Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Little Thrift Store in the Dairy Queen

I was excited to hear that Sequels has opened another shop-a sequel. Unfortunately, it doesn't share space with a Dairy Queen, but they were giving away free bibles if you needed one. This is clearly the better location, not just for the proximity to ice cream, but for the three pair of vintage Ferragamo shoes I picked up for $2.00 each. Because this side of the store was previously a service station, the soda coolers are used as shoe racks. That tickles me every time I see it. There are real treasures to be found in the place, but I did manage to resist the ceramic mushroom canisters as I already have a set.
Danny's sporting double seersucker. The jacket is mine (part of a suit) that he's claimed for his own. "Don't you care that the buttons are on the wrong side?" I asked him. "No one pays attention to that anymore." was his response. I suppose it depends on the crowd you hang with, but I'm glad that he's not concerned with what people will say/think. He has this great ability to meet things with a shrug, which is good to know, given how taunting and peer pressure can be awful at his age. I don't think he gives a toss if people like him, or not.
I can't imagine where he gets that from.
 The local garden club maintains the flowers at the library, and this week the flowers really took off blooming.
It is still too cold to sit outside and read, but it does bring a bit of cheer to see all the blooms as I walk to the building. By the main entrance there are dozens of rose bushes that have yet to bloom, but when they do it is the nicest place to sit in the sun, read, and enjoy the wonderful fragrance. I'm so glad we have people that volunteer the time and effort to create something nice for everyone to enjoy.
Even the parking area is planted nicely. A few more weeks, and this will be filled with blooms, butterflies, and hopefully some bees. I believe there was a bench where I'm standing-I hope that will be back soon.
Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed I changed shoes in the photos. I started in these vintage Town and Country spectator pumps, but the heel tip on one promptly broke, so off it goes to the cobbler next week for repairs. These were a lucky find at $3.99 so a few more dollars to fix a heel, and add shoe savers is worth it.
After all that excitement at Sequals, I stopped at the pharmacy to check my blood pressure. You can get a good look at my jaunty little straw and velvet hat, and you can also have a gawk at my curved spine. I almost never permit a photo from my right side as the curve is quite dramatic looking. I'm not self-conscious about it (I mean, after all these years I'm well aware of the scoliosis) but it does ruin the line of clothing in a profile photo. When I sewed I could make adjustments for it, but with off the rack thrift shopping, I tend to just live with it. Nice split flutter sleeves though, on a dress that is otherwise a drape-y fright.
Everything looks normal here. Touch wood, this isn't a problem for me, which is kind of a miracle. I attribute it to my short fuse temper. Like they say, burying your anger isn't good for you. If I kept my mouth shut, I could die.
We wouldn't want that, would we? Who would flip you off ?


Outfit Particulars:
 Dress-Rimini for Saks Fifth Avenue-Thrift World
Jacket-Donna Morgan for Maggy-Goodwill
Shoes-Vintage Town and Country pumps-Goodwill/Madden Girl black shoes, Goodwill
1960's vinyl handbag-Goodwill
Necklace-Thrifted somehwre in Western Mass, decades ago
Brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Rovada watch-Gift, years ago
Religious icon bracelet-K Mart
Rings-all over
Ankle bracelet-K Mart
Hat-Thrift World
Fragrance-Cabotine (I'm trying to like it, and while I don't hate it, I don't think it is for me, which is a little sad).
Ta Da!

Photos of today's shoe score, coming soon. I know Sue will approve, as she loves shoes even more than I do! I swear, if we were neighbours I'd be over there borrowing from her beautiful collection all the time.




Friday, May 22, 2015

You May Now Wear White, If You Care About Rules


We've made it to Memorial Day weekend, the accepted start of summer in the United States. You wouldn't know it by the freezing cold (and rain, but thankfully not freezing rain, though that isn't impossible) but if you are the sort of person that cares about fashion rules, the white shoes and bags can come out of storage. 
I think we all know how I feel about fashion rules.

I don't have the sort of constitution that could manage a trip to the pool for the opening weekend in this weather, but there's a birding hike at one of our beautiful State Parks on Sunday. Sure, it will be muddy with all the rain, but that's what old boots are for. I might have a difficult time convincing the boys to tag along, promise of rare warblers or not. 

