Friday, September 28, 2012

Film Flick Friday: It Happened One Night

Looking back on it today, it seems baffling to even consider, but the award-studded film It Happened One Night
almost didn't happen at all. Frank Capra directed this romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. However, neither star particularly wanted to be there. Gable was on loan from MGM, and in a part that was a far cry from his usual dashing hero roles. Colbert was only enticed to set by a promise of double her regular salary and getting the entire movie filmed in under four weeks before her vacation was scheduled to start. A tall order to fill, but film history will always be grateful.

The film's short production time was made possible in part due to the fact it was a "road trip" film. There were very few sets to build and even less costumes to make. Despite initial objections about the film, Colbert and Gable formed a warm relationship that shows on the screen, and Gable himself ended up having a ball with the part and with Capra. Still, fun or no fun, the film's sucess was so surprising, that Colbert had to be summoned from a train station in order to recieve her Best Actress Award. She had been so convinced that she would not win she had not even bothered attending the ceremony. Her speech was delievered in a travel suit, and consisted of only a succint 'thank you.' However, after she walked off the stage, she turned right back around to add a specific thank you to Frank Capra, saying he had made her winning possible. It Happened One Night went on that year to win not only Best Actress, but Best Actor, Director, Screenplay, and Film. In the Academy's history only two other films have ever achieved such honors of getting a "Grand Slam" like that. And the awards didn't stop at the red carpet either! It also took home title of "Best Picture of 1934" from the National Board of Review, has a place of honor on the American Film Institute's Top 100 Films (at number thirty five), and held the record for most showings of a picture for many years.

A fore-runner to true screwball comedies, it is easy to see why audiences fell in love. An heiress (Claudette Colbert) just wants freedom; her over-protective father just wants her away from her golddigger of a husband. When she jumps off a boat- and away from her bodyguards,-all eyes are out for the young lady. Can she get to New York without getting caught? Maybe- with a little help from down-and-out newpaperman, Peter Warren (Clark Gable). In exchange for an exculsive story, he agrees to get her back into the arms of her new husband. But while on the road to New York, they might- just maybe- be on the path to falling love.

Clark Gable is at his most charming, showing off a side we rarely see on the silver screen. He's funny, practical, occasionally bitter and yet still kind. Meanwhile, Colbert's character walks that thin line between truly spoiled and delightfully dazzling. The comedic timing of the show creates wonderful pacing, held in check by not just the leads, but also side characters like the oily Mr. Shapeley ("Shapeley see- cause that's how I like 'em!").

It is also a surprsingly racey film for the time. Gable takes off his shirt, revealing no undershirt beneath (a movie moment that sank an entire industry as undershirt sales took a sharp decline after the film's release), and Colbert stops a car by showing off her leg (she almost refused to film the scene at all, till she became insulted by Capra's suggestion of a body double). But, while it remains adorably PG with the "walls of Jericho" in place, the sexual tension remains high by those very same walls. It doesn't need the racy flashes so common in later decades. Somehow, the idea that some "walls" might come tumbling down, fuels enough sexual tenssion to keep us intrigued. And even if the lighting is sometimes spotty and even if there is an occasionally tendency to give a soft blur to scenes, it is an excellent film.

The only real complaint I had was the ending never saw the two stars physically on screen, but on screen or off, they- and the entire film- delights from beginning to end.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What I Wore: Saving Time in a Bottle


What I Wore: Blazer (H&M, old), Tank (Forever 21), Jeans (GAP), Mocassins (Minnetonka via Famous Footwear), Bowler (The Hat Shop in Seattle, WA), Necklace (gift)

Its hard to believe that September is almost through, but its true. Look- its even cold in the mornings (so cold I would never have believed how hot it could get later); I was freezing in these! Lucky my blazer was warm.

Settling into the New Normal as far as job/routines go, but sometimes my days seem to slip by just like this month did. I know I was busy (I always feel busy now), but then someone asks with what, and I'm not sure what to say. Ha, probably more time than I want to admit was spent on this blog! But seriously...where did all the time go? No sense in wondering, I suppose. Just gotta troop on.

