Repair Day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

After yesterday's Cat Tragedy, I choose to spitefully wear this top, the one I repaired, the one that caused a needle to be out for her to swallow. My little girl is fine, she's home and is active post needle-removal surgery. It was all totally my fault that she had access to the needle in the first place, but I'm glad to have her home and doing well.

So, about this demon shirt: I snagged it at Buffalo Exchange a while back and, while I'm drawn to tribal prints and rustic motifs, I just can't seem to find a logical place in my wardrobe for them. They're bold, which is not my MO, as I'm finding. I prefer subdued colors, classic color pairings, mildly preppy inspired, borderline minimalist looks. Ikat doesn't really have a place in that. But at $4, I made room in my closet for a boxy tank with loud olive, turquoise and black striations. I wore it once as-is and decided I really ought to alter it a little. The sewing machine I've been gifted needs repairs still and so I quit stalling and just hand stitched it. With nearly 4" total taken in, it fits infinitely better and can now become a regular visitor in my lightweight fall transition wardrobe.

Poor Eddie cat with her IV bandage.
It's imperfect, but it'll do for now.
I did bind the seam at the armpit so it lies flat and I don't have to trim the fabric.

Blouse: Target via Buffalo...Skirt: China-made...Cardigan... Target...Belt: stolen...Shoes: MaxStudio via DSW
Miles, in front of my mirror, wondering who is rattling around in the hallway.
Black in the shirt with brown accents... I think it's chic.

Kindly pardon the eye puff and bed head. I thought I would try out sleeping on uncombed wet hair for less frizzy waves. I have some tweaking to do, but I think this could be a better looking no effort hairstyle if I incorporate a curling iron for a few corrections. I just need a curling iron.

What else in in your repair piles? I'm down to nipping in the armpits of a really lovely periwinkle tank with a high, ruffled neckline. I might need to enlist a friend with a sewing machine for that one.

Menswear and the Kitty Cat tragedy

Sorry, guys, this is a total sob story of epic proportions... Thank goodness I put out a menswear inspired outfit early last night because I'm too tired and delirious to have put on anything other than pj's this morning. Not true, I didn't even spend the time finding pj's last night, since My Guy left his t-shirt drawer open I stole one. At 2 am. Let me explain:

I was diligently working my way through the repair pile in it's entirety (I'm ready for tomorrow, too!) and left my little snippets of thread on a side table. When I got finished, I tacked the needle into spool, lumped it all in the middle of the table and watched some Hulu on my phone. Next thing I know, I see our little girl sitting on the table, which isn't unusual. I saw her mouthing something, also not unusual. And then I saw the sinister gleam of light reflecting off of the needle. In her mouth. But the time I scooped her up and tried to grab it, she was squirming and it was gone. Mother trucker, the sharp pointy needle is missing, down my 7 lb cat's throat.

I was wailing hysterically and My Guy, being the good husband he is, held her while I pried her mouth open. No luck. So we went to the ER Vet and were waiting and waiting and waiting. I got done at 2 am and the following was concluded:
  1. She had an xray that confirmed she did indeed swallow the needle and it was in her stomach, not dangerous to any vital organs for the moment. 
  2. She was behaving completely like herself, so we were concerned but not panicked. 
  3. She is a joy eater and scarfed her dinner, so there was plenty of food padding.
  4. My options were:
  • Let her try to poop it out, which was know to happen. But she is very small and it could have gotten stuck partway through, resulting in 'spensive surgery.
  • Send a scope down her throat and retrieve it. Also many thousands.
  • Take her home and in the morning go to a regular vet that the ER doc trusted implicitly and see what they say.
I went with the 3rd option.

I'm so glad I did. She was still her normal self this morning, but I spent my 3 1/2 hours of sleep waking up, tapping her head to make sure she was still alive. We left the house at 6:30 to drive way out of town to the vet who opened at 7:15. She doesn't do well in a carrier, so she's a lap kitty in the car. All is normal, we're driving through early am big city traffic and, about 3 exits away from where we get off the highway, she barfs. All over my pants. And my first thought was "Hooray! Maybe she barfed up the needle!" Not the case, but at least she was empty for a more accurate 2nd xray. We were shown right in, the ER had faxed over her records, the doc said he could do a little incision and slide the needle out surgery for a few hundred. Like, BAM, easy inexpensive fix for your disaster cat. How the H did we get so fortunate that we didn't have to make a tough call of wait it out or bite the bullet? There was middle ground and I was so grateful.

During our 3 hour ER wait.
So, moral of the story is that my cat will be fine, I got the call that she was done with the surgery at 8:40 and was doing okay and I can pick her up after 3. The funniest part of it is that now my dog and my cat will have matching foreign object removal scars on their bellies.

On to the more fun stuff of the day...
I was more pumped about wearing these shoes than anything else in today's challenge. They're secondhand Salvatore Ferragamo oxfords, they're slim on my feet and they cost me $22. Instead of $300. I win! I've been stashing these since April when I found them.

