A Tale of Two Selfies (Bathroom)

The return of vernacular dribble on not totally fashion related topics, YES! It is I! Sorry for the long hiatus but I was secretly trying to weed out my true followers, haha! that’s a lie, but for whatever reason, now I’m back! So let’s talk about NY Fashion week, JK! Fooled again you are! (didn’t you know I use this creative space to post selfies from the hideously wallpapered bathroom at my parent’s house!).

Behold! 2 examples of my recent work attire. #1 a lovely Martha’s Vineyard ensemble (you should pronounce it ansam-‘bleh’ for effect) totally preptastic and chic. #2 My totally 80’s revival, pulled from Mom’s goodwill pile, silk blouse and pencil skirt duo.IMG_20151104_063418

#1 Nautical Cara strikes again complete with chambray (the correct pronunciation of this word, if you didn’t know as I did and called it “cambree” and was corrected by a sophisticated J-crew employee at the Biltmore [rolling my eyes] oh do you mean “sham-breh”? yes that’s what I mean, thank you for letting me know :/ softly cries into her French jean shirt..]tumblr_static_tumblr_me76csm5qc1ruyb0oo1_500

#2 The 80’s IMG_20151112_072937Yes, they live again and I’m still trying to decide if this silk shirt is more Bowie from the 1986 film The Labyrinth (sans awesome half-moon medallion necklace and form fitting vest…I would literally beg on hands and knees for such a vest) tumblr_mo881u6jZx1rbvi6mo1_500Or a more subdued Tom Hulce from the 1984 dramedy, Amadeus (really that’s how you categorize it IMDb? Really? But it’s soo sad…more like a tragedy, you know that last scene [spoiler alert] where they toss his sheeted body into a mass grave 😥 real tears])tom hulce Apparently I like using parenthesis, parenthesi?? Wait… what’s the singular of parenthesis? or are they the same singular and plural like deer? Oh dear…FOCUS CARA! (that’s my name for all those of you who are reading for the first time…it’s doubtful any of my readership had the patience to forebear the long silence..) And last but not least…can I compare thee to a.. Seinfeld Pirate (you’re welcome Daveed).puffy_shirt_2964582k

 

So that’s a wrap, but don’t worry I won’t go another 9 months without a post, my promise.

Hearts,

Carazona.

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Way Out West

I took a trip to Tuscan Arizona early this year and wanted to share with you querido my tales of riding and roping in the Old West.Having moved away when I was but a babe, there are things I had forgotten to remember about this place so here they are…

#1: Embroiderer Shirts are Awesome, and I don’t see why everyone isn’t wearing them everyday….
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#2: Sonoran Mexican Food…the dried beef called Machaca (heavenly voices sing it’s praise!) add it to burritos, enchiladas in eggs sprinkle it on your face, I don’t care what it’s served with, it is dried meaty goodness and nourishes even the most down cast of individuals. nuff said.
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#3 Quirky (semi-creepy) shop keeper with too many turquoise rings  and looking like he may have toured with the Rolling Stones. His wares, a wide range; from taxidermy rattlers (with a sign hung overhead “Gifts for Men”) to full sized Aztec Warrior costume complete with plumage. A short conversation determined that his ancestors came to the Arizona Territory in 1820 and his favorite band is the Gypsy Kings (very fitting).
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#4 Stuff made with old wood and railroad ties…
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#5 Catci  were my favorite childhood friends. Trivia the Saguaro Cactus is only found in the Sonoran Desert which is by far the most sweet smelling of the deserts because of the night air, cooing of the mourning dove and the smell of the creosote bush after it rains.
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Sneak Peek: More to come from this trip including a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West!!!
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Kisses!

