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Styling a Graphic T Print Mix for SIA: Race to the Moon Quilt

Salazar at 14 Shades of Grey is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she picked the 2006 quilt "Race to the Moon" by Australian textile artist Susan Musgrove. Salazar was drawn not only to the gorgeous scene but "the insane attention to detail (like that first turtle half-submerged in the foam)." Given how much meticulous detail work went into this piece, it's not a surprise that it took Musgrove about 5 years to complete it!

Style Imitating Art selection
Source: 14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com

Let's be clear that this week's SIA had me at the stunning teal color of the water (one of my favorite colors) and the sea turtles (one of my favorite animals)! I also love just about any shade of mint/aqua/teal with just about any orange/coral/peach/rust so the overall color combination here was also spot on. I couldn't wait to put an outfit together inspired by this artwork.


Although I usually start with color for the SIA, this time I started with the animal motifs...and luckily it was easy to get in the general color palette at the same time. First I selected my sea turtle graphic T with a mama turtle and a baby turtle in navy blue on a bright mint background that I purchased in February 2021 for $5 at JC Penney. (I have worn it 14 times, mostly as a sleep top, for a CPW of $0.36.) Isn't it just the cutest? Next I picked out my aqua/silver sea turtle charm earrings from Christopher & Banks to match. My scarf collection was clutch when it came to finding a fish-themed item; this thrifted Gap scarf with a koi print picked up the mint/aqua of the sea turtle pieces and added in a nice bit of orange/coral, which is how I ended up interpreting the sandy tan-orange color in the quilt.

Sea turtles and fish

You may be wondering how I could combine the scarf and graphic T so that (1) both the sea turtles and the fish would show and (2) I wouldn't get overheated from the fabric. Fortunately I always keep Jodie's braided scarf necklace technique in mind when styling scarves in summer, so it was very easy to braid a short portion in the front and leave a flowing fish-covered tail at the side. This gives us a nice combination necklace/scarf accessory.

Braided scarf

I rounded out the outfit with my sandstone coral denim skirt to represent the sandy tan-orange beach and a plaid button up shirt worn as a lightweight jacket to add some darker teal and black to the color story. You just saw this skirt in my mint floral shirt post (outfit #3), which featured outfits in mint, peach/coral/rust, and black...which incidentally is pretty much the color palette of the Race to the Moon quilt. I was very excited to incorporate my plaid shirt into this style challenge because it is one of my favorite things in my closet; I absolutely love the plaid print and the gorgeous mix of colors...which are also very flattering on me, I think. All these Blue-Green colors are present in my eyes and work well with my skin tone, and there is a hint of a beige stripe that seems to pick up my hair color as well.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 7/31/23

The braided scarf with hanging tail worked perfectly to showcase both the sea turtles and the fish, and I tied it to lie away from my neck for warm weather comfort. (It was in the 80s in St Paul and my A/C was working happily so this light layering was just fine for me.) This 3-way print mix of turtles, fish, and plaid all next to each other might be overload for some people, but I loved it! Graphic Ts and simple geometric prints like stripes, plaids, polka dots, etc., go together so easily that it hardly registers as a print mix to me. The mint color really ties the pieces together, and the shared navy/black dark detail creates additional harmony. (Yes, I'm combining navy and black in prints like they're the same color in an SIA outfit again! It's actually very freeing.) In this photo you also get a nice up-close view of the cool pattern on the sea turtles, which feels perfect with the intricate details in the quilt.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I wore my hair with a headband so that the adorable sea turtle earrings would show.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

You know how many people tuck their hair behind their ears to get it out of their face? I tried that and my hair immediately jumped free of my ears and moved to the front again. I tried it about 8 times with a 0% success rate. I learned during the mask wearing of the pandemic that the top portion of my ears is rather small (I never knew that before) and of course my hair is big and somewhat springy, and the combination just does not work.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

For readers who have been curious about the length of my hair, about a month ago, I cut about 6" off my hair, so it's currently this length. Still "long" but shorter enough to notice that washing it takes less time! I always enjoy it when my hair can incorporate some element of our inspirational artwork, and in this case, the golden waves mimic the undulations of the sand and water in the quilt.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I wore these warm-tone leopard flats for an extra dose of low-key print mixing and on general principles. But I was delighted to notice that the tan background with black (and darker tan) splotches resembled the look of the black sea turtles against the sandy tan-orange fabric in the quilt! The denim skirt has a bit of a very subtle herringbone texture to it, which I liked as a representation of the textured sand and footprints in the quilt.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I was a bit sorry not to have a sea turtle or fish themed bracelet to add to my daily stack (nor the time to create one for this challenge) but I made do with a new pair of DIY paper bead bracelets and a new pair of DIY glass bead bracelets in addition to the DIY orange/gold bead, DIY mixed spacer bead, and purchased rose gold rectangle bead bracelets that came together very well with this outfit. I'm really fond of the two new bracelets that I made from these large #2 rocaille Czech glass seed beads in the rainbow (aka AB aka aurora borealis) teal color; I am just a sucker for the prismatic shimmer of the AB finish on glass beads! I linked my bracelet stack to the artwork by deciding that the many round gold spacer beads as well as the gold swirl focal bead on the top bracelet would work to represent the golden yellow moon in the quilt.

