Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 The Last

I'm having a small celebration tonight to kick 2016 the fuck out of here celebrate New Year's Eve, but those outfit posts will have to come later. Today, I have half of a vintage silk suit to talk about.

 Last winter, I purchased a late 80's/early 90's silk suit by Anne Crimins. I have another that I bought new for an obscene amount of money. Knowing what they retailed for at the time, I couldn't pass up the bright floral silk suit for less than a fiver. Only problem? The jacket is so asymmetrical it can only be worn closed. That wouldn't have been as issue in the 80's, but my menopausal self can't be buttoned up to the neck in a silk jacket. I've looked at the suit in my wardrobe all year trying to figure out a way to wear it where the jacket wouldn't look stupid flopped open at an angle. This morning, as I applied my palm to my forehead muttering something about a lack of brains, I decided to just go ahead and wear the skirt and matching scarf. Duh. It took the better part of twelve months to figure that out. Ah well, better late than never.
Outfit Particulars:
1980's/90's Anne Crimins silk skirt and scarf (part of suit)-New Life Thrift
Blouse-K Mart
Vintage faux seal jacket (it weighs a tonne)-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Velour hat-Thrift store in New Hampshire about 25 years ago
American Duchess shoes
Vintage needlepoint bag-Gift from an old neighbour
Necklace and earring set-mother's day gift from Danny when he was about seven
Fragrance-Chanel #22
Vintage brooch-Hand-Me-Ups

This New Year's Eve, why not try a Baccio?

8 oz, gin
3 oz. anisette
8 oz. grapefruit juice
1 split champagne
Orange and lemon slices
Sugar syrup
16 oz. soda water

Combine gin, anisette, grapefruit juice, and champagne in a punch bowl over ice. Add sugar syrup to taste. Stir in fruit slices and soda water before serving.

Have fun, stay safe, and review the Recovery Position before heading to any parties tonight. See you in 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Out of Season, Out of Sorts

I'm going through a green phase.
 It started with perfumes. As soon as the temperatures began to drop, I couldn't get enough of the searing green notes. The current rotation on my perfume tray reads more like spring than early winter: Vent Vert, Ma Griffe, Corinadre, Innisfree, Knize Ten, Chanel #19, and believe me, if I owned it, I'd probably be wearing Aliage as well. I don't know what's going on with me, but I'm suddenly obsessed with fragrances that largely make me wheeze.
 I can hear my mother's ghost asking, "If you're so in love with mildew, why don't you go scour the shower?" I might just do that-the smell of Comet cleanser being appealing at the moment.

I'm not the only one that's confused about the seasons. Yesterday, Danny spotted a bird that should have migrated away months ago, and today he saw a variety of hawk that lives on the Mexico/Texas border. If you're not familiar with US geography, that's quite far away, and much, much warmer.

Mr. ETB's birthday is coming up, and when I asked what sort of cake he'd like, he replied,"Lemon crunch cake." That's an out-of-season cake if there ever was one.
 Outfit Particulars:
1970's polyester maxi dress-Goodwill
Vintage bag-New Life Thrift
Bangles-both Goodwill
Ring-Can't remember
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Fragrance-Ma Griffe vintage formulation

Keeping with the green theme, today's cocktail is as out of season as my perfume (in the Northern hemisphere anyway)

                                                                       Mint Julep
3 ounces bourbon
4 sprigs fresh mint
1 lump sugar

Crush 2 sprigs mint in a julep or highball glass. Rub the inside of the glass well, and discard. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add bourbon and 1 oz of water in which sugar has been dissolved. Do not stir. Garnish with mint sprig.

What about you? Are you craving out of season food/fragrances/etc? Anyone ever bake Hot Crossed Buns in September?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Show and Tell-Vintage Capelet

Now I know the Aunts are trying to communicate with me!
 I bought this piece about 25 years ago when I was still an antique dealer. I didn't sell clothing (mostly art glass, antiquarian books, and the odd piece of Mauchline ware) but this cape spoke to me and I kept it for my own collection. I packed it away carefully, and left it alone-until today. Danny is starting to show an interest in historical clothing, so I brought it out to show him the construction.

