27 October 2010

Theresa's Wallpaper

When I was in elementary school, my family moved next door to a lovely older widow whose grown children lived scattered across the country. We all instantly meshed - my dad would help her around her house and us kids (i.e., me as my big sis was always conveniently absent) used to shovel her walk when it snowed. In return, she made us all sorts of treats and even sewed dresses for little ole 9 year-old Lisa. As a latchkey kid, she often invited me to her house after school and I would have tea with her in her living room - which to my little eyes was an ornate and grown-up fantasy land.

She loved to collect things and do crafts, so her living room was a testiment to her skills - embroidered pillows, cushions and artwork; porcelain Hummel dolls merticulously placed in a trio of floor-to-ceiling cherry and glass display cases; hand-sewn dolls lined a bookcase; her tea set was painted Chinaware; there were tassels and gilding and richness everywhere.

Miss Theresa was a lovely, and much loved, neighbor for several years before she decided to move to be closer to her daughter a state away. We continued to stay in touch with her and even took a few family trips to visit her. We were never forgotten during the holidays and care packages came for several years. She passed peacefully in her sleep around Christmas-time when I was in college.

This pattern really isn't my typical style but I was instantly reminded of our afternoon teas and my neighbor's ornate living room, the richness of her life. This is what her walls looked like, if only in my childhood memories.



Belt: UO Deena & Ozzy stretch (worn here and here before - similar-ish online here)
Tights: F21 (worn here and here before - similar online here and here)
Shoes: Vince Camuto Bronco (worn here before)

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Remember to send your outfits for tomorrow's Respect the Outfits post. This week, we're concentrating on your favorite outfits - what have you worn that has made your feel at your best? Whether it be a ballgown or a pair of cut-offs to go to the market, what have you rocked and loved? Shoot over your pic, along with your outfit credits and why you love your outfit (if you like) - send to respecttheshoes(at)live.com!

36 comments:

  1. The pattern on that dress is really beautiful, I can see why it would remind you of china tea cups and porcelain!

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  2. I am definetly sending an outfit for your respect the outfit post. Thanks for the encouragement! BTW, great post, you were lucky tohave such a great neighbor/friend. besos

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  3. Pretty dress! I love your patterned tights too.

    Sounds like your neighbor was a lovely lady :)

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  4. Great outfit, I really like the collar of that dress! Hmmm....If I can find time to take a favorite outfit post I will send it over. Tonight is my "picture taking catch up night" :P

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  5. Your dress is gorgeous and I think the belt makes it..

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  6. What a sweet story to wake up to :)

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  7. LOVE the dress..and the rich colors of the pattern.....its gorgeous with that belt too:)

    Stop By and Say Hello♥
    Statements in Fashion Blog♥

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  8. Nice dress for a crisp fall day! The belt really pulls the look together- love it!

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  9. Great dress and love the tights and booties you paired with it... thanks for the sharing the story

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  10. That's such a great pattern on the dress, and even more special for the memories it conjures up for you!!!

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  11. Your story reminds me of the time I used to spend with an older lady who gave me ice cream and cake! Funny how I seemed to remember the food and not any of the conversations. =0(
    Outfit = dainty! It is so flippin' gorgeous, love the soft details in the dress with a vintage looking belt! The tights just top it off..really beautiful.

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  12. I love crafts and things too. I have knitted things and amigurami dolls and embroidered pillows and stuff too. I also have shelves full of the things that I collect and various odds and ends that I stick in pretty jars and baskets. Now I feel like an old lady!

    That dress is awesome, btw. I am probably gonna copy you and go buy it asap. :)

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  13. I love that dress!! The pattern is beautiful and I loved reading about your childhood!

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  14. What a sweet story and a great memory:)

    I love the patterns in this outfit-the dress and the tights. The colors are also fantastic.

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  15. The tights with the dress is just perfect. And what a lovely story. You've reminded me about my wonderful neighbors that I grew up with.

    I am sending you a pic today! :)

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  16. Awww, I got a little teary-eyed listening to that story. She sounds like a wonderful grandmother type who adored being around your family. And quite the crafty lady, too! The dress was already lovely, but knowing the reason why you bought it makes it even lovelier!

