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Close to the Heart

21 Jul

I don’t know if lockets are on trend (unlikely), but ever since I visited Keats House in Hampstead, London, I’ve been a bit obsessed with them. I only have two to my name—a white gold and diamond one my parents got me for my thirtieth birthday and a silver one with multicolored stones my late-grandmother bought me years ago. Unfortunately, I never appreciated that one until recently. But back to Keats. I get all misty-eyed every time I think of Fanny Brawne’s locket that was encased in glass as to protect it and the tiny tuft of Keats’ hair, bound by thread, resting inside it. I know preserving things in such beautifully sentimental ways was common in the nineteenth century, but I just found myself taken aback by the romance of it all. I wanted to steal a piece of my husband’s hair and promptly insert it into a locket, but I didn’t have one at the time (and I’d forgotten about my grandmother’s). Now that I have two, I still haven’t done it. I’m thinking of putting my little girl’s hair in my grandmother’s locket, as my daughter is her namesake, and my husband’s in the diamond locket. Although perhaps it isn’t wise to be carrying around DNA these days . . .

I was searching for more lockets and found these—all wonderful in their own way.

I’m not that big a fan of the Tiffany Notes design on the outside of this. The white gold is too shiny for my taste, and the inscription is simply too heavy on the branding. However, the blue inside is just exquisite.

I really love the antique look of marcasite. I usually don’t bother with such large colored stones, but this shade of blush is so charming.

reminiscent of vintage nature illustrations

And I’ve never even attended Ren Faire. (“Gold-tone”—fancy!)

And then there were diamonds . . .

I’m on the fence about the heart pattern, but still find it very lovely.


Love, love, love the round shape.

That’s it for now. Nice to write something after my rather brief Internet hiatus (which was relaxing by the way—it’s amazing how much more calm I am without having the weight of everyone else’s lives on my shoulders). Also impressive that the spam sites kept visitors coming.


Velvet Summer

24 Jun

I was attempting to compile a bunch of fashion photos to help me sort out my summer look, which at the beginning of the season I vowed would be something that represented the titles NewRo Summer or Velvet Summer. I don’t really do summer in a  sundress/shorts/barely-there clothing kind of way. My gams don’t really have it, you see, so I must cover them. Anymore, this tends to result in jeans and various tops—with a cute pair of shoes on a good day—maybe. Still rather dull. Very dull—who am I kidding? I do accept that I will swelter in these parts, but not as much as when I was in my Levi’s Sta-Prest and polyester 511 phase. Oh dear me. There’s nothing like sweaty legs enveloped in non-breathable polyester to make you feel sexy in the dead of summer.

So, anyhow . . . I was trying to sort out a post that would help me wrap my head around enjoying summer fashionably without going the shorts and dresses route, but, unfortunately, a stylist I am not. The task grew tedious about ten minutes in, not helped by the fact that my computer is running unbelievably slow. I do feel as though I’m dialing up on a 24.4 connection, which actually makes me a bit nostalgic—but enough of that for now!

What I did find, though, was this post by The Cherry Blossom Girl which reminded me of how I would do summer if I had all the right clothes and slightly better legs. The vibe of it all is precisely what I’m going for. And yes, if I actually had girlfriends, no toddler/stepchildren, and if my husband were away and would ever give me his blessing to break free from our wannabe mid-century modern look for something more Gothic and/or romantic, a night like this with all the trappings would be a night of bliss. Of course the shoot didn’t take place in summer but at Christmastime. It figures I would be so into it. I see absolutely nothing wrong with black lace, candlelight, and frill for summer, though. Now I just have to get out of my Rufus Wainwright T-shirt and try a little harder.

Some highlights from the post:

Some other not-very-summery idears:

Love the idea of blouses all summer long—wouldn’t love steaming them, though. Photo © HopelesslyDevoted on Etsy

An Elegant Bicycle

15 Jun

I haven’t been on a bike for darn near four years, at least. I’d probably not pedaled for five years prior to that. And now, I have a child who I can’t imagine trusting me to cruise her around suburbia, even with a helmet; so I don’t know how long it’ll be before my hindquarters make their way to a banana seat. However, if I had the dashing bicycle pictured below, I might be compelled get a sitter and brave a few slimy gutters in the name of letting the breeze blow through my tresses and making believe I’m in the Smiths’ “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” video.

1970s Lady’s Sports Raleigh 3-Speed • Photo ©

Handsome, isn’t it?

(I’m not certain as to whether Morrissey and gang are riding Raleighs. I’m in the process of finding out.)

How painfully charming is the Raleigh Green paired with, say, brown leather handle grips and a Brooks Saddles brown leather seat? It’d make a girl want to cycle from morning ’til eventide. A girl without a child, but hey . . .  here’s to dreaming. (I love my child—really. I love to dream, too.) Best conserve sitter funds—and best get over my fear of slipping to my near-demise in an aforementioned sludge-covered gutter, which I did when I was about ten, and clearly haven’t yet emotionally recovered.

Oh, and . . . I’ve recently purchased these Oxfords, which I think would complement the bicycle I’ll probably never get in quite a lovely way.

Please note that Urban Outfitters made an error on their site. The shoe is actually white on the toe and sides and tan in the middle and on the trim.

Fictitious agenda upon completing Mission: Secure an Elegant Bicycle—ride to coffee and leave with it in a slender silver thermos—and perhaps order a jelly-filled doughnut to celebrate freedom on two wheels; take a jaunt to the park to read some Colette on a soft patch of grass, preferably whilst being greeted by a group of congenial butterflies; feed some ducks and smile at babies and pleasant-looking passersby; head home for sundowners on the back deck, fairy lights aglow.