The Serenade

white top navy skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

This week’s SIA inspiration, “The Serenade” by Eugene de Blaas, has a lot of colors and patterns to choose from, but since I’m exercising to simplify my style, I decided to go with the lady on the far left, the one in the white shift and blue skirt, who’s all “I’m too busy for this sh*t”. She is truly a girl after my own heart 🙂

So for my outfit, I copied her “skirt over dress” look (the white skirt is probably her petticoat though). It was too hot for a kerchief/scarf like she has around her neck, so I added the blue brooch as a finishing touch. This is actually one of the SIA outfits that I’m quite proud of, because it’s pretty close to the original while still being wearable.

Don’t forget to check out Librarian for Life and Style to see other interpretations of this painting!

white top navy skirt black heels by 14 shades of greywhite top navy skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

white top blue flower brooch by 14 shades of greywhite top navy skirt by 14 shades of grey

Dress (as top): tailor, Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Heels: Esprit (hand-me-down), Brooch: thrifted

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Book Review: Three Bags Full

white dress green cardigan brown riding boots by 14 shades of grey

How serendipitous is this? It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the latest book I read happens to be a murder mystery set in Ireland. I swore I didn’t plan this (OK, maybe just a little. I was supposed to post the SIA inspiration today but I saved it for tomorrow.)

Anyway, “Three Bags Full” by Leonie Swann (the author is German, I read the English translation by Anthea Bell) is about a flock of sheep in the small town of Glennkill in Ireland. After discovering their beloved shepherd dead on the meadow with a spade stuck into him, they decide to find the killer. Led by the smartest sheep of the flock, Miss Maple, the investigation uncovers all sorts of secrets lurking beneath this seemingly idyllic Irish town and forces the sheep to face their own fears.

white dress green cardigan by 14 shades of greywhite dress lace tights brown riding boots by 14 shades of grey

I picked this up on a whim, because I thought the premise sounded awesome, sort of like Babe meets a crime thriller. The story itself is not as funny as I hoped – it’s more philosophical, full of allegories about religion and mortality (shepherd, God, it’s a natural connection), but it’s still really enjoyable. The sheep’s literal interpretation of human actions makes the symbolism fun instead of trite, and although the resolution feels a tad too easy, there are enough red herrings that I didn’t see it coming.

white dress green cardigan by 14 shades of greywhite dress green cardigan by 14 shades of grey

Apparently there is already a second book to this Sheep Detective series, but it hasn’t been translated into English yet, which is too bad, because I figure out this is the kind of book that I would enjoy: a mystery with a bit of a quirky twist. Like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, you know? That is still pretty specific, but now at least I know what to look for other than my usual fare of fantasy and sci-fi.

white dress green cardigan brown riding boots by 14 shades of greywhite dress green cardigan green scarf by 14 shades of grey

The outfit is pretty self-explanatory – white dress for the sheep and green cardigan for the green meadow. Plus it’s St. Patrick’s Day so of course I had to wear green. The scarf and tights are for warmth, mostly, though I like how the lace on the tights sort of echos the pattern on the scarf too.

Dress: tailored, Cardigan: thrifted, Scarf: hand-me-down, Boots: Aldo, Tights: Forever21, Belt: local shop


SIA: The Snowy Day

white dress orange sweater brooches brown riding boots by 14 shades of grey

I’m still crazy busy so here’s a quick post for this week’s SIA, inspired by Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved illustrated book, “The Snowy Day”. When I looked at the illustrations, I immediately noticed two things – the white snow and the bright orange suit the boy is wearing – so I chose to represent those in my dress and sweater. The other colors I picked out in my brooches and boots, simple as that.

Anyway, I gotta go, but remember to check out Jen’s blog for other outfits. I’ll try to be back tomorrow with a “year in review” post (because everybody is doing it, and I kinda want to look back to see how my style has grown over the year too), if not I’ll do it on Wednesday. Unless I’m too busy screaming over Sherlock, that is.

white dress orange sweater brooches by 14 shades of greywhite dress brown riding boots by 14 shades of grey

orange sweater brooches by 14 shades of greywhite dress orange sweater brooches brown riding boots by 14 shades of grey

Dress (as skirt): tailor-made, Sweater: Target, Tights: Buffalo Exchange, Boots: Aldo, Brooches: vintage


Book Review: Warm Bodies

red striped shirt white skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

It’s been kind of a slow month in reading for me. I just downloaded a collection of 150 short stories from Tor that I’m still working my way through, I have a book on screenwriting I have to finish, and in between I started reading/watching the Chinese classics Dreams of the Red Chamber and Journey to the West again, so I decided to review “Warm Bodies” instead. Technically I read it a while ago, but I just finished translating it, so here we go. I guess you can call it a review of the movie too, because there will be some comparison.

