Thursday, March 29, 2018

Somebunny Loves This Time of Year

Spring is (sorta) here and I'm jumping for joy. Actually, that's more of a wobble for joy as my foot is still in the boot (going on 5 weeks now) and I don't want to risk further injury. Anyway, between the snow showers that melt as quickly as they fall, we've had some lovely warmer temperatures. I always look forward to wearing my linen blouse for the first time each season.
At  this point I think of the boot as a fashion statement. I am able to walk easily now, though the toes and top of my foot are still dreadfully bruised and swollen. Most days, I forget I have the boot on unless someone asks what happened. Anyway, everything is moving forward and that's all I can ask.
Outfit Particulars:
Linen blouse-K Mart a few years ago
Vintage bag-Goodwill
Bakelite bangles-all over
Glass beads-Hand-Me-Ups
Lucite earrings-Can't remember
Quilled brooch-Sarpy County Museum Yard Sale

The potatoes are ready to be planted as we cut them earlier in the week and they are now sufficiently healed over and can go into the dirt. We're planting Yukon Golds again this year as they are the most difficult potato to find locally in good quality condition. Fingers crossed they do as well as last year.
 Also planted are peas, scallions, chard, spinach, borage, cutting lettuces, rocket, and something else I've forgotten at the moment. The strawberries came back in good condition, and have really spread this year. This will be their third season and I'm hoping we will finally have a good yield.
 I've been getting creative with Instagram filters to post photos of my perfume collection.
I wouldn't call Zen or Gres Caliene favourites, but they both work well in spring.

 I finally wore my Owl and the Pussycat dress from Lindy Bop.
 To be honest, I felt a little too old for the dress. If I were teaching elementary school, perhaps I could get away with it easier but it felt out of place with my life all day. I don't typically worry about age appropriate dress (really, sod that) but novelty patterns are tricky on everyone and they don't get easier as you age. I don't mind looking goofy, but I do try to avoid looking...I don't know...twee? I might cut the dress down into a skirt as it will be easier to wear and won't feel like quite so much, "Too much."
 But I did go matchy-matchy with the brooches, obviously.
Outfit Particulars:
Dress-Lindy Bop in the sales (it was quite inexpensive which probably convinced me I needed it. That said, if they did a Jumblies print next, I'd probably buy that too!).
Box bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooches-both Goodwill
Vintage lucite and glitter necklace-Thrift World
Bangles-all over
I made Danny take a photo with all the books he had scattered across his bed for nightime reading.
They're all about baseball. No surprise there. Except for the book about fish. No idea how that got in there. Cubs won their first game of the season, so the fan is happy. The poor kid has been through a rollercoaster of medical stuff, and now we're just looking forward to having a bit of calm. In addition to the Chicago trip to watch a couple Cubs games, we bought tickets to see the Cubs minor league team in Des Moines, Iowa. We're going and staying over for Mother's Day weekend, just the two of us for some quality time watching baseball and availing ourselves of the hotel's Mother's Day Brunch. I can't think of a better way to spend Mother's Day.
The Picnic Pants had their first wear of the year even if it is still not quite warm enough for a picnic.
The Hungarian blouse had a first wear as well...beneath a mohair cardigan. I really wasn't kidding when I said our weather is flaky.

Easter and Pesach overlap this year, which is inconvenient, but manageable. Basically I baked the Easter breads and froze them so we can enjoy them after Pesach ends. This photo was from Danny's first Pesach. Look at those itty bitty feet! He's now several inches taller than I, and we have the same size shoe. No idea how that happened. I also have no idea when I found time to iron that tablecloth with a three month old throwing up all the time. No really, he did. We had to feed him every two hours around the clock, and he'd finish a couple ounces of formula and then...blerg, and we'd have to start all over again. I think he spent the first year of his life puking, and that special medical formula wasn't cheap (or covered by insurance). Still, after about a year it resolved and now we're probably clear of any serious puking until he and his friends discover alcohol.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have let him play with those egg cups. My mum bought them at Woolworths, but they're the sort of thing that's collectible now. I loved that rocket-ship one as a child!
Nice buns😜.

 This year, I baked a bunny instead of a lamb. Danny said it looks like the alien from the Classic movie.
 Yeah, I guess the ears do have an Alien look about them. He's in the freezer chilling out with Roland the Snowman's head. Yes, Roland survived yet another winter. He might outlive me at this rate. I hope they don't stick my head in a freezer. Cryogenics just isn't an appealing idea to me.

Mr. Bunny is coming to haunt your dreams, boys and girls!
Okay, I will leave you with one last outfit that just screams, "Springtime."
I wouldn't have worn this in the 80's if you'd paid me. Funny how a distance of a few decades makes things more interesting. I said, "Interesting" not, "Less hideous" because there is a difference, you know.
This would have been an expensive jacket at the time-this was a line made for Saks 5th Ave.

