Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spinster Shopping:Fun for your Feet

Well, now we've done three kinds of swimsuits, beach towels, and beach totes, so the next item to complete our beachwear are some sandals so that hot sand (or pavement if you're a pool kind of gal)  won't burn your feet on the way to excellent relaxation. 

Today I've put together a list of some flip flops and sandals that will be easy to put on, wear, and take off while you enjoy some water-based leisure activities. Some are super affordable, and others are a little more luxurious. As always, you can click on the image above to get a better look at the collage. Or, if you're curious about a specific one, please click on the corresponding link below!

Now, let's link!

1. Women's T-Strap Sandals: $14.94, Old Navy
          These aren't you're basic rubber flip flops, but they're still affordable and easy to wear. I like that these are flat and minimal, and you can still slide your foot right in without too much effort. These also come in a few other color ways, so...excellent.

          This is what I'd probably call a "luxury flip flop." It's a rubber flip flop, but it's got a little bow, a little charm, and a fun print. If I were going to pay over $10 for a pair of flip flops, these would be on the list. 

          I'm going to be honest here. I'm not sure if this price is in USD or AUD. This is an Australian company, so they may want some Australian money. In any case, these come in black ombre and turquoise ombre, and I like them both.

          Honeslty, I could have made an entire post just about the cute flip flops on the Havaianas Site. However, I'll just tell you to go to their actual website and check them out. 

          So, I hear that Old Navy, years ago when they realized they were going to sell so many pairs of flip flops, purchased their own flip flop factory. That's why they're able to have so many different colors of flip flops every year at such a great price. They're not purchasing them from a third party. So. There's a little tidbit for you today. Old navy flip flops are always my go-to because they pretty much sell themselves.

          I'm not sure why ShopBop has these listed as "Firefly" rubber flip flops as I think the icon in the print is actually a geometric flaming, which is really cute. These come with three different ground colors,and they're a a little nicer than your average rubber flip flop. Splendid. No, they're actually made by a company called Splendid.

          I do not know how Aeropostale makes flip flops that actually end up being cheaper than Old Navy's but they do, and they're always really cute. It was tough for me to pick just one pair for this collage. So, I'll link you to this funny pair, too. 

          These aren't exactly rubber flip flops, but I really do like them. They also have that thong construction, so they kind of count. They come in a faux leather fabrication which even makes them a little dressier, so you can look extra fancy in your payless sandals on the beach or otherwise out and about. 

          Another pair of excellent Havaianas. I don't know what to say except that I love them. 

          These are fancy, but they're also rubber flip flops. I like the little 3D element of the flower, which I think makes them a little dressier. So, if you're looking for a very expensive-but-cute rubber flip flop, this might be the one for you.

          I have a pair of flip flops from Old Navy that are kind of constructed like these, and I really like them. I feel like sometimes I can get away with wearing them as something nicer than a flip flop if people aren't looking very close. Plus, I love the color mixing.

          I had no idea Fergie had a line of shoes called Fergalicious, but I love that song. I cannot deny it. Also, apparently this link is only for a size 6, so...sorry about that, guys...unless you are a size six. In that case, this is a great deal.

 So, I hope you've enjoyed perusing some beach sandals. If you're in dire need, though, there's always a trip to Walgreens or CVS or Rite Aid or Duane Reade. Last I checked, all those guys carried flip flops, too. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spinster Shopping: Beach Totes for 2015

I know it's not quite summer yet, but I'm having a hard time waiting. Though I'll be one of the lumpier spinsters by the pool this summer, that isn't stopping me from wanting to take a little dip. Before I get up the courage to reveal my chunk sitch to the world, though, I have to warm up with a little magazine or book or what have you. That's why a beach tote is so absolutely necessary. If you've been carrying you old one to the actual beach, then you know how hard it is to rid it of all the sand. Maybe you should just get a new one!

I've tried to find some affordable options to go alone with my dream-totes. I hope there's something on the list you like! Let's link!

          There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but from where this spinster stands, the school is thinning. Perhaps the fish on the sides of this tote are all the ones you'll need this summer. 

          Chances are, you didn't get any of the Lilly Pulitzer stuff when it was at Target. If you did, I hope you bought a lot and are selling whatever didn't fit on Ebay. If you're still hankering for a Lilly tote for the beach this summer, why not just buy one directly from Lilly?

          This says it's a small tote, and it certainly is on the smaller end where I'm concerned. It's super cute, though, and if you're a good packer, this could work for both a beach tote and a large purse.

