Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Off The Map


All night headlights dazzle
the leaves. Truck-drivers
throbbing on pills
climb out of the sleep

of farmtowns prim

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alive only at nightfall
that span a continent 
Nameless. Not to be found
by day on any map.


Poem excerpt from "Off the Map" by David Malouf. 
Read the entire, wonderful thing here.
And I'm listening to this. 

Cape: Vintage
Shirt: Forever 21
Pants: Anthropologie
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Earrings: Unknown
Lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo

PS: Did you catch the Santa Clause joke from my circa 1894 history textbook my grandpa bought many years ago? Look closely at the fourth picture. U.S. History nerds might get a kick out of that one. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012





abandoned front range farm : trying on silly shoes with friends
accidentally coordinated shoes : vintage mixer at the thrift store
beautiful tree on a night run : broken sidewalks in city park

Here's a few instagram photos from the past two weeks. If you want to follow me on instagram you can do that here. 

- This sewn garland seems very simple to make especially if you have two sided scrapbooking paper sitting around.
- I love this blog's  small apartment survival tips. Our apartment can hardly be called small but the advice she gives is no less relevant!  
- We made coconut red lentil soup for dinner last night when we had friends over. This delicious soup went over with everyone very well. 
- I love the sweaters and general styling of everything in this online shop from Japan.
- I have been watching Downton Abby again. Oh My Goodness, the clothes! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cycling Back.

I could wax poetic about thrifting, but all I'm going to say is that I found a thrift store here that reminds me of thrifting when I was a kid. None of the clothes are over two or three dollars save for late seventies/early eighties beaded evening gowns which can be had for six. 


I found this fantastically cozy sweater for just over $1.50 - and it was 20% off of that also. 


We've had a string of warm days here so I welcomed the chance to wear this sweater without a coat on it. 

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Sweater: Thrifted 
Jeans: j. crew
Bracelet: French Connection

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In that dream I'm as old as the mountains...


In that dream I'm as old as the mountains
Still as starlight reflected in fountains
Children grown on the edge of the ocean
Kept like jewelry, kept with devotion


In that dream moving slow through the morning



Photos of my friend L and I hiking in the mountains and climbing trees like monkeys! 


Monday, January 16, 2012

I Could Wish You Nothing Finer


Do you remember this dress?


As promised, I reshot it. I have only worn it once before. 


I wore it to my sophmore homecoming dance, so I speculate I was about 14 the last time I wore it. 

The dress is twelve years older than it was the last time I wore it. I think it's a little more fragile, or maybe I'm just more aware of being careful with my beautiful old clothes. 


The dress is pretty shredded, in awful condition. I ruined it as a 14 year old. I danced like a banshee at every dance I went to and it shows it!


But it still retains its form. I had no idea how beautiful it really was until today. I mean I always knew it was a nice dress, well made, a bit of a confection really. 

But today, dancing on the eastern plaines, it shone. 



Reading this beautiful letter from Ansel Adams

Sunday, January 15, 2012

At the Confluence

Denver sits on a confluence. It is the place where gold was first discovered, and subsequently the city of Denver built up around it. 


Two rivers, the South Platte and Cherry Creek converge into one. They meet gracefully, the join seamless and calm except in early spring when the water rages all the way down the mountains and continues to roar it's way, white and foaming, into the city. 


It's then you see the kayakers doing short runs in Confluence Park's little kayak run on warm days after they get out of work. 

Right now, in the dead of winter, even the kayak run seems calm. The sun is out but it's still a little chilly and the water is low, fast, icy and calm. 


Jacket: Pearl Izumi
Skirt: H&M
Tights: Those are actually my compression tights that I'm trying to pass off as leggings - I wear them after long rides and sometimes I just work them into my wardrobe as leggings instead of wearing them under pants. 
Striped Socks: Castelli 
Boots: Steve Madden

(One of the dangers of having a significant other that works at a bike shop is that you wander around the store and go "I want one of those...and one of those...and one of those" and suddenly you're blogging your compression tights and cycling socks and jackets because you own a lot of those pieces!) 

Friday, January 13, 2012

What's in your dance bag?

I've always loved peeking into other people's purses and handbags - what do they carry that makes them awesome? Do they constantly lug around a journal or tiny pad of paper? Do they lose lipsticks in the bottom of their purse? What type of cell phone do they use and do they have a fun case?

Unfortunately, you are out of luck when it comes to any purse of mine since I reload and unload my purse every morning and evening. Most of the time I just carry a wallet but as I was contemplating this tonight I realized that I do have one bag that's packed and steady - my dance bag.


I would, by now, consider myself a lifelong student of ballet since I have taken ballet classes on and off since my late teens. I fell in love with it as a child but never had the opportunity to do it intensively as a child so when I got to college I poured myself into it. At one point I was dancing 18 hours a week on top of a full course load! Guess what? I got straight A's that semester. Dance, like cycling does for my husband, helps me find equilibrium. 