Still, can't help thinking If I could save time in a bottle- I would spend it with you. Jim Croece, you never spoke truer words. Yeah, you all know who I'm writing to (Hint: I'm writing to all of you).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

15 Things to Put in a Care Package (14th Edition)

You can purchase this necklace from: etsy seller Jeweledfaith

  1. Mini etch-a-sketch
  2. modelling clay
  3. foxtail ball
  4. magnetic poetry
  5. Where’s Waldo-like images
  6. Handmade rug
  7. Hangers
  8. Minute Mystery (Hint: You can see some 5 minute mysteries here)
  9. Glow Sticks
  10. Confetti Egg
  11. sandals  
  12. Rabbit’s foot (or other lucky charms!)
  13. individual cereal packets
  14. Letter Opener
  15. massage oil (bonus: put it in a box with instructions for the recipient to open it with their significant other)

Want more care package ideas? Check out some of these other care package lists

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What I Wore: To Our Autumn Picnic

AutumnPicnic2CollagePicnic-17Picnic-4AutumnPinic3CollageAutumPicnic1 CollagePicnic-9

What I Wore: moccasins (Minnetonka), shorts (old), flannel shirt (Target), sweater (Old Navy), necklace (Old)

This weekend marked the official start of Autumn. Though the temperatures are still hovering in the eighties, sure enough, you can already see the changes: Sudden bursts of color in a row of otherwise green trees, a chill in the air most mornings, and even a few leaves scattered on the ground. And though I didn't get everything I wanted to do this summer done, this new season is full of exciting possibilities for new adventures too.

One such adventure was an "Autumn Picnic" to enjoy the last of the good weather and see some more color changes (its very dessert-like right by our town; its brown 365 days a year). We picked up some good eats at local stores in Red Lodge. If anyone's interested, we had: a baguette, some fancy French cheese to spread on the bread, grapes, apples, and beer. There were also hot drinks and biscotti, but we  saved those for later. I even brought out my Polaroid, and the The Boy was coaxed out from behind the camera (I make no apologize if we seem disgustingly lovey-dovey. That's real life, man). The fresh mountains air- along with my looped braids and new Minnetonka shoes- made for the most relaxing weekend we've had in quite a while.

A good welcome to you, Autumn. Happy to see you too.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hair How-to: Looped Braids

Please tell me I'm not the only blogger who was a huge American Girls fan when she was young? Anyone else remember those historical fiction books about plucky, brave and smart young girls from  different times in American history?

I even had my own American Girl Doll (and to emphasize how old I am, they only sold four dolls at the time. Now they sell fifty-zillion. And I know because, despite it being almost two decades since I bought anything from them, they still send me a catalogue now and then). Her name was Kirsten Larson and she just fascinated me. Her own story and my ancestors' matched pretty closely. Heck, Kirsten and my grandparents even shared the same name. Plus, Kirsten had the coolest hair. 

And if you don't have the slightest idea who Kirsten Larson is- Well, first, I'm sorry. That's too bad; they were good kids' books. Second, don't sweat it. Think Heidi of the Alps instead, because today, we're going to show you how make looped braids.

Looped Braids Instructions

1) Divide Hair

Brush your hair and part it in the middle. Divide it into two sections along the part. 


Take a section and braid, starting with hair right behind the ear.

3)Tie Braid

Tie off the braid

4) Repeat on other side

Take the other section. Braid it. Tie off the braid. Your hair is now in two braided pigtails.

5) Take one braid...and make a loop

Take the end of a braid and pull the braid end around, hiding it behind the base of your braid. It should make a loop shape. The loops can either be paralell to your head, so you only see the side of teh loop. This looks a little like Princess Liea's famous hair-do. The other way to make the loop is so the loop is perpendicular to your face. Looking at yourself in the mirror you can see the 'O' of the loop. Play with your loops till you like how they look.

6)Pin it. Repeat on other side

Pin the loop in place. Make and pin a loop using your other braid. Remember to make sure each loop hangs about as low is the other one for a symmetrical look.