 The velvet is a beautiful dark teal, but it is hard to photograph in the bad light of my house.This photo is a bit closer to the true shade.
The collar is made of a moire taffeta-like material. The lining is interesting as well.
The capelet closes at the neck with a large hook and eye that feels much heavier than anything I've encountered-puts the "Hard" in hardware! It closes around my fat neck-barely.
I didn't wear the capelet out-It is in almost too-perfect condition to risk it for anything other than a special occasion. I'm letting it have an airing before packing it back away for another 25 years. 

Outfit Particulars:
Victorian velvet capelet-A yard sale in Newton, Massachusetts 25 years ago
1970's silk blouse-Thrift store in Seward, Nebraska
1970's skirt-Goodwill
Engraved bangle-Goodwill
Glass earrings-A gift shop in Long Grove, Illinois about 30 years ago
Egyptian Revival ring-Can't remember
90's does 1900's purse-Marshall's about 15 years ago
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Jicky ("Wake up and smell the civet!") because it seemed appropriate with this outfit.

Today's cocktail:

Fare Thee Well
2 oz. gin
1 oz. dry vermouth
2 dashes sweet vermouth
6 dashes Curacao
Shake well with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. 
Next time we do this, I have a silk and wool sailor middy blouse that dates to around 1915. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Boxing Day

We took Danny to the local arcade to play games. Boxing Day sales don't hold any appeal for me, and the arcade wasn't terribly crowded.
The driving games give me a headache, but Danny enjoys them. 
Taking your parents to an arcade is always risky because you never know how they might behave...
 These really aren't made for people our size, and getting into it was far easier than prying ourselves out. Damn clown tried copping a feel too! Hands off, Bozo.
Outfit Particulars:
Da Rue pleated skirt-Sequels
Sweater-K Mart
Hand-woven scarf-art show
Vintage coat-Thrift store in Wahoo, Nebraska
Bass suede saddle shoes-Goodwill
Earrings-K Mart
Brooch on coat-New Life Thrift
Fragrance-Guet Apens
We'll be eating leftover fish sandwiches all week, but that's hardly a bad thing. School is out for a bit and with any luck I can avoid cooking, cleaning or chores-they both know how to do laundry!
Meanwhile, I'll focus on finding new ways to embarrass my kid.

Today's Cocktail:

I made this one up myself-I call it,
"Fuck Off 2106"
1 Bottle of very cold gin.
Optional glass. Drink quickly.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

I'm done baking. The Christmas Eve paella has seven fishes in it, and after that, I'm done. Christmas Day we eat leftovers, and go to the movies. 
You know I do love a good tartan skirt, and a bit of velvet come holiday time. When I spotted this velvet jacket at Hand-Me-Ups I knew it would be versatile given the sporty look of the front, sleeve,  and pocket zippers. The jacket works as well with denim as it does with a lurex skirt. Red isn't my favourite colour, and it gets old by the end of December, but I couldn't really resist something this well made. Isn't it strange to think of the early 90's as the last time you could buy quality sportswear that wouldn't look shabby after a few cleanings? Everything seemed to go downhill so quickly. I wasn't a fan of Liz Claiborne in the 80's and 90's, but I will admit this is a quality piece of clothing.
 The skirt and sweater are both from the early 60's and have also stood the test of time. Did I need yet another kilt? Of course not, but how could I say no to a Scottish made piece of clothing that likely couldn't be bought new today for any money. The weight of this kilt is remarkable, and when fastened properly hangs perfectly. It is also lined, which always gets my attention when buying wool.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage kilt-Goodwill
Velvet jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Jantzen sweater-Thrift World
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Poodle pins-Hand-Me-Ups
Onyx ring-Mum's
Kilt pin-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-bought at a shop in Cambridge, Mass early 90's

Today's cocktail will put you in a holiday mood as it is a popular drink at Christmastime (at least in my husband's family)

Tom and Jerry Cocktail:
2 oz. whisky
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon sugar
Hot water or milk
Beat white and yolk separately adding sugar to yolk. Mix together. Put two tablespoons of mixture in a large mug. Add whisky. Fill with hot water or milk. Top with grated nutmeg. You can also add brandy or rum. 
Someone left a candy cane with a nice message on my car at the Chalco Hills park. With all the awfulness around at the moment, I thought it was a nice gesture. No idea if it was NRD (Natural Resources District) workers, or just a random nice person, but it cheered me no end. 

