Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Brooch of the Day-Day Two

 Today I have a pair of brooches-a bell and a tree. Both are unsigned.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Santa Pants and Other News From the Previous Week

Back in late August, when the first Christmas items were filtering into craft stores, I bought this basket shaped like Santa's trousers. They had a similar pair in green which I assume were elf trousers but shoving your hand into an elf's trousers has a completely different vibe, so I  bought the Santa pants. Because I am a hopeless hoarder of fabric I had no difficulty locating some holiday printed quilting cotton to line the basket with. At that point, it was obvious I wouldn't be using it as a basket (who goes to the trouble of lining a basket to hold pine cones?) so I went ahead and made a lid from a sturdy piece of cardboard and covered it with matching fabric.
Ta da! My new holiday handbag set me back a fiver, but I won't be seeing anyone else carrying it around town. I have the first event of the holiday season to attend this weekend and Santa Pants will be a great accessory. Chuffed with how well it turned out, I've been buying up novelty baskets to make into bags. I recently found a straw one shaped like a pig that will make a fun summer bag. Figural basket bags are crazy expensive, so I figure I'm saving myself a small fortune hunting down interesting baskets. That's my argument anyway.
The baking has commenced. The biscuits that need aging (lebkuchen, springerle, peppernuts, etc) are mostly out of the way now. My Christmas cake was baked back in August thanks to Danny, so I can focus my attention on his Birthday cake, and the various holiday breads. I will still make candy to fill Danny's shoe for St. Nicholas night, though I suspect he's wise to me by now😊. There will be Lucia Buns, Stollen, Pannettone, Pulla and whatever else people ask me to bake. Danny will be 13 in a few weeks, and I know he won't want to be doing the big holiday at home thing much longer, so I'm really going all out this year to make it memorable. Thankfully, he's not into material stuff and we're focusing on activities instead. I'm going ahead with the Open House because I really want our neighbours to get to know one another, but I do realise we might be sitting there alone if no one shows.
 On the wardrobe front, I've been doing my best, but I've been feeling less than inspired between our odd weather and the awful fluid retention from long-term use of Prednisone. The good news is I'm currently tapering off it after all these months-the bad news is it didn't help all that much. Anyway, hopefully my face will return to a normal shape soon. I didn't expect to feel worse coming off it, but I'm told that's normal. Anyway, I still need to get dressed every day, so here's a peak at what I wore instead of the dressing gown I'd prefer to stay in all day.

 I love this velvet hat with the tiny feather sticking up-I feel like Robin Hood. The Corde bag with the lucite handle was a thrift shop find years ago. Upon opening it I spotted the tag from the Antique mall for considerably more than I paid for it. It amazes me what people will buy and then re-donate. The skirt is satin with a tulle underskirt and a net and velvet overlay.
This ski sweater is a fun bit of 70's polyester. It has a Dacron label in it, letting you know it was genuine DuPont (yep, the chemical company). I hadn't seen that in years, so naturally I had to buy the sweater. It is very warm, Warmer than wool anyway, but at least wool breathes. I don't think this sweater really fits in with my er...menopausal lifestyle, so it will probably be moved along to a new home. The furry headband (also have one in pink) was kind of plain so I stuck a snowflake brooch on it. The leather skirt and boots are both quite old. I'm never sure how to wear leather without looking like I'm headed to a club, but I have to think a Dacron Polyester ski sweater is about as un-sexy as it gets!
Not sexy but it hasn't stopped creepy men from DMing me on Instagram, Geez. I certainly don't do anything to attract that sort of nonsense, and I'd kinda hoped by my age I wouldn't have to put up with it, but yeah, I figured out how to block people. Sigh, what a world we live in.
 When I was going through my holiday decorations I found these prints I don't remember buying. I'll leave you with a look at them. No idea why they ended up in the Christmas things, but now I need to locate some frames and find a bare wall (no easy task at our house). Hope midweek is treating you well.
 Look, it's Blondin!

