Saturday, 18 August 2012

Have Their Picnic

My sweetheart - we shall call him Beary - and I went to the opening reception / picnic for my friend Mary Catherine Newcomb's latest installation project, called Field of Mice (resist). Besides gourds grown into mice-shaped molds, she has previously grown eggplant saints, hot pepper demons, and squash babies; her website is here.

photo credit: S. Newcomb
I swear to you, we did not plan matching red plaid + taupe themed outfits!

on me: 
sunglasses: Ray Ban
scarf: Charming Charlie
dress: Esley, ModCloth
obi belt: ModCloth
boots: BCBGeneration, Dillard's

on Beary: 
sunglasses: safety glasses from work
shirt: Towncraft, thrifted 
shorts: Joe Fresh
shoes: Converse All Star

my other horseshoe nail necklace: The Occult Shop, Toronto, early '90's

usual wrist wear: silver & leather "hands" bracelet:
(AGO, precious gift, early '90s, replaced 2005), silver Om bracelet (Lollapalooza vendor, early '90's), rubber O-ring

watch: Stuhrling Tuskegee Skylancer (just noticed the incorrect date)

wood bracelet: mall store, don't recall 

cropped jean jacket: Smart Set, 6+ years ago

I want to share an excerpt of the comment I made today at Lynne's blog, Practical Paralegalism. In response to her post, I Found Out Why I'm Not Famous, regarding the Independent Fashion Bloggers situation, I wrote:
"All that stuff defined as "success" there - adherence to a very narrow mainstream idea of "beauty," collusion with our mass culture's fetishization of youth, thinness, and consumption, slick "high quality" images, prominent monetization, etc. - I find to be a total turn-off. 

I am exponentially more interested in human connections with other people who fall outside of those exclusive, limiting parameters: this very thing generates unique and often hilarious voices, a welcoming and inclusive spirit, creativity and finding enjoyment in dressing for one's body and life and sharing it with us, and particularly an ability to incisively reflect on those cultural norms and pressures." 

I figured that would tell you a little bit about me, and also let you in on why I am such a big fan of yours. 

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against high-quality images, only against the requirement of professional-quality photography as a baseline in defining a blog as "successful."

At the close of my first week of blogging, I feel way more successful than I could have imagined, thanks to you!

I'm not getting dressed at all tomorrow, but look forward to seeing you next week. I have lots more outfits.

What is your definition of blog success?

Linking ahead to the future for Holiday Partying and Plaid at Spy Girl!


  1. I love your plaid dress! So super cute. Perfect with the ankle boots for late summer. I also love how your and your fella match. DH and I accidentally dress in similar colors a lot. I personally think he copies me on purpose. ;P

    Lynne is really spot on. Like I mentioned in my comment on her post, it's really about the person. I like to get to know my blogger friends, I could care less about the highest quality photos or clothes.

    For me, blogging success is being able to keep an open communication with my readers. I like being able to get daily feedback. I like learning. I like people reaching out. It's become a whole other level of success for me by having people supporting my budding business. That was highly unexpected and extremely flattering.

    I'm glad you decided to get into blogging, I've really enjoyed your first posts and very much look forward to your future ones!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, and for being so kind, Megan Mae! I really appreciate your articulation of what blogging is about for you, especially given my new-ness at it. I adore seeing so many other bloggers sporting their MMD creations, and look forward to joining that club too.

      This community is jam-packed with brilliant, talented people, and I am so glad to be here.

  2. Aww... cute couple. And pretty outfit. Nice jewelry.

    I agree about blogs. Then again, being the oddest fashion-blogger on the planet, I need to feel this way. :)

    1. Thank you, Ally! As far as I'm concerned, odd is where it's at. :)

  3. Oh no, I don't buy that "we did not plan matching outfits" thing. I think you and your sweetie phoned each other the night before (even if he was in the next room) and whispered and giggled about what you were each going to wear the next day. Anyway, I love that you happened to match. Your blog response is right on!

  4. You read my mind! Bigger pics! YES! And Sweetie, yours are some of the most high quality images I've seen. I'm a color hound and a lover of art, and while I love all my style blogger buddies passionately, some stand out in certain areas, whether it be the gift of the gab, the upcycle, the office chic, or the photos you want to frame. Of course, if I framed all the pics I've loved over the last year or so of reading style blogs, I wouldn't have an inch of wall space.

    It's too bad IFB totally missed the boat on the experience of wonder, the rapport of good friends, and the inspiration of individual creativity.

    Although I will cop to being totally covetous of the classic crop pants in the new Talbots catalog. I'm trying to thrift a pair to DIY into the narrow ankle that works on skinny shrimps like me.

    1. Aw, Lynne! I think you've captured the heart of it: all these qualities which resist quantification, and are impossible to mandate or monetize.

