Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yellow Owl Workshop

(A good luck charm from Christine of Yellow Owl Workshop)

I don't typically stay up late and post blogs. But tonight, I'm under some very tight deadlines and so naturally instead of writing away on those matters, I'm here procrastinating, typing, surfing, day (or night?) dreaming. Or maybe my mind is undergoing one of those mythological "sorting tasks" before it spills itself on paper. Yeah, right.

That, and for the past month or so, I've meant to write about Yellow Owl Workshop, Christine Schmidt's artistic venture in San Francisco, California. She makes the most amazing, custom-made invitations, announcements, and personalized stationary. I/we have never been one for a traditional wedding, but when the option was before me, being able to send out these invitations would have clearly been a mark in the "pro" column of my list. Other excuses to order customized Yellow Owl stuff: new babies, new grads, new meals & new seating arrangements, dinner parties, I don't know.

For the meantime and for those of you who are simply wedded to the idea of instantaneous communication and thus find the idea of writing (as in, handwriting) cards somewhat of a foreign idea or even nostalgic, you can indulge in her glorious, hand-screened cards, which we now stock in boxed sets of five. Baby steps, see? You'll find witty prints like the Minotaur, Two Chairs, or Je'Taime, all blank inside and all a perfect medium to jot down every burning thought. The cards come in serialized boxed sets (pictured at the very bottom). And finally, both cards & envelopes are made of 100% recycled paper and all made by "human mitts," as Christine puts it.

So, go ahead. Put pen to paper. Literally.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

Well, in the Portland-Beaverton-urban sprawl extension, that technically is not true. The cherry trees are blossoming, covering my car in mountains of pink blossoms. But, alas, just as I was ready to wave goodbye to winter, we had a freak snow "storm" yesterday. OK, it really wasn't a storm, just a few errant snowflakes. I love falling snow. It is so novel to me. Nevermind my ramblings.

In any case, Spring is in full bloom at SOTTO.

Rachel Comey Ackees

I didn't get a chance to post pictures of this shoe last time, because it just started to fly out of here before I even opened the box of shipment. A handful of sizes is still left, so don't miss out on this beauty. It's definitely one that is going to weather well, and you can pair it with knubby tights in the fall/winter.

Devotte Sandals

Oh, what can I say about Devotte sandals?

Maybe that I involuntarily spent a substantial amount of my free time last summer hunting down a few pair that I was near-obsessed with. Or perhaps that on my trek around Asia last August, I brought with me only two pairs of shoes, one being a Devotte. They're comfortable, but elegant -- a perfect combination when one is walking for miles and miles, but among some of the world's best-heeled ladies.

As opposed to last year's muted colors, Nancy Kim used punchier shades this season. We're happy to stock the Leelo in various vibrant shades and the equally femme Shirley in a white/gold combination (such an easy combo that goes with everything). I still can't decide which one(s) to keep.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Random Thoughts, Belated Pictures, and Playing Catch Up

I owe you, dear lovelies, more pictures.
This is one attempt. I'll try to catch up this weekend.
For you: A few pictures and my rather self-serving thoughts as to how to incorporate these pieces into my closet.
Mociun Shell (up close) (SOLD OUT)
Notice the lovely pocket in the middle, which for me means no longer throwing my debit card into my bag recklessly.
Very functional. (insert: oooh!)

Mociun Shell (not up close) (SOLD OUT)

. . .

I like the asymmetrical cut and prefer to wear it unbuttoned.

Church & State Workhorse Jacket (over the Mociun Shell, not included unfortunately)
I want to wear this jacket with piles of my vintage lockets.
I adore Peter Pan collars.

Church & State Homesafe Dress (cinched in with Rachel Comey skinny belt, not included)

This dress is delightful with or without the belt.

Church & State Homesafe Dress (up close)

Rachel and Nathan are one talented pair.

Rachel Comey Double Buckle Skinny Belt in Cognac

Much to someone's chagrin, I stole the belt pictured for my own use.

My closet of vintage mini-dresses will now be revisited.

Rachel Comey Shaped Waist Belt
(so gorgeous)

I have a thing for rolled up sleeves. I don't know why.