I'll be back tomorrow with another Christmas Brooch of the Day.

Christmas Brooch of the Day-Day One

Vintage rhinestone bell with moving clapper. Unmarked.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend

 We have a long holiday weekend in the US for Thanksgiving, Not being the sort of people that enjoy shopping as a contact sport, we stay away from the crowds and enjoy the holiday at home, or at one of our many beautiful parks.

When Danny was small, I'd set up the artificial Christmas tree and let him spend Thanksgiving day decorating it. That worked to keep him busy, and out of my way as I prepared the evening meal. It  became a family tradition to put up the tree and decorations on Thanksgiving day, and this year was no exception. We had a rather simple meal, went for a long walk, and enjoyed all of Danny's hard work decorating the house. I never enjoyed Thanksgiving until all the relatives either died, or moved far away. I certainly love it now! I know that sounds heartless-just like my family were. I don't miss being insulted, bullied, and treated like shit generally. Anyway, we had a lovely day, and now the house is decorated without my lifting a finger.
I treated myself to this crushed velvet pleated skirt a few weeks ago at K Mart. It was very inexpensive, but worn with better pieces I think it works as a holiday wardrobe staple. The velvet top was something I bought at Marshall Field's back in the early 90's. The over-sized 80's belt was picked up in the thrifts last year.
 Outfit Particulars:
Skirt- K Mart
Velvet top- Field's, 90's
Brooch-K Mart
Handbag-Antique mall
Fragrance-l' Origan
 More velvet! I wore this to Film Streams to watch the live in HD simulcast of the Saturday opera from the Met. It was The Exterminating Angel. I didn't hate it (everyone else seemed to) but I can say I'm REALLY glad I didn't have to sing it! That must be hell on the performers. Anyhoo, it was short, and what more can you ask of an opera? 😉
I found this wool cardigan new with tags a few weeks ago at Goodwill. It is a beautifully made piece, but I don't like how it fits, so will be moving it along. I can only wear a cardigan if it is cropped or over-sized. This sort of thing just accentuates my curved spine and messed-up shoulder. It pains me to let good wool go, but I know I would never wear it again. I'm not in love with the jacket either, but I think shortening the sleeves might resolve the issues.
Outfit Particulars
Vintage velvet trousers-Can't remember
Velvet jacket-Goodwill
Beret- K Mart
Monet necklace-bought it new, can't remember where (early 2000's)

Uh oh.
Time to throw out the pumpkins. We've gone from freezing temperatures to a record-setting 70 degrees F. There's only so much a poor pumpkin can take!
 These earrings get a lot of love. They came from a costume shop as part of a belly-dancer's costume. I find the best accessories (and tights) in those places. They're very lightweight despite the size.

 Another layered-look for unpredictable weather.  I shed the jacket as soon as the sun came out. Those are beads at the edge of the skirt and they made a "twacking" sound each time they hit my boots.
 Outfit Particulars:
Skirt-Filene's 90's
Crochet sweater- Kohls, a few years ago
Jacket-part of a suit
Cinnabar bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings Nobbie's
Beret-K Mart
Fragrance-Balenciaga l' essence

Hope your week is going along swimmingly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Clothes, Cake, and Cameras

I apologise for the poor quality of these photos as they came off my phone. I've recently purchased a new camera, but haven't really had the time so sit down and get used to working with it. I appreciate your patience as I sort things through. 
That beast weighs a tonne! I need a new tripod as my old one would never hold it-even without the lens and flash. Clearly more camera than I require, but it was too good of a deal to pass up. 
So clothes. I've been wearing them, as you do. 
This is a 70's polyester maxi dress and a 70's Ultrasuede coat. I paid $20.00 for the coat, which is much more than I would typically fork over for Ultrasuede. I made an exception because it fitted perfectly, and well...that blue! Yes, I have an Ultrasuede suit in the same shade of blue, but this is a full-length coat so...justified? I'm not convinced, but it is mine now and I plan to wear it to death as Ultrasuede knows no season.

