Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Paisley and Flannel-Not Just For PJ's

We've had a bit of a cold snap, and so it was Danny discovered none of last year's clothes fit. At not-quite thirteen, he's now taller than his mama and weighs about the same. He has no problem lending me his clothes but for some reason the child is completely uninterested in wearing mine. I suspect it is the polyester. Anyhoo, off we went today seeking shirts with long-enough sleeves (harder than it sounds) and trousers that don't look like they've been slept in before being worn (also a bit of a challenge). I will say that I'm lucky having a son that is completely indifferent to fashion. He likes checked shirts and jeans without a bunch of crap on the back pockets. As teenage style goes, his is blissfully plain. Danny requested a denim jacket, which we bought, and a puffy ski-vest to keep his arms free when out bird-banding. Two hundred dollars and an hour later he had the jacket, vest, three pair of trousers, four shirts, a dress shirt, and something else I've forgotten. I'm going to be sad when K-Mart goes under (the death knell is already sounding) because you can't outfit a teen in a winter wardrobe for $200. at Target. 
My dress cost .99 cents at Goodwill, but I'm easier to dress and don't have long arms or legs. Hard to believe I carried that kid around in one arm. He was such a little thing coming into the world just over six lbs. His dad is 6'4 so I think this might be a yearly shop sort of thing for the next few years. 
You can see the leaves starting to turn on the street behind me. the large maple behind our place hasn't started changing yet, but soon I'll be outside doing a daily sweep of leaves off the patio. I loved raking leaves as a child, even if it gave me terrible allergies. We didn't burn them as my mum once ended up in hospital after inhaling god-knows-what in the air from a pile of burning leaves. Understandably she was reluctant to repeat the experience. We didn't burn them on the farm either, but we didn't have that many trees outside of the windbreak.  I still like bringing home interesting leaves from my walks, and I always have a basket of pine cones for decorations. Oh, I know you can go to Big Lots and buy silk leaves for decorating, but I prefer the real ones when possible. 
Anyway, all this babbling is my way of saying Autumn has arrived, and it is being reflected in our wardrobes. For my part, it wouldn't be autumn without paisley. 

Outfit Particulars:
1980's rayon dress-Goodwill
1990's bolero-Goodwill
Carole Dauplaise necklace-Goodwill
Brooch-Sarpy museum sale
Vintage crocodile handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Shoes-K Mart (years ago)
Fragrance-Norell (thanks, Emily!)
Lippy-Estee Lauder Maplesugar (my standard autumn lippy)

 It wouldn't be autumn without some flannel either. This 80's does 50's number is perfect for a day that isn't quite cool enough for a jacket.

I do feel a bit more casual in a fabric intended for sleepwear and outdoor work clothing, but somehow I resisted the urge to go back to sleep (or cut down trees like a lumberjack). I think the velvet boots helped 😀
The boots might look familiar as I own the same pair in black leather (well, vinyl, actually). I bought these at the end of last winter at K Mart and I regret not buying another pair. The rubber heel is deeply grooved and provides excellent traction for a high-heeled boot. I'm of the mind that velvet boots go with everything, and I plan to wear them quite a bit. I hope you don't get tired of seeing them.
 Outfit Particulars:
1980's dress-Goodwill
Vintage handbag-Thrift World
Leaf brooch-can't remember
Vintage necklace-Hand-Me-Ups (has matching earrings and bracelet)
Boots-K Mart
Fragrance-Vintage Revlon Moon Drops (well that was an expensive trip down memory lane for something I'd describe as, "Meh").
Lippy-Wine With Everything (if only that were possible!) my "Other" autumn lippy

We're down to our last three apples from the visit to the orchard. Just in time too, as the pears are now ready for harvesting. I'm going to bottle some mini Seckle pears in brandy this week so they'll be ready for Christmas. Yep, it is time to start thinking about the holidays. Sorry.