Now, as a not so serious adult I take classes here and there, mostly in the cycling off season as time and money permit. No matter what though, I have my dance bag packed up and ready to head to a class if I need it. 


(p.s. Don't worry! I'm not actively using the pointe shoes these days...I need about six months of 3x a week dance classes to get there in the shape I'm in. Also, this isn't everything but I thought it would be less boring if I didn't show all ten pairs of spare/ruined tights to throw out and the extra sweaters and street clothes that have been hiding out in my dance bag for far too long! I actually found my favorite pair of sunglasses lurking in the depths of it not too long ago)


Sunday, January 08, 2012

We Might Feel Like This For the Rest of Our Lives

I'm listening to a lot of Seabear. I get a kick out of their song "I sing I swim" because those are my two favorite things to do on weekends when I don't have anything to do. Also, for as sad as the words are I really love how happy it sometimes sounds. 


Another favorite thing to do? Early morning outfit pictures in parks.



The faux fur stole comes my my grandma - it was hers when she was my age. My grandma was beautifully dressed for most of her life and it's always fun when she gives me something that she used to wear back in the day. Some of the pieces I can't work into my every day wear but many of them I can and this one does just fine! 

 My friend gave me the 1970's Edwardian revival blouse and I really thought it was interesting how close this was to my original edwardian blouses. The drawstring detail is found  the same way on both eras' pieces and the inset lace is done almost the exact same way. The major differences are the fabric, lace construction, and of course the serged seams on the modern blouse


Blouse: Friend
Fur Stole: Grandma
Tank Top: Thrifted
Sunglasses: Pilgrim
Jeans: j. crew
Shoes: Anthro 


Friday, January 06, 2012

The Official Illustrator of Reykjavik

I'm impressed this position exists for someone to be in, and also I love her haircut (though I couldn't pull it off...)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

So this is the new year

So we're coming to the close of our fifth day of this year. How fast time flies!

I've been busy. School started back up on the 2nd and getting into the swing of early mornings and afternoon bike rides home and keeping up with the house and getting back into my routine has left little time for blogging. Besides, the life that I have been living these first five days is hardly blog post worthy. Long dinners with great conversations, mending, tidying the house, curling up with a good book (one of my students lent me Lord of the Rings so I'm working on that) and bike riding, bike riding, bike riding is great living, believe me. But it's living done not in front of the computer so I've been a bit quiet. 

January 1st ride

I have always been a great maker of resolutions for the new year. Two years ago my resolution was to be quiet and not make any decisions and it was a life changing year. Last year I resolved to do 50 crafts (which I didn't do - I got to 34 or so and it just fell off the radar when I started teaching.) but also to create more in general (which I did do.)

This year I've really struggled to pin down a resolution. There is so much in my life I want to work on, so much I want to accomplish and become. So many things I'd like to be if I could just figure out how to make it happen. I'd like to be more gracious towards others. I'd like to listen more. I'd like to be known for my compassion and not for the orderly, businesslike manner I mostly conduct my life in. Most of all I am acutely aware of the passing of my days and it has been both a gift and trouble and I am coming to see that I have accomplished much but there is a pressing need to do more. 


Last year I had a saying by Emily Dickinson up on my chalkboard above my desk - "I dwell in possibility." That seemed to be what last year was - there was so much potential wrapped up in 2011. I spent every spare minute frantically trying to create, create, create. I designed a clothing line. I created a house that was featured on Apartment Therapy. I wrote stories and emails that gave people hope and made them think. I put together a classroom and curriculum where students learn every day. I got dressed with happiness and abandon (mostly) every morning. 

And because I dwelled in the possibility that good things would happen if I simply tried (and they did happen! More wonderful things than I could have ever imagined!) I learned that it is not enough to simply dwell in the possibility of something. You must do it. You have to follow through and see it through. All the way to the end. 

Thin Man

This year I would like to keep the contemplative spirit that I gained in 2010 and couple it with the possibility I held onto in 2011. I would like to add refinement to that this year. I would like to gain confidence in who I am as a person, and fearlessness. I have learned to create and now I'd like to give that to others and that takes courage of a sort I haven't developed yet.

I'd like to be the sort of person that simply meets others where they are, seeing who they are and finding the potential in them. That takes courage too. I'd like to invest more in people, create relationships with people, reach out to them, extend across the I don't know you and I'm not sure and you are a nameless face to see who is waiting on the other side. That takes immense courage because the possibility to fail is nowhere more stark and more evident than in human relationships. Maybe nowhere more painful either. I don't know if I have that courage yet but I learned two years ago that if you are quiet then the answers will come. I learned last year that if you try it will likely happen. 

I can't do it yet, but I'm working on it. I know how to do it, how to put it into practice. 

This is how: 

Go say hello, and then listen.  


(Photos from the first five days of the year.)