Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zara Spring

Images from Zara's March lookbook have been popping up all around the web, but I couldn't help but post a few of my favorite shots here. I love the way they have interpreted the color blocking trend. It all looks very natural and fresh, pairing deeply saturated hues with loose, airy silhouettes. The orange top and white shorts are particularly obsession-worthy. Looks like I'm going to need to make a detour into Zara sooner rather than later...

The (New) Month in Books : March

Man with book sitting in chair

I have an exciting development/executive decision to share with you today! In my exploratory journey of writing and blogging, I have decided reshape Length x Wit's focus a bit. My purpose here has always been to share creative inspiration, and that will always remain true. But my bookish critic side also needs an outlet.

Since I started blogging here, I've loved posting reviews of the books I read each month. But it doesn't really fit in with Length x Wit's creative realm. So instead of giving it up, I've created a new blog just for my reviews: Book Wit! Instead of monthly, I'll be posting my book reviews there as they come. I'll give you a list here at the end of the month of what I've read, complete with links so you can check it out. I've also made a button for Book Wit over there on the right. I'd love to know what you think!

But without further ado, here are this month's books:

Thank you so much for visiting Length x Wit. It really does give me a glow to share with you, and I truly appreciate your stopping by. :)

Man with book sitting in chair (1915), from the George Eastman House Collection.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stardust Rings

As soon as I saw these rings by Andrea Bonelli, I knew I would be pining after them for a while. Aren't they enchanting? It's the sort of thing you want to wear every day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Pecos River Queen

The Pecos River Queen by R. Howard Thorp

Where the Pecos River winds and turns in its journey to the sea,
From its white walls of sand and rock striving ever to be free,
Near the highest railroad bridge that all these modern times have seen
Dwells fair young Patty Moorhead, the Pecos River Queen.

She's known by all the cowboys on the Pecos River wide;
They know full well that she can shoot, that she can rope and ride;
She goes to every round-up, every cow-work without fail,
Looking out for all her cattle branded walking hog on a rail.

She made her start in cattle, yes, made it with her rope;
Can tie down e'ry maverick 'fore it can strike a lope;
She can rope and tie and brand it as quick as any man;
She's voted by all cowboys an A-1 top cow-hand.

Across the Comstock railroad bridge, the highest in the West,
Patty rode her horse one day a lover's heart to test;
For he told he he would gladly risk all dangers for her sake,
But the puncher wouldn't follow, so she's still without a mate.

Above, cowgirls get the Vogue Paris treatment in the April 2011 issue courtesy of Emmanuelle Alt and photographer David Sims.

Images via Fashion Gone Rogue.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Writer In Hiding

I picked up this book from the library the other day seemingly on whim. While the writing process and authorial inspiration have been floating around in my mind recently, it wasn't until I finished Dianne Jacob's first chapter that I understood why: I want to actively improve my writing. I want to be a writer.

I don't mean professionally (or do I?). Though cover letters have rapidly become a major part of my life right now, my desire to more adroitly express my passion and interests is a personal endeavor at this point. Length x Wit is naturally a part of that. Other projects I have in mind are too. I haven't had any sort of formal writing instruction since high school, so working on exercises like the ones Jacob has in her book is an almost entirely new experience.

My sister called me a "writer in hiding" when I told her all this, reminding me of my not so secret desire to someday write fiction. Will I get there? Maybe. That would be cool. But I don't want to be too specific about what I write about just yet. Jacob's book, for instance, is all about being a food writer. Now that is definitely an area I hadn't even thought about before cracking open the spine.

Right now though, I want to work on my writing skills. Right now, I'm just excited to start going down this creative path and see where it takes me.

Photograph by taibauo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toy Stories by Aled Lewis

Murder Mystery
The Upper HandChance Encounter
Horses Gonna Horse

If that first photograph doesn't immediately make your morning a respectable whit brighter, we can't be friends you should get more coffee and take another look. There are bunnies... and a fox... and one of them may be a murderer! A murderer somewhere amongst the bunnies... and the fox. It's Beatrix Potter meets The Thin Man! I believe that is what is known in certain circles as "irrevocably charming." Aled Lewis keeps it up for almost the entire series, adding further dashes of cheek to benign vignettes with irreverent and occasionally crude one-liners. Oh Lassie, you're such a covers-hog.

More of Lewis's work can be seen on his website, Tumblr, and Flickr.
From top to bottom: Murder Mystery, The Upper Hand, Chance Encounter, and Horses Gonna Horse (all 2011).

