This Week’s Fascinations

March 6, 2011

It’s a trend that seems to be sweeping the corner of the Interwebs I frequent … the green smoothie.  I’ve become a little addicted to having my vegetables for breakfast.  My favorite combination is avocado, spinach or kale or both, and strawberry.  I use frozen fruit, so ice cubes aren’t really necessary.  Most recipes use juice as a base, but I think the fruit makes it sweet enough.  Today, though, I made one with carrot-ginger juice (fresh, since my sweetheart bought me a juicer!), mango, pineapple, avocado and spinach.  It was not such a lovely color, but it tasted good.

The other fascination of the week has been the Big-Ass Granny Blanket.  I picked it up again last weekend and it’s growing.  It’s about 35 inches square now.  I’d like to make it big enough to snuggle under and cover my feet on the couch.  Maybe twenty more rounds or so?  It seems to be not-exactly-square, but I’m hoping that I can block it out.  It’s made up of odd balls and scraps of worsted weight 100% wool of various brands: Cascade 220, Wool of the Andes, Patons Classic, and a little Eco-Wool and Dream in Color Classy.  If When I finish it, I will be so pleased with myself, as it will be the biggest thing I’ve ever completed!

Yesterday, I had a seriously serendipitous vintage clothing score.  I went to meet my friend Cassie in Chagrin Falls for breakfast and knitting.  Afterwards, I stopped into Stash Style, a cute housewares and jewelry store which also sells chocolates and a little yarn.  Unfortunately, they are going to be closing the store and instead having barn sales in various locations around Northeast Ohio.  As I was looking around, I noticed two small racks of (mostly vintage) clothing.  On it, I found not one, BUT TWO, coats that fit me!  One of them is 100% cashmere!  They have some spots and aren’t perfect, but I have a different standard for vintage clothes.  Together, they cost $59.  Sweet.  The cashmere one has a label from a sadly defunct local department store, which makes it especially awesome in my opinion.

The Higbee Company Cleveland, Ohio

Today, the aforementioned sweetheart and I are brewing beer!  I’ve never done made beer before, but he was a professional brewer for many years at Terminal Gravity Brewing in Enterprise, Oregon.  Right now, we are “mashing in,” which basically involves making a whole lot of hot barley cereal.  It smells so good!  In a few weeks, we’ll have our own beer.


More on Dressing

May 18, 2008

Several of you commented, and I had an email exchange with Ashley, about not thinking about what you put on in the morning. All hail, the people who dress on auto-pilot! You are in very good company. For example … Michael Kors. I remember hearing him answer a viewer question about this on one of those Project Runway season wrap-up shows. The viewer was suggesting that it was ridiculous that a fashion designer would wear the very same thing all the time. Presumably, wearing a plain black sportcoat and tee with jeans every day didn’t strike this viewer as a good marketing statement for buying designer clothing.

Kors’ response was that, as a young man, he wore all sorts of crazy things. But at some point, he found it easier to be creative in his designing when he wasn’t expending so much energy on his own wardrobe. So he figured out what looked good on him* and what was comfortable, wore that and stopped thinking about it.

I’ve got respect for that sartorial philosophy, especially the part about figuring out what’s flattering on you. I’ve tried to do this of late. For example, I have concluded that the crewneck looks awful on me. I am never happy with a crewneck.

But his response also makes another point: you have to choose your creative outlets. And that outlet ought to be something that is important to you, that you enjoy, and that inspires you. If getting dressed isn’t it, then, by all means, don those jeans and tees with pride. But wear handknit socks.

* Just an aside: I am a big fan of the sportcoat/t-shirt/jeans combo on men. Big fan.

Sartorially Speaking

May 13, 2008

Speaking of lateness, once again Laura is very, very late to the party.  I am probably the last shoe-obsessed, Project Runway-loving, handbag-enthusiast, dress-wearing girly girl in the world to start reading The Sartorialist.  Shameful, I know.  If only I had some of his pictures, this Cafe would really be a classy joint.  But, naturally, that would be wrong, so click that link and take a gander.  We’ll wait.

Ok.  Let’s talk about today’s look, entitled “Cold Spring Layering, Manhattan.”  I most emphatically would never wear this outfit.  The only piece she’s wearing that I own are black tights.  I might be allergic to metallic clothing.  And that elastic would have no business clinging about my post-childbearing hips.  But I love this madly, and here’s why.  She thought about it.

For this woman, dressing is not just something to do in the morning between showering and standing in line at the coffee shop.  It is a creative endeavor.  It is an opportunity for personal expression.  I guarantee you, she thought about the combination of textures and colors.  She thought about the way the rivets on the bag echo the metallic skirt.  Possibly, she thought about changing her shoes when she arrived at her destination.  If she grabbed these things blindly while brushing her teeth and just threw them on, I would posit that she is a sartorial savant. 

There seem to be a few kinds of looks that the Sartorialist features.  There’s the look that is primarily a testament to the wearer’s good taste.  Some of them seem to be mostly about attitude and effortlessness.  Some evoke a mood.  And, of course, because he is a great photographer, some of them are a little story in an image.

But I like the looks that seem to reflect the wearer’s personality and creativity, like today’s.  And this one.  And this one.  And these.  I find them inspiring, if not in the details, then in the spirit.  I get dressed every morning.  Why not make it an event?