Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mail Madness Post: Care Package Peeking

care packages

Included in this Care Package is:


An origami Crane (gold)

origami box (maze hand-drawn on the outside)

Paperdolls (Jane Austen themed)

Two (2) Cinderella quotes

Colored Chalk

An Elephant Joke

Elephant Soap

PDN Magazine

Two (2) Sudoku Puzzles

One (1) Czech Republic Stamp (Mucha Illustration)

Tissue Paper  "Shaggy" Rainbow (prev. seen here)

DVD (It Happened One Night. Original cover had been ruined. Long story.)

For my Disney-loving, elephant-adoring, photographer friend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I Wore: Wilwood Wanderng


What I wore: Shirt: Anthropolige (old), Skirt: H&M, Necklace: borrowed, Shoes: Famous Footwear

Wandering the abandoned houses of the Willwood area is fast becoming a habit with us! But I still enjoy it. Everyone who reads style blogs must have at least a little bit of a voyeur in them; you are peeking into another person's life (though you are very welcome to since that's the point of blogs!). These abandoned places have the same appeal. Who is Judge Tim? Why is his election campaign sign here? A book about getting rich? Is that what happened? The person got so rich, he left this house behind? Or did the opposite happen and they skipped the state, thumbing their noses at the creditors? Probably nothing happens like what the debris ever suggests, but you do wonder.

I love the geometric pattern on geometric pattern created in this outfit between the necklace and the shirt. The shirt is actually my only Antrhopologie purchase ever (from the only time I ever even saw an Anthropologie store, believe it or not! Thank goodness, probably, they are so far away. They are very tempting things!).  its light, flawy feel. I felt almost insubstantial tiptoeing over the left papers in this lighter than air outfit in a flawy skirt, with the smell of rain still in the air, even if the sun was leaking in the window's through shattered glass and broken screens.

Weekend Review: Graduation Weekend


So, this is a day late, but its not like I don't have a good excuse! Fargo is a twelve hour drive from Wyoming, people. Not that I'm complaining, its just a one day drive, but, well, it is an all day drive. And that's where my mom and I headed out to this memorial weekend: Fargo, North Dakota.
We went to see my youngest cousin, Colleen, graduate high school and catch up with relatives. It sure was a blast, but its always good to get home too. Do I really have to get out of bed? (Answer: Yes.)

 First row: Filing Cabinet at a local store, the same store, a dessert from Nicole's
Second Row: My mother and Aunt: sisters reunited,  a cousin, Anna, teaches us to spin, a mailbox
Third Row:  our ride (what? You don't believe me?),  decorations, and The World's Largest Buffalo from Jamestown,
Last Row: Balloons, The new Graduate, and Salem Sue. I think ND makes up for its flat drive by making silly statues....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What I Wore: Classic (with a twist)

Old cars, a shirt with a forties twist.... A lot of things can give you nostalgia. This short of a skirt exactly is not a trip down fashion's memory lane, admittedly. But perfect for a hot summer. Nostalgia with a twist.
Another thing sure to get nostalgia going are graduations. Seems like these things are today's coming of age in many ways. I'm out of the state right now, watching a cousin walk for her diploma. Obviously then, this outfit was from earlier this week, but be assured there will be some fun blog posts in the coming weeks. This trip has got me thinking! In the meantime, congrats to all high school and college graduates; good luck as you enter the next stage of your life!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Film Flick Friday: Gigi

The night after the 1958 Acedamy Awards, Metro Golden Meyers Studio had their receptionists awnswering the phones with a perky, "Hello, M-Gigi-M Studios!" It might have been a little self-congratulority, but who could begrudge them their sucess when the studio's musical Gigi had broken all the records the night before by taking home an unprecedented nine academy awards, every one it had been nominated for, including Best Picture. In the next few years, this record would be both matched and broken. And today Lerner and Leowe's other, earlier movie musical, My Fair Lady, is better remembered, but for that moment, Gigi reigned supreme.

In fact, there are many superficial similarities between Gigi and My Fair Lady. Both are musicals that take place in countries far across the sea from Hollywood, and both are set at the turn of the 20th century. Both are concerned with dark-haired young women finding their place in the world. Several of the songs in Gigi were even originally meant for Miss Dolittle or Higgins! However, where My Fair Lady is all about class distinction and that English stiff upper lip, Gigi is primarily a love story filled with Gaelic charm, and that is what draws audiences back time and time again.