Rachel Comey Shaped Waist Belt (up close)

Rachel Comey Shaped Waist Belt (up close; closure)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SOTTO on DailyCandy Seattle

Thanks to the folks at DailyCandy Seattle who just featured Church & State and mentioned our little e-shop (yay).

We just unpacked our spring shipment from Church & State and, wow, the line has such great pieces. Really, the pictures cannot show all the wonderful details, all the quintessential Church & State details, that is.

It has been a busy week, but I will post a few pictures this weekend. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Growing Pains

Like many others, I have my beloved hoard of vintage belts--that stash of reliable go-to pieces, each pre-loved, their usefulness only rivaled by the story behind their discovery. Oh, like that brown braided crackled one. Yes, the one I found while vacationing in Lake Sutherland, when I begged to stop by the community thrift shop because I "knew" it might not have been raided, and he waited in the car, obviously annoyed, a 7-hour roadtrip home ahead of us. Or, that latticed tooled treasure, which is so very art nouveau. Yes, the one I found in one of my local thrift haunts in Long Beach, a city and a life that seems like too long ago. And I could never give up my Fairfax flea market finds.

More like rings on the trunk of the tree, each find is a chronological marker of some sort, saturated in memory, earmarking a particular moment, vacation, or, in some instances, a fleeting feeling. And, with that lengthy explanation, I can say I adore them all.

There comes a time, however, when a girl grows up just a bit and, notwithstanding her enduring devotion to those vintage treasures, wants to invest in something more ... substantial, dare I say "grown up." Lately, for example, my increasingly common weekend travels for work and for play have me searching for a great weekender bag, one that will weather beautifully with time. That search continues, although haphazardly. (And jealousy typically courses when I glimpse one on the arm of another.)

But even more frequently, I've wanted to invest in well-crafted, substantial belts. Then, bingo: in came the Rachel Comey cognac and whiskey colored belts, which are pretty darn fabulous and surely destined to get better with age. I'm very tempted to keep one of each style, but I may just be able to get away with picking 2 out of the 3. Difficult choice, indeed.

(I'll post more pictures of these belts and everything else this weekend. I promise.)

Rachel Comey Double Buckle Skinny Belt

Rachel Comey Shaped Waist Belt

Rachel Comey Double Buckle Belt (medium width)

Church & State

In all other circumstances, and as a result of many years of mindnumbing brainwashing, the words "church" and "state" together automatically conjure for me (in an almost Pavlovian sense) connotations of dissonance, of dichotomous pairings.

Apparently, that is NOT the case with Portland design darlings Church & State. Church & State is Rachel Turk and Nathaniel Crissman, a lovely design due and couple who has been designing and churning out charming pieces for as long as I can remember ... or as long as we've been in Portland.

For spring, I'm particularly smitten with the Homesafe dress (above left), as I usually cannot get enough ruffles ... oh, and the Sunday blouse in navy which is perfect for perfectly sweet Sunday strolls. And, before I forget, I'll take the Workhorse jacket, as well.

In fact, I'll just take it all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

La Pâtisserie

Satiated with sunshine.
We adore sleepy Sundays.

It rained today, however.

Imagine that.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

To Be Continued

What a gorgeous day. We're out to enjoy the warmth of the sun over lunch with some friends, but I just could not help myself and had to get in a little blog word or two (and some pictures) before running out the door.

Mociun Paperbag Skirts: I realize we've had these up on pre-order for a few weeks now, and they've finally arrived. Adorned with cute wooden buttons (the printed skirt has two, while the navy skirt has three), these skirts are adorable and such an easy piece to throw on for those lazy, spring/summer days ... perhaps with a simple tank. Note that they are paperbag skirts with drawstrings, so they are meant to be a little loose, although it isn't anything the drawstring couldn't fix. Or, if you prefer, pair it with a great belt cinched at the waist. (See forthcoming post re: Rachel Comey belts ... err, when we get a chance.) Sizes: Small-Medium available.

Rachel Comey Schindler Sandal: Although certain to be a great basic for summer, the Schindler sandal in grey is anything but common or boring. This shoe runs about a size big. Don't be intimidated by the ruched ankle strap; it keeps everything in place.

Rachel Comey Wright Sandals: I love brilliant pops of color. This sandal also runs a size big.

Have to run! So, this tally of new inventory will have to continue later ...