Monday, June 29, 2015

In July, Why Don't You...

Listen to an audiobook

Repaint the frame of an old mirror for new life

Camp in a national park

Practice Yoga 

Try a new braid to get the hair off your neck

Finish a crossword puzzle

Jam out a music festival 

Cut soda pop out of your life!

Renew your library card

Press some flowers

Friday, June 26, 2015

Month in Review: June 2015

Summer Outfits
June2015 Collage

Summer Plans
Oh, man, with June, summer started in earnest. We wrapped up school, which is always an emotional time, but I was back in my classroom after only a week, this time to help out with Camp Invention! I love instilling some STEM love, but, man, you are beat by the end of the day. In between school and camp invention, I've been absolutely devouring books. I mean, I read during the school year, but to be able to take a whole day, if I want to, and curl up with a good book and tea (Insert a dreamy sigh of contentment here).

Most exciting of all though, is we ended the month of June in New York City! I can't wait to share it with you. I mean, yeah, probably most of you have been before, or even live there (Am I the only one who's never been?!), but since it is pretty much about as complicated and expensive to get to NYC as it is Europe, we're treating it like we're those sailors in On the Town, only our trip will be a bit more than just one day (hey, I hear the musical version on Broadway, maybe we should try to see it?!)

Summer Finds

Hip-hop goes Broadway

Holding Space

A village of vines

An article on Bibliotherapy

Thought controlled prosthetics: The future is now.

100 Years of Fashion, plus Katrina tries Fit Code for the perfect fitting jeans

Which wedding gifts do you actually use?

Questions from a mixed-race son

Dogs in a photobooth

How we experience Time

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What I Packed: For New York City

New York Packing; travel; packing list;
I'm sure I'm not alone in finding packing for travel difficult. After all, what's the weather really gonna be (they are predicting way more rain than I'm used to, and humidity? How does one even handle that?) Or,  how about,  do I know I won't really need this pair of shoes? Admit it. You've been there too.
New York Packing II

To help, I've been trying to pre-plan outfits, like you see above. Do things always go according? No, but, for me, this sort of visualization helps. I can see what activities I might be doing, and see what I'm already taking so things can be paired together in more than one way.  I know a lot of savvy outfit planners have color schemes, which mine doesn't quite do, but all the pieces are- or could be- used more than once in different combinations.  I have a few more tops than bottoms, but that is the one sweater I'm taking for bad weather.

What about you? Do you have any packing tips that might come in handy for a holiday-bound lady?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our second wedding anniversary; two year, woohoo! I do love The Boy. We are celebrating in New York City! 

I can't wait to share it all with you when we get back, and there will still be things regularly posting here on Never Fully Dressed, but in the meantime: 

  • Go your own bags packed and are in a traveling mood? Check out NFD's travel tag

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What I Wore: The Best Silk Blouse, Ever

Popbasic, silk blouse, best silk blouse ever,
milk blouse, silk blouse, popbasic, basic, wardrobe,
PicMonkey Collage
What I Wore: Silk Blouse (Popbasic; Similar Here); Tote (Popbasic); Jeans (Similar Here), Gold Chain Necklace (Similar Here)

Suzanne asked on her eponymous blog, "What's on your Wardrobe Bucket List?" Ah, I adore her style and sass. She did say though, that if it was a "perfect white button down" you'd have no clue what a wardrobe bucket list was. But, oh, Suzanne, you have not felt this shirt. It is glorious. Do  any of you know what the word sybarite means? A dictionary definition says "someone who is self-indulgent in sensual pleasures" and boy oh boy does this shirt turn me into a such a sybarite; it is just so soft and comfortable to wear.  It is a crepe silk that is this amazingly soft thing, and so light. A big plus is that is is not very sheer- always hard with whites and creams. I got it as part of Popbasic's Kickstarter project to sell the "Best Silk Blouse, Ever."Sadly, Popbasic is going through some tough times and restructuring what/when/how they will be selling things, but this blouse certainly lives up to its name! So, I'm definitely keeping my eye on the company, because they will be sure to continue to create fantastic items for your wardrobe.

