Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mosaic


I have been getting more and more into thrift clothes shopping lately, and find myself at such a point in my own style journey when I want to buy almost everything secondhand. I still love to get new shoes, and some other things, but the thrill of finding unique clothing items is getting more and more important to me ... more than the instant gratification from a national retail store, and let me tell you I am not the most patient person even in this house and truly hate waiting!




I was going through the wonderful Marlen's blog Message on a Napkin lately, a blog full of warmth, wit, talent, creativity and love of vintage clothing, and I will admit - I was totally taken. Other than her unique style and, what is even more precious to me, her uniquely genuine personality, you can find there Marlen's insights on styling (her Layering 101 series) and organizing one's closet. So this outfit was greatly inspired by Marlen's blog in general, and her advice on styling a vintage skirt with a denim shirt in particular. I had a skirt (a consignment store find - remember my post about Port Townsend, I hit a couple of wonderful shops there) and a shirt (last year Lane Bryant, don't mind me, it was my first ever denim shirt), and I thought why not?


Now, it is perhaps not the most common motive to have bright orange nails for your outfit, but to tell the truth, I was just lazy to repaint nails, so I decided to play around them! There are a few old silver jewelry pieces which have a bit of a story... The pendant with an agate was one of my coworkers' gifts before I left Russia and my job at a newspaper. One of the little silver rings and a chain bracelet (can't see on these photos) were also gifts from my university class-mates. I had a party in a cafe and invited a bunch of my beloved coworkers and classmates - I was really surprised how many people made it to say goodbye to me and to wish me good luck with my new life in America. All of them brought me small presents (I am sentimental and brought them with me, little knickknacks to cherish), and two girls literally took some of their jewelry off their hands and gave them to me ... The hand painted enamel ring and earrings set was bought in Russia, when I was about 20. It is a traditional Russian craft (I wrote about it here).


 Look how striking the pattern of the skirt looks in the sunshine - real mosaic!

We took these photos at the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, one of a few places I love visiting in Federal Way. The collection is really beautiful and extensive. Some of the trees are hundreds years old. Each plant has a description when it was originated, when it became a bonsai, where it's from, etc. I don't know how many times I visited - there are many photos of this unique garden in our archives taken in different years.



The Bonsai Collection is located in beautiful woods, near one of the most amazing rhododendron gardens in the Pacific Northwest. Again, just like bonsai masterpieces, rhodies were brought from all over the world and bloom from January trough June. I will try to make at least one photo session in this garden. It blows my mind how generously rhododendrons put on spectacular shows for us every year. If you think of it, they all could be grey squares or brown ovals ... instead, they come in all colors and shapes, and are oh so not bashful of their insanely gorgeous, abundant blooms!




Skirt and coat - consignment shop finds. Denim shirt and camisole - Lane Bryant (last year). Shoes - Toms. Purse - B Makowsky. Umbrella - IKEA.

Linking up with Secondhand First at Bella's
and Share-in-Style: Accessories at Sacramento's!
Come over and join the fun with all the creative ladies!

Linked with fantastic Senora Allnut: Plaid Ur Day as well!

29 comments:

  1. gorgeous outfit!
    do you know what i really love about it? the striped t-shirt! combined with the beautiful pattern of the skirt and the pale denim - it gives the look the right amount of "punk" - so it is all fresh and cheerful :-)
    love rhododentron too - fortunately they grow very good around here, in 1-2 weeks it will be like in the bhurmasian mountains.....
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too liked the peaking of the stripes here! It looked a bit lonely without stripes. :)

      Delete
  2. Very cute look. The denim shirt is great. I'm sure you'll wear it loads.

    That skirt was a real score. I too love shopping consignment. It is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're going to get : )

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Surprise me, surprise me" - that's the voice inside of me when I go antiquing/thrifting. Malls rarely do that, except for a very few favorite shops.

      Delete
  3. Wonderful post! Rhododendrons are very generous, and this year the dogwood and azaleas are competing to give the best show. It's gorgeous!

    I love your denim shirt with that skirt. I still don't have a denim shirt, but I really should look for one. I like thrift shopping, but I do get impatient. I need to be very calm and have lots of time when I go. I always find at least one really good item that I love.

    Your jewelry is beautiful. How nice that they all have a story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patience is not my strong point, for sure. Maybe we should meditate and say ommmmm when we go shopping. :)

      Delete
  4. I love how those glorious rhododendrons highlight the gorgeous green of your outfit. I adore paisley prints and your skirt is no exception.
    I'm not at all surprised that you were showered with gifts when you left your last job in Russia to move away. We've only known you a short time but your warmth and beauty are palpable. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so kind, my lovely Vix! When will we finally meet? I want to have a proper cuppa with you! :)

      Delete
  5. I also like visiting thrift stores. It's fun when you can unearth something unique.
    Love your skirt and how you styled it. Very cute outfit.
    What a beautiful bonsai garden! So many gorgeous flowers! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking for treasures and finding them... hard to beat that! :)

      Delete
  6. p.s.: i forgot to say that i really love when jewelry has a history! i dont need diamonds or real pearls if i can have a plastic bangle with memories....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were commenting on each other's blogs at the same time! How fun is that! Definitely something going on there. :)) I am the same way, Beate. Not that I am against diamonds (or even better emeralds), but soulful is what I'm going for, not just cold empty sparkle.

