busting out of my shell

this is the closest I'll ever come to one of those awesome Marc jacobs ads

A lot of people laugh when I say that I'm pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone fashion-wise; based on some of the wacky stuff I wear, they find it quite inconceivable that I have a "comfort zone." But I do. There are certain things I want to wear but am just scared to try--will it be too weird? Hats are one of those things--I have a bunch of lovely vintage ones, but haven't worn them. Yet. Friday was the day to get over that. I chose the simplest of them: a simple black net with bow in the back, and wore it with a very simple outfit to work.
detail of my awesome hat I added the red lips to add to the vintage flair. Reception of the hat was mostly positive; a few teens couldn't fathom why I would wear such a thing, but everyone over twenty loved it. So my courage is bolstered, and hopefully I'll try this again soon.
The above awesome picture was taken by my husband after we got home from watching a movie at the dollar theater. I love it, despite my less-than-optimal pose, because of the lighting and the ghostly sort of leaves in the upper left side.
black tee: gap
white capris: Gabriel brothers
hat: thrifted
belt: express
black flats: payless
bag: swapped for it


the great wedding dress hunt

First off, let me assure you that this is all totally hypothetical. No one I know would do anything like this.
Let's suppose we have someone getting married on July 7th. It's their third one, so it will be small, and wearing white isn't required. This person would also be rather small (5' 5") and pretty petite (size 2/4), so she can wear most styles with ease. Her personal style would be less vintage, more Eva Longoria's character on Desparate Housewives. (The "not so vintage" bit is what's throwing me.) So we need to find her a wedding dress, ok? But here's the tricky part: two days before the wedding this bride is having a boob job, so she'll be a D plus swelling. We have to find a dress that will cover her bandages.
This is what I came up with (click on image for dress information):

Chic, modern, youthful without being too young. It's not black; it's navy with light blue. Are the colors too harsh, though? It does have light stretch, though, so it should fit swelling. Hmmm.

I love this one. The color would be dynamic on fair skin, and teamed with gold sandals and a simple gold cuff bracelet? Simply smashing. The neckline is fabulous, too.

I do love the laciness of this one. I'm afraid, though, that it might generate some of those nasty "married quickly because they had to" rumors.

I love these sleeves. Dramatic and awesome, and I love the whole vintage vibe here, which is totally updated by pairing it with nude heels. Weddingish, but very fresh, I think.

These last two are my favorites, but I have to give the edge on wearability to this one because of the length. (Rumor has it that Hypothtical Bride doesn't like to wear minis, although her legs are quite lovely.) The neckline is high enough, there are sleeves, it's a knit fabric...all the constraints are met, plus this dress is just gooorgeous. Very clean and lovely.

And this is the dress I would wear if I could wear anything in the world. Feminine, meets the requirements, and totally lovely.

So, what suggestions would you have for this hypothetical bride?


pretty yummy

carrot cupcakes

I used this recipe for the cupcake part, but added a teaspoon of nutmeg. Then for the frosting I mixed up a block of cream cheese plus another partial one, a glob of shortening, the zest and juice of one lemon, some vanilla, and about 2 or 3 cups of powdered sugar. Yumness.

I love. these. shoes.

the entire thing was planned around the shoes

I loved the layering on this outfit; check out my collar!
red print vintage shirt: thrifted
black tank: gadzooks
black belt: target
black pencil skirt: thrifted
black slingback vintage heels: ebay
pearls: some department store


attack of the mom jeans

the mom jeans

I found these jeans at the thrift store and fell truly, madly, deeply in love. The wash! The high waist! The cropped ankles! Others might laugh at the fact that the top snap was above my belly-button; I loved them all the more.
vintage jeans: thrifted
white tank: thrifted
red belt: some department store
red sunglasses: wet seal
red shoes: ebay

little bits of things

It's hot and humid here today, and I love it. The rest of the world is looking at me askance, but I don't mind; I'm wearing a cotton sundress and wedge-heeled sandals and enjoying the weight of the air against my skin. And that has nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that strange things make me happy. Like:


this weekend I

Went to a flea market and found vintage aprons and hats.
Laughed really hard at the awesomeness that is Cary Grant.
Tried to solve my first rubik's cube. (I'm on the last layer!)
Made strawberry shortcake.
Started a nifty cool little quilted pencil case.
Didn't take enough pictures.