The rest of this outfit is quite simple-well, the blouse is simplicity itself as well- but that is what I love about it. When you find pieces that are truly classic, and that you really love, they can mix in a million different ways and you still get get a great look. If you've been a reader of Never Fully Dressed for any time at all, you'll know I love shorts, will have seen these mocs kicking it around, and this gold chain necklace- inherited from my grandmother when she could no longer close the clasp- is in constant rotation. The blouse, of course, is new, but I'm already dreaming up other ways to pair it and almost am bummed the school year is so far off because this is going to rock my work wardrobe. But only almost because summer is summer, of course! And, as these pictures show, one of the most beautiful times of the year in Wyoming.

What is on your wardrobe bucket list?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Film FLick: La Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)

 Simultaneously both the oldest and newest film ever to be reviewed on Never Fully Dressed, the story behind La Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) is almost as fascinating as the one told within it. Made in 1902, it is largely considered to be director George Melies' best known- and some say greatest- work. It is in this film that one of cinema's most iconic images, of the moon getting shot in the eye with a rocket, comes from.

 La Voyage dans la Lune follows a group of bumbling scientist-adventurers on a journey filled with unusual sights and a satirical undertone that criticizes both the scientific community of the day and colonization. Today, it is widely considered the first science fiction film, but its deliberately theatrical style lends a sense of whimsical fantasy. Elaborate, painted sets, and costumes were created- all in greyscale as Melies found color filmed in unpredictable tones. Though most audiences would see the black and white film, several copies of the movie (perhaps as many as 60) were hand-painted in Elisabeth Thuillier's coloring lab in Paris. She organized workers assembly line  style, with each assigned different colors as they painstakingly add paint to each frame. Films hand painted by her lab could have as many as sixty different colors!  Many of the costumes, and all of the sets were designed by Melies and included pulley systems to move set pieces as needed.  The camera, on the other hand, rarely moved.  Meant to evoke the feeling of watching a play, in a time when most cinema showed everyday tasks, even this can be seen as a storytelling choice.

Clocking in at fourteen minutes, it was an usually long film for the time, and an expensive one. Because of this, Melies asked a high price for the film; at first no one would touch it, but a free showing proved its potential and it was soon being seen all across the world, and was, in fact, rampantly pirated. This would eventually lead to Melies' Star Film Company opening an branch in America, one of the worse film piracy offenders of the time, to protect their copyright. This would turn out to be a mistake. Poor management that resulted financial losses within the American branch, as well as other factors such as Edison's attempts to create a monopoly on the industry; and the onset of World War One, all meant the end of "Cinemagican" Melies' film career. Melies went bankrupt and was reduced to selling toys in a train station with hard, 14 hour work days. In his time, he had produced over 500 films, but many of his reels had been melted down in the war to create soldiers' boot heels. Then, in 1923, Melies himself burned most of the remaining negatives of his films, as well as any sets and costumes he still owned.

By the  late 1920s though, a sort of Cinderella moment came to Melies. Renewed interest and research him and his work increased, resulting a gala in December of 1929 honoring him and his work; it was, as he described, "one of the most brilliant moments of his life." The work shown had been found mostly from others' film collections, sometimes those who had purchased old reels, others from former employees from the Star Film Company or any of the establishments that originally showed the films. Sadly, no full copy of La Voyage dans la Lune was thought to remain. Not until 1997 was a full version of the film finally restored, by piecing together film from various copies of the movie. Then, in 1999, the first known colored copy of the film, thought to be completely decomposed, was bought and restoration on it continued for over a decade. Set along with an incredibly modern soundtrack created by the French band Air, this hand-colored, restored version  premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, and it is this version of the film most see today.

There is something of the surreal to the film, a sense of unreality. Perhaps only fitting for a science fiction tale about the moon, but the mood is added to by the jerky movements of the actors (due to the then-standard of 14 frames per second); the flickering, but bright colors hand-painted on, and, of course, the avante-garde soundtrack. Air employs variously unusual instruments, animal sounds and vocal recordings that at times seems unbearable jarring, especially in the first scene, but the music proves, perhaps, to be ultimately seductive as it seems to underline how far ahead of his time Melies really was, and how relevant his work is for any time, including our own. If this soundtrack proves too distracting to viewer,s they could find their own music choice to play along side the movie. Though silent films do not have sound, they were not meant to be watched in silence. In fact, Melies took a keen interest in what music was chosen, though he never specified or suggested any particular pieces himself. At least one piece of music, "A Trip to the Moon: Comic Descriptive Fantasia," was inspired by the film itself.

