So I turned eighteen last week and now November is almost over, Christmas is around the corner, but I feel like the year has barely just begun. But it’s not December yet. It hasn’t been Christmas or New Years Eve yet and it’s still November. My favorite month, for obvious reasons. I made a playlist in honor of my favorite month and before you even had the chance to listen to, I gave it to someone, but not on a whim, mind you. Before, I go on and on with the story, I ought to explain the playlist. It’s mostly indie music, of the soft, folksy sort. But not too soft, and this time there isn’t a prominent theme, lyrically. I focused only on how well the songs would sound stringed together, one song seamlessly after the other.
Listen to the mix here.
Now for the story…
the fact that you sent me a message on this blog makes me smile. I love you Lauren, you’re one of my favorite people. <3
I made this dress in two weeks in May and I spent an entire summer wearing it on various occasions, put off the photoshoot and then spent weeks and weeks with the edited pictures on my desktop, just waiting to feel inspired enough to write a decent post to go along with it. The inspiration never came, yet you find yourself reading a post I wrote. I figured three weeks is long enough waiting time and you probably don’t care so much about what I write, but rather what I made. That is, if anyone even reads this blog. If you do, hello and thank you. Feel free to comment in my ask box or drop in to say hello. Maybe you’d like to check out my shop? Onto the dress.
I designed the dress, modeling it after various late ’40s - ’50s catalog pictures and pattern envelope pictures I found while browsing Pinterest. I wanted the dress to feel authentically vintage, but still be wearable in casual and dressy circumstances..
I was running late to a party when I had my sister take these pictures of me, so excuse my wrinkly dress. And it wasn’t really a party, more like a casual get together with various families that my mother knows. In other words, it was an extremely awkward moment that eventually led to a panic attack of sorts. But that’s a story for another day.
The bodice was self-drafted as well. I used the same basic sloper I made using my measurements for the Emerald Feather Gown in March. I only made changes to the neckline, the arm holes, and the back closure. The bodice was also fully lined using a cotton voile that I had lying around in my studio. The skirt was also self-drafted.
In my efforts to make the dress as authentic as possible, the skirt is a half-circle skirt. Or rather, 3/4, but that was really because it was going to be a full circle until I realized I didn’t have enough fabric. That’s the downside of having a fabric stash. The pieces always seems to be the wrong amount when I finally come up with a use for them. This one had been in my stash for at least two years and I had about three yards. Anyhow, the skirt has widely spread 1/2” pleats around the top, modeled after a French Connection sundress I own. It’s one of my favorite dresses because of the vintage feel to it and the twirlability factor. I wanted this one to have an element of that. Also, the hem hits the knee, like a ‘1950s dress would.
The back is my favorite feature, overall. I specifically designed this dress because of the back. The entire dress stemmed from the idea of the back. Did you know that in the ’40s, women were not allowed to show cleavage in the front, but were allowed to show as much back as the wanted, so the scooped-back dresses became popular? Well, I wanted something like that, except with a V, and the buttons down the entire back rather than a zipper because it feels more authentic this way. A little more vintage and unique.
The dress is obviously now put away, waiting alongside my floor-length white dresses for next summer. I usually pair it with red lipstick, for the added vintage appeal. Sometimes, I wear it with a scarf tied on my head like a headband and usually with heels.
Thank you for reading! Have a lovely evening.
Dress: self-made / Shoes: Easy Spirit/ Macy’s / Make-up: Covergirl and Clinique
It seems unreal to me that it was exactly thirty days ago that I was boarding a plane, Nashville-bound. I look through the pictures I took on that short trip and it seems to me that I’ve been there more than once, that I was there a week ago, yesterday too, and that I can close my eyes and be there again now, if I wish. Yet I find myself in the bitter cold here, at the very start of our own winter, thinking about how only just a while ago I was strolling through the picturesque streets of that place I always dreamed of in a pair of shorts and a light top, in the peak of summer, except not here.
The two and a half days I spent in Nashville will be ones that I will hold close to my heart. As we were landing in Nashville, I remember looking out my window, just staring at the city with all the lights, and saying under my breath, “I’m home,” without even knowing what the city would be like and how my experience would go.
I met my dear friend Lauren for the very first time in person that night, sometime around ten, and we drove around town with The Civil Wars playing on the radio, taking in the city. She showed me all sorts of places I had only heard of and she told me about the people there and what it’s like. I was smiling from ear to ear, giggling incessantly. It was the moment, I couldn’t actually believe that I was there and it was beautiful, more beautiful than I had pictured it would be. I was in love with the city. I didn’t even sleep until the wee hours of the morning.
