Monday, March 25, 2019

March(ing) My Fat Ass Into Spring

Well, hasn't this month just flown by? Last time I posted we had snow, then floods, and now it is practically summer. I know better than to pack my winter clothes, but I am looking forward to a few less layers.

We were lucky in Omaha with respect to flooding, but neighbouring towns were not as fortunate. We had a bit of a foundation issue that was caught and corrected quickly, for which I am very thankful.

Chicken Boy is back in the garden, ready for Easter. I already planted out peas, spinach, and radishes. The sorrel is up, and next week I plan to get the chard started. Potatoes will be a few weeks after, and then I'm not certain what I'll do. Probably a few tomatoes, some flowers, nothing major. I have tickets for a pre-season exhibition baseball game tonight and expect we'll be sitting in the ballpark wearing winter coats, gloves, etc. Mr. ETB is wisely staying home.

 I wanted an Easter version of my Santa Pants purse, but couldn't find anything bunny related that wasn't creepy. Instead, I bought this basket, made a lid for it with cardboard and fabric, and now I have a carrot purse.
 This was a quick and easy project as I didn't line the basket. It would be simple enough to do though.
I knew that vintage silk fabric would find a use, eventually!

How about some outfits?
I thought this was a rather nice combination for spring. The skirt is made of a towelling/terrycloth material, and has a matching tunic. Together, it is a bit much, but worn as separates, I can finally get use from the pieces. The vintage blouse was a very lucky find as I rarely find nice ones in my size. 

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage blouse-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage skirt-Goodwill
Vintage jacket-New Life Thrift
Brooch-Thrift World
Vintage clutch-Goodwill
Vintage bangles and rings-several places

This was one of my favourite outfits of the year, thus far. I have admired Veronica's Desigual pieces she's shown on her blog from time to time, but have never seen the brand in the US. I found this dress on the bargain rack at Hand-Me-Ups, and thought it must be too good to be true. Looking it over, it appeared unworn, and was even in my size. I'd never spend what these dresses retail for, but at thrift store prices, I couldn't possibly say no. I do love it-the floral print is just so lovely. 
 Outfit Particulars:
Desigual dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Handmacher jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage brooch-Goodwill
Vintage earrings-New Life Thrift
Vintage necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage handbag-Goodwill

In the winter light, this particular corner of my house gets just bright enough, and I am able to balance my phone against a teacup on the dining room table for timer photos. Is it perfect? no, but I am able to get it over quickly, without requiring anyone's assistance. There's drawbacks, of course-I can look elongated or stunted depending on how the phone is propped, and I am rarely able to get full-length shots of any quality.
That's not your eyes-it is blurry!
 My primary concern has always been the clothes. I don't airbrush my wrinkles, or try to hide my crooked spine. I admit to being really, REALLY insulted when I was messaged by someone I thought I knew pretty well on Instagram accusing me of photoshopping myself to look thinner. Following it with "LOL" didn't make it any less nasty. In fact, I'm downright angry. If elongating the shot lets you see more of the clothes, that's what I'll do. I don't give a rat's ass if I look fat (I AM fat! Militantly so!). Honestly, if El Greco were painting today he'd get called out for making everyone look taller!
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage carpet bag-Thrift World
Clogs-Hand Me-Ups

 This was a fun outfit to put together. I'm wearing a tiered satin skirt beneath a sheer, vintage dress.

The underskirt is gold, as is the trim on the dress-again, it doesn't show well in the photos but I'm not willing to spend money on an expensive phone just for a camera.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage belt-Thrift World
Satin skirt-Goodwill

 This pink, knit suit isn't my sort of thing-AT ALL. Still, good vintage is hard to pass up, so I took a chance and it turned out better on my person than the hanger.
 No photoshopping here! Humped spine and fat ass-model's own 😁
 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Suit-Goodwill
Vintage Margaret Smith bag-Hand-Me-Ups

By March, I start getting desperate to wear some of the warm weather items I've picked up over the long winter. There was still snow on the ground the day I opted to wear this sundress, so I stuck a long-sleeved top beneath it and wore it anyway.
Outfit Particulars:
Indonesian dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Necklaces-various thrift shops
Top-Dots in Revere about 20 years ago! That's getting your money out of fast fashion.

 I did a similar thing here with a vintage Kressandra of San Francisco dress I couldn't wait until summer to wear.
 Strange camera effects again. I have a pretty big head...but not THAT big!