Originally discovered on Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Father & Daughter

I love these photos of Jane and Henry Fonda at a diner. They apparently had a strained relationship, but here they look to be simply enjoying each other's company.

My parents are driving up to New York in a couple of weeks to visit for my and my sister's birthdays (we are two days and four years apart). It will most likely be the last time all four of us try to share/negotiate some semblance of personal space in my tiny little apartment before I graduate and move on to... something new! I'm quite excited. Mostly for the "sharing with family" part. I'm still working on that "something new" bit. It's a tad too nebulous at the moment to be truly exciting. Unlike my birthday cake prospects, which are definitely looking good people! Looking good.

World View: The Seychelles Islands

Photographs by Tianzhan.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pachyderms and Prep

When I see bags as charming as these from Svenskt Tenn, I can't help but wonder how much the books we loved as children come back to affect us as adults. Did repeated readings of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler cement in me an affection for museums and mysteries? Or would those two facets have eventually grown on their own? Well, my love for mysteries was probably inevitable. One can't read that much Agatha Christie as a teenager unless the compulsive need for a good puzzle is innate. But that I still harbor an occasional desire to move into the V & A for a week or so? Is it nature or nurture? Impossible to say. Unless I get picked up for actually doing so. Then the police psychiatrist will surely get to the bottom of the matter.

But either way, Babar clearly sunk in.

Spotted on Prepfection, which I plan on obsessively scrolling though this week.


It's getting warmer. Plants have gone from seemingly dead to more than slightly alive. My last semester is halfway through. I like where this is heading...

Photographs by Bawk Bawk (check out her Flickr and Etsy shop too!).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Did you wear green? Get kissed? Or pinched? Only the first one? Yeah, me too.
Be sure to watch this cheeky little video on the man himself!

Photograph by Heavy Bangs. 9PKVC54FS8XE

The Book of the Queen

I have a bit of a soft spot for medieval depictions of monsters and animals.

Illuminations attributed to the Master of the Cité des Dames and workshop and to the Master of the Duke of Bedford, from various works by Christine de Pazan (1410-1414). All from The British Library.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Agnes Goodsir

Girl on a Couch (1915); Girl with a Cigarette (1925); The Parisienne (1924); Chinese Skirt (1933).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Speech and the "Like"

Clark Whelton's article on modern speech patterns crystallizes many of current idioms in everyday conversation that drive me absolutely nuts. Simply put, people talk as though they are still in junior high. Descriptive, meaningful language has disintegrated into a sea of "likes" and "ums" and "and then I said, I said..." We describe what happens to us in onomatopoeia and drawn out sounds. I am definitely guilty of telling stories that end in "and I look at him like, 'um... helloooo?'" I tell myself it's for comic effect, but why exactly is that even funny? It's merely an impression of the emotional states involved in the narrative and actually reveals very little about the event itself. So when we tell stories like that, what are we even saying? How did this become so prevalent?

I especially loved the section in which Whelton discusses how what are supposed to be declarative statements have become questions. It reminded me of when my high school theatre class was practicing the audition process - go in, introduce yourself, perform your monologue, etc. We all had to get up in front of the class and present. Interestingly, the majority of my classmates (including myself, cringe) all introduced ourselves as though we weren't really sure what our names were:
"Hi, I'm Liza Oldham...? And I'll be doing a piece from..."
The teacher finally stopped one of us and said,
"Are you sure that's your name? You all need to stop going up at the end of your sentences. You would never hear Tom Hanks come into a room and say, 'Hi. Um, I'm Tom Hanks...?' Who you are isn't a question. Well, at least not in this setting."
Ever since that day, I have been very conscious of the way I introduce myself, but also of how others say their names. Without a doubt, I consistently hear people in my age group adding a lift to the end of their declarative sentences. It's a fascinating quirk and once you listen for it, you'll realize that it's everywhere. Be mindful, friends!

What language idiosyncrasies make your ears twinge?

Article from City Journal, Winter 2011, vol. 21, no. 1., via I'm Revolting.
Photograph by Abby Try Again.

A Fine Pair: Seated

The Sartorialist; Hélène Dutrieu, from the Bain Collection at the Library of Congress.

My New Mantra

Ever appropriate, ever well dressed.

By Cole Henley.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Mountain Music Festival

In Asheville, North Carolina, sometime between 1938 and 1950, and featuring musicians, singers, and square dance teams.

From the Lomax Collection at the Library of Congress
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