I had made an itinerary the week before the trip, hoping I could see everything I had wanted to see, but seeing as my trip was delayed seven hours and I was alone, I ended up going wherever I felt like going. There was wonderful freedom in that. I had never been on a trip alone too, without friends or family trailing near me at all times. It was nice to be able to walk from store to store at my own pace and to have the time to think to myself as I made the trek from one street to another.
The most wonderful thing, however, was that the locals would speak to me, people would smile at me and say hello, ask me what I think of something, ask me how long I’ve been in Nashville. I would ask them what the best place to eat is, or why they love the city. It’s so different here. it’s so rare to find a person whose willing to have a conversation like that, and if they are it’s stiff and forced, uncomfortable. The people here resemble the weather.
Vanderbilt was beautiful. I imagined myself there in a year, among the people I met there and it became so real to me, a goal more important than it had been before. Going to Pancake Pantry was another highlight. I met another wonderful friend of mine in person there, Nina. She was standing there in the corner, with her lovely outfit, and we had a nice little conversation. I met the lovely Molly a few hours after at another cafe, Bongo. She was extremely gracious. She reminds me of Taylor in her ability to listen so intently.
I had always heard that Nashville is a wonderful place to eat, that there’s restaurants and cafes that are so wonderful you can’t miss them. Let me tell you, I have never once in my life had a better burger than the Woodstock at Burger Up, the pancakes at Pancake Pantry are delightfully thick and amazing, and the iced Diddy at Bongo is a treat. And yes, we have the waffle truck here and Roll-up and Tucanos, but Nashville is just wonderful. I don’t even remember all the places I ate, but I remember the tastes and flavors.
On the Thursday I was there, I went to some of the touristy places; the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry. Both were beautiful, wonderful places. My favorite part of that day was the afternoon. I had never once been late to a concert, let alone a Taylor concert, and I thought I would be this time. I was running late, I had spent too much time at the Ryman Auditorium and I underestimated the traffic, but we made it with three minutes to spare.
I don’t believe I’ll ever forget that concert. There was a moment when Taylor herself went right past me, only a couple feet away, and another in which I was pressed against the soundbooth, taking in the joy of seeing both her and Ed Sheeran on the stage for a last time. Well, my last time, they still had two shows. Driving back to Belmont with Lauren and Brandon was a beautiful experience. Giggling and recounting our concert experiences. They were able to get my drawing of Meredith to Taylor’s mom, and even now that makes me excited. We concluded the evening with kids meals.
On my last day, I bought an antique ring in the most adorable little shop. I bought it a sort of reminder of the trip, a little memento to bring back memories of all the beautiful people and places I met in Nashville.I swear, I will be back soon. There’s no way I would be able to keep myself from returning.
I have a sort of love affair with cat prints on clothing right now. Isn’t that a thing though? I feel like it’s the trendiest theme right now and it’s been that way for like a year. I wonder how it even came about. I, for one, have been wearing cats for a while. I grew up with cats, but you knew that. I’ve been thinking about putting up trend reports every now and then and I feel like right now, I ought to post something, since I owe you all a bunch of photoshoots. Well, I just so happened to come across the most darling cat sweater the other day and I thought why not make a post about cats? Then I saw the loveliest cat shirt last night and I was like, THEY NEED TO SEE THIS. So here I am now, making you all a post. I’ll do this by subject, first dresses, then British fashion, then we’ll go on to UO, and then miscellaneous, followed by examples. Good?
So we’re starting with Dresses:
I fell in love with the second one when I saw it at Anthro in August. I mean it’s a cat print, obviously, but it’s not as cutesy as it could be. It’s a little geometric even, but I like that. The first dress in this little lineup of dresses is very cartoonish and modern, not my favorite style but I think I’d wear it anyway. It’s the cat factor, I’d wear cats every day if I could. As for the third one, it reminds me of a dress they used to have a few years ago on Modcloth, but I like this one better. It’s the sleeve-length and looseness of it that I adore. It just seems so comfy, and the print is darling. The fourth has the smaller print of the four. It’s a more subtle print, and the color’s lovely. I feel like that one would look pretty with black tights and mustard heels, like these.