There you go. Find yourself some Alps, Hiedi. You are now certified to be yodelling (or doing anything else) along with the best of them.

P.S. Check out these other hairstyle tutorials

Friday, September 21, 2012

What I Wore: Borrowed From the Boys

Borrowed from the Boys CollageBorrowed from the BoysBorrowed from the Boys CollageBorrowed from the Boys

What I Wore: Shirt and Bracelet (New York and Company), Tie (Calvin Klein via Men's Warehouse), Suspenders (Walmart; old), pants (59th Street via, Shoes (Madden via Famous Footwear), Hat (Thrifted via Red Light)

This week's Style Challenge  over on Twitter is "Borrowed from the Boys." And, okay, so the only thing actually borrowed from The Boy was this absolutely gorgeous Calvin Klein tie (yes, the math isn't hard to do. You're already realizing that means....the suspenders are mine. Why does she have suspenders, you wonder.  Good question. So good even I don't know.)

Still, you know my love for Annie Hall, and dressing like her. The temptation was just too hard to resist. And why bother resisting when you're turning every head in the room- sure, it was a grocery store. (Are you telling me you don't regularly shop for milk in your highest heels? I'm positive that mom telling her kid not to stare totally meant it as a compliment.) I'm definitely wearing this combo again- just maybe not down the produce section.

Join us for this week's- and other weeks'- Style Challenge; check it all out on Twitter too with the hashtag #StyleChallenge.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Film Flick: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

As the movie starts rolling, and fades from black, a familiar studio logo appears on the screen. But no trumpets accompany the Fox icon, as is usual. Instead, Bernard Herrmann's gorgeous overture swells, plunging one into the emotive moods of the film, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. The movie soundtrack he considered his personal best, Herrmann's music is romantic, and expressive, always buoying the scene but never becoming too flashy or distracting from the love story playing out on the screen. 

Against her controlling in-laws' wishes, widow Lucy Muir is determined to take her child and maid to live independently on their own. Questioning why the rent is low on their new home may seem like looking a gift horse in the mouth, but Lucy Muir may have gotten more than she bargained for; the house is haunted. Indomitable, Mrs. Muir makes peace with the ghost, the former Captain Daniel Gregg. They become friends, and, when money runs low, they become something more- partners. Lucy ghostwrites the story of the sea captain's life to save their home. They may even be something more than friends and something more than partners, but when a living man comes into Lucy's life, Captain Gregg must question what that means for his place in their cottage by the sea. 

The premise of this film sounds like something along the lines of 1960 sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie or Bewitched, but- though comedic moments are most definitely there- this story transcends the limits of genres like horror, or comedy or even romance. It shifts from one genre to the other in an fluid way, finally becoming a story that remarks the nature of accomplishment, independence, and making oneself happy. Gene Tierney, made famous for her femme fatale role as the title character in Laura, plays  a warmer, more loving character here- Lucy Muir (playfully christened "Luchezia" by the Captain). Fiercely independent, intelligent and practical, Mrs.Muir navigates the sometimes lonely path of independence with remarkable aplomb. Meanwhile, Rex Harrison's deep voice is perfectly suited to the role of the very admirable sea captain, and Miles Fairley rounds out the love triangle as the smooth talking fellow author. Unlike other, more modern love stories between the dead and the living, this story doesn't play up the gothic aspects, nor does anyone come back from the dead. But what I love most about this film is that it is an unconventional love story not just in the sense that the characters are unusual, but in what it says about women, and the underlying message that while love and connection with others is important, love is not all-defining nor even necessary for a happy life. Becoming yourself is what matters, and making memories worth having. 

Speaking of memories worth having, watching this movie will be a memory in the making. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What I Wore: To Bearcreek

Bearcreek OutfitBearcreek2CollageBearcreek OutfitBearcreekCollage1

What I Wore: Skirt and Blazer ( Cat World), Shoes (Famous Footwear), Cami (GAP). Necklaces (Various Etsy sellers)

You know those towns people sing about in country songs? The ones dying a slow death as everybody moves away? Yeah, well, welcome to Bearcreek. This little town is famous for its Pig Races and the worst mining accident in Montana's history. Now I've yet to go to the races, and the mines are all blocked off now, but something about the passing of a town fascinates me. You can't be too sad because people are going off to more vibrant, alive places with more going on, but a bit of history is locked up untold in places abandoned like this store is.