But such charm is not always easy to come by! This production brought together a wide variety talents to meld into this unlikely work that would win such acclaim. The story was based on French writer Collette's short story of the same name, and! though prodcuer Aurthur Freed had gone to pains to get the movie rights, it was a fight to get the script about the courtesan-in-training past the Hays Code. After much battling, it finally got the censors' O-K. Things picked up when Lerner fell in love with the poject. He'd been contracted to make another film for the studio and had finally found the one he wanted to make! His usual partner, Loewe, who wrote the music to Lerner's lyrics, despised Hollywood. However, with the promise that the film would be produced in France, he agreed to come to work. Together on this musical they would create some of their greatest works, including Lerner's favorite lines that he'd ever written ('She's so oh-lala!/ So untrue-la-la/ She is not thinking of me!"). To direct they brought on Vincent Minnelli (the movie would be the biggest money-maker from Minnelli's work for the studio), and to act they have Maruice Chevelier, famed French chanteur, and several other French actors as well. For the title role of Gigi, Audrey Hepburn had been considered, but was unable to commit due to scheduling. Needing to cast their nets a little further abroad from home, attention turned to Leslie Caron who had had her breakout part years earlier in Gene Kelly's An American in Paris. She too had that continental air and a sense of innocence about her, even if she had floundered a bit in the time since that breakout role. She had married and gone to live with her husband in England- Leowe recounted he had been shocked to find she had lost her accent!- but had in fact played that same role of Gigi in the much darker stage version. After a conversation wherein Freed painted her career history as that of a fading star's, Caron agreed. From there, the movie itself was produced and filmed quickly- in less than four months, so fast that in some numbers actors had been forced to mouth the lyrics; the music had not been written yet!

The show opens with Maurice Chavailer's famous number "Thank Heaven for Little Girls." After all, he says, little girls get bigger every day. This is to be the theme of the film, as we watch backwards little Gigi grow into a young woman, and the trouble this transformation brings in a world where there are those "who do not marry (mostly women)" and "those who will not marry (mostly men)."

One of the things I love about this movie is that, though the plot is driven by Gigi's growing

up, it is interesting to note that she is the most static character in the film. She may have polished the edges, learned manners and gotten an evening gown, but Gigi stays true to herself. The drama that unfolds is how those around change because of her. To be a woman, one does not need to change. It is also a very styish film, with lavish sets, on-location scenes, and gorgeous costuming. All this works to give a feeling of luxury and class to an otherwise, admittedly, simple tale.

But, the real reason I- and I assume other viewers too- keep coming back, is the music. While the number "I Don't Understand the Parisians" is a bit of a disappointment, if one boring song is all that we can complain of that is still a record far above par! Maurice Chevalier alone is worth the price of admission! But, in addition to that world-class entertainer, you have the giddy fun of "The Night They Invented Champange," and the hilarious musical monologue "She is Not Thinking of Me," amongst many more.

It may not be as meaty as some movies out there, but this is a delightful French confection as addicting and sweet as sugar, worthy of those golden statues it earned.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mail Madness Post: 15 Things to Send in a Care Package (7th Edition)

  1. Screen cleaning cloth (Good to clean iPads, iPhones, Computers, glasses and camera lens)
  2. Chocolate covered pretzels or cookies
  3. balloons (Bonus: Can be used like packing peanuts!)
  4. a belt rack
  5. Madlibs
  6. slippers
  7. Tote Bag
  8. Beach Towel
  9. a Slinky
  10. Camera Strap Cover
  11. Handmade electronic device cover
  12. Art Surprise
  13. gel eye mask
  14. decorative basket
  15. Hula Girl or other dashboard decoration
Looking for more ideas? Check out my other Care Package Lists.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What I Wore: In-Vested in It

Vest-4 Vest-6 Vest-5 Vest-3 I like this outfit because it dares to be a little daring (might as well go all out with the puns right?). The doubly low backs of the shirt and vest are balanced by a collared front and long pants. The hat makes it all a little fun, funky and laid back, to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Review: Hanging the Moon and Stars

VEnure Theatre: The Next RoomVintage ShoppingCurlers
EclipseFifties DanceAmos- fifties Man

Okay, so maybe The Boy doesn't literally hang the moon and stars. But he did take a picture of them. And he did learn to Fox Trot with only a half hour and youtube coming to his aid, so... that's even better, right?

We spent the night (and morning) on the town this weekend! The Yellowstone Ballroom Club's Nineteen Fifties Dance was in full swing (ha-ha, get it?). The last dance they held, we weren't too impressed, but this one was better. More people, more music we could dance to, more dressing up. What's not to like?  My fifties look fell about as flat as my curls did, but with a TON of gel, we found out a men's Fifties Hair-do is not too hard to achieve.