 Outfit Particulars:
70s dress-Hand-Me-Ups
70s blouse-Goodwill
70s jacket (part of a dress) Salvation Army store
Boots-K Mart
 Betsey Johnson Purse-Goodwill
Earrings-antique mall
Cha cha bracelet-Goodwill

 Finally, you know spring has arrived when my Mexican skirts start appearing on the blog. Yes, I still need heavy tights and a blouse with a tunic beneath it-but let's stay focused on the positives. What I really need is a hand-painted and sequined velvet Mexican skirt-but they cost a small fortune. Perhaps someday the vintage gods will send me one for my winter wardrobe.
 Have had that bag since the 90s

 Silver shoes? Why not?
 Don't save your white lucite jewellery for summer-it looks fab against black. The top has silver dots that capture sunshine in a most blinding way. I love wearing it with white shorts in summer.

Outfit Particulars:
Top-K Mart several years ago when Selena Gomez had a line there
Necklace-Can't remember
Bag-retail, 90s
Vintage belt-Hand-Me-Ups

So that's about it for now. I hope early spring is treating you well. Here's hoping they aren't throwing snowballs instead of baseballs at Werner Park tonight!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sunshine Superman

Long time no see. Sorry about that. Life, blah, blah, blah.
The lovely Veronica at Vronni's Style Meanderings graciously nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I'm flattered as I don't really view myself as being in possession of a sunny disposition, so I will do my best to keep this on a positive note. Veronica is one of my favourite bloggers as she has built an incredible wardrobe through charity shop purchases, and has a wonderful way of putting together an outfit. She's inspired me to try everything from bright trousers and tunics to gigantic necklaces and head scarves. An avid walker, volunteer, and all around lovely human being, I am so grateful for the blogging community that introduced us. As part of the award, I am tasked with answering a set of questions and then tagging others with questions of my own. I won't tag anyone as some people don't enjoy this sort of thing, but will offer my own questions at the end of the post and encourage anyone that cares to participate to do so. 

Question #1-Why did you start blogging?
High point of rural life is a trip to the farm store to see the chicks in spring.

When I was expecting Danny, it seemed like a nice way to document motherhood, homeschooling, and rural life along with my learning to cook.  In 2001 we moved from Boston, Massachusetts to a very small town in rural Nebraska where we lived on a farm for the next dozen years. I had to learn a completely different way of life as there wasn't any popping down to the corner store, or going out for a meal. Trips to the city were planned, and as a result I had to get creative with budgeting and cooking.
Our home library/classroom on the farm.Those were double-sided bookcases in the front!
Question #2-Has your blog changed since you started it?
Absolutely! In 15 years I've grown older (sadly, true) and my interests have shifted from cooking and life on a farm to showcasing my vintage clothing collection, living in the city, and my love of thrift shopping. I don't blog much about running (boring!), but it is a large part of my life since 2015. 
I can't remember the last time I made candied citrus slices.

Question #3-Blogging is time consuming-What are the challenges you find in finding the time?
It isn't easy! These days I spend most of my online time on Instagram @Goodymcgoodface or on Tumblr ( I try to keep the blog for longer, more thought out posts or storytelling. 

Question #4-When do you write a post, morning or evening?
This has changed over the years. Initially, I wrote in the evenings after Danny went to bed. As he grew older, that became later, so I shifted to mornings. These days I am not up at 5 am as I am no longer on the farm, so I tend to write my posts in bits throughout the day, stringing it together when I get a block of uninterrupted time. 

Question #5-What is your favourite topic?
Perfume! As a devoted fume-head, I will happily speak at length on the subject. I try to limit the fragrance posts on the blog as I know not everyone shares my interest. I consider my daily fragrance choice as carefully as my outfit. 

Question #6-What's the thing you love most about blogging?
The people I've met! Rural life can be terribly isolating. Even when I did get to know people, we rarely shared the same interests. Through blogging I've met people from all walks of life, around the world, brought together by common interests. I've learned so much from my readers!
Having friends outside the US is helpful when you need a poster of the Canadian Prime Ministers for school!
Question #7-What is the thing you like least?
Looking back over 15 years of blogging and seeing some of the terrifying food I've fed my family. There's a learning curve with cooking and mine was steep! Without a blog as evidence, I could deny ever having fed them Jell-O salads. 

Gala pie made with venison. Learn from my mistakes and DO NOT DO THIS!

Question #8-Where do you see yourself and blog in five years?

That's an interesting question as we are living in such an unsettled time. I hope I'm still blogging. By that time Danny will be out on his own, and I'm not certain what I'll be doing. Whatever it is, I hope to be sharing it with you if you'll permit me. 

Now my questions for you if you care to participate:
1) How did you discover blogging?
2) Tell us a bit about where you're from
3) Your life's theme song
4) favourite childhood memory

If you choose to answer, link back to the blog that nominated you (this one). Answer the questions. Nominate others if you feel comfortable doing so. Provide questions for others to answer. 

Thank you again for this lovely award, Veronica.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

February in Omaha

At this point, late February it is feeling like the snow will be with us for some time. There's so much of the stuff in Omaha at the moment that the city is running out of places to pile it up. Another 6 inches last night, more on the way Friday-it is getting downright exhausting planning my life around being trapped indoors. We've been so lucky in recent years with freezing cold, but relatively little snow that we've become spoiled. Thank goodness I have a teenager to dig out my car for me😁.

