what she wore on Sunday

I wonder how many neighbors peeked out their windows, wondering why the heck I was staring with such fierce concentration at the camera balanced on the pickup truck I took this one outside on Sunday afternoon. I think all the neighbors were inside napping, and I certainly hope they were, because otherwise they'll think I'm quite narcisstic for taking pictures of myself.
Shirt: thrifted
White skirt: gadzooks
black slip showing underneath: vintage
white ribbon: wal-mart (!)
black sandals: thrifted ($2!)
Fierce expression: I was willing the camera to hurry up and take the picture already.


quick picks for the weekend

- Raw edge applique tees. Awesome, awesome idea. I love the way she covered some cheesy graphic with those charming shapes.
- The Small Object Steno Pad. All sorts of charming clothespin creatures.
- A couch made from wine bottles?
- Brand name: Lover. Seriously, that's great.
Note that the template is now working. I've also updated my links list, getting rid of old ones and adding new finds. Now everything listed is somewhere I visit, usually with astonishing regularity. Check them out--especially the "inspiration" category.

a new favorite thing

Yesterday while browsing at Borders I picked up the initial issue of Martha Stewart Omnimedia's newest publication: Blueprint. I loved it. I actually ended up buying a copy off the stand, something I rarely do because the cost is exorbitant, and I can get the information for free by checking a copy out from the library. This magazine, however, is one I'm going to want to keep around. There were so many good ideas (scarf purses, anyone?) and lovely layouts that I couldn't remember them all, so I wanted to take them home. All that to say: I'm hoping to post scans or photos of some of my favorites later today, but for now content yourselves with a look at the fonts of Blueprint. (Aren't they cool?)


summer sale loveliness!

The best thing about summer sales is that they take place while it's still warm outside. I, for one, am not counting the days until cooler weather; I'm still trying to soak up every available sunbeam. So here are some of my favorites, all under $20.
Lux Shadow Stripe foldover skirt. $15 from Urban Outfitters. Available in black and white, I think. I like the detailing on the top. This would also look cool layered over another, longer skirt.

Now these I'm coveting. Sudded O-Ring wood heel sandals, also from Urban Outfitters. Only $19.99! I love these with shorts or capris, and come fall they'll look darling with tights.

I actually rather like this top from Delia's. The print is fun, and the fabric looks cool and refreshing. Of course, I would wear it with a pencil skirt and wide belt cinching the waist. $14.99

Ok, I really like this wide scalloped suede belt from the Gap. It would look equally at home with a feminine dress or pair of jeans. And since it's suede, it should make the fall transition smoothly. Did I mention it's only $6.99?


stock up for Christmas?

I can completely see one of my siblings loving this. And it's a good deal.
$14.99 from Red Envelope.
Down from $70.

perfect for the vintage librarian

An oilcloth book bag. On sale at Cath Kidston.
Was $28, now $20.
Um, yeah. Am having technical difficulties, which is obvious since I have no linkage and am missing the bottom half of my page. I don't have time to fix it right now, but will hopefully get things straightened out later today.

espresso cups

I know, I know: I've given up caffeine, right? But I still love espresso, and espresso cups. They're so tiny, and perfectly shaped! And espresso just tastes good. So, inspired by a post by Alissa, I present some of my favorites.
L-R: Nespresso, Crate and Barrel, Crate and Barrel
Row 2: All from illyusa
Row 3: espresso zone, espresso zone, whole latte love


she can bake a cherry pie, charming billy

she can bake a cherry pie, billy boy billy boy! I must confess that I've never made a fresh cherry pie before. Every other experience has involved cans of that koolaid-colored slime commonly referred to as "cherry pie filling." Consequently, I've always hated cherry pie. However, my husband's professed love for this treat, as well as a weighty tome entitled "Pie" inspired me to give it a chance. I modified the recipie somewhat from what was given in the book--the main thing I need was proportion of fruit to cornstarch; I wanted a pie that was tangy and held it's shape without becoming gooey. Happily, that's what I got.
Sweet Cherry Crumb Pie
Dough for a single crust pie (I used part whole-wheat flour, and it had a suprisingly lovely flavor.)
5 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Line pie pan with dough and flute edge. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
Put cherries in a large bowl. Mix together cornstarch and sugar, then into the fruit. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Stir together and set aside for 10 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour fruit into chilled crust. Bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make crumb topping.