I'm going to plant the string beans and patty pan summer squash tomorrow as well. It feels late, but though we are slow to warm in Omaha, I know that it will be sweltering well into October. 90 days to harvest leaves plenty of time to grow. This year, I'm doing the squashes on a trellis. I saw a similar construction at last year's fair and I was determined to give it a try at home. The tomatoes and basil are struggling in the cool weather, but if they survive then they should be the stronger for it. We have the tiniest tomato on one of the plants, and a few flowers, but that's it, and they're all rather small. The smallest of the varieties that is barely growing is called (wait for it) German Johnson. 
Ahem. Moving along...
 Hey everybody, I found earrings to match my necklace. Cool, eh? 

This dress was a gift from my dad, late 80's-ish (the era, not his age). I've removed the shoulder pads to make it more wearable. It wasn't my style then, but I could see why he thought I might like it-the cold rayon, the tasteful floral print, the wearable colours, etc.
Still not my style, but perfect for this sort of weather. Unlike so many rayon dresses, this is lined with an acetate that neither clings not creates static. It is a rare day that I can wear a dress or skirt without the addition of a slip. That alone makes it a keeper. 

I think I like the sheer white tights. Maybe. I keep thinking they make me look like a nurse, but all the nurses wear surgical scrubs these days. Pity the poor fetishists. What I really need are pale pink tights like Talbotts sold years ago. They matched my skin tone perfectly, but I might have been alone in that as they were discontinued. Anyone know where I can get pale pink sheer tights? I'll love you forever if you do. Aw, I'll love you forever anyway!

Outfit Particulars:
Dress-80's, gift
Vintage Margaret Smith handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Naturalizer pumps-Thrift World
Cloisonne bracelet-Goodwill
Necklace and earrings-K Mart
Yellow cardigan-Goodwill
Lippy-Revlon Fuchsia Fusion (say that ten times fast)
Fragrance-White Shoulders (I reek in honeysuckle and rose, even if the garden does not)

We found the most disgusting mould growing in the mulch tonight. I made Mr. ETB dig it out. It was yellow, and sickening and is nicknamed, "Dog vomit mould." I guess that's better than the "Dog penis" mould we had all over last year. 

Really, in MY garden! How dare it?!

So what about you? Do you wait for a certain date to wear white (or wear velvet after Christmas), or do you wear whatever you fancy? Do tell.

Whatever you're wearing, I hope you have a lovely weekend. 






Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mildred's Potato

I didn't know Mildred, but she sculpted a fine potato.
People joke about the Victorian obsession with a serving piece for every imaginable thing, but I don't think they had much on the good people of the 70's, with their owl napkin holders, lucite sugar packet holders, and of course, Mildred's sour cream potato dish.

Thanks, Mildred! Your potato makes serving sour cream at the table a more elegant experience.

Mildred's potato-bought for pocket change (.25 cents-ish) at New Life Thrift.

Bal a Versailles, Jean Desprez ( vintage forumlation)-Review

Hey everyone, grab your pillbox hat and feral cat because we're headed back to the fashionably civet-rich 1960's!

For the longest time, I stayed away from Bal a Versailles. First, because I lived with someone that loathed it, and later because I shared a place with someone that wore it, and I didn't think the house was big enough for two Bal a Versailles wearers. I've always liked it, but understanding how strongly people can feel about it, I went on to other perfumes. I recently had the opportunity to purchase a well-preserved vintage sample (in original packaging) for a very fair price, so I grabbed the chance to revisit this classic.

Though a modern fragrance by era (Bal a Versailles was launched in 1962) culturally, this sort of fragrance feels out of place with the current preference for, "Clean" scents.  I don't detect the, "Dirty panties" note in Bal a Versailles that so many complain of, but if you aren't comfortable with something that can give you whiffs of unwashed hair and a home with several cats between the powder and flowers, you should probably sit Bal a Versailles out.

"Musk, civet, and vetiver", are the three words that make this perfume lover's heart beat faster, and they're all there with amber, orris root, neroli, and Bulgarian rose. Still, the civet is the dominant note, essentially throughout, playing hide-and-seek between the lilacs and cedar. I have a vintage bottle and it is unmistakably real (not synthetic) civet. Less sharp, and somewhat indolic it is able to temper the Bulgarian rose keeping Bal a Versailles from becoming overwhelming. The vetiver note is so well done here you hardly notice it until the middle when you get hints of the sweet yet bracing aspects of it. It is so subtle, like the sandalwood you wonder if perhaps there's some other unrecognisable note until you sniff again and nod to yourself, "Of course, that's the vetiver. Good quality vetiver."