Shirt: Target...Pants: long ago Gap...Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo via Buffalo Exchange

I do know I look a little dumpy today, but at some other point I will do menswear a little more "my way" with a pencil skirt and vest, but this outfit could not have been better for my day. My pants were barfed upon and cleaned up like a champ. My shirt kept me fully covered as a squirmy cat clambored all over me. And the glasses are both laziness and a little bit of an inadvertant throwback to 50's nerd frames.

Let's hope this is the end of the madness for this week.


Monday, August 29, 2011

I know, I know, it looks like I didn't do anything with my hair. But here's the scoop:
My hair normally looks like this in the summer (it it too darn hot to use a blow dryer and air drying= frizz):

...And so I took the time to blow dry it straight for today's 21 Day Challenge:
I've been growing it out for years now and I'm pretty sure I ought to straighten it much more often, it's more gratifyingly long when I do. Not until October, though. It's too dang hot still.

Dress: Target...Shoes: Naturalizer...Necklaces: J Crew Outlet

I really like this dress. It was one of those "meant to be moments" when I found it- The only one of it's kind, in my size, shoved behind something truly boxy. It's a weirdly subtle bold print reminiscent of leopard or something, but it looks like little paintbrush stippling up close. On board with the animal print, but a little more my style (although I did buy a pair of leopard flats and a headband, to be debuted later). I got chilly in the AC and threw on a cardigan, which gave it way more of a fall feel. I feel good today!
Cardigan: Target

How was everyone's weekend? I spent Saturday in the house sitting location pool, Sunday day converting a pair of hideous wool walking shorts into a skirt (photos soon, it isn't quite done, and our Sunday night tradition is to go to the Grad bar on campus for my Guy's bromance's volunteer bartending shift and drink $.95 beers for an hour or so. EPIC sing-along to classic rock and 90's music.

Stolen Ideas

 And now for something completely different: Replicating another fashionable woman's outfit.

Let me preface this whole outfit by saying two things: 1- I have never owned a chambray shirt. I wasn't able to find one that didn't flap like bat wings at my armpits. 2- I have never owned a bright floral skirt. It draws attention and is the only red article of clothing I own. Mid-20's and I don't own red.
Anyway, I was immediately drawn to the summery look of these ladies and knew I had to go for it when I found the chambray shirt at Target last week. It fit, it was $17 and it was mine. I am not sure this look will become a staple for me, but it really is good to try new things.

Kendi Everyday: this outfit and Mint & Mellow: this outfit

Here's my rendition:
Shirt: Target...Skirt: Kimchi Blue via Urban Outfiters

Reverse french braided bun
I needed to house sit for the last two nights and so this bun saved my butt today. I showered yesterday, put my hair up and slept on it and am still not in bad shape for today. Kate-1, hair-0.

I am so grateful this weekend feels like it's lasted for at least 5 days, and I still have all of today to enjoy! My Guy may end up choosing to spend his day at school finishing a movement of his string quartet, so that sounds to me like an open invitation to spend my day wandering around Marshalls or something. See everyone tomorrow.

Dressing up Jeans... is this cheating?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I wore white jeans since it was still a work day. Can we agree that I deftly combined the needs of my job and the requirements of the challenge rather than flat out saying I'm breakin' the law? Thank for the leeway, guys!
Anyway, I remixed the sweater from this day. That's 2 of 3. As it turns out, I scrunch up sleeves frequently and this is a cotton blend... Apartment living with a coin op dryer means I went baggy. Baggy is nice. I looked a little dumpy. Good thing the royal blue silk tie front blouse was a pretty good distraction and brought the eyes up and away from the puddle of teal fabric at my hips.
PS... I would live in silk and wool if I could. Fave fibers. And quite different, huh?
Pants: Gap...Blouse: Banana Republic via Buffalo Exchange...Cardigan: Gap...Shoes: Nine West via Buffalo
Dumpy sweater silhouette
Key to fab shoes on the cheap: STALK your resale shops. I'm serious. Be that creeper.

A little pat on the back for me: I sold some things at Buffalo Exchange and Blackbird Trading over the past few days and made $89 total! Unheard of! I blew the Buffalo caysh-monies on the shoes and a little orange dress.
Background story on my need for a silly orange dress: I sometimes work with a non-profit that uses orange everything for branding. In the fall we host a Gala (remember the story of the unproductive Gala Auction meeting?) and the "party favors" are usually also centerpieces, which are all handmade. Like crafty, kitschy homemade. We get together with board members, patrons, local wackos, etc. and throw a BBQ/ decor party. Silly cotton dress will be dang cute, huh? I threw on a Target el cheapo button down under it (I went with the red, yellow and blue one). What else might I consider for styling this bad boy? The BBQ is a big social hoo-ha and I want to be festive but look nice. Thoughts?

I'm house sitting tonight and will get to lounge in the sun for a while tomorrow. I may die of a heat stroke, but some tanned legs would be nice. Happy weekend, all!

