Coral-red: A love letter

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear Poppy King for J. Crew,

I could compare you to a summer’s day, but it wouldn’t be quite fair, because, one, I am really disliking a majority of my summer’s days, and, two, an even enjoyable summer’s day cannot keep me company, much less keep me happy, on rainy days and snowy days and overcast, bloated sky days. You will forever be at my fingertips, a constant companion.

I love you for your ability to transform and be extraordinarily comfortable as well. No matter how truly scrubby I look with years’ old shorts, boyfriend’s discarded tshirt, hair unkempt, and no make up except the residual traces from yesterday’s eyeliner, I can’t help but feel gorgeous. Your inimitable shade of coral-red is so flattering. Your bright, poppy mixture of orange and red makes my skin tone seem more fair and even tone while bringing out a natural subtle blush color in my cheeks.  With a swipe, you balance all the colors of my face, and I feel so refreshed and fabulous despite the fact that I look as if I rolled out of the bed, on to the floor, and into some dirt.

Now.

Imagine the possibilities when I clean up nicely and swipe you on. Listen, my darling, we could take over the world that way. Confidence is everything, and you are my secret weapon.

Love love,

Jenny


Available for a limited time (and back-ordered until at least October 10, 2011 online): Poppy King for J. Crew lipstick, $18

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Contemplation of e-readers: Interlude in a jellyfish dance

July 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wayne’s been bitten by the tablet bug. It’s a bit delayed. He fought them (let’s pretend there were little gnat-sized tablets with wings flying around him) off for a while, having decided that his iPhone and macbook were sufficient and that the hybrid of sorts wasn’t all that necessary. Yet. He waited out the early adopters and first devices, but now he wants one.

Which is why I ended up spending my Friday night prancing around Staples– there was a promotion that offered $100 off all tablets. As he contemplated the pros and cons of the various tablets on display, I performed jetés that could never rival the dancing hippos of Fantasia— though they could have potentially rivaled the jetés of the rejected dancing hippos who auditioned just for kicks– and balancing on one tip toe while spreading out my arms and legs to curl and then straighten and repeat in an effort to be a veteran jellyfish who, despite losing many legs, still had the heart to wiggle and jiggle with the store music playing in the background.  Apparently, not being able to find my favorite Pilot G2 ultra fine pens (0.38mm makes 0.5mm look all fat and blotty) causes me to dance as a jellyfish as both a sign of discontentment and a way to amuse myself since those pens are the only interest I have in Staples.

Until I saw the Kindle and the Nook. I took a momentary break from being a jellyfish to play around with the buttons of the Kindle and the swiping abilities of the Nook. I practiced holding both thin, light, small e-readers in my hand while attempting to lounge at the same time, a difficult feat when the e-reader is tethered to the station with little give. I appreciated the portability and convenience of each e-reader and, for few minutes, mused about purchasing one. I imagined keeping it with me at all times since either fit nicely in all my bags. I toyed with the idea of not worrying about ruining the covers and pages of new books with my manhandling and travel. I pretended that I was Captain Picard seated at his desk reading Moby Dick or whatever else that “Tea, Earl Grey, hot”-guzzling, bald, Borg-bustin’ favorite Star Trek captain of mine enjoyed reading for leisure*. But then, after the moment of consideration ended, I missed my books. Holding, bending, flipping the pages. Gently rubbing a page between my fingers and enjoying the feel of the texture. Running my fingers over the printed words and delighting in the feel of the dry ink. Seeing the pale tan color of the pages. And for some books, being completely enchanted by the unevenness of the edges of the pages and the way they were cut; some cleanly, some roughly. And the weight. I missed the weight. The heaviness. For some reason, the heaviness represents a tangible invitation for an experience, an adventure, like a boarding ticket. It makes me excited for the trip in a way an electronic ticket just cannot.

 

 

* Can I point out that I love the fact that Honey Bear** and I have had conversations where she proclaims how much she HATES scifi, while I proclaim my undying love in the next line? Aw, opposites attract! Except in the case of Madewell, because then we are perfectly aligned. Because Madewell is love.

**Dear Wynee, names I call you when you’re not around: Honey Bear.

Lucky Finds at Avalon Exchange

April 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am a huge lover of consignment stores and vintage shops and pretty much anything that will sell me something gorgeous and used-to-be-well-loved for a drastic discount. It combines my two loves of bargain shopping and the idea of treasure hunting, and I don’t even have to get dirty with mud and be at risk of malaria or flying poisoned arrows. But I still feel a little bit like Indiana Jones.

