This summer has gone by so quickly and shows no signs of slowing down.
Last month we made a quick weekend trip to Birmingham, Alabama, where I lived for a year and a half after university before returning to Atlanta for greener pastures (a better job). R had never been, so we did the requisite “Here’s my crummy old apartment, here’s were I got sandwiches, here’s the park I went to when I was sad” deal.
I always knew my old digs were a little rough around the edges, but it’s funny to revisit a place and see it with new eyes. Yeah, it’s a 100 year-old apartment building, it’s gonna be a little wonky. But then, I was just out of school, making my own living, and quite proud of the charming place I called home. Now I see more neglect and blight and wonder is it is genuinely worse now, or have I just raised my standards? Probably the latter, let’s be honest.
Despite my more humble lifestyle (and the job I hated), I loved Birmingham then, and I still love it now in its own big-small-town way. I love how green it is, a little wild. I love its unconditional embrace of its industrial past.
Since I moved away, the city has experienced an urban renaissance of sorts, with all kinds of restaurants, shops, and artist spaces popping up like weeds through cracks in the sidewalk. One of those places is Trove Design Shop, which my former co-worker Karen opened just a few weeks ago in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Karen has the best taste and stocks the best things: beautiful art books, unique stationery, ceramics, and of course excellent jewelry. I wanted everything but had to control myself. I left with an art book about book artists, an art book about ceramic artists, a pretty gold-foil butterfly thank you card, and this gorgeous pair of Wolf and Moon earrings.
Wearing big earrings, of course, is one of the great joys of having short hair. No messy competition between hair and earring. But typically a big earring is also heavy, and by the end of the day I find myself taking them off because of how my lobes ache with the weight. A minimal gold hoop is my daily earring, so anything bulky can be very distracting to me.
The Wolf and Moon pair is deceptively lightweight despite the size! It’s almost like not wearing anything at all. They have all the style of a flashy earring but none of the pain. Plus, they are a lovely mix of materials: wood, brass, mother-of-pearl. I like how I can wear them with a neutral and simple outfit to give my look something novel.
This past weekend was long and relatively quiet, filled mostly with my Senita shorts and various tank tops as we binged on Dark (the German Netflix show about time travel!) and cleaned up around the house. Dark’s second season just dropped but R hadn’t seen the first, so I rewatched it with him and gotta say, the second viewing is even better than the first — so many characters and plot twists to keep track of! Highly recommend this show, and don’t be afraid to watch it dubbed.
On Friday I fired up the sewing machine for the first time in a minute and went to work on a men's size large striped t-shirt I bought off Poshmark. The cropped, boxy silhouette has been my big obsession lately so with that as inspiration, I cut off the bottom few inches of the shirt, hemmed it, cut off the sleeves, and reattached the bottom scraps as boxy sleeves. Not normally a crew-neck fan, but I like how the gray band around the neck is echoed now in the bands on the sleeves.
By sewing on the new sleeves at a more square angle to the body, they fall more elegantly instead of fitted and flat like the original, generic t-shirt sleeves. I'm enjoying how the boxy cropped top looks over a tailored-waist bottom like this pair of (my favorite) Caron Callahan trousers. I like how the stripes of the shirt matches the color of the pants, and both top and bottom have a similar fit and flare silhouette.
We finally left the house on Sunday to go out to lunch with my mother in law, so I was struck by the urge to put on something a little nice and wore this outfit. I decided to also wear out this relatively new pair of Ecco heels.
It’s true, they look suspiciously similar to the Intentionally Blank heels I bought last winter, but the heel is about half as tall, and the leather is a little more beige and less cream. It pains me to admit it but the IB heels were a poor buy — I just don’t wear heels that height! Too tall for true comfort, so for sale they go. It makes me feel guilty, but that’s life — I don’t always make the best choices.
This is the third time I've worn these Ecco heels. While Eccos are generally very comfortable out of the box, this pair needs just a little breaking-in along the vamp. Because they are leather uppers, I expect them to stretch a little where they need to. I haven't had any blisters yet in these shoes, which is not always the case with new shoes! I'm a particularly big fan of Ecco for this reason.
Speaking of shoes, on Thursday I fly to Seattle, then take a bus to Port Townsend to go to Shoe School! Just what it sounds like — a weeklong shoe-making workshop, in which I will learn to make a pair of my own shoes. I’m so picky about shoes, hopefully I’ll be able to pick up enough skills to craft my own. We’ll see!
After that it's a week in British Columbia hiking and visiting with family. When I am back, it's just a few days until a big change happens at home… stay tuned for that announcement!