DIY Bracelet Stack

The top paper bead bracelet with the gold swirl focal bead was made from a stack of fall-hued sweaters image in a Coldwater Creek catalog. After cutting the strips, I covered up the small amount of tiny text with marker (not shown). I loved the visual texture of the finished beads that combines the smoothness of the tan background with the chunky knit of the sweaters. I talk frequently about loving to use photographic images rather than craft paper etc. for making beads because the visual texture, natural gradations of color, shadows, etc. in the photograph add so much depth to the beads. You may notice that the beads are not the same length! That's because this was my first attempt to free cut my strips with my guillotine cutter instead of measuring them, and I definitely did not cut them uniformly. But it's really not noticeable on the bracelet.

DIY Paper bead page-to-bead example

The bottom bracelet was made from this page, which is a large table of contents drawing in an alumni magazine...that you can tell dates to the pandemic because of the coronavirus at the top of the hourglass. All I did to these strips was cover the white paper core with gold marker. Aren't the polka dots on the finished beads cool? In the context of the original drawing, you don't even register them, but when taken out of context in the beads, they stand out nicely and really add interest. So these beads exceeded my expectations!

DIY Paper bead page-to-bead example
DIY Paper bead page-to-bead example

It's been a while since I've done an artwork element analysis lined up with my outfit's interpretation of those elements, so here we go:


The Moon

-Round, bright, yellow-gold: round gold spacer beads and my hair color


The Sky

-Black: plaid shirt


The Water

-Teal: plaid shirt

-White: plaid shirt

-Fish: koi scarf

-Bubbles: sea turtle pattern

-Stripes/striations: paper bracelets, plaid shirt

-Waves: my hair


The Land/Sand

-Sandy tan: sandstone coral skirt

-Sea turtles: graphic T, earrings

-Black & tan of the turtles against the sand: leopard print shoes

-Footprint texture: skirt herringbone texture


Not bad, I'd say!


Now for our Rabbit Imitating Art selection! I wanted to choose a black bunny to match the black turtles on the quilt, and when I came across this velvety soft black Mini Rex doe with a luxurious dewlap and a pose of curiosity, I knew I'd found the one.

Rabbit Imitating Art selection

Our rabbit fits perfectly in the lower right hand corner of the quilt, from where she observes with great interest the sea turtles' race to the moon. Were this a classic tortoise vs. hare match-up, I'm certain the turtles would win because our Mini Rex just can't look away from this fascinating scene (and who can blame her?). As it is, I think she is going to provide an audience for this race until the last sea turtle clears the sand and gives her back the right-of-way down the beach.

SIA artwork with rabbit
Race to the Moon "improved" with rabbit

Thanks for joining me today for this Style Imitating Art + Rabbit Imitating (and Improving) Art post!


To see other outfit interpretations of this artwork, check out the review on 14 Shades of Grey.


Are you a fan of graphic Ts? What kind of graphic T image appeals to you the most? Do you combine your graphic Ts into print mixes? What's your favorite method of styling a graphic T?


And am I the only one whose current idea of "day to night" dressing means wearing the same T-shirt to sleep in that I wore during the day? (Though to be totally transparent, I do change from a normal T to a fresh moisture-wicking exercise T every night so I don't overheat in my sleep! The joys of hot flashes, am I right?)


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

24 Comments


stylesplash
Aug 16, 2023

I love this piece or art! It reminds me of watching baby turtles being released at night in Barbados a few years ago. They get confused by the bright lights from hotels and bars and go in the wrong direction so a team of volunteers collect them up and guide them into the sea. I love how your leopard print shoes look like the turtles on the sand! Thanks for linking up!


Emma xxx

www.style-splash.com

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Aug 17, 2023
Replying to

OMG now I absolutely want to see the baby sea turtles in Barbados because that sounds AMAZING!

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awayfromblue
Aug 12, 2023

I love how you managed to get the animal inspiration as well as the colours in your outfit! I really like coral and blue together and the fish and turtle prints are so fun! :)


Thanks for joining the Weekday Wear Link up :)

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Aug 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks, Mica - I had fun with this one!

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mimifce
Aug 04, 2023

I love that your earrings and scarf fit it with the animal theme of your tee. Very cute and fun! www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Aug 04, 2023
Replying to

I really do like animal motifs, so this challenge gave me a lot of opportunity to pull them out of the closet!

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Joanne
Joanne
Aug 04, 2023

That outfit is perfect for this challenge!

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Aug 04, 2023
Replying to

It was the challenge my closet was ready for, haha!

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Lillian Flaskerud
Lillian Flaskerud
Aug 03, 2023

So amazing turtels for the ears, I realy liked them

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Aug 04, 2023
Replying to

Thanks, Lillian - they are very sweet!

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