This film (which can be seen here, or on Netflix or Hulu), is- no other word for it- arresting, high art in the way only the best of cinema can be, sure to beckon you with its dark whimsy and still-relevant thematic issues. You will not regret taking A Trip to the Moon.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Stationery Wishlist: Surfin' USA


1. Washington D.C. Print | 2. Food Maps | 3. USA Stamp | 4. Brooklyn Map Card | 5. Letterpress Cards | 6. Yellowstone Postcard | 7. Golden Gate Bridge Letter Holder

Summer is the perfect time for a Road Trip from sea to shining sea. But if you can't make it to the actual sites (or even if you can!), you can bring a little of America's greatest treasures to your own little desk. 

1. Washington D.C. Print - Our nation's capital is a capital idea for your wall! 

2. Food Maps- These are ingenious- you use them to record where you ate at and how you like the local joints. You could be journelling, using them as art or passing them on to the next visitor to that particular 'burg! 

3. USA Stamp How fun is this? You can mark wherever you are and send it to the folks back home. 

4. Brooklyn Map Card - Brooklyn and Big Apple. Can't wait to see it for myself!  

5. Letterpress Cards - These gorgeous letterpress cards have famous sites from all over our great country and you can use them as postcards, thank yous or memorandums. 

6. Yellowstone Postcard - Let's not forget my home state! Wyoming is home to the first national forest, the first national monument, and, of course, the first national park. You can use this postcard to share just how faithful Old Faithful really still is. That's nature for you. 

7. Golden Gate Bridge Letter Holder If you're going to San Francisco, you can put some flowers in your hair- but even if you're not, you can keep letters from your road tripping friends in this likeness of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Letter Writing: Good Bye Letters

As a teacher, when the school year ends, it is invariably a season of retirements; my own father retired from his position as a college professor this year as well. Other changes can happen too- people get new jobs, move to new cities, graduate, move on. No matter what your situation, in those times you may be called upon to write a Good Bye Letter.

Photo Credit: Woodley Wonder Works

Reasons for writing a Good Bye Letter are many, and those circumstances will dictate both your audience, and the tone you need to take. If you are leaving a job, you are likely writing to your boss and/or coworkers. No matter whether you are leaving on a good note or not, keep your format a formal business letter, and make sure the tone stays positive. If you are writing to a friend because, say, you are moving, a friendly letter is more appropriate. If you are leaving a place of work, keep the letter brief. Should you be leaving in less than ideal circumstances, the letter is not the place to air grievances. You may, however, want to thank people for the opportunities you had, whether material or learning ones. Feel free to reminiscence, briefly, on the relationships you made too. For a letter to to a friend or acquaintance, you may make the correspondence longer, and reflect more on the relationships developed. In any circumstance, if you want to be contacted by the person reading your letter, feel free to leave contact information- or better yet, allude to a time or place to meet. It doesn't have to be specific, but it let's the reader know you do intend to continue the acquaintance. You can end by wishing others well on their future endeavors.

A Good Bye letter to someone you are ending a relationship with necessarily differs from other good bye letters. It should be said, that it is always best to avoid the infamous "Dear John" letters where possible, and go for an in-person meeting, or, failing that, a phone call, before resorting to the much slower form of communication that is a letter. If a letter is indeed the path you feel is best to take, be aware you will need to show extra sensitivity to the letter's recipient and that, how (or even if) you wish to meet again may be a more complicated question than if you wrote to say good bye to another. For letters to now-former lovers, avoid endearments or reminiscing about specific memories. Also, this too is not a time to air grudges or rehash old fights. Most of the time, it is unnecessary to delve into why you are ending the relationship too much; the other person is most likely aware of the issues in the relationship. If the ending of the relationship has truly not been something discussed, or if the reason seems unclear, you may need to briefly state why, for the other person's own understanding and- as the rom-coms would put it- sense of closure. However, such ends are very rarely simple, or clean. Do not expect total understanding for the other person, but remember that keeping your tone on the more polite and formal side, while still being very clear as to your intentions to severe the relationship, helps to keep misunderstandings to a minimum. If you would like to continue the relationship in a changed form (i.e. "staying friends"), you may let that be known, but allow the other to have control over when any future meeting may or may not take place. If you do not want continued contact, say that too, in very brief terms. Regardless of what sort of contact you do or do not want with the other person, if there are adult mutual acquaintances, do not involve them in this letter; now is not the time to stake an exclusive claim on them, their time and sympathy.

