Into the Garden

Because I have been so remiss in posting this week, today will be an extra full dose of Hilary Inspired for your viewing pleasure!

This time of year is so perfect for spending an afternoon outdoors – cool breezes, mild temperatures, beautiful changing scenery – which is why I chose to visit the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago and just because it was so darn beautiful outside! Being cooped up in front of the computer all week was making me very anxious to get outdoors. There really isn’t anything more peaceful than quiet moments spent in nature by oneself.

I seem to find endless pleasure and inspiration from observing the subtle changes in texture and color of shriveling leaves and plant life. It’s sad to see the lush, vibrant life of summer fade away but there is a peaceful elegance in it’s departure and one that I think is much better appreciated from close up.

Afternoon walks are especially mesmerizing! Not only do you get the pleasure of considering the intricate leafy patterns created by vines on an old stone wall or worm holes in the trunk of a tree, but the dramatic, jagged lines of late day shadows as well.

Perhaps you will take a moment to relax and reflect, gather and regroup in nature this weekend as well. For those in creative and visual fields who have trouble leaving work behind, think of this as job related research – besides it’s beauty, nature offers an incredible resource of ideas and inspiration!

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The Gate is Asway

Out of the blue and for no apparent reason other than momentary curiosity, I picked up an old book of poems sitting on a near-by bookshelf last week. While turning through the brittle, age worn pages, I came across this capsule sized poem entitled “October”. It seemed an appropriate feature for today’s post – can you believe it’s October already?!?

While my friends in four season locales are bundling up for crisp, cool weather, we here in Texas are enjoying a smaller portion of Autumn conditions with brisk mornings and chilly evenings. The mid-day continues to be pretty hot, but who’s complaining… it’s October and Fall will come yet! As the poem says, “the gate is set asway”… now, it’s only a matter of time.

Outfit: Skirt – Emersonmade Goldie Pockets Skirt, Blouse – Thrift (similar HERE), Shoes – Target (similar HERE), Bracelets – Antique & Thrift

For the time being, my memory of burnt red and gold leaves, growing layers of clothing, and late night bonfires will serve me. But you should know, I’m waiting anxiously!

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A Slow Fall

I’m learning that the transition from Summer to Fall is a very slow process here in Texas. Literally! One day and small degree at a time, our temperatures are dropping. But mid-way through September we’ll still hovering around the 90’s! So, as you can imagine, my ever-growing desire to dress in plaid circle skirts, corduroy jackets, and thick wools socks (which has only been furthered by the Fall fashion buzz in the air) will have to subside for now. In the meantime, I have resigned to adopting a few Fall-ish accessories instead. In the place of a thick wool shawl and suede boots I am wearing this silk paisley scarf and navy suede purse.

I also feel like red lipstick is kind of a Fall thing… why is that, I wonder?

Anyone else singing the slow-Fall blues?

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The Season

Autumn gives me so many reasons to love it… hot apple cider, cozy sweaters, crunchy fallen leaves, bon-fires, cool breezes, and a bevy of new collections during the month of fashion, of course! Currently, Spring 2012 exhibitions are being shown in London after a successful week in New York. Paris and Milan are still to come. Despite my busy work schedule, I have managed to stay abreast of the latest shows with the frequently updated Vogue and Style.com. My mind is spinning with sartorial opinions but I’ll wait to share those at the end of the season. For now, let’s embrace what’s at hand!

Below is my edited excerpt of favorites for Fall 2011. I love them all in different ways and found it unbelievably difficult to narrow the list down even this far! So, without further ado (or sideline commentary), I give you my…

Photo Credit: Dries Van Noten (Vogue) – 1, 2, 3, 4 / Jil Sander (Vogue) – 1 / Isaac Mizrahi (Style.com) / Diane von Furstenberg (Vogue) / Bottega Veneta (Vogue) – 1 / ADAM (Style.com) / Paul Smith (Vogue) / Proenza Schouler (Vogue) – 1, 2 / The Row – 1, 2, 3

Like a gift on Christmas morning, I love unwrapping the ideas and visions created by each designer. My favorites offer a unique yet balanced perspective on color, tailoring, texture, pattern, styling, and composition and those included here are just a few of the best. Though the specific pieces are far beyond my reach, the ideas serve as an infinite treasury of inspiration for my personal interpretation. I’m imagining whimsical pattern mixing, saturated jewel tones, classic silhouettes, unusual textures, easy layering, and thick wool socks!

How about you? What were some of your favorite collections for this Fall and how do you hope to incorporate those best-loved elements into your seasonal wardrobe?

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Labor (less) Day

This is a simple reminder (if you even need reminding) to celebrate today with the friends and family that you find yourself nearest to. Many of us work hard, sleep little, and need a break. Well, today’s our day! As we transition from the season of vacations and school breaks to another year of work and studies, gather with those you love over food you love and take it easy. (you’ll find me enjoying some refreshingly cool weather hopefully at the park)

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Fading Colors

I hesitated to post today’s images. I’m sure by now you’re tired of seeing my country bouquet of late summer flowers since their first appearance in THIS post. But I’ve completely enjoyed watching their evolution from fresh, peppy buds to rich, full blooms and now softly faded shadows of those initial blossoms. Surprisingly, I think I prefer the last stage the most! The muddied hue of their petals gives the feeling of time and history and the crinkled leaves against others still fresh and alive creates a beautiful depth within their composition.

By now, they are far past their prime (or even the denouement after their prime), but I still love looking at them everyday. I’ve come to anticipate their ever-changing appearance and will be sad when it’s time to bid them adieu. Looking back, I’m amazed at their remarkably long life. Talk about bang for your buck! Much like this Texas summer, though… dry, shriveled, and long beyond it’s peak, the time has come to move on. David returned to school this week and while that doesn’t mean cooler weather (in fact, far from it) that does mean the beginning of something I have always associated with the Fall season, the Fall school semester. Bye, bye summer… and bye, bye flowers. Thank you for all the beauty in the end!

P.S. I’ve started working with watercolors as you can see by my brushes in the photo above. So far, all my paintings have been very basic and abstract. I can’t wait to paint these flowers next, though. They almost look like living watercolors, don’t you think?

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Summer in the South

Summertime in the South (now the Southwest) evokes very specific emotions and memories, all of which seem to be tied up with relaxing and staying cool. For those of you that live there, you know exactly what I mean! In today’s post, which is less about words and more images, I attempt to capture a few of those quintessential elements of summer… old screens, thick hot air, cold drinks, loose cotton clothing, and sittin’ on the porch. Am I right? (ok, well most people have porch chairs to sit on, but I’m workin’ on that!)

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New Month… Fresh Slate

Since my days of school, which revolved around a semester based schedule, I have adjusted to a slightly different arrangement of time… the monthly schedule. Now, most all of my deadlines and short-term goals hinge on the beginning and end of the month. Needless to say, my wall calendar has become quite important. It stands as a regular reminder of what is finished and what is left and never ceases to amaze me in the process.

And here we are at the beginning of June already! Incredible!! Time flies so quickly. That can be such a harsh reality… I prefer to soften the blow with romantic illustrations to decorate the passing time.

Here’s to June and all it’s lovely yet still unknown opportunities!!

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