Outfit Particulars:
80's jacket-Goodwill
80's skirt-Goodwill
Belt-came with a dress
Necklace-retail, years ago
Gold bracelets-all over

Whatever holidays you celebrate or not, I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Amouage Bracken Woman-Review

I won't be the first to review Amouage Bracken Woman with an equal measure of enchantment and sickness. This is a perfume that shifts between extremes, and continues to do so over the course of several hours. There's a lot to sort through in that time.

Some fragrances are simple to describe by their notes. A few dabs on pulse points and in a couple hours you've worked through opening to end. Sure, not everything is that linear but typically there's a predictability in how those notes emerge. A few wearings later, a "Yes or No" emerges, and that's that. Bracken isn't like that. Bracken emerges like the first fiddleheads of spring pushing through the late winter mud when everything else is still struggling to wake. A blast of green breaking the matted straw of last autumn's wheat coloured ground cover. But not any old green. Not any old fern. It would be a mistake to assume Bracken is some sort of fougere you can lump together with a generic label of, "Green notes." This fern isn't bright or bracing but rather herbal, sometimes medicinal, and sometimes like the measuring cup of water holding a bunch of asparagus. It smells more asparagus fern than asparagus, but it also smells of the salinated sandy dirt it was grown in. Then, it buggers off for a bit and you catch a nice berry note before it returns with some lily and narcisus and tries to kill you. Some people get "Romantic walk in the woods" from this part of the Bracken experience-I get the opening credits of a sci-fi movie. That isn't a bad thing.

At some point in the Bracken Experience (like the Jimi Hendrix Experience with less feedback and more patchouli) it goes 60's. I think it is the chamomile more than the patchouli, but really, who knows. My experience of the 60's largely consisted of learning to read, gluing pieces of tissue paper to construction paper, and Flintstones chewable vitamins which were a brand new thing and probably the closest anyone in our family got to candy. The 60's to my mind smells like rubber cement and iron fortification. Anyway, there's enough leather and vetiver in there to satisfy any filthy hippie worth the title. It isn't constant though, and the leather is subtle, sort of damp like it was caught in a cold March rain that could snow if it wanted to. Then, our friend Fern returns. My mum had a friend named Fern. I don't think Fern would have fancied Bracken Woman as she always smelled of Lysol. Bracken is anything but clean.

When we lived on the farm we'd get to this point in the year (March) and with any luck the snow would be mostly gone and the mud would soften into the sort of stickiness I can only liken to being caught on a glue trap. More than once, my husband went to take the trash to the pit and would lose a boot on the way back-unable to pry it from the muck. Oh, he'd retrieve it eventually, but that clay-heavy mud was something else. It had a different smell when wet or dry. It was almost powdery when it would dry enough to chisel it off your shoes, but wet it smelled of everything from decaying vegetation to a pottery class. Combined with the mouldy, bitter smell of damp hay in the barn, it shifted between, "Ahhh, springtime" and, "Oh god, what died?" The snow geese would be migrating through about this time, settled in for the evening in the wetlands that surrounded the farm. The smells, the noise, the mud-a glorious rebirth that only lasted a day or two before the flies arrived. Bracken...smells like the day before the flies. And it is a lovely day. 24 hours later your sci-fi movie will take a decidedly horror-bent turn, but while it lasts...and the berries are so nice.

I would have liked Bracken to have a bit more of the birch note. I know it can be an overwhelming note and the use here is quite restrained, but I do like the smell of damp bark, and I'm a little sorry there isn't more of it.

I hate to keep banging on about the berries, but they are strange here. Sweet, but not too, tart but never veering into raspberry. Mulberry? Something dull between blackcurrant and blackberry? No idea. I am terrible at nailing down berry notes, but it keeps returning, sometimes only a whiff and my brain thinks, "Wow, that's nice" and I go to sniff again and it is gone. "Ha! Take that perfume lover."

Narcissus makes me sneeze. So many fragrances I would have loved to wear leave me with watery eyes, a running nose and a hacking cough. I like the smell of narcissus, but it has to be a pretty special perfume to suffer through what it does to me. I am pleased to report no such trouble from the narcissus in Bracken Woman. I almost wish it had made me sneeze because at $300 bucks a bottle, I'm going to be going in deep to smell like I've been out photographing snow geese in the March mud of Nebraska. The generously gifted sample bottle (thanks, Emily!) will last a good long while as this stuff is a powerhouse that requires but a small drop, but yeah, I see a full bottle in my future. Obviously I haven't tried it in warm weather, but I would think it would be suffocating in the heat and humidity. I could be wrong-sometimes fragrances surprise me.

Notes according to Fragrantica:
Fern, chamomile, berries, narcissus, birch, lily, leather, vetiver, and patchouli.

What I smell:
Biker caught in the rain, Nebraska clay/mud, fiddleheads, pottery class, unseasonably warm but rainy spring days when you open the kitchen door to let in the smell of rain but immediately regret it when two hours later everything on the clothes drying rack smells like a field mouse died behind the fridge.  And some berries😁. Something mushroomy. Dirt. wooden canoes. You get the idea.

