Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Understated Floral


Edited: I wrote this prior to surgery so there would be something to post as I recuperate. Needless to say, I ain't lookin' my best at the moment . I'm coming along fine though, so I hope you enjoy the written-in-advance posts this week. 
When I hear, "Spring Florals" the first thing that comes to mind are prints. Today, I was in the mood for something Spring-like without the traditional floral print. I remembered this dress I bought to harvest  the daisy shaped buttons from. Combined with a floral necklace and earrings I was able to achieve the seasonal look I wanted without unpacking more of my warm weather clothing. Yes, I do feel clever. 

Sheer black tights. Sigh. I swore I'd never wear them again, but after a distance of a couple decades they started looking good again. I don't think I'm ready to don them with formal wear, or with 5 inch heels for the 80's version of sexy, but with a nylon dress adorned with twee little daisy buttons, it kind of works. 

I added a jacket because it is still too cool to go without something. A cardigan would have worked too, but the jacket was the first thing I grabbed. The handbag is something I bought a few years ago but never used. It seems early for a raffia bag, but being black I hope it doesn't look like I'm hurrying things along too soon. I have the identical bag in beige, but I think I'll wait a month or two for that. I saw the first Meadowlark of the year today, and it was singing. Clearly the birds think it is spring whether the humans agree or not.



Outfit Particulars:
1980's nylon dress-Goodwill (I think)
1950's jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
1960's Ritter straw purse-Goodwill
Wood bangles-Et Cetera, Seward, NE
Belt-K Mart
Shoes-K Mart
Necklace and earrings-K Mart
Brooch on jacket-Goodwill
Nylons-Leggs
Large silver and copper Scandinavian Modernist ring-Goodwill 
Fragrance-Patou Sublime
I haven't decided whether to remove the buttons and discard the dress, or keep it for days when the weather is flaky and I'm feeling uninspired. There's certainly no shortage of nylon dresses from the 80's on the rails at the thrift store, and I'm not sure it deserves space in my wardrobe. My big fear is at some point, this sort of thing will become sought after, and I'll wish I'd kept it. Sigh, that's the problem with buying something for the buttons-you end up keeping the dress. Or I do, anyway. Tough call, this one. I can't be the only pone that does this. Do you buy clothes for trim or buttons and end up keeping a less than spectacular item because it, kinda works? Do tell.




















Monday, April 24, 2017

Now I'm Gonna Be Stooopid


 Wisdom tooth extraction day is finally here. I'm wearing Danny's shark shirt as it has teeth on it (yeah, shark teeth but whatever).
Thanks for all your kind encouragement. See you soon. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Smock it to Me



 There's a whole hell of a lot of embroidery and smocking going on in this vintage Hungarian blouse. I've done a fair amount of needlework in my life, but nothing as nice as this. The hours (and good eyesight) involved in making something this beautiful is mind-boggling, and I wish I knew the person that made it. I'm sure they had a creative streak (and patience).
I wanted to wear the blouse with something equally special for blog photos, and this vintage skirt made of raffia (yes, really!) was the first thing I thought of.
 It is sort of like wearing a fancy handbag...on my bum. It takes careful sitting, and avoiding the tendency to slide into a seat to prevent ruining the skirt. It has a few stray pieces as you can see, but I'm not going to bother trimming them yet-eventually it will need it.

 The inside of the skirt is backed with netting. I'm sure worn with a crinoline it would be spectacular.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage 50's Hungarian blouse-1860-1960.com (vintage seller extraordinaire)
Vintage Raffia skirt-Etsy
Vintage Collins-style bag-Goodwill
Carved Bakelite bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Enameled bangle-gift from an old neighbour
Alva museum reproduction charm bracelet-Nomads With Baggage
Earrings-Target (years ago)
Vintage Qualicraft raffia shoes-can't remember
Fragrance-Coriandre (I'm soooo hooked on this fragrance. Review soon, I promise)


 How fun are these shoes?

That's a "W" flag on the door. When the Cubs win a game, we put up the win flag. As far as I know the Cubs are the only team that fly a W when they win a game. I don't have a flagpole, so the door will have to do.

