Schoolmarm Chic

I have a problem. A thrift problem.

Lately when I play dressup, I’ve caught myself thinking of the style I’m concocting as Gypsy Schoolmarm Chic (swirly typeface in my head).

Liking the whirly wild of the one combined with the sexy stern of the other, I offer it up as a sort of fanfic elaboration of the naughty librarian motif.

Part of the project, frankly, has to do with locating and/or innovating apparel that allows me to dispense altogether with the brassiere (that hateful scratchy mechanism in the tradition of corsets and bound feet). Consequently I gravitate  toward quasi-renaissance accessories in thrift racks which provide, by way of buttons, hooks, ties, and an assortment of latchy catches the strategic cinching and trussing up of collective bits into a shapely yet comfortably wearable form. This granted Madonnaesque tic toward support attire à l’extérieur instigates a slight revision: Exoskeletal Gypsy Schoolmarm Chic— not quite the domain of Steampunk, but retro-dramatic costumery all the same.

Recently I came up short with a raft of self-induced anxiety about this, ahem, fondness for thrifting (which becomes paradoxically frequent in inverse proportion to availability of funds). There I was, all caught up in dramatic and fun! throes of characteristically gothic self-recrimination when of a sudden I was visited by a windfall revelation– or, rationalization, maybe– either way the idea descended with the benificent flutter of virtual rose petals: I could open a resale shop on Etsy.

 Cue chorus of heavenly host. Oh, I know, grand online sales dreams are a dime a dozen. Still, it just might be a workable solution, if not to global belligerence and rampant economic inequality, at least ameliorating a bit the losing equation of household finances. (Theoretical) income could (conceivably) offset expenses ($ if not time). Given how the lowrent resale shops I frequent are so universally void of dressing rooms, this plan as well accounts for the bits that simply don’t fit that I inevitably wind up home with, having raptured over decorative stitching or fabric tooth and thrown my couple bucks down on the secondhand roulette wheel (more soon on affiliated seamstressing badge also currently undertaken).

It further makes me happy that, in allowing some space for (occasionally absurd and undignified) play and exploration, even up against the starchiest of uptight bugaboos like Mr. Worthwhile Use Of One’s Time and Money, I’ve succeeded in pushing past and through simple narcissism (ooh, shudder; tho who’s to say not simply a deeper form of narcissism)– all that dressing up and posing for webcam timer ding (honestly)– push past traditional scruples and modesties, brushing by (clearly) a couple of very widgedy Shoulds, to arrive at a delightful arena for the performance of theatre in the miniature peopled with variable invented personas, each attired expressly to suit her role.

(Quite possibly my imagination runs to the theatrical lately thanks to Julian Fellowes, whose wonderful attention to costumery I’ve been engulfed in lately by way of both video and ebook.)

Floyd thinks I should simply pay more attention to the squeaky hedgehog.

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Good Witch

human comic strip vol. 6043

 

What I do here is uncomfortably near.

I’m a virtual close-talker. It’s a little embarrassing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still, can you fault a girl for trying on the odd pair of clown shoes in a bored and desperate old world?
..

 

 

 

 

 


 

Please be assured: in an ongoing effort to provide ever-congenial and family-friendly entertainment, all human comic strip characters are subjected to conscientious and regular brushing…

 

 

 

While we’re at it, irregular, as well, both cross-hatch and crosswise scouring of every pixel grit bit of human tedium in dearest hopes of uncovering underlying truths both vivid and substantive.

Piecemeal maybe. Maybe a vain, vainglorious, or spindleveined effort. Sometimes, granted, naught to show but hide shamed pink with dint of one’s own rigors.

 

 

..

Consider influences: starched familial roots, pantomimes of petty tragedy, classical themes etched across a suburban stage. The ranks of narcissists and pedophiles teaching piano-playing and bicycle riding: tools for flight, ultimately.

 

 

 

 

There are, if one will both recall and imagine, legion looming secondary Art Masters and Mistresses whose roles are granted to deem fledgling sketchers unworthy by self portrait. Weakly articulated chins? Excessively fixed regards? What, expressly, need never be spelled out as such. Only implied, just something– watch those blossoms wither on the vine.

 

 

 

 

..

For my part, verbally: overblown, overripe, verbose, voluptuous, purple, floral, obtuse, obscure, confusing. Yea verily. And visually? Doubtless the equivalent.

 

These days I choose to wear it bright and flabby-stripey, tho it’s true, twice shy, I seldom parade it outside the tent.

 

 

..

 

In the quiet tick-tock of the settling glade one gathers onward the twigs surrounding, weaves what may, casting homely spells in passing, holds a single breath just that extra moment–

Then lets it go and goes on to the next.

 

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Thriftriffic!

this morning while walking floyd I found a four leaf clover, and apparently it works, as evidenced by today’s ridiculous-awesome thrift fun: a globe ($5) which is both an educational toy and a LAMP! shirts $2-3 each; jacket $4.50. highway robbery. call me the baron of thrift.

(for the record I’m blaming excessive cleavage prominence on sark)

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I got paid

yesterday was a good, long day– I went in to the press and tinkered with jen’s tabletop 6″x9″ sigwalt platen press, learning lots of hands-on lessons about how linoleum blocks play on this kind of machine and about print area limitations and the like (all in aid of considering purchasing a similar press for home use)– with a break midday to drive up to skokie and meet laura and tammy and gina for a giddy catchup lunch– more printing through the afternoon, and then to drew’s eatery with jen and her daughter jo (how doggone cute is she??) for yummy clear-conscience fare for dinner– and eventually home, feeling good and tired…

only to find an envelope virtually sparking with surprise from my lovely friend (both FB and REAL) gina down in durham, nc– the first of our mutual “pay it forward” creative pledges for 2011…

happy lucky me.

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dressup: amy rigg dress

I’ve done it all my life, and still do– costuming myself, playing a role. in grad school for a time I employed false spectacles to play the part of instructor. body as canvas, I am various and legion, giddy with vintage, posturing elaborate executions of character and mood, entertaining an imagined audience and most of all myself.

I prowl the thrift stores in search of treasures– amy rigg is a recent local discovery, whose delicately detailed pieces I covet. when I stumble across them among the $2 discards, I get a little thrill. the only sad bit is that she’s gone— I arrive on the scene only in time to scrape crumbs from this particular party.

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