I baked the limpa bread for Christmas morning today using up the last pieces of orange peel I candied back in September. I have a few candied cherries left, and dried cranberries, but that's about it. I love when I can estimate accurately. With Hanukkah starting on Christmas eve, our interfaith family will be busy. I still have some mincemeat in the fridge, so I'm making mincemeat rugelach.  I might even fill some doughnuts with it. 
Cream cheese pastry wrapped around mincemeat. My shaping skills are shit, but they taste delicious. World's easiest dough:
1 cup butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2 cups plain flour

Beat together butter and cream cheese, blend in flour. Chill at least 1 hour before rolling. Works nicely around filled dates too. 

You might remember the marshmallow snowmen from last year. They have dried out and become hard, and I think it is safe to say they are no longer edible. They are such cute decorations that I'm going to shellac them after Christmas for many year's use. 

I hope you have a lovely holiday no matter what you celebrate or don't (Happy Bank Holiday!) and I'll be back after Christmas with some gaudy outfits fit for a New Year's Party (or getting plastered in front of the television). 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

At Last!

I bought this dress ages ago, but never wore it. I didn't want the year to run out without wearing it, so today at last, the brown formal was worn. That's part of the problem, I think. "Brown formal" doesn't really sell it the way it might have in 1972. There was always something more exciting to wear, and the dress was pushed back, back. back in the wardrobe to the land of forgotten vintage. Stop looking at me like that-it is a dress, not a baby for fuck's sake. 
Outfit Particulars:
1970's formal-Fairy Tail costumes
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Shes-Thrift World
Brooches-Garage sale
Earrings-Garage sale
Bracelets-both Goodwill
Fragrance-Vintage perfume concentration Emeraude
Today's Cocktail
Silver King
1 1/2 oz. gin
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes sugar syrup
1 egg white
Shake well with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. 
I'm off to rummage through the wardrobe for other forgotten items. We have more ice coming tonight, but by Sunday we're expecting 56 degrees F along with rain, flooding, gale force winds and every other sort of severe weather you don't see in December around here. We'll be fine-I stocked up on booze and cheese which is all you really need for an enjoyable holiday. Well, all I  need anyway. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ghost of Christmas

Hello, Ghost of Christmas Past here guest-blogging for the old broad you typically see in this space. So anyway, Christmas past. I know I'm supposed to bang on about regret, and missed opportunities, and a load of other things you're supposed to learn from but fuck that, it ruins Christmas.
I forgot to mention, I'm the "Former Ghost of Christmas Past" because I was sacked for...what did the Personnel office call it again...oh yeah, an "Attitude Problem" Yeah well, fuck 'em. Right. Sure, I might have sampled the Christmas cakes a bit prematurely as well but I'm a ghost, you know I can't eat that much-it gives me the shits. Hey, I just passed Christmas. They said I was crude as well.
Remember that year when your mum mixed up a pitcher of Bloody Marys that only she'd be drinking and you spiked it with an entire bottle of Tabasco sauce? She deserved it That wasn't a nice thing to do and I'm supposed to help you learn to be a better person. Next time, you'll spike it with more vodka, like a good eight year old. That way, she'll be so plastered by noon she won't notice you've slipped away to the cinema with her money and a wedge of Stilton. I'm glad we're having this little chat about your lifetime of fuck-ups at Christmas.
The Ghost is wearing:
Sparkly gold top-K Mart
Vintage hat-Hand-Me-Ups
TuTu- Target (in the fat kid's department)
Vera Bradley handbag-Goodwill
Faux lamb jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Necklaces-Both Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch on coat-Goodwill
Brooch on sweater-Antique shop in Boston
Gold plastic bangle-Goodwill
Rings-K Mart
Fragrance-Vintage perfume concentration Crepe de Chine
Scrooge bought a case of Christmas oranges. It is so cold here, they're wearing hats and ear muffs.

