Sunday, March 31, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #61: San Francisco

Spring Breakin' with the Girl with a Pearl Earring: Loved seeing this "Dutch Mona Lisa" at the de Young Museum. This exhibit also hosted a ton of etchings, drawings and paintings by Rembrandt. And I loves me some Rembrandt. sweater: vintage, thrifted; dress and boots: Anthropologie; fishnets and tights: Target
Just when you thought the Spring Break vacation photos were over, I throw more your way via my outfit post. Last Monday, hubs and I parted at the airport. He flew back to Tennessee while I flew to San Francisco to stay the week with one of my favorite people on the planet -- a great friend from high school. I had an amazing stay with him and these pictures are just the tip of the San-Fran-vacay-photos iceberg. I plan to share more later on this week, if you can handle one more round. But don't worry, I've also got a DIY post and a little bit from the ole art room in store this week. Until then, here's a bit of what I wore and my trip to San Francisco!
The de Young Museum is amazing. I'll share a better view in that aforementioned upcoming post. But for now, try to imagine a long rectangular building with an inverted nine story pyramid on top. And the views from the top, ah! Okay, scroll down, GWPE is starring at me and givin' me that creeper vibe.

Japanese Tea Gardens: Same day, addition of Urban Outfitters scarf. The tea gardens are an absolute delight and, being spring, were just stunning.

A busy bee.

The Streets of San Francisco: So my friend is this amazing interior designer/architect. I tagged along with him one day, seeing his projects, going to the design center and meeting his million friends. Seriously, my friend knows everybody in San Francisco. I mean, we'll be driving down the street and he's constantly waving, chatting or running people down. In a playful way, of course. hot air balloon dress, belt and boots: Anthro; sweater: thrifted, Ann Taylor
Just your typical street in SF.

At Coup d'Etat, the most amazing furniture/design center.
Don't Hate the Haight: Don't you love this teeny tiny view of my friend's flat? It's full of the most remarkable artwork (some of it created by him) and, of course, stunningly decorated. And then there's me in lime green tights. skirt, boots, belt: Anthro; sweater: thrifted, Banana Republic; scarf: Urban Outfitters

Oh, the vintage shopping on Haight is AMAZING. Like, seriously. I'm actually sitting here shaking my head because that's just how nuts it is. Or how nuts I am. Regardless, if you love vintage, this is your heaven. Unfortunately, it might not be as heavenly for your wallet. So, my recommendation is hit the Buffalo Exchange and another resale shop called Wasteland. You'll have to dig through contemporary clothing but you'll find that beaded cardigan for $11 when the place up the street wants $95. Sweetness.

Fishnets and red shoes? Why, I'd fit right in.
Lunching on my Last Day: Can you believe this handsome man? I've been fortunate enough to call him a great friend for over 20 years. What initially drew me to my friend Ian Stallings is what I still find so remarkable about him: his happiness. His happy energy and positive outlook is like the sunny day pictured above. It warms you, brightens your surroundings and gives your skin a glow. I'm so luck to know this awesome dude!
So Much Baggage...: In the end, I resorted to sitting on the suitcase to zip it up. When I got it home and unzipped it, it practically exploded with all of the vintage goodness I scored. You'll be seeing some of those dresses in some future outfit posts. black top, tights: Target; dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange

Thursday, March 28, 2013

(Long) Weekend Adventure: Los Angeles

Buncha balloons at California Adventure, Disneyland.
 Hey, kids! Ready for an obnoxious amount of vacation photos from our lil trip to Los Angeles? I can tell you are by that glazed-over, thinking-about-what's-for-dinner and did-I-unplug-my-flatiron? look in your eye. Well, buckle up and get yerself ready for a plethora of pictures!

Hubs and I had a nice routine on this trip to LA: a little bit of vintage shopping, day hiking and evenings at Disneyland. Having done this trip before, we are pros at navigating that infamous LA traffic (avoid the 5, always!), hitting the best vintage shops and doin' Disney right. I thought I'd share a bit of that with you in this here post. Along with endless photos, of course. Enjoy and I'll chat with you soon!
Taking selfies while waiting for the fireworks. The fireworks in Disneyland were completely different than those at Disney World, Orlando. At Disneyland, they've created a tribute to the history of the park and the rides featured there. My favorite firework set was that of the Haunted Mansion, complete with audio from the ride. The best viewing spot is most definitely on Main Street. And, for your viewing pleasure...

Mad T Party. So not too long ago, California Adventure was kinda like the forgettable kid sister to Disneyland (with the exception of Tower of Terror, of course). However, within the last year, it's become a packed-out mega park. They've added Cars Land which is this awesome tribute to the Disney/Pixar movie Cars. But our new fave addition is the Mad T Party. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, as seen in the matching striped shirts in the above photo, are the opening act that lead people under the neon arches to the Mad T Party show.

