Saturday, May 20, 2017

True Vintage Rayon Dress

Here's one I don't wear much.
 I've owned this dress so long I can't remember where I purchased it. I do know that it is slowly falling apart, and is in need of being completely taken apart and restored. I have a box of items needing repair I call, "The Vintage Hospital" and I believe this dress is due for admission.

 I'm not sure if it is 40's or 50's. There's a metal side zipper, and the length (which appears to be original) seems more wartime (rationing) to me, but the neckline feels later. It doesn't matter much to me, but it is a difficult piece to catergorise.
I added the brooch in the centre, but the other adornments are original to the dress. I'll get the stones replaced when I do the repairs.

The original belt loops are still there, but the belt is long gone-I'm not sure if I ever had it.  A red belt would look better, but as fate would have it, none of my red belts are the right shade! That isn't a spot on the hem-it is the light shining through. Next time, I'll remember a slip.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage rayon dress-Can't remember
Vintage rayon handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Blue sheer stockings-K Mart
Cinnabar bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage coat-Thrift store in Wahoo, Nebraska
Earrings-Can't remember
Brooch in centre of neckline-New Life Thrift
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Geminesse (haven't tried the re-issue yet)
Lippy-Revlon Fifth Avenue Red
 If you've been wondering what's up with all the heavy fragrances I've been wearing lately I can only say it is a combination of strange weather, and strange moods. I seem to be wearing all the "Dead of winter" perfumes these past few weeks. Geminesse, Passion,Bandit, Cabochard, Knowing, l'Origan, Femme, Opium, Samsara, and Dark Brilliance. What's wrong with me? God only knows, but it has been interesting giving these a go without snow on the ground. One mistake I did make was spraying on a vintage bottle of Blue Grass. NO, NO, NO. Oh god, no. I apologise if you love it but it was as I furiously began trying to scrub it off that I remembered it is known for some serious longevity. *Shudder* It might work better in warmer weather, but I don't think I'm willing to try it again to find out. It isn't grass I smell, but hay. Bales of hay left out in the rain that have started to mould. Blech. I'm not sure I've ever liked an Arden fragrance, though Danny is partial to the Green Tea range which are generally inoffensive.
Speaking of things that stink...the big stinky flower that only blooms once a decade is about to go at Lauritzen Gardens. I'm going to take Danny over there tomorrow sand with any luck we can witness the bloom. It can't be any worse than Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass.

Friday, May 19, 2017

On My Best Behaviour

 Is it so very much to expect mannerly behaviour in thrift stores? Is there something that takes possession of otherwise polite people when they pass through the doors of Goodwill on the first day of the new tag sale that transforms them into boorish jerks? I like a bargain, but I've never felt acquiring one would require surrendering my upbringing.

I noticed the frenzied shopper filling her two carts with anything tagged the .49 cent colour. It was impossible to get through the aisle with the skirts, so I went around (the long way) only to have her whip around (the short way) to block me in the next aisle. Stretching out her two carts to block access to the rail until she was done skeletanising it, I once again moved on rather than confront her with a request to let me pass. It was as I retreated that I spotted this pristine St. John Collection twin set for .99 cents.  I like to think of it as the Universe rewarding me for proper etiquette. Instead of two carts filled with worthless tat from Wal Mart, I came home with quality knits I couldn't afford new. I've had similar things happen before, and while I can't promise the Universe will always reward good manners with something this spectacular, it sure is satisfying when it does. Really people, nothing is worth behaving like that-there's plenty of used clothing for everyone, I promise.
You can click HERE to get a rough idea what these twin sets sell for new. You might want to sit down. The quality is top-notch though. I'll give them that.
The necklace isn't photographing well, and that's a pity as it is beautiful vintage enameled Trifari. The BSK Lily of the Valley brooch is fading into the print of the cardigan as well, but take my word for it-it looked better in person.
I wasn't much more successful photographing them against a solid background. Some items are just like that!

