How Soon Is Now

What’s this? A third post this week? Inconceivable! But as the start of the semester is looming closer, I have more work to do at school, so I had an excuse put on some real clothes at least more than once a week. This is still very simple, but the blouse is new (it’s one of the new tops I got from my shopping trip with my sister) so it looks like I put some effort in. The blouse is really lightweight, so it’s great for these muggy, stormy days, but its colors – gray and yellow – are appropriate for fall as well, so I think it would be good for late August.

Speaking of which, I’ve started to see some “fall style” posts cropping on the blogosphere. I don’t care if the fashion world apparently has its own calendar compared with the rest of the world; I don’t want to see cardigans and scarves on my reader while it’s still 90+ here. Of course, I’m eager for fall as well – hence the cheesy title (I’ve been listening to The Smiths) – but it’s too soon, bloggers.

And yes, these are the same jeans from Monday. I re-wear my clothes all the time; it’s just that when I have more outfit posts, I space them out so it’s not as noticeable.


SIA: Synesthetic Art

Just as a reminder, this week we’re featuring outfits inspired by the synesthetic painting “Boy with a Coin” by Melissa McCracken. We just have a small group of regulars, so let’s get to it, shall we?

First up is Jen, who chose a flowy floral dress with all the colors in the painting. She even wrapped two scarves around her hat for some extra colors and added her yellow tote – genius!

Up next is Mike, who picked a brilliant blue shirt to echo the blue of the painting:

Erin wore this same dress for the last SIA challenge, but I don’t blame her for wearing it again (with fringed kimono added!) because it works quite well with the painting, especially against the backdrop of that blue chaise longue:

Finally, here’s me:

And that wraps up another fun SIA. It’s Jen’s turn to pick the inspiration next week, so don’t forget to check back!


Boy With A Coin

Sorry for the radio silence this past week. I had planned on posting something in the middle of the week, but then time got away from me, and I didn’t have anything interesting say anyway, so rather than to force a post, I decided to just take a break. Anyway, school is back next week, so hopefully I can have regular outfit posts again and the blog will be back on track.

Back to the matter at hand – here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Melissa McCracken‘s synesthetic painting. I had to admit, I picked this mainly because it’s such a beautiful piece. I had no idea what I was going to wear for it. By a stroke of luck, last week I went shopping with my sister and picked up a few new tops, including this lilac tunic (my sister called it “taro-colored”, which is quite accurate actually). Even though the color isn’t exactly right (the painting has more pink than purple), I thought the flowy silhouette would be a good fit for this. I paired it with my navy jeans and dark red heels to mimic the other colors in the painting. I thought about adding my yellow brooch as well, but it clashes with the purple. Besides, the tunic has some very pretty embroideries already, and I didn’t want to distract from them, so I figured this would do, even if it’s not as close to the painting as I’d like.

So that’s it for me. I’m probably going to post the round-up on Wednesday, so you still have until tomorrow to send me your outfits. Get to it!


SIA Inspiration: Melissa McCracken

It’s again my turn to pick the inspiration for SIA. After some debate, I decided on this painting:

It appears to be just a pretty abstract painting, doesn’t it? But this one is much more special. The artist, Melissa McCracken, has synesthesia, which is a neurological condition that mixes up your brain’s sensory responses, so you can “see” a smell or perceive that a number or a letter is of a certain gender (one of my classmates in college has this – to her the number 1 is male and number 2 is female, etc.).

Melissa McCracken’s form of synesthesia is known as chromesthesia, meaning she can see colors in sounds, so she translates her favorite songs into beautiful paintings. I find this fascinating, so of course I had to pick one for SIA. The one I ended up picking is for Iron and Wine’s “Boy with a Coin“, not only because it’s one of my favorite songs as well, but also because the painting itself is gorgeous. I have no idea how I’m going to translate this into an outfit yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

You can learn more about McCracken from this interview and see more of her paintings on her website. And don’t forget to send me your outfits by next Monday, August 14th. Have fun!


Adventure In Sketching II

I’ve been trying to sketch every day, and the results are looking… well, I wouldn’t say “better”, but less clumsy than my first attempts.

