Gowns: The Series #1

December 15th, 2014

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I have a confession to make.  I adore gowns.  Vintage gowns in silk velvet, silk satin, taffeta, lace, silk chiffon and rayon from the 40’s.  I’ve collected them from estate sales since the 70’s.

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I love how they feel and how they move with me when I walk.  They give me great pleasure, which is reason enough to wear them whenever possible.  I love their textures, details, and unique elegant ways.  I think about their past lives and wonder about their adventures. I pair them with small hats and berets, headpieces, or fascinators, as they are usually worn in the evening.

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This black silk velvet gown with red trim has been in my closet for years.  I chose it for Thanksgiving, as traditionally I host dinner in my home in celebration of my favorite holiday.

The black sequin beret was happy to share an event with a gown that has a small train, which puddles on the floor next to the red velvet tablecloth with tassel trim.  The tablecloth was actually a bedspread, but multipurpose is my middle name and recycling my game.  When using the table for dinner, I cover the red velvet with another tablecloth to protect its holiday beauty.

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Everything that I’m wearing was discovered at an estate sale except for a flea market bracelet and gifted rings.  The dining room is also exclusively estate sale.  I surround myself with pieces that are as vintage as moi.

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I wear vintage gowns to holiday parties, and have for years.  My friends expect nothing less and shower me with the treasured and priceless gift of acceptance, for which I am eternally grateful.

The next few posts will feature a few of my favorite vintage gowns.  It’s very clear that it’s that time of year!

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments on my yoga posts.  For those of you who are interested, Margaret Manning of the incredible 60 & Me website HERE, has a series of gentle yoga videos HERE.  Check it out if you are interested in beginning or continuing a yoga practice.  Rebecca, one of my followers, commented that she is happily using these videos.  Thanks Rebecca, for the recommendation!

I’m taking my vintage gown over to the party at Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.  Patti’s looking very chic in a thrifted gray dress!

Yoga: Part II

December 8th, 2014

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There is a part of yoga that feels like art, or creative self expression within and between each pose.  The pieces that I chose to wear only accentuate what already exists for me in my practice.

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Shavasana, or corpse pose, is the final pose of class, where integration occurs after the body has been active and engaged for an hour.  It is the most difficult pose, for to be still requires a meditative mind in a culture  that admires productivity.

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The practice of yoga encourages stretching and reaching beyond boundaries that I may or may not know exist.

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The rotation of this photo of child’s pose illustrates inversion, or turning oneself upside down on purpose.  Usually my life turns upside down by events beyond my control.  I have found that turning myself upside down by choice is beneficial, which by definition means the head is below the heart.  After all, I would like to involve my heart in all decisions.

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Child’s pose is surrender, to all that inhabits my mind on any given day.  I release distracting thoughts if only for the length of the pose, which helps me to remember how it feels to liberate myself from life’s obsessive pull, without fear, in my life off the mat.

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Yoga resembles the art of dance, with its lines and slow methodic movements, like moving through a room full of honey.

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Embellishments honor my love for a practice that has assisted my growth and expansion through life’s many transitions.  It helps me to remain humble and to accept the adjustments that come with aging.  It also provides an environment where I can see forward progress and evolution, even though I’m in the final phase of life.

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Satin slippers embrace my feet, as I ground myself to the floor, to the earth, and to all that has true meaning in life.

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Photos By Daniel

And so I leave the studio once again, only to return on another day, again, and again, and again.  For as long as my body, my brain, my mind and my spirit will allow.

I’m linking up with Sacramento’s Share-in-Style HERE at Mis Papelicos and Sheila’s Shoe Shine HERE at Ephemera!

Hat Attack #17

December 1st, 2014

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December’s Hat Attack brings out an estate sale red 1960’s Saks Fifth Avenue hat with brim, which has had a place in the hat room for years.

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Peering from beneath its brim provides a sanctuary and offers possibilities.

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I can choose to block out what I don’t want to see, or open myself up to the full view ahead.

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Photos By Daniel

Or look downward with the choice of contemplation, as I entertain inner thoughts and perspectives.  The advantages of wearing hats are many, and I am appreciative every day of the year. Headwear is an important piece of body armor that adds protection, yet at the same time offers celebration and self-expression.

Thank you to my blogger friend, milliner and artist Carol Markel of Femme et Fleur HERE, for her post about The SC’s trip to three cities in Europe, accompanied by Denise, the hat.  The gorgeous Denise was designed and created by Carol, and was a special addition to my adventures in Barcelona, Paris and Nice.

I’m joining the festive party at Jill’s Everything Just So HERE, where bloggers are joining in celebrating “How I wear my sweater.”

Now it’s your turn to throw a little headwear love my way!

Please display your hat, headwrap, headpiece, fascinator, hair flower, headband or other adornment for your head that you adore, give The SC a DECEMBER 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, December 7th.

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Yoga

November 24th, 2014

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Goddess Pose

My love for the practice of yoga was inspiration for today’s post.  I was planning on photos in my traditional yoga attire, but when collaborating with Daniel, the usual is not the order of the day.  He suggested an outfit, and my brain took over from there.

