Thursday, September 30, 2021

Your Dodgy Prom Date


Honey, your prom date is here.

I'd been wanting to wear my Dior suit all summer but the truth is, I'm never going to be a pink linen Dior suit sort of woman. I tried styling it like a normal person with a plain, cream silk blouse beneath it and I hated it. So I did a prom date inspired take, mixing the blazer with the trousers from another vintage suit. If I had a ruffled tuxedo shirt, that would have been better, but I have to say, I'm delighted with how this came out. 

They'd be beautiful pieces together if I was going to a summer afternoon wedding. 
Don't let that size 12 fool you-the skirt has a 25 inch waist FFS. That's not even a 1980s 12. That's a very small 12. The jacket is roomier. 
Well if you don't want to go to prom, can I interest you in some brand new electronics that "fell" off the back of a truck? 
I was joking on Instagram that I took a Dior and made it Gucci, but I can't help myself. Nice things are wasted on me, I'll just do something like this to them. Anyway, that was fun. I didn't wear it out. I would have, as we all know I'm pretty indifferent to side eye from strangers, but the tie kept falling off and it was too warm for a blazer. 
Here's how I really went out. Same trousers and shirt but with the addition of a matching waistcoat. This suit also has a jacket but it is much too large now. The trousers are as well, but I cinched them tight with a belt. I'm short, but with 4 inch heels and a cuff on the trousers, it was wearable without alterations. 1970s men's suits are still easy to come by and generally inexpensive. This one's wool but not scratchy and beautifully made. 
How about a new mobile phone? I've got a special price just for you for you. Oh well, I'd be terrible at fencing stolen goods-I'd end up just giving it away. Good thing I didn't pursue a life of crime.  Fashion crime maybe. Thought crime for certain. Crime crime? Probably not.
Last week was a tough one. There's not much more to say other than perhaps next week will be better. Also, there's no substitute for Gatorade for putting back what my body keeps violently pushing out. I've tried Powerade, Vitamin Water, some other one I can't remember, but it won't do any good if I can't keep it down and keep it there. Pink Gatorade is the best one. I'll drink the orange if that's all there is, but the pink one is the best. 
l'chiam! Cheers! Sante! Prost! Cin Cin! Salud! etc. etc. I'm certain it would taste better with a swig of gin as a mixer but I'm off the booze until my guts get straightened out. 

Enough about that. Let's take some photos in the cellar. Yes, it is dark down there. Yes, there's stuff stored in the crawl space beneath the stairs. Yes, that's part of my cookbook collection.
I did a cull a few years ago, but I could stand to do it again. There's still several other bookcases. Those are old cooking mags stacked up. I rarely cook from books save for a few well loved volumes I know are dependable. I guess if I don't know what I'm doing by now, I never will. Anyway, I just spotted a couple non-cookbooks in there that need to get moved. 

A belt with gold, silver, and copper to match almost everything. The skirt was a vintage purchase online that was listed as 50s because of the metal zipper. I have my doubts, especially as the skirt style is so classic it could be worn from the 50s to the present day. I know I had skirts like that in the 80s. It doesn't matter, I love the skirt, but dating something based on a metal zip, especially something home sewn overlooks the fact that the zipper might have been in the sewing box for decades waiting for the right project. I won't tell you how many zippers I have stashed away. Hint: too many for someone that never sews anymore. 
The coyote brooch got worn. It is handmade. Keeping it polished is a chore, but then I wear it and remember why I bought it in the first place. The earrings are something I bought in the 80s with silver, brass, and rose quartz. 

I AM acting normal. What are you on about?!?

Oh, that. Yeah well, I thought you might be bored with the same beige wall and a new perspective would be fun. IS it fun? I'm sure having fun. Just look at me. Having fun. Wheeeee. 
How about this mirror photo? Is this fun? 
Yeah, the mirror is dirty. No, I'm not cleaning it. I mean, eventually sure, but not today. I think the dust adds a certain mood to it. 
And this is the mood. So good news, the hoodie also comes as a dress. I bought it. As with the hoodie I plan to wear it year round. It is the softest brushed cotton inside and is a delight to wear. 
Speaking of soft clothing, chenille is back in fashion. I was never really excited by the stuff, but now I'm happy enough to have it in my wardrobe. I'm not excited by the short cardigan over a long tunic look, so I threw a belt at it (when in doubt, deploy a belt. I'll probably wear the pieces separately as I don't like them together, but I must say I was happy with how they matched this vibrant Da Rue of California skirt I thrifted years ago. 
 Chenille ought to be warmer than it is, but I guess the loose weave doesn't hold much body heat. That's perfect for this time of year that can't decide what season it is. 