As tomato season is a very long way off, I thought perhaps donning a cheerful print as a reminder that the snow will eventually melt might help. I spent some quality time with the seed catalogues as well, planning this year's garden. I need to replace one of my raised beds as the wood is severely decayed. I'm viewing it as an opportunity to start over in an area I've been unhappy with. I like perennials, as I'm more of a once-and-done sort of woman. Anyway, between the dress and catalogues there's something to look forward to at the end of the season. I should mention for local readers that the Omaha public library has a seed share library where you can benefit from donated seeds. And of course, if you need gardening books, they have those as well!
Amusingly, I was recently in Hand-Me-Ups buying an equally fun 70s print dress and the new-ish volunteer mentioned that they "Had a crazy tomato dress I would have liked" a few weeks back. Of course I pulled out my phone, showed her the photo on Instagram, and had a good laugh. Of course I bought it-is there anyone else in Omaha that would dress like this?!

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage 70s nylon dress with original hippo belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage 80s jacket-Goodwill
Vintage 80s shoes-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage 70s lucite necklaces-Mum's
Vintage expansion bracelet-Goodwill
Fragrance-Coriandre because it has a tomato leaf note. Subtle reference, but eh, it works for me.

The eagle-eyed reader might wonder why my thermostat is set so high. If it were anywhere near 71 F in the house I'd be dying, but being an old house, that temperature is skewed. Upstairs we are lucky if it reaches 55F. It also doesn't help that the thermostat is next to the kitchen and a sunny window.
This outfit consists of pieces I've owned for years but never thought to wear together. At some point, the jacket had matching flares, but I have no idea what became of them. The belt is something I've owned since the late 70s, having bought it at The Limited. I wasn't wild about their clothes, but of all the shops in American malls at the time, they had the very best accessories. I still have many of the belts, scarves, and earrings purchased there in my youth. I regret not keeping a hideous Western-inspired outfit of bright yellow shirt and trousers festooned with white silky fringe. It was so horrible, it was a work of art. The Urban Cowboy fad was short lived, but the memory of that outfit will stay with me forever in a, "What was I thinking" sort of way. Mercifully, there aren't any photographs of me wearing it! Now, the white felt cowboy hat is another story...
Outfit Particulars:
70s polyester jacket-can't remember
80's blouse-Goodwill
80s (possibly 90s) skirt-Goodwill (I think)
Belt-The Limited, 70s
Bangles-all over
Earrings-K Mart (I think?)
Brooch-can't remember

 Sometimes, it seems like there are pieces in my collection just patiently waiting for their perfect match. This 80s silk dress was always a favourite, but I never could find the right jacket to wear with it. I have a red and black kimono, and sometimes I'd wear them together, but it always felt to me that something else would be better. Enter this hooded 50s coat purchased last summer at an otherwise uninteresting thrift shop in Lincoln, Nebraska. I bought it thinking it *might* match, but it wasn't until I'd unpacked the dress in autumn that I realised just how perfectly. It doesn't happen often, but when it does-magic!

Outfit Particulars:
80s silk dress-Hand-Me-Ups
50s coat-Salvation Army
Handbag-Antique mall

 Sometimes I like to try clothes that aren't my style, not my best colour, but seem worth a gamble because of nice fabrics. This 80s rayon shift dress is just such a piece. It is too big, too long, too mauve...but the fabric is so very lovely. I'm not sure I pulled it off, but it was worth my .49 cents to try.

 Belted and not. Better with a coat?
Probably not destined to be a favourite, so likely to be passed along to someone taller that can do it justice. On someone statuesque, this could be elegant. I could shorten it, but the top wasn't quite right either. 

Outfit Particulars:
40s coat-costume shop
70s silk scarf-Borrowed from Danny's collection 
Brooch-Yard sale-Earrings-K Mart

Hello, tiger.
 The same day I bought the tomato print dress, I found this 70s 3 piece polyester dream ensemble waiting for the right person to bring it home. *It MEEEEEE!*
I rarely use terms like "Amazing": but that's honestly the best way to describe how I felt in this outfit. I made the clasp for the jacket by combining a sweater clip and a large brooch. An outfit this 70s demanded equally retro jewellery. This is a good example of, "boring on the hanger, incredible on the body". I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I mean, that print is nuts up close, but from a distance it just looks like a beige abstract. 

Outfit Particulars:
1970s skirt, top, and jacket-Goodwill
Machine age bracelet-Yard sale
Cazal eyeglass frames-Mum's

I'll leave you with the new patch I bought for my motorcycle jacket. It is quite large. Didn't think in 2019 it would be necessary, but here we are.