Wednesday, October 06, 2021

She's Still a Mystery to Me

Nancy Drew poses! You know Nancy Drew of the children's mystery books, don't you?

I had the books from my older sister and cousins, but I never really got interested. I read a few, and moved on to other things. I did however really love the covers as Nancy shared my taste in clothing. So let's call this Goody McGoodface and the Mystery of the Clothing She Didn't Remember Buying. 
I'm now looking for clothes to wear from what is essentially the stock of pieces I bought intending to sell. As I never wore this skirt or blouse, I wasn't sure if they'd even fit. They did, and I'm happy to have a navy blue skirt in my wardrobe. The blouse is even more of a mystery. It is made of a very silky nylon. The belt is Anne Klein for Oroton and I would think that would have stuck in my memory, but I don't remember purchasing it. I'm glad I did as it is a nice heavy belt, but it is definitely a mystery. Perhaps we can get Nancy on the case. 
The print is lovely though and the fabric covered buttons a nice touch. 
Hard to photograph, but that belt buckle weighs at least a pound. They just don't make things that well these days. 
Perhaps Nancy can solve the mystery of the missing Laura Ashley Romper. I went looking for the one I bought in a floral corduroy and found this one instead. Would I really have bought two of something this ugly?! Apparently so. In the US we call this sort of thing a "Onesie" and they're generally for children that still wear diapers. Unlike the toddler version, this one sadly doesn't have snaps at the crotch for ease of using the restroom. This might be one of the most absurd things I have ever worn. That said, it had nice deep pockets on the front and was loose and comfortable. The 80s had some very questionable fashions. 
The band at the ankle makes the balloon effect...effective.  
The socks I'm wearing are thick, cotton cabled knee socks from Land's End that I purchased mid-80s. They're still going strong. The shoes are Bass Weejuns Penny Loafers and yes, I put a penny in the slots with the year I bought the shoes. I've been wearing the same loafers nearly my entire life (I see no reason to try other makers when these are so good) and they do last a very long time. I had a pair as a university student that my dad threw away without asking because the soles had some holes starting and he didn't want me looking shabby. I was so angry because I could have them re-soled, but breaking in another pair would take ages. These were purchased about 15 years ago and still looking good. 
You can read a bit of the shoe's history HERE

Let's take a better look at the bracelet
Have you ever picked up a bracelet and immediately known it would feel lovely on your wrist? 
For someone that favours big, loud pieces, this is (whisper it) tastefully made. It looks expensive even if it is costume. So many link bracelets pinch my skin or feel twisted on my arm. This one does not. Before thrifting the piece I wasn't familiar with Keja Designs. You can visit the website and read a bit more. I'm tempted by those meteorite rings. 

I took Danny over to Iowa Saturday afternoon to have a look at some migrating birds. It was an overcast day, but still warm.
The clouds looked dramatic but didn't do much beyond a few sprinkles of rain.
Autumn in the American Midwest means goldenrod growing everywhere. It also means swarms of bees being attracted to the late season blooms. We didn't get stung, but Danny is no lover of stinging insects and wasn't too pleased with me bringing him over to look at the goldenrod! It is beautiful though. I planted some at the farm and it took well. Probably been hit with weed killer by someone that wants a pristine green lawn now. 
The park around the lake used to be open to the public but has been recently privatised. I hadn't been there in a couple of years and had no idea. There was a policeman sitting in his car so I drove over to ask if there was somewhere to get a day pass to look at birds and he told me to just go ahead and if anyone questioned us to tell them he said it was OK. That was nice. I suppose we didn't look like a couple of poachers! Still sad though that the park is off limits now. Insert standard rant about gentrification _________. 

Closer to home, I harvested the two largest sunflower seed heads, tied them to the rail of the back balcony and left it for the birds and squirrels. There's still several more sunflower heads with plenty to harvest for our own use and still share with the wildlife. 
Would you believe this 80s skirt is a knit? I was surprised as well. 
It doesn't have much stretch and hold shape well through the day. Another mystery skirt that I undoubtedly bought for the print thinking I'd use the fabric for a cushion cover or something. It fits well now, and as far as clothing that spans seasons I can see wearing it with tights and a red pullover. 
I do remember purchasing this vintage handbag. 