This outfit is made entirely of old standbys I've had longer than I've had the blog (not that that is too long mind, but...) Having things that mix with everything is so nice and all of these have been paired with just about everything you can think of, but they work together as an ensemble too. Plus, red shoes never fail to make me feel like going to Oz a la Miss Dorothy Gale of Kansas!

I'm still getting used to the routine (or lack of routine?) this new adventure in substitute teaching is. On days I don't work, I'm trying to get a schedule into place. Gotta keep motivated and going. What are your little tricks for keeping on top of everything?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hair How-to: The Five-Strand Braid

Five Strands!

Sounds like a lot right? This week's hair how-to looks intriguing, interesting...and hard. But I'm going to let you in on a secret- it isn't. If you can do a plain-jane three strand braid, you can do this five strand one too. Because this five strand braid is basically two regular braids that share the middle strand.

All that's required to do this hair-do is a brush and a hair-tie; then you're set to get a braid that's great for looking cute even when at the library or out on a hike- or, heck, any old place!
5 Strand Braid Instructions

1. Brush hair to side

.... or to the back, or to wherever you want the braid to be. I like to put this braid to the side because it looks cool and, for your first time trying the look, it might be easier for your hands to reach and/or for you to see in a mirror, if need be, when the braid is on the side.  (Speaking of mirrors- this sounds counter-intuitive, but, I have an easier time making this braid by feel alone, rather than by looking in the mirror. Something to try if you, maybe!)

2. Make 5 strands

Once your hair is all smoothly over to the side, make five strands. I find it works best for me to divide my hair into two first, with one section a little bigger than the other. I can then divide the smaller section again (creating two strands), and the larger one can make three strands. You will need to hold two strands in one hand and three in the other, for now. 

3.  Twist one edge strand over the other

Before you start braid, I going to suggest you look at the (poorly done) color-coded drawing I did of the braid pattern. The five strand braid is basically two regular braids. Which ever strand is in the middle at the time ends up being used in BOTH of the two smaller braids, but basically it is like two three-strand braids. 

That said, to do this- pick a side, it doesn't matter which one. Twist the outside strand over the strand next to it. (You will have 2 strands in one hand and three in the other)

4. Use the middle strand to make a braid

Take the strand that is currently in the middle and use it with the two strands you just twisted to make a regular, three-strand braid.  (three strands are making a regular braid, two strands are in your other hand)

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 with the other strands

Using the two strands in your other hand, you will twist the strand on the outside over the strand on the inside (just like in step 3). Next you will take whichever strand is currently in the middle of all five of the strands and use it to make a 3-strand braid with the two strands you JUST twisted. And yes, that middle strand will be part of the other braid as well. (Now you know why I said it works best to do this by feel, rather than looking in the mirror). 

6. Continue steps 3-5

You have just done the basic braid pattern for the five-strand braid. Continue it as far down your hair as you want it. You can do it! 

7. Tie Braid

When you've got the braid as long as you want it, tie it off!

8. Rub to widen

This is an optional step, but to really show off the intricacy of this braid, gently rubbing the braid will result in a widening and flattening of the braid. As you get more practiced with this braid you can even rub/widen the braid as you go, which can look a touch neater than if you wait till the end. 

9. Pull strand loose

This is also an optional step, but I like to pull loose a smal strand of hair near my face for a softer, more casual look. 

There you go; you are now prepared to to have your masterful, braiding fingers dubbed the nimblest in the land! You have a hair-do that's versatile and ready to be worn anywhere! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I Wore: For the Rugged Road


What I Wore: Sweater (FF21; old), skirt (Zara;old), Belt (Ruche), pearl necklace (Local seller), Golden Necklace (Stitched and Adorned), Hat (thrifted from the Red Light in Portland), red shoes (Famous Footwear)

These photos are a metaphor. Well, they are photos too (Thank you, Boy for taking them!), but also a metaphor, and though I realize that it is Thursday and maybe its late in the week for deep thoughts when all you're really waiting for is Friday- But.