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  17. What a pretty dress and the belt suits if perfectly! And such a sweet memory of your childhood.

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  18. What a beautiful story! You look so pretty...I love your entire outfit. :)

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  19. I absolutely love your dress - and the story that went along with it. Wonderful, caring words. Great post!

    xoxo,
    Carrie

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  20. Great post. Thanks for sharing such lovely memories. Grew up in a highrise in HK and hardly knew any of my neighbours. You and your family are so lucky to have met such a lovely lady. Your outfit is fantastic, as always :)

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  21. You have like a zillion comments - I was just coming to say I loved everything about it - fit, print, tights and boots! Score!

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  22. I love the print with the cool buckle detail of the dress! If i owned those pieces, i never would have thought to put them together...it totally rocks! you have a great sense of style!
    ~Ally
    http://modestlyfashioned.blogspot.com/

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  23. I'm such a sucker for a sweet story, it made me tear up *sniffs* =)

    The print of the dress is really gorgeous up close. I love the hints of red in the flowers.

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  24. What a lovely memory! And the pattern of your dress is so pretty, what a great outfit.

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  25. It sounds like Miss Theresa was truly a wonderful woman, and I am sure she felt as lucky to live next to such a nice family as you all felt to live next to her. This is a lovely story, and your dress fits the "ornate and grown-up fantasy land" perfectly. And the buckle on your belt is so cute!

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  26. What a great feel good story.
    Thank you for sharing it with us!

    xoxo

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  27. What a great memory. Love it. You totally made the tights work w/the belt. Nice, girl. :-)

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  28. This is such a sweet story!! I have a neighbor like that who I still remember, although we didn't stay in touch with her after she moved away, sadly. And the dress is beautiful!!

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  29. Gorgeous Lisa! This is a surprise to see you wearing something like this, but I LOVE it on you! This outfit gives you so much height, and the print is just right, not overpowering. You should wear more patterned clothing Lisa, you pull it off with class!

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  30. This is not typical Lisa attire. Not to say that you don't always look well put together. But this is so stunning and flattering that I can't quite explain why. The print gives you a glow that likely comes from your sweet childhood memories. And I love the belt so much.

    Now I need to get that outfit image to you. this time I must make sure I attach the file.

    You look lovely in this dress. This is now my all time favorite. I have forgotten what the other favorites were after this.

    Laura

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  31. Lisa,

    This is certainly a touching story of you and your family! How sweet of you~You look great on the pattern(in my opinion, you look more sophisticated!) Hope she rest in peace and watching over you from heaven!

    Jin,

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  32. Beautiful dress, beautiful story. This is why yours is one of my favorite blogs!!

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  33. What a sweet story and the dress is adorable!

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  34. What a wonderful story!! How awesome to have a neighbor like that! And how cool that your dress is a reminder! And it's a really cute dress too! Cute outfit!! :)

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  35. I didn't mean to make my post overly-sentimental, but after re-reading it, I totally was! Ah well, Miss Theresa was a great lady, and well-loved in the neighborhood!

    Banhannas - ah I don't remember the conversations either, but I remember having a general good time!

    Ady - heck no, you're no old lady! I WISH I could be crafty and knit-y! I just flip through the issues of Martha Stewart Living or those holiday craft magazines and sigh bc I can't ever make those things (and I've tried and failed miserably).

    Amy - I didn't realize the mad skills that lady had until now that I'm older! That lady was a craft queen!

    Closet Crisis - she definitely stood out, but shoot, I hardly know my neighbors now, except that the guy to my right likes to play the same bass-ridden techno song over and over sometimes, argh!

    Jamie - ah, I just left out the regular life parts, like when she used to yell at me for playing my New Kids too loud on my boom box in the backyard!

    Laura/Jin - honestly when I first saw this dress online, I was drawn more to the shape and color than the pattern! It wasn't until I had up close that it flashed me back to my Tiny Lisa days and my neighbor! This definitely isn't my typical style, but I am glad you gals like it bc I certainly do too!

    LT - aw, thanks so much!

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