 I varnished my toenails just for you. I didn't mow shave my legs 'caus I don't like you that much.
Have a super weekend.
















Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nebraska Statehood 150-Macaroni Loaf

As part of our yearlong statehood celebration, I'm cooking up some recipes from my (too) many local cookery books. Today's dish comes from the Nebraska Centennial First Ladies' Cookbook published in 1967. Not all the recipes came from First Ladies (many did) and this simple casserole was submitted by Mrs. Dan Jones Jr. of Lincoln, Nebraska.

I made two small changes to the recipe as I had yellow bell peppers to hand rather than pimentos, and I used dried onion as I couldn't imagine cutting open an onion for a whopping single teaspoon! They really didn't overdo onions and spices in the 60's.

Danny managed cooking most of this by himself, though I did help out lining the pan with parchment. I must admit, it smelled good baking away in the oven, and the boys really enjoyed it. I did not partake as all that cream, butter, and cheese would have had me suffering (not that I'm unwilling to suffer for cheese, but not cheap cheddar I bought for $3.00 a lb. I'm a bit of a snob that way).

Mrs. Dan Jones Jr's Macaroni Loaf

1 cup uncooked macaroni (I used bow-ties. In 1967 she probably used elbows)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup cream, scalded (I used heavy cream but I think 1/2 and 1/2 would be fine)
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon onion
1 teaspoon green pepper
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon pimento
3 eggs, beaten (I had large eggs)
1 cup grated cheese ( I used cheap cheddar)

Mushroom sauce to serve. There wasn't a recipe for the sauce but being 1967 I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was condensed soup. I skipped it.

Cook macaroni. Add butter to cream and scald. Pour cream over breadcrumbs. Add remaining ingredients and pour into a loaf pan lined with oiled paper. Place in a pan of water and bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until set. Mine took about 40 minutes. The recipe doesn't mention it but if you plunge a butter knife into the centre and it comes out mostly clean. it is set. Too damp, and it will fall apart. Treat the loaf like a quiche.

I served mine with a red cabbage slaw. The loaf re-heats perfectly in a covered tray in the microwave for five minutes. If using an oven, about fifteen minutes at 300 degrees ought to do it. I imagine it would be delicious cold, and make good picnic fare as it sliced neatly and easily.

Next time, I have my eye on a sponge cake recipe baked with sweet wine.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

That Hits the Spot

 I'm dressed like Mrs. Beasley again. I've lost count of how many navy and white spotted dresses I own, but between different lengths, sleeves and sizes I absolutely need each and every one. Sounds like a reasonable argument to me! I wore the shrug for half a minute until the sun came out and I realised it was warm out. That's always such a pleasant surprise when the forecast is wrong in my favour. 
I'm not wearing my specs and I can't see a thing. I nearly laid myself out on the sidewalk too!
That's what I get for wearing "normal" shoes. Give me 4 inch heels any day over wedges. 
This beautiful bag is being used for the first time. I bought it in the dead of winter, but I knew it would go well with so many items in my springtime wardrobe. The chain is short, and it isn't meant to be worn on the shoulder, The purse is by Walborg, a sought after brand in business from the 40's to the mid-60's. Don't worry, I'm not selling it. I can see this becoming one of the most practical bags in my collection. 
Outfit Particulars:
1960's/70's polyester dress-Goodwill
Yellow shrug-Goodwill
Shoes-Goodwill
Vintage Walborg bag-Goodwill
Bangles-All over
Brooch-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Thrift World
Fragrance-1980's Coty Chypre (Lucky find)
Lippy-Revlon Snow Peach
Easter was fun. We bought a box of confetti filled eggshells...
Wonder what we should do with them?
Hit them like a tennis ball! Yes, that's the volleyball sand-we don't have a tennis court at our park. You make do. 
The turkey vultures are back. Nothing like having a trio of these ugly beasts flapping above your head. They won't attack (unless you're fully dead) but I still don't like them. 

