Friday, August 30, 2013

Dock Holiday

Shirt (Jones New York, TJ Maxx); Shoes (Lindsay Phillips with custom monogram buttons from the Preppy Patch); Bag (Anne Klein); Capri Pants (Casual Living); Sunglasses (Cole Haan)
It's been an unusually mild summer in central Indiana.  As we head into Labor Day weekend, it's hard to believe there have been less than ten days that registered above 90 degrees (last year we had more than fifty days of 90 degree plus heat)!  Although it's been a busy summer, with not near as much time on the lake as I'd like, we've managed to enjoy ourselves and make some wonderful memories with friends both new and old.  

Most of my "lake time" this summer has also involved the same navy, white and yellow striped Jones New York shirt - I wore it for a lakeside shrimp boil we hosted for some new neighbors; during a weekend on the water with my best friend from childhood and her family;  for a dockside "team building" function with some of my colleagues; and for a lovely mid-week solo boat excursion during which our bright yellow pontoon was the only boat on the water.  Maybe it's the boat neck with yellow trim that's a perfect match for the color of the pontoon, or maybe it's the nautical stripes, but I've reached for this shirt over and over again (and always with my SwitchFlops, of course).  Is it over the top to coordinate my clothes to a boat?!  Probably.  Do I care?  Not a bit.

Wishing you all a relaxing Labor Day weekend!
Summer 2013 fun on, and by, the lake with dear friends! 
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coral "Sea"quins

Necklace (Steinmart); Striped Top (Steinmart); Denim Jacket (Kohls); Shoes (Lindsay Phillips, Tommy Hilfiger)
If you like the comfort of yoga pants but don't necessarily want to look like you've just come from a work out, check out these favorites from XCVI (you can often find them on Zappos).  Part yoga pant (the stretchy cotton fold-over waist band); part palazzo/goucho pant (those ultra-wide legs); and super comfy; these pants are quite likely to result in complete strangers asking where you got them and writing it down so they can buy their own.  I like them so much that I've collected several colors: coral, sage green, dark green (see them here), black, brown and grey (wow, that seems like a lot now that I've written it down).  They're equally at home at work and at play with a simple change of top and shoes.  They are also seasonless - I wear them with short sleeves and sandals in the spring and summer; but pair them with turtlenecks and boots in the fall and winter.  

Here, I've paired the coral pair with a striped top covered in iridescent clear sequins.  Sequins are not a typical choice for me, but somehow these pants and a denim jacket keep it from looking overly "bedazzled."  I wore this ensemble to a weekend birthday party/BBQ with Lindsay Phillips SwitchFlops (lower left) and dressed it up a bit for a casual Friday at the office with coral Tommy Hilfiger platforms (top right). I also like it with the nude Lindsay Phillips pumps with coral snaps, but maybe not quite as much... 

How do you decide what shoes to wear with an outfit when you have more than one pair that work?

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Color is Wednesday?

What color is Wednesday?  Come on, you know!  It's the Hump Day Hue....Why it's camel, of course!  When I picked up this camel tulip skirt last fall, I didn't realize it would be such an all-season wardrobe staple, but it's versatile enough to be in regular rotation, though not always on Wednesdays!   Here are three ways I've worn it lately.  What are your favorite colors to combine with camel?
Skirt (Focus 2000); Blouse (Apt. 9, Kohls); Bag (Coach); Shoes (Target); Pearl and Rough Cut Emerald necklace (Ross-Simons)
Watch (Zodiac); Shoes (Talbots); Bag (Brahmin); Pink Tourmaline Ring (Taxco Sterling Co.)
Shirt (Kohls); Bag (9 West); Shoes (Tommy Hilfiger); Monogram tortoise cuff (Tagged Designs)
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beach Baubles & Bubble Skirts

The clothing we wear has the power to evoke all sorts of memories and emotions.  Sometimes particular items remind us of places we've been and experiences we've been blessed to have.  In my effort to hold onto summer just a little longer, today I'm channeling coastal vacations past.  Like a wearable collection of seashells, each element is a beach town treasure. The embroidered hat was my prize purchase from an artists' festival during a post-bar exam getaway to Galveston Island, Texas in 1999.  The puka shell embellished straps on my Lindsay Phillips SwitchFlops were the very first pair I purchased.  Discovered in a little boutique at Mission Beach in San Diego in 2008, these straps remain one of my favorites.  I haggled over the chunky turquoise necklace at an open air market in Cabo San Lucas in 2010 (while wearing this very skirt, blouse, hat and shoes).  The sand dollar pendant on the necklace is actually a broach. Both it and the turquoise shantung sash came from the strand at Folly Beach during a trip to South Carolina in 2011 for my brother's graduation from basic training. I was also wearing the rest of this outfit on that day.  