Is she or isn’t she?

breakfast_at_tiffanys_02Reflecting on the short story Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote and the subtleties that only come out from reading a story instead of watching it on the big screen. Audrey Hepburn, 32 years old when she played the adorable and unattainable Holly Golightly. However, as Capote wrote the character she was to be just 19. How difficult to hide the confidence that comes from 10+ more years of being in the world. 19 is untouched the innocence and also confidence of life still fresh on cheeks and limbs. I no longer see Audrey’s face when I read about Holly and her slightly upturned nose and stylish frocks, fixing a bow tie here or jabbing away at Fred. She is now what Capote painted her to be, like a girl I knew from high school that everyone loved and wanted to be with but disappeared and is more of a legend in our memories.Capote At Home

This is a sad post it seems, perhaps I mourning my 20’s or maybe. what Capote saying about youth and the insatiable character of Holly Golightly is sad?… the beauty of Hepburn embodied and the smiles and fun fresh expressions in those brows rendered… I don’t know still thinking on it. There’s a interwoven tragedy to Capote’s writing, a loss of innocence but beauty of youth too, I was never  good at English or literature for that matter, the book strikes me as more tragic than the movie but I can’t put my finger on it…you’ll just have to read if for yourself dear one, it’s not too long, I know you’ll enjoy it.

Vintage Cookbook: A Letter

Dear Reader,

I address this to you as if writing to you. We should be seated across from eachother speaking in excited and warm conversation, but alas technology and distance separate us so I’ll leave the forces that be and remain in this unconventional method of correspondence between close friends. Have I ever told you about my vintage cook book? No!? Well I do apologize for it is one my dearest and most beloved possessions. The pages are near pristine and though the 3rd ring on the binder refuses to close completely allowing pages to mangle, it is indeed a treasure and I treat it with the up most care.

Gingham Cook Book

My Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook has page after page of hard to acquire recipes. Not only are they explained simply, the no fuss ingredients and old school style are soo helpful in making food I make tasty really good. The biscuit recipe  saved my life many a time, true story!. They are so light and fluffy and not the overly salty artificial home flavor of so many a biscuit acquired at the chain restaurants. Of course they don’t reheat well but what quick bread is meant to last more than the meal it was prepared for …I mean really? This is food, not a durable consumer good, it should have no shelf life and be enjoyed even savored for it’s brief and purposefullfilled (compound word I just made up) existence, like a masterpiece etched in a sandy beach, it’s enjoyment lasting only in the senses; the beautiful bulbous structures of the mind forever guard it’s enjoyment.

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Simply the food from this little gingham Better Homes Recipe book makes life better. Look here at the delicate crab and Swiss quiche recipe. I have turned to it a thousand times to make an easy bright and satisfying brunch!

The tang of the cheese and sunshine of the lemon zest! Then surprise a hint of dark and earthy from the “dash of ground mace” How exciting! Here is the end product (presentation lacking but the flavor is elegant). I recommend serving it with sliced bosc pear or a frisee with a light vinaigrette. (Also I’ve made some modification, smoke salmon instead of canned crab…fresher fish is always better 😉

 

Quiche

Smoke Salmon Quiche

In addition to the miraculous quiche and biscuit recipes there are all kinds of pictures from another era. A Brady Bunch Kitchen! Table Displays where hands with pointed nails show off holly berries and jello molded sorbets! What a jem!

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So my love, should you come across one of these old and wayward cookbooks do not turn aside, Oh No! Snatch it up, mind the binding and discover the majesty of home cooking !

Hearts and Warm Thoughts!

Love,

Cara

Winter Coats and Memories

Coat and HatIt’s been soo cold out these past few days, which prompted me to wear both my coat and hat! While in Kansas the Gma commented on my cream coat and wondered where I had purchased it. United Colors of Benetton I said, which didn’t register but that’s alright the store here closed anyway.
I liked the classic clean look and collar that would pop up or lie down nicely.
It’s not totally double breasted lacking the second row of buttons but it does cross the chest and button. Maybe she liked the coat because it reminded her of another she wore when she was a girl.

I found this photo in a paper bag amid others ranging from the 1920’s Grandma Zella hanging from an old Jalopy all the way to Grandma’s retirement from the Phone Company . I sat on the floor and took picture of these pictures imagining this world past.