Outfit Particulars:
St. John Collection twin set-Goodwill
Vintage Junior House wrap skirt-Thrift World
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Antique mall (I think)
Vintage BSK brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage clip earrings-Goodwill
Vintage Trifari pendant necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Rochas Femme (the '89 reformulation, not the 2013 cumin bomb. I now own both and they're completely different. This one reminds me a bit of Mitsouko with some added plum)

We survived the severe weather. Tonnes of rain and wind, but that was about it. We've turned quite cold again which means I have used both the heat and air conditioning in the same week. Madness. The only thing growing well at the moment are the potatoes. Ah well, on the bright side I don't need to water the garden. I would however like to wear my new swimsuit...
Our outdoor pool will be open by the end of the month for Memorial Day weekend and I'd really prefer to avoid sitting poolside in a swimsuit and wool cardigan. I was going to buy this swimsuit in black and then thought better of it and went for hot pink instead. Just add sunshine...PLEASE!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


When I purchased this lovely little globe necklace, the salesclerk looked confused that I'd want it. Holding it up with one hand, and pointing with the other he declared, "That's all in Spanish. You can't use that."
That's my WTF expression. 
I dunno, does anyone buy a teeny-tiny globe necklace because they plan to use it? Would the fact that it is in Spanish make that much of a difference if you were using it? I reckon Australia would still be Australia in Spanish, and so on. I'd like to think I possess enough general geography knowledge that I could manage it if something in life necessitated peering at the globe around my neck to see if Canada borders the United States. 

What struck me was how serious the man was about it being a functional object. He didn't seem otherwise unintelligent, which now makes me wonder in hindsight if it was some sort of racist comment I didn't pick up on at the time. As someone who is routinely mistaken for Latina, it is all the more confusing. As I wasn't angrily told to, "Go back where you came from!" I'll assume it probably wasn't racism, at least not the blatant sort.  Very odd. 

 We had some wild weather last evening (100 mph winds, downpours, hail, etc.) and the weather service just issued a tornado watch for this afternoon and evening. I was surprised we didn't lose power last evening and I'm hoping for the best tonight. We have a proper basement at this house, unlike the dirt storm cellar on the farm. I still take the weather warnings seriously after being through a tornado, but I don't dread sitting it out quite as much. For the moment, we're in a watch and wait mode, and the weather is quite nice at present.
Dramatic clouds, but blue skies behind.
I've never made a scarf-blouse, but I was happy to find this one for a dollar. The sleeves are sewn to the side of the body eliminating the problem I was having earlier with large sleeves. The silky material is fun, and the print interesting. It would probably look better on someone with smaller boobs.
Yep, that's my opinion on the concept of, "Flattering" clothes. Wear it if you like it and fuck anyone that doesn't.
Outfit Particulars:
Scarf blouse-New Life Thrift
90's skirt-Sears
Gucci shoes-Goodwill ($7.99! I know, I nearly peed myself with excitement)
Betsey Johnson purse-Hand-Me-Ups
Bangles-all over
Globe necklace-Goodwill
Earrings-Shop Ko at least 15 years ago
80's belt-Goodwill
Fragrance-Bal a Versailles
That's what a $500.00 pair of shoes looks like (I saw some listed for even more new with the box). I guess you pay for the little inter-locking G's on the sole? Walking around, it isn't like they're a whole hell of a lot different from a pair of sandals I can pick up at K Mart, but hey, Luxury Goods! Imagine having enough money that you'd wear something a couple of times and then simply donate it to Goodwill. Well, I can't imagine it. 
 A nice Betsey Johnson bag is more my idea of a luxury item. I think I paid around three dollars for it at HAnd-Me-Ups.

Those puffy white clouds have turned menacing in the time it took to write this post, so I'm off to unplug all my electronics in the event of lightning and power outages. I'll see you later unless I end up over the rainbow in which case, I won't be clicking my ruby slippers to get back here anytime soon.