Skirt or Dress- Monochrome part 2

Friday, August 26, 2011

My wardrobe is a sea of neutrals and, while giving myself a challenge of working with the crop pants was a good self-improvement step, the monochrome was a little dull. I think if I used silky ivories or added more depth with a darker camel, it would have been more interesting.
To make up for that, I yanked out this Dress for today's challenge and rather than pairing it with a neutral sweater, my go-to color combo, I went Monochrome again. In blues. I'm so snazzy.
I also wore a pair of pumps that are way more comfortable than they ought to be- for Pete's sake they're croc embossed leather. Foxy shoes should be pain and torture, but these are a relatively modest 3" heel, have great flex and fit my foot very well.
Aaaand, fun fact: this Target dress was lovingly armpit altered by a very sweet girlfriend. There is nothing worse than a shirtdress that droops to look like an oversized 80's trenchcoat.

Dress: Target...Cardigan: J Crew Outlet...Belt: stolen from sis

Pearls & Jade: from China

Shoes: MaxStudio via DSW

Last evening I got roped into a surprise Gala Auction meeting, which was so nebulous and distracted I can hardly stand it. There is discussion of purchasing some sort of auction software and I can see ZERO reason that it's even up for debate- the tracking system that we've been using is mediocre and time consuming at best, the follow up and billing at the end of the event evening itself would be drastically simplified, eliminating the man-power and time suck for the staff post-event. Etc. etc. etc. Anyway, there may be a few good new contacts for items that came from the meeting, but I sat through 2 hours of torture for a lot of nothing. No concrete decisions or plans of action. Wah.
I went home to a sushi evening, though. That helped.

Closet Orphans, 3 options

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I began rooting through my closet looking for lonely, unused clothing and came to the realization that I really only keep what I know I'm going to wear. I did discover a treasure trove of items that I need to try to resell or donate for the upcoming fall season, so it's loaded in my car, awaiting an opportunity to do so! I hope some lunchtime this week allows me the opportunity, it would be so nice to get that stuff out of my hair.
Anyway, I did come across a few blouses and skirts that I feel less that fabulous in, so I tried styling them a different way. I wear them for only special reasons or a certain "type" of outfit, so they're Closet Typecasts. The Steve Buscemi characters of my wardrobe. The Keanu Reeves persona of my chest of drawers. Enough analogies? Well, then let's get to the break-down.

Late night try-on 1: The DVF thrifted blouse. It is so lovely and is a great silk crepe, I couldn't pass it up. AND IN MY SIZE! How many times does that happen while thrifting? Anyway, the silk, the gold detail, the ruffles, it's all so beautiful, but how does one wear it? I feel like if I tried to do a Fancy/ Casual thing with this blouse  and pair it with a pair of skinny jeans, the ruffles would make it look like a dressed up Rodeo. I don't really have a pencil skirt that would do it justice and match it's fabulousness. Thoughts? Opinions?

The white skirt was noooot right. Blouse: DVF, thrifted...Skirt: thrifted...Shoes: Kate Spade, thrifted

The detail sure is beautiful, though!

Late night try-on 2: the Target patterned skirt. I felt a little better in this outfit, but it was too casual for the work week. I'm also not convinced I got the shoes right when I styled it. Maybe oxfords. Or a wedge heel. Something with just a liiiittle more presence to give weight to my lower extremities. The tiny striped sweater is fun, though, huh?

Skirt: Target...Tee: J Crew Outlet...Sweater: J Crew Outlet...Shoes: Biviel, DSW...Belt & Bag: thrifted

That's a whole lot of texture!

What I really wore: Thrifted swing blouse. This blouse nearly made its way out of my closet several times. It is really really wide. It has never looked good in terms of fit, even though I took it in already so the swing silhouette wasn't comically large. It's just large now. I haven't been able to part with it yet for two reasons: The print is so frickin' cheerful and it will one day make cuuute maternity wear. Perhaps I should just choose not to wear it again until I'm at least 30 weeks along. Which may be a while.

Blouse: thrifted...Skirt: thrifted...Sweater: Gap...Shoes: Nine West, Buffalo Exchange

These are at the top end of my heel high tolerance.

Cloisonne cheapies from Beijing

What do you all think? Any good at all?

One last goodie: I can't keep baby hairs and clumps of loose stuff in my high buns, so I flipped my head over, began a french braid at the bottom and ended up with this:

Weekend Thrift Finds

I had a lot of success with thrifting accessories over the weekend and figured I should share my excitement. While in the real world, this makes me a kook, in the fashion blogging world, this makes me a rockstar. And I like that better.

Funny little leather bag with aaaall kinds of stuff going on: cognac croc embossed, smooth chocolate brown, dark brown woven leather details, and both Tiffany's-esque pendants and Western closures.
Yup. That glorious texture is all mine now.

Menswear belt with thick silver buckle and woven leather front face.

My three belt finds: dark brown, tomato red and navy. The two skinny belts came out of the kids section and fit nicely around my waist with pencil skirts.

I think my belt collection is coming along, I used to only have really safe options, like a nice camel leather and a thick dark brown leather... I'm gathering more options in the skinny belt category, which is so much better for the work week. Now, if I could only find more funky shoes, I could branch out and give outfits a real kick in the butt.
Look out for Orphan Outfits later on today!
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