You've probably already seen a lot of these, but these are the links I've bookmarked for myself--I want to be able to grab them again later. So basically, they're my favorite ideas from this week.

awesome on so many levels

The plaid-on-plaid, the framed florals...it's fabulous. Image belongs to Mark Brautigam via flak photo.


summer is the time for dresses

Nothing beats summer heat like a feminine little dress. Cool and pulled-together at the same time, throw on a pair of flats and giant sunglesses for effortless chic.
All these are currently on sale on Ebay and are, as of this typing, under $10. Click pictures to go to the auctions.

happy summer!

Today is the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Celebrate! Light a sparkler, dance on a table, drink lemonade, play frisbee, make ice cream, eat watermelon, run through a sprinkler, walk through the grass barefoot, blow a dandelion, smile at a stranger, twirl until you're dizzy, catch a firefly, splash in a creek, and generally enjoy this most glorious of seasons.

as if I needed more ideas for things I'd like to sew

pictures from nina and lola
via so sylvie


::pretty things::

scraps for swapping
swappy goodness

shoes for dancing
these shoes were made for dancing, I think

my new favorite dress

this expression brought to you by the national federaton of odd expressions

I paid $7.50 for this dress last week (it was 50% off at the thrift store!) and that's ridiculously high for me, but it was just so fab. It fits almost perfectly, and looks amazing with my super-mod white shades.
dress: thrifted
green tank: thrifted
green sandals: gap clearance

mad mad love

The new summer knitty is up, if you haven't checked it already. (Don't ask me how I forgot, but I haven't been knitting much lately, so I somehow did.) Anyway, I checked it out this morning, and I've fallen in love with the idea of making Coachella in a linen/cotton blend and lengthening it to tunic/mini length. Wouldn't that be a super-comfy coverup or summer top?


my teeth are aching as I type this

All that sweetness, you know.

$20, elegant baby gifts

jewelry with a conscience

Images from beadforlife.org

Beadforlife.org is an online store selling necklaces, bracelets, and loose beads created from recycled paper by women in Uganda. These simple, beautiful pieces provide an opportunity for impoverished women to provide for their families. Besides being pretty, they're reasonably priced, so check them out.

hither, thither, and yon


the addiction of lists

If you haven't yet encountered 43 things, you're missing out. (Here is my list.) But those same brilliant minds have also produced the most addictive site yet: lists of bests. Books, music, movies, food, places, people--it's all there, and you just have to click to say you've done it. Then they can instantly tell you what percentage of a list you've completed. (26% of the AFI greatest films of all time, 3% of Easton Press' 100 greatest books ever written.) That thrill that comes from checking something off a list? Is now accessible 24/7 and without any actual expenditure of effort. I love it.

ebay finds currently under $10

Polka dots!

Shirtdresses are always classic; this one has a really interesting seaming detail on the back.

Super-adorable (and tiny) party dress from the fifties.

This white lace wiggle dress (size 8) is just gorgeous.

And the crowning glory: a vintage wedding gown. This is the sort of thing I was looking for when I got married; sadly, I couldn't find anything, and ended up with non-vintage. I'm still tempted to buy this, and would if I could think of anyone it would fit.