Likewise, it went with me to Mumbai, India in 2011; to St. Simon's Island, Georgia in 2012; and to Florida earlier this year.  The skirt itself, by XCVI, is perfect for travel, which is probably why it's found its way to so many destinations with me - it's wrinkle resistant and the top of it is a super-comfortable fold-over stretchy cotton, much like yoga pants.  It's a bit difficult to see in the photo, but the bubble hem makes it unique, and I can't recall a single time I've worn it when it hasn't drawn compliments. Each time I put it on, I take a little stroll down "memory beach."  Hmmm, wonder where I'll get to wear it next....

Do you have favorite travel clothes or beloved items you've collected during your travels?  I'd love to hear about them!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not - a Dress Guest Post

Her shoes are Poetic License; the bag is Dooney & Bourke
Effeuiller la marguerite, or in English, "she loves me, she loves me not."  If I could pull the petals from the cottage roses that decorate my deep red silk fabric, I'd have long ago removed every one of them while repeating that bittersweet refrain.  From the first time she slipped me over her head in the L.S. Ayres dressing room in 1996, I made her feel pretty.  But I don't have a zipper, and even with a surplice bodice, it takes a bit of contortion to get in and out of me.  She nearly had a panic attack that first day in the dressing room because she thought she'd tear my seams trying to get out of me, until she realized that I had to be pulled over her head and off of both arms at the same time, rather than one arm at a time, which was her typical way.  Despite that little challenge, she brought me home and wore me proudly to a late summer wedding.  She donned me periodically after that, but after a time I was relegated to the back of her closet in favor of new items she purchased with her employee discount at Parisian.  She loved me not.

I thought I was long forgotten, and it was just a matter of time before I'd be hauled off to a Goodwill store.  Then in August of 1998, Kevin (he's her husband) unexpectedly yanked me out of my hidey hole all the way at the back far right side of her closet, threw me in a garment bag, and whisked me off to meet her at the airport in Chicago.  She was coming home from a three month internship in Australia just in time for another wedding and wanted to wear me again.  I was elated.  It turns out she knew exactly where I was all along and gave him explicit instructions on where to find me.  She loved me!  

What a beautiful wedding that was, and so much fun.  She danced a lot and was barefoot by the end of the night.  I remember, in particular, having my neckline yanked to the left several times because her friends did not believe she really got a tattoo on her shoulder while she was in Australia.  She did.  She has pictures of us from that wedding.  A couple of them are even framed.  They're included at the bottom of this post. 

After that wedding, she wore me quite a bit for a few years, but eventually she again grew bored with me, or perhaps, frustrated, or maybe I just didn't fit for a time.  In any event, I was once again pushed to the back of the closet and ignored.  She loved me not.

I've moved with her four times in the 17 years we've been together.  She's donated a lot of clothing to charity over the years, and she's consigned other things, but she kept me so I held out hope that maybe I'd get to make her feel pretty again someday.  And last week, against all odds, I got my chance.  She paired me with a pair of Poetic License spectator pumps I'd never seen before, and an ivory cardigan with a lace back.  This was a vast improvement to the sage green cotton one she used to throw over me when she got too chilly in her downtown office.   

After all these years, Kevin hadn't forgotten me, either.  He said, "I remember when you used to wear that dress a lot.  I like it, but isn't that the dress that stained the driver's seat of your old CLK?"    Not helping my case, Kevin!  She defended me.  Though the light oyster gray leather did, indeed, acquire a strange reddish tint about the seams, there was never enough evidence to convict any particular item from her wardrobe.  But, she also recalled the day she wore me to work in the air conditionless Jeep Wrangler in 100 degree heat...when she got out of the car she looked like she'd spilled something down her back (or worse) and had to spin around like a mad woman in the parking garage until I dried.  Another reason to love me not. 