At the time of shooting them, we were just hoping something came out. The light wasn't working out, everything was a far steeper climb than it had looked from the road and these small, prickly cacti were hidden everywhere. I only got stuck once, but poor Max the Dog could hardly move. At least he learned quickly- he got stuck with a needle in the paw, and then wanted nowhere near the things....which was hard since they were everywhere (his solution was to step literally on our feet whenever possible!) But the results ended up being some of my favorite shots in a while. A very autumn-adventure for September.

I'm going to remember this now that I've Quit My Day Job and am doing the far less regular work of Substitute teaching.

Happy Thursday to you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Please, Mr. Postman

New Stationary Collage

My new stationary arrived the other day, and I am so excited to be sending out some letters! (Can you guess what I'm a big fan of?)

And actually, one of the goals on my Day Zero List, is to send 30 letters in 30 days. Call me, crazy, but its true. The things is, even sending multiple letters to my lovely far-away friends... 30 is a big number.

But then, there's all you lovely people too. So, if you would like a letter (on this stationary, or maybe a spiral letter,  a mirror letter, a puzzle letter, or something entirely new!), leave a comment below with an email address. I'll contact you and get a mailing address. Pen-pals* are so fun!

*Though getting letters is always fun too, (and I'd not say no to that!) this is not an obligation to write back or become a penpal. Just to receive a letter. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I Wore: Waking with the Sun


What I Wore: Shirt (Questhaven Fashions), Jean Shorts (Old), Belt (vintage), Necklace (etsy)

Reading on Independent Fashion Bloggers the other day, I happened to stumble onto this article about the Benefits of Blogging Locally. This year is probably the first I knew when Fashion Week even was; not because its not important but because geography plays more of a role in our lives than we like to admit. The same day models stomped down runways in New York, I was listening to a sermon about how great it is to be a cowboy (I'm not a cowboy.) I'd definitely recommend the article, even if you don't blog. It helps one to appreciate that lots is happening around them. As a blogger however, it definitely got me to thinking. 

Our Saturday started with a dawn drive out to the reservoir for these pictures, followed by a drive through mountains to stop at a little bakery for doughnuts. This was a place where regulars kept their own mugs hanging on the walls with their names underneath. 

Wyoming barely even cracks half a million as a state; small enough so that three, and four and five (Um, generally wages are adjusted for cost of living) on this list are probably not possible for me (though, if there are any style bloggers in Wyoming or eastern Montana, let me know!). But Backgrounds? I think we can do. 

That we definitely can. 

Blogging has lots of benefits. The net is full of great people, but this has been one of the most unexpected and delightful side effects- rediscovering the beauty of where I am right now, the adventure of it, and a great person to share the adventure with (not to mention all you people following along!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Reivew: How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Well, you all know me, and so you all know I love old movies. I don't get to the movie theatre often and couldn't tell you half of the actors names in any given film I did watch there, let alone what the latest gossip on them was....but a film half a century or older? Um, yeah. I'd be able to tell you quite a bit.

So, when The Boy and I were first starting to go out, he did the sweetest thing- he threw a surprise party to watch my favorite film, Casablanca, out of doors. Things didn't go quite to plan weather-wise, and ended up inside. Still, throughout the fall we set up several movies in the park, and several people might show up. Over time we started thinking things could be prettier, tastier and over all DIY-er (do-it-yourself-er? More do it yourself-ish? I don't know. You decide). Our movie nights became a regular event.

Movie Invite Collage

Knowing all this- can you guess what happened this weekend? We held an Outdoor Movie Party. And you know what? It was pretty cool. This might seem like more of a summer thing, but fall is the perfect time to have an Outdoor Movie Party. It gets dark at a more reasonable time, people are less likely to be away travelling, and any cooler weather just means more fun snuggling under blankets. It's not hard to hold such a party either!