Last week I had the very good luck to find three dresses in the same size, same style, together on the rail at the thrift store. I'm convinced they came in together and hit the floor at the same time. This one is vintage, the others were not, but the two newer ones still had their tags on. I wasn't going to complain about six dollars each when I saw what they cost new! 

As the print really made me think of William Morris, I wore a Victorian hollowware brooch. It is a little banged-up, but pretty good given the age. If I owned an Arts and Crafty era pottery brooch, I'd have worn that but for some reason I don't have one. I need to remedy that. A nice piece of Ruskin Pottery would go well. 
I could have done without the pleating on the bodice as I definitely don't need to make my chest any larger, but everything else about the dress is so nice I'm willing to overlook it. My bra size has gone down quite a bit from a 36DDD (E in Europe) to a 34C, but that's still large enough to stay away from pleats, ruffles, and the like. In theory. In reality I'll wear pretty much anything.
Time for my favourite autumn belt. 

The second of the three dresses is this flouncy, floaty snakeskin print (!) ruffled shoulder number. I don't like elastic waists showing, so I tried this giant 80s belt. 
See how unfinished it looks without a belt? This dress reminds me of a Diane Fries design. 
Vintage handbag
Antique necklace sold as Whitby jet, but I suspect bog oak or something similar. No matter, it is a lovely piece I enjoy wearing. 

The final dress of the group is my favourite. Made of a sheer, lightweight fabric it has a dark enough print to work in Autumn. 
I was delighted to find something marked "Petite" because at five feet tall most dresses aren't proportioned for me. The sleeves were, for a change, the perfect length. 
I belted this one also as the blouson top looked silly without one.
The tapestry belt was purchased long ago, but it was only today I found something to wear it with. Patience wins out.
Vintage shoes by Selby
A garnet bracelet I never wear. The earrings belonged to my mother, and the cameo necklace was thrifted. 

Join me on the floor? I just hoovered. 
I'm convinced those dresses belonged to the same person. I'm glad to have them. Dresses are so easy to wear, at least until it gets cold enough that I need to coordinate a cardigan or jacket. 

Anyone hungry?
Meals for the boys have been nice, if not photogenic. Lentils are regularly on our menu as they're nutritious and inexpensive. 
It all looks rather brown on the plate, but that's also due to my poor photography skills. By the time dinner rolls around the light is terrible in the house. 

Steelhead trout is a seasonal treat the boys enjoyed. I served it with leftover kasha and a courgette/tomato saut├ę. Tomatoes and basil are from the garden.

I'm always looking for things to eat that won't be hard to swallow, or difficult to tolerate once it goes down. I bought a jar of pumpkin butter thinking it might be nice in yoghurt but it was disgusting. So sweet my head hurt, and I can tolerate quite a lot of sweetness. It didn't taste like pumpkin at all, but a jar of maple syrup spiced with too much cheap cinnamon. Blech. Today I got ambitious and made what is essentially a crustless pumpkin pie to eat like custard. Pumpkin is rather fibrous so I had to limit myself to a few tablespoons to start, but fingers crossed, so far it seems to be tolerable. I wouldn't typically bake just for myself but they both dislike pumpkin, so I was spared trying to make it sugarless and dairy free. I'm going to work on the recipe because I think it would work well as a savoury too (pumpkin is a vegetable). I know I've done that with squash in years past, so it shouldn't be too hard. Anyway, I enjoyed my tiny ramekin of pumpkin pie filling and whatever nutrients it contained. 

When my mother was pregnant with my sister her doctor told her to try and drink some Ovaltine (a vitamin fortified malt powder that can be used hot or cold similar to Horlick's) because it would be  good to get extra vitamins. Mum being Mum, she took that to mean several glasses a day, which mixed with full fat milk added up to quite a few extra calories a day. Over the course of her pregnancy she gained 90 lbs! When the doctor found out what was making her gain so much weight (it couldn't have all been from the malt) he was flabbergasted. He meant a glass now and then, not swigging down chocolate frappes all day. To be fair though, between all the gin and cigarettes, it was probably the only decent food Judi ever had inside or outside the womb. With that in mind I'm trying to drink it (I prefer it warm) as I need the calories. Never thought that would happen. 
Back to the clothes...
I can't decide if they're culottes (a split skirt) or gauchos (short trousers). I suppose it doesn't matter. 
They're super comfortable.
And they look great from strange angles. They're vintage, polyester, and made in the US. 
The vintage blazer is also US made, by Catalina-a brand better known for their swimwear. This outfit was such a pleasure to wear, and was perfect for a day that started cold and ended warm. The long sleeved tee shirt is a recent purchase from JC Penny's. I'm tempted to go back and purchase a few more as they're well made and look good right out of the wash. They weren't a bargain, though Penny's often has good coupon codes online. It is so rare to find decently made basics these days. You can find it HERE

