Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spygirl wants you to meet: The Style Confessions™

from "Ravishing Red"
©2011 The Style Confessions™
you might recognize this image from

the Style Confessions™
facebook page
if not, go there too!

The Style Confessions™ is written by my dear friend Heather, who is one of my most stylish friends. Even when she was on an angel mission -- 9am, dropping me off at the hospital in Torrence, her son sick in the back seat -- she was STILL pulled together and chic. (I often feel disheveled in her presence yet she tells me I look great. What a pal!)

Heather's goal is to show that women over 40 need not dress like frumps in their comfortable stretchy garments. That yes, we can do better! With a little intention, it IS possible to look good AND one doesn't have to spend a fortune to get there. Heather clearly shows that the extra effort is worth it. 
I love reading her commentary, she writes very well. Creative, beautiful, talented, genuine -- I can't think up enough superlatives.
Her husband Hugo does most of the photography for her and he is a genius with light. The settings are always interesting. I mean -- look at that photo up there -- she is sitting in one of those plastic garden chairs! 

You must go visit The Style Confessions™, you will want to read every post, I promise you.

Heather doesn't (yet) know that I wrote this. This is my "thank you" to her for all the inspiration that she has given me. Mwah!

Note: I wrote this in response to the "IFB Project #27: Feature Another Blogger" Click here to read others' responses.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Christmas Cookies? Yes, please

I'm wearing my JUMBO JEANS 
No skinny jeans for this gal 
yep, JUMBO 
lots of room for cookies 

vintage scarf from Portland 
old J Crew cable knit cardigan 
VW tee from Callate La Boca, Madrid 
GAT Mens Jeans, circa 2000? 

functioning pockets at sideseam knee
I walked around like a dude in cargo pants
with lots of stuff in my lower pockets
handy! now I know why they do it

I added this post to:
see other responses here!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

IFB Project #26: The Best of 2011

Can you believe that it's almost 2012? 
I had a good time scrolling down the archives reliving the past year. I joined IFB in April and fell down the fashion blogger rabbit hole with glee. I do this for the joy of it -- I "should" be concentrating on my art work, but it isn't half as compelling. Who knows? Maybe the fashion blogger portraits (see last link) will become my next art exhibition.
I have enjoyed becoming part of the fashion blogger community and learning the merits of Twitter (@annembray), Tumbler, Instagram (annembray) et al. AND making everyone's acquaintance. You are a great community!

Here are my favorite SpyGirl posts from 2011.

SpyGirl started as a fake journal project in April 2010. I wanted to start sketching my outfits and came upon the SpyGirl template by accident (or fate). This journal spread is my favorite for 2011 because it jogs my memory about a design concept I'd like to put into production and sell.

Favorite SpyGirl Sketch:
4-22 happy Earth Day

My favorite outfit post is about what I wore for a Nada Surf gig I attended with my boyfriend. We had backstage passes  and everything!
Favorite outfit post:
In 10 Minutes: 6-5 

"Style Reports" are my street style photos. This Williamsburg post was the result of planting myself at Pies - n - Thighs for hours, waiting for my boyfriend to arrive from an LAX flight into Newark (flight issues). A fashionable start to a most excellent vacation with him.
Favorite Style Report (street style):
Summer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

I'm calling posts about museum visits and other cultural activities "Style Guides" I was killing time in Portland and stumbled upon this wonderful exhibition. Took copious notes and photos.

Favorite Style Guide:
Portland - Laurie Herrick at the Museum of Contemporary Craft

I'm especially proud of my Hair Care post for the Friend Friday group, hosted by Katy at ModlyChic. If you had told me three years ago that I would have short hair today, I wouldn't have believed you.
Favorite FBFF (friend friday) post:
Hair Care - the long and the short of it

The second IFB Project was to write a haiku. I chose my red coat that I designed in 1987.
Favorite IFB Project:
haiku to my red coat

For one of my day jobs, I teach digital design. I make all my own handouts in lieu of a text book. Thanks to Kimi @ allthefussandmore I learned how to turn off the oh-so-annoying Blogger Captcha. I then made her instructions visual. This is one of my most popular posts.
Best (and only) tech tip:
How to Turn off Captcha in Blogger 

Here is a taste of a series to come in 2012 -- "Fashion Icons"
Post that I'm most excited about:
amb on 7-21

Before this recap project came up, I was already starting to use Chris Guillebeau's (author of The Art of Non-Conformity) process to evaluate my year. I recommend that you check out his Annual Review post here. He gives some great suggestions.

