a love for cowboys.

Close to two years ago now, Qlint’s grandfather died.  

Although I never knew him, I could hear the admiration and the respect in Q’s voice whenever he spoke of him.

He described him as silly, eccentric, smiling, and full of stories to tell.

If there is one solace I find in death, it’s the vibrancy of life it highlights and allows us to remember.

What seemed to intrigue me most about Robert Lee Mann was that he was also a bad-ass cowboy.

Last December I got a package in the mail from Qlint in California.  He wanted me to have one of his grandfather’s bolo ties.  

Now how bad-ass cowboy is that.

DSC_3387 - Edited

The gesture was incredibly sweet and moving.  

I now hold a piece of this man’s history.

There’s actually quite a bit of discrepancy around the origin of the bolo tie, but the fact remains that they’re awesome.  They will always be awesome, and this one of Robert’s is truly incredible.  

The sunburst rhinestone clasp on this particular bolo tie makes it a wonderfully unique and stand-on-its-own piece.

The first time I decided to wear Robert’s bolo tie, I paired it with all black to a Christmas party.  

I wanted it to be the centerpiece of my outfit.

It was a party favorite.

Robert Lee Mann will never know who I am, but I can’t help but think he’d be more than pleased to know that his cowboy spirit is cherished and will continue to live on for many, many years to come.

A great way to remember a great man.

 

Advertisements

here, there and everywhere.

Qlint called me bohemian chic the other day, so today, I just kinda went with it.

There are a lot of fun pieces in this outfit and each holds its own special nostalgia.

sheer, short-sleeved kimono:

I actually just acquired this beauty yesterday from my favorite vintage store in Raleigh, Lucky Strike Vintage.  The owners of the store are absolute sweethearts and often give me little free gifts with my purchases- like a peacock feather tote back, or a small black leather change purse.  This sheer kimono is from the 60’s and it’s perfect for the summer heat.  I like the floral pattern a lot as well as the side slits.

ivory elephant necklace:

In college I worked at a local consignment store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  On my last day of employment, the owner let me pick anything from the store that I wanted to take with me.  This beautifully carved necklace was a must have.  I have no idea when or where it was made, or if it’s actual ivory, but it’s a great statement piece that brings back a lot of warm memories from my four years spent living in the steel city.

amber and sterling silver earrings:

These earrings I feel like I’ve had forever.  Realistically, I’ve probably had them about 12 years.  I bought them in Alaska when I was about 17.  In the summer, the sun comes out in my hometown of Homer, Alaska and begins to warm the earth.  It is at this time that gift shops open up, cruise ships sail in, and tourists from all over the world come to fish, hike, kayak, bird watch and experience a place of true raw beauty.  I remember getting these earrings from a lovely woman who opened her gift store for three months each year, and spent the remainder of her time traveling the world.

Each of these three pieces reflect very different parts of my life.  Perhaps my favorite thing about fashion is the ability to collect and hold on to pieces not just from different places, but from different life phases.  It can be a reminder of not only where I have been, but the life I had while living there.

It’s the ability to physically wear/carry all the different pieces of me at once, and the memories leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

carry your fruit.

It’s great when people know that you like clothes and old, interesting things because you get a lot of fun donations.

People will say, “Hey, I like this but I never wear/use it, you should have it!”

And my answer is always yes.

That is how I came to own this amazing fruit purse.

My friend Amy thought that it was interesting enough to suit my tastes, and she was right!

I think the fruit purse is wonderfully weird and beautifully made.

I also discovered that it functioned as the perfect ipad carrier/case on my outing to Carrboro today.

DSC_3326

I also think it’s fantastic because it reminds me of the sewing my mother used to do. Here is a coffee picture she did that I’ve moved around with me for years.

DSC_3345 - Edited

Something also curiously cool about the fruit purse is the label sewn inside.

DSC_3343 - Edited

It leads me to believe that this fruit has had a long and interesting journey.

So thank you Amy, and fellow friends, for giving me fun and quirky items that always bring a smile to my face.

a girl’s best friend.

I have never fantasized about a wedding; therefore, I never once fantasized about my engagement ring.

So when I decided to propose to my boyfriend, I only had a couple requirements come to mind.  

I definitely didn’t want diamonds.  

I knew immediately that I wanted our rings to each reflect our own, individual personalities, and a diamond isn’t a gemstone that connects with either of us.

There are many things I adore about Qlint, but above all else, we have always appreciated each others individualism, and sharing that with one another is what has made us learn, grow, and challenge ourselves to become better people.  

This mutual respect and appreciation is what I wanted our engagement rings to represent.

Knowing that I wanted something vintage (of course!) I turned to my trusty friend, Ebay.  

Within 15 minutes of searching, I found it.

An opal ring from the 1920’s set in white gold filigree.

It’s my spirit and true essence in ring form.

Image

Seeing the opal, I knew it was the perfect gem to suit both of our tastes.

I soon found an opal jeweler in New Mexico where I purchased Qlint’s ring.  

I was immediately drawn to it because it was both masculine, yet beautiful.

Image

In about an hour, I had found the perfect set of rings for both of us.

Done and done!

Most traditions don’t hold much weight for me, but when I am able to create things of personal significance, and create them with someone else, everything becomes that much more meaningful and valuable.

I gave both of our rings to Qlint on the New Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina.

Image

It was anything but traditional, and that’s what made it so perfect and special to us.

And so speaking of traditional, I wasn’t really in the mood to be a professional hand model of any sort, so Qlint and I decided to do a very intimate photo series of me wearing my engagement ring…while eating a cupcake.

Enjoy!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

 

Aside

retail therapy- it’s good for you.

