Sunday, October 01, 2017

Rejection-Praying Mantis Edition

"Hey there good-lookin', do you have plans tonight?"
"Bugger off."
"Hey, wait-up, I just want to..."
"I said, bugger off!"
"Hey! OWWW!"
"Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody..."

I saw all this take place in the space of a few seconds. Clearly, the praying mantis wasn't in the mood to be bothered, and wasted no time ridding itself of the er...pest.  It was interesting how the rejected mantis ran off into the grass as the other stood in the centre of the sidewalk undisturbed by the foot traffic of students from the college. I know the praying mantis is no lightweight-Youtube is full of videos showing how they can sneak up a hummingbird feeder and grab dinner, but I never saw one in a fight like this.

You can learn so much about nature just by looking around. Here, I'm noticing a yellow jacket wasp that thankfully was more interested in the flowers than me. They get aggressive this time of year as the flowers die and the cold takes hold. I'm not particularly afraid of them, but I wouldn't want to disturb a nest or anger one accidentally. We've also had a surprising number of sweat bees, which are harmless.

You might have noticed the buttons are missing from my jacket. I lost one, and as it would be impossible to replace it, I removed them all figuring I'd find replacements. Three years later and...yeah, I still can't find anything I like. As I rarely button a jacket, I've been wearing it as-is, but I really ought to go buy some buttons. Green is surprisingly difficult to match! There's a skirt as well, though I can't remember the last time I wore it as a suit.

I bought the skirt several years ago as the print reminded me of rose windows and it was in pretty shades of blue, green, yellow and red. It is a cotton/rayon blend that shouldn't wrinkle but does-horribly. I've finally moved it to the "donate"pile accepting that as lovely as the print is, life is too short for ironing.

Outfit Particulars:
Handmacher 60's jacket (part of a suit)-had it over 30 years! Can't remember where I bought it.
Pendleton skirt-Goodwill
Green knit top-K Mart
Green vintage shoes-Thrift World
Vintage Morris Moskowitz handbag-Goodwill
Vintage brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage necklace-Sequels
Clamper bracelet-New Life Thrift
Fragrance-Montale Full Incense (errrrr, no. I can appreciate it for perfumery skill, but no. Might work for a nun). It is however keeping insects away, so it might have some use there.

I dunno, it IS a lot of sparkle for a weekday afternoon, but what's the worst that can happen? It isn't like I'll be issued a ticket for wearing rhinestones before seven o'clock. Why does it feel more appropriate in December? Is it the earlier nightfall, or the holiday season that makes it feel more appropriate? It hardly matters as I personally don't give a rat's ass, but it is interesting to think about.
Do you ever build an outfit around an accessory? I'd been looking for something to wear with my Valdrome shoulderbag, but it is so casual I don't have many opportunities to carry it. I rummaged through my wardrobe and came up with this 80's rayon shirt and skirt from women's sportswear company, Chaus. I like separates, but due to the bright gold buttons on the shirt and skirt it is essential to keep them aligned. That ought to be a simple matter of tuck in the blouse and go but...well, I'm really not graceful. I can't even sit gracefully! The belt helps keep things in place though, and what a crazy belt it is.

Much like the bag, this belt doesn't go well with 99% of my wardrobe, but when it does...well, accessories can be magic.

 Outfit Particulars:
Chaus 2 piece set-Goodwill and /hand-Me-Ups (yes, I found the pieces in 2 different shops)
Valdrome shoulder bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage 80's Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
1940's choker-Goodwill (I think)
Kenneth Jay Lane brooch-Sarpy museum sale
Mosel earrings-Etsy
Vintage bracelet-Sarpy Museum sale
Fragrance-70's vintage Coty Chypre
Bird banding starts again this Saturday, but at a new location as Aksarben Aquarium undergoes renovations. This winter it will be at Hitchcock Nature Preserve (no, the name hasn't been lost on us, and yes it is funny to hold bird banding there) which ought to be interesting as there's an ongoing Hawk Watch study taking place. I don't mind climbing the very tall observation tower, but it does get unbelievably cold and windy up there. A 70 degree F. day on the ground can feel like January up there so I will be wearing my winter gear. If you are in the area Saturday morning (before 11 AM) , bird banding is open to the public, and you can learn a bit about how it is done. It was one of those events ten years ago that started Danny's involvement with the group of researchers-we just thought it was something fun to do with a toddler on a Saturday morning. Who knew?! 

Well, we've finally made it to the best month of the year-Rocktober.
Rock on, dudes.


Bibi Maizoon said...