I’m trying different styles. I can’t draw very well, so first I tried sketching very lightly with a pencil and then going straight in with the colors, but I think that this style is too loose for me. I’m not comfortable enough with watercolors yet, so I keep making mistakes and making a mess of everything.

 

Here are the more controlled, pen-and-wash sketches. I prefer this, though so far I’ve only tried it with simple drawings like houses and barns. The moment I tried to add something spontaneous – like the tree and bushes in the sketch of the houses – it ended up looking like a mistake again.

I’ve also tried a mix of the two, like with this flowering branch (it’s a crepe myrtle, in case my sketching skill isn’t up to par) and this tree. I’m more careful with the branch and the tree trunk, but I can afford to be freer with the flower and the foliage because they don’t require a lot of details.

Still a lot to learn, but so far I’m enjoying it.


Summer Flowers

I almost decided not to participate in this SIA, because one, I’ve been stuck at home all month, working in my pajamas, so there is no reason to dress up, two, it’s been raining almost all month, and three, I have no idea what to wear.The most noticeable color in the photo Erin picked is purple, and I don’t have anything purple.

But as luck would have it, the rain stopped and I had a couple of errands to run this past weekend, so I had the excuse to wear something marginally dressier than my ratty old tee and pajama pants. I picked the light blue jeans, black sandals, and silver cuff to mimic the background of the photo, and my floral printed t-shirt, while not exact, is a pretty good interpretation of the tulips in the photo, if I do say so myself.

It’s been a stressful summer. On the one hand, I am so ready for it to end so I can start wearing actual clothes and put the blog back into shape (cooler weather would be nice, too). On the other hand, I have so much left to do with all of my side projects that I know I would be overwhelmed once the school year starts again. Well, I have until August 21 to at least finish some of them, so I guess I’d better shape up.

Don’t forget to stop by Erin’s blog to see other interpretations of this photo!


Book Reviews: July 2017

I actually read 5 books this month but two of them are re-read (both by Bill Bryson) so I won’t bother with reviewing them. I re-read them mostly because two of the new books I was reading annoyed me so much. You’ll see which one.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson:

This is considered a classic now, but for those of you that don’t know it, a quick summary: a group of people stay at a house rumored to be haunted, where, naturally, supernatural incidents do occur. It sounds deceptively simple and even boring, but Shirley Jackson is a master at getting us inside the character’s head and building tension from the most normal of interactions. The supernatural incidents are not actually scary, but they are really, really disturbing, mostly because they are described from the characters’ POV. My only complaint is that the ending feels a little rushed. 4/5

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs:

This is the third and final book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series (or, as I call it from the movie adaptation, Tim Burton’s X-Men). I enjoyed the first book and didn’t care much for the second, but that one ends on such a cliffhanger that I decided to check out this one anyway. I’d say it’s on about the same level as the second book. The photographs, which are so creepy and cleverly used in the first book, feel forced and gimmicky here, the plot is drawn-out, and the characters boring. The ending picks up the pace a bit, but then it gets wrapped up in a really lazy way. 1.5/5

Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi:

I admit, I picked up this book because of the pretty cover of the Vietnamese edition. Plus, it’s a murder mystery set in Giverny, the village where Claude Monet spent the last 30 years of his life, so I expected some nice scenery descriptions and a fast-paced plot. Well, the scenery is there, but not as much as I would’ve liked, and as for the story… gods, this must be the most boring murder mystery I’ve ever read. The plot moves like molasses; I cannot relate to any of the characters, and it features one of the most idiotic “twists” I have ever seen. Basically the book lied to you the whole time and then called that a twist. And then there is the writing. The POV switch is all over the place – one chapter would be in first person, one chapter in third person limited, and another in third person omnipresent. Also, almost all the dialogues end in either an ellipsis or an exclamation mark, which gives the impression that these characters have the annoying habit of not finishing their sentences or yelling them out. By the end of it, I wish they were all dead already. 1/5

Here’s hoping that the books next month will be more enjoyable.