Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What I've Read in 2010

Every January, I set myself a challenge: I will read 100 books this year. Most years, I end up with a list of 60 or 70 titles, but this year I'm actually keeping up with my goals. Here's what I've read so far, with no omissions--not even the most embarrassing supermarket romance novel has been kept off the list. I tend to read four or five books at a time, keeping a balance between literary fiction, romance, young adult fiction, and nonfiction, so that I always have a book to pick up that suits my current mood. Keep in mind that Nora Roberts generally tends to coincide with periods of great stress in my life--I self-medicate with trashy romantic suspense. What have you read lately?

  1. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jaqueline Kelly
  2. Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer
  3. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  4. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  5. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers
  6. Song of the West by Nora Roberts
  7. Boundary Lines by Nora Roberts
  8. Prom Nights from Hell by Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michelle Jaffe & etc.
  9. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  10. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halprin
  11. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M.T. Anderson
  12. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  13. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
  14. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
  15. Born in Shame by Nora Roberts
  16. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
  17. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  18. The LIghtning Thief by Rick Riordan
  19. Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch
  20. The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
  21. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  22. Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder
  23. A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
  24. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
  25. The House of the Spirits by Isabella Allende
  26. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  27. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  28. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  29. Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes
  30. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
  31. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
  32. Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt
  33. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  34. Band Geek Love by Josie Bloss
  35. The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin
  36. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
  37. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  38. Truly, Madly by Heather Webber
  39. Runaway by Meg Cabot
  40. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Meg Cabot
  41. The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy
  42. Wild Life by Molly Gloss
  43. Genuine Lies by Nora Roberts
  44. Geektastic Ed. by Holly Black and Cecil Castelucci
  45. Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
  46. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  47. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
  48. Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace
  49. An Off Year by Claire Zulkey
  50. Betsy’s Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace

Goin' Wild in the Country

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with two of my best friends for a trip to the Indiana countryside. Rarely have I spent four such perfect days--our trip was filled with sunset walks, flying luminaries, farmer's markets, history museums, lazy afternoons spent with embroidery and Moonstruck, and just basically perfection.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What was I thinking?!?

Image by 工字背心, found via Creature Comforts.

I miss my long hair so much! What was I thinking when I cut it short? I know what I was thinking: I need to metaphorically shed a year of negative thoughts and self-doubt and anger. And it worked, but I REALLY miss being able to go days without washing my hair and throw it into a braid and leave the house. Next time, remind me that I hate short hair, I hate having to wash my hair every other day and STYLE it for goodness sake to have it look decent.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

For My Dad

Thank you, Daddy, for teaching me how to swim, for tutoring me through physics and calculus (even when I dissolved into tears over my homework every night), for teaching me that reading separate books silently together IS a family activity, for helping me put up the Christmas tree every year, for always coming running when there's a bug in my room and then humanely capturing it under a glass and putting it outside, for doing the dishes every night after I cook dinner, for loving me and supporting me even when I don't know what the hell I'm doing with my life, for telling me that everything will work out in the end, for giving me a hug whenever I need one, and for reminding me that it is ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA to wear tie, closed-toe shoes, and to be prepared no matter what (it's the boyscout motto, after all). You're the kindest person I know. Happy father's day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ruth's Obi Belt

My friend Ruth recently (by which I mean a month and a half ago; these pictures are ooooold) graduated from grad school and requested only one thing of me in return: an obi belt! Ruth wanted something she could pair with solid t-shirts and use to dress up otherwise basic outfits. After a little snooping around on the internet, this is what I came up with:

This project couldn't have been easier--just cut two 5" wide strips of fabric (mine ended up being patched together and ended up about 80" long), sew together with right sides facing, leaving one end open, turn, press, topstitch, and that's it! The hardest part for me was matching patterns--I used the same Amy Butler print in two different colorways so the belt would be reversible, and I wanted to be certain that the same portion of the bold horizontal print would be visible on both sides of the belt. I think it turned out pretty well!

(just to give you an idea of what it looks like on--Ruth wears it much more cutely than I do!)

(and the other side!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sunny Day Dress

The sun came out! It was gloriously sunny and only in the mid-80s today, which was perfect weather to explore the gardens at the Philbrook with Jessa. We also saw "To Live Forever," the current traveling exhibition of Egyptian artifacts from the Brooklyn Museum. It was a really cool exhibit, but Jessa and I both agreed that we wished the wall text and information in the accompanying brochure were more extensive. Then again, we are both REALLY into ancient Egypt. The whole outing kind of made me want to re-read The Egypt Game, one of my favorite childhood books. Sadly it just got packed into storage, so I guess I'll have to wait a bit. In any case, here are a few images from my day:

(not recommended while driving)

(Jessa's awesome front door)

Dress-thrifted at White Rabbit in IC, Bracelets - thrifted, Shoes - Target, Hippo- Awesome

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rainy Day Skirt

The blog is back! I know the world was waiting with bated breath for me to return to this little sphere of the internet. Life has settled down again--my family is almost entirely settled into our new house, and my grandmother, although debilitated from her stroke, is able to live at home with the care of my aunt and uncle. Plus, we're deep in the middle of my favorite season, and I'm almost afraid that I'll blink and summer will have passed me by! What is it about summer that seems more fleeting and ethereal than any other time of year? (and hotter?)

It wasn't hot today! A miraculously lovely thunderstorm swept through Oklahoma today, leaving Tulsa cooler and breezier than it's been since early April. (Less miraculously, there was a ton of flooding in Oklahoma City, which is scary! And I hope everybody there is safe.) In any case, I love a good rainy day.

I made this floral patterned skirt last night using this tutorial from Freshly Picked. It worked like a charm, and only took about an hour! (It probably could have taken less time if I was less fastidious about measuring twice and cutting once). In any case, I think I'll be making more skirts along these lines, with a few adjustments (an inch off the waist so it fits more snugly at my natural waist, an inch shorter, deeper pockets!). This is a very versatile method that can be used to make any number of different styles of skirts.

On an entirely different note... I've been thinking about starting to post outfit pictures in this space. I can't decide if it's an exercise in completely over-the-top postmodern narcissism, or whether it's a way to showcase my creativity. I really do think of clothing as a creative outlet, and I'm somewhat addicted to the fashion blogs of others, so I think I'll give it a shot, for a little while at least. Plus my friend Ruth told me I should, and Ruth knows all.

(top-Gap, Skirt- self-made, boots-Target, necklace-J.Crew outlet, scarf headband - thrifted)