Hope you're having a good week so far.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Eccentric Party People

Where's the party?
People don't dress as I do-I get it. I'm accustomed to being asked where I'm headed to because let's face it-my wardrobe isn't representative of Midwestern American streetwear in 2017 (or ever, really). That's fine, if it brings a smile to someone, all the better. I had a group of elderly women watching as we took photos today, and they genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. Yesterday, at the pharmacy the dour pharmacist that never says much was so taken with my flower crown he could only smile and stammer a few words about the "thing on your head."That's wonderful-I've worked in retail and it is dead dull engaging with the public. An unusually attired customer always raised my spirits.
Sometimes though, my clothes catch people off guard, and they blurt out things they wouldn't otherwise.
So it was that the rather conservative woman working behind the cosmetics counter exclaimed, 
"You're one of those eccentric party people always having a good time!"
I'm sure I've been called "eccentric" before, though not to my face. "Party Person" is clearly a first as I'm typically off to bed around 10 PM.. I mean, "Partying?" At my age? Don't be absurd-I could break a hip or something. Perhaps she meant, Communist Party. Viva la revolution, Comrade.
Look at me being all wild and thumbing my nose at society. Yeah. 

Back to the clothes. Shiny new (to me) belt. You have no idea how useful a gold belt is. When my old one wore out I was devestated. 
Outfit Particulars:
Pink silk skirt-Sears about 20 years ago
Red polyester vintage blouse-Goodwill
Vintage mesh and lucite handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Target years ago
Trainers-Stella McCartney for Adidas- Hand-Me-Ups
Fine for wearing around town on a rainy day, but worthless for running. 
 Outfit Particulars:
Late 80's silk skirt-Marshall Field's (bought it new)
Top-K Mart
Blue necklaces-all over
Bangles-all over
Flower crown (it has tiny skulls in the centre of each bloom) Spirit Halloween pop-up shop
Earrings-Sarpy museum sale
Fragrance-Vintage Geminesse
Well, I'm off to look for a better not be BYOB. 
Bring your own tomatoes, I could manage. We're harvesting faster than I can use them. This was a superb year for tomatoes.

 I'll leave you with a look at two new tea towels I bought for Halloween.
I couldn't wait for October to use them. I bought Ouija socks as well. We've been getting a jump-start on horror movies and we watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Danny enjoyed it (he even snorted at the Budgie for lunch). Sometimes old movies don't age well for this generation (he laughed through Wicker Man) but I was pleased to see him enjoy Baby Jane. "You know", I told him, "That's exactly how it would go down if I had to live with your Aunt Judi." We laughed, but then realised would probably be more like Grey Gardens. 

I really must go find that party now. Toodles.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Birds of a Feather...Pinned to My Sweater

 I thought it was lucky finding a second of the carved swallow pins, but when I happened upon the small carved gull (I think it is a gull) I knew they had to be worn together. I like clustering my brooches, though these were large enough that it took some fiddling with them to make it work.

If you spend enough time in thrift stores, eventually you find duplicate pieces. I'll always buy bracelets in duplicate as I like the look of identical pieces on both wrists (like Wonder Woman!) and earrings are a practical investment as I wear mostly clips and tend to lose them from time to time. Lately, I've been indulging in purchasing duplicate brooches, though I limit it to the novelty sort as it would look silly wearing two identical rhinestone starburts but a pair of celluloid Scotties will always look better than a solitary brooch.

Sometimes, a theme is better than identical pieces and this time of year I like to cluster different leaf brooches with acorns, woodland animals, etc. Other times I go absolutely wild and wear cats and dogs together! I think of wearing brooches much as I do pattern mixing-it adds interest to an outfit, and can look chic if well considered. When you own hundreds of brooches wearing them in multiples is almost a necessity just to get them worn!

 Outfit Particulars:
1980's Made in Yugoslavia skirt-Goodwill
Sparkly 80's tee shirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Belt-Shop Ko
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
1940's hair clip-Sarpy County Museum sale

Yikes, I just noticed how much worse my leaning to one side had become. I suppose the blog is helpful for noticing things like that (and one eyelid droops, one leg is larger than the other, etc.). Unfortunately, there isn't a whole hell of a lot I can do about it at this late stage in life. I need someone to follow me around shouting, "Don't slouch!"
The Leslie Fay blouse makes a first Autumn appearance. A red, black, and cream spotted blouse shouldn't be something I'd love this much-but I do. It is practical, comfortable and launderable. Can't ask much more than that from a blouse. I still haven't started unpacking cool weather clothes, so putting together an outfit remains challenging. It has been interesting trying out combinations I otherwise wouldn't. 
This jacket has a matching skirt but that's just too headache inducing together!

