a lovely day

This mornign I didn't sleep late, but I did putter for quite some time, sipping Tazo Awake and wearing le husband's flannel pants. I got to spend the morning working on Christmas formals and finishing knitting projects, and I felt slightly guilty, because knitting? In the middle of the day? Isn't there something more productive I should be doing? But no, this was on my tasklist for the day, much to my delight.
Things only improved when I got to work--all the public computers were down in the computer lab, so I got to finish up on a couple of projects that I've been avoiding. Later on I continued training in Genealogy, which was absolutely fascinating.
Oh, and I'm reading a good book. So it's been a delightful day.

revolt against the snowman sweaters

revolt against the snowman sweaters! The holiday sweaters are out in full force at work. This outfit didn't start out as a protest, but I'm certainly glad I look more autumnal than Christmassy. For once I'm not wearing much vintage! The belt is the only piece. I'm not entirely happy with the white tshirt under the vest; I'll have to find a better bottom layer before I rewear this look. (I started out with an orange print blouse but it was TOO TIGHT across the boobs. How is that even possible, since I have none???)
vest: Bekah Chapman
white tshirt: thrifted
skirt: Wal-Mart
herringbone tights: target?
vintage belt: thrifted
shoes: DSW

instead of one, many

For that hard-to-buy for chica who doesn't have tons of jewelry, increase your chances of a hit. Instead of one major piece that she may or may not like, try giving a whole handful of simple rings in different colors that she can wear with nearly any outfit.
white red yellow blue black
All rings and images from relishdress.


an explanation/apology

I know, I haven't posted any outfit pictures lately. There's a legitimate reason for that; last week was horrendously bad in the outfit department. This week is showing signs of improvement (belted grandpa cardi, anyone?), but my camera is in southern ohio, taking pictures of deer both before and after slaying. It shall return tonight with the slayer.
Last night was spent sewing on Christmas formals for the girls. Eli's is looking quite lovely--I should be able to attach the skirt tonight. Lee's, on the other hand, is going to be much more time consuming. I fitted the muslin last night, but I have yet to cut the actual fabric. (We're doing sheer black layered over hot pink satin.) We also watched White Christmas and spent the whole movie envying Vera-Ellen's figure. Of course, I just learned that the reason she wore high necks throughout the whole film was to cover the premature aging caused by her aneorexia. So she wasn't "just built that way," as we had hoped.


since I'll be away from my desk most of the day

Today is my half day, which always makes me happy. And instead of spending it cleaning le apartment (weekends have a devastating effect on it) and working on Christmas formals, there's a new yarn shop that needs investigating and some Christmas presents that need shopping. And maybe some thrifting to be done. So enjoy the linkage.

And that should keep you amused for a bit. I'm off to do yarn shopping!

Thanksgiving, the report

the much laughed-at list
All in all, it was a lovely day. The turkey was fat and happy, we had enough mashed potatoes and dressing (despite a last-minute scare that produced an extra pan), and we all ate more than was probably healthy. I've had Thanksgiving leftovers for every meal since, and I'm still not tired of them.
The cranberry sauce was a success. I made the mistake of sending it all home with people, so I haven't had any to munch, but I have extra cranberries in the freezer. I might make another batch--that stuff is good when put on top of a salad containing shredded turkey.
My inlaws concluded that angel biscuits are indeed good, although they think it's funny that I mock their family tradition of having cinnamon rolls at Thanksgiving dinner. (Seriously!) I have some leftovers that I think will be turned into bread pudding.
My favorite veggie of the day was the leeks au gratin. I didn't get a picture (my husband got the job of photographer, and he wasn't doing too much), but they were suprisingly simple and delicious. It's making me hungry just thinking about them.
After dinner we took down the tables that were filling our living room, drank coffee, and played Scum while we waited for our food to settle. And that night we continued our Thanksgiving tradition of a movie marathon by watching all three Terminator movies. (I had to quit halfway through 2 because of having to work Friday.)
Altogether it was a good day, I think. A hard day, in some respects, but a good one.
the table prior to being laden


and now that Thanksgiving is passed, the holiday season is here and I can post Christmas stuff with a right good will

Although I don't know that I ever STOPPED posting Christmas stuff. Ok then, here goes.