Our praying mantises are a bright jade green here in Nepal.
if it requires ironing it's gone!
Looking gloriously autumnal in those richly patterned & jewel toned ensembless. What are the odds of finding both those 80's Chaus pieces.
Montale does roses, musks, and oud. That's it. His gourmands & other trendy notes are crap. For a truly horrid experience try Montale's Greedy Biscuit (smells like some gawdawful sugary artificially flavored 70's cereal like Cocoa Puffs or Count Chocula) or Manga Mango (smells like rotting mangoes with Montale signature musk & oud base- NOT a good combination).

Polyester Princess said...

I was so distracted by the wonderful green colour of your jacket (and admittedly, also by the praying mantis episode) that I didn't even notice the buttons were missing! It's lovely combined with the skirt, but the minute you mentioned the wrinkling I thought, no, lovely as it is, I'd redonate it too. I love your second outfit, but you could have fooled me: I thought it was a dress. I can see what you mean about the aligning though, it would drive me nuts! The print is fabulous! xxx

Radostin said...

Mmm, love that green! You know, I may be odd, but I actually enjoy ironing. Not that I do lots of it all the time or anything (wouldn't do that), but for the occasional garment that needs it there's something very satisfying about smoothing out all the crumples... Also, if something with distinctive buttons looses one, I often either (a) decide that as the top one is so high & I never close it, I can use that as a spare to replace the middle one, and leave only that one missing, which is barely noticeable, or (b) do as per (a), and then select a completely different, fancy/interesting/contrasting button with which to replace only the top one, so the different one looks intentional and serves as an additional embellishment, or rather like a brooch.
Those praying mantises are most impressive. I like your second outfit, too; so much to look at!

Mim said...

How annoying to lose a button! I don't think I'd have noticed if you hadn't mentioned it; I was just struck by how well the outfit as a whole works.

I usually save up my ironing till it's unavoidable, then do a month's worth at once. Unfortunately the catses have had fleas, so everything in the laundry basket has had to be ironed as soon as it's washed, then put away in flea-free wardrobes.

Hmm, I've been wanting a really incensey perfume for a while - perhaps the Montale is my sort of thing. I'm kicking myself for not buying Messe de Minuit while Etro was still making it.

Melanie Folly Bird said...

My, I cannot even look at those pictures, those creatures scare me in the same way stick insects do. I wish them no harm though.
I have no problem with wasps, despite being stung by one as a child. I hate it when people kill them just because.

I fully approve of wearing sparkles by day and to mundane places, I wore a vintage crystal necklace to a monkey sanctuary and a vintage sparkly necklace to grocery shop. Sparkles in December are wonderful because the faery lights everywhere play pretty games with them.

Veronica Cooke said...

Happy Roctober to you, too!

Fab outfits as always; I love the green jacket and I never button jackets either. I love the beads and brooch and rings. I didn't realise your shoes were green they look black in the photo but anything green gets my vote.

The belt in the second outfit looks like a story board for an advert for New York - it's fabulous! The bag is ace - I noticed paisley side cool that you found the top and skirt in separate shops; you were destined to have them.

The Praying Mantis wars are very interesting. Will there be a Round 2?

Well done Danny, not only a brilliant hobby but useful too.

Have a great week.

Vix said...

I'm with Radostin, I'm a bit of a fan of ironing. I've also got a massive button stash, I love replacing buttons - I know, I'm a weirdo!
Love that dress and the jade green jacket, the bag & belt are fab and the more bling the better, whatever the month.
I do love a Praying Mantis, we're always rescuing them in India. I'm not sure if we even get them in the UK. xxx

Goody said...

Cocoa Puffs perfume! I can smell the vitamin fortification in my mind. *Shudder*. I really wanted to like this one, no.

I knew you'd understand my no-ironing stance ;)

I like that idea of a completely different button as a brooch-like effect. Great tip!

Autumn fleas-I don't miss the dog bringing them in every year (he was white though, so we typically caught it early).
It is a very "Catholic Church-y" incense. Have you tried the Elizabeth Taylor Passion? I know it isn't regarded as sophisticated, but the incense note is really lovely. And cheap. If you go for the Montale, try a decant is a doozy!

Ah of course-they reflect the lights! I didn't think of that.

When Danny was very small we lived on a farm. Our big window in the dining room was a magnet for Mantises climbing up. He'd stand there watching them move their arms and was convinced they were waving to him. Now he knows they're evil hummingbird eating bastards ;)

I think you do get them in the UK, but they might be a different variety (they're not all this large).

Radostin said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!