I'll leave you with one more outfit for the road, also featuring a JC Penny's tee shirt, this time in green with a v neck. 
Silly pose or Slavic squat gone wrong? Quick, someone fetch my balalaika and Kalashnikov­čśĆ. The teenager has informed me I do squats incorrectly, but I'm sure that information comes from Russian YouTubers not his PE teacher. 
Brooch has matching earrings

Corde bag

My ugly mug
Cool belt buckle I've had for years, and a new cuff bracelet with a Minoan bull rider scene. Probably someone's souvenir from a trip to Greece. 

And that my friends is about all I have. Thanks for getting through a long, photo heavy post without much to say. Maybe someday I'll have something interesting to talk about but until then, there's always clothes. 
Honey, hurry up, don't keep your date waiting...
Until next time. 


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Don't You Know That You've Gotta Eat Food?

Hello all! September is flying by so quickly, I'm having trouble keeping up. Can we really almost be to the autumnal equinox? The calendar says so, but it feels impossible. 
You probably remember a few years ago when I bought this and another skirt from an online company and they arrived looking badly made and cheap (though they weren't inexpensive). I was disappointed, but made the best of it and I've been looking for ways to style the skirts ever since. A large photo print shouldn't be as difficult to wear as it is. The skirt is more blue than black, which also makes matching a bit of a nightmare. After several tries, I gave this knit St. John jacket a go, and it seemed to work. If I had a thin grey belt, I do think it would look more pulled together, but after trying at least a dozen belts I gave up and wore it as is. Hardly mattered as by midday it was warm enough that the jacket was no longer needed and ended up in the back seat of my car for the remainder of the day. That's how it goes this time of year in Nebraska-you need to dress for two, sometimes three seasons in a day. We'll still have the occasional 90 degree F. day into October, if we're lucky. I'm not in a hurry to see snow. Autumn would be nice though. 
The sequins on the jacket don't shed as they're glued, not sewn and are affixed quite well. The buttons have lost a few rhinestones over the years, but that's almost impossible to see and if I cared enough I could replace them. 

I wish the skirt were as well made. 
But eh, what can you do? I did finally find a tee shirt in just the right shade of blue to wear with it. 

And a grey vintage handbag. Not many outfits call for a grey handbag, but when they do, I have this one. It was practically free because of an ink stain in the vinyl. To me, that's just part of wearing vintage (and it is a small stain that could probably be worked out) so I hold that side towards my body and no one's the wiser. Vintage is rarely pristine, but there's still plenty of life left in the not-quite-perfect items. Either that or I have very low standards, I mean, just look at my hair.

Haircut? Not this week anyway.
Obviously I am not the sort of person they'd let anywhere near the Met Gala, but if I had gone, I would at least have understood the theme and worn something in the spirit of the thing. So here's my, "What I would have worn to the Met Gala Americana look". 

I bought the skirt a few years ago because it reminded me of my favourite guitar strap that I somehow lost. The copper pieces have been picked up here and there over the years, usually inexpensively. I'm still looking for a 1950s copper belt in the band style but I absolutely refuse to pay the prices people are asking for them. I'll find one eventually, I don't mind waiting. Meanwhile, this one gets the job done nicely.

This is what I wore for my second attempt at getting a passport photo taken. We got one, it looks terrifying (when I showed it on Instagram there were jokes made about looking like a member of the Baader Meinhof gang, or at the very least if not a marxist terrorist, someone that looks like they want to sell you drugs. I suppose that's typical for documents photos-I've never had what I'd consider a good one, though this certainly reached new levels of awful. You thought I was going to say, Baader, didn't you? Hopefully it will be acceptable and I can move on from needing to think about my uneven shoulders and tilting head. 
The dress is another from the box of forgotten vintage. It is sheer, with a built-in-slip, but rather uninspiring as grey dresses go. I knew it would photograph well against the white background, so I wore it. The vintage cardigan is grey with some silver thread running through it and beautiful bell sleeves. The belt I pulled it together with was a recent thrift find. 


So there you have it, Normcore. 