vogue patterns I just bought for $4 each

How I love Black Friday sales! (If anyone wants me to pick any up for them, I can go back after work. Just let me know the pattern number and the size, and I will be glad to get them.)
vogue4 vogue3 vogue2 vogue1

The first is that Roland Mouret I've been coveting; now I have the pattern and just need the fabric. Isn't that second suit fabulously Jackie? I love the shoulder shaping on the dress; it should fit me a bit beeter than a typical shift. The third may or may not end up as an Easter dress for a sister-in-law. The last, that fabulous cape/jacket/thing, needs to be made in dark grey wool, I think, and worn either with skinny jeans or a slim skirt, but definitely with stilettos.


quick, before I forget

Gorgeous place card idea I wish I'd thought of myself.

there's a reason I haven't bought one single thing from fredflare

I'm afraid that if I start, I won't be able to stop. It's all just that cute.

fredflare3 fredflare1 fredflare5

today I love

lacey goodness

Lace, the quintessinally feminine fabric, was all over the spring runways. Not only is it shown as dresses, but accesories are getting a fresh, lacey treatment. I adore the lacecovered sunglasses, and I think I can make myself a pair. Not sure how practical they are, but it's a fun idea. The shoes, perhaps surprisingly, are not ridiculously priced, and one pair is very very affordable.

laceydress laceyshoes
laceyshoes2 laceysunglasses

Clockwise from L: Blumarine, Payless, Carolina Herrara, O by Oscar


I'm sorry that I seem slightly obsessed with Thanksgiving right now

I'm just veryvery excited about it. But since the rest of the world probably isn't quite as enamoured with the details of my preparations, I'll provide some other reading material.

  • the little people project now has prints available! I love both of these shots; wouldn't they look lovey framed together?
  • chocolate soap. Since it contains both olive oil and cocoa butter, it might actually be good for your skin.
  • conversation-starting centerpieces
  • I was going to suggest that if I lived in Chicago you can bet your bippy that this link would be one of my favorites. However, it appears that most people don't like to share where they get their treasures. Not that I blame them! You have to be willing to dig through the bad if you want to find the good.
  • new favorite link, I think. Talk about style inspiration! (For the home, not the closet.)
  • Well, it looks like it would be an interesting article, if I could get it to load.

on to the next thing!

I've been working like mad, trying to get caught up on photo-editing. My goal was to have them all done by Thanksgiving, and it looks like I will, since I only have about twenty images left to do, and I should wrap those up tonight. Hooray! Now I can focus on Christmas preparations. We're planning on decorating the tree on Saturday, and I think the younger kids are going to come over to help. That means I need to get the garland made (I haven't been able to find exactly what I want, so I think I'll make it) and the decorations sorted.
We're also planning for the Christmas formal, and, true to my usual form, what started out rather simply is turning into quite the production. The girls must look smashing, of course! For Eli I'm recutting a formal that I bought for fifty cents; for Lee I'm going to make a top and skirt. JoAnn's is apparently having a big sale on Friday; I'll hit that before heading in to work. After I get those wrapped up, it's just a matter of finishing Christmas presents all around. I do so love the holidays.
Thanksgiving update: tonight is "cleaning the apartment" night. I figure if I can get it really clean, we can keep it neat and polish things up on Thursday morning. I won't start any cooking until tomorrow night, when I'll do pies and cranberry sauce and that sort of thing. All provisions are purchased, and the fridge is bursting at the seams. I have to check every tim I walk by to make sure the turkey isn't waddling out of the freezer.
Oh! Saturday night we were at Walmart picking up the contents of our Operation Christmas Child shoebox when I found tablecloths on clearance. I know, I know, Wal-mart tablecloths. But they're a lovely cranberry red, and I was planning on draping cloth over the table, so that works out just fine. I still have't decided what to use for centerpieces; maybe I'll pick up some little pumpkins and glitter tonight I try that glittery pumkin thing I linked to some time ago. Otherwise we might just let the food be the decoration.