I am a victim of retail therapy…and I am not ashamed.

My guess is we all have been subject to buying a little something-something here and there to brighten the day, and to me, there are far worse felonies to be committed.

Shopping treats are to be enjoyed shamelessly!

My go-to retail therapy store is definitely Plato’s Closet.  If you’ve never heard of it, Plato’s Closet is a consignment store catering to trendy teens.  They advertise themselves as carrying gently used brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, and Aeropostale.  Walking into the store, you’ll be greeted by terrible pop music, racks of crop tops, and a gossipy high school aged staff.

First things first.

I am not a teen. I do not wear crop tops.  I do not own anything produced by the previously stated brands.

But just like any other secondhand clothing store,

IT IS ABOUT THE SEARCH!

And here is the most important tip of all for buying used clothes…you have to take the time to look.  And you have to take the time to look through EVERYTHING.

If you are confident in your style, what you like, and what looks good on you, it becomes easy to walk into any used clothing store and find those special gems you like.

Here is a full outfit purchased from Plato’s Closet:

Image

Image

Image

Image

So besides total convenience (the store is located directly on my route home from work) everything at Plato’s Closet is ridiculously affordable.

OUTFIT BREAKDOWN

Dress- $10

Sheer Cardigan- $4

Bracelet- $3

Clutch Purse- $4

TOTAL OUTFIT COST- $21

Another perk is when you get tired of wearing an item, you can sell it back to them and keep the cash or exchange it for something new.  You can create your own clothing cycle!

It’s rad.

So don’t ever let terrible music or dated trends scare you.  If you have fun exploring, treasures are sure to be found in any store.

And if you don’t break the bank, retail therapy becomes that much sweeter.

when ears get fancy.

Do you know what is cheap and a lot of fun?

Accessories!

I feel like earrings (or just one earring, I’m a big fan of wearing the solo earring) are especially fun since they can add so much to your face and are extremely eye catching.

The following earrings I all purchased from Ebay.

Man…I love me some Ebay.

You can find an array of items that are inexpensive, well-loved, and because of the low cost, you can really take some risks and try out new things or try things that might be slightly out of your fashion comfort zone.

EARRING #1- THE FEATHER CUFF

Image

I love any cuff earring.

Writing this reminds me to seek out more of them.

I adore this one in particular because it fits my ear well which is not always easy with a cuff because the earring wraps around the entire ear.

For you observant folk, this is the same earring I wore in my first blog post:

Image

I also like it because it is comfortable, colorful, and it’s made of feathers!

I am forever a fan of feathers, which leads us to:

EARRINGS #2- THE PEACOCK HOOP

Image

I definitely own both of these earrings, but prefer to wear just one of them.

I originally bought these to wear with my Halloween costume when I was, you guessed it, a peacock.

Flash back to two years ago:

Image

These earrings are very large and prominent which isn’t always easy to pull off.

I notice that wearing only one as an asymmetrical, solo earring makes them not so overbearing and different in a fun and funky way.

I always receive compliments!

EARRINGS #3- THE EDIE

Image

I definitely went through an Edie Sedgwick phase.

I was obsessed with her (still adore her) and when Qlint had an Andy Warhol/Factory themed birthday party a few years back, I was able to live out my dream of looking like her for an entire evening.

The real Edie:

Image

My Edie interpretation:

Image

When I found these “Edie” earrings on Ebay I knew I could create a whole persona around them, and I loved every minute of it.

So three very different kinds of earrings providing very different kinds of looks, but they are all large, distinctive and wonderfully unusual.

If you’re not one to take risks with clothing, take an accessory risk.

It’s affordable and most importantly, it’s fun!

a little fringed around the edges.

My mother has volunteered at Pick’N’Pay, a secondhand clothing store in Homer, Alaska, for over 20 years.  I still have vague memories of running around outside with my friends while all of our mothers sorted, organized, and folded bags upon bags of donated clothing.

I also have the memory of spilling something all over my Sunday dress, and sneaking into Pick’N’Pay (I knew the combination lock) to leave a crumpled dollar bill for a pair of jeans.  They became my favorite pair of pants and I wore them to their deconstruction.

My mother still volunteers at the store and every now and again,  I’ll get a package in the mail full of her Pick’N’Pay finds with a brief note on top, “These are so you!”

One of my favorite pieces from her is this fringed cardigan she sent me about a year ago.

I love fringe because it can be hard and edgy on a leather jacket or purse, or it can be soft and feminine on a sheer blouse or dressing gown.  I’m also partial to fringe since it was so popular in the 1920’s, which is by far my favorite fashion decade.

This cardigan is definitely on the soft and feminine side, and it can be worn over anything to instantly add some interest.

Since it’s a relaxing, lazy holiday afternoon, I simply put this cardigan on over a comfortable slip that I wear as a nightgown around the house.

Image

Image

Image

photos by Qlint C.

photos by Qlint C.

I would like to make everyone aware that there are some hazards to wearing fringe.

Read the following fringe casualties so that you can be properly prepared before fringing.

#1. Don’t attempt to wash dishes in fringe.  You’ll end up with wet, drippy sleeves.

#2. Be very cautious going to the bathroom.  You’ll end up with toilet water fringe.  No one wants that.

#3. If you live with three cats like I do, get ready to be attacked.  Cats will think the fringe is alive when it moves, feel threatened, and natural instincts will kick in.

#4. Be cautious while dining.  Once while reaching for a glass of water, my fringed sleeve caught a fork which was then inadvertently flung at a poor, unsuspecting waiter.

The moral here is that fringe is not for the fainthearted.

My mother knows me so well.