Click pictures to go to auctions.

the french totally know how to do it

Plaid tablecloth + Frye boots + huge sunglasses + gold chains should equal scariness. Instead, it's just fab and I wish I could get away with it. Image is from dans Paris, which is Paris street fashion and it's absolutely fabulous. Check it out.

showing family pride

I've been meaning to blog about the whole "duct tape prom dress" thing, but kept forgetting, until an email arrived informing me that my second cousin is one of the finalists. See the tall skinny guy on the left? That's him. Both outfits were made by his date, Adrienne. Random facts: sewing the outfits involved oiling the needle every time it went through the duct tape "fabric." Also: her dress weighs twenty-seven pounds.
Anyway, Z&A are currently in second places; if they win there is scholarship money involved for both of them. Check out all the awesome creativity, and vote for someone, even if they're not related to me. Those kids have invested a ton of effort, and I, for one, am seriously impressed.


two more entries in the great ice cream project

super lemon ice cream

fresh ginger ice cream

Lemon and ginger. Both recipes from "Perfect Scoop. I love them both, but the ginger a little more; it's creamier. The lemon was very simple, though: you combine lemon juice, zest, sugar, and half-and-half in a blender, chill it, and then churn it. Seriously easy.

I can't wait to start on the sorbets!


living in technicolor

images from Easy Living Magazine

I love the superbright colors and easy, relaxed shapes of these summer frocks. Both styles would be ubersimple to make, since they rely on the fabric for impact. (But please: if you're going to make a dress out of chiffon, do us all a favor and line it!)


next installment in the ice cream project

I've ben looking forward to the coffee ice cream; it's my favorite. I wasn't disappointed in this batch, even though I had to add a little instant coffee to kick up the flavor. I think that was my fault for using beans that weren't super fresh.

Good news! My copy of the cookbook I've been making all of these out of, Perfect Scoop, came today, so the library can have theirs back. Further good news: I've mixed up two more flavors (super lemon and fresh ginger) and they're only waiting on le husband to come so they can be frozen. (The freezing part is his job.)

the thrifty queen strikes again

vintage flats with cutout sides

plenty of pink

lots of blue


this is making me want to create things instead of pack!

Which is, I assure you, not a good state of affairs.
  • cool article on seeking out everyday inspiration. There are some fabulous links, as well as good ideas.
  • the above led me, in a roundabout way, to these totes. Oilcloth and roomy, they look like they would make awesome beach bags or a cute diaper bag. Stuff it with baby stuff for your next command appearance at a baby shower. (Does anyone ever want to go to those things, wether for babies or weddings? I didn't even want to go to MINE!)
  • also: an apron group on flickr. I'm so going to use this for inspiration. (Have I mentioned that aprons are the ultimate "instant gratification" sewing project? They're done quickly, they fit almost anyone, and you can never have too many.)
  • I found some lovely fabric on the dollar rack at WalMart today; it's white with tiny stripes in all the colors of the rainbow. I bought *gulp* five yards. I'm thinking maybe something like this or else a classic strapless dress with circle skirt. Maybe with a self belt? Also: I bought a Built by Wendy pattern today. I love the gray knit version, but am thinking that maybe gathering under my (very ample) bum might not be the most flattering? Mental note: am not built for hipster fashion. Figure is much better suited to vintage lines.
  • after reading this, I suddenly want to start embroidering pillowcases. And sheets. and maybe underwear?
  • ooooo! A DIY contest where you win copies of Blueprint and Adorn. Deadline is June 20th, so think quickly. Kat, I think your refashioned undies might work in this instance?
  • I'm not a shawl person, but I love this shrug. Sounds like a great excuse to buy a super-luxe yarn. And how awesome would this be for adding that little something extra to an outfit? See also: good present for expectant/nursing mummies: adds warmth around the shoulders for those midnight feedings without getting in the way.
  • how gorgeous is this?