I'm not sure how I originally ran across this book, but it makes me think of Alissa. It's one man's journal of his life in New York City, and the pages are filled with sketches and jottings--all the things I wish I knew how to do. Just flipping through the pages is inspiring, so imagine my delight when I discovered that the author has not only a blog, but a whole Flickr group dedicated to the same concept. Lovely beautiful artistry makes me happy and motivates me to be creative.


quick clicks

my knitting basket! detail of le scarf pattern idea
L-R: my current knitting projects; detail of the scarf I just finished; the sweater le husband wants me to make for him.

even the best of us are boring sometimes!

its a greenish kind of day Grocery shopping to do, photos to edit, and wanting to keep warm through all of it, so I resorted to the good old "sling the scarf around the necK' techinique. It's amazing just how warm those things do keep you. This is the scarf I finally finished for le husband after being close to done, needing more yarn, not finding any at the yarn shop, so I frogged the whole thing and reknit it narrower. I actually LOVE the length it is now, and I even had a little bit of yarn left over!
green merino cardi: thrifted
gray tank: gadzooks
jeans: ebay
belt: husband's (express)
green scarf: handmade
black clogs (unseen): ebay

cast on

Last night I had to order new yarn for this hat I'm making someone for Christmas, and I figured that if I was ordering yarn anyway, I might as well make the shipping worth it, right? Well, prowling around on knitty I found this pattern and now I am madly in love. So, so pretty. I want it a little slimmer, though. I think if I take an inch and a half off both front and back it will be perfect. (Finished pattern measurement is a 40 inch bust.) Oh, and no ribbons. Not cool! Anyway, to me it looks very anthropologie-esqe. I ordered the yarn for it last night; it's called "blueberry" and is a lovely medium blue shade. I also like this sweater, and I'm wondering if the cowl sweater on page 10 of the first Stich & Bitch book could be modified for a similar effect? I'm guessing that will be my next project.


only the most perfect wallpaper ever

From York Wallcoverings, price unknown.

and so life continues

I must confess that I spent much of yesterday feeling stressed because of this whole idea of hosting Thanksgiving. I have a tiny kitchen! And a tiny oven! And a very dirty bathroom. So I did what any logical person would do: I made a spreadsheet. Now my evenings from Monday on through Wednesday are thoroughly planned, and Thursday has an hour by hour checklist (what we used to do in the restaurant). Shopping is tomorrow, and I haven't made my list yet; I'm still debating my cranberry recipe and the rest are at home.
In other news, I finished le husband's scarf. I would have posted a picture, but he wore it to work before I could get one. He almost didn't get it, though; I wore it yesterday and fell madly in love with it. I think I'll be knitting more for myself after Christmas is over. (There's this cashmere blend that I want to try that will be scrumptious, I think.) I need to take a picture of my knitting basket (it's a basket now! not a pile!) with all the little projects that need finishing. Have I mentioned that I hate weaving in ends? Side note: I'm supposed to be making a Jayne hat as a Christmas present, but all I could find in the right colors at the local places has been this horrid, very fine acrylic stuff. Which I bought anyway, hoping that if I knit two strands at once it would work. However, two strands isn't going to cut it. I think I'm going to need three. And that's the point at which I just might decide to give it up and buy new yarn. I can give this ickness to some old lady at church, and fine the good stuff online. I hope.
Christmas preparations are clipping along at a mad pace. I can't detail those too much, but suffice it to say that I'm hoping to catch up on photo editing projects by Thanksgiving so that all of December's free time can be dedicated to the gloriousness that is Christmas. And Christmas music, and general wonderfulness.

three things, quickly

- wouldn't this be a lovely way to wrap small gifts for Christmas? Or you could pop in a few chocolates and use them as placecard holders!
- That top quilt? I want that pattern in a wallpaper.
- super cheap screenprinting. That's seriously awesome. I don't think I'll have time to try it before Christmas, but come January? Hoo baby! Let's go!