 Hatter and Alice. Okay, we so totally loved this show. So much so that we made a point to go to just about every one of their sets. The shows began at the top of every hour beginning at 7pm and ran for about 25 minutes.
The Mad Hatter. Is totally awesome. Did you see that belt made out of spools of thread? AND the glitterly tea kettle buckle? Yeah, I'll be totally copying that, thank you very much.

The Band. Is amazing. Seriously. I believe hubs snapped this photo when they were playing Guns and Roses' Welcome to the Jungle. And if you know me even a little, you know I've got a big ole unfortunate soft spot for some G'n'R. Don't hate. Appreciate.

Go Ask Alice. When she's ten feet tall. Or wearin' lace up stockings, a corset and harlequin shoes. I want this outfit. And that voice. Each night the band played, they might have had a different set of band members. Having gotten attached to the band from the first night, this threw me a bit but after one song, I was all about Band B.
Chino Hills State Park. Because we've got this terribly tasty habit of eating the waffle sandwiches at Bruxie everyday, we decided to take in a hike along the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. And while I loved the landscape, one thing that really threw me was how stinkin' polite all of our fellow walkers, runners, bikers and horseback riders were. I do believe each one spoke to us with an "enjoy your day!" "beautiful walk, isn't it?" "hello, how are you?!" I loved that.
Jurassic Park Plants. Seriously, this thing was a monster.
Leapin' Lizards. And this bold guy thought he was a monster.
Elvis! We didn't spend all of our time at California Adventure. We did hit Disneyland and took in the bands that they host in Tomorrowland Terrace. This Elvis cover band was pretty stinkin' awesome. So much so that they even had a following of blue haired ladies (complete with TCB shirts!) and a large group of swing dancers dressed in their finest vintage garb. My favorite dance couple was this woman who looked to be in her seventies dancing with her fella. They out be-bopped 'em all!
Vintage Shopping. This image is pulled from Gala Darling. Go to her blog and check out her top three vintage shops in LA. The one on her list that I've visited is called Playclothes in Burbank and it's featured in the photo above. I chatted pretty extensively on my favorite vintage shops in Burbank here. However, my secret to scoring vintage for cheap in LA? Hitting the resale shops of Buffalo Exchange. Granted, you have to do a bit of digging because the majority of their clothing is current. However, when you find that 1950's novelty print sundress in mint condition for $9, it's just pure joy.
Malibu Creek State Park. Hubs discovered this amazing park and it's now one of our faves. If you are in the area, you have to go. The views were absolutely stunning. And don't worry, I quickly ditched my lil look for my sneakers and jeans.
MASH Set. One of the coolest things about this park, aside from the amazing views, is that it's the set for the 1970s show MASH. They still have parts from the set out which was really fun to explore.
The cast on set.

And what it looks like now.
One Last Look. Before leaving the park, that is. Out of our hikes, Malibu Creek State Park was our favorite. It's definitely one we'll be returning to.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #60

Belated St. Patty's Monday: I was so bummed that St. Patty's Day fell on a Sunday this year! So I decided to extend it to Monday. I was determined to wear these amazing tartan stockings sent to me from Debi in Scotland. And, yeah, I know, St. Patty's Day is an Irish holiday not a Scottish one. I'm not that culturally confused. dress and sweater: both thrifted; the sweater has lace detailing and vintage buttons added by me a couple years ago; necklaces: gifts; belt and boots: you are gonna see this boots a lot in the next couple weeks; both anthro; tartan tights: Debi in Scotland!
This week, this happened:

 After showing a fourth grade student some weaving trick, she was rightfully impressed by my mad teaching skillz. 

Fourth Grader: Wow! That's amazing!
Me: Yep, I know. That's why they pay me the big bucks.
Fourth Grader: (looking up from her weaving in disbelief) Wait, they PAY you?!

Yeah. They most certainly do. And sometimes they pay me not so show up (which I'm sure they'd do more often if the budget would allow).

That's right, I'm currently experiencing the most amazing thing on the planet: Spring Break! Hubs and I are currently in LA going for hikes, vintage shopping and taking in nightly visits to Disneyland. I'll be certain to fill you in soon. Until then, here's a bit of what I wore and some vintage LA goodness. Enjoy your week!

Check out the source of this postcard and read all about the second largest city in the U.S. here.
 British Invasion, Again: Now that our two-week clay animal project is complete (for now, the glazing will begin after spring break), we're back in the UK. Which means we are back to listening to One Direction 24/7. sweater: Delias; dress: super old, Francescas; tights: Anthropologie; shoes: Fluevog
Isn't it lovely? On my first trip to LA several years ago, I traveled to many of the old missions as you can see in that circular photo. Never saw a steamboat though.