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Tree

I have never practiced in a hat, or in an estate sale vintage black silk chiffon maxi skirt with lace trim accessorized with ruby-red floral embellished satin slippers, vintage clip-on earrings and ruby-red satin belt.  One should never say never about “What To Wear To Yoga.”

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Figure Four

Yoga provides a continual challenge in all areas of my being; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  It has been a lifeline for me during difficult times. And an addition to my well-being when life soars.

Every class is different, but intriguing.  Teachers vary.  The music diverse and enhancing to movement.  The class may be crowded and mat to mat.  Or small with unlimited space.  Yogis practice at every level, but competition does not reign.  Rather, there is a vision of what’s possible, based on experience and factors having little to do with age.

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Eagle

Yoga is an analogy to life off the mat.  I strive for balance and mindful flow.  I long to stretch and grow, with attention to the power of the breath and the profound opening of the heart.  If I enter a zone of pain, it’s time to draw back and assess, but then try again with a renewed focus on correcting my position or making a small meditative change in my approach.

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Entering Dancer

I want to express myself with flexibility and strength.  My poses are far from perfect, as compared to the masters that I have observed.  But yoga and life are not about perfection. Rather, a space for experimentation and exploration, at times loosing one’s balance and making mistakes, always moving toward connection with intention.

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Dancer

As in life, even the smallest shift can produce significant change.  And when holding a pose becomes difficult, that is when it has just begun, with the knowing that it will not last forever.  It comes down to me, my mat and a knowledgeable guide.  And a respect for limitations related to injury prevention, knowing what’s best for my body.

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Crescent Lunge

My daughter Camille introduced me to yoga in my 60’s, and at first I had difficulty completing a class.  I persisted in level one, and she encouraged me to try level two heated after a year.  I never turned back.

Exercise has always been important to me. But never before have I loved a form of movement to this degree, looking forward to every class no matter what’s happening in my life.  Now at the age of 71, I continue to make progress and realize benefits that I can see, which is its own reward.

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Reverse Warrior

Months back I decided to focus on the physiological changes that my body experienced during yoga, and I became aware that my response was the same every time.  The poses and twists produced  droplets of sweat that appeared in the same places and in the same order without fail.

If this was happening to me physically, I wondered about the internal process that was taking place as a result of my practice.  Research has shown that it’s a positive transformation with many benefits HERE, and I hope to continue to practice until I wear my last hat.

 

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Photos By Daniel

Namaste

Yoga Part II – Later

I’m taking yoga over to Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style and Sacramento’s Share-in-Style HERE at Mis Papelicos.  I’m looking forward to both parties, which always contributes to my well-being and quality of life!

Wearable Art At The Pavilion

November 17th, 2014

IMG_9862The weather suddenly shifted, as The SC and Daniel braved the chill and the beginnings of snow to play at the Pavilion at Cheesman Park HERE.  I’ve blogged about this location in the past, but always during the spring or summer.  In the photo above, the snow shows up on my jacket with streaks of white.  The roses continue to bloom, but I daresay not for long.

IMG_9877Last month I discovered this boiled wool coat and hat in Nice, France.  I was strolling with Mr. J on the narrow streets of Old Town HERE, when I spotted hats and a multi-colored mannequin in the window of a small storefront by the name of Coat d’Azur.

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An immediate “Hat Alert” registered in my brain, which has become an automatic reflex similar to breathing, as my thoughts connected involuntarily to my motor neurons.  I made an immediate turn to the left and walked into the door of Sabine Lebeque’s studio and showroom.

IMG_9965Suddenly I was thrust into a wonderland of color and creativity.  As I scanned the perimeter, my gaze rested on this pink with purple combination in polka dots, which magically floated to my head. The accompanying jacket, trimmed and adorned with the same fabric as the hat, was destined to leave the boutique and return with me to Denver.  I would love to share a link, but at this time Sabine does not have a website for her talent and artistry.

IMG_9904The square buttons of the jacket were hand painted by the artist and her sense of playfulness appealed to me.  I love to support artists whenever possible, whether it be a painting for my home, or in this case, wearable art.  The art of millinery or hat making is close to my heart, though I wear it on my head.

I just happened to have these estate sale vintage earrings, vintage pink leather gloves and vintage pencil skirt that fit with my vision for the composition of the day.

IMG_9913I’ve been slowly integrating what I learned on my European adventure, and feeling more clear about my focus and intentions as I move forward.  I feel an opening space, as I settle into the next step.  I’m aware that my primary goals continue to revolve around health and relationships, which are closely linked.

IMG_9952Over and above the structures which health and relationships provide, I continue to enjoy participating in the movement which is changing how our culture views aging.  A drop in the ocean of the efforts that many are engaged in and actively pursuing.

IMG_9892 I also desire to be, in my own small way, a part of that which improves the health of the millinery industry.  I’m filled with new and exciting ideas and possibilities.  I feel best when I pursue my passions and my interests, connecting and growing with others that are like-minded.

I’m not sure how this will all play out, and my aspirations could change at the drop of a hat.  But for now, this is where I stand, by the columns of the Cheesman Park Pavilion on a frigid day in Denver, with the cityscape on the horizon.  I’ve found that intentions bring their own power and energy and the results seldom look like that which I picture the end game to be.

 

 

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