The basket bag is yet another Caro-Nan, this one from Ohio. It is taller than my Nebraska version. I've been lucky finding these bags-they sell for quite a bit online.

Outfit Particulars:
1970's maxi dress-Goodwill
1970's Ultrasuede coat-Hand-Me-Ups
Velvet boots- K Mart
Caro Nan handbag-Etsy
Earrings-K Mart
Fragrance-Tuscany per Donna

We're officially into tartan weather-and this one is a beauty.
 This is a vintage Pendleton in the Boyd tartan. It is wool, fully lined and a joy to wear. The pockets don't gape, and it doesn't have any silly pleats.
The jacket is a Lauren relic from the 80's (look at that collar!) that I don't particularly like, but it goes with everything. The cashmere sweater I bought at Marshall Fields in the early 80's when you could still get good quality cashmere. It has a Hong Kong label.
 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Pendleton skirt-Can't remember
Cashmere sweater-Marshall Fields, 80's
 1980's Ralph Lauren jacket-can't remember
Valdrome bag-Hand-Me-Ups

Now for the cake.
This is an oatmeal cake with a coconut topping. I can tell how much the boys like a cake by how long it lasts. This one went very quickly. Traditionally it would have chopped pecans or walnuts in the topping but I omitted them due to allergies. Feel free to add half a cup if you like. 

You will need:
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
12 ounces flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cook until it comes to a boil. Add the milk, and again bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Spread on hot cake and broil about 2 minutes. 

Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Pour water over oatmeal in a small bowl and let sit 20 minutes. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Add eggs one at a time beating well between additions. Add oatmeal to creamed mixture. Sift together dry ingredients and blend into creamed mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 35 minutes or until cake tests done. About 5 minutes before cake comes out, start making the topping. Spread the topping on the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, and then place under the broiler about 6 inches from the element for about 2 minutes or until the coconut turns a toasty brown and the mixture is bubbling. Cool in pan on a rack. 

Hope your week is going well. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hat's Entertainment

My hair won't do shit in the winter. I could spend time being upset by that, or invest in conditioners/styling products/a decent haircut, etc. but being the practical sort, I looked in my cupboard, assessed my collection of hats, and here we are. Life is too short to spend it screwing around with hair. 

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage wool ski sweater-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage 70's skirt-Goodwill
Boots-K Mart
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Hat-K Mart
Vintage earrings-Thrift shop in Wisconsin
Fragrance-Estee Lauder Knowing (vintage formulation)
Sometimes though, I want a classic, black wool beret. I look like I ought to be puffing on  Gauloises. 
Outfit Particulars:
Poloneck-K Mart
Vintage Kashmiri embroidered jacket-gift
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Enamel bangle-Goodwill
Fragrance-Chanel no. 22

Not hat related, but I had to show you the Selro necklace I picked up last weekend for $5.99. I nearly fainted when I saw it. The Christmas tree brooches will be added to the collection. I'm going to try and wear them all this season, though I might need to wear five at a time to make it. I was thinking of doing a "Brooch of the Day" feature like the Plaid Tidings I did a couple years ago. Would you guys be up for that in December? 
 This wool and rhinestone 60's hat has been waiting in my collection for years. I knew the right outfit would come along-it just took 5 years! That's okay, it isn't like the vintage will go out of style. The sweater dress is something I wouldn't typically wear, but it was .49 cents at Goodwill so I took a gamble. I really don't like Empire waists, but this one had so many other cool features I was willing to overlook the "Uniboob" these dresses always give me.
I added a faux fur because...November in the American Midwest. 
 The sleeves are decorated on the underside. Me neither.
The lace feature at the bodice is nice though. 

Outfit Particulars:
Tissavel vintage faux fur-Goodwill
Avon ceramic brooch-Thrift World
Earrings-Thrift World
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Emeraude

Hope you're having a good week. Hat's all folks!