"Auntie Em, Autie Em, Toto peed in my bed again!"

Monday, May 15, 2017

Not Vintage...Yet (The dress, not the blogger)

This dress isn't vintage, though it certainly looks it. I bought it over fifteen years ago at Target, of all places, If I keep it a few more years, it will be vintage. I have no idea when 20 years time became a marker of vintage-in my day that was just, "Old clothes." There you go. 
The dress ties in the back, which does create an effect of looking like a maternity dress, but at my age I'm unlikely to be mistaken for expectant. I was already elderly when Danny was born. I know this because they put a bright orange sticker on my chart that read, "Advanced maternal age" in bold print. Sheesh.

 See all that grey? The dress might not be vintage, but I certainly am. That's okay, I'm enjoying getting older-I've stopped giving a toss what anyone thinks and I just live my life. I'm rather good at doing my own thing at this point.

Outfit Particulars:
Merona dress-Target, years ago
Thermoset necklace-New Life Thrift
Clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Brooch-Thrift World
Vintage milkglass bracelets-both Hand-Me-Ups
White bangle-Goodwill
Vintage beaded white ring-Goodwill
Fragrance-Vintage Houbigant Chantilly (gosh it was nice before Dana ruined it)
 Nana shoes need nana tights.
 Yeah, the Garmin is clashing with the vintage look. If someone could figure out a way
 hide a fitness tracker in a Bakelite bangle, I'd buy it.

The Apricot Olympiad went well this year. We made 16 half-pints of jam (with and without pectin-one is more of a fresh fruit spread), 10 pints of apricot chutney, an apricot cobbler (we had that tonight-it was perfect) and tomorrow we will finish off with a small batch of apricot/cherry jam, and possibly some fruit leather with any leftovers. Unlike previous years, we didn't peel the apricots as the skins were thin, and in beautiful condition. Why do extra work? I honestly can't see much difference between jam with peeled or unpeeled apricots-throw enough sugar at something and you'll notice little else. Anyway, I'm glad that's finishing up so we can rest before the strawberries! We will get some rest before the strawberries...I hope!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Florals in Clothes and Nature

 Much as I like a bright floral on a Spring day, there will always be a spot in my wardrobe for something darker. The dress is paper-thin and completely sheer, so I have a lacy vintage slip beneath. Even with a slip, this is one of those dresses that requires a brooch to hold the top closed. I really should sew in a snap, but I also like the way it looks with a brooch.
I have so many of these tiny, Edwardian paste brooches but as they're often quite inexpensive, they're hard to resist. I justify the collection by holding blouses and dresses closed once in a while. Funny how that shifts things from, "want" to "need."

 These earrings are stamped, W. Germany and came with a large, matching necklace. I think they're from the 60's. I paid $12.99 for them and really felt  extravagant. The thing is, finding sets isn't as common. I try to keep my accessories collecting inexpensive, but even I can be seduced by a pretty set.

Outfit Particular:
Shoes-American Duchess
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Vintage earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch-New Life Thrift
Bracelet-New Life Thrift
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Diorissiomo
I'm always surprised when the inside of a locket is as elaborately detailed as the exterior. The bracelet isn't Victorian, but is rather a very good reproduction.
I don't know why we currently have three mats piled up by our door, but I'm going to move them before I break my neck. Open-weave rubber mats are deadly when you wear heels .

 Out and about in nature, there was plenty to see. I believe this is a weed, but pretty enough to enjoy when it isn't in my garden.
 Make Way For Ducklings. The rest were lagging behind in the pond.
 Fungi growing on a tree stump. I'm pretty sure these are poisonous. Don't eat wild mushrooms kids.
Oh, what have we here?