For any Good Bye Letter, benediction of "sincerely" or, on some cases, "thank you" are the most appropriate.

Good byes are always hard, but giving a letter can help ease the way, and aid in keeping connected with those you want to see again. And, remember, every "good bye" can be a "hello" to the new journey ahead.

Further Reading:
7 Tips for Writing Good Bye Letters from Write Express
How to Write Good Bye to a Friend by Christina Maddox
How to Write Good Bye Letters


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What I Wore: With Mountains Calling

Rock-03 PicMonkey Collage Rock-09

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic); Jeans (Lucky), Sweater (ASOS), Shoes (Converse), Necklace (Popbasic)

John Muir once said, "The mountains are calling and I must go." I'm not the most outdoorsy girl you'll meet- at least not in Rockies, anyway! I don't go to the backcountry for weeks on end, or even hike all that much, but the pull of the mountains are undeniable. They are in turn beautiful and sublime.

And, they were definitely calling us on our first summer weekend, so we packed the dogs into the car and took off for the drive through the Beartooth Mountains, making our way through Sunlight Basin and Chief Joseph's Highway, up to the Top of the World and then winding back down to end in Red Lodge. It's really an all-day event, and a nostalgic one. The Boy proposed this very drive as our second ever date! Said it was long (it ended up being about a six hour trip) but by the end we'd know whether we could talk to one another or not. Guess that work'd out in our favor, huh?

The funny thing about mountains are you can see almost every ecosystem all in one place. So we rose from the green and warm valleys bursting with wild flowers and ascended up to the snow-covered tundra. This means you gotta come prepared so- layers, which is why I'm wearing a sweater in June. Also, if you're scrambling up over mud and rocks you better come prepared for that too- hence the converse tennies (though even these aren't great for that). Altogether it is a bit more preppy and sporty look than  I usually do but comfort and cuteness came all in one!

What sort of nature calls to you? And how do you dress for it when it does?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dog- Eared Page: Emma

Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling.

'I cannot make speeches, Emma:' he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. - 'If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. - You hear nothing but truth from me. - I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it. - Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover. - But you understand me. - Yes, you see, you understand my feelings - and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.'

-Emma, by Jane Austen

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I Wore: Embracing the Kitsch


What I Wore: Skirt (Shabby Apple); Shirt (Mod Bod), Bracelet (Popbasic); Sandals (Similar Here)

Summer has arrived- almost- in Cody, Wyoming! Situated just outside of the East Gate of Yellowstone, tourism makes the town come alive in summer, and Cody's a place that embraces and cultivates that image of the Old West. Well, since Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town, perhaps its fair to say that this is where the myth of the Old West was born. Fast forward a 100 years or so, and there are still cowboys roping and branding cattle. It's a subtle but definite culture of picking oneself up by the boot straps, working hard and loving nature. Along with that is a side to Cody of great (Western) art, but there is also this- embracing the kitsch. And I know it seems a bit, well, touristy and that everyone is into "not being the tourist," but here's a hint: you can't not be. You Aren't From Here. Just don't wear a straw cowboy hat and we'll consider it good. Part of the fun through can be embracing being a tourist and enjoying the kitsch.  That's why I love our West Strip, such as it is, with its cut-out cowboys and wanted posters for the Wild Bunch, and little mom-and-pop diners like this. 

Luckily, judging by the increase in traffic and the sudden, festive air downtown, I'd say that many visitors are plunging into all the fun that Old West image has to offer. It's a bit discombobulating, actually, having so many tourists, since school is still in session, but today's the last day! I've throughly enjoyed my first year teaching and am passionate about Gifted Education, but I'll admit, I'm looking forward to summer! Much of it will, of course, be working on classes for next year, but we can get in some summer fun too. 

As for the outfit, this checkered red skirt just seemed to radiate Summertime, and I've worn it countless times since getting it. Remember how my shopping list included a full, midi skirt? Well, I got this one at the same time as I got this, because who could make up their mind between two such lovely skirts? This one is from Shabby Apple and I'm always surprised I don't see their stuff on more blogs. It is affordable and high quality; ethically made; and it donates part of every purchase's profits. Win-win-win! 

So, what are your summer plans? 
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