Sunday, October 23, 2016

Liberty and an Echo

 I finally succeeded in finding a Liberty scarf in the wild. It cost me a dollar, and was in good condition free of snags, stains, or holes. Oh sure, I could buy one online, but as a matter of principle, I wasn't going to spend much money on something everyone else seems to be able to locate in the thrifts with little effort. I don't mind waiting for something I want at a price I'm comfortable with.
 I love the print, which makes it all that much more enjoyable.
 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage polyester blouse-Thrift World
Vintage 80's suede skirt-Goodwill
Suede jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage suede and leather Johanssen handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Shoes-K mart several years ago
Liberty scarf-Goodwill
Large bangle-Salvation Army
Earrings-yard sale
Fragrance-Bandit (This much suede in an outfit needed something that could stand up to it)

Did someone say something...say something...?

 (I think there must be an Echo (scarf) in here).
Dumb joke, awesome scarf. 
 With my hair worn up, I really need something on my neck this time of year-might as well make, "something" a nice scarf.
Hairdo? Couldn't be bothered. Thank God for combs to hold it all in place.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Echo silk scarf-Goodwill
Top-K Mart
Vintage double-knit poly blend skirt-New Life Thrift
Boots-Hand Me Ups
Vintage jacket (part of a suit)-long gone vintage shop
Earrings-Yard sale
Vintage Damascene bracelet-Goodwill
Vintage Handbag-Goodwill
I had to go somewhere looking "Normal" and this was the best I could come up with (The clothes anyway-my face is beyond all attempts at normal). My wardrobe really doesn't do, "Normal" without much difficulty. 

As they say, "Normal is overrated."
I have a few other odds and ends I've worn recently that don't quite deserve their own post, so I'll share them here.

 The tights were cool, as was the spectacularly ugly pink handbag from Harrods. Everyone knows the only thing worth shopping at Harrods for is perfume, certainly not an ugly pink bag with the "H" logo embossed all over it. I bought it at a thrift store for .99 cents as a joke. I can't imagine anyone carrying something like this with a straight face.
 "Hey, nice pumpkins"

Why, thank you!

I love this ankle length suede skirt, and wear it to death this time of year. As it can graze the ground, I don't wear it when there's snow/road salt on the ground as that's murder on suede. Hopefully, we have a bit of time before that shows up.

The robins are still here. They don't all migrate, but it was odd to see a tree full of them...and they were singing!
Ugly shades, but they do the trick.
In the same week I found the Liberty scarf, I also found both a blouse and dress from the Liberty collaboration with Target a few years back. Feast or famine around here, I guess. If I wish hard enough, what do you suppose the odds are of finding another Hermes scarf and a handbag?

Hope the weekend is treating you well.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Puzzling Skirt

 This vintage Jack Winter skirt is part of a suit, though I rarely wear the pieces together. What I find so curious about the skirt is the button and zipper are placed in the front, along with the kick pleat. I've rub across front pleat skirts, and front close skirts, but not all at once. I'm confident I'm wearing it as intended (the pockets won't work any other way) but to be honest, I've felt slightly off kilter all day-like wearing a shirt backwards.

Still, a beautiful tweedy wool skirt is worth feeling a bit twisted about. Jack Winter was better known for manufacturing women's trousers than skirts-perhaps someone in the factory got confused.
 A pair of pregnant ballerina brooches.
 An old, and well loved handbag.
Outfit  Particulars:
Vintage Jack Winter skirt (part of a suit) My guess is late 70's/early 80's-Goodwill
Vintage 60's Jantzen wool sweater-Thrift World
Vintage Pendletob jacket-Goodwill
Bangles-both Hand-me-Ups
Brooch on jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Ballerina brooches-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Thrift World
Ring-Salvation Army
Handbag-a thrift store in Western Massachusetts 25 years ago
Shoes-K Mart
Fragrance-Vintage EDP L'Heure Bleue
Lippy-Loreal Colour Riche British Red (when no other red lippy will do)

I took some baked goods over to the volunteers at the Friends of the Library book sale today. I haven't been there since Christmas even though I live practically across the street. I've had a tough time medically, and I just don't like discussing it. As a result I've avoided people that were likely to notice, which I'm sure sounds silly to anyone not dealing with on-going medical issues. I don't mind drawing attention to my vintage clothing collection, but I don't really want to put myself on display. Anyway, people were happy to see us, and it was like a family reunion as most of the volunteers have known Danny since he was a baby. He found some birding books, one of the volunteers gave him a book, and I came home with a Farm Journal bread baking book for .50 cents. I'm glad we went.

 I spotted this interesting nest on my walk today.

I love our park this time of year. We only saw an elderly couple walking, and had the park essentially to ourselves.