The previous year we had had a problem where people got excited by the idea of a movie in the park, but failed to show up for one. So, to make things a bit more special, The Boy suggested personalized invites. I came up with the idea of a film reel and he did the rest.  Whether it resulted in more attendees or not, is anybody's guess but, he did a pretty bang up job.

Movie DetailsCollage
Instead of in a park, we chose to have the party at his home. This allowed us to have drinks in glass contianers and alcohol (both of which local ordinances prohibit in public parks). His fence also provided a larger structure to secure a screen to in case of wind, and we could be ensured it was a private screening, in accordance with copyright.

The Boy has a job that uses a film screen and projector regularly, so we borrowed some things. We used a  DLP Projector and 100 inch Portable Screen with a computer or Playstation 2 to play DVDs. However, it is not hard to make your own screen, an option we've considered. You can look here for more information on that!

The food, drinks and decorations were my main contributions. The banners seen above and below were made using fabric paint, and were inspired by these posts by the  blog The House that Lars Built. The one above was to help guests identify the right house! Our movie started at eight, well past the time most people have dinner around here, so we stuck with pretty basic movie food fare. "Old fashioned" candy came from the Montana Candy Emporium in Red Lodge and included lemon heads, taffy, squirrel nut zippers, candy coins and more. For drinks we may have gotten a bit too much, but figured it was better safe than sorry. A variety of local(ish) microbrews ranged from dark to light for those over twenty-one, but we also had Jones Soda and Root Beer (chosen because they are non-caffeinated for any allergies or religious prohibitions) as well as water. The decorations on the table were also things we had around, mainly things people had given me over the years.
  Movie FoodCollage

The popcorn maker seen above had been generously donated, and, since it was wheeled, sat up on the deck.  Don't think you need anything so fancy though! It is just as fun to make stove-top popcorn before the show starts. We also added another vignette with a movie poster (Casablanca-the first movie we showed as at a party) on top of wooden filing cabinets, and some of my movie books. You can see people could read up on the night's movie in one book (the movie was The Ghost and Mrs. Muir).

Off to the side of the table were extra chairs, blankets and pillows. It's always good to have at least a few of all these things. People forget their own, or underestimate what the weather will be, and, since some knees are not as young as others, both blankets and chairs are great to have on hand.
MovieParty Collage

We had a friend pick the movie- both because it is fun to have a movie you yourself haven't seen, and because you'll know the movie will be one the guests will like. Though this all might look like a lot, it took about a half hour to set up and to take down- very easy. We were able to enjoy all the guests and the film (I'd now highly recommend The Ghost and Mrs. Muir!)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hair How-To: Bardot "Choucroute" Hair

I am so excited to introduce to you a new series of posts: Hair How-to's! There are a lot of great hair how-to posts out there already, so I'll try to keep from beating a dead horse and stick to hair-dos that you either see me sporting around on the blog a lot or hair-dos that others haven't already done a ton yet.

This week's hair is inspired by that 60's  French icon, Brigitte Bardot and her "Choucroute" hair style.  Meant to be messy (it got its name of choucroute hair because people felt it looks like cabbage piled high on a plate) and sexy, this hairdo is incredible easy to do. All you need is about fifteen minutes, a brush or comb and  a few bobby pins. 

Bardot Hair Instructions

1. Divide hair

Start right above your ear and move horizontally around your head till you get to the other ear. Your hair is now divided into a top section and a botom section. You will divide the top section again, this time into two section. These are divided so the part runs parallel to the one you just made. You should now have a bottom section, a middel section and a front section. Pin or twist the front section out of the way for now. You will be working with the middle section for this next step.

2. Curl round finger

Take the middle section and pull hair taunt and forward above your forehead. Then take two your first two fingers and wrap the end of the hair over and then around them to form a roll. Once you have the roll you may take your fingers out.

3. Bring roll to crown

Continue to roll the hair around and around, bringing the roll to the crown of your head. Remember where the roll sits on your head will be how high the hair is in the finished look. You may want to adjust your roll so it sits higher or lower on your head.

4. Pin hair

When you like where your hair is sitting on your head, pin the roll there. Remember, this will all be covered up by other hair, so it does not need to be pretty, but it does need to be secure! I generally use 2-4 bobby pins; your milage may vary.