Grandma Mary

Grandma is dressed in a double breasted winter coat with a hat. It must be the early forties and I believe she is around 4 or 5 years old. She showed me this picture once “That’s my cousin Jack” she said, pointing to the boy in the flight hat and goggles (Adorable). “He was my favorite, we had so much fun running around the woods in Arkansas , but he died a long time ago now, I miss him”.

The Bond Girls: You Only Live Twice

Bond movies, oh yes classics that ran on Saturday afternoon marathons where I dosed in and out to high speed car chases and elegant ball gowns.Why not give it another shot! Thought I ha ha ha, only remembering the entertainment at it’s best to see the glamour and poke fun at the technology and silly plots. While viewing the 1967 film, You Only Live Twice, I was both enthralled by the iconic imagery… and repelled by … well, pretty much every word that comes out of Sean Connery’s mouth. I do believe my eyes nearly rolled into the back of my head after the line..”Why do Chinese Girls taste different?” Ugh! It really kills the fantasy when James Bond is such a chauvinist jerk! but yawn, that’s already been talked to death so I’m through, but one more thing…why does he have to be so hairy?!?! Eewww!!! ok I’m done.

Choosing to focus on the lovely ladies and their attire** let us begin with the gorgeous and sophisticated Akiko Wakabayashi.

Look at how she sparkles in the chiffon powder blue gown she wore to the Sumo match. The boat neck and fitted shift really highlight her elegant long neck and delicate form.

Akiko Wakabayashi

Then we have the scene at the dock. Aki wears an oversized cream sweater, ankle jeans and white tennis shoes. If that isn’t the perfect Saturday outfit I don’t know what is. Classic, cute and fun! And perfect for a quick get away!

At the dock

Aki kills it in a pink lawn dress that I absolutely must have! Not only is pink, one of my most fav colors, but it’s a shift dress with high collar and belled slevies!!! WANT!!! She is soo adorable btw….Bond looking hairier than ever might I add 😉

Pink Dress

Top Pink Dress

Next we have Femme Fatale Helga played by Karin Dor. Red hair and awesome curves pulling on the “every man’s fantasy” Rita Hayworth imagery.

Seems you're in a Tight Spot Bond!

Seems you’re in a Tight Spot Bond!

I want to recreate this, you'll have to watch the movie for the full effect. So MadMen! I love it!!!

I want to recreate this, you’ll have to watch the movie for the full effect. So MadMen! I love it!!!

Blofeld (Guy that looks like Dr. Evil) is disappointed in Helga’s performance. She was to seduce Bond, not the other way around!!! to the rabid paranas, where you shall meet your most painful and timely death!! Muahahahaha!!! Aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

This lady looks “killer” in red!

And yes, lastly, I should mention Mie Hama playing Bond’s pseudo wife for the terribly rendered transformation of Bond into a Japanese man.

.NO!

(it was hard to decide does he look more like Spock or Jim Carry from Dumb and Dumber…I’ll let you choose #thingsyoucouldneverdotoday #terrible)

Mie Hama pretty much wore a white bikini throughout the movie. She has a really sweet face and I love the bangs!

After enjoying You Only Live Twice my boyfriend and I decided we would let the professionals handle the spoofing and treated ourselves to the oldie but goodie Austen Powers: International Man of Mystery. Definitely worth a revisit 🙂

**You Only Live Twice Costume Design by Eileem Sullivan


More reading on Bond and Fashion:

Bond Exhibition

Bond Lifestyle: Clothing

Clothing for Bond Girls

Home for the Holidays

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While visiting family and staying with my beloved Grandparents, I dropped into one of the many antique shops that dot main street where they live.

Theses little shops amuse me for there is nothing more delightful than picking up odds and ends with commentary from a very genteel and opinionated 80 year old 😉

Today’s number a lovely costume brooch (my source says mid 1940’s) to be worn on Christmas Eve. Sparkly rind stones soo festive!