...well, almost to ourselves. This curious squirrel followed us through the park making certain we didn't disturb any of his carefully buried stash of nuts.

I'll  leave you with a photo of a "Stink Bug". As the name suggests, they smell bad, particularly if you smash one. The best I can describe it is a very overripe banana. Anyway, best to give them space. 

Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dress Like a 1970's School Administrator Day

Fine, it isn't an official holiday...yet.

 We had an assistant principal that dressed like this, every single day. Hot weather or cool, rain or shine, it was a wool skirt and polo neck in varying neutral shades for each day of the workweek. Sometimes she'd get wild and wear a yellow polo neck with a beige jacket to match her beige-blonde hair...but not too often as that was reserved for last day before half-term break, and field day.
 Punk was in full-swing at that point, and where I spent most of my time trying to stretch the dress code as far as possible, Miss B. spent most of her time trying to find reasons to make me turn my offensive tee shirts inside out. I liked her anyway-we were like those couples that thrive on good-natured arguing. A few years later I'd be entering the work world and wearing those hideous, "Female ties" that were little more than silk bows that would look alright on a kitten at Christmas but were absurd on women in an office setting. There's a vintage style I hope to never see again. Miss B. stuck to her poloneck sweaters, and in hindsight, I'd have to agree it was a good call. Forty years after the fact, I can acknowledge how put together she managed to look each day-my eyes were too blinded by the flash of my own studded leather jacket at the time to appreciate the classic styling of a wool blazer.

I did attempt a Google search to see if she was still kicking around, but there's zero internet presence for her. If she married, I wouldn't know her new surname. Anyhoo, I hope she's still still around and wearing a different coloured polo neck for each day of the week.

Outfit Particulars:
Sleeveless polo neck-Sears (about 15 years ago)
Vintage late 70's blazer (part of a suit) by Picket-N-Post-Goodwill
Vintage wool skirt-New Life Thrift
Wedge heeled loafers-K Mart a few years ago
Necklace-Salvation Army
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Vintage Earrings-yard sale
Vintage brooch-Yard sale
Fragrance-Rive Gauche (what else could I possibly wear with this?)

I've been noticing there's even more brown in my wardrobe than in previous autumns. I don't know what's going on with me, but I wear brown the way Goths do black. I really should try mixing things up a bit, but I am clearly in some sort of rut. I need to have a clear out of the wardrobe and accept that I don't need five (count 'em) brown wool suits (three of which are tweed). This jacket has a matching skirt, and it isn't even a nice one (rather too wide and long as 70's skirts often were).
And while we're on the subject of, not turds (what's wrong with you people?!)...'s a vintage corde bag I won't be getting rid of.

As regular readers know, I don't spend much on my vintage pieces and I'm willing to do without or wait until I find a piece at a price I'm comfortable with. At $9.99, this bag was borderline. but I went ahead and bought it because A) Good condition and B) Brown. I'm hopeless. really I am.

Here's the same dress worn almost exactly a year ago. I didn't plan it that way, but I also wore the same brooch! What can I say? It is a good dress between seasons. 

Outfit Particulars:
Peacock Print dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Corde bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Gaymode shoes-Thrift World
Liz Claiborne Satin jacket-Goodwill (brown and navy satin...yeah, that's practical!)
Earrings-Yard sale
Fragrance-Guerlain Santal Royal ( I am aware everyone hated this perfume except yours truly. If you have any unwanted bottles you'd like to donate to a good cause (ME!) I'll be happy to give it a good home. I really don't think it deserves the hate it gets, but I'm not an oud snob-I think I prefer it to the fancy-pants oud in The Night, which I've worn a total of once).
 I'll leave you with a photo of this fellow who essentially screamed on the lightpost outside our house all morning. "Caw, caw, caw" it was worse than the budgie! I wonder what he was on about? There weren't any other birds around provoking him.

Do you have a favourite colour that you end up overdoing?

Friday, October 14, 2016

By the Pricking of My Thumbs

 Here, have an apple.

 You might think this is a home-sewn costume of some sort but it isn't. No, it has a care label and a union label which means we're looking at something sold in shops in the 1970's. I do think it was intended as a "Hostess" gown for entertaining at home (because in the 70's home entertaining meant wearing a fancied-up dressing gown, or pajamas) and has the benefit of a built-in quilt in the skirt which is all the more convenient when you pass out from mixing wine and ludes.

 I don't typically wear anything quilted over my lower half for obvious reasons, but this dress was so bonkers I couldn't resist. At a dollar, I would have been foolish to leave it. The cashier (a teenager) held it up, looked at the dress, looked at me, looked back at the dress and then shoved it in the bag without a word. I'm certain she was stunned into silence by the glorious synthetic fabrics.