      Thank you so much for complimenting my images - but oh for the time to really figure out my camera's capabilities! I've chosen about the worst time to start blogging - looking at my schedule for the next 3 weeks makes me want to weep - but I'm so glad I launched it anyway.

      I've seen some bloggers wearing pretty amazing new cropped pants in madly awesome prints - wishing you excellent thrifting luck on those!

  5. Success for me, blog wise, has been making new friendships with stylish, intelligent people from all over the world; being more creative about how I present myself to the world; and having fun! So far, I think I have been a success - as have you!

    1. Thank you Megan, nicely stated! Connections with other stylish smarty-pantses is a big part of it for me as well - I find that isolation can wear me down. Cheers to our success!

  6. i traced back to your artfully inspiring blog from your well articulated comment on dear Lynne's blog. Your well crafted opinion was a joy to read, not only because I agree with it's supposition, but the manner in which it was delivered. I look forward to seeing and reading more from you.

    1. Hello Tamera, and thank you so much for coming over and commenting! It allowed me to find your blog as well, with its spectacular photos of your stunning style and thoughtful reflections. Just at a glance, I loved how you wore your white cropped jacket with the bell sleeves, and thanks also for the flower brooch DIY post. I look forward to seeing more of you as well!

  7. I get the most value out of blogging when a reader comments that they are inspired by my style.

    1. What a lovely marker of success! Thanks, Kathleen. I'm so glad you are encouraging people to wear hats - I would love to see a big shift back to hat-wearing, myself!

  8. Hello Amber. Just found your blog through one of my faves: Style Crone. Just love your outfits and your outlook. Looking forward to checking out more of your images and adventures! I consider my blog to be wildly successful because I have "met" so many interesting bloggers and enjoyed their support and warm heartedness, as well as some fabulous ideas for dressing up. (Always my favourite activity!"

    Cheers from England,

    1. Hello Rosemary! The Style Crone is also one of my highest-esteemed faves! I'm glad you commented so that I could discover your blog as well. :)

  9. Yay, big pictures! Love love love that dress, Amber - it's smokin' on you! Your Beary is a handsome devil. :)

    Success for me is actually KNOWING who my readers are as people, who my fellow bloggers are, meeting up with some of them, and forging connections - real connections! - with them.

    1. Thanks for your helpful comments as I'm getting started, Sheila! This dress is really comfy, and the fabric is so light and airy and cool.

      I appreciate your sharing your perspective, that sense of knowing and real connections as success. Cool!

      P.S. I think that about my Beary-pie too!

  10. For all the reasons you so eloquently wrote, I turned to the blogging world for my fashion-community fix. Mainstream magazines for the most part are utterly ridiculous, I don't see anything inspiring in my conservative suburb, and my soul was gasping for air.

    The blogs I love are like the friends I love. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. Some are gorgeous, some are boisterous, some empathic, others just silly. For me, the "successful" common denominator is a fundamental respect for humanity and the kindness that emanates from that. So a world that relegates style to a select few, which is usually an economically driven ideal, is abhorrent to me and depressing as hell.

    That being said, I think you're an instant success! At least in my world. :-)

    1. P.S. My husband's brother's name is Barry, but his wife always calls him "Beary" almost like "Beery". I hear her voice when I read your posts, and it's both comical and endearing. xxoo

    2. Thank you, Jean! Really well said.

      For so many of us it seems, we are seeking to de-isolate our most fabulous, celebratory selves.

      I absolutely feel like an instant success! I am amazed and heartened by the warm welcome.

      Also, it is totally adorable to learn of another Beary out there! That is a very dear story. :) xo

  11. Bravo! So well said, when I discovered you blog I found a new friend I could visit, someone whose style I could enjoy and sit down with a cup of tea to read about. Many of the 'glossy' blogs are wonderful, but they are like reading a magazine, there is no interaction and some of them seem a bit too perfect, again like a magazine. Whilst I very much like to see stylised looks I much prefer to see what women are wearing everyday, I like to read about what they have been up to, if they want an opinion on a new dress and so on. I guess I like to meet people not just look at pretty photos. I dont care if someone posts fuzzy photos taken on their phone it wouldnt put me off their blog at all. I also have a soft spot for chickens ;) x

    1. Thank you so much, Pearl! I feel the same way about your well-written blog, where your photography is exceptionally good as well - I adore your style and also enjoy reading about your life, both celebrations and questions / struggles, and respect and admire and can relate to a lot you write about there. I've been a fan a while, so I am especially glad you stopped by to comment!

      And chickens! Yes! :)

  12. Amber, I'm so glad you flash forwarded this post. Not only for the wondrous plaid "melange a deux" going on, but for the flash back to the discussion that arose from that IFB post. I was traveling when the s*** hit the fan and missed a lot of the good discussions that transpired. Thank you!


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber