Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Baker Dan

Apologies for the extended break. I've missed everyone and though I've been trying to visit your blogs, by the time I finally have time to do so, I'm unable to find anything intelligent to add to the comments. I mean, worse than my typical inability to say anything intelligent. 

I have managed to maintain my cheerful disposition through it all. 

We dropped off Danny's fair entries on Monday. The judging was yesterday, but we won't know how he did until the fair opens next week. Fingers crossed. That entire table was his baking/canning. 

 That violet and lavender lemon loaf not only looked beautiful, it smelled divine. I hope that one wins a ribbon.
 Cinnamon buns... tea ring...
...white cake, and many more. So now we wait, and hope for the best. It was a lot of work and dedication-much more effort that I would have put into anything when I was eleven!

I wore some clothes over the past few weeks, as you do. 

No, I don't typically wear gym shoes with a dress. The grass hadn't been mowed at the park for some time, and it was wet and muddy. There's only so far I'm willing to go for a blog photo, and destroying my vintage shoes is too far! My gym shoes were already muddy, so there you have it. And yes, they are godawful ugly shoes but it was the only colour they came in, and I have a hard-to-fit foot when it comes to running. By the way, if you're in the Omaha area and need expert fitting for your running shoes, Peak Performance might be worth a visit. They don't sell a million shoes (which is why you can end up with pink and teal ones) but they will get you into the right ones. I knew halfway around their track that it was worth the extra cost buying these shoes there. Probably, for the first time in my life, my feet aren't crippled after running. We won't discuss my hip and knees-but my feet are fine. I'm not being compensated in any way by Peak Performance-I'm just very, very happy with my experience buying shoes there. But not so pleased that I wear the shoes with dresses. Come on...mow the damn park grass already!
These two were more appropriately attired.

I'm going to do a quick outfit wrap-up of things I thought were interesting enough to show, but didn't merit a post of their own.
 Polyester zip-front house dress.
Vintage shoes. They were murder on my feet but...hey everybody look! Vintage shoes!  Not worth the blisters, trust me.
I had a bit of a flapper moment . The wide trousers and drop-waist blouse are wardrobe pieces that never seem to work with anything. I might have found the happy marriage in this outfit. The bag is rather special too
 I found it hanging lonely at the Goodwill for a few dollars. The bag is Crown Lewis, and still has the original hand mirror. The patent leather is genuine, and still in very good condition. I really lucked-out finding it.
 American Duchess repro shoes. They didn't murder my feet.

 The short necklace is something I bought in the early 80's. I remember my grandmother commenting that it looked like the sort of thing she wore when she was first married, which always made it seem more special to me. I don't know why now, but lately I've been missing her quite a bit. Must be something to do with getting older (and disgusted with everyone and everything!).

 The bangle watch also belonged to my grandmother. The bracelet was Mum's.

Having rid myself of the impulse to dress like a flapper, I moved ahead into the 70's and dressed like the 70's.
See kids, "athleisure" isn't a new idea-we were wearing rugby shirts in 1974! You can see the tag still hanging from the sleeve, which means it was a gift from someone and I had to model it for a photo to be sent off to the gift giver with a thank-you note. This was a Christmas (and Birthday) ritual so that far flung relations would get to see what I looked like as I grew, and know that their gift was appreciated.
I grew some tits since then.
This 70's polyester top is a curiosity. It has a faux drawstring at the waist to look like sporting clothes without having any functionality-sort of like faux pockets. What it really needs is a hood, but sadly the designer went for gigantic lapels instead. The skirt is polyester by Levi's (I don't remember them making anything but denim, but this isn't the sort of skirt I would have worn at the time).

Today, I dug out this skirt made from antique saree silks re-worked into a modern wrap skirt. The silk itself is a pale blue, but overlaid on the purple satin it takes on a beautiful shimmering quality in sunlight. I bought this years ago as a university student-and I won't tell you how long ago that was! It has started shedding sequins, so I wear it very rarely these days. 

Yet another macrame bag from the collection. I really need to stop buying these things because there's only so many macrame bags a woman can use! There's something great about a handbag you can wash with dish-soap. 

And that's about it for interesting clothes. For the better part of the past few weeks I've been living in shorts and tee shirts. Now that the heat has backed off a bit, I might be inspired to try looking human again, but I wouldn't bet on it. I need to finish my "Fair Hat" by the weekend, and I'll try to get photos up in a reasonable amount of time. School starts the week after next, which terrifies me because I still haven't recuperated from last year.  Thanks for sticking around, and I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears. Eventually, life will fall into some sort of predictable pattern again. I hope.

I'll be back with State Fair results as soon as I have them. I swear, I'm losing my mind with anticipation! Thank god Danny doesn't play sports-I'd be a nervous wreck watching. If you'd told me thirty years ago that I'd be getting emotionally involved in a jar of apricot jam, I would have laughed. I'm not laughing now. No. Not at all.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jenny Can't Read

The insects are better dressed than I of late, so they're going to illustrate this post.

As the State Fair inches closer (eleven days, and only six days until the drop-off for contests) I thought I'd take a look at the website and see what musical acts they have lined up this year. Toto? No thanks. Lady Antebellum? No, but wait..."With special guest, Can."

Wow, that's pretty...I don't know what?! And at the Nebraska State Fair for fuck's sake? Well that settles it, I'm getting tickets for that one...I thought.

Upon closer reading, the opening act is someone named, "Cam." Not, "Can." That made me sad, because for a minute I was kind of excited. Bewildered, but excited. Guess we'll check out the agricultural exhibits and call it a day.

I was able to borrow a dehumidifier from the handyman, so weather be damned, our kolaches and biscuits are going to leave this house Monday morning in pristine condition. We're expecting more heat and rain this week, so that should help us keep things dry in the dining room where the finished baked goods are being kept. If you've ever tried icing decorated cookies in a Nebraska August, you'll know it takes forever for the royal icing to set. I was seriously considering purchasing a dehumidifier, so it was really wonderful being spared that expense. I know where all the extra baked goods we don't need for entries are going on Monday! The air conditioner is going nonstop, so if I die of hypothermia, I just hope there's a few blue ribbons to show for it. Ribbons blue as my fingers and toes.

I still haven't finished gluing silk plants and flowers on my annual, "State Fair Hat", but I have my glue gun ready to go. I'm excited about this year's hat as I have a rather lovely old hat from the 40's, that was too battered to wear as-is. As it couldn't really be restored, I'm giving it a second life as a Fair hat. Last year's had bees and flowers so I'm going for a bit more sophistication this year (mini-ears of dried corn *are* Nebraska!

Blogging is going to be light. School starts the week after the Fair, so it will be hectic in these parts for a bit. I'm looking forward to some quiet so I might write, and be able to visit all your wonderful blogs.

And yes, I do have an eye appointment coming up in September. I still wish Can had been performing at the State Fair though. That would have been cool.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

More From the Qiana Collection

Back off, I'm armed with a heavy framed handbag and I'm not afraid to use it. 

As promised, here's more of my 70's Qiana nylon collection. Today, I'm wearing a 1970's Leslie Fay dress that zips up the front making me feel like I'm wearing a robe. I'm certain it had a fabric belt originally, but it can also be worn loose (though that really enhances the robe effect). If you thought Dacron Polyester didn't breathe, you haven't worn Qiana nylon! Not attire for a warm day.
 I have since wiped that scuff on the purse away. Why is it I only notice these things when I go to edit photos?
I *think* this is a 60's purse, but it could be early 70's. It is nicely lined, and still has the original mirror tucked into a paper sleeve in the pocket. My mum had a similar bag in blue that I sometimes wear, but otherwise I don't run across too many of these lucite handled bags. I paid $3.99 at Goodwill.
These shoes aren't vintage-they're from Target (though I picked them up at Goodwill). As repro-shoes go, these are well made. My ankles aren't really built to wear T-straps, but I made an exception in this case because they were inexpensive, and really do look the vintage part. Of course, they're not meant to look 70's, but my Nan was still wearing shoes like this in the 70's, so by that logic it makes perfect sense to wear them with a nylon dress. That's how my brain works, and who am I to argue with my Nana?

Outfit Particulars:
1970's Leslie Fay Qiana nylon dress-Goodwill
Belt-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Copper earrings-K mart
Fragrance-Vintage formulation (60's) Tigress

 I thought you might be interested in seeing a few more Qiana pieces. This one still had the original tags, but was missing the belt. Oh well, after 45 years or so, we can forgive the owner misplacing the belt.
 Carlye has become a collectible label in recent years, though it was dead common when I was young. The original tag had an insane price of $122.00 which would have been quite a lot of money in those days. I have a difficult time imagining anyone paying that sort of cash for a nylon dress in the 70's, but remembering what the inflation was like (and how cheap clothes have become) it is possible. That would explain the desire to hang onto it all these years.

 Here's another favourite piece
 Watch that collar-could be sharp!

I wish I could say that's all there is, but we all know how helpless I am in the face of  70's nylon or polyester clothing. Consider this a teaser of horrifying fashion to come in the cooler weather. I know I can't wait!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Sunday Silly

 As summer is winding down, I thought it wise to give the white linen trousers another wearing. I packed away my spring and early to mid-summer wardrobe yesterday, and now I can begin slowly moving into late summer/early autumn. I know we won't be clear of the heat until at least October, but there's already a chill in the evening air-I regretted wearing a sleeveless top for my evening walk. I did better than most years getting the summer items worn (at least once) and photographed (mostly).

Today was my first opportunity to wear this vintage hat I bought last spring at Hand-Me-Ups. It has a union label, but no designer label. The design is interesting with the crown ever-so slightly off-kilter. It reminds me of those topsy-turvy cakes people have at weddings these days. This isn't an easy hat to wear, but it does look rather sophisticated once it is on-even on the likes of me!
Outfit Particulars:
Ralph Lauren linen trousers-Hand-Me-Ups
1980's gold-flecked top-Hand-Me-Ups
1980's beaded silk jacket-Goodwill
1960's handbag-Thrift store in Western Massachusetts about 25 years ago
Shoes-K Mart, several years ago
Vintage hat-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage enamel Napier necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Shell earrings-World Market
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Balmain Vent Vert 

Being Sunday, there was public silliness. Really, the three of us can't be trusted to behave together!
It was no small feat staying on that carriage as he raced through the store. Probably not the best activity in 4" heels. There's no graceful way to stand without my behind sticking out either. 
I don't bother wondering what people must think...because I don't care.

 Here's a peek at the bottling process. These are pickled and spiced plums.
 Our trusty pressure canner can also be put into service for a water-bath.
Danny has his tools laid out like a surgeon.
That twisted-up wet tea towel has an inportant role wiping clean the rim and treads on the jars. It is an easy to overlook step, but having the damp towel at the ready helps ensure the task is completed. We use two-part jars with lids and screw-on bands, and the tiniest bit of food stuck under the lid would be enough to spoil the seal. 

I'll leave you with this figurine I spotted at Goodwill, but didn't buy. Even when these things were at the height of their popularity in the 70's, it would have been terribly awkward to present someone going through a difficult time with something like this. If I still worked in an office, it would be an interesting thing to leave on my desk. People would want to ask, but would be too uncomfortable.

Hope you had a nice weekend, and the week ahead treats you well. Remember, when you hurt...ah, fuck it.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

A Skirt So Nice, I Bought it Twice

 When I saw the two identical skirts, new with tags on the rail at Goodwill, I had to have them both. I like the clothes at Talbot's, but I like them even better at Goodwill prices.

Outfit Particulars:
Talbot's skirts-both Goodwill
Red spotted vintage pussy-bow blouse (It was hot, and I untied it. No makeup either)-Hand-Me-Ups
White linen blouse-K Mart
Vintage sandals-Goodwill
Caro Nan Handbag-Antique mall
Vintage carved celluloid Scottie pin-Etsy
Green glass bangle-yard sale
Fragrance-Carnal Flower

I don't know what sort of week you're having (great, I hope!) but mine has been hectic, bordering on madness. That's not a bad thing, as I prefer being busy to sitting around watching my fat ass get fatter, but the next few weeks don't look like I'm going to have much room to breathe, much less relax. The fair entries need to be driven to Grand Island on 22 August which is terrifyingly near. I submitted the paperwork for Danny last evening-he has 31 entries! I'm renting a mini-van for the ride down so none of his pastries end up damaged being transported in our tiny Ford Focus. It isn't as terrible as it sounds-Swedish Tea Ring, Cinnamon Buns, and Chelsea Buns all use the same basic sweet dough, so he can make a doubled batch and fill them accordingly. It will be a bit like running a bakery for the next few weeks, but I'm quite proud of his determination.

Speaking of the kid, he found this photo-op station at the sporting goods store. I think there's supposed to be a fishing rod in there, unless of course he was Noodling though I think that is largely done with catfish. Hand-fishing is a rather tough sport, and frankly I just don't see Danny shoving his arm down a fish's gaping maw. I could be wrong though-he hangs out with wildlife biologists, and they're a strange lot.

The Mighty Ford Tempo finally went away to that great car graveyard in Omaha. I was sad to see it go-I always felt so young driving that heap around town. It was certainly the best five hundred bucks I ever spent. We got our money out of it, and then some. So long, Mighty Tempo-you were a good car! We did keep the stick I used to prop open the trunk after the latch failed. It always got a great laugh from teenagers at the supermarket helping me out to my car with the sacks.
"What's brown and sticky?" I'd ask as I put the key in the lock of the trunk. After a wary look, the kids would eventually mutter,
 "I dunno...what?"
I'd grab the stick from the trunk, prop open the top and exclaim, "A STICK!"
It was good for an eye-roll or two. I'll miss that.

This is how my neighbours see me most mornings as I water my garden and take out the rubbish. I've frightened many a postman and meter-reader with this look. There's a reason I have a "GET OFF MY LAWN!" sign in the front window. As you can see, I did a half-assed job of rolling my hair but it was good enough for the weather we've been having. I can't even think of using a hair dryer in this heat.
Everyone ready to disco? Who needs fog machines when I have humidity steaming up the camera lens?
The dress is gigantic (so am I, but this is too big, even for my potato-shaped physique), unflattering, but so, so comfortable to wear. A shiny magenta disco dress doesn't come into your life every day, so I'm keeping it, and if I find the time, I might do some alterations.

Vintage nylon dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Gold shoes-Thrift World
Vintage purse-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Monet necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Gold Trifari bangles-Hand-Me-Ups and Goodwill
Earrings-K Mart
Fragrance-Ma Griffe

Well, I'd better shake-a-leg and get going with all the chores. Scratch that. I'd better shake everything
Hope you have a great weekend.