          I think this one's a little pricey for Walmart, but It's also pretty cute. It comes in three different color ways, and they're all pretty cute. 

          This is another tote that's super cute and could function for both the beach and for shopping. I'm pretty over the chevron pattern, but this one exceeds all expectations and is very cute. 

          Mara Hoffman did this print in a one piece, a two piece, a tote, and a couple of dresses. I'll take one of each, please. Mostly, I'd like the long dress, though...and this tote.

          My new obsession (thanks to the chunk sitch) is Mexican embroidered tops and dresses. This reminds me of one of those, and so I like it quite a bit. Very cute. 

          This looks like a proper beach tote. If you roll your beach towel, I think it'd only take up one side of the tote, leaving plenty more room for snacks, magazines, and a coverup!

          So, Ripcurl is obviously a brand that knows a thing or two about beach life. This leads me to suspect that their beach totes are far above average. 

          When I saw the name of this Easy shop, I have to admit I cringed a little. My life in college was lived pretty far from the greek village. I do, however, love some Greek food. All of this is beside the point. These totes are made to order with your choice of monogram. Plus, looking at the girl in their photo for scale, this looks like it's great for schlepping. 

          One of the companies where I have worked (which shall remain nameless) would always buy the Victoria's Secret beach totes for...reference and inspection. So, I can say for certain, after having seen the insides and outsides of many of their totes, these are pretty sturdy stuff. Plus, it's a cute print!

          I've been so pleased for the last few seasons that Vera Bradley has been doing more than just quilted luggage. They've started doing some faux leather, and it is kind of excellent. I believe that this tote is one such faux leather or vinyl pieces. It comes in a few different prints, so head on over and check it out!

I hope you've found something here  you like. If not, I hope you've been inspired to find something even more excellent. 

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spinster Jams: Sufjan Stevens

sufjan-stephens, sufjan-stevens-drawing, sufjan-stevens-illustration, sufjan-stevens-portrait, sufjan-stevens-carrie-and-lowell
Sufjan Stevens's name and work have only entered my consciousness a few times, I'm embarrassed to say. I vaguely remember something about his wanting to write an album about every state in the union, a project he has lately abandoned. Somehow, though, I thought he was a contemporary of Ravi Shankar or Cat Stevens. Of course I was wrong.

A few weeks ago, Sufjan Stevens was all over every NPR show I heard. His latest album, Carrie & Lowell, has been getting rave reviews, so of course I needed to investigate.

The first thing I discovered is that Sufjan Stevens is not old at all. In fact, he's just shy of being exactly ten years older than I am, making his fortieth birthday this year. I gotta say, he doesn't look a day over twenty-one. And we're talking a really good looking twenty-one at that. But, spinsters, I can't find any information about his marital status online, so...maybe we should just stay away.

Carrie & Lowell is the kind of music I imagine playing in my perfect world - a world in which I start the morning drinking tea sitting on a porch or balcony, looking off at some excellent landscape or skyline with Miranda chewing on a bone by my side. I don't even really like wicker furniture, but it's the only kind I can possibly consider for this fantasy. After the tea, there's some painting of a giant canvas while I continue listening to this album and eating delicious food that actually makes me lose weight instead of gaining it. This album, I think, is perfect painting studio music.

Mostly, though, this post has been a vehicle for the illustration of Sufjan Steven's face I did a couple of weeks ago and never got to use. The album is very good and very calming, though, of course.

If you're interested, I think you can listen to most of the album by visiting this link.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Audible Spinstering: Stuff Mom Never Told You

A few months ago, I blogged about the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Well, today, I'm going to tell you about how much I love their sister podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You. As you can see, this one is hosted by two women, and it is, in fact about women and women's issues and interests. 

First, I need to state the obvious: this is a feminist podcast. It seems strange to me that in 2015 any educated woman even has to identify herself as a feminist. I feel like this should just be the default, but apparently - as I've learned on Stuff Mom Never Told You - there are lots of females out there who don't identify with this. Yowza. We got problems. 

Anyway, if you want to delve deeper into that one, I suggest the Taylor Swift episode. I also suggest that one because I love her, and she's great. 

While I do think the hosts (or hostesses?) can be a bit knit-picky and plaintive about the issues they discuss, they also have a point most of the time. Mostly they're interesting and informative, though. Near the end of every show, they read comments from listeners. Most of the comments sound like they're coming from the high school student that wrote in to The Lonely Island's episode of Ask a Grown Man, but some of them are from adults. The comments section is what usually leads me to the next episode I listen to, and it lead me to one of the coolest episodes: the one about Fatshion.

