Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ok, what now?!

I am in shock.

Complete shock. You don't want to be around when it wears off either. I don't even want to be around.

At 1PM this afternoon I had a meeting with the dean of my department/my advisor about my upcoming graduation next semester.

I have met with him many times before and we have filled out this same graduation check-off sheet every time.

...Uggh, just telling this story is going to be a pain...

Backstory: I am finishing a long-delayed undergraduate degree so that I can have a feeling of completion, and perhaps enable me to justify a higher salary in the future. (Yes, I know that a Graduate degree might not even do that, but every bit counts, right?)

During my college career, I originally was working toward a degree in Painting and Printmaking. [Note: The following sentence is very important.] Halfway through my Sophomore year in 1989, I decided to switch to Art History and all those introductory drawing, painting, and photography classes became general electives, over 20 credits worth.

After a hiatus of 10+ years I returned to school and marshaled some past credits and some new ones acquired at a community college into an AA degree. Once that was accomplished I returned to my old school in 2004 to finish that Art History degree, believing that it wouldn't take that long, even on part-time status. At least it would be better than starting all over with a new major and losing most of those completed credits.

I walked into my meeting today, mistakenly having the idea that I only needed two, maybe three more classes in order to graduate. One History and two more Art History classes.

My advisor agreed with me that both numerically (I have the requisite 120 credits for my major) and categorically (I have the 15 credits of History, the 15 credits of Foreign Language, the 6...etc.) I have what it takes to graduate.

However, [Note: first time anyone has mentioned this] out of the 45 courses required at the 300 and above level, I have only achieved 30 of those. I still need 15 credits of classes. The three classes I was prepared to take in the Spring will only count for 9 of those credits. Therefore, I still need to take two MORE classes.

How did this happen?

Those damn electives, that's how!! Those electives that take up space on my transcripts count for nothing in this particular regard because they are only 100 or 200 level introductory classes. I have so many (too many) superfluous classes on my transcript! And now I have to take TWO MORE classes in ANYTHING (yes, that's what my advisor said, it doesn't matter what) just as long as they are categorized as 300 and above in order to graduate. Why couldn't anyone have pointed that out to me before this, my second to last semester?

So there's no question that I will just have to buckle down and take five more classes.

Of course, this again delays my graduation, my moving out of Richmond, and what is starting to feel like the beginning of my new "personal life-allowed" life.

I was given the unique option that the University DOES ALLOW in that I could march at May Commencement as long as I then completed those six credits in the summer. At this point, doesn't that seems like the most depressing thing, second only to not graduating at all? How can you throw your hat up in the air, when in the back of your mind runs the all familiar refrain, 'so what is going to happen NOW to keep this from becoming a reality?'

I want a hug.

A BIG hug.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hurry, Quick, Fast!

My bad. I should have mentioned this as soon as I found out about it.

PBS is allowing free viewing of Joanna Rudnick's documentary "In The Family" online until October 31, only two days away. It is Joanna's own story as a woman with a family history of breast cancer who chooses to get tested for BRCA, the "breast cancer gene."

The women in my family also have a history of breast cancer and my oldest sister already had herself tested. She does not have the gene. She told me about this film but I haven't viewed the one-hour film yet. I plan to do that tonight after class.

If you saw it when it originally aired on October 1st or if you choose to view it online in the next two days, let me know your thoughts, ok?

Yardsale re-use and re-fashion

Izod Jeans floral shirt
At the yard sale, I bought a great man’s shirt for only 25 cents. As soon as I saw all the shirts on the rack, I thought back to some recent shirt refashions I had seen on the internet. Could I make an adorable retro shirt from this instead of having to create one from scratch or another untried pattern? Hmmm…

It’s not long enough to make a dress so I want a shirt/tunic with probably an empire waist and tiny gathered sleeves; taking a cue from the fabric and making it very feminine.

These are the projects and tutorials that I’m looking at as research:

Cap-sleeved shirt by Paperdaises at Craftster
Clevergirl's shirtdress from one shirt
Clevergirl's shirtdress from two shirts
An empire-waist idea on whip up
Man’s shirt into woman's skirt at Label-Free

Then here are a few tutorials for adapting the sleeves or collars of any refashioned garment:

Wiksten’s gathered cap sleeve
Flour pleated collar tutorial on Sew, Mama Sew!

If you see any more tutorials, please let me know. However, don't expect to see a finished shirt project anytime soon as the temperature here has dropped drastically and I'm now all about corduroy and flannel!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am both Daria AND Jane

Just sending out some Morgendorffer-Lane love.

Check out what Molly Lynch found, although it is a bootleg compilation. Info on the only official DVD's available is here.

Does anyone know if there were ever plastic poseable versions of the gang? I would SO love to have these two on my desk to cheer me on!

Image: Venus Zine

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Me and my Red Shoes

My Clarks arrived early Friday morning, but I didn't open them until I got them home that evening.