This year I'm making an effort to wear all my Halloween items, starting with this vintage BSK brooch. 
How about some more Laura Ashley? This dress is also from the 80s, Much easier to wear than a romper.

Easier to wear so long as I don't bend forward! Next time I might wear something beneath it. 

And the silly pose action shot that shows my vintage French handbag. 

I went to the post office to send some international letters today, and thought I'd buy Christmas stamps to get a head start on sending out my cards. Our postal service announced they will be slowing down deliveries, so I thought it made sense to do things early. Despite the advice to mail early, they didn't have any holiday stamps in yet. I told the gentleman at the desk to just grab a book of something else. He looked pained. 
"We have hundreds of different stamps"
I told him to just reach in the drawer and pull something at random. This made him appear even more pained but when his hand emerged with a sheet of stamps bearing images of lighthouses of the Mid Atlantic States, I told him it was perfect. I don't know what he was so afraid of. It isn't like we have "Salute to White Supremacy" stamps or anything to worry about. Yet.  

I went to Hallmark for the cards. 
Last summer I lost a friend to cancer that had worked as a designer at Hallmark in Kansas City before getting sick and moving back home to spend the time she had left with family. It was her dream job, and she was so, so good at it. I thought it was going to be difficult setting foot in a Hallmark shop so soon, but it wasn't. I didn't cry either. I wandered around looking at all the designs made by all the other people working for the company who probably considered it their dream job as well. Strangely, it felt like a way of saying goodbye that wasn't sad. Who wouldn't want to be remembered by a Hallmark shop? There are literally, no bad feelings in a Hallmark shop. Even the condolence cards are tastefully comforting. I'm glad I went. 

The cards should be going out soon so they can arrive at any point from Halloween to Easter. 

Excuse the lack of food styling as I tell you about this chicken recipe. 

The recipe was in last weekend's Guardian and you may find it HERE.
It is a West African recipe with just the best combination of spices. I don't buy coconut aminos because we prefer soy sauce (they're similar) so I substituted that. Otherwise, the rest of the spices like cumin, cayenne, thyme, sage, paprika, garlic, and dried onion are pantry staples for us. I served it with a marinated salad of cucumber and sweet bell peppers. The baked beans are a no-sugar-added version that the boys found acceptable. British baked beans are much sweeter than the American version, but ours have a smoked flavour that can be overwhelming. British beans also have more tomato where ours have more paprika. Heinz has all sorts of flavours now from curry to peri peri but the traditional American style bean is very BBQ.

Anyway, they loved the chicken. That's good because I was shopping at an odd time when I more or less had the store to myself and bought some just marked down packages of chicken drumsticks for what came out to be about 20 cents a piece. These are very large drumsticks too. I came home, broke down the packages into smaller units and wrapped them for the freezer. I definitely won't need to buy chicken for a while, but it was a fantastic bargain for organically fed, humanely raised chickens. 

This was a slow cooker beef stew that made use of 1 lb of inexpensive top round. Instead of white potatoes I used a sweet potato, and instead of peas I used green beans. Served it with homemade sourdough rye bread. This sort of meal is filling but won't spike blood sugar for the diabetic. It won't win any beauty contests, but they liked it. I have an intense dislike for beef stew, even prior to becoming a vegetarian. My mother made it often, and badly. I'm sorry, that's the truth. She'd make a great quantity as well so we'd be eating the mushy tomato juice logged vegetables and beef for days. I know she was trying but it was so awful. I wish I could go back in time and show her how to brown the beef first, and leave adding the potatoes for the last half hour. It wouldn't have made it good, but it might have been less bad. In hindsight, I probably should have just taken over cooking for her earlier (I did towards the end). 

It was bothering me that Mr. ETB wouldn't have a Christmas Cake this year so I went looking and found a recipe that is suitable for a diabetic. I made a few changes (soaked the fruit in brandy, used lemon zest and skipped the orange juice, added more nuts (pecans and walnuts) but kept the amounts the same. It baked up nicely. I gave it a good soak with extra brandy and wrapped it to store. Obviously it isn't going to be the same (and I won't be icing it) but come Christmas it will be nice to have something resembling normal. Being dairy free it works for Danny too. 

