SIA: Karin At The Shore

Welcome to another week of SIA! Our inspiration this week is “Karin at the Shore” by Swedish artist Carl Larsson, and although the common theme seems to be floral, the looks are quite varied. Let’s check them out!

First up is my co-host, Shelbee, in a spot-on blue dress and black floral-printed kimono, and a spot-on pose too:

Up next is my other co-host, Terri, who went with the colors and featured flowers in her background instead:

Here is Kezzie, adorable as always:

Marsha found the perfect shirt for this challenge from her to-be-donate pile – talk about serendipity!

Sally also went with a layered look – I love the floral-on-gingham print:

Michelle went with floral too, but she featured green rather than blue in her outfit. Super summery!

Our Instagram participant, bu_terka, is also back with a minimalist outfit – unexpected, but I quite like it:

And finally, moi (or, considering the Swedish origin of this painting, I should say “mig”, which is Swedish for “me”):

Big thanks to everybody for participating! Don’t forget to come back next week for Terri’s pick – it’s the Fourth of July too, so I’m excited to see what she has in mind!


Salazar In The Garden

For this week’s SIA, inspired by Carl Larsson’s “Karin at the Shore“, I knew I’d wear this floral waistcoat, as it’s perfect for the flowers in the painting – in fact, I think it even features the same lilies as the painting! For the rest of the outfit, I didn’t want anything too dark and heavy (it is the summer, after all), but I did want to reference the woman’s dress in some way. In the end, I went with this white lace top and navy pants, because if you look closely, there are white lace trims on her dress. The shoes were, I admit, an afterthought, so I just picked what went well with the outfit rather than referencing the painting, but this pair is neutral enough so they’re all right. All in all, I’m quite pleased with how the outfit turned out.

If you haven’t send me your outfits, you still have until tomorrow, and don’t forget to come back on Wednesday to see how everybody did!


1930s Golfer

This outfit was built around these shoes. Ever since I gave my saddle shoes to my sister, I’ve been looking for a pair with the same two-tone look, but easier to style – for me, saddle shoes tend to conjure up a certain sporty look that is not really “me” (which is why I gave my pair to my sister.) So I was really excited to come across this pair – they have that masculine, spectator-esque look that I like, but they’re more versatile and not as sporty as saddle shoes. Having said that, it’s a bit ironic that I ended up choosing a sporty look as the inspiration for this outfit, more specifically, 1930s women’s golfing attire. The buttons on the skirt remind me of women’s sportswear back then, and I went with the sporty theme by wearing my quiver brooch – it looks a bit like a golf bag, doesn’t it?


Book Reviews: June 2022

I’m posting this a week early since next Wednesday is reserved for the SIA round-up post, plus June was a busy month, so I only managed 3 books:

The Star Machine by Jeanine Basinger:

I’ve always found Old Hollywood fascinating, so this book, which discusses how movie stars were manufactured (and they were manufactured, not merely “discovered”) by the studio system during the Golden Age of Hollywood (1930s-1950s, roughly), is right up my alley. It details the step-by-step process of making a star and features several “case studies” of when the machine worked and when it didn’t, and why, by examining of the careers of Tyrone Power, Lana Turner, Errol Flynn, Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, Norma Shearer, and others. It’s very insightful and entertaining at the same time, and I’ve been on a classic movie binge because of it. 5/5

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce:

I quite enjoy Rachel Joyce’s previous book, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, so of course I had to check out her next book. It’s about a spinster teacher in post-WWII London who teams up with an unlikely “assistant” to travel to New Caledonia and search for a mysterious beetle. It combines several of my favorite genres and subject matters (travel, nature, a bit of history, adventure), and at the heart of it is a moving story about friendship and going out of your comfort zone – pretty similar to “Harold Fry”, in fact. I found the two characters a bit silly and annoying at first, but I soon warmed up to them. My one complaint is the two subplots – one feels forced and a little repetitive, and the other goes nowhere. Still, it’s very good and fairly quick read. 4/5

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le:

I don’t often read romance, and I read YA romance even more rarely, so the only reasons I decided to read this – a star-crossed romance between two Vietnamese-American teens whose families run rival pho restaurants – are 1) I’m Vietnamese and 2) I like food-themed books. I was prepared to not like the romance, so in a way, the book meets my expectation – the romance is pretty clich├ęd. The chapters switch between the main characters’ POVs, but their voices are not different enough, so I often found myself confused as to whose POV I’m following. Plus, the reason behind the families’ feud is too slight and not convincing at all. As for the food descriptions, they’re okay, except for one glaring issue: you do NOT put hoisin sauce in pho! Also, I find the Vietnamese phrases scattered throughout the book rather distracting – some are downright incorrect, and even the correct ones are too stilted and not natural enough. For the teens, that can be forgivable, because they’re not born in Vietnam, but even the parents’ Vietnamese is questionable. 2/5


SIA Inspiration: Carl Larsson

It’s my turn to host SIA, and we’ve had some challenging pieces lately, so I went with a conventionally “pretty” painting:

This is “Karin at the Shore” by Swedish artist Carl Larsson. I picked it because of the soft watercolor tones, delicate lines, and the contrast between the lady’s dark dress and the colorful flowers. I thought it was a nice, summery image, but apparently it was painted in late autumn, and the flowers froze the next day. Well, I think it still works for summer. Remember to send me your outfits by next Tuesday, June 28th, and have fun!