5. Divide hair

 Get the top section out so you can work with it. You may need to brush it out so the hair is not all to one side of your head. You are going to divide your hair into three sections- two section on the sides of your head and a larger section in the middle. Leave the side section down for now.

6. Brush out middle section

This is an optional step. It works to make the hair lay more smoothly, and I brushed out mine because it had just been washed that morning and was a bit fly-away. However, Bardot's look is meant to be messy, so it is perfectly acceptable to skip this step!

7. Pull section over roll

Pull the middle section back over the roll, adjusting as needed for any bumps. The roll should be pretty much covered, but if the sides are not, don't worry. You still have your two side sections.

8. Pin Hair

When you like how things look, pin it into place. It may help to twist the hair when you pin it to keep things better in place.

9. Tease the sides

This is also an optional step. Back-brushing will give you more volume. You can use a brush, as I did, or a comb.

10. Pin both sides

Pull the side section back along the side of your head and/or roll. When you like how it looks, pin it in place. Repeat on the other side.

Viola! An easy 60's inspired look!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Film Flick: Sullivan's Travels

"Veronica Lake's on the take!" boasts the iconic poster for thirties-flick Sullivan's Travels. But, though the blodne siren with the peek-a-boo bang does appear on film, that tagline might be a bit of a misnomer. The movie is less about Ms. Lake bumming her way across the heartland and more about the need for a good laugh. Sullivan's Travels is a movie by a comedy director who's trying to make a serious point. It is also about a comedy director who wants to make a serious point. Cue ironic laughter. Sullivan is a sucessful Hollywood director who's built his career on musicals and comedies. Now, he feels that in the face of the Great Depression his movies should reflect the serious and tradgic turn life has taken for many. He wants to capture on film the gritty grandur of the Steinbeck-like book O, Brother Where Art Thou (some of you pop culture know-it-alls might have heard of this title elsewhere when other entertainers have paid homage to this film). His producers are quick to point out that, born of privilege and instantly sucessful as an adult, this young man knows next to nothing about tradegy- but he intends to find out! Sullivan takes off cross-country to get the feel for life as a hobo. He gets in and out of one crazy hi-jinks after another, including a high-speed chase with a kid's race car, two amourous, lonely ladies, and meeting a washed up actress who insists on hanging around. But a surprising twist stops all the fun and games, and instead forces Sullivan to see the truth: when life gets hard, we could all use a little laugh.

Though hailed today as 1930's Comedy King Preston Sturges,' masterpiece, Sullivan's Travels fell flat for me. It could have taken some of its own advise, and remembered everyone wants a laugh over a sermon. Some scenes preach and others give us gags, but rarely is there one doing both, creating a sense of uneven pacing and leaving an unpleasant taste of didactic writing in one's mouth. As a viewer, I also was unimpressed- and occasionally confused by- the montage sequences, which are plentiful in the film.

All this is not to say the movie is without its strong points. A pivotal scene in the movie caused the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Secretary, Walter White, to write to Preston Sturges, and congratulate him for his "dignified and decent treatment of Negroes in this scene." While probably not entirely accurate, I also felt that the film at least attempted to give a three dimensional feel to those in extreme poverty during the Depression. While we met both saints and sinners amongst "the great unwashed" of the film, most people were neither entirely one or the other. In fact, Preston created a script where all, even the smallest parts, felt very fleshed out, as if the story could just as easily have followed the life of the cafe waiter or the movie producer as it could the Hollywood director.

My favorite part of film though was the short blonde "on the take." The studio came up with the tagline to side-step the sticky issue of explaining what an unmarried, sultry looking woman was doing sleeping next to- and travelling with- a married, but very interested American Male. Whether she's the star or not though, she's certainly the best thing up on the screen! My favorite scene in the movie is Lake's introduction. Many of the characters seem fleshed out, but she seemed real in that scene, with a hard edge and soft acceptance of failure. She's not only beautiful in this scene, but funny too. The beauty comes and goes scene to scene, depending on if she's dressed up as a hobo with her signature hair in her hat, but that humor remains every time she's in front of the camera.