As advertised

In real life

As you can see, I ordered the rust pair. They are a more subtle red than the type I'd been looking for the last six months, but I think I like that.

Here they are (first photo) with both black and brown tights. They really look better with the brown than they appear in this photo but I couldn't get the color right.

Though with the Miz Mooz brown ones having a bit more red in it, these Target ombre ones, and now these brownish-red ones, maybe they are all a little too close for comfort.

Maybe I need to get a more true red pair...what do you think?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


for my shoes.

Since I live in a secured-door apartment building, UPS wasn't able to deliver my shoes the last two days. Even though I redirected the delivery to my office early this morning (actually 12:04 AM) I won't be able to get them until tomorrow.

It was disappointing since I was wearing an outfit perfectly assembled for those shoes today. My red swing skirt, autumn colored fall shirt, black Forever 21 50s-style swing jacket, and my new pumpkin colored earrings. Oh well, at least I know what I'll wear with them next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Braniff: The Opposite of Stripped-down Style

Note: Originally published at the 2Modern Design Talk blog.

My post last week on Dallas-based Braniff International Airways only made me eager to write about their infamous airline hostess uniforms. I mean you have to make note of a uniform advertising campaign that is built around the burlesque art of strip tease and markets posters such as this Air Strip ad seen here.

The uniforms (see below) were designed as many separate components of a complete wardrobe consisting of a reversible coat worn over a pink wool suit on top of a silk turtle-neck tunic and culottes. Throughout the flight, the hostesses would "strip" off their ensemble until they reached the silk pieces. Using women as eye-candy. Wow, what a novel idea. Not. However, there was in fact a very novel idea in play as these uniforms were innovative and most definitely eye-catching. Designed by Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci, how could they not be?

1965 Air Strip

1966 Pucci II

As part of a company-wide rebranding effort, Pucci was brought in around the same time as Alexander Girard was hired for graphic design, and the "End of the Plain Plane" campaign. The bright colors used statically on the plane exteriors would now also be seen moving inside the plane cabin.

1971 Pucci VI

Sites where you can see more of these colorful uniforms:
  • Fabulous uniform collection donated by the Clipped B's, a service organization of former BI hostesses.
  • A former Braniff air hostess and her recollection of her uniforms.
  • Hostess uniforms from 335 international airlines and here is Braniff from the mid 60s to late 80s.
  • Check this site's photos for more of the Braniff uniforms in action.
Images: Braniff Pages, the Dallas Historical Society, and Uniformfreak

Target for the win?

The black Merona sweater coat from Target may* have won the challenge to stay in my wardrobe and take its place as my new cardigan.

As it turns out the Old Navy cardigan was only serviceable, not really cute and funky once it was layered over anything more complicated than a brown racer-back tank that strangely enough was originally from Old Navy. Hmmm...

In other matters, the Clark Devine has been asked to join the wardrobe family as it was on major sale at I was very enamored of the Nicole Beautiful but unfortunately it was not on sale AND it's mixture of red and brown was not as closet-friendly with all of my black skirts and trousers. Hopefully, the Devine may have an easier time finding its place among them, as well as, with the various shades of brown and brown-friendly prints I already have in my closet. It should be arriving today!

*An employee in my department was let go yesterday, so I think the Target cardigan is going back too. My older black cardigan isn't in that bad a shape if I get some funky cool patches on the elbows as soon as possible. Of course, I had a chance to repair it very early in the unraveling process but procrastinated. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mad Men: Pretty Peggy-O*

Peggy Olson

Peggy was told by Joan during her first week of work, "You're the new girl and you're not much, so you might as well enjoy it** while it lasts." More harsh words from our Joan!

Joan also told her to undress in front of a mirror with a paper bag over her head and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of her body. What is telling about Peggy, is that you don't get the impression that she ever followed that advice. Since she wasn't there to snag a husband, like seemingly every other girl at Sterling Cooper, she let those words of wisdom pass on by. That's what I like about our Peg.

This does not mean that I don't want to see her dress more fashionably. I like that she avoids becoming a cookie cutter version of anyone else. Truthfully, the only thing I really have a problem with are her bangs. In the six episodes I have seen, they are either very stiff and short or strangely parted down the middle because they are too long.

Scary bangs in episode 1

The difference in style between Joan and Peggy is obvious. Peggy prefers the full-skirted style of the early and mid 1950s and will take a while to embrace the slim-skirted look of the 1950-60s that Joan gravitates to and wears so well. Peggy is also a big advocate for collars, scarves, and pearls; details that bring the eye up to her face instead of lingering on her figure. I doubt she has ever in her life wanted the same kind of attention that Joan enjoys.

The empire waists on these two dresses direct attention up and away from the waistline while the collars and scarf draw the eye straight past the decolletage and further upward to the face.

Here, a simple blouse, buttoned to the top, and a somewhat slim skirt still fit the established "good girl" image. However, the yellow pumps were a pretty surprising (and sexy) choice for her to make.

