Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Best of 2009

So it is that time of the year again. Tomorrow is the last day of the year, and it is (I have been told) a good thing to look back at everything that tickeled one's fancy during the past year. 2009 has been a big year for me. After my it-must-be-fate meeting with my biggest fan (hee-hee, no Misery references intended) Chris R. back in November 2008, the entire year pretty much revolved around us getting together. I gave up my job and apartment (heck, pretty much my entire life in Finland - apart from my cats who came with me) in order to move to the US to be with Chris in August. Naturally it has been a huge change. There are still a lot of things out in the open regarding my living here (work-related issues being the biggest), but so far everything has gone rather well. I am looking forward to 2010 in the same way I looked forward to my first year in university. I expect to learn a lot, mostly about myself. I am enthusiastic about meeting new people, coming up with new routines, seeing new places and finding new things to look at.

Playing on repeat in 2009 were (in no particular order):

Bat for Lashes: Two SunsPhoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion (including the best song of the year, My Girls)

Florence + The Machine: Lungs

St Vinvent: Actor

Movies that I enjoyed the most:

What I loved to look at in 2009:

Anything by Edward Gorey

Anything by Margaret Meyer

Life-changing book of the year (although it came out in 2007 already):

My favourite outfits of 2009:

Other 2009 wonders, encounters and thank-yous: my beautiful niece Katerina (now a 1-year-old, whom I miss terribly every day), our 7 cats, plenty of time, my sewing machine, new and old friends and family - you all know who you are - thank you for the love and support!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

New Arrivals

Just before Christmas me and Chris went to Ithaca for a day, and as usual, I quickly made my way to Petrune, a lovely vintage store located in the Commons. I am a little torn about the place though. In my books a good vintage store does not sell items that are dirty or have holes in them, and it amazes me that Petrune does this every now and then. For the most part, they have a great range of vintage clothes and accessories in good shape, and their prices are reasonable. But really, to put a $50 price tag on a 1950s wool cardigan that has been consumed by moths..? I don't know why anyone would choose to sell something like that.

I had my eye on a pair of cropped navy officer's wide legged trousers from the days of WWII, but ended up buying this Nina Ricci wool skirt for $20 instead.

I was already making my way out when this 1980s belt caught my eye. Naturally, I had to have it as well, even though it was a little pricey ($18) especially compared to the skirt.

I do regret that I didn't try on the sailor's trousers, though. They would have looked great with a plain t-shirt, a round-neck cropped cardigan, ankle socks and a pair of black mary-janes.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas Came And Went

Our tree still looks beautiful, and I shockingly still have some chocolates left, so I guess Christmas isn't all over yet. I woke up this morning with a pounding headache - there is a reason why I always - always - steer away from red wine with tannins. I should have known better! All in all, our Christmas consisted of some frantic cooking (with varied results and a dry bird - how do our mothers manage? I was only cooking for two!), a certain someone napping on the sofa, Frank Sinatra's Christmas cd playing on repeat, some presents, plenty of chocolates and crazy kitties - as portrayed here by our little devil, Audrey.

I got some great presents from Chris, including this beautiful set of jewellery, made of blood-red Swarowski chrystals by our dear and oh-so-talented friend Lynn.

Wearing my new set of jewellery, I drowned myself in the world of fashion with the help of this book:

A giant bible of the history of fashion, its scope ranging from the beginning of the 18th century until the end of the 1990s, I devoured the first 200 or so pages last night, and not at all surprisingly, the contents were slightly on the provocative side of things. Oh, there is so much to know about the world of fashion, the world of costumes, and there are so many questions to ask. I guess within the past 300 years, less has changed than what I thought.

Fashion has always been about keeping up appearances, putting people's minds and bodies in a box (or corsets), be they low-key or extravagant. The book is simply wonderful, with dozens of photos taken of real clothes (not just drawings or paintings) owned by the Kyoto Costume Institute.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry, Merry

Lovely, peaceful Christmas to all!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Giveaway Goodness, part 2

My second giveaway win of the year was this superbly pretty necklace from Eyeliah of Style Symmetry. It really goes with just about everything - depending on the rest of the look, it can look very romantic and delicate, or modern and even bulky. I teamed it up with plenty of colour and the laid back librarian look. (I don't know why but I always associate wool skirts with librarians - the only librarian I know certainly doesn't wear them all that often.)

