'Wear Orange' Day

The Kindergarteners at my school do a colour study at the start of each year. Everyone is invited to participate by wearing the colour of the day; this is my orange day outfit.

My wonderful orange beret was crocheted by a former colleague who subbed at the school where I taught. She is an artist of the sewn piece, designing and sewing all of her colorful, swirling dresses for her ballroom dancing competitions. When I left the school after close to 15 years, she gave me this hat as a parting gift, with the admonition that it cannot get wet as water will damage the yarn.

Pants are from H&M several years ago. I often have difficulty finding pants that fit my waistline while also falling properly on the rest of my frame; these pants nailed it! Waist, length, drape, all just right for my petite frame.

Sweater is from the Gap, many years ago, and the patterned top is from Ann Taylor Petites, many, many, many years ago. The sandals are Earth Origins purchased on an outing with my daughter-in-law this past summer at a local mall. She has an amazing eye for style, colour  and pricing, and spotted these sandals way ahead of me. I was looking for a shoe that would provide support, with a 1-2 inch heel that  gently sloped to the toes. This sandal met all requirements and has since seen me through full days of teaching, where most of the time is spent on my feet.

Ha, in searching for the website for Earth Origins, I discovered the company also sells boots, so guess what I just ordered. My current boots are over 10 years old, have been repaired multiple times and are no longer salvageable. These new boots come with free shipping (!) and are leather, which my current oldies are not. 

Linking up with Catherine's notdressedaslamb and Judith's Hat Attack (with the feeling that I've linked this hat to a prior hat attack, but who's counting!)

Feeling Good

Dressed for a family outing to eat, play and hang out. We were all originally planning on a day at Jones Beach, but plans went back and forth as the forecast for a tropical storm or Hurricane Hermine went from bad to worse to a sunny Sunday morning, when those who lived further had already started out, making it too late to revert to Plan A – the beach. [Updated September 12: linking up with notdressedaslamb here because Catherine makes it fun to figure out what to wear!]

The top was purchased at least 5 years ago in Olympia, WA, on one of our visits to our younger son, who attended Evergreen State College. I walked into a delightfully funky store and found both this top and a dress (that has since been featured in at least one or two pictures earlier on this blog, with the long length scissored to a tunic.)

The pants are from The Gap, purchased easily 20 years ago for about $12 because there was a tiny stain on one leg, which came out in the first washing. Sweater is more recent, also from The Gap. And my amazing necklace is one of the first 3D designed and printed pieces crafted by my husband, when he was teaching himself the art of 3D printing.

2nd Day of Opening Faculty Meetings

I felt so professional! Most likely it was due to wearing a dress. With a colourful silk scarf as a belt. And deep turquoise earrings to bring out  the same colour in the scarf.  [Updated September 12: linking up with notdressedaslamb here because Catherine makes it fun to figure out what to wear!]

Pictures of me taken by my husband on our deck

The scarf is a gift from a colleague who is Spanish and returns home to Barcelona every summer. This summer included a trip to Italy, where she purchased the scarf, which is from Denmark though made in India. 

These!

Not much more to say than it's all about these fabulous sandals. Everything else about them I said in my prior post. Being a reformed shoe-aholic, am looking forward to seeing all the #iwillwearwhatilike link ups around this fun theme of summer sandals. (Thank you Catherine!)

I Wore What I Liked!

So perfect that this week's #iwillwearwhatilike link up theme was going to be summer sandals because in my outfit it is totally the sandals that make the outfit special!

It may be difficult to see these amazing shoes so I'll tell you a bit about them. They are made by Arche, a French brand. A few weeks ago I was in New York City with my 85-year old Aunt. We went into the Manhattan Arche store because my granddaughter wanted to go into a store. It could have been any store but it wound up being this one, so in we went.

The shoes were the last ones remaining and the size was not usually my size, but I couldn't resist trying them on because of the color and material that supports the ankle. At almost 3 inch heels, they are also quite a bit higher than my standard daily shoe wear. However, they were also on sale at almost one-quarter of the original price and the fit was pure comfort.

I demurred; they were out of my budget regardless of the sale price, and I had no need for such a pair of shoes. My Aunt disagreed, saying they were fabulous shoes and a bargain like this should not be passed up. She then went and purchased them for me!

As for the outfit, I wore it yesterday to a 95th birthday celebration luncheon for a neighbor at the other end of our street. It was a sunny, hot, humid afternoon with rain forecast for later in the day (it came at night) and I dressed for pure comfort while still wanting to up the ante from my typical summer wear.

Oh, and as for the actual #iwillwearwhatilike link up theme of all-white, I no longer wear much white due to my propensity for having it wind up no longer pure white before the day's end!

Judith Boyd's July HAT ATTACK!

Each month a new Judith Boyd post arrives in my email inbox. Judith is the Style Crone and her posts inspire me with the beauty of each photograph, and the wisdom and expressiveness in her writing. I was particularly touched by this month's Hat Attack post. Judith, a former  hat shop co-owner, is wild about hats! Each month she explores a venue near her home in Colorado, and at her side as photographer and co-explorer is Daniel. If you read this month's post, you will likely see what has touched me to add my hat to this month's Hat Attack.

This hat comes from Ecuador and was a gift from my daughter-in-law and son when they came to the United States. They spent almost two years living in Chota, near Ibarra, which is about 2.5 hours north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. If you are curious about their adventures, you can see what they were up to living off the grit.

