Cameo Summer

       At the end of February, my beau and I made the long drive back to New York to honor the memory of his uncle and to help his mother clear out her family home. My beau's grandmother had been a great collector of things, as had his uncle, which meant there was a lot to go through, a lot to throw out, and a lot to save. 
       After a week of hard, dusty work, we returned to North Carolina with a van full of treasures that we were tasked with re-homing. 

      In the months since, I've sent my beau's family treasures across the country and around the world, helping to recoup his uncle's final expenses and hopefully bringing some peace of mind to all involved with the knowledge that these old things will be appreciated.

While it was never really my intention to keep much of what we brought back, I've wound up feeling like I should hold on to some of it.  I just couldn't part with the sterling cake server used in my beau's great-grandparents wedding, or the ceramic Christmas tree made by his grandma, and the bracelet engraved as a gift from his great-grandfather to his great-grandmother seemed way too special to part with. Also, for obvious reasons, the ocean themed paintings, that hung in the family home for the better part of a century, had to become part of my home as well. 
Some of what I've saved has been things that feel at home in my home, some are things that most would consider family heirlooms, and some are things that I just plain like-- like this cameo. 
A bit of costume jewelry, nothing special or sentimental, I had every intention of adding this cameo to my shop, that is, until I put it on.

Since then, I've rarely taken it off, in fact most of my outfits this summer have involved the cameo. At this point, I have worn it enough that strangers, who have since become acquaintances, have identified me as the "girl with the big [expletive] cameo"-- hey, there are worse things to be known for!

Like the cameo, this 60s Sears dress is a new addition to my collection and has been one of my summer staples since I picked it up on our travels in July. 
With lightweight, linen-like fabric, and cheery salmon hue, it has been just the frock to beat the southern heat in style. 

Scarf-- thrifted
Cameo Necklace-- my beau's grandmother's 
Pearl earrings-- a gift from my beau

Dress-- Sears Fashions, purchased at Antiques & Interiors, Great Valley, NY (highly recommend stopping here if you're ever in the area)

Shoes-- Christian Siriano for Payless

The color of this dress reminds me of a cooked shrimp, so I wore it to our town's annual shrimp festival on Saturday night. 
Since moving here six years ago, we've only missed one shrimp festival, and while it's nothing more that some concessions, craft vendors, and live music, it's the highlight of life here in this little fishing community, so we go, eat some fried shrimp and funnel cakes, and generally have a nice time. 

The night always ends in an insane fireworks display that, in years past, has had us fearing for our safety as embers rain down on us, and always has us asking, "was that the finale?" 
This year was no different, but the wind was blowing in our favor and we were saved from that additional excitement of dodging bits of burning cardboard while we enjoyed the show.

 Images of shrimp fests past borrowed from the festival's Facebook page

It has been a great cameo summer so far! 
Here's to discovering another signature accessory for fall.



Here we are, once again, in that lush green limbo of late spring, when the first flush of seasonal color has faded away, and the burnt brown of summer has yet to descend. 

This time of year, mother nature dresses herself in green and white, wrapped up in the pale-trumpets of blooming bindweed, trimmed with lacy viburnum blossoms, and crowned with glorious blooms of the southern magnolia. 

And, without realizing, I follow suit, wrapped in my own frock of green and white.

It's been two months since my last post, and lately I've been feeling less than inspired.
Work, life, and nearly two solid weeks of entertaining house guests has sapped any energy, creative or otherwise, I've had.

It's times like this, in a moment of creative drought, that I am incredibly thankful to still be blogging. 

While the blog is a great outlet when my brain is bubbling with inspiration, it's also fantastic for resuscitating my creative spirit as it is constant encouragement to keep getting dressed and to keep exploring my world-- always searching for the perfect secluded spot to snap a few pictures. 

And, while I did little more than slip on a frock and stop by a city park (far from my goal of a grand historic site) I feel renewed-- my spirit revived. 

Last summer, after my visit to the Pelletier house (one of the few historic sites in town),  I had dismissed the small city of Jacksonville as little more than a modern monstrosity of big box stores and fast food joints, so when I stumbled on this old water-treatment-facility-turned-park in an adorably historic part of town (that I had no idea even existed!) I was in awe. 

As I tread its mile or so of boardwalk paths along the river and through the swampy forest, I could feel the strain of the past months slipping away as I admired the flora and fauna (deer, turtles, and a myriad of birds), and lined up photographs in my head. 

When I reached the end of one boardwalk, I was surprised to find a historic civil war plaque commemorating a river raid that took place in 1862-- I got my historic site after all!

