The Quest

September 23rd, 2014

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The SC has been dreaming of Paris since the 70’s, but fulfilling this wish has been elusive.  Nelson and I were planning a trip to Europe in the spring of 2005, before his cancer diagnosis, and medical issues prevented our journey.

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When the gallant Mr. J invited me to Paris, I was thrilled with the possibility that I would visit the “City of Light” in my lifetime.  I recognized this invitation to be of cosmic proportions. Overcoming his cancer diagnosis and thankfully restored to health,  we will be leaving tomorrow.

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I’ve been involved in a flurry of preparations for our quest.  The packable hats have been carefully chosen and packed, ready for their adventure of a lifetime.  The scarves lie next to them, ready to accompany us with their wide range of colors and textures. Folding them mindfully gave me great pleasure.

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We will be traveling to Barcelona, Paris and Nice over the next three weeks. My excitement can barely be contained.  I plan to post in each city, but commenting on my favorite blogs will be sparse.  I am grateful once again for all who follow and comment on Style Crone, the lifeline that has provided connection and has enlarged my world.  Thank you!

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Dreams really do come true!  All in due time.

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The SC has joined Instagram HERE, and a “follow” button has been placed on my sidebar.  I plan to take photos of our trip and share along the way.

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Photos By Daniel

This post was a collaboration with the wildly creative Daniel, as has become a ritual which I look forward to each week.  The photos were taken near the Denver Museum of Nature and Science HERE, which is located in City Park near my home.  All pieces that compose my ensemble are vintage and purchased at estate sales, with the exception of a gifted bracelet and watch.

HAT ATTACK #15 will be featured on Wednesday, October 1st!  

Before I leave, I’m traveling over to Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style, which has become a gathering not to be missed.

 

 

Empathy

September 15th, 2014

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In my current quest for inner peace, I’ve been thinking about the concept of empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes without judgement.  It’s one of the characteristics of emotional intelligence and a quality that I have worked to develop in myself and admire in others.

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In graduate school in the early 1970’s, I participated in a research project which studied the characteristics of effective therapists.  The conclusion of this investigation was that empathy rules.  Without it, regardless of modality, technique or school of thought, outcomes suffer.

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I remember sitting, as a student, behind a two-way mirror in a session with another student, as the researchers evaluated my therapeutic skills, nonverbal communication, and all that went into my ability to help another human.  It was daunting, but helpful and intriguing.

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Another memory rises to the surface, as I recall reading the book The Incredible Charlie Carew during my psychiatric rotation in nursing school.  A google search reveals that this book, which was overwhelmingly influential to me in the 60’s, can now only be found in libraries.  It was the story of a seemingly charming man without a conscience (the lack of empathy) who damaged  everyone who floated within his orbit.  I believe that the lack of empathy is at the root of many of the problems that exist in the world today.

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I have never forgotten these experiences; they affected my career, my relationships and my parenting.  Many times I have fallen short of the ideal during the decades of my life, making mistakes along my path, but empathy remains important to me today.

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Photos By Daniel

I carry this concept wherever I go.  I’ve come to believe that empathy for myself and others is one of the keys to inner peace.

Vintage yellow jacket and multicolored scarf as headwrap – The Vintage Studio, Minneapolis; black tee and black with gold trim St. John booties – yard sale; “South of France” bag – estate sale; black ruched jeans – hand made by Gabriella; jewelry – estate sales, flea market and gifted.

The SC is linking up with the gorgeous Sacramento’s Mis Papelicos for Share In Style HERE.  The theme today is pants and skirts.

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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!

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