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup shortening or butter

Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Spread on top of partially baked pie (there will be plenty), then return the pie to the oven, making sure to rotate it. Bake for 25 more minutes, or until juices bubble thickly around the edges. Let cool for 2 hours before serving.

I think this might be turning into a shoe blog

But these shoes are just so cool! Unfortunately, they're not available in my size. Available (along with some other very amazing designs) at the string republic. No word on whether they ship to the US or not.


shoe steal of the week

Ok, they're green. AND they're embossed leather. But something about those lines remind me of that pair of sandals that I wore until they fell apart: they were absolutely comfortable, but made my legs look amazing, and went with absolutely everything. Plus the thick-but-not-chunky heel would fit in quite well this fall. If I weren't on a shoe fast, I would seriously consider getting them and either having them dyed black or leaving them green and wearing them with black tights. Oh, man. That last bit would be very very Dolce.
From zappos.com. $39.95, down from $143.95


patterns I reallyreally want to sew before this fall

A Roland Mouret knockoff. Maybe in a grey or red wool?
A trenchcoat, most decidedly. My pink one is dying, replacing that would be good. Maybe another in bright yellow or green? Or even navy lined with a color? It wouldn't have to be waterproof; water-resistant would do the trick.
this superlovely lined coat as the top of a suit with a matching fishtailed skirt. Make them in a herringbone or tiny houndstooth wool, maybe brown and cream? Black would be practical and very usable, though.
A shirtdress as seen at hook and needles. Isn't that white eyelet lovely? She's very inspiring.
This Diane won Furstenburg wrap dress is lovely, and I've been wanting one. But I'm not entirely sure how much I would wear it; I'm quite self-concious of the drape and cling of knits. Nope, don't think I'll be doing this one.
Oooooooh. Pretty. Perfect for that vintage floral yardage I got off Ebay.

what she wore on Sunday

sunday, July 16 Yes, I'm a bit slow this week. Also boring--I've been wearing cute outfits (for the most part) but just haven't felt like or had time to take pictures. So all those wondrous jewels will never be preserved for posterity. Sadness, I'm sure.
Red linen vintage dress: thrifted
black vintage stretchy belt: thrifted
black patent vintage purse: thrifted
black satin slingbacks: Discount Shoe Warehouse


I've been hearing numerous people (Fashion is Spinach being the latest) raving about Built By Wendy patterns, and from what I saw, they looked like very charming, modern-lined pieces of clothing. Imagine, then, my delight when I was flipping through the Simplicity pattern book and discovered her patterns were featured! Which means you can buy them, 24 hours a day from....Wal-Mart. For 50% off. And paying half as much for the pattern means you can spend that much more on fabric. (Which we don't buy from Wal-Mart. That's for patterns only.)


worth reading

I picked this up at the library (of course) and it's full of really good ideas. There are food and non-food baskets, and each comes with ideas to keep it in the under twenty-five, twenty-five to fifty, or over fifty dollar price range. Ideas range from gardening to chinese food to a handyman kit to a chocolate lovers basket. Pages are filled with full-color photos, presentation ideas, and recipes for many of the food baskets. All in all, it's a good resource if you want ideas for creative, personalized, reasonably priced gifts.
Available for $11.67 from Amazon.com

like threadless, only cheaper

And not available in colors, but hey! You're supporting grants for design education. Or something. But anyway, Target currently has a line of tees designed by teens. At $14.99 each, they're fun and reasonably priced. My favorites are friends with mustaches and pirate music.


bargain for today

CB2 regularly entrances me with their clean, lovely lines and strong color schemes. These dandelion plates are no exception. Available at CB2 for $9.95 (down from $19.95).

worth a click

If you're half as addicted to the Sartorialist as I am, you'll certainly enjoy facehunter. Ah, the French and their impossible chic!