 Outfit Particulars:
1970's hostess gown-New Life Thrift
Glass pendant with encased flower-Shop-Ko
Bangles-Both Goodwill
Cat ring and Skull ring-both Walgreen's
Vintage beaded bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage early 80's suede shoes-Chernin's Shoes on Roosevelt Road in Chicago (RIP, it was the BEST shoe store)
Flashing pumpkin earrings-Walgreen's
Fragrance-Sweet Courreges (Like the demon love child of White Shoulders and Tinkerbell with a splash of Yankee Candle)
 Thirty five years ago I thought these shoes wouldn't go with anything. Turns out, they go with everything. They've had heels replaced a couple times, but I don't know what I'll do when they finally bite the dust. Probably cry.

I have a rare weekend without any obligations. I *almost* don't know how to handle it!
Hope you have a nice weekend too.
Don't take apples from witches.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I've owned this dress so long, I can't remember where it came from. My guess is it wasn't all that terribly vintage when I bought it-a few years out of date, perhaps. Over the years, I've considered getting rid of it (there are more years it won't fit, than years it will) but something keeps me from sorting it into the "donate" pile. Your guess is as good as mine. I own nicer dresses, and certainly have more flattering things to wear, but here I am, decade after decade unable to part with a polyester dress in a strange shade of green that holds no value for me, sentimental or otherwise.

This dress is made from the old, heavy style polyester that doesn't breathe-at all. It has a lining which helps to prevent clinging, but also adds an extra bit of suffocating heat to the overall experience of wearing the dress. Part with it? Don't be silly.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage dress-No idea where I bought it, or when (probably late 70's/early 80's)
Green bangle-Salvation Army
Black bangle-Goodwill
Vintage tote bag/shopper-Goodwill
Earrings-K Mart
Cameo ring-Jordan Marsh circa '92
Fragrance-Vintage perfume concentration Emeraude

We're expecting our first hard freeze tonight, and I'm not sorry to see the warm weather go. Between the viscous onslaught of pirate bugs and the ragweed season from hell, I'm looking forward to resuming outdoor activities I've had to curtail. I spotted the first Dark Eyed Junco at our ground feeder today, so you know the cooler weather is here to stay.

Speaking of feathers...

My eiderdown bit the dust last year (after 25 years). It had numerous patches, but I was tired of waking covered in feathers, so that was that. Last weekend I bought a down-substitute comforter at K Mart for $45.00 that so far seems like a nice replacement...and the budgie has stopped giving me dirty looks when I come downstairs in the morning covered in white tufts of down. I'm sure I won't get 25 years from the replacement, but I'll no longer traumatise Xerox the budgie so I get points for sensitivity. I still haven't turned on the heat, but I might need to tonight-we'll see. My Dad wouldn't turn on the heat until Halloween at the earliest, which can be rather cold in Chicago. He felt years of working outdoors in all weather, "Built character." He was a character, that's for sure. On the farm we'd sometimes need to stretch the propane between deliveries which could be unpleasant, but nothing on the scale of what I endured living with my dad. Danny seems to take after him, walking around in an undershirt complaining it is too warm in the house!

This seems like a good time to share a very simple hot cocoa recipe.

3 cups milk (any kind you like)
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
Dash of vanilla
Marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream as required

In a heavy pan, combine the milk and chocolate. Over medium heat, whisk until milk is warm and the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla and pour into mugs. Adorn as desired. You can use more chocolate if you're feeling generous.

How do you take your cocoa?
Marshmallows? Whipped cream? Ambergris (I shit you not, it is a "thing")? Do tell.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Opera and Doughnuts

Last evening, I made apple cider doughnuts (Recipe here) for the boys to take with to Film Streams for the Metropolitan Opera Simulcast today. Outside food is permitted, which does help when you have a child with food allergies. My husband was kind enough to volunteer as chaperone, leaving me the luxury of sleeping in this morning. Just before the opera was to begin, my phone rang.

"Uh, did you know this is a five hour opera?"
"Well (stalling) I think there's a couple of intermissions..."
"You said this was a shorter opera."
"It is...for Wagner."

Good thing I made those doughnuts. I'll make sure to have a nice dinner ready when they get home (spaetzel, anyone?).

The recipe by the way, was excellent. The addition of wholemeal flour gives them a beautiful colour and nuttiness. For readers outside of the US, the "Cider" used here is not the alcoholic sort, but what most of the world calls, "Cloudy apple juice", "Fresh", or "Pressed." I did not use the glaze in the recipe, but tossed them in a paper sack with cinnamon sugar. The recipe made twenty doughnuts and holes, half of which I froze in small packets to be re-heated on weekend mornings. I also used fresh oil from a new bottle which was extravagant, but worth it. I make doughnuts about once every three or four years, so why not make them as nice as possible? As a bonus, the smell didn't linger in the house next morning.