Blue cardigan: Silence + Noise at Urban Outfitters
Lilac wool top: Max & Co.
Scarf: H&M
Wool skirt: second hand Ivo Nikkolo, flea market
Tights: Noa Noa
Ankle boots: Sportmax
Necklace: giveaway from Eyeliah of Style Symmetry

Monday, 21 December 2009

Giveaway Goodness, part 1

Back in November I was the lucky winner of a couple of giveaways. I spent five long weeks in Finland knowing that I had received my two packages - the wait was almost unbearable! Well, lucky me, no more waiting. This wonderful light yellow dress is courtesy of Eunice of Fancy Pants. Thanks again, Eunice! I love the dress! It is perfect all layered up for winter, and I can only imagine how lovely it looks in the hot summer months.

Dress: giveaway from Eunice of Fancy Pants
Long jersey cardigan: Lindex
Belt: some random ribbon with an owl brooch from Salvation Army
Tights: H&M
Legwarmers: no idea where
Suede boots: my mom's old (the warmest boots ever!)
Handbag: Max & Co.

Friday, 18 December 2009

The Chris(tmas) Miracle

In Finland we tend to decorate our Christmas trees on Christmas eve, or well, at least my family always does. It seems that things are rather different on this side of the pond: in the US people have their trees up weeks and weeks before Christmas already.

I always used to be one of those people who get anxious and irritable the moment the first Christmas carols start playing in stores - or that is what I thought, anyway. This year me and Chris bought our first Christmas ornaments in October already, and for whatever reason I am embracing Christmas on a completely different manner this year. For a long time I was the one person in my family who wasn't in a normal (whatever that means) relationship. My siblings would cuddle up on the sofa with their loved ones on Christmas eve, and I'd often sit there thinking that I didn't need that. I lived abroad for seven years, and coming home to Finland for Christmas was wonderful, but I often felt that I was only visiting - which, in truth, of course, I was. I guess for a long time I pretended that I was not a romantic at heart, and that all that Christmas nonsense about people getting together was just a big marketing scheme. As me and Chris are getting ready for our first Christmas together, I have to admit that I think I know now what my Christmases were missing all those years. We decorated our first Christmas tree last night:

Of course, it comes with a lot of kitties:

This is what I wore today (and yes, I am still a little ill):

Shearling coat: second hand / Salvation Army (this is the warmest coat ever!)
Cardigan: Zara
Gray pencil skirt: mom's old
Blue knitted tunic: Lindex
Tights: H&M
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: second hand / Aino flea market
Hat: second hand / UFF
Belt: second hand / UFF

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Great Lengths

I am finally back in the US. My last week in Finland was pretty hectic. I had my visa interview, after which I had a day or two to figure out my travel plans (Christmas makes flights expensive). I needed (and wanted) to spend time with family and friends before heading back here, pick up my visa, make sure I had all the necessary papers... it was a handful. I flew back on Sunday only to encounter serious trouble at immigration. The Embassy had forgotten (their words, not mine) to give me a bunch of papers to go with the visa, but luckily after waiting and pleading I was allowed to enter. As soon as I got home, I was struck with a cold, but oh well, I have felt worse. It is good to be home! Anyway, thank you for the advice regarding my hair - me and my hairdresser envisioned a Mia-Farrow-meets-Joan-of-Arc cut on one of my last days in Finland:

I haven't exactly been preoccupied with great outfits recently. For the most part, warmth and comfort have trumped over style, especially since I've been struggling with the cold for the past two days. I was pretty happy with this one though. I am really feeling longer lengths - when it comes to clothing, that is. Not the hair.

Jersey cardigan: Silence + Noise at Urban Outfitters
Tie dye top: Horisontti flea market
Long dress: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: can't remember where