      Delete
  7. Your gifted jewellry must be incredibly precious, you must have been incredibly precious to your friends, it's so beautiful!
    I get you completely with the thrill of finding something so unique at the thrift shops (I tend to get a little over excited haha, and red faced!) your skirt is gorgeous too and hugs you wonderfully! you know I adore your pattern mixing too! the bonsai and rhododendrons look so lovely x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It warms my heart to think of all the wonderful, fun and kind people (like yourself!) I have been meeting on the way, here or in Russia, or via Internet. Not all friendships last long, but still - they are precious while they last. We touch and enrich each others' lives tremendously when we love each other... :)

      Delete
  8. I love the story about your jewellery. Small pieces of Russian love, brought with you to America.
    And I also love the outfit, the denim shirt is perfect with that gorgeous skirt.
    Thrifting is a waiting game. You HAVE to be patient, Natalia! I think it helps to have a completely open mind, to not care whether you find anything or not, to have no ideas about what you may stumble across... That way, you are open to all manner of exciting possibilities! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you are so right about it, my dear dear Curtise! :) I don't ever have expectations when I go thrifting, like "I am going to find a denim jacket today" - I am really very open. That's the whole fun for me, to be surprised and amazed. Though, when I want to find the said denim jacket, like really really want, I rather will shop online till I get it instead of waiting for years (or months, who knows) before it turns out in a thrift shop in my size and completely to my liking... But I am a rookie at this, remember? I should better listen to you! :)

      One of my friends was surprised that I brought her clay figurine with me, but I wanted to keep this little reminder of love, just like you say, with me on the lonely new continent. :)

      Delete
  9. Natalia , another treasure. I love this outfit and I especially love that you're finding so many beautiful things to wear from the thrift stores. I love the pattern on the skirt and I agree it looks like Mosaic in the sunshine. I think the orange nails look great with this outfit to tonight agree that we painting them would be a waste of valuable time. I think you're agate necklace from your coworker is just beautiful and very sweet of her as well. How I adore the gardens with the Bonsais and the rhododendrons! Spectactular!
    XX, Elle
    http://mydailycostume.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my dear! Orange is such a happy color that I want to have orange nails all the time! :) I too adore gardens... we are so fortunate here to have them in abundance.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful skirt, I love paisley print and have a couple of paisley dresses in my wardrobe. And the way you styled it is very interesting, really nice colour and print combinations. The bonsai are amazing. We visited the Japanese garden in Singapore and there was a special corner only for bonsai. I loved that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was amazed that we got such a gorgeous and unique garden right here, next door. Love it, love it.

      Paisley is such a gorgeous design, isn't it - hard not to love it! This one is a different one though as the print actually imitates a mosaic technique. I was happy to see how sun effects it, such vibrancy!

      Delete
  11. I am so pleased to know that you like secondhand. Once you try is not coming back, lo
    Looking soooooooooooooo wonderful in that skirt and perfect backdrop, dear Natalia.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
  12. Natalia, you have such a knack for pairing patterns. The skirt is so pretty and the shape and cut fit you to perfection. I too purchased my first denim shirt this year. I got it from eBay and I have yet to wear it. I can't figure out why. I like it, but it feels very stiff. I should have returned it, but I thought if I continue to throw it in the washer, it will loosen up. I like how you styled this seemingly dressier skirt more casual. You look great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a very generous compliment, Glenda - I'm thrilled! I consider myself a student/experimenter/creator... or just a goofing-around kinda style learner. I liked how this one turned out, pretty casual as you say. Prints fascinate me lately a lot! This denim shirt is very soft which is a huge plus for it, though I too don't wear it a lot (I like how it looks here though). I think I only now start realizing how versatile denim can be. I have just received my very first dark denim jacket, believe it or not. I am so excited, actually. Can't wait to style it for the first time. :) I'll be looking forward to you wearing a denim shirt too. I am sure it will get softer after a few washes!

      Delete
  13. I love that skirt! You have to admit that it is very me, but then I have to admit that it looks fabulous on you! Orange is a complimentary colour for blue so I think the orange nails are great with the denim shirt! It's fantastic how your jacket and skirt and denim all work so well together and I love the peekaboo stripes.
    I am in awe of the talent and patience it takes to create bonsai. I don't think I could do it. Rhododendrons are so stunning. I had over twenty in my garden and used to love this time of year so much as I watched them all come into bloom.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine how much you miss your rhododendrons... They are glorious, no doubt!

      I love orange. It goes with everything! It is gorgeous with blue, with green, with purple, with brown, with black, with red, with yellow... I don't know any color which doesn't look good with one or another hue of orange. Do you?

      I knew you'd like this skirt! I think you would rock it too. I have two or three other brown skirts in store (all recent thrift finds), so stay tuned! :)

      Delete
  14. The garden looks beautiful as do you. I love that you are exploring your style via secondhand sources- like you I like new shoes, but pre-loved outfits. Also jewelry with memories that come with- I hope your friends and loved ones in Russia get to keep up with you via your blog! Thanks so much for linking up to SHF!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always fun to link up with you, Bella! I don't really advertise my blog, so I have no idea who follows. I showed it to my mom, I know she looks at my photos. Other than that... I really don't know. :) But I am not hiding and not difficult to find, so I guess at some point old friends will find me. :)

      Delete