plaid World

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Sep 252013
It's a Plaid, Plaid World

Plaid is everywhere for fall, and I’m officially obsessed. Americans use the words “plaid” and “tartan” interchangeably, but a tartan is a woven textile pattern historically identifying Scottish Highland clans and military or political allegiances, while a plaid (“pledd”) is a length of this woven wool thrown about the body, for example to stay warm on the moors. Tartan in fact has a long history; the earliest examples of this sort of woven textile were found on mummies dating from around 2000 B.C. in the central Asian Tarim desert basin. In The Mummies of Urumchi, archeologist and textile historian Elizabeth Wayland Barber investigates the link between these Indo-Europeans and the Celts. A branch of the Celts gave rise to the Scots, and to the practice of local clans adopting certain woven color patterns, which became identified with their wearers. The materials and aesthetics of the weavers first determined what patterns were available, and where. The system of colors and patterns coalesced throughout the 17th century, sometimes becoming associated with military regiments. In a political move, . . .

Jan 142013

From the Winter 2012/2013 issue of Clotheshorse magazine online, Snug is a cozy sweater with ample tucked funnelneck, knit in one piece from the bottom up with flattering shoulder shaping. Cast on at the narrow 1×1 rib hem and knit in stockinette in the round with gentle waist shaping to the short dolman sleeve opening, the body is divided for front and back and knit flat to the neckline, then grafted at the shoulder and finished with an integrated slouchy funnelneck. Short rows make the sleeve opening and shoulder ergonomically correct, comfortable and without excess bunching fabric at the underarm. Each front and back is knit with one continuous strand of yarn, with no binding off, and no picking up stitches for the neck. The substantial funnelneck is made manageable by a series of narrowing tucks at the front, which gently pull down the front edge below the chin. The sleeve edges are picked up and finished with 1×1 rib.   Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, short rows, increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches, tucks. Size: 30 . . .

Fall 2012 Pantone Fashion Color Report

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Sep 062012
Fall 2012 Pantone Fashion Color Report

Now that back-to-school is a reality, in my mind fall has officially arrived. And fall of course means a mental adjustment, back to serious work and a more pulled together look – I’m eagerly anticipating the ability to wear more sweaters and accessories. The forecasters released their visions for Fall 2012 two seasons ago, but now we’re finally in the moment. As is typical with me, I personally prefer the subdued edges of the color line above, but can see Pink! Tangerine! even Chartreuse! as an accent. That Ultramarine Green is the only one I cant imagine myself doing anything with – it looks like Forest to me, but as that’s my son’s favorite, I’m sure I’ll be seeing some of it. Here’s what Pantone has to say: As the season transitions from the heat of summer, Bright Chartreuse, a vital yellow-green, pays homage to a typical spring shade and creates a bridge into the cooling days of fall. Reminiscent of bright green foliage, it provides a perfect accent to every color in the palette. . . .

Aug 282012
Tuesday Shoes Day - Celeste

And now for something completely different, a pair of flats. Really, really sparkly ones. Because even if you’re feeling relaxed and casual, rhinestones can be a good idea.My favorite part about these toe shoes from Celeste is the very shiny gold footbed; it’s the little things that count!

Tuesday Shoes Day – Zodiac

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Jul 032012
Tuesday Shoes Day - Zodiac

There’s nothing like a big buckle shoe for instant impact. These are my daughter’s favorites, although it looks like perhaps they aren’t fitting her quite as well as one would hope. No matter, a toe thong isn’t my first choice so I haven’t worn them much myself. Despite the thong issue, they’re very comfortable – as one might expect from Dr. Scholl’s – “feel crazy good” it says. One might NOT expect a cute little 2″ stacked heel and that nice metallic pebbled leather, but there it is! I do love silver metallic leather, which was probably my whole reason for buying these in the first place. Look – they go with my purse. Not that I’m all about matchy-matchy, but still . . . more like a snapshot of the kind of accessories I like best. I could see these for a casual summer patio meal, as long as the wearer isn’t the one running around serving.

Tuesday Shoes Day – Talk

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Jun 262012
Tuesday Shoes Day - Talk

I’m liking the concept so much that I think Tuesday Shoes Day may become a recurring feature. I certainly have enough shoes to keep it going for a while. These are cruelty-free gold pleather sandals with cork wedge heels; I especially like the way the wedge is shaped so it’s not super clunky.  Franco Sarto is one of my favorites, and I always keep an eye out for them; these came from – of all places – the (mostly) kids’ consignment shop. Although they do have teen/some adult stuff, I certainly wasn’t expecting to find mint condition cool shoes there. It just reinforces the vintage-shopping mantra – You Never Know. Cute, right?