29 July 2012

The Muse: Dark Horse

 A dark horse is usually something obscure which unexpectedly rises to significance, when I think about a dark horse I usually think about politics. Franklin Pierce or Jimmy Carter, those sort of candidates who go from obscurity to the national scene in the blink of an eye. Socrates however, building on Plato's allegory of the Charioteer being driven by two winged horses, defines the black, or dark horse as representational of the soul's irrational desires. The two horses pulling the man of course represent the two sides of his nature, white being pure, orderly, and rational, while the black horse...well don't we all know all about him? This skirt is definitely the former, not something that would have jumped off the pages of a catalogue at me. But in person it drew me both on and off the hanger and I had to have it once I tried it on. over time I have gotten more creative with how I wear it, sometimes I find the material, which is akin to burlap hard to mix and match because it seems rough and informal. The full skirt and black crinoline underneath however make it dressy. I was happy  with how this combination worked, and perhaps is you pair a dark horse with wanton scarlet the result is the soul's irrational desire.

Blouse: Banana Republic
Skirt: Odille via Anthropologie
Belt: thrifted via Goodwill
Shoes: Priori, inherited from L'Oreal
Necklace: ShopHollyDolly via Etsy
Purse: Monsoon (United Kingdom)

27 July 2012

Where I Wore It: Little House on the Prarie

After yesterday's post I decided to share some of the photos from my actual trip to Ma Ingalls place. This was August 23, 2010 and the weather was somewhere in the high nineties. It was almost two weeks into a cross-country road trip my friend Alyssa and I took from our hometown of Cumberland, Rhode Island to her brother's place in Reseda, California. We zig-zagged up and down the East Coast and through the Midwest seeing some of the most random attractions and couch surfing wherever we could. If you're interested we blogged our way across America, with me writing and her taking the pictures in the blog Subjects and Objects . I did most of the driving, she read trashy romance novels out loud to keep me entertained. I behaved inappropriately every chance and venue I got, she kept me from being arrested/killed and dumped in a cornfield. I've been a lot of places all around the world, I've never had quite so much fun or seen such amazing things. I cannot take any of the credit, for Alssa is the photographer extraordinaire, I just mixed the drinks at night.

One would think the biggest attraction in the area would have a bigger sign
announcing it, apparently not in that part of Kansas.

As far as I know there is no "Little House"organization and all of the sites across
the Midwest are owned and operated separately. Obviously this
one is the best known because of the television show, but it
was actually one of the places they spent the least amount of time.

This farmhouse houses the information center and gift shop,
on the day we were there this consisted of one friendly but lonely lady.

I made a friend, apparently he was astray they had adopted and started to feed
(you can see the food dish behind me) luckily we still
had over a thousand miles to go on the trip otherwise I would
have hidden him in my purse and taken him with me.
We never saw Dr. Tann's grave, strange because as a bit of a taphophile
 I dragged Alyssa to just about every other historically significant cemetery along the way.

Me enjoying the view from the outside of the home-sweet-log cabin.
Fisher and Sons Tee Shirt: HBOStore
Shorts: Ann Taylor Loft
Scarf: Jessica SImpson via Marshall's
Flip-Flops: Old Navy
Purse: DeDe via Anthropologie 

With me next to the cabin you can geta better idea of the scale.
It was really, really smalland the ceiling was low enough that I
 had to duck going in and out and I'm only 5' 4''. The wagon
on the other hand was to tall, I guess I'm no Goldilocks on the Prairie.

The smaller building is the post office, the larger the school.
 There was also a well original to the Ingalls period on the land,
which was how they identified the original hom

Keep in mind this building was actively used until 1978, that's right clearly Watergate, wage freezing and gas rationing, and the Vietnam war were all very far away from this little hanger on from the 19th century.

Great photo right? That's the secret of Alyssa's genius, I'm off playing with stray cats and she's capturing the beauty of a 19th century post office.  40 Berkeley where the Swapaholics hold their soirees has a similar bank of mailboxes and one night I saw people photographing them, clearly we were trendsetters in Independence, KS.

I it just me or does that post office look like the type of place
where you'd expect Horace, the telegraph operator from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman
to wander out from behind the counter?

Not the most flattering picture of my ass, but it gives you
 a good idea of the dimensions of the post office.