Wayne and I spent our Saturday morning eating at Pamela’s for brunch and shopping around Squirrel Hill. Wayne and I wandered (okay, let’s be honest, there was no wandering; in actuality, there was a drive by followed by a mental record player scratching noise when I saw there was a consignment store and a lot jumping up and down on my part, yelling, “I want to go to there! I want to go to there!”) into Avalon Exchange, an used clothing store that offers on-the-spot 30% cash or 45% store credit for used clothes, shoes, and accessories. There are stringent policies that the items be current for the season, laundered and undamaged, and not have “low-end” labels, which I guess is Old Navy, Forever 21, and H&M? On display behind the cashier was a large whiteboard with two lists: items the store is particularly interested in buying and items the store can no longer take for the season. The store was pretty large, relative to other independent consignment stores, and it seemed well-organized with racks and racks of clothes for men on the left side and women on the right side. While Wayne wandered off into the men’s section and slowly made his way to the shoe section in the back, I stayed up front and browsed through the costume jewelry, especially the rings, trying on several large statement rings on all my fingers. I loved the selection of clothing and accessories offered and walked around with several items as I kept searching for more.

I walked out with a mustard yellow, leather Lauren Merkin clutch that I found buried in a pile of clutches. My eyes lit up when I saw the signature pleated details. This clutch was love the moment I saw it because I adore mustard yellow, and the leather is soft and beautifully textured with the wear that comes from having had many great adventures but not too many, yet. The clutch felt like hidden treasure at $20.

I dragged Wayne back into the store, a second time, on our way back to the car just because I wanted to get some shots of the store. But I ended up buying a lovely white, cotton sheath dress with a boat neckline and an A-line skirt. I bought it because I loved the repeating print of these drawings of Parisian ladies enjoying their day around the Eiffel Tower. And I found a braided leather bracelet for Wayne that he loved–finally, an accessory he’s willing to wear for more than a couple hours!

I don’t think I have been this lucky when shopping at a consignment store before. Have I mentioned that I love Pittsburgh?

 

Avalon Exchange
5858 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 421-2911

Red Cowboy Boots (A homage to Kimi Finster)

March 30, 2011 § 4 Comments

The lack of Asian women in the American media back in the 1990’s to the early 2000’s was so apparent that my favorite Asian girl was a little Japanese girl with three pigtails, Kimi Finster from Rugrats.  I thought she was adorable, spunky, and could really pull off her purple cowboy boots. She had her own sense of fashion, even if it never changed and included a diaper. I loved her little brightly colored cowboy boots and wanted a pair, though, back then, I didn’t think have the fearlessness (or fashion sense) to pull them off. And I thought it was a little bit silly to take fashion advice from someone who can’t tie her own shoes.

Rugrats eventually jumped the shark with the characters suddenly being pre-teens and was canceled. I forgot all about little Kimi and her cowboy boots until I started reading Rockstar Diaries and Naomi’s journal entries about how much she loved her cowboy boots. I was inspired by the way Naomi paired her boots with delicate, feminine pieces or brightly colored pieces in addition to anchoring the red color with neutrals, especially black. Seeing her photos made me remember little Kimi, and I suddenly wanted red cowboy boots, even though little Kimi’s were actually purple. My memory had mistakenly logged the color of Kimi’s cowboy boots as vibrant red, and I wasn’t about to let the reality of her boots being purple squander my decade-long (albeit dormant) dream of owning a pair of red cowboy boots.

Now, say “hello” to the Lucilles*.

As a little homage to little Kimi Finster, I incorporated the purple from her cowboy boots and the yellow from her dress into my outfit by wearing purple tights and a yellow skirt.

I love these boots. They have a cushioned footbed, which will make them so much more comfortable to walk around, especially since I will be wearing them so often this coming spring, summer, and fall– not so much winter because I will be in hibernation and refusing to step outside. I am convinced they match everything in my closet. Even if they completely mismatch some outfits, I will love the mismatchy-ness.

* The boots are named “the Lucilles” because it was the first name that popped into my head. I name all my possessions this way, and it’s worked out pretty well– Herbet the duck-shaped humidifier hasn’t complained yet. I probably should have named the boots “the Kimis”, but to be fair, the name, “the Lucilles”, popped into my head first, and I think I had chosen another name over them in a previous naming ceremony that goes on in my head. The name felt a little cheated about last time.

“Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry”

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tomorrow, exactly one year ago, Wayne and I moved into our first place. Our first place. Our. Oh yes, I was dizzy with happiness over that one word: our. That word also made me overly ambitious because for the months before we moved in, when I was still scouring Craigslist ads, I was looking at paint swatches, wall decor, and furniture. I even looked into various temporary wallpapers even though I knew it was expensive, a hassle to put up, and a pain to take down when we move out. Before we moved into our apartment, we bought a shower curtain of  the silhouette of a man in love* hanging from a lamp post with an umbrella in the rain, several small picture frames that were shaped like Polaroids, and Ork posters of Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Washington DC that displayed various neighborhoods of each city with typography. Each city has a special meaning in our relationship. Wayne and I visited Los Angeles to celebrate our first month together and to introduce him to my friends since I was so excited and wanted them to meet him. We visited New York City for our three months celebration. But, Washington DC is especially special since we met, fell in love, and live in the suburbs of Washington DC, and our first date was in DC. We’re planning on adding San Francisco after we travel there for our two year anniversary.