Nevertheless, I still make her feel pretty, and when she put me back in the closet, I stayed near the front.  I hope that means I'll be worn again soon!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

August 1998, with Kevin (a member of the wedding party) and her college roommates.  It was a beautiful wedding and a great night!
I'm linked up with Bella's Shoe Shine at The Citizen Rosebud - check it out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vintage Voodoo

Dress (Jessica Howard, eBAY); Cardigan (Jessica Howard, Carson Pirie Scott); Belt (eBay); Earrings and Necklace (Etsy); Daisy Cuff (street vendor in Shanghai, China); Shoes (Naughty Monkey); Bag (Bodhi,
I'm a fan of swing music, and the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, in particular.  There is something about the upbeat tempo, bright brass, and vintage vibe that always sets both of my left feet in motion (I'm not the most graceful dancer).  For me, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is best enjoyed live because both the band and the scads of swing dancers that come out for their concerts create a visual feast that perfectly complements the music.  Last week, I was lucky enough to experience their annual performance under the stars at Symphony on the Prairie with 15 friends and a picnic fit for a queen.  

I had to channel the vintage feel of the music with my own vintage painted metal daisy clip earrings and triple strand of yellow and white beads, both from the 1950s and found on Etsy for a song. Vintage jewelry is a great way to amp up your own unique style for very little investment, and it's easy to find online, at vintage and consignment stores, and even yard sales.   Don't be afraid to try it!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Turtle Sunday in the Park

Shoes (Lindsay Phillips Switchflops); Dress (Macy's); Turquoise Necklace (Cabo San Lucas open air market); Turtle pendant (Charleston, S.C. open air market); Bag (Magid); Turquoise ring (Steinmart); Bangle (Charming Charlie)
Although fall is my favorite season, I'm definitely not ready to let go of summer and put my maxi-dresses and Lindsay Phillips SwitchFlops away for the year.  In my opinion, the maxi-dress is one of the most comfortable items of clothing in existence.  Though they feel a bit too bohemian casual for the office (my office, anyway), they are perfect for just about any other summertime situation and have been a weekend staple for me this summer.  I wore this one for a family reunion in the park last week, and actually managed to avoid spilling any of my family's delicious Indiana home cooking on it even though it's: a) white, and; b) we chowed down with our plates in our laps. This may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but if you've seen my prior post about white pants or you know me at all, you recognize how rare this is!

Are you a fan of the maxi dress?  How do you feel about sporting one in an office environment?
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

IN Fashion Friday: Flutter by Butterfly!

Photos taken at Butterfly; All clothing and accessories are Butterfly inventory (but I took the gold Valentino coat dress, the harem shoes, and denim sundress home with me!)  That gorgeous Louis Vuitton tote and luggage could be yours, though...
Butterfly Consignment in Castleton is my new favorite consignment store.  Since the day it opened its doors, Butterfly has maintained meticulous standards regarding the clothing it sells.  The result is a well curated collection of high quality, in-season styles and high fashion pieces you'll want to own! My most recent visit netted a mint condition gold silk Valentino sheath and coat dress and a classic Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress in olive green shantung, neither of which would have been in my budget when they were new.  Ever the shoe fanatic, I also couldn't resist a pair of bronze beaded harem shoes that are unlike any I've ever seen. I'm not sure what I'll wear them with, but I liked them enough that I'd have been willing to pay more than their $9 price tag. 

I lingered over the never worn, still in the box purple boiled wool ankle booties from Poetic License (one of my favorite shoe labels), but ultimately decided I didn't need another pair of purple ankle boots (yes - I already own purple ankle boots) so I emailed a friend and fellow Poetic License lover instead to give her the inside scoop.  I was tempted by the racks of St. John knits and a spotless Louis Vuitton luggage set - both labels that Butterfly regularly has in stock at realistic prices.  I was also amused to find a black Sunny Leigh off-the-shoulder embroidered top exactly like the one I wore in this post, but in black (see photo, below).  

In addition to fantastic consigned inventory, Butterfly also sells handcrafted artwork, jewelry and soaps created by local artisans.  The design of the boutique is upscale, yet friendly and inviting, which makes bargain and treasure hunting there a real pleasure.  I've also consigned some of my own pieces with Butterfly.  The process is simple, and you can keep up with the status of your items and earnings via the web.