Jackson Grayhound

Work took me to Jackson, Mississippi  (I cant help but spell it out loud each time I write it, it’s this kind of chant that I learned as a child: m-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i … doesn’t have the same ring when written out…sad ). I had never been to either Jackson or Mississippi for that matter, so it looked to be just  another city on a map, and  I really didn’t expect much beyond the usual conference scene, maybe some overcooked chicken dinners and for sure lots of hand shaking. But the city has such treasures and add to that an interesting history, of which I will now divulge the from my mental clippings of four days thither.

After orienting myself to my hotel and it’s surrounding, I began to take in what is Jackson Downtown. Each day walking down Lamar Street, in the morning from the hotel, coffee in hand, and on my return, sun setting behind faded buildings.

The curved steel and blue of a certain structure caught my gaze again and again, like something from a glamorous movie during the golden age of Hollywood! Luckily, downtown Jackson doesn’t have much going on so I could stand in the middle of the street  and snap a few pictures!

Street View

The Jackson Grayhound Station. It is fitting that it be a beautiful lone ranger in the otherwise banal high rises and brass pillars of it’s neighbors. My behavior of staring at buildings  and snapping photos like a NYC tourist did not go completely unnoticed.

The passers-by just shrugged hurrying off to their day time occupations. Jackson had an abandoned hush over it like an elementary school during summer. There was evidence of it being looked after, a nicely arranged pot of flowers here  and polished letters advertising a Law Office there…but people were few and far between. The ambiance gave me a Martian Chronicles feel and I studied the buildings like relics of a lost civilization. Who used to walk these streets? Men in double breasted pinstripe suits tipping their fedoras, the click click of heels, shop windows reflecting a navy wool skirt suit and red lipstick.

Researching the Old Grayhound Station, I found that it was the end point on the long journey for the Civil Rights protesters, The Freedom Riders during the early 60’s. They road buses to key locations in the movement, raising awareness for their cause and speaking to the masses of repressed and brave African Americans throughout the South (Kevin Levin, Professor Civil Rights Tour 2014 ).

It was restored in 1988 by a the local architect Robert Parker Adams and now houses his interior design offices. Wow! To have that kind of money to recognize an amazing building in need of a face-lift, buy it, and make it fabulous! What a gift to the city of Jackson. Luckily it wasn’t torn down for some 1980’s monstrosity of a cement bloc sky scrapper or meeting its end as another downtown fast food restaurant.

Entrance

The Jackson Grayhound Station is a classic 1930’s Art Deco design built cerca 1937. Smooth lines, chrome and simplicity.  I read somewhere that the discovery of the King Tut’s tomb (1922) and the artifacts from within influenced the movement, but I couldn’t tell you where I read it so now it’s just something to ponder.

Here are some pictures of the interior, love love love the checkered floors, fenced reception and well just about everything! (Photos from The New Southern View )

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LOBBY

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CHECKERS!!!

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And I leave you with one more mystery, another historic building on the edge of downtown Jackson yet to be researched by this amateur blogger and photographer (did you see the ones I took?!? It’s all in the filter darling…sometimes I even impress myself he he).

Sunset

The Mall

RUMUR.com just released these throw back photos of Mall goers from the 1980’s. Mind=Blown!

Malls Across America I know it’s a link…but really it’s worth the click, I promise 😉

Yes, I was a child of the 80’s and yes the Mall was quintessential to my being..MY VERY BEING! Do I hold this as a point of pride, no dear reader, I do not,  I’m not ashamed of the copious hours I spent lazing around the ground floor fountain, waiting for a certain blond individual with a slouchy flannel to share my fries with…the Mall…

Did I not grow up in the southwest! The only  retreat from the inferno of summer was the 1,400,000-squarefoot  mecca of capitalism, Metro Center Mall (notable for it’s appearance in multiple scenes of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey).

