I have to admit that this week’s SIA inspiration, “Tapestry” by Sam Gilliam, really stumped me. It features a lot of colors, and I don’t have anything that colorful in my closet. My attempts at combining different colors just looked random. Then I suddenly remembered my socks – they’re certainly colorful, but are they enough? Finally, I decided to pick the loudest pair of socks I have as an accent and base the rest of the outfit on textures instead – the artwork itself is smooth, but I like how the different panels and colors seem to give it a sense of texture, so I chose my wool sweater and this new pair of corduroy pants to reflect that. Plus, the cream of the sweater and the mustard yellow of the pants can also be found in the piece, and if you look closely, there are flecks of different colors on my sweater as well.
And that’s why I love SIA – it allows you to think differently and creatively about your outfit. Don’t forget to check Kim’s blog later in the week to see other outfits inspired by this artwork!
I hope that my US readers all had a fun, food-filled Thanksgiving. Here’s a simple outfit to close out the week – I just realize that I’ve only worn this skirt once since I got it, which is a bit surprising because it looks like it should go with everything. The thing is, I don’t wear skirts much anymore. Because of our climate, skirts are not the easiest thing to wear – in the summer, it’s too hot to have the skirt around your waist and bike shorts (and sometimes a slip too) underneath, while in the winter, it’s too cold even with tights and boots. The two weeks of fall and spring are the only times I can wear skirts comfortably, so I’m making the best of them.
In the last review, I said this month I’d just read Discworld books because last month’s books frustrated me so much. However, as I only have three Discworld books left to read, I want to save them until I’m absolutely ready for them. So I turned to my to-read pile instead, which is why this month’s reads are a little random. Here goes:
Cooked by Michael Pollan:
After “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, Michael Pollan is quickly becoming my favorite food writer, so I decided to check out another one of his books. In this one, he explores the four basic methods of cooking, which correspond with four basic elements – grilling (fire), braising (water), leavening (air), and fermenting (earth) – and shows how cooking is the bridge between nature and culture. He actually tries to master these methods of cooking and documents his efforts in detail and even includes the recipes at the end of the book as well. If you’re not interested in food, Pollan can come off cloyingly effusive and a bit bourgeoise in his approach, but I find it all fascinating. 4/5
The History of Hanoi by Philippe Papin:
I’ve read many books on Vietnamese history written by Vietnamese authors and was often frustrated at the lack of organization and research, so in picking up a book by a French historian with a special interest in Vietnam, I was hoping the information would be presented in a more scientific manner and would give me some new insights into the history of my country. The book is certainly well researched, but only from the late 18th century on – the earlier stuff remains frustratingly vague. That’s when I realized the fault is not with the author; our own early history is simply so muddled and under-documented that it’s difficult for anyone to make sense of them (I mean, the classic tome of Vietnamese history, written in the 15th century, still documents a case of a king being turned into a tiger as if it were fact!) Plus the book is really dry. Other than Ian Mortimer’s Time Traveler’s Guide series, I have yet to find an entertaining history book. 3/5
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain by Christopher Monger:
Well, I did say the books were random, didn’t I? I know of this movie with Hugh Grant but didn’t realize it’s a novel until now. The story is pretty simple – during WWI, two English mapmakers arrive at a small Welsh village to measure their beloved mountain, but when it turns out to be just shy of 20 feet to meet the required height, the villagers set out to change the measurement by any means necessary. It’s nothing special, but it’s a fun, quick read, and the characters are all colorful and memorable. 3/5
This is also the last book review post of the year, as next month I’m going to do the yearly round-up, same as last year. See you then!
It’s Kim’s turn to host SIA, and here is her pick:
This piece, titled “Tapestry“, is the work of Sam Gilliam, a lyrical abstractionist. I’ve never heard of him before, but a look through his works show some really interesting colors and textures, just like with this piece. I have no idea what I’m going to do for the outfit – I have no saturated colors to speak of in my closet – but I’m intrigued to see what everybody comes up with. Remember to send your outfits to Kim (email@example.com) by next Tuesday, December 3rd, to be included in the round-up. Have fun!
Despite the rain you see in the photos, it was actually a bit too warm for this sweater, but I’ve been waiting to wear it since I got it, so excuse me for being a little overeager. What I really like about it is the neckline – it’s not a turtleneck (which should be fitted around the neck), and it’s not a boatneck, but more like a combination of the two. It’s a small detail but it adds a lot of interest, I think. I can’t wait to wear it more when it gets properly cold.
This outfit is nothing to write home about, but I was quite excited to add the fun socks to liven it up. And that excitement about the outfit suddenly got me wondering why I was doing this, putting such thoughts into my outfits and photographing them and blogging about them when they’re not likely to make any difference in the world and certainly not any money. But then I realized it was simply because I enjoy doing it. It’s a hobby, and much like any other hobby, I do it for fun.
In fact, I believe that the moment you can monetize your hobby, then it’s no longer a hobby. The pressure for financial gain would drain all the fun from it. I do admit, there was a time when I felt a bit pressured to “generate content” for the blog or whatever, especially when I first started out, but now I view it as my personal journal and don’t really care how many people read it (that said, if you’re still reading this, thank you!)