Photos taken at Butterfly; All clothing, shoes and accessories are Butterfly inventory (but I took the olive Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress home with me!); That adorable embroidered Sunny Leigh off-the-shoulder top, the hot pink and purple banded skirt and the hot pink Banana Republic french cuff blouse could be yours, though, as could those boiled wool booties from Poetic License I'm wearing in the bottom right photo.
Are you ready to Bfly?  You can flutter by days per week. 
Butterfly Consignment
6697 East 82nd Street
Indianapolis, IN
Mon-Sat:  11am-7pm
Sun: 12pm-5pm
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lifelong Purple Passion for Fashion

Top (Sunny Leigh, Yaprak Design); Bag (Dooney & Bourke); Shoes (Lindsay Phillips SwitchFlops with custom monogram buttons from the Preppy Patch) ; Carnelian, blue topaz, lapis, citrine, peridot, and amethyst torsade necklace (Ross Simons)
When I was very little, I went through an acute "purple and orange" phase.  A quick review of my early childhood "artwork," by which I mean coloring pages and relatively crude stick figure drawings, bears this out as fact.  A significant number of my creations were covered with stripes or polka dots that mixed various shades of those two hues to riotous effect.  

When I got a bit older, I regularly incorporated the colors into unique designs created with Fashion Plates. Remember those?  I desperately wanted a set, and whether a friend had them and was willing to share them was a factor when I decided who should be invited for a sleepover!  I loved them so much that I can still recall sitting on our back deck for hours playing with my friend Sheridan's Fashion Plates while she splashed in the backyard pool.  I could swim any old day, but Fashion Plates were a special treat.  I'm not sure why my parents wouldn't buy them for me, but eventually my mom capitulated and got me a set of my very own...for my 21st birthday!  I still have them today.  Oh, how I would love to have some that depict my own wardrobe - how much easier it would be to mix and match....

I've never outgrown my love for orange, but purple is no longer a "go to" favorite.  As an adult, I'm far more likely to mix orange with turquoise than violet or periwinkle, and one of the first changes we made to our current home was to repaint the deep plum satin walls of the master bedroom with burnt orange suede paint. But, even so, every once in a while I'm still drawn to purples, and this off-the-shoulder, embroidered top I picked up last summer at local Indianapolis boutique Yaprak Design called my name.  I even managed to mix in just a touch of orange in the carnelian stones that grace the semi-precious torsade necklace.  Long live purple and orange!  
Long live Fashion Plates!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

From Bangkok to Cabo

Hat (Jessica Simpson, Nordstrom); Dress (Target); Bag and Shoes (TJ Maxx)
My husband recently returned from a business trip to Thailand bearing gifts, including a new necklace!  He knows me well, and the piece he chose reflects colors I wear often:  orange, turquoise and green.  I was excited to wear it.  I was even more excited to find that it was a perfect match to a dress I purchased in 2010 for a vacation in Cabo, but didn't end up wearing.  The dress still had the tags on it when I pulled it from the back of my closet Saturday morning for a day of sightseeing, people watching and alfresco dining in our own fair city.  The necklace gave me good incentive to finally wear it, and helped me stay on track with the personal closet challenge I first talked about here.  Thanks, Lovely!

I really don't feel too bad about having let the dress languish in my closet for a while since it only cost me $14.99.  It's supposed to be a maxi dress, but I got it from the girls' department at Target so it fits me more like a midi.  The stretch smocking across the bodice reminds me of countless blouses my mom used to sew for me in the 70s.  In fact, I was very "anti-smocking" for a time and refused to wear them after a terrible bout with poison ivy on a childhood vacation at Dale Hollow Lake.  Smocked tops were all I had packed for the trip, and let me tell you, all that elastic itches like the devil when you're covered in poison ivy everywhere it touches.  I suppose I would have itched like crazy no matter what I was wearing, but for whatever reason I decided the smocking on my tops made it worse and moped around the whole week.  No moping for me last weekend - the dress was super comfortable and now that I have the perfect necklace for it, I'm sure to keep it in the mix.  Maybe I'll get the chance to wear it on a return to trip to Cabo...

Sporting one of many smocked tops sewn by my mom for my kindergarten school picture.

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

I'm linked up with Hat Attack - check it out!