 Oh shit, here comes the Ghost of Christmas Future!
Hi. I'm the Ghost of Christmas Hookah Hygge Future. In the future we'll all be lighting candles, wearing Scandinavian knit cardigans, and eating Pulla. Oh, do I detect cardamom in the coffee?
I'm here to warn you about the tainted lingonberries, and to warn Lars that he's going to have an unfortunate wood chopping accident if he doesn't stop helping himself to your mum's pitcher of Bloody Marys. 

The Ghost is Wearing:
Vintage wool skirt-Goodwill
90's bodysuit-Limited
90's cotton cardigan-Goodwill
Knit headband-K Mart
Vera Bradley handbag-Goodwill
Brooch on bag-Can't remember
Earrings-K Mart
Fragrance-Worth Pour Homme (because it smells like an evergreen in the woods)
Today's Cocktail (not a Bloody Mary)
Christmas Glug
16 oz. brandy 16 oz. red wine
16 oz. port
1 tablespoon chopped orange peel
1/4 pound cube sugar
1/4 pound raisins
5 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves
1/4 pound blanched almonds
Combine red wine and port in a saucepan over low heat. Add orange, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves tied in a cheesecloth. Simmer 20 minutes, then remove spice bag. Place cubes of sugar in a metal strainer atop saucepan. Set brandy aflame and pour over sugar to carmelise. Serve in heated mugs. The recipe didn't mention when to add the almonds, so perhaps you're just expected to eat them?

Goody will be back after she finishes baking the Stollen. Now, go do something nice for a change so I don't have to come wake you in the middle of the night to deliver a heavy handed lecture on not being an asshole. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Wee Danny Dumpling is 12

We tried going to the Union Pacific museum as a Birthday activity, but it was closed! That's okay, because the Council Bluffs City Hall across the street was open, and it is like an Art Deco museum.
A friendly employee pointed us to a plaque hidden away in a dark corridor showing the building was a WPA project from 1939. 
 The building was rather empty for a Tuesday, permitting us to wander about enjoying the architecture.
Danny has discovered the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, as boys his age do. As a result, he asked for a Birthday cake based on Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, '72. 
You ask, I bake. Sigh, I almost miss Nixon.
 "Like a million pound shit hammer!"
Still not as strange as last year's Mr. Creosote cake-but close. I'm sure I'll be sad when he no longer wants a novelty cake. I have to bake them myself-could you imagine asking a bakery to do a "shit hammer?!"
We're taking Danny on a birding holiday out west in the Spring as a combination Birthday/Christmas present, but I still thought he should have a little something to open besides bird guide books. This remote controlled car was ten bucks at Walgreen's and he loves it. If you're in the US and need an inexpensive, last minute gift, it might be what you're looking for. 

Per your requests, here's a quick first look at the boots (sorry for the crappy photos)

They're lace-up rather than button, and the tops are soft and flexible.  The heels are worn through to the nails, but that does give an interesting look into how they were constructed. A similar pair at 1860-1960 date to around 1900. I need to unlace them and have a better look at the interior, but so far I'm pleased with my purchase-I just wonder how they ended up at our thrift store? 
Yeah, they're too big, but hey, Star Wars Leggings! I had someone shout, "Look at her cool pants" when I was waiting to pay for some items. Everyone had to turn around and look. Good thing I'm not shy! I really wish they would stay up, but I'm afraid it is not to be. I have a habit of buying most things too big. 
You've seen all my Mexican tourist items, so today I'm featuring something from our other neighbo(u)r, Canada. I think it is a bowing bag, but it is a purse now. 

Happy Birthday kid, I'm glad I get to be your mama.