Outfit Particulars:
1990's skirt-Filene's or Jordan Marsh-can't remember
Vintage jacket (part of a suit)-Thrift World
Vintage Crown Lewis handbag-Goodwill
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Cinnabar bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage BSK Halloween brooch-Thrift World
Fragrance-Chanel No. 22
"Eeek!Witchy tried to turn me into a toad,,,wait, I'm already dead. Never mind."

 Bag still had original comb and mirror.

I'll leave you with a funny story. 

I was outside filling the bird feeders yesterday morning. As I was pouring seed into the various tubes I was muttering to myself in a sing-song tone, "Feed...the birds. Feed...the birds." As I was finishing up, I heard a cough and noticed my new neighbour sitting on his patio having a coffee before work. He was trying (unsuccessfully) to keep from laughing. 
"The birds love that seed" he said, trying to change the subject from the bonkers lady next door that talks to herself when she feeds the birds. 

Just wait until he sees me hand-feeding ginger biscuits to Blondin the squirrel. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Best Sale of the Year

 I've been having a ruthless clear out (must be done from time to time) and in the process have come across some items I'd forgotten about. Both this top and skirt are slated for moving along to new homes, but I might think twice about the top. I like Liberty (who doesn't?) but the Liberty for Target range was kinda meh. I like the print fine, but the fabric is synthetic and the ruffle at the bottom, annoying. It is too long for the 3/4 sleeves. I'm sure it would look great with a pair of skinny jeans, but that's not my look.

I'd forgotten about this pleated silk skirt. It has a Neiman Marcus label ("Needless Markup" as my husband calls it) and a Made in Korea tag. I'd call it 80's based on the length. I wore my share of long skirts in the 80's, with long blazers and massive shoulder pads. A long, white double breasted blazer would be lovely with this skirt-but I don't own one and don't plan to seek one out. I had the 80's, and I wore it to pieces. Nice as the skirt is, I think it too shall go as it really won't play well with the rest of my wardrobe. I was attracted to the quality of the skirt, but that isn't enough reason for me to wear it. Long over long is back in fashion if you believe the magazines, but I think I'll leave that to the young (and tall).

Outfit Particulars:
Liberty for Target blouse-Goodwill
Vintage silk pleated skirt-thrift World
Vintage Walborg bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Clarks shoes-Goodwill
Large silver Sara Coventry bracelet-Can't remember
Earrings (part of a set with a brooch) Goodwill
Fragrance-Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

 A peplum I could understand but this is a drop-waist with a ruffle also known as a WTF?
Anyway, in my zeal to rid my wardrobe of unworn items, I came across this jacket. I rarely wear it as there isn't much that it goes well with...or so I though. By a coincidence of summer meeting autumn in the same laundry basket I achieved what can only be called "Epic pattern mixing." Guess I'll be keeping the jacket after all. 
 I had to post some photos as it is unlikely to ever happen quite this perfectly again.

 We called in at Earl May garden centre to purchase some pumpkins for the front garden. I feel better now that there's pumpkins in my garden-it really doesn't take much to make me happy. I might need to go back for a pot of mums-I rather like the wine coloured ones.

Outfit Particulars:
Coldwater Creek jacket-Goodwill
Carol Dauplaise necklace-Goodwill
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage Spilene handbag-Goodwill
Vintage Niello earrings-Thrift World
Vintage belt-Thrift World
Large bracelet-garage sale
Small bracelets-both Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-none, it was allergy jab day

I dropped off two large bags of clothes at Hand-Me-Ups today, and a large bag at Sequels a few days ago. I hope they can sell them as the clothes are nice and in good shape. I washed everything, but I neglected to iron them. I mentioned to a volunteer that I was embarrassed and she looked at me like I'd lost my mind. I guess they're lucky if things come in clean, much less ironed. I should have a few more bags of clothes for them at the weekend. I managed to get out of the shop with only a couple small purchases (another vintage cake carrier, and a taffeta tartan dress) but really I should drop the stuff and leave so I won't be tempted.