To a better and brighter 2012!

Friday, December 16, 2011

pattern recognition: Daisy Janie

Daisy Janie is hosting a fabric giveaway that ends today (12/16) at 8pm EST. I love her prints so I entered for the "Shades of Grey" bundle. Here is SpyGirl in a shift utilizing it:
click on images to see bigger 
I hope I win!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friend Friday: The Return of the Facebook 20 Questions -- Holiday Edition

Katy, of ModlyChic, set us the challenge to answer a series of questions in the format of the typical Facebook 20 Questions on the topic of the holidays (I will release my FB version next week. Still too early). 
in creating this image, I discovered that FB pages can't write Notes
was hoping to use SpyGirl -- concept fail 
1) No holiday party is complete without:
off-key singing of Christmas carols 
2) My favorite Christmas song:
Vince Guaraldi - Christmas Time is Here 
3) The perfect New Year's Eve outfit includes: jammies
4) My favorite seasonal recipe: panattone
click on this to see bigger + use
5) Eggnog, good or bad? very very good
6) Gingerbread Latte or Peppermint Mocha: GL
7) Family photo cards - yea or nay? YEA!
bray family, 1968
8) Did you ever take pictures on Santa's lap at the mall? 
Sheffield MA had no mall
9) Worst gift I ever got: I plead the fifth
10) Best gift I ever received: my boyfriend Severo
11) My family has this tradition:
popovers for Christmas breakfast topped with butter and homemade jams
12) If I could only buy all my gifts from one place, 
I'd shop at: Cargoh (or direct link to my shop)
13) Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman: ugh
14) My favorite Christmas movie:
The Grinch That Stole Christmas (original animated version)
15) One of my favorite holiday memories:
New Year's in Goshen with Cyrus (RIP), Patucci, Mark, + Richard
my forehead, cyrus, patucci, richard
16) The best part about holiday decorations is: 
they twinkle and sparkle
17) Rip off the wrapping paper or 
neatly pull off the tape: rip it off, baby
18) Miracle on 34th Street or It's a Wonderful Life:
It's a Wonderful Life by The Tories
19) It doesn't feel like the holiday season until:
the Santa Anas blow all the leaves off the liquidamber trees and there's snow on the San Gabriels (Because I grew up in the northeast, I'm still hardwired for snow as a seasonal indicator. I am shocked, SHOCKED that there are only 10 shopping days left. This happens every year).
20) All I want for Christmas is: Peace, Love and Understanding
Happy Holidays to all, whichever one(s) you celebrate!
Be sure to check out the other responses on ModlyChic

where in the world? The Getty

This is the start of a new SpyGirl sketchbook:
"where in the world?" 
I will combine outfit sketches and an Instagram shot (and geotag map) of where I journey. 
Here is my Getty look: 
click on images to see bigger 
here's another great jacket discovery 
from my closet spelunking. 
this one is an OTIS student project, 
I think it was for Gotcha, late 80s/early 90s 
It's cow print plush, overdyed with ochre + green
I need to rework the shoulders and sleeves...
it was designed for a man, intentionally oversized
and I swim in it

hand painted spider graphic - copper metallic on black
I'll write more about the Getty visit in detail over on my Glutton blog soon. I'll link it up once I get it posted.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

Don't get me down. 
These two garments went to a party on Saturday and had so much fun, they decided they had to go out again today. 

the hat I've been wearing all week
mexican scarf bought in patzquaro
boucle cardigan, gift
band Tee [Supremium]
rayon dot skirt
leggings from work
wool over-the-knee sox
black/pink leg warmers
clogs from amsterdam

also wore the fun fur coat
because it's fun
and furry

Saturday, December 10, 2011

fashion challenge: neutrals - pop color saturday

Saturday of the neutrals fashion challenge, hosted by Megan + Keely
I had great plans to do a red outfit with a pop color of hot pink but I will save that for a later day.
Instead, here's what I wore on my expedition to the beach to watch the lunar eclipse:

the coat from monday
tibetan wool hat, got on haight st in SF
pale celadon mystery fiber scarf, got in 90s in providence
grey cotton/spandex lounge pants from work
metal capped-toe clogs
not shown:
blue + green mohair sweater, thrifted in culver city
under that, navy cashmere sweater --
because it was 45 and we are wimps in soCal
grey ragg wool fingerless gloves
the ramp for the lifeguard shack
made a handy support for night-time shooting
used an old danish schoolbag for my camera bag
there's the moon over my shoulder!