Florals for Spring

I have not had much success with trying to post to linkups. I have yet to figure out the dimensions for an image, other than my very first linkup which was achieved via pure luck! Still, being home with the flu (yes, I had my flu shot!) and it being the start of my school's two-week vacation, trying to link up to Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike link up was well worth getting out of bed and attempting!

In the short time I've had this dress (less than a year), it has provided much enjoyment to wear. I discovered the pattern at a street crafts fair in Chatham, MA, on the wonderful island of Cape Cod. The booth was staffed by a Cape Cod parttime resident, the rest of the year being spent in Florida, and she was the remarkable seamstress who made these lovely dresses. She took the measurements, purchased the materials (wish I had taken a picture of the array of colorful patterns available) and sewed the dresses. Her husband, a retired engineer,  cut out the patterns. I thought the price quite reasonable at $75, and of course, placed an order. I had one stipulation, to please make the dress knee length rather than the calf length that the seamstress tended towards.

My dress arrived about a month and a half later, but alas it was calf length! I am 5 feet, 2 inches, and calf length dresses dwarf me. I could have returned the dress for shortening but decided it was more efficient to bring it to a local seamstress rather than mail it back to Florida from New York.

I have since discovered that it would be helpful to have a rear zipper. Easy enough to get on; not so easy to take off. I asked the local seamstress about inserting a zipper, and was told the dress was not designed to have one added. I am not convinced a rear zipper is impossible, and may one day make inquiries with someone else. Meanwhile, the dress continues to delight!

What is it that delights? The colors, the patterns, the zest of the dress, the fit, the flounce.

PS August 2016 – Back in July I brought this lovely dress to a different local seamstress. Actually, it is a husband and wife team who, it turns out, have been on our main block for 30 plus years. Amazing to me that I never discovered them before; it took my daughter-in-law to discover them while she was here. Anyway, they have rendered this dress beyond perfect because there is now a left side zipper than runs from the armhole to below the waist! I can put this dress on and take it off with absolute ease! 

It's A Wrap! (February)

My top-of-the-world outfits for February were worn towards the start of the month. While most of the month saw me in pants, I take pleasure in the "togetherness" of these two outfits and the ongoing acknowledgement that my closet holds some wonderful dresses that I know how to style.

This first dress was purchased with my at the time not-yet daughter-in-law when we went shopping for a dress to wear to her marriage celebration. I had seen this picture in H&M's online catalog and both of us thought the style might look well on me. Turns out, we were right! And as my daughter-in-law suggested, it could get much wearing beyond the celebration as a jumper or sleeveless dress. Again, right on the button!

This second dress is more of a tunic, and I've shared it before as a favored top from Desigual, purchased with my at the time not-yet daughter-in-law in Belgium. The leggings are easily over ten years old, and were a hand-me-down gift from a neighbor who is part French and spent many summers visiting her mother in southern France. The leggings, which are soft as can be, came from a small store in her mother's neighborhood, long since gone out of business. The forecast called for rain, rain and more rain, and my LL Bean boots (similar to mine) kept me warm, dry, and comfortable, given that I spend most of my school days on my feet.

Adaptive Design

Four days a week, Monday through Thursday, I am a lower school STEAM Integrator on the Pre-K through fifth grade campus of a Pre-K through twelfth grade independent school. (In the United States independent schools are private schools.) STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math. Throughout the year this position lets me spend my days with just about every student in the school. 

Our fifth graders learn about the human body as part of their Science classes and that led to Adaptive Design. One of the teachers is a former special ed teacher, where her experience taught her the benefit of having adaptations, both physical and non-physical, in the classroom. She decided to bring this knowledge into her approach with her current fifth graders and their study of the human body.

Additionally, our school has a MAKE Studio where projects of all types take place. The Studio is outfitted with materials (many of them recycled), equipment and space for items that can be designed, prototyped and made. For instance, one fifth grade class prototyped and built neurons and synapses using a multitude of found materials.

For the class incorporating adaptive design, the teacher investigated many resources and was delighted to discover Adaptive Design in New York City, which led to five of us taking a one-day workshop this past Tuesday. The workshop was customized to meet our needs of learning skills and techniques to bring back to our fifth graders which would help us guide them in a series of adaptive design projects for students at our school.

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop for: 

• learning new skills and techniques

• doing something new that I would not ordinarily have the opportunity to try

• hands-on tinkering and making, almost like playing!

• experimenting with designing and prototyping

• creating two pieces that I could take home and that could be used by me or others

• giving me ideas to use in possible workshops 

The photos are of the work space, the cell phone holder I made out of three-ply cardboard (all one long piece!), a sample foot rest or yoga prop made from a shoe box and supported inside by cardboard rolls, the start of my yoga prop, and the finished yoga prop awaiting exterior finishing (which I will do at home).

Yoga Teacher Training

Good day! Taking it slow here as I'm busy journaling my 200-hour yoga teacher training over at Yoga ~ Dance ~ Music ~ Movement, a blog I began in August 2010. My training began a few weekends ago in January on a cold Friday night and then was immediately suspended for the next two days thanks to the snow storm. The training takes place over ten weekends (Friday night, and all day Saturday and Sunday) spread over five months.

Highlights of this training include proximity to my home (just four miles!), intimacy of the group (just nine students and three teachers), and the repeated stating of my teachers to make this training our own. We are not learning, nor are we being asked, to become cookie-cutter model teachers. Rather, we are learning, and being asked, to open ourselves to the various ways of approaching, practicing, learning and teaching, then find what works for us as individuals and take that into our lives, our practice and our teaching. Thank you Paula, Patty and Susan!