lovely asian pieces

From left, a paper parasol, funky wrapping paper, and a pretty cool screen. All from pearl river.

songs for a summer evening

I've been listening to James Taylor:Greatest Hits and Bossa Nova and I can't seem to get enough of either of them. The way I see it, during summer days you want to make noise. You play your music loud and run and sweat and play beach volleyball and laugh really hard with your friends. But when the sun slides down below the horizon, and the air finally cools; when the scent of honeysuckle lies heavy on the air and you want nothing more than to sit on the porch swing and watch fireflies, that's what these CD's are for.


finally went to see "the devil wears prada!"

going to see A, Mr. Man, and I went. I think for him watching that movie was the mental equivilent of me watching Jackie Chan. Which is to say--he didn't quite get our oohing and aahing over shoes.
She's wearing:
Hollister shirt
walmart shoes

I'm wearing:
gray and black tanks from Gadzooks
thrifted gold chain belt
banana republic skirt
the usual flat sandals

Look, she has on heels so now she's almost as tall as I! Well, not quite. But it makes her happy when I say that.

notice quickly!

JoAnn's Fabric is having a major sale this weekend--many of their spring and summer fabrics are 60% off. I suppose they're making room for their fall stuff, but since we sill have a couple of months of hot weather left, pick up something to make yourself a lovely sundress. I found a fabulous ice-cream pastel stripe for $2 a yard--I'll post a picture later tonight.
Another note: if you have a Kaufman's or other May Co. department store (i.e. Hechts) near you, check out their sales this weekend. I picked up some lovely dress shirts and ties for Mr. Man today for $10 each. Apparently they're clearing merchandise to become Macy's.


I call this "the circus dress"

the dress that makes everyone smile Doesn't the skirt look like it needs a dancing elephant somewhere nearby?
Dress: vintage, thrifted, found on the children's rack
sweater: gap clearance
headband: Gadzooks (it's a belt that I have not worn around my waist YET. And the other side is covered with sparkliness.)


more with the pants under dress effect

this is my Someone at work was giving me a hard time on this look, but that's ok, as this particular person usually wears an oversized button-down, khakis, and sneakers. I must say that I love the dress/pants combo, because it provides the femininity (and forgiving fit) of dresses with the coverage of pants. And trust me, some of our library patrons? You want that coverage.
green vintage dress: Village Discount (secondhand store)
white tshirt: thrifted
black capris: thrifted
ballet-esqe flats: department store
sparkly earrings: Kohl's clearance

the important things in life

Project Runway: Season Three start tomorrow night. It's almost enough to make me want cable. Except then I would have to have TiVo too, because I work Wednesday nights...and all that for one show? I'll just buy it off iTunes.
So anyway, have some lovely links. There's Daniel V's blog, the website of the Evil Santino (where, suprisingly, he comes across as rather human), and the all-encompassing Blogging Project Runway. And if you're a fan, you certainly want to subscribe to Tim Gunn's podcast. It's witty, reserved, and always interesting.


this is how you make a strapless dress church-approved, and thereby justify the ridiculously high purchase price

the outfit/pose make me look like I should be sitting in a canoe, trailing my fingers in the water, whilst my handsome beau reads me poetry white dress: express (clearance, but still!)
black shirt: gap
black ribbon: fabric store
prada knockoff shoes: marshall's
large brown spot on my bum: the tea that I unknowingly spilled on my car seat

shoot me now

This makes Baby Jesus cry. I mean, people wear these things? Understand--I love clogs, as long as they have a wooden sole. I'm currently stalking several pair on Ebay. But if plastic "clogs" that look they should remain in the garden aren't bad enough, people are now adding little plastic animals and sports emblems and flowers and jewels??? Truly, this is a sad, sad day.


spoils of war!

spoils of war! I went thrifting with the sisters-in-law this morning. Ostensibly we were buying clothes for camp. While we did manage to find enough shorts and tanks for that, E and I went crazy on the vintage. And nothing was as damaging to the budget as the belts. We just kept finding these amazing vintage belts that we couldn't resist. I walked out with eight, but was seriously jealous of a couple she found: they were beaded and fastened in the back, and reminded me of those championship belts that wrestlers wear. So here are the six best; I also got a silver link one and a belt for Mr. Man. Oh, and all the various clothes I'm wearing were thrifted today, too. In my defense? I didn't buy a single pair of shoes. Thank the Lord for small mercies.