I'd rather be laughed at than ignored. I think.

homage to a seventies housewife Which is is fortunate, since most everyone laughed (or at least smiled) when they saw this outfit. I'm really not sure why--maybe it's the shoulder ruffles? (Don't worry, my hair didn't look like that all day--this was the very tag end of the day.) I actually loved this whole outfit (much to the consternation of my coworkers, I'm sure) because it was just so happy.
vintage floral dress: thrifted
pink tshirt: express
red tights: wal-mart
suede clogs: ebay


for the hostess with the mostest

The holiday season means lots of parties, dinner or otherwise, and it's a wise guest who comes prepared with something for the lady of the house. However, flowers are so passe; no hostess wants to stop pre-dinner preparations to find a vase! Food is tricky, too. She'll feel compelled to serve it wether it works with her menu or not. So try one of these lovely presents. And if you don't need hostess gifts, keep these ideas in mind to tuck under the tree for that family member who loves to throw parties.
  • Retro design apron and dishtowel. Either one can work--who doesn't need another apron, especially such such a charming one as this!
  • fair trade coffee. It's always fun to discover a new favorite blend, and to support micro-farmers in the process.
  • floral placemats. These dramatic images look lovely for those most mundane everyday meals.
  • handwoven towels. Love the red of these.
  • a unique teapot is never amiss.
  • and, for that person who has everything, maybe a pair of USB slippers? (don't worry, I'm kidding. But they're so bizarre I had to share!)


This shelf. I've just decided that it would be the perfect way to hold all my cookbooks; it's sleek and modern, adding a nice counterpoint to typical kitchen craziness (at least at my house). And it would mean that I could keep my cookbooks in the kitchen instead of on the bookshelves in my bedroom. This particular versaion is from Design Within Reach, but CB2 also has it for the same price but with a lighter colored finish.


my new favorite dress, I think

how to make yourself suddenly very concious of your legs; a short essay Because it cost fifty cents! It's gray wool flannel, it's from the fifties, and it fits. I'm very happy. And the tights? Well, I didn't want the dress to look dowdy (it's a tiny bit big in the bust, so that's a valid concern) so I wanted to pair it with spicy tights. These were spicy alright! Did I mention I've previously only worn these with a long skirt, nearly ankle length, but I STILL get comments? Well, I had random drivers honking at me, someone shouting that I looked "good enough to stop traffic," street passersby commenting, and coffee shop patrons striking up conversations. Loudly. Far from letting all this go to my head, it rather served to remind me that I really should try that whole "exercise" concept before I wear these tights again.
vintage dress: thrifted
tights: ebay
vintage belt: thrifted
shoes: dsw

not all Christmas, all the time. Just about 90% of it

  • Very inspiring for holiday entertaining! Make sure you scroll down and look at the pictures from 2005. Some very scary tablesettings, but some lovely ones, too.
  • Loves it! A bag with brass knuckles all over it. That's awesome.
  • I saw this post and thought the gift tags would be brilliant on the white-wrapped packages that go under our tree, but then I started poking around Ikea's site, and now I want to tie one of these on every single box. Wouldn't that be too funny for words?
  • Want. This. Shirt.
  • Why can't I make some of these for thanksgiving? So much better than nasty old candied yams.
  • I am completely coveting this garland. I really think we need one on our mantelpiece.


aaaand the world can now stop spinning

Because I'm linking to Old Navy. Now, you have to understand--I HATE that store. I started out thinking "Cute cheap clothes! How fun!" Of course, the former sentiment was also held during the days in which I absolutely coveted a Gap logo sweatshirt. So we can ignore it. Now I think "Semi-cute overpriced cheap clothes that everyone and their dog is wearing and that will last through maybe one washing. So. Not. Cool."
The one exception is their perfect fit tees. If you need a basic crewneck tshirt, theirs are good. They are thick enough so they don't cling, but thin and fitted enough that they don't look bulky. Anyway, that's a long explanation of why I'm not an Old Navy fan. This tee, however, is charming. Whimsical, simple colors, and not at all "old navy attempts to be Express" looking. And it's only $10. I'm sold.
Chandelier tee, $10 at Old Navy


the benefit of attending inservice training: you have lots of time to knit

work completed! I was concerned about taking my knitting to the training--would people think I was being disrespectful or not listening? I know that I can knit and listen, but not everyone is cognizant of that. So anyway, I had one row done on the hat when I stuffed it in my bag in the morning, but the whole thing done by the time I got home last night. I was most thrilled by peoples' responses; almost everyone else wished they had brought something to work on, too. So anyway, this is my mum's christmas present. The mitts came from this pattern and the hat pattern is here. (Please excuse the circles under eyes, etc. It was the end of the day but I wanted to get the picture up before we head off to Niagra Falls to celebrate le anniversary. One year! hooray!)