 The skirt in this photo was thrifted new with tags showing it originally sold for nearly $200.00. What a shame to spend that sort of money on something that never gets worn. 
The skirt fit me perfectly (a rarity these days) and has both a built-in slip and crinoline. 
It wasn't too cumbersome in the car, and I more or less forgot about it as the day went on. I'm not accustomed to skirts that stand so far from my body, but I was pleased with this one. 
I wore it with a Shifty Shirt from 
I made several people laugh today which is worth the price of the shirt. They do have some utterly bonkers shirts. Like most of their items, the shirt was inspired by one found in a thrift store. 
The bag is a vintage Angela Frascone. She made some very cool bags in the 80s.

I have another one with an autumn fruit theme-should probably wear it soon. 

Finally, I'll close this post with a y2K era jersey dress that I couldn't resist for a dollar. It is incredibly comfortable, if a bit loud. That's OK, I like loud. 
Silly poses? Sure! Here's my hands...

Here's my mangled spine...well never mind that... last thing...have a fantastic week. I'll see you next time. 




Señora Allnut said...

Totally agree that the 80s had some very questionable fashions ;DD I'm not a huge fan of rompers anyway, as I'm running to the restroom every hour or so. Your remarks always put a (sarcastic) smile on my face, which I'm grateful for!
Love the 80's skirt, so fab print, and love your spooky brooch!, looking forward to see more of them!. This one is particularly cute.
Lovely and pretty useful récipes, lots of ideas!. I like any spicy chicken récipe, and lentils are always in our weekly menú, so getting some inspiration from you!. Curiously, my mom used to cook a stuffed veal fillet, dry and salty like desert, back in the 80's. She doesn't cook it anymore, thank goodness. But I still hate veal fillet.
Love your striped skirt and fab 80's bag, and the totally inconvenient t-shirt!. Rocking it!
Obviously, I love your 'loud' jersey dress, it's colourful and Fabulous!

Beth Waltz said...

The navy blue silky blouse is an enchanting print, Goody, and the cloisonne bracelet is the perfect accessory for it!

The mystery of its origin in your wardrobe gave me my morning smile. In the process of decluttering my box of handbags, I've been opening and inspecting the interior of each. Thus far I've discovered change, a $5 bill, assorted tickets and receipts -- and a black maribou feather fan. With a tassel. I have not the faintest memory of purchasing either the bag or the fan.

And then there's that pair of opera-length blue velvet gloves...

Emily said...

I read all 78 of the first Nancy Drew books when I was a kid, so when I saw your first photo, I immediately recognized it as a parody of Nancy's signature pose with a magnifying glass in hand. Did you know that there's a Nancy Drew television show on the CW network? I saw the first two episodes in 2019, and I couldn't bring myself to watch it again because it was way too contemporary and soap opera-like. For starters, I couldn't handle the idea of Nancy being sexually active. For me, she'll always be the wholesome and prudish girl detective with the 1930s through early 1980s wardrobe and no access to the Internet to help her solve crimes. : )

I loved your sunflower and squirrel video. I truly believe that the seeds are meant for sharing with wildlife and that Mother Nature will bless anybody who takes the time to do that.

I can feel the postal employee's pain, as I've stood in line at the post office behind fussy women who insist on seeing every type of postage stamp in stock, and they will hold up the line for ages, trying to decide which kind they want. Now that this employee knows you're not one of those people, he won't be so scared of you the next time he sees you. : )

I am sorry for the loss of your friend who worked for Hallmark. It does my heart good to know that shopping at the store is still a pleasant experience for you.

It's a good thing you never sold all those vintage outfits. There are some really nice ones in the mix that look stunning on you. Here's to uncovering more keepers as you continue to dig through your stash.

Polyester Princess said...

I love the Nancy Drew poses (and covers!) but oh my, does she have a lot of mysteries to solve!
That first outfit is a stunner, and my absolute favourite here. That blouse is to die for!
Also loving the maxi dress with it naughty decolletage, and the striped skirt with the inconvenient t-shirt :-) That final dress may be loud, but it's absolutely gorgeous, and those are among your best poses ever!
I'm not mentioning the onesie thing :-) xxx

bahnwärterin said...

very chic and very cool outfits!!
i had some of this y2K loud printed, ruffles decorated jersey dresses back then - but together with the dresses i lost the body to wear such...... ;-) fab blue bag!
the striped skirt is a very chic one, the sport shoes add the right amount of cool. gorgeous styling of the 80s b&w knit skirt - love the top bun and the cute brooch!
the laura ashley items look comfy and like something i would wear for every day running around house, garden and village.....
yummy food!!
have to try the chicken recipe - the spices are pantry staples here too. just yesterday i made a improvised beef stew - with leek, mushrooms, cauliflower (had to get used) and a leftover of spinach.... the potatoes were already cooked in the peel, so we just poured the stew over the peeled, cold potatoes.
the BW was happy!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Thank you for the Penny Loafer info! I've always wondered a) what they were and why they were called that. Now I know.