Friday, August 9, 2013

IN Fashion Friday: Salvage Your Look

Pants (Dockers); Top (Jones New York); Shoes (Bay Studio, Beall's); Watch (Fossil); Bag (Kate Spade)

On a recent Sunday, I spent a leisurely afternoon antiquing with my parents in Franklin, IN, where we discovered Salvage Sisters Antique Market.  It's a darling place, with an eclectic assortment of vintage home decor, repurposed architectural salvage, and a great collection of period jewelry.  My favorite piece was the sterling art deco pendant (shown in the top right corner).  The collection of Victorian cameos was also impressive, and in a back room I even discovered some vintage clothing from the 70s that had never been worn!  Salvage Sisters is in the heart of historic Franklin amidst a slew of quaint shops that beckon to be explored on a day when you have no time constraints and no particular place to be.  

I purchased a set of vintage lockers to refinish and work into our lake home decor, perhaps as a convenient, private place for guests to stow their belongings while swimming and boating, and as a repository for the multiple life jackets and beach towels we keep on hand.  I was glad I'd worn comfy, casual clothes for the excursion, because loading these heavy old lockers (6 feet tall and 5 feet wide) was a dirty job.  Thank goodness I had help and my parents' pickup truck to get them home!  Anyway, while checking out, I also discovered a handy brochure with a map showing the locations of multiple antique, vintage, and consignment shops in Franklin and the surrounding areas - I can't wait to explore some of them another day!

Salvage Sisters is located at 398 E. Jefferson Street, Franklin, IN 46131.  They are open 7 days/week.  For store hours and more information, visit their Facebook page!

Do you have any favorite vintage or antique stores in the central Indiana area?  I'd love to learn about them!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

(Orange) Crush on Cotton Candy Stripes

Blouse (Dress Barn); Capris (Kohl's); Bag (Cole Haan); Watch (Michael Kors); Bracelet (Churchill Downs gift shop); Shoes (Poetic License); Monogram Shoe Clips (Initial Perfection, Etsy)
        I fell hard for these cotton candy pink and circus peanut orange striped Poetic License pumps.  But, pink and orange is a little obnoxious and can be hard to wear.  Once I got them home, I have to admit I really wasn't sure what to do with them.  So they sat in my closet, admired but unworn, for a long time.  

I tried wearing them with a conservative black suit, but wasn't thrilled with the result.  Keeping in mind my personal challenge (see my recent post), I went shopping in my closet for other pieces that might complement them and this is what I came up with.  I like pairing the shoes with capris, as opposed to long pants (these shoes are meant to be seen) and the neutral color tones down the ultra-vivid hues that might otherwise be overwhelming.  The three-quarter sleeve, orange pleated blouse is a staple I wear often and in all seasons, but generally pair with a dark color like chocolate brown. I was pretty satisfied with the result, and felt good about pulling together a coordinated look without having to buy anything new (though I did treat myself to the fun pink and orange monogrammed shoe clips from Etsy, which makes me love the shoes even more!)

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cherry Picking

Navy blouse (Apt. 9, Kohl's); White skirt, Shoes, Bag (Steinmart); Belt (Target); Bracelet (Nordstrom)
If you're like me, you probably have some tried and true favorites in your wardrobe that you reach for over and over again - you "cherry pick" the best from your closet while other items rarely see the light of day.  Some items may even still have the tags on them.  Why?  There are any number of reasons for wardrobe waste:  maybe you didn't like a piece as much when you got it home as you did in the store; maybe you didn't have anything to go with it; or you are saving it for a special event; maybe it's due to poor closet organization.  Regardless of the reason, if you're not wearing what's in your closet, you're not maximizing your wardrobe, and you're not maximizing space in your closet for items you WILL love and wear.

In a prior post (One Skirt, Two Ways), I talked about shopping in your own closet to find fresh looks by mixing and matching or styling items in a different way.  This takes a bit of effort and some quality time spent organizing and trying on all those lonely, less loved, and forgotten pieces, but the pay-off is worth it in several respects:  1) you'll have "new" outfits that didn't cost any money; 2) you'll create more opportunities to wear your "go to" favorite pieces because you'll have more ways to style them; 3) you'll identify staples that may be missing from your wardrobe to complete outfits; 4) you'll be better equipped when you do shop to recognize what purchases will best work with items you already own, and 5) you can clean out and donate pieces that just don't work for you, thereby creating more space for new things that do!

