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I’ve talked about City Park before on Style Crone, and today I’m exploring its late summer beauty from a different perspective.  Only a half block from my home, I have easy access to breathtaking statuary, sculptures, flower beds, tress, birds and animals.

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Having worked in emergency mental health for most of my career, by nature my jobs required conversations and interventions with people in crisis, usually having experienced painful and intense traumas.  No one crossed my path unless suicidal, homicidal or severely psychotic.  I found my patients to be extremely interesting, admired their resilience and spirit, and I was drawn to the stories that shaped their lives.

Perhaps out of this experience, I became interested in the emerging field of wellness and the rapidly evolving study of happiness and the brain.  Happiness is defined as “the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”  I wanted to learn more about how to feel calm, centered, peaceful and engaged.

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I’ve become enamored with the book Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hansen and have been practicing strategies that, according to this book’s author, facilitate changes in the brain.  The concept of neuroplasticity (changing the neural networks in the brain to improve quality of life) has become my new best friend.

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The following steps have been paraphrased from Hardwiring Happiness.  I’m giving it a try for 21 days; long enough to develop a new habit.  Who knows if it will work, but I enjoy self experimentation with a possible splash of transformation.

“Have or create a positive and emotionally rewarding experience.”

Observing the beauty in the park fits this criteria perfectly.  The landscape of fall cascades before my eyes with every step.

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“Enrich this experience by focusing on it for at least 10 seconds. Fall into it as it falls into me.”

In the past, walking in the park had become a rote activity; inhaling and truly recognizing its beauty was not part of my consciousness.  It was much easier to focus on the problem of the day.

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“Allow it to become part of me and tuck it away in the treasure chest of my heart, where it becomes available as a resource that I can take with me wherever I go.”

The internal images of this treasure chest become more elaborate as the days unfold.

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Photos By Daniel

Slowly, methodically and mindfully I hope to drive myself more fully to a place of inner peace.

Namaste

Vintage orange/off-white pillbox with crystal trim, vintage crystal earrings, vintage green beaded necklace, and folk art bag – estate sales, black long-sleeved tee – yard sale, multicolored scarf – San Francisco China Town, black pants – summer retail sale, black walking sandals – summer sale at my shoe repair store.

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Vogoff is out HERE!!!!  Melanie of Bag and a Beret HERE has done it again.  Check out her wildly creative magazine and enjoy the show.  Thanks Mel, for all that you do to celebrate community!

The SC is off to party with the visibles at Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.  Patti in tulle is not to be missed!  I’m also sharing my sandals with Sheila’s Shoe Shine HERE at Ephemera.  I’m always thrilled with the footwear that’s shared on this lovely link-up!

Hat Attack #14

September 1st, 2014

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Recently The SC received a gift from dear friends Lonnie and Terry.   When I laid eyes upon this whimsical piece, I thought immediately that it was nothing less than a charm bracelet for the head.

Lonnie is a brilliant artist and creative HERE and HERE.  Equally talented, Terry is a huge fan of estate sales.  Along with another friend, we had a booth in an antique market years ago.  I’m grateful to have friends who know how much I would enjoy this handmade adornment for the head.

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Each “charm” has been stitched unto its base of felt with playful thoughtfulness.

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Photos by Daniel

Now I’m asking you to charm me with your headwear!

I’m taking my whimsical headwear over to Sacramento’s Share-in-Style at Mis Papelicos HERE.  She never fails to dazzle with her creative ensembles.

Please display your hat, headwrap, headpiece, fascinator, hair flower, headband or other adornment for your head that you adore, give The SC a SEPTEMBER HAT ATTACK and kindly link to Style Crone somewhere in your post.  Can’t wait to see the beautiful contributions that you share throughout the next week. Participation will be open through Sunday, September 7th.

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I Shan’t Be So Predictable

August 25th, 2014

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The SC and Daniel had a disorienting start to our photo shoot this week.  We had a confusion about the time and though we had planned to photograph outdoors, it was raining just enough to keep us at home.  I felt unsure about my outfit.  The under-dress with fishnet woven fabric, providing a lengthening layer to my ensemble, didn’t feel like the perfect choice.

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The lighting in the house was difficult and everything felt a bit “off.”

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All of this was unusual, because without fail our time together flows with magic and fun. Out of frustration, I decided to check my closets  for a different underskirt, and came up with a long vintage slip with an understated ruffle which fell softly beneath the overdress.  This changed detail was what I needed to feel complete about my composition.

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In the process of this change, off came my hat. Dan looked at me and said, “Yes!” With his encouragement, we proceeded without a chapeau.  The rain stopped long enough for a few back garden photos, and the day was suddenly transformed.

Long term friendships are able to tolerate a confusing and bumpy moment, and with patience and persistence, shift into a place that enhances creativity and deepens trust. And try something new in the process!

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I realized that I had not been photographed without a hat since my blog was launched over four years ago.  Why be that predictable?