And best of all, save for one fellow explorer, I had these wooden paths and trails entirely to myself and was free to set up my tripod without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortably self-conscious (though I suppose that's the advantage of exploring on a rainy weekday afternoon).

It's rare that I run into vintage clothes at an auction but one Saturday night this winter I got lucky and happened into an auction house with a whole rack of them. 

Thanks to my bid master beau, we won the entire rack and this gorgeous green and white gown was among them. While many of the other frocks are headed to my shop, I just had to save this one for myself.


It's a bit too big for me, a problem that is quite rare these days, but with its glass buttons, scalloped details, and gathered hips (below), I couldn't resist this dress.
I love how sheer and lightweight it is-- I can see getting a lot of wear out of it this summer.

I'm sure I've said it before, and I know I'll say it again, but there is something so wonderful about being able to just slip on a dress, select a pair of shoes (my Miz Mooz wedges in this case), slap on some lipstick (Besame's red hot red here), and head out the door feeling confident in the way I look. 



A week ago, I spent the first day of the last year of my twenties reveling in the splendor that is the southern spring. With the beautiful weather we've been having lately, I could think of no better way to spend my birthday than once again visiting Airlie Gardens.

In every season, Airlie is a testament to the natural beauty of the Carolina coast, but in spring it is simply resplendent. 
Each pilgrimage I've made to the gardens has been in summer, seeking refuge from the broiling sun on Airlie's moss-draped, live oak-shaded paths, but with each visit, as I approach the camellia garden, I swear that next year I'll visit in spring.
And this year I finally did.

The azaleas were beautiful too!

Airlie is a sprawling place, and though the parking lot was quite full (to include a school bus), the garden, at times, felt like a secret one-- just me and the flowers.

Despite the seclusion, I was still incredibly anxious about dragging my tripod along to snap a few photographs. While I love photographing what I wear and where I wear it, I always feel a little ashamed of the seeming excess and vanity of it all.  

But, after seven years of blogging, I can see the value in what I'm doing-- the value of having the better part of a decade of my life, my wardrobe, and my thoughts bound together here at the sea. The idea that years from now, whether I'm still blogging or not, I can look back at this chunk of time and see who I was, where I was and what I was wearing, is pretty amazing.

No matter how much I justify these photo sessions, I still find myself uncomfortable in front of the camera while in public however Airlie, of all places, is the perfect spot to embrace vanity and excess. Built in 1901 by the folks for whom the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" was likely in reference to, this sprawling garden is about anything but moderation.

While time spent amongst plants and in nature has a rather restorative magic of its own, Airlie has a lingering residue of magical evenings, high society galas and Gatsby-esque social events of the season. Wandering the grounds, I like to imagine guests, dressed in their finest, flitting to and fro under the pergola, boating on Airlie lake, or pitching woo in a quiet corner of the camellia garden. 

There's always a note of melancholy with these imaginings as I realize that, as time passes, fewer and fewer places like this will exist. We must enjoy them while we can.   

Pink jacket-- Lilly Pulitzer, hand-me-down (story here)
I really love the acrylic buttons on this jacket, but didn't realize until after I got home that I was missing one! Luckily there is a replacement button stitched inside the jacket. 

Necklace-- Belonged to my great-grandmother, sent to me as a 24th birthday present by my grandmother.

Dress-- 70s/80s Kevin Stuart Petites, thrifted. 
A bit of a polyester monstrosity, I thought there was no way I was going to like this dress, but I tried it on anyway. My polyester aversion was no match for its pastel hues and pleats-- plus it was under $1.00!
My headband is the original belt to this dress.

Bow belt-- Delia's, years ago

Shoes-- Payless. 
I later swapped out these little punched pleather flats for white plimsolls, also from Payless.

Purse-- Target

Sunglasses-- Forever21 

Orange Airlie Admission badge

Lip color-- NYX matte lip cream "Antwerp"
I'm not super fond of this lip product, the color is pretty but the formula is clumpy and drying, but at a few dollars, what can you expect.

With large, dreamy blossoms that look like a cross between a rose and a peony, the camellia is by far my favorite plant that I have discovered since moving south. A native to Asia, many of Airlie's camellias were hand selected and imported from the continent over a hundred years ago (what a wonderful job that would be to travel the world and select pretty flowers!). 

There is such a delicate old time elegance to the blooms, and with their glossy evergreen foliage (during my summer visits to the garden, I must have walked by so many shrubs that I had no idea were camellias!) the bush is attractive year round.  