I've been working on cleaning out my own closet recently, and rediscovering pieces that haven't been in rotation for a while or, in some cases, ever.  I decided to challenge myself to make no new purchases as long as there were items hanging in my closet that had never been worn.  The caveat was that it would be acceptable to purchase items specifically to match something I already owned if the only thing keeping me from wearing a piece was lack of anything to go with it.  This personal challenge was also an opportunity to get rid of items (yes- even some that still had tags on them) that didn't make me feel my best.  I love to shop, so the process was not always easy, and I haven't been perfect in completing it.  On occasion, a gorgeous new item at a great price has been too great a temptation (especially when it comes to shoes!), and there are a few items I haven't been able to part with even though I still have no idea how I'll style them. Even so, I feel like I've made lots of progress in maximizing my wardrobe while minimizing my shopping budget, and I've discovered some new favorites that I didn't appreciate even though they were in my closet all along.

How often do you overhaul your closet?  Have you "rediscovered" new ways to wear old pieces?

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Preppy, Party of Three

Pink and GreenTourmaline Rings (Taxco Sterling Co.); leather "bit" bracelet (Churchill Downs gift shop); Watch (Skagen, with custom argyle ribbon band); Bag (Brahmin); Shoes (Lindsay Phillips SwitchFlops); Jacket (The Limited); Capris (Counterparts, Steinmart); Pearl and rough-cut Emerald necklace (Ross-Simons)
Pink, green, and navy - the preppy trifecta.  Does this combination ever go out of style?  Was it ever in style?  Throw some pearls, embroidered palm tree flop flops, and a touch of argyle in the mix and I'm "prep"ared for anything, except maybe fall and colder weather.  I can't believe it's August already - I'm definitely not ready for the summer to end.  Hmmm, this outfit would be perfect for Florida or other warmer climes in January or February when it's freezing here in the heartland....For now, though, I'm going to savor every last dog day that comes our way!  Hope you're enjoying the summer, too!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"GO Ahead and Play" with Your Clothes!

I couldn't think of a better place to wear this piano print skirt than the Preview Party for GO Ahead and Play!  Skirt (; Lace Cardigan (INC, Macy's); Bag (Kate Spade); Shoes (Moda Spana, Steinmart)
Disclaimer:  I have no musical talent whatsoever.  When I was a child, my grandmother (who played no less than nine instruments with great skill) tried in vain to teach me to play the piano.  I learned only part of a single song (The Entertainer), which I can still punch out today, albeit poorly and with only one hand.  Likewise, I cannot carry a tune.  Family members have told me I should lip sync in church.  I was cut from the 5th grade school choir, which was my first real taste of rejection.  Convinced it was all a big mistake, the experience did not stop me from singing an a capella version of Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" for my grandparents' Good Sam Camping Club a few months later.  They were all very impressed.  In retrospect, I suspect these kind souls were just humoring me, and perhaps, turned down their hearing aids for my heartfelt fireside solo.... 

Despite my lack of talent, I am passionate about music.  I am also passionate about art, and I am passionate about the Women's Fund of Central Indiana, an organization that creates transformational opportunities for women and girls through the effective distribution of grants to women and girl serving organizations and through the philanthropic engagement and education of current and potential donors.  For the past several months, music, art and the Women's Fund have come together in a delightful symphony resulting in a unique, interactive public art installation that will be on display at several locations throughout Indianapolis and Carmel now through August 18.  Titled "GO Ahead and Play," the project was driven by the 6th through 12th graders engaged in the Women's Fund GO program.  These highly engaged students worked tirelessly to develop and bring this project to fruition.  The result is 20 beautifully transformed pianos that will bring a smile to your face and put a song in your heart!  

I was fortunate to attend a Preview Party for the project last weekend.  My favorite part of the evening (other than having the perfect opportunity to wear my piano skirt!) was a piano "flash mob," during which 15 pianists took to the ivories and played Heart and Soul by Indiana's own Hoagy Carmichael. Guests also had the opportunity to play any and all of the fantastic pianos on display.  You can view and play these pianos, too, and I hope you will!  Learn more about the program, and find the locations of all 20 pianos here!  You can also read more about the program in Betsy Reason's article in today's Indianapolis Star.  

I'm looking forward to viewing the pianos again, and since Mayor Ballard has declared August 1, 2013 as "Women's Fund GO Ahead and Play Day," I may just walk down to Monument Circle in my piano skirt at lunch and bang out my one-handed version of the Entertainer on one of the pianos installed there!
Photos don't do justice to these interactive works of art, but here is a teaser of what's in store when you GO Ahead and Play the pianos on display now through August 18!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!