This school was still in use after WWII, not a huge surprise to me. Most of the modern elementary schools in use in North Attleboro, MA where my mother and grandparents grew up and I have taught were built in the early 50's. Before that it was all one room school houses, three of which still stand, two on the corner of Holmes Road and Hoppin Hill Avenue still stand side by side and are maintained by volunteers. The Little Red or Adamsdale Schoolhouse is adjacent to the  Woodcock Garrison building on the North Attleboro-Plainville line is open for tours and is a frequent field trip destination for modern school children.

The class of 1910-1911

The schoolmarm, I hope I never photograph like that in the yearbook 

In the back was a display done by local school children to display at the site, I think at the time Alyssa just  took a photo because it was so random. Ironically once we got to Reseda we actually we had some issues with a troupe of possums that kept setting of the motion sensor lights in the backyard and waking us up at night. Guess we should have read the posterboard more closely to find out what to do.

As fascinating as the Little House on the Prairie was we had to hitch up the wagon and move on, continuing in the literary trend by stopping in western Kansas in the tiny town of Holcomb, made famous by Truman Capote when he chronicled the grisly murders of the Clutter family in his infamous nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood.

THe Muse: Ma Ingalls

 What is it about gingham that brings to mind open prairies, covered wagons, and log cabins? An Michael Landon of course. Everything about this outfit reminds me of pioneer fashion, aside from gingham, floral calico was very common as were darker colors because they lasted longer without showing as many stains. Cameos and enamelware jewelry were also practical affordable solutions to accompany SUnday best, or perhaps a trip to the little library on the prairie to escape a brief rain shower and pay ye old library fines. Two years ago when I drove cross-country one of our stops in the great state of Kansas was just outside Independence at the site of the original Little House on the Prairie. Obviously the original cabin no longer exists but a replica was built using the same construction methods, materials, and dimensions. Alongside it are a period post office and one room school house which offer up a nice three for one deal. It was admittedly dusty and out of the way, not to mention a little slow on buisiness (though four other people had been in on that day) but if you read the books it was a real treat. Also I find that when I tell people the places I went this is undoubtedly one of the places they're most impressed with, men and women alike. Never underestimate the power of good old fashioned pioneer fun, after all Ma Ingalls knows best.
Dress: Forever 21
Wrap: ??? via Target
Shoes: Cynthia Vincent via J. Marcel
Necklace: gift via Marshall's 
(remember when they had a jewelry counter a million years ago?)
Bracelet: Vintage Haven
Brooch: vintage via ??? possibly Pastimes Consignments
Purse: swapped via Wedding Season Swap and Shop

25 July 2012

The Muse: Goodwill Garden Party

 So on a fine balmy summer afternoon you might fancy attending a garden party, or at least dressing like you will be sipping lemonade (or something stronger) and nibbling in cucumber sandwiches on the lawn. But where to go fir such an ensemble? Apparently the Goodwill store has everything you'll need for a summer soiree with Mrs Vanderbilt down at her "cottage" in Newport, because that's where I got almost all of my garden part duds. I confess I've been on a bit of a buying rampage, and after suffering through two and a half hours in the sweaty waiting room while getting my oil changed I treated myself by going next door to Goodwill. I usually have some luck there be it was a particularly good day, including this sweater ($4.99), skirt (50% off it was just $2.50), and these shoes($3.99) for a total of $11.48, add in the tank which is several years old from old Navy at $5 and the whole outfit comes in at $16.48. The sweater alone, HWR is a knitwear line carried by Anthropologie could be four or five times that new, as could the shoes. Bet Mrs. Vanderbilt was never that savy. In other news the morning at 5:45 I became an aunt again, Ethan Thomas weighed in at 7 lbs. 14 oz. and was 20 inches long. I went to see him after these pictures were taken and just got the impression that he had far more dark curly hair than any newborn baby has business posessing.

Sweater: HWR, thrifted via Goodwill South Attleboro
Tank: Old Navy
Skirt: New York and Co. thrifted via Goodwill SA
Shoes: Nine West, thrifted via Goodwill SA
Headband: Forever 21
Purse: swapped via Wedding Season Swap and ShopEnamel bracelet: gift
Gold bracelet and painted porcelain bracelets: my mother's
Antique watch fob chain bracelet: via formerWrentham Antiques Mart