"Look lady, I'm a fly. Flies eat shit-that's just what we do. How would you like it if I pointed a camera in your face as you're eating?! Do you mind?"
Gosh, I had no idea they were so cranky. Sorry Mr. Fly!
This King bird was swooping about eating insects and didn't seem to mind my photographing him. He did come close to knocking the hood off my head at one point.
This goose has found herself a spot in the nest box at DeSoto wildlife refuge. I'm sure the other geese are envious of her fancy nest.
We attended a programme about Monarch butterflies. DeSoto has a large migration of Monarch that take advantage of the abundant milkweed planted for them. They had children paint the windows to welcome the butterflies.
 This large bird blind overlooks the river affording an excellent view of migratory waterfowl and the eagle's nest.
 The refuge is managed by the Fish and Wildlife service. We are so lucky to live a 30 minute drive away. For a small fee, we purchase a yearly family membership-the Sunday educational movies are worth it alone. I can't say enough nice things about the people who work in the visitor's centre-they're wonderful!

 Tough spot for photos as the wind really seems to blow across the water!
The outfit isn't special, but the necklace is. I bought myself a Mother's Day present. 
I'll leave you with a rather inspired pizza made from leftover cheese tortellini and cooked asparagus. I added a white sauce and some vegetarian bacon. The boys loved it. I didn't partake, but it was a good way to use up leftovers. Most things are improved with the addition of pizza crust or a pastry case, in my experience. 

I'm taking Danny to play mini putt-putt golf tomorrow for the first time. I have a feeling he'll enjoy it. Hope you are having a lovely weekend. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Statement Sleeves

Every decade or so large sleeves come back in fashion. I bought this blouse in the late 90's. As I'm not about to hurry out and buy new clothes to be fashionable, I figured it best to seize the opportunity to wear this before the moment passes. It will pass, once people figure out what a pain it is managing daily life with sleeves falling into their coffee,

 Being completely sheer, the blouse requires camisole or tank, which unfortunately bunched-up beneath the blouse when we took photos. Being in a public space, I didn't think it would be appropriate to reach beneath my skirt to straighten it out, though in truth, I doubt anyone would have noticed. We went to Walnut Grove Park looking for warblers, and the first thing I spotted was a Greater Fuzzy-Headed Twitcher...
The Twitcher spotted both Tennessee and Kentucky warblers, Clay Colored Sparrow, yellow warblers, a gray catbird, and a red headed woodpecker. Not bad for a morning when the rain kept pouring down.  We also saw an out-of-season hermit thrush, which was exciting. This particular park is a warbler hot-spot in May. In-between the downpours, the park came alive with birds and frolicking squirrels.
Everything is so green after the rain. The park smelled so strange-like a combination of cake and window cleaner. Funny how different parks/woods can smell after rain.

Outfit Particulars:
1990's top-Can't remember
Vintage skirt-Goodwill
Vintage beaded belt with wood buckle-Hand-Me-Ups
World's Heaviest Pendant-Goodwill (I rarely wear it for fear of pulling my neck)
Earrings-K Mart
Vintage handbag by JR-Hand-Me-Ups
Ecco walking shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-vintage formulation Aromatics Elixir (found a full, unopened bottle at Goodwill for $3.99!)
The older I get, the larger the bracelets and rings become. The bracelet is a recent purchase, and I just adore it. It blows my mind the things people will donate to thrift stores.
Here's a closer look at the necklace. The thing is a beast! I love it, but wow, is it ever heavy.

This photo was taken at home so I could show you the large maple tree outside our window. It makes Danny allergic, it drops seed pods all over the garden, and limbs crash terrifyingly close to the house in storms-but look at it! All the birds, squirrels, and woodchucks that call it home make me forget all the misery it can impose. The amount of wildlife we get smack dab in the middle of Omaha is extraordinary. There's birch, cedar, walnut, ash, and a dozen other trees just on our block. We're incredibly lucky to be reaping the benefits of someone's long-ago vision to plant all these trees. I can't open a window when the pollens are doing their thing, but at least I get to enjoy all the birds and animals calling this tree home. You take the good with the bad.

Stay groovy, and keep yer sleeves out of the coffee pot.