F.Y.I. This is my favorite outfit. I love the nubby fabric and the big buttons on the tabs and on the skirt.

Most of the patterns that looked like Peggy's style were listed as Girl or Junior styles on the vintage pattern sites. You can seek out the "Junior" Mad Woman in you by using the search term rockabilly:

Simplicity 4808, Butterick 7905, Simplicity 4766, Advance
"Pretty Peggy-O" title courtesy of Bob Dylan
** the office males' attention

Saturday, October 18, 2008

...but not enough.

Funtasma Gogo 305, $37 (!)

Hmmm, I like these almost enough to dress up as Wonder Woman for Halloween.


You can check out more from this brand, Funtasma, here! I found them courtesy of new site,

If you get them, please let me know!!!

Yes, shopping...

As it turned out, I do have a bit of money to spend, $80 in fact from those Clarks that I returned. I turned around and ordered these Merrells but a few days later I received a voice mail that The Walking Company could no longer get them (at least not at that reduced price), so that money is now back in the pot. Since it was part of the wedding payment, I still want to spend it on something fun. Hence these shopping posts and that one on red shoes.

Well, back to last weekend:

after Old Navy I ran over to Target before I got exhausted from trying on sweaters in 70 to 80 (!) degree weather. I decided to try on that short sleeve cardigan again, just to be sure. I also tried on any other cardigan that might possibly work out. One of my steadfast and never fail rules is that you never eliminate a garment that catches your eye until you actually try the garment on.


Mossimo Juniors mock turtleneck sweater coat, $35

It does look as good as in the picture, great quality, and has great detail in the pattern (see top photo). However, a short sleeve cardigan is not going to cut it for me, especially since in one day our temperature here dropped from the mid 80s to the low 40s!

Merona one-button car coat, $40

If I had seen the picture before I would not have tried this one on. The picture was incredibly honest. The one I picked up was constructed poorly as you can tell from the neckline but the sleeves were still an awkward length and not flattering at all.

Mossimo mock-neck cardigan, $30

This looks promising but I don't recall seeing this in the store. Perhaps it was because of that great low price. Or it was so unattractive I didn't give it a second look. Who knows.

Merona scarf sweater $40

I love this one! It's not really practical as a throw on/off cardigan because of the hidden button and scarf panels but once done up it is extremely elegant. I especially love the silhouette. I automatically saw it with a short pencil skirt, tights, and pumps though it also looked great with my cords and ballet slipper-like Borns.

So what did I end up buying? Well I was a bad girl and brought two cardigans home on probation. One was the more casual ON cable knit in pale gray and the other was the Merona scarf coat because it was so fittin' elegant I couldn't leave it in the store!

Update: This occurred last weekend so there is a shakeup going on right now. I'm going to try them on again with different items in my wardrobe to see which one deserves to stay. You see, one of these red shoes is on considerable sale and I do still need to replace my other pumps. In total, I can only afford around $80 worth of merchandise. One of the sweaters must go back. I'll let you know which one soon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I bet my generation can outsource your generation...

I thought you might enjoy reading this very interesting post from Richmond blogger John Sarvay from Buttermilk & Molasses discussing the work of author Lynne Lancaster. Ms. Lancaster's book, What a Difference a Generation Makes!, studies the differences between the four generations currently in the American workplace:
  • Traditionalists = born prior to 1946

  • Baby Boomers = born 1946 - 1964

  • Generation X = born 1965 - 1981

  • Millenials = born after 1982

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A "Victoria" Simple Country Wedding

Yes, you can have money and still want to throw a simple country wedding.

Homemade touches in your wedding does not mean "we don't have enough money to do what we want to do so we did this" This is what I realized when I came across this wedding in an old Victoria magazine that I picked up at that yard sale.

Though the bridal couple's wedding is full of homemade details, low cost decor, and local vendors this brides parents are (I feel pretty safe saying) well off.

I mean how many brides luck out that their parents decide to build a ballroom addition to their home in order to throw their annual galas just in time for their daughter's wedding? Well, they do if the brides parents are interior designer, Keith Irvine and design writer, Chippy Irvine.

The bridesmaid dresses, reminiscent of 1890 gowns and influenced by the movie version of Sense & Sensibility were handmade of sprigged cotton lawn. Inexpensive ballet slippers were dyed to match the summery pastels.

Purchased trim was attached to the simple embroidered bridal gown

Hand sewn tablecloths and napkins in a leaf and vine pattern

 Locally made honey as favors

The first choice for cake topper was a store bought set, but instead the Mother-of-the-bride contributed this handmade pipe cleaner pair; which I think "makes" the cake.

Talk about DIY and being involved in every aspect; even the music during the ceremony was provided by a choir that included the mother of the bride!

Images and story: February 2002 Victoria magazine article, "Heart and Hand" written by the bride's mother, Chippy Irvine.