Tuesday, August 31, 2010

two hearts tie the knot at hartness house

Hi all! Here are the wedding outfit photos from Saturday--any excuse to get a little bit glam is a-okay avec moi! If you recall, I opted for this summery number over my dress-prize for several reasons (not least of which = laziness), and I'm glad I did! The ceremony was outside in the sunshine, and a Marilyn-inspired red frock would have been a bit shocking for early-evening.

(dress: Modcloth; shoes: Charlotte Russe; earrings: gift from mom; necklace: antique shop)

I bought this necklace on a whim on the way down. We stopped in Waterbury for a bagel (me) and a sandwich (him) and I dropped in to the Antique shop to see if I could find something suitable to break up the wide expanse of my bare chest. This lovely necklace was perfection.

And of course, the most fun (and arguably, most important) accessory of all: a dapper lad on my arm :)

The wedding was held at the Hartness House in Springfield, Vermont. This Hartness fellow was a pretty fascinating guy. He was an inventor (he patented 120 different machines) and telescope enthusiast who socialized with the likes of Charles Lindbergh and helped advance Springfield into the industrial age (apparently it used to be such a significant manufacturing center that it was number seven on Hitler's "Cities to Bomb" list during WWII--now, all of the old abandoned factories are picturesque in a nostalgic sense, but you'd never know that it was once a bustling industrial city).

The coolest part of the house wasn't accessible on the big day, but speaks volumes about Hartness' character. While working, he was tormented by even the slightest auditory disturbances, and when building a separate workshop behind the mansion didn't solve his concentration problems he decided to build a workshop underground! As we strolled across the lawn on Saturday, we were walking over a series of rooms: a library, workshop, lavatory (so much classier than "bathroom"--I'm going to have to use that terminology from now on!), study, and lounge... all connected by tunnels, equipped for electricity, and ventilated.


Today, the underground apartment is a museum for Stellafane (a group of amateur telescope-makers who started an official club back in the 'twenties), which sounds incredibly awesome--I'd love to visit again someday and actually see all of the antique gadgets below the ground. And while I'm on the subject, Stellafane is a pretty nifty organization in its own right. The club was founded 75 years ago by Russell Porter, an arctic explorer and amateur astronomer who decided to teach telescope-building to a group of coworkers at the Jones & Lamson Machine Company. Thus began the first "star parties," where groups of builders got together to gaze (in order to be a card-carrying member of this elite club, you have to build your own telescope mirror). Pretty neat-o, yes?

As for the wedding itself, it was lovely and I wish we could have stayed longer but the Universe was kind of conspiring against us. The bride was beautiful (no surprise there), the vows made me cry (no surprise there, either) and it was a beautiful, sunny summer evening. Perfection! I wish the happy couple everything that their little hearts desire (and more).

...and then we went back to the hotel and caught up on the late-night replay of "Jersey Shore," which just made everything absolutely excellent.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

it's a pheasant affair

Last night I met up with my mom for some spicy curry, champagne and shoe shopping. I'll tell you right now: there is nothing better. Especially on a Wednesday evening. And because my mother basically said that my glasses were silly, she inspired me to wear them today. In some ways, we never stop rebelling :)

(skirt: Salvation Army, hemmed; plaid tunic: TJMaxx; shoes: Seychelles; glasses: F21)

I found this skirt at Salvation Army and it was matron-long with a pretty awesome pheasant scene playing out along the bottom hem. Sadly, I was unable to incorporate the pheasants into the final skirt, but I saved them in case I'm inspired to include them in some future project. I still quite enjoy the burgundy color and little feathery design, even if it is a tad snug around the waist and sort of indecently short for the office.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

summertime simplicity

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Leonardo Da Vinci

(dress: F21; shoes: Seychelles; trench: H&M; dooney&bourke: Goodwill)

I'm definitely in favor of simplicity this week, but I love the playfulness of the polka dots and the secretive stripes of my trench lining in coordinating navy-and-white:

After work yesterday, K and I took a moment to bask in the end-of-summer sun with a couple of twist creemees (mine with rainbow sprinkles) on the stoop. Now that August is coming to a close, I'm simultaneously relieved and regretful. The plan is to pack Labor Day weekend full of all those summertime activities that we didn't get around to: bike riding in the Champlain Islands, one more visit to the drive-in, taking a cruise of Lake Champlain, dining al fresco at the restaurant across the street, BBQ at Lake Iroquois, perhaps a champagne picnic? It's always amazing to me how my to-do list is always thwarted by a full schedule (or lack of funds). That said, I already have plenty of fun, festive activities planned for autumn!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

j. crew and the beanstalk

Last fall, I saw this J. Crew ad, which kind of changed my life (in a superficial sort of way):

It was because of this ad that I bought a pair of grey skinny jeans and exclaimed with glee when I found this ruffled blouse at the Bargain Boutique. I already had this grey blazer for professional purposes, and I bought some gold buttons to rework it into something a little more casual and less corporate, but never got around to it.