A few lovely ones from the Brits:
It’s established, British people have flawless taste in clothes. These ones in particular are from ASOS and Topshop, both favorites. The second top from the left is actually the one that convinced me to start this post tonight. It’s so gorgeous, isn’t it? But it’s Topshop, of course it’s pretty. I have a blouse I got from there recently and every time I wear it people say the nicest things. It’s my go-to shirt when I just know I’m going to have a bad day. As for the first sweater, it’s extremely gorgeous. I feel like that one would go with most anything. The downside is the price, but it’s Paul and Joe so it makes sense. The third one is a decent price, not quite as inexpensive as the second one, but still very pretty and versatile. The last one is very similar to the cat shirts that you can find at places like H&M and Forever 21, so that’s very trendy. It’s pretty, and it’s a sweat shirt too. I bet it’s so comfy.
And some Urban Outfitters:
I had a friend who was so in love with Urban, she would get almost everything there. I always thought that was so cool, so this part will be like a little nod to her. Anyway, the first one needs to make it’s way to my closet right now. My very first cat was a Siamese cat and I’ve loved them since, therefore, this Siamese-print sweater needs to be mine. Example #2 is very ~hipster. That’s not really a bad thing, I mean it’s versatile and basically essential, and the price can’t be beat. I really want it. The third one is less of a cat print, but still along the theme, so I made it fit. I like it, it’s very loud. I might wear it, but it’s not really my style. I think it’s lovely anyway. As for option 4, I almost bought that. If only I hadn’t left my wallet at the hotel and then procrastinated.
Now for the Miscellaneous things:
The ring is my favorite of these, actually it’s tied with the tights. Of course the ring is quite expensive, so it’s not like I’ll be buying it anytime soon but I’d definitely order the tights if I had any money left after my trip. The sweater is just plain adorable. I feel like I should DIY that. I’d buy it if I knew where it came from actually, and I can’t knit for the life of me. Believe me, I’ve tried, but I could screen print that on a sweatshirt. As for the tee, it’s simple and geometric and cute. It’s like the gray UO shirt, almost an essential. Of course, I could screen print that too, but it’s not even that expensive. It’s fairly priced, even.
And I feel like this post wouldn’t be complete without a T-Swizzle reference. The lovely girl has a thing for cat clothes too. She’s a self-proclaimed cat lady, but in the best way possible.
Here’s Taylor in cat prints:
The first one is from just last week and the shirt hasn’t been identified yet, the middle one is French Connection and from about a year ago, and the last one is from early 2012 and she’s wearing ASOS. I just love the middle one though, with the pearls and the maroon pants. It’s so classy. The first one is just adorable for a workout outfit, and the last one is the inspiration for one of my favorite personal Winter looks. If you know me in the real world, you’ll remember the outfit.
And I try to wear cats often too:
I know. I went and bought that same shirt? Yes, I know. I wasn’t going to, I had a thing against crop tops but then I ran into it at the mall and they just so happened to have my size, so I tried it on and it looked good and my mom liked it so much she was willing to pay for it. I mean this isn’t the only time this has happened, so obviously the fact that it was a Taylor piece helped convince me. So that’s the story of how that came to be in my possession. It’s Forever 21, by the way. They have an extensive collection of cat items at extremely wonderful prices. Same goes for H&M.
The cat shoes. I made these Charlotte Olympia knock-offs over a year ago and they’ve already been repaired once because of how often I wear them. In my defense, I wanted these before Taylor wore them. But yeah, it wasn’t until after that I went and bought the materials and really decided I would make them. I promise I don’t base all my decisions based on her. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I’m an artist after all. I have to make my own choices a lot.
The main point of this is that cat clothes can be quite versatile, with prints ranging from large and flamboyant, like the Chloe dress, to small and barely noticeable like the Free People Cat Ring. And the thing about cat prints is that they happen to be the most fantastic conversation starters. You have no idea how many people I’ve met because they told me they liked my cat shoes. And I might as well mention that I’m currently working on a project that features none other than a cat print. I’m so excited to show you all!
Thanks for reading this extremely long post!
This time around tomorrow, I will have been in Nashville for just about 3 hours. Wait, I’m going to Nashville? Yeah, I am. If you’re wondering what the cause, I’ll tell you. In all sincerity, I planned the entire trip in exactly three weeks and then time flew and somehow tomorrow is finally the day. I don’t know if you know this, but going to Nashville has been at the very top of my bucket list, right under “Meet Taylor” for six years, when I first crafted my bucket list. Of course things got crossed off, but there was always that one bullet point at the top that I couldn’t cross off. A good friend of mine encouraged me to save money for this in July. I told her it would be impossible for me to save up enough money for the trip, it’s not like I’ve ever been able to keep from spending it all on beautiful dresses and music.