 I prefer the geese. Danny has named these regular visitors," Duvet, Ski Jacket, and Confit." He has a dark sense of humour. They're domestic geese, but no idea how the three of them ended up at a small man-made lake. I suspect they live at a nearby farm and just come to the lake for the bread people feed them. They're smarter than we give them credit for.
"Confit?! How dare you?! I'll have you know none of my family were confit, thanks very much."
"Ha Ha, Confit has his tail feathers in a twist."
The mallards prefer to stay out of it.
 The turtles aren't having it either. This is still early to see them out basking in the sun.
Before I duck out of here, I want to thank everyone for their advice and well wishes for the wisdom tooth extraction. I'm scheduled for Monday which gives me just enough time to work myself up in a worry finish laundry and stock the freezer with dinners the boys can reheat. I'm looking forward to hours and hours of sleep-just wish I didn't need oral surgery to justify it! Otherwise, everything's just ducky.















Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter

A Joyous Easter to my readers that celebrate it.
And a bonus close-up of Mr. Bunny to haunt your nightmares,

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tattoo Tights



 Why not?

I bought these tights at Halloween a few years ago, and I just adore them. I have another pair with a more subtle tattoo design, but some days subtle just won't do. You know I mean business when I wear the bold tights and funky Christine Alexander jacket. I love this jacket so much from the crazy Victorian cut and styling to the funny nylon material and crystal buttons. Buttoned up it could look convincingly 19th Century-from a distance. There's something so steampunk about it, deliberate or not.

I keep trying to make this skirt work for me, but it isn't to be. First it was too tight, now it is too loose, and it never did hang the way I thought it should. Still, I like the embroidery at the hem enough to keep trying to make it work. I know this is foolish. I spent the better part of today adjusting my belt over the drooping, too large waistband, so I'm afraid this skirt's day's are limited. The blouse is on the chopping block as well. I'm trying to be a bit more ruthless in weeding out the wardrobe. I think the only reason this outfit, "Works" is due to the tights. With tan tights the outfit wouldn't merit a second look.

Outfit Particulars:
80's Chaus blouse-Goodwill
Skirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage JR of Florida bag-Hand-Me-Ups
Tights-Nobbies
Shoes-Goodwill
Sara Coventry bracelet-Can't remember
Vintage dangling sequin earrings-New Life Thrift
Belt-Shop Ko
Christine Alexander jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Ma Griffe ( I don't know why either. Must be a "mood thing".)

I had a pair of old coots following me around...
Then, I was very nearly goosed!
 Things are positively wild out there!
I'd better fly now. see you next time!






Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy(ish)




 We had a rare 75 degree F day in early April. I'm certain we'll all be back in woolens by next week, but today was glorious. The lettuces are sprouting up in the boxes you see in the photo, and the dianthus began flowering. what more could I ask for?

 How about some great shoes? No, they're not comfortable. They fit better than they look in the photo as I was standing funny for the picture. Walking around my feet don't slide forward like that. They're still not something I'd want to wear on a long walk or drive a car wearing.
I've finally succumbed to the cult of Kate Spade. I have a couple of her bags but they never seemed all that special to me-until this one. The canvas is sturdy, the lining durable, the handles are well made and the bag is an overall joy to carry. I tend to avoid large shoulder bags as they hurt my neck, but this one's practically a tote and can be carried in hand easily enough. I'd say it was $3.99 well spent.

I'm a bundle of stress at the moment, so naturally I've been pouring my energies into distracting activities. Grading papers, unpacking my summer wardrobe, and watching baseball are keeping me busy, and I've started outlining next year's curriculum. Poor Danny, he isn't going to appreciate the classes I've cooked up for him. I'm also planning for the worst with my tooth and jaw, so I've prepared work for the substitute instructor (Mr. ETB) to work with. I find it is best to be over prepared. We're racing into the end of the semester now anyway, so it is largely completing workbooks, drills, and readings. Worst case scenario, there's documentaries though for some reason Danny doesn't appreciate my choice of documentaries. *Shrugs*. I did move the surgery out one more week to give myself a bit more time to get mentally ready.