This trip to the gardens set my spring fever ablaze so it was no surprise that I found myself doing a little plant shopping on the way home. And with my love for camellias newly rekindled, it's also no surprise that I came home with a flowering shrub of my own. 

The camellia is a "messy" plant, but what a beautiful mess it is! 

I selected a "Lady Laura" camellia that, after a lot of prep work, I planted along the west side of our property line. I also transplanted an azalea and rhododendron into this area and hope to create an Airlie-inspired line of shrubs. 

It felt so good to get my hands dirty and to work outside to create something beautiful-- I hope to do it again soon. 
Here's hoping that my 29th year is the of the green thumb!



The rise of the daffodil signals a farewell to wool and corduroy in these parts as the temperatures soar into the seventies and, this year, into the eighties. Though I look forward to spring each year (the beauty of this season is unsurpassed here in the south), there's always a bit of sadness when I pack away my favorite wool skirts and say goodbye to my cozy outfits.

Orange cardigan-- thrifted, no label
Corduroy vest-- thrifted
Vintage tie--  from Mrs. Bolton, Ultra Trojan brand bought at The Kleinhans Co. Buffalo, NY (original price tag reads $2.50!)
Blouse-- Lands' End 
Skirt-- thrifted, Pendleton Woolen Mills
Tights- Hue
Loafers-- Michel M... same cheap-o loafers I always wear!

Lipstick-- Besame Merlot + Besame Carmine

My ensembles this winter have had a bit of a formula-- pops of bright colors, peter pan collars, neckties and pencil skirts. 

This last outfit of winter certainly follows suit but incorporates a few items that were on the Twin Peaks-inspired wishlist I developed in my last post
One trip to Goodwill and I was able to tick off a few of those Twin Peaks must haves: the short, chunky sweater and the vest, along with a few other pieces that will have to wait until next winter to make their blog debut. 

Sometimes my thrifting adventures can be quite aimless-- hours of pawing through racks in search of something, anything that tickles my fancy and, though sometimes an aimless trip leads to an excellent vintage find, many times I wind up with an armful of fashions that I will likely never wear. 

After a recent major closet purge, I've decided my shopping needs to have a bit more direction and that I need only bring home things that I will actually wear-- sensible, right?!

This, the first thrifting adventure of the year, quickly developed a purpose when I pulled this orange cardigan off the rack.
 If you, by chance, read my Between Yellow and Red post in January, you'll know that the color orange is a recent and surprising fascination of mine, so between the color and the waist accentuating length I had been pining for since watching Twin Peaks, this sweater was a must.

 Once one thing on my TP wishlist had been checked off, the thrifting adventure became a scavenger hunt for other items on that list. It took some digging but finally from the men's rack came the vest and instantly an outfit was born. 

While nothing genuinely vintage was found on this thrift store trip, it sets the bar high for future shopping adventures. Perhaps each time I go shopping I should actually have a wish list in mind-- what a novel concept!

Speaking of lists, I was actually able to accomplish one of those Pinterest-inspired projects on my home decor to-do list, and re-purpose a vintage umbrella that is no longer fit for service. 

I really love how this looks on my front door and, once it is no longer daffodil time, I hope to find another bunch of season appropriate flowers so I can enjoy this bit of cheery decor for a bit longer. 

Warm weather has made my curls go crazy! I'm a bit nervous as to what the hot and sticky summer will do...

For those of you on this side of the equator, has spring found you yet? 
With the change of season, what are you most looking forward to wearing and what are you most sad to stash away?


Style Study: Twin Peaks

I suppose I'm late to the party on this, but I've absolutely fallen in love with the quirky and campy early 90s series Twin Peaks.

I had the opportunity to, thanks to the magic of Amazon streaming, take in the entire series in an epic binge watching session just before Christmas, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. 

While I'm quite taken with the outlandish characters and supernatural themes, and seriously considering the Black Lodge's red room as a decor choice, I'm also finding myself inspired by the fantastic fashion and hair in the series.

With her signature saddle shoes and penchant for pleated plaid, Audrey Horne is every vintage lovin' gal's favorite Twin Peaks femme fatale. 

Audrey is totally summed up by her footwear choices-- innocent girl on one foot, womanly temptress on the other.

Dressed for destruction: Audrey acts innocent while single-handedly destroying her father's business deal.
Tucked vs. Untucked: While I'm always a fan of tucking into high-waisted anything, I'm really loving the short sweater paired with the pleated plaid skirt.