Someone was joking around on Instagram about being in her, "Statement Necklace Years" and I knew exactly what she meant. I'd extend that idea to scarves as the weather gets cooler, but yes-a little something interesting to distract from my face is no bad thing. 
Do you like brass? I ask because I see so little of it being worn (in the West anyway) and wonder why. 
I've had the Laurel Burch earrings since the 80s, but the pair of brass necklaces were a recent purchase from the "nicer" thrift store. I can't imagine why someone else didn't snap them up as they're lightweight and easy to wear. They proved quite popular, even causing a teenaged boy to lean in my open car window to tell me he liked them as I sat in front of the High School waiting for Dan. That's a first! 
Speaking of school, there's a new bit of Tik Tok nonsense where the kids are stealing pieces of the school building (soap dispensers, clocks, entire sinks!) and posting videos about it. It has gone so out of control at the High School they now have to guard the restrooms, and let the students in one at a time to make certain they're not up to anything. That's well beyond anything we did, though there was that time someone super-glued all the telephone handsets into the cradles in the guidance office. I suppose we should just be happy they're not eating laundry detergent pods again?! I'm sure it will pass quickly as these things always do, but for the moment school administrators across the country are losing their minds over it. 
That's a bodysuit that I briefly considered wearing with nothing but a pair of stockings. Still might do that at some point, just because. I'm glad to see them coming back into fashion. 

I finally gave the raffia skirt a wear for the season. 
Such an odd item, but I'm glad to have it in my collection. Time to trim some of the stray threads looking at the photo. 
These wooden painted earrings are having a first wear. They were lightweight and comfortable. The blouse was something I picked up on the dollar rail at the thrift store. As far as I can tell I'm not wearing it backwards­čśë. Please feel free to let me know when I do things like that, because odds are good that I do it often. I'm still not sure I have my stockings on correctly most days unless they have a label. You will never offend me, not over something like that. 

I've been posting some of my cooking/baking over on Instagram and people have started asking for recipes as I'm accommodating both Mr. ETB's and Dan's special diets. There's quite a lot of bad recipes online, and baking for a diabetic is not the same as baking for keto, or gluten free, although there's some overlap. Add to that a need to keep it dairy free, and any random recipe searches are likely to end in frustration. Of course there's just bad food blogging out there as well. The irony of reviving my cooking blog when I haven't been able to eat solid food since last winter isn't lost on me. I guess I could share my very un-photogenic pureed soups, but I probably won't. 

Over the years I've adapted things to be vegetarian, nut-free, and the like so I didn't expect this to be as challenging as it is. Obviously, there's no replacement that will be exactly the same, so instead what I'm aiming for is making foods that are enjoyable just for what they are. As every perfume lover knows-sometimes it is better to let things go rather than reformulate beyond recognition. I'm accepting that a cauliflower crust non-dairy pizza might not be terrible, but it probably wouldn't be good enough to bother when I could make something else that would be great. 

These are rugelach, a type of cream cheese pastry. I made the dough with margarine, soy cream cheese, and whole wheat flour. It rolled and baked beautifully. The filling is sugar free jam, sugar replacement, cinnamon, currants, unsweetened chocolate and chopped walnuts. I replaced what I could with my old recipe rather than introducing a bunch of things like xanthan gum or agave as some recipes suggest. Now that I know I have a working pastry recipe, that's a good part of the battle won. I will try to keep the recipe posts separate from the vintage clothing and this might be a good time to re-organise the blog. I know as we go through holidays it can be hard finding things to make. I'd rather cook once and make things everyone can enjoy rather than make special (often inferior) dishes for the person with the special diet. I've been a vegetarian since 1983 and I've seen my share of salads and nut loaves made by well intentioned people. Anyway, that's in the works.
Had to fit in a final summer wear of this absurd 80s Peter Popovitch skirt. It is jersey material, and so ugly it is good! I have several pieces in my wardrobe like that. Because it was 90 degrees F outside I wore it with a cropped top (okay, it is a bra but I won't tell anyone if you don't) and a lightweight cardie for indoors. 
No abs here I'm afraid. Seriously, I can't even sit up to get out of bed but sort of roll on my side and swing a leg over before letting gravity pull me down. The appendectomy really messed up my abdomen (we won't even discuss what coughing is like) but that hasn't really kept me from imposing my sagging gut on the unsuspecting public. If anyone gets too close to me I can just grab my belly and snarl, "Say hello to my hernia Pickles". Thankfully, I haven't had to resort to such measures, but I'm ready. As I was saying to some young people on Instagram-don't wait until you're my age to wear the clothes you want to wear. The perfect body doesn't exist, so take the one you have and wear what you like. 
And on that note, I'll wish everyone a great week.