lovely linkishness

It's Friday! I have tomorrow off, so I've every intention of taking the sisters-in-law thriftstoring and then going to watch Pirates of the Carribbean tomorrow night with a gang of friends. Should be fun--and an excuse to wear a fun outfit.


in honor of her day of birth

my mother and I They say that if you want to know how the girl will turn out, then look at her mum. Well, I can only hope that when I'm 62, I'll be as cool as she is.
Mum is an inch taller than I, weighs less than I do, and is a smaller size. And she's got the whole "she's 37 years old and has had 5 kids" disadvantage, but still manages to come out ahead.
Any personal style I have was learned from my mom. She let me play dress-up in her knee-high suede boots, taught me how to tell which ones were good quality garments, and let me dress like Laura Ingalls or Heidi when I went to church. She taught me how to cook and gave me a taste for weird foods, so now I'll eat pretty much anything at least once.
Happy birthday, mum.

two reasons I wish I were a better/faster/more creative knitter than I am

Both from anthropologie


happy fourth of july!

hapy fourth of july!
This was super-cool, comfy, and feminine all day long. I added the white skirt under the dress because the dress is very full and has a strong disposition to traveling upwards when faced with any sort of draft.
Dress: vintage, Salvation Army
Red belt and bracelet: vintage, Goodwill
Red shoes: ebay
White "petticoat": skirt from Gadzooks

culinary cliff's notes

We went to a picnic today, and had to take a side dish and dessert. So I cheated, and made the easiest things I could think of: practically instant pasta salad and Rita's peanut butter brownies. The latter we had for the first time last week, and I'm addicted. Here are the recipies.

practically instant pasta saladPractically Instant Pasta Salad
1 lb pasta
1 can black olives
1 can beans (I used kidney. Northern or garbanzos would work equally well.)
1/2 bottle italian salad dressing
Cook pasta and rinse well. Mix with other ingredients. That's it. You can add anything else that seems interesting; pepperoni would be tasty, as would cubed cheese or artichoke hearts. Throw in whatever tickles your fancy.

peanut butter browniesPeanut Butter Brownies
9 x13 pan of your favorite brownies (I use the recipie from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box, but a mix would work as well)
1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 can chocolate frosting
Make sure the brownies are cool before you start. Spread the peanut butter thickly, then spread the chocolate frosting on top. Serve with cold milk or ice cream and plenty of napkins.

so what happens when the holiday picnics get rained out?

I'd just like to draw your attention to the fact that I'm typing this entry before nine o'clock in the morning. Apparently I've lost my much-treasured ability to sleep late. So as I'm sitting here, the rain is pouring down outside. We were scheduled to go to a picnic and later a bonfire, but now I'm not so sure. So here's how you can celebrate instead.
- Make a holiday playlist
- Buy or make a couture knockoff.
- Bake red, white, and blue cupcakes or bread.
- Paint a room
- Buy a summer dress.
- Use scraps to make cool stuff.


spoils of war!

Saturday evening -- when librarians get to relax Some of my wonderful finds from Friday morning's trip to the scary Salvation Army. I'm trying to break out of my mold here, and be a little less "matchy" than in times past. (There are 4 or 5 shades of blue going on.)
orange dress: salvation army
cool espadrilles: chix0rgirl! (part of a flip-flop swap)
blue scarf: who knows
navy bangles: ebay
gold hoops: gift from husband

a midsummer night's dream

Mr. Man and I attended a performance of this classic tonight. Mainly we went so I could take pictures for the costumer (a girl from our church) so she would have them for her portfolio, but we enjoyed the show tremendously. I think next we're going to have to rent Henry V--it has all those lovely sloppy "battle in the mud" scenes that I think the husband will enjoy. These were some of my favorite costume shots.
queen of the amazons mustardseed puck
the handmaiden to the queen of the amazons um, one of the actors cobweb