Then I had a particularly good month of sales and I found myself with the required money for the trip plus extra. It still didn’t cross my mind. It wasn’t until after a reckless shopping spree in Vegas and losing two that I came to the realization that I needed to fix my habits and make something better of myself. I’ve been doing that a bit. I’ve been studying more than I’m used to, for example, and I’ve come to include pilates in my daily schedule. There was one thing though that I needed for myself, or rather two. I needed goals to work toward.
I remembered my New Years goal, of course, the one that I sort of never expect to complete but still sort of make a point to complete. I don’t even know if I should tell you, it’s sort of ridiculous. I made it a goal to go to five major concerts this year, ideally all with different people and it couldn’t just be any random show, I needed it to be something I would want to go to. It goes along with the “take risks” goal that I set last year. So far I’ve attended four concerts, all with different people, and in three days I will attend my fifth, by myself but that’s a whole new thing so I’ll consider the goal done. Not that I wouldn’t consider going to another show if the opportunity presented itself.
(remember when I told you about the Banksy piece in Park City the other day?)
The second goal was a different one, not one of my New Years goals. I wanted to do something for myself. I remembered the conversation I had with that friend in July and it was September, after all, the month the trip was supposed to take place. It was an impromptu decision, entirely. It wasn’t even until after I had planned the trip that I took another look at my bucket list and saw that I also had “plan a last-minute serendipitous trip” on it. And I did. This trip is going to let me cross a few things off it, actually. And I’m really proud of myself for having saved enough money for this, and for being able to say that I am doing something that I have dreamed about since I was 11 years old.
Maybe you don’t understand, or maybe you do. The thing is, this trip is going to allow me to see if I really want to go to a school there or if I’d rather go elsewhere, and it’s a nice break right after midterm. And I’ll be meeting some dear friends that I love while I’m there for the very first time, and there’s one friend whose letting me stay in her dorm, which means so much to me. I don’t know what Nashville will be like. I’ve heard about it, I’ve seen it on tv and on here and I have friends there, but the truth of the matter is that I won’t really know until I am there. It’s thrilling. It’s so exciting to think that I’m going to a place that I’ve never been to and I’m free to do whatever I feel like doing for those four days.
Who knows, I might be living there next Autumn.
the pictures are from my August 22nd trip to Park City, Utah.
Three weeks ago, on a Thursday, I had what I still consider to be one of the best afternoons I’ve had in a long time. I had just arrived from school when I was greeted with the news that my family would be taking a quick afternoon trip to Park City, and I could come if I wanted to. I figured it’s not every day I get to go and it’s not like I had a large load for homework anyway. It was, in fact, the first week of school and we all know how that goes. So we went and I brought the camera, just in case.
Now, Park City is just about the most adorable, quaint little town. I try to go there at least once a month, just because of how relaxing it is, and how beautiful. Except with all the shop issues going on, sewing projects, college applications, and assignments I hadn’t had a chance to visit in well over a few months.
The streets were practically empty but the weather was perfect. Just a tiny bit chilly, but it was such a wonderful contrast to the hot weather here in Orem. There were flowers everywhere too, which I found lovely. Anyway, so between two boutiques there’s a space with a tiny stage and a few statues, along with this brick wall of course. We stopped there for a mini photoshoot.
Actually, we stopped in front of this white picket fence first. The one right in front of the perpetual Christmas store, I believe, and so many people passed by us in that brief moment that I just had to ask my sister to find a better spot. And we did, of course.
After the pictures, we went to Dolly’s Bookstore, where I got a piece of fudge and then I sat there with one of the cats for a while. Then we went into more boutiques and I just has the loveliest, most relaxing time laughing with my sister. I felt younger and like I had all the time in the world to explore.
After walking through Main Street twice and running into another feline, I suggested we go to Canyons, not because it’s really interesting in the summer, it’s not, but because I wanted to be able to relive a fond memory and tell the story. It was still beautiful in the summer, and still chilly. I walked to all the places I had seen in December and it just felt so good to be back. It’s always like that when you’ve got a fond memory associated with a place. It’s like memories and songs, you just begin to adore them after some time has passed.
On our way home, it started pouring. Just flat out pouring, so hard and I loved it. I’ve always loved rain, you know that. Monica had been wishing for a storm and that was her last night at our house, so the whole thing was amazing. I put on my favorite record on the drive home and the entire way we sang and danced in our seats. It was wonderful. Man, I wish it was August 22nd again.