I was doing so well until the annual Sarpy County Historical Society yard sale. I went the second day when everything was half price.

 Nothing here was originally over a dollar, and some items were only .25 cents to start. The large gold loopy cross brooch is Kenneth Jay Lane. There's Coro, Sara Coventry, Napier, and all sorts of good stuff.
 I'm not a virgo, but my mum was and I thought this little carved glass pendant would be a nice reminder of her. The bar pin with the tiny lapis stone is Victorian.
 This "Machine Age" bracelet was .50 cents. I love it so much I might never take it off.
I was thrilled to find a glove stretcher as I need one! They used to be common enough when I was in the antique business 25 years ago, but the passage of a quarter century is enough time that they've become scarce. The museum volunteer was pleased I knew what it was-most people don't, I guess.

I also bought hats, handbags, vintage dresses (including another 30's evening gown this time in celery green silk) shoes, spools of vintage ribbon, tea towels, silk scarves and more. I spent a total of $29.00. I'm absolutely exhausted, but it was worth it. I wasn't kidding when I said this sale is incredible. Mark your calendar for next September-it is worth the trip.
Still working our way through the apples. This is a Dutch Baby/Apple Pancake/Pfankuchen/calfouti/ or whatever they call an oven pancake where you live. It was okay-I have leftovers in the fridge which indicates to me that the boys weren't wild for it. I used the fancy butter from Finland to bake it. I don't ordinarily buy imported butter, but it was on sale and I was curious about it. It is very nice butter. I still wouldn't buy it unless there's a sale, but I'd also consider stocking up when there is.
I also made the yearly batch of apple cider doughnuts. The left are tossed with plain sugar, the ones on the right with cinnamon. They're easy enough to make but requiring boiling apple cider (cloudy apple juice) until it reduces by half and using it for the liquid in the batter instead of milk. The flour is a mix of wholemeal and white with spices (cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and nutmeg) added. Yes, they're work but it is only once a year. They freeze well, and there's nothing like a warmed-up cider doughnut in the dead of a Nebraska winter to convince you it is worth getting out of bed and facing the chores.
They're surprisingly light. The trick is getting the fat hot enough that they don't need to cook too long. I fried them in corn oil, as I do most things. It isn't as popular an oil as sunflower or soybean, but I prefer it. The smoke point is high enough that I don't need to worry about it catching fire, and it doesn't have a terrible smell like rapeseed/Canola. The day after cooking the house doesn't smell of cooking oil. Recipe Here.
 Cider doughnuts makes me think of Halloween. I adore Halloween. From the barmbrack to the costumes to the creature-feature midnight movies-I love it all. I used incredible restraint in not purchasing these lighted lawn decorations for $6.99 each.

There was a Dracula as well. Guess I'll make due with jack-o-lanterns instead, but I really do regret leaving these. I shouldn't shop when I don't feel well, it skews my thinking.
I've been wearing my Posada print tee shirt a bit more this time of year. I bought the shirt when I was a university student-trust me, it was a very long time ago. I'm glad I held onto it as Danny likes it as well. We share tee shirts-most of his are better than mine!

Outfit Particulars:
Posada tee shirt (I think it was the Mexican shop, in Evanston, but I can't swear to it)
Brocade skirt-Goodwill
Belt-came with a dress years ago
Sacred Heart bracelet-Goodwill
Deco bracelet-Sarpy museum sale
Vintage Handmacher jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch-Sarpy Museum sale
Vintage bag-Goodwill
Sara Coventry earrings-Sarpy Sale
I can't keep myself away from the Halloween pop-up shops either! We visit to play with the motion-sensor displays. The stuff is very cool, but much more expensive than the $6.99 lawn ornaments we saw at Goodwill *kicks self for not buying those*.

I'll leave you with a peek at this vintage BSK Halloween brooch I bought at Thrift World last Spring. I love the expression on the ghost. I wonder what the witch said to him?