Actress Sherilyn Fenn has such an effortless Old Hollywood glamour to her look (the arch of her eyebrows just kills me). Having seen her in more recent roles before I watched Twin Peaks, I love seeing her look used to such full effect here.
The arch of her eyebrows kills me, so does this dress-- perfection.

Beyond the fashion, I love the hair on this show. Twin Peaks debuted in 1990, so there's plenty of big crimpy curls (I'm looking at you, Lucy), but there's also some fabulous short hair, too; fabulous enough, in fact, I'm kicking myself for not watching a year ago when I was in desperate need of short hair inspiration.

Audrey's funeral look.

Of course, I can't talk short hair without mentioning Josie Packard. Her jet black power pixie paired with a ruby red pout is so alluring, and she's got a pretty fantastic wardrobe too!

High-waisted slacks, a chunky belt and an over-sized cardigan: Josie's look is masculine in that fabulous Katherine Hepburn way.

Josie also has a fantastic lingerie collection. I'm particularly in love with the backside of this peignoir.

While many of the other characters' hair grows throughout the series, Josie's seems to remain the same (though it does get combed forward when she's in her maid uniform--  still adorable but less sophisticated).
Donna Hayward's hairstyle seems to change the most throughout the series, starting out with a big, fabulous curly bob (dream hair!) and winding up long and wavy. Her fashion choices are pretty interesting, too. While Audrey has a very set style, Donna's wardrobe is always a surprise.

There's that great hair! I do love me a triangular bob.
Some of Donna's outfits have so much fabric-- smart choices for winter I suppose, Twin Peaks is in the mountains after all!

Love that sweater! Must look for sweaters with a waistband like that.

Donna's funeral look.
There's so much plaid in this show. Pairing a flannel shirt with a vest is unexpected but fun. I think I may need more vests in my life.

Twin Peaks recycles a lot of clothes in its characters' wardrobes. Audrey can be seen wearing the same (I think) pleated skirt several times, and Donna wears the same blue sweater on a few different occasions. I believe the red skirt below is the same as she's wearing in the first still above.
A very romantic look for Donna. Really in love with that blouse. 
I had to check and see how tall Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna) is to see how she's pulling off all of this fabric and the long skirts-- she's 5'6" (according to the internet), that's an inch taller than me, yet I know if I tried to recreate the first or last look above, I'd look so boxy (ah, to be slim!).
Speaking of height, Sherilyn Fenn is reportedly 5'4" and those knee skimming pleated skirts are quite flattering, I suppose that's something to keep in mind when I'm out shopping (though excessive length has never kept me from a pleated plaid skirt).

Okay, now that I've unnecessarily analyzed everyone's height, let's get to my favorite character and personal style icon: 
the Log Lady.

A log makes the best accessory, especially if it talks to you and foretells the future.

More chunky sweaters and plaid for the Log Lady, but check out her wooden brooch!

At first I thought this accessory, like the log, was reserved for the Log Lady, but while browsing stills at intwinpeaks.com (the source of all these images), I came across several shots of Lucy Moran wearing wooden brooches too.

I never would have thought to center a brooch like this, but it looks great!
Is that a clover? I love the different color leaves that dangle from it!

One of my favorite Lucy outfits. Gotta love those chunky sweaters.
A closer look at that wooden maple leaf she's wearing.

I guess I'll add wooden brooches to my shopping list along with short cardigans, chunky sweaters, vests, and lots of plaid.

 I think a move to [a quirky town] in the mountains might be necessary to make my fantasy Twin Peaks wardrobe wearable more than two weeks out of the year-- I'm more than willing to make that "sacrifice."

Ooh! And before I wish you all happy sailing, I just have to share this still I stumbled on from the Black Lodge-- check out Agent Cooper's excellent neck tie; such a departure from his usual, conservative neck wear. 
Such a fabulous tie, it reminds me of some of the 40s ties I rescued from Mrs. Bolton's. I do love a good necktie!

As much as I loved the story, the characters, and the fashion, I have to say I was a little disappointed at how the series ended. All that time establishing a relationship and setting up a traditional story arc between Agent Cooper and Audrey *spoiler alert* just to have him rescue a new, hastily introduced, love interest in the Black Lodge. 
It was dissatisfying and felt incomplete. 

That said, I am super excited that there a revival of the series in progress that will fulfill Black Lodge Laura Palmer's "I'll see you again in 25 years" prophecy. I can't wait to see if this time the ending is a little more satisfactory (and if Bob is still inhabiting Agent Cooper).

As always, until next time...