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Sunday 26 January 2014

Ode to Lena Dunham

Such a brou-ha-ha-ha. Vogue put Lena Dunham, writer and star of the wildly popular TV series Girls, on its cover with a Photoshopped image. Gasp! As if Vogue doesn't tweak every featured celebrity in its pages. Put me in Vogue and you can airbrush, squinch, and boobize me all you want. The inestimable fun of seeing me for realsie is really only the domain of friends and family. Even then, the degree of realsie-ness is dictated by the heavy-handedness of the intelligence-boosting eye shadow smeared across my eyelids or shape of vexing brow I drew on that particular morning or even perhaps the miraculous qualities of a Mighty Foundation Garment.

This photo I took, called importantly "Cat Head 1" (completely unretouched in one of my other dimensions of existence), addresses a photo of Ms. Dunham balancing a bird on her head, wearing an incredible feather-featured dress. The photo's location, Ms. Dunham's body parts, and even the bird have all been shuffled to create a striking final image. I don't care HOW they did it; I enjoy looking at the final result. And importantly, Ms. Dunham enjoys the final result as well. (I've included links for them below)

Look at my heeled runners! Bwa-ha-ha.

  • thrifted vintage pink and gold lurex brocade mini shift, I fixed the zipper last night. There are two invisble pockets in the front. Dreamy!
  • black jeggings
  • thrifted rubber-soled high-heel running-type shoes with metallic gold & black patterned canvas upper
  • thrifted black long-sleeved top under the dress
  • shaggy coat made from the rare green swamp-dwelling mountain goat of Iceland
  • performance-enhancing bright pink lipstick
  • magic loupe and magic bracelet, latter seen below, hardly, made for me by O

That's another photo of me, again, unretouched in another dimension. This photo shows that the dress is sleeveless - that's all. I am certain it will spark a furious debate in that existence as well. 

There are many SERIOUS issues in this discussion about Ms. Dunham, which I am joyfully sidestepping so I could bring you "Cat Head 1" guilt-free. Maybe if I drank tea for breakfast instead of coffee, I would argue in the opposite direction, but I had coffee. I learned about this media panic from Sally's Lovely Links on Jan. 24 on her blog Already Pretty (she always has the best links). Her link took me to the blog Feministe which summarized what was going on and linked to the Vogue photos, and, circuitously, to Ms. Dunham's unretouched photos. Sheesh!!

I'm linking to Patti's marvelous Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. I've been working, taking breaks only long enough to stuff food in my face, skip to the loo, and sleep. The momentum has slowed but my mind hasn't adjusted yet. I'm hoping for a soft landing.

So how about you, tea or coffee? Lurex, curiously, has the sustaining qualities of caffeine.

I'll spare you my singing. Below are the new lyrics to that tired famous song. You can watch Barbra Streisand sing it on YouTube (can't stand to put the video here with the real lyrics).

He Retouched Me

He retouched me, he put his mouse on me
And he retouched me
I felt a sudden squinch when he retouched me
A sparkle, a glow

He KNEW it,
He smiled but didn't tell me so all through it
He knew it - I KNOW

He's unreal and the world is online and thriving
I feel such a wonderful drive to advertisin'

He retouched me
I simply have to face the fact
He retouched me
Control myself and try to act
as if I remember my name

But he retouched me, he retouched me
And suddenly nothing is the same
Because he retouched me, he retouched me
And suddenly nothing, nothing, nothing is the same!

(You'd be surprised how few changes I made to these lyrics)

Monday 13 January 2014

Visible, Shiny, and animated

I like this. I wore this. I feel good in this. Rain. Dripping awkward umbrella. Wet pant legs. Wet grit crunching under shoes. Cafe. Steaming coffee. Loudness!! Escape into my journal. Home. Fiddling around with photo-taking. Fiddling around with quick edits. Grainy, dissatisfaction. Stray bits. Posting anyway. Pickle face.

  • thrifted shiny-buckle bronze-brown shoes
  • striped socks
  • thrifted Dolce and Gabbana side-zip slacks, old, had to restitch all the seams
  • thrifted T-shirts and DIY T-shirt
  • pink scarf, hand-me-over, worn under coat
  • thrifted shawl, worn over the coat
  • thrifted vintage R coat, made in Tokyo
  • thrifted beret
  • magic loupe O made for me

These slacks (best word for them really) make me feel tall with that vertical stripe. I'm linking these pics up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, and the shoes of course are being linked up to Bella's fantastic Shoe Shine at The Citizen Rosebud. Scored at Value Village, the shoes may not be glamorous - they may in fact be men's shoes - but they give me a weird sixties vibe that is irresistible. Plus, I can wear them in the rain.

And... I am including a short video of a little kids' story that my partner O and I collaborated on. O often sketches on napkins when we go out and then later I sometimes digitize them, colour them, firm them up slightly, and add backgrounds and filler scenes. You could say that the inspiration comes from O and the final product comes from me. Either way it's a collaboration that works.