Yeh...pretty sure this was outside the Dillard's

Yeh…pretty sure this was outside the Dillard’s

The pictures from RUMUR are totally awesome (insert air guitar). There are people smoking in the Mall in public spaces What is that?!?? and the Mom Jeans! and the Hair! Lawdy Laawwwdy those bangs girls! Wait a second…I think I can dig up a childhood photo with some of those bangs he he…

Here ya go…

BANGS!Bangs

OMG and crazy face LOL! Maybe I find this more humorous than you do but seriously I’m dying laughing…hold on I think I have another one…

Bangs

My poor mother…this was at my Aunt’s wedding…they must had a number of retakes…always the ham of the family even then. Oh and yes…the not so discretely placed birthmark on my upper lip (Eww ! That ugly mole, I got that thing removed years ago -Buffy) they say all artists must suffer in their childhood well since my was removed by the age of six it may explain why this blog remains short and inconsistent…but that is beside the point… back to my favorite topic as you know…the Mall…or at least the topic at hand.

Here are a few of the photos that really made me happy.

 

AHaha Muscleman!

AHaha Muscleman!

Ramone's Dad

Ramone’s Dad

I Love the 80’s and hope you enjoyed this little time capsule as well. In honor of the Season I leave you with this parting…

Be Excellent To Eachother

a bookmark

I found a good bookmark while out today. It says in old west print “This is where I fell asleep”, I thought it was cute recalling many times where I insisted I was reading by osmosis, a book folded like hands across my chest, a light still burning on an end table.

Seeking a place for said new bookmark , I lifted the next book I was going to read from the shelf and let it fall open. And what to my great interest and amazement did I find, but an old black and white photo resting between two pages of a short story by Truman Capote.

What's this here?!

What’s this here?!

I was surprised because I didn’t at all expect to find a bookmark, though I have before found a bookshop advertisement or an old receipt saving pages I usually look for a date placing the moment this book was read in time, aiding my placemark in reality , in time. Looking at the front of library books does the same thing for me. When was this book first borrowed or last borrowed? I ponder the others before me, what interest drove them to this title, did they have to read it for an assignment? Or like me did they hear about it from somewhere and searched to find a copy.

Ah but this, a photo! Not only a story of who owned the book before but a picture, a picture of 3 individuals. The moment felt strangely intimate. As if I had opened a door in a acquaintances house and found something they didn’t mean me to see. A relic of their personal reading habits. Were these subjects  relatives now old or perhaps gone? Where was the reader when she felt the need to put this story down. I felt like I was looking deep within, moment within a moment. When the picture was taken perhaps in the 1950’s one of the ladies is looking down, maybe she is bashful, maybe she wanted to check her outfit before the photo was taken. A moment within a moment, when the reader was distracted by a phone call and saved her place with this photo.

 

Vintage Japan? The women are wearing kimonos. The man in a suit looking prepared. It is a shrine or temple…could be China…it must be cold outside. Vintage photos turn up in all kinds of places, the are displayed with post cards in old shoe boxes I find. One may peek my interest. Usually people’s faces or something about the story they might tell. I picked this one up and love the taffeta dresses. They are going to a formal and the awkwardness makes me smile. The girls are very close, one more confident in herself than the other, look how she loops her arm in her friend’s, and the stance of her feet, posed in a most becoming way.

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The interesting thing in finding an old photo as a bookmark  is that  I also use old photos for the very same purpose, do the previous and I share the same affinity for the past, for a good story?

I find the photo must fit the tone and mood of the author I’m reading. Old 50’s photos with memoirs, travel photos shot from the peaks of some mountain in Montana for sweeping romances or Robert Frost. The bookmark can alter the perception of a the text. You can’t have some picture of daisies and a teddy bear held between the pages of Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man! It would be a monstrosity to the senses, confusing all  understanding of the imaginative process. Aesthetics even in reading are very important, I am very sensitive to these things 😛

Now it’s time to turn to my novel and leave you reader to an evening of adventure, may I recommend a good read?