So, if your ears are in need of a little feminist enlightenment today, listen to some Stuff Mom Never Told You. Might I suggest the "Chocoholism" episode?

Happy Monday! (Eat some chocolate).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Artfields 2015 Image Purge 2: Everything Else

"December" by Yvette Cummings

After yesterday's gargantuan art post, I figured we should just wrap up the Artfields posts with just one more today. In this post, we'll just have everything else I saw an photographed and liked. I'm currently on a little quest for art for my home, so I will have to admit that my tastes were a little skewed toward those that would look good in a spinster lair. There were so many good things to see, though, that I couldn't get them all. Good thing there are still quite a few days left in the festival, so if you live close enough, you'll be able to see it all!

The above image is "December," by Yvette Cummings, and I quite liked it. It was in a small shop called Fairview Farmers, which had an old walk-in safe. The piece is a nice, large size, and it's mostly painted but includes some collage as well on the girl's skirt.

"Minervaville: 100 Views" by Mary Gilkerson

"Minervaville: 100 Views" by Mary Gilkerson
"Minervaville: 100 Views" was a nice collection of small landscapes by Columbia, SC Artist Mary Gilkerson. I can imagine a collection of these looking great on someone's wall. Each painting was about 5"x 7", I'd guess, making them perfect in multiples.

"Untitled (From Hamlet)" by Bonnie Vetterick
The shopkeeper at The Elegant Bee, where this painting was on display, said she would not mind keeping this one at all. I concur. it is lovely. Have a look at more of Bonnie Vetterick's awesome work here.

"Landing at Seefood City" by Ray Dugas
"Landing at Seafood City," is from delightfully bearded artist Ray Dugas. He's kind of a big deal, and he's an alumni professor at Auburn so...I guess what i'm trying to say is that I'm fairly sure it shouldn't surprise anyone that I liked this one.

They even had a display of some kids' art for Artfields, and of course I had to share one of a cat. This is, after all, The Spinsterhood Diaries.

"Her Gift To The World" by Tatyana Kulida Shelley
This painting, entitled "Her Gift To The World," was in a barber shop, and it was stunning in person. I  must say that Tatyana Kulida Shelley seems to be my kind of painter. She does a lot of female portraits, and obviously, that's what I like to see. Click the link above to check out more of her work!

"800LB.Gorilla" by Kat Casey
Of all the paintings in Artfields this is one I would most likely hang on m wall. "800Lb.Gorilla" by Kat Casey was hanging in the amazing creative space that is Olio Studio. Fun little tidbit: The proprietress of Olio, one Caroline Duncan Tarantini, was recently awarded Lake City, SC's Business Woman of the Year award. So, if you're ever in Lake City, you should check it out!

"U-Turn" by Lee Casey
It's not surprising to me that I loved all the art Caroline Duncan Tarantini chose for her studio. We went to high school together and came up under the same Art Teacher, one Heidi Adler. So, this is all to say that I also would love to hang this particular piece in my home. Lee Casey has even more amazing artwork if you click the link at the beginning of this sentence.

"Island Rodeo" by Katie Baines
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this painting earlier this week. I just like it. I'd like to hang it in my home. Thank you. Find out more about the artist here. 

"Mapping Invisible Cities #2" by Jim Toub
I like the color and intricacy of "Mapping Invisible Cities #2." I have many a time considered making an art map of all the places I've lived so far. Jim Toub is also a professor at App State, so I think it's fair to assume he's seen a bunch of the Autotune the News videos.

"Not My Happy Hour" by Pamela Wesley Copeland

This was a smaller painting by Pamela Wesley Copeland, displayed in Lake City's delicious Railway Grill. If you want to know what real old school South Carolina food tastes like, this is the place to go. It very much reminds me of a place we used to have in Sumter, SC, called Cole's. So very good. I feel I should just say, though, that I really did like this painting with its dinnertime lighting and broad brushstrokes. One of these days, I want someone to paint a portrait of me with brushstrokes like this.

"The Climb" by Kristen Solecki
I'm going to assume that Kristen Solecki's "The Climb" has nothing to do with Miley Cyrus. Still, it was small and cute, and if you fancy Solecki's work, there's a bunch of it available on Etsy!

"To Market, To Market" by Aron Belka
This Painting ("To Market, To Market" by Aron Belka) is so gigantic and involves a lot of palette knife action. I loved this piece. Not only is the size impressive, but the execution is perfection.