 Near the end, I get a strange settling on the skin where each whiff moments apart can smell of everything from the sea, to the forest, to a bag of carrots left in the crisper bin too long. It is so incredibly beautiful!

Danny was intrigued by it (he's as perfume mad as I) and asked for a dab on a hankie. I obliged, and while not initially in love with it by the time the middle notes came through he was carrying the hankie around plastered to his nose. He slept with it, not wanting to miss any part of this fragrance, which is unusual for him. For someone that claims to not like civet, the only other perfume to grab him this way was Jicky. Go figure. There's something about that...fecal note. Whatever it is, it keeps the perfume interesting.

These super-sweet-cotton-candy perfumes of late are nice, but I don't feel the need to keep experiencing them, to smell them unfold because while they're not mono-notes, they don't really stray too far outside their dominant ones. There's little contrast, and certainly nothing animal, or sexual about them. I like roses. They're beautiful, and they smell nice, and I enjoy a vase of them on my dining room table-but I don't want to smell like a bunch or roses unless those roses take a side trip to a whorehouse. Bal a Versailles is a whorehouse, and then some. Bal a Versailles is the women's at the Limelight Club in the 80's when the weirdness came parading through to touch up lippy, adjust sweaty boobs beneath strips of spandex posing as a top, and splash on a bit more perfume because there wasn't already enough sex and strangeness in the air. Bal a Versailles was the old Museum of Contemporary art, before they moved to the better digs, when it smelled of paint, damp basements, and heavily perfumed patrons. They just don't build perfumes like Bal a Versailles anymore because we wouldn't know how to live them if they did.

Oh god, how I love this perfume. I'm glad I gave it a thirty year rest because I doubt I'd appreciate all it has to offer if I'd been wearing it all along. Some people stock fallout shelters-I stock a large, dark jewelry chest with bottles of beloved perfumes. I have enough Emeraude to see me through the rest of my life, and I shouldn't need Shalimar any time soon, but me thinks it is time to start amassing a supply of vintage Bal a Versailles. Now that's we've been reacquainted, I think we're headed to the altar cheap motel on Lincoln, Ave.

I have never wanted a menthol cigarette and a wine cooler as badly as I do this very moment.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

I made these a few years ago to celebrate:
 And of course I made the larval stage as well.
We don't have them in Nebraska yet but Iowa does, and it is only a matter of time. The advice is to hold off treating your trees until they are here, but they're so close now I don't know what I'd do if I had an ash tree. The loss in Illinois was devastating. Anyway, when I feel helpless in the face of something awful I tend to bake-have a cookie. Then, see if it is time to treat your trees.

In other news:
I wore my beaded rayon 40's dress. I've had it for years, but I rarely wear it. It isn't the most flattering thing I own, but it is too nice to get rid of.

I thought a new venue might be interesting so, welcome to my kitchen. 
I hate that floor too. On a positive note, it doesn't show much dirt.
"Hey. The boss needs his payment. In cash, or vintage fedoras."
That's his papa's tie, and yeah I don't know what's going on with the knot either.
The beading is beautiful, but damn near impossible to photograph in any light. This was the closest I could get to a decent photo, but trust me, the beading is lovely.
I added the tiny rhinestone pin to cover a hole that would be too obvious to repair. I bought this dress more than twenty years ago at a long-gone shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I love it, but rarely wear it as the cut isn't flattering on my body. I'm sure it had shoulder pads of some sort originally, and I really ought to replace them. I suspect that would go a long way to making it more wearable. On the other hand, if I made it wearable, it wouldn't be in such good condition. Loving vintage is a difficult thing.

Outfit Particulars:

Danny: Shirt and trousers-K Mart
Jacket-Goodwill
Hat-Hand-Me-Ups
Tie-God only knows where his papa found it.