We also checked out Montana Vintage, and took in a show at the Venture Theatre. The Next Room: Or The Vibrator Play's last show was a smash. The story is well-written, and loosely based on Dr. Joseph Granville's invention and patent on vibrators to be used as treatment for hysteria in the 1880s, though the names and resulting story are fiction. The need for intimacy and love-physically, mentally and intellectually-are all juxtaposed in this taunt, and sparse play. Very fun way to end the trip.

Last, but not least, we were, of course, checking out the eclipse. Anyone else see it?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Film Flick Friday: Pat and Mike

The seventh of nine films Kathrine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy made together, Pat and Mike might not live up to the prestige of some of their earlier collaborations, such as Adam’s Rib or Woman of the Year. It was however, Kathrine Hepburn’s favorite, and what it lacks in finesse of storytelling, it makes up for with comic gold. Reviewing the film on its first release in 1952, Bosley Crowther described Pat and Mike as “a shaky combination of, let us say, "Woman of the Year" and (if you can imagine without music) the theatrical "Guys and Dolls." Its a pretty accurate description of the movie’s tone.

When gifted woman athlete Pat Pemberton, played by the lovely, if aging, Kathrine Hepburn, gets up to perform in front of her fiance, she just seems to fizzle out. Frustrated at herself, and feeling she needs to be something more than what she is now, she takes on pro sports. Mike Conovan, played by Spencer Tracy, is the slightly shady, none-too-refined manager she finds to take her on. Despite his domineering attitude and history of cooking the gambling books, her own insecurities, and playing against some of sports real-life bests, attraction between athlete and manager starts to grow. What results is a more equal partnership than either has had before.

Modern viewers might have a hard time swallowing some of the male and female relationships seen up on screen. All Hepburn and Tracy films include some battle of the sexes, though some may feel more like all-out war and others are mere skirmishes. Mike (Tracy’s character) defines the term “heavy-handed.” In one scene, he orders Pat’s (Hepburn) meal, tells her what to drink, when to sleep, and who she’s allowed to see (or more precisely, who she’s not allowed to see). Though she balks at that initially, some of that same sort of action still takes place throughout the film . Meanwhile, Pat’s fiance, played by William Ching, is unconcerned by Pat’s issues of self-worth and even says she should be fine with being the “little woman.” Problematic men, indeed when viewed fifty years later from the much more equality-conscious new millennium.

But Pat and Mike’s messages may ultimately be much more positive for women than even the more famous Adam’s Rib. Hepburn’s Pat is a woman with a career and goals, who is cheered on to victory. She’s never told to settle down or give up on what she wants, and anyway, we all know that in a Hepburn and Tracy film, she’s not going to end up with the other guy! So it should be taken for granted that the fiance’s actions are meant to portrayed as bad. More important are whether Pat and Mike’s relationship reflects a sense of equality- and to that I can only say, yes, it does. They ultimately admit to not only wanting, but needing the other. They enjoy one another, and see each other as partners. Tracy’s Mike never exactly stops being heavy-handed, he’ll still tell her to drink milk, not beer, and to sleep more, but he is after all her manage- and anyway, the movie might reflect something of the actors’ off-screen relationship as well. Kathrine Hepburn herself later wrote, “ [Spencer Tracy] didn’t like this or that. I changed this and that. They might be qualities which I personally valued. It did not matter. I changed them.”

Still, its a progressive film for the time, and it’s other charms are not to be discounted either. Despite the earlier comments about the film’s messages, it is a light-hearted production who’s main idea is to entertain. We get to enjoy Hepburn show off her natural athletic prowess, and if she isn’t up to the standards of some her character’s opponents- all real, famous athletes of the time- then she’s certainly good enough to have us fooled into thinking she is!Tracy gets to ham it up in a Bronx accent, and both the dim-bulb boxer, played by Aldo Ray, and a trio of small time gangsters will keep the audience laughing. Pat and Mike is a good film and as Mike himself might have said,” [ there’s] not much meat on her, but what's there is 'cherce.'”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I Wore: Taking Chances

Bohemian-1 Bohemian-2 Bohemian-3

That's what I felt like this outfit was- taking a chance. Oh, sure. You've seen the silk scarf paired with just about anything a style blogger could think to pair it with but- it was new for me. Not sure it entirely worked, to be completely honest, and that's okay.