Dress: Forever 21 / Bag: gift / Boots: Steve Madden at Nordstrom
I promise I’m not slacking. August came around and I got very busy, then summer came to an end and my life got even more complicated. As a matter of fact, I find myself spending all of my time studying and working, with an hour or two to run my other blog, the Taylor one. I can’t take that out of my life, you know how much it means to me. I feel bad this one only gets updated once every week or two, because I mean this is also important and maybe you want to know what I do. I actually have a few photo shoots I’ve been meaning to share with you and embarrassing as this sounds, I’ve had these pictures sitting on my desktop since July, half of them edited, and the other half ready to go. That doesn’t count the last two photoshoots, which are just style ones.
This here is my tribal shirt. I didn’t screen print it, boy do I wish I had those skills. I want to learn, but I’ll save it for when I don’t have to be worrying about the ACT, the SAT, and the college applications that are half filled out and waited to be sent in. I need to be better about organization.
I have a thing for sleeveless tops. I adore them. I own at least twice as many of these than short-sleeved ones and probably four times as many as long-sleeved ones. This one in particular I got at the BP. Fashion Board event at the Nordstrom in Fashion Place, where I’m a member of the board. It wasn’t ripped when I got it, that’s where the DIY part comes in.
The lovely Michelle Money did this for me. I just told her where I wanted it shredded and she took an X-Acto knife to it. Then I proceeded to wear it like fifty times since, especially with my navy maxi skirt that I made and my Tenasee boots. It looks so prarie-esque.
I sort of want to do this with my concert shirts now, but I mean I don’t know if that would be good since they’re a part of my collection, you know. It just makes me wonder how I’d feel about it in twenty years. Oh well, for now I love my shredded tribal tank.
And I promise I’ll find some time to show you the new photo shoots and discuss my future plans. The store is currently closed, if you didn’t already notice. I’m working on something big for the re-opening and I’m also focusing on re-stocking and the like. I’m nowhere near done and at the rate I’m going it might be another month or two, but you’ll hear about it. I’m taking custom orders now via my ask box and my Etsy message inbox and email, of course (that’s firstname.lastname@example.org). You just let me know if you need one and I’ll get it to you asap. I realize it’s kind of an inconvenient time to close the shop since the tour is just about over, so that’s why I’m still taking orders.
In February, I believe, as I was searching for the subject for this painting, I asked the lovely Kristina if I could paint her cat, Gatsby. I mean I hadn’t talked to Kristina in over a year so I felt a little unsure asking her but I had seen far too many handsome pictures of her cat and it just had to be done. Who can resist a Scottish Fold anyway? I decided against using him as the subject of that painting and opted for something a little more personal, as I told you earlier but I did keep Gatsby in mind.
During the course of a particularly rough week this summer I began sketching Gatsby as a means of escaping. I would just sit in my room sketching and listening to overly emotional music. On occasion, crying even and eventually, the picture was finished and I didn’t even notice I was getting so much done. That’s how it always is. I think drawings are like rooms, you just delve into them and start exploring the paper with a pencil, you learn all the nooks and crannies, you explore the “walls” or lines, if you will, and you get to know them so well. Then you’re finished and it’s like you can’t go back into that room but you love it because it provided so much comfort.
I feel like I’ve improved in my drawing skills. I mean look at this old thing and then look at this new sketch. I just subconsciously improved, with practice of course. I know I’ll be better in a year, probably laughing at this sketch or some other one from a month ago. Right now, I’ll just be proud. This sketch will soon be with Kristina, as I’m sending it to her as a gift for letting me draw Gatsby. He’s beautiful, I was lucky to be able to draw such a cat.
It’s kind of a hard to part with my art, but lately I’m getting better at it. For example, I think I’m going to donate some of the clothing I made for myself a few years back. They’re just not my style anymore and I shouldn’t be hoarding them in the hopes that I’ll change my mind one day. It’s a bit obsessive, I think. I’m improving. If Kristina’s reading this, I just want to say that I’m honored that you would even want to have my drawing hanging up on your wall. That’s huge for me, thank you. I can’t wait to send it to you. And for all you technical people, the medium is just pencil (2H and HB mostly).
Also, this was the picture I based the sketch off of: It’s Kristina’s, obviously.
Thanks for reading! Have a lovely evening/morning.
I think I need to make another tart and this time worry a little more about the presentation in the pictures. Honestly, I had this whole post planned out and then I went to look at my tart pictures and saying they’re atrocious is an understatement. They may have taken the title of the worst pictures of food I’ve ever taken. So another tart is in order, just as soon as I can go buy more suitable fruits.