Outfit Particulars:
Skirt-Goodwill
Top-K Mart
Shoes-Goodwill
Kate Spade bag-Goodwill
Earrings-K Mart
Large bracelet-Claire's years ago
Charm bracelet-Etsy
Necklace-Goodwill (Bibi got me thinking about pendants and gold chains and I remembered this piece that combines the two)
Cazal frames-Mum's
Fragrance-Guerlain Vetiver vintage formulation

To my readers that celebrate Pesach, have a happy one,






Saturday, April 08, 2017

Embellished Skirt Mania

Hello there, embellished skirt lovers, I'm back with more from my collection. 

There's something about sewing beads and sequins on a cotton skirt that feels wrong and perfectly right at the same time-no wonder I'm so scatter-brained. All these years I blamed my parents and it turns out it was the skirts. *Shrugs* oh well. Hey everybody, sequins!

They fuck you up, your skirts and shoes
They don't mean to but they do
I'm taking liberties with the poem
Larkin would not approve.
Yeah fine, let's talk about the skirts.

This isn't a Mexican skirt, but it is in a similar style. This one's from Target via the Goodwill. The sweep isn't that wide but it would still benefit from a crinoline. As I was just off to run errands I didn't bother.

Outfit Particulars:
Norma Kamali peasant top (has matching trousers) -Goodwill
Skirt-Goodwill
Shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Caro-Nan handbag-Antique mall
Copper earrings-K Mart
Bangles-All over

How about another?
This skirt is NY and Company, probably from the early 2000's and the fabric is a strange printed tie-dye.
The sequins are almost too tastefully applied to call this an embellished skirt. As I can't be seen wearing anything tasteful, I'm going to call in at the fabric shop for some more sequins. I have standards, you know.


 Outfit Particulars:
NY And Company skirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Tee shirt-Gordman's
Cardigan-Sears about 10 years ago
Old Navy shoes-Goodwill
Handbag-Mum's
Necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Sara Cov brooch-Goodwill
Earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Rings and bangles-all over

Check out the sweep on this one.
 This time I went with a crinoline for a better effect. It was fun squeezing myself into the driver's seat of a Ford Focus. The things we do for the clothes we love!
The skirt was really just an excuse to wear my purple shoes with glitter heels. You'd think with the exciting life I lead there'd be ample opportunity to wear these, but somehow it never works out. I know you're wondering, so yes-they are a bit tricky to walk in. They don't hurt, but I do need to pay attention as I walk.
The skirt isn't vintage, but the blouse and handbag are. I also wore a nifty little purple bolero with the outfit but forgot to get photos. The tooled leather belt is something my cousin Andrea gave me in the mid-70's! I've kept it because I like it, and though I wear it a bit looser than I did in 1975, it does still fit. 
The belt practically screams, Arizona!
Whereas the bag screams, Mexico! My love of tooled leather handbags nearly equals my love of a good embellished skirt-luckily they look  good together. 

Outfit Particulars:
Embellished skirt-Hand-Me-Ups
1960's blouse-Salvation Army store
Shoes-Thrift World
Vintage Mexican handbag-New Life Thrift
Arms full of Bakelite-all over, large carved bangle from Hand-Me-Ups
Crinoline-Ruby Begonia's, Lincoln, Nebraska
Earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch-Can't remember
Fragrance-Vintage Mitsouko (It was my signature fragrance for years and years, but I hardly wear it anymore)


 I could keep the embellished skirts going almost as long as the plaid/tartan series. When I like something, I tend to stick with it, and I don't know of a better way to dress in summer than a fancy skirt and a peasant top. I'll try to feature more of these on the blog from time to time.
Wonder what laid this egg?

Here's a couple more from older posts:
 This one you've seen recently in green as well.
I just unpacked this one for yet another season.
And this beauty that sheds sequins all over. 

We have all sorts of air quality alerts this weekend due to agricultural burning in Kansas blowing up our way (Thanks, Kansas!). It sort of limits any outdoor activities with Danny's asthma so perhaps we'll find a nice museum to spend time at. I hope you have a nice weekend, free of air pollution.