"Brothers in Arms" by  Brenda Gilliam
I like the fun of this painting and also the texture in the background. Check out more of Brenda Gilliam's work here. 
Detail from "Koy Series #13, Rush Hour" by Tami Cardnella
My mom thought this was actually a photograph. The painting is much larger than what's represented in this photo, but I thought this technique deserved some up-close photography.

Douglas Balentine and his painting, "Liane"
My mom and I got to Artfields before the opening ceremony, and we were lucky enough to see Douglas Balentine hanging his own painting. I had to take his picture next to it.

"The Ineffable State of Being" by Seth Rouser
This beautiful painting was displayed in a really cool store in Lake City called the Main Street Mercantile. That place is worth a visit if you do go to Artfields. If you can't make it, though, check out Seth Rouser on his website!

"Blue Chair" by Scott Quinn
Having spend a fair amount of time in laundromats in my day, I am particularly partial to this piece. It's pretty small, but it's lovely. I like how Scott Quinn named this after that little bit of blue chair in the corner.

"Quarrel in Pink" by Jeremy Pelt
I like how "Quarrel in Pink" is not entirely nonobjective. You can see figures and shapes and the link. I'm not so sure about the shirtless photo on the bio page of Jeremy Pelt's webpage, but his other work is pretty cool.

"Celebration - Forgive" by Alexi Torres

"Celebration - Forgive" by Alexi Torres
I had to show two images of "Celebration - Forgive" by Alexi Torres because I was just so fascinated by all the intricacy and detail in this painting. It looks positively three dimensional. So good.

detail from "I'll Save You Tomorrow" by Juan Logan
I had to show a closeup of Juan Logan's "I'll Save You Tomorrow" because it has such a cool texture. These are lots of little pearls. Check out more of Logan's work here.

"Swallowing the Ocean in a Single Gulp: The Trappings of Time and Technology" by Margie Bach
This blue lady is awesome. While I think the blackberry and computer used in this sculpture are actually just a real blackberry and laptop spray painted gold, the form of the woman is very impressively sculpted. Check out more about the artist, Margie Bach, by clicking the link.

"Lake City Sea Core" by Alison Sigethy

This was a really beautiful sculpture I could see as a nice decoration in someone's home or lobby. Could you imagine having several really tall ones in a room with high ceilings? I can, and it' wonderful. Check out more of Alison Sigethy's excellent work on her website.

I hope you've enjoyed this little pictorial of more of the art at Artfields. Again, if you have the time, I highly recommend a little jaunt in Lake City.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Artfields 2015 Image Purge 1: Installations

Artfields Mural, Lake City, SC

For a few years now, my mom has been insisting that I need to go to Lake City for their annual arts event, Artfields. Spearheaded by Business Woman Darla Moore, Artfields has so far been an annual arts festival in Lake City, Moore's hometown. With over 400 works, this thing was a doozie. I had to take a day off work to see it all. 

If you live in the Southeast and think you'll be able to visit sometime during the run of the festival (April 24th - May 2nd, 2015), I highly recommend you make a day of it. For those of you who can't make it, though, I took lots of pictures! I took so many photos, in fact, that I'm going to have to break this image purge into a few posts. The good news, though, is that a lot of these images are highly pinnable to your "inspiration" board on Pinterest. 

By far, I didn't photograph everything, but these are some of the ones I saw and enjoyed most. So let's get to explaining all of these photos with the help of my handy dandy Artfields Field Guide. 

Mike Fowle & Patz Fowle's "You Are What You Eat"

Mike Fowle & Patz Fowle

Mike Fowle and Patz Fowle
This was a really fun installation in a great children swear store, replete with  little smocked dresses. It was created by Mike Fowle and Patz Fowle of Hartsville, SC. Essentially, the installation was a mobile of fish made from recycled materials of all kinds. I loved the unexpected way each item and material was used. The more you look at each fish (and I've only captured a small percentage of them here), the more little items you see.

"The Treasure Hunt" by Kathryn Ervin
This one was posted all around the city. I like the colors and the textures. Artwork by Kathryn Ervin

"Complexities of the Mind" by Sally Garner
"Complexities of the Mind" by Ashville's Sally Garner occupied a large, sunny space along with several other excellent installations. This one was a giant crocheted fabric made from unwound video tape.

"Change of Heart" by Stacey Holloway
I like looking at a good cross-section, and I like looking at miniature versions of large things, so "Change of Heart" was pretty excellent to me. This piece is pretty masterful, but then again, Stacey Holloway is a professor.