A quick summary, for those of you who don’t know the movie: the story revolves around “R”, a zombie with an existential crisis whose world is turned upside down when he meets a Living girl, Julie, after eating her boyfriend. Together they ignite a series of events that may change the whole world. Before you reject the premise, let me explain that the logic behind the zombies in this book actually makes a lot of sense: if you think of zombie as a plague, a disease, of course it would worsen over time, instead of knocking you out right away. Here, the zombies do eat brains, but it’s because their own bodies have slowed down, so they need the fresh blood and brains to feel alive again. They will slowly waste away until they become “Boneys”, skeletons who are vicious eating machines, but even the Boneys are not completely mindless – they’re only single-minded in their purpose to keep the world as it is. That’s where R and his new sense of hope, thanks to Julie, come in.

For those who have seen the movie, I think it’s a pretty good adaptation, though the book is darker and sadder. It also goes more in-depth into the backstory of Julie and her boyfriend Perry, to explain their relationship and Julie’s relationship with R, and make their characters a lot more interesting. There are some parts in the book I find a little dragging, but that’s just because I’ve already seen the movie and known where the story is going. The movie feels more young adult, but the book has a more mature feel to it, and the writing is definitely better than your average YA novel too. So if you’ve seen the movie, I’d definitely recommend checking out the book.

A fun fact: the story is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet (I mean, that balcony scene is pretty obvious, and the characters’ names, too.)

As for the outfit, I couldn’t do a zombie apocalypse look because it would be terrible in this heat (I guess it would be a different matter if there was an actual zombie apocalypse), so here’s an outfit inspired by the book cover instead.

red striped shirt white skirt black heels by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt heart brooch by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt white skirt by 14 shades of grey

white skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

red striped shirt white skirt by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt white skirt by 14 shades of grey

Please enjoy my best attempt at a zombie shuffle, and have a great Labor Day weekend! I’m having a long weekend too, since this Monday is our Independence Day.

Shirt: Forever21, Dress (worn as skirt): tailor-made, Belt: thrifted, Heels & Brooch: hand-me-down


Papaver orientalis

white dress white embroidered cardigan green heels by 14 shades of grey

So here’s my interpretation of Colleen Parker’s “Prinzessin Victoria Louise Poppy“. I picked this painting as inspiration with this cardigan in mind, so I chose to keep the rest of the outfit simple to let it really shine. I wore it last week when it was still warm for a light cardigan and bare legs, but this week it’s all stretchy jeans and baggy sweaters for me. I mean, when you’re gorging yourself on fried spring rolls, rice cakes, and candied fruits, those are the best choice.

white dress white embroidered cardigan green heels by 14 shades of grey

white dress white embroidered cardigan by 14 shades of greywhite dress green heels by 14 shades of grey

white embroidered cardigan by 14 shades of greywhite dress white embroidered cardigan by 14 shades of grey

white dress green heels by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailored, Cardigan & Heels: thrifted


Autumn White

When I posted this inspiration for Style Imitating Art (Magritte’s The Great War), I said I was excited that it gave me a chance to try out the winter white trend. The weather had a different idea, however, and suddenly decided to warm up, so I had to ditch the cardigan I’d planned to wear. I would’ve ditched the tights too, but I have no other sky-blue accessory. Ah, such is the plight of a fashion blogger.

Oh and of course I had to do this:

Big thanks to Jess for such a fun inspiration, and don’t forget to check out Animated Cardigan to see how this painting is interpreted.

Dress: tailor made, Belt: thrifted, Shoes: Madden Girl (thrifted)
Tights: Target (blue), Forever 21 (lace)


Salazar And The Shark

This week’s Style Imitating Art painting stumped me a bit, because it has a lot of green and I didn’t pack anything green with me to our writers’ retreat in the mountain (and I don’t have anything in that particular shade of green anyway.) In the end I just took my inspiration from the bad-ass dude harpooning the shark instead.


I should’ve imitated that pose too

Dress: tailored, Cardigan: Wet Seal (refashioned by me)
Scarf & Tights: Target, Boots: Payless

Don’t forget to head over to Jess’ blog to see how others interpreted this painting, and check back here next week to see my pick!