because all these pictures are getting boring

we had inservice training yesterday!

slight contrast to the usual vintagey effects So I got to wear jeans. Also heels, because I was going to be sitting on my bum all. day. long. I think it's interesting to notice that most of this outfit was purchased new, which could be why it's much more boring than my usual outfit combinations.
striped shirt: wet seal
black cardi: thrifted
jeans: gap
purple snakeskin shoes: ann taylor
chain bracelet: marshall's


a slightly bipolar mix of vintage and earthchild

vintage....something Not my best look perhaps, but I liked the blue cardigan with the floral top; the centers of the flowers are almost exactly the same shade of blue. And that's my favorite cardi, so any change I get to wear it is a good day, right?
wool cardi: thrifted (vintage, I think)
floral top: gadzooks
red vintage belt: thrifted
red vintage skirt: thrifted
tan suede clogs: ebay


seeing red for under $30

With dark colors dominating the runways, red accesories are the perfect way to add a punch of life to your wardrobe. Right now the red patent peeptoe/slingback is almost cliched; be a little more creative and try one of these moderately priced options instead.
g274b 151044_red_w 37010126600
B000F7T8VK.16._SCLZZZZZZZ_SS260_V52393586_ a_storyredring 36559848600
151558_red_w prod35I3 049620_beauty

what I wore on Friday

what she wore on Friday This outfit is thrifted in its entirety, except for the boots. Those came off of Ebay. What you can't see, unless you look really closelty, is the layering on my top half. I'm wearing a superthin turtleneck underneath a sheer boatneck sweater, and the combination looks almost Edwardian up close.


now reading

I'm loving this book! It's not particularly informative unless you want to learn the names of good vintage brands, but it is a charming romp through one woman's experience in the world of fashion and later as the owner of a vintage shop, Hooti Couture. I love the author's enthusiasim regarding her work; it inspires me to dig a little harder through those thrift store racks. And make sure you check out the above-linked store website; the blog is charming and I have a feeling I'm going to be addicted before too long!
From Amazon.com

enthralling me


things that intrigue me


the Thanksgiving menu is finally decided, I think

Currently we're planning on 13 people, I believe.
Ham and cheese dip/crackers/crudites

Main meal:
dressing (or stuffing. Whatever you want to call it.) - plain. Not cornbread, nothing weird in it. Just celery and onions and the normal things.
mashed potatoes/gravy
Sweet potatoes*
green bean casserole creamed spinach creamed leeks
cranberry sauce (made from le grandmother's recipe)
green salad*
angel biscuts
elderberry jam
apple butter
raspberry preserves

pumpkin dessert*
some sort of pie**
pecan pie

I haven't gotten that far yet.

*Brought by the inlaws.
**Brought by the aunt.
***Made by le husband, because he doesn't know what angel biscuits are and is concerned about them, but if he wants rolls he can make them himself.

Note what is not being served: mashed turnips. sweet potato biscuits. corn pudding. pickled beets. any kind of greens. apple pie. succotash. brussell sprouts.

more photography

I guess this is what happens when you read all your feeds? I have two sites for you: Mr. Toledano and Genevieve Gaukler. The former are detailed shots that often look into peoples' soulds, it seems. The latter are incredibly detailed montages involving thousands of combined images. Both sets are intriguing.

way up north where the icebergs grow

what's black and white and...black all over?
There lived a chica by the name of Moe.
She got so tired of wearing pink each night
When she went to the party she wore black-and-white!
Actually, black and white was the theme of le sister-in-law's sweet sixteen. Since it's after Labor Day, I couldn't bring myself to wear a white skirt, but I COULD wear a petticoat, right? And the white gloves were a necessity here; I dyed her hair yesterday, and my hands looked bizarre. The gloves covered it up and added a nice touch.
vintage coat with fur collar: thrifted
black slip worn as dress: vintage store
sheer black boatneck sweater over slip: thrifted
white ribbon at waist: fabric store
white skirt as petticoat: Gadzooks (it's a different one! I got it on clearance yesterday!)
black tights: ????
black shoes: Marshall's
white gloves: thrifted