First Day of Spring Wednesday: Since scoring this lovely Bernie Dexter dress on ebay back in the fall, I've been dying for an excuse to wear it. The chilly first day of spring seemed like the perfect occasion. dress: Bernie Dexter; blouse: gift from a friend; fishnets and tights: Target; belt and boots: can you tell I love this combo? I wear it all the time! Anthro

Borrowed from this lovely blog.
Sunny California Thursday:  I spent this day catching up with a college buddy and hitting the best vintage shops on West Magnolia in Burbank. Where I didn't buy a single thing. Which is some kind of record for me. Don't worry, I made up for it though. And then some. sweater and dress: Anthro, purchased for cheap at Buffalo Exchange on my last trip to LA; boots: you know; tights and fishnets: Target
  Oui! LA traffic is the absolute worst. Seriously, I don't know how people do it. Luckily hubs does most of the driving while I'm passed out dead-to-the-world in the passenger seat. That is until he has to slam on the breaks or make a hard swerve to avoid the craziness. Image via pinterest.
'Bout to Break a Bench Friday: But I'm not worried. I've got my trusty pack of Newport cigarettes by my side. I was laughing at just how classy that was gonna look when Mitch snapped this photo. dress: my only polyester vintage number. I hate polyester but I do love this dress; tights: Target
Vintage travel constant day dream is to be able to time travel back to the 1950s and shop for just a few hours. LA time travel would suit me just fine.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY: Black, White and (Now) Red All Over

 Emkay, this may sound strange coming from the crazy art teacher who wears sparkly fishnets to school, but I actually have a vague idea of what is inappropriate work attire. In fact, according to's 25 Things a Professional Woman Should Never Wear, I'm 74% professional. Ahem. Their list was pretty lame though. For starters, they are obviously early 21st century haters. I mean, what did Paris Hilton ever do to get this list-creator to diss the following:
  • Juicy Couture track suits and uggs. Seriously? Nobody is still wearing that except Pam Anderson. Hey, Pam Anderson, Bay Watch called. Oh no, wait, no they didn't. Because 2001 is over.
  •  Crocs and fanny packs. Wear this and not only will you no longer have a job but suddenly birth control is no longer necessary. Two birds, one stone.
  •  Wallet chain, torn jeans and clothes worn yesterday. Oh, I see. Now we're pickin' on the grunge era. Next you'll tell me flannel is out.
  • Flannel. What?!
  •  Face Tats. Seriously? Who has a face tat that isn't Mike Tyson? Although I was asked just the other day if my cat eyeliner was tattooed on. It isn't. Right now.
One thing on the list that I do agree with was not showing too much skin. So when I slipped on this dress I purchased from Modcloth not too long ago, I knew it didn't pass the tasteful test. Hello, pale mid-thigh! And I was super bummed because did you see that fabric? It features cats! In the news! Doing human stuff!

Being tallish, I've dealt with this too-short-attire problem before (junior high flashback: "Hey, Stephens, where's the flood?!"). My solution with dresses is adding a band of fabric on the bottom. My wingin' it way of doing this is to measure the width of one side of the bottom of the skirt, cut two pieces of fabric that width, sew those two pieces together thus creating a circle. That circle of fabric is then pinned to the hem of the dress, right sides together and sewn. I then hem the skirt. You can see more examples of that with my Hot Air Balloon dress and my Eiffel Tower dress.
Me, circa 2011. Back when I was still watching Baywatch reruns.
After adding the tomato red fabric to the bottom of the dress, I decided I needed more red to balance it out. That's when I had a flashback of this thrifted Target dress redo from a couple years ago. Here's what it looked like in it's original thrifted state:

Kinda nice because of the sweet bird fabric but mostly boring. After taking up the hem on this dress. I decided to add the bow and the little coral detailing at the shoulders. Recalling this redo, I decided to put a bow on Modcloth cat dress as well. Wanna put bows on things? Here's how it's done:
You begin by creating...what looks like a pair of little boys briefs. Ew, scroll down.
Ah, that's better. So, begin by deciding how wide you'd like your bow to be. Then double that. And add an inch. Decide the height of your bow and add an inch for hemming. Fold under 1/4" top and bottom and hem. Then create a circle by sewing right sides together.
Using needle and thread, create a hand basted stitch. Don't know what that is? It's a very wide stitch as seen above. That kind of stitch is good for gathering. The wrinkles in my fabric show how I've been practicing my gathering skillz. Once fabric is gathered to your liking, knot thread.
As you can see above, once that was complete, I added a folded in band of fabric for the loop around the middle of the bow. This was hand stitched (ugh, I hate hand stitching. What is this, 2001? Pam, gimme a hand here, would ya?!) and attached to the belt.
Oh, shoot, the belt. I forgot to take photos  of how that was created. Sorry. Here's the beginning stage. After pressing these folds down, I added a fusible stabilizer to give the belt some beef, folded it in half and stitched all the way around. Once the bow was hand stitched into place, I added a snap button closer.
Me in all my belted glory. With cats! In the news! Doing human things! Yes, like a good episode of Bay Watch, it bears repeating. 
Pretty sure a crinoline wouldn't make the list of appropriate attire. Nor the sparkly fishnets. But I never claimed to be 100% pro.
The rest of the outfit details: black top and necklace: Target; sparkly fishnets: TJMaxx; shoes: Dolls by Nina
And just in case you were wondering what professional fashon faux paus I did make, that'd be the following:
Oh well. Can't win 'em all.