Razza/Corza 2013 by Russell Bellamy

Razza/Corza 2013 by Russell Bellamy
Razza/Corza 2013 by Florida artist Russell Bellamy was one of my very favorite installations in the show. These were sort of combination rocking horse/swings, and they were an interactive piece. Each one has a real, heavy duty saddle atop a metal frame, and when you mount these horses, you can swing and rock as you please. Very cool. I only wish I hadn't been wearing a dress. It may or may not have been an unsightly situation.

"Precious 024" by Mike Lavine

"Precious 024" by Mike Lavine
"Precious 024"was made completely of wood shavings and occupied the same space as the installation pictured below. Mike Lavine's website shows a lot of different versions of this technique, and they're all great. Just don't sneeze around them, ok? Also, this piece really reminded me of that episode of House of Cards when the Tibetan Monks were in the White House.

"Seep II" by Jackson Martin
Ashville's Jackson Martin's "Seep II" was one of my favorite pieces. The lady in the store was quite chatty and informed us that Martin would have liked to have made the wood floor much larger, but he couldn't. Behind it, you can see a lithograph printed on one continuous piece of rice paper.

Spiral Memory by Ayako Abe-Miller of Greenville, SC

This installation by Ayako Abe-Miller is entitled "Spiral Memory," and it was installed on the floor of Threads Boutique. While I looked at the piece, the girl in the store told me that she needed a sign that said this was artwork and that people should not touch it. Apparently people kept coming in and saying what an interesting way to display clothes she had.

"Madame Magar's Makeshift Studio: The Pee Dee Collection" by Leigh Magar 
Leigh Magar hails from John's Island, where my mother once lived in a cold cinder block house. Just a little tidbit for your Saturday morning. Agar wasn't there when I walked through, but apparently she was going to set up and weave in the window of Mosaic Boutique with her piece "Madame Magar's Makeshift Studio: The Pee Dee Collection." Incidentally, Mosaic is a really nice shop in a beautiful space.

"Repose" by Jim Arendt
This is both creepy and excellent. However, I'm not planning to display Jim Arendt's "Repose" in my bedroom any time soon. This is the stuff of nightmares for me.

"Systems and Portraits" by Lance Turner

I liked the faux puddles of silver in Lance Turner's "Systems and Portraits." I also like an installation I can actually get inside of or walk through. Maybe that's just me,t hough. Turner actually has some stuff available with Saatchi, which is kind of a huge deal. His website, though, gives me a little bit of a headache.

"Disembarrassment" by Bohyun Yoon
You can see my little feet at the bottom of this installation. "Disembarrassment" was an excellent interactive piece, and I wish all mirrors were this way: just feet and faces. Bohyun Yoon is onto something.

A shot of just one corner of the R.O.B., where lots and lots of installations were displayed. What a great space!

"A Careful Destruction" by Voyeur Designs Gina Thompson
"A Careful Destruction" Includes bits and pieces of dismantled tapes and VHS arranged in quite a pleasing way. Voyeur Designs is out of Atlanta, so...there's that. I liked this installation. It was hip.

"Concerning Being" by Lynne Riding
There's just something nice about a bunch of little irregular versions of the same sort of thing. Lynne Riding's "Concerning Being" is just such a thing. This is only a few of the little pod/bowls.

"Discard" by Kim Dick
Kim Dick's "Discard" reminded me of lots of beautiful things, like eyelashes and ruffles. I'd put this on my wall.

"1,2,1" by Jessica Reynolds

"1,2,1" by Jessica Reynolds 
If you were looking for the one most relatable image in this post for your fashion inspiration mood board, I'd say Jessica Reynolds's "1,2,1" is probably it. It's got nice color, and of course this could translate directly into some embellishment. So go ahead, pin it. 

"Flashing Piece" by Shannon Rae Lindsey
If I owned a hotel, I'd want this in the lobby. I just really like it. It's shiny, it's drapey, and it's made out of metal. Yes to all, thank you. For more from Shannon Rae Lindsey, visit her website here. She's based in West Columbia, SC! I like that.

"Self Portrait As Bunnies (Bad Boy)" by Alex Podesta

"Self Portrait As Bunnies (Bad Boy)" by Alex Podesta

"Self Portrait As Bunnies (Bad Boy)" by Alex Podesta

I'm closing this particular installment of the Artfields Image Purge with Alex Podesta's "Self Portrait As Bunnies (Bad Boy)" because I think I spend the most time looking at this out of all the installations. The detailing was really awesome. It was incredibly realistic. Just look at those feet!

Check back tomorrow for more photos from my trip to Lake City's Artfields!