Myself:

1940's beaded rayon crepe dress-Vintage shop, long gone
Vintage Naturalizer pumps-Thrift World\
Vintage navy handbag-Goodwill
Flower on handbag-Tiff and Tam
Sara Coventry vintage clip earrings-Antique shop in rural Wisconsin
Belt-Goodwill
Cloisonne bracelet-Goodwill
Lippy-Revlon vintage re-issue 1940's Icy Violet (not for me, at all).
Fragrance-Lentheric, Tweed
 I don't know why I look so sad. I promise, I'm not!
Geez, I look like my pet died or something. Not to worry though, Blondin and brood are all well. 


 We got out today for errands, and it was freezing. I needed my wool coat for heaven's sake. Last evening I was able to get in a good, long walk but made it home just as the weather was turning for the worse. I don't feel like myself if I don't get in a good walk at least a few times a week, and of late the rain has been most uncooperative. A little rain I can deal with, downpours accompanied by floods are quite another. At this rate I may need to join up with the elderly "Mall walkers" that do the indoors walk before the stores open. Who am I kidding-those, "Elderly" persons could beat me in a race, easily.

So keep your eyes peeled for Emerald Ash Borers. Next up, Brood IV Cicadas (in Nebraska anyway). That's going to be loads of fun!





Sunday, May 17, 2015

I finally manged to do a bit of thrifting this weekend-I was fearful I might be losing the desire to shop (the horror!). Mr. ETB practically shoved me through the door of Goodwill, and I'm glad he did as I found a few interesting things.
A ceramic wall owl! Never can have too many of those, I reckon. The red bit in the basket is a 1960's wool cape. It needs a good wash, and it looks like it was worn-a lot. Still, for the price ($3.59) I thought it was worth trying to rescue. 

After the thrift stores, we went to a quote-along viewing of The Holy Grail. I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn't seated in the second row from the screen, but it was still fun. Everyone got a pair of coconut shells as they entered the theatre to clop along with. You can't get to Camelot without coconut shells, I guess. 

Outfit Particulars:
1970's Chessa Davis skirt-Thrift World, .89 cents
Gauze blouse-K Mart, last year
Cork wedge sandals-K Mart, several years ago
Earrings-K Mart
Handbag-Goodwill
Hair flowers-Tiff and Tam
Bangles-all over, thrifted
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue


When Sunday rolled around, we unraveled our backs and straightened our necks (how DO people sit so close in movies?) and headed out to run a few errands, and then visit Aksarben Aquarium. 

What's that you say? Look for patio furniture? OK, let's. 

 This one's rather nice, but $750.00 seems a bit steep, for K Mart. I think we'll go the used route. We did pick up a small glass table to rest a coffee cup on whilst I read the morning paper outside.

 Oh look, they've turned potato crisps into health food. Great!
And the microwave popcorn too! What a relief, The organic corn will be such a difference when it is popped in a sea of fake-butter chemicals. And salt provides essential nutrients like iodine, which the typical American diet is seriously lacking. Lime? That's vitamin C right there. I feel healthier just looking at the package.
 Something about that smells, dontcha think?

Outfit Particulars:
Coral linen Coldwater Creek dress-Goodwill, $3.59
Vintage beaded purse-Thrift World
1950's milk glass and mother of pearl bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups
Rings-Thrifted
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Milk Glass brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Milk Glass earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Hair flowers-Tiff and Tam
Fragrance-Jardins de Bagatelle, Guerlain

 This is Aksarben Aquarium in Schramm Park. Admission is free, and while the fish and turtles are interesting, the birding is phenomenal.
 Just look at that beautiful paved trail.
I spotted a Native Nebraskan. They're not all this adorable, trust me.

A hummingbird decided to be cooperative and let me snap his picture. Thanks, hummingbird!
They're so tiny, and move so fast, it can be difficult to get a good photo with a pocket camera. 

 The swallows are back, and sitting on their nests.
None managed to hit my head today (they swoop rather low). 
The butterfly garden was alive with beating wings.
And colour everywhere.

 We've been lucky (touch wood) this spring without any extreme heat. Given the time to bloom slowly, the park is coming back to life in a way we rarely get to observe.
OK Mr. and Mrs. Swallow, we'll be back in a couple weeks to see the babies. Eat lots of mosquitoes for us. 

I hope you had a nice weekend where you are.