since I knew he was coming I totally baked made a cake

remains of the day

Brotherinlaw1 turned 23 (I think) yesterday. We celebrated his birthday Sunday night, with much popping of balloons and wearing of hats. (Not birthday hats, just hats in general. Because we're weird that way.)
For his cake, I made an icecream cake and was able to try the next recipe on my list from Perfect Scoop: strawberry sour cream. It was quite delicious, although a little icy, but that was my fault because I put in too many strawberries. The bottom layer is the classic chocolate that we've been making constantly for the past couple of weeks. Everyone looooved that bit.
Specifics on the cake: I poured the freshly-churned ice cream into foil-lined cake pans, then put them in the freezer to set. A quart or so filled each pan quite nicely. The filling is crushed oreos, and the frosting is sweetened whipped cream. Be sure to take the cake out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge about an hour before you plan to cut it, because it got rather hard.


it's a craft off!

And you're invited. One Hour Craft is having a craft challenge this month. Follow the guidelines above and upload a picture to the Flickr Group for a chance to win some sort of prize and have fun crafting in the meantime.

and the spring clearance has begun

I'm not buying, but that doesn't mean I can't tempt you!

Click for more info. All from Delias.

worth figuring out how to make

via kenzie kate

Isn't this just lovely? I love the contrast between the very high neck and the dramatic back. Also loving the sash.


definitive proof that I am turning into my mother

definitive proof that I am turning into my mother
Even my arms are looking a little...motherly. Yikes. I think pushups are in order.
vintage dress: ebay
vintage purse: thrifted
sandals: thrifted
pearls: department store?


summertime and the living is easy

Something about warm weather takes me from moderately sluggish to full-out bookworm, wanting to do nothing more than lie in a hammock and read all day long, the heat and humidity washing over me, the sunlight dappling my skin. Unfortunately the harsh realities of being an adult intrude and I do go to work, but the impetus to blog, to search out cool things, to exert myself, just isn't there, and I spend any free time at my desk reading something, wether on the "to read" list or not. That is why, dear readers, I haven't posted much lately; I'm too lethargic. (Side note: any book suggestions? I'm always on the lookout for a good read, and like pretty much anything.) Ok, so here is some of the stuff I'm looking at but have been too lazy to share.

Ok, so I'll stop for now. Anyone going to see "Ocean's 13" this weekend? And did I mention that "Miss Potter" is currently showing in our dollar theater, but I haven't been able to go yet? Le sigh.


I hope my swap partner doesn't read this

spotty goodness Because I don't want to spoil the suprise. These are for an apron swap; the theme was "spots and dots." When I read that my designated swappee had two little girls, I couldn't resist, and made aprons for all three of them, so they can make cookies in color-coordinated harmony.

Edited to add: I just went back and re-read her profile. She DOESN'T have two little girls...she has two little boys. Not sure how I made that mistake, but she now officially has way more pink polka-dots than she'll ever need. I feel like the world's largest dork.

I must be a shallow person

Because I was in a foul mood, and shoe shopping--without actually having to buy anything--made me feel like rainbows and unicorns again.

Also, are these shoes not adorable? I'm kind of on the fence--they're almost stripper-esqe, but I keep imagining them with black tights and a white mini...so, so cute. Image from Zappos, but they're currently on sale at endless.


the next attempt at ice-cream making

the next flavor we tried to make
This is oatmeal raisin, again from David Lebovitz's "Perfect Scoop." Seriously incredibly delicious. Now I can't decide what flavor I want to try next: fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, or strawberry sourcream. Suggestions?

a bittersweet moment

children's book

Saturday was the last bag day I'll ever attend at the library book sale. I ran over during my lunch break, and limited myself to just one bag because I'm moving, so I have to limit myself somewhere. In that bag were some lovely pieces, though, including this old, battered, but still readable copy of pinnochio. My favorite has to be the book from the forties that contains standards of perfection for fowl. Strange and technical, yes. But also filled with all these awesome full-page plates illustrating the different breeds of chicken, and they're each drawn to look strangely royal. My stepmum collects chickens, so I was thinking about framing up a bunch of them for her, but the chickens are suprisingly beautiful, so I'm going to have a hard time parting with them.