Sadly, as much as we might love her in front of the camera, many of her coworkers hated having her on set. At the time of filming, Lake was six to eight months pregnant. She didn't tell anyone till she had been signed on, fearing they might not cast her due to the physical demands of the role. In the end, only three people were told- the director Sturges, who, on finding out, supposedly had to be restrained from hurting her; his wife; and the costume designer whose task it was to get costumes that disguised this fact! Lake was notoriously hard to work with too, possibly because of some mental illnesses, and co-stars had turned down great roles to avoid working with her again.

Despite my own quibbles with it, Sullivan's Travels cracked the American Film Institute's tenth anniversary edition of their "Top 100 American Films," placing sixty-first. It might even deserve it. I leave that to you to decide. Besides, who wouldn't waste an hour just to see what is behind that peek-a-boo bang?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What I Wore: Wishing


What I Wore: Shirt (bought from Demure Muse), Jean Skirt (Old) and Black Flats (Famous Footwear)

Last weekend, I spent my birthday with The Boy, The Family and friends. Amongst many well-wishings and delicious food, I also got a special gift all the way from across the pond- Wish Magazine! I'm probably the last blogger to have gotten a copy, but it is so pretty! Its a magazine by the women behind the blogs Wishwishwish and Shiny Thoughts.

It has articles about fashion and blogs, stationary and pen-pals- You guys, does it sound like something I might like? Truthfully, I haven't gotten to read it all yet because I Quit My Day Job two weeks ago and, you guessed it, that two week notice is almost up! I've been getting my ducks in a row for what comes next (subbing, and several other projects). Wish Magazine's being saved as perfecting reading for in the tub, or reading outside as I collect myself from the busy-ness of the week! Have any of you gotten a copy of this magazine? What is your favorite article?

Speaking of reading outside- isn't this the cutest place? Sadly, its not mine, but belongs to my friend, Shannon. She has the best decorating style! (though there's no pictures of that since we stayed outside...). Another thing she has is a wooden picnic table! All picnic tables you see nowadays are plastic... more durable but somehow less nostalgic (though, I have to confess that the picnic table in our own yard is plastic). That is one thing I'll miss about summer; evenings spent outside, whether reading or eating or just sitting around a table.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

15 Things to Put in a Care Package (13th Edition)

  1. decorative tin
  2. magnifying glass
  3. pogs
  4. pedometer (You will need to make sure the one you send can be reset, because the box will shake!)
  5. A “Flat Stanley”  (Alternative: Make a “flat” version of your friend and take pictures of it at all the local sights. Maybe you can convince them to visit for real!)
  6. pompoms
  7. Temporary Tattoos
  8. Ribbon Stick
  9. Some Bike Bling (i.e. A bike horn, bike streamers, bike lock, bike basket )
  10. Spiralgraph
  11. Scrapbook supplies
  12. Charms for a charm bracelet
  13. Viewmasters/view finders (You can even make you own reels!)
  14. Old Keys
  15. A Tangram

PS I am just in love with print, aren't you? You can get one of your own at the Etsy shop Restyle Handz

PPS Want more ideas for what to put in a care package? Look at the older care package ideas lists, or see care packages I've sent.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What I Wore: Sunrise on the Water

Newton-10Newton2 CollageNewton-4Newton1 CollageNewton-7

Anyone else excited that sunrise is now late enough it is possible to take outfit shots then? We took advantage and enjoyed Newton Lake.

Of course,  later this year it will get colder and we'll have to be bundled and still be cold even then. And of course, right now it still will get hot each day, far too hot for long sleeves.

Ah, but  for just a few precious hours it is autumn in the air, not summer, not winter, not anything so harsh. There is a crisp note in the air, and, while the hem of this skirt is short, it is the perfect temperature to finally break out my owl sweater. I got it in the Haight District of San Francisco, my lone clothing purchase. From the higher crop-top feel to the peekaboo back to the billowing sleeves, I love this sweater.

Oh, sweater weather. You and I will be good friends this fall, I am sure.
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