Unfortunately,  the exhaustion from packing, moving, and immediately unpacking made us lose our steam to decorate, and it’s kind of hard to deny our true lazy selves. The only thing we put up was the shower curtain, and we kind of needed to do that. We stared at the empty, white walls and thought, okay, next month we’ll buy the frames for the posters and print out the photographs to place in the Polaroid frames. Unfortunately, one year later, the only thing that hangs from our walls is a single red rose that is being hung upside down to dry it out properly.

BUT. No more. Wayne and I promised that we would finish attempting to decorate our place this spring…Or at least put up the posters. And I know we’ll at least put up the Ork posters, because I really want to add these prints to our walls as well, but I can’t in good conscience without finishing what we sort of started last year:

Artist: Shelli Dorfe; her etsy; her blog

I love these prints. They’re so happy and whimsical. My favorite print has always been the first print, “Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry”. I found the print through Cheng about a year ago, and I remember I burst out laughing when I saw it. I can’t remember if I was having a gloomy day — gloomy days aren’t meant to be remembered, anyway– but if I was, I know that seeing this print would have cheered me up.

I really don’t know where I will place them, but I’m okay with that because nothing in this apartment really makes sense except that they were picked and placed purely based on mine and Wayne’s mood, and I’m hoping that reasoning somehow brings everything together.

 

 

* I only know this because I watched “Singing in the Rain”, and the shower curtain references a specific scene where Gene Kelly is in so much love after saying goodnight to Debbie Reynolds that he tap dances and sings in the rain. He starts off the number while hanging from a lamp post, however, in the movie, the umbrella is closed. Please watch this wonderful scene here.

Chunky, bold, and full of personality

March 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

It always feels as if I’m colorblind during each winter, and it isn’t until spring that I start seeing color. And that color, it’s so heavily saturated that all the colors are deeply hued and rich. I love this time each year because I see the world as if everything is a scene from my favorite cancelled show, “Pushing Daisies“. Everything just feels more whimsical and lovely. And I get a little hungry for pie.

Oddly, this time, it has heavily manifested in necklaces; specifically, chunky necklaces. Chunky necklaces that I’ve never paid any attention to before and, instead, always opting for the demure, delicate single silver strand with a small pendant hanging from it. Now I have been looking for chunky necklaces with bright or rich color that have a sweet, summery, earthy characteristic to them. Chunky necklaces that are bold statements but not flashy, as if they have better things to do than shine like the flashing lights at a nightclub. No, they’re much too busy having brunch and sipping on strawberry lemonade or shopping at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and smelling in-season peaches and nectarines.

1. Sweet Drops Necklace, $38, at Anthropologie

2. Carnelian Nugget Necklace with Flower, $45, at Etsy

3. June Necklace, $32, at Mayfly Designs

4. Lucy Necklace, $52, at Mayfly Designs

5. Unearthed Necklace, $38, at Anthropologie

6. Crackled Faux Stone Necklace, $6.80, at Forever 21

Ruffles and shiny buttons

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the days leading up to my trip to NYC, I was really excited to visit all the vintage and consignment shops I had found on Yelp. There aren’t very many vintage or consignment options in DC, and the options that are here have a small, uncreative collection of overpriced goods. I love shopping in vintage and consignment shops because the inventory of each store is completely unique and ever changing. It requires time to do a lot of digging, but I feel like that extra effort makes finding a great piece so much more satisfying. I love my black tweed skirt with metallic strands interlaced to give it a wonderful sparkle when I walk. I think of it as treasure hunting, and I’m making up the map as I go along. I had no clue what it was I was searching for, but I was looking for something feminine and pretty. Since being teased with sunny days and warm breezes the previous week, I was done with winter– I had mildly tolerated winter during December and January, but I was really starting believe that winter had overstayed its welcome and it was starting do its extra laundry in my dishwasher–and was craving nondescript lovely, super feminine pieces of clothing for spring. Maybe I’m just using spring as an excuse to treasure hunt since I have always loved overtly feminine pieces created with either lace, satin, silk and covered in bows, ruffles, polka dots. I especially love when there is sometimes a little shimmer, glitter, sparkle– obviously, I haven’t really grown out of my fashion tastes from when I was in kindergarten and obsessed with glitter. I think this time around, I just happened to be lucky that my fashion loves align what is in season.

I wasn’t able to find that many pieces in all the thrift, vintage, and consignment stops that I visited. In fact, I only found one silk top, but it is lovely with its ruffles and shiny buttons.

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