Oh well, it still works! One year later, here is my half-hearted interpretation of that stellar J. Crew style:

(blazer: Macy's; blouse: Bargain Boutique; jeans: PacSun; shoes: Seychelles)

As you may have noticed, my photos have defaulted to the back alley once again. I was overcome with stress while trying to set up photo shoots this weekend and just threw up my arms about the whole thing. I hope you will bear with me, even if my background isn't terribly exciting. One thing that is pretty exciting: the little beanstalk growing behind me! (Okay, not a real beanstalk, just a tallish plant. But still.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

take two

So, long story short: I think I am going to wear this to the wedding, instead of attempting to recreate one of the elaborate red dress ensembles that I put to a vote last week (I know, what a flake!) Truth be told, I was hemming and hawing about the hemming I would have to do to make the red dress evening-appropriate, and I just decided to postpone the alterations for a less-stressful time. Instead, I will most likely step out in an old favorite (also from Modcloth), in mock-Louboutin's (a $25 bargain!), sparkly danglies, and grey nail polish. Simply, classy, summery. Oui?

in the trenches

I have been on the hunt for the perfect, classic trenchcoat for aaaaaaages. My mother is all too aware of this fact, especially because I basically forced her to purchase a trenchcoat against her will because it was just a little bit too big for me. It's a hard life for a short person.

At long last, my quest has come to an end. This weekend K and I took a little road trip to Boston for some wedding clothes and, while I purchased nothing of use for those purposes, I did happen upon this perfect small-person trench coat at H&M for $50. Which I promptly purchased.

I'm kind of infatuated with it. The remainder of the weekend was spent wearing black, tying my hair in a bun, and enjoying the appropriately rainy weather. Not only does this coat fit me like a glove, the lining is navy-and-white striped! How perfect can you get?

(trench: H&M; dress: Marshall's; boots: ALDO)

Also, while shopping for wedding shoes (my plans have changed... stay tuned for a new ensemble), I discovered the most perfect shoes ever made (by Poetic Licence), which I must own ASAP:

They are just a SMIDGE out of the ol' price range, especially considering I can't even afford to buy bread (which, for a carb-o-holic like myself is seriously unfortunate). But a girl can dream :) Also, my bangs are in serious need of a snip. I look like Cousin It's cousin.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a wedding for the win

Hey friends, big news! Remember when I mentioned that I had entered the Clothes Horse Modcloth giveaway and I got all excited about Polyvore and what a brilliant time-suck it was? Well guess what?! Miracle of miracles, joy of joys, I won!! I now have a brand, spanking new dress to wear to the upcoming wedding (and I didn't even have to drop a dime... unlike last time, which ended up being the most expensive article of clothing I've ever bought--more than both prom dresses combined!) But anyway! Now the trouble is deciding how to style it. After playing with Polyvore for a while, I came up with a few options and I would love your input!!

Option A: Animal Magnetism
I originally styled this dress (for the contest) with the same sort of animalistic accessories, but the boots were far too daytime for a fancy wedding. I'm loving the leopard trend lately (and although I happen to disagree with K's opinion that it "looks trashy," I am un petit peu worried that less-than-fashion-forward Vermonters in attendance at this event might raise eyebrows and whatnot). Also, the only leopard shoes I like (so far) are Jimmy Choos, which I can't even begin to afford.

Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

red dress A

Option B: Glitters is Gold
Are peacock earrings totally passe? I don't know if I care, because I still love them--but I'm curious! This is the safer option--gold, gold, gold and a fantastic beaded purse with a similar sort of peacock-plume iridescence. I think it's also probably a little bit classier, as opposed to trendy.

red dress E

Option C: Contemporary Flapper
This option is very basic and, in my opinion, a bit of a yawn. However, the subdued accessories will tone down the vibrancy of my vavavoom red dress and keep me flying under the radar around the wedding party (everyone will be black-on-black). I love the feather purse and the fact that the earrings look like miniature chandeliers.

red dress D

Option D: Feathers and Furs
Once again with the feather earrings and leopard print... this look is maybe a bit too casual? I can't decide. I like the turquoise accessories but they don't scream 'evening.' I like the leopard clutch because it's small and simple and the colors coordinate really well with the earrings. But again, perhaps it's too much like something I would wear to a less formal affair?

red dress BFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

What are your thoughts? Option A, B, C, or D? Mind you, I do not currently own any of the above accessories so this may come down to a whatever-I-can-find-fast-and-cheap decision... but I'm curious about what you think! And thank you so, so much to Rebecca for conspiring with Modcloth to bring me so much joy!

craggle rock

While I appreciate the army/cargo trend, it's not really my style, so I have no intention of purchasing a new cargo coat or anything of the sort. That said, I did happen to have this DKNY vest laying around and since I bought these great boots I figured now was as good a time to give it a second life. Of course, I had to add a little bit of bohemia to make it mine (the scarf).

(belt bracelet!)

I've been meaning to do a little photo shoot under this bridge since K and I came here a few weekends ago for some fishing. The lighting turned out to be a little bit weird, but I think it works with the mood, even if I had to toss a bunch of backlit photos of the bridge because they were so washed out by the setting sun.

(dress/belt: Old Navy; vest: DKNY via TJMaxx; scarf/belt bracelet: Bargain Boutique; boots: Seychelles)

I found this half of a rusty (toy?) pistol on the rocks, and my tripod ended up doubling as a prop because it's so awesome. I usually use K's tripod for my outfit photos but he was gallavanting through the countryside taking pictures of churches so I had to be resourceful. I bought this tripod (and the vintage 8 mm camera atop it) for $25 at an antique store last year, and it's been used for merely decorative purposes--until yesterday!