I understand this review isn't exactly selling Bracken Woman, and honestly-it is a tough sell. I would advise getting a sample or decant before investing in a bottle, but I'd also encourage you to wait it through to the end without scrubbing. It changes and shifts so much through the (very long) wear that you might miss out on something you adore because you were retching into a wastebin. I mean, come on, what's a little puke in the face of magical perfumery?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Come For the Clothes, Stay For the Whinging

This isn't a sexy, play-with-my-hair pose, I just have a stabbing pain at the back of my head😘.

 But hey, I do what I can. We've had a hectic, mixed-up week around here (that's a grand understatement-stress much?!), but I still managed to get dressed. Can't say I didn't accomplish anything! My foot continues to heal, and hopefully by the time we go on holiday in April I will be able to manage without the funny shoe. I probably won't be back into heels, but anything would have to look better than this.
Right, complaining won't change anything, so on to the clothes.
I purchased this vintage skirt last summer from an online seller. It was described as a 50's skirt, but I'm pretty sure it isn't. The metal zipper doesn't seem to be original, and I think that's what threw her. I know when I replace a zip I use whatever I have in the correct size-sometimes plastic, sometimes metal. Anyway, this is probably 70's or 80's but I love the colours and print, so no harm done. It wasn't expensive-around $15.00 if I remember correctly. Today's lesson? It takes more than a zipper to accurately date a piece of vintage.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage jacket (part of a suit)-Long gone vintage shop in Brookline, Mass
Bangles-all over
Celluloid brooch-Etsy
Cowboy Boot (s)-K Mart
Vintage handbag-New Life Thrift
Vintage tooled belt-Thrift World
Fragrance-none this week as Danny has been asthmatic and although perfume has never triggered an attack, why risk it?

 This puppy basket is going to hold my pastry brushes in the kitchen. It is a bit too small to turn into a purse.
Someone got shark socks! I bought some as well.
 These are supposed to be cigarette trousers. I bought them far too big but the thing is...they're so much more comfortable this way. Yeah, they look like something my granny would have worn...maybe she knew something. Anyway, I bought another pair in beige and I think I'll keep them. I'm really not a trouser wearing sort of person, but these are like pulling on a pair of sweatpants.
 The Marimekko top sees another year.
 My hair is in desperate need of cutting, but I haven't had time. I've owned this barrette forever.
 The hair bow was my mum's. It looks better clipped to a bag than in my hair. I'm wearing shark socks if you look carefully.
BIG earrings.
Outfit Particulars:
Trousers-K Mart
Marimekko top-Target
Silver bangle-Goodwill
Shark socks-K Mart
Straw bag-Goodwill

I have a new glass kettle in my life. It won't look this sparkly for long. 
 Another skirt I'd forgotten about, rediscovered when I cleared-out my clothes last week. The elastic needs replacing, and it is super-lightweight. Will probably be better in summer with a peasant top, but I was eager to try it out now.
The print looks Mexican, but it is fast fashion made in China. A genuine vintage skirt like this would be very costly.

Outfit Particulars:
Skirt-no idea
Top-K Mart
Belt-came with a cardigan
Tights-K Mart
Enid Collins bag-antique mall
Floral brooch-Tiff and Tam
Bakelite bangles-all over

I'm late to the Korean skincare fad, but at $2.00 for 60 face wipes, these were a good introduction. They do a decent job removing eye makeup, but if you're wearing liner and mascara it will probably require two wipes to get it all off. I bought these for travel, and I must say I'm happy with them. Big Lots carries the entire line in different formulations. 

 Speaking of eyeliner... I've been experimenting with white liner on the upper lid. I can't quite get past the feeling that it looks like I used Liquid Paper as makeup.
It does open up my eyes quite a bit. I also bought some liner in a pale pink-that ought to be interesting in a bunny rabbit sort of way.
Time for a Spring dress even if the weather isn't playing along. We're having thunderstorms at the moment, complete with hail. I had to take Danny to a medical appointment this morning and it was a challenging drive! We don't get that much rain here-at least not in downpours, and I had forgotten how tricky it can be when you hit standing water on the roadway. I do wish people would just slow down and pay attention, but maybe that's asking too much. Self driving cars cannot get here soon enough for me!
Outfit Particulars:
1970's polyester maxi-Salvation Army store
Enid Collins handbag-Antique shop
Jade bracelet-Goodwill
Seashell earrings-Goodwill

Have you seen this alternative to plastic Easter grass? If nothing else, it will be easier to clean up if no one eats it.

 The Misty Harbor raincoat is getting plenty of use. This might be the hardest working item in my wardrobe.
 This dress defies photography. It is a beautiful silky, shirtdress, but you'd never know it from the photos. Ah well, use your imagination.
Outfit Particulars:
1980's Leslie Fay shirt dress-Goodwill
Misty Harbor raincoat-Etc Cetera, Seward
Brooches-both Goodwill
Earrings-New Life Thrift
Liberty scarf-Goodwill

And that's about it. Whew, what a crazy week. Next week doesn't look much better, but at least I have interesting clothes to keep me distracted. I wish someone could hit me over the head with a coconut and knock me out because that's about the only way I'm going to get any sleep.

Hey life,
Have a great weekend!