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Photos By Daniel

My hatless self went out to dinner with Mr. J and to a birthday party for a dear friend of 44 years on Saturday night.  Though at first I felt naked and exposed, for the most part I enjoyed the change.  However, hats are my love, and this experiment will not alter the continued exploration of the joys of millinery!

Black vintage structured straw turban, vintage long black slip, vintage pearls, vintage black patent leather bag with gold trim – estate sales,  black asymmetrical dress – Rodeo Drive HERE - Consignment boutique in Minneapolis, first underdress with fishnet woven fabric – consignment store in Denver years ago, black heeled sandals – summer retail sale years ago.

I’m taking my hatless self over to Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style. Patti’s showing a few layers today too!

Mom At 94

August 18th, 2014

 

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Photo By Assisted Living Staff

The SC traveled to Minnesota last week to visit Mom in her assisted living facility.  As you can see, she appears as lively and vibrant as she did a year ago HERE, when I visited with Camille.

She tells me that when she makes a decision, such as to leaving her home for the assisted living and before that, no longer driving her car, she never looks back but only forward.  She states that this is how she continues to feel happy and engaged with life.

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Mom continues to play bridge and other card games almost very day with her enlarged cards that allow her to see despite  macular degeneration.  She has a daily routine where she exercises, meets every day with a carefully assembled outfit accessorized perfectly despite her lack of sight and socializes with other residents and staff at will.

As I watched her prepare for the day, she does so with deliberation, as though a mediation.  She needs no assistance and has a sense of humor which requires abstract cognition.  She is the oldest resident in the facility, but that is not how she appears!

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Mom loves to wear rings when she plays card, and before my visit I found this pearl beauty surrounded by rhinestones at The Vintage Studio HERE in Minneapolis.  She was delighted with its size and sparkle, and immediately placed it on her middle finger.

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The Vintage Studio has a delicious selection of hats, with an equal amount of inventory on a second wall of Karen Kinney-McMullan’s vintage salon.  I must say that there will be a few hats downsized from my collection upon my return.  Yes, that means that there were several that I couldn’t resist, which meets my criteria for purchase.  My love for a new chapeau is one of the joys of life that keeps The SC moving forward.

Playing With Polka Dots

August 11th, 2014

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The SC and Daniel set off on another adventure, and landed at Confluence Park HERE , an urban “playground” in Denver’s lower downtown area.  My ensemble for the day featured polka dots, which made our time together playful and lighthearted.

I’ve found that outfit choices have the ability to change or set a mood.  Polka dots have the uncanny power to lift spirits, with their repetitive dots displayed on a background of a range of colors and in this case, white on black accompanied by white on red.

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My white cropped pants have made frequent appearances this summer, as I continue my exploration of white as a wardrobe staple.

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The estate sale black vintage straw headpiece by Schiaparelli has appeared at two parties this summer. There is no question that it will permanently reside in the hat room!

Curtise of The Secondhand Years HERE asked the question in her comment on Hat Attack last week regarding my process of downsizing hats.  Decisions are difficult, as there have been many examples of hats having been in my collection for years and unworn.  Suddenly I develop a love for a chapeau, and wear it frequently for a season. This speaks to changing tastes and  unknown factors that I can’t explain.

Valerie of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas HERE, who has a beautifully mischievous sense of humor, has mentioned that downsizing a hat is like giving away one of your children, and I resonate with that concept.  Serious consideration must be taken here. But realistically, adding hats at this point means making choices about which beauty can go to the rack in the basement, and off to another life with someone else.  If I’m not here, will my hats be orphans?

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I don’t find this internal discussion to be morbid, but rather a function of living fully. To be aware of the impermanence of life facilitates my focus on creativity, and to write about it as part of aging gives me freedom.  Our culture does not appear to encourage and approve of such musings.  All the more reason to do so!

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On another note, I discovered this polka dot tunic at my yoga studio’s boutique and I quickly surrendered to temptation.  The diaphanous fabric attached to an opaque slip with bows at the wrist walked out the door with me without a second thought.

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Estate sale vintage polka dot pumps provided grounding for crone feet on our journey through Confluence Park.

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Photos By Daniel

To add to my flight of ideas, I’ve been wearing silk scarves on my bags this summer, as in the photo above.  This estate sale vintage polka dot Bill Blass wonder was blinking at me from the scarf installation, and found itself tied to the estate sale vintage red chain shoulder bag.  I finished off this composition with estate sale and flea market bangles/bracelets, pearl earrings and pearl necklace; moonstone ring from D Forsythe HERE; gifted watch and crystal pendant.

On another note, my computer has been playing tricks on me, and recently I’ve lost several emails from readers, which is the reason why I haven’t answered.  I appreciate all communication from those who read and comment on Style Crone.  Please resend if at all possible!

I’m heading over to Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.  I noticed that her guitar hat is back by popular demand!

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