I hope this little vignette relaxes you. The quality is not the best. The original digital artwork was trashed a few years ago and this video is made from scans of the surviving printouts, about 2"x2", which I stumbled across about a week ago. Thanks to the Creative Commons contributors at and the music library that comes with VideoPad for the music and sound effects. 

Thanks for your encouragement on my journal sketches in my last post.

Thursday 9 January 2014

Every day starts a new year

I don't like to forget that each and every day is the beginning of a new year, a new 365-day cycle. The whole January 1 thing is just a day, hot for some, cold for others, a day picked out for us by a few men in the somewhat distant past, to reset to Day 1. While the every-day-is-new-year's idea could conveniently lend itself to nightly partying, for me it's a powerful reminder that each day has the potential to kick off something amazingly awesome and excellent.

Having said all that, since January 1 or so I have been focused on organizing my journal sketches and am at last thinking maybe I can do something with this jumbled collection of words and pictures. So today I am posting a mini-movie of a few of my sketches with acoustic accompaniment. The added sound animates the pictures to more closely reflect what was going on in my head when I made these drawings of what I wore and the adventures I imagined with my furry buddies.

Scene 1 Alley Cats: I'm wearing my thrifted pastel nicotine faux fur coat (also here), my green shag Fluevog boots (also here), my red knit hat (see Hat Attack 5), sample sale Bardot low-rise jeans (also in Wendy Brandes' Huff Post article, in the scroll part at the bottom).

Scene 2 Outdoor Ballroom: I'm wearing a brown mid-thigh knit tunic with bell sleeves, denim jeggings, thrifted slip-on shiny brown buckle shoes, thrifted red beret.

Scene 3 Cat Holiday: I'm wearing almost the same as what I wore in Scene 1 - thrifted pastel nicotine faux fur coat and red knit hat. 

Scene 4 Tea Party: I'm wearing my thrifted silky dress (also here) with a thrifted brown turtleneck underneath, turquoise tights, thrifted D&G shoes.

Scene 5 Shady Ladies: I'm wearing my thrifted muslin black maxi dress (also here), thrifted wooden platform/leather upper Michael Kors sandals.

*Thanks to and all the incredible people who have posted sound effects under a Creative Commons License for their contributions to this soundtrack.

Doing "sweet" art was strictly taboo in art school, so it has been a very long process, decades in fact, to once again accept that sweet and even hokey are not only okay, but have incredible restorative power. That's why I do these sketches in my journal. And how thrilled I would be if you get positive energy from them too.

I'll be back to posting what I wear in real photos soon. Hope you're kicking each day off like a new year's day, but without all the fuss. 

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Hat Attack 6

Another hat-on-hat for wonderful Judith's Hat Attack 6 link-up at Style Crone, this time a lovely hand-knit wool hat, purchased with gift money several years ago, worn atop my structured acorn hat, seen here. (You know my aversion to flaccid knit hats.)

Short of letting out a squawk, I am rather emu-ish in this, all feathers aflutter, aspiring to flight but remaining firmly land-locked squat with a birdly bulge on my stalk of flesh. And while I love a towering hat with a Suessian beak pointing regally skyward, there is the issue of balance. The thing started to tilt and I didn't even get a warning. In fact, I didn't even know until I saw that last photo. A hat like this simply cannot be worn rakishly off to the side. I am in desperate need of a wristband warning bell like those in vintage pinball machines - TILT TILT - I must get O on that.

The dress is cut low in the back, down to my waist, but I wore a turtleneck layer for warmth and coverage on my inspiration walk today. The dress also has a long scarf-like extension hemmed with feathers sewn on the top right shoulder so it hangs down the back of the dress past the hemline. After some investigation I found a little snap buried in feathers on the front of the dress and one on the end of the scarf so I wrapped the extension around and snapped it into place. The side drape is barely visible on the last photo.

  • felt acorn hat, retail, Kyoto, Japan, more than 20 years ago, aka Hersey's Kiss hat
  • hand-knit hat, retail as gift
  • sleeveless, low-back, velvety-soft brown '20s-style dress with feather detailing
  • brown turtleneck, thrifted, worn under the dress
  • black Betsey Johnson coat, retail, bought in a moment of idiocy at a big sale
  • black faux fur vest on top of coat, thrifted
  • brown leggings with knee socks on top, both retail
  • Miu Miu boots, thrifted
  • leather gloves, gift
  • magic loupe and ring, made for me by O
  • tool box handbag, not shown
(One of my monitors displays these photos with a yellowish cast, the other with blue-violet. Who knows what you're seeing.)

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm glad The Season is almost over so I can give these exhausted words (and myself) a rejuvenating rest. The intention behind the words though is no less sincere than when spoken for the first time. 

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