With summer coming on, I'm  taking a chance. Back in college, I'd always wanted to go study abroad or something, but it was never in the cards. Life goes on, and a year later, I really needed something new. That landed me, ultimately, abroad, leaning how to teach English, and I was back in Europe the next year to teach English through the summer again. Some people's adventures might be different, bigger, grander. But that was mine and something I worked towards through the year.

I'm not traveling abroad this year. A very definitely plan not to.  Staying has become the chance, the unknown. There are new goals; new adventures. They don't sound as glamorous as getting a midnight train to Budapest or learning rude hand gestures to avoid in Italy or that delightful sense of secret purpose an airport with only your own company can bring. This summer is a little scary in its ordinariness, in its work that I'll be putting in to chart a way to a differently patterned life.

Aaaaand, now I feel like that Beatle's song, She's So Heavy. So its not just pretty outfits here. That's taking a chance too, right?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Write a Spiral Letter and Pictionary Note

It seems very common sense to send a letter with any care package you send. Still, if you're like me, sometimes you want a corespondense with a surprise twist. Here are two unique letter writing ideas sure to make any pen pal's day.

The Spiral Letter
Spiral Letter

Above is a shot of a spiral letter I send my friend (part of it is about a sermon I heard last week, for any curious people. By the way, Hello, Ginger! It's a sneak peek of a letter in the mail for you!). The name pretty much describes it. You start writing in the center and wrap the words around in a spiral.

The Pictionary Note
Pictionary Letter

This is a "pictionary " letter for, in this case, a thank you note for a child. As you can see, you replace some words with pictures. This is, admittedly, harder than it sounds. Sure, A dear-deer is easy enough, but try making it trickier by putting two pictures together to create one word (a picture of a car with a plus sign and a picture of the Sun for the name "Carson" for example), or a word that is part picture and part letters (above you see the word "matched" is shown with a picture of a match and the letters "ed").

Whether these are part of a larger parcel or find their way into envelopes alone, I'm sure you'll find these as fun to write as they are to get.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What I Wore: On My Feet

Shorts-3 Shorts-5Shorts-8Shorts-6 Shorts-4

I used to be ashamed of my legs. True story.

Maybe I should be still. They are pale, and-yes, horror of horrors- in need of shave in this picture. They're not as toned as they should be either, a fact a little more obvious when sitting.


So long as you still healthy and taking care of yourself, why not embrace those little imperfections? I am embracing shorts. So many of you have adorable outfits on your blogs with shorts. Makes me want more of those too.

The other exciting thing with this outfit are these shoes. They're a giveaway prize via the blog  Sweetie Pie Style! You (or, er, I anyway) always enter those things thinking "well, its not going to be me."  These days I look at them more as a chance to see an online store I've (usually) never heard of before, but lo and They're from Rockport. They are adorable and well-made. They are, however, shoes that are taking a while to break in. I'm just not use to pointy-toed shoes, I think. Here's hoping the leather will have some give to stretch a bit as my toes get use to the shoe and the shoe gets use to my toes. But I do really like them. Thanks, Jackie!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

15 Things to Send in a Care Package (6th Edition)

  1. Twinkle Lights (Bonus: Make orgami boxes to place over the lights!)
  2. Printable Placemats 
  3. paper mustaches, beards etc. (Hint: Think like for a photobooth)
  4. Confetti note
  5. Customized Calendar (Hint: companies like Moo Printing or Pinhole Press make this easy)
  6. Homemade mini-fondue sets 
  7. Poster or Graphic Print
  8. Handmade paper 
  9. A members pass to a local museum or club
  10. Bookmark
  11. Mini-kits (like they sell at bookstores
  12. novelty notepads (A Travel Packing List)
  13. mouth organ , kazoo, or other novelty music instrument
  14. supplies for the recipient's hobbies
  15. Chap stick
Still looking for ideas? Try my previous Care Package Lists: 1st edition, 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 4th edition, and 5th edition are all here. Or try looking at Care Packages and other mail previously sent out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What I Wore: Picture Perfect

Bench-7 Twisty Bun Hair Bench-6 Bench-4

What I wore: Skirt-Gap; Shoes- Famous Footwear; Shirt- Target; Belt- Ruche; Kimono- Forever21

A quiet day, which you need sometimes. We went to a gallery opening. This sounds fancy, but it isn't really. Local community college, my father's photography students actually. In small towns there seems to be  a certain set of people who always go though, a little like an unofficial club. I was born "in" the club since...well, my father's students. I grew up needing to put on Mary Janes and  needingto Behave While You Look At Art.

But its always fun to go and see what it looks like through someone else's eyes.

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