I loved the Laura Ashley dress, the black and white graffiti skirt and the lovely black and white hooped skirt. Fabulous accessories. Really liked the 'loud' dress and those earrings were amazing.

I've just finished two books about obsessive American birders; both of which I really enjoyed. Such obsessive behaviour but both interesting and humorous. One was in the form of a memoir which I thought was rather clever.

Such a shame about your park being privatised.

Hope you have a great weekend,

Bibi Maizoon said...

"Eccentricity is often rewarding." - Laura Ashley
Just took a peek to see what Laura Ashley was doing nowadays on her website & found that quote. She's still doing the ditzy floral prints but added cheapie looking cosmetics and accessories. A line of lounge bras too? Bizarre.
I had a shelf of Nancy Drew novels too, largely unread as I found them dull.
I think I first saw Keja at a swank curated Xmas craft show in San Francisco years ago. Love her stuff.
My eye is drawn to the 80s knit abstract skirt, I would have bought it for the print alone too!
Baby egret update: Found another baby egret trapped in a storm drain the next day. Boxed both up and drove them 30 miles into the jungle to a "Zoological Park & Wildlife Rescue park" I found online. They had a veterinarian and just emailed me with a pic that both egrets were released at a nearby lake. YAY!
Stay safe & have a great weekend

Vix said...

I used to watch The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys TV series in the late 1970s, I don't remember Nancy Drew, I was obsessed with Parker Stevenson but loving your poses!
I love baked beans but hate the Heinz ones - they're so sweet they set my teeth on edge. xxx

Anonymous said...

My cousin always told me that wearing a dress or skirt will always make you look dressed up. Your outfits do the same, while the sneakers bring that extra fancy striped skirt delightfully back to reality. NIce !

I am so sorry your lakeside natural area has been shut off. What in the world are we doing to ourselves and this planet. I hope you have other places that remain public. My husband is really into volunteering for the public investment in preserving open space as our little township develops. He has spent countless hours advocating for and coordinating interested landowners. It is amazing some people think it is stupid, yet once preserved everyone loves it.

Best Wishes,
Gail from Pa.

Goody said...

Thank you! I knew you'd approve of the colourful dress.

Ooh, those sound like good finds. I hope there's a visit to the opera eventually to put it all to use.

I'm probably thinking Nancy Drew, but looking Murder She Wrote :)
The squirrels are going to be well fed this year.

That sounds like a good way to cook a stew. I'm sure it was delicious.
I did not show the back of the Laura Ashley romper-it was, not good!

There's also a version of the loafers with tassels, but no spot for the penny. We have such odd little traditions here.
Birders/twitchers are all nuts. Every. Single. One. Not always in a bad way, but definitely not normal.

Why does that quote make me think of, "There are many benefits to being a marine biologist". Maybe the tone.
I recently bought some flannel Laura Ashley sheets and they're lovely. Since the company was sold off though, the clothes are kind of awful.
I'm glad to hear all went well with the stork(s),

Yeah, sweet beans aren't my thing either, even with eggs to counteract it. I've made them from scratch but five hours of baking in the oven seems wasteful of energy.

That's great that your husband is committed to doing such important work. We still have plenty of public spaces, but this was a bit sad as it is not too far from home.

Mim said...

Those baggy-bottomed legs on the dungarees.. I remember there being as craze for jeans with cuffs like that when I was in middle school, they were called 'baggies'. I soooo wanted a pair of a school trip, but we had no money so mum put elastic in some jeans she got at a jumble sale. I looked like a clown and never tried to be trendy again...

I do like seeing what you find in your wardrobe. That Anne Klein blouse has a great print. And it's going to be fun seeing all your Halloween items.