while I was standing here,
the Beach Patrol stopped by to see what I was up to
I was afraid he was going to make me get off the beach
(are we allowed on the beach at night? I think so...)
I explained there was an eclipse going on. he wasn't aware of it.

see more moon pix here on my glutton blog

as it got brighter, the moon disappeared in the west
I lingered to watch the sunrise
here's a PhotoBooth shot that sort of shows the colors in the sweater
plus some really attractive hat hair

various cameras, not including iPhone
I dragged out my old manual Pentax SLR, in case I ran out the batteries in my digital devices. Of course the battery was totally dead in that too, so I winged it on slow settings. The camera is horribly heavy, but oh, the sensations of winding the film, clicking, hearing the shutter noise... it brought back memories. I shot two rolls of film. Hope I can find a lab to process them.

Thus concludes the week of the Neutrals Challenge. It was a blast! Thank you Megan + Keely!

Friday, December 9, 2011

fashion challenge: neutrals - navy friday

Friday of the neutrals fashion challenge, hosted by Megan + Keely

Today's look was a work in progress.
Navy = jeans, right?
(Yes, I have only one pair of blue denims that are OK for work)

version #1.
chinese jacket and white clogs not working

navy wool swing coat made by OTIS student in 90s
cotton evil eye scarf
docker's mens crew from work
leon max rayon shorts circa 90s
amazing royal blue tights from hong kong
navy/red dot Happy Socks
same booties as Tues

threw on this red cardigan for extra warmth @ work
then, as I was running out the door,
I remembered this scarf I got in Portland last June
yes! I am now happy.
no longer neutral.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

fashion challenge: neutrals - cognac thursday

Thursday of the neutrals fashion challenge, hosted by Megan + Keely

What the heck is "cognac"
Brown? I already did brown.
I started with wine and mixed it up with caramel. Yum.

Wow! My coat closet is like having my own personal thrift store!
I completely forgot that I had this.
Make that had no idea that it existed!

vintage camel's hair coat
leopard chiffon scarf - 80s rosemary brantley
wine turtleneck - land's end
floral print rayon shorts - 90s leon max
wine leggings - work sample
wool stripe knee sox
burgundy mary jane clogs

leopard collar and silver rings



print mix
I will do another post on this coat later. You need to see how the whole collar looks without a scarf covering it up. It's an amazing piece. AND it fits!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

fashion challenge: neutrals - brown wednesday

Wednesday of the neutrals fashion challenge, hosted by Megan + Keely

cotton velour lucky brand men's shirt
rayon stripe indian scarf
CK bubble top dress
stripe tights
docker's slides
I'd forgotten about this shirt!
thanks to the challenge, it is back in rotation
here's what I really wore
changed up the accessories
[9/19/19] Linking up with Your Own Twist

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

fashion challenge: neutrals - grey tuesday

Tuesday of the neutrals fashion challenge, hosted by Megan + Keely

vintage plaid men's blazer
silk/rayon scarf from tibet
stripe shirt - Tweeds
pencil skirt - Chaiken
stripe tights
clog booties - BC
green leather gloves
OK, the jacket + shirt are really more green than grey.
Let's call them greyen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

IFB Project #24: personal playlist

This list is VERY personal - I know all these artists personally!
These are my go-to tunes for painting, blogging, commuting and escaping via ear buds from my co-workers when they start discussing sports.
Stew - Love Like That 
Something Deeper Than These Changes

Adam Marsland - Portland
Daylight Kissing Night - Adam Marsland's Greatest Hits

Anny Celsi - Tangle-Free World
Tangle-Free World

Carolyn Edwards - Secret Monster
Carolyn Edwards

Evie Sands - Gasoline and Coffee
Women in Prison

Maple Mars - Breathe Deep
Beautiful Mess

Nada Surf - Fruit Fly
Let Go

Nada Surf - Love and Anger
if I had a hi-fi

Rafael Gayol - The Way We Live
 Waiting for Buddha

The Smithereens - Sorry